Friday, October 22, 2021

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: The baleful consequences of cultural dogmyopia
In Britain, western Europe and America, those who dissent from liberal dogma hostile to fundamental western values, the nation-state or the existence of Israel are intimidated, smeared and cancelled.

Britain, where an epic revolt by the people against liberal universalism delivered Brexit and thus restored the United Kingdom as an independent sovereign nation, is nevertheless run by a political class that continues to refuse even to identify the Islamic holy war being waged against it. Britain therefore cannot defend itself against that attack.

America is well on the way to destroying itself through the hatred of its identity and values with which it has indoctrinated so many of its citizens. The resulting moral and cultural vacuum is being exploited by an alliance between radical Islamists and black, anti-white extremists intent on bringing down America and the west.

Most American Jews, having bought to some extent at least into the intersectional ideologies fuelling this onslaught, are incapable of acknowledging the threat these pose to Jewish life.

In Britain, Jewish community leaders promote the fantasy that if they line up alongside intersectionality’s purported “victims,” the Jews will be afforded protection.

The west is like the apocryphal frog being uncomprehendingly boiled in the pot. In Britain, the pot is being heated very slowly; in France, it has reached boiling point; and in America, it has boiled over with many Jews actually helping turn up the heat.

When the whole of mainstream politics subscribes to self-destructive thinking, it’s inevitable that leaders will emerge who are themselves in some ways extreme and unpalatable but who nevertheless offer the only chance of extinguishing the heat under the pot.

Various thinkers over the years have recognised a conundrum. This is that, if a liberal society finds itself required to use illiberal means to defend its liberal values, it will refuse to do so — and thus inevitably constitutes its own death warrant.

Will this be the case in the west? Given the significant jump in immigration to Israel this year from France and Britain, it seems that an increasing number of diaspora Jews aren’t waiting to find out.

Father of man charged with Amess murder defended attacks on Israel
The father of the man charged with the murder of Tory MP Sir David Amess posted a series of inflammatory tweets about Israel including one in which he defended Palestinian rocket attacks.

Harbi Ali Kullane, the father of Ali Harbi Ali, also responded to the clashes on Temple Mount in 2009 with a warning that Israel did “not know what it is meddling with”.

The posts, which were uncovered by the influential think tank Policy Exchange, have prompted extremism experts to question whether his son may have been motivated to murder the pro-Israel MP by a “grievance culture” against Israel and the West.

In other controversial messages, Mr Kullane, a former diplomat for the Somali government, in 2015 compared the Islamist terror attacks in Paris to the West’s aerial bombing campaign in Syria and posted a tweet in 2017 criticising “the misery inflicted by British colonialism”.

Mr Kullane was a one-time adviser to the former Prime Minister of Somalia, Hassan Ali Khaire, and a director of the then-government’s media and communication department.
Commentary Magazine Podcast: What It Means to Be Courageous
Bari Weiss joins the COMMENTARY podcast to discuss her article in the new issue: “We Got Here Because of Cowardice. We Get Out With Courage.” She outlines the threat posed by wokeness, and how dissenters against this authoritarian dogma can reverse course.
The Tikvah Podcast: Elisha Wiesel on His Father’s Jewish and Zionist Legacy
When Elie Wiesel was fifteen years old, the Nazis murdered his mother and sister and enslaved him and his father in Buchenwald. After the U.S. Army liberated the camp in April 1945, Wiesel went to France, where he studied the humanities and worked as a writer, and then to New York, where he became a professor and an activist for human rights. Wiesel, who died in July 2016, wrote some 60 books, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, and was counselor to presidents, senators, kings, and prime ministers.

Recently, he and his family were honored by the installation of a sculpture of his likeness in the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. The manner of this honoring introduces some particularly vexing Jewish questions, which his son Elisha discussed in a recent Washington Post op-ed. Elie Wiesel was a moral hero, and a particularly Jewish one. His family worried that his memorialization in a church would emphasize the universalist elements of his legacy, and discard particular Jewish elements of his moral persona—including his Jewish observance and his Zionist commitments. Elisha joins Mosaic’s editor Jonathan Silver to think about these questions, his father’s legacy, and more on this week’s podcast.

BDS Fails, Oct. 2021 stories you likely didn't see in the British media
Here’s the latest installment in our ongoing series of posts documenting BDS fails – stories of Israeli success rarely covered by British media outlets.

Political BDS Fails
Abu Dhabi crown prince invites Bennett for UAE state visit
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday received an official invitation from Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan to visit the United Arab Emirates in what will be the first state visit of an Israeli premier in the Persian Gulf country.

Saudi textbooks show dramatic improvement in depictions of Jews — study
Saudi Arabian textbooks showed significant improvement in 2021 in their treatment of non-Muslims and of violence in the name of Islam, according to a study by an Israel-based research organization.

