Tuesday, September 14, 2021

From Ian:

Time for both parties to repent for Nazi analogies
Yet even worse was to come. The Jewish Democratic Council of America released an Internet video ad in which the Trump-Nazi analogy was directly made. It's hard to imagine a more inflammatory and deeply wrong-headed example of a group trying to exploit the Holocaust for political purposes. That's especially true because, whatever his other failings, Trump deserved credit both for changing policies to take action against anti-Semitism on college campuses as well as his historic support of Israel.

This monstrous accusation was given a pass by leading liberal Jewish figures, including those who ought to have known better and who had in the past denounced those who did the same thing. Former ADL director Abe Foxman and Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt, who were likely thinking ahead to the competition to be the State Department Special Envoy to Combat and Monitor Anti-Semitism in a Biden administration, both betrayed their principles and gave this outrageous slur their approval. In the end, Lipstadt was the one who was rewarded for doing so when she was nominated for the job by Biden.

In a political culture where demonization of political foes is now universal, calling opponents horrible names is how both parties react to every controversy. The brazen hypocrisy of those who are all over Mandel but saw no problem when Democrats did the same thing is a function of partisanship and nothing else.

Still, that doesn't excuse Mandel, Taylor Greene or anyone else who is guilty of dragging the Holocaust into discussions where it doesn't belong.

Is there any way to reverse this trend in which both liberals and conservatives now regard comparisons to the Nazis and the Holocaust as merely a way to say something is really bad, rather than a reference to the greatest crime in human history?

Right now, the answer is "no."

In a world where Democrats would have been furious with Biden for crossing this line rather than applauding or winking at his offense and Republicans were prepared to do the same for similarly outrageous things said by Trump, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

But we don't live in such a world. Instead, Americans in both parties find themselves not merely deeply divided by political differences but actually believing that their opponents are thinly disguised authoritarians who, if given the opportunity, would re-enact Nazi tyranny against them. The way back from this dangerous precipice is unclear, though it will have to start with Jews – those with most at stake in the effort not to degrade the memory of the Holocaust – and their leading groups taking a consistent stand against these outrages. Until that happens, expect even more of these controversies. Sadly, the consequences of that failure in the battle against anti-Semitism are incalculable.
Dexter Van Zile: Pointing Out the Roots of Muslim Antisemitism Does Not Make You a Bigot
In his book, “The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism: From Sacred Texts to Solemn History” (2020), researcher Andrew Bostom reveals that in 2011, Gunther Jikeli reported the results of his interviews with 117 young Muslim men in Berlin, Paris, and London — and found that “the majority [of them] voice some or strong antisemitic feelings. They openly express their negative viewpoints toward Jews. This is often done with aggression and sometimes includes intentions to carry out antisemitic attacks.”

Jikeli also reports that his interviewees looked “for justification of antisemitic views within what they perceive as Islam or part of their religious or ethnic identity and they often find confirmation in Islamic sources and social circles, which serve as strong, authoritative references.”

In his assessment of Jikeli’s findings, Bostom takes the scholar to task for his “excruciating reluctance to come to terms with his own findings, harping on supposed ‘perceptions of Islam’ by the interviewees, as opposed to voluminous Jew-hatred within Islam’s canon.” “Nevertheless,” Bostom reports, “Jikeli provided these critical, if understated observations, which, despite his obvious reticence, affirm the centrality of Islam in shaping the Antisemitic views of young Muslim adults in Western Europe.”

Fortunately, numerous Muslim scholars have addressed the problem of antisemitism on the part of their fellow Muslims. For example, Maajid Nawaz, a former Islamist himself, has regularly condemned antisemitism expressed by jihadists. So has Tarek Fatah and many other Muslim scholars. But just like their counterparts in Christianity dealing with the issue of antisemitism, they have a lot of work to do.

Addressing the horror of attacks like those perpetrated in London on August 18 — and their roots in the Islamic tradition — is not an act of bigotry. Quite the opposite. These attacks are anathema to any religion of peace, and give bigots license to falsely stereotype all Arabs and Muslims as anti-Jewish thugs.

But as a growing number of Muslim-majority countries are starting to come to terms with Israel’s existence in the Middle East under the rubric of the Abraham Accords, it is time for people of good faith to come to grips with the roots of Muslim hostility towards Jews, so that in the future, we will have fewer days like August 18, 2021.
How did Iraq’s Jewish community disappear?
The children and grandchildren of Jews from Arab countries are taking a keen interest in their roots: Take Sandy Rashty, whose parents and grandparents fled Iraq, where only three Jews remain. She traces her family’s story as part of gal-dem‘s Forgotten Diasporas series:

The flowers in Iraq were special. I remember their smell. Each one was brighter than the next, each with a different scent. The roses were so big. I remember swimming in the Tigris River in Baghdad. It was cold, but clean and fresh. The water almost tasted sweet. We lived in a house overlooking the river. I grew up there with my parents, siblings and a dog named Lassie. I used to call down to the sellers from the balcony, asking what fresh fish had been caught that day.

