Friday, October 15, 2021

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: What lies beneath the progressives' favourite cause
The latest such useful idiot is the best-selling novelist, Sally Rooney. She has refused to have her new novel published by Modan, the Hebrew-language Israeli publisher of her first two books, because she supports a cultural boycott of Israel.

Rooney happens to be Irish; and the Irish Republic — one of the most anti-Israel countries in Europe — is a boiling cesspool of Jew-bashing.

The dogged British antisemitism researcher David Collier has just published a 202-page report in which he chronicles horrific anti-Jewish attitudes in Ireland driven from the top down by Irish politicians and echoed by journalists, academics and other cultural leaders.

There are many plausible explanations for this Israel animus in Ireland and the west. Ireland sees itself as the victim of English colonialism and so identifies with the Palestinians’ false narrative of Jewish colonialism.

Rooney is a self-confessed Marxist. Israel is being demonised through a perfect intellectual storm: a combination of Marxist identification of capitalism with oppression; liberal internationalist hostility to the western concept of the nation-state; and the Palestinian propaganda programme cooked up in the 1960s with the former Soviet Union to turn the Arab war of annihilation against Israel into Israel’s oppression of the newly-minted “Palestinians”.

This propaganda narrative is now the signature cause of “progressive” folk who astoundingly therefore make common cause with deeply regressive Islamists, who endorse throwing gay people off rooftops and stoning women to death.

What actually binds these groups together, however, is a deadly animus against Judaism and the Jewish people.

The Palestinians’ hatred of Israel is based on hatred of the Jews founded upon Islamic theological sources. Medieval and Nazi-style antisemitism pour out of the PA in an unstoppable torrent.

Even those Palestinian supporters who harbour no ill-will towards Jews as people therefore promote a Palestinian narrative that is based on Jew-hatred. So it’s no surprise that threaded through pro-Palestinian western discourse are unambiguous antisemitic tropes.

The deeper question, though, is why it’s always the Jews who get it in the neck from so many different groups. No other people has ever had this experience.

Socialism Without Antisemitism
In “On the Jewish Question,” published in 1844, Karl Marx famously stood the notion of Jewish emancipation on its head, writing that “Jews have emancipated themselves insofar as Christians have become Jews,” i.e., admirers of Mammon. Far from being ghettoized and excluded, deprived of basic freedoms, and subjected to horrific individual and mass accusations and physical violence for centuries, Marx explained to his followers, the Jews of Europe were in fact historical oppressors bent on conquest. “The everyday Jew devoted himself to endless bartering ... It was still Judaism, practical in its nature, that was victorious,” Marx explained. “Egotism permeated society.”

Jews were not only all-conquering, Marx continued, but also maleficent. “We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time, an element which through historical development—to which in this harmful respect the Jews have zealously contributed—has been brought to its present high level, at which it must necessarily begin to disintegrate. In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.” Case closed.

Quantities of ink worthy of a Talmudic discussion have been spilled explaining away the explicit content of Marx’s essay. But his private writings make it impossible to assert that Marx was not a carrier of a virulent strain of racist Jew-hatred that has infected some of his followers to this day. In a letter to Engels on July 30, 1862, attacking Ferdinand Lasalle, Marx’s Jewish opponent among socialists, for example, Marx wrote that “It is now quite plain to me—as the shape of his head and the way his hair grows also testify—that he is descended from the negroes who accompanied Moses’ flight from Egypt (unless his mother or paternal grandmother interbred with a nigger).”

But even Marx at his worst did not approach the venomous opinions of his rival, the father of anarchism, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. Proudhon expressed his feelings for Jews in his notebooks in an entry dated Dec. 26, 1847, an entry less anti-capitalist than exterminationist: “Jews. Write an article against this race that poisons everything by sticking its nose into everything without ever mixing with any other people. Demand its expulsion from France with the exception of those individuals married to French women. Abolish synagogues and not admit them to any employment. Demand its expulsion. Finally, pursue the abolition of this religion. It’s not without cause that the Christians called them deicides. The Jew is the enemy of humankind. They must be sent back to Asia or be exterminated.”
ILF: How We Fought Against:Ep 24...the Soviet Union's Assault on Zionism
"There is absolutely nothing that anti-Zionists say that I, as a Soviet Jew, did not hear or cannot find in Soviet literature." ~ Izabella Tabarovsky.

The Soviet Union created the ideological underpinning of the modern anti-Zionist movement, including the infamous 1975 'Zionism is Racism' resolution at the United Nations, an ideological foundation that groups like BDS are built on today. Join our special guest Izabella Tabarovsky Senior Associate at the Kennan Institute (Wilson Center), as we delve into the history of the Soviet Union and how their anti-Zionist propaganda shapes the antisemites of today.

