Tuesday, April 12, 2022

04/12 Links Pt2: As Palestinians Destroy Jewish Holy Sites, Media Focus On Fake ‘Attacks’ on Al-Aqsa Mosque; Entrance exam for engagement with Zionists

From Ian:

As Palestinians Destroy Jewish Holy Sites, Media Focus On Fake ‘Attacks’ on Al-Aqsa Mosque
Palestinian rioters this week twice damaged Joseph’s Tomb, a Jewish holy site under Palestinian Authority (PA) control. Seemingly in defiance of its commitments under international agreements, the PA has hinted that it will not cooperate with Israel to repair the damage.

The affair did not generate headlines in any of the major international publications, with the Associated Press only briefly mentioning the arson attack at the end of a piece about the death of a suspected Palestinian terrorist in the West Bank.

Why is it that when Palestinians charge the Jewish state with “desecrating” Muslim holy places, media uncritically echo these false claims, but when the PA administration in Ramallah consistently fails to protect Jewish sites under its control, reporters largely remain silent?

After Israeli forces on April 8 killed Palestinian gunman Raad Hazem following his Fatah-claimed attack in Tel Aviv that killed three Israelis and injured more than a dozen others, terror groups in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were quick to link the act of terror to the pervasive lie that the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City is somehow being threatened.

In a statement, Hamas described last Thursday night’s terrorism as a “natural and legitimate response” to what it called Israeli “crimes” against the Muslim holy site. Palestinian Islamic Jihad likewise invoked the decades-old “Al-Aqsa is in danger” libel and declared that the “Tel Aviv operation [sic] is a clear message to the occupation that it must stop its incursions into” the Muslim shrine.

For his part, the terrorist’s father, a retired Palestinian Authority security officer, on Friday called for the “liberation” of the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the “desecration of the occupiers” — this, as residents of Jenin gathered at his home to celebrate the deadly terror attack. Fathi Hazem added: “Make us among the victorious troops who are first to storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Allah.”

Israel Allows Freedom of Worship at Muslim Holy Site
Yet Israel’s commitment to freedom of worship in its capital for all religious groups — a guaranteed right since the Jewish state gained control over eastern Jerusalem in a defensive war in 1967 — was made stark on Friday when scores of Muslims attended Ramadan prayers at the Temple Mount.

Even though Palestinians chanted slogans in support of Hamas terrorism, Israeli police allowed some 80,000 people to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which sits atop Judaism’s holiest site.

As Israeli tour guide Daniel Rubenstein, who witnessed Thursday’s terror attack, wrote on Twitter, “Being a friend of the Palestinian people means telling them the truth: Al-Aqsa Mosque is safe. There is no danger. Anyone who dies for al-Aqsa is dying for a lie.”

“I call on every world leader, diplomat, NGO, and seeker of peace to amplify this message and help save lives,” he asserted.

Nevertheless, media have often uncritically promoted the thoroughly debunked “Al-Aqsa is in danger” libel. Over the past year, a sample of 18 leading US news organizations ran at least 58 articles citing Palestinian claims that Israel, among other accusations, “stormed,” “attacked,” or “desecrated” the Muslim holy site.

When thousands of Palestinians in May 2021 chanted violent slogans and rioted on the Temple Mount, some journalists described the subsequent police deployment aimed at maintaining order as a “raid” on Al-Aqsa, while blaming Israel for the subsequent Hamas rocket fire from Gaza.

Meanwhile, the actual desecration of Jewish heritage sites by Palestinians receives almost zero coverage.
Amb. Alan Baker: Yet Again: The Vandalizing and Desecration of Joseph’s Tomb
Legal Status and Obligations Relating to Joseph’s Tomb

The status of Joseph’s Tomb and the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority to protect it and those visiting it was agreed upon in the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement, which specifically lists the Tomb as a Jewish holy site in its fourth appendix, together with the Shalom Al Israel Synagogue in Jericho.

In the Protocol attached as Annex I to the Interim Agreement concerning “Redeployment and Security Arrangements,” Article V, paragraph 2 provides that “the protection of [Jewish holy sites], as well as of persons visiting them, will be under the responsibility of the Palestinian Police.”

This overall Palestinian responsibility is, according to the agreement, to be maintained and supervised by “Joint Mobile Units” composed of vehicles driven by Palestinian police and by Israeli security forces, whose task, according to the same article, is to provide rapid response in the event of incidents and emergency situations, and:
1. to ensure free, unimpeded, and secure access to the relevant Jewish holy site; and
2. to ensure the peaceful use of such site, to prevent any potential instances of disorder and to respond to any incident.6

The agreement also provides, in subparagraph (c) of Article V (2), that “Given their Jewish religious nature, plainclothes Israeli guards may be present inside such sites.”

