Wednesday, November 10, 2021

From Ian:

Gil Troy: We need to focus on the Jews that love Israel, not those who are anti
Judaism is not just an heirloom. My great-grandparents passed on no valuables. All I inherited from them is something invaluable – pride in being Jewish, delight in belonging to this extraordinary extended family, and a strong sense of mission, not just to stay Jewish but to use my Judaism and Zionism to find meaning in my life while bettering the world.

The corona crisis reinforced how lucky we are to belong to this people – and how much we need one another.

Zionism counters the nihilistic Woke Left’s self-hatred of Israel and America along with the nihilistic, hyper-aggressive Right’s hatred of outsiders. Since establishing Israel in 1948, Zionism’s mission involves defending and perfecting Israel. That doesn’t mean you only defend Israel because it’s perfect; rather, defending Israel includes perfecting Israel – strengthening it from within.

This is constructive patriotism. No people ever improved by hating themselves. Such negativity neutralizes the optimism necessary to stretch, to reform.

Zionism also counters modern society’s hyper-individualism, technological addiction, materialistic madness, and enervating anomie by providing community, human contact, inspiring narratives, constructive values – and work to be done together.

Recently, Israel accused Palestinian human rights organizations of bankrolling the terrorist PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) without first publicizing evidence showing how Palestinians fool the world by slapping on noble-sounding names. A student asked me accusingly what I thought. The “aha” tone suggested – “you see, Israel’s unworthy, why should it exist… ” I replied, “like every move Israel makes in its fight against enemies, as I learn more, I’ll have one of two opportunities: either it’s a chance to again defend Israel, or it’s a chance to roll up my sleeves and improve Israel.”

That is Identity Zionism: fostering a rich, resilient, multidimensional, historically-infused identity in a world that often eviscerates the self; mobilizing our historic community in a world that often invites disunity not unity; and plunging in purposefully, to fulfill the Jewish mission of making our homes, our homeland and our world, better than they were yesterday – even if they are not yet as good as we will make them tomorrow.
Daniel Gordis: "The unraveling of American Zionism"
“Inside the Unraveling of American Zionism” is a headline bound to attract attention, and the article under that name in the New York Times did just that. It is not surprising that a piece about the “unraveling of American Zionism” would upset many people. What was surprising, given where it was published, was how accurate, informed and balanced the article was. Marc Tracy is a seasoned writer about the Jewish scene, and “Inside the Unraveling of American Zionism” brings both his talent and his knowledge to the fore.

What was surprising to me, but probably shouldn’t have been, was how his piece highlighted the similarity in language of progressive Jews (rabbinical students in this case) and progressive antisemites like Sunrise DC and BLM.

That proverbial double standard
When hostilities broke out between Israel and Hamas once again this past May, as Tracy notes, 93 American rabbinic students, enrolled at a variety of (non-Orthodox) seminaries, published a letter accusing Israel of “intentional removal of Palestinians” and “Apartheid,” among other crimes. One thing that the letter failed to mention was how Hamas had provoked the conflict. In fact, their letter didn’t mention Hamas at all.

Try telling the story of that conflict without mentioning Hamas. It’s quite the challenge.

So egregious was the lack of balance in the letter that the leaders of two of the rabbinical schools whose students signed the letter, Rabbi Bradly Artson Shavit of the Ziegler School at American Jewish University in Los Angeles and Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, President of Hebrew College just outside of Boston, wrote letters1 chiding their students for, among other things, a lack of ahavat yisrael, a love of the Jewish people.

That is true, but what the students’ letter actually did was precisely what Israel’s enemies have long done to the Jewish state, and what antisemites in America are increasingly doing to the Jewish people: holding Israel and Jews accountable to a standard that they do not apply to others. Examples abound, but I’ll point to just one.

The rabbinical students advocate rethinking American Jewish education about Israel to teach about “the messy truth of a persecuted people searching for safety, going to a land full of meaning … for so many other peoples, and also full of human beings who didn't ask for new neighbors.”

Emily Schrader: The Online Voice for Israel
There are few issues more hostile and controversial than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, especially when it comes to the digital world. As social media has transformed the way we operate online, we've seen a manifestation of real world political conflicts being played out on social media as well – whether that be India and Pakistan, Armenia and Azerbaijan, the US, and Iran, or Israel and Palestine. As a result, there has also been a significant rise in hate speech against minority groups and increased political polarization. Emily Schrader, an Israeli content creator and the CEO of digital marketing firm Social Lite Creative, is hoping to fight that.

Schrader has been one of the leading voices in the fight for more accurate information across social media in the last decade – whether through advising on policy change to fight antisemitism or in being a voice for what she calls "fighting misinformation."

Schrader's background comes from facing off against antisemitism on US campuses. As a politically involved student at University of Southern California, she encountered the campus group Students for Justice in Palestine which held the controversial "apartheid week" events to criticize Israel. Schrader said she was unable to understand why "these American students were so obsessed with Jews," and that many of the inaccurate statements they make about Israel are later repeated in the press as well. Thus began Schrader's journey of correcting exaggerated claims about Israel on a professional, and personal level.