While this episode was filmed before the Durban Conference at the UN, in which 38 countries withdrew, it underscores the importance of remaining relentless in the fight against antisemitism in all its manifestations, including the assault on Zionism.

Mark Regev: Genocide, apartheid: Problems in extreme Left American Jews - opinion
I was born and grew up in the Diaspora (admittedly not in the United States) and like many of my generation my politics was of the Left – though mine especially so as I was a proud member of the Labor Zionist youth organization Habonim. At the time of Israel’s 1981 election, I eagerly volunteered to a public debate with a Likud supporter at a Melbourne University campus event. I spoke in favor of Shimon Peres’s attempt to unseat Menachem Begin, my loyalty to the Labor cause preventing me from being impressed with Begin who had signed Israel’s first-ever peace treaty with an Arab country and had just destroyed Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor.

I immigrated to Israel in 1982 with the goal of personally voting Begin’s Likud out of office. I chose to live on a kibbutz to realize my then socialist ideals, and after acquiring Israeli citizenship, I immediately joined the Labor Party. The Sabras on the kibbutz even voted this then idealistic young Australian immigrant to be their representative at the Labor Party congress (where from the perspective of defeating the Likud, I mistakenly supported Peres over Rabin).

Why is any of this important? Because I know from personal experience that disagreeing with the politics of a given Israeli government, should in no way alienate one from Israel as a country or from the Zionist vision of an independent Jewish homeland. American Jews who hated Trump didn’t stop being loyal Americans, and detesting Netanyahu is no valid reason to disengage from Israel.

That liberal American Jews would identify with the politics of their liberal Israeli cousins is understood. But there can be no excuses for those ultras who deny Israel’s right to exist and ape the lines of Israel’s sworn enemies. Such erroneous positions can only stem from alienation, ignorance and a psychological desire to fit in with a certain milieu (reminding me of my grandparents’ generation of German Jews who constantly felt the need to prove to their gentile neighbors that they were loyal Germans).

I know that there are many American Jews who are deeply troubled by the anti-Zionism and antisemitism prevalent in contemporary progressive circles. I also know that those who uncritically parrot the rejectionist Palestinian mantra are a marginal phenomenon. But while being an aberration, these young Jews repeating “Israel is committing genocide” are symptomatic of a larger failure. The incoming head of the Jewish Agency, whoever it turns out to be, has some very serious work to do.

Mourners of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. An Arab Israeli family. An extraordinary gift.
I came late to the story of the Falahs and Pittsburgh, having learned of it from Marlene, who is a friend of mine. The more I dug into the saga, the more I couldn’t help wondering: Had all these people who helped the Falahs been working, if only subconsciously, through their own trauma and grief?

Not everyone was inclined to make the link between Tree of Life and the Falahs when I asked them. “We’re Israelis,” Anat said. “We’re used to these kinds of attacks.” Debbey, Marlene and Nina — while admitting how deeply the shooting affected them — instead spoke of compassion, and having had an ill family member or friend, as their motivations. Anat, too. And Nina echoed, virtually verbatim, what they all said drew them most strongly to the Falahs: “How could we not fall in love with their kindness, their devotion to one another, their dignity?”

All that held true for Michael as well. But he also saw a connection between Tree of Life and the Falahs. He told me that he and AJ had heard the rapid-fire gunshots from their kitchen while eating breakfast. He described feeling raw after that morning. Helpless, too. Giving the Falahs a place to stay, trying to ease their pain, doing something tangible — all, he said, were balm to his post-shooting despair. “It was so comforting,” Michael explained, “to be able to offer them comfort.”

There is certainly a tradition in this town — long predating the Tree of Life massacre — of Jews helping other Jews, Jews helping Israelis, Israelis helping other Israelis. And yet, Nina said that in all the years she had being doing this kind of work, she had never witnessed anything like the support and succor showered on the Falahs. Nor had Anat. It seemed possible, to me at least, that something more was at play.

Stefanie Small, of Jewish Family and Community Services, agreed. “After a tragedy such as a mass shooting, people are desperate to make any kind of human connection,” she told me. “The warmth that comes from those connections, the feeling of being able to do something good, makes us believe that the world as we knew it hasn’t ended.” Perhaps, mired as we all were in what the FBI’s handout described as the Disillusionment Phase, the profound bond that many members of the community forged with the Falahs provided a way into the next phase — that of Rebuilding and Restoration.

