Daniel Greenfield: Israel is Fighting the World’s War
The Muslim world convinced the international community to pressure Israel by promising that the Jihad would stop there. “Give us Israel and it will end,” they urged. Despite all those promises, the Islamic war against civilization has spread across the world. Most of the world’s major nations and some of the minor ones have their own Islamic insurgency that plays by the same rules: alternating political demands with brutal massacres in the name of Islamic rule.
Generations of Israelis have gone to an endless war, sacrificed sons and daughters, to hold back the tide. They did it in defiance of the ignorance, hostility and pressures of the world.
They did it because they believed, they did it because they refused to die and they did it because surrendering to an enemy that gleefully butchers children was unthinkable.
Despite everything that has happened in the last generation, the world has learned little. But the Israelis have learned that peace is an illusion and that all they can do is hold the line.
When the torches are lit and loved ones weep, when the ‘blood of the maccabees’ blooms, a nation reckons again with the price that it pays for survival. Whatever myths pacifists may harbor and anti-war activists preach, there is no escape for any nation from paying that price.
Some nations have it paid by others, as the United States of America has done for so much of the globe, but in a world where evil is a reality writ in the black ink of the Koran, there can only be temporary refuges from the reckoning.
Israel still relies on a draft army. The price paid for war is a shared burden, but so is the price paid for appeasement. The fallen and their families come from all walks of life. These men and women, grandmothers, sisters, sons and nephews, have paid the world’s price in tears. They did not do it for the world, but their nation’s memorial day is nonetheless a lesson for the world.
Paying the price for freedom has long since become a cliche. Israelis do not pay the price for freedom. They pay it so that their children, their loved ones and their people are not eradicated from the earth by a brutal enemy that has no concept of mercy and worships barbarism.
The Israelis have come up against a choice that we will all have to make sooner or later. They chose not to die. The day will come when we may face that choice as starkly as they do.
Let us hope and pray that we choose well.
UN Watch: Your Tax Dollars Are Being Used to Teach Hate
UNRWA knows it has a problem, and its method of dealing with the problem not only doesn't solve it, but it reveals how deep the rot is. In response to a previous report in 2022, UNRWA's response was a brief suspension of six teachers and no subsequent action.Bassam Tawil: Palestinians: The Real Human Rights Violations
In 2018, following an earlier report on the violent and bigoted online activity of UNRWA's teachers, the organization put out a fact sheet, "UNRWA and Neutrality," touting its new social media policies and training. But as our new report shows, that training focused on encouraging staff to "limit online exposure" by "taking advantage of privacy and other settings."
In other words, antisemitism and support for terrorism don't disqualify a teacher from working at an UNRWA school, but teachers are taught how to avoid getting caught for it.
And not even taught well. From what we were able to turn up for our report, the picture is dire indeed.
Among UNRWA teachers we can find Riad Nimer in Lebanon liking a post praising a gruesome mass murder in a synagogue and Arwa al-Najjar Umm Islam, a math teacher at a West Bank UNRWA school praising a teenager who, with his brother, went on a stabbing rampage in Jerusalem. Another West Bank UNRWA teacher, Nizar Khalil Abu Shaheen, shares a complex antisemitic conspiracy theory about wealthy Jews controlling the United Arab Emirates. An UNRWA employee in Syria, Labibeh Iskandarani, calls on Hitler to "wake up" because "there are still some people you need to burn."
Though UNRWA angrily dismissed the latest report as "an attempt to sensationalize" and "overstate" the problem, the organization did suspend Nimer—only to then quickly reinstate him after news of the suspension led to a teacher walkout in its Lebanese facilities. There were no confirmed reports of any other actions against other teachers mentioned in the report. Iskandarani deleted pictures of Hitler from her Facebook profile and one other teacher adjusted his privacy settings to hide his inflammatory posts.
But the problem isn't just online. UNRWA routinely deflects criticism of antisemitism in its educational materials with the excuse that it is only using material from its "host countries," specifically the approved textbooks of Jordan, Lebanon, and the Palestinian Authority. It's a wholly inadequate excuse for an organization that derives all its funding from donor countries like the United States, Canada, and the European Commission, and it's not even true.
A 2021 study showed that UNRWA's own material used during the coronavirus pandemic was rife with bigotry and glorification of terrorists, including the infamous Dalal Mughrabi who carried out the Coastal Road Massacre in 1978 that killed 38 Israelis. UNRWA's response then was typical: denial followed by verifiably false claims that the problem had been rectified, peppered throughout with criticism for those organizations doing the hard work they refused to do and uncovering the problems in their curriculum and hiring practices.
Other UNRWA-created materials promote "armed struggle" against Israel and encourage "martyrdom." Textbooks routinely demonize Israelis and Jews, and one even describes the firebombing of an Israeli bus as a "barbecue party."
A separate discussion is needed about UNRWA's mandate and its mission and whether so many Western governments should be funneling so much money into an organization with the sole purpose perpetuating, rather than mitigating the conflict in the Middle East.
In the meantime, as long as governments are funding UNRWA to the tune of over $1 billion a year, they should be demanding both accountability in its hiring and an educational curriculum that lives up to their promised neutrality.
When Palestinians commit human rights violations against Palestinians, the European Union and the UN are beyond indifferent. It is only when Israel takes a decision to defend itself against terrorism that we hear their supposedly righteous cries.
The Europeans and the UN seem to be more concerned about the rights of organizations that are affiliated with terrorism than the rights of organizations that speak out against human rights violations perpetrated by Palestinians.
The PFLP, in fact, has long been a headache for Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority (PA). That is why the closure of PFLP-affiliated organizations in the West Bank actually serves the interests of the PA: it weakens its political rivals.
Recently, even Abbas himself decided to punish the PFLP, which is part of his own Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). He cut off all funds to the organization.
While he has been accusing Israel of targeting Palestinian NGOs, he has ordered his security forces to crack down on Lawyers for Justice, an independent Palestinian group of lawyers based in Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinians.
Lawyers for Justice works to support Palestinian human rights activists and political prisoners detained by the Palestinian Authority. It also monitors and documents human rights violations committed by the PA security forces.
In one of its recent reports, Lawyers for Justice revealed that the number of Palestinian political activists arrested by the PA has significantly increased, while peaceful demonstrations and assemblies were being suppressed.
It is no wonder, then, that Abbas and the Palestinian Authority are trying to get rid of Lawyers for Justice.
