Wednesday, October 12, 2022

10/12 Links Pt2: Alan Johnson: On Amnesty’s Antisemitic ‘Apartheid’ Report; Kontorovich: Israel should not sign a cultural agreement with Europe

From Ian:

Alan Johnson: On Amnesty’s Antisemitic ‘Apartheid’ Report
This new introduction to the updated 2022 edition of The Apartheid Smear (forthcoming), originally published by BICOM in 2013, critiques a recent Amnesty International report, one of a crop of very similar ‘reports’ published by NGOs and UN bodies in 2021 and 2022 that smear Israel as an ‘apartheid’ state [6]. The introduction is organised in three parts, critically examining in turn the analysis, politics, and methods of Amnesty’s report.

Why is it so important for opinion formers and policy makers who seek peace via the two-state solution to reject the Amnesty Apartheid Report?

Because it has long been understood by democrats on all sides that a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is impossible without the hard work of mutual recognition and peacebuilding, negotiations and compromises, and, eventually, a lasting settlement based on a division of the land and an institutionalisation of the democratic right to national self determination of both peoples.

Some way-stations on the journey to peace have been Madrid, Oslo, Camp David, Taba, Annapolis, and the Kerry-Obama talks. Yes, the last inch of the journey, as the saying goes, is a mile deep, but there is no real-world alternative to trying again to traverse it. Today, that effort will proceed in the more hopeful context of the Abraham Accords, a historic series of agreements between Israel and several surrounding Arab states. For an extensive collection of some of the most creative and expert thinking from Israelis, Palestinians and others about how to recommence that journey to peace see Rescuing Israeli-Palestinian Peace: The Fathom Essays 2016-2020.

However, while a negotiated two-state solution remains the only viable way to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by recognising the right of both peoples to national self determination, right now the gaps between the sides remain significant, and there is insufficient trust, or political will, to build the kind of relationships between the leaderships that might allow those gaps to be bridged.

In the real world, which is found at some distance from NGO-UN Reportland, the task of Britain, along with other European states, the US and Arab leaders, is not to make Israel an international pariah as the Amnesty report would have us do, but to prevent further deterioration on the ground, lower tensions, and find ways to improve the situation. This approach may not be well suited to winning applause from a campus audience, but it is well suited to encouraging a recommencement of the peace process down the line. The analysis, politics and methods of the Amnesty report would take us in the opposite direction, and should be rejected as a political dead-end by opinion-formers, policy makers and, not least, Palestinians.

Mainstream Jewish Organizations Don’t Have Leftwing Antisemitism “Under Control”
While the Jewish community is playing the short game, doing what it’s always done to win the moment, radical social justice warriors are playing the long game—what activists call “the long march through institutions”—in inculcating a stark ideological worldview that portrays anyone with power or success (success is a function of power, in this worldview)—America, Israel, Jews, Asians, men, etc.—as oppressors. Schools are teaching students to see people’s identities as markers of privilege and power and to “recognize and resist systems of oppression.” The problem is that the ideologues who are driving the agenda define the oppressor as anyone perceived to be powerful and successful, and the oppressed as anyone they deem powerless and, hence, unsuccessful. It’s a highly simplistic, binary worldview.

With this ideological software running through our kids’ brains, the school system does not have to even utter the word “Jew” or “Israel” for Jews and Israel to be ultimately implicated in oppression. Indeed, this is already happening. Survey data shows a strong correlation between progressive political attitudes on oppression and antisemitism on the left. The Jewish Institute for Liberal Values commissioned a poll of 1,600 likely voters. Survey respondents were split roughly between Democratic and Republican voters. Respondents were asked: “Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? America is a structurally racist country in which white Americans, and white-adjacent groups who emulate white culture (like Asian Americans and Jewish Americans), have unfair advantages over minorities which must be addressed to achieve equity?” The poll revealed that those on the far left were much more likely to agree with the statement, an indication that progressive ideological attitudes about structural racism are fueling antisemitic and anti-Asian sentiment (viewing Jews and Asians as privileged).

The ideologues are rewiring the way young people think so that they’ll adopt their worldview, including the view that Israel is a “settler-colonialist” state. They are, in effect, laying the groundwork for the Berkeley Law Schools of the future, when there will be more true believers on their side, at which time the future Dean of the Law School will face more pressure from radical activists and less pushback from us.