It appears that since 2000, following the murder of the Israeli policeman Madhat Yussef on duty in Joseph’s Tomb, the provisions of the Interim Agreement regarding Joint Mobile Units and rapid response to incidents and emergency situations are not being implemented.

However, specific periodic visits to the Tomb are coordinated between the respective security authorities as part of the security cooperation between them, with a view to ensuring safety and prevention of violent incidents.

Given the acute sensitivity attributed by both Palestinians and Israelis to all religious sites, and in light of the unique religious significance of the current period during which the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the Jewish festival of Passover, and the Christian festival of Easter all occur together, it is all the more incumbent upon the Palestinian leadership to fulfill their responsibilities as agreed in the Oslo Accords, to prevent such vandalizing and desecration of a Jewish or any holy site under their authority.

The repeated assaults on religious sites which the PA is supposed to prevent strongly suggests that the responsibility for protecting them must remain with Israel and not be turned over to a Palestinian governmental body which cannot be relied upon, as has been proven on repeated occasions.
Yisrael Medad: Entrance exam for engagement with Zionists
I think that there needs to be a minimal level of knowledge of historical facts before serious intellectual intercourse can be conducted on Twitter or other digital platforms, including the “Comments” sections at student newspapers, news websites and other type-in-your-rant-and-insult locations.

To further that goal, I list below a few typical questions that should be asked of the participants who wish to engage in dialogue on topics of the current Arab conflict with Israel, the history of Zionism, the history of the Middle East and other issues, like Jewish world domination that occasionally creep (literally) into the exchange of opinions.

1. The name Palestine is the country in which Jesus was born. True or false?
2. Is Nablus an Arab name of a city in Palestine or a pronunciation corruption of the Latin Neapolis?
3. In 1919-20, Arab residents of the area soon to become the territory of the reconstituted Jewish national home referred to themselves as Southern Syrians and demanded they not be separated from Greater Syria. True or false?
4. In Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s 1923 article “The Iron Wall,” that was built of stone, iron or is just a figure of speech?
5. In the Koran 17:1, the Prophet Muhammed was taken “to al-Masjid al- Aqsa,” the Furthest Mosque. As Muhammed died in 632 C.E., and Al-Aqsa was built later, is this a contradiction?
6. If pre-state immigration to Mandate Palestine included Jews from Yemen, Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Lebanon, Tunisia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Algeria, Sudan and Iran, why would Zionism be considered a “European movement”?
7. Avraham Shlomo Zalman Tzoref was stabbed by an Arab in Jerusalem in 1851 for repurchasing the Hurva Synagogue property and died. A) Was he Zionist? B) Was he an Arab terrorist?
8. During World War II, the leader of the Arabs of Mandate Palestine, the Mufti Amin al-Husseini, lived in Berlin and regularly broadcast pro-Nazi content, including references to a “worldwide Jewish conspiracy” that controlled the British and U.S. governments, and sponsored Soviet communism; and that “world Jewry” aimed to infiltrate and subjugate Palestine. Was the Mufti a Nazi, a Nazi collaborator or just an anti-Zionist?
9. Does the term “East Jerusalem” only refer to neighborhoods of Jerusalem to the east of a “West Jerusalem” or also to the south and north?
10. Abdullah I bin Al-Hussein was born in Mecca, the Hejaz, in 1881. When he arrived in the territory of Transjordan at Ma’an on Nov. 21, 1920, did he become a Transjordanian, a Jordanian or a Palestinian? Or did he remain a Hejazi?
11. UNRWA (the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) defines a refugee from Palestine as one who lived there from June 1, 1946, to May 15, 1948. Do you think just two years is too short or too long a period of residence in the country to qualify?
12. The message of the chanted slogan “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free!” means: a) Palestine’s geographical boundaries are the Jordan River and the Persian Gulf? b) a final acceptance of the 1947 Partition Plan? c) Israel ceases to exist?
13. Does the 1949 Geneva Convention, Article 49, actually define “settlement activity” as “illegal” or does it read: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”?
14. The text of the January 1919 Faisal-Weizmann Agreement reads in Article 1: “The Arab State and Palestine.” If there is an “Arab State,” is that “Palestine” a) another Arab state? b) a Jewish Zionist state? c) a Hejazi colony?
15. In 1964, when the Palestine Liberation Organization was founded, three years prior to the Six-Day War, what “Palestine” were they liberating: a) Jordan? b) the West Bank and Gaza? c) Israel?
16. Disregarding your answer to the previous question, why was an Arab Palestine not established between the years 1948 and 1967?

Bennett: It's Judea and Samaria, not the West Bank
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett pushed back on Monday night against those who claimed his English use of the phrase “West Bank” is part of a larger ideological shift from the Right to the Left.

“The correct phrase is definitively Judea and Samaria,” he told Channel 13, in one of a series of interviews Bennett has given to defend his record and that of his government, amid speculation that the country might be heading to a new election.

