May 20, 2018

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02/09 Links Pt2: Keith Ellison, Louis Farrakhan and Iran; NYTs Accuses Jews of Stealing Folkdances From Palestinian Arabs; Shall we deny that the Poles are deniers?

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2018/02/0209-links-pt2-keith-ellison-louis.html

From Ian:


Keith Ellison, Louis Farrakhan and Iran
When Rep. Keith Ellison ran for Democratic National Committee chairman, he faced questions about past associations with the Nation of Islam and Louis Farrakhan. On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” in December 2016, Mr. Ellison angrily accused his critics of a “smear campaign” for “talking about something that happened in 1995,” when Mr. Ellison was 32. It turns out Mr. Ellison—who lost his bid but is now the DNC’s deputy chairman—wasn’t telling the full story.

In 2006, during his first run for Congress from Minnesota, Mr. Ellison conceded he had worked with the Nation of Islam for 18 months before the October 1995 Million Man March. In a letter, he assured Jewish groups: “I reject and condemn the anti-Semitic statements and actions of the Nation of Islam [and] Louis Farrakhan. ”

A decade later, during the DNC leadership contest, he accused Mr. Farrakhan and his organization of sowing “hatred and division, including, anti-Semitism, homophobia and a chauvinistic model of manhood. I disavowed them long ago, condemned their views, and apologized.”

In September 2013, however, Messrs. Ellison and Farrakhan dined together. The occasion was a visit by Iran’s newly elected President Hassan Rouhani to the United Nations. Mr. Rouhani invited Muslim leaders from around the U.S. to dinner after addressing the U.N. General Assembly. Contemporaneous news reports placed Mr. Farrakhan at the dinner. Unreported by mainstream outlets was the presence of Mr. Ellison, along with Reps. Gregory Meeks of New York and Andre Carson of Indiana. (All three are Democrats; Messrs. Ellison and Carson are Muslim.)

The Nation of Islam website documents the event, noting that Mr. Rouhani “hosted the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, Muslim leaders from different Islamic communities and members of the U.S. Congress at a private meeting . . . at the One UN Hotel in Manhattan Sept. 24, 2013 across the street from the UN headquarters.” The Final Call, a Nation of Islam publication, added that “ Keith Ellison of Minnesota . . . participated in the dialogue” after dinner and includes photos of Messrs. Farrakhan and Ellison at the tables. The Michigan-based Islamic House of Wisdom also reported on the meeting, with additional photos. (h/t MtTB)

Democratic Rep. Danny Davis Calls Louis Farrakhan ‘An Outstanding Human Being.’ Farrakhan Says Jews Are ‘Satanic’ And Did 9/11.

Given that Obama repeatedly denounced Farrakhan in the years since and is no longer president, the photo’s release did not cause much of a stir. But unlike Obama, many of the other politicians in that meeting with Farrakhan are still in office, and have not denounced the man the Southern Poverty Law Center calls “an anti-Semite who routinely accuses Jews of manipulating the U.S. government and controlling the levers of world power.” And on Monday, one of Farrakhan’s congressional friends opted to vocally defend him.

“I personally know [Farrakhan], I’ve been to his home, done meetings, participated in events with him,” Democratic Rep. Danny Davis told The Daily Caller’s Peter Hasson. “I don’t regard Louis Farrakhan as an aberration or anything, I regard him as an outstanding human being who commands a following of individuals who are learned and articulate and he plays a big role in the lives of thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of people.”

In actuality, Farrakhan is a racist and homophobic cult leader who blames Jews for everything from the slave trade to 9/11. The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League have exhaustively documented Farrakhan’s viciously anti-Semitic outbursts. Here is Congressman Davis’s “outstanding human being” in his own words:

“You are wicked deceivers of the American people. You have sucked their blood. You are not real Jews, those of you that are not real Jews. You are the synagogue of Satan, and you have wrapped your tentacles around the U.S. government, and you are deceiving and sending this nation to hell.” (Saviours’ Day Speech, Chicago, 2/25/96)

“Did you know that Jesus had a real problem with the Jewish community? They had power, the rabbis of that day, over the Roman authorities just as they have power today over our government.” (Remarks at Indianapolis Convention Center, Indianapolis, Indiana, 12/1/13)

Black Caucus Members Refuse To Denounce Hate Group Leader Louis Farrakhan

Twenty-one members of the Congressional Black Caucus facing questions about their ties to Nation of Islam chief Louis Farrakhan have all refused to condemn the hate group leader.

