Thursday, December 16, 2021

From Ian:

Charging Israel with apartheid turns int’l law on its head - NGO Monitor
Attempts to tar Israel as an apartheid state under international law, twist legal tools for political ends, a new NGO Monitor report argues.

Authored by British Barrister Joshua Kern and NGO Monitor Legal Advisor Anne Herzberg, the report delves deep into legal sources to identify what “apartheid” means as a crime in concrete legal terms as opposed to its colloquial and political uses.

The report comes following non-governmental organizations (NGOs) increasing campaign to apply the “apartheid” label to Israel not only in political discourse but lobbying the International Criminal Court (ICC) to charge Israelis with this crime and bolstering related campaigns at the UN.

“Apartheid is a grave accusation, but claims of apartheid have been made imprecisely and casually by many NGOs… the definition of apartheid is untested in international law as no court has yet examined the crime, and there is comparatively little legal writing available,” says the report.

NGO Monitor views the report as an opportunity to address “this legal vacuum and provides a full analysis grounded in international law of the elements of apartheid as a crime against humanity.”

According to the report, “the elements of the crime have been broadened by Human Rights Watch [HRW] and others in a manner that is inconsistent with both the principle of legality (under international human rights law) and the presumption that the definition of crimes shall be strictly construed (under international criminal law).”
Law Professors' Group Should Revoke "Human Rights Award" Given to Raging Antisemite Zahra Billoo
Zahra Billoo is the Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, San Francisco Bay Area. According to her official bio, she received the 2017 Human Rights Award from the Society of American Law Teachers, a left-wing law professors organization.

Let's start by noting that mainstream (i.e., in this context, progressive-leaning) Jewish organizations have been among the strongest advocates for admitting Muslim refugees to the U.S., opposing Trump's so-called "Muslim ban," opposing hateful remarks against Muslims by populist right-wingers, and so on.

Nevertheless, as the Jerusalem Post reports Billoo holds these organizations, which she calls "polite Zionists," responsible for "Islamaphobia:" "When we talk about islamophobia, we often think of the vehement fascists… but I also want us to pay attention to the polite Zionists, the ones that say 'let's just break bread together.'" Who is she referring to? "the Anti-Defamation League, we need to pay attention to the Jewish Federation, we need to pay attention to the Zionist synagogues, we need to pay attention to the Hillel chapters on our campuses." These, she said, are Muslims' "enemies."

You can't get more mainstream in the Jewish community than synagogues (almost all synagogues would qualify as "Zionist" by her lights), Hillel, the Federation charitable infrastructure, and the ADL. In other words, Billoo wanted her audience to see the overwhelming majority of the American Jewish community as the "enemy." Even "organizations who say they're not zionists but want a two-state solution" are the enemy, assumedly because they don't want Israel destroyed.

Worse yet, she strongly implies that Islamaphobia is a Jewish conspiracy: "Islamophobia is a well-funded conspiracy, a well-funded project — A well-funded project to marginalize us… We have to connect the dots between the organizations that promote Zionist agendas materials marketing and legislation are the same ones that want to ban Muslims, are the same ones that want to pass anti-sharia legislation…"

‘Jews Don’t Count’ Author David Baddiel Explains to ‘Late Night’ Host Seth Meyers Why Antisemitism Is a Kind of ‘Racism’
British comedian and writer David Baddiel discussed how antisemitism fits into the concept of racism during a Tuesday guest appearance on “Late Night With Seth Meyers.”

The author, who was born Jewish but identifies as an atheist, published “Jews Don’t Count” in September. In it, Baddiel uses his “unique combination of close reasoning, polemic, personal experience and jokes” to argue “that those who think of themselves as on the right side of history have often ignored the history of antisemitism,” according to the publisher.

Baddiel argued to Meyers on Tuesday that antisemitism should be judged as a form of racism, though it is often not.

“It’s about the identity politics conversation and how in that conversation, which has intensified incredibly over the last 20 years, it seems to me that antisemitism, which is a very old racism [and] a very old form of discrimination, is kind of very low in the mix of that,” he said about his book. “It kind of feels like people aren’t so bothered about it.”

Baddiel told Meyers that in the US, it’s “more of a complex thing” and there “seems to a problem” with identifying racism and antisemitism.

He explained to the talk show host, “I’m an atheist, but that would get me no free passes out of Auschwitz. White supremacists don’t check whether I keep kosher before they think ‘I’ll burn down that Jews house.’ So for me, its an accident of birth that the racists hate me for and so, therefore, its racism.”

One Israeli man killed, two injured in northern West Bank terror shooting
One Israeli man was killed and two were injured in a shooting attack outside an illegal outpost in the northern West Bank on Thursday night, officials said.

The victim was named as Yehudah Dimentman, a father of one from the West Bank settlement of Shavei Shomron.

The terror attack was reported along the road just outside the Homesh illegal outpost, west of Nablus and north of Shavei Shomron, the Israel Defense Forces said.

