Sunday, June 19, 2022

From Ian:

FDD: How to Curb Anti-Israel Bias Inside ESG Risk Ratings
State Anti-BDS Laws May Apply to Morningstar’s Anti-Israel Ratings and Reporting
After flatly denying any wrongdoing in a March 2021 public statement,24 Morningstar faced the increasing possibility that states could prohibit investment in the company due to its promotion of boycotts against Israel.25 Indeed, Morningstar’s engagement of White & Case was prompted by Illinois’ investigation into Morningstar’s possible violation of the state’s anti-BDS statute.

The White & Case Report itself contains substantial evidence that Morningstar is, in fact, promoting BDS among its customers and the investors that receive ESG ratings from Sustainalytics. As indicated above, Sustainalytics’ ratings of companies doing business in Israel rely heavily on NGOs that expressly promote BDS. And notwithstanding the Report’s conclusion that “Sustainalytics products do not recommend or encourage divestment,”26 the evidence presented in the Report demonstrates otherwise:
Sustainalytics employees were emphatic that none of their research is intended to serve as a “blacklist”—i.e., an exclusionary list of companies in which clients must avoid investing, or must divest from if already an owner. However, employees also acknowledged that at least some clients may use their ESG products in this manner (particularly the GSS and Controversies Research products).27

That is not surprising. After all, why else would investors request ESG ratings and research reports if not to inform their investment and divestment decisions?

Worse still, the Report indicates that Sustainalytics may engage directly with companies to try to dissuade them from doing business in and with Israel. For example, the Report cites one Sustainalytics employee who “characterized the GSE engagement service as the opposite of divestment, as it consists of a dialogue with the engaged company that is designed to improve relationships between the investor-client and engaged issuer, rather than to punish the issuer.”28

To the extent that Sustainalytics encourages companies to cease doing business in Israel to improve their ESG ratings — which is precisely what would happen, according to the methodology set forth in the Report29 — these interactions may amount to boycotts of Israel under numerous state anti-boycott laws.

In sum, not only are Morningstar’s ESG ratings and reports driven by a quantifiable bias against Israel, but by promoting boycotts of Israel, the company risks running afoul of numerous state statutes. For the sake of its shareholders, Morningstar should look beyond the misleading conclusions set forth at the beginning of the White & Case Report and address the root causes of the anti-Israel bias that the remainder of the Report makes glaringly obvious. States with anti-boycott laws will likely now review the Report and consider opening investigations into Morningstar to ensure further reforms are adopted.
France: Dangerous for Jews
[T]he attitude of the French judiciary to [Hadjadj's] murder is similar to how it has regarded all murders of Jews in France, for decades.

First, the authorities always say, as quickly as possible, that the murder of the Jew was not at all motivated by antisemitism. When evidence to the contrary accumulates and becomes impossible to deny, the antisemitic motive may reluctantly be recognized -- as with the abduction, torture and murder of Ilan Halimi in 2006; the murder of Sarah Halimi in 2017; and the murder of Mireille Knoll in 2018.

That the murderers are generally Muslim further encourages the French judiciary not to speak of antisemitism. In fact, it is almost taboo to speak of any Muslim antisemitism in France: Muslim antisemitism is supposed not to exist. All organizations dedicated to fighting antisemitism target only the "far-right."

The French authorities and mainstream media describe crime, but do not explain it -- meaning that crime is rising but not being fought.

The French government has declined to document the religion or race of people charged with crimes. Although the refusal may be well-intentioned, it prevents any understanding of what is taking place and consequently any the means of addressing or preventing it.
David Singer: Centennials to celebrate in Washington, Israel and at the UN
President Joe Biden’s postponement of his forthcoming trip to Israel this month due to “scheduling factors” gives Biden, the United Nations (UN) and Israel the opportunity to celebrate at UN headquarters the 100th anniversaries of American and international support for the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.

In announcing Biden’s postponed visit US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides said:
“I’ll bet that Joe Biden has been to Israel and the Middle East more times in his career than every American president combined. He calls himself a Zionist, he loves this place and I think there’s no question about his commitment to this place.”

