Tuesday, March 29, 2022

From Ian:

Five killed in Bnei Brak terrorist shooting
Five people were killed in a shooting spree in Bnei Brak on Tuesday evening.

The shooting was first reported around 8:00 p.m. on HaShnaim Street. One person was found killed in a car and two other people were killed on a sidewalk nearby.

Another person was found dead on Herzl Street, perpendicular to HaShnaim Street. A fifth victim, a police officer, was evacuated to the Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus in critical condition and died from his wounds soon after.

The shooter's body was found on Jabotinsky Street after he was shot by a police officer who arrived at the scene on a motorcycle.

Another person was arrested at the scene and investigated on the scene on suspicion of assisting the shooter, and a third person was arrested later on further east on Jabotinsky Street.

The terrorist was a 27-years-old man affiliated with Fatah, from the village of Ya'bad in the northern West Bank. He was jailed for half a year in 2015 for illegal arms dealing and belonging to a terrorist group, and had worked illegally at a building site in Bnei Brak.
Roman Abramovich, Ukrainian negotiators poisoned in Kyiv talks - WSJ report
Russian-Israeli oligarch Roman Abramovich and three Ukrainian negotiators in the ceasefire talks were allegedly poisoned during a meeting in Kyiv in early March, Netherlands-based open-source intelligence group Bellingcat confirmed a Wall Street Journal report on Monday.

Abramovich and the three members of the Ukrainian delegation, led by chief negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak, reportedly suffered from symptoms of poisoning after the Kyiv meeting held some time in February, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, WSJ reporter Max Colchester reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Sources claimed they were poisoned by Russian hardliners who want to sabotage ceasefire negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv, the report stated. A source close to Abramovich, however, said that it was not clear who targeted the oligarch and the Ukrainian delegation.

The condition of the Russian-Israeli oligarch and the Ukrainian negotiating team has since improved and their lives are not in danger, though it was reported Abramovich lost his vision for several hours.

Experts who have looked into the poisoning incident claimed it was hard to determine whether a chemical or biological agent or some sort of electromagnetic radiation, was used, WSJ noted in its report.

In late February, The Jerusalem Post broke the news that Abramovich is attempting to assist in the talks between Russia and Ukraine at the request of Kyiv.

Tom Gross: The oligarchs can't overthrow Putin, the only real threat to his power may be from FSB hardliners

Tom Gross: The first part of this interview is here: Zelensky is no Havel or Mandela, but he is media savvy, whereas Putin is old school & doesn’t care

Ukraine’s most famous director ostracized for unflinching film on Babyn Yar pogrom
If you live in New York City and are attuned to the programming schedules of local arts cinemas, there is a man who is noticeably having a moment: 57-year-old Sergei Loznitsa.

The fact that Ukraine’s most celebrated film director has so many projects coming to theaters right now is only partially due to the circumstances in his home country. (The IFC Center near New York University, for example, is offering a mini-retrospective.) The other reason is that Loznitsa, who works in both documentary and narrative film, is incredibly prolific, and the ebb and flow of international distribution sometimes makes for a logjam.

The prestigious Museum of the Moving Image just hosted the New York debut of “Mr. Landsbergis,” a four-hour documentary about post-Soviet Lithuania, and his surrealist tragic-comedy about war and disinformation, “Donbass,” which won a directing award at Cannes in 2018, will finally make its way to New York theaters on April 8.

On April 1, however, Film Forum in Manhattan will present “Babi Yar. Context,” a documentary crafted from seldom-seen archival reels concerning a terrible chapter in Ukrainian history wherein close to 34,000 Jews were killed during the Holocaust in just a few days. (In early March, it was believed that Russian bombs damaged the contemporary memorial there, but this turned out not to be the case.)

No recordings were made of the actual killings at the Babyn Yar ravine (though still photos — in color — of the aftermath were taken), but Loznitsa’s film has that second word, “Context,” in its title. What he has sculpted, without voice-over and just a few title cards, is a fly-on-the-wall look at the social changes in Ukraine during the Nazi occupation.