Schrader became an activist on campus, working with organizations like CAMERA on Campus and StandWithUs, before eventually studying in Israel for her Masters's degree at Tel Aviv University. With a background in digital political campaigning, she established the digital department at StandWithUs, growing it to one of the leading pro-Israel platforms in the world today with over a million followers, including in Arabic. "I saw an opportunity to reach a wider audience and knew that there was a lack of information in the Arab world about Israel. I worked to build a team that could remedy that and helps stop lies that fuel incitement to violence," she said.

The ADL Convenes a Summit of Anti-Semites to Fight Anti-Semitism
When three Jewish teens were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas, Israel fought back, Jews mourned, and Sheera Frenkel rushed to claim that Hamas wasn’t responsible.

“There is a Hamas official in the story saying they are not Hamas,” she insisted on Twitter.

It was a low point in her career of smearing Israel with lies and hate, but not unusual.

Frenkel had accused Israel of using white phosphorus, falsely claimed that there had been a blast at an Iranian nuclear facility, wrongly described an Israeli ban on construction materials, and concluded her coverage of the brutal murder of a Rabbi and his family in India with a quote suggesting that “the attitudes of the Chabad, which gives the sense of an elite club for Jews alone, is part of what provoked the terrorists to target them for the attack.”

This is the sort of ugly hateful behavior the ADL should be condemning, not celebrating.

After a career of spreading disinformation against the Jewish State, Sheera Frenkel got a job covering “disinformation” for the New York Times. And she’ll be taking part in a conversation on the spread of “disinformation” at the opening session of the ADL’s Never Is Now summit.

At the ADL virtual event longside the notorious anti-Israel bigot will be fellow New York Times activist Kara Swisher who has her own history of anti-Israel tweets including a link to a column in the paper defending BDS, Rep. Rashida Tlaib along with the rest of the antisemitic “Squad”, and arguing that it’s possible to “oppose Jewish ethno-nationalism without being a bigot”.

This is how the ADL is promoting antisemitism while claiming to be fighting antisemitism.
How Jewish Voice for Peace Gives Cover to the Anti-Zionist Movement in the United States

NGO Monitor: Analysis of New Israel Fund grants in 2020
NGO Monitor analyzed New Israel Fund (NIF) 2020 financial reports (latest available), detailing grants to 270 Israeli non-governmental organizations (NGOs). We focus specifically on the approximately 10% of NIF’s funding that is distributed to 32 political advocacy NGOs claiming to promote human rights in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Many of the NGOs in the NIF network receive large grants from European governments, in some cases providing 90 percent or more of their total budgets.

NIF’s financial reports show:
- 2020 revenue — $50.9 million, 52% increase from 2019 ($33.4 million).
- 2020 total contributions — $40.7 million, 48% increase from 2019 ($27.6 million). NIF’s donor advised contributions also increased 95% to $8.4 million from $4.3 million (2019) (See Table 1).

In analyzing NIF’s financial documents, NGO Monitor found that:
- The NIF continues to fund a number of NGOs centrally involved in political advocacy activities related to the Arab-Israeli conflict, as documented by NGO Monitor. Of note are coordinated and concerted efforts by B’Tselem, Adalah, Breaking the Silence, Gisha, Combatants for Peace, Kerem Navot, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, and Yesh Din to demonize Israel with the “apartheid” label.
- In 2020, the NIF authorized $3.7 million in grants to 32 political NGOs — a 6% increase (see Table 2), and 22% of total grants.
- NIF increased its grants to Adalah, Haqel, Kerem Navot, Physicians for Human Rights –Israel, and Standing Together, and decreased funds for B’Tselem and Akevot. It is unclear if these changes reflect a policy change or are due to multi-year grants in which the amounts fluctuate through the cycle.
-- Adalah portrays Israel as inherently racist and discriminatory, and regularly lobbies media platforms and international bodies to adopt its agenda. Adalah also partners with other anti-Israel pro-BDS groups, and supports the “transformation [of Israel] in to a transnational regime in all historical Palestine” (translation by NGO Monitor), i.e. a one-state formula.
-- Kerem Navot, an NGO focusing its advocacy on land policy in the West Bank, joined Human Rights Watch in an international media and political campaign that accused Israel of “appear[ing] more determined than ever to continue upholding and perpetuating an apartheid regime throughout the area under its control.”
-- Under the guise of medical expertise and aid, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel promotes distorted and false narratives, used to demonize and delegitimize Israel in the international arena.
-- Standing Together, founded what year?, has been involved in a number of protestsin Israel and the West Bank. This NGO also organizes “alternative Memorial Day” ceremonies, alongside Combatants for Peace, another NGO in the NIF network. In April 2018, one of the group’s founders, Ye’ela Ra’anan, advocated for “eliminating the fascist regime in Israel.”
Spanish-Palestinian woman pleads guilty to raising PFLP funds through charity
A Spanish-Palestinian woman pleaded guilty in a military court on Wednesday to embezzling funds from a West Bank charity on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group, which Israel recently accused of using six other non-governmental organizations as fronts for its terrorist activities.

Israeli politicians hailed the conviction, believing it justifies a deeply contentious decision by the Defense Ministry and the military to outlaw the six groups, prompting at times harsh international opposition.

Under the deal, Juani Rishmawi admitted to working in the service of a proscribed organization — the PFLP — and illegally bringing money into the West Bank in exchange for a reduced sentence of 13 months in prison and a NIS 50,000 ($16,000) fine. Her sentencing hearing will be held next week.

