Saturday, June 11, 2022

06/11 Links: Abraham Accords: Israel carves new influence, regional peace; How can the EU want closer ties with Israel while funding terror NGOs?; Three Basic Lies in the UN Commission’s Report

From Ian:

Seth Frantzman: Abraham Accords: Israel carves new influence, regional peace
AS WE survey the region two years after the accords, we can see many changes. The importance of the growing Israel-UAE-Bahrain relationship is clear. Also, Israel’s move to be within US Central Command’s area of operations is important because the accords enabled Washington to work closely with Jerusalem in the region, rather than doing so via European Command as in the past. Now Israel, the UAE, Bahrain and the US can train together in the Red Sea.

In addition, Israel’s close ties with Greece and Cyprus tie in with Athens working more closely with Egypt and the UAE.

Further afield, Egypt backs the Libyan forces that control eastern Libya, as the country continues to be divided as it has been since 2011. Turkey has backed the government in Tripoli, and rivals continue to clash in Libya.

The point is that the Israel-UAE-Bahrain relationship now ties into the operations of US Central Command’s naval component NAVCENT and this has huge ramifications for the region. USCENTCOM’s new head, Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla, was recently in Israel, where he saw the country’s large Chariots of Fire drill. That drill is all about preparing for possible confrontation with Iran and Iranian-backed proxies such as Hezbollah. Israel also did massive training in Cyprus as part of the drill.

Here we see how Israel has carved out a new depth of influence in the Eastern Mediterranean. This has Hezbollah so angry that it threatened attacks on June 5, as Lebanon complained about Israel gas exploration.

Suffice it to say that Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Yemen and Iraq – all the countries where Iran has proxies – will not be moving toward peace with Israel. Probably neither will Algeria, Libya or Tunisia. But Israel has had brief, recent ties with Oman, after then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 2018 visit there.

It remains to be seen what will happen with Saudi Arabia, but overall the growth of ties appears to be running in a positive direction. Tensions over Jerusalem as well as Hamas attempts to sabotage Israel’s relations will continue. But many countries now understand that groups like Hamas exploit these tensions.

This is another major outcome of the peace deals as well. There is more positive coverage of Israel in the region. Most of the media in the countries Israel has peace with are pro-government, which is favorable to the accords because it means fewer governments are pumping out official anti-Israel propaganda. Considering that several decades ago this was not the case, that means a new generation can be raised with more amicable views of both Israel and Jews in general.

The official slogan of the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen is “Death to Israel, curse the Jews.” For years, Western diplomats and media would have accepted such hatred as the ways things work in the region. Today we can see, across a swath of the region, that open hatred for Jews and Israel has been reduced. Jerusalem’s ties with the Gulf matter greatly in this respect, helping to rewrite decades of antisemitism in the Middle East.

How can the EU want closer ties with Israel while funding terror NGOs? - opinion
How can this happen?
The NGOs in this network claim to promote human rights and provide humanitarian aid, while in practice they promote politicized partisan narratives, oftentimes coupled with antisemitic tropes, and inciteful content aimed at harming the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state. Over the years, NGO Monitor has identified – using only open sources! – more than 70 individuals who simultaneously held positions at the PFLP and with European-funded NGOs.

As these facts surfaced, many members of the European Parliament spoke about the need for better vetting and more careful processes in selecting NGO partners for EU-funded projects. In 2020, in response to revelations about involvement of NGO officials in the murder of Rina Shnerb, EU Commissioner Varhelyi ordered an internal investigation into potential diversion of EU funds to terror groups.

Others argued that the existing EU procedures were solid and provided enough safeguards, especially given that in 2019 the EU introduced a new restriction in all its contracts with NGOs prohibiting work with anyone who appears on “the lists of EU restrictive measures” (the official term for the EU terror list).

In practice, however, this made very little difference. The murder of Rina Shnerb happened after that. Part of the reason lies in the fact that the EU’s terror list includes entities like Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and PFLP, but it does not include any persons or organizations connected or identified with them.

It was actually Ursula von der Leyen who first officially clarified in June 2020 that EU vetting rules “make the participation of entities, individuals or groups of individuals affiliated, linked, or supporting terrorist organizations incompatible with any EU funding.” The word “affiliated” offered the missing specification that should have allowed the EU to impose the restrictions on all those who are in any way linked to a terror organization.

To be fair, shortly after Israel alerted them of the NGO officials involvement in the Rina Shnerb’s murder, the European Commission quietly froze its funding to Al-Haq and the Union of Agricultural Works Committees (UAWC), two of the designated NGOs pending final resolution. It was a welcome immediate reaction, but the EU is yet to make a definitive statement on its policy.
Eugene Kantorovich: Why Israel shouldn't join the Istanbul Convention
In recent weeks, Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar, with the support of Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, wisely decided to defer Israel’s joining the Istanbul Convention – a treaty that would subject Israel to the review of a hostile international commission and potentially tilt the scales in a wide variety of domestic policies from immigration to religious matters.

