The deal that disappeared
Historian Kobby Barda has found a lost chapter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: After World War II, the U.S. gave Israel and Arab nations $1.5 billion to solve the Middle East refugee problem. But only Israel lived up to its end of the deal.
Kobby Barda couldn’t believe what he was seeing. While researching the establishment of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee under the auspices of the Ruderman Program for American Jewish Studies at the University of Haifa, Barda found his way to the personal archive of one Isaiah Leo “Si” Kenen, a Canadian-born lawyer, journalist and philanthropist who was one of the founders of the pro-Israel lobby.
Among the many documents that record in detail Kenen’s work in the first years of Israel’s existence as a state, Barda discovered a lost chapter in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At the start of the 1950s, in addition to pouring money into the Marshall Plan to rehabilitate Europe after World War II, the U.S. decided to provide money to Arab states and Israel so they could find a solution to the refugee problem created by the 1948 War of Independence.
The American aid earmarked to solve the issue of Middle East refugees was supposed to have been split evenly between Israel and the Arab states, with each side receiving $50 million to build infrastructure to absorb refugees. The money to take in the Arab refugees was handed over to the U.N. agency founded to address the issue of Palestinian refugees, and the Americans gave Arab countries another $53 million for “technical cooperation.” In effect, the Arab side received double the money given to Israel, even though Israel took in more refugees, including ones from Arab nations – Jews who had been displaced by the regional upheavals. The amount Congress allocated to provide for Middle East refugees – Jewish and Arab – at the request of then-President Harry Truman was equal to $1.5 billion today.
David Collier: The smear tactics of the Jeremy Corbyn cult. A case study.
We all know that the Jeremy Corbyn cult uses smear tactics. It can be well highlighted by this case study. It is a worthwhile exercise to show just how empty and crudely constructed these smears can be.
My website was attacked on the evening of the 22nd December. It was down for several hours and when the server restored the site, it remained unstable as the new security systems were configured. I have ample proof of the attack. For example there are numerous emails from the host company as they attempted to deal with the problem, including one that confirms a DDOS attack. Someone also kindly archived how the website looked at the time of the attack:
The antisemitic mindset of the Corbyn conspiracy cult
Everyone knows there are bad people in the world who pose a danger. But for the antisemite, this does not hold true for the Jews. In the eyes of the antisemite, the Jews *are* what is bad in the world. So when Jews complain they’ve been hacked, they are lying. When they say they are victims of antisemitic abuse, they are conspiring to smear someone, and even when six million of them ‘go missing’, they have somehow deceived the world just to gain power and make money. It does not matter that in some cases the antisemite has replaced the word ‘Jew’ with ‘Zionist’, the seams always show where it has been stitched in.
So through the eyes of the antisemites, the attack on my website could not be real. It did not take long for someone to write up a version that turned the DDOS attack into a conspiracy to smear Jeremy Corbyn supporters, and of course being Jewish, make some money whilst I did it. On 30th December, the Prole Star upload an article that did just that:
The Prole Star and its editor
The Prole Star is a Jeremy Corbyn support media. It self references as a socialist site ‘counteracting mainstream media bias’. The Facebook page has 6000 followers. On Twitter, they have another 10,000. It seems to rely on freelance writers desperately seeking media to publish their articles. The Editor and chief contributor is Maria Roberts. Roberts has been writing for the Pole Star for over two years.
I don’t know much about her. Her Facebook friends include Jacqueline Walker, Tony Greenstein, Piers Corbyn, Jon Lansman and Grahame Morris MP. Beyond her editorial role at the Pole Star, her profile also suggests she is a Director at a Company called ‘Red Letter Ltd‘. Company House has her using the names ‘Jeanne Roberts‘ and ‘Jeanne Maria Roberts‘. She is listed as holding ‘overall control’. The accounts and Confirmation Statement are also both overdue, so if you are reading this Maria – chop-chop.
