Sunday, November 21, 2021

From Ian:

Hamas gunman kills 1, wounds 4 in terror shooting in Jerusalem Old City
A Hamas gunman opened fire in the alleyways of Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday morning, killing one Israeli man and wounding four others, two of them seriously, Israeli officials said.

Police officers at the scene opened fire at the terrorist, a 42-year-old Palestinian man from East Jerusalem, and killed him, according to police.

The fatality was named as Eliyahu David Kay, 26, a recent immigrant from South Africa who worked as a guide at the Western Wall and resided in the central city of Modiin.

He was the first Israeli civilian to be killed by Palestinian violence in over six months, since May’s 11-day conflict with terror groups in the Gaza Strip, which killed 12 civilians in Israel.

Hamas hailed the attack, calling it a “heroic operation,” and identified the terrorist as a member of the organization, Fadi Abu Shkhaydam, a Hamas leader in the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, where he lived.

According to police, Abu Shkhaydam entered the Old City armed with a Beretta M12 submachine gun and opened fire at three Israeli men who were walking through the area, near the Chain Gate entrance to the Temple Mount, fatally wounding one of them and seriously injuring the other two. Eliyahu David Kay, killed in a terror attack in Jerusalem on November 21, 2021. (Facebook)

Two female police officers rushed to the scene from one side of the alleyway, opening fire at Shkaydam. Shortly thereafter, two male officers ran in to assist them.

“[The gunman] moved through the alleys and fired quite a bit. Luckily, the alley was mostly empty because otherwise — heaven forbid — there would have been more casualties. The entire incident lasted 32 or 36 seconds. The actions of the female officers was — operationally — at the highest possible level,” Public Security Minister Omer Barlev said at the scene of the attack.

Kay was taken to Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus, where he was pronounced dead. One of the severely injured victims, a rabbi, was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center, where his condition stabilized somewhat after emergency surgery, doctors said. Another man sustained moderate-to-severe injuries — from gunshots and from shrapnel — and was taken to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem.
Jerusalem terror attack fatality named as South African immigrant Eliyahu David Kay
The man killed in a terror attack in Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday was named as Eliyahu David Kay, 26, from the central Israeli city of Modiin.

Kay, a recent immigrant from South Africa who was employed at the Western Wall as a tour guide, was shot dead by a Hamas gunman in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Before working at the Western Wall, he had served in the military as a lone soldier (one of the soldiers from foreign countries who move to Israel without family) in the Paratroopers Brigade, until August 2019.

“He was the first to come to Israel from our family,” Kay’s brother told reporters on Sunday evening.

“He was the first to join the army as a combat soldier, and then the rest of the brothers. We gave everything for this country,” he said.

Kay’s brother added that the family plans to build something in his memory, “so we will truly remember him eternally.” Eliyahu David Kay, killed in a terror attack in Jerusalem on November 21, 2021. (Instagram / HaShomer HaChadash)

“He raised the spirits of everyone. He did his holy work with dedication and loyalty,” the Western Wall Heritage Foundation said in a statement on Sunday.

Kay had been walking to work when the terrorist, an East Jerusalem resident whom Hamas identified as one of its members, opened fire.

He was taken to Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus, where he was pronounced dead.

Kay is to be buried Monday at 11 a.m, at Jerusalem’s Har HaMenuchot Cemetery.

Kay was the first Israeli civilian killed by Palestinian violence since the 11-day conflict in the Gaza Strip this May.

Shooting attack in Jerusalem's Old City: Hamas praises 'heroic' attackers

Palestinian Terrorist Opens Fire, Kills Jewish Civilian in Jerusalem

Israeli forces raid neighborhood of J’lem attack terrorist, relatives said arrested
Israeli security forces raided the East Jerusalem home of a Palestinian terrorist who shot one person to death and wounded others in an attack in the capital’s Old City earlier on Sunday.

According to Palestinian media, several relatives of the gunman — Fadi Abu Shkhaydam, a Hamas member — were arrested by Israeli police in raids in the Shuafat Refugee Camp, including his daughter, brother and nephew.

A spokesperson for Israel Police’s East Jerusalem division said that they could not confirm or deny the reports as operations were still ongoing.

Abu Shkhaydam’s wife and several of their children fled Jerusalem three days before the attack, reportedly traveling to Jordan.

