Friday, November 25, 2022

From Ian:

No Good Jew Goes Unpunished
REVIEW: ‘Bad Jews: A History of American Jewish Politics and Identities’

Tamkin’s personal leanings often make her an unreliable narrator. She tries to sanitize the Second Intifada as "a Palestinian uprising that came from the failure of the peace process in the first decade of the 2000s and the violence that ensued," a sentence worthy of Orwell’s "Politics and the English Language." She describes Jewish Currents, which she admires, as "the magazine founded for the Jewish Left back in 1946," leaving out that it was Stalinist. She congratulates Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) for apologizing for an anti-Semitic remark, without mentioning that Omar quickly walked back the apology and reiterated her conspiracy theory.

Notably bad is Tamkin’s discussion of the neoconservatives. Hostile framings and poor paraphrases of Irving Kristol arguments are one thing. Another is that she doesn’t seem to know what she’s talking about. The first words she uses to describe neocon intellectuals are "free-market capitalists"; in fact, they were notable within the conservative movement for accepting limits on the free market and making peace with the New Deal, while critiquing excesses of the Great Society on empirical grounds. Next, she writes, "Neoconservatives actually started out as leftist radicals. They were disciples of Leon Trotsky." For most neocons, this is false. Norman Podhoretz, for instance, was never a Trotskyist. Some, like Kristol, had been Trots in college, but their Marxist credentials were far inferior to, say, those of many founding editors and writers of the conservative (no "neo") National Review.

The problem can be traced to the book’s citations. Tamkin’s pattern is to rely on a single secondary source for information, citing it several times consecutively to cover a topic, before moving on to another single source, also cited several times in a row, for a new topic. In her neocons chapter, she cites Benjamin Balint’s book on Commentary 16 times in a row. I’ve read the book and it is serviceable, but it is only one view on a topic on which countless words have been written. Commentary’s archives are also available online. To rely so thoroughly on single sources is indicative of laziness, frankly, and lack of knowledge.

Tamkin claims to argue that there’s no such thing as a good Jew or bad Jew. But her heart isn’t in it. At every opportunity, she valorizes her bad Jews, the ones who vilify Israel and the American Jewish community. They’re the heroes. Eli Valley, the Jewish cartoonist known for drawing Israelis and pro-Israel Americans as Nazis, she fawns over. Her comment that "multiple people, on learning that I was writing this book, told me that I had to speak to Valley. His work meant so much to them, they told me. It had helped them figure out their own relationship to Jewishness" is perhaps more revealing than she intended.

The flip side is that Tamkin clearly thinks her good Jews are bad. The major Jewish organizations are portrayed throughout as morally indefensible; even Jewish leadership in the civil-rights movement is unconvincingly labeled a "myth." Anticommunists and Israel supporters are cast as fear- and guilt-ridden tyrants, synogogue-goers as conformist and xenophobic. In her most disgusting passage, Tamkin blames the deadly 2018 shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue on Donald Trump and then immediately uses the tragedy to dump on Orthodox Jews—themselves the victims of most anti-Semitic violence—for several paragraphs.

At the end, Tamkin has one last somersault to perform: excusing left-wing anti-Semitism. "When I hear that the fixation should be on antisemitism on the left," she writes, "I recall that there was a reason that American Jewish professionals in the 1960s decided not to focus on the antisemitism within the Nation of Islam," namely, that it could detract from the broader progressive struggle. She then has a quote that the response to left-wing anti-Semitism should be "to show up more" to left-wing causes. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), it is made clear, is the ideal type. At last, and in so many words, we have Tamkin’s elusive definition of a good Jew: a leftist.

Bad Jews: A History of American Jewish Politics and Identities by Emily Tamkin
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.

Remember when Whoopi Goldberg claimed the Holocaust wasn’t racism, it was white people fighting white people?

Well, she’s at it again… 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, 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.

Children chant massacre-Jews song at North London school
An Iranian propaganda video in which dozens of children sing a song that references an apocalyptic myth about massacring Jews was filmed at a school just 15 minutes’ walk from the New London synagogue in St John’s Wood, a JC investigation has revealed.