“It was a different life. It was a time when we could all play, laugh and sing together.”

These are the memories of my grandma, who was born in Baghdad to an Iraqi Jewish family in 1927. She shares her story with me over a pot of Arabic tea at her home in north-west London.

She has a proud identity, having grown up in a small but established community in Iraq that dated back more than 2,500 years. Prominent members of the community included Sir Sassoon Eskell, Iraq’s first Finance Minister who served under King Faisal I in the early 20th century; Reneé Dangoor, crowned Miss Iraq in 1947; and multiple poets and musicians including Saleh and Daud Al-Kuwaity.

Many Iraqi Jews were named after Hollywood stars like Grace Kelly and Rita Hayworth, wore Western clothes and were taught both English and French in Baghdad’s Jewish schools, including its main secondary school, Frank Iny, where my parents first met as students.

My grandma remembers the country before the modern wars, rise of extremism and the purge of its once vibrant Jewish community after the establishment of Israel in 1948.

Burlington BDS resolution to be pulled, sponsor cites antisemitism fears
The sponsor of a bill that would have made Burlington, Vermont, the first city in America to divest from Israel is withdrawing his legislation, citing concerns that it would promote antisemitism.

Councilmember Ali Dieng, who sponsored the resolution, said Monday afternoon that he would withdraw it at the council meeting scheduled for the same evening, and refer the resolution for reconsideration at the council’s racial equity committee. The city’s Jewish mayor also publicly expressed concerns about the resolution.

Dieng told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that conversations he had with community members in recent days changed his mind and led him to believe that BDS is “one-sided” and that it contributes to antisemitism.

“A lot of community members who are Jewish have been experiencing antisemitism for a very long time and I didn’t know about it,” he said in an interview. “We are a small community and I want to make sure everyone feels safe. Many people [who supported the resolution] are not happy with me, but I think it is the right thing.”

Dieng also said that, going forward, he would like to avoid focusing on international issues at the expense of local concerns.

“My focus as an elected official should be on here first,” he said.

Dieng’s reversal came moments after Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger came out with a statement opposing the resolution. Weinberger, who is Jewish, has the power to veto council resolutions, but he didn’t specify whether he intended to use it on the BDS measure.
HonestReporting: Burlington, Vermont Shelves Israel Boycott Bill After City Hall Meeting Hijacked By Antisemites
The sponsor of a bill that would make Burlington, Vermont the first-ever city in the United States to boycott Israel has for the moment backtracked. Amid accusations that the proposed bill is antisemitic, councilman Ali Dieng said he was sending the draft resolution endorsing the controversial BDS movement back to Burlington's Racial Equity Committee, which previously approved the measure.

Dieng added that after various conversations he now believes that BDS contributes to Jew-hatred. "Many people [supporters of the bill] are not happy with me, but I think it is the right thing," he stated. The BDS movement's co-founder, Omar Barghouti, is on record admitting that his aim is to destroy the world's only Jewish state.

On Monday, members of the public voiced their opinions on the resolution, co-signed by Vermonters for Justice in Palestine. Numerous BDS proponents expressed views considered antisemitic according to the widely adopted -- including by the US government -- IHRA working definition.

In July, Vermont-based ice cream company Ben & Jerry's announced that it would no longer sell its products in the disputed West Bank. The decision was reportedly made after years of pressure from Vermonters for Justice in Palestine. The words of their supporters speak for themselves.

David Singer: Arizona's strong stand against BDS puts Biden to shame
Biden’s reluctance to demand Ben & Jerry’s retract their decision can be traced back to 23 December 2016 when - as Vice President - Biden authorised America’s abstention on – rather than vetoing of – the mendacious United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 – which reaffirmed:
“that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;”

Biden’s failure to condemn Ben & Jerry’s decision suggests he has not changed his 2016 position on Judea and Samaria being Occupied Palestinian territory - but additionally in 2021 believes that Jews living there now can be discriminated against and economically targeted.

Biden’s following promise to Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on 27 August was – as a consequence - shallow and insincere:

“The US will always be there for Israel. It’s an unshakeable partnership between our two nations”.

Illinois reportedly now seems set to follow Arizona’s lead and call out Ben & Jerry’s Jew-hatred – leadership which Biden so demonstrably lacks.
Unilever Must Reverse Ben and Jerry's Israel Boycott
Since Unilever subsidiary Ben and Jerry's announced an Israel boycott last month, triggering numerous state anti-boycott laws, Unilever's market capitalization has fallen by almost $14 billion. Unilever's contractual rights give it a strong basis for overturning the boycott. Its puzzling failure to do so shows immense disregard for its own investors.