For Jewish organizations to effectively counter the long-term threat, they must come to terms with the underlying ideology that powers progressive antisemitism. They cannot, on the one hand, pretend to support this oppressor/oppressed binary, as many did in the California Ethnic Studies controversy, and, on the other, hope and pray that such a stance doesn’t ultimately manifest in the portrayal of Jews and Israel as oppressors. As long as radical social justice ideologues are experiencing success pushing a program that simplistically divides the world into oppressed and oppressors and condemns anyone who doesn’t agree with them, we are going to have major antisemitism problems, in ever greater frequency and intensity.

The sooner the Jewish community comes to terms with this reality and stops playing footsie with radical forces, the sooner we can develop strategies and tactics aimed at winning the long game.
Martin Kramer "Semites, Anti-Semites, and Bernard Lewis: The Life and Afterlife of a Seminal Book"
Martin Kramer is a historian of the Middle East and Israel at Tel Aviv University and the Walter P. Stern Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He was the founding president of Shalem College, a liberal arts school in Jerusalem, and a visiting professor or fellow at Brandeis, Chicago, Cornell, Georgetown, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and the Wilson Center. He earned his degrees from Princeton, under the supervision of Bernard Lewis. Among his many publications on Islam, Israel, and the Middle East, Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America (2001) has been widely discussed and influential.

Eugene Kontorovich: Israel should not sign a cultural agreement with Europe
The day after Yom Kippur, Israel's interim Prime Minister Yair Lapid planned to sign an agreement that would make Israeli citizens living in the towns of Katzrin, Ariel, and Pisgat Ze'ev second-class citizens, at least in terms of their right to consume culture. The agreement that was supposed to be signed with the European Union would have officially and institutionally discriminated against everyone who lives in areas beyond the Green Line, including the Golan Heights, the Old City of Jerusalem, and the Jerusalem neighborhoods built after the 1967 Six-Day War.

Minister of Culture Hili Tropper refused to admit that these are the consequences of signing the agreement. This denial is false.

Signing the agreement would be unprecedented. In 2017, the Israeli government specifically refused to sign the agreement precisely because of the territorial issue. Although it was reported last summer that the government had decided to move forward with the agreement, the decision only concerned the actual conduct of the negotiations. Now, after the end of the negotiations and Israel's surrender to the territorial discrimination clause, the agreement was expected to be signed and come into effect during Lapid's October visit to Europe.

In the past, under much heavier political pressure, Israel signed the Horizon 2020 program that funds scientific research, which also includes the same territorial discrimination. But there is no reason to repeat such a mistake. Moreover, the cultural agreement is worse than the Horizon agreement because the latter "only" discriminated against scientific institutions. For example, Ariel University could not receive EU funding. Government funds can compensate for this kind of damage. Cultural funding, however, involves consumers. The cultural agreement would mean that anything using EU funds, such as an exhibition or an entire theater, would not be able to operate in the Old City of Jerusalem or in Katzrin. This is discrimination that is prohibited under Israeli law.

In addition to this, the scientific agreement was in a highly competitive field where countries are fiercely fighting for supremacy. With all due respect, this is not the case in the fields of, say, dance or visual arts.

More importantly, since the signing of Horizon 2020, Israel has garnered major and hard-won political achievements, such as anti-BDS laws passed in many US states and prohibitions on boycotting the settlements; American recognition of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights; and the change in American policy that enabled the funding of research institutions in Judea and Samaria.

Wellesley College Newspaper Rescinds Endorsement of BDS-Linked “Mapping Project”
The campus daily of Wellesley College has distanced itself from of the “Mapping Project,” an American pro-BDS organization, which promotes the conspiracy theory purporting to show a connection between Zionism, police brutality, and “the colonization of Palestine.”

“We do not endorse the Mapping Project,” The Wellesley News said in a statement Wednesday. “The Wellesley News editorial board would like to reemphasize that we condemn antisemitism and all discriminatory beliefs, including the use of the Mapping Project for antisemitic rhetoric and actions.”

The paper, however, affirmed its support for “the BDS [boycott, divestment, and sanctions] movement and Wellesley Students for Justice in Palestine.”