In the video, shot earlier this year in the playground of the Islamic Republic of Iran School (IRIS) near Queen’s Park station, the children sing about joining 313 mythical warriors in a conflict against the infidels, when (according to the present Iranian regime) Israel will be obliterated and Jews killed.

Some scenes were also shot at the nearby Islamic Centre of England (ICE), which is controlled by the Iranian regime and linked to the school. ICE is currently the subject of a statutory inquiry by the Charity Commission, as the JC disclosed last week.

The song, entitled Hello Commander, has been praised by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who claims its popularity proves his people’s “loyalty to the system”, Iranian pro-regime media has reported.

Its recording in St John’s Wood, in easy reach of several synagogues and Jewish centres, has raised serious concerns among community security officials.

In the London video, rows of boys in white shirts and pressed black trousers and girls in blue flares, white blouses and matching hijabs can be seen saluting and singing their allegiance to their “commander”, Ayatollah Khamenei.

The children, aged between eight and 15, sing: “Without you, this life has no meaning. This life comes alive when you are here for me.”

They then sing about fighting in history’s final battle for the mythical leader known as the Mahdi, last seen supposedly almost 1,200 years ago.

Are Judaism and Zionism the same thing?
In a recent column, Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz makes the case that Abraham, the first Jew, was also the first Zionist.

“Abraham becomes a Jew and a Zionist at the same time” Steinmetz writes. “Genesis makes it clear that Zionism is central to Abraham’s new religious mission.”

Reading the piece, I was reminded of a debate I once had on Twitter over whether Queen Esther was a Zionist. I had argued that the claim was nonsensical and anachronistic. My sparring partner, on the other hand, was adamant that Esther, who sought to rescue the Jews from tyranny, was an embodiment of Zionist ideals.

This argument is impossible to win, as it involves something quite subjective, which is how we determine the historical continuity of an entity or an idea. For instance, what was the first chair? Was it the ground? Was it a stump or a rock that someone sat on? Or was it the first intentionally created piece of furniture designed explicitly for sitting? Depending on one’s definition of terms, any one of these answers could be correct.

Similarly, who was the first Zionist? Was it the first Jew who ever dreamed of journeying to the holy land? Or was it the first person to call himself a Zionist? Moreover, what is the meaning of Zionism? Does any expression of longing for holy land qualify as Zionism? Or does the term have a more specific meaning?

There’s no right or wrong answer to this question, but different answers will bear different fruit and serve different agendas. If we take the expansive approach of Rabbi Steinmetz, we have the benefit of seeing Zionism’s continuity with Jewish history and Jewish religious thought. If one’s goal is to imply that Jewish anti-Zionists are out of step with both, this approach will be useful.
Telegraph critic misses the point of 'Jews don't Count'
However, the Telegraph critic misses Baddiel’s point.

Baddiel’s book and documentary don’t suggest that Jews who are victims of antisemitism are, themselves, morally pristine. It’s simply that racism against Jews is not taken as seriously as racism against other minority groups. It’s not a “double standard” for Silverman or Baddiel to share their feelings on how antisemitism is not taken seriously while having engaged in racist behavior of their own.

As she acknowledges, Baddiel has apologised repeatedly for his behavior 25 year ago.

Also, Silverman was held accountable for the incident Singh is alluding to. She was reportedly fired from at least one movie after producers came across a sketch from The Sarah Silverman Show in 2007 where she wore blackface make-up in order to examine racism. Her firing occurred despite the fact the she’s apologised for the incident many times. And, if you look online, you’ll see that she continues to reap scorn for that 2007 episode.

On the other hand, many well-known figures who’ve engaged in antisemitism continue to escape such critical scrutiny.

During a NY Times interview with Alice Walker, the author best known for “The Color Purple”, she wasn’t challenged by the reporter after she recommended a vile antisemitic book – nor did the journalist ask her about past racist statements, such as her charge that the “poisonous” Talmud condones pedophilia and rape; The BBC continues to defend one of their commentators, Abdel Bari-Atwan, despite the fact that he frequently spews vicious antisemitism and consistently celebrates the terrorist murder of innocent Jews; And, extreme Jew haters like Louis Farrakhan and Iran’s supreme leader spared getting banned from Twitter, even as far, far more innocuous personalities saw their accounts suspended.