Dimentman and the two others who were injured were shot while in their car as they left Homesh, a settlement that was meant to have been abandoned as part of a 2005 eviction, but is now the site of an illegally operated yeshiva.

“The car was hit by an ambush from the side of the road,” said Brig. Gen. Avi Bluth, commander of the IDF’s Judea and Samaria Division, named for the biblical term for the West Bank.

According to Bluth, at least 10 bullets were fired into the car.
A child’s simple faith
On Dec. 8, a 14-year-old Palestinian girl stabbed a 26-year-old Jewish woman who was pushing a stroller and walking her children to school. Can critical theory and institutional racism help you understand this? Can apartheid and social justice explain it without entangling us in delusional abstractions? Can the raging crime of a 14-year-old be blamed on systematic racism or Israel settlement’s policy?

For a Western mind well-molded in modern liberal habits of thought, there is no way to understand this weird mystifying incident. Reporters will write entire essays about this, academics will write papers without a single mention of anti-Semitism—a word that easily cuts through the matter and explains it. Already, major Western media headlines ran the story as “Palestinian teen facing East Jerusalem eviction arrested after stabbing,” directly blaming the stabbing of a Jewish mother by a Palestinian child on the Sheikh Jarrah conflict. But to do so is to miss the most profound feature of this kind of terrorism.

The most obvious characteristic of such terrorist attacks is that they are committed by children, and their childhood exposes the true essence of the matter: a simple faith in the villainy of Jews as Jews, a faith we have a name for—anti-Semitism. In anti-Semitic imagination, the difference between being an Israeli Defense Forces’ guard and a mother pushing a stroller is a mere delusion. A Jew is a Jew, and evil nature is Jewish nature. Personal variations are mere formalities. This is what such acts of Palestinian childhood truly expose through the lies of the activists, the apologists and the experts who just wish to explain it all away. A child simply hasn’t lived long enough to build grievances around policy or the abstractions of nationalism and resistance. And if this were happening elsewhere—and the identities of the perpetrators and victims were different—the international community would have been condemning the use of child soldiers.

I don’t hate that little girl. I was once exactly like her—a 14-year-old child who believes that Jews from babies to adults, old and young, are nothing but absolute evil. I’m outraged though. I’m outraged at everyone who for decades has been ignoring this tragic reality of the prevalence of anti-Semitism as a religious and existential worldview in the Middle East. Not just ignoring, but often deliberately obfuscating this fact and working really hard to prevent people from seeing it.

Hussein Aboubakr Mansour is director of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) Program for Emerging Democratic Voices from the Middle East and a fellow at the Middle East Forum. (h/t Yehudah Posnick)
Big Four auditors ditch NGOs listed as terror groups by Israel
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Ernst & Young Global Limited (EY), two of the Big Four accounting firms, have confirmed that they will no longer audit two Palestinian NGOs recently designated as terrorist organizations by Israel.

EY is no longer auditing the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), and PwC confirmed it no longer audits accounts for Defense for Children International Palestine (DCI-P), reported UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) in a statement.

The NGOs are among the six listed by Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz as terror organizations on Oct. 22 for their close ties with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

“Those organizations were active under the cover of civil society organizations, but in practice belong and constitute an arm of the [PFLP] leadership, the main activity of which is the liberation of Palestine and destruction of Israel,” said Gantz.

EY ceased auditing UAWC, even though it only took over the contract in May 2019. PricewaterhouseCoopers had audited DCI-P since 2014, according to UKLFI.
Lead sponsor of 'Anti-Bigotry' Bill Is herself a bigot
A bill that would create an “Islamophobia monitor” across the world was passed in the House this week.

The Combating International Islamophobia Act, sponsored by Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., would create an office within the U.S. State Department tasked with monitoring and reporting on violence, harassment and abuse against Muslim people, schools and religious centers.

The bill itself seems unnecessary and transparently partisan, but when the main sponsor is perhaps the most repugnant bigot in Congress, the effort is even more preposterous.

Minnesota Socialist Rep. Ilhan Omar introduced legislation in October to create a new State Department office that addresses a rise in anti-Muslim incidents around the globe. (Indeed, there is ongoing persecution of Muslims in Africa, China, India, Myanmar, and across the Middle East — but not in America.)

The recent push began with Progressives, who increasingly control the party, becoming irate over Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert’s November comments about Omar. Never satisfied with an apology, they want leadership to boot Boebert from her committees.

It’s worth wondering why Democrats have the audacity to demand Republicans enforce standards that they themselves don’t follow.

Congress has taken swift action on U.S. Reps. Marjorie Taylor-Greene, Paul Gosar and other Republicans in the past, even though none of these politicians influence serious policy initiatives. GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy certainly isn’t posing with Boebert and Greene on the cover of Rolling Stone.

Conversely, no member of “The Squad” has been punished — instead, they maintain outsized power, considering their limited experience and knowledge — for any of their hateful words.
Potentially anti-Israel legislation passes major hurdle in Congress
Perry, who said he was called Islamophobic during the committee hearing, said he represents the largest population of Ahmadiyya Muslims in the United States – the Muslim group most persecuted by other Muslims in the world – and the bill has nothing to protect them. The definition of Islamophobia under the bill, he said, was going to be made up.

