Thursday, May 12, 2022

From Ian:

Amb. David Friedman: Time for Tough Measures Against Anti-Semitism
Incidents of anti-Semitism in the U.S. have risen to record highs. America is a great nation because of the Judeo-Christian values upon which it was founded. An American nation that is inhospitable to Jews is no longer a great nation. Anti-Semitism thus poses an existential risk to our country.

We must step up our efforts to confront and defeat anti-Semites rather than trying to win their "hearts and minds." Anti-Semites don't have "hearts and minds" and certainly not both.

Virtually every American university is hostile to Israel and no pro-Israel professor has a chance for tenure. At the highest levels of American education, our "best and brightest" are taught to hate Israel.

Those combatting anti-Semitism are mostly engaged in defensive tactics that betray fear and insecurity. But we will not defeat anti-Semitism by only playing defense. It's time to go on offense.
1) Demand that anti-Semites be held accountable. Step up law enforcement. Insist on a robust, well-publicized presence of undercover officers to patrol the streets dressed in traditional Jewish garb. Let every violent thug wonder when he attacks a Jew whether he might be attacking a cop.
2) Demand equal rights for Jews. Jews remain a minority, subject to oppression and discrimination, and unchecked anti-Semitism ultimately affects everyone.
3) Stand with Israel. Zionism is an integral component of the Jewish faith. All three major streams of Judaism - Orthodox, Conservative and Reform - contain prayers for God to restore the Jewish people to Zion (a synonym for Jerusalem) and the Land of Israel. While 42% of the nations of the world have an official or preferred religion, only Israel - the one Jewish state - is singled out for attack, even though it meticulously strives to ensure access of all faiths to their holy sites.
Is Anti-Zionism Anti-Semitism?
Since 2015, Jonathan Greenblatt has served as the director of the Anti-Defamation League, an organization devoted to chronicling and fighting anti-Semitism in American society. Amid a rise in anti-Semitic incidents documented by his group, and with hate crimes in general on the upswing, Greenblatt, a former special assistant to Barack Obama, has been speaking harshly about the tendencies he believes exacerbate anti-Semitism. One of those tendencies is anti-Zionism, which, in a recent speech, he referred to as “an ideology rooted in rage,” comparing it to white supremacy, and adding, “Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.” This comes at a time when a vocal minority of young American Jews has called for one secular, democratic state across Israel and the Palestinian territories.

I recently spoke by phone with Greenblatt. During our conversation, which has been edited for length and clarity, we discussed why hate crimes are increasing, the historical roots of anti-Zionism, and whether it’s bigoted to oppose a Jewish stat

There are a lot of young Jewish people in America who don’t consider themselves Zionists, and there are also Jews in Israel, religious Jews, who do not consider themselves Zionists. So anti-Zionism is very multifaceted.

Jonathan Greenblatt People who try to compare the Satmar Jews to members of Hamas—I think that’s a farce. I mean, give me a break. I could probably find Palestinians who don’t believe in a Palestinian state.

I wasn’t equating anyone. Many Jews in America have been saying something for a long time, which is do not treat us as Israelis. Do not commit hate crimes against Jews in America because you don’t like the policies of the Israeli state. Do not accuse us of having dual loyalty and looking out for the interests of Israel. Is there any danger in equating anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism so strongly that in some ways it’s doing the work of the people who want to equate those two things: Jews as a whole with Israel and Zionism?

I wish I didn’t have to have this conversation with you or with anyone.


Anti-Zionism is a new hue of a very old color. Jews have been delegitimized for centuries. For thousands of years. Judaism isn’t a real religion. The Jews aren’t a real people. The Jews don’t really deserve rights. We have heard this throughout time. Today, the subject of derision is the Jewish state, not the Jewish people. But it is an old practice. It's like old wine in a new bottle.

To answer your question, we have fought against dual loyalty, against that canard. There’s nothing wrong with having a passion for your homeland. Italian Americans have that, Irish Americans have that, Chinese American people have that. There’s nothing wrong with having a strong identification, but Zionism, a desire to go back to Jerusalem, the longing for Zion, isn’t something that David Ben-Gurion came up with. It isn’t something that Theodor Herzl came up with. It has been embedded in the faith and the traditions of Judaism for thousands of years. You can’t open a Torah on a Saturday morning for your daily prayer, you can’t go through a holiday, without seeing these references.

So you’re right, there are maybe more young Jewish people today who identify as progressive and think anti-Zionism is part of their progressive identity, but if you peel back the layers in anti-Zionism, it is a historic form of delegitimization targeting Jews. It may have a different veneer today, a different façade, but it’s the same architecture of intolerance that’s been there for centuries.

But you would also agree that the debate over Zionism has not necessarily had this “anti-Semitic veneer” for centuries, right? There are a lot of Jews who were anti-Zionists before—

Give me a—Isaac. Sure, there were Jews who were worried that it would create more anti-Semitism directed against them in America. When you ask me these questions, it suggests to me that you’re coming at this from a particular editorial perspective. To compare the fear that existed in the Jewish community in the nineteen-thirties—that wasn’t anti-Zionism in the way that we have it today. The Jewish people in America or in Europe who were concerned about the prospect of creating a state of their own were terrified of the literal annihilation of their people that was taking place around them. Don’t liken the American Jewish leaders from the nineteen-thirties who had deep questions about what Zionism would mean to the people writing the charter for Hamas today.

