Sunday, September 12, 2021

From Ian:

Jonathan S. Tobin: The Real Lesson of 9/11 Isn’t a Story About Islamophobia
Though Greenblatt claims FBI statistics back up his claims about an anti-Muslim backlash, a look at the last 20 years of such data proves the opposite. The number of attacks on Muslims has remained small even when temporary hikes occurred. Throughout this period, the numbers show that the overwhelming majority of religion-based attacks have been aimed at Jews, not at Muslims.

While Greenblatt is riding the left’s favorite racism hobby horse, elsewhere the anniversary is being used for different purposes.

In Afghanistan and other places where Islamists rule, Sept. 11 won’t be a day of mourning or an occasion for talking about Islamophobia. It’s not a coincidence that the Taliban — the Islamist group that hosted the Al-Qaeda terrorist atrocities — have chosen to inaugurate their new government on the date. They believe they have proved that with enough patience, sooner or later those who attack the United States can wait out a democracy that lacks the will to oppose them in a long, drawn-out struggle.

As Hudson Institute strategic analyst and former combat veteran Michael Pregent told me in an interview that will air on a JNS “Top Story” podcast, Afghanistan will now be open for business again as a base for Islamic radicals. While four administrations from both political parties contributed to this catastrophe, the feckless decision of the Biden administration to pull the plug on its Afghan allies and then effectively concede the country to this enemy will help to recruit others for various Islamist radical terror groups. It will also encourage Iran, a rogue regime that President Joe Biden is also still bent on appeasing, to stick with its goal of acquiring nuclear weapons.

That will make American allies like Israel less secure and increase the chances of regional war. It will also — contrary to the belief of many Americans on both the right as well as the left, who think the conflicts in the Middle East can be ignored as long as Americans are no longer stationed there — make it entirely possible that future terror attacks will be closer to home, rather than in Kabul.

These cruel facts should be uppermost in our minds on this somber anniversary. Instead, Greenblatt and others on the left are trying to change the subject to Islamophobia. In retrospect, the Ground Zero mosque controversy was all about the way radical groups like CAIR were, with the help of liberal media, trying to change the narrative about 9/11 in order to distract Americans from a potent threat while miring them in a self-destructive and dishonest conversation about prejudice. Still, who would have believed 10 years ago that the ADL, the group tasked with defending Jews against the ideas and the people behind 9/11, would be lending its considerable influence to this disgraceful effort?




In 9/11 Anniversary Message, Al-Qaeda Chief Warns ‘Jerusalem Will Not Be Judaized’
In a video marking 20 years since the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri attacked Arab countries for “collaborating” with the United States, calling them “Zionist Arabs.” Al-Zawahiri also vowed that “Jerusalem will not be Judaized.”

The video was posted to the website of a US NGO, SITE Intelligence Group.

Al-Zawahiri named Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as the chief “collaborators.”

The UAE, along with Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan, made history in 2020 when they signed the Abraham Accords, normalizing ties with Israel under the auspices of the United States.

Al-Zawahiri took command of Al-Qaeda following the assassination of its longtime leader Osama bin Laden in 2011. Rumors of al-Zawahiri’s death have circulated for years, and the assessment in the West is that this video is not proof he is still alive, as he makes no mention in it of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Osama bin Laden's son ashamed of father's crimes, wants to visit Israel
The son of Osama bin Laden, the slain leader of the al-Qaida terrorist group said he hopes to visit Israel in an interview with the Israeli media.

Omar bin Laden, 40, the youngest of Osama's sons, was expected to be his father's heir and take on the leadership of al-Qaida but turned down the offer. He said he felt "shame and horror" toward his father for the crimes he committed during his life.

He said after the devastation of the Sept. 11 attacks orchestrated by his father on the World Trade Center towers in New York City, the Pentagon outside Washington, and in an open field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania that "it was hard for me to believe that he had the ability to organize such a thing. That day changed our lives forever, and it was very hard to continue to live afterwards. During these years of loss and pain, I was forced to come to terms with the truth about my father."

An artist, Omar bin Laden lives in Normandy, France. He longs to visit the United States and Israel, noting that his wife, whose maternal side of the family is Jewish and originally from Israel, received an offer to give lectures on peace at Israeli universities.

