Sunday, October 02, 2022

10/02 Links: The importance of combating antisemitism on campus and educations; When does anti-Zionism become antisemitism? - Barbra Streisand, Twitter

From Ian:

The importance of combating antisemitism on campus and educations
On a sunny afternoon at Pembroke College, Oxford, I had the pleasure of interviewing Natan Sharansky, who is the former head of the Jewish Agency and the current president of the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP) on the importance of combating antisemitism on campuses and within academia. Sharansky sums up the common struggle of several, if not most, Jewish students on Western campuses today: “Many Jewish students on campus feel they have to choose between their connection to Israel and staying as an accepted part of student society.”

This choice that Mr. Sharansky proposed in his interview is the same one I had to make while completing my undergraduate degree in small-town Halifax, Nova Scotia. The same decision led to me working full-time towards combating antisemitism on university and college campuses. ISGAP's leadership management

Under the leadership of ISGAP management, I had the pleasure of co-organizing two events over the summer. First, an international conference on Jew Hatred at Cambridge followed by a two-week Summer Institute for Curriculum Development in Critical Antisemitism Studies at Oxford. Throughout the events, I had the privilege of learning from some of the world’s greatest scholars of antisemitism.

The lectures covered a wide range of topics, from antisemitism in Southeast Asia to human rights and lawfare, but the presentations I was most drawn to focused on the indoctrination of antisemitism in social sciences, particularly intersectionalism.

As a young Jewish immigrant from Brazil studying in Canada, I entered the liberal arts secure that my core values as a staunch zionist, feminist and progressive would be accepted. However, the more outspoken I became about Zionism, the less welcomed I was by my peers and professors.

The choice between Israel and acceptance presented itself to me in my final year of university, when I decided to branch my areas of study into social sciences. I met with an adviser who had been recommended to me by one of my friends due to their kindness and helpfulness in mapping out courses. In my meeting with her, I explained that I wanted to focus on certain topics to prepare myself for the master’s degree. I wanted to complete in Israel the following year.

Rather than helping me find adequate classes, the adviser provided me with a list of readings and courses she and other professors in the department taught about the Palestinian cause. Before I exited her office, she warned me not to tell the powerful Jewish lobby in Canada about the meeting, otherwise, they would hunt her down and try to destroy her career.

How normalized must antisemitism be, that upon the first meeting with a student, a university professor felt comfortable enough to make accusations about the powerful Jewish lobby in Canada?

Professor William Kolbrener from Bar-Ilan University, who presented and participated in both events, details why antisemitism has become integral in intersectionality: “It is not just an accidental or incidental exclusion [within intersectionality], the exclusion of the Jew is the basis of the thought. Anti-Zionism is the tell for being progressive.”
When does anti-Zionism become antisemitism? - Barbra Streisand, Twitter
"When does anti-Zionism bleed into broad antisemitism?"

This question was posited by Jewish-American singer and actress Barbra Streisand on Saturday in a Twitter post in response to the decision by student groups at the University of California at Berkeley's School of Law to ban Zionist speakers from the campus.

Indeed, this question reflects an often debated topic of when criticism of Israel and Zionist ideology ends and Jew hatred begins.

Several prominent members of Jewish Twitter (JTwitter) were quick to respond to Streisand's question, and many were of the opinion that anti-Zionism itself is antisemitism.

"Pretty early," noted Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Fleur Hassan-Nahoum.

"Anti-Zionism, the belief that the State of Israel should not and must not exist as a Jewish state, is antisemitism. Either in intent, in effect, or both," explained Jewish activist and recent Israeli immigrant Blake Flayton.

He also added: "When does anti-feminism bleed into broad sexism? Spoiler alert."

"Denying the Jewish right to self determination is by definition, antisemitic," tweeted the watchdog NGO StopAntisemitism.

"In the end they always come for all of us. Modern day antisemitism just has a new target: Zionism."

Said former MK Michal Cotler-Wunsh: "When Zionist = code for Jew after systematic process to demonize, delegitimize & apply double standards; & ‘traditional’ antisemitism barring individual Jew from equal place in society mutates to ‘modern’ form, barring Jewish state from equal place among nations."