Bennett’s decision to use the phrase “West Bank” during a joint news conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Jerusalem has been harshly criticized by the Right, including the Likud, though party leader Benjamin Netanyahu also used the phrase West Bank when he was prime minister.

“This is not the first time that I have spoken of the West Bank with foreigners,” Bennett told Channel 13, adding that he had “spoken in English and not in Hebrew.”

There is a “double standard,” Bennett said.

To demonstrate that he was on the Right, Bennett said he has stood strong against the US in support of right-wing interests. He took credit for refusing to allow the US to reopen its consulate in Jerusalem, which had served as a de facto embassy for the Palestinian Authority until it was closed in 2019.

“I was the person who stood against US President [Joe] Biden when he said we are opening the consulate in Jerusalem,” he said. “I respectfully told the president that we cannot allow this, because Jerusalem is the capital of only one nation, and that is the nation of Israel.”
Bennett, Barlev visit as Tel Aviv bar hit in deadly terror attack reopens
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Internal Security Minister Omer Balev were among dozens of people who came to Tel Aviv’s Ilka bar as it reopened on Monday, just four nights after a terrorist opened fire on the site, killing 3 and wounding 13.

“I came here tonight to give strength to the bar’s owners and local residents. A really difficult event happened here, people were murdered here, people were hurt here, good people,” Benett said as he spoke with bar patrons a little before midnight on Monday night.

“We will not let them, our enemies, stop our lives. We will not let them defeat us. We are returning to life and at the same time we are fighting in their places, in their bases, their resources, and we will, with God’s help, win,” Bennett said, telling people at the bar that he “loved them very, very much.”

During his time at the bar, the prime minister lit candles in memory of Tomer Morad, Eytam Magini and Barak Lufan who were shot and killed while sitting at the bar in the city’s central Dizengoff Street on Thursday night.

He also spoke with members of the crowd and the bar’s owners and sat for moment with a man who told him that he had been injured in the last attack on Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Street, which took place in 2016 about 200 meters (yards) down the road.

More than 100 people crammed into Ilka, with the crowd overflowing the bar’s normal sidewalk presence.
I can’t help but feel that antisemitism is just accepted, it’s not seen as being as bad as Islamophobia or homophobia or transphobia. Why not?
I'm not sure what the rules are in this country anymore. As I understand it you’re not allowed to state biological facts regarding a cervix, you can be in a grooming gang for years and avoid prosecution, you can be a terrorist but be allowed to walk the streets and preach hate and you have to take the knee even if you’ve never been racist in your life…

I suppose then that it should come as no shock that someone - a lady who has been accused of antisemitism and ‘attacking the Jewish community’ - is allowed to become the next President of the National Union of Students.

Shaima Dallali is a very interesting character. There's a video from 2018 at King’s College London. A group of protesters, of which Dallali was one, can be heard shouting ‘shame’ at Jews as they leave the event, attended by a former Israeli Prime Minister.

This shows a group of Jewish students having to walk a gauntlet of hate right in the heart of London. It’s stomach churning. It’s out and out racism, in my view.

If that was the EDL doing something similar outside a mosque, they’d be arrested, they’d be publicly vilified and absolutely hounded by the press. And rightly so.

But, according to reports, Dallali has form for this kind of stuff. Back in 2012 she tweeted about Muslims massacring Jews. She also referred to Muslim cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi as “the moral compass for the Muslim community at large".

He has referred to throwing gay people off buildings or setting them on fire and said that the Holocaust was Allah’s way of punishing Jews for their corruption.

Dallali was asked about whether or not she stood by these views….she declined to provide a comment. Interesting, I wonder what that implies?

She has reportedly raised money for CAGE, a campaign group that described notorious ISIS beheading merchant Jihadi John as ‘kind and gentle’…

So how can it be that someone like JK Rowling says women are women and that’s enough to have her ostracised from public life, a similar fate to that of Father Ted creator Graham Linehan but that this young lady is allowed to become President of the National Union of Students?

It doesn’t make sense.

I can’t help but feel that Antisemitism is just accepted, it’s not seen as being as bad as Islamophobia or homophobia or transphobia. Why not?

British MPs Call for Inquiry Into National Union of Students Over Allegations of ‘Systemic’ Antisemitism
Officials in the United Kingdom are calling for an official inquiry into allegations that the National Union of Students (NUS) is fostering antisemitism.

The union, which represents over seven million university students in the UK, has in recent months made several decisions perceived by Jewish students as intentional moves to make them feel excluded, including the recent election as president of Shaima Dallali, who has been accused of tweeting antisemitic comments. Another furor was sparked in March when the union invited the rapper known as Lowkey to perform at an official event — despite his recent claim that that the media had “weaponized” the Jewish heritage of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to skew its coverage of the ongoing war, alongside other past antisemitic remarks.

On Monday, Minister of State for Universities Michelle Donelan said she is “deeply concerned” by developments at NUS and is considering disaffiliating the organization from the national government “unless they take immediate steps to regain the confidence of Jewish students.”