In response, Bar-Ilan University’s Rackman Center, which had long lobbied for the treaty and stands to gain financially from its adoption, has taken to the pages of this paper to accuse groups that pointed out the convention’s problems – of which the Kohelet Policy Forum has been proud to be among – as “liars” who actually support violence against women.

Why the Istanbul Convention is dangerous
We are not concerned about such ad hominem attacks, but it is important to explain why the Istanbul Convention is so dangerous. First, it does nothing to prevent violence against women in Israel. Only Israeli domestic legislation can do that. Violence against women should be dealt with by tougher penalties and better enforcement, not through international virtue signaling. Any useful ideas in the convention can and should be discussed and adopted on its own merit.

There is no evidence that joining the convention reduces violence. Indeed, sex offenses against women in some countries like Sweden have spiked rapidly since they joined.

Nor is there any diplomatic imperative to joining the treaty. Unlike UN bodies, which enjoy universal membership, this treaty was designed by and for a regional organization, the Council of Europe (CoE). Israel’s absence would not be noted as the CoE struggles to get or keep its own members on board.

Joining the treaty would expose a wide variety of Israeli social policies to scrutiny by the treaty’s monitoring arm, known by its acronym GREVIO. Anti-Israel bias has turned many international monitoring mechanisms, like the UN Human Rights Council, into yet another arena for condemning Israel for “the occupation.”

Three Basic Lies in the UN Commission’s Report
On June 7, the new United Nations anti-Israel investigation, the “Commission of Inquiry” (“COI”), published its first report. Given the UN’s history, it will be unsurprising to most that the report is riddled with dubious narratives of villainous Israelis and powerless Palestinians. As is also usually the case with the UN, the report is also filled with basic factual errors.

Presented below are just three of the basic lies found in the COI’s report that show not only a disinterest in accuracy, but a willingness on the part of the UN officials to deceive readers.

1) The COI Conveniently Forgets a Southern Border
In paragraph 16, the report states:
“Despite the claim by Israel that it disengaged from Gaza in 2005…Israel remains in occupation of the territory by virtue of the control exercised over, inter alia, its airspace and territorial waters, land crossings at the borders,…”

In fact, Israel does not control all the “land crossings at the borders.” Gaza’s southern border is not with Israel, but with Egypt. That border contains the Rafah crossing, over which Israel exerts no authority. The respective Palestinian and Egyptian authorities remain in charge.

This is one error that simply cannot be tossed up as ignorance, however. The commissioners are well aware of the Rafah crossing, writing in paragraph 4:
“The Government of Egypt indicated its willingness to cooperate with the Commission but has not yet responded to the Commission’s request to access the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing.”

The COI obviously knows the border crossing is controlled not by Israel, but by Egypt, since it is to the Egyptian authorities they requested access to the Rafah crossing, not the Israeli authorities.

This error was not ignorance. It was pure dishonesty.
‘Nelson Mandela Would Not Approve’: South Africans Denounce UN Report on Palestinians
A group of pro-Israel South Africans has invoked the figure of the late Nelson Mandela, the iconic leader of their country’s anti-apartheid struggle, in a forthright condemnation of the recent UN Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry (COI) report that blamed Israel’s “perpetual occupation” for the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians.

In a statement issued this week by the South African Friends of Israel (SAFI), a collection of church and community leaders argued that Mandela — South Africa’s first post-apartheid president — would have rejected the report’s findings.

‘We sincerely doubt that our first democratically elected president, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, would approve of a situation where the antisemitism of Hamas was put on the same moral standing as the righteous fight of black people against the white supremacy of apartheid,” the statement declared.

Signatories to the statement included Nosipho Dladla of the God’s Throne of Grace church, Klaas Mokgmole of the Africans for Peace advocacy group and Mosala Nyawusa of the Clive Mashishi Foundation.

The statement pointed out that “Mandela never sought to eliminate white people from the land of South Africa. Rather, he preached reconciliation, which earned him the love and respect of even his jailer on Robben Island. We ask this UN COI to consider the harm that allowing the apartheid label to be applied to Israel does to the legacy of anti-apartheid stalwarts like Madiba [Mandela’s honorific name], who wanted all South Africans to live in peace.”

