Friday, June 24, 2022

From Ian:

Whatever Happened to the ‘Pro-Jewish’ Left?
The disengagement from Jewish life by some on the left is neither novel nor especially surprising. After all, there’s a long history of Jews identified with the far left who have rejected religion and feeling responsible for the Jewish people. But the masses of American Jews who identified with political liberalism thought differently. They saw no tension between their commitments to aid fellow Jews while also supporting non-sectarian causes. Nor did they indict their religion as the source of human failings. Twentieth century Jewish liberals often were leaders of federations of Jewish philanthropy, defense organizations, social service agencies, and Jewish educational and religious institutions. During the 1960s, baby boomers seeking to make their mark on American Jewish life were committed to anti-war protests and the Civil Rights movement, as well as labor unions—even as they marched to free Soviet Jewry and defend the embattled State of Israel. While in our time it is not uncommon for Jewish progressives to ridicule efforts to ensure “Jewish continuity,” youthful activists in the early 1970s critiqued Jewish organizations for investing too little in Jewish education and too much in Jewish health care facilities that no longer served a primarily Jewish clientele. In that era, too, the Jewish left produced the Havurah fellowships, the turn to neo-Hasidism, significant aliyah to Israel, Jewish feminism, and mass demonstrations in support of Jewish causes. Undoubtedly, some on today’s Jewish left passionately share similar Jewish commitments. But the data we have cited point to the indifference of many Jewish liberals today—particularly younger adults—to most forms of Jewish particularism, religious life, and positive identification with Israel as a Jewish state.

How might this situation change in the direction of greater involvement by political liberals in Jewish life? It’s possible that American society, including political liberals, will re-embrace religious commitment and a more positive approach to cultural heritage. The pendulum may swing back: Americans may come to place more value on association, cooperative work, and volunteering. Just as trends in the wider society have pushed liberal Jews in the past to distance themselves from their religious and collective needs, a broader shift in attitudes may make Jewish particularism more attractive. Not least, rising levels of antisemitism may accelerate these changes.

There also are possibilities for some rebalancing of priorities within the American Jewish community. Reform, we expect, would have to come from inside the camp of Jewish liberals. Sobered by findings such as those we report, liberal-minded leaders may take up the challenge of rebuffing ideas and influencers undermining participation in Jewish religious and communal activities. In all likelihood, only highly respected and credible liberals committed to Jewish life—and there still are tens of thousands of them—have a reasonable chance to reverse the Jewish commitment gap we have highlighted. They are best-positioned to make the case to their ideological allies for the compatibility of liberalism with active participation in Jewish communal and religious endeavors and reject those aspects of left-leaning thinking inimical to Jewish life.
Why ‘Pro-Israel’ Is No Longer Enough
Speaking to a group at last month’s Israeli conservatism conference, former US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman was asked how best to “sell Zionism” in America.

Before delving into his reasoning, the former ambassador answered that “selling Zionism” first requires “selling Judaism.” Friedman correctly maintains that Zionism rooted in the belief that Israel exists as a Jewish state will inevitably unite the “political left, right, and center.” Friedman argues that Jews must stop trying to appease antisemites by “bifurcating Zionism and Judaism.”

Decades ago, being raised in a pro-Israel household, taking a Birthright trip, and living within a Jewish community protected against the anti-Israel hostility that a young Jewish student might encounter on campus. But today, US Jews are being peddled a brand of popularized universalism that often demonizes Israel. As a result, the repackaged antisemitism, which partners a hatred of Israel with progressive causes, is neglected and, increasingly, is bolstered by some in the Jewish community.

Moreover, an affinity for Israel based on expressed parental support does not advance the Israel literacy required to combat contemporary antisemitism, or give Jewish students the critical thinking tools necessary to counter anti-Israel propaganda spouted at them on campus.

With an attachment to Jewish peoplehood already weakened, the crucial work of organizations like Birthright Israel and StandWithUs are not strong enough to teach young Jews the truth about what is happening in Israel and “Palestine.”

Most will already be exposed to social media postings decrying Israeli “apartheid,” and media lies falsely accusing Israel of war crimes. In California, as part of the K-12 ethnic studies curriculum, students may have previously completed coursework affirming that Israel is a “settler state” founded on “genocide.”

Accruing the resiliency and knowledge to combat anti-Zionism will inevitably raise critical and, at times, uncomfortable questions.
Melanie Phillips: The moral clarity of Nikki Haley
The challenge facing western leaders therefore could not be more momentous. But could any leader meet it? Is it actually possible to stop America’s slide into cultural fragmentation and global impotence?

When asked this question in London, Haley said America simply couldn’t afford to fail. And her own approach showed how, if this desperate task has any chance of succeeding, the west can stop itself from plunging off the edge of the cultural cliff.

