Tuesday, November 22, 2022

From Ian:

Bari Weiss: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Kanye, Kyrie, and Antisemitism
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar retired from the NBA in 1989, but he remains one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Many argue he is simply the greatest.

He is still—even with Michael Jordan and Steph Curry and Lebron and Shaq and Kobe—the NBA’s all-time leading scorer (38,387 points) and the league’s only six-time MVP. In March, the basketball news site HoopsHype included Abdul-Jabbar in its list of the top ten most influential players of all time. ESPN called him the greatest center in NBA history.

As Jews say every Passover: It would have been enough.

But there’s so much more that makes the 7-foot-2-inch Abdul-Jabbar a true giant. His religious conviction, his integrity, his wide-ranging intellectual proclivities, his outstanding performance in the 1981 movie Airplane!—and the unusual fact that this black, Muslim basketball star has been a consistent and outspoken voice against antisemitism.

For all those reasons, I wanted to speak with Abdul-Jabbar about the various firestorms of late: Kanye and his antisemitic rants; Kyrie Irving’s promotion of an antisemitic movie that denies the Holocaust; and the alarming rash of anti-Jewish hate crimes seemingly inspired by their worldview. A few weeks ago, a banner declaring “Kanye was right” hung over the 405 in Los Angeles as people gave Nazi salutes. On Halloween, the side of a townhouse in an Atlanta neighborhood was sprayed with graffiti: “Jews kill Blacks.” On the stop sign around the corner: “Jews enslave Black lives.” Last week, headstones at a Jewish cemetery in Chicago were vandalized with swastikas and the phrase “Kanye was rite.” And in Brooklyn, physical attacks against Orthodox Jews have become routine.

I asked Abdul-Jabbar about all of that and more in the Q and A below. And if you’re looking for more from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, check out his Substack, where he writes and talks about everything from basketball to pop culture to politics. — BW

BW: I want to focus on Farrakhan’s influence. He believes that Jews are parasitic, that Jews are behind a plot to exploit black Americans, and that blacks are the real Jews from the Bible. We’re hearing these ideas come out of the mouths of musicians like Kanye West (“Jewish people have owned the black voice”) and athletes like Kyrie Irving (“I cannot be antisemitic if I know where I come from”). For many Jews, hearing this kind of rhetoric is shocking, but many black Americans have noted that these views are more commonplace than we’d like to admit. So what I think a lot of people are afraid to ask is: How mainstream are these beliefs among black Americans? Are Kanye and Kyrie unique? Or has the influence of people like Farrakhan made this strain of antisemitism somehow more normal than many want to believe?

KAJ: Certain black leaders do exactly what certain white leaders do who want to gather followers, money, and power: They find a scapegoat they can blame. They can’t blame others who are marginalized because of the color of their skin, like Latinx or Asian-Americans, so they go for the default villain of fascists and racists: Jews.

What astounds me is not just the irrationality of it, but how self-destructive it is. Black people have to know that when they mouth antisemitism, they are using the exact same kind of reasoning that white supremacists use against blacks. They are enabling racism. Now they’ve aligned themselves with the very people who would choke out black people, drag them behind a truck, keep them from voting, and maintain systemic racism for another hundred years. They are literally making not only their lives worse, but their children’s lives. The fact that they can’t see that means the racists have won.
British Comedian David Baddiel Takes His ‘Jews Don’t Count’ Argument to TV
David Baddiel, a comedian-turned-activist against antisemitism who calls himself “one of the U.K.’s very few famous Jews,” was holding court in the basement of one of Britain’s best-known TV studios.

As a reporter headed hurriedly for the exit, Baddiel slouched into his chair, seemingly exhausted by the interview he had just completed about the forthcoming documentary based on his 2021 bestseller, “Jews Don’t Count.”

“I am speaking to many people like the last journalist who had not thought about any of this in their life,” he said.

The “this” Baddiel was referring to was to the idea, outlined in his book, that progressive anti-racists are guilty of hypocrisy towards Jews by not viewing them as worthy of similar protection or championing as other minorities because they are seen as white, privileged and wealthy.

When the book came out last year, it received rave reviews, and Baddiel has since become seen by some as a “voice for Britain’s Jews.” He often litigates the finer points of contemporary antisemitism as a guest on radio and television, and he has been quick to square off with trolls and critics on Twitter.

Now, with the premiere of an hour-long documentary also called “Jews Don’t Count” on Britain’s public Channel 4 network, Baddiel gets a primetime slot to make his case to a bigger audience. Featuring Baddiel’s interviews with Jewish stars of pop culture in both Britain and the United States — ranging from comedian Sarah Silverman to novelist Jonathan Safran Foer to actor Stephen Fry — the film argues that “in a culture where all forms of racism are being monitored, called out and held accountable, one form is apparently invisible.”
Can we fight antisemitism without losing our sense of humor?
If a comic with a huge following like Dave Chappelle goes over the line, he will immediately be put under a societal microscope that will analyze and respond from every possible angle, as I’m doing now.

