Wednesday, May 11, 2022

From Ian:

Einat Wilf: The BDS Pound of Flesh
Fresh from my experience as an Israeli, I was able to recognize the same dynamic starting to play out on American campuses. When I attended college in the United States in the mid-1990s, liberal, left-wing Jews could comfortably be pro-Israel and even active in AIPAC without any fear of repercussions or social pressure to hand over a pound of flesh. That changed with the emergence of J Street, IfNotNow, and Jewish Voices for Peace, until we arrived at the present condition, in which a Jewish student who does not show herself to be an ally of Students for Justice in Palestine, or does not agree that “Zionism equals racism,” or that Zionism is a form of apartheid, and Nazism, and white supremacy, and whatever other supreme evil will be identified next, cannot be considered a good Jew. This escalation in anti-Israel activism among some young Jews no longer seemed like a natural and excusable choice shaped by different generational circumstances, but the result of a relentless campaign of bullying.

Over the last several months, as a visiting professor at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., I taught a course called “Zionism and Anti-Zionism.” In the many hours I spent discussing student life with students and faculty alike, it became apparent that the anti-Zionist activism on campus—the college version of the pound of flesh dynamic—was not primarily a form of social protest or political expression, but a form of bullying. The anti-Zionist activists, like classic bullies, deliberately targeted the real and perceived frailties of their Jewish peers—fear or shame in the expression of one’s Jewish identity, with its calls to Jewish solidarity and deep connection to a faraway foreign country.

The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement has been one of the most effective expressions of the pound of flesh bullying tactic, inviting young Jews to participate in the cause of “social justice” only to ultimately demand the mutilation of their Jewish identity. BDS has demanded that diaspora Jews not only criticize Israeli government actions, but sever their connections with Israel completely.

The issue is not limited to campus or student life. Last fall, the D.C. chapter of the Sunrise Movement, an organization “mobilizing young people to make climate change an urgent priority across America,” pulled out of a rally to support voting rights because the Jewish organizations also participating supported Israel. The groups that Sunrise mentioned—National Council of Jewish Women, the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center, and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs—are some of the most progressive organizations in American Jewry, devoted to numerous left-wing causes. No matter. These organizations, by their mere presence at an environmental rally, were sullying a noble cause. Unless, that is, they were willing to give up a pound of flesh: their Zionism.

In January, Big Duck, a Brooklyn-based marketing firm with several nonprofit clients, declined to work with the Shalom Hartman Institute over its connection to Israel. This led Shalom Hartman to issue a statement identifying Big Duck’s decision as “a moving of the goalposts on BDS from Israel to North American Jewish organizations,” the never-ending pound of flesh demand in practice. The institute correctly noted that this “applies a standard on North American Jewish commitments that would exclude the vast majority of the members of our community.” In other words, the ancient goal of making it harder and harder for Jews to be fully Jewish, until it eventually becomes impossible.

My choice to step back from the pound of flesh dynamic was a personal one. But I have since met many Jews, older and younger, who shared with me their confrontation with the same challenge and sense that they need to make a similar decision. Extracting oneself from this toxic dynamic is not only the right thing to do, but also a key to mental health. Anti-Zionist bullying takes an emotional toll, and it cuts to the deepest levels of our Jewish identities. Rather than try to find out how many pounds of flesh it would take to make the bullies go away, the only effective response is to resist them with confidence. It’s hard to bully a proud people; it’s impossible to bully a people who know they have nothing to be ashamed of, and who don’t need or seek anyone else’s approval in the first place. The only response to anti-Zionism, in other words, is Zionism.
Harvard, BDS and the Nazis
The editors of Harvard's student newspaper have just urged a boycott of the Jewish state and praised a campus group that has celebrated a murderer of Jewish college students. In the 1930s, the editors of the same newspaper asserted that Harvard should grant an award to a Nazi official who promoted anti-Jewish boycotts and celebrated murderers of Jews.

