Monday, February 13, 2023

02/13 Links Pt2: Three thousand five hundred days of thwarted US justice; Turkey thanks Israeli rescue teams for 'solidarity' in earthquake aid

From Ian:

Three thousand five hundred days of thwarted US justice
Jordan's refusal to extradite Ahlam Tamimi to the United States, despite her being responsible for the horrific 2001 bombing of a Jerusalem pizzeria that killed 15 people, including two Americans (one of them our daughter Malka Chana Roth), is a clear breach of the 1995 extradition treaty signed between the two countries.

The US Department of Justice brought charges against Tamimi in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on July 15, 2013. That's 3,500 days ago as of today.

At the US government's request, those charges were promptly sealed by the court once they were signed off.

They then remained secret - even from the families of the victims of the atrocity, which includes us - for the next four years.

The eventual unsealing came on March 14, 2017, in a media announcement that featured tough language by determined American law enforcement officials.

Astonishngly, just six days later, a Jordanian court handed down a decision declaring the 1995 Jordan/US extradition treaty invalid. As Aljazeera reported, the decision meant Tamimi's extradition to face charges in Washington for her role in the Sbarro bombing was permanently blocked under Jordanian law. It was a contentious finding and one plainly contradicted by facts that we ourselves later discovered by suing the United States government in 2012 under the Freedom of Information Act.

The basis on which Jordan's Court of Cassation - the kingdom's most senior appellate court - relied is not an inherent flaw in the treaty but a flaw created by the Jordanian government itself. It relates to the ratification of the treaty, an essential step in the treaty-making process for both sides.

The United States says the treaty was ratified by Jordan. Even if that's wrong (and the evidence shows it's plainly not), Jordan has had more than a quarter century to fix it - to ratify in accordance with whatever legal requirements its judges say have to be observed. The fix could be done this afternoon. Or tomorrow.

Given the importance of the US-Jordan relationship and the grave nature of the crime for which Tamimi is charged, the US Congress ought to take action to press Jordan so that the fugitive is brought to American justice. In fact, it should have done this years ago but did not.

For its part, Jordan has failed to take any steps to rectify this situation, despite the obvious harm it causes to the victims and their families. The United States has repeatedly called on Jordan to fulfill its obligations under the treaty. But Jordan continues to flout its obligations with impunity right up until today.

Eyes On Islam: An Interview with Middle East Scholar Daniel Pipes
Daniel Pipes is an acclaimed authority in the realm of Middle East scholarship. With a Ph.D. from Harvard University, Pipes taught at universities around the country and served as an official in the U.S. Departments of State and Defense. The author of 16 books, his biweekly column is published in The Washington Times and other publications.

Pipes is perhaps most recognized for founding and operating the prestigious Middle East Forum. The MEF is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to promoting American interests in the Middle East. It includes Campus Watch, which exposes biases in Middle East Studies in American universities, and The Legal Project, which protects against predatory lawsuits filed by Islamists as well as combating free-speech restrictions.

I spoke with Dr. Pipes about the topics he specializes in: the role of Islam in public life, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and U.S. foreign policy. His views confirm his reputation as a fearless and sometimes controversial figure with the courage to express uncomfortable truths.

The peace agreements demonstrated that the Palestinian issue was not the problem. You have advocated for what you call the Israel Victory Project relating to Israel’s relationship with the Palestinian Arabs. Can you describe what it is and what kind of support it has garnered both within Israel and without?
Our efforts in the U.S. Congress were fairly effective. In 2017-2018, we had a caucus of, at its peak, 35 members in the House. We have since abandoned that and focused on Israel, the Knesset, and many other institutions. We are finding that there is a broad sympathy for the idea, which is a quite radical idea. Many people have spoken about the need to impress on the Palestinian Arabs that Israel is there and its government can’t be defeated. Israel Victory takes it a step further and says that not only do the Palestinian Arabs have to understand that Israel won’t be defeated, but the Palestinian Arabs need to be defeated. That’s going further than anyone else does.

How would you define defeat?
Very simply — defeat is imposing your will on your enemy. Whatever that might be. In this case, it would be accepting that Israel is there and permanent. My research suggests that through the past century about 20% of Palestinians have accepted that. Arabs played a very important role, especially in the pre-independence period, when they sold land, intelligence, and arms and provided all sorts of assistance to Jews. The rest are in denial, and the goal has to be to increase that [20%] to 40-60%.

