September 24, 2020

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04/03 Links Pt2: Bari Weiss: French Jews Face the Hatred That Can’t Be Named; Brendan O’Neill: The return of the socialism of fools; Jeremy Corbyn and the far left’s anti-Semitism doublespeak

From Ian:

Bari Weiss: French Jews Face the Hatred That Can’t Be Named
In Paris, two Muslim men, one of them yelling “Allahu Akbar,” recently murdered the eighty-five-year-old, wheelchair-bound Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll. Noting that this is hardly an isolated incident, Bari Weiss scrutinizes the official French response:

Parisian authorities are investigating the murder as being motivated by the “membership, real or supposed, of the victim of a particular religion.” But euphemisms should have no place in describing the nature of Mireille Knoll’s death. She was murdered by men apparently animated by the same hatred that drove Hitler. . . .

[Knoll’s] neighborhood . . . has already borne witness to a nearly identical crime. Almost exactly a year ago, a sixty-five-year-old Jewish widow named Sarah Halimi was murdered by her neighbor, twenty-seven-year-old Kobili Traoré. Other neighbors said they heard Traoré scream “Allahu Akbar” as he beat Halimi, a retired doctor, to near death in the early hours of April 4, 2017. He then threw her body into the courtyard below. It took months for Halimi’s murder to be categorized as an anti-Jewish hate crime. . . . This time, French authorities have been quick to call the crime by its proper name. . . . But the people actually killing Jews in France these days are not members of the National Front. They are Islamists. . . .

Here are some facts that are very hard to talk about: Jews represent less than 1 percent of the population in France, yet in 2014, 51 percent of all racist attacks were carried out against them, according to the French Interior Ministry. A survey from that year of about 1,000 French respondents with unknown religious affiliation and 575 self-identified Muslims . . . found that the Muslim respondents were two or three times more likely to have anti-Jewish sentiments than those from the random French group. Nineteen percent of all respondents felt that Jews had “too much” political power. Among Muslims, the number was 51 percent. As for the idea that Zionism “is an international organization that aims to influence the world and society in favor of the Jews,” 44 percent of Muslims surveyed approved of this statement. . . .

The Moment That Made Israel a Nation

‘Jews do not shoot at Jews.” So the young Menachem Begin confidently assured a worried young man on June 20, 1948, just after Israel became the world’s newest nation. A ship under the control of Begin’s militia, the Irgun, had come ashore at Kfar Vitkin with badly needed arms and ammunition for the fledgling Jewish state. A disagreement ensued between Begin and Israel’s leader, David Ben-Gurion, as to the allocation of the arms on the Altalena. Ben- Gurion ordered Israeli Defense Forces to surround the ship. A boy assisting in the unloading of its cargo fretted that those who had just come ashore might be fired upon. Begin assured him that this was inconceivable. Whatever might happen, Jews do not shoot at Jews.

He proved badly mistaken. A firefight did break out, and the Altalena fled back to the Mediterranean, landing near what is now Tel Aviv’s Frischman Beach on June 22, with Begin on board. David Ben-Gurion ordered the ship shelled. Sixteen members of the Irgun were killed. Standing on the ship while being fired upon—with dear friends of his dying—Begin ordered those aboard the Altalena not to fire back, declaring milkhemet ahim le-olam lo, never a war between brothers. After leaving the smoldering Altalena, with much of its arms cache lost forever, Begin went on the radio and again ordered his seething followers not to seek revenge. After wrongly predicting that Jews would never shoot at Jews, Begin now enunciated an even more extraordinary principle: Jews do not shoot at Jews, even when those Jews are shooting at them.

This was his greatest moment. The survival of the newly born state was anything other than assured, and shooting back, however justified the self-defense might have been, would have torn the people apart. In his memoir The Prime Ministers: An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership, Yehuda Avner quotes Begin explaining his motivation: “Twenty centuries ago we faced the bitter experience of the destruction of our Second Temple, the destruction of our capital Jerusalem. And why? Because of our senseless hatred of each other, a hatred that led to civil war and to our utter ruin: behiya le-dorot [a weeping for generations].” This time, civil war did not take place, and the nascent Jewish state flourished into the mighty, vibrant, “start-up nation” we know it to be today.

