Wednesday, November 23, 2022

From Ian:

Israel can’t ever be innocent
Then Goldstone went and changed his mind and all hell broke loose. It took him a year and a half, but very publicly, in the Washington Post he retracted everything. “Civilians,” he wrote, “were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy.” To everyone it came as a shock, to some a shock and a blow. They would not admit that Goldstone had changed his mind. Goldstone, on the other hand, could not have made himself clearer:
“I had hoped,” he said, “that our inquiry into all aspects of the Gaza conflict would begin a new era of even-handedness at the U.N. Human Rights Council, whose history of bias against Israel cannot be doubted.” (Washington Post, 1 April, 2011)

The credo, however, withstood the shock, as it had done after the hoax massacre. Amnesty would not settle for anything less than a crime. In Jenin its globe trotter wandered around looking for the corpses that Israel “hid.” Now a respected Jewish lawyer had gone and spoilt the plot. He particularly upset the resident expert at the UN Human Rights Council. Professor John Dugard took the position Amnesty had taken in Jenin: Israel can’t ever be innocent.

“He (Goldstone) could not possibly have meant that Israel did not “intentionally target civilians as a matter of policy” in the legal sense of intention. That Israel’s assault was conducted in an indiscriminate manner with full knowledge that its consequences would be the killing and wounding of civilians is a matter of public record fully substantiated by the Goldstone report and other, equally credible findings.” (The New Statesman, 6 April 2011)

The statement is interesting. Dugard is angry with captain Goldstone for saying that Israel was not guilty. Israel had not targeted civilians. Goldstone, he insists, could not possibly have meant that. Israel has to be guilty. And Dugard hits upon the oddest reason – Israel is guilty in the “legal sense.” It targeted civilians, in the “legal sense.” He could be speaking nonsense; Dugard won’t elaborate what that means. The burden of proof, in his law volumes, only requires that Israel can’t ever be innocent. Forget burden of proof, he thinks, look at the public record. For sure look – Eh, what is the public record, and where can it be found, “fully substantiated?” Retorts Dugard, ‘Where? Where else than in the report Goldstone signed, sealed and delivered. Ha, but captain Goldstone had second thoughts: no proof that Israel had done the deed. In plain English the verdict, said the captain of the crew, was mistaken. He retracts completely.

He can do what he likes, retorts Dugard. The captain did not sign the report alone. There were other signatories, not to mention “other, equally credible findings.”

The credo, ‘Israel can’t ever be innocent,’ seems to reduce the brains of a professor to pulp. Dugard the law professor is piqued into making a statement that would amuse his undergrad class. A report of an unsubstantiated crime, rubbished by a Jewish legal brain, must be treated as credible evidence of wrongdoing. Did not Amnesty declare similarly? Corpses not found are credible proof of a Jewish crime.

“In all of mankind’s history, there has never been more damage done than by people who ‘thought they were doing the right thing’.” Who said that? Lucy said it, when her pal Charlie Brown admits he took away small Linus’s blanket comforter. With that remark “Peanuts” cartoon strip creator, Charley Schulz, hit upon the dodgy ideologue and bigot that employs human rights for an excuse never to let Israel be innocent.
Clifford May: Why sic the FBI on the IDF?
The Committee to Protect Journalists has documented 13 reporters killed by the American military in Iraq. One example: In 2003, Tareq Ayyoub, a Jordanian working for Al Jazeera, was killed when an American missile struck the station’s Baghdad bureau. U.S. Central Command said that American forces were responding to enemy fire and that Ayyoub was caught in the crossfire. Al-Jazeera denied that any fire came from its building.

More recently, the United States has declined to cooperate with investigations by the International Criminal Court involving American troops and CIA officers accused of war crimes in Afghanistan. Neither the United States nor Israel recognizes the authority of the ICC.

So, why go after Israel? According to Axios, both the White House and the State Department have told the Israeli government that “they were not behind the FBI decision.”

Who was? Sen. Van Hollen has been adamant that the United States must distrust Israel. “There are a number of us that are not going to allow this to be swept under the rug,” he said at an August Senate sub-panel hearing that was intended to focus on China.

In September, he called on the United States to determine whether the IDF had “committed a gross violation of human rights” and should be denied further American military assistance as punishment.

Van Hollen even disputed the IDF’s claim—and the conclusion of the American three-star general—that Israeli soldiers were “returning fire” at militants, insisting that there is no evidence of “such firing at the time.” Perhaps he thinks Abu Akleh was in Jenin to cover peace talks?

He also might consider the root cause of this tragedy. Last week, two people were killed in Poland by what was likely a surface-to-air missile misfired by Ukrainians attempting to defend themselves from Russian missiles. Rep. Adam Smith, Democratic Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, observed that blame for the tragedy should fall on Russia for “invading and attacking Ukraine.”

As noted above, terrorists from the West Bank—members of Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other groups funded and directed by the Islamic Republic of Iran—have for months been infiltrating into Israel and murdering Israelis.

Why is Sen. Van Hollen giving them a pass? Could it be related to the fact that Israel is the world’s only Jewish-majority state? Does he believe that some lives matter less than others?

Final question: Did no one from the FBI or the Justice Department think to have a discussion with the White House or State Department before proceeding with a probe sure to damage America’s relations with its closest Middle Eastern ally?

The least bad—and perhaps most likely—end to this episode: The FBI takes one more look at the evidence, finds nothing new or surprising, and then quietly closes the case, confirming the conclusions of the USSC and the IDF.

