Friday, August 05, 2022

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Bolting from the fight for civilisation
This was a great achievement by the CIA and whatever other shadowy actors were involved in tracking down al Zawahiri and killing him.

But by doing so, Biden exposed the terrible consequences of his action in abandoning Afghanistan.

For al Zawahiri was killed in a house owned by the acting minister of the interior, Sirajuddin Haqqani, a powerful Taliban official whose Haqqani network played a key role in the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

Al Zawahiri’s hiding place, showing his cosy relationship with a top Taleban official, signified that once again al Qaeda is entrenched in Afghanistan.

To this shattering revelation, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken riposted that by hosting and sheltering Zawahiri, the Taliban had “grossly” violated the 2020 Doha Agreement.

This stipulated that the US withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan was conditional on the Taliban’s undertaking “not to co-operate with groups or individuals threatening the security of the United States and its allies”, to “prevent them from recruiting, training, and fundraising” and not to “ host them”.

Blinken’s comment displayed an asinine and all-too revealing naivety. For this agreement was always worthless — as is any agreement made with manipulative, lying, cheating warlords, whether in Kabul or Tehran.

As the former British army commander in Afghanistan Richard Kemp wrote for Gatestone last October, the Taleban and al Qaeda were joined at the hip, with both Osama bin Laden and al Zawahiri having sworn unbreakable allegiance to the Taleban’s leaders.

America’s withdrawal, he wrote, would mean al Qaeda and other jihadists would now flow into Afghanistan to train, organise, establish global connections, plan attacks and receive direction and funding.

According to Dr. Hans-Jakob Schindler, senior director of the Counter Extremism Project and former co-ordinator of the United Nations Security Council’s ISIL, al-Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Monitoring Team, al Zawahiri is most likely to be succeeded by a potentially even bolder operative, Saif al Adel, who is currently being harboured by Iran and can easily move to Afghanistan.

The United States has now returned to the point at which it all started: the axis between the Taleban and al Qaeda that led to 9/11 and put US troops into Afghanistan in the first place.

Yet the Americans still don’t see it. Batting away concerns that al Qaeda was now back in Afghanistan, the National Security Council spokesman John Kirby insisted that the terrorist group’s leaders would now “think again” about hiding out in Kabul.

So for the Biden administration, it’s groundhog day over and over again. They appear to be incapable of learning from experience.
Jared Kushner: What did the sultan of Oman think about Israel, Palestinians? - excerpt
After two years of exploring every angle of this seemingly unsolvable conflict, I felt like I had finally reached a conceptual breakthrough: perhaps the way to achieve peace and reduce regional tension was to narrow our focus to the issue of access to the al-Aqsa Mosque. I was optimistic that this approach aligned with the sentiment of the Arab people – not just that of their leaders. Months earlier, I had commissioned State Department focus groups in the West Bank, Egypt, Jordan, and the UAE. When Arab respondents were asked to describe the source of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the vast majority cited access to the mosque. The issue of territorial sovereignty, which was the fixation of “experts,” hardly came up.

If Israel would guarantee Muslim custodianship of the holy site, and expand access to Muslim worshippers, then we could address the issue of greatest concern to Arabs. And if these nations made peace with Israel, flights to Israel would open up, making it possible for hundreds of millions of Muslims to make pilgrimages to the mosque. In order to do this, our peace plan would need to demonstrate a serious commitment to solving the Israel-Palestinian conflict. We were ready to offer a plan that would require compromise, but still maintained Israel’s security while improving the lives of the Palestinians.

A detailed proposal would put Abbas in a tough negotiating position. If he accepted the offer and ended the conflict, he would risk losing billions per year in international aid. But if he rejected our proposal for a pragmatic two-state solution, which included a massive investment plan for the Palestinian territories, he would reveal his true indifference to the wellbeing of his own people. This would strengthen the argument I was making to the leaders of the Muslim countries – that it was time to focus on their national interests and move forward with normalization.

In the twilight of his tenure as secretary of state, John Kerry gave parting words of advice to a Washington audience. “There will be no separate peace between Israel and the Arab world,” he said at the Saban Forum. “I want to make that very clear to all of you. I’ve heard several prominent politicians in Israel sometimes saying, ‘Well, the Arab world is in a different place now, we just have to reach out to them and we can work some things with the Arab world and we’ll deal with the Palestinians.’ No, no, no, and no. I can tell you that reaffirmed even in the last week as I have talked to leaders in the Arab community. There will be no advance and separate peace with the Arab world without the Palestinian process and Palestinian peace. Everybody needs to understand that. That is a hard reality.”

This was the conventional wisdom for decades, and I initially accepted it as fact. But as I listened and learned, I felt like the reverse might be true. If we could make peace between Israel and the Arab world, then more likely than not, a path to making peace between the Palestinians and Israel would eventually open as well.

