January 22, 2020

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01/14 Links Pt2: Last Auschwitz survivors speak; UK Lord: Taxpayers Fund Palestinian ‘Pay-for-Slay’ Terror Campaign; Suspects in Jersey City shooting attack had powerful bomb in van

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2020/01/0114-links-pt2-last-auschwitz-survivors.html

From Ian:


Last Auschwitz survivors speak: ‘We haven’t won, but we’ve taught our grandkids’
As he looks at pictures of his parents and sisters who perished in Auschwitz, Szmul Icek begins to tremble, tears clouding his eyes.

It may have been 75 years ago, but for this survivor of the Holocaust the memories of life and death in the Nazi extermination camp remain painfully fresh.

More than a million Jews were killed at Auschwitz, in then occupied Poland. The last survivors, now all elderly, still live with the physical and mental scars of the horrors of that time.

Since their liberation three quarters of a century ago, their skin has wrinkled with the march of time and the numbers tattooed on their left arms have faded — much in the same way that the collective memory of the Holocaust is blurring.

These survivors are the last witnesses to traumatic events that, now in the 21st century, are often called into question by anti-Semitic revisionists.

So as Israel prepares this month to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the camp at a ceremony to be attended by a host of world leaders, AFP reporters met with about 10 survivors to hear their testimonies.

How the world discovered the Nazi death camps

Images of what the Allies found when they liberated the first Nazi death camps towards the end of World War II brought the horror of the Holocaust to world attention.

Many of the ghastly pictures were at first held back from the broader public, partly out of concern for those with missing relatives.

The concentration and extermination camps were liberated one by one as the Allied armies advanced on Berlin in the final days of the 1939-1945 war.

The first was Majdanek in eastern Poland, which was freed on July 24, 1944, by the advancing Soviet Red Army.

But it was only the following year that media coverage was encouraged by the provisional government led by general Charles De Gaulle set up after the liberation of France.

Fight against antisemitism goes viral with ‘Stop this Story’ campaign

The fight against the resurgence of antisemitism is being taken to social media in an effort to broaden awareness of the problem and create a modern and relevant dialogue about this ancient scourge.

The “Stop this Story!” campaign initiated by the European Jewish Congress (EJC) has secured the support of global celebrities and influencers, including Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli, actress Vanessa Kirby of the hit Netflix show The Crown, sex therapist and Holocaust survivor Dr. Ruth, former NBA player Omri Casspi and President Reuven Rivlin, to help spread the message.

The campaign, conducted on Instagram, YouTube and other platforms, utilizes Instagram’s 3D-effects capability. The personalities involved in the project have created images of themselves holding up their hands bearing the words: “Stop this Story!”

In addition, a time-lapse video project, featuring Dr. Ruth Westheimer, 91, the world-renowned sex therapist, media personality and Holocaust survivor, will be posted on Instagram and other social-media platforms in a series of stories. The video highlights the never-ending story of antisemitism, utilizing impressive visual techniques.

A ‘Rose’ By Any Other Name? Anti-Judaism, Anti-Semitism, Jew-Hatred, Anti-Zionism

As for “anti-Semitism,” while linguists constructed a category of semitic languages, and scholars, a group of Semitic peoples in antiquity (who never called themselves such), Jews are not Semites. That is an absurd, racist proposition. The term “anti-Semitism,” however it is spelled, asserts that there is such a thing as “Semitism,” to which one can legitimately be opposed. The term, “Jew-hatred” implies no more about the emotions of its bearers than does the term, “hate crime”—a recognized type of offense under US Federal law—about its bearers. The focus in both cases is on the manifestation, in speech or other act. As in sexual harassment, the focus is on the experience of the victims, not on the mental state of the perpetrators.

The opposition of some Jew-haters was relatively moderate, expressed in support for legal discrimination against Jews and limits on Jewish immigration, but eschewing violence. For others, that did and does not begin to suffice. The official Church never argued for the murder of Jews, individually, much less, in toto; the goal was conversion which, so unlike the case with racist Jew-hatred, in theory at least, was the solution. Dead Jews brought the Church no gain, while every conversion testified to the truth of Christianity in the Church’s never-ending competition with Judaism for ultimate theological vindication. Jew-haters loosed from the theological limits of the Church had very different methods and no limits, as we know. Did a link between these phenomena play out in certain segments of European societies; was there a species leap, so to speak, between religious and racist Jew-hatred? Yes. Can that occur in other contexts? Yes. That does not obscure the real differences between these phenomena, their methods or their goals.