Dexter Van Zile: Tarek Fatah a Beacon of Courage for Counter-Islamists Everywhere
Tarek Fatah, a founding giant of the global counter-Islamist movement and a leading figure in the effort to update the practice of Islam in the modern world, died this past weekend after a long illness. Fatah, who had served as a Middle East Forum Fellow since 2014, was a courageous defender of democracy, freedom, and pluralism against jihadism and Islamism.‘I Hope That There Will Be a Change in The Future’: Tunisian Chess Players Disqualified From Tournament for Repeated Boycotts of Israeli Opponents
"He was not just smart and brave, but also about the most eloquent and joyful speaker whom I have ever had the pleasure of listening to—and being inspired by," said Middle East Forum President Daniel Pipes.
A longtime contributor to the Toronto Sun and a popular radio talk show host on CFRB 1010, Fatah promoted the cause of moderate Islam by fighting Islamism and encouraging other moderates to speak out against Islamists' abuses. In addition to calling on moderate Muslims to save Islam from Islamists, he regularly shamed his fellow leftists over their failure to confront Islamism. Fatah offered these messages in two award-winning books, Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State (John Wiley & Sons, 2008) and The Jew is Not My Enemy: Unveiling the Myths that Fuel Muslim Anti-Semitism (McClelland & Stewart, 2010).
In Chasing a Mirage, Fatah encouraged his fellow Muslims to return to the universal principles that he argued had been abandoned by Muslim elites in the centuries after Muhammad's death, declaring that "the message of the Quran is strong enough to withstand the facts of history. It is my conviction that Muslims are mature and secure in their identities to face the truth."
In The Jew is Not My Enemy, Fatah told his fellow Muslims, "We have a choice. Either we allow ourselves to be consumed by hatred, or we approach Jews as fellow human beings, at worst as adversaries in a political dispute, not as monsters destined to be our enemy for all time." "He was not just smart and brave, but also about the most eloquent and joyful speaker whom I have ever had the pleasure of listening to—and being inspired by," said MEF President Daniel Pipes (right), pictured here with Fatah in Washington, DC, in 2018.
Three Tunisian youth chess players were disqualified from the last round of the 2023 International Chess Federation (FIDE) World School Chess Championship that concluded Sunday in Greece after refusing to compete against opponents from Israel a total of 12 times throughout the tournament, The Algemeiner has learned.Call Me Back PodCast: The *real* tensions inside Israel — with Micah Goodman
The Tunisian chess players, whose identities FIDE would not reveal because they are minors, repeatedly cancelled their matches against their Israeli competitors until FIDE finally removed them from the championship, which took place on the island of Rhodes from April 13-23. Tunisia and Israel have no formal diplomatic relations.
One of the Israeli chess players discriminated against in the tournament was nine-year-old Noam Sasson, who won the European chess championship last year. He told The Algemeiner he is saddened about what happened at World School Chess Championship. “I hope that there will be a change in the future because all who came to this event came first of all to have fun by playing chess together,” he added.
FIDE is the governing body that regulates all international chess competitions. A spokesperson for the federation told The Algemeiner that after each cancelled match, when they realized the Tunisian players were continuously not showing up for games against Israeli competitors, organizers sent “enquires and warnings” to the Tunisian delegation but got no response. Organizers also received several letters from the Israeli players and their coaches about the situation.
Over the past 16 weeks, Israel has experienced one of the biggest protest movements since its founding. On the surface, these protests were about proposed judicial reforms. But was something deeper going on — for both sides of this debate? On a recent trip to Israel, Dan sat down with Dr. Micah Goodman to better understand the forces shaping this debate.Netanyahu meets Rep. Jeffries, Democratic leaders in Jerusalem
Micah, who has been on our podcast before, is on the speed-dial of a number of Israeli political leaders. His books include bestsellers like Catch-67: The Left, the Right, and the Legacy of the Six-Day War and, most recently, The Wondering Jew: Israel and the Search for Jewish Identity.
Micah hosts the most downloaded podcast series in Israel. He is also a founder of immersive programs fostering personal growth and group identity for young adults at a formative stage in their lives. The organization is called Beit Prat, and Micah is its president.
Twelve congressional Democrats, led by House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), met on Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel.
The purpose of the trip, according to a release from Jeffries, was to address “Israel’s unique challenges within the region and discuss our efforts to maintain and strengthen the special relationship between our nations.” The group also planned to commemorate Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s 75th anniversary, and to recognize Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day.
On the Israeli side, Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides, Netanyahu’s diplomatic adviser Ophir Falk and National Security Council Deputy Director for Foreign Policy Avivit Bar-Ilan met with the 12 members of Congress, according to Israel’s Government Press Office.
Netanyahu thanked Jeffries and the other legislators, emphasizing “the importance of the relationship between Israel and the United States,” per the Israeli press office.
He also discussed with them “the need to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, the Abraham Accords and the opportunities for expanding the circle of peace with additional countries.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip @RTErdogan presented the Gold Medal and a certificate of #recognition to Col. (ret.) Golan Vach, who was the commander of #Israel’s National Evacuation and Rescue Unit during relief operations after the #earthquake in #Turkey pic.twitter.com/rd1Axqf8Rm— MIDEAST TODAY (@MideastToday) April 25, 2023
PMW: PA to Israelis: “We are remaining here, [Israelis] go drink from the Sea”
Today Israelis are remembering the country’s fallen soldiers and victims of Palestinian terror. Tonight at 8:00 PM as this day of remembrance ends, a day of celebration begins, marking Israel's Independence Day - Israel's 75th birthday.
Ignoring Israel's economic and military strength, the Palestinian Authority regularly reminds its people that it believes Israel has no right to exist and that all of Israel is “occupied Palestine” waiting to be liberated. A few days ago, official PA TV broadcast a short animated filler, which again leaves no doubt as to what the PA thinks of Israel and its goal for Israel's future.
The filler shows two Palestinian children running through the Old City of Jerusalem. On the stone wall is graffiti showing the PA map of “Palestine” that presents all of Israel as “Palestine” in the colors of the Palestinian flag. Around the PA map is written: “We are remaining here, [Israelis] go drink from the [Mediterranean] Sea” and on the wall in the bottom right corner is written: “We won’t leave.” On the wall to the left is graffiti of a masked man holding a slingshot. The short animation ends with the text: “Palestine unites us.” [Official PA TV, April 20, 2023]
There are no surprises here. Palestinian Media Watch has documented for decades that the PA vision for the future is that “Palestine” should stretch from “the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea” and that Israel should cease to exist. The PA map seen in the filler erases all of Israel, covering the whole area in the Palestinian flag, indicating future Palestinian sovereignty over all of Israel.
