The 11% Majority
Bernie didn’t just oppose America’s Cold War excesses. He was often on the other side. America’s actions in Vietnam, he told a classroom of impressionable youngsters in 1972, were “almost as bad as what Hitler did.” In 1980, when Americans were tying yellow ribbons to express solidarity with our diplomats held hostage in Iran, Sanders aligned himself with the Socialist Workers Party, hosting an event at which its presidential candidate condemned “anti-Iranian hysteria around the U.S. hostages.”
As mayor of Burlington, Sanders earned the sobriquet “Foreign Minister” for the series of Potemkin village tours he took of America’s socialist adversaries abroad. When a constituent wrote a letter complaining about his words of praise for the Nicaraguan Sandinista regime, which had incarcerated thousands of political prisoners and forcibly relocated native tribes, Sanders responded, “The temporary suspension of certain civil liberties is considerably more complex than your letter indicates.” Sanders is like the guy we all knew in college with the Che Guevara T-shirt. Except, at 78, he’s still that guy.
When Alexander Solzhenitsyn moved to Vermont, Sanders never once met with the man whose personal testimony of the gulag won him the Nobel Prize for literature. But he did make time to travel halfway across the world to yuk it up with Solzhenitsyn’s jailers in the Soviet Union. After venturing to Cuba, a one-party state that interned homosexuals in concentration camps, Sanders returned awestruck. “I did not see a hungry child,” he gushed. “I did not see any homeless people. Cuba today not only has free health care but very high-quality health care.” (Indeed, Cuban health care is so “high-quality” that a cancer-stricken Fidel Castro summoned a Spanish doctor to treat him.)
While ritual self-flagellation is always demanded of Joe Biden for his single vote authorizing the Iraq War, Sanders’ opponents are oddly reluctant to ask him about his decadeslong record of propagandizing on behalf of leftist tyrants and mass murderers. Nor can these political commitments be waived off as mere youthful indiscretions. Sanders instinctually sides with any foreign head of state or revolutionary leader deemed “progressive,” no matter how autocratic or ruthless.
Although he criticized Israel over numerous issues in the late 1980s and early 90s, in this election campaign the senator from Vermont has embarked on a path of utter extremism (representing an escalation even in terms of his 2016 performance, when he vied for the Democratic nomination against Hillary Clinton). Amid the backdrop of this increasingly acerbic trend, which pushes Sanders closer to the militant and anti-Semitic fringes of the Democratic party, spearheaded by Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, it must now be asked: Is the era of fundamental bi-partisan consensus regarding Israel over? Is the special relationship with Israel no longer an integral part of the collective American ethos?
After all, since Israel became a strong partner and important strategic asset for the US some six decades ago, declaring support for the Jewish state has become an inseparable component of every American politician’s toolbox, irrespective of party affiliations. Today, however, the dam has been breached. The fact that a leading Democratic candidate so readily castigates (and not for the first time) the prime minister of Israel, calling him a “reactionary racist,” and also indicates his intention – if, of course, he’s elected president – to move the US Embassy back to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem, makes it abundantly obvious that a prominent faction within the Democratic camp has fundamentally shifted its approach to Israel. It is within this prism that we must view the liberal wing’s dangerous maturation and ultimate separation from its Israeli ally (and from the political center), the roots of which stretch all the way back to the 1980s and which have become increasingly intertwined in recent years with the contrarian and belligerent rhetoric of Jeremy Corbyn – who represents a type of role model for Sanders, and not just in terms of Israel.
Meanwhile, the Republican party in recent decades has become the sturdy backbone and anchor of support for Israel and the special relationship with it; evidenced by the eight years of George W. Bush’s presidency, not to mention the three years of Donald Trump’s current term. Simultaneously, the Democratic party has been in the process of drifting to the fringes, with Sanders the most outspoken and obvious symbol of the overt turn away from Israel and the strategic partnership with it predicated on shared values; and he is certainly not an outlier in the current liberal landscape.
