Friday, May 06, 2022

From Ian:

Jonathan Tobin: Can you imagine a world without Israel?
Diving into this counterfactual world in which the Jews of Israel somehow lost the ability to defend their state, it's not difficult to imagine what would ensure.

Contrary to those who predict that a binational state would bring peace and justice to the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, the Jews of Israel would be in the gravest possible danger without a Jewish government and an army to defend them. Some leftist Jews have made a fetish of powerlessness. But the lessons of 20 centuries of Jewish history prior to Israel's founding tell us exactly what happens when Jews allow their safety to depend on the kindness of strangers.

Left at the mercy of Palestinian terror organizations, in addition to Islamist and nationalist Arab and Muslims who have never stopped preaching revenge for their past defeats at the hands of the Zionists, the Jews in the land of Israel (approximately 7 million souls today) would be decimated and subjected to pogroms and discrimination. The descendants of Jews who had survived the Holocaust in Europe or had been driven out of their homes in Arab and Muslim lands would again be forced to again flee for their lives.

As Dara Horn wrote in her recent book, the world loves dead Jews. A new generation of Jewish victims – as if the 6 million dead of the Holocaust and the many others who have been killed, wounded or otherwise traumatized by anti-Semitic attacks and terrorism since the end of the Nazi regime were not enough – might be viewed sympathetically by the world. But if the Jews lose the ability to defend themselves, it's a stretch to think that even the friendliest of foreign powers would do it for them.

Nor would the suffering be confined to the Jews of Israel. If there is anything we should have learned from the last century of Jewish history, it is that the establishment of a Jewish state allowed every Jew in the world – whether or not they were Zionists, religious or in any way affiliated with the Jewish community – to stand up taller and be more respected by their neighbors. The collapse or destruction of Israel would have a devastating impact on the security of Jews elsewhere, leaving them more vulnerable than ever to a rising tide of anti-Semitic hate. Even those who are indifferent to or unaware of how much Israel has strengthened their position and pumped life into Jewish communities would soon understand that this would strip them of the pride and the security that a Jewish state had offered them. The end of Israel would set off a new dark age for world Jewry whose consequences are unimaginable to those who grew up in the last 74 years when Jews no longer thought of themselves primarily as victims or the objects of hate and scorn.

That is a nightmare scenario and one that will hopefully never come to pass. But we should keep it in mind whenever we encounter those who speak up for Israel's elimination or for a BDS movement that seeks that end. Those who preach the end of Israel may think they are supporting human rights, but a proper understanding of their goal would force us to see that what they are doing is advocating for mass murder and the dispossession of the largest Jewish community in the world. A world without Israel would be one of Jewish suffering and victimhood and anyone who seeks that objective – be they on the left or the right, non-Jewish or Jewish – should be labeled as a would-be accomplice to genocide.
Yisrael Medad: Did the Deir Yasin massacre actually happen? New book investigates
WE HAVE now The Massacre That Never Was, Prof. Eliezer Tauber’s book, which, incidentally, itself has a back story in that no academic press would agree to publish it, as, seemingly, it goes against the accepted narrative.

There are three main elements to the narrative of Deir Yasin as well as several minor ones.

The first is the term “massacre,” as the AP communiqué of April 11 termed the events, or as the Deir Yassin Remembered website has it, the villagers “had been systematically murdered.” Is it justified, and what was its role in the flight of Palestine’s Arabs?

The second is the downplaying of Deir Yasin’s own history within the context of the terrorist campaign of Palestine’s Arabs against their Jewish neighbors.

The third is the defamation campaign waged by the Mapai elite against the Revisionist dissidents, against the backdrop of their responsibility for massacres.

The reader will learn that, according to Tauber, there was no preplanned massacre. As for the numbers, while on April 10, the day after the battle, The New York Times reported: “In house-to-house fighting, the Jews killed more than 200 Arabs, half of them women and children,” Tauber actually lists each and every one of the 101 Arab fatalities. Furthermore, on page 207, Tauber concludes that “most of the [Arabs] killed in the village were killed during the battle and under battle conditions and not in a subsequent deliberate massacre.”