"Let's face it, aside from the attempts to placate an antisemitic member of this chamber, all that's really happening here is that House Democrats are deflecting from the real issue confronting the House of Representatives, and that is that the maker of this bill has no business sitting on House committees, has no business in this chamber. Myriad antisemitic comments, and those of support of violence and terrorism against the United States, are wholly unacceptable. But we're not going to deal with that because we're going to deal with this," said Perry. "Let's not forget the moment the author of this bill breathtakingly referred to the murder of nearly 3,000 Americans on 9-11 by Islamist terrorists as 'some people who did something.' "

He said the accusations against him of Islamophobia came from his attempt to make sure that American tax dollars are not spent to support organizations affiliated with terrorism – organizations such as the one Omar said supported and promoted her bill, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) – that he said Omar is affiliated with and was an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing plot in America's history.

"Not because I say so, because the judge says so," clarified Perry. "So by intentionally leaving the definition of Islamophobia blank in this bill, the gentlelady and my friends on the other side of the aisle are creating an office in our State Department that will likely spew antisemitic hatred and attack Western ideas throughout the world, under the farce of protecting Islam."

Perry's comments were interrupted by Democrats, who appealed to the chair of the House to get Perry's comments taken down.

"He called her a terrorist," was heard from an unidentified Democratic member on the floor.

After a lengthy adjudication process between the chair and the parliamentarians, the chair ruled that Perry's words contained an allegation that Omar is affiliated with a terrorist organization. These remarks, the chair read, "impugns the patriotism or loyalty of a member of the House." Another remark, alleging that Omar was antisemitic, was considered by the chair an allegation of discrimination. Both statements were ruled out of order based on House rules.

After the lengthy deliberation, the speeches continued to fill up the rest of the one-hour debate slot scheduled for the bill. McCaul called for a roll call vote, which was postponed until the House concluded all bill debates that night and began a series of votes. The bill passed at 11:28 pm.
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib's Staffer Retweets Hamas
Orlando, Florida-based Democrat operative and Rashida Tlaibstaffer Rasha Mubarak has a soft spot for bloodthirsty terrorists.She uses her claim of “Palestinian heritage” to make common cause and to glorify them, justifying suicide bombings and aiming rockets at Jewish civilian neighborhoods. Last month,her affinity towards murder and mayhem was displayed in her retweeting of a Hamas media site celebrating the hunger strike of a Hamas terrorist. Mubarak’s notable and influential position in politics demands this information be exposed.

Hamas or the Islamic Resistance Movement was founded in 1987, during the first Palestinian Intifada, a violent uprising against Israel. According to its covenant, Hamas opposes Israel’s existence in any form. The group believes its (untenable) goal of replacing the Jewish state with one that practices Islam can only be achieved through violence, and it has been responsible for the murders of hundreds of Israeli civilians. Since 2007, when the group expelled the ruling Fatah Party, Hamas has had de facto control over the Gaza Strip and rules over the citizens of Gaza employing torture and capital punishment, while offering no recognition of civil rights.

Hamas has a number of media affiliates. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), one of them is the Quds News Network (QNN). QNN refers to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) militants as “freedom fighters,” promotes Hamas rallies, mourns Hamas deaths, publishes Hamas statements, and this past May, produced a video honoring the “achievements” of Hamas and PIJ in advancement of tactics and weapon technologies. In November 2019, Twitter suspended QNN’s account, following a letter sent by members of US Congress to social media outlets asking to remove all entities linked to Hamas and Hezbollah.

On November 6th, Rasha Mubarak retweeted a post made by QNN in praise of a Palestinian hunger-striking prisoner, Fatah member Kayed Fasfous, for standing with fellow hunger-striker, Hamas member Miqdad Qawasmeh, who has a page devoted to him on Hamas’ official website. The tweet depicts Fasfous in a hospital bed next to a photo of Qawasmeh. Both were detained, according to Israel, to prevent terror attacks. Militants held in Israeli jails stage hunger strikes and use sympathy-grabbing photo ops from Israeli hospital beds to gain early releases. QNN ended the post with “#FreeThemAll,” QNN’s call for all Palestinian terrorists to be set free.
Fact-checking the CAIR, ADL Flame War
She was appointed to the board of the national Women's March in 2019, only to be unceremoniously dumped days later after the liberal group "found some of her public statements incompatible with the values and mission of the organization."

Incompatible with the Women's March, but right at home inside CAIR, which said Friday it would "continue to proudly stand by Zahra." That sentiment was repeated by Awad, Chicago chapter leader Ahmed Rehab, Los Angeles chapter leader Hussam Ayloush and national government affairs director Robert McCaw.

But what is CAIR proudly standing by? In her AMP speech, Zahra literally accused Jews of being behind a "a well-funded conspiracy" to push "Islamophobia ... to marginalize us, to imprison us, to deport us, to silence us."