Alan Dershowitz: Comparing Trump to the Nazis Is Holocaust Denial
Professor Alan Dershowitz joined FOX and Friends on New Year’s Day to discuss a new poll that finds most children are completely ignorant of the Jewish Holocaust in World War II. Dershowitz then went on to say that any of the people today who compare the current US political climate to the Nazis are basically Holocaust deniers. (h/t jzaik)
Corbyn is an artifact of the communist-inspired New Left of the 70’s and 80’s, which gobbled up anti-Western narratives and internationalist propaganda peddled by the Soviet Union and her satellites. A core motif of Eastern Bloc propaganda was the promotion of national liberation of Third World countries from the evils of capitalism and Western imperialism. This was a revised and extended version of the worldwide worker’s revolution prompted by the Bolsheviks, and it was an effective Cold War tactic in mobilizing young Western leftists and idealists in the Third World against the “oppressive” West and her “oppressive” ally, Israel. Among these, a young revolutionary named Jeremy Corbyn.
The main issue with this worldview is simply this: none of it is based in reality. It’s delusional. It’s a narrow and simplistic retelling of the oppressor/oppressed model, a model that reliably paves the way for totalitarian projects and Jew-hate. The Germans were oppressed, the Proletariat was oppressed, the Arab middle east is oppressed, etc.
Conspiracy theory is common among these one-dimensional movements because the “oppressor” can be depicted as a diabolical and all-powerful force. To the Germans everything was the fault of the Jew, to the Proletariat all problems could stem from the Jewish bourgeoisie, to the Arab middle east anything can be attributed to a Zionist plot. It’s in the conspiratorial and totalitarian potential of the Corbynite worldview that the threat of Jeremy becomes clear:
Jeremy Corbyn’s policies will most likely not directly target Jews, but what happens when his policies don’t achieve the desired results? Will he and his supporters simply concede that this messianic worldview is ineffective? Will they merely accept that economic policies of raising taxes, increasing spending, and expanding welfare may not be the best way to stimulate the economy? What happens when the open and warm embrace of Islamic Jihadists doesn’t actually stop the violence?
The Corbynites will either self-reflect – don’t count on it – or blame their failure on a secret plot meant to undermine their mission. It may just be the all-powerful Zionist Jews, who they claim wield immense influence over the international media, corporations and Western governments. If that were to happen, then the Corbynite revolutionary mission could shift from a crusade to liberate all victims of oppression and poverty, to combatting the aggressive international oppressors, the Zionist Jews.
We’ve seen that type of crusade in the past. We will not see it again, not without a fight. This is the threat of Jeremy Corbyn, and this is what we are afraid of.
Jewish students returned to their campuses this autumn to an intellectual battlefield far more divisive than we’ve seen for some time. Just as Jewish and Zionist student leaders attended conferences and training across the world to train and prepare for the year ahead, so too had their counterparts.
This semester saw some push-back against pressure on the University of Leeds to divest from Israeli firms, although the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement claimed a small victory when the University decided to divest from Airbus, United Technologies and Keyence Corporation. In Birmingham, at an event regarding antisemitism in the Labour Party, the Guild of Students excused antisemitic remarks made by Palestinian activists. This talk culminated in the singling out of the Jewish Society’s president in the audience. He was subjugated to a stream of prearranged smears, in an attempt by the organizers to dodge his pertinent question on the scourge of Labour antisemitism.
At my own institution, there has been a continuous anti-Israel presence on campus this term. Promoting BDS at the University of Nottingham, the Palestinian society has been tabling in the student union building, while disseminating keffiyehs and literature from Friends of Al-Aqsa and Islamic Human Rights Commission, infamous for its backing of the Iranian state and for organizing the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Quds day march in London every year. Funding from such sources should raise red flags for anyone. I am shocked that intellectual leaders at our renowned academic institutions fail to grant the same caution to these foreign benefactors.