Lebanon deal has Israel concede all disputed territory for compensation
Israel will receive royalties from gas that Lebanon extracts in the disputed area of the Mediterranean Sea, Prime Minister Yair Lapid revealed at Sunday’s cabinet meeting.

Both sides received a proposed economic waters agreement over the weekend from US Energy Envoy Amos Hochstein, who has traveled repeatedly between Beirut and Jerusalem over the past year to negotiate the deal.

The deal will have Israel concede the entire triangle of economic waters that had been in dispute with Lebanon in 2012-2021, but not the extended triangle that Lebanon demanded in early 2021. It will also allow Lebanon to develop the entire Kana Field, which extends South into what would be Israeli waters.

The royalties deal will be worked out in advance between Israel and the gas consortium led by French energy company Total, which has the Lebanese license to extract gas from the Kana field; it will be an agreement on how to calculate the compensation for Israel, since exploration has not yet begun and the amount of gas in the reservoir remains unknown.

In addition, the agreement includes recognition of what Israel calls the “buoys line,” which extends 5 km. into the sea from Rosh Hanikra, on the border with Lebanon. A senior diplomatic source explained that the “buoys line” was vulnerable because Israel had established it unilaterally as a zone necessary for Israel to have freedom of action for its security, and the agreement with Lebanon will anchor that line in international law.

“Anchoring the ‘buoys line’ as part of the agreement will allow us to treat it as our territorial line in the water, without opposition from UNIFIL,” the source explained.

The triangle in dispute for gas extraction purposes begins far beyond 5 km. away from the shore.

The agreement will be guaranteed by the United States and France, as the major stakeholder in Total.

The final details of the deal are still under discussion and are being reviewed by legal advisers, as well as Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Attorney-General Gali Baharav-Miara, before being brought to a Security Cabinet meeting on Thursday.

Lapid said Israel has “no opposition to the development of an additional Lebanese reservoir from which we will, of course, receive the royalties we deserve.”

A maritime border agreement “will weaken Lebanon’s reliance on Iran, will restrain Hezbollah and will bring regional stability,” Lapid stated at the cabinet meeting.

Netanyahu: Lapid ‘surrendered’ to Hezbollah with Lebanon border deal
Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday slammed Israel’s emerging maritime border agreement with Lebanon, accusing Prime Minister Yair Lapid of caving in to Hezbollah, according to local media reports.

“Yair Lapid shamefully surrendered to [Hezbollah chief Hassan] Nasrallah’s threats,” Netanyahu reportedly stated, adding: “He is giving Hezbollah sovereign territory of the State of Israel with a huge gas reservoir that belongs to you, the citizens of Israel.”

Netanyahu argued that Lapid was attempting to “pull a fast one” on the Israeli public by forging ahead with the accord without a public referendum, as is required by Israeli law before the government can cede sovereign territory.

In the event, Netanyahu said that he would not recognize the prospective deal as legally binding.

Israel Hayom reported on Sunday that Lapid intends to invoke a special article in the government’s bylaws that will allow the details of the agreement to remain confidential.

Addressing the weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday morning, the Israeli premier said that Jerusalem and Beirut were discussing the “final details” of the agreement, though he noted that “it is not yet possible to praise a done deal.”

The deal, he said, “as we have demanded from the start … safeguards Israel’s full security-diplomatic interests, as well as our economic interests.”

The United States on Saturday submitted to Lebanese President Michel Aoun a formal proposal to end the dispute, which has been ongoing for more than a decade.
Netanyahu accuses Lapid of giving into Hezbollah 'blackmail'
The US-brokered deal on the Israel-Lebanon maritime border becomes the latest fuel in the campaign battle between Interim Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli wounded in terror attack near Itamar in Samaria
An Israeli civilian was wounded on Sunday morning in a terrorist attack near Itamar in Samaria, according to the Israeli military.

