Saturday, August 19, 2023

08/19 Links: The Left’s cowardly anti-Semitism hides behind criticism of Israel; This black, gay civil rights leader defended Israel; Two Israelis killed in Huwara terror shooting

From Ian:

This black, gay civil rights leader defended Israel. Do you know his name?
August 26 will be the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Civil rights groups have organized a march to mark the historic march. This important gathering in Washington, DC will come at a time when many of the civil rights gains in the years following the original march are being challenged and undermined.

For the Jewish community and its organizations, many of whom are participating in the 2023 march, it presents an opportunity to remember the importance of the 1963 event, to remember the Jewish role at that time, to recognize the great progress that has been made in the intervening years, and to acknowledge that there still is much work to be done. It also is an opportunity to strengthen relations between the Black and Jewish communities, the history of which has been both glorious and complicated.

At the same time, it is also an opportunity for the community to remember an individual who was a behind-the-scenes organizer of the original march, who for many years did not get the credit he deserved for his role and who was a great supporter of a Jewish democratic state in Israel.

I am referring to Bayard Rustin, an important civil rights leader whose work to advance racial justice dates all the way back to the 1940s when he worked with A. Phillip Randolph to organize an early demonstration for civil rights.

Rustin played the key role in conceiving and coordinating the 1963 event. He was, however, generally omitted from receiving credit because, at a time when the Stonewall Riots were still six years in the future, his open homosexuality was perceived as too controversial when Black leadership was struggling to gain acceptance in broader America.

It was only years later, when the movements for civil rights and LGBTQ+ rights had made great strides in America, that Rustin was given credit for his role.

This recognition was a product of the changes in America that came out of the original march. So, it was only fitting that the organizer should particularly reap the benefits, however delayed, of what he had conceived.

At the same time, Bayard Rustin was one of the great supporters of the Jewish community, which was heavily involved in the 1963 march and is likewise fully participating in this summer’s anniversary march. In 1975, a year that saw the infamous “Zionism is racism” resolution at the United Nations, Rustin, who was an outspoken advocate against apartheid in South Africa, created BASIC, the Black Americans to Support Israel Committee. Also joining him in that effort were other important African American leaders, like Randolph and Roy Wilkins, the former head of the NAACP.
Jonathan Tobin: The problem isn’t Bradley Cooper’s nose
Genuine antisemitic imagery
There are clear and obvious cases where big noses on Jews are intended as more than a caricature and to conjure stereotypes of evil, money-grubbing villains. We don’t have to go back to the Nazis to find them either. They are a staple of antisemitic attacks on Israel that are commonplace in the Arab and Muslim world, as well as on the intersectional left.

Many examples of this can be found in the cartoons of Eli Valley, a Jew who is a bitter enemy of the Jewish state and uses Der Sturmer-style images to bolster his disgraceful cause. Some leftist Jews, like the anti-Zionist columnist Peter Beinart, claim that Valley’s big-nosed Jewish images are a justified use of artistic license to portray the sins of the Jewish state and its American supporters. Sensible persons don’t merely reject that specious reasoning but understand that the cause that Valley and Beinart seek to advance not only aims to deprive Jews of their rights but also to render them defenseless in the face of the genocidal aims of Israel’s anti-Zionist foes.

Any caricature of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, an Israeli soldier or a stereotypical Orthodox Jew employed as part of an argument to besmirch Israel and the Jews must be assumed to have antisemitic intent. The same can be said of such imagery when it is applied to other Jews in the context of political controversies, even those, like George Soros. The leftist billionaire deserves criticism for his efforts that arguably do more harm to the United States and the world than any other living person. But those arguments should never be framed or drawn in a way that makes it about his Jewish origins.

Those examples have nothing to do with a movie about the man who wrote “West Side Story,” who was one of the great conductors of the 20th century and, via television, became America’s musical educator-in-chief. He was also a great supporter of Israel.

