Phyllis Chesler: When Anti-Zionism Reigned at the IRS
Now we have further documentation of Obama’s official anti-Semitism/anti-Zionism and its reign at the IRS between 2010 and 2017.
The mainstream or leftstream and liberal media barely covered this lawsuit. The Wall Street Journal and FOX did.
One 2010 article in Politico found the right kind of Jew, former IRS Commissioner, Sheldon Cohen who said, “he was skeptical of Z Street’s motives in its high-profile lawsuit, rather than pursuing its concerns in tax court. ‘They were hardly into the process when they screamed rape – nobody lifted the dress yet,” he said, noting that 501(c)3 groups can’t advocate for political positions.
Seven years is a long time to be unable to raise funding for educational purposes; it is also a long time in which to launch and maintain a self-defensive lawsuit, one which was immediately punished by the IRS which then froze the Z STREET application. Seven years is a long time to experience the absence of Jewish-American organizational support; the turned backs of Jewish philanthropists is another kind of sorrow and challenge.
British policy toward Zionism and Israel has been a 100-year roller-coaster, from the triumphant Balfour Declaration to the depths of the 1939 White Paper, and back again to Margaret Thatcher — the first British prime minister to visit the Jewish state, and famously pro-Israel.
Or was she?
Tel Aviv University lecturer Azriel Bermant’s new book “Margaret Thatcher and the Middle East” (Cambridge) draws on recently released British and Israeli government papers to reveal the truth about Margaret Thatcher’s Middle East policy and reassess her famous battles with the Arabists of Britain’s Foreign Office.
Author Elliot Jager’s book “The Balfour Declaration: Sixty-Seven Words – 100 Years of Conflict” (Gefen), explores the myriad of influences and personalities who came together at a pivotal point in history to issue the famous founding charter of the Jewish national home.
The two authors will reflect on the past century of Anglo-Zionist relations at a public discussion, in English, produced with the Sir Naim Dangoor Center for UK/Israel Relations at Mishkenot Sha’ananim on Tuesday, February 27. Tickets are available HERE.
Although Thatcher’s personal sympathies were pro-Israel, when it came to concrete policy “there was very little difference between the way she saw things and the way the Foreign Office saw things,” says Bermant.
Even as UK policy seemed to diverge from Israel’s – opposing Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982, denouncing settlements, supporting arms and AWACs deals with Saudi Arabia, softening the UK’s rejection of the PLO – Thatcher was still lauded as a great friend.
In a November 25, 2017 article marking the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, published in the London-based daily Al-Hayat, Lebanese journalist Karam Al-Hilu compared the meager accomplishments of the Arab world in the past century with those of the rest of the countries of the world, particularly Israel. He noted that Israel’s supremacy in the areas of science, economy, society, and politics is the source of its strength as well as the source of the Arabs’ failure in confronting it.
The following are excerpts from his article:
“A century after the Balfour Declaration… the Arabs have not managed to build a [a single] state that possesses knowledge, justice, and the economic, social, and human capability for confronting Zionism. One hundred years have been squandered, in all aspects; during them, the Arabs have been confronting Israel while their cultural infrastructure was in crisis – in the areas of knowledge, politics, economy, society, and thought. According to the 2014 [UN] report on knowledge in the Arab world [the Arab Knowledge Report], despite the 500 Arab universities, with an enrollment of nine million students and faculties of 220,000 lecturers, higher education in the Arab world is very meager in scientific research, in its failure to adapt to digital culture, and in its incompatibility with [universal] scientific and human culture. Outlay on scientific research is extremely negligible. Even in Egypt, the Arab country where the [cultural] awakening is the most deeply rooted, [only] 0.43% of the [gross] national product [is allocated to scientific research], versus 4.04% in South Korea and 3.39% in Japan. Therefore, scientists and research output are a rarity in the Arab world, and the research that is published [there] constitutes only 0.8% of the global average. The number of patents registered to the Arabs in the past 50 years does not exceed [the number of those] registered by Malaysia alone.
“Not a single Arab university ranks among the 500 best in the world, while Israel supersedes the Arabs at an astronomical rate, in inventions and in hi-tech export. Israel has completely wiped out illiteracy [among its citizens], while among the Arabs, 23% remain illiterate.