“According to the facts that she admitted, for years the accused worked to raise money, amounting to millions of shekels from countries in Europe, for the Health Work Committee, which worked on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine,” the military said.

Rishmawi, 63, was responsible for fundraising for the organization in Europe.
Alan Dershowitz: Anti-Semitism at the University of Chicago
These professors are not merely defending Atzmon's right to publish such a book, they are endorsing its contents and denying that its author is an anti-Semite.

Mearsheimer has defended his endorsement against attacks by me and others by questioning whether his critics have even read Atzmon's book. Well, I have read every word of it, as well as many of Atzmon's blog posts. No one who has read this material could escape the conclusion that Atzmon freely admits: his writings cross the line from anti-Zionism to crass anti-Semitism.

Not content to defend Atzmon against charges that he is an anti-Semite or Holocaust denier, Leitner has made it his calling to attack and mock me. In his most recent screed, he suggests that I never "publish" anything besides "op-eds, blog posts and Tweets." He deliberately ignores the more than 45 books I have published on subjects ranging across terrorism, criminal law, the Fifth Amendment, the Declaration of Dependence, Thomas Jefferson, human rights, freedom of speech, law and psychiatry, freedom of religion, the Bible, and the two subjects he most abhors -- Israel and the Jewish future. He also ignores the dozens of law review articles published in the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, and many others. One hallmark of the classic anti-Semite and enabler of anti-Semitism is to omit the positive contributions of Jews and to distort and mock their accomplishments.

When Mearsheimer and Leitner first manifested their bigotry, I challenged them to a debate. Neither accepted. I repeat my challenge now. It is easy to come down on the side of anti-Semitism, especially today on university campuses. One can only imagine the reaction if Chicago professors wrote in praise of David Duke, denying he is anti-Black. Atzmon is every bit the bigot as Duke. The only difference is that Atzmon targets only Jews. And today that seems to make a difference. So, let us see if Mearsheimer and Leitner have the courage to defend their complicity with Jew-hatred.
International Legal Forum: How We Fought Against: Ep 26... BDS and Antisemitism on a Municipal Level
A lawyer, mayor, and proud unapologetic zionist? These are all descriptions of our guest this week, Mayor and Attorney Gabriel Groisman. Whether in passing the United State's first municipal anti-BDS ordinance or being the first Municipality in the US to codify a uniform definition of antisemitism, Gabriel has a long history of firsts in standing up against antisemitism and BDS, while championing a strong US - Israel alliance.

Join us this week for an inside look at Gabriel's story.

False Accusations Repudiated at Wiesel Memorial Lecture
Repeating defamatory falsehoods about Israel is not acceptable.

That was one of several important messages offered at the Elie Wiesel Memorial Lecture last night (Nov. 8, 2021) at Boston University, the night before the 83rd anniversary of Kristallnacht.

The lecture, offered by writer and activist Elisha Wiesel, took place at a crucial moment in the history of the Boston University’s Jewish Study Center named after Elisha’s father, a Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate. The previous memorial lecture was given by Rev. Dr. William Barber, II, a pastor from North Carolina, who advocates on behalf of poor and “low-wealth” people in the United States.

Prior to giving his lecture, Barber had offered up some ugly falsehoods about the Jewish state at a 2018 event organized by the anti-Zionist organization US Campaign for Palestinian Rights.

During his 2018 talk, Barber accused Israel of targeting Palestinian children simply because they want freedom. He also portrayed the Palestinian cause as nonviolent and Zionism as a colonialist movement. Barber also implicitly accused Israel of perpetrating a “state crucifixion” against the Palestinians.

These statements raised serious questions about Boston University’s willingness to extend an invitation to Barber to give a lecture in honor of Elie Wiesel. Wiesel promoted human rights for all, but also worked assiduously to counter anti-Jewish and anti-Israel misinformation, and here was Barber giving a lecture in his honor.
Nearly 100 universities adopt antisemitism guidelines after reports of abuse double in two years
The number of universities adopting an international definition of antisemitism has rocketed, figures show.

According to figures published by the Office for Students, 216 universities, colleges and other higher education providers have signed up to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition.

This includes 95 universities – a large increase compared to previous figures. Research from the Union of Jewish Students published in September 2020 found that 28 universities had adopted the definition.

The Government has pushed universities to adopt the definition amid concern about antisemitism on campuses – with senior Tory MP Robert Halfon comparing the situation to “1930s Germany”.

The Community Security Trust (CST) recorded 123 incidents of antisemitism over the two academic years covering 2018 to 2020, compared to 47 in the two years before that.

In October 2020, the then Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, said that the number of universities which had signed up to the definition was “shamefully low”. Mr Williamson suggested that institutions which failed to toe their line could have their funding cut.
Barnard College Anti-Zionists Urge Cancellation of Talks With Author of IHRA Antisemitism Definition
Charging school officials with “legitimizing apartheid,” the Barnard College chapter of the anti-Zionist group Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) circulated a petition this week demanding the cancellation of upcoming events featuring an author of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.

Announced Monday on Instagram, the petition said Kenneth Stern, who is scheduled to speak at events sponsored by the Barnard College Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Board on Wednesday and Friday — Antisemitism Through a Hate Studies Lens and Difficult Conversations and Academic Freedom — has been “instrumental in cementing the erroneous conflation of Judaism and Zionism.”