The assailant or assailants opened fire at vehicles traveling in the area, hitting a bus and a car, lightly wounding the driver of the latter, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

Israeli news site Walla reported that the car was a taxi. The wounded driver was evacuated to the IDF’s Samaria Regional Brigade base, and from there to a hospital, according to the military.

The IDF has launched a search in the Nablus area for those responsible for the attack.

The incident is the latest in a string of recent security incidents in Judea and Samaria, commonly known as the West Bank, as well as in eastern Jerusalem.

Overnight Saturday, a Palestinian gunman opened fire at an IDF unit operating in Samaria, while a second shooting targeted the Israeli community of Beit El, also in Samaria.
6 Arab Israelis arrested for alleged IS ties, plans to attack Nazareth Muslim school
The Shin Bet security agency announced Sunday that in recent weeks six Arab men were arrested for alleged affiliation with the Islamic State terror group and plans to commit terror attacks.

According to the Shin Bet, the men, all from Nazareth in northern Israel, sought to attack a Muslim school in the Arab-majority city because it “operated in the way of the ‘infidels.'”

The security agency said the group also planned to attack a busy bus stop in northern Israel, a police station in Nazareth, a forest where Jewish Israelis often visit, and other areas.

“The suspects consumed Islamic State content, to which they were exposed to while surfing the internet, in a way that led to a deep identification on their part with the terrorist organization’s ideas,” the Shin Bet said.

The suspects were identified by the Shin Bet as Muhammad Ihab Suleiman, 25, Jafar Suleiman, 21, Muamen Nijam, 20, Ahmed Belal Suleiman, 18, Jihad Bakr, 20, and a minor whose name was barred from publication.

The agency said the men attempted to obtain weapons for the attacks, as well as recruit others.
Media Print Viral Libel That Palestinian Boy ‘Died of Fear’ After Being ‘Chased’ by IDF
According to Israeli army spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, a “senior officer” visited the Suleiman home after boys from Teqoa were seen throwing stones toward cars driving on a highway near a neighboring Jewish community. Video footage posted to TikTok by pro-Palestinian accounts shows a young boy alleged to be Rayan Suleiman hurling objects with a slingshot in what is described as a “confrontation with the enemy.”

One of the stone-throwers was spotted on the house’s balcony, and the IDF officer reportedly arrived to urge Yaser Suleiman to make his children stop throwing rocks. Hecht said the official spoke in a “very calm manner” before going on his way.

“There was no violence, no entry into the house,” he told local media while stating that Jerusalem ordered an ongoing probe into the matter. A security source cited by TPS added that there is “no connection” between the military operation in Tekoa and Rayan’s death, crucially noting that the boy passed away after the army had already left.

Nevertheless, in a September 30 piece titled ‘Palestinians mourn boy who died ‘of fear’ of Israeli troops,’ the Associated Press (AP) echoed claims by Yaser Suleiman that his son “died of fear on the spot” when soldiers “burst into the home”:
Rayan Suleiman, with bright eyes and a backpack emblazoned with an animated race car, was walking home from school on Thursday when his family says he and his brothers were chased by Israeli soldiers. After the boys bolted home, the troops banged furiously on the door and threatened to arrest the children, their parents say. Just moments later, Rayan, the youngest of the three brothers, was dead.”

The Reuters wire service likewise parrotted the family’s narrative that the 7-year-old, who they said did not have any preexisting health conditions, “died of heart failure while being chased by Israeli soldiers.”

However, Suleiman’s testimony can hardly be given credence, and would likely not hold up in any court of law. Just hours after the incident, Arab journalists quoted Yaser Suleiman as saying that Rayan did not die of a sudden cardiac arrest, but was rather “martyred” following a fall from the balcony of the house.

In their initial comments, the Beit Jala Hospital — as well as the Palestinian Authority-controlled Ministry of Health — also mentioned a “fall,” although they later changed their story to match the family’s new claim. For their part, schools in the West Bank on Saturday circulated a poster produced by the PA Ministry of Education that listed the boy’s cause of death as “falling from a height.”

This inconsistency was almost entirely erased from the mainstream media coverage.

