Monday, May 30, 2022

05/30 Links Pt2: Jonathan Tobin: Why do young Americans give Israel the cold shoulder?; Half of Jewish Israelis back prayer on Temple Mount, mostly to ‘prove sovereignty’

From Ian:

Jonathan Tobin: Why do young Americans give Israel the cold shoulder?
As Gallup's numbers show, those trends were set in place long before Netanyahu and Obama were engaging in public quarrels. Moreover, Israel's continued presence in the West Bank has everything to do with repeated Palestinian rejections of Israeli offers of statehood and peace, and little to do with the policies of right-wing governments. Since, to this day, both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas reject the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn, the continued "occupation" is their fault – not Netanyahu or the coalition led by Naftali Bennett that includes an Arab party that succeeded him a year ago.

The failure of American media, mainstream politicians and the foreign-policy establishment to accept these facts as most Israelis have done is why so many have accepted the false narrative about Palestinian victimization that has impacted public opinion.

Israel's polling problems can also be traced to the popularity of left-wing ideologies like critical race theory and intersectionality that have largely conquered college campuses and have now recently migrated to the public square. If you view Israelis and Jews as possessors of "white privilege" – though the majority of Jewish Israelis are people of color who trace their origins to former homes in the Middle East and North Africa – and think of Palestinian Arabs, rather than Jews as the indigenous people in the country, then you are likely to ignore the facts of the conflict or about the character of the movements that lead the Palestinians.

It's hardly surprising that these views are to be found more among young Americans and Democrats than among older ones or Republicans.

As to what to do about it, the notion that policy shifts regarding the Palestinians or Iran will make Israel more popular is a myth. The idea was discredited by what happened after it embraced the Oslo process that involved territorial surrenders, as well as by the aftermath of the complete withdrawal of every Israeli soldier, settler or settlement from Gaza by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2005.

Those efforts led to more terrorism and allowed the Palestinians to continue to dream of Israel's destruction. Rather than illustrating Israel's desire for peace or the Palestinian disinterest in it, it had the opposite effect. Each concession only strengthened the false narrative that Israel was a thief returning stolen property to the rightful owners and gave new life to an anti-Zionist movement whose goal is the elimination of the only Jewish state on the planet.

That demonstrates that what Israel needs is a more aggressive information policy grounded in arguments for Jewish rights and the truth about the nature of its opponents, not anodyne sentiments about a desire for peace or even attempts to distract the public from the conflict by talking about Israel's beauty or the value of its high-tech industry.

Israel will never convince "progressives" that believe it has no right to exist anymore than Palestinians will persuade the 30% of Americans who told Pew that they believe God gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people to forsake them. Instead, it must battle for those in the middle, pointing out that the toxic theories of the left are a permission slip for antisemitism and not advocacy for human rights. Any other approach will only ensure that the troubling trends among young people and Democrats will continue to get worse.
Our nation's capital throughout history - Jerusalem
Jerusalem and the Jewish people are so intertwined that telling the history of one is telling the history of the other. For more than 3,000 years, Jerusalem has played a central role in the history of the Jews, culturally, politically, and spiritually, a role first documented in the Scriptures. All through the 2,000 years of the diaspora, Jews have called Jerusalem their ancestral home. This sharply contrasts the relationship between Jerusalem and the new Islamists who artificially inflate Islam's links to Jerusalem.

The Arab rulers who controlled Jerusalem through the 1950s and 1960s demonstrated no religious tolerance in a city that gave birth to two major Western religions. That changed after the Six-Day War in 1967, when Israel regained control of the whole city. Symbolically, one of Israel's first steps was to officially recognize and respect all religious interests in Jerusalem. But the war for control of Jerusalem and its religious sites is not over.

Palestinian Arab terrorism has targeted Jerusalem particularly in an attempt to regain control of the city from Israel. The result is that they have turned Jerusalem, literally the City of Peace, into a bloody battleground and have thus forfeited their claim to share in the city's destiny.

