Wednesday, January 11, 2023

From Ian:

Col Kemp: Jew-Hate at American Universities
[The Amcha] report paints a stark picture of an increasing, intensifying and carefully coordinated campaign of attacks on Jewish identity at over 60% of the colleges and universities that are popular with Jews, including 2,000 incidents intended to harm Jewish students since 2015.

[T]hese activists demand an end to Zionism, which... means just one thing: an end to the democratic State of Israel. This itself is antisemitism in any book and is spelt out as such in the US State Department definition of antisemitism.

Despite expending so much energy against their fellow students, German Gentiles had plenty left for their Jewish professors. Unsatisfied with Nazi race regulations restricting Jewish faculty, students boycotted the classes of those who were exempt under the race laws and pressured university authorities to dismiss them. The result was that every Jewish professor who was still legally allowed to teach had resigned by 1935.

The Amcha report characterises the situation on US campuses today as a crisis for American Jews. It is much more than that. It is a crisis for us all that one section of our student body is bullied, abused, intimidated and cast down by their fellow students and often abandoned by their professors and faculty authorities.

It is high time for the federal government, under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, to withdraw its funding from all universities that participate in bigotry such as that.

Jonathan Tobin: Ilhan Omar is the Democrats’ problem, not Kevin McCarthy’s
By standing with Omar, Democrats, including President Joe Biden, have effectively normalized antisemitism. And McCarthy’s effort to punish her will again test whether they mean what they say when they speak of their opposition to hate.

As was the case with Greene and Gosar last year, it will take a vote by the majority of the House to remove Omar from her perch on the Foreign Relations Committee. Given the GOP’s narrow majority, the fate of Schiff (who repeatedly lied about the hoax he helped promote that former President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election) and Swalwell (who had an intimate relationship with a Chinese spy) will also be part of the same debate.

Democrats will also answer the list of Omar’s antisemitic statements and actions with their own brand of “whataboutism,” which will involve McCarthy’s recent embrace of Greene, who was an ally during his fight for the speaker’s chair. They’ll bring up other Republicans for censure, as well. One is Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), who lied about just about everything during his campaign for election, including whether he was Jewish.

If every member of Congress or the executive branch had to be censured for lying, however, Washington would soon be emptied of politicians, including Biden, who takes second place to no one when it comes to being a serial fabulist. Moreover, there is an argument to be made that neither party should be engaging in this kind of tit-for-tat punishment.

If the voters think they deserve nothing better than to be represented by such scoundrels, perhaps it’s best if we leave it to them to decide at the ballot box who should sit in Congress or on committees. As the great cynic, journalist H.L. Mencken wrote, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

Nevertheless, if the Democrats are going to play this game, then McCarthy can hardly be blamed for answering in kind. And if House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) isn’t prepared to agree to remove Omar, then the speaker is justified in seeking to oust her.

At stake here is not the broader question of how much extremism or bad behavior Congress should be willing to tolerate in its members. Rather, it is specifically one that will force Democrats to decide what is more important to them.

Is it the fight against antisemitism at a time when Jew-hatred is on the rise throughout the globe? Or is their true allegiance to identity politics and the toxic intersectional myths that allow Omar to paint herself as an oppressed victim, rather than a hatemonger, simply because of the color of her skin?
Caroline Glick: The ‘woke’ West is assaulting Jews for embracing their heritage
As Israel is being pilloried at the U.N. Security Council by friend and foe alike for daring to allow Jews to visit the Temple Mount, professor Richard Landes joins Caroline Glick on this week’s episode of the “Caroline Glick Show” to discuss the contemporary roots of the demonization of Jews and the Jewish state.

Landes recently published “Can the Whole World Be Wrong: Lethal Journalism, Anti-Semitism and the Global Jihad,” the product of 22 years of work.

He began his study of the subject in the aftermath of the first modern blood libel, the alleged killing of Muhammed al-Dura, a 12-year-old Palestinian boy, by IDF forces in Gaza on Sept. 30, 2000.

The false allegation that the boy was killed by IDF forces that day, and that they murdered him deliberately, formed the basis of a massive propaganda effort. Its product has been the legitimization of the mass murder of Jews in Israel and worldwide by Palestinians and other jihadists.

Landes argues that the West’s embrace of the al-Dura blood libel was the foundation not only of the antisemitism assaulting the Jewish people worldwide today, but also of the West’s inability to acknowledge, let alone defeat, the forces of global jihad, whether in the United States or Europe or in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and beyond.