Is there a basis for comparing today's editors of The Harvard Crimson to their pre-World War II predecessors?

The Crimson's editors last week accused Israel of committing "crimes against humanity" and endorsed the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. One presumes the editors are aware of the fact that BDS founder Omar Barghouti has said his goal is not to oppose "settlements" or "occupation," but rather to "oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine."

The editorial heaped praise on the "colorful" and "spirited" anti-Israel activities organized on campus by the Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee. For some reason, it did not refer to the Committee's 2015 post of a video that justified knife attacks against random Israeli Jews, or its 2016 event in support of Rasmea Odeh, the convicted murderer of two Hebrew University students in Jerusalem.

It would not be a stretch to imagine that if Ernst "Putzi" Hanfstaengl were alive today, he would be an enthusiastic supporter of the BDS campaign, the Palestine Solidarity Committee and Rasmea Odeh.

The shameful story of Hanfstaengl and Harvard was documented in the landmark 2005 book The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower by Prof. Stephen Norwood.
Jonathan S. Tobin: Can the UN's antisemitism problem be solved?
For decades, supporters of Israel have debated what to do about the United Nations. Should they ignore it as a talking shop that makes a lot of noise but can't impact events on the ground in the Middle East? Or should they treat its growing efforts to smear Israel as an "apartheid state" a genuine threat to the Jewish state?

Many Israelis, including those in the government, have trouble taking the United Nations seriously. Israel's first prime minister and founding father, David Ben-Gurion, famously dismissed the concerns of Moshe Sharrett, who served as his foreign minister and initial successor, about the importance of the world body. Using the Hebrew acronym for the UN (UM), Ben-Gurion disputed the idea that without UN backing in the 1947 Partition Resolution, the Jewish state wouldn't have been founded.

"Not at all," Ben-Gurion responded. "Only the daring of the Jews founded this country and not some 'Um-shmum' resolution."

That sentiment expressed his admirable philosophy that the actions of the Jews were far more important than the opinions of the non-Jewish world. Several decades later, it still accurately sums up the way many Israelis feel about the United Nations, which is even more hostile to their nation than it was in Ben-Gurion's time.

The world body's bias against the Jewish state is baked into the cake due to the dominance of Islamist, Marxist and Third World nations that buy into the lie that Zionism is racism. That bias has been expressed in many ways over the years—from the General Assembly's passage in 1975 of the infamous "Zionism is racism" resolution to its role in convening the 2001 Durban Conference on Racism, which became an anti-Semitic hatefest.

The United Nations and its various agencies are a ticker tape of reports, programs and resolutions aimed at undermining the Jewish state's security and bolstering the Palestinians' century-old war on Zionism. The UN Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) is solely focused on ensuring that the descendants of Palestinian Arabs who fled the country during Israel's 1948 War of Independence remain stateless refugees to be used as propaganda to delegitimize the existence of a Jewish state.


The Jewish Nakba: basic facts have been abandoned and forgotten
This week in the run-up to 14 May, the day when Israel’s independence was declared 74 years ago, articles about the Palestinian Nakba are already proliferating. Not one mentions the greater nakba of Jewish refugees driven from Arab countries. In fact only one doctoral thesis was produced about it in Israel while thousands of articles have appeared about the Arab nakba. The good news, however, is that one Israeli organisation has devoted a whole chapter to the Jewish refugees lately. Im Tirzu has taken the Nakba by the horns in its booklet Nakba Nonsense. Chapter Four is entitled They Expelled: The Expulsion of Jews from Arab Countries. We reproduce an extract: Jewish refugees from Iraq arriving at the Shaar Ha’Aliya camp near Haifa in 1950 (Zionist archives)

*This chapter is based upon the essential article by Ben Dror Yemini, “The Jewish Nakba,” published in Ma’ariv on May 16, 2009, as well as Adi Schwartz’s important essay, “The Destruction of the Communities in Arab States: The Hidden Catastrophe” in volume 43 of the journal, “Techelet.” Sometimes, the truth has no PR. With all the propaganda of the “Nakba” being pumped into us, basic facts such as the expulsion of Jews from Arab states have been abandoned and forgotten. In quantitative terms, the Jews who lived in Arab countries were not just viciously persecuted, tormented by pogroms and banished from their homes; they also left behind possessions – several times more than the amount left by the Arabs in Israel. Their suffering was not forgotten, but was deliberately concealed with the clear intention to tip the moral scale in favor of the Arabs.

