Friday, September 08, 2023

From Ian:

Israel critics unfairly slander the most humane army in history
Israel’s detractors accuse the Jewish state of intentionally killing Palestinian civilians. Moreover, they maintain that because in the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict many more Palestinians have died than Israelis, Israel uses disproportionate force. Finally, they imply this death toll is the outcome of Israel blocking a solution to the conflict. Of course, each of these accusations is an outright lie.

The truth is, the Israel Defense Force does its utmost to avoid civilian casualties. The IDF’s Code of Ethics stresses the importance of protecting civilians no matter what “side” they are on. By contrast, Palestinian terrorists deliberately put civilians in harm’s way in a cynical attempt to defame the Jewish state.

The most reprehensible lie about Israel’s battlefield practices is that the Jewish state purposely targets civilians. A 2021 news bulletin by Amnesty International, for example, stated that Israeli forces showed “shocking disregard” for Palestinian civilians because they targeted residential buildings.

What Amnesty omits is that Palestinian terrorists live in residential buildings and often use them as bases of operations. During the 2021 Gaza conflict, for instance, Israel targeted and destroyed the home of Yahya Sinwar, the most senior Hamas leader in the territory. Whenever Israel targets buildings in which civilians may be present, standard IDF procedure is to warn residents using text messages, phone calls and “roof knocking”—firing warning shots at the roof of the targeted building.

Israel has actually risked the lives of its soldiers to avoid civilian casualties. In Jenin this past July, for example, rather than relying on its massive artillery and airpower, the IDF sent soldiers into the Jenin refugee camp, where terrorists hid side-by-side with civilians in their homes. Civilian casualties are inevitable when the enemy invites it. Nevertheless, only 12 Palestinians were killed in the Jenin operation, of whom nine were combatants. Yet, the United Nations still accused Israel of using disproportionate force.

That Israel uses disproportionate force is a common libel used by the United NATIONS and NGOs like Amnesty International, because Palestinian casualties far exceed Israeli casualties. But it is the goal of any army to ensure that enemy casualties outnumber its own. When police raid a den of armed drug smugglers, citizens don’t demand proportionate casualties.

Palestinian casualties are also higher because terrorist groups use civilians as human shields. During the 2014 Gaza war, for example, terrorists shot rockets into Israel from UNRWA-run schools.

Nevertheless, the IDF has had great success preventing civilian deaths in Gaza. This was the view expressed by General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, who said, “Israel went to extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage and civilian casualties.” Gen. Dempsey even sent a team of officers to study how the IDF’s tactics regarding the minimization of civilian casualties could be applied to U.S. forces.

No wonder retired British colonel Richard Kemp has called the IDF “the most moral army in the history of warfare.”
‘Seeing’ the Palestinians
Moreover, I am not entirely without empathy for the Palestinians. It does not give me joy that many of them live as refugees. I do not take pleasure in the fact that they have to wait at checkpoints. I know that when an army exercises control over non-citizens, there are bound to be abuses. I am not happy about the deaths of non-combatants in military operations. My reflex is to be sympathetic to any people seeking national independence—I wouldn’t be a Zionist if it were otherwise.

There is also the fact that Palestinian claims cut to the bone of any Jew. We have a long history of suffering, oppression, exile and dispossession. When others claim to have suffered such things as well—such as the Uyghurs today—we are naturally sympathetic. We want to stand up for the weak and downtrodden because we have often been the weak and downtrodden. It is easy to make us feel guilty when we are accused of being the oppressors and the persecutors.

I have even gone so far as to engage in a small thought experiment: What, I asked myself, if everything the Palestinians say about us is true?

This experiment helped me reach certain conclusions: First, even if we were as bad as the Palestinians claim—which we are not—we would still be a people like all other peoples. We would still have a right to self-determination of some kind in some part of our indigenous homeland. Our behavior at any given moment is irrelevant to that right, which is absolute.

Second, even if the accusations were true, Israel has tried multiple times to address them and reach some kind of reconciliation with those who believe we have wronged them. Each time, reconciliation has been rejected in the most violent manner possible. Many Israelis have paid with their lives for these attempts. To simply pretend that these attempts never happened or have no moral import defames those martyrs to peace.

As a result of this thought experiment, I find myself less plagued by the idea that I may not “see” the Palestinians, because I believe Israel has done everything it could to “see.” The extra mile was gone, and it did not work. It did not work because the Palestinians did not want it to work.

That was their choice. One must accept it, but they must accept that, as a result of that choice, their movement can make no moral demands on any of us. If there is to be a reconciliation, it will have to come from a different choice: The Palestinians must choose to see us.
Mark Regev: How Israel's US embassy reacted to the 9/11 attacks
Far from being gung-ho, embassy security was following a protocol that was being implemented at government buildings across the greater DC area due to fears about additional hijacked planes heading towards the capital. Until today, no one knows for sure what was the intended target of a fourth aircraft, which crashed in Pennsylvania after its passengers physically confronted their hijackers.

The embassy’s political team, I among them, relocated to the ambassador’s residence, nearby but far enough away to be a secure location, where over the following hours we were in constant contact with Jerusalem over the day’s dramatic events, offering advice as to the appropriate Israeli government response.

Sharon set the tone. In a televised address to the nation, he proclaimed: “The fight against terrorism is an international struggle of the free world against the forces of darkness who seek to destroy our liberty and way of life.” Israel, he declared, was prepared to provide the US with “any assistance at any time.”