Unlike a typical subsidiary, which is fully controlled by its parent company, Ben & Jerry's is governed by a 2000 merger agreement that divides power between Unilever and the Ben & Jerry's board. The board has primary responsibility for "social mission priorities," while Unilever has "primary responsibility for financial and operational aspects" of the subsidiary. According to Anuradha Mittal, Ben and Jerry's board chair, this social provision gives Ben & Jerry's the right to boycott the Jewish state—a judgment to which Unilever has seemingly acquiesced.

But the merger agreement specifically requires Ben & Jerry's to help Unilever sell the premium ice cream in Israel. It says: "[Ben and Jerry's] shall use commercially reasonable efforts to obtain (at [Ben and Jerry's] expense) for [Unilever] the right to conduct all facets of the Business in Israel." It doesn't get much clearer than that. As a matter of contract law, a highly generalized contractual provision giving Ben and Jerry's board the final say on amorphous "social mission priorities" cannot override a specific and tangible legal commitment to conduct business in Israel.

Even if this specific requirement were ignored, the social provision does not permit the board to make "the financial and operational decision" to completely abandon an entire market—especially when that decision subjects Unilever to costly sanctions by states, consumers and investors who think the social priorities run in the opposite direction. That's one likely reason why, again and again, the contract confines the board's discretion within the bounds of "commercial reasonableness."
Heads up, pro-BDS Jew haters! Don’t take this medicine!
Maybe I don’t frequent the right journals, Internet sites, TV shows or radio stations, because all I’ve seen and read and heard since the 1960s is that the Arabs who call themselves “Palestinians” ––you know, those perpetual “victims” who have received literally billions––maybe trillions––in “aid” from America, have become famous for five or six things only:
- Strapping suicide bombs on three-year-olds to kill Jews,
- Building tunnels in which to store arms and bombs to kill Jews,
- Launching balloons of fire into Israel to kill Jews,
- Spreading lies and calumny through the craven mass and social media to vilify Jews,
- Conducting “honor killings” of their teenage daughters,

What I’ve never seen or read or heard is that the Arabs who call themselves “Palestinians” have done one single solitary thing to benefit mankind. Their singular obsession has been to annihilate the Big Satan, America, and the Little Satan, Israel.

Christianity and Islam are the two largest religions in the world, with 2.4 billion and 1.9 billion adherents respectively––literally half the people on our earth of about 7.8-billion people.

In stark contrast, Judaism is comprised of 15-million people, about eight million in Israel, about six million in the United States, and about one million scattered throughout the world.

To see the most vilified state in the entire world, look at the infinitesimal red strip, surrounded by 300-million Arabs, once enemies until President Donald J. Trump succeeded for the first time in history in establishing the Abraham Accords which now find Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, et al, all at peace and doing business with Israel.

Israel is home to more than a million-and-a-half Arabs, a number of whom have been elected to the Knesset, Israel’s law-making legislature, and now an Arab Party has been elected to Israeli leadership. Nevertheless, those scary Jews are such a menace that Israel’s surrounding states have practiced ethnic cleansing for decades.

But nothing compares to the long-and-besieged history of the Jews.

First, they were hunted down, marginalized, attacked, and ultimately murdered by the immensely powerful Assyrian, Babylonian, Greek and Roman empires, which significantly no longer exist––unlike the Jews who are still flourishing.
Exposed: Tax Court of Canada Discriminated Against Jewish Justice, Preventing Him From Hearing Cases Involving Muslims
The Tax Court of Canada has been exposed as attempting to prevent a Jewish judge from presiding over cases involving Muslims due to the judge’s actions in a different case regarding the possible hiring of a virulently anti-Israel academic at the University of Toronto.

According to The Globe and Mail, Tax Court Justice David Spiro was discriminated against in this fashion while under investigation by the Canadian Judicial Council over several complaints.

At the time, Tax Court Chief Justice Eugene Rossiter wrote to the Council saying that Spiro would not adjudicate any case involving a Muslim.

The Council ultimately cleared Spiro, saying he made mistakes but that removal was not justified.

The complaints were made as part of a retaliatory campaign following the University of Toronto’s decision not to hire Valentina Azarova to head the university law school’s International Human Rights Program.

Azarova’s prospective hiring met with objections regarding her hatred of Israel and indirect ties to a Palestinian terrorist group. Critics noted that 90% of her academic work was on the Palestinian issue, with a stridently anti-Israel bias.

In addition, critics charged that Azarova had terrorist connections, having worked for the organization al-Haq, which has extensive links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), blacklisted as a terrorist organization by the Canadian government.
Supporters Rally Behind Accused Antisemite David Miller
On Sunday, over 700 people signed an open letter in support of accused antisemite and University of Bristol professor David Miller, The Jewish Chronicle reported.

