Friday, August 19, 2022

From Ian:

Ben-Dror Yemini: How Europe bankrolls Palestinian antisemitism
From time to time, the Palestinians try to deny the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, who was known to harbor Nazi sympathies, ever represented the Arabs of Palestine. But to no avail.

In fact, most Arabs in Palestine eagerly awaited Nazi general Erwin Rommel's invasion ahead of the Battle of El Alamein.

Moreover, the first chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Ahmad Shukeiri, said three days before the 1967 Six-Day War that "those who will survive [among the Jews] will remain in Palestine but I don't think any of them will stay alive."

He wasn't the only one who spoke about the mass extermination of Jews. Throughout the three years preceding the war, the Arab League and most Arab leaders declared that their goal was to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth and throw the Jews into the ocean.

The current Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is considered a moderate in these terms but despite the ongoing security cooperation with Israel, Abbas channeled his inner al-Husseini earlier this week.

He's not wishing for another Holocaust for Jews. God forbid. He only belongs to the camp that downplays it. Like he did in his infamous doctoral dissertation.

The Holocaust is a sensitive issue for the Palestinians because there is one thing they excel in more than anyone else in the world and that's playing the victim. And their success is astounding.

Every organization in the United States that purports to represent ethnic or gender minorities places the Palestinian issue at the top of its agenda and joins the BDS campaign, whose stated goal is to eliminate Israel. Too often, this antisemitic agenda is laid bare.
Ruthie Blum: The Palestinians continue to exploit the Holocaust
SINCE THIS hatred of Israel and desire for its destruction are as rampant among Palestinians as Holocaust exploitation for political purposes, the sudden widespread outcry over Abbas’s Germany performance is peculiar. As the research organization Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) pointed out in the wake of the event, comparing Israel to the Nazis is central to PA ideology.

Decades of examples exist, including from this year alone, which PMW has documented. But one purveyor of the vile distortion is particularly worthy of note in the current context: Fatah Central Committee Secretary-General Jibril Rajoub, who happens to head not only the Palestinian Football Association but the Palestine Olympic Committee, as well.

In a May 5 interview on PA TV, Rajoub called Israelis “the new Nazis who are committing acts of terror officially, and whose prisons are a matching copy of the source of Auschwitz and the death camps.”

This was a reiteration of a January 2 Facebook post in which referred to the Israeli government as “the new Nazis” and “the living and recognizable model of the fascist and Nazi thinking of the desire for expansion.”

In his Olympic Committee role, he called on participants in last year’s Tokyo Olympics – where, for the first time ever, a moment of silence was held during the opening ceremony for the victims of the Munich massacre – to refuse to compete with Israeli contenders.

This is the same guy who, in 2012, lauded then-International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge for nixing such a moment of silence at that summer’s games in London. According to PMW, after Rogge denied the request of the families of the victims to mark the terrorist tragedy, Rajoub wrote him a letter saying, “Sports are a bridge for love, communication and the spreading of peace between nations, and should not be used for divisiveness and the spread of racism.”

NO, HE WASN’T kidding. Abbas wasn’t joking, either, when he likened Israeli actions to Nazi atrocities – yet both suit-and-tie-wearing terrorists must be laughing at Israel and the rest of the West for having short memories that keep the contents of their deep pockets flowing into PA coffers.

Indeed, Germany, a key European Union donor to the PA, may have egg on its face at the moment. But the chance of its withholding cash to the “pay for slay” entities in Ramallah and Gaza when Scholz’s “disgust” dies down is slim-to-nil.
Melanie Phillips: Humbug, hypocrisy and Holocaust
As Palestinian Media Watch has observed, comparing Israelis to Nazis and Israeli policies to the Holocaust is fundamental to the ideology of the Palestinian Authority and the Fatah party which Abbas leads.