When the film was announced, it was assumed that any associated controversy would concern its portrayal of Bernstein’s affairs with men while married to his wife Felice. His disastrous dabbling in political activism, which Tom Wolfe immortalized in an essay about the dinner party Bernstein threw for the Black Panthers domestic terrorist group was also ripe for comment. That essay introduced the term “radical chic” into the modern lexicon. But instead, we are trapped in a pointless argument about a prosthetic nose that sheds no light on the real dangers that Jews face.

From the trailer, one might argue that Cooper’s cinematic nose seems closer to that of Cyrano de Bergerac (thankfully, Edmund Rostand’s great romantic play has no Jews in it) than Lenny Bernstein. But those who paint with such a broad brush, as Simons and others who agree with him do, stretch the term antisemitism to include actions that were not intended as hatred, and would not have been interpreted by anyone in that way had not the accusation been made.

The danger of false accusations
Ours is a time of rising global antisemitism and mainstreaming Jew-hatred by anti-Zionists and advocates of fashionable leftist toxic ideas, such as critical race theory and intersectionality that brand Jews and Israel as “white” oppressors. There are more than enough examples of actual antisemitism. No one needs to invent them.

Those who can reasonably claim to represent Jewish interests but are eager for the publicity and screen time on news shows that making such accusations will bring them need to understand the consequences of their decisions.

Why should people believe them when they speak out against real antisemitism if the general public is more liable to be exposed to the subject by coverage of fake controversies, like the one about Cooper’s nose? Can we blame those who dismiss the subject entirely if it is brought to their attention when some supposedly credible authority is crying antisemitism against what is obviously a flattering portrayal of a famous Jew like Bernstein?

At this point, the debate about “Jewface” and the Bernstein movie has crossed over from routine slow news cycle foolishness to something that is actually dangerous. The voices driving the Bernstein movie kerfuffle need to understand the unintended consequences of their empty but attention-getting arguments. Those who are undermining the case against actual antisemitism by crying “wolf” over a nose are doing far more damage to the security of Jews than any good they might intend.
The Left’s cowardly anti-Semitism hides behind criticism of Israel
As Jake Wallis Simons’s timely Israelophobia reveals, the Left’s obsession with Israel is simply the oldest hatred under a new name

In the 75 years since Israel’s creation, the Jewish state has made the unwelcome transformation from once having been lionised by the Left as a beacon of social democracy to being demonised as the epitome of racist oppression.

One of the more shameful illustrations of how far Israel’s status has fallen in the standing of British academia occurred in the summer of 2021 when the Israeli ambassador to the UK was abused by a baying mob at the London School of Economics where she had been invited to speak. But then what should we expect when universities worldwide have, since 2005, marked Israeli Apartheid Week, with Jewish students being intimidated by activists staging anti-Israeli rallies and setting up mock checkpoints outside libraries.

Nor, as Jake Wallis Simons notes in his new book, Israelophobia: The Newest Version of the Oldest Hatred & What to Do About It, is the demonisation of Israel confined to the academic world. At a time when the news agenda is dominated by conflicts across the globe, from Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine to the civil war in Yemen, it is invariably Israel that attracts the major proportion of criticism from human rights activists and Left-leaning media groups over its long-running conflict with the Palestinians.

In 2022, for example, Simons reveals that when tens of thousands of Ukrainians perished in the conflict with Russia and the Yemeni violence claimed 3,000 lives, it was the deaths of 180 Palestinians that attracted the most comment from the so-called neutral human rights activists at Amnesty International.

EU ‘appalled’ by IDF razing of Palestinian school, demands compensation
The European Union slammed the IDF for razing an illegal West Bank modular Palestinian school it funded, demanding compensation.

“Appalled by the demolition of the EU-funded school in Ein Samiya in the Occupied West Bank,” the EU’s Representative Office in Jerusalem tweeted on Friday. The EU calls “on Israel to respect Palestinian children’s right to education and to compensate [the] EU for the funding lost,” it stated.

France separately said it was “dismayed” by the move and called on Israel to respect international law.

The office of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also said it opposed the demolition of the elementary school, which its spokesman Stephane Dujarric said occurred on Wednesday just before classes were set to open for a new academic year.

