April 25, 2019

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03/29 Links Pt2: The World Is Becoming More Like Israel; NYT: ‘Ostensibly Pro-Israel Right’ Is ‘Home’ to White Nationalists; Does Rashida Tlaib support terrorism?

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2019/03/0329-links-pt2-world-is-becoming-more.html

From Ian:


The World Is Becoming More Like Israel
Later this year, the Trump administration will release its oft-delayed plan for Israeli–Palestinian peace — the latest in a quarter century of American attempts to resolve one of the Middle East’s most intractable disputes.

At the heart of this effort — which has spanned five otherwise disparate post–Cold War presidencies — has been an enduring faith that American power can reshape the Levant much as it did Europe and Asia, conjuring a new, liberal, rules-based order in which former antagonists learn to live in peace, reaping the benefits of shared prosperity under a U.S. security umbrella.

Yet instead of Israel and its neighbors becoming more like the other countries in the American sphere of influence, the opposite has happened over the past 25 years: The other countries in the U.S.-led bloc are increasingly like Israel.

The notion that the liberal international order is assuming an Israeli character is, to put it mildly, counterintuitive. To its admirers and detractors alike, Israel has always been exceptional — a country whose very existence stands athwart the normal ebb and flow of history. As the only Jewish state in the world, surrounded by hostile Arab neighbors, Israel has long imagined itself as an isolated outpost whose unique circumstances make it a model for none but itself. With its founding in 1948, Israel was also a bet on the idea of the nation-state just when the Europeans, who had developed this concept three centuries earlier, began to grow ambivalent about it in favor of a new project of transnational integration.

Yet for all the distinctiveness of the Jewish state, the fact is that the strategic challenges and dilemmas that were once its special preoccupation are no longer quite so exclusive to it. On the contrary, they are much the same ones that other states in Washington’s strategic orbit find themselves grappling with. And, not coincidentally, the response that these countries have adopted in many cases resembles those pioneered by Israel.

This is manifest in several respects. First and most obvious has been the proliferation of the kind of nihilistic Islamist terrorism that has historically threatened Israel but that has now metastasized into a worldwide menace, not least in the Muslim-majority countries of the Middle East. The suicide bombings and mass-casualty terror attacks such as Israelis endured in the mid 1990s and early 2000s have now become unrelenting threats for millions of others, from Manchester to Bali. Unlike the politically motivated terrorism that afflicted Europe in the 1960s and 1970s, moreover, the attacks aren’t inspired by discrete grievances that can be addressed but by an ideology that celebrates the murder of its victims as an end unto itself.

Melanie Phillips: Jews on the wrong side of the West’s lethal culture wars

Why are so many Jews getting our vicious culture wars so very wrong?

“Cultural Marxism” is a term that refers to the strategy propounded by left-wing theorists in the last century to use the institutions of a society’s culture to bring about a revolution in society.

In a speech this week, a British Conservative MP, Suella Braverman, said that conservatives were engaged in “a battle against cultural Marxism, where banning things is becoming de rigueur; where freedom of speech is becoming a taboo; where our universities, quintessential institutions of liberalism, are being shrouded in censorship and a culture of no-platforming.”
Cue instant uproar, led by the British Jewish community. The Board of Deputies objected on the grounds that “the term ‘cultural Marxist’ has a history as an antisemitic trope.”

Others went further, accusing Braverman of using a phrase that was not only “a conspiracy laden with antisemitic undertones” championed by the “extreme Right” but had been cited by the white supremacist accused of murdering 50 Muslim worshipers at two New Zealand mosques earlier this month.

On the Left, “cultural Marxism” has long been labeled a demented conspiracy theory. Certainly, it has indeed been appropriated by neo-Nazis, white supremacists, antisemites and other conspiracy-theory fruitcakes.

But such people also routinely accuse the Jews of being the puppet-masters of global capitalism or globalism. Yet few claim that “anti-capitalism” or “anti-globalism” is a “conspiracy laden with antisemitic undertones” – even though it is – not least because it’s also a common trope on the Left.

Viewpoint: Caroline Glick talks about herself

It was a packed house of some 111 English-speakers that awaited Caroline Glick on a recent Sunday evening in a well-appointed apartment in Jerusalem’s Abu Tor neighborhood. There was last-minute scurrying by the grandsons of the gracious host couple, Barry and Dorraine Gilbert Weiss, for more folding chairs. The audience was made up of Glick’s faithful readers, already missing her regular weekend column in The Jerusalem Post. She dove right in, explaining she would be talking about herself, something, she said, she didn’t do as a journalist. This time she would be the topic.