For example, PA controlled media have said of Israel that “in  its crimes it surpasses German Nazism”; Israeli prisons for terrorists are a “matching copy of the source of Auschwitz and the death camps”; Israel is “re-enacting the German Nazi Holocaust in a new way”; Israel is “committing worse things against the Palestinians” than the Holocaust; “Israel has repeated Kristallnacht”; “Israeli detention camps have become most similar to the Nazi crematoriums”; and on and on in similar vein.

Second, the real issue is the question Abbas dodged. A reporter asked if he would offer an apology on the upcoming 50-year anniversary of the 1972 massacre by Palestinian terrorists of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches at the Munich Olympics.

“If we want to dig further into the past, yes, please, I have 50 massacres that were committed by Israel,” Abbas replied in Arabic. “Fifty Holocausts,” he said, using the English word for the genocide.

Cue uproar — over the use of the word “Holocausts”. But the real point is that Abbas was actually an instigator of the Munich atrocity. As Stephen Flatow writes on
The autobiography of the late Mohammed Oudeh, better known as Abu Daoud, named Abbas as one of the three senior officials of Fatah who assisted Daoud in planning the Munich massacre.

Officially, the Munich attack was carried out by the “Black September” group that pretended to be independent of Fatah. But the myth of an “independent” Black September was shattered many years ago with the declassifying of a telegram sent by the US State Department to American embassies around the world on March 13, 1973.

The text of the telegram is widely available on the Internet. It reveals the harsh truth about the Munich murderers. You can see it here...

“The Black September Organisation is a cover term for Fatah’s terrorist operations executed by Fatah’s intelligence organisation. … For all intents and purposes, no significant distinction now can be made between the BSO and Fatah”.

So “Black September” was a fiction — so says our own State Department. Fatah, under the leadership of Arafat and Abbas, was the “parent body” of Black September. Meaning that Fatah was responsible for the Munich massacre.

And both Fatah and the PA remain proud of it. Palestinian Media Watch has reported many instances over the years where PA and Fatah have glorified the Munich murderers.

In June, Fatah’s Facebook page praised them as “heroes” and “righteous sons who create the glory of the revolution”. In previous years, Fatah lauded the massacre as a “heroic operation; the PA gushed over one of the Munich attack planners as “one of the stars who sparkled… at the [Olympics] sports stadium in Munich”; various PA-run educational institutions bear the name of the Black September leader Salah Khalaf or “Abu Iyad”; and so on and murderously on.

Abbas is a former terrorist godfather. He presides over a party, Fatah, which has an active terrorist wing. He supports, rewards and heroises terrorists who have never stopped murdering Israeli Jews.

And his explicitly all-time hero and exemplar is Hitler’s ally, Haj Amin al Husseini, who as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in the 1930s and 1940s enthusiastically supported the Final Solution and pledged that if Hitler won the war al Husseini would ensure the extermination of every Jew in the Middle East.

Just as al Husseini — an early Islamist who signed up to the fanatical Islamic thinkers who emerged after the fall of the Ottoman empire — incited pogroms against the Palestinian Jews with the lie that they intended to destroy al Aksa, so Abbas has repeatedly used exactly the same lie to incite hysterical violence against the Israelis.

Josephine Baker Was the Star France Wanted—and the Spy It Needed
As Hitler’s troops advanced, Baker maintained her life in and around Paris for as long as she could, making use of her piloting skills—flying lessons had been a gift from Lion—to transport aid to refugees in the Low Countries, and performing for troops along the Ma­ginot Line. Early in June of 1940, Baker, prompted by Abtey, left her beloved city, days before German troops stalked its avenues. Her car carried petrol-filled champagne bottles, along with an elderly Belgian Jewish couple, fugitives she had taken in.

Her destination, the Château des Milandes, overlooking the Dordogne, was a place she had leased three years earlier as a country idyll. The fifteenth-century castle now became a fortress once again, harboring a ragtag Resistance group. Amid mobilizations for de Gaulle’s Free French forces, Baker and Abtey found time to take lazy canoe trips along the river. He also taught her how to use a pistol, and equipped her with a cyanide pill in the event of capture.