Some of us, however, will continue to wonder: Why were Sen. Van Hollen and his colleagues so determined to sic the FBI on the IDF?
‘The Jews Are Guilty’: Christian Antisemitism in Contemporary America
Such biased thinking against the Jewish state will now be greatly enhanced through the recent appointment of the Reverend Dr. Jerry Pillay to become the general secretary of the World Council of Churches.[xxxii] A Presbyterian minister and academic dean at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, Dr. Pillay is on record supporting movements to boycott Israel and comparing what he calls ‘the exclusionary and violent character of the Israeli Zionist project’ to South Africa’s racial apartheid regime. Indeed, following a visit to ‘the Holy Land,’ in which he confesses he found nothing ‘holy,’ he reports that he and his fellow black South Africans discovered a situation there that was ‘worse than they had seen or experienced in South Africa.’ He has accused Israel of subjugating ‘the indigenous people of the land’ and urged Christians to ‘resist the empirical ambition of Israeli Jews.’ Other comments of his about Jews and Israel are in line with these, including that ‘Jewish leadership’ [helped] ‘influence European nationalism and colonization with a common desire to establish the state of Israel on the land of Palestine.’[xxxiii]

The World Council of Churches is a large organization representing an estimated 500 million Christians around the world. Never an Israel-friendly body, it is likely to become even less so under the Reverend Dr. Pillay’s leadership.

CONCLUSION
I began by referring to the defacement of a Holocaust Museum in Florida with swastikas and the words, ‘The Jews Are Guilty.’ The list of sins for which Jews are said to be guilty is long and growing. Also growing are the hostile passions that trigger heated accusations of Jewish malevolence. These passions are today widespread and intense and provoke a growing number of attacks on individual Jews, Jewish communal institutions, and Israel. In his early book on antisemitism, Jean Paul Sartre recognized the aims of such hatred: ‘What the antisemite wishes for, and prepares for,’ he wrote, ‘is the death of the Jew.’[xxxiv] We can add, ‘What the anti-Zionist wishes for, and prepares for, is the death of the Jewish State.’

To lend religious sanction to such wishes is obscene, but such obscenities, sometimes on open display, at other times dressed up in the language of religious piety, are now regularly and brutally directed at Jews and Israel. They are dangerous and must be vigorously and effectively opposed.


Exhausting, never-ending job of debunking antisemitic conspiracy theories
It’s exhausting, having to deny the obvious: that a group of people who don’t even agree on what kind of starch to eat on Passover regularly scheme to bilk innocents, manipulate markets or control the world. And it often seems the very attempt to explain these lies and their popularity ends up feeding the beast.

Chappelle’s now notorious monologue on “Saturday Night Live” is a case in point. At first pass, it is a characteristically mischievous attempt to both mock the rapper Kanye West for his antisemitism, and to push boundaries to explain why a troubled Black entertainer might feel aggrieved in an industry with a historic over-representation of Jews.

Jon Stewart certainly heard it that way, telling Stephen Colbert, “Look at it from a Black perspective. It’s a culture that feels that its wealth has been extracted by different groups. That’s the feeling in that community, and if you don’t understand where it’s coming from, then you can’t deal with it.”

That is a useful message, but consider the messenger. Chappelle appears to disapprove of West’s conspiracy-mongering, but never once discusses the harm it might cause to the actual targets of the conspiracies.

Instead, he focuses on the threat such ideas pose to the careers and reputations of entertainers like him and West. The “delusion that Jews run show business,” said Chappelle, is “not a crazy thing to think,” but “it’s a crazy thing to say out loud.” He ends the routine by ominously invoking the “they” who might end his career.

That’s what critics meant when they said Chappelle “normalized” antisemitism: He described where it’s coming from, explained why his peers might feel that way, and only criticized it to the degree that it could lead the purveyors to be canceled. It’s like saying, “You don’t have to vaccinate your kids. Just don’t tell anybody.”

This week I worked with a colleague on an article about how the “Jews control Hollywood” myth took hold, and at each step of the way I wondered if we were stoking the fire we were trying to put out. No, Jews don’t control Hollywood, we reported, but “nearly every major movie studio was founded in the early 20th century” by a Jew. Those moguls rarely used the movies as a platform to defend Jewish interests, but per Steven Spielberg, “Being Jewish in Hollywood is like wanting to be in the popular circle.”

A documentary shown Thursday night at the DOC NYC festival here in New York teeters on the edge of the same trap.

“The Conspiracy,” directed by the Russian-American filmmaker Maxim Pozdorovkin and narrated by Mayim Bialik, uses 3-D animation to explain how conspiracists ranging from a 19th-century French priest to American industrialist Henry Ford placed three Jews — German financier Max Warburg, Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky and falsely accused French soldier Alfred Dreyfus — at the center of a vast, contradictory and preposterous scheme to take over the world.

It connects age-old Christian animosity to the Jews to centuries of antisemitic paranoia and fear-mongering that led to unspeakable violence at Kishinev, Auschwitz and Pittsburgh. “This myth has plagued the world for centuries,” Pozdorovkin explains.

Or at least that’s the message you and I might have gotten. But I can also see someone stumbling on this film and being seduced by the rage and cynicism of the conspiracy-mongers — who, I should note, are quoted at length.

Part of the problem is the film’s aesthetic: a consistently dark palette and a “camera” that lingers on ugly examples of antisemitic propaganda. Even though these images are seen on a creepy “conspiracy wall” and connected with that red thread familiar from cop shows and horror films, I can well imagine an uninformed viewer asking why members of this tiny minority seem to be at the center of so many major events of the 19th and 20th centuries.

