Thursday, June 09, 2022

From Ian:

Mark Regev: Shireen Abu Akleh, Palestinians, Al Jazeera and press freedom - opinion
The accusation of a willful murder is made when among the nations of the Middle East it is in Israel alone that a free and critical press thrives. Israel’s famously boisterous and pugnacious media is always ready to expose a misbehaving politician, government wrongdoing and the IDF’s mistakes. This while the practice in the PA and Al Jazeera falls into a very different category.

Press freedom in the PA, Qatar
Although a PA basic law theoretically guarantees a free press, in reality such freedom is nonexistent: the media is severely constrained, critical platforms are shut down and journalists arrested when the authorities object to their work. Reporters have been beaten while in custody, blogger Nizar Banat ended up dead. When Abbas was angered by an Al Jazeera story, he ordered the closure of the network’s Ramallah offices.

The Palestinian president might have championed the deceased Abu Akleh as a martyr, but live Palestinian journalists know what may happen if they incur the wrath of the PA.

For its part, Al Jazeera likes to present its reporting as hard-hitting independent journalism, but the Qatari government-funded channel’s hundreds of employees never report about matters that could embarrass their patron.

Consequently, Qatar’s ongoing systematic mistreatment of the country’s migrant worker population of more than two million (similar in size to the entire population of Gaza) does not make it to Al Jazeera’s newsroom. The network has been equally silent on the kingdom’s discriminatory sexist male guardianship laws, on the criminalization of criticism against the emir’s leadership and on the lack of press freedom.

Even more problematic, following last year’s war in Gaza, the channel was presented with an award from Hamas for its reporting of the conflict. Hamas acclaim for Al Jazeera is not new, the network has a history of glorifying the perpetrators of terror attacks and broadcasting material that incites violence; its recent regurgitation of erroneous claims that the Jews somehow threaten al-Aqsa Mosque just the latest example.

Ultimately, like with its Kremlin-controlled sister channel RT, the Qatari state furnishes a television news station with a highly tendentious agenda.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the European democracies banned RT broadcasts deeming them a “direct threat” to the “public order and security” of the EU. Yet, despite Al Jazeera’s record of affinity with a terrorist organization sworn to Israel’s destruction, Jerusalem takes no analogous action, media freedom being sacrosanct.

While Shireen Abu Akleh’s untimely death warrants thorough examination, allegations that Israel deliberately targets the press deserve no credence. They are cheap propaganda and should be dismissed as such.
Daniel Greenfield: Liberating our Jerusalem
In 1966, Jerusalem was a city sundered in two, divided by barbed wire and the bullets of Muslim snipers. Diplomacy did not reunite it. Israel pursued diplomacy nearly to its bitter end until it understood that it had no choice at all but to fight. Israel did not swoop into the fight, its leaders did their best to avoid the conflict, asking the international community to intervene and stop Egypt from going to war. Read back the headlines for the last five years on Israel and Iran, and you will get a sense of the courage and determination of the Israeli leaders of the day.

When Israel went to war, its leaders did not want to liberate Jerusalem, they wanted Jordan to stay out of the war. Even when Jordan entered the war, they did not want to liberate the city. Divine Providence and Muslim hostility forced them to liberate Jerusalem and forced them to keep it. Now some of them would like to give it back, another sacrifice to the bloody deity of diplomacy whose altar flows with blood and burnt sacrifices.

As we remember Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, it is important to remember that the city is united and free because diplomacy failed. The greatest triumph of the modern state happened only because diplomacy proved hopeless and useless in deterring Muslim genocidal ambitions. Had Israel succumbed to international pressure and had Nasser been as subtle as Sadat, then the Six-Day War would have looked like the Yom Kippur War fought with 1948 borders– and Israel very likely would not exist today.

Even as Jews remember the great triumph of Yom Yerushalayim, the ethnic cleansers and their accomplices are busy searching for ways to drive Jews out of Jerusalem, out of towns, villages and cities. This isn’t about the Muslim residents of Jerusalem, who have repeatedly asserted that they want to remain part of Israel. It’s not about peace, which did not come from any previous round of concessions, and will not come from this one either. It’s about solving the Jewish problem.

