Tuesday, January 18, 2022

From Ian:

Emily Schrader: BDS is a colonialist movement
It’s no news that the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement is deeply problematic. To its very foundations, it is enormously hypocritical and largely ineffective. In the few instances it actually was successful, it was deeply damaging to the livelihoods of Palestinians and the targets of the campaigns, such as the musicians and artists participating in the recent Sydney Festival.

While the movement self-identifies as a progressive human rights cause which is non-violent, in fact, its goals, as stated by co-founder Omar Barghouti, are to destroy the State of Israel. The movement has also given cover to terrorist organizations to carry out their activities and fundraising under the name of a non-violent social movement.

In interviews over the years, Barghouti has admitted increasingly more of what both he and the BDS actually stand for – and it’s nothing progressive.

In an interview this month with French network Paroles D’Honneur, Barghouti reiterated that BDS is unequivocally against any form of “normalization” – meaning it is against the existence of the State of Israel altogether. “We will not accept it [Israel] as a normal part of the region, of Arab culture,” he explained.

More interestingly, however, Barghouti explained at length how BDS has been successful in unifying Palestinians against colonialism and demanding the right of return – adding that this has also become consensus among progressive groups and activists abroad as well. The irony, of course, is that his movement is promoting colonialism that erases the heritage of millions of people in the Middle East.

Barghouti stated explicitly that Arab culture is diverse and includes Imazighen, Kurds, Armenians, Jews and others. “Jewish culture is part of Arab culture,” he claims, but he seems to have forgotten that it includes those groups because Arabs colonized them, and in many cases brutally oppressed them, erasing their history, language and culture. Barghouti speaks with the language of a colonizer while decrying colonialism and accusing others of doing what he does.
Bassem Eid: It's Time for Palestinians to Embrace Dr. King's Nonviolent Resistance
Meanwhile, the feckless Palestinian leadership has rejected this vision for decades, to the detriment of our people. The Palestinian Authority (PA) is currently led by a president who just celebrated the 17th anniversary of his election to a four-year term. Rather than use his position to improve life for ordinary Palestinians, Mahmoud Abbas has spent his nearly two decades in office enriching his cronies. He has blocked fair elections, hindered peace with Israel, and done nothing to create jobs and opportunity in the West Bank. Things are even worse in Gaza, where a terrorist group runs the show and economic opportunity is nonexistent.

Nobody wants to see change in the West Bank and Gaza more than I do. Back when I started the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group in 1996, I sought to follow Dr. King's example by shining a light on the inequities faced by Palestinians. And there is no doubt that Israel bears some of the fault for those inequities.

But Palestinian leaders like Abbas have made clear that their politics come far before any efforts to build bridges between Israelis in Palestinians. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the PA withdrew from a deal with Israel that would have put safe, effective vaccines in the arms of thousands of West Bank residents. Sadly, this is just one example of the PA placing its hatred for Israel before the needs of our people.

In his "Letter to an Anti-Zionist Friend," Dr. King referred to Israel as "one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy." If Palestinian leaders truly seek to make life better for our people, they should follow the example of Dr. Martin Luther King and build a society rooted in diversity, equality, freedom, and opportunity—as Israel has done.
Jews, Muslims can walk a common path – Martin Luther King showed us how
In 1957, at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered words whose wisdom continues to resound today: “For the person who hates, the true becomes false and the false becomes true. That’s what hate does. You can’t see right. The symbol of objectivity is lost. Hate destroys the very structure of the personality of the hater.”

When a weekend meant to commemorate Dr. King was shattered by the hostage-taking at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, we called upon each other as longtime friends and colleagues to find a better path forward for our respective communities. We feared that hate could disrupt the relationship that we had long shared and held dear.

Because the hostage-taker was a Muslim man apparently intent on freeing a Muslim woman convicted on terrorism charges, opportunists are already hard at work exploiting our trauma in order to pit Muslims and Jews against each other. In the spirit of Dr. King, equally embodied in the tireless bridge-building of Rabbi Charles Cytron-Walker of Congregation Beth Israel, we feel called to explore a new blueprint for how we can resist the temptation to allow hate to beget hate. This is but an initial sketch, no doubt with much input needed from lay leaders and clergy from across the Muslim and Jewish communities.

