Saturday, September 25, 2021

From Ian:

Why the Haters of Israel Are Hypocrites
We are faced today with a very remarkable phenomenon, one in which a group of people have decided that they are not simply the finest and most moral people in the world, but the finest and most moral people who have ever existed. For such people, hypocrisy is inevitable. But the hypocrisy of these self-appointed saints is most acute on the issue of Israel and their hatred of it.

There are innumerable examples of this, but it is worth noting a few of the most blatant:
Imperialism and Colonialism: The claim that Israel is an imperialist and colonialist state is one of the oldest cliches proffered by the saints. Israel, they claim, is an invasion of Palestine by a foreign people who colonized it at the expense of the indigenous population. These invaders must either “go back to Poland” — as the vulgar among them put it — or be exterminated.

We may put aside, for the moment, the complications of the term “indigenous” — no one, after all, is indigenous to anywhere except to the savannas of sub-Saharan Africa. If we must use the saints’ vague definition of the term, however, then we should note that even the most avowedly secular archeologists — who reject most or all of the biblical narrative — agree that the Jewish nation began several thousand years ago as a subset of the indigenous Canaanite tribes of the Levant.

More to the point, however, is the supposedly indigenous Arab presence, which to the saints is a sacred fact. But it is a matter of historical record that the Arabs came much later as foreign imperial conquerors who colonized the region and expelled or forcibly converted the native populations by various coercive means, not the least of which was placing them under an apartheid system. And this holds true not only of the land of Israel, but the entire Middle East and North Africa.

It is clear, then, that by the saints’ own logic, almost the entire Arab population of the Middle East and North Africa ought to be expelled and sent back to their homeland in Saudi Arabia, with the vacated territories returned to the remnants of their native populations. Those of us who are at least vaguely reasonable would not advocate such a thing in a million years, but then again, we are not hypocrites.

Genocide: Our self-appointed saints are, to say the least, extremely fond of accusing Israel of genocide. This blood libel is absurd on its face, but its hypocrisy is equally obvious, because Israel’s most dedicated enemies, sanctified by the saints, have displayed a remarkable weakness for genocide over the past 1,500 years.

Even a brief examination is sufficient proof of this. We may note, for example, Muhammad’s annihilation of the Jews of the Hijaz; the slow whittling of Egypt’s native Coptic or North Africa’s Berber populations down to a tiny minority; Turkey’s near-annihilation of the Armenians and the Anatolian Greeks; the slow-motion genocide that was the Ottoman Empire’s enthusiastic trade in both European and African slaves; Saddam Hussein’s murderous assault on the Kurds; and ISIS’s recent slaughter of Iraq’s Yazidis.

More to the point, however, is the fact that many Arabs and Muslims are currently threatening another genocide, this time against Israel’s Jewish population. And our self-appointed saints not only refuse to say a word against any of this, but in many cases whitewash, erase, or even openly collaborate with it.
The war on terror sacrificed thousands of lives to avoid tough political decisions
Our various enemies were correct in assuming that our political leaders lacked the will to make the necessary decisions. Where they erred was in assuming too much and pushing too far. The Japanese made that mistake in Pearl Harbor, the Soviets in Berlin, and Al Qaeda on 9/11. The Jihadists haven’t made one final mistake yet, but history suggests that they will.

America, to its friends and enemies, and to its own patriots, can be an infuriating mix of weakness and strength, idealism and corruption, division and unity. And it’s never entirely clear, even to us, when the tipping point that turns one into the other will unexpectedly arrive.

The great tragedy of the aftermath of September 11 is that our leaders proved willing to sacrifice soldiers, but not the dream of a democratic world order, and instead sacrificed lives to that dream. They took the road that was easiest for them and hardest for so many military men.

The War on Terror only became a forever war because we failed to confront two of the three pillars from which the enemy draws its strength. After two decades, we’ve seen the limitations of a military option that is not combined with foreign policy and immigration decisions that would cut off the true economic and demographic sources of the enemy’s strength.

Until our leaders are ready to make the hard choices and our people are ready to elect those who will, the forever wars will go on, not just in distant countries, but in the streets of our own cities.

