Tuesday, February 20, 2024

From Ian:

Brendan O'Neil: The woke wing of Hamas
Can we call them hate marches now? On Saturday in London there was yet another gathering of frothing Israelophobes. Another noisy assembly of bourgeois leftists and radical Islamists. Another long trudge through the city by that unholiest gang of Waitrose shoppers and jihad fanboys, of plummy liberals and the people who’ll be giving them a hundred lashes if the Islamic Revolution ever sweeps Britain. And this time the mask was well and truly off. This was no ‘pro-Palestine’ march – it was a viscerally anti-Israel march that frequently crossed the line into something even darker. Into the darkest hatred of them all.

There was the usual anti-Semitism. The kind we’ve seen at every anti-Israel demo since Hamas’s pogrom of 7 October. ‘I thought Hitler was dead’, said one placard, next to an image of the Star of David. The Jews are the new Nazis, you see. They are such a wicked people that they now gleefully visit on Palestinians the kind of horrors once visited on them. ‘Wanted for mass murder’, said another, with an image of Benjamin Netanyahu next to Hitler. One turbo-smug hippyish couple, complete with culturally appropriated keffiyeh scarves, held up a placard featuring a photo of Israeli spokesman Eylon Levy and the words: ‘The Goebbels of Gaza.’

This is rank Holocaust inversion. Anti-Israel hotheads seem to derive a sick thrill from comparing Jews to Nazis. If you hate Mr Levy so much that you feel the need to take a day off from perusing the kale aisle at Whole Foods to defame him on the streets of London, then why not just call him a ‘liar’ or a ‘propagandist’? Because that wouldn’t achieve the true aim of these vile marches, which is not merely to criticise people like Mr Levy but to hurt Jews. To taunt Jews. To rub salt in their historic wounds. The public branding of Levy as ‘the Goebbels of Gaza’ is hard proof of the racial animus behind these fake anti-war gatherings.

Holocaust inversion is so widespread now, it’s such a key motif of fashionable Israelophobia, that there is a danger we’ll come to view it as merely irritating. As the ravings of witless youths who don’t know their history, who don’t know that there’s no comparison whatsoever between the bloody war in Gaza that Hamas started and the Nazis’ meticulously planned effort to exterminate every Jew on Earth. But that would be wrong. For this is more than hyperbole. It’s a nauseating inversion of truth designed to trivialise the crimes of the Nazis while criminalising the actions of Israel. As that great warrior against anti-Semitism, Deborah Lipstadt, says of Holocaust inversion, it ‘elevates by a factor of a zillion any wrongdoings Israel might have done, and lessens by a factor of a zillion what the Germans did’.

We must never become inured to Holocaust inversion. That the streets and social media are overrun by activists screaming ‘Nazis!’ at Israel should horrify us all. Projecting the crimes of Nazism on to the Jews is surely the highest – or lowest – form of anti-Semitism. It is a flagrant effort by the activist class to denude the Jews of their historic experience of suffering and reimagine them as the reincarnation of their own evil persecutors. That people are happy to march in London with placards showing the swastika enmeshed with the Star of David is testament to how unabashed this racist project of the moral demotion of the Jews has become.
Nick Cater: Australia has succumbed to anti-Semitism
Albanese has shown a reluctance to call out the rise in anti-Semitism without tempering his words with moral equivalence. When asked about the chants at the Opera House protest, Albanese said: ‘Anti-Semitism has no place in this country, nor does Islamophobia, nor does any form of racism.’ But there was no ‘Islamophobia’ on display at that demo, or at any other.

This blurring of lines denies the peculiar evil to which Jews have been subjected recently. The Executive Council of Australian Jewry reports an eight-fold increase in anti-Semitic incidents since 7 October. The council recorded 662 incidents in October and November, compared with 79 in the same period in 2022.

Earlier this month, almost four months after the Opera House protests, NSW police reported on their review of video recordings from the night. There had been no arrests. No one had been charged under Victoria’s usually restrictive racial-vilification laws, which criminalise ‘any public act that threatens or incites violence towards a person or group of persons based on their race, religious belief or affiliation’.

The police had, however, bought in an independent voice expert to listen to the chanting. They confirmed that the recorded audio was genuine and had not been doctored. However, it had supposedly been miscaptioned in social-media videos. The expert claimed, ‘with overwhelming certainty’, that the crowd had not been chanting ‘Gas the Jews’, but ‘Where’s the Jews?’.

The suggestion is utterly implausible. Yet even if the voice expert is correct, it is hard to see how a chant of ‘Where’s the Jews?’ is much less threatening than ‘Gas the Jews’. That this mob chanted ‘fuck the Jews’ is not in dispute.

The attempt to excuse those hateful words suggests that Australians are not yet ready to confront the hatred in their midst. Australia’s Jews have been totally abandoned.
The rise of barbaric progressivism
Progressives share more with radical Islam than hatred of Jews, however. For example, both movements have an essentially messianic worldview. Islam has its final day of judgment and the progressives their blessed society. The two groups are also obsessed with the same alleged evils, such as imperialism, American foreign policy, and Western civilization in general. The alliance further plays to progressives’ obsession with race, as they have convinced themselves that all Muslims are “people of color” (they aren’t) and therefore oppressed by “white people” (they aren’t). Despite the Muslim world’s considerable trade in black African slaves, which continues to this day in various forms, progressives have decided that radical Islam is simply pursuing the shared task of overturning the global racial hierarchy and defeating “white supremacism.” That the Islamic radicals seek to replace it with Muslim supremacism does not perturb the progressives, as they likely consider it just revenge for centuries of depredation.