Sharon was governing a country agonizing under the Second Intifada’s unremitting suicide bombings and ubiquitous fatalities. Across Israel, many hoped that with America experiencing Islamist terror firsthand, Washington policymakers could now better appreciate the realities that Israelis had been facing daily.

How the Palestinians reacted to 9/11
PLO chair Yasser Arafat followed the events from his seaside office in Gaza City, while his security services expeditiously suppressed spontaneous manifestations of Palestinian joy surfacing in the aftermath of the bloodshed in New York and Washington.

But having no authorized security presence in Jerusalem, Arafat was unable to curtail such expressions there, and footage from the Old City’s Damascus Gate showing Palestinians celebrating America’s calamity was widely circulated. In a calculated act of damage control, Arafat rushed to Gaza’s Shifa Hospital and donated blood for the 9/11 wounded in front of the cameras.

That confusing and crazy day also produced an incongruous meal. Ofra Ivry, the ambassador’s spouse, had a planned luncheon event at the residence for a Washington women’s group that was canceled in the wake of al-Qaeda’s attacks. She generously insisted that the already-prepared food not go to waste and that the evacuated embassy staff partake.

Postscript: Every year on the anniversary of 9/11, the International Institute for Counter Terrorism at Reichman University, headed by Prof. Boaz Ganor, hosts its World Summit. The conference attracts some 1,400 participants from 65 countries: politicians, defense and intelligence officials, police officers, private sector security specialists, and academics. Billed as the “most influential event in the field of counter terrorism today,” the summit begins on Sunday.

Avi Mayer: Editor's Notes: Why they attack the ADL
Between #BanTheADL and #DropTheADL, the organization is under assault from both the far right and the hard left. The question is why – and why now.

As one of the oldest anti-hate groups in America and one of the most prominent Jewish organizations in the world, the ADL has long been at the forefront of efforts to combat antisemitism and other forms of hate, as well as defending Jews and other minority groups across the globe. Founded in 1913, after the contentious – and wrongful – conviction of Jewish factory superintendent Leo Frank in the murder of one of his Christian employees, the ADL has positioned itself as a leader in efforts against purveyors of hate and intolerance in America, from Henry Ford to Kanye West.

For decades, the ADL was synonymous with its longtime director, Abe Foxman, a fiery orator and vocal advocate. In 2015, Foxman stepped down and was replaced by Jonathan Greenblatt, a successful entrepreneur and business executive who had previously served in the Clinton and Obama administrations.

While some have charged that the organization has veered to the left in recent years – Musk said this week that it had been “hijacked by [a] woke mind virus” – others accuse it of being unduly protective of Israel and critical of its detractors under the guise of civil rights.

The truth is that the ADL’s identification with the Jewish community and its tendency to shed light on uncomfortable truths make the organization an easy mark for those looking to attack Jews but wary of saying so out loud.

“This isn’t actually about the ADL,” Greenblatt told me this week. “As often is the case, we’re simply a stand-in for the Jews or the Zionists.”

“This is not about banning the ADL, per se – though trying to disempower and disarm ADL in this moment of surging antisemitism is deliberate and evil – it’s really about banning the Jews’ ability to defend themselves and trying to make all of us cower, to intimidate us, to make us afraid,” he said.

He’s right.

That the attacks on the ADL are coming from both the far right and hard left perfectly illustrates the bipolar nature of contemporary antisemitism. Long considered the province of the extreme right, Jew hatred today is also rampant in many corners of the progressive left, where Israel and Zionism are scorned with unparalleled fervor. As perhaps the most visible Jewish organization in America, and one that is both unabashed and effective in its advocacy for the Jewish community, the ADL serves as a convenient target for the fire currently being unleashed on it from both extremes of the political map.

The ADL is a totem, a symbol. Just as, to antisemites, Israel is the Jew in national form and George Soros and the late Sheldon Adelson are the embodiment of the Jew in human form, the ADL is the Jew in organizational form – too powerful, too loud, too unwilling to take their abuse lying down.

While no organization is perfect and the ADL has made its share of missteps over the years, the fact that it is being targeted by two parallel campaigns, from the two primary sources of modern-day antisemitism, that share the same goal of silencing and marginalizing it should be the greatest indication that the organization is doing something right.

They attack the ADL because, in their eyes, the ADL represents the Jews. And that should give us every reason we need to support it.
Melanie Phillips: Musk vs. Greenblatt is the unspeakable vs. the uneatable
That mindset (with a few exceptions) has defined Greenblatt’s agenda at the ADL and caused many Jewish conservatives to view him as someone who aids the enemies of the Jewish people. But to back Musk against him shows an equivalent confusion among those Jews, who are understandably enraged by the damage Greenblatt has done.

This is not a fight in which Jews can properly pick a side. The ADL’s record may be reprehensible. But it is nevertheless correct in calling out X for doing nothing to suppress the Jew-hatred on its site.

As Seth Mandel, the editor of the Washington Examiner who has been a long-standing opponent of the ADL, posted on X: “The groypers tweeting ‘ban the ADL’ are bad people with bad intentions and bad designs. Don’t be fooled, don’t ‘consider their argument,’ they are ghouls who hate you. No nuance.”

The more fundamental problem here, however, is that the West has lost its moral compass. There is a difference between freedom and anarchy. Free speech cannot be an absolute. It cannot be used to promote incitement to violence or other harm to individuals or groups.

The unique and unequivocal harm done by antisemitism, however, isn’t generally recognized. It is not merely offensive. It is a malicious and deranged mindset that incites not just hatred of Jews but the belief that they are the mortal enemies of everyone else. It thus puts a target for destruction on the back of every Jew.

