Monday, November 15, 2021

11/15 Links Pt2: By funding blacklisted NGOs, European governments are financing terror; The Judenrein Movie Museum; J Street Pushes to Make Israel a Partisan Issue

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Cracks in the bulwarks of decency
Why are The Critic and the Spectator rehashing inane anti-Israel malice?

Two things stand out from this. The first is not just the number of errors in these articles, but their eye-watering dislocation from easily ascertainable reality and factual evidence.

The second is that this malicious propaganda aimed at destroying Israel’s right to exist is the hallmark of elements on the left, which trade on both ignorance and ideological obsession. Both the Spectator and The Critic are supposed to stand against all that by providing intelligent and informed writing that elevates public discourse. Yet with these two pieces, they have joined the ranks of those who instead are corrupting public discourse and closing the western mind against truth and decency.

What on earth were these two editors thinking by publishing them? They appear to have seen nothing wrong with them. Perhaps they thought — if they thought anything at all about them — that they were merely “a point of view” just like any other? A controversy on which these editors need not have an opinion, since all they have to do is hold the ring in suitably Socratic editorial fashion? Valid contributions to public debate?

But these lies, distortions and malicious libels against Israel are not valid contributions to public debate. They are part of a strategy to demonise, delegitimise and destroy Israel through a sustained propaganda campaign that has colonised the collective mind of the western intelligentsia.

A strategy deployed against no other country, people or cause in the world. A strategy that incites hatred, paranoia and murderous violence. A strategy cooked up in the sixties by the Soviet Union and Yasser Arafat to knock the west off its moral compass so that it could be weakened and defeated. A strategy that has paved the way for the hijack of language and destruction of reason which fuel “intersectionality” and identity politics, and which are de-moralising the west in every sense of that word.

This is the madness against which the Spectator and The Critic purport to act as a vital bulwark. Now, alas, that bulwark has cracked and is gaping wide open on a lethal battleground.

Amb. Tzipi Hotovely: Are we for free expression and dialogue or intolerance and violence?
Last week, I was invited to talk to students at the London School of Economics. The event was an open discussion about the new era in the Middle East, an era of collaboration between new partners who took the bold step of opening a fresh chapter and starting a dialogue.

While inside the hall a very interesting conversation took place about the role of Israel as the only democratic state in the Middle East and the challenges we face, while outside the venue crowds of people called to silence me. The contrast in the two scenes speaks volumes. Dialogue and critical thinking are the cornerstones on which universities were founded. In the Jewish tradition, open discussion is a fundamental value in which generations of Jewish scholars have been educated.

Freedom of expression is a core tenet of the Israeli system of government. Therefore, as an ambassador, I see it as my duty to have frank discussions with diverse groups about the realities in our region.

The situation in our region is complex and does not fit into a 280-character tweet. Only through in-depth conversation can one unravel those complexities. It is clear that the crowds who gathered to shout outside LSE did not seek discourse.They sought to achieve their will by violent means and the suppression of alternative voices.

I wish I could say this was the first time I have encountered such behaviour, but unfortunately, it is all too common. During the recent conflict in Gaza, we saw similar crowds demonstrating in front of the embassy, burning Israeli flags and trampling on them. Scenes that we see frequently in Iran.

In the neighbourhood where I live, there was a convoy of cars calling for death to Jews and inciting assaults against Jewish women because of a conflict happening in Israel. This is not only my experience: many in the Jewish community are living with the impact of such violence with the rise in anti-Semitic incidents reaching unprecedented levels in the past year.
Gerald Steinberg: European Funding for Palestinian NGOs as Political Subcontracting
Analysis of the 20-year history of European government funding for Palestinian NGOs reveals a number of important findings that contrast sharply with the declared objectives. Of particular importance is the constancy of this funding for a relatively small group of organizations, both in terms of the repetitive grants that are provided over numerous funding cycles (vertical clustering), and the practice by the numerous government frameworks (direct and indirect) in supporting the same recipients (horizontal clustering). The primacy of political subcontracting is reflected in the detailed patterns and close examination of the evidence, in contrast to official declarations and reports.

Although the label “civil society” is used repeatedly by European officials to describe and justify these policies, the term is ambiguous and problematic in the Palestinian framework. In closed systems, as is the case both the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank as well as Hamas-controlled Gaza, these organizations would not be able to operate or receive funding without the approval of the authorities (the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, respectively). In addition, the centrality for the PFLP’s NGO network in European policy is particularly inconsistent with the concept of civil society.