From the first tanks rolling in through Lviv to Soviet infrastructure literally covering up the spot where so many Jews were executed, Loznitsa, adding sound to mostly silent footage, shows what happened — and some of it (e.g. a lot of Ukrainians seemingly eager to welcome the Nazi regime) isn’t exactly going over so well at home.

Which brings us to the next topical point. Last week Loznitsa, a six-time winner at the Ukrainian Academy Awards, was summarily dismissed from the Ukrainian Film Academy. Reasons cited include the accusation of being “too cosmopolitan.” Loznitsa, whose previous work includes “Maidan,” a celebration of Ukrainian independence in the face of corruption and Russian interference, commented in an open letter that the choice of words had an antisemitic aspect to it. (As far as I know, Loznitsa is not Jewish. I asked him directly, but he and his interpreter didn’t really respond, as you’ll read below.)

Edinburgh-Gaza twinning proposal withdrawn to allow ‘full consideration to legal matters’
A report into twinning Edinburgh with the city of Gaza has been withdrawn from the agenda of a council meeting in the Scottish city to allow “full consideration to legal matters,” it has emerged.

Edinburgh City Council’s Policy and Sustainability Committee was scheduled to discuss a report conducted into a petition calling for the twinning with Gaza on Tuesday morning.

Jewish News understands that the petitioner, anti-Zionist activist Pete Gregson, was informed in advance that the decision was taken to “give full consideration to legal matters raised since publication of the agenda”.

The council’s legal team are set to explore the legal implications of potentially twinning the city with a Hamas controlled territory.

Amongst those to raise objections to the twinning move had been the UK Lawyers For Israel group and the We Believe In Israel grassroots campaign organisation.

In a letter to Edinburgh Council, UKLFI had stressed that because Gaza City is “ruled by Hamas, which is proscribed in its entirety under the Terrorism Act 2000… it is very difficult to see how Councillors or Officers could participate in any twinning activity without committing criminal offences.”

We Believe In Israel director Luke Akehurst had also stated that “Gaza is controlled by the terrorist group Hamas, and this makes it very difficult for councils or civic society in the UK to meaningfully interact with the people of Gaza, without doing this through a filter of Hamas control and lending legitimacy to Hamas and the institutions it uses for its totalitarian rule over Gaza.”

Gregson is a former GMB Union shop steward who was expelled from the GMB in 2019 after claiming Israel was a “racist endeavour” that “exaggerates” the Nazis’ murder of six million Jews “for political ends”.
David Collier: Peter Gregson and his racist, abusive email
Today, Edinburgh Council withdrew discussion on twinning their city with Gaza – as they finally realised (thanks mainly to the great work of UK Lawyers for Israel), that there may be legal issues with twinning Edinburgh with a proscribed group of radical Islamic terrorists.

This is a related post about an email that was sent to me by Peter Gregson, the activist behind the Edinburgh / Gaza twinning campaign. A few days ago I published an article about Gregson and the Gaza petition. I detailed some of Gregson’s toxic history, and additionally pointed out numerous lies / distortions contained within the petition text. Later that evening, Gregson sent me a £1 donation, probably to acquire my email address. Sure enough, shortly after this, I received an email from him.

I have uploaded the email I received in full. I think it is important that people see and understand the unhinged level of anti-Jewish hate that fuels the anti-Israel movement in the UK. It is also important that others see the abuse that Jewish anti-racists receive. I must add that I forwarded this email to each of the councillors on the committee involved with this debate. I wanted them to know exactly what force lay behind the motion they were due to discuss.

