Monday, November 29, 2021

From Ian:

White Noise and the Haters of Israel
To me, this story of horror and triumph is Israel’s ethos, encapsulated within a single life. When Israelis and Jews speak, they speak as people who have been chewed up and spit out by history; as people who have crawled out of history by their fingernails. When they invoke morality, it is as people with the most intimate knowledge of the horrors of life. And they know what these horrors have to teach us about how tenuous and compromised morality can be, and what it means to live in the absence of morality. They can speak to its inherent complications, compromises, and desperations. They know, in other words, of what they speak. They possess an ethos their enemies cannot, because they have earned it.

The saints, on the other hand, believe that one can simply assert one’s morality and be done with it — that by claiming to be moral, they become moral. The horrors of life are not just irrelevant but inconceivable to them, because they have never known these horrors. Nor can they conceive of the inevitable consequences of these horrors, because as a sheltered and privileged class, they have always lived without consequences. They will never have to pay the cost of what they demand of Israel and the Jewish people. This is how they can not only advocate hurling the Jews back into statelessness and exile, but actually claim it is the moral thing to do. It is how they can justify and even praise the wanton violence they and their allies incite. It is how they can remain blissfully ignorant of what all this says about their morality and their ethos.

What it says is quite clear: the saints have no ethos. They are a morally bankrupt privileged caste who, in their fantasies of rectitude, presume to judge a people who have known horrors of which they cannot begin to conceive. These are people who weep when Whole Foods runs out of kale, and then condemn those who have survived the gulag. And in a supreme act of hubris, the saints not only judge these refugees from history, but consider themselves their moral superiors. The admonitions of such people can, in the end, never be anything more than white noise.
Promised Government action on anti-Semitism is just blah, blah, blah
Other European states who have expressly adopted the definition have voiced no similar reservations and the Minister failed to identify which of the illustrative examples the Government takes exception to and why. At a time of escalating anti-Semitism in Ireland and criticism of Israel being freely and increasingly used as a Trojan horse to justify and disguise the spread of anti-Semitic tropes, there is a need for greater Government clarity.

O’Gorman assured Devlin of the Government’s commitment to an anti-racism strategy, to the enactment of new hate crime legislation and to preventing anti-Semitism and other forms of racism. He also reminded him of the funding annually provided by the State for many years to support the national Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration.

Memorialising Jews murdered in the Holocaust in today’s world generates enthusiasm and is not politically complicated. It seems that protecting today’s Jews against escalating anti-Semitism in Ireland generates less enthusiasm and is deemed so complicated that the Government is incapable of endorsing illustrative examples of anti-Semitism agreed and adopted by most EU member states.

The enactment of new anti-hate or anti-racism legislation will have no practical application to countering anti-Semitism if unaccompanied by a working definition of anti-Semitism and illustrative examples. In that context ministerial talk of action being taken to prevent anti-Semitism, to use the words of Greta Thunberg, is just so much “ blah, blah, blah”.
Squash world championship in Malaysia canceled over refusal to allow in Israelis
The World Squash Federation announced on Monday that the men’s world championship scheduled for next week in Kuala Lumpur was canceled after Malaysian authorities refused to allow entry to Israeli athletes.

In its statement, WSF said it “believes in an open and inclusive” event, and it was forced to cancel “due to the lack of confirmation over the issuing of visas and travel authorizations.”

Malaysia and Israel have no diplomatic ties, and Israelis are barred from visiting the South Asian country. In 2019, Malaysia was stripped of the right to host the World Para Swimming Championships for threatening to refuse Israeli athletes, and the competition was moved to London. This year’s tournament was moved to Malaysia from New Zealand because of coronavirus-related travel restrictions.

WSF President Zena Wooldridge indicated that Malaysia’s Olympic officials worked to allow the entry of Israeli athletes, but were unsuccessful in persuading the government to reverse course.

“I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the International Olympic Committee and the Olympic Council of Malaysia for their unwavering efforts to influence the highest authorities of Malaysia to ensure the ability of all participating teams including Israel to enter Malaysia and compete, without any political discrimination, in accordance with the principles and rules of the Olympic Charter,” said Wooldridge. “It is important to WSF that no nation who wishes to compete misses out on the event.”

Bipartisan Group of 87 Lawmakers Call on Biden to Request Iron Dome Funding
A group of 87 members of Congress have written to President Joe Biden to urge him to support supplemental funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.

The funding, which would replenish the system’s stock of interceptor rockets and also sponsor its expansion, has had a rocky road to approval.

After the $1 billion marked for Iron Dome was excluded from a broader spending bill by several progressive House members, it overwhelmingly passed the House in a standalone measure. However, that bill has yet to come before the Senate for a vote, primarily due to obstruction by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

The letter’s signatories noted that the appropriations deadline is Dec. 3, and asked the president to specifically ask Congress to include funding for the missile defense system in an appropriations bill.