“This is the second time in ten years the NUS has elected a President with a history of antisemitic works,” Donelon tweeted. “While many in the NUS are genuinely committed to equality, this speaks of an organization with deeper, systemic issues.”

Donelon’s remarks followed UK antisemitism advisor Lord Mann’s urging the government to respond to “escalating revelations about the continuing poor treatment of Jewish students and the lack of leadership on anti-Jewish racism from the union,” as reported by The Times. They also came on the same day that MP Robert Halfon wrote to the Charity Commission, a governmental body under which NUS is registered as a charity, asking it open an investigation of “systemic antisemitism” in the union that, he said, “can be traced back decades.”

“The NUS and its trustees past and present have consistently failed to protect Jewish students from discrimination and harassment, and indeed oftentimes been the cause of such discrimination and harassment,” Halfon wrote. “The culture that NUS has helped to create has permeated students’ unions around the country, impacting Jewish students on campus even more directly.”
NUS row: 20 ex-presidents sign letter expressing safety fears for Jewish students
More than 20 former leaders of the National Union of Students have signed a warning letter sent to president Larissa Kennedy and the organisation’s trustees expressing “serious concerns” about the “safety and treatment of Jewish” undergraduates.

The letter, which has been leaked to Jewish News, has gained the support of 22 former NUS presidents – including Labour cabinet ministers Jack Straw, Charles Clarke, the MP and former BICOM head Lorna Fitzsimons, current shadow health secretary Wes Streeting, and Sky News host Trevor Phillips.

The sternly worded warning – signed also by columnist David Aaronovitch and former Labour MPs Phil Woolas and Stephen Twigg – states:”We are writing to you privately as former Presidents with serious concerns about antisemitism, the safety and treatment of Jewish students at NUS events and within your democracy, and the way in which the NUS is responding to these concerns.”

The letter refers to the decision to invite the conspiracy theorist and rapper Lowkey to give “a keynote at NUS conference”. It also notes how NUS representatives failed to attend a recent session of the Education Select Committee Westminster, to face questions over antisemitism on campus.

It calls on the President and the trustees “to act urgently” and issue “a full and unreserved apology” to Jewish students and the Union of Jewish Students.

It then demands an independent investigation is launched “into antisemitism within the organisation.”

The signatories suggest it is “crucial” the NUS “rebuild relationships and trust with Jewish students.”

Smithsonian Magazine Promotes Anti-Israel Tour Group
Smithsonian magazine, a publication of the Smithsonian Institution, says that it “places a Smithsonian lens on the world, looking at the topics and subject matters researched, studied and exhibited by the Smithsonian Institution—science, history, art, popular culture and innovation—and chronicling them every day for our diverse readership.”

In 2020, the Smithsonian Institution reported that it would receive $1 billion in federal funding for fiscal year 2021, and that 62 percent of its funding came from federal government sources. 2022 appropriations are similar.

And yet, Smithsonian magazine is promoting trips led by a biased, anti-Israel organization, the goal of which is to promote anti-Israel activism in the US.

Zahra Billoo appears briefly in a video on the Eyewitness Palestine website

A March 17, 2022 article by Zeb Larson titled, “Tourism Gets a Refresh in the Hands of Activists Seeking to Decolonize the Industry,” promotes trips by a group called “Eyewitness Palestine.” The Eyewitness Palestine website prominently features a video that includes in text, “over the past 20 years, Eyewitness Palestine has taken 70 delegations to witness the injustices brought on by Israel’s settler colonialism and military occupation in occupied Palestine.” The video includes a former “delegate,” Lara Elborno, telling viewers,

You see apartheid, you see segregation in real time. You don’t need to open a book, and read about apartheid, you can go visit Palestine, it’s alive and well, apartheid and colonialism and ethnic cleansing and segregation are alive and well in occupied Palestine.

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.

Craig Corrie, the father of Rachel Corrie, says in the same video, “Eyewitness Palestine, what they do better than any group that we’ve been associated with, is train people to come back and make sure that they do something when they come back.” Eyewitness Palestine also proudly proclaims that its former participants helped lead the 2018 campaign in Durham, North Carolina, to ban police from cooperating with Israel. This campaign reportedly involved numerous false and demonizing statements about Israel. Trips run by this group are beyond educational; they are designed to incite anti-Israel hostility in the US.
How AFP Buries Palestinian Violence With Body Bags
To the contrary, AFP goes out of its way to conceal the essential asymmetry among the casualties: victims of Palestinian or Arab terror on one side versus Palestinians or Israeli Arabs who carried out terror and violence on the other.

For instance, AFP’s report today notes female casualties only when they are Palestinian. (To its credit, it acknowledged that one of the casualties stabbed a policeman. About the second Palestinian woman, who was unarmed, AFP said only she reportedly “failed to heed warning shots.” The news agency left out that she was approaching troops suspiciously, and not merely, for example, minding her own business as she carried out errands.)