The only way is through leadership that exhibits the kind of moral clarity she was expressing. For the reason that evil currently has the upper hand in the world is the absence of leaders prepared to make it clear that they simply won’t stand for attacks on their society at home or on the free world abroad.

What is so astounding isn’t just the appeasement of the west’s enemies abroad. It is also that that, at home, the lunacies of critical race theory and intersectionality have gained such traction in the universities, schools, companies and even the armed forces. It’s all part of the same dismal story — a wholesale absence of western spine.

What makes the timidity of western politicians all the more frustrating is the demonstrable public hunger for such leadership, and the rewards that it brings.

In America, this was demonstrated by last year’s stunning election victory in Virginia of Governor Glenn Youngkin, who gained office in a hitherto solidly Democratic state by emphasising parental rights to make decisions about their children's education with the slogan, “parents matter”.

And in Israel, the Trump administration’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem not only did not produce the eruption of violence so adamantly predicted by the US State Department and hosts of other faint-hearts, but ushered in the revolutionary Abraham Accords between Israel and the Gulf states.

One thing above all is required at present from the leaders of the west. It’s moral courage. Whoever displays that deserves to win the highest office. It is essential that whoever fails to display it does not.


Jewish organization presents Pope Francis with Hitler’s 1919 antisemitic document
A 30-member Simon Wiesenthal Center delegation presented Pope Francis with a facsimile of an original report authored and signed by Adolf Hitler, in which he openly espouses the destruction of the Jewish people by “a government of national strength.”

The facsimile, whose original is displayed at the SWC’s Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, was presented to the pontiff on Wednesday by SWC founder and CEO Rabbi Marvin Hier and chairwoman Dawn Arnall. Rising tides of antisemitism

Hier’s first enumerated the current statistics on both sides of the Atlantic, which confirm surging antisemitism, including violent hate crimes. Pope Francis responded by thanking the Wiesenthal Center for protecting the memory of the past.

Hier then spoke about the human rights organization’s namesake, Holocaust survivor turned Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal, and how he would react to current events.

'Never again'
“Against such a tidal wave of hate, Simon would ask, ‘How could it possibly be that the world’s leaders, knowing what’s happening, still want to make a deal with Iran on nuclear weapons when her leaders deny that there ever was an Auschwitz or a Treblinka? Who continues to preach that no Jews were ever murdered in gas chambers? How can the United Nations and the world trust a regime, which for the last 43 years has never deviated from those notorious lies?’

“If that is not scary enough, look at what Putin’s Russia is doing to the people of Ukraine,” Hier said. “How can a country which suffered the wrath of Hitler turn around and adopt his very same tactics, slaughtering innocent people, bombing hospitals, orphanages and schools?

“Your holiness,” Hier continued, “We stand before you today, 80 years after the infamous Wannsee Conference, where 15 Nazi officials, eight of them PhDs from some of the finest universities, made the decision, agreeing with Hitler’s orders, to mass murder all of Europe’s Jews. By May 1945, in addition to six million Jews, millions of non-Jews, including gypsies, Slavs, homosexuals and other enemies of the Reich, were also killed.

“That is why, your holiness, we’ve come here today to present to the Vatican Archives one of the most significant documents in the history of humankind: a copy of an original letter, typed and signed by Hitler on September 16, 1919, in which he openly maps out the need for the final removal of the Jewish people in Europe.”

In the letter, Hitler wrote: “Our final aim must be the uncompromising removal of the Jews altogether. Both are possible only under a government of national strength, never under a government of national impotence.”
Vatican publishes thousands of Holocaust-era files, including pleas to pope
Pope Francis has ordered the online publication of 170 volumes of its Jewish files from the recently opened Pope Pius XII archives, the Vatican announced Thursday, amid renewed debate about the legacy of its World War II-era pope.

The documentation contains 2,700 files of requests for Vatican help from Jewish groups and families, many of them baptized Catholics, so not actually practicing Jews anymore. The files were held in the Secretariat of State’s archives and contain requests for papal intervention to avoid Nazi deportation, to obtain liberation from concentration camps or help finding family members.

The online publication of the files comes amid renewed debate about Pius’ legacy following the 2020 opening to scholars of his archives, of which the “Jews” files are but a small part. The Vatican has long defended Pius against criticism from some Jewish groups that he remained silent in the face of the Holocaust, saying he used quiet diplomacy to save lives.

One recent book that cites the newly opened archives, “The Pope at War,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Kertzer, suggests that the people the Vatican was most concerned about saving were Jews who had converted to Catholicism, the offspring of Catholic-Jewish mixed marriages or otherwise related to Catholics.

Kertzer asserts that Pius was loath to intervene on behalf of Jews, or make public denunciations of Nazi atrocities against them, to avoid antagonizing Adolf Hitler or Italy’s Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.