Video footage from Shuafat showed Israeli security forces entering Abu Shkhaydam’s home, as members of his family yell at them. In at least one case, low-level clashes broke out as Israeli border guards arrested one of his relatives.

In addition to the raid on his home, Israel Police officers also visited the Islamic boys high school where Abu Shkhaydam worked, the Rashidiya school, which is located just outside the Old City.

A Jerusalem Municipality spokesperson confirmed that Abu Shkhaydam worked at the school and drew a paycheck from the city, although he was known to Israeli security services as a Hamas member.

“He was the best teacher. He never cursed anyone, or called anyone a bad name, except the Jews, may God burn them,” Shuafat resident Mustafa Zaattra, a student of Abu Skhaydam, told al-Qastal.

Abu Shkhaydam was a member of Hamas’s political wing and served as a terror group member in the Shuafat Refugee Camp, according to Hamas. He had five children: three sons and two daughters.
Who was the Islamic ‘scholar’ who carried out the Jerusalem attack?
Those who knew Sheikh Fadi Abu Shkhaydam were not surprised to hear that he was the terrorist who carried out the shooting attack in the Old City of Jerusalem on Sunday morning.

Described by his friends and acquaintances as an “Islamic scholar,” the 42-year-old Abu Shkhaydam was a well-known mosque preacher in east Jerusalem mosques, including the al-Aqsa Mosque. Others referred to him as a “senior Hamas official in Jerusalem.”

It was not clear whether he held an official position with Hamas. What is clear is that he was affiliated with Hamas and regularly expressed views similar to those of the Gaza-based group.

Abu Shkhaydam was known for his daily presence at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, where he used to deliver sermons and lead protests against tours by Jewish groups.

He was not, however, affiliated with the Jordanian-controlled Waqf Department, which administers the Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem.

In addition, he was known as a prominent and influential figure in Shu’fat Refugee Camp, where he helped solve disputes between local families and individuals.

Abu Shkhaydam, a father of five, was born in Shu’fat Refugee Camp, the only camp located within the boundaries of the Jerusalem Municipality. The camp is run by the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), although it is located under Israeli sovereignty.

Man stabbed, moderately hurt in suspected Jaffa terror attack; Palestinian arrested
A man was stabbed and moderately wounded in the central city of Jaffa on Sunday afternoon in what police said was potentially a terror attack.

Israel Police said an 18-year-old Palestinian from the Jenin area in the West Bank was arrested as a suspect. Officials said he had illegally entered Israel.

Police said indications were increasing that the incident was a terror attack, although they did not rule out other motives.

Security officials had initially believed it was an attempted robbery.

The 67-year-old victim, who was not immediately named, was stabbed in the back at least five times.

He was taken to the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon by Magen David Adom medics. Police at the scene where a 67-year-old man was stabbed in Jaffa, November 21, 2021. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

A law enforcement official said the assailant also attempted to stab the victim’s wife before fleeing the scene.

The suspect was arrested near the scene of the stabbing, and was taken by officers for questioning.
PreOccupiedTerritory: MK Insists Call For Violence Against Jews Just Metaphor For Killing Jews (satire)
An Arab-Israeli legislator who faced backlash for using inflammatory language spoke out in his own defense today, accusing his critics of deliberate distortion of his rhetoric urging constituents to perpetrate physical harm against Jews to mean he endorses causing such physical harm to Jews, when in fact his intent was causing physical harm to Jews.

MK Sami Abu Shehadeh of the Balad Party sought to clarify remarks he made a mosque in the troubled city of Lod several weeks ago, during which he praised local Arab residents for “breaking the nose” of Jews during riots that resulted in extensive property damage to Jewish homes, cars, businesses, and community institutions such as synagogues. He charged in an interview today (Sunday) that tendentious coverage of his speech aims to paint his metaphorical statement as glorifying or endorsing violence against Jews, while the actual message he sought to convey was glorifying or endorsing violence against Jews. Abu Shehadeh provided his clarification during a discussion of the terrorist attack near the Temple Mount this morning, in which a Hamas member shot four Jews, one of them fatally, and an accomplice attempted a stabbing. Preachers in the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Mount frequently incite or praise violence against Jews, as well.