If you run an organization that fights antisemitism, or simply cares for the welfare of the Jewish community, it’s almost certain that you will feel obligated to respond. Many of those responses follow the usual dance of “expose, condemn and ask for an apology.”

Chappelle himself poked fun at that dance at the start of his monologue: “Before I start tonight, I just wanted to read a brief statement that I prepared. I denounce antisemitism in all its forms and I stand with my friends in the Jewish community. And that, Kanye, is how you buy yourself some time.”

Chappelle exposed the uneasy truth of celebrities getting caught saying something offensive and then releasing a statement that everyone knows was written by a PR handler. By revealing the goal of “buying yourself some time,” he captured the phoniness of the whole exercise.

That was cutting and funny. It’s when he played up antisemitic tropes around the “all powerful” Jew that he entered dicey territory.

“I’ve been to Hollywood,” he said. “And I don’t want y’all to get mad at me, I’m just telling you this is just what I saw. It’s a lot of Jews. Like a lot.”

Perhaps realizing he was on sensitive ground, he called the idea that Jews run show business a “delusion,” but then added: “It’s not a crazy thing to think. But it’s a crazy thing to say out loud in a climate like this.”

In other words, it’s not crazy to think that Jews run the show; just don’t say it out loud.

Whether he intended it or not, that “hush hush” vibe suggests mystery and conspiracy, precisely the ancient trope that fuels Jew-hatred and makes so many Jews nervous.

Which brings us back to the “Chappelle trap.” It’s one thing to fight antisemitism when it comes from places like a neo-Nazi march or a BDS group or even celebrity musicians or athletes. None of those people make a living by making us laugh.

Chappelle does.

Because Chappelle plays in the very Jewish playground of comedy, it makes it that much harder to calibrate our response. How do we fight a comic without losing our sense of humor, without losing what made America love us in the first place? At what point do we say, “We can’t take this joke because it goes too far?”

If the ritual of “expose, condemn and ask for an apology” is phony anyhow, is it worth losing our sense of humor? And does complaining so loudly, as much as it makes us feel good, make things better or worse?

In the classic Jewish tradition, I have more questions than answers.

The Washington Post’s Short-Sighted Editorial on the FBI’s Abu Akleh Investigation
“The editorial page of the Washington Post,” Charles Krauthammer once wrote, “is the best in the country.” The Post writer, who died in 2018 after penning some 1,600 columns, believed that the newspaper had the “best editorial page around.” It was, he thought, “quite balanced.”

But that was then, this is now.

Krauthammer championed thoughtful debates, underpinned by a careful consideration of the facts. But facts, and careful consideration, were absent in the Post’s Nov. 15, 2022 editorial, “Accountability is justified — and needed — in a U.S. reporter’s death.” The newspaper’s editorial board championed the decision by the US Department of Justice to investigate the death of Shireen Abu Akleh, the Al-Jazeera reporter who was fatally shot on May 11, 2022, while covering Israeli counter-terror raids in the town of Jenin.

From the very beginning Abu Akleh’s death was shrouded in confusion — which is not unusual given that she was killed in what was effectively a combat zone. For nearly a year, the Palestinian Authority (PA), the entity that controls the majority of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) has failed, or, more accurately, declined, to go after the growing number of terrorists operating and plotting in their midst. This has forced Israel to carry out a high operational tempo of counter-terror raids, several of which have ended in shootings.

Before Abu Akleh’s body was even cold, the usual suspects immediately blamed Israel. As the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA) noted in the Algemeiner, within hours of her death, several Washington Post reporters suggested that she had been intentionally targeted by the Jewish state, with one correspondent claiming that an Israel Defense Forces “sniper” was responsible. One reporter, Rana Ayyub, tweeted that Abu Akleh was “murdered in cold blood,” and suggested that this was the plight of “ordinary Palestinians.”

These “journalists” didn’t need to wait for evidence to reach their conclusion. This led professionally-minded journalists, such as Armin Rosen, to note that “two Washington Post staffers [were] spreading what amounts to a conspiracy theory before any of the most relevant facts are in.” Senior staff at the Post were non-responsive when CAMERA pointed out that this behavior blatantly violated the newspaper’s stated standards and ethics.

NGO Monitor: NGO Monitor Sends Letter to European Commission VP Regarding Citation of PFLP NGO
Dear Mr. Borrell,
In your November 18 response to a parliamentary question submitted by Belgian MEP Marc Botenga (The Left), you cited the Palestinian NGO Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P) regarding the deaths of Palestinian teens in 2022. We are writing to inform you that DCI-P is not a valid source, both due to its links to an EU-designated terrorist organization, and to its false reports.

In October 2021, Israel designated1 DCI-P as a terrorist entity over its ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), reinforcing the detailed and independently verifiable open source evidence. In 2018, Citibank and Arab Bank closed DCI-P accounts and the online donation platform Global Giving stopped providing services following terror-financing concerns.

