December 15, 2017

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02/24 Links Pt2: Anti-Semitism is the new social justice; J Street braces for first conference in political wilderness

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2017/02/0224-links-pt2-anti-semitism-is-new.html

From Ian:


Nadiya Al-Noor: Anti-Semitism is the new social justice
Anti-Semitism is the acceptable form of bigotry on the Left. It’s thinly veiled as “anti-Zionism,” which really is just anti-Semitism with a fancy name, as it opposes the Jewish Indigenous Rights movement. Students are expected to hate Israel in the name of being progressive. Jewish students are painted as privileged racists, unless they disavow Israel and abandon their indigenous struggle in order to assimilate. My people (Muslims) are portrayed as helpless victims of ruthless Jewish aggression. Palestinians become pawns in the game of Jew hatred. The world falls for it. Israel is evil, end of story.
Studies show that a campus with an active Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter is more likely to have anti-Semitic incidents (no surprise there). My university, Binghamton University in New York, is unique in that the pro-Israel voice is the most dominant narrative. We used to have an SJP problem, but to my knowledge, they disbanded after the administration cracked down on their anti-Semitic harassment. Now our Muslim Student Association partners with our Hillel for mosque-synagogue interfaith trips. The Jewish and Muslim communities here are on good terms, because we see each other as people. We don’t allow the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to define us.
Universities need to address anti-Semitism on campuses. If there was an Islamophobic incident at a university, you can bet the administration would deal with it much more swiftly. Anti-Semitism is tolerated because of Leftist hypocrisy. Because of the rampant anti-Semitism on university campuses and the racial diversity of students participating in Jew hatred, anti-Semitism is often excused or justified.
Jewish students, you need to be proactive. Don’t wait for an anti-Semitic incident to happen. Don’t wait for an SJP to emerge and fester. Hold an Israel Peace Week or Hebrew Liberation Week. Educate your fellow students. If you don’t speak up, anti-Semites will.
Anti-Semitism is unacceptable, even if it’s trendy.

Zionism is Not Racism

41 years later, Columbia University students are still equating Zionism with racism.
As part of their annual “Israel Apartheid Week,” the Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine, in conjunction with Columbia/Barnard Jewish Voice for Peace, are hosting an event Monday, February 27th entitled “Zionists are Racists.”
If you buy into Dr. King’s assessment that the arc of the moral universe is long but bends toward justice, then you buy into the idea that as humanity progresses, we sometimes must look back at the actions of the past and recognize that they do not conform to our standards of morality. The very essence of progress is predicated on acknowledging there is a problem which needs addressing.
The students who are hosting this offensive, bigoted, and hateful event are guilty of precisely the opposite. They drag us back to a past that is so shameful, it has already been corrected.
The 1975 United Nations General Assembly resolution that infamously gave the world “Zionism is Racism” was revoked in 1991 with 111 nations voting in favor of its repeal. Twenty-five countries voted against the repeal, including the shining beacons of democracy and equality of Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace are keeping fantastic company.

Algemeiner Editor-in-Chief: All Hands on Deck Required for Fight Against Antisemitism in US

The fight against antisemitism in the US requires “all hands on deck,” the editor-in-chief of The Algemeiner said during an i24 News appearance on Tuesday.
Dovid Efune called President Donald Trump’s public condemnation of antisemitism earlier in the day a “great beginning” to an expected broader effort to quell the recent surge of anti-Jewish hate incidents — including a spate of telephone bomb threats against Jewish community centers across the country and the desecration of graves at a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis.
“Absolutely, you have to call in the FBI, you’ve got to call in [Attorney General] Jeff Sessions [to investigate the incidents],” Efune said. “These are criminal people doing criminal acts — hateful people, and they have to be brought to justice.”
Referring to critics of Trump who have accused the president of waiting too long to speak out against antisemitism, Efune said, “There is no such thing in this case of too little, too late. He’s [been] in office for a number of weeks, and I think and I hope that he’s just getting started.”
“I think it’s unfair to say…that the president has been dragging his feet,” Efune stated. “I think what we’ve seen here is a president who is reluctant to take commands from anybody, especially from the media, and especially from his political opponents. So really it was a question of finding the right time and place to speak out against antisemitism and we saw that the president found that this morning.”

What’s Behind the Rash of Anti-Semitic Incidents?