This coming month, millions of Israelis and Jews around the world will celebrate the 70th anniversary of Israel’s birth. Far fewer will mark, a month later, the 70th anniversary of the Altalena affair, and Begin’s decision on that day. Yet it is perhaps the second-most important moment in 1948, one that defined Israeli democracy forever.

Ben Shapiro: Tony Kushner’s West Side Story Problem

By the logic of the identity politics he claims to support, he can’t remake a play about Polish and Puerto Rican gangs.

The Left’s favorite playwright, Tony Kushner, is in a bind.

Kushner, you’ll recall, is the author of such politically radical travesties as Angels in America and Munich — and the author of far more mature works, such as Lincoln and Fences. Kushner is the type of fellow who says: “The founding of the State of Israel was for the Jewish people a historical, moral, political calamity. . . . I wish modern Israel hadn’t been born.” But he still likes to stand on his Jewish ethnicity as a crutch for his leftism. He’s an anti-capitalism radical who has earned millions of dollars and summers in a Provincetown vacation home.

And now, Kushner has a problem.

His problem: He’s a Jewish gay guy remaking West Side Story — a musical about Polish and Puerto Rican gangs, originally written by four Jews. This violates the core tenet of intersectionality, which maintains that it’s cultural appropriation when people of one culture write about another culture, and that it’s “white privilege” when too many members of “white America” (which now includes Jews) earn money on a particular endeavor. Kushner declares himself a “big believer in identity politics and political correctness.”

So how will he square this circle? He explains:
I mean, it’s a little tricky with West Side Story. . . . It’s also not exclusively about Puerto Ricans. It’s about white guys and Puerto Rican guys and white girls and Puerto Rican girls. So what does that mean, we should have two directors and two screenwriters?

Well, by his standards, yes. But he’s not going to give up that paycheck or that creative project:
Why shouldn’t we want to be politically correct, if by correct you mean not toeing the party line but toeing the line of history, being on the right side of history, being moral and ethical. . . . I’m aware of my privileged position, but do I believe I’m doing something wrong by writing West Side Story? I absolutely do not. I’m much more afraid of the musical theater queens.

Well, of course he doesn’t believe he’s doing something wrong. His ox would be gored if he abided by the idiotic intersectional principles he claims to support. Because Kushner is left-wing, the Los Angeles Times gives him a pass here, so long as he utters the buzzwords that the Left prefers. But there’s little doubt that he’s avoiding the consequences of his own ideology.

Brendan O’Neill: The return of the socialism of fools

The problem of left anti-Semitism is more profound than people recognise.

Suddenly, about 20 years too late, Britain’s supposedly radical left has become woke about anti-Semitism. Having spent years happily attending demos on which placards described the Jewish State as baby-eaters, and getting far angrier about Israeli militarism than the militarism of any other nation on Earth, and turning a blind eye to expressions of anti-Jewish conspiracy theory, now leftists can’t get enough of telling us how aware they are of anti-Semitism and how much they want to destroy it. Following the controversy around Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s favourable Facebook comment about a vile anti-Semitic mural six years ago, and revelations that the chair of Labour’s disputes panel, Christine Shawcroft, had called for the reinstatement of a Labour candidate who had openly flirted with Holocaust denial, Labour leftists are now everywhere declaring that anti-Semitism is a disease that must be ruthlessly excised from the left.

To which our first response might be: what kept you? The drama of their turnaround, so that they have shifted in a matter of days from either denialism or certainly de-prioritisation of the problem of left anti-Semitism to a state of permanent Tourette’s-like denunciation of it, will make some of us think they are not entirely serious in their new determination to do battle with this prejudice. To go from failing to acknowledge the depth of the new anti-Semitism to being ostentatiously woke about how awful it is will look to many like a back-covering exercise. Less a genuine commitment to tackling one of the oldest prejudices than a performance designed to disguise their witting ignorance of, or even acquiescence to, anti-Semitic thinking over the past couple of decades. To paraphrase Shakespeare, now the left doth protest about anti-Semitism too much.

