Alan Baker: Trivializing and paying lip service to antisemitism
The annual Holocaust remembrance events, whether in the UN or in individual countries, held on and around the official, international day of remembrance on January 27, have now passed, until next year.
The hollow and disingenuous lip-service payed by international leaders to the greatest tragedy that has befallen the Jewish people, has passed.
The annual “day in the sun” of professors, Holocaust researchers and experts, whether in research centers in Israeli universities or elsewhere, is over until next year.
Life must go on.
The international community can now get back to its routine and regular agenda of political correctness. It can get back to ignoring and sidestepping the most tragic violations of human rights in the centers of conflict in Syria, Africa and elsewhere.
The UN and the EU and their organs can return to adopting meaningless and futile political resolutions, generated by political groupings with specific political agendas that achieve nothing other than to fan the embers of hatred and antisemitism.
The world can now get back to pandering to autocratic regimes, to ayatollahs and to artificial leaders, purveyors of incitement and hatred that seek, through their actions and words, to sow the seeds of the next Holocaust.
Dr. Gerald M. Steinberg: Palestinian Children Are The Child Soldiers No One Is Talking About
[The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.]
Even more disturbing is the role of UNICEF — which was created to help children around the world. In 2013, UNICEF’s “copy and paste” version of the unverifiable and false claims made by NGOs like DCIP (based on “affidavits” that officials cannot understand or verify) gave them a UN seal of approval and significant legitimacy. In 2015, after Israeli officials demonstrated the systematic errors, and the degree to which their treatment of minors involved in illegal activities is consistent with international standards, the UNICEF office in Jerusalem acknowledged the falsehoods in discussions with Israeli officials. But in public, where the propaganda wars are waged, the UN organization and its NGO allies continue to quote the original.
Joining DCIP and UNICEF in this cynical campaign are the American Friends Service Committee, Amnesty International, the so-called Jewish Voice for Peace, and the “Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel” (EAPPI) — which brings activists for three months to “witness” the suffering of Palestinian children and is run by the notoriously anti-Israel World Council of Churches.
In addition to adding its prestige to political warfare that exploits children, and laundering the false allegations targeting Israel, UNICEF funds a number of the organizations in this unholy alliance, including DCI-P and EAPPI. Together, their goal is the get the UN Secretary General to add the IDF to the notorious group of warlords and failed states listed under the Children and Armed Conflict resolution, which includes ISIS and Boko Haram. Although UNICEF officials claim to be uninvolved in this effort, they are the ones who select the NGOs in their “working group” and in provide funding to DCI-P and EAPPI.
As a result of these factors, UNICEF’s reports on Israel are far more bellicose in comparison to other Middle Eastern countries. The allegations of “widespread and systematic abuse” echo the definition of crimes against humanity in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. UNICEF does not employ similar language in other conflict situations, sharpening the conclusion that the organization singles out Israel for political, rather than substantive reasons.
Countering the cynical “child mistreatment” propaganda requires highlighting the foundation of lies, and the naming and shaming of the participants, including the NGOs. In parallel, UNICEF officials and donors, including the US, Canadian, Japanese and European governments, must be pressed to review funding and move to end this complicity. The individuals and foundations who give generously to UNICEF under the illusion that unlike other UN bodies, this one actually acts morally, should reconsider. If UNICEF officials are seriously concerned about protecting children like Ahed Tamimi, as well as the Israeli child victims the ongoing terror war, they should keep far away from such exploitation.
Perhaps as disturbing as the resurgence of anti-Semitism on the hard left is the reluctance of leftists who aren’t anti-Semites to acknowledge it. This reluctance, argues John-Paul Pagano, stems directly from trends in left-wing thinking that have created a special blindness to the hatred of Jews.
[This] erasure of anti-Semitism . . . exposes a huge moral failure at the heart of the modern left. Under the enveloping paradigm of “intersectionality,” people are granularly defined by their various identities—except for white Jews, whose Jewishness is often overwritten by their skin color. . . .
[I]n a key sense, regular racism, [directed] against blacks and Latinos for example, is the opposite of anti-Semitism. [This sort of bigotry] comes from white people believing they are superior to people of [other races]. But the hatred of Jews stems from the belief that Jews are a cabal with supernatural, [or near-supernatural], powers. . . . Whereas the white racist regards blacks as inferior, the anti-Semite imagines that Jews have preternatural power to afflict humankind. . . . If Jews have power, then “punching up” at Jews is a form of “speaking truth to power”—a form of speech of which the left is currently enamored. In other words, it is because anti-Semitism pretends to strike at power that the left cannot see it, and is doomed to erase—and even reproduce—its tropes. . . .