Jerusalem’s Jewish Link: Historic, Religious, and Political

Jerusalem, wrote historian Sir Martin Gilbert, is not a ‘mere’ city. “It holds the central spiritual and physical place in the history of the Jews as a people.” For more than 3,000 years, the Jewish people have looked to Jerusalem as their spiritual, political, and historical capital, even when they did not physically rule over the city. Throughout its long history, Jerusalem has served, and still serves, as the political capital of only one nation – the one belonging to the Jews. Its prominence in Jewish history began in 1004 BCE, when King David declared the city the capital of the first Jewish kingdom. David’s successor and son, King Solomon, built the First Temple there, according to the Bible, as a holy place to worship the Almighty. Unfortunately, history would not be kind to the Jewish people. Four hundred and ten years after King Solomon completed construction of Jerusalem, the Babylonians (early ancestors to today’s Iraqis) seized and destroyed the city, forcing the Jews into exile. Fifty years later, the Jews, or Israelites as they were called, were permitted to return after Persia (present-day Iran) conquered Babylon. The Jews’ first order of business was to reclaim Jerusalem as their capital and rebuild the Holy Temple, recorded in history as the Second Temple.

Jerusalem was more than the Jewish kingdom’s political capital. It was a spiritual beacon. During the First and Second Temple periods, Jews throughout the kingdom would travel to Jerusalem three times yearly for the pilgrimages of the Jewish holy days of Sukkot, Passover, and Shavuot, until the Roman Empire destroyed the Second Temple in 70 CE and ended Jewish sovereignty over Jerusalem for the next 2,000 years. Despite that fate, Jews never relinquished their bond to Jerusalem or, for that matter, to Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel.

No matter where Jews lived throughout the world for those two millennia, their thoughts and prayers were directed toward Jerusalem. Even today, whether in Israel, the United States or anywhere else, Jewish ritual practice, holy day celebration and lifecycle events include recognition of Jerusalem as a core element of the Jewish experience. Consider that:
- Jews in prayer always turn toward Jerusalem.
- Arks (the sacred chests) that hold Torah scrolls in synagogues throughout the world face Jerusalem.
- Jews end Passover Seders each year with the words: “Next year in Jerusalem”; the same words are pronounced at the end of Yom Kippur, the most solemn day of the Jewish year.
- Three-week moratorium on weddings in the summer recalls the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem by the Babylonian army in 586 BCE. That period culminates in a special day of mourning – Tisha B’Av (the 9th day of the Hebrew month Av) – commemorating the destruction of both the First and Second Temples.
- Jewish wedding ceremonies – joyous occasions, are marked by sorrow over the loss of Jerusalem. The groom recites a biblical verse from the Babylonian Exile: “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning,” and breaks a glass in commemoration of the destruction of the Temples.

Even body language, often said to tell volumes about a person, reflects the importance of Jerusalem to Jews as a people and, arguably, the lower priority the city holds for Muslims:
- When Jews pray they face Jerusalem; in Jerusalem Israelis pray facing the Temple Mount.
- When Muslims pray, they face Mecca; in Jerusalem Muslims pray with their backs to the city.
- Even at burial, Muslims face toward Mecca.

Finally, consider the number of times Jerusalem is mentioned in the two religions' holy books:
- The Old Testament mentions ‘Jerusalem’ 349 times. Zion, another name for ‘Jerusalem,’ is mentioned 108 times.
- The Quran never mentions Jerusalem – not even once.

Even when others controlled Jerusalem, Jews maintained a physical presence in the city, despite being persecuted and impoverished. Before the advent of modern Zionism in the 1880s, Jews were moved by a form of religious Zionism to live in the Holy Land, settling particularly in four holy cities: Safed, Tiberias, Hebron, and most importantly – Jerusalem. Consequently, Jews constituted a majority of the city’s population for generations. In 1898, “In this City of the Jews, where the Jewish population outnumbers all others three to one …” Jews constituted 75 percent of the Old City population in what Secretary-General Kofi Annan called ‘East Jerusalem.’ In 1914, when the Ottoman Turks ruled the city, 45,000 Jews made up a majority of the 65,000 residents. And at the time of Israeli statehood in 1948, 100,000 Jews lived in the city, compared to only 65,000 Arabs. Prior to unification, Jordanian-controlled ‘East Jerusalem’ was a mere 6 square kilometers, compared to 38 square kilometers on the ‘Jewish side.’

Half of Jewish Israelis back prayer on Temple Mount, mostly to ‘prove sovereignty’
More Jewish Israelis support allowing Jews to pray on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem than oppose it, a recent survey has found.

Half of those polled by the Israel Democracy Institute said they supported Jewish prayer on the holy site, while 40 percent said they opposed it. The rest were not sure.

The poll, which was conducted last month, was first published shortly before Sunday’s Jerusalem Day, which police said saw a record-setting 2,600 Jews visit the Temple Mount.

