Wednesday, August 10, 2022

From Ian:

Jonathan Tobin: Why Jews don’t control America’s foreign policy
That ought to be painfully obvious, not least because, as (Walter Russell) Mead points out, the United States has not been consistently supportive of Israel. Indeed, it was not until after its astonishing victory in the 1967 Six-Day War when Israel was first perceived as a potentially important strategic ally for the West in the Cold War did the United States start to really help the Jewish state.

Even after the alliance became a reality, different schools of thought emerged to try to explain why America cared about Israel and usually provided the wrong answers to the question. So-called realists believed that Israel was an impediment to better relations with the Arab world and blamed it for American problems that had nothing to do with sympathy for Zionism. The American left, which had been supportive of Israel in its early years, eventually turned on it because it, too, came to view it in an ideological context that was equally detached from the reality of Israel. Meanwhile, Jacksonians liked Israel for the same reasons that others detested it: their tough response to terrorism and assertion of national rights. For those seeking simple explanations to complex questions, Israel and the notion of hidden Jewish power manipulating America to do things against its interests is an easy answer, yet always a wrong one.

Israel has a powerful and perhaps far more loyal non-Jewish constituency among evangelical Christians. It’s also true that the two most pro-Israel presidents with respect to policy—Richard Nixon, who provided crucial help to save it during the 1973 Yom Kippur War and Donald Trump, who recognized Jerusalem and aligned himself very closely with the Jewish nation—were also the two presidents most despised by the majority of American Jewish voters.

Above all, successive American administrations took up the search for Middle East peace on the false premise that achieving it would solve a host of other problems. Belief in the peace process became, especially among the foreign-policy establishment of veteran diplomats, academics and journalists who are considered “experts” in the field,” a holy grail that took both Democrat and Republican presidents down a rabbit hole from which none emerged unscathed or successful.

Mead points out that the peace process was not only not a holy grail but actually a “MacGuffin,” the term filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock coined to describe a plot device that seems to motivate and drive the main character’s actions, but which is actually of very little intrinsic value. That ought to have been conclusively proven by Trump’s Abraham Accords in which Arab states essentially abandoned the Palestinian cause in favor of normalization with a Jewish state that is a valuable strategic ally and trading partner. Even after that, belief in the importance of the grail that’s really a MacGuffin persists.

Mead provides a valuable history of successive American administration approaches to the Middle East from the failures of the two Bushes, Clinton and Obama, and then Trump’s surprising partial success. It’s important to understand that America has always pursued policies that were the function of its leader’s beliefs—whether avowed realists like the first Bush, convinced that democracy could be spread like the second Bush, true believers in the peace process like Clinton and Obama or a Jacksonian like Trump—about what they thought was in America’s best interests, not Israel’s.

Yet despite the changing script in which America’s political parties have flipped their positions on Israel and the shifting geostrategic realities of the Middle East have been made apparent, credence in the existence of a “hidden Jewish hand” manipulating America continues to exist on both political extremes. That this is so is a testament to the fact that anti-Semitism remains a far more powerful force than most of those who think about America and the Middle East are prepared to admit.
Normalizing Relations Between Israel and the Arab World Continues Calmly in a Turbulent World
Even in the Palestinian Authority and Gaza, these moves elicited only a cursory response. The same scenes that played out in Arab cities were played out among Palestinians.

It is not surprising, then, that Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah, in which they agreed to develop a joint economic hub near the King Hussein bridge where Israeli and Jordanian businessmen could meet, was met with calmness – in almost prophetic contrast to the reaction to Bourguiba fifty-eight years ago.

Neither the meeting nor the proposal demonstrated any bravery on the part of the Hashemite King. Jordan signed an agreement six years ago to purchase 45 billion cubic meters of Israeli gas for ten billion dollars over fifteen years.

There was so little opposition on the “Jordanian street” that security forces took no action against Hisham al-Bustani, the coordinator of “the Campaign Against the Enemy’s Gas,” who accused by name the Jordanian ministers involved in the agreement’s ratification. If the regime had felt threatened, it would have arrested him for incitement. They were correct: two years after the video in which al-Bustani appeared, only 145 people viewed it, with only one comment supporting the King.

Normalization with Israel is not met with equanimity in so many Arab states because of a love for Israel. Nor has the realization of Israel’s technological achievements changed public attitudes toward the Jewish state.

The transformation is far more fundamental and internal. Arab publics are engrossed by the challenges that they face in their states. For example, in Lebanon, there are economic burdens, growing animosity toward Hizballah, and the threat of renewed civil war that Hizballah control evokes. In Iraq, there is the danger of political and economic meltdown not as a result of the Shi’ite/Sunni divide as it was a decade ago, but more ominously, in the intra-Shi’ite conflict fueled by Iranian meddling. And in Egypt, there is the perennial concern of keeping Egypt above water economically, not to mention Tunisia.

