Tuesday, October 26, 2021

From Ian:

Lipstadt: Sunrise DC move to boycott Jewish groups an ‘overtly antisemitic act’
Deborah Lipstadt, the Biden administration’s nominee to be the State Department special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, discussed her nomination, the recent antisemitism controversy involving the Sunrise Movement’s D.C. chapter and her approach to and concerns about modern antisemitism at an event on Monday night.

The historian and Emory University professor addressed a virtual audience from the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston. Her participation in that event was a somewhat unusual move for a nominee awaiting Senate confirmation, but offered clues as to how she might tackle the position if confirmed.

Lipstadt addressed a recent statement from the D.C. chapter of the climate activist organization Sunrise Movement, in which the group announced it would not collaborate on voting rights issues with several pro-Israel Jewish groups.

“It was an overtly antisemitic act,” Lipstadt said. “If you support the existence of the state of Israel according to this, then you are a racist… What it is saying is that, ‘You Jews, as a people, you do not have a right to a national identity.’”

She noted that the group did not have the same objections to non-Jewish groups that also support Israel, like the American Federation of Teachers.

Lipstadt also drew a distinction between the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement at large and individual supporters of BDS, particularly students on college campuses who she said may have “backed into antisemitism.”

“Young people on campuses who support BDS because they see it as a way of changing Israel’s policies, I don’t label them as antisemitic. I think they’re wrong. I think it’s a mistake,” she said. “But if you look at the founding documents of the BDS movement, you see an effort to destroy the state of Israel. There’s no question about it. That I find antisemitic.”
Soros Bankrolls Far-Left Group at Heart of Anti-Semitism Scandal
Left-wing billionaire George Soros is bankrolling the political arm of the Sunrise Movement, a far-left group engulfed in an anti-Semitism controversy after its Washington, D.C., chapter said it will no longer hold rallies with Jewish organizations.

As part of his eight-figure cash infusion during the 2020 election cycle Soros’s Democracy PAC gave $250,000 to Sunrise Movement’s political action committee, according to Federal Election Commission filings reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon. Sunrise PAC also received $500,000 from the far-left dark money group the Sixteen Thirty Fund, which received $9.6 million from the Soros-run Open Society Policy Center in 2019. Those two donations constituted nearly a third of the $2.35 million Sunrise PAC raised from Jan. 1, 2019, to Dec. 31, 2020.

Sunrise DC was widely condemned last week after it released a statement on "future coalition spaces with Zionist organizations." The group said it will not appear at a rally for Washington, D.C., statehood because other left-wing groups in attendance, such as the National Council of Jewish Women and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, support Israel’s existence as a nation. The group said the fight for D.C. statehood was "incompatible" with Zionism.

Soros did not respond to a request for comment on his future funding of the organization.

Soros and his allies have raised the alarm about anti-Semitic attacks against the billionaire, but his decision to bankroll a group purveying an anti-Semitic trope—and his silence in the face of it—raises questions about his sincerity.

CAMERA Prompts Religion News Service Correction on U.S. Congressional Criticism of Sunrise DC
After contact from CAMERA, Religion News Service changed an Oct. 21 , 2021 article which inaccurately claimed that Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) and Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) are Jewish.

The dispatch asserted: “Several members of the U.S. Congress tweeted their opposition to Sunrise’s DC chapter, including New York Democratic Jewish representatives Grace Meng, Jerry Nadler and Ritchie Torres.“

Following contact from CAMERA, RNS changed the wording to read “Several members of the U.S. Congress tweeted their opposition to Sunrise’s DC chapter, including New York Democratic representatives Grace Meng, Jerry Nadler and Ritchie Torres.“

CAMERA commends RNS for its prompt correction and has reached out to the Washington Post, which carried the RNS article, for a correction, as well.

