Saturday, August 20, 2022

From Ian:

The high-stake chess match between the US and Iran continues
Some experts suggest that the US should take these incidents into account when considering the final stages of the deal. “We do not yet know if the attack on Salman Rushdie was an official act by Iran, but we know if they have been trying to kill former high officials,” said Abrams. “I would have suspended the negotiations until it was very clear that they had desisted from those efforts. By going forward as if those threats did not exist, we send a message to Iran that this conduct is acceptable.”

Richard Goldberg, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, said that the US and its European partners should cut off talks “and take decisive action in retaliation for ongoing terror plots against the US homeland.”

“The Security Council should complete its snapback of sanctions to take away the JCPOA sunsets once and for all, and the IAEA Board of Governors should find Iran in noncompliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty,” said Goldberg.

“It’s appalling that the White House appears to be limiting the information flow on the Rushdie attacker,” he continued. “Why do we not have any information yet on the attacker’s contacts with the IRGC? Following the Bolton plot, if the attack on Rushdie links back to Tehran, we need to be honest that the Iranians are committing acts of war against the United States. You don’t respond to terrorism and acts of war by offering money.”

He went on to say that the Iranians are trying to keep the door open to a deal on their terms.

“If the Americans cave, they’ll say yes. If the Americans hold out, they’re positioning themselves to say we tried but the US side balked,” he said.
Biden Admin's Appeasement of Iran Mullahs Risking American Lives
Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was reportedly the second target of the Iranian regime. The IRGC member reportedly offered $1 million for his murder.

The Biden administration remains silent and evidently continues to see "diplomacy" -- read: appeasement -- as the only path to deal with the Iranian regime. "I continue to believe, Biden said on July 14, "that diplomacy is the best way to achieve this outcome."

If the White House does not send a strong message to the Islamic Republic-- specifically, halting the nuclear talks and imposing sanctions on top Iranian officials -- Iran's rulers will be further empowered and emboldened to carry out extraterritorial assassinations on US soil, and if the Americans are starry-eyed enough to sign a "nuclear deal" with the mullahs -- a deal that only one side will honor -- the mullahs will also be immensely enriched.

As seen from the previous windfall provided to them by the Obama administration, Iran's mullahs did not use the money for food banks or battered women's shelters; they used it to have the Houthis terrorize Yemen, an American ally and attack Saudi Arabia; seize ships in international waters, build at least 12 bases in Syria; send funds and arms to Hamas and Islamic Jihad to obliterate Israel. Ever since Israel turned over all of Gaza to the Arabs in 2005, more than 22,5000 rockets have been fired at it from there. In 2021, Israel was bombarded by 4,340 rockets; this month, Islamic Jihad, in only two days, launched 400 rockets toward Israel. Suppose just one rocket was fired into London, Paris, New York or Berlin....?

Iran, called by the US Department of State a "top sponsor of state terrorism," recently inked a 20-year "cooperation deal" with Venezuela, after long history of "sending arms and troops" there.

A deal, besides soon allowing the mullahs as many nuclear bombs -- legitimately -- as they would like, would also lead to the removal of major economic sanctions, enhance the regime's global legitimacy, unfreeze Tehran's assets, and give the ruling clerics access to the global financial system. If the Europeans and Americans imagine that at some point the Iranians will not use their gentle persuasions on them, they are in for a sobering surprise. The Iranian regime's highest priority, apart from staying in power, is to "export the revolution." Europe and America will not be overlooked.
Seth Frantzman: IRGC head reveals multi-point strategy against Israel
Iran is arguing here for a doctrine of diminishing returns. It wants to pressure Israel into endless conflicts that offer less return for the Jewish state. One mistake and Israel has little to gain in each conflict, whereas Iran believes that time is on the side of the “resistance.”

The IRGC believes that there is some kind of quasi-judo element here: “When you gain strength, these weaknesses show themselves more. If their opposite side is weak, those weaknesses will not show themselves and the strengths will be seen more.” In short, Israel’s strength can be used against it by the weaker Iran-backed proxies.

Iran also knows that the “Zionists make a lot of propaganda about [the fact that] in the recent battle only one part of the resistance got involved and the other parts did not… The strategy was for the Zionists to act selectively against one group this time – meaning, for example, to target one group alone and announce that we have nothing to do with the rest of the groups so that they stop, too – and then when they have settled with one group, they go to another group.”

