Friday, September 22, 2023

From Ian:

Mark Regev: Yom Kippur War: A bleak moment but pivotal turning point
Yet, if the Yom Kippur War was a turning point, it wasn’t as bleak as it appeared at the time.

The war ended with direct Egypt-Israel military-to-military talks. These were the harbinger of a dialogue that led to disengagement agreements and ultimately to the 1979 peace treaty – Israel’s first with an Arab country.

In the decades since, Israel has normalized relations with Jordan and Morocco, both of whom sent forces to fight the IDF in 1973 – the former to the Syrian front, the latter in support of Egypt.

And of the Arab petroleum producers who weaponized oil against Israel, the 2020 Abraham Accords saw agreements reached with the UAE and Bahrain. Today, there is even talk of a breakthrough with Saudi Arabia.

If in 1973 Israelis worried that petroleum gave their enemies a colossal advantage, it wasn’t to last. The global energy market has changed in ways that have diminished Arab ascendancy. Simultaneously, Israeli technological innovation has made the Jewish state a sought-after partner. (In the 21st century, is technology not competing with fossil fuels for being the number one driver of economic growth?)

In contrast to the diplomatic isolation of 1973, Israel has returned to Africa, augmented its ties across Asia, and built strong partnerships in Europe – as was seen in the recent $3.5 billion deal for the supply of the Arrow-3 missile defense system to Germany.

Furthermore, those who forecasted an inevitable decline in American support for Israel have, thus far, been wrong in their doomsday predictions. Over the past five decades, the trajectory of Israel-US ties has been indisputably positive, despite all the bumps along the road.

At the end of 1973, Israelis were hurting, apprehensive, and unsure. Although the country had successfully resisted a powerful assault, there was no celebration, but rather a pervasive dispiritedness.

We know today that the postwar gloominess, though certainly understandable, was unjustified in historical terms. Perhaps this fact can give Israelis a measure of succor as we deal with today’s seemingly existential divisions.
Editor's Notes: Could the Yom Kippur War happen today?
In a pre-Yom Kippur missive to IDF personnel, released to the public today, Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi reflected on the 50th anniversary of the 1973 war.

“The failure of warning on the eve of the war is the worst failure in the history of the State of Israel,” Halevi wrote. “Its roots are in arrogance, lack of understanding of the abundant intelligence information, and disregard for the enemy.”

Turning to Israel’s foes, he added: “Our enemies should know that the spirit of the IDF soldiers and the unity of its ranks do not fall short of those of the soldiers who fought in the Yom Kippur War, and that the IDF is as ready as ever for a multi-arena military conflict if it is required.”

Reassuring as his words were no doubt intended to be, that Halevi felt compelled to address the spirit and unity of the IDF and its readiness for war in a public letter marking the anniversary of the most devastating war in Israel’s history should be cause for concern, and it should drive us to reflect on the impact of the impassioned national discourse on the very body charged with our nation’s defense.

Fifty years after the Yom Kippur War, we are older, wiser, more battle-scarred, and better established as a nation than we were then. We are a technological superpower and an economic success story and our military has few peers anywhere in the world.

But as we reflect on the deep trauma of those fateful weeks half a century ago, we would do well to keep our hubris at bay. We are only as strong from without as we are from within, and we rely on our leaders to do what they must to ensure our continued ability to confront any threat.

Our enemies know those basic truths. Let us hope our leaders do, as well.

G’mar hatima tova.

Penn Jewish Center Vandalized Ahead of University Conference Featuring Anti-Semites
A Jewish center at the University of Pennsylvania was vandalized Thursday morning, just a day before the university hosts an event that will feature speakers who have praised terrorism against Israel and maintain links to designated terror groups.

The Penn Hillel Center, which provides services to Jewish students on campus, was ransacked by "an unknown student" when it opened around 7 a.m. on Thursday, Rabbi Gabe Greenberg, the center’s executive director, told the Washington Free Beacon.

"As the door was opened, an unknown student ran into the building," Greenberg said in a statement. "He stayed for less than a minute, and while he was in the building he knocked over several pieces of furniture, while shouting antisemitic obscenities about Jewish people." Penn Police soon apprehended the suspect after he fled the building. A police spokesman did not immediately respond to a Free Beacon request for further information.

The incident is certain to escalate fears among Penn’s Jewish and pro-Israel population ahead of a Friday event that will bring vociferous detractors of the Jewish state to campus. The confab, known as the Palestine Writes Festival, has been criticized by pro-Israel voices on campus for its ties to radical anti-Israel agitators and those with alleged links to terror groups.

While the university has condemned some of the speakers for their anti-Semitic rhetoric, it will host the event because of its commitment to "the free exchange of ideas," a university spokesman told the Free Beacon earlier this week.

Hillel executive director Greenberg said it is clear his building was intentionally picked by the vandal and that the timing of the incident is troubling.

