European Funding to Terror-Linked NGOs Exposed in Comprehensive Report
Eight European-funded Palestinian NGOs have ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a US-designated terrorist group, according to a new report.
Palestinian NGOs Addameer, Al-Dameer, Defense for Children International–Palestine, Health Work Committees, Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), Union of Health Work Committees and Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees were all identified by Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor in a report released last week as having extensive ties to the PFLP.
“Over 70 current and former staff, board members and general assembly members, as well as senior management and founders at these NGOs have direct ties to the PFLP, designated as a terror group by the US, EU, Canada, Israel and others,” said the report.
“A number of them are employed in financial positions at the European-supported NGOs, raising questions about oversight and aid diversion,” it continued.
“This is part of a wide-ranging network used by the terror group to gain legitimacy by operating under the façade of civil society,” the report added.
The report details millions of dollars in funding to these NGOs from government sponsors including the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, France, Ireland, Norway and Belgium, with additional support from the United States, Canada, Japan, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and UNICEF.
It also identified five members of the European-funded NGOs, including an accountant at UAWC, who were indicted in December in connection with the terrorist attack in Israel in August that killed 17-year-old Rina Shnerb.
According to professor Gerald Steinberg, NGO Monitor’s president and founder, European support for select Palestinian and Israeli NGOs began in the mid-1990s, with several European Union and member state officials using the support to increase their influence.
Following a recent Jerusalem Post report, German politician Olaf in der Beek on Wednesday confirmed a letter in which he threatened to resign from the German-Palestinian Society, a hardcore BDS organization targeting Israel, if the group does not reject the “antisemitic” pressure campaign.
“My letter to the president of the German-Palestinian Society proves my clear stance against antisemitism and the BDS movement. If the German-Palestinian Society does not distance itself from the BDS campaign, I will leave it,” the Free Democratic Party (FDP) MP told the Post.
The Post first reported Wednesday on in der Beek’s membership in the German-Palestinian Society. Numerous Post queries sent to the president of the Society Nazih Musharbash and all members of the executive board of the organization were not returned. The Post asked Musharbash if he planned to reject BDS in to the letter.
The Post first exposed a group of German MPs who are members of the German-Palestinian Society’s advisory board. Some of the most hardcore anti-Israel MPs in the Bundestag are members of the board. Take the example of Christine Buchholz, an MP for the German Left Party, who has defended the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah in their violent terrorism war against the Jewish state.
Other members of the Society include Social Democratic MP Aydan Özogus and Green Party MP Omid Nouripour, the latter of whom co-sponsored a parliamentary initiative in 2013 to punish Jewish products from the West Bank with a labeling system. The Post has sent press queries to the Green Party and Social Democrats regarding their members’ roles in the society.
In this column in January 2017, I discussed some research done on archived KGB documents by noted Israeli investigative journalist and author Ronen Bergman. Basically, Bergman showed that during the Cold War, Soviet efforts to support the Arab war on Israel and spread extreme propaganda demonising Israel and Zionism were not simply cynical efforts to gain Arab support and damage the interests of US allies.
The documents suggest KGB leaders were sincere believers in the worst sort of antisemitic conspiracy theories, including believing in the authenticity of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, openly speaking of the “global Jewish conspiracy”, and insisting Zionists were secretly behind anything negative affecting Soviet interests, such as the increase in US-USSR tensions following the election of Ronald Reagan as US President in 1980.
As I also noted, Soviet propaganda lies behind many of the extreme claims about Israel and Zionism found on the international left today – Zionism as a uniquely evil form of imperialism and colonialism; claims that Zionists both collaborated with the Nazis and exhibit behaviour similar to Nazism; beliefs that Zionists and the “Jewish Lobby” control Washington and other capitals, the media, and international finance, etc.
Now the American blogger “Elder of Ziyon” (a tongue-in-cheek nom de guerre) has uncovered some new details about how these Soviet-promoted racist beliefs were disseminated. He notes a recent column in a Jordanian newspaper by anti-Zionist writer Marwan Soudah in which Soudah recalls the importance in Arab intellectual circles in 1970, of a “book written by the martyr of thought and the word, Yuri Ivanov, entitled ‘Beware of Zionism!’. …. I remember that these books were distributed in Amman for free and on a large scale to the pioneers of the Soviet Cultural Centre…”
The Ivanov book in question, called in English Caution: Zionism!, was one of the most seminal and widely distributed works of official Soviet anti-Israel propaganda.
And as Elder of Ziyon demonstrates through extensive quotes, it went beyond spreading the usual claims about Zionism being “a tool and agent of imperialism”; a form of colonialism and racism deploying “fascist methods” which is also able to censor the international media, and engaging in endless atrocities including “widespread” use of “paid hirelings to organise the ‘elimination’ of people refusing to serve the Zionist interests.”
