Friday, January 21, 2022

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: A lethal state of denial
The Islamophobia canard has been eagerly endorsed by those in the wider community for whom the very concept of Jewish victimisation is a problem.

That pathology is on regular display at the BBC, which has been doubling down on its apparently baseless report last month that orthodox Jewish teenagers set upon by Muslim men in an antisemitic attack in the centre of London themselves voiced an anti-Muslim slur.

The deep reluctance by the wider community to acknowledge Muslim antisemitism has been further facilitated by the silence of British Jews on this issue. For the community’s leaders never mention it. Instead, they lash out at any Jew who dares call it out.

At the Board of Deputies, 46 left-wing members are demanding that the Jewish National Fund UK charity gets rid of its chairman, Samuel Hayek, over his “Islamophobic” suggestion that Jews might soon be forced out of the United Kingdom because of the rising number of Muslims who hate or want to harm Jewish people.

This misplaced attack by Jewish liberals is idiotic and disgraceful. For antisemitism is not only rampant in the Muslim world but is absolutely central to Islamic extremism.

Numerous Islamist terrorists have made it clear that, in attacking the west, their most fundamental target is the Jews. At war against modernity, they believe that behind modernity stand the Jews — who they think are behind everything in the world that the Islamists have decided is bad.

This doesn’t mean every Muslim antisemite will turn into a terrorist. But it does mean that every Muslim terrorist is an antisemite.

Antisemitism doesn’t just endanger the Jews. It is the marker for Islamic extremism. Until this is realised, the west will continually fail to understand the threat it faces.
Caroline Glick: Colleyville and the 'professional' civil servants
We also don't know who was responsible for permitting Akram, a British national with a criminal record, a history of public support for terrorism and a mental illness, to enter the United States. But then again, it's fairly clear that De Sarno and the FBI Dallas Field Office he leads played no role in that failure.

At any rate, given the outcome at the scene, from a professional statecraft perspective, De Sarno and his team played things by the book. De Sarno's denial of the terrorist's antisemitic motivation had nothing to do with professionalism. It was a political/ideological pronouncement. It wasn't made in a vacuum. And it should be deeply disconcerting to all Americans because it is a testament to a growing pathology within the FBI.

Over the past 15 years, much of the federal government, including the FBI and the US Department of Justice, have been politicized and radicalized. The first major demonstration of the politicization came in 2013 with the IRS's discriminatory use of its regulatory authorities against organizations and individuals aligned with the conservative and Republican side of the ideological/political spectrum.

In 2016, US intelligence agencies unlawfully targeted Donald Trump's presidential campaign. To promote a clear political agenda, the heads of the FBI and the Department of Justice wrongfully used their authority as intelligence and law enforcement "professionals" to conduct politically motivated, evidence-free criminal probes, first of candidate and later of President Donald Trump and his advisors. These investigations, which cost US taxpayers tens of millions of dollars, hamstrung Trump and his administration for two and a half years. They subverted Trump's domestic and foreign policies and contributed to unprecedented discord and division in American society.

And this brings us to De Sarno's absurd denial of the antisemitic nature of Akram's actions at Beth Israel. As FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland have proclaimed in Congressional testimony over the past year, as far as the FBI and the Justice Department are concerned, the gravest terror threat facing the United States emanates from "domestic terrorists" (aka, Trump supporters). Islamic terrorists and violent far-left groups like ANTIFA and Black Lives Matter who looted and burned America's cities, killing dozens and causing billions of dollars in damages throughout much of 2020, lag well behind the MAGA crowd in terms of the danger they pose to America and its citizens.

Given the gravity of the perceived threat, naturally, US counter-terror and law enforcement agencies have invested their time, manpower and resources in investigating American citizens who participated in or supported the violent demonstration at Capitol Hill on Jan. 6, 2021.

Akram was not a Trump supporter. He was not a white supremacist. He was an Islamic antisemite and terrorist. And so he was an inconvenient distraction from the real threat the FBI is concerned with.