These distinctions are relevant now, too. To anti-Zionists, there are “good Jews.” Those are the apolitical kind– quiescent on the Jewish national question; people who consider themselves members of a religion or a culture only, content to be a minority with equal civil (individual) rights, but not nationalists and certainly, not supporting Jewish sovereignty in a state for themselves or any Jew. In this, they are distinct from non-Zionists, who simply prefer to live where they do and not in Israel, but who are not ideologically opposed to Jewish sovereignty in Israel.

The “good old days” in anti-Zionist thinking is the supposed “Golden Age” in Spain, in which Jews, like all dhimmi– monotheistic non-Muslims, Christians, too– lived as demeaned but protected subjects, suffering discrimination meant to demonstrate the superiority of Islam but free to practice their religions within certain limits (never as equal, much less competing, religious options), and to prosper economically. The category “dhimmi” was both religious and political; it was the political expression of Islamic religious dogma.

Political Zionism meant, and means, a Jewish declaration of independence from dhimmitude, which is intolerable in a certain strand of Islamic theological argument, and practice. The choice that adherents of this ideology put for Jews today is between dhimmitude, and politicide—annihilation of a fundamentally illegitimate Jewish state. This is the ideology of the current regime in Iran and of other Muslim extremists. Conversion is an option in this ideology. Jewish national self-determination is not.

Sarah Halimi’s murder case: Criminally irresponsible?

Nothing in this judgment objectively establishes the abolition of discernment. Nothing except the desire not to send him back to trial. For, unlike guilt, in matters of criminal responsibility, doubt does not benefit the accused.

Mr. Traoré took drugs voluntarily. And because this was not the first time, because he already had a long history of cannabis use, because he had already been convicted of using narcotics and therefore necessarily alerted to the danger of these products, because he himself had suffered, and acknowledged to have suffered, the harmful effects of cannabis on his psyche, Mr. Traoré must answer for his actions before a criminal court.

Moreover, is it not contradictory for the Investigation Chamber to acknowledge both Kobili Traoré’s “willingness” to kill Sarah Halimi and his total lack of awareness or control over her actions?

Finally, we cannot be satisfied with this legal blind spot: too “crazy” for prison, not “crazy” enough for psychiatric internment.

It is in this dark corner, far from anyone’s view, that Sarah Halimi was buried for a second time. Mr. Traoré will not remain in the bonds of a compulsory hospitalization for long. But because he was “insane” at the time of the events, he shall not go to prison either.

Mr. Traoré will, therefore, leave his ward much sooner than a conviction for his crime should have provided.

About a week ago, rallies in various French cities such as Paris and Marseille saw thousands of Jews and non-Jews march together to protest the court’s decision.

Hopefully, people will realize that when Jews are targeted, it is a warning that society is becoming sick. This case goes beyond the Jewish community.

Everybody should feel concerned because if the Supreme Court upholds the Investigation Chamber’s decision, everybody could be at risk.

Lord Polak: British Taxpayers Fund Palestinian ‘Pay-for-Slay’ Terror Campaign

“Israel is being singled out ‘with nauseating frequency,’ to borrow a phrase, and we are joining in,” said Lord Baron Stuart Polak, president of Conservative Friends of Israel, in a House of Lords speech on Jan. 7.

“I have no problem with legitimate criticism where it is due, but this obsession with Israel needs to be addressed. This singling out of the Jewish state is wrong, unjustified, and plays a role in the rise and rise of antisemitism,” he said.

“Whether it manifests itself in Monsey [NY] in the United States or just down the road in South Hampstead, it arises, as we have seen in the Labour Party, when there is a failure of leadership on the grandest scale,” added Polak.

The baron also raised the question of the Palestinian Authority’s terroristic practice of “pay to slay,” making it clear that the government has an obligation to ensure that British taxpayer money go to those in need, as opposed to rewarding terrorists convicted of heinous crimes and their families.

“In 2018, the Palestinian Authority paid over £260 million [$338 million]—around 7 percent of its annual budget—on salaries to killers and murderers,” said Polak.

Referring to the Netherlands’ discontinuation of direct aid to the PA in November because of this terror reward policy, he urged, “We must pay our way, but not when our aid is used to pay for slay. We must find a method by which aid payments serve the recipients who need our support in Palestinian society, and at the same time, serve the interests of the British taxpayer.”