"This person did not accidentally choose to enter our building," he said. "He did not accidentally choose to shout antisemitic slogans. He chose our building. He chose to do so just three days before Yom Kippur. He chose to do so one day before a number of speakers are coming to campus who have histories of making antisemitic and hate-filled statements against Jews. This was not a coincidence."

What Did They Think Was Going to Happen?
Make no mistake: As university president, Magill bears responsibility. By allowing the Palestine Writes Literature Festival to take place on her campus, and by allowing multiple academic departments to co-sponsor the event, she has helped foster an environment of antisemitism at Penn that empowers people like the student who vandalized the Hillel building. Magill doesn’t seem to understand that her inaction has consequences and that by building a permission structure for antisemitism, she has allowed antisemitic acts to occur.

It’s insane that we have to keep writing about events such as these. From my May 2022 piece in National Review:
Last month, several student groups signed a statement written by NYU School of Law’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter defending terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and accusing Zionists of controlling the media, a well-worn antisemitic canard.

On April 26, Georgetown Law School’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter hosted Mohammed El-Kurd, an activist who has accused Israelis of harvesting the organs of dead Palestinians and of having “an unquenchable thirst for Palestinian blood & land.”

In recent weeks, the Rutgers chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi — a historically Jewish fraternity — faced multiple incidents of antisemitic harassment. First, activists waving Palestinian flags yelled antisemitic slurs and spat at fraternity brothers. A few days later, vandals threw eggs at AEPi’s house during the fraternity’s Holocaust Remembrance Day proceedings — the second year in a row the house was egged during Yom HaShoah.

On Saturday, April 23, at Northwestern, where I am an undergraduate, the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter organized a candlelight vigil and painted messages across Northwestern’s “Rock,” a boulder on campus that student organizations paint for various promotional purposes.

By Tuesday morning, alongside the SJP chapter’s Instagram username, the rock bore the slogan “From the River to the Sea.”

Hatred of Jews on campus, of course, didn’t end in May 2022. Antisemitic attacks at American universities have nearly doubled in 2023, and almost 60 percent of Jewish college students in the United States have either experienced or witnessed antisemitism at their places of learning, according to an Ipsos poll. Another Ivy League school, Princeton University, has included on a humanities course syllabus the book The Right to Maim, which claims that Israelis harvest Palestinians’ organs, a variant on the time-worn “blood libel” canard.

The longer academic institutions take to actually address antisemitism on their campuses, the longer they’re allowing it to flourish. By hiding behind rote affirmations of a school’s commitment to diversity, to equity, to whatever progressive buzzwords they like to emblazon on their overpaid and underworked administrators’ doors — and by refusing to act when the time comes, like right now — university presidents like Liz Magill create the conditions in which, for instance, Hillel buildings are vandalized. I’m left with only one question: What did she think was going to happen?
UPenn president declines to intervene in antisemitic conference on campus
In a joint statement last week led by Magill, the administration condemned “antisemitism as antithetical to our institutional values,” while stressing that “we also fiercely support the free exchange of ideas as central to our educational mission. This includes the expression of views that are controversial and even those that are incompatible with our institutional values.”

But the festival — and the university’s response — have continued to field opposition. On Friday evening, for instance, Penn Hillel is planning a “massive” Shabbat Together demonstration to celebrate “Jewish pride, unity and togetherness” as the festival begins, according to a recent statement posted to social media. Ted Deutch, the CEO of the American Jewish Committee and a former Democratic congressman from Florida, will be among those in attendance, according to a spokesperson for the organization.

The festival’s organizer, Susan Abulhawa, has defended the conference, which features more than 100 speakers, accusing critics of engaging in “Zionist hysteria” that is typical of “the colonial mentality,” she told JI last week.

Other speakers who are scheduled to participate in the festival include Noura Erakat, a Rutgers University professor who has suggested that Zionism is a “bedfellow” to Nazism, and Marc Lamont Hill, a former CNN commentator who was dismissed from the network after he used a phrase widely interpreted as a call for Israel’s elimination.

While Magill has described some of the event’s speakers as “deeply offensive, misaligned with the festival’s stated purpose” and at odds with Penn’s “institutional values,” she has reiterated the university’s “responsibility to foster open dialogue and cultural diversity on campus.”

Still, in her recent letter to the ADL, Magill acknowledged that the administration had yet to perfect its approach to addressing anti-Jewish prejudice.

Moving forward, she said university leadership would refer to the Biden administration’s national strategy to combat antisemitism and the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism, among other resources.

“Our commitment to countering antisemitism on Penn’s campus extends far beyond this event,” Magill averred. “There is more we can and will do to continue to create an environment where all members of our community can thrive and succeed.”
Multiple Penn trustees sign letter to Magill demanding stronger response to Palestine Writes uproar
Multiple current members of Penn's Board of Trustees signed an open letter to President Liz Magill calling on her to take additional steps to distance the University from the Palestine Writes Literature Festival.

The letter — which was obtained by The Daily Pennsylvanian — was signed by more than 2,000 Penn alumni and University affiliates, who expressed “deep concerns” about the festival, which begins tomorrow. Signatories included numerous current and former members of the University Board of Trustees, members of boards across multiple Penn schools, and notable donors to the University.