How do you do that?
That is the challenge. First you have to make it your goal, which the Israeli government has not. Take Gaza. The current goal there is just to keep things quiet. My argument is that the Israeli security establishment — the IDF, intelligence services, police, and other services — just want quiet. They want no rockets or missiles coming out of Gaza and that’s acceptable to them. I’m saying it’s not. My argument is that there are three dangers: One is violence, be they missiles or knife attacks or anything else.

The second is, once again, the U.S. and European governments queuing up to have a peace process, which I call the war process and which is counterproductive. The third and, perhaps, most important, is the virulent hostility towards Israel around the world — on the left, among Muslims, from the far right, among various assorted dictators, and among certain Christian elements. No country has such hostility towards it [like] Israel has. So far that hasn’t had that much impact. Israel is flourishing, and so Israelis tend to shrug it off. I’m saying don’t be so cavalier.
How Art Museums Distort Jewish Culture, and Downplay Anti-Semitism
In recent years, art museums have grown increasing concerned with a variety of questions that might be characterized as “woke.” Are the works of artists of different races and ethnicities displayed in galleries? Are black as well as white subjects represented in paintings? Museums have taken such steps in response as making sure to mention the role of the Netherlands in the trans-Atlantic slave trade in an exhibit on 17th-century Dutch paintings. Yet, observes Menachem Wecker, none of these sensitivities seem to apply to Jews. Thus works by Philip Guston are censored or guarded by trigger warnings, while no mention is made of the fact that Guston was Jewish, or that he might have been responding to anti-Semitism with his work.

Wecker produces numerous examples of museums downplaying anti-Semitic portrayals of Jews in artworks, while often failing to identify such artists as Chaim Soutine as Jews—even when Jewish themes figure prominently in their art. Nor do Catholics fare much better, with anti-Catholic pieces like the now-notorious 1987 Piss Christ receiving ample contextualization intended to downplay controversy, whereas “when there’s no controversy, museums insert controversy.”

Turkey thanks Israeli rescue teams for 'solidarity' in earthquake aid
Turkish Ambassador to Israel Shakir Ozkan Torunlar on Monday said, “Thank you very much Israel” in an official Israeli ceremony at Ben Gurion Airport with the return of Israel’s rescue teams from saving 19 Turkish lives in Operation Olive Branch from the earthquake disaster.

Torunlar said, “southern turkey was hit with two major earthquakes on February 6…the largest national disaster of the past 100 years. 13.5 million people were affected, there were over 31,000 casualties and close to 100,000 wounded. But thanks to the friends of Turkey, many were saved by search and rescue teams in the field.”

“The government of Israel was among the first to provide its team. I salute all who were among those who landed in the disaster zone and immediately started their task. You saved 19 Turks…followed by a field hospital being erected in less than 24 hours and becoming operational.”

He also complimented a wide variety of Israeli civil society and NGO groups who “displayed exemplary solidarity with the Turkish people.”

IDF chief: Three purposes for earthquake relief team
IDF chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi said at the ceremony, “we all followed every rescue, every person you saved from a great human tragedy. The IDF and Israel are very proud of you.”

“When I asked about organizing a delegation, they told me that they were already organizing. People just heard there was an earthquake, and people were doing it on their own,” he said.

The IDF chief said that there were three purposes for the delegation, “to save people in desperate need, to become more professional for what could also happen here and relations in the region – our readiness to help others enhances partnerships,” with Israel’s regional neighbors.”
Life-saving Israeli blood test device sent to quake-struck Turkey
An innovative Israeli-made device that can speed up blood test diagnosis to improve treatment in the field is in use in Israel’s field hospital in Turkey as the country struggles to cope with the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes.

Israeli teams are among many international representatives working to find survivors after two disastrous earthquakes and a series of aftershocks hit Turkey and neighboring Syria, killing more than 33,000 people.

Now, Sight Diagnostics’ OLO device is set to help the Israeli rescuers working on the ground to accurately diagnose the general condition of survivors and speed up the provision of appropriate medical treatment to increase the chances of survival.

Testing on the ground would allow medical authorities to quickly assess the severity of the injuries, such as internal bleeding, infection, damage to vital organs or any other life-threatening conditions.

The OLO analyzer, which is based on AI algorithms, requires only two drops of blood to perform a complete blood count and can deliver test results in the span of 10 minutes.

The company said OLO’s compact size, roughly the size of a home desktop printer, makes it suitable for use in a wide variety of remote environments, beyond the central laboratory.

Sight Diagnostics said the IDF Medical Corps approached the Israeli company, asking it to provide the device to the IDF field hospital located in the disaster area.