Although Milandes was situated in the “free zone” of Vichy, the terms of armistice required that all French security forces report to the newly throttled government. Officially, there was no longer a Deuxième Bureau; unofficially, its agents had simply gone to ground, including the crew at Milandes. One fall day, as Baker met with two former Bureau agents, a group of Nazi officials arrived at the château. Baker, after shooing her résistantes into hiding, struck her pose as the lady of the house, hotly impatient with the German intrusion, especially once a search warrant appeared. In Lewis’s account, drawn from the writings of a Resistance veteran named Gilbert Renault (nom de guerre: Colonel Rémy), her sheer effrontery assuaged suspicion. She acted as if she had nothing to hide.

Baker and Abtey could not lie in wait forever, though, and a former commander at the Bureau, Paul Paillole, had a job for them. He had already set up a shadow network in the city of Marseille, under the cover of an agricultural service. But he urgently needed to reëstablish lines of communication with Great Britain. Otherwise, whatever intelligence he gathered couldn’t be put to use, and Britain would be left ignorant of the enemy’s movements on the Continent and in North Africa. He compiled a dossier, which included details about Nazi airbases across France, known Abwehr agents roaming Britain and Ireland, and Axis plans for taking Gibraltar. The information was to be transported by someone who could move freely, and who knew how to use her incandescence to cast shadows.
NJ Governor shrugs off BDS, pushes to expand $1.5b trade with Israel
Support for Israel must remain a bipartisan affair, New Jersey's Governor Phil Murphy told The Jerusalem Post after this trip to Israel earlier this month in which he visited the Western Wall and sought to expand his state's $1.5 billion trade with the Jewish state.

"A lot has been made over the past five or six years in particular that there is some amount of partisanship in our relationship with the state of Israel and its citizens, I don't buy that," Murphy said in a Zoom interview on Wednesday night.

"Beyond whether or not you are a Republican or a Democrat, there is a deep and abiding relationship and friendship with the state of Israel on both sides of the aisle," Murphy said.

Murphy, who is a Democratic governor, has been a strong supporter of Israel at a time when concern has been raised about the growing anti-Israel sentiment in his party.

He heads a state which has a Jewish population of close to 550,000. It's the second largest American Jewish community after New York, according to the Jewish Virtual Library.

Murphy has been in office since 2018 and is considered a possible future presidential contender. His visit to Israel, which he took together with Delaware Governor John Carney the week of August 8th, was his eighth trip to the Jewish state.

Feds probe 'disturbing' tweets by consultant on government-funded anti-racism project
The federal diversity minister says he’s taking action over “disturbing” tweets by a senior consultant on an anti-racism project that received $133,000 from his department.

Ahmed Hussen has asked Canadian Heritage to “look closely at the situation” after what he called “unacceptable behaviour” by Laith Marouf, a senior consultant involved in the government-funded project to combat racism in broadcasting.

Marouf’s Twitter account is private but a screenshot posted online shows a number of tweets with his photo and name.

One tweet said: “You know all those loud mouthed bags of human feces, aka the Jewish White Supremacists; when we liberate Palestine and they have to go back to where they come from, they will return to being low voiced bitches of thier (sic) Christian/Secular White Supremacist Masters.”

Marouf declined requests for comment, but when asked about the tweet, a lawyer acting for Marouf asked for his client’s tweets to be quoted “verbatim” and distinguished between Marouf’s “clear reference to ‘Jewish white supremacists,”‘ and Jews or Jewish people in general.

Marouf does not harbour “any animus toward the Jewish faith as a collective group,” lawyer Stephen Ellis said in an email.

Last year, the Community Media Advocacy Centre received a $133,800 Heritage Department grant to build an anti-racism strategy for Canadian broadcasting.

FIFA World Cup Hospitality Website Continues to Exclude Israel, Lists ‘Palestine’ Instead
The FIFA World Cup, which is set to take place in Qatar from Nov. 21 through Dec. 18, has a website that offers the public help in purchasing hospitality packages, but Israelis looking for their country were originally given the sole option of “Palestinian Territories, Occupied” rather than “Israel.”