Within this context, we must look at reality square in the eye and recognize the fact that underground political streams long bubbling beneath the surface have erupted mightily to the fore of American politics, mortally threatening the broad security blanket against any challenge Israel has had to face over the decades. If and how quickly this tsunami completely drowns out the centrist faction of the Democratic party fighting to stave Sanders off (for example, Michael Bloomberg and Joe Biden) – and drags us toward any number of unsavory scenarios – is, of course, a separate question that will soon be answered.
David Collier: SOAS opens its doors to EUROPAL and neo-Nazi antisemitism
SOAS are hosting a purveyor of Nazi and KKK antisemitic theory on March 7. The event is billed as a student workshop offering advocacy for ‘Palestine’, however this Hamas linked group -EUROPAL – has previously published a booklet pushing hard-core neo-Nazi antisemitism
SOAS is known as a hotbed of antisemitism. It has the dishonour of being a university in central London where Jewish students have said they are ‘scared to wear the star of David and speak Hebrew’. For years SOAS has been at the forefront of hostile campus activity. I have seen too many toxic events to list them all – terrorists are honoured there and platforms given to an endless stream of antisemitic speakers.
But surely – there has to be a line they won’t cross – even at SOAS? It seems not. In two weeks they are hosting an event by an organisation -EUROPAL – that has been caught before spreading antisemitism. To turn disrespect for Jews into absolute mockery – EUROPAL are on campus at SOAS to teach students about – yes, you guessed it – antisemitism.
The all-day event – due to be held on March 7 – is described as a ‘student workshop’ – teaching other students how to be better advocates for ‘Palestine’. It is co-hosted by the SOAS Palestine Society. The first two sessions to be presented are about method, delivery and BDS – which means they will be full of the usual lies and propaganda we are all used to. It remains heart-breaking that students are fed this type of ahistorical and demonising garbage in a place of learning – but nothing new for SOAS. The real problem arises in the third session – which is about ‘antisemitism’:
EUROPAL are teaching students about antisemitism, which means that this event isn’t about the history of a conflict, or anti-Israel advocacy, but rather explicitly talking about anti-Jewish racism. So who are EUROPAL and why are they qualified to hold events about antisemitism?
The condition of the Jewish man who was critically wounded in a machete attack in Monsey over the Hanukkah holiday has improved, Yeshiva World News reported.
Yosef Neiman was one of five people who were stabbed when they were attacked while attending a Hanukkah party on December 29, 2019. Neuman, 71, a father of seven, suffered a traumatic brain injury which doctors feared he might never recover from.
“Doctors are not optimistic about his chances to regain consciousness, and even if our father does miraculously recover partially, doctors expect that he will have permanent brain damage, leaving him partially paralyzed and speech-impaired for the rest of his life,” his family said following the attack.
Nearly two months after the brutal attack assault, however, Neuman has opened his eyes and his breathing on his own, sources told Yeshiva World News.
The most dangerous place to be a Jew in Europe today is France—that’s the conclusion of an as-yet unpublished, two-year report on anti-Semitism in 11 European countries, conducted by former NYPD commissioner Raymond W. Kelly for Ronald S. Lauder, the former U.S. Ambassador to Austria.
Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, has donated heavily to efforts combatting anti-Semitism in Europe and the United States. He asked Kelly, New York’s longest-serving police commissioner, to assess the growth of the anti-Semitism sweeping Europe and suggest practical ways to strengthen the security of Jewish communities and institutions.
Though the resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe has been widely noted and condemned, Kelly’s report concludes that the threat to France’s 450,000 Jews—the world’s third-largest community, after Israel and the U.S.—is the most “acute.” Attacks and threats against French Jews surged 74 percent from 2017 to 2018, the report finds, and preliminary data for the first half of 2019 indicate “further intensification,” with another 75 percent increase last year. Moreover, the official estimates of some 500 attacks and anti-Semitic acts per year are “notoriously under reported,” according to the study, which contends that “no responsible individuals or even government representatives place much credence in these numbers.”
Kelly and two additional investigators, David Cohen and Mitchell D. Silber, both former senior NYPD counterterrorism officials, blame the French government for failing to respond to the almost-constant violence against and harassment of French Jews. Government funds to the Jewish community total just $3.7 million a year—“about one-fifth of what British Jews receive from their government, though France’s Jewish population is roughly double that of Britain.”