Anti-Israel activism at this level is unprecedented and one must question what has motivated this increase. Student societies do not have the time to organize widespread campaigns such as the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s national day of action, “Apartheid Off Campus” – their first nationwide campaign outside of “Israel Apartheid Week.” It is evident that extremist external parties are now more involved than ever in Palestinian activism in the UK.
The author of a book on the treatment of Jews in Arab and Muslim lands has spoken about how Jeremy Corbyn’s understanding of Middle Eastern politics and history is a “complete inversion of the truth”, and has indicated that she would be happy to send him a copy of her work to read.
Speaking at the Limmud Festival, Lyn Julius, the author of Uprooted: How 3,000 Years of Jewish Civilisation in the Arab World Vanished Overnight, described how a knowledge of the experience of Mizrachi Jews – Jews primarily from the Middle East and North Africa – may help the Labour leader to “learn something new.
“It would certainly enhance the prospects for peace if he were to have a less lopsided and negative view of the Jews and Israel.”
Ms Julius, who is also the co-founder of Harif, the UK Association of Jews from the Middle East and North Africa, cited, for example, the widespread belief on the far-left that Israel “is a white, colonial settler state.”
In fact, she said, “half the Jews of Israel are so-called ‘people of colour’ – they have their roots in Arab and Muslim lands. That’s just over 50 per cent of the Jewish population of Israel.
“If Corbyn knew about Jews from the Middle East and North Africa, he would learn that they were in the region 1,000 years before Islam.”
Organizers of the New Orleans Women’s March say their January event is now off after a “drastic” drop-off in support, The Washington Times reports.
“Due to several issues we have decided it is necessary to cancel the 2019 Women’s March in New Orleans,” the National Organization for Women’s Baton Rouge chapter posted on social media Friday.
Though they did not initially specify the “issues” that led to NOW canceling the New Orleans Women’s March — one of the largest in the country — a further statement indicated a severe drop-off in both participation and fundraising after two major exposes in Tablet and in The New York Times revealed that the national Women’s March’s hierarchy was a hotbed of anti-Semitic thought.
NOW Baton Rouge was clear it believes the national Women’s March leadership, including organizers Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour, and Carmen Perez, should resign.
“Many of the sister marches have asked the leaders of Women’s March, Inc. to resign but as of today, they have yet to do so,” NOW Baton Rouge’s statement read. “The controversy is dampening efforts of sister marches to fundraise, enlist involvement, find sponsors and attendee numbers have drastically declined this year. New Orleans is no exception.”
NOW Baton Rouge added that while they will be moving away from the annual marches, they will continue to work on behalf of the “resistance” in Louisiana.
The Women’s March has lost celebrity followers and local chapters as more people pick up on the anti-Semitic beliefs of those at the top of the food chain.
The slow drip started to hemorrhage in November when Tablet magazine exposed the hatred inside of the leaders.
Now actress Rosanna Arquette threatened to boycott the march if the organization doesn’t do anything about its leadership.
As long as anti semitism and division is not a part of your agenda. ✌????
— Rosanna Arquette (@RoArquette) December 29, 2018
Arquette participated in the Women’s March in January 2017 and wore a pink pussy hat.
@PattyArquette look who I got to march with @RoArquette #WomensMarch pic.twitter.com/Usd90KibeY
— Sarah Kate Ellis (@sarahkateellis) January 21, 2017
Actress Alyssa Milano became the first outspoken opponent of President Donald Trump to announce her intention of boycotting the Women’s March due to the fact that leaders Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory adore anti-Semitic Louis Farrakhan.
US Senator Elizabeth Warren announced the launch of her 2020 presidential campaign while donning a full burqa, an Islamic garment which covers a woman’s body and face, after a DNA test showed that she is nearly 0.1% Middle Eastern.
Warren’s surprising move came after the senator and presidential candidate backed away from claims of Native American ancestry. Instead, Warren will now focus on her one great-great-great-great grandparent believed to be from the Islamic world in order to claim the status of an oppressed person of color.