‘Jews in the gutter’ activist to address Holocaust Memorial Day event organised by Socialist Workers Party

An activist, who once tried to defend Ken Livingstone’s comments about Adolf Hilter and Zionism, is due to speak at a Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) event organised by the Socialist Workers Party, which is linked to the controversial Stand Up To Racism group.

Glyn Secker, secretary of the fringe, pro-Corbyn Jewish Voice For Labour group, is one of three speakers listed to take part in the Never Again: Lessons of the Holocaust event taking place on January 27in Shadwell, East London.

Organised by Tower Hamlets Stand Up To Racism, the event is advertised as taking place to “remember the victims of the Holocaust and to commit ourselves to fight racism today”.

In October 2018, the JC revealed Mr Secker had intervened at a meeting of Dulwich and West Norwood Labour branch where a speaker from the controversial Jewdas group addressed members.

Local party member Mr Secker said that former London Mayor Mr Livingtone’s real mistake over his Hitler and Zionism comments was his failure to quote Nazi Holocaust architect Adolf Eichmann.

Mr Secker, who said he was a Jewish ex-member of the Socialist Workers Party, said Eichmann, “who was not very far down from Hitler in the chain of command”, organised the controversial 1933 Haavara Agreement, which allowed German Jews to relocate to Palestine.

Blaming Antisemitism on Capitalism

It is progress of sorts. This week, one of the leading magazines of the American left published an article that took the phenomenon of antisemitism seriously.

I call it progress because for a good 20 years, the vocal and resurgent Socialist left on both sides of the Atlantic has denounced antisemitism not as something that non-Jews “do” to Jews, but as something that the Jewish establishment and its Israeli masters “do” to adversaries of Zionism, non-Jew and Jew alike. In this environment, some left-wingers have even worn the badge of antisemitism with a perverse pride, as if it were a medal bestowed in the struggle to speak truth to power on behalf of the Palestinians.

But now, faced with a rising tide of antisemitic violence in America and internationally, some on the left are acknowledging that hatred of Jews is a disturbing reality within our society, and not some ideologically contrived phantom. “After dropping for more than a decade, the number of anti-Jewish attacks more than doubled between 2015 and 2017,” writes Aaron Freedman in the latest issue of Jacobin magazine. “In 2018 — the year that a gunman murdered eleven congregants at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, the deadliest antisemitic assault in US history — the number of antisemitic assaults doubled. In New York City, where nearly one in every seven people is Jewish, antisemitic crimes have jumped 21 percent in the past year.”

In his article, Freedman argues that he has uncovered both the reason for antisemitism’s stubborn persistence and, by the same token, the key to its defeat. The emboldening of white nationalism in the Trump era is the “main” part of the story, he says, but he goes on to observe that “Trump’s victory alone does not explain the spate of incidents in New York, committed in many cases by black individuals in both planned assaults and apparently random street encounters.”

Suspects in Jersey City shooting attack had powerful bomb in van

The two suspects who carried out a shooting attack at a Jersey City, New Jersey, kosher grocery in December had a bomb in their U-Haul van that could have killed or wounded people up to half a kilometer from the scene, according to the FBI.

The attack could have been part of a larger one that was planned against the Jewish community and law enforcement, it said.

The suspects had enough material in the van to make a second bomb, the US attorney in New Jersey and the head of the local FBI said this week.

“If it exploded in the right place, it could have certainly injured or killed people up to five football fields away,” said Gregory Ehrie, the FBI Newark special agent in charge, CNN reported.

US Attorney for New Jersey Craig Carpenito said police detective Joseph Seals, who intercepted and was shot and killed by the perpetrators on their way to the grocery, “threw off a broader plan” and “probably saved dozens if not more lives,” NBC reported.

“This was nothing but a senseless, evil, cowardly act of antisemitism and hatred toward not just the Jewish community, but law enforcement,” he said. The two suspects “both targeted Jewish victims and law enforcement, and we know now that they planned greater acts of mayhem on both communities.”

Jersey City killers planned attack for months, previously shot at Jewish man

The two people who fatally shot a police officer then killed three people at a kosher grocery in Jersey City planned an assault for some time and were equipped to cause greater destruction, authorities said Monday.

