Friday, January 28, 2022

From Ian:

Rabbi Marvin Hier and Rabbi Abraham Cooper: As world marks Holocaust remembrance day, Hitler's vision lives on
Never again should anyone confuse an advanced education with morality. Some of Germany’s most educated enthusiastically followed Hitler; today there are too many educated people prepared to forge strategies legitimizing crimes in the name of a greater good. Never again should leaders turn a blind eye to today’s evils unleashed against innocents in China or Iran with the hope that somehow catering to tyrants will work out for the best. That didn’t work for Neville Chamberlain and it won’t work now.

Germany will always have special obligations linked to Wannsee: First and foremost. It must never harm Jews.

In word and deed, Germany in 2022 must be guided by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism. Today’s Germany should take all necessary measures to hold accountable all perpetrators and purveyors of anti-Semitism at home.

It must take the public lead against all Holocaust denial and distortion, on social media and in the halls of power and diplomacy.

Nowhere is such a commitment as needed and sorely lacking as when it comes to Germany’s continuous pursuit of economic gain in Iran.

That is the only way to explain Berlin’s deafening silence as Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Khamenei, and his human-rights-crushing regime pursue Holocaust denial as state policy and Iran’s top leadership threatens to destroy Israel – home to over 6 million living, thriving Jews.

The German president can put an end to Iran’s Holocaust denial by inviting the ayatollah and his new president to visit Wannsee along with Dachau, Buchenwald, or Sachsenhausen concentration camps.

We Jews and, we believe, millions of Germans have learned the hard way that words have consequences, and that we must take tyrants at their word.

We can only pray that Germany’s new leaders along with the U.S., UK, and France will pause in these days between January 20 and January 27 to study the Wannsee Protocol. It might just save humankind from the next “unthinkable” catastrophe.
Global antisemitism meets most criteria for stages of genocide
On Jan. 27, we commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day, honoring the six million Jews killed in the Nazi genocide, as well as the millions of other victims persecuted in that era. This remembrance will be meaningless, however, if we do not seriously consider the growing threat faced by world Jewry today. To understand the seriousness of this threat, consider how it measures under Genocide Watch founder Dr. Gregory Stanton's canonical classification of the ten stages of genocide.

The first stage, classification, refers to the division of people into "us" versus "them." This phenomenon is now widespread on American college campuses. Known to anti-Israel activists as "anti-normalization," it can be seen, for example, in the 2018 pledge by more than 50 New York University student groups to boycott pro-Israel student groups on campus, as well as national pro-Israel organizations. The ongoing effort is aimed at pushing Jewish students "beyond the pale" unless they join forces with groups that make war against Jewish identity. To address this early-stage activity, we must strengthen institutions that can inculcate universalistic Western values, such as equal respect and civil discourse.

The second stage, symbolization, can be seen in Proud Boys' apparel emblazoned with "6MWE," which stands for "six million wasn't enough." It is also seen in alt-right use of parentheses, such as the triple parentheses used on neo-Nazi sites to indicate Jewish ancestry. On such sites, I have seen triple parentheses placed around my own head, suggesting something like a marksman's bullseye. However, it is most often seen in swastikas used to communicate hate. It is high time for the US Education Department to address higher education's massive under-reporting of swastikas under the Clery Act.

We see the third stage, discrimination when Jewish, pro-Israel students are forced out of student government positions. In recent years, the Brandeis Center has successfully defended Jewish students against such discrimination at Tufts University and the University of Southern California. Stronger civil-rights enforcement is needed, starting with the codification of the federal Executive Order on Combating Antisemitism.

The fourth stage, dehumanization, is seen when antisemites treat Jews as animals or as demons. In 2010, Egypt's then-President Mohamed Morsi called Jews the "sons of apes and pigs." Such dehumanizing insults are a common feature of Muslim antisemitism. Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan exemplified this demonization when he called Judaism the "synagogue of Satan." Dehumanization, in both forms, should be taken seriously and condemned vigorously.

Meir Y. Soloveichik: Christopher Hitchens Wasn’t Great
Meanwhile, as his life came to a close, Hitchens’s criticisms of Israel grew more and more vile. In 2010, he published an infamous article in Slate titled “Israel’s Shabbos Goy,” wherein he asserted that America’s support for Israel embodied the “old concept of the shabbos goy—the non-Jew who is paid a trifling fee to turn out the lights or turn on the stove, or whatever else is needful to get around the more annoying regulations of the Sabbath.” As Kerstein notes, this sentence combines all sorts of anti-Semitic talking points in a single go. It is, if you a will, a demagogic literary triple lutz. It fuses a classical trope according to which Jews are pharisaic charlatans with the more modern stereotype of Jews as dishonest, and tops it all off with the contemporary progressive assault on the Jewish state.

This execrable essay points to an interesting aspect of Hitchens’s legacy and life. Why would a man who inveighed with such passion about the War on Terror continue to write in such a putrid way about the very country that was on that war’s front lines? I am not certain of the answer, but I do have a guess. What drove Hitchens above all was his hatred of faith; he began God Is Not Great by explaining, “I have been writing this book my whole life.” Perhaps the one fact that Hitchens was never able to explain, the best piece of evidence for the existence of God that would not go away, was Israel itself.

Thousands of years ago, Jewish scripture claimed that Abraham’s family would affect the world far beyond its numbers, that there was one land linked to its destiny, that this tiny people would experience exile, that it would survive all efforts to destroy it and would one day return from around the world. Then the most unexpected event of all occurred: It all came true. How does Hitchens explain that? What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed; but the evidence was there, right in front of his face. If Israel, despite its mistakes and flaws, truly was the beacon of freedom in the very War on Terror he was now supporting, then his insipid atheism was under threat. And so Israel had to be assaulted, with all Hitchens’s eloquence, even if it required the mustering of anti-Semitic tropes whose history he understood all too well.

