Saturday, January 22, 2022

From Ian:

People Love Dead Jews—What About Living Ones?
America has a Jewish problem.

It’s strange to write that sentence, but the numbers are plain. Ninety percent of American Jews say antisemitism is a problem in the United States. Eighty-two percent say it has increased in the last five years. And this isn’t simply a Trump-era phenomenon: those who say American Jews are less secure now than a year ago outnumber those who say conditions are better by three-to-one.

These numbers pre-date the January 15 hostage crisis in a Colleyville, Texas synagogue. They represent something that’s been in progress much longer: the resettling of scenery after the American Jewish community’s pre-pandemic annus horribilis. One crisis supplanted another, but the worry continued to simmer: that the post-war story of Jews in America was simply a happy chapter in a longer and more complicated relationship.

In October 2018, a gunman murdered 11 Jews at prayer in Pittsburgh; the following April, another shooter entered a synagogue outside San Diego. All the while, greater New York endured a spike in targeted street violence against Haredi Jews that culminated when, in December, attackers sought out Jews to murder at a kosher supermarket in New Jersey (but only because they couldn’t get into the Jewish elementary school next door, where dozens of children hid) and, two weeks later, at a Chanukah party in upstate New York.

Covid made that year’s sheer awfulness surprisingly easy to forget (or at least set aside), even for me, pressed into service to chair my synagogue’s hastily-formed security committee. I spent the second half of 2019 designing and explaining emergency procedures, meeting with security consultants, memorizing the locations of panic buttons and emergency medical kits, and learning how to pack gauze into a bullet wound (keep packing).

Dara Horn was pressed into a different kind of service. A talented and award-winning novelist, she became one of the country’s go-to experts to explain violence against Jews, past and present.

This led to an unsettling epiphany and the genesis of her new collection of essays: dead Jews were the kind of Jews publishers, editors, and readers wanted her to discuss. “People love dead Jews,” she explains in the first sentence of the first essay. “Living Jews, not so much.”
American Jews Will Not Cower
The reality is that Jews have been the disproportionate target of hate crimes in this country for many years, and this needs to be highlighted and addressed. It is a narrative that has not been particularly popular to hear in recent years, generally shunned by the mainstream media. This, despite the fact that Jewish Americans are the lead victims of religiously motivated hate crimes in this country, year after year. Instead, Jews are too often wrongly seen as just another privileged, “white” class of Americans that need to keep their heads down and stop trying to “play the victim card.”

And so we do. We are careful not to rock the boat. We laugh uneasily at the jokes made about how weak and scared Jews are on the one hand, and how evil and aggressive the Israelis and Zionists (read: Jews) of the world are on the other hand. We file our security incidents with law enforcement, and shrug our shoulders when we discover that too many police fail to file formal reports for fear of feeding soaring crime statistics.

It is true that a little light will combat much darkness. But it is also true that there is still a lot of good in this world. Jews have been protecting their way of life, and the lives of others, for millennia, whether in the United States or around the world — and we will continue to do so. Jews have nothing to be ashamed of and everything to be proud of. These are not the darkest times for Jews in this country or in world history; not even close. Jews have many allies. We have the silent majority in this country behind us. We serve proudly in all levels of government, the military, law enforcement, academia, entertainment and the sciences. We should be celebrating these accomplishments.

What is needed is for the silent majority in this country to start speaking up. Jews are unique in that they are hated by the far right, by the far left, and by radical Islamists. Haters might say that it is a sign that we are responsible for all the evils in the world, but in reality, it is a sign of their ignorance. The far-left elements in the Democratic party need to be condemned by their fellow Democrats, and not ignored or excused. The same is true for the extremists in the Republican party. And brave Muslim leaders such as Duke University Professor Abdullah Antepli, a founder of the Muslim Leadership Initiative, should be praised for his calls on fellow Muslims to address their own “alarming internal problem” of “increasing antisemitism” that necessitates “morally required tough conversations.”

Attacks on Jews — both verbal and physical, and whether on our city streets or on college campuses — must be condemned by all good members of society, and these stories should not be ignored or pushed to the back pages of our news media.

Jews will not cower and should not be scared. Colleyville should, and will, serve as yet another wakeup call for the Jewish community and all of our allies, that we must learn from these events and do a better job of protecting ourselves and speaking out against hate.

And we will.

UN’s biased and destructive obsession with Israel - opinion
What is it that the Palestinians, or at least their leaders, are really after? It’s become clear that they are not after an agreement resulting in a Palestinian state. They could have had that long ago.

What they really want is captured by their slogan, “Palestine will be free from the river to the sea.” That means, of course, the elimination of the Jewish state.

Obviously, neither the current Israeli government nor any conceivable Israeli government would ever agree to its own destruction. But the mad dream of Hamas, Hezbollah and even of the PLO-led Palestinian Authority is that Israel will eventually be forced to oblige by massive international pressure.