MEMRI: Hamas Hosts Festive Iftar Dinner For Diplomats In Qatari Capital; Guests Include Ambassadors Of Iran, Taliban, Turkey, Russia
On April 13, 2023, Hamas held a festive iftar (evening meal at the close of the daily Ramadan fast) in Qatar's capital Doha for some 30 diplomats from Arab and Islamic states and several "friendly non-Arab countries," as well as Qatari ministers and MPs. The event, which Hamas Political Bureau head Isma'il Haniya described as "the first of its kind," took place in Doha's Diplomatic Club and reflects Qatar's support of Hamas, alongside other terrorist organizations. Qatar hosts Hamas leaders in its territory, provides the organization with financial aid and essentially backs Hamas in its struggle against Israel.PreOccupiedTerritory: Retired FIFA Injury-Fakers Find Second Career With Palestinian Rioters (satire)
The event included a reception, a prayer led by Isma'il Haniya and a political speech by Haniya. Photos from it, which were posted to social media, show some of the diplomats who took part in it, including Iranian Ambassador to Qatar Hamidreza Dehghani Poudeh, Turkish Ambassador to Qatar Mustafa Goksu, the ambassador of the Taliban's Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Mohammad Na'eem, and Russian Ambassador to Qatar Dmitry Dogadkin. The Al-Arabi Al-Jadid daily noted that the event was also attended by "a security advisor from a large European country," and that the Palestinian Authority's ambassador to Qatar, Munir Ghannam, was not present.
The event was attended by many Hamas officials who are frequently hosted by Qatar. In addition to Political Bureau Head Isma'il Haniya, these Hamas officials included Khaled Mash'al, Moussa Abu Marzouq, Khalil Al-Haya, Maher Salah, 'Izzat Al-Rishq, Muhammad Nazzal, Hussam Badran, Sami Khater and Maher 'Ubaid, among others. Qatari officials at the event included Religious Endowments Minister Ghanem bin Shahin Al-Ghanem and the chairman of Qatar's Gaza Reconstruction Committee, Muhammad Al-'Imadi, who is a major liaison between Qatar and Hamas and whose committee serves as a conduit for channeling funds to the Gaza Strip.
This report reviews the festive event held by Hamas for diplomats in Qatar.
Hamas Leader Haniya In Speech To Diplomats: We Will Continue Resistance In All Its Forms; Hope You Will Help Us In International Forums
In his speech at the event Haniya stressed that "Hamas is contending in three ways with the strategic developments and changes on the local, regional and international levels: first, through constant readiness for [armed] confrontation; second, by fostering true [intra-Palestinian] national unity; and third, by strengthening the coordination and consultation with its Arab and Islamic environment and with all the free [peoples] in the world." Hamas's only option, he added, is to continue "its steadfastness, struggle and resistance in all their forms until the occupation is removed," and expressed hope that "the Arab and Islamic states, and [our] friends across the world, will help [Hamas] politically and diplomatically in all the regional and international forums." He stressed "the importance of coordination and consultation with the various countries and free [peoples] in the world, in light of the occupation's ongoing attempts to infiltrate the region on the political, security and military [levels]." Haniya thanked the guests and described the event as "an opportunity to remind the world that everyone has a political, moral and human duty to stop the ongoing aggression against the Palestinians, their land and their holy sites and to act to end the occupation."
Professional soccer players in or following the twilight of their playing days who showed prowess on the pitch feigning serious bodily harm in the hopes of inducing penalties against the opposing team have discovered their skills translate well in the milieu of violent disturbances against Israeli security forces in the Gaza Strip and Judea/Samaria, where credulous or biased NGOs and journalists amplify tendentious, edited video to portray Israel as targeting innocent or unarmed demonstrators.MEMRI: As Al-Quds Day Events Are Organized Across South Asia, Iranian Consulate's Exhibition In Herat City Of Afghanistan Advocates 'Nuclear Extinction' Of Israel
Former football athletes from around the world, primarily Europe and Africa, with a sprinkling of Latin Americans, have joined what observers call the growing phenomenon of such players finding a second career drama-queening for the cameras to fake injury and incriminate Israel.
“It started as a handful,” recalled Sky News sport analyst Al Dreyfus. “Back in the early 2010’s, some players in France and Belgium, with known pro-Palestinian sympathies but unremarkable talent, saw their injury-faking skills as a way to extend their employment prospects. In the decade-plus since, the number has ballooned to dozens, and Palestinian groups have even opened training workshops for these recruits, who then coach local rioters on the proven methods to feign mortal injury but then get up again once the referees, in this case the cameras, are looking the other way.”
This report examines an upsurge of anti-Israel events, antisemitism, and statements in South Asia, especially in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Pakistan-controlled Azad Jammu & Kashmir and in Indian Kashmir and other cities of India, during the holy month of Ramadan, starting March 23, 2023. An exhibition organized in Herat by the Cultural Center of the Consulate General of Iran as part of month-long Al-Quds Day celebrations also advocated "nuclear extinction" of Israel, while a Pakistani columnist called nuclear Pakistan an antidote to "the cancer named Israel."Iran shipped ammunition through Caspian Sea to Russia - report
These events were associated with the Israeli raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque in the first week of April 2023, but mainly Al-Quds Day, an annual event sponsored by the state of Iran, launched by late Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khomeini. The event is celebrated generally on the last Friday of Ramadan, which this year was on April 21, to emphasize the call for the liberation of Jerusalem. However, Al-Quds Day was marked this year on both April 14 and April 21, the former perhaps in expectation that it might have been the last Friday of Ramadan. In South Asian countries, Eid Al-Fitr was celebrated on April 21 and April 22, 2023.
A review of events – especially in Afghanistan where the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban jihadi organization) has been in power since August 2021 – indicates that anti-Israel events had begun as soon as the fasting month of Ramadan commenced in South Asian countries from March 23, 2023, days before the Israeli raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque on April 4 and after.
For example, Afghan news portal Watan24.com reported on March 29 that futsal (a modified football game played with five players each side) competitions were organized in support of the oppressed Palestinian people between teams from Herat, Ghor, and Farah provinces. According to the report, these competitions, under the title of Ramadan Cup Quds, were organized "in support and solidarity with the Palestinian people and the condemnation of the Zionist occupation." The main tournament was held at Quds Sports Hall in Herat.