Mandela made his feelings on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict clear during a 1993 speech. “As a movement we recognize the legitimacy of Palestinian nationalism just as we recognize the legitimacy of Zionism as a Jewish nationalism. We insist on the right of the state of Israel to exist within secure borders but with equal vigor support the Palestinian right to national self-determination,” Mandela said at the time, expressing sentiments at odds with many of his colleagues in the ruling African National Congress (ANC) who endorsed the analogy between Israel and the apartheid regime.
Caroline Glick: How to Kill a Democracy
Israeli democracy is hanging by a thread. That is the lesson from Monday’s testimony by prosecution witness and former Communications Ministry Director General Shlomo Filber at former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ongoing corruption trial. Filber revealed that Netanyahu is not alone in the dock. Israel’s democracy is also on trial.

Benjamin Netanyahu is being tried for bribery and breach of trust. His co-defendants are two media moguls – Yediot Aharonot owner and publisher Arnon Moses, and former owner and publisher of Walla News website (and Bezeq telecommunications company) Shaul Alovich. The “crimes” they are accused of all relate to their desire to give voice – or consider giving voice – to positions and information ignored and silenced by the establishment media.

Filber explained, “The media has a leftist bias. The reason Netanyahu took the communications portfolio [in addition to the premiership] was to vary the opinions, so that right-wing voters would have media organs that expressed their views.”

Filber added, “Netanyahu’s desire to solve the distortion in the media market burned inside him. It was more important to him ideologically than running the country. He believed that the leftist bias in the media prevented the political right from truly governing.”
Fathom PodCast: Understanding decision-making in the Palestinian arenas
BICOM Director Richard Pater speaks to Dr Michael Milshtein, a colonel (res.) in the Israel Defense Forces and former head of the Department for Palestinians Affairs in the IDF Intelligence Unit. They discuss the latest threats posed by Hamas. Michael talks about the recent appointment of Hussein al-Sheikh as secretary-General of the PLO and whether recent threats by the Palestinian Authority to end recognition of Israel are genuine or not. They also reflect upon internal Israeli-Arab affairs and the successes and failures of Ra’am as the coalition approaches one year in power. Michael is a senior analyst at the Institute for Policy and Strategy (IPS) at Reichman University and Head of the Palestinian Studies Forum at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel-Aviv University.

High-Ranking US Diplomat to Visit Jerusalem, Ramallah
A high-ranking US diplomat is expected to arrive in the region Sunday for talks in Jerusalem and Ramallah ahead of a visit next month by President Joe Biden.

Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf boarded a plane this weekend for a visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Leaf has previously served as Senior Director for the Middle East and North Africa at the National Security Council and prior to that, as US Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.

Her visit is slated to last from Sunday (June 11) through Wednesday (June 14).

Leaf is expected to consult with Israeli and Palestinian Authority officials on “a range of priorities,” the State Department said, including:
- deepening bilateral US cooperation with both Israel and the Palestinian Authority,
- promoting Israeli-Palestinian relations and US support for a two-state solution,
- deterring Iran’s aggressive regional activities, and
- support for Israel’s integration into the broader Middle East region.

In addition to meeting Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Leaf is scheduled to meet with representatives of Israeli and Palestinian Authority civil society, the State Department said.

She will be accompanied by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr and NSC Director for Israel and Palestinian Affairs Cynthia Cook.
NYC Dems pick anti-Israel activist to lead progressive caucus
The New York City Council’s Progressive Caucus picked a controversial Jewish anti-Israel activist as its new head, causing a firestorm of criticism from the public and within its own ranks, the New York Post reported.

The announcement of Emily Mayer as the new director of the 34-member caucus was called a “blatant act of antisemitism” by longtime Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf, who is also an Orthodox rabbi.

Mayer was hailed by the caucus in a June 1 statement as “a talented and dedicated organizer” with a “track record working with progressive organizations that seek to transform our politics for the better.” She was described as “exactly the kind of leadership our caucus needs.”

But Sheinkopf called her appointment a “warning to New Yorkers that they had better reject these folks during the council elections next year,” according to the Post.

The Progressive Caucus currently has a strong majority on the 51-seat council.

At issue is the 30-year old Mayer’s long history of anti-Israel activism, including co-founding the Washington DC-based NGO “If Not Now,” whose stated goal is “to end American Jewish communal support for the Israeli occupation of Palestine.”

Mayer described herself in a bio posted to a gofundme campaign to raise money so she could “head to the West Bank to do solidarity actions with Palestinians” as “the grandchild of Holocaust survivors and American communists and the child of a sworn atheist" and stated that she "grew up with a deeply conflicted relationship with Judaism.”

Brooklyn Councilwoman Inna Vernikov slammed the appointment as “dangerous and irresponsible,” telling the news outlet that with antisemitism spiraling out of control in the city, it was especially troublesome.
Alleged Israeli strike disables Damascus International Airport
Two satellite firms published images showing significant damage to runways at Damascus International Airport after Israel allegedly targeted the site on Thursday.

ImageSat International (ISI) and Maxar Technologies published the pictures on Friday night, hours after Syria’s Ministry of Transport announced that the airport outside the Syrian capital was suspending flights due to technical disruptions.

