Wednesday, March 01, 2023

From Ian:

Israel Is About to Turn 75; We Must Stop the ‘Lawfare’ Strategy Used to Attack It
In May, the State of Israel will celebrate its 75th birthday. Yet attacks on the very idea of a Jewish state continue, predominantly in the form of “lawfare.” Below we explain what lawfare is, and how Israel and its supporters must respond to this threat to the Jewish State.

Lawfare is conducted through legal machinery, deploying tactics that misuse international laws by applying them in extraordinary ways, in order to isolate, demonize, and persecute the Jewish State.

For example, a Hamas lawfare tactic is to deliberately place civilians in harm’s way in armed conflict. The Israeli military — when targeted by this lawfare tactic — must either harm the innocent or abort combat. Of course, placing civilians in harm’s way undermines the purpose of international humanitarian law, which is intended to limit battlefield suffering of civilians. Hamas places its citizens in danger, and perverts the course of justice. However, the lawfare tactic works, as it diminishes Israel’s ability to respond to terror attacks and offensive attacks, and is used to demonize Israel when civilians are accidentally killed, despite Israel’s best efforts to prevent this.

Lawfare also occurs in trade and human rights law. For example, when the law is leveraged to draw a court into political matters (i.e. anti-Israel matters) outside of a trade or human rights mandate, a court’s legal authority is politicized, undermining its own integrity as a neutral arbiter.

Nevertheless, judges who spend a lifetime analyzing international law are inclined to take even tenuous opportunities to apply it. For anti-Israel activists who try to use any tactic they can to demonize the Jewish state — and have many supporters in the international field — lawfare is usually a winning strategy.
MEMRI: When Palestinian Terror Struck Khartoum
March 1, 2023, is the 50th anniversary of a Palestinian terrorist attack in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. One could say that it was actually a Palestinian terrorist attack on Saudi soil since the target was the Saudi Embassy in the Sudanese capital.

The group was Black September, by this time notorious for the 1972 attack on Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. Earlier still, in November 1971, Black September had assassinated the Jordanian Prime Minister Wasfi Al-Tal in the lobby of the Cairo Sheraton. One of the Palestinian hitmen had notoriously bent down and licked the blood on the marble floor after that shooting.

The March 1, 1973 attack in Sudan targeted a reception held by the Saudi ambassador in honor of a departing American diplomatic colleague, George Curtis Moore, who was the American Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM). Ten hostages were taken by the gunmen, six of them were Saudis: the ambassador, his wife, and four children. The other four were two Americans, newly arrived Ambassador Cleo A. Noel, Jr. and Moore, Belgian Charge d'Affaires Guy Eid, and the Jordanian Charge d'Affaires Adli Al-Nasser.[1]

As some may remember, after making grandiose hostage demands (including calling for the release of members of the German Baader-Meinhof gang, Robert F. Kennedy assassin Sirhan Sirhan, plus many Palestinian detainees in Israel and Jordan), the eight gunmen surrendered to Sudanese authorities days later. Before surrendering they had killed the Belgian and the two American diplomats. Before their murder, they were allowed to write farewell messages (written on Saudi Embassy stationary) to their families. Moore wrote: "Cleo and I will die bravely and without tears as men should."

We now know, of course, that Black September was a subsidiary of Yassir Arafat's Fateh organization.[2] The attack was carried out with the full approval and knowledge of Arafat from his headquarters in Beirut. Both the killings and the hit team's surrender were coordinated with Arafat. The Sudanese government of Jaafar Al-Nimeiry, initially furious about the attack, handed the gunmen over to the PLO for punishment (so it handed them over to the organization that had carried out the attack). Sudan was reportedly pressured towards leniency by Qaddafi's Libya, a great patron of the Palestinians at the time and a major influence on Sudan (in 1976, Qaddafi bankrolled a land invasion by Sudanese rebels that almost overthrew Al-Nimeiry). Some of the Palestinian gunmen served prison time in Sadat's Egypt, three of them escaped from Egyptian custody. In response to the Sudanese actions, the U.S. suspended economic aid to Sudan for three years.