In other words, while noncombatants were indeed killed, according to his research, only a very few were purposely murdered outside the framework of actual combat. None of this justifies Israel’s fighters’ conduct during that period in instances when there were violations, like those of many other armed forces. And there were certainly differences in many parts of the war between the Hagana and the other forces. But Tauber’s research puts the incident in a new light, especially compared to some Palestinian conduct during the war, and it reveals how the Hagana may also have had an interest in allowing the Palestinians to frame its Jewish rival groups for worse violations than what actually occurred.

Tauber adds historical depth to the incident. Did Deir Yasin live in peace with its Jewish neighbors? Many did. Yet in March 1914, some made an assault on the Jews residing in nearby Givat Shaul, throwing stones at the Jews praying in the synagogue and beating them. Police intervention rescued them.

Bernard Wasserstein, in his The British in Palestine: The Mandatory Government and the Arab-Jewish Conflict 1917-1929, page 69, missing from Tauber’s bibliography, quotes British documents that the village served as a center of weapons trafficking during the violent 1920 riot. Indeed, throughout the Mandate period, Jews suffered from attacks of Deir Yasinites, especially during 1929 and the 1936-1939 wave of anti-Jewish terrorism.

On April 2, 1948, sniping from Deir Yasin was directed at the Jewish neighborhoods of Bet Hakerem and Yefeh Nof. According to reports by the Shai (Hagana Intelligence), fortifications were being constructed in the village, and a large number of arms were being stockpiled. Men of Deir Yasin took an active part in the battle for Castel, had dug trenches at the entry to the village, and many of the villagers were armed. As Tauber makes clear, the residents planned for a battle and, mistakenly, presumed the attacking Jewish force had planned for just a raid.
Ruthie Blum: Israeli ‘unity’ lies in Zionism
THE QUIP “two Jews, three opinions” is funny precisely because it’s true. In his Yom Hazikaron address at the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Tuesday, Bennett himself described the very infighting that has characterized Jewish history.

“[This] is the third time that there has been a sovereign Jewish state here in the land of Israel. The previous two times, we did not succeed at reaching the eighth decade in peace,” he said. “This is the most important lesson in our history, and I do not tire of repeating it. In the first instance, our first state, in the days of David and Solomon, survived 80 years as a united and sovereign kingdom. In its 81st year, because of internal conflicts, the country split in two, and we lost forever most of our people, the 10 tribes.”

He went on: “In the second instance, during the Second Temple period, the Hasmonean kingdom existed for about 77 years as a united and sovereign state. Towards the end of that period, there was again a severe internal conflict within us and it was the Jews themselves who invited the Romans inside Israel. We lost our independence and became a humiliated protectorate of the Romans. And we also lost this protectorate, at the end of the Second Temple. In the heat of purism and hostility, Jews burned each other’s food reserves, inflicting defeat on themselves. What a terrible price we paid: 2,000 years in exile, because we succumbed to hatred between brothers.”

Today, he added that “we have won a third chance; there will not be another [one]. We are now in the eighth decade of the state [that] we have not yet succeeded in as a united nation. We have been given an opportunity to correct the sin of our ancestral brotherly hatred and to get rid of the tendency toward sectarianism that destroyed our people.”

HE WAS right about the past. Yet his description of contemporary Israel as having “not yet succeeded as a united nation” was both inaccurate and inappropriate in the context of mourning the dead before celebrating the establishment of the modern state.

With all its warts, among them an electoral system that enabled Bennett to become premier with very few seats, Israel is a paradise of coexistence. Despite being pummeled physically by foes in and around its borders, relentlessly delegitimized abroad and under the threat of a nuclear Iran, it is miraculously vibrant.

It is simultaneously Western and Middle Eastern; provincial and cosmopolitan; religious and secular; conservative and progressive; entrepreneurial and old-fashioned; empathic and brash; exorbitantly expensive and a haven for tourists. Above all, it is a fantastic place to live, which is why even some of its heavy-duty detractors in the foreign press covet the Israel beat.

WE ISRAELIS deserve leaders who remind us of how great we are to have achieved such a feat, not warn us that we’re headed for implosion as a result of internecine strife. If anything needs emphasizing as Israel turns 74, it is patriotic Zionism, the core around which we actually can and should unite.