In short, when the “Arab street” takes to the streets, they cannot add the burden of the Palestinians to their concerns. Last year, a Syrian opposition member who Palestinian students heckled at Hebrew University responded, “You live in paradise compared to what Syrians face!”

The Arab street’s lack of reaction allows Arab leaders to pursue their relations with Israel to benefit themselves and their constituents.
It’s time to address the horrific injustice done to Jews from Arab lands
When addressing the defining moment of the 20th century in terms of man’s inhumanity to man, we often reflect on the sheer barbarism of the Holocaust. But throughout the blood-stained annals of Jewish history, many other anti-Semitic massacres have been committed.

Tragically, what is often neglected and summarily dismissed is the forced expulsion, evacuation and flight of 921,000 Jews of Sephardi and Mizrachi background from Arab countries and the Muslim world, primarily from 1948 to the early 1970s.

For over 2,500 years, Jews lived continuously in North Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf region. The first Jewish population had already settled there at least 1,000 years before the advent of Islam.

Throughout the generations, Jews in the region were often subjected to various forms of discrimination—and in many cases, ranked lower on the status of society than their Muslim compatriots—but they were nevertheless loyal citizens who contributed significantly to the culture and development of their respective countries.

Despite the positive influence that Jews brought to the places where they lived, more than 850,000 Jews were forced to leave their homes in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Morocco and several other Arab countries in the 20 years that followed Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. Another major forced migration took place from Iran in 1979–80 following the Iranian Revolution and the collapse of the Shah’s regime, adding 70,000 more Jewish refugees to this number.

In 1947, the Political Committee of the Arab League drafted an anti-Semitic law that violently oppressed the Jewish residents in all of its member states. In the international arena, Arab diplomats pretended to ignore the Arab League’s collusion in encouraging state-sanctioned discrimination against Jews, seeking publicly to attribute blame to the Arab “masses”—and even the United Nations itself—for any danger facing the Jews across the region. This covert move was part of the Arab states’ attempt to divert attention from the official discriminatory practices of their governments.

Between 1948-1951, 260,000 Jews from Arab countries immigrated to Israel, accounting for 56% of the total immigration to the newly-founded state. The Israeli government’s policy to accommodate 600,000 immigrants over four years, doubling the existing Jewish population, encountered mixed reactions in the Knesset, as there were those within the Jewish Agency and government who opposed promoting large-scale immigration by Jews from Arab lands.

The Sbarro Massacre: The Value of Life over Violence
After losing his daughter Malki in the Sbarro Massacre 21 years ago, Arnold Roth and his family chose to take the example she showed in life and share it with others.

For the terrorists who killed her—and thousands of others over the years—violence and murder is their end goal.

For us, life is precious and we do everything to protect, preserve and sanctify it in every way possible.

France marks 40 years since deadly Paris attack, with probe still underway

German Court Convicts Brothers for Brutal Assault on Jewish Man at Pro-Israel Demonstration
A German court on Wednesday sentenced two minors for a brutal assault on a Jewish man during a pro-Israel vigil in the city of Hamburg last year.

The court heard how in Sept. 2021, the two brothers, aged 17 and 15, approached a small demonstration displaying signs in support of Israel and warning against rising antisemitism. Accompanied by a female friend, the brothers shouted “f**k Israel” and “Free Palestine” and insulted the vigil participants.

The brothers then assaulted a 61-year-old man who was attending the demonstration, leaving him with broken cheekbones and an eye that was damaged when his glasses were smashed. The perpetrators then fled the scene on rented scooters as police officers mounted a search for them.

“I’m practically blind, I can only see light and dark in my right eye,” the victim told the news outlet Welt on Wednesday.

Both the brothers were charged with antisemitic incitement, while the 17-year-old also faced a charge of grievous bodily harm. The older brother was deemed by the court to have shown a “general derogatory attitude towards Israel, people from Israel and people who show solidarity with Israel.”

Neither brother will serve a custodial sentence, however. The 17-year-old received a sixteen month suspended sentence that will require him to perform community service and undergo anti-violence training, while his younger sibling will also perform community service.
StandWithUs kickstarts second letter campaign to fight anti-Semitism on college campuses
The pro-Israel nonprofit StandWithUs kickstarted its second national letter campaign last week, writing to roughly 3,000 universities across the United States about major issues Jewish students face on campus.