The CBC, it was recently revealed, held a secret meeting with Farrakhan in 2005 but hid it from the public to avoid controversy. Twenty-one members of the caucus today were part of the caucus at the time of the secret Farrakhan meeting. All 21 declined to denounce Farrakhan when asked by The Daily Caller.

The Nation of Islam is so extreme that even the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center recognizes it as a hate group, citing the group’s “theology of innate black superiority over whites and the deeply racist, anti-Semitic and anti-gay rhetoric of its leaders.”

Farrakhan has praised Hitler, claimed Jews are “Satantic” and said that white people “deserve to die,” among other racist and anti-Semitic statements.

The 21 CBC members, all Democrats, include high-profile Trump critics like Maxine Waters and Al Green, who have long demanded the president’s impeachment.

Daniel Gordis: Shall we deny that the Poles are deniers?

By the end of our trip to Poland a number of years ago, part of our group had been roughed up in the streets of Krakow, and the disgust that many Poles had for a Jewish group exploring history was beyond denying. Even my wife eventually admitted that, yes, many of the Poles we’d encountered made no effort to conceal their disgust.

But Polish antipathy is hardly the main issue. The important question is what role the Jewish state will take in leading the fight for historical accuracy and nuance. As the world has twisted the story of Israel’s birth into one only of colonialism and dispossession, it has diminished its sense of Israel’s right to exist and of Arabs’ responsibility for a good portion of their plight.

Now the Poles want to rewrite another portion of Jewish history.

Can a Jewish state stand idly by? Israel has vested interests in good relations with Poland, but it must also stand for something, no? Hasn’t speaking truth to power long been what Judaism has been about? How Israel should respond is not at all obvious.

One thing, though, is clear to me. As individuals, we do have the option of standing for truth, of refusing to be party to the rewriting of history. If my wife and I still had a kid in high school and were summoned to a parent meeting prior to the class trip to Poland, I suspect it’s much more likely that we might be among those saying, “To that place, now, our kid is simply not going.”

Poland, Jews and the Kielce Pogrom — of 1946

I had always assumed that when the war ended, my mother — along with her sister and mother — had immediately emigrated to Palestine. But this was not the case. Almost all of the surviving Jews simply returned to their towns and villages, with many of their homes now occupied by their neighbors. Still, the idea of picking up and moving to another war-torn region was the furthest thing from their minds. My mother ended the war in an orphanage in nearby Czestochowa, where she stayed until my grandmother could earn enough money to look after her. Back in Kielce, only a hundred or so Jewish families returned, everyone doing their best to assume some kind of normalcy.

But on July 4, 1946, one year after the war ended, almost to the day, a young Catholic boy went missing. It was just after Passover and rumors quickly spread. Security forces surrounded a known Jewish apartment building. By mid-morning, 22 of the residents were shot dead in what was quickly deemed a “misunderstanding.” Naturally, people — many of them Jewish friends and relatives — started to gather to catch a glimpse of the ambulance workers removing the bodies. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, a mob of workers — some say a thousand — who had just been let out from the factories, came marching up the street with clubs, bats and rods, and started swinging at the heads of anyone who looked Jewish. Meanwhile, the police simply looked on. In the end, 42 Jews were killed and 47 were injured.

It was after this that my mother — and almost all the other survivors — took a risk and moved to Palestine, or wherever else that would take them.

The Polish government might not want to have a public debate as to whether the Poles played an instrumental role in the Holocaust, but there is no denying that the reason that there are so few Jews living in Poland today rests squarely on their shoulders.

At least, let them come to terms with that.

New York Times Accuses Jews of Stealing Folkdances From Palestinian Arabs

Israelis stole folk dancing from the Palestinian Arabs in an act of “cultural appropriation,” The New York Times claims.

The accusation is made in a question-and-answer style interview in the Times arts section conducted by a Times dance critic, Siobhan Burke, with a choreographer, Hadar Ahuvia.