“Just as my ancestors defeated the Crusaders centuries ago, I am the right person to defeat Donald Trump,” Warren said as she announced her candidacy. “When I am the Democratic nominee, inshallah, I will take the jihad right to our racist president.”
There are many indications that antisemitism in Germany has increased in recent years on social media, in the public domain, within the political system, and in society at large. Jews often try to avoid locations where antisemitism is at its worst or may affect them. But that is not possible for schoolchildren. A number of extreme antisemitic incidents in German schools have been published in recent years, and by elaborating on several that have taken place in Berlin, we can get an indication of how serious the problem has become.
In April 2017, a Jewish school boy was tormented by fellow pupils of Arab and Turkish descent at a public school in Berlin’s Friedenau district. To protect his identity, his first name was changed, and he became known in the media as Oscar Michalski. He was not only insulted, but an older student shot at him with a realistic-looking gun. He also strangled Oscar to the point of unconsciousness. The school’s population is about 80 percent Muslim; most are of Turkish and some of Arab provenance.
The school’s headmaster, who taught mathematics in the victim’s class, said that he was unaware of the problems. And the school’s administration and social worker ignored them even after they were alerted by the victim’s parents. His parents then moved Oscar to another school. The French-German public broadcaster Arte broadcast a documentary on the story of Oscar.
Another case of antisemitism in a Berlin school came to light in December 2017. There, an 18-year old Jewish high school pupil at the Ernst-Reuter-School in the Gesundbrunnen neighborhood was told by a female student during a discussion on the Middle East that “Hitler was good, he has murdered Jews.” Fellow students added, “you are all child murderers” and “you should all be decapitated.” From that point on during recess, the boy decided to remain indoors for his security.
Two professional associations of police leaders and chief law enforcement officers in Georgia have condemned the virulently anti-Israel and undeniably antisemitic “Deadly Exchange” campaign.
That campaign, led by ‘Jewish Voice for Peace’, falsely blames Israel and American Jewish organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), for U.S. domestic police practices and problems in minority communities.
In numerous prior posts we’ve written about this vile “Deadly Exchange” initiative, which aims to exploit preexisting and unrelated domestic racial tensions to stoke hatred of Jews by blaming Jews, all in the service of building an anti-Israel coalition.
As we discussed, the campaign was launched several years ago by the anti-Jewish and anti-peace extremist organization Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP). It’s now being heavily promoted by many pro-BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) organizations based in the U.S.
Police departments across the country are coming under increasing pressure to end their relationships and exchange programs with Israel, but so far there’s been little if any push back.
Primarily that’s because JVP and its allies have been able to operate with a lot of “behind-the-scenes lobbying” and can work fast with “little public notice”.
Basically, they’ve been able to count on well-meaning people having little understanding of modern policing challenges. This makes it easier for JVP to promote “Deadly Exchange” as in the “best interests” of cities and to present it as consistent with progressive values and the larger progressive agenda.
Now all that could be about to change.
With two major professional police associations in Georgia coming out to denounce the campaign, other groups with expertise on homeland security and civil defense may follow suit. If that happens, JVP will no longer face an empty playing field when it comes to promoting its discriminatory and defamatory propaganda.
The end of the year is a natural time to look back on 2018’s most defining moments, the highs and the lows, the pictures and the stories which best capture the significant developments, movements, or trends. Reuters’ “Pictures of the Year 2018” feature, released last month, is a case in point. With 100 images capturing poignant highlights including natural and environmental disasters, diplomatic breakthroughs, the tribulations of migrants and refugees, international conflicts, cultural and athletic feats, and political turning points, along with scenes of incredible beauty and untold suffering, the news agency aims to convey the human experience of 2018.
And, among these scenes of triumphs and failures, epic and mundane, Reutersunintentionally included one more: the pervasive anti-Israel media bias which plagues much of the news coverage of Israel and its relations with its neighbors.