As the record clearly demonstrates, in its accusations, DCI-P regularly ignores or minimizes violent attacks perpetrated by Palestinian teenagers. Similarly, the NGO rarely acknowledges that many of these Palestinian teens are affiliated with designated terrorist organizations – in blatant violation of the international legal prohibition on the “recruitment and use” of children by armed groups and a clear violation of their human rights.

In erasing this essential context, DCI-P seeks to criminalize Israeli self-defense measures intended to protect the lives of Israeli civilians and personnel. The murder of three Israeli civilians by 18 year-old Muhammed Soof in a November 15 stabbing spree underscores the phenomenon of Palestinian teenagers launching terror attacks.

As documented by NGO Monitor, these distortions not only appear in DCI-P publications, but the NGO contributes to and shapes UNICEF’s distorted reporting and data – also cited in your November 18 response.

DCI-P claims that 53 Palestinian minors have been killed in the West Bank and Gaza in 2022. NGO Monitor’s analysis found that 36 of them were killed by Israeli forces while engaging in acts of violence, including attempting stabbings, and hurling explosives, Molotov cocktails or stones at Israeli civilians and security personnel. Moreover, at least fourteen of them were affiliated with EU-designated terrorist organizations, including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), PFLP and Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades, while at least thirteen others were affiliated with other Palestinian factions. A review of social media also highlights abundant evidence of many of these teenagers carrying automatic weapons and ammunition (see annex below).

The difference between leftist and rightist antisemitism
The basic reasons leftists in America and in Europe make common cause with Israel’s enemy are therefore not shared ethical or political goals, but something far more sinister: Loathing for everything they imagine the Western social order stands for:

In the warped imagination of leftists, this includes capitalism which in their eyes enables racism and white/Jewish privilege; traditional family and gender roles which as vestiges of “Biblical mythology” supposedly perpetuate patriarchy, misogyny and homo- and transphobia in the world. Finally, the rule of law and democracy empowers “deplorables” or “chakchaks” at the expense of the intelligentsia and NGO activists to whom we should entrust the mission of saving the world.

In other words, leftists hate Jews, Judaism and Zionism because the classical liberal order in the West advances the values that Jewish culture and civilization have historically promoted: meritocracy, family values and the moral and political accountability of the powerful.

It is for this reason, that Jewish communities, particularly in America, should reconsider their progressive sympathies. Progressives in our day and age not only oppose Jewish interests due to their hostility to Israel and Zionism; they oppose the very foundations of a social and political order that allowed a hitherto despised and persecuted minority to put its talents to the service of society and attain respectability and influence through intelligence and hard work.

Progressives, by having become hostile to merit and meritocracy, are thus openly anti-Semitic. Although they might insist that their rants against Jewish privilege and Zionism are motivated by care and concern for oppressed communities, these rants merely express their disdain for genuine justice and progress.
The Black Hebrew Israelites are a real problem for the left
Today, Professor Michael Eric Dyson tries a similar rhetorical trick, proclaiming the anti-Semitic statements by Kanye West and the video promoted by Kyrie Irving part of a “toxic species of the white supremacy.”

Until we see antisemitism as a toxic species of the white supremacy that threatens Black security and democracy’s future, none of us are truly safe…

Although Irving didn’t directly utter antisemitic sentiments, he endorsed a film that did. The player shared without comment a link to “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” a film rife with antisemitic conspiracy theories, among them that many famous Jews were Satan worshipers and that the Holocaust was a hoax…

The film Irving posted about referred in part to a Black religious body called the Black Hebrew Israelites, a movement that traces back to the late 1800s and preaches that Black folk are descended from the ancient Israelites. When Irving in a news conference declared, “I cannot be antisemitic if I know where I come from,” suggesting that he agrees with Black people who view themselves as authentic Jews, he ignored how, just as Black people can be anti-Black, Jews can be antisemitic…

The relation of African Americans to Jews cannot be divorced from the pervasive glow and allure and privilege of whiteness. The fact that most Jews are white-eligible and African Americans are white-excluded creates tensions between African Americans and many Jews that have less to do with the cultural conflicts between the groups than with the meaning of Blackness and whiteness in America.

He wraps up his argument by claiming that both Jews and Blacks should keep in mind that white supremacists hate them both. No doubt that’s true but it’s also irrelevant to the comments made by Kanye or Kyrie or the Black Hebrew Israelites. Those individuals and groups have their own racial bigotry problems which, as noted above, often seem to lead to lashing out at other groups including Jews, white people and Native Americans. Brushing that aside as some kind of second hand racism caused by white supremacy doesn’t really grapple with the problem as it exists. It’s just a fancy (and not very convincing) way of passing the buck.

And I think it’s fair to say there is a real problem if you look at some of these videos of the BHI marching yesterday in New York City in support of Kyrie Irving.

As you can see in this clip, there are a lot of these guys (I counted at least 150) chanting that they are the “real Jews.”

The point is, if you had a right wing group chanting this kind of anti-Semitic ideology about the Jews in Brooklyn, it would be on the front page of the NY Times tomorrow. Instead, all we got from the Times was this lame piece from Professor Dyson claiming white supremacy is the real problem.

