The Democratic Double Standard for Anti-Semitism
The problem for Democrats here is not only moral but political. Calling for Northam’s resignation was a low-cost engagement—at least, it was before it was learned that his potential successors have blackface and sexual assault controversies of their own. No one is calling for Omar’s resignation or even relieving her of her influential committee assignments so the people of Minnesota’s 5th Congressional district can “heal and move forward,” in part, because it wouldn’t end with Omar.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib invoked the noxious “dual loyalty” canard when she expressed her opposition to an anti-BDS bill before Congress by accusing Republicans of forgetting “what country they represent.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has never had to revisit her claim that the organizers of the Women’s March are the “suffragists of our time,” even though its organizers have since embraced the anti-Semitic Minister Louis Farrakhan and were accused of discriminating against its Jewish members. Indeed, when asked if she would condemn these formerly feted Democratic organizers, she declined to comment with any specifics. She did, however, offer a blanket denunciation of anti-Semitism.
The party has been unable to explain why some of its members vehemently denounce Farrakhan while others, including Reps. Andre Carson, Al Green, Danny Davis, and Maxine Waters, seem keen not only to embrace him but defend their association with the Nation of Islam.
To apply the Northam standard to casual acts of anti-Semitism would purge the Democratic caucus of many of its most valuable members. As such, it’s not really a standard at all. It’s more like a talking point.
Jonah Goldberg: Ilhan Omar’s Lazy and Anti-Semitic Tweets
Of course, it’s no surprise that Omar believes this garbage. It’s one of the lazier and most timeless talking points of a rogue’s gallery of cranks, Islamists, and, of course, anti-Semites of the Left and Right, as well as conspiracy theorists generally. Congress is “Israeli Occupied Territory” according to all the worst people.
Now a few points seem worth making. AIPAC isn’t a foreign lobby. It’s an American organization run by Americans. It spends remarkably little on lobbying and Israel spends virtually nothing on lobbying Congress. According to Open Secrets, the biggest political contributor of the “Pro-Israel” lobby in the 2018 cycle was . . . J Street, which spent nearly four times as much ($4,057,820) as the next biggest contributor NORPAC ($1,126,063). Planned Parenthood gave $5,734,048. In 2018, AIPAC did spend the most on lobbying — which is different than contributing. But again, its expenditures were relatively miniscule at 3.5 million. Lawyers spent nearly three times as much on lobbying ($15.4 million) and their contributions totaled over 217 million. The financial, insurance, and real-estate industries contributed nearly $883 million and another half-billion on lobbying.
Now, I’m not naïve. Of course, pro-Israel groups and individuals spend money on politics in other ways, direct and indirect. One need only look at Sheldon Adelson’s political giving to understand that.
But sometimes when people say “It’s not about the money” it’s actually not about the money. The best analogy is to the NRA. For many on the Left and in the media, it’s an article of faith that Republicans don’t cross the NRA because of all of the “blood money” the group lavishes on Congress. They find gun-rights arguments to be so outlandish on their face — in part because they live in gun-free blue bubbles — they immediately assume that bribery is at play. But, as I wrote here, the NRA gives remarkably little in terms of donations. The NRA’s — and the broader gun lobby’s — real power lies in the fact that it can mobilize voters.
Israel is popular with a number of important constituencies including many Jews (imagine that). But its real popularity resides among evangelical Christians and voters generally. And, despite its perfectly debatable flaws, real and alleged, it should be popular. It’s an ally. It’s democratic. It’s Western. And its enemies are largely our enemies. It’s no coincidence it’s listed as the “Little Satan” alongside the “Great Satan” that is America, by some of the most evil and backward regimes in the world.
Anti-Semitism now thrives inside the Democratic Party. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) wrote a piece for Louis Farrakhan in 2006; she’s welcome in the party. Linda Sarsour continues to be an ally to the new Democratic Fresh Faces™ as well as more established names like Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) (in November, Sarsour slammed “folks who masquerade as progressives but always choose their allegiance to Israel over their commitment to democracy and free speech”). Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) holds conference calls with vicious British anti-Semite Jeremy Corbyn, to no serious blowback from the Democratic Party. Keith Ellison, now attorney general of Minnesota, was nearly made the head of the Democratic National Committee after engaging in blatant anti-Semitism for years.
How has the Democratic Party morphed into the party of anti-Semitism? By embracing the philosophy of intersectionality on the one hand, and by embracing the myth that anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are completely separable on the other. The former provides the emotional impetus for nodding at Jew-hatred; the latter provides the intellectual framework for doing so.