The first Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897 had declared:
“Zionism aims at establishing for the Jewish people a publicly and legally assured home in Palestine.”

America’s commitment to Zionism’s ambitious goal came on 30 June 1922 – when both houses of the US Congress passed the following joint resolution:
"Favoring the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. That the United States of America favors the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which should prejudice the civil and religious rights of Christian and all other non-Jewish communities in Palestine, and that the holy places and religious buildings and sites in Palestine shall be adequately protected."

The League of Nations (LON) – the UN’s predecessor - closely followed the US Congress on 24 July 1922 - proclaiming the Mandate for Palestine:
- Recognising “the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country”
- protecting the civil and religious rights of the “existing non-Jewish communities”.
- appointing Great Britain to achieve these objectives

On 16 September 1922 a memorandum relating to article 25 of the Mandate was presented by the British Government to the Council of the League notifying it that the reconstitution of the Jewish National Home was to occur only in 22% of the Mandate territory west of the Jordan River - and not in Transjordan – the remaining 78% of the Mandate territory east of the Jordan River

Congress Must Defund the UN’s Poisoned Pillay Report
Last Tuesday, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced the Commission of Inquiry (COI) Elimination Act, seeking to abolish the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) latest commission “investigating” Israel, and combat systemic anti-Israel bias at the United Nations.

The bill, a companion to the bipartisan COI Elimination Act introduced in the House in March, comes just months after 68 senators and 48 House members sent separate letters to President Biden noting the Commission’s anti-Semitic bias and urging him to take action against it. Passing the bill would represent an important step in combatting anti-Semitism at the United Nations, a necessary move that both parties should immediately and enthusiastically endorse.

It is legitimate for the United Nations to criticize Israel, which should be held accountable like every other country. But it is also clear that Israel faces systemic bias at the United Nations: Not one but two UN secretary generals have admitted it, and frankly the numbers don’t lie. At the UNHRC alone, roughly half of all resolutions for the entire globe condemn the State of Israel.

Israel has been the subject of more commissions of inquiry (9) than any other country (2); more special sessions (9) than any other country (5); and it is the only country in the world that has a permanent agenda item dedicated to its alleged wrongdoings. This bias is so glaringly apparent that in 2018 the last administration voluntarily terminated its membership in protest. Even when the Biden administration rejoined last year, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield promised that the United States “will oppose the Council’s disproportionate attention on Israel.”

It is time to pass the COI Elimination Act and do just that, because the impunity with which the UNHRC has operated until now has only emboldened it to keep pushing the envelope—and the Overton curve—when it comes to spreading lies and hate about the Jewish state. They no longer even care to pretend to be fair.
Mock funeral protests UNHRC anti-Israel bias
Last month, sixteen long-robed, hooded pall bearers marched with caskets on their shoulders outside the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Pedestrians and UN employees stared at the caskets marked “UN Human Rights Council Buries Human Rights Worldwide” and “UN Human Rights Council is Buried in Corruption.” The “funeral for human rights” was filmed by StandWithUs – an international education organization – to draw attention to how the UN and its Human Rights Council (UNHRC) are burying human rights tragedies worldwide while only focusing exorbitant resources on a biased scapegoating campaign against one state: Israel.

The procession was part of a larger StandWithUs campaign to protest the UNHRC’s most recent and most dangerous act, which is part of its systemic anti-Israel bias in the United Nations – the Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Israel. This COI is unlike all other COIs that are designed to investigate conflicts around the world. It is designed to last forever. It receives excessively disproportionate funding, twice more than the COI on the Syrian Civil War.

Further, the COI’s conclusions in-part rely upon “testimony” from anonymous sources and remain at the mercy of commissioners who have all demonstrated extreme anti-Israel bias before the inquiry was even announced. As noted by the StandWithUs campaign, the very president of the commission has accused Israel of apartheid while another commissioner has referred to Palestinian terrorism as resistance.