I was reminded of a joke by the Jewish comedian Modi, ridiculing the ritual of inviting celebrities accused of antisemitism to visit a Holocaust museum. “Which is the stupidest idea, ever,” he says. “You’re taking someone who hates Jews into a Holocaust museum. They come out of there [saying] ‘Wow! Oh my God, that was amazing! I want a T-shirt!’”
Brendan O’Neill: Baddielphobia and the ugly truth about anti-Semitism
David Baddiel could not have asked for better evidence for his thesis that ‘Jews don’t count’ than the online reaction to it.

Channel 4 broadcast his intelligent and touching documentary this week with that very title – Jews Don’t Count – and instantly there was an explosion of Baddielphobia. It was almost as if people were determined to prove his point. There’s a blind spot among progressives when it comes to anti-Jewish hatred, said Baddiel. And – boom – there it was, right away, in hateful comment after hateful comment: the blind spot, clear as anything.

Baddiel first made his case in his sharp polemical book Jews Don’t Count, published last year. He argued, convincingly, that there is a new leftish coalition that fancies itself as being ‘on the right side of history’ but which rarely takes up the cause of Jews.

It’s not the left as we would have traditionally understood it, he says. It’s more cultural than economic, more into identity than class. But not all identities. There’s one identity group it cold-shoulders, whose experiences of racial hatred it tends to overlook. Jews, they’re just not that into you.

Baddiel’s book gives numerous examples of prejudicial speech against Jews that just didn’t cause much stir among supposedly anti-racist progressives. Speech that would have had them glued to their computer keyboards, hollering for the evil speaker’s cancellation, had it been aimed at any other ethnic minority.

None of the rules of identity politics seem to apply to Jews, says Baddiel. Especially the rule that says minorities must be allowed to define and speak about the racism they experience. Jews are excluded from the ‘sacred circle’ of progressive causes, he says.

This is so obviously the case. I have been in media discussions about anti-Semitism where someone of a leftish persuasion will say, ‘And what about Islamophobia?’. Someone mentions anti-Semitism and they instinctively bark: ‘And black people? Do you care about them?’
David Collier: Burning peaceful roots. How UK politicians side with the terrorists
Every now and again the mask of the anti-Israel movement slips to such a degree that even the naive and foolish should be able to see the real face of anti-Israel activism. The ‘rape your daughters’ convoy last year is a good example – even if shamefully the CPS has decided not to prosecute those responsible. The current attempt to silence the NGO ‘Roots’ on their UK tour – a joint Israeli/Palestinian peace initiative – is another one of these examples.

Why would anti-Israel protestors seek to silence those building bridges for peace? And what right do people in places such as Manchester or Edinburgh have to try to stop Palestinians who seek dialogue – from having their voice heard in the UK? What makes it all far worse are those – like politicians – who choose to listen to, and side with, UK activists who support terrorists – rather than helping those Israelis and Palestinians who want peace. Read on.

Friends of Roots come to town
I want to introduce the current target for the ‘haters’. It is a ‘co-existence’ NGO called ‘Roots’. Most people in the US and US have not heard of them because unlike many of the self-titled ‘peace groups’ (which are nothing of the sort), the main focus of Roots is on the ground, building networks within local communities of Jews and Arabs. They are a grassroots organisation who spend their time advocating against separation, a group that believes in ‘non-violence, dignity, and equality’.

Roots is a quintessential grassroots peace group – a real one – built on the hopes of mutual co-existence. Most importantly of all – they encourage dialogue and 10000s of people – Jews, Muslims and Christians have been involved in their initiatives:

Over the past five years, the organisation has been busy, setting up dialogue centres in Nablus, the Jordan Valley, Kfar Adumim-Jahalin, Bethlehem-Gush Etzion, and the South Hebron Hills.

Nowt not to admire surely? Who on earth would want to oppose a joint Israeli – Palestinian initiative? Yet Roots has become a target for boycott. That is because anti-Israel activism in the west, is not about peace-making or Palestinian rights at all – it is about perpetuating the conflict and removing the rights of Jews. Which is why voices of peace and dialogue must be silenced. Groups like Roots pose a real threat; not to the Palestinians – but to the narrative of anti-Israel activists based in Europe and the US.
FIFA hosts Kill All Jews League on its official World Cup website
Rabid Jew haters manage to spread their poison in the most innocuous, even the most harmonious corners.

Recently, and as an avid football fan, I came across the disgusting stench of anti-Semitism on FIFA's official World Cup webpage.

I hastily inform you that it wasn't placed there by FIFA. In fact, I think they have been too busy with the global festival of soccer in Qatar to notice.

However, I did try to bring it to their attention.

Let me explain.

Joining in the fun as a football enthusiast, I eagerly set up a fictional team in the FIFA World Cup Fantasy competition.

You have to apply your skills in selecting a team of actual players participating for their countries in the World Cup.

It would be easy to simply pick out the very best players but you are given a limited budget and this challenges you to select less valuable players with potential to shine.

The FIFA website rewards or punishes your selected players depending on if they score goals, or get a yellow card. There are other criteria that will have your team rise or fall against ten million global participants.