Most important of all, however, is that most of today’s progressives and all radical Muslims are against freedom. In the case of radical Islam, this is obvious, as they make no pretense of valuing freedom, and the movements and regimes they have built are, without exception, brutally oppressive, violent, terroristic, and totalitarian. In the case of progressives, the issue is less clear-cut, as they publicly proclaim that they value freedom, particularly for oppressed groups. But if we examine progressive actions rather than rhetoric, a different picture emerges.

It is notable, for example, that the institutions ruled by American progressives, particularly academia, are by and large the least free institutions in American society. They place a great deal of value on ideological conformity and almost none on fundamental liberties like free speech and assembly. Basic legal rights do not exist in the academic disciplinary system. Those who wish to avoid being fired or expelled for alleged transgressions must often submit to humiliating Maoist-style reeducation and struggle sessions during which they are forced to confess and repent their sins in a wretched public spectacle. As a result, progressive rule suffocates independent thought and silences criticism, thus destroying two of freedom’s greatest benefits. Similar circumstances prevail in those areas of corporate culture, the arts, the media, and even sports that are dominated or ruled by progressives.

Taken together, the above seems to indicate the emergence of a kind of barbaric progressivism. A progressivism that, while it advocates progress in certain areas, is also quite comfortable with supporting some of the most barbaric ideas imaginable, such as antisemitism, totalitarianism, religious fanaticism, theocracy, patriarchy, racism, anti-democratic politics, terrorism, rule by a designated minority, suppression of heretical ideas, and opposition to human freedom itself.

The question, then, is what Americans who have no desire to live under this kind of progressivism should do. Certainly, there are political and legal measures that could be taken, but the most important form of resistance must come from within the movement itself. Many good people in the progressive movement sincerely believe in its principles and do not want to see it collapse into barbarism. They need not exit the movement. Instead, they should stay and fight for a better progressivism, one that is at least vaguely worthy of the name. There are signs that this difficult and unhappy resistance is already underway. Whether or not it can succeed confronts the rest of us with one of the more ominous questions of our present moment.

Seth Mandel: Rabid Anti-Zionism Is Killing the Two-State Solution
It would be easier to dismiss this all if it were contained to college campuses, but of course it’s caught fire in the United States Congress as well. In 2022, Rashia Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Betty McCollum, Cori Bush, Jamaal Bowman, and Marie Newman sponsored a resolution that began: “Whereas the United Nations General Assembly recommended on November 29, 1947, to partition Palestine into two states against the wishes of Palestine’s majority indigenous inhabitants.”

That influential members of Congress would read a resolution into the congressional record that denies Jewish indigeneity in the land of Israel would normally be considered shocking stuff. But in our current era, this sort of conspiratorial Jew-baiting incitement is regarded as uncontroversial. This week, New York Times columnist Lydia Polgreen wrote that Jewish self-determination in the land is one expression of “the dying gasps of the old colonial order.” She went on to discourage violence against the Jews of Israel, as if they deserve it but the Godheads of the Order of the New York Times choose magnanimity instead.

The one thing you can’t help but notice about this modern blood libel is just how popular it is. The idea that these influential strains of progressive politics and culture would seek to pressure Israel into agreeing to a two-state solution completely ignores the fact that its proponents believe, as the Squad members have said on other occasions, that the two-state proposition in 1947 is the “root cause” of the region’s misery today.

The “settlers” in the phrase “settler Zionist state” aren’t a few messianic hilltop youth but every Jew who lives between the river and the sea. The Nakba-ization of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is, on the American left, virtually complete.

All of which is why the surge in anti-Semitic activism dressed up as “anti-Zionism” since October 7 has done more to bury the two-state solution than anything that came before it save the several times Palestinian leadership explicitly rejected the offer of a state. And that doesn’t mean the region goes back to the drawing board, or some creative solution is found that merges all parties into one sovereign entity. It means the Palestinians will be denied an independent state of their own, because Israel isn’t going anywhere.
Caroline Glick: Amichai Chikli: 92% of Jewish Israelis REJECT A Palestinian State
Caroline Glick talks with Minister of Diaspora Affairs Amichai Chikli about the Israeli government's vote opposing a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state. They also discuss what policy should be pursued in Gaza in the present and the day after.

Benny Morris: Gaza in the Minds of Israelis
Many of Israel’s post-1967 occupation officials, in Gaza as in the West Bank, were of Middle Eastern origin, hired because of their fluency in the language and culture of the occupied. “His Arabness [‘arviyuto] had changed from a hump [hatoteret] that needed to be hidden and erased to an ‘expertise’ or ‘merchandise’ that opened up new vocational opportunities [and an avenue to] social mobility,” writes the son.

But, at the same time, the new job did not provide internal tranquility. “My father’s sense of shame from his Arabness, which was dominant during my childhood and youth, was, over time, replaced by another type of shame, of an almost opposite [order] … a sense of embarrassment because of his work in the civil [meaning military] administration in Gaza and from his involvement in the service of the Israeli occupation.” Yuval notes that the upper echelons of the Israeli occupation bureaucracy in the Palestinian territories were manned by Ashkenazi Jews.