Over the course of three days in late April, the IDI surveyed 601 people in Hebrew — a common means of collecting a Jewish polling group without asking for one’s religion directly — about their opinions regarding the Temple Mount and the restrictions against Jewish prayer on the esplanade under what is referred to as the “status quo.”

Generally, this arrangement is understood to mean that Muslims are permitted to visit and pray on the Temple Mount, while non-Muslims can only visit, not pray. The status quo has also been interpreted to refer to formal, organized Jewish services, not prayers said quietly by individuals.

The ban on prayer, as well as religious prohibitions against visits to the Temple Mount entirely, were once a matter of consensus among religious and secular Israelis, but in recent years, public opinion on the issues has begun to shift, save for among Israel’s ultra-Orthodox population, which still overwhelmingly accepts and supports these restrictions.

This is principally due to a growing belief that equates Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount with Israeli sovereignty over the site, widely considered the holiest spot for Jews, where two Temples once stood and where the biblical patriarch Abraham is said to have nearly sacrificed his son Isaac, before God intervened.

PMW: PA wants religious war, calls to fight Jerusalem flag parade
In non-democratic regimes, when leaders recognize that they have lost the support of their own people and possibly are even seen as a corrupt enemy by their own people, they often seek conflict or war to create an enemy to distract them from the real source of their problems.

With PA and Fatah Chairman Mahmoud Abbas having lost support of the people, with 80% saying his government is corrupt and a similar number demanding he resign, and with his Fatah party facing almost certain defeat to Hamas if the PA were to hold elections, it is not surprising that he is trying to trigger a religious war against Jews and Israel.

Today Israel celebrates Jerusalem’s liberation in 1967 from nearly 2000 years of foreign occupation which ended with Jordan’s illegal 19-year occupation (1948 – 1967). For over 30 years now, tens of thousands of Israelis have celebrated Jerusalem Day by marching and dancing across Jerusalem waving Israeli flags, entering the Old City through the Lion’s Gate, and more recently the Damascus Gate. The Flag Parade ends at the Western Wall Plaza to celebrate with music and dance.

Mahmoud Abbas sees this event as a great opportunity to incite violence and terror in the “name of Islam” against Jews celebrating the liberation day - an opportunity that hopefully will serve his other goal: to distract the Palestinian people from his failed leadership.

Yesterday, Abbas’ Fatah posted a video from Fatah-run Awdah TV on an official Fatah Facebook page, showing Palestinians rioting in Jerusalem. The video called on Palestinians literally to stop today’s parade and prevent the Israeli flag from being waved in Jerusalem. Palestinians were told: “Don’t be negligent and don’t let their flags wave in our sky”:

MEMRI: On Israel’s Jerusalem Day, Qatari State Press Incites Against Israel: It Seeks To Demolish Al-Aqsa, Dome Of The Rock; This Is A Sacred Day Of Resistance That Must Become A Worldwide Day Of Rage
On Israel’s Jerusalem Day (May 29, 2022), and ahead of the Flag March traditionally held in the city on this day, two Qatari state dailies published editorials that incited against Israel, threatened it and called for an uprising against it. The editorial of the Al-Watan daily claimed that holding the Flag March according to the planned route, which passes through Damascus Gate and the Muslim quarter in the Old City, is an act of provocation by Israel, which seeks to “divide Al-Aqsa” between Muslims and Jews and “to demolish the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque.” It described May 29 as a “sacred day” of Palestinian uprising to defend Jerusalem against “the occupation’s Judaizing plots,” and called to turn it into a day of rage in all the countries of the world in solidarity with the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem. The editorial of the Al-Sharq daily stated that Israel’s insistence on holding the march was an act that “clearly invites an escalation and a new cycle of violence in the region.” It added that, “in light of the Israeli escalation and the provocative march, all options are apparently open in terms of the unfolding of events in the Palestinian territories.”

The following are translated excerpts from the two editorials:
Editorial In Qatari State Daily Al-Watan: Today The Palestinian Masses Will Launch Their Uprising In Defense Of Jerusalem And Al-Aqsa

The May 29, 2022 editorial of the Qatari daily Al-Watan, titled “Defending the Holy Places,” states: “Today [Sunday, May 29, 2022] the Palestinians are calling to raise the national banners everywhere, in protest of the Israeli Flag March that Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett decided to leave as it was [i.e., without altering its route], as a new Israeli provocation. Today the Palestinian masses launch their uprising in defense of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa, which requires the support of the Arab and Islamic nations, their regimes and their peoples. This Sunday is a sacred day [devoted to] thwarting the occupation’s Judaization plots, which is a historic duty incumbent upon all of us. We must create a reality of general opposition to the march, which will pass through Damascus Gate, a place that belongs to the [Palestinian] residents of Jerusalem, because, during the march, the settlers call out insulting and loathsome slogans that offend religious and national sentiment, and this is a provocation against all Arabs and Muslims, without exception.