On Tuesday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley gave a fiery speech in which she blistered the U.N. for its gross bias against Israel, ripped Hamas for subjugating the Palestinians in Gaza, and slammed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for leaving the U.N. chamber before she made her remarks.
Haley began her remarks by noting, “We are meeting today in a forum that is very familiar to all of us. This session on the Middle East has been taking place each month for many, many years. It’s focus has been almost entirely on issues facing Israelis and Palestinians, and we have heard many of the same arguments and ideas over and over again; we have already heard them this morning. It’s as if saying the same things repeatedly, without doing the actual hard work and making the necessary compromises will achieve anything.”
After thanking people who have worked with the Trump Administration to work for peace, noting that they had tried to broaden the discussion about the Middle East, Haley continued:
One reason we did that is our well-founded belief that the United Nations spends an altogether disproportionate amount of time on Israeli-Palestinian issues. It’s not that those issues are unimportant; they are certainly very important. The problem is that the U.N. has proven itself, time and again, to be a grossly biased organization when it comes to Israel. As such, the U.N.’s disproportionate focus has actually made the problem more difficult to solve by elevating the tensions and the grievances between the two parties. Another reason we have attempted to shift the discussion is that the vast scope of the challenges facing the region dwarf the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called for a “multilateral international mechanism” to pave the way for Palestinian statehood while addressing the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday.
In the rare address to the world body, Abbas also accused Israel and the United States of obstructing peace efforts.
“To solve the Palestine question, it is essential to establish a multilateral international mechanism emanating from an international conference,” the PA president said, adding that he anticipated a summit by mid-2018.
The plan is designed to replace the central role that the United States has played as mediator in the peace process and has been pushed by Abbas since US President Donald Trump’s December 6 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“The administration has taken Jerusalem off the table,” Abbas said, quoting the words used by Trump last month to describe the declaration.
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations slammed Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday, following the PA leader’s address at the UN Security Council.
Abbas had accused Israel of ‘closing the door’ on the two-state solution, and refusing peace talks with the PA – despite Israel’s support for a return to direct negotiations brokered by the United States.
In response, Ambassador Danny Danon said Abbas was “longer part of the solution” to the Middle East conflict – but instead was part of the problem.
“You have made it clear, with your words and with your actions, that you are no longer part of the solution. You are the problem.”
The PA leader had used his address at the Security Council to call for a Mideast peace conference later this year as an alternative to the traditional direct, bilateral talks which had served as the basis for establishment of the PA under the 1993 Oslo Accords.
“To solve the Palestine question, it is essential to establish a multilateral international mechanism emanating from an international conference,” Abbas said at the UN Security Council.
In response, Danon called Abbas’ plan a figleaf for the PA’s support for jailed terrorists and its promotion of anti-Israel incitement.
Unsurprisingly, the Jewish Democrats are targeting Ellison for his action but stop short of calling for his resignation as Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee, which other well-known Jewish groups have done.
The Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) accepted Ellison’s explanation that he did not know in advance that Farrakhan would join him at the dinner hosted by Rouhani, but added, “when he realized Farrakhan was there, Ellison should not have tolerated Farrakhan’s presence.” JDCA’s chair, Ron Klein, who was once a Democratic member of Congress from Florida, told Jewish New Syndicate, “Even though Ellison was there to discuss the release of a former U.S. marine held captive in Iran, personally, if I were invited, I would not have attended. … Louis Farrakhan has a long history of anti-Semitism, racism and anti-LGBT rhetoric and should not be at all welcome in mainstream political or policy conversations.”
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, who consistently leans toward the Democratic Party, allowed that Farrakhan’s presence at the Rouhani dinner was “extremely disturbing” and that “the presence of Louis Farrakhan should have been a red flag” for Ellison. David Bernstein, president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, tweeted that Ellison’s actions were “very disturbing… Dining with hatemongers is not ok.”
But other Jewish groups not as beholden to the Democratic Party are calling for Ellison to resign; Ron Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, said Ellison “demonstrated exceedingly poor judgment by participating in a meeting with one of America’s most notorious anti-Semites and the leader of a regime that has called for Israel’s annihilation,” and therefore “should resign as deputy chairman of the Democratic Party.” Halber was adamant about his position even before The Daily Caller report, telling JNS, “If evidence of more meetings with Farrakhan should surface, there will be a tremendous groundswell of people in the Jewish community and in the Democratic Party, telling Ellison to step down—and it would be irresponsible of the party’s leaders not to demand his resignation.”