“The notion that I call for violence against Jews is a racist convolution,” he insisted. “I merely praised the youths who burned, pillaged, destroyed, vandalized, beat and otherwise terrorized their Jewish neighbors during the disturbances several months ago. Anyone who seeks to draw a connection between my innocent remarks and the entirely legitimate efforts of my people to rid the land of Jews who think they can just be sovereign, and not dhimmi, the way history intended, is either mistaken or malicious.”
Douglas Murray: I’m getting sick of the Tories
But banning Hamas is the sort of thing it is easy to announce to friendly hawks in Washington. It is like saying that you are going to 'take back control' of your country's borders. In other words, saying it does not make it so.

So I have a challenge for the home secretary. It is well known not only that supporters of Hamas live in the UK, but that current and former ruling members live in our country. One well known individual happens to live in London. I am fed up with Conservatives thinking they are being tough by saying that they are going to get tough on terrorist groups. Saying a thing does not make it so.

So Patel should use Hamas as a test case. Remove their citizenship. Strip them of a privilege they should never have had anyway. Forcibly expel them or deport them from the country and allow them to try their luck elsewhere. It would be an awfully good warning sign. And a demonstration that at least somebody in this government knows the importance of actions as well as words.

After Israeli ban, US envoy to UN expresses backing for Palestinian rights groups
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield appeared on Saturday to wade into the issue of rights groups outlawed by Israel, when she said Washington “support[s] Palestinian NGOs’ role monitoring human rights abuses wherever they occur.”

Israel in late October declared six civil groups to be linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The announcement sparked a firestorm of coverage and condemnations, as most of them received European and international funding.

On Saturday, Thomas-Greenfield, who recently completed a visit to Israel and the West Bank, tweeted: “This week, I had the chance to meet with civil society leaders in Ramallah. I was inspired by their work to advance democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity for the Palestinian people.

“We support Palestinian NGOs’ role monitoring human rights abuses wherever they occur.”

Thursday saw European Union High Representative Josep Borrell declare that Israel had yet to send definitive proof that the six banned Palestinian organizations were linked to the PFLP.

“We are asking for answers from the Israeli government, and we have not yet received convincing answers,” Borrell said in a closed-door meeting of international donors to the Palestinians in Oslo.

Borrell’s speech, like others given at the conference, was not public. The Times of Israel received a transcript of the address from another official.
US reportedly pressuring Israel to resume UNESCO membership
The Biden administration is pressuring Israel to resume its participation in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Israel Hayom learned over the weekend.

The US and Israel pulled out of UNESCO in 2019 citing growing concerns that the organization fosters anti-Israel bias.

Israel "will not be a member of an organization whose goal is to deliberately act against us, and that has become a tool manipulated by Israel's enemies," then-Israeli Ambassador to the UN envoy Danny Danon said at the time.

The Paris-based organization has been denounced by its critics as a crucible for anti-Israel bias following a series of puzzling decisions questioning Israeli presence in Jerusalem, naming ancient Jewish sites as Palestinian heritage sites, and granting full membership to the Palestinian Authority in 2011.

While the withdrawal was mainly procedural, it dealt UNESCO – co-founded by the US after World War II to foster peace – a serious financial blow.

The US provided 20% or the agency's funding, but US President Barack Obama suspended payments in 2011, when the Palestinian Authority became a full member, in line with US law.

Last month, the Biden began exploring its way back to UNESCO, with administration officials saying that it would allow Washington to promote other US interests.
Sudanese military agrees to reinstate deposed PM
A deal was reached between Sudan’s military and civilian leaders to reinstate Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who was deposed in a coup last month, military and government officials said Sunday.

The officials also said that government officials and politicians arrested since the October 25 coup will be released as part of the deal between the military and political parties, including the largest Umma Party.

Hamdok will lead an independent technocratic cabinet, the officials said. They said the UN, the US and others played “crucial roles” in crafting the agreement. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the deal before the official announcement.

The coup, more than two years after a popular uprising forced the removal of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir and his Islamist government, has drawn international criticism. The United States, its allies and the United Nations have condemned the use of excessive force against anti-coup protesters.

Sudanese have been taking to the streets in masses since the military takeover, which upended the country’s fragile transition to democracy. The agreement comes just days after doctors said at least 15 people were killed by live fire during anti-coup demonstrations.
A Spectacular Security Failure
It is unbelievable that in 2021 a convicted felon with an impressive criminal record and several prison sentences can still get hired as a cleaner in the home of Israel’s defense minister.

