Thursday, February 17, 2022

02/17 Links Pt2: Propaganda Exposed: Review of 'The Massacre That Never Was'; How did social justice become antisemitic?; BLM-Linked Bail Fund To Free Louisville Activist Who Shot at Jewish Democrat

From Ian:

Seth Mandel: Propaganda Exposed
In April 1948, Deir Yassin was an Arab village of about a thousand residents. It was captured then by Jewish forces seeking to break the siege of Jerusalem during the war for Israel’s independence. Most of the fighting was done by the underground soldiers of the Irgun and Lehi, with assistance from the Haganah, the official fighting force of the Jewish establishment. A truck-mounted loudspeaker blaring a warning for residents to flee the village fell into a trench that had been dug by villagers. The result was a bloody house-to-house battle with a high death toll.

That much everyone agrees on. But how high was the death toll? How many of the Arabs killed were combatants? What were the circumstances under which they died? All that has been the subject of much dispute. Interestingly, the testimonies of the Jews and Arabs who were at Deir Yassin that day are consistent with each other. Meanwhile, a narrative was formed about Deir Yassin in the public imagination—one that portrays Jewish troops as rapists and child-murderers. That narrative was established by people far from the scene who were crafting post-battle propaganda. How to correct the record?

That was the task Eliezer Tauber, an influential Middle East historian and former dean at Bar-Ilan University, set for himself. It was simple but ambitious: He would comb through the eyewitness testimony in Hebrew and Arabic to identify every single fatality and how each person died. “I do not think the investigator will be able to reach his research goals,” was how one reader for the Israel Science Foundation responded to Tauber’s book proposal. But Tauber succeeded. The book that resulted, The Massacre That Never Was, came out in Israel in 2018. It is indisputably the authoritative account of the battle that began the morning of April 9, 1948.

American readers have had to wait four years for a translation from the Hebrew. Why? Well, one university press in America told Tauber that “we could sell well to the right-wing community here but we would end up with a terrible reputation,” as Shmuel Rosner reported in 2018. Koren Publishers admirably stepped into the breach and, by publishing The Massacre That Never Was, has not only done the historical record a genuine service but has also exposed the cowardice and pusillanimity of the publishing houses that refused to touch Tauber’s groundbreaking work for fear of offending the leftists and Arabists who dominate Middle Eastern studies in American universities.

The background to the Deir Yassin tragedy is this: Palestine’s Arab population declared war on the nascent Jewish state as soon as the United Nations approved its plan to partition Mandatory Palestine into two countries, one Jewish and one Arab, in November 1947.
How did social justice become antisemitic? - opinion
The far-left ideology of critical social justice that has permeated United States (US) academia is working its way into the US K-12 education and has infiltrated popular media outlets. That antisemitism, in the thinly-veiled form of anti-Zionism, goes hand-in-hand with this dogma is clear. However, the role of the late Columbia University professor Edward Said in making antisemitism an integral component of social justice is often overlooked and as a result, there are still many who mistakenly believe that they can separate critical social justice activism from its antisemitic component.

Examples of antisemitism in movements termed social justice abound. My organization, CAMERA, has documented the links between the leadership of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.

A recent study of college and university Diversity, Equity and Inclusion department staffers by the Heritage Foundation found many such individuals engaging in extreme hyperbolic and obsessive criticism of Israel on social media to a point which the Foundation concluded was antisemitic.

As well, researchers searched 741 Twitter accounts that they identified from Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) movement staff at 65 universities. Of tweets about Israel and the Palestinians, they found that 96% were critical of Israel, including false allegations of apartheid and colonialism.

My alma mater, Oberlin College, is a vanguard of the far-left that long ago embraced identity politics and critical social justice. There, antisemitic anti-Zionism has manifested as an exhibit displayed just before Passover that portrayed the ten plagues as Israeli actions against Palestinians, professors teaching material in classes that would be considered antisemitic under the widely-adopted International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition, and lauding antisemitic speakers like Eli Valley.

Edward Said’s writing has played a major role in bringing antisemitic anti-Zionism into critical social justice. In their book Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything About Race, Gender, and Identity – and Why This Harms Everybody, Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay demonstrate that critical race theory and the post-colonialism popularized in academia by Said have the same ideological ancestor in postmodern theory.

Moral relativism, an emphasis on identity and language, and distrust of empiricism were common to them. These once-arcane theories took root and gained broad support both in and out of academia over a period of several decades, even as they became more intertwined.
The Myth of ‘Jewish-White Privilege’
While in the Diaspora, there was nothing privileged about our denial of citizenship, university entrance, positions in government, or acceptance to professional schools. There was nothing privileged about our expulsion from Italy, England, Hungary, Switzerland, Austria, Bavaria, Portugal, Spain, Germany, and the Papal States.

