Monday, September 20, 2021

From Ian:

Bari Weiss: Everybody Hates the Jews
Everybody hates the Jews. That’s the refrain from the brilliant satirist Tom Lehrer in “National Brotherhood Week,” a song that I had memorized by the time I was ten, given that I was raised by the kind of dad who made sure songs like “The Vatican Rag” and “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park” were the soundtrack to our lives.

My sisters and I would laugh as we sang along to lyrics we only half-understood:
Oh the Protestants hate the Catholics
And the Catholics hate the Protestants
And the Hindus hate the Muslims
And everybody hates the Jews

The very fact of the song’s existence, of course, is evidence of abundant American tolerance and pluralism.

But these days, the idea that “everybody hates the Jews” feels like less of a punchline and more like an accurate report of public sentiment. It seems every other day a new study or survey confirms what so many American Jews are feeling, as the old joke had it, that they are hating us more than is necessary.

Today, came the latest study from the Brandeis Center, which released a poll of “openly Jewish” college students. Seventy percent of the students surveyed reported that they experienced antisemitism. Half of the students said they have felt the need to hide their Jewish identity at school, explaining that they felt doing so would protect them from harassment, bullying or social exclusion. This is the kind of thing we would expect to hear about the Jews of Europe. But not here.

“What is so ​​alarming about these results is that the survey focused on more than a thousand AEPi brothers and AEPhi sisters. These are kids who generally enter college with strong Jewish identities and an eagerness to be active in Jewish organizations. Instead, they are learning to hide their Judaism. And the longer they are in college, we found, the more they closet themselves,” Kenneth L. Marcus, the head of the Brandeis Center, told me. “Anyone who has been paying attention can see that what happens on campus doesn’t stay on campus. This should be an alarm for the entire American Jewish community.”

This new survey (which you can read more about here) reflects the recently released FBI’s Hate Crimes Statistics for 2020. The bureau says that 57.5 percent of religious-based hate crimes last year had Jews as their targets, even though Jews represent 2 percent of the population.
David Singer: A Jew-hater joins Prince Harry & Meghan as Icons in TIME Top 100
TIME has made a laughing stock of itself - and its credibility - by including 23 year old rabid-Jew hating Palestinian Arab journalist Mohammed El-Kurd and his twin sister Mana El-Kurd among 16 persons listed as Icons in its 100 most influential people in 2021.

Other Icons include the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, tennis player Naomi Osaka and entertainers Britney Spears and Dolly Parton.

Edward Felsenthal Editor-in-Chief and CEO of TIME – said of the magazine’s choices:
“At TIME, we see the TIME100 as far more than a list. It is a community of leaders whose energy and commitment we hope inspires others to spring into action as well.”

El-Kurd’s Jew-hating credentials were exposed in a May 2021 interview when making the following false claims:
“My entire neighbourhood is being stolen by Israeli settler organisations working with the Israeli government to ethnically cleanse us from Jerusalem, as they have been doing for 73 years”

The truth: Just four Arab families residing in El- Kurd’s neighbourhood of East Jerusalem – Sheikh Jarrah - are facing the risk of eviction due to a legal challenge by Jews claiming ownership of these four properties.

These Arab families have refused an offer that they remain in their properties as "protected tenants", recognise ownership of their homes by their Jewish claimants and pay a symbolic annual rent.

Jordan occupied Sheikh Jarrah and East Jerusalem in 1948 and expelled every Jew living there. Jews were unable to return there until after the Six Day War in 1967 and subsequently begin the long legal process to reclaim their properties given to these four families by Jordan in conjunction with UNRWA.

The 1967 Israeli census showed 29904 Palestinian Arabs were then living in East Jerusalem. Today that population numbers 428304 according to World Population Review. El-Kurd’s accusation of ethnic cleansing is offensive, inflammatory and one big lie.

American Blood Libel
Massena is an undistinguished small town with a population of about 10,000 in upstate New York. But in the fall of 1928, an incident occurred that brought the town national newspaper coverage and frightened Jews across America. On Sept. 22, a few days before Yom Kippur, Barbara Griffiths, a 4-year-old girl, wandered into the woods surrounding the village and disappeared. When she did not return home hours later, her frantic parents contacted the mayor and the local police. Thus began the tale of the only blood libel accusation against Jews in American history.