And how did the Falahs, in the midst of their anguish, feel about the way they were greeted in Pittsburgh? Astonished, to say the least. At times, overwhelmed by the constant attention. But also grateful. Zaid told me that when they returned to their village, relatives asked how the family could have withstood the ordeal alone. “We never felt alone for one minute,” he replied. “We only felt surrounded by love.”
Ruth Wisse: A Price Above Rubies
Ruth R. Wisse’s new book, Free as a Jew, begins as a personal memoir, turns midway into an intellectual memoir, and finally becomes what she calls “cultural testimony”—her witness to her times. She has written a work of remembrance, of growing up in Canada, teaching Yiddish literature at McGill and later at Harvard, and, in the process, becoming “a combatant in the war over the future of America” and in the defense of Israel.

Her three literary forms merge near the end of the book, in her personal, intellectual, and cultural account of a seminal moment at Harvard in 2005—one of the rare times, she writes, when history “issues us a red alert.” It still reverberates today.

She begins with her family’s flight from Romania in the summer of 1940, packing on a few hours’ notice, as the Soviet Union invaded. The family crossed Europe as stateless persons, arriving in Lisbon to seek transit visas from the American consul, since their trip to Canada required them to pass through New York. The consul told them that the doctor authorized to administer their medical exams would not be available until after their ship had sailed:

Grabbing the consul’s hand, [my father] pointed it at my brother and me and shouted, “You are a crazy man! Will you throw away the lives of these children? Give me the name of another doctor or I will kill you!” His English was not strong, nor was he, so I cannot imagine that his words struck fear into the consul’s heart. Mother, recalling the scene, said she knew we were finished.

The consul extricated himself from her father’s grasp and issued the visas. Perhaps he was moved by her father’s desperation; perhaps four-year-old Ruth reminded him of his own daughter. But the key was her father’s courage—leaving his successful business in Romania, saving the family’s lives in Lisbon, building a new business in Canada. In later years, she “aspired to emulate” him, and she eventually opened her classic 1995 Commentary essay, “What My Father Knew,” with this incident.
More than words are required to combat 21st-century antisemitism - opinion
The government of Sweden should be commended for convening the International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism in the city of Malmo this week. Seventy-five years after Nazi Germany and its allies perpetrated the Shoah, Jew-hatred is again (or still) manifested in growing levels of vicious incitement and violent attacks in Europe, North America and elsewhere.

But in parallel, many of the participating governments, including the Swedish hosts, are complicit in the systematic efforts to demonize Israel, the Jewish state, which is the main component of 21st-century antisemitism. The new hate takes the form of obsessive and single-minded anti-Zionism, wrapped in a facade of support for “Palestinian suffering” at the top of the ideological pantheon.

Many of these campaigns are led by powerful non-governmental organizations (NGOs) claiming to promote agendas based on human rights and international law. These groups, in turn, are often funded by European governments – the same ones, including Sweden, that hold conferences and declare their firm opposition to antisemitism.

For 20 years, beginning with the infamous antisemitic Durban NGO Forum, European-funded networks have been at the center of the boycott movement (BDS). They also cooperate with officials in the UN Human Rights Council and the International Criminal Court (ICC) in promoting false or highly distorted accusations used to push images of Israeli war crimes and “apartheid.”

In using these labels, NGOs and their followers are singling out and delegitimizing Israel, regardless of borders or policies, and uniquely denying the Jewish people the right of self-determination. In turn, this propaganda is transformed into incitement and violence.

If the governments of Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and the rest were serious about countering antisemitism, they would begin by openly investigating the uses and abuses of the NGO industry. European governments, together, allocate on the order of €100 million annually to what are actually FONGOs (foreign government-funded NGOs) active in these campaigns. This is a massive amount of money, focused year after year on demonizing one country – Israel.
Between boycotts and the Gaza gauntlet
Bernie Sanders’s knitted mittens were the sensation of Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration at the beginning of the year. For weeks, memes of the poker-face Vermont senator wearing a winter coat with his hands hidden in oversize mitts ruled the viral world. The image came back to me this week when I learned that the Bernie’s Mittens-look is a popular Halloween costume.

Sanders is haunting me – and not in the sense of a Halloween icon. When it comes to Israel, the progressive Democrat who had himself wanted to be president takes his gloves off. Or maybe switches them for boxing gloves.

Last week, the senator took his idea of moral equivalence to a new level. It’s incredible how going through the motions of being evenhanded can reveal such a deep bias. In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York), Sanders apparently conditioned his support for the $1 billion aid to Israel to replenish the defensive Iron Dome anti-missile system with a similar amount of aid being given to Gaza.