Above all else, anti-Semitism is a conspiracy theory about the maleficent Jewish elite. And it’s this that makes it easy to disguise anti-Semitism as a “politics of liberation,” or at least, to embed it quietly in efforts for social justice. You can see this in the resuscitated efforts of groups like Black4Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace to portray Israel and America as bastions of capitalist white supremacy that collude to brutalize “people of color.” . . .
When the Palestinian Authority’s President Mahmoud Abbas delivered his recent rant of over two hours to assembled Palestinian leaders, he alleged wild conspiracies, . . . [declaring] that “Israel has imported frightening amounts of drugs in order to destroy our younger generation.” In response, the [lobbying] group J Street, after rejecting “the divisive and inflammatory rhetoric used by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas,” complained that Donald Trump had provoked Abbas to despair [rather than acknowledging that Abbas has thought and said such things about Jews for his entire career].
The Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch condemned the U.N. election of Turkey as Vice-Chair of the committee that accredits and oversees the work of non-governmental human rights groups at the world body, noting that the Erdogan regime arrests, jails and persecutes human rights activists, journalists and students.
“Electing Turkey’s Erdogan regime to oversee the work of human rights activists at the U.N. is like picking the fox to guard the henhouse, as he is still wiping the feathers off his mouth from his last meal,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.
“This election is absurd, and casts a shadow upon the reputation of the United Nations as a whole,” said Neuer.
The diplomat elected on January 29th to represent the Erdogan regime on the committee was Ceren Hande Özgür.
“It underscores the degree to which this vital committee—which has the power to suspend the U.N. credentials of human rights groups—has been hijacked by the world’s worst dictatorships.”
The leader of the Anti-Defamation League has called on former President Barack Obama to again denounce Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
The request by Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL’s national director, follows the release of a photo taken of the two men in 2005, when Obama was a US senator from Illinois and a rising political star.
“Over his career, @barackobama has denounced the bigotry of Farrakhan. Time to do so again,” Greenblatt tweeted Sunday. “Leaders always should make sure that there’s no doubt: America is no place for those who advocate #antisemitism or hate.”
The Trice Edney News Wire first published the photo on Jan. 20 and quotes the photographer, Askia Muhammad, as saying that after snapping the picture at a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus, an unidentified member of the caucus asked him immediately not to run the photo. As there was already talk in 2005 of Obama running for president, Muhammad said he and others did not want to harm the Democrat’s chances.
Farrakhan expressed support for Obama’s candidacy in 2008, and Obama’s pastor at the time, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, had praised Farrakhan on multiple occasions. That made Farrakhan an issue during the primaries campaign that year, and Obama’s rival at the time, Hillary Clinton, called on him to repudiate Farrakhan. Obama did so during a primaries debate.
Glenn R. Simpson, the co-founder of the controversial opposition research firm Fusion GPS, espoused a conspiracy theory claiming that Vladimir Putin “essentially took over the Russian Jewish community” and that Putin uses “the Jewish Diaspora” as a route for Russian influence.
Simpson’s outlandish claim was made during testimony on November 14 before the House Select Committee on Intelligence, a transcript of which was released two weeks ago. His statements, which arguably contain anti-Semitic undertones, were almost entirely ignored by the news media.
The claims may offer a window into the conspiratorial thinking of the firm behind the infamous, largely discredited 35-page anti-Trump dossier alleging unsubstantiated collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
During testimony, Simpson stated, “I am sort of thinking back to one of the other questions that Congressman Schiff asked about, things to look at.” Simpson was referring to requests from Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, who repeatedly asked the Fusion GPS co-founder during the testimony for recommendations of whom to subpoena or items to investigate as part of the Russia collusion probe.
Simpson then delved into his Putin-Jewish conspiracy. “And it’s kind of an uncomfortable — I don’t know really how to put it, but there is a lot of — Putin seems to be very interested in the Jewish Diaspora.”
“And there seems to be, especially, the sort of Orthodox or ultra-religious or conservative, and there is a definitely something interesting to all that,” Simpson stated. “Chabad, in particular, is a subject that is curious and interesting.”
Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party has helped to fuel a record number of attacks on the Jewish community, a charity has warned.
The Community Security Trust (CST), which monitors anti-Semitism, recorded 1,382 anti-Semitic incidents nationwide in 2017 which they said was “unprecedented”.
This was the highest tally the organisation has registered for a calendar year since it began gathering the data in 1984. The figure was up by 3 per cent compared with 1,346 in 2016, which had itself been a record annual total.