A decent and civilized society once understood where the rare limitations on free speech should be drawn. The difficulty today is that, on the left, harm has been interpreted as the mere giving of offense. That’s why liberals try to silence those with whose opinions they merely disagree.

That censorship is what Musk bought Twitter to combat. Unfortunately, his own libertarian position doesn’t hold the line for decent and civilized values.

In today’s deeply polarized culture, too many people think that my enemy’s enemy must be my friend. If Greenblatt is hateful, Musk must be the good guy, and vice versa. But life doesn’t divide like that. It’s surely a cause for dismay that both Greenblatt and Musk have achieved the positions they occupy.

Haters may indeed be hateful, but they may also be hated by other hateful people. Jews, of all people, should understand that.

ADL CEO: Elon Musk is a ‘great innovator’ who engages with ‘users who are espousing antisemitism and hate’
Days after Elon Musk threatened to sue the Anti-Defamation League for billions of dollars and amplified a hashtag spread by white supremacists, the ADL’s CEO praised Musk’s business acumen but called his behavior “frustrating” and said he was spreading “age-old tropes” around blaming Jews for antisemitism.

“I’ve always tried to treat Elon and everyone at the company with respect and forthright manner and a constructive approach. I would do that again,” Greenblatt told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on Wednesday.

“The truth is that he has been, Elon Musk, a great innovator in some respects, in many respects in his business pursuits,” Greenblatt said. “That’s why it’s all the more frustrating to see him engaging online with users who are espousing antisemitism and hate.”

Greenblatt’s comments came some 36 hours after Musk fired off a stream of posts on X, the social media platform he owns and renamed from Twitter, in which he accused the ADL of trying to tank the platform by encouraging an ad boycott against it.

Amid those posts, Musk directly engaged with a white supremacist on the platform and liked a post that included the hashtag #BanTheADL, which grew popular among antisemitic users. The ADL said in a statement that neo-Nazi marchers in Florida last weekend chanted “Ban the ADL.”

Musk also tweeted that he is “pro free speech, but against anti-Semitism of any kind” and that he would remove the ADL from the platform only if it broke the law.

Multiple times, Greenblatt made clear that the ADL does not see itself as right-wing or left-wing, and compared the hashtag #BanTheADL to the hashtag #DropTheADL, which represented a campaign in 2020 by progressive nonprofits to discourage partnership with the ADL.

But as the group’s surveys have documented a rising tide of antisemitism, Greenblatt said the recent hashtag is dangerous because it could motivate attacks not just against the ADL but against Jews.

“If you look at all the #BanTheADL messaging, here is, I think, the key takeaway: This is not about the ADL,” Greenblatt said. “Of course it is on some level, but it is really about the Jews. We are being used as a stand-in for our entire community.”
Sky News Australia: ‘Woefully high opinion of themselves’: Douglas Murray slams the Anti-Defamation League
Author Douglas Murray has slammed the Anti-Defamation League, saying it’s an organisation with “self-appointed guardians who have a woefully high opinion of themselves”.

“They basically operate as a sort of racket,” he told Sky News host Rita Panahi.

“The ADL has drifted leftwards and leftwards, and now it’s just a racket of a far-left part of the Democratic Party.

“They do everything, including the cause of fighting anti-Semitism, a terrible disservice.”

When it comes to BDS, there's a binary choice to be made
One could argue that granting a unique degree of protection against boycotts of Israel is justified by the fact that in many quarters, Israel is uniquely vilified, and judged by standards that are never applied anywhere else – often, as the JC’s editor Jake Wallis Simons shows in his new book, Israelophobia, as an outgrowth of antisemitism.

Moreover, as Gove told the Commons in July, “the BDS movement deliberately asks public bodies to treat Israel differently from any other nation on the globe. It asks them to treat the Middle East’s only democracy as a pariah state.” There might be legitimate reasons to criticise the Israeli government, but the BDS movement was not a campaign to shift Israeli policy but “to erase Israel’s identity as a home for the Jewish people”.

However, there is a broader point. Next month, the committee scrutinising the Bill will reconvene. There will be scope for amendments, and arguably, the clause that would permanently protect Israel, whatever might happen in some hypothetical future, should be removed.

But this is no reason to oppose the Bill in its entirety, as Labour is virtually certain to do. Ultimately, as I suggested above, this is a binary question. Do you want a campaign supported by terror groups devoted to Israel’s destruction to influence institutions funded by taxpayers, or not?
Rebel News: This factory on disputed land is an example of peace through commerce
Ezra Levant reports from a factory located on disputed land — Israel's supporters would call it Judea and Samaria, its critics would call it the occupied West Bank — which serves as an example of how Jews and Muslims can find peace through commerce.

Vast Majority of Jewish Students Consider Antisemitism a Threat to US, New Survey Finds
Amid a global surge in antisemitic hate crimes, a striking 84 percent of Jewish students in the US fear that antisemitism poses a threat to the country, according to a new survey.

The survey — conducted by market research firm Ipsos and released on Friday by the World Jewish Congress and Jewish on Campus, a nonprofit organization — found that 57 percent of Jewish students have witnessed or experienced an act of antisemitism either on campus or in the general public.

Of those who witnessed or experienced such antisemitism, more than one in five (21 percent) said the incident was wishing death and/or genocide on Jews. Meanwhile, half witnessed or experienced hate speech, 48 percent saw vandalism, 43 percent faced the spreading of conspiracy theories, and 72 percent witnessed or experienced so-called microaggressions — a term used to describe subtle acts of bigotry.