Those who committed the pogroms of Russia, Poland, and other European countries did not see our whiteness as they shot, burned, and buried us alive beneath the landscape of their motherlands. Neither did the Nazi monsters and their all too willing accomplices, see our whiteness, while they unceremoniously carted us off to the death camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, and Majdanek.

Upon landing on the shores of the United States, our “whiteness” did not exempt us from restrictive quotas denying us entrance to Ivy League universities, jobs in corporate America, membership in “whites only” clubs, fraternities, and organizations. And a most callous decree, ironically occurred in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, when Jews were denied safe harbor in the United States during World War II.

Consequently, the term Jewish-white-privilege is offensive, because it conflates my ancestry, heritage, and religion with the very people and cultures who shunned, excluded, persecuted, expelled, and murdered my Jewish family. To antisemites, there was nothing privileged about me being “white” — no sanctuary, no escape, and no mercy.

Jewish-white-privilege is not a term of advantage, but a cruel catchy canard that obscures our history, and it is a painful trope that leads to divisiveness, thus denying us the comfort and acceptance as a member of the community of inclusiveness. We should strike that fictitious expression from the lexicon, because Jewish-white-privilege is a myth.

Peter Beinart Is Wrong: Israel Haters Should Not Be Synagogue Educators
The letter notes with approval the stated willingness of Westchester Reform to embrace "wrestling with Israel" as an educational principle, with the suggestion that Sander could help in this process. And yes, educating about Israel means wrestling with difficult issues, permitting open discussion and criticism, raising matters such as West Bank settlements and acknowledging Palestinian suffering.

But again, there are obvious red lines that should be maintained. A religious school is not a soap box or an open forum; it is an instrument for synagogues to expose young and impressionable children to the values of the Jewish tradition as their community understands them. And for virtually every synagogue in America, those values include strengthening the Jewish people and the Jewish state.

There are certain people who should never be teachers in a synagogue setting: Holocaust deniers, supporters of terrorism and purveyors of hate are obvious examples, and so are haters of Israel who oppose the Jewish state’s very existence.

How then to balance the need to promote loving and embracing Israel with the obligation to convey the truth about Israel’s shortcomings? In advising synagogue leaders and educators, I generally suggest that they set out for potential teachers the basic principles that guide their school’s approach to the subject of Israel.

And I tell them that in my view, those principles should be the ones that reflect the values of classical Zionism and the teachings of Reform Judaism in the last half century: A commitment to the Jewishness of Israel, to the democratic character of Israel, and to human and civil rights for all of Israel’s inhabitants.

These principles are true to the values of our texts and traditions, and they convey the message to our kids that we want them to be involved in Israel’s fate and implicated in its destiny. At the same time, they leave ample room for our children to be critics, and even harsh critics of Israel; to engage complexity on the difficult questions of Israeli-Palestinian relations and to avoid whitewashing.

An advocate of annexing territories, or of leaving Palestinians in a permanent state of subservience, would not be hired under these standards. And neither would Ms. Sander.

But she shouldn’t be.

Despite what her champions say in their letter, her vicious hostility to the Zionist enterprise disqualifies her. Most American Jews do not see in her opinions the pursuit of justice – for Jews and all peoples – in which she professes to be engaged. What they see is a hatred of Israel so ugly and profound that it offends, undermines and disfigures the shared moral culture of Torah, which ultimately is what our religious schools are meant to teach.
The lesson of Jan Karski for our world
The Heritage of Jan Karski, whose harrowing reports on what Germans were doing in Auschwitz were ignored by the world, is now a moral call to action in defence of human rights.

I attended Georgetown University from 2005-2009 where Professor Karski had previously taught for five decades. And yet I didn't know anything about him until years after I graduated. In fact, I walked by his statue for four years and never bothered to notice that elegant, haunted figure sitting on a bench beside a chessboard.

In 2014, Derek Goldman, my former professor and longtime collaborator, asked me to help him write a play to commemorate Karski's centennial to be performed at Georgetown (Karski died in 2000). We then watched his devastating testimony in Claude Lanzmann's documentary Shoah where he spoke about his wartime experiences for the first time in 35 years, and we read Karski’s memoir Story of a Secret State, as well as E. Thomas Wood's excellent biography Karski: How One Man Tried To Stop The Holocaust.

We quickly began to unpack the many failures Karski had internalized and represented, and we tried to adapt his powerful story of moral courage into a solo performance that we hope resonates today. Our book is an extension of that mission.