These processes and relationships, through which hundreds of millions of euros were provided by European governments to Palestinian NGOs during a twenty-year period, have and continue to have substantial impacts. Instead of advancing the formal objectives of promoting peace, economic development, Palestinian democracy, and rapprochement, these policies sustained the conflict through campaigns alleging Israeli violations of “international law” and “apartheid,” as well as active participation in lawfare and boycott campaigns.

The application of the political subcontractor model clarifies many of the otherwise inexplicable and inconsistent explanations for the deeply entrenched relationships between European governments and the selected group of Palestinian NGOs. When viewed from this perspective, the exchange of state funds for NGO services, through means that European officials and diplomats are unable to pursue themselves, is consistent with the evidence and the evolution of these policies. Although European support did not begin as a form of subcontracting, as officials recognized the influence and capabilities of the NGOs, these links evolved and strengthened, while benefiting from the image of altruism and independent civil society.

The subcontractor model also helps explain the unusual scale of European support for Palestinian NGOs, the small number of organizations involved, the overlapping contracts and the clustering, both vertical and horizontal, and the intense secrecy—all of which are unique when compared to other civil society relationships. European officials give very high priority to involvement (or at least the perception of involvement) in the Palestinian-Israeli arena, and for the reasons explained in this analysis, close cooperation with the specific group of NGOs provides an important addition to the otherwise limited sources of influence. From this perspective, the actual impacts on officially proclaimed objectives (Palestinian democracy, peace) are less important than this influence.

After twenty years, however, with little to show for hundreds of millions of euros in budgetary allocations, and in the light of recent revelations of terror links for a number of Palestinian NGO subcontractors, it might become more difficult to justify these relationships.
By funding blacklisted NGOs, European governments are financing terror
For over 10 years, NGO Monitor has published reports documenting the ties between numerous Palestinian civil society groups and the PFLP (full disclosure, I served as NGO Monitor’s managing editor and Canada liaison in 2016-2020). Using only open-source information, often simple Google and Facebook searches, the research institute has, piece by piece, put together a clear network of foreign government-backed organizations with leadership serving dual roles in the NGOs and in the terror group.

NGO Monitor staff traveled to governments around the world and to the United Nations, presenting this information and showing government officials the first-hand evidence linking the six NGOs to the PFLP terror group. Concerned members of parliament and senators have questioned their foreign aid offices in the public record about the suspicious funding, yet time and time again the governments refused to take action and cut funding.

The issue of the PFLP-tied NGO network even gained public and donor government attention in 2019, following the disclosure of a 50-person strong PFLP terror cell responsible for, inter alia, the murder of the 17-year-old Israeli girl Rina Shnerb. The cell included numerous members of these same government-funded NGOs. For instance, UAWC’s accountant Samir Arbid was, according to Israeli security officials, responsible for commanding the PFLP terror cell that carried out the bombing.

It is therefore almost laughable that governments are decrying the Israeli decision to formally designate the groups, and utilizing precious international resources like the UN Security Council to call for more “credible evidence.” These governments – whether the elected officials or government bureaucrats – have known for years that the six organizations had links to the PFLP terror group.

They have been presented with ample and publicly available and verifiable evidence. Only now, because an official government designation of a terror group will finally pressure governments to act on their own domestic terror laws and cease financing, are they up in arms and pretending as though they did not know the risks of using taxpayer funds to support such groups.

We can only hope that the public in each of the countries guilty of financing these six organizations will recognize this sheer failure of accountability and oversight and demand not only a cessation of funds but a reform in the foreign aid system to prevent such a farce from occurring again.

Phyllis Chesler: The Book of Ruth
Ruth R. Wisse’s new memoir is sharp, examined, and a more urgent read than ever

Like the poet John Masefield, I also suffer from “sea fever” and so down I went to the “seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky.” I needed no “tall ship,” only a room on the beach with a terrace—and all the time in the world to read Ruth R. Wisse’s new book, Free as a Jew: A Personal Memoir of National Self-Liberation.

Reader: I could not put it down. I still chose to read it slowly, to savor it, take it all in. I must have underlined at least a quarter of the book. Wisse commands an aerial view of Jewish history, bringing it to bear on Israeli politics and on the demonization of the only Jewish state. She continues to issue her clarion call about the plague of “political correctness” that threatens to devour the entire Western enterprise.