But there is an even greater problem with their theatrical new awareness of left anti-Semitism: even now they underestimate the scale of the problem. Even now, as they dial up the condemnations and churn out articles saying ‘Anti-Semitism is really, really bad’ — congrats on the insight, guys — there is a flimsiness to their understanding of the nature and breadth of the new anti-Semitism. They treat anti-Semitism on the left as an alien force, at odds with the decent outlook of their movement. But this immediately raises a question: how, then, did the anti-Semitic sensibility manage to attach itself to their movement? If this prejudice is so antithetical to their left, how did they end up aligned in various ways? That’s the question they need to ask, because if they did they might realise that, far from being an aberration, the latest outburst of an ancient prejudice tells us something very important about the entire new left and its backward politics.

Obama Is Gone, But the Democrats’ Israel Problem Is Only Getting Worse

On Sunday, Jake Tapper asked Sanders to comment on Israel’s claim that Hamas terrorists were operating from among the “demonstrators.” Bernie stuck to his guns: “From what my understanding is, you have tens of thousands of people who are engaged in nonviolent protest.” His defiance may delight progressives, but Bernie is making a fool of himself. There are video and pictures of Hamas instigating violence, and it has been thoroughly documented—including by Hamas itself—that 11 of the 18 dead were young male operatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror cells.

On a moral level, Bernie is helping create a political and media environment that incentivizes Hamas attacks on Israel, which result overwhelmingly in the deaths of Palestinians, not Israelis.

But on a political level, Bernie is damaging Democrats. President Obama’s emotional and ideological need to pillory Israel accomplished nothing for his presidency, and it certainly did not help Democrats raise money or win elections. Sanders’ anti-Israel activism may end up being worse for the Party, because it is more vicious and even less based in reality than Obama’s, and because Bernie will set much of the agenda for Democrats in 2020.

His progressive supporters love that he’s standing up to big, bad Israel. But progressive hatred of Israel is not fact-based—it is an emotional obsession that relies for its energy on presenting a false reality, as Sanders did over the weekend.

An overwhelming majority of Americans, and even most Democrats, do not share progressivism’s increasingly virulent obsession with Israel. Democrats with national aspirations should be concerned that Obama’s animosity is now crossing the line, via Sanders, to a position that is so embarrassingly detached from reality that it is impossible to spin. Time will tell whether Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and other 2020 hopefuls walk into the trap Bernie is setting for them, and endorse ridiculous lies about Israel that please a very narrow demographic of far-left activists. They need only look to the Corbynization of Labour to see the future that may await their Party.

Jewish Leaders and Rising Antisemitism

Daniel Greenfield has a great piece in Frontpage Magazine. Beginning with the story of a Muslim who committed an anti-semitic assault, Greenfield writes how too many Jewish leaders are holding hands with Muslims while blaming anti-semitism on white nationalists, white racists and (gasp) Trump supporters.

Speaking as a gentile activist against anti-semitism, I have found it personally frustrating to have to counter Jewish leaders who form inter-faith groups with Muslim leaders, assigning blame for both Islamophobia (however one chooses to define that tricky term, which was actually devised by islamists to silence their critics) and anti-semitism to mostly the wrong people.

This is not to ignore the true white nationalists who embrace racism, the KKK, and neo-Nazis. They are despicable, and I concede their numbers are growing. Some are, indeed, anti- semitic. But to ignore the role that militant Islam is playing in stirring hatred against Jews-and Christians, is pure willful negligence.

Ask European Jews who their tormentors are. It is the Muslim immigrant community, which due to the insanity of Europe’s leaders, is exploding in numbers-mostly with young male Muslim refugees, asylum-seekers, and plain old everyday migrants. Ask Israelis who it is that wants to kill them all. It is their Palestinian neighbors and the Arab street. Ask the remaining Christians in the Middle East who it is engaged in a program of genocide.

Tony Blair: UK Labour leadership must root out anti-Semitism completely

Tony Blair, Labour prime minister of Britain from 1997-2007, on Monday urged his party, embroiled in crisis over its failure to tackle anti-Semitism within its ranks, to “root out anti-Semitism completely, totally.”