Names of current trustees listed on the document include Robert Stavis, Andrew Heyer, and Marc Rowan; who is also chair of the Wharton Board of Advisors.

“The University of Pennsylvania should be doing all within its power to distance itself from the event’s antisemitic speakers, make clear that such antisemitism is wholly at odds with the university’s values, and take proactive steps to ensure that Jewish students, faculty, and staff are safe and welcome at Penn,” the signatories wrote to Magill.

A University spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

Magill, Provost John Jackson Jr., and School of Arts and Sciences Dean Steven Fluharty previously released a statement on Sept. 12 in response to growing criticism about alleged previous antisemitic remarks from some speakers scheduled to appear at the festival.

The letter signed by trustees also called for Penn and academic departments who are affiliated with the festival to clarify how much they are supporting the event and the implementation of “mandatory antisemitism awareness training.”

A request for comment was left with organizers of the Palestine Writes Literature Festival.
UPenn Alum Lizzy Savetsky: “I Feel Sick that the University Would Tolerate This Many Hateful, Outrageous Voices”
Savetsky, a member of the New York City Mayor’s Jewish Advisory Council, visited the Chabad at UPenn this week to talk with students and show her support of the Jewish community on campus.

“I feel sick that UPenn would tolerate this many hateful, outrageous voices, who have encouraged antisemitism and even incitement to violence against one tiny and highly victimized minority group – Jews,” she told the Journal. “After visiting campus and meeting with students and faculty in the Jewish community at UPenn, I felt an overwhelming sense of fear—fear to speak out and fear to be visibly Jewish. This is absolutely heartbreaking. No student should feel unsafe or targeted.”

While Savetsky was a student at UPenn, a classmate shared her project about a trip to “Palestine,” in reference to Israel proper, which she found alarming.

“But noticed nobody else seemed to,” she said. “It was then I became aware of hostility towards Israel rising on campus. As unsettling as that realization was, it was nothing like the vulnerability and outright stigmatization of Jewish and Israeli students we are seeing on campus today. This is even more true for those who are most visibly identifiable, as Jews, like those who wear religious clothing or Hebrew letters.”

Amid the uproar over the festival, UPenn President Liz Magill and her administration sent out a statement that the event was not organized by UPenn, and instead sponsored by four departments at the university. This week, a truck traveling around the campus and through Philadelphia showed Magill’s photo and urged people to “Tell President Magill racists are not welcome at UPenn!”

Savetsky sees the Palestinian Writes festival as part of a bigger problem, where campuses are becoming unsafe for Jewish and pro-Israel students.

“At a time when most Jewish and Israeli college students now experience unprecedented antisemitism and hostility, UPenn – and other campuses around the country – must do more to teach values of tolerance and inclusion and protect our vulnerable students. Antisemitism training should be mandatory for university staff and there must be measures taken to ensure Jewish inclusion.”

Savetsky also noted that administrators need to remember how Zionism is an integral part of most Jewish students’ identity.

“You cannot separate Judaism from Zionism,” she said. “And university policies must reflect that.”

An open letter to Jewish students at Penn
Are we waiting for a Swastika spray painted on our Chabad House? Are we waiting for our Hillel’s Mezuzah to be torn down? Are we waiting to be harassed for wearing a Kippah or Magen David? Are we waiting for something worse? God forbid. What will it take for our community to wake up and act? Penn is one of the last college campuses in America where Jewish students feel safe. Jew hatred, as we know, has been rising every year.

Do we really think it will stay this way? Only if we express our Jewish selves and support of Israel in the places where we ‘live’ — sports teams, preprofessional clubs, performing arts groups, volunteer initiatives, networking circles, and social gatherings.

We are currently being manipulated into believing that there will be no antisemitism at the upcoming "Palestine Writes Literature Festival." But many of the speakers have no connection to Palestinian literature. They have dressed up as Nazis, praised terrorists for targeting civilians, celebrated BDS, called for violence against Jews, called for ‘death to Israel’, been fired for antisemitism, have called most Jews evil, raised money for terrorists, and even directly supported terrorists. Worse yet, Penn departments, professors, spaces, and resources are contributing to this. The bottom line is, unapologetic antisemites are coming to gather here on our campus. Is that enough for us to stand up? What are we waiting for?

At best, this conference will continue to normalize this kind of rhetoric and behavior on college campuses, and at worst can lead to serious safety issues for Jewish students. Either way, it is not hard to see where we are sadly heading.

More importantly, how will we respond? We need everyone’s skills, connections, and ideas to work on fighting for our community. It’s not too late to think about who you are and your place at Penn. How can you make a stand for Jews of all backgrounds to practice and express our beliefs?

Jewish women experience more antisemitism on US college campuses - study
After gauging the perceived threat level of antisemitism, the survey asked respondents about the prevalence of antisemitism in the various dimensions of their lives.

For instance, Jewish survey respondents were asked if antisemitism is prevalent in their community.