That’s not what I’m doing. I was trying to make the point that I thought that Zionism and anti-Zionism as ideas come in many forms. Look, we know that the Balfour Declaration, which was one of the bases of the modern state of Israel, was written by Arthur Balfour, who had views about Jews and other people that we might not like—

You’re missing something here. People not being supportive of the creation of the political state of Israel and its right to exist—that is anti-Zionism with a big, fat capital “A.” People who are unsure about it, like in the nineteen-thirties—that isn’t anti-Zionism. That’s something different. That wasn’t a deep-seated, visceral opposition to the ability of Jews to have the same rights they want for other people. Someone who says, “I don’t think all the jobs should go away, and we need a much different industrial policy”—that isn’t white supremacy.
David Singer: A workable plan for peace in Jerusalem
Separating Jews and Arabs in former Palestine– first decreed by the League of Nations 100 years ago under article 25 of the Mandate for Palestine and subsequently endorsed by the United Nations in its 1947 Partition Plan - has become even more urgent following:
- the outpouring of rabid Jew-hatred emanating from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem during Ramadan
- three Jewish fathers being murdered in Elad - leaving 16 Jewish children fatherless - and seven more Jews being wounded - in an axe and knife wielding bloodbath perpetrated by two Arabs. Bnai Brak, Tel Aviv, Hadera and Be'ersheva suffereed murderous terror attacks as well.

Violent Arab riots against Jews first occurred in 1920 and 1921.

Secretary of State for the Colonies - Winston Churchill – in his White Paper dated 3 June 1922 -had sought to allay Arab fears of a Jewish takeover of all of Palestine
“Unauthorized statements have been made to the effect that the purpose in view is to create a wholly Jewish Palestine. Phrases have been used such as that Palestine is to become "as Jewish as England is English." His Majesty's Government regard any such expectation as impracticable and have no such aim in view. Nor have they at any time contemplated, as appears to be feared by the Arab delegation, the disappearance or the subordination of the Arabic population, language, or culture in Palestine. They would draw attention to the fact that the terms of the [Balfour -ed] Declaration referred to do not contemplate that Palestine as a whole should be converted into a Jewish National Home, but that such a Home should be founded `in Palestine.'”

As a result - Article 25 was inserted in the Mandate adopted by the League of Nations on 24 July 1922:
- Restricting the reconstitution of the Jewish National Home after 3000 years in just 22% of Palestine located west of the Jordan River – today called Israel, Judea and Samaria ('West Bank') and Gaza –
- Granting Arab self-determination in the remaining 78% of Palestine located east of the Jordan River – today called Jordan.

The Jews accepted – albeit reluctantly - article 25’s inclusion in the Mandate.

The Arabs never did – demanding 100% of the region known as Palestine - not the 78% they were allocated under article 25 The Palestinian Arabs demand the same today.

Melanie Phillips: An incendiary and manipulative horror show?
Now look at what Sawwaf and Winterbottom told al Jazeera. Said Sawwaf:
With Israel, everyone closes their ears and eyes to the victims. Israel is never punished or deterred by the international community, and so continues to launch war after war on this poor and besieged strip.

Said Winterbottom piously:
As a parent, the worst thing you can imagine is losing a child. For people in Gaza, it’s happened before and it’s happening again. That feeling as a parent – can you protect your children, can you look after them? That seemed like it would be something good to focus on. We hope that makes people realise bombing is not a solution to the problem. It would be great to think that the more people feel that, the less likely it is to continue.

But the actual problem — the reason for this unending conflict — is that the Palestinian Arabs ceaselessly attempt to murder Israeli civilians. This is the only reason Israel ever launches bombing raids against their military infrastructure.

Since March 22, 19 Israelis —including an Israeli Arab police officer — have been murdered by Palestinian Arabs. The horrific axe attack last week in which three Israelis were murdered in Elad, near Tel Aviv, left 16 children fatherless.

Yet Winterbottom’s compassionate heart strangely fails to bleed over these Israeli victims of unprovoked Palestinian Arab terror. He makes no “unflinching”, “heart-wrenching,” “deeply personal” documentary aimed at solving that problem by prompting public “grief and anger” over those Israelis who have been murdered in the furtherance of a fanatical and genocidal cause. He makes a film instead to prompt anger at the intended victims of that cause because they dare defend themselves against it; and to prompt grief over those whose fate is cynically decontextualised in order to sanitise it.

“With Israel, everyone closes their ears and eyes to the victims”, said Sawwaf. Very true — but not in the way he meant it. The world closes its ears and eyes to the Israeli victims of those whom Sawwaf champions.

Yes, those Gazan children were also victims — but victims above all of Hamas and the Palestinian Arab leadership. They indoctrinate their children in hysterical and murderous lies about Israel and the Jews, recruit them into terrorism and use them as human shields. Gaza’s children are the victims of systemic Palestinian Arab child abuse. If that wasn’t the case, those children who died in Gaza last year would still be alive.

In a rare media display of moral integrity, The Times of London (for which I myself write) recoiled from this movie. Kevin Maher wrote:
It’s an 18-certificate horror show, but culled from real life. It’s incendiary material and furiously anti-Israel. Winslet’s narration begins with, “Israel loaded up its fighter jets and the bombardment began”.

There is no context and no nuance. Just a suggestion that “Israel” (whoever that is?) is a homicidal maniac. Which, given global events right now, doesn’t seem very constructive.

Something of an understatement, surely. Incitement to hatred and violence would seem to be nearer the mark.
David Collier: On in cinemas now: a Hamas propaganda movie
On Sunday I went to watch a movie called ‘Eleven Days in May’ at the Crouch End Picturehouse. The movie is about the May 2021 conflict between Israel and Hamas. In the end I sat for almost 90 minutes and watched raw propaganda from Hamas – a proscribed terrorist organisation – being shown as ‘truth’ in a cinema in London.

Here is the story.