AFP’s inconsistency on the coverage of female casualties is striking. While the agency did note the Palestinian female casualties (one an assailant, and another who was killed as she ran at troops), AFP did not note either of Israel’s female casualties who were murdered as they carried out their peaceful routines. They are Doris Yahbas, 49, who was out on a shopping trip when she was gunned down by an Israeli Arab terrorist outside the Beersheba mall March 22.

Laura Yitzhak, 43, was killed in that same attack. She was waiting for her husband at a gas station in the area where she worked by the mall.

While AFP does note that assailants were among the 15 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces, the news agency, which seems to be carefully collecting casualty figures, neglects to give any indication as to how many. As previously noted, all but one were engaged in violence against Israeli civilians, security forces protecting civilians during terror attacks, or security forces carrying out arrest raids targeting terror suspects.

Notably, AFP fails to give any information about the identity of the people killed on Israel’s side, calling them only “14 people.” It fails to point out the most salient information: all were innocent civilians targeted in terror attacks or security forces who died trying to halt those deadly attacks.

Instead, the news agency provides a false symmetry, concealing the glaring asymmetry which defines this latest round of violence, and each round before this one: Palestinian and Arab violence target Israelis engaged in life routines. Palestinian assailants die carrying out their murderous attacks, and also while clashing with troops carrying out operations to arrest terror suspects.
AP Amends Headline Which Erased Palestinian Firebomb Attack
The Associated Press was the latest major news agency to publish a headline obscuring Palestinian violence. Yesterday’s headline originally concealed a Palestinian firebombing attack, along with other violence, stating: “Israel troops kill Palestinian in West Bank, 4th in past day.” In particular, Mohammad Ali Ghneim, the Palestinian in question, was throwing a firebomb at an Israeli vehicle when troops killed him.

Thus, he was an assailant, not a victim, and yet AP’s headline inverted this basic fact.

In at least two out of the three other cases, the other Palestinian casualties were also assailants.

As Haaretz reported about one of the three: “The Palestinian, 17-year-old Muhammad Zkaarni, was shot and wounded after opening fire on soldiers, according to the Israeli army.”

Regarding one of the female casualties, “The Israeli army said one had stabbed and lightly wounded a policeman in the city of Hebron,” as the accompanying article reported.

The second female casualty is the only case out of the four which is not so clear: the woman approached troops suspiciously, ignored their calls to stop, and was later found to be unarmed.
London Review of Books plumbs new depths of Israel hatred
The London Review of Books (LRB) has long been notorious for publishing demonising rhetoric against Israel and, at times, Jews qua Jews. This record includes their decision, in 2006, to publish the ‘erudite’ antisemitism of Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer alleging the existence of a pro-Israel Jewish cabal in Washington controlling US foreign policy.

A report by the now defunct media monitoring organisation Just Journalism showed that “LRB consistently portrayed Israel as a bloodthirsty and genocidal regime out of all proportion to reality, while sympathetic portraits abounded of groups designated as terrorist organisations by the British government such as Hamas and Hezbollah”.

Mary Kay Wilmers, LRB’s editor from 1992 to 2021, once wrote that she was “unambiguously hostile to Israel because it’s a mendacious state”.

Most recently, LRB posted a blog piece (“The Safety of Others”, April 5th) by three Jewish, pro-BDS, anti-Zionist academics – Sara Roy, Eve Spangler and Elsa Auerbach – which not only argues that Israel has no right to exist, but that Zionism is in fact antisemitic.

They begin their argument that one Jewish state in the world is one too many by citing the fallacious accusations of ‘Israeli apartheid’ by NGOs like Amnesty International, as well as by Michael Lynk, the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories since 1967, whose report, CAMERA demonsrated, included antisemitic tropes and gross distortions of international law.
When BBC Radio Wales shoehorned Palestinians into Purim
Listeners who may have pondered quite how the Jewish holiday of Purim fits into the category of “thornier issues of the day” (along with the question of why presenter Roy Jenkins consistently mispronounced the name of that festival throughout the entire 28-minute programme) had only to wait until the section beginning 18:34 minutes in when Jenkins and one of his guests managed to shoehorn Palestinians into the discussion. [emphasis in bold added]

Dan Cohn-Sherbok: “It’s not just the story of Purim. We’re talking about Purim but it’s connected to other aspects of Jewish life and Jewish festivals. The festival of Hannuka is the same; it’s a story about threats and survival. And that’s really at the heart of Jewish life. We are aware as a people that we have been around for literally thousands of years; nearly three thousand years. At the time of the exodus, thousands and thousands of years ago, we were threatened with extinction. And we have always been threatened by extinction and yet here we are. We have survived. It runs in our blood and if you ask about the contemporary significance, it underlies the creation of the State of Israel. The State of Israel is a response to antisemitism. Jews who were Zionists at the end of the nineteenth century feared that without a country of our own we would never survive and that the solution to the problem of antisemitism was to have a country where we could be secure and we could defend ourselves. And no matter how secure we feel in other countries – and this is true everywhere – we are conscious of this potential threat. People hate us. It is the longest hatred of humanity: hating the Jews. And it runs in our blood. We are frightened and we need to defend ourselves and this story crystalises the idea that we can survive and that God is on our side and that we will survive into the future.”