The immediate aftermath of this terror attack is kind of a snapshot, a scene caught in amber of the region half a century ago. You have Black September, forged in the wake of the PLO's failure to overthrow the Hashemites in Jordan. You have Arafat sending the team out from his safe haven in Beirut, capital of a Lebanon the PLO would help destabilize and destroy. You have the enabling of Palestinian terror by Qaddafi and Sadat, both of whom would come to a bad end. Finally, you have a Sudan at the mercy of others, fearing Qaddafi and punished by the Americans.
Farrakhan Predicts Another Holocaust, Espouses Antisemitism and Bigotry in Saviours’ Day Speech
The Nation of Islam (NOI) held its annual Saviours’ Day conference in Chicago the weekend of February 24–26, serving once again as a platform for vitriolic antisemitism and anti-LGBTQ+ bigotry.

Saviours’ Day 2023 marked the annual event’s return to a large-scale arena setting for the first time in three years; the NOI held smaller, semi-virtual conferences during the intervening pandemic-era years. NOI speakers injected familiar antisemitic and conspiratorial rhetoric into the weekend’s activities, capped off by longtime NOI leader Louis Farrakhan’s keynote address on Sunday afternoon.

The NOI has targeted Jews extensively during Farrakhan’s 40-plus-year tenure as the group’s leader and repeatedly dismissed accusations of antisemitism. The NOI made this focus particularly clear in recent months as the organization sought to insert itself into the national debate over antisemitism following the Ye and Kyrie Irving controversies, promoting content about Jews and antisemitism in their social media posts, weekly sermon broadcasts and newspaper articles.

Farrakhan directly addressed the NOI’s long history of antisemitism in his speech on Sunday, demonstrating his obsession with Jews and affirming the NOI’s position as a leading promoter of antisemitism in America today.

Farrakhan’s keynote address
Farrakhan’s wide-ranging, hours-long address, titled “The War of Armageddon Has Begun,” featured a relentless stream of antisemitic commentary accusing Jews of controlling world governments, the media, and financial institutions. He promoted the false idea that Jews seek to manipulate and exploit Black people, deceive and destroy America, and engage in other nefarious or illicit activities.

Throughout his speech, Farrakhan spoke about the “Synagogue of Satan,” a phrase from the Bible that the NOI and other antisemites often use to refer to Jews in a derogatory manner. Much of the speech read like a laundry list of age-old antisemitic tropes and conspiracies about alleged Jewish power as Farrakhan decried the nature and activities of this so-called Synagogue of Satan. “The Synagogue of Satan has destroyed the country,” he said.

The Vanishing: The erasure of Jews from American life
Suddenly, everywhere you look, the Jews are disappearing.

You feel it like a slow moving pressure system, an anxiety of exclusion and downward mobility. Maybe you first noticed it at your workplace. Or maybe it hit when you or your children applied to college or graduate school. It could have been something as simple as opening up the Netflix splash page. It’s gauche to count but you can’t help yourself: In academia, Hollywood, Washington, even in New York City—anywhere American Jews once made their mark—our influence is in steep decline.

For many Jews, the first instinct is to look inward: We blame intermarriage, assimilation, the loss of the immigrant work ethic. This is, of course, a cope. Because the most significant cause of the decline isn’t Jews themselves, but that American liberalism, our civic religion, has turned on us. Where Jewish success was once upheld as a sign of America’s strength and progress over its prejudices, Jewish “overrepresentation” is again something to be solved, not celebrated.

A tenure-track humanities professor at a prestigious public university tells of the finalists for her department’s next graduate school cohort. Of the 20 or so candidates, four to five are Jews. One is a working-class yeshivish applicant with an incredible backstory and even better recommendations. He is passed over for not being “diverse” enough. Of course our professor doesn’t complain— her own tenure is at risk. In the end, not a single Jew is offered admission.

