Friday, October 07, 2022

From Ian:

In landmark ruling, Spanish top court says Israel boycotts are always discriminatory
Over the past several years, dozens of Spanish courts have rejected Israel boycotts by nonprofits, municipalities and other groups. Now, the country’s top court has ruled that the movement to boycott Israel represents “discrimination” that “infringes on basic rights.”

Separately, the Spanish parliament on Wednesday passed legislation that bars public funding for organizations that “promote antisemitism.” The law uses the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, which cites as examples of antisemitism some forms of Israel criticism.

The ruling by the Supreme Court of Spain, which was issued Sept. 20 and published on Tuesday, was about an appeal that a pro-Palestinian nonprofit, Associacion Interpueblos, filed contesting a lower court’s 2020 ruling that called a specific action to boycott Israel discriminatory.

ACOM, a Spanish pro-Israel nonprofit that has sued multiple entities for discriminating against Israel, claimed the ruling as a major win. Spain was once a hotbed of efforts by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, known as BDS. A slew of lower-court rulings in Spain had curtailed that trend, but they had pertained only to individual cases and thus had a limited impact, the group said, but the Sept. 20 ruling will function as a legal precedent applicable to all cases going forward.

Prior to the appeal, pro-Palestinian groups in Spain had not escalated appeals to the top court for fear of losing and creating precedent. “Also, it was a risk for us, but our legal team worked hard and turned that risk into an historical opportunity,” an ACOM spokesperson wrote in an email to JTA.

This judicial policy is similar to the one practiced in France, where attempts to boycott Israel resulted in the 2003 adoption of a law that declares any attempt to single out countries discriminatory and unconstitutional.
Leftists Most Likely To See Judaism As ‘Incompatible’ with French Values
A survey has found that those who support left-wing parties in France are far more likely to believe that Judaism is not compatible with French values, while also being the most likely to claim Islam is compatible.

The “French Fractures” survey, which was carried out by the polling firm Ipsos and the consulting firm Sopra Steria for the newspaper Le Monde, the Jean-Jaurès Foundation and Cevipof, found that those who support leftist parties were far more likely to find that Judaism is incompatible with the values of French society.

Among supporters of the far-left France Insoumise (FI) party, only 75 per cent stated that they believed Judaism was compatible with French values, while every other party saw 80 per cent or more believe that Judaism was compatible with French society, including 90 per cent of the supporters of the centre-right Republicans.

When the same question was asked of Islam, the left-wing FI supporters were the most likely to state that Islam was compatible with France, with 64 per cent agreeing, while those on the right overwhelmingly disagreed as just 17 per cent of supporters of Marine Le Pen’s National Rally believe Islam is compatible with France, and just eight per cent of the supporter of conservative pundit Eric Zemmour’s Reconquest! party.

Overall just 40 per cent of the respondents stated that Islam was compatible with French society, with people under the age of 35 being far more receptive to the idea than those over 60.
More than 90% of slanted articles in top U.S campus papers were biased against Israel—report
Between 2017 and 2022, 92.82% of the articles in leading U.S. college newspapers that strayed from journalistic objectivity were anti-Israel, according to a report from Alums for Campus Fairness.

ACF surveyed 75 leading college and university newspapers. Of all the articles about Israel exhibiting a bias, 181 were biased against Israel and 14 portrayed it positively.

Coverage spiked during periods of tension between Israel and Hamas, including in November 2018, May 2019, November 2019 and May 2021. There is an intense fixation on Israel, with nearly 1,500 stories on the topic, the researchers found.

Avi Gordon, executive director of ACF, told JNS that the increase in “hatred towards Jewish and pro-Israel students standing up for the truth” reflects the fact that Israel has become a “divisive topic.” Israel is always considered newsworthy, which fosters a culture of saturation coverage in which bias against the Jewish state is popular, he explained.

Large public universities produced the most content about Israel. While liberal arts colleges produced less, small private colleges exhibited the most anti-Israel bias. The Claremont Colleges, a consortium of seven private institutions in Claremont, California, and Swarthmore College in Pennslyvania, for example, produced 31 articles over a five-year period.

Gordon said there has also been a shift in the general discourse on Israel. “Whereas it used to be, ‘I am not anti-Semitic—I am anti-Israel’ or ‘anti-Zionist,’” this distinction is increasingly becoming meaningless.