“The fact is, Zionism is a distinct, ethno-nationalist political ideology that many Jews of all kinds — from Orthodox Jews to secular socialist Jews — have opposed since its inception,” JVP said. “As Jewish students, it is deeply painful to see our Judaism, an incredibly meaningful part of our identities, be weaponized to fuel a violent, settler-colonial project that has resulted in the displacement, subjugation, and genocide of millions of Palestinians.”

“We appreciate that the DEI Cabinet wants to address antisemitism, but you are having the entirely wrong conversation,” the group added. “Placing the blame for antisemitism onto Palestinians is a harmful distraction, both from the urgency of the Palestinian liberation struggle and from the real root of antisemitism — white nationalism.”

Stern — who serves as director of the Bard Center for the Study of Hate — was the lead drafter of the IHRA working definition, which has been adopted by hundreds of universities and dozens of governments around the world.
Dozens of Organizations Call on Virginia Tech to Reject Grad Student Endorsement of Israel Boycott
Nearly 80 nonprofit organizations called on Virginia Tech president Tim Sands on Tuesday to reject the recent endorsement by the schools graduate student senate of an academic and cultural boycott of Israel.

The Virginia Tech Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) passed a resolution in October accusing Israel of “apartheid, colonialism, and military occupation” and demanding that the Virginia Tech Foundation begin divesting from Israeli companies.

Tuesday’s letter — signed by groups including B’nai Brith International, World Jewish Congress North America, and the AMCHA Initiative — urged the school to guarantee that “no student will be impeded from studying about or in Israel, or subject to unfair discrimination or harassment, because of a boycott.”

It also cited a statement from President Sands defending “free speech rights” in response to the resolution’s passage.

“Your statement failed to recognize the possibility that GPSS members, many of whom serve as Graduate Teaching Assistants, may implement elements of the academic boycott on campus and in their own classrooms, in ways that that would directly and substantively harm undergraduates on your campus, particularly those who are Jewish and pro-Israel,” it said. “We urge you to take immediate steps to ensure that this does not happen at Virginia Tech.”
Jewish student societies condemn behaviour at controversial Union debate
The Union of Jewish Students (UJS), and the Cambridge University Jewish Society (JSoc), have released statements in response to events at the Cambridge Union debate held last Thursday (04/11).

The debate on the motion on whether “there is no such thing as good taste” saw guest speaker Andrew Graham-Dixon, a prominent art historian, deliver a Hitler impression that included racist slurs and the expression of anti-semitic views; Union President Keir Bradwell responded by calling it “perhaps the longest Hitler impression this chamber has ever received” and “a remarkable accomplishment for tonight.”

Graham-Dixon later apologised for the impersonation, describing that the impersonation was intended to highlight Hitler's evils to contribute to his argument in the debate. He also apologised for his use of racial slurs.

The Union of Jewish Students (UJS), which represents Jewish students nationally, said that it was “appalled” by the events in the debate, emphasising that “it shouldn’t always be up to the Jewish community to call out antisemitism.”

It was not only the “inappropriate and insensitive nature of the impression” which disheartened the UJS , but also how the only individual who confronted Graham-Dixon was a Jewish student.

The statement concluded: “Whilst we appreciate the apology made by the union, it is important for all students in the future to be active bystanders and be willing to call out such behaviour to support and include all students.”

Online Study: Anti-Semitism OK as Long as Each Post Starts, Ends With ‘I’m Not Anti-Semitic but…’ (satire)
A groundbreaking new study about social media has concluded that as long as you begin your posts with “I’m not anti-Semitic or anything but…”, you are free to post whatever you want about Jews or Israel.

One of the lead researchers involved in the study, Dr. Shlomi Goldstein, explained that the study originally started a few years back as an examination on the spread of hate online.

“We also found that content cannot be anti-Semitic if it mentions Israel,” Goldstein said. “So if you want to post that, ‘Hitler was a great man and the Jews controlled the slave trade,’ make sure you throw a ‘#FuckIsrael’ in there at the end.”

The researchers did indicate that the study captured a significant number of people who thought that it was fine to say that the Jews control everything “because it’s true”, which a team psychologist called “the Mel Gibson defense” and has nominally been declared “not anti-Semitic” because “Lethal Weapon gets you a pass”.

'Contrarian' British magazine takes the anti-Israel road most traveled
Of course, Hamas was elected after Israel withdrew from Gaza. Palestinians voted for the most extreme, anti-peace party when the first opportunity for their “misery” to be alleviated presented itself.

Giovanni then offers this – which is evidently not meant to be satirical and which was deemed by editors to be pull-quote worthy: "Even North Korea slammed Israel"

She then writes:
But there are distinct changes. If something came from the terrible 11 days of misery that Gazans endured under Israeli bombs, it is a kind of reckoning. The Palestinians (and by that, I do not mean Hamas, as nearly every Palestinian I know does not support them) might have lost the military battle, but they won the hearts and minds campaign.

We don’t know how many Palestinians she personally knows, but, even before the recent conflict, Hamas enjoyed the support of one-third of the Gaza population, and one-quarter of Palestinians in the West Bank. And, if the conflict that Hamas initiated – despite knowing they couldn’t win, and well aware of the suffering the war would cause among Palestinians – truly, as Giovanni claims, won “the hearts and minds” of Palestinians, then that’s a dispiriting commentary on the Palestinian attraction to extremism.

