July 21, 2019

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03/14 Links Pt2: J Street launches Birthright-style trip to Israel that will include Palestinians; Amnesty Warns Top UK Companies Over Doing Business With Israeli Settlements

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2019/03/0314-links-pt2-j-street-launches.html

From Ian:


J Street launches Birthright-style trip to Israel that will include Palestinians
After months of chastising Birthright Israel for what it calls one-sided trips, J Street U is launching its first-ever free trip to Israel and the West Bank.

Come July, 40 American college students will participate on a 10-day trip courtesy of the progressive group. Billed as an alternative to Birthright, the trip, which will be funded by J Street donors, is part of its “Let Our People Know” campaign. Group leaders hope the trip will give American Jewish youth a more complete and nuanced picture of life in Israel.

“We hope this trip will provide a model for the kind of Israel education young Jews want and need — one that engages fully with Israel’s reality, including perspectives from Palestinians living under its 52-year military occupation,” said Eva Borgwardt, president of the J Street U National Board and Stanford University senior.

“It will prove that American Jews can engage with Israel as a complex place, one that is meaningful, important and challenging. In doing so, they will meet Israelis and Palestinians who are working toward a better future, and think critically about their own role as Americans in that conversation and the push for the just, peaceful, democratic future for the country outlined in its Declaration of Independence,” she said.

The announcement for the trip comes months after J Street U circulated a petition on campuses nationwide demanding Palestinian speakers of its own choosing be included on Birthright Israel trips. More than 2,000 students signed the petition. At the time neither J Street U nor other left-leaning groups considered funding their own trips.

Additionally, those opposing Birthright also staged several civil disobedience events in the past year. In early December 2018 three students with ties to the self-described anti- occupation group IfNotNow said Birthright forced them off their trip for inquiring about the Israel-Palestinian conflict. During the summer of 2018 activists also staged several walk-offs in in protest of what they said was Birthright’s steadfast refusal to address the ongoing conflict. (h/t Elder of Lobby)

Leading African Historian Urges President Macron to ‘Save France’ From Revival of ‘Colonial and Antisemitic’ Past

One of Africa’s leading historians has urged President Emmanuel Macron to “save France from itself” by confronting the rising antisemitism in the country head-on.

In an open letter to Macron published in the Malian news outlet Mali Actu on Monday, Ismaël Diadié Haïdara — a Malian scholar recognized for establishing a library that houses thousands of rare Muslim, Jewish and Christian manuscripts — told the French leader that the diverse, cosmopolitan France “which I have learned to love from my childhood is dying.”

Many intellectuals in Mali — a West African nation that won independence from France in 1960 — retain a strong affinity for French culture and history, while also being deeply critical of its colonial aspects. Citing some of France’s finest philosophers and writers — including the poet Victor Hugo, the Renaissance essayist Michel de Montaigne, and the great twentieth century writer Albert Camus — Haïdara contrasted them dramatically with what he called “the colonial and antisemitic France” that, he feared, was again in the ascendant.

“We are in a world that is sinking into an economic abyss with serious ecological consequences, seeking solutions to political issues that already showed their limits in Vichy [the location of the capital of the collaborationist regime in France during the Nazi occupation of 1940-44] and in Auschwitz,” Haïdara wrote.

“Mr. President, save France from itself,” he urged Macron.

Haïdara asserted that the “desperate cry” of “J’accuse” (“I accuse”) — the title of the famous 1898 letter penned by the writer Emile Zola in defense of the falsely convicted French Jewish Army officer, Capt. Alfred Dreyfus — was still relevant today. Referring to the brutal antisemitic murder in 2018 of French Jewish Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll, as well as more recent acts of vandalism and desecration of Jewish cemeteries, Haïdara argued that “to march in the streets of Paris…is no longer enough.”

Polish newspaper’s front page teaches ‘how to recognize a Jew’

A right-wing newspaper with national distribution in Poland ran on its front page an article that instructs readers on “how to recognize a Jew.”

The Polish-language weekly, Tylko Polska, or “Only Poland,” lists on its front page “Names, anthropological features, expressions, appearances, character traits, methods of operation” and “disinformation activities.”

The text also reads: “How to defeat them? This cannot go on!”

The page also features a headline reading, “Attack on Poland at a conference in Paris.” The reference is to a Holocaust studies conference last month during which Polish nationalists complained that speakers were anti-Polish. That article features a picture of Jan Gross, a Polish-Jewish Princeton University scholar of Polish complicity in the Holocaust and a frequent target of nationalist attacks.

