Sunday, January 22, 2023

From Ian:

Honest Reporting Canada In National Post: As Israel Turns 75 Years Old, A (Selected) List of 75 Facts & Accomplishments About Israel
Israel turns 75 years old this spring, but despite being three-quarters of a century old, the modern Jewish state is more than merely surviving; it’s thriving.

In 1948, when Israel became an independent state, its population was only a few hundred thousand people; today, it’s home to well over nine million. Israel was conceived not only as a place of refuge for Jews seeking safety from persecution, but as the modern-day manifestation of an ancient dream; the Jewish people’s desire to fulfill their self-determination in their historic homeland.

In 2023, Israel — like all countries — is not without challenges, some of them quite serious. But it’s well-equipped to handle them. Despite being largely devoid of abundant natural resources — or perhaps, as a result of that shortage — Israel has become a world leader in environmental protection and the preservation of finite natural resources. The country has become known globally as the Startup Nation, famous for its innovative culture and growing number of startup companies.

For many years, Israel’s growing success nevertheless did not translate into widespread acceptance in the Middle East, but even that may be changing. The Abraham Accords shone a spotlight on a fast-changing reality in the region, namely that Israel is being increasingly seen as a valuable partner, not just a country to grudgingly accept as a fait accompli. Israel now enjoys diplomatic relations with Sudan, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Morocco, Kosovo, and others. Even Saudi Arabia, the most influential Sunni Islamic state and the home of Islam’s two holiest cities, Mecca and Medina, may be next.

What 2023 brings for Israel is anyone’s guess. But one thing is certain: the country is likely to hit new heights and achieve new dreams.

To help celebrate the Jewish state’s diamond birthday, here’s a list of 75 of some of Israel’s incredible achievements and relevant facts to give appreciation for all that the country is, and for all that it has accomplished.

1. Israel is a bastion of religious freedom where people of all faiths (and no faith) can practice (or not worship) as they see fit, without persecution.
2. Israel is a world leader in protecting natural resources and the environment, recycling as much as 90 percent of its wastewater.
3. Israel is the only place in the Middle East with a growing Christian population, expanding by roughly two percent annually.
4. Israel is the only place in the Middle East where members of the LGBTQ+ community can live without fear of oppression.
5. Israel is the freest country in the Middle East, according to Freedom House.
6. Israel is the only country to be home to more trees in 2000 than in 1900.
7. Israel is a world leader in high-tech and research and development, spending nearly 5 percent of GDP on innovation.
8. The Israeli military has been called “the most moral army in the Middle East.”
9. Israel is the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people.
10. Israel represents not colonialism, but the return of an indigenous people to their own land.
Jerusalem's Jewish majority has been restored after 100 years - opinion
One hundred years ago this past week, British census takers announced remarkable news: Jerusalem’s Jewish majority had been restored, despite long centuries of anti-Jewish persecution by the city’s foreign occupiers and in defiance of conventional wisdom about the future of Jews in Israel.

How fitting that the centennial of that revolutionary event in the history of Jerusalem coincided with the latest call by a Palestinian Arab advocate, in the pages of the New York Times, to tear Jerusalem away from the Jewish people.

The Times op-ed, which was published on January 17, was authored by Rashid Khalidi, a Columbia University professor and strident opponent of Israel. Khalidi began the article by expressing his objections to the planned construction of a United States embassy in western Jerusalem, claiming that his family owns a piece of the land in question.

But later in his essay, Khalidi made it clear that his rejectionism is not confined to that particular tract of land, he opposes building a US embassy in Jerusalem on this site or any other.

In other words, the question of whether he really owns any of that land is actually irrelevant to Khalidi’s agenda. He is saying that the Jewish people have no right to any part of Jerusalem and that neither the US nor anybody else should recognize such a Jewish right. The embassy construction issue is just a pretext for Khalidi and his camp to carry on their war to take Jerusalem – all of Jerusalem – away from the Jews.

Jerusalem has been the center of Jewish national and spiritual existence since time immemorial. It was the capital of sovereign Jewish kingdoms for many centuries in biblical times and the site of the holiest place in Judaism, the Temple Mount, where the First Temple and Second Temple stood.

Dangerous coping mechanisms: Jews are self-harming, not fighting antisemitism - Opinion
Many Jews think that if they rationalize attacks on other Jews and join in on the slandering Israel train, they will somehow be shielded from antisemitism. Not only are these strategies ineffective, but they are also dangerous and fan the flames of Jew-hatred.

