Confronting a noxious new age of Jew-hate
What is it that makes possible a horror like the machete attack on a Jewish gathering in New York in December? The outrage overshadowed increased sightings of anti-Jewish graffiti and incidents of boorishly aggressive behaviour towards Jews in public places, here as well as in the United States. Violence always depends on the normalising of bigotry, in which even the most farcically ignorant prejudice plays its part.
During the election campaign, a Labour candidate was obliged to stand down for having used the name “Shylock” as a term of abuse against a member of the Jewish community. In his defence, he claimed that he did not know that the name had any Jewish associations.
This may be chiefly an indictment of standards in British secondary schools. But it also points to an issue about cultural awareness of Judaism and Jewish history. Schoolchildren, of course, study the Holocaust. But what is disturbing —from our own experience and that of many other teachers—is that they often emerge with only the haziest idea of the specifics. We have heard of students who have studied the diaries of Anne Frank with barely any mention of the fact that she was Jewish. Holocaust education, and even events around Holocaust Memorial Day, can come to be focused on generalities about victimised minorities. We have encountered schoolchildren who have visited Auschwitz and returned with only the vague notion that it is bad to persecute people for their religion. This is a worthy enough principle (as Christians in the Middle East or Pakistan would agree); but it signally fails to bring out what is distinctive about the atrocities of the Third Reich and their accomplices, and what is distinctive about Jewish identity and history.
The Holocaust is not a story about deplorably bigoted attitudes. It was a systematic, indeed “scientific”, effort to exterminate an entire population. It is also about a campaign rooted in two millennia of consistent demonisation of that population by Christian theologians, artists and liturgists—and latterly by political extremists searching for a universal scapegoat. The nightmare of the Third Reich is intelligible only against the background of this long record.
What would effective Holocaust education look like? It would certainly have to involve an attempt to trace these historical roots, to look at, for instance: the history of the “Blood Libel” (the myth that Jews routinely kidnapped, tortured and killed Christian children at Passover), with origins that lie in this country in the Middle Ages; at the expulsion of Jews from England in the 13th century, France in the 14th century and Spain and Portugal in the 15th and 16th; at the 19th century pogroms in Tsarist Russia, and at the resulting first large waves of Jewish refugees in Britain and elsewhere. It would need to look at how these communities took root and developed, what they had to battle against and still have to combat in the form of lazy prejudices encoded in British literature and popular culture, even when the latter’s Christian rationale has long been forgotten.
Some important liberal journalists have recently started talking about an ugly fact. Running afoul of Sen. Bernie Sanders’s online supporters isn’t fun. That was the upshot of a recent conversation on MSNBC when Meet the Press host Chuck Todd read aloud a passage from an article by writer Jonathan Last that was published in The Bulwark, where he wrote about the behavior of Sanders’ backers, popularly known as the “Bernie Bros.”
Last accurately described fans of Sanders as an online mob that bullies the Vermont senator’s critics, “hounding opponents, enforcing discipline, quashing any sort of dissent – and trying to preempt anyone else from taking sides against the Dear Leader.” The point of the piece was to compare them to supporters of President Donald Trump, but in doing so, Last went a step further by saying that both Sanders and Trump each had a “digital brownshirt brigade.”
Predictably, that sent up howls of protest from supporters of Sanders, who said it was offensive to compare a Jewish candidate’s backers to Nazis. And, in the manner of online mobs, Todd’s sin in merely quoting the article brought down on his head an avalanche of criticism, including a trending #firechucktodd hashtag. By calling attention to the bullying the press gets from the socialist’s posse, Todd (who is also Jewish) was “canceled” by the political correctness police of the left.
The context for this kerfuffle is not one of the usual left-right, pro-Trump/con-Trump variety that seems to characterize all of our political arguments these days.
Todd is a liberal journalist notorious for his disgust of the president. And Last is a #NeverTrump conservative writing in an anti-Trump publication. Yet the tsunami of abuse thrown at Todd proved his point about the way the Sanders mob swarms anyone who speaks up against the current Democratic presidential frontrunner.
But there are two separate points to be made here.
One is that Sanders’ supporters are right that Last was wrong to call them Brownshirts. Todd was equally wrong for quoting the passage on air without pointing out the huge difference between even the most obnoxious of the Bernie Bros and Adolf Hitler’s Storm Troopers, who were known for their brown uniforms.
