Tuesday, June 06, 2023

06/06 Links Pt2: US denounces Roger Waters performance in Berlin as antisemitic; Abbas’ risible Temple denial Is no laughing matter; Telling the truth about Soros and antisemitism is essential

From Ian:

Abbas’ risible Temple denial Is no laughing matter
Mahmoud Abbas, in his notorious speech at the UN on May 15, 2023, among other abhorrent remarks, absurdly denied there was any proof of a Jewish link to the Temple Mount. His risible rhetoric ignores the overwhelming archeological, documentary and historical evidence that the Jewish Holy Temple stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Unfortunately, he is not the first to invoke this canard. His predecessor, Yasser Arafat brazenly denied the Jewish Temple was located on the Temple Mount, in 2000 at Camp David, and was remonstrated by President Clinton at the time. Astoundingly, even the New York Times weighed in on the subject, in 2015, in an effort to create uncertainty and was rightly chided by Dr. Jodi Magness, one of the expert archeologists interviewed for the article. In a scathing Letter to the Editor, dated October 12, 2015, Dr Magness concluded with the statement: “ I know of no credible scholars who question the existence of the two temples or deny that they stood somewhere on the Temple Mount.”

The Quran references the existence of the Jewish Holy Temple and Islamic documentary and historical sources attest to it being on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This includes the Nuba Inscription (from the 9th or 10th century), found in a mosque south of Jerusalem, near Hebron. It references the Rock of the Bayt al- Maqdis (Beit HaMikdash in Hebrew), referring to the Foundation Stone and site of the Holy Temple.

In addition to Scriptural references in the Old and New Testaments and Jewish documentary sources (such as the Mishna and Midrash, as well as 1rst century historian Josephus), there are many non-Jewish historical writings and documentary sources describing the Jewish Holy Temple in Jerusalem, including as follows:

4th century B.C.E., Menander, a Greek historian.
4th century, B.C. E., Hecataeus of Abdera, a Greek historian.
3rd century B.C.E., Berossus, of Babylon.
3rd-2nd century B.C.E, Aristeas, a Greek official in the court of Ptolemy II, in Egypt.
1rst century B.C.E., Cicero, a Roman statesman.
1rst century B.C.E., Edict of Augustus.
1rst century, Strabo, a Greek geographer.
1rst century Tacitus, a Roman historian.
1rst century, Arch of Titus.
1rst century, Plutarch, a Greek Historian.
2nd century, Cassius Dio, a Roman Historian.
3rd century Eusebius, a Greek Christian Historian and Bishop of Caesarea.
More than a dozen Islamic Hadiths.
9th century Muhammad ibn Jair Al-Tabari.
10th century geographer and Jerusalem resident, Muhammad ibn Ahmad Shams al-Din al-Muqaddasi.
11th century Abu Bakr Muhammad Ahmad al-Wasiti.
12th century geographer Muhamad al-Idrisi.
12th century geographer Yaqut al Hamawi.
13th century theologian, Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah.
14th century historian, Abd al Rahman ibn Khaldun.
15th century historian Mujir al-Din.
15th century Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti.

Interestingly, 13th century Ahmad ibn Taymiyya, noted above, declared with respect to the site of Dome of the Rock:

‘Men of Knowledge who were companions or followers of the Prophet chose the best path and did not exalt the Rock, because it is a quibla mansukha, like the Sabbath…so too, the Rock is exalted only by Jews and some Christians.’

It is astonishing that the words of this noted Sunni scholar and inspirational source of the Salafi and other radical Islamic movements, including, for example, Hamas, are simply and callously ignored in favor of the dictates of political ideology. The specious claim that the entire Temple Mount is exclusively a Muslim holy site to the exclusion of all other religions and the spurious denial that the Jewish Temple ever stood there is yet another example of Jew-hatred by the PA and Hamas.

US denounces Roger Waters performance in Berlin as antisemitic
The Biden administration is weighing in on the controversy over Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters, saying his recent performances in Germany were antisemitic, an assessment shared by many in Israel and the pro-Israel community.