In 1932, on the Jewish holiday of Chanukah, Rachel Posner, a rabbi's wife in Kiel, Germany, took a photo of her menorah on her windowsill. At the time, the Posner's windowsill was across the road from the regional office of the Nazi Party, which had a sizable swastika flag hanging ominously from the building's exterior. The image was taken shortly before the Nazis took power, when tensions and hatred against the Jewish people were intensifying. On the back of the photo, she wrote the words: "Chanukah 5692 (1932) "Death to Judah," So the flag says, "Judah will live forever," So the light answers."

Now, 90 years after that powerful photograph was taken, the atmosphere around the world feels unsettlingly similar. Antisemitism is becoming more mainstream, whether it’s Kanye West's antisemitic rants, United Nations officials claiming the "Jewish Lobby" controls social media, or a US university adopting a bylaw refusing to invite or sponsor any speaker who supports "Zionism."

In the past, Jews have used various strategies and coping mechanisms to deal with the onslaught of hatred to survive and manage day-to-day life. These strategies have always manifested differently, depending on the circumstances that the Jewish people were facing at the time. Today, subconsciously, or perhaps even consciously, many Jews think that if they rationalize attacks on other Jews and join in on the slandering Israel train, they will somehow be shielded from antisemitism.

Additionally, most antisemitic attacks have been directed at visible Jews. A report published by Americans Against Antisemitism found that the vast majority (94%) of the victims of the attacks were Haredi Orthodox, with a majority (52%) belonging to the Hasidic community. Many Jews will assume that if these Jews are under attack, they must be doing something to deserve it.

According to an American Jewish Committee study of US and Israeli Jewish millennials conducted in April 2022, more than a quarter of American Jews believe it is acceptable to distance themselves from Israel to blend in better socially.

Not only are these strategies ineffective, but they are also dangerous and fan the flames of Jew-hatred.
WaPo[$]: Attacks on U.S. Jews and gays accelerate as hate speech grows on Twitter
Recent antisemitic incidents included direct references to rapper Ye, who issued tweets against Jews after Musk welcomed him back to the platform after his suspension from Instagram. His return to Twitter saw him issue a pledge to go “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE.”

Even after Musk suspended Ye again, tweets referring to Jewish “privilege” or “supremacy” rose, according to Joel Finkelstein, director of Network Contagion and a senior fellow at Rutgers University.

An assailant who attacked a man in New York City’s Central Park last month shouted, “Kanye 2024” along with antisemitic comments as he did so, police said. In November, vandals spray-painted “Kanye was rite” along with swastikas on headstones in an Illinois Jewish cemetery.

Hate crimes against Jews in New York jumped from nine in September to 45 in November, to make up more than half of bias incidents in the city, according to New York Police Department statistics.

White nationalists and some Black Americans at times amplified one another, Finkelstein said. Neo-Nazi groups posted memes on image boards with Ye as a heroic new Hitler, while Cynthia McKinney of Georgia, a Black American Green Party activist who served six terms in Congress, tweeted that 2022 is “the year of #TheNoticing, the year that gaslighting finally began not to work!” That hashtag, driven by hardcore antisemites on Twitter and image board 4chan, refers to a supposed discovery that some Jews are in influential positions. McKinney did not respond to requests for comment.

Finkelstein has seen the same patterns before, including during an Israel-Hamas conflict in May 2021. A team of analysts from Network Contagion and elsewhere examined 6 billion tweets and Reddit posts and recently found that the volume of tweets using human rights language was a better predictor of both U.S. street protests and antisemitic incidents than was the actual fighting in the Middle East.

Musk’s ‘free speech’ agenda dismantles safety work at Twitter, insiders say

“We found that in parallel with fighting, there is massive spike in words like colonialism and apartheid, and then there are incidents,” said Aviva Klompas, chief executive of Boundless, a nonprofit group that also worked on the study. “Then you see the long tail of that weaponized language, and the incidents keep coming.”
Caroline Glick: Esther Hayut’s war against democracy
Both grounds for Deri’s dismissal were rooted in Hayut’s notion that Supreme Court justices are endowed with special powers to discern right from wrong that mere mortals do not possess. The Deri decision effectively struck down the judgment of four hundred thousand Shas voters. Indeed, it struck down the ballots of 2.3 million Israelis who voted for Likud, the National Religious Party, Shas and United Torah Judaism, with the goal of forming the current Netanyahu government, in which, all concerned assumed, Deri would serve as a minister. The court’s legally unhinged decision also struck down the Knesset’s exclusive power to approve governments, and the prime minister’s power to appoint his ministers in accordance with law.