As expected, the commission’s first report, presented to the UN General Assembly on June 13, unsurprisingly finds Israel overwhelmingly guilty for the Middle East conflict, naming Israel 150 times, while only naming Hamas – the terrorist organization that has ambushed Israeli civilians with tens of thousands of rockets fired from civilian sites in Gaza – three times. The report fails to identify Palestinian terrorism or incitement as a “root cause of the conflict.” Instead, it accuses the alleged Israeli “occupation” of being “the one common issue that constitutes the underlying root cause of recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict.”
Moscow Works On UN Resolution Condemning Israel for Damascus Airport Strike – Report
Russia is reportedly preparing a proposal for a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel for a recent attack on Damascus airport.

Israeli officials told Kan that Moscow was working on the resolution that blamed Israel for violating international law and Syrian sovereignty, as well as undermining stability in the region. Israel hasn’t confirmed it was behind the attack that was carried out over a week ago.

Earlier in June, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow condemned Israeli “provocation” in Syria that reportedly left one civilian wounded and the airport runway damaged. All flights to and from Damascus were stalled for several days.

Last week Moscow also summoned Israeli ambassador Alex Ben-Zvi to demand clarifications on the attack. However, Israeli officials on Sunday expressed doubt that the proposed resolution would be supported by the UN members.

Herzog, Erdogan discuss Iranian terror threat to Israeli tourists
The terrorist threat against Israelis visiting Istanbul is ongoing, President Isaac Herzog said Sunday, following a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Herzog thanked Erdogan for Turkey’s efforts to thwart terrorist attacks.

The cooperation between Israeli and Turkish security forces has contributed to trust being built between the governments and nations, Herzog said.

“The threat has not yet passed, and the counterterrorism efforts must continue,” he said, according to a statement from his office.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett also warned against Israelis visiting Turkey, especially Istanbul, due to the threat of Iranian attacks.

“Israel’s security branches are acting to thwart terrorist attempts before they are put into action,” he said. “We will continue to strike those who send terrorists… Our new rule is: Whoever sends [terrorists] will pay.”

Nevertheless, Israelis should take personal responsibility for their own security and not fly to Turkey, unless it is necessary, because it is still dangerous, Bennett said.
LA Times Accuses Israeli Government Of Involvement in Shireen Abu Akleh’s Killing
Seven paragraphs later, the duo identify Israel, along with Saudi Arabia, as the governments which allegedly kill journalists. It should be needless to state that the fact that “some Palestinians blame Israel for the killing,” as the article accurately notes, does not amount to Israeli government involvement in the killing. Nor does the baseless assumption of a student journalist — even if she is happens to question the Secretary of State at a prestigious international summit — of Israeli government culpability establish Israeli government culpability.

Moreover, if the elusive ballistics test does end up one day establishing that an Israeli soldier did fire the gun, how would that implicate the Israeli government? A bullet could have ricocheted; a soldier could have misfired; or something else could have gone wrong. Even in the highly unlikely case that the soldier deliberately disobeyed all orders and targeted an unarmed civilian, a journalist, then the Israeli government involvement is still not established.

How would The Times establish that the soldier received orders to murder Abu Akleh, and that the government commanded the army to carry out this mission? Was there a cabinet meeting in which the government approved this murder? If not, what exactly constituted Israeli government involvement?

The Associated Press, Agence France Presse, and the Guardian have all previously commendably corrected after reporting as fact the unsubstantiated allegation that Israeli soldiers killed Abu Akleh.

Why hasn’t The Los Angeles Times corrected the even more outrageous conspiracy that the Israeli government played a role in Abu Akleh’s killing, as if the Israeli government ordered the army to kill a journalist during a gun battle to capture terrorists? And if the Times is going to stand by that fabrication, what’s next?

The Times’ allegation is as tethered to reality as the following make-believe scenario: the Israeli government was involved in the murders of Israeli civilians in Bnai Brak, Tel Aviv and Beersheba. The endgame was to establish a pretext for a counter-terror operation in Jenin, thereby creating an opportunity to knock off public enemy number one: Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

Is this the kind of exercise that passes as “press freedom” at The Los Angeles Times? Freedom from the facts?
Palestinian flag raised at memorial to slain IDF soldiers in Golan Heights
An Israeli flag was removed from a memorial to Israeli soldiers and replaced with a Palestinian flag.

