Wednesday, November 17, 2021

From Ian:

New York Times Video Depicts Israeli Soldiers Winning Pizza Coupons by Shooting Palestinians for ‘Fun’
The New York Times is out with another anti-Israel video — this one accusing Israeli soldiers of shooting Palestinians for “fun,” and drunk Israelis on Purim throwing bottles at a Palestinian baby.

Israeli soldiers were rewarded with coupons for pizza if they shot a Palestinian, the video alleges. The video also depicts Jewish children chanting “slaughter the Arabs.”

A Times opinion newsletter promoting the film is headlined “A Rare Look at Israeli Soldiers in the West Bank City of Hebron.” The “senior commissioning editor for Op-Docs,” Christine Kecher, who joined the Times this year with no apparent previous newsroom experience, writes, “We hope it will resonate with you the way it has with audiences around the world.” The Times didn’t commission this film, which, as the newsletter explains, has already been created and shown elsewhere, and debuted in Amsterdam nearly a year ago. But the Times is hosting the 22 and a half minute “Mission Hebron” movie on the New York Times website and promoting it on the Times homepage under the headline, “I Asked Fellow Ex-Israeli Soldiers to Tell Me Their Stories.”

The Times is depicting it as Israeli self-criticism: “Director Rona Segal learned filmmaking the Israeli army. Now, she turns the camera on her fellow soldiers.”

But the final credits disclose foreign involvement, with “thank you” to “The European Union,” the “International Solidarity Movement,” and “DCA ACT Alliance.” The European Union — well, we all know unfortunately what happened to the Jewish people the last time they entrusted their security to France, Germany, and the Netherlands. The International Solidarity Movement was founded by “extreme leftist Americans,” according to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. And the “ACT” in DCA ACT Alliance stands for Action by Churches Together — it is an alliance of the World Council of Churches and Lutheran World Federation. Those churches’ involvement might explain the Purim angle or the depiction of Jewish bloodlust that infuses the Times-promoted video; already back in 414 in Inmestar, Syria, Christians were accusing Jews of seizing and killing a Christian child on Purim. As Henry Abramson has written, “it didn’t take much to convince Christian audiences that Jews were in fact bent on committing acts of horrific violence. From Inmestar to Norwich to Nazi Germany and beyond, the noxious lie of the blood libel continues to plague innocent Jewish communities.”
Brooke Goldstein: In D.C., American Jews continue to face antisemitism unabated
Being anti-Zionist is the antithesis of supporting indigenous rights and statehood for indigenous people. Zionism is the ultimate of progressive values in its recognition of Jews as indigenous to the land of Israel.

Anything else would be contradictory, all in the name of a “commitment to racial justice, self-governance, and indigenous sovereignty.”

Where is the uproar from the left? Why haven’t progressives who embrace the Statehood DC movement decried the hate speech aimed at Jews by this local chapter of a national organization committed to fighting climate change? It took the national Sunrise Movement days to reproach its D.C. affiliate, at first ducking a response to Sunrise DC’s racism and antisemitism by citing its practice of no oversight over local affiliates’ statements before they are published.

In our nation’s capital we have the opportunity — the obligation — to do better. At the seat of our government, in the city that boasts Black Lives Matter Plaza, American Jews continue to face antisemitism unabated.

Discrimination against a people for their faith disguised as a political movement is racism, plain and simple. So why doesn’t anyone seem to care when Jews are the ones being targeted?

Statehood DC, when will you decide to push back against racists using your space to exclude people because of their ethnic, cultural, and religious identities?

Blatant antisemitism under the guise of “racial justice” has gone unchecked for too long.

Let’s end it now.
David Collier: We have planted trees in Israel for those who help fight antisemitism
Before we were rudely interrupted by a pandemic, I ran a campaign asking British Jews to put forward names of those who they feel are standing by them in the fight we face against rising antisemitism. They also donated, to honour those fighting with trees being planted in Israel in their names. Forty trees in total have been planted and this week a certificate has been sent to those named here (and some unnamed).

The JNF certificate they received carried this message:
A mature tree has been planted in an urban forest in the Negev, (in your name) bringing life into desert towns in recognition of your bravery and strong stance in fighting antisemitism in the United Kingdom. You are a true friend of the Jewish people.
Donated by and sent with best wishes from
the Jewish Community in the UK

The fight has a cost
Everyone involved in this battle knows that the fight can carry a high personal cost and not everyone can be publicly recognised. All those named below have given their permission to be listed here.