Created by a Boston area group, “The Mapping Project” includes a searchable database and map listing the addresses of American Jewish Institutions, a feature that the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has described as continuing “a pattern which has led to violence against Jews and their institutions.

Mapping Project’s assertion is based on a similar conspiracy theory alleging that the Anti-Defamation League’s Leadership Seminar in Israel, which brings police officers to Israel for training in countering extremist violence and terrorism, is to blame for racial tension between Black Americans and law enforcement. The group also builds on the strategy of making the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “intersectional” by blaming American Jews for racism and other issues related to racial inequality in the US.

On September 28, the editorial board of The Wellesley News said the initiative is “providing a vital service,” in an editorial titled “The Wellesley News Calls For The Liberation of Palestine.”

“Collecting data about these institutions, tracing their financial and political activity and publicizing this information is incredibly important,” it continued. “Simply revealing that these ties exist is not justification for violence or bigotry of any kind. Rather, it forces us to reconsider our individual role in a systemic harm.”

In Wednesday’s statement, the paper claimed that the editors “intended to use the Mapping Project only as a source of information” and that it functionally served as a “citation” in their endorsement of BDS.
What a Call for the ‘Liberation’ of Palestine is Really Saying
And it is telling that not once in your lengthy ode to liberation did you mention the terroristic thugocracy of Hamas in Gaza, which has showered Israeli civilians with rockets and mortars since 2005 in an effort to murder Jews. And where, in 2019, for example, the Palestinians spent $343 million of the foreign aid showered upon them to pay terrorists who had murdered Jews and their families gruesome bounties in a “pay to slay” program to effect that “liberation” for which you so vocally and unashamedly lend your support.

You purport to have noble motives, but all context is lacking in your debate, you have contorted facts and history to justify your anti-Semitic expression, and you have proceeded with willfully blind certainty and determination to demonize Israel and ignore any of the defects of the Palestinian cause. And by encouraging and excusing the use of violence against Israelis as a means of achieving Palestinian liberation, you, together with others in the thrall of Palestinianism, will also be morally complicit in the inevitable deaths of Jews, a probability that you seem to have justified as an acceptable cost of achieving social justice for the oppressed.

Your puerile fantasy imagines the “liberation of Palestine,” but what do you assume such an event would actually result in? When you carelessly refer to a liberated Palestine are you talking about the West Bank and Gaza, areas that would comprise a new Palestinian state? Or are you really describing and eagerly imagining a liberated Palestine that BDS supporters and their fellow travelers in the Arab world and the West actually seek, namely, a Palestine that includes, and subsumes, present-day Israel?

The Palestine that you and your fellow travelers refer to, this factitious creation that was never a sovereign state, of course, includes Tiberias, Haifa, Sderot, and Jerusalem, the holiest city of Judaism. But does it also include Tel Aviv, which in a hundred years was transformed from sand dunes into an architecturally, economically, and culturally vibrant city the size of Miami? What happens to Tel Aviv in the liberation of Palestine? Every Jew leaves, as they did in Gaza, or they are purged and slaughtered as they were in 1948 when Jordan “liberated” Jerusalem by murdering Jews, destroying synagogues, desecrating graveyards, and burning Jewish property in their effort to suffocate Israeli statehood?
Israel in Higher Learning Instituions
Completely absent from the scholarship is any contrarian or Zionist perspective. Historical information is selectively picked and organized to support the ideological structure. Graduate and undergraduate students lack the tools to question or think differently about the region’s politics. Professors insist on starting the modern sociopolitical history of the region from colonialism and Sykes-Picot, completely excluding major events such as the mass expulsion of Mizrahi Jews from Arab countries. Students can obtain a graduate degree in Middle East studies from such a prestigious university without ever encountering information about antisemitism or antisemitic terrorism in Arab societies. This leads to the removal of important political and social contexts without which Israeli actions always seem like unprovoked aggression. An example of this would be the discussion of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. In a graduate class dedicated to Lebanese politics, a discussion of the Israeli invasion without any larger context of years of terror operations targeting Israeli civilians, originating in southern Lebanon by Palestinian guerrilla groups, gave the students the impression that Israel suddenly decided to invade an Arab country for no compelling reason.