As our flight approached Bahrain, I leaned toward Jason and asked him to make two changes to the peace plan. First, he should reframe the issue of access to the al-Aqsa Mosque, removing it as a subject of negotiation with the Palestinians and turning it into the centerpiece of broader normalization agreements between Israel and the Muslim world. Second, we needed to finalize the boundaries in Jerusalem and the West Bank in a rational way that was based on the modern reality, not a UN resolution from 1967. Both concepts were rooted in finding a pragmatic solution that could end the conflict and move beyond the failed paradigm of the past.

If the Palestinian leadership rejected this approach, which they almost certainly would, the Arab leaders would recognize that Palestinian intransigence was undermining their own interests in a time of increased common threats and shared opportunities.

Our dinner with the sultan of Oman, and my subsequent eureka realization, crystallized our strategy and paved the way for the Abraham Accords. As we pursued a new paradigm, we began to see an enormous opportunity that had been hiding in plain sight.
Mark Regev: Marxist Zionism: Israel's often forgotten socialist past - opinion
For many contemporary western leftists, the very concept of Marxist Zionism is an oxymoron. Among radicals, the ideology behind Jewish statehood is often erroneously associated with colonialism, the antithesis of militant socialism. Yet, as I was recently reminded, not only is a synthesis between Marxism and Zionism possible, but the practitioners of such a fusion played a noteworthy role in shaping modern Israel.

Israeli families are known to embark on multi-generational vacations. Last week, four generations of my wife’s family, participants ranging in age from two months to eighty-four years, gathered for a three-day holiday at Kibbutz Lehavot Habashan in the Upper Galilee.

Established in 1945 by child refugees from Germany and Poland who had lost family in the Holocaust, Lehavot Habashan’s founders were united in their common membership of the pioneering Marxist Zionist youth movement Hashomer Hatzair.

The kibbutz’s original settlers would have been familiar with the theories of socialist Zionist Dov Ber Borochov (1881-1917), who believed that for the Jewish people to fully participate in the hoped-for international proletarian revolution they must first forgo the abnormal socioeconomic realities of the Diaspora. Borochov believed that if the Jews rebuilt their ancient homeland, they would once again become a nation with a worker majority, like in antiquity.

Borochov’s ideas were attractive to many because they fused together the particular (Zionism) and the universal (Marxism), placing the Jewish national struggle within the framework of the larger battle for a socialist world.

Lehavot Habashan was part of Kibbutz Artzi, the most radical of the three major kibbutz movements. Accordingly, in election after election, the members of Lehavot Habashan consistently voted for MAPAM, the United Workers Party, created in 1948 by Hashomer Hatzair and other socialists as the left-wing alternative to the hegemonic rule of the more moderate MAPAI labor party.

In the 1949 elections for the first Knesset, MAPAI received 46 seats and formed the coalition government. MAPAM, with its 19 seats, was the second largest parliamentary faction and led the opposition.

Whereas MAPAI advocated a pro-Western foreign policy, MAPAM sought to align Israel with the Soviet Union; while MAPAI supported social-democracy, MAPAM embraced a militant socialism; and although MAPAI focused on state-building, MAPAM championed the non-state workers’ institutions, such as the Histadrut labor federation and the kibbutzim.

Jonathan Tobin: Pro-Israel groups spent money and won. So what?
There may be only one thing worse for AIPAC than the abuse it is currently taking from progressives for working to defeat candidates who are not friends of Israel. That would have been to avoid direct involvement in the 2022 election cycle in which it has played a role in defeating a number of foes of the Jewish state.

AIPAC is being blamed by angry leftists for the landslide defeat of Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.) at the hands of Rep. Haley Stevens, a fellow Michigan Democrat who found herself competing against him because of redistricting. It was an easy decision for the PAC formed by the mainstream lobby group and other such organizations to intervene in that race since Levin, despite claiming to be a Zionist and flaunting his Jewish credentials, is a deeply problematic congressman. His endorsement of anti-Israel legislation and crucial role as an ally for anti-Zionists and anti-Semites like Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) provided cover to the Jewish state’s worst enemies.

Haley, a moderate Democrat who adheres to mainstream positions like support for a two-state solution, certainly benefited from the assistance of pro-Israel groups. But she probably would have won anyway, given that the district they were competing in was more receptive to her centrist positions on issues like trade than to Levin’s doctrinaire leftism.

Yet that isn’t stopping left-wing Twitter post- Levin’s defeat dunking on AIPAC by resurrecting anti-Semitic canards about the Jews “buying” congressional seats. Indeed, even people like former Clinton administration Secretary of Labor Robert Reich are floating lies about the lobby now becoming the single largest political contributor in Democratic electoral politics. Others are echoing that line while also saying that this is merely the work of a few rich Zionists distorting the U.S. electoral system.

This is nonsense. The money that pro-Israel groups have put into various primaries this year is a fraction of the tens, if not hundreds of millions that billionaire investor/leftist philanthropist George Soros has put into countless races. It’s also true that the two main teachers’ unions, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, have also outspent pro-Israel groups on political campaigns as they have become an extraordinarily influential Democrat donor group.