Rayan Suleiman’s sudden death is obviously a tragedy for his family. But as Ramallah has yet to release the official autopsy report, it is impossible for news organizations, or anyone else for that matter, to state with certainty how he died. The prevailing media narrative, however, is seemingly based on mere conjecture.

With anti-Israel activists jumping on every opportunity to promote blood libels against the Jewish state, journalists have an obligation to check the facts.

2 held for entering East Jerusalem hospital in wheelchairs, firebombing buses
Two Palestinian men have been detained for allegedly throwing firebombs at passing buses from a hospital in East Jerusalem last month, after disguising themselves as patients to gain access to the medical center.

According to an Israel Police statement from Sunday, the two suspects — a 17-year-old and a 19-year-old from the A-Tur neighborhood — entered Makassed Hospital in wheelchairs on September 7 and threw Molotov cocktails and gas cylinders at passing vehicles. No injuries or damage were reported.

Police later opened an investigation into the incident and arrested the suspects on September 20. With the end of the probe, prosecutors requested that the two, who have been held since, remain in custody until Thursday.

Police said the two are due to be indicted in the coming days and that an investigation was ongoing.

“The Jerusalem District Police notes that while throwing Molotov cocktails is a severe and dangerous act in itself, the act of impersonating patients and entering the hospital to harm innocent people on the premises of a hospital testifies more than anything about these violent and criminal lawbreakers,” the statement said.

Iran: The Chained Volcano
Today's Damavand [volcano] s made of a new generation of Iranians who don't give tuppence about the Islamic Republic's arcane narrative, and prefer life in the modern world, warts and all, to the North Korean-style society that "Supreme Guide" Ali Khamenei is trying to impose on Iran.

The uprising was triggered by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year old woman on a family visit to Tehran.

Within 24 hours of her death, allegedly as a result of beatings by security agents, Amini's name was known to almost all Iranians and, within 48 hours, it had become a symbol of resistance to tyranny across the world.

By the time of writing this column, we had received the names of 84 people, including nine women and six children, killed by security, while semi-official figures put the number of arrests at over 1,800.

The uprising has spread to over 300 towns and cities, some of which are witnessing protests for the first time in recent history.

Early in its existence, the Khomeinist regime established self-preservation as its highest goal. Khomeini called it "the obligation of obligations" (oujab al-wajebat in Arabic), asserting that to protect the regime, even Islam could be set aside.

Regime protection forces, excluding the national army, number over 600,000 men. Islamic security is organized in nine different units, at least four of them trained and equipped for crushing street protests.

All security units, including Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), benefit from numerous advantages, notably salaries that are 30 percent higher than comparable ones in the national army.

The latest uprising is different from previous ones in a number of ways.... This time, the almost unanimous call is for regime change.

Until this writing, Khamenei, who shed tears for the death of George Floyd in the United States, has been silent on the eruption that threatens his regime.
Iran says waiting for US to unfreeze $7 billion after releasing American detainees
Iran was awaiting the release of about $7 billion in funds frozen abroad, state media said Sunday, after it allowed an Iranian-American to leave the country and released his son from detention.

Baquer Namazi, 85, was permitted to leave Iran for medical treatment abroad, and his son Siamak, 50, was released from detention in Tehran, the United Nations said on Saturday.

“With the finalization of negotiations between Iran and the United States to release the prisoners of both countries, $7 billion of Iran’s blocked resources will be released,” the state news agency IRNA said.

Billions of dollars in Iranian funds have been frozen in a number of countries — notably China, South Korea, and Japan — since the US reimposed biting sanctions on the Islamic Republic in 2018 after unilaterally withdrawing from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

Tehran has accused Seoul of holding $7 billion of its funds “hostage,” repeatedly calling on South Korean authorities to release it.

IRNA on Sunday said that “Washington is pursuing at the same time the release of its citizens detained in Tehran and the release of Iranian funds in South Korea.”, in volte-face, labels non-Jews’ listings as well
On Friday,, the large global online lodging accommodation service website, placed a travel warning on all of its listings—both Jewish- and Arab-owned—for properties in Judea and Samaria, including in towns under full Palestinian Authority control.