The letter reportedly said: “If the goal of this supplemental funding is to help Israel replenish Iron Dome after the war that took place in May, it would be irresponsible if we do not at the same time address the enormous destruction and suffering that that war caused the Palestinians in Gaza. Just as we stand with the Israeli people’s right to live in peace and security, we must do so for the Palestinian people as well.”

That might sound fair – if you ignore the facts. So far, there are no signs that Gaza spends the aid it receives on building or rebuilding homes, jobs, schools etc. On the contrary, the extensive terror tunnel system and the thousands of rockets that have been launched on Israel are clear signs of where the priorities of the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip can be found.

Handing Hamas another $1 billion will not make it lay down its arms, it will encourage it to carry out further attacks. Hamas isn’t being punished for launching 4,500 rockets and mortars on Israel during the 11-day war in May, it’s being rewarded. Sanders’s ungloved hands are arming a terrorist movement. Sanders points an accusative finger at Israel, and Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar flexes his trigger finger.
Lahav Harkov: Sally Rooney’s refusal to work with an Israeli publisher is antisemitic — just like all of BDS
This is a useful reminder that BDS is, at its core, an eliminationist movement. It is not against the so-called “occupation.” It seeks to get rid of the State of Israel and replace it with a Palestinian state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. As its founder, Omar Barghouti has said, the movement “oppose[s] a Jewish state in any part of Palestine” and “there won’t be any Zionist state like the one we speak about [presently].”

It should go without saying that there is only one Jewish state, and eliminating it would certainly put a plurality of the world’s Jews in danger. It would arguably put all Jews in danger by bringing us back to the vulnerable situation we were in before 1948, when we did not have a place of our own to flee to from genocide, expulsions, pogroms and farhuds.

In addition, BDS and its supporters have never come up with a convincing argument for why Palestinians deserve self-determination and Jews don’t.

The bottom line is, as Board of Deputies of British Jews Vice President David Mendoza-Wolfson put it, that Rooney “will not allow her latest work to be published in Hebrew, the language of the Jewish people, unless it is permitted by those who advocate for the destruction of the world’s only Jewish state.”

Rooney is no fool; she surely realizes this. All the evidence points to her promoting an antisemitic movement. The onus is still on her to prove otherwise.
Richard Glodberg: Does Big Tech Have an Anti-Semitism Problem?
With anti-Semitism rising, now is the time for executives to reject these hate-filled extremists and stand with their Jewish employees, instead of kowtowing to discrimination. As a first step, the companies should formally adopt the working definition of anti-Semitism put forward by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). Thirty-six countries plus the European Union have endorsed the IHRA definition, which the U.S. State Department adopted at former President Barack Obama's direction and which the Biden administration reaffirmed earlier this year.

Natan Sharansky, the respected former Soviet dissident, wrote that the way to tell whether someone is anti-Semitic when criticizing Israel is to apply what he called the "3-D test"—demonization, double standards and delegitimization. On all three counts, the anti-Israel organizers prove themselves to be Jew-haters—not human rights activists. Adopting the IHRA definition will give human resource executives a clear path to stop employees from isolating, harassing and persecuting their fellow Jewish employees whose identities are deeply connected to the Jewish state.

If, however, the moral obligation to defend Jewish employees is not enough to swat down activist calls to boycott Israel, there is another compelling reason for C-Suites and board rooms to stay above the fray. State laws around the country, which were established to defend against this bigotry, could inflict significant financial, legal and reputational harm on companies that inflict politically motivated economic harm on Israel or Israeli companies. More than 30 U.S. states have legislation or executive orders placing restrictions on companies engaging in anti-Israel boycotts. More than 20 states prohibit state contracts with companies engaged in boycotts of Israel, while a dozen don't allow their pension funds to invest in such companies.

Google has contracts with Illinois, Arizona and other states, while Amazon provides services for California, Maryland and Rhode Island, among others. Additionally, many states with investment prohibitions on companies boycotting Israel own shares of these technology firms. Together, these states hold more than $3.3 billion in Amazon and $2.1 billion in Google.

If Big Tech companies want to take a stand against hate and prove they'll defend all their employees—even Jews—their first move should be to adopt the IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism. Next: Take a hard look at DEI staff and consultants to eliminate the insidious anti-Semitism creeping into their ranks. Finally, don't give into calls to boycott Israel—doing so is not only morally corrupt, but will trigger significant financial, legal and reputational costs.
Texas School Administrator Tells Teachers To Offer Opposing ‘Perspectives’ on Holocaust
A Texas school district administrator suggested that teachers covering the Holocaust should assign a book that has "other perspectives."