The philosophy of intersectionality has othered Jews from the intersectional coalition. Because intersectionality is built on the premise that the prevailing Western system of thought has victimized various groups, and that those groups must band together in order to destroy that system, those who have thrived under the West must be excised from the intersectional agglomeration – being, as they are, representatives of the fact that Western thought is not, in fact, rooted in evil. The Jews are simply too financially, educationally, and politically successful to be seen as anything other than members of the power structure. Thus, slurs against them must be countenanced from more victimized groups.
So the question is, when do Democrats draw a line in the sand, if ever? The reluctance to say anything up until this point reflects an understanding of an ugly truth: that these views are representative of where a lot of their party is, and at a time when they’re trying to present a unified front, they want to avoid an all out war on a tense issue.
The data from Pew Research Center points to a widening gap between Republicans and Democrats, and particularly conservatives and liberals, when it comes to Israel. Though the parties were once relatively just as likely as Republicans to say they sympathized with Israel over the Palestinians, the gap has dramatically widened over time, with 79 percent of Republicans now saying they sympathize more with Israel, compared with just 27 percent of Democrats (who are now nearly as likely to say they sympathize more with Palestinians). But the ideological breakdown is even more stark. Conservatives back Israel by an 81 percent to 5 percent margin, while liberals actually favor Palestinians by nearly two-to-one. Political parties like to talk about issues that united their party, but Israel is an issue that objectively divides the Democrats, as conservative/moderate Democrats are the polar opposite — favoring Israel two-to-one.
So Omar and Tlaib really present a test to Democrats about which type of party they want to be. The British Labour party has already been taken over by anti-Semitic leader Jeremy Corbyn, and there’s no reason why the same thing couldn’t happen in the U.S. Rising star Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, just this month touted what an “honor” it was to have ” such a lovely and far-reaching” conversation with him.
Just last week, pushing back against those calling out her anti-Semitism, Omar said, “Our domestic policy values need to be aligned with our foreign policy values. No exceptions!” The clear suggestion is that if you want to be on board with the resurgent liberal agenda, it isn’t enough to back sweeping economic and social policies at home, you have to adopt her hostility toward Israel.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer may not share Omar’s foreign policy vision, but if they don’t call out anti-Semitism within their own ranks, they will only signal to others that it’s perfectly acceptable as long as it’s spun as mere criticism of Israel.
JPost Editorial: Ilhan Omar’s antisemitism has consequences
Antisemitism is indeed again raising its ugly head in the US, as it is elsewhere in the world. As Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations executive vice chairman Malcolm Hoenlein said last week, a hotline is being inundated with calls from American students suffering from antisemitism on their campuses. In Brooklyn, there have been at least 10 unprovoked attacks on Jews within the last two months. And nobody can – or should – forget the attack at the synagogue in Pittsburgh last year in which 11 Jews were murdered during Shabbat prayers.
The attacks are coming from Left and Right. But they are not coming in a vacuum.
When a congresswoman employs antisemitic images and rhetoric, she is encouraging – not preventing – violent incidents. She should be castigated, not only via Twitter, but in Congress itself by both Democrats and Republicans. That seemed to be the case on Tuesday when many members of Omar’s own party condemned her recent antisemitic comments.
Omar, like all American citizens, has the right to express her opinion. But as a legislator and an elected representative of the American people, she should be aware about the consequences of her statements. No one expects her to become a sudden lover of Jews and Israel, but she should not be allowed to use her position on Capitol Hill to disseminate antisemitism while pretending to represent American values. Spouting antisemitic tropes should never be seen as acceptable. Anywhere.
Seth Frantzman: The tip of the iceberg for Ilhan Omar
That worldview is not only focused on Israel. Omar has dwelled on Israel in the past, calling the country an “apartheid Israeli regime” in May 2018. But she is also focused on the Maduro regime in Venezuela. Except that when it comes to US criticism of that regime, she had a different take. “We cannot hand pick leaders for other countries on behalf of multinational corporate interests,” she tweeted on January 25. She then went on to claim that the legislature in Venezuela was seizing power. Yet Venezuela’s Juan Guaido has been recognized by numerous countries, including Canada, the UK, Spain, France and Germany. Omar makes it appear as though only the Trump administration and “corporations” are supporting him. She claimed that support for him was a “US-backed coup.”
Her views dovetail with a cast of characters who tend not only to line up behind Maduro but also tend to support Syria’s Bashar Assad regime. These same ideologies often side with Russia as well. On the one hand, these voices pose as part of the far-Left in the West, but they also support the extreme Right abroad. That means they tend to see US conspiracies behind criticism of foreign regimes and sympathize with whatever extreme views claim to be “anti-imperialist” while preaching a progressive agenda at home.