So far, two devices and hundreds of test kits have been sent to Turkey, with each kit able to analyze a single blood test.
"Syrian Refugees in Turkish Earthquake Shocked to Be Treated by Israelis"
It’s not surprising that the Israeli medical team treating Turkish earthquake victims in Kahramanmaraş are also treating Syrians. Of the millions of Syrian refugees who were already in Turkey, thousands were living in UN refugee camps in and around the southern Turkish city.

In a phone call with the Tazpit Press Service, Lt.-Col. Dr. Ofer Almog described the reactions of some of the Syrians after learning they were treated by Israelis.

“We have been treating Syrians, people who were injured in the earthquake and people who just needed care,” Almog told TPS. “We’re happy to, because we have the opportunity to help these unfortunates.”

The Turks lost their homes, but “the Syrians were refugees even before the earthquake,” Almog said. “We extend our hand to them.”

“In some cases, they were very emotional, very surprised that the Israelis weren’t who they were told we are,” Almog told TPS. “One person said that everything he was taught all of his life about Israel was a lie. This was the first time they were meeting Israelis, and we weren’t as bad as he thought.”

Almog, an anesthesiologist and senior officer in the medical team told TPS he arrived in Kahramanmaraş last Monday as part of a team tasked with selecting a site for the Israeli Defense Force’s field hospital. But in the end, it was decided for the Israelis to work inside the Kahramanmaraş Necip Fazil City Hospital.

The field hospital — which has the distinction of being the only one to receive the World Health Organization’s highest score possible — has not been set up.

“It’s easier when you have the infrastructure,” Almog explained. “The city is very crowded and it was difficult to find an open space” large enough for the field hospital. Another reason for working in the hospital is that “most of the staff fled after the second earthquake. They only had an emergency department.”
US Nominates Activist to Human Rights Post Who Accused House Minority Leader of Being ‘Purchased’ by Pro-Israel Groups
A human rights activist who recently accused US House Minority leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) of being “Bought. Purchased. Controlled” by pro-Israel groups has been nominated by the US government to a post with the Organization of American States (OAS).

The candidacy of Prof. James Cavallaro for a commissioner’s post with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) – an agency within the OAS – for the 2024-2027 term was announced on Friday by the State Department.

Cavallaro, a co-founder and Executive Director of the University Network for Human Rights, was described as a “leading scholar and practitioner of international law with deep expertise in the region as well as the Inter-American human rights system,” in a State Department release.

However, a survey of Cavallaro’s social media activity by The Algemeiner revealed a multi-year history of incendiary posts critical of US foreign policy, Israel, and pro-Israel elected officials.

In one Dec. 2022 tweet, now deleted, Cavallaro invoked language and imagery often associated with antisemitic claims of pro-Israeli political and financial control over US domestic politics.

“Bought. Purchased. Controlled,” Cavallaro wrote alongside a link to an article about the funds raised for Rep. Jeffries by AIPAC and other pro-Israel groups.

In other tweets, Cavallaro characterized Israel as an “apartheid state” and accused the US and Israel of “atrocities.”

Cavallaro began deleting the offending Tweets from his timeline on Monday after The Algemeiner reached out to him for comment. A reply had not been received by press time.
Newly-elected Deputy Secretary General of Muslim Council of Britain reportedly praised founder of Hamas
The new Deputy Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) reportedly praised the founder of the antisemitic genocidal terrorist group, Hamas.

In 2015, Mohammed Kozbar allegedly visited the grave of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and described him as “the master of the martyrs of resistance, the mujahid [holy warrior] sheikh, the teacher,” according to the JC.

Mr Kozbar also reportedly met senior Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Mahmoud al-Zahar.

In 2021, the UK banned Hamas in its entirety as a terrorist group following calls by Campaign Against Antisemitism and others.

A spokesperson for the MCB reportedly described suggestions that Mr Kozbar, who is also the General Secretary of the Finsbury Park Mosque, supported violence or antisemitism as “smears”. According to last week’s major review into the Government’s Prevent strategy, Mr Kozbar was also “praised” by the London branch of the National Association of Muslim Police.

Mr Kozbar also hosted Egyptian cleric Omar Abdelkafi. Despite Mr Abdelkafi’s record of quoting from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and a Facebook post that included a prayer to “liberate the al-Aqsa mosque from the filth of the Jews,” Mr Kozbar reportedly described him as “our beloved preacher”.

In 2011, Mr Kozbar was reportedly caught on video speaking at an anti-Israel rally, where he allegedly said that he looked forward “to the end of Israel, inshallah.”
Princeton students petition English Dept. to denounce Palestinian speaker who called Zionists ‘neonazi pigs’
Forty-one Princeton University undergraduates have signed a letter requesting the English Department condemn the “anti-Jewish bias and remarks” of a Palestinian writer and activist who recently spoke at the Ivy League campus. The department has declined.