Jan Karski was a courier for the Polish Underground. His job was to collect information in Nazi-occupied Poland and carry messages from the Underground to the Polish government-in-exile in France, and, later, England. His skillset was ideal for such a job. He had a photographic memory, spoke many languages, and had a remarkable ability to survive.
Meir Y. Soloveichik: Don’t Trust Movies Named ‘Munich’
There is a reason, Roberts notes, that Churchill saw what his countrymen did not: “Churchill’s philo-Semitism, so rare on the Tory benches, was invaluable in allowing him to see sooner than anyone else the true nature of the Nazi regime.” This, Roberts writes, further highlights what set Churchill apart: “Despite being the son of a chancellor of the Exchequer and the grandson of a duke, he was a contrarian and an outsider. He even refused to subscribe to the clubland anti-Semitism that was a social glue for much of the Respectable Tendency, but instead was an active Zionist. The reason his contemporaries saw him as profoundly perverse is because he truly was.”

Jews therefore have a special stake in seeing that the depiction of Munich and its aftermath are true and correct. This does not mean that a statesman must always prefer war to the alternative; Churchill himself famously opined that “it is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war.” But one central lesson of Munich—the conference, not the movie—is that it is essential to recognize when evil exists, and it is precisely in this area that Chamberlain failed so profoundly. This year, we mark the 50th anniversary of another morally shameful moment in Munich: when, after the brutal murder of Israel’s athletes by terrorists, the Olympics went on as normal with the international community evincing little concern. We are therefore especially obligated by history to focus on, and celebrate, the heroes in history who understood the motivations of evil men when so few did.

Upon learning of Churchill’s death, Leo Strauss delivered an impromptu tribute during his University of Chicago seminar. While watching a film in which Churchill does not appear, and that valorizes the appeasers, I thought again of Strauss’s words: “We have no higher duty, and no more pressing duty, than to remind ourselves and our students, of political greatness, human greatness, of the peaks of human excellence. For we are supposed to train ourselves and others in seeing things as they are, and this means above all in seeing their greatness and their misery, their excellence and their vileness, their nobility and their triumphs, and therefore never to mistake mediocrity, however brilliant, for true greatness.”

This is why Munich: The Edge of War must be recognized as a work of moral and artistic mendacity and mediocrity.
Mark Regev: Why does Ireland hate Israel? - opinion
In the 1940s Yitzhak Shamir, who later became Israel’s seventh prime minister, was a leader of the underground Lehi (the Stern Group) and branded a terrorist by the British. Shamir, inspired by the armed insurrection after the First World War that led to the creation of the Irish Free State, famously chose the name Michael as his nom de guerre after the Irish Republic Army’s Michael Collins.

But it is not just Jews who felt affinity towards the Irish; the feeling was mutual. In March 1945 a writer for Dublin’s influential The Bell magazine wrote about events in Mandatory Palestine: “Never let it be forgotten that the Irish people… have experienced all that the Jewish people in Palestine are suffering from the trained ‘thugs’ ‘gunning tarzans’ and British ‘terrorists’ that the Mandatory power have imposed upon the country.”

In 1950, after Israel’s independence, Ireland’s minister for external affairs, Seán MacBride, wrote to his Israeli counterpart, Moshe Sharett, that “Ireland and Israel are both ancient nations and at the same time new states that have achieved freedom after a long and hard struggle.”

That same year, twentieth century Ireland’s preeminent republican figure, Eamon de Valera, then leader of the opposition, became one of the first international statesmen to visit the newborn Jewish state, dining in Jerusalem with Israeli prime minister David Ben-Gurion (at the home of President Herzog’s grandfather).

A cynic could argue that de Valera’s visit was designed to atone for past sins. Under his leadership Ireland remained neutral during the Second World War. Following Hitler’s May 1945 suicide, and after the Allied liberations of Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen in April that generated news stories worldwide about the Holocaust, de Valera nonetheless visited the German diplomatic mission in Dublin to offer condolences on the führer’s passing. Ireland’s neutrality did not oblige him to do so.

At the time of de Valera’s Jerusalem visit, Anglo-Israel relations still suffered from the harsh acrimony that characterized the end of the Mandate. Ben-Gurion worried about British military intervention against Israel on behalf of the Arabs, which had already occurred on a small-scale during Israel’s War Independence. De Valera was undoubtedly delighted to embrace a fellow victim of “perfidious Albion.”

Some see the roots of Ireland’s present-day anti-Israel antipathy in traditional Church antisemitism. Catholicism has been an integral part of Irish nationalist identity, and only in the 1960s did the Second Vatican Council formally absolve the Jews of culpability in the crucifixion and its accompanying theologian antisemitism.
Amnesty's Lies about Israel Insult Black South Africans Who Suffered under Real Apartheid
What disgrace for Amnesty International to slander the Middle East's only democracy and open society as racist. It is an insult not just to Israel, but to black South Africans who suffered under apartheid's brutal rule. Does it practice systematic official discrimination, treating people as second-class citizens or separating the population on the basis of their background or ethnicity? Absolutely not.

