February 27, 2021

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03/10 Links Pt2: Bernie Sanders endorsed by Imam who said ISIS is ‘arm of the Zionists’; Israel Apartheid Week: The Smear Disguised as a Human Rights Campaign


From Ian:

Bernie Sanders endorsed by Imam who said ISIS is ‘arm of the Zionists’
US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was endorsed at a recent rally on Saturday by an imam who has previously claimed that ISIS atrocities benefit “Zionists,” and claimed falsely that Israel was never targeted by ISIS.

According to reports by London-based news outlet Middle East Eye, Sayed Hassan al-Qazwini, a local imam, addressed a Dearborn rally in Arabic on Saturday, encouraging support for Sanders.

Video of the rally has been posted online of the speech being delivered in Arabic in front of an audience holding Bernie Sanders signs. No translation of the speech was provided in the videos.

However, previous speeches by the imam have been controversial. In archival footage from 2015 posted online by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) in May 2019, the imam can be seen giving a speech about ISIS.

“The only place that has been completely safe and never threatened by ISIS is Israel,” he said, adding: “What does this tell you? This speaks out. This speaks volumes. ISIS somehow is connected to Israel and ISIS is playing the role of the arm of the Zionists in the Muslim world, to kill more Muslims and non-Muslims so it can define the name of Islam, so people can blame Islam for its atrocities so that people will be alienated from this religion.”

He claims that ISIS has harmed the image of the “peaceful religion,” and that “Zionists” are benefiting.
“Who is benefiting from these atrocities? The number one beneficiary of all these atrocities is the Zionist regime.”

Bernie Sanders hires top adviser who says Zionism is ‘racist and exclusionary’

Newsweek quoted Sanders as saying, “I am excited to welcome Phillip to our team. He is a gifted organizer and one of his generation’s most critical voices on issues of race and inequity. He has and will continue to push me and this movement to deliver on what is owed to black people, who have yet to experience reciprocity in this country.”

Agnew is also a fierce anti-Zionist, who called Israel an apartheid state and said that on a visit there in January 2015, he saw “cold, calculating racism and ethnic privilege masquerading as a Jewish state.”

Last month, Sanders said that he would not attend AIPAC’s annual policy conference on the grounds that it gives a “platform for bigots.”

In an article in the African-American magazine Ebony that appeared online on June 1, 2015, Agnew bashed then president Barack Obama for saying in an Atlantic interview, “There’s a direct line between supporting the right of the Jewish people to have a homeland and to feel safe and free of discrimination and persecution, and the right of African Americans to vote and have equal protection under the law. These things are indivisible in my mind.”

Agnew disagreed.

“On its face, it may seem like the above statement shouldn’t warrant even the slightest iota of imagination: President Obama is merely relaying the oft-used trope of Zionist-African-American solidarity! Anyone can understand that, right? Especially the much maligned, ever-resilient African Americans. President Obama is just reminding us of the strong historical similarities that we share with the apartheid state of Israel. No imagination needed here.”

NY governor sends National Guard to virus ‘containment area’ around synagogue

Schools, houses of worship and large gathering places will be shuttered for two weeks in a “containment area” centered in suburban New Rochelle, the heart of what appears to be the nation’s biggest cluster of cases of the coronavirus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.

The state will send National Guard troops to help clean surfaces and deliver food in the area, a 1-mile-radius (1.6 km) around a point near a synagogue connected to some existing cases, Cuomo said.

The state and a private health system are setting up a testing facility in the area, schools within it will close for two weeks starting Friday and state and local officials are working to determine “large congregate facilities or gathering places” that also will shut down.

“It is a dramatic action, but it is the largest cluster of cases in the country,” he said at a news conference. “The numbers are going up unabated, and we do need a special public health strategy for New Rochelle.”

New Rochelle is at the center of an outbreak of 108 cases in Westchester County, out of 173 statewide as of Tuesday. New York City has 36 cases, while its population is more than 100 times that of New Rochelle.