France initially overreacted to the 2015 attacks at the Bataclan and Hyper Cacher supermarket, but it has underreacted ever since. What the report calls the police’s “catch-as-catch-can” mobile deployments to protect synagogues and other Jewish facilities “provide little or no police presence and deterrence.” While the 40 synagogues in Paris have installed security cameras, only eight are monitored by the Jewish group responsible for security, none on a steady basis. In addition, France rarely enforces its laws banning hate speech.
The latest terrorist attacks in England illustrate the inadequacy of conventional law enforcement and criminology for dealing with ideologically-driven violence. Rehabilitation programs and criminal justice approaches that might work with thieves, muggers or even some murderers have proven spectacular failures when it comes to Islamists. In spite of many attempts, no one has figured out how to rehabilitate jihadis such as Sudesh Amman, the Streatham stabber, or Usman Khan, the London Bridge stabber, or the three London Bridge stabbers before that. With apologies to comedian Ron White, you can’t fix jihad.
To be precise, I’m referring not to what Islamic tradition calls the “greater jihad,” meaning the inner, psychological struggle to be a better Muslim, but to the “lesser jihad,” meaning the outer, physical struggle against the enemies of Islam, or as Daniel Pipes defines it, “the legal, compulsory, communal effort to expand the territories ruled by Muslims at the expense of territories ruled by non-Muslims.” This is the jihad that Islamist terrorist organizations promote and some even choose for their names (Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Islamic Jihad Union, Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami). Coupled with the desire to die as a martyr, this potent ideology is the driving force behind ISIS, al Qaeda and all their affiliates.
Unlike other categories of criminals, determined devotees of offensive jihad cannot be dissuaded to end the fight. Rather, that determination can only come from within, as demonstrated by Walid Shoebat, Jesse Morton and other former jihadis testifying about their abandonment of the ideology. In criminological jargon, “pull factors,” such as financial incentives, amnesty and employment opportunities, are far less likely to influence jihadis than “push factors,” such as disillusionment and loss of faith in an ideology. Shoebat describes the “self-detoxification program” he undertook after trying unsuccessfully to convince his wife of the inherent evil of Judaism. The problem is that no one has figured out how to engineer the right “push factor” to compel a jihadi to begin a “self-detoxification.”
Ze’ev Zion has just published a children’s book–Z is for Zionism– whose aim is to counter the anti-Israel propaganda that has infected our young people; and to serve as a contra to the controversial children’s book, P is for Palestine (see picture below), which promotes violence against Israel. The title refers to the non-existent country of Palestine, but the word for the letter “I” refers to the two bloody Palestinian terror waves, called Intifadas, in which over 1000 people were killed – the second taking place after Arafat signed the Oslo “Peace” Accords on the Whtie House lawn. The Second Intifada is termed The Oslo War by many Israelis. This can only be interpreted as a call to accept or commit violence against Israeli citizens – and it is aimed at pre-schoolers.
“Children can no longer grow up innocent and protected,” the author says. “They cannot even attend kindergarten without being inundated with the destructive values of progressive and politicized educators. At schools across America, children are inflicted with climate hysteria; told that the world will end soon, all this sending them into panic. They learn from the media featuing politicians running for President that capitalism is a corrupt system that impoverishes people. They are taught, of course, that Israel is an oppressor, America is racist and President Trump is a fascist.”
The David Horowitz Freedom Center has done an important public service documenting this alarming trend. For example, a high school teacher in Oklahoma told students “to be white is racist.” A school in San Diego used CAIR (Council on America- Islamic Relations) material for a supposed anti-Muslim bullying campaign. CAIR’s leadership is comprised of anti-Israel zealots and is sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist network. Middle School students in Tennessee are taught that Islam is the supreme religion. And there is more.
At many schools around the country, teachers are no longer allowed to say “boys and girls” in order to avoid offending the miniscule amount of students who may not identify with one of the two genders. Whatever family means today is up for grabs.
Things aren’t much better with Israel studies.
The Spanish parade was the climax of carnival festivities in Campo de Criptana, a small town near Madrid.
Images on Twitter showed dozens of people in full Nazi-style regalia and others wearing the striped pajamas worn by concentration camp prisoners.