In reading the many tributes that were written 10 years ago and today, it is obvious that Hitchens was a loyal friend, filled with joie de vivre, and a man of many talents. Watching his last interviews, it is painful to see someone who so clearly relished life battling against the dying of the light. But in my pastoral experience, I have seen many die too young, men and women who filled their lives with love and friendship without devoting so much of their time on earth to hateful and irresponsible invective. So 10 years later, I will not celebrate a man who attacked all I hold dear in so shallow, callous, and deceitful a manner. And because I am unwilling to dismiss the evidence that anti-religious dictatorship has provided us, I believe that freedom in the West is made more secure when Hitchens’s writings about religion are exposed for the scurrilous, ignorant assertions that they are.
  • Friday, January 28, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: How the West’s Appeasement Mentality Brings Not Peace, But War
Appeasement blindness is why the Biden administration thinks an agreement with the Iranian regime would be worth more than the piece of paper waved by Chamberlain on his return from Munich.

And appeasement blindness is why the West is responsible for the war by the Arab world against Israel. In the 1930s, Britain sought to buy off the Arab uprising in Palestine against the proposed Jewish homeland by offering the Arabs land promised by international agreement to the Jews.

For most of the period since the State of Israel was created, the West has continued with the fiction that the Arab war of extermination against the Jewish homeland is instead a conflict over the division of the land between two sets of people with an entitlement to that land. As a result, the Palestinian Arabs have been incentivized to continue their war of extermination, confident that the West would blame Israel for defending itself.

People often wonder why tiny, embattled Israel bucks the Western trend of fatally low birthrates, sclerotic economies and miserable populations. The basic answer is that it believes in itself and is determined to survive.

To convince Putin not to invade Ukraine, he has to believe that the West means to defend its principles. But for that to happen, the west has to start believing in itself and wanting to survive. And of that, there is no sign.
Caroline Glick: Ukraine and the American crack-up
Biden could have expressed support for Ukraine while noting rightly that Russia's aggressive behavior threatens the nations of Europe more than it threatens the US. And while the US would be happy to stand with its European allies to confront Russia, it will not confront Russia for them. That would have put the ball in Germany's court, and whatever the outcome, the US would have emerged unscathed.

Instead, seemingly on an hourly basis, the administration is ratcheting up its war-mongering rhetoric and threats against Russia. On Tuesday Pentagon spokesman James Kirby said that Biden had ordered 8,500 troops in Europe on alert.

Apparently, the Russians, Ukrainians and the rest of the world were supposed to take Kirby's announcement as proof of Biden's seriousness of purpose. But the opposite is the case. Kirby's statement was utterly meaningless. He didn't say which troops were on alert, or on alert for what. He didn't mention what mission the alerted troops had received. And almost at the same time Kirby made his meaningless announcement, Biden said that no US forces would be deployed to Ukraine.

More than Biden's surrender on Nord Stream 2, it is the complete disconnect between Biden's actual policy and his strategic messaging policies that make governments like Germany's realize that they will pay no price for acting with US adversaries against the US. Busy turning America into a joke on the world stage, Biden will have no interest in punishing Berlin for betraying NATO, and America.

Ukraine is far from the only place where there is zero connection between the Biden administration's policies and its communications strategy. Biden's Iran policy is equally disingenuous and self-destructive. Biden and his team claim that the purpose of the nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna is to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear armed state. But the agreement the US is negotiating with Iran will guarantee Tehran will become a nuclear armed state in short order.

The implications of Biden's foreign policy for the United States are clear enough. Not only is the administration enabling the break-up of NATO, the Biden administration is also destroying America's deterrent power and superpower position.

As for Israelis, and other threatened US allies watching from the sidelines, the take-home lesson of Ukraine is clear. No US security guarantee can outweigh independence of action. To survive, a nation requires strategic, economic and energy independence, and the will to wield it.
The Caroline Glick show: Ep36 – The New Germany, Same as the Old Germany? | Guest: Benjamin Weinthal
With Germany effectively killing the NATO alliance this week by effectively siding with Russia against the U.S. and NATO in the Ukraine crisis, in this week’s show Caroline Glick spoke with veteran reporter Benjamin Weinthal, who served from 2002-2016 as the Jerusalem Post’s correspondent in Berlin and now covers the Middle Eastern affairs for the Post in Jerusalem while serving as a fellow for the Washington, DC based Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Caroline and Ben looked at Germany’s betrayal of the U.S. today from the perspective of German culture – the deep seated, ubiquitous anti-Americanism and endemic anti-Semitism in German society. They then moved on to discuss Germany’s welcoming attitude towards Muslim migrants with deeply anti-Western and anti-Jewish cultures, its hostility towards Judaism and the German government’s pathological relationship with the Jewish community in Germany. It was a fascinating discussion on the German psyche that revolved around the question of what, if anything has changed in the German psyche since the Holocaust.

David Singer: Back to June 5, 1967?
A circuit breaker is needed – until one legitimate, democratic Arab Palestinian authority emerges – to defuse and hopefully end the increasing violence between Jews and Arabs occurring on virtually a daily basis.

That circuit breaker could involve the UN Security Council, Jordan, Egypt, the PLO and Hamas negotiating with Israel for a partial return to the status quo that existed in Gaza, the 'West Bank' and East Jerusalem on 5 June 1967 - when:
- Egypt had been occupying a Jew-free Gaza since 1948
- The 'West Bank' had been unified with Transjordan since 1950 to form a new country called “Jordan”
- all Jews living in the 'West Bank' having been driven out in 1948 whilst its then Arabs-only remaining population had become Jordanian citizens electing their own representatives to the Jordanian parliament
- The PLO was not claiming regional sovereignty in either the “West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan” or “on the Gaza Strip” - its activities then being “on the national popular level in the liberational, organizational, political and financial fields”

Hamas did not exist – its founding not occurring until 1988.