Glick made aliyah in 1991, and immediately volunteered in the army, a lone soldier. When she left, in 1996, she held the rank of captain. After the signing of the Oslo Accords, September, 1993, she was assigned to coordinate the negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. During 1994 to 1996, she was part of the negotiating team, liaising with Arab officers, working out all the regulations. The signing had been the matrix; various arrangements needed to be made, different agreements implemented, following patterns set out by the accord.

She began to realize the thing was a “crock” (her word) and that only she seemed to think so. Towards the end of negotiations, she was required to translate a document in a totally secure room, alone, not even a pencil allowed with her. The document she had before her, she said, was “the dumbest thing I’d ever seen.” She was sure her professor at Columbia would have given it an F. Nevertheless, top secret or not, that same evening, on the 11 o’clock news, there it was, word for word, the material she had translated.

During those years after the signing of the Accords, multiple terrorist murders were committed in Israel almost every month. Israel petitioned the recently recognized Palestinian Authority to release the perpetrators they were protecting. The meeting to sign this latest document was held in Israel. Citizens lined the approaches and gathered outside the hotel, including families of victims, petitioning the Israeli negotiators to be cautious in formulating terms. (h/t Elder of Lobby)

NYT: ‘Ostensibly Pro-Israel Right’ Is ‘Home’ to White Nationalists

The New York Times referred to the “ostensibly pro-Israel right” as the “home” for white nationalists in a Thursday profile on the political divide over Israel and anti-Semitism in the United States.

Times writer Nathan Thrall also expressed sureness that Rev. John Hagee, the Zionist founder of Christians United for Israel, was anti-Semitic, while he referred to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) as having “wittingly or unwittingly” deployed anti-Semitic tropes about “dual loyalty” and Jewish money controlling U.S. foreign policy.

Thrall noted 79 percent of American Jews supported Democrats in the 2018 midterms, but still face anti-Semitism from both sides. It identified factions of the “progressive left,” such as Women’s March organizer Tamika Mallory, who has maintained support for Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan as anti-Semitic. But Thrall also lumped in Evangelical conservatives who support Israel with well-known American anti-Semites:

On the other side was the ostensibly pro-Israel right, which at a time of rising anti-Semitism in Europe and around the world is home to anti-Semitic evangelical leaders like the Rev. John Hagee (Jews “have everything but spiritual life”) and white nationalists, one of whom committed perhaps the deadliest attack against Jews in American history, massacring 11 worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in October.

The Times went on to say that Democrats “have been unified in opposing anti-Semitism, they are divided over Israel,” although it also mentioned the recent anti-Semitic statements by Omar. She has apologized for some—like saying Israel had “hypnotized the world” in 2012 and accusing AIPAC this year of paying off pro-Israel politicians—but she’s refused to back off her most recent statement about feeling forced to show “allegiance to a foreign country.”

Jews, Israel Take Center Stage in Ukraine’s Surreal Presidential Contest

On Sunday, the first round of the Ukrainian presidential elections will take place, pitting almost 40 registered candidates against one another. Polling shows that only nine percent of the population identify themselves as happy with the direction of the country. In the final weeks, the race has narrowed to three candidates, one of whom will not make it to the second round runoff on April 22: incumbent President Petro Poroshenko, former Prime Minister and political prisoner Yulia Tymoshenko, and the comic television actor Volodymyr Zelenskiy. As of press time, Poroshenko seems like the odd man out.

Ukraine’s Jewish population numbers 250,000, making it one of the largest in Europe, and can appear to wield both practical and symbolic influence far beyond its numbers. At the end of January, Poroshenko took a break from an increasingly frenetic election campaign to pay a visit to Jerusalem in order to sign a long-awaited free trade accord, seven years in the making, which is expected to raise annual trade between the two nations above the symbolic billion-dollar threshold. The speech that followed the deal’s signing reiterated a now popular Ukrainian trope: Surrounded by powerful enemies after centuries without any concrete experience of self governance, Ukrainians should emulate the Israeli experiment.