Free as a Jew is an “intellectual memoir,” but it is also a family history replete with charming photos; a story of European Jews before, during, and after the Holocaust; and a warm introduction to Yiddish literature, and to many of the major Yiddish writers whom Wisse and her parents knew, hosted, and supported in Montreal, where they lived after fleeing Romania. Wisse introduces us to many of these writers: Sholem Asch, Sholem Aleichem, Itzik Manger, Mendele Mokher Sforim, Abraham Sutzkever, and Chaim Grade, as well as to Bashevis Singer, Saul Bellow, Leonard Cohen, Hillel Halkin, Yehuda Amichai, Irving Howe, and Norman Podhoretz.

For Wisse, Yiddish is not a social justice enterprise, nor is it mainly associated with “progressivism.” Rather, it is a rich language, “associated with the actual Yiddish-speaking communities, which remained what they had always been: outposts of Jewish separatism, consisting mainly of religiously observant Jews living culturally apart from the surrounding population.” Yiddish—the language, the culture, the works—is not meant to be politicized.

Free as a Jew is also a story about Ruth’s love affair with Israel, and about Montreal’s Jews (told through the lens of Ruth’s long career, both at McGill and in publishing, long before she accepted a position at Harvard).
Doubling Israel’s population? Actually, great news
Lately, while reading progressive newspapers and serious magazine articles, a new claim has appeared: the world has to reduce its population numbers in order to survive. Israel too. Moreover, increasing numbers of interviews and personal essays in Israel have highlighted women (especially) who have decided “not to have children at all” – some for career reasons, more for “Israel is running out of room” and “I don’t want to bring children into a world of misery.”

Let it be said here from the outset that global warming and environmental damage are very serious problems for the world in general and Israel too. Indeed, climate scientists have warned that countries like Israel will suffer even more from global warming than others, given its geographical location. I have already “vented” in these pages about the lack of Israeli government planning in this regard.

In addition, Israel suffers from a problem that many other countries don’t have to the same extent: lack of living space. Indeed, if more government resources were transferred from the soon-to-be-unlivable Negev to the relatively mild Galilee in the north, that would reduce living acreage even more – not to mention overloading the only truly green region in the country. So, there is no doubt that the country is in a quandary.

Does this mean that the ZPG (Zero Population Growth) – or more extreme NPG (Negative Population Growth) – pundits are right? Not at all. First of all, from a global standpoint, Israel’s population is a drop in the bucket. Moreover, around 2050-2060 the world’s overall population numbers will start to decline! Some countries have already started on this downward slide: Russia, Japan, Portugal – and many others (China, most of Europe) are not far behind.
Rob Long: The Judenrein Movie Museum
Look, there’s no reason to weasel-word it: The history of Hollywood, which is to say the history of 20th-century American culture, is impossible to talk about without talking about Jews. So it was a surprise to learn that the Academy Museum—a newly opened space dedicated to movies and moviemaking by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, built at a cost of $500 million—doesn’t have much to say about the Jews who made it all happen in the first place.

Indeed, when the museum opened in September, the exhibitions seemed carefully orchestrated to avoid the issue altogether. There were galleries devoted to diversity, to special effects, to women. There were exhibits about cameras and composers and art directors. All the collections are glossy and polished, and the whole museum—much of which can be experienced online—is a fascinating and well-assembled telling of the history of the movie business…as long as you don’t notice that there aren’t any Jews in it.

After some critics spoke up about the oversight, its directors announced a six-week film and lecture series highlighting the contributions of Austrian Jews. Vienna in Hollywood: Émigrés and Exiles in the Studio System will celebrate the work of directors Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang, Fred Zinnemann, and Otto Preminger; actors Hedy Lamarr, Peter Lorre, and Paul Henreid; producers Eric Pleskow and Sam Spiegel; screenwriters Vicki Baum, Gina Kaus, and Salka Viertel; as well as composers Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Ernest Gold.

The series sounds fantastic—it opens in December and runs through the end of January 2022—but it still seems carefully designed to elide certain parts of the story of Hollywood.
J Street Pushes to Make Israel a Partisan Issue
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was excited to post this picture “Had an excellent meeting with a bipartisan US Congressional delegation in Jerusalem” on November 10, 2021

But the J Street extremist group did not want the left-wing politicians it supports to be part of this bipartisan meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister that limited its outreach to various Palestinian groups, so it arranged for its own competing delegation at the same time, showing complete disrespect for both Coons and Bennett. The Israeli Prime Minister had to smile while being treated as a mere tool in Democratic politics, taking yet another meeting and photo op with the J Street delegation on the same day.