Here, a full third (33%) of female Jewish respondents said that it is. In comparison, only just over a fifth (22%) of male Jewish respondents said the same.

Next, respondents were asked if antisemitism is prevalent in their student body. While this time the gender-group difference was smaller, again the proportion of female respondents, who answered in the affirmative 35% of the time, was greater than the proportion of male respondents, who said yes 27% of the time.

Student respondents were also asked if antisemitism is prevalent in their administration and in their faculty. To this, male Jewish students said yes 12% and 13% of the time, respectively.

Continuing the trend, female Jewish students responded yes 18% percent of the time for both questions.

Finally, the respondents were asked if antisemitism is prevalent in their student government. One-fifth (20%) of female Jewish respondents said it is compared to 16% of male Jewish respondents who said the same.

The survey advances a couple of rationales for the gender-based discrepancy in perceived antisemitism.

One explanation, according to the study could be that “female Jewish students are more cognizant of antisemitism than male Jewish students due to their experiences with the intersection of sexism and antisemitism.”

Another possibility, the study notes, could be that there are situations which female Jewish students are assessing as antisemitic that male Jewish students are not.
My girl was targeted at school... by the teachers
When my daughter was 12, a teacher asked her to debate the following motion: Is Zionism racism?

The invitation was made during a Year 8 citizenship lesson on democracy. Pupils were asked to give examples of democratic countries and when Leah offered Israel as an example, the teacher shook her head. Even at the tender age of 12, my daughter sensed this as an attack on the Jews’ nation state and, flustered, she said something back. Unmoved, her teacher took her on: “OK, let’s debate this properly,” she said.

Two years later my daughter was walking to an English lesson with her friends Mumtaz and Sara* when the words, “Viva, Viva Palestina!” rang out in the corridor. The girls looked up and to Leah’s horror and Mumtaz and Sara’s delight, they saw their maths teacher walking towards them, his thumbs cocked up in approval. What was he so pleased about? The slogan on Sara’s T-shirt: “Free Gaza.”

Earlier this month, the JC reported that the number of Jewish children attending Jewish faith schools in Britain is set to reach 40,000 by 2025. For a community that at the last census numbered 271,000, this is an astonishing figure. Even more surprising when you consider it is nearly eight times more than in the 1950s, despite the decline in Britain’s Jewish population over the same period.

According to a new report from the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, the main reason a growing number of Jews send their kids to Jewish faith schools is to develop their sense of Jewish identity. Eight in ten parents give this as their reason. Six in ten say it is so their offspring will make friends with kids with similar values.

But only two in ten choose a Jewish education because they are worried about antisemitism, and this surprises me. When it was time to select a secondary for Leah’s younger brother, the possibility that he might encounter the antisemitism his sister had experienced was the reason I opted for a Jewish school.
UC Ethnic Studies Drafters Accuse ‘Highly Funded Lobby Groups’ of Censoring Antisemitic Content
University of California (UC) faculty who were tasked with developing California ethnic studies high school standards, referred to Jews as “highly funded lobby groups,” and called “racism” and “censorship” the attempts to prevent antisemitic materials from becoming part of ethnic studies courses.

In a newly-exposed letter they sent to Governor Newsom and Superintendent Thurmond on September 8, the UC Ethnic Studies Faculty Council also attacked the Governor’s recent caution to schools that ethnic studies courses must not contain bias, bigotry, or discriminatory materials, including anti-Zionism.

Ninety-nine education, civil rights, and religious organizations, in an effort organized by AMCHA Initiative, presented the Council’s letter to the University of California Board of Regents at its meeting this week, as evidence of the Council’s antisemitic sentiments, and demanded the Regents reject the Council’s proposal for a UC ethnic studies admissions requirement that is being considered by the University of California.

The proposal, if approved, would force virtually every high school student to take an ethnic studies course whose content would be determined by UC faculty “experts” who believe antisemitic portrayals of Jews and anti-Zionism should be incorporated into high school ethnic studies courses.

The coalition of organizations pointed out that the UC Ethnic Studies Council’s letter, as well as past actions and statements of Council leaders, “underscore how highly inappropriate it is for these individuals to be developing the state’s ethnic studies standards.”

The letter warns that “given the openly antisemitic sentiments of these ‘experts,’ and their own contention that anti-Zionism constitutes a core element of ‘authentic’ ethnic studies,” such a scenario would likely include antisemitic content in the mandatory ethnic studies class that students would have to take or risk being ineligible for UC enrollment.

For example, Christine Hong, co-chair of the UC Ethnic Studies Council, is part of the Founding Collective of the recently established and highly controversial Institute for the Critical Study of Zionism. Six other Council members serve on the Institute’s growing Advisory Board. The Institute proudly claims, “Our opposition to Zionism…is a first principle.” The “Points of Unity” guiding the Institute’s work identify Zionism as “a settler colonial racial project” linked to “group supremacy,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “racism.” Hong and three other UC Council faculty are helping to organize the Institute’s inaugural conference, entitled “Battling the ‘IHRA Definition’: Theory and Practice,” aimed at delegitimizing the most authoritative and widely accepted definition of antisemitism. The conference is also sponsored by the UC Ethnic Studies Council.