Two rockets fired at Tel Aviv from Gaza for first time since 2014 war

Rocket sirens were triggered Thursday evening in the Tel Aviv area in central Israel, as rockets from the Gaza Strip were fired at the heart of the country for the first time since the war of 2014, signalling a possible dramatic escalation of violence by terror groups in the Strip just weeks before the Knesset elections.

Residents of Israel’s second-largest city and the surrounding metropolis of Gush Dan rushed to bomb shelters and reported hearing explosions. The rockets appeared to have hit open areas, and did not cause casualties.

Initial reports as well as a video (below) indicated that the Iron Dome missile defense system has been launched to intercept an oncoming rocket. However, the Israel Defense Force would only say no interception occurred, and did not confirm that Iron Dome had fired.

“Two rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israeli territory. The alert and warning systems operated as required,” the army said. “No interceptions were made by aerial defense systems. No damage or injuries were reported. There are no special instructions for the civilian home front.”

It wasn’t immediately clear what group in Gaza was responsible for the surprise launch, which occurred on the eve of the weekly Friday mass rally along the Strip’s border.

A Hamas official told the The Times of Israel that the terror group “has no interest in an escalation” with Israel. The official said he “has no idea” who fired rockets toward Tel Aviv.

Clifford D. May: A brief history of Jew-hatred

In 1919, Hitler wrote of “rational anti-Semitism,” a doctrine whose “final objective must unswervingly be the removal of the Jews altogether.” After coming to power in 1933, he initiated a boycott of Jewish businesses – a BDS movement, as it were. Eventually, Hitler managed, with extreme prejudice, to remove about 6 million Jews from Europe.

Today, Israel’s opponents seek to remove roughly the same number from the Middle East. Some advocates of anti-Israel boycotts, divestment and sanctions insist that’s not their intention. Anyone who believes it’s possible to exterminate the Jewish state without exterminating the Jews living in that state would be well-advised to read up on what’s been happening in Syria, Yemen and Somalia, the blood-soaked land from which Rep. Ilhan Omar and her family fled.

Or they could simply listen to the leaders of Hamas, Hezbollah and the Islamic Republic of Iran who make no attempt to disguise their genocidal intentions. Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has called Israel a “malignant cancerous tumor” that must be “removed and eradicated.”

Yes, I know: Not everyone who criticizes Israel supports this “final solution.” But I see no reason to give those who call themselves anti-Zionists the benefit of the doubt.

Prior to 1948, the Zionist project was the re-establishment of a Jewish nation-state in part of the ancient Jewish homeland. One could oppose that for many reasons. Since 1948, however, Zionism has come to mean support for Israel’s survival, its right to exist.

Those who oppose that are, at best, indifferent to the fate of the only thriving Jewish community remaining in the Middle East. In other words, to them, Jewish lives don’t matter.

That any members of Congress fit that description is troubling. But let’s not forget: It’s an expression of an ancient and widespread pathology, one that has never been dormant for long.

Jews Under Siege

It is easy to dismiss anti-Semitism as a phenomenon of an older time. People read about the extensive hatred and persecution of Jews during the medieval period and imagine a far-off land, no less real than a fantasy world. Students study other historical examples of anti-Semitism, even ones involving mass slaughter, and view them like museum exhibits, relics of the past roped off from the realities of today. Tragically, however, anti-Semitism is no relic. Civilization’s oldest virus is still infecting even the most developed countries, manifesting in ways that look eerily similar to the anti-Semitism remembered in history textbooks.

By now most readers are probably familiar with freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D., Minn.) recent flurry of anti-Semitic comments, including the accusation that American politicians support Israel because of the influence of Jewish money. She also insinuated that American Jews are guilty of “allegiance to a foreign country,” meaning Israel. Omar was not the only American progressive to float the classic anti-Semitic charge of dual loyalty. Days later, on Sunday, Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I., Vt.) national deputy press secretary, Belén Sisa, wrote the following on Facebook: “This is a serious question: do you not think that the American government and American Jewish community has a dual allegiance to the state of Israel? I’m asking not to rule out the history of this issue, but in the context in which this was said by Ilhan.” Sisa apologized on Tuesday, calling her comments “insensitive.”

Sisa’s post shows that Omar was not simply criticizing Israeli policy, as the congresswoman and her army of defenders—who include numerous Democrats and progressives and former KKK leaders—claim. Indeed, Omar’s defenders argue that outraged Jews have misinterpreted her comments. Yet Sisa, a like-minded progressive, clearly thinks that Omar was accusing Jews of pledging allegiance to the Jewish state. Was she wrong?