Editors at The Critic need to ask themselves how a venture designed to push back against the elite echo-chamber as exemplified by media institutions like the BBC managed to go beyond even the corporation’s predictable anti-Israel bias we document on these pages, by publishing a morally obtuse and egregiously ill-informed paean to Hamas’s dark fantasy of a world without a Jewish state.

The article is the elite journalistic equivalent of the dim-witted, Corbyn-loving, vapid slogan chanting, Palestine Solidarity Movement-style, Israel obsessed activist the magazine would mock in any other context. At least on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, they’ve become the very thing they were created to fight.
Lost in Translation Deutsche Welle Arabic Falsely Cites ‘New Settlements’
Deutsche Welle’s Oct. 28 coverage concerning Israel’s approval of the construction of 3,000 new residential units for Jewish communities in the West Bank carried two very different headlines in English and in Arabic.

The English headline accurately states: “Israel green-lights 3,000 new settler homes in West Bank.”

In contrast, the Arabic headline, accompanying the Arabic version of the same video, falsely states: “Israel: Government approves building new settlements”

The Arabic subheadline, on the other hand, accurately states: “Israel intends to build about 3,000 homes for settlers in the West Bank in defiance of the strongest criticism to date on the issue from Joe Biden’s U.S. Administration.”

A screenshot of DW’s erroneous headline citing “new settlements”

As CAMERA has repeatedly noted, “new settlements” (in plural) have not been a part of the West Bank’s political landscape for almost three decades, as construction of new residences is limited to pre-existing settlements. Amichai. approved in 2017, is the only “new settlement” in decades.
Times of Israel Improves Coverage on Addameer’s Salah Hammouri, Convicted in Assassination Plot
CAMERA’s Israel office yesterday prompted Times of Israel to significantly improve its coverage of Salah Hammouri, a lawyer for Addameer, one of the six Palestinian NGOs which Israel designated as a terror group. Hammouri is also one of several Palestinian activists whose phones was reportedly infected with spyware by the Israel-based NSO cyber company.

The Times of Israel’s initial omission of the fact that Hammouri had previously been convicted of planning to assassinate Israel’s chief rabbi played into baseless media allegations that Israel is ramping up a purported “crackdown on political activism in the occupied territories.” Times of Israel’s Nov. 8 article, “Report: Palestinian activists’ phone hacked with controversial NSO Group tech,” referred to “Salah Hammouri, a lawyer and researcher for Addameer, a group that advocates on behalf of Palestinian prisoners.”

Further on, the article added:
Hammouri, who holds Palestinian and French citizenship, lived and worked in East Jerusalem as a permanent resident until last year when Israel’s Interior Ministry revoked his residency status for “breach of allegiance to the State of Israel,” according to Al-Haq, which took on his case.

Nowhere did the article state that Hammouri had been convicted of plotting to assassinate Rabbi Ovadya Yosef. As Haaretz reported Nov. 8:
Hammouri served seven years in prison after he was charged in his youth with participating in a plan to kill Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and for membership in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Financial Times amends article omitting terror conviction of 'human rights defender'
However, as we noted to editors in an email yesterday, the article omits that, prior to being a “human rights defender”, Al-Aboudi was convicted and sentenced to a year in prison due to his membership in the PFLP – extremely relevant information given the context of the article.

This morning, we learned that our complaint was upheld, and the article was amended to note al-Aboudi’s previous conviction. The following editor’s note appears at the bottom of the piece.
Globe and Mail Book Review Replete With Anti-Israel Misinformation
Rarely does a book review in a major Canadian newspaper include widespread and significant anti-Israel misinformation, but that is exactly what readers of Saturday’s Globe and Mail were treated to with the recent book review: “Authors offer insights born of personal perspectives in new books examining the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” where author JP O’Malley reviewed two anti-Israel books.

O’Malley’s review repeated largely uncritically the anti-Israel political agendas of the book’s authors.

In the first book, “The State of Israel Vs. The Jews,” author Sylvain Cypel regurgitates some of the most worn-out and disproven claims about Israel. In reviewer O’Malley’s words, the author posits that “The book is built around a single argument that is quite convincing: Zionism comes from an aggressive but outdated mode of 19th-century European nationalism that is no longer compatible with pluralistic democratic values in the 21st-century Western-led global order.”

This claim by Cypel – repeated without critique by O’Malley – is more than a simple inaccuracy; it is an egregious attempt to re-write the Jewish people’s history in the must unfavourable terms possible, and paint them, not as a group who have lived in their historic homeland for three thousand years, but as a foreign occupier. There is neither doubt nor real dispute that Jews have lived in the historic land of Israel for three millennia; asserting otherwise is akin to claiming that the Nazi Holocaust was a fiction.

O’Malley writes that the “shift towards the radical right has continued over the last four decades and turned Israel ‘into a racist, bullying little superpower,’ Cypel writes.” O’Malley regurgitates Cypel’s allegations that Israel treats Palestinians as “second-class citizens” and engages in “state apartheid.” In fact, Israeli Arabs have full equal rights under the law and prefer to live in the Jewish state rather than a future Palestinian state or the broader Arab world. The review instead paints Israel, and Israeli writ large, as racist bullies.
Attorney general: Auction of Auschwitz prisoner tattoo stamp set unethical
The sale at auction of tattoo stamps used by Nazis on Jewish and other inmates of Auschwitz is unethical and wrong, Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit told the Tel Aviv District Court on Wednesday.