After multiple news reports drew attention to the omission, the option of “Palestinian Territories” was removed and replaced with “Palestine.” Israel is still not listed on the website. pointed out the continued error on Sunday in a Twitter post, asking the FIFA World Cup, “Why is Israel STILL not listed?”

The sales agent listed for “Palestine” is the Hong Kong-based Winterhill Hospitality, which has been appointed the FIFA World Cup’s sales agent for various countries in Asia and the Middle East. Israel is listed as a country on the FIFA ticketing website and also on the Winterhill Hospitality website, The Jewish Chronicle reported.

Israel reached an agreement with FIFA in June that allows Israelis to purchase tickets for the World Cup and enter Qatar for the first time without the need for a foreign passport.

Students at SUNY Booted from Sexual Assault Support Group Due to Jewish Identity
Two Jewish students at the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz say they were booted from a support group for sexual assault victims and harassed by members of the group due to their Jewish identity, according to a complaint filed with the Education Department.

One of the victims, student Cassandra Blotner, says members of the support group threatened to spit on her in public for proudly being Jewish, while others called her a "dumb bitch" who supports "mass genocide" due to her support for Israel. The complaint alleges the university was "fully aware of the situation," yet did nothing to protect the students from the anti-Semitic hate campaign.

"These students have been thrice victimized: first, by sexual predators; second, by the anti-Zionist leaders of a support group who expelled the students, including one of its founders, from the organization; and third, by the University which failed to hold accountable those who had discriminated against the students and failed to satisfactorily address the hostile climate on campus for Jewish survivors of sexual assault," the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under the Law, an advocacy group that helped file the complaint, said in a statement issued on Thursday.

The complaint is another sign that anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist forces on U.S. college campuses are fueling an unsafe environment for Jewish and pro-Israel students. The Education Department is already investigating the University of Southern California for fomenting "a hostile environment of anti-Semitism" and many other schools have experienced a significant rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes. Jewish and pro-Israel students say they are routinely targeted based solely on their support for the Jewish state.

At SUNY, the trouble first began in December of last year. Blotner posted a message on her personal Instagram account: "Jews are an ethnic group who come from Israel. This is proven by genealogical, historical and archeological evidence. Israel is not a ‘colonial’ state and Israelis aren’t ‘settlers.’ You cannot colonize the land your ancestors are from."

The message allegedly angered fellow members of the New Paltz Accountability group (NPA), which Blotner and another student founded to help combat sexual assault. Members of the group allegedly "denounced the post and demanded Blotner defend her views, arguing her personal post ‘concerns the organization as a whole,’" according to the complaint and other information provided by the Brandeis Center.
Texas superintendent says Anne Frank adaptation will be back on shelves ‘very soon’
The superintendent of the Texas school district that this week ordered the removal of “Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation” from its school’s shelves said Thursday that he expected the book, along with the Bible and other books that were removed following parental challenges, “will be on shelves very soon.”

In a statement, Westfall also said that more than 50 copies of the original version of the diary remain in circulation in the Keller Independent School District outside Fort Worth.

“Keller ISD is not banning the Bible or the Diary of Anne Frank, as has been suggested in some headlines and shared on social media,” Westfall wrote. He said that only the illustrated version of the diary had been removed from schools pending the implementation of a new policy for reviewing challenged books. “None of the books under re-evaluation were banned,” he added.

The statement did not provide a timeframe for when the new policy would be implemented, or any additional details on the original parental challenge to the book.