But Poroshenko isn’t the only candidate playing the Jewish card: Zelenskiy, the current front-runner, is a 41-year-old Jewish comedian whose primary suitability for the job is his experience playing a school teacher who becomes president of Ukraine due to a surreal turn of fate. If Zelenskiy actually does become president of Ukraine, which now seems entirely possible, it will be one of the more spectacularly consequential cases of life imitating art.

Jpost Editorial: Political antisemitism

Two tweets went viral in the Jewish world this week.

One featured a photograph of bagels sliced vertically as if each bagel were a loaf of bread – clearly a crime against Jewish sensibilities. The other was ostensibly meant to be more serious: Jeremy Slevin, communications director for Rep. Ilhan Omar, tweeted, “Anti-Semitism is a right-wing force” – seven times.

First, Slevin may not realize that by using a hyphen in antisemitism, he is in fact supporting right-wing forces, namely Nazis. The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance says the word should be spelled without a hyphen because using the extra punctuation gives credence to Nazi racial theories, by which “Semites” are an inferior category.

As for the argument Slevin made, it was revealing to see that it came from a senior aide to Omar, who has used the same medium – Twitter – to make antisemitic remarks multiple times, including referring to Israelis having hypnotic powers and using money for unfair influence, as well as accusing Israel-supporters of having dual loyalties. Omar appears to see very little need to stop or to give a genuine apology without adding caveats. Clearly, if she has a self-described Jewish aide telling her she can’t possibly be antisemitic because she’s from the Left, then she doesn’t have to change her behavior.

Omar is just part of a larger trend. Many on the supposedly progressive Left believe this line of reasoning. UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, during whose tenure the party has become structurally and incurably antisemitic, often says he’s “anti-racist” as a way to show he can’t possibly be an antisemite or provide succor to those who hate Jews.

More and more organizations on the Left pretend that anti-Zionism is not antisemitic – as if denying peoplehood and self-determination exclusively to Jews, while claiming other national groups deserve that right, could be anything but a display of hatred of the Jewish people.

Minnesota Lawmakers Nominate Anti-Semites to Fight Anti-Semitism

Two Democratic lawmakers in Minnesota have put forward a bill nominating anti-Semitic Islamist organizations—and specifically, their demonstrably anti-Semitic officials—to become members of a new “taskforce on the consequences of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.”

Sponsored by Democratic Representatives Jay Xiong, Carlos Mariani and Aisha Gomez, H.F 2587 seeks to “analyze the impact of Islamophobia and antisemitism, recommend actions to improve the safety of Minnesota’s Muslim and Jewish communities, increase participation by the Muslim and Jewish communities in civic life, and recommend possible legislative action.”

In the wake of the New Zealand massacre by a self-proclaimed “eco-fascist,” and with rising anti-Semitism, including from Minnesota’s own U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, who could object to the Minnesota legislature seeking to combat hate?

But there is one very good reason to be concerned: The bill seeks to place anti-Semitic activists from anti-Semitic organizations on the taskforce. The proposed legislation specifically calls for taskforce leaders to include the executive directors of Darul Farooq Center, the Islamic Association of North America, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim American Society (MAS).

Obama to Tlaib: ‘I’m Proud of You’

Former president Barack Obama allegedly told Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) he was “proud” of her during a meeting yesterday.

The freshman Democrat tweeted a picture of her standing with Obama, writing that he “met with us new members of Congress and we had a thoughtful discussion about serving our country.”

“The best part was when he looked straight at me and said, ‘I’m proud of you,'” Tlaib continued.

Tlaib has had an eventful first few months in office.

In January, the Michigan Democrat promised attendees at a left-wing MoveOn reception in Washington, D.C., that Democrats would “impeach the motherfucker,” referring to President Donald Trump.

Less than a week later, Tlaib attacked pro-Israel senators, suggesting “they forgot what country they represent,” as the Senate prepared to vote on legislation that would permit the federal government to refrain from working with groups that refuse to work with Israel’s government.

Israel Advocacy Movement: Does Rashida Tlaib support terrorism?

We investigated Rashida Tlaib’s inner circle and uncovered eighteen of her closest colleagues, employees and friends posting highly questionable content, leaving a serious question on her judgement and suitability for Congress. This is one video you cannot afford to miss.