Another Jewish professor applies to work in the UC system. In his mandatory diversity statement, which he describes as “the most shameful piece of writing I’ve ever done,” his sole aim is to convey the impression that he hopes to be the last Jewish man they ever hire. He still doesn’t get the job.

And why would he? Using YouGov data, Eric Kaufmann finds that just 4% of elite American academics under 30 are Jewish (compared to 21% of boomers). The steep decline of Jewish editors at the Harvard Law Review (down roughly 50% in less than 10 years) could be the subject of its own law review article.

The same pattern holds across America’s elite institutions: a slow-moving downward trend from the 1990s to the mid-2010s—likely due to all sorts of normal sociological factors—and then a purge so sweeping and dramatic you almost wonder who sent out the secret memo.

Museum boards now diversify by getting Jews to resign. A well-respected Jewish curator at the Guggenheim is purged after she puts on a Basquiat show. At the Art Institute of Chicago, even the nice Jewish lady volunteers are terminated for having the wrong ethnic background. There’s an entire cottage industry of summer programs and fellowships and postdocs that are now off-limits to Jews.
Was Medina a model for peaceful coexistence?
This Aish article by Eliyahu Freedman describes the Jewish kingdom of Himyar, but seems to exaggerate the importance of the Constitution of Medina as a model for peaceful coexistence between Jews and Arabs in 7th century Arabia. The pact only existed for a short time when Muhammad was wooing the Jews of the area, hoping to convert them to his new religion. When they refused, Muhammad turned against them, killing the men and taking the women and children as slaves. The surviving Jews were forced to pay a tribute. (With thanks: Laurence) The Constitution of Medina: a model for coexistence?

The origins of the Jewish roots of the Arabian Peninsula abound in legends. According to oral traditions of the Yemenite Jewish community itself, Jews first wandered from Sinai into the Arabian Peninsula while lost in the desert during the Exodus from Egypt. At a later biblical period, the Book of Kings discusses King Solomon’s trading of gifts with the Queen of Sheba, believed by some to be located in present-day Yemen. Finally, Jews descended to live in Yemen permanently amongst the exiles of the 10 lost tribes around 722 BCE.

Archaeological evidence discovered in the 20th century confirms an ongoing Jewish presence in the Arabian Peninsula since roughly the fourth century and introduces a previously unknown chapter in Arabian Jewish history: the conversion of the ancient “Kingdom of Himyar” to Judaism. The Himyarites ruled pre-modern Yemen for three centuries from their capital of Himyar, close to the dazzling stone city of Sana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
MEMRI: Google's 2010 Jihad-Promoting Algorithms Are Reexamined This Week In Supreme Court's Oral Arguments On Section 230
This week, the Supreme Court is finally taking up cases concerning terrorist content on social media. For those who have been studying the issue, these cases have been a long time coming. Back in January 2015, an op-ed in Forbes titled "Terrorist Use Of U.S. Social Media Is A National Security Threat," Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) President Yigal Carmon and I wrote about the need for the U.S. government to take action, noting that "solutions could require examination by constitutional law experts, and might need to go all the way to the Supreme Court."

MEMRI began monitoring terrorist use of the Internet in 2006. In 2010, we found that YouTube had emerged as the leading website for online jihad. I wrote multiple reports on the impact of the YouTube presence of Al-Qaeda and jihadi groups in the West, including the swiftly growing numbers of young Westerners who were being inspired to acts of terrorism by jihadi content.

On December 20, 2010, as these reports were being discussed in the media and on Capitol Hill, I met, at Google's invitation, with four senior Google representatives at the time, the head of Public Relations & Policy; senior Policy Manager; Senior Policy Counsel, and a fourth staff member, a free speech attorney – at the company's Washington, DC office to discuss MEMRI research on YouTube and jihadi videos.