“The school served pupils from the few Palestinian families remaining in the herding community of Ein Samiya, following the displacement of most of the community amid settler violence and diminishing grazing land,” Dujarric said. “We and our partners are currently assessing the urgent needs of 60 herding communities facing similar challenges,” he added.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said the IDF has demolished three schools across the West Bank in the past 12 months, impacting 78 students.

The Ein Samiya school, which was located outside of Ramallah, was first built at the start of 2022. A number of Israeli courts had rejected appeals against the school’s demolition.

The Israel Guys: Is Israel’s BOLD NEW PLAN to Defeat Terror In Judea & Samaria Working? (West Bank)
Israel is fighting terror in Judea and Samaria, and winning at the current moment. The government is unveiling bold new plans in that regard and we’re going to break it down for you here on the show. Also if you stick around until the end, something really interesting is happening between Israel and Germany.

Two Israelis killed in Huwara terror shooting
A Palestinian terrorist shot and killed two Israelis on Saturday in Huwara, located just outside Nablus (Shechem) in Samaria.

Magen David Adom emergency medical personnel treated two men, one around 30 years old and another in his 60s, for gunshot wounds. They were both soon pronounced dead at the scene.

The attack took place after the two men had stopped at a car wash in the Palestinian Authority-controlled village. It was not immediately clear why they were there.

According to reports, the terrorist walked up to the car wash on foot, opened fire with a handgun and fled.

The Israel Defense Forces launched a manhunt for the terrorist as well as possible accomplices and set up roadblocks in the area.

Hamas praised the “heroic” attack, which the Gaza Strip-based terror group described as a result of “the firm promise by the resistance to defend our [Palestinian] people, respond to the crimes of the occupation and protect the Al-Aqsa mosque from the danger of Judaization.”

Huwara has emerged as a center of Palestinian terrorism, prompting Israeli authorities to heighten security.
Two Israelis shot dead in terror attack near Huwara

Police deny officers branded Star of David on Palestinian detainee’s face
Police on Saturday further pushed back against allegations of brutality against a Palestinian arrested in East Jerusalem, denying officers branded a Star of David on his face. They indicated the marks were caused by a boot pressed against the suspect’s face.

The suspect, a resident of the Shuafat refugee camp, was arrested Wednesday during a police search of his home. He is suspected of drug possession with intent to distribute.

During a remand hearing the next day, the suspect’s attorney alleged cops blindfolded his client before raining blows across his entire body, leaving him covered with bruises and cut marks on his face that resembled a Star of David.

None of the sixteen officers who took part in the arrest had their body cameras on at the time, according to the Ynet news site.

The judge hearing the case later directed it be brought before the Justice Ministry’s Police Internal Investigations Department (PIID) over allegations of excessive force. He also ordered the suspect remain in custody until Sunday.

In a statement issued Saturday, police called reports on the incident “biased and distorted,” rejecting any racial animus for the officers’ actions and accusing the suspect of violently resisting arrest.
Jenin militia warns PA: ‘We won’t allow anyone to take our weapons’
The Jenin Battalion, whose members are affiliated with the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), announced over the weekend that it won’t allow anyone to confiscate its weapons. The announcement is seen as a direct challenge to the Palestinian Authority security forces, who have arrested several PIJ men in the West Bank over the past few weeks.

“We will absolutely not allow anyone, whoever it is, to take the weapons of the resistance away from us,” the armed group said in a statement at a rally on Friday night to commemorate 12 Palestinians killed during last month’s large-scale Israeli security operation in Jenin Refugee Camp. Most of the slain Palestinians have been identified as gunmen.. Dozens of masked gunmen from various Palestinian factions participated in the rally.

Saeed Nakhleh, a senior PIJ official, said the rally carried “several fiery messages to the Israeli occupation, first and foremost that attempts to eliminate the resistance fighters will fail.” He said the Jenin Battalion won’t target the Palestinian security forces “to avoid schism in the societal fabric.”

Nakhleh added: “Although the security forces of the Palestinian Authority are chasing and arresting the resistance fighters on orders from the occupation and the US, our rifles will remain directed only toward the Zionist enemy. The day will come when the members of the security forces will realize that what they did against the mujahidin (warriors) was not right.”