The charge of dual loyalty is not just about allegiance to Israel. It fits into the centuries-old portrayal of Jews as shifty, scheming rats, always looking to exploit others for their own gain. There is a much more sinister foundation to Sisa and Omar’s comments than even many of their critics seem to realize.

The Myth of the Pro-Israel Lobby

In a region where terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah spread, Congress supports Israel not because of a lobbyist, but because stopping the influence of Hamas and Hezbollah is essential for the United States. In a region where democracy is stifled and religious freedom prohibited, our lawmakers support Israel because it remains a democracy. It elects Arabs to its Knesset, allows massive demonstrations against the government, and has a set process by which an attorney general can indict the prime minister. Like too many democracies around the world, ours included, it is submitting to growing authoritarian impulses. It is flawed and messy, but Israel is still a democracy worth supporting as a geopolitical imperative.

I used to listen to some colleagues in Congress admit that despite their personal beliefs, they had to vote against a gun safety measure or else lose an election to a pro-gun activist. I never heard someone say they wanted to vote against funding a ballistic missile system for Israel but could not because of fear that they would lose an election to AIPAC.

To be clear, AIPAC is very powerful. It does what every lobbyist does in drafting legislative language, organizing votes, pressing candidates to write position papers, and seeking to influence members of Congress. It has, at times, overreached and I am concerned with the sense of growing partisan rifts among its members. But it does not have the power to get members of Congress to vote against the national interest. It frames its arguments not based on what is good for Israel but what is good for the United States. For the vast majority of our lawmakers, that is an easy sell.

Antisemitism: How will I know if I see it?

ALLOWING DEFENDERS of an antisemite to change the narrative by transforming an antisemite into a victim, simply because she is considered part of a minority or persecuted group, is unhealthy for our democracy. And by the way, if a Jewish person said the same things Ilhan Omar said, they too would be antisemitic. Antisemitism is not about being a Semite, it is about what you say about Jews and Israel.

Falsely claiming, as Elizabeth Warren did, that “branding criticism of Israel as automatically antisemitic has a chilling effect on our public discourse,” is not only blatantly untrue, but dangerous for our melting-pot society.

Bashing Israeli policies is a national sport for Israelis, as well as for American Jews, making a mockery of those who claim all defenders of Israel cry antisemitism for every criticism of Israeli policy. However, claiming Israel has no right to exist because it is a colonialist, apartheid, human-rights abuser crosses a line from legitimate criticism into antisemitism.

Boycotting all of Israel and having a double standard that you don’t apply to other nations is antisemitism. BDS is an antisemitic movement. Representatives Omar and Rashida Tlaib support BDS.

As UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “Denial of Israel’s right to exist is antisemitism.”

And as the late Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “When people criticize Zionists they mean Jews, you are talking antisemitism.”

French President Macron said, “Anti-Zionism is one of the modern forms of antisemitism, behind the negation of Israel’s existence, what is hiding is hatred of Jews.”

In the Arab world, Israelis are simply called Jews.

Are you listening congresswomen?

Thank You Meghan!

CNN’s Paul Begala slammed for referring to Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner as ‘cockroaches’

Jake Tapper was forced to check CNN political analyst Paul Begala on Tuesday after he referred to Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner as “cockroaches.”

During a discussion about the new book, “Kushner, Inc.,” Tapper and his panel discussed whether or not President Trump would ever kick his daughter and son-in-law to the curb and questioned how the couple has kept their gig while the White House faces frequent turnover.

“Of course they survived. I mean, cockroaches are going to survive a nuclear war,” Begala said.

The panel’s token Trump supporter, Dave Urban, shook his head in disgust upon hearing the derogatory remark.

Tapper quickly asked, “You’re not calling Ivanka and Jared cockroaches?”

The CNN commentator said, “No, no I’m talking about a separate class of species.”

CNN did not immediately respond when asked if Begala will be disciplined or apologize.

Omar Went to Istanbul for Conference With Left-Wing Activists

Ilhan Omar attended a 2017 conference in Istanbul with left-wing advocates, including a pro-abortion group that calls for “abortions beyond laws and borders,” and activists who aim to “challenge patriarchal structures.”

Rolling Stone recently lauded the congresswoman, who has repeatedly made anti-Semitic comments, as “everything Trump is trying to ban.” Omar told the magazine she was afraid to leave the country in early 2017 after President Donald Trump signed an executive order restricting travel from seven Middle Eastern countries the administration identified as terrorist hotbeds.