To make your fun even more interesting, you can find smaller, more localized leagues set up by other players, and it was in that spirit that I went exploring for compatible leagues to join.
The Humanities and Social Sciences, Where the Antisemites Live
One of the reasons that descriptions of college and university campuses as universally antisemitic or hostile to Israel are so inaccurate is that they ignore the overwhelming majority of both students and faculty.

The problems emanate mostly from certain fields in the social sciences and the humanities, which comprise a shrinking component of most universities. Focusing on hostile faculty in areas like gender studies, Middle East studies and anthropology ignores the roughly 40% of faculty in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. STEM faculty are usually either apolitical or apt to be more sympathetic to Israel and less hostile towards Jews.

As I’ve noted before, BDS resolutions are typically passed by a handful of people serving in student governments. These people have no business making foreign policy pronouncements on behalf of thousands of their peers who elected them to address student concerns like tuition, campus safety and wages for student workers. For example, one of the most recent resolutions—at Case Western—was adopted by 31 students out of a student body of more than 5,000.

Similarly, social sciences and humanities faculty who advocate boycotts of Israel do not speak for the hundreds, often thousands, of professors on their campuses. Because the majority remains silent, only the loudest voices are heard, creating the image that all campuses are anti-Israel and antisemitic.
Overwhelming Majority of Middle East Scholars Support Boycotting Israel, New Survey Shows
An overwhelming majority of Middle East scholars support boycotting Israel, according to a new survey.

From October 25 to November 8, Shibley Telhami of University of Maryland and Marc Lynch of George Washington University conducted the Middle East Scholars Barometer, a bi-annual survey of Middle East specialists across the country on “critical issues of the day.”

Shared with The Algemeiner on Tuesday, its data shows that only nine percent of 500 responding experts from the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) and the American Political Science Association (APSA) would “oppose all boycotts of Israel.” 91 percent, Telhami and Lynch noted on Tuesday in an op-ed for The Washington Post, “support at least some boycotts.” 36 percent also favor “some boycotts” but not against Israeli universities.

The results were drawn from a question asking scholars if they supported MESA’s decision to endorse the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement after 93% of its members voted in March to approve a resolution proposing the action.

“This is a problem that we saw trends and symptoms of already back in the 1970s and brings us all the way to today,” Middle East expert and executive director of the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA) and Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) Asaf Romirowsky told The Algemeiner on Tuesday. “No scholar should support any boycott that involves blocking access to information. It’s antithetical to the whole concept of scholarship and exchange of data and research.”

In March, MESA said its endorsement of BDS would not affect individual Israeli scholars. However, critics, including several MESA members, warned that it would threaten academic freedom, preventing “free exchanges between faculty members and students worldwide.” Later that month, Brandeis University, Florida State University, and University Arizona declined to renew institutional memberships with the organization, with Brandeis University arguing that “the resolution attacks the fundamental principles of academic freedom.”
Whoopi Goldberg, Here’s Why Hamas Is Recognized as a Terror Organization
Whoopi Goldberg, the famed American actress and co-host of the ABC daily talk show The View, has come under fire for seemingly questioning whether Hamas is a terror organization.

During a discussion on The View about Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s past statements on foreign affairs, co-host Sara Haines brought up Omar’s June 2021 comment that equated the United States and Israel with the Taliban and Hamas.

While Haines was expressing her indignation at Omar’s comment, she referred to Hamas and the Taliban as “organized terrorist communities,” to which Goldberg responded, “Depends on who you talk to.”

So, to help Whoopi Goldberg and her viewers understand who considers Hamas to be a terrorist organization and why they do so, the following is a brief guide to everything you need to know about the organization.

Hamas: Terrorizing Israel Since 1987
Hamas, also known as the Islamic Resistance Movement, is currently recognized as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, Canada, the Organization of American States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. In addition, New Zealand and Paraguay have designated the military wing of Hamas as a terror organization.

The reason that so many states and supranational bodies designate Hamas as a terror organization is that, since its founding in 1987, Hamas has been responsible for some of the most heinous attacks on civilians in Israeli history.


Veteran Labour Activist Pete Willsman Expelled For Alleging Anti-Semitism ‘Whipped Up’ By Israel
A veteran Labour activist has been expelled by the party for claiming anti-Semitism allegations against Jeremy Corbyn supporters had been “whipped up” by the Israeli Embassy.

Pete Willsman was a member of Labour’s ruling national executive council (NEC) when he was suspended in 2019.

He had been recorded telling American-Israeli author Tuvia Tenenbom that critics of Corbyn were using claims of anti-Semitism to “whip people up,”

Willsman said: “It’s almost certain who is behind all this anti-Semitism against Jeremy... Almost certainly it was the Israeli embassy. Because they caught somebody in the Labour party – it turns out they were an agent in the embassy.

“The thing is that the people that are in the Labour party doing it are people who are linked… one of them works indirectly for the Israeli embassy.

“I wouldn’t want to be bothered to find out anyway but my guess would be they are the ones whipping it up all the time.”

He was previously handed a warning by then Labour general secretary Jennie Formby after he accused rabbis speaking out over anti-Semitism crisis of being “Trump fanatics”.

HuffPost UK has learned that Willsman has now been expelled by the party.
CAMERA & Conference of Presidents Alumni Respond to CWRU BDS Resolution
The resolution also tells us that Israel engages in a “strategy of targeted killings of Palestinians” in which it “presumes the criminal guilt of the target without a trial.” Expecting Israel to exercise police power over a territory (Gaza) in which no Israeli authorities reside is the height of absurdity. Israel is in an international armed conflict with terror organizations that control the Gaza Strip, and which are armed and funded by the Iranian regime and devoted to its destruction. To put those terrorist leaders on trial, Israel would have to re-invade the Gaza Strip, which would surely result in much greater death and destruction. Through targeted operations, like the U.S. has done with the likes of al-Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden and Islamic State’s Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Israel is able to protect its civilians while limiting collateral damage in Gaza.