“Jewish students are more afraid to share their Judaism or their love for Israel” openly, he noted, describing instances of people who are scared to wear a yarmulke or IDF shirt on campus, or to share their culture and faith.

Human Rights Group Slams Berkeley ‘Ban’ on Zionist Speakers
Excluding pro-Israel speakers from university campuses amounts to a “political litmus test” which undermines “tenets of free speech,” the human rights nonprofit PEN America said on Tuesday.

The group issued its statement in response to a new policy — described as establishing “Jewish Free Zones” — that eight student groups at University of California, Berkeley Law School approved to ban Zionists from speaking there.

“Calls to adopt and enshrine a political litmus test for all speakers invited to campus are inimical to the mission of universities and to freedom of expression and association,” PEN America Senior Manager of Free Expression and Education Jeremy C. Young argued. “Pressing a categorical pledge of this type precludes the possibility of open discussion on a sensitive and important political issue.”

Proposed by Students for Justice in Palestine at Berkeley Law as part of a resolution endorsing the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement, the measure has been criticized by lawmakers and Jewish groups for posing a threat to academic and intellectual freedom.

“Berkeley Law School appears to have handled this controversy effectively, ” Young continued. “While the proposal has apparently not let to any known event cancellations or speaker disinvitations, it must be recognized that such campaigns can have a chilling effect, contributing to an environment in which an openness to hearing from those one disagrees with is stigmatized and discouraged.”
Why Global Boycott Campaigns Against Israel Are Antisemitic
There has been some confusion in recent years about why many people consider boycott campaigns targeting Israel to be a form of anti-Jewish bigotry. Unfortunately, there is a mountain of evidence that the social justice rhetoric used to promote these campaigns is a smokescreen for hate. The latest example comes from the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter at the UC Berkeley’s Law School. SJP persuaded eight other student groups to amend their bylaws to prohibit invitations to Zionist speakers. They openly stated that this new rule is part of BDS, a global campaign promoting boycotts against Israel. Why have huge numbers of Jewish students, organizations, and concerned community members condemned this action? Because for most Jews, Israel is an important part of their Jewish identity. In practice, SJP and its partners have smeared and called for the exclusion of the vast majority of Jews worldwide.

The organizers of boycott campaigns against Israel, like the one within the law school at UC Berkeley, may think they are being clever by attempting to separate Jews from Israel. They often claim, “we are not anti-Jewish, we are simply anti-Zionist.” They count on the confusion this creates and bank on the ignorance or biases of their target audience. Sometimes they even manage to convince genuinely well-meaning people. Their falsehoods may do a lot of damage, but they cannot undo reality. And the reality is that Jews cannot be separated from Israel.

On a basic level, Zionism is about the Jewish people’s connection to their homeland. Israel is the birthplace of Jewish culture, language, religion, and more. It has played a central role in Jewish identity for over 3,000 years. On a political level, Zionism is a movement supporting the rights of Jews to self-determination in their ancestral homeland. Before 1948, that meant working to create an independent Jewish state. Now that Israel exists, Zionism is about ensuring that it can survive and thrive in peace. Nearly half of the world’s Jews live in Israel, and many (if not most) of the rest have family or friends living there.

So it’s no wonder that Israel’s right to exist and the safety of its citizens would be important to most Jews around the world. A minority may disagree or feel indifferent, as is their right. However, the claim that Israel and Zionism can be separated from the Jewish people as a whole is false, and will remain so no matter how many times it is repeated.
Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters insists he is not antisemitic whilst defending Nazi comparisons and emblazoning Star of David on a pig on Joe Rogan’s podcast
Roger Waters, the former Pink Floyd musician, has repeatedly denied being an antisemite whilst also breaching the International Definition of Antisemitism on yesterday’s episode of the podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience.

Throughout the podcast, Mr Waters, who has a long record of baiting Jews, claimed he has repeatedly been accused of being an antisemite due to his anti-Israel position.

Joe Rogan, the podcast’s host, seemingly agreed with Mr Waters, saying: “By calling you an antisemite, they just stop the conversation dead in its tracks cause that’s an indefensible position.”

“Exactly. And you’re not allowed to say ‘I’m not’,” Mr Waters replied.

Going on to address a past concert in which he unveiled a balloon pig with a Star of David emblazoned on its side, he said: “‘Oh, you once put the Star of David on the side of a pig in a show.’ Yeah but I also put the hammer and sickle, and the crescent, and whatever, and a dollar sign.