“The high incident levels throughout 2017 continued the pattern of 2016 in which high incident numbers were sustained by a combination of factors, including an increase in all forms of recorded hate crime and publicity regarding alleged anti-Semitism in the Labour Party,” the report said.
These factors may have caused higher levels of incidents as well as encouraging more reporting of anti-Semitic incidents from victims and witnesses in the Jewish community, the CST said.
The most common single type of incident in 2017 involved verbal abuse randomly directed at Jewish people in public. Three-quarters of all the anti-Semitic incidents were recorded in Greater London and Greater Manchester, where the two largest Jewish communities in the UK are located.
“Often increases in anti-Semitic incidents have been attributable to reactions to specific trigger events that cause identifiable, short-term spikes in incident levels,” the CST’s report found.
“However, this was not the case in 2017. Instead, it appears that the factors that led to a general, sustained high level of anti-Semitic incidents in 2016 have continued throughout much of 2017.”
In advance of the 37th Council session (February 26 – March 23, 2018), the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has released a report on the “BDS blacklist” of companies that do business with Israelis over the 1949 Armistice Line. Pursuant to UNHRC Resolution 31/36, promoted by the dictatorships that dominate the Council, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is tasked with preparing a database of business enterprises that are allegedly committing human rights violations against Palestinians by operating in Israeli settlements.
The report, submitted by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, provides important details on the flawed process and the difficulties inherent in creating a list of companies to be targeted by this form of BDS. Most importantly, the database will only be published “in a future update”; a specific date or time frame is not provided.
Concerns about due process for the companies involved, which resulted in an initial delay of one-year when raised by NGO Monitor in January 2017, are highlighted in the report.
Furthermore, the question of whether the UNHRC has sufficient funds to assess the credibility of allegations related to such a database is also raised.
The United Nations human rights office said on Wednesday it had identified 206 companies doing business linked to Israeli settlements in the West Bank and it urged them to avoid any complicity in “pervasive” violations against Palestinians.
Israel fears that companies listed on any UN “blacklist” could be targeted for boycotts or divestment aimed at stepping up pressure over its settlements, which most countries and the world body view as illegal.
“Businesses play a central role in furthering the establishment, maintenance and expansion of Israeli settlements,” the UN report said.
“In doing so, they are contributing to Israel’s confiscation of land, facilitate the transfer of its population into the Occupied Palestinian Territory and are involved in the exploitation of Palestine’s natural resources,” it said.
The majority of the companies, or 143, are domiciled in Israel or the settlements, followed by 22 in the United States, it said. The remainder are based in 19 other countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, France and Britain.
The UN report did not name the companies and said that its database was not yet complete.
Israel’s ambassador, Aviva Raz Shechter, said her government was still studying the report, launched by a resolution of the UN Human Rights Council in March 2016, but rejected the concept as “fundamentally illegitimate.”
The US said it plans to remain in the United Nations Human Rights Council after publication was delayed of a list of companies doing business over the pre-1967 Green Line.
The Trump administration had previously threatened to leave the council unless it ended its biased treatment of Israel, including the publication of the database.
“The US remains a member of the Human Rights Council and intends to be fully engaged at the upcoming March session,” a US official told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights had been scheduled to release a database of those companies by the end of 2017, as mandated by the UNHRC in 2016.
But it did not meet that December deadline and in a progress report published on Wednesday stated: “OHCHR was given limited resources to carry out the mandate within the anticipated time frame, which required it to calibrate its research and engagement with companies accordingly.”
“Not all companies about which OHCHR had received information could be contacted by the time of submission of the present report,” the office wrote.
It explained that it whittled down an initial list of 321 companies believed to meet the criteria for inclusion in the database down to 206. Out of those, it had contacted only 64.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Wednesday slammed a UN report on 206 companies with ties to Israeli settlements as “a waste of time and resources” that showed an “anti-Israeli obsession.”
The office of the UN high commissioner for human rights released the report that did not name the companies but could pave the way to a “blacklist” of businesses that Israeli officials fear would be targeted for an international boycott.
“This whole issue is outside the bounds of the High Commissioner for Human Rights office’s mandate and is a waste of time and resources,” Haley said in a statement.
The report was in response to a resolution adopted in 2016 by the UN Human Rights Council that called for the creation of database of all companies doing business with the Israeli settlements, which the United Nations considers illegal under international law.
“While we note that they wisely refrained from listing individual companies, the fact that the report was issued at all is yet another reminder of the Council’s anti-Israel obsession,” said Haley.
In Washington, the State Department lashed out at “such biased and politicized actions taken against Israel.”
“We have not provided, and will not provide, any information or support to the Office of the High Commissioner in this process,” the U.S. statement said. “We strongly urge other countries to do the same.”
Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said an Israeli and U.S. pressure campaign to block publication of the company names violates international law.
“We call upon the secretary-general of the U.N. to publish the names of the companies that are doing business with the settlements,” he said. “Settlements are illegal according to international law and thus companies doing business with it should be known because what they are doing is illegal.”
Advocacy group Human Rights Watch urged more resources for the rights office to continue its work.
“Today’s report shows progress in identifying and communicating with companies that contribute to serious abuses in Israeli settlements in the West Bank,” said Sari Bashi, Israel and Palestine advocacy director at Human Rights Watch.
Eugene Kontorovich, head of International Law at the Kohelet Policy Forum, a conservative think-tank in Jerusalem, said no international law was being violated by countries who do business in occupied lands, including in the settlements, and said Israel was being singled out unfairly.
“The U.N. Human Rights Council is supposed to be about human rights, not Israeli wrongs, so to create a report just about Israel seems to go against its own mission,” he said.
Could one reason for the discrepancy be complacency and passivity on the part of those who cherish tolerance and peaceful coexistence? Groups harboring antisemitism, whether politically or irrationally motivated, tend to be activists who deliberately strategize to foment cultural or religious war. Fueled by hate, they often are aggressive and vociferous, building or infiltrating political and societal structures, to include colleges and universities – seeking influence and allies to spread their message and drive their agenda.
One such group is Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). While it promotes itself as standing for human rights, it advocates for the destruction of Israel, embraces known terrorists as people to be admired and on university and college campuses creates a hostile atmosphere by intimidating and bullying Jewish students and those who express pro-Israel views.
Due to a lack of knowledge of the driving core values of this organization, its influence is growing as liberal academics and others buy into its sugar-coated rhetoric. A case in point is one liberal Democrat senator from South Carolina who is standing in the way of the passage of a bill which would clearly define antisemitism. He’s doing so because he is a supporter of SJP.
You’re probably wondering how this is possible in a state that is pro-Israel. Well, not only is he a state senator, he is also a liberal academic who needs to do a bit of homework on SJP.
Political, judicial, academic and media elites wield undue influence over schools, government, the courts, and information. Islamic State (ISIS) was quick to learn that lesson and we here in America must learn it too, and quickly – especially those in the churches, the legislatures, our institutions of higher learning and the courts.
Words have power and words make a difference – spoken or written, for good or for evil. Complacency and ignorance are humanity’s worst enemies. To remain silent creates fertile ground in which antisemites can smear the Jew through evil words and evil deeds. Who cares? Civilized people care.
Personally, I was startled when I first saw the book’s cover, though for a completely different reason. When I saw the cute Palestinian girl, I thought, “hey – I’ve seen that kid before!” The odd thing was that I remembered her as Jew.
Just about 100 years ago, a series of postcards was printed in Russia that imagined children as political actors representing different political parties and orientations that had entered the political lexicon during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Bolsheviks, the Socialist Revolutionaries, the Capitalists, and the Anarchists, among others, were all drawn by famed illustrator Vladimir Taburin as adorable children dressed in a representative ideological garb.
Among them was a postcard representing the Bund, the revolutionary Jewish socialist party. A small, slightly chubby, doe-eyed, rosy-cheeked, boy with dark curly hair – an intentionally Jewish-looking child within the blond world of Russian politics, was drawn to represent the pre-eminent Jewish political party of the day. When I saw the P is for Palestine girl’s face, I immediately thought of the pistol-packing Bundist boychik. They were practically the same.
The similarities are, without doubt, purely coincidental. But the likenesses are pretty remarkable. An interesting side note is that neither image was drawn by a Jew or a Palestinian and both represent a type of idealized othering.
By now it’s a bit glib to say that Jews and Palestinians have something in common, even if it might really be true. Jews once fought for civil rights with bombs and guns as well. But don’t expect either side to focus on the similarities in either of their histories, current situations, or even their dark, curly hair.
The Jewish parents who complained about the book in the first place did the authors a great favor by giving them heaps of free publicity. Those supporting the Palestinian side smartly grabbed it and ran. Sadly, the only loser in the equation is Book Culture, which only wants to sell books. Who knew the children’s section of the bookstore could be such a minefield?
Vladimir Taburin, the artist who, 101 years ago, drew the revolutionary postcards of political actors as children, knew exactly what he was doing: It’s the adults in our world that are responsible for most childish of tantrums.
Why are Google and YouTube sponsoring a day-long symposium featuring a roster of speakers including known Islamist anti-Semites, as well as known militant Islamists who are long time Israel bashers and Hamas supporters? And why are Google and YouTube providing a forum for Islamists who approve of Sharia-imposed “death by stoning?”