But this is more than a case of sour grapes on the left. The willingness of mainstream liberal media outlets to treat AIPAC’s efforts as somehow illegitimate, while thinking nothing of the way other groups and causes spent far more on supporting their friends or opposing their foes, remains troubling. So are the stories even in Jewish publications, which are predicting that AIPAC will suffer future consequences for having the temerity to oppose opponents of Israel. That’s in line with the anti-Zionist talking point that there is something wrong about friends of Israel using the democratic system and exercising their right to political speech to hold members of Congress accountable.
The Guardian, AIPAC and 'Jewish control'
McGreal then adds:
In response, Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, tweeted: “So AIPAC can do it… & AIPAC can brag about doing it… But talking about what AIPAC did (at least in a critical way) is antisemitic. See how that works?

Friedman fails to address the actual accusation, which is that only talking about and vilifying the legal lobbying of AIPAC, while ignoring the thousands of other Super pacs who similarly spend large sums of money in support of candidates, indicates an egregious double standard.

As such, while McGreal notes the $4 million AIPAC spent to defeat Levin, that’s a drop in the bucket compared to the $395 million spent by super PACS, and the $2.4 billion raised by House and Senate candidates overall, during the current election cycle.

Interestingly, however, McGreal himself unintentionally provides an example of the toxic tropes surrounding criticism of AIPAC, when he uncritically quotes the left-wing lobby group J Street – which funded Levin – thusly:
“With their overwhelming spending, Aipac hopes to send an intimidating message to others: cross our red lines, and you could be next. While political space for open and healthy debate over US foreign policy has opened up considerably in recent years, they appear determined to close it down,” [J Street] said.

The suggestion – echoed not only by J Street, but by other AIPAC critics – is that Jews (and others who support the Jewish state) and participate in the political process to advance their interests are, unlike other Americans who do so, engaged in a particularly nefarious undertaking, one designed to intimidate politicians, control US foreign policy and stifle free speech.

Anyone who followed the Labour antisemitism crisis under Jeremy Corbyn – particular the British Jews who bore the brunt of the anti-Jewish animosity unleashed during that time – would of course be all too familiar with this corrosive and racist narrative.
Jonathan Tobin: 'The New York Times lied and they knew they were lying'
In this week’s episode, JNS editor-in-chief Jonathan Tobin speaks with Batya Ungar-Sargon, author of "Bad News: How Woke Media is Undermining Democracy". The two discuss how the shift away from objectivity to open left-wing bias on the part of the mainstream media is motivated not just by ideology but also by a desire for profit.

Ungar-Sargon explained that the embrace of toxic leftist theories about race by young journalists dovetails with the desire of leading outlets like The New York Times to market itself to elites. This has led to the near-total erasure of working-class Americans and their concerns from the news pages. But it has also done the same for Jews, who are falsely classified as white oppressors.

Anti-Israel delegitimization effort is a national security issue - opinion
The announcement this week of the launch of the Voices of Israel initiative by Israel’s Foreign Ministry contains a vital public acknowledgment, via official government policy, that the global delegitimization campaign directed against Israel is, in fact, a “national security issue.”

This is a paradigm shift from simply labeling it a political or diplomatic threat. A “national security issue” means it is an existential threat in the same way as the military threats are. Taken to its logical conclusion, the implication is that the Israeli government would need to invest comparable financial and human resources to the military threat.

A step in the right direction for Israel
Voices of Israel is a vital step in the right direction. But this is only a start. More needs to be done. If the international delegitimization campaign truly is a national security threat, then, to counter it, the Israeli government needs to invest more than just the NIS 100m. over four years (matched by global funders) that it has allocated for this project. Working with partners on the ground is a valuable idea, but this innovative thinking needs to be expanded to many other facets of Israeli policy and planning.

To justify this, we need to get to grips with just how severe a security threat this delegitimization campaign is. The existential threat, both from within and without, must be clearly understood.

The external threat
Externally, the campaign has begun to fracture the already brittle western consensus on Israel’s national security policies. Israel’s western allies say that they stand with her today. But will they continue to stand with Israel next year, and the year after that, and over five or ten years if the opinion of a growing body of their own citizens is turned against Israel and its defensive actions?

Left unchecked, the unfortunate likelihood is that a point will be reached where policymakers in London, Brussels and Washington can no longer afford to stand against the widespread view of their citizens that Israel is, by definition, a systemic oppressor. If such a view takes hold, it will mean that no defense of Israel with reference to the facts will be possible; that any actions Israel takes with respect to the Palestinians will be viewed as unjust, and the only remedy for the situation will be the complete defeat of the deemed oppressor.
StandWithUs: Alerts University Leaders to 5 Key Issues Facing Jewish Students on Campus
Dear University Administrators and Stakeholders,
We write on behalf of StandWithUs, an international non-profit organization with the dual mission of educating about Israel and fighting antisemitism. We wish to alert you to five issues relating to the Jewish community that are likely to arise on campuses throughout the country this academic year. Should they emerge, they will adversely impact the climate for Jewish students. We write to ensure you have notice of these issues and suggest solutions for addressing them. We also wish to provide you with resources to protect against the normalization or minimization of antisemitism at your school. Most importantly, please know we are here to help you navigate these matters. The five issues of concern are:

1) Faculty members hindering students’ educational opportunities because of antisemitic and/or anti-Israel bias.
In recent years, faculty members have attempted to stifle Jewish and Zionist students’ educational opportunities in line with the discriminatory Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which calls for an academic boycott of Israel. An academic boycott violates university academic guidelines and discrimination policies. Examples of a faculty member’s academic boycott may include refusing to help students apply for study abroad programs in Israel, refusing to review dissertations about Israel, or refusing to make recommendations on hiring, promotion, and grant-making decisions involving Jewish, Zionist, or Israeli students.