New Islamist Group in Chicago Dominated by Radical Voices

The IL Muslim Civic Coalition, which formed last October, claims to be “a partnership of 250+ Activists, Influencers and Organizations. We empower the voices of cultural and diverse Muslims.” It issues voter guides and does candidate training.

Last month, it was among the groups to meet with Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts after disclosures that Ricketts’ father had made anti-Islamic statements.

But many Coalition organizers — and even the organization itself — already have demonstrated their own uniform and often radical ideology, especially when it comes to issues involving Israel.

In a January Facebook post, the Coalition praised Congresswomen Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) as “an embodiment of Muslim women across our country and an inspiration to all across the world.”

The next month, the Coalition rallied to defend Omar after she made yet another antisemitic statement. Omar said that American support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins, baby” — meaning money. When asked who she was talking about, Omar replied, “AIPAC!” — the pro-Israel lobbying group.

The Coalition rushed to Omar’s aid in a February 13 Facebook post, trying to erase any interpretation that Jewish money was driving American policy: “AIPAC is a powerful pro-Israel lobby,” it said. “This is a fact. And AIPAC is influencing our lawmakers against the long term best interests of America. USA must be an equitable and just leader in the world. We respect and love our Jewish brothers and sisters. But we should NOT support Israel’s oppressive policies against Palestinians.”

Jewish Councilman May Be Removed from Immigration Committee over ‘No Palestine’ Tweet

Councilman Kalman Yeger could be removed from the NY City Council Immigration Committee following his tweet that said “Palestine does not exist.” Yeger, a Democrat representing the 44th council district, which includes Bensonhurst, Borough Park, Gravesend, Kensington, and Midwood, has not apologized for his tweet.

The council, which often errs on the left side of things, is mulling Yeger’s removal despite the fact that only 20 showed up on Thursday at a rally sponsored by the Union for Arab Women, NYC DSA, and Bay Ridge 4 Social Justice, to “protest Councilman Yeger’s anti-Palestinian comments,” as the Brooklyn Eagle reported.

On Tuesday, Councilman Kalman Yeger tweeted:

“Palestine does not exist. There, I said it again. Also, Congresswoman Omar is an anti-Semite. Said that too. Thanks for following me.”

Few Attend Protest Against Kalman Yeger’s Palestine Comments

Several Palestinians angry at comments by Councilman Kalman Yeger protested outside his district office Thursday evening, though turnout was small and protesters considered the event a disappointment.

The controversy began Wednesday, when, in response to a Yeger tweet calling Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) an anti-Semite, Zainab Iqbal, a staff reporter for Bklyner, replied, “this is the same council member who has repeatedly said that palestine does not exist and refers to them as ‘so-called palestinians.’”

Yeger responded, “Palestine does not exist. There, I said it again. Also, Congresswoman Omar is an antisemite. Said that too.”

Pro-Palestinian supporters decried Yeger’s tweet, and some called for Yeger’s removal from the Council’s Committee on Immigration.

In comments reported by the Daily News, committee chair Carlos Menchaca said, “I do see a future without him in this immigration committee,” and Council Speaker Corey Johnson said he was “uncomfortable” with having “someone that holds those viewpoints on a committee that’s supposed to welcome all immigrants.” In response to the criticism, Yeger said, “My point was never about people. My point was about a location. A geographic reality and an international legal reality, a fact. There is no state by that name. There is no place by that name. That’s a fact. I didn’t make it up, I didn’t invent it, that’s official U.S. policy, that’s the policy of many, many nations around the world.”

Yeger told Hamodia that he has received death threats over the matter.

Jewish Reporter Harassed at U. Houston While Covering Anti-Israel Demonstration

As I approached a group of students who were erecting the final panel of a 30-foot-long display wall on the campus of University of Houston, I assumed my experience of reporting on this year’s installment of “Israeli Apartheid Week” would be similar to years past. Although organizers haven’t been happy to have a member of the Jewish press taking photos and collecting interviews during their event, they still haven’t outright tried to prevent me from doing my job.

This year, however, was different.

“If this man approaches you to speak to you, do not speak to him – he’s part of the people we are attempting to, he’s part of the system of oppression that we’re trying to bring down,” shouted one of the demonstration’s organizers after interrupting an interview I was conducting with a UH student, who said he was from Lebanon and had taken notice of the demonstration as he passed through Butler Plaza, the school’s main quad.