De Sarno's false construal of Akram's motives flows naturally from the political/ideological closed circle of today's FBI.
The Caroline Glick Show: Ep35 – Can you rebuild a democracy after a deep state coup? | Guest: Lee Smith
Against the backdrop of plea bargain negotiations between Benjamin Netanyahu and state prosecutors that may well banish Netanyahu from politics for good, in this week’s episode of the Caroline Glick Mideast News Hour, Caroline and co-host Gadi Taub spoke with Lee Smith, the author of The Permanent Coup and The Plot Against the President. The three discussed the influence the respective deep state coups in the U.S. and Israel that have unseated elected leaders have had on the two societies and what they portend for the future. They then shifted to the FBI’s denial of the anti-Semitic motive of the Islamic terrorist who took four Jews hostage at Beth Israel synagogue in Texas over the weekend and what it means for the future of Jews and anti-Semitism in the United States.

Eve Barlow: I Am A Jewish Advocate And The Way The World Has Reacted To The Texas Synagogue Siege Is Terrifying
The news of this incident broke as it was happening, spread by Jewish media outlets and Jewish activists on social media. As is typical for the Jewish news cycle, when mainstream media picked up the story, they doubted its authenticity. The BBC, Guardian and Telegraph all reported the situation with quotation marks around the word ‘hostage’, because apparently it wasn't obvious enough that this was a hostage situation. Associated Press wrote: ‘Hostages apparently taken at Texas synagogue’.

The news did not make the front page of the New York Times the next day. It didn't receive nearly as much coverage on rolling televised news as such events warrant. Why? It has no political use. It's not on the agenda. The hostage-taker Malik Faisal Akram – shot dead in the standoff with police and SWAT teams - wasn't a white supremacist nor a neo-Nazi. He was avenging a Jihadi serving an 86-year sentence, who at her trial had asked that there be no Zionists or Israelis on her jury.

As for Twitter pundits, where the previous week people with zero interest in Jew hate were laying into JK Rowling over the question of whether or not her depiction of goblins in Harry Potter ​was antisemitic, causing it to trend with a hashtag. During this desperate moment for Jewish Americans? Crickets. The opportunists who used Jewish victimhood to attack a now controversial public figure had no business with this more prescient instance of antisemitism. Disappointing doesn't cover the angering sense of betrayal and abuse.

The message was loud. Nobody cared. If they did, they were actively trying to minimise or justify the attack. Some blue tick voices made it about the Islamophobia that may or may not result from a scenario in which a terrorist was potentially going to kill four innocent Jews. Only a month prior to this, Zahra Billoo, the Executive Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), had given a spine-chilling speech in which she warned against ‘Zionist synagogues’ and other Zionist organisations as ‘enemies’.

It’s evil that people have a hard time naming an attack on a synagogue an act of antisemitism. Wonder why a Muslim extremist would hold a rabbi hostage at gun point and force him to call another rabbi in a faraway state believing that other rabbi had some institutional power to free an imprisoned terrorist? It is because that terrorist believed Jews wield such power. It is because that terrorist spread the oldest antisemitic tropes. The terrorist didn't walk into a Starbucks. He walked into a synagogue. If this had been a Black church or an LGBTQ+ nightclub, there'd have been no question calling the act what it was. But Jews are not granted the same ferocious collective protection.
Tarek Fatah: Jew-hatred and Islamism at the Heart of Texas Terror
Profiling jihadi terrorists, former CIA terrorism expert Robert Baer told CNN: "In their mind, Israel is a Western conspiracy, an American conspiracy and the Jewish community in the United States and around the world is somehow responsible for this."

Siddiqui was one of those people. She has a long history of anti-Semitic statements — even though she studied for an advanced degree at a university closely tied to the Jewish community.

In 2009, while awaiting trial on charges that she tried to kill American servicemen, Siddiqui tried to fire her lawyers because of their Jewish background. Siddiqui later demanded that jurors in her trial be DNA tested to prove they weren't Jewish.

"If they have a Zionist or Israeli background, they are all mad at me," she said. "They should be excluded if you want to be fair."

Since her capture and conviction, she has been a symbol and rallying cry to extremist Muslims worldwide, many of whom echo the delusional anti-Semitic theories she promoted.