Children were dressed in the yellow Star of David that Jews were forced to wear in Nazi-occupied areas.
On top of one float, a woman in Nazi uniform could be seen gyrating alongside a model Doberman under two giant chimneys. Elsewhere a line of Jewish victims in red hot-pants and bustiers with a gunshot wound to the heart danced with Israeli-style flags.
The footage and images quickly sparked a furious backlash.
There were widespread expressions of revulsion both online and off.
“Horrified at the carnival parade in Campo de Criptana,” Spain’s Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya wrote on her official Twitter account.
“I totally reject any trivialization of the Holocaust,” she added.
“Following contact with the organizers, they have apologized to the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain. It is essential to keep teaching about the memory of the Holocaust.”
Israel’s ambassador to Spain has denounced a carnival parade performance in a small town that featured men and women dressed up like Jewish Holocaust victims and Nazi soldiers.
Rodica Radian-Gordon said in a tweet Wednesday that the performance was “a detestable banalization of the Holocaust,” an “affront to the victims” and “an intolerable manifestation of anti-Semitism.”
The offensive costumes were worn Monday at a Carnival in Campo de Criptana, a central Spanish town of 13,000. Several women wore costumes depicting concentration camp victims carrying Israeli flags and men wearing replicas of the uniforms of SS officers from the German army. They paraded and danced to loud dance music emitted from a float that carried two towers that resembled smokestacks.
Spain’s minister of foreign affairs, Arancha González Laya, also said on Twitter that she was “horrified by the performance.”
After contacting the organizers, she said they have apologized to the Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain.
On February 24th the BBC News website’s ‘Europe’ page published a 475-word report which it chose to headline “Belgian city of Aalst says anti-Semitic parade ‘just fun’”.
That messaging also opened the report:
“A Belgian city has defended as “just fun” a carnival featuring caricatures of Orthodox Jews wearing huge fur hats, long fake noses and ant costumes.”
One hundred and fifty-four words were given over to promotion of the talking points of the spokesman for the city’s mayor, including the notion of antisemitism as “freedom of speech”.
“The Aalst mayor’s spokesman told the BBC “it’s our humour… just fun”. […]
“It’s our parade, our humour, people can do whatever they want,” he said. “It’s a weekend of freedom of speech.””
One can only wonder whether the BBC would find it likewise appropriate to promote the notion of “freedom of speech” in relation to grossly offensive stereotypical portrayals of other religious and ethnic groups or, for example, the LGBT community.
A new survey has found that only one fifth of Europeans polled in a survey of 16 European countries, among them Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Poland, believe that a secret network of Jews – the Elders of Zion – controls global political and economic affairs.
The findings of the survey caused immediate consternation among the Elders. The Mideast Beast sat down with the Jewish cabal at a secret location to talk about what it’s like to control the world and get such scant recognition in return.
“This is obviously bad and causes us to worry a great deal”, said one of the Elders, “If only 20 % of Europeans believe that we control global political and economic affairs then we are obviously not doing a very good job at all. Not to mention that they didn’t blame us for climate change or the coronavirus, both of which we’ve been working so hard on”.
“This is like bad, really bad”, another (slightly younger) Elder told the Mideast Beast, “It kinda makes you feel unrecognized and unappreciated. It definitely makes you question whether controlling the world is even worth it. Elders of Zion have feelings, too, you know. It’s not as if we’re expecting a medal or anything, but like, it would be nice for recognition to be a bit broader, you know?”
The Mideast Beast asked the Elders if the results of the survey would occasion any drastic changes within the cabal.
Jonathan Tobin: Bernie Sanders and Soviet Jewry
Now that he’s the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, Senator Bernie Sanders is finally being asked some tough questions about what it means to be a Socialist in 2020. But a key part of that query is not just a matter of economics. It also involves understanding his views about the world — which is what led him to engage in some heavy-duty rationalizing for the Communist dictatorship in Cuba when asked about the subject in an interview this past week on 60 Minutes.
His unwillingness to unequivocally condemn the Castro regime is hardly surprising. Sanders has been a fan of the Communist government of that tortured island since he was a young man. His support for left-wing, revolutionary anti-American regimes around the globe was a hallmark of his activist past.