The creation of the “commission of inquiry” and all UN bodies targeting Israel (specifically, the Committee for the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the Division of Palestinian Rights and the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories) are an important part of this effort.

This endless loop of defamation and delegitimization of Israel begs the question: What does it achieve?

It will not deter Israel from protecting its citizens and it does absolutely nothing at all to help the Palestinians. If goal is really to assist the Palestinian cause, it is a failed enterprise and it needs to stop. The “commission of inquiry” is yet another effort that is misguided at best, ill-intentioned and doomed to failure. It will not deter Israel from its legitimate duty to protect its citizens and it will achieve nothing at all for the Palestinians.
Morton Klein: US Ambassador Thomas Nide's refusal to visit Judea-Samaria Jews
Judea-Samaria, which is the heart of biblical Israel and site of Jewish kingdoms that existed for hundreds of years, is guaranteed to the Jewish people, for “close Jewish settlement” and for the reconstitution of the Jewish homeland, under binding international law and treaties, including: the San Remo Resolution; the League of Nations Covenant (Article 22); the British Mandate for Palestine (which also calls for assuring that none of the territory guaranteed to the Jewish people shall be ceded or leased to or placed under the control of a foreign power); the joint Lodge-Fish Resolution (signed into law by the US president); the 1924 Anglo-American Convention [Treaty] (a binding US treaty obligation – the highest law of the land – approved by the US Senate and president); and UN Charter (Article 80) (another binding treaty obligation, which preserved intact all rights granted to the Jewish people under the British Mandate, even after the mandate’s expiration).

Nides’s visit boycott of Jewish communities in Judea-Samaria also appears to violate his former beliefs. In November 2019 (before Nides became an ambassador in the hostile Biden administration), he praised then-secretary of state Mike Pompeo for (correctly) concluding, after a lengthy, comprehensive study, that Israeli civilian communities in Judea-Samaria are legal (“not illegal”). Nides tweeted: “My thanks to @POTUS and @SecPompeo for their important work which will advance the cause of peace by creating an appropriate level playing field for future talks.”

Nides’s recent wording in a tweet about a Palestinian Arab murder of a Jewish student in Judea-Samaria was also troubling. On December 16, Palestinian-Arab gunmen ambushed and murdered yeshiva student Yehuda Dimentman and wounded two other yeshiva students riding in a car on the way home from their studies. Nides’s deliberately nondescript tweet failed to acknowledge that the victims of this terror attack were Jews and that the perpetrators were Palestinian-Arab terrorists, and instead merely said: “Last night’s murderous terrorist attack in the West Bank robbed a family of their father and husband. May his memory be a blessing. We pray [for] swift healing to the injured victims.”

ZOA urges Ambassador Nides to visit the beautiful Jewish communities and Jewish families of Judea-Samaria, who made the barren desert bloom, and to stop his anti-Israel boycott of the Jewish people and communities in Judea-Samaria, which is reminiscent of Ben and Jerry’s ugly boycott.
Will the ‘most-read’ human-rights story of 2021 continue in 2022?
What was the gravest human-rights crisis of 2021? Was it the Chinese government’s ongoing genocide of Uyghur Muslims, or the return of the repressive and brutal Taliban rule in Afghanistan?

According to human-rights “stalwarts” Human Rights Watch (HRW) and B’Tselem, Israel’s supposed oppression of the Palestinians surpassed them all.

In late December, HRW executive director Ken Roth tweeted that the “top human-rights news” in 2021 was “Israel’s apartheid.” It was also what the organization said was its most widely seen video.

Likewise, during a year-end roundup, B’Tselem chose not to highlight the more than 4,000 indiscriminate rockets fired at Israeli population centers during Israel’s 11-day conflict with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip last May. Instead, they boasted that their report denouncing Israel’s “Regime of Jewish Supremacy” helped formulate a new anti-Israel “consensus in the human-rights community.”

As Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid noted, such venomous distortions have consequences in the international arena. In 2022, multiple U.N. bodies will devote millions of dollars to investigate Israel and, inevitably, to lobby accusations of apartheid. In sharp contrast, the devastating 11-year Syrian civil war received far less in the way of U.N. resources and attention.

Why is this the case? What drives the disproportionate production of content accusing Israel of “apartheid,” while actual human-rights atrocities receive considerably less attention?
Iran claims Israel exploiting the Holocaust to justify its crimes
Iran accused Israel of exploiting the death of six million Jews during World War II to justify its crimes against the Palestinian people, the Islamic Republic said after the UNGA passed a resolution to combat Holocaust denial.

“The fake Zionist regime has constantly tried to use the victims of World War II and the Jews as a justification for its shameless and aggressive actions,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

“The regime and its leaders have committed all kinds of crimes, especially crimes against humanity, against the Palestinian people and the regional people, in violation of international law,” it stated.

“Genocide, assassination, ethnic cleansing, destruction of homes and human siege are among the crimes that the Zionist regime is constantly committing,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry said.