No wonder the Pakistani Briton who took hostages to free Siddiqui chose to target a synagogue and not any ordinary meeting centre.
How Colleyville Unfolded
In jihadi folklore, Siddiqui is well known––both the Taliban and ISIS offered former Army soldier Bowe Bergdahl and the late journalist James Foley, respectively, in exchange for Siddiqui, Foreign Policy reported. Al Qaeda has also called for her release and offered in exchange federal worker Warren Weinstein. But it’s not just Islamic terrorists calling for her release: the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has been beating the drum for her freedom. Many on Twitter noted that in November, CAIR’s Texas chapter held a Facebook Live discussion with former Women’s March, Inc. leader Linda Sarsour about the campaign to free Siddiqui. CAIR issued a statement on Twitter condemning the hostage crisis, calling it “pure evil” and that they “stand in solidarity with the Jewish community.” But many on Twitter did not find their statement to be satisfactory. David Draiman, lead singer of the metal band Disturbed, tweeted, “You stood by Aafia Saddiqui who stated Jews are behind 9/11 and that she didn’t want Jews on her jury, the very person the terrorist is trying to free. You have blood on your hands @CAIRNational.” Former Miss Iraq Sarah Idan tweeted that CAIR’s advocacy to free Siddiqui is further evidence that it’s “time to ban @CAIRNational who actively seek to free terrorists in our country.”

Nihad Awad, CAIR’s National Executive Director, replied to Idan that she is “shameless” for “exploiting the suffering of the Jewish community to score political points and ignoring the facts.” He linked to a statement from CAIR-Houston Board Chair John Floyd, who provides legal counsel to Muhammad Siddiqui, condemning the incident and that “Siddiqui and her family strongly condemn this act.”

Judea Pearl, Chancellor Professor of Computer Science at UCLA, National Academy of Sciences member and Daniel Pearl Foundation President, tweeted that CAIR’s condemnation of the hostage crisis can only be taken seriously if they condemn CAIR-San Francisco head Zahra Billoo’s December remarks that “Zionist synagogues” are the enemy. “All it takes is to publicly rescind this statement,” Pearl wrote. “Can you? We are listening.” CAIR National defended Billoo in a lengthy December 10 Medium post, accusing various news outlets of misquoting her.

In the aftermath of the hostage crisis, the Jewish community is putting a renewed emphasis on security. The Simon Wiesenthal Center said in a January 16 statement that “it is left to Jewish communities to once again have to elevate security measures for our synagogues, Jewish schools, and community centers—not only against neo-Nazis and white supremacists, but Islamists, incited by Jew-hating campaigners and apologists who cynically wrap their hate behind the mask of politics and theology.” Greenblatt similarly said in his statement that the ADL urges “continued vigilance in securing synagogues and all Jewish institutions in the wake of this attack. The risks remain high in light of the historic level of antisemitism across the country and the proliferation of anti-Jewish hate online. ADL offices across the country will be reaching out to local law enforcement in the coming days to ensure that steps are being taken to ensure the safety and security of the Jewish community.” Evan Bernstein, who heads the Community Security Service, told JNS: “We will be dissecting lessons from this incident as details emerge, and redoubling our efforts to strengthen the safety and security of synagogues and Jewish institutions across the country,” adding that the hostage crisis is “another clear reminder to Jewish communities nationwide that prioritizing security is paramount.” Newsweek Opinions Editor Josh Hammer tweeted, “I literally cannot remember the last time I stepped foot inside a shul where (1) I was not carrying and/or (2) there was not armed security. If your shul does not have either—or ideally, both—of these, then find a new shul. And do so yesterday.”
Colleyville synagogue hostage-taker killed by multiple gunshots — medical examiner
The gunman who held four people captive at a Texas synagogue in a 10-hour standoff that ended with the hostages escaping and an FBI tactical team rushing in was killed by multiple gunshot wounds, according to a medical examiner, who ruled the death a homicide.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner released initial information from the autopsy of Malik Faisal Akram on Friday, six days after the 44-year-old British citizen took hostages during morning services at Congregation Beth Israel in the Dallas-area suburb of Colleyville.

In Texas, a death being ruled a homicide indicates that one person was killed by another, but does not necessarily mean the killing was a crime. Federal officials have so far declined to say who shot Akram, citing an ongoing investigation.

After taking hostages Saturday, Akram could be heard on a Facebook livestream demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist who is suspected of having ties to al-Qaeda and was convicted of trying to kill United States troops in Afghanistan. The prison where Siddiqui is serving her sentence is in nearby Fort Worth, but her attorney said Siddiqui said the prisoner had no connection to Akram.