"We need to pay attention to the Anti-Defamation League. We need to pay attention to the Jewish Federation. We need to pay attention to the Zionist synagogues. We need to pay attention to the Hillel chapters on our campuses, because just because they're your friend today doesn't mean that they have your back when it comes to human rights. So oppose the vehement fascists, but oppose the polite Zionists, too. They are not your friends. They will not be there for you when you need them. They will take your friendship and throw your Palestinian brothers and sisters under the bus. Oh, you get along because you're all in girl Scouts together? Talk to them about what is happening in Palestine and see how that conversation goes."

"And I'm not going to sugarcoat that. They are your enemies. There are organizations and infrastructures out there who are working to harm you."

Her message was not to love your enemies. It was the opposite. Do not work with them. Do not try to understand their point of view, or dare to seek common ground. Do not trust them. Hate them.

CAIR has a tendency to tell people to ignore the exact words people say when those words expose awkward, uncomfortable realities.

In the lead-up to the 20th anniversary 9/11 commemorations, for example, CAIR waged a campaign to coerce journalists and educators not to use "inaccurate and inflammatory terms such as 'Islamic terrorists,' 'jihadists,' or 'radical Islamic terrorists.'"
CAIR, The Investigative Project, And The Dispatch’s Double Standard
“Whenever a Muslim or Islamic organization falls under suspicion, CAIR’s national office reflexively casts aspersions on law enforcement.

“Equally reflexive, CAIR tars as an Islamophobe anyone who questions the organization,” observed then Columbus Dispatch editorial page editor Glenn Sheller back in 2004 (“Muslim Group’s Conflict with Discrimination is Uphill Fight”).

In the interim 15 years, Sheller has moved on and his former paper has adopted the longstanding CAIR (Council of American Islamic Relations) tradition of tarring the organization’s critics as anti-Muslim.

Thus, in coverage this week of the Ohio chapter’s firing of its executive director for allegedly leaking confidential information to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, The Columbus Dispatch repeatedly states as fact that the research organization is “anti-Muslim.”

(Full disclosure: CAIR has also baselessly smeared CAMERA as anti-Muslim in a report in which it named 39 non-profits, the Investigative Project among them, as part of an alleged “Islamophobia network.” Report co-author Zainab Arain, a research and advocacy manager at CAIR, “has a long history of praising Islamist movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood and promoting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, such as the modern variation of the long-debunked blood libel that claims Israel kills Palestinians to steal their organs,” according to The Daily Wire. Could there be a less disqualified judge of bigotry?)

In their Dec. 14 article, “Romin Iqbal, of CAIR-Ohio, fired for allegedly leaking information to anti-Muslim group,” reporters Danae King and Yilun Cheng describe the Investigative Project on Terrorism as “anti-Muslim” three times in their article, not counting the headline itself.

The pattern recurs in the rest of the Dispatch‘s coverage on the case, with Sheridan Hendrix twice calling the Investigative Project “anti-Muslim” (“What is the Investigative Project on Terrorism?“) and the label appears three times in the paper’s Dec. 14 report, “What we know about the firing of the CAIR-Ohio director“.
Academia’s Disturbing Distortion of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Academics are expected to treat controversial issues with reasoned analysis — objective evaluation of opposing sides. Commentary following the recent 11-day war between Israel and Hamas revealed a shocking deviation from that standard among many American academics. Faculty groups at scores of universities — including Princeton, Brown, Vassar, and CUNY — issued utterly one-sided, distorted, and inflammatory statements backing the Palestinian version of history and events.

The statements rolled out common anti-Zionist tropes. It is asserted that Israel by its nature is a racist, “apartheid” state. Israel is a “settler colonialist” enterprise aimed at “ethnic cleansing” of Arabs. Israel is waging a “genocidal” campaign against Gaza’s residents.

While Israel is not immune to criticism, the recent academic distortions demonize and delegitimize the Jewish state. They portray the 11-day Gazan war as an unprovoked, murderous Israeli attack, while ignoring the context of Hamas’ missile barrages aimed at Israeli civilians. The statements also exclusively focus on Israel’s supposed oppression of Arabs while ignoring Hamas’ mistreatment and abuse against the Palestinians living in Gaza.

This article aims to expose and discredit the myopic distortions and myths reflected in these recent condemnations of Israel. If left un-refuted, these one-sided, distorted assertions pose significant hazards. One hazard is to undermine America’s support for Israel’s subsistence by branding Israel as an illegitimate pariah state.
Boycott of Israeli Universities Ignores Arab Students
The Middle East Studies Association of North America at its annual meeting on Dec. 2 voted to endorse an academic boycott of Israeli institutions. Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars (NAS), said the assertion that Palestinians were being shut out of educational opportunities due to Israeli malfeasance doesn't square with the facts. "There are plenty of Palestinians who pursue an education, quite a few of them in Israel. At Israeli institutions where they apply and meet the entrance requirements, they're gladly admitted."