The Times article, which is accompanied online by three photographs and a video, includes this passage:

One issue you explore is cultural appropriation, how the pioneers of Israeli folk dance, mostly Eastern European women, drew from social dance forms like Palestinian dabke.

It’s well-documented that these women went to Palestinian villages and watched them dancing and felt they held the steps for what new Israeli dances could be. And so they borrowed steps and wrote new music and created dances that were directly synchronous to the new music, and in this way it becomes a new Israeli dance.

This was their way of participating in the nation-building and what for them was this revolutionary moment. I don’t think that cultural exchange is bad, but I think it’s about the context of whose narratives get told and seen.

This is an old claim. What’s new is the Times letting it slide unchallenged.

In his 1986 book Arab and Jew, David K. Shipler, who was a New York Times correspondent in Israel, quoted “Ibrahim Kareen of East Jerusalem” claiming, “The Israelis have stolen a lot of Palestinian culture…For instance, many dances. The Hora. This is Palestinian. Many dishes.”

US court throws out verdict against Arab bank for terror financing

A US appeals court has thrown out a 2014 jury verdict finding Arab Bank Plc liable for knowingly supporting militant attacks in Israel linked to Hamas, a decision that triggers a settlement agreement with hundreds of plaintiffs.

Friday’s decision by the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals ends 13-1/2 years of litigation over Arab Bank’s liability, which the Jordanian lender has disputed, for 24 attacks in and around Israel in the early 2000s.

The appeals court said jurors in Brooklyn were instructed incorrectly by the trial judge that under federal law, Arab Bank committed an “act of international terrorism” by knowingly providing material support to Hamas, which the Department of State designated in 1997 as a foreign terrorist organization.

In August 2015, 11 months after the verdict, Arab Bank had reached a confidential settlement with 527 victims or relatives of victims of 22 of the attacks, pending the bank’s appeal of the verdict.

Both sides agreed to forgo a retrial if the verdict were thrown out. Had it been affirmed, the plaintiffs would have been entitled to at least $100 million, Friday’s decision said.

“The plaintiffs will receive meaningful and very substantial compensation for their injuries,” their lawyer, Gary Osen, said in an email. “Today’s decision doesn’t diminish the fact a jury found Arab Bank liable for knowingly supporting Hamas.”

Caroline Glick: Alsheich – Israel’s grand inquisitor

On Wednesday night Israelis received yet another demonstration of the country’s desperate need for legal reform.

The media in Israel – like their counterparts in the US – tout themselves as democracy’s watchdogs. But on Wednesday night, we saw once again that our fiercest journalists are actually the lapdogs of our unelected legal fraternity, whose members share their hatred for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and their general attachment to the ideological Left.

Wednesday night’s primetime news broadcasts all opened with the sensational news that the police’s top investigators from the Lahav 433 unit – Israel’s equivalent of the FBI – were sitting at that very moment with Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich to decide what crimes to recommend Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit indict Netanyahu for.

According to police leakers, their intention is to recommend that Mandelblit indict Netanyahu for at least one count of bribery.

Netanyahu allegedly helped his old friend Hollywood movie mogul Arnon Milchan renew his US visa. Over the years, Milchan allegedly showered Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, with cigars and champagne.

An hour after the news broadcasts all ended, Israel’s flagship investigative news magazine Uvda broadcast a slickly edited, hour-long interview its anchor, Ilana Dayan, conducted over several weeks with Alsheich.

To be clear, Dayan’s interview wasn’t a complete love-fest. She asked Alsheich several biting questions. But overall, Dayan did everything she could to present Alsheich as a hero, a self-made man and all all-around awesome guy.

David Collier: Antisemitism is denied at the University of Warwick, it’s a Jewish plot to silence criticism

Three days ago, on 6th Feb, the University of Warwick held another anti-Israel meeting. The third such event in a month. Rather than directly discuss Israel, they wanted to focus on antisemitism. Or as it turned out to focus on how there isn’t really much of it about. Antisemitism is apparently rare these days, and the only reason it is in the news, is because Jews are a mix of devious, stupid and heartless people. Jews make up charges of anti-Jewish racism, and are then mobilised by western governments to suppress freedoms, so that land-grabbing Jews elsewhere can carry on killing children without criticism. No it isn’t a quote, but it is the inherent logic of the evening.