The rabbi of the New Rochelle Young Israel Synagogue, who also teaches two undergraduate classes at Yeshiva University’s Washington Heights campus, detailed his experience after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Yeshiva University said it would cancel all in-person classes and scheduled events at both the Wilf Campus and Midtown location at least until March 10 after a student and his family were confirmed to carry COVID-19.

Tlaib Pictured in T-Shirt That Erases Israel Off the Map

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) was recently pictured sporting a t-shirt that portrays the modern state of Israel as belonging entirely to Palestine.

Tlaib, one of Congress’s leading critics of Israel, was pictured in the t-shirt while promoting a recently published book by Linda Sarsour, another outspoken critic of the Jewish state who serves as a surrogate for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign.

The shirt portrays present-day Israel as a Palestinian state. Shirts of this nature have been a mainstay of pro-Palestinian activists who reject a two-state solution and argue that the world’s only Jewish state should not exist.

“Stand in solidarity with Palestine by wearing this beautiful Palestinian tee-shirt,” reads one online advertisement for the shirt worn by Tlaib. “An outlined map of Palestine is filled with red, white, and green Arabic letters that look stunning from a distance and spell the word Palestine up close. A patterned shemagh wraps around the neck of the Palestinian state like the brave soldiers whose boots stand on the dusty ground.”

Tlaib did not respond to a request for comment.

Tlaib has been repeatedly criticized by the pro-Israel and Jewish communities for comments they say are anti-Semitic. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which combats anti-Semitic incitement, condemned Tlaib in late January for tweeting an inaccurate story claiming Israeli Jews murdered a Palestinian child. The ADL cited her for promoting a “blood libel” that was “steeped in centuries-old accusations used to demonize Jews.”

Labour suspends council candidate who attacked ‘Jewish hate-mongers’

A Labour council candidate has been suspended after he was revealed to have complained about “Jewish hate-mongers” and attacked Jewish MPs on social media.

Paul Connolly, who is standing in Almondbury a village south-east of Huddersfield, also accused “right-wing Jewish forces” and a “Tory section of the Jewish community who have hijacked the Jewish religion” of undermining Jeremy Corbyn.

In the tweets, Mr Connolly poured vitriol on a group of female Labour MPs, including Dame Margaret Hodge, Angela Smith and Luciana Berger.

He alleged that Dame Margaret had been “bought by Israel long ago”, and that Ms Berger, who quit the party over antisemitic abuse in February 2019, had “weaponised” antisemitism and had “damaged her own religion & people”.

He accused former Labour MP Joan Ryan of receiving “£1m+ from Israel to subvert democracy in the UK. This is a treacherous act by her on behalf of her Israeli paymasters.”

As of 12pm on Monday, all these posts remained online. All the tweets were written since 2017.

Never Again, a Twitter account which was set up to combat antisemitism online, drew attention to the tweets, claiming that he had been “reported to the party a year ago but he hasn’t even been suspended”.

Alison Chabloz falsely claimed that court officer agreed with her vile antisemitic views, investigation concludes

An investigation has found no evidence for the claim made by notorious antisemite and Holocaust denier Alison Chabloz that the court officer who handcuffed her told her that she shared her vile views.

In June 2018, Ms Chabloz was found guilty of breaching the conditions of a twenty-week suspended prison sentence. The sentence had originally been imposed following a private prosecution by Campaign Against Antisemitism when Ms Chabloz was found guilty in a landmark precedent verdict on incitement on social media and on whether the law considers Holocaust denial to be “grossly offensive” and therefore illegal when used as a means by which to hound Jews.

In September 2019, Ms Chabloz was released from prison pending appeal, and the next day posted a message on the alt-right social media platform, Gab, saying of her arrest in court a few months prior: “The court warden who cuffed me was the same warden who cuffed me in 2017 at Chesterfield Immediate Remand Court. We recognised each other and I reminded her that she had congratulated [me] when I had been released two years ago, saying that I was simply saying what everyone was thinking but didn’t dare to say out loud.”

