Friday, January 14, 2022

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: The emergence of Arab Zionism?
While western liberals and the UN Human Rights Council double down in their determination to demonise, delegitimise and destroy Israel, support for that beleaguered country is coming from a surprising direction.

In 2020, people were startled by the Abraham Accords between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Hope was kindled that this unprecedented linkage might herald an end to the century-old Arab war against the Jewish state.

Now there are signs of a new and related phenomenon: the emergence of Arab Zionists.

In the Jewish Chronicle, Jonathan Sacerdoti has reported that a number of Arab influencers, with hundreds of thousands of followers on social media, have emerged to promote Israel and support the Jews.

A Syrian blogger began a video begging the Israeli government to “occupy” the whole of Syria to save more lives. “The Golan Heights is the only area in Syria that hasn’t been destroyed and had its people killed,” he said.

In another video, an Arab academic was moved to tears by visiting Jerusalem’s Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem, promising: “Today, together, Muslims Jews and Christians, we promise you, it will never happen again.”

In Dubai, 39-year-old Loay Al-Shareef, who declares he is a Zionist, said: “It’s very righteous for the Jews to have their ancestral homeland in the land of Israel.”

Making frequent references to Jewish scripture, he added: “Jews are not colonialists or conquerors in the land of Israel because if we would believe that then we would believe that David, Solomon, Isaiah and Yirmiyahu and the prophets were actually colonisers, and that would kill the Islamic faith.”
Diaspora Jews can choose to live in Israel… or not
The Jerusalem Post op-ed I recently penned on the impact of Israel’s travel restrictions on Diaspora Jewry has caused something of a stir. Rabbi Daniel Gordis, in a recent piece published on his Substack platform page, used it as a jumping-off point to discuss the broader question of Israel-Diaspora relations. Gordis, a great and popular scholar at Jerusalem’s Shalem College, averred that ever since the founding of Israel there has been a tension between the Jewish state and Jews who live outside of it, particularly in the United States.

Israeli Zionists, populating one of world Jewry’s two poles, forever envisioned the end of the Diaspora, he wrote. American Jewish leaders, meanwhile, were staunch Zionists, who nonetheless insist their community members will remain in the US. In Gordis’s telling, this age-old conflict has acquired new salience amid the coronavirus pandemic, which made it much harder for Diaspora Jews to visit Israel over the past two years.

These restrictions were weighing on Israel-Diaspora relations, as I wrote in that last article in these very pages. American Jews, and others in the Diaspora, have family and friends in Israel; rely on the Jewish state as a cultural and educational center; they look to it as a safe haven against rising antisemitism. The sense of security and vitality that the state of Israel affords to world Jewry was strongly undermined when the Jews of the Diaspora were largely prohibited from visiting our Promised Land.

As a leader of American Jewry, I firmly believe that I have no right to tell Jews where to live. My role – and our role as officials in the Diaspora and Israel – is to enable Jews to live freely and safely wherever they like and then protect them wherever they choose. No one forced the refuseniks to go to Israel nor to the US; some came here, others went there; we fought our hardest, nonetheless, so that Soviet Jews did not have to remain in the Eastern bloc against their will. We welcomed them in the US; we welcomed them in Israel; we even welcomed them to stay in the former Soviet Union even if it would not have been our own first choice for them.

The Jewish presence in Israel and the Diaspora is fundamentally complementary. The existence of the State of Israel provides Jews around the world with a measure of reassurance and confidence – there will always be a place of refuge for us if we should ever need it. We can engage in the public life of our home countries without fear.


Caroline Glick: A Jewish majority is insufficient to protect Israel
The erosion of the moderate Left's Zionist commitment kicked into high gear during the 2019-2021 election vortex, where Israel held four inconclusive elections in rapid succession. At the outset of the process, the new center-left party Blue and White, led by three former IDF chiefs of General Staff – Benny Gantz, Gaby Ashkenazi, and Moshe Ya'alon – and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, was firmly in the Zionist camp. The four leaders all opposed forming a government that relied on the support of the virulently anti-Zionist and largely pro-terror Joint Arab List. That consensus view began to crumble after the second election. Lapid and his Yesh Atid party were the first to support forming a government with Arab lawmakers who seek Israel's dissolution as a Jewish state. After the third election, Gantz, Ya'alon and Ashkenazi agreed. But the Left alone was not large enough to form a 61-seat majority, even with the Arabs.