The event was titled ‘Palestinian rights, Prevent’ and the Misuse of antisemitism‘. This follows the argument that rather than being used to shed light on unacceptable hatred and defend victims of anti-Jewish racism, an accusation of antisemitism is a weapon at war, designed to silence all criticism of Israel. The event was chaired by Justine Mercer, Warwick UCU President. There were three speakers:

Nicola Pratt, University of Warwick
Richard Seaford, University of Exeter
Sai Englert, SOAS, University of London

There is much on the event that could be written, but I intend only to focus only on the central argument. So take it as given, that during the course of the event there was as much self-righteous indignation, hypocrisy, distortion and blatant propaganda, as is normally present during an anti-Israel event on campus. As usual, outright lies also peppered the talk.

Call for “Unified military effort by Islamic world to remove Zionist occupation” at UCL

Last week, at an event entitled ‘US embassy in Jerusalem, what’s the big deal?’, Dilly Hussain calls for a;

“unified military effort by the Islamic world to remove the Zionist occupation”.

Hussain, deputy editor of 5Pillars made the comment in response to a question by an “Irish student who appeared to be pro-Palestine” (his description).

Hussain is calling for an attack by an Islamic army on Jews in the Middle East, invoking language and sentiment of Quranic battles and subsequent victories over Jews. In fact, Hussain in his talk (which can be viewed here) refers to such Quranic battles as a model for which action should be taken today.

Without a hint of irony even as Hussain calls for a slaughter he also calls for “justice and security for all three Abrahamic faiths to live in peace”.

Imagine tomorrow Hussain gets his wish and a unified Islamic military arrives on the doorstep of Israel to liberate Palestine and rid it of said Zionist occupation.

Millions of Jews (of which there are currently over 6 million) would be slaughtered as they fought to save their state and their way of life. What Jews would be left to live in peace?

None – that’s the point.

The Palestinian Theologian Trying to Turn Christian Churches against Jews

Participating in a panel discussion at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, Robert Benne—an expert on Lutheran theology—found himself deeply disturbed by one of his co-panelists, the prominent Palestinian Lutheran pastor Mitri Raheb. Raheb, “something of a celebrity” on the campus, has been influential in bringing the anti-Israel cause—including boycotts—to mainline Protestant churches. In his talk, Raheb repeated, to enthusiastic applause, the standard anti-Israel talking points about apartheid, colonialism, and the like, adding the claim that Jews have no ancestral connection to the ancient Judeans and Israelites. Even more troubling, Benne found in Raheb’s words a revival of supersessionism—the doctrine that the advent of Christianity has completely voided God’s prior covenant with Israel:

[In his presentation], Raheb proceeded to reduce Christian faith to a crude liberation theology, one essentially without mention of [traditional Christian notions of redemption]. Those oppressed by “empire” (Israel as a tool of the U.S.) are the Palestinians, whom all good people will support in their effort to end occupation. The faith demands justice for the Palestinians! To top it off, he asserted, the cross of Jesus is “the ultimate critique of political and religious terror.” I presume that “political terror” refers to Rome in the ancient world and Israel today; “religious terror” is Jewish in both eras. Jesus is all about “liberation,” not “salvation.” (An alert Lutheran pastor in the audience asked if there were not more meaning to the cross, to which Raheb shook his head, claiming that his “contextual theology” is the way Palestinians interpret it.)

Entirely absent was the reality on the ground: Muslim oppression of Christians in the West Bank, as well as the danger that militant Muslims would present to Raheb and his family—and the many West Bank institutions he leads—were he to criticize them or the Palestinian Authority. He spoke not a word about the flight of Christians from his own hometown, Bethlehem, and the protective strategy of Christians in the West Bank to gather into small enclaves distant from their Muslim neighbors. . . .