Much of the meeting focused on videos of Al-Qaeda's Yemeni-American leader Anwar Al-Awlaki, the extremely influential jihadi sheikh who had provided personal guidance for the attacks carried out by Nadal Hasan and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in 2009. Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, killed 13 people in his shooting attack at Fort Hood, Texas, and Abdulmutallab attempted to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day with explosives in his underwear. Al-Awlaki videos were known to have been viewed by jihadis who went on to perpetrate acts of terror – for example, the 2008 would-be Fort Dix bombers who were convicted of conspiring to kill American soldiers at the New Jersey army base. Also discussed at the meeting were other videos that were recommended as needing to be removed from YouTube.

Together with Google representatives, we looked at "Soldiers of Allah by Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki," a sermon by Al-Awlaki hosted on YouTube. I also demonstrated to them the issue that the current Supreme Court case is essentially about – how, when viewing jihadi videos, the platform's algorithm recommended similar videos from other YouTube accounts – including dozens more Al-Awlaki and other Al-Qaeda videos dealing specifically with jihad and featuring their iconography.

Brown University President Denounces Antisemitism and ‘Boycotts Against Any Country’
Brown University president Christina H. Paxson earlier this month denounced antisemitism and “boycotts against any country,” an implicit reference to the boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) movement.

“We reject calls to use our endowment as a tool for political advocacy,” Paxson said on Feb. 19 during a speech delivered at the 2023 Hillel International Israel Summit, a gathering of students and leaders with interest and expertise in Israel. “Doing this would be antithetical to freedom of expression and the advancement of knowledge.”

Paxson explained that she often experiences “pressure to choose sides,” with both pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian advocates voicing concern when speakers from either camp speak on campus, but the university, she emphasized, cannot choose and is obligated to promote free expression so long as it does not promote hate. She then turned her attention rising antisemitism across the US.

“In the history of humans, antisemitism stands as one of the most longstanding and pernicious forms of discrimination,” she continued. “At colleges across the country, we hear Jewish students share that they have been subject to antisemitism. These incidents can be glaringly egregious, such as a swastika scrawled on a campus wall. They can also be subtle. Perhaps a casual remark from a classmate that Jews are part of the ‘wealthy elite,’ or that Jewish students who criticizes Israel’s policies are ‘the good Jews’…Any and all of this is unacceptable.”

Addressing the exclusion of Jewish students from progressive clubs and movements, which notably happened in Feb. 2022, when SUNY New Paltz student Cassie Blotner was expelled from a sexual assault awareness group for supporting Israel, Paxson affirmed the right of Jewish students participate in fighting discrimination and inequality. She also called for “defining the gray zone between criticism of Israeli policies that are not antisemitic, and anti-Israel expressions that reflect and normalize anti-Jewish behavior.”

On Monday, J-Street U Brown criticized the content of the speech and accused the Hillel summit of lacking “progressive voices.”
Over 100 Academics Urge U Chicago to Stop ‘In-Person’ Protest of Israeli Veteran’s Course
Over 120 academics from universities across the US have issued a letter calling on the University of Chicago to prevent Students for Justice in Palestine’s “in-person, disruptive” protest of a course taught by retired Israeli Defense Forces General Meir Elran.

A controversy broke out at the university on Feb. 2 when, according to the Chicago Maroon, SJP attempted to gain entrance to Cobb Hall — a building where Elran was teaching —but were allegedly “obstructed” by administrators and the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD). The students were attempting to protest his course, “Security, Counter-Terrorism, and Resilience: The Israeli Case.”

In a statement to The Algemeiner sent on Tuesday, the University of Chicago described the incident differently, explaining that “there was a brief delay of less than three minutes that allowed time for a Dean-on-call to speak with the students.” After, SJP “held a protest of approximately 15 minutes in a hallway outside of the classroom.” The group, according to multiple witnesses, also had previously succeeded in entering the building and standing outside the door of Elran’s classroom while chanting “Terrorist!”

“Simply put, these protests are meant to intimidate,” said the signatories of the letter, which was organized by the Academic Engagement Network, a nonprofit that promotes academic and intellectual freedom. “Respectful debate and even criticism of a course and its content are welcome, but the protests that are designed to demean an instructor and intimidate students are not acceptable.”