Separating out the actual progressives from those who seem more comfortable with foreign dictators is relatively easy. Actual progressives tend to think the Maduro regime in Venezuela is harming average people. They tend to be wary of US military power, but not get immediately drawn into conspiracies that see “corporations” behind everything. Critical of capitalism, but not obsessed with conspiracies.
The issue with Omar’s views is not that they are critical of Israel. Israel has a lot of support in the US. The problem is that once someone has gone down the road of openly or quietly sympathizing with Maduro and a host of thuggish regime fellow travelers, one is on a road toward supporting dictatorship abroad over democracy, supporting religious coercion abroad over religious freedom, and that will eventually corrode politics inside the US. Will outreach from fellow Democrats only change the tone of Omar’s tweets or will they also encourage her to be more skeptical of some of the voices she follows on social media.
Haaretz: Why Americans Support Israel
Rep. Ilhan Omar’s comments about lobby money being behind support for Israel in American politics betray a serious misunderstanding about what makes support for Israel such a potent political current in the U.S. Much of Israel’s political cachet in American domestic politics comes from the Evangelical Christian community. Their ideological conviction is real and requires no buyout. Moreover, much of American Jewry feels a genuine bond with Israel, independent of any lobby.
Then there are other aspects of the relationship that are more broadly appealing to Americans. There is the idea that Israel is a democratic outpost of Western civilization on the edge of an untamed wilderness. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Israel’s enemies were recast in the same mold as the Islamic fundamentalist hijackers who brought down the Twin Towers. Israel is also a key American strategic and intelligence partner in the Middle East.
The truth is that elected leaders don’t simply boost Israel to cash in. They do so because it is appealing to constituents of many political stripes.
Still, it’s a mistake to dismiss Omar’s statements as poorly worded “criticisms” of Israel by a political novice. She was savvy enough to advocate a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during her primary campaign last summer. She also said she opposed the antisemitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement that aims to isolate Israel economically and socially during her primary campaign. BDS wasn’t helpful in reaching that two-state solution, she said.
Once safely elected, however, she reversed course, with her office saying she “believes in and supports the BDS movement.”
In December, we thanked Zahra Billoo, one of CAIR’s most strident voices, for her candor. Billoo will come right and say she doesn’t believe Israel has a right to exist. So when she says, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” there’s no room for doubt that she wants to rid the world of its only Jewish state.
In some ways, Omar is bringing that same level of candor to Washington. It is abhorrent and hateful, but it helps pull the veneer off so many voices that claim they merely oppose Israeli policies or criticize its government. The basic ideology is the same — Israel stands alone as the problem. Israel alone must be ostracized and condemned. Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iranian clerics who devote millions of dollars to destroying the Jewish state instead of investing in ways to improve life for Palestinians merit no mention.
Remember that the next time Ilhan Omar apologizes for something else she needs to learn.
U.S. President Donald Trump slammed Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar for a tweet that her own party leaders say they view as “antisemitic.”
She should “be ashamed of herself,” Trump said, according to a report by USA Today. “I think it was a terrible statement.”
Trump was speaking on Air Force One as he was flying to El Paso, Texas, where he later spoke at a “Make America Great Again” rally.
“I don’t think her apology was adequate,” he said.
US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a famed Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) supporter, apologized after pointing an accusatory finger at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), saying the organization is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel.
Democratic leadership said they condemned the remarks, in a statement released by House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California.
“Antisemitism must be called out, confronted and condemned whenever it is encountered, without exception,” they said.
Trump says Ilhan Omar should resign in response to perceived anti-Semitic tweets (h/t vwvwwvwv)
Former Hillary Clinton campaign official Jess McIntosh defended Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) from charges of anti-Semitism by saying violent extremism in America is the political right’s problem.
On “CNN Newsroom” with Brooke Baldwin, McIntosh made the claim that “every single extremist murder that happened in American in 2018 was right-wing extremism,” citing a study that did not find that. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) put out a report blaming “right-wing extremism” for most extremist violence in 2018, but it also found radical Islam and other motives were present for different killers.
McIntosh admitted Omar was “glib about stereotypes that have been used to demonize and oppress and murder minorities,” but she praised her for a “really thoughtful” apology. (Omar took a shot at AIPAC again in her apology by calling them “problematic.”) McIntosh said it was Republicans who are at fault.
“I tend to believe she’s having these tough conversations because that’s the kind of work she does regularly,” McIntosh said. “Where I need to draw the line is Republicans saying she needs to be removed from positions of leadership.”