We have failed to identify the enemy. And until we do, we can never win.
In the end, House Iron Dome fracas only showed Israel support not going anywhere
Just nine congress members voted against the bill — eight of them Democrats and one Republican — amounting to less than two percent of the entire House of Representatives.

The small number didn’t even include all of the Squad. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who spearheaded the effort to have the Iron Dome funding removed from the government spending bill, chose to abstain, along with one other progressive colleague, Rep. Hank Johnson.

In a lengthy letter to supporters on Friday, she attacked her party’s leadership for jamming the vote through, while insisting that Israel did not deserve or need additional no-questions-asked funding for Iron Dome — and yet, she still voted to abstain, apparently fearful of further crossing pro-Israel constituents and lobbyists.

The bill even won support from some frequent Israel critics.

Rep. Betty McCollum, who has introduced legislation aimed at restricting aid to Israel and has regularly called out the Jewish state over settlement building and treatment of the Palestinians, voted in the same column as Reps. Ted Deutch and Ted Cruz.

And at a press conference introducing legislation to keep the two-state solution alive — which included provisions referring to the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip as territories illegally occupied by Israel — Reps. Andy Levin, Alan Lowenthal, Sara Jacobs and Peter Welch each proudly announced their plans to vote in favor of the Iron Dome funding later that day.

As for the aforementioned Two State Solution Act, the progressive group Levin leads can only dream of receiving the kind of wall-to-wall backing for that legislation enjoyed by those moderate Democrats who pushed for the standalone Iron Dome funding bill.

In the end, traditional pro-Israel stances still reign supreme on Capitol Hill. Those looking to criticize the Israeli government or advocate for Palestinian sovereignty undoubtedly have more of a voice than they once did, but that doesn’t translate into legislative power: Even after another Gaza war further polarized the American debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, fewer than 2% of House representatives cast a vote against robust support for the Jewish state.

In her letter to constituents Friday, Ocasio-Cortez questioned why the House leadership had rushed the Iron Dome funding bill through “without any of the usually-necessary committee debate, markup, or regular order.”

Procedural complaints notwithstanding, the answer to her query is, in essence, simple: In Washington, as polarized as it might be, support for Israel’s security remains an issue that’s not up for discussion.


Bennett on Iraqis’ call for normalization: ‘Israel extends its hand in peace’
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Saturday night that “Israel extends its hand back in peace” in response to a Friday meeting of over 300 prominent Iraqis calling for their country to normalize ties with the Jewish state.

“Hundreds of Iraqi public figures, Sunnis and Shiites, gathered yesterday to call for peace with Israel,” Bennett said in a tweet.

“This is a call that comes from below and not from above, from the people and not from the government, and the recognition of the historical injustice done to the Jews of Iraq is especially important.”

“The State of Israel extends its hand back in peace,” the prime minister added.

Iraqi leaders on Saturday strongly rejected the call for normalization by the prominent figures, calling the gathering an “illegal meeting.”

Iraq has officially been at war with Israel since the Jewish state was founded in 1948. Iraqi soldiers have fought in three successive Arab wars against Israel. Saddam Hussein’s secret nuclear weapons program alarmed Israel, which ultimately destroyed the Osirak reactor in Iraq in 1981, and in 1991, the Iraqi dictator fired dozens of Scud missiles at Tel Aviv and Haifa in an attempt to draw Israel into the Gulf War.

At Friday’s conference in the Kurdistan region, Iraqi participants called on their country’s leaders to end the state of war and join the so-called Abraham Accords.

The agreements, formulated by the administration of former United States president Donald Trump, were signed on the White House lawn in September 2020 between Israel, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. Morocco and Sudan signed normalization agreements with Israel in the ensuing months.
Baghdad rejects Iraqi Kurdish forum’s push for normalization with Israel
However, Iraq’s federal government rejected the conference’s call for normalization in a statement on Saturday and dismissed the gathering as an “illegal meeting.”

The conference “was not representative of the population’s [opinion] and that of residents in Iraqi cities, in whose name these individuals purported to speak,” the statement said.