The email in its entirety is an ahistorical, antisemitic, Holocaust-denying, abusive rant, and provides an important window into rabid antisemitic ‘anti-Zionism’. I highlight three key parts of the email here:

Peter Gregson – Holocaust Denial
This part of the email is simply obscene. Gregson denies a key part of the Holocaust – that the Nazis sought to eradicate the Jews – all Jews. Deny this, you deny the very essence of the Holocaust. This is what Gregson wrote:
Put aside the fact that Gregson is pushing Arthur Koestler’s Khazar myth – which denies Jews their history. I also do not want to focus on the ahistorical Bundist rewrite, which misunderstands Bundism entirely. Nor will I expand here on the lie that only after the Holocaust did the Jews make demands for a state. These are all points I can make another day.

I want to deal only with the Holocaust denial. In this email Gregson states that Hitler only killed Bundists. He goes on to say that the Bundists died and the Zionists lived. Which means – obscenely, in Gregson’s eyes a bad Jew is one who survived Hitler’s slaughter. The good Jews all died. Gregson is taking ownership of the Holocaust – and he – and the Palestinians become its living victims. I, as a Zionist am disconnected from the Holocaust – and become a ‘demon’ who profits from the suffering of others.

Ahistorical, abusive garbage, Holocaust denial and blatant antisemitism.
Fake News, Propaganda and Conspiracies with Prof. Richard Landes
Richard Landes is an American historian and author who specializes in medieval millennial thinking. Until 2015 he taught at Boston University, and then began working at Bar-Ilan University, Israel where his current interests include media manipulation by Palestinians and journalists around the world.

Landes coined the term Pallywood and made a documentary with the same name in 2005.

Emily Schrader: The UN throws women under the bus
The 21st Century has truly seen unprecedented progress for women’s rights, including in the Middle East. Reforms in places like Saudi Arabia are finally trending the right direction, yet there is much to be done to achieve equality in the Middle East and beyond. One example of where the advancement of women’s rights has gone backwards is Iran, where whatever rights and protections for women existed prior to the Islamic Revolution in 1979 have been completely stripped away. Today, Iran is one of the worst violators of the human rights of women in the world. Yet, in the United Nations, that apparently makes them qualified to lead on the issue of women’s rights.

Last week, the UN welcomed Iran as a member on the UN Commission on the Status of Women, where they were voted in by other states. The blind vote, which occurred several months ago, had to have included votes from several Western countries as well, a frankly appalling betrayal of the rights of Iranian women. The UN Commission is set up specifically to address the empowerment and advancement of women worldwide, so why is one of the worst abusers of women making decisions on this council?

In Iran, women are forced to wear hijab and have been imprisoned and tortured for removing it. They are forbidden from all manner of activities including attending football matches, banned from traveling without their husbands permission, banned from singing, dancing, smoking and more. Iran also permits child marriage as young as 13 years old. In the legal system in Iran, a woman is literally worth half that of a man. There is little to no recourse for sexual assault and rape with the victim herself often being blamed and horrific acts, such as honor-based violence, occur frequently.

On top of all this, Iran has a morality police, which routinely patrol the country and harass women who are dressed inappropriately in an often shocking and dehumanizing fashion. Similarly, women’s rights activists, such as lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, have been imprisoned and tortured for their activities.

Prior to the Islamic Revolution, Iranian women were permitted much more freedoms under the law despite it being early in the 20th century. However, in 1979, all these freedoms disappeared. While women remain the right to education and even comprises roughly half of the student governments at university, they are only 15.2% of the workforce today.
Alice Walker, author who has courted controversy about Israel and Jews, disinvited by Bay Area Book Festival
The Bay Area Book Festival has rescinded an invitation to author Alice Walker over incendiary statements she has made over the years about Jews and Israel.

Walker had been invited to interview writer Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, at Jeffers’ request, as the headlining event of the festival, which is scheduled to take place May 7-8. After festival organizers learned from those inside and outside the organization about Walker’s history of remarks widely criticized as antisemitic, they canceled her invitation on Thursday, prompting Jeffers to pull out of the festival, according to festival publicist Julia Drake.