Elon Musk's X makes ad criticizing owner's antisemitism
The social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, is in the midst of a massive rebranding campaign. But an ad it posted this week briefly showcased an accusation made by some of owner Elon Musk’s biggest critics.

Released Thursday, the two-minute spot begins with a stream of user posts alongside the text “You’ve been here for news, sports and culture.” One of the visible posts, seen for a fraction of a second, is that of a critic of Musk, the site’s owner.

“Twitter’s value has fallen by at least 50%, and Elon is blaming it all on the Jews,” the post said.

The post, which came from a popular left-leaning account called Right Wing Cope, included a screenshot of one of several recent Musk tweets in which the billionaire tech mogul attacked the Anti-Defamation League.

Musk's ploy against the ADL
Musk has accused the Jewish antisemitism watchdog of causing massive financial loss to the site because it called for advertisers to pause spending on the platform after Musk acquired it and removed guardrails against hate speech. In his post that can be seen in the ad, Musk claims the ADL “would potentially be on the hook for destroying half the value of the company.” The post was part of a series of tweets in which Musk threatened to sue the ADL for his company’s lost revenue and interacted with white supremacist accounts criticizing the group.

Musk himself has insisted that he is “pro free speech, but against anti-Semitism of any kind,” and hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a live chat earlier this week, during which Netanyahu praised his stated commitment to fighting antisemitism and encouraged him to continue fighting anti-Jewish bigotry.
BBC News again amplifies anti-Israel fringe group JVL
The BBC News website’s ‘UK politics’ page kicked off the Jewish New Year bright and early on the morning of September 16th with the publication of a report by Iain Watson titled ‘Jewish group steps up pressure on Keir Starmer’.

The six-year-old “Jewish group” concerned – ‘Jewish Voice for Labour’ or JVL – is tepidly portrayed in that report as a “campaign group” which “was supportive of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and is critical of Israel”.
“Campaign group Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) has stepped up pressure on Sir Keir Starmer over its claim that their members have been unfairly discriminated against by the party.

The group, which was supportive of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and is critical of Israel, has long argued that its members have faced disproportionate disciplinary action under Sir Keir’s leadership. […]

JVL alleges that those who disagree with the current leadership about Israel or Palestine are suffering “a harsh disciplinary regime” – and claims its members are far more likely to be investigated for disciplinary breaches, and are far more likely to face expulsion than party members as a whole.

It says 11 out of the 12 members of its executive committee have been investigated by the party.

And it argues that the party has misconstrued criticism of Israel as antisemitism.”

Readers are not told that JVL’s support for Corbyn took the form of dismissal of allegations of antisemitism within the Labour party as efforts to “undermine” him. Neither are they informed of the relevant issue of JVL’s repeated use of the Livingstone Formulation – the claim that allegations of antisemitism are a ploy to ‘silence’ criticism of Israel – or that the group is decidedly more than merely “critical of Israel” and campaigned against the Labour Party’s adoption of the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

Watson’s portrayal of the claim by long-time JVL ally John McDonnell that the Labour Party has ‘discriminated’ against members of JVL and his description of the action taken by the legal firm Bindmans would of course have been much clearer to readers had they been told something of the activities of members of that fringe group.
Guardian repeats '700,000 Palestinian prisoners' lie
On Sept. 21, the Guardian published an extract from a soon to be released book (A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: A Palestine Story) by Nathan Thrall. Thrall is an American author and anti-Israel propagandist who, CAMERA has shown, condones Palestinian terrorism as an effective means to chase Israel out of the West Bank.

The section of Thrall’s book published by the Guardian focuses on the early to mid-2000s, and the plight of a Palestinian woman named Huda Dahbour and her family – including her son Hadi, who was imprisoned around that time. Though nothing written by someone who endorses violence should surprise us, it’s still notable that Thrall actually attempts to attribute both a brain haemorrhage Huda suffered from and needed surgery to repair, as well as her divorce, on the stress from, yes, Israel’s occupation.

Thrall’s references to young Palestinians who served time in Israeli prison also omits the context of terror from the equation, and, at one point, uncritically cites a claim “that the presence [of soldiers] of seemed designed to provoke the [Palestinian] students so they could then arrest as many of them as possible”. He also accuses the IDF of brutality and even torture of young Palestinian suspects without providing evidence.

At one point, we’re told that Dahbour’s son had been tortured by police. The ‘evidence’ he provides is merely the fact that he had bruises on his body, and that Dahbour, being a doctor, could tell (from seeing his bruises in court) that it was from torture. How she determined the cause of her son’s bruises merely by sight is unclear, and it appears that Thrall didn’t do any cross-checking of sources to verify this or any other Palestinian accusation.

