JPost Editorial: Antisemitism in America
Though America has never been completely immune to antisemitism, its very essence as a nation of immigrants that was always united around a set of democratic principles, never claims of “blood and soil” or a totalitarian ideology, is a centerpiece of its blessed exceptionalism.
A recent Anti-Defamation League annual report tracking manifestations of the world’s oldest hatred, however, points to worrying trends.
Data released in November and presented to the Knesset’s Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Committee last week show a 67% increase in antisemitic incidents across the US from January 1 to September 30, 2017, compared to the same three quarters in 2016. A total of 1,299 antisemitic incidents were reported in that 2017 period, including physical assaults, vandalism and attacks on Jewish institutions.
According to FBI data from 2016, Jews were targets of 684 of the 1,273 anti-religion incidents tallied by the FBI, even though Jews make up just 2% of the US population.
And, as ADL’s Israel director Carol Nuriel noted, many expressions of hatred toward Jews go unreported, either because the victims don’t report them, or because some incidents are not readily identifiable as antisemitic in nature.
What is perhaps unique to antisemitism as opposed to other forms of bigotry, racism or xenophobia is its prominence not only on the hard Right but also among progressives who either hide their antipathy toward Jews behind criticism of Israel and the “Israel lobby” in Washington, or join ranks with those who do because they have a distorted perception of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Some Democratic congressmen have in the past cooperated with organizations such as the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, Code Pink, Jewish Voice for Peace and American Muslims for Palestine – all groups that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel.
This does not make these congressmen antisemites, but their willingness to work with organizations that have more sympathy for a Palestinian political leadership that glorifies terrorism and terrorists, than for Israel, a state that strives to maintain democratic principles under the most difficult conditions, sends a problematic message and fosters a toxic intellectual environment for discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Dr. Mordechai Kedar: The Obama Riots
The future can have any of the following in store
1. Things can go back to the way they were: The regime survives because it uses its superior strength against the masses on the streets, the demonstrators tire of the struggle and go back to their unhappy lives. Khamenei,Rouhani and their cohorts launch balloons of empty promises into the air, the depressed and exhausted public continues its miserable life and waits for the next opportunity.
2. The regime collapses and a group of exiled anti-Islamist politicians returns to Iran and assumes responsibility for the country: Iran stays united, but the Arabs in Achwaz, the Baouch and the Kurds, each in their own region, demand independence. The new regime agrees to wide-ranging autonomy for these groups and puts an end to their ongoing struggles against the central government. The new leaders work to have Iran rejoin the family of nations, Iran renews diplomatic relations with Israel, the US and Europe.
3. The regime collapses, the current leader flee in order to keep their heads on their shoulders: Iran breaks up into smaller states that reflect its ethnic makeup. Persians, Azers, Arabs, Kurds, Baluch, Lur, Qashkai and others, achieve statehood on the lines of what has happened to Iran’s northern neighbor. The USSR was divided into individual states along ethnic lines and in each new state, the local elite rose to run each country in a fairly organized fashion.
4. The regime declares war against the Saudis and other outsiders: The last few days have had the Iranian leaders blaming “outside interests,” a thinly veiled accusation aimed at the Saudis, the US and Israel, for heating up the area.. The Iranian masses are not buying this excuse and realize quite well that the regime is attempting to draw a picture of external plots against the country in order to convince the public to cease protesting and unite to protect their country from outside threats. If the Iranian regime ever realizes that its way of running the country is going to have to end, it may drag all those who rejoice in its downfall into an inferno. The regime might strike the oil fields of Saudi Arabia, it might tell the Hezbollah to launch a rocket attack against Israel as Saddam Hussein did in 2003. The last vestiges of the regime might even damage Iran’s oil fields to keep them out the hands of the opposition.
The world must be prepared for the fourth scenario, although the probability of its occurrence is low, because it is a very dangerous possibility which can plunge the entire world into a severe energy crisis. Iran could decide to exact revenge for Saudi involvement in the Yemeni, Syrian and Iraqi wars and the “Iranian Spring” (according to the Ayatollahs’ version of events) by bombing the Saudi oil fields. If the Saudis are attacked, Mahmoud ben Salman will want to do the same to the Iranian gas and oil fields. If this scenario comes to pass, the price of gas and oil will go off the charts for a while.