As long as Jews allow themselves to be defined as the problem, there will be plenty of those offering solutions. And the solutions invariably involve doing something about the Jews. It only stands to reason that if Jews are the problem, then moving them or getting rid of them is the solution. There is less friction in defining Jews as the problem, than in defining Muslims as the problem. The numbers alone mean that is so.

Yom Yerushalayim is a reminder of what the real problem is and what the real solution is. Muslim occupation of Israel is the problem. The Islamization of Jerusalem is the problem. Muslim violence in support of the Muslim occupation of Israel and of everywhere else is the problem. Israel is the solution. Only when we liberate ourselves from the lies, when we stop believing that we are the problem and recognize that we are the solution. Only then will the liberation that began in 1967 be complete.

Only then will we have liberated our Jerusalem. The Jerusalem of the soul. It is incumbent on all of us to liberate that little Jerusalem within. The holy city that lives in all of us. To clean the dross off its golden gates, wash the filth from its stones and expel the invaders gnawing away at our hearts until we look proudly upon a shining city. Then to help others liberate their own Jerusalems. Only then will we truly be free.
The Soviet origins of left-wing anti-Zionism
Ironically, Soviet anti-Zionism itself drew extensively from Nazi rhetoric and imagery. Many prominent contributors of propaganda material, such as Trofim Kichko, Yuri Ivanov, Lev Korneev and others unabashedly recycled ideas directly from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Mein Kampf. They even blamed the Jews for the extermination of both Jews and non-Jews during World War II. Today, anti-Zionist groups keep that legacy alive by routinely comparing Zionism to the Nazis. For example, Shahd Abusalama, a professor at Sheffield University in the United Kingdom, found it acceptable for a first-year student to compare an Israeli operation in Gaza to the Holocaust.

One of the Soviet propaganda machine’s greatest victories was the United Nations’ 1975 adoption of the “Zionism is Racism” resolution. Its revocation in 1991 had little effect on the U.N.’s stance on Israel. Statistics from 2020 are particularly illustrative: Israel was targeted by 17 U.N. resolutions, while all other countries combined, including regimes like Iran and North Korea, received six. On campus, Israel is frequently attacked in the same language. For example, at a Cornell SJP poetry reading, one participant designated Israel a “racist, exclusivist, supremacist state.”

Throughout their entire anti-Zionist campaign, the official Soviet line was that anti-Zionism was not anti-Semitism. A 1979 article in TheWashington Post noted, “Although the number of anti-Semitic books and denunciations has grown continuously [in the Soviet Union] since the Six-Day War in 1967, recent months have brought remarkable new additions to this genre. Officially, they are labeled ‘anti-Zionist.’ Soviet bureaucrats vehemently reject suggestions that ‘anti-Zionism’ means ‘anti-Semitism.’ To many Soviet Jews, it is a distinction without a difference.”

Today, this is one of the most popular talking points among left-wing anti-Zionists and anti-Semites. Indeed, it is telling that anti-Israel groups have repeatedly attempted to block universities and municipalities from adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s Working Definition of Anti-Semitism, which defines certain kinds of anti-Israel rhetoric as anti-Semitic. At the City University of New York (CUNY), for example, former president of CUNY’s SJP chapter Nerdeen Kiswani tweeted: “#IHRAoutofCUNY we know all too well that this purposeful conflation of anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism is used against Palestinians and organizers for Palestine. We must protect our right to organize and speak out against oppression.”

There is no doubt that today’s left-wing anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism can be directly traced to the Soviets’ anti-Zionist propaganda campaign. Knowing this is the first and perhaps most important step toward creating a more balanced and honest dialogue on the issue.

A New Black-Jewish Coalition
For more than a half century, the once-robust relationship between the Jewish and Black communities has gradually withered. Growing doubts about Israel among minority voters have created one of the most significant divisions within the Democratic Party and therefore one of the greatest challenges to bipartisan support for the Jewish state.

Stories about the Freedom Riders and other Jewish leaders in the civil rights movement, as well as the coalition that the communities formed on behalf of then-Mayor Tom Bradley in the 1970’s and 80’s, have grown musty with age, and sporadic efforts to re-create those relationships with other underrepresented communities has met with mixed success at best.