In short, there are numerous activities in which students regularly engage that could be stifled by biased faculty members who participate in BDS. We ask your administration to be on alert for student allegations of such discriminatory practice. If such incidents occur, we request that you take swift remedial action to protect students’ academic rights, hold faculty members accountable, and ensure an educational environment free from antisemitic discrimination. See this illustrative example from the University of Michigan.

2) Exploitation of the classroom to indoctrinate students with anti-Israel or antisemitic bias rather than teaching them critical thinking.
Classroom discussions that normalize or minimize antisemitism remain a primary way in which Jewish students feel marginalized on campus. Students increasingly report hiding the Zionist aspect[1] of their Jewish identity in the classroom for fear of retribution, intimidation, or ostracism by peers and/or grade retribution by professors. The American Association of University Professors’ (AAUP’s) Joint Statement on Rights and Freedoms of Students makes clear that “[t]he professor in the classroom and in conference should encourage free discussion, inquiry, and expression”; students “should be free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion”; and they “should have protection through orderly procedures against prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation.”

We urge you to (1) explain this AAUP principle to all teaching faculty and staff; (2) ensure that there is an identifiable process for evaluating claims of antisemitic discrimination or bias in the classroom; and (3) educate students about their right to protection from biased instruction and how to avail themselves of a remedy should such bias occur. See this illustrative example from William Patterson University.

3) Biased curricula and materials that are not relevant to a course’s subject matter.
The AAUP report on Freedom and Responsibility states that, “it is improper for an instructor persistently to intrude material that has no relation to the subject, or fail to present the subject matter of the course as announced to the students and as approved by the faculty in their collective responsibility to the curriculum.” The AAUP Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure similarly instructs that while “[t]eachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject,…they should be careful not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter which has no relation to their subject.”

Faculty members who use classroom time to espouse biases against Israel and Jews often do so outside the scope of the subject matter at hand. This is in violation of professional standards and marginalizes Jewish students based on the Zionist component of their Jewish identity. Further, faculty who promote antisemitic conspiracy theories online, even on their personal accounts, marginalize Jewish students who fear retaliatory measures by virtue of their religious and ethnic identity. We urge you to ensure policies are in place to investigate and resolve such allegations of classroom misconduct. See this illustrative example from Rutgers University.
Yale Postdoctoral Association called out by members to correct anti-Semitic statements
In August 2021, the Yale Postdoctoral Association's (YPA) 'Racial Justice Committee' published a “Resource on Palestine” on its website.

The publication included several anti-Se, causing other members of YPA to publish the “Response to the Resource on Palestine” in May 2022, which called on YPA to make changes to the original source.

The YPA sub-committee initially referred to Israeli citizens as colonizers, likened Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to apartheid in South Africa, and supported the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDS), an international campaign that, according to the 'Response to the Resource on Palestine,' aims “to isolate and pressure Israel until it ceases to exist.”

Members of YPA claimed that the resource contributed to instances of anti-Semitism across Yale University's campus, pointing to the fact that emails of the statement were shared by multiple faculty members, who created “an anti-Israeli sentiment on campus.”

Both YPA’s publication of the resource and the internal feud between members is just one example of the undercurrent of antisemitism on college campuses.

In February, for example, Campus Reform reported that University of Chicago students told their peers “not to take ‘S****Y ZIONIST CLASSES.” They did so just before Holocaust Remembrance day.

Then in May, Campus Reform discovered that Natalie Shclover, a Jewish student at the University of Connecticut, was denied a meeting with her university’s interim president to discuss her experience of anti-Semitism.
DeSantis Won’t Allow Florida Fund Managers to Use ‘Woke’ Banking’s ESG Standards
One of the more insidious ways the woke left has slithered its way into the operations of businesses and the lives of ordinary Americans over the last several years to try and force them into a certain mindset is by way of pressuring banks and large electronic commerce corporations to judge them based on what’s called Environmental, Social, and Governance criteria, also known as ESG, and discriminate against them financially if they don’t pass the test.

In February of this year, wrote about “ESG investing” and charitably described it as “a strategy you can use to put your money to work with companies that strive to make the world a better place.” Here’s how they summarized ESG criteria:
Environment. What kind of impact does a company have on the environment? This can include a company’s carbon footprint, toxic chemicals involved in its manufacturing processes and sustainability efforts that make up its supply chain.