Professor Miller is currently under investigation by the university for calling for the “end of Zionism” in a lecture and accusing Jewish students on campus of being “directed” by Israel to pursue a campaign of censorship. Recently, leaked lectures revealed that he was teaching students that an Islamist terrorist was “an asset of the British state.”

Addressing Chancellor Hugh Brady, the letter said, “The campaign against Professor Miller is about censoring speech on Islamophobia and Israel. This campaign is carefully calibrated to muddy the waters between anti-Zionism (opposition to a dangerous, racist political ideology) and hatred of Jews.”

“The attacks on Professor Miller are an example of how the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism is being weaponized by supporters of Israel and by Islamophobes,” it claimed.

Among the signatories to the letter is Salma Yaqoob, former leader of the leftist Respect Party. In 2013, according to the Chronicle, he promoted conspiracies about the arrest of “Rothschild bankers.” Another signatory, Asim Qureshi, praised Hezbollah at a 2006 Hizb ut Tahrir rally for supposedly defeating Israel, saying, “We know what the solution is and where the victory lies.”

CAMERA Fellow Featured in ISGAP Book
The work of CAMERA’s Shillman Research Fellow Dexter Van Zile was featured in a book recently published by The Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy headed by Charles Asher Small. The book, titled Poisoning the Wells: Antisemitism in Contemporary America and edited by Corinne E. Blackmer and Andrew Pessin, is available on Amazon here.

In the introduction, Blackmer and Pessin write that the title “refers to the medieval European anti-Semitic canard that Jews caused the plague by ‘poisoning the wells’ of their Christian neighbors.”

They continue:
At first glance this might seem to have nothing to do with Jewish life—or the relationships between Jews and non-Jews—in contemporary America. However, this invidious fabrication metaphorically indicates the manner in which Jews continue to be perceived as agents or embodiments of the poisonous, through their putatively threatening, conspiratorial, disruptive, unaccountable, criminal, subhuman, treacherous, or polluted characters or actions. Within the world views that increasingly dominate certain sectors of American Society, Jews are seen as toxic problems, resisting accommodation within the simple categories of, race, religion, ethnicity, politics, or nation.

In a chapter titled: “Israel as the Repugnant Other: Anti-Zionism in Liberal Protestant Denominations,” Van Zile writes that “A [mainline] peacemaking journey that began, in part, with an innocent ideological impulse to stand with the weak and powerless—and a not so innocent desire to use Israel as a proxy for the Christian right—brought mainline churches to a place where Israel, and Jews, could be vilified in good conscience, in the pursuit of peace and justice in the name of God.”

This book includes essays by a number of prominent scholars including Miriam Elman, Cary Nelson, Charles Asher Small, and many others.
BBC editorial guidelines on contributors’ affiliations ignored yet again
Since the death of Nizar Banat in June various BBC platforms have produced content (see ‘related articles’ below) showcasing critics of the Palestinian Authority. Five reports have featured Ubay al Aboudi without any mention of his own PFLP links or those of the NGOs employing him. One item featured two contributors linked to al Shabaka without that fact – and the organisation’s political agenda – being made clear to audiences.

BBC coverage of internal Palestinian affairs has long been patchy and unenthusiastic to say the least and so audiences have little existing knowledge on that subject. It is clearly then all the more egregious just to present an interviewee as a “critic” of the PA or a “human rights activist” without any clarification of that contributor’s own “affiliations, funding and particular viewpoints”.

The BBC’s own editorial guidelines acknowledge that “[w]e should not automatically assume that contributors from other organisations (such as academics, journalists, researchers and representatives of charities and think-tanks) are unbiased”. It is therefore essential that in reports about opposition to the Palestinian Authority, audiences are also informed of the broader political agenda – and certainly of any links to terrorist groups – of the people the BBC blandly presents as that body’s “critics”.
The Guardian's Simon Tisdall isn't buying Israeli 'claims' about Palestinian terrorism
It would be a mistake to get too deep into the weeds of his word choices, but we should note that a Palestinian can be a “civilian” – meaning they aren’t affiliated with a known terror group – yet, on their own, carry out an attack on Israeli civilians that would be defined as “terrorist” in nature in any other political context.

Moreover, Tisdall is either extraordinarily ignorant or morally indifferent to the continuous onslaught of Palestinian terrorism – attacks that have been at least as ubiquitous during times of peace talks and optimism as they have when relations between Ramallah and Jerusalem reach their nadir. Since September 2000, Palestinian terrorists have murdered 1,375 Israelis, whilst injuring and maiming thousands more. There are also, year in and year out, countless planned terror attacks – at varying stages of completion – that are thwarted by Israeli security personnel.