"I know that it's a beautiful country, and many people in it want peace with the Palestinians," he said. "I know that since 1948, the Palestinians have been living alongside the Jewish nation. We believe that the world needs to live as one and that neighbors from every religion can live alongside each other in peace."
'Osama Bin Laden was the face of evil', says the Navy Seal that killed him

“Celebrating” 20 Years Since the UN Durban Hatefest
The Durban process, from before Tehran until the final declaration, was largely directed by powerful NGOs — particularly Human Rights Watch (HRW), and its Palestinian partners. Before the opening sessions, HRW Executive Director, who has a long record of hostility towards Israel, told an interviewer, “Clearly Israeli racist practices are an appropriate topic.” During the NGO Forum, Reed Brody, who headed the HRW delegation, joined in blocking the participation of Jewish delegates, as noted by Lantos, Professor Anne Bayefsky, and others. Other participants recalled that HRW’s “silence was quite distressing.”

After HRW founder Bob Bernstein and donors voiced criticism, HRW claimed to have condemned the final resolution. Their version was repeated in an April 2021 New York Times article touting the latest HRW “apartheid” campaign, and quoting Brody supposedly telling the Forum that it is “wrong to equate Zionism with racism.” All of the evidence suggests otherwise.

Indeed, immediately after Durban, the same NGOs and UN allies moved to implement the strategy. HRW led the other groups with allegations of war crimes following every Israeli response to terror, whether from Hamas in Gaza or Hezbollah from Lebanon. In 2021, HRW has continued to publish a flood of “reports” and pushing demonization further with each step. They even invented and promoted a unique definition of apartheid to lobby the International Criminal Court to open investigations against Israelis. In parallel, the HRW and the NGO network promote boycotts targeting Israeli universities and businesses, athletes and cultural events, often joined by church groups with classical theological antisemitic agendas under the banner of BDS (boycotts, divestment and sanctions).

The constant drumbeat from Durban has contributed significantly to violent antisemitic attacks worldwide. Recent statistics from the US, Britain, and European countries highlight the hate directed against Jews and Jewish or Israeli targets.

Nevertheless, the Durban framework remains on the UN’s permanent agenda. On September 22, the General Assembly will host Durban 4 — a one day low-profile event in which officials and affiliated NGOs will “celebrate” the successes. To their credit, President Biden and the leaders of Canada, Britain, and a number of European officials announced that their governments will not participate.

But the echoes of the original anti-racist hatefest continue, with the ongoing antisemitism and obsessive Israel-bashing under the façade of human rights. Now, as in 2001, many of those who claim to speak in the name of morality and law continue to support the perpetrators of inhuman brutality, and erase the victims of terror and injustice. This is the legacy of Durban after 20 years.
Richard Kemp: The Other Special Relationship: Britain and the UAE
No world leader is better equipped to help us understand and contain this rising threat to Britain and our international interests than Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the greatest foe of radical Islamism in the Arab world.

He helped stem the escalating regional challenge of the Muslim Brotherhood from Egypt; his forces combatted Al Shabab in Somalia, supported the Libyan National Army against its Islamist opponents and fought against Islamic State in Syria and Iran-sponsored Houthi insurgents, Al Qaida and the Islamic State in Yemen.

Lord Trimble, former First Minister of Northern Ireland and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, nominated Mohamed bin Zayed for the same award in recognition of his "historic achievements in advancing peace in the Middle East".

[W]e should be looking to the UAE's leadership to further strengthen and broaden them. Britain should stand with them. As with the UAE, we are a close and historic ally of Israel, with significant influence across the Middle East. Freed by Brexit from our stifling dependency on the EU, we should now be ready to play a leading role alongside Abu Dhabi in this strategically important process, both in our own interests and in the interests of peace in the region.
The 22 Most Interesting Israel-UAE Agreements of the Year
Almost a year into the Abraham Accords, dozens of companies, foundations and government offices from Israel and the United Arab Emirates have established ties, reached agreements and inked deals in an array of fields.

Think venture capital, endangered wildlife and everything in between.

On July 14, the UAE inaugurated its embassy in Tel Aviv.