It is astonishing that it did not occur to those in charge of security to do a background check on an individual who would regularly come into close contact with one of the most protected leaders in Israel.

In this aspect alone, Omri Goren has done a great favor to Israel and its security services: he revealed their failure free of charge and without severe consequences. It is not hard to imagine how much damage could have been caused had information from the defense minister’s home — classified material and recorded conversations — been shared with Israel’s enemies.

As for Goren, there is nothing to discuss. Anyone who offers to spy for Iran should be imprisoned. And it doesn’t matter that Goren failed. The act itself warrants severe punishment, including for the sake of deterrence. Anyone who entertains the idea of spying on Israel should know that a lengthy prison sentence awaits him should he choose to do so.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz was assigned special security, at a cost of millions of shekels. It seemingly included everything: fences, checkpoints, cameras, security guards. The only thing that was missing was background checks on individuals roaming free around his house.

This incident is serious and should not be taken lightly. It warrants a thorough investigation by the Israel Security Agency (which has already begun), but also demands accountability. Interrogators should treat the incident as if damage was done, and in the process, check existing weaknesses in the security system.
COVID infection rises, Bennett to evaluate holding Hanukkah events
Israel will launch its children’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign on Tuesday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett wrote Friday on Facebook.

Special 10-microgram Pfizer vaccine doses for children ages five to 11 arrived in Israel on Saturday, just as the reproduction rate hit one for the first time since September 6 and health experts fear that the virus could be starting to spread again.

The vaccines were sent to the Teva Pharmaceuticals logistics center in Shoham, from where they will be distributed to the health funds. The center shared images of dozens of boxes of vaccines being prepared for the country’s campaign.

The reproduction rate or “R” represents the number of people a sick person will infect. When the R is at 0.8 or below, health experts understand that morbidity is waning. The R has been on the rise since this time last month. It held at 0.73 on October 20 and reached 0.88 on November 4 before rising to one.

“The Health Ministry monitors the reproduction rate on a regular basis,” its COVID-19 headquarters told The Jerusalem Post in a statement. “The reproduction rate has reached one, which means that the fading of the virus has stopped. If the increase continues, we may need to take various steps to reduce infections.

Vaccines to be used for children arrive in Israel, November 2021.

“We call on everyone who can and is eligible to go and get vaccinated, and to adhere to existing guidelines, including wearing masks and keeping the Green Pass rules,” the ministry said.
Mavi Marmara Gaza flotilla ship up for auction starting at $346,200
The Mavi Marmara, the ship which was raided by the IDF during the 2010 flotilla intended to breach the military blockade of Gaza, has been put up for auction starting at a price of $346,200 due to financial difficulties, TRT Haber reported on Saturday.

The ship, which has since changed its name to the Anatolian, was put up for auction due to a lien on the boat. The insurance value of the ship is $2 million and it will cost $320,222 to bring the ship from Mogadishu Port in Somalia to Turkey.

The navigation and communication equipment, as well as other safety equipment, were still in active condition.

According to the report, there are traces of an attack on the ship.

In the 2010 Mavi Marmara raid, a group of rights activists, combined with a smaller group of IHH activists (which the quasi-government Turkel Commission Report identified as being affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood) boarded several ships to try to break Israel’s blockade of Hamas in Gaza.

While Israel commandeered and stopped most of the ships without incident, Israel Navy commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara and were attacked by IHH activists, leading to the injury of some commandos and the eventual deaths of 10 IHH activists.
PMW: Israel targets Palestinian children - PA repeats libel on World Children’s Day
Yesterday, the Palestinian Authority chose to exploit World Children’s Day to repeat its libel that Israel deliberately targets, harms, and even murders Palestinian children.

In a cartoon in the official PA daily, the logo of Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI - Palestine) was used to express the PA libel that Israel deliberately targets Palestinian children.

The cartoon shows the logo of DCI – Palestine, which features two children standing with their hands to their faces and the letters “ID” behind them. An Israeli soldier marking rifle sights on the chests of the two children with blood on his finger was added to the logo to express the PA libel.
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 20, 2021] Logo of the DCI-Palestine

Tragically, it is the PA that harms and abuses Palestinian children. As Palestinian Media Watch has exposed for decades, and most recently in its report on Fatah’s education of children ages 6-15 through its Waed magazine, the PA and Fatah are indoctrinating Palestinian children to seek Martyrdom for “Palestine,” to see terror as a legitimate tool in the “struggle against the enemy Israel,” and to strive for Israel's destruction.