Interviewed on Israeli television while on a visit to Israel for various diplomatic meetings, Blair, who led Labour for 13 years, said the crisis in the party was something that would have unthinkable in his time.

When asked how to interpret current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s relative popularity among Labour voters, despite Corbyn being cited by many in Labour as responsible for failing to tackle the issue, Blair said he was certain that the broader British public is not at all anti-Semitic, and that Labour had to make plain that anti-Semitism was anathema to it as well.

“I’m extremely sad about it, and anxious about it, and also very determined that the Labour Party should take the action necessary to root out anti-Semitism completely, totally. There should be zero tolerance towards it,” Blair told Channel 10 news.

“It’s one of these things that if you allow it to take root at all within a political party, it’s hard then to uproot it,” he warned. “This is a situation, frankly, I could not even have imagined when I was leader of the Labour Party.”

Blair said: “I’m distressed on behalf of the Jewish community.”

Jeremy Corbyn and the far left’s anti-Semitism doublespeak

There are two possible explanations. The first is Corbyn’s followers are finally breaking with him. Corbyn may have more power over the Labour party than any previous leader, but on anti-Semitism, his supporters will find the courage to defy him.

The alternative is more convincing. His followers do not believe Corbyn is sincere. He only speaks of his concern about anti-Semitism and his determination to do better because it is politically expedient, the smart PR move. In his doublespeak there is one message for worried Labour supporters, and another for his base. Don’t worry, he implies. Nothing will change. I am just going through the motions. The desire to send a Trumpian nudge and a wink was the real meaning of his decision to spend Passover with a tiny Jewish group that thinks there is no problem with anti-Semitism.

For a serious effort to combat anti-Semitism would require the far left to purge itself. It would require Corbyn to tell his supporters to stop threatening David Lammy, Thangam Debbonaire and the other Labour MPs who attended the demonstration against anti-Semitism outside Parliament last week. He now admits the demonstrators were right. Doesn’t he? So left wingers cannot censure Labour MPs for standing up for a cause their leader now believes in.

They can because when Corbyn was asked to say Lammy should not be deselected he retreated into doublespeak. At one point he seemed to be telling his followers to back off. At another he said it was ‘it was up to the local party’ and it was no business of his if it ended Lammy’s career.

We will see which side he comes down on when the far left comes for ‘Zionist’ MPs who have ‘weaponised’ anti-Semitism as part of an anti-Labour conspiracy. His supporters think they already know. They are not rebelling but following. They appear to defy the cult leader, while all the time honouring his wishes.

Corbyn says he ‘learned a lot’ at Seder of group that wants Israel ‘disposed of’

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK Labour party, faced sharp criticism Tuesday from some of his own lawmakers for attending a Passover event hosted by a Jewish far-left group that has dismissed claims of anti-Semitism in Labour as “faux-outrage” and called for Israel to be “disposed of.”

An unapologetic Corbyn said he had “learned a lot” at the event.

The Seder — the traditional Passover meal — staged Monday night was organized by Jewdas, a group that describes itself as “radical voices for the alternative diaspora.”

Corbyn has been accused of not doing enough to deal with what is seen as a serious problem of anti-Semitism in his party. Last week, after a rally of 1,500 people outside Parliament organized by British Jews in protest at anti-Semitism in the party, he promised to be “a militant opponent of anti-Semitism.”

In a leaked recording from the event, obtained by the political blog Guido Fawkes, attendees could be heard shouting “fuck capitalism” and booing the names of prominent Jews, the website said.


Jeremy Corbyn attended an event tonight hosted by a far-left group that has called for the destruction of Israel, dismissed the Labour anti-Semitism scandal as a “cynical manipulation” and labelled Corbyn’s Jewish critics “non-Jews”.

A leaked audio recording obtained by Guido reveals Corbyn was present at a Seder held by “Jewdas” in Islington, where guests shouted “f*ck capitalism” and booed the names of mainstream Jews. At the height of Labour’s anti-Semitism scandal, Corbyn chose to mark Passover alongside a fringe group that despises and is despised by mainstream Jews.