“Supporting the Palestinian cause by every means – financial, moral, media and other – is now more crucial than ever, for the victory of the Palestinians is the victory of our religion, of our [national] affiliation and of our Arab identity. The issue of Jerusalem is not [just] a Palestinian or Arab one, but a pan-Muslim issue, and the current reality mandates turning this day into a day of rage in all the countries of the world, in solidarity with the people of Jerusalem. The occupation seeks to divide the area and the [prayer] times at Al-Aqsa [between the Muslims and Jews] in preparation for demolishing the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque. All the Arabs and Muslims must act in concert to convey a clear message, that this [behavior is tantamount to] playing with fire and can lead to significant consequences. [These consequences] must be prevented through serious and responsible efforts to prompt the international community to fulfill its neglected duty of translating its resolutions into action and pushing for the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. Otherwise, the occupation authorities will continue to implement their plan of Judaizing Jerusalem and taking over its holy places, which are sacred to all Muslims and Arabs everywhere.“[1]
UAE condemns Israel for allowing ‘provocative violations’ at Temple Mount
The United Arab Emirates on Monday called on Israeli authorities to reduce friction at the Temple Mount, a day after a record number of Jews were allowed to visit the holy site on Jerusalem Day.

In a statement, the UAE foreign ministry called on Israel to provide “full protection” at the site, and urged respect for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan’s informal role as custodian of Jerusalem’s holy sites.

The statement also called for an end to “provocative violations” at the Temple Mount, and urged “maximum restraint” from Israel to avoid further instability.

According to the Israel Police, some 2,600 Jews were granted entry to the holy site on Sunday, in groups of 40-50 in two waves in the morning and afternoon. A small number of them of displayed Israeli flags and said prayers — in violation of Israel’s rules for non-Muslim visitors.

Among those who visited the site on Sunday was far-right MK Itamar Ben Gvir.

The Temple Mount — which also houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque — is administered by the Waqf, a religious trust run and funded by Jordan. The site is the holiest site for Jews, as the location of two biblical temples, while Al-Aqsa is the third holiest shrine in Islam, turning the area into a major flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The UAE’s statement followed condemnation from Jordan, the Palestinian Authorities and Egypt on Sunday. Egypt warned in a statement that allowing a large number of Jews to visit the site leads to an escalation of tensions.
Gantz: Time to consider terror label for far-right La Familia, Lehava
Defense Minister Benny Gantz said the “time has come” to consider designating the far-right groups La Familia and Lehava as terrorist organizations, after they were at the forefront of the violence and inflammatory rhetoric at Sunday’s nationalist Flag March through the Old City’s Muslim Quarter.

The violence and incitement on display at the Jerusalem Day march through the capital was widely discussed and condemned by the heads of several political parties, but ignored entirely by others, notably the right-wing Likud party and far-right Religious Zionism party.

After meeting with Jerusalem police officers, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, of the right-wing Yamina party, condemned the “group of extremists” behind the violence and said they would be brought to justice.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, of the centrist Yesh Atid party, said the Jerusalem Day festivities had been hijacked by groups like La Familia and Lehava.

“Instead of a day of happiness, they tried to make it a day of hate,” the foreign minister said, adding that “these people aren’t patriots.”

He added: “Jerusalem deserves better.”