PMW has documented that the PA actively promotes the libel to kids that Israel deliberately tries to harm them, telling them that "barbaric" Israel’s objective is to kill children – “so don't walk alone!” Ironically, a host on official PA TV taught children this message while Palestinian teens were at the same time carrying out numerous stabbing attacks trying to murder Israelis during the so-called “Knife Intifada” (2015-2016):
Official PA TV host: "The occupation [Israel] targets children everywhere. In their schools, near their homes... We must be very careful now. We are confronting the occupiers who act in a very barbaric terrorist way. They are trying to kill people everywhere. These are barbarians, my young friends. They try to kill people for no reason, who are just walking on their land. They make various accusations against them. This is called barbarity, my friends. Be very careful all the time. All children under 18, and children under 15, when you go out, your mom or dad, should accompany you, I mean that an adult should accompany you."

[Official PA TV, Nov. 13, 2015]

Why is Hamas popular in Jerusalem? - analysis
If there’s one thing that many Israelis and Palestinians agree on, it’s that Hamas enjoys widespread support among the Arab residents of Jerusalem.

Hamas’s popularity there seems to have increased during and after last May’s 11-day war with Israel.

The war, which erupted amid the controversy surrounding the eviction of Arab families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah and Israeli security measures in the city, specifically Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, allowed Hamas to present itself as the “defender” of Jerusalem and its residents and holy sites.

Hamas is perceived as having initiated the war to stop the Sheikh Jarrah evictions and force Israel to rescind its strict security measures in Jerusalem’s Old City and on the Aqsa Mosque compound.

During and after the war, thousands of Muslim worshipers demonstrated following Friday prayers at the Aqsa Mosque compound, chanting slogans in support of Hamas and its military wing, Izaddin al-Qassam. The demonstrators, many of whom were residents of east Jerusalem, called on Hamas to launch rockets at Israel and pursue the “armed struggle until the liberation of Jerusalem and all Palestine.”

Buoyed by the growing popularity of their group in Jerusalem, Hamas leaders have opened direct channels with many east Jerusalem residents, to the dismay of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Iran's Mahan Air hit by cyberattack, materials allegedly linked to IRGC
Iran's Mahan Air airline was hit by a cyberattack on Sunday morning. The “Hooshyarane Vatan” hacker group claimed responsibility for it, alleging that it had obtained documents linking the airline to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The company admitted it was attacked, but claimed to have thwarted it.

While only time will tell what was taken, if the hack was successful, it could be a smaller version of at least two other operations trying to embarrass the Islamic Republic and pummel its credibility with the West.

Since 2011, the US has had Mahan Air on a sanctions list “for providing financial, material, or technological support for or to the IRGC-QF.” A 2019 US Treasury statement reads: “Mahan Air has transported IRGC-QF operatives, weapons, equipment, and funds abroad in support of the IRGC-QF’s regional operations, and has also moved weapons and personnel for Hizballah.

“Since the onset of the Syrian civil war, Mahan Air has routinely flown fighters and materiel to Syria to prop up the Assad regime, which has contributed to mass atrocities and displacement of civilians.”

Despite the prior designation and evidence, the new hack could potentially provide new and further embarrassing evidence as a sensitive time for the Islamic Republic leading into nuclear negotiations with the world powers next week.
Iranians boo Khamenei at protest and disavow Hamas in Gaza
The massive protest unfolding in the Iranian city of Isfahan on Friday against worsening economic conditions and water shortages contained boos against the country’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and opposition to Iran's pro-Palestinian policies in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

The London-based news organization Iran International showed video footage of Iranians expressing disgust with the rule of Khamenei and the clerics who govern over the theocratic state.

The video “shows protestors booing when the speaker wishes health for Ali Khamenei, “ tweeted Iran International, adding in a second tweet “Thousands of Iranian people have joined the protest gathering of farmers on the dry bed of Zayandeh Roud to voice their anger after the city's lifeblood river dried up. Footages show protesters chanting slogans against authorities and clerics ruling Iran.”

Iran International reported that “On the second anniversary of the Islamic Republic's brutal crackdown on Iran's 2019 protests, a citizen of Isfahan has changed the street sign ‘Martyrs of Gaza’ into ‘Martyrs of Nov. 2019.’’