According to the Israeli Council for Higher Education, there were 54,000 Arab students at Israeli universities in the 2020-2021 academic year, comprising 17% of all students in Israel, compared to their constituting 20% of the population. This is a 110% increase from the 2009-2010 academic year.
‘Toxic atmosphere of hatred:’ USC faculty outraged over response to student’s anti-Zionist tweets
More than 60 faculty members at USC have signed an open letter urging the university’s leadership to “publicly and explicitly rebuke” a student for several inflammatory comments she made online earlier in the year, including a tweet saying she wanted to “kill every motherf---ing Zionist.”

In the Dec. 1 letter addressed to USC President Carol Folt, Provost Charles Zukoski and board of trustees chair Rick Caruso — the latest in a series of letters from several of the same signatories — the faculty asked officials to rebuke Yasmeen Mashayekh, a 21-year-old civil engineering student, and “to distance USC from her hateful statements.”

“The silence of our leadership on this matter is alienating, hurtful, and depressing,” the letter read. “It amounts to tacit acceptance of a toxic atmosphere of hatred and hostility.”

On Dec. 3, Folt and Zukoski responded with a letter saying that the matter “has disturbed us deeply as we understand very well the hurtful impact of the statements on Twitter that you quoted, not only to those who are Jewish but also to those of us who know how harmful antisemitism is when left unchecked.”

The university leaders said that over the summer, when the university first learned about the tweets, which have since been taken down, they removed Mashayekh from her paid mentoring position in the Viterbi School of Engineering. Screenshots of the deleted tweets were republished just before Thanksgiving by “outside organizations” that encouraged people to write to school officials about Mashayekh, who serves as a diversity, equity and inclusion senator for the Viterbi Graduate Student Assn.
LA Times: ‘Toxic atmosphere of hatred.’ USC faculty outraged over response to student’s tweets
More than 60 faculty members at USC have signed an open letter urging the university’s leadership to “publicly and explicitly rebuke” a student for several inflammatory comments she made online earlier in the year, including a tweet saying she wanted to “kill every motherf---ing Zionist.”

In the Dec. 1 letter addressed to USC President Carol Folt, Provost Charles Zukoski and board of trustees chair Rick Caruso — the latest in a series of letters from several of the same signatories — the faculty asked officials to rebuke Yasmeen Mashayekh, a 21-year-old civil engineering student, and “to distance USC from her hateful statements.”

“The silence of our leadership on this matter is alienating, hurtful, and depressing,” the letter read. “It amounts to tacit acceptance of a toxic atmosphere of hatred and hostility.”

On Dec. 3, Folt and Zukoski responded with a letter saying that the matter “has disturbed us deeply as we understand very well the hurtful impact of the statements on Twitter that you quoted, not only to those who are Jewish but also to those of us who know how harmful antisemitism is when left unchecked.”

The university leaders said that over the summer, when the university first learned about the tweets, which have since been taken down, they removed Mashayekh from her paid mentoring position in the Viterbi School of Engineering. Screenshots of the deleted tweets were republished just before Thanksgiving by “outside organizations” that encouraged people to write to school officials about Mashayekh, who serves as a diversity, equity and inclusion senator for the Viterbi Graduate Student Assn.

Folt and Zukoski noted that it would violate state law “for the university to remove anyone from a student-elected position based on protected speech.”

Officials said the university has taken steps to “deepen our understanding of manifestations of antisemitism on campus” and has an initiative that works on empowering young people to recognize and counter hate in their communities.

But the administration’s response hasn’t satisfied many of the faculty members who signed the letter, or Mashayekh and her supporters.

The BBC Has a Really Serious Problem on Jews and Israel
With the news that the police have dropped the part of its investigation which pertained to allegations of anti-Muslim slurs, the BBC should now retract all claims, apologize, and explain how this serious lapse in journalistic ethics happened.

Therefore, we’ve filed dual complaints with the BBC and Ofcom, the government-approved independent regulatory body responsible for the British media.

In our complaint to the BBC, we note that, contrary to the BBC’s allegations, “the Metropolitan police have examined the evidence and heard no such slur,” before making clear that the “claim is an utter sham and deeply offensive to the Jewish community. There are no ‘two sides’ here. Jews were being abused.”

We also note the BBC’s failure to adequately address the problem, despite widespread condemnation from Britain’s Jewish community. n our message to Ofcom, we noted: “The issue is so severe and so outrageous, with the BBC refusing to apologize for over 10 days now, that Ofcom’s intervention is clearly necessitated.”

This episode is just the latest in a string of incidents that call into question the BBC’s impartiality regarding Israel and Jewish people. In May, HonestReporting helped expose the antisemitic tweets of reporter Tala Halawa, following a lead by GnasherJew. After an HonestReporting tweet went viral, the issue received widespread media coverage, and the BBC eventually fired Halawa some weeks later.

And just last month, an HonestReporting investigation uncovered numerous antisemitic social posts by another BBC employee, Nasima Begum.

Hardly surprising for an organization that has suppressed an allegedly damning report which would have exposed its deep-seated anti-Israel bias.