The office of Iraq’s President Barham Saleh, himself a Kurd, joined in the condemnation.

Powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr urged the government to “arrest all the participants,” while Ahmed Assadi, an MP with the ex-paramilitary group Hashed al-Shaabi, branded them “traitors in the eyes of the law.”

The 300 participants at the conference came from across Iraq, according to CPC founder Joseph Braude, a US citizen of Iraqi Jewish origin.

They included Sunni and Shiite representatives from “six governorates: Baghdad, Mosul, Salaheddin, Al-Anbar, Diyala and Babylon,” extending to tribal chiefs and “intellectuals and writers,” he told AFP by phone.
Bennett to meet UAE, Bahraini foreign ministers ahead of UN speech
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett plans to hold his first meeting with senior ministers from Abraham Accords signatory counties, during his three-day visit to New York, where he will address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Bennett is scheduled to land in the United States early Sunday morning and will meet with Bahrain Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani and United Arab Emirates Minister of State in the Foreign Ministry Khalifa Shaheen Almarar that evening. These follow meetings he has already held with Jordan's King Abdullah and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

The prime minister is also expected to meet with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield. He will also speak at a Jewish Federations of North America event, at which leaders of other Jewish Diaspora organizations are expected to be present.

The major focus point of his trip, however, is expected to be his first-ever address at the opening session of the 76th UN Debate scheduled for Monday.

Bennett only entered office in June, so the UNGA provides him an opportunity to introduce himself to the international community.

Bennett plans to speak out against hypocrisy and the double standards to which Israel is held in international forums such as the UN, which passes more resolutions against Israel than any other country.
Christians from Egypt, Turkey, 26 other nations bless Israel in new video
Christians from nearly 30 countries sent a prayer for peace and divine blessing to Israel through a special Sukkot video that has thus far garnered around 100,000 views.

The video of “Btfilah Amen” was created by Christian Zionist recording artists, musicians, and choirs and debuted on the eve of the Sukkot holiday as part of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem’s Feast of Tabernacles kick-off event. It was then uploaded to social networks and has garnered 75,000 views on YouTube and around 25,000 on Facebook in just a few days.

ICEJ usually hosts the Feast of Tabernacles live in Jerusalem with around 6,000 attendees. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the embassy has been forced to move it online for the last two years. This year, hundreds of thousands of participants are watching eight days of broadcasts from the Holy Land. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, and President Isaac Herzog all took part in the opening ceremony.

The song “Btfilah Amen” was Israel’s entry into the 1995 Eurovision song contest. It was first sung at Eurovision by Liora.

Its lyrics are in Hebrew. Translated, they ask God to “give a blessing of peace and guard our house” and to “bring us closer to the dream within us” and to “open our hearts that we will always sing to you.”


‘Fight Racism, Not Jews’: Pro-Israel South Africans Demonstrate on 20th Anniversary of UN’s Durban Conference
A group of South African pro-Israel activists have held a demonstration against antisemitism in Durban to mark the twentieth anniversary in that city of the UN’s World Conference Against Racism — a multi-day event that was distinguished by repeated antisemitic attacks on Israel and Zionism.

Carrying placards reading, “No to Durban IV, no to racism, no to antisemitism,” the demonstrators from South African Friends of Israel (SAFI), a local advocacy group, conducted prayers for “an end to racism and antisemitism, and in support of the Jewish people and the State of Israel.”

In a statement, the group pledged “We will never stop fighting against racism and antisemitism!”

As well as highlighting the antisemitism that plagued the original UN anti-racism conference in 2001, the demonstrators condemned the follow-up process, including this week’s “Durban IV” conference at the UN’s Headquarters in New York. The conference was boycotted by 37 countries — including the United States, Canada and several European and Latin American nations — in recognition of the antisemitic nature of the 2001 event.

In a video posted to YouTube, SAFI spokesperson Bafana Modise said his group had taken a stand in support of those countries that skipped this week’s conference.

The parley in Durban “was the only conference in the whole wide world that seeks the destruction of the State of Israel,” Modise said.