“If your administration and [Diversity, Equity and Inclusion] offices prioritize social-justice issues, then combating anti-Semitism on campus should be a major focus,” said the Aug. 4 letter signed by StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein, StandWithUs Legal Department director Yael Lerman and Center for Combating Antisemitism director Carly Gammill.

The letter highlighted five top issues of concern for Jewish students.

The first was faculty members denying Jewish students educational opportunities by refusing to provide recommendations for study-abroad programs in Israel in line with the BDS movement’s calls for an academic boycott of Israel.

The denial of educational opportunities also manifested itself in recent years, according to the letter, through faculty members refusing to “make recommendations on hiring, promotion and grant-making decisions” when it concerned Jewish or Zionist students.

Two other issues the letter addressed were faculty members introducing anti-Semitic and anti-Israel biases in the classroom and creating biased curricula to that end.

Citing the American Association of University Professors Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, which states that while “[t]eachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject,” they “should be careful not to introduce” unrelated “controversial” content in the classroom, StandWithUs urged university administrations to investigate cases where instructors used course time to promote anti-Jewish or anti-Israel biases.
Jews calling for the destruction of Israel at CUNY
As if further confirmation were needed to designate the CUNY system as an egregious purveyor of anti-Israel activism—often replete with anti-Semitic expression—the university is being made to answer for its failure to protect Jewish students and faculty with a new Title VI complaint filed on July 19th by The American Center for Law and Justice.

The complaint, sent to Catherine E. Lhamon, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education, contended that “CUNY has become a hotbed for discrimination and antisemitism” and demanded an investigation into “the discriminatory exclusion and harassment that takes place in the CUNY system, and the administration’s failure to do anything concrete to address the issue . . . in what appears to be a systemic and intentional refusal to confront antisemitism and protect the rights of Jewish students and faculty.”

The lawsuit documents anti-Israel, anti-Semitic incidents as far back as 2013 and includes the latest examples of CUNY’s systemic animosity to Israel, Zionism, and, seemingly, Jews. “Just a day after the faculty endorsed BDS,” in 2022, the complaint read, “CUNY Law honored graduation speaker Nerdeen Kiswani—the very same woman who has, among other things openly condoned violence against and the killing of Zionists . . ; glorified intifada and called for its globalization; honored leaders of a terrorist group; and called for ‘Zionist professors’ and ‘Zionist students’ to be removed from CUNY campuses.”

Ms. Kiswani, the founder of Within Our Lifetime and a co-founder of the New York City branch of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), was a virulent enemy of Zionism and Israel during her years at CUNY and had a long record of toxic activism. Not to be outdone by the regular enemies of the Jewish state, the latest assault on Zionism and Israel—and CUNY’s supporters of them—comes from an unlikely and unfortunate source: Jewish CUNY students and faculty.

In July, the group, which unambiguously calls itself Not In Our Name: Anti-Zionist Jewish Coalition at CUNY, issued a statement which committed the signers of their document to Palestinian Arab solidarity, support for the BDS campaign, and a denunciation of Israel and Jewish self-determination, including their breathtakingly audacious demand that their fellow students “unlearn Zionism.”

This type of language coming from the traditional campus enemies of the Jewish state is unsurprising; coming from students and faculty who identify as Jews, however, is troubling, especially since their statement is riddled with the factually inaccurate, Marxist language of apartheid, oppression, colonialism, and the purported “genocide” of Palestinian Arabs being committed by Israel. But central to this odious exercise in virtue signaling was the request to CUNY’s Jewish community to “Create networks and programs within the CUNY Jewish population to question, critique, and unlearn Zionism so they may form their own Jewish identity [emphasis added].”

The statement employs the disingenuous “as a Jew” strategy which suggests that an attack on the Jewish state has more credibility and significance coming from Jews themselves. In fact, these misguided activists use Judaism as a reference point for their support of the Palestinian Arabs, claiming that “As people who have undergone repeated state-sanctioned pogroms, ethnic cleansings, and genocide, we work to prevent a world that imposes that onto others.”
FIFA hospitality site removes 'occupied Palestinian territories' from sales agent list
The sales agent in the “occupied Palestinian territories” was removed on Wednesday from the list of agents on FIFA’s hospitality package sales website for the 2022 World Cup, after users noticed earlier that the site had failed to mention Israel at all on its list of sales agents.

Israelis who wish to purchase a hospitality package for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, which is taking place in November, will see that the package being sold by Winterhill Hospitality lists the country as “Palestinian Territory, Occupied,” and does not have an option listed as Israel. The realization had sparked outrage in Israeli media, although a number of other countries, such as Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia, are also not mentioned on the site.

Israeli businessmen who entered the site were amazed to see that Israel’s name had disappeared, Ynet reported.