The letter added that “when protests disrupt teaching and learning they should be treated as violations of campus policy and antithetical to the core academic principle of open intellectual exchange.”

SJP’s actions continued an effort to boycott what the group last year called “sh*tty Zionist classes,” which has targeted classes including Israel Institute visiting professor Meital Pinto’s “Multiculturalism in Israel” and Stephanie Kraver’s “Narrating Israel and Palestine through Literature and Film.”
"NYC Comptroller Brad Lander Threatens Yeshiva University Over LGBTQ Club"
New York City Comptroller Brad Lander issued a veiled threat to Yeshiva University this week over the school’s struggle to prevent the establishment of an LGBTQ student club on campus, despite the case still making its way through the courts.

YU is an Orthodox Jewish institution that trains men for the rabbinate, among its other degree programs, and the establishment of such a club would be a direct violation of the university’s Orthodox Jewish religious tenets.

The university announced in October 2022 it would establish the “Kol Yisrael Areivim”club for LGBTQ students “striving to live authentic Torah lives.” The university said the initiative, “grounded on Halacha and Torah values,” was an “approved traditional Orthodox alternative” to the YU Pride Alliance organization that hoped to establish a branch at the school.

But apparently, that wasn’t enough to satisfy the LGBTQ crowd.

“Your students are alleging that your current practices are discriminatory and in violation of the New York City Human Rights Law,” Lander wrote.

“Yeshiva University’s own anti-discrimination policy is wholly undermined by the refusal to allow students to form this group within their own terms and mission.

“Furthermore, I must remind you that all recipients of public funding from the City must attest that they are in compliance with City laws and statutes, including the New York City Human Rights Law. Our records show that Yeshiva University has received some $8.8 million in City funding since 2010.

“The University’s discriminatory actions may put future funding and associated services at risk,” he warned.
Sorry, BDS, Roger Waters: Music should promote coexistence, not racism - opinion
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has been under intense scrutiny in recent years, and for good reason. While its proponents claim it is a form of peaceful protest, the movement is nothing more than age-old antisemitism in a modern form.

At the forefront of the BDS movement is Roger Waters, a musician and former member of Pink Floyd. He has been using his platform to spread hate and lies about Israel, and his efforts have only caused division and further polarization.

Waters has been trying to influence other artists not to perform in Israel, and has even called Thom Yorke, the lead singer of Radiohead, pressuring him not to play in Israel. Yorke refused to cave in to Waters’s demands, stating that music should be a bridge between communities, not a tool for racism. And he’s right. Music has the power to bring people together, regardless of their backgrounds. It is a universal language that transcends borders and cultures, and it should not be used to promote hatred and division.

Roger Waters works to divide, Radiohead works to promote coexistence
In contrast to Waters’s efforts, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood and Israeli artist Dudu Tassa worked together to promote collaboration and coexistence, and to promote the music and sounds of the Middle East. This is the kind of partnership that should be celebrated and emulated. Instead of creating walls and division, these artists are building bridges and fostering understanding.

But the problem goes beyond Waters’ attempts to prevent artists from performing in Israel. His rhetoric is blatantly antisemitic. He uses lies and distortions to portray Israel as a racist and oppressive state, and he has even compared Israel to Nazi Germany.

This kind of language is not only false, but it is also incredibly dangerous. It feeds into the age-old stereotype of Jews as bloodthirsty oppressors and perpetuates a narrative of victimhood among Palestinians that ignores the role they play in their own suffering.
Pro-Israel org. to campaign against Roger Waters concert in Spain
Pro-Israel Spanish organization Action and Communication on the Middle East (ACOM) has criticized anti-Israel musician Roger Waters who will be touring Europe in the next few weeks and performing in Madrid and Barcelona, as well as in other European cities.

The Pink Floyd bassist is a leading proponent of the BDS movement against Israel.