Similarly, the Afghan Voice Agency carried a Dari-language report dated March 23, the first day of Ramadan, showing some Afghan youths in Kabul city expressing solidarity with "the people of the occupied Palestine" by gathering and cleaning Al-Aqsa Mosque of Kabul city. According to the report, the youths chanted slogans such as "We will break our fast in Quds [Jerusalem]."
Iran shipped over 300,000 artillery shells and a million rounds of ammunition to Russia across the Caspian Sea in the past six months, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.Seth Frantzman: Is Middle East military spending not what it seems? - analysis
Iran has mostly used cargo flights to ship weapons to Russia, which are nearly impossible for Western countries to stop, and blocking the shipment of weapons in the Caspian Sea would require the agreement of former Soviet republics in the area.
Officials in the Middle East told The Wall Street Journal that the most recent weapons shipment known to have crossed the Caspian Sea to Russia left Iran in early March on a Russian cargo ship, carrying 1,000 containers with 2,000 artillery shells.
Iran, Russia and the Caspian Sea connection
On April 24, US CENTCOM commander Michael "Erik" Kurilla visited Turkmenistan, which also borders the Caspian Sea. While Kurilla was in Turkmenistan, Turkmenistan Foreign Minister Rasit Meredow was in Washington, DC meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Last week, Israel opened its first-ever embassy in Turkmenistan.
This also comes after Vice-Adm. Brad Cooper of the US Fifth Fleet made an unannounced visit to Turkmenistan earlier this month, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The US Fifth Fleet is based out of Bahrain and is active in the Persian Gulf, Red Sea and Arabian Sea. Among their many responsibilities is maritime security in the region, which includes combatting attempted Iranian smuggling efforts.
A new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) shows that military spending around the world is rising rapidly.
According to their report, “total global military expenditure increased by 3.7% in real terms in 2022, to reach a new high…military expenditure in Europe saw its steepest year-on-year increase in at least 30 years. The three largest spenders in 2022 - the United States, China and Russia - accounted for 56% of the world total.”
The report reveals interesting details about spending in the Middle East. However, the details may not tell the whole story of what’s happening in the region.
The bigger picture of Middle East military spending
Military spending is one way to compare countries in the Middle East, and globally. However, countries like Iran may appear to spend less, but their threat across the region nevertheless grows because of how their spending is leveraged. One Iranian precision-guided munition in the hands of a militia in Syria, for instance, is a threat that can’t be met by simply sending one similar munition against it, rather one weapon like that has to be confronted with a lot of platforms and soldiers and intelligence on the other side, meaning Iran gets more “bang” for the buck from its spending.
First, a look at the known facts. SIPRI claims that Saudi Arabia is the fifth largest military spender, spending some $75 billion last year. Supposedly this puts Riyadh above the UK, Germany and France. Al-Monitor looked at the numbers and put out a list of spending by country in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia spends $75 billion, while Israel spends $23 billion, the report says. Then comes Qatar and Turkey and then Algeria, Kuwait, Iran and Oman. It’s not clear why the UAE is not mentioned, but the UAE also spends a lot on defense.
The conclusion some have drawn from this is to portray Iran as not much of a threat because its spending is supposedly less than other countries in the region. “I bet most Americans don’t have a clue that Iran spends a third of what Israel spends on the military and less than a tenth of what Saudi Arabia spends. And yet the Iranians are continually presented as a scary military threat to both their neighbors and to us - to justify even more military spending,” tweeted MSNBC host Mehdi Hassan.
One interpretation of data on military spending is to simply add up the amount countries supposedly spend and then make a comparison. However, this doesn’t seem to account for a lot of other factors. For one thing, there is purchasing power, one country might be able to maintain military units and make weapons locally for much less cost than another cost. Western countries tend to overspend on military items.
Leader of Pro-Iran Iraqi Militia Akram Al-Kaabi: U.S. Ambassador in Iraq Carries Out Blatant Acts of Sabotage; U.S. Forces Remain Legitimate Target and Will Be Expelled from the Region #Iraq #Iran pic.twitter.com/BF6ktpIkix— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) April 25, 2023
This would be funny, except for the billions Iran spends annually on Hezbollah, Hamas, & Islamic Jihad. @mehdirhasan @msnbc: I wonder why Israel has to spend so much on its defense. pic.twitter.com/8wwwctTebe— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) April 24, 2023
Iran’s regime gets a huge bang for the buck by using militias and proxies and arming them and terrorizing the region using the poor and groups like Hamas. It exploits others and leverages them. It forces others to spend a lot to balance this by creating so many threats everywhere— Seth Frantzman (@sfrantzman) April 24, 2023
This really is an astonishingly stupid thing to say, on so many different levels. The main thing I will say is I'm genuinely astonished someone who pretends to be as smart as Mehdi does thinks the threat a nation poses to global security is reflected in its military spend. pic.twitter.com/rjVJGo3vLS— Oz Katerji (@OzKaterji) April 24, 2023
Iran charges two actresses for not wearing mandatory headscarves in public
Iran has charged two prominent actresses for publishing pictures of themselves flouting the country’s dress code for women, just weeks after announcing a crackdown on breaches, local media reported.Brendan O'Neill: Diane Abbott and the deranged left
Police in Tehran have referred the case against Katayoun Riahi and Pantea Bahram to Iran’s judiciary, accusing them of “the crime of removing the hijab in public and posting photos on the internet,” the Tasnim news agency said late Monday.
If prosecuted, the pair could face fines or prison terms.
Earlier this month police said they would begin using “smart” technology in public places to crack down on women defying Iran’s compulsory dress code.
Last week, photos of Bahram, 53, went viral after she posed without a headscarf at a film screening, while Riahi, 61, posted several photos taken in public places around Tehran in which she did not wear a headscarf.
The requirement for women to wear the headscarf in public was imposed shortly after the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
The number of women in Iran defying the dress code has increased since a wave of protests following the September 16 death in custody of Kurdish-Iranian Mahsa Amini, 22, for allegedly breaching it.
In a recent column in the Guardian, Tomiwa Owolade drew on survey data to argue that Britons too often assume that racism is an issue of “black and white,” thus ignoring widespread bigotry against Jews, Travellers (a people similar to the Roma), and the Irish. The Labor parliamentarian Diane Abbott responded with a letter to the editor, criticizing Owolade for conflating “prejudice” and “racism.” Her argument continued thus:The profound wrongness of Diane Abbott
It is true that many types of white people with points of difference, such as redheads, can experience this prejudice. But they are not all their lives subject to racism. In pre-civil-rights America, Irish people, Jewish people, and Travellers were not required to sit at the back of the bus. In apartheid South Africa, these groups were allowed to vote. And at the height of slavery, there were no white-seeming people manacled on the slave ships.