Black people in South Africa were not allowed to vote. Out of 400 million Arab citizens across the Middle East, the only ones who can choose their government in what we would recognize as free and fair elections are those in Israel. The governing coalition has both Jews and Arabs serving together.

The campaign to brand Israel an apartheid state is a barrier to peace because demonizing Israel, singling it out for criticism and holding it to standards never applied to other countries, drives people apart and makes dialogue and discussion more remote.

But the biggest insult of all is smearing as racist a state set up as a safe haven for victims of racism. A country founded to provide a refuge from centuries of anti-Semitism, a few years after the industrial slaughter of six million Jews, is being slandered.
Antisemitism With Chinese Characteristics
While Chinese media scholars are divided on whether nationalism is on the rise under Xi, multiple studies and news reports have documented rising rates of racism, chauvinism, populism, homophobia, xenophobia, and Islamophobia in the country. This is no accident: Xi has been personally involved in fostering “patriotic education” designed to imbue Chinese people with “cultural confidence” in their civilization’s “excellent traditional culture,” which is often contrasted with the insidious corruption and evil of various “others” that have put “China under threat.” To the average party official or state censor, even if Lu’s antisemitic content seems a little peculiar, his ideas are seamlessly couched in state-sanctioned nationalistic narratives that warn against foreign encirclement and influence. His calls for stronger government control to safeguard China’s “media sovereignty” from the Jews are likewise more welcome than not.

Furthermore, given the hypersensitivity of Chinese state media to internal criticism, as well as its consistent portrayal of Western countries and political systems as failing and inferior to China’s “matchless superior socialist system,” provocative content on outsiders and international affairs is always a safer bet than anything that touches domestic politics. Something as foreign and faraway as “the Jews” also ensures that there will be no demand for further knowledge or context from the average Chinese internet user, who does not bother with illegally sidestepping the Great Firewall.

Nor is Lu Kewen the only prominent antisemite in contemporary China. A list compiled by the author includes a large number of mainstream antisemitic influencers, celebrated academics, state-affiliated scholars, and renowned strategists with access to elite policy circles. In a recent study, communication scholars Yang Tian and Fang Kecheng from the Chinese University of Hong Kong show how many of these figures collaborate and coordinate content. This network of toxic nationalists—as well as deep-seated philosemitic stereotypes that paint Jews as educated, naturally smart, and good with money—overshadows the many Chinese journalists and academics who have tried to engage the general public on Judaism, Jews, and Israel in good faith.

Unless challenged by Chinese authorities, antisemitism in China is certain to grow. Bigots like Lu Kewen, who believe they speak for the entire population, are emboldened by the ability of Chinese policymakers to whitewash any trace of local racism. Israeli and Chinese officials should begin by acknowledging the existence of this problem, no matter how small it seems now, and utilize current and future platforms on Holocaust education and Jewish history to nip the poison of antisemitism in the bud.
BLM-Linked Bail Fund To Free Louisville Activist Who Shot at Jewish Democrat
A local bail fund linked to Black Lives Matter Louisville plans to post bond for Quintez Brown, the anti-police activist charged with the attempted murder of mayoral candidate Craig Greenberg.

On Monday, police charged Brown with attempted murder and four counts of wanton endangerment after he allegedly entered Greenberg's campaign office, pulled a gun, and began shooting. A district judge set Brown's bond at $100,000, which the Louisville Community Bail Fund plans to post. The group was cofounded by Black Lives Matter Louisville organizer Chanelle Helm and has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars freeing heinous criminals arrested for murder, rape, domestic violence, and other violent crimes.

According to police, Greenberg, who is Jewish, appears to have been targeted in the shooting. The mayoral hopeful's positions on public safety and policing are at odds with Brown. Greenberg, a Democrat, has centered his campaign around a plan to root out violent crime—which he called the "city's biggest challenge"—by hiring more police officers. Brown, meanwhile, wrote columns for the Louisville Courier Journal that accused law enforcement and other "institutions in society" of "work[ing] together to maintain the status quo of the spectacular Black death."

A Louisville Community Bail Fund member submitted the $100,000 cashier's check to release Brown late Wednesday afternoon, WHAS political reporter Rachel Droze revealed. The group's representative sported a "Free Angela" T-shirt in a reference to Angela Davis, the former Communist Party USA leader and avowed Marxist whose guns were used in a California terrorist attack carried out by the Black Panthers that killed four people.

In addition to posting Brown's bond, the Louisville Community Bail Fund group said it will provide "mental health resources" for the activist upon his release from prison. Brown's allies have called it "disgusting" and "irresponsible" to associate the activist's "connection to Black Lives Matter" with the shooting.