The prospect of a minority Arab faction gaining control over the Knesset and government became a salient possibility after the fourth election last March. It was then that the careerist, anti-Netanyahu right-wing parties – Gideon Sa'ar's New Hope and Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked's Yamina – decided that in exchange for senior positions, they would form a coalition government dependent on Ra'am, which hails from the Muslim Brotherhood-aligned Islamic Movement.

Initially it wasn't clear who was swallowing whom. Ra'am chairman Mansour Abbas has become an expert making empty pronouncements (his latest involved stating the undisputed fact that "Israel is a Jewish state"), that are music to Israelis' ears while advancing his Islamist, decidedly anti-Jewish agenda. There was hope early on that Abbas's willingness to join a governing coalition stemmed from an abandonment of anti-Zionism in favor of an integrationist impulse. Perhaps that would have been the case if he had joined a Netanyahu-led all right-wing coalition. But in the event, from the early days of the current, opportunist right-wing-led, leftist-dominated government it became apparent that it was Abbas that had swallowed the leftist and opportunistic right-wing parties. They aligned toward him, not the other way around.

The government's failure to pass the amended citizenship law that blocks mass Arab immigration; its passage of the so-called "Electricity Law," which effectively legalized thousands of illegal Bedouin houses and towns built on stolen state lands in the Negev; the government's cancellation Wednesday of tree planting in the Negev in the face of Ra'am-supported Arab nationalist riots; the government's repeated rejection of bills requiring the provision of electricity to new Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria – these are just some of the governmental actions that attest to the current government has abandoned Zionism as its governing rationale and replaced it with a post-Zionist ethos and governing agenda.

The lesson from all of this is obvious. Having a Jewish majority is not a guarantee that Israel will remain a Jewish state. We must reinstate the Jewish consensus around Zionism in our schools, media, and politics. Post-Zionist politicians must be exposed. And opportunists who prioritize their ambitions over securing the Jewish state must be ousted and replaced with men and women who are dedicated to the Zionist vision of the Jewish people from time immemorial.
The Caroline Glick Show: Ep34 – The origins of the anti-Netanyahu coup | Guest: Moishik Kovarsky
In this week’s episode of the Caroline Glick Mideast News Hour, Caroline was joined by Moishik Kovarsky, a tech guru who has collated the data collected by a group of more than a hundred volunteers who have analyzed all the prosecutions’ claims against Netanyahu and discovered their overwhelming falsity. Moishik compiled a timeline of the operation to oust Netanyahu. He walked Caroline through its stages from its beginning after the Likud victory in the 2015 elections through today. This shocking information that has never been revealed to the non-Hebrew speaking public. Watch, share and subscribe!


Warren Mundine: Militants have hijacked Sydney Festival
The attempted hijack of the festival by the BDS-biased political campaign goes against all that the festive season and the Sydney Festival stands for — hope, a guiding light in the time of darkness; and family, the bringing together of people in a peaceful setting to appreciate the arts; and meeting and learning from each other.

The reason I say BDS is a biased political campaign is because it spreads one-sided misinformation. For instance, the idea that the State of Israel is colonisation is laughable if it wasn’t so dangerous.

It’s a false narrative, as if Jews are not from the Middle East, thus delegitimising Jewish claim of a homeland.

Jews have lived in the current borders of Israel and the Middle East for thousands of years. Any study of history will show you that Jews come from the Middle East and have always lived in the Middle East.

The idea that Israel is an apartheid state is absurd and insulting to people who have lived under an apartheid system.

The evidence doesn’t back the apartheid narrative. Israeli’s defence forces, public life (including members of the Knesset and government), judges, restaurants, towns, markets are a sea of multicultural, multiethnic and multi-religious communities, gay rights, the rule of law and of democratic society with regular elections like Australia.

The idea that Israel is the problem doesn’t stack up with the facts either.
Israeli Diplomat Slams Antisemitic, ‘Aggressive’ BDS Campaign Against Sydney Festival
Israel’s Deputy Ambassador to Australia Ron Gerstenfeld called organizers of a boycott against the 2022 Sydney Festival “agents of chaos” for pressuring artists to withdraw from the event because of its $20,000 sponsorship deal with an Israeli embassy.