The Cold War may have ended more than 30 years ago, but no matter how you slice it, the senator’s comments about Cuba, Sandinista-ruled Nicaragua, or even the Soviet Union don’t age well. It’s never a good look for a would-be commander-in-chief to have been a fan of America’s enemies.
But, as his supporters say, why does this ancient history matter? We are living in a different world than the one that existed before the fall of the Berlin Wall. So while Cuban exiles are understandably up in arms about Sanders’ reflexive defense of Castro’s supposed improvements of Cuban life — and his claim that improved literacy rates were praiseworthy when all anyone there was allowed to read was Communist propaganda — there are more important issues at hand.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and his surrogates would not, or could not, explain what he meant in his recent condemnation of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) as a platform for “bigotry.”
On Sunday, Sanders said he would not attend AIPAC’s annual policy conference last month, adding that it provided a platform “for leaders who express bigotry.” He did not explain what he meant. AIPAC responded: “Senator Sanders has never attended our conference and that is evident from his outrageous comment.”
The moderators at the Democrat debate Tuesday night asked Sanders to explain his comment, but he did not except to accuse Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of being a “reactionary racist” — which the Democratic audience applauded.
In the spin room, Breitbart News and other reporters — including Jackson Richman of the Jewish News Syndicate — asked Sanders surrogates Jeff Weaver and Nina Turner to explain his comment; they could not.
Richman asked Turner specifically about Sanders’s association with anti-Israel radicals like Linda Sarsour, who has also been accused of antisemitism for excluding pro-Israel Jews from the Women’s March, and various hostile comments.
Turner responded that because Sanders was Jewish, he did not consider Sarsour antisemitic, nor could she be.
“Let me tell you something. Senator Bernie Sanders is a Jewish man. And so his opinion of Linda Sarsour is different from other people’s opinion of Linda Sarsour. She’s an activist, and she is a woman of the people.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was “definitely wrong” to call him a “reactionary racist” during the Democratic debate in South Carolina the previous night.
“I am not intervening in the US election,” Netanyahu told Army Radio. “What I think about this matter is that he is definitely wrong. No question about it.”
The longtime Israeli leader — who heads the right-wing Likud party — noted he had withstood pressure from US presidents who opposed his policies in the past and would be able to do so again in the future, if needed.
Netanyahu is seeking a fifth term in office in next Monday’s Knesset election — the third in less than a year after two inconclusive ballots in April and September. His top challenger is ex-IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, the chairman of the centrist Blue and White alliance.
Earlier on Wednesday, Netanyahu’s foreign minister, Yisrael Katz, called Sanders’ debate statements about Israel “horrifying.”
During Tuesday’s debate, the Vermont senator — who recently emerged as the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination — said a move of the US Embassy in Israel back to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem would “be under consideration” if he was elected president.
“I’m very proud of being Jewish,” Sanders declared. “I actually lived in Israel for some months. But what I happen to believe is that right now, sadly, tragically, in Israel, through Bibi Netanyahu, you have a reactionary racist who is now running that country.”
Unfun fact: The woman who led the late night pro-Bernie people harassing the chair of the Nevada Democratic party outside their home was Maria Estrada.
— (((Yair Rosenberg))) (@Yair_Rosenberg) February 27, 2020
— (((David Lange))) (@Israellycool) February 27, 2020
Second, the all-consuming ignorance of Israeli politics that leads ppl to say things like ‘settlements’ are a ‘far-right-wing policy’: pic.twitter.com/IQCg1Aerch
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) February 26, 2020
The major complaint about this stuff from those of us who aren’t total ignoramuses is that it’s bothersome to have to pretend sloganeering mediocrities are making a worthy contribution to a discussion they know less than nothing about. Warren’s no bigot. She’s a college freshman.
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) February 26, 2020
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s mandate defined “collusion” as “links and/or coordination” with foreign powers. Democrats and their media allies tried and failed to hang the charge around President Trump’s neck. But one of their own darlings, Rep. Ilhan Omar, has inarguably colluded with an unsavory Islamist regime: Turkey’s.