The Hamas propaganda movie
I am not going to talk much about the movie itself. The film presented stories surrounding Palestinian ‘children’ who had lost their lives in the conflict. We saw their parents, or siblings who spoke about how wonderful the child was, and how much they were missed. Often we got to see archived footage of the child. Heart-breaking stuff – but then it was meant to be.

The aim of propaganda is to mislead, often through misdirection. The movie wasted no time at all in setting the stage. If you follow the movie’s script, Hamas fired seven rockets at Israel – and in response Israel bombarded Gaza with indiscriminate fire for eleven days – killing dozens of children.

That isn’t what happened in the real world but the film doesn’t want to give any actual ‘truth’ to the audience. So there is no mention of the 1000s of rockets Hamas fired at Israel (which is why the conflict went on for eleven days) or of the targeting of Hamas leaders – which is why some of the children were tragically caught up in the conflict (you do not get to choose who your parents are). There is more -the weakness under homes caused by Hamas tunnels is not referenced. Nor does the film tell you that many Hamas rockets fell short – killing children as they did so. All we get to see are dozens of dead children – all murdered by Israel (we are explicitly told in some cases children were targeted) because Hamas fired seven rockets.

The Jewish Chronicle, Jonathan Hoffman and Israellycool have all written about the factual errors in the film – which is why I do not need to expand on it here. In some cases even the ‘children’ themselves were misrepresented by the film. Have a look at those articles if you want more detail on that.

Hamas have the western left sussed
Hamas have the western left sussed – they really do. Whilst anti-Israel activists like to talk about Israeli ‘hasbara’ – the real propaganda experts here are the radical Islamic terror groups. The Islamic University in Gaza has units dedicated to turning students into Hamas propaganda stars. There is a factory in Gaza and it is churning out Hamas activists masked as journalists, charity workers, NGO staff, medical experts and endless ‘human rights activists’. Hamas propaganda training ensures the image is clean enough to dupe a western audience.

That is how movies like this come about. People in the west often have no idea what is going on. And they do not actually go to Gaza – instead they are completely dependent on the non-existent integrity of the Gaza crew they have partnered with. It works in a similar fashion to a news crew. The runners, researchers and photo-journalists operating in Gaza are the ones who actually put the documentary together – all under the watchful eye of the pro-Hamas Director of the Gaza based media house. Those in the west rubber stamp what they receive because they really do not have a clue as to how it was put together.
Kate Winslet Gaza film ‘is Hamas propaganda’
Filmmaker Mr Sawwaf attended the Islamic University in Gaza, an institution that Hamas controls. In 2013 he made a documentary which said the terror group was right when it mounted its coup in Gaza against its rival Fatah because of their alleged corruption.

In 2014 the Hamas media department honoured Mr Sawwaf with a special award for “countering the Zionist narrative” and being able to “penetrate European public opinion” through his work.

He was presented with it by Hamas leaders Mushir Al-Masry, Salah Al-Bardawil and Fawzi Barhoum at a gala ceremony at the Haifa Hotel on the Gaza seafront.

Mr Sawwaf was a guest on al-Aqsa TV, the pro-Hamas TV channel, on Tuesday this week, when he talked about his film and the impact he hoped it would have.

In tweets highlighted by media watchdog CAMERA Arabic, he has applauded the launching of rockets by Palestinian forces against Israeli civilian targets.

In 2012, he posted: “Gaza bombs Tel Aviv - Gaza bombs Jerusalem - wow, what do you know - praise Allah - all in all feeling great.”

The same year he said: “Calling 'Allahu Akbar' during Eid - people feel the taste of victory - isn't it enough for us that the alarm sirens were heard again in Tel Aviv, isn't it enough for us that weak Gaza bombed the occupation in its heartland?"

In 2014 he tweeted: “In Jerusalem, Haifa, Tel Aviv and all of our 1948 lands, when rockets are launched towards them everybody runs to the shelters except their original residents who celebrate them.”

During the May conflict last year, he tweeted that the map of Palestine should be redrawn so it extends “from the sea to the river”.

The slogan “from the river to the sea” is widely recognised as a Hamas chant, and has been taken to mean a refusal to accept the right of the State of Israel to exist within its internationally recognised borders.

He has repeatedly used the hashtag "Hamas".

Sawwaf’s father is Mustafa Sawwaf, who was formerly a member of the Hamas politburo.

Mustafa set up the pro-Hamas news agency al-Jil, where Mohammed used to work, and is currently a member of Hamas’s shura, or religious council.

The film’s credits say it is supported by Unicef.

In a statement, Unicef said: “Following an approach from Michael Winterbottom and Revolution Films, Unicef provided guidance on how to respect the rights of children mentioned or participating in the film.

"Unicef has had no communication at all with Mr. Mohammad Sawwaf, the film’s director. Unicef did not contribute to scripting or financing of the film, has no formal association with the film, and the views of the film are those of the filmmakers, not of Unicef.”

Ms Winslet issued a statement via her lawyer, saying:

“The director, Michael Winterbottom, 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.
US Rep. Steube Proposes Bill Holding Jordan Accountable for Refusal to Extradite Terrorist
Just days before Jordan’s King Abdullah II is to meet with President Biden at the White House, the parents of an American teenager murdered in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem are hailing proposed legislation that would hold the government of Jordan accountable for its years-long refusal to extradite the Hamas terrorist who killed her.

US Representative Greg Steube (R-Fla.) recently introduced The Recognition of the 1995 Jordan Extradition Treaty, with the US Act to limit US assistance to Jordan until the Kingdom of Jordan recognizes the validity of the 1995 extradition treaty between the two countries.