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said Halber’s position is “commendable.” Cooper said the Democratic Party leadership should “take a long, hard look at Ron Halber’s appeal, which comes from an important organization and reflects the anger of many American Jews.” He added, “Ellison was not properly vetted before being appointed deputy chairman of the party.”
Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters came under fire over the weekend, after it was revealed that she had attended a Nation of Islam event headlined by Louis Farrakhan.
Waters, the 79-year-old 13-term representative for California’s 43rd Congressional District, took part in a 2002 Nation of Islam event in Southern California which included a keynote address by the movement’s leader, Farrakhan.
First publicized over the weekend, Waters’ participation in the event was confirmed after archived C-SPAN footage of the event was uncovered.
Farrakhan has long been a controversial figure within the Black Muslim community in Chicago, praising Adolf Hitler as a “very great man”, and slamming Judaism as a “gutter religion” during a 1984 speech, leading the US Senate to condemn him in a unanimous 95-0 vote.
The Nation of Islam leader has continued to use explicitly anti-Semitic rhetoric, calling American Jews “satanic” in a 2013 sermon in Detroit.
During the 2002 Nation of Islam convention which Congresswoman Waters attended, Farrakhan noted Waters’ appearance at the event and praised her during his address.
“We have Maxine Waters here,” said Farrakhan as he pointed to her, “our great congresswoman from this area,” Farrakhan said at the Nation of Islam’s 2002 “World Saviour’s Day” convention in Inglewood, California
“A lot has been going on in our government – good people like Maxine Waters,” Farrakhan later added.
Director Jose Padilha said it was difficult for Israeli or Palestinian politicians to negotiate because those who do so lose political clout among their compatriots – something he wanted to demonstrate in his movie.
“In this recurrent conflict, it’s very easy for politicians to present themselves as: ‘I’m going to defend you against the enemy,’ and, once you frame the relationship as a relationship like that – two enemies – it becomes hard to negotiate,” he said at a post-screening news conference.
“That’s still true today,” he added.
Rosamund Pike, who plays one of the West German terrorists, said all the characters had a cause and the film presents the beliefs of the hijackers and the Israeli government alike but leaves it up to viewers to make a judgment.
“I think we all agree that any act of extremism is deplorable. But it is interesting to not make them one-dimensional villains but be able to recognize that emotion, human emotion, plays a part, whether you’re the hero or villain, right?” she told Reuters.
Her co-star Daniel Bruehl, who plays the other West German hijacker, said the film tried to show there were multiple versions of history rather than just one.
“[It’s] a film that is not easy, a film in which you know all these different voices and mindsets are heard and seen in order to understand also where we are coming from and what the situation is right now,” he said.
Jacques Lemoine, an engineer who survived the hijacking, said he liked the film and found it was an accurate depiction.
“7 Days in Entebbe” is one of around 400 films being screened at this year’s Berlinale but is not competing for the Golden and Silver Bears, which will be awarded on Saturday. The festival in the German capital runs until Feb. 25.
IsraellyCool: Some Worrying Signs Regarding the New Entebbe Movie
A few days ago, I remarked how great the upcoming movie 7 Days in Entebbe looks, stating at the time “nothing in the trailer suggested it will paint the terrorists sympathetically.”
I may have spoken too soon, judging by what director José Padilha said at the Berlin Film Festival.
- He seems to have gone out of his way to portray the terrorists somewhat sympathetically
- He draws parallels between Israeli and palestinian leaders, suggesting the reason for the difficulty in negotiating peace is they lose political standing in their countries.
- He even claims Arafat rejected Ehud Barak’s Camp David proposal because “it would hurt him politically”, rather than the actual reason – that he actually did not truly want peace but rather a Palestinian state in all of Palestine (as even Ehud Barak – who was consulted by the film’s director – has admitted).
- He clearly has an agenda against leaders more on the right, who are (legitimately) concerned about our safety
I have distilled the comments here so you can hear for yourselves:
JPost Editorial: Holocaust diplomacy
Yet, there are statements and acts made by Poland’s prime minister that the prime minister of the world’s only Jewish state simply cannot ignore. Morawiecki’s outrageous and very public rebuttal during the Munich Security Conference of the impassioned and emotional questioning by journalist Ronen Bergman, the offspring of Polish Jewish Holocaust survivors who were betrayed by their Polish gentile neighbors, cannot be left unaddressed by Israel on the diplomatic level.