Those words can’t come from someone caught in the throes of war. In its relentless focus on taking down Trump, the Democratic Party has overlooked the power of a unifying message. Yes, the goal is to replace Trump – but how and with what? Bashing Trump is a tactic, not a strategy. And promising radical changes to the country and the economy is a strategy, but the wrong one.
The lesson of the Trump presidency is that character counts at least as much as policy. America doesn’t need a policy revolutionary. It needs decency. It needs a mensch in the White House. A mensch with the wisdom to hear all voices and the spine to make difficult decisions.
Bernie Sanders is no mensch. He’s a cranky idealist hell-bent on pushing his utopian socialist agenda – and “healing the country” is not on that agenda. He’s exploiting the rage at Trump to trigger the kind of class warfare that spreads even more animosity and division.
Sanders is just the most extreme expression of a phenomenon that has plagued the Democrats: They’ve allowed their fury at Trump to turn them into a crisis party. In their near panic at the prospect of losing another election, they’ve thrown the kitchen sink at Trump and the American voters hoping something would stick.
But in the process, they’ve missed the real crisis: We are a deeply divided nation in desperate need of a courageous leader who will embrace the challenge to Make America One Again.
I know: I’m dreaming. Being a dreamer these days is a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it.
Rasmea Odeh is a terrorist who not only was convicted of killing two Israeli students, she lied to get into the U.S. and become a U.S. citizen.
Odeh was convicted of immigration fraud and deported in September 2017. Now she’s making a comeback on campuses, glorified by groups like Students for Justice in Palestine, and just recently at UC-Berkeley, where anti-Israel activists ripped up a photo of her victims.
Rasmea Odeh – Convicted Killer and Immigration Fraudster
Rasmea Odeh was a Palestinian military member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) who masterminded the bombing of the SuperSol supermarket in Jerusalem in 1969, killing Hebrew University students Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner.
Odeh placed the bomb on a shelf, with a secondary bomb timed to go off when first-responders would arrive. The first bomb went off as planned, the second bomb was defused moments before it was set to detonate.
Odeh also organized the attempted bombing of the British consulate. That bomb failed to detonate.
Odeh confessed to the bombings, along with her co-conspirators, one day after arrest. Odeh and her co-conspirators had legal representation, and the trial was attended by a representative of the International Red Cross, who described the trial as fair.
[1970 Jerusalem Post report on Rasmea Odeh conviction]
Odeh’s life sentences were cut short 10 years later when she and other terrorists in Israeli jails were exchanged for an Israeli soldier captured in Lebanon.
After first going to Lebanon, Odeh made her way to Jordan, and from Jordan to the U.S. in 1994. In order to gain admission to the U.S., Odeh lied on her visa application, falsely denying, among other things, that she ever had been in prison or was a member of a terrorist group. She also did not disclose her time in Lebanon.
Odeh settled in Chicago, where she obtained U.S. citizenship in 2003. Odeh again lied, this time on her naturalization application, falsely denying clear questions as to whether she EVER (bold and caps on form) had been convicted of a crime, been in prison, or was a member of a terrorist group.
A student government committee at the University of California, Berkeley, rejected a resolution earlier this week condemning a display by a pro-Palestinian student group.
The Associated Students of the University of California Senate’s (ASUC) University and External Affairs Committee defeated student Milton Zerman’s resolution, titled “Condemning Bears for Palestine for Their Display in Eshleman Hall Glorifying Violent Terrorists,” on Monday by a vote of 4-1.
“Clearly, Berkeley is not united against hate,” said Nathan Bentolila, a senior, during the meeting, reported the student newspaper The Daily Californian. “I honestly have very little to say, the Jewish community is beyond disappointed.”
According to the outlet, speaking out against the resolution, Pavin Johnson, a junior, said during the meeting, “I am very disturbed not just with this racist bill being considered, but I am also disturbed with the egregious acts of violence enacted by campus Zionists—attacks against not just the Palestinian students, but other students from marginalized communities.”
In December, the student group Bears for Palestine put on a display in the student union featuring convicted Palestinian terrorists Rasmieh Odeh, Fatima Bernawi and Leila Khaled.
Last week, the student government committee erupted into chaos by pro-Palestinian students, causing the vote to be delayed.
“Jewish students were repeatedly harassed, heckled and threatened with physical threats of violence. … Jewish students should never feel threatened and should NEVER fear for their safety while on campus,” posted Tikvah: Students for Israel, a pro-Israel group on campus, on Facebook.