“For almost a decade, King Abdullah II has rejected requests from US officials at the highest levels to hand over the terrorist who faces charges in Washington. She’s wanted for her central role in the 2001 terrorist attack on a Jerusalem restaurant packed with children”, said Arnold and Frimet Roth, whose daughter, Malki, was one of those murdered.

“Tamimi has proudly admitted to the charges. They have made her an icon among Jordanians and Palestinian Arabs.”

The White House confirmed today that King Abdullah will meet with President Biden on Friday.

The meeting will be the second between the two leaders in less than a year, and the official American visit the king’s third in the same period.

“Ahlam Tamimi’s obscene, ongoing freedom in Jordan has to be on the agenda of every meeting the Jordanian monarch is granted in this week’s royal visit to Washington,” said Arnold Roth.

“That includes his reception on Friday in the Oval Office. Bringing Tamimi to justice, a nonpartisan issue with clear consequences for the battle against terror, has been thwarted by the Jordanians for far too long and by too many officials.”
15 ‘Righteous Gentiles’ lived in Ukraine when Russia invaded. An American Jewish group rushed to aid them.
After Russia invaded Ukraine early in the morning of Feb. 24, millions of Ukrainians suddenly had their lives upended. The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous was concerned with 15 of them.

That’s how many Ukrainians remained alive from the foundation’s tally of “Righteous Gentiles,” non-Jews who risked their own lives to save Jews during the Holocaust 80 years ago.

The foundation doles out money to people certified to have helped Jews worldwide each year and had sent the first installment of $1,000 in early February. But it quickly became clear that the elderly Ukrainians couldn’t wait until later in the year for their next check.

“We are at war,” read an email delivered within hours of the invasion from the family of one 93-year-old. “People are leaving their homes looking for shelter [and] they are left without water and food. Shops are closed. Everyone is leaving for safe places indefinitely. If there is any way to help our family financially, we will be very grateful to you. Forgive us. With best wishes, Oksana’s family. Peace to all of us…”

Stanlee Stahl, the foundation’s executive vice president, quickly shared the email with her board and it agreed to fast-track the rest of the year’s funding — $2,000 each — to the 15 rescuers in Ukraine.

That decision set off a feverish effort to transfer cash across international borders at a time of massive upheaval. The foundation needed to find people who weren’t necessarily where they always had been, to navigate around disruptions in Ukraine’s banking and communications systems, and to verify that the money was going to the right place.

First, the foundation realized it needed to reach families by phone, because its typical mode of communicating by email did not feel reliable. But because of the decreasing number of living rescuers, the group no longer had a Russian speaker on staff. So it sought a Russian-speaking volunteer to call the rescuers for whom it had phone numbers.
‘The Rhetoric is Very Dangerous’: Ukrainian Chief Rabbi Urges Jewish Community in Russia to Leave
One of Ukraine’s senior rabbis has urged the Jewish community in Russia to leave immediately, insisting that the country is sliding back into totalitarian rule under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin.

“Today I would advise the Jewish communities of Russia to leave the country, and many are already doing so,” Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman, Chief Rabbi of Ukraine, stated during an extensive interview on Wednesday with the Voice of America broadcaster.

The 55-year-old Azman, who was born in the Russian city of St. Petersburg, warned that the Russian government might actively prevent Jews from departing, as was the case during the Soviet era. “I was in the Soviet Union and tried for many years to go to Israel,” he said. “Therefore, when everything closes, it will be difficult to leave. The rhetoric in Russia is very dangerous. The rhetoric there now is worse than the Soviet Union.”

Just under 200,000 Jews live in Russia, making the community the seventh-largest in the world. According to the Jewish Agency, 5,600 have made aliyah to Israel in the weeks since the onset of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Azman bitterly criticized Russia’s propaganda campaign against Ukraine, which centers on the outlandish claim that the Ukrainian leadership and armed forces are composed of “neo-Nazis” and that Russia is engaged in a “denazification” operation.
Unpacked: Should Jews Support Ukraine?
Despite Ukraine having a Jewish president, some Jews are conflicted about aiding the ongoing crisis due to the complex history of Ukrainian Jewry.

In the tenth century, Ukrainian Jews lived in relative peace, working as middlemen between peasants and the nobility. However, in the fifteenth century, Bogdan Chmielnicki, now considered a Ukrainian hero, brutally slaughtered tens of thousands of Jews.

In the years following the Chmielnicki massacre peace returned and Jews flourished. Jews and Ukrainians lived side by side, sharing both language and recipes that are still used today.

In the seventeenth century, Eastern Ukraine was absorbed by Russia and Jews suffered once more from pogroms, antisemitism and forced assimilation. Pogroms continued into the twentieth century, despite Jews taking part in the founding of Ukraine’s first attempt at a modern country in 1917.

Despite the atrocities Ukraine participated in during the Holocaust, Jews and Ukrainians found a middle ground once more in the 1960s and onward, even joining forces to free Ukraine from Soviet rule.

Today, while antisemitism still exists in Ukraine, so do flourishing Jewish communities and in 2019 Ukraine elected its first Jewish president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Social Media Execs To Gather For ‘Palestine Digital Activism Forum’ Hosted By Group With ‘Terror’ Ties
Representatives from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Clubhouse will gather next week for a forum on “digital rights” hosted by a pro-Palestine group with ties to terror-aligned groups.

The conference, which will occur May 17-19 and has been dubbed the “Palestine Digital Activism Forum,” will include speakers that have used social media to post anti-semitic content and even praise murderers as “heroes.” It will be hosted by 7amleh, a group that complained when tech platforms censored an event with a member of a terrorist organization who was convicted of hijacking a plane.

“The policies and practices of major tech companies are increasingly impacting human rights, in particular the right to freedom of expression and political association,” 7amleh said after Leila Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), was censored. The co-founder of 7amleh has called Khaled a “resistance icon.”