Social. How does the company improve its social impact, both within the company and in the broader community? Social factors include everything from LGBTQ+ equality, racial diversity in both the executive suite and staff overall, and inclusion programs and hiring practices. It even looks at how a company advocates for social good in the wider world, beyond its limited sphere of business.

Governance. How does the company’s board and management drive positive change? Governance includes everything from issues surrounding executive pay to diversity in leadership as well as how well that leadership responds to and interacts with shareholders.

ESG criteria and pressure from woke online outrage mobs have been credited with getting donation websites like GoFundMe to either freeze or pull fundraising pages for campaigns that don’t meet the woke standards, like the Canadian Freedom Convoy.

It was also revealed in 2019 that PayPal was working with the discredited, far-left Southern Poverty Law Center to ban so-called “far-right” users, oddly enough, in the name of “diversity and inclusion.”

Additional Error Found in CNN’s Investigation into the Death of Shireen Abu Akleh
This week the New York Times reported that CNN is experiencing a marked decline in both ratings and profitability. According to Nielsen, the Times reported, CNN’s prime time ratings are down 27 percent compared to a year ago, and sources suggest that the network may be on track to miss its profitability target by more than $100 million.

Yet, the network continues to degrade the public trust in its reporting, specifically with regard to the death of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. (“‘They were shooting directly at the journalists’: New evidence suggests Shireen Abu Akleh was killed in targeted attack by Israeli forces,” May 26, 2022.) CNN’s May investigation continues to have relevance as Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez referenced it in a press conference just last Thursday.

CAMERA has previously written that CNN, along with other news outlets, ignored contemporaneous eyewitness statements made on the same day that Abu Akleh was killed. Both Shatha Hanaysha and Ali Samoudi, who were with Abu Akleh when she was shot, told Arabic language news outlets that there were gunmen on the roofs of nearby buildings. Yet, as I wrote previously, none of the ten journalists who contributed to the CNN report seem to have asked Ms. Hanaysha to explain the discrepancy between what she told Al Jazeera, and what Samoudi told the Arabic Post, on the day of the shooting, and what Hanaysha later told CNN.

In addition, thanks to a tip from blogger Elder of Ziyon, CAMERA has learned additional information that contradicts CNN’s reporting.

CNN wrote on May 26th: “But an investigation by CNN offers new evidence — including two videos of the scene of the shooting — that there was no active combat, nor any Palestinian militants, near Abu Akleh in the moments leading up to her death.” (Emphasis added.)

Yet, an 8-minute video on Middle East Eye’s YouTube page here shows that there were, in fact, other gunmen in the area. It appears that CNN also had access to that video, as a snippet from it is included in the video report included with the online written report.
Hamas assets revelations not newsworthy for the BBC
While the BBC has produced numerous reports concerning Shifa hospital in the past – mainly to promote the topic of shortages of medical supplies or to amplify false allegations of targeting of medical facilities – it has been notably less forthcoming on the subject of Hamas’ use of that hospital as a shelter for senior officials and headquarters.

Whether or not any BBC journalists attended that IDF briefing is not known to us but the information was also put out as a press release and has been amply reported by the local English language press and on social media.

What is clear however is that BBC audiences have to date seen no reporting whatsoever on that topic. As noted here in May 2021, unlike other media outlets the BBC provided its audiences with very little information concerning the Hamas tunnels which were destroyed during Operation Guardian of the Walls that month.

“The BBC’s avoidance of any significant reporting on that tunnel system is especially notable in light of the fact that it did produce reports on civilian casualties which – as BBC journalists know – resulted from the collapse of buildings above the tunnels that Hamas had constructed in recent years.

It is also noteworthy because following the 2014 conflict, the BBC ignored Hamas’ previous misappropriation of construction materials for the purpose of tunnel building and the related failure of supervisory international bodies to ensure that those materials went solely to civilian construction projects.”

And so once more BBC audiences will lack information essential for full understanding of any future Israeli operation in the Gaza Strip and its consequences for the civilian population.

Toronto-Area Arabic Media Peddles What HRC Regards As Antisemitic Propaganda
In the mainstream Canadian news media, problematic news coverage related to Israel isn’t a rare occurrence. And while sometimes there are overt anti-Israel opinion columns or broadcasts, oftentimes, the problems are a result of omission, misinformation or poor writing.

But in recent weeks, separate incidents in the Toronto-area Arabic language press have shown a very disturbing perspective, far beyond simple misinformation and that veered into what we consider to be hateful discourse.

The May 31, 2022 edition of Sakher Sabeel, a Misssissauga-based Arabic magazine featured an interview with Palestinian poet Ghalia Abu Sitta during her visit to Canada. Abu Sitta, who is also a veteran member of the Fatah movement, was asked by the editors of the magazine for her perspective on the “ongoing tragedies” in the Palestinian territories, and her response was a mishmash of what we consider to be historical revisionism and a tacit denial of Israel’s right to exist.