The removal of explicitly antisemitic and anti-Christian material is part of a trend of moderation in Saudi schools, said the IMPACT-se report titled “A Further Step Forward: Review of Changes and Remaining Problematic Content in Saudi Textbooks 2021–22,” released in late September.

First official EgyptAir flight lands at Israel airport
Egypt’s national carrier Sunday made its first official direct flight to Israel since the two countries signed an historic 1979 peace treaty as an EgyptAir jet landed at Tel Aviv´s Ben Gurion Airport.

The airline’s affiliate, AirSinai, has for decades operated flights to Israel without the company logo, out of fear of public backlash. The national carrier will now run three weekly flights between Cairo and Tel Aviv with the EgyptAir markings.

EU Fisheries experience a BDS home goal

Empty seats as 34 countries boycott racist Durban Conference
Israel claimed a diplomatic victory on Wednesday, as 34 countries, including over a dozen in the final hours, openly boycotted a United Nations conference marking the 20th anniversary of the World Conference Against Racism in Durban.

The boycott, which included a number of world powers and even, at the last minute, Poland — which currently is at severe odds with Israel’s government — was the result of a focused, intensive year-long campaign spanning two Israeli and American governments, and brought to bear using the full weight of Washington and Jerusalem.

Intersectionality and American Anti-Semitism
The term "intersectionality" has gained prominence - initially on the nation’s campuses and now well beyond academia - as signifying the supposed shared, "intersecting," predicaments of racial and ethnic groups, particularly “people of color” (and to a lesser degree women and sexual minorities), victimized by white male racism and its history of imperialism, colonialism, exploitation and slavery.

Promoters of the intersectionality concept have sought to use it to forge a common political agenda among at least some of the groups deemed as falling within the intersectionality rubric, to mount a shared fight against these groups’ perceived oppressors. But perhaps the most substantive campaign mounted by intersectionality allies - most notably elements of the African-American community and of the Islamist/Palestinian community in America - has been to themselves become oppressors, targeting American Jews for defamation, intimidation and physical attack. In doing so, they have joined forces not only with the Far Left in America, which has almost invariably used Jew-hatred as a political tool, but also with white extremist groups, including white supremacists and neo-Nazis, sharing with them anti-Jewish rhetoric and memes, tactics and mutual support. Together, intersectional allies have generated the astronomical rise in attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions in present-day America.

Consideration of the roots of this intersectional alliance and of what drives each party’s anti-Semitism casts light not only on the dynamics of the current assault on American Jews but also on the reality that that assault is not simply derivative of hostility towards Israel and Zionism. Rather, American Jews are a primary target and the anti-Israel animus is at least as much derived from hatred of American Jews as vice versa.

Even before the recent increase in anti-Semitic incidents, FBI statistics on hate crimes in America had consistently shown that Jews, representing less than 2% of the American population, had been by far the religious community most victimized by such crimes. (The most recent annual statistics, for 2020, showed 57.5% of religion-based hate crimes were against Jews. The next closest targeted community was Muslims, who were the victims of 8.8% of such crimes.) That pattern, and the anti-Semitic predilections of the groups perpetrating it, have long pre-dated those groups’ coming together in part under the intersectionality mantle.
‘This is what bigotry looks like’ — Jewish groups react to national Sunrise Movement statement
Two days after the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Sunrise Movement, a powerful environmental advocacy group, announced it would not join a voting rights coalition due to the presence of “Zionist organizations,” the national Sunrise Movement released a statement condemning antisemitism and “anti-Palestinian racism” but did not condemn the Washington chapter’s decision, drawing ire from Jewish leaders.

“Many allies, Jewish leaders and climate activists reached out and gave the Sunrise Movement every opportunity to clean this up. And they made it worse,” said Rabbi Jonah Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC), the movement’s political and legislative arm.

His tone marks a sharp departure from the RAC’s original posture toward Sunrise DC, when Pesner issued a statement that did not mention Sunrise DC by name or address whether its stance was antisemitic.

“No other community faces a litmus test for entry. That’s what bigotry looks like,” Pesner added in his comments to Jewish Insider yesterday. “Sometimes people in the progressive movement have trouble understanding the truth of antisemitism, and we need them to get it right. Especially for those of us who literally spend our lives and put our bodies on the line for civil and human rights.”

Sheila Katz, CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), told JI yesterday that she has set up a time to discuss the matter with the national staff of the Sunrise Movement. “We were disappointed that the national office of Sunrise Movement did not condemn the actions that the D.C. chapter took and the harm that it caused,” Katz said. “We would like to see the Sunrise Movement clarify that Jewish organizations that work in Israel are welcome partners toward shared goals.”

The RAC and NCJW were two of the three Jewish groups — in addition to the Jewish Council on Public Affairs (JCPA) — named in the Tuesday statement by Sunrise DC as organizations with which it would no longer work.