Mandelblit said the items should not be sold to a private individual at any price.

“Such trade is morally, ethically, nationally and publicly wrong,” Mandelblit told the court.

Earlier this month the court issued a temporary injunction against the sale following an appeal from the Center Organizations of Holocaust Survivors group, setting November 16 as the date for an “urgent hearing” on the matter.

Attorney David Fohrer wrote in the appeal: “Such an evil item can’t have an owner… Its sale is illegal and goes against the public decency doctrine.

“This is an item that is not private property, rather a horrific monument belonging to the entire public, and serving as evidence to the crimes of the Nazis and their aides.”
Auction house under fire for selling Nazi tattoo kit offers compromise
After a court halted its sale of a Nazi tattoo kit, Tzolman's Auction house is now offering a compromise that would both honor the memory of the Holocaust and reimburse the seller for his expenses.

The auction house garnered the ire of Holocaust survivors and Jewish leaders last week after it announced the sale publicly. The auction was supposed to take place on Tuesday, but was temporarily halted by the Tel Aviv Court District after a request from the Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors in Israel.

Meir Tzolman, director of the auction house said: "Following the publication of the sale, many philanthropists approached us asking to purchase the item and donate it to the Yad Vashem museum, so that they could use it to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive for future generations, just as it was done with similar items in museums around the world."

Items similar to the tattoo kit in question can only be found in two other locations, one at a museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, and another at museum on the site of the Auschwitz camp in Poland.

Zolman stressed the sale of the items was never meant to "hurt the memory of the Holocaust" and has vowed to only sell the tattoo stamps to an individual who would donate them to Yad Vashem. "We believe this is a compromise that will allow both the seller and the State of Israel to put the affair behind them," he said.
Teenager arrested after waving large machete in front of French Jewish school
French police arrested a teenager who brandished a large knife in front of a Jewish high school outside Lyon while shouting antisemitic slogans last Thursday.

The incident took place outside College/Lycee Juive de Lyon in Villeurbanne, a suburb of the eastern city, the Actu17 news site reported Friday.

He also hurled marbles at students in the school and called them “dirty Jews” as he waved the machete with a 60-centimeter-long (2-foot-long) blade, according to the report, which noted that the boy had no police record.

The incident comes as French Jews and French schools are both on high alert after a series of deadly incidents. Last year, a high school teacher who had drawn criticism for showing his students caricatures of the Islamic prophet Muhammad was murdered outside his school, allegedly by a teenager who had been radicalized online.

Jewish leaders in France view a 2012 killing of three children and a rabbi at a Jewish school in Toulouse as the beginning of a wave of antisemitic attacks by Islamic jihadists that have killed at least 12 Jews and more than 200 others since then.

Police are looking into whether the teenager arrested in Lyon or his family has any ties to terrorism, the Actu17 report said.
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz invokes Holocaust to deter union vote
Howard Schultz, the Jewish former CEO and chairman of Starbucks, invoked the Holocaust as he discussed a pending unionization vote during a meeting with Buffalo-area store employees of the coffee giant last weekend, The New York Times reported.

According to eyewitness accounts and a transcript of the meeting, Schultz “noted that only a small portion of prisoners in German concentration camps received blankets but often shared them with fellow prisoners,” and then remarked, “What we have tried to do at Starbucks is share our blanket.”

The analogy, which one attendee told the Times was inappropriate, could be interpreted to imply that Starbucks spreads scarce resources across its workforce. It is unclear why Schultz thought that would resonate with his audience, employees from three Buffalo-area Starbucks franchise locations who are scheduled to begin voting Wednesday on whether to become the first corporate-owned Starbucks stores to unionize.

The chain had closed the stores for the day so that employees could come to Schultz’s talk, which was part of the company’s efforts to dissuade employees from forming a union. Attendance at the talk itself was voluntary.

500 gamers from 85 countries to descend on Eilat for global gaming contest
The eyes of the video game world will soon turn to Eilat, Israel's southernmost city, as it hosts the Esports World Championship, a global competition of the world's best gamers, for the first time.

Starting this weekend, 500 top gamers from 85 different countries - who beat out 10,000 other gamers in various playoffs watched virtually by millions - will converge in Israel's tourist destination and compete for the top spot.

Last year, the world championship in Shanghai, China, saw over 1.5 million viewers tune into the action online.

Ido Brosh, chairman of the Israeli Esports Gaming Association, said holding the international competition in Israel offered a unique opportunity for the state.

"This is a huge opportunity to showcase Israeli hospitality… and capability in hosting such grand-scale events in a very technological sector and digital entertainment world," Brosh said.

Each player will represent their own nation under the "national flag, banner, and uniform" he explained.
Israeli scientists ID coronavirus proteins that harm blood vessels
A team of Israeli experts has solved the mystery of which proteins in the SARS-CoV-2 virus are responsible for causing the severe vascular damage seen in coronavirus patients.

The novel coronavirus is made up of 29 proteins. Five of those proteins were identified as damaging to blood vessels in a study led by Tel Aviv University researchers Ben Maoz (biomedical engineering and neuroscience), Professor Uri Ashery (life sciences and neuroscience) and Professor Roded Sharan (computer science).