Bennett tweeted: “great meeting Rep. Rosa Delauro (D-CT), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Mondair Jones (D-NY), Melanie Stansbury (D-NM), and Marc Pocan (D-WI) in my office in Jerusalem,” also on November 10.

J Street then took its delegation to Hebron where they supported Bowman’s tweet “Had the honor of meeting with children today in the occupied West Bank city Hebron. There are streets they cannot walk and places they cannot go, simply because they are Palestinian. When I asked about their dreams, their answer was simple: freedom. The occupation must end.” J Street educated the congressman that Israel is racist, rather than educate him that it is Israeli Jews who are forbidden to visit 75% of the city.

Pocan added his own tweet “Today ⁦@JamaalBowmanNY & I visited w/ Nasser of Susia in Palestine today to discuss Israeli settler violence to his village. We will be watching to make sure no violence occurs this weekend or anytime. Thanks ⁦@jstreetdotorg⁩ @BtSIsrael⁩! @Israel⁩ ⁦@IDF” with a shout out to J Street as he broadcast about “settler violence” in a place that the United States does not recognize, “Palestine.”
Activist investor says Ben & Jerry’s Israel boycott is harming Unilever shares
An activist investor has taken a stake in Unilever — the parent company of Ben & Jerry’s — and is saying the ice cream maker’s boycott of Israel’s occupied territories is to blame for a sharp drop in the company’s share price, The Post has learned.

Michael Ashner runs activist fund Winthrop Capital Partners and has taken an undisclosed stake in Unilever. He’s agitating for other shareholders to push the company to reverse Ben & Jerry’s decision to stop selling ice cream in the disputed Israeli-Palestinian territories.

He’s launched the Coalition to Hold Unilever Accountable and says he’s meeting with lawmakers and financiers to bring visibility to what he says is Unilever’s abdication of responsibility when it comes to managing Ben & Jerry’s.

Unilever is allowing Ben & Jerry’s to set policy that puts Unilever’s broader business at risk, Ashner contends — and what’s more, the company isn’t acknowledging the financial risks of wading into such a thorny social issue.

“Unilever is knowingly misleading its shareholders by failing to disclose in its regulatory filings the material risks to its business and valuation,” Ashner told The Post.

“The proposed termination of sales of its ice cream in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem of Israel has, among other things, directly resulted in the divestment and proposed divestment of more than $325 million of Unilever shares by a number of states, as well as proposed boycotts of Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever products,” Ashner said, based on his calculations.
British universities on the payroll of Islamic regimes
The University of Cambridge in recent weeks carried out talks with the United Arab Emirates for a mega donation of 400 million pounds.

British universities have been put up for sale. Two news stories from the last three months are enough to get that. Oxford accepted a mega-donation of 155 million pounds from a Vietnam conglomerate, while Imperial College London pocketed up to 14.5 million from Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant linked to its Communist Party.

But above all, an immense river of money that never dries up has been poured by Islamic regimes, dictatorships and monarchies into English universities.

A donation of £ 8.4 million from a Kuwait foundation is just one of the large sums to go to the London School of Economics, where a £ 1.5 million scandal broke out ten years ago over the Gaddafi Foundation run by his son. of the dictator, Seif al-Islam, who in return received a doctorate from the prestigious university.

The London School of Economics received £ 9m from the UAE Foundation to establish a center for Middle East studies and £ 2.5m for a building to be named after Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, the nation's founder.

According to an academic report cited by the BBC, Islamic regimes have donated £ 750 million to UK universities since 1996.
NYC teacher: School banned my ‘Proud Zionist’ T-shirt but allows BLM garb
An outraged Park Slope teacher says he learned the hard way that it’s OK to wear Black Lives Matter T-shirts to work at his “woke” Brooklyn school — but not pro-cop or pro-Israel garb.

Jeffrey Levy, an English as a Second Language teacher at MS 51 in the liberal Brooklyn enclave, told The Post that school principal Neal Singh ordered him to stop wearing his “Proud Zionist” T-shirt in the building — even though other staffers have worn shirts touting BLM and women’s rights.