A Jewish student leader at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign berated members of the university’s student government on Wednesday after she was called a Nazi while voicing opposition to an anti-Israel divestment resolution under consideration.
A sign held at the forum by members of the anti-Israel Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) said, “F*** Nazis,” she said.
“I was called a Nazi right in front of your eyes while the authors of this bill clapped in support of the statement,” freshman Nina Raab is seen telling the gathering in video footage from the event. “I’m sorry, but if that is not antisemitic, I don’t know what is.”
In response to Raab’s comments, audience members could be heard on the video yelling “that’s right!”
“Unlike my slaughtered family whose ashes lay in Auschwitz, we, the Jewish people, are finally free,” Raab continued. “We, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves. And this time we will not stand by as our people again are threatened with slaughter by Hamas and their national SJP supporters.”
Hours after Raab’s comments the student leaders passed the resolution supporting the anti-Israel Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) movement by a margin of twenty in favor, nine against, and seven abstentions.
The resolution was co-authored by Dunia Ghanimah, president of the university’s chapter of SJP, and calls on the university to boycott “companies that profit from human-rights violations in Palestine and other communities globally.”
“No matter what we do, no matter what we say, no matter how many Jews have to cry and express their feelings to the senators, clearly our voices are not being heard on campus,” Raab told The Algemeiner.
“This is beyond student government. This is SJP and their classic antisemitic tropes that they use across the country and around the world.”
Echoing a similar event two years ago, swastikas were found painted on Columbia University property on Friday.
According to The Columbia Spectator, the swastikas were discovered on the 16th floor of the university’s East Campus, the same place the nametags of two Chinese students were burned last month.
The vandalism recalls an eerily similar event from November 2018, in which swastikas and the antisemitic curse “Yid” were painted on the office of a Jewish Columbia professor.
An email sent to students by Columbia’s Residential Life office stated, “This morning we were notified that swastikas had been drawn on the walls of the 16th floor between two suites. This antisemitic symbol is in direct conflict with the University’s core value of inclusivity and has no place in our community.”
“We stand strongly against antisemitism and all forms of hatred,” the email added.
Georgetown University’s Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding will be hosting an event addressing pluralism in a few weeks. The keynote speaker is Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad al-Hussein of Jordan. As the previous head of the mis-named United Nations Human Rights Council, the prince led a campaign to delegitimize Israel.
This week the council released a “blacklist” of companies doing business in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) that was compiled during Zeid’s tenure at UNHRC. In addition to the prince, two panelists at the event — Georgetown’s John Esposito and Indiana University’s Asma Afsaruddin — also support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against the Jewish State.
Isn’t it ironic that a center ostensibly devoted to interfaith understanding is holding an event on pluralism that will feature three people who advocate singling out the Jewish state for exclusion?
— (((David Lange))) (@Israellycool) February 17, 2020
PreOccupiedTerritory: I Fight For My Right To Worship Freely At The Wall I Also Believe Should Be Controlled By Those Who Would Ban Jews by Rabbi Jill Jacobs, Truah Rabbis – The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights (satire)
The Western Wall must be open to all to seek a divine connection as they see fit, except that it lies beyond the 1967 lines, which means it must be under Palestinian control, and if they keep Jews away, well, that’s not as important.
Every New Moon, when the Hebrew calendar marks the shift from one month to the next, brave women assert their God-given right to observe Jewish liturgical rituals at the Western Wall, while the backward forces of reactionary darkness in the form of Israel’s religious establishment attempt to compel them to comply with outdated notions of gender roles. These courageous activists challenge the immoral monopoly the orthodox rabbis exercise at the site, even risking arrest and withstanding vicious verbal abuse at the hands of those who want Judaism stuck in the eighteenth century. I, on the other hand, want Judaism stuck in, say, the 1950’s, when Jordan occupied the eastern portion of Jerusalem and never let Jews in despite the UN-brokered 1949 armistice agreement specifically obligating them to protect and maintain access to Jewish holy sites. A Muslim monopoly I can handle.
The march of progress almost never follows a linear path; at times we must accept setbacks or detours in the long journey to the Promised Land, so to speak, a term that carries no small amount of irony in this context, given how staunchly I want Israel to relinquish its hold on large portions of that actual land. I do so in the interest of progressive values, which of necessity prioritize every other value over Jewish tradition, a tradition that, when it comes down to it, serves only to be mined for ideas I already hold but seek to anchor in something that sounds better than “it makes me feel validated when non-Jews honor me for disparaging a heritage my ancestors maintained for thousands of years.” If I don’t find anything I can always distort something for the purpose.