The US State Department said Tuesday that Waters has “a long track record of using antisemitic tropes” and a concert he gave late last month in Germany “contained imagery that is deeply offensive to Jewish people and minimized the Holocaust.”

The comments came in a written response to a question posed at Monday’s State Department press briefing about whether the administration agreed with criticism of Rogers from the US special envoy to combat antisemitism, Deborah Lipstadt.

“Special Envoy Lipstadt’s quote-tweet speaks for itself,” the department said.

“The concert in question, which took place in Berlin, contained imagery that is deeply offensive to Jewish people and minimized the Holocaust,” the department said. “The artist in question has a long track record of using antisemitic tropes to denigrate Jewish people.”

In a May 24 tweet after the concert in Berlin, during which Waters appeared on stage in a costume reminiscent of Nazi-era Germany, Lipstadt denounced the musician by echoing comments from EU antisemitism envoy Katharina von Schnurbein, who is German.

“I wholeheartedly concur with @EUAntisemitism ’s condemnation of Roger Waters and his despicable Holocaust distortion,” Lipstadt wrote in reply to a tweet from von Schnurbein.
EXPOSED: The Times Sneakily Edited Roger Waters Article to Remove Antisemitism Defense
The Times of London craftily edited its recent review of Roger Waters’ concert in Birmingham after the piece appeared to excuse the musician’s antisemitism.

The piece — written by music critic Mark Beaumont — was published on June 1 and caught the attention of HonestReporting over Beaumont’s thinly-disguised attempt to whitewash Waters’ long and well-documented history of antisemitism.

However, it can be revealed that the original version of the review was even more problematic and was swiftly and sneakily amended by editors at The Times to remove elements that seemingly dismissed the accusations of anti-Jewish hatred against the former Pink Floyd rocker.

The initial headline of the piece, “Roger Waters review — ignore the online hate, this was majestic,” was changed to “Roger Waters review — if you can ignore the rants, this was majestic.”
Original: How the piece was first headlined in The Times

Amended: The headline was quickly changed to not appear to be justifying Waters’ antisemitism

The original headline and its meaning were clear: people should “ignore” the antisemitism allegations leveled at Waters because they are spurious and the criticism he has faced is nothing more than a concocted “online hate” frenzy.

A later amendment radically altered its meaning — readers are told that Waters frequently rants in an unhinged fashion and that only “if” they can ignore such diatribes, will they enjoy the show.

And this is not the only stealthy edit made.

The first two paragraphs of the piece were also subtly changed to remove Beaumont’s obvious attempt at sanitizing Waters.

In the original version, no reference was made to Waters’ so-called “Pink paranoia” when he suggested that his critics are being directed “from Tel Aviv.” Instead, the comment stood alone and uncontextualized, suggesting the writer believes Israel really is manipulating the coverage of Waters’ tour.

Senior Reform rabbi warns of 'devastating' rift because of anti-Israel sentiment
A senior rabbi in the US Reform Judaism stream recently issued a rare warning about the potential split in the movement if some of the anti-Israel elements are not countered.

Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch, the senior rabbi of Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York City, delivered the keynote address at the Re-CHARGING Reform Judaism Conference in late May. The conference convened "thought leaders, Jewish scholars, philanthropists, and committed lay leaders from throughout the US and Canada for an extraordinary opportunity to assess this crossroads moment and offer a call for a bright future." In part, this was designed to address "the growing distance between North American liberal Jews and Israel, and their fraying connection with the concept of Jewish peoplehood."

The conference was a rare event, as Reform leaders have generally tried to avoid speaking about Israel in temples due to it becoming a divisive issue.

In his address, he set a clear distinction between those who support Jewish peoplehood and Zionism and those who don't.

"To turn against Israel; to join our ideological opponents and political enemies in castigating Zionism, is a sign of Jewish illness, an atrophying of our intellectual and emotional commitment to our people. Israel is the Jewish people's supreme creation of our age," he told the gatherers.