State and federal law enforcement officials revealed details about the months leading up to the shootings by David Anderson and Francine Graham, a couple who expressed hatred of Jews and law enforcement in notes left at the grocery shooting scene and in online posts.

“This was a senseless and cowardly act,” U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.

Anderson, 47, and Graham, 50, shot and killed Jersey City Detective Joseph Seals in a chance meeting in a cemetery Dec. 10, then drove to the market and killed Mindel Ferencz, 31, who owned the store with her husband; Moshe Deutsch, 24, a rabbinical student from Brooklyn who was shopping there; and store employee Douglas Miguel Rodriguez.

Rodriguez held the back door open for a wounded customer to escape before he was shot, authorities said Monday.

New York Hanukkah Machete Attack Suspect Pleads Not Guilty to Federal Hate Crime Charges

The man accused of stabbing at least five people in a machete rampage at the home of a Hasidic rabbi during a Hanukkah celebration pleaded not guilty to federal hate crime charges on Monday.

A federal grand jury indicted Grafton Thomas, 37, late last week with additional counts of hate crimes for the Dec. 28 stabbing of members of the Orthodox Jewish community in Monsey, New York, bringing the number of federal charges he faces to 10.

Each count carries a maximum prison term of life.

Thomas attended his arraignment in White Plains, a suburb north of New York City, in orange jail fatigues as members of his family sat in the courtroom and waved at him.

He spoke only briefly to answer the judge’s questions, confirming his name and age and saying that he has taken the drug Prozac.

Federal prosecutors have said Thomas targeted his victims because of their Jewish faith. In a criminal complaint filed last month, they cited journals they seized from the suspect’s home containing references to Adolf Hitler, Nazi culture and the Black Hebrew Israelites movement, identified by extremism experts as an anti-Jewish hate group.

Thomas also faces state charges for the attack, which his attorney, pointing to his client’s long history of mental illness, has said was likely an expression of psychosis rather than bigotry.

Judge says Monsey Hanukkah attack suspect may need death penalty lawyer

A man charged in a bloody attack at a Hanukkah celebration may need attorneys specializing in death penalty cases if a stabbing victim dies, a judge said Monday.

US District Judge Cathy Seibel raised the subject during a court hearing for Grafton Thomas after he pleaded not guilty to federal hate crime charges.

Thomas was arrested hours after five people were stabbed in a December 28 attack at a rabbi’s home in Monsey, an Orthodox Jewish community north of New York City.

Assistant US Attorney Michael Krouse said that if any of the victims dies, prosecutors will consult with Justice Department officials in Washington before deciding whether to seek the death penalty. One victim remains in a coma.

Seibel said she would appoint lawyers specializing in death penalty cases to help with the defense “as soon as possible,” if it becomes likely that charges could be upgraded to include a death penalty request.

In New Jersey, reported bias crimes increased by 65 percent in 2019

Based on preliminary figures, 944 bias incidents were reported in New Jersey in 2019, a 65 percent increase from the previous year.

According to a news release from the office of Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, this is the largest number of reported bias crimes since 1996, and the largest year-over-year increase since bias reporting standards were implemented in 1991.

“The terrible attack in Jersey City was by far the most violent bias incident in New Jersey last year, but it was hardly the only one,” said Grewal. “We are committed to doing everything in our power to solve this problem. In addition to maintaining vigilance against such attacks, we in law enforcement are joining with community members and youth leaders across the state to counter the corrosive messages of hate that motivate such acts, and to replace them with messages of tolerance, understanding, and unity.

A New Jersey State Police report found that 172 anti-Jewish bias incidents were reported in 2018, which accounted for 30 percent of the total number of reported bias incidents in the state and 86.4 percent of all bias incidents motivated by the victim’s religion. Jews were the most frequently targeted religious group between 2006 and 2018, targeted in 29.8 percent of reported bias incidents.

Brooklyn Nets warm up in ‘No Place for Hate’ shirts with ADL logo

The Brooklyn Nets warmed up in shirts that read “No Place For Hate” and bore the logo of the Anti-Defamation League on Sunday night, before a game against the Atlanta Hawks at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

“No Place for Hate” is the ADL’s education program for combating bias, bullying and hatred in public schools.

The campaign was started as the number of anti-Semitic attacks has risen recently across the New York area, particularly in the borough of Brooklyn.

The team tweeted photos of players warming up in the shirts, writing: “Tonight, we’re warming up in #NoPlaceForHate shirts in collaboration with the @ADL to show that #WeGoHard against hate.”