The warning, which appears in a box towards the top of the page for searches on properties in the area, urges potential clients to:

“Review any travel advisories provided by your government to make an informed decision about your stay in this area, which may be considered conflict-affected.“

A similar warning will now appear on properties in another 40 or so “conflict zones” around the world.

In September, JNS reported that was considering labeling Jewish-owned properties only in Judea and Samaria with a security disclaimer.

Jerusalem over the weekend issued a statement celebrating the change as a “political achievement for Israel” following “discreet and efficient discussions” with the Amsterdam-based company in order to persuade it not to single out Jewish businesses.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid praised the move and said, “We thank Booking for changing the decision. The State of Israel accomplished an important achievement today in the fight against delegitimization.”

That being said, still lists all Jewish properties in Judea and Samaria as being part of the “West Bank, Palestinian Territory.”

The government may have applauded the fact that the warning isn’t being applied exclusively to Jewish-owned businesses, but some of Israel’s B&B owners are in no mood for celebration. adds travel warning for West Bank listings
The accommodations platform has added a travel alert to West Bank listings, warning users to review their government advisories regarding travel to the area.

Attorney Arsen Ostrovsky says the mild text of the warning shows a failure on the part of the BDS lobbyists who wanted the site to label such listings as being in occupied territory.

BBC News continues to skirt the background to events in Jenin
He does not however adequately clarify that the “explosive device” was detonated by the terrorists themselves in an attempt to evade capture.

In line with standard practice in recent BBC coverage of recent counter-terrorism operations in PA controlled areas, readers of this report are told that:
“Since January, more than 90 Palestinians, including militants and civilians, have been killed in the West Bank, mostly by Israeli security forces.”

Once again, however, the BBC refrains from clarifying that the majority of those killed were members of terrorist organisations or people engaged in violence at the time.

As we see, this report fails to provide BBC audiences with essential background information about the Palestinian Authority’s loss of control in Jenin and other locations. Like previous reports, it continues to avoid additional core issues including the rise in activity by Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, terrorism by members of the PA security forces and Hamas’ efforts to undermine the Palestinian Authority.

Those long-running omissions are particularly problematic given this report’s unqualified amplification of a statement from a “spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas”:
“A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said: “The Israeli occupation still underestimates the lives of our Palestinian people, and is tampering with security and stability by continuing its policy of escalation.””

The BBC’s uncritical promotion of that statement obviously does nothing to help audiences understand this particular story or its wider context.
Why is the European Union Funding Palestinian Propaganda Tours to the West Bank?
Also scheduled on the press tour was a sit-down with another Palestinian NGO, PalVision, for a visit to Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre as part of the EU-funded project ‘Protecting Islamic and Christian Cultural Heritage in Jerusalem.’

For those who are unfamiliar with the PalVision, many of the youth group’s board members, officials and staff have justified and praised terrorism against Israelis, including a project coordinator who lauded a “hero suicide bomber” and another who celebrated deadly car-ramming attacks.

On the penultimate day of the junket, the journalists were taken on a tour of the West Bank city of Hebron by the Israeli organization Breaking the Silence followed by a briefing with EU Representative Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff.

As HonestReporting has previously detailed at length, the Breaking the Silence tours invariably mischaracterize the situation on the ground in Hebron and falsely depict the city as a “microcosm of the occupation.” The fact is that Hebron, with its small Jewish population of approximately 800 people surrounded by around 200,000 Palestinians, is a unique situation. Indeed, there is no other city under Israeli control in which a Jewish population is entirely surrounded at close quarters and guarded by hundreds of soldiers.

Finally, it is a mystery that EU diplomat Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff even remains in his job at all given his antisemitic past. Speaking at a conference this year in Jerusalem, von Burgsdorff claimed people should not be “surprised” that Palestinians are slaughtering Israelis because it should be “expected.”

He also made clear his view that it is the very existence of the world’s only Jewish state that is the root of this murderous hatred: “We need to bring to the fore and to worldwide attention the plight the people of Palestine have been under for the past 74 years.”