Here’s a simpler explanation. Any group can be obnoxious and racist toward any other. The Black Hebrew Israelites shouldn’t get a pass on their anti-Semitism because they are black.

Why Is Jon Stewart Ignoring and Excusing Antisemitism?
One problem is Chappelle saying this: “I know the Jewish people have been through terrible things all over the world, but… you can’t blame that on Black Americans. You just can’t, you know what I mean?”

It’s not a joke, and it’s no surprise that nobody laughed at this point. Name me one Jewish person who blames Black Americans for the Holocaust, pogroms, or anti-Jewish terrorism? You can’t. But thanks to Chappelle, some of the more than 11 million people who watched the YouTube clip alone, likely think Jews do.

It is a fact that there are many Jews in Hollywood. Chappelle says it’s a “delusion” that Jews control things — but then defends that proposition by saying it’s okay to think it, just not to say it out loud. That’s antisemitism.

Stewart also defended Kyrie Irving for spreading vile antisemitism and hatred online. For Stewart to say that Irving was penalized for “a thought” is insulting to the audience and decent people everywhere. I’m not sure if Stewart had seen the film that Irving tweeted, but Holocaust denial/trivialization and calling Jews Satanic is slightly more than “a thought.”

Stewart says we should not “reflexively call something antisemitic,” and that penalties and censorship aren’t the answers. Of course, he is correct and stating the obvious, but there is an implication of overreacting. Yet, Stewart hides from anything specific, so we don’t know what he is talking about. Did Stewart see the film, which is clearly antisemitic? We don’t know. Does he think there was an overreaction to West? We don’t know. It would seem he is referring to his friend, Chappelle, but of course, Stewart won’t get into any specifics.

Stewart is a hero for standing up for firefighters who got sick at Ground Zero. He has stood up against hate before, and has done wonderful charity work. He deserves credit for that.

I hope, in his next interview, he stands up for Jews.

Apologies won’t stop antisemitism. But neither will being an apologist.
Kanye West’s antisemitic tweet nearly doubled follower growth -study
The rate of growth of US rapper Kanye West’s follower count on Twitter nearly doubled after his threat last month to go “death con 3” on Jews, according to a new analysis conducted by the National Contagion Research Institute (NCRI) in partnership with the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM).

The study looked at what it called the “Antisemitism Attention Economy” and found that recent controversial social media posts by West, also known as “Ye,” and NBA basketball star Kyrie Irving metastasized populist Jew-hatred across the ideological spectrum, from white supremacists to Black Hebrew Israelites.

Jewish online catch-22
As a result, Jews are seemingly caught in a proverbial “Catch-22,” with acts to deplatform antisemites carrying marginal gains while extremist fringe communities merge into a shared conspiracy support group against purported Jewish “control” and “displacement.”

"This episode is sadly indicative of what Jews face in a world of increasing antisemitism online,” said CAM CEO Sacha Roytman Dratwa. “Firstly, rather than those involved in antisemitism [being] shunned, their popularity frequently increases, and they are made a martyr when they are called out on spreading lies and hatred.

"Those involved in combating antisemitism need to study these trends and ensure that hate does not receive an echo chamber,” he said, “and that there should be a zero-tolerance approach to antisemitism, much like there is to other hatreds, because any justification or dithering on Jew-hatred simply allows the perpetrators to be thought of as victims, and the victims as perpetrators.”
Jewish organizations demand Amazon remove ‘Hebrews to Negroes’ book and video
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt along with numerous other leaders of American Jewish organizations wrote a letter to Amazon head Jeff Bezos and two other senior officials demanding the removal of an antisemitic book and film.

“We come together today in one voice to express how disturbed we are that Amazon has not given any indication that it will remove the book and film “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” by Ronald Dalton Jr.,” they wrote.

“This virulently antisemitic content has recently received significant attention due to a now-deleted tweet by basketball star Kyrie Irving,” they continued.

Members of the Black Hebrew Israelite group protested on Sunday night outside of the Barclays Center in support of Brooklyn Nets guard Irving. The basketball player had just returned to the team following an eight-game suspension for promoting the antisemitic film on social media and then failing to unequivocally denounce Jew-hatred.

The Jewish organization leaders said that the book and film promote “antisemitic tropes about Jewish power, control and greed, minimize the Holocaust, and allege a global Jewish conspiracy—all of which actively endanger Jewish safety here and now.”

They also note that the book and film held the top spots on Amazon’s bestsellers list.

“Your failure to do so [to stop selling the items] to date has already done harm to the communities we represent,” they wrote.

Jewish voices aren’t heard when we call out hate
My ancestors lived in Ethiopia, isolated from the Jewish diaspora, where they passed down the Torah orally and longed to return to Zion. Israel is baked into the prayers of Passover seders, wedding ceremonies and Shabbat dinners. For Ethiopian Jews, to deny Israel is to deny Jewish identity.

Most Canadian Jews have an attachment to Israel. They are Zionists. Those who deny this component of Jewish identity exclude Jews from spaces that purport to seek justice. In rejecting Zionists, they reject Canadian Jews.