Glick and Landes examine the current pathologies of the “woke” West—including the assault on Jews for embracing their heritage, by among other things, visiting the Temple Mount—through the prism of the al-Dura incident. Their conversation traverses space and time and ends with vital insights into what needs to happen for the West to survive the ravages of the Red-Green alliance which was born with the al-Dura blood libel.

UN exhibit remembers when the world turned its back on stateless Jewish refugees
In 2017, Deborah Veach went back to Germany, looking for the site of the displaced persons camp where she and her parents had been housed after World War II. They were in suspension, between the lives her parents led in Belarus before they were shattered by the Nazis, and the unknown fate awaiting them as refugees without a country.

To her dismay, and despite the fact that Foehrenwald was one of the largest Jewish DP centers in the American-controlled zone of Germany, she found barely a trace. A complex that once included a yeshiva, a police force, a fire brigade, a youth home, a theater, a post office and a hospital was remembered by almost no one except a local woman who ran a museum in a former bath house.

“It was sort of an accident of history that we were there in that particular camp in Germany, of all places, with no ties, no extended family, no place to call home,” said Veach, who was born at Foehrenwald in 1949 and lives in New Jersey. Now, “they renamed it. They changed the names of all the streets. There is nothing recognizable about the fact that it had been a DP camp.”

Veach is part of a now-aging cohort of children born or raised in the DP camps, the last with a first-hand connection to the experience of some 250,000 Jewish survivors who passed through them at the end of the war. To make sure memories of the camps survive them, the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and the United Nations Department of Global Communications have staged a short-term exhibit, “After the End of the World: Displaced Persons and Displaced Persons Camps.”

What does the UN exhibit display?
On display at UN headquarters in New York City Jan. 10 through Feb. 23, it is intended to illuminate “how the impact of the Holocaust continued to be felt after the Second World War ended and the courage and resilience of those that survived in their efforts to rebuild their lives despite having lost everything,” according to a press release.

Among the artifacts on display are dolls created by Jewish children and copies of some of the 70-odd newspapers published by residents, as well as photographs of weddings, theatrical performances, sporting events and classroom lessons.

The exhibit is “about the displaced persons themselves, about their lives and their hopes and their dreams, their ambitions, their initiatives,” said Debórah Dwork, who directs the Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity at the Graduate Center-CUNY, who served as the scholar adviser for the exhibition.
Mobbing: Israel's ordeal at the United Nations - opinion
So why is this happening?
The obvious hypocrisy and cynical manipulation of the UN, as well as the sheer number of resolutions, make it clear that these votes are not merely based on merit. And after all, without knowing the full and tortuous history mentioned earlier, who would not be in favor of Palestinian self-determination and a two-state solution?

The answer lies in the fact that almost 30% of the members of the UN belong to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The OIC was created in 1969 after a fire was started in al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem by a mentally-challenged Australian tourist (Dov Lieber, The Times of Israel, 2017). The mufti of Jerusalem called it a Jewish crime and called for all Muslim heads of state to convene a summit.

The OIC’s 57 members (53 Muslim majority), include 1.95 billion people (almost 25% of the world total), a combined GDP of 22 trillion dollars (NIS 76.6 trillion) and an area covering 31.66 million square kilometers (50% larger than the former Soviet Union). The power of the OIC to control events at the UN to suit an Arab/Islamic agenda is a worrisome development that has affected issues beyond the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (David Littman, Middle East Forum, 1999).

The OIC is the core group largely responsible for marshaling the votes against Israel. That it is such a large group and that no one OIC country wants to be seen as betraying the interests of the whole (a form of peer pressure) guarantees the success of the voting. Even friendly Arab countries, such as Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, who have signed on to the Abraham Accords, have continued to vote with their OIC cohort. This means that Israel will likely continue to face this form of one-sided criticism and harassment.

One can ask what the mobbing practice against Israel has accomplished. It has diminished the influence and credibility of the UN and it has encouraged Palestinian extremism. It has added to the sense of siege experienced by Israelis and it has reduced Israel’s willingness to make compromises that might affect Israeli security. It has not prevented Israel from continuing to develop and thrive as a democratic society with a strong economy, and as a world leader in new technology.
Clifford D May: Walk like an Israeli
Imagine if Pope Francis were to say: “Only Christians are permitted in the Vatican! No Muslims and no Jews!” The “international community” would be outraged. But the pontiff would never say that. Muslims and Jews are welcome in the Vatican.

Imagine if Israelis were to say: “Only Jews are permitted on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount! No Muslims and no Christians!” The “international community” would be outraged. But Israelis would never say that. Christians and Muslims are welcome on the Temple Mount, Judaism’s most sacred site, the place where two great Jewish temples were built and then destroyed by foreign empires.