This Wednesday’s online conference by the British-based Imams Online features a rogues’ gallery of Islamists and virulently anti-Semitic, anti-Israel speakers – and it’s all being done “in official partnership with Google and YouTube.
One of the conference’s three primary goals is “Tackling Rising Islamophobia and the Far Right Threat.”
“Islamophobe is what politically correct bullies call people like you and me when we call out radical Islam for what it is,” says Muslim reformist Raheel Raza. “…They actually call me, a practicing Muslim woman, an Islamophobe. Why? Because I speak out against radical Islam.”
But spreading the false claim of rising Islamophobia actually can be seen as a national security threat. This is because that concept is based upon the false notion that there is a Western conspiracy against Islam – and that is the primary claim and motivation that induces jihadi terrorist attacks on western targets.
“Islamists hope to insulate themselves from charges of supporting jihadi violence by shooting off accusations of ‘Islamophobia,'” Middle East Forum President Daniel Pipes, himself smeared as an “Islamophobe,” told the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT). “Sadly, not only do many not-too-bright individuals of good will fall for this deception, but in the process, this ploy becomes a national security threat by confirming jihadi paranoia about the world being out to destroy Islam.”
At the end of 2017, a monumental piece of legislation to curb anti-American and anti-Israel biases on college campuses was passed by the House Committee on Education and Workforce. The Higher Education Act (HEA) — last reauthorized in 2008, and now renamed the “PROSPER Act” — is the primary federal law governing higher education. Within the law is a statute called Title VI, which includes a section that provides grants for international and foreign language studies.
Unfortunately, for many decades, some of these grants have supported a number of professors and programs on university campuses that espouse anti-American, anti-Israel — and at times — antisemitic viewpoints, in violation of federal law. The new language within Title VI of the PROSPER Act, included by the House committee, seeks to remedy these biases.
On January 25, a group of 14 Jewish, educational and civil rights organizations sent a letter to Chairman Lamar Alexander (R, TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D, WA) of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, urging the committee to adopt the new Title VI language that is included within the PROSPER Act.
The original intent of Title VI of HEA was to prepare students to serve the national security needs of the United States, by funding foreign language and area studies programs at universities. These area studies programs, known as National Resource Centers (NRCs), receive millions of US taxpayer dollars each year. However, research shows that these funds are largely misused and abused by their recipients.
Prominent Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan remained in custody in Paris on Thursday after spending a night behind bars over rape allegations that emerged in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
The Oxford professor was taken into custody on Wednesday as part of a preliminary inquiry in Paris into rape and assault allegations, with a legal source saying investigators wanted to question him further on Thursday morning.
Ramadan, a Swiss national whose grandfather founded Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Islamist movement, has furiously denied separate accusations from two Muslim women that he raped them in French hotel rooms in 2009 and 2012.
A regular face on French television, the 55-year-old academic is the most prominent figure to be held in France over the sexual assault and harassment claims that have rippled around the world as a result of the online “Me Too” campaign.
Henda Ayari, a feminist activist who used to practice a conservative strain of Islam, had described being raped in a book published in 2016, without naming her attacker.
The South African Zionist Federation has condemned the boycott calls by anti-Israel groups of the Davis Cup “tie-in” tennis matches between South Africa and Israel, scheduled to take place over Friday and Saturday.
“It comes as no surprise that the likes of BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions South Africa], PSA [Palestine Solidarity Alliance], PSC [Palestine Solidarity Committee] and the NC4P [National Coalition 4 Peace] have banded together to call for a public boycott to ‘smash’ Israel at the SA Tennis courts,” SAZF chairman Ben Swartz said.
“In a typical stance of vicious recourse, the call for protest by the aforementioned organizations, paired with a visual of a demonstrator wearing a gas mask and hitting a smoke bomb with a tennis racket, was posted across social media,” he said.
“This continued, destructive, disruptive, aggressive and nonsensical behavior breeds amongst those that are easily manipulated to hate, without understanding the real facts. They leech onto any event in which they feel they can influence their blind followers, leading them down a dark path of hate-fueled lies and misinformation.”
Swartz questioned how this behavior allows for peaceful negotiations and a way forward, “which they continuously blame everyone else but themselves for obstructing.”
“We implore the broader public not to be persuaded by extremist behavior [of] those who propose these boycotts – which often leads to violence,” he continued.
The proliferation white supremacist propaganda on US college campuses has seen a dramatic increase since the fall of 2016, according to a new report released by the Anti-Defamation League on Thursday.
The ADL describes the new statistics as “alarming,”and noted its Center on Extremism recorded 346 incidents where white supremacists have used fliers, stickers, banners, and posters to spread their message since September 1, 2016.