McIntosh demanded Republicans be “willing to address the violent anti-Semitism” in America, with no one bringing up the innumerable statements against anti-Semitism Republicans and their party have made in recent years. Not only were Republicans silent, according to McIntosh, but President Donald Trump was causing this violence.
“This is spurred on by the president, and until the Republican Party is willing to address that real threat, they have no business weighing in on [Omar’s tweets],” she said.
The ADL’s report did not find extremists had killed in the name of Trump, or that they supported him in any notable way. The shooter at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue, for instance, had denounced Trump for being a “globalist.” The only factor connecting the vast majority of extremist killers to “the right,” according to the ADL, was the fact that they professed to hate women or ethnic groups, characteristics the organization considers inherently “right-wing.”
Rep. Dan Kildee defended fellow Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s controversial weekend tweets regarding U.S. politicians who defend Israel, saying Monday morning that they were not anti-Semitic.
“I wouldn’t take it as anti-Semitism,” Kildee told CNN when asked what he thought of the criticism that Omar insinuated that Jewish money was controlling lawmakers.
Kildee, who represents a Michigan district, said that he believes Omar was trying to bring light to the fact that there are people who make campaign contributions specifically based on Israel policy.
“We ought to be careful not to construe that in anything other than a concern about the fact that money has undue influence on political decision making,” Kildee said.
“I wouldn’t take it as anti-Semitism,” says @RepDanKildee referring to Rep. Omar’s tweet on Israel.
Sarsour is well-known for her own ties to anti-Semitic leaders, and her own espousal of anti-Semitic ideas. The progressive leader has regularly spoken out against the state of Israel, and, in twin exposes in both Tablet Magazine and The New York Times, was accused of confronting Jewish Women’s March leaders at the movement’s foundational meetings — and eventually helping to strongarm those same Jewish women out of leadership positions.
Sarsour is also well connected to the Nation of Islam and its virulently anti-Semitic leader, Louis Farrakhan. Sarsour forged a bond between the Women’s March and the Nation of Islam, and reportedly arranged for the Nation of Islam to provide security for Women’s March leaders and at Women’s March events.
So it’s no surprise that Sarsour penned an essay defending Omar, who, Sunday night, tweeted out a blatantly anti-Semitic trope, accusing the pro-Israel group, AIPAC, of bankrolling lawmakers on behalf of the state of Israel.
“AIPAC is one of the most influential lobbies in American politics – alongside the NRA (maybe not anymore), fossil fuel industry and big pharmaceuticals,” Sarsour wrote on Facebook, clearly unaware that AIPAC has a lobbying budget of a mere $3.5 million per year, compared to $20M or $30M for fossil fuel companies and pharmaceutical manufacturers.
“AIPAC connects donors to campaigns and elected officials. Trying to argue that critiquing the role of AIPAC which let’s be clear is not a Jewish organization, many of its leaders and members are Christian Zionists – is antisemitic is ludicrous,” Sarsour continued. “Critiques of the State of Israel ARE NOT antisemitic. Calling out AIPAC is not antisemitic…We have work to do to dismantle all forms of racism including antisemitism. We do that under the leadership of Jewish allies who have invested in education, relationship building not vilification and harassment.”
“I will not be silent in the face of attacks, harassment and targeted policing of speech from a Black Muslim woman elected official, our sister Ilhan Omar in the name of combatting antisemitism. We can stand up for Ilhan knowing her record and what she stands for and also combat antisemitism. I will not be distracted by the fact that dangerous antisemitism is being peddled by the very people claiming to care about Jews and antisemítism,” she concluded.
Sarsour added that she believes Republican Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is, in fact, the most anti-Semitic Member of Congress — not Omar — for noting that George Soros is a top donor to the Democratic Party, though McCarthy has been clear that he is opposed to Soros’ far-left positions on issues like immigration, not his religion.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) backed Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) tweets alleging the purchase of American foreign policy by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), despite Democrat leaders’ descriptions of Omar’s comments as antisemitic.
According to CAIR, descriptions of Omar’s tweets — in which she cast AIPAC as a purchaser of American foreign policy against the national interest on behalf of Israel — as antisemitic amount to disingenuous attempts to silence criticism of Israel.
CAIR stated on Monday:
Anti-Semitism is real. It should not be used disingenuously as a tool to silence legitimate criticism of a foreign nation’s discriminatory policies. CAIR applauds Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib for their courage in speaking the truth about Israel’s racial, religious and ethnic segregation. Agenda-driven groups — like AIPAC — have for decades enabled that segregation and the resulting denial of human rights for Christian and Muslim Palestinians.