The IRGC wants to stop this salami politics, this divide and conquer strategy. It wants to use PIJ to unite Palestinians, despite constant failure in this respect. “Islamic Jihad was the field and the rest provided spiritual support. If the battle were to develop, all the Palestinian factions would certainly enter,” the IRGC believes.

The Guard Corps has several other strategies. As noted above, it wants to expand the conflict from Gaza to other areas such as the West Bank. “Just as Gaza was armed, in the same way, the West Bank can be armed and this process is happening,” the Guard Corps says.

Iran is looking closely at Jenin, according to this discussion with Salami. “Today, little by little, the young people of the '48 and '67 territories [i.e Israel inside the Green Line and the West Bank and Gaza], the Jihadist youth of the Bank and Quds [Jerusalem] have all come alive to revive Jihad. This will definitely happen in the not too distant future.”

The IRGC believes that despite Israel’s outward appearance of strength, it is unstable and vulnerable to “psychological operations.” Indeed, this interview may be seen as one example of such an operation. Iran’s goal is to use groups like Islamic Jihad to erode Israel’s power slowly.

The Guard Corps will marshal the strategies above, trying to use other Palestinian groups, create more conflicts, and use Hezbollah and others to threaten Israel in a multi-front war. Iran believes that time is on its side in this equation.

Recapping My Trip to Israel

Jonathan Tobin: Could a Muslim senator be an ardent supporter of Israel?
In the last decade, seemingly every formerly unbreakable rule of American political life has been broken by former President Donald Trump or his opponents. But perhaps nothing that has occurred would be quite as remarkable as what would happen if the Republican Jewish Coalition gets their way in a race that is the group’s top priority in the 2022 midterms.

In a packed Philadelphia hotel ballroom with local and national media present, the RJC rolled out its campaign this week to help elect Dr. Mehmet Oz, a Muslim and Turkish American to an open Pennsylvania Senate seat. In doing so, they hope to play a part in making history for American Muslims since if he wins, Oz would be the first member of his faith to serve in the U.S. Senate. It would also boost their party’s chances of winning back the Senate. At the same time, they will also be assuring that the seat will be held by an ardent supporter of Israel.

RJC head Matthew Brooks and David Friedman, who served as U.S. ambassador to Israel in the Trump administration and was an interlocutor at the event for Oz, sought to frame their support for the candidate in the context of the expanding circle of peace between Jews and Muslims that rests at the core of the Abraham Accords. It didn’t hurt that the event came on the same day that it was announced that Turkey and Israel will resume full diplomatic relations after rising tensions between the two countries due to the support that the Islamist government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has given to the Hamas terrorist movement.

Oz, who narrowly won a GOP primary largely due to an endorsement from Trump, is a citizen of both the United States and Turkey, and currently trails his Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, in the polls. Republicans have to hold this seat in order to have a chance to tip the balance in a 50-50 Senate that is currently controlled by the Democrats due to Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote.

Though he was born in Delaware to immigrants from Turkey, he went back to his parents’ homeland and served in the Turkish Army in his 20s in order to preserve his dual citizenship. He then returned to the United States, where he earned degrees from Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania before going on to a career as a professor at Columbia University and as a widely respected heart surgeon. But he is best known as the host of the “Dr. Oz Show,” a daily daytime talk program devoted to medicine and health topics that was launched by the production company owned by TV superstar Oprah Winfrey, on whose own show he had been a frequent guest.
Nine European nations condemn IDF’s closure of Palestinian NGO offices
On Thursday afternoon, EU Representative Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff led a delegation of diplomats to Ramallah to pay a solidarity visit.

“The EU will continue to stand by international law and support [civil society organizations] that have a role to play in promoting international law, human rights and democratic values,” his office tweeted after the visit.

The United Nations similarly condemned the move and said it had similarly not received any information from Israel that proved that these organizations were engaged in terror activity.

The six NGOs issued a statement saying that on Thursday morning, “armed military forces bashed through the front doors of the offices, welded iron slabs over their entrances and affixed to each a military order for the immediate closure of the organization and their offices.

“Private property and information from three of the offices were seized, adjoining properties damaged and military debris, including sponge-grenades, tear-gas canisters, and rubber-coated and live bullets, were left around the properties,” the statement said.