The Observer also neglected to mention the history of antisemitism at CWRU, often carried out by the very student groups that fought in favor of the BDS resolution. Indeed, in 2021, an active member of the CWRU Students for Justice in Palestine equated Jews with Nazis, said he never felt closer to Allah “than when i (sic) made this zi*nist at school cry,” and tweeted that he struggles to contain himself when in “close proximity to a zi*nist” while in a coffee shop near two Jewish members of the CWRU community. In 2020, a Jewish student was stalked and menaced by another member of the same organization simply for putting up flyers fact-checking the claims found on pro-BDS flyers around campus.

We do not presume that those who voted in favor of the USG resolution are antisemitic. We do, however, note the misinformation and the grossly one-sided narrative they’ve endorsed, as well as the double standards they’ve applied against the world’s only Jewish state. Perhaps it was out of genuine ignorance. In that case, we hope they will take this opportunity to engage in honest learning, for when genuine ignorance becomes willful, the benefit of the doubt becomes untenable. More importantly, as the Dalai Lama once said, “Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.”


When I heard Dave Chappelle’s monologue, all I could think about were my classmates Holocaust jokes
For Chappelle, that monologue was a moment. For me and my community, it’s our lives. I’ve experienced this all throughout my childhood. The Nashville JCC, where my mom worked, got bomb threats in 2017. I still recall how terrified I was as a 10-year-old to think that my mom was going to get killed at work.

There are microaggressions that have links to this rhetoric, too. Growing up, my teachers would somehow incorporate Jesus into a curriculum where it in no way belonged. For years, I even took their own religious opinions as fact. And why shouldn’t I have? Back then, what my teachers taught was the truth. There wasn’t much more to it. I didn’t know better, and my educators used their Christianity-based opinions in what was supposed to be a religion-free curriculum.

The outrage that I and so many others feel about Chappelle’s monologue is not about the words themselves. It’s about the things they give cover for. When I hear him making light of basketball star Kyrie Irving’s sharing of a movie denying the Holocaust, I hear him giving permission for the vandal who painted a swastika on a college campus frat house not far from my home and the kids in my class to deny the Holocaust while the teacher just sat there, unbothered. Like Kanye West’s threat to go “death con 3” on my people, or Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s antisemitic conspiracy theories, it doesn’t just disturb me, it haunts me. It follows me everywhere: from my dinner table to my social media feed to my school.

I joke with my Jewish friends about our secret Jewish space lasers, but it’s only trying to cope. We cope with the pain of knowing the horrors our ancestors endured and just how quickly we could approach another tragedy. These events build and build in severity until their climax.

When it was announced that Chappelle would be hosting “SNL,” there reportedly was outrage from the writers and rumors that the cast might boycott because of his previous homophobic and transphobic remarks. They didn’t. Why the silence? It’s awful to see “SNL,” a show watched by millions, give a platform to someone making fun of my history and my daily struggle.

It’s time to move on from targeting an entire people for laughs and attention. It’s not funny. It never was.
How Kanye West Became America’s Leading Antisemite
What West believes is actually pretty hard to figure out. Is it a mixture of Black Israelite testaments and manic delusion, or is it a manifesto for a new Black movement of capital? Whatever he thinks, he’s scared away the people who control his money, and made himself a convenient scapegoat (or sacrificial lamb) for people, including the ADL, who have decided long ago that they don’t much care about antisemitism, but they do care very deeply who has the right to call someone an antisemite.

Much before this focus on West started, Donald Trump told American Jews that they needed to “get their act together before it’s too late.” If you think Trump can’t be antisemitic because his son-in-law is a Jew and he moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, well I have a concept album to sell you. Why not focus on Trump’s statements then? The obvious answer would be skin color, but there is a less obvious one.

West is separated from Black people because he is an astoundingly wealthy man, and he is surrounded by yes-men who are encouraging him to delve further into Hotepism. What is Hotepism? It is a myth, but a powerful one. It comes from the writings of Wallace Fard Muhammad, an itinerant seller of garments, who is known for spreading the message of The Nation throughout America. The basic idea is that Black people were originally in power, until one of their own, a devil named Yakub, created the white race. Everything bad that happened to Black people since has stemmed from this unfortunate decision.

Is Hotepism absurd? Of course it is. In fact, I first came in contact with these ideas through satirical memes and jokes heard on podcasts that I won’t bother naming (along with a few books that I skimmed and then destroyed). Yakub is supposed to be the biblical Jacob—this is where the Jews come in. This is also the point where it gets confusing. Moses, to Hoteps, is a Black man who tries to annihilate demons with explosives. Oddly enough, this theory mirrors the Freudian assertion that Moses came from Egyptian lineage as opposed to being born to a captive Jew. White Europeans (and this includes Jews) are therefore seen as initiators of whiteness, as opposed to inheritors of it. Needless to say, neither of these origin stories has any basis in historical reality; they are both completely made up.


BBC’s Bateman promotes PFLP linked NGO yet again
As was the case in his October 1st report, Bateman uncritically amplifies talking points provided by the political NGO DCI-Palestine while once again failing to inform BBC audiences that it is linked to the PFLP terrorist organisation and therefore designated by Israel. Instead, Bateman chooses to portray that organisation to BBC audiences simply as a “human rights group”.