A few other important points:
- This is not a list I drew up – but one that reflects the wishes of those who supported the campaign. No list could be complete but as someone who has been on the front line – I recognise each and every one of those mentioned. Much of the activity can take place behind the scenes and some have paid a very heavy price indeed for their solidarity.
- Secondly, this is recognition with a present tense. This is about honouring fighters in the field of a battle still being fought.
- No list of this type could be complete. For those who you think have been missed (and we all know some have) – you can still honour them in the same fashion. If you feel a non-Jewish voice has been empowering you, strengthening you, standing by you – then you can go to the JNF page – donate £50 – and plant a tree in their name. If you want to use the same message as the one I sent out – just put a note saying ‘same as David Collier’s‘ in the message box. Don’t forget to also write the name of the person you wish to honour in this way. If you do not want to do this yourself, use the donate buttons below, send the funds along with the instruction – and I will take care of it.

Jewish Author David Baddiel Explores ‘Darker Side’ of Social Media in Upcoming BBC Documentary
Jewish author and comedian David Baddiel will explore the effects of social media on human behavior, both on and offline, in an upcoming documentary for BBC Two, the British television network announced on Monday.

In “David Baddiel: Social Media, Anger and Us,” the self-proclaimed Twitter addict and author of “Jews Don’t Count” takes a close look at the “darker side” of how people interact online, “where outrage and angry exchanges frequently dominate,” BBC Two said in a statement.

“This negativity is spilling off line and into real life,” the statement continued. “In this film [Baddiel will] be asking whether something originally designed to help us talk to each other leads to everyone shouting at each other.”

The film, expected to be released on Dec. 13, examines Baddiel’s own social media behavior and the hateful tweets he has received. He tries to understand how his brain responds to angry messages by undergoing an MRI scan, and later takes a break from social media to see how stepping away from online platforms changes his behavior and mindset.

Baddiel also talks to avid social media users, writers, and experts, and tries to decipher whether “cancel culture” is a “new type of mass democracy or just mob rule.” He interviews social media users who have been targeted by online trolls, including one TikTok account holder whose house was set on fire, and investigates the use of fake accounts and bots to spread misinformation.
UK Labour leader denounces ‘anti-Zionist antisemitism’
He noted that Labour had “backed the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine,” even before the Balfour Declaration of 1917, and said his party “will continue to support Israel’s rumbustious democracy, its independent judiciary, and its commitment to the rule of law.” Starmer praised Israel as “a nation with a vibrant media, free trade unions and a lively tradition of debate, dissent and disagreement,” but said equally that Labour would always speak out when it believes the country falls short of its founding principles of equality and freedom. “Israel’s most precious features are its Jewish and its democratic identities. To retain both, we must have a two-state solution,” he continued.

“And to respect and honor the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, they must have a democratic, viable state of their own. This is an aspiration that I know is shared by many millions of Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

Starmer said, however, “The Labour party does not and will not support BDS,” which he accused of singling out “the world’s sole Jewish state,” while adding that Labour “oppose[s] and condemn[s] illegal settlements, annexation and the eviction of Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

The Labour leader continued, “But a policy of BDS would be counterproductive. It would drive people apart when we should be bringing them together.”
A Lesson in Impartiality From the Military for Anti-Israel Academics
You cannot have good-faith debate and education once a department has staked out the single acceptable position. Once a university allows its good offices to be monopolized by a partisan group — of any leaning — it loses all authority. It also gives the lie to any grand claims of inclusivity.

What institution, above all others in a democracy, must fiercely guard its political neutrality against any perception of partisanship? The military.

The US military exists to protect all citizens regardless of political, racial, religious, or ethnic affiliation. It cannot afford to be seen as the agent of only one party. To maintain the appearance and reality of non-partisanship, the military code of conduct prohibits active-duty personnel from appearing at political events in uniform.

Service people are allowed — even encouraged — to exercise their rights as citizens. They are encouraged to vote. But they are prohibited from usurping the authority of the institution for political ends.

Department of Defense Directive 1344.10 addresses political activities of members of the Armed Forces. In addition to voting, active members may attend political meetings, petition for legislative action, or write letters to newspapers. All rights we hold dear as citizens. But members may not appear at political rallies in uniform, “when an inference of official sponsorship for the activity […] could be drawn.”

In academia, generally speaking, we have no uniforms. But when it is warranted, we have other ways of conveying the implied sponsorship of our actions by our institution. When I lecture on my research that is supported by Yale, I put the name or emblem of Yale University on my presentation. When I advertise my scientific findings that were made possible by Yale resources, I may do it on a Yale website. But I do not usurp the university’s authority by posting my private political views on its platforms or in communiques that bear the imprimatur of Yale.