The situation is Iran is unclear and extremely volatile. Even if the regime survives the riots, the next round of street violence is only a matter of time. There will be an outburst every few years until the Ayatollah’s regime collapses entirely. This is the lot of every dictatorial regime – history is replete with examples such as Nazi Germany and the USSR. Sooner or later, a regime lacking legitimacy from its citizens and whose existence is based on the employment of power against its own countrymen, is destined to fall.
Bret Stephens: Finding the Way Forward on Iran
One of the reasons why easing sanctions on Iran was never likely to soften the regime is that the people who stood to gain from commercial ties with foreign companies are the same people most invested in the preservation of the regime and its system of preferences. There’s no trickle-down economy in the Islamic Republic.
But it also means that the kleptotheocracy is uniquely vulnerable to charges of hypocrisy. All Islamist movements take the concept of justice (as opposed to freedom) as their organizing political concept, and all of them ignore it at their peril. The Iranian regime’s problem is that it has spent nearly 40 years making its hypocrisy plain to all of its people, save those who profit from it.
This is an opportunity for the free world to exploit. Ken Weinstein of the Hudson Institute has argued that the U.S. government “should release details on the billions in stolen assets” held by the I.R.G.C. and the supreme leader. That — and making sure ordinary Iranians learn about them, one scandalous disclosure at a time — is the right idea.
Another right idea, this one from Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, is to once again put Setad, along with its scores of front companies and subsidiaries, under U.S. sanctions for corruption. The Obama administration did such a thing in 2013, only to reverse course as part of the nuclear deal.
In 1982, Ronald Reagan praised Poland’s Solidarity movement for remaining “magnificently unreconciled to oppression.” Turns out, it’s true of Iranians today. A West that wants to help them can begin by exploiting the internal contradiction that defines the regime that oppresses them and which may yet prove its undoing.
Palestine refugees constitute the only group of refugees in the world whose descendants can claim refugee status long after the death of their refugee ancestors. Their numbers have increased from 750,000 in 1950 to 5 million in 2017.
UNRWA could reduce this ever-burgeoning number of refugees by closing many refugee camps in the West Bank like Dheisheh – which UNRWA states:
“was established in 1949 and is located along the main street in Bethlehem. The camp was built to serve 3,000 refugees. Today, the number of residents in Dheisheh has reached roughly 15,000.”
UNRWA acknowledges that Dheisheh has been “under full Palestinian control (Area A)” since the 1995 Oslo Accords.
How can Dheisheh’s residents then continue to be classified as “refugees” when they are being governed by the PLO – the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people” – along with 200,000 other Palestinian Arabs living side by side with them as their next door neighbours?
Shouldn’t Dheisheh’s four schools, one health centre, Shams Health Centre for Non-Communicable Diseases and the Environmental health office be open to all Bethlehem residents – and the 15000 Dheisheh residents taken off the UNRWA register and absorbed into the Palestinian Arab population of Bethlehem?
UNRWA keeps Dheisheh open in apartheid-style segregation from Bethlehem – causing ongoing stress, suffering and dependency on its hapless residents.
Political – rather than humanitarian – concerns dominate UNRWA’s agenda preventing the closure of Dheisheh and other similar humanitarian eye-sores in the West Bank.
No wonder most countries contribute precious little to UNRWA. America seems set to emulate their example – especially if Israel/PLO negotiations aren’t resumed.
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley is clashing with representatives of the State and Defense Departments as well as the intelligence community over her push to cut funding for the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency, Foreign Policy magazine reported over the weekend.
According to the report, an aide to Haley faced pushback from representatives of the departments and agencies during a National Security Council meeting Friday. As no consensus was reached on the matter, a decision on whether to release the aid was reportedly pushed off.
Both Haley and President Donald Trump have spoken of cutting aid over the Palestinians’ reaction to the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last month.
The report also said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, despite opposing cuts to UNRWA, has rejected a request from the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration to release the funding as internal deliberations continue.