"We believe that no public venue should offer its space, and no reputable company should associate itself to the promotion of hatred and antisemitic libels that are involved in Waters’ performances," Angel Mas, president of ACOM, told The Jerusalem Post in a statement on Tuesday.

"This is not an attack on freedom of speech or artistic expression. It would be unthinkable that any other equivalent display of defamation targeting specific national, racial or religious minorities would be permitted in our country," Mas said.

He added that ACOM "will appeal the moral compass of those involved and to our rule of law that in Spain prevent these behaviors."

According to an official ticket site for the tour, Waters will perform in Barcelona on March 21 and in Madrid on March 23 and 24.
Stephen Daisley: Labour does not deserve Luciana Berger’s forgiveness
In 2019, four years after Jeremy Corbyn’s election to the Labor party’s leadership unleashed a torrent of anti-Semitism in its ranks, the MP Luciana Berger quit the party—driven out for being Jewish and for having the temerity to confront the anti-Semites. Since replacing Corbyn in 2020, Keir Starmer has striven to clean house, and recently issued a formal apology to Berger on Labor’s behalf, prompting her to rejoin in what Stephen Daisley terms “a supreme act of forgiveness.” Daisley provides some context:

Berger’s great-uncle was Manny Shinwell, Labor MP for Seaham and a straight-talking left-wing Jew. During a 1938 Commons debate, Shinwell was on his feet when the Conservative MP Robert Bower shouted: “Go back to Poland.” Shinwell paused his speech, walked across the gangway, socked Bower right in the jaw, then turned to the speaker and said: “May I make a personal explanation?” Berger is more forgiving.

The moral bankruptcy shown up by [the Corbyn-era anti-Semitism] affair was not merely of the hard left but of the soft left. The soft left of the Labor party seldom hesitates to speak out against racism. It was not slow to embrace Black Lives Matter and to take the knee. It drew attention to anti-Muslim racism within the Tory party. Labor MPs are among the first to speak on allegations of institutional racism elsewhere in society. Yet when their party was swamped with anti-Semites, many of them went silent or, worse, tried to deny it.

The only difference was that, however progressive their outward politics, these people simply did not consider anti-Semitism to be “real” racism, or as bad as other forms of racism.

So the Labor party does owe Luciana Berger an apology. It could apologize every day from now until the end of time and it still wouldn’t be enough.

Wikipedia’s ‘Supreme Court’ tackles alleged conspiracy to distort articles on Holocaust
When a pair of professors earlier this month published a paper accusing a group of Wikipedia editors from Poland of revising articles to distort the history of the Holocaust, their research went viral.

Most academic articles are seen by dozens or hundreds of people at best. This one, published in The Journal of Holocaust Research, hit more than 27,000 pageviews within weeks.

The paper’s reach was fueled by its analysis, unprecedented in the academic literature on Wikipedia, and its finding that a dedicated group has for some 15 years manipulated a source of information used by millions in ways that lay blame for the Holocaust on Jews and absolve Poland of almost any responsibility for its record of antisemitism.

The paper caught the eye of not just scholars and journalists but of the people in charge of resolving disputes over editing on crowd-sourced Wikipedia, the seventh-most popular website on the internet and one that is seen as the last bastion of shared truth in an ever-fracturing online environment.

Typically, disputes among Wikipedia editors are resolved through community consensus mechanisms, but occasionally those mechanisms fail and allegations are brought to Wikipedia’s Arbitration Committee, a panel of elected editors known as Wikipedia’s Supreme Court.

“Wikipedia is not exactly democratic but anarchistic in a way that actively discourages any sort of an authority coming to solve a dispute,” said Joe Roe, a veteran Wikipedia editor who served on the committee in 2019 and 2020. “The Arbitration Committee is a very limited exception.”

In this case, something especially unusual happened. The Arbitration Committee, or ArbCom, decided to look into the allegations without receiving a formal request to do so. No one could recall the committee taking such a step in its nearly two decades of existence.
BBC News equates rocket attacks on civilians with strikes on military targets
BBC World Service radio, ‘Newshour’, February 23rd:
Coomarasamy: “There was a familiar overnight exchange of rocket fire between Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip following an increasingly familiar Israeli raid on the occupied West Bank city of Nablus on Wednesday.”