However, the hard evidence is not yet in, and responsible commentators would do well to be patient. Regrettably, many on the left have leapt on the news for partisan purposes. Taking a cue from de Blasio and Vox, Keith Ellison, the Minnesota congressman and prospective Democratic National Committee chairman, recently tweeted: “Why has it taken [Donald Trump] so long to even say the word ‘anti-Semitism?’ Perhaps it has something to do with placating his base?” Likewise, some have thrilled to the pronouncement of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect that “the Antisemitism coming out of this Administration is the worst we have ever seen from any Administration.” Its director, Steven Goldstein, called Trump’s statement “pathetic” during a CNN interview on Tuesday evening.
Few have bothered to note that the Anne Frank Center describes itself as “a progressive voice for social justice”; that Goldstein has spent the bulk of his career heading Garden State Equality, New Jersey’s statewide organization promoting same-sex marriage; or that the Center has never played any significant part in Holocaust-remembrance activities in the U.S. Likewise, the denunciations of Keith Ellison — who was a longtime member of Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam, from which he did not distance himself until he ran for Congress in 2006 — ring hollow, as do those from progressives who cheer Linda Sarsour (an organizer of January’s Women’s March who has championed anti-Israel terrorism) or the grotesqueries of the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) movement.
None of this is to let the president off the hook. If it becomes undeniably clear that American Jews face a rising tide of violence to which the president has contributed, every side should call him to account. There is no place for anti-Semitism in the United States. But accusations warrant evidence, and that should be the case no matter who is in the White House. (h/t Jo Shmo)

The Press Is Elevating The Virtually Non-Existent, Trump-Bashing ‘Anne Frank Center’

The comments hit the news like a firebomb: the director of something called the “Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect” said President Donald J. Trump’s condemnation this morning of anti-Semitism is “a Band-Aid on the cancer of anti-Semitism that has infected his own Administration” and a “pathetic asterisk of condescension.” He claimed Trump and his staff have committed “grotesque” acts of anti-Semitism that he declined to specify. If Holocaust experts don’t accept Trump’s remarks, why should anyone?
But executive director Steven Goldstein is not a Holocaust expert, and the Anne Frank Center (a separate group independent of Amsterdam’s Anne Frank House) is not a serious player in the world of Holocaust memory. Of late, it has become a sham organization that is largely a one-man shop to promote Goldstein’s aspirations to be, as he proclaims himself, a “civil rights leader.” Armed with a great organizational title; incendiary but ready-to-print quotes; and a gullible media slavishly lapping it all up, Goldstein is finding tremendous success. (He could not be reached for comment.)
But the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, by and large, isn’t a “thing.” It developed out of an institution founded by the young diarist’s father Otto Frank, and for years was a constant but minor player in the world of Holocaust education and commemoration. Eight months ago, though, it was co-opted by activists best known for their successful fight for gay marriage in New Jersey. (Both Goldstein and his deputy held their current titles at the gay group Garden State Equality.)

Lawfare Project, disturbed by recent anti-Semitic and pro-terror incidents in New York public education, encourages Commissioner and Regents to respond

For more than 18 months, questions surrounding the Beverly J. Martin Elementary School’s (BJM) invitation to notorious anti-Semite and Israel hater Bassem Tamimi, have gone unanswered. However, after the school and the Ithaca City School District were forced to comply with a court order compelling the production of records and communications, including video evidence, arising from Cornell University Law Professor Bill Jacobson’s personal Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) battle, the LP’s worst fears were confirmed: A New York public elementary school had hosted rabid anti-Israel activist Bassem Tamimi in a presentation to third graders, ages 8-9, in which he indoctrinated them with hate for Jewish people and the Jewish state, with the self-identified goal of building the next generation of “freedom fighters for Palestine.”
The LP sent a detailed letter to MaryEllen Elia, New York’s Commissioner of Education, as well as Chancellor of the New York Board of Regents, Betty Rosa, and Regent James Tallon, who oversees the Ithaca jurisdiction. It is crystal clear that the nature and content of the Tamimi event was unequivocally developmentally inappropriate for elementary school students–and frankly, unsuitable for any audience, considering its rampant factual and historical inaccuracies.
Bassem Tamimi is the cousin of Ahlem Tamimi, the mastermind of the suicide-homicide bombing of the Sbarro Pizzeria in Jerusalem in which 15 innocent civilians (including 7 children) were murdered and more than 130 injured. Bassem is known for the manner in which he exploits his son, Mohammed, pushing him both literally and figuratively toward Israeli soldiers at checkpoints in disputed territories, teaching Mohammed and other children to provoke the soldiers by approaching threateningly and often throwing rocks that injure the soldiers and the innocent Palestinian civilians traveling through those checkpoints. The goal of the exercise is to capture any potential Israeli
defensive response on video, create propaganda films with the footage, and distribute them, out of context, for international consumption. Most importantly, since the date of his presentation to New York’s children, Tamimi’s U.S. visa has been revoked–a result of the exposure of evidence proving that Tamimi lied on his visa application regarding his status as a convicted criminal by a foreign government.