Seth Frantzman: What can the Holocaust teach about German woman convicted of ISIS crimes?
The FYF notes that many Yazidi women who were enslaved said that ISIS women were often the most brutal in the treatment of the minority. “Wenisch, who also served in the infamous morality police in Mosul and Fallujah, was not a bystander or a victim, but an active participant in some of the worst crimes seen in modern history.”

The group applauds Germany’s efforts to help Yazidis. “Today’s ruling, while historic, is still far less than what the Yazidi community hoped for and deserves. The enslavement, sexual violence, torture and genocide committed by ISIS must be met with appropriate punishment for the most horrific crimes. FYF contends that participation in genocide and the murder of a child warrants more than a ten-year sentence.”

IN FACT, thousands of Yazidis remain missing. Some have even been found in places like Idlib, apparently trafficked via Turkey by extremists. Turkey enabled many of the tens of thousands who joined ISIS to cross its borders in 2014 and Ankara has often supported extremists in Syria who persecute minorities. Ankara’s invasion of Afrin and parts of northern Syria in 2018 and 2019 led to more Yazidis being displaced; Ankara often bombs Yazidis in Sinjar, continuing the crimes of ISIS.

The case in Germany is a stark reminder of how many Europeans, some of them converts, have played a leading role in the crimes of groups like ISIS. Many of the converts appear to be embracing a new Nazi-like ideology.

For instance a convert in Norway murdered five people in October, killing four women and one man, aged 52 to 78. Is it a coincidence that he targeted women and the elderly, or is it part of the overall mentality of these types of attacks?

The German case reminds us of how many Nazi criminals were able to escape after the Shoah. Many returned to normal life in Germany, while others went abroad. It took many years to bring just a handful, like Adolf Eichmann, to justice. When we think of the young Yazidi girl left to die, tied with a leash, it reminds us of the Children’s Memorial at Yad Vashem. The memorial commemorates the approximately one-and-a-half million Jewish children murdered in the Holocaust.

The lack of justice for those children, much like the lack of justice for Yazidis, is a reminder of Israel’s place in the world. This week, Israel’s air force practiced with foreign air forces, illustrating the strength of Israel’s defenses. The Yazidis had no such air force in 2015, much as Jews had no protections in 1939. They were at the mercy of Europeans who joined the Nazis and later ISIS; the victims had to beg for justice afterward, hoping a court might convict one or two perpetrators.
David Collier: Academics against Jews – another shameful story
Glasgow resurfaces as academics fight back
Glasgow University has just become the target for a large group of toxic academics. Over 500 ‘scholars’ (and I use the word loosely) have just signed a petition attacking the university for *apologising* over an antisemitic article that was published in a peer review journal on the Glasgow University website. They are not angry that the university published a paper full of errors and anti-Jewish conspiracy, but rather because the university apologised for doing so.

I know all about this ‘academic paper’ because I was the one that put it through a proper review, reported my findings, and after the university had a chance to look at the matter more thoroughly, they did the right thing and apologised. The paper in question was a sewer article, littered with errors, substandard scholarship and full of antisemitic conspiracy. The only question *ANY* decent academic should be asking – is how this article was ever peer-reviewed and published.

The petition claims that because the subject of the peer-reviewed article was ‘advocacy for Israel’ it was attacked with false claims of antisemitism. This pillar – upon which BRICUP just launched their petition, is unquestionably false. The error laden article promoted antisemitic conspiracy – which is why it was antisemitic. None of this has anything to do with advocacy for Israel.

All the usual names have signed the petition. Ilan Pappe, Nicola Pratt, Hilary Rose, Ronit Lentin, Ken Loach and so on. We know who signs these things.

The petition is 425 words long. It mentions peer-review four times. See how it works? They use the peer-review system as a sign of legitimacy. There are enough toxic academics inside the system to push through any anti-Jewish racist material as ‘peer-reviewed’ – and here we catch them trying to rely on the credibility of the system that permitted them to do it. That this article was published is all the proof anyone needs that the system is rotten – and the fact these academics try to rely on it – shows how easily the process is abused. This whole story is simply a horrific indictment of our academic system.