The Jenin Battalion, described by some Palestinians as the largest militia operating in the West Bank, said that its weapons “will remain directed toward the [Israeli] enemy’s chest,” indicating that its members are not interested in an armed confrontation with the Palestinian Authority security forces or other factions. Jenin Battalion's warning to the PA

Recently, the Jenin Battalion warned the Palestinian Authority against continuing the security crackdown on gunmen, especially in the Jenin area. The warning came after the Palestinian security forces arrested several members of another armed group in the village of Jaba’ near Jenin. The men were arrested on suspicion they attacked and set fire to a Palestinian police station to protest the earlier arrest of two of their friends, Murad Malaisheh and Mohammed Barahmeh.

In its statement, the Jenin Battalion claimed that the “heroic battle of Jenin has established clear deterrence equations in the face of the Zionist enemy.”

Mystery plane carrying gold, weapons, and cash from Cairo lands in Zambia
The Zambian Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) intercepted an aircraft carrying five million dollars in cash and over 100kg of suspected gold at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport near the capital Lusaka on August 14, according to several sources.

Found on the plane were $5,697,700 in cash, five pistols, seven magazines, 126 rounds of ammunition, 602 pieces of suspected gold weighing 127.7 kg, and equipment for measuring gold. Later, Zambian authorities determined that the pieces were not pure gold and were in fact mixed with zinc, copper, and nickel.

The Zambian DEC announced it had arrested 10 individuals, including one Zambian, one Spanish national, one Dutch national, one Latvian national, and six Egyptian nationals for possession of dangerous goods.

DEC Director-General Nason Banda also announced that there would likely be additional Zambians implicated in the event. After further investigations, an additional four Zambians were arrested.

The mysterious plane has sparked an outcry in Egypt with many seeing it as part of an ongoing weakening of the Egyptian economy.

A case of capital flight?
Egyptian citizens speculated that it was part of international gangs' operations to move large amounts of money out of the country to businessmen situated in various foreign countries and in particular the Gulf, as reported by Al Araby.

The flight of money from Egypt has become a growing concern as many wealthy individuals seek to move money out of Egypt and keep their fortunes out of the eyes of the authorities.
Hezbollah announces death of Syrian accused of Shiite shrine bombing
A man suspected of involvement in an attack last month on a Shiite shrine in Syria died following a Hezbollah pursuit late Friday south of the Lebanese capital, the Iran-backed terror group said.

Wissam Dalla, a Syrian in his early twenties, “threw himself from the seventh floor” of a building where he had been staying with relatives “after learning his location had been discovered,” Hezbollah said in a statement sent to AFP.

Dalla was “responsible for the explosion in the Sayeda Zeinab area” south of the Syrian capital last month, the Shiite Muslim group added.

AFP was unable to independently confirm the allegations against Dalla.

Lebanese security forces played no role in the incident, a security source told AFP on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Lebanon’s authorities did not immediately issue any statements.

On July 27, six people were killed and at least 20 others wounded when a bomb exploded south of Damascus near the Sayeda Zeinab mausoleum, Syria’s most visited Shiite pilgrimage site, authorities said.

The Sunni Muslim extremist Islamic State group later claimed the blast, which came ahead of the annual commemoration of Ashura, a key event on the Shiite calendar.
Biden Administration Funding Iran's Nuclear Weapons Program, Incentivizing Terror
The Biden Administration has destabilized the Middle East, launched a potential international nuclear arms race, incentivized global terrorism, increased American taxpayers' funding both sides of the Ukraine war, crushed even further a people fighting for their freedom and appeased yet another rogue regime -- after Afghanistan, China and Venezuela – this time one that the US State Department itself has called the "top state sponsor of terrorism," Iran, all in one week.

The Biden Administration reached a deal with the Iranian regime behind closed doors on August 10, in which the United States agreed to pay $6 billion dollars and release a handful of Iranian nationals who are serving prison sentences in the US, in exchange for the release of five Iranian-Americans imprisoned in Iran – more than a billion dollars per head.