  • Jewdas describes itself as a “radical” group that “opposes capitalism” and wants to “overthrow the state”
  • It has tweeted that “Israel is itself a steaming pile of sewage which needs to be properly disposed of”
  • It is viciously critical of mainstream Jewish groups. Last week it attacked the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council response to the Labour anti-Semitism scandal as “playing a dangerous game with people’s lives”
  • It dismissed the Labour anti-Semitism scandal as a “bout of faux-outrage”
  • It claimed the anti-Semitism row “is the work of cynical manipulations by people whose express loyalty is to the Conservative Party and the right wing of the Labour Party”
  • In a blog post on its website four days ago, it labelled Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard a “non-Jew”

At the Jewdas event tonight, Corbyn sat for several hours and brought beetroot from his allotment as a gift. In our audio recording, guests boo the name of Jonathan Arkush, the President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and shout “f**k capitalism”. Their blog post last week ended with the words: “Enough is enough. F*ck you all. Chag Pesach sameach”. Corbyn’s spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.


Labour MPs are queuing up to condemn their leader in response to our scoop last night. Wes Streeting tells Guido it was a “deliberate affront to the majority of British Jews”:
“What on earth was he thinking? This demonstrates either extraordinarily bad judgement or a deliberate affront to the majority of British Jews. Probably both. It calls into serious question the sincerity of every public statement Jeremy Corbyn has made on antisemitism during the past week, just as many of us hoped we had begun to make progress.”

John Woodcock accuses Corbyn of “deliberately baiting” mainstream Jews:

Angela Smith says:

Jewish Labour Movement:
“Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to spend his evening with an organisation that said “F *** you ” to Jews who have serious and well founded concerns over antisemitism within the Labour Party, has truly topped off the worst week on record of awful relations between the Labour Party and the Jewish community.

When we called on the Leader of our Party to show moral leadership, and take decisive action to stamp out antisemitism, this is not what we had in mind.

Jewish Party activists have spent the weekend knocking on doors for local candidates for Council elections across the country. They do not deserve the indignity of our Leader making this situation even worse.”


Jewish Leadership Council:
“His actions so far do not match up to his words… The fact is that his first act following that is to go to a dinner last night with an organisation who on Thursday published a letter saying that this was all smears against Jeremy Corbyn and saying that this was a right-wing conspiracy to stop him becoming the Prime Minister of this country. The issue is the message he is sending to the community… The first act that he has done towards the community speaks volumes… the mainstream leaders were booed as their names were stated at last night’s dinner at which Jeremy Corbyn was present… Surely it cannot have been sensible, if Jeremy wishes to build bridges with the community, for the first act to be attending a dinner with people who are so hostile.”

Jewish Labour Movement:
“Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to spend his evening with an organisation that said “F *** you ” to Jews who have serious and well founded concerns over antisemitism within the Labour Party, has truly topped off the worst week on record of awful relations between the Labour Party and the Jewish community. When we called on the Leader of our Party to show moral leadership, and take decisive action to stamp out antisemitism, this is not what we had in mind. Jewish Party activists have spent the weekend knocking on doors for local candidates for Council elections across the country. They do not deserve the indignity of our Leader making this situation even worse.”

Board of Deputies:
“[Jewdas] refer to antisemitism in Labour as a smear. If Jeremy Corbyn goes to their event how can we take his stated commitment to be an ally against antisemitism seriously?”

Holocaust Educational Trust:
“It was clearly deliberate. No question of intent. Mocking. And disrespectful.”

Update on the national demonstration at 2pm this Sunday, calling on Labour to hold Jeremy Corbyn to account

What is happening: Under Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party has become a safe haven for racists. He is at home amongst them, having spent his political career seeking out and giving succour to Holocaust deniers, genocidal antisemitic terrorist groups and a litany of Jew-haters.

What is being called for: Labour must lead by example and show that Jeremy Corbyn is bound by the same rules as leader as he was as a backbencher, by investigating the disciplinary complaint we have filed against him for bringing the Party into disrepute. Labour must hold Jeremy Corbyn to account.