Akram released a hostage shortly after 5 p.m., but those remaining later said he became more belligerent and threatening as the night wore on. The standoff ended around 9 p.m., after Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker said he threw a chair at Akram and he and the two other remaining hostages fled.
US Muslim Leader Calls for ‘Honest Reckoning’ With Islamist Antisemitism After Texas Synagogue Attack
Following Saturday’s hostage-taking incident at a synagogue in Texas, the head of a prominent U.S. Muslim organization is calling for an “honest reckoning” with Islamist antisemitism.

“We are relieved that the crisis at the synagogue ended with all hostages safe, and we are devastated that once again a Jewish house of worship has been attacked. Jews everywhere deserve to live in safety — and Muslim community leaders must step up to help ensure these attacks stop,” American Muslim & Multifaith Women’s Empowerment Council (AMMWEC) President Anila Ali stated. “We appreciate Jewish community leaders who have urged that the synagogue attack not spark a counter-reaction of Islamophobia. The answer to hate is never hate.”

“At the same time,” she added, “silence is complicity — and we cannot stay silent about a climate of antisemitism tolerated by some Muslim leaders. Just as the Tree of Life Synagogue attack forced American society to confront far-right antisemitism, the Congregation Beth Israel attack requires an honest reckoning with demonization promoted by Islamist extremists.”

Ali specifically named Zahra Biloo, the executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) — who in a recent speech at a Muslim community event said, “We need to pay attention to the Zionist synagogues,” and described “polite Zionists” as “your enemies.”

“Labeling mainstream Jews as ‘enemies’ exacerbates intercommunal strife and creates the conditions for violence,” Ali noted. “Muslim leaders must insist upon zero tolerance for both overt and the thinly-veiled antisemitism — otherwise we betray our moral and religious duties. Let’s instead say the truth: the Jewish people are wonderful allies of Muslims. Shalom and Salaam!”

BBC unnecessarily qualifies Biden reference to rising antisemitism
The January 16th evening edition of the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour’ included an item (from 09:34 here) about the previous day’s hostage situation at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, which was introduced by presenter Jon Donnison as follows:
Donnison: “Now, President Biden has called Saturday’s hostage stand-off at a synagogue in Texas an act of terror. Four people escaped unharmed after they were held for several hours. The FBI has identified the hostage taker, who died during the siege, as a British citizen named Malik Faisal Akram. We can speak now to our correspondent Sophie Long. She joins us from the Dallas suburb of Colleyville where the siege took place. Sophie, what more did President Biden have to say?”

Sophie Long is the BBC’s West Coast correspondent, based in the corporation’s Los Angeles bureau.

Long: “Well, Jon, you’re right in saying he called this an act of terror. He also praised the rescue efforts by the multiple law enforcement agencies involved and he said he’d be talking to the rabbi concerned – he said that they’d missed each other’s calls -but he said that he wanted to reassure synagogues and places of worship that these kinds of acts would not be tolerated and he said they would be focusing on what he called the rise in antisemitism.”
The Edwin Black Show Season 3 Episode 1: Watkins Holocaust Outrage
Third-grade students, including Jewish kids, at Watkins Elementary School in Washington DC, were allegedly instructed by a staff member to reenact scenes from the Holocaust, including gassing, digging ditches for bodies, and shootings. Antisemitic remarks were also reported. What the hell has happened? What the hell is happening? Is this a mere school mishap to be regretted … or criminal child abuse to be prosecuted? A stand will must now be taken. Famed civil rights attorney Nathan Lewin, Washington DC JCRC associate director Guila Siegel, and StandWithUs legal director Yael Lerman join Edwin.

Poll: US Jews worried about antisemitism, ignorant about Israel
Ninety-three percent of American Jews are concerned with the current levels of antisemitism in the United States, with nearly half of US Jews (42%) experiencing antisemitism either directly or through family and friends over the past five years alone, according to a new panel survey commissioned and released Thursday by the Ruderman Family Foundation.