The Nets defeated the Hawks 108-86.

Germany: Terrorists planning attack on synagogue arrested

Authorities in Germany arrested suspected Islamist terrorists in a series of raids across the country Tuesday morning, AFP reported.

Chechen nationals suspected of being part of a terrorist plot were arrested in police raids in Berlin, Brandenburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Thuringia, the Berlin attorney general’s office announced in a tweet.

“On suspicion of planning a serious violent act endangering the state, search warrants are being executed in Berlin, Brandenburg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Thuringia.”

The suspects arrested in the raids range in age from 23 to 28, and according to Berlin police are suspected of “having scouted locations” for a possible terrorist attack.

Police say their suspicions regarding the terror cell were first raised after one of the terrorist’s cell phones was examined during a routine police stop. Pictures on the phone raised officers’ suspicions, leading to a wider investigation culminating in Tuesday’s raids.

AG Barr Calls on Apple to Give Access to Pensacola Terrorist’s Phone: ‘To Protect Lives’

Attorney General William Barr told reporters on Monday at a press conference at the Department of Justice’s headquarters in Washington, DC, that Apple needs to help investigators gain access to the phones used by a Saudi soldier who killed three Americans at a Florida Naval base in December.

“This was an act of terrorism,” Barr said. “The evidence shows that the shooter was motivated by Jihadist ideology.”

At this stage of the investigation, Barr said, digital evidence is vital. He said:
It is very important to know with whom and about what the shooter was communicating before he died. We call on Apple and other technology companies to help us find a solution so that we can better protect the lives of Americans and prevent future attacks.

The FBI asked Apple to help gain access to the terrorist’s two phones after its agents were unable to access them.

US Ousts 21 Saudi Military Personnel After Florida Killings

Twenty-one Saudi military cadets undergoing US training will be ousted following an investigation into the fatal shooting of three Americans by a Saudi officer at a Florida naval base that US Attorney General William Barr on Monday branded an act of terrorism.

The Dec. 6 attack brought fresh complications to US-Saudi relations at a time of heightened tensions between the United States and Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional rival.

A deputy sheriff shot dead the gunman, Saudi Air Force Second Lieutenant Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, in the Pensacola, Florida, incident.

Barr said 21 Saudi cadets were “disenrolled from their training curriculum” in the US military and would leave the United States later on Monday after an investigation showed they either had child pornography or social media accounts containing Islamic extremist or anti-American content.

During a news conference, Barr — the top US law enforcement official — said there was no evidence of assistance by other Saudi trainees or that any of them had knowledge in advance of the attack.

“This was an act of terrorism,” Barr said. “The evidence showed that the shooter was motivated by jihadist ideology. During the course of the investigation, we learned that the shooter posted a message on Sept. 11 of this year stating, ‘The countdown has begun.’”

Jihadist Poet Who Considered Bombing NYPD Funeral Sentenced To Prison

Asia Siddiqui, a 35-year-old woman who was arrested on terrorism-related charges in 2015, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison following a trial in New York City.

According to the Associated Press, Siddiqui was “studying how to make bombs for a terrorist attack that prosecutors said would have targeted” U.S. law enforcement officers. Prosecutors also said that Siddiqui “followed and expressed a violent, warped version of Islam which, in their view,” demanded that she and her co-defendent, Noelle Velentzas, “teach each other and learn how to build a bomb.”

According to the Counter Extremism Project, Siddiqui was born in Saudi Arabia and holds dual U.S. citizenship.

Richard Donoghue, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a news release that “lives were saved when the defendants’ plot to detonate a bomb in a terrorist attack was thwarted by the tireless efforts of law enforcement,” reports the news agency. “This is precisely the reason why countering terrorism remains the highest priority of the Department of Justice.”

Muslim man convicted for assaulting Jewish optician in France

A French judge convicted a Muslim man of a hate crime for assaulting a Jewish optician while shouting about Allah.

On Oct. 4, Sliman Ouaki assaulted the owner of the Optical Center shop in Toulon near Marseille while shouting “Allah hu akbar,” Arabic for Allah is the greatest, the BNVCA watchdog on anti-Semitism reported last week.

Ouaki targeted the shop owner, who was not named, because he had a mezuzah on the front door, the report said.

The victim sustained minor injuries and was unable to work for two days, the report said.