According to its commitments to FIFA, Qatar is obliged to give the same treatment to all countries, without omitting names or flags, the report said.
Israeli students accuse Ben & Jerry’s of occupying tribal land in Vermont
Israeli students claim that ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s is “illegally” occupying land in Vermont that once belonged to a Abenaki native American tribe and should practice what it preaches and immediately evacuate the properties.

A cheeky letter sent to B&J — signed by more than 1,000 Israeli students and academics affiliated with Students for Justice in America — accuses B&J of of hypocrisy.

“We have concluded that your company’s occupation of the Abenaki lands is illegal and we believe it is wholly inconsistent with the stated values that Ben & Jerry’s purports to maintain. Ironically, in July of the last year you announced that you would discontinue the sale of your products in Israel because you object to the Jewish State allegedly occupying Palestinian territories,” the letter to B&J’s chairperson, Anuradha Mittal said.

The letter, provided to The Post, notes that B&J filed a lawsuit against its parent company, Unilever, in an effort to block its sale of the Vermont-based brand’s Israel business to a local franchisee so ice cream could continue to be sold in the West Bank.

The new student initiative and letter is supported by Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center, a Tel-Aviv based human rights organization dedicated to safeguarding the lives of the Jewish community and and combatting the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against the Jewish State.

“Ben & Jerry’s blatant hypocrisy has now been revealed by these Israeli students,” said Shurat HaDin president, Nitsana Darshan Leitner.

“Ben and Jerry’s speak with a forked tongue.”

'Backdoor BDS:' US investment firm under fire for anti-Israel bias
A case that critics call “backdoor BDS."

In 2020, Morningstar, a multibillion-dollar US-based investment research company, purchased Sustainalytics, a Netherlands-based firm focused on rating companies based on their social responsibility.

Jewish groups warned Morningstar at the time that Sustainalytics relied heavily on anti-Israel sources, skewing its ratings systems against Israeli companies and those doing business against Israel.

After brushing off those concerns, Morningstar eventually relented, dumping a handful of those sources, while leaving others in place, including those that explicitly called for a boycott of Israel.

A threat by the state of Illinois’ investment board to blacklist Morningstar led to an independent investigation by the company, with a law firm hired by Morningstar recommending some 40 changes to weed out the anti-Israel bias at Sustainalytics.

Critics said the changes were superficial, and Sustainalytics’ ratings system amounts to an attempt to single out and harm Israel economically.

Last week, Reuters reported that Missouri’s attorney general opened an investigation of Morningstar for potential BDS practices, and i24NEWS learned that the company’s problems may run much deeper.

Officials from government agencies in multiple states have had conversations concerning Morningstar.

“There have been meetings with all kinds of state officials: governors’ representatives, attorney general representatives, treasurers’ representatives. States need to know that this is nothing other than BDS (the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement) but dressed up as social justice investing,” said Elan Carr, a member of the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement’s advisory council.
US financial firm investigated for BDS involvement

UPI Whitewashes Islamic Jihad Terror Organization As ‘Pro-Liberation Forces’
In a grossly tendentious United Press International article about this weekend’s fighting between Israel and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, Pedro Oliveira Jr. whitewashed the terror organization as “pro-liberation forces.”

In his Aug. 6 report, “Israel bombs residential buildings in Gaza in second day of airstrikes,” Oliveira employs highly partisan, pro-terror language to describe Islamic Jihad, a designated terror organization, stating: “In a pre-emptive attack, Israel demolished a residential building in Gaza with a deadly air raid on Friday, saying it had intelligence of a possible attack by pro-liberation forces.” (Emphasis added.)

Islamic Jihad’s logo, which reads: “And those who do jihad for Us, we shall guide them to our paths . . . “

Pro-liberation forces?! Oliveira does not report that Islamic Jihad is sworn to Israel’s destruction. Nor does he report United Stations, European Union, Canada, Japan and others have designated Islamic Jihad a terror organization. In 2014, the U.S. Department of Treasury listed Ziyad al-Nakhalah. now Islamic Jihad’s leader, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.
More ‘verification’ excuses from the BBC Jerusalem bureau
Licence fee payers who fund the BBC’s permanent bureau in the Gaza Strip may well be wondering why, unlike AP, the corporation did not send staff to visit the sites where those shortfall missiles had landed and whether that has anything to do with Hamas’ known practice of intimidating journalists.

In fact, another report from AP gives details of restrictions imposed by Hamas which were opposed by the Foreign Press Association.

“Palestinians who work with foreign journalists were first informed of the new rules earlier this week in messages sent by the Hamas-run Interior Ministry. They were ordered not to report on Gazans killed by misfired Palestinian rockets or the military capabilities of Palestinian armed groups, and were told to blame Israel for the recent escalation.”