On Friday, senior US officials denied reports that $125 million in aid to the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency had been frozen.
“Contrary to reports that we have halted funding to UNRWA, the decision is under review,” a State Department official told The Times of Israel. “There are still deliberations taking place, and we have missed no deadline.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged the United States to gradually reduce its support for the UN’s aid agency for the Palestinians by transferring that aid money to the UN’s other refugee agency, UNHCR, which supports all other refugee groups. Ultimately, he said, UNRWA should be shut down altogether.
In comments Sunday to ministers at the weekly cabinet meeting, he said, “I completely agree with President Trump’s sharp criticism of UNRWA. UNRWA is an organization that perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem, and perpetuates also the narrative of the so-called right of return, whose goal is the elimination of Israel. For these reasons, UNRWA should be shut down.”
Israel has long complained that UNRWA, unlike UNHCR, has no limits to its recognition of refugees, allowing unlimited generations of descendants, including those born in other countries or who are citizens of those countries, to continue to be classified as refugees in perpetuity.
“This is a body established separately 70 years ago, just for Palestinian refugees, while the UNHCR exists for all other refugees in the world,” Netanyahu said. “This has led to the situation where the great-grandchildren of refugees, who are not themselves refugees, are cared for by UNRWA, and in 70 more years there will be great-grandchildren of those great-grandchildren — and so this absurdity has to end.”
But instead of cutting UNRWA off at once, a move opposed by the IDF and other Israeli security and diplomatic agencies, he urged a more gradual approach.
“I have a simple suggestion: UNRWA’s aid money should be transferred gradually to the UNHCR, which has clear criteria for supporting true refugees, and not the fake refugee status we have today under UNRWA,” he said. “I have expressed this position to the United States. This is the proper way to shut down UNRWA and to ensure that real refugee problems are cared for, should any remain [once UNHCR criteria for recognizing refugees are applied to the Palestinians].“
The Palestinian Authority intends to try to upgrade its status at the United Nations and become a full state member, it was reported Sunday as Ramallah looks for ways to respond to a series of setbacks.
In a unilateral step, the PA intends to apply to the UN Security Council to upgrade it from observer status to full membership in the international body, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported.
The move comes in response to US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, followed by threats from the president to cut US funding to the Palestinians.
Though viewed as an extreme, last-ditch attempt, it would be a largely symbolic attempt.
To gain full membership in the United Nations, the Palestinians would have to first gain approval from nine out of the 15 members of the Security Council, and even if they succeed, Jerusalem reportedly expects that the US would use its veto to scuttle the move.
Additionally, from January 1, Poland, Ivory Coast and Equatorial Guinea joined the Security Council, all of whom are viewed as sympathetic to Israel and may vote against the move, although Peru, the other new member, recognized Palestine as a state in 2011.
Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, said on Saturday that the Palestinians failed to understand their situation. “After years of ignoring Israel and promoting unilateral moves, they mistakenly think they can ignore the US and establish facts on the ground,” he said.
Arab states will soon embark on a diplomatic drive to persuade the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital on territory captured by Israel in the 1967 war, Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said.
Six Arab foreign ministers met in Amman on Saturday to follow up on earlier decisions taken by the Arab League to counter US President Donald Trump’s move in December to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a decision that overturned decades of US policy on the Middle East.
A committee made up of Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Palestinians and headed by Jordan was set up after an emergency meeting of the Arab League in Cairo shortly after Trump’s decision that called on Washington to abandon its decision.
The Arab League said at the time the move would spur violence throughout the region and described Trump’s announcement as a “dangerous violation of international law” which had no legal impact.
Safadi said the ministers would recommend a series of moves to a full ministerial meeting of the Arab League due later this month.
“We will confront the decision by seeking a (UN) resolution, an international one, to recognize a Palestinian state on 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital,” said Safadi.
Jordanian King Abdullah on Saturday said efforts to safeguard Palestinians in Jerusalem and establish a Palestinian state should be intensified.
Abdullah made the comments during a meeting with Arab foreign ministers and Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit, who convened in Amman on Saturday, to discuss President Donald Trump’s recent changes to US policy on Jerusalem, the official Jordanian news agency Petra reported.