In a graduate class of Comparative Middle East Politics taught by Charles E. Kiamie, III, who is also Deputy Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Center for Education, Mr. Kiamie organized his introductory lecture specifically on colonialism and Edward Said’s Orientalism providing readings that range from a complete demonization of Zionist “settler colonialism,” to the proclamation that the West is racist towards Islam because Islam is anti-imperialist. In the class, I engaged in an hour-long discussion with the professor on the reliability of Said, an ideological polemicist, as an introduction to a social science class and the objectivity of colonialism as an analytical category that is able to, as his reading suggested, explain everything from failed Middle Eastern states to migration, climate change, and the rise of Donald Trump. I also proceeded to question the theoretical basis of considering Zionism settler colonialism or that Islam is anti-imperialist. After a long conversation, eventually, and with noticeable frustration, Mr. Kiamie ended the class with the deceleration that colonialism is indeed the only analytical concept through which to analyze the modern Middle East and that this will be the underlying logic of his class. I then decided to withdraw from the class and use limited resources elsewhere. It is important to note that a few students, two military officers, and one civilian reached out to me after the class to tell me this was their first time heating a rebuttal of Edward Said or deconstruction of colonialism as an ideological device and not a real analytical category.

In another class, International Relations in the Middle East, not a single reading provided was friendly or even neutral towards Israel. Most of the international relations literature was either Marxist or Marxian in its ideological underpinnings. In a week dedicated to international law and international relations, the professor picked Noura Erekat’s Justice for Some, a book of anti-Zionist propaganda from which trying to learn anything that is related to the mechanics and workings of international law proves to be frustratingly difficult. Despite my disagreement with Erekat’s position, I was looking forward to learning about the workings of the international legal system between states, only to be disappointed. Other readings ranged from critical political economy analysis of international relations as a function of capitalism or that Israel and the U.S. are hegemonic and oppressive powers. Any of my attempts to question the theoretical basis of this worldview or to question the glaring absence of critical historical and social context, which includes modern Arab intellectual history, was simply incomprehensible because they didn’t conform with the ideological structure of the class. Attempts to talk about antisemitism, Nasserism, Islamism, Jihadism, or Baathism were usually ignored and sidelined. The only ideology that the class was able to discuss was that of “capitalism.”

The story of Israel in academia is not just the story of unchecked prejudice and ambivalence to the Jewish and Israeli lives in the Middle East, but it is a story of institutions of higher learning which are increasingly becoming a source of dogmatism and ideological obfuscation of reality. Today, the social sciences, whether wittingly or unwittingly, are more geared toward creating intellectual conformity disguised as critical consensus and critical theories rather than creating a new generation of students capable of genuine critical thinking capable of questioning hidden presuppositions and masked assumptions. Moreover, such an environment proves itself to be not just hostile to those with contrarian views but hospitable to extremist, antisemitic, anti-Israel, and anti-democratic ideologies from overseas.
A rising movement wants to drive Jews out of academia
A movement is now afoot in the United States to drive Jews out of higher education—both teachers and students. The movement, using the poisoned spear tip of anti-Zionism, is gaining momentum. It is reminiscent of nothing less than the movement to expel Jews from the educational system in Nazi Germany.

In 1933, Germany’s new civil service law excluded Jewish university professors as well as Jewish elementary and secondary school teachers from the profession. In the same year, Germany’s Law Against Overcrowding in Schools and Universities limited the number of Jewish students who could enroll, forcing Jewish children into private schools.

Many student fraternities and other student groups in Germany banned Jews and protested against professors whom they believed did not support “traditional German values.” Non-Jewish professors joined in shunning their colleagues. As a result, the Nazis quickly succeeded in hounding “undesirables” and, with them, any opposition to their policies and values out of the educational establishment.

Something similar is happening in the U.S. today. The latest attack on Jews in American higher education was just launched by the UC Berkeley Law School’s branch of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). SJP convinced nine law school organizations to adopt a bylaw refusing to invite or sponsor any speaker who supports “Zionism, the apartheid state of Israel and the occupation of Palestine.”
Rosh Hashanah threats show that Jewish students are being targeted
Rosh Hashanah is so much more than the Jewish New Year: It is the wish of every Jewish parent, child, spouse, sibling and friend that the following year be joyous. This is the metaphor of the apples and honey—we wish each other a good and sweet year, shana tova u’metuka.