“I had just gotten sworn in [to the Minnesota Legislature] two weeks before,” Omar said, remarking on the executive order 13769, signed on Jan. 27, 2017. “There was lots of chaos, people being stopped at the airports. I had a flight scheduled a week after to speak at a human-rights conference in Turkey. I didn’t know whether I could go.”

“My father said, ‘I looked at the lineup at this human-rights conference—they’re risking everything. You are not gonna sit home,'” Omar said. “I ended up going.”

The conference was in Istanbul, Turkey, which was not affected by the travel ban. Nevertheless, Omar used her upcoming appearance at the International Human Rights Defenders Conference, which was organized by the local Turkish government and the British Embassy in Ankara, as a cudgel to attack the president.

Omar has not commented publicly about her appearance at the conference. Seven months after her visit to Istanbul, President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hosted Omar at a closed press meeting in New York. (h/t Elder of Lobby)

Democrats are betting on the wrong horse

It’s a risky gamble for Democrats.

They’ve just been branded the “anti-Israel” and “anti-Jewish” party by the President of the United States (who ironically, up until recently at least, hasn’t had such a consistent record on distancing himself from bigotry either).

I guess the Dems probably saw that coming.

Assuming they felt that by categorically distancing themselves from the anti-Israel and arguably-anti-Semitic rhetoric of their young firebrands, they’d risk angering their progressive base, so they chose to remain “pareve” on the issue instead.

However, they were undoubtedly aware of the flip-side, that the reverse would surely serve to fire up their opponent’s base. They also surely foresaw their move as a decisive step away from center and into more extreme-left territory.

Historically, centrist US politics offered bipartisan support for the Jewish State. Omar has challenged that paradigm.

Why Is a Jewish Democrat Defending Ilhan Omar?

As a stalwart of the modern-day progressive movement, it would make sense for Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) to take her young Democratic colleague, Ilhan Omar (D-MN), under her maternal wing.

Defending Omar against accusations of antisemitism last week on MSNBC, Schakowsky explained that as a refugee from Somalia, Omar “comes from a different culture. She has things to learn.”

But Omar is not “just off the boat.” She came to the United States in the 1990s, according to her website: “Before running for office, she worked as a community educator at the University of Minnesota, was a Policy Fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and served as a Senior Policy Aide for the Minneapolis City Council.” She is also a former state representative.

It’s safe to say that she understands American culture very well, and knows exactly what she is saying.

Just as the anti-Israel group Jewish Voice for Peace uses its name as cover for antisemites who share its far-left agenda, the Jewish congresswoman from Illinois conveniently played the “Jew card” to excuse Omar’s antisemitism.

Rashida Tlaib Gets Behind Academic Boycott of Israel

Democratic representative Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) has gotten behind a push from anti-Israel faculty members at a small private California university to end its study abroad partnership with an Israeli university.

The move by faculty members at Pitzer College aims to suspend its study abroad program to University of Haifa in Israel until their demands are met by the Israeli government. Leading the charge is Professor Daniel Segal, an anthropology and history professor, who announced through his Twitter account that Tlaib was his movement’s newest backer.

“Tlaib is in with #SuspendPitzerHaifa,” he wrote, along with a picture of Tlaib holding the group’s information pamphlet.

The picture was also posted by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, which said Tlaib supports the Pitzer faculty attempt to “suspend a study abroad program with Haifa University over Israel’s discriminatory policies against Palestinians.”

Shadow Minister for Employment, Mike Amesbury, apologises for sharing “antisemitic caricature” of sneering hook-nosed capitalist

Mike Amesbury, the Labour MP for Weaver Vale in north west England and the Shadow Minister for Employment, has apologised after sharing what he described as an “antisemitic caricature” on Facebook.

The caricature shared by Mr Amesbury was first highlighted by blogger David Collier and has now been deleted. It was of a sneering man with a hooked nose in a Santa Claus hat saying: “Remember to support the banks and corporations this Christmas in their continued efforts to enslave mankind, by spending money you haven’t got on things you don’t need.” It was reportedly taken from the conspiracy website IlluminatiAgenda.com.

The caricature of a hooked-nose Jew is commonly used in antisemitic social media memes and was a key feature in antisemitic Nazi propaganda, while the reference to Jews controlling banking is a well-known antisemitic conspiracy theory.

Last night, Mr Amesbury denied that he had shared the post at all, tweeting: “I did not send this vile nonsense and never would.” He then reportedly deleted his tweet after it was pointed out to him that the post he had shared could still be seen on his Facebook page. The original post was also removed.