Thrall also follows the desired script in completely rewriting the story of Oslo. He writes, putatively to add historical context to the story, that Dahbour thought that that the Oslo Accords were “meaningless”, before adding, in his own words, this revisionist history of the Accords:

Nearly one-fifth of Germans think Jews want to 'take advantage' of the Holocaust
Extremist right-wing views are on the rise in Germany, according to a new study examining German political views.

In the study, published earlier this week 16.5 per cent of those questioned accused Jewish people of wanting to “take advantage” of the country’s Nazi past.

The study, commissioned by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, a political organisation associated with the Social Democratic party, surveyed 2,000 Germans at the beginning of this year asking them a wide range of questions about their views on society.

According to the foundation, the study’s purpose is to “provide information about the spread, development and background of right-wing extremist, misanthropic and anti-democratic attitudes in Germany.”

Undertaken by researchers at the University of Bielefeld, the long-term study is updated approximately every two years, offering a unique insight into the progression of German political views.

According to the results of the research, 8 per cent of the population hold "clearly right-wing extremist views", a major leap from the 2 per cent who expressed these views in previous studies.

Nearly 6 per cent of those surveyed held social Darwinist views, agreeing with the statement "There is valuable and unworthy life.” Over 16 per cent claim Germany’s national superiority, demanding a stronger nationalist sentiment and “a policy whose primary goal should be to give Germany the power and prestige it deserves.” Between 2014 and 2021, that number rose from 9-13 per cent.
Harrowing Šķēde massacre photos help reframe Holocaust in German-occupied Latvia
When World War II Jewish prisoner David Zivcon discovered 12 photographs of the 1941 massacre of Jews at Šķēde beach in Latvia, the enslaved electrician recognized some of his neighbors undressing before the execution pit.

Zivcon was working in SS Commander Karl Strott’s house when he discovered photo negatives depicting the murder of the Jews of Liepāja, according to the Yad Vashem website. Zivcon secretly copied the negatives and returned the original images, later handing a set to Soviet investigators in 1945.

Following their use as evidence in the Nuremberg trials, the “beach massacre” images became visual shorthand for the “Holocaust by Bullets,” when German SS firing squad units and collaborators murdered 1.5 million Jews in eastern Europe and formerly Soviet-controlled lands.

Last month, historian Valerie Hébert published a new volume of multi-disciplinary essays, “Framing the Holocaust: Photographs of a Mass Shooting in Latvia, 1941,” which offers a holistic consideration of the chilling images.

“My hope with the book is that it will help alleviate the ambivalence scholars commonly feel about using, publishing, and teaching with photographs, by working through the ethical concerns they present and then showing their richness for insight and understanding,” Hébert told The Times of Israel. She envisioned the book while running a workshop at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, she said.

The Šķēde photographs are recognizable to millions of people who’ve seen them in Holocaust museums or documentary films, but until now almost nothing has been published about the circumstances under which the images were captured.

“Each chapter narrates a distinct way of ‘reading’ these photographs,” said Hébert, a professor of history at Lakehead University Orillia and author of the book, “Hitler’s Generals on Trial: The Last War Crimes Tribunal at Nuremberg.”

France’s feckless Jewish leaders are silent on the exodus from Arab lands
France’s Jewish leaders have echoed official condemnation of the antisemitic remarks made by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in August. But they have maintained an awkward silence about the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Arab countries, charges Véronique Chemla, journalist and commentator. Mahmoud Abbas: antisemitic

Jewish leaders in the diaspora expressed their indignation over (Mahmoud Abbas’s ) speech’s references to Hitler and the denial of the existence of the Jewish people. The Chief Rabbi of France, Haïm Korsia, welcomed a press release issued by French diplomats which condemned Abbas’s comments – without quoting them or qualifying them as antisemitic. (France) will continue to shower the Palestinian Authority with significant financial aid. Anne Hidalgo, the socialist mayor of Paris, wrote that Mahmoud Abbas should be stripped of the Grand Vermeil Medal of the capital. This was awarded to him in 2015, when the leader of the Palestinian Authority (PA) was already making antisemitic remarks. He had defended a Holocaust denial thesis at the University of Moscow in the ex-Soviet Union.

Community leaders reacted publicly to the false allegations relating to the Shoah and the denial of the existence of the Jewish people, but they avoided mentioning the criminal responsibility of Arab leaders, assisted by zealous and capable Nazi collaborators, who were just as hateful towards the Jews. These were welcomed into the Muslim world, particularly in Egypt, after the Third Reich had surrendered. Arab lands were almost completely ethnically cleansed of their Jews.

Why is there such an awkward silence about a historical fact that is ultimately almost taboo? Because the exodus dismantles the al-Andalus myth: ‘coexistence’ turns out to be a “politically-correct” expression, aspiring to an illusory “social peace”? Why is there no plan to mention the exodus ? Is it because they can’t, or won’t? Out of contempt for the Sephardim? Ignorance?

As long as French community leaders refuse to introduce Jews and Judaism into the “national narrative”, and to insert the Jewish exodus into world history, they are doomed to recycle ad nauseam the same old empty statements, some of them hypocritical. These discredit them in the eyes of many coreligionists and political leaders.