When: This Sunday, 8th April, at 2pm, Jews and non-Jews alike will converge on London from all over Britain to stand up for our Jewish community and drive home to Labour that they must finally deliver on their broken promise: zero tolerance for antisemitism. Join us!

Where: We will meet in central London. The exact location will be sent by e-mail to everyone on our mailing list or who has signed up at If your friends want to come, tell them to sign up so that they get the location too.

BBC News website invents a new Jewish holiday

A report on this story that was published in the ‘politics’ section of the BBC News website’s UK page on the morning of April 3rd initially told readers that:
“Photographs on the Guido Fawkes website appear to show Mr Corbyn meeting members of Jewdas to mark the Jewish festival of Seder.”

The article was subsequently twice updated – with the same inaccuracy recycled in a different paragraph.

The Jewish festival is of course called Pessah or Passover. The Seder is the festive meal marking the beginning of that festival.

Yes – this is the same BBC that has appointed itself to the position of internet fact checker.

Stephen Sizer: Statement by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry

This statement has been issued today by Mr Peter Wertheim, CEO of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, regarding the ABC’s interview with Stephen Sizer, aired on Friday, and mentioned in my Sunday post:

For centuries, Easter Holy Week was an occasion for incendiary sermons and outbreaks of mob violence against Jewish communities throughout Europe. In recent years we have seen a more subtle version of that tradition take shape. Commentaries about Israel, especially in the lead-up to Easter, often go beyond mere criticisms that are similar to those levelled against any other country or government, and are couched in terms that evoke ancient calumnies against Jews as a group. Some of Steven Sizer’s public statements have been in this category.

Although David Rutledge’s interview of Sizer on the ABC RN Breakfast program on Good Friday explored some of these statements, it was a soft interview that allowed Sizer’s self-serving answers to pass unchallenged.

Rutledge allowed Sizer to get away with claiming that none of the speakers at one of the conferences he addressed in Tehran in 2014 were criticised as antisemitic. In fact, as was reported at the time, the Iranian-run Press TV described the conference as intending to “unveil the secrets behind the dominance of the Zionist lobby over the US and EU politics”, with one session devoted to examining “Mossad’s role in the 9/11 Coup d’Etat”, and another discussing “9/11 and the Holocaust as pro-Zionist ‘Public myths’ ”.

Rutledge gave only partial information about, and under-played the full extent of, Sizer’s own statements legitimising outlandish conspiracy theories blaming Israel for the September 11 terror attacks in the US. There was no mention of the fact that Sizer’s own Church in the UK was so embarrassed by his public statements that it extracted an undertaking from Sizer to stop commenting on the subject while he remained a vicar, an undertaking which Sizer subsequently broke.

Cynthia Nixon’s bid for NY governor sets up a clash over Israel

The last time two Democrats appeared before a New York audience and debated Israel’s actions against Palestinians was in April 2016.

That was when Sen. Bernie Sanders argued that Israel used “disproportionate” force against Hamas terrorists in 2014 and Hillary Clinton replied that Hamas had erected a “terrorist haven.”

The two presidential contenders rocked New York politics as Sanders spoke openly about the plight of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and ripped into Israel for excessively responding to Hamas’ steady stream of rocket attacks on Israel’s civilian population. Never before in New York could anyone recall such a left-wing stance on Israel being articulated during a presidential campaign.

And it may happen again in the state’s race for governor.

The entry this month of actress Cynthia Nixon against incumbent Andrew Cuomo for the Democratic nomination raises the possibility of a faceoff over Israel and the Palestinians.

Nixon, who has been described as an impassioned liberal who would lead from the left, is challenging Cuomo’s progressive bona fides. Jewish voters might find it appealing that she has close ties to Manhattan’s Congregation Beit Simchat Torah and that Nixon, who is not Jewish, is raising her two eldest children from a previous relationship as Jews.

But she will also have to defend against the critics of her decision in 2010 to sign a petition in support of Israeli artists who were refusing to perform in the Israeli West Bank settlement of Ariel.