Lord Harris, Chair of Labour Peers, sends fierce letter to Jeremy Corbyn about “humiliating…shame” of CAA-instigated EHRC intervention

Lord Toby Harris, Chair of Labour Peers, has sent an extraordinary and fierce letter to Jeremy Corbyn about the “ongoing failure to remove antisemites from the Party” after the Equalities and Human rights Commission (EHRC) announced that it was initiating pre-enforcement proceedings against the Labour Party.

The EHRC’s move was triggered by a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant. The pre-enforcement proceedings are a precursor to opening a full statutory investigation.

In his letter, Lord Harris stated that: “I understand that the last time the EHRC took action against a political party was when they investigated the [far-right] BNP over its ‘whites-only’ membership policy for the Labour Party to be in this position is nothing short of humiliating and a matter of great shame.”?

He added that: “Until the people making the decisions about discipline and expulsions accept as antisemitic words and actions viewed by the Jewish community as antisemitic nothing will change and the crisis will continue.”

Lord Falconer rules out leading a review of Labour’s antisemitism after CAA instigates EHRC intervention

Lord Falconer has reportedly said that he won’t conduct a review of Labour’s handling of disciplinary cases of antisemitism while the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) intervenes.

The EHRC has begun pre-enforcement proceedings against the Labour Party following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant. The pre-enforcement proceedings are a precursor to opening a full statutory investigation.

Speaking exclusively to the Jewish News, Lord Falconer said that: “In light of the Commission coming in, I think we’ve got to put it on hold, see what the Commission is going to do. If they are minded to do an investigation, they will have a range of statutory powers to get documents, e-mails, WhatsApp messages and witnesses, and they will do an investigation that will be completely independent from the Labour Party. So there is no point in me, with my firm of solicitors, coming in and doing exactly the same thing because it won’t carry the same degree of statutory support as the commission has.”

Lord Falconer is right to let the EHRC get on with its work. He had already made up his mind on crucial issues, declaring that he would not be criticising Labour’s leadership and even defending Jeremy Corbyn’s opposition to the removal of the notorious antisemitic mural in Tower Hamlets. The last thing that we need is another inadequate review by a Labour peer, which is why we are pleased that the Commission has decided to act on our referral and investigate the Labour Party.

Amnesty International Warns Top UK Companies Over Doing Business With Israeli Settlements

An anti-Israel protest held by Amnesty International members in Seoul, South Korea, Jan. 13, 2009.

The United Kingdom office of the non-governmental organization Amnesty International has sent a message to Britain’s top companies, asserting they would be complicit in “war crimes” and other human rights violations if they did business with Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

A press release issued by the group — known for its hostility toward the Jewish state — said that all companies on the Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 Index, along with 250 CEOs, various corporate law firms, the Confederation of British Industry, the Institute of Directors and the Association of British Insurers had received the warning.

They also got a report titled, “Think Twice: Can companies do business with the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories while respecting human rights?” According to Amnesty, the report claims “that while a ‘thriving settlement economy’ might appear to provide an attractive location for international businesses, no company can involve itself in this economy without contributing to — or being linked to — human rights abuses.”

Amnesty International UK’s Economic Affairs Programme Director Peter Frankental said in a statement, “Whether they’re a funky digital-era outfit or a decades-old FTSE 100 giant, all companies need to understand there’s no way to do business in or with Israel’s settlements without contributing to human rights violations against the Palestinian people.”

“It’s very simple,” he said, “if you’re a company operating in or doing business with the settlements, then you’re involved in systematic injustice, discrimination and other human rights violations perpetrated by the state of Israel against Palestinians.”

Wake Forest Jewish Students Protest ‘Anti-Semitic Messages’ Promoted During ‘Palestine Solidarity Week’

Jewish leaders at Wake Forest University say they were excluded from a campus panel about anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism in February over their opposition to an associated campaign promoting solidarity with a Palestinian state.

The Jewish students protested the “Free Speech, Free Palestine” panel after, according to the students, the organizers of a week-long Palestinian solidarity campaign silenced their voices, the Algemeiner reported. The panel was designed in part to explain “the differences between anti-zionism and anti-semitism” and organized by the Young Democratic Socialists of America. The panel included only one voice from the school’s Jewish community, Barry Trachtenberg, the director of WFU’s Jewish Studies Program.

Trachtenberg has endorsed the “US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel” as well as other programs associated with the Palestinian boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement against Israel. Jewish students sent emails to the YDSA, expressing concerns that Trachtenberg does not represent Jewish voices on campus, and should not be included on the panel.