Successful negotiations to turn back the political clock existing at 5 June 1967 with changes between Israel andEgypt and Jordan – with whom Israel has had signed peace treaties since 1979 and 1994 respectively – backed by the PLO and Hamas, chaired by the UN Secretary-General could keep the future possibility of the two-state solution alive.

Such negotiations could also open up a variety of other solutions to end the Arab-Jewish conflict including:
- Gaza-Egypt: confederation or unification
- 'West Bank'-Jordan: confederation or
- reunification of such areas of the West Bank with Jordan as is agreed between Israel and Jordan.

The Security Council should heed Wennesland’s advice and use its influence to make these negotiations happen.

Talking is always preferable to fighting.
  • Friday, January 28, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon

The New York Times Magazine is publishing a long report on NSO and spyware this weekend. it shows how the FBI had shown interest in the tool and how the CIA paid for NSO to sell the spyware to Djibouti. 

The major issues with NSO Pegasus is that the spyware can and has been used for human rights abuses. It has also been used by governments to crack terrorism and drug rings. 

The article shows that Israel made some decisions on who Pegasus can be exported to based on diplomatic considerations. From Panama to Mexico to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, although there was rarely an explicit quid pro quo, Israel reaped major benefits from allowing potential allies to use the tool. The article even says that Saudi Arabia opening its airspace to Israeli planes last year was a response to NSO renewing its license with the monarchy. 

Every country makes decisions based primarily its own best interests, above human rights issues. That is the way it has always been and the way it will always be.

 Cyberweapons, like all weapons, are tools than can be used for good or ill. Pegasus has helped nations do great things - and horrible things. 

Who makes the decision as to where to draw the line? When critics of Israel like Human Rights Watch spend time and effort to only go after Israel's diplomatic use of NSO, and ignores the fact that every nation does the exact same thing with their own assets, it is showing that human rights isn't its main focus. One can argue with Israel's decisions - and one can be sure that those arguments already were hashed out inside Israel itself. 

The one who uses the tool is the one who has the responsibility for how it is used. Mexico can use Pegasus against drug cartels and against critics of the government, to blame Israel for Mexico's decision is simply another manifestation of antisemitism. One can argue that Israel should make different choices, but where are HRW's tweets against Mexico without mentioning Israel for how they use spyware? There aren't any. 

NSO is in talks to be sold to a US company. Does anyone think that the US wouldn't use the tool as a means of diplomacy the way every other tool and weapon is today? Every nation weighs the costs and benefits of these decisions. 

More nations are at peace with Israel today because of Pegasus  - even though they haven't the greatest human rights records. Is a state of war better than peace because a tool can be misused? Every nation has to make their own decisions as to what is best for their own people. That should be obvious. 

Only when Israel uses tools like this for diplomatic reasons does it become a "human rights" issue. And when Israel is singled out for doing what everyone else does, that is antisemitism.

(h/t Yoel)

  • Friday, January 28, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon

In 2019, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan compared Israeli actions in Gaza to the Holocaust, saying “we view the Holocaust in the same way we view those besieging Gaza and carrying out massacres in it.”

Last year, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, Erdogan released a video about the dangers of xenophobia and Islamophobia, and didn't say the word "Jews" once. He talked about various genocides, pointedly excluding the Armenian genocide.

Lately, Erdogan and Turkey gave a different message. 

In December, Erdogan hosted members of the Jewish community in Turkey and the Alliance of Rabbis in the Islamic States. He's been emphasizing his goal of improving relations with Israel. He invited Israel's President Isaac Herzog to visit Turkey.

But a lot of this is smoke and mirrors. Turkey still hosts Hamas even though it "leaked" news that it will expel the terror group. 

Al Arab analyzes Erdogan's actions and says "Turkey, which is living in difficult economic conditions, and has failed to resolve the crisis of the lira's collapse.... is looking to open channels of communication with international financial influence circles, which means that the message issued on the memorial of the Holocaust is not a real apology nor a review of the situation as much as an opportunistic step to solve Erdogan's crisis."

In short, Erdogan sees Jews as the people who control the world's money supply and he wants to suck up to them. 

His pretense of friendliness to Israel and Jews is based on his antisemitic view of the world!

Antisemitism is not going away. If Jews have to choose between being hated or being respected for the idea that they control the world, respect is a lot better. 

But don't confuse these overtures with philosemitism. It's quite the opposite.

  • Friday, January 28, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon

From Syria's news agency, SANA:

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi affirmed that the Zionist entity is an enemy of humanity, denouncing its violations in the occupied Palestinian territories.

During his meeting today with Azerbaijani Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov in Tehran, Raisi said: "The Zionist entity can never be a friend of the Islamic peoples," adding that "the occupation's practices and aggressions in the region and against the Palestinian people are a witness to this fact."

The Iranian president pointed out that the presence of terrorist organizations does not serve the interests of the peoples of the region, indicating that these organizations are the creation of the Americans and Zionists, and wherever they are located, they commit criminal acts.
Once you accuse your enemies of being enemies of humanity, where else can you go from there? 

Zionists are already accused of racism, colonialism, apartheid, warmongering, killing children, genocide, slavery, land theft, indiscriminate bombings, killing prophets, ethnic cleansing, Nazi collaboration, organ trading, global warming, and stealing falafel.  

What more is there?

Thursday, January 27, 2022

  • Thursday, January 27, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
UPDATE: I was mistaken, there was another tennis tournament in Dubai at the same time, not under ITF. See update below.)