With a new US president, J Street braces for first conference in political wilderness

Since President Donald Trump assumed office last month, the liberal Middle East advocacy group J Street has been grappling with a new reality.
No longer does it have a White House that is sympathetic to the goals on which it was founded, that is listening to what it has to say, and that is vocally emphatic about pursuing a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.
Instead, it faces a president who nominated David Friedman to be his ambassador to Israel, a man who boasted about removing support for two states from the Republican platform in November and who once referred to the group’s supporters as “worse than kapos” (Jews who aided Nazis in the Holocaust), a president who last week upended decades of American foreign policy by not insisting on the two-state formula as the only way to resolve the conflict. (In a Thursday interview with Reuters, Trump clarified that he likes the two-state solution but is open to “whatever both parties agree with.”)
For the first time since its 2007 founding, J Street is learning what it’s like to be in the political wilderness with no allies in the administration, an unfamiliar landscape that leaves it with challenges for advancing its goals but also opportunities for advancing the organization, according to several prominent Jewish Democratic activists in Washington.
“They no longer have access to the State Department, the White House and most probably not the new US ambassador,” Susan Turnbull, former chair of the Jewish Public Affairs Committee and vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, told The Times of Israel. “They are not going to be involved in conversations at that level for the immediate future. It appears that they will not be in a position to influence any administration decisions.”

South Carolina Latest US State to Tackle Campus Antisemitism

South Carolina lawmakers are considering a new bill to help school administrators better combat antisemitism at state universities, making their state the latest to tackle the phenomenon.
The bill, H.3643, ensures legal protections for Jewish students by using the US State Department’s definition of antisemitism, while providing South Carolina’s state universities with the means to fight anti-Jewish discrimination.
“According to the latest FBI tracking, there were more Jewish hate crime victims than victims of all other religious groups combined. And nowhere is this problem worse than on college campuses, where antisemitism is spiking at an alarming rate coast to coast,” said Kenneth L. Marcus, president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, which has endorsed the South Carolina legislation. Marcus helped to draft the policy under which the US Department of Education investigates antisemitism claims.
“We are grateful to South Carolina Representative Alan D. Clemmons for his leadership in the national fight to combat escalating antisemitism,” added Marcus.
In testimony to the South Carolina subcommittee considering the bill, Marcus said that the measure would “provide much-needed clarity, especially about assaults, vandalism, and other illegal conduct that is motivated by a hatred of Jews.”

BDS Panel at CPAC: How to Defeat the Movement

CPAC 2017 has shown its support for Israel in numerous ways, but the panel on the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) provided excellent points to defeat the movement.
“BDS isn’t about taking Israel out of business,” said Lisa Daftari from Foreign Desk News. “It’s about taking Israel off the map.”
Sander Gerber, fellow at the Jerusalem Center of Public Affairs, and Erielle Davidson of the Hoover Institution joined Daftari on the panel moderated by Ned Ryun from American Majority.
All three panelists stressed the importance of linking the Palestinian Authority to the BDS movement. Most people concentrate on Hamas, but those who do not pay attention to the subject, do not know the terror that the PA spreads on Israel.
Daftari also spoke about her experiences in Syria, where she recently traveled to and interviewed injured Syrians in hospitals. Israelis have treated these soldiers and even saved a few from certain death.
That has not changed those Syrians’ minds, though. She asked one and he said, “Israelis still have horns.”