The Vatican’s foreign minister Paul Gallagher said it was hoped that the digital release of the “Jews” files would help scholars with research, but also descendants of those who had requested Vatican help, to “find traces of their loved ones from any part of the world.”

In an article for the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, Gallagher said the files contained requests for help, but without much information on outcomes.
81 years since the Farhud: Iraqi families have not forgotten - opinion
This month 81 years ago, Bagdad’s Jews suffered a wave of murderous antisemitic violence known as the Farhud (onslaught). The pogrom was not only the beginning of the end for the Jews in Iraq, but emblematic of the destruction of Jewish communities across the greater Middle East – a Nakba (catastrophe) largely forgotten by the world
"If the United Nations decided to partition Palestine, they might be responsible for very grave disorders and for the massacre of a large number of Jews.”
Egyptian UN delegate Heykal Pasha


Amid the flames of the Second World War, the Farhud erupted on June 1, 1941. The antisemitic mob violence led to the murder of 179 Jews, although the total number of Jewish fatalities could have been as high as 600, with many unidentified bodies buried in a mass grave. In addition, more than 1,000 Jews were injured, with around 900 homes destroyed and massive amounts of property looted.

The two days of terror occurred during the power vacuum between the collapse of the pro-German government of Rashid Ali and the return of British forces to Bagdad. The violence was incited with Axis support in radio broadcasts and newspapers, as well as sermons in mosques, all fueled by the potent fusion of fascism, Arab nationalism and Islamic militancy.

The leader of the Palestinian national movement, Amin al-Husseini, living in Iraq since 1939, played a crucial role in supporting the anti-British coup that brought Rashid Ali to power and in encouraging the deadly violence against Bagdad’s Jews. With Britain’s reconquest of Iraq, al-Husseini relocated to Berlin, where he served the Nazi regime until its demise. Notwithstanding this wartime collaboration, al-Husseini was elected president of the All-Palestine Government in 1948.

An unacknowledged exodus
Baghdad’s Jews have a rich heritage. Known as the first diaspora, the community predated the rise of Islam, tracing its roots back to the Babylonian exile of antiquity.

Over the centuries, the Jews of Mesopotamia made an immeasurable contribution to Jewish scholarship and civilization, as well as to the culture and society of the Middle East as a whole.

But the Farhud was not just a mortal blow to one historic community, it was a sign of things to come for Jews throughout the Arab world. From Libya to Syria and from Yemen to Tunisia, murderous pogroms became more and more ubiquitous. And in the aftermath of the Second World War, entire Jewish communities were decimated.
Pilgrim’s progress: journey to Djerba
Away from the pilgrimage, the Tunisian tourism ministry wanted us to see for ourselves that Djerba is a multi-faith and tolerant enclave. I found it hard not to be seduced by this branding as I strolled around Houmt Souk, Djerba’s whitewashed main city. There is the pristine yellow-trimmed Catholic church, facing a shop with a tallis on display in front. There were pretty mosques and best of all was the bustling market with several kosher restaurants (Brik Ishak, serving the famous Tunisian speciality brik, a deep fried envelope containing soft-boiled egg and often tuna fish), Jewish jewelers and silversmiths, and, on an adjacent square, a synagogue.

Also seductive was the Djerbahood art installation in Hara Sghira, the ancient Jewish village just ten minutes’ walk from the Ghriba synagogue. It is a series of striking murals, painted by a fleet of international artists, and funded by the EU. But herein lay yet another rub: walking through the village one feels the electric thrill of having stumbled on a true arty gem (the presence of the gorgeous boutique hotel Dar Dhiafa confirms the sense of triumph). The paintings cover entire buildings and walls and include everything from a concentric circle of little black marching figures to people in Jewish apparel sewing to a woman with birds flying out of her hair. But when the surprise of the first glimpse wears off, the discomfort sets in. As Chaddad told me, no other endangered ethnic minority would see their oldest village scrawled over (permanently) by the “art” of an international crew of artists invited, without their consultation, to essentially stimulate tourism. This was a case of not quite loving dead Jews, but using dead Jews, for profit. To some, it is plain vandalism dressed up as art.

My verdict? Tunisia is not entirely benevolent, which is not a surprise for a country run by a man who demonises Israel whenever possible, a country suffering extreme poverty. But the story on the ground is always complicated, and I encountered generally very friendly people, as well as a burgeoning middle class.

None of the Tunisians I met had any objections to Jews, though the same cannot be said of the French tourists I overheard on the beach. Without doubt Tunisia is beautiful, interesting, and has a genuinely rich Jewish heritage. It is clearly a place of great attraction to a growing number of its diaspora Jews. But the crude analysis, and I fear the right one, is that the Jews can live well enough in Tunisia, and particularly in Djerba, because the prospect of a robust tourism industry overpowers habitual hatred of “Zionists”. It was obvious, even on my short trip, that many acrobatics go into insisting that “Zionists” and “Zionism” does not mean Jews. Jews, we are assured, are welcome.