The resolution on Holocaust denial was approved by consensus. Iran was the only country to speak out against the text, but it has limited powers to act in the UNGA because of its unpaid dues. It has attempted to argue that its opposition has meant that the text was not approved by consensus, even though the UN has publicized the passage of the resolution.
Josh Hammer: Why Was Malik Faisal Akram Ever on U.S. Soil?
Finally, there is the always-thorny issue of immigration, which has been the least-discussed Colleyville lesson to date.

It is a shameful failure of U.S. immigration policy that a man such as Akram, who was apparently so unassimilated into Western civilization that he deemed it prudent to take a gaggle of Texas Jews hostage as "leverage" to somehow free an entirely unrelated terrorist (one conjures up images here of how Akram must have actually believed in an "Elders"-style "Supreme Jewish Council" with the power to "free" Siddiqui), was able to enter U.S. soil.

As a British national, Akram was the benefit of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. As CBS News reported: "His entrance into U.S. was approved by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Electronic System for Travel Authorization ... at New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport. Tourism visas are not required for British travelers planning to stay in the United States for less than three months."

Akram had an extensive rap sheet back in the U.K. and had been previously investigated by MI5, the British security service, for possible jihadi radicalization. Yet he did not appear on any U.S. terror watch lists and appears to have sailed right through the lax rules in place for the Visa Waiver Program. That he was able to do so points to a longer-running problem, which is the failure of American authorities to sufficiently vet every single person attempting to step on our soil. As the 9/11 Commission's report on terrorist travel wrote back in 2004: "It is perhaps obvious to state that terrorists cannot plan and carry out attacks in the United States if they are unable to enter the country ... Indeed, even after 19 hijackers demonstrated the relative ease of obtaining a U.S. visa and gaining admission into the United States, border security still is not considered a cornerstone of national security policy."

As easy as it usually still is to obtain a U.S. visa, it is that much easier to get here via the Visa Waiver Program. That program should now be heavily scrutinized, have any and all of its loopholes tightened and quite possibly be abolished in its entirety. There is no clearer and more straightforward way to preventing more Malik Faisal Akrams from entering the country.
Texas synagogue attacker was a member of deadly terror group Tablighi Jamaat
For years I have been exposing the notorious face of Tablighi Jamaat, which is known in the world as the antechamber of terrorism. While recently Saudi Arabia has imposed ban on the activities of this dangerous organization, activities of Tablighi Jamaat have been continuing in most of the Muslim nations as well as India, the United States, Britain and the European countries.

Tablighi Jamaat also has activities in countries such as Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and the former Soviet republics, thus posing gravest threat to national security of those nations.

Although the US authorities are reluctant in taking action against the activities of Tablighi Jamaat, Malik Faisal Akram, the Pakistani-born British national and the hostage-taker at the synagogue in Texas was found to be a member of Tablighi Jamaat. Akram’s family hails from Jhelum district in Punjab province in Pakistan and the family emigrated to the United Kingdom nearly five decades ago.

Faisal Malik Akram took four people as hostages at the Texas synagogue, which was finally termed as an act of terror by Joe Biden. In light of this incident, a counterterrorism expert affiliated with the American Enterprise Institute said Pakistan has once again emerged as a terror-sponsoring country, which poses serious threat to national security of the foreign nations, including the United States.

According to Indian newspaper the Hindustan Times, Faisal Malik Akram was a member of Tablighi Jamaat and had travelled abroad for activities related to the organization.

Akram’s father is a well-known member of the Muslim community in London. His family has political links through Malik Irfan, a Councillor linked to the British Labor Party.
Islamist Groups Waged Misinformation Campaign To Free Terrorist Aafia Siddiqui in Months Before Texas Synagogue Attack
Islamist groups in the United States and abroad waged a months-long propaganda campaign to free convicted terrorist Aafia Siddiqui from a Texas prison before a British national attacked a nearby synagogue in her name this weekend.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) revived a years-long misinformation campaign in August, including a September protest outside the Carswell federal prison, where Siddiqui is serving an 86-year prison sentence on charges that she tried to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan in 2008.

Like many of Siddiqui's allies, CAIR has, without any evidence, disputed allegations of her ties to terrorism or that she shot at American personnel in the course of her capture. In lieu of evidence, the groups offered claims from Siddiqui herself, even as her own defense counsel pointed to questions of her competency to explain her anti-Semitic outbursts at trial. The groups have also put forth a barrage of conspiracy theories about the American government.

"She's been heavily mythologized and turned into a martyr, but there's plenty of evidence she's nothing of the sort," said Thomas Joscelyn, a scholar at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who has tracked al Qaeda's network. "It raises questions about why these groups are hell bent on turning her into one."

CAIR began posting about Siddiqui on its social media accounts in August after years of relative silence about her case. In November 2021, the group organized a visit to Capitol Hill to lobby members of Congress to free Siddiqui. The group claims that Siddiqui had been "brutally attacked" by a fellow inmate on July 30, 2021, and held in solitary confinement.