Lies our anti-Israel activists are telling us
Mary Christine-Bader, a defender of U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, has a penchant for confusion. Try to make sense of the passage below. I sure can’t.

“(Rep. Betty McCollum) pointed out that ‘innocent Palestinians who live under military occupation are regularly killed by Israeli security forces’ and have no Iron Dome to protect them,” Bader writes in a commentary for her hometown paper in Minneapolis, The Star Tribune; McCollum represents St. Paul, Minn.

A fair interpretation of that statement: Israel fires missiles into its “occupied territories." However, the separate elements she cites contradict one another.

Israel does not “occupy” Gaza, yet Gaza is often the origin for missiles fired toward Israel, and most of those missiles are usually destroyed by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system. Israel pulled out all its troops and communities (a.k.a. settlements) from Gaza in 2005. In retaliatory strikes last May, Israel’s missiles killed 240 Palestinians, most of them terrorists, as Bader asserts.

The people of Gaza do “live under military occupation” operated by Hamas, which seized control of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority two years later, in 2007. Many supporters of Israel will no doubt pounce on me for using the word “occupation,” but I am leaving it here for the sake of argument.

Israel does not control Areas A and B of Judea and Samaria aka 'West Bank' which are governed by the Palestinian Authority. It does control Area C and East Jerusalem, legally considered "disputed territory" where it deploys troops and has facilitated the construction of Jewish communities. However, Palestinian Arabs in all the above three areas delineated by the Oslo Accords are not known to fire missiles in Israel’s direction.

Just the facts, Mary Christine Bader, a member of Middle East Peace Now who resides in the Minneapolis suburb of Wayzata. On “Dragnet,” Jack Webb would instruct witnesses to give him “just the facts, ma’am” when his character, detective Sgt. Joe Friday, questioned them.

If you must criticize Israel, Mary, can you please get your facts straight?
Ilhan Omar slams Star Tribune op-ed for 'Islamophobia'
US Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeted an open letter against the Minneapolis Star Tribune last week after the paper republished a New York Times opinion piece that criticized the "Squad" for opposing Iron Dome financing.

The main issue that the letter discussed regarding the piece was the headline. In the New York Times piece, the headline was "A Foul Play by Progressives Over Israel's Iron Dome," but the Star Tribune changed the headline to "Omar, 'Squad' Launch Another Anti-Israel Strike" and accompanied it with a photo of Hamas rockets launched at Israel.

The letter alleged that the headline paired with the photo were Islamophobic but did not "feel it necessary to explain why this represents a clear example of deeply seated racism and Islamophobia."

"We can no longer be silent," Omar wrote in her tweet. "The Star Tribune regularly uses Islamophobic and racist language in their coverage of communities of color. Proud of the Minnesotans who led and signed this letter calling for systematic changes to their personnel and policies.

‘Anti-racism’ event hosts speaker found to have ‘legitimised’ attack on Jews
A conference held to oppose the “racism” of Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosted a speaker condemned by a judge for “legitimising” the 2014 terror attack against the Jewish Museum in Brussels.

Marwan Muhammad, former director of the Collective against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), spoke at Stand Up To Racism’s conference last weekend, which was attended by thousands.

Prominent trade union figures attended the gathering, including newly elected Unite general secretary Sharon Graham, and Kevin Courtney, joint General Secretary of the National Education Union.

CCIF was forced to close last year under a law designed to combat organisations promoting discrimination, hatred or violence, a decision upheld last month by France’s Council of State, its highest court.

The group has been accused of spreading Islamist propaganda following the murder of schoolteacher Samuel Paty in 2020.

In its recent ruling, the Council of State said the group had “close links with supporters of radical Islamism”.
JVL founding member: My call to support antisemitism victims met with ‘askance’
A founding member of Jewish Voice For Labour has claimed that when he suggested the group should actually provide support for victims of antisemitism within Labour, committee members “looked at me askance.”

Ian Saville, a self-declared “socialist magician: and founder of the Jews For Jeremy Facebook group, shed light on his involvement with JVL in a new online article assessing failures amongst left-wing groups over antisemitism.

The Brent Central Labour activist wrote that as a result of what he said was a “relentless right wing onslaught” over allegations of anti-Jewish racism some left-wing groups treated all claims on the issue as “bogus.”

Saville writes on the Labour Hub website: “It came home to me when I was on the JVL Committee and we had decided that one Committee should have the job of supporting those who have been unfairly accused of antisemitism.

“I supported this, but then ventured the idea that there should also be support for people who had themselves faced antisemitism within the Labour Party.

“People looked at me askance, as though I was asking for an officer to support people who had been attacked by leprechauns. Nobody argued against such a move but I had a feeling that I was bringing up an irrelevant debating point.