The Hayut court’s contempt for the public and its elected representatives is rooted in Hayut’s pseudo-historical understanding of Nazism. She explained her views in an address before the Israeli-German Association of Jurists in May 2019 in Nuremberg. After chronicling the manner in which the German courts were taken over by the Nazis in the early 1930s, Hayut made the preposterous claim that had the German courts been stronger, they could have prevented the Nazi takeover of Germany, and the Holocaust.

Hayut’s revisionist history was transparently self-serving, and deeply hostile to both the historical record of Nazism in Germany and to her own people. Her implicit thesis was that everyone has a Nazi inside of him. Left uncontrolled, democracy, wherever practiced, is liable to bring Nazis to power. Politics, culture, history have no impact on the character of a nation. The only way for the Nazis to be kept in the bottle, whether in Germany or Israel, is for the courts to be more powerful than the public and their representatives.

Hayut then explained how Israel’s judicial aristocracy performs its function of guarding the people from their internal Nazis. German Jews in the 1930s, she argued, weren’t too concerned when Hitler rose to power, because the Weimar Republic’s constitution guaranteed their civil rights. They trusted that the Nazis would respect the constitution and the laws in force. In 1995, the Israeli Supreme Court used Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty and a means to transform itself into the protector of the liberal order from the politicians whose internal Nazis lurk under the surface, always.

As she put it, “One of the universal lessons that it is worthy to learn from the historical events that I discussed here is that judicial independence and the absence of judicial accountability on the institutional and personal level, is one of the important guarantors that the individual will have a place to turn to protect his rights.”

In the face of Hayut’s transformation of the Supreme Court from one that had some discourse with laws to one where judges are free to follow their passions in usurping the powers of the Knesset and government and people, it is clear that the most urgent order of business for the Knesset and the government is to restore judicial accountability.
Ruthie Blum: Kudos to ‘The Wall Street Journal’ for demonstrating integrity about Israeli democracy
Kudos to The Wall Street Journal for defending the new Israeli government’s judicial-reform plan. It takes guts for a news outlet to go against the grain of fashionable politics, particularly when the decibel level of the loud minority is so high.

Anyone arguing that it’s easy for the paper’s editorial board to take a stand that’s unpopular in far-away elite circles ought to reconsider. Though it’s true that the protesters in the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem who’ve been spending the past three Saturday nights living it up by warning against the death of democracy are nowhere near WSJ headquarters in New York City, their voices have been resonating well beyond the borders of the Jewish state.

Contrary to what they’re telling themselves, however, the disproportionate global attention paid to the demonstrators has nothing to do with the ostensible merits of their cause—to shield the Supreme Court from those intent on clipping its wings. It is due, rather, to the return to power of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this time with no left-wing coalition partners.

Since disgruntled Israelis whose candidates suffered a defeat in the Nov. 1 Knesset elections were unable to contest the decisive victory of their nemesis, they’ve been discrediting the will of the people through various means. Chief among these is the assertion that majority rule is a greater existential threat than Iranian nukes.

To give credence to the ridiculous assertion, they point to the “democratic elections” that ushered in the reign of Adolf Hitler. The antisemitic analogy doesn’t bother the Israelis using it to characterize ultra-Orthodox Jews in general, and especially haredim in ministerial positions.
Daniel Greenfield: 100,000 is Nothing: The Myth of Israel’s “Mass Anti-Government Protests”
Here are just half a dozen examples.

A protest against Sharon’s disastrous disengagement from Gaza.
Israeli police estimated that 120,000 people filled Rabin Square on Sunday night, brandishing banners denouncing Sharon’s so-called “disengagement” plan.

Protests in favor of turning over Gaza to Hamas and ethnically cleansing its Jewish population.
Israel said yesterday it would intensify its military assault on the Gaza strip, hours after more than 100,000 people rallied in Tel Aviv to demand that Ariel Sharon follow through on his pledge to withdraw Jewish settlers from the territory.

Even Haredim protesting government school regulations could turn out 250,000.
The last haredi protest of a similar size and nature was in 1999, when the community protested against several Supreme Court rulings on religious issues, including a ruling that ended the exemption of haredi yeshiva students from military service. At that rally, some 250,000 members of the community turned out to protest.

A rally demanding Olmert’s resignation topped 100,000. Housing price protests topped 100,000. So did opposition to withdrawing from the Golan Heights.

Anti-government rallies of 100,000 or more might be a big deal in some places, but they’re common in Israel.

100,000 protesters in Israel is no big deal.

Anyone telling you this is an unprecedented public rejection of the government that, by the way, won the recent elections, is lying to you.

And most of the media’s lies depend on fooling people who don’t know a whole lot about Israel.
Netanyahu fires Deri in accordance with Supreme Court ruling
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday the dismissal of Shas chairman Aryeh Deri from his ministerial positions.