Ms Chabloz repeated the claim the following day in a blog post.

Later in September 2019, Campaign Against Antisemitism wrote to Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court to investigate whether the claim about the court officer is true. GEOAmey, the firm that employs the officer in question, carried out an investigation and has now replied to Campaign Against Antisemitism to reassure us that employees “must not discriminate unlawfully against individuals or groups because of their racial group, religion or any other factor” and that such behaviour as that alleged is “not acceptable and will not be tolerated.”

Honest Reporting: Israel Apartheid Week: The Smear Disguised as a Human Rights Campaign

Every spring, the annual “Israel Apartheid Week,” hate-fest hits students on university campuses in North America and Europe. In a bid to dupe impressionable young students into joining the ranks of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, Israel Apartheid Week is a one-sided propaganda event smearing Israel with the purposefully deceptive Israel-Apartheid label.

The blitzkrieg of Israel Apartheid Week activities and slogans accuse Israel of being an “apartheid regime,” exploiting Palestinians, and using “colonialism” and “ethnic cleansing.” However, despite being held on academic campuses, Israel Apartheid Week does not engage in discussion or debate, but instead employs what the Jewish Friends of Labour in the UK labeled “the most extreme end of anti-Israel activism.”

Analysis of BDS strategies showed they are “consistent with antisemitic movements historically,” employing tactics that turn the Palestinian cause into a “class struggle.”

“Jews are given the choice of either joining the revolution for “justice” or being condemned,” noted Dr. Alex Joffe of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

Organizers openly state that Israel Apartheid Week is an integral part of the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign to delegitimize Israel. Their goal is to shut down any discussion that might support Israel, force academic institutions to cut all contacts with Israel including academic ties, divest themselves from any Israel-related investments and restrict academic freedoms by sanctioning professors or students who question BDS, or express support for the Jewish state.

As mercenaries wearing peace activist’s clothing, Israel Apartheid Week organizers use strong rhetoric and intimidation to create an atmosphere so that students and academics will conclude without question that Israel is like the old South Africa under apartheid rule. Using that analogy, the converts are recruited to support boycotts against Israel, similar to the boycott attempts against the former apartheid South Africa.

In his detailed analysis of BDS, Dan Diker of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs found that naïve supporters of the Palestinian cause were attracted to such campaigns “believing them to be mainstream organizations supporting the Palestinians. However, these campaigns are often run by the far-left, Islamist, or other anti-Israel radicals.”

Columbia Jewish Groups Express Appreciation for President’s Condemnation of Antisemitism, but Note ‘Still a Long Way to Go’ in Fight Against Hate on Campus

Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger issued a statement to the university senate plenary on Friday expressing “concern” about “rising antisemitism on our campus,” connecting it to the activities of the anti-Israel BDS movement, to which he declared his opposition.

“What must be avoided at all costs, and what I fear is happening today, is a process of mentality that goes from hard-fought debates about very real and vital issues to hostility and even hatred toward all members of groups of people simply by virtue of a religious, racial, national, or ethnic relationship,” he asserted. “This must not happen.”

Brian Cohen — the Lavine Family Executive Director at Columbia’s Kraft Center for Jewish Student Life — told The Algemeiner on Monday, “President Bollinger’s statement on antisemitism and BDS to the university senate is very significant. It is one of the strongest statements I have seen from a university president.”

“I look forward to continue working with President Bollinger and his team to further improve the situation on campus for Jewish students, and any other students who are the victims of hate,” he added.

Ofir Dayan, head of the university’s branch of Students Supporting Israel, said, “President Bollinger’s statement on antisemitism was an excellent one but overdue.”

“For years, Jewish and pro-Israel students, chief among them Students Supporting Israel, have been warning that Columbia is becoming more and more hostile towards them and we are glad to see the university is replacing its usual indifference with a strong response,” she added.