To mark the first anniversary of the historic accords agreed to on August 13, 2020 and signed on September 15, 2020, we’ve highlighted the most interesting deals to have come out of the peace pact.
Investigators believe escaped prisoners received no help while on the run
Israeli security forces believe the Palestinian fugitives who escaped a high-security prison earlier this week received no help while on the run, according to reports on Saturday night.

Five days into a national manhunt for six Palestinian security prisoners who escaped from a jail in northern Israel, police captured two of the fugitives in Nazareth Friday night. Hours later, two others — including notorious terror commander Zakaria Zubeidi — were apprehended in the nearby town of Shibli–Umm al-Ghanam. In both cases, Arab Israelis who encountered the fugitives reported the suspicious sightings to authorities, aiding in their capture.

After interrogating the four Palestinian security prisoners, police and Shin Bet security service investigators concluded they had no accomplices on the outside, or assistance from within Gilboa Prison, Channel 12 reported on Saturday night. The report said the escaped prisoners may have received minor assistance from passersby, such as offers of rides or clothing, none of which was premeditated.

Police sources told the Ynet news site on Saturday that despite earlier assessments that the prisoners had outside help and that a getaway vehicle had driven them away, authorities now believe they acted alone and traveled on foot the entire time. The six men apparently first walked together to the Arab Israeli town of Na’ura and split up from there, according to Channel 12.

Investigators believe that while the men meticulously plotted their escape from the prison, they had relatively few clear plans upon getting out.
3,728,600 reasons the escaped terrorists chose to return to prison quietly According to calculations made by Palestinian Media Watch, based on the official PA terrorist salary pay scale, prior to the escape of the terrorists, the PA had already paid them a minimum cumulative sum of $1,165,125
On September 11, 2021, Israeli security forces managed to capture four of the six terrorists who escaped from the Gilboa prison just days earlier. The terrorists did not resist their re-arrest.

While their escape was clearly the result of a substantial failure on the part of the Israeli Prison Service, their relatively quiet re-capture could well be the function of the comfortable life in Israeli prison while accumulating massive salaries, from the Palestinian Authority.

According to calculations made by Palestinian Media Watch, based on the official PA terrorist salary pay scale, prior to the escape of the terrorists, the PA had already paid them a minimum cumulative sum of 3,728,600 shekels ($1,165,125).

Leading the payments was Mahmoud Ardah, who was arrested in 1996 and sentenced to life and another 15 years. To reward Ardah for his terrorist activities, to date the PA has paid him a total of 1,156,000 shekels ($361,230). For the last 60 months, Ardah had been receiving 8,000 shekels ($2,471). On Sept. 21, he will complete 25 years in prison. Accordingly, in his September “pay check”, he will receive a salary rise to 10,000 shekels/month ($3,089)

The second highest paid of the escaped terrorists is Muhammad Ardah, an Islamic Jihad member who was put on trial and convicted for his part in initiating and executing a suicide bombing on Nov. 29, 2001, in which 3 people were murdered and many others were wounded. To reward Ardah for blowing up a bus, the PA has already paid him a total of 903,200 shekels ($282,235). Arrested in May 2002, this Ardah receives 7,000 shekels/month ($2,162). He will receive a salary increase in May 2022.

The two Ardah’s are followed by Yaqub Qaderi, who carried out a shooting attack in 2002 in which Yosef Ajami was murdered and a foreign worker was wounded. Arrested in 2003, to reward Qaderi for murdering an Israeli, the PA has paid him a total of 831,800 shekels ($259,923). His current monthly salary is 7,000 shekels ($2,162).


Seth Frantzman: New AI system fills rifle sights with extensive, easy-to-digest info
When soldiers look through the sights of their assault rifles with the Elbit System’s new artificial intelligence data platform, their view is transformed to resemble a first-person shooter video game.

Layers of data from the Assault Rifle Combat Application, or ARCAS, display alongside a soldier’s view of the environment — a mock urban landscape and dark tunnel in the case of the company’s recent demonstration in a rural area in central Israel. Shooters push buttons on a grip to toggle among layers of information about their surroundings, including motion detection, range, ammunition levels and more data that’s just a click away.

ARCAS, which the Israel-based company is featuring at the DSEI conference in London, incorporates a microcomputer in the weapon to process data and provide a graphical user interface to display the information in the rifle’s electro-optical sight and through an optional helmet-mounted eyepiece.