The survey also showed that of all college students, three in five have no knowledge of past institutional antisemitism in the US — such as university quotas — while 15 percent found the historical reality or death toll of the Holocaust not believable or were unsure.

The new findings come amid a nationwide surge in antisemitic incidents on college campuses across the US — a problem that has been tracked by several nonprofits. Groups such as the Anti-Defamation League and the AMCHA Initiative have monitored a significant increase in displays of both traditional antisemitism — discrimination against Jews based on religion or race — and anti-Zionism targeting Jewish students due to hostility toward Israel.

“Our new analysis of the antisemitism Jewish students face — measured on an unprecedented scale — underscores the urgency of our mission to elevate the voices and experiences of Jewish students,” Jewish on Campus co-founder and CEO Julia Jassey said in a statement. “As the new school year begins, these findings provide key evidence of the breadth and depth of antisemitism students face, and we will continue urging university administrators, campus leaders, and non-Jewish students to meet this moment and take antisemitism seriously.”
Nearly 1 in 3 Jewish college students has witnessed or experienced antisemitism on campus, survey finds
Nearly one in three current Jewish college students has witnessed or experienced some form of antisemitism on campus, according to a new survey.

The survey was released today by Jewish on Campus, a student-founded antisemitism watchdog group. It was conducted by the polling firm Ipsos and surveyed more than 1,000 college students nationwide who identify as Jewish, as well as approximately 2,000 who rfeflect the general population of students and are largely not Jewish. The survey was conducted between March and May and has a credibility interval — similar to a margin of error — of 3.1%.

Of the Jewish students, 14% said they had directly experienced antisemitism on campus, while another 16% said they had witnessed an antisemitic incident.

The findings regarding personal experiences of antisemitism show a much lower rate than a similar survey conducted by Hillel International and the Anti-Defamation League in 2021, which found that almost a third of Jewish respondents had personally experienced some form of antisemitism on campus in the previous year. In that survey, around the same number said they witnessed antisemitism not directed at them.

Jewish organizations have long expressed concern over campus antisemitism, particularly having to do with student conflicts over Israel but also relating to bigotry from across the political spectrum. In 2019, then-President Donald Trump signed an executive order on antisemitism that spurred a series of federal civil rights complaints from Jewish and pro-Israel groups, including Jewish on Campus, alleging that public universities have not done enough to respond to antisemitism on their campuses.

Protecting Jews on campus is also a prominent feature of the Biden administration’s national plan for combating antisemitism, which was unveiled this spring.
Bipartisan legislators urge added measures to tackle campus antisemitism
The bipartisan Senate and House Task Forces for Combating Antisemitism has called for the implementation of extra measures to protect Jewish students on U.S. college campuses.

Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), and Reps. Kathy Manning (D-N.C.) and Chris Smith (R-N.J.) led a group of more than 90 lawmakers to sign a letter to the U.S. Department of Education that begins: “As members of Congress who are committed to countering antisemitism, we are deeply concerned about the rise of antisemitic incidents at universities and college campuses.”

The legislators “strongly encourage the department to continue taking the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism into consideration as it investigates individual incidents of anti-Jewish discrimination and enforces federal civil rights law.”

Statistics from multiple studies backed up such concerns.

One cited a report by the Anti-Defamation League documenting that “antisemitic incidents on college campuses increased by 41% from 2021 to 2022.” Another reference in the letter asserted that “54% of Jewish students feel that they pay a social cost for supporting the existence of Israel as a Jewish state.”
Anti-Israel Activist Heckles Harvard Dean During Welcome Ceremony
An anti-Israel activist interrupted a convocation ceremony held by Harvard University earlier this week to welcome the new student class of 2027 to campus.

Asmer Safi, an undergraduate senior at Harvard and a research assistant at the university’s Radcliffe Institute, heckled Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana as he concluded his remarks to students on Monday.

“Dean Khurana, you talk about equity, you talk about justice, you talk about truth,” Safi shouted as everyone was quiet, according to the Harvard Crimson school newspaper. “Here’s the real truth — Harvard supports, upholds, and invests in Israeli apartheid, and the oppression of Palestinians.”

Safi was referencing the accusation that Israel is a racist state that implements apartheid policies similar to South Africa in the 20th century. The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), an intergovernmental organization comprised of dozens of countries that created the world’s most widely accepted definition of antisemitism, lists “denying the Jewish people their right to self determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavor,” as an example of antisemitism.

The definition has been widely accepted by Jewish groups and well over 1,000 global entities, from countries to companies. The US State Department, the European Union, and the United Nations all use it.

Asked by the Harvard Crimson to comment on Monday’s incident, Harvard spokesperson Jonathan Palumbo said, “Freedom of expression is essential to a liberal arts and sciences education.”

Antisemitism at Harvard is pervasive, according to several interviews conducted for a student’s recent senior thesis titled, “The Death of Discourse: Antisemitism at Harvard College.” The paper argued that Jewish students on campus face bias and discrimination.

Archbishop of Canterbury: Israel is NOT an apartheid state
The Archbishop of Canterbury has emphatically insisted Israel is ‘not an apartheid state’ in comments at a public event this week.

As part of a lecture series at St-Martin-in-the-Fields church in central London, Justin Welby featured alongside Su McClellan from Christian charity ‘Embrace the Middle East’ and Daniel Munayer, the dual British and Palestinian Israeli executive director of faith-based charity Musalaha.

In remarks reported by Gabriella Swerling, social and religious affairs editor at The Telegraph, he said Israel’s constitution was unlike the former regime in South Africa, which was built on a system of apartheid that institutionalised racial segregation.

The Archbishop made clear the distinction, adding that Israel was a country in “turmoil”.