“The violent enforcement of these designations impose financial and safety risks upon these organizations, as their finances and assets may be confiscated and their staff members directly targeted, arbitrarily arrested and imprisoned,” the NGOs said.

They accused the IDF of attempting to “dismantle crucial mechanisms that work to uphold human rights.” The groups called on the international community to urgently intervene against Israel’s actions and work collectively to demand the rescinding of the designations.

3 Palestinian women arrested at West Bank checkpoint with makeshift submachine gun
Three Palestinian women from Nablus with a makeshift submachine gun in their car were arrested Saturday near a checkpoint in the West Bank, the Defense Ministry said.

According to an initial investigation of the incident, the three women drove up to the Eliyahu Crossing, near Qalqilya, and stopped their car before the checkpoint, arousing the suspicion of security guards.

Guards searching their car found a makeshift “Carlo” submachine gun and an unclear note in the trunk. Some Hebrew media reports claimed the note was a suicide note, though this remained unconfirmed.

It was not immediately clear if the trio had actually planned to attack the checkpoint, or had sought to be arrested by Israeli authorities.

The three women did not have permits to enter Israel.

They were taken for further questioning by the Shin Bet security agency.

The incident came amid high tensions in the West Bank, as Israeli security forces stepped up arrest raids and operations following a deadly wave of terror attacks against Israelis that left 19 people dead earlier this year.
Iranian judoka flees to Germany after being threatened for interacting with Israeli athlete
Alireza Bahranifard, a former member of Iran’s national judo team, fled to Germany and has been there for more than a week after he was threatened for interacting in a friendly manner with Israeli judoka Sagi Muki.

The Olympic gold medalist told i24News on Monday that, in 2019, Muki uploaded a post to Instagram showing him with Bahranifard. The Iranian athlete said the post infuriated the Iran Judo Federation, which threatened Bahranifard and his family. The federation also threatened to remove the athlete from the Iranian national judo team.

“Everything started from there,” said Bahranifard. He declined to disclose information about his family members who have remained in Iran, but got teary-eyed while telling i24News he is very worried about their safety and his own.

“I’m so concerned about myself and I’m in Germany now, but I’m so scared that maybe the Iranian government wants to catch me,” Bahranifard said. “I feel safe now, better than in Iran, of course, and I hope everything is going to be ok, but I’m so scared about my family.”

When asked if he would actively protest the government in Iran, he replied by saying, “Nobody wants to support the Iranian government. Whoever says, ‘I support the Iranian government’—he’s from the government. No Iranian people want to support the Iranian government.”

In 2021, the International Judo Federation suspended the Iran Judo Federation from international tournaments for refusing to allow its athletes to compete against Israeli opponents. The ban was backdated to start in 2019 and is expected to run until September 2023.
Lebanese mixed martial arts fighter pulls out of competition to avoid facing Israeli athlete
A young Lebanese athlete withdrew his participation in the 2022 Youth International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) World Championships in the United Arab Emirates to avoid facing an Israeli opponent, Lebanon’s Arabic-language television station Al-Manar reported.

Charbel Abou Daher pulled out of the competition in Abu Dhabi after a draw placed him against Israeli athlete Yonatan Mak in the Youth B 48-kilogram weight class category.

Nearly 500 athletes from 42 countries are competing this year across multiple divisions in the Youth IMMAF World Championships, which runs from August 17-20.

Daher’s withdrawal from the competition comes after Iraqi tennis players Nasr Mahdi and Mohammad Al-Mahdi withdrew from the 2022 Bucharest Open Wheelchair Tennis Tournament in Romania earlier in August after refusing to face two Israeli competitors, the Palestinian Wafa news agency reported.

In late July, Jordanian taekwondo fighter Maysir al-Dahamsheh pulled out of the World Taekwondo Cadet Championships in Bulgaria, after reaching the finals, to avoid facing an Israeli rival.
Terror groups: Germany showing its bias by probing Abbas’s ’50 holocausts’ claim
Palestinian terror groups on Saturday condemned German police for opening an investigation into Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for possible incitement. Police launched the probe over Abbas’s claim while in Berlin that Israel had committed “50 holocausts” against the Palestinians.

Hamas said it “rejects and condemns the announcement by the German police. Once again international powers are proving their bias toward the Israeli occupation and the denial of the historic rights of our Palestinian people.”