Minnesota’s largest newspaper argued Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) has not shown “change or personal growth” in the wake of her latest controversy over tweets widely condemned as anti-Semitic.
“Getting attention does not equal effective leadership. That is a reality that U.S. House Rep. Ilhan Omar urgently needs to grasp as she settles into her new role representing Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District,” the Star Tribune editorial board wrote on Monday.
The editorial board noted Omar’s latest tweet controversy came less than a month after the newspaper criticized her for spreading conspiracy theories about Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.). Omar also ultimately admitted last month that a widely-criticized tweet of hers from 2012 was “offensive.” She had for months defended the tweet, which claimed Israel had “hypnotized the world” while doing “evil.”
“With an apology comes the expectation of change and personal growth. Omar’s two tweets from the past weekend made it clear that hasn’t happened. The flippant tone of one of her statements also underscores doubts about her judgment, particularly when this latest communications crisis could have been easily avoided,” the editorial board added.
The editorial called Omar’s apology for her latest tweets, in which she suggested the financial clout of the pro-Israel lobbying organization AIPAC was responsible for Republican lawmakers’s support for Israel, “grudging.”
Warning that the Congresswoman was on course to burn through all major Jewish stereotypes in her first year in office, a number of prominent bigots have urged Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar to pace herself in her use of anti-Semitic dog whistles.
The warnings came after Omar was forced to apologize for implying that members of Congress support Israel due to payoffs from pro-Israel lobbyists, deploying the “rich Jews run the world stereotype.” This came just weeks after she apologized for using the “rich Jews run the world through hypnosis” stereotype.
“As much as I love hearing the Jews get ripped on, if you use a new stereotype and then feign ignorance and apologize every week, by year’s end you’ll be scraping the bottom of the barrel,” noted anti-Semite Linda Sarsour. “Heck, she used ‘hook-nosed Jew’ in a retweet she deleted an hour later. She could have made a whole news cycle out of that.”
— Ozraeli Dave (@Israellycool) February 12, 2019
Seven British Labour MPs sent an angry letter Monday to party leader Jeremy Corbyn over what they described as a lackluster response from the party’s leadership to lawmakers’ calls for transparency over its handling of anti-Semitism complaints.
Last week, Labour lawmakers unanimously passed a motion demanding that party leaders provide detailed data in writing by February 11 on the handling of complaints about anti-Semitism, with some MPs accusing top officials in the party of covering up the figures.
The internal party motion passed at Labour’s weekly parliamentary meeting in the lower house, escalating internal rifts over the issue. The motion called “on the party leadership to adequately tackle cases of anti-Semitism, as a failure to do so seriously risks anti-Semitism in the party appearing normalized and the party seeming to be institutionally anti-Semitic.”
MPs also demanded that party officials such as General Secretary Jennie Formby or leader Jeremy Corbyn attend the meeting to answer questions about the data.
But the seven MPs said in their letter late Monday that no one came to speak to them at Monday’s Parliamentary Labour Party meeting. An email containing just nine months’ worth of information was sent to lawmakers by Formby 90 minutes before the meeting, they said.
Labour’s General Secretary Jennie Formby has emailed all Labour MPs this afternoon with an update on how the party has been dealing with anti-Semitism cases. The statistics do not give the impression of a party cracking down on an serious endemic problem:
Of the 673 party members reported since April 2018:
- 220 were let off due to lack of “sufficient evidence”
- 146 received a “reminder of conduct”
- 96 were suspended
- 211 were issued with a “notice of investigation”
Of those who were suspended or formally investigated:
- 44 resigned from the party
- 25 received a “reminder of conduct”
- 16 received a formal NEC warning
- 7 had their cases closed with no further action
- 42 were referred to the National Constitutional Committee
Of the 42 formally referred to the NCC, described as an “independent quasi-judicial body”, just 12 have been expelled from the party. This is less than 2% of the total number of reported incidents.
Given the huge proliferation of egregious anti-Semitism in the Labour Party since it moved sharply to the left, it speaks volumes that they have deemed so few cases worthy of outright explusion…
The Chair of Liverpool Wavertree Labour Party, Dr. Alex Scott-Samuel, has lost his job over his appearance on a show broadcast by anti-Semitic conspiracist David Icke. He remains in the Labour Party, attempting to deselect his CLP’s Jewish MP Luciana Berger…
His former employer, the University of Liverpool told the Jewish Chronicle that “Dr. Alex Scott-Samuel is no longer employed by the University.” This is following his appearance on the Richie Allen Show in February 2017, Dr Scott-Samuel was introduced as a senior lecturer at the University of Liverpool.* He told the audience that “The Rothschild family are behind a lot of the neo-liberal influence in the UK and the US. You only have to google them to look at this.”