That’s why it’s worth paying attention to the Urban Empowerment Action PAC, a new political action committee organized by Jewish and Black leaders to support candidates who are “dedicated to the educational empowerment and economic uplift of Black communities.” This is the type of language that we’ve heard periodically over the years as similar partnerships have occasionally been attempted, but usually without much lasting impact.

But this group has something different that could help it succeed. It has a target.

The new super PAC has made it clear that they are committed to defeating congressional incumbent Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich) in her primary campaign for re-election this summer, and they have promised to raise $1 million on behalf of fellow Democrat Janice Winfrey, the Detroit city clerk who has filed to run against Tlaib. In stark contrast to Tlaib, a charter member of the so-called “Squad” and anti-Israel firebrand, Winfrey has outlined a strong Zionist agenda that is attracting broad Jewish support.

Urban Empowerment Action is supporting other candidates too, including Representative Nikema Williams (D-GA), an incumbent facing no credible opposition in her own re-election campaign. But their financial involvement in those other races is much smaller: their most important priority by far is the defeat of Tlaib.

The campaign against Tlaib isn’t solely about Israel. Longtime Democratic civil rights and political activist Bakari Sellers, who is advising the PAC, points to Tlaib’s vote against President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill last year and other criticism of Biden since taking office. Sellers also noted that the retirement of Representative Brenda Lawrence, Michigan’s only Black congresswoman, would leave the state without an African-American representative in Congress. But Sellers has long been active on behalf of pro-Israel causes and has stated that Winfrey’s support for Israel was a key reason for the group’s backing.
Israel’s Destruction Is Championed at the University of Chicago
Hui and Winkler evidently do not believe that Jewish students deserve the same protections as other minorities: The Maroon recently published a hateful and factually inaccurate op-ed titled “We Should Join SJP’s Boycott of Zionist Classes,” and clearly holds Jewish students to a biased double standard.

The piece, authored by Rawan Abbas, peddles anti-Israel propaganda and twists the definition of Zionism into something unrecognizable and detached from reality. Abbas claims “Zionism is an imperialist ideology based on settler colonialism,” without factual evidence supporting this serious accusation. The Maroon editors echoed this antisemitic sentiment in their apology, and equated Zionism with racism.

Contrary to these accusations, Zionism is the self-determination of the Jewish people in the land of Israel, where they have had a continuous presence since Biblical times. Zionism is not expansionist in nature, nor is it defined as harming Palestinians. By definition, anti-Zionism is an ideology that seeks the destruction of the Jewish state.

Not only is the Maroon silencing pro-Israel students, but the paper is spreading both hatred and lies. The Abbas op-ed contains categorically false statements and hateful rhetoric.

Instead of equally supporting pro-Israel and anti-Israel students, the Maroon has shamefully taken a stand against Zionism, silenced pro-Israel, often Jewish students, and has given an unanswered platform to anti-Zionist narratives.

The paper’s attacks on free-speech principles further endanger Jewish students and make it clear that the paper is complicit in fostering antisemitism in a climate that is already hostile to Jewish students.

When your family is the victim of anti-Semitism
Recently, and at long last, the anti-Semite who has been vandalizing my family’s business in a Jewish suburb of Boston for nearly a year was caught. My family owns a small store that sells, among other things, Israeli products. A sign hung from the store’s awning advertises this fact. Over the past year, this sign was repeatedly stolen, torn down and defaced by an unknown racist. Finally tired of replacing it, my family installed security cameras. The next time it happened, the criminal’s face and license plate were captured as he committed the crime, and the police tracked him down.

The self-righteous fiend told the police that his crimes were justified because he found the sign “extremely offensive.” The police were forced to inform him that this did not entitle him to break the law. The question now before us is what the next step will be.

The police want to settle things privately, with the criminal paying some kind of restitution. My father wants compensation paid, but also wants to meet with the criminal and require him to attend an educational course given by a group like the Anti-Defamation League. He feels that an overly punitive reaction may only intensify the criminal’s anti-Semitism.

I, on the other hand, want the criminal prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law. (In my darker moments, I also want to see his legs broken in multiple places with a baseball bat, preferably wielded by myself.)

For the most part, however, this entire ordeal has forced me to recognize a gaping divide between me and the rest of my family on the issue of anti-Semitism in general. A divide that, I believe, may be emblematic of a larger divide within the Jewish community itself.