Jonathan S. Tobin: American Jews’ political bubble
The difference between these two Jewish tribes goes far deeper than politics. At the heart of the problem is the fact that the two nations embrace fundamental beliefs that are in some ways poles apart. The same is true about their vision of the role of Judaism or religion itself in the life of the two countries. The American experiment in democracy is avowedly nonsectarian. Israel is a nation-state whose purpose is to provide a home and security for one specific people who had been persecuted for 20 centuries. The United States is a nation whose existence is rooted in universal values that seek to break down the barriers between peoples and faiths. Like most other nations on the planet, Israel is an expression of particularism. Its priority is to reconstitute and defend Jewish sovereignty in the ancient homeland of the Jews and not to be the last and best hope of humanity.
American Jews see themselves as a minority in need of protection from the majority. So it is unsurprising they are overwhelmingly liberal in their political views and among the most loyal to the Democrats of any demographic slice of the population. While the growing population of Orthodox Jews leans to the right, they are still a small percentage of the community. And despite the fact that Trump is more popular among Israelis than any of his predecessors, his historically pro-Israel policies have had little impact on his popularity in the American Jewish community, where voices on the left, even those of radicals like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, are growing in influence.
To the extent that most American Jews think about the policies of the Jewish state, including border security and defense, they seem oddly unmoved by the same factors that have caused Israelis to abandon the left. Indeed, the positions about Middle East peace embraced by most American Jews and their Democratic Party allies are the ones that have been discredited in Israel. The events of the last three decades that debunked faith in the nostrums of the left have made no impression on them. And while this trend long predated Trump, it’s also true that Israeli appreciation for the president’s support of their nation is viewed by American Jews as bizarre, if not perverse.
That leaves us with the two largest Jewish communities in the world largely drifting away from each other. American Jews who lean left on a host of issues still seem to want to save Israel from itself. But they need to reckon with the fact that the overwhelming majority of Israelis aren’t merely just rejecting their views, but see their help as based in ignorance more than concern.
Jews became full citizens of France after the Revolution, in 1791, and since that time, French Jews have been fond of exclaming “Happy like God in France.” For generations, France without Jews seemed as inconceivable as Jews without France. Over the past five years, though, both one and the other have become conceivable.
Such was the conceit of Michel Houellebecq’s best-selling novel Submission, which, in a twist that Hollywood would have rejected as too contrived, was published the same day as the terrorist attack at the offices of Charlie Hebdo. Set in 2022, Houellebecq’s France is convulsed by a civil war between a Socialist-Islamist alliance and the extreme right-wing National Front. As a result, France begins to hemorrhage its Jewish population, which looks to Israel as its last place of safety. (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu anticipated just such a sentiment a few years earlier, when, during an official visit to France, he responded to a question about rising anti-Semitism by urging French Jews to move to Israel.)
More recently, the French sociologist Danny Trom also posed the possibility of a France sans les juifs. The author of a much discussed book by that title, Trom acknowledges that Jews have not in fact left France en masse. Yet he also notes that the trend, though diffuse, has been constant: “Jews are discretely leaving France, leaving one by one.”
Does this mean that, one day, there will be no more Jews in France?
For Trom, that question is not the crucial one. Instead, as he remarked in an interview, the crucial question is whether there will soon be any French Jews who will not have asked themselves the question.
How remarkable that French Jews are now asking themselves a question that their ancestors had not been posed since the Middle Ages. A France without Jews has long seemed impossible. But, as Napoleon once observed, “The word ‘impossible’ is not French.”
MSNBC host Chris Matthews said Israel’s longtime prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was one of the world’s “bad guys,” lumping him in with brutal dictators such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Erdogan.
Matthews observed during his Tuesday night show that President Donald Trump likes “bad guys” on the world stage more than world leaders Matthews views as good, such as French president Emanuel Macron.
“He does seem to be a guy who doesn’t like the good guys of the world, he seems to like the bad guys,” Matthews said. “He doesn’t like Macron, or Justin Trudeau, or the chancellor of Germany—they’re all too regular for him—he likes the bad guys, he wants to be one of them.”
As MSNBC commentator Steve Schmidt responded by saying Trump “fetishizes the Erdogans, and the Putins, and the dictators,” he was interrupted by Matthews who wanted to add Israel’s Netanyahu to the list.
“Let’s throw in Netanyahu,” Matthews said.
Netanyahu is the longest serving prime minister in Israel’s history, serving first a stint from 1996 to 1999 and now in the midst of a longer tenure that began in 2009. A recent Gallup poll found Netanyahu to be the foreign leader most admired by the American people.
An article published in the Australian edition of the Guardian (Far-right ‘hate factory’ still active on Facebook despite pledge to stop it, Feb 4) is a follow-up to a December story on what they describe as a “coordinated far-right operation” using Facebook to profit “from disinformation and anti-Islamic hate”.
The expose alleges the this hate factory is “driven by a single Israel-based administrator”.
The article includes screenshots from Facebook posts to illustrate the problem, post they claim are all “far-right”, hateful fake news. Though most of the posts cited are indeed fake, and likely motivated by anti-Muslim animus, one of the posts they use in the article to make their point is in fact based on real news.