Syria’s state-controlled SANA news agency claimed that Israel carried out strikes against targets south of Damascus around 4:20 on Friday morning, wounding one person and causing material damage.

The satellite images showed three impact craters on both the military and civilian runways, rendering them inoperable, and “disabled the entire airport until repair,” ISI said.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova condemned the airstrikes, saying such actions put civilian airlines and civilians in danger.

"We are compelled to reiterate that the ongoing Israeli shelling of the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic, in violation of the basic norms of international law, is absolutely unacceptable. We strongly condemn Israel's provocative attack on the most important object of the Syrian civilian infrastructure," Zakharova said.

Turkey Targeting Iraq, Syria, Cyprus, Greece
This means that Turkey will once again attack Kurds in Syria in an attempt to push them out of the region and claim their lands. These Kurdish groups that Erdogan labels "terrorists," however, just so happen to be US allies who fought ISIS.

Erdogan has publicly claimed parts of northern Syria, and Sinjar and Kirkuk in Iraq as part of Turkey in his dream for a new Ottoman Empire. In 2016, for instance, he referred to Misak-i Milli ("the National Pact"), which contains six decisions about the borders of the Ottoman Empire made by the last term of the Ottoman Parliament in 1920. The National Pact includes claims to parts of Iraq and Syria. "We have responsibilities in accordance with Misak-i Milli," Erdogan said. "Concerning ourselves with Iraq, Syria, Libya, Crimea, Karabakh, Bosnia and other brother regions is both a duty and a right of Turkey."

Meanwhile, Erdogan's expansionist policies keep targeting Iraq, Greek islands in the Aegean Sea and the Turkish-occupied northern part of the Republic of Cyprus, among other places.

Meanwhile, Turkey's latest military offensive, named "Operation Claw Lock," against northern Iraq (including the majority Kurdish-populated regions) is still ongoing.

Turkey, under Erdogan, has become an increasingly destabilizing force in the region, and will presumably keep on destabilizing it until it is stopped.
Biden shouldn't visit Middle East without a plan to confront Iran - opinion
US President Joe Biden has postponed his planned visit to the Mideast from this month to possibly next month, according to the White House and media reports.

My question is: Why should Biden bother traveling to the Middle East? What agenda does he have that will be useful in the greater scheme of things and welcomed by regional leaders? Does he have a credible vision to share for tackling the real problems of this region?

Of course, Biden should be welcomed in Israel no matter what, since he is a friend, and the US is Israel’s greatest ally and most important strategic partner. But without a worthwhile schema for a visit, Biden could end up doing more harm than good. And I find it hard to discern what the Biden administration’s fruitful Mideast agenda might be.

Earlier this week, a top US official, the principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, Yael Lempert, averred that Washington remains committed to the Middle East, contrary to the “regrettably pervasive narrative” (her words) that the US is distancing itself from the region in favor of engagement with Asia.

She insisted that countries in the region should stick with the US, rather than China or Russia, because only America can offer both economic advantages and a commitment to democracy and human rights.

Putting human rights and not just security at the center of US foreign policy in the region is actually good for global security, Lempert argued. She vaingloriously added that fighting climate change is an important value in US foreign policy (but of course), for which Mideast countries should be appreciative.
US lawmakers aim to integrate defense systems of Israel, 9 Arab states against Iran
Bipartisan groups of US lawmakers in both the House and the Senate introduced legislation on Thursday aimed at creating an integrated air defense system to boost cooperation between Israel and neighboring Arab states against Iran.

The Deterring Enemy Forces and Enabling National Defenses (DEFEND) Act is the latest effort in the US to bolster the Abraham Accords normalization agreements that the Trump administration brokered between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco in 2020.

The legislation would authorize the US Defense Department to cooperate with Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and the entire Gulf Cooperation Council — Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait — to develop and implement an integrated air and missile defense architecture to defend against Iranian threats.

Save for Egypt, Jordan and — more recently — the UAE and Bahrain, Israel does not have formal ties with the remainder of the countries listed in the US legislation. With some of them, it maintains discreet relations that have grown in recent years in order to cooperate against Iran, but Iraq’s parliament last month passed legislation that criminalizes normalizing ties with the Jewish state.

It was not clear whether any of the countries listed are on board with such an effort or whether they even were consulted by the lawmakers before the legislation was unveiled.
Iran's Mullahs Score Nuclear Victory
After agreeing to extend the monitoring mechanism of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) by reinstalling surveillance cameras a year ago, Iran then announced that it would not allow the IAEA to see images from the devices.

The Iranian regime is also refusing to answer the IAEA's questions about uranium particles found at three clandestine and undeclared nuclear sites in Iran.

Nevertheless, the Biden administration has yet to take any tangible action to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear state...