It is now abundantly clear that the BBC has a serious problem that must be urgently addressed.

Metro erases Hamas, and Israeli casualties, from May's war.
Here, the journalist is employing – in what’s putatively a straight news story – the language of anti-Israel activists by describing a war between Israel and internationally proscribed terrorist groups in Gaza, which was initiated by Hamas’s firing of rockets on Jerusalem, as “Israel’s deadly bombing campaign”. Hamas is completely absent from the article.

Further, it omits the 13 Israelis killed in the war – all but one of whom were civilians – and the fact that, nearly half of those Palestinians killed were terrorists. An additional 21 Palestinians, of the total they cited, were killed as the result of Gaza rockets that fell short.

We complained to editors, asking that they address the claim about Gaza’s ‘occupation’, as well as the journalist’s erasure of the antisemitic extremist groups from her description of the May war. However, they maintained that Gaza is indeed still occupied, and denied that the passage about the war we highlighted was misleading – thus, refusing to correct it.

We’re considering filing a complaint with IPSO.
BBC’s Tom Bateman still clinging to Abraham Accords ‘betrayal’ framing
On December 13th both BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service radio covered the first official visit by an Israeli prime minister to the United Arab Emirates.

The aim of that visit was described as follows:
‘“The visit is meant to deepen cooperation between the countries in all fields. The ties are excellent and diverse and we must continue to nurture and strengthen them, and build a warm peace between the two nations,” Bennett said in a video statement from the tarmac before departing. […]

“The leaders will discuss deepening ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, with an emphasis on economic and regional issues that will contribute to prosperity, welfare and strengthening stability between the countries,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.’

BBC Jerusalem bureau correspondent Tom Bateman took the opportunity to promote a specific talking point not directly connected to that visit at the end of all his audio reports on the story.

BBC Radio 4, ‘Today’, from 13:22 here:
Bateman: “And of course the big losers in all of this are the Palestinians who have seen all of it – seen the embrace by the Gulf Arab states of the Israelis – as effectively a betrayal of the Arab agreement since 2002 that there would be no normalisation, no recognition of Israel until there was an end to occupation and they’d negotiated a two-state solution.”

BBC Radio 4, ‘Six O’Clock News’, from 17:44 here:
Bateman: “And the main losers have been the Palestinians who see the new ties with Israel as a betrayal of Arab solidarity over their ambitions for statehood. One official said the Gulf welcome laid on for Israel’s leader violated support for the Palestinian cause.”

Bateman did not clarify to listeners that the “official” concerned is Wasel Abu Youssef of the PLO – the organisation that has turned down repeated opportunities to come to an agreement with Israel over the past three decades.

NSW adopts IHRA definition
NEW South Wales this week became the first state or territory in Australia to officially adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.

Premier Dominic Perrottet made the announcement on Tuesday afternoon, following the federal government’s adoption of the definition in October.

“Today I’m proud to announce that the NSW Government will join our federal colleagues in embracing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism,” Perrottet said.

“To fight something, you need to be able to identify it, to be able to describe it, to name it. A definition is an essential tool.

“It’s a tool which empowers all those who fight this fight.”

Acknowledging that antisemitism is one of the oldest forms of racism, the premier noted that “sadly, no place in the world is immune from its scourge”.

“Yet there is no place for it anywhere in the world, and especially not in NSW. It goes against everything our proud, strong, multicultural state stands for,” he said.

“We hear the Jewish community, and today we stand with them in the fight against antisemitism.

Auschwitz-Style Banner at Polish COVID Vaccine Protest Condemned
The Auschwitz Museum and Poland’s prime minister on Wednesday condemned anti-COVID vaccination protesters as “shameful” and “mindless” for displaying a banner that mimicked the infamous sign at the gates of the Nazi concentration camp.

The banner featured the words “Vaccination makes you free” on an arch shaped to echo the one that reads “Work makes you free” outside Auschwitz.

It appeared at a demonstration in Warsaw on Tuesday organized by deputies of the far-right Confederation party against what it says is Poland’s program of forced vaccinations.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau complex of camps were set up on Polish soil by Nazi Germany during World War Two. More than 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, died there, of starvation, cold and disease or in Birkenau’s gas chambers.

“The appropriation of the symbol of the suffering of the victims Auschwitz … is a scandalous manifestation of moral corruption,” the museum, which was established to preserve the camp, said on Twitter. “It is particularly shameful when Polish lawmakers do it.”

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in a Facebook post that the banner painted “a dramatic and dark picture of how low some politicians and protesters can fall in mindless, anti-vaccine rhetoric.”
Judge Orders Dutch Politician to Remove Social Media Posts Comparing COVID-19 With Holocaust After Jewish Group Lawsuit
The leader of a right-wing populist party in The Netherlands was ordered on Wednesday by a Dutch court to remove posts on social media in which he compared the Dutch government’s measures to counter the COVID-19 pandemic with the mass slaughter of Jews during the Nazi Holocaust.