When quizzed about the press trip, a spokesman for the Office of the European Union Representative to the occupied Palestinian territory defended it as a chance for journalists to see “EU-funded projects,” adding that “no substantial information was received from Israel that would justify reviewing the policy towards the six Palestinian civil society organizations on the basis of the Israeli decision to designate these NGOs as ‘terrorist organizations’.”

It would be interesting to know whether European taxpayers agree that a pro-Palestinian propaganda junket is a good use of their hard-earned money.

NBA x Zionism: Conversations on Zionism Episode 30
What on Earth Does Sports Have to do with Zionism?
Love for Israel is pervasive in this conversation between nonprofit and financial services executive Eric Rubin, Tamir Goodman, aka” the Jewish Jordan,” and past NBA players Michael Sweetney (now assistant basketball coach for Yeshiva University) and Eddy Curry. Hear how a dribble can lead to peace as they use basketball to unite the world.

Novak Djokovic tells i24NEWS happy to be playing in Israel
Tennis champion Novak Djokovic talks about the warm welcome he has experienced while playing at the Tel Aviv Open, and reflects on the negative media attention he has suffered in the past year.

Israel approves NIS 90 million for absorbing immigrants from Russia amid Ukraine war
The government on Sunday approved a NIS 90 million (over $25 million) budget for absorbing Russian Jewish immigrants arriving in Israel, amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

The approved funds will go toward providing additional housing solutions for immigrants, employment assimilation, education, health services and other basic requirements to aid those who arrive in haste and with little to no preparation.

Israeli officials have also indicated their intention to bolster the number of flights between Moscow and Tel Aviv, as well as to find ways to facilitate the transfer of assets out of Russia.

According to data from Ministry of Aliyah and Immigration Absorption, some 24,000 Jewish immigrants have moved to Israel since Russia launched the war in Ukraine on February 24, the most significant wave of immigration from there since hundreds of thousands of people moved to the Jewish state as the Soviet Union collapsed over 30 years ago.

The ministry believes many additional immigrants are due to arrive in the coming months, partly due to Russia’s “partial mobilization” of reservists as its military faces setback in Ukraine.

The new funds are part of an initiative led by Immigration and Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata and Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman to prepare for the immediate arrival of immigrants from Russia.
SmartAID, United Hatzalah send aid teams to Florida after Hurricane Ian
United Hatzalah and SmartAID announced that they are sending response teams to Florida to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.

Through its mobile tech trailers, SmartAID will be providing first responders and local medical teams access to electricity, internet, and telecommunications. This will allow those on the ground to improve and expand their aid as well as give community members the ability to reach out to their families and social service providers.

United Hatzalah’s main task is to provide emotional stabilization and psychological first aid to those who have suffered due to Hurricane Ian. They will also be providing humanitarian assistance and medical care as needed.

It has only been a little over a week since United Hatzalah sent a relief mission team to Puerto Rico to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona, and now they have already sent another relief team to Florida to assist with the havoc caused by Hurricane Ian.

“This is our fastest turn-around time ever for separate missions. Our team from Puerto Rico just came back to Israel shortly before Shabbat and another team is heading out to Florida tonight,” said Vice President of Operations of United Hatzalah Dov Maisel as the team departed for Florida on Saturday night. “It makes me proud of all of our dedicated volunteers.”

The team mainly includes members of the Psycho-trauma and Crisis Response Unit (PCRU) along with a few EMTs.

“We’re going because people are in need of help and we can’t sit idly by when this level of disaster strikes,” Maisel explained. “Over the past six years, the PCRU members have become experts in the field of providing psychological first aid and emotional stabilization in the field following any type of disaster, big or small. That is why we keep sending them out when these things take place. They were highly effective in Moldova, in previous disasters, and most recently in Puerto Rico.

"Their success really comes from not only providing treatment at the scene to those suffering and to the first responders who are tirelessly providing care but in giving these people tools that they can implement themselves in order to maintain their own levels of mental health and to help others do the same.

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