And who is to say they aren’t? However dark some of the underlying politics, I saw some of the most exuberant displays of Jewish worship of my life. Would I return next year? Yes, I would.
The Wilson Center Promotes Anti-Israel Propaganda
Underlying Premise of the Article
The main point of the article that “East Jerusalem stands as a symbol of statelessness” where Palestinian residents “suffer the practical consequences of their individual and collective lack of citizenship” is distorted by the false and partisan assumption that only Palestinians, but not Jews, legitimately claim the territory. The author contends:
In the 1948 Arab Israeli war, Zionist forces expelled some three quarters of a million Palestinian Arabs from their homeland.

This is a distortion of history: Three quarters of a million Arabs were not “expelled” by Zionist forces. The vast majority of Arab refugees were urged by their leaders to temporarily leave their homes during a war launched by their armies and fighters seeking to eliminate the Jewish state.

Even more pointedly, had Arab leaders not rejected the 1947 United Nations Partition Resolution that called for the land (then controlled by the British Mandate) to be divided into a Jewish state and an Arab state, had they not chosen instead to wage war on Israel in violation of the UN Charter, then Palestinian Arabs would have already been citizens of their own state for 74 years and there would have been no stateless Palestinian refugees.

Robson ignores this essential point, just as she ignores the fact that the Palestinian Arabs’ homeland to which she refers is also the Jewish historic homeland, where Jews have resided for millennia since biblical times, including periods where they were sovereigns of the land. The Land of Israel, and the holy city of Jerusalem in particular, have always been central to Judaism and the focus of Jewish pilgrimages and prayer.

In other words, rather than presenting the conflict honestly and contextually as a bilateral one where territory claimed by both nations is under dispute, the historian ignores basic historical facts in order to create a narrative of expulsion and dispossession of Arabs by Jews.
Determined to Stay Propaganda in the Guise of Children’s Literature
The book is a work of propaganda based on visits Jody Sokolower and her daughter Ericka made to Israel and the West Bank between 2012 and 2019 to “research” the situation of Arabs in East Jerusalem. They spent most of their time in the community of Silwan (Siloam), a quarter of East Jerusalem southwest of the Old City, inhabited by Arabs and a small number of Jews. Relying on conversations with residents and activists, Determined to Stay accuses Israel of aggressively driving out the Arabs by expanding the City of David National Park, damaging and demolishing Arab homes, arbitrarily arresting young people, and making life so miserable for the Arab population that families will leave.

The book is prominently featured on the website of Teach Palestine[1], where it is offered as a free curricular resource to teachers. Presenting itself as an example of “anti-racist” education “grounded in an ethnic studies framework,” in reality it is anti-Israel propaganda designed to teach naïve, ill-informed students to demonize and hate Israel.

Determined to Stay is as much about Sokolower and her daughter as it is about Silwan. The author announces that she is a “white, Jewish high school social studies teacher.” She quotes her daughter’s distress at seeing Israeli soldiers on the train to Jerusalem: “If I grew up in Israel, told from elementary school that I needed to defend my country from Palestinian ‘terrorists,’ would that be me with an Uzi on my shoulder?” (Note the scare quotes around the word “terrorists.”) Encountering Sokolov Street in Jerusalem, she draws a parallel between herself as a “white settler on land stolen from the Ohlone” (a West Coast Indigenous tribe) and putative Sokolov relatives “living in a house stolen from Palestinians” (p. 186).

Sokolower is free to feel any guilt she chooses over the color of her skin. Whether she and the Teach Palestine team have the right to impose their guilt on American teenagers in public schools is another question.
Boston City Councilor Goes On Anti-Semitic Rant After BDS Loses in Court
A Democratic Boston city councilor is under fire for informing her constituents that they are "letting the Zionists SHAKE YOU DOWN," rhetoric that a watchdog group says is grossly anti-Semitic.

"Ya'll are letting the Zionists SHAKE YOU DOWN," Boston city councilor Kendra Lara tweeted on Thursday, referencing a court decision this week that upheld a law targeting the anti-Semitic campaign to boycott Israel. She later deleted the tweet.

Lara—a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and an ally of "Squad" member Ayanna Pressley (D., Mass.) who took the far-left congresswoman's "policy pledge"—quickly came under fire for the tweet, with one user of the social media site saying her language is identical to that used by "neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers."

"Oh I get it! The use of the phrasing was lost on me but I have been told now, thank you!" she tweeted in response.

Later that day, she clarified that she was talking about a federal court's ruling this week to uphold an Arkansas law that bars the state government from contracting with an entity that supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which wages economic warfare on Israel. Then she issued copious apologies, saying that reinforcing "anti-Semitic tropes about the Jewish people" was not her intent and that she "should have known better." She then deleted her original tweet.