Symbolically, we are told in the Talmud, “Three books are opened in heaven on Rosh Hashanah, one for the thoroughly wicked, one for the thoroughly righteous and one for the intermediate. The thoroughly righteous are forthwith inscribed in the Book of Life, the thoroughly wicked in the Book of Death, while the fate of the intermediate is suspended until the Day of Atonement.” In our tradition, this annual judgment is not considered finally sealed until Hoshanah Rabba, the seventh day of Sukkot.

At this perilous time, when our fates are symbolically being weighed in the balance, Jewish people—in particular, Jewish students on American campuses—are being targeted by vicious enemies who wish us ill.

At the University of California Berkeley School of Law, several affinity organizations, including the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, the Law Students of African Descent, the Women of Berkeley Law and the Queer Caucus were convinced to adopt a bylaw requiring that “participating organizations will not invite speakers that have expressed and continued to hold views … in support of Zionism [or] the apartheid State of Israel.”

Yet Zionism, the desire to restore Jewish sovereignty in our ancient homeland of Israel, has been integrally connected to Jewish belief and identity throughout our millennia-old history. Only a small percentage of alienated Jews oppose Zionism, their own people’s right to self-determination. In effect, the nine Berkeley Law student organizations have become spaces where most Jews are not welcome without abjuring their essential beliefs.
It didn't take long for the excuses to start over Kanye West
Near universally his words were described as antisemitic. Now this might not seem the most noteworthy aspect of this story, given that they were indeed antisemitic. But you hardly need me to tell you that, more often not, even the most blatantly antisemitic statement is usually reported as “allegedly antisemitic”. Write that Jews kill babies to suck their blood and the likelihood is you will be described as having written an apparently or allegedly antisemitic sentence.

So the reaction to Mr Ye’s posts was pleasing in its refusal to mess about with such qualifiers.

But it was, as I say, too good to last.

In the days after the first reports, two main themes have emerged. First – and most ludicrously – that Ye’s words should not be interpreted as antisemitic. Trump supporter Candace Owens told us that, "If you are an honest person, you did not think this tweet was antisemitic. You did not think that he wrote this tweet because he hates or wants to genocide Jewish people. This is not the beginning of a Holocaust."

Candace, may I explain? The bar to something being antisemitic is not that it is the start of a second Holocaust.

It might be helpful if we take a look at the not-starting-a-Holocaust-and-so-honestly-not-antisemitic words of Mr Ye.

At the weekend his Instagram account was suspended after he had accused another rapper, Diddy, of being controlled by Jews: "Ima use you as an example to show the Jewish people that told you to call me that no one can threaten or influence me."

In response, Mr Ye took to Twitter, writing: "I'm a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I'm going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE The funny thing is I actually can't be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew also.

"You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda."

So, Candace, in all honesty – which words he posted would you not consider antisemitic? I’ve been knocking around this topic for some two decades and – yes, Candace, honestly – don’t think I’ve ever seen a more obviously antisemitic post. Short, that is, of the drinking babies’ blood stuff.

But wait. We’ve been here before, haven’t we? There is always – always! – a get out of jail free card, no matter how unambiguous the words may be.
Kanye West Should Face Permanent Social Media Ban: Antisemitism Watchdog
StopAntisemitism wrote, "'Death con' is in reference to the U.S.' military's defense readiness condition (DEFCON) which uses 5 levels of readiness for the U.S. military against potential threats—5 being of least concern to 1 being nuclear war. Defcon 3 is 'increase in force readiness above normal readiness'—a clear threat of violence (per Twitter's rules)."

The organization said its second reason for calling for a ban was Ye tweeting on October 8 that "You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda."

StopAntisemitism said, "An age-old antisemitic stereotype is that of the 'Jewish agenda'—the idea that Jews are secretly plotting to take over the world and everyone's financial assets. This is hateful conduct (per Twitter's rules)."

The watchdog group also mentioned Ye's texts to Diddy, noting the messages also used "an antisemitic trope and hate speech" that is against Meta's community guidelines.