These incidents targeted 216 college campuses — from Ivy League schools to local community colleges — in 44 states and Washington, D.C.
During the fall semester of 2017 (Sept. 1 through Dec. 31), there were 147 such incidents, a staggering 258% increase over the 41 incidents that took place during the fall semester of 2016.
“White supremacists are targeting college campuses like never before,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said.
“They see campuses as a fertile recruiting ground, as evident by the unprecedented volume of propagandist activity designed to recruit young people to support their vile ideology.”
Clearly both those headlines and presentations suggest to BBC audiences that Ahed Tamimi has been charged with terrorism following her assault of a soldier – but that disingenuous implication is false.
The twelve charges against Ahed Tamimi do however include one count of incitement that relates to a video put out by her mother on social media in which Ahed Tamimi’s “message to the world” – as it was described by her mother – was:
“Whether it is stabbings or suicide bombings or throwing stones, everyone must do his part and we must unite in order for our message to be heard that we want to liberate Palestine”
The BBC knows about that charge and has mentioned it in two previously aired radio reports.
“Now there are 12 charges against Ahed Tamimi. She’s appeared before a military court. These relate to six different incidents. She’s charged with 5 counts of assaulting soldiers, also with throwing rocks, incitement to violence…” Yolande Knell, BBC World Service radio, 1/1/18
“Maurice Hirsch used to be the IDF chief prosecutor for the West Bank. He says the more serious charges against Ahed involved her alleged online call for more action to support the Palestinian cause – from protests to what she calls martyrdom operations. […]
[Hirsch]: One of the main counts of the indictment is really incitement – publicly calling for others to commit other terrorist attacks.” Yolande Knell, BBC Radio 4, 8/1/18
Jeremy Bowen, however, chose to conceal Tamimi’s statement calling for violence – and the resulting charge – from viewers of both his filmed reports.
Of the 120 Knesset members the BBC could have interviewed for an Israeli point of view on Ahed Tamimi’s trial, Jeremy Bowen chose a disgraced, provocative politician and well-known enfant terrible, Oren Hazan.
Viewers of “Is a Slap an Act of Terror?” on the prime time BBC News at Ten, wouldn’t be aware that Hazan, a Likud MK, has a history of disgraceful PR stunts and character issues, or that he had been suspended from the Knesset the same day the segment aired.
This was not a random selection made by Bowen, the BBC’s Mideast editor. Hazan’s history includes:
• Threatening Palestinians visiting imprisoned relatives.
• Accepting a Jordanian lawmaker’s challenge to a fist fight (called off only by the personal intervention of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu).
• Sparking the ire of Israelis and French Jews by endorsing far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.
• Breaking protocol to take a selfie with President Donald Trump.
• Suspended from the Knesset for mocking another lawmaker’s disability.
• When Hazan sued Israeli Channel 2 for a report accusing him of pimping prostitutes and both using and dealing hard drugs while managing a casino in Bulgaria, the judge ruled there was sufficient evidence of the drug use and pimping, and that Channel 2’s only error was saying Hazan had dealt drugs.
In response to communication from CAMERA, editors commendably amended the digital edition, removing the false reference to a prohibition against marking the Nakba. The revised text now accurately states:
I am not comparing the Holocaust to the Nakba, neither in scope nor intent. However, should remember that Israel, too, via the offices of Culture Minister Miri Regev, is doing everything in its power to deny funding for organizations that nonetheless wish to commemorate the Nakba.
(Regev’s efforts, whatever one may think of them, concern only state funding, and not other sources of funding.)
In addition, editors commendably appended the following note to the bottom of the article alerting readers to the change.
The correction has yet to appear in the print edition. In addition, as of this writing, a relic of the original error continues to appear in the Op-Ed’s last paragraph, which incorrectly states:
So long as Israel turns its back on the Palestinians’ pain and forbids them to make their voices heard legally, peace in our region will not be possible.
CAMERA continues to urge Haaretz to correct the last paragraph.
CAMERA’s Israel office yesterday prompted improvement of a brief Associated Press article yesterday which initially omitted the fact that one of two Jordanians fatally shot by an Israeli embassy guard had first attacked the Israeli (“Israel gradually reopens embassy in Jordan after end of spat”).
The original wording (7:40 am GMT) had stated:
The embassy was closed after a shooting last summer there in which two Jordanians were killed. Israel’s ambassador returned to Israel along with the guard involved in the shooting. The guard claimed self-defense and received a hero’s welcome at home, angering Jordanians.