“Israel is not apartheid state, it is the only democracy in the Middle East,” Modise added. “Jews are indigenous to that land.” He called on Christians in South Africa to “rise up and defend our apartheid history … our history has been used to demonize and to declare war against the God of Israel.”
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez explains tearful vote on Iron Dome
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the progressive congresswoman from New York, said she changed her vote from “no” to “present” on a bill for special funding for Israel’s anti-missile Iron Dome defense system because of the “panic and horror” that seized the moment.

Ocasio-Cortez could be seen weeping on the floor of Congress Thursday after casting her vote. She was one of 11 representatives, including the other members of “the Squad” of progressives, who did not vote to support the $1 billion in Iron Dome funding; 420 representatives voted for the bill.

In a letter to her constituents in New York that she posted to Twitter Friday, Ocasio-Cortez said she was inclined to vote “no” at first because she opposes giving “unconditional” aid to Israel while “doing nothing to address or raise the persistent human rights abuses against the Palestinian people.” She did not explain what caused her to switch her vote to “present.”

She also emphasized that opposing the Iron Dome funding would not affect the ongoing support Congress has already approved for the system, which Israel says has saved lives by intercepting rockets aimed at civilian targets. The new funding, which Israel requested and the Biden administration approved, is meant to replenish the anti-missile system after Israel’s May conflict with Hamas in Gaza.

Most of all, Ocasio-Cortez said, said she objected to how the Democratic leadership at first tried to slip the vote for the $1 billion into an emergency stopgap spending bill earlier in the week. Ocasio-Cortez, joined by other progressives, forced the leadership to strip that money from the stopgap bill, leading to a standalone vote on the Iron Dome funding.

Ocasio-Cortez said she had pleaded with Democratic leaders to slow down the process, allowing time for constituents such as hers in New York’s 14th Congressional District to give feedback on the bill. The fact that the vote took place so quickly, she said, was “reckless” and led to “vitriol, disingenuous framing” and “hateful targeting.”

The process, she said, “created a real sense of panic and horror among those in our community who otherwise engage thoughtfully in these discussions.” She did not offer specifics but said that was the reason for her show of emotion.
Ben Shapiro: AOC CRIES After House Passes Bill to Fund Israel's Iron Dome

The New York Times tips its anti-Semitic hand
The sheer contempt with which the Times appears to hold Jews, Jewish interests, Jewish safety and Jewish publications is tangible. Depressingly enough, it is hardly new. Despite its Jewish-ish ownership, as Ashley Rindsberg — author of The Gray Lady Winked: How The New York Times’s Misreporting, Distortions & Fabrications Radically Altered History — has pointed out, America’s most venerable publication has long had something of a blind spot for a certain ancient ethnic and religious group (you know, the one with the Nobel prizes).

In the 1930s, the paper employed a journalist with close Nazi connections, Guido Enderis, as its Berlin bureau chief, leading to a slew of stories that played down the Nazi party’s persecution of Jews while exaggerating its supposed peaceful intentions. When details of the Holocaust began to leak out, the Times notoriously stuck the news in its back pages (as books like Laurel Leff’s Buried By The Times have documented). Accounts of the gruesome 1943 massacre of Jews in Austria and Italy, for example, appeared only on pages six and 35, respectively.

This trend picked up pace with the advent of the Jewish State, as the Times rarely missed an opportunity to slander Israel and side with the Palestinians, especially during the Intifadas. And so to today, when during the recent Gaza conflict the paper published a front page riddled with lies, errors and half-truths, designed to paint Israel unfairly as a heartless killer of kids. As I argued back in June, modern Israeli wars are waged on two fronts: military and public opinion. The New York Times is helping Hamas win in the latter arena.