Even as mainstream American conservatives have faced trigger-happy censorship from top platforms – with Twitter notoriously blocking the election-eve story on Hunter Biden’s laptop despite it being true – Facebook parent Meta and Twitter are “partners” of the forum, and 7amleh says it holds “Trusted Partner” status with Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok.

One event speaker, Hussein Hammad, an official with Al Mezan, shared a Facebook video in 2016 in which a speaker said that people should be taught that Jews control the world, NGO Monitor reported in 2020.

“We should tell them how America became a game in the hands of global Zionism… we should teach them… the truth told by Christian Congressman Herbert Spencer: …The Jews in our country control everything… all that is left is to change the name of New York to Jew York,” the video said. “Benjamin Franklin said: The undoing of America will be at the hand of the Jews.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Anti-Zionist US Jews Who Insist Mainstream Orgs Don’t Speak For Them Also Insist On Speaking Over Zionist Mizrahim (satire)
Progressive American activists who identify as Jews of European heritage but oppose Jewish sovereignty in the ancestral Jewish homeland resent the presumption of the large non-profit and political action groups that invariably support that sovereignty in their name, while at the same time the progressive activists arrogate for themselves the privilege to represent Jews of non-European heritage, declaring that sympathy with, and support for, Israel, erases the heritage of those non-European communities that refused to support the reestablishment of Jewish sovereignty in the ancestral Jewish homeland – even as the overwhelming majority of such non-European Jews both live under and voice staunch support for that sovereignty.

Members of Jewish Voice for Peace, If Not Now, and other “social justice” organizations in the US styling themselves as Jewish have long bristled at the likes of the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee; the World Zionist Organization; the Jewish Agency for Israel; the Jewish Federation; and numerous other mainstream groups, which, the social justice activists contend, fail to account for the opinions and desires of anti-Zionist Jews who insist Jews in Muslim-majority countries had little interest in Zionism until European Zionists disturbed the peaceful relations Mizrahi Jews had with their host cultures, an insistence that ignores the centuries of pervasive oppression of Jews in Muslim-majority cultures; the structural legal inferiority of Jews in those societies; the numerous massacres, forced conversions, and discriminatory laws targeting Jews; and the robust Zionism of Mizrahi Jews, most of whom live enthusiastically in Israel and support its security and prosperity, both before and since the establishment of the Jewish State.
NY Times Goes Down the BDS Rabbit Hole In Style
The paper’s uncritical inclusion of Katebi’s admiration for the antisemitic BDS movement as a supposedly social justice value recalls the Times‘ previous scandalous profile of Alice Walker. In that 2018 profile, Walker, who has her own troubling history of expressing virulent antisemitic sentiments, gave glowing praise for racist conspiracy theorist David Icke and his rabidly antisemitic book, stating: “In Icke’s books there is the whole of existence, on this planet and several others, to think about. A curious person’s dream come true.”

Having previously steered readers to a book oozing in blatant antisemitism and Holocaust denial, The New York Times’ fashion story includes a hyperlink directing readers to a PACBI site promoting the antisemitic BDS movement. The site includes PACBI’s long-debunked alternate reality accounts of Bruce Willis, Jean Claude Van Damme, Lenny Kravitz, Meg Ryan, “Miss Greece” Rafaela Plastira, and Veolia among others.

Ironically, and in a twist exposing the depth of BDS’ detachment from facts and morality — a disconnect making it virtually indistinguishable from its parody — The Times initially provided a hyperlink to a satirical anti-BDS site poking fun at the anti-Israel movement. The Times apparently mistook the parody site for the real deal. Admittedly, this researcher quickly glanced at the spoof site and also failed to detect the satire given that the actual BDS movement rivals its parody on the absurdity count.

Virtuous BDSer Hoda Katebi alerted The Times to the mix up, and editors dutifully replaced the parody site link with a link to PACBI’s very similar site. (In a significant tip off, the satire site includes links to CAMERA. PACBI’s real site does not.)
The Problem with Israel-Studies Departments
When the University of Washington returned a $5 million gift intended to start an Israel Studies Department, the reason was simple: the professor tasked with running the department had no intention of teaching a balanced perspective on the history and current governance of the state of Israel. He was, instead, a staunch supporter of the pro-Palestinian movement – and the university put his anti-Israel viewpoints ahead of student education and donor intent.

The university’s decision caused a debate in some circles over donor intent versus academic freedom. Academic freedom is important, yet it is not a license to take money from a donor to teach something far different than what the donor intended. Nonetheless, some in the academic community want to use gifts like these as a blank check to teach whatever they want.

Many Israel Studies Departments have become departments that teach students to hate Israel, as part of a pervasive hostility towards the Jewish state. The U.S. Department of Education found that “over $6.6 billion” was given to higher educational institutions from “Qatar, China, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates,” a number that the department showed is almost certainly a vast undercount when Qatar’s $3.4 billion in donations to Arab nationalist Middle Eastern Studies programs is well-known, as is the anti-Israel perspective Qatar prefers. Yet there is little academic pushback against this foreign funding because there is no explicit call for a certain academic perspective. There does not need to be such a call, however, when far left-leaning professors who want to teach about Israel in a way that is consistent with what the Qatar government wants.