The Guardian caption reads: “Coordinated Facebook posts pushing disinformation about “celebrations” of the 9/11 terror attacks”.
First, let’s be clear. There is indeed some disinformation about particular Muslim community celebrating the attacks on 9/11. Further, the words “Die infidels! Die!” in the specific Facebook post shown above, seems to represents disinformation, insofar as there is no evidence that the Muslim woman – who you’ll see shortly – uttered such words.
However, the image from the Facebook post is a genuine still shot from a widely circulated and verified video from Sept. 11, 2001 that does show Palestinians at Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate celebrating the attacks.
This video from Associated Press includes the following text:
There were celebrations at Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate, following the attacks on the Trade Centre and the Pentagon. Palestinian men, women and children chanted in jubilation after terrorists crashed two planes into the World Trade Center causing them to collapse on Tuesday morning.
Moreover, the celebrations didn’t represent merely the views of a fringe group of Palestinians. A poll four years after the 9/11 attacks found that 65% of Palestinian respondents supported “Al Qaeda bombings in the USA and Europe”.
On Tuesday night, UC Berkeley’s student government was scheduled to vote on a resolution that condemns anti-Semitic incidents on campus, reporter Yoni Michanie tweeted. Alas, the entire event was taken over and crashed in the very manner described in the resolution.
The incidents condemned by the resolution have been perpetrated by a new group calling itself “Bears for Palestine,” which describes itself as “a student organization designated to enlighten, educate and raise awareness about Palestinian culture, values and history; with an overall goal to share the Palestinian story with the campus community through activism.”
Well, as it turns out, there’s a whole lot of meat and bones in that vegetarian dish… Maya Reuven, a sophomore studying economics and data science at UC Berkeley, described life on campus after the appearance of the “Bears” in a letter to The daily Californian, the school’s newspaper:
“It’s hard to feel completely safe as a Jewish person anymore. I find myself second-guessing attending the concerts of Israeli artists, and I never sit by the street window during Shabbat dinners at Chabad. Watching security pile up at the Jewish spaces I call home breaks my heart. Is it really so much to ask that we don’t idolize those that cause this fear and pain in a university building? How can Jewish students feel supported during these dark times when we walk through a campus every day that has posters of our murderers in its buildings?”
Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) Senator Milton Zerman sponsored an ASUC resolution titled “Condemning Bears for Palestine for Their Display in Eshleman Hall Glorifying Violent Terrorists,” which was going to be debated Tuesday night.
— Caroline Glick (@CarolineGlick) February 5, 2020
She accuses Shapiro of:
-Not caring about the US
-Only caring about antisemitism when it’s useful
-Conspiring with Israel to start a war. pic.twitter.com/jzWqfaRaEe
— The Conspiracy Libel (@ConspiracyLibel) February 4, 2020
The Labour Party has expelled a member who claimed that the Jewish TV personality and anti-extremism campaigner, Rachel Riley, “prostituted your religion” and was “poisoning the memory of your ancestors”.
Bob James, a Labour member from Wales, was suspended in March 2019 in connection with tweets about Ms Riley, including that “Judaism is a religion but what Israel does in the name of God is pure Satanic”; “I think Riley is using her influence as a popular celebrity to undermine the Labour party. Her method, though, using her Jewish heritage to promote self-interest, is appalling”; and “Riley has been open about her dislike of Corbyn… You have to hand it to the Tory party for getting her to risk her career for 30 pieces of silver.”
Ms Riley reportedly responded to ask: “Are you an official Labour spokesperson… or just a big cheerleader?”
Following the suspension, Labour’s National Constitutional Committee reportedly found him guilty of the charges and the Party has now expelled him.
Apparently, Mr James had also been subject to an earlier complaint over a social media post in which he claimed that “Israel is using the Holocaust as an excuse for murder,” but the Party reportedly concluded at the time that it was unable to identify Mr James as a member and therefore could not take further action.
Jeremy Corbyn’s Chief of Staff, Karie Murphy, has been deemed “completely unfit” for a peerage by the House of Lords Appointments Commission, which considers appointments to the upper chamber, after Mr Corbyn nominated her. However, the Commission’s conclusion was reportedly based on accusations of bullying rather than Labour antisemitism.
Ms Murphy is accused by staff of presiding over “a divisive and toxic culture” in the Leader of the Opposition’s office, including allegedly “berating” staff.
The bullying accusations are serious, including claims of physical assault.
It is regrettable that Ms Murphy’s leadership role in an institutionally antisemitic party and its campaign to make an antisemite prime minister did not appear to also form a part of the rationale for the recommendation not to award Ms Murphy with a place in the House of Lords. Mr Corbyn’s nomination of Ms Murphy was another insult to the Jewish community.