The two-part survey, conducted by the Mellman Group, examined 2,500 Jewish American adults in December 2019 and a further 1,000 Jewish adults from October-November 2021. Despite being conducted before the synagogue hostage crisis in Colleyville, Texas, the newly released survey amplifies the renewed fears over antisemitism nationwide in the aftermath of that attack.

According to the findings, 75% of American Jews believe that there is more antisemitism today in the US than there was five years ago. Almost all American Jews (94%) say they see at least some antisemitism in the US over the past five years. One in three younger Jews (18-39 years old) say they have personally experienced antisemitism and 60% say they know a family or friend who has. Older Jews (over 60 years old) are more likely to have seen "a lot" of antisemitism (62%) than younger Jews (47%).

The survey also explored the notion of shared fate among American Jews. When asked how much they thought what happens to US Jews would have something to do with what happens in their own life, 82% acknowledged a shared fate. Even among those who do not value being Jewish, a majority (65%) feel what happens to other US Jews also has some effect on them. Additionally, the survey found that 9% of those who are uninvolved in the Jewish community view antisemitism as a reason for involvement, showcasing that the issue is strong enough to engage a demographic unconnected to Jewish life.

"Our survey reinforces the urgent need for American leadership to formulate new strategies to confront the surge of antisemitism and increasing hate crimes against the Jewish community," said Ruderman Family Foundation President Jay Ruderman. "Accordingly, we hope that these findings spur local and national leaders into action on this critical issue. Antisemitism is a threat to American society as a whole and only in tackling this issue as one unified nation will it ever be truly addressed."
UK Jewish Students Defend Antisemitism Definition as Edinburgh Union Seeks Repeal
The UK’s Union of Jewish students pushed back on Thursday against a faculty union effort at the University of Edinburgh to rescind the school’s adoption of a leading definition of antisemitism.

In a letter sent Thursday to the university’s administration, the University and College Union (UCU Edinburgh) charged that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of antisemitism had a “the harmful and adverse effect of silencing critique of Israeli state practices and therefore protecting them from critical intellectual inquiry.”

“The definition was adopted by the University without an institution-wide discussion of antisemitism, without considering the University’s anti-racist obligations, and without consultation of University scholars who have expertise on Israel/Palestine and racism,” the faculty group added on Twitter.

Shiri Wolff, head of communications at the UK-wide Union of Jewish (UJS), later called the letter “disturbing.”

“Their primary protestation, that relevant groups were not consulted in this process, is entirely hypocritical as it fails to include the very Jewish students that the definition seeks to protect,” Wolff told The Algemeiner on Thursday. “At the UJS conference [in December 2021], Jewish students from across the UK and Ireland, including Edinburgh, voted unanimously to support the IHRA definition.”

“Jewish people are the only people who should be consulted on issues of anti-Jewish racism and the consensus is clear: Jewish students want the IHRA definition of antisemitism,” Wolff continued.
New York Senate Weighs Bill to Keep Public Funds Away From Israel Boycott Efforts
A bill winding through the New York Senate aims to do more to ensure the state does not contract with companies that boycott Israel.

Introduced by Sen. Anna Kaplan and co-sponsored by Sen. Todd Kaminsky, the legislation (S706) was referred in January to the Senate’s Procurement and Contracts Committee. It would codify a definition of boycott activities and outline steps for state agencies to avoid doing business with them.

The bill describes the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign, which rejects Israel’s right to exist, as “an orchestrated movement designed to weaken and delegitimize Israel through economic isolation, which will cause great harm to one of our nation’s strongest allies.”

“Israel, being the 4th largest recipient of New York State’s exports (at $6.4 million), has proven both a strategic and economic ally,” it adds. “It undermines our national security to assist Israel’s enemies … Passing this legislation is an important way for New York to show support to our ally.”

New York already has an executive order in place, issued by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2016, that prohibits state agencies or authorities from engaging in or promoting “any investment activity that would further the harmful and discriminatory” BDS campaign.

After Ben & Jerry’s announced its decision to terminate its contract with its distributor in Israel and stop selling products in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, the New York state pension fund pulled $111 million in investments from the ice cream maker’s parent company, Unilever.
What Do Other Presbyterians Think About One Group’s Anti-Israel Hate?
Israel is a slave state, and American Jews need to fight against it.