Academic integrity must be protected as much as academic freedom. The University of Washington story is instructive. As reported by Forbes in mid-April, “Last month, the University of Washington (UW) made headlines when it returned a gift of $5 million for a named chair in Israel Studies to donor Rebecca ‘Becky’ Benaroya.” The donation was for the purposes “of endowing a chair, whose holder ‘will demonstrate a strong commitment to studying, teaching, and disseminating knowledge about Jews and Judaism, as well as the modern State of Israel.’” Back in 2017, again as reported by Forbes, the professor in charge of the funded Benaroya Israel Studies Department at UW was a former head of the Israel/Palestine Studies Department at the University of Colorado. “Professor (Liora) Halperin expressed discomfort with her position as Benaroya Endowed Chair in Israel Studies, saying on a panel, ‘Many of us want to be in Middle East Studies ... I don’t like the fact that the money I have to give graduate students is called Israel Studies money.’”
Congresswoman Omar Poses for Photo with 'America is Run on Hate' Guy
Politicians take photos with a lot of people, and sometimes they wish they hadn’t. Given his statements belittling the US and her citizens, photos taken with Imtiaz Mohammad, founder of the American Muslim Progressive Caucus (AMPC), are probably ones that some office holders would wish they could take back. Yet, time and again, politicians smile and cozy up to him, lending themselves and their images to be shared on his social media. This was the case, when US Representative Ilhan Omar came to South Florida to speak at a CAIR event, and it has been the case for many others. Question: Do they agree with Mohammad’s contemptable views?

Imtiaz Ahmad Mohammad grew up in the Hyderabad area of Pakistan and arrived in the United States in 1991, first settling in New York, then Florida. Since coming to Florida, Mohammad has been involved in a number of ventures. He runs a plethora of South Florida beauty salons. In 2015, he incorporated and published a South Asian oriented monthly magazine, Pak Mag, which changed its name to Asian Times, in 2017, and which dissolved in 2018. He has also involved himself in the Democratic Party and different progressive causes, such as defunding police and abolishing ICE, and he had a couple of failed attempts at running for statewide office.

As well, Mohammad has attended and spoken at a number of events organized by the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), a group with several ties to South Asian extremism and which Mohammad calls “a humanitarian champion.” For 30-plus years, ICNA has harbored alleged death squad leader Ashrafuz Zaman Khan from the 1971 Bangladesh Genocide, and ICNA has promoted Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), a banned front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). ICNA has further sponsored anti-Israel events, including a July 2014 pro-Hamas rally in downtown Miami, where rally goers repeatedly chanted “We are Hamas” and “Let’s go Hamas.”

In January 2017, Mohammad was a contact for tickets to an ICNA benefit dinner, featuring Hamas operative Monzer Taleb and community activist/agitator Linda Sarsour, whom Mohammad calls “a remarkable American Muslim.” Taleb has notoriously sung songs threatening Jews, and in June 2019, he posted a message on Facebook that Jews in Israel “should be relocated to Germany.” Sarsour, whose own antisemitism has been widely reported, in September 2019, was forced to resign from her position as National Organizer and Co-Chair of the Women’s March, due to her alleged embrace of bigotry against Jews and LGBTQ.
Ontario Greens lose young Toronto candidate over Israel-Palestine stance
Voters in Ontario’s Davenport riding in Toronto no longer have a Green Party candidate to back in next month’s provincial election after contender Nafeesa Alibhai quit over a recent statement from the Ontario Greens that cites research by a pro-Israel organization.

In a Twitter thread Wednesday, Alibhai said an Ontario Green Party statement reacting to B’nai Brith Canada’s annual audit of anti-Semitic incidents was the “final straw for me in an already very conflicting campaign.”

“To the constituents of #DavenportTO, I’m sorry you don’t have a Green candidate to represent you,” they wrote on Twitter. “In my experience, the values the GPO preaches are not what they practice, and I felt it would be dishonest of me to pretend otherwise.”

Mike Schreiner, the party’s leader and the only member in the last provincial legislature, responded in an April 28 statement to a report by B’nai Brith Canada, which describes itself as “a staunch defender of the State of Israel.” The report found there was a rise in anti-Semitic incidents in the country last year.
Jewish NYC politician pulls donation to Holocaust museum over alleged DeSantis snub
A Jewish New York City council member pulled her $5,000 contribution from the Museum of Jewish Heritage on Monday over its alleged ban of Florida governor Ron DeSantis, as mainstream Jewish institutions increasingly get pulled into US culture wars and politics.

“I did something I would’ve never imagined doing in my wildest dreams: I’ve pulled funding from a museum that educates the world about the atrocities of the Holocaust,” Republican New York City Council Member Inna Vernikov said in an open letter to the museum’s donors.

She said the museum had “unabashedly politicized a sacred part of our history.”

Two prominent Jewish conservatives, Elliot Abrams and Eric Cohen, said on Thursday that New York City’s Museum of Jewish Heritage, a Holocaust memorial museum, refused to host an event if DeSantis was invited.

The museum denied the allegations, saying, “No one was banned or canceled,” and that the museum had not signed a contract with Cohen’s Tikva fund, a conservative think tank.

Vernikov lashed the museum over the alleged snub, saying the museum “used the Holocaust as a political tool to promote their leftwing agenda.”

“It greatly saddens me to see this museum’s leadership act so cowardly. The Holocaust should never be politicized,” she said, calling on other donors to pull funding from the museum.

Conservative scrutiny of Florida’s math books finds a joke about Jews
In a purge following accusations that textbook publishers were trying to “indoctrinate” students in allegedly liberal concepts, Florida rejected dozens of math books from being used in the state’s schools.

One of them contained a string of Jewish jokes — including one that a conservative activist flagged as antisemitic: “Why do Jewish divorces cost so much? Because they’re worth it.”

The joke is attributed to Henny Youngman, the late Jewish comedian, and was included in the book “Thinking Mathematically,” by Rob Blitzer, in a chapter on “Counting Methods and Probability Theory.” The joke appears in the book’s seventh edition, released in 2019.