The students did not seek to cancel his talk nor demand the English Department retract its sponsorship of the Feb. 8 event.

Rather, the students asked in their Feb. 5 letter that the department “denounce a speaker committed to disseminating hatred, libel, and calls to violence against Jewish members of the University community.”

Princeton hosted writer Mohammad El-Kurd for the event “On ‘Perfect Victims’ and the Politics of Appeal,” according to the university website.

El-Kurd called “Zionist settlers” “sadistic barbaric neonazi pigs” on Twitter in June 2021: “I don’t care who this offends, they have completely internalized the ways of the nazis.”

El-Kurd describes himself as a “writer from occupied Jerusalem” in his Twitter bio. He is the Palestine correspondent for The Nation, a progressive publication.

“El-Kurd has a demonstrated history of repeated anti-Jewish bias and remarks, including comparisons between those who support the Jewish State of Israel and Nazism and the glorification of terrorism,” the Princeton students’ letter reads, referencing the tweets and other writings.

“El-Kurd has also praised the Second Intifada, a wave of violence against Israeli civilians between 2000-2005 that included horrific suicide bombings, shootings, and stabbings that murdered, dismembered, and maimed thousands on public transport, in restaurants, and other public locations around the country,” the letter stated.

“El-Kurd has also made outlandish claims that echo the execrable historical blood libels against Jews that characterized medieval times…in his book, Rifqa, he wildly asserts the baseless charge that ‘they [Israelis] harvest organs of the martyred [Palestinians], feed their warriors our own,’” it continued.
Antisemitic Arab Professor Says She Is targeted by GWU, StandWithUs
StandWithUs, an international nonprofit organization providing education about Israel and combating antisemitism, last January submitted a Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 complaint to the US Department of Education’s civil rights office, based on antisemitic discrimination and retaliation experienced by first-year Jewish and Israeli students in the Professional Psychology Program at George Washington University. The complaint alleges that GWU had failed to protect Jewish students from a hostile environment, and retaliated against the students by instituting disciplinary proceedings against them after they complained to university administrators about the discrimination they faced.

Earlier this month, the subject of the complaint, Lebanese-born Dr. Lara Sheehi, who lectures on diversity, accused GWU of colluding with StandWithUs to smear her good name.

During the Fall 2022 semester, Jewish and Israeli students in the Program’s mandatory diversity course were singled out for repeated and persistent harassment when their Jewish and Israeli identities were disparaged by faculty and peers, according to the complaint.

“Jewish students at George Washington, or 20 percent of the cohort, first tried to address the antisemitism they were experiencing with Dr. Lara Sheehi, who teaches the mandatory diversity course. Dr. Sheehi responded by denying that the students had experienced antisemitism, and by distorting their comments to accuse the Jewish students of attacking other identity groups. Dr. Sheehi did not treat members of any other identity group in this fashion. Only Jewish students were deprived of the opportunity to define their own identity and describe how discrimination based on that identity manifests. In a class designed to educate future therapists about different identities and sensitize the students to bias experienced by those identities, Dr. Sheehi singled out the Jewish students and deprived only them of an opportunity she afforded all other students — defining their own identity and what it means to experience discrimination based on that identity. In this way, Dr. Sheehi engaged in ‘erasive antisemitism,’ a form of antisemitism that denies the uniqueness of Jewish identity and erases Jewish history and the Jews’ lived experience. Not surprisingly, other students in the class quickly followed the professor’s lead and began disparaging and denying Jewish identity in a similar discriminatory fashion.”

Sheehi responded in CounterPunch, a left-wing online magazine, saying, “As an Arab woman professor teaching in the United States, I am accustomed to demands to prove that I am not antisemitic as a precondition to engaging relationally. Similarly, as someone who has been involved in the abolitionist and anti-oppressive movements in the field of psychology for years, I immediately recognized that I was the next target of choice. In recent years, right-wing advocacy groups have intensified their harassment, red-baiting, and attack campaigns, vilifying academics (and clinicians) who critically engage settler-colonialism, white supremacy, anti-blackness, gender (especially trans issues), sexuality, disability, reproductive rights.”