There is no reason to pit a Palestinian narrative against a Zionist one. The truth is that narratives need to be avoided altogether, along with the word “narrative” itself, which has become a whitewashed generic term for Middle Eastern imagination, at best, and for an outright lie, most of the time. The Jews in Arab states went through hell; they were forcibly separated from their property, murdered by capricious mobs and in effect, expelled from their homes. So how is it that we never hear about it? First of all, because someone wanted to silence it, to hide the catastrophe of the Jews from Arab states and sweep it under the rug. The drama of their lives was muted. Pogroms accompanied by acts of rape, slaughter, robbery and pillaging of hundreds of thousands of Jews do not “sell,” and certainly, do not leave a mark on the Israeli public and its collective memory.
Seth Frantzman: Much has changed in the Middle East since Biden's last visit - analysis
WHEN IT comes to the Israel-Palestinian issue, the US president comes with a depth of knowledge. But such knowledge sometimes means that American leaders are set in their ways in terms of their perception of the conflict, so it is unclear if Biden will have any new ideas regarding peace.

The last US administration put out a peace plan that largely did not see any progress. The Obama administration also worked on peace and didn’t get anywhere. The Biden administration appears less enthusiastic about reinventing the peace wheel. This can mean that Biden may not try to jump into this issue and get burned like previous administrations.

On the other hand, the low hopes for peace or a peace agreement mean that anything he can do may turn out well. Low-level, simmering tensions with the Palestinians and the continued terror attacks, as well as concerns about a flare-up with Hamas mean that the president could find himself entering a crisis or see the terrorist group use his trip to increase tensions.

Regarding the wider region, the Biden administration has options in terms of trying to shore up Jordan-Israel ties, working towards a maritime agreement between Israel and Lebanon, and also working on shoring up parts of Iraq and Syria, particularly the Kurdish areas where the US has influence.

This is not an easy task. Lebanon is hijacked by Hezbollah and Iraq is hijacked by the Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias. Washington will have an uphill struggle there, but this matters to Israel because Iran threatens it from Iraq. The US must also pay attention to what is happening at its Tanf garrison in Syria near the Jordanian border.

These issues may not seem pressing, but the Biden administration will be considering what to do with the US position in eastern Syria. These are key issues that are different from 2016 because back then, America was only beginning to get involved in eastern Syria and at Tanf.
MEMRI: Tunisian Writer: Ramadan Will Not Be A Month Of Tolerance As Long As Islamic Extremism Prevails
In his April 20, 2022 column on the liberal website Elaph.com, Tunisian author and journalist Hassouna Al-Misbahi complained that, instead of being a month of peace, tolerance and solidarity, Ramadan has become a month in which extremist Muslims perpetrate massacres and fatwas encouraging violence are issued.[1] Mentioning the act of burning the Quran that was perpetrated in Sweden several weeks ago by a far-right activist, he stated that the Muslims have a hand in prompting heinous acts of this sort. He noted, for example, that Muslim immigrants in the West have perpetrated terrible acts of terror in the name of the Quran and have blown themselves up in crowded areas while crying out “Allah akbar”. He also noted the incitement spread by extremist mosque preachers in the West and in the Arab and Islamic countries, who encourage terrorism and even promise that its perpetrators will be rewarded with in Paradise with virgins and with rivers of milk and honey. He added that the Arab and Muslim countries do nothing to combat the extremists’ incitement, and that even the intellectual elites there are afraid to confront them. “As long as this situation persists,” he warned, “Ramadan will continue to be bereft of any spiritual and human value.”