The US military recognizes that its authority would be diminished if it were seen as partisan. It has rules and it drums these rules into its initiates. Universities that allow the boundaries between personal and institutional opinions to be eroded by a minority of their members risk earning reputations as partisan playthings of one group. For some institutions, it might already be too late.
Editorializing for Hamas
The latest example of this social justice advocacy parading as journalism was in full display in a November 9th editorial, “In support of Students for Justice in Palestine,” written by the Editorial Board of The Daily Campus, the University of Connecticut’s student newspaper.

“The UConn Students for Justice in Palestine held a rally last week to bring attention to injustices in Palestine,” the editorial read, and “[s]peakers discussed the oppression and violence experienced by the Palestinian people, the connection of our university to such injustices and the role of community members in supporting Palestine’s fight for freedom.”

Troubling to the editors, apparently, was the fact that UConn Hillel “also held a demonstration nearby in direct opposition to the ideas behind UConn SJP;” in other words, Hillel attempted to provide a balance to debate by presenting its own views and facts relevant to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Most shocking is the editorial’s one-sided, highly biased viewpoint in presenting its argument in support of the virulent pro-Palestinian student group, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) while simultaneously denouncing the efforts of Hillel to defend Israel and Jewish self-determination by revealing the genocidal tactics of the terrorist group Hamas, the Palestine leadership in Gaza.

In May, after Israel launched retaliatory incursions into Gaza to suppress rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israeli civilian neighborhoods (with more than 4340 lethal rockets launched toward Israel over 11 days) hundreds of statements of solidarity were issued by students, faculty, academic departments, academic associations, and other indignant scolds. Unsurprisingly, though saddening, nonetheless, was the fact that these statements, using almost identical language and expressing similar sentiments, announced only support for Hamas and the Palestinians.

Not only was Israel’s self-defense denounced as disproportionate, illegal, overly aggressive, and tantamount to war crimes, but the broader question about Israel’s legal right to even exist was raised, along with the tired, loaded language of the woke Left, language which includes such terms, when describing Israel, as “colonial,” “occupation,” “siege,” “ethnic cleansing,” “settlements,” “state violence,” “racism,” as well as the favorite slur leveled against the Jewish state that it is enforcing a new form of “apartheid” and that a country called “Palestine” will be “liberated” as a result of global advocacy for the Palestinian Arab cause.
National Pro-Israel Student Group ‘Disturbed’ After New Duke University Chapter Blocked Over Social Media Post
Students Supporting Israel (SSI) said on Tuesday that it was “appalled” after a rare veto was issued by the student government to prevent recognition of a Duke University chapter of the pro-Israel group.

SSI, which operates on over 160 college campuses in the US and abroad, said in a statement that a new chapter was chartered at Duke on Nov. 10th, with the goal of making “Israel education programming” available to students on campus.

But on Monday, Duke’s Student Government (DSG) President denied recognition of the new chapter, accusing the student group of “singling out” a Duke sophomore in a social media post.

Earlier, the Duke sophomore had skeptically shared news of the Duke SSI’s chartering, along with the caption, “my school promotes settler colonialism.”

A SSI Duke Instagram account then reposted an image of the comment along with a reply, writing: “To Yana and others like her, please allow us to educate you on what ‘settler colonialism’ actually is and why Israel does not fall under this category whatsoever. These types of narratives are what we strive to combat and condemn, which is why Duke’s chapter of Students Supporting Israel has been officially established & is here to stay.”

That reply, along with a similar Instagram “story,” led DSG President Christina Wang to veto the new pro-Israel group on Monday.

Toronto Star Gives Platform to BDS Whitewashing by New Israel Fund Head
In a front-page feature-length article on November 14, the Toronto Star gave significant coverage to an interview with Daniel Sokatch, the CEO of the New Israel Fund (NIF), which claims to be a moderate, centrist organization promoting the cause of peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

The NIF is a US based non-governmental organization with an annual budget in the tens of millions of dollars, and which, despite its name, funds a wide array of anti-Israel groups.

According to an audit produced by NGO Monitor, although NIF claims that it “firmly oppose[s] attempts to prosecute Israeli officials in foreign courts,” in practice the organization is accused of doing exactly that. NGO Monitor found that “NIF continues to fund NGOs such as Adalah, Breaking the Silence, +972 Magazine, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel that are primarily active in campaigns that contribute to BDS and delegitimization.”