Sheehi argued: “I have been targeted specifically because I am an Arab woman whose scholarship and activism advocates for Palestinians and, in the process, critiques Israeli settler-colonial Apartheid. Because I am an Arab, StandWithUs can casually parse key information to create an inflammatory narrative in place of facts, relying on anti-Arab prejudice which remains robust in the United States.”
Guardian unmoved by Jewish students' complaint about professor's antisemitism
There were other tweets by the professor which McGreal didn’t mention. Her deleted account included the following: “You can’t be a Zionist and also a feminist” “F*** Zionism, Zionists…” “F*** every person who is not yet an anti-Zionist,” and “Zionists are so far up their own a****”.

Additioanl details about the complaint, published in other outlets. include the fact that, on the first day of classes last fall, the professor, who teaches “decolonial, liberatory, and anti-oppressive theories and approaches to clinical treatment”, asked students in the required “diversity” course to share their names and identities. She went around the room “affirming” each student’s introduction, until, when one student said she was born in Israel, she said “It’s not your fault you were born in Israel”. The remark evidently set the tone for the course, and was allegedly followed by the professor retaliating against the Jewish students when they raised concerns about her behavior with the administration.

The complaint, which claimed the university violated the section of the US Civil Rights Act of 1964 which states that “no person…shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin…should be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance”, says Sheehi accused the students of racism to other faculty members, encouraged classmates to demean and exclude them for their Jewish identity, and took disciplinary measures against them after they confronted her.

Further, during the one-semester course, Sheehi reportedly subjected Jewish students to antisemitic coursework and lectures, evoked antisemitic tropes about Jews being dishonest and using their influence for nefarious purposes, and suggested their failure to acquiesce would threaten their future as clinical psychologists. Sheehi also invited a guest speaker to give a presentation that students in her class were strongly encouraged to attend which praised a Palestinian teen who attempted to stab two Israelis to death in 2015 and accused Israel of testing weapons systems on Palestinain children.

One of the Jewish students in her class spoke up and explained that Israel is her country, her home, and her identity and then asked the students to imagine what it’s like to go out to a bar on a Friday night in Tel Aviv when there is suddenly a terror attack with people shooting. The student sought to explain to her classmates the reality that she has to live through in her country. According to the complaintant, Professor Sheehi responded by saying she took offense at the student’s use of the term “terrorist attack”, asserting that the term refers to Palestinians and Arabs, and that the student was evoking Islamophobia – even though the student never mentioned Palestinians, Arabs, or Muslims.

Chracteristically, McGreal devoted several paragraphs attempting to undermine the pro-Israel group who filed the complaint on behalf of the Jewish students – including an ad hominem attack against the group’s founder:

Assault, bullying, vandalism: US sees dozens of Kanye-linked antisemitic attacks
There have been dozens of antisemitic incidents tied to Kanye West in the US since his onslaught against Jews late last year, including assaults, hate speech, targeted harassment, and vandalism, according to a Monday report.

The Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism has documented at least 30 hateful incidents referring to the rapper, who now goes by Ye, as well as a major social media campaign amplifying his message.

The ADL said references to Ye, often accompanied by swastikas or antisemitic slurs, have become shorthand for Jew-hatred.

Soon after Ye began his tirade in October, the slogan “Ye is right” appeared online at around the same time Elon Musk took control of Twitter. The takeover coincided with a spike in antisemitic content and decreased moderation.

There have been over 10,000 Twitter mentions referring to the “Ye is right” slogan, reaching at least six million users.

Starting last month, white supremacists from the Groypers group began a series of appearances on college campuses under the slogan, “Ye is right, change my mind.”

During the events, the white supremacists espoused Holocaust denial, praise for the Nazi regime and anti-Jewish conspiracies, under the guise of defending Ye.

The events took place at five universities in Florida and Alabama.
Rihanna sings Ye song during Super Bowl halftime
Kanye West’s music made an appearance at the Super Bowl on Sunday when Rihanna—who has a reputation for being pro-Israel—sang “All of the Lights” during the halftime show. West (who goes by Ye) wrote and performed the original song, which also featured a prominent vocal performance by Rihanna.

Did the 34-year-old artist intend to endorse Ye’s recent, rabid antisemitism? Could she have possibly chosen the song merely for its artistic merit? Or was the performance of his song, without Ye on stage, a louder message about his absence? The Barbadian songtress, who has not issued any supportive statements about Ye since his recent meltdown, did not say.

Ye released the song in question in January 2011—the fourth single on his triple-platinum album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” which also featured the rapper Kid Cudi.

In a 2019 interview with David Letterman, Ye showed no camaraderie with the singer with whom he collaborated. He claimed Rihanna, a victim of domestic abuse, “must have done something to merit what happened to her.”