He further offered a stark assessment: "I fear that we are losing the soul of the Reform movement." He added that on the one hand, it is acceptable "to critique decision-makers" because "that is what Jews do; it is a sign of health, energy, and vitality," but he lamented that this sometimes goes beyond the pale and must be answered with a rebuttal.

"We are the leaders. We must lead. We must be proactive. We must aggressively counter intensifying and expanding anti-Zionist, anti-peoplehood forces in liberal spaces throughout the Western world. We must let people know, with clarity and conviction, what we believe. We must take on forces in American society, whether local or national, grassroots or in the halls of Congress, with whom we may agree on many other matters, but who disdain Israel, support her enemies, or are connected to elements in American society that hate Jews. We cannot march arm-in-arm with Israel-haters, lending them our moral authority, and confusing our own followers. We must oppose them. And we must let everyone know why we cannot join them," he said.

Jonathan Tobin: Telling the truth about Soros and antisemitism is essential
It is true that extremists and antisemites bash Soros, and that efforts to demonize him based on his childhood experiences surviving the Holocaust are unfair. Yet it is equally true that his record as a hedge-fund operator in which he ruthlessly shorted foreign currencies is such that it is hard to distinguish between what might be termed Rothschild-style antisemitic rhetoric of the past and the truth about a financier who acquired enormous wealth by profiting from the economic suffering of countless millions in countries across the globe.

At this point, Soros isn’t just a controversial person whose activities are being falsely characterized by antisemites to justify their maniacal opinions about Jews. The scope of his political donations (his funding of anti-Israel groups is only a small part of the story) is so ambitious that he has become the living embodiment of what in the past would have been dismissed as a conspiracy theory. To deny this—as liberal Jewish groups are doing—isn’t just wrong but undermines the fight against antisemitism.

It’s not just that the arguments of Jews Against Soros are valid. It’s that Soros’s funding priorities are themselves linked to the leftist war on the West that is both intent on fueling a perpetual war of the races and an antisemitic effort to smear the one Jewish state on the planet as a function of colonialism and white privilege oppressing people of color. With Soros aligned with enemies of the Jews, to defend him and essentially delegitimize attacks against him is to actually aid the antisemites. Seen from that perspective, the claim that Jews Against Soros is koshering the antisemitic right is not just wrong but a disgraceful kind of gaslighting that has become a sadly common meme of left-wing commentary.

The argument from pearl-clutching moderates and liberals that people like Musk, Hammer or Scharf should pull their punches about Soros because some lunatics on the fringe will use their critiques to justify antisemitism doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Extremists don’t need conservatives or independents like Musk who see through the gaslighting about Soros. But Soros and his apologists very much need to silence legitimate criticism—even when it is, as in Musk’s case, expressed in satire—in order to distract the public from the reality of the Soros agenda and how much of an impact he’s having on American life.

It isn’t going too far to assert that Soros is endangering far more American and Jewish lives than stray marginal extreme right-wingers. It’s time for sensible people to take off the gloves with respect to what Soros is doing. It’s also time for his defenders to take off their blinders and acknowledge the reality about a man whose political spending is doing incredible damage both to America and to the Jews.
Alan Dershowitz: Jews shouldn't be defending George Soros against Elon Musk
George Soros has done more harm to Israel than any other single person in the world
No single person has done more to damage Israel’s standing in the world, and especially among so-called progressives, than George Soros. Without his support, the two major organizations that have done the most to shift the left-wing paradigm against Israel, would not have the pernicious influence they currently possess.

Human Rights Watch was founded by publisher and human rights advocate Robert Bernstein. For years it critiqued the denial of human rights by all countries based on two criteria: the seriousness of the human rights violations in any particular nation; and the inability of the citizens of that nation to protest and remedy such violations. Then a Soros-funded radical anti-Israel zealot named Kenneth Roth took over the organization and turned it into an organization that specialized in demonizing Israel without regard to the previously outlined criteria. The Israel bashing became so one-sided and extreme that Bernstein wrote:

“As the founder of Human Rights Watch, its active chairman for 20 years and now founding chairman emeritus, I must do something that I never anticipated: I must publicly join the group’s critics. Human Rights Watch had as its original mission to pry open closed societies, advocate basic freedoms and support dissenters. But recently it has been issuing reports on the Israeli-Arab conflict that are helping those who wish to turn Israel into a pariah state.”