The incident took place at a parking lot at the entrance to Kibbutz Ein Zivan in the Golan Heights at the site of a memorial to the slain IDF soldiers of the 36th Division's 134th Reconnaissance Battalion, who fought in the 1973 Yom Kippur, is situated.

After switching out the flags, the vandals shared a video of the Palestinian flag waving from the flagpole on social media. The video was seen by Golan residents, who were angered by the incident.

Amichai Zelliger, a resident of Moshav Yonatan in the Golan, told Israel Hayom he arrived at the memorial Sunday morning to restore the Israeli flag to its rightful place.

"I arrived at 5:45 before work and I saw the army had already switched it out at night, so I planted another flag. It's total defiance," he said.

Israel Hayom has learned that the officer responsible for restoring the Israeli flag was a Christian Arab officer from the 210th Division who was bothered by the sight of the Palestinian flag and decided to replace it himself.

Palestinian fatally shot while trying to sabotage Kalkilya security barrier
A Palestinian was fatally shot by the IDF while trying to sabotage a security barrier by Kalkilya in the West Bank on Sunday morning, according to a report by Ynet.

No Israelis were harmed.

Base infiltration
A Palestinian infiltrated an IDF base close to Beit El in the West Bank on Saturday afternoon and walked around for a short while before being arrested by a Border Police officer who spotted him, according to a report by Maariv on Sunday morning.

It is thought that the suspect entered the base by climbing onto the roof of a building close to the edge of the base and jumping off on the other side.

Break the Wave arrests
The IDF arrested eight people in the West Bank over the weekend on suspicion of involvement in terrorist activity, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit reported on Sunday morning.

During IDF operations in the al-Aida refugee camp and in the village of Doha in the area of the Etzion Regional Brigade, four wanted persons suspected of terrorist activity were arrested.

Security forces also arrested a wanted man in the village of Barta'a in the Menashe Territorial Brigade area. During the departure of the forces from the village, 10 Palestinians suspected of attempting to infiltrate the seam area were caught; they were taken for further questioning.
"Bennett Boasts about Retaliation while Hamas Quickly Rebuilds Blown Observation Deck"
The residents of Netiv HaAsara, a moshav in the north-western Negev close to the Gaza Strip border, have been complaining for a few months about an observation deck established by the Hamas terrorist organization 150 meters from their homes, which could quickly be turned into a sniper’s craw’s nest from which dozens of Jews could be slaughtered.

So, on Friday night, in response to the rocket fired by Hamas at Israeli civilians in the nearby city of Ashkelon, the IDF spokesperson announced that Israeli aircraft struck a weapons manufacturing site and 3 other Hamas military posts in Gaza, and offered the video below of the pesky observation deck across the border fence from Netiv HaAsara.

Good riddance.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told the nation at his Cabinet meeting’s opening remarks that “unlike in the past, we no longer make excuses for the terrorists, neither are we defining them as breakaway factions or electrical mishaps. As far as we are concerned, Hamas is the address.”

He avoided the part about the past and present-day defense minister being the same man: Blue & White Chairman Benny Gantz, but he could be forgiven since the real target of his scorn was, as always, his rival for the leadership of the right, Benjamin Netanyahu.

“We insist on absolute quiet for the residents of Ashkelon, Sderot, and the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip,” Bennett announced. “For the first time, there is a younger generation in the south that has experienced quiet. Our goal is safety and quiet lives for the residents of the south as well as preventing the renewed armament of Hamas.”

Argentina president says plane grounded over fueling issue, not Iran Quds Force ties
Argentine President Alberto Fernandez insisted Saturday that a Venezuelan cargo plane stuck since early this month at an airport near Buenos Aires had been grounded only due to fueling difficulties, not because of any alleged link to Iran’s elite Quds Force.

There is “no irregularity” with the plane, Fernandez told Radio 10, adding that the sole problem was refueling difficulties linked to US sanctions on Venezuela.

Paraguay said last week that seven crew members of the plane, which stopped in that country in May, were Quds Force members. On Friday, Paraguayan intelligence chief Esteban Aquino named the plane’s captain Gholamreza Ghasemi as one of those men.

The plane was carrying 14 Venezuelan and five Iranian crew members.