If that is the reason why Yolande Knell and her colleagues could not “check the figures independently”, then BBC audiences should obviously be told so.

It is also worth remembering that – as we have repeatedly recorded over the past decade – the BBC has shown little commitment to accurate and impartial reporting of cases in which Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip were killed or injured by the munitions of terrorist organisations.
CNN Arabic Again Marks Tisha B’Av With ‘Settlers’ At ‘Al-Aqsa Mosque’ Falsehood
Jews mark Tisha B’Av, the day of mourning observing the destruction of the Jewish temples along with other catastrophes in Jewish history, with lamentations and fasting. Some also visit the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site.

In recent years, CNN Arabic marks Tisha B’Av by demonizing Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount, which is also Islam’s third most sacred site, as “settlers storming al-Aqsa Mosque.”

But at CNN Arabic, Tisha B’Av practices are not forever. Last year, following communications with editors in both Arabic and English news desks, CNN Arabic commendably corrected, replacing false references to “settlers storming al-Aqsa Mosque” with the factual “Jews entering the Jerusalem sanctuary.”

Nevertheless, this year, CNN repeated the fabrication, and this time failed to correct despite requests from CAMERA Arabic reminding editor’s of last year’s laudable correction. In both the headline and subheading of the Aug. 7 article this year about the Saudi response to Jews visiting the Temple Mount, CNN Arabic used its own voice to refer to “settlers” at “Al-Aqsa Mosque” (“Saudi Arabia comments on Israeli settlers’ ‘storming’ of Al-Aqsa Mosque and sends a message to the international community.” CNN did appropriately put “storming” into scare quotes, thereby attributing the (erroneous) language to the Saudis.

Notably, while CNN cited the Saudi and Jordanian official responses which falsely charged that Jews “stormed” or “intruded” the site (Arabic: Iqtiham, اقتحام), the Arabic news service failed to provide any impartial account of the non–violent nature of the Jews’ visits at Judaism’s holiest site.

If any correction is forthcoming, we will update this space.
Strictly Orthodox Jews ‘Reject the Principle of Equality in General,’ New York Times Claims
“Hebrew is by no means the only language that has been the target of calls for change,” the New York Times concedes somewhere in the middle of a long article about Hebrew. “Many world languages, like French, make every noun either masculine or feminine. And the United Nations has issued guidelines for nondiscriminatory communications in the six official languages of the organization: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.”

So if French and other languages are the same way, why does the Times bother devoting a whole long news article — illustrated online with seven photographs — to a kerfuffle over gender in Hebrew? Maybe because an article about French wouldn’t provide the opportunity to bash Orthodox Jews.

The Times helpfully explains, “Some ultraconservatives and strict Orthodox Jews oppose the new focus on linguistic equality, since they reject the principle of equality in general.” That is clumsily worded, unclear, and negative. My own view of it is that Orthodox Jews (and many others) would say they believe all humans are created with equal dignity in God’s image and should have equal civil rights to vote or to drive a car, but that does not mean all gender or other differences in language or in other regards are to be ignored or eradicated.

Note also the “they” pronoun. It’s used by the Times not in a friendly, inclusive way, as in, The strict Orthodox Jew prefers they/them pronouns. It’s used in a nasty, exclusive way, as in, those bigoted not-just-merely conservative but ultraconservative and not just merely Orthodox but strict Orthodox Jews are against “the principle of equality in general” (as opposed to the principle of equality in specific?), unlike we enlightened New York Times readers, who are more equal than they are, those benighted strictly Orthodox Jews over there.

The New York Times is all for “the principle of equality in general” — unless and until it applies to giving equal, fair treatment to Orthodox Jewish views. Then the Times throws the principle of equality overboard, letting readers know without a lot of guile who the paper thinks is inferior.
Meta’s Artificial Intelligence Chatbot Spews ‘Unacceptable’ Antisemitic Conspiracy Theory
A new artificial intelligence chatbot released by Facebook’s parent company Meta Platforms Inc. has promoted the antisemitic conspiracy theory that Jewish people control the world’s economy, Bloomberg first reported.

Meta Platforms — formerly known as Facebook before it officially changed its name in October 2021 — released in the US on Friday a public demo of its new BlenderBot 3, an artificial intelligence conversational software that can converse with people, who can then provide feedback on how to improve the responses they receive. BlenderBot 3 can also search the internet to talk about various topics.

In a conversation with a Wall Street Journal reporter that was shared on Twitter on Sunday, the chatbot claimed it was “not implausible” to believe that Jewish people control the economy, and added that Jews have “been a force in American finance and are overrepresented among America’s super rich.”