HonestReporting Canada has independently verified the translation of Abu Sitta’s words from the original Arabic and they are as follows:
The Palestinian people are now affected by the negative phenomena that have surfaced from the daily storming of the occupation of the [Palestinian] cities, the Judaization of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), and the swallowing up of lands in all the cities of Palestine,” Abu Sittah said in the interview. “They (Palestinians) are also frustrated with the regimes…collaborating and normalizing relations [with Israel]…they…will not give up until the return [of the Palestinian refugees], God willing.”

In 1948, when the newly reborn State of Israel declared its independence, the country was immediately invaded by surrounding Arab states. And while Israel managed to survive the deadly onslaught, one of the consequences of the war was the displacement of roughly 750,000 Palestinian-Arabs out of Israel into surrounding countries, prompted in part by the encouragement of Arab leaders, who expected a swift Arab victory over the young Jewish state.

When the victory over Israel did not happen, these Arab refugees – whose descendants today number in the millions – became a political weapon wielded by anti-Israel activists, knowing that these millions of Palestinian-Arabs returning to Israel would spell the end of the country as a Jewish state.
Antisemitism without antisemites
A reluctance to denounce individuals who might be politically useful has been evident on both sides of the aisle in recent years. Recall what happened when Minnesota Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar made anti-Semitic remarks in 2019. That infamous controversy began when Rep. Omar claimed that a Jewish organization was paying members of Congress to be pro-Israel ("It's all about the Benjamins, baby," is how she put it). A statement released by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and five other senior House Democrats condemned what they called "Omar's use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel's supporters."

A few weeks later, Omar did it again, this time seemingly questioning the patriotism of some of her congressional colleagues. She asserted that supporters of Israel "think it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country."

Congressional Republicans, and some Democrats, wanted to pass a resolution condemning Omar and her statements. But Omar's allies – led by the so-called congressional "Squad" – convinced the Democratic leadership to adopt a very different resolution. Theirs did not mention Omar by name, and, instead of focusing on antisemitism, denounced "antisemitism, Islamophobia, racism and other forms of bigotry." In other words, it condemned antisemitism without condemning the anti-Semite.

Condemning Omar by name would have alienated her followers. Condemning Andrew Torba by name would have offended his followers. Condemning David Duke or QAnon by name would have antagonized their followers. As a result, in each case, the "condemnations" that public pressure elicited were the absolute minimum that the politicians in question believed they could issue while still preserving their narrow political interests.

The concept of asking public figures to condemn a specific anti-Semitic colleague makes sense. Even if those who are issuing the condemnation have to be pressured into doing so, the fact that they are making such a statement helps set an appropriate standard for American society. It says clearly that such anti-Semitic sentiments are unacceptable; that helps drive antisemites to the margins.

But a hollow condemnation of antisemitism, one that does not name the anti-Semite in question, undermines the whole purpose of such a condemnation. It signals that the politicians in question are still willing to accept the anti-Semite because doing so gives them some political advantage. They are still treating the anti-Semite and his or her followers as a legitimate part of American political culture. They are, in effect, bringing the bigots back in from the margins of society. And that's just wrong.

Dr. Rafael Medoff is director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies and author of more than 20 books about the Holocaust and Jewish history. This essay is based in part on the research for his most recent book, "The Jews Should Keep Quiet: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, and the Holocaust."
‘Confronting Hate’ exhibit portrays how AJC broached anti-Semitism during World War II
It almost looks like a comics display when first walking into the “Confronting Hate 1937-1952” exhibit at the New York-Historical Society on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. “Thrilling,” “extra,” “Joe the Worker” and “TV Spots” pop out from the enlarged comics wrapped around the top of the display cases in a small room of what is said to be the city’s first museum.

“It’s extremely timely,” said Debra Schmidt Bach, curator of the exhibit. “It addresses the current state of affairs. The whole idea of fighting against bias of all groups is very important. It is timeless.”

The small space in a side room at the towering, huge museum complex tells the story of the American Jewish Committee’s unique way to combat anti-Semitism, mostly through cartoons, comic books and engaging advertisements. The exhibit started last month and runs until Jan. 1.

“Don’t just stand there. Get me some white, native-born, sixth-generation American stretcher-bearers,” one comic strip of the “Mr. Biggott series,” published in hundreds of newspapers, declared the comic of man who slipped on a banana peel. Another strip depicting a man holding a clarinet standing at the entrance to the U.S. Army General Hospital says, “I have come to entertain the wounded. Lead me to the ward for white, native-born, sixth-generation Americans.”

The campaign that went from 1937 to 1945 was spearheaded mostly by Richard Rothschild, a writer of philosophy who also worked for an advertising agency. “The problem was how to prevent Nazi-type anti-Semitism,” Rothschild said in a 1973 interview, “then the official policy of the German government from establishing itself firmly in this county.”

He totally ignored the rhetoric from the anti-Semitic American Gentile newspaper, presented at the opening of the exhibit that reads: “Let’s take America away from the Jews,” where in order for America to be “free to survive,” the Jewish “Carthage must be destroyed.”