“Replenishing Israel’s stock of Iron Dome interceptors and expanding its missile defense system is a critical investment that will protect both Israeli and Palestinian lives and homes, as well as America’s national security interests,” asserted the group of mostly Democrats.

The current impasse over the appropriation is “jeopardizing civilian lives and the security of our key ally Israel in its time of need,” said the letter, which was spearheaded by New Jersey Democrat Josh Gottheimer.
Politico’s Biased Report on Biden and Israel
Politico has found the problem with the modern Middle East: Israel.

The publication’s November 19, 2021, report, “Biden’s balancing act in the Middle East has a problem: Israel,” is replete with bias and littered with omissions.

Correspondent Nahal Toosi asserts that “a series of Israeli actions against Palestinians have exacerbated tensions with the Biden administration while testing how serious the U.S. president is about respecting the rights of everyone in the conflict.” And what exactly has the Jewish state done?

Israel, she tells readers, has designated “several Palestinian human rights groups as ‘terrorist’ organizations.”

In fact, as the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA) noted in a Washington Examiner op-ed, the Israeli Defense Ministry called for designating six NGOs — and for good reason.

Each of the organizations has links to terrorist organizations that Politico omits.

As Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz noted: the NGOs in question — Al-Haq, Addameer, Defense for Children-International Palestine (DCI-P), the Bisan Center for Research and Development, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) — have all been “active under the cover of civil-society organizations, but in practice belong to and constitute an arm of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).”

New York Times Stealth-Corrects Claim that Jesus ‘Is Known in the Old Testament’
The New York Times devotes most of three broadsheet pages in Sunday’s paper — the SundayStyles front and two pages inside that section — to an article about a California-based “spiritual adviser” named Carissa Shumacher.

The print New York Times reports, “In late 2019, just as the world was on the precipice of a plague of biblical proportions, Ms. Schumacher said she began channeling Yeshua, or Jesus Christ as he is known in the Old Testament.”

The writing here is so imprecise that the meaning is hard to parse. The modifying phrase “in late 2019” is placed in the sentence so that a reader can’t tell what happened in late 2019, the interview (“said”) or the “channeling” or the being on the precipice (“was”) or some combination thereof. It’s also unclear whether the explanation of Yeshua as “Jesus Christ as he is known in the Old Testament” is something that Schumacher said, or something that the Times is adding in on its own to help readers understand.

Such sloppy placement of modifying phrases is, alas, a recurring problem at the paper. The newspaper did it the other day with the modifying phrase “with an automatic gun,” leaving it unclear to readers whether the person “with an automatic gun” was an Israeli tour guide or a Palestinian assailant.

The main New York Times Twitter account, @nytimes, which has 51 million followers, tweeted out the article with a version of that sentence: “The spiritual adviser Carissa Schumacher channels the dead for a celebrity clientele that includes Jennifer Aniston and Rooney Mara. In late 2019, she said she began channeling Yeshua, or Jesus as he is known in the Old Testament.” That tweet has not been deleted or corrected, at this writing.

Imprecise English grammar aside, the claim that Jesus, or Jesus Christ, “is known” in the “Old Testament” — a Christian version of and term for what Jews know as the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh — is troubling for Jewish readers. Christians claim that Jesus is foreshadowed in the Hebrew Bible, but Jews do not believe that. It’s one thing for Schumacher to make that claim, but the language could easily allow a reader to think the Times is endorsing that Christian reading.
CTV Montreal's Intersectionality Smear Against Israel
Intersectionality is defined as: “The interconnected nature of social categorisations such as race, class, and gender, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.”

Anti-Israel detractors regularly exploit intersectionality to advance pro-Palestinian causes, oftentimes at the detriment of the cause they overlap.

Case in point, on Saturday, November 27, CTV Montreal’s evening news broadcast saw journalist Iman Kassam produce a report on Montrealers who marched outside the RCMP building in Westmount in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who are in a stand off with the RCMP and the Coastal GasLink company in BC.

At the end an otherwise straightforward television report, reporter Kassam incorporated intersectionality by interviewing an anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian protestor who was there to support the Wet’suwet’en nation on their land, implying that the Palestinian-Arabs are the true indigenous peoples of Israel, and that the Jewish people don’t have indigeneity in their ancestral homeland.
Antisemitic ‘Covid Agenda’ Flyers Discovered Outside Homes in Beverly Hills
Antisemitic flyers promoting antisemitic conspiracy theories about the coronavirus pandemic were found outside homes across several blocks in Beverly Hills on Sunday, the first day of Hanukkah.

According to a statement by the Beverly Hills Police Department, the flyers were discovered in the northeast area of the city and were enclosed in plastic bags filled with rice.