After that, matters got even worse.

Roth deployed “human rights” as a weapon targeting Israel. Its one-sided “reports” were used as primary justifications and excuses for selective condemnation of Israel by the United Nations and its various committees. They were also circulated on university campuses around the world. Despite their obvious anti-Israel bias, supporters pointed to the fact that Roth too is of Jewish heritage, thus purporting to lend credibility to his anti-Israel accusations.

Natan Sharansky documented the bias of Human Rights Watch: “Here is an organization created by the goodwill of the free world to fight violations of human rights, which has become a tool in the hands of dictatorial regimes to fight against democracies ... It is time to call a spade a spade. The real activity of this organization today is a far cry from what it was set up 30 years ago to do: throw light in dark places where there is really no other way to find out what is happening regarding human rights.”
Jerusalem Post conference is latest Israeli event in New York to be disrupted by protests
Leading up to its New York City conference, the Jerusalem Post tried to avoid the anti-government protests that had bedeviled other recent gatherings where Israeli government officials had spoken.

And until 3 p.m., it appeared the Israeli newspaper’s efforts had succeeded.

Protest organizers told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the conference had canceled 20 to 30 tickets that protesters had bought. A demonstration outside the conference, which took place in Manhattan on Monday, had dissipated by mid-morning.

At one point, four security guards on the sidewalk manhandled a protester who tried and failed to enter the atrium. But inside, for most of the day, all passed quietly. Israeli right-wing government ministers who had been heckled at other events appeared onstage without interruption. The biggest distraction in the room was a constant hum of chatter among the attendees.

But in the mid-afternoon, as Israeli Economy Minister Nir Barkat took the stage to discuss government action to encourage entrepreneurship, the familiar Hebrew chants of “Shame! Shame!” echoed in the room, disrupting his remarks, and a group of protesters were escorted out.

“What violence, what did we do?” said Shany Granot-Lubaton, a local protest organizer who was barred from entering. “Barkat can’t take it that we’re heckling him? We can heckle him. Keep talking, we’re all adults. We’re allowed to express our opinion.”

The ejection was a kind of coda to a week in which protesters in New York and elsewhere, many of them Israeli expatriates like Granot-Lubaton, have tried to meet and disrupt Israeli cabinet ministers wherever they were — at meetings with Jewish organizations, speaking in synagogues, at a parade on Sunday or walking on the public sidewalks. Videos of the disruptions circulated online. The ministers who were the targets of the protests decried being hounded, and the demonstrators said they were exercising their right to free speech.

Vocal Israel Critic Cornel West Launches Longshot Presidential Bid
Longtime Israel critic Cornel West announced on Monday his intention to run for the Presidency of the United States as the candidate of the left wing People’s Party.

“I enter in the quest for truth. I enter in the quest for justice,” West said in his video announcement. “And the Presidency is just one vehicle to pursue that truth and justice – what I’ve been trying to do all of my life. Neither political party wants to tell the truth about Wall Street, about Ukraine, about the Pentagon, about Big Tech.”

West, 70, has engendered controversy over the years for his views on Israeli-Palestinian issues while also being a popular left-wing commentator and academic known for his appearances on “Real Time with Bill Maher” and “The Joe Rogan Experience,” clips of which were included in his announcement.

In 2021, West resigned from Harvard University in part over what he described as the school’s “cowardly deference to the anti-Palestinian prejudices of the Harvard administration.” His resignation followed his rejection for tenure, which West also blamed in part on his views on Israel.

“In my case, my controversial and outspoken views about and critiques of empire, capitalism, white supremacy, male supremacy, and homophobia are tolerated, but any serious engagement around the issues of the Israeli occupation are rendered highly suspect and reduced to anti-Jewish hatred or prejudice,” West said in an interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education, in which he also assigned blame to “the powers that be.”