Both La Familia and Lehava have been tied to cases of violence against Arabs in Israel over the years. La Familia is nominally a fan club of Jerusalem’s Beitar soccer team, though the team has repeatedly distanced itself from the organization due to its racist rhetoric and violent antics. Lehava is an anti-miscegenation and anti-homosexual organization that regularly employs violence mostly against Arab men. Its members have also been involved in arson attacks on churches and mixed Arab-Jewish schools, and one member was recently indicted for sexually assaulting an underage female member of the organization.
The Palestinians Have No Nationalists
Counting the headline and the accompanying text, the AP’s article yesterday identified Israelis or their actions as “nationalist” or some derivative thereof half a dozen times. Palestinians appearing in the story — (for example, those who clash with the Israelis, or those operating “a drone flying a Palestinian flag”) — are no less fervent about their nationalism, but AP does not identify them as nationalists. Indeed, AP’s formulation says it all: a scuffle takes place between “Israeli nationalists and Palestinians.” Not “Israelis and Palestinians,” and not “Israeli nationalists and Palestinian nationalists.”‘

In contrast, AP’s treatment to Palestinian nationalism was considerably toned down in the news agency’s coverage of Abu Akleh’s nationalistic funeral procession. Thus, while the first paragraph reports “a procession that turned into perhaps the largest display of Palestinian nationalism in Jerusalem in a generation,” the Palestinian nationalists – unlike yesterday’s Israeli nationalists – don’t appear in the headline: “Israeli police beat pallbearers at journalist’s funeral.”

The article reports: “At the funeral, thousands of people, many waving Palestinian flags and chanting: ‘Palestine! Palestine!'” Note the “people,” as opposed to “Palestinian nationalists.” And while AP’s coverage of the Israeli parade twice referred to chants of “Death to Arabs,” the news agency’s coverage completely ignored the Palestinians’ threats to “Let the olive branch fall and raise the rifle.” It reported the less belligerent “Palestine! Palestine!” and along with the more aggressive: “We sacrifice our soul and blood for you, Shireen.”

Unlike its coverage of Israeli “nationalist or racist slogans,” AP refrains from using this language to describe the Palestinian chants. Instead, AP cites Israeli police accusations (“police said”) about Palestinian “nationalist incitement,” using scare quotes to distance the reporter from that language:
Police said the crowd at the hospital was chanting “nationalist incitement,” ignored calls to stop and threw stones at them. “The policemen were forced to act,” police said. They issued a video in which a commander outside the hospital warns the crowd that police will come in if they don’t stop their incitement and “nationalist songs.”

Equivalent behavior from Palestinians and Israelis elicits grossly disparate coverage. The blatant inconsistencies signaling journalistic bias are about as subtle calls to “Let the olive branch fall and raise the rifle.” Only the willfully blind could ignore them.

On This Day: 50 years since JRA terrorists commit Lod Airport Massacre
May 30 marks the 50th anniversary of the Lod Airport Massacre, when terrorists from the Japanese Red Army carried out a brutal shooting that killed 26 people and wounded 80 others.

The shooting took place when three Japanese men in business suits disembarked at Lod Airport (known today as Ben-Gurion Airport) and took machine guns and grenades from their luggage, opening fire indiscriminately throughout the airport.

The incident was carried out in cooperation with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

The casualties consisted of 17 Puerto Rican Christian pilgrims, a Canadian and eight Israelis, including Prof. Aharon Katzir, the head of Israel’s National Academy of Sciences and brother of Ephraim Katzir, who became president of Israel the following year.

Where in the world is Kozo Okamoto?
Two of the shooters died during the incident but one, Kozo Okamoto, survived and was taken into custody.

After pleading guilty to avoid the death penalty, Okamoto was given a life sentence. But 13 years later, he was released in a prisoner exchange with the Palestinians in what was later known as the Jibril Agreement. He later moved to Lebanon and was given refugee status due to participating in "resistance operations against Israel." Now 73 years old, Okamoto is reported to still be living in Lebanon to this day, though he remains wanted by Japan.
Palestinian NGOs laud release of Japan terror head with Lod massacre role
Palestinian NGOs and activists celebrated the end of the prison term of "empress of terror" Fusako Shigenobu on Saturday, the co-founder of the Japanese Red Army (JRA) terrorist organization who coordinated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine to commit the 1972 Lod Airport Massacre which killed 26 and injured dozens. "Human rights" groups praise arch-terrorist

"Fusako Shigenobu is finally free!" wrote the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM), the celebration coming just a day before the Lod terrorist attack's anniversary. "Palestinians everywhere salute and celebrate Fusako Shigenobu for her extraordinary dedication to our national struggle, and her friendship with our people."

The Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network organized a livestream to celebrate her release with Shigenobu's daughter May. The NGO said in a press release that it saluted her, describing her as a "revolutionary" and "political prisoner" who had been unjustly imprisoned. Brighton BDS called her story "amazing."

Upon her release, Shigenobu and her daughter dressed in Palestinian keffiyehs, as can be seen in a video published by May Shigenobu. She had been involved with Palestinian terrorist groups for decades and was the founder of the JRA group that carried out the Lod attack.

"Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network expresses its strongest support and solidarity to Fusako Shigenobu, internationalist prisoner of the Palestinian liberation struggle. She has been jailed in Japan for over 21 years as a political prisoner for her role as a founder of the revolutionary organization the Japanese Red Army (JRA), which struggled for a revolutionary future for Japan as well as working hand in hand with Palestinian revolutionaries in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) for a liberated Palestine."
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network

Lod Airpot massacre
"It's amazing seeing the amount of cognitive dissonance and apologism for literal terrorism from far-left activists," tweeted Oliver Jia, a Kyoto-based researcher on Japan-DPRK relations. "I know it's a radical stance to take, but maybe we shouldn't glorify violent mass murderers. Just throwing that out there."

Three Japanese members of the Trotskyite communist JRA, trained by the Marxist-Leninist PFLP, launched an attack at Lod International Airport in 1972, throwing grenades and firing with automatic rifles, according to Yoshihiro Kuriyama and Patricia Steinhoff in the scholarly journal Asian Survey. Eight Israelis, 17 Puerto Rican Christian pilgrims, and a Canadian citizen were killed. Among the dead included prominent scientist Aharon Katzir.
As Semester Ends, the BDS Movement Picks Up Gains on Campus
The spring semester ended in May with the BDS movement making strides on campus, but being pushed back in primary elections and in the cultural sphere.

On campus, one of the most notable episodes was the endorsement of BDS by the editorial board of the Harvard Crimson. The bizarrely written editorial stated that “desire for rightful justice spreads, like wildfire, moving us to act, to speak, to write, and right our past wrongs”; expressed “our sincere support to those who have been and continue to be subject to violence in occupied Palestine, as well as to any and all civilians affected by the region’s bellicosity”; and lauded student BDS supporters for their “potent form of resistance, … we are humbled by our peers’ passion and skill.”

Continuing this obsequious tone, the editorial board stated, “the extraordinary abuses and our privileged ability to speak to them and face comparatively less unjustified retribution — compel us to take a stand. Palestinians, in our board’s view, deserve dignity and freedom. We support the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction movement as a means to achieving that goal.” It also explicitly repudiated previous editorials that rejected BDS.

Pushback against the endorsement was swift from students (including dissenting members of the editorial board), faculty, and alumni, as well as Jewish groups.

Observers noted that the putative cachet of Harvard gave the endorsement greater weight than an average college newspaper. It was also significant for representing the antagonism toward Israel of aspiring members of the American ruling class.

The student governments at the University of California at Riverside, Louisiana State University, the Marquette University, and the University of Sydney passed BDS resolutions. The student union at the University of Liverpool rejected a BDS resolution.

At the University of Melbourne the student government approved a BDS resolution that declared Israel a “settler colonial apartheid state” that was guilty of “massacres, forced expulsion and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians”; deemed Zionism “a racist, colonial ideology”; and supported the right of Palestinians “to engage in self defence against their occupiers.”

The adoption was followed quickly by a class action lawsuit by a student alleging that the union had “acted outside of its purpose as a student union (violating the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012) and … violated the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001.” University officials had previously expressed opposition to the resolution, along with Jewish groups. The Australian National Student Association, however, expressed support for the Melbourne resolution. After a series of deliberations, the resolution was rescinded.
CUNY doesn't know what antisemitism is - opinion
The problem begins with ignorance – CUNY administrators do not know what antisemitism is. At no level does CUNY policy even define antisemitism. How can a scourge be addressed when its nature, goals, and tactics are not understood? To make matters worse, the PSC-CUNY faculty union leaders do indeed know what antisemitism is, but happily practice it against people like me all while pretending that such horrid discrimination is somehow a political debate regarding a dispute over land 10,000 km. away.

ODD AND nonsensical? Yes. This is strategic antisemitism at its core. And it is done by union leaders who seek to represent all CUNY faculty, including Zionist faculty, who then chant #ZionismOutOfCUNY.

As one union delegate and CUNY faculty member said in a secret internal email to fellow union delegates, “What we MUST start re-remembering in the discourse... is that antisemitism does not only apply to the Jewish people... [i]t applies to the Semitic peoples and there isn’t only one Semitic people.” Her delegate colleagues didn’t object to this position.