And just hours after Morawiecki drew a parallel between Polish perpetrators of the Holocaust and “Jewish perpetrators,” as though Poles were no more likely than their Jewish fellow citizens to identify and collaborate with the Nazis’ ideology and activity toward the Jews, he had the audacity to pay his respects at the grave site of fighters from the Holy Cross Mountains Brigade, a Polish underground military unit that worked with the Nazis and murdered Jews during the final stages of World War II.
While Netanyahu has an obligation to look out for the State of Israel’s interests, as head of the Jewish state he has other obligations as well. One of them is using Israel’s diplomatic voice and clout to battle all forms of Holocaust denial. In Poland and in countries like Ukraine or Lithuania, there is an ongoing attempt not to deny outright that there was a Holocaust, but to minimize the role of Eastern Europeans who lived under Nazi occupation and aided the Nazis, sometimes with zeal.
Israel, as the world’s only Jewish state, also has an obligation to Holocaust survivors who suffered at the hands of Poles. These survivors cannot speak up for themselves in the same way that the State of Israel can by taking decisive diplomatic action against Poland, including calling back our ambassador and disinviting Polish government officials slated to attend state events in Israel.
And while Poland’s Jewish population is minuscule – at around 10,000 people – Israel has an obligation to defend them as well.
If Netanyahu fails to make it clear to Morawiecki that his comments and actions and the legislation his country has passed have diplomatic consequences, Israel’s image in the world will be tarnished. It is a matter of national pride that Israel defend the value of free and open Holocaust scholarship and call out those who attempt to distort the truth.
Israel has nixed plans to send National Service volunteers to visit Poland, following recent claims by the Polish Prime Minister that there were “Jewish perpetrators” in the Holocaust.
On Saturday, Poland’s Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, told journalists at the Munich Security Conference that a recently-passed law banning the phrase” Polish death camp” or reference to Polish complicity in the Holocaust would not impact the condemnation of individual “perpetrators” of the Holocaust who happened to be Polish.
During his comments, Morawiecki added that while there were some “Polish perpetrators”, there were also “Jewish perpetrators” responsible for the Holocaust.
“[T]here were Polish perpetrators, as there were Jewish perpetrators, as there were Russian perpetrators, as there were Ukraine and German perpetrators.”
Israeli leaders slammed the Polish premier’s comments, with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu calling them “outrageous”.
“The Polish Prime Minister’s words here in Munich are outrageous. There’s a huge problem of a lack of understanding of history, and a lack of sensitivity to our nation’s tragedy. I intend to speak to him as soon as possible.”
There certainly are people who want to read into the video what they want and Sophie McNeill is one of them.
Prior to the interview with Lasky, the footage of Tamimi plays including subtitles:
Trump has declared the decision and they have to take responsibility for whatever their reaction is whether it’s stabbing attacks, or suicide attacks, or stone throwing.
This would seem to add credence to Lasky’s statement.
Except McNeill has deliberately stopped the footage mid-sentence, editing out the rest of Tamimi’s words (in full below) thus altering the meaning and interpretation of what Tamimi says. The actual monologue with the missing words:
Trump has declared the decision and they have to take responsibility for whatever their reaction is whether it’s stabbing attacks, or suicide attacks, or stone throwing, everyone must do things so we can unite this way so we can get our message across in the required way, and get this result, that is the liberation of Palestine, Allah willing.
It will be up to an Israeli military trial to judge whether or not Tamimi’s statements can be deemed to be a call to violence. That call isn’t for McNeill to make by selectively editing the Tamimi footage to suit her own biases.
From an ABC News report about the trial of Ahed “Shirley Temper” Tamimi:
Israeli activists have long accused the Tamimi’s of condoning violence, pointing to a cousin of Ms Tamimi’s father, who was jailed 17 years ago for aiding a suicide bomber who killed 15 Israeli civilians in 2001 — including a 15-year-old who held Australian citizenship.
Two years ago, Ms Tamimi’s mother shared a post on Facebook defending the cousin.
Today, Mr Tamimi said his family rejects violence.
“For me, I was believing in the armed resistance and I was arrested for that,” he said.
“But I changed because I believe that the suitable and more effective issue is the non-violent resistance.”