Posters Questioning Whether ‘Six Million Really Died’ in Holocaust Found on University of Calgary Campus

Posters questioning the Jewish death toll in the Holocaust were found last week on the campus of the University of Calgary in Canada, the student newspaper The Gauntlet reported.
The posters asked, “If the ‘5 million’ didn’t die, did the ‘6 million’ really die?” — referring to the ongoing debate over the number of non-Jews killed in the Holocaust as a way of expressing skepticism about Jewish casualties.
The fliers featured excerpts from a recent article by Jewish Telegraphic Agency Washington, DC Bureau Chief Ron Kampeas, entitled “‘Remember the 11 million’? Why an inflated victims tally irks Holocaust historians.”
They also pointed readers to the works of some notorious Holocaust deniers such as Ernst Zundel and Robert Faurisson.
Maureen Hiebert, a political science professor at the university who specializes in genocide studies, told the student newspaper that the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH), which took credit for the posters, is a “website for Holocaust deniers, although it says the site is dedicated to those who wish to debate what they dismiss as ‘Holocaust orthodoxy.’”

McGill’s Arts Undergraduate Society Votes Not To Impeach Igor “Punch a Zionist” Sadikov

McGill University’s Arts Undergraduate Society has voted not to impeach Igor “Punch a Zionist” Sadikov, even after McGill’s president got involved and requested it. (hat tip: George)
McGill University’s Arts Undergraduate Society voted not to impeach Igor Sadikov for his “’punch a Zionist today” tweet earlier this month.
On Wednesday evening, the society voted 22-16 with seven abstentions on the fate of Sadikov, also a member of the student legislative council at the Montreal university.
Since his original post on Feb. 6, Sadikov has refused to resign from the McGill Student Society while issuing carefully worded “apologies” and calling his tweet a “misguided joke.”
“Many of my constituents and fellow students, and some of my friends, adhere to Zionist ideology,” he said in a statement Wednesday to the Arts Undergraduate Society. “I am Jewish myself.”
Sadikov, 22, who supports the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, said he was targeting a “political philosophy,” not Jews.

Edgar Davidson: Palestine Solidarity Campaign: Frinton-on-Sea branch (satire)

Following David Collier’s detailed exposure of the anti-semitism endemic throughout the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, it seems I might have to remove the ‘satire’ classification from this piece posted in 2015.
Starting Monday We will be holding a ‘lock-in’ outside the Jones’s bungalow in Frinton Mews. We will peacefully stop anybody leaving or entering the bungalow until the Jones’s cancel their cruise booking and donate all of the money for the trip (plus an additional donation of £28,000) to the Palestine Foundation for Homicide Bombers.
Tuesday: We are planning a new peaceful tactic called a “scream-in die-in” at Tesco Express on the High Road. Although we succeeded in banning all Zionist products from the store two years ago, the store manager has refused our reasonable request to donate 93% of all future profits from the store to the Palestine Training Centre for Teenage Stabbers. By starving this superb training Centre of desperately needed funding, Tesco is directly contributing to the brutal murder of 1000 Palestinian babies every day by the Zionist occupation forces. Hence the “scream-in die in” will simulate these murders. Our members will scream for 2 hours and then lie on the floor pretending to be dead babies.
Wednesday: At Frinton Town Hall we will be debating the motion “Zionism is ten times worse than Nazism”. Speaking for the motion is the esteemed scholar Farooq Hitler Hussain from the Iranian Academy of Anti-Zionism. To demonstrate our fair-mindedness we have invited a Jewess (Hannah Dumbfeld of the Jewish pro-peace Yucked organisation) who will propose the counter-motion “Zionism is only a little bit worse than Nazism”.

The ABC Of Distorting History

Triple J is a government-funded, national Australian radio station, part of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, intended to appeal to listeners between the ages of 18 and 25. With Israeli PM Netanyahu’s visit to Australia this week, Triple J’s “Hack” program provides a guide to the two-state solution, in an attempt to clear up any confusion for younger people. (Given ABC’s overall responsibility for the radio station and its programming, we will refer to ABC from here on in.)
ABC’s guide states that “We’re not going to go deep on the history today.” That’s something of an understatement as ABC then proceeds to take advantage of younger readers’ susceptible minds in order to adopt the Palestinians’ favored and distorted version of history and the conflict.
War “Broke Out?”
The article explains that in 1947, the UN proposed two states for the land that was then occupied by the British: one Arab and one Jewish.
But, the Arab side wasn’t happy with the deal: the Jewish settlers in the region were about one-third of the population but were given over half of the land.
So already the ABC’s revised history of the conflict suggests that Jews were not indigenous to the region, and the Arabs had more of a right to the land. In fact there has been an uninterrupted Jewish presence in the Holy Land for 3,000 years. After the Holocaust, of course, the number of Jews in the land increased with the arrival of Jewish survivors.