If you can’t be fair and objective to the Jews, what does that say about your moral compass? Sadly, the Gray Lady’s heart has rotted. The pro-Israel lobby is hardly the largest on Capitol Hill; it is vastly outspent by countries like South Korea and Japan, not to mention the gargantuan pharmaceuticals, electronics and insurance lobbies. The Times must know this. Yet this week, it gave oxygen to an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. And not for the first time.
‘Powerful’ Rabbis Brought AOC to Tears, New York Times Claims in Passage Assailed for Antisemitism
There’s no consideration given to the possibility that certain of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s progressive principles might be consistent with missile defense — the idea, for example, that civilians, including Arabs and foreign workers in Israel, should be safe from rockets shot by the Hamas terrorist group that controls Gaza. Hamas, an Islamist fundamentalist group, is not exactly “progressive” when it comes to gay rights or feminism.

There’s no consideration given to the idea that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s constituents might themselves oppose leaving such civilians vulnerable to Hamas attack. And nor is any consideration given to the principle that the missile defense decreases the need for Israel to invade and re-occupy Gaza, at considerable cost of lives. Instead, it’s all about the powerful and influential rabbis and lobbyists. As if the Hamas side doesn’t also have powerful allies, like the powerful and influential New York Times owners and editors who consistently publish material like this? The newspaper’s managers seem caught between their principles of not letting their Jew-hatred be too blatantly obvious and their influential, powerful paying base of far-left, Israel-hating readers and commenters.

The Times publishes editorial after editorial denouncing antisemitism: “New York needs to show up against antisemitism” and “As the world once again contends with this age-old enemy, it is not enough to refrain from empowering it. It is necessary to stand in opposition.” A good place to begin would be with the paper’s own Congressional coverage.


535 deaths from corona in Israel in September
Thirty Israelis were reported to have died of COVID-19 between Friday morning and Saturday night, the Health Ministry showed, as the fourth wave continues to surge across the country, striking hardest young, unvaccinated citizens. Nonetheless, the coronavirus cabinet is unlikely to meet until Wednesday.

There were 7,641 people reported to have died from the virus as of Saturday night and 7,611 as of Friday morning. In total, 535 people have died since the start of September – twice as many as had died in the four months from April through July when only 266 people died of the virus.

Some 627 people died in August. Last September, 651 people died. The month with the highest number of deaths was January 2021, when 1,444 Israelis succumbed to COVID-19.

Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who have been advising the government since the start of the pandemic, shared a report on Friday that they presented to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, in which they predicted a continued decline in the infection rate.

They also predicted that the number of serious cases would decline, but that it would take another week or two before this decline was felt in the country’s hospitals. They said that since serious cases tend to be younger people and the unvaccinated, they are hospitalized for longer periods of time and are therefore crowding the country’s intensive care units.


Gantz: Abbas’s 1967 lines ultimatum ‘will be hard to climb down from’
Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Saturday night that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s demand that Israel withdraw to the 1967 boundaries within a year was “a tall tree that will be hard to climb down from.”

In the first high-level Israeli government response to Abba’s ultimatum during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Friday, Gantz, who met with the PA leader last month, commended Abbas for pursuing a diplomatic resolution while lambasting his threats against the Jewish state.

“The fact that he continues to call for a political solution is good, but he issued an ultimatum and climbed a tall tree that will be difficult to climb down from,” Gantz said during an interview with Channel 13 news.

“It is important to remember one thing — no one is going anywhere,” the defense minister said. “It is important to recognize this and that the only way to deal with this reality is to develop security, develop the economy and strengthen the governance of the Palestinian Authority.”

In his speech to the UN General Assembly, Abbas offered to negotiate with Israel over the next 12 months, but threatened to reverse the PA’s recognition of Israel and turn to the International Court of Justice if Jerusalem did not withdraw from territory captured during the 1967 Six Day War.

The International Criminal Court in The Hague is currently investigating both Israel and the Palestinians for war crimes committed since 2014.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan slammed the speech on Friday, saying that it highlighted Abbas and the Palestinians’ rejection of peace. “Those who really support peace and negotiations don’t issue threats and delusional ultimatums from the UN platform,” he said.
Palestinians mock Abbas ‘ultimatum’ to Israel
Prominent Palestinian political analyst Dr. Fayez Abu Shamaleh said that prior to the speech, the Palestinian media created the impression that Abbas was going to drop a bombshell.