Either Bassem Tamimi changed his mind very recently or he is lying – because he posted a tribute to terrorist Ahmed Jarrar, murderer of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, a 35-year-old father of six, just 2 weeks ago.
Petra Marquardt-Bigman: Dear Sarah Silverman: Amnesty Is Lying About the Tamimis
Dear Sarah Silverman — it seems that you have been taken in by Amnesty International’s cynical campaign for Ahed Tamimi. A few days ago, you linked to Amnesty’s “urgent” demand to “release Palestinian teen activist Ahed Tamimi,” and told your more than 12 million followers on Twitter: “Jews have to stand up EVEN when — especially when — the wrongdoing is BY Jews/the Israeli government.”
To make matters worse, you then re-tweeted a reply that invoked the Holocaust: “Amen! My grandparents did not survive the atrocities of the holocaust for me to be silent about injustice.”
Perhaps you don’t know much about the Tamimis, and believe Amnesty’s mendacious claim that Ahed Tamimi is just a “17-year-old Palestinian activist” who deserves to be called the “Rosa Parks of Palestine” — because “she and her family have bravely stood up against the Israeli occupation” for years.
Well, Amnesty is lying about the Tamimis. As Amnesty knows full well, Ahed’s family has emphasized in media interviews for years, that they hope to instigate a “third intifada” that would end Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. And for years, Ahed’s family has demonstrated their support for terrorism, and their ardent Jew-hatred.
While I have documented all this in great detail, it’s worthwhile adding a few updates that illustrate just how brazen the Tamimis are in their open support for terrorism — even when they know full well that the media spotlight is on them.
On February 6, Ahed’s father Bassem Tamimi responded to the news that Israeli security forces had killed the Hamas terrorist responsible for the murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevach four weeks earlier, by posting a tribute to the terrorist on Facebook: “Glory, mercy, and peace on your soul in Heaven.”
On February 9, 2018, The Times of London revealed that employees of global NGO giant, Oxfam International, had procured prostitutes while doing relief work in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Roland Van Hauwemeiren, who was then the Haiti Country Director for Oxfam, was chiefly implicated in the scandal. Unconfirmed allegations of sex parties on Oxfam premises and underage sex workers also emerged.
Since then, other news reports have detailed how Oxfam knew about the events for years, but did not warn other aid agencies about why certain staff left the organization (Van Hauwemeiren went on to work for another NGO in Bangladesh). Oxfam even rehired one of the dismissed employees.
News articles have also expose that the Swedish government was aware of allegations of Van Hauwemeiren’s involvement in sexual exploitation as far back as 2004 (while working in Liberia for an NGO named “Merlin”), but did not report him and continued to fund projects that he was managing. His behavior was so systematic, egregious, and normalized, that a female colleague expressed surprise upon discovering that not all NGO workers frequented prostitutes.
In the aftermath of the revelations, Oxfam released an internal memo from 2011 on the investigation into the allegations. Although most of the names have been redacted, the Oxfam investigation report describes a concerted effort at the highest levels to deal quietly with the abuse, as well as incompetence and mismanagement in human resource policies.
A job seeker said she was advised to hide her ties to the Jewish community during an interview with a Dutch state-funded group trying to help Syrian immigrants integrate.
Laura Vrijsen, who is not Jewish, wrote earlier this month in the Nieuw Israelietisch Weekblad weekly about her 2017 interview for “Association Again at Home Rotterdam,” prompting an outpouring of condemnations by politicians who accused that organization of discrimination. The Association denies these allegations.
According to Vrijsen, the two women who interviewed her for a social worker’s position asked indirectly whether she was Jewish upon noticing that she had studied in Jerusalem and had worked for the JMW social services organization of the Dutch Jewish community.
Vrijsen, who was not hired due to what the association said was her relative lack of experience, called the interview an “awkward conversation.” In a column about her experience, Vrijsen said one interviewer asked: “I see that you worked for JMW and that you’ve studied in Jerusalem, what is your personal connection here?”
The interviewee asked about the relevance of these facts to her suitability. The interviewer reportedly replied: “Well, we have Palestinian refugees and if you go over to their house you better not mention this. Their families first had to flee Palestine and now they had to leave everything behind again, this time in Syria. This grief is deep and will never go away.”