Sparking outrage, BDS alleges 'sinister ties' between Jewish groups, US officials, entities
Arsen Ostrovsky, CEO of The International Legal Forum, called the report "a direct call for incitement to violence and racial hatred against Jews and Jewish organizations, businesses and properties."

Boston's BDS movement "is mapping out and targeting synagogues, Jewish schools and other Jewish institutions while slanderously claiming that these organizations are actively participating in the 'colonization of Palestine."

The Jewish Community Relations Council, whose members include among others the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the American Jewish Committee, ADL, B'nai B'rith International, and the Zionist Organization of America, issued a statement denouncing the "Mapping Project" for antisemitism and vowed, "We will not be intimidated and we will not be silent."

"We condemn this demonization of the Boston Jewish community and attack on its relationship with others. This is no thinly veiled attempt to target the Jewish community – it is an explicit one that is keeping lists and naming names.

"At a time when antisemitism – including antisemitic attacks on the legitimacy of the Jewish State of Israel – intensifies, we in Boston will stand together and continue our work building bridges, supporting our allies and each other, and confronting antisemitism where we see it and when we experience it."

Massachusetts lawmakers were also appalled by the report.

"This is just chilling to me. It is tapping into millennia-old antisemitic tropes about nefarious Jewish wealth, control, conspiracy, media connections and political string-pulling," Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-MA), who is himself Jewish, told the Jewish Insider.

"To name names and keep lists, which has a very sinister history in Judaism, in terms of how we are targeted, is very irresponsible. [The group] needs to take this down and apologize."

Auchincloss noted that the "Mapping Project" needs "to recognize actions that have the potential to incite violence, especially in a moment of heightened antisemitism and gun violence. … I will give direct and stark feedback about how inappropriate and unacceptable this is," he said.

"Targeting the Jewish community like this is wrong and it is dangerous. It is irresponsible. This project is an antisemitic enemies list with a map attached," Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), tweeted.

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) also slammed the report, saying that it "accuses Jewish and 'Zionist' institutions of various evils in American society," adding, "Scapegoating is a common symptom of antisemitism, which at its core is a conspiracy theory."
‘Spineless Cowards’: Indie Rock Band Big Thief Denounced for Canceling Israel Gigs Under BDS Pressure
In a dramatic about-turn, indie rock band Big Thief announced on Thursday that it was canceling two upcoming concerts in Tel Aviv mere days after confirming that the shows would go ahead.

The change of heart came amid a fierce backlash from supporters of the anti-Zionist BDS movement that urges a comprehensive boycott of the State of Israel for as long as it remains a Jewish state.

“To be clear, we oppose the illegal occupation and the systematic oppression of the Palestinian people. We believe in total freedom and self-determination for all Palestinians,” the band said in a statement released on Instagram.

Last week, the Brooklyn-based band announced two concerts on July 6 and 7 at Tel Aviv’s Barby Club. The group said it was “important” and “foundational” for the band to explore Israeli bassist Max Oleartchik’s hometown and meet his family and friends. Big Thief also defended the decision to perform in Israel despite the “cultural aspect of the BDS movement and the desperate reality of the Palestinian people.”

“In terms of where we fit into the boycott, we don’t claim to know where the moral high ground lies and we want to remain open to other people’s perspectives and to love beyond disagreement,” the “Change” singers said in the original statement. “We understand the inherently political nature of playing there as well as the implications. Our intention is not to diminish the values of those who support the boycott or to turn a blind eye to those suffering. We are striving to be in the spirit of learning.”

On Thursday, Big Thief addressed the criticism it faced from anti-Zionist fans after announcing the shows in Israel. The group said it has since spoken with “BDS supporters and allies, Palestinians and Israeli citizens who are committed to the fight for justice for Palestinians.”

Tony Greenstein humiliatingly capitulates in his failed defamation case against CAA for calling him a “notorious antisemite”
Tony Greenstein has surrendered what remains of his claim against Campaign Against Antisemitism for calling him a “notorious antisemite”. Having humiliatingly lost his libel claim and been bankrupted in the process, he seems to have held onto one belief throughout: that he cost us a fortune.