“According to the human rights group Defence for Children International (DCI) Palestine, Fulla Masalmeh’s case highlights the absence of any proper accountability system for Palestinians under Israeli military occupation.

“This is the atmosphere that Palestinian children live in,” says the group’s director, Khaled Quzmar. “According to our documentation, there was no risk from this girl and the car she was in… there was no right for them to target it.””

Bateman similarly quoted unidentified “human rights groups” in an audio version of his report which was aired on BBC World Service radio’s ‘Newshour’ (from 07:56 here) and BBC Radio 4’s ‘The World Tonight’ (from 30:36 here) on November 18th and repeated on BBC World Service radio’s ‘Weekend’ (from 12:27 here) on November 19th.

Coincidentally or not, on the day of the appearance of Bateman’s report DCI-Palestine and partners ran an exhibition in the Belgian parliament and two days later the NGO initiated a context-free Twitter campaign which erases Palestinian terrorism and violence in an effort to promote the narrative of “a deadly year for Palestinian children”.

This latest article by Tom Bateman clearly does not provide BBC audiences with any accurate or impartial information concerning “Israel tactics” and once again he avoids any serious coverage of the background to the rise in terrorism in PA controlled areas which has necessitated Israeli counter-terrorism operations.

This report is, however, yet another example of Bateman’s self-conscription to the amplification of a partisan narrative employed by political NGOs he selectively portrays as ‘human rights groups’, with the aim of delegitimising Israel as a country which uses “tactics” to kill children.
Telegraph get's it wrong on 'stolen Palestinian land'
Yesterday we posted about a Telegraph article (“Benjamin Netanyahu agrees to legalise illegal West Bank outposts in coalition talks”, Nov. 21), noting that it devoted only one sentence, eleven paragraphs down, to last week’s deadly terror attack in Ariel.

However, there was also something in the substance of the article itself that needs refuting.

Outposts are small communities of Jewish settlers built on land taken from Palestinians in the West Bank and are illegal under Israeli and international law.

Settlements, which are larger and also built on land taken from Palestinians, are supported by the Israeli government, but widely considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this


However, this blanked assertion, by the Telegraph’s Middle East correspondent James Rothwell, that the settlements are all built on Palestinian land hasn’t even been alleged by even the most stridently anti-settlement organisations. Peace Now, for instance,has only claimed that “private Palestinian land accounts for 32% of land used for settlements”.

But, as CAMERA demonsrated in in-depth analyses, even that number is based on irredeemably flawed methodology, which counted as “privately owned Palestinian land” any land which “Palestinians claimed” they owned, ignoring judgments by Israeli courts rejecting such ownership claims.

The majority of the land that Peace Now labels “private Palestinian land”, CAMERA subsequent noted, was “uninhabited and uncultivated waste land in the public domain owned by the state, or state land“, and some settlements, such as the communities of Gush Etzion, was built on Jewish owned land.
Last Weekend’s Foiled Synagogue Attack Shows How Old-Fashioned Policework Can Save Jewish Lives
On Saturday, two men were arrested in New York City, carrying a gun, ammunition, an eight-inch knife, and a swastika armband. Police believe, based on social-media postings and other evidence, that the pair were en route to carry out a massacre in a synagogue. Charles Fain Lehman writes:
The incident throws into stark relief the city’s continuing problem with anti-Semitic crime. Crimes against Jews in New York spiked in 2019, dipped briefly during the pandemic, and then rose again in 2021 and 2022. The NYPD reported 208 anti-Semitic hate crimes through September of this year—9 percent more than in all of 2018, and 41 percent more than all of 2017.

This wave, and a nationwide increase in reported hate incidents more generally, is often understood as an ideological problem. Dangerous ideas are circulating on the left and right, the theory goes, and until we suppress them, . . . will continue unabated. But what this weekend’s takedowns show is that stopping such crimes doesn’t require changing hearts and minds. It needs smart, old-fashioned detective work, backed up with unwavering support by civilian leadership.

We often think about such crimes as different from others because they are motivated by bias. This is true as regards their social significance, and as regards their eligibility for enhanced criminal charges. But thinking too much about difference in motivations risks running afoul of the fallacy of root causes—focusing on what causes crime, rather than on what the most effective means to address it are.
German Investigators Treating Essen Synagogue Attack as Antisemitic Hate Crime
German police announced on Tuesday that they were treating a gun attack on a former synagogue in the city of Essen as a hate crime.

Speaking to the dpa news agency, senior public prosecutor Holger Heming said the assumption behind the investigation was that the attack was “motivated by extremism and antisemitism.”

Investigators at the scene meanwhile said they had discovered two bullet holes in the roof of the building now used as a synagogue by the Jewish community in Essen. Forensic analysis reportedly revealed that the damage was about one month old. As of Tuesday, it was unclear whether the incident at the new synagogue was connected to the attack on the Old Synagogue, which is located a mile away.

A Byzantine structure that was first consecrated in 1913, the Old Synagogue survived the ravages of Nazi rule and now houses a museum and memorial center. The shots discovered last week were fired at the neighboring rabbi’s house, which is now the site of the Salomon Ludwig Steinheim Institute for German-Jewish History at the University of Duisburg-Essen.

Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, the German government’s antisemitism commissioner in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia, said she hoped the investigation “will quickly establish the perpetrators and the background.”