“We heard a lot about people being targeted, being threatened, through social media of course but also through other means,” he said Wednesday on Australia’s morning news show “RN Breakfast.” He also commented on the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement’s “antisemitic” and “aggressive campaign” against performers, saying, “They want to do everything in their power to destroy, to distract, they don’t want the embassy to continue.”

The Sydney Festival kicked off on Jan. 6, but not before more than 30 acts pulled out in protest of the festival’s $20,000 sponsorship agreement with the Israeli Embassy in Australia, funding to support the Sydney Dance Company’s performance of “Decadance,” a piece by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin.

BDS supporters had also said that Australia’s celebrated Belvoir Theatre was boycotting the festival, but the theater company denied those claims in a statement released on Tuesday.

The festival said on its website that it regularly partners with foreign embassies and cultural agencies, and Gerstenfeld told “RN Morning” that the Israeli embassy was asked to financially support the performance of “Decadance” by “someone from the management of the festival.”

“They told us about it … and we were happy and honored to support it,” he said. “We didn’t think about it twice … and no strings attached. We didn’t ask any promises from [the festival] or the dance company to do something, we didn’t intervene in anything, so it’s a bit of hypocrisy to say we are doing some sort of art-wash in order to hide some kind of Israeli activities in any other sphere.”

On Jan. 4, festival organizers said they would not terminate their partnership with the Israeli embassy, despite facing pressure to do so from boycotters.


Yair Rosenberg, WaPo($): Why People Love Accusing Jews of Genocide
Last week, David Bateman, a prominent Utah entrepreneur and political donor, sent an email to his state business and political leaders. The subject line? "Genocide." The topic: Jews. Referring to the Covid-19 pandemic and its vaccines, Bateman wrote, "I believe there is a sadistic effort underway to euthanize the American people....I believe the Jews are behind this." The libel that Jews are committing genocide has exploded in popularity across anti-Jewish discourse. It crosses ideological lines and is increasingly expressed in polite company.

People just love accusing Jews of genocide. "The Jews will use the vaccine to change DNA, making the person susceptible to designer viruses the Jews will create," wrote one poster on the neo-Nazi forum Stormfront in December 2020. Ishmael Muhammad, a student minister in Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam, referenced the "Synagogue of Satan" (an anti-Semitic reference to Jews) for allegedly promoting vaccines to sterilize Black people, in a live sermon from the organization's headquarters in Chicago.

False charges of Jewish genocide weaponize the greatest Jewish trauma - when two out of three European Jews were killed - against Jewish people. There is no better way to hurt someone than to fashion their own most painful experience into a club with which to beat them. Moreover, casting Jews as the perpetrators of a new, fictitious Holocaust frees non-Jews from the obligation to learn the lessons of the actual Holocaust. Fundamentally, the impulse to hang the Holocaust on the Jews is an attempt to return humanity to where it was before the Holocaust - which enables such things to happen again.


Why does antisemitism persist?
Because being overtly antisemitic is no longer acceptable — as the reaction to Bateman’s email shows — antisemitism in America today has become largely coded, said Simon, adding that many of the conspiracies embraced by QAnon believers are based on older antisemitic tropes, even if they don’t overtly reference Jews.

When reading excerpts of Bateman’s email, Simon heard echoes of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” a booklet penned by a non-Jew that pretends to “spell out the alleged secret plans of Jewish leaders seeking to attain world domination,” according to the Anti-Defamation League’s website. Like the “Protocols,” Bateman’s email revolves around a conspiracy theory that the Jews are out to take over the world.

Tevis said it’s important to consider the broader political moment, in which conspiracy theories are rampant.

“If you have come to accept all these other ideas — the idea of the election being stolen, the idea that Trump was booted out of office because he was about to uncover this ring of child kidnapping that was being promoted by the Hollywood elite and George Soros — if you have accepted all these other ideas then the idea that Jews are promoting vaccines is not a leap,” she said.

Even so, incidents like Bateman’s email can be shocking, including for American Jews, Tevis said, noting that, among Jews, there’s an element of denial when it comes to facing antisemitism.

“In the Jewish community, there’s been difficulty recognizing the consistency of antisemitism. We think of these things as individual events, as outliers,” she said.