“I followed the Palestinian Authority’s media before Mahmoud Abbas’s speech,” Abu Shamaleh said. “They were talking about a ‘Day of Resurrection’ at the General Assembly, about the surprises that the president would make, about the Israelis who would flee the region, and about the people waiting in front of the satellite channels to watch their president. The truth is that 99% of the Palestinian people did not follow the speech and did not care.”

Palestinian lawyer Hasan Mezyed said that this was not the first time that Abbas had directed threats against Israel. Mezyed pointed out that Abbas has in the past failed to carry out decisions by Palestinian institutions to halt security coordination with Israel.

Social media user Raed Abu Jarad contemptuously remarked: “Mahmoud Abbas gives the occupation a full year to withdraw from the occupied territories, otherwise the response will be loud: ‘Leave us alone, go away, enough is enough and our patience is limited.’”

Political activist Issa Amro described Abbas’s speech as “weak,” saying it does not represent the aspirations of the Palestinians. Amro took Abbas to task for failing to label Israel as an “apartheid” state.

Addressing the president, he said: “What is needed to register your name in history and end your life in an honorable manner is a real fight against corruption, reform of the PLO and Fatah and reform of everything you destroyed.”

Hamas and other Palestinian factions also criticized Abbas’s speech, but focused on his claim that he is keen on holding general elections and that Palestinians enjoy democracy and pluralism.

Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum said the speech was a “reproduction of the failed policies” of the PA and “a clear recognition of Abbas’s inability to achieve anything through the Oslo Accords.”

Barhoum dismissed Abbas’s talk about democracy and pluralism as “false.” “The political arrests, torture and killing of political opponents in the West Bank are the biggest evidence of the [PA’s] totalitarian regime,” he said.

The Al-Ahrar Movement, a network of Hamas-backed Fatah dissidents in the Gaza Strip, said that Abbas’s speech did not carry anything new, but was a “continuation of the rhetoric of helplessness and failure.”


Palestinian Authority urges Sudan to hand over assets it seized from Hamas
The Palestinian Authority has called on Sudan’s government to hand over assets that it seized from Hamas as part of a recent crackdown on the terror group.

Hussein al-Sheikh, a close confidant of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, tweeted on Saturday: “We hope that the sisterly state of Sudan, which has always been with the people of Palestine, both the people and the government, will hand over the movable and immovable funds that were confiscated [from Hamas] to the State of Palestine and its government.”

He added: “The Palestinian people are in need of this money, especially our great people under siege in Gaza.”

On Thursday, a source told Reuters that a Sudanese committee set up to recover public funds after the ouster of autocratic ruler Omar al-Bashir has taken control of companies linked to the Palestinian terrorist group.

The source, at the center of the committee, named the entities as property firm Hassan & Al-Abed, the Al-Bidaya agricultural project, the highrise Paradise Hotel and the Al-Fayha money transfer company.

“They got preferential treatment in tenders, tax forgiveness, and they were allowed to transfer to Hamas and Gaza with no limits,” a task force member told Reuters on the condition of anonymity.

An unnamed source in Sudan’s ruling sovereignty council confirmed the seizures to Israel’s Kan news and said that all of the Gaza-ruling terror group’s assets in the country were confiscated.


Turkey: NATO's Pro-Russian, Taliban-Friendly Ally
Around the Taliban, and in a bizarre combination of convergence of interests and ideological kinship, a new anti-Western circle is evolving, including a willing NATO member state.... anti-Western sentiments are bringing together these regional powers, who are now courting Afghanistan's radical rulers.

The hard lesson learned from relying on an "ally" for critical production, then needing to reshore that capability as politics change, ultimately will cost U.S. taxpayers between $500 million and $600 million in nonrecurring engineering costs, according to Ellen Lord, the previous Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition.

U.S. President Joe Biden's Afghan drama will spur a number of anti-Western alliances based on different anti-Western calculations. Proof? Just look at the names of the countries on Taliban's invitation list for its birthday party.


Iran’s FM apparently walks back comment that nuke talks will restart very soon
Iran’s foreign minister on Saturday seemed to backtrack from comments he made a day earlier when he stated that stalled talks on the Iranian nuclear accord would resume “very soon,” now saying instead that the West and Tehran have a different concept of the timeframe.