On December 6, Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and set in motion a process to relocate the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to the holy city, breaking with decades of American policy.
“His majesty affirmed the necessity of intensifying efforts and coordinating Arab positions to support the Palestinian brothers in preserving their historical and legal rights in Jerusalem as well as in their endeavors to establish an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital,” Petra reported.
The foreign ministers Abdullah met with on Saturday included Egypt’s Samih al-Shukri, the United Arab Emirates’ Anwar Gargash, Saudi Arabia’s Adel al-Jubeir, Morocco’s Nasser Bourita and the Palestinian Authority’s Riyad al-Maliki.
The Jordanian monarch also said that the “issue of Jerusalem should be settled in the framework of a final solution and just and permanent peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians, which is based on the two-state solution, international resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.”
Egypt’s government on Sunday denied and harshly criticized a New York Times report that said Cairo has quietly sought to convince the Egyptian public to accept the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, despite publicly opposing it.
The newspaper said in a report published Saturday that it obtained audio recordings in which an Egyptian intelligence officer, speaking with influential talk show hosts, asked them to downplay the significance of US President Donald Trump’s decision.
“The Times’ report contains allegations regarding Egypt’s position on the Jerusalem issue mentioned in the so-called ‘audio recordings.’ It is inappropriate for The New York Times, a reputable newspaper, to publish such allegations,” the Egyptian government said in a statement.
“Egypt’s positions on international issues are not derived from alleged leaks from an anonymous source. Rather, Egypt’s positions are conveyed by the President, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and in official statements as well,” the statement added.
Describing the ongoing conflict between the US president and his former chief strategist as “unsustainable,” Palestinian leaders have called for peace talks between Donald Trump and Steve Bannon.
“With around-the-clock negotiations and compromise on tough issues, we believe a resolution to this seemingly intractable dispute is possible,” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared, adding emphatically, “We want this conflict to end!”
Abbas proposed two rounds of negotiations. The first would deal with issues seen as manageable, such as Russia, Roy Moore, and the direction of the conservative movement. Thornier subjects – including custody over Donald Trump Jr. – will be left for final status talks.
“Despite their differences of late, the two leaders share so much culturally, linguistically and historically,” Abbas said. “Plus, they both like getting blown by Steve Bannon.”
Both sides have resisted Abbas’s overtures. Trump said that he should not have to compromise, as Bannon had simply been an unwanted guest in his White House. Bannon countered that Trump would simply use talks to extract concessions.
“Have you seen the guy’s Twitter feed?” Bannon asked, referring to his former boss. “It is clear that he does not want peace.”
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said Sunday that the nation and its security forces have ended the wave of unrest linked to anti-government protests that erupted last month.
In a statement on its website, the Guard blamed the unrest on the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia, as well as an exiled opposition group known as the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, and supporters of the monarchy that was overthrown in the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Price hikes sparked protests in a number of cities and towns late last month, and at least 21 people were killed in scattered clashes. The protests, which vented anger at high unemployment and official corruption, were the largest seen in Iran since the disputed 2009 presidential election, and some demonstrators called for the overthrow of the government.
The Revolutionary Guard is a powerful paramilitary force loyal to the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Many of the demonstrators protested against the Guard’s massive budget, its costly interventions across the region, and against the supreme leader himself.
Hundreds of people have been detained since the protests began. They include around 90 university students, reformist lawmaker Mahmoud Sadeghi was quoted as saying by the semi-official ISNA news agency.
Iran has banned the teaching of English in primary schools, a senior education official said, after Islamic leaders warned that early learning of the language opened the way to a Western “cultural invasion.”
“Teaching English in government and non-government primary schools in the official curriculum is against laws and regulations,” Mehdi Navid-Adham, head of the state-run High Education Council, told state television late on Saturday.
“This is because the assumption is that, in primary education, the groundwork for the Iranian culture of the students is laid,” Navid-Adham said, adding that non-curriculum English classes may also be blocked.
The teaching of English usually starts in middle school in Iran, around the ages of 12 to 14, but some primary schools, below that age, also have English classes.
