August 12, 2020

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03/07 Links Pt2: Noah Rothman: The Anti-Semitism Monster Democrats Can No Longer Control; Andrew Klavan: How The Left Rationalizes Anti-Semitism

From Ian:

Noah Rothman: The Anti-Semitism Monster Democrats Can No Longer Control
Liberal partisans know exactly what Democrats are doing here. Indeed, they explained why generic condemnations of hatred in the face of discrete episodes of bigotry entirely missed the point amid the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. “All lives matter,” was the response from those who were discomfited by the movement’s focus on excessive uses of force by police against African-Americans. Of course, all lives do matter, those on the left observed, but to insist upon such language in the face of specific episodes of bias targeting distinct demographics is obtuse. The effort isn’t to restore common bonds, but to diminish the validity of the Black Lives Matter movement’s grievance.

Today, as Democratic House leadership calculates precisely how forcefully to condemn anti-Semitic sentiments within its ranks without alienating anti-Semites, a full-scale rebellion is brewing. Rep. Rashida Tlaib called the effort to condemn anti-Semitism “unprecedented” and questioned Pelosi’s judgment. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez insisted that Pelosi’s resolution was “hurtful” and that there should be similar votes condemning all manner of bigotries ranging from xenophobia, to homophobia, to “anti-blackness.” Pelosi is a “typical white feminist upholding the patriarchy doing the dirty work of powerful white men,” wrote Women’s March co-chair Linda Sarsour. These are not nobodies. These are core figures in the Democratic coalition, individuals who are now or were only recently some of the party’s most visible new faces.

It isn’t just the activist wing that has effectively sided with Omar in this fight. The New York Times claimed that Omar’s attack on the Israeli lobbying group AIPAC raised important questions about the influence Zionists and Jews wield. The Washington Post suggested that Pelosi would invite a prolonged internecine debate over America’s policy toward Israel by unequivocally condemning anti-Jewish bigotry. These are not fringe institutions expressing the concerns of a marginal constituency.

It was only one month ago that the Democratic Party was united in disgust after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam admitted to appearing in photographs as a younger man in blackface. Democrats, Nancy Pelosi among them, insisted that no apology would suffice. Northam had to go. Virginia’s governor did not consent to his own exile, but Democrats nonetheless established a standard. “It is essentially this,” I wrote at the time. “Any act of naked bigotry, even the bourgeois sort that stems from ignorance or social desirability biases, is unacceptable and unforgivable.” Confronted today with a kind of prejudice to which not all its members are entirely hostile, Democrats have revealed how hollow those condemnations really were. The battle for the future of the Democratic Party isn’t over yet, but, for now, Ilhan Omar is winning.

John Podhoretz: Democrats’ refusal to call out Ilhan Omar’s anti-semitism is just appalling

It’s really not hard to get to the bottom of this: When you say that Jews have magical hypnotic powers to control other people, you’re an anti-Semite. When you say Jews control other people through money, you’re an anti-Semite. When you say Jews have conspired to force you to apologize for saying anti-Semitic things, you’re an anti-Semite. ­Ilhan Omar is an anti-Semite.

Now what? Well, now nothing.

For a while this week there was a thought that the House of Representatives, where Omar serves as a freshman from Minnesota, might vote on a resolution condemning her ­anti-Semitism.

Then it was thought that maybe said resolution would come up for a vote but wouldn’t mention her name and instead condemn anti-Semitism generally.

Then it was thought that there would be a resolution that would condemn both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. Now there’s no timetable for voting on anything.

What’s hard is bringing a resolution to the House floor condemning a representative’s bigotry when you don’t want to and you’re afraid of making people mad, even though what we’re talking about here is Jew-hatred. We’re talking about a member of Congress attacking a small minority group.

Andrew Klavan: How The Left Rationalizes Anti-Semitism

Listen to Chuck Todd here, you can see the argument played out [that both the left and right are to blame for anti-Semitism in America] and what’s so wrong with it.

Chuck Todd: Omar opened the door for Republicans to point fingers and say ‘aha! The left has a problem with anti-Semitism!’ And you know what? It does. But unless you want to forget the chants of “Jews will not replace us’”by neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, unless you want to forget President Trump saying there were good people on both sides of that debate, unless you want to forget the synagogue slaughter in Pittsburgh last year, unless you want to forget all of that you have to acknowledge that the right has a problem with anti-Semitism too. Both sides are doing a lot of finger-pointing and there’s a lot to point to, that’s sad. Anti-Semitism is on the rise on the left, it’s on the rise on the right, it’s on the rise in Europe and a lot of other places. So, let’s not pretend it’s on the rise in just the other political party.

Left and right are not political parties, they are political positions. And it is true on the far-left and on the far-right, or as they now call it the Alt-Right, which I think is more fair because it’s an alternative to actual American conservatism, it’s not American conservatism. But let’s just divide the world into left and right. On the far left and on the far right there is anti-Semitism.