The demo used ARCAS systems mounted on M-4s, with testers shooting at stationary targets. The use of ideas from the gaming world is clear when putting the sight up to the eye.

The system is easy to adapt and adjust, Elbit officials said, and the company developed it for average infantry soldiers, not just special forces. “We made it very intuitive so it looks like PlayStation’s Fortnite [video game]; it shows range, wind and ammo left, etc.,” said Arie Chernobrov, general manager of Elbit Security Systems.

The system builds on the company’s portfolio of scopes and thermal night vision sights. “We’ve worked in infantry systems for many years,” said Chernobrov. Infantry has generally lagged in high-tech capabilities that pilots or submariners may have in today’s militaries, the Elbit demonstrators noted. Infantry has been slow to make use of the kinds of applications available on smartphones for civilians, for instance, including navigation, communications and integration of basic information into thermal weapon sights.
Israeli Minister Says Iran Giving Militias Drone Training Near Isfahan
Israel’s defense minister accused Iran on Sunday of providing foreign militias with drone training at an airbase near the city of Isfahan, a month after Tehran came under global scrutiny over a suspected drone attack on an Israeli-managed tanker off Oman.

Israel has combined military strikes with diplomatic pressure to beat back what it describes as an effort by its arch-foe, whose nuclear negotiations with the West are deadlocked, to beef up regional clout through allied guerrillas.

In what his office described as a new disclosure, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Iran was using Kashan airbase north of Isfahan to train “terror operatives from Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon in flying Iranian-made UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles).”

Iran was also trying to “transfer know-how that would allow the manufacturing of UAVs in the Gaza Strip,” on Israel’s southern border, Gantz told a conference at Reichman University near Tel Aviv.

His office provided what it said were satellite images showing UAVs on the runways at Kashan. There was no immediate comment from Iran.

A July 29 blast aboard the Mercer Street, a Liberian-flagged, Japanese-owned petroleum product tanker managed by Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime, near the mouth of the Gulf, a key oil shipping route, killed two crew — a Briton and a Romanian.
Lapid outlines ‘economy for security’ plan for Gaza
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid laid out his detailed plan to defeat Hamas in Gaza through economic and diplomatic means, in an address to the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism Conference at Reichman University on Sunday.

“We need to start a large, multi-year process of economy for security,” Lapid said.

Lapid rejected the dichotomy that Israel can either reconsider Gaza or continue to engage in periodic rounds of violence against Hamas and other terrorist groups in the coastal enclave that Israel evacuated in 2005.

“Those are two bad options...That’s not a reality we can accept,” he stated.

Instead, Israel should advance the “economy for security” formulation without negotiating with Hamas - “Israel doesn’t speak to terror organizations who want to destroy us,” Lapid said - to put pressure on the group that controls Gaza.

“We need to tell Gazans at every opportunity - Hamas is leading you to ruin,” Lapid stated. “No one will come and invest real money and no one will try to build an economy in a place from which Hamas fires and which Israel strikes on a regular basis.”

An Israeli plan to improve life in Gaza if Hamas lays down its arms is a way to put pressure on Hamas and end the “absurd situation” in which an antisemitic terrorist organization attacks Israeli civilians, and Israel is blamed for it, he said.
Bennett Promises No More ‘Suitcases of Money’ to Gaza
The Prime Minister’s Office on Sunday denied reports from Israeli media that it would consider reverting to the “suitcase of money” system, by which Qatari funds were channeled into the Gaza Strip.

Hamas demands millions of dollars a month, provided by Qatar, as payment for civil servants in Gaza.

Qatar, Israel and the United Nations have agreed to transfer grants provided by Doha, including cash payments of $100 to 100,000 impoverished families in Gaza.

But the parties have yet to agree on a new mechanism for transferring funds to the Hamas employees.

Israel’s fledgling government has warned that it does not intend to allow the Qatar to transfer money directly to Hamas, as former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration did.

The Prime Minister’s Office stated that contrary to reports this Sunday, “there will be no return to the previous system.”

It added that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz are currently considering new options, following the withdrawal of the Palestinian Authority from a tentative agreement on Friday.
UN to begin dispensing Qatari cash to needy Gazan families Monday under new deal
The United Nations said Sunday that it would begin distributing Qatari cash to some eligible Gazan families on Monday, as Prime Minister Naftali Bennett denied reports that his government was weighing a resumption of the previous leadership’s policy of allowing cash payments to be sent in suitcases from Doha to Hamas civil servants.