Some children also attend private language institutes after their school day. And many children from more privileged families attending non-government schools receive English tuition from daycare through high school.
Iran’s Islamic leaders have often warned about the dangers of a “cultural invasion,” and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei voiced outrage in 2016 over the “teaching of the English language spreading to nursery schools.”
Khamenei, who has the final say in all state matters, said in that speech to teachers: “That does not mean opposition to learning a foreign language, but (this is the) promotion of a foreign culture in the country and among children, young adults and youths.”
“Western thinkers have time and again said that instead of colonialist expansionism … the best and the least costly way would have been inculcation of thought and culture to the younger generation of countries,” Khamenei said, according to the text of the speech posted on a website run by his office (Leader.ir).
Former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been arrested by authorities for allegedly inciting unrest against the government, the London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported Saturday, citing “reliable sources in Tehran.”
The newspaper said that Ahmadinejad, during a visit to the western city of Bushehr on December 28, said, “Some of the current leaders live detached from the problems and concerns of the people, and do not know anything about the reality of society.”
He supposedly added that Iran was suffering from “mismanagement” and that the government of President Hassan Rouhani “believes that they own the land and that the people are an ignorant society.”
According to Al-Quds Al-Arabi, Ahmadinejad’s comments, which came as anti-government protests over the economy were heating up, led to his arrest.
The newspaper said authorities now seek to impose house arrest on the former president.
The Times of Israel could not independently confirm the report.
SCENE: Headquarters, Justice League of Unemployed Lefty “Experts”
Former President Barack Obama: People, let me perfectly clear. These protests. In Iran. Are contributing. To instability. In the Middle East. And more importantly. They are. Endangering. My Legacy. Which is. The Iran Nuclear Deal.
Former Secretary of State John Forbes Kerry: I actually was for these protests, before I was against them.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: (Stumbles in dressed in hiking gear and clutching a bottle of Chardonnay): Let’s tell everyone to be quiet and not voice support for the protesters. I mean, it worked last time.
Kerry: (Checking his Phone) I need to call my friend Javad. I hope this doesn’t affect our plans to meet in Montreux in February. Teresa would be none too happy.
Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice: Maybe we could change the subject to something completely unrelated that we hate about Trump….. like the Trump Administration’s tighter visa controls!
Former Ambassador Samantha Power: (Tweeting) Way ahead of you.
Former Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes: (Walks In) Sorry guys, I was busy trashing the reputation of a journalist at Politico who said the Obama Administration shut down an investigation into Hezbollah’s drug trafficking. Did I miss anything?
Obama: Good job Ben, but we’re going to need you to work the Echo Chamber even harder. Have you called Reuters?
Some 35 rockets and mortar shells were fired at Israel during 2017, the largest number of projectiles fired at the country since the conclusion of Operation Protective Edge, waged in the Gaza Strip in 2014, the military said.
In a report summarizing operational incidents in 2017, the IDF said the majority of the attacks occurred following U.S. President Donald Trump’s Dec. 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The summary, issued this weekend, stated that 10 of the mortar shells aimed at Israel’s south during the latter part of 2017 were fired by Islamic Jihad following the Oct. 30 demolition of a terror tunnel dug under the Israel-Gaza border.
According to the data, the IDF hit 59 terror targets in the coastal enclave during 2017, including training facilities, terrorist infrastructure, lookout posts and weapon-manufacturing mills.
The military described several of the targets it hit in Gaza as “key terrorist infrastructure.”
The military dealt with 99 terror incidents across Judea and Samaria during 2017, down from 269 incidents in 2016 and 226 incidents in 2015.
Twenty Israelis were killed and 169 were wounded in terrorist attacks in 2017, the report said. For the sake of comparison, in 2016, 17 Israelis were killed and 263 were wounded in terrorist attacks.