The group that rules Gaza vowed that those powers “will not be able to erase the Palestinian narrative.”

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group said that “the position of German police shows a hypocrisy and a bias toward the occupation.”

It said Abba’s comments were “part of the Palestinian national narrative that defends our people from the entire world, to uncover the crimes of the occupation.”

Abbas made the comment Tuesday during a visit to Berlin, when he was asked about the upcoming 50th anniversary of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre, in which 11 Israeli athletes and a German police officer were killed after being taken hostage by Palestinian terror group Black September. At the time of the attack, the group was linked to Abbas’s Fatah party.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad defend Abbas’s '50 Holocausts' remarks
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s political rivals in Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have come out in his defense following the uproar over his remarks in Germany, where he accused Israel of perpetrating “50 holocausts” against the Palestinians.

The two groups said that Abbas’s statements represented the Palestinians’ “historical narrative.”

The PLO’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), which are opposed to Abbas’s policies, also defended him over the weekend.

The rare show of solidarity with Abbas by the four groups came as the PA and many Palestinians strongly condemned the “campaign of incitement” against him in response to his statements in Germany last week.

The groups also denounced the German police for launching a preliminary investigation against Abbas.

The PA leadership, meanwhile, is seeking to take advantage of the widespread criticism to muster support for their president.

A recent public opinion poll found that more than 70% of Palestinians want Abbas to step down. He has also faced criticism from many of them for failing to hold general elections and endorse major reforms in the authority.

On Friday, the PA and its ruling Fatah faction organized a hero’s welcome for Abbas upon his return to Ramallah, where several Palestinians praised him for “telling the truth about Israeli crimes” during his visit to Germany.

Hezbollah leader says Iran deal won't stop attacks on Israel - analysis
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said on Friday that ongoing negotiations between world powers regarding the potential return to a nuclear agreement with Iran would not prevent Hezbollah from pressing its demands regarding Lebanon’s “rights” in a maritime deal off the coast. In essence, he is reserving the right for the terrorist group to take over Lebanon’s foreign policy and continue threatening Israel and thus veto any chance of calm and peace in the region.

Hezbollah’s leader made these comments because he is concerned that some will believe there is a quid pro quo for a return to the Iran deal. If Western countries come to an agreement with Iran, it could be linked to Hezbollah. This is because Hezbollah is one of its powerful allies and proxies. The recent flare-up in the confrontation between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad is also an example of this proxy phenomenon, where Iran negotiates with one hand and uses another hand to stir up tension and violence.

In the lead-up to the Iran deal of 2015, it was clear that the US pivoted from any crackdown on Hezbollah’s operations and the Syrian regime in order to give Iran room to maneuver. In short, Iran trades the “right” of its proxies to increase their attacks for pressuring Western governments into nuclear blackmail and a “deal” that will avoid conflict.
Israel urges US to reject nuclear deal as Tehran signals willingness to sign
National Security Adviser Eyal Hulata is expected to head to Washington this week as Israel attempts to sway the United States to walk away from the Iran deal just as Tehran hinted it may be willing to finalize the agreement.

CNN reported on Saturday that the Islamic Republic dropped one of its key demands for the revival of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the Iran deal, designed to prevent it from producing a nuclear bomb.

The Trump administration had exited the deal in 2018, warning it emboldened rather than contained Iran. US President Joe Biden has sought to revive the deal, but until recently, negotiations had appeared to hit a standstill.

One of the sticking points had been Tehran’s insistence that the US remove the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps from the State Department’s list of Foreign Terror Organizations.

Washington had refused to compromise on the issue, which made the deal’s revival seem unlikely.

According to CNN, Tehran has now dropped that demand.

A senior Israeli official told KAN news that the US has not made any final decision with respect to the deal, which was also signed with Russia, China, France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Still, the official said, the dynamic appears to be one that is leading to a conclusion of the indirect negotiations that the European Union has been holding between the US and Iran to revive the deal.

Iranian opposition outlet names IRGC officer ostensibly behind Turkey attack plot
A London-based Iranian opposition news outlet on Friday published the name and details of an Iranian commander who it said was in charge of plans to kill Israelis in Turkey in recent months.

According to the Iran International report, Javad Ghafari, a commander in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force, was appointed to head the operations after being expelled from Syria in November.

The report cited an unidentified former senior IRGC official. It could not be independently verified.