But Fernandez blamed his political opponents for spreading the Quds Force accusation, saying they wanted to show “something that is not — something dark” by suggesting a link to terrorism.

The Boeing 747 cargo plane is reportedly carrying car parts. Its crew members have been prevented from leaving Argentina pending an investigation.

The plane arrived in Argentina from Mexico on June 6, then tried to fly to Uruguay two days later, where it was refused entry.

Uruguay’s Interior Minister Luis Alberto Heber said his country had received a “formal warning from Paraguayan intelligence.”

De Niro, Spike Lee, Josh Alexander, AP, Rehabilitate Crown Heights Pogrom’s Leader
A popular urban myth has antisemitic riot leader Al Sharpton saying, “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house,” after the Crown Heights pogrom he had led, which resulted in the murder of yeshiva student Yankel Rosenbaum Hy’d. It’s a lie. Sharpton made the despicable dare on August 18, 1991. The riots began on August 19.

Sharpton, who has been a significant force in radicalizing Black politics in America and suffocating the historic pact between Blacks and Jews, will forever remain soiled with Rosenbaum’s blood in our eyes, together with his shameless 1987, Tawana Brawley case in which he tried to destroy six blameless, white NYPD detectives, accusing them of a rape that never happened.

Now, with the help of Robert De Niro’s Tribeca film festival, legendary director Spike Lee and California-based Jewish filmmaker Josh Alexander, have joined forces to cleanse the antisemitic riot leader of those embarrassing blood stains, with ample help from The Associated Press. Because Alexander’s film, based on interviews with Sharpton and titled “Loudmouth,” which ended the Tribeca festival Saturday night, celebrates Sharpton’s legacy as “an extension of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rep. John Lewis.”

De Niro told the cheering audience at the Borough of Manhattan Community College auditorium downtown: “How interesting that the committee and the Rev are on the same page exposing the lies and the liars who threaten our democracy. They want to take away our right to vote and deny us social justice. While Washington deals with the lies and the big lie, tonight you’re in the company of patriot who challenges us to get to the truth.”
Jewish family files discrimination lawsuit against private US school
A Jewish father in Los Angeles is suing the renowned West LA-based private Brentwood School, arguing that its attempt to embrace diversity after the police-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020 led to "racial divisiveness" and discrimination against Jews.

In the complaint filed on June 8 in Los Angeles Superior Court, Jerome Eisenberg, whose minor daughter attended the school and is referred to in court filings as "J.E.," claims, among other things, breach of contract, violation of California's Unruh Civil Rights Act and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Under the Unruh act, businesses are barred from discriminating against individuals for numerous reasons, including religion.

Named as the defendants are the Brentwood School and the head of school Michael Riera. The Brentwood School is a K-12 co-ed school whose alumni and parental body include celebrities and politicians. Annual tuition for grades six through 12 is nearly $50,000.

According to the complaint, Eisenberg enrolled his daughter for the 2019-20 academic year, but changes in the school curriculum soon occurred. In his daughter's eighth-grade literature class, for example, classic texts such as To Kill a Mockingbird and Lord of the Flies were replaced with Ibram X. Kendi's Stamped: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.

Additionally, students were forced to study charts on "Becoming Anti-Racist," the complaint alleges.

While the school's Office of Equity and Inclusion created affinity groups that allowed students and parents to share their culture with each other, attempts to create an affinity group among Jewish parents were "stifled" by Brentwood School leadership, Eisenberg claims. The complaint attributes this to the defendants' "antisemitic animus."
On World Refugee Day, Will Bella Hadid Remember Nearly 1,000,000 Expelled Jews?
The Ukraine war has catalyzed media coverage highlighting the plight of displaced people around the world. Ahead of World Refugee Day — which is marked on June 20 every year — UNICEF, an agency of the United Nations responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide, found that conflict, violence and other crises left a record 36.5 million children displaced from their homes at the end of 2021. This is the highest number recorded since the Second World War.

Yet this heightened interest in the predicament of refugees is seemingly selective. For while the rising amount of displaced people is regularly used by news organizations (see here, here and here) to rekindle the story of Palestinian “refugees,” the expulsion of Jews from Arab and Islamic lands that took place following the Palestinian leadership and neighboring Arab states’ violent rejection of the UN Partition Plan in 1947 has generated virtually no coverage by prominent news outlets.