NBC News obtained audio of the comments made by Gina Peddy, executive director of curriculum and instruction for the Carroll Independent School District in Southlake, Texas. Peddy was addressing teachers concerned that they would have to remove "antiracist" books from classroom libraries in response to a state bill, House Bill 3979, that restricts the teaching of critical race theory.

"You are in the middle of a political mess. And so we just have to do the best that we can," Peddy said. "You are professionals. … So if you think the book is OK, then let's go with it. And whatever happens, we will fight it together."

The teachers, one of whom said she was "terrified," pressed Peddy for specifics on how to comply with the state legislation.

"Just try to remember the concepts of 3979," Peddy responded. "And make sure that if, if you have a book on the Holocaust that you have one that has an opposing, that has other perspectives."

Teachers in the meeting could be heard on the audio erupting in response to Peddy's comments, some of them laughing. "How do you oppose the Holocaust?!" one asked.

"Believe me, that's come up," Peddy said.

State senator Bryan Hughes (R.), who wrote his chamber's version of H.B. 3979, denied that the bill would require educators to offer books preaching Holocaust denial. "That's not what the bill says," Hughes told NBC News.

How Britain’s young academics became so deeply radicalised
David Hirsh, a 54-year-old lecturer in sociology, thinks it must. He is one of the UK’s foremost analysts of antisemitism, and has placed himself beyond the pale of the liberal-left colleagues by refusing to minimise anti-Jewish hatred or excuse it away as an understandable accompaniment to opposition to Israeli policy. He told me he could not imagine young academics repeating his arguments. They would hide their views to find a job. By the time they secured fulltime posts, they would have forgotten their original ideas and blended into the consensus.

First you kneel, then you pray, then you believe.

Hirsh’s argument feels plausible, but try proving it. Self-censorship is the most effective form of censorship because it leaves no outward trace. Once it is established, there is no need for police forces or online mobs to act as enforcers. The self-censored police themselves. Perhaps there are hundreds of academics living in fear of speaking their minds. Perhaps, like so many of us, they just go along with authority for the sake of a quiet life. There is no truer slogan than the old anarchist line that “it is not the will for power that’s terrifying but the willingness to obey”.

You can never find conclusive proof. All you can do is listen out for the thumps on the chest and shrill, tinny notes in the voice that always accompany the declaration of party lines.

You can say, however, that there is no cliché more ludicrous than the picture of the academic closeted in an ivory tower ignorant of the how life is lived in “the real world”. A Wellcome Trust study of university researchers found that competition for jobs had created miserable workplaces. Young staff talked of an “unkind and aggressive atmosphere”, where bullying and harassment were commonplace. Most telling to my eyes, the report found that “just one in three felt comfortable speaking up”.

The government is, rightly in my view, legislating to protect academic freedom. But it does not begin to think about how freedom of thought and speech is repressed by the casualisation of labour.

All most young academics know is that the waves of money the Cameron government sent rolling over higher education a decade ago never reached them. Universities kept them on insecure contracts and cheap rates while splurging on vice chancellors’ salaries and new buildings to attract fee-paying students. They could not have come up with a better way to radicalise the young intelligentsia if they had tried.
Alumni Coalition Pressures College Leaders To Fight Anti-Semitism
A national coalition of Jewish alumni is pressuring universities to take a stand against rampant anti-Semitism on college campuses.

Alums for Campus Fairness recently published a study that found 80 percent of Jewish students have personally experienced anti-Semitism on campus. The group, compromised of alumni from 45 colleges across the country, will share the results of its survey in over 3,000 letters to campus administrators.

"Today's universities take great pains to embrace and protect students from all races, religions, and backgrounds," the letter, a copy of which was shared with the Washington Free Beacon, said. "But Jewish students are often left to fend for themselves against discrimination. Administrators, like yourself, must take immediate steps to remedy this situation."

Hate crimes against Jews have been on the rise in recent years. The latest FBI crime statistics found that Jews faced more attacks in 2020 than Muslim, Asian, and transgender people combined, the Washington Free Beacon reported in September. More than 2,000 anti-Semitic incidents have been recorded on college campuses since 2017. Leaders of College Democrats, as well as the anti-Semitic Students for Justice in Palestine, have helped normalized anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric at universities.

Forty-four percent of students surveyed this year by Alums for Campus Fairness said they either experienced, or knew someone who experienced, physical threats for being Jewish. Nearly 70 percent of respondents said that because they were Jewish they avoided locations or events on campus. And almost all students said anti-Semitism is an issue on college campuses. Seventy-five percent said it was a "very serious problem."
Toxic cocktail of antisemitism and anti-Zionism - opinion
The minds of tomorrow’s leaders are being forged at universities around the world. Yet those students are being fed a diet of antisemitism on many Western campuses.