Progressively Sliding into Antisemitism
It takes understanding the history of the Jews as a People to dismantle the false narrative of anti-Zionism. We were always “Zionists” longing in our hearts to go back to Zion before the modern day term/movement was created. It’s no surprise the reggae tune “By the Rivers of Babylon ”gave me chills the first time I heard it.

The fact that Jews from every part of the globe, from Ethiopia to Iraq to Poland, are an indigenous People to the land of Israel, and managed to return after an exile of 2,000 years and more only makes sense when you know the history.

A lovely woman I chatted with about clothes and our puppies when I shopped at her store turned out to have strong assumptions about Zionism.

I was shopping for a trip to Israel. “You’re not going with a Zionist group are you?” Ok, so I explained; “Zionism means Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish country.” Her projectile yell, “No! It has to be worse than that!” was shocking.

Anti-Zionism is being normalized. Michelle would never imagine her anti-Zionism is antisemitism stemming from popular misinformation and a deep unexamined ambivalence towards Jews being a free People/Israel.

When Jews in progressive circles have to disavow Israel to fit in there is nothing “progressive” about the space. It doesn’t matter whether it’s on a college campus, jobsite or a social occasion. It’s just not progressive to single out the one progressive country in the MENA as evil.

Antisemitism is never a “limited” hate. When Jews are targeted it doesn’t matter if they are Zionists connected to Jews as a People, if they have brown, black or white skin, if they are Torah Jews or atheists, rich or poor.

Questioning the Jew’s right to exist is not new. Progressives embracing the “new” antisemitism as anti-Zionism have been infected with a very old sickness.
No Comment: Harvard President Won’t Condemn Anti-Semitic Incidents
Harvard president Lawrence Bacow during a closed-door faculty meeting on Tuesday declined to condemn a recent string of anti-Semitic incidents on campus but said he objects to "academic boycotts" of any foreign country, including the Jewish state.

Bacow said he "would hope that every member of our community would condemn hatred and bigotry on our campus in any form, whether or not it appears as a swastika or a noose," but did not say whether he included the recent events on campus in this category.

Bacow was responding to a faculty member, the government professor Eric Nelson, who asked him about the "eruption of anti-Semitism on our campus," including the Harvard Crimson‘s endorsement of the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a campus Palestinian Solidarity Committee demonstration that compared Israel to Nazi Germany and likened Zionism to racism and white supremacy, and a student group's invitation of a speaker who has repeatedly defended Holocaust denial.

While the Harvard president said he would "not comment on the Crimson editorial" because it does not represent the university's view, he condemned "academic boycotts," saying they "have absolutely no place at Harvard, regardless of who they target." He did not weigh in on other forms of economic divestment—such as cutting off the Harvard endowment's Israel-linked investments—which are also central to demands from anti-Semitic activists on campus. Nor did he comment on a student art installation that equated Zionism to racism, white supremacy, and "settler colonialism."

Bacow's response was notably subdued for a president who has made "antiracism" a centerpiece of his tenure. Last week, Bacow pledged $100 million in reparations to atone for Harvard's role in slavery after releasing an extensive report that found the university faculty and staff enslaved at least 70 people between the years 1636 and 1783.

Bacow also installed a commission to rename campus buildings that honor individuals who held racist or sexist views, and he has issued statements condemning a spam email attack that contained racist language, George Floyd's murder by a police officer, anti-Semitic vandalism at the Harvard Hillel last spring, and the Capitol riot on Jan. 6.
Harvard Faculty Group Denounces Crimson Newspaper BDS Endorsement
Harvard University faculty have issued a letter expressing “dismay” over the Harvard Crimson Editorial Board’s endorsement of the boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

Organized by the Academic Engagement Network (AEN), its signatories include psychology professor Steven Pinker, the law school’s Jessie Fried, and former university president Larry Summers.