As Baddiel wrote in his book, “With the transition to identity politics”, the left “has become less about for the masses and more about specific minorities”. A “sacred circle”, he added, “is drawn around those whom the progressive modern left are prepared to go to battle for”, and the ‘monied’ and ‘powerful’ Jews aren’t in it. When ‘progressive’ anti-Semites attack Jews, others writers similarly cognizant of this dynamic have argued, they often believe they are “punching up” – that they are bravely “speaking truth to power” and rebelling against the (rigged) system.

Though, in our review, we were critical of one aspect of Baddiel’s book, we’re immensely grateful that he’s brought this pernicious double standard to the public discourse.

VIDEO: David Baddiel - Jews Don't Count - may get deleted.

Why Are Anti-Israel Activists So Afraid of The IHRA Definition of Antisemitism?

Inside the US: Muslim Brotherhood Member Calls for Jihadist Terrorism Worldwide
Bahgat Saber, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, operates from his New York apartment and often streams live videos from Times Square. During his multi-hour videos, Saber routinely incites terrorism, assassinations, kidnapping and torture in an extremely graphic manner. The calls for violence in his videos are viewed by millions of people across the world.

In October, when Saber called for bloodshed, he broadcast a code used by al-Qaeda to activate their cells for open warfare... this time, he specified targeting opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood's Islamist project anywhere in the world.

When fatwas -- religious opinions or edicts -- entail orders for assassination, they are called "blood fatwas." Basically, they are contract killings masquerading as religious pronouncements.

Akram Kassab, a New York City-based Muslim Brotherhood theologian and member of the Muslim Brotherhood's International Union of Muslim Scholars — designated by the UAE as a terror group — issued an assassination fatwa from a Muslim Brotherhood television channel, Al-Ann, on May 18, 2015.

Ahmed Abdel-Basit Mohamed, also known as "Basit," was sentenced to death in Egypt for his role in deadly terrorist attacks there. He now lives freely in the US. Basit confirmed the Egyptian government's accusations when he publicly bragged about his involvement in a terrorist attack in Egypt in which 506 people were wounded or killed.

According to Basit's LinkedIn profile, he is currently an Adjunct Professor of Astronomy at Manhattan College.
AFP Corrects Caption Falsely Alleging Palestinian Prisoners Died in Jail
CAMERA’s Israel office this week prompted correction of a Nov. 17 Agence France Presse caption which falsely alleges that numerous Palestinian prisoners died in Israeli prisons. While all nine prisoners in question died in Israeli custody, seven out of nine died in Israeli hospitals, and one died in a medical center within a prison. The final case, from more than four decades ago, involves a prisoner who reportedly died in his Ashkelon cell.

There is a critical distinction between dying in jail from unstated causes (suggesting torture and abuse) as the caption reported, versus dying from natural causes in a hospital while in Israeli custody, as was actually the case for most of these prisoners. The Nov. 17 caption in question states: “Palestinians protest demanding Israel to hand over bodies of Palestinian prisoners who died in Israeli prisons, on November 17, 2022 in Hebron in the occupied West Bank.” The photograph shows demonstrators holding a sign with the pictures of nine men. But just two of the nine died “in prison.” (Of those two, one died in a medical facility within the prison.)

Notorious American Nazi arrested at Auschwitz is accused of abusing US troops and telling black soldier to 'stay away from white women' in video shot at mall in Poland
A notorious American anti-Semite who was arrested at Auschwitz has now been accused of abusing US troops and telling a black soldier to 'stay away from white women' in a video shot at a mall in Poland.

The horrific video showed a man recording himself hurling racist and homophobic vitriol at a group of U.S. soldiers, who appear to show considerable restraint while ignoring their abuser.