“Tomorrow, some vulnerable families in Gaza, out of the nearly 100,000 beneficiaries, will begin to receive their aid as part of the UN’s Humanitarian Cash Assistance programme, supported by the State of Qatar,” the United Nations office tasked with handling Middle East peace efforts tweeted.

Qatari support is considered a crucial lifeline for impoverished Palestinians living in the Strip, which has been blockaded by Israel and Egypt for years. Israel views the blockade as a necessary measure to limit the ability of Gaza’s Hamas terrorist rulers to arm themselves.

Israel had been allowing millions in Qatari cash to flow through Israeli crossings into Gaza on a monthly basis since 2018, in order to maintain a fragile ceasefire with Hamas. As of early 2021, some $30 million in cash were being delivered in suitcases to Gaza each month through an Israeli-controlled crossing.

Since an 11-day war in May, Israel has blocked the payments and imposed heightened restrictions on the enclave.

Indirect talks between Israel and the terror group went on for months, with tensions rising between the two sides as the situation in Gaza deteriorated.


Remembering wrestler Navid Afkari, a year after Iran murdered him - analysis
September 12, 2021, marks a year since the Islamic Republic of Iran’s hangmen rushed to execute champion Greco-Roman wrestler Navid Afkari, merely because he dared protest against the theocratic state’s political and economic corruption.

The Jerusalem Post recognized the story’s great importance and punched well above its weight in drawing global attention to Afkari’s grim plight in the lead-up to his early morning extrajudicial killing, before major international news outlets reported on the story. What grew into a global campaign to save Afkari’s life emerged in part from the Post’s reporting and news-gathering in late August and early September 2020. Alas, in the days after Afkari’s execution, intelligence agents from the Islamic Republic said there had been no other choice but to execute him, the Post learned this week from highly credible Iranian sources.

Iran’s regime remains highly anxious about a domestic movement mobilizing around Afkari’s killing.

Afkari’s brother Saeed wrote on Friday that, “on the eve of my brother’s anniversary [of execution], security agencies have threatened and pressured my family. We have been experiencing [the] most brutal repression for three years. We are saddened but we are still standing.” The intelligence officials argued that Afkari was becoming too much of a popular figure among Iranians. One human rights expert from a prominent NGO told the Post that if the mushrooming international campaign would have had just a few more weeks, his life could have been saved.
Iran to Allow IAEA to Service Nuclear Monitoring Cameras After Talks
Iran is to allow the UN nuclear watchdog to service monitoring cameras at Iranian nuclear sites after talks on Sunday with IAEA head Rafael Grossi, according to the head of Iran’s atomic energy body and a joint statement.

The talks with International Atomic Energy Agency chief Grossi were aimed at easing a standoff between Tehran and the West just as it threatens to escalate and scupper negotiations on reviving the Iran nuclear deal.

The IAEA said this week that there had been no progress on two key issues: explaining uranium traces found at old, undeclared sites and getting urgent access to monitoring equipment so the agency can continue to keep track of parts of Iran’s nuclear program as per the 2015 deal.

“We agreed over the replacement of the memory cards of the agency’s cameras,” Mohammad Eslami, who heads the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), was quoted as saying by state media.

“IAEA’s inspectors are permitted to service the identified equipment and replace their storage media which will be kept under the joint IAEA and AEOI seals in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” the nuclear bodies said in a joint statement.


David Collier: The University of Bristol submits to the Islamists world vision
It has been a long, difficult and so far unsuccessful fight by Jewish students at the University of Bristol. Professor David Miller has spent much of the last two decades mapping conspiracy theories about ‘Zionist’ power, dressing them as academia – and then teaching them to students.

Since serious complaints about him surfaced, he then turned his conspiratorial mind towards the Jewish students themselves – accusing them of being ‘pawns‘ of Israel. Despite all this, Miller is still at Bristol and teaching the offensive module in the current academic year.