Editor’s note: Ms. Jacobs’s attorney Michael Sfard (yes! the one who defends various anti-Israel groups in court; act surprised) might get his knickers in a twist if we do not include a disclaimer to the effect that Ms. Jacbos did not pen this essay, because either she, he, or both of them believe you all to be stupid. It would be horrible, just horrible, if someone were to share this article without the disclaimer, so we ask that you pretend we never mentioned it.
To mark Independent Arabia’s first anniversary, we’re presenting six of the headlines their editorial staff found worthy of publishing (under The Independent’s logo) during the past year, along with a short summary of the item they introduce (none of the six previously appeared in UKMW). Just to remind our readers, here’s what The Independent in English – a joint venture between the UK based Independent and the Saudi media group SRMG – stated less than two years ago in its own report, announcing the newspaper’s intention to open an Arabic website:
“All editorial practices and output will conform to the world-renowned standards, code of conduct and established ethos of The Independent.”
It should be emphasized that the headlines and items – covering various subjects, from Anne Frank to nuclear waste – are of the kind that The Independent in English would almost certainly avoid; although all six echo and/or reinforce common, albeit toxic, myths about Israel which, though are not uncommon among Arabic-speaking media outlets, rarely find their way to Western ones (All translations, emphases and in-bracket remarks are by CAMERA Arabic):
“THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ISRAEL! – it is the only observer in the ‘wedding’ of blood and ‘celebration’ of displacement [presented] at the Middle East theater”, June 21st, 2019
A Libyan columnist says that Israel is the root cause of an entire history of Middle Eastern suffering (echoing the “Israel is an incarnation of the Eternal Jew” myth)
Libyan pundit Ahmad al-Fitouri found the hidden reason behind the Middle Eastern turmoil of the past decades: Israel, whose lack of visible involvement in these regional conflicts since 2011 seems suspicious to him. To prove his point he explains that Israel is the result of “Europe absolving itself of a chronic problem known as the Jewish question”, and that its creation is:
“the fundamental reality which tampered with the security in the Middle East. A heavily armed fortress of security with nuclear fangs was [subsequently] erected, intending to defend the Ghetto that the European Jewish citizens have become.”
A groundbreaking new study about social media has concluded that as long as you begin your posts with “I’m not anti-Semitic or anything but…”, you are free to post whatever you want about Jews or Israel.
One of the lead researchers involved in the study, Dr. Shlomi Goldstein, explained that the study originally started as an examination on the spread of hate online.
“We also found that content cannot be anti-Semitic if it mentions Israel,” Goldstein said. “So if you want to post that, ‘Hitler was a great man and the Jews controlled the slave trade,’ make sure you throw a ‘#FuckIsrael’ in there at the end.”
The researchers did indicate that the study captured a significant number of people who thought that it was fine to say that the Jews control everything “because it’s true”, which a team psychologist called “the Mel Gibson defense” and has nominally been declared “not anti-Semitic” because “Lethal Weapon gets you a pass”.
Some critics of the study however have said that it is hard to determine who really means to be anti-Semitic and “who is just dumb, inbred, or studied at Berkeley”.
The Zionist Conspiracy to Control the WorldTM declined to comment on the study.
Mitchell D. Silber, former director of intelligence analysis at the New York City Police Department, started as the executive director of the Community Security Initiative at the UJA-Federation of New York and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York on Feb. 3 to help secure Jewish institutions in the New York region.
The move was done in partnership with the Paul E. Singer Foundation, Carolyn and Marc Rowan, and several foundations, according to UJA in a statement announcing the move.
In his new role, Silber, 50, will lead a team of an additional five new security professionals to help provide protection to Jewish religious and cultural institutions in all five boroughs of New York City, in Westchester and on Long Island. This will include developing the infrastructure to support and train professionals in synagogues, Jewish community centers and schools.
JNS talked with Silber by phone on Feb 11. The interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
Q: What are your goals in your new position?
A: My goals are to vastly improve the security profile that covers Jewish life in the Greater New York City Area to include those institutions like synagogues, schools, camps, JCCs, as well as the Jewish security in the streets in and around those institutions. And really to reduce the climate of fear that unfortunately exists now.
Q: Why did you decide to take on this challenge?