Lyrics in “All of the Lights” include references to sexual assault. “I slapped my girl, she called the feds/ I did that time and spent that bread,” read two lines. Another line seems particularly timely for the songwriter: “Did I not mention I was about to lose my mind?”

PreOccupiedTerritory: Activists Decide Group Constantly Inciting, Rewarding Jew-Murder Actually Puppets Of Jews (satire)
Online warriors campaigning for the Palestinian cause have concluded that the elected government of Palestinians, which pays lifetime stipends to the perpetrators – and the perpetrators’ families – for attacks against Israelis, glorifies those attackers, educates children to see Jewish sovereignty as illegitimate, and works to undermine Israeli control of areas the Palestinians agreed to leave under interim Israeli control in various signed agreements, in fact functions merely as a marionette of Israel, and does not represent Palestinian interests at all.

“Abbas is just an Israeli puppet,” declared multiple Twitter users over the course of the week, referring to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and repeating an argument they have made dozens, perhaps thousands, of times in the last twenty-five years. “He does nothing without Israeli approval or at Israel’s say-so,” including, presumably, calling killers of Israelis “heroes,” people killed attacking Israelis “martyrs,” and vowing again and again that payments for imprisoned or slain terrorists and their families will never be reduced, let alone ended.

Officials of the Palestinian Authority governing the rump state’s self-rule areas under the Oslo Accords of the 1990’s between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization continued of late to dehumanize Israelis Jews and praise those who seek to harm them. Following a recent Palestinian massacre of Jews, including women, children, and the elderly, outside a synagogue after Friday evening services, Palestinian spokesmen refused to call the deaths wrong, and refused to refrain from encouraging Palestinians to emulate the attacker. The activists insist those officials and representatives do not represent Palestinians but Israel, presumably because in their view, authentic Palestinian interests are even more anti-Israel than wanting all Israelis violently dead.
Surge in Antisemitism Triggers Wave of Insecurity Among American Jews: AJC Survey
More than a quarter of American Jews were personally confronted with antisemitic behavior in 2022, with a full 41 percent of the community admitting they feel less secure now compared with a year ago, according to a new survey published on Monday by the American Jewish Committee (AJC).

The “State of Antisemitism Report 2022” was based on a survey conducted in the fall of 2022, amid a year that began with a hostage standoff at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas and ended with the furor around the violently antisemitic outbursts of hip hop mogul Kanye West.

“Over four in ten (41 percent) of American Jews feel their status is less secure than it was a year ago,” the report noted. The number represented a 10 point increase on the response in 2021. Respondents said that their “sense of security has eroded, primarily due in large part to the rise in antisemitic attacks, crimes, and violence; and how acceptable antisemitism and racism have become,” the report observed.

Twenty six percent of respondents said they were directly targeted by antisemitic expressions, either in person or on social media, with 3 percent reporting a physical attack. Nearly four in 10 changed their behavior to lower risks to their safety.

Similarly, nearly four in ten reported avoiding visible expressions of Jewishness in public, such as wearing a kippah. Smaller percentages reported taking similar steps on campus or at work.

In addition, almost two-thirds of American Jews (67 percent) said they had seen antisemitism online or on social media in the past year.
In Portugal, an Invitation for the Descendants of Expelled Jews to Return Became the Basis of an Anti-Semitic Campaign
In 1496, King Manuel I of Portugal decreed that his Jewish subjects—who numbered in the tens of thousands—must either convert or leave. In 2015, the country passed a law extending citizenship to Jews who could demonstrate descent from expellees. The law, however, prompted a wave of accusations against those who took advantage of it, tinged with no small amount of anti-Semitism. David Isaac explains:

The “campaign of defamation,” [as it was dubbed by Portuguese Jewish leaders], accused those wanting Portuguese citizenship of paying lawyers and genealogists to sign off that they met the criteria, scared the public with the claim that “tens of millions of candidates” were waiting for passports, and gave the false impression that Portugal would be inundated by an influx of Jews. The community was accused of running a racket by rubber-stamping citizenship certificates.

Portugal’s state police opened a criminal investigation [based on these canards] named “Open Door” in February 2022. The allegations led to the persecution of the community, whose good name was dragged through the mud as accusations were hurled at it in the press and Portuguese police searched the homes of community leaders, the Jewish museum, and [the city of Porto’s] Kadoorie Mekor Haim Synagogue, Gabriel Senderowicz, [the president of the Jewish community of Porto], said.

On March 10, 2022, in a very public arrest, Porto’s chief rabbi, Daniel Litvak, was taken into custody. Litvak was mistreated, placed in a cell with a murderer, and denied kosher food, forcing him to go more than 24 hours without eating, according to a complaint filed by the community with the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, an independent body of the European Union, on August 26, 2022. The rabbi was then required to report three times a week to the judicial police and barred from leaving Portugal.