CAIR's protest outside Carswell in September coincided with a global online campaign to support her cause. The Twitter hashtag "#free_sister_aafia" trended on Twitter on the same day as the event. The online campaign was supported by Anjem Choudary, a British cleric notorious for his outspoken defense of ISIS. Choudary said on his blog on Sept. 13, 2021, that Siddiqui had been attacked in prison and should be freed by force or ransom. It is unclear if Malik Faisal Akram was aware of Choudary or CAIR's remarks about Siddiqui.
After Texas Synagogue Attack, CAIR Revives Its Campaign to Free Aafia Siddiqui
Less than four days after a gunman held four Jews hostage inside a Texas synagogue in a doomed attempt to free a convicted terrorist, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) thinks it is ready to renew its campaign to achieve the same objective.

“It’s time to push back,” CAIR’s Dallas chapter director Faizan Syed wrote on Wednesday afternoon. “The news coverage around Dr. Aafia Siddiqui over the last few days has been inaccurate, one sided, and made to paint a victim of the war on terror as a terrorist. The Free Dr. Aafia Campaign has developed a media and public resource guide to correct the false narrative.”

Syed ended his post with the hashtags #FreeAafia #IAmAafia.

Siddiqui is a US-educated Pakistani serving 86 years in prison for attempting to kill US personnel in Afghanistan. She carried sodium cyanide and various other chemicals when she was arrested, along with documents in her handwriting that mentioned “a mass casualty attack … NY City monuments” and “Dirty Bomb: Need few oz. radioactive material.”

The US personnel who tried to interview her were unaware that she was left unsecured behind a partition in the room. One of the Army personnel put his M4 rifle down. Siddiqui was able to grab it and open fire, prosecutors said. Her shots missed, and she was wounded by return fire.

But CAIR and other Islamist groups in the United States say Siddiqui is innocent, a victim of torture during years of secret detention, and someone incapable of the attack as described by the government and the witnesses present.
Jordanian Document Proves Jerusalem’s Disputed Sheikh Jarrah Properties Are Jewish-Owned
An English-language document from Jordan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates proves that properties in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood (today known as Shimon HaTzaddik) are Jewish-owned.

The contract between the Kingdom of Jordan and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in 1954, published last year by Jordan’s official Petra news agency, documents an agreement for an “urban housing project of Sheikh Jarrah Quarter, Jerusalem.”

The official Jordanian document proves Jewish ownership of the currently disputed homes in the Shimon HaTzaddik neighborhood, with up-to-date official stamps proving its legal truth.

The document, preserved in UNRWA Archive on April 14, 2021, and stamped by the Jordanian government on April 20, 2021, shows the project was undertaken to provide housing for twenty-eight families in Jerusalem.

Under the description of the project, the contract states “Two single and thirteen twin housing units will be constructed in the Sheikh Jarrah Quarter of Jerusalem on formerly Jewish property leased by the Custodian of Enemy Property to the Ministry of Development, for the purpose of this project.”

Each family was required to conclude a lease agreement to pay a nominal rent of one Jordan Dinar per year to the lessor, “which is the Ministry of Economy and Development.”

Palestinian family evicted from East Jerusalem home to appeal to ICC
A Palestinian family evicted from their house in a flashpoint East Jerusalem neighborhood will appeal to the International Criminal Court against Israel after the home was demolished, a London-based group announced Friday.

On Wednesday, Israeli police evicted the Salihiya family and razed their home, arresting 18 Palestinians and Israeli activists at the scene that unfolded before dawn. Several members of the family who were arrested have since been released.

The Jerusalem City Hall said it plans to build a special needs school for the neighborhood’s residents on the plot, as well as six kindergartens and other public facilities.

The city has said it purchased the land from previous Arab owners and that the Salihiyas had lived there illegally for years, but failed to agree to a compromise on an eviction order first issued in 2017.

Last year, a Jerusalem court ruled in favor of the city, although the family had continued to contest the eviction.

According to the International Centre of Justice for Palestinian Rights (ICJP), the ICC case is being prepared by Bindmans, an English law firm. The ICJP said a Bindmans lawyer will speak with the Salihiya family next week to finalize the appeal.
Gulf Arabs slam Palestinian terror groups for ‘supporting’ Houthi attacks
Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) condemned over the weekend the Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in Yemen, drawing sharp criticism from Arabs in the Gulf.

Several writers and political analysts from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain responded by launching a scathing attack on the Palestinian groups in particular and the Palestinians in general for allegedly supporting the Iranian-backed Houthi militia in Yemen, which has launched drone and missile attacks on Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Tensions between the Palestinians and the Gulf countries escalated after the signing of the Abraham Accords between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain in 2020.

The Palestinian Authority, Hamas, PIJ and other Palestinian factions condemned the “normalization” agreements with Israel and accused the Gulf states of “betraying” the Palestinians. Many Gulf Arabs responded by accusing the Palestinians of being “ungrateful.”