Listen to who he compares, this is a congresswoman! This is a woman in the halls of American power, and so are all these other people, Farrakhan lovers hanging out with them. He’s comparing them to the guys with tiki-torches marching in the streets, these white supremacist garbage heads. He’s comparing a congresswoman to the guy who shot up a synagogue. Really? That’s the right and the left? Our right-wing anti-Semites are the outsiders of the outsiders of the outsiders, the furthest away from the people in power. Is there any relationship between Mitch McConnell and the guy who shot up that synagogue? No, of course, there’s not. And their guys are in Congress! Their guys are arguing there. Their guys are at The New York Times writing front-page stories about whether the Jews are too powerful. That’s a ridiculous comparison.

He throws in that canard about Trump saying there are good people on both sides — Trump was obviously talking about the statue controversy. It was a stupid, tone-deaf comment, but it was not anti-Semitic and it was not supporting white supremacy, that is just crap. If it were supporting it, somebody would have asked him, “Do you mean that?” But nobody has ever asked him does he mean it, because that’s not obviously what he was talking about. It is ridiculous, and they’re doing it to run interference for a Democrat Party and a left-wing philosophy that has become by nature infested with anti-Semitism.

Debunking the Guardian myth that anti-Zionism is not antisemitic

In a long Guardian op-ed, Peter Beinart argues that anti-Zionism isn’t antisemitic. In his piece (Debunking the myth that anti-Zionism is antisemitic, March 7), Beinart argues that the 30 countries who’ve adopted the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism, which defines as antisemitic denying Jews the right self-determination, have made a tragic mistake.

First, he claims it’s wrong to suggest it’s racist to deny Jews the right to self-determination by making the following argument:
The Kurds don’t have their own state. Neither do the Basques, Catalans, Scots, Kashmiris, Tibetans, Abkhazians, Ossetians, Lombards, Igbo, Oromo, Uyghurs, Tamils and Québécois, nor dozens of other peoples who have created nationalist movements to seek self-determination but failed to achieve it.

Yet barely anyone suggests that opposing a Kurdish or Catalan state makes you an anti-Kurdish or anti-Catalan bigot.

However, these aren’t currently states, whereas the Jewish state actually exists. Opposing Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state is to oppose the continuing existence of actually existing Jewish state – which is completely different than opposing a theoretical state that doesn’t yet exist. On a moral level, opposing Zionism in 1947 is radically different than opposing it in 1948.

Beinart then argues that to define anti-Zionism as antisemitic is to silence millions of Palestinians and Arab Israelis who reject the idea of Zionism, a logic that not only denies Jews – and only Jews – the right to define what is racist, but also absurdly grants that right – or at least a right to veto any such definition – to Palestinians, who, based on polling, are the most antisemitic people in the world. In this line of critique, Beinart is echoing the talking points of Jeremy Corbyn’s most ardent supporters, who (unsuccessfully) campaigned against the party adopting the IHRA definition by claiming that it would silence Palestinian voices.

Interview: Deborah Lipstadt on antisemitism and Rep. Omar’s “foreign allegiance” remark

Adam Rubenstein: As you begin to define antisemitism in your new book, Antisemitism: Here and Now, you write that “Antisemitism is not simply the hatred of something ‘foreign’ but the hatred of a perpetual evil in this world.” So on Rep. Ilhan Omar’s recent comment about “foreign allegiance” in the context of pro-Israel Americans, and in discussion of her Jewish colleagues; what do you make of it? Is this textbook antisemitism?

Deborah Lipstadt: Sadly, I believe it is. Dual loyalties is part of the textbook accusations against Jews. They are cosmopolitans, globalists, not loyal to their country or fellow citizens. (That is why so many people were shocked when Stephen Miller used it at a press conference about DJT’s critics.)

AR: In your view, are Rep. Omar’s statements antisemitic or are they simply anti-Israel? Antisemitism and anti-Zionism aren’t in theory the same thing, but they often have connection points. Is what Rep. Omar says, her “foreign allegiance” comment, her support for BDS, and that support for Israel in Congress is “about the Benjamins,” i.e. Jewish money, simply “critical of Israel” or does it cross the line into antisemitism?

DL: This is such a nuanced topic and I deal with it in depth in the book. But simply put, (and giving her the benefit of the doubt… which is harder to do each time she engages in one of these attacks), she may think she is only criticizing Israel and its policies but one cannot ignore the fact that she is relying on traditional antisemitic tropes to do so. (To be an equal opportunity critic: When Kevin McCarthy accused Soros, Bloomberg, and Steyer of BUYING the election it was quite striking and evocative of traditional antisemitism.)

What it suggests to me is that, at best, these people exist in a place where antisemitism is out in the ethosphere; they hear it, breath it in, and don’t even recognize it as antisemitism. We see that same thing among some, and I emphasize only some, members of the Labour party. Many others know exactly what they are doing. You can only apologize so many times before I quote the Bard: Methinks the gentleman (gentlelady) doth protest too much.