Worse, more billions apparently, is waiting in the wings.

More importantly, "That [the deal] will encourage hostage diplomacy among our foes is the least of the problems." — Richard Goldberg, former White House Security Official,, August 15, 2023.

For a start, the Biden Administration, seemingly to avoid congressional oversight and a potential veto, essentially nullified the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 that requires Congressional approval of any Iran deal, and got away with it.

Moreover, as Goldberg notes, the price for Russia releasing Wall Street Journal's Evan Gershkovich probably just went up, not to mention the extremely real danger of what China, based on its new laws that say might well be tempted to do to visiting American business leaders, or just any American outside wandering around outside the US. According to Voice of America, the new "anti-espionage" law, "relying on espionage organizations and their agents," as well as the unauthorized obtaining of "documents, data, materials, and items related to national security and interests" can constitute a spying offense.

China's new law also states that it has the right to "to take corresponding countermeasures and restrictive measures" against acts that violate international law and norms and that "endanger China's sovereignty, security and development" – apparently meaning that a crime is anything the Communist Chinese government says it is.

The Obama administration shipped $400 million in an unmarked plane to Iran for the release of four Iranian-American prisoners. "Predictably," Goldberg noted, "Iran took more hostages in the months and years thereafter, believing it could get an even better price from a future U.S. president."
Seth Frantzman: Iran’s IRGC boasts successes with Palestinians, Hezbollah
Iranian IRGC leaders bragged over the weekend about the increased strength of their proxies and the successes they believe they are having against the US and Israel.

Hossein Salami, the commander of the IRGC, and Ismail Qaani, the IRGC’s Quds Force commander, both made comments on Saturday that were reported in Iranian pro-regime media. The comments illustrate how Iran is positioning itself today in the region by seeking to support Palestinian attacks on Israel and also strengthening Hezbollah.

Qaani said that Iran is witnessing to a “decline of the Zionist regime in the region” and that the Iranian-backed proxies' “axis of resistance has the upper hand over the Zionist regime.”

He then noted that Hezbollah had succeeded last year in threatening Israel and forcing a maritime agreement on Israel so that “Hezbollah was able to get its right to gas from the occupying regime of Jerusalem, and this would not have been possible without the resistance of Lebanon's Hezbollah.”

This is important because reports last year claimed that the gas deal between Israel and Lebanon was going to benefit Lebanon. Iran is now admitting that the gas deal was primarily executed to benefit Hezbollah and that Iran’s hand was likely behind Hezbollah escalating tensions before the deal was made. The deal was made before Israel’s elections last year and since then Hezbollah threats have increased.

The IRGC Quds Force head also pointed to increased attacks on Israel. He didn’t say whether these were carried out by Iran’s proxy, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, however.

“Recently, 15 to 30 attacks are carried out daily in the West Bank by the resistance forces against the Zionist regime,” Qaani said, according to Tasnim news. Qaani also highlighted how the US had wasted investments in Iraq. This matters because Iran is closely watching recent developments in the West Bank, including the attack in Hawara on Saturday in which two people were murdered.

I was in Hizb-ut-Tahrir and I know how it works
They push failure of existing governments and states to look after the true interests of Muslims, to manage their valuable resources properly, or to unify Muslims. This is combined with criticism of both free market failures and communists’ irrationality, along with theological arguments for the necessity of a divine creator and the need for absolute morality in a relativist world. They sell Islamist ideology as the solution to all problems, an intellectual alternative to both socialism and capitalism, and a political motivation for change which is indeed badly needed. It is the lure of a utopia based around the ideology of Islam(ism), sprinkled with passionate arguments about enemies in the West and their “pawn”, Israel.

The attraction of this to immature idealist minds — on campus, in other words — is obvious, especially when combined with selective fundamentalist scriptural citations into a religious, political and “intellectual” argument.