The blood libel is the accusation that Jews murdered Christian children at Passover to use their blood for making matzo. The charge first appeared in Norwich, England, in 1144, and from then on it popped up repeatedly throughout European history. It even appears in Chaucer’s “The Prioress’s Tale,” which is included in his Canterbury Tales. The myth never received any official backing from the popes, but that did not prevent local Catholic parish priests from referring to it on Good Friday and in Easter services.

1920s America was rife with such antisemitic narratives. These feelings were undoubtedly stoked by Henry Ford’s libelous series, “The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem,” which was first published in his newspaper, The Dearborn Independent, from 1920 to 1922. The newspaper had a wider circulation than The New York Times. The articles were also collected and republished in pamphlets by the same title. Everyone who bought a Ford automobile received a copy. He was the most popular American, and millions of Americans bought his automobiles, and they believed and trusted him.

Thus it was easy for Protestant Americans, unnerved by the massive immigration and perceived social threat of Catholics and Jews into the United States during the early 20th century, to believe what Ford wrote. The Ku Klux Klan, which had been dormant, subsequently attracted large numbers of disaffected Protestants and reached a nationwide membership of 3 million by 1925. The Klansman’s creed concluded with the pledge, “I am a native-born American citizen and I believe my rights in this country superior to those of foreigners.” A contemporary observer remembered that Massena was awash in flyers advertising Klan meetings and hundreds of locals showed up at them.

Jean Améry as a Critic of the Anti-Israel Left
Jean Améry is best known as the author of At the Mind’s Limits: Contemplations by a Survivor on Auschwitz and Its Realities. Less well known are Améry’s writings from the 1960s and 1970s in which he warned that under the guise of anti-Zionism, ‘the old, wretched antisemitism ventures forth’ again in a distinctively ‘left-wing’ form. ‘Anyone who questions Israel’s right to exist is either too stupid to understand that he is contributing to or is intentionally promoting an über-Auschwitz,’ he wrote. Alvin H. Rosenfeld examines Améry’s legacy in advance of the publication of Jean Améry, Essays on Antisemitism, Anti-Zionism, and the Left, edited by Marlene Gallner, translated by Lars Fischer (Bloomington, Indiana University Press, forthcoming).

The aim of these anti-Israel activities at their most extreme is to demonise and delegitimise the Jewish state in ways that recall the marginalisation and dehumanisation of Jews in Nazi Germany. The propaganda effect of such defamation worked against the Jews during the Third Reich, and Améry believed that it could work once again, this time against the Jewish state and its supporters. And so he raised his voice tirelessly against both antisemitism and anti-Zionism and the growing links he observed between the two.

He was not alone in doing so. Closer to our own day, Per Ahlmark, a former deputy prime minister of Sweden, wrote that ‘anti-Semites of different centuries had always aimed at destroying the then center of Jewish existence … Today, when the Jewish state has become a center of Jewish identity and a source of pride and protection for most Jews, Zionism is being slandered as a racist ideology.’ The aim of such slander is to reduce the state that Zionism founded to an entity unworthy of retaining a place within the family of civilised nations. More recently, other world leaders have also spoken out strongly against such bigotry, noting that anti-Zionism is nothing other than a reinvention of antisemitism. In October 2015, for instance, Pope Francis was emphatic in pronouncing against it: ‘To attack Jews is antisemitism, but an outright attack on the state of Israel is also antisemitism.’

Améry wrote similarly about the threats that a revived antisemitism, often under the cover of anti-Zionism, would pose, and not only to Jews but also to post-war Western civilisation at large. Reflecting on developments since his first book appeared, he noted, ‘When I set about writing, and finished, there was no antisemitism in Germany, or more correctly: where it did exist, it did not dare to show itself.’ As he looked about him, he recognised that those days were gone, and not only in Germany. Antisemitism was no longer hidden covertly in the shadows but was, once again, a threatening presence in the public sphere. If its most aggressive adherents were to gain still more prominence, the result, he was sure, would be a reinvigoration of eliminationist passions that could bring on new disasters. In his most severe vision of what such a turn might produce, he referred, chillingly, to ‘Auschwitz II.’