In June and July, Israel’s Mossad spy agency and its local counterparts managed to thwart several Iranian attacks targeting Israeli civilians in Istanbul, security officials said at the time. Iranian agents were said to be ready to kidnap or kill Israelis there as Tehran sought revenge for the killings of several senior officers blamed on Israel.

According to Iran International, Ghafari began his military career in Syria as one of the commanders at Iranian forces’ headquarters in Damascus. He was later appointed as the commander of Iranian forces in Aleppo, where he was known as “the Butcher of Aleppo,” according to Iran International.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, Ghafari was in charge of a cell in Syria that planned to fly explosives-laden drones at Israeli territory in 2019.

Ghafari was forced to return to Iran over a “major breach of Syrian sovereignty,” a Saudi television network reported last year. The Al Hadath report said Ghafari led “a number of activities against the United States and Israel that almost led to the entry of Syria into an unwanted regional war.”
Iran-linked hacking group is targeting Israeli shipping, US cybersecurity firm says
A hacking group that appears to be linked to Iran has been targeting Israeli shipping in recent years, as the shadow war between Israel and Iran began to play out at sea after mainly being waged on land and in the air, a leading US cybersecurity firm said Wednesday.

The hacking group focused on collecting intelligence from Israeli entities and has also targeted Israeli government, energy and health care organizations, said the Virginia-based cybersecurity firm Mandiant.

The cybersecurity group warned that intelligence and data the hackers obtained could be leveraged for nefarious activities, such as becoming fodder for damaging leaks or guiding direct military action. It wasn’t clear how successful the hackers had been in their attacks.

The hacking group has also targeted some global companies, indicating its activity may go beyond Israel, although there is no known target outside Israel so far.

Mandiant said it was moderately confident that the group is linked to Iran and has found some technical remnants pointing to an Iranian link, such as the use of Persian, including the word khoda, which means “God.”

The group appeared to pursue activities that would support Iranian interests and operations, including shipping groups that handle sensitive components. The focused targeting of Israeli entities was similar to that of other Iranian attackers.
Hollywood insider Lana Melman puts BDS on trial
Entertainment industry veteran and author Lana Melman fights antisemitism in Hollywood out of her love for Judaism and Israel.

In 2011, Melman found herself in the center of a storm when the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement began picking up speed in Hollywood. BDS activists were boycotting, threatening and harassing artists with any Israel-related associations.

Melman became premier director of Creative Community for Peace (CCFP), a pro-Israel nonprofit organization that works to combat antisemitism in the entertainment industry. She counseled artists who were unprepared for this type of harassment and helped them to understand that these attacks were not going to have long-term effects on their careers.

She explains, “BDS tosses out threats to artists, like, ‘We’re dragging your name through the mud, we’re calling you a racist for going to Israel, and now no one’s going to want to buy your music, and your career is going to be over.’”

She says artists were “shocked to be attacked and victimized by a cancel culture campaign. They didn’t have any clue that their name and brand were going to be used to spread disinformation about Jews in Israel.”

Melman began her career as an entertainment attorney for Columbia Pictures Television because she always wanted to be part of that creative world. She earned her law degree from UCLA and quickly transitioned to the artistic side at CBS, Warner Bros. and Paramount. She was also a writer for the hit ’80s TV show Beverly Hills 90210 and executive producer of TV movies.

Melman grew up in Los Angeles at a time when Jewish people were not welcome in certain neighborhoods, country clubs or schools. Melman notes that she was raised “in a secular but very Jewish home. There was always this very strong feeling of our Judaism, and it was combined with this feeling that we were different and loved each other but not always accepted by the outside world.”
Palestinian Forum in Britain reportedly brands Jewish-Muslim interfaith work “faithwashing”
Efforts to encourage interfaith dialogue between Jews and Muslims have been denounced during the meeting of an anti-Israel organisation.

Speakers at a meeting of the anti-Israel group Palestinian Forum in Britain (PFB) have reportedly described attempts for Jews to enter into dialogue with Muslims as “faithwashing”.

The group held a meeting at an art gallery in London entitled “How interfaith groups are being used to normalise Israeli apartheid”.