Don’t let Libya ‘legitimise the confiscation of Jewish property’
A number of Jewish organisations have been pleading with the US State Department not to renew a Memorandum of Understanding with Libya. Instead of protecting Libya’s Jewish and other minority cultural heritage, the MOU, the organisations claim, has permitted Libya to loot and confiscate Jewish patrimony with impunity. The organisations are asking for a derogation in the MOU to exclude Jewish heritage, as is the case with Morocco. Cultural Property News reports:

At a July 26, 2022 State Department hearing on the proposed 5-year renewal of the Libyan agreement, Rabbi Eric Fusfield, deputy director of B’nai B’rith International spoke eloquently to members of the Cultural Property Advisory Committee, the body that makes recommendations for the terms of cultural property agreements:
“…no issue is of greater importance to the Jewish community than the rights of the nearly one million Jewish refugees from the Middle East and North Africa. These refugee populations have been largely ignored by the international community, despite their centuries-long history in Arab and Muslim countries prior to their forced expulsion in the wake of the Middle East conflict.

“Nowhere did this Jewish presence end more tragically than in Libya, where Jews had lived since the 4th Century B.C.E. and numbered as many as 40,000 in the early 1900s, but lost their entire population as a result of anti-Semitic pogroms and immigration to Israel. A brutal pogrom in Tripoli on November 5, 1945 killed more than 140 Jews and wounded hundreds more; almost every synagogue was looted. Subsequent riots and government actions resulted in more deaths, destruction of Jewish homes, property confiscations, and the denial of Libyan citizenship, ultimately prompting thousands of Jews to flee the country in the 1950s and subsequent to the Six Day War of 1967.

“The rise to power of Muammar Gaddafi in 1969 led to the confiscation of all property belonging to Jews; the cancellation of all debts to Jews; the destruction of Jewish cemeteries; the conversion of synagogues into mosques; the denial of civil rights for Jews; and barring the return to Libya of Jews who had taken refuge abroad…

“It is with sadness, then, that I note that the cultural patrimony of the Libyan Jewish diaspora is gravely threatened by the absence of guarantees to custody of materials that are rightfully theirs.

“This MOU legitimizes the confiscation of Jewish property seized by Libya’s government when Jews were forced from the country. It is therefore necessary to ask why the US government would put faith in Libya, a regime that has shown blatant contempt for the rights of Jews and other minorities, to act as the protector of the heritage of minority and exiled peoples.”[2]
UAE-Israel Trade Reaches $1.4 Billion This Year So Far, Surpassing All of 2021
Bilateral trade between Israel and the United Arab Emirates reached $1.407 billion in the first seven months of 2022, surpassing the $1.221 billion of trade recorded between the two in all of 2021.

The figures, which account for trade of goods excluding software, were shared Thursday by Amir Hayek, Israel’s ambassador to Abu Dhabi. Hayek was appointed to his post nearly a year after Israel and the UAE normalized relations with US support as part of the Abraham Accords in September 2020.

The agreement has since ushered in a flurry of economic cooperation, with Israel and the UAE inking a free trade pact in May, following months of negotiations. It was Israel’s first such trade deal with an Arab country, and is expected to increase annual trade between the two economies to more than $10 billion by 2027.

At the time, the UAE-Israel Business Council predicted that nearly 1,000 Israeli companies would operate in or through the UAE by the end of 2022.

Over 4,000 Attend First Annual ‘Chosen Comedy Festival’ in New York Starring Jewish Performers
More than 4,000 people gathered at the Coney Island Amphitheater in Brooklyn on Tuesday for a night of laughter and musical performances by Jewish comedians and artists as part of the first annual Chosen Comedy Festival, hosted by the comedy club Stand Up NY.

The event, the first comedy festival of its kind to feature all Jewish acts, benefited the Ukrainian Emergency Performing Arts Fund, which supports performing artists staying in Ukraine during the country’s ongoing war with Russia. The festival was hosted by Jewish comedians Elon Gold and Modi.

“The focus of tonight is about celebrating and doing Jewish comedy,” Gold told The Algemeiner before the event began. “These are some of the top Jewish comedians [and they] do stuff that speaks to our people, to our shared experience, to our collective experience.”

The evening opened with performances by singers Moshe Reuven and Laivy —who is the son of reggae and hip-hop singer Matisyahu — and rappers Kosha Dillz, and Nissim Black, the latter of whom was joined on stage for a surprise performance by Gad Elbaz. Together the duo sang their collaboration “Hashem Melech.”