It is a fearsome prospect and, one hopes, it will never come about. Meanwhile, Améry’s writings, the product of its author’s painfully intimate knowledge of Auschwitz, stand before us in all their argumentative urgency as admonition and warning. We would do well to take them seriously.[1]
Sheridan College Professor Engages in Hate By Dehumanizing Israelis Who Serve(d) in IDF
There’s an important line separating legitimate opinion that enhances the public discourse, from inflammatory rhetoric that interferes with constructive dialogue.

In our view, it’s alarming to see a Sheridan College Professor write a baseless and hateful column against Israel entitled: “The Mafia and Israel’s child killers,” which paints a grotesque and false caricature of Israel’s armed forces.

In his screed, Andrew Mitrovica, a journalism instructor in the Faculty of Animation, Arts & Design, describes the recent death of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy, and bizarrely compares the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to the mafia, or as he describes it, a “ruthless crew of gangsters masquerading as ‘soldiers’ who populate the Israeli military.” In his eyes, the IDF is an organized crime syndicate and its soldiers, criminals. As he put it “Israel’s child-killing snipers” are no different than mafia-hitmen.

While Mitrovica attempts to portray the death of the preteen as a premeditated act of a murderous army, he conveniently omits a critical detail: that the boy was killed during violent clashes on the border between Hamas-controlled Gaza and Israel, where rioters threw explosives and attempted to breach the barrier to gain entry into Israel. Because if that detail was mentioned, readers would understand that there is a chasm of difference between a premeditated act of murder, and a casualty of war. Even more so, the fact that a 12-year-old boy was on the front lines of a violent riot on the border with Israel begs the question as to whether the boy was recruited into conflict by Hamas terrorists, as it has done with other child soldiers in the past.

Mitrovica feebly attempts to compare the Israel Defense Forces to the mafia, claiming both groups target children indiscriminately. While such nonsense may be fit to be published on Al Jazeera, it is demonstratbly false. Israel faces nonstop terror threats to the lives and safety of its civilians, who were bombarded by more than 4,000 Hamas rockets this past spring. Israel acts in an extraordinarily restrained and targeted manner when faced with such violent, hateful terrorism, whether coming from Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad or other groups. One cannot envision any other country who would tolerate nonstop terrorism, calls for its destruction, rockets fired indiscriminately at its civilian population centres, all emanating from the never-ending incitement of hate peddled by Hamas, the genocidal, homophobic and medieval Islamist death cult which rules Gaza with an iron fist.

Momentum chief said abused ex-MP Luciana Berger was ‘disingenuous’ on Labour Jew-hate
The co-chair of Momentum accused Jewish former MP Luciana Berger — who quit Labour after facing years of antisemitic abuse and death threats from pro-Corbyn activists — of being disingenuous in her account of Jew-hate in the party, the JC can reveal.

Screenshots of private Facebook posts from 2019 showed Gaya Sriskanthan making the comment in response to an interview in which Ms Berger revealed that six people had been convicted of antisemitic hate crimes and death threats against her.

A complaint has been submitted to Labour about Ms Sriskanthan’s remarks.

In her post, Ms Sriskanthan wrote: “She disingenuously conflates the increase in antisemitism across the country (and Europe) with the Labour Party.”

In the video interview, Ms Berger said about the abuse and death threats: “I feel very strongly that I have a responsibility as a parliamentarian to do everything possible to speak out about that.”

Ms Sriskanthan also appeared to deny the extent of antisemitism in Labour and suggested that the Independent Group — the party founded by Ms Berger and other MPs in response to the far-left leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and the fallout from Brexit — facilitated right-wing extremism.