Imagine if Palestinians, Jordanians and others were to say: “Only Muslims are permitted on Haram al-Sharif, the third holiest site for Muslims, from which Muhammad ascended to Heaven!”

That is, in fact, what many Palestinians, Jordanians and others are saying, and the “international community” is outraged—at Israelis, for not accepting the discriminatory decree.

Do you know why the Temple Mount and Haram al-Sharif occupy the same small hilltop in the first place? It’s because, in antiquity, imperialist conquerors—not just Muslims—commonly built atop the holy sites of those they conquered.

Today, however, the “international community” claims to value tolerance, diversity and inclusion. Does it? The Biden administration presents itself as a champion of those values. Is it?

“We are deeply concerned by the visit of the Israeli minister at the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif,” declared U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price. “This visit has the potential of exacerbating tensions and leading to violence.” Whose tensions might be exacerbated, and why that might lead to violence, he didn’t say.
Marc Goldberg: Ten Years Hard Labour
Williamson quotes two scholars working to understand anti-Jewish hatred to justify his point that ‘New Anti-Semitism [is] a concept specifically created to attack anti-Zionists’ and that ‘”antisemitism” is a propaganda term, designed to meld distinct periods of European anti-Jewish history into one, and to promote Islamophobic myths.’ Furthermore, Williamson claims that ‘the Rothschild conspiracy was made notorious in Nazi Germany and, since that time, has been found predominantly among the political right, supported by the likes of David Icke.’ This view, that Rothschild and Icke are limited to the right, appears to be undermined by the fact that the National Director of his Resist project, former union activist Sian Bloor, was suspended from the Labour Party for claiming Jeremy Corbyn had the ‘full force of the Rothschild Zionist agenda drawing down on him’.

Williamson appears to view antisemitism within the Labour Party as a lie that was repeated to attack Corbyn by a loose coalition that he refers to variously as the ‘Zionist lobby, and the right-wing corporate media’, ‘the Zionist lobby and the right-wing dominated PLP’, ‘the Zionist lobby and the neoliberal Establishment’ or ‘the saboteurs in the party’s bureaucratic machine, the right-wing PLP malcontents, the reactionary old guard in the CLPs, and the Zionist lobby’.

Regarding Zionism, Williamson argues that:
Perpetuation of the ‘collective trauma’ myth helps to legitimise the establishment of the Zionist state in 1948 and to justify the continued colonisation by Zionists of Palestinian land. This Zionist propaganda should be challenged, not indulged. Jewish communities should be reassured that they are secure, and that they are, and will continue to be, welcome in their own countries of origin. The British left should say clearly that the place for British Jews is within Britain, not Palestine.

Williamson may well be surprised to learn that the key mission of the Community Security Trust, Board of Deputies and Jewish Leadership Council, organisations he has criticised in Ten Years Hard Labour, is to facilitate Jewish life in the UK and to ensure that Jews are able to participate in British society in any way they see fit.

With this in mind it’s interesting to note how Williamson describes the support he saw for George Galloway among Muslim youths in the constituency of Batley and Spen: ‘their support was unsurprising, given Galloway’s long history of opposing Western aggression against Muslim-majority countries.’ Williamson engages in ideological gymnastics to avoid coming to the similar conclusion that British Jewish support for MPs supportive of the only Jewish majority state might also be ‘understandable’. Had he been able to see the support of the Jewish community and its representative bodies for Israel in these terms it’s possible that he would have been able to avoid going down the rabbit hole that has led him to endorse so many conspiracy theories relating to the Jewish state.

Williamson is by no means alone in endorsing such conspiracies, his collaborator on Palestine Declassified, David Miller, saw his professional career come to an end, at least partly as a result of espousing conspiracy theories connected with Israel, Jews and Zionism. Furthermore, a veritable cottage industry of small groups espousing hard left ideologies sprouted during the Corbyn years, all of whom expressed some sort of desire to defend Jeremy Corbyn and/or Labour from what they saw as attacks by ‘Zionists’. These groups included the Labour Against the Witch Hunt, Labour In Exile Network, Jewish Voice for Labour and others. Many of these groups have since been proscribed by the Labour Party but the conspiracy theories about Labour being attacked as part of some sort of directive emanating from Israel have remained.

There is little evidence from reading the book that Williamson has reflected on whether the decisions he made caused the hurt and outrage that ultimately caused his suspension and eventual departure from the party. One is left to ponder what might have happened had Williamson taken Naz Shah’s advice and apologised for the hurt he caused Jewish people and left behind the influence of nefarious activists with whom he insisted on offering ‘solidarity’. But Williamson chose a very different path. In his own account, Williamson played little to no role in the events he describes other than as a victim of nefarious actors who are mentioned only in vague terms. This conspiracy narrative has been all but purged form the Labour Party but it lives on in the wider ideology of the left that finds introspection threatening and lashes out at any consideration that it played a part in the calamitous period in time that will be known as the Corbyn years.