Kosher food trucks provided food to the audience for purchase and throughout the evening, Modi and Gold introduced 11 Jewish comedians on stage, including Alex Edelman (twin brother of Olympic athlete AJ Edelman), Eric Tabach, Leah Forster, Jared Freid, Gary Guz, T.J. Miller, Jessica Kirson, Zarna Garg, and from Israel, Ofer Shechter and Yohay Sponder. The show closed out with legendary comic Jeff Ross and his surprise guest Dave Attell, who formerly hosted Comedy Central‘s “Insomniac.”

While majority of the puns made by the comics throughout the night were Jewish-centered and poked fun at Jewish traditions and communities — Sephardis, Ashkenazis, Chassidim and Chabadniks — other topics were also covered and some of the acts paid tribute to late, great Jewish comedians, including Rodney Dangerfield, Bob Saget and Gilbert Gottfried.

Gold joked about the importance of food to the Jewish community and the stereotype that Jews are money-hungry. He said, “There’s the stereotype that ‘Jews love money’ — We don’t love money. We need money to buy food! We’re food insecure.”

Nick Cave slated to perform in Rishon Lezion
For the many Israeli fans of legendary singer Nick Cave and his band The Bad Seeds, the ordeal is finally coming to an end…

The group was to perform at the Bloomfield stadium in Tel Aviv in June 2020, but COVID got the better of the concert – which was already almost sold out.

The show's Israeli producer, Shuki Weiss, finally managed to postpone the show to Aug. 23 of this year and move its setting to Rishon Lezion's Live Park. With a larger capacity, Weiss is confident that audiences will come to the venue in large numbers to enjoy Cave's music.

Last May, Cave lost a second son, Jethro, at the age of 31, after the accidental death of his first child, Arthur, seven years ago.

But despite the tragedy, the singer kept his commitment and is slated to take the stage next week.

Cave and his band thus sign their return to Israel, after two memorable concerts in Tel Aviv in 2017. Many spectators had no hesitation in deeming the show as "one of the best ever organized by a foreign artist in Israel."

Expectations are high.

Cave refused to cancel his concert in Israel, despite pressure from the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Salt sculptures come to life in the Dead Sea

Graphic memoir paints wild tale of a stranded UK Jew who fought for the US in WWII
In August 1939, Bernard Sandler, a Jewish teenager from Leeds, England, went on a school trip to Canada and the United States. It changed the course of his life in ways he could not have foreseen.

Two months shy of his 17th birthday, Sandler enjoyed Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto and Niagara Falls. Then, just as he and his classmates were taking in the sights of New York City, war broke out in Europe.

It was dangerous to cross the Atlantic because the Germans were targeting British vessels. Some of Sandler’s friends dared the journey home, but his parents advised him to stay put. Family friends took him in for a few years, but he was essentially stranded — alone in a far-away country, indefinitely.

The recently published graphic memoir “The English GI” by Sandler’s grandson, Jonathan Sandler, tells the story of how the elder Sandler grew up fast in the six ensuing years until World War II ended. He learned to make his own way, was drafted into the United States military, became a naturalized US citizen, saw action in France, and was wounded.

Before being inducted, he took advantage of what New York had to offer by pursuing higher education, learning about progressive politics, enjoying the arts scene, and meeting the woman who would become his wife. In many ways, he became the adult he would be for the rest of his life until his death at 75 in 1998.

Sandler recalled all this in an unpublished memoir he wrote in 1995, a year after the 50th anniversary of D-Day. Sandler had 50 copies printed and distributed them to family members.

Jonathan Sandler, 43, told The Times of Israel in a conversation from his home in London that he is fortunate to have his grandfather’s memoir.

“He died when I was 18, so I was fortunate to know him well. I spent a lot of time with him, especially doing things related to the arts, culture, and theater, which were his passion,” Sandler said.

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