After going viral on social media, many people including YouTuber Jamesons Travels, accused Jon Minadeo Jr. of being the man behind the camera.

And after the accusations were thrown his way, known anti-Semite Minadeo shared a link to the video on his Gab account - which is a right-wing social media site.

Instead of denying he was the one behind the vile abuse being dished out in the Polish shopping mall, he encouraged his fan base to 'wreck' the YouTuber's comments. He wrote: 'BOOMER ALERT!!! WRECK AND GAS COMMENTS LETS F*****G GOOOOO!!!'

Just months ago, Minadeo, 39, was arrested in Poland for wearing a swastika necklace and posing with vulgar banners that taunted Jewish leaders outside the front gate of Auschwitz. During World War II, Auschwitz operated as a concentration camp where an estimated 1.1 million people were exterminated.

29% say antisemitism acceptable in workplace, new survey finds surveyed 1,131 hiring managers in November, asking them about their views of Jewish individuals and their perspectives on antisemitism in the workplace.

What did they find in their survey?
Their survey showed that 26% of hiring managers say they are less likely to move forward with Jewish applicants. When asked why, 38% said that "Jews have too much power and control," which is also tied to another 38% who said, "Jews claim to be the 'chosen people.'"

A few of the other "reasons" were that "Jews have too much wealth", "Jews are greedy", "Jews killed Jesus," and many other antisemitism responses, according to the ResumeBuilder survey.

Another 26% of hiring managers make assumptions about whether or not the applicant is Jewish based on their looks and appearances.

23% said that their company is trying to limit Jewish presence in the workplace. 17% said that their bosses said not to hire Jewish people at all.

In regards to antisemitism among existing workers, 33% said that antisemitism is frequent and 29% said that antisemitism is acceptable within the company they work for.

"This data shows a disturbing number of hiring managers not only admit to having a negative bias against Jewish applicants but also, that they actively want to keep Jews out of their workplace," Stacie Haller, executive recruiter and career counselor said.
“Are you a f ing Jew ” Journalist Nicole Lampert on the disturbing phone calls made to her son
Nicole Lampert, the freelance journalist, best-selling ghostwriter and former Showbusiness Editor of the Daily Mail, appeared on the most recent episode of Podcast Against Antisemitism where she disclosed that her teenage son was the victim of aggressive, threatening phone calls based on his Jewish identity.

Discussing last year’s incident, Ms Lampert said: “We were on holiday in Norfolk and my son gets a phone call, and it was from an anonymous number. ‘Are you a f***ing Jew?’ And he said, ‘What?’.

“[The Caller] said ‘Don’t say “what”, just answer the question. Are you a f***ing Jew?’. And [her son] said ‘Yes’, and [the Caller] said ‘Watch your back.”

Ms Lampert continued: “That frightened my son, and we weren’t at home. He was frightened enough to say ‘Can you get a neighbour to go round and just check the house?’ He didn’t know who it was. He had an idea who it was. It wasn’t someone from his school.”

Ms Lampert added that her son continued to receive anonymous phone calls throughout the week.

“That, he found hard. But generally, he’s okay, I would say. It’s quite a young lesson to learn…antisemitism has risen,” the journalist said, adding that her son was also witnessing antisemitism on social media.

In addition, a fellow student at her son’s student called her son “Jew”, in what Ms Lampert described as “in a nasty way, to his face”, which she felt was as a result of the conflict between Israel and the antisemitic genocidal terrorist group, Hamas.
Man sentenced after yelling “I'll blow you up, you f ing Jew” to Jewish man
A man has been sentenced after yelling “I’ll blow you up, you f***ing Jew” to a Jewish man earlier this year.

Earlier this month, Paul Daniel Newman, 57, was found guilty at Stratford Magistrates Court of racially or religiously aggravated disorderly behaviour as well as causing fear or provocation of violence.

At this week’s sentencing, Mr Newman of Ealing was handed 20 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.

He was also ordered to comply with 30 days rehabilitation activity requirement and six months in an alcohol treatment programme.

In addition, he must also pay £625 prosecution costs and £154 victim surcharge.