Finally, StopAntisemitism wrote how West allegedly told Diddy that "I told you this was war."

"This is a call to action to harm people (per Meta's community guidelines)," StopAntisemitism said.

The group acknowledged that West has discussed having mental health issues in the past, but it said that his "recent comments about Jews are problematic and dangerous and they have real-world consequences. In fact, excusing this behavior is an insult to those suffering from mental illness."
Kanye West claims Planned Parenthood, KKK conspired to 'control Jew population'
Kanye West claimed Planned Parenthood was created with the help of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in order to "control" the Jewish population, according to unaired clips taken from his recent Fox News interview obtained by Vice.

In the footage shared by Vice, West doubled down on unsupported claims that "the people known as the race black really are" Jews. "When I say Jew, I mean the 12 lost tribes of Judah...the blood of Christ," he explained.

"This is who our people are...this, as a Christian, is my belief," West stated.

In the cut clips, West also claimed Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood founder and a believer in eugenics was responsible for the plot to "control the Jew population."

In a Planned Parenthood statement denouncing Sanger's racist beliefs, the organization admitted that she "aligned herself with ideologies and organizations that were explicitly ableist and white supremacist. In doing so, she undermined reproductive freedom and caused irreparable damage to the health and lives of generations of Black people."

In more segments cut from the Fox News interview given to Tucker Carlson, West appeared to take antisemitic jabs at Jewish people. In one instance, West said he "prefers kids knew Hanukkah than least it will come with some financial engineering."

David Schwimmer condemns the rise of antisemitism, criticizes Kanye West
Actor David Schwimmer, best known for his previous role as Ross Geller in the American sitcom, Friends, posted an Instagram post that caught the eyes of thousands of people Tuesday.

With a black background and the word "bye" as the only visible thing on the post, Schwimmer condemned the rise of antisemitism across the globe and called out musician Kanye West.

"Antisemitism is on the rise globally," he stated. "Jews make up only 2.4% of the population of the United States but are the victims of more than 60% of all religious hate crimes, according to the FBI annual report.

"Whether or not Kanye West is mentally ill, there's no question he is a bigot," he continues. "His hate speech calls for violence against Jews. If you interpret his words any other way and defend him, guess what? You are a racist.

"If we don't call someone as influential as Kanye out for his divisive, ignorant and antisemitic words, then we are complicit. Silence is complicity."

Other celebrities who called out Kanye West
A few other Hollywood celebrities were among those who called out Kanye West. Actress Jamie Lee Curtis, recently tweeted, "The holiest day in Judaism was last week. Words Matter. A threat to Jewish people ended once in genocide. Your words hurt and incite violence. You are a father. Please stop."

Flyers saying 'Zionists f*** off' spotted at GWU campus days before Sukkot
Flyers stating "Zionists F*** off. Save Sheikh Jarrah. Free Palestine" were spotted throughout the George Washington University campus on Friday in the latest incident of anti-Zionism at US college campuses.

“The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington is appalled by the antisemitic flyers found on George Washington University’s campus this week," said Gil Preuss, the organization's CEO. "This hateful language is extremely harmful to GW’s Jewish students and the Jewish community at large, particularly on the heels of Yom Kippur and the upcoming holiday of Sukkot."

The posters around the campus have been taken down, the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington stated, but the organization also stated that they're in "close contact with [their] security team and our partners at GWU Hillel to keep [their] community safe.”

Response by StopAntisemitism
The non-profit organization StopAntisemitism criticized the university in response to the incident, tweeting: "GW - rated amongst the bottom of schools perceived safe for Jewish students in our new report - claims incidents like these are 'handled.'”

The organization also created a Twitter thread - which can be seen below - documenting antisemitic incidences at the university campus over the past few years.

PreOccupiedTerritory: I Could Stop Seeing Sinister Zionist Plots Everywhere, But That Would Mean I Have To Get A Life by Amer Zahr (satire)
Life can get tough for the anti-Israel activist. But by “life” I mean only the biological, functional term, because between the obsession, surrender of identity, and conspiratorial thinking, not much time remains for a life in the “I am a healthy individual with constructive ways to spend my time and thus enhance relationships and cultivate a sense of purpose and self-actualization.” Self-actualization outside the tinfoil-hat community seems daunting, though, so it’s just not for me. Anti-Zionism it is!