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and co-chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, criticized Meta regarding the incident.

“It is simply unacceptable that as Facebook, now Meta, moves into AI, that it hasn’t taken steps — from the beginning — to ensure they aren’t going to allow the migration of the haters to their powerful next generation technological platforms,” he told The Algemeiner on Tuesday. “If Meta can’t figure [it] out, maybe Congress will.”

In separate conversations with users, BlenderBot 3 described Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg as “too creepy and manipulative” and said “his business practices are not always ethical.” It also claimed that Donald Trump is still president of the United States.

Canada’s Refusal to Disclose Names of Nazi War Criminals ‘Outrages’ Human Rights Group
A Canadian Jewish group this week criticized the federal government for rejecting a freedom of information (FOI) request for documents disclosing the names of German emigrants the government investigated in the 1980s for being Nazi war criminals.

On Monday, B’nai Brith Canada said the office established under Canada’s Access to Information and Privacy (AITP) Act told the group it would need an “unreasonable” amount of time to compile the names requested in its FOI.

David Rosenfeld — a member of the organization’s Matas Law Society currently providing B’nai Brith legal counsel in its efforts — called AITP’s system for processing freedom of information requests “seriously flawed” and that the group was “outraged by the government’s refusal.”

In 1985, after reports emerged that Nazi physician Josef Mengele requested approval to move to Canada in 1962, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney created the Deschênes Commission, tasking it with determining if and how many Nazis lived in the country.

The commission reported that Canada had harbored Nazi emigrants after World War II, finding that the country was a “dumping ground” for ex-Nazis placed there by US intelligence officials and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It also recommended that the 20 Nazi war criminals it identified face legal consequences and that the backgrounds of several hundred other immigrants be investigated.

But large portions of the Deschenês Commission report were redacted, including the names of the suspected ex-Nazis. At the time, the Canadian government explained that protecting their identities ensured they would receive due process. Ultimately, charges were filed against four, with one case resulting in an acquittal while two others were dropped and another stayed.
NY governor signs bill on Holocaust education to counter widespread ignorance
New York State Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday signed legislation that requires state officials to monitor Holocaust education in schools, as antisemitism remains at record levels in New York and surveys show a lack of knowledge among youth.

Hochul signed legislation at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City that aims to ensure schools carry out proper Holocaust education.

The law directs the state’s education department to determine whether school districts are in compliance with Holocaust education requirements. The education department will also need to determine how non-compliant schools can meet the requirements.

New York State has mandated Holocaust education in schools since 1994, but surveys have found that many young people are ignorant of the Nazi genocide.

A 2020 survey by the Claims Conference, which represents Jews seeking compensation for the Holocaust, found that 63 percent of young Americans, and 60% of New Yorkers, did not know six million Jews were murdered in the genocide. In New York, 58% could not name a single concentration camp, 19% believed Jews caused the Holocaust and 43% did not know what Auschwitz was.

“‘Never forget’ is more than a slogan, it’s what we preach, but I want to make sure it’s really being taught,” Hochul said.

“Do you really tell the true story behind it, how people turned on their neighbors and became so radicalized, and they didn’t have the internet to do that for them, which is why today is even more dangerous,” she said.

In addition to the education law, Hochul signed two other pieces of legislation related to the Holocaust at the Wednesday event.

The second bill requires museums to disclose the origins of artwork that were stolen under the Nazi regime. Some museums in New York display stolen artwork without acknowledging its provenance, the governor’s office said.

The third requires the state’s Department of Financial Services to publicize banks that voluntarily waive wire fees for Holocaust reparation payments, in a bid to ease financial stress for survivors. Around one-third of New York state’s 40,000 survivors live below the poverty line.
Jewish neighborhood patrol group in Brooklyn to train Asian neighbors
As Jews and Asians continue to come under attack in New York City, volunteers forming an Asian Community Watch group are taking lessons from a long-standing Jewish neighborhood safety patrol.

Through an initiative led by New York City Republican Councilwoman Inna Vernikov, members of Flatbush Shomrim (Hebrew for “watchers”) in Brooklyn, N.Y., are training volunteers from an Asian neighborhood in Vernikov’s district on how to run a successful community safety patrol. Flatbush Shomrim executive coordinator Bob Moskovitz told JNS that his organization, which was formed three decades ago, is trying to serve as a guide and mentor for its Asian neighbors.

“These are community members who mostly have no clue exactly what it is that they’re doing regarding starting and running an effective safety patrol,” said Moskovitz, highlighting the notable exception of retired NYPD Deputy Chief Dewey Fong.