Human Rights Watch has suspended its associate director of finance over a joke he made in his Tinder profile about the Holocaust.
StandWithUs, the US-based Israeli advocacy organization, posted a screenshot on Monday of the dating profile Matthew Myers created on the Tinder app. Myers listed his workplace, his interests, and that “if you can’t laugh about the hair room at Auschwitz, get out.” Myers did not elaborate on what was so amusing about the piles of hair cut from the dead bodies of those murdered in the concentration camp’s gas chambers.
Andrew Stroehlein, HRW’s European media director, told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday that Myers was instructed to delete the offensive comment and has been suspended.
“These comments are antithetical to the values of Human Rights Watch,” Stroehlein said. “We have instructed Mr Myers to delete them, and have suspended him from his duties pending further deliberation.” He added that “as soon as we were informed about this, we took immediate action.”
In its initial post, StandWithUs encouraged people to write to HRW, “because antisemitism from their employees is anything but funny.”
Last year, California State University at Fresno halted a search to fill a newly created professorship in Middle East Studies, named after the late professor and pro-Palestinian apologist Edward Said. In response, an emerita faculty member, Vida Samiian, abruptly resigned the committee in protest, citing a “documented campaign of harassment and intimidation of search-committee members [conducted] by Israel-advocacy groups to influence and derail the outcome of the search.” The anti-Israel organization Jewish Voice for Peace quickly produced a petition with 500 signatures condemning the university’s action, and the Middle East Studies Association, a group called the Islamic Human Rights Commission, and a few others joined in. But the decision to suspend the search, which, contrary to allegations was not canceled, and in fact will soon be resumed, had nothing to do with Israel or politics, and everything to do with a struggle over departmental turf, as Steven Lubet explains:
The whole affair was nothing more than a rather mundane episode of internecine faculty politics, which would have been readily discoverable under California’s Open Records Act if anyone had wanted to seek it out. In reality, Zionists had absolutely nothing to do with the suspension of the search, and no lobbying groups seem even to have been aware of it. As is clearly shown in Fresno State’s 407-page file on the search controversy, which I recently obtained through an Open Records Act request, the main procedural problems had been identified over two months prior to the suspension, and they involved nothing more than inter-departmental turf disputes.
When funds had first been solicited for the Edward Said chair, it was expected that the position would be housed in the Philosophy and Religious Studies department. . . . The four finalists, however, were all social scientists. . . . It was this distinction, and not the ethnicity or specific scholarly interests of the finalists, [as Samiian alleged], that ultimately frustrated the search. . . . The details surrounding the search suspension were fully known to Samiian, who was copied on most of the internal correspondence. . . . As we now know, however, Samiian’s conjectures were repeated and amplified uncritically, even though they were baseless.
Following his expulsion from the British Labour party, Israel hater Tony Greenstein wants everyone to know he is no antisemite.
After all, it is not like he hates all Jewish Israelis – just a select group of them.
Yeah, not helping your cause, Tony.
Every year at universities across the country, ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’ sees a flurry of antisemitic speakers and demonstrations on British campuses. Each year, we are contacted by Jewish students who are unsure of their rights, what they can do, and how we can help them.
Following a great deal of work by Campaign Against Antisemitism, Sir Eric Pickles and others, the British government became the first in the world to formally adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism in 2016, following which the then Minister of State for Universities reminded all universities of the definition and their obligation to protect their Jewish students. Although it offered no new measures, his call was backed by the Prime Minister.
Some universities such as the University of Exeter and the University of Central Lancashire showed principled leadership and banned ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’ events, whereas others, like the University of Sussex, rolled out the red carpet.
Last year, by the end of ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’, which often runs for more than one week, students were making videos complaining about problematic events being cancelled. We hope that there might be similar successes in stopping extremist, antisemitic or abusive events this year, despite unhelpful comments by the former Minister of State for Universities in December 2017.
Universities and students’ unions are governed by complex rules and laws, including the government’s Prevent counter-extremism strategy, the public sector equality duty, charity law and numerous other requirements. It can be complicated to enforce the law, but we are here to help. Today we have sent a simple guide to students explaining how we can help them to enforce their rights. The guide has been sent to Jewish Societies directly but it can also be downloaded by anybody from our website.