MEMRI: Special Video Compilation Marking 20th Anniversary Of MEMRI’s Founding Features Clips Of Commentary On Arab And Iranian TV About MEMRI And Its Impact

To mark the 20th anniversary of our founding on February 7, 1998, MEMRI is releasing a video compilation of excerpts from clips it has published over the years from Arab and Iranian TV, featuring journalists, officials, analysts, and other leading figures commenting on, condemning, and praising MEMRI.

The commentators are shown discussing MEMRI’s direct impact among U.S. Congressmen, European legislators, and decision-makers worldwide. Noting MEMRI research and monitoring capabilities, speakers state that this has led to bans on Hizbullah’s Al-Manar TV, Iran’s Arabic-language Al-Alam TV, and Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV in Europe, and to Apple’s and Google’s removal of Al-Manar’s social media apps from their app stores. Other speakers advise their audiences not to make antisemitic statements or deny the Holocaust because of MEMRI’s monitoring.

The compilation shows MEMRI’s impact and influence in the Arab countries and Iran, and underlines their awareness that MEMRI is monitoring, translating, and publishing their words.

Rutgers University No Longer Employing Former Syrian Diplomat Who Accused Israel of Trafficking Children’s Organs

Rutgers University is no longer employing a former Syrian diplomat who defended the regime of President Bashar al-Assad during the country’s ongoing civil war, the school confirmed on Thursday.

Mazen Adi first drew controversy in early November, after The Algemeiner reported that he had represented the Syrian government — which has been accused of carrying out mass killings, systematic torture, and chemical weapons attacks against civilians — at the United Nations in New York between 2007 and 2014. He repeatedly targeted Israel while at the global body, including by accusing “some Israeli officials” of “trafficking children’s organs,” according to a translation by a UN interpreter. Israeli officials say such charges amount to a modern-day blood libel.

After leaving Turtle Bay, Adi was hired by Rutgers — New Jersey’s largest state-funded university — as a part-time lecturer in 2015. A former student told The Algemeiner on condition of anonymity that Adi defended Palestinian terrorism in class as a legitimate form of “resistance” to Israeli “occupation.”

The university first defended Adi’s “expertise in international law” once his background came under public scrutiny, and reaffirmed that he would teach an international criminal law and anti-corruption class during the spring 2018 semester. Rutgers President Robert Barchi personally confirmed at a town hall event later in November that Adi’s history was “well-known to us and well-known to the people who employed him,” and that the former diplomat “has not said or done anything in his academic life here that would be actionable.”

Kahlon urged to cancel benefits to Amnesty

MK Nava Boker (Likud) on Thursday sent a letter to Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu), asking him to cancel the economic benefits given by the State of Israel to Amnesty International.

“The organization is conducting an international campaign to place IDF soldiers on trial in the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The organization also calls for an international arms embargo on the State of Israel,” wrote Boker.

“In addition,” she continued, “the organization publicly supports those who refuse to serve in the IDF, and recently launched an international campaign calling for the release of the detained terrorist, Ahed Tamimi, who was documented hitting an IDF officer in the village of Nabi Salih.”

Amnesty acts “against the IDF, against IDF soldiers and against the State of Israel. Absurdly, it seems that Amnesty’s improper activity is not enough to deprive it of the benefits it receives from the Ministry of Finance, since it enjoys tax benefits under section 46 of the Income Tax Ordinance,” added Boker.

“Under the Boycott Law, you have the authority as Finance Minister to cancel the benefits given to organizations and bodies that call for a boycott against the State of Israel,” she pointed out.

Pro-Israel groups combat ACLU’s suit on Arizona’s anti-BDS law

A pro-Israel organization on Thursday evening filed documents with an Arizona court to uphold an anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions) bill in the state.

StandWithUS, in cooperation with The Israel Project and Israel Allies Foundation, filed an Amicus Brief with a federal court to uphold HB 2617, a legislation which prohibits state commerce with a company which “discriminates on the basis of nationality, national origin, or religion.”

The law, passed in March 2016, directly forbids Arizona government agencies from engaging contractors who participate in boycotts of Israeli goods or services.

Amicus briefs are legal documents filed in appellate court cases by non-litigants with a strong interest in the subject matter, according to Public Health Law Center.

“The briefs advise the court of relevant, additional information or arguments that the court might wish to consider,” the PHLC added.