“We commend President Bollinger for his important statement, more important than ever when we are approaching a referendum at Columbia supporting the hateful BDS movement,” Dayan noted. “However, it needs to be remembered that there is still a long way to go until our beloved university rids itself of hate and antisemitism.”

Detroit News: Don’t Boycott Israel Just Yet

Optimism is the hallmark of Israeli tech industry. The small nation is on the forefront of a host of medical breakthroughs, including development for a Covid19 vaccine that will benefit the whole world.

But the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement would cut off such promising research from collaborators and investors in the United States, including universities and public pension funds that invest in companies with connections to Israel.

The movement, which percolated on progressive college campuses, has now creeped in to Congress, where last year 17 members voted against a public condemnation of boycotting the Jewish state for its treatment of Palestinians.

There’s far more to Israel than the BDS narrative. People should think twice before they choose to support a boycott against an entrepreneurial state that is understandably known as the Start-Up Nation.

What’s going on in Israel’s laboratories is saving lives all over the world.

For example, take Israel’s medical breakthrough in treatment for multiple sclerosis over a decade ago, or consider its advances in treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

Israel has also pioneered advances in agriculture with drip irrigation and in conservation with desalination technology, both of which it has widely shared with Africa.

Campaign at Tufts Aims to Be First US University to End Israel Law-Enforcement Cooperation

A campaign at Tufts University calls for ending the school’s police department’s (TUPD) involvement with the Israeli police force and military.

The referendum is scheduled to be voted on next month and would need 300 signatures to be put on the presidential ballot in the week after the resolution is official submitted to the Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate. At least one-sixth of the Tufts student body must vote in order for the referendum to succeed.

If the referendum does not garner 300 signatures, the TCU Senate would vote on it as they would any other resolution.

“Students for Justice in Palestine and many other groups are disturbed by Tufts’ participation in the Deadly Exchange,” read the letter from the school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine to the TCU Senate. “We all believe that safety on campus does not start with military trained police, especially not those trained in a country that is deeply rooted in apartheid and human-rights abuses.”

SJP held a seven-day action in November calling for an end to TUPD trips to Israel in the aftermath of then-Tufts executive director of public safety and TUPD chief Kevin Maguire traveling to Israel in December 2017 for a nine-day National Counter-Terrorism Seminar along with a delegation of Massachusetts police officials and agents from both the US Secret Service and US Drug Enforcement Administration.

The SJP-driven initiative at Tufts reflects the BDS-supporting Jewish Voice for Peace’s “Deadly Exchange” campaign that calls for ending cooperation between US law enforcement and their Israeli colleagues.

The JVP campaign was launched in 2017 against what it termed “discriminatory and repressive policing” by both American and Israeli police.

Jewish Student Leader’s Past Criticisms of Palestinians Censured at University of Michigan

The student government at the University of Michigan has passed a resolution condemning its president for remarks critical of the Palestinians he made as a high school senior.

The final vote of the Feb. 25 resolution rebuking Central Student Government president Ben Gerstein was 25 in favor, zero against and four abstentions.

“There should be a test for what type of people deserve a state and what type of people don’t. I think the Palestinian people, with rejecting constant peace deals, with their financing of terror, with their raising kids to hate people purely because of their religion,” said Gerstein on the TV show “North Town News Magazine” in 2017. “I don’t think that people deserve a state at this point in time. Until we see a significant change in the Palestinian mentality and a significant change in the Palestinian leadership, I don’t think they deserve a state at this point.”

On Feb. 19, Gerstein apologized in a public Facebook post.

“In this video as well as an op-ed, I made statements that erase the history of the Palestinian people. I made racist statements, including the denial of the right to self-determination, that were ignorant of Palestinians’ struggle under occupation,” he wrote. “I am sorry beyond words—both for my actions as well as not coming forward with the video sooner and seeking remedy for it. I accept total and complete responsibility for the harmfulness of my language, the offensiveness of my words and the active role I played in the silencing of Palestinian voices.”