The Correctional Tribunal of Toulon convicted Ouaki of a physical assault aggravated by racist hatred and sentenced him to prison. It also imposed penalties as compensation for the victim.

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant From Viral ‘What Is Israel?’ Video Tells Full Story

In an exclusive, The Daily Wire was able to speak with McGuire, who provided more details and context as to what exactly happened both on- and off-camera. The Daily Wire spoke with McGuire exclusively.

McGuire explained that, following Trebek guiding the program into commercial break, there was a significant huddle on-stage — perhaps around eight minutes, McGuire estimated — between the show’s compliance, legal, and stage manager officers. The “Jeopardy!” judges decided to scrap the clue and return the two players’ scores to what they had been immediately before. They then re-ran the segment with a new clue (which McGuire also answered correctly): “Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.”

Curiously, on the version of the show that aired for viewers over the weekend, the original clue of “Church of the Nativity” aired and the substitute clue of “Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe” was nowhere to be seen. McGuire expressed bemusement as to why this might have happened. Interestingly, McGuire also noted that there was another clue in the category of “Where’s that church?” whose answer was located in an arguably geopolitically contested city: La Sagrada Familia, which is in Barcelona and is therefore claimed by both Spain and the Catalonian independence movement.

As for McGuire’s politics himself, he says he is a registered independent with libertarian and conservative leanings. Though he says he isn’t always in agreement with every action of the Israeli government, when it comes to the Jewish state’s right to exist and act in defense of that right, McGuire says he “firmly stands with Israel, now and for all time.” He also mentioned that he is a fan of The Daily Wire and Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro.

As for Needle’s politics, her quite public social media presence speaks for itself.

“Palestine should be free,” Needle tweeted on Friday, also adding an emoji of an ostensible flag that The Daily Wire was unable to identify as that of a confirmed geopolitical entity.

On Friday, Needle also promoted an article in the “Journal of Palestine Studies,” which The Daily Wire was also unable to identify as a periodical devoted to the study of a confirmed geopolitical entity.

Jeopardy Was Wrong on Bethlehem. So Are Many Of Its Critics.

Trebek was, in fact, mistaken in the second part of the exchange. The Church of the Nativity is in Bethlehem, an ancient city that at the time of the church’s construction was ruled by Rome but that today sits in a Palestinian Authority-administered portion of the West Bank. Neither Israel nor the rest of the international community views Bethlehem as sovereign Israeli territory.

But the Jeopardy host’s rejection of the first answer was correct. Bethlehem is not in “Palestine,” because there is no country called Palestine.

In contemporary usage, the word “Palestine” refers to a Palestinian Arab state. It’s a state that some Palestinian leaders say should exist in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and that more extreme Palestinian leaders say should include all of sovereign Israel. But the Palestinian leadership has said “no” to past initiatives and recent peace plans — whether by the United Nations, United States, or Israel — that were meant to create such a state alongside the Jewish state of Israel.

The nomenclature can be confusing, in part due to the evolving sense over time of what “Palestine” means. In the ancient past, Palestine was the name imposed by Rome, in reaction to Jewish revolts against Roman rule, to describe what had been known by locals as Judaea. During and after Roman rule, then, Palestine was a province of the various empires that came and went in the Middle East.

After World War I, when British administrators replaced the Ottoman Turkish rulers, and the international community promised a Jewish national home “in Palestine,” the territory encompassed modern-day Israel, Jordan, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip. At the time, unlike today, “Palestinians” described Jews and Arabs alike.

But just as “Palestinian” has since then evolved to refer only to the Arab population of the area, the term “Palestine” has come to describe the Arab Palestinian state that many demand.

Meanwhile, many Jews today refer to the historical “Land of Israel,” to describe the Jewish ancestral home, which includes both the modern state of Israel and the West Bank, including Bethlehem.

Student gov votes to ban Israeli hummus to be more ‘inclusive’

Late last year, the student senate at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania passed a ban against Sabra Hummus on campus as part of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israeli products.

In the student resolution titled “A Resolution To Endorse the Banning of Sabra Hummus from the Devil’s Den” students moved to cease the sale of Sabra Hummus on campus once the existing product sold out. The students argued that such a ban would follow the “College’s commitment to sustainability and inclusivity.”

“As an institution that deeply values global diversity and civil discussion and debate, Dickinson opposes this boycott.”

The Devil’s Den is a popular campus dining location at which the Hummus is served.