NY Times: Hamas Seeking to Put Off War, Israelis Itching for Conflict

There’s a peculiar juxtaposition in yesterday’s front page New York Times story, contrasting how Israel and Hamas supposedly view the possibility of renewed confrontation. The insinuation seems to be that Israelis are seeking war, while Hamas is seeking to put it off.
Here’s what the story says is happening “on the Israeli side”:
On the Israeli side, the political right talks of a new war in the spring over Hamas’s rearming and expresses a desire to inflict a decisive blow. …
Sounds like they’re chomping at the bit.
Then there’s Hamas. The piece does note that the group’s new leader is “hard-line,” and that weapons are “presumably” being constructed in, and smuggled into, the Gaza Strip. But regarding attitudes toward renewed fighting, we’re told that its leaders are seeking to “put off as long as possible what they see as the next inevitable war”:

Moral Equivalence Is Our New Religion

Relationships between Jews and Catholics have been historically uneasy. And why have relationships between Jews and Catholics been historically uneasy? As The New York Times helpfully informs us, both sides are at fault.
Here’s how the paper of record’s Elisabetta Povoledo put it in a piece about a new joint exhibit arranged by Rome’s Jewish Museum and the Vatican: “Jews and Catholics have a long history of mutual suspicion and conflict, but relations between the two religions have been increasingly positive.”
Increasingly positive is a good thing, especially given how much mutual conflict there’s been. Remember the Jewish Inquisition? Or the Catholic ghettos those meanie rabbis set up all across Europe? Or the time when armed Jewish crusaders stomped across England and France and Germany and left many of the Church’s innocent adherents dead? No wonder we’ve so much mutual suspicion!

Did a Postmedia Cartoon Engage in Antisemitism?

On February 17, PostMedia editorial cartoonist Andy Donato penned the following caricature of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Donald Trump that depicted Trump as a talking dummy – a puppet and Netanyahu as the ventriloquist puppetmaster, who hand-manipulates Trump with the pull of a string. The cartoon was published in several publications including the Toronto Sun, Ottawa Sun, and Winnipeg Sun.
Was cartoonist Donato implying, intentionally or not, that Israel controls American foreign policy, a classic Jewish conspiracy theory? Did his use of yellow Jewish Star’s of David (used by the Nazis to identify Jews) invoke Holocaust-era imagery?

BBC and Sky News promote different headlines to English and Arabic speakers

Last October we documented a case in which the same story was presented with differing headlines on the BBC’s English language and Arabic language websites.
The practice reappeared on February 21st in reports concerning the sentencing of the Israeli soldier Elor Azaria.
Visitors to the BBC’s English language website found an article titled “Israeli soldier gets 18 months for killing wounded Palestinian attacker” and while the word terrorism was absent from the report, the opening paragraph also used the term “attacker”.
“An Israeli soldier who killed a wounded Palestinian attacker in a high-profile case that split opinion across the country has been jailed for 18 months.”
In contrast, the word “attacker” did not appear in the headline of the Arabic language version of same story which was published on the BBC Arabic website under the title “Israeli soldier sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for killing wounded Palestinian”.

BBC avoidance of term ‘terrorist’ in Israel stories surfaces again

As we have seen in previous posts, the BBC’s description of the man killed by Elor Azaria in Hebron last March have ranged from “Palestinian attacker” through “wounded Palestinian” to simply non-existent. None of the BBC’s reports used the word terrorist.today-21-2
BBC Radio 4, however, came up with different terminology.
Listeners to the 06:30 news bulletin in the February 21st edition of the ‘Today’ programme heard the following report (from 32:49 here) from newsreader Kathy Clugston:
“A military court in Israel is due to sentence a soldier for the killing of a wounded Palestinian fighter. Elor Azaria was convicted of manslaughter last month in a case that’s caused division and strong feeling in Israel. He shot dead a man who was injured after he tried to kill members of the Israeli army.”