Rothschild went on to explain that there needs to be a specific social remedy for a specific social malady, with anti-Semitism being no exception. Nazism, he said, wanted to spread internal discord. Taking their cues from military strategy, they wanted to divide and conquer. “Divisiveness can be the source of a country’s greatest weakness,” he said.

Spanish town 'Fort Kill the Jews' vandalized with antisemitic graffiti after Jew moves in
A tiny village in northern Spain that from 1627 until 2015 was named Fort Kill the Jews was hit with antisemitic graffiti on Wednesday, and its mayor said he believes neo-Nazi groups carried out the vandalism because they had heard a Jewish family was moving back into the town.

As reported by the El País daily, the family will soon join another Jewish one that moved to the town earlier this year — the first to do so since medieval times.

Originally named Castrillo Motajudíos, or Jew’s Hill Fort, in 1035 when Jews fleeing from a neighboring pogrom settled there, the town was renamed Castrillo Matajudíos — Fort Kill The Jews — in 1627, during a period of extreme religious persecution carried out by the Inquisition.

Vandals spray painted the word Auschwitz, the name of the infamous former Nazi camp, onto one of the village’s signs with its restored current name. They also wrote the Fort Kill the Jews name onto a signpost that leads into the town. Several garbage containers throughout the village were lit on fire.

Mayor Lorenzo Rodríguez told the website that he thinks neo-Nazis or other antisemitic groups from Madrid, Valencia or Santander are behind the vandalism and that they acted when they learned that a Jewish family is moving into the town of around 50 people.

The Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain condemned the vandalism in a news release.
CAA challenges CPS’s claim that it takes antisemitic hate crime seriously
In an article in the Jewish News last week, Lionel Idan, the hate crime lead prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) claimed that the CPS takes antisemitic crime seriously. Our experience, however, has suggested otherwise.

In our response in this week’s Jewish News, Chief Executive of Campaign Against Antisemitism, Gideon Falter, argued that “most of the article sought to defend the CPS against the accusation levelled by 59 percent of British Jews in our most recent polling that his organisation fails to do enough to protect our community,” but that the examples and statistics that he cited failed to provide the reassurance that the CPS believed that they would.

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis of Home Office statistics shows that an average of over three hate crimes are directed at Jews every single day in England and Wales, with Jews more than four times likelier to be targets of hate crimes than any other faith group.
DHL removes deliveryman who wrote “signed for by jews” on parcel, apologises and offers compensation after intervention by CAA
DHL has removed a deliveryman who is claimed to have thrown a package in a driveway and recorded that it was “signed for by jews [sic]”.

The recipient of the package, who is a member of the Jewish community in London, reported to us that their package was left in the driveway by a representative of the delivery company. No attempt had been made to ring the doorbell, even though the recipient was at home.

The package was left in a damaged state, as evidenced in a photograph provided to us.

The recipient, who lives in a heavily-Jewish neighbourhood, received a notification claiming that the package had been signed for, which was apparently not true, and that it had been “signed for by jews [sic]”.

After correspondence with the victim and intervention by Campaign Against Antisemitism, DHL has removed the deliveryman, apologised and offered the victim compensation.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “This is not the first time that deliverymen, from any company, have made racial comments about Jewish people. For someone simply waiting to receive a package and relying on a basic service to have to endure antisemitic abuse is intolerable. We are grateful that the victim came forward and we applaud DHL for doing the right thing by removing this deliveryman from service, apologising and offering compensation.”
Court allows reinstatement of racially_religiously aggravated element to charges against Abdullah Qureshi after CAA and others pressure CPS
A court has agreed to reinstate the racially/religiously aggravated element to charges against Abdullah Qureshi. The decision comes after Campaign Against Antisemitism and other groups applied pressure to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which had earlier dropped the hate element from the charges.

On 7th April, Mr Qureshi, 28, from Dewsbury in West Yorkshire, pleaded guilty at Thames Magistrates’ Court to one count of assault by beating and one count of grievous bodily harm with intent. The charges related to a series of assaults on 18th August 2021 in Stamford Hill in which five religious Jews in the North London neighbourhood were violently attacked.

Campaign Against Antisemitism then revealed that the CPS had dropped the racially/religiously aggravated element of those charges as part of a plea deal with Mr Qureshi. After we, Shomrim, CST and other communal organisations made representations to the CPS, it agreed to reinstate the aggravated elements, but Mr Qureshi appeared in court to resist the reinstatement of the aggravated element.

Explaining the reinstatement at court, the prosecutor said that these are “serious allegations” and that “the file was reviewed again and a decision was made to proceed with the offences.” However, counsel for Mr Qureshi argued that this submission should not be accepted, describing it as “ridiculous” and an “abuse of process”.

The CPS was instructed to provide its reasons in writing, with an opportunity for the defence to respond in writing, followed by a hearing in the summer.

Israeli scientists developing ‘precision’ viruses that kill bowel-harming bacteria
Israeli scientists are working to develop a “precision weapon” against bowel disorders consisting of viruses that fight bacteria.