Is Netflix trying to make up for streaming anti-Israel film with special gesture?
Netflix has added a large number of Israeli-made films in recent weeks, possibly in an effort to lure back customers after a falling-out over an anti-Israel film.

Last month, hundreds of Israelis canceled their subscriptions after the streaming giant featured "Farha" – a debut by Jordanian director Darin Sallam – that portrays alleged Zionist atrocities during Israel's 1948 Independence War. The film includes a shocking 15-minute scene during which Israeli soldiers massacre a family of Palestinian refugees, including a baby.

It premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, received critical acclaim, and was even picked to represent Jordan in the Best Foreign Film category of the upcoming Oscars, but later failed to make it onto a shortlist of 15 films that will vie for the Academy Awards.

The Israeli-made films that have been added to Netflix include "Fill the Void", "The Band's Visit", "The Wedding Plan", "Hunting Elephants", and "Late Marriage."

Guardian revives lie about Israel's 2009 settlement freeze
Back in 2012, we posted about a Guardian report by Chris McGreal (Obama’s in-tray – Israel/Palestine, Nov. 7) which included the following claim:
“Obama sought to pressure the Israeli prime minister to halt Jewish settlement expansion in the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, at their first meeting in the spring of 2009. Netanyahu not only resisted but humiliated the president by publicly lecturing him about Jewish history.”

As we noted in our post, McGreal continued with his narrative about Israel putatively resisting pressure from the US president to initiate a settlement freeze in an article he wrote the following month, (‘International criminal court is a lever for Palestinians on Israeli settlements‘, Dec. 15), which included this:
When Obama first came to power four years ago, he attempted to strong-arm Netanyahu into taking an agreement with the Palestinians seriously. The president began by demanding a total freeze on settlement construction. The Israeli prime minister outmanoeuvred and humiliated Obama, and carried on as before.”

As we demonstrated at the time, not only is it untrue that “Netanyahu “resisted” Obama’s request, but, in fact, the 10-month Israeli freeze on new construction in the West Bank, which began in Dec. 2009, had been reported by other Guardian journalists as the fact that it was.
Over 15 months on BBC Arabic corrects on Israel's citizenship law
A post by CAMERA Arabic.

As part of the November 2022 wave of BBC Arabic corrections prompted by collaboration between CAMERA Arabic, CAMERA UK and The Jewish Chronicle, the BBC has finally resolved a pending complaint concerning a July 2021 report about Israel’s citizenship laws.

The original July 2021 report claimed that Israel’s then newly expired Citizenship Law prevented Palestinians from joining “their spouses, Palestinians of the interior, who hold Israeli citizenship”. [emphasis added]

The “Palestinians of the interior” part of that statement is false because the law withheld citizenship rights from Palestinians who married Israelis regardless of whether they are Jewish or Arab. As a BBC report in English on the same topic correctly read:
“Israel’s parliament has failed to pass an extension to a controversial law barring Palestinians from the occupied West Bank or Gaza who marry Israelis from being granted citizenship rights.”

Notably, an identical error was corrected by AFP shortly after publication.

In addition, the BBC Arabic report claimed that while Israel does not grant Israeli citizenship to nationals of a few Arab countries as well as Iran and the Palestinian Authority, “it is possible for other non-Jews who marry Israeli Jews to apply for citizenship through a five-year process”.
In La Presse Column, Former Canadian Ambassador To Egypt Falsely Claims Israel Never Pursued Peace With Palestinians
After weeks of negotiations, Israel finally has a new government.

Following the November 1 vote in Israel, negotiations concluded between political parties and Benjamin Netanyahu has returned as Prime Minister after securing a coalition government.

While the new government under Netanyahu features a number of new government ministers from right-of-centre political parties, and it has also been described by some commentators as “the most right-wing and religiously conservative government in Israel’s history,” this new Netanyahu administration has also provided cover for some critics to make unsubstantiated claims against Israel under the guise of criticizing the new government.

In a December 31 commentary in La Presse entitled: “Netanyahu’s government in Israel: The worst gift for those who dream of peace,” Ferry de Kerckhove, Canada’s former ambassador to Egypt, now serving as a professor at the University of Ottawa and advisor to the Canadian Arab Institute, alleged that Prime Minister Netanyahu recently “announced a massive expansion of colonization.”