The Iranian regime has also been setting up weapons factories abroad, and manufacturing ballistic missiles and weapons -- include precision-guided missiles with advanced technology -- to strike specific targets in other countries, including in Syria.

If the Biden administration would eliminate Iran's nuclear weapons, the move would not only spare the world from yet another ruthless regime that acts despotically at home and abroad; it would also immediately send Biden's poll numbers soaring.
Norway’s labeling of settler goods could harm ties with Oslo, Israel warns
Israel has warned Norway that its decision to label food produced over the pre-1967 lines as settler goods could harm ties between the two countries, the Foreign Ministry said on Saturday night in condemning the move.

“This is a decision that will not contribute to the promotion of Israeli-Palestinian relations,” the Foreign Ministry said.

“It will adversely affect the bilateral relations between Israel and Norway and impact the relevance of Norway’s role in the advancement of Israeli-Palestinian relations,” the Foreign Ministry said.

Norway’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement about the consumer marking of such products as settler goods on Friday.

It noted in particular that the ruling applied to “wine, olive oil, fruit, vegetables and potatoes.”

The decision, Norway said, is in line with a 2019 ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union that goods produced over the pre-1967 lines and sold in European Union countries must be marked as settlement products.

Given that Norway is not part of the European Union, it is not bound by this legal ruling. But Norway noted that the goods that would be marked are not part of the agreement between Israel and the European Free Trade Association, of which Norway is a part.
Big Thief Has No Balls
The folk-rock band Big Thief’s cancellation of two upcoming shows in Tel Aviv ranks as one of the more facially dishonest BDS-related episodes of recent years. The Brooklyn-based group was eager to play in Israel, where they’d already performed in 2017, and had a well-developed rationale for doing so. Max Oleartchik, the band’s bassist, was “born, raised, and currently lives” in Tel Aviv, according to the statement the band released announcing that the shows were off. Just days earlier, Big Thief explained it was playing in Israel because “it is important for us to share our homes, families, and friends with each other … It is foundational.”

Barby’s, the Tel Aviv club where the cultishly admired quartet was due to play on July 6th and 7th, noted in a scathing Instagram post that the band had directly reached out to them about performing there, which is the exact opposite of how things usually work in the live music industry. The concerts weren’t an easy payday brokered through a manager or a booking agent. True to the spirit of their alluringly moody catalogue, Big Thief had an emotional investment in playing in Israel, but then let itself get intimidated into pretending otherwise, making their submission to BDS dogma a simpering act of compliance with a mob the group had no practical obligation to satisfy. Big Thief’s Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You is one of the best-reviewed records of the year, and they sell out almost every room they play these days. Yet their announcement—glaringly wooden for a band that trades in earnest feeling—reads like a frenzied plea for mercy, written not by the sharpest songwriters of their generation but by people for whom fear has stymied any basic use of English. “As a band, we consider each other family, forever reaching to understand each other,” the statement closes, continuing in equally incoherent fashion as it obsequiously thanks the group’s tormentors: “In your responses to our actions, you have helped us to realize that we were in avoidance of entering this discussion about Max’s home in a more thoughtful way.”

The incident suggests the incompatibility of BDS with even the most liberal-leaning edge of Israeli society. Max Oleartchik’s father is Alon Olearchick, a principal member of Kaveret, the 1970s power-pop group that competed in Eurovision and that is by some accounts the most commercially successful Israeli band of all time—its song “Yo Ya”, a Jewish summer camp mainstay, is just as catchy as it was 50 years ago. Alon’s father was a Polish composer of popular songs who weathered the entirety of World War II in the Soviet Union before becoming a dramatic director for the Polish army under the country’s new communist government. Perhaps recognizing what life as a propagandist for an antisemitic regime would be like, he moved to Israel in 1957 with his Catholic wife and Warsaw-born 7-year-old child, Alexi, the future Alon.

Toronto Hate Crime Unit Investigating Antisemitic Graffiti Discovered Near York University
The Hate Crimes Division of the Toronto Police Department (TPS) is looking for the person or group responsible for scrawling an antisemitic image and threat near York University, school officials have confirmed.

The offensive graffiti depicts a Jew with sidelocks and a Star of David inside crosshairs next to a message that says, “Shoot a Jew in the head.”

On Thursday, York University said it “denounces this hateful, antisemitic act” and is working closely with law enforcement.

“The university learned of hateful and antisemitic graffiti that was reported to be found in the ‘The Village’ neighbourhood yesterday. Many students live in this area close to Keele Campus,” the statement said. “The university condemns this antisemitic act and will continue to support the TPS in any way possible. Supports are available to community members, and direct outreach is underway to Jewish student groups.”