Moreover, people who care deeply about the plight of displaced people are not being told the truth about Palestinian refugees.

Trending: Debunked Palestinian Refugee Myth
Supermodel Bella Hadid used her Instagram account and its close to 53 million followers on June 17 to share pictures of Palestinian refugees.

Hadid is but one example of a wider trend, that of the media misleading their followers in several ways when it comes to the Palestinian refugee story.

For one thing, the claim that there are millions of displaced Palestinians in the world today was refuted last year by the US State Department.

The reason behind the wildly inflated numbers that continue to be peddled by news organizations and social media influencers is that Palestinians, unlike any other group of refugees in the world, are under the auspices of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which has reimagined the very definition of what it means to be a refugee so as to encompass the descendants of displaced individuals.

UNRWA also classifies as “refugees” a significant number of people who live in the Palestinian Authority-administered West Bank, in addition to many living under Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip.

Even some people of Palestinian heritage who have citizenships of other countries fall under the organization’s wide definition.
Haaretz Clarifies on Palestinian Residency at Masafer Yatta
CAMERA’s Israel office prompted correction at Haaretz Friday after the English edition misleadingly referred to Palestinians residing “for generations” in Masafer Yatta, a disputed area in the southern Hebron hills.

The English version of the June 16 (page 2, and online here), “Army resumes raids of W. Bank villages for ‘intel mapping.’” had initially reported:
Last month, the High Court of Justice approved the eviction of some 1,000 Palestinians from the eight villages, after a two-decade legal dispute over land that has been repurposed by the Israeli army as a firing zone, and where Palestinians have lived for generations. (Emphasis added.)

Israel’s High Court rejected the claim that Palestinians had lived there permanently before it was declared a firing zone. See page 17 of the (Hebrew) ruling.

The court found that Palestinians did not reside there as permanent residents (as opposed to seasonal) when the area was declared a firing zone in the early 1980s. This is the crux of the case because the law allows the military to designate land for military use if it is not permanently settled.

The residents’ legal wrangling dates back only to 1997. (The court ruling provides all of the details of the legal history.) In other words, the area was a firing zone until then with no legal action on the part of the Palestinians. Moreover, as noted in page 17 of the ruling, the air force used the aerial area for attack drills until 1993, a fact which reinforces the fact that there could not have been permanent residents living there at the time.
BBC Arabic fails to moderate offensive comments on its social media accounts
Following the wave of terrorism in Israel between late March and early May of 2022, CAMERA Arabic reviewed BBC Arabic social media posts about the four attacks which claimed the lives of unarmed Israeli civilians: in Beer Sheva on March 22nd, in Bnei Brak on March 29th, in Tel Aviv on April 7th and in Elad on May 5th. The comments sections of nearly all the 27 posts (8 posts on Facebook, 18 on Twitter and one on Youtube) were replete with antisemitic and terrorism-supporting content, expressing joy over the death of civilians and praising the perpetrators for murdering them.

Additionally, the comments sections of BBC Arabic posts covering Russian FM Sergey Lavrov’s remarks about the purported Jewish ancestry of Adolf Hitler included dozens of comments either denying the Holocaust, celebrating it or blaming it on the Jewish people.

Although BBC editorial guidelines do not explicitly specify when hateful comments on social media needs to be monitored and screened (see below), it is the view of CAMERA Arabic and CAMERA UK that the corporation should nevertheless take responsibility, especially given the abundance and blatant nature of comments.

Comments in support of killing civilians:
On several webpages the number of comments praising the murder of civilians exceeded both the number of neutral comments and the very few comments that opposed the attacks and condemned murders of civilians. The YouTube webpage of one BBC Arabic video included approximately 600 comments that were supportive of the attacks out of about 1100 (55%). Less than a dozen (1%) comments opposed the attacks, typically by pointing out that the victims were civilians. Over 1200 supportive comments in total were made on eight BBC Arabic Facebook posts reporting and discussing the attacks. BBC Arabic Twitter accounts (“BBC Arabic” and “BBC Arabic – alerts”) garnered around 150 supportive comments in response to 18 tweets, again exceeding the number of neutral or opposing comments by a large margin.