The following are translated excerpts from his column.[2]
“Every year, Ramadan isn’t in any way a month of tolerance, peace, love, solidarity, compassion and forgiveness, as Muslims all over the world would like it to be. In many cases Ramadan has seen acts of massacre and terrible crimes in which extremist Muslims were involved, and strange and bewildering fatwas that permit killing, butchering, marrying ten-year-old girls, stoning [women] accused of rebelling against ‘Islamic values’ and of ‘contaminating’ them, and flogging and imprisoning those who violate the fast. [There were also fatwas] that forbid music, singing and dancing…

“Every year there are more indications that the situation of the Muslims is deteriorating from day to day and is becoming worse than it was in the eras of stagnation and backwardness. When we open a newspaper or turn on the radio or television we are routinely amazed to hear shocking and horrifying news having to do with Islam and Muslims. This Ramadan, a right-wing fanatic in the Swedish town of Lund burned a copy of the Quran in front of his followers and was determined to repeat this act in many other Swedish cities. Several Arab countries, including Iraq, protested this incident, but such protest makes no impression [on anyone]. The Muslims should better examine themselves and ask what caused this Swedish extremist to perpetrate this heinous act. The first and foremost reason is that immigrants from the Arab and Muslim world have perpetrated terrible terrorist crimes in their host countries while crying our ‘Allah akbar, Allah akbar.’


While criticizing Stevens and AIPAC, Levin took $55,500 from PACs supporting GOP non-certifiers
Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI), who has criticized AIPAC for backing Republicans who voted against certifying the results of the 2020 election, has himself accepted $55,550 in donations from corporate PACs and interest groups that, according to watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), have also contributed to Republicans who voted against certifying the 2020 election results.

Between when he filed for reelection in January of 2021 and the end of that year, Levin took donations from corporate PACs representing Boeing, Raytheon, General Motors, Ford, General Dynamics, Aflac, Comcast, AT&T, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Blue Cross Blue Shield and the American Crystal Sugar Company (a sugar production cooperative) totaling $34,500. Each has also donated to Republicans who refused to certify President Joe Biden’s election.

He also accepted donations from interest groups representing the insurance and financial services industry, realtors, beer wholesalers, electrical contractors and credit unions totaling $21,000. Each of the interest group PACs has also donated to Republicans who refused to certify the presidential election.

“[I] am proud to not be funding my campaign through an organization supporting insurrectionist Republicans and anti-choice candidates on both sides of the aisle,” Levin said in a press release on Monday. He added, “It is shameful that organizations that endorse and support insurrectionist Republicans are wading into these Democratic primaries spending millions trying to drown out the voices of candidates like Summer [Lee] and Erica [Smith].”

AIPAC’s new super PAC, the United Democracy Project, has spent millions in recent weeks on advertising in a small set of Democratic primaries opposing progressive candidates. Its PAC has endorsed more than 100 Republicans who refused to certify the 2020 election and has donated or funneled donations to several of them.
'Eleven Days in May' anti-Israel propaganda at a cinema near you.
Blogger Jonathan Hoffman has written a detailed review of ‘Eleven Days in May‘, a film described as an ‘homage to the children killed in Gaza’ during last year’s war, and which has received largely positive reviews in the British media. The film is screening in theaters in London and throughout the UK.

Hoffman cites important facts, omitted from the film, about the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the Palestinian children. ‘Eleven Days in May’ is a work of propaganda which erases the context of Hamas terror, their use of human shields, as well as the terror group’s overall indifference to Palestinian lives. Let’s remember that not one Palestinian child would have died if Hamas hadn’t decided to launch a completely unprovoked barrage of rockets at Jerusalem on May 10 – starting a war they knew they’d lose and would result in death and destruction in the territory they govern.