“I have grown considerably since I made those statements, and the repulsive views I expressed in the video no longer reflect my current understanding,” he continued. “I am devastated to see them reappear and be defended today. I know an apology is never enough, and I am complicit in the oppression of Palestinians through my past actions.”

AFP Falsely Reports That Rena Shnerb’s Suspected Killers Not Charged

A March 5 Agence France Presse article on the demolition of the homes of two Palestinians indicted for the fatal bombing attack which killed 16-year-old Israeli Rina Shnerb falsely reported that the suspects had not been charged (“Israel razes homes of Palestinian bombing suspects“). The AFP reported that following the Aug. 23, 2019 attack, near the Jewish community of Dolev in the West Bank:

Four men were subsequently rounded up, accused of planting the roadside bomb as members of the banned Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. They have not been charged.

In fact, a total of five men, including the four discussed in the article, were all indicted in mid-December for the terror attack which killed Shnerb and wounded her father and brother.

As The Jerusalem Post reported Jan. 8 (“Trial of alleged murderers of Rina Shnerb opens“): “The five – Samer Arbid, Walid Hanatsheh, Abed el-Razeq Faraj, Yzaen Majames and Kasem Shibli – were indicted in mid-December.”

Attorney Maurice Hirsh, who is representing the Shnerb family, provided CAMERA with all five indictments.

Austria Jewish Boy Wearing Star of David Ring Assaulted

A 16-year-old German Jewish teen was assaulted while wearing a Star of David ring in Graz, Austria on March 4.

The Jewish Chronicle (JC) reported that two males ages 15 and 16 allegedly approached the teen – who is German – and asked him if he was Jewish. When the victim confirmed that he was, the assailants then allegedly slapped and punched him in the face while calling him a “s— Jew” in German.

The victim was subsequently hospitalized with a split lip and various cuts and bruises, according to the JC. The assailants fled the scene.

President of the Jewish Community of Graz Elie Rosen told the JC that an anti-Semitic assault also took place at a park in February. He added that the recent rise in anti-Semitism in the city has largely stemmed “from the far-left and Muslim extremists.”

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted: “Distraught to learn that a 16-year-old boy was severely beaten in Graz, Austria, by two teenagers who saw his Star of David & asked if he was Jewish. The local Jewish community is encouraged by the police response, which should be the standard everywhere.”

Michael O’Brien Arrested, Accused Of Spray Painting Swastikas Around Florissant

Teller County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Michael O’Brien, suspected of painting swastikas in Florissant. O’Brien, 33, is accused of painting the offensive graffiti all over town.

O’Brien is facing several charges including criminal mischief.

“We take this very seriously. This could be very offensive to someone,” said Teller County Sheriff’s Office Cmdr. Greg Couch. “It’s more than just kids spray painting or damaging something. This symbol is something that has a more broad affect.”

Investigators say they have connected O’Brien to the crimes with surveillance video.

Argentine Soccer Player Charged for ‘Cruel’ Antisemitic Gestures After Receiving Red Card

The public prosecutor in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires on Monday leveled criminal charges against a professional soccer player who made antisemitic gestures after being shown a red card during a match last Sunday.

30-year-old Arnaldo “Pitu” González — a midfield player with second-tier side Nueva Chicago — made the gestures to the fans of rival team Atlanta, which has historic connections to the Jewish community, after being ejected from the pitch following a violent altercation with the referee.

As he exited the field, González made two offensive gestures in the direction of the Atlanta fans — one simulating circumcision, and the other simulating a kippah being placed on the head.

Amid the outcry that followed, González apologized for his actions, describing himself in a tweet as “very ashamed.” His club also formally apologized to the Jewish community.

Jorge Knoblovits — president of the Argentine Jewish representative organization DAIA — slammed González on Monday.

Calling the player’s antics “an obscene spectacle of cruel antisemitism,” Knoblovits said that González “must face legal sanctions and [his example] used for education and prevention.”