His work seemingly allowed Nissim to reconnect with the language of his childhood, with his roots. But Yuval notes that the Arabic used by the Israeli administrators who helped oversee Gaza’s occupation was not the Arabic spoken in Iraq’s streets but a hybrid Arabic-Hebrew construct, studded with words pertinent to an occupation—an Arabic of “permits, and prohibitions,” of “regulations and guidelines,” a language that had passed through a mechanism of Israeli “securitization” (bit’honizatziya).

In a throwaway line, Yuval reveals that one of his uncles, David (‘Arab) ‘Ivri, was among the founders of Kibbutz Be’eri, another of the kibbutzim ravaged by Hamas on Oct. 7.

Uri Cohen, who teaches Hebrew and Italian literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in his essay “Gaza Has Come: The White City and the Twin City,” argues that Gaza is “the ghost of the country, of Palestine.” By which he means that Gaza is in effect a mirror image of “little Israel, a crowded and closed entity of refugees. Israel and Gaza contain each other like Babushka dolls: a narrow strip [of land], unconscionably crowded, with tightly shut borders, with hostile neighbors, whose name carries [the weight of] the past.”

In his essay “The Refugee as an Enemy,” Omri Ben Yehuda, the anthology’s co-editor, notes that Gaza’s refugees are not “run-of-the-mill refugees … who seek shelter but flatly demand [the territory of] Israel itself, [that is] those who were dispossessed from [Israel] desire to inherit [or dispossess] those who dispossessed them.” This highlights the left-liberal Israelis’ abiding dilemma: The Palestinian national movement’s unwillingness to reach a two-state compromise, and its ultimate goal of possessing all of Palestine for itself, mirrors the right-wing Israelis’ desire to possess, unshared, the whole Land of Israel.
The Don Quixote Delusion
Thus, like Don Quixote, they are forced to invent enemies where none exist. We are witnessing a generation that has never experienced real hardships convince itself that, just as in their favorite properties, they too live in a world full of dark phantasmagoria from which only they can deliver us.

Added to this is the fact that these are the grandchildren of the Greatest Generation. They grew up in the shadows of brave men and women who fought against one of the most indisputably evil forces in human history. How can you measure up against people who fought actual Nazis? By creating new Nazis out of thin air.

This is in no way a new phenomenon.
-We have seen it for years in the legions of social justice warriors combating oppression that never existed.
-We see it in DEI organizers who have to create enemies in order to have someone to rage against.
-We see it in the Antifa riots that burn down cities in the name of fighting “fascists”, a fascist being anyone they decide is one.

But nowhere is it more prevalent than in the anti-Israel movement. In raging protests in cities across the country, in hatred spewing forth from the halls of America’s universities, in the unprecedented spike in anti-Jewish violence across the country, it’s clear that the world’s oldest hatred has returned with a vengeance. Never rooted in logic to begin with, the current antisemitism has taken the form of claiming to fight against a dark malevolent foe, almost cartoonish in its attempts at villainy.

Indeed, listening to the claims of the anti-Israel movement is oftentimes like listening to someone describe the villain’s evil scheme in a movie. Israel is guilty of mass genocide. Israel is engaged in systematic ethical cleaning. Israel engages in the willful murder of innocent women and children. Israel is a dark apartheid pariah state.

All these accusations are so beyond reality, that they seem like works of fiction. And that’s because that is exactly what they are. Certainly, the tales they tell of Israel’s supposed guilt are as outlandish as Cervantes came up with.
Avi Shlaim makes more outlandish claims
It may be true that European antisemitism penetrated the Middle East with its conspiracy theories and blood libels, but the responsibility for the persecution of the Jews in the 1940s lies squarely with the Iraqi regime.

Spreading the libel that the Zionists were behind the 1950 -1 bombings in Iraq to cause the Jews to flee does not make it true. By the time of the fatal bombing of January 1951, most Iraqi Jews had registered to leave.

The venerable professor had not a word to say about the Farhud massacre of 1941 or the execution of Iraq’s richest non-Zionist Jew, Shafiq Ades. Both factors caused the 135,000-member Jewish community to seek to leave.

How lucky that his family was spared the terrible conditions of the ma’abarot (transit camps) on arrival in Israel. All newcomers were sprayed with DDT, not only Iraqi Jews. Despite the difficulties, today the Iraqi Jews are among the most successful Mizrahi communities in Israel.
Hen Mazzig: We have to defeat the false ‘colonialism’ narrative about Israel
Last week I met Ofir Engel, the 18-year-old Jerusalem native who was recently freed after spending 54 agonising days in Hamas captivity. Listening to his firsthand account of survival — during which his captors starved him, interrogated him and refused to accept his Israeli identity — was a profound experience.

Not only will Ofir’s story be forever burned into my mind but his harrowing trauma serves as a stark reminder of how widespread misunderstanding of Jewish history and our historical ties to Israel threatens Jewish lives. As an Israeli Jew who is deeply committed to my homeland, I’m continually forced to defend my peoples’ right to exist, educate others about this ancestral connection, and confront dangerous misconceptions that seek to erode and delegitimise the modern Jewish state.