Another challenge when it comes to dealing with antisemitism is that Jewish people want to believe in the “Cinderella story … about Jewish success and of being slowly integrated” into American society and culture. But “the waters are muddier than we often want to see,” Tevis said.


Revealed: BBC did record the ‘anti-Zionism’ debate it denied having planned
The BBC fully recorded an incendiary radio debate about whether anti-Zionism should be a “protected characteristic” despite claiming just hours later that no such item was planned for broadcast, the JC can reveal.

The discussion for Radio 4, in which Rabbi Jonathan Romain opposed Jewish anti-Israel blogger Robert Cohen, took place last Friday and was set to go out on Sunday.

Later that day, responding to widespread criticism, the BBC told the JC: “We are always exploring a range of possible topics but there’s no planned item about anti-Zionism on the Sunday programme.”

However, Rabbi Romain told the JC that after the segment was recorded, producers told him it would be broadcast on Sunday. It was later pulled.

Rabbi Romain said: “I was approached by the BBC on Friday morning to do an interview on the move to make anti-Zionism a protected philosophical belief.”

Describing a “robust debate” of “between seven and eight minutes” with Mr Cohen, the rabbi said: “I forcefully made the point that Zionism originally meant the establishment of a Jewish homeland and ever since 1948 has meant the maintenance of a Jewish homeland, but it does not refer to particular borders.

“It is perfectly permissible to criticise particular Israeli policies, and half of all Israelis do, but if [Mr Cohen] and others are anti-Zionist, they are denying Israel’s very right to exist.
EEOC Commissioner says Stanford antisemitism 'deeply troubling'
Some disturbing examples have been reported – such as Jewish students within the programs being called racists solely for their Jewish heritage and books promoting links between Jews and white supremacy – though none are quite as vivid as the DEI program’s response to a “Zoom-bombing” incident in May 2020 where a virtual town hall was tainted with racist and antisemitic images, such as swastikas and anti-black messages.

DEI committee members addressed the racist and anti-Black content, though they curiously did not mention the anti-Semitic swastika images. When asked about the omission, the committee admitted they intentionally decided to omit any mention of antisemitism so as not to distract from the discussion about anti-Black racism. When swastikas were discovered inside Stanford’s Memorial Church on July 2020, the program once again ignored the antisemitic incident in its next meeting.

Stanford has yet to publicly respond to the antisemitism accusations against their DEI program.

Lucas’ comments took place during a public webinar hosted by the Brandeis Center, intended to educate people on how to identify and report discrimination and harassment. During the webinar, Lucas and EEOC Commissioner Keith Sonderling noted that antisemitism can also involve discrimination, harassment or retaliation related to national origin, race, color or even genetic information.

The commissioners provided examples of what would constitute an antisemitic act, such as telling Jewish employees that Jews are powerful members of society who contribute to systemic racism, characterizing all Jewish people as privileged based on assumptions about their race or color, circulating conspiracy theories about COVID-19 or vaccines that blame Jews, trivializing the Holocaust by comparing it to mask or vaccine mandates, placing a swastika on a desk of a Jewish employee or via a Zoom-bombing, and disproportionate criticism of Israel or conflation of all Jews with the Jewish state.
Glasgow University Lecturer Decried for Accusing Jewish Student of Working for the ‘Lobby’
A Glasgow University lecturer has been caught making antisemitic statements on Twitter toward a student and others, prompting complaints but no action from the school, the Jewish Chronicle reported Thursday.

A student news reporter asked Dr. Muir Houston in March 2021 about his signing a letter in support of University of Bristol academic David Miller, who was fired after accusing Jews of being “pawns” of a “foreign regime.”

Referencing her email, Houston posted on his “Muir TDM” Twitter account: “email received from the Lobby.”

“After signing letter in support of David Miller — a member of the student lobby asked me for statement — given their previous reporting I will decline,” read a subsequent tweet.

The student complained to the university, which expressed understanding that Houston’s statements “have caused offense to you and other members of the Jewish community.”

The response said the university is “pursuing this issue,” but no official action has yet been taken.

Further antisemitic tweets by Houston were subsequently discovered, including one accusing MP Louise Ellman, an opponent of antisemitism in the Labour party, of working “at the behest of a foreign power” — presumably Israel.