“As a society as a whole, we must fight antisemitism. It is not the job of the Jews,” she said. “We want Jewish life in Germany to be an indispensable part of our society. We have to protect it.”


"Hebrew U Announces Breakthrough in Fighting Antibiotic-Resistant Infection
Antibiotic resistance is a growing public health concern with global implications. Antibiotic-resistant infection affects more than 2.8 million individuals each year in the United States alone, resulting in more than 35,000 annual deaths. New resistance mechanisms constantly emerge and spread globally, threatening our ability to treat common infectious diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, and sepsis.

Gentamicin is a commonly-used antibiotic, considered an essential medicine by the World Health Organization (WHO). But antibiotics of this kind (aminoglycosides) cause kidney damage in up to 25% of hospitalized patients. This is a major problem for more than 37 million Americans who suffer from chronic kidney disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The American Federal Drug Administration (FDA) considers the development of antibiotics for patients with chronic kidney disease to be a national priority.

A group of researchers led by Professor Yaakov Nahmias, Director of the Grass Center for Bioengineering at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and founder of the biotechnology startup Tissue Dynamics, discovered a new mechanism of antibiotics-induced kidney damage, never identified before.

Their paper (Aminoglycoside-induced lipotoxicity and its reversal in kidney on chip) was published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal’s Lab on Chip, and featured on the front cover showing an artificial intelligence artistic rendition of a bionic microtissue, dramatically fusing art and science.

“Most work in the drug development field is being carried out in mice, and the mechanism we found is human-specific,” said Prof. Nahmias.

The academic team partnered with Tissue Dynamics––a groundbreaking biotechnology company owned by Nahmias that develops drug toxicity and efficacy screening tools for the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries––to develop a bionic micro-kidney in which electro-optical sensors—roughly half the width of a single human hair––are embedded in human kidney tissue.
Israeli start-up develops meniscus replacement of tomorrow
Knees are one of the many parts of the human body that seem like they just weren’t built to handle all of this “walking around upright, working out and running” stuff. As such, a sizable portion of the human population suffers from damaged meniscus tissue, typically resulting in surgery to adjust or replace the tissue and get everything working up to snuff.

Often, however, that kind of knee surgery requires days of recovery time as the body heals and adapts to the adjusted area - but that may not be the case forever.

Active Implants International is a med-tech start-up which is currently developing an artificial meniscus replacement called NUsurface. The company’s device substitutes the natural human meniscus, sitting between the bones of the knee and acting as a sort of pillow to prevent grinding, rubbing and other uncomfortable friction.

"Floating device"
Other such devices exist, but NUsurface’s market advantage is its installation: it is what’s referred to as a “floating device,” meaning that it is constructed in such a way that it isn't required to be anchored or sutured into place.

As a result, explained Active Implants president Dr. Eran Ganz, “It's a very simple and easy procedure to do for the surgeons and also for the patient.” Recovery time is severely reduced, and on top of that the device offers two additional legs up on its competition: timed drug release and specifically tailored device dimensions to match the patient’s body.

“In addition to the ability to produce a patient-specific implant, it will also release two drugs – one immediately after the implantation, and the other over several months. This will contribute to an immediate improvement in the patient’s well-being while preventing inflammations as well as cartilage degeneration,” explained Ganz.

The device’s benefits have positioned it as a viable solution for meniscus surgery patients in the middle-aged demographic, for whom the practical viability of a more invasive surgery is much less than it might be for someone in their youth.
On the Holiday of Sigd, Ethiopian Jews Remember Generations Past, and Yearn for Future Redemption
Today, the 29th day of the Hebrew month of Ḥeshvan, is the Ethiopian Jewish festival of Sigd, which Israel made into a national holiday in 2008. Shula Mola explains its significance, and her own associations with the day:
I have a powerful memory of my last Sigd in Ethiopia in November 1983. Sigd is a holiday of the Ethiopian Jewish community which takes place 50 days after Yom Kippur each year. Sigd celebrates our connection to Jerusalem; the entire village would go up the nearby mountain—men, women, and children—dressed in our best festive clothes for a day of fasting and prayer. The Kessoch, our religious leaders, read verses from the Torah and prayed for a return to Zion.

I remember many other things from that Sigd. For example, I can still see a woman sitting to the side and scattering grains of wheat on the ground while lamenting in a whisper and crying. At that time I did not really understand what she was doing. Today I know that it was part of the observance of Sigd. On this day we also prayed for the release of the souls of the dead, sprinkling grains of wheat or teff flour for birds to eat so they would fly our prayers to heaven. The holiday of Sigd is not only a gathering of the living, but also a day to remember and be reunited with those that have passed.

The heart of Sigd is in the renewal of the covenants between a person and God, a person and the community, and a person and society.
Israelis who defied terrorism get special honor in NY gala
The annual Gala Dinner benefiting Belev Echad took place at Chelsea Piers, New York on Monday. Based in the Big Apple and with branches in Israel, Belev Echad supports and assists wounded IDF veterans and other security forces in the process of rehabilitating from the physical and emotional trauma of war and terror. In attendance on Monday were celebrities from across the US, with guests introduced to what the organization said were "two young Israeli heroes" who "surmounted the odds to return to life and give back to the community" after being severely hurt during their service.