Why aren’t other academics rising up in fury about this because it damages the credibility of all of them? Where the hell are they? Too few care as long as nobody interferes with them, so they are more likely to side with the antisemites who want their freedom – than the Jews being abused. This is how academia is being destroyed from within.
Graduate Student Senate at Virginia Tech Endorses ‘Academic and Cultural’ Boycott of Israel
The Virginia Tech Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) passed a resolution Friday demanding that the administration begin an academic boycott of Israel, including cooperation with Israeli institutions “complicit in maintaining the Israeli occupation.”

“Be it resolved that the Virginia Tech administrators and employees who sit on the board of the Virginia Tech Foundation immediately begin to implement the academic and cultural boycott of Israel,” said a copy of Resolution 2021-22N3, which also accuses Israel of “apartheid, colonialism, and military occupation.”

The resolution also called for Virginia Tech Foundation board members to “begin divesting all institutional investments from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation and apartheid,” endorsing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

In a statement on Twitter, GPSS claimed that it had overcome “antisemitism” to approve the measure, which passed 33-13, with 10 members abstaining.

“We are pleased to announced that despite the hate and antisemitism directed at the Senate and Executive Board over the past several weeks, the graduate students have spoken and GPSS Resolutions 2021-22 N1-N3 passed the Senate!” said the body, which says it governs some 6,000 students on and off campus.

Friends of Israel at Virginia Tech, a campus group, said it was “disappointed” by the endorsement of the BDS movement, which it charged with a “well-documented history of provoking antisemitism on campus.”

“Instead of calling for collaboration to normalize relations between Israelis and Palestinians as a way of moving towards justice, or advocating for projects that bring Palestinians and Israelis closer and promote coexistence, the anonymous authors of the resolution chose to pass a resolution that does not benefit anyone in Palestine, Israel, or at Virginia Tech,” the group wrote on Facebook.

New York Times Searches for Sadness in ‘Shabby, Tired’ Israeli Cities
The New York Times takes 5,000 words and three dozen images to offer what it bills as “a journey into a divided Israel,” based on a ten-day drive through the country by the newspaper’s Jerusalem bureau chief.

They find what they want to find. Not a word about high-tech startup successes. Nothing substantial about army service, other than fervently Orthodox Jews avoiding it. Instead, pejoratives. The Israeli city of Tiberias is described as “shabby, tired”— adjectives that could be used more accurately to describe New York Times journalism.

Israel’s founders, I think, would be impressed beyond their wildest dreams by the miracle of what has been achieved there — the population growth, the prosperity, the military might, the ingathering of exiles, the rebirth of Hebrew as a living language. Yet the Times manages to find two old men — an 86-year-old and an 80 year old — and to open and close the story around them. The 86-year-old claims his father would say of Israel, “This wasn’t the child we prayed for.” The 80-year-old, who gets the last word in the story, claims, “We can be part of any country … We can be part of Israel. We can be part of Israel-Palestine. We keep our identity not because of nationality but because of belief … Who cares whether it was your land, my land … Live anywhere you want.” The population of Jews indifferent to nationality, in Europe and in North America, has in fact lost their identity as they’ve melted into the gentile population.

Not many people in Israel are so indifferent to their national existence. Any politician or political party who claimed “We can be part of Israel-Palestine… Who cares whether it was your land, my land,” would not get very far in Israeli politics. The Times sums up Israel — a demographically young country — by finding two unrepresentative 80-year-olds.
Glossing Over Arab Violence Against Israelis: Forbes Omits Key Facts and Crucial Context in Profile of Palestinian Activist
The traditionally business-oriented publication Forbes has been running a series of articles that highlights the efforts of a handful of Israeli and Palestinian women who are “working to improve relations, and promote equality and coexistence between both groups of people.”