Lara is one of many far-left activists to condemn the anti-BDS court decision. The decision is seen as a bellwether for other anti-BDS laws that are being challenged by anti-Israel forces across America.

Lara's comments are a thinly veiled shot at American Jews, according to Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a watchdog group that combats anti-Semitism.

"Will the city councilor be held accountable for her slur by her peers, by the media, by the voters, for this screed?" Cooper said in comments to the Washington Free Beacon. "Why would a local politician in Boston get worked up over an Arkansas court upholding anti-BDS laws—an important tool to fight back against anti-Semitic BDS? Maybe because she hates ‘Zionists'—read Jews."

Lara has repeatedly used this type of rhetoric in the past.


Anti-occupation group claims it’s exposed ‘anti-Palestinian racism’ among UK Jews
A further testimony recalled a lecture allegedly given in Israel explaining the Palestine issue to a gathering of Jewish youth movements.

It is claimed the lecturer’s response to photographs of American protesters holding “Queers For Palestine” banners was to display ” graphic photos of LGBTQ+ people in Gaza being killed for their sexuality by the Hamas authorities. ”

The testimony adds the lecturer’s “intention was clearly to make the point that LGBTQ+ people shouldn’t be pro-Palestine and rather should be pro-Israel, though of course he didn’t mention that LGBTQ+ people in Israel don’t have equal rights…

“The idea that the Palestinian people don’t deserve freedom, and instead deserve to live under blockade and occupation, because the Hamas regime in Gaza is anti-LGBTQ+, is a deeply racist idea — and one that often goes unchallenged in our community.”

Another account suggests there are “overt examples of anti-Palestinian racism in the wider British Jewish Community” including “the occasional outbursts of certain members of the Board of Deputies to come face to face with naked bigotry.”

Other examples detail alleged racist responses to the Palestinians, while another testimony from former JFS pupil “Josh” says teaching around Israel at the school meant that “Palestinians were only referenced as an obstacle, a safety threat and a thorn in the side of Jewish freedom and safety.”
Where is the American Jewish establishment hiding?
Anyone who sent them a check shouldn’t have to demand a refund. Those guys should have the good sense to not bother to wait for the request. Just send the money back.

They didn’t earn the money, and they don’t deserve it and if there was a law about such things a good civil suit would shake them. Too bad they can’t be charged.

They? The establishment organizations--their leaders, and their board members-- alleged to be representing the interests of Jews.

They are doing such a good job that you can bet that record reported numbers of violent attacks against Jews and defacing Jewish institutions will keep growing.

They will tell you they are working behind the scenes and talking with people at the highest levels. Really high levels. The highest. The biggest. The most important. After all, with offices and lives in Manhattan they are doing their best with those important biggest, most influential, most significant, really powerful incredibly connected people to talk about the Jews mostly in the outer boroughs who are being used for young punk target practice.

It gets better.

Now we learn that New York City taxpayer dollars are being used to pay the salary for an executive director of the City Council Progressive Caucus. Not a public peep from any of those most connected most important hugely powerful, always working behind the scenes Jewish organization leaders. Problem? We will make history. A bigot—and a proud one at that—will be paid with the support of other bigots. She will always be a proud BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) organizer, targeting the Jewish State. Some of those self-defined Progressives who employ her are Democratic Socialists of America members. In order to be endorsed for office by that august group you must pledge not to visit Israel.
US Jewish Leaders Back Call for Federal Investigation of ‘Dangerous’ Boston ‘Mapping Project’
Leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations called the project “part of an effort to track, target, intimidate and deliberately do harm to the Boston Jewish community.”

“The map reinforces dangerous antisemitic tropes historically used as the basis for violence against Jews, particularly egregious as antisemitic incidents reach record levels across the country,” they wrote in a statement. “We are concerned by the potential use of this BDS Movement-inspired hate map by extremist organizations targeting Jews and condemn its very creation. In addition, it is critical to provide access to immediate security resources for the organizations named in the project.”

The Conference also endorsed a Wednesday letter from 37 members of Congress, spearheaded by Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Don Bacon (R-NE), that called for a federal investigation into “the use of the map by violent extremist organizations and terrorists” and boosted security for targeted organizations.

“We fear that this map may be used as a roadmap for violent attacks by supporters of the BDS movement against the people and entities listed,” the lawmakers wrote to heads of the FBI and the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security. “We ask that you investigate the use of the Mapping Project by extremist organizations, provide any necessary enhanced security for targets listed in the Project, and work with social media companies and internet service providers to prevent its further distribution. We must not turn a blind eye to this dangerous incitement.”

On Wednesday, the Palestinian BDS National Committee organization said it “has no connection to and does not endorse” the Mapping Project, while at the same time describing criticism of the initiative as “smears and intimidation” attempting to “shut down freedom of expression.”