In fall 2017, Omar, then a state representative, attended a closed meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. According to a report since deleted from a Somali-language periodical, Omar and the Islamist strongman discussed “issues involving Omar’s native Somalia and issues for Somalis in Minnesota. … The meeting ended with Erdogan asking Omar to voice her support for Turkey.”
A month later, Omar would take to Twitter to praise Turkey for providing airlifts for Somalis injured in a Mogadishu truck bombing.
Given recent concerns over foreign influence, one might ask: Why was this state representative meeting with the leader of an increasingly anti-American regime? With what authority was she negotiating Turkish-Somali relations or any foreign-relations matters?
Several months prior to the Erdogan sit-down, Omar and her then-husband, Ahmed Hirsi, met with Umat Acar, then the Turkish consul general in Chicago. Hirsi memorialized the meeting on Facebook, writing: “Turkey has been a friend to Somalis everywhere, and I look forward helping [sic] expanding our friendship for decades to come.” Acar would host Omar again in September 2018, according to social media, after she won the Democratic nomination to run for the House in her district.
Months before ever meeting Acar, Omar traveled to Istanbul with Hirsi for a “Human Rights Defenders” conference reportedly organized by Istanbul’s Sisli municipality, where she attacked the Trump administration’s travel ban against terror-producing nations.
The rapport deepened after she took her congressional seat.
After inviting retired four-star General David Petraeus to keynote their forum in Washington, D.C., the Koch and Soros-funded Quincy Institute trashed the retired military official on social media during and after his appearance for his “lack of vision for a new direction in U.S. foreign policy.”
The group’s executive vice president Trita Parsi accused Petraeus and his fellow commanders of deceiving the country as Petraeus sat on the stage. “True that a majority of Afghan vets want to end the war,” Parsi wrote. “But is that true for the leaders of the military? And if so, why 18 years of deception about how the war was going?”
Sarah Leah Whitson, the institute’s managing director for research and policy, derided Petraeus for delivering “stale outdated talking points” on the war in Iraq, where the general commanded U.S. armed forces, and killing 500,000 people.
Whitson on Tuesday night argued that former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein deserved credit for advances in education and literacy during his rein.
French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday ordered a small, little known organization run by a rapper dissolved for alleged hate speech and defending terrorism.
A statement from the Interior Ministry said the association called “Killuminateam — soldiers on the path of Allah” spread its message under the cover of helping the needy.
Its “main activity was organizing actions in public to make calls to hate and violence,” the ministry statement said. It added that the association used the internet and videos laden with content reflecting “a conspiratorial, anti-Semitic (and), anti-Christian nature” and “defending terrorism.” Macron ordered via a decree that the association be dissolved.
The group, based in the Val d’Oise region, north of Paris, had just 15 members, according to the ministry statement. However, its dissolution is a sign of the government’s intention to fight what Macron calls “Islamist separatism.”
— (((David Lange))) (@Israellycool) February 27, 2020
Following the death of Hosni Mubarak on February 25th, the BBC News website published an article titled “Mubarak: Egyptian statesman of war and peace” on its Middle East page.
The article includes portrayals of chapters in Middle East history, some of which are notable for their inaccuracies and omissions.
“Mubarak was instrumental in planning the surprise attack on Israeli forces at the start of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.
The raid took place on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. Mubarak became a national hero for the role the air force played in the initial thrust across the Suez Canal.
Russia and the United States came close to superpower conflict as they rushed to supply their respective allies. Israel repelled the invasion; but eventually ceded Sinai back to Egypt.”
Readers are not informed that Israel’s withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula took place within the framework of the Israel-Egypt peace treaty.
“He [Mubarak] was not a noted supporter of the 1979 Camp David peace agreement – signed by President Sadat and the Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin.”
The Camp David Accords were signed in September 1978. The Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty was signed in March 1979.
Multiple congressional offices have received an invitation to the screening of a never-before-seen anti-Israel documentary produced by Al Jazeera that relies heavily on footage obtained by an undercover Qatari spy.
The event will feature a screening of The Lobby: USA, a previously unreleased documentary produced by Qatar’s Al Jazeera network, according to a copy of the invitation obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. The documentary never aired because it was revealed that much of the footage was obtained during a 2018 undercover surveillance operation on American Jews and pro-Israel groups in Washington, D.C.