Moskovitz said the Asian Community Watch consists of around a half-dozen people. In two meetings so far, Shomrim has tried to help them lay the groundwork, discussing operations, strategies, funding and other issues that are involved in creating a new patrol.

“I explained to them the whole nine yards. Who they have to recruit, what they should be looking for, who they want to represent an organization,” he said. “We had a meeting with the police precinct commanding officer, and he is on board with the whole thing because it’s obviously a necessity. This is a process. I can’t impart the experience of 31 years in a couple of hours or even a couple of months; we’re starting slowly.”
Nashville mayor condemns anti-Semitic fliers near synagogues
John Cooper, the mayor of Nashville, Tenn., said “hateful, divisive rhetoric and anti-Semitism have no place” in the city after anti-Semitic propaganda fliers were discovered last week at the houses of private residents.

The fliers targeting the Jewish community were found outside more than 40 homes in Nashville’s West End neighborhood on Aug. 3, less than a mile away from two synagogues.

They propagated anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, including language such as “gun control is Jewish,” “Disney child grooming is Jewish,” “mass immigration is Jewish” or “the COVID agenda is Jewish.” The fliers also featured the Star of David on the forehead of various people. They were similar to other fliers found across the country in recent months, many of which have been attributed to the anti-Semitic group, Goyim Defense League.

“This disturbing anti-Semitic propaganda is similar in tone and style to that used for generations to target the Jewish people and paint them as the enemy,” Cooper said in a joint statement on Aug. 4 with vice mayor Jim Shulman, Metro Nashville Police Department chief John Drake, Council members Kathleen Murphy and Thom Druffel, the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, and the Gordon Jewish Community Center.

“We stand united in support of the Jewish community, and against the extremism and hatred of a small but dangerous faction of our city,” they wrote. “We will not surrender to these dangerous and damaging efforts intended to divide and distort. We will not stand idle in the face of treacherous and threatening attempts to sow chaos and fear.”

Israeli promoters reject rabbi’s claim Justin Bieber performed Nazi salute on stage
Pop sensation Justin Bieber was condemned by a leading European rabbi after making a gesture interpreted by the latter as a Nazi salute during a Tuesday concert in Finland.

But the singer’s Israeli promoters rejected the accusation, saying the gesture was only a dance move.

“Not everything has to do with the Jewish people,” they said in a statement.

Bieber, 28, was performing in front of 20,000 fans in Helsinki, Finland when he started marching across the stage with his hand raised, in a move that could be seen as reminiscent of goose-stepping Nazi soldiers performing the seig heil salute.

“The famous singer slapped the faces of millions of Jews across the world when he chose to perform the ‘sieg heil’ movement that symbolizes identification with Nazi party values,” Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, said Wednesday.

Goldschmidt, who left his home in Russia for Israel in June due to opposition to the invasion of Ukraine, called on the Israeli government to cancel an upcoming performance by the pop singer in response to his “disgraceful” act.

Bieber is scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv on October 13.
Israeli Patent Applications Rose by 18.5 Percent in 2021
Data from the Israel Patent Office shows an increase of 18.5 percent in patent applications in 2021, the agency said on Tuesday.

The Patent Office, a division of the Justice Ministry, said that overall, 9,616 applications to register intellectual property rights in Israel were filed in 2021, compared to 8,123 in 2020.

The agency further noted that while 2020 saw the coronavirus pandemic impact such applications, the data showed that this field as well had recovered throughout 2021.

According to the Patent Office, the increase in patent applications was observed across all disciplines, but while in 2020 there was an increase in patent applications by both foreign and Israeli inventors, in 2021 there was a decrease in patent submissions by Israeli applicants and an increase in foreign applications.
Israeli scientists racing to deliver world’s 1st pill-form immunotherapy for cancer
Israeli scientists are developing an oral immunotherapy for cancer, and say they expect it to be the first such drug to become available for use.

Today there are some oral immunotherapy treatments for allergies, but not cancer immunotherapy, which is delivered through different means. It’s given most commonly straight into the vein — intravenously.

This means that cancer patients need to endure a hospital visit to receive immunotherapy.

The main barrier to oral doses, which could be taken at home, is that the antibodies which form immunotherapy drugs don’t survive in the gut.

Researchers at Tel Aviv University, together with colleagues at the University of Lisbon, have developed a synthetic molecule that they say does the job of antibody-based immunotherapies. Theirs is one of several attempts underway at oral cancer immunotherapy.

The Israeli-Portuguese team published a peer-reviewed study on their breakthrough in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer.

The article revealed that the team successfully tested their molecule in vitro as well as on a human tumor in a special lab model.
NBA Star Giannis Antetokounmpo Invests in Israeli Startup
Professional basketball star Giannis Antetokounmpo will serve as ambassador for Israeli healthtech startup Antidote Health, the company announced on Wednesday.