Once the letter was published, Abbott quickly disavowed it, and was promptly suspended by her party. But the letter was revealing, as Brendan O’Neill writes:
The idea that a ginger kid being called “carrot top” in the playground is similar to the “prejudice” suffered by other “white people,” including Jews, is one of the worst cases of anti-Semitism minimization I have seen in a very long time. If Diane Abbott cannot tell the difference between a ginger being mocked for his hair color and an entire people being branded an inferior species, like the Jews were, then she has clearly lost the moral plot even more than we thought.
Abbott’s letter, mad as it was, is of a piece with identity politics. This was less the rantings of a woman on the edge than a pretty faithful articulation of what passes for “anti-racism” today. The supposedly radical left has been completely corrupted by the divisive creed of identitarianism, which is less about fighting for genuine racial equality than about sorting human beings into boxes marked “oppressed” and “privileged” and judging their moral worth accordingly.
One of the most perverse consequences of this hyper-racial politics that masquerades as progressive is that Jews have been rebranded as “white,” and thus “privileged,” and thus incapable of experiencing racism. This has led not only to the minimization of anti-Semitism in the present, but also to the minimization of anti-Semitism in the past.
After the ensuing outcry, Abbott issued a statement insisting the letter in no way reflected her true feelings, but rather “an initial draft” had mistakenly been sent to the newspaper. An interesting choice of explanations, but I felt she should have just gone for the more popular “I was hacked” excuse, because, let’s be honest, the idea this was just a draft raised more questions than it answered.Diane Abbott sent Observer letter twice, raising doubts over 'draft' claims
Why write a draft that says the literal opposite of what you claim you intended to say? Had she done a Boris Johnson, who allegedly wrote two columns – one pro-Brexit and one pro-Remain – and then decided at the last minute which to send? But why write a letter at all if she had no argument with Owolade’s original piece? And most of all, could she point us in the direction of a book that details the Holocaust for people with red hair? Because clearly, this is an area of history that should be more widely known.
Anyway, despite all the questions that anyone with a brain would have about Abbott’s hacked-out apology, there was a rush from some quarters to urge us all to forgive her, from Robert Peston – who stressed that Abbott “has suffered much racist abuse in her life” (which doesn’t strike me as wildly relevant to the current issue) – to John McTernan in the Spectator, who fretted that any resistance to forgiving Abbott would prove “it is now impossible to accept a sincere apology”.
Well, it’s hard when that sincere apology rather stretches the bounds of credulity, John.
Keir Starmer wisely thought otherwise and, showing he had learned well from the mistakes of Labour’s past, immediately suspended Abbott. Yet how soon until another ridiculous person decides to claim that Jews have never suffered from racism?
My guess is about three days, because it seems like only yesterday Whoopi Goldberg was saying the same, and Wiley before her, and on and on. Were these people all off the day their schools taught about the Holocaust and the Nazi’s racial purity laws?
It’s depressing to be reminded of how little people care about anti-Jew bigotry. But mainly, it’s illuminating to see in real-time how asinine so many people really are.
Diane Abbott’s “antisemitic” letter was sent to the Observer twice from the MP’s own email account a week before it was published, the JC can reveal, raising new questions about her claims that it was just a “draft”.Diane Abbott to meet leading Hackney rabbi to heal rifts after Observer letter
The letter was identical each time it was sent, three hours apart, and the suspended Labour MP made no efforts to revise it in the seven days after it was sent.
The fact that it was sent from her own email address – not from one controlled by an aide – suggests that she was entirely in control of the process.
The first time the email was sent, the JC understands, Abbott received an automatic reply asking her to send it again but this time with the addition of a postal address. She did this, leaving the text of the letter unchanged.
The disclosure casts doubt on her statement issued on Sunday morning, shortly after the letter was published. In this she said that the letter was an “initial draft” sent in error, that she wished to disassociate herself from its contents, and recognised that Jews do suffer from “appalling” racism.
It also suggests she composed the letter shortly after reading the Observer article by Tomiwa Owolade to which she was reacting. Owolade wrote that “Jewish, Irish and traveller all suffer from racism”, but Abbott’s letter denied this, insisting they experienced only “prejudice” akin to that endured by white people with “points of difference”, such as having red hair.
The revelation that Abbott sent the same letter twice will add to the pressure on Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer not to allow Abbott to stand again for the party in her Hackney North constituency, which includes the Charedi community of Stamford Hill, the largest in Europe. Home Office statistics published last year also show Jews are five times more likely to suffer hate crimes than any other religious group.
Diane Abbott has requested a meeting with a prominent rabbi in her constituency in an attempt to heal rifts in the wake of her "antisemitic" letter to the Observer, the JC has learnt.Diane Abbott's long history of antisemitism controversies
Rabbi Herschel Gluck, who has known the Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP for over three decades, first met her when she visited him before standing for the seat in 1987.
Rabbi Herschel Gluck and Diane Abbott MP at an event in 2019 (Twitter)
Abbott called the strictly-Orthodox rabbi on Monday, a day after her letter generated widespread outrage, and asked if they could meet later this week.
Gluck told the JC he was “shocked” by the veteran anti-racism campaigner's claim that persecution suffered by Jews and the Traveller community could be compared to the prejudice faced by white people with red hair.
“I’m shocked because every single day I get reports about Jews being attacked and abused for no other reason than that we are Jews,” he said. “This is not getting better, it is getting worse.”
Hackney MP Diane Abbott, who has lost the Labour whip after claiming that Jews and Roma do not face racism, has a long history of controversial remarks on the subject of antisemitism.
For many years a member of the party’s hard-left Socialist Campaign Group, Abbott consistently rejected criticisms of her fellow group member and former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who presided over the party’s antisemitism crisis.
In May 2016 – a year after Corbyn was elected party leader - she told the BBC’s Andrew Marr that to suggest Labour had a problem with Jew-hate was “a smear against ordinary party members”.
Two years later she said Corbyn was “the most anti-racist leader in our history” and that those who claimed the party had become “institutionally racist” were not fighting racism but “fighting Corbyn”.
Such arguments were to become the stock in trade of Corbyn’s Labour defenders, echoed by groups such as the now-banned Labour Against the Witchhunt (LAW).