A petition in support of West receiving tenure that repeated his claims was described by Harvard Hillel Rabbi Jonah C. Steinberg as promoting “an anti-Jewish conspiracy theory.”

Following his resignation, West is now the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Professor of Philosophy & Christian Practice at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

Anti-Zionist speech at CUNY is antisemitic - opinion
On May 12, Fatima Mousa Mohammed, a member of Students for Justice in Palestine, took to the stage at the City University of New York (CUNY) law school commencement ceremony, where she delivered a speech as the class valedictorian of 2023.

Mohammed used a good chunk of her 12-minute speech to bash Israel, where she accused the Jewish state of indiscriminate murder of children and attacked Zionism. She praised CUNY Law for being “one of the few if not only law school to make a public statement defending the rights of its students to organize and speak out against Israeli settler colonialism” and that CUNY Law “passed and endorsed BDS on a student and faculty level.”

A speech like this which completely removes the entire context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and pushes the notion that Israel is a demonic state that indiscriminately murders Palestinians is nothing more than a modern-day blood libel. She referenced Israel as one of the “systems of oppression created to feed an empire with a ravenous appetite for destruction and violence.”

Mohammed claimed that donors and investors controlled decisions and policies behind the scenes at CUNY. She is not the first to imply that Jews have money and control the world.

Mohammed’s speech only got worse: “As Israel continues to indiscriminately rain bullets and bombs on worshipers murdering the old, the young, attacking even funerals and graveyards as it encourages lynch mobs to target Palestinian homes and businesses as it imprisons its children, as it continues its project of settler colonialism, expelling Palestinians from their homes, carrying the ongoing Nakba.”

Mohammed also referenced the inaccurate notion of deadly exchange, a campaign perpetuated by Jewish Voices for Peace. This group uses Judaism as a weapon to push antisemitism under the guise of anti-Zionism. Deadly Exchange calls for an end to cooperation between Israeli and American police forces. Indeed, Mohammed condemned CUNY Central for its continued collaboration with the fascist NYPD and called it the military that trains IDF soldiers to carry out the attacks.

Shortly after this speech, Mohammed appeared at an anti-Israel rally where she passionately called on attendees to demand that Zionist professors are not welcomed on your campus and to demand that Zionist students are not present in spaces when Palestinian students are.
Superintendent Says District Has ‘No Intention’ To Remove Any ‘Narrative’ From Anti-Israel Curriculum
Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) Superintendent Jerry Almendarez said Tuesday that the board would not be removing any “narrative” from its new ethnic studies curriculum, despite complaints of its anti-Israel rhetoric.

SAUSD approved two courses, “Ethnic Studies: World Geography” and “Ethnic Studies World Histories,” in April, which have been criticized for promoting the idea that Israel is a “colonial empire” and guilty of the “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians. The SAUSD board held a regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, and after giving out several end-of-the-year awards to faculty and students, Almendarez addressed concerns about the recently passed ethnic studies curriculum, according to recordings of the meeting on the district’s YouTube account. (RELATED: California School District Approves Curriculum Accusing Israel Of ‘Ethnic Cleansing,’ ‘War Crimes’)

“First I want to address some comments and concerns regarding our newly adopted ethnic studies curriculum,” Armendarez said. “We recognize as a district that this complex content requires careful consideration and should be viewed through multiple perspectives. Comments have been shared with the district that we are looking to eliminate certain perspectives and narratives from our curriculum. I want the public to know that the district has no intention of removing any narrative from the curriculum that will be developed in the future. Our intent is to listen to all sides, to learn from all sides, and to approach this in a balanced manner.”

Several public commenters thanked the board for sticking with the curriculum, with one saying that it was “historically accurate and morally correct.” Another commenter identified himself as a Ph.D. student at the University of California Davis, saying that Palestinians were “forced into exile” by Israel while accusing the board of being too “cowardly” to stand up to the Zionist movement if they decided to back down from the curriculum.