Thierry Baudet — a member of the Dutch parliament and the leader of the right-wing nationalist Forum for Democracy (FvD) — was told by a judge in Amsterdam to delete four posts on Twitter within 48 hours. Should Baudet refuse to comply, he will be fined 25,000 euros per day until the posts are removed. The judge also ordered Baudet to refrain from using Holocaust-related imagery in his vocal campaign against vaccinations and other public health measures to roll back the pandemic’s spread.

Baudet’s tweets, posted last month, openly compared those who freely refuse the COVID-19 vaccine with Jews suffering under the Nazi German regime’s racial laws. “The current situation can be compared to the 1930s and 1940s,” he wrote on Nov. 14. “The unvaccinated are the new Jews, the ignorant who exclude them are the new Nazis and NSB [wartime Dutch Nazi organization] members.”

Ending the tweet with a defiant flourish, Baudet declared: “There, I said it.”

In another tweet, Baudet posted photographs of an unvaccinated Dutch girl drying herself outside following a swimming lesson and an unvaccinated Dutch boy who was not permitted to enter a Christmas party. Accompanying these images was the photo of a wartime Jewish boy wearing a Nazi-imposed “Judenstern” (“Jews’ Star”) on his clothing, his hand clutching a wire fence as he gazed at those on the other side.
Patrol Group Releases Footage of Jewish Boy Being Grabbed by London Gang
London’s volunteer Jewish neighborhood watch group Shomrim shared surveillance camera footage that shows a young Jewish boy being physically picked up and carried away by a gang in Stamford Hill.

Shomrim reported that the 10-year-old was on his way home from school on Dec. 9 when a gang stopped him on the street. One member of the group then picked up the boy and took him across the street, as seen in the video that Shomrim posted Monday on Twitter.

The gang has reportedly been responsible for other attacks against Jews. Shomrim is calling on police to do more “to hold this gang to account for 100s of racist attacks.”

Hackney Police in the London neighborhood said it was notified of the incident, and that “one suspect has been identified and inquiries are ongoing to locate others involved.”

The boy was released shortly afterwards and sustained no injuries, Metropolitan police told The Jewish Chronicle. Still, Shomrim said the child was distraught after what happened.
Man draws swastika on Wall Street 'Charging Bull,' NYC City Hall - NBC
An unidentified man has vandalized three different sites in New York City with swastikas, including City Hall and the Charging Bull statue on Wall Street, NBC 4 New York reported Wednesday.

The New York Police Department (NYPD) is currently searching for the suspect, who was recorded by cameras while committing the acts. The man "was last seen wearing a black and gray poncho, black jeans and multicolored sneakers," had a black backpack and appeared to "walk with a limp," according to NBC.

Officials condemned the crimes as bigoted and antisemitic.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul mobilized state police and said, "An attack on a Jewish New Yorker is an attack on all of us. If you commit a hate crime, you are picking a fight with 20 million New Yorkers," NBC said.

U2's Bono invests in Israeli recycling startup
Lead singer of Irish rock band U2 Paul David Hewson, better known as Bono, has invested in Israeli recycling company UBQ Materials that converts waste into a recyclable plastic substitute.

On Wednesday, UBQ Materials announced a $170 million funding round led by TPG Rise, TPG investment firm's global impact investing platform.

The investment was made through TPG Rise Climate, the firm's dedicated climate investing fund, and The Rise Funds, its longstanding, multi-sector impact investing fund. Bono is on The Rise Funds board of directors.

UBQ Materials turns landfill-destined municipal solid waste, into a climate-positive, cost-competitive, and fully recyclable plastic substitute.

A sustainable replacement to plastic, wood, or concrete, it can be used both on its own and in conjunction with conventional oil-based resins to offset the overall carbon footprint of end-products in industries including construction, automotive, logistics, retail, and even 3D printing.
Israel to give 1 million coronavirus vaccines to African countries
The government said Wednesday it was donating 1 million coronavirus vaccines to the UN-backed COVAX program, which distributes shots to poorer countries.

The Foreign Ministry said the AstraZeneca vaccines would be transferred to several countries in Africa in the coming weeks, a decision that was part of Israel’s strengthening ties with the continent.

“I am delighted that Israel can contribute and be a partner in eradicating the pandemic around the world,” said Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.

The announcement said the vaccines would reach close to a quarter of African countries, though it did not provide a list. Israel has close ties with a number of African nations, including Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda. Israel also re-established relations with Morocco and agreed to normalize ties with Sudan last year as part of a series of US-brokered accords.

Israel’s agreement with COVAX allows it to determine where the vaccines end up, Haaretz reported.

Israel has in the past given surplus vaccines to friendly countries for diplomatic gains but the process was halted in February as legal officials examined whether it was in then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s authority to order the transfers. Some doses had already been delivered to other countries.