“We were aware of the fact that Alice Walker had made some controversial statements in the past, but we weren’t aware of the extent of it,” Drake told J. in an interview. “One of the big missions of the festival is we won’t tolerate any hate speech or antisemitic statements, so we realized that this was not something that we could do.”

Walker’s image and bio were removed from the festival website on Friday afternoon. Drake said organizers are now searching for “another headlining event that is worthy of the festival.”

An acclaimed novelist and poet — she was the first Black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction, for “The Color Purple,” in 1983 — and human rights activist, Walker has been criticized by the ADL and other Jewish organizations for, among other things, comparing Israel to Nazi Germany and expressing support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. She has refused to authorize a Hebrew translation of “The Color Purple,” because, as she wrote in a letter to an Israeli publisher in 2012, “Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people, both inside Israel and also in the Occupied Territories.”
Jewish students say antisemitism isn't as rare as you might think
Evan, Lily and Hannah joined other families at Temple Kol Emeth in Marietta on a recent Monday evening for a program run by a non-profit called Stand with Us. It teaches students and their parents how to recognize and call out antisemitism on high school and college campuses. Adam Blue is the organization’s associate director of high school education. During a session for parents, he compares antisemitism to something everyone’s familiar with now: a virus.

“As we know, viruses mutate,” he says. When we look at antisemitism, what often is called the world’s oldest hatred, we’re looking at something that is not clearly defined. Antisemitism is not A, B and C. Antisemitism is used in every generation as a form of Jew-hatred in whatever way we need to apply it.”

In Cobb recently, antisemitism has been applied via social media. At Pope and Lassiter high schools, students posted pictures of swastikas and the words ‘Heil Hitler’ drawn on bathroom walls. The students who did it said it was part of a social media challenge. Lily says the pictures spread quickly.

“When I first saw the Snapchat stories, I was definitely a little thrown back,” she says. “I was like, ‘What do you mean? Like, is this real?’ It took a moment to realize that it actually had happened because I was sitting in my sixth-period class and it was down the hall from me.”

A few students were involved in the antisemitic posts. One of them, who we’re referring to as John, has been working with Temple Kol Emeth, where Lily, Hannah and Evan belong. John has participated in service projects and came before the congregation to answer questions one night, including: why?

“I don’t really have a valid reason for that,” John says.

John says he and a friend were drawing vulgar words on the wall as part of the social media challenge. The more provocative posts are the most popular ones. Things escalated, John says and soon he and his friend were drawing swastikas and the words, ‘Heil Hitler.’
Ohio lawmaker draws backlash after suggesting schools should teach the Holocaust ‘from the perspective of a German soldier’
A Jewish lawmaker in Ohio is deriding legislation to restrict race education in the state’s schools as the “draconian Holocaust censorship bill” after one of the bill’s Republican sponsors suggested that it is appropriate to teach about the Holocaust from the perspective of the Nazis.

State Rep. Sarah Fowler Arthur, who co-sponsored the bill, made the comments when explaining to a local news station why she believes that “divisive concepts” should be taught from multiple points of view.

“Maybe you’re going to listen to the perspective of someone from Poland when they were undergoing similar displacement, or when they were being incorporated into the war and to some of these camps. Or maybe you’re listening to it from the perspective of a Jewish person that has gone through the tragedies that took place,” she said, describing how a hypothetical lesson that complies with the law could unfold. “And maybe you’ll listen to it from the perspective of a German soldier.”

Fowler Arthur also mischaracterized how many Jews were murdered in the Holocaust and why they were murdered in her remarks, originally made to News 5 Cleveland in early March but not publicized by the station until Tuesday.

“What we do not want is for someone to come in and say, ‘Well, obviously the German government was right in saying that the Aryan race is superior to all other races, and therefore that they were acting rightly when they murdered hundreds of thousands of people for having a different color of skin,'” she said.