One final note: when we described Tisdall as a “veteran” journalist, we’re referring to the fact that he began his Guardian career – which included a stint as foreign editor – back in 1979. That was around the same time that the historically Zionist publication was morphing into the obsessively anti-Israel media outlet we know today.
The Hollywood Reporter Unquestioningly Disseminates Palestinian Film Director’s Outrageous & Unproven Anti-Israel Allegations
Nazareth-born film director Hany Abu-Assad has become something of a Tinseltown media darling since his 2005 feature film Paradise Now, which centers around two Palestinian suicide bombers, won a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film and earned him an Academy Awards nomination in the same category.

He later built on that success with another Oscar nod for the 2013 movie Omar, which tells the fictional story of a young man from the West Bank who is forced to work as an informant for the Israeli authorities.

His latest offering Huda’s Salon builds on similar themes: Palestinians who are tricked or coerced into working as spies for Israel. In this case, it is a woman who is drugged while she is having her hair cut at a Bethlehem salon that is run by a woman who is working for the “secret service.” After being rendered unconscious, the victim is stripped naked and compromising photos are taken of her which are then used to force the woman to become an informant.

The Hollywood Reporter (THR) published an interview with Abu-Assad this week in which he discusses why he felt compelled to bring this “real story” to life on the big screen.

The September 12 article titled, Hany Abu-Assad on Palestinian Thriller ‘Huda’s Salon’ and Using Anger to Make “Art With Meaning,” offers a brief introduction to the director’s interview:
Set in Bethlehem in the West Bank, the thriller centers on a young woman who finds her life turned upside down after a simple trip to a salon, where she is blackmailed into working for the occupation…. Speaking to THR, the director describes the real-life scandal at the heart of the story, why he loved going from a crew of 200 to just 20 (and no comfortable chairs) and why it’s important to use anger as fuel for your creative engine.”

Abu-Assad offers no further information that would verify his claim that his film is based on true events. When asked about the “backstory” behind his cinematic work, he replies:
I wasn’t actually planning on doing another Palestinian film, but my wife Amira asked me if I knew any stories about women in Palestine [sic] that were worth writing about, and I told her about the salon. It’s a real story about this salon that, let’s say, misused women to get them to collaborate with the occupation.”
A Teenage View of Antisemitism in America
In addition to verbal antisemitism, physical violence against Jewish people is rising, especially in the US. According to the ADL, hate crimes against American Jews were at record levels in 2020, and the number has tripled in the past seven years.

Violence against Jews isn’t only something I’ve heard about in the media; I’ve experienced it personally. In 8th grade gym class, I was chosen last for the soccer team because my peers assumed that, as a small Jewish student, I would be unathletic. Little did they know that, thanks to my Brazilian background, I had grown up with the sport.

When I began playing well and scoring goals, members of the other team started yelling that I was Jewish, and therefore unathletic, so I must have been cheating. Then Yassi, the same student from the cafeteria incident, pushed me down and attempted to beat me up.

Stories like these are far too common in my community, and we must act. One way to improve the situation is by encouraging open-mindedness and engaging with non-Jews, so they understand us better, and make personal connections with us. Another way is for non-Jews to read books or watch movies about Jewish people. According to a 2014 study, this can generate empathy for people who are perceived as different.

Education is a crucial part of the solution. Learning to identify and stop antisemitic behavior is important for all people, not only those of us within the Jewish community. When one group is targeted in America, we all are. Ignoring antisemitism won’t stop it from spreading. We must confront it boldly and prominently — and make our voices heard, whether at school, college campuses, the workplace, or our own community.
New Study Shows Most Teachers in England Lack Basic Knowledge About the Holocaust
A new study has shown that most teachers in England do not have the requisite knowledge required to accurately teach about the Holocaust, the BBC reported on Monday.

The study was conducted by University College London’s Centre for Holocaust Education and surveyed 1,077 teachers, of whom 964 had recently taught classes on the Holocaust. It also involved in-depth focus groups on the subject.

The results showed a lack of knowledge of some of the most basic facts about the Holocaust.

For example, most teachers did not know where or when the Holocaust began; the proportion of Jews in the German population in 1933, the year Hitler took power; or what the British government’s response was to the Holocaust while it was underway.

Equally disturbing was that a fifth of teachers who had recently taught the subject had been given no specialist training.

UCL Associate Professor Dr. Andy Pearce told the BBC that, due to this ignorance, students may have “skewed and fundamentally erroneous impressions of this period.”

“As a society, we should have no tolerance for misunderstandings, myths and mythologies about the Holocaust,” he asserted. “That can be a breeding ground for conspiracy theories and for revisionism and for denial and distortion.”

The Association of School and College Leaders General-Secretary Geoff Barton expressed “concern” at the report’s findings.
“Hitler, Kill you Jews, F k Jews” Man arrested in connection with alleged hate crime and possession of cocaine in East London
It was reported that a man who is alleged to have verbally abused Jewish people attending a synagogue was arrested for a hate crime and possession of cocaine in East London.