Prior to the meeting, several groups, including the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM), urged district members to show up and voice support for the curriculum. CAIR’s Los Angeles chapter put out a press release on May 19, arguing that Israel’s “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians is a “factual description” of the Jewish state’s handling of the situation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

PYM argued in an Instagram post on Tuesday that groups such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) were trying to erase “any mention of Palestinians from the curriculum entirely.”

Telegraph chides Elie Wiesel for not having criticised Israel
“Joseph Berger’s judicious and well-crafted portrait of this remarkable man stops short of hagiography, its reverentially respectful tone leaves its impact a bit flat”, writes Rupert Christiansen in his Telegraph review of a book about Elie Wiesel (“How Elie Wiesel taught the world to face the horror of the Holocaust”, June 4).

A few paragraphs in, he writes this:
[Wiesel] was righteously furious with God, who had mysteriously abandoned the Chosen Race in its darkest hours…

First, we’re not aware of any writing by Wiesel referring to Jews as the “Chosen Race”, which is curiously capitalised by the journalist. Nor, for that matter, do we know of any Jewish figure who’s used that term. Indeed, the characterisation of Jews as “race” is a relatively recent phenomenon. While the idea of Jews as the “chosen people“, rooted in several biblical verses, is common, often meant to refer to the task of “communicating the monotheistic idea and a set of moral ideals to humanity”, the term ‘chosen Race’ more resembles the concept used by the Nazis to refer to the alleged racial supremacy of Aryans. It’s unsettling to say the least that the reviewer decided on that specific rhetorical formula.

Moving on now to where Christiansen calls out the late Holocaust survivor for his ‘moral blind spot’:
Wiesel was to all intents and purposes a Zionist, and such was his fealty to Israel that he could never bring himself to issue more than polite suggestions that its government should be a beacon of probity and currently wasn’t. He rejoiced in the outcome of the Six Day War and remained silent on the illegal settlements: his compassion would extend to Armenians, the Vietnamese boat people and black South Africans, but he had nothing to say in defence of brutally disenfranchised Palestinians.

This is just a suggestion, but perhaps the next time Telegraph editors commission a review on a book about a Holocaust survivor, they might want to insist that the contributor has at least a passing understanding of Zionism means – not just what its moral significance to survivors of the Nazi death camps, but what the word actually means.

For, if Christiansen had known that Zionism merely refers to Israel’s right to continue existing as a Jewish state in their ancestral homeland, he wouldn’t have oddly asserted that Wiesel was for “all intents and purposes” a “Zionist” – as if his belief in the country’s right to live was somehow less than clear.
Once again BBC News website audiences saw no reporting on internal Palestinian affairs during May. Since the beginning of 2023 only one item in that category (concerning a girls’ boxing club in Gaza) has appeared on the BBC News website.

Among the stories from PA and Hamas controlled areas that were ignored by the BBC during May were the death of a man while in Hamas detention, the death of a boy at a zoo in the Gaza Strip, a series of armed robberies in PA controlled areas, UNRWA budget shortages, PA fears of a Hamas coup, clashes between demonstrators and PA security forces, Hamas death sentences, the killing of an alleged collaborator in Nablus, Hamas victories in student elections in PA controlled areas, the PA’s arrest of a political activist and arrests related to alleged land sales.

Anne Frank's childhood friend shares their untold final words together
A Holocaust survivor and Anne Frank’s childhood friend has revealed details of their final meeting together at Bergen-Belsen.

In her memoir, published on June 8 and which has been serialised in The Sun, Hannah Pick-Goslar shares that when Hitler rose to power, her family moved from Germany to Amsterdam, where they met the Franks in 1934.

The two girls went to school together and were neighbours, with the families sharing Jewish holidays and Shabbat dinners.

Hannah, who died just before her 94th birthday in October 2022, visited Anne's house on July 6, 1942, but was told that she was no longer there, believing her friend had moved to Switzerland to be with her grandmother. In truth, the family were hiding in a secret annex in a building that Otto Frank had once used for business.