“As far as I know my suggest was not acted upon.”

Another US State considering joining Unilever boycott warning
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee met with Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan on Thursday to discuss potential anti-BDS statutes in response to Ben & Jerry’s and parent company Unilever’s boycott of Israel.

Dagan arrived in Tennessee after being summoned by Governor Lee. He had spent the last three days in Washington DC garnering support to oppose the Biden administration's attempts to "curb settlement construction."

Dagan asked the governor to consider passing anti-BDS legislation and enforcing it against Unilever, as 35 US States have already done. The actions against Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever are due to their decision to boycott West Bank settlements and Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem by refusing to allow its products to be sold in those areas.

"Unfortunately, the antisemitic organization BDS continues to raise its head all over the world and seeks to harm the State of Israel in general– and settlements in Judea and Samaria in particular,” Dagan told Governor Lee. “You have the tools to stand firm with us and help fight these immoral acts."

35 States in the US have already passed regulations similar to the kind Dagan is proposing for Tennessee. Most of the anti-BDS laws passed target financial investments made by government pensions and other institutions in Unilever or the Ben & Jerry’s franchise. They serve as a warning to the companies, such as in the example of Florida’s legislation to restrict purchases of Unilever PLC assets starting in late October, or New Jersey’s, both of which give the company 90 days to prove it is not involved in a boycott against Israel before the state divests.
On AM640, HRC Sounds Alarm Bell on Holocaust Denial and Rise of Antisemitism & Anti-Israel Activism
On October 21, HonestReporting Canada Executive Director Mike Fegelman did a feature-length interview with AM640 Host Greg Brady where we sounded the alarm bell on the rise of antisemitism and anti-Israel activism domestically and worldwide, while commenting on the dangers of Holocaust denial and distortion.

Our interview follows how on the October 8 broadcast of AM 640’s Toronto Today talk show, radio listeners were treated to a nearly 10 minute anti-Israel diatribe by controversial Toronto author Desmond Cole.

Cole, who recently attempted to abuse his position teaching about anti-Black racism for the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) by spewing anti-Israel misinformation, was given an unfettered platform on this radio program to air his criticisms against Israel. You can read our critique here.

AM640 producers and host Greg Brady are deserving of your praise for publicly acknowledging the shortcomings of their interview with Desmond Cole, for being receptive to our concerns, and for bringing balance to the issues being discussed by welcoming HonestReporting Canada on its airwaves. This speaks very highly of the program’s professionalism and commitment to producing fair, accurate and balanced reporting of Israel and the Middle East.

Tackling antisemitism on social media: Adopt IHRA’s definition - opinion
The idea that social media companies adopting IHRA in their policies would somehow harm free speech is wrong for one very simple reason: the First Amendment guarantee of free speech does not apply to posts on social media.

The First Amendment limits the government from restricting free expression, but all of these social media giants are private sector entities, not state actors. As such, they have no obligation whatsoever to protect anyone’s freedom of speech, in the same way that traditional media outlets have no obligation to publish anyone’s particular point of view. That is why social media companies can have hate speech policies in the first place. They all agree that antisemitism has no place on their forums; adopting IHRA is only filling in the blank of what that term means.

Of course, that is a technical answer, but on a broader level, the underlying concern is equally unfounded. The claim that adopting IHRA would shut down criticism of Israel or its leaders is patently, demonstrably false. IHRA isn’t helpful despite discussing problematic anti-Zionism. It is helpful because it contains those very examples, without which antisemites could continue to hide their hatred behind a thin veneer of anti-Israel sentiment. Legitimate criticism of Israel is explicitly fine under the IHRA definition, and if you are merely criticizing Israel, even harshly and regularly, then a social media platform signing on to such a statement should not affect your writing or publishing one iota. If you are in fact actually demonizing and delegitimizing the Jewish state, or applying a double standard by requiring behaviors not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation, then maybe you should stop and think twice about the antisemitic impression that you are giving with your writing. Or at the very least, responsible social media platforms should use IHRA as a guide to thinking twice about what content they are hosting.
What lies behind BBC reporting on ‘alleged censorship of Palestinian activists’?
In other words, the anonymous “Palestinian digital rights group” cited in the BBC’s report is apparently ‘7amleh’, which also made a submission to the Facebook Oversight Board, although the number 500 is not mentioned there.

At the bottom of HRW’s long report comes an interesting disclosure:
Note: A member of Human Rights Watch staff is on the Facebook Oversight Board in his personal capacity. The staff member does not work on issues related to human rights and technology at Human Rights Watch. Any position Human Rights Watch takes on the Facebook Oversight Board is independent and is not informed or influenced by his membership on it.

That HRW employee is Maina Kiai.
“Kiai is a Kenyan lawyer and human rights activist who is director of Human Rights Watch’s Global Alliances and Partnerships Program and who served as the United Nations special rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association from 2011 to 2017.”