Video footage of the meeting appears to show the Director of the news website Middle East Monitor, and the former Deputy Chairman of the Muslim Council of Britain, Daud Abdullah, saying that interfaith dialogue, which received the backing of “rich Jewish philanthropists” is used to “cover up the crimes committed against the Palestinian people” and soften the opinions of Muslims towards Israel.

James Thring, who has apparently been linked to the former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke and who spoke unchallenged about Holocaust denial at a Keep Talking event, claiming that no deaths were recorded at the Auschwitz concentration camp, also appeared at this meeting and said that Israeli policy is determined by how Jews “think they are the chosen people, they think they have the right to attack other people, to deceive other people, to rob other people.”

Fiyaz Mughal, the founder of Muslims Against Antisemitism and the interfaith network Faith Matters, told the JC that “Those who seek to smear, falsify and undermine interfaith work do not understand what binds our communities together, and their malicious attempt to politicise this must be rejected.”

Under legal action threat, San Francisco State University fills mandated Jewish student life coordinator position
After a two-and-a-half year vacancy, San Francisco State University has hired a mandated Jewish student life coordinator.

The Lawfare Project released a statement on Wednesday noting the hire, which is required as part of a 2019 settlement agreement between SFSU and two of the university’s Jewish students. The new coordinator’s name was not included in the statement.

The lawsuit, filed in 2018 by The Lawfare Project, was initiated after anti-Zionist groups on campus prevented members from Hillel, the largest Jewish organization at SFSU, from attending a fair meant for marginalized groups. Faculty member Rabab Abdulhadi, an adviser to the General Union of Palestine Students, which helped organize the fair, defended the decision. He wrote that “the organizers refused to allow a member of a privileged white group whose members feel entitled to be represented everywhere and anywhere.”

The lawsuit also accused campus security of failing to intervene when then-Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat’s speech at SFSU in 2016 had to be canceled, as anti-Israel students was disrupted by protesters organized by the General Union of Palestine Students, who chanted anti-Israel slogans and prevented Barkat from speaking.

The lawsuit alleged discrimination and civil rights violations “sanctioned by high-ranking university officials.”
Glamour Runs Cover for Bella Hadid
Glamour does not appear to have challenged or investigated any of Hadid’s assertions. It even embedded an Instagram post in which Hadid repeats a quote she attributes to Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion, a quote that Glamour could have learned in less than five minutes that even Electronic Intifada admits is not accurate.

More to the point, Glamour does not seem to have taken the trouble to find out from any of the businesses or friends who dissociated themselves from Hadid what, specifically, they found so objectionable. The fashion magazine that once gave an award to Linda Sarsour not only failed to determine the particulars of Hadid’s advocacy, it also seems to have failed to ask basic questions such as, what are the borders of this “Palestine” for which Hadid advocates? When was its sovereignty established? What is its history? And perhaps most importantly, what, specifically, would it mean to Hadid to “free” it, from “the river to the sea”?

With such shoddy work, it’s no surprise that Glamour’s fellow Conde Nast publication Teen Vogue, which has a record of anti-Israel hostility, picked up the piece and published it as well.

Of course, neither publication covered, for example, Regina Spektor’s recent comments about the double standard that is applied when the media covers Israel – in effect proving the singer’s point. While the media is rife with such double standards (as CAMERA has consistently pointed out), in the case of Conde Nast’s fashion publications, there is not even a pretense of even-handedness or of any attempt at actual journalism.

New York Times Editors, Spineless on Rushdie, Push Sanctions Relief for Iran as Key Issue in Congressional Primary
What was the decisive issue in determining which incumbent Manhattan Democrat the New York Times would endorse for Congress?

The Times picked Jerrold Nadler over Carolyn Maloney, in part because, the newspaper explained to readers, “In 2015 he backed the nuclear deal with Iran, despite fierce objections from some of his Jewish colleagues and constituents. ‘I thought I was taking my political life in my hands,’ he said in an interview with the editorial board.”

The Times notes that Maloney “opposed the Iran deal.”

The Times published the editorial only days after, in New York state, author Salman Rushdie was stabbed viciously while speaking. What tasteless timing by the Times.

Rushdie is subject to a fatwa, basically a clerical death warrant, imposed by Iran. The Times itself has reported, in its news columns, that the person arrested for the stabbing, Hadi Matar, used a picture of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as his email avatar. The Times has yet to publish an editorial denouncing the stabbing. (The Wall Street Journal had an editorial posted online the day of the attack and in the next day’s print newspaper. The New York Daily News, whose editorial page staff is approximately one quarter of one percent of the size of the New York Times’, had its own editorial.)