2020 Democrats normalize anti-Semitism by defending Ilhan Omar

Last month, in the face of anti-Semitic tweets, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., demanded that Omar apologize, and specifically condemned her remarks as anti-Semitic. “Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive,” she said in a joint statement with Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. “We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments.” A big song and dance followed about how Jewish members were educating Omar about anti-Semitism.

Yet, after she followed up with more anti-Semitic comments, instead of coming down harder on Omar, Democratic leadership is backing off. Pelosi is now pushing the idea that Omar’s comments were not ” intentionally anti-Semitic.” Yes, I’m sure she just accidentally stumbled upon statements that happen to echo longstanding anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish money and influence, and Jewish dual loyalty.

Democrats tried to push a sham resolution generically condemning anti-Semitism that didn’t include Omar. But that proved too controversial within a caucus that is increasingly comfortable with anti-Semitism. So it’s now unclear if any resolution is going to come up for a vote at all, at least not without substantial changes condemning other forms of hate in a way that further waters down any statement it would be making about Omar.

All along, I’ve noted that this isn’t primarily a story about Omar, who we know is an anti-Semite. It’s about whether Democrats care about combating anti-Semitism.

The signal leading Democrats are sending is not only that anti-Semitism will be tolerated within their party, but the more unapologetic somebody is about their anti-Semitism, the more likely they are to be defended.

Continetti: If Democrats Don’t Condemn Omar, ‘Door Is Wide Open’ for More Anti-Semitism

Continetti joined MSNBC’s Meet the Press where he asked how many times the freshman congresswoman should be given the benefit of the doubt, listing all of the recent times she has been pardoned for anti-Semitism.

“The Democrats gave her that for her tweet saying that Israel had hypnotized the world. They gave her that for the ‘It’s all about the Benjamins’ comment, tying Jewish money to support for Israel. Oops, she apologized, benefit of the doubt,” Continetti said.

But for her most recent comment about Israel—suggesting that Americans Jews have “allegiance to a foreign country”—Omar has not apologized. Continetti said that allegation is “even more serious” than her previous comments.

“It’s accusing supporters of Israel of allegiance to a foreign power, which is the old dual loyalty smear,” he said. “And if the Democrats can’t condemn this, then the door is wide open for Omar and others to make even more anti-Semitic statements.”

Senate May Issue Its Own Measure to Condemn Anti-Semitism

It looks like the Senate may introduce its own resolution to condemn anti-Semitism as the House of Representatives drafts its own resolution in response to the latest anti-Semitic remarks from Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

The Washington Examiner reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell found the rise in anti-Semitism “disturbing” and has concerns about it.

At a town hall last weekend, Omar said, “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”

Jonathan Chait at The New Yorker explained that “[A]ccusing Jews of ‘allegiance to a foreign country’ is a historically classic way of delegitimizing their participation in the political system.” Chait wrote that the congresswoman “is directly invoking the hoary myth of dual loyalty, in which the Americanness of Jews is inherently suspect, and their political participation must be contingent upon proving their patriotism.”

House Democrats have started to draft a resolution to condemn anti-Semitism, but does not name Omar. Reports have also emerged that the Democrats may expand the language to include anti-Muslim bias.

Democratic Presidential Candidates Rush To Defend Omar Over Anti-Semitism Scandal

The leading 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have come out in force to support Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) after her latest round of anti-Semitic remarks, declaring that her statements do not constitute anti-Semitism.

Omar, who already has been condemned by Democratic leaders for anti-Semitism, is again under the microscope for anti-Semitic remarks she made over the weekend.

Democrats were going to introduce another resolution this week to condemn Omar’s anti-Semitism, but after outrage from the far-left wing of the Democratic Party, it appears as though the party will no longer introduce a resolution specifically condemning Omar but will condemn all hate.

The leading 2020 Democratic candidates — Sens. Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) — also weighed in on Omar’s growing anti-Semitism scandal, stating that they did not believe her anti-Semitic remarks were actually anti-Semitic.

Pelosi: Omar Isn’t Anti-Semitic, Didn’t Understand the ‘Full Weight of The Words’

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) defended embattled Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) over her latest anti-Semitism controversy, saying Thursday she didn’t think Omar understood the “full weight of the words” she used.

Omar accused Jewish colleagues and constituents last week of deeming her anti-Israel positions as anti-Semitic because she’s a Muslim, and she also invoked the dual loyalty canard when she questioned the “political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”

Last month, Pelosi said Omar’s invocation of another anti-Semitic trope about money—Omar tweeted it was “all about the Benjamins” for pro-Israel politicians—was offensive and merited an apology.

She had a different tune on Thursday as she deals with a potential emerging schism in her new House majority.

“I don’t think that the congresswoman perhaps appreciated the full weight of how it was heard by other people, although I don’t believe it was intended in any anti-Semitic way,” Pelosi said. “But the fact is if that’s how it was interpreted, we have to remove all doubt, as we have done over and over again.”