Like the Houthi militia, which controls large portions of territory in Yemen, Hamas and PIJ are backed by Iran. The Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist group is also funded and armed by Iran.

The PFLP, the second largest faction of the PLO after the ruling Fatah faction headed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, is a secular Palestinian Marxist-Leninist organization that also has close ties with Tehran.

The PA has thus far refrained from commenting on the airstrikes in Yemen, apparently to avoid exacerbating tensions with the Gulf states.

Qatar signs financial deal to ensure natural gas supply to Gaza power plant
Qatar’s Foreign Ministry said Friday it had signed an agreement with Gaza’s electric company that will establish an escrow account for the costs of supplying gas and generating electricity at the Strip’s sole power plant.

The statement said that Qatar will be the owner of the account and will organize and manage payments through it. The Gaza Electricity Distribution Company will deposit $5 million per month when the planned gas-powered plant starts operating, the statement said.

Doha did not say how many years the Gulf nation was committing to the plan.

Qatar, the Palestinian Authority and Gaza’s electrical company signed a deal last month advancing a long-term project to supply Gaza’s only power plant with Israeli natural gas.

Qatar’s envoy to the Gaza Strip, Mohammad al-Emadi, said at the time that Doha had signed a memorandum containing a pledge to invest $60 million in laying the pipeline for the proposed project.

But a final deal on the initiative, which has been in the works for years, has yet to be reached and could still be months or years away.

Biden's Colossal Failure on Iran: Redesignate the Houthis a Foreign Terrorist Organization
The Houthis serve as Iran's proxy in the civil war in Yemen and against Saudi Arabia, which backs the internationally recognized Republic of Yemen government. The UAE, which hosts U.S. military forces at Al Dhafra air base, has been a part of the Saudi coalition to support the official Yemeni government.

With its decisions to delist the Houthis, sideline the Abraham Accords, and focus on diplomacy all within days of each other, the Biden administration demonstrated the lengths it would go to reenter the deeply flawed, Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran.

The State Department most likely realized early on that its decision to delist the Houthis [from the List of Foreign Terrorist Organizations] was doomed to failure. Only two days after they were removed from the terrorist list, the State Department was forced to condemn the group for its continued attacks. State Department spokesperson Ned Price lamely said that the U.S. remains "deeply troubled" by the group's actions.

Given the clear evidence that its policies are not working, it is time for the Biden administration to shift direction. The administration must redesignate the Houthis as the terrorist organization it is.
Russia proposes interim nuke deal to Iran, with US aware of talks on matter – report
Russia has discussed with Iran the possibility of an interim deal that would see limited sanctions relief in return for reimposing some restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear program, the NBC network reported Friday.

The outlet said the US “is aware” of the proposal, and cited multiple unnamed sources for its reporting — two US officials, one Congressional official, one former US official and four other people familiar with the details of the talks.

The sources said that while the US was aware of the discussions between Moscow and Tehran in recent weeks, US President Joe Biden’s administration was making efforts to distance itself from the proposal by Russia.

The officials told the US news outlet that Tehran has thus far rejected the proposal.

The US sources reportedly said that if Iran were to agree to it, it would be seen as a step toward a full deal in the future.

If an interim agreement were to be agreed upon as a first step toward a renewed deal, some US lawmakers would likely insist it must be submitted to Congress for review.

The sources told NBC that under one draft for the deal proposed by Russia, Tehran would commit to stopping enriching uranium up to 60 percent purity, a level that far exceeds the limits set by the original deal.

Additionally, Iran would be required to dispose of its enriched uranium stockpile, with one possibility being that it is exported to Russia.
Pressure Mounts on Biden Admin To Reapply Sanctions on Iran-Backed Houthis
A coalition of Republican lawmakers is pressuring the Biden administration to redesignate the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels as a terror group following this week’s large-scale attack on the United Arab Emirates.

The Houthis, who are armed, funded, and directed by Iran, launched a terror attack this week on Abu Dhabi’s international airport, killing and wounding civilians. While the Biden administration quickly condemned the attack, it has come under criticism for its decision early last year to remove the Houthis from the U.S.-designated terror list. In a Friday letter, spearheaded by Rep. Claudia Tenney (R., N.Y.) and sent to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Republican foreign policy leaders pressured the Biden administration to reverse course on the Houthis.

"The Houthis very clearly meet all legal criteria for designation. They are a foreign organization that engages in terrorist activity that threatens U.S. interests and nationals," 10 Republican lawmakers wrote, according to a copy of the letter obtained exclusively by the Washington Free Beacon. "Revoking the designation of the Houthis without any material change in its behavior, as was done previously, undermines the credibility of this important foreign policy tool."

The letter comes just hours after Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and a coalition of Senate GOP leaders filed new legislation that would force the Biden administration to relist the Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization and apply sanctions on its leadership, as the Free Beacon reported. President Joe Biden and Blinken both said this week that the administration is considering redesignating the Houthis, but it remains unclear if there is a firm timeline for this decision to take place. Sanctions on the group were lifted during Biden’s first week in office in what many viewed as an effort to appease Iran as talks over a revamped nuclear deal began.