Houston also responded to a post on the Holocaust with the hashtag “#FreePalestine.”


Young Change Makers: Why and How Emily Schrader of Social Lite Creative Is Helping To Change Our World
As part of my series about young people who are making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Emily Schrader.

Emily Schrader is a journalist, social activist and content creator with over a decade of experience in the field. She is a Jerusalem Post columnist, and the CEO of Social Lite Creative, a digital marketing and consulting firm in Tel Aviv. She is also a frequent lecturer and commentator in both the Israeli and international press, and has advised lawmakers in the US, Israel, Canada, and the UK on online hate speech policies, and was instrumental in getting Holocaust denial banned across social media platforms.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit about how you grew up?

Sure, I grew up with kind of a strange childhood compared to most Americans. I was an elite level figure skater so I actually traveled a lot and lived apart from my family. I trained in Colorado Springs, CO, but my family is from Los Angeles. I graduated from high school at 16, and got my bachelors degree at USC, then my Master’s degree in Political Communications at Tel Aviv University. Throughout my childhood, I was fiercely independent and that really laid the groundwork for a lot of the work I do today, including making Aliyah and moving to Israel permanently. My childhood really made me unafraid to speak out when I see something wrong.

Is there a particular book or organization that made a significant impact on you growing up? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Believe it or not, the organization that had the most impact on the work I do today was the “Students for Justice in Palestine” on my campus at USC, who made me realize how obscene and irrational the obsessive hate against Israel is on American campuses. It happened during their “apartheid week” when they set up a mock “apartheid wall” that is supposed to be the Israeli security barrier which was built to prevent suicide bombers. When I saw this on campus riddled with misinformation about Israel, I knew I had to fight back. This ultimately led me to get far more involved in Jewish life on campus including Hillel and Chabad and of course, led to my activism for Israel.


Ghislaine Maxwell verdict is a field day for cranks
With the conviction of Ghislaine Maxwell for sex trafficking, activists of all ideological stripes have taken to social media to assert that Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein were working on behalf of Israel in a Mossad blackmail plot. Though this fiction was already being shared in the wake of Epstein’s suicide in prison, her conviction has crystalised it. The conspiracy theory taints all Jewish people with the crimes of two people of Jewish descent.

Spinwatch, an organisation which lists former Bristol University Professor David Miller as one of its two directors, has tweeted to 11,600 followers that the Epstein-Maxwell case is more than it seems: “It’s an op. A very expensive one at that.” Spinwatch posited: “Are we not all very well aware of which intelligence agency runs the op? What does the op do? Production of: Kompromat! All those minutely recorded incidences of abuse in a huge collection of folders.”

Kompromat is a Russian term for holding embarrassing or compromising material over someone to use in order to blackmail them.

“Could be any? But is it? It seems very clear that the principal spook agency is Mossad. No?”, they add for clarity.


Employer tells UK security instructor ‘not to wear kippah’
An Israeli Krav Maga instructor who lives in London, England is speaking out after his employer allegedly told him to remove his kippah while conducting training.

Golan Levy told the Jewish Chronicle that the security company he works for, Securitas UK, ordered him not to wear his kippah after one of its clients complained.

Levy, 60, also alleged that he was told to remove an Israeli flag that could be seen in the background of the room he was using to teach classes through Zoom.

“I felt very embarrassed that I’d been told not to wear the kippah,” he said.

“And, regarding my national flag, it’s like all my belief and all my feelings towards my faith, nationality, and how I’d been brought up, everything has been taken away from me, someone stepped on me.”

Levy usually wore a baseball cap over his kippah to keep it on his head. He also had not previously received any complaints about his kippah or the flag.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Movement Suffused With Antisemites Denies It Antisemitic (satire)
A collection of organizations, activists, and ideologues supporting the Free Palestine cause, which attracts every manner of Judaeophobe, insisted today that their push to remove the world’s only Jewish state from the map has nothing to do with antipathy toward Jews, and that the prevalence of Jew-haters in their ranks results from unhappy coincidence but certainly not an inherent problem with the cause or the people who support it.

“We have nothing against Jews,” argued Ali Abunimah, whose Electronic Intifada site glorifies violent attackers of Jews and posts tendentious content opposing Jewish sovereignty in the ancestral Jewish homeland. “We criticize only those who condone the oppression of Palestinians. The fact that our movement draws antisemites from all over the world and affords them a banner under which to unite, and a cloak in which to veil their bigotry and support for terrorism, means nothing about our movement. We promote human rights.”