The truth is that Jews have built thriving communities and enriched the cultural fabric in the land of Israel for millennia. Thousands of years of archaeological and historical evidence show that the birthplace of Judaism — and the Jewish people — was in Judea, where the state of Israel exists today. It was only through ceaseless campaigns of conquest and imperialism that ethnic Jews were forced to leave our ancestral homeland. Subsequently, Jews settled in every corner of the world, from Eastern Europe to India to the Peruvian Amazon.

The fact that Jews trace our lineage back to Israel isn’t even in dispute among our biggest adversaries. Those who believe we do not belong there refer to us as Jews because we came from Judea, while Hamas and Hezbollah call us “Yahud” (“Yehuda” meaning Judea in Arabic). Still, they continue to question whether or not we originated from that land, just as Ofir’s victimisers inhumanely did while he was in captivity. Ofir told me that his Hamas captor kept asking him where his family is actually from, when Ofir replied that his grandfather was from Israel, the terrorist yelled at him that he was lying.

What compounds this lack of fact-based education about Israel is the prevailing false narrative among Palestinians and the “Free Palestine” movement of Jews as foreign invaders who subjugated Arabs and colonised the land. Ironically, the reality is the opposite, and the experiences of Mizrahi Jews, including those of my own family, expose the fraudulent framing of the issue.

travelingisrael.com: Genocide, ethnic cleansing and apartheid in the Middle East

‘Oct 7 pushed anti-Semitism over the edge, but it’s been happening for years’
Fiona Sharpe has grown used to the “constant daily drip feed” of anti-Semitism in her day-to-day life.

As someone who works in politics (a spokesperson for Labour Against Antisemitism), the 57-year-old from Brighton has noticed the abuse getting immeasurably worse since the Hamas terror attacks against Israel on October 7 last year. But the build-up started long before.

“It has been happening for years,” says Sharpe. “But now even more so. I have regular daily staring competitions when people notice my Star of David, which I wear prominently.” She has been harassed on Twitter, with one user stating that she “wanted Palestinian children killed,” and has been shouted at in the street.

“What has happened since October 7 has pushed things over the edge; where people used to whisper these comments, now they feel emboldened, and that is frightening.”

Holocaust survivor Agnes Grunwald-Spier is an avid social media user, and since October has been bombarded with abusive messages. “I’ve been on Twitter since 2015 and I have certainly noticed that the abuse is much worse. Bearing in mind I’m a 79-year-old woman, there are a lot of Fs in the language, and [I’m called a] b---h,” she says. “I did complain, and it’s remarkable what offensive stuff they feel doesn’t breach their terms and conditions.”

More troubling still is when online trolling spills into real-world hate. Esther*, who works at a London synagogue, and wants to remain anonymous for her safety, has had “more [abusive] calls since October 7 at the synagogue than I’ve had in the 12 and a half years I’ve been there.” She has grown used to “calls saying, ‘kill the Jews’, and emails saying that they’ve put bombs in the building”.

“In the first couple of weeks after October 7, we had red paint thrown over the doors of Jewish schools, graffiti on synagogues,” says Dave Rich, the Community Security Trust’s (CST) director of policy.

Photos circulated on social media of ripped and defaced posters of Israeli hostages. “There have been physical assaults, though most of the incidents aren’t violent. It’s that drip-drip [effect]; for a lot of Jewish people, it’s the fear of whether you can actually walk around your neighbourhood being visibly Jewish.”

‘Many attacks are from the progressive left,’ says British Jewish actress
The British Jewish actress Tracy-Ann Oberman has voiced concerns about the rise of antisemitism in Britain, which she partly attributed to the “progressive left.”

Speaking to BBC One on Sunday, the “Friday Night Dinner” star disclosed that she now requires round-the-clock security due to a string of threats she has received.

“As the headlines have shown this week, the rise in attacks on Jewish students, on Jewish pupils at schools, the fact that a policeman had to tell a man to hide his Star of David because it was seen as incitement, the fact that I—a Jewish actress—have to have pretty much 24/7 security for putting on ‘The Merchant of Venice’ in the West End, is frightening,” the London-born actress told the BBC.

Oberman is currently appearing in a retelling of the Shakespeare play set in 1930s London, amid the backdrop of continental fascism and focused on a female Shylock, whom Oberman portrays.

“Many of the attacks we have been getting are from the progressive left,” she said. “You know where you are with the right and far-right. It’s on the left, and people that see themselves as freedom fighters, which is so deeply upsetting.”

She also referred to recent incidents targeting Jewish individuals and communities, including attacks on students and pupils, as well as a disturbing encounter in which a police officer in Scotland advised a man to conceal his “inciting” Star of David.

Oberman’s remarks come amid a sharp increase in antisemitic incidents, with statistics from the Community Security Trust revealing a 147% surge in reported incidents across 2023. This included 266 violent assaults on Jews, the highest figure recorded in 40 years. Attacks have occurred across the United Kingdom, with London experiencing the majority.
Antisemites threatened to slit Hertfordshire teacher’s throat
Antisemites threatened to slit a Hertfordshire teacher’s throat – one incident among 4,103 reported to the Community Security Trust (CST) last year.

The charity logged 112 antisemitic incidents in Hertfordshire throughout 2023, according to its Antisemitic Incidents report, more than any other area in the UK outside of Greater London (2,410) and Greater Manchester (555).