Rashida Tlaib Suggests Islamophobia Behind Steve Scalise’s Call to Remove Ilhan Omar

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) suggested Wednesday evening that House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) was motivated by Islamophobia when calling for Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) removal from the House Foreign Affairs Committee over her latest anti-Semitic remarks.

“Hard to watch Rep. Scalise demand that Rep. @IlhanMN be removed from House Foreign Affairs w/o wondering if it’s steeped in Islamophobia,” Rashida Tlaib wrote on Twitter, before contending that the Minnesota Democrat is better suited to serve on the influential House panel than the top Louisana Republican.

Appearing on Fox News’s America’s Newsroom Tuesday, Scalise said a now-delayed resolution condemning anti-Semitism in response to Omar (D-MN) did not suffice.

Former ‘Justice Democrats’ Candidate Leads Charge Against Pelosi, Calls Speaker A ‘White Supremacist’

Anger at Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for daring to allow a floor vote on a measure condemning anti-Semitism spread beyond progressive Democrats in Congress late Tuesday, when a former candidate for the “Justice Democrats” — the same arm that elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) — called the Speaker a “white supremacist.”

Saira Rao, a “Justice Democrat” who ran for office in Colorado (and lost), has been active in supporting Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) following an outcry over clearly anti-Semitic statements Omar made last week at an event for progressive activists. Tuesday night, she weighed in on the debate over whether House Democrats should adopt a measure condemning anti-Semitism by comparing Pelosi to infamous white supremacist David Duke.

“Iam going to unfollow anyone who posts anything positive about Nancy Pelosi,” Rao tweeted. “Nancy Pelosi is a white feminist. White feminists are white supremacists. Nancy Pelosi is a white supremacist. And if you idolize Nancy Pelosi, you may as well declare allegiance to David Duke.”

Bernie Sanders Slams Effort to Condemn Ilhan Omar

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) came out against the now-stalled push by Democratic leadership in the House to condemn anti-Semitism as a response to comments from Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.).

In a Wednesday afternoon statement, Sanders said he viewed the effort to condemn anti-Semitism in the House as a way to stifle debate on Israel.

“Anti-Semitism is a hateful and dangerous ideology which must be vigorously opposed in the United States and around the world,” Sanders said. “We must not, however, equate anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of the right-wing, Netanyahu government in Israel.”

“What I fear is going on in the House now is an effort to target Congresswoman Omar as a way of stifling that debate,” he said. “That’s wrong.”

Liz Warren Defends Omar: Calling Criticism of Israel Anti-Semitic Has ‘Chilling Effect’

Senator and 2020 Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) defended Rep. Ilhad Omar (D-MN) Wednesday after the freshman congresswoman’s latest antisemitic outburst.

Warren said in a statement Wednesday:
We have a moral duty to combat hateful ideologies in our own country and around the world — and that includes both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. In a democracy, we can and should have an open, respectful debate about the Middle East that focus on policy. Branding criticism of Israel as automatically anti-Semitic has a chilling effect on our public discourse and makes it harder to achieve a peaceful solution between Israelis and Palestinians.

Warren concluded by stating that “threats of violence” akin to those made against the Minnesota Democrat are unacceptable under any circumstance.

Rep. Jeffries: The House Won’t Be Lectured on Antisemitism by ‘Shameless’ McConnell

Wednesday at House Democrats’ weekly press conference, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) said “we are not going to be lectured” by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who said antisemitism is on the rise in the House of Representatives.

Tuesday while discussing a House resolution condemning antisemitism in response to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) controversial remarks, McConnell said, “Now, this is a good time for America to think again about antisemitism. It seems to be more fashionable in Europe. It seems to be more fashionable in this country, regretfully, among at least some members of the new class in the House.”

Jeffries said, “Let me generally say there’s not a rise of antisemitism in the House of Representatives. There’s a rise of anti-Semitic behavior and activity and violence in the country. And it’s irresponsible for Mitch McConnell to try and politicize this issue.”

Clyburn Defends Omar: Her Pain ‘More Personal’ Than Descendants of Holocaust Victims

Clyburn defended Omar from those who charged her remarks played in anti-Semitic canards about Jewish dual loyalty, and complained that media outlets were not mentioning the fact that Omar lived through the Somali Civil War and spent years in a Kenyan refugee camp.

“I’m serious about that,” he told the Hill. “There are people who tell me, ‘Well, my parents are Holocaust survivors.’ ‘My parents did this.’ It’s more personal with her. I’ve talked to her, and I can tell you she is living through a lot of pain.”

Clyburn said he supported a proposed Democratic resolution that would condemn bigotry in general, but not one that targeted Omar. “She won’t be targeted. We’re going to target those people who had her picture on the Twin Towers. This resolution is going to be inclusive; it’s going to be expansive…”

Schakowsky (D) Defends Omar’s Anti-Semitic Comments: ‘She Comes From a Different Culture’

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D., Ill.) defended Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) from charges of anti-Semitism Thursday, arguing she should receive some leeway because of her upbringing in Somalia.