"The dinner, aptly called "Our Soldiers-Our Heroes" spotlighted the story of Raz Mizrachi, who in May 2021, at the height of the Guardian of the Walls military operation, was deployed to east Jerusalem where tensions were reaching a hilt. Suddenly, a car came barreling toward her company, plowing directly into six police officers and soldiers, and running them over with intent to kill. Mizrachi was badly injured in the attack and spent the next 4 months in intensive rehab," the organization said in a statement.

"From a talented athlete who could run ten miles without losing my breath, I needed to learn how to walk again. Ten steps with excruciating pain was an accomplishment," Mizrahi said. Aside from the physical rehabilitation, Mizrachi also required intensive emotional therapy and psychiatric intervention to recuperate emotionally from the fear, anxiety, and depression that followed her near-death experience.

Former IDF soldier, Eli Chazzan has a similar story to share: Chazzan was seriously wounded in a terror attack in Hadera last March: "Not long ago, I was hanging between life and death, my body riddled with bullets in the wake of a terror attack. Now I'm standing here before you all and feeling the embrace of New York's Jewish community."

"Belev Echad's mission," Belev Echad cofounder and director Rabbi Uriel Vigler said, "is to give these young heroes opportunities, support, and power to advance in life, to develop their skills and talents, and help them build successful careers, no matter what they choose. We sponsor IDF veterans as they further their education and then support them through the process of finding jobs, and we've witnessed incredible results – true miracles."
Violins of Hope
The Jewish Community Centers of Chicago are putting out a call: check your basements, attics and garages. You might find some hope there.

From April through September of 2023, JCC (Jewish Community Centers) Chicago will bring a private collection of more than 70 lovingly restored violins, violas and cellos played by Jewish musicians before and during the Holocaust to the Chicagoland area and around Illinois through cultural exhibitions, performances and community education. It’s part of the Violins of Hope initiative, founded by Israeli father and son violin-makers Amnon and Avshalom Weinstein, who have spent the last two decades collecting and repairing 70 Holocaust-era violins and other stringed instruments from around the world.

The instruments have traveled the globe, including to Rome, Tel Aviv, Berlin, London, Washington D.C. and San Francisco.

“Our young people are very far removed from the Holocaust. We know our survivor numbers are growing smaller. And even though the state of Illinois was the first to mandate Holocaust education, only 21 states do. It’s reduced in many cases to a few pages in a textbook as part of the genocide unit and some questions on the final exam,” Addie Goodman’s, CEO and president of JCC Chicago, told JNS.

“What Violins of Hope aims to do is to really provide a new avenue for Holocaust education, particularly for students, that brings the humanity and human story of the Holocaust to the forefront, and really helps people understand the atrocity that happened so that we can build on those themes of tolerance, understanding, acceptance, resiliency and hope,” Goodman said.
Did a 15th-Century Jew Beat Gutenberg to the Printing Press?
You wouldn’t think a lecture on “Quantifying Paper-Ink-Type Interaction” would be news. You especially wouldn’t think it after reading, in the proceedings of last August’s convention of the International Association of Paper Historians, a dry abstract of this lecture stating that the goal of its Israeli presenters, Moshe Rosenfeld, Eyal Nimny, and Elyakim Kessel, was “to “provide quantitative metrics extracted from printed texts in order to reveal systematic patterns of variability.” Not even being told by the abstract that such “metrics” were brought to bear “on early printed Hebrew works” would have prepared you for last month’s newspaper reports that some of this material consisted of two printing sheets, comprising 32 pages of a 15th-century siddur that was older than the 1454-55 Gutenberg Bible and thus a remnant of Europe’s earliest printed book.

Rosenfeld, a Jerusalem book dealer, came across the two sheets in 2015, when he found them concealed in an old book binding. The sleuthing which brought him to believe in their antiquity is impressive, one of its elements being a careful study of 15th-century watermarks, the signature of paper makers that can tell us the approximate time and place of their product. (In this case, Rosenfeld says, they show that the paper was produced between 1418 and 1439.) Yet Rosenfeld could never have built a case for the siddur’s being a European first without the work of another detective who laid the ground for it over a hundred years ago. This was the French clergyman Pierre Henri Requin (1851-1917), a Catholic vicar and art historian who in 1891 published a study entitled Les origines de l’imprimerie en France, “The Origins of Printing in France.” Requin’s study is alluded to in chapter on “The Printed Book” in the Jewish historian Cecil Roth’s 1959 work The Jews in the Renaissance, which helped point Rosenfeld to his conclusions—and since Roth, rather uncharitably, failed to mention Requin by name or give him his due, let us do so now.

While engaged in research in the municipal archives of the southern French city of Avignon, Requin came across a file of old Latin legal documents dating to the 1440s and pertaining to a certain Procopius Waldfogel, a goldsmith and native of Prague then living and working in Avignon. Two of these documents, drawn up by a local notary, dealt with an agreement between Waldfogel and a local resident referred to as Davino de Caderossia, Judeo, de Avinione, “Davin [David] de Caderousse, a Jew, of Avignon.”

Davin, sometimes subsequently referred to simply as ipso judeo, “the above Jew,” was a dyer by trade, and on March 3, 1446 he entered into an exchange agreement with Procopius. Davin took it upon himself to instruct Procopius “in the art of dyeing well, faithfully, and perfectly in textures of scarlet, red, brazilin [brasilhum], and black, . . . and to make known to him the true formula for dyeing in walnut and in green without fire [sine igne].” Dyeing “without fire” or cold dyeing, which (as opposed to the traditional method of soaking fabrics for a long time in heated dye) called for the use of mordants to bind the dye to the fabric, was at the time a carefully kept professional secret.






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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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