Mainstream journalists and Democratic Party leaders have long embraced Brown. He appeared on a 2018 MSNBC panel with Joy Reid to call for "common-sense gun reform" and participated in the Obama Foundation's "My Brother's Keeper" program, which recognized him as a "rising face."

Former Biden Campaign Staffer Tried To Blame Attempted Assassination On ‘Right Wing Rhetoric,’ But Suspect Is Left-Wing Activist
However, the man charged by Louisville police, Quintez Brown, is an anti-capitalist activist running for the Louisville Metro Council who supports “scientific socialism” according to his Twitter bio and has an extensive history of backing left-wing causes both on social media and in other venues.

Brown also declared his support for Che Guevara, a figure of the Cuban revolution who is considered a mass murderer, and Mao Tse-Tung, the founder of the People’s Republic of China in another tweet.

“Capitalism is the humanitarian disaster,” Brown posted in response to a tweet criticizing the re-opening of bars and restaurants for in-person dining.

He also had strongly advocated for gun control, notably on an appearance on MSNBC with Joy Reid and in an op-ed for the Louisville-Courier Journal that criticized the state’s shift to “constitutional carry.”

“They’ve put a price tag on your life and decided that the blood money they receive from the NRA is more valuable,” Brown wrote.

Brown pleaded not guilty to one charge of attempted murder and four counts of wanton endangerment, according to a report by the Louisville Courier-Journal. Bail was set at $100,000.

Chanelle Helm, a local Black Lives Matter leader who once said a voodoo doll of Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell should be stabbed “in the heart,” was working to raise money to secure Brown’s release on bail, according to a tweet by Andy Ngo, an editor-at-large with the Post-Millennial.

Jordan Peterson Rips Trudeau Over Swastika Taunt To Jewish Lawmaker: Never ‘Encountered Anyone More Self-Righteous’
Trudeau and Lantsman’s exchange came during a session of Parliament on Wednesday. As The Daily Wire reported:
Lantsman began her remarks quoting several lines from a speech Trudeau gave in 2015 celebrating his Liberal Party’s control of Parliament. “A positive, optimistic, hopeful vision of public life isn’t a naive dream; it can be a powerful force for change,” Trudeau said. “If Canadians are to trust their government, their government needs to trust Canadians.”

“Those are the words of the prime minister in 2015,” Lantsman said before contrasting Trudeau in 2015 with recent comments the prime minister has made about the protesters.

“‘These people – very often misogynistic, racist, women-haters, science deniers, the fringe.’ Same prime minister six years later as he fans the flames of an unjustified national emergency. So Mr. Speaker, when did the prime minister lose his way? When did it happen?” Lantsman asked.

Trudeau responded: “Mr. Speaker, Conservative Party members can stand with people who wave swastikas. They can stand with people who wave the Confederate flag. We will choose to stand with Canadians who deserve to be able to get to their jobs, to be able to get their lives back. These illegal protests need to stop and they will, Mr. Speaker.”

Lantsman later demanded an apology from the prime minister, posting to Twitter: “I think the Prime Minister should think long and hard about his own history before singling out a Jewish Member of Parliament and falsely accusing me of standing with a Swastika. What a disgraceful statement unbecoming of anyone in public office – he owes me an apology.”

Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act on Wednesday in an effort to break up the weeks-long demonstration by granting law enforcement increased powers to fine and imprison protesters and authorizing banks and other financial institutions to shut down accounts suspected of financing the protest.

‘Anti-racist’ Amnesty UK says it WILL NOT fire official who called Jews ‘shady’
An Amnesty International UK staff member currently employed as the organisation’s Racial Justice Lead labelled Jews as “shady people” in an incendiary Facebook conversation uncovered by Jewish News.

Ilyas Nagdee, a designated spokesperson for the global human rights group’s UK operation, made the racist remark after offering his thoughts on Orthodox Jews in Bury, Greater Manchester, during an online conversation with a friend.

Responding to an observation by a friend who had said they were “laughin at Jews” but who joked “the Jew might hit me with a walking stick” Nagdee replied:” True. There (sic) shady people.”

In a further remark, apparently directed at the dress code adopted by Chasidic Jews, Nadgee also wrote:””Hahahahaha bummmmmmmmm hats.”

Jewish News alerted Amnesty UK to Nagdee’s comments on Wednesday.

In a statement they later confirmed:”“We immediately looked into this matter as soon as we were made aware of it.

“As an anti-racist organisation, we oppose discrimination, racism and hate crime in all their forms, including against Jewish people or people perceived as Jewish.

“Ilyas has explained the circumstances of these comments made when he was 16 years old – he has clearly and unreservedly apologised and we now consider the matter closed.”