Schakowsky confirmed reports that she yelled at her colleagues during a Democratic caucus meeting to “stop tweeting,” after multiple Democrats condemned Omar’s remarks that her pro-Israel opponents had “allegiance to a foreign country.” At the same time, some Democrats voiced their support for the congresswoman, exposing division in the party.

“This is not a conversation that we ought to have on social media and in the public…” Schakowsky explained on MSNBC. “The majority of us are — vast majority are going to be voting for a resolution that I hope puts this to bed, that says, yes, as a Jew, anti-Semitism is a huge deal, the anti-Semitic acts are up 50 percent over last year.”

“But Islamophobia is also a huge problem,” she continued, “and I want to tell you that Ilhan Omar is under tremendous attack, death threats. I think maybe she needs some security. And why? Because I think, in part, the Republicans and the media have blown this up to be much more than it is.”

Democrats Blow Up at Each Other Over Omar’s Latest Anti-Semitism Scandal: ‘Everyone Stop Tweeting!’

House Democrats blew up at each other Wednesday over intra-party attacks and a proposed resolution viewed as a rebuke to Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D., Minn.) latest anti-Semitic remarks, exposing a divide in the caucus.

After news broke of Democrats planning to vote on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism in response to Omar, and later adding language condemning anti-Muslim bias as well, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) said there may be no vote on one at all. Adding to the embarrassment for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and her members is the resolution would be the second congressional maneuver made in as many months to indirectly respond to Omar’s anti-Semitic statements.

At a closed-door meeting reported on by the Washington Post, nerves and emotions were raw following party leadership’s reaction to Omar’s latest broadside: questioning the political influence in the United States that she says forces “allegiance to a foreign country.” This came after her remarks last month, where she tweeted “it’s all about the Benjamins” for pro-Israel politicians, suggesting they were paid off by Jewish lobbyists. She apologized for the latter remarks “unequivocally.”

Report: Ilhan Omar Will Be Able to Edit Antisemitism Resolution

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters Wednesday that the House Foreign Affairs Committee would draft a new resolution against antisemitism, meaning that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) would be able to edit it.

Pelosi appointed Omar to the committee — Omar’s first choice — in January, despite concerns about her record of radical anti-Israel statements. She has resisted calls to remove Omar from that committee, even after Omar has repeatedly made antisemitic statements about American support for Israel.

On Wednesday, Pelosi claimed that Omar had not been “intentionally antisemitic,” even after she had been told by party leaders and her own Jewish constituents that her remarks were perceived as offensive toward Jews — and to non-Jewish supporters of Israel.

Democrats had planned to hold a vote on a resolution condemning antisemitism by Wednesday, but a party meeting collapsed into a “full-scale brawl,” according to the Washington Post, after some members objected even to a new version of the resolution that had been modified to include a condemnation of anti-Muslim bigotry as well.

George Washington U’s Noura Erakat ‘Stands With’ Anti-Semitic Ilhan Omar

Anti-Israel Middle East studies academics like George Washington University associate professor—and niece of the PLO’s Saeb Erakat—Noura Erakat continue to defend Rep. Ilhan Omar against charges of anti-Semitism.

This as House Democrats plan to vote on a resolution this week condemning Omar’s offensive remarks, while eleven Jewish organizations have written to Speaker Pelosi asking that Omar be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, based both on her bigotry and her association with the terror-connected Islamic Relief USA (read the Middle East Forum’s report on the latter here).

Predictably, Erakat dubs all this “Islamophobic” and insists that “IStandWithIlhan.” And why wouldn’t she? After all, Omar’s expressing the same anti-Israel, anti-American, and pro-Islamist views she and her academic cohorts have been espousing for decades.

Roll Call Smears Jewish Groups That Called for Omar’s Removal From House Committee

Roll Call is facing backlash after one of its reporters attempted to discredit a recent effort by a group of leading Jewish and pro-Israel organizations to see Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee following a series of anti-Semitic statements that drew widespread condemnation.

Roll Call writer Emily Kopp, a former intern for Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif), came under intense scrutiny on Wednesday for what observers widely described as lazy and factually inaccurate reporting on a recent call by Jewish groups to see Omar unseated from the powerful Foreign Affairs Committee.

Kopp, in a report headlined “Among the ‘Jewish groups’ Trump cites, one with neo-Nazi ties,” attempted to paint several of the groups included on the letter as “anti-Muslim hate groups,” a claim that was debunked hours after she published her report.

IfNotNow Boast They Helped Block Dems’ Rebuke of Anti-Semitic Omar

The anti-Israeli IfNotNow group, which made its fame by ruining Birthright trips to Israel, on Thursday morning took pride for ruining the House Democratic delegation.

The Dems, who looked so firm and united when they fought–and defeated—President Donald Trump’s government shutdown at the beginning of the years, on Wednesday became mired in an acrimonious battle over the best way to punish anti-Semitic/Muslim/Somali Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) for her repugnant tweets.