Levy filed a discrimination complaint over not being allowed to wear his self-made shirt, which features the Star of David.

He said he was told by Singh that students and staffers complained about it — and also the pro-police “Back the Blue” T-shirt he’s previously worn.

“Singh told me that my T-shirt with an Israeli flag on it and the words ‘Proud Zionist’ were ‘politically explosive,'” Levy says in his complaint, filed Sept. 30 with the city Department of Education’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity.

“He told me that Zionism involves the retaking of Palestinian land and is ‘offensive,’ ” Levy adds in the complaint, a copy of which The Post reviewed.
South Africa pulls support for its Miss Universe contender over Israeli ‘atrocities’
The South African government says it is dissociating itself from a decision by the reigning Miss South Africa to take part in the annual Miss Universe in Israel.

The decision came after growing calls for the reigning Miss South Africa to boycott the pageant over alleged Israeli rights violations against Palestinians.

Local beauty pageant organizers have been adamant that the recently crowned Miss SA Lalela Mswane should go.

“It has proven difficult to persuade the Miss SA pageant organizers to reconsider their decision to partake in the Miss Universe event,” the arts and culture ministry says in a statement.

The government therefore “withdraws its support,” following the organizers’ “intransigence.”

The pageant is slated to be held in the Red Sea resort town of Eilat on December 12.

“The atrocities committed by Israel against Palestinians are well documented and government, as the legitimate representative of the people of South Africa, cannot in good conscience associate itself with such,” the ministry says.

South Africa backs the Palestinian cause, with formal diplomatic relations established in 1995, a year after the end of apartheid.

It downgraded its embassy in Tel Aviv in 2019 and pulled out its ambassador.

Miss SA pageant organizers last week argued that the Miss Universe pageant is not a “politically inspired event.”

Miss Universe facing series of scandals ahead of the event
Interview with Zev Krengel, Vice President of The South African Jewish Board of Deputies

The decision came after growing calls for the reigning Miss South Africa to boycott the pageant

The South African government said on Sunday it was dissociating itself from a decision by the reigning Miss South Africa to take part in the annual Miss Universe in Israel.

The decision came after growing calls for the reigning Miss South Africa to boycott the pageant.

Antisemitic incidents on UK university campuses at record high
The number of reported antisemitic incidents on UK university campuses spiked significantly this academic year, with an increase of 59% over the previous year’s figures.

The Community Security Trust (CST), which monitors and works to combat antisemitism in the UK, recorded 111 university-related antisemitic incidents, compared with 70 in the 2019-2020 academic year.

This figure represents a record high for antisemitic incidents on university campuses since the CST began tracking this specific number in 2002.

The organization attributed the increase to the massive wave of antisemitic incidents recorded during and in the wake of Israel’s war with Hamas in May.

The CST noted that 64 of the 111 university-related incidents recorded in 2020-2021 took place that month.

The campuses with the highest number of antisemitic incidents were the University of Bristol and University of Warwick, which had 11 incidents each, followed by 10 at University College London, nine at Oxford University, and eight at the University of Birmingham.

Al Jazeera’s Revolving Door Suspended, Reinstated After Holocaust Denial Video
In May 2019, Al Jazeera’s “informative” video purportedly intended to educate Arabic-speaking viewers about the Holocaust sparked a scandal when it emerged that the AJ+ production categorically engaged in Holocaust denial (part 1/part 2, English subtitles by MEMRI).

Al Jazeera subsequently pulled the video within 24 hours, distanced itself from the production and suspended the two AJ+ employees blamed for its creation: Palestinian presenter Muna Hawwa, as well as Syrian producer and editor Amer al-Sayed Omar. In a subsequent letter to the network’s employees, Al Jazeera’s Executive Director of Digital Division Yaser Bishr also called for the implementation of a “mandatory bias training and awareness program.”

Amer al-Sayed Omar with his social media storytelling class, December 2019 (Screenshot from Omar’s Instagram account)

Nevertheless, Omar reappeared in AJ+ videos less than a year later, beginning May 2020. He even taught a “social media storytelling” class in Istanbul in cooperation with Al Jazeera’s Media Institute as early as December 2019, less than seven months after he was allegedly suspended. As of this writing, the Media Institute refers to him as one of its experts.