Regardless of one’s opinion on the subject of a HRW staffer sitting on Facebook’s Oversight Board despite the fact that HRW campaigns on these issues, it is clear that HRW’s report relies heavily on information sources from the two NGOs ‘Sada Social’ and ‘7amleh’, that Facebook’s Oversight Board accepted a submission from the latter and that according to that organisation, it has previously “shared” with Facebook “hundreds of cases of content takedowns that did not violate Facebook’s community standards”.

It is therefore important to understand the agendas of these two NGOs which are clearly influencing outcomes and conversations on the issue of social media moderation.
BBC News continues to sideline Palestinian affairs
Last November the BBC produced written and audio reports about the demolition of structures illegally built by Bedouin in the Jordan Valley:
Yolande Knell revisited that story and another one concerning of demolition orders for illegal construction the following month.

In 2018 the BBC produced several items of content about the Bedouin encampment of Khan al Ahmar which was described as “facing demolition”, although in the meantime no demolition has been carried out.

In 2012 a BBC reporter based in Jerusalem produced several reports on “Israeli threat to Bedouin villages”.

A recent Tweet from journalist Khaled Abu Toameh highlights a story that illustrates the level of BBC interest in the demolition of Bedouin-built structures when it is not carried out by Israel.

The man who’s seen almost every Holocaust movie ever made has some takeaways
At least 440 narrative films have been made about the Holocaust — and Rich Brownstein has seen just about every single one of them.

As a lecturer on Holocaust film for Yad Vashem’s international school, Brownstein has both a personal and professional interest in viewing and cataloging so many depictions of Jewish suffering.

“Dealing with Holocaust education is akin to dealing with oncology, in that you have to set aside your personal feelings,” he says. “You can’t be drawn in.”

Now, Brownstein has published “Holocaust Cinema Complete,” a comprehensive book-length guide to the ever-expanding cinema of the Shoah. The book, which went on sale in September, contains statistics on the content of the films, essays on their methods, descriptions and capsule reviews, and information for educators looking to use Holocaust films in their curriculums. Documentaries are not included, but made-for-TV movies and miniseries under three hours in length are.

Brownstein says he has seen “every film that is available to be seen” (excluding unreleased outliers such as Jerry Lewis’s “The Day The Clown Cried”). In the book, he gives his unvarnished opinions on the giants of the genre, including “Schindler’s List,” “Life is Beautiful” and “Jojo Rabbit” — and fans of those movies may not like what he has to say.

Born in Portland, Oregon, Brownstein hasn’t always focused on such dour subject matter. Prior to moving to Israel in 2003, he worked as a producer for Jewish comedy legend David Zucker (“Airplane!”) and “South Park” creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker (Stone is Jewish), even appearing in an uncredited cameo in the trio’s 1998 comedy “BASEketball,” before founding his own video transcription company. He says he has no familial connection to the Holocaust, and first became interested in the subject after reading Leon Uris’s novel “QB VII.”
Los Angeles Holocaust Museum Secures $2.5 Million in New State Funding
California state lawmakers on Thursday announced $2.5 million in funding to support the expansion of the Holocaust Museum LA, including for a new learning center pavilion and new programming for younger learners at the Los Angeles venue.

The state support will allow visitor capacity to increase to 500,000 per year, including 150,000 students, by 2030, according to the museum.

“Museum space is at capacity, particularly during school hours, and requests for student tours and public workshops continue to increase,” said Holocaust Museum LA CEO Beth Kean.

Previously, the California State Assembly’s Jewish Caucus secured $6 million for Holocaust Museum LA in the 2019-20 state budget.

“In too many places, and especially for too many young people, the Holocaust is fading from view,” said Assembly member Jesse Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills), chair of the Jewish Caucus. “At the same time, acts of antisemitism, and other forms of hatred and bigotry, are rising at an alarming rate. Education is a powerful tool and one of the strongest antidotes to antisemitism, hatred and bigotry of all forms.”

Some 63 percent of Millennial and Gen Z Americans don’t know that 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, and 48 percent cannot name a single Nazi concentration camp or ghetto, a survey published by the Claims Conference found last year.
Disgraced: Whither Vienna’s Monument to Karl Lueger?
Last year, a collective of Viennese artists and activists rekindled the debate over the statue of Karl Lueger, the anti-Semitic mayor of the Christian Social Party in the Austrian capital between 1897 and 1910, whom Hitler considered to be one of the greatest “German mayors of all time”. Liam Hoare revisits for K. this memorial dispute, which still agitates Vienna’s political life to this very day.