The latest installment is a piece about Rana Salman, who is billed as a Palestinian activist who wants to secure a “better future for both Palestinians and Israelis.”

Part of the article by Allison Norlian focuses on Salman’s happy childhood growing up in the town of Bethlehem in the West Bank until that youthful idyll was shattered following the outbreak of the First Intifada in 1987.

Salman is quoted at length describing the challenges she has faced as a Palestinian resident of the West Bank:
In the beginning, the checkpoints were just a few big stones with soldiers standing there checking your ID, and you cross, but today, you have to get several papers to allow you to get a permit and you need a reason to get a permit.”

While Salman’s experiences are her own and are expressed in the way she feels reflects them, the article’s author fails to adequately offer crucial elements of context and, as such, relies too much on the impressions of a single woman to portray an incredibly complex reality.

For example, the catalyst of the first intifada is stated in one passage:
The intifada, or Palestinian uprising, began in 1987 and included a series of protests, and violent riots, in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and within Israel. Palestinians were protesting the Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza; the occupation began after Israel conquered the land during the 1967 Six-Day-War. (Before the Six-Day-War, Egypt controlled Gaza, and Jordan controlled the West Bank and East Jerusalem, all areas that Palestinians called home.)”

However, the characterization of the “occupation” as a result of Israel “conquer[ing] the land” is a gross oversimplification. Rather, Israel was forced to make a preemptive strike after surrounding Arab countries — foremost Egypt and Syria — began amassing their forces near Israel’s borders as regional leaders called for the Jewish state’s destruction.

As such, Israel did not march into these territories as a vanquishing power, but took possession of them in a fight for its very survival.
BBC’s Yolande Knell produces partial reporting from Beita
Viewers are told that “settlers moved here in May” but not why. They are not informed that the unrecognised outpost was first set up in 2013 following the murder of Evyatar Borovsky (after whom it was named) at the nearby Tapuach Junction or that it was soon evacuated by the Israeli military authorities. In early May 2021, following the murder of 19-year-old Yehuda Guetta at the same location (which at the time was barely mentioned by Knell and her colleagues), an attempt was made to re-establish the outpost and two months later an agreement was reached for its evacuation.

Predictably, the BBC inserts its standard partial mantra on ‘international law’ with not even a mention of alternative viewpoints.

Knell: “This is how the weekly demonstrations usually begin, with Friday prayers here on the hillside. Right now the mood is very grim. The settlers left for a while under a deal with the Israeli government but now Palestinians are very worried that they’re going to get a green light to come back.”

Knell does not bother to inform viewers that the reason why “Palestinians are very worried” is presumably because the land survey that was part of the evacuation agreement showed that sixty dunams (15 acres) of the area concerned are state land rather than privately owned land.

Nevertheless, the film goes on to amplify the claims of “Palestinian farmers” without providing that context and without informing audiences that Israel’s High Court of Justice found that such claims of ownership are “speculative”.

subtitles: “Palestinian farmers from Beita say the land belongs to them. Eight people have been killed and hundreds injured in protests.”

Knell: “Down here there are big clouds of tear gas that’s just been fired by the Israeli army; it says it’s reacting to rioting here. And it’s hard to see where all of this ends. I’ve spoken to local Palestinians and to the settlers and neither side is giving up their claims to this rocky hill.”

Whatever one’s views on Israeli communities in Judea & Samaria in general and the Evyatar outpost in particular, it is obvious that Yolande Knell’s afternoon embedded with Palestinian rioters did not yield a report that tells both sides of the story and gives viewers the full range of context and facts required for them to formulate an informed opinion.

Instead – as is all too often the case – Knell’s one-sided report aims to steer the BBC’s worldwide audience towards a blatantly partial view of the subject.
BBC Radio 4 news bulletin framing of PFLP linked NGO designations
Unsurprisingly, Knell chose to amplify a statement quickly put out by two political NGOs regularly quoted and promoted by the BBC but failed to inform listeners that Al Haq’s director general Shawan Jabarin sits on Human Rights Watch’s MENA advisory committee.