CAMERA contacted the Associated Press, noting that the news agency’s coverage from July, with just a few words, noted that one of the Jordanians attacked the Israeli, prompting the shooting: “On Sunday, a guard at the Israeli Embassy in Jordan shot dead two Jordanians after one attacked him with a screw driver” (“Analysis: Jerusalem shrine crisis hardens leaders’ positions,” July 30, emphasis added).
Jordan’s Public Security Directorate itself acknowledged that one of the Jordanians attacked the Israeli guard, stating: “the son of carpentry owner attacked the Israeli diplomat who responded by shooting the carpenters the apartment owner” [sic].
In response, AP commendably updated the story (9:30 AM GMT), adding the key information that one of the Jordanians attacked the Israeli guard with a screw driver. The improved text states:
The embassy was closed after a shooting last summer there in which an Israeli guard shot and killed two Jordanians after one attacked him with a screw driver.
The number of anti-Semitic attacks recorded in the United Kingdom rose slightly in 2017 to 1,382 cases, marking a new all-time record.
The 3 percent increase in 2017 over the previous year was recorded in the annual report of the Community Security Trust, or CST, which is British Jewry’s largest watchdog on anti-Semitism.
In the report published Thursday, CST recorded a 34-percent increase in the number of violent anti-Semitic assaults, from 108 in 2016 to 145 in 2017.
The most common single type of incident recorded by CST in 2017 involved verbal abuse randomly directed at visibly Jewish people in public, accounting for a quarter of the annual tally, or 356 incidents.
CST has recorded anti-Semitic incidents since 1984. In 2013, the watchdog recorded only 535 incidents. That figure more than doubled in 2014, when Israel launched a military campaign against Hamas in Gaza. The 2015 tally comprised 960 incidents, followed by an increase to 1,346 cases in 2016.
In 420 cases recorded last year, witnesses gave descriptions of the alleged perpetrators. In those cases, 57 percent were described as Europeans and 25 percent as Arab or black.
One of France’s leading Jewish figures has sharply criticized what he described as media indifference to the news on Wednesday of the country’s latest antisemitic outrage, in which an 8-year-old kippah-wearing Jewish boy was subjected to a brutal attack.
The incident took place on Monday in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles, where a significant Jewish community lives among a much larger population of Muslims from the Middle East and Africa. The suspects — believed to be around age 15 — were hidden behind garbage cans and attacked the boy as he walked alone to a tutoring class. They pushed the boy to the ground and punched and kicked him, running off without stealing any of the items he was carrying. The boy is reported to be physically stable, but suffering from shock.
French President Emmanuel Macron denounced the assault as an “attack on the Republic,” while Interior Minister Gérard Collomb condemned what he called a “cowardly aggression.” But the reporting of the incident in the media led one influential Jewish figure to wonder aloud on Wednesday whether French journalists had genuinely understood the gravity of the attack.
“This morning, I turned on my radio and I heard the following comment: ‘The Jewish community is in shock,’” Marc Knobel — a historian and the director of studies at CRIF, the French-Jewish communal body — wrote on the CRIF website.
“Does it concern only the Jewish community when an 8-year-old child is assaulted because he wears a kippah and is a Jew?” Knobel asked pointedly.
“Why should only Jews react and feel concerned by such an assault?” Knobel continued. “Should the nation be insensitive when children are assaulted — black, white, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, other?”
Austrian police have found a hoard of Nazi memorabilia in the home of a Social Democrat politician, who has been arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing his grandchildren, only days after a regional election.
The unnamed Social Democrat (SPÖ) was arrested last Thursday by police in the region of Lower Austria in connection with child abuse that is said to have gone on for several years. Once police searched the man’s home, they found a number of weapons, including hand grenades, and Nazi memorabilia, including uniforms, Kronen Zeitung reports.
Prosecutor Leopold Bien said that investigators were still trying to determine whether the politician, said to be in his mid-50s, was merely a collector of Nazi artefacts or whether he held sympathies for the National Socialist ideology.
The arrest came shortly before the regional elections in Lower Austria which were held over the weekend and saw a landslide win for the conservative Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) of Sebastian Kurz.
B’nai Brith Canada has filed a complaint with the Calgary Police Service over the virulently antisemitic content being promoted by a group, Muslims in Calgary, on its website and Facebook page.
On Wednesday, a concerned community member alerted B’nai Brith to an article posted by the group on Jan. 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, in which the author denies that six-million Jews were killed by the Nazis and their collaborators, claiming that the Holocaust has been exaggerated by Jews in order to attract global sympathy.