Israel, Japan Agree to Deepen Economic, Security Ties
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on Monday with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida, who extended condolences for last week’s murder of three people by a terrorist in Jerusalem.

The two leaders discussed the importance of advancing bilateral relations, in particular by deepening economic and security ties.

Netanyahu and Kishida also paid tribute to this year’s 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between their countries.

The Israeli premier invited Kishida to visit Israel.

Jerusalem and Tokyo agreed in November to move towards signing a free trade agreement, which then-Prime Minister Yair Lapid said would entail “discounts for products and goods from Japan for the benefit of the Israeli market and increasing Israeli exports to Japan, the third-largest economy in the world.”

The last FTA Israel signed was its first with an Asian country. On Sept. 27, it ratified a free trade agreement with South Korea.
Descendants of Nazis organize marches for Israel
A Germany-based evangelical organization that commemorates the memory of the Holocaust by organizing marches around the world against antisemitism and in support of Israel is bringing 2,000 Christian supporters, including the descendants of Nazis, to Jerusalem this spring to mark the Jewish state’s 75th Independence Day.

The gathering comes at a time of heightened traditional antisemitism as well as a new contemporary antisemitism that masks itself behind anti-Israel rhetoric.

“As descendants of Nazi perpetrators it is not enough to say ‘Never again,’ Pastor Jobst Bittner, founder of the March of Life movement, told JNS in an interview from Germany. “We have to be responsible to do something and are calling on people to speak out against antisemitism and to stand with Israel.”

Bittner, whose father was an officer in the Wehrmacht’s Afrika Corps during the Second World War, has been honored by Israel for his staunch support for the Jewish state. He calls its founding one of the greatest miracles of our time.

“When we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, we pray that all nations take a stand for Israel,” he said. Subscribe to The JNS Daily Syndicate by email and never miss our top stories

Since it was founded in 2007, the organization has spread to more than 20 nations and 500 cities and has held marches in Germany, Austria, Bolivia, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United States and Israel.

The May 16 event in Jerusalem will be attended by Israeli parliamentarians from the Knesset’s Christian Allies Caucus. It will be followed by marches the next day in eight cities around the world.
Torah scroll, hidden during World War II, now at Yad Vashem
A Torah scroll from Kielce in Poland survived the Holocaust and its owner fell victim to an anti-Jewish Polish pogrom. Now, it will be entrusted to Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, with the aim of memorializing the family and the Jewish community.

Mordechai (Motel) Kanner was born in 1910 in Kielce in Poland to Sender (Alexander) and Sara-Rachel, nee Redlich. Mordechai had three sisters: Esther, Hela-Handel and Luba. Mordechai was a watchmaker and traded in Zieger watches.

With the outbreak of World War II and the German invasion of Poland, Kanner fled to the Soviet Union. Along the way, he passed through a village where an elderly Jewish woman gave him a Torah scroll. Kenner carried on his journey with the scroll, but its size weighed him down in his escape, so he decided to bury it in the ground and come back to retrieve it if he ever managed to survive the war. The Torah scroll that survived the war

Kanner joined the partisans and finally arrived in the city of Lviv, currently in Ukraine, where he met Rebecca, a young widow with two small children. Mordechai and Rebecca fell in love and married in 1945. After the liberation, he decided to return to Kielce, his hometown. Rebecca and the rest of the family waited for him in Krakow, and after a delay in his return, Rebecca went to look for him in Kielce.

During her search, Rebecca discovered that Mordechai was severely beaten by the Poles in a pogrom that took place there in July 1946. During the pogrom, dozens of Jews were brutally murdered and many were injured. Kanner was thrown into a ditch together with the bodies of those murdered in the pogrom. Rebecca found him alive among the bodies and managed to get him to a hospital.

After he was discharged, the two moved to a displaced persons camp in Germany. Kanner was able to fulfill the request of the elderly woman in the Polish village. He found the Torah scroll where he buried it and protected it. In 1949, the family immigrated to Israel and settled in Holon.