In March 2019, a few months before Corbyn went down to a crushing electoral defeat, Abbott allowed a motion to pass at a meeting of her Constituency Labour Party that was said to have left Jewish members in tears. It condemned the “acceptance” of the notion that Labour was institutionally antisemitic, saying this was a bogus idea fabricated by the media and the Labour right.
‘She obviously felt that the echo chamber she inhabits... it was safe enough to say those things, to think those things… to have them published'— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) April 24, 2023
Jewish actor Tracy-Ann Oberman brands Diane Abbott's comments in the Observer ‘deeply upsetting’https://t.co/P0zxS1Elwd pic.twitter.com/22jLOTILty
This video is a treasure chest of left-wing antisemitism cliches. First, tell us that the person in question is being attacked because of their race. Then, talk about all the other groups that are not being talked about. Then, say “this is distracting from the real antisemitism.” https://t.co/6FQszWBT4Q— Blake Flayton (@blakeflayton) April 25, 2023
"Death to Zionists!", they chant, metres from the stage, in one scene from the day.— habibi (@habibi_uk) April 25, 2023
"Allahu akbar! Takbir!" 2/8 pic.twitter.com/5S5kE2omed
Beginning Monday night, Israelis remember the victims of war & terrorism. Anti-Israel activists like Nerdeen Kiswani, leader & founder of Within Our Lifetime, whitewashes, justifies & openly calls for the murder of Israeli civilians. WATCH & SHAREhttps://t.co/NFWHY7B1Oq pic.twitter.com/HMHh6H3RZE— Canary Mission (@canarymission) April 24, 2023
Ken Loach blaming Jews for the Holocaust. https://t.co/Th2cD9Z34g— David Hirsh (@DavidHirsh) April 24, 2023
Government diversity guru steps down after ‘Zionazi’ tweets revealed
A leading government diversity guru has been forced to stand down from his latest role as a director of an NHS trust after the JC highlighted a string of anti-Israel comments he backed on social media.Noam Chomsky says Jeremy Corbyn won 'enormous victory' in 2017
In a series of posts, Maqsood Ghulam Ahmad, who says he advised the home secretary in the wake of the inquiry into the racist murder of teenager Stephen Lawrence, backed references to Israelis as Zionazis and accusations Labour politicians were in the pay of pro-Israeli lobbyists.
This week Ahmad, who claims he was “responsible for developing equality and human rights policies for the police” at the Home Office, was forced to step down from his role as a non-executive director of an NHS trust after it moved to disassociate itself from his views.
Alerted to a series of controversial posts on a Twitter account linked to his official NHS profile, a spokesperson for Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “As soon as we were informed about the comments, we raised them with Maqsood Ahmad and he stepped down from his role on the board with immediate effect.
The trust, which provides mental health and disability services across the region, and where Ahmad has been a board member since December 2021, added: “We condemn his Twitter comments in the strongest possible terms. We have a zero-tolerance approach to any form of prejudice or racism and the views expressed in no way reflect the views or values of our organisation.”
This month Ahmad used his Twitter account to like a post showing a photograph of a soldier pointing a rifle at a group of Palestinians alongside the comment: “Daily abuse of Palestinians in their own country by the forces of the British mandate.
American writer and “public intellectual” Noam Chomsky has insisted that Jeremy Corbyn won the 2017 general election in an "enormous victory."
In an interview with broadcaster Matt Chorley, Chomsky, 94, repeatedly insisted that Corbyn had been victorious in 2017, claiming he had won “an enormous victory”.
Chorley immediately said: “No, he didn’t”. But Chomsky repeated: “Yes, the biggest victory that Labour had won in generations.” No, said Chorley. “He lost. He didn’t become prime minister”.
But Chomsky, a long-standing hard-left campaigner and supporter of Corbyn, maintained that it was “the British establishment” — including The Times — which had “come down on [Corbyn] with a ton of bricks, with false, deceitful propaganda about antisemitism, all exposed as lies…”
Matt Chorley responded: “That’s just not true. Labour MPs left the Labour Party because of antisemitism when Jeremy Corbyn was leader.” They had quit the party in protest at Corbyn’s record, he told Chomsky, including the leader’s support for anti-West positions. One such, he said, was Corbyn’s line “of giving Russia the benefit of the doubt over the Salisbury poisonings”.
Chomsky regurgitates all the myths, lies and fantasies of Corbyn's most committed supporters, apparently without any idea that none of it is true and most of it is obviously ridiculous. I *almost* feel sorry for him. https://t.co/1N4yz1OC3P— Dave Rich (@daverich1) April 25, 2023
Twitter Antisemitism 'Skyrocketed' Since Elon Musk Takeover—Jewish Groups
A series of high-profile Jewish organizations have slammed Elon Musk's Twitter for not responding proactively to antisemitic content on the platform.
A series of controversies have plagued Twitter since the billionaire purchased the platform, from blue check arguments to his recent admission that his time running the social media site has proven "painful." But perhaps most prominent since the takeover are claims that hate speech has increased on Twitter.
While Musk and experts have some different ideas on what hate speech is, there is increasing evidence that users are being faced with more hateful content while browsing.
Now, a series of Jewish organizations have told Newsweek how concerned they are about the rising number of cases of antisemitism on Twitter feeds.
"We are deeply concerned about this trend, which was exacerbated by Elon Musk's decision to reinstate the accounts of dangerous right-wing extremists and antisemites who had violated Twitter's terms of service," the Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) told Newsweek.
Newsweek reached out to Twitter for comment and received a template emoji response.
"Twitter is not doing nearly enough to combat hate."
Research from CASM Technology and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) found what they called a "major and sustained spike" in antisemitic posts on Twitter since the company's takeover by Musk in October 2022. Analysts detected 325,739 English-language antisemitic tweets in the nine months from June 2022 to February 2023, with the weekly average number of antisemitic tweets increasing by 106 percent (from 6,204 to 12,762), when comparing the three months before and after Musk's acquisition.
"Multiple reports have shown that antisemitism, homophobia, and other hate has skyrocketed since his takeover," the StopAntisemitism organization told Newsweek. "Twitter is not doing nearly enough to combat hate. We should not have to intervene to have content deleted that praises genocidal maniacs like Hitler or Hamas—if Twitter isn't catching those posts, it means they have a lot of work to do."