Varinder Hayre, CPS District Crown Prosecutor and London North Hate Crime lead, said: “London is a diverse City and it is completely unacceptable for the Jewish community to be subjected to this kind of antisemitic hatred. Hate crime will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted robustly.

“I’d also like to thank the Metropolitan Police for their diligence in helping to ensure justice for the victim and providing victim support.”
Israeli discovery: ‘Bionic micro-kidney’ blocks antibiotic toxicity
Using a “bionic micro-kidney,” researchers at the Hebrew University (HU) say they have identified a new mechanism of antibiotics-induced kidney damage.

Antibiotics of the commonly-used aminoglycoside type cause kidney damage in up to a quarter of hospitalized patients, posing a major problem for the more than 37 million Americans estimated to suffer from chronic kidney disease, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the university said in a statement. So much so that the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) considers the development of antibiotics for patients with chronic kidney disease to be a national priority.

The team of researchers, led by professor Yaakov Nahmias, director of HU’s Grass Center for Bioengineering and founder of HU spin-off biotechnology startup Tissue Dynamics, developed a biochip with electro-optical sensors—roughly half the width of a single human hair—that are embedded in human kidney tissue. This “bionic micro-kidney” emulates normal human physiology far better than animal models, according Nahmias.

“Most work in the drug development field is being carried out in mice,” said Nahmias, “and the mechanism we found is human-specific.”
Chess History: Israel Hosts 2nd World Championship in Same Year
The World Team Chess Championships kicked off in Jerusalem on Sunday.

Delegations of players from the USA, China, Spain, France, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, India, Ukraine, Netherlands, Poland, South Africa are vying with Israel for the championship.

Willy Iclicki, Special Projects Manager for the International Chess Federation, which organized the tournament, told Tazpit Press Service that the competition will feature some of the world’s top chess players.

“It will be a very big fight,” Iclicki said.

Among the players attending is 19-year-old American grandmaster Hans Nieman, who has been accused of cheating by Norwegian grandmaster Magnus Carlsen. Nieman responded by filing a $100 million lawsuit accusing Carlsen of defamation.

The Israeli national team will be the first in the world to be led by a female captain – Ilana David.

Other chess notables attending are Anish Giri, of the Netherlands, a chess prodigy who earned the grandmaster title at the age of 14, and Nodirbek Yakubboev and Javokhir Sindarov, two members of the Uzbek team that took first place at the World Chess Olympiad in August.

The tournament will conclude on Nov. 25. (h/t MtTB)
Mark Regev: Looking back at Egypt's Sadat's historic Jerusalem visit, 45 years ago
When Egyptian president Anwar Sadat touched down at Ben-Gurion Airport on November 19, 1977 the whole world was watching. His visit to Israel, the first of its kind by an Arab head of state, was a game-changer: A harbinger of what Shimon Peres would later call “the new Middle East.”

Sadat’s arrival mesmerized Israel. Thousands of awestruck Israelis lined the route of his motorcade to catch a glimpse of the man who, just four years earlier, had been their sworn enemy. Those not gathering in the streets were glued to their television screens, ecstatically following the wall-to-wall coverage.

The public euphoria would eventually dissipate, but for the duration of Sadat’s trip, Israelis were enchanted – the leader of the most powerful and populous Arab state had come to make peace.

Ten days earlier, on November 9, Sadat had addressed a special session of the People’s Assembly in Cairo. There, while reiterating his previously professed desire for peace, the Egyptian president unexpectedly expressed a readiness to travel to the Knesset in Jerusalem to expedite talks.

Sadat received the usual standing ovation befitting the conclusion of a speech by a Middle Eastern autocrat. Even PLO leader, Yasser Arafat, one of the honored foreigners attending the session, rose from his chair and applauded, perhaps not appreciating that a rigid taboo had just been broken – an Arab leader was suggesting direct engagement with his Israeli counterpart.

In Jerusalem, the importance of Sadat’s offer was readily appreciated. Prime minister Menachem Begin expeditiously invited the Egyptian president to Israel, despite the formal state of war between the two countries.

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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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