First, we need to change the story. Extremists are of no faith tradition but their own: extremism. We need to stop framing the conversation as a community against community, so much as Muslims and Jews together against a common enemy. We need to call out and sideline extremists, leaving them isolated in their own camp. To that end, we suggest reflecting on the hostage-taker at Beth Israel as an extremist from the United Kingdom with heinous goals unbefitting any faith.

Second, we need to tirelessly build bridges among the rest of us. We are all feeling isolated after two years of the pandemic. We need to go out of our way to call friends, neighbors and relatives across lines of faith just to reaffirm the significance of relationships. Today, in the wake of Saturday’s trauma, Muslims should call their Jewish friends. Tomorrow, unfortunately, in a world brimming with hate, it may need to be the other way around. The rest of the time, both should call — and call upon — each other.

Yisrael Medad: Behind the Diplomatic Scene
After the US had reneged on support for partition at the UN, which recommended a Jewish state be established, by suggesting a trusteeship, President Harry Truman came around to supporting the original vote. Tasked by Rusk, Douglas meets Attlee and Bevin in London.

As the minutes show, the two most senior British politicians display bias, prejudice, antisemitism and anti-Zionism in their thinking about the future Jewish state.

Jews, attacked ever since on the morrow of the November 29, 1947 Partition Plan vote, not to mention the terror from 1920 on, are the "aggressors".

Palestine, the land the League of Nations recognized as having a long historical connection with the Jewish people, is an "Arab country".

They justify the invasion of the Mandate territory.

Jews who arm themselves, after coming in as refugees from Hitler's Holocaust, are following "Hitler' method".

This was the behind-the-scene thinking of the top British diplomats directing the Mandate just prior to Israeli statehood.

Land dispute involving a Jew led to colonisation of Tunisia
A Tunisian general by the name of Kahyar tried to sell 250,000 acres of agricultural land between Tunis and Sousse to a Marseille company for two million francs. The Bey of Tunis objected, claiming that the land was the property of the General for personal use and could not be transferred to foreigners. Also objecting was Youssef Levy, a naturalised English Jew who owned the land adjacent to the property. He wished to buy the land in dispute.

The British sent battleships to uphold Levy’s rights. The French withdrew their support, not wanting to confront the British over this land deal. Levy remained in control of the disputed land until 1882, when it was purchased by the French soon after the Treaty of Bardo, by which Tunisia became a French protectorate.

Some argue that a property deal to a non-Muslim was what triggered the colonisation of Tunisia. Land in Tunisia was then governed by Koranic law: in theory, it belonged to no one. Only God owned the land and claims to private property could be made by individuals who proved their connections to the land – ergo, only Muslims. Koranic law allowed those who proved they worked the land and produced ‘the fruits of their labour’ to own land. But in 1887, under pressure on the Bey from the British and the French, the law was changed to allow anyone to own land.

Until the French showed up there were no official deeds, especially in the south of the country where the Berber population did not register land ownership in order to escape heavy taxes. In 1901, certain tribes were given some rights of use with government permission.
Antisemitism, Now in Vogue
In Forsythe’s view, Beaton saw David and Irene Selznick as Hollywood climbers because of their association with the high society figure Jock Whitney who was financially backing the Selznick International movie studio. Forsythe surmised that “nothing irritates a man who has climbed more than seeing another trying to climb. So in one place in the Cecil Beaton border, there is a reference to Mrs. David [Irene] Selznick, and in another you get the line about the kikes. An interesting study in psychology, if I am right.”

If Forsythe was right, however, it wasn’t simply that Beaton disliked Jews in Hollywood for producing films of bad taste, it was that they had the bad taste to envision themselves equal to participating in the best society. For Beaton, an Englishman who had practiced some alchemy to gain social prominence despite modest beginnings, this mixing of class distinctions was intolerable—especially because Jews succeeded at it. The position of Jews in England has always been equivocal, certainly since the Edict of Expulsion forced their removal in 1290; a whole history of Jews in British literature confirms their social position to have remained unresolved in the centuries since. (See my 2012 Tablet article “Likeness of a Jew.”)

Edna Woolman Chase, U.S. Vogue’s longtime editor-in-chief, once told Madge Garland, British Vogue’s fashion editor, that “while it was acceptable to dine with Jews in a restaurant, it was not acceptable to dine with them in their homes.” In some matters, the U.S. and Britain did indeed have a special relationship.