By excluding the Jewish community from the diversity and inclusion conversation, these groups send a message: you don’t need protection, you’re safe. However, we don’t feel safe. We are neither included nor given the space within the progressive community to define the hatred directed at us.

As a woman, I want to feel safe when I walk down the street at night. As a Black person, I want to feel safe when I walk past a police officer. And as a Jew, I want to feel safe when I enter a synagogue. But it can’t be that one fear is understood, while another is dismissed.

Whether dealing with Ye’s threats, Nazi salutes or denying Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, like other minorities, Jews must be included in the conversation and permitted to define and describe the discrimination we face. Nothing about us without us.
Elon Musk Flatters Israel’s Twitter, After it Mocks Kanye West’s Tweet
Twitter owner and billionaire Elon Musk has complimented Israel's official Twitter account after it tweeted: "We would very much like to be excluded from this narrative," in response to Kanye West's tweet saying "Shalom : )".

Musk commented on the Israeli tweet, "Your tweets are good! More countries should tweet like this. No fun being all stuffy."

In response to a user inviting him to visit Israel, Musk said that he has been to Israel in the past and that "it was great."

Israel's original tweet was mocking Kanye West, who now called himself Ye, as he returned to the social media network after his account was frozen. West's account was suspended last month after he posted a series of antisemitic tweets.

Now that Kanye is back on the platform, he has decided to announce his return by writing the Hebrew word "Shalom" with a smiley next to it, perhaps signaling a more moderate and tolerant version of himself.

FDD: How to Assess Changes in Morningstar Sustainalytics ESG Ratings
For more than a year, Morningstar Inc. has faced allegations that its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) research subsidiary, Sustainalytics, negatively rates companies doing business in Israel based on politically biased information.1 The company has denied these allegations on multiple occasions: in March 2021 ahead of its annual shareholder meeting; in June 2022 alongside the release of a report from the law firm White & Case LLP, which supposedly cleared Morningstar of engaging in systemic bias; in a July 2022 Wall Street Journal letter; and in an August 2022 Jerusalem Post opinion piece.2

Morningstar now invariably points to the White & Case report, which Morningstar commissioned, claiming it found “no evidence Sustainalytics products recommended or encouraged divestment from Israel” and “no evidence of pervasive or systemic bias against Israel across Sustainalytics products, including the Sustainalytics ESG Risk Rating.”3 Yet as previous analysis from FDD has shown, White & Case reached these conclusions despite its own report documenting substantial evidence that did reflect systemic bias.4

If Morningstar’s ESG ratings systematically discourage investment in Israel-connected firms, the company may be in violation of laws passed in more than 30 U.S. states that prohibit investments in or contracts with companies that boycott Israel.

This memorandum provides new information and detailed analysis of Morningstar Sustainalytics company profiles, ratings, and engagement reports based on direct access to the company’s Global Access client platform, which Morningstar provided the author between August and November of 2022. The memorandum also draws on documents Morningstar provided to the author and more than two months of weekly 90-minute dialogue sessions the author held with senior Sustainalytics officials.
How the Palestinians are using the World Cup to score against Israel
Palestinian activists, in collaboration with various sources, including Qataris and Arabs, recently prepared for the World Cup in Qatar, but these preparations did not include anything related to sports and football.

Several campaigns were launched on social media, with the goal of raising international awareness to the Palestinian efforts against Israel during the Qatar 2022 World Cup games, which bring together fans from dozens of countries. For example, a campaign posted on Twitter, under "The Palestinian Dream," explained that during the World Cup Games, one should "support Palestine and make the Palestinian issue known to the world.

In addition, designed ads uploaded to the web under the title "How can you support Palestine during the World Cup?," suggested wearing scarves and fabrics with the Palestinian flag printed on them, together with a keffiyeh, as well as a bracelet and armband with the colors of the PLO flag.

The campaign calls on the Arab public and World Cup fans in Qatar to "cheer for Palestine" on the stairs and in the stands, in the plazas around the stadiums, and in the gathering points of the various teams and national leagues.

In the last two weeks, young Palestinians and Arabs launched the campaign. They distributed flags and other gadgets to the general public and fans, who began to fill the stadiums and surrounding areas before the start of the tournament and even distributed flowers. Several members of the Arab clubs participating in the World Cup followed suit with the initiative and attached a ribbon in the colors of the Palestinian flag to their arms.

Additional pro-Palestinian initiatives are expected during the month of the FIFA World Cup. Among others, "information camps" will be set up to distribute material about the conflict with Israel, and activists will be deployed around ​​youth groups to serve as "Palestinian ambassadors." Their role will be to make direct contact with supporters and fans from all over the world and raise the Palestinian issue. One of the organizers even mentioned a website that had been set up in three languages ​​for the "young people to direct visitors to this website, which will provide them with information about Palestine."