On Sunday, I wrote that Arabic media was praising 14-year old Muhammad al-Awadi for withdrawing from a tennis tournament in Dubai because his semi-final match would have been against an Israeli.

Times Kuwait wrote called it "Heroic decision by Kuwaiti 14 year-old! "

Al Jazeera on Thursday picked up the story, showing that there were billboards celebrating Al Awadi in Kuwait, saying, "Thank you, hero!"

When I wrote the story, I tried to find the name of the Israeli player he was slated to play against, but I couldn't find anything. I couldn't find Al-Awadi either reaching the semi-finals of the J4 Junior Championships in Dubai. 

Now that there are billboards celebrating him as a hero, I decided to look again. 

I found that Al Awadi did play in the J4 in Dubai. That is the only truthful thing about this story.

He wasn't going to go to the semifinals. He didn't even make it to the main draw. He won one match in Round 1 of the knockout qualifying round, and then lost badly to Swiss player Arenui Luethi, 6-0, 6-1.

There weren't even any Israeli competitors in the tournament.

Al-Awasi's first round victory was the only game he has ever won in  juniors tennis according to the ITF. His record is one win, two losses.

This story was reported by the major media in the Muslim world - Anadolou Agency and Al Jazeera. Kuwait's tourism ministry is triumphantly tweeting the story.  No one bothered to check it. 

This is truly pathetic - for the boy, for the coach who apparently made this whole thing up, for the entire Muslim media for not checking the story at all. 

UPDATE: I was informed that there was another tournament at the exact same time in Dubai, the Dubai Bowl by Ten-Pro Global Junior Tour, i which Al Awasi did forfeit his match with Israeli Elad Ellner, who went on to win the tournament.

I apologize for the error.

UPDATE 2: I didn't notice that the Israeli player had competed against (and handily beaten) an Iranian competitor! (h/t ZioTroll)

From Ian:

Jonathan Tobin: Holocaust Remembrance Day proves everyone loves dead Jews
Despite Erdan's triumph, the United Nations has not really undergone any sort of transformation when it comes to antisemitism. As Professor Anne Bayefsky has written in a series of columns published in JNS in the last month, the world body has just embarked on an open-ended inquiry aimed at demonizing the Jewish state. While others have celebrated symbolic resolutions about Holocaust denial, the UN bureaucracy has set in motion a program that is building on the legacy of the 2001 Durban conference, where antisemitism was allowed to run riot.

Indeed, the widespread acceptance of the same "apartheid state" lie about Israel that was popularized by the forces that staged Durban is stunning proof that a generation of Holocaust education has done little to deter or prevent contemporary antisemitism when it operates under the guise of anti-Zionism.

Just as important, the proliferation of Holocaust education that seeks to universalize its lessons has had the opposite effect that one might have hoped. Rather than teaching people to respect Jewish rights or to understand how antisemitism has always been an essentially political form of hatred, this universalizing has both drained the Holocaust of its specific content and made it a metaphor for anything people consider awful.

It's not an accident that Holocaust analogies have proliferated in recent years. Right-wingers analogize it to COVID vaccine mandates they dislike, and left-wingers use it to demonize political figures they abhor, like former President Donald Trump (something that Jewish groups have been particularly guilty of doing). This is happening not because there's not enough Holocaust education, but because there is too much of the wrong kind that is imparting misleading lessons that give rise to the promiscuous use of it as a political argument.

Indeed, one of the most telling signs of the failure of efforts by the Jewish community on the issue is how individuals and groups that are themselves guilty of seeking to delegitimize Jews and Israel in ways that clearly fit the IHRA definition of antisemitism have no shame about proclaiming themselves opposed to it. That people like Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), political activist Linda Sarsour and their allies at the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), as well as a host of other groups that support the antisemitic BDS movement against Israel, are all ready to declare their opposition to hatred for Jews and devotion to the memory of the Holocaust tells you all you need to know about how meaningless such talk has become in 2022.

The words we'll hear spoken on Jan. 27 are, to be sure, better than the open Jew-hatred we hear from Iran and others who deny the Holocaust while plotting a new one. However, the only real measure of opposition to antisemitism is how willing you are to stand in solidarity with the rights of live Jews, not whether you think the Nazis were bad. So long as the increase in antisemitism is keeping pace with sympathy for dead Jews, Holocaust Memorial Day is simply a means for those who are indifferent or hostile to Jewish survival to virtue signal. As such, it may be doing more harm than good.
Clifford May: How 'Never again' became 'never mind'
In other words, Iran's rulers deny the genocide of Europe's Jewish communities in the 20th century while threatening a 21st-century genocide of the only viable and thriving Jewish community in the Middle East. Inscribed on Iranian missiles: "Israel must be wiped from the face of the earth."

Since Iran's rulers claim to be leaders of the Muslim world, you might expect them – unlike Mr. Palihapitiya – to care about the Uyghurs. But they do not. The most plausible explanation: They have a revolutionary commitment to "Death to America!" and they are counting on China's rulers to help them pursue that goal.

On his podcast, Mr. Palihapitiya said he was "not even sure that China is a dictatorship," and that "at the end of the day, I don't think that I have the moral absolutism to judge China."

Elaborating on why he thinks Uyghur lives don't matter, he said he was more concerned with supply chain issues, climate change, the incarceration rate for men of color in the United States, and America's "crippled" healthcare system.

"If you want to talk about the human rights of people, I think we have a responsibility to take care of our own backyard first," he added.

There were Americas in the last century who took that view. Had they prevailed, World War II would have had a different outcome.