When a supporter of Campaign Against Antisemitism was raising money for our work among her family and friends, Mr Greenstein found the fundraiser and donated £1, enabling him to leave a message on the fundraising page saying: “I can’t imagine what prompted this [fundraising request]!! Surely Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs isn’t running out of money! No matter I’ve cost you bastards £200K…I think we can plan some more ambushes.”

The fantasy that his failed defamation lawsuit against us had damaged us financially was the silver lining in Mr Greenstein’s black cloud of legal failure. We can now reveal to him, however, that as soon as he filed his initial claim against us in 2018, we contacted our insurers, Hiscox, who covered our costs in full. This previously undisclosed information brings any fantasy to an end.

After the Supreme Court spurned his attempt to appeal rulings against him, Tony Greenstein has now filed a Notice of Discontinuance in the High Court, bringing a humiliating end to his failed defamation case against Campaign Against Antisemitism for calling him a “notorious antisemite”.

An expelled member of the Labour Party and founder of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Mr Greenstein has long sought to have Campaign Against Antisemitism struck off the register of charities, and in 2019 he brought a case against us alleging that we had libelled him when we described him as a “notorious antisemite” in 2017.

In 2020, his legal action humiliatingly backfired, as the High Court ruled that it was permissible for us to describe him as such.
New York Times Editorial Lectures: ‘Israelis Should Care More’
The New York Times these days only rarely publishes staff editorials, and it saves the ones it thinks are most important for the Sunday newspaper, which attracts the largest readership.

This past Sunday, which was also the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, the Times unleashed an editorial headlined “Who Killed Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh?” The question is rhetorical, because the Times editorialists have already clearly decided who is to blame. You guessed it, Israel. The Times insists: “Israel needs to ensure the safety of journalists in the country and in areas that it occupies, to ensure the safety of its own democracy.”

What’s more, the editorial, echoing classical antisemitic tropes, accuses Jews of being morally callous to the killing. “Israelis should care more about what happened to Ms. Abu Akleh,” the Times lectures. There’s no systematic data from the Times about how much Israelis do or do not care about what happened. There is no effort by the Times to empathize with Israelis who, after years of grieving their own soldiers and civilians lost in wars with enemies determined to kill the Jews and wipe the Jewish state off the map, might understandably have some compassion fatigue when it comes to a foreign journalist employed by a foreign government that, unlike many other Arab countries, has refused peace with Israel.

Why does the Times care so much? The editorial concedes, “Ms. Abu Akleh’s prominence as a journalist and her American passport have served to focus broad attention on her death. But scores of other journalists lose their lives without public notice. According to a database maintained by the nonprofit Committee to Protect Journalists, 511 journalists were killed from 1992 to 2022 in crossfire or on dangerous assignments, 347 of them in wars. Journalists are dying in Ukraine, some presumably killed deliberately.”

For all of Shareen Abu Akleh’s supposed prominence, a Times archive search showed no notable mention of her in the Times until her death. As for her American passport, well, it could be that does have something to do with it. The Times doesn’t even consider the additional possibility, though, that another contributing factor to the broad attention to her death is the opportunity to blame the Jews for it. It’s as if the Times had no awareness whatsoever of the destructive and age-old antisemitic pattern of falsely accusing Jews of intentional culpability or indifference to the death of a Christian.
The Apology the South African Jewish Report Could Never Make The SA Jewish Report was supposedly "expelled" from the Press Council for not obeying an order it gave us to apologize to the SA BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) Coalition for calling it anti-Semitic. There's no way we can in good faith apologize to this organization, known throughout the Jewish world for being anti-Semitic. We were effectively ordered to make a political statement that goes against everything we stand for. So, after much consultation and discussion, we resigned from the council six months ago.

In October 2020, the SA Jewish Report ran a story about a cartoon that was clearly anti-Semitic. It depicted a fat, greedy man shoveling money into his month. The caption read, "Greedy bosses connected to apartheid Israel," and called for a boycott of Clover Dairy, which had been bought by a predominantly Israeli-owned consortium.

The main goal of BDS is to make sure that anything Israel does is demonized. That's not human rights activism, that's hatred for the Jewish State. Anti-Israel hatred is just a form of anti-Semitism and racism. Majority of antisemitic content on Spotify yet to be removed
A report conducted by an organization that combats different types of online antisemitism has determined that the streaming platform Spotify has not addressed reports of antisemitic content with the seriousness expected.