Comments denying the Holocaust:
BBC Arabic’s coverage of the remarks by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who alluded to Adolf Hitler’s purported Jewish ancestry, was also shared via social media accounts operated by the service. In the seven posts on the matter promoted on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, CAMERA Arabic counted at least 85 comments denying the Holocaust, praising it or collectively holding Jews responsible for it.
Jewish group lauds US approval of more security funding for houses of worship
The Jewish Federations of North America applauded the US House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security's approval of the 2023 fiscal year funding bill that includes $360 million for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program.

The NSGP provides grants to nonprofits and houses of worship at high risk of terrorist attacks to help them fund security measures such as inspection and screening systems, fences, cameras, more secure doors, additional hiring of personnel, and the development of emergency preparedness plans.

The program allows these institutions to apply for grants of up to $150,000 each.

The funding bill is an increase of $110 million from the 2022 fiscal year and "will help save lives and keep Jewish and other communities safe," the Jewish Federations said on Thursday.
Leading Contemporary Art Show Opens in Germany Amid Political Storm Over ‘Antisemitic’ Exhibits
Mounted every five years and regarded as the world’s leading contemporary art show alongside the Venice Biennale, the current edition of the Documenta festival has been curated by Ruangrupa, a collective of Indonesian artists which supports the ‘Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions’ (BDS) movement seeking to isolate Israel politically, culturally and economically. The Bundestag, Germany’s federal parliament, passed a motion in May 2019 that decried the BDS campaign as antisemitic and urged the government to regard organizations advocating Israel’s elimination, or a boycott of Israel, as ineligible for state funding.

One of the artistic groups participating in the festival, the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center, located in the West Bank city of Ramallah, has repeatedly expressed support for boycotts of artistic events in Israel. The center is named in honor of Khalil al-Sakakini, a Palestinian scholar who lived in Jerusalem prior to Israel’s creation in 1948 and was openly sympathetic to Nazi Germany.

One of the artworks being exhibited at the show was produced by a Palestinian group calling itself “The Question of Funding.” A series produced by one of its artists, Mohammed Al Hawajiri, titled “Guernica Gaza,” depicts Israeli military operations in Hamas-controlled Gaza as akin to the bombing of the Spanish city of Guernica by the German Luftwaffe during the Spanish Civil War — an atrocity that was famously rendered in the painting “Guernica” by Pablo Picasso.

“The message [of this painting]: Israel’s army is what the Nazi air force was,” responded Leonard Kaminski of the German Antisemitism Research and Information Center (RIAS) in a post on Twitter. According to the widely-accepted International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, “comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” are antisemitic.

Another artwork made light of Palestinian terrorism against Israelis. A graphic assembled by the London-based artist Hamja Ashan shows the silhouette of a chicken on top of a machine gun, alongside the words Popular Front for the Liberation of Fried Chicken (PFLFC) — an allusion to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) which gained notoriety for airplane hijackings and gun attacks against civilians during the 1960s and 1970s.

In his interview with Bild, Klein deemed that the allegations of antisemitism leveled at the Documenta festival could not be “credibly dispelled.”
German president calls on major art show to address antisemitism allegations
Germany’s president has appealed to the organizers of this year’s documenta fifteen art show to do more to tackle the antisemitism allegations surrounding the event.

The show, which takes place every five years in the German city of Kassel and is considered a major event in the international art calendar, is curated this year by the Indonesian group Ruangrupa.

The group was accused of inviting organizations from developing countries that support a boycott of Israel because of the country’s treatment of Palestinians.

Speaking Saturday at the show’s official opening, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said “there are limits” to what artists can do when they address political issues.

“As justified as some criticism of Israeli policies, such as the building of settlements, is, recognizing Israeli statehood means recognizing the dignity and security of the modern Jewish community,” he said.

“As Germany’s president I say for my country: Recognizing Israel is the basis and condition for debate here,” he added.

The MOST ANCIENT Place in Jerusalem? (City of David and Hezekiah Tunnel)

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 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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