“Jews are welcome in our movement,” insisted Linda Sarsour, formerly of the Women’s March. “All they have to do to gain acceptance is renounce any conviction that Jews deserve a secure, sovereign place of their own in the cradle and focal point of their history and culture. Also to agree to sit with those who see Jewish safety as secondary at best in the struggle to make the world a better place, and sometimes not a value at all. It’s annoying, frankly, that we get accused of antisemitism just because our cohort brims with Jew-hate so powerful that our protestations of anti-racism can’t contain it. When you cite facts about the ubiquity of antisemitism in the pro-Palestine movement, you smear us.”
Facebook group wants Israelis, Palestinians to 'like' each other
A Facebook group called Israelis and Palestinians for Peace aims to bring its thousands of members closer together through online dialogue.

The group is unique in that it encourages users to participate in real-time discussions with others through its regular Zoom meetings

"The problem is we don't have decision makers who can make brave decisions," an unnamed Palestinian member explained.

"So we started the first step to create a new generation away from politics."

Founder Mori Sela, the founder of the group, spoke with i24NEWS on how Israelis and Palestinians for Peace works.

"On Facebook, we have about 4,000 people, 3,000 of them are very active every month," Sela said.

He collaborates with a team of activists who review the group and ensure discussions remain civil.
The BBC, choice of interviewees and impartiality
Listeners were provided with no explanation of the agenda and aims of the anti-Israel BDS campaign in general or its Egyptian branch before Sha’ath referred to his son (previously described by Marshall as a “rights activist”) as “defending the rights of his own people”.

Sha’ath: “He does not deny that. He was outspoken defending the rights of his own people.”

Listeners were not informed that his family had claimed at the time that one of the reasons for Ramy Sha’ath’s arrest related to Egyptian policy concerning Israel:
“According to his father and wife, however, Ramy was arrested for his activism on behalf of the Egyptian branch of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, which he founded in 2015, and for publishing and disseminating anti-Egyptian slogans following Egypt’s participation in the “Peace to Prosperity” economic workshop in Bahrain in June.

Ramy opposes Egypt’s continued normalization process with Israel and had been very active in anti-Israeli societies and activities. He has also been a vocal opponent of the American “deal of the century” peace initiative.”
Independent revises article on PA's terror incentive scheme
An article in the Independent by Mid-East correspondent Bel Trew (“Israel’s Gantz hosts Palestinian leader Abbas to discuss ‘confidence-building’ measures”, Dec. 29) included the following:
Israel has withheld funds over the PA’s giving of stipends to thousands of families that have had relatives killed, wounded or imprisoned in the conflict, a move which Israel says is funding terrorism.

In a post we published about the Indy article last week, we noted that the PA program Trew misleadingly characterises as some sort of social welfare program for needy Palestinian families is, in fact, a PA policy of paying salaries to imprisoned Palestinian terrorists – the majority of whom targeted Israeli civilians in their attacks. Israel “says” it is “funding terrorism” because the primary recipients of the program are indeed terrorists in Israeli prisons – a scheme known as ‘Pay to Slay’.

After communication with Indy editors, they upheld our complaint, revised the sentences to note that PA payments also go to current and former security prisoners – and added the following editor’s note added:
The correction is far from perfect, but, based on our communication with the Indy, we’re confident that future reports won’t elide these basic facts about the PA’s terror incentive scheme.
McGill Tribune Column Rehashes Anti-Israel Propaganda
In a recent January 11 column in the McGill Tribune, “How McGill fails Palestinian students,” (pages 8 and 9) Managing Editor Maya Abuali describes her upbringing as a Palestinian growing up in Canada and her desire to educate peers about her background.

While Abuali certainly has the right to share her first-hand experiences as a Palestinian-Canadian, as well as her perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, her column is rife with misinformation, outright fabrications, and utter historical revisionism.

For example, Abuali claims that “750,000 Palestinians …were expelled from the country in 1948…when European Jews colonized the land by force at the best of the British after World War II.”