The suspect is alleged to have subjected members of the Jewish community to a “torrent of racist abuse” which included “Kill you Jews, F**k Jews” and invoking Adolf Hitler’s name.

The alleged incident took place on Clapton Common and was reported on 10th September by Stamford Hill Shomrim, the Jewish volunteer neighbourhood watch patrol.
Group Issues Call for Action Against France’s Burgeoning Anti-Semitic ‘Qui?’ Movement
The group Combat Anti-Semitism Movement (CAM) has warned that the rapid spread of the “Qui?” movement across France this past summer poses an immediate threat to the safety of French Jews.

After a live television interview in June with retired French General Dominique Delawarde, in which he made references to age-old antisemitic conspiracy theories, the phenomenon has spread at an alarming rate and gained significant traction.

Premised on a question asked by General Delawarde during the interview, where he referenced “anonymous” groups with disproportionate amounts of power controlling the media, the movement’s name, “Qui?” or “Who?” in French, is an attempt to draw the public’s attention to the “obvious” answer, namely that Jews and supporters of Israel control the media.

While Holocaust trivialization has been seen worldwide over the past year and a half, with Nazi-era yellow Stars of David being appropriated as a protest symbol against pandemic-related public health measures, adherents of the French “Qui?” movement—hailing from both extremes of the political spectrum—engage in explicit anti-Semitism, propagating conspiracy theories that blame Jews for the pandemic as well as for associated public health measures, and the COVID-19 vaccines.

Soon after Delawarde’s interview, signs displaying the word “Qui?” began appearing at nationwide rallies that drew tens of thousands to the streets against the coronavirus health pass now required for many daily activities in France. Also: incitement demonizing French Jewish doctors by adherents of the movement has intensified over the summer.
French Cops Arrest Ringleader of Violent Assault on Jewish Man in Lyon
Police in the French city of Lyon have arrested the ringleader of an antisemitic attack on a Jewish man wearing a kippa that took place last Wednesday night.

Local media reported that the attack took place around 8 pm, as Jews marked the end of the two-day New Year holiday. The unnamed man was set upon by a gang of five assailants as he walked through Place Gabriel-Péri, in the Guillotière district of Lyon.

The ringleader, who is reported to be a minor, allegedly called the victim a “dirty Jew.” After the victim remonstrated against the insult, he was punched and kicked by the gang. Police officers who had been attending to a separate incident nearby arrived at the scene and arrested the ringleader.

The victim, who was slightly injured during the attack, subsequently filed a complaint.

In a statement released on Friday, the National Office for Vigilance Against Antisemitism (BNVCA) — a French group that assists the victims of antisemitic violence — confirmed that it was joining the victim as a civil party to his complaint.

“The BNVCA denounces and strongly condemns the antisemitic aggression committed in Lyon on Wednesday evening, September 9, at around 8 pm against a man of Jewish faith identified because he was wearing a kippa on his head,” the group said.
Toronto Police Arrest ‘Swastika Man’ for Third Antisemitic Attack in Two Months
A Toronto resident dubbed “Swastika Man” after being photographed with the Nazi symbol drawn on his chest is in the custody of local police, charged with a third antisemitic assault in the space of two months.

Michael Park, 32, of no fixed address, appeared in court on Monday over an incident involving a woman who was waiting on a Toronto subway platform on Saturday afternoon.

Park’s victim, Sarah Gillis, told Canadian news outlet Global News that he approached her while she sat waiting for a train, asking her twice whether she was a Jew. When Gillis didn’t respond, Park gave a Nazi salute and asked her if she knew what the gesture meant.

“So I said to him, ‘Have a nice day,'” Gillis recalled. “That’s when he said, ‘You are a Jew,’ and he came towards me.”

Park abruptly grabbed Gillis, who is not Jewish, forcing her into a headlock before another man intervened, pulling him off. According to Gillis, Park then fled the scene by jumping on a subway train. Police arrested him on Sunday.

The attack was at least the third antisemitic outrage carried out by Park since July.

On July 6, a shirtless Park was photographed with a swastika drawn on his chest shortly after he was seen yelling antisemitic slurs and throwing objects at another person at Stanley Park, in the King Street West and Walnut Avenue area of the city. He was arrested nearby and charged with assault with a weapon as well as two municipal bylaw infractions related to behavior in parks.
Suspect arrested after allegedly performing Nazi salute before assaulting woman in Toronto subway
A man alleged to have performed a Nazi salute before assaulting a woman in a Toronto subway has been arrested.

It was reported by Toronto police in a statement that at approximately 12:30 on Saturday, a woman was sitting on a bench at Lawrence Station when a man approached her before assaulting her and fleeing the scene.