The power forward with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks is also investing in the telemedicine company whose stated mission is providing affordable healthcare to everyone as a fundamental human right.

“I believe that every human being has the right to affordable quality healthcare, no matter their race, location or circumstance, which is why I am proud to join forces with Antidote Health,” Antetokounmpo said.

Antetokounmpo was born and raised in Athens, Greece to Nigerian immigrants. His career in the NBA includes a 2021 championship with the Bucks, including being named as Finals MVP.

“My siblings and I grew up impoverished and marginalized. Though we had the support of loving parents, getting healthcare was a struggle. That’s why I empathize with the many Americans who can’t pursue their dreams because they can’t afford healthcare. Antidote Health can help this crisis,” Antetokounmpo continued.
In sports breakthrough, Moroccan national wrestling team to compete in Israel
The Moroccan national wrestling team is set to compete in Israel this month, as Israel’s warming ties with some Arab nations continue to pay off in the sports world.

The tournament, set to take place in the southern city of Beersheba on August 25-26, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972. Organizers have named the tournament The Slavin, Halfen, Weinberg & Gottfreund Memorial, after the Israeli wrestlers who were killed by Palestinian terrorists in Munich.

Twelve members of Israel’s Olympic delegation were killed by the Black September terror group during the massacre. Mark Slavin and Eliezer Halfen were set to compete in wrestling at the Games, Moshe Weinberg was a coach, and Yossef Gottfreund was a referee. Weinberg’s nephew, Aviram Shmuely, a former Israeli national team member, helped organize the upcoming Beersheba tournament and will referee some of the matches.

American Olympic gold medalist brothers Ben Peterson and John Peterson will lead a training camp during the event. Both of the Petersons competed in the Munich Olympics.

Morocco’s team will include at least eight athletes and 10 other delegation members, including high-ranking officials from United World Wrestling, the international body governing amateur wrestling, the Israeli organizers said.
New Frank Oz exhibit reveals ‘Muppet’ co-creator’s family history of fleeing Nazis
Master puppeteer and filmmaker Frank Oz’s characters are beloved across the globe. Many of them — including Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear — originated through his collaboration with the late Jim Henson on TV programs such as “Sesame Street” and “The Muppet Show.” Another Oz character has also become a cultural icon: Yoda, Oz’s contribution to George Lucas’s “Star Wars” franchise.

But there’s a lesser-known side to Oz’s background. Born Frank Oznowicz in 1944, he grew up in a family of Belgium-based puppeteers. His parents, Isidore “Mike” Oznowicz, who was Jewish, and Frances Oznowicz, who was Catholic, used puppetry to satirize Hitler before World War II.

After the German invasion of the Low Countries in 1940, Mike and Frances fled their home city of Antwerp. A hectic refugee transit followed with stops in Biarritz, Casablanca, Lisbon and the United Kingdom, where Oz was born, before a postwar return to Belgium until he was five, followed by relocation to California’s Bay Area. Now this family narrative is on display in an unconventional exhibition at the Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM) in San Francisco.

“Oz is for Oznowicz” debuted at the CJM on July 21. Running through November, its signature piece is a farcical marionette depicting Hitler. Hand-carved by Mike Oznowicz, it has its own WWII-era rescue story. It is on public display for the first time, as are numerous other marionettes created by Oz’s parents in the years preceding WWII.

“These marionettes hold a very special place in my family’s history,” Oz said in a statement. “I’m so happy to finally share them publicly and to honor my parents’ inspiring story and the stories of all refugees. This exhibition also celebrates their contributions to the person I am today.”

It wasn’t preordained for Oz to follow in his parents’ footsteps — he initially wanted to be a journalist. However, when he was still a teenager, he became an apprentice at Children’s Fairyland, the oldest surviving puppet theater in the United States. Through his work there, he eventually connected with Henson, sparking a memorable partnership. En route to stardom, he changed his stage name, although his legal name remains Frank Oznowicz.
Unpacked: When Israel was Almost in East Africa | History of Israel Explained
Upon witnessing the danger and suffering Jews were experiencing from rampant antisemitism, Theodor Herzl proposed a temporary safe haven in Uganda. However, a Jewish homeland in East Africa was heavily opposed by the Zionist Congress.

After much debate, the Seventh Zionist Congress decided against executing the Uganda Plan and Herzl focused his efforts on aiding the future establishment of a Jewish state elsewhere. Fifty years later, Israel was established, keeping the Jewish state in a place rich with Jewish history, rather than merely a place of physical safety.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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


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