Subordinating my entire identity, even my professional one, to undoing the establishment of Jewish sovereignty in the ancestral Jewish homeland certainly takes a toll on my sense of self. Not enough to stop me from sexually harassing women, mind you, but to a significant degree. It generates a mindset in which I may concede no rhetorical ground, admit no positive achievements by the movement for Jewish self-determination. The zero-sum mentality demands that every Zionist attainment carry some unsavory or sinister side. Defeats in 1948 and 1967, and every setback since, cannot result from simply losing to a better-led or better-trained foe; admitting such defeat engenders shame, and shame bad! It must therefore result from Jewish perfidy! Everything seemingly mundane becomes suspect. As you can imagine, formulating such ideas takes up much of the day, leaving precious few hours during which to pursue a life.

The mentality requires automatically viewing every global development, no matter ho apparently trivial, as a cog in the vast, elaborate, centuries-long plot by Zionists to control a worthless backwater piece of the Levant that Muslims only cherish because they lost it to dhimmi Jews. I know it sounds silly when you put it that way – because the Zionists have hypnotized you into considering Muslim grievances silly! If I had a life, I might not care about this, and I might devote my time to, I don’t know, windsurfing or intellectual development of some sort, but that’s not the choice I’ve made. Choosing to have a life of volition, and not one of merely reacting to every mundane act of Jews as SETTLERS STORM AL AQSA, would mean a level of self-examination and honesty that, frankly, I don’t feel like mustering.
Does The Media Define ‘Murder’ & ‘Terrorism’ Differently for Israelis?
On Saturday night, a Palestinian terrorist opened fire on a group of border police officers and civilian security guards at the Shuafat security checkpoint in eastern Jerusalem.

The terrorist, who is still on the run, has been identified as a 22-year old male from Shuafat named Udi Kamel Tamimi. He hitchhiked to the checkpoint, got out of the car, and opened fire.

Tamimi severely wounded a former Israel Defense Forces soldier and now security guard, David Morel, and murdered Noa Lazar, an 18 year-old border police officer.

Noga Tarnopolsky is a veteran Israeli journalist and analyst with two decades of experience covering the Arab-Israeli conflict for multiple news organizations, including The Daily Beast and The Los Angeles Times. The Swiss-raised, Amherst-educated journalist has reported from at least eight countries across the globe.

Only hours after the attack, Tarnopolsky posted this on her Twitter account: Yet Tarnopolsky’s definitions of terrorism and murder are seemingly not in line with universal definitions.

According to the FBI and the Legal Information Institute (LII) at Cornell Law School, murder is when someone intentionally kills another person. Accordingly, it cannot be disputed that Noa Lazar was murdered, even though she was a soldier.

A question remains about whether Saturday’s attack was an act of terrorism.

Unsurprisingly, definitions of terrorism are ambiguous and highly politicized. However, there is a common thread among various sources: the underlying motivations and impact of the attack.

Journalists at The Atlantic distinguish between murder and terrorism, describing the latter as “public violence to advance a political, social, or religious cause or ideology.”

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) distinguishes between murderers and terrorists as well, writing “Whereas terrorists commit acts of violence for political gain, mass murderers lack this ideology.”
Terminated Terror-Supporting New York Times Freelancer Wins Sympathy From Media Pals
A former New York Times freelance photographer is complaining publicly about being ousted from the paper after a watchdog group exposed his social media posts expressing support for Palestinian terrorism.

And some journalists affiliated with other American newspapers are rallying around him.

On Yom Kippur, October 5, the photographer, Hosam Salem, tweeted a thread saying, “After years of covering the Gaza Strip as a freelance photojournalist for the New York Times, I was informed via an abrupt phone call from the US outlet that they will no longer work with me in the future.”

Salem wrote that “Not only has Honest Reporting succeeded in terminating my contract with The New York Times, it has also actively discouraged other international news agencies from collaborating with me and my two colleagues.”