A total 55 were recorded in Borehamwood and Elstree – more than the number recorded in large cities including Birmingham (50 incidents) and Brighton and Hove (39).

The number of incidents in 2023 was a 147 per cent increase on 2022.

“This record total is due to the sheer volume of antisemitism perpetuated across the UK following Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7, 2023,” the report notes.

“Of the 4,103 instances of anti-Jewish hate reported, 2,699 occurred on or after October 7.”

It adds: “The first incident inspired by Hamas’ attack was reported to CST at 12.55pm on October 7 when a vehicle drove past a synagogue in Hertfordshire with a Palestinian flag attached, windows wound down and an occupant shaking their fist in the air towards the synagogue.”

The document sets out there is a distinction between antisemitic and anti-Israel activity.

Hungary blocks two EU statements against Israel's war in Gaza
Hungary has twice blocked a European Union consensus statement against the IDF’s pending military operation against Hamas in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, a consensus that called for an “immediate humanitarian pause” to the war, leading to a permanent ceasefire, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

“Hungary stood alone in the EU,” senior diplomatic sources said.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell had twice attempted to issue a consensus statement with the support of all 27 member states of the bloc.

He first tried to issue such a statement on the sideline of the Munich Security Conference in Berlin over the weekend and again during a meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday.

FM Katz asked Hungarian counterpart to help Israel
The Post has learned that Foreign Minister Israel Katz, who was at the Munich Security Conference, had personally called Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó and asked that he help Israel block the statement.

According to senior diplomatic sources, Szijjártó then called Katz back to assure him that Hungary had backed Israel, explaining that he had “prevented it.” Katz then updated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The content of the stamens would have been “dramatic” and could have caused “severe damage” by looking to prevent the “option and possibility of [IDF] action in Gaza,” the diplomatic sources said.

The sources added that the EU has been more emboldened to take steps against Israel in light of public US criticism toward Jerusalem.

U.N. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield brings young Jews, Muslims together to discuss antisemitism, Islamophobia
When a group of more than a dozen young Jewish and Muslim activists — among them several people of both Israeli descent and Palestinian descent — met in New York last week to discuss their experiences with antisemitism and Islamophobia after Oct. 7, organizers knew that breaking the ice, at a time of rising tensions, might be difficult.

So the roundtable conversation, hosted at the United Nations by U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, began with what one attendee described as “food diplomacy”: croissants from Librae, a Bahraini-owned bakery in the East Village, and black and white cookies from Russ & Daughters, the famed Jewish bakery that has been on the Lower East Side for more than a century.

Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff and Rashad Hussain, the U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, co-hosted the Thursday event.

“I left the meeting with them hopeful,” Thomas-Greenfield told CNN. “But one thing that came out that I thought was extraordinarily powerful was the power of hate, the unifying power of hate — that the same people who hate Palestinians, hate Muslims, hate Jews, hate Blacks, are unified in their hatred. And we need to be unified in our understanding and in our love to find a path forward.”

North Yorkshire councillor should quit over 'antisemitic' tweets
A North Yorkshire councillor has been urged to resign over her "appalling antisemitic views".

Pat Marsh posted a number of tweets on X, formerly Twitter, which prompted her suspension from the Liberal Democrat Party.

The comments related to Israel's offensive against Hamas in Gaza, but Ms Marsh denied she was antisemitic.

She has been urged to resign from the council by the Conservative leader who said her comments were "outrageous".

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Ms Marsh said her tweets, made between 22 January and Friday, highlighted her opposition to Israel's offensive against Hamas in Gaza.

"I am against what they are doing to the Gazan people," the Harrogate councillor said.

"I'm just trying to be a human being. I'm not antisemitic."

However, she has been suspended by the Lib Dems at national and local level.

"These appalling antisemitic views have no place in our party," a party spokesperson said.

"Ms Marsh has been removed from the council group and reported to the council's standards officer."

Harvard Probes 'Despicable' Anti-Semitic Cartoon Shared By Faculty
Harvard University is probing an anti-Semitic cartoon that both faculty and student groups shared Monday, the school announced.

"Such despicable messages have no place in the Harvard community," the university said Monday in a statement. "We condemn these posts in the strongest possible terms. This matter is being reviewed by the university and is being referred to the Harvard College Administrative Board, which is responsible for the application and enforcement of undergraduate academic regulations and social conduct."

Two student groups at Harvard—the Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC) and the African and African-American Resistance Organization (AFRO)—created the post jointly on Instagram, and the newly formed Harvard Faculty and Staff for Justice in Palestine (FSJP) shared it. Detailing the connection between "black liberation" and "Palestinian liberation," the post contained a cartoon from a 1967 newsletter of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. The image featured a hand with a Star of David and dollar sign holding a noose around the necks of two men who appear to be Muhammad Ali and former Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser. Another arm with the words "Third World" around it holds a sword with "Liberation Movement" imprinted on it.

All the groups involved apologized. PSC and AFRO made a new post without the anti-Semitic cartoon and included a caption that said the image was "not reflective of our values as organizations."

"We reiterate our unending support for solidarity between black and Palestinian communities and have updated our post to reflect what we stand for," the message read. "Our mutual goals for liberation will always include the Jewish community—and we regret inadvertently including an image that played upon antisemitic tropes. Antisemitism has no place in the movement of Palestinian liberation, and we wholeheartedly disavow it in all its forms."