Other guests on the show Dr. Scott-Samuel appeared on have included former KKK leader David Duke, and self-described “Holocaust revionist” Alison Chabloz. The Labour Party has only expelled twelve members for anti-Semitism. Astonishingly, Dr. Scott-Samuel is not one of them…
Three events scheduled to take place in Germany in recent weeks and aimed at raising support for the boycott, divest, sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel have been canceled in a sign of German efforts to stomp out what many view to be cover for classic antisemitism.
The first event, featuring pro-BDS activist Shir Hever who was slated to speak on “Israel’s Right-Wing Friends in Europe and in the US,” was scheduled to take place in January in the city of Bonn. The event was sponsored by the Palestinian Community of Germany, BDS Bonn, and the Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East.
Hever is a known critic of Israel and is a member of the pro-BDS group Jewish Voice. He wrote on the Middle East Eye website: “In April, Israeli soldiers kicked out Palestinians who were bathing in a natural pool in the West Bank, so that colonists could bathe there undisturbed. Such overt and daily acts of apartheid influence the BDS debate.”
The German-Kurdish cultural house in Bonn canceled his talk after it was criticized by Mayor Ashok Sridharan who characterized an advertisement for the planned event as containing texts with “one-sided statements with respect to Israel that were, from the perspective of the city, hostile to Israel and in their blanket statements ultimately antisemitic.”
What does Intifada mean?
Students for “Justice” in Palestine (SJP) continue to call for the Intifada. But what does Intifada really mean?
The UK television program “Good Morning Britain” deleted on Friday a Twitter poll that asked members of the public whether they thought Britain should boycott this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, which is being held in Israel.
The poll, published on Thursday, asked, “There are calls for Britain to boycott this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, over Israel’s human rights record. Do you agree?”
Supporters of Israel and members of the UK Jewish community were outraged by what they saw as a legitimization of efforts to boycott the Jewish state.
Former IDF Spokesperson Peter Lerner called on “Good Morning Britain” to apologize and said that the results of the poll — 60 percent said they did not agree with efforts to boycott the Eurovision contest — indicated “the disgust people have with you asking.”
Elad Ratson, the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s London-based special envoy for digital diplomacy, said that the morning show “must take their audience for fools! They run a twitter poll with a misleading question deliberately coercing people to vote against Israel. When the condescending mockery backfires, they delete the tweet. Hypocrisy at its best!”
The Israel Britain Alliance called the poll “preposterous” and David Collier, a researcher who documents Jew-hatred, described it as “disgraceful” and “disgusting.”
McCann proceeded to interrupt Ruth Dudley Edwards as she tried to describe the terrorism faced by Israelis and then went on:
McCann: “They’re not dealing with rockets every day of the week. In fact the number of rockets being fired from Gaza or anywhere else is very small – tiny, infinitesimal – compared to the firepower being directed by Israel against the Palestinian people. That is why in terms of deaths […] We can watch on our televisions and actually see heavily armed members of the Israeli Defence Forces shooting – aiming and shooting down – and shooting in the back young Palestinians. Some of them might be carrying stones – it’s all they have – and sling shots like David had to use against Goliath. That’s what you see now.”
Crawley made no effort to inform listeners that the “infinitesimal” number of rockets and mortars launched from Gaza at Israeli civilians in 2018 was one thousand or that “stones” are obviously by no means “all they have” seeing as hundreds of attacks with IEDs, grenades and firearms have been carried out in the past year alone. Neither did Crawley react when Mc Cann went on to claim that “there’s slaughter going on there” before once again invoking the political NGOs Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
During the phone-in part of the item listeners heard from seven callers – all male – three of whom were against boycotting the Eurovision and four in favour. Many of the lies and distortions promoted by those callers went unchallenged.
Caller 2: “Israel used white phosphorus on civilians – children, men, women. Journalists – kills journalists on a regular basis. It destroys olive trees. Takes land off people, you know, it murders people, children. How can anyone in their right kind of mind accept anything that Israel does? Israel should be wiped off the map and the land should be given back to the Palestinians. […] They should be…their power should be taken off them and it should be returned to the Palestinian people and they should all live in peace together in one area. […] The power and the government and the structure should be returned back to the Palestinians.”
Crawley made no effort to clarify to listeners that “the Palestinians” never had an independent state with “power and the government and the structure”. Neither did he bother to inform his audience – and his caller – that denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination is considered antisemitism according to the IHRA definition that is used by the British government.