Ken Loach said antisemitism is an “understandable” reaction to Israel’s actions; whether the Holocaust happened “is there for us all to discuss”; antisemitism in Labour is “exaggerated or false”; & complained about “the generalised sense of guilt that everyone has about the Jews” https://t.co/j07E3qeCnJ
— Dave Rich (@daverich1) February 5, 2020
Jewish News understands the Labour Party has suspended a county councillor in Durham accused of sharing a post suggesting George Michael’s music career suffered because of his stance on “illegal wars by the Zionists.”
County councillor Lyn Boyd was elected to sit on Durham County Council by 919 votes in 2017 and is the local authority’s cabinet support member for finance.
The county councillor was reported to the Labour Party on 2 February over a trove of material allegedly shared on her Facebook timeline. She was accused on Monday of promoting a “wide range of antisemitic tropes and far-fetched theories that you would expect from a far-right activist.”
But when reached for comment, Boyd said: “I can assure you that as an ardent anti racist I would never post anything that was antisemitic on Facebook. Therefore I have no idea where these vile slurs have originated.”
Describing the allegation as “vile”, she said that while she would not be seeking re-election in 2021, she will “continue to campaign against any form of racism or antisemitic behaviour.”
She later added she didn’t “know” whether she was the holder of the Facebook account behind the posts. “I have challenged and got rid of people who I considered to be anti semiotic, [sic] think the claims are vile because of my lifelong abhorrence of anti racism and any form of anti semitism,” she said.
Among the social media posts discovered was a shared Facebook post about George Michael. It states: “If you ever wondered why you heard little from George in later years, it was because he opposed illegal wars by the Zionists, eg, Iraq, Palestine, etc.”
A radical professor who thinks America is hopelessly racist will preside over an upcoming Holocaust education conference that will seek to show “connections between racist ideology and policies in the US and Nazi Germany.”
The conference, which is scheduled to be held in North Carolina this May, is sponsored by the Illinois-based Holocaust Educational Foundation, which is a respected, mainstream organization. But the Foundation has put the event in the hands of professor Barry Trachtenberg, a harsh critic of Israel and Zionism, who is co-chairing the conference with colleagues. It’s obvious they intend to manipulate the event for political purposes.
One of those “connections between racist ideology and policies in the US and Nazi Germany” that Trachtenberg and his cohorts are focused on is comparing slavery in America to the Holocaust. In the conference description, they write that the event “will also explore how the specific history of the Holocaust helps us to particularize and compare the continued controversial impact and reception of Southern slavery and segregation on our public and private lives.”
Last year, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum explicitly warned against exactly these kinds of irresponsible analogies. The Museum said that it “unequivocally rejects efforts to create analogies between the Holocaust and other events, whether historical or contemporary. … At a time when our country needs dialogue more than ever, it is especially dangerous to exploit the memory of the Holocaust as a rhetorical cudgel.”
Perhaps the reason Trachtenberg can’t resist making such analogies is that he has such a harsh view of the US. In 2009, Trachtenberg signed a petition dismissing US anti-terror policies as “the so-called ‘war on terror.’”
Duke University has resolved a complaint with the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in the aftermath of an antisemitic and anti-Israel conference last year.
“Conflict Over Gaza: People, Politics and Possibilities” reportedly used $5,000 of taxpayer funds from the US Education Department.
The resolution agreement required Duke to issue a statement by Jan. 30, condemning discrimination, including that which is antisemitic, in addition to submit to OCR an updated version of the school’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct.
The updated policy “must provide a description of the forms of antisemitism that can manifest in the university environment,” according to the agreement.
Kimberly Hewitt, Duke’s vice president for institutional equity and chief diversity officer, emailed a statement to the university community on Jan. 29.
“Simply put, the university does not tolerate antisemitism, and I encourage any member of the community to report when such conduct occurs,” said Hewitt in her statement, which encouraged Duke members to report antisemitic and sexual misconduct to the Office of Institutional Equity and the Office of Student Conduct, respectively.
Jewish groups have criticized the Major League Baseball’s promotion of anti-Israel activist and BDS supporter Roger Waters’ upcoming North American tour.
MLB.com is among the organizations sponsoring ticket presales for Waters’ This Is Not a Drill tour.
MLB emailed baseball fans an advertisement featuring its logo, along with the logo of Waters’ tour, and offered fans an opportunity to purchase presale tickets. The promotion was part of an ad buy by AEG/Concerts West for multiple concert tours, according to The Associated Press.
In a Jan. 29 letter sent to MLB commissioner Robert Manfred, B’nai B’rith president Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin expressed “deep dismay” at MLB.com’s advertisement.
“Waters is an avowed anti-Semite whose views on Jews and Israel far exceed the boundaries of civil discourse,” they wrote, adding that they were “saddened and outraged that baseball … would use its online resources to publicize an individual with an alarming history of anti-Semitic hatred. We call on MLB to cease providing Roger Waters a platform.”
The Zionist Organization of America said it was “horrified” by the MLB’s involvement in selling tickets for Waters’ tour, “especially in an era when attacks against American Jews have become an epidemic.”
I have just spoken with Nur, who is now at home recovering. His eyes were treated and are okay. He is shocked and shaken – but *most importantly – home and safe*. The police are taking it seriously and looking for those who attacked him.