Hizb ut-Tahrir never, of course, begins its pitch with, “We will establish an Islamic State and unify Muslim lands by force, even if millions of Muslims will have to die for the cause”. Rather, they start with cosmological arguments and political grievances and end with One Ummah (nation), One State, One Caliph — which is not far from Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer. Their views on suicide bombing and taking civilian life in Israel (which is against foundational Islamic teaching for a millenia on the rules of war and ethics) will not be what they normally speak of on campus, but rather notions of occupation by international law standards and the hypocrisy of UN resolutions.

When they are unable to take control of student Islamic societies, or where the NUS applies its ban on Hizb ut-Tahrir activities, they use names like “debating society”, “1924 committee” and suchlike. They are not terrorists; but the extremist ideology and views they extol are not far from that and act as justifications.

Exposing their ideology, challenging the extreme beliefs, empowering people with the knowledge and confidence to oppose them is a vital part of civil society activism that we have been falling short in. Like all extremes, they must not be allowed to fester.

Israeli women claim gold, silver medals at windsurfing World Championships
Israeli windsurfers claimed the gold and silver medals for the women’s iQFoil category at the Sailing World Championships in the Netherlands Saturday, in a significant achievement for the Israeli national team.

Shahar Tibi, 25, took first place at the event hosted by The Hague, winning Israel’s first world title at the contest in a decade. Katy Spychakov, 24, came second.

“I can’t explain what I am feeling and I can’t be happier about what we achieved,” Tibi told reporters after the event. “This was a physically hard day and week. I wasn’t able to get to the podium last year and this time is my first time, so I’m very excited. Thanks to everyone at home, to the sailing association, to the national team, to my parents and family. Thanks to everyone, I have no words.”

Tibi dedicated her win to Israeli windsurfer Lee Korzits, who claimed four world titles in 2003, 2011, 2012, and 2013. She suffers from Polycythemia vera, a rare blood cancer.

“Ten years have passed since she won her fourth and last world title. I was there with her as a 15-year-old teenager. Korzits is fighting for her life and inspired me and many others,” Tibi said.

“These are moments of glory for Israeli sailing,” said Shai Buber, chair of the Israel Sailing Association in a statement. “Since Lee Korzits there hasn’t been an Israeli world champion, and today we have a champion and a runner-up. It is inspiring to see Shahar Tibi reach this status, and good on her.”
How the newly renovated National Portrait Gallery tells the story of the Jews in Britain
By far the largest painting in the new, redeveloped National Portrait Gallery is Sir George Hayter’s The House of Commons, 1833.

Its theatricality and scale are striking, hoovering up the oxygen of the room and exhaling an intangibly British sense of bravado and pomp.

In among the rabble of browns and blacks and pensive parliamentarians in Georgian garb, proudly stands the heroic Duke of Wellington in red. It makes you want to put up bunting and learn the words to Rule Britannia.

But I wouldn’t blame you if you missed the portrait of Lionel de Rothschild by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim placed perpendicular to it. Admittedly it is not the best portrait. Lionel is rendered without much psychological depth; we don’t walk away feeling like we know him any better.

But its situation next to a grandiose depiction of parliament is an elegantly brilliant decision that says everything you need to know about the £41 million redevelopment that opened in June.

Under director Nicholas Cullinan and his team of curators, the big stories and grand figures remain. But beside them stand those whose voices had previously been marginalised.

Just as there are rooms full of frowning faces of famous monarchs, there are nods to the wider history of those whose stories often fall to the wayside.

I smiled to myself reading the caption beside Lionel’s portrait. It is that melancholic mix of funny, sad, and triumphant, a distinctly Jewish combination of emotions. Lionel de Rothschild was an influential banker and figure in London’s Jewish community.

The caption describes how, elected to parliament in 1847, he refused to take his seat, rejecting the requirement to take the oath of Christian faith that all MPs had to swear.

The 1858 Jewish Relief Act was introduced to modify the oath and enabled de Rothschild to become the first practising Jewish MP. Today parliament reflects the myriad multicultural voices who exist in the UK.

The curious thing about the National Portrait Gallery is that it is not just a gallery. Art may be central, but in reality, the place is amorphous, a museum of Britain and a less touristic Madame Tussauds.

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