Sarah Gillis, who said that she is not Jewish, identified herself as the alleged victim and said that a man approached her while she was sitting on the platform and asked her twice: “Are you Jewish?”

Ms Gillis added: “He then did a Nazi salute and asked me if I knew what it meant. So I said to him, ‘Have a nice day.’ That’s when he said, ‘You are a Jew,’ and he came towards me.”

Ms Gillis alleges that the man then put her in a headlock before being pulled off by another man. The suspect reportedly then fled the scene by boarding a subway train.

“I wanted people to be aware that he was still out there and although he was saying hateful things towards Jewish people…it wasn’t necessarily Jewish people that he was targeting,” Ms Gillis said. She added: “It could’ve [been] anyone because personally I’m not Jewish but I still became a victim of him.”

Tennants auctioneers pledges not to sell Nazi items in future after contact from CAA
Tennants has assured Campaign Against Antisemitism that they will not put Nazi items up for auction again in future, after we contacted the auction house in connection with an auction of Third Reich items last week.

In a message, Tennants auctioneers replied to us to say that “As a family business, our deep-rooted friendships with the Jewish community are our number one priority and I can confirm we are no longer handling or selling any such items.”

Tennants describes itself as “the UK’s largest family-owned fine art auctioneers, and a market leader with offices in North Yorkshire and London.”

The company was auctioning numerous Third Reich artefacts, including a tin of Third Reich machine gun magazines for £120-£180, a Third Reich SS Officer’s visor cap for £800-£900, a collection of Nazi medals for £100-£150, two Nazi Party badges for £100-£150, a “small quantity of German Third Reich related books” for £60-£80, various articles of Waffen-SS uniforms and a lot more.
Israeli fintech startup Melio soars to $4b valuation amid fresh $250m investment
Israeli fintech startup Melio, the developer of a payments platform geared toward small and medium-sized US businesses, raised another $250 million for its Series D round, sending its valuation soaring to $4 billion, the company announced on Tuesday.

Melio last raised $110 million in January at a valuation of $1.3 billion. It is considered one of the fastest-growing companies in Israel, having nearly quadrupled its worth in eight months. The latest investment brings its total fundraising to over $500 million.

The company was founded in 2018 by entrepreneurs Matan Bar, Ilan Attias, and Ziv Paz, and launched its platform in 2019, tapping into a massive B2B (business-to-business) payment industry in the US that still often involves payments to suppliers by checks and paper invoices, long payment cycles, and cumbersome processes.

While consumers have started getting used to payment apps to transfer money between friends or to service suppliers, small businesses have lagged. Melio says its platform allows businesses to transfer payments faster and more easily, while providing them with data insights about their cash flow.
Technion researchers discover cheap way to extract hydrogen fuel from H2O
Water electrolysis is an easy way of producing hydrogen gas. While hydrogen is considered a clean, renewable fuel, efficient electrolysis requires high electric potential, high pH and in most cases, catalysts based on ruthenium and other expensive metals.

As detailed in an article in The Journal of the American Chemical Society and reported on the university's website, Technion researchers have developed a unique system for producing hydrogen from water using little energy and inexpensive materials. Led by Professor Galia Maayan, head of the Biomimetic Chemistry Laboratory at the Schulich Faculty of Chemistry, along with doctoral student Guilin Ruan, this is the fastest system of its kind reported to date that uses available copper catalysts.

Maayan and Ruan designed and developed a system in which the catalyst is soluble in water. The system is based on three elements: copper ions; a peptide-like oligomer (small molecule) that binds the copper and maintains its stability; and a compound called borate whose function is to maintain the pH in a limited range.

The major innovation in this work is the researchers' discovery that the borate compound helps stabilize the metallic center and helps catalyze it.
Meet Gary: The personal Israeli robot assistant for your home or office
Israel-based Unlimited Robotics revealed its new service robot, Gary, geared and manufactured to perform any home, business or office chore, the company announced in a statement.

Alongside the big reveal, the 20-team member Israeli start-up also announced its new developer's platform, Ra-Ya, which "makes it easier for any software engineer to build robotic applications even without prior experience in hard-coded environments."

"The process of programming a robotic application is challenging, and it is not that simple for most software developers," said Unlimited Robotics CEO Guy Altagar. "Unlimited Robotics is democratizing the way people can build applications for robots with the company’s groundbreaking technology.

"We are empowering software engineers who do not have prior experience in robot programming, especially if they have experience in JavaScript and Python, to actually create pragmatic solutions for people’s homes, businesses, and offices."