Significantly, Knell failed to explain to listeners that those six foreign funded NGOs had been shown to be involved in terror financing.

“The Shin Bet investigated the organizations between March and May this year and found that they raised and laundered money, as well as forged documents to assist the PFLP, recruited activists to join the group and witnessed several meetings of senior group members, including individuals convicted of terrorism, at the offices belonging to the six NGOs. […]

In Friday’s press release, the Defense Ministry charged that the NGOs serve the PFLP’s leadership and pursue its interests on a global scale.

In addition to diverting donations for terrorist activities, some of the funding is also alleged to have been given for stipends for the families of deceased Palestinian terrorists, as well as the promotion of terrorism and violent ideologies.”

Readers may recall that last month ‘The World Tonight’ listeners heard an audio report by Yolande Knell which featured an employee of two more of the newly designated NGOs while failing to disclose that he had been arrested at least three times due to his PFLP activities.

Clearly this news bulletin failed to adequately inform Radio 4 listeners of the full story. Knell instead preferred to frame the topic by amplifying a statement from an underinformed American official and talking points put out by the political NGOs Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, which are apparently unconcerned about terror financing despite the fact that they present themselves as ‘human rights’ advocates.
Chilean newspaper draws outrage with tribute to Nazi leader Hermann Göring
One of the largest newspapers in Chile published a tribute feature to Nazi Hermann Göring on Sunday, sparking an outcry from politicians and the Chilean Jewish community.

The article, which was timed to the 75th anniversary of Göring’s death and resembled a eulogy, included details about the Nazi leader’s youth, military career and close relationship to Adolf Hitler, accompanied by various photos.

In a statement posted to Twitter, the Jewish Community of Chile organization called the article “an apology for Nazism.”

“In Europe, this publication would be considered a crime,” the organization said, referring to countries that outlaw Nazi sympathizing.

Germany’s embassy in Santiago said “It is not customary for the Embassy to comment” on newspaper articles, but added “We just want to make it very clear: This character, H. Goering, committed crimes against humanity and was one of the pillars of the Nazi regime.”

Göring was one of Hitler’s highest-ranking officers, and helped create the Gestapo secret police force. During Hitler’s Four-Year Plan in 1936, he was given broad economic powers, including the authority to confiscate Jewish property. He benefited personally from looted art, and during the Holocaust had possession of Matisse’s “Girl in Yellow and Blue with Guitar.”

At the Nuremberg trials in 1946, Göring was found guilty of conspiracy, crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. He was sentenced to death by hanging but committed suicide hours before it was carried out by ingesting cyanide.

El Mercurio, which has a conservative political slant, is known as Chile’s newspaper of record.
One in Three Jewish Students Experienced Antisemitism Last Year, Says New Campus Climate Survey
A new survey released Tuesday found that a third of Jewish students on US campus had experienced antisemitism in the last academic year, and that most of those impacted did not report the incidents.

The joint Anti-Defamation League and Hillel International survey, “Antisemitism on Campus,” found that 32% of Jewish students personally experienced antisemitic incidents — including offensive comments, vandalism, and physical threats and assaults.

Offensive comments or slurs were the most common incident cited, with 79% who were insulted in-person saying that it happened multiple times.

“I’ve had swastikas drawn on my notes [and] been called a ‘k*ke’ downtown … while I was wearing my hamsa,” said one anonymous student from a northeastern university.

The right-wing Chilean newspaper El Mercurio has been harshly criticized after it published a lavish article on the life of...

“I’ve seen an increase in people making judgements about me for being Jewish due to the current political climate with Palestine,” the student continued. “People keep tying Jews that have nothing to do with the conflict to the Israeli government. Anytime it is mentioned that I am Jewish to someone who doesn’t know that already, the topic of Palestine is brought up, which is intrinsically antisemitic.”