“It’s not a surprising thing in this area, but it makes me feel a little bit nervous, a little big sad, a lot angry as well,” York University graduate student Garrett Ryan told CP24, a local news outlet. “It’s frightening that people are trying to incite violence on us.”
It is necessary to prepare Jewish students for antisemitism in college - opinion
How are Jewish groups dealing with it?
Thankfully, Jewish groups across North America are getting more active on the issue. Hillel International is now working with the ADL on numerous campus initiatives. A new student-run Jewish organization, Jewish on Campus (JOC), founded in 2020, is focused on fighting – and helping students fight – antisemitism on campus.

Still, many people are nervous. In fact, parents in Plano, Texas, were so concerned about what their soon-to-be-college-bound kids would encounter on campus this coming fall that they approached the Dallas Area Torah Association (DATA) to do something about it.

One of the parents explained to me that “most of these kids have grown up in highly diverse and tolerant schools, with many Jews. They haven’t experienced antisemitism. On campus, they are stepping out of their little Jewish bubbles – and will largely be on their own. We thought they could benefit from some extra preparation.”

“This is the first time that I’ve seen parents worried – actually worried – about their kids going to college. They don’t know what to tell the kids: Wear the Star of David necklace or not? Attend the pro-Israel rally or avoid it?” says Rabbi Eli Nissel of DATA, who created the program with their international partner, Olami.
UK government cuts ties with Imam over protests against film on Muhammad’s daughter
The UK government on Saturday dismissed a Muslim cleric from his role as an official adviser, accusing him of fomenting protests against a new film about the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad.

Alleging “The Lady of Heaven” is blasphemous, Muslim groups protested outside UK movie houses this week, forcing the world’s second-largest cinema chain to cancel all screenings.

Cineworld’s announcement came after Qari Asim, an imam and lawyer in the northern English city of Leeds, posted on Facebook Monday that the film had “caused much pain and hurt to Muslims.”

While noting that his own group had not taken part in protests, and expressing support for freedom of speech, Asim publicized details of one protest in Leeds coming up that evening.

In a letter to Asim, the government said the Facebook post was incompatible with his status as deputy chair of an official working group on anti-Muslim hatred.

Terminating the appointment “with immediate effect,” the government said the campaign against the film “has led to street protests which have fomented religious hatred.”
Star-studded LA high school is sued by Jewish father for its 'racially divisive, anti-Semitic' curriculum which branded Jews 'oppressors': Woke syllabus was 'quietly ushered in' after death of George Floyd
A parent whose daughter attended Brentwood School, a private K-12 school, is suing after she was kicked out of the $50,000-a-year school

Jerome Eisenberg's daughter was removed after he complained that a new curriculum was both 'racially divisive' and 'anti-Semitic'

Eisenberg claims the new woke curriculum came after the death of George Floyd

Claims the school held racially segregated meetings, encouraged students to treat Jewish people as 'oppressors' and discriminating against Jewish parents

Classic English literature texts To Kill a Mockingbird and Lord of the Flies were replaced by Ibram X. Kendi's Stamped

Eisenberg claims the changes were made secretly after the school had already collected its high priced tuition fees

Parent claims that when he called out the school for the alleged discrimination, his daughter was punished

School says allegations contained in the lawsuit are 'baseless, a work of whole fiction and nothing more than a desperate attempt to embarrass the school.'

Celebrity alumni of Brentwood School, a private K-12, include Jonah Hill, Adam Levine and Jack Quaid
Planned DeSantis speech in NYC to conservative Jews draws LGBTQ ire
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is set to appear before a friendly conference of conservative Jewish leaders in New York City on Sunday, despite efforts by gay rights advocates to get the event canceled.

LGBTQ groups, still raw over legislation barring instruction about sexual orientation to grade-schoolers that DeSantis championed in his home state, are vowing to protest the Republican’s appearance at the Jewish Leadership Conference.

Critics have derisively called it the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

New York State Senator Brad Hoylman said it was “outrageous” that the governor was speaking during Pride Month and in an area not far from the birthplace of the gay rights movement in Manhattan’s West Village.

He called DeSantis an “outspoken opponent of LGBTQ equality who is trying to foist his agenda on LGBTQ families, and it’s extremely hurtful and distressing.”

DeSantis campaign spokesman Dave Abrams did not respond directly to that criticism, but said the governor “will always stand up for what is right and will not be deterred by the radical Left.”

The Atlantic Endorses CNN’s Debunked Claims About Shireen Abu Akleh
“Only a U.S. investigation could decide who shot Abu Akleh in a way that would put the matter beyond dispute.” That’s the ostensible premise of a June 7, 2022 article in The Atlantic, and on its face it’s not a bad one. The problem, however, is that writer Yasmeen Serhan and her editors seem to have already concluded what the outcome of such an investigation should be. ( “The United States Must Stand Up for One of Its Own.”)