Rami Aziz, an Egyptian researcher and political analyst, whose research focuses on the growth and development of political Islam in Europe, recently responded to a group of Israeli Arab students who last week left a Tel Aviv University lecture hall after having interrupted and taunted the lecturer inside. Their victim was Egyptian American Sociologist and one of Egypt’s leading human rights and democracy activists, Saad Eddin Ibrahim, who delivered a talk on Israeli-Egyptian relations and ways to preserve them (Israeli Arab Students Crash Egyptian Civil Rights Hero’s Lecture, Calling him a Sellout).
“Millions of students in the Arab world envy you, you should thank God that you live in Israel, you bunch of hypocrites and liars,” Aziz said in his angry video, representing a familiar trend in Arab society these days, which is too busy with its own serious issues, such as the Iranian threat, to bother with crybaby Israeli Arabs.
“Only in Israel can Arab students shout at an Egyptian lecturer that he is a traitor for coming to a Zionist university. And what exactly are they doing at a Zionist university? There is no limit to the hypocrisy, disgust and aggravation of Israeli Arabs. How much can you bite the hand that feeds you?” Aziz said.
Israel’s Energy Minister, Yuval Steinitz (Likud) ordered the Israel Electric Corporation on Sunday to restore the full 50 megawatt supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip, despite ongoing rocket fire emanating from the Hamas-ruled Strip.
Last week, the Palestinian Authority announced that it had agreed to renew payments to Israel for the delivery of electricity to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, following the signing of a comprehensive reconciliation agreement between the ruling Fatah party in Ramallah and Hamas in October.
A long-running financial dispute between Hamas and Fatah led the PA to deny payment for electricity delivered to Gaza. The move led to a 50 megawatt reduction in the supply provided by Israel to Gaza. This forced Hamas officials to cut the time public electricity, not including power from privately owned generators, is offered to Gaza residents by 50% – from eight hours a day to four.
In late October and again in December, Israeli forces discovered terror tunnels extending from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory.
Gaza-based terrorists have also fired dozens of rockets and mortars at Israel in recent weeks, including three last Wednesday.
A member of Hamas’s military wing died on Sunday in an “accidental explosion” in the northern Gaza Strip, the Palestinian terror group said.
Hamas’s military wing the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement on its website that 22-year-old Mohammad Fathi Janid, “one of its heroic jihadi fighters from the town of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, was killed by an accidental explosion.”
The statement added that Janid was killed after “a great and honorable jihadi journey.”
The terror group posted pictures of Janid on its website.
The blacklist covers some 20 groups the ministry said are part of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) and which it said consistently and openly work to delegitimize Israel.
“We have moved from defense to attack,” Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said in a statement that listed the targeted groups. “Boycott organizations need to know that Israel will act against them and will not allow [them] to enter its territory in order to harm its citizens.”
Here is the full list.
• AFSC (American Friends Service Committee)
• AMP (American Muslims for Palestine)
• Code Pink
• JVP (Jewish Voice for Peace)
• NSJP (National Students for Justice in Palestine)
• USCPR (US Campaign for Palestinian Rights)
• AFPS (The Association France Palestine Solidarité)
• BDS France
• BDS Italy
• ECCP (The European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine)
• FOA (Friends of al-Aqsa)
• IPSC (Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign)
• Norgeׂׂ Palestinakomitee (The Palestine Committee of Norway)
• PGS Palestinagrupperna i Sverige (Palestine Solidarity Association in Sweden)
• PSC (Palestine Solidarity Campaign)
• War on Want
• BDS Kampagne
• BDS Chile
• BDS South Africa
• BNC (BDS National Committee)
Dozens of humanities scholars cancelled their membership with their field’s leading professional academic organization ahead of its annual convention, in retaliation for the group refusing to impose boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel.
The defecting professors wrote to the Modern Language Association—published in the days leading up to the conference being held this week in New York City—that they will not be renewing their membership, due to the organization “disgracefully” voting in June against BDS and in favor of a statement denouncing academic boycotts.
Timothy Reiss, a professor emeritus of comparative literature at New York University, wrote he was leaving the organization he had been a part of for over 50 years “sadly but easily.”
“I have to resign from a professional organization that has abrogated its moral, and professional, duties,” wrote Reiss, characterizing censure of Israel as “the great moral issue of our time.”