They didn’t, because many of these delegate CUNY faculty members seek ways in which to discriminate against their own Zionist Jewish faculty member colleagues at CUNY. So badly do they wish to practice antisemitism that they won’t even permit Jews themselves to have a hand in defining what it is.

CUNY and its faculty union have a very long way to go in addressing their very real and terrifying antisemitism problem, but allowing Zionist, observant and other outward Jews to assist in defining antisemitism is a crucial first step in even beginning to consider to address it.

It is time for CUNY and the PSC-CUNY union to adopt the widely-accepted International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Definition of Antisemitism. The IHRA definition of antisemitism reflects the lived experience of Jewish students, faculty, staff and others at CUNY, and its adoption by the university is the most effective way to begin to understand what antisemitism is, how it has been experienced throughout history, and what needs to be done to combat it.
PAC to spend $1M to oust ‘Squad’ member Tlaib
A new PAC endorsed by Bakari Sellers says it’s going to spend upward of $1 million to support one of the candidates trying to unseat progressive firebrand Rashida Tlaib.

The stated mission of the group, Urban Empowerment Action PAC, is to back candidates who are “dedicated to the educational empowerment and economic uplift of Black communities,” according to a release first shared with POLITICO’s The Recast. The PAC adds that its support of Janice Winfrey, the Detroit City Clerk, is meant to boost “her campaign to restore infrastructure, improve educational opportunities in the district and support the Biden-Harris agenda in D.C.”

The group is made up of a coalition of Black and Jewish business leaders.

For her part, Tlaib has been unequivocal in her disdain for Israel and its treatment of Palestinians and this week introduced a resolution in the House to recognize Palestinian Nakba — a term describing the displacement of Palestinians ahead of the 1948 establishment of Israel.

BBC News notes Temple Mount incitement it previously ignored
Last month we repeatedly had cause to make the following observations about BBC coverage of violent rioting on Temple Mount during Ramadan:
“none of these items […] provided relevant information concerning the pre-planned and organised nature of that morning’s rioting or the fact that Hamas and other terrorist organisations had been inciting precisely such violence for over a month.”

On May 24th the Israel Security Agency announced that it had arrested members of an active Hamas cell in Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Post reports:
“The cell was led by Rashid Rashek, a prominent Hamas operative in Jerusalem’s Old City, the Shin Bet said. Along with Hamas operative Mansour Tzafadi, from Abu Tor in southeastern Jerusalem, he planned a shooting attack or suicide bombing in the capital, it said.

According to the Shin Bet’s investigation, Rashek recruited a number of operatives in Jerusalem who would riot in the city’s eastern neighborhoods as well as on the Temple Mount during Ramadan “to destabilize the Temple Mount and Jerusalem.” The operatives brought fireworks, Hamas flags and other paraphernalia to use during the riots.”

The BBC News website also published a report about that ISA announcement on its ‘Middle East’ page on May 24th.
Seeing as the BBC News website’s Middle East editor is now aware of this example of Hamas’ practical efforts to provoke violent clashes at Temple Mount, perhaps BBC audiences can expect him and his colleagues to make more of an effort to ensure that their future reporting on Palestinian rioting in Jerusalem provides more of such relevant context and less promotion of Hamas talking points from partisan interviewees.

PreOccupiedTerritory: AP Repeats Palestinian Claims That Israeli Sniper Also Caused Challenger Disaster, Chernobyl (satire)
Major media continued their uncritical parroting of anti-Israel propaganda today while treating Israeli claims with skepticism, with one leading outlet stating as fact that the same nonexistent IDF gunman who they previously reported as having targeted an Al-Jazeera journalist during a firefight with militant here has a history of such irresponsible behavior, including the post-launch explosion of a space shuttle and, later the same year, a nuclear reactor meltdown in Soviet Ukraine.

The Associated Press, which three weeks ago reported matter-of-factly that an Israeli bullet had killed Shireen Abu Akleh, relying only on tendentious witness accounts and dismissing Israeli denials or explanations, as well as objective, documented fact, went even further today by conveying without comment Palestinian activist allegations that the posited sniper in the Abu Akleh case also set off the Challenger and Chernobyl nuclear plant disasters in 1986. That a 5.56mm bullet killed her indicates that it came from an assault rifle such as the American-made M-16 used by Israel and Palestinian security forces and terrorist groups, not an Israeli sniper rifle, which would fire 7.62mm rounds. That empirical data failed to make its way into AP and other media reporting on the incident except when quoting Israeli officials, the credibility of whose words the journalists downplayed by means of phrases such as “the IDF claims” or “Israeli military officials assert.”