Here are the important excerpts from Hoffman’s post.
Specific important and deliberate omissions [in the film] about the child casualties

Thanks to invaluable Open Source research by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center there is substantial material to fill in the gaps left by the film. I also used this link to correct the spelling of the names (which I wrote down in the dark cinema). I follow the same chronological approach as the film

Mohammad Saber Ibrahim Suleiman (age 15 or 16) died on 10 May in an IDF airstrike east of Jabalia. He was a Hamas member. A video shows him wearing the Hamas military wing’s uniform during weapons training. In other photos he is seen holding a rifle (@DigFind_ Twitter account, June 1, 2021). Despite his youth, he was apparently an operative in the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades.


Finally, for those interested in a detailed and thoroughly researched account of the May 2021 war, and the events leading to the conflict, we strongly recommend Jonathan Schanzer’s book: ‘Gaza Conflict 2021’. You can watch an interview we did with Schanzer about his book here:


Kate Winslet misled over Gaza conflict documentary
Speaking to Jewish News, Winslet, who worked with Michael Winterbottom on the 1996 film Jude, said: “Michael invited me to narrate a documentary he was making with the support of Unicef and Oxfam, on the impact of war on children. In this case, the children of Palestine.

“I’ve trusted Michael for over 25 years, so put my faith in him to ensure the final product befitted these admirable humanitarian organisations. The decision seemed simple.

“I did not speak to anyone else involved. I’ve been a supporter of Unicef and Oxfam’s work protecting innocent children for decades and therefore offered my services on a no-fee basis, instead requesting a donation be made to Oxfam.

“That my participation could be interpreted as taking a stand on the rights and wrongs of one of the world’s most tragic and intractable conflicts never entered my thinking. War is a tragedy for all sides. Children have no voice in conflict. I simply wanted to lend them mine.”

Winterbottom’s agent confirmed receipt of Jewish News’ request for comment but did not provide a substantive reply before deadline. Jewish News contacted Sawwaf through his Gaza-based company Alef Multimedia. There was no response before deadline.
Queen’s Speech includes ‘BDS bill’ to stop public bodies targeting Israel
Legislation aimed at stopping local councils bringing in Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) policies that target Israel have been announced in today’s Queens Speech marking the state opening of parliament.

The yearly address to parliament, which outlines the government’s agenda for the next session, confirmed the inclusion of the government’s anti-BDS proposals which would “prevent public bodies engaging in boycotts that undermine community cohesion.”

The BDS and Sanctions Bill follows a 2019 Conservative Party manifesto commitment to preventing local authorities from “adopting their own approach to international relations.”

It was one of 38 Bills announced by the government on Tuesday, alongside moves to bring in criminal offences against protesters who cause serious disruption, and the replacement of the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights.

Prince Charles took on the head of state’s ceremonial duty on Tuesday, reading out the Queens Speech on behalf of the Queen, who “reluctantly” announced she would miss the state opening of parliament the previous day.

Reading the speech, the Prince of Wales confirmed the inclusion of the anti-BDS Bill which would ban “boycotts that undermine community cohesion.”

Last year former Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told a communal event it was his New Year wish for parliament to pass a law imposing “an absolute ban” BDS.
Pseudo-scholars promoting the malevolence of Israel and Jews
Jews have been accused of harming and murdering non-Jews since the twelfth century in England, when Jewish convert to Catholicism, Theobald of Cambridge, mendaciously announced that European Jews ritually slaughtered Christian children each year and drank their blood during Passover season.

That medieval blood libel, largely abandoned in the contemporary West, does, however, still appear as part of the Arab world’s vilification of Jews — now transmogrified into a slander against Israel, the Jew of nations.

But in the regular chorus of defamation against Israel by a world infected with Arab Palestinianism, a new, more odious trend has shown itself: the blood libel has been revivified; however, in order to position Israel (and by extension Jews) as demonic agents in the community of nations, the primitive fantasies of the blood libel are now masked with a veneer of academic scholarship.