“While we may not agree with every point in this statement, and there are many diverse perspectives among us on issues of Israeli policy, the boundaries of academic freedom, and the role of universities as political actors, we are united in our opposition to BDS and the Crimson stance,” the letter said. “BDS compromises educational goals by turning the complex and intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a caricature that singles out only one side for blame with a false binary of oppressor versus oppressed.”

The group is the latest to criticize the Harvard Crimson for writing last week that it supports the BDS movement, which rejects Zionism and seeks to isolate the Jewish state using academic, economic, cultural and political boycotts.

The Harvard faculty letter continued, “Zionism — the right of the Jewish people to a homeland and self-determination — is a millennia-old tradition, with deep roots in Jewish history and religious practice. It is also a more recent political response to the utter failure to produce freedom and safety for Jews living in most places in the world. To treat Zionism as an illegitimate and oppressive movement, as BDS does, is to ignore history and to deny empathy, respect, and dignity to Jews.”

The group also called on the Crimson to “repair the damage caused by writing such a divisive staff editorial” one day after Yom HaShoah, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day.
NGO Monitor: Swiss Funding Political Advocacy NGOs: Hypocrisy, Not Neutrality
Political Objectives and Swiss Government Secrecy
While the examination of government archives is an interesting and potentially worthwhile academic project, the aims of this grant are expressly political – as seen above. NGO Monitor is not aware of any other government project or funding that revolves around identifying sensitive material in the archives of another democracy, with the stated purpose of specifically targeting an religious/ethnic group in order to change foundational national narratives and to alter ideologies solely on one side of a conflict. As a matter of course, there is no Palestinian parallel to Akevot, and Switzerland is not supporting efforts to uncover evidence of atrocities committed against Jews in Palestinian and other Arab archives.

Ironically, while paying Akevot CHF 500,000 to force open highly selective Israeli government documents, the Swiss have been censoring details of its funding for Akevot. In response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) inquiry from a Swiss citizen, the government refused to provide essential aspects regarding the Akevot project, deeming it too sensitive to be released to the Israeli and Swiss public. This censored information includes specifics regarding Akevot’s activity budget and, more worryingly, details regarding NGO partnerships. In the FOI response, the Swiss government blacked out multiple paragraphs that describe how the Akevot project “aligns” with other NGO activity funded by Switzerland.

In the framework of Israeli democracy, citizens are entitled to pursue their private research and political agendas. However, the use of proxies by foreign governments in order to manipulate public opinion and impose their policies is entirely inconsistent with democratic practice.

If Swiss officials value transparency, they might begin by opening up their archives covering the 1940s.
Federal Government Hands $5 Million to Radical Islamic Charities in 2021
The Biden administration handed out over $5.1 million in grants and contracts to radical organizations during 2021, including over $1.5 million to a network under scrutiny from federal agencies for its ties to overseas terrorist organizations, the Middle East Forum (MEF) has uncovered.

Cross-checking over 5,000 organization names against the government's federal spending dataset, and excluding two million dollars of COVID funding released by the Small Business Administration (which was distributed blindly), MEF obtained and reviewed almost 1,700 grants to Islamic organizations around the world, worth a total of $240 million.

From 2007 to the present, almost $70 million of this funding ended up in the coffers of institutions MEF identified as Islamist-controlled.

Under the Biden administration, the most alarming grant is $50,000 from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to Helping Hand for Relief and Development (HHRD), the humanitarian aid arm of the Islamic Circle for North America (ICNA) and seemingly one of the most dangerous Islamist charities in the United States.

In 2017, HHRD openly partnered with the designated Pakistani terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which carried out the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks, in which 166 were murdered.

Another $1.5 million was handed out by three federal agencies to HHRD's sister organization, ICNA Relief.
Stealth Newspaper Campaign Exposes Jew Hatred at UCLA
In a stealth campaign to circumvent campus censors and reach students directly, the David Horowitz Freedom Center distributed over 4,000 newspapers containing its new report on the rising tide of Jew Hatred and its links to the Hamas-funded campus hate group Students for Justice in Palestine on the UCLA campus.

The newspapers were distributed across the university’s Westwood campus, with copies made available in classroom buildings, dining facilities, student centers, and in distribution boxes for the UCLA Daily Bruin, the university’s chief student-run publication.