The author of the article is none other than David Duke, a U.S. white supremacist and former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
Other posts made by Muslims in Calgary in January describe Israel as “a scourge, a cancer that needs to be dealt with” and tout infographics designed by Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist group committed to murdering Jews worldwide. Ironically, this antisemitic material is interspersed with other posts decrying anti-Muslim hatred in Canada.
The Muslims in Calgary website solicits funds for four mosques in the Calgary area, including one run by the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC). In October, B’nai Brith filed a complaint with Vancouver police and relevant Canadian authorities after an imam at a local MAC mosque referred to Israelis as “an impure gang” and urged his congregants to send “money, weapons and expertise” to the Palestinians for use against Israel.
Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova met on Monday with Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz and informed him that her country was interested in buying natural gas from Israel, which it would receive via Greece’s connection to the Israel-Europe undersea pipeline.
Petkova announced that Bulgaria, in conjunction with the Greek government, was planning to build a gas pipeline connecting it to the EastMed Pipeline Project. She also invited Steinitz to attend a summit of European energy ministers in Bulgaria this coming April.
Additionally, the European Union is allotting €35 million ($43 million) to better explore the route of the natural gas pipeline from Israel to Europe.
The pipeline, which will be about 2,200 kilometers (1,400 miles) long, will extend from Israel’s offshore Leviathan reservoir to Cyprus, Greece and Italy.
For the EU, the decision to invest the considerable sum illustrates the importance of importing Israeli gas and building the undersea pipeline.
The world is about to revolve around Pyongyang, a mountainous county in the northern half of South Korea, for the upcoming Winter Olympics.
Jewish fans won’t have quite as many standout athletes to cheer for this year as they did in 2016, when multiple American members of the tribe won medals at the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. But there are several compelling Jewish stories to catch up on before the action starts.
Israel is sending its largest team ever.
Before this year, the largest Israeli delegation at a Winter Olympics was five. That shouldn’t sound too surprising, given that over 60 percent of the country’s landscape is desert, and it isn’t the best place for winter sports training.
This year, however, the record will double.
Seven of Israel’s 10 representatives will compete in figure skating. That group is anchored by Alexei Bychenko, who in 2016 became the first skater to earn a medal for Israel at a European Championships event. Bychenko, 29, who skated for Ukraine until 2009 and has been ranked as one of the top 10 male skaters in the world, is likely Israel’s best chance to win a medal (and like US Jewish gymnast Aly Raisman, Bychenko has been known to perform to “Hava Nagila”).
The Jewish state is sending another kind of skater, too — the faster kind. Vladislav Bykanov, who won a bronze medal earlier this month at the European Championships, will compete in speed skating. Itamar Biran, a 19-year-old born in London, will represent Israel in alpine skiing.
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When Hurricane Maria pummeled the Caribbean islands and Puerto Rico last September, most of the island’s infrastructure, buildings and homes were destroyed. Almost half a year later, the damage to Puerto Rico’s water system still poses a looming health crisis for island residents exposed to contaminated water.
Israeli NGO IsraAID distributed and set up water filters in the most affected places, and trained local people how to use them.
Now, the emergency response team is getting some unlikely assistance from 11-year-old Meital Sternthal, an Israeli-American sixth-grader from Modi’in, Israel. In honor of her upcoming bat mitzvah, Meital is hand-making and selling textile bags to raise money to help IsraAID’s team in Puerto Rico provide safe water to the communities affected by the hurricane.
She founded PuertoTiko (tik means bag in Hebrew) to combine her passion for sewing along with her desire to contribute to the Caribbean’s recovery efforts. Her goal is to use 100 percent of the proceeds to raise $4,000 to purchase 100 water filters, including equipment and installation.
To date she has reached 50% of her goal through bag sales and additional donations. Also on offer are baby bibs, pencil cases and tissue holders.
Former fencer Dan Alon passed away Wednesday, over 45 years after surviving the 1972 massacre of Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games in Munich.
The 72-year-old died of cancer and left behind a wife and three children.
Alon was present on September 15, 1972, when 11 Israelis were taken hostage by the Black September Palestinian terror group. Two of the Israelis were murdered in the Olympic village and the nine others were executed at the airport; a German policeman was killed in a shootout with the terrorists during a botched rescue attempt.
Alon, who was 27 at the time, was asleep when the terrorist broke into the hotel rooms of the Israeli athletes. He woke up to noises which he initially thought were coming from other celebratory delegations.
When he realized what was unfolding, he jumped out of bed. The fencer, who spoke German, overheard the Palestinians demanding authorities release 200 terrorists in exchange for the Israeli hostages.
Upon recognizing his likely fate, Alon gathered four other athletes — also unseen by the terrorists — and the group jumped from a balcony, landing near the gathering German police forces.
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