“We see a very high incidence of vascular disease and blood clotting, for example, stroke and heart attack, among COVID-19 patients,” said Maoz.

“We tend to think of COVID as primarily a respiratory disease, but the truth is that coronavirus patients are up to three times more likely to have a stroke or heart attack,” he explained.

“All the evidence shows that the virus severely damages the blood vessels or the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels. We wanted to find out which proteins in the virus are responsible for this type of damage.”
He-he-brewGal Gadot tells a joke in Hebrew on the ‘Late Late Show’
Gal Gadot is back to speaking Hebrew on late-night American TV.

In an appearance on CBS’ “The Late Late Show” on Tuesday night, host James Corden subjected the Israeli star to a game titled “Gal Ga-YES or Gal Ga-NO.”

Corden challenged Gadot to perform a series of tasks, including throwing a grape in the air and catching it in her mouth, and reading a line in a British accent in front of the studio audience.

The second challenge on the list had a more limited audience.

“Can Gal Gadot tell a joke in Hebrew and make Hagar laugh?” Corden asked the audience. Hagar Ben Ari, an Israeli musician, is a member of the show’s house band.

Gadot wasted no time telling her joke.

“A baby is like instant coffee, do you know why?” Gadot said in Hebrew. “It’s easy to make it and it keeps you up all night.”

It was a Gal Ga-YES.

Save a Child's Heart fly Congolese children for surgery in Israel

Arsen Ostrovsky: Fighting Anti-Semitism: Lessons From Kristallnacht
We must also recognize that racial hatred is not a uniquely Jewish problem, and that what starts with the Jews, seldom ends with the Jews. Today, other minorities are increasingly vilified and instead of embracing "the other," we increasingly shun our fellow citizens. Jews, based on our history and experience alone, have a duty to stand up for the oppressed in the wider struggle for racial equality and tolerance.

Finally, the modern expression of anti-Semitism must also be seen through the lens of today's digital age, where Jew-hatred and even Holocaust denial are proliferating at an uncontrollable pace.

Some social media giants, like Facebook, have taken the principled decision to ban material that denies or distorts the Holocaust. But in a recent Senate hearing, Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, inexplicably claimed that Holocaust denial does not qualify as "misinformation" falling within the company's hate speech policy.

At the same time, earlier this year, at a Knesset (Israeli parliament) hearing on online anti-Semitism, a Twitter representative told me—with a straight face—that the Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei's calls for genocide against Israel are "mere foreign policy sabre-rattling" and therefore acceptable "commentary on political issues of the day."

While encouraging for robust expression of free speech, social media companies must not be permitted to allow their platforms to be used by those inciting violence and promoting Holocaust denial.

As long as social media companies continue to turn their back and enable such Jew-hatred and violence to flourish, one cannot help but ask: Are they any different than the bystanders of Kristallnacht, who turned their backs as synagogues and Jewish businesses were razed?
From Pogromnacht to now: 83 years of anti-Semitism
This week, Jewish communities around the world remember the 83rd anniversary of Pogromnacht (Kristallnacht), when the Nazis and their supporters carried out an anti-Jewish pogrom throughout Germany, decimating thousands of Jewish-owned businesses, neighborhoods and synagogues, and forcing as many as 30,000 Jews into concentration camps, never to return. Authorities sanctioned and even participated in the annihilation, marking a turning point in the state-organized persecution of European Jewry and what many historians consider to be the beginning of the Holocaust.

On this anniversary, we honor the lives and sacrifices of those plagued by anti-Semitic violence and recommit to the fight against anti-Semitism in all its forms. We must recognize that the infamous pogrom resulted in more than just broken glass. It serves as a dark warning—a sign of where anti-Semitism can lead when left to fester in the shadows. The memory of the victims of this atrocity, and the legacy of its survivors, cannot be allowed to fade.

Our mission remains urgent. In August, the FBI concluded once again that Jews comprised the most-targeted religious group in our country. However, the anti-Semitism affecting Jews today is not your father’s nor grandfather’s notion of anti-Semitism. Unfortunately, it leads to the same, inevitable places. This scourge runs instead the entire gamut from harmful rhetoric by celebrities and members of Congress to the exclusion of Jewish organizations from participation in civic life, and the delegitimization of Israel and her significance as the Jewish homeland.

The murders at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and the Chabad of Poway synagogue near San Diego, coupled with attacks against rabbis in New York and Boston, have the American Jewish community more worried than ever about the pervasive threat of anti-Semitism. Even during a global pandemic, we bore witness to the increased targeting and harassment of American Jews, which intensified during engagements between Hamas terrorists and the Israel Defense Forces during the 11-day conflict in May. The vandalization of U.S. synagogues with Nazi and white-supremacist slogans and imagery, as well as the recent desecration of a mock Torah scroll at a George Washington University fraternity, reveal a painful truth. Anti-Semitism is not just back; it never went away. It mutated and took hold in different manifestations, becoming a weapon for extremists on the right and the left.
Kristallnacht: A Lesson in How Incitement and Propaganda Lead to Horrific Violence
On November 9-10, 1938, the Nazis began destroying thousands of Jewish properties and homes throughout Germany. The onslaught became known as Kristallnacht — the “Night of Broken Glass.”