Gary can autonomously navigate its surroundings, moving through both new and familiar places at a speed of up to 1.2m/sec (3.1 mph). Gary also holds capabilities to navigate outdoor and uneven terrain, such as grass, carpets and tiles.
The Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies
The enrichment of the University across a wide range of fields through the admission of professing Jews was considerable already in the decades immediately after 1871 and much amplified by the outstanding contribution of refugee scholars in the 1930s, but in Oxford the study of Hebrew was considered primarily the province of biblical scholars in the Faculty of Theology (specifically excluded from the Universities Tests Act), so that, despite the efflorescence of the scientific study of Jewish history and Judaism on continental Europe from the early nineteenth century, Oxford was slow to encourage study of Jewish culture in its own terms. The outstanding Hebrew collections in the Bodleian had long attracted Jewish scholars, and Adolf Neubauer, who was employed to catalogue Hebrew manuscripts from 1868, was appointed reader in rabbinic Hebrew in 1884, but Hebrew and Jewish Studies only began to be properly recognised by the University as a serious area of study with the appointments of Cecil Roth as Reader in Post-Biblical Jewish Studies (in 1938) and of Chaim Rabin as Cowley Lecturer in Post-Biblical Hebrew (in 1943).

Roth (in the Faculty of Modern History) and Rabin (in Oriental Studies) were intellectually quite isolated in Oxford, despite their considerable impact on the wider world of Jewish Studies, but in 1972 the University accepted the arguments of David Patterson, a specialist in modern Hebrew literature who had been appointed in 1956 to succeed Chaim Rabin as Cowley Lecturer, that the destruction of centres of Jewish scholarship in Europe and the strength of the Bodleian collections provided a rationale for a major initiative to establish Oxford as a centre for the study of postbiblical Jewish culture, establishing the Oxford Centre of Hebrew and Jewish Studies.

The new Centre was set up as an affiliated centre of the University, to be governed as a separate charity with a proportion of trustees appointed by the University but without recourse to University funds. Such an arrangement was completely novel at the time, but it proved exceptionally effective. The Centre has flourished over the past fifty years, financing the majority of the posts which enable Jewish studies to be taught in the Faculty of Oriental Studies, enabling the Faculty of Theology and Religion to include the teaching of Modern Judaism on its syllabus and the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages to teach Yiddish, and housing a very wide range of research projects which build on the strengths of the University in the wider Humanities and library resources (including the Centre’s own Leopold Muller Memorial Library, now administered by the Bodleian Libraries).
Former refusenik and Soviet Jewish activist Ida Nudel dies at 90
Ida Nudel, a former refusenik and an activist for Soviet Jewry, died Tuesday in Israel aged 90.

Nudel arrived in Israel in 1987 after a 16-year battle against Soviet authorities to allow her to move to the Jewish state — including four years imprisoned in Siberia — which she won with the intervention of many international figures, including US actress Jane Fonda.

After settling in Israel, Nudel established the “Mother to Mother” nonprofit, which sought to provide afterschool activities for the children of Russian immigrants.

Mourning her passing, President Isaac Herzog recalled how moved his father, former president Chaim Herzog, was to meet Nudel when she first arrived in Israel.

“It’s important to remember and commemorate the stories of the Prisoners of Zion who with spirit and bravery changed the world. May her memory be a blessing,” Herzog wrote on Twitter.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett also paid tribute to Nudel, saying she was “an exemplar of Jewish heroism for us all.”
Last survivor of Babi Yar massacre honored at Knesset
The Knesset held a commemoration meeting on Sunday to mark 80 years since the Babi Yar [Babyn Yar] massacre, the symbol of what is known as the "Holocaust of the Bullets," and which began on the eve of Yom Kippur.

In just two days, the Nazis murdered nearly all the Jews in Kiev: 33,771 people. During the German occupation of Ukraine (1941-43), nearly 100,000 victims were murdered and buried at Babi Yar, the overwhelming majority of whom were Jewish, but also included opponents of the regime, the mentally ill and Roma people, making it the largest mass grave in Europe.

The meeting was attended by Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy; Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai; chairman of the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center Natan Sharansky; Yad Vashem chairman Dani Dayan; World Zionist Organization and acting Jewish Agency chairman Yaakov Hagoel; and Association of Ukrainian Immigrants in Israel chairman David Levin.

"The massacre at Babi Yar is one of the worst single atrocities humanity has ever known, as more than 33,000 Jews were murdered, shot to death, simply because they were Jews," Levy said.

Sharansky called on the Israeli government and Holocaust institutions that had visited the German extermination camps in Poland to visit Babi Yar.

"There were two methods to the extermination of the Jews," he explained. "Cold-blooded murder with bullets and burial in mass graves throughout Eastern Europe, of which Babi Yar is the symbol, and mass, systematic extermination using gas in camps established by the Nazis in Poland. In order to understand the entire story of the extermination of the Jews in-depth, I call on the Israeli government and anyone who has visited Poland to visit Babi Yar, as well."


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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 19 years and 40,000 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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