University of Maryland Faces Lawsuit for Firing Teacher for Pro-Israel Activity
The prominent American academic Melissa Landa is suing the University of Maryland for her alleged illegal termination and documented accusations of anti-Jewish discrimination by the academic institution that she experienced in connection with her religious background and her pro-Israel advocacy.

Landa told The Jerusalem Post on Monday that "In January 2016, from the time when I informed my associate chair about my efforts to combat antisemitism at my alma mater, Oberlin College, and continuing as I became an outspoken opponent of the BDS campaign against Israel, I experienced growing hostility and then overt religious discrimination toward me from my superiors. They marginalized me, excluded me, and denied me professional opportunities. Finally, after I complained about religious discrimination, they fired me. It was a traumatic experience.”

BDS is an abbreviation for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign targeting Israel.

The Post obtained a copy of Landa’s thirty-page lawsuit, which was filed on January 4, against the university. According to the lawsuit, “When Dr. Landa began expressing her Jewish identity and faith more fully and publicly, she was immediately subjected to disparate treatment and unequal terms and conditions of employment including, but not limited to, adverse employment actions for observing Jewish holidays, removal from teaching classes she had taught for almost a decade, denial of teaching assistance, new limitations on her participation within the Department, hostility, retaliation, and ultimately, termination.”

Landa taught at the university between 2007 until 2017 and worked at the university's Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership in the College of Education."
Amnesty's 'woke' racism, part 2 How Palestinians can promote peace So, what can Palestinians – and, especially, Palestinian leaders – do to contribute to peace and end the occupation? The sad fact is that this question is rarely even asked.

So, whilst the list below isn’t an exhaustive one, it represents a crucial paradigm by which to view, and judge commentary about, Palestinians and the choices they make.

These ideas also serve as a corrective to the historical amnesia which frames Israeli skepticism over Palestinian intentions – based on the trauma of the 2nd Intifada, frustration over the PA’s rejection of peace offers and the Palestinian culture of incitement – as Israeli intransigence, the society’s ‘move right’ or increased racism.

1. The Palestinian Authority can hold elections for the first time in 16 years.
2. Palestinians can advocate for such elections to be held.
3. The Palestinian Authority can begin the process of building transparent democratic institutions, and a healthy civil society, in preparation for statehood.
4. Palestinians can advocate for this process to begin.
5. The Palestinians Authority can cease promoting and incentivising terrorism.
6. Palestinians can advocate for the PA to cease such toxic propaganda.
7. The Palestinian Authority can cease promoting antisemitism.
8. Palestinians can reject antisemitism.
9. The Palestinian Authority can announce they’re open to peace talks with Israel without pre-conditions.
10. Palestinians can advocate for the PA to make such an announcement.
11. The Palestinian Authority can encourage co-existence projects with Israelis.
12. Palestinians can volunteer to participate in such projects.
13. Palestinians, of all stripes, can reject Hamas and all such groups which represent an immutable obstacle to peace.

There are of course many things Israelis, and Israel’s government, can do to promote peace. But, as the current discourse (particularly within the media and NGO world) already focuses almost entirely on what Israel should do, it’s important for those who see Palestinians as moral actors to incentivise them to make decisions most likely to lead to peace and an end to the occupation. BBC Radio 4 news report makes the PIJ disappear
Listeners are not informed that the demolition order was approved by the High Court of Justice or that the “Palestinian man” to whom that order related is Muhammad Jaradat of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organisation.

A Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror cell carried out the murder of Yehuda Dimentman – who is unnamed and described only as “a Jewish settler” in the BBC’s account – in December 2021.

The BBC News website belatedly reported that terror attack (while avoiding the word terror) on December 17th and produced a follow-up report two days later concerning the capture of suspects in which readers were informed that:
“The Israeli security service Shin Bet believes that at least two of the arrested men are members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group.”

Nevertheless, in this radio news report about a youth killed during a violent confrontation initiated by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad as Israeli security forces tried to carry out a demolition order on the house of a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad who was part of a PIJ cell that carried out a terror attack, the words Palestinian Islamic Jihad – and terror – are conspicuously absent.
Watchdog sees 90% rise in attacks against US Jews in January
The Combat Antisemitism Movement revealed in its latest monthly report that it monitored 19 physical attacks targeting Jews in January, which represents a 90% increase from the same time period last year.

In total, CAM tracked 158 antisemitic incidents reported in the media in January, marking a 9.2% decrease from January 2021's 174 incidents.

In January of this year, 58.2% (92 incidents) were associated with far-right motives, 13.9% (22 incidents) had far-left motives, and 13.3% (21 incidents) had motives tied to Islam. The remaining 14.6% (23 incidents) had "unidentifiable motives."