Ms Sriskanthan was last year elected as co-chair of Momentum, the left-wing activist group set up to help get Mr Corbyn into government.
‘Courageous’ Palestinian Coyotes: Daily Beast Encourages Human Trafficking Into Israel Despite Security Threats
On September 14, The Daily Beast published a piece, titled The Courageous Men Who Smuggle Palestinians into Israel, that condones criminal activity and ignores the Jewish state’s precarious security situation. Cloaked as a review of a documentary about Palestinians engaging in human trafficking, the Daily Beast report blithely skips over inconvenient facts to tar Israel with the vile, baseless accusation of ethnic cleansing.

The incessant and severe security concerns that Jerusalem must cope with are, it seems, a non-starter for Daily Beast writer Caspar Salmon, who depicts Israeli security forces as simply paranoid:
For example, en route with the drivers, we see very well how all Palestinian civilians are cast as suspects by Israeli forces, and how the drivers and their acolytes live in a permanent state of threat.”

Seemingly out of nowhere and for no good reason, the Jewish state built a wall that has, according to Salmon, “facilitated the continued annexation of Palestinian territories by Israel.”

In fact, the construction of the security barrier was in direct response to the unprecedented wave of violence unleashed by Palestinian terrorists beginning in September 2000 against Israeli citizens during what became known as the Second Intifada. This dark period saw over 1,000 Israeli civilians and soldiers killed. An additional 7,000 were injured as a result of suicide bombings and shootings. The Israeli government thus approved and began construction of the security barrier in an attempt to stop rampant Palestinian terrorist infiltrations.

Due to the security fence’s effectiveness, suicide bombings carried out by Palestinians entering Israel from the West Bank decreased sharply. The number of such attacks fell by 90 percent. In 2002, 457 Israelis died from terrorist attacks. In 2009, that figure had dropped to eight Israelis.

Huntington NY adopts International Definition of Antisemitism
The town of Huntington in Suffolk County, NY, has adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.

The Definition was adopted following the passage of a majority resolution, without objection, at a meeting last week of the town’s governing board.

Earlier this year, Suffolk County, where Huntington is located, and neighbouring Nassau County adopted the Definition.

Britain was the first country in the world to adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism, something for which Campaign Against Antisemitism and Lord Pickles worked hard over many meetings with officials at Downing Street.
Four Men Charged With Hate Crimes for Driving Through London Shrieking Antisemitic Rape Threats
Four men who drove through London screaming antisemitic threats of rape and violence earlier this year have been formally charged, according to the London Metropolitan Police.

The incident took place on May 16, when the cars were filmed on Finchley Road in London, bearing Palestinian flags and shouting, among other things, “F*** the Jews, rape their daughters,” through loudspeakers.

Jewish News reported at the time that the cars were heading toward the heavily Jewish neighborhood of Golders Green. Someone could also be heard on the loudspeaker saying, “We have to send a message.”

The incident took place during Israel’s 11-day conflict with Hamas in May, amid a wave of antisemitism in the US and Europe.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan at the time called the incident “appalling,” while Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “There is no place for antisemitism in our society. … I stand with Britain’s Jews who should not have to endure the type of shameful racism we have seen today.”

Metropolitan Police arrested the four men shortly after.

In a statement released on Monday, the Met identified the four criminals, who are all from the community of Blackburn, as Mohammed Iftikhar Hanif, 27; Jawaad Hussain, 24; Asif Ali, 25; and Adil Mota, 26.
60-Year-Old Assaulted at Vigil Against Antisemitism in Hamburg, Germany
A 60-year-old man was injured at a vigil in support of Israel and against antisemitism in the city of Hamburg after a group of young people insulted the gathering with antisemitic and anti-Israel slogans.

According to an initial police investigation, a group of three to four people approached the vigil “Hamburg for Israel and against antisemitism,” which took place on Saturday near the central train station in Hamburg. The unidentified 18-to-25-year-old perpetrator was part of the group allegedly yelling slogans at the organizers of the gathering, including “f**k Israel, free Palestine”

When several of the participants in the vigil approached the offender and asked him to stop, he punched the 60-year-old victim in the face with his fist, causing a laceration. The victim was taken to a hospital by ambulance for treatment.