This is one of the greatest perils facing the Jewish world.

It is not only extremist student activists who are poisoning the minds of their peers. The most dangerous incitement sometimes comes from academics. The imprimatur of a professor can appear to bestow legitimacy on antisemitic groups, individuals or ideas.

I cannot think of a better example of this toxic cocktail than Prof. David Miller of the University of Bristol, who was fired earlier this month – a rare instance of a British academic being dismissed following repeated antisemitic comments.

Miller is obsessed with anti-Jewish conspiracy theories, and his classes have alarmed Jewish students. In a course titled “Harms of the Powerful,” for example, Miller accused the “Zionist movement” of a hatred of Muslims, promoted in the United Kingdom by a sophisticated Jewish conspiracy.

He has also claimed that the new leader of the Labour Party is “in receipt of money from the Zionist movement,” whilst Miller himself spends his time in the company of high-profile figures expelled from Labour in relation to antisemitism, describing allegations of anti-Jewish racism against them as a “witch hunt.”
UNC Teachers Defend Instructor Who Doesn’t Believe Israel Should Exist
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill chapter of the American Association of University Professors (UNC-AAUP) issued a statement last week in support of instructor Kylie Broderick, who recently tweeted the term “Zionist dirtbags,” and promotes the view that Israel should not exist.

The UNC-AAUP statement says, “We commend Ms. Broderick’s courage.”

Broderick — a PhD student currently teaching a course at UNC on the Israel/Palestinian conflict — also says that “Palestinians are being murdered for just being alive,” and believes students should be taught to reject Zionism.

The UNC-AAUP statement did not mention that all three of its officers are anti-Israel activists. President Michael Palm, Vice President Jay Smith, and Secretary-Treasurer Karen Booth all signed a 2021 statement saying, “We acknowledge our complicity in Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians … [and we] reject the prevalent ‘two-sides’ narrative.”

In May of 2021, Karen Booth signed a statement pledging to promote the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel “in the classroom and on campus.” This statement dismissed concerns about “Hamas rockets” aimed indiscriminately at Israeli civilians as “stale talking points.” To Jews, such statements treat our humanity as expendable.

New York Times Guest Essayist Compared Israel to Nazi Germany Over 100 Times
In the last six months, two HonestReporting investigations brought to light shocking antisemitism espoused by journalists working for mainstream publications.

After our May 23 article on Tala Halawa, who tweeted that “#HitlerWasRight,” the reporter was promptly fired by the BBC. In August, our work on Mariam Barghouti, who contended that “Israel has been beating Hitler at his own game since 1948,” led to her effectively being blacklisted by the outlets that had previously disseminated her anti-Israel talking points.

Now, we expose a pundit whose sheer volume of vile Judeophobic tweets towers over Halawa’s and Barghouti’s.

On May 13, at the height of the 11-day Hamas-initiated conflict against the Jewish state, The New York Times published a guest essay by Refaat Alareer titled, “My Child Asks, ‘Can Israel Destroy Our Building if the Power Is Out?’”

The article falsely alleged that the Israel Defense Forces hit targets in the Gaza Strip with “no strategic value,” while implying that Israelis “draw straws” or “roll a dice” to decide “which block to annihilate” — essentially promoting a modern-day blood libel.

Nevertheless, Alareer’s malicious propaganda piece was included in a lesson plan for high schools by the Times’ Learning Network.

The writer and literature professor has also been cited or interviewed by The Washington Post, The Guardian, NBC News, NPR, PBS, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and Qatar’s Al Jazeera
New York Times Faults Jeopardy Host Mayim Bialik for Pro-Israel Stance
Mayim Bialik is too pro-Israel to be the host of the television game show “Jeopardy.”

That’s the weird, underlying premise of a recent front-of-the-arts section New York Times news article.

The headline is framed as a question: “Mayim Bialik Wants the ‘Jeopardy!’ Job. Is She ‘Neutral’ Enough?” But the viewpoint is clear enough. Had Bialik expressed any number of conventionally acceptable or New York Times-readership endorsed political opinions — Black Lives Matter, democracy is in danger, Ben & Jerry as exemplars of ethical businessmen, you name it — there’d be no section-front rumination questioning her suitability for the position. The job, is, after all, that of a television game show host, not Middle East peace envoy, moderator of a presidential debate, or anchor on the CBS evening news.