Regarding the initiative to fly Palestinian flags, Radda Yassin, one of the organizers of "Ambassadors Against Normalization," explained that the inspiration for their initiative is the Russia-Ukraine war, where fans in sports fields in European countries raised Ukrainian flags, in protest of the measures taken by Putin. "Just as the European countries believe in the justice of the Ukrainian plight, we also have the right to talk about the Palestine case, especially as this is the first time that an Arab country is hosting the World Cup games," he said.
Complaint Alleges ‘Profound and Deep-Seated Anti-Semitic Discrimination’ at Berkeley Law School
The University of California, Berkeley, Law School suffers from "profound and deep-seated anti-Semitic discrimination," according to a copy of a complaint filed against the school with the Education Department and reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon.

The complaint—submitted last week by a Florida-based attorney and the International Legal Forum, a global watchdog that fights anti-Semitism—alleges anti-Israel and anti-Semitic bias at the law school after nine student groups in August adopted bylaws that ban Zionist speakers from the campus.

The school's decision to go along with the ban on pro-Israel speakers constitutes a violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prevents recipients of federal funds from discriminating based on race and national origin, according to the complaint. The petitioners urge the Education Department's Office of Civil Rights to immediately "open an investigation against the University of California, Berkeley, Law School" and order it to remove this ban on Zionists.

The complaint comes amid a rise in anti-Semitism on America's college campuses. Assaults on Jewish students and their identity doubled in the 2021 to 2022 academic year especially at schools with large Jewish populations, the Free Beacon reported last week. Last month at George Washington University, for instance, flyers stating "Zionists Fuck Off" were affixed on the campus's Hillel building, a center for Jewish life. The Hillel building at the University of Southern California in August was also defaced, with vandals smashing the building's front side.

The Education Department must determine whether Berkeley Law is violating the Civil Rights Act and then force the university to "invalidate the bylaws in question," according to the complaint. The watchdog also wants Berkeley's leaders to ensure that any group endorsing the anti-Zionist provisions is blocked from receiving school funds and has its status as a "recognized student organization" revoked. Students and faculty should also be required to participate in training that will foster a campus environment "free of anti-Semitic harassment and discrimination," according to the complaint.
‘Jew-Free Zones’ at UC Berkeley Law School Are a Warning of Things to Come
Other ugly incidents that have disturbed UC Berkeley’s Jewish students include pro-Palestinian student groups displaying pictures of Palestinian terrorists who have been convicted of murdering innocent Jews and Israeli and Berkeley’s student-run newspaper the Daily Californian publishing an antisemitic cartoon in response to the news that famous American lawyer Alan Dershowitz had been invited to campus in 2017 to deliver a lecture titled, ‘The Liberal Case for Israel.’

But the apparent takeover of Berkeley Law by anti-Israel student groups is the most worrying development so far.

After all, consider the fact that just two years ago the school was publicizing the prominent role that one of its law professors, Steven Davidoff Solomon, had in developing a program for stamping out antisemitism on college campuses — dubbed the ‘Berkeley Model’ — which garnered significant national media coverage.

There is every chance that the ban on Zionist speakers at the law school will be overturned, not least because this week a claim was filed with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Human Rights against UC Berkeley Law School by Florida-based attorney Gabriel Groisman and prominent Israel-based activist, human rights lawyer and CEO of the International Legal Forum Arsen Ostrovsky.

Arguing the bylaw was indicative of “deep-seated antisemitic discrimination,” the suit seeks to demonstrate how Zionism is an intrinsic part of Jewish identity and, therefore, the ban cannot be considered merely a matter of free speech.

Yet, overturned or not, the actions that were spearheaded by UC Berkeley Law are symptomatic of the problem of antisemitism on all American college campuses and paint a worrying picture of the future for Jewish students in the United States.

As the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King responded when approached by a student in 1967 who criticized Zionism, “when people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking antisemitism.”

His words are as true today as they were then.
A double standard for Israel from Princeton’s Jew-haters
At Princeton University, the Princeton Committee on Palestine (PCP) has had a busy year of activism with the sole purpose of maligning, libeling, and questioning the legitimacy of Israel.

In March, for example, the group sponsored a referendum that called on Princeton to “immediately halt usage of all Caterpillar machinery in all ongoing campus construction projects given the violent role that Caterpillar machinery has played in the mass demolition of Palestinian [Arab] homes, the murder of Palestinian [Arabs] and other innocent people, and the promotion of the prison-industrial complex (among other atrocities).”

The Princeton Committee on Palestine (PCP) is the University’s own version of the toxic Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), the rabidly anti-Israel organization responsible for most of the campus activism against the Jewish state. It is thus no surprise that PCP’s referendum was peppered with the counterfactual, demonizing language of social justice, oppression, victimization, and Jew-hatred.

That same virulence was on display earlier in the year when in February the PCP held a loud demonstration outside of Princeton’s Center for Jewish Life (CJL) during which they protested Princeton-sponsored summer programs and internships in Israel.