Is it not curious that the ideology espoused back then by far-right isolationists is being echoed now by elite figures on the fashionably woke left? And is it not a sad commentary on our times that, for so many people, "Never again!" has become "Never mind"?
Qanta Ahmed: History Lessons: America’s New Antisemitism Begins with Cultural Erasure of American Jews
Jews are facing antisemitism from three directions.

First, from the Far Right, neo-Nazis, White Supremacists and ultra-nationalists form a brand of antisemitism that gets widespread coverage in the liberal media.

But antisemitism also comes from the Left, with rising woke neo-orthodoxy driving some Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) efforts to erase Jews as minorities. The Heritage Foundation recently published the Diversity Delusion report on DEI officers in America’s premiere academic institutions, detailing extraordinary levels of antisemitism expressed by leading DEI officers at the nation’s leading universities.

Because of fears of being labeled Islamophobic, the vehicle of Islamist antisemitism is in play. Islamism, masquerading as the great monotheism of Islam, is an artificial 20th-century totalitarian ideology that steals the language and metaphors of Islam but holds at its core a cosmic enmity with all matters pertaining to Jewry, Judaism, Zionism and Israel.

This fanaticism drove “Lady Al Qaedah” to whom the Colleyville hostage taker referred. Bizarrely, due to the deterrent of Islamophobia, media referred to her as a “Pakistani neuroscientist” rather than federally convicted terrorist.

While the family of the Colleyville terrorist has said he was mentally disturbed, and the FBI has since corrected its initial denial that antisemitism was a motive in the act, there is no denying the iconic symbol of religious Jews at worship as a target of lethal antisemitism.

The hostage taker’s targeting of Jews at worship, his desire to speak to and seek the release of one of the most iconic female jihadist terrorists ever convicted, and his articulated desire to meet his death suggest he was exposed to, and indoctrinated by, jihadist ideology, which appeals to the disenfranchised.

As if all that weren’t bad enough, the pandemic has become a vehicle for digital antisemitism for some who claim vaccination and virus conspiracy theories, suggesting that the pandemic is part of a “Jewish plot,” with vaccination developments enriching Jews.

Digital antisemitism is rapidly gaining new adherents. Recent reports reveal all nine major social media platforms, including YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, not only carry antisemitism but rapidly propagate it.

Antisemitism is traveling at speeds not seen in recent years and mutating at a rapid rate. The attempt to erase Jews is repeating itself. Sadly, we have seen this movie before.
  • Thursday, January 27, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
  • ,

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory.

Check out their Facebook page.

missile launchTel Aviv, January 27 - Senior military officials and officers congratulated one another today on a successful demonstration of an innovative, airborne threat-neutralization system that today downed an incoming law aimed at curtailing the cushy retirement packages that those senior officers enjoy for life at taxpayer expense.

An Arrow Interceptor hit the target before it could reenter the atmosphere, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense told reporters today at a press conference.

"We are pleased to announce that the Arrow-3 has progressed more quickly, and more efficiently, than even our ambitious timeline," stated ministry representative Pensia Taktzivit. "This contribution to Israel's emerging 'layered defense' umbrella will both protect our interests and deter those who might otherwise attempt to harm those interests."

According to Taktzivit's description, the Arrow interceptor used both ground-based and its own internal guidance system to locate, track, and intercept the threat to generals' and colonels' pensions, which, unlike most retirement programs, allocate a guaranteed amount of taxpayer-provided government funds to those retired senior officers, instead of the investment-based programs on which the bulk of Israel's population must rely to support them during their golden years. The military pensions constitute a significant budget drain for a defense establishment that seeks to extract itself from dependence on American largesse, largesse that requires the IDF to spend the billions provided only on American products and services and renders any military systems purchased through the program dependent in turn on American technology, legacy systems, and terms of use.

Defense analysts cautioned that the interception of the threat today does not guarantee other threats will not emerge, and that the IDF, Ministry of Defense, Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, and other bodies, must maintain vigilance in the face of forces that would deprive retired staff officers of the pampered lifestyle of the one percent, even as the military wastes untold amounts on "employing" many of its soldiers in useless roles that exist only because of a universal draft law that, even with exemptions for entire classes of population such as Arabs and Haredim, foists upon the IDF thousands of teenagers and young adults unable or unwilling to dedicate three precious years in the prime of their lives to superfluous "support" of the actually-essential combat, combat-support, and logistics personnel.

"The biggest emergent threat might not even come from the air," acknowledged commentator Hugh Scratchmibach. "Israel's political leadership no longer relies as heavily as it once did on former generals to join its ranks, a fact that may continue to erode the solidarity necessary among that leadership for preservation of the privileged status retired senior officers have hitherto enjoyed."

From Ian:

Bret Stephens: Israel Wins the War of Ideas
I am often asked, "Why does Israel have such lousy PR?" The problem is that Israel's usual defenders keep trying to win over the wrong kinds of people with the wrong kinds of arguments in the wrong kinds of places.

The wrong kinds of people are anti-Zionists who deny Israel's very right to exist as a Jewish state, who belong to the Blame Israel First crowd, who think that the words "apartheid" or "genocide" or "racist" attach to Israel the way that "juice" attaches to "orange," and whose views stem either from ignorance or hostility. Merely to engage with their charges (e.g., "Why does Israel kill so many Palestinian children?") legitimizes bogus assumptions and bigoted arguments.

The wrong kinds of arguments include the Israel-as-the-bigger-victim case. A major military power is never going to win an international pity contest, nor should it want to: Israel came into being to end Jewish victimization, not to showcase it. Moreover, such arguments rarely do more than preach to the converted.

As for the unconverted, the best argument is that Israel is under no obligation to justify its existence to anybody, least of all those who despise it; that, like any democratic and sovereign nation, it has every right to do what it must to safeguard its vital interests and security; that it isn't interested in winning popularity contests; and that sincere and constructive criticism is always welcome, but its policies won't be swayed by those who fundamentally wish it ill.