In addition to pressure from Congress, senior leaders in the UAE called on the Biden administration to redesignate the Houthis as a terror group this week, and other U.S. allies in the region have echoed that call. The attack in Abu Dhabi was seen as one of the most advanced Houthi strikes yet, indicating that Iran is supplying the group with more advanced missiles and drones to increase the lethality of the group’s attacks.

After 18 years, Michigan city condemns ‘Jewish Power Corrupts’ demos as antisemitic
For 18 years, a group of protesters has gathered every Saturday outside one of this city’s synagogues during Shabbat morning services, brandishing signs with slogans such as “Jewish Power Corrupts.”

This week, the city council of Ann Arbor for the first time issued a formal resolution condemning the protests as antisemitic.

The resolution answers the pleas of members of Beth Israel Congregation, a Conservative synagogue just a few blocks from the University of Michigan’s Hillel center, as well as the synagogue’s neighbors. They have appealed to the city for years to take decisive action against the protesters, whom they say are targeting Jews at a house of worship and harassing members of the community.

The protestors’ stated purpose is to critique Israel policy, but members of the group frequently bring antisemitic signs and chant antisemitic slogans. The group’s de facto leader, Henry Herskovitz, identifies himself as a former Jew and has spread Holocaust denial and praised neo-Nazis in blog posts.

A congregant, in addition to a local Holocaust survivor, sued the protesters and the city in 2019, alleging that the protests violate worshippers’ First Amendment rights to safely practice their religion and that the city has not enforced local ordinances that the protesters are violating. That lawsuit was dismissed in September, with the US Court of Appeals ruling that the protesters had a free-speech right to continue their activities.

For years the city declined to get involved in what was happening on Washtenaw Avenue. That changed during the city council meeting on Tuesday, three days after a rabbi and his congregants were taken hostage during services by an antisemitic assailant in Texas.
Nadhim Zahawi: Universities adopting IHRA is ‘essential, not a box-ticking exercise’
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has declared that he regards the adoption by universities of the IHRA definition of antisemitism as “essential, not optional. This is not a box-ticking exercise. It’s a vital tool in tackling antisemitism, because it sends a signal that the university takes these issues really seriously. It is a way of nailing your colours to the mast for all to see, telling everyone, students, staff, that antisemitism has no place anywhere… I am not going to ease up until we see everyone fall into line on this”.

Mr Zahawi made his passionate opening remarks at this year’s Lord Merlyn-Rees annual lecture, under the auspices of the Holocaust Educational Trust. More than 700 people worldwide heard him speak in the most personal way of his own experiences before he and his family came to Britain.

Explaining why he often says his visit to Auschwitz last year changed his life, he said: “I know what it feels like to be a young Kurdish boy, terrified by a dictator who has corrupted the state for their own ends. I know what it feels like to be a child in a family that is forced to run away in fear, under cover of darkness; and [that I was forced to leave] rather than go to the same school I had always been to, and grown up with the same friends I’d always had. I know what it feels like when the people you looked to, to safeguard you, turn away from you”.

The Zahawi family were lucky, he said, because they had been able to enter Britain and make a life for themselves. But that was all the more reason, he said, to continue re-telling the lessons of the Holocaust. “The dangers have not passed. Too many of those evils still exist today. I’ve heard first-hand of the abuse Jewish friends have faced in the streets, in restaurants and cafes. We know that Jewish students are victims of antisemitism on campus; and we hear the despicable way that too many people attack the state of Israel and its citizens”.

Ex-South African Justice Must Apologize for Pro-Israel Comments, Panel Rules
A South African judicial panel has ordered former chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng to issue a public apology within 10 days for comments criticizing his government’s hostile stance towards Israel, dismissing his appeal of a ruling last year.

In a statement released Thursday, the Judicial Conduct Appeals Committee directed Mogoeng to issue an “unconditional apology for becoming involved in political controversy,” over comments made at a 2020 online seminar.

South Africa’s Judicial Service Commission (JSC) — which investigates complaints made against judges — found against Mogoeng in March 2021,, when he was still serving as chief justice, for misconduct during the seminar, in which he appeared alongside South African Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein.

Among other remarks, Mogoeng invoked his Christian faith as a source for his “love” of Israel, and criticized the South African government for maintaining close ties with the country’s former colonizers yet still frequently attacking the Jewish state.

“Did Israel take away our land or the land of Africa? Did Israel take our mineral wealth? We’ve got to move from a position of principle here,” Mogoeng declared at one point during the seminar, which was hosted by the Jerusalem Post.

Thursday’s decision by Judges Dumisani Zondi and Nambitha Dambuza found that Mogoeng had been “involved in extra-judicial activities which are incompatible with the confidence in and the impartiality of judges,” citing South Africa’s Code of Judicial Conduct.