Fowler Arthur’s comments, which she said were informed by “some audiobooks on the Holocaust” she had been listening to, are the latest in a series of comments that have implicated Holocaust education in a wave of Republican-led legislation aimed at dictating how race is taught in public schools. An educator in Texas and an Indiana lawmaker have apologized in recent months after suggesting that teachers should remain “impartial” or offer multiple perspectives while teaching about the Holocaust.

Fowler Arthur quickly drew firm rebukes from Jewish leaders in Ohio as well as from Rep. Casey Weinstein, a Democrat who is one of two Jews in the state legislature, and from members of Fowler Arthur’s own party.
NUS elects President who tweeted antisemitic chant and said that Jeremy Corbyn should never have been suspended from Labour Party
A student politician who was forced to apologise for tweeting an Islamist chant threatening Jews has been elected President of the National Union of Students (NUS).

Last week, it was revealed that the then-hopeful NUS candidate Shaima Dallali was forced to apologise for tweeting the words of an antisemitic chant. In 2012, during an escalation of tensions between Israel and the antisemitic genocidal terrorist group Hamas, Ms Dallali tweeted the words “Khaybar Khaybar, ya yahud, Jaish Muhammad, sa yahud.”

Translated into English, this chant means “Jews, remember the battle of Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning.” It is a classic Arabic battle cry referencing the massacre and expulsion of the Jews of the town of Khaybar in northwestern Arabia, now Saudi Arabia, in the year 628 CE.

Ms Dallali issued a statement on 23rd March, saying: “Earlier today I was made aware of a tweet I posted ten years ago. During Israel’s assault on Gaza I referenced the battle of Khaybar in which Jewish and Muslim armies fought. I was wrong to see the Palestine conflict as one between Muslims and Jews. The reference made as a teenager was unacceptable and I sincerely and unreservedly apologise.”

Ms Dallali is currently the President of the City, University of London students’ union. Last year, prior to Ms Dallali’s tenure as President, the union organised a controversial campus-wide referendum on the International Definition of Antisemitism after reportedly failing to consult Jewish students.
House Legislation Targets Social Media Platforms That Allow Terrorist Accounts
A new piece of House legislation would mandate that social media platforms remove terrorist organizations and their supporters or face a $50,000 fine for every infraction.

The No Publicity for Terrorists Act, spearheaded by Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R., N.C.), is a bid by Republican lawmakers to crack down on the use of social media by terrorist sympathizers, groups, and countries known to promote extremist organizations.

Cawthorn, who wrote the bill with Rep. Bob Good (R., Va.), said social media companies have moved in recent years to ban big name conservative voices, most notably former president Donald Trump, but continue to give terrorists a platform to promote radical ideologies. The bill is aimed at holding these companies accountable for what Cawthorn described as their double standard in enforcing community guidelines.

"Big Tech is scared to death of a MAGA reemergence in America. They know they won’t win the argument on policy or politics, so they have moved to silence, deplatform, and ban prominent conservative voices, including President Donald Trump," Cawthorn told the Washington Free Beacon. "It shows their outrageous bias: They claim President Trump is a danger to public discourse, but allow terrorist organizations, hate groups, and dictators to remain on their platforms? My legislation holds them accountable for their assault on conservatives and exposes their outrageous double standard."

Major platforms from Twitter to Facebook have long faced scrutiny on Capitol Hill for allowing their social sites to be used by extremist groups that promote violence against the United States, Israel, and other American allies.

While companies such as Twitter have moved to ban accounts belonging to the Hamas and Hezbollah terror groups, both of which are designated by the U.S. government, there remain scores of accounts that promote violent rhetoric and advocate various regional terror groups. Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, for example, has an active account that routinely encourages violence against Israel and threatens U.S. interests in the Middle East. Facebook, too, has been embroiled in multiple scandals in which terrorist factions have used the platform to promote Jew hatred and violence.
BBC reporting on Hadera terror attack follows the usual template
Late on March 27th the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page published a report about a terror attack that had taken place several hours earlier under the headline “Israel attack: Two shot dead in Hadera”.