He added, “What is taking place is a systematic effort to distort the image of Palestinian journalists as being incapable of trustworthiness and integrity, simply because we cover the human rights violations that the Palestinian people undergo on a daily basis at hands of the Israeli army.”
BBC’s Tom Bateman promotes the narrative of designated NGOs
This is not the first time this year that the BBC has amplified a specific narrative concerning minors. In March listeners to BBC World Service radio heard similar framing:

It is entirely obvious that Tom Bateman has self-conscripted to a narrative concerning ‘child casualties’ promoted by designated political NGOs belonging to the PFLP terrorist organisation. The aim of that narrative is portrayed in Bateman’s closing paragraphs:
“Human rights groups say they will seek to add many of this year’s cases to a current investigation by the International Criminal Court into possible war crimes by Israel and Palestinian armed groups.

In August, 49 Palestinians were also killed in the Gaza Strip during a military escalation between Israel and Islamic Jihad.”

Unsurprisingly, Bateman refrains from informing readers that eleven of those 49 people were killed by shortfall rockets fired by a Palestinian terrorist organisation and that 52% of the others were terrorist operatives.

Bateman’s uncritical amplification of the partisan and politically motivated narrative intended to delegitimise Israel which is advanced by NGOs he knows are designated clearly does not adequately inform BBC audiences and falls far short of supposed BBC editorial standards of accuracy and impartiality.

Nevertheless, the BBC continues to avoid any serious reporting on the issue of the background to the rise in terrorism in PA controlled areas, including the topic of the exploitation of minors for the purposes of terrorism and violence.

Holocaust denial online is on the rise -Opinion
For many people, the holidays mean a time of enjoyment and eating too much. However, amid all the celebration, it is also a time of reflection and acknowledgment. One increasing concern is Holocaust denial.

When checking social media, it is no longer surprising to find comments denying or distorting the facts of the Holocaust. The most recent occurrence was Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas who felt the need while visiting Berlin to claim there were 50 Holocausts committed against the Palestinians by Israel.

However, it is not solely Abbas who feels the need to distort the horrors of the Holocaust. Organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League have reported a growing amount of antisemitic occurrences grounded in Holocaust denial.

This was seen when British rapper Wiley used his social media platforms to display his antisemitic views, which in 2020 included Holocaust denial.

This appears on social media by people who feel the need to say the Jewish people use the Holocaust to gain sympathy. Articles and social media pages contain an abundance of comments distorting the Holocaust, using the Holocaust as a comparison to the politics of Israel.

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan stated that the world lives “in an era in which fiction is now becoming fact, and the Holocaust is becoming a distant memory. Holocaust denial has spread like cancer, it has spread on our watch.”

Therefore, it is up to us to ensure that the Holocaust is not forgotten, and a major part of that is combating Holocaust denial.

The Internet and social media should not be a place to rewrite history and yet by simply typing in “legality of Holocaust denial” on Google, you will be met with a plethora of results, attempting to rewrite facts and just claim their freedom of expression.
UK antisemitism watchdog determined to catch Oxford Street perpetrators
UK's Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) is offering a £10,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of perpetrators in the Oxford Street Hanukkah incident, after the UK police announced the closing of the case, saying that they were unable to identify the suspects in the video.

A spokesperson for the CAA said: “Shocking footage of an abhorrent attack on a bus carrying Jewish passengers at the heart of London during the festival of Hanukkah last year was widely broadcast on social media and on the news.

"Despite the video going viral and all the resources at its disposal, the Metropolitan Police Service failed to make any arrests and quietly closed the investigation in July."

The spokesperson added that “if even high-profile hate crimes such as these are not solved and the perpetrators brought to justice, what hope do the many other antisemitic crimes against Jews have of being satisfactorily investigated? Indeed, the revelation that the investigation was closed comes at the same time as the Home Office announced that last year police forces recorded the highest number of antisemitic crimes yet.

“We are offering a £10,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of any of the perpetrators of this heinous attack. Only then will antisemites understand that abusing Jewish people is not without cost.” What was the Oxford Street Hanukkah incident?
The incident happened during last year's Hanukkah when a group of Jewish young people who were on a bus on their way to celebrate the holiday, were harassed by several people.

The group of men physically hit the vehicle, spitting on it, trying to break windows and performing Nazi salutes toward it.

The UK police announced that they have closed the investigation, as they failed to identify the suspects in the video Jewish News UK reported on Friday.

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