“Endorsement of this project by any group affiliated with the BDS Movement conflicts with this affiliation,” the organization said in a statement. “Simultaneously, we reject and condemn the cynical use of this project as a pretext for repressive attacks on the Palestine solidarity movement by anti-Palestinian racists and apologists for Israeli apartheid, especially AIPAC and the ADL.”

Meanwhile, BDS Boston appeared unmoved by the storm of controversy, saying Thursday that the group “continues to feel that the Mapping Project is an important source of information and useful organizing tool.”
The Obvious Answer to Dana Milbank’s Question About CAIR
“Why not?”

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank asked that simple question last week, after the normally publicity-mad Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) told him it had nothing to say about a BDS chapter’s promotion of a “mapping project” condemned as antisemitic and a possible incitement to violence.

BDS is the campaign to isolate Israel through economic, academic, and social boycotts. The interactive map posted online earlier this month showed the world addresses for dozens of Jewish organizations and others who support Israel’s existence.

The goal, the webpage says, is “to reveal the local entities and networks that enact devastation, so we can dismantle them. Every entity has an address, every network can be disrupted.”

As antisemitic violence surges in the United States and across the world, a public call to disrupt Jewish groups and their allies understandably set off alarm bells.

Milbank called it “outright antisemitic bigotry … and implicit invitations to violence.” It is “the latest manifestation of an antisemitic canard alleging secret, hidden Jewish control of, and the buying of influence over, academia, the media, corporations, charities, law enforcement and more.”

BDS representatives didn’t respond to his requests for comment. CAIR told him it “is not an issue we’re dealing with at this time,” begging the question.

If you even casually follow CAIR, you know that its leaders share the BDS opposition to Israel’s existence, often in terms that are very consistent.


OFCOM rejects complaint on BBC bias regarding refugees
Our complainant argues that Paul Adams should have given the context to the question of UNWRA’s funding. The agency UNWRA was set up to assist BOTH Arab and Jewish refugees. After 1952 Israel told UNWRA it was assuming full responsibility for the Jewish refugees and did not require any further UNWRA involvement. A Marshall Plan for refugees was set up in the early 50s. American aid was to have been split evenly between Israel and the Arab states, with each side receiving $50 million to build infrastructure to absorb refugees. The money to resettle the Arab refugees was handed over to the UN, and the Americans gave Arab countries another $53 million for “technical cooperation”. In effect, the Arab side received double the money given to Israel even though Israel took in more refugees, including Jews from Arab countries. Israel solved its refugee problem, while the Arab side had no intention of doing so.

On two occasions the UN determined that Jews fleeing Egypt and North Africa were bona fide refugees. In 1957 it gave a $30,000 grant to help resettle Egyptian-Jewish refugees. The grant was converted into a loan and paid back when the UN feared protests from the Muslim bloc. In 1967 the UNHCR recognised Jews fleeing Libya as refugees under its remit. (Source: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Report of the UNREF Executive Committee, Fourth Session – Geneva 29 January to 4 February, 1957 and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Document No. 7/2/3/Libya.)

UNSC Resolution 242 refers to “a just settlement of the refugee problem” without specifying the “Arab” or “Palestinian” refugee problem. Some countries today, namely the US and Canada, have also recognised the Jewish refugee issue.

In 2019 in a debate at Westminster MPs called for official recognition of 870,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries. Theresa Villiers, MP, who called the debate, pointed out that a disproportionate amount of airtime was devoted to the Palestinian refugees. It is not necessary to attribute blame to either side, just state that there were two sets of refugees, as it would have done when the BBC covers the India-Pakistan conflict.

OFCOM must therefore consider that the BBC website article ought to mention historic forced Jewish emigration from Arab lands as per the historic record, and that there are substantive grounds for Ofcom to accept the complaint.

Our complainant is determined to pursue OFCOM until he gets a satisfactory answer.
BBC failed to act on ‘hate’ comments on its social media channels
When challenged by the JC, the BBC conceded the comments were “offensive and inappropriate” and removed all user comments including those praising terrorism. However, the broadcaster cannot alter replies left on Twitter, where many remain. Twitter has removed some of the offending posts after the JC contacted the company.

Despite suggesting the option in its own guidelines, at the time of going to press, the BBC had not committed to switching off the comments function on future posts about Israeli civilian deaths or Holocaust distortions to prevent antisemitic, pro-terrorist or Holocaust-denying comments on its accounts. A BBC spokesperson said “BBC News Arabic is committed to upholding BBC guidelines on managing social media accounts and comments left under third-party platforms. We have millions of followers on social media and receive a huge number of comments daily. We manually moderate comments regularly and block individuals who repeatedly abuse these platforms. These offensive and inappropriate comments have been deleted.”