“If remains a risk if the constitution changes to an apartheid constitution, then it obviously would become an apartheid state. But until that happens, I won’t use that word about Israel.”
Guardian's anti-Israel correspondent strikes again
In short, Litman concluded, attacks against Israel for “enforcing a military regime on Palestinians,” are literally criticising Israel for abiding by international law.

McGreal continues:
Successive Israeli governments have fought back against accusations of apartheid by characterising them as antisemitic out of concern the charge will fuel a boycott movement or open the way to prosecutions under international laws against apartheid.

First, note how McGreal casually imputes bad faith to Israeli claims that such accusations are either intrinsically antisemitic or at least motivated by anti-Jewish animus – ignoring the fact that the roots of the apartheid charge lay in Soviet antisemitic and anti-Zionist propaganda. Also, it isn’t just “Israeli governments” which have pushed back against the apartheid charge, but European democracies as well. Further, during the summer, The U.S. House of Representatives approved a resolution affirming that Israel is neither a racist nor apartheid state by a vote of 412-9.

In fact, we’re not aware of any democratic state in the world which has endorsed the apartheid charge.

McGreal argues that the apartheid charges are “harder to dismiss when they come from those within the Israeli establishment”, a point we scrutinised previously, albeit about a different allegation – the charge by a retired IDF general comparing Israeli actions in the West Bank to Nazi atrocities. In condemning the Telegraph for reporting on, and implicitly giving credibility to, his antisemitic comments, we argued that the utterings of a miniscule number of former Israeli officials don’t render ahistorical, counter-factual and/or antisemitic charges any more intellectually serious, or the legitimisation of such libels less reprehensible.
Newly discovered document lists more than 3,000 Jews the Catholic Church sheltered from Nazis
Newly uncovered documentation appears to confirm that Catholic convents and monasteries sheltered more than 3,000 Jews from the Holocaust following the Nazi takeover of Rome in 1943.

The papers, which have yet to be made public, were discovered at Vatican City’s Pontifical Biblical Institute and announced on Thursday. They contain the names of 3,200 people who have been verified to be Jews by the organizing body of Rome’s Jewish community.

The research was a joint project of the institute, Rome’s Jewish community and Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust museum, in addition to two Catholic-affiliated universities. It was coordinated by Dominik Markl, a scholar at the institute.

The discovery appears to further complicate the already ambiguous narrative surrounding the Catholic Church and the Holocaust. For decades, historians have battled over how to interpret the actions of Pope Pius XII, who signed a treaty with Nazi Germany as a Vatican official before he ascended to the papacy. Later, he maintained a public silence as thousands of Italy’s Jews were rounded up and deported to concentration camps, where nearly all of them perished.

Much of the postwar scholarship, including work drawing on recently unsealed Vatican archives, has argued that Pius XII was indifferent to the fate of the Jews. But some researchers favorable to the church have long maintained that, behind the scenes, it was working to save as many Jews as possible through back channels.

“The documentation thus significantly increases the information on the history of the rescue of Jews in the context of the Catholic institutions of Rome,” the three partner organizations said in a joint statement announcing the findings.
Calls for controversial Nazi collaborator soliders memorial at US cemetery to be removed
Fury has erupted amongst US Jewish groups over a controversial memorial to Nazi collaborators.

The large stone cross memorial was erected three decades ago at St Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery in Elkins Park, Philadelphia.

It honours soldiers who fought in the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, a group of Ukrainian military volunteers and conscripts from Nazi occupied Ukraine who fought for Germany in World War II.

The 14th Waffen Grenadier Division was formed in 1943 in an attempt to provide additional army recruits to help repel Soviet attacks but was later disbanded after surrendering to the Western Allies in May 1945.

Some recruits joined under duress whilst others viewed partnering with Nazi Germany as a way to formally establish an independent Ukrainian state. Many of the former soldiers from the division were allowed to emigrate to the United States, settling in places such as Toronto and Philadelphia, which had become a centre for Ukrainian Catholicism.

It is understood the memorial was consecrated in the early 1990s and was commissioned by veterans’ groups to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the creation of the unit. The memorial features the lion and crown insignia of the SS.

However, the memorial only came to prominence earlier this year after a far-right Ukrainian politician posed in front of it. The photo was shared by Moss Robeson, who writes about Ukraine’s far-right.
Outcry over official Spanish definition of Jew as ‘greedy or usurious’ person
Over 20 Jewish groups from the United States and Spanish-speaking countries are calling on Spain’s linguistic authority to drop two antisemitic definitions from its official dictionary.

The 300-year-old Madrid-based Academy, or RAE, oversees the evolution of Spanish through its Dictionary of the Spanish Language. In the entry for the word “Jew,” the fifth definition listed translates to a “greedy or usurious” person.

The entry for the word “judiada” — which notes that the term “originated with antisemitic intent” — has two definitions: first, “a dirty trick or an action that is detrimental to someone,” and second, “a crowd or group of Jews.”

“The definitions of the word judío and judiada in no way reflect the true meaning of these terms,” reads a letter sent to the RAE this week that is signed by groups ranging from Spain’s Federation of Jewish Communities to the Anti-Defamation League and the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “These descriptions are the product of a medieval and renaissance terminology of rejection, envy and hatred directed at the Jews who, because of their work, had the highest incomes – which was one of the factors that led to their expulsion from Spain by the Catholic monarchs.”

Spanish lawyer Borja Luján Lago is leading the groups’ request. He was contacted by the Jewish community of Panama after he successfully asked the RAE in February to modify the entry of the word “lawyer,” which included the definitions “talkative” and “chatty.”