Thus, one of the selected Reuters images was apparently intended to convey the Israeli-Palestinian clashes at the Gaza border since Hamas began the violent “March of Return” events in late March. In reality, it exemplified the flawed, caustic media coverage skewed against Israel.
Before Reuters was compelled to correct it, the caption originally stated: “A relative mourns as she carries the body of 8-month-old Palestinian infant Laila al-Ghandour, who died after inhaling tear gas during a protest against the US embassy move to Jerusalem at the Israel-Gaza border, during her funeral in Gaza City, May 15.”
Yet some six months had passed since it was reported that even Hamas’ Health Ministry walked back its accusation of Israeli responsibility after it was revealed that the infant suffered from a preexisting heart condition that tragically killed her.
It’s no secret that Israeli settlement activity has surged during the Trump presidency. During the Obama administration, every advance in bureaucratic planning, building tenders and actual construction led to censure and sour feelings.
The Associated Press examined the numbers, based on figures from Peace Now, an Israeli left-wing anti-settlement organization. Whatever your views on settlements may be, bureau chief Josef Federman’s dispatch is flawed in three ways.
1. Within Current Boundaries
AP doesn’t clarify that the plans, tenders and construction are all taking place on land already belonging to the settlements.
This trend, highlighted last week when an Israeli committee advanced plans for thousands more settlement homes on war-won lands, has only deepened Palestinian mistrust of the Trump administration as it says it is preparing to roll out a Mideast peace plan. Each new settlement expansion further diminishes the chances of setting up a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
If you didn’t know better, you’d think “expansion” means extending the boundaries of settlements, which imply unfair encroachment on the Palestinians. But that’s not the case. The Jewish communities of the West Bank are certainly growing, but not outwards.
So are Israelis really so disinterested in peace?
Actually, a look at the very poll that Holmes refers to reveals something far more nuanced.
Israelis are understandably skeptical about the prospects for a peace agreement with the Palestinians. Therefore, it’s not surprising that, when asked to name their ONE priority for the new year, many prioritized other issues such as the economic situation or closing socioeconomic gaps.
Holmes is simply misinterpreting the Israel Democracy Institute Peace Index poll to suggest that Israelis can only think about only one issue at the expense of any interest in peace. This is misleading and quite simply untrue.
In fact, the first question in the same poll reveals that 61% of Jewish Israelis are strongly or moderately in favor of conducting peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Indeed, it may come as a surprise to Guardian readers or anyone who gets all of their information about Israel from the international media, but Israelis’ lives are not always dictated by conflict or the Palestinians. Israelis have families, jobs, pay bills and deal with myriad of domestic issues concerning the direction of a young and still developing country.
Does this sound like Israelis aren’t interested in peace?
In the early hours of December 29th a projectile was launched from the Gaza Strip.
“An IDF spokesperson said that a rocket fired from the Strip landed in open terrain in southern Israel before dawn on Saturday, causing no injury or damage to property.
The army said that rocket alert sirens did not sound in the region as the projectile was tracked to land in open area.
In retaliation, IDF attacked a Hamas position in southern Gaza. There were no reports of any casualties as a result of the strike.”
BBC audiences did not see any reporting on that incident which was the twenty-second separate bout of rocket and/or mortar fire from the Gaza Strip in 2018.
The number of attacks launched from the Gaza Strip in 2018 was the highest for four years with over a thousand projectiles fired into Israeli territory. Visitors to the BBC News English language website saw mentions or coverage of just 45% of the incidents and those getting their news from the BBC’s Arabic language website saw even less.
After the Six-Day War, Israel offered to return the captured territory to the Arabs for an end of hostilities. In August, 1967, Arab leaders met in Khartoum to coordinate a response to Israel’s sweeping land-for-peace offer. It became known as The Three Nos: No peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel, and no recognition of Israel.