The article’s subheading gives away its game: “If the Biden administration refuses to investigate the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh, those who target American journalists will have impunity.” No one on either side has alleged that Palestinians have “targeted” Abu Akleh. The baseless claim that Abu Akleh was intentionally targeted has been made only about one side, Israel, and it came most prominently from CNN and its witness, Shatha Hanaysha. Serhan writes, “A recent review of the available evidence by CNN—including video, photography, eyewitnesses, and geo-data—suggested Abu Akleh was ‘shot dead in a targeted attack by Israeli forces.’”

But, as CAMERA and others have explained, CNN’s work on this issue was shoddy at best, and its “review of the available evidence” was selective. CNN’s main witness, Shatha Hanaysha, has promoted terrorism as a method of keeping Jews from even touring the West Bank. On the same day in 2019 that a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine detonated the bomb that killed 17-year-old Rina Schnerb, Hanaysha tweeted, “Maybe this attack would become a model to follow, which would make ‘hiking trips’ in the hills and plains of West Bank, an adventure of undesirable consequences.” (Translation by CAMERA Arabic. The tweet has now been deleted.)

Regarding Abu Akleh, Hanaysha told a credulous CNN reporter, “but I think they want to kill us. This is why they shoot. I don’t have another reason why they shoot. And they know that we are journalists.” Rather than push back with questions such as, “how do you know what they were thinking?” or, “why would Israel intentionally target journalists?” CNN egged her on, saying, “it felt targeted?” Hanaysha responded, “Yeah….” But feelings are not evidence.

Even more damning is a video interview that Hanaysha gave to Al Jazeera on the day that Abu Akleh was shot, in which she states that the shots that killed Abu Akleh came from snipers in a building. These statements directly contradict both CNN’s conclusion that the shots that killed Abu Akleh were fired from Israeli military vehicles about 200 meters away, and Hanaysha’s claim that there were no Palestinian gunmen in the area at the time.

But CNN, and in turn, The Atlantic, overlooked the Al Jazeera interview.
The National Press Club Hides a Palestinian Terrorist’s Knife
The National Press Club bills itself as a “professional and social club for working journalists and communications professionals,” proudly describing itself as a “Washington institution.” Such claims are not overblown. The NPC has been around for more than a century and has been a fierce advocate for freedom of speech and the press. All of this makes the Club’s decision to hide details about a recent Palestinian terrorist attack more disturbing.

On June 2, 2022, NPC released a statement:
“We are calling attention to another shooting of a Palestinian journalist by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). The killing of Ghufran Hamed Warasneh, a radio presenter who was commuting to work requires a full and fair investigation. This tragic event follows the fatal shooting last month of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. Shireen was also an American citizen and the Club has called for an impartial investigation into her case as well.”

Yet, NPC’s statement failed to note that Warasneh was more than just a “radio presenter who was commuting to work.” She was also armed with a knife and reportedly trying to attack Israeli soldiers.

As the Times of Israel noted in a June 1, 2022 report:
“A Palestinian woman armed with a knife approached a soldier stationed in the southern West Bank before being shot and killed, the Israeli military and Palestinian health officials said Wednesday morning. The Israel Defense Forces said in a statement that the woman was holding the knife in her hand as she neared a soldier close to the Al Aroub refugee camp, south of Bethlehem.”

The Times of Israel even obtained pictures of the knife that was found at the scene. Further, Israel’s Channel 12 news noted that Warasneh had “attempted a stabbing attack in the past” in Hebron.

Comedian Adam Pally jokes on antisemitic conspiracies in Ziwe interview
Comedian Adam Pally, best known for his work on Happy Endings and The Mindy Project, joked on late night talk show Ziwe on antisemitic conspiracies.

In a Pride Month-themed episode making cringe-worthy jokes about corporate influence in pride events, Ziwe Fumudoh, comedian and host of Ziwe, asked Pally, "Is your bank a proud bank?"

She clarified that she was referring to banks that fund pride parades and those that use rainbows in their promotional content during the month of June.

"If you think I have anything to do with the banks..." Pally responded, following it up with a short moment of uncomfortable eye contact between the two comedians.

One of the more common conspiracy theories about Jewish people is that Jews control the world's banks and therefore have full control of the world's finances. This is based on the outdated ideology that Jewish people are greedy for money.
‘Stop white genocide’: Neo-Nazi rally outside German synagogue on attack anniversary
Men flying banners with far-right symbols gathered outside a synagogue in Germany on the anniversary of its attempted torching, allegedly by a Turkish citizen.

Gathering June 5 in Ulm near Munich, about 10 men displayed one banner reading: “White lives matter, stop the White genocide.” Another banner depicted the black sun symbol, which is popular among neo-Nazis.