In Mireille Silcoff’s Toronto Star interview with Sokatch, she describes the New Israel Fund as a group that “focuses on democracy and equality for both Jews and Arabs — misunderstood by a left wing confused by its hard-Zionist-sounding name, and criticized by right-wing detractors for its policies.” But in reality, the NIF is accused of being far more anti-Israel than its misnomer name would suggest, but that doesn’t seem to resonate with Ms. Silcoff who expressed her affinity for Sokatch’s views via Twitter:

For example, the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel may portray itself as a nonviolent movement to achieve political ends, but its aim is to delegitimize the very concept of Israel as Jewish state, which according to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), is an example of antisemitic speech as it denies the Jewish people the right to self determination in their historic homeland. But that didn’t stop Sokatch from, in our estimation, whitewashing BDS and describing it as “a peaceful, nonviolent means for Palestinians trying to change a country,” a movement whose tactics are “perfectly reasonable and legitimate” and even comparing it to the civil rights movement in the United States.
Reigning Miss Universe Says Don’t Politicize the Pageant as Israel Boycott Efforts Continue Ahead of Eilat Competition
The reigning Miss Universe said on Wednesday to leave politics aside when it comes to the international beauty pageant set to be held next month in Israel, amid efforts to have contestants boycott the event in a show of support for Palestinians.

Miss Universe Andrea Meza, 27, toured Jerusalem’s Old City on Wednesday ahead of the 70th Miss Universe pageant, scheduled to take place in the southern Israeli resort city of Eilat on Dec. 12. She told the Associated Press before the start of her tour, “Everyone with different beliefs, with different backgrounds, with different cultures, they all come together and when you are in there you forget about politics, about your religion. It’s just about embracing other women.”

Meza, a software engineer who represents Mexico, said she would not hold it against women who chose to withdraw their participation from this year’s contest, but that she personally has no issue with the competition being held in Israel.

“People have to make compromises and I really hope that we can make this through talking and conversation,” Meza added.

Contestants from around the world will begin arriving in Israel in the coming weeks ahead of the Miss Universe competition. The Miss Universe organization will arrange for the contestants to tour Israel and learn about its history and culture with visits to the Dead Sea, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and locations around Eilat, among other places.
Former Miss Iraq praises Miss South Africa

Palestinian Leaders’ Fabrications About Ancient Israel Go Unchallenged By Media
Palestinian Leadership Gaslighting Jews: an ‘Arab Tribe That Became Extinct’
False claims such as the aforementioned tend to go hand in hand with another tactic employed by Palestinian leaders, that of erasing known links between the Jewish people and historical Israel.

Fatah Revolutionary Council member Bakr Abu Bakr once referred to the “Children of Israel” as an “Arab tribe that became extinct,” adding that “the present residents of our land who are affiliated with the Jewish religion have no connection to them.”

Cues from the Palestinian political class have been picked up on by academics. Palestinian historian Dr. Ashraf Al-Qasas, during a November 2 interview with Gaza-based Alkofiya TV, said that “Jews constitute surplus, and could not integrate into society…. The Jews were a pile of garbage that you wanted to get rid of… and you do this by dumping them on the neighbors you hate: the Muslims.”

Mahmoud Abbas engaged in this brand of negationist ideology when the Trump administration in December 2017 recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In a speech, Abbas countered Washington’s move with a statement that there never was a Jewish Jerusalem until the modern Zionist movement.

And during the 2000 Camp David summit, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat famously denied that a Jewish Temple had ever existed on the Temple Mount — a microcosm of his denial of the Jews’ historical connection and claim to the Land of Israel. Instead, he insisted that the real temple was built in the West Bank city of Nablus. The fact that he would not accept even basic Jewish history in the region was seen by both the Israelis and the Clinton administration as a sign that the PLO leader was not negotiating in good faith, despite the generous peace offer that was put on the table. A few months after the talks between Jerusalem and Ramallah ended in failure, a concerted campaign of Palestinian terrorism that became known as the Second Intifada erupted.

Some of UNESCO’s most egregious crimes against history include:
- Censuring Israel with wording that described Jewish holy sites in Jerusalem and Hebron as being Palestinian.
- Adopting a resolution that referred to the ancient Jewish temple in Jerusalem only as Haram al-Sharif and the Western Wall Plaza only as al-Buraq plaza, the respective sites’ Muslim names.
- Declaring that the Hebron site revered by both Jews and Moslems as the burial place of the biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their wives as a “Palestinian World Heritage site in danger.”