— David Collier (@mishtal) February 5, 2020
As we have already seen, preemptive framing of the US administration’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan by both BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service radio on January 28th included the provision of a platform for the Palestinian Authority’s (and Fatah’s) Husam Zomlot from which to promote his mostly unchallenged talking points.
Just hours after the launch of the US initiative – and his previous appearance on BBC World Service radio’s ‘Newshour’ – Zomlot was given yet another slot on the evening edition of that programme.
Describing it as returning to “our main story” (listeners had previously heard from a BBC correspondent in Washington and from one of the authors of the US initiative, Jason Greenblatt), presenter Tim Franks introduced (from 14:06 here) the four-minute and 22 second segment:
Franks: “President Trump is unveiling what he describes as his win-win peace deal for the Israelis and Palestinians. We’ve heard about the delight from the Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu. From the Palestinians though there’s been a fierce rejection of the proposal.”
Refraining from informing listeners that the Palestinian Authority had rejected the proposal long before it was completed and before they or anyone else had seen its contents, Franks introduced Zomlot as “the Palestinian ambassador in London” despite the fact that the BBC corrected a similar misrepresentation of Mr Zomlot’s title in 2018 after BBC Watch pointed out that according to its definition, the title ambassador means that the individual represents a state and that – as the BBC’s own style guide rightly says – there is no Palestinian state at this time.
HonestReporting Canada has repeatedly taken PostMedia contributing columnist Louis Delvoie to task for tacitly justifying Palestinian terrorism against Israeli civilians on a number of occasions, for claiming that the U.S. President is “in the pocket” of Israel’s Prime Minister, and for engaging in historical revisionism and stating many falsehoods about the Arab-Israeli conflict. See here, here, here and here.
It came as no surprise to see a recent column by Delvoie on January 1 in the Kingston-Whig Standard which suggested that terrorism on a mass scale “is no stranger to the Jewish tradition.”
While we have not read Phil Gurski’s book which Louis Delvoie refers to on the topic describing it as being about “extremists (who) have embraced their religions to perpetrate violence on an often grand scale,” but we take strong issue with Delvoie’s suggestion that terrorism, defined as when individuals intentionally target civilians with violence for political purposes, is “no stranger to the Jewish tradition”.
Yes, you’d be hard pressed to not find members of any faith group that has not engaged in terrorism in some form, but any Jew that has, whether from time immemorial to present day, is deserving of condemnation and incarceration, but for Mr. Delvoie to imply that Jews have engaged in “genocide” and terrorism on a mass scale is beyond the pale, without foundation and only fans the flames of hatred.
HonestReporting Canada has filed a complaint with senior editors at Global News bringing our concerns about a 1-sided podcast interview that gave an anti-Israel detractor free rein to spread mistruths about the Arab-Israeli conflict.
On the February 3 edition of “Wait, There’s More” podcast, host Tamara Khandaker conducted a 20-minute, feature-length interview with Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University entitled: “Why Palestinians are rejecting Trump’s Middle East peace plan.”
Our primary concern that we conveyed to Global was that Professor Khalidi was given a platform to spread misinformation about the Arab-Israeli conflict, without any challenge by host Khandaker. Indeed, there was no countenance on this program providing for a pro-Israel perspective or context about Israel’s position on the peace plan: It was entirely one-sided.
To be specific, Professor Khalidi myopically listed various Palestinian grievances about the deal (to read it in full, please click here):
1) He claimed that the U.S. only pays lip service to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with America preferring to manage it, not solve it. While Professor Khalidi is entitled to his views, the fact of the matter is that every U.S. administration has tried to solve the Mideast impasse, and has devoted considerable time and resources, though they have not succeeded. That doesn’t mean that they don’t want a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
2) Regarding the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and its relocating its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, there was no mention made that the new peace plan recognizes a Palestinian state in eastern Jerusalem with the capital being in Abu Dis where a future U.S. embassy would be located. Israel rejects claims that its presence in eastern Jerusalem is “illegal” citing historical, religious and legal claims, along with UN resolutions allowing Israel to retain lands until a just and lasting peace is procured with secure and recognized borders, and how the area was previously illegally occupied by Jordan following the 1948 War of Independence launched by pan-Arab armies seeking Israel’s destruction.
American Jews’ feeling of personal safety has been seriously harmed by the recent spate of severe, violent antisemitic crimes in the country, Malcolm Hoenlein said on Wednesday.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, the executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations said there was an “obligation” from the non-Jewish world to come up with solutions for the antisemitism outbreak in the US, but that the Jewish community also needed to take responsibility and unify its efforts to “recreate” the solidarity of the movement to free Soviet Jewry in the 1970s and 1980s.
Hoenlein also spoke of the recently unveiled Trump plan for the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and expressed hope that it could become the basis of renewed negotiations between the sides, but insisted that the proposals were not intended by the Trump administration as a “diktat.”