Titled “Unearthing the Ivory Tower’s Hidden Scourge,” the Freedom Center’s report names the “Top Ten Jew-Hating Colleges and Universities” and documents the pervasive Jew hatred that is thriving on America’s college campuses. Colleges named in the report include UCLA, the University of Michigan, Rutgers University, and the University of Chicago, among others.

The report reveals that campus Jew hatred is most often fomented by the Hamas funded campus hate group Students for Justice in Palestine and supported and funded by a complex network of university resources, faculty, departments, and administrators.

A poster printed on the back page of each newspaper highlights the parallels between the Hamas-funded Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel and the Nazi movement to exterminate the Jews. The poster features images of Rep. Ilhan Omar and Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, accompanied by a notorious tweet from Omar stating “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”
The bottom half of the poster states, "The Hamas-funded Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel is a terrorist originated-and-funded plot to isolate and weaken the world’s only Jewish state. Support for BDS is fueled by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), the Hamas-linked student organization which is the leading promoter of BDS on American campuses. Hamas’s goal, as stated in its charter, is the genocide of the Jews and the destruction of the Jewish state. This goal and the aims of the BDS movement are one and the same." Text at the bottom of the poster labels BDS "A True and Deserving Successor to Hitler’s Nazi Party."

Authorities at UCLA have thus far not commented on the Freedom Center's stealth newspaper campaign, but recent coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the UCLA Daily Bruin proves just how sorely pro-Israel perspectives are needed on the Los Angeles campus.
JVP: Memorial days for Holocaust, soldiers, independence are 'harmful Zionist' propaganda
Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day, Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel’s Wars and Victims of Terrorism, and Independence Day were created to promote "harmful Zionist narratives" that Jews can only be protected through militarism, colonialism and apartheid, and to justify the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, anti-Zionist Jewish NGO Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) claimed on Thursday.

"Israeli leaders intentionally designed the sequence of these fabricated, secular holidays, timing them to fall just after Passover on the Jewish calendar," JVP wrote in a series of posts across its social media accounts as Israelis celebrated Independence Day, and posted a few hours before a deadly terrorist attack in Elad.

JVP argued that Israel uses Passover to create a narrative of Jewish history as having "recurring cycles of oppression and freedom," and that its proximity to state days of commemoration is to insert Israel into that narrative, starting with Holocaust Remembrance Day. Also called Yom Hashoah, was established on the day that the Warsaw Ghetto uprising occurred.

"Unlike other Holocaust days, Israel's 'Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day' celebrates Jews' justified armed resistance to Nazism and, disturbingly and wrongly, connects it to the inexcusable mass murder and expulsion of Palestinians by Zionist militias, i.e. the Nakba," wrote JVP.

Hen Mazzig, a Senior Fellow at the Tel Aviv Institute, said that JVP calling the stories of Holocaust survivors such as Lucy Lipiner "Zionist propaganda" is "dismissing her pain and suffering as well as the slaughtering of half of her family members. I would tell them to do better, but this organization is constantly doing the worst they can."

The commemoration of ghetto fighters and the placing of the Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel’s Wars and Victims of Terrorism after a day mourning the Holocaust is seen by the group to be a "contrived, sinister connection" promoting militarism.


Why is the BBC using the language of Hamas?
Over the past year, Hamas has made great efforts to portray itself as the sole protector of Jerusalem. Those efforts focus on Temple Mount because that site is the “glue” which can bring together Palestinian factions ranging from Islamists to Marxists, as well as the wider Arab world.

The rallying cry “al Aqsa is in danger” produced an 11-day war in May 2021 that was accompanied by violent rioting in some Israeli cities. Just last month it curated violence in Jerusalem which was the topic of international media coverage.

A significant aspect of Hamas’ efforts involves terminology. All Jews visiting Temple Mount are “settlers” who are “storming” the site, according to the Hamas lexicon. They have no religious or historical connection to the place, according to the Hamas narrative, because the Jewish temples supposedly never existed there and the entire site is in fact al Aqsa Mosque.

Hamas is of course not alone in its denial of Jewish history as a means of negating Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

In early November 2014, the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) published a “media advisory” document informing foreign journalists of its “concern over the use of the inaccurate term ‘Temple Mount’ to refer to Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem”.