A Twitter spokesperson said: “Antisemitism has no place on Twitter. We have removed the majority of the tweets referenced for violations of our Hateful Conduct policy and Glorification of Violence policy. We will continue to take action when we identify any Tweets or accounts that violate the Twitter rules.”
The BBC’s latest ‘comedy show’ gratuitous Israel slur
An example of what the BBC apparently finds “funny” and “relevant” appeared in episode 5 of the programme.

Ali Official: “Israel was meant to play Russia in the Nations League but UEFA kicked Russia out of the league because of the war crimes against Ukraine.”

Athena Kugblenu: “Err…one question: what’s the Nations League?”

Ali Official: “No-one knows, Athena, but it got me thinking. If that’s the rules, yeah, shouldn’t Israel be kicked out of the league also because the way they treat Palestinian territories ‘aint exactly civil.”

Athena Kugblenu: “Nay, Western governments are inconsistent. They punish countries the way parents punish children.”


Leaving aside the fact that FIFA and UEFA are obviously not a “Western governments” and UEFA’s announcement concerning the suspension of Russian football clubs did not mention “war crimes”, anyone familiar with BBC comedy programmes would probably not be surprised by that politically motivated reference to Israel and the obviously irrelevant – and unfunny – comparison of that country to Russia, which was not attacked by Ukraine and has not suffered terror attacks by Ukrainian terrorists.

However, as we have seen in the past (see ‘related articles’ below), the BBC seems to think that the gratuitous promotion of simplistic slurs and stereotypes about Israel and Israelis is perfectly acceptable – just as long as a ‘comedy’ label is appended.


Curators of major German art show apologize for including antisemitic work
The curators of a major art show in Germany have apologized for including a work featuring antisemitic elements that prompted an outcry at the event’s opening this week.

Organizers of the documenta fifteen show in Kassel ordered the banner by Indonesian collective Taring Padi, titled “People’s Justice,” to be taken down Tuesday following widespread criticism from Jewish groups and German and Israeli officials.

The installation featured a soldier with the face of a pig, wearing a neckerchief with a Star of David and a helmet inscribed with the word “Mossad,” the name of Israel’s intelligence agency.

Taring Padi had insisted that the work — which it said was first exhibited at the South Australia Art Festival in Adelaide 20 years ago — was “in no way related” to antisemitism, but instead referred to the post-1965 dictatorship in Indonesia.

“We are sorry that details of this banner are misunderstood other than their original purpose. We apologize for the injuries caused in this context,” it said.

But in a statement posted on the show’s website late Thursday, fellow Indonesian art collective Ruangrupa, which curated the exhibition, said curators had “collectively failed to spot the figure in the work, which is a character that evokes classical stereotypes of antisemitism.”
German Art Show Controversy: Media’s Scare Quotes Seem to Question Validity of Antisemitism Charge
In a piece titled, “Indonesian artists’ ‘antisemitic’ work removed from German show after upsetting Israel,” The Independent reports: “The work of an Indonesian art collective has been taken down from a major art show in Germany after it was condemned for bearing ‘antisemitic’ elements.”

Notice the use of quotes, both in the headline and opening paragraph of the piece. While such “scare quotes” can be used to emphasize a point, a more common application of this semantic device is to imply skepticism or disagreement with the word that’s in the quotation marks.

To The Independent’s credit, the publication does accurately present the broad outlines of the German art show story: both the German government and the Israeli embassy in Berlin expressed outrage over the displaying of antisemitic imagery at Documenta, one of the largest art exhibitions in the world.

The Independent adds that the controversial images came from an Indonesian art group, and depict a pig wearing a helmet with the word “Mossad” written on it, along with a caricature of a religious Jew with fangs and an SS hat.

However, the online British newspaper fails to report on a significant part of the Documenta story.

The internationally acclaimed art fair had already been the subject of controversy for months over the inclusion of a Palestinian artists group with alleged ties to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement. In Germany, BDS is deemed to be antisemitic and is not allowed to receive any public funding.

Nowhere in The Independent piece is BDS mentioned.
Doctor in Sweden fired because he’s Jewish
The Swedish Medical Association is suing Karolinska University Hospital after the firing of a Jewish doctor who says he suffered antisemitic abuse during his tenure, Israel National News reported. He also claims that his Jewish identity was the reason for his dismissal.

According to the report, the doctor filed a lawsuit in 2018, claiming harassment due to antisemitism, and the hospital subsequently fired him, although he is known to be an excellent physician.

Among the complaints documented was that Svensson was told that he has a “Jewish nose,” is stingy and “whines like a Jew.”

Furthermore, according to the lawsuit, less-qualified colleagues were given higher positions and better salaries. He was eventually let go after pointing out the discrimination.