“To suggest that Professor Trachtenberg represents mainstream Jewish thought is to deny reality,” WFU Hillel president Molly Sugarman told the Algemeiner. “There is a very proud pro-Israel community at Wake Forest University, and we would have liked to have seen representation of diverse viewpoints, rather than the very one sided panel that we saw instead.”

Claremont’s Pitzer College Bans Conservative Journalists From Covering Anti-Israel Student Council Meeting

On Wednesday, the Claremont Independent, which is an “independent journal of campus news and political thought serving the colleges of the Claremont Consortium” in Southern California, broke the news that Claremont’s Pitzer College will ban the Independent from attending a student council meeting wherein the council will decide whether or not to sever all ties with the College’s only study abroad program in Israel.

Per the Claremont Independent:

Pitzer College informed the Claremont Independent today that tomorrow it would no longer be allowed to attend a Pitzer College Council — a governing body composed of faculty and students that usually decides college policy — vote on whether to suspend Pitzer’s only study abroad program in Israel with the University of Haifa as student media. Despite being a registered student club at the Claremont Colleges Consortium, which Pitzer is a member institution of, and the first publication to break the news on the Pitzer faculty voting in favor of suspending its study abroad in Israel in support of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, Pitzer College’s Office of Communications told the Independent that only the student government-funded media outlet The Student Life would be able to cover the vote as student media. The vote will take place on the afternoon of March 14.

When an editor from the Independent called Pitzer’s Office of Communications to enquire about the details about the vote and whether student media can attend, Pitzer’s initial response was affirmative. However, when the Independent sent Pitzer’s Office of Communications a list of staffers who will be in attendance, Pitzer spokesman Mark Bailey wrote that the initial response was a mistake, and that attendance would be limited to “students, faculty, staff and student members of The Student Life staff.”

The Independent refers to The Student Life as “a left-leaning publication.”

Elliott Hamilton, a former Daily Wire writer and Pitzer College alumnus, has previously reported on the Pitzer College student senate’s passing of a BDS resolution. As Hamilton noted for The Daily Wire at the time, the student senate passed the BDS resolution during Easter and Passover observance.

At NJ fair, rise in anti-Semitism in the mix when deciding to move to Israel

Stephanie Wolf-Rosenblum arrived at the Nefesh B’Nefesh Aliyah mega event with a suitcase. Not because she was planning on immediately hopping onto a plane and moving to Israel, but because the potential immigrant wanted to gather as much information as she possibly could.

Wolf-Rosenblum said she attended the New Jersey fair — organized by Nefesh B’Nefesh, a non-profit tasked with promoting and facilitating immigration to Israel from North America and Britain — because she is considering making the move to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren. But when asked whether the political climate in the United States contributed in any way to her decision, she noted she is starting to feel uncomfortable as a Jew in America.

“Anti-Semitism has always been an undercurrent. What’s happened in the last six to 12 months and the latest remarks by some of our newer congresswomen have really played into my concerns,” she said, referring to comments by freshman Democrat Ilhan Omar whose recent comments on Israel led to an uproar.

“It’s coming from the left and from the right,” Wolf-Rosenblum added. “I never felt it up until now with this kind of acuity.

“My Israeli son-in-law has said to me that he’s more worried about me here [in the United States] than I should be about them there [in Israel] because I go to synagogue every week,” she said. “I’m not concerned about security situation there. I feel safer there than here right now as a Jew.”

UKMW prompts Indy correction to claim on US anti-BDS bill

An op-ed by Miarav Zonszein in the Independent defending Congresswoman Ihan Omar from charges of antisemitism included the following claim:

“When you look at the anti-BDS legislation that has already swept half of the US and further efforts on a federal level to penalize Americans who so much as favor a boycott of Israel, it’s no wonder Omar is being attacked”.

However, if you read the text of the US bill here, it’s clear that it narrowly addresses business practices, not individual speech. And, even then, it merely protects the rights of local and state governments which decide to no longer wants to do business with those who boycott Israel. That’s quite a difference from Zonszein’s suggestion that the bill would penalize Americans for merely supporting BDS.

Controversial Map May Have Been Pre-Approved

Contradicting previous statements from Autrey Mill Middle School officials, a map displaying Palestine at a Multicultural Night last week may have been pre-approved before the event. In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Georgia, discussed the display and resulting community reaction.

In contrast to initial statements from the school condemning the action and vowing to investigate, Mitchell said that the school had approved the display ahead of time.