That’s the message the highest elected official in the largest Presbyterian church in the United States offered two days after a radical Muslim took four hostages at a synagogue in Texas, in an attempt to get a convicted terrorist freed from Federal prison.

It happened on Martin Luther King Day, when J. Herbert Nelson, II, stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church (USA) — PCUSA — declared, “The continued occupation in Palestine/Israel is 21st century slavery, and should be abolished immediately.”

After falsely accusing Israel of modern-day slavery, Nelson went on to declare, “Given the history of Jewish humble beginnings and persecution, there should be no ambiguity as to the ethical, moral, and dehumanizing marginalization and enslavement of other human beings. The United States of America must be a major influencer of calling this injustice both immoral and intolerable.”

But Nelson didn’t stop there. He then called on American Jewish leaders, who were still reeling from the hostage-taking in Texas, to join his mendacious attack on the Jewish state, proclaiming: “I would also hope that the Jewish community in the United States would influence the call to join the US government in ending the immoral enslavement.”

Slavery — real slavery — exists in Mauritania, despite having been outlawed years ago. And in 2017, CNN aired video of open-air slave markets in Libya, where refugees were bought and sold, prompting little outrage from commentators in the West.

But which country has Nelson declared guilty of slavery? Israel, the Jewish state.

'Crisis talks' over BBC's 'anti-Jewish' reports: Government's anti-Semitism adviser Lord Mann meets director Tim Davie to express 'major concerns' about coverage of Hanukkah bus attack and Texas synagogue stand-off
The Government's antisemitism advisor has met with the BBC's director-general to express 'major concerns' over its reporting of a Hannukah bus attack and the Texas synagogue stand-off, sources say.

Lord John Mann and BBC boss Tim Davie met for nearly one hour at Broadcasting House in central London yesterday where, it is understood, the former said there could be 'a real problem' when it comes to coverage of anti-Jewish racism.

The pair discussed the outlet's coverage of two events - last year's Oxford Street Hanukkah bus threats incident and last weekend's Texas synagogue hostage crisis, Jewish News reports.

The BBC had sparked fury following its reporting of an anti-Semitic incident on Oxford Street on November 29, with video showing a group of men hurling abuse and spitting at a group of Jewish teenagers sitting inside a bus.

The incident was treated as a hate crime by police, but in its original report, BBC News said 'racial slurs about Muslims could be heard inside the bus'.

The claim was criticised by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, and lawyers acting on behalf of the victims - who 'categorically deny' the slur was said - wrote to the corporation to contest it.
The Washington Post’s Selective Coverage of Palestinian Deaths
“All I know,” the late American humorist Will Rogers once said, “is what I read in the papers.” But if Rogers were alive today and looking to the Washington Post for information about the Israel-Islamist conflict, he might come up short. As recent news reports indicate, the newspaper’s coverage is often selective at best, and misleading at worst.

Take, for example, a Jan. 14, 2022 article by reporter Miriam Berger and Jerusalem bureau chief Steve Hendrix (“Palestinian American who died after Israeli detention was unresponsive when released, witnesses say”). The dispatch highlighted the case of Omar Abdalmajeed As’ad, a seventy-eight-year-old Palestinian-American man “who was found dead early Wednesday after being detained by Israeli soldiers in a late-night encounter.”

The Israeli military told the Post that As’ad “was detained by soldier for only a short time and was alive when he was released.” The Mayor of Jiljilya, the town where As’ad’s body was found, told the Times of Israel that As’ad “suffered from diabetes and other chronic conditions” and “apparently had suffered a heart attack.”

The Israeli military, the Post noted, is conducting an investigation into As’ad’s death. The Palestinian-American was apparently detained after resisting “a check” when IDF soldiers were conducting an investigation into terrorist activity in the area.

The story itself is certainly newsworthy—both on its own merits and, particularly from the perspective of a U.S.-based news outlet, because As’ad was also a Palestinian-American. Further, both the U.S. State Department and several members of Congress have expressed concern and called for an investigation. And, indeed, an investigation is currently underway.

What is both odd and illustrative, however, is the treatment that the Washington Post and others have given to As’ad’s death when compared to the deaths and injuries of other Palestinian-Americans in the area.
2021 was the most antisemitic year in the last decade - antisemitism report
The year 2021 is the most antisemitic year in the last decade, with at least 10 antisemitic incidents happening on average every single day, according to the annual Antisemitism Report published by the World Zionist Organization (WZO) and the Jewish Agency.