At the time of the video’s appearance, CAMERA Arabic documented no less than nine instances of Holocaust denial in Al Jazeera’s video.
Swastika, Yellow Star, in Anti-Vaxxer Rally Outside NY Jewish Assemblyman’s Office
Anti-vaccine protesters on Sunday displayed swastikas and yellow stars of David outside the Bronx office of Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz who represents District 81 in the New York State Assembly. His district comprises Kingsbridge, Marble Hill, Norwood, Riverdale, Van Cortlandt Village, Wakefield, and Woodlawn Heights. Dinowitz, 67, has served in the Assembly since 1994.

Early on Saturday night, Assemblyman Dinowitz tweeted: “It has come to my attention that there may be an anti-vax event outside of my district office tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon. Please avoid the area if you are concerned about the potential for airborne transmission of COVID-19 or other preventable diseases.”

The next day, the assemblyman tweeted this shocked message: “The display of swastikas and yellow Stars of David outside my office today is repugnant and offensive. People are perfectly free to express their opinion on vaccines or any issue, but to openly display Nazi symbols outside the office of a Jewish legislator is despicable.”

The protesters with the warped notion of historic symbols rallied against Dinowitz’s bill that would require all New York students to be vaccinated in order to attend school. The bill was introduced in October, is set to become effective 30 days after federal approval for vaccinating children 5-11, which would require the state Health Department to develop a vaccination program. A similar bill was introduced in the Senate in August by Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan). The vote will presumably take place in January when the state legislature is back in session.
Latest Antisemitic Assault on Jewish Man in Brooklyn Prompts $10,000 Reward
The assault of a Jewish man in Brooklyn last Thursday by an unknown assailant has prompted an investigation by New York police and a reward from the Anti-Defamation League.

The incident took place on Thursday at around 8:00 pm in the area of Empire Boulevard and Albany Avenue, the NYPD told The Algemeiner in a statement.

Responding to a call, officers arrived to find a 25-year-old man who claimed to have been punched in the face by another man who made antisemitic statements.

The perpetrator fled the scene and has not been found. The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force has been notified and police are continuing to investigate.

The suspect is described as a male with dark complexion, around 19 years old, five feet and 10 inches tall, and approximately 140 pounds.

Recent weeks have seen several attacks on Jews in Brooklyn that were coupled with antisemitic slurs, including a man who was struck with a projectile from a moving car, a man who was beaten outside a nightclub, and a pregnant woman who had a drink thrown in her face.
Polish Police Arrest Ringleaders of ‘Death to the Jews’ Rally in City of Kalisz as Outcry Continues
Polish police on Monday arrested the ringleaders of last week’s virulently antisemitic demonstration in the town of Kalisz where participants shouted “Death to the Jews!” among other slogans.

Andrzej Borowiak, a regional spokesperson for the Polish police, told the PAP news agency that three men had been charged by the district prosecutor. Wojciech Olszanski, Piotr Rybak and Marcin Osadowski led the demonstration in the Main Market Square of Kalisz last Thursday that featured a ceremonial burning of the Statute of Kalisz — a ruling issued in 1264 that guaranteed key legal protections for Jews living in the medieval Duchy of Poland.

Borowiak said that regional police officers had been “working on this case throughout the weekend, analyzing and developing the evidence that was delivered to the prosecutor’s office.” In a separate statement, a spokesperson for the district prosecutor confirmed that the three offenders were facing prosecution for “a crime involving the promotion of fascism or other totalitarian regimes and attacks on the grounds of xenophobia, racism or religious intolerance.”

One Polish government minister warned on Monday that the three men would face stiff penalties if convicted. “There is no consent for antisemitism or hatred based on nationality, religion or ethnicity,” Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski remarked in a statement. “The Polish state must show its ruthlessness and firmness towards the organizers of the disgraceful event in Kalisz.”

Earlier, Polish President Andzrej Duda had excoriated the “barbarism perpetrated by a group of hooligans in Kalisz,” even suggesting that the demonstration could be regarded as an “act of treason.” Leaders of the powerful Catholic Church in Poland also castigated the display. “We strongly condemn antisemitic behavior in Kalisz. Such attitudes have nothing to do with patriotism,” Bishop Rafal Markowski — chairman of the Polish Bishops’ Conference committee for dialogue with Jewish leaders — said in a statement.
'Treason': Israel & Poland president condemn anti-Semitic display

Luxembourg to pay one million Euros in reparations for Holocaust survivors
The World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) announced on Monday that its Claims Conference has started distributing EUR 1,000,000 from the Luxembourg Fund for Holocaust survivors who currently live in Luxembourg or lived there during the Nazi occupation.