“The school approved this, and we have emails confirming they approved it, last year and this year,” he said. “The school did nothing wrong by approving this exhibit and the kids did nothing wrong.”
Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Georgia Chapter.

In a letter to students and families March 8, Principal Trey Martin of Autrey Mill said he would be investigating with district leaders and “any necessary actions would be taken including accountability for those responsible.”

“Let me be clear, we condemn this attempt to use our Multicultural Night for one’s own political or religious agenda,” the letter read. “Please know that this type of display is not acceptable nor supported by the faculty and staff of Autrey Mill Middle School.”

Florida bill defines anti-Semitism, prohibits discrimination

A bill that would define anti-Semitism under Florida law and prohibit religion-based discrimination at public schools and universities is advancing in the legislature.

The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee unanimously approved a bill Tuesday that would prohibit speech that makes dehumanizing or stereotypical allegations about the Jewish community or that compares contemporary Israeli policies to those of Nazi Germany.

The anti-Semitism definition also would prohibit expressing a hatred for Jews, calling for the killing or harming of a Jewish person, criticizing the collective power of the Jewish community, or accusing Jewish people or Israel of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

The bill would require educational institutions to consider this definition when determining if some practice or action constitutes discrimination based on religion.

New York Times Op-Eds Wrong on Israeli Circumcisions

The New York Times Op-Ed department has repeatedly erred on Israeli circumcisions, erroneously claiming that the Jewish brit milah ceremony falls under the control of Israel’s Orthodox Rabbinate.
Most recently, in her Op-Ed this week (“Idolatry at the Western Wall“), Bari Weiss wrote that the feminist group seeking to worship at the Western Wall

are protesting the rabbinate’s monopoly on Jewish life in the Jewish state. Despite the fact that the vast majority of Israeli Jews are not Orthodox, the ultra-Orthodox hold the keys not just to Israel’s Jewish sacred places, but to the life cycle events – circumcisions, conversions, weddings, divorces, burials – of the country’s more than six million Jews.

This is not the first time that Weiss, a staff editor and writer at The New York Times Opinions desk, has made the erroneous claim that circumcisions in Israel are controlled by the Rabbinate. On Dec. 8, 2017, she likewise erred:

All elements of religious life — from the kosher certification of food to conversion to circumcisions, marriages and burials — are controlled by the rabbinate.

Op-Ed contributor Lesley Sachs previously made the same error (“Jewish Women vs. the Jewish State,” July 1, 2017).
While the Orthodox Rabbinate does exert control over Jewish marriage, divorce and burials in Israel, it is completely uninvolved in all but a very small number of circumcisions in Israel.

Bader Ginsburg poster vandalized in Brooklyn with ‘Die, Jew b****,’ swastika

A poster in Brooklyn featuring Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s face was vandalized with the words “Die, Jew bitch!” and a swastika.

The vandalized poster at a subway stop in the Greenpoint neighborhood made the rounds Wednesday on social media. The phrase and symbol were written in what appeared to be black marker over the Jewish jurist’s face.

The poster was advertising the book “The Unstoppable Ruth Bader Ginsburg: American Icon.”

On Twitter, the New York City Transit Authority’s Subway account said the “offensive imagery” had been reported on Tuesday and that it had since removed it.

“Again, we regret that our customers were exposed to this hate speech,” the agency said.

The New York Police Department wrote on Twitter that it was looking into the incident. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo also tweeted their denunciations.

Holocaust memorial in central Greece vandalized

A Holocaust memorial in the central Greek city of Trikala was allegedly found to be vandalized a few days ago.

The local Jewish community discovered the desecration and complained to the police, which launched an investigation to locate the perpetrators of the antisemitic act, Arutz 7 reported.

The monument was erected just four months ago in memory of the city’s fifty Jews who were deported to Auschwitz during the Holocaust, where they perished.

During the Holocaust, 450 Jews from Trikala managed to escape the city and fled to isolated villages in the mountains and Turkey, later on also getting to Israel.

However, in 1944, the Nazis arrested 50 Jews from the Trikala community who had been in hiding, and deported them to the Auschwitz death camp.

Drip Irrigation Company Netafim Wins $100 Million Irrigation Contract in India

Israel-based drip-irrigation company Netafim announced Monday it has secured a $100 million irrigation contract in India. Considered a pioneer in smart irrigation, Netafim will install precision irrigation systems in 100 villages across India as part of four large community irrigation projects.