New York Times Promotes Myth That Jews Oppose Organ Donation

The first paragraph of a New York Times opinion piece inaccurately portrays Judaism as opposed to organ donation.
The Times article, by Ariana Tobin, an “engagement reporter” at the nonprofit news organization ProPublica, begins:
When it comes to death, my family honors all of the Ashkenazi Jewish traditions:…When I got my driver’s license at 16, my mom asked me not to sign the organ donor card because Jews are supposed to be laid to rest in one piece. When I turned 18 and signed it anyway, I couldn’t stop imagining her face when she found out after I’d died in a car accident.
Never mind that Ms. Tobin’s mother isn’t given an opportunity in the Times to offer her side of that story. The anecdote could easily leave Times readers with a false impression.
In fact, while the issue isn’t without complication or controversy, various authorities in Judaism not only do permit organ donation but even encourage it.
Israel’s ministry of health maintains an English-language website contending that “organ donation joins together the highest commandment of life saving and bestowing kindness.”

Warsaw lists properties that pre-WWII owners can reclaim

The city of Warsaw has begun publishing a list of properties that can be legally claimed by their pre-World War II owners — among them Holocaust survivors and their families — but only if they act quickly.
Nearly 50 properties were published Wednesday that can be returned to original owners or their heirs who can prove claims, and more are expected to follow.
The list is the result of a controversial 2016 law that gives original owners of properties seized by the communists six months to come forward, with the clock starting when the lists are published. Any properties not claimed within six months will be permanently transferred to the city.
Gideon Taylor of the World Jewish Restitution Organization urged authorities to notify potential claimants and to “extend the very short deadline.”
“It is unfair for claimants – particularly those who now live outside of Poland – to lose this last opportunity to reconnect with their past because of the administrative complexity of this law,” said Taylor, the organization’s chair of operations.

‘I am Going to Slit Your Throat Muslim Style’: Soros-Backed Blogger’s Threat to Kill Le Pen, Anti-Semitic Tweets

An influential French blogger has come in for heavy criticism after thousands of antisemitic, threatening and homophobic tweets he published under a pseudonym resurfaced over the weekend, sparking fierce debate.
The tweets included threats against Front National leader Marine Le Pen, who he threatened to kill, but their author Medhi Meklat, 24, and his supporters have shrugged them off as a joke.
“I am going to slit your throat Muslim style” read the tweet threatening Le Pen. Another called for “Hitler to kill all the Jews”, while a third said he wanted to “rape” former Charlie Hebdo editor-in-chief Charb, one of the victims of the January 2015 terror attacks, with a “Laguiole knife”.
The tweets were published under the pseudonym ‘Marcelin Deschamps’, described by Meklat as a “shameful”, “fictional character” whose thoughts were “quite the opposite” of his own.”
But they remained on the account after Meklat switched it to his name in 2015. This weekend they were outed by a fellow Twitter user who was outraged after seeing Meklat on TV promoting his new book, Le Monde has reported.

Former white supremacists help others leave hate groups

The Celtic cross tattoo on Shannon Martinez’s leg gives away her past.
A victim of sexual assault at age 14 and never quite able to meet her parents’ expectations, Martinez sought out other angry teens. By 16, she was a skinhead spouting white supremacist rhetoric, giving stiff-armed Nazi salutes and tagging public property with swastikas. She favored racist fashion statements — like the symbol on her right calf.
Fortified by the love of an adopted family, Martinez left the skinheads behind. Today she’s helping others do the same as part of an emerging US movement that helps people quit hate organizations.
Modeled loosely upon organizations that formed in Europe years ago to combat extremism, groups and individuals are offering counseling, education and understanding to extremists seeking a way out.
Now a 42-year-old mom who homeschools her kids at their house in Georgia, Martinez volunteers with Life After Hate, a leading organization dedicated to helping people leave white supremacy. On Facebook, she shares her story with others who’ve left or are looking to leave extremism.

French aliya climbs amid rise in antisemitism

Less than a week before the Jewish Agency Board of Governors is scheduled to convene in Tel Aviv for its annual conference, the head of its French delegation said aliya rates continue to soar in France, amid ongoing antisemitism and the agency’s outreach and education efforts.
During an interview with Daniel Benhaim, who oversees the agency’s offices in France, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland and Spain, he said France’s 450,000 Jews are undergoing a considerable exodus from a country rife with intolerance.
According to Benhaim, the agency is involved in a multitiered effort to educate a new generation of French Jews about their history, protect the greater Jewish community and provide the means for olim to safely come to Israel.
“Our actions are presently directed in two directions,” said Benhaim by phone on Wednesday from his Paris office. “The first one is all our activity toward aliya.”