In 1950, the Torah scroll was donated to the Great Synagogue in Holon and was dedicated in memory of Kanner's parents who perished in the Holocaust. Mordechai's daughter, Sarah Megidish, and his grandson Avi Kanner have recently decided to donate the scroll to the collection at Yad Vashem, as a memorial and testimony. "This is a unique object," Sarah said, "It symbolizes not only the difficult events but also the determination and desire to preserve Jewish identity. By granting this Torah scroll to Yad Vashem, it will become part of the memory of the Holocaust for future generations."
Lawrence of Arabia or Lawrence of Zion?
Now for the part that might come as a surprise to many readers. Lawrence of Arabia was not only pro-Arab. He was also supportive of Zionism, though perhaps not from the beginning. Lawrence underwent a change in his opinion about the Jews in the region, likely due in part to his conversations with Wooley who told him of the Jewish aid Britain had received in the war effort, such as the work of the Nili underground.

Towards the end of the war, Lawrence developed different loyalties. Having begun to see His Majesty’s Government as betraying its allies, he transferred his loyalty to the Hashemites. At this time, while rethinking his worldview, Lawrence also underwent a change in his attitude towards the Jews. If before the war he discounted them, now, inspired by Aaron Aaronsohn and his friends in the Nili underground movement, he saw them as brave, wise and courageous. The shift did not end there. Lawrence used his power and influence to change the face of the Middle East.

He organized the meeting between Chaim Weizmann, president of the Zionist Organization, and Prince Faisal, in which the Prince renounced his attachment to the land west of the Jordan River. He convinced Churchill to change the Sykes-Picot agreements so that they left out the Land of Israel. And at the Cairo Conference in 1921, in which the formal implementation of the Balfour Declaration was finally concluded, he demanded that a mandatory territory remain, including a national home for the Jewish people. Lawrence even envisioned the Jews playing an important role in the Middle East. In an interview he gave to a local London Jewish newspaper on the first anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, he said: “Speaking entirely as a non-Jew, I look on the Jews as the natural importers of Western leaven so necessary for countries of the Near East.”

Lawrence also spoke about the establishment of a future Jewish state: “…if a Jewish state is to be created in Palestine, it will have to be done by force of arms and maintained by force of arms amid an overwhelmingly hostile population.’” In this, he and Aaronson shared the same thinking, but it is doubtful whether they ever discussed it together.

Once Lawrence himself realized that the aforementioned arms could be Jewish rather than English weapons, he gradually adopted a more pro-Zionist approach. It is also worth noting that Aaron Aaronsohn had met Lawrence when they both worked for British intelligence. Aaronsohn disliked Lawrence because he thought he was against the Zionist idea, and Lawrence didn’t particularly like Aaronsohn either. Aaronsohn envisioned a new Middle East after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, including a Jewish-Armenian-Arab partnership, in which the Armenians would be a mediating factor between the Jews and the Arabs. Aaronsohn saw the importance of an Armenian state mainly in view of the genocide that had been perpetrated against them. He shared his thoughts with Sykes himself. We will never know how Aaronsohn might have reacted to Lawrence’s support for the Zionist cause because he died in a plane crash in 1919 over the La Manche channel on the way to the Paris Peace Conference. His body was never found.

Opinions about Lawrence of Arabia differ depending on how one views history. One thing is certain, Lawrence of Arabia, who was born “a social outcast,” appreciated the loyalty and integrity of smaller nations, and he abhorred duplicity. He believed in his path and worked for the good of the common people. One would assume that these traits developed in reaction to his own pain and shame from being thought inferior simply because of the circumstances of his birth.
San Francisco Chabad Hosts Super Bowl LVII Watch Party for Homeless Community
The Chabad Jewish community center in San Francisco’s SoMa District hosted a watch party on Sunday night for homeless locals who wanted a warm place indoors to watch Super Bowl LVII and see the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Philadelphia Eagles.

“To bring somebody that doesn’t really have a community, doesn’t really have a home, to bring them in to a safe space for them to engage with the community,” Rabbi Moshe Langer, the director of Chabad SF, told CBS News. “Whatever we can do in our sphere of influence to help another person — whether it’s give a smile to them, give a drink, make a Super Bowl party for them — you never know the ripple effect that will have on an individual.”

Meir Kay, a Jewish street activist and social media content creator in Brooklyn, came up with the idea to host such a gathering in 2017 when he talked to homeless people in one of his YouTube videos. In the clip, he asked a homeless man, “You going to watch the game tonight? I wish I could have somewhere to watch the game! You know what? I’ve got a place to watch the game. I throw a party!”

He then created a watch party, calling it a “Super Soul Party,” for those who have no home. The concept has since been replicated and done in eight major cities around the US, and Sunday night’s gathering was the second such event hosted by Chabad SF, according to CBS News.

At the watch party, the Jewish community center also offered the homeless warm clothing and new socks, information about housing and city services, and free haircuts. They additionally served 20 pounds of wings, 20 pounds of hamburger and fries.

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