The police described the flyers as “propaganda hate speech” and said “police are continuing to investigate and attempt to identify the persons responsible for this disturbing act.”

The flyers contained the names of CDC and other government officials, as well as the heads of various pharmaceutical companies, claiming they are all Jewish.

It also implied that Jews control the “MSM,” or “Mainstream Media.”

“We’re literally Shabbos goys carrying out the will of the Jews, wittingly or unwittingly,” said the flyer.

Police are asking for anyone with information or video footage of the incidents to call (310) 550-4951.

The statement noted that it was the first day of Hannukah and added that the police will be “providing additional patrols throughout the city to ensure a safe holiday season.”

How Israel became the world’s cyber powerhouse
It is not by chance that 40 percent of all private cyber investments in the world are invested in Israeli companies, and that a third of the world’s unicorn cyber companies – private startups worth at least $1 billion – are Israeli.

Cybermania: How Israel Became a Global Powerhouse in an Arena That Shapes the Future of Mankind, gives an expert view of how Israel became a leading country in the field and among the first to recognize the size and importance of the cyber revolution.

“Today, cyber accounts for 15% of Israeli high-tech exports, which is about half of the total exports of the State of Israel, and it will only grow,” lead author Prof. Eviatar Matania said.

“These are amazing numbers, but they do not show the whole picture. After all, there are metrics that cannot be measured, such as defense capabilities. Within a decade, Israel has become a very significant player in the new cybersecurity and cybereconomy arena.”
Israeli archaeologists dig up new info on Sanhedrin era in Yavne
New archaeological findings in the city of Yavne may shed light on the city 2,000 years ago, when it was the center of Jewish life in the region and home to the Sanhedrin.

The discovery saw the first-ever excavation of a building in Yavne dating back to the time of the Sanhedrin.

The Sanhedrin were groups of twenty-three or seventy-one elders who were appointed to sit as a tribunal in every city in the ancient Land of Israel following the destruction of the Second Temple.

The findings of this excavation, initiated by the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Yavne Municipality and Israel Land Authority, indicate that the occupants of this home kept kosher and other Jewish purity laws.

This was evidenced by the presence of "measuring cups," vessels identified with Jews in the late Second Temple era that were used to retain ritual purity.

But another impressive find was found just 70 meters away: A cemetery dating back to the same period. On top of these tombs were over 150 glass phials.
6 ancient findings in the footsteps of the Maccabees
The Jordan Valley city of Jericho, about 15 miles east of Jerusalem, was the relatively warm spot chosen by three kings of the Hasmonean dynasty to build their winter palaces.

Constructed in stages from the end of the second century BCE, the palaces apparently were destroyed by an earthquake in 31 BCE.

Excavated over 10 seasons beginning in the 1970s by Hebrew University archeologist Ehud Netzer, the Hellenist-style palaces featured an open courtyard surrounded by rooms.

There were elegant colonnaded rooms for entertaining, bathtubs decorated with colored frescos, ritual and swimming pools, towers and moats, orchards and ornamental gardens. A building believed to be a synagogue was found in 2001 in the northeastern part of the Hasmonean palace complex.

A perfectly preserved oil lamp from the Hasmonean era was discovered in 2020 during excavations of the Pilgrimage Road in Jerusalem’s City of David, just outside the Old City walls.

The Pilgrimage Road is the monumental thoroughfare through which pilgrims ascended to the Temple Mount in the Second Temple period (516 BCE to 70 CE).

The clay oil lamp is decorated with geometric patterns including a branch and leaves on the spout. Israel Antiquities Authority archeologists say it is typical of the first century BCE, in the final years of Hasmonean rule.

Excavation Director Ari Levy said such lamps were used for lighting buildings and streets, and in Shabbat and Hanukkah candle-lighting rituals.
Inside the Hashmonean Fortress of Sartaba

US President Biden Says Hanukkah Story ‘Undeniably American’
United States President Joe Biden released a statement wishing a happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate on Sunday, commemorating the first night of the Jewish holiday.

Hanukkah, also known as the “Festival of Lights,” honors the rededication of Jewish worship at the Second Temple following it’s desecration.

“At its core, Hanukkah recounts a story at the heart of the human spirit — one that is inherently Jewish and undeniably American,” the president announced in a White House press statement.

Biden compared the holiday to Thanksgiving in that it focuses on giving thanks for the miracles in one’s life, like the miracle of Hanukkah, where oil which was expected to light the Temple for only one day lasted eight.

“It teaches us that even a little bit of light, wherever it is found, can dispel the darkness and illuminate a path forward,” he continued.

“And it reminds us that whether it is the Holy Temple in Jerusalem or the temple of our democracy, nothing broken or profaned is beyond repair.”

UK PM Boris Johnson Decries Anti-Semitism In Hanukkah Message

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