‘Hitler Should Have Killed You All’: Woman Arrested After Hurling Threats, Spitting at Brooklyn Jewish Children
New York police arrested a woman on hate crime charges after she allegedly threatened to kill a group of Jewish children on a Brooklyn street, spitting on an 8-year-old boy.

21-year-old Christina Darling is facing charges of aggravated harassment and menacing as hate crimes, the NYPD announced Friday, after an investigation by Hate Crimes Task Force Detectives.

On Friday, Jan 14., she was seen on camera spitting at a group of three Jewish siblings in the Marine Park neighborhood of Brooklyn.

“Hitler should have killed you all,” she told them. “I’ll kill you and know where you live.”

The woman then spat in the face of the 8-year-old, who was playing with his siblings aged 7 and 2, before fleeing.

The victims’ father, Aryah Fried, told local CBS2 news on Wednesday that his son leapt to the defense of his younger sister after Darling made the vile Hitler comment.

“I gotta teach him not to engage, but he engaged. And she came running back at him, spat in his face and told him we will kill you all, I know where you live, and we’ll make sure to get you all next time,” Fried said.

“To do it to anybody is obviously problematic, but for an adult to do it to a child is just beyond crazy,” he added.

Teacher at Mexico City University Fired for ‘Joke’ in Zoom Class Mocking Holocaust Victims
A teacher has been fired from a Mexico City university after she was seen mocking Holocaust victims during a virtual Zoom class, CESSA (Center for Advanced Studies of San Ángel) University confirmed on Thursday.

“Pay attention: what’s the difference between a pizza and a Jew?” asked Irene García Méndez on Tuesday during a portion of the class set aside for making jokes, according to a transcript by the El Universal newspaper.

Receiving no response from her students, she continued, “That pizza doesn’t scream when they put it in the oven.”

“No?” Méndez, laughing, asked her students, who remained quiet.

One female student replied, “Your joke is too tasteless.”

“It’s strong,” Méndez said.

“I’m telling you, as a Jew, I find your joke too tasteless,” the student said, “I am going to withdraw from your class.”

“I know doll,” Méndez rejoined as the student signed off. “We can all tell jokes. I understand your displeasure.”

Defending her comments after the girl had left the course, Méndez continued, “I understand your displeasure perfectly, but we can understand that there are different characteristics and different ways to help and we were taking it in a nice way, it is not necessary to go to these degrees.”
New Yad Vashem Online Exhibit Spotlights Jews Who Used Forged Documents, False Identities to Survive Holocaust
A new online exhibition unveiled on Friday by Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remember Center in Israel, explores how some Jews managed to survive the Holocaust outside of ghettos and concentration camps under false identities with the help of forged documents.

The exhibition, entitled “Remember Your New Name: Surviving the Holocaust Under a False Identity,” focuses on 14 stories of Jews who survived under assumed identities in Eastern Europe, Central and Western Europe, and in Southern Europe and the Balkans.

“Imprisoned by the paralyzing fear of being discovered for who and what they truly were, they lived their lives seeing the plight of their fellow Jews, but were powerless to do anything about it,” said Dana Porath, director of the Digital Department in Yad Vashem‘s Communications Division. “These Jews were often the only members of their family to survive the atrocities of the Holocaust.”

The stories in the exhibit are based on hundreds of thousands of documents housed in the Yad Vashem Archives and material from Yad Vashem’s databases and collections, including personal documents, testimonies, photographs, Pages of Testimony, artworks and footage. The forged documents on display in the exhibit were donated to Yad Vashem by survivors and their families, and “bring to light amazing stories of survival, determination, creativity, resourcefulness, courage and sacrifice,” according to the memorial.

“I often used to wake the children in the middle of the night, to check if they remembered their new names even when half asleep. I would repeat over and over again that no one could know that we were Jewish,” says an excerpt from the memoir of Brenda Pluczenik-Schor from Krakow, who survived the Holocaust living under a false identity in Budapest along with her husband and daughters.

Auction Set for Nobel Prize Given to Late Jewish Physicist Who Was Saved From Nazis by Kindertransport
A Nobel Prize medal in chemistry won in 1998 by late Jewish physicist Walter Kohn, who was among the roughly 10,000 children saved from Nazi-occupied territories during World War II by the Kindertransport, will be auctioned next week.

The Nobel Prize medal is made of 18kt gold and plated in 24kt gold, and bears a plaque engraved with Kohn’s name and 1998 in Roman numerals. Also written is an abbreviation for The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which is responsible for selecting the laureates in economic sciences.

The Los Angeles-based Nate D. Sanders Auctions said bidding on the Nobel Prize begins at $275,000. The auction will take place on Jan. 27, which is also International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Born in 1923 in Vienna, Austria, Kohn and his older sister was taken to the United Kingdom in 1938 through the Kindertransport. The children were placed in homes throughout Britain, and Kohn was ultimately put in a home in Canada. He and his sister survived, but their parents died in the Holocaust.