The announcement follows last week’s Supreme Court ruling that Deri’s appointment was “unreasonable in the extreme” due to a prior tax fraud conviction.

In his letter of dismissal, Netanyahu wrote, “As you know, I decided to appoint you as deputy prime minister and minister of the interior and health with the approval of the majority of Knesset members due to the fact that I see you as an anchor of experience, wisdom and responsibility that are important to the State of Israel at all times, and especially at this time.”

The Supreme Court issued the ruling despite a Knesset amendment passed in December to allow Deri to serve as a minister. The amendment specified that a ban on persons serving as ministers for seven years if convicted of a criminal offense applies only to those serving active jail sentences. Deri was handed a suspended jail sentence as part of a plea bargain on tax fraud last February. The law had been unclear on whether the seven-year ban applied to suspended sentences.

“This unfortunate decision ignores the will of the people, as reflected in the great trust that the public gave to the people’s representatives…when it was clear to everyone that you would serve in the government as a senior minister,” wrote Netanyahu.

The premier concluded by stating that he will seek “any legal way” Deri can “continue to contribute to the State of Israel,” given his wealth of skills and experience.

He noted that in the meantime, and “with a heavy heart,” he must remove Deri from his cabinet-level positions.
Israel slams Western diplomats for not coordinating Temple Mount visit
Israeli officials lambasted the EU and other Western countries over the weekend after European diplomats visited the Temple Mount without prior communication through the relevant diplomatic channels, all but ignoring the Israeli control over the holy site and in Jerusalem overall.

The group, which comprised some 30 members from EU countries, Canada, Australia, and Argentina, coordinated with the Islamic Waqf on the mountain, which is the religious administrative body there, but did not do the same with the Israeli authorities and security agencies.

Head of the European Union Delegation to the Palestinians in Ramallah Sven Kuhn coordinated the visit but did not make it public. Other participants did. The UK Consulate in Jerusalem tweeted: "We joined like-minded diplomats at #AlAqsa Mosque to demonstrate support for Jordanian Custodianship of Christian and Muslim holy sites in #Jerusalem. We continue to promote historic Status Quo arrangements which permit all three Abrahamic faiths to worship in the Old City."

A Foreign Ministry spokesman expressed outrage, telling Israel Hayom: "This visit was irresponsible and could have led to provocation and incitement. The Foreign Ministry will continue to engage via diplomatic channels in order to prevent steps that could lead to escalation and has made it clear to the EU that it does not take it lightly."

PMW: PA broadcasts 'Music to Murder by' - to welcome 2023
An Oxford University expert on extremism has explained why music is effective for recuiting terrorists:
“This catchy sing-along method for propagating ISIS ideologymeans it spreads quickly and sticks in the collective memory. It tends to be far more effective than sermons or theological debate and treatises.”

[The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 21, 2019]

2022 had the highest number of both Palestinian and Israeli deaths in many years, ending with several months of almost daily Palestinian terror. If the PA/Fatah has its way, 2023 will be another terror year. And to guarantee that its young people will continue to lead the terror, official PA TV has been broadcasting catchy tunes, literally “music to murder by”. The songs the PA is choosing to play at events and on official PA TV are putting murder incitement to music. Celebrating Fatah’s anniversary on Jan. 1, terror songs were broadcast both at anniversary events or added by PA TV to broadcasts of the events. The PA’s choice of terror music reinforces the declarations by PA leaders that Palestinian Media Watch has exposed, which call for another year of terror against Israel.

The following are some of the Palestinian “music to murder by”:
”This is the sound of our bullets, we won’t cast our weapons from our hands”
Lyrics: “O our people, wave the rifle, O our people
Let the world hear,
This is the sound of our bullets
O our people, wave the rifle, O our people
Let the world hear,
This is the sound of our bullets
We vow that we won’t cast our weapons from our hands
Except after we liberate you, our land
O our people, wave the rifle, O our people”
[Official PA TV, Dec. 31, 2022]

Fatah official: New Israeli government can either “leave by sea or cross a sea of blood”

Palestinian author: “Zionism is not far from Nazism”

Father of dead terrorist teen: “He wanted to be a Martyr. Praise Allah, he achieved it”

Egyptian political analyst: “I don't recognize the occupying Zionist entity”

‘US must reverse the damage the Iran nuclear deal has done’
Senior U.S. diplomats’ continuing overtures to Iran, seeking to seal an agreement for Tehran’s re-entry to the 2015 nuclear deal, raise new questions about President Joe Biden’s policy in the Middle East.