Citing systemic bias, Israel and the United States quit UNESCO in 2017. “UNESCO is a body that continually rewrites history, including by erasing the Jewish connection to Jerusalem,” Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon was quoted as saying at the time.
The New York Times Publishes Glowing Profile on Notorious Anti-Israel Terror Apologist
HonestReporting recently exposed ‘media pundit’ and provocateur Refaat Alareer as a proud Israel-hater.

He compared Israel to Nazi Germany more than 100 times; promoted modern-day blood libels; and repeatedly disseminated falsehoods about the Jewish state.

Yet, The New York Times is evidently unrepentant about having given a platform to Alareer during May’s Hamas-initiated conflict against Israel, as the publication has now produced a glowing feature about him that whitewashes his antisemitism.

The November 16 article by Patrick Kingsley, In Gaza, a Contentious Palestinian Professor Calmly Teaches Israeli Poetry, defies belief with its gushing descriptions of Alareer and his job teaching university students.

Observing that Alareer has introduced his class to the work of an Israeli poet, Kingsley writes:
- Here was an appreciation of one of Israel’s best-loved poets from a Palestinian professor at a university co-founded by the former leader of Hamas, the militant group that runs the Gaza government, does not recognize Israel, and was responsible for dozens of suicide attacks on Israelis. Experts say the study of Israeli poetry in Palestinian colleges is rare, though not unheard of.

- What Mr. Alareer admired about the poem, ‘Jerusalem,’ he told his students, was the way it blurred divisions between Israelis and Palestinians and implied that ‘Jerusalem can be the place where we all come together, regardless of religion and faith.'”

While Alareer may have paid lip service to lofty ideas about peaceful coexistence under the gaze of Kingsley, the facts speak for themselves.

Alareer has repeatedly used his social media platform to spew hatred about Israel, including his assertion that the Jewish state is “nazi Germany on steriods [sic]” and by comparing Zionism to Hitler’s Germany as “two cheeks of the same dirty arse.”

AFP Transfers Ethiopian Jews to the West Bank
The international media’s tendency to see Israel through the narrow lens of the state’s presence in the disputed West Bank leads to bizarre outcomes at times. Thus, this week Agence France Presse gerrymandered the disputed territory into a completely unrelated story: the debate over bringing relatives of Israeli Ethiopians to Israel in light of Ethiopia’s civil war.

Thus, AFP’s Nov. 14 article, “Hundreds in Israel protest for rescue of Ethiopia Jews,” falsely reported:
It was only in 1984, and then in 1991, that the Jewish state organised massive air lifts for around 80,000 Ethiopians, many of whom ended up living in the occupied West Bank. (Emphasis added.)

In fact, according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, less than 2 percentof Israel’s Ethiopian Jews live in the West Bank.

Many Ethiopians live in central Israel and the southern district. Few live in the West Bank. The French version of the same article does not contain this error.
More BBC News mainstreaming of the anti-Israel ‘apartheid’ smear
BBC audiences are not told that South Africa ‘downgraded’ its relations with Israel in 2019 after having recalled its ambassador the previous year over the Hamas-initiated ‘Great Return March‘.

The BBC’s box-ticking insert referring to Israel having “denied” and ‘rejected’ allegations fails to clarify to readers that comparisons between Israel and the former South African regime are rejected by many, not only in Israel.

And yet again, the BBC makes no effort to explain to audiences why anti-Israel campaigners, including supporters of the BDS campaign which opposes Jewish self-determination, use the ‘apartheid’ smear to further their cause.

The result is that, once again, we find the BBC unquestioningly amplifying and mainstreaming a trope resurrected two decades ago at the controversial Durban conference with the intention of delegitimising Israel as a pariah state that has no right to exist.

Apparently, BBC editors see no problem with that.
Indy Arabia warns Jews building another 'Tanakhic Park'!
As we’ve shown before, a “Tanakhic park” is merely Mousa’s way to frame any Israeli development plan in the holy city – controversial as it may be – in a manner designed to incite fear of Judaism’s increasing ‘encroachment’ on Judaism’s holiest city.

Thus, in October 2020 he asserted that Israel’s plan for “Tanakhic parks” encompasses no less than five square kilometers outside the Old City walls, while in March 2021 he argued that such a park is actually planned inside the Old City. In fact, in comparing the two reports (as we did in our previous post on the matter), it’s hard to find a single consistent detail about the location, size and origin of these mysterious parks – only that they’re part of Israel’s sinister scheme to takeover Jerusalem and “imagine” a Jewish connection to it.