Many accused their anti-BDS colleagues of being bigots, with Bill Mullen, a professor of American studies at Purdue University and prominent BDS activist, calling objection to boycott in favor of open dialogue a “profoundly racist, ethnocentric vote and rationale.”
Rajini Srikanth, a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, attributed “appalling racism” to those who oppose BDS.
Norway’s government is funding a research group with ties to the Palestine Strategy Group (PSG), a group which conducts anti-Israel research, Mako reported.
London’s Oxford Research Group (ORG) works with PSG, a group headed by Coordinator Husam Zomlot.
One of PSG’s “studies” focuses on how to involve Israeli Arabs in the Palestinian Authority’s anti-Israel campaign and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Another of their “studies” examines if Israeli Arabs should be encouraged to boycott Israeli elections.
In a statement, Norway’s Embassy in Israel stated, “Our support of NGOs is based on the goal of the two-state solution. We do not provide aid to organizations aiming to promote a boycott of Israel. We do not tolerate any type of hate speech, anti-Semitism or efforts aimed at de-legitimizing Israel.”
“Norway did provide funding to the PSG organization through the ORG, but doesn’t sponsor isolated studies.”
As documented in a recent post, Ahlam is highly regarded among the Tamimi Clan in Nabi Saleh. Ahed and her parents attended the wedding in Jordan of Ahlam and another released murderer.
Here is a video compiled from a live feed broadcast by the Workers World Party and original footage provided to us.
The woman at the beginning shouting for an Intifada is Ariel Gold, the Code Pink activist from Ithaca, NY, who is particularly close to the Tamimi family. Gold brought Bassem Tamimi to a third-grade classroom in Ithaca, where his call for the children to become “freedom fighters for Palestine” was condemned by the district Superintendent. The woman in the scarf who led the rally is believed to be Nerdeen Kiswani of NY City Students for Justice in Palestine.
How morbidly ironic that supporters of the Tamimis were calling for an Intifada when one of the most bloody incidents in the Second Intifada was carried out by a Tamimi.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Report: Cultural Genocide Absolutely Delicious (satire)
A survey of foodstuffs available in Israel has determined that dishes adopted or adapted from foods Palestinians claim as theirs, and whose use by Israelis represents an attempt to erase indigenous culture, taste damned good.
The study, which examined the restaurant, cafe, and street food scene in cities around Israel, found that the Israeli versions of dishes that Palestinians and their supporters have weaponized as rhetorical weapons against Jewish sovereignty in the Levant, are by and large a culinary tour de force.
In an article to be published in the February issue of Gourmet magazine, the researchers detail the painstaking legwork and analysis that led to their conclusion. “We’ve spent the last three months eating falafel, kaddeh, knaffeh, baklava, and an endless variety of pickled or seasoned vegetables,” revealed Anin Taam, the lead author of the study. “We specifically focused on foods on which Israeli culture prides itself and that Palestinians claim were ‘appropriated’ by Zionists in an attempt to destroy ‘native’ traditions, and found that boy, are those Israeli dishes good. I have gained so much damn weight during this research.”
Ms. Taam also addressed the specific accusations of what some Palestinian advocates have termed cultural genocide. “Cultural genocide foods are the best foods,” she explained. “Pizza, chocolate, potatoes, and basically anything Chinese, Japanese, or from the Indian subcontinent – man, I’m drooling just thinking about it. Can you imagine how poor the culinary world would be if foods were only allowed to be prepared where they originated?”
An NPR piece entitled, “Israel Accused Of Revoking Thousands Of Jerusalem Residency Permits From Palestinians,” buried, and in some cases entirely left out, critical information.
The author, Daniel Estrin, has a history of responsible journalism with NPR, which makes this lapse unusual, but nonetheless worth examining.
So here at the end we finally learn that at least some who lose their residency status are, in fact, killers. This seems not only relevant, but pretty dramatic context, worthy of inclusion in the appropriate paragraphs about Palestinians losing citizenship, rather than disconnected and buried at the end.
Once the relevant context is included and properly organized, the article would read something like this: those who decline citizenship are not citizens, residents who leave for years at a time are no longer residents, former residents who return can become residents again, etc. This hardly seems surprising or even newsworthy.