The RAE confirmed to the Spanish news agency EFE that the claim was received and that “it will be processed following the usual channels.”
CAA writes to Charity Commission over charity that hosted senior commanders from antisemitic Islamist terrorist group
Campaign Against Antisemitism wrote to the Charity Commission last month over a charity that hosted senior commanders from the antisemitic Islamist terrorist group, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

It was reported last month that several IRGC leaders gave lectures to students nationally. It is believed that some of the talks have been held at the registered address of the Al-Tawheed Charitable Trust.

The Al-Tawheed Charitable Trust is understood to be under investigation already by the Commission due to “serious concerns regarding events held at its premises” after the charity reportedly held an event to celebrate and commemorate Qasem Soleimani, an IRGC terrorist mastermind who was assassinated by the United States in 2020.

The lectures were reportedly organised by the Islamic Students Association of Britain.

The Islamic Students Association of Britain reportedly has branches on university campuses in Bradford, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Cambridge.

Saeed Ghasemi, reported to be a former general in the IRGC, allegedly told British students that the Holocaust was “fake”.

“The one that the Jews say happened is fake. The real Holocaust happened in my country in the First World War, 1917-19, when the UK occupied Iran,” he reportedly said during an online talk.

He also is reported to have encouraged his audience of students to join “the beautiful list of soldiers” who would fight and kill Jews in a coming apocalyptic war.

Hossein Yekta, another figure believed to be a high-ranking IRGC official, is said to have accused Jews of having “created homosexuality”. He allegedly told students that they should view themselves as “holy warriors”, promising them that the “era of the Jews” would soon be at an end.
Meet Mark Robinson, the Republican frontrunner in the North Carolina governor’s race accused of antisemitism
The Facebook post in early August condemning antisemitic flyers left around Raleigh might not have been surprising, coming from North Carolina’s lieutenant governor.

But for Lieutenant Gov. Mark Robinson, the statement marked something of a change in tone. After the Republican was elected to the state’s second-highest office in 2020, revelations emerged that he was the prolific author of Facebook posts downplaying the threat of Nazism, invoking antisemitic stereotypes and targeting other minority groups.

At the time, Robinson’s track record earned him criticism from local Jewish leaders and national commentators; the Republican Jewish Coalition called his comments “clearly antisemitic.” In response, Robinson did not publicly apologize for the posts but he said he would no longer make them. He met with a group of local Jewish leaders in 2021 and says he privately apologized to them.

Now, as Robinson runs for governor — and increasingly appears on track to become the Republican nominee next year — North Carolinians must decide whether Robinson has earned their trust. For some local Jews, that means taking him more seriously.

“Most of us find it hard to believe that he will be the candidate,” said Randall Kaplan, a board member of the Jewish Democratic Council of America who is also married to Rep. Kathy Manning, a Jewish Democrat who represents North Carolina in Congress. “I think most of us are in denial.”

Here’s what you need to know about Robinson, his contentious social media presence and his campaign to lead North Carolina.
Councilmember Campillo to join Jewish leaders in denouncing antisemitic actions
San Diego City Councilman Raul Campillo will join Jewish leaders Thursday to denounce recent acts of antisemitism and ask for the public's help in identifying the perpetrators.

San Diego has seen multiple antisemitic flyering incidents in recent months largely taking place in District 7, represented by Campillo. According to his office, under current law, the city attorney has limited ability to prosecute these incidents of hateful littering.

The Councilman, Jewish leaders, and anti-antisemitism activists "are united in support of action that can help bring justice and an end to these antisemitic hate incidents," a statement from Campillo's office said. He will be joined Thursday by Liora Rez, executive director of StopAntisemitism, Fabienne Perlov, regional director of Anti-Defamation League San Diego and Rabbi Devorah Marcus, senior rabbi at Temple Emanu-El and former chair of the San Diego Rabbinical.

In July, antisemitic flyers were found on car windshields on Zion and Archwood streets in the Allied Gardens area. Just days before, a rabbi was assaulted at a convenience store near San Diego State.

"We are horrified to hear a member of the San Diego Chabad Jewish Center at San Diego State University has been assaulted," wrote the organization StopAntisemitism on X, formerly known as Twitter. "The attacker ripped the victim's tzitzit (a traditional Jewish garment) and yelled antisemitic slurs. In March, the same Chabad's menorah was vandalized."

Earlier this year, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors signed a resolution denouncing antisemitic rhetoric and hate crimes, citing rising antisemetic crimes in recent years.
Ohio school board member apologizes for giving Nazi salute at public meeting
A school board member outside Dayton, Ohio, has apologized after delivering a Nazi salute and uttering “Sieg heil” at the board’s president during a public meeting this week.

Anne Zakkour was initially defiant when fellow board members and local Jewish groups denounced her after she made the gesture, during a meeting Tuesday of the Tipp City Board of Education. The gesture came after the board president chastised her for trying to interrupt him.

The board president, Simon Patry, “does have a dictator mentality,” Zakkour told the Dayton Jewish Observer. She said she was making a “sarcastic gesture” of “submission to a board member trying to act like a dictator” and did not intend it as alarming to Jews.

“That was in no way meant to be anything towards the Jewish people,” Zakkour told the Jewish newspaper. “If we don’t identify, even at a local level, if we don’t call out suppression and oppression, I’m not an expert at this, but isn’t that how some of this snowballed with Hitler and Nazism?”