Kohn later studied applied mathematics at the University of Toronto and eventually earned a PhD from Harvard in physics. He became a a research professor of physics at UC Santa Barbara and was the founding director of the campus’s Institute for Theoretical Physics. He also taught at the University of California San Diego from 1960-1979. He died in 2016 at the age of 93.
TV, films to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day
The Passenger, a 1963 film by Andrzej Munk that will be shown in a screening sponsored by the Polish Institute in Israel, tells the story of a former concentration camp guard who meets a camp inmate she remembers, while aboard a ship following the war. This was one of the first movies to dramatize the horrors of the death camps.

The Collini Case, directed by Marco Kreuzpaintner, was released in 2021 and it is about a seemingly inexplicable murder in modern-day Germany. A prosecutor investigates and learns it was motivated by a Nazi-killing during World War II. It was adapted from Ferdinand von Shirach’s bestselling novel, which led to a discussion in Germany about the light sentences many Nazis received after the war.

One of the documentaries in this program is about 88-year-old Holocaust survivor Shraga Milstein, who tells his story.

Bobby Lax’s documentary, Back in Berlin, is about how, after his father passes away in Britain, he discovers a suitcase filled with documents that reveal the story of his family and how they were killed in the Holocaust. With a childhood friend who also has a painful story connected to the Holocaust in his past, he travels to Berlin to investigate the truth about his family.

Back in Berlin will also be shown at the Jerusalem Cinematheque ( on January 26. On January 23, the Jerusalem Cinematheque will present Shoshi Ben-Hemo’s documentary, Recognition, about Jews who rescued Jews during the Holocaust, which will be followed by a discussion featuring academics and other experts.

On January 27, Edward Zwick’s Defiance, a feature film that tells the story of the Bielski brothers, who built a community in the Belarusian forest to shelter Jews and fought with the resistance, will be shown at the cinematheque. The rousing film stars Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber and Jamie Bell.

Ludi Boeken’s new film, The Last Picture Show in Bucharest, about a Romanian-born deserter from the Israeli army who returns to Bucharest to take revenge on those who murdered his family during World War II, was set to open on January 27, but its release was postponed due to the pandemic. It should be hitting theaters soon once this wave subsides.
Israeli Spacetech Startup Asterra Is Looking to the Stars for Answers
Israeli spacetech startup, Asterra, has a complex mission ahead: convincing the big leagues that its technology can be used to not only detect water leaks from space using complicated machinery onboard international satellites otherwise known as synthetic aperture radar (SAR), but how to use that data from space to predict the next natural disaster.

The company specializes in infrared-sensing resiliency technology for certain utilities — such as highways, roads, or mining — to help them better understand what areas they need to fix or focus their efforts. Many take for granted that simply turning on a faucet will yield a stream of water, but the path that water travels is lengthy. Water companies are responsible for treating, buying, and collecting wastewater at their facilities, but suffer from one major issue: non-revenue water (NRW) that is lost due to leakage or left unprocessed.

“It could be between a 15-45 percent gap,” Asterra CEO Elly Perets told CTech in an interview, while in underdeveloped countries that number could rise to 60 percent. “We’re simply wasting water. There’s a resourcing shortage, and water really gets lost in that last mile as it travels to you,” he said.

This has a huge effect on carbon emissions as well, since water is directed by electricity. Aside from leaks, the cost of water rises too. Traditionally, identifying leaks was done by listening to pipes with acoustic equipment, but Asterra uses satellite imagery to see what’s going on underground. The company’s SAR operates on an L-band wavelength, which can penetrate the ground, and enable satellites to detect water leaks from space.

Hippocratic Israel; hypocritical world: Jewish state aid goes uncredited - opinion
The UN has slandered Israel with yet another report containing ugly charges of “ethnic cleansing,” “apartheid” and other fictitious atrocities against the Palestinians.

Meanwhile, in the real world, this is what was happening: Israeli doctors continued to treat thousands of Palestinians in Israeli hospitals and conduct world-class humanitarian medical work around the world.

It is sign of the hostile times that Israel gets almost no international credit for its manifold humanitarian medical activities, here or abroad.

Israeli hospitals regularly admit patients from countries across the Middle East – including Arab countries that have no diplomatic relations with Israel – and from the Palestinian-controlled areas. For example, no less than one-quarter of the patients in the Edmond & Lily Safra Children’s Hospital at the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer are Palestinian kids from Gaza with cancer or congenital heart ailments. Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem plays a similar role for West Bank Palestinians. The Save a Child’s Heart organization at the Sylvan Adams Children’s Hospital at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon also treats many Palestinian patients, as well as children with heart defects from across the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe.

Palestinians receive treatment in Israel even though the Palestinian Authority takes only very partial, occasional financial responsibility for them and the patients themselves can’t afford to pay. The Peres Center for Peace and the hospitals themselves often end up covering or absorbing the costs.

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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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