Chris Allen, who is involved with the conservative group Moms for Liberty and was one of 83 volunteers who participated in Florida’s textbook review, identified the joke, the Washington Post noted in a new story about Florida education officials’ explanation for why they rejected 41% of math texts.

The reviewers were supposed to flag when books included “critical race theory,” social-emotional learning or references to the Common Core, standards that were created through a nonpartisan effort to elevate and align what American students’ are taught but later became a political liability for conservatives.
Israeli ambassador to Morocco is challenged with fighting anti-Israel narratives
One of the challenges of being an Israeli ambassador just about anywhere is combating anti-Israel narratives in the media. The challenge is even greater in the Arab world.

Israel’s Ambassador to Morocco David Govrin has worked hard on that front in recent weeks.

Relations between Rabat and Jerusalem “very quickly returned to normal” after Operation Guardian of the Walls last year. Govrin expects the same after recent rioting by Palestinians at al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and the killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh the day before his interview with The Jerusalem Post on Thursday, however, they still “make the development of ties more difficult.”

“The public in Morocco gets most of its information in French and Arabic, and a lot of the reports, especially in Arabic, are lies that incite and provoke,” Govrin lamented. “A large segment of the media reports were fake news, which makes it hard to explain the situation.”

The ambassador pointed to “conspiracy theories,” such as that Israel plans to change the status quo on the Temple Mount.

“We totally denied this and emphasized that the prime minister and foreign minister have no intention to change it, because we are very sensitive to the circumstances and don’t want an escalation,” he said. “We emphasized that a group of terrorist extremists took the law in their hands to desecrate [al-Aqsa] with violent acts and tried to prevent most of the Muslims arriving from fulfilling their right to pray on the Temple Mount. In the end, they should remember that about 100,000 Muslim worshipers ascended the Mount and prayed.”
Swiss Parliament Calls for Government Panel to Address Nazi-Looted Art Claims
Switzerland’s House of Representatives has unanimously agreed to call on the government to set up an independent panel to assess claims about artworks allegedly seized by Nazis during World War II, Swiss media reported Wednesday.

Lawmaker Jon Pult, who submitted a parliamentary motion last year to consider creating such a panel, pointed out that other countries — including Germany, Austria, France, the Netherlands and Britain — already have similar expert commissions to make recommendations on instances of cultural items confiscated by the Nazis, according to the online news service Swissinfo.

Explaining his push to set up an independent panel, Pult said, “Switzerland would be making its contribution to addressing a dark chapter of history and living up to its responsibility in handling cultural property lost as a result of Nazi persecution.”

The House of Representatives also voted to have the panel examine claims regarding colonial era cultural goods. The Senate has yet to debate the proposals, but Swiss Interior Minister Alain Berset told Parliament on Wednesday that the government was willing to prepare a bill to support the motion, according to Swissinfo.

The proposal for an independent panel came in response to criticism over the display of a collection at Zurich’s Kunsthaus art museum that opened in October 2021. The collection features approximately 200 pieces owned by German art collector Emil Georg Bührle, who sold weapons to Nazi Germany during World War II, bought Nazi-looted art and profited from forced slave labor in Germany.
German police said to foil an attempted school ‘Nazi attack’ by teenager
German investigators said Thursday that they foiled a “Nazi terror attack” in a school, after arresting a 16-year-old suspect.

An overnight search of the suspect’s apartment yielded bomb-making materials and large amounts of right-wing extremist, antisemitic and anti-Muslim writings in the teen’s possession, North Rhine-Westphalia state minister Herbert Reul told a press conference. Essen police said they also found spears and other sharp weapons.

“The police prevented a nightmare,” Reul told reporters.

Reul said officers did not find any detonators at the teen’s apartment, noting that the materials found were “functional but not yet ready for use.”

The suspect was allegedly planning to target the Don-Bosco-Gymnasium, the school he currently attends, or another local school he previously attended, the Realschule am Schloss Borbeck, police said.

Both schools were closed Thursday because of the police operations. A statement on the Don-Bosco-Gymnasium’s website Thursday morning said they had “received indications that a crime was being planned at the school.”

While both schools are not explicitly Jewish, the Nazi propaganda found at the teen’s apartment convinced investigators that the motive for a potential attack would have been “Nazi in nature.”

Reul said Thursday afternoon that thus far, no bombs or bomb-related materials had been found at the schools.
Lib Dem councillor suspended after posting anti-semitic TikTok video
A councillor in Wales has been suspended by the Liberal Democrats after an inflammatory antisemitic video they'd posted was surfaced.

Little Brighouse, who identifies as non-binary, posted a video on TikTok with a burning Israeli flag and the phrase 'from the River to the Sea'.

According to political blog Guido Fawkes who first reported the video, Brighouse was reported to the Welsh Liberal Democrats for their TikTok post which was captioned '#endapartheid"

Brighouse won election in the Disserth and Trecoed with Newbridge Electoral Division with 293 votes out of a total 663 cast equating to just under 50% of the vote in the ward.

They will now sit as non-aligned councillor pending the results of the party investigation.

After the local council elections last week, the local Liberal Democrat party tweeted then deleted a message of congratulations for Brighouse praising "the first enby County Councillor in Wales."

At the time of writing Brighouse's social media still described them as a Liberal Democrat councillor.

A spokesman for the Liberal Democrats said: "We received a complaint regarding this candidate which has been reviewed under our independent complaints process.
Israel’s StoreDot demos electric vehicle battery that can recharge in 10 minutes
StoreDot, an Israeli developer of extreme fast-charging (XFC) battery technology for electric vehicles, held a live public demonstration of its capabilities on Wednesday, charging a full-scale electric vehicle battery cell in just 10 minutes.