The fight by the Islamic Society was far more fruitful. They wanted a module by Professor Steven Greer scrapped because they saw it as ‘Islamophobic’. His chief ‘crimes’ were to suggest that the Charlie Hebdo attack is ‘evidence of Islam’s stance on free speech‘ and he gave support to the government’s anti-extremist PREVENT program. The students also demanded that the Professor apologise.

Bristol University just caved and cancelled the module. It isn’t that the university found Greer’s stance ‘Islamophobic’ – they didn’t – but rather to protect the feelings of students, they cancelled the module so students would ‘not feel that their religion is being singled out or in any way ‘othered’ by the class material’.

The message here is simple:
You can teach that Zionists (Jews) are a powerful, hidden cabal, pulling the strings of world governments. And even add that Jewish students act as pawns of that shady cabal.

but –

Cannot teach that strands of Islam – which clearly have a problem with free speech – actually have a problem with free speech.


Washington University student senator is caught removing 2,977 American flags commemorating victims of 9/11 as he stages protest over 'US wars that have killed 900,000 in the Middle East'
A student senator at Washington University is being accused of snatching up 2,977 American flags to commemorate the lives lost in the 9/11 terror attacks on the 20th anniversary before throwing them in trash bags.

Fadel Alkilani, who serves as chairman of the student senate finance committee at the St Louis, Missouri university, is allegedly seen filling blue trash bags with the minature flags used as part of the 9/11: Never Forget Project memorial.

A video posted to Twitter by the Young Americans for Freedom, show as the cameraman confronts Alkilani.

'Who are you?' Alkilani asks the cameraman, identified as Nathaniel Hope, a member of the university's College Republicans.

Hope described Alkilani as showing 'no remorse' before claiming the flags were a 'violation of school rules.'

'I did not violate any university or legal policy. Now go away,' Alkilani told YAF.

Meanwhile, Alkilani allegedly boasted about the act on his Twitter, which has since been set to private.

He claimed the move was done in 'protest against American imperialism and the 900,000 lives lost as a result of post 9/11 war.'


Will Gavin Newsom Sign Anti-Capitalist, Anti-Israel Ethnic Studies Mandate For High School Graduation?
On September 8, the California Legislature passed AB 101, which would mandate a required ethnic studies course for high school graduation across the state. It awaits a signature from embattled Governor Gavin Newsom.

It seems likely the governor will sign the mandate into law, although the looming recall election on September 14 may change his calculus on whether to sign the bill.

The bill has gone through several versions, amendments, and other changes since first came up for consideration in 2018. The idea has generated national attention and outrage from parents of students in California’s public schools. Throughout the process, its sponsors and supporters have endeavored to obfuscate the connection between their version of Ethnic Studies and Critical Race Theory. Legal Insurrection’s Samantha Mandeles reported in February:
The California public school and university systems have seen their fair share of controversy—from outrage at the Islamist Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) involvement in a San Diego “anti-bullying” program to blowback against the Burbank Unified School District’s practice of temporarily discontinuing the teaching of classic books.

Now, the state’s Department of Education is back in the hot-seat as its much-reviled “Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC) ” has once again made headlines for its reliance on the neo-Marxist (so-called) academic discipline known as “Critical Ethnic Studies.”


She later summarized the intent by saying, “The field is patently opposed to the ‘U.S. Empire’ and American capitalism (which it judges as completely immoral) and looks with disdain at ‘the nation-state model’; its overarching theme is one of the oppressor versus the oppressed, categorizations which it claims are inherently tied to the racial, ethnic, religious, class, and sexual identities of different groups. It then necessitates political activism and ‘community engagement’ based on these guiding principles.”
From Terror Supporter to ‘Palestine Correspondent’: Meet Mohammed El-Kurd, The Nation’s Latest Hire
On September 8, The Nation announced the hiring of Mohammed El-Kurd as its first-ever “Palestine Correspondent.” El-Kurd, a student at the City University of New York’s Brooklyn College, said he would be writing about “Palestinian resistance without burrowing in the sand,” using language that is “loyal to the Palestinian street.”

El-Kurd will publish his first essay about the Arab-Israeli conflict in the coming days, introducing the magazine’s million followers to his radical viewpoints, as HonestReporting detailed in July.

Indeed, for those who have followed the writer since he gained notoriety by protesting against Jews seeking to reclaim ownership of properties in the eastern part of Jerusalem that were confiscated from them between 1948 and 1967 when Jordan occupied the holy city, El-Kurd’s skewed interpretation of “journalism” is crystal clear.