Until that time, the BBC had largely followed the instructions in its own style guide: the site should be called Temple Mount, with audiences also being informed that it is known to Muslims as “Haram al-Sharif”.

Following the appearance of that PLO document, CAMERA UK began documenting changes in the wording used by the BBC. The term “al Aqsa Mosque compound” was employed with increasing frequency to describe the whole site. In some cases, the words “compound” or “complex” were dropped and BBC journalists referred to Temple Mount simply as “al Aqsa Mosque”.

The use of that terminology resulted in BBC audiences being misled on several occasions as they were told that al Aqsa Mosque was “sacred to Jews” or that it was “a holy site revered by both Muslims and Jews”.


BBC NEWS COVERAGE OF TERRORISM IN ISRAEL – APRIL 2022
The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks (Hebrew) during April 2022 shows that throughout the month a total of 268 incidents took place: 217 in Judea & Samaria, 42 in Jerusalem and inside the ‘green line’ and nine in the Gaza Strip sector.

In Judea & Samaria, Jerusalem and inside the ‘green line’ the agency recorded 187 attacks with petrol bombs, 35 attacks using pipe bombs, seventeen shooting attacks, eleven arson attacks and two stabbing attacks. In the Gaza Strip sector two shooting attacks, two incidents of anti-aircraft fire and five rocket attacks were recorded.

Four people were murdered and eleven wounded in attacks that took place during April.

The April 7th attack in Tel Aviv in which three people were murdered and six wounded was reported on the BBC News website.

A shooting attack in Ariel on April 29th in which one person was killed did not receive any coverage.
Audit: Antisemitic incidents rose 226% in Minnesota last year
Antisemitic incidents in Minnesota rose 226% last year compared to 2020, according to new data from the Anti-Defamation League.

The ADL's annual audit recorded 2,223 antisemitic incidents nationwide, marking the highest number of incidents ever recorded in the organization's history.

In Minnesota, 68 incidents of harassment and seven incidents of vandalism were recorded in 2021, representing a 226% increase compared to the 23 total incidents in 2020, and more than double the 37 total incidents in 2019.

Nationwide, acts of harassment targeting Jewish people with antisemitic conspiracy theories, slurs or stereotypes were up 43%, according to ADL. Antisemitic assaults increased 167%, and vandalism – which most commonly involved swastika graffiti – rose 14%.

The report also found antisemitic incidents surged in May during the military conflict between Israel and Hamas. Many of the incidents were tied to known extremist groups.

ADL's Midwest region summarized antisemitic incident trends in the Midwest:
Illinois – 15% increase from 2020 to 2021 (46 to 53), a 430% increase from 2016 (10 to 53)
Indiana – 6% decrease from 2020 to 2021 (17 to 16), a 266% increase from 2016 (6 to 16)
Minnesota – 226% increase from 2020 to 2021 (23 to 75), a 375% increase from 2016 (20 to 75)
North Dakota – 100% increase from 2020 to 2021 (0 to 1), equal to increase from incidents in 2016
South Dakota – 600% increase from 2020 to 2021 (1 to 7), a 700% increase from 2016 (0 to 7)
Wisconsin – 10% increase from 2020 to 2021 (21 to 23), a 5% increase from 2016 (22 to 23)
Judge Rules Houston Museum Can Keep Nazi-Looted Painting Owned by German-Jewish Art Collector
A federal judge ruled this week that the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) can maintain ownership of an 18th century painting, in a decision against a German Jewish family who said their grandfather was forced to sell the artwork to Adolf Hitler’s art dealer, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Max James Emden’s grandchildren argued in federal court that their family are the rightful owners of “The Marketplace at Pirna” by Bernardo Bellotto, because Emden — a department store magnate and art collector — sold the landscape painting under duress to Nazi art dealer Karl Haberstock in 1938. They believe the artwork should be returned to their family.

After World War II, the painting, which shows a busy marketplace in Germany, was mistakenly given by the Allies to the Dutch government. The artwork then came into the possession of an international art dealer Hugo Moser, who sold it to a foundation who gifted the piece to the MFAH in 1961.