Doug Saunders is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts. It’s one thing for Saunders to write a column on the Globe and Mail website on February 16 lumping Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with former South African President Jacob Zuma, claiming that both leaders “hurt their countries” and that they “put power above country.” It’s quite another thing for Saunders, in exclusively blaming Netanyahu for being the stumbling block to peace between Israel and the Palestinians, to get his facts egregiously wrong.
Netanyahu cannot be fingered for the rise of the terrorist group Hamas – that honourable mention goes to the Muslim Brotherhood, to local Palestinians and to Iran, its chief patron. Netanyahu was not in power when Hamas was formed in 1987, nor was he Israel’s Prime Minister in 2006/7 when Hamas won the legislative elections and assumed control of Gaza in a coup d’état.
In addition, far from refusing to engage in peace talks with the Palestinians, Netanyahu has repeatedly and publicly invited Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to sit down with him to negotiate peace. It’s the Palestinians who have been the rejectionists by refusing to enter into bilateral negotiations to procure the long lasting peace we all yearn for.
In response to communication from CAMERA and its new Arabic department, Huffington Post editors have commendably removed Hamas propaganda from its Arabic web site. As reported last week on CAMERA’s Snapshots blog, the Feb. 10 Huffington Post Arabic item (“Video and first pictures. . . see the site of the Israeli F-16 plane’s crash and its debris after it was shot down by fire from inside Syria”) included a number of videos taken from the Facebook page of Hamas’ Shehab News Agency, along with Shehab’s caption on one video which referred to Israel as “the enemy” and “the occupation,” and its territory (within the Green Line) as “occupied Palestine.” The caption had stated (CAMERA Arabic’s translation):
The occupation’s media publishes scenes which it said are of the moment of shooting down the Iranian drone (according to the announcement of the enemy) that entered the skies of occupied Palestine early in the morning.
While such terminology is common within Hamas, designated as a terror group by the United States, European Union, and Israel, it is completely at odds with professional journalistic language. CAMERA is glad that Huffington Post editors agree, and commendably removed all the Hamas clips, including the aforementioned caption, from its story.
A Chabad center in Coral Springs, Florida, may have evidence that can help police bring the Parkland high school shooter to justice.
When Rabbi Hershy Bronstein of the Chai Center Chabad saw in a report from the local sheriff’s office that a suspect had been arrested at a McDonald’s across the street from his building, he checked security camera footage to see if it contained any evidence that could help police, Chabad.org reported.
The camera footage showed suspect Nikolas Cruz, 19, walking down the street and into McDonald’s, after the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Cruz reportedly had purchased a drink at a Subway located in a Walmart along the route before going entering the McDonalds.
“My heart skipped a beat when I saw it,” Bronstein told the Jewish news website Vos Iz Neias of reviewing the security camera footage. “You see him in our parking lot, casually walking by, looking over his shoulder.”
Portugal’s Secretary of State for Tourism Ana Mendes Godinho reached out to Jewish communities via a tour of the US this month, during which she called for “a Jewish presence in Portugal.”
“We want a Jewish presence in Portugal and we look to Jewish investment,” said Mendes Godinho, who returned to Portugal at the end of last week after a two-week visit.
Citing low unemployment and calling Portugal the “third most peaceful country in the world,” she stressed the importance of bringing Jews to visit and live in Portugal.
Mendes Godinho met with a variety of Jewish leaders and communities in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
These included representatives of the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the American Sephardi Federation and Anti-Defamation League.
During the events, Mendes Godinho talked about the long history and connection between Portugal and the Jewish people.
“As we have a vast Jewish heritage and a very ancient and profound connection to Jewish communities – we have evidence of Jewish presence in Portugal since 390 AD – we identified as a priority the promoting of the Jewish Legacy and of the Jewish routes in Portugal,” she said. “It is quite interesting to remember that in the 15th century, circa 20% of the Portuguese population was Jewish, so we always say that every Portuguese may have a Jewish origin.”
American rap star Azealia Banks struck back with a vengeance against anti-Israel naysayers who protested her upcoming show in Tel Aviv in a searing Instagram post this week.
“My fans in Israel have been waiting years for me to come,” she said in a comment on her own post. “I too live in a country which has its issues but I cannot hold my fans in America responsible for Our country’s problems and deny them the right to a good time. The Kuntbrigade is GLOBAL honey. The KUNTS connection rises far above any political influence. We connect through music and love,” Banks continued, commenting on the double standard BDS supporters have when it comes to holding Israelis disproportionately responsible for political events compared with the citizens of other nations.