“‘Yeah, but you put the…,’ well, it’s a symbol of an oppressive state. I am lumping you in but it’s not just you.”

In an apparent conflation between the Jewish people and the State of Israel, Mr Waters then stated: “But that is just me criticising the policies of your government and I’m afraid the Star of David does represent the nation that is committing the crime of apartheid every day, and murdering Palestinians every day. Men women and children, every single day.

“So yeah, I did [put the Star of David on the side of a pig], and I’m unapologetic about it.”

Mr Waters complained that “It’s not just me…they smear anyone, anyone, who dares to suggest there’s something bad about their policies. So that’s why the [Definition] is so bad, and so dangerous.”

Taking issue with one of the examples in the Definition, the musician went on to say that the Definition “can’t mean” that the State of Israel should not be criticised for behaving “like people in the past…towards Jews in Northern Europe.”

According to the Definition, “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is an example of antisemitism.”

Oxford lecturer defends cleric who called Holocaust ‘divine punishment’
A University of Oxford lecturer has praised the legacy of a rabidly antisemitic Islamist cleric and suggested that his teachings had been “wilfully misconstrued”.

Dr Usaama al-Azami, a Departmental Lecturer in Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford’s Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, made the remarks at a memorial and prayer service for the late Yusuf al-Qaradawi hosted by the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) on Saturday 1 October.

“In the West in particular we need to reflect on his [al-Qaradawi’s] legacy because it is often so badly vilified in this context,” the lecturer told attendees at the Maedah Banqueting Hall in East London.

He added: “People have wilfully misconstrued and misrepresented the teachings of a scholar whose legacy if they truly understood it would be transformative to the way in which Muslims can contribute in every society and every time.”

The cleric’s “greatest contribution is to help us think of a world where actually it is possible for you to live true to your faith,” he said.

Al-Qaradawi had a track record of public antisemitism, including a call for the “annihilation” of Jews in a TV sermon. He also claimed that the Holocaust, in which six million Jews were killed, was “divine punishment”.

Met Police have dropped investigation into Oxford Street Chanukah bus attack
The Metropolitan Police have dropped their investigation into an antisemitic attack on a bus of Jewish teenagers in Central London during Chanukah last year.

The investigation into the widely-condemned attack was dropped in July after police were unable to identify the people in the video, according to a Met Police statement.

Police say that they issued three appeals in total to identify the alleged perpetrators, but of the names provided to officers, all were eliminated from the investigation.

In a statement, the Met Police said: “On 29 November 2021, officers responded to calls about antisemitic abuse being directed at passengers on a private bus in Oxford Street by a group on the pavement outside.

“The bus left the scene of the incident to avoid further confrontation and officers met it nearby. The suspects had also left the area and could not be located.

Royal Court theatre bombarded with abuse over play about Jews
The theatre staging Jonathan Freedland’s new play about antisemitism has been bombarded with antisemitic abuse, the JC has learnt.

Jews. In Their Own Words, written by the JC and Guardian columnist, scrutinises the Royal Court Theatre’s own chequered history, including last year’s “Hershel Fink” scandal.

It prompted a deluge of complaints to its switchboard and on its official social media channels.

Some complainants harassed the Royal Court’s box office staff on the phone, while others used Twitter to accuse the theatre of betrayal for showcasing Jewish voices.

The production has also been hit by an angry backlash from playwright Caryl Churchill, whose 2009 show Seven Jewish Children — condemned at the time as a “blood libel” — features in Mr Freedland’s play, alongside another notorious Royal Court play, Rare Earth Mettle.

In a letter to the Guardian, the director of Seven Jewish Children, Dominic Cooke, joined Churchill in attacking the “outrageous” notion that their play could be considered antisemitic.

Mr Freedland’s show, which premiered last week, was carefully checked for libel line-by-line by specialist lawyers who had been instructed by the Royal Court.

Mr Freedland told the JC: “As soon as that piece of mine appeared in the Guardian — setting out what the play was about — the trolls were out in force, not only on social media, filling up the Royal Court’s timeline, but in real life, harassing the theatre’s box office staff with phone calls, many of them abusive.