Arizona is one of 23 states and “dozens of municipalities” which have passed similar anti-BDS laws to bar discrimination against Israelis and Jews.

StandWithUS, which describes itself as “an advocacy organization that promotes education and understanding of Israel,” says Arizona’s legislature recognizes that BDS is the “modern-day manifestation of anti-Jew bigotry resurrecting stereotypes and demonization that Jews have met for centuries.”

Report: UNICEF gives aid money to anti-Israel organizations

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund is actively supporting anti-Israel boycotts, NGO Monitor watchdog group president Gerald Steinberg contends.

Steinberg recently revealed to members of the Canadian Parliament how money donated by their government for educational programs was being misused by organizations to which UNICEF had transferred the money and which promote the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

In 2015, the Canadian government donated approximately $1 million to UNICEF for the purpose of funding an educational program for Palestinians. The funds were supposed to go toward training teachers, purchasing textbooks, rebuilding old school structures and the provision of psychological services to children and young adults.

UNICEF, however, invested the funds in the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Accompaniment Program, which trains boycott, divestment and sanctions movement activists from around the world.

As part of their training, activists at times use anti-Semitic rhetoric in the anti-Israel campaigns they introduce in churches around the world.

Another BDS organization by the name of Christian Peacemaker Teams also received some of the Canadian funds.

Jewish Orgs Outraged After McGill Says Removal of Jewish Student From Government Not Motivated by Anti-Semitism

Canadian Jewish organizations expressed disappointment after a McGill University report found that the removal of a Jewish student from student government was anti-Israel, but not anti-Jewish, calling it a missed opportunity for the university to reckon with its culture of anti-Jewish hostility.

The report by former Student Ombudsperson Spencer Boudreau, released Tuesday, found that an October vote by student government (SSMU) officials not to ratify three board members, including Jewish student Noah Lew, was not motivated by anti-Semitism.

Instead, it was “Lew’s affiliation with Jewish organizations that are clearly supportive of the State of Israel,” and his opposition to the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement, that were the reason for him being kicked off of the board.

“It is simply inexplicable how such a conclusion could be reached when the group leading the charge even admitted and apologized for the anti-Semitic tropes used leading up to the campaign,” said Avi Benlolo, president and CEO of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, adding that “this report may well serve to deepen the divisive and poisoned atmosphere on campus.”

B’nai Brith Canada said McGill’s investigation failed to take into account important campus context, such as a policy by the student paper banning publication of pro-Israel content. B’nai Brith CEO Michael Mostyn called the report a “whitewash.”

IsraellyCool: BDS Chickpea Brains at University of Manchester Suffer From Premature Jubilation

The University of Manchester BDS Campaign celebrate a victory – causing Sabra hummus to be removed from the campus shop, in what is clearly a huge blow to the Israeli economy! (Because everyone knows Israel’s economy is heavily dependent on the University of Manchester campus shop)
We are delighted to hear that the university will no longer be financially supporting human rights violators like the Golani Brigade through their sale of Sabra products. However, the university still holds financial and institutional ties to Israel and its war crimes, which does not comply with their socially responsible investment policy. The university continues to aid Israel’s apartheid regime through its multi-million dollar investments in complicit companies such as Caterpillar, whose specially-modified armed bulldozers are used to demolish homes, schools, olive groves and communities in Palestine.

This triumph is great motivation to continue our campaign which pushes for an end to the university’s compliance in Israel’s war crimes and investments in companies that breach the university’s own ethical investment policy. This success illustrates the power of student activism in working towards an end to ties with Israel’s war crimes and we encourage students at other universities to investigate their institution’s complicity and pursue BDS campaigns to divest from Israel’s apartheid regime.

Yeah, about that..
An an email to MEMO, a university spokesperson said: “Sabra products are available from a wide range of shops in the UK and the decision to remove this product from the University shop was made by a new member of staff who was not aware of the correct procedure for making these choices. Coincidentally, and unconnected to the student representations, the shop has recently moved to a new supplier which does not have this product in its range. The decision to go with another supplier is in no way related to the student campaign.”

These sad people object more to hummus than Hamas.