The Lawfare Project, which is involved in the case, said that when the doctor complained about the antisemitism, Karolinska retaliated against him with a “years-long campaign of reprisals to intimidate and silence him.”

According to the hospital, the doctor was dismissed after refusing to follow instructions for an extended period, the report said. The Swedish Medical Association, however, disagrees and says it has filed a motion on his behalf, demanding compensation.

A source in the World Zionist Organization told Ynet that the case is “a new Dreyfus affair,” referring to the notorious antisemitic incident in the late 19th century in which a Jewish officer in the French military was falsely accused and wrongfully convicted of spying for Germany.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center included Karolinska University Hospital in its list of the top 10 worst incidents of antisemitism in 2018 over the harassment of three Jewish physicians.
Jewish groups condemn sale of antisemitic mugs in Poland
Several Polish websites have drawn harsh criticism this week for selling mugs that depict a stereotypical caricature of a Jewish man.

The sales are part of a promotion of a book called "Poznaj Żyda," ("Meet the Jew"), which first came out in 1912, but is now being published in a new edition.

Written by Polish writer Teodor Jeske-Choiński, it describes Jews as a "parasitic tribe."

The cover of the modern version, which is published by far-right media group Magna Polonia, depicts a Jewish man in various forms, such as a communist, a reporter, and an LGBTQ activist, hinting that Jews are behind these events and movements.

Anna Tatar of the anti-racist Never Again Association condemned the sale, saying that republishing a historical text word for word without commentary does nothing more than promote its message.

"This is simply an antisemitic publication," she said.
Desert island drama ‘Triangle of Sadness’ to open Jerusalem Film Fest
Jerusalem’s 39th Film Festival opens July 21 at the Sultan’s Pool, with the screening of Cannes Palme d’Or winner “Triangle Of Sadness,” from Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund.

The film, starring Woody Harrelson, Harris Dickinson and Charlbi Dean, explores shifts in social hierarchies after a yacht sinks, leaving a celebrity couple (Dickinson and Dean) marooned on a desert island with a group of billionaires and one of the ship workers who has the skills that can help them survive.

The film, like other Östlund creations, explores the dark sides of society, the world’s inequalities and what really matters when struggling for survival on a desert island.

“Triangle of Sadness” will also be screened in Lev theaters nationwide, following the premiere screening at the Jerusalem Film Festival.

More than 200 films, from 50 countries, will be shown throughout the 10 days of the festival, July 21 through July 31, with dozens of premieres of Israeli films.
Documentary brings a musical theater twist to a sleepy Israeli backwater
The small southern city of Kiryat Malachi, City of Angels in Hebrew, was originally named for Los Angeles, the other City of Angels whose Jewish community contributed much of the early funding to establish this peripheral backwater.

The two cities have never had much in common.

That’s an underlying theme in “Los Angeles Darom,” or “Los Angeles South,” the musical documentary from filmmakers Golan Rise and Sharon Yais currently showing at Cinematheque theaters around the country.

Yes, you read that right. It’s a musical documentary.

The story of “Los Angeles Darom” is told through that of Yosef Khoury, an elder son of Kiryat Malachi, with debts, a failing watch store and a desire to improve his own fate and that of his town by running for the local municipal elections.

Khoury is an engaging, sympathetic character, a charismatic, sensitive dreamer who had a promising future as a child but didn’t fulfill his dreams.

Now 60, he’s something of a disappointment to his parents, but strongly supported by his elder daughter, Ziona, who becomes his campaign manager while dealing with her own share of sorrow and disappointment.


Google honors the life of Anne Frank with diary doodles
On what is the 75th anniversary of the publication of Anne Frank's diary, Google honored the Holocaust victim with doodles depicting moments from her life she had written down in her diary.

The doodles, also commemorating Frank's would-have-been 93rd birthday earlier this month, were launched in over 25 countries, including the United States, Germany and the UK.

The design of the doodles draws inspiration from the layered collage style featured in the diary. The scenes depicted were illustrated based on Frank's own description of events, taken from her diary.

The doodles were created by Google Doodle art director Thoka Maer. The German illustrator noted her sense of responsibility to preserve the memory of the Holocaust as a major factor in the illustration process.

Anne Frank's life & diary
Anne Frank was born on June 12, 1929, in Frankfurt Germany. In 1933, soon after Adolf Hiter's rise to power with the Nazi Party's federal election victory, the Frank family emigrated west to Amsterdam.

Germany invaded the Netherlands in 1940 and the persecution and segregation of Dutch Jews soon followed. On her 13th birthday, one month before her family went into hiding, Frank received the book which would go on to become her famous diary.

Frank wrote her first entry on June 20, 1942, and upon moving into the Achterhuis, or the Secret Annex, she began writing regularly and in detail on the restrictions placed upon Dutch Jews, her experience of going into hiding, her aspirations and her relationships with family members.






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