While the average number of incidents was over 10 a day, the real number is likely much higher since so many incidents go unreported. The main antisemitic incidents were graffiti, desecration, vandalism and propaganda, but physical and verbal violence still took up just under a third of all incidents. Though at the very least, the year was lacking in antisemitic murders.

A number of events occurred throughout the year that seemed to coincide with spikes in antisemitic events.

This correlation was seen especially during the month of May, a month that included many high-tension events. This included Shavuot, Eid al-Fitr, Nakba Day, Jerusalem Day, Al-Quds Day, the escalating debate regarding the eviction of Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah, the trend of antisemitic violence being shown on TikTok, Jewish-Arab riots in Israel's mixed cities and, of course, Operation Guardian of the Walls, the latest round of fighting between Israel and Hamas. Each of these events was associated with a notable rise in antisemitic incidents.
Holocaust Survivors Demand Action as Online Data Report Identifies More Than 60 Million Trivialization Engagements
Ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) has released a comprehensive internet monitoring data report revealing the scope of the rising trend of Holocaust trivialization — including comparisons of the Nazi genocide to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The study — conducted by Buzzilla, an online and social media monitoring agency — scanned online content over a two-year period (January 2020-December 2021) from social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, as well as other news websites, forums and blogs, and user comments on media portals, in six languages, including English, Spanish, French, Italian, Arabic and Hebrew.

By isolating specific word combinations, the scan identified more than 60 million online engagements (posts, comments, reactions, shares, etc.) in which the Holocaust and the Covid-19 pandemic were tied together.

A vast majority, nearly 57 million, took place in English. Hebrew was second place with 2.6 million engagements, and Spanish third with 2.1 million engagements.
Austrian artist under fire after posting Star of David made of syringes
Two Austrian cities are removing statues created by a prominent artist after the artist shared a picture of the Israeli flag with the Star of David made up of syringes, the latest in a series of protests against pandemic rules that feature antisemitic tropes.

Manfred Kielnhofer is a sculptor whose “Guardian of Time” series features priest-like masculine figures draped in linen.

One of those figures was included in the image that Kielnhofer posted on Facebook, which was surrounded by words including “Jewish.”

The posting comes as Austria is on the verge of becoming the first country to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for all adults, a move that is drawing protest from critics of the country’s pandemic rules.

Kielnhofer told BezirksRundSchau, a local newspaper, that he “overshot the mark” with the image, but nonetheless defended it as part of his proclivity to create “critical things.”

He said the text had been added by someone else who had hacked his computer, but the criticism of Jews was intentional.
German Online Streaming Star Faces Backlash for Selling Nazi Armband NFT
One of the most popular content creators on the video live streaming platform Twitch came under fire this week for promoting a non-fungible token (NFT) with artwork that featured a Nazi swastika armband.

German streamer MontanaBlack, whose real name is Marcel Eris, boasts 4.3 million followers on Twitch and 1.1 million on Twitter. On Tuesday, he led an NFT giveaway on Twitter in collaboration with the Kongdo Club, a creator of the cryptocurrency-based digital assets that are bought and sold like works of art.

One of the prized NFTs featured an avatar of a monkey wearing an armband with a swastika. Shortly after uploading the post, the hashtag “#Monte” began trending on Twitter as social media users expressed dismay and outrage, according to the German-language online outlet Watson.

MontanaBlack, who in 2019 was ranked as Twitch’s most subscribed channel, has since deleted the Twitter post, while Kongdo Club apologized for the artwork on Tuesday.

“To clarify the swastika on our art, we had no intention of releasing this with any hate speech,” Kongdo Club said. “It has been removed from all art and we deeply apologize for this confusion. We at the team want to make sure everyone feels comfortable. All depiction of this has been removed permanent.” The company added that MontanaBlack “had no involvement in the art — he was paid to promote the project and there is no affiliation with the art creation.”
UK Man Found Guilty of Inciting Terrorism After ‘Jihad by Sword’ Mosque Speech
A Muslim man who promoted what he called “jihad fighting by sword” was found guilty on Wednesday of encouraging terrorism at his local mosque in the United Kingdom, reported the Evening Standard.