In reference to the rise in antisemitism, Hoenlein said he was still hopeful the wave can be diminished, but said the issue was “a grave concern” to which the Conference of Presidents is dedicating much of its time.
“This is bigger than any one organization or collection of [organizations]. It requires the resources of everyone, but the non-Jewish word has to take responsibility,” he said.
“We are the victims not the perpetrators. We have a responsibility, they have an obligation, and we want to put the onus on them and come up with comprehensive approaches that engage the political process, engage the campus scene, academia, judiciary, law enforcement, to pass more laws and make hate crimes a serious crime.”
There were fewer antisemitic hate crimes in New York City in January than in the same month last year.
The period between Jan. 1 and Feb. 2 saw 21 hate crimes directed at Jews, according to a preliminary set of statistics published Tuesday by the New York Police Department. The same period last year had 25 antisemitic hate crimes.
In both years, antisemitic hate crimes made up the majority of total hate crimes in the city in January — 72% in 2020 and 65% in 2019.
“These are not great trends,” said Evan Bernstein, vice president of the Northeast Division of the Anti-Defamation League. “It’s great that there’s less antisemitic incidents, but we want the percentage to also go down of the overall number of hate crimes, and I think there’s a lot of work that needs to be done.”
Republican and Democratic NJ state lawmakers are inclined to support a bill to allow a handgun in houses of worship during services, NJ.com reported Tuesday.
Sponsored by Assemblymen Gary Schaer (D) and Ronald Dancer (R), Assembly bill No. 1255, “permits place of worship to establish security plan to select one person to carry handgun during religious services.”
According to the proposed law, “the person selected to carry a handgun may serve the place of worship in a voluntary capacity or for monetary compensation. The provisions of this section shall not limit a governing body of a place of worship from employing an armed security officer pursuant to the Security Officer Registration Act.”
The legislation also states: “This bill allows the governing body of a place of worship to establish a security program by selecting one person to carry a handgun for the purpose of protecting religious service attendees. The bill defines “place of worship” as a building, including but not limited to a church, mosque or synagogue, used primarily as a place of public or private worship on a permanent basis by a recognized and established religious sect or denomination registered as a not-for-profit under the federal Internal Revenue Code.
“Under the bill, the selected person would be required to participate in a firearms training course held by the Police Training Commission, the Director of Civilian Marksmanship, or a recognized rifle or pistol association that certifies instructors. The bill provides that the selected person may serve in a voluntary capacity or for monetary compensation.
The Tel Aviv-based startup Gabriel is focusing on selling panic buttons to Jewish communities in the United States with the hopes of expanding to help anyone at risk of an attack, reported Bloomberg.
The company’s sole product is a hardware and software package that includes panic buttons, each with a fish-eye camera, that can be placed around a site. Community members can also download a mobile app that has its own alert button, so they can send live updates on escape routes or safe places to hide.
Gabriel’s service also includes training for an emergency.
“While testing its system at new installations, Gabriel conducts drills that help students, teachers and other community members understand what to do in a shooting and give administrators a chance to familiarize themselves with the equipment and software,” explained Bloomberg.
The product starts at $10,000 a year for 10 devices and associated services. At present, Gabriel’s customers are Jewish groups in Florida, Michigan and New Jersey who are concerned about anti-Semitic violence in their areas.
English soccer player Tom Pope is facing a suspension from professional play relating to his use of social media after he wrote an allegedly anti-Semitic post on Twitter claiming that the Jewish Rothschild banking family would profit from a third world war.
The UK’s Football Association announced on Wednesday that Pope had been charged with an “aggravated breach” of FA rule E3″ because his tweet had “included a reference, whether expressed or implied, to race and/or religion and/or ethnic origin.”
The association last month declared that it was investigating Pope after he tweeted an anti-Semitic message in response to being asked to “predict the WWIII result,” a reference to American tensions with Iran.
“We invade Iran then Cuba then North Korea then the Rothchilds (sic) are crowned champions of every bank on the planet,” the striker replied.
Port Vale’s Tom Pope, left, scores his side’s first goal of the game during the English FA Cup third round soccer match between Manchester City and Port Vale at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England on January 4, 2020. (Martin Rickett/PA via AP)
The Rothschilds, a French Jewish family whose banking connections date to the 18th century, are a frequent target of offensive global conspiracy theories.
Pope later deleted the tweet and insisted he was unaware it could be perceived as anti-Semitic, but the post became the subject of both Football Association and Port Vale football club investigations.
A 1944 painting by German artist George Grosz that depicts Nazi leader Adolf Hitler as the Bible’s fratricidal Cain went on display at the German Historical Museum in Berlin on Tuesday as part of a new permanent exhibition.
Grosz was one of the most important artists focused on political themes during the Weimar Republic in Germany, a period between the end of World War I and the Nazis’ rise to power in 1933.
Grosz immigrated that year to the United States. The Nazis deemed many of his creations “degenerate art” and destroyed them.