Some eight hours later the report was amended to include additional information and its headline was changed to “Israel attack: Two police officers shot dead in Hadera”.

Around three hours later – i.e some fourteen and a half hours after the attack had taken place – it was amended for a second time and the headline was changed to read “Israel: Two police killed by Israeli Arab gunmen in Hadera”.

Although the information was available by the time the second version of the report was published, the names of the two people killed in the attack – Corporal Yazan Falah from Kisra-Sumei and Corporal Shirel Abukarat from Netanya, both aged 19 – only appeared in its third version.

As was the case in a report on another terror attack several days earlier, neither in the headline nor in any versions of the report itself did the BBC clarify in its own words that what took place was a terror attack. In line with the selectively applied BBC editorial guidelines – “We should not use the term ‘terrorist’ without attribution” – the sole mention of the word terrorist in the report’s second version came in a quote from an Israeli official:

“”Our officers managed to neutralise the assailants and prevent a bigger terrorist attack,” national police spokesman Eli Levy told Israeli TV.”

In the third version the only mention of the word terrorist appeared in an embedded tweet from the US Secretary of State.
Whatever you do, don't mention Hamas
This big lie by omission about Palestinian terror and extremism is also increasingly the case with anti-Israel NGOs, such as Amnesty International, whose 280 page report accusing Israel of ‘apartheid’, CAMERA revealed, failed to include a single mention of any particular Palestinian terrorist attack – an omission that makes it impossible even fair-minded readers to understand Israel’s security fence or the state’s Gaza-related security measures.

What’s telling is that, increasingly, anti-Israel activists, and activist organisations, no longer feel the need to even performatively condemn Hamas and other terror groups – not so much as a brief moral throat clearing to stress that they, of course, oppose Palestinians who promote the kind of medieval and often annihilationist antisemitism that’s common with extremist groups and within popular Palestinian culture.

Any morally and intellectually serious observer of the region would know that there are countless articles, cartoons and videos aired or published at official PA media outlets – and speeches by government or religious leaders – depicting Jews qua Jews (not ‘just’ Israel) as an evil and malevolent force:

The reasons why Ukrainians have garnered the sympathy of most of the world is because, entirely unlike the Palestinians, their peaceful, democratic country was the victim of a completely unprovoked and brutal invasion by a tyrannical, expansionist regime that considers it an “artificial” state.

A modest proposal: If pro-Palestinian activists want Palestinians be seen as sympathetically as Ukrainians, perhaps they should encourage them to embrace their own moral agency, nurture values such as peace, tolerance, democracy and liberalism, whilst rejecting terror, extremism and antisemitism.
Lara Logan says Rothschilds paid Darwin to invent evolution theory
Fox Nation presenter Lara Logan suggested that Charles Darwin was paid by the Jewish Rothschild family to invent the theory of evolution during an episode of the right-wing podcast And We Know on Monday.

"Does anyone know who employed Darwin? Where does Darwinism come from?" Logan asked. "Look it up. The Rothschilds."

"I'm just saying Darwin was hired by someone to come up with a theory based on evidence," she added before saying that evolution is a chicken or egg debate and cannot be answered scientifically.

The Rothschilds were a prominent wealthy Jewish family who gained their wealth in the late 18th century. Due to its great wealth, the family has featured heavily in antisemitic conspiracy theories about Jews taking over the world based partly on stereotypes of Jews' relationship with money.

This is not the first time Logan has engaged in antisemitic conspiracy theories and comments. In November, she compared Dr. Anthony Fauci to the Nazi doctor Josef Mengele who conducted horrific experiments on Jews in the concentration camps during a segment on Fox News.

Following these comments, Logan's talent agency made the decision to stop working with her.