PCP Vice President Thomas Coulouras urged his fellow students to refuse the opportunity to travel to Israel, that, as he put it, “internship opportunities are not worth turning a blind eye to Palestinian deaths.” And if the message of its protest was not clear, PCP members held placards with the unfortunate but now-familiar tropes about the alleged illegitimacy of Israel, the false allegation of an occupation, and the core fantasy of the anti-Israel crowd that their factitious Palestine will be “free,” “liberated,” in other words, free of Jews and transformed into a binational state in which the Jewish character of Israel will be eliminated along with the elimination of Jewish -determination.

This is the grotesque delusion of PCP and simIilar Jew-hating groups on campus, as evidenced by the puerile slogans on the demonstrators’ posters: “Why intern on stolen land?” “Palestinian liberation is more imp. than your internship . . . Free Palestine,” “From the River to the Sea,” and “Don’t make occupation your occupation.”
A flailing assault on Israel by the Case Western Reserve University student government
A recent Case Western Reserve University Observer editorial accuses the university’s President Eric Kaler of promoting “falsity” and being “misinformed” about the BDS resolution recently adopted by the Undergraduate Student Government (USG). We agree that facts must be central to any discussion of the resolution and the conflict in general. This is why we’re disappointed at the editorial board’s silence over the basic factual errors and egregious omissions in the USG resolution itself. To apply the editorial board’s own words, the resolution “did not even pretend to acknowledge both sides of what, in the end, is a very nuanced situation.” Here are just a few examples.

Begin with the claim in the resolution that a list of corporations “operate private prisons…within Occupied Palestine.” In fact, not only does Israel not have any private prisons, but the Israeli High Court of Justice ruled they are unconstitutional over a decade ago. Perhaps the resolution should instead be celebrating Israel for having such a progressive legal system.

Elsewhere, the resolution depicts Israel as a violator of international law while simultaneously chastising Israel for doing exactly what international law asks. For example, it laments that Israeli military courts have jurisdiction over Palestinians. This is exactly what is expected of an “occupying power.” Geneva Convention IV, which the resolution selectively cites earlier, requires an “occupying power” to maintain order and security in the “occupied territories,” and, as expert on the law of occupation Yoram Dinstein put it, “the government of an occupied territory is military per definitionem.” To impose Israeli civilian rule over “occupied territory” would amount to unilateral annexation, which surely is not what is being asked of Israel by the USG.
DePaul University Student Government Denounces Campus Antisemitism
The Student Government Association (SGA) of DePaul University issued a statement earlier this month denouncing antisemitism.

“We as the DePaul Student Government Association, strongly condemn the continued, systemic, and dramatic escalation of anti-Jewish acts and rhetoric, including incidents of antisemitism on campus,” SGA said on November 10. “This includes incendiary falsehoods and age-old canards of Jewish stereotypes and conspiracies, such as Jewish control of the media.”

“We encourage all members of the DePaul community to become informed about our Jewish neighbors and peers,” it added.

According to student Barbara Schiffer, SGA an anonymous letter describing a student’s personal experiences with antisemitism on campus prompted SGA to issue the statement and also invite other Jewish students to share their experiences with the senate.

“As a member of the Jewish community, I am thanking the DePaul SGA for taking the time acknowledge antisemitism and the toll it is taking on Jewish students,” student Barbara Schiffer wrote in the The DePaulia, a campus daily, on Sunday. “It is much easier to face hate when you are not alone.”

Schiffer also shared a message from SGA president Rob Manuel, who called on the campus community to “transform DePaul into a radically welcoming space.”
University of Michigan Police Looking for Man Involved in Alleged Antisemitic Assault
The University of Michigan Police Department is searching for a man who allegedly accosted a University of Michigan student and made antisemitic statements.

On the afternoon of November 12, the unidentified male snatched the student, who is a young woman, by the arm while crossing paths with her on campus, according to a security alert issued by university police.

According to the university, he is a brown-haired, 5’10’ white male who wore a university baseball cap, red and black shirt, blue jeans, and gray shoes during the incident.

Antizionist and antisemitic incidents have occurred numerous times at the University of Michigan over the past year. In October, students there erected an “apartheid wall” on campus and led an anti-Israel protest in front of it, and in September, antisemitic fliers were dropped around the campus just days before Rosh Hashanah.

“Antisemitism, ethnic intimidation or hateful speech of any kind have no place at the University of Michigan,” a university spokesperson told the Jewish Journal on Friday. “These types of attacks are in direct conflict with our deeply held values as a university.”
BBC makes a series of corrections in Arabic following JC exposé
Following the Jewish Chronicle’s November 3rd report which exposed the extent to which complaints concerning BBC Arabic were systemically left pending for months or even ignored altogether, it would appear that BBC management has taken its own apology on the matter seriously.

In a response carried in the Jewish Chronicle’s report the corporation’s spokesperson stated:
“We apologise for the unacceptable delay and will ensure formal responses are issued as soon as possible.”

Between November 1st (when the JC’s request for comment first reached the BBC’s desk) and November 14th, the corporation addressed thirteen of our complaints, leaving none of the original list of twenty-six complaints (all submitted between June 2021 and October 2022) unanswered or unresolved.