Iran’s clerical regime murdered an estimated 1,500 Iranians, according to Reuters, during the 2019 protests against rising gas prices and economic and political corruption from the mullah state.

Kyle Rittenhouse Verdict Brings Out the PLO Flags in Brooklyn Demonstrations
The twitter account of the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel exposed a shocking video of demonstrators in Brooklyn, New York marching in protest against Israel on Friday night, in response to the “not guilty” verdict for Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The protesters at the Rittenhouse verdict protest waved PLO flags and yelled , “If Palestine doesn’t (get “justice”) shut (the system) down!”, “Free, free, Palestine!” and “Intifada, Intifada”.

What connection Israel has to Kyle Rittenhouse or his not guilty verdict remains unclear.

According to IBSI, this demonstration was promoted by the group Equality for Flatbush.

Rittenhouse shot three people, killing two of them during the August 2020 riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse claimed he had acted in self-defense after being attacked by the people he shot. Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilt on all charges against him.

Rioting and looting have broken out in multiple locations across the United States in response to the not guilty verdict.

Yet another shallow BBC report on PFLP linked NGOs
Since Israel’s minister of defence designated six Palestinian NGOs because of their links to the PFLP terrorist organisation in late October, BBC coverage of that story (see ‘related articles’ below) has focused on the uncritical amplification of talking points from interested parties, including the NGOs themselves and some of their international partners.

On November 17th the BBC News website published yet another report in the same genre which went under the headline “Artists denounce Israeli ban on Palestinian civil society groups”.

The ‘news’ the BBC sought to communicate in that report was that a group of people, who have no expertise whatsoever in the fields of security, counter-terrorism or terror financing, object to Israel having designated those six Palestinian organisations.

Apparently, the sole reason the BBC believes that the opinions of those particular people are worthy of amplification on a platform reaching audiences worldwide is because they are “high-profile figures, including musicians and authors”.

While the BBC’s report promotes a link to and quotes from the statement put out by the BDS supporting group ‘Artists for Palestine UK’, it does not advise readers of the long records of anti-Israel activism of some of its signatories such as Roger Waters, Ken Loach and Brian Eno.

The report recycles a paragraph also found in an earlier article by the BBC Jerusalem bureau’s Yolande Knell which whitewashes the past two decades of PFLP terrorism.
Guardian Writer Owen Jones Plays Fast and Loose With Facts in Muddled Palestinian-related Op-Ed
Owen Jones is an Oxford-educated, millennial Guardian columnist, and self-described socialist and anti-fascist. He was an ardent Jeremy Corbyn supporter who consistently defended the Labour leader and party members who were criticised or suspended over antisemitism. Though he doesn’t seem to know much about antisemitism, the Jewish community or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he, as Ha’aretz journalist Anshel Pfeffer wrote on Twitter, seems to have a “weird obsession with Jews”, and that “nearly every take” of his on these subjects are “wrong and offensive”.

Undeterred, Jones’ latest Guardian op-ed on Israel (“Denied a state, Palestinians are now denied a say in their own future”, Nov. 19) focuses on Keir Starmer’s address to Labour Friends of Israel. Though Jones praises the new Labour leader for condemning “the evil of antisemitism”, he then criticises Starmer for saying he’s a friend of both Israel and Palestine, and for rejecting the “Manichean view of the conflict” in which one side of the conflict is seen as good and the other evil.

Jones writes:
By trying to find equivalence, [Starmer] downplayed the human rights issues at hand. He mentioned the killing of Israeli citizens in terror attacks, but only the “daily humiliations, constraints and restrictions” endured by Palestinians, even though 22 times as many Palestinians were killed between 2008 and 2020.

By Jones’ specious moral reasoning, the disparity in Israeli and Palestinian deaths during that time period should in part determine where our sympathies must lie – suggesting, it seems, that if the disparity was reversed, Israel would be more deserving of political support. The fallacy in this logic is that it obscures the fact that it’s not for lack of trying that Palestinian terrorists haven’t killed more Israelis. If antisemitic extremist groups like Hamas had their way, and Israel was less successful at defending its citizens, the Jewish death count would be astronomical.

It’s baffling how any serious commentator could conclude that Israel should be morally penalised for their relative success at preventing deadly attacks. Moreover, Jones’ moral calculus regarding the disparity in deaths doesn’t factor in that Palestinian terrorists usually target Israeli civilians, whilst the IDF targets terrorists.