US District Judge Keith P. Ellison ruled that under the Act of State doctrine, the US government cannot interfere with the actions of sovereign governments — in this instance, the error in the painting’s return that led to the artwork being obtained by the museum. The court decided that the Dutch government is responsible for the mistake, and that the US cannot meddle with a sovereign government’s decisions, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The Emden family said in their lawsuit that the painting was taken from their grandfather after his business suffered as a result of Nazi laws imposed against Jews, the Houston Chronicle reported. Their argument discussed the Nazi genocide of Jews, and how those of Jewish heritage were stripped of their citizenship and forced to surrender their businesses and assets. Emden’s heirs said “The Marketplace at Pirna” was stolen from their grandfather’s personal collection in Switzerland, where he immigrated before 1930.
WhatsApp blunder leads prominent Tory to apologise for antisemitic video
A WHATSAPP blunder has left a councillor having to deny he is antisemitic after a video was accidentally shared in a group chat with prominent Conservatives.

A whistleblower leaked screenshots of councillor Allah Ditta appearing to delete and apologise for a video that he said was accidentally shared into the 'Campaign News' WhatsApp group.

The councillor said he left his phone unattended and the video was unintentionally shared to the group, which includes Worcester MP Robin Walker and leader of Worcester City Council, Marc Bayliss.

The incident happened last year but has only just been shared by former Labour MP Michael Foster who was sent the screengrabs by the whistleblower.

Cllr Ditta said: "As soon as I became aware of this event I immediately deleted the content and sent an explanation and apology to those on the group.

"The chairman of the association acknowledged this as you can see from the message.

"I absolutely condemn all forms of racism. I have friends across all faiths and believe in diversity 100 per cent."

The video shows a guest on a US talk show making anti-Semitic comments.

Former Worcester MP Mr Foster has drafted a letter to the chairman of the Conservative party, Oliver Dowden MP, about the video.

Mr Foster said: "This screenshot and the video were shared with me by somebody who was involved in the group chat

"The fact that Cllr Ditta claims this was a mistake and that his phone was left unattended is ridiculous.
Pub manager is out after CAA helps victim of alleged antisemitic abuse and harassment attain justice
A manager at the Stonegate pub chain is no longer employed by the group, after Campaign Against Antisemitism assisted a colleague of his who had made allegations of antisemitic abuse.

The Jewish victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, appealed to us after her line manager at the pub where she worked allegedly engaged in antisemitic abuse and, on at least one occasion, made unwanted physical contact by trying to place his legs on her lap and tried to spit beer over her.

The alleged antisemitic remarks included stating that Hitler was not a fascist and pointing at the victim and saying “a Jew!”.

The pub group, which is one of the largest in the UK, initially declined to take action.

There were numerous allegations of abuse, both before and after the colleague became the victim’s line manager. The incidents were made even more challenging for the victim, as this was her first job. Ultimately the victim decided to leave her position, but bravely insisted on working with us to continue to seek justice.

Citing reasons of confidentiality, the pub group initially refused to tell the victim anything and merely said that the matter would be addressed.

Following contact from Campaign Against Antisemitism’s General Counsel, the pub group suddenly had a change of mind. It has now been confirmed that the manager in question is no longer employed by them. The victim is satisfied that justice has been done and has expressed her gratitude to us for the legal and other support that we have been able to provide.
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts proclaimed May to be Jewish American Heritage Month
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts proclaimed May to be Jewish American Heritage Month and, by proclamation, adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Definition of Antisemitism. "Jewish Americans have lived, worked, and worshipped in Nebraska since the mid-1800s. They continue to make outstanding contributions to the cultural, economic, social, and spiritual well-being of NE." The message was in recognition of the Jewish community's contributions to the state and to make clear that Nebraska will not tolerate antisemitism.

It is essential to define antisemitism to recognize it. In 2015, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) developed a definition of antisemitism, which has since been adopted by over 850 state and private agencies.