Notably, not even one of these CAMERA Arabic complaints was rejected; all have been upheld and have resulted in corrections on the BBC Arabic website as well as on its social media accounts in Arabic.

In the upcoming weeks, CAMERA Arabic will publish a series of posts explaining the various corrections.

Revisiting the pending times statistics after the completion of this process reveals just how problematic the situation was prior to the Jewish Chronicle having brought the issue into public view.
Bucking regional denial, UAE to include Holocaust in school curricula
The United Arab Emirates is taking major steps to combat a regional culture of Holocaust denial in the wake of the 2020 Abraham Accords that normalized its relations with Israel.

Once entirely absent from the learning materials of children in the UAE — which also blacked out Israel from world maps and globes — the Holocaust is now set to be fully included in the curriculum, as the Gulf country moves to position itself as a regional peacemaker.

Last year, the region’s first Holocaust memorial exhibition opened in Dubai, just months after the US-brokered accords ended a more than 70-year impasse between Israel and the UAE.

Since then, seven Holocaust survivors have been brought to the country to speak on the horrors of the Nazi genocide, including UK-based Eve Kugler, 91, a German-born survivor who spoke earlier this month on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the November 9, 1938, pogrom in Germany.

As the UAE’s Education Ministry builds the new curricula, which will be for children in both primary and secondary school, the Tel Aviv- and London-based Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) has been advising on educational standards, including assessing course content.

Marcus Sheff, IMPACT-se’s CEO, said the UAE’s curricula were already “head and shoulders” above those of other regional countries in that they show “no evidence of hate at all,” nor antisemitism, and “recognize Judaism’s historic place in the Arab World.”

PayPal-backed Israeli e-commerce platform connects to Amazon, aims to triple clients
PayPal-backed Israeli startup Cymbio is seeking to more than triple the number of its customers in the coming year as the developer of the digital commerce platform has started to help brands sell inventory through online retail giant Amazon.

“We are targeting to more than triple the brands count for 2023 as we can now reach out to any brand who wants to sell inventory and offer them to start selling on Amazon,” Cymbio CEO Roy Avidor said in an interview with The Times of Israel. “If we’re looking at like two three years, down the line, the plan is for thousands of brands to use our platform.”

Cymbio announced on Tuesday that its marketplace and dropship automation platform now connects to Amazon to help its 400 brands — including AllBirds, New Balance, Lacoste, and Steve Madden — diversify their customer base and grow sales revenue. The digital sales platform already connects to over 800 marketplaces and retailers such as Macy’s, Dillard’s, Saks, Urban Outfitters, and Walmart.

Through the platform, brands can automate the entire online sales process on digital channels, such as onboarding and product listings, available-to-sell inventory, fulfilling orders and streamlining billing and collections.

“The integration with Amazon completes the last piece of the puzzle, further enabling our customers to grow revenue by automating the integration process for them on the world’s largest online retailer,” said Avidor, who co-founded Cymbio in 2015. “Over the past year we have grown into many other verticals, into brands of toys, home, kitchen, soaps, beauty and we also have a brand using our platform that sells toilet paper.”

“All of these new articles are super relevant to Amazon,” he added.

Back in March, US fintech giant PayPal made an investment in the developer of the e-commerce platform for an undisclosed sum, which came four months after Cymbio raised $20 million in a funding round led by Palo Alto-based firm Corner Ventures (formerly DAG Ventures).
3,000th Palestinian child has heart operation in Israel through Save a Child’s Heart
A 5-year-old boy from Gaza was brought on Sunday to the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, where Israeli doctors performed open-heart surgery to save his life, making him the 3,000th child from the Palestinian territories to undergo such surgery in Israel as part of an Israeli NGO’s program.

Amir Yichya Mabchuch from Jabaliya, just north of Gaza City, was brought by Save a Child’s Heart, an Israeli NGO that, since its foundation in 1995, has helped more than 6,000 children travel from abroad with their families for the critical operations.

The children have hailed from over 65 countries, most of which are in the developing world, and many of which have no diplomatic ties with Jerusalem.

Mabchuch was first diagnosed with a heart defect at two months of age. His mother, Maha, had brought him to be seen for a viral infection, when the family’s doctor spotted a blockage in one of the infant’s coronary arteries.

From the very beginning, “we understood that Amir would require an operation to fix the defect,” his mother said.

The child has not enjoyed a normal, carefree childhood. He has been unable to perform simple tasks and he has not been allowed to run around, or even walk for long periods, lest the exertion prove too much for his fragile heart. Instead, his entire life, he has been under constant medical supervision.

When Amir’s family found out about the option of getting him heart surgery in Israel during a check-up in Gaza, they jumped at the opportunity.

Zionist work compound restored on the shores of the Dead Sea
The restoration of the Sdom labor camp on the shores of the Dead Sea allows visitors to travel back in time to Mandatory Palestine when hundreds of Jewish workers moved to the compound to harvest potash from the Dead Sea.

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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 19 years and 40,000 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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