Roy Jenkins: “Some people of course would look at the present State of Israel and say well actually they’ve gone back to some of their less pleasant roots and they certainly aren’t treating people in the way they should.”

Cohn-Sherbok: “Yes, certainly there is criticism of Israel. I think that the State of Israel was founded on the assumption that Jews needed to protect themselves. But the historical circumstances were such that the Palestinians suffered. The residents of what was Palestine – now Israel – have really suffered and many Jews are very sympathetic. I’m very sympathetic about the plight of Palestinians. I’ve written books about this and I’ve written a book with a Palestinian and we debated the issues. So there is within the Jewish world sympathy for those who suffer. We don’t want others to suffer as we’ve suffered. But it’s so problematic – the creation of the State of Israel – because it’s in the place it is. So I…I…you mustn’t think that Jews are not sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians. Many of us are. Many of us want to see a two-state solution. I want to see a two-state solution. I think it’s the only way. But it is very fraught. There’s such hatred, such enmity, on both sides: on the Jewish side and the Arab Palestinian side. It’s a problem that hasn’t been resolved.”

While this section of the programme clearly contributed little to audience understanding of the festival of Purim and its meaning for the tiny Welsh Jewish community, the producers chose to include it anyway. What listeners heard were trite talking points promoting a dumbed-down, one-sided narrative on a complex topic unrelated to the programme’s declared subject matter along with an unexplained reference to Israeli Jews and “their less pleasant roots” which surely requires explanation from Jenkins.

Canada set to ban Holocaust denial
It has been reported that Canada plans to criminalise Holocaust denial in a bid to deal with increasing antisemitism.

The Canadian government is said to be debating a law that would make it illegal to either publicly deny that the Holocaust took place at all or to justify it or trivialise details about it, including the number of Jews killed. The law will not, however, apply to what people say in private conversations.

According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust)” is an example of antisemitism.

Canada now follows a number of mainly European countries that have passed laws banning Holocaust denial including Austria in 1947 (amended 1992), Belgium in 1995, the Czech Republic in 2001, France in 1990, Germany in 1985, and Greece in 2014.

There is, however, no mention of the penalties to be faced by perpetrators of Holocaust denial, though one version of the bill proposes a two-year jail sentence.

Other countries have imposed harsh penalties on those who violated these laws, including well-known Holocaust deniers and revisionists like French presidential candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen (fined three times between 1987 – 2016), French Holocaust revisionist Robert Faurisson (fined €7,500 and given three months’ probation), and Ernst Zündel, Horst Mahler, and David Irving, who were all handed lengthy jail terms by German courts.

The bill is justified as Canadian MPs and anti-hate groups have expressed their concerns about rising antisemitism in the country.
‘Un-American’: NY Officials Excoriate ‘Antisemitic’ Speech by Local Resident to Board Meeting in Nassau County
Officials in Nassau County in New York State have expressed disgust over a speech by a local resident heard at a recent town meeting that they allege was littered with antisemitic tropes.

The resident, named Michelle Zangari, delivered an extraordinary speech to the Board of Trustees of the Village of Rockville Centre on Apr. 4 lambasting Orthodox Jewish residents in the area. Under the guise of urging trustees to prevent the construction of “new houses of worship in existing residential areas,” Zangari related a nightmarish tale of local Christian residents being driven out of their neighborhoods by Orthodox Jewish newcomers, resulting in declining standards in schools, soaring real estate prices and pressure upon local businesses to close down.

Zangari complained that a menorah “almost 8 feet high” had been erected outside a home in her neighborhood. While her neighbors believed the menorah was a leftover decoration from last Hanukkah, “I know all too well that this is not the case,” Zangari claimed — asserting that the house was now being turned into an informal synagogue so that its owners could avoid paying property taxes.

She then related her experience of growing up in the Five Towns on the south shore of Long Island as evidence for her view, asserting that during the 1980s, Orthodox Jews had moved into the area, causing a flight of long-established residents, “many of whom live in Rockville Centre now.”

“This is very emotional for anybody who lived through the transformation of the Five Towns,” Zangari said. She warned that Rockville Centre now faced a similar situation, with “rabbis and their families purchasing homes and creating small synagogues.”