After years of fomenting anti-Jewish hate and enacting race laws forbidding Jews from all aspects of civil life — and after multiple boycotts of Jewish businesses — the course of history was changed forever, as Jews were physically attacked en masse.

For years, Nazi propaganda targeted German Jews, framing them as disloyal, inhuman, and responsible for economic disasters such as the 1920s hyperinflation and the Great Depression, as well as all the wars and ills of the world.

In November 1938, that turned to violence and murder. The Holocaust followed.

Words have meaning, and have a very real effect on the world.

It is our duty to remember, and to stand up to hate speech, propaganda, and lies.
Once lost to history, Kristallnacht testimonies describe pogrom’s aftermath
Kristallnacht evokes images of shattered storefronts and synagogues set ablaze. By way of contrast, a collection of once-unpublished testimony conveys the personal impact of the Nazi pogrom on Jews who fled Germany in its wake.

Almost lost to history, the Kristallnacht testimonies were gathered by sociologist and Harvard professor Edward Y. Hartshorne after the notorious “Night of Broken Glass” on November 9 and 10, 1938. Throughout 1939, Hartshorne gathered 250 essays from eyewitnesses who fled Germany, Austria, and the Sudetenland.

“This year is coming to an end,” wrote Berlin physician Hertha Nathorff in her journal a few weeks after Kristallnacht. “It has taken away from me everything that made my life happy and fortunate. The last few months have completely changed me.”

Nathorff wrote about having to hide her son in someone else’s apartment so he would not be arrested. Soon after Kristallnacht, she took to wandering the streets to avoid her own arrest.

“I’m just counting the days until we can get out of this hell,” wrote Nathorff, echoing the sentiments of other survivors in the volume.

As survivor essays streamed in to Hartshorne, the professor started to work on an anti-Nazi book called, “Nazi Madness: November 1938.” Before he could complete the testimony-based book, however, Hartshorne was recruited to the United States Secret Service and the volume never materialized.
Over 50% of Britons don't know how many Jews died in the Holocaust - UK poll
In a survey among 2,000 adult Britons, 52% did not seem to know how many Jews died in the Holocaust and 22% couldn’t name a single concentration camp.

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, or Claims Conference, on Wednesday published the results of the survey, which it had conducted in the United Kingdom in October ahead of Nov. 10, the anniversary of the 1938 Kristallnacht pogroms in Germany and Austria.

“We are very concerned to see the profound gaps in knowledge of the Holocaust,” said Gideon Taylor, the president of the Claims Conference, which is the body representing Jewish communities and organizations in reparations talks with Germany.

The organization’s findings about levels of Holocaust awareness in Britain suggest Americans are less knowledgeable than Britons.

In a Claims Conference survey in the United States last year, 31% of respondents said they believed that substantially fewer than 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust. Almost half of Americans, or 45%, couldn’t name a single concentration camp. The survey had a 2% error of margin.
On eve of Kristallnacht, activists ‘rename’ Vienna streets honoring antisemites
Activists “renamed” some 23 streets in Vienna overnight Monday-Tuesday which they said honor antisemites, former members of Hitler’s Nazi party, and even soldiers and officers in the SS and SA paramilitary groups known for their participation in the Holocaust.

The protest was timed to coincide with the anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogroms on November 9 and 10, and involved roughly 20 activists, a source told The Times of Israel.

The activists plastered over the current nameplates with new signage honoring Jewish and non-Jewish heroes who fought to save Jewish lives during the Holocaust and opposed the Nazi regime, such as Hungarian-born British operative Hannah Senesh and partisan leader Abba Kovner. Half of the new signs honored women in the resistance.

A video clip showing people on ladders placing replica street sign stickers over the existing signs was posted Tuesday morning on the Twitter page of the Austrian Union of Jewish Students, along with “before and after” photos of a number of individually renamed street signs. No group took responsibility for the renaming of the signs.

“As the president of the Austrian Union of Jewish Students, I’m very happy that these activists took matters into their own hands,” said Sashi Turkof, a 20-year-old education sciences major at the University of Vienna.
On Kristallnacht anniversary, Austria unveils memorial wall with 64,440 names
The Austrian government inaugurated on Tuesday a $7 million Holocaust memorial monument on the anniversary of the 1938 Kristallnacht pogroms, listing the names of 64,440 Holocaust victims.

The “Shoah Wall of Names” that city and central government officials unveiled in Vienna lists the names on 160 granite slabs, and is the result of years of lobbying by commemoration activists for a major monument that reflects both the scope of the Holocaust and its individual victims.

Kurt Yakov Tutter, a Holocaust survivor of Austrian descent, initiated the idea for the monument, which in 2018 received government funding and the go-ahead to be built at Ostarrichi Park in the capital.

“My sister and I now have a place, in our hometown, where we can cry for our parents” who were deported to Auschwitz, Tutter told Austrian media.

Karoline Edtstadler, a cabinet minister in charge of the Chancellor’s office, said in a statement ahead of the unveiling ceremony that the country was “sending out a visible sign of its responsibility.”

“The victims are given their names and thus at least part of their dignity. And we realize that behind the 64,440 names, there are individual people — children, mothers, fathers and neighbors — with individual stories and human fates,” she said in the statement.


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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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