“Sabra Hummus is a brand partially owned by the Strauss Group, which is a company that financially and morally supports the Golani and Givati bridge of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF),” stated the resolution.

“These brigades of the IDF commit human rights abuses against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and the support of Sabra products helps the Strauss Group support the Israeli Defence Force brigade which maintains a cycle of oppression for Palestinian people in violation of international law,” it continued.

A second “alternative” version of the resolution titled was read weeks later and argued that the original proposal did not “consider the whole community effected to [sic] the proposal of banning Sabra Hummus” as it is “one of the only Kosher and vegan options offered on campus” since a campus dining hall lost its Kosher certification.

The radical left will stop at nothing to intimidate conservative students on college campuses. You can help expose them. Find out more »

The second resolution raised concerns of rising anti-Semitism and proposed that Sabra be replaced with another kosher hummus “in the interest of maintaining kosher students’ ability to feed themselves.”

Despite the student’s decision, the college took a firm stance against the boycott.

Warwick University reportedly refuses to adopt International Definition of Antisemitism because it does not offer “any added value”

Warwick University has reportedly refused to adopt the widely accepted International Definition of Antisemitism because it does not offer “any added value.”

In a letter, the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart Croft, told the university’s Jewish Israeli Society (JSoc) president, Angus Taylor, and Jewish Chaplain, Rabbi Fishel Cohen, that the university would not “formally adopt individual definitions of specific forms of discriminatory behaviour.”

Prof. Croft explained that “to adopt one would inevitably lead to the adoption of a whole series of such definitions.” The university, however, would be “mindful” of the Definition.

In response to the letter, Mr Taylor said: “We are deeply disappointed with this decision and call on the university to reverse it without delay.” He called the decision a “shameful abdication of its responsibilities towards Jewish students.”

Mr Taylor added that: “Instead of heeding the Government’s advice and adopting the internationally-recognised Definition, they have instead invented their own pseudo-definition with no consultation from Jewish students at Warwick.”

Promoted and quoted: the BBC’s preferred NGO contributors in 2019

As has been the case in previous years (see related articles below), the Israel related content produced by the BBC during 2019 frequently included contributions or information sourced from non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Often portrayed by the BBC as ‘human rights groups’ or ‘peace activists’, those inherently agenda-driven organisations make no claim to provide unbiased information and are obviously not committed to the BBC’s editorial standards.

When political agendas and journalism meet, questions obviously arise concerning accuracy, impartiality and reliability. One of the few safeguards in place comes in the form of the section titled ‘Contributors’ Affiliations’ in the BBC editorial guidelines on impartiality which, since their overhaul in July 2019, states:
“4.3.12 We should not automatically assume that contributors from other organisations (such as academics, journalists, researchers and representatives of charities and think-tanks) are unbiased. Appropriate information about their affiliations, funding and particular viewpoints should be made available to the audience, when relevant to the context.”

However, throughout 2019 BBC Watch once again documented numerous examples of that clause not having been upheld in Middle East related content which was sourced in one way or another from political NGOs and their representatives.

The BBC’s collaboration with political NGOs comes in a variety of forms. In some cases people associated with NGOs are interviewed or quoted in BBC reporting – but their links to those organisations are not adequately clarified. In other cases NGO activity or statements get BBC exposure without proper disclosure.

For example in June, Yolande Knell reported a demonstration at a gay pride event but gave no information concerning the NGO behind it. In July Tom Bateman cited an “anti-occupation group” without clarifying that he was apparently referring to the political NGO ‘Yesh Din’. In December the BBC showcased three Gaza residents without informing audiences of their links to the NGO ‘Euromed’.

CAMERA Prompts VOA Correction on ‘Palestine’ Terminology

CAMERA’s Israel office last week prompted correction of a Voice of America headline which referred to the present day West Bank as “Palestine.” The Dec. 20 headline for a video had read: “Boutique Hotel at the Separation Wall Between Israel and Palestine.” The reference to the West Bank or the Palestinian territories as “Palestine” is not consistent with VOA style, and the media outlet has previously corrected this point.

In response to communication from CAMERA, editors commendably amended the headline so it now accurately refers to “Israel and the West Bank.”