One year ago, in June 2020, the word Schande, shame, first appeared in spray paint upon the pedestal of Vienna’s monument to Karl Lueger. The founder of the Christian Social Party (CS) (the electoral vehicle for the Catholic camp in Austria from 1893 until 1934) and mayor of Vienna from 1897 until his death in 1910 was honored in 1926 with a monument funded by his friends and sympathizers. Originally, they had intended to put the statue up in front of city hall on a square then named Dr.Karl-Lueger-Platz. Instead, the Social Democratic-controlled city offered them a spot on the eastern side of the Ringstrasse near Café Prückel. The name Dr.-Karl-Lueger-Platz was transferred to the new square; the old one was renamed Rathausplatz.

The finished monument is one of the largest in Vienna. At its summit stands Lueger, four meters tall, cast in bronze, staring out eastward across the Ring as if addressing an expectant crowd. His feet are placed upon an enormous octagonal stone pedestal which is layered like a wedding cake. Its sides are engraved with reliefs depicting his various achievements: the municipalization of the gas and electricity supplies, the preservation of the forests surrounding Vienna, entitlements for widows and orphans, and charitable housing for the destitute. Its scale, position, and propagandistic quality all stand to burnish the cult of Lueger.
Three years on, Pittsburgh synagogue attacker still not on trial
As the three-year mark since the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue approaches, survivors are planning now-familiar annual rituals of remembrance, the criminal case involving the suspect plods on, and the site is in line for restoration.

The landmark synagogue in Pittsburgh’s leafy Squirrel Hill neighborhood remains dormant, but a renowned architect is among those working to transform the site where 11 people were killed in America’s deadliest antisemitic attack.

No trial date is in sight for the suspect, Robert G. Bowers. Nor is there any indication the US Justice Department is heeding the calls of some members of the targeted congregations to avert a trial by dropping its quest for a death penalty and accepting a guilty plea accompanied by a life sentence.

In the coming days, members of the three congregations whose Shabbat services were underway during the Oct. 27, 2018, attack will join with supporters to pay quiet tribute, gathering for community-service projects and studying the Torah.

And on Wednesday afternoon, three years to the day since the shooting, they will assemble outdoors for a memorial service at Schenley Park, among 11 trees planted there to remember the slain.

“People are having a really difficult time in this COVID era,” said Maggie Feinstein, director of the 10.27 Healing Partnership, formed to help those affected by the synagogue shooting and hate crimes. The goal this year was to “come together safely. It’s been a long road of not being able to do that.”
Swedish hospital suffers two legal defeats after antisemitic treatment of Jewish doctor
The long-festering issue of deeply ingrained antisemitism targeting a Jewish surgeon at the Karolinska University Hospital near Stockholm resulted in two stinging legal defeats for the management of the medical center, The Jerusalem Post can exclusively report.

The Post obtained a six-page letter dated October 11, which was sent by the Lawfare Project, a New York City-based NGO, that outlined “pervasive antisemitism that appears to have become normalized and systematized at the Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institutet.”

The letter noted that “We are particularly concerned with the appalling treatment of one of your Jewish physicians.” The Lawfare Project uses legal action to “vindicate the civil and human rights of Jewish people worldwide.”

With respect to the Jewish physician who allegedly endured antisemitism, the Lawfare letter addressed to the Karolinska’s hospital and institute, said that “In January 2020, the DO [Discrimination Ombudsman] completed its inspection process, concluding that the Karolinska had failed to meet its legal requirements to investigate complaints of harassment. The Karolinska should have investigated Dr. X’s complaints as early as June 2017 but failed to do so. This failure means that the Karolinska has not fulfilled its obligations in accordance with Sweden’s Discrimination Act.

“The Karolinska failed to address the complaint and act appropriately to prevent the ongoing harm, it said. "Moreover, the Karolinska’s purported internal investigations were tainted by numerous improprieties that were identified by the Swedish government’s Discrimination Ombudsman.”
‘I Don’t Hate All Jews, Only Those in Palestine,’ Man Convicted by Austrian Court for Assault on Jewish Communal Leader Declares
A 32-year-old man convicted by an Austrian court on Thursday for an assault on a Jewish communal leader told the hearing: “I don’t hate all Jews — only those in Palestine.”

The unnamed man, a Syrian refugee who arrived in Austria in 2013, was sentenced to three years in a secure facility for mentally unstable prisoners. On Aug. 22, 2020, he attacked Elie Rosen, the president of the Jewish community in Graz, outside the city’s synagogue with a wooden club.

Rosen survived the attack unhurt after he managed to get back into his car. In the uproar that followed the attack, several Austrian politicians called for the fight against antisemitism to be stepped up.

Identified through the synagogue’s CCTV cameras, Rosen’s assailant was subsequently linked by police in Graz to at least six other crimes — including the defacing of the Graz synagogue with the slogan “Free Palestine,” an outrage that caused Rosen to issue a public statement decrying the rise in “left-wing and anti-Israel antisemitism” in the city. The attack on Rosen took place a few days after the vandalism of the synagogue.