Banks went on to say in unequivocal terms that giving in to BDS demands would be singling out Jews for boycott: “Me cancelling my concert would be totally anti-Semitic and I’m not going to EVER make any of my fans feel like they don’t have a place in my heart. I’m going to Tel-Aviv to rock out with my kunts and that is THE END OF THE DISCUSSION.”
British rock legend Jethro Tull is heading to Israel this fall. Well, at least one member of the band is: Ian Anderson, the group’s vocalist, flutist and guitarist, and the only remaining member who is continuing to tour.
Anderson will be bringing his Jethro Tull 50th anniversary tour to three different cities in Israel in October – Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The band saw its greatest commercial success in the 70s, with singles Living in the Past, The Witch’s Promise and Bungle in the Jungle. The group has long cemented its status as a classic rock touchstone with a considerable legacy in the music world.
Anderson recently announced the upcoming 50th anniversary tour, which will start next month in Europe and later head to the US, Canada and Russia.
The founders of the Mobileye car safety device have topped the $1 billion mark once again – this time with OrCam, an Israeli start-up founded in 2010 by Ziv Aviram and Amnon Shashua
OrCam raised another $30 million after selling a 3% stake in the company Monday, reports Yediot Aharonot. Even before the latest fund-raising operation, the company had already topped $1 billion in total value. Only in April of last year, in the previous financing round, the company was worth $600 million – meaning that the company’s value has soared a whopping 67% in less than one year. OrCam’s value upsurge puts the company in the “Unicorn” club, start-ups with a value of over $1 billion.
Since its inception, the company has raised more than $100 million in lisquid assets, and is expected to embark on another fundraising round later this year and then prepare to be taken public, not before 2020, and apparently on Nasdaq, where Mobileye was floated before it. OrCam’s latest fundraising provided a second wind thanks to Mobileye’s sale to Intel last March for $15.3 billion. The current fundraising was led by Clal Insurance and the Meitav Dash investment house.
Call him the milkman of the world. Since 1990, civil engineer Ronen Feigenbaum has used Israeli technology and knowhow to set up dairy farms in China, England, India, Mexico, Namibia, Nigeria, Philippines, Romania, South Africa, Vietnam and now Papua New Guinea.
“Israeli dairy farms are the best in the world. Our cows are the champions in production,” says Feigenbaum, explaining why all these countries seek Israeli expertise.
He immigrated to Israel in 1973 from Argentina – where he’d never seen a cow except on a dinner plate — and ended up managing a kibbutz dairy before earning a civil engineering degree at the prestigious Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in 1978.
Feigenbaum became a dairy farm designer, first for the Kibbutz Movement and now at Tel Aviv-based Alefbet Planners, where he is in charge of planning livestock and farm buildings.
From 1980 to 1990 he worked across Israel, while today he travels widely to share Israeli advances in every aspect of dairy farming, from herd management to milking to silage.
Milton Rubenfeld was a top-gun pilot for the United States Army Air Force in World War II. But when the war ended after the surrender of Germany, Japan and the Axis powers in 1945, his peace was short-lived. Raised as an Orthodox Jew, he watched with great interest as Jewish people, many of them survivors of the Holocaust, emigrated to Palestine and established the State of Israel in 1948—an historic development that did not sit well with its new Arab neighbors. War broke out immediately after Israel declared its independence.
Rubenfeld was one of five Jewish pilots who secretly answered the call and took to the skies in smuggled fighter planes to give Israel a fighting chance against superior Arab forces. Their story is the subject of the documentary Above and Beyond, which debuts on iTunes and On-Demand today. The film was directed by Roberta Grossman and produced by Nancy Spielberg.
Rubenfeld was a war hero, but few of the people who knew him in his later years really understood what his contributions were to Israel’s birth, not even his son, Paul Reubens. Yes, that Paul Reubens: Pee-wee Herman. In this extended sequence, Reubens and his mother, Judy, describe the proud man whose “[war stories] seemed like fish stories” to Reubens, at least initially. It wasn’t until later, when Rubenfeld’s heroics were documented in a book that Reubens realized the magnitude of his father’s achievements. He was a larger-than-life figure who inevitably drew a crowd—even on the red carpet of his son’s movie premiere.
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