The French government called Tuesday for a firm response to a series of anti-Semitic acts over the weekend, including graffiti and vandalism, which have raised fresh alarm.
Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux urged the police to pursue the culprits while suggesting the spate of attacks could be blamed on far-left and far-right activists who have infiltrated weekly “yellow vest” protests.
Demonstrators have gathered every Saturday in Paris since November to denounce the government of President Emmanuel Macron.
“We’re not talking about the protesters who are struggling to make ends meet,” Griveaux told France 2 television.
“But those who are committing violent acts, openly anti-Semitic or racist acts, they must be charged and severely punished,” he said.
But the rise in anti-Semitic acts in France predates the “yellow vest” movement and there was no evidence on Tuesday tying the latest incidents to the movement.
France said Monday night that the number of anti-Semitic acts in the country soared last year, and decried the “poison” of hate.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said that the total number of recorded anti-Semitic acts rose to 541 in 2018 from 311 in 2017.
He spoke in the Paris suburb of Sainte-Genevieve-du-Bois, where vandals chopped down trees planted in honor of a Jewish man tortured and killed in 2006.
The incident was the latest in a recent string of racist vandalism.
Castaner vowed that his government will fight anti-Semitism, calling it “an attack against hope.”
He did not link the rise to any specific groups.
A tree planted in a Paris suburb in memory of a young Jewish man who was tortured to death in 2006 has been chopped down, authorities said Monday, confirming the latest in a series of anti-Semitic acts in France.
Ilan Halimi was kidnapped by a gang that demanded huge sums of money from his family, believing them to be rich because he was Jewish.
After being tortured for three weeks, the 23-year-old cellphone salesman was found dumped next to a railway in the southern suburb of Sainte-Genevieve-des-Bois. He died while being brought to hospital.
On Monday, municipal workers sent to prepare a memorial site for an annual remembrance ceremony this week discovered that a tree planted in his honor had been chopped down and a second one partly sawn through, local officials told AFP.
The police are investigating the incident, which the French government’s special representative on racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination, Frederic Potier, described as “ignominious.”
Members of the far-left extremist Antifa movement have been accused of a brutal attack on affiliates of the youth wing of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) including attacking a Jewish member.
The four members of the AfD’s youth organisation Junge Alternative (JA) were initially invited to see a screening of a film about the Warsaw Ghetto during the Second World War by the director of the Berlinale film festival Dieter Kosslick at 10:30pm on Sunday night.
An AfD spokesman sent a statement on the incident to Breitbart London which included eye witness accounts from the youth group members who were attacked.
According to JA Berlin member Vadim Derksen, around “half a dozen” masked extremists attacked them only 50 yards from the theatre showing the film.
“They used improvised weapons they can’t be arrested for, but which can do serious damage. They held batteries in their fists to strike with, and one of them had a wine glass which he smashed, and used the broken stem to stab at us like a knife. I was cut in the upper arm and didn’t even notice it till I got home,” Derksen said.
Derksen also noted that none of the group was wearing any sort of clothing or symbols that would give them away as AfD members, questioning how the attackers knew who they were and where they would be that evening.
Jewish leaders in Hungary have spoken out against the failure of the government and police to stop the neo-Nazi marches which took place last Saturday in throughout the capital Budapest, drawing an estimated 2,800 far-right extremists bearing swastikas and other fascist symbols.
Former defense minister Avigdor Liberman criticized the Hungarian police for failing to stop the marches, while Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, described the “indifference” of the Hungarian authorities as “shocking.”
The marches, labelled the “Day of Honor,” commemorated the defeat of the German army and the armed forces of the fascist Hungarian Arrow Cross regime at the hands of the Soviet Red Army in February 1945, with participants honoring the memory of the Nazi and fascist forces who died in battle.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, Rabbi Zoltan Radnoti, chairman of the rabbinical council of the Mazsihisz Jewish Federation in Hungary, said that such marches are extremely frightening for the Jewish community.
“It very much pains us that neither the authorities nor the police did anything to stop this march,” said Radnoti.
“Jews do not want to see people dressed in Nazi uniforms,” he continued, saying that there were various legal tools the police could have used to prevent the march.
A regional president of the Australia Medical Association said Monday that victims of the Holocaust heading to the gas chambers found a “sense of relief” in knowing there was no escape.
Dr. Paul Bauert later apologized for his comments to Sky News. His interview dealt with asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru and a bill proposing new procedures governing medical transfers from the offshore detention.
Bauert said the mental health of the detainees had deteriorated because there was no certainty about their future.