But Zakkour expressed a more regretful tone after two other board members; the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton; Ohio’s regional Anti-Defamation League office; and Ohio Jewish Communities, the umbrella organization of Ohio’s eight Jewish federations, all denounced her actions. (A third board member, who was out of town during the incident, declined to comment.)

“Invoking Nazism with a ‘Sieg heil’ salute during a school board meeting, a place meant to support and guide our youth, is outrageous, offensive, and potentially dangerous,” Kelly Fishman, regional director of the ADL based in Cleveland, told the Dayton Jewish Observer. “Hateful gestures and words cannot be normalized by local officials who are tasked with representing everyone in their communities.”

History: Special Dispatch From First Israeli Business Delegation to Saudi Arabia
With headlines swirling in recent months on US efforts to broker a normalization agreement, diplomatic ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia, long regarded as the crown jewel, are no longer a distant dream. White House officials have been shuttling back and forth to the region, several Israeli ministers have traveled to the US, and even a Palestinian delegation visited the kingdom, giving credence to the belief that a new era in the Middle East may be upon us.

And there are some in Israel and Saudi Arabia who are eager to jump-start relations already. It’s in this context that an Israeli business delegation landed in Saudi Arabia at the start of September for an official government conference on cybersecurity.

So what do the Saudis themselves have to say about the prospect of ties between the Jewish state and the Gulf kingdom?

“We have a golden chance, and I mean the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the State of Israel, with the help of the United States, we can normalize our relations. But we should bring Israelis and Palestinians to Riyadh to talk about peace,” said Abdulaziz Alkhamis, a prominent Saudi journalist who already visited Israel three times.

“Signing the Abraham Accords was an important event, but we must remember that Saudi Arabia is different, since it is the largest country in the region, in the Muslim world, and in the Arab world. In other words, it is not just another country that is waiting in line to shake hands with the Israelis,” said another attendee.

“We know that without Israel, the new Middle East proposed by our crown prince, Mohamed bin Salman, will not happen,” added yet another.

“For us, the Saudis, it always annoys us to hear Israelis asking us: ‘When will you join the Abraham Accords?’”
Water 4 Mercy launches new Israel-Kenya center
A nonprofit organization committed to bringing Israeli technological insights to boost food security in sub-Saharan Africa has launched a new teaching center.

The Israel-Kenya Don Bosco Agricultural Innovation and Technology Center in Embu County, Kenya (AITEC-EMBU), hosted a grand opening attended by numerous officials, including Michael Lotem, the Israeli ambassador to Kenya, and Kinyua Mugo, the Embu county deputy governor.

“There is a tremendous level of gratitude felt by the community when they receive assistance and learn Israelis/Jews are extending help,” Nermine Khouzam Rubin, the founder and CEO of Water 4 Mercy who also attended the event, told JNS. “They are deeply grateful and appreciative, and view this as a compassionate and positive act. Moreover, when they hear that the knowledge and technology come from Israel, they are even more excited to hear that it is from the place where Jesus was born.”

The center will operate as a farm, training center and research hub. Local farmers can gain hands-on training in advanced agricultural solutions and techniques to access fresh water.

Lotem said “the launch of AITEC Embu demonstrates the strong partnership between Israel and Africa and how Israeli technology can make a direct impact on the day-to-day lives of local community members.”
Israel’s Smartshooter looks to Australia’s unmanned future with new subsidiary
Smartshooter, an Israeli company focused on countering small UAS threats and fire control systems, recently announced that it has established a new Australian subsidiary, dubbed Smash Australia.

The new company will be led by Lachlan Mercer, previously “territory manager” for Smartshooter in Australia and New Zealand, according a company announcement on Aug. 28.

The company has been active in Australia for years, but having a local subsidiary for Smartshooter enables the Australian company to have a local footprint and “shows we are serious in supporting the Australian, New Zealand and Oceania War Fighter,” Mercer told Breaking Defense. “It’s a question of Sovereign Industry Content (SIC),” he said, referring to the capability for Australia to produce a counter-drone capability locally in the event of a conflict.

Mercer told Breaking Defense that the company’s appearance at the Army Robotics eXposition 2023 event in Perth last week came at the invitation of QinetiQ, a UK-headquartered multinational defense technology company with its own Australian subsidiary. Mercer said the firms have integrated Smartshooter’s Smash Hopper remote controlled weapon station into QinetiQ’s Talon Sword lightweight ground robot “that can travel on other autonomous systems, or in an infantry fighting vehicle, and be deployed en mass to do the necessary clearing, to keep soldiers out of harm’s way.”

Australia, like many countries, is expanding the use of unmanned systems in its military. Mercer said a key message at the conference was that Canberra “wants the ability to send a robot before they send a soldier, so they are looking at robots to generate ISR, kinetic/non-kinetic and electronic warfare effects.”

Mercer claimed that the company has seen interest from the Australian army and its special operations command. “Special operations is looking at all the Smash products from the point of view of its counter-drone capability for dismounted patrols, the ability to engage targets in the maritime surface space (boarding parties/alongside drills),” he said. Smartshooter saw similar interest from special forces going back to 2020 in the US, and won a contract with the US Army in 2022.
As Rosh Hashanah approaches, we reflect on a year of achievements and rededicate ourselves to the fight for justice for British Jews
In the coming days, Jews around the world will celebrate the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, a festival that has the theme of justice at its core. At this time of the year, we reflect on the achievements of the past year and rededicate ourselves to our mission of fighting for justice for British Jews.