The Times position is disappointing, because back in the old days, under better leadership, the Times spoke out in favor of Rushdie. In 2007, in an editorial on Rushdie’s knighthood, the paper asked, “Do we choose to live in a world that honors writers or in a world that kills them?” It concluded, “you can be certain that if a society treats writers badly, it treats ordinary people no better.” In 1992, in an editorial headlined “Spineless on Mr. Rushdie,” the Times complained, “the Bush Administration has been cowed by an Iranian Government that thirsts for Mr. Rushdie’s blood.”
BBC again platforms terror group that abuses press freedom
At no point in any of the versions of her report did Foster bother to clarify that when Hamas says ‘occupation’ – as Ghazi Hamad did in all three – it is not referring to the Gaza Strip from which Israel disengaged seventeen years ago, but to Israel in its entirety. That serious omission on Foster’s part clearly compromises audience understanding.

Foster could have used that one-on-one with Hamas’ spokesman to ask him why it did not prevent the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (as it has done in the past) from firing over a thousand missiles at Israeli civilian targets. She might have enquired why Hamas places its own military assets in civilian residential areas and allows the PIJ to do the same. She could have asked why Hamas diverts building materials to the construction of terrorist assets rather than to the rebuilding of housing damaged in conflicts like the ”tower block […] destroyed more than a year ago now” that she highlighted in her filmed report or “Samir’s destroyed kitchen” described in her written article.

However, Foster did not pose any remotely challenging questions which would have enhanced audience understanding of the story she purports to tell and so her reports follow the usual clichéd pattern seen so often in BBC reporting from the Gaza Strip, focusing audience attentions on dead children, rubble, Hamas-supplied casualty figures and “the blockade”.

The written report’s sole reference to shortfall missiles in Foster’s own words makes no effort to clarify how many people were killed as a result or what proportion of the BBC quoted casualty figures supplied by Hamas they represent.

“Several of their [PIJ] rockets misfired, falling back into Palestinian communities and causing deaths and injuries.”

Foster gives a ‘he said-she said’ account of an incident in Jabaliya which is still under investigation.

Significantly, Foster did not make any effort to challenge her Hamas interviewee on the issue of the ban it imposed on journalists’ reporting of shortfall missiles and other topics. In fact, BBC audiences have not seen or heard a word about that subject on any platform.

The bottom line is of course that if indeed the BBC’s Director of Editorial Policy and Standards was approached for approval of Foster’s in person interview with Hamad, the result is three reports that do nothing more than amplify the talking points of a terrorist organisation proscribed by the UK that regularly abuses the very press freedom which the BBC claims to champion.

CNN antisemitism special covers synagogue attacks, targeting of Zionist students
The incidents, data and experiences that have many American Jews on edge are getting a prime-time treatment this weekend as CNN premieres an hour-long special about antisemitism.

“Rising Hate: Antisemitism in America,” is hosted by Dana Bash, the CNN anchor and political correspondent who is herself Jewish. On Friday, Bash, whose first husband was the son of a Conservative rabbi and who briefly was a trustee of the nonprofit Jewish Women’s International, published an essay about her 10-year-old son’s request for a Jewish star necklace and the concerns it awakened in her.

“We got the Jewish star and a chain to go with it,” Bash wrote. “What I did not say — what I was ashamed to even admit to myself — was that my young son showing the world that he is Jewish made me nervous.”

Bash’s reporting for the special came in the months afterward. The result is a tour through some of the low points of recent American Jewish history — as well as an analysis of why watchdog groups and law enforcement agencies are reporting record numbers of antisemitic incidents.

“Though it has always existed, this ancient hatred has grown in recent years, moving from fringe groups and obscure chatrooms to the mainstream, both online and on the streets of communities across the country,” CNN said in a press release about the special, noting that it comes at a time “with white nationalists radicalized online perpetrating deadly shootings, and insidious conspiracy theories and tropes normalized by political leaders.”

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reviewed a rough cut of the special. Here’s some background about the people, places and ideas featured in it.

Belgium music festival cancelled after city officials discover lineup of acts with neo-Nazi ties
The Belgian city of Ypres has cancelled an upcoming music festival following criticism about the lineup of acts and their ties to neo-Nazi and fascist groups, The Brussels Times reported.