Divestment Resolutions Targeting Israel Pass at All Three University of Michigan Campuses

A divestment resolution targeting Israel was adopted by students at the University of Michigan-Flint last Wednesday, shortly before the Jewish holiday of Passover.

The resolution, which calls for the school to “divest from all companies that participate in the unethical violation of Palestinian human rights,” was signed by student government president Abdulrahman Salman.

The measure passed the student senate “unanimously,” according to Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE), an anti-Zionist campus group active at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

“This goes to show how the actions of a few Senators can mobilize students to make a real lasting difference,” UM-Flint’s student government wrote in a celebratory post.

UM-Flint does not have any Jewish or pro-Israel student groups. The campus is located in downtown Flint, an economically-depressed city whose Jewish community has significantly dwindled in recent decades.

Similar divestment resolutions were adopted at the University of Michigan’s Dearborn satellite campus last March and its main Ann Arbor campus in November. Divestment failed at UM-Ann Arbor at least ten times beforehand, and faced opposition from the organized Jewish community on campus, led by its Hillel chapter. At the time, many Jewish students expressed concern that the resolution advances the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, and promotes antisemitism on campus, the school’s student newspaper reported.

Lt. Governor of California candidate Gayle McLaughlin and the mainstreaming of anti-semitic rhetoric

Gayle McLaughlin is running for Lt. Governor of California. Her Facebook page, her blog and her Twitter account are filled with unwarranted accusations, defamation, lies and anti-Semitic imagery regarding the riots in Gaza.

In her blog, Gayle writes

Another Gaza massacre took place Friday as tens of thousands of Palestinians protested peacefully at the Israeli wall against their collective incarceration in Gaza, which can only be called the largest concentration camp in the world.

Of the 30,000 attending the event, there were 17 fatalities- .06 % of those participating. Of those killed, at least 10 were identified as Hamas terrorists.

DJ Black Coffee faces Twitter backlash over Israel show

South African DJ Black Coffee played for thousands of Israeli music lovers in Tel Aviv on Saturday night. But many of his Twitter fans were not pleased that he didn’t boycott the Jewish state.

One of the most prominent critics was Floyd Shimbavu, a South African activist and politician serving as an MP with the Economic Freedom Fighters party.

“That Israel is killing innocent Palestinians & continuing with the occupation doesn’t matter?” Shimbavu tweeted on Monday. “A DJ from SA, a country that benefited due to international solidarity must just go to Israel for a party & we Black people celebrate such? Where’s the political & moral consciousness?”

The activist added that “It is morally & politically insensitive for DJ Black Coffee to just go on partying in Apartheid Israel, whilst it kills & oppresses innocent people.”

Black Coffee, whose real name is Nkosinathi Innocent Maphumulo, received a barrage of similar tweets, but ignored most of them. That is, until Monday morning, when he tweeted that he is working as an entertainer and not making political statements.

“Like everyone else I have rights and free will,” he wrote. “and no Black Coffee is not a political party…I work as an entertainer to feed my Family. To sum it up….I’ll take a bullet for my Family.”

IsraellyCool: The Onion Goes Full Blood Libel

The Onion has proven itself to be an extremely popular and funny news satire site. So popular, funny and smart in fact, that I have regularly used the catchphrase “Not the Onion” to introduce news items that seem so ridiculous, they must be satirical, but are not.

But the Onion has published an article that is neither funny nor smart. Just dumb, and malicious.

Teen On Birthright Trip Hadn’t Expected To See So Many Dead Palestinians
JERUSALEM—Saying they were pretty hard to miss during her two-week visit to Israel, teenager Sarah Caplan told reporters Monday that she hadn’t expected to see so many dead Palestinians on her Birthright trip. “My friend Kate who came over last year said she noticed a couple, but this is way more dead Palestinians than I ever imagined,” said Caplan, who explained that her tour group was prepared to see a few scattered bodies while driving around the country, but were completely caught off guard when they stumbled on entire groups of dead Palestinians near the Gaza border. “It was cool to see the Western Wall, and we all got to ride camels in the desert, but we still saw a couple bodies there, too. At first you think it’s just this one-time thing and you don’t worry about it, but pretty soon, you realize they are kind of everywhere. They didn’t really mention anything about this during the orientation.” Caplan was also surprised that there were so many people her age in the Israeli Defense Forces killing Palestinians.