On Feb. 1, George Lynes wrote to his mother, who was abroad in France visiting her now widowed cousin Walter Hardy. George explained the widely reported circumstances of Beaton’s sacking by Vogue. “Now poor foolish Cecil wants to use my studio and that is of course impossible, and God knows what will become of him.”

Whatever Beaton’s true motives, the damage had been done. By April, Nast made clear Beaton would not be hired back. Many of Beaton’s other publication plans had to be scrapped and a design commission for Orson Welles’ Mercury Theater was canceled. He had burned bridges in Hollywood and was likewise persona non grata on Broadway. A few years later, he mollified some critics with photographs that aimed at morale boosting for the British war effort; one in hospital of a little girl wounded in the Blitz made the cover of LIFE magazine. But it would take his Tony-award designs in 1956 for My Fair Lady to return him to popular recognition in America. His 1958 Oscar award for costume design for the Hollywood film of Gigi and two Oscars for 1964’s My Fair Lady, put him firmly back in the American eye. In the latter instance, he worked in partnership with the movie director George Cukor and producer Jack Warner. Two Jews.

Media Darling HRW Ignores Palestinian Repression, Calls for Ending Aid to Israel
Human Rights Watch (HRW) claimed last week in its latest World Report that Israel was a repressive regime, and called on the world’s democratic leaders to stop supporting the Jewish state. Israel – the only democratic country in the Middle East – was grouped by the controversial rights group into the same cadre of serial human rights violators as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, Turkey, and the Czech Republic.

Within a matter of hours, major outlets such as France24, the Independent, and the Daily Mail had uncritically reproduced these claims from articles that first appeared in the AP, AFP, and Reuters.

Meanwhile, HRW’s urging of Western-style democracies to cut aid to autocratic rulers and Israel did not extend to the West Bank’s Palestinian Authority, despite the PA’s long record of political corruption and cracking down on internal dissent. Seemingly, Human Rights Watch has no qualms with Ramallah receiving copious amounts of aid from the US and Europe (see here, here, here, and here) to continue its repression of the Palestinian people.

A deeper look into the report’s claims shows that the HRW’s doubting of the legitimacy of Israel’s democratic institutions, as well as the call for Western countries to suspend support for the Jewish state and its failure to criticize Palestinian oppression, reveals the organization’s chronic anti-Israel bias.

CUNY Professors Sue To Break With Anti-Semitic Union
A City University of New York professor says it is "abhorrent" that New York state law forces him and his colleagues to be represented by a union proven to have ignored instances of anti-Semitism.

Kingsborough Community College business department chairman Jeffrey Lax is one of six professors suing to sever ties with the Professional Staff Congress, CUNY's faculty union. Lax was one of the first of 300 professors who resigned from the Professional Staff Congress last year after the union passed a resolution condemning Israel. Lax and his fellow plaintiffs, most of whom are Jewish, say they no longer feel represented by the anti-Zionist union.

The professors are also asking to be reimbursed for union dues they've been forced to pay since leaving the union. The Supreme Court ruled in its landmark 2018 case Janus v. AFSCME that it is unconstitutional for public-sector unions to force workers to pay dues without their express consent.

"To force me to have an anti-Zionist organization represent me when CUNY is against me based on my Zionism is abhorrent," Lax told the Washington Free Beacon. "The plaintiffs have done everything we can to get away from them, but they still represent you when they bargain for you."

The CUNY system and the Professional Staff Congress have been dogged with allegations of anti-Semitism for years. Republican lawmakers protested in 2017 when the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy invited Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian activist with a history of making anti-Israel and anti-Semitic remarks, to speak at commencement. A February 2021 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission report found that CUNY has fostered an anti-Semitic environment for years.
Paul Packer calls early dismissal from U.S. commission ‘shocking’
On Friday, President Joe Biden announced that he had selected the lawyer and TV personality Star Jones Lugo to lead the United States Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, the government agency responsible for identifying and protecting historic sites in Eastern and Central Europe, including those connected to the Holocaust.

Paul Packer, until last week the commission’s chairman, says the high-profile appointment came as news to him.

Just hours before the announcement, Packer said he received a letter, written on behalf of the president, requesting that he resign from his position or face termination by the end of the day.