Netafim was founded in southern Israeli Kibbutz Hatzerim in 1965. The company has made a name for itself developing water-efficient irrigation systems that deliver water directly to the plant instead of the soil. Today, Netafim employs over 4,500 people in 17 manufacturing plants and operates in over 110 markets through 29 subsidiaries. Netafim itself is a subsidiary of Mexico-based pipes and chemicals company Mexichem SAB de CV, which bought an 80 percent stake in the company in February 2018 at a $1.9 billion company valuation.

NBA star turned Israeli basketball player granted citizenship

Former NBA star Amare Stoudemire was granted Israeli citizenship in an official ceremony at the Interior Ministry on Wednesday.

The winner of the Rookie of the Year Award in 2003 proudly showed his new Israeli ID card in a ceremony attended by Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion, Hapoel Jerusalem co-owner Eyal Chomsky, and Hapoel Jerusalem general manager Guy Harel.

Mayor Lion noted, “two weeks ago I hosted the Hapoel Jerusalem team in my office and told him the next time we meet, I hope he will have already become an Israeli citizen. Now here we are.”

Deri said he was granted citizenship due to his “unique contributions” to Israeli society. Now, Deri said, “Amare will be Israel’s ambassador to the world.”

“It’s a very exciting moment for me. My body is flooded with emotions now, my love for Israel has been with me for many years, and being part of Israel is something very special,” Stoudemire said at the ceremony, the Hebrew language Ynet reported. “I would like to say thank you also to Hapoel Jerusalem for giving me the opportunity to play on the team and to help me in this process.”

Albert Einstein’s Brilliance, Humor, and Literal Connection to Israel

One thing is for sure: While the writing on the pages lying under a clear protective glass appeared to be nonsensical gibberish — or useless, mind-bending mathematical equations — it was anything but. These were some of Albert Einstein’s original manuscripts — 110 pages in all — that were recently donated to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem by the Crown-Goodman Family Foundation. They were purchased from Gary Berger, a private collector in North Carolina.

The pages, donated just before Einstein would have turned 140 (he was born on March 14, also commonly known as Pi Day), are just further testament to Einstein’s intellectual legacy. His contributions to science are world-renowned and far-reaching. However, not many people make the connection between the Jewish physicist and the State of Israel, and how his brilliant theories contributed to the science behind Israel’s alleged second-strike nuclear capabilities, as well as SpaceIL’s lunar lander “Beresheet,” currently hurtling at 6.5 miles per second through space towards an eventual, and hopefully successful, moon landing.

Einstein was one of the founders of Hebrew University in Jerusalem. To him, the university represented a combined commitment to a Jewish identity and to the pursuit of truth and respect for all human beings. For these reasons, Einstein bequeathed his personal and scientific writings to the university, and the Albert Einstein Archives were born. As the archive’s academic director, professor Hanoch Gutfreund shared, “We at the Hebrew University are proud to serve as the eternal home for Albert Einstein’s intellectual legacy, as was his wish.”

Right-wing Jewish group mints coin hailing Haley’s support for Israel

A right-wing Israeli organization has minted a coin emblazoned with the face of Nikki Haley, US President Donald Trump’s former ambassador to the United Nations, to commemorate her defense of Israel at the world body.

The Sanhedrin, a Jewish group that says it aims to restore the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, is one of three organizations behind the coin.

The collector’s coin, which costs $50, features Haley’s face set against the UN building, and a rendition of the Jewish Temple on the back.

Hillel Weiss, spokesman for Sanhedrin, said Wednesday that Haley’s criticism of the UN, which he says “seeks to destroy the state of Israel,” earned her the recognition.

He said the group last year sold 20,000 “Temple Coins” engraved with Trump’s face to honor his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Earliest written reference to city of Haluza unearthed at Negev dig

A stone bearing a 1,700-year-old inscription that refers to the city of Haluza (“Elusa” in Greek) has been unearthed at an excavation at the Haluza archaeological park in the Negev, some 19 miles southwest of Beersheba.

The Israel Antiquities Authority explained that the inscription is the “first archaeological evidence of the name of the city of Haluza from the site itself.”

Haluza was once part of the Nabataean Incense Route and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In a Judeo-Arabic translation of the Pentateuch by Saadia Gaon, Haluza is associated with the biblical town of Gerar.

The dig is being carried out under the auspices of the Haluza Smart City project and is being co-led by a team from the University of Koln in Germany under Professor Michael Heinzelmann and the IAA.

Once the stone was discovered, the inscription was sent to Professor Leah Di Segni of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to be analyzed.

Work at the Haluza dig has also uncovered a church and a bathhouse.



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