“The longer these people are there, the worse they are getting. We know that the main reason for the impairment of mental health — as Viktor Frankl, the psychiatrist from Auschwitz, described very well in his book, ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ — the main problem these people have is the lack of meaning, the lack of any end to what is going on. A lack of certainty,” he told Sky News.
“And this, more than anything, causes severe mental health damage. Even those that finally knew they were about to be condemned to the gas chamber at least found some sense of relief in knowing what was happening.”
The co-CEO of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Peter Wertheim, told JTA that “to compare victims of genocide to asylum seekers is a gross exaggeration, and displays a callous disregard of both the facts of history and the still-raw memories and feelings of Holocaust survivors.”
A US synagogue in Lima, Ohio, has been shot up with bullets.
At least two dozen bullet holes were discovered in the windows of Temple Beth Israel-Shaare Zedek on Friday and Saturday, according to the congregation’s part-time rabbi, Howie Stein, who reported the vandalism in a Facebook post.
“Friday night, we prayed in a sanctuary with three bullet holes in its windows,” Stein wrote. “Services followed a potluck supper, in a social hall with a minyan [ten] of holes in its windows, brought out from a kitchen with twice as many holes in its window.
“Shabbat morning we found three more holes in the upstairs classrooms, no longer used because of the shrinking and aging nature of the congregation. Thankfully, nobody was in the building at the time, and the damage, while emotionally and physically extensive, was not more significant.”
The rabbi said he called on the congregation to use Shabbat to “focus inward, on our own rest and renewal. We must not allow those who hate, and those who act on their hate, to deter us from our cherished beliefs and practices.”
Antisemitic flyers accusing Jews of attacking the First Amendment of the US Constitution were discovered at the University of Montana campus on Friday.
Placed under the windshield wipers of cars parked outside student housing buildings, the papers — titled “Jews Attack 1st Amendement” — were not signed by any group or individual.
They appeared to target the “Combating European Anti-Semitism Act of 2017,” which improves State Department reporting on Jew-hatred on the continent and encourages European nations to adopt a uniform definition of antisemitism. It was signed into law by President Donald Trump in January.
The university said that it removed the flyers once alerted to their presence.
“It’s important to condemn these efforts that target our friends and neighbors in the Jewish community,” stated the Montana Human Rights Network, which shared photos of the flyers to social media.
The school — which is estimated to have a very small Jewish community, totaling less than 100 Jewish students out of more than 9,000 undergraduates — has in the past struggled with antisemitic incidents.
A week after his football team won Super Bowl LIII, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft attended a Shabbat service in South Florida on Saturday.
Kraft’s Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in the NFL championship game in Atlanta on Feb. 3 — their sixth Super Bowl title in 18 years.
On Saturday, the 77-year-old Kraft — who is a major donor to numerous Jewish and Israeli causes — prayed at the Palm Beach Synagogue.
“After I congratulated Bob and wished him, ‘Mazal tov,’ on his Super Bowl victory, he spoke to the congregation,” Rabbi Moshe Scheiner told The Algemeiner. “He opened his remarks by saying, ‘I am here to thank the Lord.’”
Scheiner recalled, “He quoted his bar mitzvah parsha — not by strength and not by might, but with my spirit. The strength of the Jewish people is our synagogues where we come together and pray. He then spoke about how he feels at home when he comes to shul and how after Pittsburgh he went to the Tree of life Synagogue.”
An Israeli tour guide and her friend last week stumbled across a rare 1,900-year-old coin from the time of the Bar Kochba revolt unearthed by recent rains in the Lachish region, southwest of Jerusalem, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority said Monday.
Tour guide Maayan Shalom and her friend Shiri Burchard were walking on a dirt road near the Givat Gad nature reserve on a training hike ahead of one of Shalom’s guided tours, when they spotted a round green object sticking out of the ground.
After cleaning off the muck, the two realized they might have a find and took the coin to Dr. Zvika Tzuk, the chief archaeologist of the Nature and Parks Authority, who handed it to Dr. Danny Syon of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Despite the fact that the coin hadn’t undergone professional cleaning yet, Syon succeeded in deciphering the images and inscriptions on the rare coin, determining that it dates back to 133 or 134 CE.
One side of the coin had an image of a palm tree with seven branches and two clusters of grapes above the name “Shimon” — Bar Kochba’s first name — in ancient Hebrew. The flip side of the coin had a vine leaf with a twig and around it an inscription meaning “the second year to the freedom of Israel.”
Coins of this type were minted during the Bar Kochba revolt from 132-135 CE, during which Jewish rebels managed to regain some autonomy from Rome. The “second year” is either the year 133 or 134 CE.
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