Of course, this is not exclusively Mousa’s idea. It’s a method that’s been used by Palestinian Authority propagandists, and other ‘experts’, for decades.

This time, it seems, the new “Tanakhic park” is planned just outside Lions’ Gate. We’ll keep that in mind until another one no doubt pops up back inside the walls in the spring. Will Independent Arabia do the same?
Jewish historian shuns award from Polish government’s history center
Jewish American historian Eliyana Adler refused to accept an award worth $19,000 from the Polish government’s Pilecki Institute, arguing that it suppresses work by “historians who strive to show the complex and indeed tragic aspects of Poland’s wartime past.”

Adler, an associate professor at Penn State University, was given a newly inaugurated award for scholarship on 20th-century Poland, the Pilecki Institute’s specialty, for her 2020 book, “Survival on the Margins: Polish Jewish Refugees in the Wartime Soviet Union.” The honor was to be co-awarded by the Auschwitz memorial museum.

“The Pilecki Institute, while very generous in supporting some historical scholarship on the Second World War, has also been involved in suppressing the work of historians who strive to show the complex and indeed tragic aspects of Poland’s wartime past,” Adler wrote in a letter dated November 4 to the institute. It was published online on Friday.

Polish governmental institutions have been accused by historians of whitewashing the country’s treatment of Jews during the Holocaust. The country passed a widely criticized law in 2019 that makes it illegal to blame the Polish nation for Nazi crimes.
Austin Rally Draws Hundreds to Support Jewish Community in Wake of Vandalism, Arson
Several hundred people gathered on the steps of the Texas State Capitol in Austin on Sunday to show their support for the Jewish community and help spread kindness in the wake of a string of antisemitic incidents, including an arson fire outside a local synagogue.

Called the “Rally for Kindness,” it was organized by ATXKind, a grassroots group of Jewish women, and with the help of the local Jewish federation, Shalom Austin, and the local branch of the Anti-Defamation League.

“We wanted to create a space for the Central Texas community to stand together in solidarity and process what has taken place in recent weeks,” said Mariette Hummel, one of the founders of ATXKind, a grassroots group of six Jewish women from Austin. “The rally offered an opportunity for all to be together to unite and heal, and move from anger into action. We will continue our work to bring people together, and encourage kindness and inclusive action.”

Rabbi Steven Folberg of Congregation Beth Israel told rally-goers that repairs to his synagogue may reach upwards of $150,000 after an arsonist tried to set it ablaze on Oct. 31, and it remains unclear how much insurance will cover. Last week, police arrested an 18-year-old for the crime.

“I do have faith we will come out of this a stronger, more committed, more loving congregation,” he said.
Canadian Hate Crimes Investigators Probe Antisemitic Vandalism of Ottawa Courthouse
Canadian police on Tuesday were investigating an incident of antisemitic vandalism on the outside walls of Ottawa City Hall and the neighboring provincial courthouse.

The sign outside the courthouse was defaced with a swastika and the letters “SS,” denoting the Nazi killing unit responsible for the deaths of millions of Jews and others during the Holocaust. Officers from the Hate Crimes and Bias Unit of the Ottawa police are attempting to find those responsible.

Police were called to the scene in the area of Laurier Avenue West and Elgin Street early on Monday morning after receiving reports of the offending graffiti.

The Jewish Federation of Ottawa strongly denounced the incident. “The swastika is a symbol of the murder of millions of Jews, and the terrorization of millions more. This hateful graffiti represents hostility toward Canada’s democratic values,” said Andrea Freeman, the federation’s CEO, in a statement.

Freeman said the federation abhorred “the continuing use of the Holocaust, Nazism, and the genocide of European Jews for propaganda purposes. It must stop.”

Freeman also emphasized that “Jews continue to be, by far, the most targeted victims of hate crimes in Canada by population size.” In May of this year, as fighting resumed between Israeli forces and Hamas terrorists in Gaza, 250 antisemitic incidents were recorded in that month alone, according to a report compiled by B’nai Brith Canada.
German Authorities Won’t Prosecute COVID-19 Conspiracy Theorist Over ‘Evil Jews’ Comments
To the consternation of Jewish leaders and politicians engaged in the fight against antisemitism, prosecutors in Germany will not be taking legal action against an outspoken COVID-19 conspiracy theorist who made flagrantly antisemitic comments about Jews and Israel in an online video.

The public prosecutor in the city of Kiel determined that the comments made by Sucharit Bhakdi — a former professor of microbiology whose public profile surged during the pandemic as he spread various false accounts of the coronavirus — did not amount to incitement, the news outlet tagesschau reported on Tuesday.