The perpetrator along with his companions, who likely fled on rental e-scooters, managed to escape despite an immediate chase by several police cars. Hamburg authorities are calling for witnesses of the attack to come forward, while Germany’s state security has now taken over the investigation.
NYPD cop charged with vandalizing Jewish summer camp
An off-duty New York City police officer has been arrested after he allegedly broke into Camp Young Judea on the second day of Rosh Hashanah, September 8.

Matthew McGrath, 37, was arrested and charged with felony burglary and criminal mischief after he allegedly smashed windows, destroyed the camp director's residence, and extensively damaged the property, according to a New York State Police press release.

According to the Mid Hudson News, McGrath appears to have a "history" with the camp and his mother lives nearby.

McGrath is required to be in court this coming October 6, after being released on his own recognizance.
Australian officials condemn swastika graffiti in Keilor park
Australian activists have condemned antisemitic graffiti in a park in Keilor, a suburb of Melbourne.

Swastika graffiti was found in Caroline Chisholm Park, which has since been removed by Brimbank Council and reported to the police.

A Council official said that the hateful graffiti “has no place in our community,” and police pledged to step up patrols. Local MP Andrew Giles launched a petition calling on the community to “reject this sort of hate.”

Antisemitic graffiti has also been found in Broadmeadows and Mernda, also Melbourne suburbs, over the past month.

A spokesperson for Victoria Police said: “We understand incidents of antisemitism can leave communities feeling targeted, threatened and vulnerable. These incidents have no place in our society. There is no excuse to engage in behaviour that promotes fear or hate in our community. We treat any report of antisemitism seriously, whether it happens on the street or online.”
Local American Eagle Outfitters recognized for response to antisemitism
Stop Antisemitism, a nonprofit watchdog group, has recognized Pittsburgh-based American Eagle Outfitters as one of the top 25 national corporations for its response to antisemitism.

In a report issued last month by the organization, American Eagle Outfitters and L’Oréal were the only corporations to receive an “A” rating. Those that received notably lower scores include Google and Unilever, which each received an “F” rating. Microsoft and Amazon each received a “D” rating and Apple and Nike each received a “C.”

Stacy Siegal, American Eagle’s executive vice president and general counsel, said that a commitment to inclusivity and diversity rests at the heart of American Eagle’s operations.

She noted that the corporation provides associates with opportunities to develop meaningful and educational bonds through its Network and Connection groups, such as its REAL Jewish Connection group, created to provide an opportunity for employees “to celebrate the Jewish culture through education and recognition of holiday rituals throughout the year,” according to the American Eagle website.

Caren Ieraci helped establish the REAL Jewish Connection group in August 2020 so associates could share traditions. And since its founding, the group has joined together to dip apples in honey for Rosh Hashanah, spin dreidels for Hanukkah and commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Centenary Celebration For The Creation Of Modern Iraq – The Central Role Of Iraqi Jews
On August 23, 2021, Iraq celebrated its centennial. There was little of the pomp and celebration that the occasion would have called for; the country was too heavily weighed down by political turmoil and economic hardships. Still, a few articles in the local newspapers were written celebrating the occasion, and some spent time praising the name of an Iraqi Jew, Heskell Sassoon, as one of the key architects in the creation of modern Iraq after four centuries of Ottoman rule.[1]

The Jews Welcome The British Army
As the Ottoman Empire begun to crumble toward the end of World War I, the Jews of Baghdad were victimized for supposedly causing the collapse of the government's finances and some moneychangers faced degradation and torture. Not surprisingly, the Jews welcomed the British army when it entered Baghdad victoriously in 1917. Indeed, there is evidence that shortly after the British military government was established, the Jews of Baghdad, who constituted about 40 percent of the capital's population, sent an appeal to the military governor of Iraq, General Stanley Maude, signed by 56 leading personalities of the community, expressing their objection to the creation of an Arab national government and requesting to be granted the status of British subjects.[2]

The request was ignored, but Jews came to be important in the colonial government. With the language skills they had acquired at the Jewish schools and with what today would be termed a global outlook, Jews in large numbers were recruited by the British military government to fill many positions in the new administration. Other Jews used their trading skills and overseas contacts to import food supplies to meet the needs of the British army.