If there is a legitimate news story here, NPR should be able to communicate it without burying critical context and leaving out important facts.
NPR can, and must, be more professional.
French President Emmanuel Macron laid a wreath in front of the former offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Sunday to mark three years since the massacre of its staff in an Islamist terror attack
At a low-key ceremony, in line with requests from the families of the victims for a sober commemoration, Macron was joined by journalists from the magazine, members of his government and the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo.
Two French terrorists who had sworn allegiance to al-Qaeda killed 11 people at Charlie Hebdo’s offices in 2015 over the staunchly atheist magazine’s satirical coverage of Islam and the prophet Mohammed.
The assault, which saw a policeman executed at pointblank range nearby, profoundly shocked France.
It also marked the beginning of a series of terror attacks that have claimed 241 lives in total according to an AFP toll.
Charlie Hebdo, which prides itself on being provocative, returned to the murder of its famed cartoonists and writers in its latest issue.
The Dutch tax authority is seeking payment from an 86-year-old Holocaust survivor for a pension stipend that she is receiving from Germany for her employment as a child in forced labor.
The Tax and Customs Administration is demanding that Inge Prenzlau, 86, pay a portion of her $156 monthly compensation stipend from Germany even though that country exempts other recipients residing in Germany and beyond from paying taxes on that class of payments, the Het Financieele Dagblad newspaper reported last week.
Prenzlau worked at her father’s factory without pay when she was 11 years old. She began working in 1942 after her father fell ill. The family was forced to send her to work to prevent the German occupation forces and local collaborators from taking over the factory. She had to walk to the factory for two hours in each direction from her home because Jews were not allowed to use public transportation.
Prenzlau took the Dutch tax authority to court, seeking an injunction against their motion to collect. The court instructed the government to sort out the dispute.
A half-million-year-old center of flint-knapping industry was unexpectedly uncovered ahead of the planned expansion of the Arab Israeli town of Jaljulia.
During salvage excavations that reached five meters (16 feet) below ground level, archaeologists discovered a rare intact site with hundreds of teardrop-shaped flint axes — two-faced handle-less multi-purpose tools, the prehistoric “Swiss Army knife.”
The excavation was funded by the Israel Land Authority and conducted by the Israel Antiquity Authority in a joint operation with Tel Aviv University. According to the IAA, which labeled the site as “rare and important,” the axes are typical tools of the ancient Acheulian culture, prehistoric humans who had settled in Israel’s central Sharon Region some half a million years ago.
What appears to be a once-thriving prehistoric site was revealed through the “extraordinary quantity of flint tools” that were “knapped” (or formed from flint) there, said Maayan Shemer, the excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, and Prof. Ran Barkai, head of the Archaeology Department at Tel Aviv University.
US comedian Sarah Silverman is known for being outspoken and controversial. But what drew ire from some corners of the Internet this week was simply her birthday wish to a nephew.
On Saturday, Silverman uploaded a post to Instagram wishing her nephew Adar Abramowitz a happy birthday. “This baby is now a 19-year-old soldier,” she wrote, alongside photos of him as a toddler and then in his IDF uniform. “OY. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, @adar_abramowitz_silverman I LOVE YOU A ZILLION!!”
While many commenters wished Adar luck, not surprisingly, others had harsher words.
“A 19-year-old apartheid colonial enforcement officer? Must be so proud,” wrote one user. Another wrote, “And now hes [sic] fighting for the occupation killing women and kids, yay.”
But Silverman wasn’t interested in the hate. When one person wrote “Unfollowing #freepalestine,” the comedian replied: “Go for it but he can’t help being Israeli and having to serve. He isn’t the govt. Let’s hope he’s part of the solution.”
Silverman didn’t post the image on Twitter, perhaps fearing further hateful backlash. But she did re-tweet a post from her niece Hallel that featured video of her sister Rabbi Susan Silverman and brother-in-law Yosef Abramowitz adopting Adar from an Ethiopian orphanage. In the video, the sisters tearfully embrace in an airport when Sarah meets Adar for the first time.
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