Other buildings vandalized by Rosen’s assailant included an LGBTQ community center in Graz.

Following the assailant’s arrest, the police commented publicly on the absence of remorse on his part. “He is characterized by a complete lack of repentance,” Chief Inspector Fritz Grundnig said at the time. “He is filled with hatred of Israel, Jews, gays, lesbians and prostitutes.”
'Hitler was right' posters plastered on California synagogue
Antisemitic posters were placed in front of the Shalom Le Israel synagogue in Carmichael, California, on Wednesday, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office told ABC 10.

Posters from the neo-Nazi group Aryan Nation depicting Adolf Hitler with the words "Hitler was right" were put on a menorah and on the front of the synagogue.

Sacramento County police responded to a call from members of the congregation at 5:50 PM local time on Wednesday, according to local news ABC 10. Authorities are investigating the incident as a hate crime.

According to Rabbi Boris Tsiprush, the synagogue has been targeted multiple times before the latest incident. A trailer in the parking lot was set on fire, the inside of the building was intentionally flooded and someone vandalized a sign with writing that said "death to Israel." Additionally, bags of rice containing flyers from a white supremacist group were left on multiple properties in the vicinity of the synagogue several weeks ago, and police are looking into the possibility that this is connected to the most recent crime, KCRA 3 reported.

The leaflets, also linked to the Aryan Nation, contained anti-LGBT hate speech and antisemitic caricatures, with the messages written in a similar font to the one used in the flyers outside the Shalom Le Israel synagogue, according to ABC 10. They also included a similar logo and a link to the same website as those flyers. They were left on 10 different doorsteps, as well as on the playground at a local elementary school.
French Teacher Receives Suspended Jail Sentence for Agitating Antisemitism
A teacher in France received a suspended jail sentence on Wednesday for raising an antisemitic sign at a demonstration over the country’s coronavirus health pass system.

Cassandre Fristot received a six-month suspended prison sentence after holding a sign on Aug. 12 that went viral in France and was condemned by the country’s interior minister and other politicians, reported AFP.

The sign had the last names of well-known figures and labeled them as “traitors!!!” Many of the names were Jewish and Jewish-sounding, including George Soros, French philosopher Bernard Henri-Lévy and former French Health Minister Agnès Buzyn.

The sign also mentioned French President Emmanuel Macron and Health Minister Olivier Veran with the question “but who?”—a hashtag used by antisemitic conspiracy theorists with the claim that Jews control the media.

Fristot was suspended from her job as a German teacher after the picture surfaced, according to the report. She denied that it was antisemitic.

The sentence was three months longer than the three-month suspended sentence requested by state prosecutors.
‘Dirty Jews Out’: Residents of Paris Neighborhood Targeted With Antisemitic Hate Mail
Residents of a heavily Jewish neighborhood in Paris have been targeted in separate incidents this week that involved antisemitic hate mail delivered to their homes.

The incidents took place in Seine-Saint-Denis in the north-east of the French capital, according to the National Vigilance Bureau for Countering Antisemitism (BNCVA), a Paris-based organization that assists the victims of antisemitic attacks.

On Wednesday, two Jewish families living next door to each other in the same apartment building received handwritten notes posted to their front doors bearing the message, scrawled in large black letters, “Dirty Jews Out.”

In a statement, the BNCVA urged local police to “arrest the antisemitic delinquents who want to eject the Jewish citizens of France.”

The statement commented that many Jewish residents of “93” — the official administrative number of the department of Seine-Saint-Denis — had left the area in recent years. “[They are the] victims of fire bombings of synagogues and Jewish schools, of attacks on Jews in stadiums or in the street, in schools and universities, often in cities with a leftist or Communist leadership that ostentatiously supports the boycott of Israel, or even Islamist terrorists,” the BNCVA remarked.

Wednesday’s incidents followed reports over the weekend of more than fifty homes in the Romainville area of Seine-Saint-Denis receiving crudely antisemitic hate mail.
Two Men Wanted for Drunken Antisemitic Attack in Brooklyn: ‘Jews Shouldn’t Exist!’
New York police released footage of an apparent antisemitic assault on Thursday, in which two intoxicated men attacked a Jewish man outside a club in Brooklyn, New York while shouting anti-Jewish statements.

The NYPD Crime Stoppers Twitter account tweeted that the hate crime took place outside the Set Lounge at 1828 McDonald Avenue in Brooklyn, in the early morning hours of Aug. 28.

Two individuals, the police said, began punching and kicking the victim while yelling racist and antisemitic slurs.

According to the New York Daily News, the two men appeared to be drunk, and screamed “F***ing Jews! Jews shouldn’t exist!” during the attack, as well as “Islam faith is the most purest!”