Yet here is the Times: “Bialik — a popular sitcom actor who blogged when blogging was popular, vlogged when vlogging was popular, and now has her own podcast — has long drawn attention, and controversy, with copious public statements of her own… She blogged about donating money to buy bulletproof vests for the Israel Defense Forces.” The Times doesn’t quote a single individual suggesting that that blog post should disqualify Bialik from the “Jeopardy” job. Yet a Times photo cutline identifies her as “Bialik, who has courted controversy by weighing in on hot-button issues online.”
German Jews Call for ‘Clarification’ From German Broadcaster Over Sitcom Writer Accused of Antisemitism
Jewish groups have condemned German public television broadcaster ZDF for hiring a woman accused of antisemitic statements as a comedy writer for a TV sitcom.

Feyza-Yasmin Ayhan, also known under the stage name Yasmin Poesy, has been accused of repeated antisemitic remarks, including the posting on social media networks of a cartoon showing Jews with hooked noses. In 2015, the Berlin resident participated at an event by the Hamas-affiliated German Youth for Palestine, where she spoke in favor of justifying violence against Israel and hoped for an end to the Jewish state.

In an interview with Germany’s Bild Zeitung, antisemitism commissioner Felix Klein said that “private antisemitic statements” are “covered by freedom of expression if they are not criminally relevant.”

However, he said, “as with right-wing extremism, in all forms of antisemitism, care must be taken not to place people who have attracted attention in positions that they could use to spread Jew-hatred. Germany has a historic responsibility on the issue,” Klein remarked.

“Public broadcasters should therefore always carefully examine who they are giving the floor to,” he added.

Klein demanded “urgent clarification” from the ZDF and suggested that the writer herself also comment on the allegations.

Jewish Groups Praise Australia’s Adoption of Leading Definition of Antisemitism
Australia will adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Antisemitism (IHRA), Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Wednesday night at an international conference in Sweden.

“In the history of humanity the Holocaust serves as a perpetual and brutal reminder of exclusion, of racism, of systematic political hatred and evil itself,” Morrison said in a taped address at the International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism. “My government pledges to embrace the definition of antisemitism adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.”

Australian Jewish groups said the news sent a “strong statement.”

“Antisemitism is increasing around the world and the key to its reduction is education,” said Zionist Federation of Australia President Jeremy Leibler. “The IHRA working definition provides the central plank to this educational endeavor. Antisemitism should have no place in our society. It should be defined, identified, and rejected.”

The definition has been endorsed by hundreds of governmental bodies, universities, corporations and other institutions.

The European Jewish Congress called the move a “vital tool to help governments identify, monitor & address anti-Jewish hatred in all its forms.”
Social media outrage shuts down Nazi-themed nightclub in Japan
Users and Jewish organizations quickly took to social media platforms to condemn the club – named Unfair – for its use of Nazi imagery.

"Japanese women are supposed to be attracted to men dressed up as SS Nazi murderers?" tweeted the Simon Wiesenthal Center. "Vile desecration of the memory of six million Jews ... Where is Japanese outrage?"

The center's mission is to fight antisemitism and protect the safety of Jews worldwide. It is named after Holocaust survivor and writer Simon Wiesenthal.

In response to the uproar, the club was shut down immediately. The parent company also issued a statement apologizing for their "lack of knowledge and awareness."

It is difficult to say what was going through the mind of decision-makers. Perhaps it reflects the broader ignorance or lack of knowledge among many young Asians about the atrocities perpetrated by Nazis during World War II.
WATCH: Woman Ignites Fire Outside Yeshivah of Flatbush
A woman poured gasoline and started a fire outside the Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School at 1609 Avenue J in Brooklyn Thursday evening, police said. A yeshiva security guard quickly put out the fire.

The woman approached the front of the high school around 6:45 PM Thursday, poured gasoline on the sidewalk, and set it on fire. The security guard rushed over and quickly put out the fire, then called the NYPD.

Lieutenant Ira Jablonsky of Brooklyn South Community Affairs told Hamodia: “There was no danger or damage. The NYPD and the FDNY dealt with the situation and took samples to determine just what type of liquid was used.”


Actress Debra Messing: Antisemitism Should Not Be ‘Ignored, Sidelined or Minimized’
Jewish actress and activist Debra Messing was honored with the “Warrior for Truth” award at The Algemeiner’s 8th annual “J100” gala on Tuesday night.

“My Judaism has always been a vital part of my identity,” Messing said in a pre-recorded virtual message after accepting the award. “It’s been a source of great pride for me throughout my entire career.”