Abubaker Deghayes, 53, of East Sussex addressed 50 or so worshippers, including children and young adults, at the Brighton Mosque and Muslim Community Centre on Nov. 1, 2020.

In a video of his speech that was played to the court, Deghayes, who is originally from Libya, makes a stabbing gesture and says in part “Jihad, jihad, jihad. Jihad is compulsory. Jihad is fighting by sword. That means this jihad is compulsory upon you, not jihad is the word of mouth but jihad will remain compulsory until the Day of Resurrection.”

He further said: “Send to the sea. They can go and drink from the sea, Allah curse their fathers, OK?”

He added that those who don’t agree with him are enemies of Allah.

Prosecutor Ben Lloyd told the court that the speech was not given “innocently or naively.” He said, “The prosecution case is clear. By the defendant’s words and gestures, he was encouraging people to undertake violent jihad. The defendant’s speech demonstrates him to be an Islamic extremist. He is someone who believes in the use of violence in the cause of Islam.”

Deghayes, who wore a “Free Palestine” sweater during the trial, denied the charge brought against him and claimed that he was discussing self-defense in his speech. He was released on bail with conditions and will be sentenced on Feb. 25.
Tennessee Adoption Agency Sued for Allegedly Denying Service to Jewish Couple on Basis of Religion
A Christian adoption agency is being sued by a Jewish couple who claim they were denied service due to their faith, in a challenge to a new Tennessee law allowing faith-based adoption agencies to refuse families on the basis of religious or moral beliefs.

The couple, Elizabeth and Gabriel Rutan-Rams, sought to foster a child with the ultimate goal of adoption, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported on Wednesday. After locating a child in Florida, they appealed to the Holston United Methodist Home for Children, which receives funds from the US government, in order to obtain training services.

Despite initially agreeing to help, Holston later reversed its decision, stating that it only provides service to families that share its belief system, according to a lawsuit filed by Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AUSCS) on behalf of the Rutan-Rams.

The couple consequently lost the chance to foster the child they chose. “I felt like I’d been punched in the gut. It was the first time I felt discriminated against because I am Jewish,” Elizabeth Rutan-Ram said in a press statement. “It was very shocking. And it was very hurtful that the agency seemed to think that a child would be better off in state custody than with a loving family like us.”

Jerusalem Cinematheque puts archived treasures of Israeli cinema online
The Jerusalem Cinematheque's Israel Film Archive has launched a new website that makes rare films available to the general public.

The Israel Film Archive – a member of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) – holds over 32,000 titles, recorded on 2 million meters of film, representing some 4,500 hours of productions made in Israel. The archive's digital storage is currently at 6 petabytes.

Since 1960, the Israel Film Archive has been responsible for the safekeeping and preservation of original Israeli narrative and documentary film works dating from the late 19th century to the present day. An image of Albert Einstein from the Gin Stollman Collection at the Israeli Film Archive Jerusalem Cinematheque

Noa Regev, Director of the Jerusalem Cinematheque- Israel Film Archive, said: "Seven years ago, we embarked on this project intending to transform the Archive into a digital cultural institution accessible to everyone everywhere. The new platform will no doubt serve researchers, filmmakers, culture and history buffs, students, and anyone looking to locate cinematic materials from their personal history."

The website project involved digitizing rare film and video footage, some of which had been stored cans on the archive's shelves for years, never seen by the public.

The films on the site have been translated into English and can be tagged and searched in either English or Hebrew.

Fans of Israeli film and history are offered two on-demand options: The Historical View offers a look at the history of the country through archival materials such as a home movie of Albert Einstein or footage of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem during World War I. These materials can be watched free of charge.
Nasa Physicist Makes Aliyah, Delta Airlines Honors Him
Physicist Jerry Wittenstein worked with astronaut Neil Armstrong at NASA and developed half of Apollo 11’s trajectories. But now he and his wife are on a new trajectory.

The couple just made Aliyah (come on in, the water’s fine) from Huntsville, Alabama. On their flight to Israel, Delta Airlines gave them a touching goodbye (video above) and passed on a message from their grandson. For these dedicated 20-year Delta Airline passengers, this is their last planned flight now that they are coming home to Israel.

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