“Palestinian accounts emerged today that the same IDF sniper who assassinated Abu Akleh fired the bullet that severed an important component during the failed 1986 Challenger Launch,” the AP reported. “As a result of that bullet impact, proper flow of materials failed, ultimately causing the main fuel tank to explode, destroying the orbiter, and sending the crew compartment plummeting into the ocean, whereupon the astronauts were killed. The same sniper disabled critical safety equipment at Chernobyl later that year, producing the worst nuclear disaster in history, killing dozens, rendering vast stretches of Ukraine uninhabitable, and, ultimately, contributing in important ways to the downfall of the Soviet Union, a staunch supporter of Palestinian rights.”
Toronto police arrest man who threatened yeshivah, yelled ‘kill Jews’
Toronto Police Service arrested a man who allegedly threatened Jewish students at the Yeshiva Gedolah of Toronto on Wednesday.

According to the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies, a delivery man yelled that he wanted to kill Jews.

The Orthodox news blog, The Yeshiva World, reported that “an IDF [Israel Defense Forces] veteran who now serves as a cook in the yeshivah approached the man and ordered him to leave, only for the suspect to respond by punching him in the face. The cook quickly tackled the man and pinned him down until police arrived.”

Police discovered a weapon on the suspect, who was arrested and faces several charges. He has since been released.

In April the Toronto Police Service released its annual report on hate crimes and stated that “the Jewish community represents 3.8% of the population in the City of Toronto but was victimized in approximately 22% of the total hate crimes.” Subscribe to The JNS Daily Syndicate by email and never miss our top stories “It is extremely troubling that a man with a weapon violently threatened people at a yeshivah and, even more disturbingly, yelled that he wanted to kill Jews. Clearly, this was an anti-Semitic crime, and the perpetrator must face consequences for his disturbing actions,” said Jaime Kirzner-Roberts, FSWC’s director of policy.
8 fun facts about Shavuot in Israel
Now that summer is upon us, it’s time to get ready for what is commonly considered the best holiday on the Jewish calendar: Shavuot. Coming seven weeks after Passover (Shavuot means “weeks” in Hebrew), Shavuot begins this year at nightfall on June 4.

Not only does the festival come without prohibitions (like fasting on Yom Kippur), but the most widespread way of celebrating it is by eating cheesecake. Really.

And it doesn’t stop there, for Shavuot in Israel comes with abundance of fun, as you’ll immediately see. Just scroll down, piece of creamy cake in hand.

1. It’s time to brush off your water gun
Perhaps because it’s usually so damn hot on Shavuot, many Israelis, particularly under a certain age, mark the festival with a full-blown and glorious water fight. Water guns and balloons are most people’s weapons of choice, with parks, schools and other public spaces all becoming perfectly acceptable battlegrounds. Enjoy, and keep away from the kids if you wish to remain dry.

2. And to wear white
Stroll through a shopping mall in the weeks leading up to Shavuot, and you might be led to believe that Israelis wear only white. And well, they do – for the holiday. Kindergarten kids usually don white tees, women opt for floaty white dresses and men go for white shirts and chinos. While all this white certainly photographs well for Instagram, the tradition actually goes way back way, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone wearing color or black on the day.
When Haifa was party central at Shavuot
The harvest holiday of Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, commemorates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai and “Bikurim” — the first fruits of the grain harvest in the Land of Israel.

In modern times, this ancient festival was given a new lease on life at agricultural settlements celebrating the connection between the Jewish holiday calendar and their products.

The tradition of bringing the first fruits, in reference to the seven species listed in Deuteronomy — wheat, barley, grape, fig, pomegranates, olive (oil), and date (honey) — became a central theme in kibbutz celebrations.

On Shavuot, kibbutzim used decorated wagons and staged pageants to showcase the year’s achievements in the fields, as well as new machinery and even new babies.

But it was the city of Haifa that adopted Shavuot as its own city-wide celebration.

The first municipal pre-state celebration of Shavuot was held in Jaffa, in 1912. According to researchers Yair Safran and Dr. Tamir Goren, it was not a harvest celebration but rather a “Flower Festival” in which houses were bedecked with garlands, and women and children wore flowered wreaths.

At that time, the kibbutzim held individual celebrations; it was only in the early 1920s that these celebrations began to coalesce into one joint celebration at Ein Harod.

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