“People keep asking how soon is soon. Does it mean days, weeks or months?” said Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, in remarks broadcast on state TV channel IRINN, cited by the Reuters news agency.

“The difference between Iranian and Western ‘soon’ is a lot. To us, ‘soon’ means really in the first opportune time – when our reviews [of the nuclear file] have been completed. What is important is our determination to return to the talks, but those that are serious and guarantee the Iranian nation’s rights and interests,” Amir-Abdollahian said.

To reinforce his point, made in an interview on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Amir-Abdollahian said: “I remind you of the West’s promises, such as repeatedly promising they would ‘soon,’ ‘in a few months,’ implement the Instex.” The minister was referring to the financing mechanism set up to get round US sanctions.

A day earlier, Amir-Abdollahian had accused the United States of sending “contradictory messages” on reviving the deal.

The nuclear talks, brokered by the Europeans, seek the return of the United States to the 2015 agreement trashed by former president Donald Trump — as well as Iran’s return to full compliance.
UK Jewish Group Urges Netflix to Offer Documentary About Antisemitism That ‘Tarnishes’ Legacy of Children’s Author Roald Dahl
After Netflix announced that it acquired the entire catalogue of works by the late British children’s author Roald Dahl, the Board of Deputies of British Jews called on the streaming giant to produce a documentary examining the “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” writer’s antisemitic history.

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said in a statement on Thursday that Dahl’s “virulent antisemitism” is widely known and had “sadly marred the full enjoyment of his works” for many people.

“We do not believe that Netflix should be prefacing every film and TV series it adapts from Dahl’s works with disclaimers about his bigotry. However, we fear that, as part of Netflix’s stated plans to create a ‘unique universe’ around his works, a by-product of that may be to present Dahl — whether on-screen or off it — as some sort of paragon of kindness and virtue,” she explained. “To avoid such an approach, Netflix should produce a documentary fully exploring the antisemitism that so tarnishes Dahl’s legacy. Failure to do so will not go unnoticed.”

Netflix’s acquisition of the Roald Dahl Story Company (RDSC) gives the streaming platform full rights to all of Dahl’s works, which include “James and the Giant Peach,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “Matilda,” “The BFG,” “The Witches” and “The Twits.” Dahl’s books have been translated into 63 languages and sold more than 300 million copies worldwide.

The author was unapologetic about his antisemitism. Months before he died in 1990, at the age of 74, he told The Independent that Jewish publishers “control the media” and said, “I’m certainly anti-Israeli and I’ve become antisemitic in as much as that you get a Jewish person in another country like England strongly supporting Zionism,” The Guardian reported.

He told Britain’s New Statesman magazine that “there is a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity, maybe it’s a kind of lack of generosity towards non-Jews … Even a stinker like Hitler didn’t just pick on them for no reason.”
Toeing line of Facebook rules, neo-Nazis able to use platform to make money
None of these groups’ activity on mainstream platforms is obviously illegal, though it may violate Facebook guidelines that bar “dangerous individuals and organizations” that advocate or engage in violence online or offline.

Facebook says that it doesn’t allow praise or support of Nazism, white supremacy, white nationalism or white separatism and bars people and groups that adhere to such “hate ideologies.”

Last week, Facebook  removed almost 150 accounts and pages linked to the German anti-lockdown Querdenken movement, under a new “social harm” policy, which targets groups that spread misinformation or incite violence but didn’t fit into the platform’s existing categories of bad actors.

But how these evolving rules will be applied remains murky and contested.

“If you do something wrong on the platform, it’s easier for a platform to justify an account suspension than to just throw someone out because of their ideology. That would be more difficult with respect to human rights,” said Daniel Holznagel, a Berlin judge who used to work for the German federal government on hate speech issues and also  contributed to CEP’s report. ”It’s a foundation of our Western society and human rights that our legal regimes do not sanction an idea, an ideology, a thought.”

In the meantime, there’s news from the folks at the Battle of the Nibelungs. “Starting today you can also dress your smallest ones with us,” reads a June post on their Facebook feed.