Two different virus “cocktails” have undergone Phase 1 clinical trials, with initial results indicating that they are safe, and extensive in vitro and animal testing suggesting that they fight bacteria.

Peer-reviewed research, published in the journal Cell, states that the virus effectively reduced the count of Klebsiella pneumoniae, a bacteria that is found in large quantities in the guts of people with Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis.

“To our knowledge, this constitutes the first ‘silver bullet’ approach promising a precise suppression of disease-causing gut microbes, without harming the surrounding microbiome,” said Prof. Eran Elinav of the Weizmann Institute of Science, who headed the research team.

The idea of using viruses in medicines to fight bacteria — known as bacteriophages or phage therapy — isn’t new, and was intensely researched in the early 20th century. However, before any significant successes, antibiotics were invented and attempts at clinical uses of viruses were largely abandoned — though scientists continued to use phages in laboratory settings.

Today, there is a resurgence of interest in possible phage therapies amid concerns about antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Some researchers have suggested that they may present a solution to the problem, and several phage therapies are in development, though none are in widespread use.
Over-the-phone voice analysis detects atrial fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation (A-fib) is an abnormal heart rhythm that increases the risk of stroke fivefold and of heart disease threefold. A-fib may also lead to complications such as kidney failure and dementia.

Globally, one out of four people above the age of 65 will develop A-fib, leading to calls for screening everyone from their mid-60s. Currently, screening is very limited and generally is done with an electrocardiogram (ECG).

However, although A-fib is treatable it is often asymptomatic and can be difficult to spot on an ECG reading – like finding a needle in a haystack, says James Amihood, CEO of Cardiokol.

“The mother of one of our founders had a stroke due to A-fib and he couldn’t believe that the detection capability is so low — less than 10 percent,” says Amihood, speaking with ISRAEL21c from the five-year-old company’s headquarters in Israel’s Airport City.

“He realized that there is an unmet need for a cost-effective way to monitor senior patients more frequently. And it must be age-friendly because older people don’t like wearables.”
American Zionist Movement Given Special Advisory Status at United Nations
The American Zionist Movement was given special consultative NGO status at the UN Economic and Social Council on Wednesday, according to a news release.

AZM President Deborah Isaac wrote that the designation gives it an advisory role to the council, and will give AZM a platform “from which to move the discussion of Zionism and support for Israel in the UN from a negative to a positive.”

The movement is made up of 41 national Jewish Zionist organizations working across the political spectrum to link the American Jewish community in support of Israel, Zionism and the Jewish people. The status will allow AZM to participate in UN events and debates, as well as hold its own activities within the framework of the world body.

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan called the news an important achievement, adding that AZM will be a force multiplier for Israel in the international arena.

The measure involved the diplomatic actions of Erdan and AZM members who have worked in the past year to promote the organization’s candidacy, raising the issue in meetings with ambassadors and senior diplomats.

“I fight every day at the UN so that Zionism is considered an important and positive movement, and I am happy that after despicable decisions made in the past, the understanding of the importance of the Zionist enterprise is permeating the United Nations,” Erdan said in the release. “We have proven that Zionism is no longer a dirty word within the corridors of the United Nations. I congratulate the AZM, which is leading an important effort to strengthen the State of Israel, and I am sure that the movement will now be able to further expand and deepen its work.”
Dubai: Jewish expat to drive from UAE to Israel, promote peace and innovation
A Jewish expat in Dubai is embarking on a 20-day road trip from the UAE to Israel and back with pit stops in four Arab countries to promote peace and innovation.

Tech innovator Bruce Gurfein, 45, will start his journey from Burj Al Arab in Dubai on Sunday, August 7, and travel through Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine and Israel before returning to Dubai on August 26.

“I believe this is the first attempt of a cross-country trip between the UAE and Israel,” Gurfein, an American citizen living in Dubai, told Khaleej Times. "The aim is to build people-to-people relations, promote peace, and create awareness about the need for innovations in agro and food tech in a region fraught with food security challenges."

The 9,000-km trip is the first step towards launching a regional accelerator programme for food and desert tech start-ups in the region, said Gurfein, CEO of Connect, the tech arm of Al Nabooda Group.

Along the trip, he will be meeting investors, land owners, partners and innovators in agro and food tech in a bid to create a joint platform to promote a sustainable future for the region. “We will be recruiting 25 new companies from across these six countries into the accelerator programme,” he said.

The journey
The journey will start from Burj Al Arab at early morning on Sunday and Gurfein will be accompanied by his friend Joe Koen, another Dubai resident.

The duo will have their first pitstop in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. They will meet with their partners and also tour the Al Masmak Fortress and other cultural sites before heading to Jeddah the next day. They will wrap up the Saudi leg of the journey with a trip to Al Ula where they will visit farms and meet with tech partners.

“People can follow our trip on our social media platforms. The idea is to share the cultural experiences with others and help them understand the region. I want this initiative to help bring opportunities to start-ups and help grow sustainability industries of these economies,” he said. (h/t Zvi)
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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 19 years and 40,000 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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