An email The Jewish Press Online received Thursday morning from IfNotNow (yes, we subscribe so you won’t have to), announced: “We just got word about an exciting victory: our voices were heard — House Democratic leaders indefinitely delayed the vote on the resolution against Representative Ilhan Omar.”

American Palestinian Fundraising Dinner Continues Antisemitic Incitement

Amid the ongoing debate over Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s repeated references to historic antisemitic imagery about Jews, power, money, and loyalty, the fundraising dinner of one of her key allies revealed a troubling truth.

“Speaking truth to power” was the theme last Sunday for the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) Chicago chapter’s fundraising dinner. At least five AMP officials and speakers were part of a defunct network created by the Muslim Brotherhood in America called the “Palestine Committee.” It was tasked with helping Hamas politically and financially, US court records show. An investigation by the Investigative Project on Terrorism also found that the AMP carries out tasks similar to the old Palestine Committee, including fundraising, propaganda efforts, and lobbying.

So it was not surprising that the AMP dinner honored Marc Lamont Hill with its “Al Quds [Jerusalem] Award.” Hill warned Palestinian supporters last October against adhering to “a civil rights tradition which romanticizes nonviolence.” He also falsely accused Israel of poisoning Palestinian water.

CNN fired him as a pundit last November after he ended a United Nations speech by calling for “a free Palestine, from the river to the sea.” A Palestinian state stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea would eliminate Israel.

Before receiving the award, AMP showed clips from Russia Today and Al Jazeera news stories about Hill’s firing.

University of Toronto Graduate Union Vote for Permanent BDS Committee Facing Appeals, Objections From Jewish Community

A vote by the University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (UTGSU) last week to ratify its Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Committee as a permanent body has been condemned by Jewish campus and advocacy groups, and faces two appeals previously lodged by Jewish students.

The BDS Committee was confirmed as a standing fixture at a special members meeting held by UTGSU on February 26, ensuring “the continuity of the Divest campaign at UofT,” according to the campaign’s organizers. “It is the culmination of many years’ activism and efforts to build the BDS movement on our campus.”

Earlier attempts to ratify the committee have run into challenges, with the latest in December being postponed over a procedural issue raised by students affiliated with the Jewish club Hillel UofT.

Supporters hailed the vote for furthering the committee’s mandate to urge the administration to divest from companies that benefit from violations of international law, though critics have accused it of advancing a campaign that many major Jewish communal groups in Canada and globally have denounced for utilizing antisemitic tactics and rejecting the Jewish people’s right to self-determination.

Hillel UofT condemned the measure’s passage in a statement last Wednesday, saying it “will only let more student dollars to be wasted on a divisive and discriminatory movement that does nothing to further peace in the Middle East.”

SFSU Professor Equates Zionism with Nazism, Denies Jewish Self-Determination on Facebook

A controversial Associate Professor at San Francisco State University (SFSU) shared a live video along with a statement that denied Jews self-determination and demonized Israel on the official Facebook page of the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas (AMED) program at the university’s College of Ethnic Studies.

Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, a Nablus-born “expert on the Middle East” who serves as Director of AMED, charged in her statement that the “SFSU Administration (…) continues to collaborate with the Zionist designs to silence us and has removed me from teaching my two courses (Palestine: Ethnic Studies Perspective and Colonialism, Imperialism and Resistance: Third World Movements, Then and Now).”

She also called Israel a “colonial, racist and occupying power.”

According to Abdulhadi, the “open classroom,” which can be seen in the video, brings together students, faculty, staff, and community leaders to challenge “the hegemonic narratives of oppression, like the Zionist narrative that seeks to erase indigenous Palestinians and sever their relationship to the land of their ancestors.”

The Associate Professor also accused the university of bias against her and other minority activists, asking: “How do we explain such contradictions between, on one hand, the identity of SFSU as a social justice institution, and the escalation of actions that can only seen as hostile to a host of communities, including Arabs, Muslims, Palestinians, and Jews, on the other?”

BDS Announces Boycott of the Palestinian Authority, Citing “Close Economic Ties With Israel” (satire)

In a surprising turn of events, organizers of the BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) have announced that the internationally recognized political representative of the Palestinians – the Palestinian Authority (PA) – will become a target of their activities. The BDS movement, originally a place where anti-Semites could hide behind a more civil banner, is dedicated to convincing people, governments, and corporations that Israel is worth thinking about in their spare time. Though with the attempt at boycotting Matisyahu (a Jewish, but not Israeli reggae rapper) in Spain, it appears that BDS is collecting controversies like Jews collect pennies (to put it in terms they’d understand). Despite this questionable position, support for BDS remains strong, leading many followers to wonder about their newest announcement concerning the PA.

“The PA has all the hallmarks of an organization we’d like to boycott,” BDS leader Jon Katz told The Mideast Beast. “The PA does business with Israel, works on joint projects with Israel, many of the people it represents work in Israel and for Israelis. Just look at a map- it’s even touching Israel. I have to tell you, it makes me sick.” Katz hopes to see international support for the PA evaporate, and as a result, Israel along with it. “When you really think about it, the Israeli military industrial complex needs the PA; how could they justify buying so many guns for shooting civilians without an enemy to fight?” And with this point, the logic of the argument is revealed like the horns on a Jew when taking off his hat.