When the Franks were betrayed and discovered in August 1944, they were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau before Anne and her sister Margot were moved to Bergen-Belsen.

Hannah was in the same concentration camp but since her father had worked as deputy minister for domestic affairs, they were classed as protected Jews and so were kept separate from others in the camp.
Lithuanian city vows to preserve ancient Jewish cemetery it had sought to dig up
The decade-long controversy surrounding the Snipiskes Jewish cemetery in Lithuania’s capital appears to have reached a resolution: Instead of building a convention center atop the burial ground, the Vilnius municipality will turn it into a monument for Lithuanian Jews.

The decision, announced Thursday by Lithuanian National Art Museum director Arūnas Gelūnas, puts to rest concerns about disturbing the remains of Jews believed by some to be buried under a Soviet-era building authorities wanted to tear down and replace. The plan set off a highly publicized legal fight between some Jewish community members and authorities — and also among Jewish groups.

“It’s a hugely welcome outcome to a dispute that has been going on for too many years,” Michael Mail, the chief executive of the Foundation for Jewish Heritage, a nonprofit working to preserve such sites in Europe and the Middle East, told The Times of Israel Monday.

“We would have liked to see it resolved much sooner,” he added.

Mail’s organization on Tuesday published two reports that he described as a roadmap for municipalities, cultural preservation activists and other players on how to avoid the pitfalls that have turned the Snipiskes cemetery dispute into a protracted and costly saga.

Anti-hate mural showcasing Jewish diversity goes up in LA neighborhood where antisemitic shootings took place
A massive mural of a Jewish mother lighting Shabbat candles has just gone up in a Jewish neighborhood of Los Angeles, the first in a series of anti-hate murals planned across the city.

Painted by the Iranian-Jewish artist Cloe Hakakian, “The Common Thread” was painted on the exterior of an event venue in Pico-Robertson, a heavily Jewish neighborhood known for its abundance of synagogues and kosher restaurants representing a range of Jewish traditions. In February, two Jewish men in Pico-Robertson were shot on two separate days by an individual whom officials said had “a history of animus towards the Jewish community.”

Flames painted on the mural take the form of the Hebrew words “l’dor v’dor,” a term meaning “from generation to generation” that describes how Judaism is passed down over time. She said she had drawn upon the insights that community members had been invited to offer in planning workshops.

“I’ve done a lot of community murals, but this one was special because the community and each individual contributed to it. They shared their experiences and struggles of being Jewish. Public art has a huge role in social change and in revolutions, past and present,” Hakakian told The Los Angeles Daily News ahead of the mural’s unveiling.

“So a mural out in public, where people are driving by, will hopefully reach folks even outside of this community, and encourage them to talk and ask questions. That’s a powerful first step in fighting both antisemitism and all hate crimes,” she added. “And I hope it makes Jews feel seen and know they’re not alone.”
Prominent lawyers accused of antisemitism, resign from their own, new firm
Two prominent attorneys who recently led a mass exodus from a top Los Angeles-based law firm engaged in racist, misogynistic, homophobic and antisemitic language about their clients and colleagues at the company, according to a review of internal emails released Monday morning. They resigned later in the day at the firm’s request, according to Reuters.

This story was originally published in the Forward. Click here to get the Forward’s free email newsletters delivered to your inbox.

John Barber and Jeff Ranen, two longtime members of the Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith management committee, made offensive remarks about Jews and Judaism in emails, which their former firm shared exclusively with the Forward. The firm released a larger tranche of inflammatory correspondence from the attorneys targeting other groups, which was first reported on by the New York Post on Saturday.

Barber and Ranen, who served as chair and vice chair of the employment law department at Lewis Brisbois, defected last month to start their own firm and took some 140 employees with them. The pair claimed it was the largest law firm start-up in U.S. history, and that they left the company they were affiliated with for two decades without “any baggage.” They also expressed their desire to “build something that’s reflective of our values and our beliefs.”