University of California Student Government Passes BDS Legislation
The University of California-Davis (UC Davis) student government passed on Friday legislation adopting the boycott, divestment, and sanctions, (BDS) movement and falsely accusing Israel of genocide.

“This bill prohibits the purchase of products from corporations identified as profiting from the genocide and occupation of the Palestinian people by the BDS National Committee,” says the measure, titled Senate Bill (SB) #52. “This bill seeks to address the human rights violations of the nation-state and government of Israel and establish a guideline of ethical spending.”

Puma, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Airbnb, Disney, and Sabra are all named on SJP’s “BDS List.”

Powers enumerated in the bill include veto power over all vendor contracts, which SJP specifically applied to “purchase orders for custom t-shirts,” a provision that may affect pro-Israel groups on campus. Such policies will be guided by a “BDS List” of targeted companies curated by SJP. The language of the legislation gives ASUCD the right to add more.

“No ASUCD funds shall be committed to the purchases of products or services of any corporation identified by the BDS List as being complicit in the violation of the human rights guaranteed to Palestinian civilians,” the bill adds.
Antisemitism Accusations Lodged Against Middlebury College
Accusations of institutional antisemitism against Middlebury College in Vermont have been lodged in a civil rights complaint filed by StandWithUs (SWU), a nonprofit that promotes education about Israel.

The complaint, filed with the US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) argues that high level Middlebury College officials, by refusing to enforce anti-discrimination policies equally, have fostered a “pervasively hostile climate,” which prevents Jewish students from enjoying the full benefits of being a college student at a higher education receiving federal funds, according to the complaint.

A timeline of events laid out in documents provided by SWU begins after Hamas’ massacre across southern Israel on Oct. 7, when the school issued a statement that did not acknowledge the deaths of Israelis, but instead only alluded to “violence happening now in Israel in Palestine.” The following week, the administration allegedly obstructed Jewish students’ efforts to publicly mourn Jews murdered on Oct. 7., denying them police protection for a vigil, forcing them to hold it outside, and demanding that the event avoid specifically mentioning Jewish suffering. In an email to one Jewish group that planned a vigil, Vice President and Dean of Students Derek Doucet said, “I wonder if such a public gather in such a charged moment might be more inclusive.”

A month later, the administration uncomplainingly accommodated Students for Justice in Palestine’s “Vigil for Palestine,” providing campus police, space on campus, and a speech from a high ranking official, a request which organizers of the Jewish vigil had been denied.

Guardian's former chief editor Hamas massacre 'did not happen in a vacuum'
Alan Rusbridger, the Guardian’s chief editor from 1995-2015, published a column in the Independent (“The horrors of 7 October did not happen in a vacuum – so why has it become unsayable?“, Feb. 17). Leaving aside the curious fact that he didn’t publish it at his former outlet, the premise of his piece, that what he’s saying is “unsayable”, is patently absurd, as there have been no shortage of columns in the British media – particularly at the Guardian – making that case.

But, beyond the canard, his hatred of Israel – no surprise to anyone who followed our blog during his reign at the Guardian – is expressed in the opening sentence, when he asks, “Have there been times in recent weeks when, in thinking of Israel, you’ve wanted to swear?”, which is a statement, rather than a question.

He continues by uncritically citing the Gaza casualty count provided by the Hams-run health ministry.

Having killed as many as 28,000 people (around the population of Chichester) in retaliation for the atrocities of 7 October, Israel is preparing to launch an assault on Rafah, an area of Gaza currently sheltering around 1.5 million men, women and children.

First, Hamas does not distinguish between combatants and non-combatants. Nor does it account for those Palestinians killed by misfired rockets – which accounts for up to 20% of all Gaza rocket fire. Further, it’s been reported that roughly 11,000 of those 28,000 (reportedly) killed are Hamas fighters. This ratio of civilian to combatant casualties, argued renowned military historian Andrew Roberts, is exceptionally low in the history of urban warfare – especially considering Hamas’s human shield policy, which intentionally places fighters, weapons and and military infrastructure in civilian areas.

Further, John Spencer, Chair of Urban Warfare Studies at the Modern War Institute at West Point, has argued that “Israel has implemented more measures to prevent civilian casualties than any other military in the history of war”, even though such measures increase the risk to their own soldiers. Such measures, he adds, have never been undertaken by the US Army in similar situations.
Freelance reporter threatened to ‘kill every Jew’ and shoot pro-Israel US officials: court docs
A freelance reporter based in Fort Wayne, Indiana is facing up to five years in federal prison after allegedly threatening to “kill every Jew” in the city and “shoot every pro-Israel US government official,” according to a federal affidavit filed in court last week.

Jeffrey Stevens, 41, is charged with posting threats using interstate communications, which carries a maximum of five years in federal prison.

He was first reported to the FBI after “multiple concerning Facebook posts” following the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel, according to the affidavit.

In an interview with the FBI on Feb. 2, Stevens admitted to posting on the CIA’s website that he was going to shoot pro-Israel US government officials, according to the affidavit.

He also admitted to sending the Fort Wayne Police Department a message on Facebook saying he would “kill every Jew.”

He said during the interview that he was drunk when he posted the messages, the affidavit says.