Such practices had led to “soaring real estate values,” she said, alleging that residents of the Five Towns had been inundated with offers from Orthodox Jews wanting to buy their homes. “Many residents accepted these offers, and really, who could blame them?” she said. With the arrival of Jewish newcomers, “seats on the school board were won by Orthodox Jewish men,” she said. “The schools declined, they weren’t being used properly, they were used for transportation services to private schools.” In addition, she continued, “they” — an apparent reference to an unspecified group of Jewish residents — “went to the businesses asking them to close on Saturdays.”
Austrian Court Sentences Neo-Nazi Brothers Behind Infamous ‘Judas Watch’ Website to Lengthy Jail Terms
A court in Vienna has jailed two Austrian neo-Nazi brothers over a vehemently antisemitic website that was described by one prosecuting lawyer as “incitement to murder.”

One brother, named in the local press as “Benjamin H.”, was sentenced to a four-year jail term last Tuesday by the Vienna Regional Criminal Court under Austrian laws prohibiting the revival of national socialism. His website, titled “Judas Watch,” listed the names of 1,787 individuals and organizations, with Jewish individuals marked with a “Judenstern” — the “Jews’ Star” which the Nazi regime forced Jews to wear upon their outer clothing.

The court heard that Benjamin H.’s identity could not be detected because his website was hosted on a server in the US. However, investigators unmasked him through his brother Philip, a white supremacist rapper who uses the moniker “Mr. Bond” and is popular in neo-Nazi circles. One of Mr. Bond’s tracks was played on the livestream of the Oct. 9, 2019 attack on the synagogue in the German city of Halle during Yom Kippur services by Stephan Balliet, a neo-Nazi gunman who was sentenced to a life-term in jail in Dec. 2020. Another track plagiarized the Akon and Snoop Dogg hit “I wanna love you” by changing the lyrics to “I wanna gas you.”

Prosecutors said that Philip H., who was on trial alongside his brother, wrote lyrics that “teem with Nazi glorification and fantasies of violence against blacks, homosexuals and Jews.” He also translated into German the manifesto of the neo-Nazi gunman who murdered 49 Muslim worshipers and wounded dozens more in attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March 2019. As a result of these offenses, the court sentenced Philip H. to 10 years in prison.

Austrian police investigators discovered messages between the two brothers during a Jan. 21 search of Philip’s house that proved Benjamin was the editor of “Judas Watch,” a site that remained online for nearly four years between 2016 and 2020. Johannes Kerbl — a lawyer representing some of the individuals listed on “Judas Watch” — told the court that by marking Jews with a “Judenstern,” the site had engaged in “incitement to murder.”
Teenage Russian kart racer fired over apparent Nazi salute
A 15-year-old Russian karter has been sacked by his team and is being investigated by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) for making what appeared to be a Nazi salute after winning a race.

Artem Severiukhin, competing under an Italian license because the FIA has banned Russian competitors, struck his chest twice with his fist before extending his right arm on the winner’s podium in Portimao, Portugal.

He then burst out laughing.

It happened following Severiukhin’s win in the first round of the European Championship on Sunday.

The FIA said on Monday that “it has launched an immediate investigation into the unacceptable conduct of Mr Artem Severiukhin that occurred during the podium ceremony”.

Severiukhin’s Ward Racing team said they had fired him.
Columbian Singer Maluma Dedicates Tel Aviv Concert to Terror Victims After String of Attacks in Israel
Colombian singer Maluma dedicated his Sunday night concert in Tel Aviv to victims of “violence” and “war” after a series of terrorist attacks in Israel over the last three weeks.

“I don’t like to talk about politics. I don’t like to talk about aggression. Never. That’s not my thing. But, what I am sure of, is that love is the answer,” Maluma said in Spanish to the packed Menorah Mivtahim Arena, according to a video shared by the Creative Community for Peace nonprofit.

The “Hawái” singer then dedicated his next song to “the people who have lost their lives in the last few months because of war, suffering [and] violence,” and called the entire show a tribute to “all the people who are not with us today.”

Sunday night was Maluma’s third concert in Israel, and he told the crowd about his fondness for the Jewish state. “Of course, it always gives me great joy to come to Israel because first, women are beautiful. The women in Israel are the most beautiful that my eyes have seen,” he said. “Second, because of the energy. I love the energy in Israel.”

Screenwriter Damon Lindelof learns about his family’s Holocaust history
“Good morning! Happy morning!” Rabbi Avraham Wolff exclaimed, with a big smile, as he walked into the Chabad synagogue in Odesa on a recent morning.

Russian missiles had just struck an oil refinery in the Ukrainian city, turning the sky charcoal gray. Hundreds were lining up outside his synagogue hoping to receive a kilo of matzah each for their Passover dinner tables. The unleavened flatbread, imperative at the ritual meal known as a Seder, is now hard to find in war-torn Ukraine amid the war and a crippling food shortage.