Startup success story continues for NSW (Australia) and Israel

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian today met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to bolster technology ties between the two ‘Startup States’.
Following the meeting, Ms Berejiklian announced that a groundbreaking knowledgesharing program, which saw eight NSW fintech startups travel to the Austrade Tel Aviv Landing Pad in 2016, would continue in 2017.
Ms Berejiklian said the program’s continuation was a “win-win for both NSW and Israel”.
“Israel leads the world in startup innovation and NSW leads the way here at home so
we are ideally matched to collaborate,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“In 2017 NSW will send a second delegation of NSW startups to Tel Aviv to be mentored by Israel’s experts, meet investors and then bring what they learn back to NSW – Australia’s ‘Startup State’.
“I was delighted today to discuss our important relationship with Prime Minister Netanyahu who this week spoke of his desire to strengthen business ties and trade links between our nations.”

As Ties Flourish, Indian PM Modi Approves $2.5 Billion Deal to Acquire Israeli Aerial Defense System

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved on Thursday a $2.5 billion deal to acquire an Israeli aerial defense system for his country’s military, the Mail Today newspaper reported.
According to the report, India plans to use the medium-range surface-to-air missile system (MR-SAM) to defend its airspace from “enemy aircraft, drones, surveillance aircraft and AWACS planes.” The system — jointly developed by Israel Aerospace Industries and India’s Defense Research and Development Organization — is a land-based version of the Barak 8.
The deal will see the Indian Army receive 40 units of the system, which will be ready for deployment by 2023.
Israel and India are currently celebrating the 25th anniversary of the 1992 establishment of full diplomatic ties between the two countries. They currently enjoy a burgeoning relationship, particularly in the defense field.
In November, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin traveled to India, just over a year after his Indian counterpart, President Pranab Mukherjee, visited Israel.

Jewish History is Under Siege in the Middle East and These Volunteers Are Risking Their Lives to Protect It

On a sunny morning in February 2016, Sami Solmaz, a Kurdish filmmaker from Turkey, took a ride with Kurdish forces from the Iraqi town of Sinjar to the front lines. He spent the day filming gun battles between Kurdish fighters and the Islamic State militant group for a documentary he was making on ISIS attacks against religious minorities. That afternoon, as he was heading back to town, he heard a soldier’s voice crackle over his driver’s radio: “Be careful! ISIS is firing chlorine bombs into Sinjar.”
The militant group had been launching homemade rockets filled with chemicals toward Sinjar since Kurdish forces pushed them out of the town in late 2015. Earlier in February, a chemical attack in Sinjar had left Kurdish fighters sick, and Solmaz knew it was best to stay away. The only problem: His driver’s car was in town, and so they decided to hurry back and retrieve it. “We were only there 10 minutes, but you could smell [the gas],” he tells Newsweek.
On his way out of Sinjar, Solmaz’s face began to swell and his throat started to burn as he drove toward the Iraqi city of Duhok, where he fell into a deep sleep at his sister’s apartment and awoke more than 20 hours later. When he was feeling better, he emailed Jason Guberman, the director of Digital Heritage Mapping, a nonprofit he’d been helping in New York, to apologize for slipping out of touch.
Guberman was relying on Solmaz, an atheist from a Muslim family, to document Jewish heritage sites—from synagogues and cemeteries to ruins of schools, houses and community centers Jews once used in the Middle East and North Africa. For years, his staff and a rotating cast of about a dozen interns and volunteers have been racing to create digital records of Jewish sites. The project’s name is Diarna, which means “our home” in Judeo-Arabic. As wars in the region destroy these sites, Guberman’s team is running out of time.

Afghan baby gets life-saving treatment in Israel — through an unlikely social media path

From the moment Yacub was born, he lived at death’s door. His father, a wheat and rice farmer from Baghlan Province in northern Afghanistan, who was unable to afford the surgery he needed, left his son’s fate in God’s hands. He never imagined that, through a near miraculous path paved by a few Facebook friends, his child’s life would ultimately be saved by the hand of an Israeli surgeon.
For the first three months, no doctor could diagnose the problem. Yacub hardly ate, he didn’t grow, and he cried constantly. His father eventually found a German clinic in Kabul where doctors said the baby would need heart surgery in India: Yacub was suffering from Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF), a congenital heart disease that prevents blood from getting to the lungs and oxidizing.
But the father didn’t have the money for the journey to India or for the surgery.
When the Afghan baby, now two years old, arrived at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport on February 14, his skin was a pale blue. He was “half-dead,” according to Dr. Hagi Dekel, the Israeli cardiac surgeon who operated on him hours later at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon.



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