The internal emails going back to 2012, however, reveal the two cultivated a culture of bigotry and disparagement. Robert Glassman, a member of the board of directors at Los Angeles’ Stephen S. Wise Temple and a partner at Panish Shea Boyle Ravipudi, said he worked on dozens of cases against Lewis Brisbois and found it appalling that “this kind of hatred still permeates itself in the Los Angeles legal community.”
What to Do When Your Lake Is Named After an Antisemite
What should be done when it turns out that your neighborhood’s lake is named after a vicious antisemite?

The body of water in question is Stow Lake, in San Francisco, which was named after William W. Stow, a one-term 19th century California State Assemblyman.

During a debate in the Assembly in 1855, Stow clashed with Jewish storekeepers who opposed his proposal to force all businesses to close on Sundays. “I have no sympathy with the Jews and would it were in my power to enforce a regulation that would eliminate them from not only our county but from the entire state!,” he declared. “I am for a Jew tax that is so high that [Jews] would not be able to operate any more shops. They are a class of people here only to make money and who leave the country as soon as they make money.”

To be clear, the lake was not named after Stow because of his antisemitism; his opinion of Jews appears to have been a very minor aspect of his career. The lake was so named because he chaired the local Parks and Recreation Commission, and it was customary for a nature site within that district to be named for a commissioner following his death.

When some local residents recently discovered Stow’s antisemitism, they began calling for renaming the lake. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has endorsed the proposal, and the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission will soon consider it.

Since the naming of the lake had nothing to do with Stow’s antisemitism, and almost nobody in in our own times even knew of his bigotry until the recent protests, does it make sense to change the name? Absolutely—for two reasons.

First, because it’s simply a matter of right and wrong; it’s morally wrong to honor a bigot.

But the second and more practical reason is the damage that can be caused by naming a site after such a person—that is, the danger that it could serve as a source of inspiration for extremists.
'Hitler's pencil' sells at auction for 90% less than valuation
A pencil allegedly given to Adolf Hitler on his 52nd birthday has been sold at auction for far less than its initial valuation.

The silver pencil, which is inscribed with the German dictator’s initials, was bought by an anonymous bidder for £5,400.

Belfast-based Bloomfield Auctions originally estimated the piece’s value at between £50,000 and £80,000.

They claim the pencil was given to Hitler as a present by Eva Braun, his longtime girlfriend who would ultimately commit suicide alongside him as the Third Reich collapsed around them in 1945.

Jewish leaders condemned the auction house’s decision to put the WW2-era artefacts on sale.

The Chairman of the European Jewish Association, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, wrote to Bloomfield to ask that the Nazi memorabilia be removed from sale.

He said: “We have to make sure that there will be no people in Europe that will have even the possibility to admire Hitler and his heritage.”

Rock band Guns N' Roses performs in Tel Aviv

Upcoming Live Comedy Show ‘The Roast of Antisemitism’ Pokes Fun at Jew Hatred, Prejudice
A live comedy show taking place next week in Beverly Hills, California, will feature eight comedians and special guests who will challenge antisemitism with humor.

“The Roast of Antisemitism” set to take place June 14 at The Saban Theatre will highlight comedians who “tear through the tropes and hypocrisies of this ancient prejudice, all through a comedic lens,” according to a description of the show on its website, where tickets are being sold. The line-up of comedians include Howie Mandel, Rachel Bloom, Michael Rappaport, Tehran, Jeff Ross, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, Elon Gold and Yamaneika Saunders, along with surprise guests.

“There is a long, rich Jewish tradition of confronting antisemitism with direct humor and comedians have always been front-line fighters in the war against hatred,” the website for the show additionally says. “There are people that argue that making light of prejudice, or turning purveyors of it into absurdities, robs hatred of power. With today’s disturbing rise of antisemitism, comedians are ready to fight back.”

The show is being produced by Dani Zoldan, the owner of Stand Up NY, along with Be Forward Productions, and Rakia Media in partnership with #StandUpToJewishHate, a campaign by Robert Kraft’s Foundation to Combat Antisemitism.

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!