MEMRI: YouTube Protects Hate Speech And Incitement To Violence Against LGBTQ Community – By Removing MEMRI TV Clip Exposing Canadian Imam Who Calls ‘To Stone These People To Death’

YouTube is protecting hate speech and incitement to violence against the LBGTQ community by removing a MEMRI TV clip exposing a Canadian imam who calls “to stone these people to death.” The MEMRI TV clip, posted on March 4 on the MEMRI TV YouTube channel, shows Bangash, at an April 1996 conference, criticizing the West for being “proud of being homosexuals,” and saying: “It is time for us to pick up the stones to stone these people to death for [this] abomination… Allah imposes [this responsibility] upon us.” He added that something is wrong with Muslims who treat the Jews as friends, and assured his audience that the Jews, Christians, polytheists, and infidels “spare no effort” to ruin Muslims because of their hatred for them.

YouTube removed the clip on March 4 and MEMRI appealed the decision the same day, explaining: “As part of MEMRI’s Reform Project, we expose hate speech, including anti-LGBTQ sentiment (such as this video), and we support reformists who speak out against such hate speech.” YouTube denied the appeal on March 5, thus upholding its protection of hate speech and calls for violence against the LGBTQ community.

The MEMRI TV clip is part of the MEMRI Reform Project that identifies and supports those in the Arab and Muslim world who advocate reform and human rights and exposes hate speech against such rights. The Reform Project translates and exposes hate speech in the Arab and Muslim world and informs efforts, including policies, strategies, and legislative initiatives, to address such hate speech. By limiting the clip’s distribution, YouTube is preventing the exposure of hate speech and curtailing the fight against it.

Fox News Falls Short in Gaza Coverage

Since when did Fox News start carrying water for terror groups in the Gaza Strip?

It’s a strange question that must be asked in light of the short segment broadcast by the network on March 5, 2019. In the segment, Fox News correspondent Trey Yingst relays warnings from unnamed security analysts that a war could soon break out between Israel and “factions” in Gaza Strip. The narrative that he offers to explain why war might happen places all the blame for the potential conflict on Israel. Yingst covers the story as if the “factions” in question — Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad — bear no responsibility for the tensions along the boundary between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

He does this in a number of ways.

First, he reports that, “Each week, thousands of Palestinians gather at the Israel-Gaza border to protest the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip,” and that Israel has responded to these “protests” with “tear gas and live ammunition.” The way Yingst reports the story, it sounds and looks like Israel is arbitrarily gunning down peace protesters who pose no threat to Israeli security.

Yingst fails to report that these protesters don’t just “protest” the blockade, but have sought to break through the security barrier between Israel and the Gaza Strip. He also fails to note that Hamas leaders have called on participants to invade Israel and murder civilians who live nearby.

MEMRI: Antisemitic Sermons By Imam Abdelmohsen Abouhatab At Philadelphia’s Al-Aqsa Islamic Society – Known For Its Interfaith Activity, Working Closely With Mayor, Law Enforcement, FBI, Jewish Orgs, CAIR: The ‘Vile’ Jews And Their ‘Nefarious’ Media Make Everyone Think Jews Control World’s Riches; ‘The Rocks And The Trees Will Say: “Oh Muslim… There Is A Jew Behind Me, Come And Kill Him” And [Israeli PM Said] “The Hadith Is True But We’re Doing Our Best To Prevent This”‘

Imam Abdelmohsen Abouhatab, who is of Egyptian origin, delivered several antisemitic sermons at the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society in Philadelphia, PA between November 2018 and February 2019. On February 15, 2019, he said that the Jews are the vilest people in terms of their nature and moral values and that the “nefarious” Jewish media causes people to see the Muslim as an “oppressive and predatory lion.” He said that the “enemies of Allah” are ordering heads of state to come to the Knesset, where they sit and “plot against their people, according to what the others want.” Abouhatab then told his audience that in one of Israel’s wars, then-Israeli PM Menachem Begin had once made bets on whether a pregnant woman was carrying a boy or a girl before slitting her belly open to find out. He added: “If faith had taken root in our hearts… we would have imposed the word of Islam upon the world.”

On January 11, 2018, Imam Abouhatab said that the propaganda and media are controlled by the Jews, who make people think that “power lies with 15 million people who own and control the riches of the world.” On November 16, 2018, Imam Abouhatab said that an Israeli prime minister had once been asked about the hadith about the rocks and the trees calling to Muslims to kill the Jews hiding behind them, and that he had answered: “The hadith is true, but we are doing our best to prevent this.”

While Abouhatab was not introduced by name in the sermons, a mosque official said at the conclusion of one of them: “We thank Abdelmohsen Abouhatab for his wonderful sermon.” The videos were live streamed on the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society’s YouTube channel.