If the Jews do not write their own history, who will – and how?
Iranian on Trial in Germany for Arson Attack on Jewish School Says He ‘Rejects’ Antisemitism
An Iranian man on trial for an arson attack on a Jewish school in the German city of Bochum that was allegedly orchestrated by the Iranian regime, according to the German authorities, has denied being motivated by antisemitism.

The 36-year-old defendant, who was identified as “Babak. J” in earlier reports of the case, is a dual German-Iranian citizen who told the Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court on Friday that he “rejects” antisemitism.

“I believe in an Islam that unites, instead of dividing,” the defendant told the court.

The opening of the trial highlights a murky case that seemingly involves the Iranian regime and a leader of the Hell’s Angels biker gang in a series of attacks against Jewish institutions in Germany last November.

As well as the school in Bochum, which suffered minor damage after the defendant allegedly threw a Molotov cocktail at the building, shots were fired at the Old Synagogue in Essen, and an attempted arson attack was recorded at a synagogue in Dortmund by another assailant allegedly recruited by the defendant.

The defendant in the Bochum case told the court that he had immigrated from Iran to Germany with his parents at the age of three. He grew up in Dortmund, where he became an executive with a telecommunications company while purchasing several apartments around the city.

The defendant — who has been held in custody for the previous 10 months — is suspected by police of having close links with Ramin Yektaparast, the founder of the Hell’s Angels chapter in the city of Mönchengladbach. Yektaparast is understood to have fled to Iran in 2021 to escape trial for the brutal murder and dismemberment of another member of the gang, named as Kai M., in 2014, according to German media reports.
Adidas CEO Apologizes for ‘Misstatement’ About Kanye West’s Antisemitism
Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden has apologized for suggesting that rapper and fashion designer Kanye West, who now legally goes by the name Ye, did not mean the antisemitic comments he made last year.

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) chief Jonathan Greenblatt wrote in a post on X/Twitter on Thursday that he spoke with Gulden, who apologized for his “misstatement” and “reiterated that Adidas is committed to fighting #antisemitism & is completely opposed to the ugly hate expressed by @kanyewest.”

On an episode of the Norwegian podcast In Good Company last week, Gulden appeared to defend Ye, a former longtime business partner of the German sportswear company who made a series of antisemitic comments against Jews last year.

“As creative people [do], he did some statements, which wasn’t that good,” Gulden said. “Very unfortunate, because I don’t think he meant what he said, and I don’t think he’s a bad person. It just came across that way. And that meant we lost that business, one of the most successful collabs in the history. Very sad.”

Gulden became CEO of Adidas in January, months after the sportswear company terminated its partnership with Ye and his Yeezy brand of footwear, apparel, and accessories in October because of the rapper’s antisemitic remarks. Adidas — whose German founders were members of the Nazi Party — said at the time that it “does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech.” It added: “Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful, and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect, and fairness.”

In a statement to the Associated Press on Thursday, Adidas confirmed the company had been in touch with the ADL, a civil rights group, and said it stands by its decision to stop working with Ye.

Israel and US health ministers sign landmark cooperation agreement
Health ministers of Israel and the United States signed a memorandum of understanding, cementing their commitment to bolster cooperation between their respective health ministries, on Thursday. During his official visit to the US, Health Minister Moshe Arbel of Israel and his American counterpart, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, formally sealed this groundbreaking agreement, aimed at fortifying collaboration across several critical domains of healthcare.

In a joint statement, the ministers highlighted their unwavering dedication to partnering on numerous issues of paramount importance to both Israel and the US. These key areas encompass the advancement and expansion of mental health services, research in healthcare, and technology assessment.

Additionally, the agreement touches upon topics such as food security, drug, and medical device licensing, public health readiness for future pandemics, behavioral health, digital health, and the integration of artificial intelligence into the healthcare system.

Genomic medicine and personalized healthcare
The memorandum also placed great emphasis on the fields of genomic medicine and personalized healthcare.

Arbel shared his thoughts on this development, stating, "The bond between Israel and the US has never been stronger, and the collaborative efforts between our nations hold immense importance. The lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath serve as a beacon, compelling us to join forces in finding solutions to address both physical and mental health challenges.
Netflix Acquires Israeli TV Series ‘Trust No One’ About Shin Bet Leader
The production and distribution company Keshet International announced on Thursday that it has sold the television drama series Trust No One to Netflix.

The deal will have Netflix premiere Trust No One exclusively on the streaming platform in 19 territories — including the United States and United Kingdom — and co-exclusively in Israel with the television channel Keshet 12 following the broadcast of the series finale. The show, called The Head in Israel, will premiere on Israeli television in November.

Trust No One is about “the death of privacy in a digital age, where information is power, but knowledge brings pain,” according to Keshet International. The nine-part thriller made its world premiere in competition at the Monte Carlo Television Festival in June. The show’s leading stars are Yehuda Levi (Fire Dance, A Body That Works) and Yael Elkana (The Baker and the Beauty).