The team at the Royal Court were resilient in the face of that abuse, but some said that, horrible as it was, it was also very validating, confirming much what the play was saying and indeed the necessity of staging it.” Jews. In Their Own Words looks at ancient and contemporary antisemitism through actors playing 12 real Jewish people, including novelist Howard Jacobson. Dave Rich of the Community Security Trust talks about how Seven Jewish Children caused controversy in the Jewish community.
Yom Kippur in Israel by the New York Times
How many times has the New York Times explored the “emotions” of, or difficulties encountered by, non-Christian minorities on religious national holidays like Christmas and Easter in Catholic or Christian-majority countries?

That is the tack taken by Jerusalem bureau chief Patrick Kingsley in his dispatch about Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest day of the year, that is observed throughout the Jewish state of Israel.

Headlined “For Believers, a Day of Atonement. For Others, a Giant Playground” (online, posted Oct. 5 which coincided with Yom Kippur) and “A Day of Full, Solemn Synagogues, and Empty, Silent Roads” (print, Oct. 6), the dispatch is ostensibly about how the country observes the Jewish holiday. But while Kingsley fleetingly mentions that “more than half of Israeli Jews attend synagogue on Yom Kippur for at least part of the ceremonies, according to polling in 2019 by the Israel Democracy Institute,” his primary focus is on highlighting the secular entertainment of Israel’s Jewish citizens on that holiday, based on interviews with a few chosen individuals, and emphasizing “the spectrum of emotions” of a minority of non-Jewish Israeli citizens — “Palestinian” citizens, as Kingsley labels them – many of whom, he claims, find the national celebration of Judaism’s holiest day “restrictive.”

Had Kingsley reported more precisely on the survey he briefly cited, readers would have learned that 61% of Israeli Jews were considering making an appearance at a synagogue on Yom Kippur and that 72.5% were considering either partially or completely fasting on that day (a religious requirement on Yom Kippur).

In other words, Kingsley’s dispatch downplays the religious significance of the national holiday to the majority of Israel’s Jewish citizens while highlighting the inconveniences of the holiday’s observance to its non-Jewish citizens.
The Washington Post ‘Likes’ Anti-Israel Propaganda
More than a year after the May 2021 war between Gaza-based Iranian proxies and Israel, major U.S. news outlets are still getting the origins of the conflict wrong. This is but one of several takeaways from a Sept. 22, 2022 Washington Post article (“Outside audit says Facebook restricted Palestinian posts during Gaza War”).

Reporter Elizabeth Dwoskin claimed that the war was “initially sparked by a conflict over an impending Israeli Supreme Court case involving whether settlers had the right to evict Palestinian families from their homes in a contested neighborhood in Jerusalem.” As CAMERA has documented, this is entirely false.

The 2021 war was not launched over a property dispute in eastern Jerusalem involving a handful of families. Rather, it was intentionally launched by proxies of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which calls for Israel’s destruction. Iran was hoping to use the attacks to exert pressure on Israel’s ally, the United States, with whom it has been engaged in negotiations over Tehran’s illegal nuclear weapons program. Indeed, Iran has said as much.

On May 6, 2021, the Middle East Media Research Institute translated a speech by Asghar Emami, the head of the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, which has trained and equipped operatives from Hamas, Hezbollah, PIJ, and other terrorist groups. Summarizing his remarks, MEMRI reported that “General Emami explained that Iran can easily tighten its grip around ‘the throat of the Zionist regime’ in order to extract pressure and extract concessions from America.” Emami, MEMRI said, “continued to say that while Israel has airplanes that can reach Iran, Iran does not require airplanes to target Israel, it can place Israel ‘under siege’ via the artillery and mortar shells of the ‘resistance axis.’”

'We will kill all the f*****g Jews,' Nazi-saluting Australian says to Jew
A Jewish man visiting Melbourne was greeted with a Nazi salute and was threatened that all Jews would be killed last Wednesday, according to the Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC).

“We should have killed all the Jews, we will kill the f*****g Jews,” said the assailant, described as a caucasian man.

The victim, 70-year-old Norman Schueler, called the police, following as the harasser attempted to walk away from the scene. The man was arrested but later released without charge.

The ADC told The Jerusalem Post that Schueler was not given a reason for the man's release, but had recently been called back into a precinct to give a statement.

Traumatic antisemitic experience

Schueler, who had lost relatives in the Holocaust, told ADC that the incident has kept him awake at night reflecting on what had happened.