Year after year, positive perceptions of Israel among the American public at large have generally risen, according to Gallup, from 58% in the wake of 9/11 to 75% in March 2021.

Outside the U.S., things look even more promising. Israel has forged increasingly close relations with formerly unfriendly states, from Uganda to Greece to India to the United Arab Emirates. These countries do not want better ties because Israel caved to the demands of larger powers, but rather because Israel resisted them. They are less interested in Israel's concessions than they are in its resourcefulness, its capabilities, its ability to add value in common causes.
Melanie Phillips: A shocking excuse for the indefensible
So after all this enhanced and non-enhanced listening by so many people, was this “anti-Muslim” slur actually proved to have been uttered?

And here, at the very nub of this affair, the ECU slips into ludicrously pretentious gobbledegook which suggests the answer to that question is “no” . It never actually says this, concluding instead that as a result of
the contesting interpretations of the material under consideration… it might not be possible to determine with certainty which of them is correct on the basis of the recording alone.

But inadvertently, in trying to dodge the answer but inescapably if circuitously implying that no such slur existed other than in the minds of those who claimed to have heard it, it also reveals the very same warped mindset of which the BBC has been accused. For it says:
In this connection, the ECU notes the suggestion, in a report commissioned by the Board of Deputies from a Professor of Linguistics, that BBC staff may have misheard the phrase as a result of the “Apollonian tendency”, which he describes as the mind’s inclination to create order or meaningfulness, especially when encountering unfamiliar information.

Although it might be observed that such a tendency might apply as much to those undertaking investigations on behalf of others as to BBC staff, it corresponded with the experience of members of the ECU, both as investigators of complaints and in their previous roles as programme-makers, in which they had encountered cases where the same audio material can genuinely be construed in entirely different senses by different listeners. The interpretation arrived at may well depend on cues which the listener is unaware of having received and, once arrived at, may be very difficult to controvert.

In that Board of Deputies-commissioned report, however, Professor Ghil‘ad Zuckermann follows up the sentence quoted by the ECU with this observation:
The problem with the Apollonian tendency in language arises from the fact that a person applying his/her Apollonian tendency only uses what is accessible in his/her brain. A Briton visiting Japan might well hear the Japanese expression for “not at all”(following”thank you”’) as Don’t touch your moustache! instead of どういたしまし て dou itashimashite. The Briton would need a lot of chutzpah, however, to jump to a conclusion that the Japanese person talking to him is alleging that he, the Briton, has too much facial hair (my emphasis).

Indeed; such a conclusion would be highly unlikely. And that’s the point. For if those eight BBC journalists really did construe what they heard as an “anti-Muslim slur” on the basis of “cues which the listener is unaware of having received,” this means that, when watching and listening to a recording of an attack upon Jews, the “cues” in their brains translated unfamiliar sounds into an attack by Jews.

Deeply disturbing, if true; but more disturbing is that the ECU thinks that this exonerates the BBC from the most serious charges of a breach of editorial standards.

Even by the BBC’s normal standards of obfuscation when it comes to complaints against it, this ECU report is a shocker. It’s good news that Ofcom is now to investigate this whole affair. The ECU report itself should be added to the charge sheet.
BBC warned over news chief’s ‘highly inappropriate’ comments at emergency meeting
In a letter seen by Jewish News, the Board president protests the she and other members of the communal organisation at the meeting ‘were extremely taken aback by the comments made by Fran Unsworth during the meeting; her false accusation that we had accused the BBC of ‘antisemitism’ was offensive and damaging; we noted with regret that you did not contradict her.”

Van der Zyl the writes of Unsworth, who departs the BBC at the end of this month: “Her follow-up, citing the actions of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, was astonishing.

“The Board of Deputies had absolutely nothing to do with this list, produced by an American-based organisation, and has not promoted it in any way. We are not collectively responsible for this action.

“To cite this as evidence that we had accused the BBC of antisemitism suggests that Ms Unsworth also paints completely different groups with the same brush.

“At the very best, this is completely at odds with her claims of the need for accuracy from the BBC. At the worst, this was a not very subtle way of saying that ‘you lot are all the same’. I would like to know what action you are going to take to discipline Ms Unsworth for her highly inappropriate comments.

“The ECU representative, invited by the BBC, was in the meeting and witnessed these comments by Ms Unsworth first-hand.”
  • Thursday, January 27, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
In 2015, The New Republic published an article about the etymology of the word "Holocaust" as it is currently used.

There has long been a rigorous debate among etymologists and historians as to when the lowercased “holocaust,” generically defined as a large-scale calamity usually involving fire, became the proper noun used specifically to name the period of Nazi genocide against European Jews. Yet there is little debate that that formalization occurred years after the war’s end.

...According to a 2005 Jewish Forward piece, a top rabbi in what was then Palestine wrote to a colleague in a telegram about the need for a “day of mourning throughout [the] world for holocaust synagogues [in] Germany” after Kristallnacht, a November 1938 night of terror in which Jewish homes were ransacked and windows broken across Germany.

There were smatterings of usage prior to World War II to refer to mass slaughters, too, including with regard to the Armenian Genocide. And a 1943 New York Times piece about talks regarding Palestine references “the hundreds and thousands of European Jews still surviving the Nazi holocaust.”

Yet for decades after the war, the genocide lacked any formal title in English except, perhaps, “The Final Solution,” the term the Nazis used. In Hebrew, the calamity quickly became known as “Shoah,” which means “the catastrophe.” But it wasn’t until the 1960s that scholars and writers began using the term “Holocaust,” and it took the 1978 TV film Holocaust, starring Meryl Streep, to push it into widespread use.
The 1938 use of the word is interesting, but this article seems to say that the May 23, 1943 New York Times article is one of the earliest uses of that word specifically to refer to the genocide of Jews in Europe.