The 1944 painting “Cain or Hitler in Hell” depicts a broken Hitler sitting among skeletons as war rages behind him. The biblical Cain murders his brother, Abel, and God condemns him to a life of wandering.
The artwork helps illustrate “how Grosz further developed his critical form after emigration,” said Markus Hilgert, a senior German cultural official.
Grosz himself said the painting shows “Hitler as a fascist monster, or as an apocalyptic beast.”
A German appeals court on Tuesday rejected a Jewish man’s bid to force the removal of a 700-year-old anti-Semitic statue from a church where Martin Luther once preached.
The “Judensau,” or “Jew pig,” sculpture on the Town Church in Wittenberg is one of more than 20 such relics from the Middle Ages that still adorn churches across Germany and elsewhere in Europe.
Plaintiff Michael Duellmann had argued that the sculpture was “a defamation of and insult to the Jewish people” that has “a terrible effect up to this day.”
Duellmann, who has suggested removing the relief from the church and putting it in the nearby Luther House museum, said he would appeal Tuesday’s decision to the Federal Court of Justice and is prepared to take the case outside Germany to the European Court of Human Rights, if necessary.
Placed on the church about four meters (13 feet) above ground level, the sculpture depicts people identifiable as Jews suckling the teats of a sow while a rabbi lifts the animal’s tail, peering into its anus. In 1570, after the Protestant Reformation, an inscription referring to an anti-Jewish tract by Luther was added.
Urban Dictionary, an online crowd-sourced dictionary of slang words, has apologised for needless and offensive definitions of the word “Auschwitz” and related phrases, and has pledged to remove them, along with merchandise using the word.
The dictionary, which has been operating for over twenty years, contains more than eight million slang words and definitions and attracts some 65 million monthly visitors to the website, boasting 180 million page views. It functions as a platform for user-generated definitions, which are often tongue in cheek, however, its operators have readily conceded that numerous definitions of the Nazi concentration camp and related terms are needlessly offensive and should be removed.
Definitions of Auschwitz available on the popular site include describing it as “a summer camp for Jews – a Disneyland for its time”; “a place there are too many Jews”; “The happy resort for Jews during WW2”; and numerous references to flatulence.
Other terms include:
“Auschwism”, defined as “when you’re getting roasted but you’re too socially awkward to respond”; “The hopes that all autistic people will go to a concentration camp (Aka Auschwitz)”; and “When a person is so autistic or stupid, they need to be gassed.”
“Auschwitz burger”, defined as “when you put German bologna on Jewish rye and cook it in a gas oven”.
“Auschwistic”, defined as “an adjective to describe someone so stupid they deserve to be put in Auschwits [sic]”.
“Auschwitz diet”, defined as “a nutritional approach to losing weight, based on simply consuming less food.”
“Auschwitz Express”, defined as “the 16:46 Central to Caboolture train, so name[d] because it is usually more crowded than one of Eichmann’s Auschwitz trains – although Eichmann’s trains generally ran on time.
“Auschwitz Dining Hall”, defined as “another name for Ohio University’s Boyd Dining Hall located on the West Green. The nickname derives from the reference to the nutritionally void rations the Jewish prisoners of Auschwitz were fed under Nazi rule. Many students on West Green refer to Boyd as Auschwitz because, while Boyd is conveniently located in the center of West Green, it’s [sic] foods look just as bad, if not worse, than the food that was given to Auschwitz inmates.”
“Auschwistic meltdown”, defined as “an autistic meltdown where you spontaneously combust into ashes.”
Not all interviews get aired, and this interview by Mishy Harman with the last ‘rabbi’ of Baghdad, Emad Levy, did not make the menu for Thanksgiving for ‘Israel Story’. The station have now released it.
Emad Levy is the only Jew with an Arab name, and the only Levy with an Arab first name. He was elected leader of the 34-member Jewish community in 2003. His father taught Emad Hebrew from a record. Emad became the shochet, officiated at Jewish funerals, looked after the cemetery and old people’s home, and read from the Torah on Shabbat.
When there were no longer any services, Emad was responsible for closing the only synagogue in Baghdad in case it was bombed. In 2010 Emad left for Israel, where he now lives with his wife and child.
Click here to hear segment (begins at 0:45 seconds)
What if monitoring a wound could be as easy as taking a selfie?
With millions worldwide suffering in silence from chronic wound pain, Tel Aviv-based medical start-up Healthy.io has developed a smartphone app that can help nurses and medical professionals quickly and effectively monitor such ailments.
According to Healthy.io’s US general manager, Paula LeClair, “chronic wounds are the source of pain for tens of millions around the world, and cost billions of dollars to care for… We’re launching a digital wound assessment and management service to equip clinicians with the tools they need to assess, track and heal chronic wounds.”
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Sunday, Healthy.io said, “chronic wounds are a significant burden to both patients and healthcare systems globally. In the UK, 2.2 million people suffer from chronic wounds, costing the National Health Service £5.3 billion, more than the cost of treating cancer.”