While 750,000 Arabs who were living in pre-state Israel did leave the country after Israel declared independence, it was the Arab leaders who initiated it. A 1948 article in the Economist magazine reported that “the most potent of the factors were the announcements made over the air by the Higher Arab Executive, urging the Arabs to quit….It was clearly intimated that those Arabs who remained in Haifa and accepted Jewish protection would be regarded as renegades.”
MSNBC’s Jason Johnson: GOP Is a Front For a ‘Terrorist Movement’ Like the ‘PLO to Hamas’
MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson said Thursday on MSNBC’s “Deadline” that the Republican Party is a “dime storefront” for a “terrorist movement.”

Johnson compared the Republican Party to the Palestine Liberation Organization, which represents Palestine at the United Nations, and Hamas, a terrorist group that controls Gaza and has affiliations with the PLO.

Johnson said, “We don’t know if Trump’s going to be on the ballot. If Trump is on the ballot in 2024, it’s the easiest thing in the world for Democrats because you can always run against the bad guy. But I think the bigger, more dangerous thing — and I have been saying this for a while — I’m working hard to never say Republican Party again because it’s not a party.”

He continued, “They’re Sinn Féin to the IRA. They’re the PLO to Hamas. They are a dime storefront for a terrorist movement. They didn’t have a policy in 2020 except loyalty to Trump.”


Prominent Grenfell Tower volunteer aid worker Tahra Ahmed found guilty of publishing written material in order to stir up racial hatred, after being reported to police by CAA
ahra Ahmed, a prominent Grenfell Tower volunteer aid worker who was reported to the police by Campaign Against Antisemitism, has today been found guilty of publishing written material in order to stir up racial hatred.

Ms Ahmed, 51, was exposed in The Times as having claimed that the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire were “burnt alive in a Jewish sacrifice.” After the tragic fire that left 71 dead, Ms Ahmed said that she had been coordinating the work of volunteers, coaching them and running workshops with the aim of empowering them. She reportedly discussed her beliefs with some of the people she has helped.

Ms Ahmed, who described herself during her testimony as “very very bright”, was found guilty of two counts of incitement to racial hatred, following the trial instigated by Campaign Against Antisemitism. The offence carries a maximum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment. She will be sentenced on 11th February.

Gideon Falter, Chief Executive of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “Tahra Ahmed sought to twist the Grenfell Tower tragedy to fit her venomous world view in which it seems that any evil can be attributed to Jews. She used people’s suffering and anger in the aftermath of the Grenfell tragedy and tried to wield it as a weapon against Jews before an audience of tens of thousands on social media. We are pleased that the jury has convicted her over her wicked fabrications. As we have seen, her hatred has not only enabled her to abuse the Grenfell tragedy, but also to accuse Jews of being responsible for 9/11 and of supposedly exaggerating the Holocaust. As the prosecution observed, she used her position as an aid volunteer in the aftermath of Grenfell to ‘bait the mob’ against Jewish people, making her conduct particularly repulsive.”

In her social media posts, Ms Ahmed had written: “Watch the live footage of people trapped in the inferno with flames behind them. They were burnt alive in a Jewish sacrifice. Grenfell is owned by a private Jewish property developer just like the twin towers. I wonder how much Goldman [Goldman Sachs, a bank often targeted by antisemites] is standing to make in the world’s most expensive real estate location [Kensington].”
IDF Hoodie Victim in Brooklyn Describes Outrage After Attacker Set Free on $1,000 Bail
Zavadsky and his friend Ilan Kaganovic, both 21, were standing outside the store on Dec. 27 when two men started yelling at them and calling them “dirty Jews.”

According to police, Othman then struck Zavadsky in the face at least twice; Zavadsky was wearing a sweatshirt with the emblem of the Israel Defense Forces on it at the time.

He said he didn’t punch back because the whole thing was a total surprise, despite the threat.

“My first reaction was to grab my face because I was in pain, and I didn’t know what was going on,” he said, adding that he was hit with the most contact under his eye. He was with a friend who did not leave his side. He said he’s feeling better now but still has a little blood in his eye.

“I don’t understand why the bail was so low,” he said. “$1,000 is nothing. It took a while for the NYPD to catch him. How do we know he won’t now go into hiding since he is free?”

He said the experience, while traumatic, hasn’t made him scared.

“You can’t live your life in fear or you’re a prisoner,” he said.