The missive from the White House, reviewed by Jewish Insider, was a surprise to Packer, who had been appointed by former President Donald Trump in 2017 and expected that he would remain in the role until his term was set to expire on Feb. 27.

Packer wrote back to Gautam Raghavan, the deputy director of the White House presidential personnel office, that he was “shocked” to receive the letter, according to correspondence he shared with JI. It was “incomprehensible” why the administration “would act this way,” he said, adding, “While I can understand your desire to appoint a new chairman when my term ends in February, I ask that you reconsider today’s threat.”
Top German Art Show Embroiled in Antisemitism Row Over Participation of Pro-BDS Organizations
One of the world’s leading festivals of modern art was embroiled in a row over antisemitism on Monday, linked to the participation of organizations that advocate for a comprehensive boycott of Israel.

The supervisory board of the Documenta festival — a three-month long art event that begins in June in the German city of Kassel — was examining allegations from a local activist group, the Kassel Alliance Against Antisemitism, that two of the participating organizations actively support subjecting Israel to a campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS). The Bundestag, Germany’s federal parliament, passed a motion in May 2019 that decried the BDS campaign as antisemitic and urged the government to regard organizations advocating Israel’s elimination, or a boycott of Israel, as ineligible for state funding.

One of the groups identified is the curator of the fifteenth edition of the Documenta festival, a widely respected showcase for contemporary art that takes place in Kassel every five years. Ruangrupa — a collective of artists based in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta — is alleged to support a cultural boycott of Israel. Two of its representatives, Ada Darmawan and Farid Rakun, have signed onto petitions and open letters advocating the boycott.

A second group participating in the festival, the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center located in the Palestinian city of Ramallah, has repeatedly expressed support for boycotts of artistic events in Israel. The center is named in honor of Khalil al-Sakakini, a Palestinian scholar who lived in Jerusalem prior to Israel’s creation in 1948 and was openly sympathetic to Nazi Germany.

“Groups and individuals who support the BDS movement and similar boycott initiatives against Israel must not be given a place in an exhibition that is largely financed by public funds,” the Kassel Alliance Against Antisemitism declared in a statement last week.
Facebook admits error after flagging NGO director's pro-Israel post
The online giant Meta lifted the restrictions it had set on a Facebook page run by the director of UN Watch after initially threatening to take it down over alleged violations. The apparent about-face was made after Israel Hayom contacted Meta to inquire as to the reasons behind its decision.

According to UN Watch – which is a non-governmental organization "whose mandate is to monitor the performance of the United Nations by the yardstick of its own Charter" – Director Hillel Neuer received the warning on Tuesday because of a post that criticized Ben and Jerry's double standard regarding Israeli communities beyond the Green Line.

"Alert: Facebook is threatening to delete the account of our director Hillel Neuer… Why? Because of one post of his that showed a photo of Taliban gunmen sitting in the presidential palace in Kabul, with his caption: 'Prediction: Ben and Jerry's will never announce a boycott of the Taliban'," the organization said on its Facebook page and even launched an online petition.

The criticism of Ben and Jerry's prompted a warning that according to Neuer said, "Your page is at risk of being unpublished and has reduced distribution and other restrictions due to continued Community Standards violations."

According to UN Watch, "No explanation was provided, nor did Facebook respond to attempts by Neuer to appeal the ruling." UN Watch also noted that another warning included the message, "You could lose Hillel Neuer forever. Nobody wants that."

But ultimately after the outcry and Israel Hayom's inquiry, the restrictions were lifted on Wednesday afternoon. Meta released a statement saying the following: "This post was removed in error and has now been restored. We have also removed the restrictions on this Page, and have apologized to Hillel Neuer for the inconvenience caused."

Associated Press reporter admits covering up for Arafat
They simply covered up the fact that Arafat had evaded Perry’s question.

In fact, one could say the entire article was a cover-up. Instead of reporting what Arafat actually said—the delusions, the lies, the ducking of questions about the arrests—Perry and Laub portrayed Arafat as a man of peace who was bravely fighting the terrorists:

“He said he will not shy away from a confrontation with the militant Hamas and Islamic Jihad groups to revive what hope remains for peace…He said he will continue pursuing the rest despite the continuing Israeli airstrikes…He said he was ready to return to peace talks immediately…”

All this, despite the fact that Perry knew—as he wrote in his recent blog post—that Arafat’s claim of fighting the terrorists was wildly implausible, since there were so many of them, and he had arrested only 17 of those “key militants.”