The primitive fantasies of the blood libel are now masked with a veneer of academic scholarship.
Masked as research and scholarship, the fruits of this academic malpractice are used to further the ongoing campaign of the demonization of Israel, and the intellectual capital oozing out of campuses in the thrall of a Marxist worldview of oppression and victimology has as its goal to substantiate Israel’s moral and existential inferiority in an attempt to make it a pariah in the world community.

Part of achieving that malicious objective is scholarship designed to reveal every real or imagined sinister aspect of Israel’s culture, society, politics, and military, and to confirm that the Jewish state’s behavior is singularly perverse, malicious, sinister, and murderous—especially in its cruel, inhuman treatment of non-Jewish children.

One notorious example of this type of mendacious academic output can be found in a 2017 book by Rutgers professor Jasbir K. Puar published by Duke University Press, The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability. The thesis of Puar’s book is formed by her examination of “Israeli tactical calculations of settler colonial rule,” which, she asserted, is “that of creating injury and maintaining Palestinian populations as perpetually debilitated, and yet alive, in order to control them.”

In other words, Puar’s core notion is that Israeli military tactics — as an extension of its political policies — involve the deliberate “stunting,” “maiming,” physical disabling, and scientific experimenting with Palestinian lives, an outrageous and grotesque resurrection of the classic anti-Semitic trope that Jews purposely, and sadistically, harm and kill non-Jews.

Puar, Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, boasts that she regularly writes on a hodgepodge of currently fashionable academic fields of study, including “gay and lesbian tourism, queer theory, theories of intersectionality, affect, homonationalism, and pinkwashing,” the latter being the perverse theory that Israel trumpets its broad support of LGBT rights in its society to furtively obscure its long-standing mistreatment of the Arab Palestinians.
McGill Tribune Continues Anti-Israel Coverage; Uncritically Quotes Student Activist Who Claims Only Donors Oppose Pro-Palestinian Policy
The anti-Israel movement, whether at McGill University or on other college and university campuses across North America, seeks not to create dialogue and lower barriers of misunderstanding, but to demonize and delegitimize Israel, and to isolate any student who fails to fall into the anti-Israel ideological line.

As is the case in Europe and the United States, Jews are a frequent target of hate crimes, according to recent statistics. Quite often, antisemitic hate spikes during periods of intensified tensions in the Middle East. During the spring of 2021, during Hamas’ war against Israel, antisemitic assaults increased throughout the Western world.

By declaring that the only stakeholders opposing the anti-Israel activity at McGill University are donors, Abdelshamy – and The McGill Tribune, which repeated her assertion without any context or clarification – are de facto erasing not only the concerns shared by Jewish students on campus, but the very real threats they have faced, and continue to face.

While The McGill Tribune can pick and choose to publish whatever it wants, even if that means obsessively covering a tiny fringe movement of anti-Israel activists on campus, it is their right to do so. However, the newspaper has an obligation to not simply regurgitate the talking points of anti-Israel campus groups, including claims that Palestinian students are widely harassed on campus and that only university donors oppose the Palestine Solidarity Policy, but to critically examine these assertions.

Jewish students at McGill University, like members of the wider Jewish community, face disproportionate discrimination relative to their numbers, but to a casual observer reading The McGill Tribune, the biggest issue facing students on campus is the lack of sufficiently anti-Israel activism.

Not only does said anti-Israel activism reflect a small fringe of students, but it is both unproductive to everyday Palestinians, and serves only to demonize Israel and indeed all Jews who identify with the Jewish State.

If The McGill Tribune wishes to continue to cover this news story, then it must avoid uncritically parroting anti-Israel claims on the part of its interviewees, and start asking the tough questions. That’s the least it owes to McGill students.
These Anti-Semitic Activists Don’t Want Elon Musk To Bring Free Speech to Twitter
Several of the groups calling on advertisers to boycott Twitter—citing Elon Musk's objectionable views—are at the forefront of the campaign to boycott Israel and are known for trafficking in anti-Semitic canards.