Revelations of the spy effort sent shockwaves through the pro-Israel community—members of which were caught on film purportedly trying to extend Jewish influence in American politics. Concerns over the film’s reliance on undercover footage prompted members of Congress to call for Al Jazeera to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which requires state-backed actors to disclose their ties to foreign governments.
The documentary will finally see the light of day on Friday at an event for congressional staffers.
Two progressive foreign policy think tanks—the Center for International Policy (CIP) and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS)—are slated to screen the documentary later this week during an event on “the pro-Israel lobby in the United States,” according to a copy of the invitation addressed to congressional staffers. It is unclear how many offices received invitations.
Did he finally get to see the Gaza Bridge? https://t.co/lXmyl7fl1l
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) February 27, 2020
Some 250 participants and European leaders gathered in Paris at the European Jewish Association’s (EJA) annual policy conference this week under the topic “Jews in Europe: United for a Better Future.”
The $11 million “European Centre of Judaism” venue, which also serves as a synagogue and community center in the 17th arrondissement (district) of Paris, was newly opened in October 2019, funded in part by the French government.
The conference on Feb. 24-25 ” took place in the context of rising antisemitism throughout Europe, with data aggregated by the Action and Protection League (APL) showing increased numbers of antisemitic incidents over the past seven years in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France and Austria.
Present at the two-day conference were co-organizers Rabbi Menachem Margolin, chairman of the European Jewish Association; Chabad Rabbi Shlomó Köves of Hungary, chairman of APL; and Joël Mergui, president of the Consistoire Central de France.
At the conference, EJA released its plan to tackle antisemitism, which includes the appointment of a special envoy in every European country; the adoption and implementation of the IHRA definition of antisemitism by every European country; work with national governments across Europe to reform and upgrade their Holocaust education; and work with European legislators to punish those who foment antisemitism.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Wednesday called on Egypt and Oman to remove antisemitic materials from their annual book fairs.
The fairs, which are state-supported and take place in the capital cities of Cairo and Muscat, have long featured virulently antisemitic titles.
At the 2020 Cairo International Book Fair, among the books sold were The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and The International Jew, both based on a conspiracy theory charging that the Jews control the world.
Adolf Hitler’s manifesto Mein Kampf was also available and the author of a newer antisemitic tome held a book signing.
At the ongoing Muscat International Book Fair, numerous antisemitic books are on display.
“Even as Egypt was setting an example by publicly celebrating the history of Jews in that country with the restoration of Alexandria’s historic synagogue, their state-sponsored book fair continued to legitimize antisemitism by peddling some of history’s most dangerous antisemitic tracts,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt stated.
“We are calling on the government to take action now to ensure that such hateful materials are not exhibited again,” he added.
The top Jewish organization in Australian state of Victoria expressed concern on Tuesday that a proposed ban on displaying the Nazi swastika did not go far enough.
According to Australian newspaper The Age, Jewish Community Council of Victoria President Jennifer Huppert told a parliamentary committee that such a ban would be only a “knee jerk” reaction to a recent rise in antisemitism.
A much broader law would be required to encompass all hate material, she pointed out.
“There’s been issues about the swastika, Nazi flags being flown, people doing other things,” Huppert said. “This is not new, it’s something that’s been simmering for a while.”
“I’m just concerned that whatever reform is brought in [should be] well thought through and actually deals with the issues in a fundamental way,” she stated.
“I don’t have a problem with [the ban] but, and we’ve discussed it, we think it’s important there’s a [broader] ban on hate material,” Huppert added.
The committee was formed to explore a possible expansion of laws against racist symbols and hate speech. It will make its recommendations to the government by Sept. 20.
The current concern with the swastika was triggered by an incident in January in the Victorian town of Beulah, where a local couple flew a Nazi flag bearing the symbol over their home.
Seth J. Frantzman: Israeli firm sells over 150 drones to European country
Bluebird Aero Systems has sold more than 150 vertical-takeoff-and-landing drones to an unnamed European country in a deal worth “tens of millions of euros,” the Israeli company announced Tuesday.