Most students said they did not report antisemitic incidents, the report said, with 41% are unsure of how. Students are likelier to report physical threats and assaults, but 37% reported crimes of vandalism, and under a quarter reported offensive comments. 3% of all incidents were escalated to law enforcement, and a third of the 12% of students who asked school officials for help said their complaints weren’t taken seriously.

British Jews Slam UK Green Party for Adopting ‘Contradictory’ Definitions of Antisemitism
The Green Party of England and Wales has adopted guidance that includes multiple, contradictory definitions of antisemitism, drawing a rebuke from a leading UK Jewish communal organization.

Passed at the party’s annual Autumn Conference, the document incorporates both the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition as well as the Jerusalem Declaration — introduced as an “alternative” by critics of the IHRAs standard for an “undue emphasis” on Israel-related antisemitism.

The motion to adopt the definitions explicitly stated that “this motion does not in any way conflict with other policies on, for example, BDS and freedom of speech, and will not prevent legitimate criticism of the actions of any nation state.”

The Green party officially supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

According to a report in the left-wing site Left Foot Forward, Joshua Alston, who proposed the resolution, said in support, “This motion would put us at the vanguard of the fight against antisemitism, and at the vanguard of the fight against the global far-right while protecting our pro-Palestinian policy.”

After the motion passed, a Green party member of the London Assembly, Zack Polanski, said, “This is a definition which helps in understanding about antisemitism and also prevents false accusations of antisemitism.”

Monday, Board of Deputies of British Jews Vice President Amanda Bowman sharply criticized the Green party’s adoption of the various definitions.

“By adopting a series of contradictory definitions of antisemitism, the Green Party has not helped Jews,” she said.

“The Board of Deputies advice is clear: the globally-respected International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition is the only definition that should be adopted,” Bowman added.
Trial opens in murder of French Holocaust survivor
Two men went on trial on Tuesday over the 2018 murder of an elderly Jewish woman that provoked protests and alarm in France about antisemitic crime.

The partly burned body of Mireille Knoll, 85, was found in her apartment in central Paris after she had been stabbed 11 times and her home was set on fire.

President Emmanuel Macron attended the funeral of the Holocaust survivor, who escaped a notorious 1942 roundup of more than 13,000 Jews in Paris by fleeing with her mother to Portugal when she was nine years old.

Two men have been charged with her killing, a 25-year-old homeless man with psychiatric problems and the 31-year-old son of one of Kroll’s neighbors.

The pair, who met in prison and have past convictions for theft and violence, both deny killing the frail and immobile grandmother and each blames the other for her death.

“We will need a miracle for the truth to come out of their mouths,” Gilles-William Goldnadel, a lawyer acting for Knoll’s family, told reporters as he entered the court, adding that it was a case of “antisemitism motivated by financial gain.”
Israel Aerospace Industries Unveils New Mini Satellite, Cloud Capabilities at Dubai Expo
Israeli aerospace defense giant Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) revealed its new GEO Mini Communication Satellite at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) expo in Dubai on Monday. The advanced communication satellite weighs roughly 700 kg (1,540 pounds) upon its launch and includes a complete digital communication payload weighing up to 200 kg (440 pounds). Due to its light weight, the satellite can be launched together in rideshares with other satellites, significantly reducing launch costs. With an expected life span of 14 years, it is designed to provide multi-zone communication services to customers or countries with diverse communication needs.

The company also launched a proof of concept for Blue Sphere, a cloud-based ground station for satellites, which significantly increases information received from satellites and allows them easier communication with Earth at any given moment. Setting up a virtual ground station in the cloud enhances the availability of satellite output, and reduces dependency on a satellite passing over a specific ground station. Satellites are then able to broadcast information they collect to any available ground station worldwide. From there, the information is transferred immediately to the cloud, allowing the data to be extracted as needed, without requiring dependency on reception towers located on the ground.