Analysis of online content during February and March by Fighting Online Antisemitism revealed a grim picture of antisemitic posts in diverse languages worldwide. The content was discovered on playlists and podcasts from various usernames. Upon FOA reporting this, Spotify removed 21.6% of the content in March 2022 alone - yet it is unclear from the report if other content was removed since. Sources in the company state that many of these examples have been already removed.

Since Spotify is a streaming service, user data is minimal. FOA identified two types of antisemitic content on the site: playlists with antisemitic titles, even though the songs themselves were not of antisemitic nature, and antisemitic playlists - lists with antisemitic titles and music calling for violence, the killing of Jews and ridicule towards the Holocaust. A total of 111 pieces of antisemitic content was found.

What kind of antisemitic content was featured on Spotify?
Also monitored were podcasts with antisemitic titles, such as lectures on antisemitic conspiracy theories.

Among the titles were: "Burn the Jews, they will not survive this time," "Hitler was right," and "More gas for the Jews,'" "Hitlerin 6 milyon yahudiyi oldururken dinledigi," ("The playlist Hitler listened to" while killing 6 million Jews) and "Tote Diese Juden" ("Kill these Jews" in German).
BBC’s Bateman again omits context from a Gaza fishing story
As we see, Bateman made no effort to inform his thirteen thousand followers why that fishing zone exists. Readers may recall that a year ago Bateman produced a filmed report on the topic of fishing in the Gaza Strip in which the only explanations of why limitations are imposed on the Gaza fishing zone came in two “Israel says” sentences:
“Now Israel says it imposes this as part of its blockade of Gaza to prevent weapons getting to Hamas and other militant groups.”

“Israel says it only acts to defend itself and to secure the area near the Gaza Strip.”

As we noted at the time, Bateman failed to tell BBC audiences about the many cases of arms smuggling by sea that explain what “Israel says” but are serially ignored by the BBC. Just last month Israel announced that it had foiled an attempt by ‘fishermen’ to smuggle components for weapons production but, as usual, that story did not receive any BBC coverage.

Bateman’s 2021 report also failed to provide BBC audiences with any information about the relevant agreements between Israel and the Palestinians concerning security along the coastline and maritime activity zones.

While it would not be surprising to see politically motivated activists or interested parties Tweeting one-sided and superficial messaging about “life for Palestinian fishermen in blockaded Gaza”, one would expect a supposedly impartial BBC journalist to explain an incident he obviously considered important enough to comment upon in a manner that includes the background information essential for its understanding.
Private Eye editors beclown themselves on killing of Shireen Abu Akleh
The May print edition of the British current affairs magazine Private Eye included the following cartoon by Graeme Keyes:
First, regarding the visual portrayal of Israeli soldiers: though the large noses of the Jewish soldiers was, at fist glance, extremely troubling, we were able to find at least one other cartoon Keyes published depicting another army’s soldiers with similar features. So, we don’t feel there’s anything antisemitic about it.

What disturbs us about the cartoon is the supremely dishonest premise that Al Jazeera’s Shireen Abu Akleh was definitely killed by Israeli soldiers, despite increasing evidence raising doubts about such a conclusion; and the curious Palestinian refusal to hand over the bullet that killed Abu Akleh.

Assuming, as if it were an established fact, that Israel killed Abu Akleh, despite the dearth of any real evidence, isn’t something even the Guardian has done.

Further, the caption of the cartoon erroneously suggests that, if it turns out that Israeli soldiers did fire the shot that killed the journalist, it must have been intentional, as opposed to accidental. This premise flies in the face of the fact that the human rights organisation Freedom House confirms that Israel is generally a hospitable place for journalists to do their work, ranking Israel’s ranking three out of a high score of four, whilst the Palestinian territories are ranked just one out of four. Moreover, according to the Committee to Protect Journalist, only one of the nineteen journalists killed in the region since 1992 was shot intentionally (as opposed to being killed in crossfire during conflict), and he (Suleiman Abdul-Rahim al-Ashi ) was murdered by Palestinian authorities – not Israel.

Jews in Germany ‘Under Massive Threat,’ Community Leader Warns
Jewish life in Germany is “under massive threat” amid a resurgence of white nationalism and antisemitic hate crimes, a European Jewish leader warned on Wednesday.

Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, sounded the alarm following the release of a government report finding that far-right extremism threatened German democracy.

“The new report on the protection of the constitution shows that Jewish life in Germany continues to be massively threatened.” Schuster said. “The greatest danger comes from the right-wing extremist scene.”

Schuster’s warning comes as the German federal government prepares the Democracy Promotion Act, a legislative effort to fight racial and antisemitic bigotry. The government has also enacted a series of additional social programs meant to integrate citizens most at risk of radicalization.

Germany’s Jewish community of nearly 100,000 has disproportionately felt the effects of conspiracies and fear mongering in recent years. In 2021 German Jews were the target of 3,028 antisemitic hate crimes involving verbal abuse and assault, including a 12 percent increase in the number of antisemitic crimes committed by right-wing extremists. Nearly half of all incidents recorded, which rose 30% from the previous year, occurred during Israel’s 2021 operation in Gaza.

Antisemitism in Germany has evolved in recent decades, according to a 2020-2021 report on antisemitism by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

“Just as Jewish life in Germany has changed over the past 30 years and has often become more diverse, so has the hatred of Jews that has been going on for centuries and in some cases for thousands of years,” the report said. “The demonstrations and riots that took place against the background of the escalation in the Middle East conflict in the spring of 2021 demonstrated how antisemitism is currently and directly manifesting itself in Germany.”
‘He Would Have Been Lynched’: French Parliamentary Candidate Whose Husband was Victim of Antisemitic Assault Speaks Out
The French parliamentary candidate in the city of Strasbourg whose husband was badly beaten up in an antisemitic assault as he distributed her election posters has given an emotional interview in which she urged “severe punishment” for his assailants.

“A dozen people jumped on my husband … and if an adult in the neighborhood had not intervened and told the attackers that ‘enough was enough’, he would probably have been lynched to death,” Audrey Rozenhaft, a candidate for the conservative Les Républicains (LR) Party, told Israeli broadcaster i24 on Wednesday night.

Rozenhaft’s husband, Liron, was brutally attacked last Thursday night while sticking up campaign posters in the district where she hopes to be elected. Rozenhaft’s assailants allegedly called him a “dirty Jew” during the attack.

Rozenhaft said that 41-year-old Liron had ventured into an area of the city where a far left coalition running in Sunday’s French legislative elections enjoys widespread support.

“My husband had the misfortune to put up an LR poster and to be Jewish, and people made it clear that he was ‘in their territory’,” she said. “This is an acquired district of Mélenchon and the gangs are respected.”

Far left politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon narrowly missed qualifying for the second round of the French presidential election in April. He now heads a far left coalition known by the acronym NUPES which is expected to make a strong showing in Sunday’s ballot. Mélenchon has been accused of antisemitism on several occasions, a charge he has always resisted.
Israel Aerospace Industries Releases New Gunfire Detection System
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has unveiled a new gunfire detection system (GDS), the OTHELLO-P, at a security exhibition in Paris.

With artificial intelligence and SWIR electro-optics and acoustic sensors, the OTHELLO-P immediately detects, geo-locates and alerts troops to incoming gunfire from small arms, snipers, machine guns, RPGs, subsonic munitions and indirect fire.

Troops on the battlefield will see the threat on a tablet.

Optical sensors allow the system to identify muzzle flashes, while the acoustics sensor identifies sounds of the explosion of the bullet as well as the shockwaves made from it.
RAFAEL unveils SPIKE NLOS 6th generation precision missile
Defense giant Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. has unveiled the 6th generation SPIKE NLOS electro-optical, precision-guided missiles at Eurosatory in Paris, the company announced on Thursday.

The enhanced capabilities of the missile are new salvo controls, system handover, target image acquisition, and extended ranges.

Rafael has three missiles in the SPIKE family, SPIKE NLOS (non-line of sight), SPIKE ER (extended range), SPIKE MR/LR (medium/long-range), and SPIKE SR (short range).

They provide pinpoint precision at extended ranges, including against non-line of sight targets with the NLOS variant that can be launched from the air, land or naval platforms. Operated in both offensive and defensive scenarios, it provides real-time tactical intelligence and damage assessments, allowing it to be adjusted to targets and abort missions midflight.