Germany to fine Twitter for ignoring antisemitic content
Earlier this month, Germany’s Federal Justice Office began the process of fining Twitter, under the country’s Network Enforcement Act, for failing to remove hate speech. The German law requires social-media sites to remove illegal content within seven days, and for the most egregious material, within 24 hours.CBC must stop glorifying Palestinian terrorists - opinion
The German office stated publicly that hateful material was published on Twitter, “which the authority considers illegal and, despite user complaints, was not deleted or blocked by the provider within the legally stipulated periods.”
Reportedly, Twitter faces a fine as high as €50 (nearly $55 million) in Germany. An email to a Twitter press account auto-replied with an excrement emoji, as Twitter owner Elon Musk has tweeted it would, and it wasn’t immediately clear how to otherwise reach a spokesperson.
In January, a German activist group sued Twitter for hosting content denying the Holocaust, which is a crime in Germany.
One of Musk’s first publicized decisions after buying the company was to decrease the content moderation division. Many saw that as welcoming hateful speech, while others had long believed that division was driven by partisan politics.
Europe has stricter laws about free speech than the United States does, and Musk had told the European Union he would comply with those rules.
The Lion’s Den is made up of young Palestinians who want to defy Palestinian political leaders, who they see as collaborators with Israel. Their leadership are known terrorists who have carried out several attacks against soldiers and Israelis living in the West Bank. Last October, a senior group member, Tamer Kilani, was planning to commit a “large-scale” attack in Tel Aviv before the IDF neutralized him. According to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, in 2023 alone, Lion’s Den militants attempted over 40 terror attacks. Wall displays in Nablus show pictures of deceased members of the Lion's Den terrorist group. (credit: KHALED ABU TOAMEH) Wall displays in Nablus show pictures of deceased members of the Lion's Den terrorist group. (credit: KHALED ABU TOAMEH)BBC News website publishes fourth Huwara report in two months
Yet, the CBC irresponsibly highlights the group through the eyes of young Palestinians and writes the article in a way that glorifies the interviewed teenagers’ dreams of becoming martyrs, even highlighting one Palestinian teenager intent on joining the terror group once his parents consent.
Encouraging children to join terror groups is a war crime and a violation of international law. Palestinian terror groups like the Lion’s Den are known for recruiting young children to die in pursuit of murdering Israelis. Approximately six recent terror attacks against Israelis were committed by Palestinian teenagers as young as 13 and 14. How could the CBC ignore this tragic form of child abuse?
ADDING TO my disenchantment, the author discounts any non-violent negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, instead choosing to glorify the Nablus terror group, painting them as the only hope Palestinians have left.
The author does not mention the 16 Israelis, the vast majority being innocent civilians, including young children, murdered in Palestinian shootings, car rammings and stabbings in the past three months.
Ultimately, Israel will and has an obligation – as any other country does – to protect its civilians from terrorists who seek to murder us. The author ignores this reality, instead feeding the false narrative that Israel is senselessly murdering innocent Palestinians and fails to attribute any blame for the massive spike in civilian and military casualties on both sides over the past year to the terror group.
Notably, Williamson chose not to inform her readers that some of those who rioted in Huwara on February 26th have been placed in administrative detention and two people have been indicted in connection with a later incident in the same town.Anti-Jewish Libels Resurrected by Christian Clergy in Jerusalem
The final paragraphs of Williamson’s report include the following:
“Violent confrontations and attacks between [sic] Palestinians and Israelis in the occupied West Bank have been rising for months.
The riots in Hawara – in which settlers torched houses, shops and vehicles – came hours after two brothers from a nearby settlement were killed by a Palestinian gunman on the main road passing through the town.
Since then, three British-Israeli women were killed when they were shot by suspected Palestinian gunmen as they drove through the Jordan Valley; an Italian tourist died after a car-ramming attack by an Israeli Arab in Tel Aviv; and a Palestinian teenager was shot dead during an Israeli raid near Jericho.”
Unsurprisingly Williamson’s account does not include any mention of the word terror despite the fact that the BBC knows that the perpetrator of the attack on the two brothers was a member of Hamas. Williamson also refrains from informing BBC audiences that two subsequent shooting attacks in Huwara were claimed by the PFLP terrorist organisation. As has been observed in other BBC content, she promotes false equivalence between the April 7th terror attacks – which she fails to name as such – in the Jordan Valley and Tel Aviv and the death of a Palestinian during violent rioting against members of the security forces engaged in a counter-terrorism operation.
As previously documented here, the BBC News website the attacks carried out by Israelis in Huwara on February 26th were the topic of three dedicated BBC news website reports (two of which are repromoted in Williamson’s article) and were also covered in the two additional reports on other topics. In other words, Williamson’s report – which does not provide any new information – is the fourth dedicated piece of content on that topic to appear in less than two months.
In her article, Debre did not even mention – much less quote – any of the statements issued by the Israel Police. She chose instead to promote a one-sided narrative of politically charged allegations against the Israeli government and police under a thinly-veiled guise of reporting so-called news.Arsenal announces new antisemitism plan after banning fans for Jew-hate
Debre either doesn’t understand, or doesn’t care, that Pizzaballa’s unsubstantiated indictment of the current leadership is reminiscent of ancient libels against the Jewish people and is a continuation of decades of criticism of Israel and support for the Palestinian cause maintained by various Christian denominations – regardless of who leads the government in Jerusalem.
Israel’s Declaration of Independence guarantees freedom of religion, conscience and language for all, as well as the protection of all holy sites. The Israel Police demonstrated a commitment to these values through the prompt arrest of suspects in the specific cases addressed above and through the statements they issued.
The fact that Israel upholds its core values, outlined in its Declaration and ensured by Israeli law, is demonstrated by the ongoing and remarkable increase in its Christian population while the number of Christians continues to decrease in surrounding areas due to persecution and lack of equal rights for all.
Rather than acknowledge that the documented attacks on Christian property and a priest were perpetrated by extremists who were promptly arrested by Jewish police, Debre and Pizzaballa chose to accuse the Israeli government and Jews in general of a systematic effort to drive Christians from the Holy Land.
Facts expose the false accusations for what they are. At best, they are uninformed. At worst, they represent an intentionally deceitful perpetuation of historic anti-Jewish libels. Whatever the case, Debre and Pizzaballa should know better and be ashamed.
Arsenal has given the green light to a new affiliate called Jewish Gooners, partly in response to antisemitism among fans.Rep. Gosar newsletter links to antisemitic publication
The announcement comes as the club said it was banning five members for three years over incidents involving Jew-hate that took place online or inside the Emirates Stadium.
The exclusions come on top of 31 other exclusions for abusive and discriminatory behaviour including death threats, homophobia, ableism and other forms of racism.