Moreover, in the US, 6.5 million people suffer from chronic wounds and complications, which costs more than $25b. annually. “We know that today, nurses are on the frontlines of wound management but are still using tools that haven’t changed in decades – in some places, this includes a paper ruler,” the start-up said. “These measurements are difficult to share and tracking results over time is inconsistent. This can
lead to incorrect treatment, prolonged healing times, and growing distress for patients.”
Healthy.io explained that its digital wound management solution is tackling these problems using a smartphone app together with two calibration stickers placed around a wound to track dimensions. “Nurses can now scan the wound and get measurements quickly and effectively,” the medical technology company said. “Our technology builds a 3D image, enabling a more comprehensive and accurate documentation.”
On Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs won the 2020 Super Bowl. Before halftime, at-home water carbonation company SodaStream International broadcast its first Super Bowl commercial since 2014. But those expecting the company’s notoriously feisty ads — in 2013, CBS refused to air a SodaStream commercial that bashed then-rivals PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, and a 2014 ad featuring Scarlett Johansson was only slightly more tame — were destined for disappointment.
The SodaStream of 2020 is another beast; one fully owned by PepsiCo, and no longer led by legendary CEO Daniel Birnbaum. “The new ad is less biting than its predecessors, we need to be more level-headed today,” CEO Eyal Shohat told Calcalist in his first interview since assuming the role in July. The new commercial, which shows astronauts discovering water on Mars and stars Bill Nye, was devised at SodaStream’s Israeli headquarters and is intended to mark the start of a new era for the fizzy water maker.
“SodaStream became known in the US as a colorful drink, and that is a big mistake in terms of marketing, because the entire US market is moving away from soft drinks and diet drinks towards sparkly water,” Shohat said, adding that the company’s earlier efforts to build its image have become counterproductive. Shohat is planning a rebranding of SodaStream in the US, promoting it first and foremost as a device that makes carbonated water.
As part of its rebranding and its integration within PepsiCo, which paid $3.2 billion for the Israeli company last year, SodaStream will start selling subtle-tasting syrups in July under PepsiCo’s brand Bubly. Later on, SodaStream will also start selling syrups in classic PepsiCo flavors.
But that is the extent of the markers of SodaStream’s new ownership, at least for the moment. A tour of SodaStream’s facility in Rahat, a Bedouin town in southern Israel, concludes without sighting even one PepsiCo logo.
Born and raised in Jerusalem, Alene moved this year with her mother to the city of Kiryat Gat. Her parents divorced when she was four, and she has had no contact with her father since. She studied ballet for ten years before moving from a religious school to a secular one and studying theater and taking voice lessons.
She also sang for two years with the YMCA Jerusalem Youth Choir, a mixed choir of Jewish and Arab teens.
Alene, who currently is an IDF soldier, has considerable experience in the business, having won the country’s X-Factor reality show in 2018 when she was 17 years old.
She has since released several singles, including a cover of Eurovision’s 1976 winner “Save Your Kisses For Me” by Brotherhood of Man. Her 2019 song “When It Comes To You” was recorded in Los Angeles with US producer Julian Bunetta.
Alene sang the Hebrew-language version of the theme song of Warner Bros. 2018 film “Smallfoot,” and in 2019 took part in the Israeli version of the musical “Little Shop of Horrors.”
✅ combat medic in the IDF
✅ MD & PhD from @bengurionu
✅ researcher in the field of heart disease
✅ avid skydiver
Congrats, Lt. Dr. Wesam Mulla 🙌 pic.twitter.com/iDrhBHDMn2
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) February 5, 2020
Des Moines International Airport, Iowa: In the aftermath of yesterday’s disastrous Democratic Party Caucus in the State of Iowa, Israel immediately dispatched a C-130 Hercules filled with emergency vote-counting supplies and experts on how to efficiently hold an election. Long known for sending rescue teams to Haiti and other locations stricken by natural disasters, the Israeli Government also maintains a cell of experts on how to hold an election, how to ensure that nobody can form a viable coalition, how to waste a day of national productivity, and Avigdor Liberman. The Daily Freier caught up with the elite team as they unloaded their equipment on the tarmac of Des Moines International Airport.
“We don’t have a moment to spare.” explained Team Leader Yossi H. “They need to begin preparing Right Now for their 3rd or 4th Election some time this Summer.” Yossi quickly gathered his team for a Mission Brief, and we saw the various specialists report in, to include experts from United Torah Judaism on how to trade Draft Exemptions and Stipends for votes, and a team from Kahol Lavan carrying a giant vacuum meant to suck all the charisma out of a room. In addition, a procurement team from the Prime Minister’s Office was immediately dispatched to the rich part of town to solicit free gifts.
The Daily Freier asked Yossi exactly what was required of Iowa in order to reach an Israeli-level of Elections Excellence. “Well,the leader of the United States is under a legal cloud and the opposition is trying to remove him from office before the next election…. so you’re actually off to a good start. But perhaps the reason I am most optimistic is that you also have a cranky Jew who wants to run America like a Kibbutz.”
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