Levi plays Itamar, who is the youngest-ever director of Israel’s powerful internal security agency, the Shin Bet. He finds himself being framed for a cyber security leak that is exposing the Shin Bet’s top secret agents one at a time, starting with Shuruk, the daughter of a Hamas leader who Itamar recruited to spy on her father when she was 17 years old.

“Totally isolated and no longer able to trust anyone, Itamar is forced to use the kind of morally questionable espionage tools he has always opposed, to clear his name and save his agents’ lives — exposing a world where any smartphone, CCTV camera, and digital device can be hacked, and deep fake videos and spyware are as commonly used as Instagram filters,” according to a description of the show.
Bruno Mars Asks for Leftover Food From Forthcoming Israel Tour to be Donated to Needy Israelis
Flamboyant singer Bruno Mars, who is set to perform in Israel for the first time next month, has asked the Israeli producers behind his forthcoming shows to donate leftover food and beverages to homeless Israelis.

The Grammy Award winner and his team sent an email to Live Nation Israel asking that unconsumed food and drink made available at the shows “be donated to the homeless, the needy, and those who are less fortunate” at the end of the night, according to Israeli media reports.

The pop sensation’s sold-out performances at Park Hayarkon in Tel Aviv will take place on Oct. 4 and 7. A striking 124,000 tickets were sold for the shows, according to Live Nation Israel. The second show was added after tickets for the Oct. 4 concert sold out in two hours.

Mars has faced pressure from anti-Israel advocacy groups to cancel his show as part of the larger Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to isolate the Jewish state from the international community as a step toward its eventual elimination.

Born in Hawaii, Mars has Jewish heritage by way of his half Puerto Rican-half Jewish father, who is originally from Brooklyn, New York. The singer also has a grandparent of Hungarian and Ukrainian descent who was reportedly a Hebrew teacher.

Before coming to Israel, Mars is set to perform in Saudi Arabia on Sept. 29.
From a Zionist storm to Mossad sharks: What are the most inventive antisemitic theories?
Some antisemitic conspiracy theories merely require the believer to have spent a little time on X/Twitter; others require a little more creativity.

On that basis congratulations are in order to Tunisian president Kais Saied, who claimed on local television on Monday that “Zionists” were behind the naming of Storm Daniel, the violent weather system that brought death and destruction to Libya and Greece earlier this month.

“Did they not wonder about the naming? Daniel is a Hebrew prophet,” Saied said.

“The Zionist movement has penetrated to attack the mind and thinking, from Daniel to Abraham,” he added in a reference to the Abraham Accords, the series of “normalisation” deals between Israel and Arab countries that he vehemently opposes.

Antisemitic conspiracy theories, of course, are two a penny – albeit more rare from the mouth of a president – and some of the more common ones, such as “Mossad did 9/11”, by now look deeply mundane and unoriginal.

With that in mind, we’ve scoured the conspiracy theory galaxy to bring you ten of the more inventive hypotheses about Jews and Israel.

1. Mossad employs intelligence-gathering cows. The hypothesis that Mossad uses a menagerie of animals to spy on or attack Israel’s neighbours returns to the conspiracy charts every few years. Among our favourites in this genre was the “Mossad shark” sent to Egypt in December 2010 to attack tourists – it allegedly ate a German grandmother - and dent the Egyptian economy. In December 2022, an official newspaper of the Palestinian National Authority, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, carried the suggestion that Israeli cows were actually “recruited and trained” spies who wore “an eavesdropping and recording device”. Similarly, in 2016, Imad Hamato, a professor of Quranic Studies in Gaza, said on Palestinian Authority television: “The Jews . . . control the media, the money, the press, the resources, the plans.” He later went a step further: “If a fish in the sea fights with another fish, I am sure the Jews are behind it.”

2. Pepsi is controlled by Zionists to fund Israel. A theory that has existed since at least the 1980s is the idea that Pepsi is an acronym for ‘Pay Every Penny Save Israel’ and is funding the Israeli state. This interpretation of 'Pepsi' was initially confined to schoolchildren in the Arab world. However, the meaning began to gain currency and spread to university students, anti-Zionist activists, Turkish journalists, Hamas members and onwards to Arab TV programmes. Pepsi is actually named after “dyspepsia” which is another word for indigestion. Ironically, in 1973, US Jewish organisations campaigned for a boycott of Pepsi products over the company's trade deal with the then-USSR, which was persecuting Jews and pushing antisemitic propaganda on a wide scale.

3. Mossad stole my shoe. Asghar Bukhari, a founding member of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK, wrote on Facebook that when his home was burgled, only a shoe was stolen. He went on to say it was a tactic of intimidation by Zionists. "I don’t know how they got in, but they didn't break in - the only thing they took was one shoe. Now think about that, the only thing they took was a single shoe - they left one shoe behind to let me know someone had been there," he said in a Facebook post which began "ARE ZIONISTS TRYING TO INTIMIDATE ME?".

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

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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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