A: I’m not really a person who sits on the sidelines watching the action happen. I’m much better as a participant. After 9/11, I left a career in corporate finance to get into the world of counterterrorism to protect in the city. I had a societal obligation to step up, so this was a very similar decision.
The bearded owner of a store selling Nazi memorabilia has been forced out after vandals targeted his shop.
Vigilantes took part in a covert operation in the dead of night to send a message to the owner of E.K Militaria in the Melbourne suburb of Pascoe Vale.
The words ‘Nazi Scum Out’ were painted in bright red letters across the glass of the store’s front window, with anti-fascist slogans accompanying the message.
The store was widely condemned after it was revealed last month owner Garry McDonald was selling swastika arm-bands, Hitler youth badges and daggers.
The action was conducted by two men and a woman acting under the international vigilante group ‘Anarchists worldwide’.
The group detailed their antics online, revealing they ‘paid a visit to the premises’ on January 20 before outlining the steps they took to drive away the business owner.
The three disabled a nearby surveillance camera, sabotaged the entrance locks to the store, spray-painted graffiti and smashed a store-front window displaying a Confederate flag.
The group said their hand was forced after inaction from local authorities.
Amazon is selling Nazi books
This is outrageous! Amazon is publishing, selling and profiting from some of the most dangerous Nazi books ever printed.
Israel’s Rise as an Industrial Tech Power
Top Tech & Innovation Trends at OurCrowd Summit in Jerusalem
The vast majority of Israel’s relations with Muslim and Arab countries are not known to the public, said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday night, adding that the Jewish state was deepening its relationships with numerous such states.
The prime minister said that one result of these increasing ties was the first flight of an Israeli airplane in Sudanese airspace which he said happened on Saturday.
Netanyahu was speaking at the annual leadership mission of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, where he lauded Israeli power and strength in the Middle East, and asserted that “Without the State of Israel there is no future for the Jewish people.”
The prime minister said he had advanced a policy of demonstrating strength to Israel’s foes in the region, so as to impress upon them that the Jewish state would never be uprooted.
He further said this “accumulation of power” had led to a sea change in the attitude of Israel’s neighbors to it, resulting in the increasing ties between the country and the Muslim and Arab states that surround it.
“There is scarcely one Muslim or Arab country around the world we don’t have deepening ties with,” said Netanyahu.
“Sometimes it comes out in the open. A year ago [my wife] Sara and I went on a very moving visit to Oman, and two weeks ago we had a very moving visit with the president of Sudan.
“Sudan hosted the Khartoum conference with the famous ‘Three No’s,’ and now we’re discussing rapid normalization. The first Israeli airplanes passed yesterday over the skies of Sudan.
A pair of smiting gods and other rare ritual artifacts are among the fascinating discoveries described in a recently published comprehensive report of the 2013-2017 excavations of the archaeology-rich Lachish site. The report digs deep into 12th century BCE Canaanite worship practices, from the modest temple structure, to ritual items discovered inside.
“This excavation has been breathtaking,” said lead archaeologist Professor Yosef Garfinkel at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute of Archaeology in a press release on Monday. The excavation report, “The Level VI North-East Temple at Tel Lachish,” was recently published in the academic journal Levant: The Journal of the Council for British Research in the Levant.
“Only once every 30 or 40 years do we get the chance to excavate a Canaanite temple in Israel. What we found sheds new light on ancient life in the region. It would be hard to overstate the importance of these findings,” said Garfinkel, who led the excavation along with Professor Michael Hasel of Southern Adventist University in Tennessee.
The temple structure, called the “North-East Temple” by the archaeologists, was uncovered in National Park Tel Lachish, near today’s Kiryat Gat, and is similar in plan to contemporary temples discovered in northern Israel at ancient Nablus, Megiddo, and Hazor.
During the middle and late Bronze Ages, the people of Lachish controlled large parts of the Judean lowlands and the city was among the foremost Canaanite cities in the Land of Israel. Mentioned in the Bible, Lachish was built around 1800 BCE and later destroyed by the Egyptians around 1550 BCE. The city rose and fell twice more, “succumbing for good around 1150 BCE,” according to the press release.
The remains of a Galilean fishing boat 2000 years old. The fishmermen who used it – were almost certainly Jewish – as were the people who at their fish – because this was their land.
Arabs – who were still centuries from invading and colonising the land – were still in Arabia pic.twitter.com/UxSXWrJadg
— David Collier (@mishtal) February 17, 2020
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