While de Kerckhove fails to provide any specifics to buttress his remarkable claim, he’s presumably referring to the new government’s stated priority to “advance and develop settlement in all parts of Israel — in the Galilee, the Negev Desert, the Golan Heights, and Judea and Samaria [West Bank].”

While accusing Israel of “colonization” is a popular claim du jour to make, repeating this contention doesn’t make it true.
What Is The Palestinian Media Really Saying About Israel A Fireside Chat With Elliot Zweig, Deputy Director Of MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute)
The ongoing issue of Palestinian incitement against Israel and Jews, in general, has long been an obstacle to peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

In territories under the Palestinian Authority (PA), to say nothing of Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip, Israel is frequently and widely demonized and delegitimized as a Jewish state, and general and overt antisemitism is used as a means to attack Israel.

This messaging, often coming from official Palestinian Authority outlets, is significantly at odds with the public persona put forward by PA President Mahmoud Abbas to global audiences, which is pro-peace.

And if you’ve ever seen an Arabic-language video of a Palestinian representative being candid and less than diplomatic in speaking about Israel or Jews, there’s a good chance it was from MEMRI.

MEMRI, or the Middle East Media Research Institute, is a nonprofit press monitoring and analysis organization that provides translation of media outlets from a number of languages, including Arabic.

MEMRI’s deputy director, Elliot Zweig, is our guest on this week’s podcast.
The Washington Post’s Jerusalem Bureau Eschews Reporting, Embraces Editorializing
The Washington Post isn’t short on words to describe Israel’s new government. And none of them are flattering. Yet, the Post’s decision to castigate the latest governing coalition evidences a complete disregard for journalistic standards.

A Dec. 29, 2022 report was entitled “Far-right Israeli government sworn in amid surge of resistance.” In that dispatch, correspondent Shira Rubin wrote, “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inaugurated the most right-wing government in Israel’s history on Thursday, launching a divisive chapter of national politics that pits newly influential ultrareligious, ultranationalist leaders against an opposition that warns democracy is in peril.” That’s quite the paragraph, replete with the sort of editorializing and value judgments that contravene standard practice in journalism. Worse follows.

The new government, Rubin writes, is “already pursuing plans to restrict the rights of minorities, alter the system of governmental checks and balances, hollow out the Israeli judiciary, exert influence over the army and security forces, and allow harsher treatment of Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories.” Again, this reads more like an opinion piece than the sort of straight reporting that the Washington Post pretends to pursue. After all, what sort of government doesn’t “exert influence over the army and security forces”? How exactly is that unusual? And what does the Post mean by “harsher treatment of Palestinians in Israel?” No details are offered. Further, a mere fraction of Arab citizens of Israel prefer to be called “Palestinian.” A 2020 survey by Tel Aviv University found that nearly a quarter (23%) of Israeli minorities define themselves as “Israeli,” and half (51%) self-identify as “Israeli Arab.” By contrast, only 7% choose to call themselves “Palestinians.”

Finally, the Post’s use of the term “occupied territories” is also incorrect. Jews are from Judea, or as Rubin calls it, the “West Bank.” They are indigenous to the land and have maintained a continual presence there that predates the Arab and Islamic conquests of the 7th century by more than a thousand years.

New voices in fighting antisemitism 2023
December was a month of donuts, drinks, fried foods, menorah sweaters and dreidel games. It was also the month any concerned, informed Jewish activist followed social media influencers and organization emails and realized why Jews are losing the war on combating antisemitism.

Noa Tishby is a gorgeous face and recognizable voice who has appeared on Fox News representing herself as a proud Zionist. I’m not saying she doesn’t love Israel, but she can’t be a voice to fight antisemitism and then go to the White House and thank Debbie Wasserman Schultz for her invitation when the congresswoman was one of the original architects of the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal.

Tishby is just one of a growing group of novice activists who have built Instagram platforms by reposting questionable information that Jew haters have access to.

It is sad and ironic that Kanye West’s antisemitic tweets are getting more noticed because Jewish influencers are reposting them and building their analytics.

Real journalism includes extensive investigations, facts confirmed by multiple sources and original news stories. As a graduate with a broadcast journalism degree and years of work at newspapers and in electronic press, we learned the hard knocks of breaking news and sharing the facts.

While people from all backgrounds and political parties complain about “fake news” and bias education against Jews and Israel, one really has to ask, “Do Jews encourage antisemitism by fighting it the wrong way?”
Cattle Car Experience takes Savannah through Holocaust education amid rise in anti-Semitism
"To me, it's empowering," said Rabbi Eli Lob with the BBJ Synagogue and Southern NCSY as he looked at the WWII-era cattle car replica sitting in the Benedictine Military School parking lot on Thursday.