Israel and its Sunni state allies vehemently oppose the revival of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the formal name for the Iran deal, largely because it would provide Tehran with more than $100 billion in economic sanctions relief in exchange for a promise of temporary restrictions on the clerical regime’s capability to develop nuclear weapons.

Michael Rubin, an Iran expert at the American Enterprise Institute, told JNS, “The point is that, while the JCPOA has no value, simply leaving it is not enough. It’s necessary to reverse the damage the deal has done. This means firing Rob Malley [Biden’s special envoy for Iran] and re-imposing ‘maximum pressure.’

“That Biden refuses to do this and Malley is still sucking up taxpayer dollars to jet-set around Europe and secretly meet with Iranian diplomats in New York shows Biden is no longer calibrating policy to reality. That his administration prefers to do this in the dark is telling, given how often their partisans declare ‘Democracy dies in darkness,’” Rubin said.
Thousands Protest in Brussels Demanding Release of Belgian Aid Worker in Iran
Thousands of people took to the streets of Brussels on Sunday to protest against the detention in Iran of Belgian aid worker Olivier Vandecasteele, who was sentenced to 40 years in prison on charges including spying.

The Belgian government has said the charges are fake.

“His life is in danger, contribute to his freedom,” “#Free Olivier Vandecasteele,” read banners held by protesters who included Vandecasteele’s family, friends and colleagues.

After Vandecasteele was sentenced last month, Belgium’s justice minister said the Belgian had been imprisoned “for a fabricated series of crimes” and had been sentenced as retribution for a 20-year jail term Belgian courts imposed on an Iranian diplomat in 2021.

The district administrator is calling for the removal of “privileged white voices” from California curricula

Marc Greendorfer of Zachor Legal told Fox News, “The position of Shamia Shoman and others to treat Jews, the true indigenous people of the Land of Israel, as ‘white’ occupiers and colonists is completely contrary to history and fact.”

He went on to target the California ethnic studies curriculum as “indoctrination.”

“While we support the idea of ??ensuring that students are taught the history of all ethnicities, we have found these programs to be far from educational. Instead, they are political indoctrination by extremists working to institutionalize bigotry and hatred in education. ‘” Grundorfer said.

Fox News Digital reached out to the government for comment, saying: “Dr. Shoman…was appointed to and served on the California Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Advisory Committee…She and her colleagues wrote to the California State Board of Education in their roles as members of that committee to express their views.”

“In its letter, the committee did not call for the deletion of Israel, Jews, Jewish perspective, or Jewish history from the curriculum. They suggest that these issues do not belong under the umbrella of Asian American and Pacific Islander history. The group does not criticize multiple perspectives, but calls on the Board of Education to center BIPOC voices in this curriculum.
California professor with history of pro-terrorism comments honored
Rabab Abdulhadi, a San Francisco State University associate professor with a history of expressing support for terrorist groups, has received the 2022 Jere L. Bacharach Service Award from the Middle East Studies Association.

“I wanted to grow up to be like Leila Khaled. I didn’t want to grow up to become a homemaker. I really wanted to be part of the struggle,” said Abdulhadi during a 2020 panel discussion streamed on YouTube (28:41 onwards), referring to the Jordan-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist notorious for her role in hijacking two civilian airliners in 1969 and 1970.

Abdulhadi has also praised other PFLP terrorists on social media, including Georges Abdallah, Rasmieh Odeh and Shadia Abu Ghazaleh.

Antisemitism watchdog Canary Mission has archived many of Abdulhadi’s comments and social media posts.

In a 2021 post on Facebook, she hailed Odeh and Abu Ghazaleh as “freedom fighters” who “garnered most attention.”
University of Michigan Newspaper Whitewashes ‘Intifada’ March Where Students Called for ‘One Solution’
“Intifada, intifada! Long live the intifada,” was the cry that rang out over a megaphone as crowds of students — some wearing keffiyehs to cover their faces — marched through the University of Michigan campus in protest at a visit by Vice President Kamala Harris.

Others were heard chanting the well-known clarion call for Israel’s destruction and replacement with a Palestinian state emptied of Jews: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

One protester at the front of the demonstration held aloft a sign that read: “There is only one solution!” The phrasing — an obvious reference to the Nazi plan for the extermination of Europe’s Jews known as the ‘Final Solution to the Jewish Question’ — was clearly designed as a warning to Jewish students.

Yet, this was how the University of Michigan’s student newspaper, the Michigan Daily, summarized the chilling scenes on the college’s Ann Arbor grounds in a piece entitled, ‘Fifty Palestinian flags rose upon Kamala Harris’s arrival‘:
University of Michigan students, led by a Students Allied for Freedom and Equality initiative, gathered in protest of Vice President Kamala Harris’s arrival at the University on Thursday. Protestors assembled in front of Hill Auditorium and marched towards Rackham Auditorium — the site of Harris’s speech — waving Palestinian flags and voicing chants that challenged the Biden-Harris administration’s unwavering support for the state of Israel.