According to Rafael, the sixth generation of the SPIKE NLOS has several new enhanced capabilities, including technology that allow troops to close the sensor-to-shooter loop quicker and more efficiently neutralize attacks from standoff ranges.

The 6th generation SPIKE NLOS now has an extended range of up to 50 km when launched from a helicopter and up to 32km when fired from land or naval platforms. It can also overcome anti-access and area-denial targets without compromising its accuracy, efficiency, or lethality.
Tel Aviv, Jerusalem among world's 20 most expensive cities
Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are among the 20 most expensive cities in the world, the annual ranking published by global consultancy firm ECA International Wednesday has found.

ECA's cost-of-living index ranked 207 cities according to price hikes in rent, gasoline, and food. Tel Aviv "improved" its position compared to the previous index, when it ranked as the world's seventh-most expensive city, while Jerusalem rose three places from the 18th to 15th slot.

Hong Kong tops the rankings for the third consecutive year, with New York, Geneva, London, and Tokyo rounding up the top five.

Zurich placed seventh, followed by Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Seoul, which rounded up the top-10.

The list is based on a wealth of data, including the price of commodities. Rent, public transport costs, and the strength of the local currency are also considered. The ranking focuses on the cost of living for people who immigrated to the city from another country.

Six of the 10 most expensive cities in the world are in Asia, as well as the city with the fastest rising prices in the world – Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, which rose from 162nd to 149th.

Major European cities such as Paris, Madrid, Rome, and Brussels, which previously dominated the ranking, fell below the top 30 most expensive cities in the world this year.

Turkish capital Ankara ranked 207 – the cheapest city in the ranking.
The Jews Expelled from Jaffa in World War I
A little-known chapter in Israel's pre-state history is the fate of the Tel Aviv and Jaffa deportees, Jews expelled by the Ottoman authorities during World War I.

Fearing that the Jews might support the British war effort, the Turks decided to remove them from coastal areas.

Even before the expulsion of April 1917, thousands of Jews left the area or were deported for refusing to "Ottomanize."

Many of the internally displaced were poor people who lacked the means to travel abroad to safety.

Some 1,500 reached Kfar Saba, where they lived in overcrowded, makeshift huts and suffered during the first harsh winter from the heavy rains and the cold.

Diseases like typhus spread easily and starvation was widespread due to the war. As a result, 240 people are buried in a section of the Kfar Saba Military Cemetery in unidentified graves.

There are hundreds of Tel Aviv and Jaffa deportees buried elsewhere - more than 300 in Tiberias, more than 100 in Safed, others in Haifa, Yavne'el, Kinneret, and elsewhere, and even 75 in Damascus.

The survivors were able to return home to Tel Aviv only in 1918, under British rule, after the war.
Unpacked: When Israel Almost Failed To Survive | The Jewish Story Immediately after its establishment in 1948, the newly-minted State of Israel found itself fighting for survival.

With immigration of Jews from all around the world placing a massive burden on the economy, and the constant threat of terror looming from neighboring countries, Israel’s leaders struggled to find solutions to ensure its existence.

Thanks to the financial help of German reparations, Israeli agricultural innovation and land deal negotiations with Egypt, Israel rose above these struggles and found the footing it needed to thrive.

Israelis Honor an Unsung Japanese Hero Who Saved Jewish Lives in World War II
A member of the Israeli parliament and the Israeli Ambassador to Japan visited a Tokyo nursing home on May 22 to present a letter of appreciation to Teruko, 91, the daughter of Setsuzo Kotsuji, in honor of her father's achievements. Teruko's father was a scholar of Hebrew culture.

The "visas for life" issued by Chiune Sugihara, the vice-consul for the Japanese Empire to Lithuania during World War II, are widely known. Through these visas, thousands of Jews escaped persecution from Nazi Germany by fleeing to Japan. The man who did his utmost to protect these Jews from the risk of deportation by sending them to other countries, such as the U.S., was Setsuzo Kotsuji. He risked his life for this enterprise and was even tortured on suspicion of espionage.

Kotsuji was born to a family of Shinto priests, but he converted to Judaism after reading the Bible and studying Hebrew in the U.S. Kotsuji rests in a grave in Jerusalem. He left these words to his family: "Within a hundred years, someone will come along who will understand me."

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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