But the rabbi wanted no challenge to get him down — be it the lack of matzah or that he was missing his wife and children who had fled the Black Sea port for Berlin days ago.

“I need to smile for my community,” Wolff said. “We need humor. We need hope.”

Tens of thousands of Ukrainian Jews have fled while about 80% remain in Ukraine, according to estimates from Chabad, one of the largest Hasidic Jewish organizations in the world. Inside and outside Ukraine, a nation steeped in Jewish history and heritage, people are preparing to celebrate Passover, which begins at sundown on April 15. It’s been a challenge, to say the least.

The holiday marks the liberation of Jewish people from slavery in ancient Egypt and their exodus under the leadership of Moses. The story is taking on special meaning for thousands of Jewish Ukrainian refugees who are living a dramatic story in real-time.

Chabad, which has deep roots and a wide network in Ukraine, and other groups such as the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and the Jewish Federations of North America, have mobilized to help Ukrainian Jews celebrate Passover wherever they have sought refuge. In Ukraine, Chabad plans 52 public Seders welcoming about 9,000 people.
A festival of freedom, Passover takes on new meaning for Jews fleeing Ukraine
Acclaimed screenwriter Damon Lindelof learns that several members of his family tree died in the Białystok ghetto during the Holocaust on Tuesday night’s episode of the celebrity genealogy show Finding Your Roots.

With help from the archives at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial and museum, the Finding Your Roots team found six pages of testimony detailing the fate of a branch of Lindelof’s family.

Lindelof, who created HBO’s 2019 Watchmen series and co-created Lost, reads from the show’s compiled pages about his family tree, repeating “circumstances of death: ghetto Białystok” after several relatives: his great-granduncle — the brother of his great-grandmother — and his wife and their four children.

Lindelof, who had a bar mitzvah and attended synagogue in his native Teaneck, New Jersey, acknowledges that he has visited Yad Vashem, which houses an archive of nearly five million Holocaust victims. But he didn’t know the names of his specific family members who died during the Holocaust.

“I assumed there must be some line of family, but I didn’t know their name,” he tells host Henry Louis Gates, Jr., getting emotional as he explains his reasoning. “I wouldn’t even know where to look before today.”

Lindelof described the discovery as “somewhat of an affirmation of survival in some strange way.”

Białystok was a northern Polish city where Nazis set up a Jewish ghetto in 1941, killing thousands of local Jews and deporting thousands of others to concentration camps.

Israel’s National Library Makes Rare Editions of Haggadah Available for Download Before Passover
In advance of the upcoming Passover holiday, the National Library of Israel is making some of the world’s most admired, rare, and valuable editions of the Haggadah available for download online.

The National Library, located in Jerusalem, holds over 15,000 copies of the Haggadah from various time periods and Jewish communities and denominations.

The Haggadot made available for download are diverse and often highly renowned.

One of them is the so-called “Rothschild Haggadah,” dating from the 1400s. It was created in Italy and illustrated by famed artist Yoel Ben Shimon. Owned by the Rothschild family for some time, it was stolen by Nazi forces during the Holocaust. While its whereabouts were unknown for decades, it was eventually returned to its rightful owners, who donated it to the National Library.

Another example is the “Prague Haggadah,” which dates from 1556 and is one of the earliest examples of a printed version of the text. Only two copies of it have survived.

Other versions include the 1738 “Amsterdam Haggadah,” famed for its illustrations; and a Haggadah in Yiddish translation dating from the 1700s.
ObituaryAndor Stern, recognized as the only Brazilian-born Holocaust survivor, dies at 94
Andor Stern, who is recognized by the Brazilian Holocaust Memorial as the only Brazilian-born Holocaust survivor, died in Sao Paulo on Thursday at 94.

Stern was born in Sao Paulo to Hungarian Jewish parents in 1928 but his family moved back to Hungary before the war. Stern was eventually imprisoned in six concentration camps, including Auschwitz, where he spent 13 months starting in 1944. His mother and grandparents were killed in the camp’s gas chambers.

“I saw my mother coming out of the chimney. I remember everything,” Stern said in an interview with Folha de S.Paulo newspaper. “I was out of the world until May 1, 1945, when we were released by the American soldiers. I was 17 and weighed 60 pounds.”

Stern returned to Brazil in 1948, got married and had five daughters.

In 2019, Stern celebrated his bar mitzvah 78 years late, at the age of 91. Full of symbolism, the ceremony was held at Sao Paulo’s oldest synagogue, Kehilat Israel, on the 81st anniversary of Kristallnacht, the 1938 Nazi pogrom in Germany and Austria that most mark as the beginning of the Holocaust.

He is survived by nine grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.

“Even after everything he went through, he continued his life inspiring everyone with his positive words and a lot of faith and optimism. He fought and did his best to perpetuate the memory of the Holocaust for future generations,” Rabbi Toive Weitman, the head of the Sao Paulo Holocaust memorial, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.



Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!