‘Not another nickel! Not another dime!

‘No more money for Israel’s crimes!'”

Either the article’s author Maryam Shafie-Khorassani did not attend the demonstration, or she has chosen to sanitize the violent calls that characterized it. Either way, it is an alarming example of poor journalism from a student publication that prides itself on its commitment to “impartiality, fairness and the complete truth.”

Unfortunately, this is not even the worst aspect of the piece.

The article proceeds to suggest Israel is somehow guilty of environmental warfare by rooting up “native, time-honored Palestinian olive trees” to make space for “exported pine trees, Israeli settlements and the infamous Apartheid wall,” all of which Shafie-Khorassani claims is “threatening biodiversity and fragmenting ecosystems.”

NY Sun[$]: Harvard Capitulates
In capitulating to the faculty, the dean may think he is saving his skin, but he is merely feeding the wolves, who have now tasted blood. After Mr. Elmendorf folded — he said “sorry” — Mr. Roth bemoaned the fact that “the problem of people penalized for criticizing Israel is not limited to me.” He again alluded to shadowy donors and conveyed his worry over “academic freedom.” Mr. Roth, in our view, is more persecuting than persecuted.

Accusations of nefarious Jewish influence have surrounded this case. The Nation, which first broke the story, decried the “dominant presence of the U.S. national security community and its close ally Israel” at the Kennedy School. Mr. Roth seconded that line, noting that “several major donors to the Kennedy School are big supporters of Israel.” Given the outcome one can wonder whether the problem is Jewish weakness.

We see this tragedy as a wakeup call. Jews are being outmanned and outmaneuvered. Harvard’s president, Lawrence Bacow, appears to be a hollow man, not even possessed of a lame duck’s courage. If this can happen at Harvard, where can’t it happen? Students march for jihad at the University of Michigan and Zionists are not welcome at Berkeley. Mr. Elmendorf chose not to take a stand. Israel has no such luxury.
Harvard U-Turns on Ken Roth Fellowship Decision in Proof That ‘Temper Tantrums Pay Off’
As HonestReporting previously outlined, the notion that Harvard wouldn’t associate with an anti-Israel fanatic is simply not true: in recent months, Kennedy School fellow Rami G. Khouri has continually attacked “apartheid Israel” and “racist Zionism” on Twitter.

However, the press has flat-out ignored the very real possibility that Roth’s lack of academic rigor, his repeated justification of antisemitism and terrorism, or the shocking controversies surrounding HRW’s donors, might have played a significant role in Harvard’s decision-making process.

As human rights lawyer Anne Herzberg posited on Twitter: “Bullying and temper tantrums pay off.”

Yet despite being offered a position by Dean Elmendorf, Roth continues to spread the baseless accusation that his “academic freedom” was violated because he “criticized Israel” — and the media seem all too eager to go along.

In a 2,000-word New York Times piece, which was published minutes after Harvard’s decision was announced, Roth called on Elmendorf to make public the deliberations about his appointment.

Kenneth Roth failed to secure a job at the world’s most prestigious university. Then, he led the media to believe that a nefarious Jewish conspiracy was somehow to blame. He got rewarded with a job.

Dean Elmendorf’s stunning reversal does not serve the cause of academic freedom, but rather rewards those who appropriate human rights rhetoric to demonize and delegitimize the world’s only Jewish state.

Counties on both coasts adopt IHRA definition of antisemitism
A pair of counties on opposite ends of the country have adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.

Westchester County, north of New York City, is the eighth largest Jewish county in the United States, with nearly 150,000 Jews. The community is served by approximately 60 synagogues and more than 80 Jewish organizations.

County Executive George Lattimer announced on Tuesday the issuance of an executive order implementing the IHRA definition.

“In recent meetings with leaders of the Jewish Community in Westchester County as well as at numerous community events, we have discussed the disturbing increase in acts and expressions of antisemitism,” Lattimer wrote. “It is very important to me that all County residents speak forcefully and with one voice in denouncing these acts.”
What if Hitler lived next to a Holocaust survivor?
February marks the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Director Leon Prudovsky, who was born in St. Petersburg, does not doubt that the war that has been raging ever since should end in the complete defeat of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Russia needs to be divided into small states, just like the US and India," he suggested. "Its territory is enormous, and the millions of citizens who do not live in the central region pretty much live in garbage. Entire villages are without electricity; the state has simply abandoned them.