In fact, El-Kurd’s Twitter feed demonstrated what The Nation’s latest addition defines as “Palestinian resistance;” that is, the murder of Jewish Israelis. Just two days before his hiring was announced, he rejoiced as six Palestinian terrorists broke out of Israel’s maximum-security Gilboa Prison.

“I am going to bed with a smile on my face and dreaming of the day all prisons are abolished,” El-Kurd tweeted, calling the incident “excellent.”

For the record, all six escapees were members of US-designated terror groups. Most were serving life sentences for their roles in attacks on innocent Israeli civilians. Islamic Jihad member Ayham Kamamji, for instance, was convicted of kidnapping and murdering teenager Eliyahu Asheri.

Zakaria Zubeidi in 2002 planned an Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades attack on a polling station that killed six Israelis and was awaiting trial for his role in several other terrorist acts.

Nevertheless, El-Kurd called the recapture over the weekend of four of the terrorists a “heartbreaking development.”
BBC Travel again promotes political narrative in ‘lifestyle’ article
As in previous BBC content relating to that location, no mention is made of its Jewish history.

Fox does however manage to shoehorn an irrelevant and context-free reference to ‘occupation’ into her piece:
“Heirloom seeds, which are non-genetically modified and open pollinated, are important for the health of agriculture all over the world. Sansour believes they are especially important for Palestinians who have been living under Israeli occupation of the West Bank since 1967. “With each seed we can achieve more autonomy,” she said.”

Readers are even told (twice, apparently due to editing issues) that the wheat based products they consume are thanks to Sansour’s Palestinian ancestors:
“The land around Battir is part of the Fertile Crescent, along with modern day Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. From this region, wheat was domesticated; some of the wheat Sansour and her community work with is approximately 10,000 years old, dating back to the beginning of agriculture. “The reason the English eat biscuits and everyone eats bread is because of our ancestors,” said Sansour.”

Once again BBC Travel goes down the all too familiar route of promotion of partial political messaging in commissioned ‘life-style’ articles that potentially reach audiences less familiar with the politics and history of the Middle East.
France 24 Arabic’s Deep Descent Into Anti-Israel Bias, Denial of Jewish History
As previously reported, France24’s Arabic broadcast coverage of the July 18 Tisha B’Av events was deeply tendentious, with correspondent Layla Odeh’s false smear about “settlers intruding al-Aqsa” a dismal lowlight. Alarmingly, a separate France 24 Arabic item that day, an analysis concerning the same events, descended even further into the rabbit hole of anti-Israel bias and denial of Jerusalem’s Jewish history.

France 24 host Rafik Sahali established the distorted frame:
Clashes between Israeli security forces and worshippers this morning, against the backdrop of hundreds of settlers entering [the Jerusalem sanctuary] to commemorate what they consider the destruction of the Temple anniversary.

Notably, an image (at left) of running rock-throwers (including one who is shirtless) lobbing their projectiles appeared exactly as the host cited alleged “worshippers.”

With a misleading question regarding the Tisha B’Av violence, Sahali subsequently introduced commentator Khaled al-Gharabli, (whose counter-factual observations on the Israel-Hamas escalation in May previously found a welcome platform at France 24 Arabic):
Khaled, what is this anniversary, anniversary of the Temple’s destruction, which every year causes clashes and intrusions into the al-Aqsa Mosque plaza?

That was Al-Gharabli’s signal into launch a monologue which surpassed even the excesses of Odeh, who had uncritically adopted false terminology and the Palestinian nationalist narrative. Al-Gharabli, for his part, claimed that there is “no material evidence” of a Jewish Temple on Temple Mount.


Pope warns of ‘threat of antisemitism in Europe’ during Hungary visit
Pope Francis warned on Sunday of “the threat of antisemitism” in Europe and beyond in an address to Christian and Jewish leaders during a brief visit to Hungary, where he also met anti-migration premier Viktor Orban.

“I think of the threat of antisemitism still lurking in Europe and elsewhere. This is a fuse that must not be allowed to burn. And the best way to defuse it is to work together, positively, and to promote fraternity,” the pontiff said.