CAM noted that the month saw a 14.1% increase in far-right antisemitic incidents compared to 2021, while there was a decrease of 5.2%, 5.8% and 3.1% in the far-left, Islamist and unidentifiable cases, respectively. There were 45 antisemitic vandalisms recorded in January, an 8.2% decrease from the previous year.

On the positive side, it highlighted nine "adoptions and endorsements" of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)'s working definition of antisemitism took place in January, in Alabama, Nevada, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia, the town of Southampton in New York and Argentina's Santa Fe Province.

The watchdog group also monitored antisemitic incidents in the three months leading up to the Jan. 15 hostage terrorist attack at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas. In the three-month period ahead of the attack, the Jewish group tracked 34 incidents around the world that targeted synagogues and Jewish centers, and 65% of which took place in the United States.
Man convicted of sending antisemitic letters to Alan Sugar imprisoned for over three years
A man who was convicted of religiously-aggravated harassment after sending Alan Sugar a series of abusive and antisemitic letters was handed a jail sentence of three years and six months at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday.

Patrick Gomes, 70, sent three letters to one of Lord Sugar’s business premises in Loughton between October and December 2018, according to Essex Police.

Each letter was addressed to Lord Sugar and reportedly included abusive, threatening and offensive language that was also derogatory towards the Jewish faith. One of the letters read: “I would like to murder all Jews in Britain, Alan.”

Mr Gomes was arrested at his home in Leyton in March 2019, after his DNA and fingerprints were found on one of the letters. Police found additional discriminatory letters, and discovered that the address of the letters to Lord Sugar was in Mr Gomes’ address book.

Mr Gomes denied involvement but was found guilty of religiously-aggravated harassment, putting those targeted in fear of violence, on 1st December at Chelmsford Crown Court.

Lord Sugar, the former host of The Apprentice television show, was originally reluctant to refer the matter to the police, but thanks officers for “helping to shine a light on the fact that this type of behaviour is simply not acceptable.” Lord Sugar said that, following the incident, he is “now always looking over my shoulder.”

Mr Gomes has also been handed an indefinite restraining order not to contact Lord Sugar.
New Hampshire Man Arraigned over Antisemitic Threatening Calls to Synagogue
Aidan Kelley, 20, of Exeter was arraigned Friday in Newburyport District Court on a count of making annoying telephone calls/electronic messages. Newburyport police had also charged him with criminal harassment but a clerk magistrate at the court ruled there was not enough probable cause to sustain the charge and dropped it.

Kelley was released on personal recognizance and ordered not to contact Congregation Ahavas Achim and to stay away from the synagogue. He is due back in court April 1st for a pretrial hearing.

While local police say Kelley left three Israeli and antisemitic voicemail messages at the Washington Street synagogue last summer, Congregation Ahavas Achim leader Alex Matthews said Kelley left five messages between June and September.

"Leaving numerous, anonymous voicemails accusing all Jews of terrorism and murder is dangerous hate speech and needs to be condemned," Matthews wrote in an email sent Sunday to members of the synagogue. "This represents the continuation of a disturbing trend that has grown since the most recent conflict between Israelis and Palestinians this past spring, in which the line between political discourse about Israel and blatant antisemitic rhetoric is erased."

Also condemning the voice messages was the city's Human Right Commission, which offered a statement Tuesday afternoon.

"The Human Rights Commission was sad to hear about the recent anti-Semitic and hateful messages that were left on the CAA office voicemail," the commission wrote in an email. "However we were happy to hear that the Newburyport Police Department and other resources that CAA contacted were able to quickly identify the individual and help ensure the safety of the synagogue and its congregation. We continue to stand in support of our Jewish community and will continue to support CAA as we continue to stand against any kind of discrimination, bigotry, and hate in our community."
“Don't get off the bus F Jew,” serial offender says, as she blocks pregnant Jewish woman from alighting bus
An alleged serial offender told a pregnant Jewish woman “Don’t get off the bus F***** Jew,” as she prevented the victim from alighting the bus.

The incident took place on a 253 bus at 15:15 on 16th February and was reported by Stamford Hill Shomrim, the Jewish volunteer neighbourhood watch patrol.

The assailant was described as a black woman aged around 25 with a medium build and a ponytail. She was wearing a mustard colour jumper.

The victim has reportedly been left traumatised by the abuse.

If you have any more information, please contact the police on 101 or Stamford Hill Shomrim on 0300 999 0123, quoting reference number: CAD9609 16/02/22.

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis of Home Office statistics shows that an average of over three hate crimes are directed at Jews every single day in England and Wales, with Jews more than four times likelier to be targets of hate crimes than any other faith group.
'Just Jews, thank you': German dictionary updates definition after outcry Access to the comments
Germany's leading dictionary has changed its definition of the word "Jew" after a recent update sparked anger.