NY Times: “Hard-Line” Jews Support Recognition of Jerusalem as Capital

A New York Times news story about this morning’s National Prayer Breakfast broad-brushes American Jews who back recognition of Israel’s capital in Jerusalem as hard-liners. In the article, White House correspondent Mark Lander asserts:

Mr. Trump’s remarks were most notable for what he did not say. He made no mention of his recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a landmark shift in American policy that was extremely popular with evangelical voters and a segment of hard-line pro-Israel American Jews.

Evangelical support for the decision could conceivably be based on polling data. But unlike with evangelicals, there’s no defined subgroup of “hard-line” American Jews, and such a characterization wouldn’t appear in polling crosstabs. On what, then, does the reporter base his characterization?

On his opinion, it would seem – his feeling about who would support recognition of Israel’s capital, notwithstanding that this group includes overwhelming, bipartisan congressional majorities in 1995 and 2017, President Obama’s ambassador to Israel, and mainstream groups like AIPAC, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the American Jewish Committee, Hadassah and the Jewish Federations of North America.

At any rate, opinions belong in the Opinion pages, not the news section.

How the BBC invented territory ‘allocated’ to a Palestinian state

As has been known for several years, the BBC has a serious comprehension problem as far as UN GA resolution 181 – also known as the Partition Plan – is concerned.

In March 2013 the BBC Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee published its findings regarding appeals made (but not upheld) following complaints concerning the BBC’s failure to list Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in its 2012 Olympics coverage (see page 34 onwards here).

A year later, in March 2014, the ESC published its findings regarding yet another request for an appeal on the topic of Israel’s capital city.

In both those rulings, the BBC stated that:

“The [BBC Trust’s Editorial Standards] Committee noted that while there is no expectation that in a two-state solution West Jerusalem would become Palestinian territory, a UN resolution passed in 1947 has not been rescinded. It calls for the whole of Jerusalem to be an international city, a corpus separatum (similar to the Vatican City), and in that context, technically, West Jerusalem is not Israeli sovereign territory. “

The “UN resolution” to which the BBC referred is of course UN GA resolution 181 – the Partition Plan – which, like most UN General Assembly resolutions, was non-binding and no more than a recommendation, the implementation of which depended upon the agreement of the parties concerned.

As is well known the Arab nations rejected the Partition Plan en masse and even threatened to use force to oppose it. The recommendation hence became a non-starter and its various clauses immaterial.

Economist continues to mislead over Israeli historian’s alleged “concentration camp” analogy

However, what makes the misleading quote so pernicious is that it has the effect of legitmising comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis. Such comparisons are codified as antisemitic by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliances’s Working Definition of Antisemitism (which was adopted by the British government).

Tellingly, Pelham began his Economist article by casually dismissing concerns over such toxic comparisons:
COMPARISONS with dark chapters in Jewish history tend to elicit the knee-jerk Israeli response of asur le’hashvot, the Hebrew for “you can’t compare”. But a government plan to deport more than 34,000 African migrants to Rwanda is provoking more hand-wringing than usual, not least because Israel itself was created by refugees and survivors of the Holocaust.

Whatever objections there may be towards Israeli policy regarding African migrants, suggesting that their detention and planned deportation evokes the Nazis’ treatment of Jews is ahistorical and intellectually unserious.

The decision by The Economist to leave the false impression that a leading Holocaust historian evoked such a comparison does not reflect well on the seriousness of editors in upholding their own editorial standards, which includes a pledge to “consider whether the context and presentation of the facts are fair”.

Everyone loved this French-Muslim singer’s Leonard Cohen cover. Then they read her Facebook posts.

The same year, one day after a jihadist terrorist attack in Nice in which 86 people died, she seemed to peddle a popular conspiracy theory that Muslims are being framed for false-flag attacks.

“It’s becoming a routine: An attack each week!! And sure enough, the ‘terrorist’ takes with him his identity CARD. Of course, when planning a dirty you always take papers! #DontTakeUsForFools,” she wrote on Facebook.

In a separate post in 2016, Ibtissem said her country has “a shitty society,” that she is “sick of the French system” and that she’s “eager to get the hell out of here.”