“The statements of the accused in the video are directed primarily against the State of Israel as such, while drawing on the local policy in the context of measures to curb COVID 19 pandemic concerns,” a statement from the prosecutor’s office explained.

Bhakdi’s video, produced to support his failed parliamentary candidacy on a platform that was grounded on pandemic conspiracy theories, attacked both Jews and Israel by name, however.

He claimed that Jews who had fled the “arch-evil” of Nazi Germany had turned the State of Israel “into something that is even worse than Germany was.”

Continued Bhakdi: “That’s the bad thing about the Jews: They learn well. There is no people that learns better than they do. But they have now learned the evil – and implemented it. That is why Israel is now a living hell.”

The Kiel prosecutor’s decision not to prosecute Bhakdi — a German citizen born in the US to parents who were Thai diplomats — was strongly criticized by senior officials combating rising antisemitism in Germany.
Lithuania halts construction of bike path near Holocaust mass grave
Municipal authorities in Lithuania have halted the construction of bicycle path near a mass grave of Jewish Holocaust victims, according to a rabbi who raised alarm about the project.

Rabbi Kalev Krelin, a former chief rabbi of Lithuania, posted on Facebook about a bike path that was being built in Šiauliai, a city situated about 100 miles northwest of Vilnius.

“Next to the city of Šiauliai in Lithuania there is a forest where Nazis killed Jews, Soviet soldiers and other locals,” Krelin wrote. “Today the paving work of a bicycle path started here.”

Photos of the site that Krelin posted included one of a freshly paved path on either side of a monument to the victims of the mass murder. Krelin said construction had been suspended after he and others raised concerns about the project, which could run the risk of unsettling the gravesites of the murder victims.

How Lithuania handles Jewish burial grounds is a persistent question. Earlier this year, the government dropped a plan to build a conference center on the grounds of a historic Jewish cemetery — but didn’t cite concern for the memory of the Jews buried there as a reason.
Israeli film on SS officer’s romance with Jewish prisoner heads to Apple, Amazon
A new documentary chronicles a piece of history that seems impossible to comprehend, detailing a verboten relationship at Auschwitz between a Jewish prisoner and an Austrian SS officer.

The romance between the comely, apple-cheeked Slovak captive Helena Citron and the blonde Nazi captain, Franz Wunsch, is unwrapped in the deeply engrossing “Love It Was Not” documentary from Israeli filmmaker Maya Sarfaty.

Using findings from years of research, eyewitness testimonies and a moving chorus of voices from Citron’s fellow inmates as well as artful diorama photos and footage, Sarfaty tells the story of Citron and Wunsch at Auschwitz.

The award-winning film from Greenwich Entertainment — now making the rounds of film festivals around the globe, as well as streaming platforms Apple TV and Amazon Prime Video starting December 3 — is a deeper dive into the subject Sarfaty began exploring in the “The Most Beautiful Woman,” her 2016 student Academy Award winner.

The film opens with a photo of Helena at Auschwitz, looking improbably healthy and happy. It’s a photo that Wunsch had taken of his beloved in her striped prisoner’s uniform, copying it many times, according to his daughter Dagmar, so that he could cut up the photo and place Helena’s head on different outfits in other settings, away from the tragic and cruel surroundings of Auschwitz.
You're my heartGerman pop singer Thomas Anders schedules Israel concert
German singer-songwriter Thomas Anders will return to Israel for one performance on February 1, 2022, at Tel Aviv’s Menora Mivtachim Arena.

The pop singer and TV personality, currently appearing as a judge on the German version of “The X-Factor,” will appear with the Modern Talking band.

Anders’ most popular singles are “You’re My Heart, You’re My Soul,” “You Can Win If You Want,” “Cheri, Cheri Lady,” “Brother Louie,” “Atlantis Is Calling (S.O.S. for Love)” and “Geronimo’s Cadillac.”
86-year-old great-grandmother is crowned 'Miss Holocaust Survivor' in Israeli beauty pageant held to honour women who 'vanquished' the horrors of the Nazi genocide
Ten contestants - ranging in age from 79 to 90 - trod the catwalk at a museum in the city of Haifa, their hair styled, make-up applied and dressed to the nines with sashes adorning their gowns

Organizers of the contest say it bestows glamour and respect on a dwindling number of Jewish women whose youth was stolen during World War II but who went on to build new lives in Israel

The pageant was organized by a Haifa based charity called Yad Ezer l’Haver, which provides care and lodging for Holocaust survivors

'It is not a competition of outward beauty, but one in which each competitor says, "I managed to survive and raise a family, I feel that I vanquished the Nazis and I’m alive and kicking,"' founder Shimon Sabag said

Tuesday's winner, Salina Steinfeld, was born in Romania, where she survived Nazi attacks before moving to Israel in 1948
Jerusalem hosts Miss Holocaust Survivor event to raise awareness
Event organizers say the contest is intended to honor Holocaust survivors

Selina Steinfeld, an 86-year-old woman from Romania who survived Nazi attacks, was crowned “Miss Holocaust Survivor” in a Jerusalem pageant on Tuesday.