In the wake of Musk's $44 billion purchase of the social media site, a coalition of far-left groups is urging Twitter's advertisers to boycott the sale, claiming that Musk "intends to steamroll" restrictions on speech and "provide a megaphone to extremists who traffic in disinformation," according to an open letter sent last week to Twitter's advertisers, which reportedly include Disney, Coca-Cola, and Kraft.

Yet many of the groups involved in the anti-Musk campaign are known for trafficking in anti-Semitic tropes and promoting falsehoods about Israel, often on social media platforms like Twitter. They include Black Lives Matter, the Women's March, Kairos, and Friends of the Earth—all of which are known for stoking Jew-hatred and leading the charge to boycott Israel. Musk last week questioned who is funding and organizing these groups, which he says want to "control your access to information."

The Black Lives Matter movement, for instance, describes Israel as an "apartheid state" and supports efforts by the anti-Israel community to delegitimize the Jewish state.

"We are a movement committed to ending settler colonialism in all forms and will continue to advocate for Palestinian liberation (always have. And always will be)," the group tweeted in 2021, along with the hashtag "free Palestine."

The official Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement's Twitter account thanked Black Lives Matter for its support. "From Ferguson to Palestine, our struggles against racism, white supremacy, and for a just world are united!" BDS wrote in a follow-up tweet.

Patrisse Khan-Cullors, one of Black Lives Matter's cofounders, in 2015 traveled to the Palestinian territories and declared in an interview, "This is an apartheid state. … We can't deny that and if we do deny it we are a part of the Zionist violence."


BBC World Service TV recycles problematic ‘investigation’
Readers may recall that in September 2020 multi-platform promotion was given to various versions of “an investigation by BBC News Arabic”.

A filmed report appeared on the BBC News website on September 21st 2020 under the headline “The settlers’ billionaire backer” and with the title “Israeli settlers’ Chelsea boss backer”. Visitors to the BBC Arabic website found a version of the same film which is three times longer than the one originally promoted on the English language website, together with a written report on the same story. An English language version of the longer film also exists (and was later also posted on the BBC news website) and the topic was the subject of an audio report by BBC Arabic’s Murad Shishani aired on the September 21st 2020 edition of the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour’.

Nineteen months later, on April 27th 2022, BBC World Service TV’s ‘BBC News Arabic Investigates’ chose to recycle the English language version of the longer filmed report under the title “Roman Abramovich and the Israeli settler organisations”.
Velshi’s Rabid, Reckless Rant
On April 30, MSNBC host Ali Velshi delivered a lengthy rant against the Jewish state that was as dishonest as it was rabid. The monologue was riddled with false statements and exaggerations that betray Velshi’s willingness to twist the facts to fit his preferred narrative.

During the segment, Velshi claimed: “The map of the Palestinian Authority, sometimes described as Swiss cheese, has been carved up by Israel over the past century.”

The Palestinian Authority (“PA”) did not exist until 1994, a mere 28 years ago, so the reference to the “past century” is erroneous. Furthermore, the PA was created under the Oslo Accords, mutually agreed to between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization. It is under these same agreements that the current map of the Palestinian Authority’s varying levels of autonomy (Areas A, B, and C) was agreed to during negotiations.

To thus claim that Israel “carved up” the territory of the Palestinian Authority is fundamentally false.

The map and territorial changes, entailing Israel transferring 40% of the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority, mainly under Area B status, were drawn in negotiations between the two parties and implemented. Indeed, Velshi himself acknowledges that drawing of borders in this way is entirely legitimate when, later in the monologue, he states: “It is not illegitimate to change borders as long as it’s done through negotiations…”

Velshi goes on to claim that Israeli settlers live on “illegally occupied Palestinian land.” He also claims that “forcibly occupying another territory is illegal.” Even if one considers the territory occupied, it is not considered illegal. Indeed, “occupation” is clearly provided for in international law (see, e.g., the Fourth Geneva Convention). CAMERA has repeatedly had this error corrected in outlets such as CNBC, the New York Times, the Independent, and Bloomberg.