Henda Ayari, a French feminist and author who grew up in a Muslim family, said L’Affaire Mennel indicates an eagerness in the French media and beyond to seek the semblance of tolerance rather than the real thing.
“Wearing a veil does not make one a saint, modesty needs no veil, beauty needs no pretty face to shine, external beauty does not mean internal one. Never rely on appearances, they’re deceiving,” Ayari wrote Tuesday on Twitter about Ibtissem.

The debate about Ibtissem comes on the heels of a similar brouhaha surrounding the hiring by the French cosmetics firm L’Oreal of a British Muslim woman to model a line of hair products.

Initially celebrated as a milestone for diversity, Amena Khan’s contract fell apart following the discovery of statements she wrote about Israel. In 2014 she tweeted that the country is an “illegal and sinister state.” She also labeled Israel a “child murderer” that Allah will ultimately defeat.

‘Ukraine Remains Blind Spot on Map of Holocaust Memorials’

A group of executives from the Babi Yar Holocaust Memorial Center (BYHMC) met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday and briefed him about their effort build a museum at the site of the September 1941 massacre in which more than 33,000 Jews were murdered by the Nazis in a ravine near the Ukrainian capital of Kiev.

“Ukraine remains a blind spot on the map of the Holocaust memorials,” BYHMC CEO Gennadii Verbylenko said. “Our goal is not about construction, but it is about building trust. We intend to be a community building institution. BYHMC is about remembering the past and building the future.”

Marek Siwiec — the BYHMC’s director for international affairs — said, “In a world where extremism grows stronger it is our goal not only to build a center, but to create a space that will form such a consciousness, with which it will become impossible to repeat the tragedies of World War II.”

Yana Barinova — the BYHMC’s chief operating officer — said, “I am sure that the implementation of the BYHMC project will not only change the historical consciousness of Ukraine, but, given the great interest and attention in the world to the problems of the Babi Yar, it will undoubtedly become one of the significant events in the life of the international community.”

Rivlin praised the BYHMC’s work, saying, “It is a pleasure to meet all of you, because this is something so necessary. The new generations, even the current generation, they don’t know exactly what happened all over.”

Ozzy Osbourne’s wife on Israel gig: ‘We play where we want’

Heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne has never failed to entertain, whether onstage or in a press conference — like the one he held on Tuesday in his home, ahead of his “No More Tours 2” tour.

Osbourne will perform at Rishon Lezion’s Live Park on July 8 for a stop on what he said is his farewell tour, along with members of Black Sabbath, the band he founded and fronted 49 years ago.

Osbourne and Black Sabbath helped define the heavy metal genre with classic songs like “Black Sabbath,” “Paranoid” and “Master of Reality.” But it was Osbourne’s wife and manager, Sharon Osbourne, who turned him around after years of drug and alcohol abuse.

Sharon Osbourne sat next to Ozzy at Tuesday’s press conference, which was streamed on Facebook.

When discussing which destinations Osbourne is looking forward to on tour, Sharon Osbourne surprised him by letting him know that their children, Kelly and Jack Osbourne, “really want to come to Israel.”

Osbourne was asked if he’s felt any pressure not to play in Israel, and Sharon Osbourne quickly responded, “I’m half a Heeb; we play where we want to play.”

Billionaire Trump adviser gives $10m to Israel’s National Library

An American billionaire and confidant of US President Donald Trump is making a major donation to Israel’s National Library.

Stephen Schwarzman, chairman and chief executive of private equity firm Blackstone, says the $10 million donation is his first in Israel.

The donation will fund classrooms and education workshops in the library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Education Center, which the investor hopes will foster inclusiveness and “cross-cultural relationships” between Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

In a statement, the National Library said the center will include a multi-purpose space for up to 100 people for classes, lectures, and performances​; three distinct spaces for activities and workshops; and state-of-the-art technology and infrastructure, to connect with peers in Israel and around the world.

The library broke ground in 2016 on a new home for its collection, which includes the world’s largest assemblage of Jewish texts, plus materials about Islam and the Middle East.

The new building lies across the street from Israel’s Knesset and the Israel Museum.

Schwarzman said on Wednesday the collection “enables all different types of groups to be comfortable in that setting and see things that reflect their historical backgrounds.”



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