Each recipient will be granted an initial EUR 5,000 payment by the end of November and the second payment in March 2022. Those eligible will be selected from people who apply for the restitution before the extended deadline of January 31, 2022.

The reparations come after Luxembourg's government signed an agreement with members of its Jewish community, as well as the WJRO and the Luxembourg Foundation for the Remembrance of the Shoah on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27, 2021.

In addition to securing restitution for Luxembourgish Holocaust survivors, the agreement allocates resources for Holocaust education, memorialization and research.

“We are pleased that survivors will soon be receiving their first payments, Gideon Taylor, Chair of Operations of the WJRO, said. "We also urge anyone that may be eligible for the program to apply by January 31, 2022, the extended deadline. All survivors will receive equal payments regardless of their application submission date. These funds provide a small measure of justice and will help survivors live their lives with the dignity they deserve.”
How Jews escaped Bizerte, one dark and stormy night
It is 60 years since the Bizerte crisis erupted: the Tunisian government issued an ultimatum for the French to withdraw from their important naval base – the last vestige of colonial rule. France evacuated its nationals, but what to do with Jews whose passports had expired, and what would happen to Jewish residents of Tunisian nationality bereft of French protection ? Agnes Bensimon writing in K. magazine tells how a brave French diplomat and the Mossad stepped up to the plate to mount rescue missions. (With thanks: Veronique).

The passport issue proved crucial and its handling delicate. Jews of French nationality (about a thousand) left for the metropolis without difficulty, like all nationals. There remained nearly 900 Jews in a trickier situation. Most of them had expired passports. For weeks, Jean-Jacques Roos, deputy to Consul General Jeannot, used all the resources at his disposal to resolve issues on a case-by-case basis. In his memoirs for example, he explains how he worked with a young Tunisian woman employed in the most important travel agency in Bizerte, whose owner was Jewish. She went to her office at the Consulate with the expired passports, Roos then granted the visas and laissez-passers, with the indirect agreement of the Quai d´Orsay, so that the passengers could disembark in Marseille. Jean-Jacques Roos attended each departing ship because the Tunisian police checked passports and searched people. Before boarding, families handed over their money, gold or jewellery to him. Two or three times a day he boarded in his capacity as a French diplomat, and returned their property to them – often to their astonishment. Thanks to his actions, at the end of August 1961, there remained “only” 325 Tunisian Jews who were candidates for emigration according to figures communicated to Paris by Xavier Jeannot (Telegram n ° 70 of August 26): ” Of this number, about a hundred would undoubtedly have had travel documents and could leave by normal means. For the other 225, it was practically impossible to obtain passports or laissez-passer from the Tunisian authorities. ”

The deadline for the departure of the French, September 30, forced the leaders of the misgeret, the Zionist underground network in North Africa, to decide to begin preparations for a large-scale illegal emigration operation codenamed ” Operation Solange. ”
Gantz heading to Morocco next week, will sign defense deal
Amid burgeoning relations between Jerusalem and Rabat following the normalization agreement to establish diplomatic relations last year, Defense Minister Benny Gantz will pay a visit to Morocco next week, his office said Monday.

Gantz is expected to sign a defense deal with Rabat during his visit, and to meet with his counterpart and with the Moroccan foreign minister.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid visited Morocco in August to officially open up the Israeli Liaison Office in Rabat as well as meet with officials and sign a series of agreements.

In September, Morocco’s national carrier Royal Air Maroc said it would start regular direct flights to Israel.

The service linking the countries’ respective commercial capitals Casablanca and Tel Aviv will take off on December 12, two days after the first anniversary of Morocco’s “resumption of relations” with Israel under a deal brokered by the previous United States administration.

The airline said it would offer three flights per week, and would later be moving to five.
US to partner with Israel to combat ransomware attacks
The US Treasury Department said on Sunday it will partner with Israel to combat ransomware, with the two countries launching a joint task force to address cybersecurity.

The task force will develop a memorandum of understanding supporting information sharing related to the financial sector, including cybersecurity regulations and threat intelligence, the US Treasury Department said.

The announcement follows a virtual meeting on ransomware held at the White House in October with the European Union and more than 30 countries, including Israel.

Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo asked then for international cooperation to address the abuse of virtual currency and disrupt the ransomware business model.

Adeyemo met with Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Director-General of the National Cyber Directorate Yigal Unna, Central Bank Governor Amir Yaron, as well as local fintech and cybersecurity entrepreneurs in Israel on Sunday to establish a bilateral partnership, the department said in a statement.
Israel’s Elbit Awarded $106 Million Contract to Supply Automatic Gun Systems to Asia-Pacific Country
Israeli defense powerhouse Elbit Systems announced on Monday that it was awarded a contract valued at approximately $106 million to supply SIGMA fully automatic self-propelled howitzer gun systems to a country in the Asia-Pacific region. The contract will be fulfilled over a five-year period.

SIGMA is a 155mm/52 caliber self-propelled howitzer capable of automatic loading and laying of the gun system, rapid in-and-out action times, and high rate of fire. It offers a protected cabin for a crew of three. Depending on the mission, SIGMA is capable of automatically selecting and loading the required projectile, propellant, and fuse and laying the gun to optimally engage targets.

“The SIGMA system effectively addresses the growing need of armed forces to enhance the effectiveness of their artillery formations and reduce life-cycle costs while improving precision, rapidity, autonomy, survivability, and connectivity,” said Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis, President and CEO of Elbit Systems. “The SIGMA system is based on the know-how and experience accumulated by the company over decades in supplying artillery systems to numerous customers, including the new 155mm fully automatic self-propelled howitzer gun systems for the Israel Defense Forces.”

The deal comes four days after an announcement that Elbit was awarded contracts in an aggregate amount of approximately $74 million from the Defense Acquisition Program Administration of the Ministry of National Defense of the Republic of South Korea to supply a range of airborne munitions. Also last week, Elbit announced that its subsidiary, Elbit Systems UK, was awarded a contract valued at approximately $100 million (approximately £73 million) by Babcock International Group to provide the Royal Navy with new Electronic Warfare capabilities under Increment 1 of the Maritime Electronic Warfare System Integrated Capability (MEWSIC) Program.
Israeli Movie Star Gal Gadot’s New Film Smashes Netflix’s Opening Day Viewing Record
Gal Gadot’s new film Red Notice has smashed Netflix’s opening day viewing record, prompting celebration from the Israeli actress and her co-stars.

Gadot features in the Netflix-produced film along with Ryan Reynolds and Dwayne Johnson. It is a comedy thriller about an FBI agent (Johnson) whose search for one of the world’s greatest art thieves (Gadot) leads to him becoming entangled with another crook (Reynolds).

With an estimated budget of $200 million, the film is believed to be the most expensive ever produced by Netflix.

“This is amazing!!!!” Gadot wrote as she shared the news on Instagram. “What can I say, you guys are the best and the reason why we make these films. So grateful and excited!!! Congratulations @Netflix and to the entire #RedNotice team.”
Month-Long Series of Events Celebrates 500 Years of Jewish Presence in Mexico
The Fundación HispanoJudía (FHJ) and the Centro Deportivo Israelita de México (CDI) have organized a month-long series of events to celebrate 500 years of Jewish presence in Mexico.

The events, which relate to history, art and culture, are running from Oct. 31 to Nov. 28. Among the dignitaries participating were Minister of Culture of Mexico Alejandra Frausto Guerrero; Ambassador of Spain to Mexico Juan López-Dóriga Pérez; Ambassador of Israel to Mexico Zvi Tal; and Abdelfattah Lebbar, ambassador of Morocco to Mexico.

“Today, and I say this with great sorrow, Mexico is probably one of the few countries in the world where Jews can openly and fearlessly express their Judaism,” said the Israeli ambassador.

Tal went on to say that he had been struck by “the admiration that Mexican Jews feel towards the country in which they live, the country that has opened its arms to their ancestors, giving them the same opportunity to study, do business, and to succeed.”

The president of the Centro Deportivo Israelita’s Board of Directors, Isaac Roizen, said, “500 years of expulsion, forced conversion, search for new horizons, flight, conquest and resistance … certainly deserve an essential and necessary commemoration.”

He went on to express his gratitude for the way Mexico took in the Jews arriving from Spain: “We cannot speak of the expulsion of Jews from Spain without mentioning Mexico, the country that welcomed us and offered us a new life, opportunities, a new nationality and freedom of worship.”