Outcry in Italy after politician calls Holocaust survivor by Auschwitz number
A far-right Italian politician, notorious for his anti-vax sentiments, has sparked outrage after referring to lifetime senator and Holocaust survivor Lilliana Segre by the number the Nazis inked on her arm at Auschwitz concentration camp.

"All that was missing [in the vaccine debate] was her... 75190," Fabio Meroni, a lawmaker for the right-wing Lega Nord party from northern Lombardy, said on his Facebook page.

The post was finally removed from the site after other politicians from centre-left party Partito Democratico demanded an urgent apology to the nonagenarian who was taken and transported to Nazi death camp Auschwitz from Milan at the age of 13.

"The vulgar considerations of those who like councilor Fabio Meroni equate vaccinations with Nazi fascism offend all people with historical awareness and a sense of humanity," they said in their statement.

Meroni first appeared unfazed by the backlash and continued to express dissatisfaction with Segre's claim that vaccines were "the only way out of the pandemic," adding that "she is not a doctor" and that he referred to her by "that number instead of her name to avoid getting banned from Facebook."

As the scandal escalated, however, Meroni then offered a formal apology to Segre, stating that "in this climate of hatred, unfortunately, I too got involved and I tried to express my thoughts in a totally wrong way."

Walker Meghnagi, president of Milan's Jewish community, called his attack "intolerable" for a public figure to use such "vile" terms "for those who have suffered the horror of the racial laws on their own skin."

Handwritten Einstein letter up for auction describes ‘tremendous’ US antisemitism
A letter handwritten by iconic physicist Albert Einstein to a friend, in which he warned of the antisemitism he said was prevalent in US academia, is to go up for sale, the Kedem Auction House announced Sunday.

Einstein wrote the letter to his friend Austrian Jewish pianist Bruno Eisner in 1936, when the latter was considering a position in US academia. Eisner was, at the time, staying in New York with a mutual friend.

“A tremendous degree of antisemitism exists here, especially in academia (though also in industry and banking),” Einstein wrote according to an English translation of the letter provided in a statement from the auction house.

“Mind you, it never takes the form of brutal speech or action, but simmers all the more intensely under the surface,” Einstein wrote. “It is, so to speak, an omnipresent enemy, one that is impossible to see, and whose presence you only perceive.”

Einstein noted that his own assistant was forced to leave the country and take a position in Russia due to the antisemitism he had faced in the US.
Making Aliyah—the Board Game
When Sallie Abelson moved to Ames, Iowa, in 1977 so her husband could join the teaching faculty at Iowa State University, she didn’t know what to do with herself. She was asked to teach Sunday school to four Jewish children in Ames, but once she got her hands on the educational materials, she was astonished to see that they were the same as they had been when she was in Sunday school as a child in Pennsylvania. She was determined to innovate, both with updated information, and a more interactive method of reaching students. So she created Aliyah, a board game about Jewish learning.

Abelson was a total novice when it came to games, but she wanted to bring some enjoyment to the subject, so she became an entrepreneur—quickly. “You have to understand, I knew nothing,” she said. “I called the library, and talked to the research librarian and asked, ‘How do I make a game?’”

The library didn’t know either, but they told Abelson that the Parker Brothers toy and game manufacturers had a factory in Des Moines, so she called them, pretending to be a student. She joined a tour of their factory—tagging along with a group of Cub Scouts—and wrote down all the details she observed about the manufacturing process, and then spoke with the factory manager. At first, she thought she’d have to lie about what she was doing, but after the factory manager told Abelson that he worked in Christian education, she shared that she was creating a Jewish board game.

Aside from the content itself, Abelson outsourced almost everything about the production of Aliyah: Her husband was teaching at Iowa State University, so she called the graphic arts department and asked them to draw up the board, and create a design for the box.

While Abelson’s motivation for making the game had something to do with boredom—“I lived in Iowa! It was just something for me to do,” she said—her deeper motivation was to help kids and their families develop a stronger connection to Judaism. “I wanted to explain the traditions so people have a deeper understanding of Judaism,” she said. “I hope they learned not just what we do, but why we do things. We cover the challah, but why do we cover the challah?”

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Elder of Ziyon - ุญู€ูƒู€ูŠู€ู… ุตู€ู‡ู€ูŠู€ูˆู†

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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