The Ypres city council on Tuesday revoked the permit of the Frontnacht music festival, which was due to be held the weekend of Aug. 27-28, after European intelligence services and Belgium’s Coordination Unit for Threat Analysis expressed concerns about the affiliations of the acts set to perform.

The event was set to be a part of the annual Flemish nationalist festival Ijzerwake, which takes place in the Flanders region of Belgium and is organized by a group of radical Flemish nationals also called IJerwake.

Scheduled to headline the festival was the Italian band Bronson, whose members belong to Italy’s neo-fascist CasaPound movement and regularly praise the late fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, Vice reported. The publication also noted that other acts in the lineup had ties to the neo-Nazi group Blood & Honour and the international white supremacist gang the Hammerskins.

The Ypres city council gave a permit to the IJzerwake group to organize the music festival when it was first announced in May but the permit came with conditions, Ypres city councilor of events Diego Desmadryl explained on Tuesday.
New White House liaison to Jewish community talks about priorities, personal missions
Shelley Greenspan’s resume runs the gamut from Capitol Hill to the private sector, presidential races and nonprofits. She has worked for AIPAC and Amazon, and campaigned for Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden.

Late last month, the Jewish advocacy and outreach veteran was named as the White House liaison to the Jewish community, replacing Chanan Weissman.

“It’s rare to find a position that sits squarely at the center of the Venn diagram of who you are. I am Jewish. I am an American. I am a public servant,” Greenspan told JNS in her first comments to the media since assuming her new role.

Greenspan, a native of Miami Beach, Florida, joined the White House this summer as policy advisor for partnerships and global engagement at the National Security Council. She manages public-private partnerships for the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, a new program supporting women entrepreneurs around the world. Prior to that, she worked at the State Department as a civil servant.

Greenspan told JNS that strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship is her priority.
Lessons for Ukrainian Refugees From My Holocaust Survivor Grandparents
My grandparents were Holocaust survivors, suffering at the hands of the Romanian and Nazi occupiers, but especially from local collaborators. They had watched their parents and youngest siblings perish from starvation and disease. Somehow, they resumed their lives amidst the ongoing state sanctioned antisemitism and hatred. Decades had passed since the Holocaust, and their children and grandchildren — my parents and I — were still living as second class citizens in the only country our family had ever known.

When the opportunity arose to leave for the United States, my family decided to take it. We knew it would be accompanied by immediate loss of work for my family, being branded traitors of the state, and a number of other scary unknowns that would follow, all while trying to keep this secret from our neighbors out of fear of additional repercussions. We became stateless and designated as refugees, as we made our way through Austria and Italy, hoping to resettle somewhere where our lives would finally be comfortable.

While I was too young to remember any of these experiences, my parents and grandparents made sure to share their stories so that I’d understand the great obstacles they overcame to give me and my descendants a better life. Aside from the negative and sad memories my grandparents shared with me, they also emphasized over and over that had it not been for random acts of kindness, they may not have survived.

Throughout my grandparents’ struggle to survive the Holocaust, they encountered individuals who tried to help with small gestures; offering a piece of bread, a small amount of milk, or even a suggestion to walk in a certain direction to avoid being murdered. My family was further aided during our immigration, beginning with the thousands of Jewish people who lobbied governments to pressure the Soviet Union to free us, followed by volunteers who donated and helped us along this path.

As I learned more about my family’s history and culture, the concept of Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World) inspired me to help others whose lives were also uprooted for no other reason than their heritage or circumstances. Amidst the darkness, there are indeed moments of light that are ignited by countless acts of kindness.

Echoing my grandparents’ experience, I hope that one day, the refugees I helped will remember me, and pass on this kindness to another human being in need.

Humanity has not been able to rid itself of the evils from 80 years ago, when my grandparents suffered at the hands of the Nazis, or 40 years ago, when my parents and I turned our backs on the antisemitic forces in the Soviet Union, but it has come a long way. I believe that the words “Never Again” are still relevant today, and we must all be the stewards of this mission.

Through small acts of kindness by ordinary citizens, not only can we change the direction of people’s lives, but we can create a society that is built upon peace and loving-kindness.

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!



EoZ Book:"Protocols: Exposing Modern Antisemitism"


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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 18 years and 38,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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