The student who interrupted my interview was wearing a red T-shirt, advertising the hashtag #Coogs4Palestine. I recognized him from previous anti-Israel events at UH, hosted by the campus’ chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. That student worked in tandem with another student, who was taller and wearing a dark T-shirt, to physically block me from reporting on this year’s Israeli Apartheid Week demonstration on March 20.

Their tactic was crude. After demanding that I not photograph the students who were harassing me, the taller of the pair then stood directly in front of my camera in an attempt to block the scene. Meanwhile, the student in the red T-shirt threatened to call campus security. I encouraged him to do so, and he walked away to consult with some colleagues at a nearby table. (h/t MtTB)

University of Cape Town Council Member Who Will Vote on Academic Boycott of Israel Promoted Discredited ‘Khazar Theory’ Denying Jewish Ties to Middle East

A member of a University of Cape Town body that will vote on whether to implement an academic boycott of Israel has claimed that ultra-Orthodox Jews should “be relegated to the dustbox of history” and trafficked in a discredited theory alleging Ashkenazi Jews have no ties to the Middle East.

Shuaib Manjra — a physician and senior honorary lecturer at UCT’s School of Public Health — was elected to served on the 28-member UCT Council from 2016 to 2020. The Council governs the university, and will vote on Saturday on implementing a proposal — passed by the school’s Senate on March 15 — to bar UCT from entering into any formal relationships with Israeli academic institutions that operate “in the occupied Palestinian territories,” or otherwise enable “gross human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

While the university does not currently maintain any such formal ties with Israeli counterparts, the demand was nonetheless the subject of a two-year campaign by backers of the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) in South Africa, with which Manjra is affiliated. Proponents claim the BDS campaign seeks to isolate Israel in order to uphold international law and rectify the historic injustice of the state’s establishment, though leading Jewish groups in South Africa, the United States, and globally have denounced it as antisemitic for denying the Jewish people’s right to national self-determination.

Sculpture at London School Vandalized With ‘Palestine’ Graffiti, ‘Boycott Israeli Apartheid’ Sticker

A new sculpture unveiled at the central London campus of the London School of Economics on Tuesday has been repeatedly defaced by vandals.

The giant installation, called, “The World Turned Upside Down,” is an inverted globe that sits on the North Pole with Antarctica at its summit. Countries, cities and oceans were relabeled to be read from the new vantage point and Mark Wallinger, the British artist behind the sculpture, said his piece showed “the world from a different viewpoint: familiar, strange and subject to change,” according to The Art Newspaper.

A member of the LSE staff told the pro-Israel blog Israellycool that the sculpture cost over $2 million.

Angus Reilly, president of the LSE History Society, shared on Twitter photos showing that the same day as the unveiling, vandals crossed out Israel on the sculpture and instead wrote “Palestine” with a heart symbol, and also placed a Post-it note that read “Palestine.” Reilly captioned the shot, “This is disgraceful anti-Semitism on my campus and I have never felt more ashamed to be a student here.”

Security at the school removed the writing, but the following day a sticker of the Palestinian flag that said, “Boycott Israeli apartheid,” was placed over a crossed out Israel and beside it, “Palestine,” was written in black marker.

Wall Street Journal Promotes False Moral Equivalency on Front Page

Earlier this week, a rocket fired from Gaza landed on a home north of Tel Aviv. Although the residents of that home had heeded the siren warning and had run to their bomb shelter, all six, including a baby and two children, were injured. In response, Israel hit Hamas targets in Gaza.

Yet, the Wall Street Journal’s March 26 front page chose to depict these events as follows: “Israel and Hamas Trade Blows as Tensions Escalate.”

This headline was accompanied by a photo that took up about half of the above-the-fold space on the front page. The photo depicted an explosion in Gaza, with the caption: “HEAT: Israel’s military said it struck dozens of Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, above, and the Islamist group launched numerous rockets into Israeli territory, raising the threat of wide-scale conflict. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut short a U.S. visit.”

Nowhere on the front page is there any indication of the home that was destroyed or the civilians that were injured. The portrayal is one of two sides that are morally equivalent, each one attacking the other.

Sky News Arabia gets it wrong on Judaism’s “holiest site”

Earlier this month, Sky News Arabia – a joint venture between the UK-based Sky News and Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corporation – joined the long list of news outlets who’ve falsely claimed that Jerusalem’s Western Wall is “Judaism’s holiest site”. The claim was made in an article published on its website on March 8th about a protest at the Western Wall compound by the organisation “Women of the Wall”.