Gritten’s report goes on to make additional use of the term “exchange”:
“The exchange follows an Israeli raid in Nablus in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday which killed 11 Palestinians.”

“Following the exchange of fire, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a cabinet meeting: “We will continue to take strong action on all fronts, near and far, in order to thwart our enemies’ efforts to attack us. Whoever tries to harm us will pay the price.””

Gritten’s description of the counter-terrorism operation in Nablus includes the following:
“Local hospitals have been struggling to treat dozens of people who were injured, many with bullet wounds.

One doctor told the BBC’s Tom Bateman that this was one of the worst events of this kind that he had seen in recent years.

A 15-year-old boy with a wound to the leg said he had been standing near militants when he was hit by Israeli gunfire.”

However, in at least two radio reports, Bateman spoke to “a 15-year-old boy with a wound to the leg” who gave a decidedly different account:

BBC World Service radio, ‘Newsday’, February 23rd:
Bateman: “…on the ward we visited there were at least eight people with bullet wounds. I spoke to a 15-year-old boy who’d been shot in the leg. He said he’d been throwing stones towards the soldiers.”

In unusual reversal, European envoys brief Washington on how to handle rampant antisemitism
In very recent memory, American Jewry had to urge Europe to take antisemitism more seriously. European nations eventually heeded that call and appointed special envoys focused on antisemitism across the continent. On Tuesday, the wheel came full circle, as several European antisemitism envoys came to Washington to brief the Biden administration on how to combat rampant Jew-hatred in America.

The White House had announced plans in December to form a government-wide approach to combat antisemitism. The discussion on Feb. 28, brokered by the American Jewish Committee (AJC), was closed to reporters. But JNS caught up with some of the envoys before a panel discussion that evening.

Katharina von Schnurbein, European Commission coordinator on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life, told JNS that the European Union adopted its first strategy to combat antisemitism and foster Jewish life in 2001.

“It has almost 100 specific initiatives, and we’ve so far started to get the ball rolling on 55,” she said.

Asked what best practices she shared with White House officials, von Schnurbein noted that her recommendations centered on “the whole range of antisemitism—online education, Holocaust remembrance, security.” Fostering Jewish life is central, she said, “to make sure that Jews in Europe can go about their lives in line with their religious and cultural traditions, and also free from fear.”

The Japanese Attitude to the Jews during WWII
The Holocaust and all its antecedents can never be analyzed enough. Education is still the most valid way to combat the problem. To this end I would like to focus on the Japanese attitude to the Jews during World War 2. Chiune Sugihara who was declared by Yad Vashem in 1984 “Righteous Among the Nations” was a Japanese career Diplomat who in 6 weeks in the summer of 1940 saved 10,000 Jews by issuing visas from Kaunas (Kovno) Lithuania.

The famous Mir Yeshiva was saved by Sugihara. Sugihara was dismissed in 1946 from the Japanese Foreign Service over his actions in 1940. However, the Japanese who joined Hitler in his war effort did not actively join him in his final solution to annihilate the Jews. One of the main reasons that this was the case was that in the Russo- Japanese War of 1904-1905 a famous Jewish banker Jacob Schiff financed the Japanese in its victory over Russia.

The Japanese never forgot this Jewish man’s actions.

They did not buy into the Nazis hatred of the Jews as a result. Jacob Schiff is not only famous for his support of Japan in 1904-1905 but his bankrolling America’s Railroads, and bringing Jews out of Czarist Russia from 1880 to 1920. The Jacob Schiff’s of today (and they know who they are) can do much more to fight the scourge of Anti-Semitism that is now plaguing America and the world.
English Premier League Giants Reportedly Eyeing Israeli Soccer Wunderkind Manor Solomon
Israel’s most promising soccer star could find himself playing in the upper echelons of England’s Premier League, as rumors of top clubs bidding for his signature heated up on Tuesday.