It took years for those Nos to soften. The process that created the Palestinian electoral process also recognized the presence of Israeli security forces. Unfortunately, checkpoints are necessary to stop terrorists. Sadly, Palestinians have elected lawmakers associated with terror groups, which is why many are imprisoned. This phenomenon’s poster boy would be Hebron Mayor Tayseer Abu Sneineh, who in 1980 was convicted of murdering six Israelis and released in a 1983 prisoner swap.
As for restrictions on political activity in Jerusalem, that’s what Palestinians agreed to in the 1993 Oslo 2 agreement (see Article XVII (1a)).
Ignored is the Palestinian diaspora. Refugees living in UNRWA camps abroad face varying restrictions on employment, property ownership, as well as the right to participate in their host country’s elections. This is an issue for every refugee population, but the Palestinians are unique in terms of the extended stalemate over their status and how the UN defines and supports them.
Contrast the three million disenfranchised Palestinians living in Jordanian, Lebanese and Syrian refugee camps with naturalized Palestinians living in far-flung but vibrant communities including Chile, Honduras, Germany and the US. For example, in November, 2018, Rashida Tlaib made international headlines for becoming the first Palestinian-American woman to win a seat in the US Congress.
“Occupation” is a convenient word to lay blame on Israel’s doorstep. But the combination of Hamas-Fatah enmity, ineptitude and indifference is what really cripples Palestinian society.
Netflix has removed an episode of a satirical comedy show that criticizes Saudi Arabia after officials in the kingdom complained, raising new questions about the limits of free online expression, the Financial Times reported Tuesday.
The newspaper said the streaming giant had taken down the episode of “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj” in Saudi Arabia after the kingdom’s Communications and Information Technology Commission said it violated the kingdom’s cybercrime law.
In the episode, Minhaj — an American-born Muslim of Indian descent — lashed Saudi Arabia after the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
He specifically criticized Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and was also critical of the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen.
Five Israeli women were named among Forbes’ lists of “Top 50 Women In Tech” including three to the inaugural global list and two to the European round-up. The lists, published earlier this month, identify “three generations of forward-thinking technologists leading more than a dozen tech sectors across the globe,” and are divided into categories such as Moguls, Founders, Engineers, Innovators, and Warriors.
In the fields of cybersecurity, software and media, cryptography, fashion design, and entrepreneurship, these Israeli women are rocking their roles as innovators and pioneers.
Dr. Michal Tsur
Tsur is the president and co-founder of Kaltura, an open-source video platform that enhances websites with customized video and other functionalities, and is considered one of the most powerful women in the Israeli startup ecosystem. She previously co-founded Cyota, an online security firm that sold to RSA Security for $145 million in 2005.
Tsur was selected for the “World’s Top 50 Women In Tech” list by Forbes by the “Founders” category.
Based in New York, Kaltura recently launched a $5 million expansion project to set up shop in Paris, Munich, and Jerusalem where Tsur grew up. Kaltura also has offices in Ramat Gan, London, San Francisco, and Singapore. Founded in 2006, Kaltura has over 500 employees across the world and has raised some $160 million to date, including from major investors such as Goldman Sachs and SAP.
Tsur is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and holds a doctoral degree in application of game theoretic models to law from New York University, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project.
Ofir Aharon was working on his doctorate in electro-optics seven years ago when his mother was diagnosed with melanoma, a common type of skin cancer that can be deadly.
“She could have detected the melanoma before it became cancerous, but she missed a doctor appointment,” Aharon, now 45, said in a phone interview with the Times of Israel.
That got Aharon thinking about why the cancer was not detected in its earlier stages, which would have helped his mother recover quicker from the disease. She’s fine now, by the way.
Skin cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in the skin that mostly develops on areas of the skin that are exposed to sun rays. The disease affects people of all colors and races. If diagnosed and treated early, skin cancer is one of the easiest forms of cancer to cure. When allowed to progress, it can result in disfigurement or death.
More than 5.4 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer were treated in over 3.3 million people in the US in 2012, the most recent year statistics were available, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, and more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the US than all other cancers combined.