I have found an earlier mention. 

The Pensacola Journal, March 13, 1943, had an editorial about a mass meeting by Jews in New York to urge the nascent United Nations to publicly deplore the extermination of Jews. The final statement of the meeting included the word "holocaust:"

I had no luck finding the entire statement from the meeting, although the resolutions are reproduced in this same op-ed.

The word had been used often before the Holocaust. A Boston fire in November, 1942 that killed 492 people was universally referred to as a "holocaust" in the months afterwards. But this is the earliest I can find the word "holocaust" referring to the murder of millions of Jews in Europe.

  • Thursday, January 27, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
The "Jew as Nazi" meme is common among antisemites. To Jew-haters, the grotesque analogy is  delicious: the Jews are just as bad as their oppressors, the Jews are just as guilty of genocide, killing Jews is as moral as the French Resistance, Jews have no right to defend themselves, Jews haven't learned the "lessons" of the Holocaust - as if the Holocaust was merely a university for Jews who keep flunking their classes while the rest of the world who stood by and allowed them to be slaughtered are the professors. 

Who was the first to make this disgusting claim?

The earliest I can find comes from the British.

Lord Moyne, the British Minister of State in the Middle East, engaged in debate in British Parliament on June 9, 1942 about whether Jews in Palestine should be allowed to fight the Nazis. Lord Moyne opposed the idea, forcefully supported by Lord Wedgwood. His arguments sound a lot like antisemitism: he complained that the Jews wanted to allow their fellow Jews to immigrate to Palestine to save their lives:

The Zionist claim has raised two burning issues: firstly, the demand for large-scale immigration into an already overcrowded country, and, secondly, racial domination by these newcomers over the original inhabitants..... The inhabitants of that small country—about the size of Wales, but much less fertile—are already threatened with conditions of grave congestion. At the present rate of increase, the Arab population will double within twenty-seven years. All the fertile soil is not only occupied but very closely cultivated. At the end of the last war, the Jewish community numbered 80,000. It now numbers about 450,000; and yet the Zionist Organization have indignantly refused the terms of the White Paper, under which further immigration should be allowed up to another 75,000 in five years.....
 Lord Wedgwood's effort has a far greater power of mischief in being addressed to America. It must surely have a deplorable effect upon our Allies to be told by an ex-Cabinet Minister that the Palestine Administration do not like Jews, and that there are enough Anti-Semites in Great Britain to back up the Hitler policy and spirit. This suggestion is a complete reversal of the truth. If a comparison is to be made with the Nazis it is surely those who wish to force an imported régime upon the Arab population who are guilty of the spirit of aggression and domination. 
Here, he directly compared all Zionists who wanted to save the lives of millions of Jews to the Nazis.

Lord Moyne also threw in the Khazar theory that Ashkenazic Jews aren't really Jews and don't belong in the Middle East:
It is very often loosely said that Jews are Semites, but anthropologists tell us that, pure as they have kept their culture, the Jewish race has been much mixed with Gentiles since the beginning of the Diaspora. During the Babylonian captivity they acquired a strong Hittite admixture, and it is obvious that the Armenoid features which are still found among the Sephardim have been bred out of the Ashkenazim by an admixture of Slav blood.
Prime Minister Winston Churchill brought up the analogy of Jews to Nazis not as a fact but as a fear after Lord Moyne was assassinated by members of Lehi in Egypt. From November 17, 1944:

This shameful crime has shocked the world. It has affected none more strongly than those, like myself, who, in the past, have been consistent friends of the Jews and constant architects of their future. If our dreams for Zionism are to end in the smoke of assassins' pistols and our labours for its future to produce only a new set of gangsters worthy of Nazi Germany, many like myself will have to reconsider the position we have maintained so consistently and so long in the past. 
Lord Moyne's successor, Sir James Grigg, echoed that opinion on January 3, 1945:

The assassination truly shocked England and the world. Unlike Lord Moyne's earlier comments, which were clearly antisemitic,  Churchill's and Grigg's comments can be interpreted as being only against the Jewish groups that attacked the British, not against all Zionists. 

Nevertheless, they opened the door for more disgusting uses of the analogy.

 The next British official to compare the entire Zionist movement to the Nazis was Sir Edward Spears, in 1946 well after the full horrors of the Holocaust were well known. From United Press, January 30, 1946:

Arab diplomats took up the slander around the same time, with the "Jew as Nazi" theme that has remained a consistent feature of antisemites ever since.

The Arab League made the analogy on December 6, 1945, again comparing Jewish immigration to the Nazis: (Manchester Guardian, December 7, 1945)

In September 1947, the Arab delegate accused Jews of Nazi behavior at the very same time he threatened that the Arabs would kill them all:

And in October 1947, the head of the Arab delegation to the partition talks in Lake Success said that Zionists weren't interested in Palestine but wanted to use that as a gateway to take over the entire Middle East - just like Nazis, somehow.

Notice that the exact analogies are all over the place: the specific Nazi actions that the Jews supposedly are guilty of keep changing. To the modern antisemites, comparing Jews to their murderers is the primary goal and the details are not important. The validity of the analogies have no bearing on the analogies themselves. The entire point is to say that Jews are the worst people on Earth and no better than the Nazis who slaughtered them. 

The accusation is not meant to be accurate. It is meant to hurt Jews.

  • Thursday, January 27, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon

The Cairo International Book Fair is starting. And as it has in the past, it is pushing antisemitic themes.

One of its featured books on the website is a translation of an 1889 work by Gustave Le Bon, his chapters on Jewish civilization in his  "Les premières civilisations." 