The JC can also reveal that Arsenal is setting up an affiliate known as the Jewish Gooners.
The aim of the group will be to both prevent antisemitism and to help foster a more “inclusive” environment for Jews. It follows the successful introduction of a Gay Gooners group.
Jewish Arsenal fans have been in talks with the club for more than two years about setting up a group – partly to ensure that Jewish fans who keep Shabbat would be able to give their tickets to friends.
Although the club has thousands of Jewish fans, its main rival, Tottenham, is known as the “Jewish Club” with supporters identifying as the “Y*d army”. As a result, anti-Tottenham songs and chants by Arsenal fans have been known to tip over into antisemitism.
Jewish fans also complained to the club after some contributors to Arsenal fan groups posted anti-Jewish jokes and even Holocaust denial.
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), who has a history of associating with white nationalists and Holocaust deniers, is facing criticism for a link in his April 16 newsletter to a publication called Veterans Today. Despite its benign name, the publication has published antisemitic content and Holocaust denial.Massachusetts woman arrested for placing swastikas at Jewish woman's home
The text in the newsletter was different from that on the publication website. The former referred to “warmongers,” while the publication referenced “Jewish warmongers.”
A Russian propaganda website with government ties also published the article.
Anthony Foti, Gosar’s spokesman, did not respond to a query from JNS.
In the past, the congressman tweeted a video linked to antisemite Nick Fuentes. Gosar has also said that he was unaware of Fuentes’s hateful comments.
A Boston-area woman has been arrested and charged with leaving a series of paper swastikas outside the house of a Jewish lawyer who is representing her child’s father in an ongoing custody battle.
The case had been a source of fear and confusion in the local community for months, since the Jewish woman being targeted, Stephanie Lyons, first found the swastikas on her front lawn in Stoneham in November.
Lyons told The Washington Post that the swastikas had particularly unnerved her amid a larger climate of antisemitism; the incident came only a few days after rapper Kanye West launched what would become an extended antisemitic tirade.
“I just burst into tears,” she told the Post. “Someone had taken the time to cut these swastikas out of paper and write those words. They knew where we lived. They knew we were Jewish.”
Now local police have concluded that the culprit did in fact know Lyons. They have charged Kathleen Collins with a civil rights violation and two counts of witness intimidation, the Boston Globe reported.
What legal consequences will antisemitic monster Faisal Elezzi (L) face for his part in the brutal assault of an innocent Jewish man 2 years ago in NYC?— StopAntisemitism (@StopAntisemites) April 25, 2023
3 years of probation.
Under @ManhattanDA Alvin Bragg, the Jews of NYC are simply not safe. pic.twitter.com/KAD4TjZ49u
ARRESTED- Maron Mark Raymond, 51, has been charged in connection to the March Cape Coral, FL Chabad Jewish Center vandalism attack.— StopAntisemitism (@StopAntisemites) April 24, 2023
Raymond attempted to break into the Chabad and then threw a brick at the Rabbi's car when he was unsuccessful. https://t.co/9m3Q2B8UGf pic.twitter.com/dSSfMCBlMN
Man arrested in Poland for antisemitic message projected on Anne Frank House
Police arrested a man in Poland on Tuesday on suspicion of projecting an anti-Semitic slur on Amsterdam’s Anne Frank House which led to widespread shock in the Netherlands.Social Media Personality Montana Tucker Leads Pledge About Holocaust Education at 30th Anniversary Event for US Holocaust Memorial Museum
The 41-year-old suspect was arrested after an intensive investigation following the incident in early February when a text suggesting the Jewish teenager did not pen her diary during World War II was projected on the side of the museum to honor her memory.
“After the projection… the suspect was soon identified,” Dutch police said in a statement.
“It subsequently transpired that the suspect left for Poland immediately after the projection,” they said.
Dutch detectives traveled to Poland on Monday and were present when the suspect’s home was searched and he was arrested.
Police told AFP “we assume the man lives in Poland,” but could not give further details.
“The Amsterdam public prosecutor has asked for the man to be extradited to the Netherlands,” police added.
The incident shocked many in the country, where Dutch involvement in the deportation of tens of thousands of Jews to Nazi death camps is still a sensitive issue.
Jewish social media sensation and activist Montana Tucker spoke at an event on April 20 for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s 30th anniversary, leading 1,600 audience members as they pledged to educate future generations about the atrocities of the Holocaust.'Blues by the beach': How Tel Aviv recovered from 2003 Mike's Place terror attack
“Their humanity was denied. Their futures were stolen,” the singer-songwriter said on stage, as video clips played on the screen behind her of young children who were killed in the Holocaust. She then asked each member of the audience to light a candle given to them and said, “let’s all pledge to these children that we will honor their memory but working together to promote our common humanity so we can all help create a better future for all children. Our pledge to the future is simple: we will never forget.”
A Florida native, Tucker’s maternal grandparents are both Holocaust survivors. She spoke to The Algemeiner recently about actively using her social media platforms to educate others about the Nazi persecution that took place during World War II, a cause that was also important to her grandparents, who shared their testimonies about the Holocaust at schools and events in Florida.
Tucker filmed her trip last year to the site of the former Auschwitz concentration camp, where her grandmother was imprisoned, and made the video into a docuseries that she posted on social media for her over 12 million followers to watch. At last week’s museum event, Tucker spoke losing social media followers after posting the video series online and about the antisemitic comments she received for sharing a photo of her with her grandparents.
“With the recent rise in antisemitism and what I experienced myself, I wanted to do something more meaningful with my platform,” she explained. “I knew that I had this opportunity now to educate my followers. To pick up the mission that had been so important to my grandparents their whole lives. The mission of this museum. Hopefully all together we can combat antisemitism and all forms of hate.”
During last week’s anniversary event, the museum’s director Sara J. Bloomfield addressed the importance of joining forces in making sure the memory and lessons of the Holocaust stay alive.
“Institutions alone can’t change the world,” Bloomfield said according to a statement from the United States Holocaust Museum. “From our founding, the power of partnership has been central to our ability to bring the history and lessons of the Holocaust to people from all walks of life. Our partners share our conviction that the Holocaust is a story of humanity. It shows us who we have been and challenges us to be more.”
Mike's Place is known as the bar in Tel Aviv where Anglos can get a taste for home. It was devastated by a terror attack in 2003 during the Second Intifada. While the city recovered and moved on, it took a lot longer for its owners to rebuild, as our host Emily Frances learns in this emotional interview looking back over the past two decades.
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