Unfortunately, however, the accompanying video, as noted in this CAMERA post last month, still does not give readers any indication at all as to why Israel build the separation barrier. Considering that the three-minute video, essentially a promotional piece for the Bethlehem “Walled Off” boutique hotel featuring the political satire art of Banksy, essentially focuses on the wall itself, viewers should receive even the most basic understanding of the “concept of the wall” — as tourist Gail Goodall put it.

Reporter Linda Gradstein cites Palestinian hotel manager Wisam Salsa: “Hotel manager Salsa says that both Banksy’s art and the wall’s graffiti are expressions of solidarity with Palestinian resistance to the occupation of the West Bank.”

A Nazi flag flies in Victoria and there is no way to bring it down

A woman who has German ancestry is flying a Nazi flag in her front garden in her home in the regional town of Beulah in Victoria.

Cheryl Lawdorn told The Age defends her right to fly the flag on her property while paper reports neighbours have complained to the police and the flag has drawn condemning comments from the Premier and the leader of the Opposition.

Premier Daniel Andrews called the behaviour “disgusting” saying “if there is decency in that household they will take down the flag immediately”.

The local council has said it has no power to have the flag removed. The CEO of the Yarriambiack Shire Council told The Age, “We are aware the flag is causing a level of concern. What the flag represents is not in line with the values of council and we are disappointed it is causing offence in the community,” she said.

“However, we don’t have a particular level or provision that enables us to act on that. We have received no specific complaint from a person in the community but it has been raised with us that it’s there.”

Dr Dvir Abramovich, Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission said: “This is a stomach-turning outrage that is a stain on our community. The flying of the Nazi flag in the skies of our nation is like plunging a dagger in the heart of Holocaust survivors and spitting in the face of the diggers who fought to defeat Hitler and his genocidal regime.

Israeli tech exits jump 72% to record $21.74 billion in 2019, report says

Israel’s tech firms saw exits jump 72 percent in 2019 to a record $21.74 billion from $12.6 billion in 2018, according to an IVC-Meitar 2019 Israeli tech exits report. Exits are defined as merger and acquisition deals or initial public offerings of shares.

The value of exits of Israeli tech firms has grown during the last decade, from 2010 to 2019, with the total number of deals for the period reaching 1,210 for a money value of $111.29 billion, according to the report published Tuesday.
When comparing 2010 to 2019, there was a 50% jump in the number of exits and an increase of over 800% in the value of the exits, the report shows.

The report shows that in 2019 there were 138 exit deals, 122 of which were merger and acquisition deals, compared to 122 exits in 2018, of which 106 were M&As. According to the figures, 2019 was a record year for exits in the past decade in terms of the total amount of transactions. The figures exclude the whopping $15.3 billion deal for the acquisition of Jerusalem based-Mobileye by Intel Corp. in 2017. Including that exceptionally high deal, 2017 would have been the record year for the decade.

Pioneers of gene-editing tool win Israel’s Wolf Prize in medicine

Two global pioneers of modern gene-editing technology were awarded Monday Israel’s prestigious Wolf Prize in medicine.

The Wolf Foundation said it was recognizing Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier for their work in developing the gene-editing tool CRISPR.

Their research has the potential to “revolutionize medicine by paving the way to finding new forms of treatment for currently incurable diseases,” the foundation said.

Gene editing is a way to permanently change DNA to attack the root causes of a gene-based disease. It can serve a wide variety of other uses too — from attacking malaria in mosquitoes to breeding hardier crops.

CRISPR is a tool that seeks out a precise piece of DNA inside living cells and slices it, allowing scientists to turn genes on or off, repair or replace them. It’s long been used in the lab and is in early-stage testing for treating cancer and other diseases.

Lionel Richie cannot wait to come to Israel

On March 2, on the day of Israel’s third election, Lionel Richie will perform in Israel, at the Menorah Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv, for the first time, as part of his worldwide “Hello” tour.

“Hello Israel, this is Lionel Richie, and I can’t wait to perform in Israel for the first time ever. We’re going to dance all night long. So go to vote and I’ll see you on the second of March in Tel Aviv. See you then,” said the singer.

In the summer, Richie received pressure from the anti-Israel group Code Pink not to perform in Israel. Code Pink started a petition accusing Israel of “oppression and dispossession of the Palestinian people” and threatened the singer, saying “if you choose to follow through with your performance in Tel Aviv, it will act as an endorsement of Israel’s brutal systems of military occupation and apartheid.” Richie refused to be intimidated by the group and, instead, blocked Code Pink’s Twitter account.



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