For the most part, Le Bon is not impressed with Jewish civilization, and his first paragraph is translated in this Arabic article:

The Jews possessed neither arts, nor sciences, nor industry, nor anything that constitutes a civilization. They have never made the smallest contribution to the building of human knowledge. They never went beyond this state of semi-barbarism of peoples who have no history. If they ended by possessing towns, it was because the conditions of existence, in the midst of neighbors arrived at a higher stage of evolution, made it a necessity for them; but their cities, their temples, their palaces, the Jews were profoundly incapable of raising them themselves; and, at the time of their greatest power, under the reign of Solomon, it was from abroad that they were obliged to bring in the architects, the workmen, the artists, of whom no emulator then existed within Israel.
The description of the book goes on to say that "the goal of the book is based in particular on explaining the failure of the Jews to share in the history of civilization. And on the ethnic disadvantages of the Jews,  and on the fact that the Jews are an unfit people that came to Palestine."

Le Bon's chapters on the Jews are indeed very critical, only praising Jewish literature and poetry. He repeats a variant of that first sentence several times. 

Clearly the only reason that this section of a large book was translated into Arabic is because it is one of the few works of history of the past 150 years outside Nazi Germany and the Arab world that is so critical of Jews. In other words, translating a racist 19th century French intellectual who is best known for his theories of crowd psychology and who believed that cranial size determines intelligence doesn't reveal anything about Jews. It reveals a lot about a culture that goes out of its way to find a history of Jewish civilization that hates Jews almost as much as the culture surrounding the Cairo Book Festival does. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

From Ian:

Majority of Israelis see bleak future for Europe's Jews, poll shows
A survey by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem revealed Tuesday that a majority of Israelis (53%) think life for Jews in Europe will get worse in the near future, while 25% say it will stay the same.

The survey was conducted among 1,000 Jewish and Arab adults and reveals that France is the European country perceived as being the most antisemitic, with 39% of those questioned describing it as such.

Next come Poland (33%) and Germany (15%). Germany, however, is considered the most antisemitic country according to ultra-Orthodox Israelis.

Israeli Arabs rank Poland and Germany first.

A third of Jewish Israelis surveyed believe that criticism of Israel is intrinsically linked to antisemitism, while a majority argue that there is "sometimes" a connection between the two.

When asked if European Union policies are motivated by antisemitism, 27% of Jews say they are and an equal share rejects the notion outright, with 40% saying some are and others no.
It's not complicated. It's antisemitism
While there are still unanswered questions, to argue the terrorist’s actions were not a gross act of antisemitism would constitute willful disregard of all available circumstantial evidence.

Yet this is exactly what the President of United States initially suggested when he tried to question why the perpetrator was willing to commit an act of antisemitism. “We just don’t know,” he said. Really? We don’t know? The answer was in his own statement.

The FBI publicly announced that they did not believe that a synagogue attack where four Jewish hostages were held indicated antisemitism. Only after great uproar following the FBI’s announcement did they correct their statement. If there would be no other way to characterize an attack on a black church by an apparent apologist for white supremacism than to call it racism, then why, when Jews are at the center of the story, does everyone hesitate in calling it antisemitism?

What’s more, Wajahat Ali, a columnist for the Daily Beast, tweeted out his prediction that the hostage situation was going to lead to “ugly and vicious Islamophobia and anti-Muslim bigotry.”

In the middle of a situation where Jews are cowering in the face of a dangerous man who took over the synagogue for antisemitic and pro-terrorist reasons, Ali cynically focuses attention, not on the very real scourge of Islamic antisemitism, but on anti-Muslim bigotry. Could anyone imagine this statement being offered in the situation outlined above? Of course not, and yet his tweet made it around the world in a matter of minutes.

Jews represent just over 2% of the US population but account for almost 60% of all US religious hate crimes. Despite this staggering statistic, members of congress, the White House, federal agencies, the media, and social media have been gaslighting US Jews into believing antisemitism might not be what we think it is and might not be the prevailing reason Malik Faisal Akram targeted a synagogue. It’s not that complicated. The answer is: it’s antisemitism. These efforts to suggest otherwise or divert attention away from this fact are outrageous and antisemitic in and of themselves.
‘We Cannot Hope to Defeat It If We Cannot Define It,’ Assert Those at Conference on Antisemitism
Addressing the conference, US Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) spoke of the danger of letting “antisemitic poison into the bloodstream” of American political discourse, warning that sentiments on the far-left could devolve into those promoted by former British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

“We have to be willing to speak out against the antisemitism in our own backyard,” said Torres.

As a pro-Israel progressive, he spoke out against the BDS movement’s efforts to delegitimize Israel and ostracize progressive members of the pro-Israel community. He underscored the need “to drive home the message that there are people like me who are pro-Israel not despite our progressive values, but because of them. … There’s no country [in the Middle East] more protective of minority rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights [than Israel] … it’s a tableau of religious pluralism. By every metric, Israel is a profoundly progressive country and enterprise, and that’s a message that needs to be driven home here in American politics.”

Gil Troy, a distinguished scholar in North American history at McGill University and a leading Zionist activist, explained that understanding Judaism is a prerequisite to understanding Zionism. He said Judaism is not just a religion, but a mix of peoplehood and religion involving the Jewish people, the land of Israel and the State of Israel.

Troy said that today, traditional antisemitism is “transferred to the Jewish state.”

He raised the questions of why only Jews are asked to give up Zionism’s nationalism when there are 192 countries around the world built around nationalism, and why Jews are asked to give anti-Zionists a pass when members of other marginalized groups would never be asked to downplay racism and hate.

“Why do we Jews have to say, ‘Oh, my goodness, they [anti-Zionists] might be somehow nice.’ They’re not!” he said.


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