"In my opinion, control in Russia should not only be conducted from one place that only cares about itself. Changing this can save Russia, otherwise, it might become a fascist and totalitarian state."

Prudovsky, 44, who has been living in France in recent years, said that the Russian propaganda about the war in Ukraine completely shocked him and prompted introspection. As someone who grew up in Russia and immigrated to Israel as a teenager, he said he only realized in retrospect how Russian education deceived him.

"Looking back, I analyzed my years in Russia, and it deeply unsettled me. There are many things that I grew up with, and today I understand that they are lies that were planted in my head, as a form of manipulation and propaganda."
The Hitler lookalike in Hull behind far right plot to stoke up racial hatred
He’s the Hitler lookalike behind a sinister attempt by the far right to gain support in Hull.

Fuelling racial division, Alek Yerbury stands on a plinth in Queen Victoria Square spreading his extreme right wing views to a rabble of followers. Yerbury is a committed white supremacist and also, Hull Live can reveal, a former soldier in the British Army.

Surrounded by neo-Nazi sympathisers, Yerbury, 27, has been behind a plot to hijack the issue over asylum seekers being moved to the Lawns in Cottingham in a right-wing propaganda drive in Hull and East Yorkshire.

Yerbury is easily recognisable because of his distinct and sinister apparel. Wearing a full length, buckled trench coat and with a clipped moustache and waxed down, cropped hair, his style bears a chilling resemblance to Adolf Hitler whose Nazi thugs took power in 1930s Germany.

As a former soldier, serving six years with the British Army’s 5 Rifles armoured battalion, Yerbury has been held up as a poster-boy for British neo-Nazis and praised for his military background and rising status in the extremist organisation Patriotic Alternative (PA).

Yerbury’s speeches to far right fanatics have included: “How We Will Win” and “The Struggle Against Marxism” – a favoured theme peddled by this maniac Hitler emulator who believed it was a “Jewish doctrine”. It was one of the twisted ideologies which led to the horror of the Holocaust and the murder of six million Jews.

Yerbury also peppers his talks to the extremist followers with militaristic references to “sacrifice” and “victory”, typically when referring to what he claims are oppressed whites being controlled by a “cabal” in British politics. He claims to have left the Army because of his ‘disgust with the political class’.

'Jews were part of us': University of Haifa's Moroccan students explore shared memory
Atman Errachid found himself surrounded by a cheering crowd as he watched his home country of Morocco play Spain in the World Cup. Such exuberance would have made sense back home, but Errachid was delighted to see such enthusiasm from an audience one wouldn't assume would be so thrilled about their victory – Israelis.

Errachid is in Israel currently earning his master's degree in Jewish Studies at the University of Haifa, a campus that is home to a diverse student body. There, shared society is not a theory or an elusive dream one hopes for – but a reality.

Errachid is leaning into this unique aspect of the campus and has become a coexistence advocate of sorts. Always open to hosting Shabbat dinners at his campus dorms – where all faiths are welcome – as a visitor in Israel, Errachid is fascinated by Israel and Jewish life and culture. But most importantly, he longs for the day that Jews and Muslims can have open and honest conversations with each other without letting political conflict get in the way.

"We're delighted to host students from Morocco at the University of Haifa," said Naomi Reinharz, CEO of the American Society of the University of Haifa (ASUH). 'The school is a beacon of diversity, where Jewish students, Arab students, and students from many other backgrounds study side by side. Including peers from Abraham Accords countries further enhances our vision for a shared society, not just for Israel, but the world.'

This is all the more reason why being engulfed by a cheering crowd for his home country made Errachid feel that dream may not be so far-fetched. "Those watching the games with me were from all walks of life – Arabs, Jews, Christians," he marveled. "I'm proud to be from Morocco – it truly is one of the few places where Jews and Muslims are proud of its success." "I'll remember that night forever," he said, recalling how he sat on the campus' grassy knoll and students of all backgrounds came to take pictures of Errachid, beaming and holding a Moroccan flag.

New line of refrigerators to include built-in tech for Shabbat compliance
A year after introducing a line of ovens that allowed for automated use during Shabbat, General Electrical Appliances is preparing to roll out refrigerators and freezers with the same built-in technology.

The line of 45 top-freezer refrigerators is to include manually operated, built-in Enhanced Shabbos Mode (EHM). Products with the feature will include the Orthodox Union (OU) Kosher symbol on the product and will be certified by both the OU and the Central Rabbinical Congress (CRC)/Hisachdus-Harabanim.