Stevens is also alleged to have posted that he will “make sure that every CIA member who is pro-Israel is eliminated.”

The Detroit News first reported the affidavit Monday.

The affidavit was filed on Feb. 12 in US District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.

Stevens was arrested last week and will remain in custody, according to an Feb. 16 order from a federal judge.

Toronto Star Commentator – A Freelance Journalist And Journalism Professor – Tacitly Glorifies The Houthis For Standing Up To Israel
One of the most central tenets of journalism is to respect the truth, whether one likes it or not.

But in her February 13 opinion column in The Toronto Star, “Hypocrisy in the Middle East,” Shenaz Kermalli, a freelance journalist and lecturer at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU), shows precious little need to adhere to the facts, and instead grossly suppresses the truth from readers.

Kermalli addresses Ansar Allah, better known as the Houthis, a fanatical Islamic terrorist group based in Yemen.

The group has been making headlines in recent weeks after they began a campaign of violently attacking civilian shipping vessels in the Red Sea, ostensibly to protest Israel’s war against Hamas, and evidently deciding that was more important than feeding the millions of starving citizens of Yemen.

In an Orwellian inversion of truth, Kermalli tells readers that the terrorist group justifies their attacks on civilians by stating they are “fulfulling their obligations to enforce Article 1 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.”

While Kermalli may claim that she is merely repeating Ansar Allah’s claims, not endorsing them, she fails to tell readers anything about the group’s extremism.

The terrorist group’s official motto leaves little to the imagination, reading: “God is the Greatest/Death to America/Death to Israel/A Curse Upon the Jews/Victory to Islam.”
CBC Sports Opinion Column Suggests Israel Should Be Kicked Out Of Olympics
Pity the journalism students at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU).

Among the program’s lecturers are Shenaz Kermalli, who has written a commentary tacitly defending the Houthi terrorist movementand Ginella Massa, a former CBC News host who, after Hamas’ October 7 massacre, engaged in victim-blaming.

Shireen Ahmed is yet another member of that ignoble cadre.

Ahmed, a senior contributor to CBC News, also teaches sports journalism and sports media at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU). And along with Massa and Kermalli, Ahmed is also a signatory to an open letter by a group of Canadian ‘journalists’ in the fall of 2023, which called for more pro-Palestinian content in the news media, and which attempted to downplay Hamas’ massacre as part of a larger context.

In her February 14 opinion column published by CBC Sports entitled: “The IOC needs to prepare itself for inevitable impact of Israel-Palestine conflict on Paris Olympics,” Ahmed called for the International Olympic Commission (IOC) to penalize Israel at the upcoming summer Olympic Games in Paris.

Concocting a scandal, Ahmed writes that “for years, sports tried not to be political, but this seems impossible these days…with athletes calling for a ceasefire and organizations and federations in the global community calling for Israel to be banned by FIFA from soccer altogether, things are reaching a boiling point.”

Ahmed then asks the rhetorical question: “Is the answer to ban Israeli athletes from international competition?”

With this clever rhetoric, Ahmed has been able to position her commentary as a thoughtful evaluation on a complex reality, rather than what it really is: adding her name to the irresponsible and fringe calls for Israel to be censured in international sport.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Country With Name Meaning ‘Aryan’ Calls Israeli Jews ‘White’ (satire)
The leadership of a regime that governs a place named for an ethnicity that Nazi ideologues posited as the “purest” race continued today to promote and spread the notion that a different group, indigenous to the Levant where they had their ethnogenesis, constitutes a race of European foreigners who colonized the place.

Iran’s Islamist leaders maintained their “Israel is a white colonialist enterprise” propaganda efforts this week, underwriting, arming, and training opponents of the Jewish State in the region and in Western progressive circles, as well as spearheading efforts to delegitimize the 130-year-old Jewish liberation and self-determination project known as Zionism, even as the word “Iran” itself derives from “Aryan,” a description that Hitler and his followers employed to denote the superior race of humans that they accused the Jews of “contaminating.” That regime in Tehran denies the resulting Holocaust.

Iran allies with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, heir to the police state Union of Soviet Socialist Republics that pioneered “anti-Zionist” antisemitic propaganda that the Khamenei regime has taken the lead on maintaining and disseminating in its efforts to sow regional instability, curtail “outside” interference in its imperialism, and portray itself as defending Muslims from Western imperialism.
UK orders urgent investigation after Jewish birth certificate defaced
UK Home Secretary James Cleverly ordered an investigation after a Jewish couple in London had their daughter's birth certificate defaced after sending it to the Home Office during a passport application, the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) said on Monday.

In a post to X (formerly Twitter), the CAA announced that they had received a report from a member of the public that his daughter's birth certificate was defaced after it had been used in a passport application.

The birth certificate was returned with the father's birth country, Israel, scribbled out and the certificate itself ripped.

Both parents were born in Israel, but only the father's birthplace was crossed out while the mother's birthplace was not.

The father Israel, 32, and mother Dorin, 29, said they felt like they had been targeted like "1930s Germany", telling British media "We felt as if we had been taken back to 1930's Germany where the Nazis would put notes on Jewish people's documentation."

An full investigation is needed urgently
The North London couple called on Home Secretary James Cleverly to conduct a full investigation saying "The Home Office is in charge of our safety as a minority in the UK and they deal with our most private documents but instead of sending us back the certificate in the right way someone within their system has scribbled out Israel because they have hostile feelings."