"My relatives didn't die for nothing, rather ... it's the lessons we take from it that we have to do all we can to raise more compassion and try to prevent hatred."

Inside the experience sat around 25 students from Islands High School, who were immersed in visuals and testimonies of the people who experienced similar enclosures when they were stripped from their homes by Nazi soldiers and transported to concentration camps across Germany during World War II.

The Cattle Car Experience, which began on Tuesday, will be on display in Savannah through Jan. 12 in conjunction with the Savannah Jewish Educational Alliance (JEA). The cattle car will be placed at Skidaway Community Church on Sunday and will be at the Savannah JEA on Monday and Tuesday.

Local school tours are planned most mornings, but the public is welcome to attend in the afternoon and evening by RSVP-ing at It is recommended to anyone of any faith and ages 13 and older.

Across the world, waves of violence and anti-Semitism have risen and Rabbi Lob said that he hopes an experience like this one will open people's hearts and show a path towards preventing further hatred. "They need to see how far hatred can take people and they need to learn that we need to focus on preventing hatred and building up love and compassion," he said.

"So it's important to see how far hatred can go in order not to get stuck in the hatred, but in order to move forward and building a positive future. I really want to empower people towards a love compassion and taking a stand against each other."
UK Conservative party MP booted out for comparing COVID vaccines to the Holocaust
Britain’s ruling Conservative party suspended one of its own lawmakers from the party on Wednesday after he compared the COVID-19 vaccine to the Holocaust.

Tory Chief Whip Simon Hart said in a statement that MP Andrew Bridgen had “crossed a line, causing great offence in the process.”

“Misinformation about the vaccine causes harm and costs lives,” Hart said. “I am therefore removing the whip from Andrew Bridgen with immediate effect, pending a formal investigation.”

Losing the whip is one of the most severe punishments a British political party can level against a lawmaker, effectively removing them from the faction. Bridgen will sit in the House of Commons as an independent MP.

Bridgen, the member of parliament for North West Leicestershire, tweeted earlier Wednesday, in reference to claims that COVID vaccines cause heart damage: “As one consultant cardiologist said to me this is the biggest crime against humanity since the Holocaust.”

Posting unfounded conspiracy theories from sources known to propagate misinformation on the matter, he wrote, “We know the ‘vaccines’ are causing serious harms [sic] and now it’s becoming increasingly clear how they are doing it. No wonder so many people are ill since vaccination.”
Muslim Thug in NYC Attack On Jewish Man to Get Slap on the Wrist
The attack was condemned by public officials. One of the arrested thugs made no secret of his guilt.

The Brooklyn man accused of beating a Jewish man in a hate attack in Midtown proclaimed from his jail cell that he would “do it again,” prosecutors said on Saturday.

“If I could do it again, I would do it again,” he told one of his jailers, according to a prosecutor at Awawdeh’s Saturday arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court. “I have no problem doing it again.”

Awawdeh, who has at least one open case in Brooklyn for allegedly speeding and running a red light in March, was charged with assault as a hate crime, gang assault, menacing, aggravated harassment as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon, police said.

The Midtown attack was a hate crime, the Manhattan assistant district attorney told Paek, adding Awawdeh called Borgen a “dirty Jew” and said, “F–k Israel, Hamas is going to kill all of you.”

Looks like he’ll get the chance.

Raina Raskin at the New York Sun reports that, “The Manhattan district attorney’s office is taking heat for offering a plea deal for an alleged assailant in a brutal 2021 beating of a Jewish man. The office confirmed to the Sun that it has offered a plea deal to Waseem Awawdeh that would land him in jail for just six months for his alleged role in the assault of Joseph Borgen. The deal would give Mr. Awawdeh a six-month prison stay in exchange for a guilty plea on charges of second-degree attempted assault with hate motives.”

This is a videotaped assault in which the defendant bragged that he would do it again. Why is there even a plea deal? Is Bragg’s office worried that they’re going to get a conviction under these circumstances?

Except that plea deals and diversions are being handed out like candy in typical fashion by pro-crime prosecutors.

For first time in 35 years, Israel posts budget surplus driven by higher tax revenue
Israel posted a budget surplus of NIS 9.8 billion ($2.85 billion) in 2022, or 0.6% of gross domestic product, fueled by a 14% rise in tax revenue, the country’s Finance Ministry said on Wednesday.

In 2022, the government’s revenues rose 4.8% to NIS 468.5 billion and exceeded total expenditure of NIS 458.8 billion, creating a surplus for the first time since 1987, the ministry said. The Finance Ministry had set a budget deficit target of 3.9% for 2022. The Bank of Israel earlier this month still expected a budget deficit of 0.3% of GDP.