The event’s organizers say the contest is intended to commemorate Jewish women who survived the Holocaust and later came to Israel.

World premierFirst look at Helen Mirren as Golda Meir in upcoming biopic
The first image has been released of Academy Award winner Helen Mirren portraying Golda Meir, Israel’s only female prime minister, in an upcoming biopic set during the Yom Kippur War.

Production on “Golda” began earlier this year and it is currently being shot in London with a star-studded cast that includes “Call My Agent” star Camille Cotin as Meir’s longtime personal assistant and Israeli actor Lior Ashkenzi as her chief of staff.

The feature-length movie is being directed by Israeli filmmaker Guy Nattiv, who won the 2018 Academy Award for best short for “Skin,” a film involving neo-Nazis that he later made into a feature.

“As someone who was born during the Yom Kippur War, I am honored to tell this fascinating story about the first and only woman to ever lead Israel,” Nattiv said with the announcement of the beginning of production.

“Nicholas Martin’s brilliant script dives into Golda’s final chapter as the country faces a deadly surprise attack during the holiest day of the year,” he added.

Along with the rest of Israel, Meir and her all-male cabinet were taken by surprise by the attack on the eve of the holiday in 1973 by Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian forces.

Matti Friedman: An Archaeological Dig Reignites the Debate Over the Old Testament’s Historical Accuracy
In 2019, Ben-Yosef explained his theory in a paper, “The Architectural Bias in Current Biblical Archaeology,” in a journal of biblical studies, Vetus Testamentum. He followed up with a version for a general audience in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, stirring up the contentious little world of biblical archaeology.

Israel Finkelstein, the best-known scholar of the critical school, published a response in the journal Antiguo Oriente this year, disputing the identification of the people at the mines as Edomites, dismissing some of Ben-Yosef’s ideas as “not new” and others for “deficiencies” in interpretation. The same issue carried an equally detailed defense from Ben-Yosef.

The veteran Israeli archaeologist Aren Maeir, of Bar-Ilan University, who has spent the last 25 years leading the excavation at the Philistine city of Gath (the hometown, according to the Bible, of Goliath), and who isn’t identified with either school, told me that Ben-Yosef’s findings made a convincing case that a nomadic people could achieve a high level of social and political complexity. He also agreed with Ben-Yosef’s identification of this society as Edom. Still, he cautioned against applying Ben-Yosef’s conclusions too broadly in order to make a case for the accuracy of the biblical narrative. “Because scholars have supposedly not paid enough attention to nomads and have over-emphasized architecture, that doesn’t mean the united kingdom of David and Solomon was a large kingdom—there’s simply no evidence of that on any level, not just the level of architecture.” Nonetheless, he praised Ben-Yosef’s fieldwork as “a very good excavation.”

Thomas Levy, of the University of California, San Diego, one of two chief archaeologists at the Edomite copper mine at Faynan, praised the Timna excavation for providing “a beautiful picture of an Iron Age industrial landscape extending over hundreds of square kilometers.” Levy conceded that both mining operations were on the fringes of the biblical action. “And yet,” he said, “the work gives us a new set of hard data to interrogate ancient Israel, from the near periphery of ancient Israel. That’s exciting, and it’s where people haven’t been looking.”

But a visitor walking through the eerie formations of the Timna Valley, past the dark tunnel mouths and the enigmatic etchings, is forced to accept the limits of what we can see even when we are looking carefully. We like to think that any mystery will yield in the end: We just have to dig deeper, or build a bigger magnifying glass. But there is much that will always remain invisible.

What Ben-Yosef has produced isn’t an argument for or against the historical accuracy of the Bible but a critique of his own profession. Archaeology, he argues, has overstated its authority. Entire kingdoms could exist under our noses, and archaeologists would never find a trace. Timna is an anomaly that throws into relief the limits of what we can know. The treasure of the ancient mines, it turns out, is humility.


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