The concept was developed by space engineers as part of an accelerated program at the IAI Innovation Center and in collaboration with the international Starburst accelerator, which specializes in aviation and space innovations.

The MCS mini satellite includes an advanced digital communication payload and “space smartphone” capabilities that provide operators with flexibility throughout the satellite’s life. In addition, the command program and development architecture allow for applications to be easily loaded from a ground station during the satellite’s in-space operation, where operators can adjust and modify its assignments as needed. The MCS is fully-digital, high performance, equipped with multi-band capabilities, cyber-protected, and enables scalability, modularity, redundancy, and a short-term response to traffic demand.
Sharon Beck: Israel's German-born striker on religion, identity and antisemitism
Games between Germany and Israel always carry a lot of baggage due to the history of the two countries and their peoples.

But for one Israeli player in particular, Tuesday's World Cup qualifier between Martina Voss-Tecklenburg's side and their Israeli counterparts in Essen will mean even more.

For Sharon Beck, this will be a game between her two nationalities, two cultures and ultimately — two parts of her identity. Celebrating Jewish holidays in Germany

Beck, 26, was born in Tönisvorst, on the outskirts of the western German town of Krefeld, just 35 kilometers (22 miles) from Essen.

Her father is Israeli, her mother German. Despite growing up in Germany — a country where Christianity still plays a role in day-to-day life — Beck also celebrated Jewish holidays.

"My father explained all the Jewish traditions and holidays to me when I was a child," she told DW. "Judaism has a very moving history and I am very thankful to have grown up with both cultures, Jewish and Christian."

Despite the idea that experiencing both cultures side by side was "completely normal" at Beck's home, she said conversations with others made differences between the two religions clear to her.
"Jazz Musicians Call for Cultural Collaboration Against Anti-Semitism and Racism"
Following a recent rise of tensions between elements of the Jewish and Black communities in the USA, organizers of two important communal bodies came together and initiated a cultural celebration to bring the communities together, and take a firm stand against anti-Semitism and racism. The Jazz Leadership Project, the Combat anti-Semitism Movement (CAM), and the American Sephardi Federation launched the “Fighting anti-Semitism and Racism Together” conference, held October 24-25, 2021.

The event noted that emerging ideologies were giving fuel to the growth of anti-Semitism and racism. Participants stressed that in a world where intercommunal partnerships are critical for societies to thrive, and in a country as diverse as the United States, Black and Jewish Americans must not allow their longstanding alliance to waver. In particular, it was noted that racial prejudice and anti-Semitism still posed a clear and present danger to the Black and Jewish American communities today. The only way to alter this disturbing reality and build a better future is to work together for positive change, as the communities have in the past.

At the event, the organizers reminded participants of the long tradition of cooperation between the two communities, peaking with the Jewish community’s famous support for Martin Luther King’s struggle for equality in the United States. Organizers spoke out against growing tensions between elements of the two communities as seen in recent years and months, including a dramatic rise in anti-Israel rhetoric using anti-Semitic language as defined by the widely accepted International Definition of anti-Semitism (IHRA).

The event featured the presentation of an award named after Albert Murray, the founder of jazz philosophy who worked to reduce racial tension by promoting the values of a multicultural society through music. The award was presented to renowned artist, musician, and composer Wynton Marsalis, who runs the Lincoln Center Jazz Program. The award was presented by Lewis P. Jones, who explained, “The award is bestowed on trailblazers and the collective effort to build a more harmonious future free of racism and antisemitism.”

Moreover, he affirmed, “I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award. Wynton’s commitment stands as a beacon and a gateway to our common humanity.”
The Blessing Israel by Passages
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Passages is a non-profit that brings Christian students on life-changing trips to Israel. Please support our mission to fight antisemitism: https://passagesisrael.org/the-blessing/


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