StoreDot hopes to deliver charging technology that can power EVs for 100 miles in a charge of five minutes by 2024, reducing to three minutes by 2028 and two minutes by 2032.

The demonstration featured a 300×100 mm pouch cell produced by StoreDot’s Chinese partner, EVE Energy, which was charged under a 10-minute time limit, exceeding the 0% to 80% capacity target set for the demo, the company said. The cell maintained a charge rate capable of adding 100 miles of range every 5 minutes of charging, it said.

StoreDot, founded in 2012, is working with major partners and investors such as Volvo; BP Ventures, the venture arm of the British multinational oil and gas firm BP plc; Daimler AG, the maker of the Mercedes Benz cars; and South Korea’s Samsung Ventures to solve some of the biggest barriers to mass EV adoption, namely range anxiety — a concern among drivers that the battery will run out of power before they can get to their destination — and charging time.

The company has raised some $190 million in funding, according to Start-Up Nation Central’s finder database.
Letter in which Einstein urged world to attack Nazis up for auction
A rare letter handwritten and signed by renowned Jewish physicist Albert Einstein that urges world powers to take a harder line against Nazi Germany is up for auction at the Kedem Auction House in Jerusalem.

The letter, addressed to Danish journalist Karen Stampe Bendix and dated 1936, was written as the threat posed to European Jews by Nazi Germany was becoming more evident and in conjunction with Adolf Hitler’s escalating political extremism.

Despite his pacifist worldview, Einstein insisted in the letter that under the prevailing circumstances, there is no choice but to confront Germany and even take the initiative in doing so.

“It would have been best to intervene already three years ago,” he wrote.

“There are diseases that cannot be overcome without surgery. I cannot deny this even though I abhor the knife,” he added, in a strikingly voiced opposition to the conciliatory stance of the powers of the free world.

“Most regrettable is the feeble stance of England, insofar as it indeed postpones the start of war, but certainly cannot prevent it,” Einstein said.

The Jewish physicist implored the Danish journalist to take comfort in her own situation, arguing that Denmark “is unthreatened by the impending turbulence, ” and promising her that “even if it is economically difficult, there is yet strange consolation in that no place on earth is in a better situation.”

That assertion, however, turned out to be false, as Denmark was attacked and occupied by Nazi forces in 1940.
House Votes to Bestow Medal of Honor on Last Surviving Nuremberg Prosecutor
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill on Tuesday to award the Congressional Medal of Honor to Benjamin Ferencz, the last surviving prosecutor of the Nuremberg Trials.

The measure was introduced by Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.), in whose district Ferencz resides.

“In this day of partisan conflict, this is a rare show of bipartisanship with 296 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle,” Frankel stated on the House floor on Tuesday. “Mr. Ferencz is 103 years old, and to this day is a tireless advocate for the rule of law and international justice. I have met Ben Ferencz because I am blessed to say he is my constituent in Delray Beach, Fla. And he remains very alert and very humble.”

Ferencz, who was honored earlier this year by the State of Florida, was born in Transylvania in 1920. He moved to the United States with his parents before his first birthday. He was only 27 when served as a Nazi prosecutor after the end of World War II. Benjamin Ferencz, Aug. 9, 2012.

“Nearly 80 years after the conclusion of these trials we meet here, during Jewish-American history month, after having just celebrated Israel’s Independence Day and observing Yom Hashoah, the day set aside for Jews to remember the Holocaust. It is important to recognize that we are still fighting an ongoing battle against racism, anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial in this country and around the world,” said Frankel.
Remembering Neal Adams, a comic book legend who championed Holocaust awareness
Comic artist Neal Adams, who passed away at age 80 in New York City on April 28, is best known for having revolutionized Batman and other iconic comic book characters for both the DC and Marvel brands. But Adams himself was also a fearless crusader: He battled comics publishers for the rights of artists and writers, rescued Superman’s Jewish creators from abject poverty and campaigned for a Holocaust survivor to regain portraits she painted in Auschwitz.

Adams, who was born in New York City in 1941 and spent much of his childhood on a US military base in postwar Germany where his father was stationed, was not Jewish. But he had a strong interest in the Holocaust, both because of his childhood memories from Germany and because his mother-in-law was a Jewish refugee from Nazi-occupied Poland who helped the Polish Embassy in Morocco design counterfeit documents for other Jews fleeing from the Nazis.

In school, “they showed us some pretty harrowing stuff — newsreel footage of what the Allied troops found when they liberated the camps, severely emaciated prisoners, huge piles of dead bodies,” he later recalled. “It was very hard for a 9-year-old to take. I came home from school and wouldn’t speak to anyone for days.”

Those memories would influence his interest in Holocaust education many years later.

After graduating from the School of Industrial Art in Manhattan, Adams worked for an advertising agency where he created artwork based on copying photographs. The technique helped him develop an uncannily realistic art style which would prove revolutionary for comic books.

In 1967, Adams began drawing for DC Comics, the publisher of Batman and Superman and, a few years later, for Marvel Comics, home of Spider-Man and the X-Men. Under Adams’s pen, superheroes who previously were drawn in exaggerated, cartoonish ways, took on a new, powerfully realistic appearance. Sales of Adams-drawn comics skyrocketed.

Adams’s rendering of Batman in particular was a game-changer. He transformed the Caped Crusader — by then best-known from the campy 1960s television series — into the grim and gritty Dark Knight character that came to dominate Batman comics and more recently movies. Adams also drew groundbreaking comic stories of the superheroes Green Lantern and Green Arrow which dealt with social issues such as racism, drug abuse and pollution.

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