Jordan Cope, Director of Policy Education StandWithUs, attended the signing ceremony and lauded the importance of adopting the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism. "We are experiencing an alarming rise in antisemitism across the world and even in U.S. communities and campuses. Today, Governor Ricketts and the State of Nebraska took an important step toward defeating antisemitism by defining it.”
Israel, 1948: Vidal Sassoon in Combat
“As I left the hall, I knew that I would not be cutting hair for quite some time.”

April 1948. Vidal Sassoon, a poor 20-year-old Jew who had been learning how to cut women’s hair by day and literally fighting fascists on the streets of London by night, had just been clandestinely recruited to battle for Israel’s independence.

He would soon find himself in Paris and then aboard a dodgy Dakota aircraft, eventually landing outside Haifa after stops in Rome and Athens. Grouped with other English-speaking volunteers in the Palmach, the elite combat force that would later be integrated into the Israel Defense Forces, Vidal and his comrades were sent to the Negev where they lived in stark huts and went weeks without changing clothes or showering, let alone doing their hair.

Like many other foreign volunteers, Vidal’s Hebrew was sparse.

In a rare 2010 interview conducted as part of Toldot Yisrael, an oral history project focused on Israel’s founding generation, he recalled:
“They never taught us the word ‘retreat’ in Hebrew.”

“All orders were given in Hebrew, which none of us understood, though we soon learned the hard way to recognize the sounds,” he elaborated in his first memoir, Sorry I Kept You Waiting, Madam. In fact, the gap in his linguistic knowledge almost got Sassoon killed when an Egyptian armored car sped towards him, “blazing away with its machine gun,” its bullets “tickling the sand all around us”:
“… nobody had told us how to say ‘Run like mad’ in that ancient tongue. Maybe they thought we would never hear it…”

Sassoon and his friends scurried up the nearest hill, racing for cover alongside their sabra brothers-in-arms. One of the faster soldiers, Sassoon would have caught up without any issue, if not for an unexpected and embarrassing turn of events…


The Ebal Amulet – the oldest Israelite text ever found
Stunning! Remarkable! Explosive! These words are typical of headlines in the media since March 25. That’s the date of the press conference that introduced the world to the text on the lead amulet found recently at Mount Ebal. According to the experts who deciphered the text, it is a curse in ancient Hebrew script dated to the Settlement Period (circa 1200 BCE).

Why is this news so explosive? The most obvious reason is that it’s the oldest text in ancient Hebrew ever found in Israel. And we know that record-breaking finds always capture the imagination. Until, and unless, an earlier object containing ancient Israelite writing is found, that record speaks for itself. (Note: isolated words have been found on pottery shards, but we are referring to text containing full phrases and/or sentences.)

Two additional reasons for the excitement about the amulet came up over and over in the tsunami of articles: first, the object attests to literacy among the ancient Israelites many hundreds of years earlier than conventional academic thinking. At the press conference, Prof. Gershon Galil – one of the experts who deciphered the amulet – said this suggests that some biblical texts may have been written as early as 1200 BCE. Also, finding a curse amulet on the biblical Mountain of the Curse (i.e., Ebal, according to Deuteronomy 27) connects the physical archaeological site of Ebal with the biblical texts about Ebal. This is another record-breaker – it is the first time a site has been discovered that matches a segment of the Torah point-by-point.

The backstory – starting with the decision 40 years ago of Prof. Adam Zertal to excavate at Mt. Ebal – appears in my February 7 article in The Jerusalem Report and on The Jerusalem Post’s website. The article touches on the entire 40 years, including the discovery during excavations of the so-called “Joshua’s Altar” and the recent discovery of the amulet, which was still in the process of being deciphered when the article was written.

After I participated with Zertal in the excavations, during those next 40 years I developed and ceaselessly researched theories relating to the site. I read and spoke to experts on a variety of issues, among them the nature of oral tradition and written texts in ancient Israel as well as the definition of an Israelite temple. I came to the conclusion that Ebal was a cultic site, an actual temple, that was built at the beginning of the Settlement Period as outlined in the biblical texts. I had scholarly and biblical bases for these theories, and – in a Jerusalem Post op-ed from February 12, 2020 – I actually predicted that writing would be discovered at the site!






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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 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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