Perry concluded his blog post with this interesting reflection on Arafat’s military uniform: “Perhaps it [was] borrowed from a play about a fairytale army whose ranks contain one single, solitary man. A very senior officer, who believed that everything was real.”

So today, Perry reflects wistfully on the delusional Arafat. But Perry knew the truth at the time. He knew from the interview that Arafat was a deluded, conspiratorial lunatic. But Perry covered it up.

It would have been very helpful to Israelis, American Jews, and everybody else to know the truth about Arafat. They could have made more informed decisions if they had that information. But for some reason, Dan Perry and the Associated Press didn’t want them to have it. I wonder why.
Foreign Policy Magazine Invents Convenient “Facts,” Ignores Inconvenient Ones
The publication Foreign Policy managed to end 2021 on a low note when it comes to accuracy and honest analysis. The magazine managed to pack an impressive amount of falsehoods and distortions in fewer than 600 words in its December 29, 2021 article “10 Conflicts to Watch in 2022.” Unfortunately, it is not the first time the magazine has been caught inventing facts. Shockingly, this time the disconnect from reality was coauthored by the President and Executive Vice President of the think-tank International Crisis Group, Comfort Ero and Richard Atwood.

Inventing Convenient Facts
The errors begin in the very first sentence, where the authors claim: “This past year saw the fourth and most destructive Gaza-Israel war in just over a decade…” If by “most destructive” they mean in terms of lives, then the claim is wildly incorrect. According to the United Nations, about 256 Palestinians were killed in May 2021. In contrast, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (“OCHA”) claimed 2,131 Palestinians were killed during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014.

If the authors meant in terms of property damage, the claim is still wildly inaccurate. During Protective Edge in 2014, OCHA estimated that at the peak, there were over 500,000 displaced Gazans and an estimated 18,000 “housing units” had been destroyed or severely damaged. Compare that to OCHA’s estimates at the end of the May 2021 war, which suggested about 107,000 displaced Gazans at the peak and 1,042 “destroyed housing and commercial units in 258 buildings.”

Either way, Foreign Policy manages to get the facts seriously wrong in just the first sentence, and it doesn’t get any better from there.

Former Lebanese MP: Only Way to Stop Lebanon's Dissolution Is to Remove “Cancer” of Hizbullah
Former Lebanese MP Mustapha Allouch said in an interview that was posted on Spot Shot Online (Lebanon) on January 11, 2022 that the only way to protect Lebanon from complete dissolution is to get rid of the “cancer” of Hizbullah, which he referred to as a “rogue Iranian militia,” and to protect the Taif Agreement. He emphasized that Hizbullah should be stripped of its military wing and forced to become merely a political organization. Allouch said that Hizbullah poses an “imminent danger” to the country and that Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah wants to provoke Saudi Arabia into taking measures that would push the Lebanese people to rely only on Iran.

He also said that Nasrallah has been advocating for Lebanon to fall under Iran's Rule of the Jurisprudent, and that the only alternative would be for Lebanon to split along religious lies and “obliterate” the Lebanese state as it was established in 1920.

The Biden Administration's 'Diplomacy' with the Iranian Regime
As part of its "diplomacy", the White House first told the Iranian leaders not only that it is willing to lift nuclear-related sanctions, but also that it is considering lifting non-nuclear related sanctions.

Not only has the Biden administration's diplomatic route lifted some of the sanctions on the Iranian regime and its Houthi proxy, the administration has also looked the other way regarding the Islamic Republic's malign actions in the region.

As #BloodyFriday [the Iranian regime's lethal response to citizens protesting water shortages] trended on Twitter, not a word of condemnation could be heard from the White House. The organization Iranian-Americans for Liberty pleaded with the Biden administration to stand with the protesters....

Sadly, throughout history, "diplomacy" without the credible threat of a military follow-up (emphasis on the credible) can easily be regarded as just a "toothless" bore.

The Biden administration's policy of "diplomacy" towards the Iran's ruling mullahs seems in reality to be nothing more distressing to the ruling mullahs than a soggy pile of concessions and capitulations that, far from stopping their predations, will only empower and embolden them.
Bennett: Lifting Iran Sanctions Would Lead to ‘Terror on Steroids’
Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday urged the international community not to financially support the Iranian regime during a remote address to the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“Investing in Iran is not a safe investment whether there is a deal or not,” he warned after discussing Iran’s nuclear program and ongoing talks in Vienna.