Police are offering a reward of up to $3,500 for information on the perpetrators, with the public asked to call 1-800-577-TIPS.

Enough of MLK and Heschel: Israel outreach in Chicago aims to form new narrative
The Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago is not exactly where one would expect to see an Israeli ambassador to the United States.

That likely explained the absence of fanfare for Gilad Erdan when he stepped out of a black SUV on a rainy Wednesday afternoon and was ushered into the Bright Star Community Outreach Center.

Less than 24 hours earlier and just two blocks away, a 14-year-old girl and a security guard had been shot by an unknown assailant who opened fire as students were filing out of the Wendell Phillips Academy High School after classes were dismissed.

The predominantly Black neighborhood was still reeling from the latest instance of gun violence, which has taken the lives of roughly 700 Chicagoans this year alone, and those inside the Bright Star Community Center were working around the clock to assist those coping with the trauma.

The staff members were trained by Natal, an Israeli organization that treats victims of terror-related trauma — an improbable connection that brought Erdan all the way to Chicago.

The ambassador toured Bright Star, hearing the impact Israeli expertise was having on a community on the other side of the globe.
How football built bridges between Israel and Germany
As Germany's and Israel's women's national teams meet twice over the next week, the only thing at stake is a spot in the 2023 Women"s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

But games in which Germans and Israelis shared the pitch served a greater purpose during the 20th century, playing a key role in helping the two countries develop an understanding of one another following the Holocaust.

Nowadays, Israelis play football in Germany, Germans play football in Israel and clubs and national teams from both countries regularly meet. Three German clubs have official fan clubs in Israel: Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and FC Augsburg. The German national team, too, have its own official supporters club in the Jewish state.

Getting to this point required decades of progress, especially when it came to Germany's perception among Israelis, and football helped bring about part of that progress.

"In the 1960s, there was great interest from [West] Germany's politicians to build the country's relations with Israel, with the purpose of its own rehabilitation as a democratic society," Dr. Jenny Hestermann, an interim professor of Israel and Middle East studies at the College for Jewish Studies in Heidelberg, told DW.

"This happened not only on political level, but also through collaborations in different areas of society."
Israeli scientists halve growth of cancer tumors in mice, using ‘GPS particles’
Israeli scientists have halved the growth of cancer tumors in mice by using “GPS particles” to inject a well-known local anesthetic drug.

Researchers at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology’s chemical engineering department have spent years developing complex drug delivery systems made from nanoparticles that use their own navigation system to find their target.

They became increasingly interested in the fact that tumors seem to thrive when they become home to nerve cells, also known as neurons. They started asking whether they could halt this tumor-bolstering effect by killing the nerve cells.

“We wanted to reduce the aggressiveness of tumors by killing the nerve cells that are inside the tumor tissue, and we succeeded in doing exactly this,” Maya Kaduri, who conducted the research with Professor Avi Schroeder, told The Times of Israel. “This is very exciting and novel.”

Mice with cancer who received this treatment saw their tumors grow, on average, threefold in the space of three weeks. For untreated mice, the average was eight times.

Their research — consisting of in vitro studies as well as mice studies — has been peer-reviewed and published in Science Advances. Kaduri said she hopes that after development and clinical testing it will give rise to a new method for fighting tumors.
First archaeological evidence for Crusader camp found in Israel
A team of Israeli archaeological researchers identified a Crusader encampment in the area of the Tzipori Springs in Galilee, the first time that a Crusader encampment was found in the field.

Their findings were published this year in the book Settlement and Crusade in the Thirteenth Century.

Pursuing the idea of liberating the holy sites from Muslim rule and encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church, European powers and sometimes peoples initiated several military campaigns in the Middle East between the 11th and 13th centuries, which led to the establishment of a number of Christian states in the area of modern Israel, Lebanon and Syria.

For a certain period it placed Jerusalem under Christian rule, a period documented by a vast corpus of historical sources as well as massive structures such as castles and fortresses left by the Crusaders in the region. However, very little remains to testify moments of transitions, such as battles and encampments.

In recent years, while workers were expanding Route 79 that connects the coast with Nazareth, Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists Nimrod Getzov and Ianir Milevski from the Prehistory Department conducted the required salvage excavation.

“The area along Route 79 was known as the site of the Frankish encampment ahead of the battle of Hattin in 1187, as well as for other encampments by both the Crusaders and the Muslims during a period of 125 years,” said Dr. Rafael Lewis, a senior lecturer at Ashkelon Academic College and a researcher at Haifa University. “For this reason, I was brought on board to focus on the remains from that era. It was a very exceptional opportunity to study a medieval encampment and to understand their material culture and archaeology.”

According to chronicles from the time, the Christian army stationed in the area of the Tzipori Springs for around two months before the crucial battle that allowed the troops led by Sultan Saladin to reconquer much of the region, including Jerusalem.


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


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