He added that it was a bit ironic that his family left the Soviet Union to come to the United States to avoid anti-Semitism.

“America is a free country, and you can wear whatever you want,” he said. “If he was free to wear a ‘Free Palestine’ sweatshirt, nobody would say anything to him. He can wear what he wants; I can wear what I want.”
Belgium expels imam who called for burning of Jews
A Moroccan imam who called for the “burning of Jews” in a 2009 video was banned from Belgium in October as a national security threat, the government said Thursday.

First revealed by Belgian broadcaster VRT, the expulsion was confirmed by the Belgian Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, Sammy Mahdi.

“This man was probably the most influential preacher in Belgium,” Mahdi told a session of Belgian parliament.

Mohamed Toujgani preached until last year at the Al-Khalil mosque in Molenbeek, one of the largest places of worship for Muslims in Belgium.

A statement said his residence permit was withdrawn on October 12.

Toujgani “has been controversial for some time. In 2009, he again called for the burning of Jews,” the statement added.

The video resurfaced in 2019, said VRT, noting that Toujgani had apologized for his remarks, citing “a slip” related to what he called “a war” waged by Israel against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.


Golda Meir’s grandson defends casting of Helen Mirren as former Israeli PM
Golda Meir’s grandson defended on Thursday the casting of non-Jewish actress Helen Mirren as Israel’s only female prime minister, in an upcoming biopic set during the Yom Kippur War.

Shaul Rahabi told The Jewish Chronicle his late grandmother would have loved the casting. “I am sure Mirren is great and being Jewish or not doesn’t matter at all,” he was quoted as saying.

The comments come after British actress and comedian Maureen Lipman questioned the casting earlier this month, reigniting an ongoing squabble over the casting of non-Jewish actors as Jewish characters.

“With that I disagree, because the Jewishness of the character is so integral,” Lipman told the Jewish Chronicle.

“I’m sure she will be marvelous, but it would never be allowed for Ben Kingsley to play Nelson Mandela. You just couldn’t even go there,” Lipman said.

Lipman was one of a number of leading lights in British television and theater, along with Miriam Margolyes, to sign a 2019 open letter about the casting of non-Jewish actors to play Jewish characters — a practice that some have labeled “Jewface.”
Georgia Police Captain Recounts Training in Israel
After two weeks of training in Israel in November, Sandy Springs Police Capt. Norman Vik wants to use what he learned to improve his department. Vik was part of a 16-member delegation of senior law enforcement officials from Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Colorado in the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange's (GILEE) 28th annual peer-to-peer executive training program in partnership with the Israel Police.

He had classes with Israel's unexploded ordnance teams and learned that they guarantee to be on scene in 15 minutes. Israel has a national academy for police training, which ensures that all officers receive the same training specific to their positions. Vik wants to bring in operational readiness training like he saw in Israel. Annually every officer must participate in training that includes physical activity, defensive tactics and firearms.

On a trip to a town close to Gaza, he said, "You couldn't tell by driving through the city. People are out walking the streets, children are playing, and it was like day-to-day business going on....You don't notice it right away until somebody actually pointed out that every structure - playgrounds, bus stops - have a bomb shelter setup."


German City of Munich Launches Year-Long Tribute to Israeli Athletes Murdered by Palestinian Terrorists at 1972 Olympics
The city of Munich has held the first of 150 events this year that will commemorate the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games there fifty years ago.

On Thursday, a visual installation in memory of one of the murdered athletes, David Berger, illuminated the facade of the Amerikahaus, an institution in Munich that works to enhance transatlantic relations.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, weightlifter Berger — a dual American-Israeli citizen — was killed on the tarmac of the Fürstenfeldbruck airbase during a botched attempt by the West German authorities to rescue the remaining Israeli athletes who were taken hostage inside the Olympic compound by Palestinian terrorists from the Black September organization in Sept. 1972.

Commemoration of the fate of the Israeli athletes would be an “integral part” of the 50th anniversary activities in Munich this year, the city’s mayor, Dieter Reiter, said on Thursday.

Paying tribute to the murdered Israelis would be a sign “that Munich is a city that rejects antisemitism, hatred and racism, and actively takes action against it,” Reiter said, in comments quoted by the Judische Allgemeine news outlet.











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