Families of Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre Victims to Receive $3 Million From Solidarity Donations

Relatives of victims who were killed or wounded in the October 2018 gun massacre at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue will receive more than $3 million from funds raised in the aftermath of the attack.

Eleven worshipers at the synagogue, which housed three congregations, were murdered and two more wounded during the shooting rampage by neo-Nazi Robert Bowers. Their families will now share just over three million dollars from the total of $5.45 million that was raised from individual donors in an outpouring of public solidarity.

The distribution of the funds was announced on Monday, following the recommendations of an independent committee that was established by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh last August.

A statement accompanying the committee’s findings noted that an “important step in the process of honoring the intent of donors was to review all of the contributions to determine how the individual donor intended the funds to be used. The Committee said it respected this information where it was available and took great care to understand and honor donor intent when such information could be established.”

Individuals who were trapped in the building during the attack will share more than $200,000, the statement said. Two of the congregations in the building — Congregation Dor Hadash and New Light Congregation — will each receive $240,000 for rebuilding costs. The Tree of Life/Or L’Simcha Congregation is set to receive $1.275 million for rebuilding.

“Tree of Life, together with New Light Congregation and Congregation Dor Hadash, who also lost cherished congregants in this attack, have been the recipients of so much love, goodwill and support, and for that we are grateful,” Sam Schachner — president of the Tree of Life Congregation — said in a statement on Monday. “We will forever keep in our hearts the memories of those who were lost and those who continue to grieve and suffer. We also recognize the goodness of so many from around the world who cared enough to help remind us what we lost and why we remember.”

Israel’s Redhill Biopharma launches US sales of anti-bacterial drug

Israeli biopharmaceutical firm RedHill Biopharma Ltd. on Monday announced the US launch of its pill for the treatment of a bacterial infection that can cause ulcers and gastric cancer.

The firm’s drug Talicia (also known as RHB-105) is for the treatment of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria in adults.

Redhill said Talicia’s target customers are some two million US patients treated annually for the infection, and it will promote the drug to 25,000 American gastroenterologists, primary care physicians and other healthcare providers.

US officials granted Talicia eight years of US market exclusivity and patent protection until 2034. It is the first FDA-approved drug for H. pylori in over a decade and has achieved 90 percent efficacy in Phase 3 trials, Redhill said.

The drug is a fixed-dose oral capsule made by combining two antibiotics, rifabutin and amoxicillin, and a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) called omeprazole.

H. pylori infections affect some 35% of Americans. It is a leading carcinogen, the most prominent known risk factor for gastric cancer, and a major contributor to peptic ulcer disease, gastritis and non-cardia gastric cancer, Redhill said. Over 50% of the world population is affected by the bacteria.

The infection is increasingly resistant to current antibiotics, making treatment difficult. Current standard-of-care antibiotic therapies fail in approximately 30-40% of patients, who remain H. pylori positive.

The FDA approved Talicia for use in November 2019.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Purim: Classmates Show Up Wearing Same Existential Nihilism (satire)

Students at a local high school recalled an embarrassing episode that took place on Sunday, when two of their number observed the traditional dress-up-for-Purim celebration by coming in identical philosophical positions that life has no inherent meaning or purpose.

Members of the senior year at Ostrovsky High School in this middle-class city northeast of Tel Aviv told journalists Sunday evening that they felt palpable awkwardness all day following the arrival at school of two female classmates in the same existential nihilist outfit, with each one accusing the other of stealing the idea.

“Oh, the temperature dropped twenty degrees when they walked in like thirty seconds apart,” recounted Bar, 17. “Maya shows up all life-is-meaningless-you’re-deluding-yourself-if-you-think-otherwise, and boom, along comes Hila, rocking her meaning-is-an-arbitrary-construct-that-always-proves-illusory. The two of them stared daggers at each other for a full fifteen minutes, I swear, until one of them realized caring or at least appearing to care, about that, ruined the effect of the nihilism.”

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