“2022 was characterized by an exceptionally high increase in state revenues, adding to the exceptional growth in 2021, following an impressive recovery of the economy from the [coronavirus] crisis,” the ministry said in its report.

Israel posted deficits of 4.4% of GDP in 2021 and 11.3% in 2020 as the government introduced a NIS 196.3 billion multi-year economic aid spending plan to help the economy deal with the coronavirus pandemic. To date, 92% of the 2020-2022 aid plan has already been spent, the ministry said. In December, Israel posted a budget deficit of NIS 18.7 billion.

With his ministry soon to be preparing its 2023-2024 budget proposal, newly appointed Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said this week that it will focus on driving growth and will aim to provide a lot of relief.
"Netanyahu, Modi Vow to Advance Israel-India Ties"
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by phone on Wednesday with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, who vowed to advance bilateral ties between the Jewish state and the world’s most populous democracy.

“Was a pleasure to speak with my good friend, @netanyahu. Congratulated him for his impressive election win and for becoming Prime Minister for a record sixth time. Delighted that we will have another chance to advance the India-Israel Strategic Partnership together. @IsraeliPM,” wrote Modi in a post on Twitter.

The two leaders agreed to meet soon, according to a statement from the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office.

Last week, Indian Foreign Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar phoned his Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen to congratulate him on assuming his post.

“Look forward to partnering [with Cohen] in taking our cooperation forward. Value his many insights, including on economy and security,” Jaishankar wrote in a follow-up Twitter post.

On Jan. 29, India and Israel celebrated 30 years of full diplomatic relations, kicking off a year of joint cultural and educational events.
India-Led Consortium Completes $1.15 Billion Purchase of Haifa Port
A consortium led by Adani, an India-based international conglomerate, completed the $1.15 billion purchase of Haifa Port, Israel’s Finance Ministry announced on Tuesday.

The consortium includes the Gadot Group, an Israeli chemical and logistics company based in Netanya.

The purchase is not related to the separate Chinese-operated Haifa Bayport Terminal across the bay, which has been a source of US concern.

Adani, owned by billionaire industrialist Gautam Adani, has holdings in port management, electric power generation and transmission, renewable energy, mining, airport operations, natural gas, food processing and infrastructure. It currently operates 15 ports and terminals, mostly in India.

In August, Bloomberg News estimated Adani’s personal wealth at $137 billion. Bloomberg ranked Adani as the world’s third wealthiest person, behind Amazon chairman Jeff Bezos and business magnate and investor Elon Musk.

Israel moved to privatize Haifa’s ports to boost the city’s profile as a hub for international shipping, bring down costs and upgrade the facilities.
2023 Genesis Prize awarded to Jewish activists in Ukraine
Recognizing the extraordinary nature of events dominating the past eleven months, The Genesis Prize Selection Committee has decided to depart from the usual custom of awarding the prize to a single Jewish individual.

Instead, the committee has elected to announce a collective award to Jewish activists and NGOs who chose to act on their Jewish values by standing up for freedom, human dignity, and justice.

Natan Sharansky, a trustee of The Genesis Prize Foundation and Stan Polovets, founder and chairman of the foundation, released a statement today, announcing the decision: "The past eleven months have been unlike any previous period in the 10-year history of the Genesis Prize, with war, destruction, and human suffering on a scale unseen since World War II.

"Tens of thousands of people have lost their lives - millions abandoned their homes, jobs, schools, and families. As countries neighboring Ukraine became inundated with refugees and faced disruptions to their energy supply, the economic fallout from the war has been felt throughout the world, impacting tens of millions of lives far beyond the conflict zone.

"But there has also been human kindness, compassion, and activism on an unprecedented scale," they added. "Across the world, thousands of individuals and organizations were moved to action – making a moral choice to volunteer, donate money, shelter refugees, and engage in political advocacy"
‘Xuetas’ Return to Their Roots in Majorca
The Mediterranean island of Majorca, which has been under Spanish rule since the 13th century, has only a small Jewish population. But about 20,000 of its residents are Xuetas—a special term for Majorcans of Jewish dissent—although only a small percentage of these actively identify as such. Ari Blaff tells their story:

Violent pogroms in the 14th century devastated the Majorcan Jewish community, which traced its roots back a millennium. Fearing for their survival, in 1435 the entire community underwent a mass conversion. Henceforth, no one among these “New Christians” practiced their Judaism publicly, although a smaller subgroup of crypto-Jews did in private.