Twenty-three-year-old Manor Solomon is currently on loan with west London side Fulham, who won promotion to the Premier League from the Championship last year. Solomon is signed to Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk, but has been playing in England under a FIFA rule that allows professionals with Ukrainian clubs to compete elsewhere in the light of the Russian invasion.

North London rivals Arsenal, who currently sit at the top of the Premier League, and Tottenham Hotspur are reported to be interested in signing Solomon, who has made 10 appearances for Fulham since the star of the season. The winger has netted three times, scoring against Nottingham Forest, Brighton and Hove Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers. His equalizer against Wolverhampton last Friday drew appreciative gasps from the crowd, with Solomon receiving the ball in the final third, racing along the edge of the penalty area and then curling a perfectly weighted strike that sailed over three defenders and sprawling keeper Jose Sa into the goal.

“Manor showed the quality that he has,” Fulham manager Marco Silva told reporters after the game ended in a 1-1 draw. “He’s not ready to play 90 minutes yet but has scored some important goals for us – he is different from what we already have here.”
Children’s Book About ‘999 Ways to Be Beautiful’ Is Inspired by Lessons Israeli Author Learned From Her Mother
Author Edna Khalily wants readers of her recently published children’s book to learn how to be beautiful in ways that have nothing to do with their physical appearance.

It’s an invaluable lesson the Iranian-Israeli author learned from her mother, she told The Algemeiner on Wednesday.

The New York-based writer — who was born in Iran, raised in Israel and immigrated to the United States as a teenager — published in late December Alisha’s Magical Red Lipstick: 999 Ways to be Beautiful in which the title character starts off by telling her mother she doesn’t feel beautiful or cool. After her mother gives her a special bright red lipstick, Alisha is transported through a portal and taken around the world to meet children from other countries who show Alisha about being beautiful through acts of kindness, generosity and honesty. Alisha gets introduces to other young girls from India, South America, England, Australia and South Africa.

Khalily was also given a red lipstick from her mother, who only wore red on her lips, when she was in her 20s and still has it until today. Her mother taught her there are 1,000 ways to be beautiful — only one of which is physical — and after she died seven years ago from throat cancer, Khalily wanted to write a book so she can share her mother’s lesson about inner beauty with others.

“She asked me to remember her in good ways and to cherish her memories and messages with happiness,” Khalily told The Algemeiner about her mother, who was her “best friend.”
Hiker finds 2,500-year-old receipt bearing the name of King Ahasuerus’ father Darius I
A hiker in southern Israel recently stumbled upon a rare inscription bearing the name of the Persian king widely believed to be the father of King Ahasuerus, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced on Wednesday.

The 2,500 year-old potsherd was found in December by visitors at Tel Lachish National Park, and bears the name of King Darius the Great, the father of King Ahasuerus, the Achasverosh of the biblical Book of Esther, the state-run archaeological body said.

This is the first discovery of an inscription bearing Darius the Great’s name anywhere in Israel.

The rare ostracon, or inscribed sherd, may be a note acknowledging the dispatching or receipt of goods, and is evidence for the Persian royal administration at Lachish in the Achaemenid period, at the turn of the fifth century BCE, the Antiquities Authority said.

The Aramaic inscription reads “Year 24 of Darius,” dating it to 498 BCE. The short text thus records the name of the Persian king Darius I, the father of Ahasuerus.

During his long reign (522-486 BCE), the Persian Achaemenid Empire expanded, reaching its greatest extent under his son Hishrash (Ahasuerus, Xerxes in Greek), who ruled most of the ancient world.

“When I picked up the ostracon and saw the inscription, my hands shook,” said Eylon Levy, international media adviser to President Isaac Herzog, who discovered the artifact. “I looked left and right for the cameras, because I was sure someone was playing an elaborate prank on me.”

The site of the find, the ancient city of Lachish, was a prosperous city and a major administrative hub 2,500 years ago.

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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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