When Aharon set out to study the subject he found that the instrument most commonly used by dermatologists to detect the cancer in patients, the dermascope (also called the dermatoscope), which consists of a magnifying glass together with a light source, is insufficient.
Congregants recently gathered for the “first happy occasion” at the Tree Of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh since the Oct. 27 massacre in which 11 worshipers were murdered by a neo-Nazi gunman, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
The community celebrated the bar mitzvah of the son of congregation president Sam Schachner on the weekend of Dec. 15.
During the bar mitzvah service, some relatives of the victims of the shooting were given the honor to stand in front for the reading of the Torah. Schachner explained, “We wanted to honor and remember them.”
That same weekend, the New England Patriots were in town to play against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Patriots owner Robert Kraft visited Tree of Life in a show of support. Kraft also gave the Schachner family tickets to see the game, which the Steelers won.
Schachner told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette of the aftermath of the attack, “I think we’re doing quite well. Trauma is not something you quickly recover from, and we’ve had a severe trauma.”
The Tree of Life congregation is temporarily using the space of two nearby synagogues for its activities and services, according to the report.
Move over Joan Jett — Holocaust survivor Inge Ginsberg is the latest female heavy metal sensation.
Austrian-born Ginsberg may have grown up on Viennese waltzes, but her current passion is for heavy metal. The reason the almost 97-year-old is taken with the musical genre popularized by bands such as Black Sabbath, Def Leppard and Metallica is simple: “I can’t sing. I can’t carry a tune. So heavy metal works because I just have to say the words,” she said.
Speaking to The Times of Israel in her central Tel Aviv apartment, Ginsberg seemed extremely pleased with the attention her highly unusual gig as front woman for Inge & the TritoneKings has brought her. Four videos of the band’s performances, along with a New York Times op-doc short film about Ginsberg, have racked up hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. The world is evidently curious about this Jewish grandmother who screams into the microphone in English and German while wearing pearls and an evening gown.
A prolific poet, Ginsberg writes all her own songs. Although she has many of her already existing rhythmic works to fall back on (including some from published collections), she always writes fresh material for every recording session. She focuses on messages she thinks are important, like taking care of the environment and not destroying the Earth, staying true to yourself, and spreading love rather than hate.
“The important thing in heavy metal is the text. Heavy metal is not really poems, it’s messages,” Ginsberg asserted in her Central European-accented English.
Our UK Media Watch family just lost a dear friend. Garry Grolman, who succumbed to cancer earlier in the week in Tel Aviv at the age of 72, was a tireless defender of Israel and one of the founding volunteers of the group (CiF Watch) formed in 2009 that would become – along with BBC Watch – part of CAMERA’s UK brand.
Garry, who made Aliyah from Bournemouth over fifty years ago, was an online activist who confronted anti-Zionists, and other anti-Semites, in comment sections (mostly at the Guardian) with flair, eloquence and – more often than not – humour. He both inspired and organised others to do the same at other online media outlets. He also had a way with words that allowed those who knew him to recognize his unique prose almost immediately, even though he used pseudonyms and frequently had to change monikers (he’d be FrancisBullucks one day and KunningStunt another), since merely expressing support for Israel was sometimes enough to get banned by Guardian moderators.
Indeed, the original ‘CiF Watch‘ group was created to confront a virulently anti-Israel agenda above the line, and the cesspit of anti-Jewish hate below the line at CiF (Comment is Free, the Guardian’s opinion page) – as well as their extremely biased moderation. Garry was among those in our team that slowly influenced the Guardian to improve their moderation – to, for instance, more promptly delete antisemitic comments, and to check their impulse to immediately delete pro-Israel comments.
Garry was active online till near the very end of his life in pursuit of setting the record straight about Israel, for the benefit of both those outside and inside the country. As a man of the left he often criticised Israel’s leaders, but he passionately loved the country he chose as his home.
We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.