Still, the conversions didn’t satisfy everyone. The Spanish Inquisition conducted periodic autos-da-fé (public burnings) singling out New Christians thought to have remained faithful to their Judaism. Suspected crypto-Jews persecuted by the Inquisition had their names written on sanbenitos [sackcloth caps or cloaks] that were publicly displayed in the Church of Santo Domingo in Palma (which is no longer existent).

By some estimates, the lists included hundreds of names. However, burgeoning renovation costs (alongside speculations of bribery to have one’s name removed) led authorities in the mid-1700s to preserve only fifteen surnames that persisted over the coming centuries on Majorca as a sign of forbidden Jewish roots. Descendants of these families came to be known as “Xuetas,” which some believe stems from combining the Catalan words xulla (bacon or pork) and Jueu (Jew). Although the surviving members of these Xueta families of crypto-Jews were spared the worst aspects of the Inquisition, their surnames were tainted by association.

For centuries, these fifteen families were effectively barred from marrying any other Majorcans and were forced to look for spouses within their small community.
‘The march of a people whose destiny is to live’
The International March of the Living honored former chief rabbi of Israel Yisrael Meir Lau and Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer and his wife, Rhoda, at its 35th Anniversary Gala celebration in Miami, Florida, on Tuesday night.

Chairman of the March Shmuel Rosenman paid a special tribute to Lau, who has participated in some capacity in the annual trip to Poland and Israel to study the history of the Holocaust since its inception in 1988.

“For me, the essence of the march is in its name. The march of a people whose destiny it is to live,” Lau said in a video message to the gathering.

Lau, sent to a Nazi slave labor camp at age 7, survived Buchenwald, made aliyah in 1945 at age 8 and later became chairman of Yad Vashem.

The current and immediate past U.S. ambassadors to Israel, Tom Nides and David Friedman, will lead the 2023 International March of the Living in what the organization described as a bipartisan commitment to combating Jew-hatred.

“As divided as we are as a country, I think we are all of one mind in the battle against antisemitism. So, I sat down with Tom Nides and I said, ‘We don’t agree on much of anything.’ So, how about he, a left-wing Democrat, and me, a right-wing Republican, lead the March together? And, to his credit, he said, ‘What a great idea.’ We will say not in words but in deeds that we are fighting against antisemitism,” Friedman said at the event on Tuesday.

The Dermers were presented with a silver-plated shofar to mark the work they do on behalf of the March.

“Ron and Rhoda are two of the most ardent supporters of the work we do. They have been a shining light for the Jewish people since making aliyah, and the State of Israel, the Jewish people, and the entire world benefit daily from their insights and dedication,” said Phyllis Greenberg Heideman, president of the March, who interviewed the Dermers on stage.

During the exchange, Ron Dermer recounted a development when he and his wife attended the March in 2017.

“I remember the surreal occurrence of being on a top-secret phone call between the Israeli and U.S. national security advisors about concurrent bombing missions in Syria following [President] Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons, and this took place immediately outside the gas chamber at the Majdanek [German death camp],” said Dermer.

'Israel-in-a-box' made by entrepreneurs for Jewish state's 75th birthday
With Israel’s 75th Independence Day getting closer, a new initiative by a group of Israelis created a special celebratory box that includes beautifully designed trivia cards, a poster of the Jewish state’s founding leaders and more.

This group of creators, artists and writers calls itself the Jewish Pride Project. They decided to join forces in honor of Israel's 75th Independence Day and produce a special box in English that will allow Jews around the world to taste what they call "a bit of the Israeli ethos and heritage.”

The Independence Day Box includes a bestseller book that tells the story of the heroes of 1948, a poster of the nation's greatest founding fathers and mothers, a copy of the Declaration of Independence, a family trivia game and a small Israeli flag.

Who was involved in making Israel-in-a-box?
This group of professionals includes tour guide and author Avichai Berg, publisher Rotem Sella and designer Zvi Keren. “This is only the first step, in a process that aims to export the Israeli ethos and heritage to Diaspora Jews, with the aim of connecting them to the Israeli story,” Sella told The Jerusalem Post.

Israel Independence Trivia game, included in the special box made for Israel's 75th Independence Day (Illustrative). (credit: Jewish Pride Project) Israel Independence Trivia game, included in the special box made for Israel's 75th Independence Day (Illustrative). (credit: Jewish Pride Project)

Keren, the designer of the Independence box, previously worked with tech companies and major advertising agencies in Israel. "I would love every young American Jew to have a poster of the greatest Israeli leaders hanging next to posters of Drake, LeBron James or Steve Jobs in their bedroom,” Keren said. “There is no reason why a young American Jew should not recognize and celebrate the revival, victories and achievements of a country that can be, at least their home away from home."

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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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