Talks between Tehran and world powers resumed in late November after being suspended for about five months as Iran elected a new ultra-conservative government. The eighth round of high-level negotiations was due to resume on Tuesday.

Addressing World Economic Forum President Børge Brende, the prime minister said the only acceptable nuclear deal is one in which Iran renounces its nuclear weapons program.

“Why would anyone legitimize Iran’s right to enrich uranium on a large scale?” he asked.

“I don’t see why it would make sense for the free world to sign a deal with them that would give them money, and at the same time allow them to continue [to enrich].”

Citing Islamic Republic activity in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, Bennett called Iran “an octopus of terror and instability.”
Wiesenthal Center denounces display of ‘Mein Kampf’ at Doha Intl book fair
The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s director for international relations Dr. Shimon Samuels issued a denunciation on Monday of the Doha International Book Fair for allowing Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf to be displayed at a Jordanian publisher’s booth.

Mein Kampf (My Struggle) was authored by Hitler when he was serving time in prison for his role in the Beer Hall Putsch – the failed coup he attempted in 1923. An autobiographical manifesto, the book describes the roots of Hitler’s antisemitism and outlines his political ideology and future plans for Germany.

“This is the 8th year of our monitoring antisemitic publications at seven Arab book fairs," Samuels said. "Most this year were clean in the spirit of the Abraham Accords".

The fair hosts several participating embassies: the United States, Russia, Italy, France, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, South Korea, Syria and the Palestinian Authority. Qatar and the US are celebrating 50 years of bilateral relations during the fair and the US Embassy is this year’s guest of honor.

The fair’s official catalog claims that “the Doha International Book Fair is a showcase... that reflects human creative and reflective knowledge... spreading the light,” which Samuels made sure to highlight, as the hateful symbol of genocide and antisemitism that helped turn millions against Europe’s Jewish population remains on display in another country that has a record of antisemitism.
30% of all antisemitic incidents worldwide targeted US Jews, report reveals
Some 30% of antisemitic incidents worldwide in 2021 took place in the US, a new report by the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency for Israel shows.

The data in the report, published ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which falls on Jan. 27, are particularly interesting in light of the hostage taking at the Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, on Saturday. The reveal that the US saw the second-highest number of antisemitic incidents for 2021, after the entire continent of Europe.

According to the report, about 30% of all such incidents reported worldwide in 2021 occurred in the US, and Texas saw only the sixth-highest number of antisemitic occurrences. New York was the US state with the most reported incidents, followed by Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Florida and California.

The WZO's Department for Combating Antisemitism and for Promoting Diaspora Community Resilience analyzed the numbers and concluded that the US had seen more instances of physical than verbal violence, in sharp contrast to global trends, in which vandalism and antisemitic propaganda were the most frequent forms of antisemitic incidents.
Flyers Tying Jews to Anti-Vaxxers Found at Santa Monica Schools
A slew of flyers that seem to be accusing Jews of being tied to the anti-vaccine movement were found at multiple schools in Santa Monica on January 13.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the flyers were emblazoned with a red-and-green Star of David and the word “anti-vaxxer” on them and urged people to report anti-vaxxers to a phone number with a Kentucky area code. The Times texted the number, and then received a text back saying the number is the Safer Tomorrow Organization’s “Anti Vax Reporting Headline.”

The flyers were found at Grant Elementary School, McKinley Elementary School, Roosevelt Elementary School, Edison Language Academy, Will Rogers Academy, John Adams Middle School and Lincoln Middle School; the schools took down all the flyers by the end of the day. Police are investigating the matter.

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and the City of Santa Monica denounced the flyers in a joint statement. “Santa Monica rejects bigotry of any kind and antisemitic rhetoric, intolerance, harassment and violence have no place in our schools or in our community,” they said. “We are deeply offended by the antisemitic posters, falsely and nefariously representing pro-vaccine propaganda found at several of our schools.”

Various Jewish groups also condemned the flyers in statements to the Journal.

SpaceX Launches Into Orbit Eight Satellites Built by Israeli High School Students
Eight miniature satellites designed and created by Israeli students were launched into orbit on Thursday on board the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the NASA center in Florida.