As CAMERA has repeatedly pointed out, the Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site, whilst the Western Wall is merely the holiest site where Jews are currently permitted to pray.

Over the years, CAMERA researchers have prompted corrections to this erroneous assertion at publications such as the Independent, Guardian, Telegraph, Daily Mail, AFP, New York Times, Washington Post and National Geographic.

We’ve contacted Sky News Arabia asking them to correct their error.

BBC News glosses over repeated Palestinian violence at holy site

The BBC did not bother to explain to readers of this report the meaning of the phrase “a source of friction in the past”. The last time audiences saw any BBC reporting on such so-called “friction” was in October 2015 when Palestinian rioters set fire to the tomb. Since then repeated attacks on both the site itself and security forces guarding visiting worshippers have gone unreported. For example:

February 2016: “Israeli forces clashed with Palestinian protesters while Israelis prayed at Joseph’s Tomb on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Nablus late Monday night, as Jewish worshipers entered a holy site for a monthly pilgrimage.”

April 2016: “Palestinian residents of Nablus threw rocks and burning tires at IDF soldiers as they escorted hundreds of visitors to a Jewish holy site in the West Bank city overnight Wednesday-Thursday.”

June 2016: “Palestinian security forces managed to push back protesters who were advancing on the Joseph’s Tomb shrine late Saturday. According to Hebrew media reports, the protesters tried to set the site on fire. The demonstration began Saturday night after the Palestinian Health Ministry reported that a wounded Palestinian teen, said to have been hurt by IDF fire on Thursday after allegedly trying to throw a firebomb at Jews praying at the site, had taken a turn for the worse in hospital.”

August 2016: “…Palestinian residents of Nablus threw rocks and burning tires at IDF soldiers and Border Police as they escorted 24 busloads of visitors to Joseph’s Tomb near the West Bank city.”
….

France’s Yellow-Vest Protests Have Become a Vehicle for Anti-Semitism

In an in-depth analysis of the causes of the protest movement that spread throughout France in November and has continued since then, Michel Gurfinkiel notes the anti-Semitic currents flowing through it. He takes as one example the comedienne known as La Bajon, who a few years ago turned from conventional stand-up fare to political YouTube videos often laden with anti-Semitism:

[La Bajon] intuited quite correctly that a very large constituency in France—which coalesced as the Yellow Vests—relishes [the] mixture of anti-capitalism, tax revolt, religious nostalgia, tales of murderous or suicidal violence, and—last but not least—conspiratorial anti-Semitism [she presents in her videos]. . . .

The extent to which anti-Semitism has pervaded the French protest movement is appalling. A photograph taken on December 20 from a car window, and then circulated on social media, showed a typical highway interchange squatted by Yellow Vests. Two large banners had been posted for the benefit of the passing traffic. One said: “To Disobey Unfair Laws Is Everybody’s Ethical Duty.” The second and more prominent banner, was just a list of names: “Macron=Drahi=Attali=Banques=Media=Sion.”

Which is shorthand for: “President Macron is the puppet of Patrick Drahi, the French-Israeli high-tech tycoon who was one of his earliest supporters, and of Jacques Attali, a pop philosopher of Jewish descent who once served as the socialist president François Mitterrand’s chief of staff and currently writes an influential pro-Macron column at L’Express, one of the weekly press flagships; both Drahi and Attali are in turn creatures of the Jewish banks that rule the world and the media from their stronghold in Israel, as explained in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” To make things even more graphic, the A’s were drawn as Free-Masonic triangles, and the S’s as runic Nazi letters. Three more fantastic strata are thus added to the existing anti-Semitic slogans: Judeo-Masonic conspiracy, Judaism as the new Nazism, and, by implication, the Holocaust as a hoax. . . .

Jews worried as Quebec moves to ban religious symbols on public workers

Quebec has introduced a bill that bans some public employees from wearing religious symbols at work, including kippahs.

The measure is intended to reinforce the separation of church and state, but critics say the real target appears to be Muslims and their hijabs.

The Quebec parliament introduced the “secularism bill” on Thursday proposed by the right-leaning coalition government of Premier Francois Legault.