The Transition To National Government
In 1920 a deadly revolt erupted in central and southern Iraq against the British rule which the British tried to suppress by force. The revolt claimed the lives of 6,000 Iraqi and 600 British soldiers (primarily Indians with their British officers.). After months of fighting, the key leaders of the revolt decided to seek an end to the violence. They selected a Jew by the name of Menashe Eliahu Ezra Khalaschi who, together with Sheikh Salman Al-'Abtan, met with the British commanding officer in the city Kufa, and a ceasefire was achieved. [3]

With the revolt coming to an end, Great Britain decided to relinquish some of the governing powers to a national government, although under British tutelage. A provisional government was established in 1920 with Abdul Rahman Al-Naqib as prime minister presiding over a government comprising six additional ministers, including Heskel Sassoon as minister of finance. Gertrude Bell, who was the Oriental Adviser to the British military government, who is considered by some to be the person most responsible for the creation of modern Iraq, was a big booster of Sassoon. She would later write that he was the most competent of the Iraqi ministers.[4]

Haskell Sassoon was born in Baghdad in 1860 to a distinguished and wealthy Iraqi Jewish family. The son of a leading rabbi, he attended the Alliance School, and continued his education at the imperial school in Constantinople and then with law studies at St. Theresa College in Vienna. He returned to Baghdad after spending time in Berlin and London and, in 1908, he was designated as a member in the first Ottoman parliament where, incidentally, he befriended Prince Faisal, who was to become king of Iraq.[5]

Al-Naqib readily welcomed Bell's recommendation to appoint Heskell Sassoon as minister of finance, but Bell had difficulty persuading him to add a Shi'ite minister to the government. Throughout most of the history of Iraq under Muslim rule, from the advent of Islam in the seventh century to invasion of Iraq by the United States in 2003, the rulers of Iraq were primarily Sunni Muslims. The Shi'a branch of Islam has been viewed by the Sunnis, particularly those in Saudi Arabia, as rawafedh, meaning apostate. Gertrude Bell, herself believed that the Shi'as "were almost all subjects of Persia, and not eligible for office in a Metropolitan government," [6] but she believed it was important for national unity to include them. Al-Naqib reluctantly agreed to appoint a Shi'ite as minister of education. The new government, also known as the Provisional Council of State, reported to the British administration.
80th anniversary of the Farhud pogrom against Iraq’s Jews marked by BBC
The 80th anniversary of a pogrom against Iraq’s Jewish community in 1941, was marked by BBC Radio 4 on Sunday.

In a news package, the broadcaster recalled the history of the antisemitic attack against the Baghdadi community over the festival of Shavuot from 1-2 June 1941. It led to the deaths of at least 180 Jews, 1,000 people who were injured and the looting of 900 homes.

Interviewee Edwin Shuker, who fled Iraq in the 1970s, said his mother remembered the pogrom.

“She simply can’t speak of the atrocities she saw,” said Mr Shuker, who acknowledged that there was a time when Jews were at the forefront of Iraqi “music, literature, political scenes”.

Despite its 2,500-year-old history, there are now only three Jews believed to be living in Iraq. Most of its community – like Jewish communities across the Middle East and North Africa, from Egypt to Syria, Lebanon, and Morocco – fled their homes after the establishment of Israel in 1948.

Iraqi Jews, who once made up 40 per cent of Baghdad’s population, faced increased persecution after the establishment of the Jewish State. By the 1970s, their phone lines were cut, they were not allowed to attend university, private clubs and many were imprisoned for allegedly working as “Zionist spies”. In 1969, there was a public hanging in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square of nine Jews, three Muslims and two Christians accused of spying for Israel.

The majority of Iraqi Jews fled to Israel – although a significant number moved to the UK, US, Canada and Holland.

In an interview with BBC presenter William Crawley, journalist Sandy Rashty spoke about being the London-born daughter of Iraqi Jews who had fled persecution in the 1970s.


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