The victim had come to Melbourne from South Australia to celebrate the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, with family.

“Antisemitic sentiment is taking a firm hold and is unmistakably creeping into our daily life as hardcore bigots are less inhibited about expressing their savage, neo-Nazi sentiments in public," said ADC chairman Dr. Dvir Abramovich in a statement. "This ugly episode, part of a broader pattern, could have ended in physical violence and not just verbal assault. It may be an uncomfortable truth for some, but the reality is that the rising wave of hatred against Jews here is becoming commonplace."

Medal of Olympian who defied Hitler by embracing Jesse Owens goes under the hammer
One of the most consequential Olympic medals ever awarded is on the auction block — the silver medal captured in 1936 by Germany’s Luz Long, the long jumper who walked arm in arm through the stadium with Jesse Owens to celebrate their triumphs while Adolf Hitler watched from the stands.

Long’s family has decided to auction the medal and other collectibles from the German jumper’s career. Long was killed in World War II in 1943. The auction house selling the medal has labeled Long’s collection “The Beacon of Hope.”

“The story of Jesse Owens never seems to end,” said Long’s granddaughter, Julia Kellner-Long, in a phone interview from her house in Munich. “My grandfather has always been inspirational and influential in the way I choose to see the world, and this is something I think the outside world needs. Now more than ever. It gives us hope.”

Long cemented himself in Olympic lore during the Berlin Games when he was the first to congratulate Owens on his triumph in the long jump. Later they walked around the stadium together and posed for pictures.

There’s also the story Owens told of Long approaching him after he fouled on his first two attempts in the preliminary round. With only one more try to make the final, Owens said Long suggested he take off a foot in front of the board, to assure he wouldn’t foul on his last try. Owens took that advice and went on to win the title — one of four he captured in Berlin — with a then-Olympic record jump of 8.06 meters (26 feet, 5 1/2 inches).

Owens was Black, and his stirring success at those Olympics was said to have annoyed Hitler by puncturing the Nazi myth of Aryan racial superiority.
History of Israel Explained: The Surprising History of Israel’s Black Panthers
The integration of Mizrahi Jews into Israel was not an easy one. Jews from countries like Yemen, Morocco, Iraq, Egypt, and Syria had lived there for generations and after much oppression found themselves running for their lives to Israel.

Enraged by the inequality they faced in their new home, a group of Mizrahi Jews took inspiration from the Black Panthers movement in the United States.

The Israeli Black Panthers, HaPanterim HaShchorim, who emerged from this painful time period fought for systematic change and their impact is still felt in Israeli society today.

Taiwan's National Day: A look at ties with Israel
Our Senior Correspondent Owen Alterman takes a look at Israel-Taiwan ties in honor of Taiwan's National Day

Conservative stars Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro address sellout crowd in Jerusalem
Conservative superstars Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro lectured a standing-room only audience of approximately 3,000 at Jerusalem’s International Convention Center on Thursday.

In their speeches, the Daily Wire pundits addressed major challenges currently facing the Western world, the dynamics of power and totalitarianism, how the Torah’s well-known stories and a core belief in God serve as pillars of morality for all of mankind and the role Israel can play as an emerging technological and moral superpower on the world stage.

Following the lectures, Peterson and Shapiro sat in conversation with former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who focused many of the questions on the centrality of Jerusalem to Israel’s historical and biblical narratives, and the role of Israel as a Jewish nation-state. He asked critical questions about whether the U.S. “is on a downslope.”

Friedman is widely credited as a major force behind moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, America’s recognition of Israel’s sovereignty in the Golan Heights and contributing to the signing of the historic Abraham Accords normalization agreements between Israel and four Muslim-majority nations.

The event was organized by Tikvah Fund Israel and emceed by its CEO Amiad Cohen, a rising star in Israel’s growing movement of conservative political thought.

Much of Shapiro’s remarks delved into the theological realm. His thesis was that G-d brought three ideas into the world on Mt. Sinai with the giving of the Torah: “that God is one,” “that human beings would be held to a standard of morality” and that Israel is the “specific nation” G-d chose “to represent his values.

Shapiro explained that “the Torah demands that [mankind] act morally,” and that “G-d lays out a choice for each individual between good and evil. And he noted that “God connects the Jewish people to a certain parcel of land: Eretz Yisrael,” in order to fulfill its national mission.

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 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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