Local non-Jews confronted the demonstrators and made them leave the scene, according to T-Deutschland.

The date of the event was the one-year anniversary of the attempted arson at the synagogue, which authorities say was perpetrated by a 45-year-old dual citizen of Turkey and Germany. He poured gasoline on the façade and set it ablaze. Rapid intervention by neighbors and firefighters prevented the flames from spreading into the building.

The suspect fled Germany and is hiding in Turkey, which is refusing to extradite him.

T-Deutschland said this week’s demonstration may have been intended to celebrate the arson attempt. The local congregation’s rabbi, Shnuer Trebnik, did not rule out the possibility that the neo-Nazi gathering was to celebrate the actions of the Turkish fugitive.
Senior US cop who displayed Nazi sign, made Holocaust jokes gets $1.5 million payout
A suburban Seattle city will pay more than $1.5 million to settle a dispute with a former assistant police chief who was disciplined for posting a Nazi rank insignia on his office door and joking about the Holocaust.

Former Kent Assistant Police Chief Derek Kammerzell, who had been with the department for nearly three decades, was initially given two weeks of unpaid leave after the 2020 incident. Outraged residents and members of the Jewish community prompted Mayor Dana Ralph to put Kammerzell on paid administrative leave and demand his resignation.

The city’s attempt to essentially discipline Kammerzell a second time led to a dispute between his lawyers and the city that appeared headed for litigation. But interim city Chief Administrative Officer Arthur “Pat” Fiztpatrick, who is also the city attorney, said Friday the city had resolved the matter through negotiation, The Seattle Times reported.

Ralph, in calling for Kammerzell’s resignation in January, acknowledged that the decision to revisit the discipline issue would likely “come at a high cost.” The city said Friday it would pay him $1,520,000 to resign.

Had the city simply fired him, officials said, he likely would have won back his job through arbitration due to federal and state labor laws.

Antisemite Father Coughlin’s former church reaches out to Jews in show of good faith
Nancy Gietzen needed to see if the plaque was still there.

She made her way to the foyer of the National Shrine of the Little Flower, the historic Catholic church and day school where the Jewish educator had been a substitute teacher for three years until she left after discovering how the parish had memorialized its founder, Father Charles Coughlin.

Sure enough, there it was, next to a glass case displaying the priest’s old chalice and vestments: “While Coughlin’s pastoral skills produced the splendid Shrine, his political involvement and passionate rhetoric opened him up to accusations of anti-Semitism.” The wording she remembered was intact.

“It was really upsetting,” Gietzen said. “‘Accusations’ of being antisemitic? What are you talking about?”

The plaque was, to say the least, a mild way to describe the man who had been America’s most vocal wellspring of antisemitism during the Great Depression. On Father Coughlin’s nationwide radio show, which ran from 1926-1940, he was a fearsome demagogue: parroting Nazi propaganda, telling his listeners that “international bankers” and “Jewish Communists” were plotting their demise, stating that the Jews deserved what happened to them at Kristallnacht, and encouraging the growth of the Christian Front, a pro-Nazi Christian militia that plotted to overthrow the United States government by attacking prominent Jews.

The proceeds from Coughlin’s media exploits (which included a political party and a fascist magazine called Social Justice) paid for the Shrine’s splendor, while ensuring that generations of Detroit Jews would stay far away from it.
Israeli technology boosts agriculture in Azerbaijan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Morocco
Israel will be helping Azerbaijan increase its wheat production, according to recent reports.

Just over a month ago, Israel struck a deal to sell its agricultural technology to the predominantly Muslim country. The deal will help Azerbaijan increase its wheat export in light of the current global wheat shortage caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February. In return, Israel plans to begin buying its wheat from Azerbaijan in 2025.

Ukraine is one of the largest suppliers of wheat in the world, but since the Ukraine-Russia conflict began, wheat prices around the world have shot up roughly 50% due to a shortage caused by the current situation.

The partnership between Israel and Azerbaijan is not solely based on agriculture, but extends into the realm of high-tech and healthcare, as well as a military-technical alliance with strong security ties. Israel has sold arms to the country, including the LORA (Long-Range Artillery Weapon System) missiles.

Israeli agritech – like its water technology – plays an important role globally, not only as a means to drive down the rising cost of wheat, but to address endemic challenges in countries with desert climates, such as Africa and the Middle East.

“Many Israeli companies are offering technologies that bring innovation and efficiency to the field,” Al-Monitor reported. “Israeli agritech companies are developing advanced technologies for watering and cultivating crops. Two of these companies, fertilizer producer Group ICL and the pesticide company Adama (previously called Machteshim-Agan) are considered world leaders in their fields.”

In May, Israel and neighboring Egypt agreed to increase their agricultural cooperation, with Israeli water technology being used to develop more advanced agricultural solutions.

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