Over the following month, Logan boosted attacks on Holocaust remembrance groups that criticized her comments on social media.
Chief Prosecutor’s report shows “omnipresent” antisemitism in Berlin
The publication of the 2021 Antisemitism Report by the Berlin Attorney General’s Office has reportedly sparked concerns among authorities in the German capital.

The annual report, which has recorded rising antisemitism in recent years, states that there have been two main trends in antisemitic discourse over the last twelve months: coronavirus conspiracy theories and incidents apparently inspired by developments in the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Much of the rhetoric that has emerged from anti-vaccination conspiracy theorists has compared lockdowns to the Holocaust. These crude and inflammatory comparisons have included Berliners donning yellow stars bearing the word “Unvaccinated”, a comparison that has been made across the world, including in the United Kingdom, Canada, Ukraine and elsewhere.

Such symbolism is reminiscent of the kind of insignia Jews in Germany and occupied Europe were forced to wear by the Nazis. Those wearing such items in 2021 do so in order to compare the persecution of the Jewish people with protective measures sanctioned by the German federal government in order to deal with the pandemic. Anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination networks have become known as hotbeds of antisemitic conspiracy theories and tropes.

The report also contains a section on antisemitic incidents relating to Israel. It states that these kinds of incidents are inspired by the intensification of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, the antisemitic genocidal terrorist group. Protests and demonstrations against Israel resulted, it says, in “many anti-Jewish and anti-Israel incidents.” In response to the spike in antisemitic incidents, Germany banned the Hamas flag in June.

The report clearly shows a growing antisemitism problem in the German capital. In 2021, Berlin authorities dealt with up to 661 cases motivated by antisemitism, including “antisemitic animosities, insults, threats and physical attacks.” This marks an increase from 417 such incidents in 2020 and 386 in 2019. This follows a similar report put out by the Federal Association of Departments for Research and Information on Antisemitism (RIAS), a Berlin-based agency that reports and documents antisemitic incidents throughout Germany. The RIAS study revealed that there had been 522 antisemitic incidents registered in Berlin between January and June 2021 – a period that includes the elevated tensions between Israel and Hamas – marking a seventeen percent year-on-year increase, and the highest number of such incidents since 2018.
Austrian anti-vaccination protesters who wore Stars of David sentenced in court
Two Austrian men who publicised myths about coronavirus vaccinations by wearing Stars of David have reportedly been convicted of violating the Alpine republic’s strict anti-Nazi laws.

The two men, who have both refused to be vaccinated, had worn yellow felt stars bearing the word “Ungeimpft” (unvaccinated) at anti-vaccination demonstrations held in Vienna.

A court in Vienna heard that the defendants, known as “Mr K”, 50, and “Mr B”, 34, pled not guilty to infringing upon Austria’s 1947 Verbotsgesetz (Prohibition Act), which not only banned Nazi paramilitary organisations, but made it illegal to publish or broadcast denials or minimisation of the Holocaust. Austria’s Jewish community has recently argued that these laws should be extended to ban the utilisation of Holocaust-related imagery and slogans in order to push anti-vaccination conspiracy theories.

Much of the rhetoric that has emerged from anti-vaccination conspiracy theorists has compared lockdowns to the Holocaust. These crude and inflammatory comparisons have included protesters donning yellow stars bearing the word “Unvaccinated”, a comparison that has been made across the world, including in the United Kingdom, Canada, Ukraine and elsewhere.

Such symbolism is reminiscent of the kind of insignia that Jews in Germany and occupied Europe were forced to wear by the Nazis. Those wearing such items in 2021 do so in order to compare the persecution of the Jewish people with protective measures sanctioned by the German federal government in order to deal with the pandemic. Anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination networks have become known as hotbeds of antisemitic conspiracy theories and tropes.
18 reported bomb threats directed at US JCCs and synagogues in March
Since the beginning of March, there have been at least 18 reported bomb threats directed at Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) and synagogues in nine states, according to a report by the Secure Community Network (SCN). In a press release by the Jewish Security organization in the US, it said that it “is actively working with community leaders and law enforcement agencies to address a recent wave of bomb threats against Jewish facilities nationwide.” According to SCN, “this alarming number serves as a reminder that the Jewish community remains a top target for hate crimes in the United States and must continue to foster preparedness and resiliency.”