Holocaust survivor to meet Ca. teens amid outrage over Nazi salute photos

An Auschwitz survivor and stepsister of Holocaust diarist Anne Frank will meet on Thursday with some California high school students seen in viral online photos giving Nazi salutes over a swastika made of red cups used in a drinking game.

The antisemitic comments and images posted mainly on Snapchat, which included an image with the title “master race” – a reference to the Nazi belief in ethnic purity – drew national outrage.

Holocaust survivor and peace activist Eva Schloss, 89, hoped that the students involved have the potential to become advocates of tolerance and understanding, organizers of the meeting said in a statement.

“It’s imperative that today’s young people come face to face with the consequences of unchecked hatred,” said Rabbi Reuven Mintz, director of the Chabad Center for Jewish Life in Newport Beach, California.

The off-campus party was held at a home on Saturday night in Costa Mesa, California, which multiple media accounts said was attended by more than a dozen students from several high schools in upscale neighborhoods in Orange County.

The images included students with arms raised in a Nazi salute and about a dozen students crowded around the cups arranged in the shape of a swastika, media accounts said.

aMoon2 Raises $660 Million, Becomes Largest Israeli Venture Capital Firm

Israeli health fund aMoon2 has raised $660 million, becoming the Jewish state’s largest venture capital firm.

Out of an estimated $1 billion in assets under management on aMoon’s investment platform, the goal of aMoon2, which launched in 2018, is to “harness untapped Israeli HealthTech innovation and capitalize on mid-late stage funding gaps in Israel and around the world. To date, the fund has invested in four Israeli companies and a fifth in Silicon Valley, founded by an Israeli entrepreneur,” according to a company statement.

The initial aMoon fund was founded in 2016 by Marius Nacht, co-founder and chairman of Check Point Software Technologies, and Yair Schindel.

Israel’s electronic medical records account for 98 percent of the population, going back two decades. The Israeli government recently launched a national project that will invest $272 million in digital health initiatives over the next five years.

“The convergence of medicine and technology is generating a wave of innovation capable of redefining medical care—beyond our imagination,” said aMoon’s anchor investor Marius Nacht, co-founder and chairman of cybersecurity company Check Point Software Technologies. “This presents a unique opportunity both for impacting human life and for the investor community.”

In first, Israel doctor plugs heart bleed with device designed to clear arteries

A cardiologist at an Israeli hospital performed what the hospital is calling a “first in the world” heart procedure this week by plugging a bleeding hole in the artery of a 29-year-old patient using a device that is usually used to unblock arteries.

The procedure was performed by Prof. Victor Guetta, director of the Invasive and Interventional Cardiology Unit, and his team at the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan after the patient walked into the hospital with an aneurysm in the left ventricle region of his heart that had ruptured and was bleeding into his chest cavity.

An aneurysm occurs when part of the wall of an artery weakens, allowing it to balloon out or widen abnormally. If it remains unruptured, doctors and patients need to closely monitor the condition. Some conditions may require surgery to reinforce the artery wall with a stent. However, if the aneurysm ruptures, the patient could develop sudden symptoms like pain, rapid heart rate, shock and low blood pressure. The condition is life-threatening and requires immediate attention.

The patient in question had already undergone several heart procedures for chronic cardiological problems. In the last two months he had been suffering from shortness of breath and when he got to hospital, after undergoing tests, the medical staff informed him that he had a rip in the heart ventricle that was leaking blood.

Beresheet completes another successful maneuver en route to Moon

Beresheet, the first Israeli spacecraft, currently on course to the Moon, completed another successful maneuver on Thursday.

SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries engineers completed the maneuver at 3:11 p.m. local time, according to a press release.

“The maneuver was complicated, due to the need to deal with the constraints of the star trackers, but was carried out according to plan,” read the statement. “During the maneuver, Beresheet’s main engine was activated for 152 seconds. The next maneuver is planned in another two weeks.”

Beresheet launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida in late February and is scheduled to land on the moon in mid-April.

On Tuesday, the craft sent home a selfie from 20,000 miles away.

Yad Vashem features Death March survivors for Women’s History Day

An online exhibition, The Death March to Volary, portraying a brutal death march endured by more than 1,000 Jewish women, is being featured by Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, for Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day.

The exhibition portrays the harrowing fate of the 1,300 women, who were forced on a march from the Schlesiersee (today Sława) concentration camp in Upper Silesia, western Poland, in the unbearably freezing cold of January 1945.

The women reached the concentration camp of Helmbrechts in Bavaria on March 6, where they were stripped of their clothes so they could be fumigated. Meanwhile, the women stood naked in the cold, waiting for hours. This was only the beginning of their suffering in Helmbrechts which survivors described as “hell on earth – the hardest part of the death march.”

In the face of the approaching Allied forces, the Germans evacuated the 577 surviving Jewish prisoners and 590 non-Jewish prisoners from Helmbrechts, arriving in Volary three weeks later. When the survivors were finally liberated by the US army, only 350 Jewish women were still alive.

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