The satellites were built by junior high schoolers of various backgrounds from across Israel as part of the “Tevel” (meaning “world” and “strong” in Hebrew) program, in collaboration with the Israel Space Agency and the Science and Technology Ministry.

The students, who spent three years on the project, gathered with officials on Thursday to watch the live launch via video from NASA, which took place at 5:30 pm local time.

Control of the satellites, which will be used to carry out various tasks, will be possible from communication stations in Israel. Altogether, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched more than 100 satellites from different countries into orbit.

“This is one of [the] Israel Space Agency, and Science and Technology Ministry’s, most exciting programs,” said Science and Technology Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen. “It connects between different students and peoples, and leads to a social change.”
Royal Swedish Navy to Receive Elbit’s Combat Management Systems in Three-Year Period
The Israeli defense company Elbit Systems announced in recent days that following a competitive tender process, its Swedish subsidiary, Elbit Systems Sweden AB, won a contract from the Swedish Defense Material Administration to supply the Albatross Combat Management Systems (CMS) for the Royal Swedish Navy.

The contract “will be performed over a period of 34 months,” the company said in a statement.

The systems will be installed onboard the Royal Swedish Navy’s Sparo Class Mine Countermeasures vessels.

The Albatross system “enables commanders and operators to receive a common operational picture,” which combines underwater sensors and sea-surface monitoring, according to Elbit. The system creates a real-time picture of data, live video and imagery, thereby enhancing effective decision-making by the vessel commanders.

Tobias Wennberg, general manager of Elbit Systems Sweden, said: “We appreciate the trust placed by the Swedish Defense Material Administration and the Swedish Armed Forces in our solutions. Elbit Systems sees a growing demand for its naval portfolio, with this award joining recent contract awards from maritime customers across Europe and Asia Pacific.”
Did the Exodus happen? Israeli scholar tours Egypt to show it did
Over the past few weeks, millions of Jews gathering in synagogues all over the world have been reading about the Exodus from Egypt, one of the founding moments of Jewish history and identity through the millennia.

Bible scholars and especially archaeologists, if not most researchers, though, are skeptical that the narrative reflects historical events with any accuracy. They point to the lack of archaeological evidence in Egypt or in other locations mentioned in the story, as well as to the lack of records outside the Bible itself.

However, according to Prof. Joshua Berman from Bar-Ilan University’s Zalman Shamir Bible Department, some of his colleagues are making a fundamental mistake: They are looking for evidence of the Exodus in Egypt, instead of looking for marks of Egyptian culture in the Torah, the Five Books of Moses.

“The Torah is infused with Egyptian culture and its response to it,” Berman said.

“What I find incredibly fascinating is how familiar the Torah is with Egyptian culture, suggesting that the Israelites were indeed in Egypt, and they were there for a long time, but also that the way the Torah engages with this material is what today we would call cultural appropriation – a people using the propaganda of their oppressors and making it their own,” he said.

“The Lord freed us from Egypt by a mighty hand, by an outstretched arm and awesome power, and by signs and portents,” reads a verse in the book of Deuteronomy describing the Exodus.

Over the past few weeks, millions of Jews gathering in synagogues all over the world have been reading about the Exodus from Egypt, one of the founding moments of Jewish history and identity through the millennia.
Afghan refugees saved by Israelis finally meet their rescuers
A group of Afghan refugees, rescued by Israel-based humanitarian group IsraAID in October, finally got the chance to meet their rescuers on Monday as they prepared to begin the process of resettlement in Canada.

The group were among the 2,221,828 Afghan refugees registered in Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan by the end of 2021 following the Taliban’s violent takeover of Afghanistan in August after US forces withdrew from the country.

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, Afghans now make up one of the largest refugee populations in the world.

The 87 refugees currently residing in Albania are part of a larger group that was rescued from Afghanistan in October in an effort led by IsraAID together with a number of activists, leaders, and donors, including Israeli-Canadian philanthropist Sylvan Adams.

Among them are judges, journalists, TV personalities, cyclists, human rights activists, family members of Afghan diplomats, artists, law enforcement officers and scientists.

They have been sheltering in a resort near Albania’s capital city of Tirana as they await approval to begin the process of migrating to Canada.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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