The company, which makes WanderB and ThunderB tactical VTOL drones, said the customer will incorporate the two UAV types into infantry, armored, artillery and special forces units.
The commander of the ground forces of the unnamed country provided a statement via Bluebird that said the government was impressed with the VTOL solution, as it will enable “high operational flexibility and provide invaluable real-time intelligence and situational awareness.”
The VTOL design has been tested in harsh environments and proved reliable. The recently sold drones are expected to be deployed to enhance the capabilities of units adjusting to modern fighting methods, providing “advanced and reliable intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance capabilities to address the modern battlefield’s challenges,” the commander said.
The head of the country’s special forces brigade command agreed with the ground forces commander that the long range and endurance of the man-packable and tactical UAVs will aid in rapid deployment with small units. The special forces leader added that the UAV is a fit for day and night use.
Israeli cycling team Israel Start-Up Nation (ISN) and team owner Sylvan Adams have been traversing through the seven United Arab Emirates this week as part of the 2020 UAE Tour.
While the grand stage has so far showcased the capabilities of what ISN’s riders can do – earning three top-10 positions in the past four stages – what’s going on behind the scenes can be deemed noteworthy as well, with ISN members holding senior meetings with top UAE sport officials and press conferences with the top publications in Middle East media.
A common occurrence when Israelis or Israel-based teams compete in other countries, especially Arab nations, international media coverage tends to surround geopolitical non-sport related topics, which can informally create ambassadors out of these athletes when facing down the barrel of a loaded question.
With this being the first time ISN has raced in the UAE – a country that hold no formal ties with Israel – or any Arab nation for that matter, the media attention all across the Middle East was centered around those caveats, which the unofficial ISN sports diplomats reveled in.
“During training camp I always told the riders, ‘you are not just a cycling athlete, you are ambassadors yourselves, you represent the home country, and you must do so with the highest regard for sportsmanship – because every one of you is being judged based on the home nation. It cuts both ways, we want you to be a part of the sport for the home nation, so we don’t tolerate any kind of negativity or bad sportsmanship and hopefully we also get good results along the way,” Adams told The Jerusalem Post.
The chance of holding a major world tournament in Israel for the first time has recently been made possible, after Sports and Culture Minister Miri Regev held a meeting with International Basketball Federation (FIBA) President Hamane Niang on Wednesday in Jerusalem, formally asking him for the opportunity to host the 2027 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
The Malian president of the federation agreed to promote Regev’s request. The two also discussed the importance of fighting violence and racism in the world of sports. Regev asked Niang to continue bridging the relationship between Israel and Mali and other African countries.
Niang and his wife are visiting Israel for the Israeli national team’s match against Romania during the qualifiers for the EuroBasket Championship.
The FIBA World Cup is an international basketball competition in which the senior men’s national teams of the members of FIBA, the sport’s global governing body, compete for worldwide acclaim. It is the federation’s flagship event.
Also in attendance during the meeting on Monday morning in Regev’s Jerusalem office, were Basketball Association chairman Amiram Halevi and the ministry’s director general, attorney Yossi Sharabi.
Tobi Lovv: First Nigerian IDF officer looks to build bridges
A decade after she left her home in Nigeria to don her IDF uniform, Tobi Lovv wants to build bridges between her adopted home and Africa.
Lovv was born in the Nigerian capital of Abuja to a Christian mother and an Israeli father, and while there’s not a Jewish community in Nigeria per se, there is a large Israeli expat community, especially in the capital.
“All those years growing up I was aware of my Jewish-Israeli identity,” Lovv told The Jerusalem Post.
“Over the years I knew I would join the army and as I got older and as we visited Israel and I kept seeing soldiers, it moved from his [my father’s] desire to being my desire. His dream was being reflected now on me,” she said.
After finishing high school at 16, Lovv recounted how she had been able to foresee her future if she didn’t go on the path she wanted: she would leave Nigeria to get a degree in the United States, get married and then maybe come to Israel for holidays.
“My dad kept Israel close to his heart and there was not a single holiday that we didn’t celebrate… We had both Christmas and Hanukkah. Growing up there was never the option of choosing one religion over the other… I had the best of both worlds.”
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