The opposition, however, accused the government of rushing the legislation, with Liberal Helene David saying not enough time has been allotted to debate its impacts on “living together” as a society.

This is the fourth attempt by successive Quebec governments to pass a secularism law.

Among those who would be affected are teachers, police officers and judges. Along with kippahs and hijabs, Sikh turbans and crucifixes would be prohibited.

Polls show most Quebecers support the legislation.

The Jewish community is wary.

Remembering Polish Jews Who Died in the Holocaust (Pt. 1)

Remembering Polish Jews Who Died in the Holocaust (Pt. 2)

World Jewish Congress honors King Felipe VI of Spain

King Felipe VI of Spain was honored by the World Jewish Congress (WJC) in recognition of the restitution of citizenship for Jews descended from Spaniards.

The Shalom Prize, which recognizes individuals or organizations that stand out in their efforts to contribute to peace, was conferred Tuesday on the king in Buenos Aires.

“We have been working for a long time to recover the Jewish heritage and restore this ancestral bond so that Spain can recover part of her soul,” Felipe said after receiving the prize by the chair of regional branch of WJC, the Latin American Jewish Congress, Adrian Werthein. “The impact of this measure on the perception of so many Jews around the world is of a dimension that I could not anticipate.”

Werthein said the Spanish government’s gesture to Sephardic Jews represents “an example of the commitment to the reconstitution of the identity of those who were expelled dozens of generations ago. These types of gestures are the kind that historically have managed to bring peoples and nations closer.”

Is Bon Jovi bringing the NJ governor to Israel?

When Jon Bon Jovi returns to Israel this summer to perform in Tel Aviv, he’ll be bringing along quite a crowd of people.

In an interview with Yediot Aharonot published in full on Friday, the rocker said he will be arriving in July with his family and a slate of friends: “We’re coming en masse,” he was quoted as saying. “The governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, is coming, and maybe even a news broadcaster you probably know, as well as the owners of the Dallas Cowboys.”

A spokesman for Murphy declined to confirm or deny the governor’s travel plans this summer. But the rock-star and the politician have a long and well-documented friendship. Bon Jovi, a New Jersey native, performed at fundraisers for Murphy while he was running for governor, and last year Murphy declared April 14 “Bon Jovi Day” in New Jersey.

Murphy visited Israel in November, stopping at the Western Wall, Yad Vashem and meeting with both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and with Palestinian business leaders.

The Dallas Cowboys are owned by Jerry Jones, who is also a longtime friend of Bon Jovi. As for the news broadcaster, Bon Jovi did not elaborate. The musician is close friends with radio host Howard Stern, who is Jewish and a regular defender of Israel. Bon Jovi asked Stern to induct the band into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year. But the rock-star is also good friends with NBC news host Savannah Guthrie, as well as disgraced news anchor Matt Lauer.

Bon Jovi was last in Israel in 2015, when his band performed for 50,000 screaming fans in Tel Aviv. In December, he announced that he’ll be returning this summer, for one show on July 25. The date will mark the end of the band’s international “This House is Not for Sale” tour.

First summer camp for forcibly converted Jews opens in Brazil

At the world’s only summer camp for descendants of forcibly converted Jews, Oseias Teixeira had numerous first-time experiences.

Even mundane activities like studying the Bible in a group or singing at synagogue were milestones for the 17-year-old Brazilian. But for Teixeira, who lives in a small and remote town where streets are earth roads, one of the most memorable moments from Yeshiva Camp had nothing to do with Judaism.

It was riding an escalator for the first time in his life.

“I had never been to a large city before,” Teixeira said, somewhat defensively. “The experiences I’ve had in Sao Paulo, I’ll never forget them. They’ve changed me.” The high school student said he wants one day to live in Sao Paulo.

To Yeshiva Camp’s founders, Teixeira’s experience underlines the multiple layers of their mission with bnei anusim — descendants of Jews who were forced to convert to Christianity during the 15th-century Inquisition campaign of persecution against Jews in Spain, Portugal and their colonies.

“Connecting these youngsters with Judaism is only the beginning,” said Gilberto Ventura, the charismatic rabbi who established, with his wife Jaqueline, Yeshiva Camp as part of their Synagogue Without Borders congregation and outreach projecT. “What follows is connecting bnei anusim to the rest of Brazilian Jewry and society.” (h/t Elder of Lobby)



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