The current birth certificate is considered invalid due to the defacement and the couple will need to wait for the Home Office to send them an undefaced version.

Solicitor’s tweets found to be antisemitic by tribunal in case where CAA provided expert opinion
A solicitor’s tweets were found to be antisemitic and offensive today by a tribunal.

The Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) has found a number of social media posts by the solicitor Farrukh Najeeb Husain to be antisemitic and offensive.

The Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA) investigated Mr Husain, an immigration and employment solicitor, following complaints regarding his conduct on X, which was reported to the regulator by Bevan Brittain, a law firm that employed him at the time.

The SRA claimed that Mr Hussain’s conduct online was “offensive” and, in some cases, antisemitic. Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at Campaign Against Antisemitism, gave expert witness testimony to assist the SRA in its case.

Mr Husain represented himself over the course of the hearings, which began in September last year.

The tweets in question were directed at Simon Myerson KC, a barrister, and Hugo Rifkind, a journalist. Among the tweets were characterisations of Mr Rifkind as a “Zionist pig”, references to Mr Rifkind’s “eastern European kin” and the claim that Mr Myerson “wreaks of white privilege”.

Throughout the case, Mr Husain made several accusations against the SRA and Capsticks, a law firm that was representing the SRA at the tribunal. He claimed that the SRA was “weaponising new antisemitism” and subverting the International Definition of Antisemitism, and even accused the regulator of being “in bed” with Campaign Against Antisemitism. He also claimed that the solicitor acting on behalf of the SRA was an “imperialist” and asserted that she “bang[ed] on about the Holocaust because [she] wants to hide [her] country’s own crimes,” apparently referring to her British heritage.

During her cross-examination of Mr Husain, he said: “Mr Myerson is a fascist.”

Russian dissident Navalny corresponded from prison with Natan Sharansky
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who died in prison last week, had been carrying on a correspondence with Israeli politician and former prisoner of Zion Natan Sharansky, the Free Press reported on Monday.

After managing to get a copy of Sharansky’s memoir, “Fear No Evil,” through his lawyers, Navalny read it in the “Polar Wolf” arctic penal colony where he died under dubious circumstances on Friday, according to the report.

This fact is contained in two letters Navalny wrote to Sharansky, in March and April 2023. In the letters, Navalny discusses the memoir, and also quotes the Bible, writing that “what has been will be again” and adds that he “continues to believe that we will fix this and that one day in Russia there will be what has not been.”

Sharansky told Israel Hayom after the disclosure of the correspondence (both letters were printed in full by Free Press) that “Alexei Navalny was dangerous to the Russian tyrant [Vladimir Putin] for two reasons: He did more than anyone else to expose the nature of the Russian dictatorship to the eyes of hundreds of millions of people, and he challenged the system. Navalny proved that it is possible to remain a free man until your last breath in prison.”

In the first letter, dated March 30, 2023, Navalny writes: “I am now in penal colony IK-6 ‘Melekhovo,’ but from the Vladimirskaya prison they are writing to me that a cell is being prepared for me there. So I will likely find myself in the same facility that you were in. Only now there will probably be a plaque saying “Natan Sharansky was held here.”

“Please forgive the intrusion and a letter from a stranger, but I believe it’s permissible in author-reader relations,” he continues. “I am writing as a reader. I have just read your book … while I was held in the PKT [solitary confinement]. And now I am writing from SHIZO [a punishment cell]—it will be 128 days in total. I was laughing when I was reading the passage where you wrote, ‘I was penalized with a series of 15 days at SHIZO, and then, as an offender who broke prison rules, they sent me to the PKT for 6 months.’ I was amused by the fact that neither the essence of the system nor the pattern of its acts has changed.”

When pro-Israel advocacy isn’t just big, but ‘Biggah’
A straight-talking, no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is Instagrammer might not necessarily be unusual, except when it comes in the form of a non-Jewish American black man who speaks truth to power on Israel.

“Go home, Susan. You’re drunk,” he posted over a recent video of actress Susan Sarandon, singing with middle-aged women in the halls of Congress for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, which would effectively allow the terrorist organization to get away with the murder of more than 1,200 people, most of them civilians.

He holds the handle “Wyzewurdz74” and goes by the name “Biggah” (he says he cannot reveal his real name, owing to the fact that he’s already been doxxed twice). His account has about 39,000 followers, including Jessica Seinfeld (the wife of comedian Jerry Seinfeld); human-rights attorney Brooke Goldstein, founder and executive director of the Lawfare Project; and pro-Israel communications consultant and journalist activists Virag Gulyas, a former diplomat to the European Union; and Shai DeLuca, a Canadian-Israeli interior designer, international broadcaster and activist.

February being Black History Month, it was appropriate to mention that it is “one of the main goals” for him to positively connect the black and Jewish communities using social media. “It’s something that’s going to be arduous, in order to build that alliance,” he says.

Groups like Black Lives Matter “use words like apartheid, colonizer, genocide, resistance—and these words are triggers for people of color because of our lived experience. So all of those things kind of culminated into what we’re seeing now as far as people just blindly following the stupidity,” he tells JNS. He adds that he understands why the Jewish community “would be rather apprehensive in entertaining a connection” and “right now, the climate isn’t really very permissive.”

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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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