“Improving access to kosher-certified appliances is in keeping with our mandate to support kosher observance,” said Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of OU Kosher. “We’re pleased to be part of this important collaboration that offers consumers another option to maintain kashrus in their homes.”

The EHM function automates the cooling or heating system, cutting off the electrical flow through the door switches and automating sensors so computers can’t turn on any systems when opening or closing the door. That includes touch screens, water dispensers, and, in some models, ice makers. Additionally, it controls interior lights, which stay on throughout Shabbat at lower brightness levels.

The technology was developed through OU Kosher’s partnership with ZMAN Technologies, which is now working to develop an app to control the functionality of smart appliances with EHM.
Season 4 of Acclaimed Israeli Series Fauda Lands on Netflix
The fourth season of Fauda, the popular and critically hailed Israeli TV show, landed on the Netflix streaming service over the weekend.

An action series heavy on both realism and plot twists, it presents the “two-sided story of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” centered on an undercover Israeli operative who returns from retirement to hunt for a Palestinian terrorist he thought he’d killed, setting a chaotic chain of events into motion. It is Israel’s first TV show where the spoken languages are both Hebrew and Arabic.

The action of the latest season takes place in Europe. Reviews pointed out that “it never loses sight of the human cost of conflict – and that unflinching quality is what makes it so engrossing.”

Broadcast in Israel by the YES network, Fauda has won over critics and millions of viewers around the world since its premiere on Netflix in December 2016. Acclaimed as one of the best non-English-spoken series of the 2010s, it is—along with BeTipul, known in English as In Treatment—emblematic of the Israeli knack for coming up with original formats.

Fauda’s success is due in particular to its realism, the two authors drawing from their experiences in the military.
Nuremberg prosecutor Ben Ferencz receives Congressional Gold Medal
It takes more votes from Congress to award a Congressional Gold Medal than it does to impeach and convict a sitting president. But, in a time of rising antisemitism and Holocaust denial, the last surviving prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials received the prestigious honor on Thursday.

A ceremony was held on Thursday for Ben Ferencz, the legendary Nuremberg trials lawyer. His son accepted the medal on behalf of his 102-year-old father, who is bedridden. The presentation, held in Ferencz’s hometown of Delray Beach, Florida, was attended by neighbors, advocates and Jewish community leaders. The American Jewish Committee and Anti-Defamation League were represented, along with Holocaust survivors.

U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.), who shepherded the effort to award Ferencz through Congress, was in attendance, as well.

The Congressional Gold Medal is the legislature’s highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions. Two-thirds of the House and two-thirds of the Senate are required to sponsor a potential recipient before a resolution will be considered in the relevant congressional committees. Only around 175 medals have been bestowed, beginning with the one the Continental Congress awarded to General George Washington on March 25, 1776.

Frankel told JNS that a Jewish organization approached her with the idea for a Congressional Gold Medal for Ferencz.

“Oh, this is going to be easy,” she said she thought.

She ended up partnering with Democratic Rep. Kathy Manning of North Carolina and Republican Rep Joe Wilson of South Carolina to push the bill through the House, while Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York led the effort on the other side of the Capitol.

“I spoke to a lot of Democrats and Republicans getting them to sign on to the bill. I think it was a combination of factors that got it done, including the greatness of Ben Ferencz and his achievements.”

Frankel said that given the troubling circumstances of the day, she feels Congress as a whole wanted to send a message to the American public.
Grandson of Nazi, man who saved Jewish lives opens synagogue in hospital
At first glance, the orthopedic Waldkliniken Eisenberg hospital in Thuringia, Germany looks more like a fancy hotel than a hospital. It's located in one of the greenest and most beautiful places in the area and its inside is just as impressive as the outside.

Lately, the hospital earned the title of the best orthopedic hospital in the country. For the CEO David Ruben-Thies, this is his life's work that includes a fascinating story.

Ruben-Thies's grandfather was a Nazi who took part in the invasion of Poland in WWII. His other grandfather helped Jews hide in his merchant ships to get them out of the country.

In an interview with Maariv, Ruben-Theis explained that his unusual past helped him decide to build a synagogue in the hospital and include a kosher kitchen in the establishment.

"When I opened the hospital here, I knew that I have to give Jews the right treatment."
David Ruben-Theis

"I have a Jewish name," he said. "My parents wanted people to think of Jews and work toward equality for all. When I lived in Italy during my childhood, I felt the need to learn about Judaism. When I opened the hospital here, I knew that I have to give Jews the right treatment."

Ruben-Thies gave the interview shortly after the hospital opened a synagogue to which a Torah scroll was donated by the area's residents, most of whom are not Jewish. Among the participants in the project was the regional council head who donated his own money toward it.

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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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