During the ceremony, held in the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest, Francis met with leaders of the Hungarian Jewish community, the largest in Central Europe, estimated to number between 47,000 and 130,000 people.

The pontiff met Zoltan Radnoti, the chairman of the rabbinical council of the Mazsihisz Jewish umbrella group in Hungary, and the group’s president Andras Heisler, as well as two representatives from the reform-progressive community.

Radnoti presented the pope with a silver pointer used during public readings of the Torah. The pointer was specially made for the occasion by a goldsmith whose parents are Holocaust survivors.
St. Paul police to boost patrols of Jewish sites after antisemitic incidents
Police in the city of St. Paul, Minnesota, are beefing up patrols at Jewish sites in the city after a number of antisemitic incidents, specifically the vandalization of a local Jewish cemetery, local CBS affiliate WCCO reported.

Vandals had targeted the Chesed Shel Emes Cemetery, with its caretaker telling police Thursday that he found 30 tombstones knocked over, according to the Star Tribune.

Another incident in nearby St. Louis Park saw a local Beth El Synagogue close its preschool and cancel in-person Shabbat evening prayer services after a possible threat was received by the Anti-Defamation League, according to the Star Tribune.

Both incidents occurred during the High Holy Day period, taking place right after Rosh Hashanah and ahead of Yom Kippur.
Inside storyRevisiting ‘The Grey Zone’: The barely-seen Holocaust movie that debuted on 9/11
On September 11, 2001, the greatest Holocaust film ever made, before or since, premiered at a festival — and quickly disappeared, largely unnoticed.

The film’s cast included Steve Buscemi, Harvey Keitel, David Arquette, Michael Stuhlbarg and Mira Sorvino, and it was written and directed by the acclaimed Jewish actor Tim Blake Nelson. Roger Ebert called it one of the best films of the year; later, he added it to his prestigious Great Movies series. The film was so extraordinary that Steven Spielberg considered distributing it himself, less than a decade after making “Schindler’s List.”

This was the astonishing pedigree and support behind “The Grey Zone.” But it couldn’t translate into any attention for the beleaguered film, which had a quickly forgotten premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and languished at the box office when it was released the next year.

“The Grey Zone” is not about righteous gentiles or good Nazis who redeem themselves by saving Jews. It’s not a happy-go-lucky film with a father and son prancing around Auschwitz playing games, or a cartoonish Adolf Hitler mugging for the camera. It lacks the other typical trappings of Holocaust movies: the lush musical score, the tortured accents, the melodramatic misdirections. “The Grey Zone” is, instead, about the moral and philosophical conundrums faced by the Sonderkommando: the Jews in the death camps who worked to dispose of the victims’ bodies in exchange for slightly better treatment from the Nazis.

Drawing on the writings of Primo Levi and the true story of the forgotten rebellion at Birkenau by the Sonderkommando in 1944, where the Jewish workers destroyed two of the main four crematorium complexes on the deadliest spot in human history, Nelson portrays real people living their reality — not with black or white choices, but with gray moral choices. And “The Grey Zone” tells its complex, layered story in an economical 108 minutes, with grace and humility.

How did such an important film fall through the cracks? “The Grey Zone” was practically stillborn, set to premiere just after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, while smoke was still rising from lower Manhattan.


Unpacked: The Birth of Islam: Muhammad and the Jews | The Jewish Story
In 610 CE, Muhammad had revelatory visions in a cave in Medina, revelations that would later make up the Quran and the commandments of Islam. Meanwhile, the Jews of the Arabian Peninsula were finally living in relative safety after years of tortuous oppression by the Byzantine Christians.

Muhammad was forced to flee from Mecca to Medina, where Jewish tribes who had lived there for generations were more accepting of his monotheistic beliefs. In fact, Muhammad and his followers even adopted many Jewish customs. However, the Jews did not accept Muhammad’s claims to prophecy and things took a negative turn between the early Muslims and the Jews.

As Muhammad’s followers continued to conquer much of the Middle East and North Africa, the Jews in these lands were given “dhimmi” status. This meant that if they paid the annual tax and kept their heads down, they could generally live without fear. And while the system occasionally broke down, this relative freedom enabled a flourishing of Jewish thought and set the stage for some of Judaism’s most influential scholars and philosophers.


The famous First Temple was not alone










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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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