In just the past few weeks, Abdullah Qureshi has been sentenced for violent antisemitic assaults against religious Jews in North London. This was only possible after we exposed a plea deal that he had agreed with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), as part of which the antisemitic element of the hate crimes was dropped. Only after we and other groups made representatives to the CPS did the court agree to reinstate the charges, and, two years after the attacks, he has finally been sentenced for the full horror of his crimes.

He is not the only illustration of a system that tries to downplay antisemitism. After six years of action by Campaign Against Antisemitism – including a private prosecution, a judicial review and a complaint to his regulator – the pharmacist Nazim Ali has finally been found to have made antisemitic comments at the pro-Hizballah ‘Al Quds Day’ march in London in 2017. An earlier hearing determined that the comments had not been antisemitic, and only after we and others appealed the matter, ultimately to the High Court, was that decision quashed and a new hearing held which made an opposite finding.

We have also been involved in the prosecution of a Tik Tok influencer who was invading the homes of the Jewish families in London, the antisemite Alison Chabloz lost an appeal in her latest case following action by Campaign Against Antisemitism, and, in Scotland, the French far-right fugitive and Holocaust-denier Vincent Reynouard was finally arrested following appeals by Campaign Against Antisemitism, aided by our Honorary Patron Lord Austin. He now faces an extradition hearing, and, if he is extradited, he faces immediate imprisonment in France.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has also been granted intervener status in a High Court case brought by the disgraced former mayor Ken Livingstone against the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) over the EHRC’s investigation into Labour antisemitism, in which we were the complainant.
Route 60 biblical highway: Journey through the heart of the Holy Land
Abraham, Joshua, and Jesus could walk the length and breadth of the Holy Land, from Nazareth to Beersheba.

When David Friedman, however, wanted to follow in their footsteps in 2017 as the US ambassador to Israel, the State Department banned him from following some of their most well-trodden paths.

He could read the biblical verses about Shiloh, which served as the capital of Israel before Jerusalem, or about Beit El, where Jacob is believed to have slept and dreamed of angels climbing a ladder.

However, government policy kept him from going there because those sites were located outside the boundaries of sovereign Israel, in a contested region for both Israelis and Palestinians, known as the modern West Bank or by its biblical names of Judea and Samaria.

It is also the cradle of the biblical heartland. Friedman, who is Jewish, and former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, who is Christian, want to highlight the biblical epoch of faith by erasing modern political divisions, revealing to the American public the spiritual unity of the land.

Together, they have created a feature-length film that will be screened in more than 1,000 theaters across North America on September 18-19 called Route 60: The Biblical Highway.

The ribbon of pavement 146 miles long weaves through the heart of the Holy Land, echoing with the whispers of time and faith.

It is also known as the Path of the Patriarchs.

The road winds through storied landscapes, where ancient tales from the Bible intersect with the complex narratives of the present and bind together the stories of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

“There is an amazing storyline here,” says.
Mossad reveals photo of ‘the Angel,’ Egyptian agent who warned of Yom Kippur war
Ahead of the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, the Mossad published on Thursday a photo of one of its handlers together with the agent code-named “the Angel,” who gave the spy agency a precise warning that war was about to break out.

The agency also published a transcript of the conversation between then-Mossad chief Zvi Zamir and the agent, later revealed to be Ashraf Marwan, the son-in-law of former Egyptian president Gamal Abdul Nasser.

The day before the war broke out, Marwan warned Zamir that “there is a 99 percent chance that the war will start tomorrow… it will start simultaneously on both fronts, the Egyptian and the Syrian.”

Marwan told Zamir that the Egyptians planned to launch a massive artillery barrage and “move almost the entire army across the Suez Canal.”

He also told him that the Syrians “planned to capture the Golan Heights.”

The warnings were largely ignored by the political and military leaders, and the attack caught Israel by surprise.

The Mossad also announced on Thursday that a book will be published in honor of the organization’s role in the Yom Kippur War, detailing how the Mossad uncovered much of Egypt’s plan for a surprise attack ahead of the war.

The name of the book, as yet unrevealed, will be taken from a sentence said by wartime Prime Minister Golda Meir to Zamir: “When the time comes to tell what you did, you and your friends will get a prize.”

In a speech on Thursday, Mossad chief David Barnea denied widespread reports that Marwan was a double agent.

“These claims were intensively checked before the war by a joint IDF-Mossad team and again after the war,” Barnea said.

“Findings repeated themselves, the ‘Angel’ was an important and strategic agent. Those who don’t understand HUMINT have a hard time understanding the nuances of an agent and his handler,” he added, referring to the gathering of human intelligence.

JCoSS kids create world's largest human Magen David to fight antisemitism
Students at one of London's biggest Jewish schools came together with barrister and TV personality Rob Rinder to try and break the record for the world's largest human Magen David.

The world’s largest human Magen David was attempted on JCoSS's playing fields, and comprised 531 JCoSS year seven and year 12 students, teachers, and Rinder.

Although it's estimated to take three months to get official confirmation of a world record from Guinness World Records, it is thought to have more than doubled the previous record.

The idea came about last year and was the brainchild of deputy head boy Luke Godfrey, 17, as part of his application for the school’s Head Student Team where he was tasked to create a project on something "we are passionate about.”

He told the JC: “At that time, Kanye West was prolific in the news because of his antisemitic statements. As someone who listens to his music, I understand the influence he has had on my generation and how he may lead people to agree with his views, which are inherently wrong.

“So, I decided to create my project to stand up against antisemitism both physically and metaphorically.”

Luke combined his aspiration to stand up against antisemitism with his love of Guinness World Records, the ranks of which he always dreamt of joining.

“For me, it’s a childhood dream come true,” Luke explained. “I’m proud to be Jewish.”

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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