Victoria to be first Australian state to ban Nazi symbols
The Victorian government is set to become the first Australian state or territory to ban the public display of the Nazi swastika, Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes said in a Wednesday statement.

“We want to do all we can to stamp out hate and give it no room to grow,” Symes said, according to Melbourne 9news.

According to the report, Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dvir Abramovich has said the move has been much-needed in Victoria.

“I’ve said it again and again, we have a Nazi swastikas epidemic in this state,” he said. “This is a war between good and evil, and we have to win this war.”

Displaying the Nazi symbol in public will lead to fines of close to $22,000, a year of imprisonment or both - only once the legislation is in effect.

“We welcome the announcement that the Victorian government is to criminalize the public display of the Nazi swastika,” Zionism Victoria, a cultural organization, said in a press release:
“Given the significant Holocaust survivor population within the state, and given Victoria prides itself on tolerance, multiculturalism and respect, it is long since time this symbol of hate – a reminder for so many of the horror and pain they and their families endured – should have been placed beyond the realms of acceptable expression,” the press release reads.

“We thank the government for its action – the first state in Australia to do so – and express our gratitude to all those who have campaigned for this outcome.”
‘Free Palestine’: Yeshiva Student Assaulted in Third Antisemitic Attack in Brooklyn In Five Days
A yeshiva student was assaulted on Tuesday in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, the third antisemitic attack in the New York City borough since last Friday.

The unnamed student was surrounded by five males at the intersection of of Avenue M and East 18th Street in Flatbush who punched him in the face. One of the assailants reportedly yelled “Free Palestine” during the assault.

“When we hear about these violent antisemitic attacks that are happening nearly daily in New York City, we know the reason they’re happening is because people think they can get away with it,” Brooklyn councilman Kalman Yeger told Yeshiva World News from the scene of the attack. “And as long as that continues to be the case, it’s not going to end.”

Tuesday’s assault came on the heels of an attack against a Jewish person who was walking with their children through Williamsburg on Sunday and an assault in Crown Heights on Friday against a Jewish man who was also subjected to antisemitic invective.

Yeger voiced concern that the cycle of arresting and then releasing offenders was exacerbating the problem.

“We know the cops will do their job; they will find the perpetrators. But what happens after that? If they’re going to be released and be allowed to do this over and over and over again, it’s never going to stop. This has to end,” he said.


Israel is world leader in number of high tech employees
For the first time in Israel's history, high tech exports accounted for more than 50% of the country's exports in 2021, now standing at 54%, while in another first, more than 10% of all Israelis now work in the high tech industry, according to a report by the Israel Innovation Authority.

Israel, according to the report, is a global leader in the percentage of citizens working in the high tech field, with 362,000 in the industry who represent 10.4% of the country's workforce.

To compare, the percentage of the overall workforce in high tech in Ireland is 9.2%, in Sweden, it is 5.7%, in Great Britain 5.5%, Germany 5.3%, and in the Netherlands 4.3%. The number of high-tech workers in Israel increased by 8% over the past year (representing 27,000 new workers), while that number was just 1% in all other industries.

However, government investment in future research and development in Israel is the lowest among OECD member countries.

Israel is ranked first among OECD countries, meanwhile, in research and development expenditure in relation to Gross Domestic Product, but is ranked last in the terms of the percentage of government spending on research and development out of all of its expenditures in the field. Additionally, Israel slipped to 15th place in the Global Innovation Index's rankings for 2021, compared to 10th place in 2019.

According to the report, in the past year, the Israeli high tech industry raised over $100 million 88 times, although publically traded Israeli high tech companies in 2021 lost 10% of their worth on the NASDAQ. Israeli start-ups raised a record $27 billion in funds in 2021, more than doubling the total from the previous year.

Israeli high tech is still lagging in terms of representation from all sectors of the population. There was a 6% drop in the number of ultra-Orthodox high-tech workers in 2021, and only 200 new workers entered the industry from the Arab sector.






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