COVAX is a global initiative that aims to provide coronavirus vaccines to nations that are too poor to acquire them in sufficient numbers. Wealthier countries have bought most of the world’s vaccine supplies, causing vast inequality in access to jabs.
Indian Navy Uses Israeli Tech to Fight Pirates, Terrorists
The Indian Navy's newly commissioned destroyer, the INS Visakhapatnam, is equipped with the MF-STAR phased array radar - which can detect enemy aircraft and missiles hundreds of kilometers away - and the MR SAM (Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile), which can shoot down airborne targets, including supersonic anti-ship missiles.

The MF-STAR was developed in Israel, while the MR SAM was developed jointly by India's Defense Research and Development Organization and Israel Aerospace Industries.

The ship has also been fitted with an SRCG (Stabilized Remote Control Gun) built in India under a transfer-of-technology pact with Israeli company Elbit.

The SRCG's computerized targeting system factors in the roll and pitch of the ship to improve accuracy.

The SRCG is meant primarily to fire on small, fast-moving boats.
Gaza Boy Is 6,000th Child Saved by Israel's Save a Child's Heart
Mazen, 11, was born in Gaza with a complicated congenital heart condition. He became the 6,000th child to be saved by Israel's Save a Child's Heart (SACH) organization after an operation to close a hole in his heart at the Pediatric Cardiac Care Unit at Sylvan Adams Children's Hospital in Holon.

SACH holds a weekly cardiology clinic for Palestinian children at its facility in Holon. 50% of the children saved are from Gaza and the West Bank.

Blind Woman Regains Eyesight at Israeli Hospital With Artificial Cornea Carved From Her Shin Bone
A blind woman has regained her eyesight after 20 years following a first-of-its-kind surgery at an Israeli hospital.

The rare procedure carried out at Israel’s Beilinson hospital restored the sight of 60-year-old Hanan Awad from Nazareth, who suffered from a severe corneal disease which led to her blindness. During the complex surgery, which was performed for the first time at an Israeli hospital, a piece of bone from Awad’s leg and an artificial cornea were implanted in her eye.

“The surgery is performed in the most severe cases of corneal disease in which it is not possible to perform a cornea transplant from donor tissue, and in fact it is the only option for returning eyesight to blind patients whose condition until now was considered incurable,” said Dr. Eitan Livni, head of the cornea unit at Beilinson, also known as the Rabin Medical Center.

Diseases of the cornea, the eye’s outermost lens are the second leading cause of blindness in most developing countries. Every year about two million new cases of corneal blindness are recorded, according to estimates by the World Health Organization.

Awad’s two-phase procedure involved surgeries lasting seven hours each, the hospital explained last week. During the first, a piece of bone from Awad’s shin was taken and then carved and sculpted into the shape of a thin disc. In its center, a 3-millimeter hole was drilled, into which an artificial cornea made of plastic material was inserted. As a result, the doctors created a hybrid implant of organic bone and an artificial implant, to be implanted in the affected eye.
Albert Antebi, forgotten Ottoman Zionist
He is almost forgotten now, but despite his premature death aged 46, Albert Antebi had exceptionally good relations with the Ottoman Turks in the early 20th century. He became an effective intermediary between the Zionists and the Ottoman Turks, obtaining Turkish passports for Palestinian Jews during WWI and the release of Ben-Gurion from jail. David Ben-Gurion described him as the ‘mirror image of Lawrence of Arabia’. Interestingly, this article by Mehmet Hasan Buhbut in the Turkish newspaper The Daily Sabah shows Turkish sympathy for the Zionist enterprise.

Albert Abraham Antebi was born in Damascus in 1873. His family was famous for their rabbis. He studied at the Alliance School and went to Paris with a scholarship he won at the age of 15. He met his wife there and graduated from the Paris Institute of Technology. After graduation, he returned to Palestine.

Antebi, who started his duty at the Alliance schools in Jerusalem as a teacher, later became the administrator of these schools. He wrote columns for the newspaper ha-Herut, published by Sephardic Jews. He became Baron Rothschild’s right-hand man and translator in Palestine. He began buying lands from the Arabs and settled refugee Jews there. Through the Anglo-Palestine Company, which had a branch in Jaffa, he provided loans to Jewish colonies to start and expand their businesses.

He gained the trust of Ottoman administrators, foreign consuls and Zionists because he had good relations with people. But he could not get along with the conservative chief rabbi of Jerusalem. He worked hard for the replacement of the chief rabbi with someone else. When Chaim Nahum became the chief rabbi of the empire after the 1908 Young Turkish Revolution, Antebi’s wish was fulfilled and the chief rabbi of Jerusalem was dismissed like all other conservatives in the country.

In this period, Antebi became close to the people who would be the founders of Israel in the future. Journalist Itamar Ben-Avi, son of Eliezer Ben Yehuda – considered the father of modern Hebrew – was one of them. Antebi was even the one who first introduced Ben-Avi’s wife to him. Israel Shochat and Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, who founded the Hashomer (The Watchman) organization for armed struggle with the Arabs, were also among his friends. Antebi visited Shochat, Ben-Zvi and David Ben-Gurion while studying law in Istanbul in 1912. Taking advantage of the tolerance shown by the Young Turks to the Zionists, they engaged in political activities together.

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