The New York Jewish Week reported this week that The JCC of Staten Island briefly evacuated its buildings Friday following a bomb threat. Communications Director Allison Cohen told The New York Jewish Week that the JCC received a threatening email, in what may be the latest in a spate of such false threats sent into JCCs and other Jewish institutions around the country.

As the official safety and security organization for the Jewish community in North America, SCN recently joined with JCC Association of North America to convene a meeting with more than 100 executive directors of JCCs, members of state and local law enforcement agencies, members of the national network of Jewish security professionals, and officials from the FBI and the US Department of Homeland Security. Participants discussed the magnitude of the threats, strategies and advice on effective response, and how best to protect the local communities affected by these incidents. FBI officials have emphasized that the investigations into these threats are active and remain a high priority for the agency.

“This significant wave of threats is yet another call to action for the Jewish community to be as prepared and protected as possible,” said SCN National Director and CEO Michael Masters. “Through our National Jewish Security Operations Command Center and the network of professional security directors working on behalf of the Jewish community, we are coordinating closely with community partners, local, state, and federal law enforcement – notably the FBI – to identify and stop the perpetrators of these threats. SCN and JCC Association will continue to work together to best ensure the safety and security of the Jewish community.”

Women fighters of the Jewish Holocaust resistance - book review
A new book with a tragic and fascinating perspective on the Holocaust has come to my attention. It is by Judy Batalion.and titled The Light of Days: Women Fighters of the Jewish Resistance, Their Untold Story. (London: Virago Press, 2021. New York: William Morrow/HarperCollins, 2020. xvi + 556 + 16 plates of black and white photographs. + 1 map).

This is a very well-written, powerful, important and sad book. It is about young women, usually between seventeen and thirty, who give themselves to the fight against the Nazi Holocaust with everything they have. These young women play more than the role of cooks, nursemaids or aides in the precarious shelters where Jews attempt to hide from the murderous bands that hunt them down and more than as couriers bringing messages between different groups of resisters and escapees.

They are often the organizers, the spies who work to manipulate the systematic cruelty in Poland, and who give encouragement and courage to those whose lives are being crushed. The name for these women is kashariyot, (literally "connectors" in Hebrew.)

When a kasharit arrived with news about families and politics, it was a sign that they hadn’t been forgotten, that life went on outside their confined tortures that not everyone was depressed. These women were lifelines, “human radios,” trusted contacts, supply dispatchers, and sources of inspiration. (p. 176)

Though many of these stories have already appeared, some in collections made near the end of the war and after the defeat of the Nazi regime, written in Yiddish or Polish or other East Europrsn languages, the author is able to develop the narratives and the characters into a moving text. The book also provides background to the persons, events and ideologies that are at work. Some of the scnes of horror are more vivid—and harrowing in their starkness— than in most autobiographies and professional histories and novels of the type, giving a sense of reality that is too often missed. But it is above all the moral, emotional and psychological struggles within the lives of the women themselves that’s its persuasive power rests. It was Batalion says, “A constant pageant of deception.”

Coming from many walks of life, religious and secular, wealthy and poor and sometimes already affiliated to Jewish and Zionist causes or until the beginning of the round-ups and killings indifferent to politics, these women have an almost instinctive commitment to fight the Nazis and to be active in helping others. Throughout the book their stories show them facing with grim determination the need to hide their emotions, play various role to achieve their goals—smuggling guns, assisting families escape, ferreting out secrets from soldiers and policemen—and never to let their guard down, cautious before trusting anyone, and keeping themselves alert in the most trying of circumstances.

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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 19 years and 40,000 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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