The country's Jewish community had reacted in anger after the Duden dictionary had added an explanation to its online edition of the term "jew" or "Jude" in German.

Duden had written that "occasionally, the term Jew is perceived as discriminatory because of the memory of the National Socialist use of language".

"In these cases, formulations such as Jewish people, Jewish fellow citizens or people of the Jewish faith are usually chosen," the dictionary added.

The reference led to an outcry from leading Jewish groups and individuals, who stressed that identifying themselves or being called Jews is not discriminatory.

The head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Joseph Schuster, said last week that for him the word “Jew” is neither a swear word nor discriminatory.

“Even if ‘Jew’ is used pejoratively in schoolyards or only hesitantly by some people, and the Duden editors are certainly well-meaning in pointing out this context, everything should be done to avoid solidifying the term as discriminatory,” Schuster said.

“Is it okay to say Jew? Yes," said Daniel Botmann, the executive director of the Central Council of Jews.

"Please don’t say ‘Jewish fellow citizens’ or ‘people of the Jewish faith’," he added on Twitter.

The publisher of Duden reacted to the criticism and updated its definition again Monday to reflect the Jewish community’s input.
Builders find 2,000-year-old Roman cemetery in Gaza
A 2,000-year-old Roman cemetery containing at least 20 ornately decorated graves has been uncovered near the shoreline in the northern Gaza Strip, with the antiquities ministry calling it the most important local discovery of the past decade.

Gaza is rich with antiquities having been an important trading spot for many civilizations, from as far back as the ancient Egyptians and the Philistines depicted in the Bible, through the Roman empire and the crusades.

Ruins discovered there include the remains of a siege by Alexander the Great as well as a Mongol invasion.

Twenty Roman graves have been located so far and the team expects to unearth 80 in total within the 50-square-meter cemetery. Only two graves have been opened, one contained skeletal remains and some clay jars.

Because of the shape of the graves and the relatively ornate decorations, they likely belonged to "senior ranking people" in the Roman empire during the first century, said Jamal Abu Rida, director-general of Gaza's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

Unlike Muslim graves from later periods that face north to south, the Roman graves lie east to west, he said.

"We have made several discoveries in the past, this is the most important archaeological discovery in the past 10 years," said Abu Rida.
New York City Mayor Hires Chassidic Senior Adviser in First Such Appointment
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has appointed Chassidic political activist Joel Eisdorfer to be his senior adviser.

Eisdorfer is the first Chassidic Jew to ever be appointed adviser to the mayor. The Borough Park resident is now the third Orthodox Jew on the new mayor’s senior staff, which includes Menashe Shapiro as deputy chief of staff and Fred Kreizman as commissioner of the mayor’s Community Affairs Unit.

“I am so proud to serve as senior adviser to Mayor Adams, helping to advise the mayor on Jewish affairs and small business recovery efforts,” said Eisdorfer. “[He] has said that he’s building a team that looks like the city it serves, and I am committed to working with him and the entire administration to get stuff done.”

Eisdorfer was previously a board member of the Borough Park Jewish Community Council. He also served on Brooklyn’s Community Board 12 for almost two decades; was a community liaison at the New York State Senate for over seven years; and was a member of Adams’s senior staff when the latter was Brooklyn borough president, reported Hamodia.

New York State Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein commented on the hiring of Eisdorfer, saying it “could not be more fitting, and is a strong display of his commitment to providing a safe and equitable city for all New Yorkers, including the broader Jewish community.”
Voight tours Samaria, calls it 'heart of the land of Israel'
Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight visited Jewish communities in the West Bank on Wednesday, asking why the region isn't called by its biblical name of Judea and Samaria.

"I don't understand why Judea and Samaria is called the West Bank, when it's clear that if you look at a map Samaria is at the heart of the land of Israel," the veteran movie star said, according to a statement from the Shomron Regional Council.

During the visit to Jewish settlements in Samaria, Voight was presented with a bottle of wine from the Har Bracha winery. Yossi Dagan, head of the regional council, gave Voight the bottle, saying that it is "a great honor to host an important actor like you and more importantly a friend of Israel." Voight, 83, won best actor at the 51st Academy Awards for his role in 1978's "Coming Home."

He is in Israel to shoot a new movie. Voight is a long-time supporter of the Jewish state and of the Chabad religious movement, making frequent appearances on the annual "To Life" Chabad telethon in Los Angeles. He is politically conservative in left-leaning Hollywood, backing former president Donald Trump during the 2016 election and in 2019 calling him "the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln."
The Holocaust Survivor Who Became a TikTok Star!