“The Wedding Date” actress added that while playing one of the title roles in the hit television series “Will & Grace,” it was important to her that her character’s “Jewishness” be “central to her identity, because representation matters.”

“It’s for that reason that I can’t stay silent when I see or hear antisemitism,” she went on to say. “I’ve encountered it since my early childhood growing up as one of just three Jewish girls in my public school, and I’ve seen it as my responsibility to fight against bigotry, ever since. It bothers me deeply when I see antisemitism ignored, sidelined, or minimized.”

In June, Messing spoke out in support of a woman who resigned after controversy followed her statement condemning antisemitism. She mentioned the ordeal in her speech on Tuesday night and also addressed the “widespread misinformation” surrounding the conflict in May between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. She said the conflict “led to an avalanche of violent attacks against Jewish people.”

Israeli-US project uses ultrasound waves to treat Alzheimer's, cancer
An Israeli-American project is aiming to provide treatment for Alzheimer's disease with cutting-edge, made-in-Israel ultrasound technology.

Alzheimer's is a neurodegenerative disease that affects over 30 million people worldwide, with six-to-seven million new cases every year. It is the cause of 60%-80% of dementia cases.

However, no effective treatment has so far been found.

The cooperation between Dr. Zion Zibly, director of neurosurgery at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer and Dr. Ali Rezai, head of the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute at West Virginia University, intends to fight the disease using non-invasive ultrasound waves to deliver therapy directly to the brain without endangering it or requiring any surgery.

“This technology allows us to temporarily and safely open the blood-brain barrier, which is a barrier in the blood vessels that usually prevents antibodies or large molecules of medications from getting to the brain,” Rezai said.

“For the past five years, we have been working together using ultrasound waves to treat tremor, whether produced by Parkinson or by other causes,” he said. “The patient comes to the clinic, wears a helmet that delivers the waves to their brain and then goes home in two hours.”
Many Kurdish Jews died during their 1950 exodus
During their exodus from Iraq during 1950 -1, the Baghdad Jewish community took charge of the welfare of the 18,000 Kurdish Jews who passed through the capital. It had to request a special budget to bury the many elderly Kurdish Jews who died in Baghdad.

According to Sami Sourani, who volunteeered to translate some files, the Baghdad Jewish community stepped up to the challenge of caring for the refugees during their short stay at the Massouda Shemtov synagogue.

The community took on the responsibility of feeding the refugees. The cook was Shalom Saleh who was hanged in January 1952 together with Yousef Basri on charges of Zionism.

Saleh worked very hard to feed the Kurdish arrivals. A ladies’ committee boiled 100 eggs a day.

The Community appointed a rabbi to take care of the Kurdish refugees. Some of the very old who could not stand the warm weather of Baghdad and passed away. To their credit, the Jewish community of Baghdad made sure that the dead were buried with dignity, regardless of their financial situation. This was done by the Hebra Kadisha – the Burial Society. The rabbi in charge wrote a letter to the Rabbanut of Baghdad asking for a special budget to buy cloth for shrouds.

The rabbi wrote that the dead people were so numerous, he could not afford to buy shrouds. He told how he was working every day until midnight just to talk to the refugees and deal with their welfare. Sometimes he had to buy them material using his own money. He requested a raise in his salary – about eight dinar per month, at that time. The Rabbanut responded favourably and he got what he wanted.
On This Day: Alfred Dreyfus is wrongfully arrested for espionage
On October 15, 1894, Alfred Dreyfus was wrongfully arrested for espionage in France. He would later be convicted and exiled. Dreyfus was born in October of 1859 to a wealthy Jewish family in France. He entered the École Polytechnique, an institution for higher education, in 1882, before settling on a military career.

Within seven years, Dreyfus had risen to the rank of captain by 1882. In 1894, Dreyfus was working in the War Ministry when he was accused of selling military information to Germany and arrested in October. He was convicted two months later and sent to life imprisonment in exile in the penal colony of Devil's Island.

The legal proceedings that led to Dreyfus' conviction were clearly not genuine. While Dreyfus and his family continuously insisted on his innocence, public opinion and the French press echoed widespread antisemitic perceptions of Jews as disloyal - a view that was especially voiced in the newspaper La Libre Parole.

New evidence was found, however, that Dreyfus was indeed innocent. Lieutenant Colonel Georges Picquart discovered that Major Ferdinand Walsin-Esterhazy was engaging in espionage. He also found that a letter that was used as significant evidence against Dreyfus was written in Esterhazy's handwriting.

Picquart was removed from his post soon after this discovery, and it is believed that his superiors did not want to deal with the evidence because it was inconvenient for them.


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