The new line of kids wear includes a shell-pink T-shirt for girls, priced at 13.90 euros ($16). A child pictured wearing the boy version, in black, already has boxing gloves on.
Jewish groups slam Dutch far right MP’s World War II claim comments
Jewish organisations have again reacted angrily to comments by far right MP Thierry Baudet in which he said Jews ‘cannot claim’ World War II.

‘World War II is not owned by a specific group,’ Baudet said in parliament during Wednesday’s debate on the budget.

Jewish organisations had asked MPs to condemn the use of the yellow stars Jews were forced to wear during WWII by anti-coronvirus vaccine campaigners. Demonstrators say the coronavirus measures mean people who refused to get vaccinated are being excluded from society in the same way as the Jews.

In his initial response earlier in the week, Baudet said on Twitter that ‘the war is not yours, it belongs to all of us’ and put the Holocaust in quote marks. Asked about this in parliament, Baudet reiterated his earlier comments.

‘I don’t think they [the three Jewish groups] can claim the war,’ he said. The war is a ‘very interesting, very complex, question in history but it is not owned by a certain group or ethnicity’.

He also refused to apologise for putting the word Holocaust in quotation marks, saying that he was merely quoting someone else.
Judaism was complex for Isaac Asimov, whose ‘Foundation’ series is now a TV show
Apple TV+ is, following a pandemic delay, finally debuting “Foundation,” the first-ever screen adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s bestselling, award-winning science-fiction book series. First announced in 2018 and produced in association with Skydance Television, the TV show is one of the Apple streaming service’s most expensive and ambitious productions to date.

The series, which follows a mathematician struggling to convince a galactic federation that their society is on the brink of collapse, blends anxieties of the 1940s and ’50s, when the source material was originally written, with modern global concerns like climate change.

It was co-created by Josh Friedman and David S. Goyer. Friedman identifies as Jewish, while showrunner Goyer, son of a Jewish mother, wrote and directed the dybbuk-themed 2009 horror movie “The Unborn.”

But what of Asimov himself, a biochemist at Boston University and one of the most influential sci-fi writers of all time? That’s a much more complicated question.

Isaac Asimov was born in Russia in 1920, and his family emigrated to the United States when he was three years old. He had Jewish parents who were themselves raised Orthodox, and they raised him in Brooklyn. However, Asimov gravitated to more humanist beliefs from an early age, and as an adult identified vocally with atheism until his death in 1992.

On the one hand, Asimov became one of pop culture’s most prominent atheists; and on the other, he was open and proud of his Jewish heritage.
‘The Auschwitz Report’: Slovakian film tells of escapees who tried to warn world
Were it not for Rudolph Vrba and Alfréd Wexler, would the world today know the true extent of the mass murder the Nazis inflicted during the Holocaust?

The two men, both Slovak Jews who escaped from Auschwitz, secretly recorded fastidious notes about details of the death camp unknown to the outside world.

These included schematics of the gas chambers, the Nazis’ use of the deadly chemical Zyklon-B, the number of prisoners being brought in to their deaths every day and the planned construction of a new rail line for deporting Hungarian Jews directly to the camp. The information the men smuggled out of Auschwitz formed the basis for the Vrba-Wetzler Report — the first time the international community had heard of much of these horrors.

The new Slovakian film “The Auschwitz Report,” directed by Peter Bebjak, somewhat clunkily dramatizes Vrba and Wexler’s 1944 escape and attempt to get their message to an outside world still largely ignorant of what was transpiring at the camps. This being a Holocaust film, Bebjak also spends considerable time (a full half of his 94 minutes) re-enacting the hell of the camp itself.

These early sequences — Nazis beating a man to death, shooting a father’s daughter in front of him, stacking naked dead bodies like meat — are stomach-churning in a familiar way, and serve as the film’s intent to align itself with more brutal siblings like “Son of Saul” rather than softer works like “Life is Beautiful.”

Whether you find such scenes a necessary tool of the “never forget” philosophy will likely depend on how many Holocaust movies you’ve already seen, and how many more you feel like you can tolerate.













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