Perpetuating the myth that the IDF wantonly kills palestinians is not satire. It is a blood libel. And given the Onion’s huge audience of what I suspect are mostly young people, plus it’s way of dressing up this lie under the guise of satire, it is a particularly pernicious one.

Poll: 20% of eastern Europeans do not accept Jews as fellow citizens

Around a fifth of people polled in central and eastern European countries say they do not accept Jews as fellow citizens and do not want Jewish neighbors.

Some 32% of Armenians, 23% of Lithuanians, 22% of Romanians, 19% of Czechs, 18% of Poles, 16% of Greeks and 14% of Russians do not accept Jews as fellow citizens, according to a Pew Research Center survey of 18 central and eastern European countries conducted in 2015-2016 and published last week.

While 18% of Poles do not accept Jews as fellow citizens, an even higher percentage do not accept Jews as neighbors (20%) or as members of their families (30%).

Poland’s recently passed libel law, which criminalizes the attribution of Nazi crimes to Poland, has raised concerns that it will serve to whitewash Poland’s history of anti-Semitism and racism.

Most Poles, 57%, say it is better for a society to be composed of people with the same background. Sixty-four percent of Poles say it is important to be Catholic to be “truly Polish.”

Also according to the survey, 55% of Poles agree with the statement, “Our people are not perfect, but our culture is superior to others.” The poll found that people who adhere to such nationalistic positions are more likely to express negative views about other minorities.

Far-right, Nazi apologist views going mainstream in much of Central Europe

Poland’s prime minister claims Jews took part in their own destruction in the Holocaust. His Hungarian counterpart declares that the “color” of Europeans should not mix with that of Africans and Arabs. And the Croatian president has thanked Argentina for welcoming notorious pro-Nazi war criminals after World War II.

Ever since WWII, such views were taboo in Europe, confined to the far-right fringes. Today they are openly expressed by mainstream political leaders in parts of Central and Eastern Europe, part of a global populist surge in the face of globalization and mass migration.

“There is something broader going on in the region which has produced a patriotic, nativist, conservative discourse through which far-right ideas managed to become mainstream,” said Tom Junes, a historian and a researcher with the Human and Social Studies Foundation in Sofia, Bulgaria.

In many places, the shift to the right has included the rehabilitation of Nazi collaborators, often fighters or groups celebrated as anti-communists or defenders of national liberation. In Hungary and Poland, governments are also eroding the independence of courts and media, leading human rights groups to warn that democracy is threatened in parts of a region that threw off Moscow-backed dictatorships in 1989.

In new Holocaust controversy, Lithuanian law would ban books critical of country

The Lithuanian parliament is preparing to vote on a government-sponsored bill that would ban selling material that “distorts historical facts” about the nation.

The bill, which Economy Minister Virginijus Sinkevičius submitted Monday, is widely seen as a response to the controversy in Lithuania around the publication of a 2016 book about the Holocaust titled “Our People.” Viewed by some nationalists as an insult against the Lithuanian nation, it is also credited with breaking some taboos in Lithuanian society about collaboration during World War II.

The bill, which according to the Delfi news agency is an amendment to the Law on Consumer Protection, provoked passionate condemnations in Lithuania and beyond by critics who said it curtails freedom of speech and debate about the genocide, in which 90 percent of Lithuanian Jews were killed, mostly by other Lithuanians.

Several Eastern European countries have laws that limit free speech about the Holocaust, including Poland, Ukraine and Latvia. The Polish law, which criminalizes blaming the Polish nation for Nazi crimes, has sparked a major, ongoing dispute with Israel.

Nazi-era swastika removed from church bell in Germany

Germany’s Lutheran church said Tuesday that a swastika has been removed from a church bell in a small northwestern town, following a local controversy over the Nazi symbol.

The pastor for the church in Schweringen informed officials on Thursday he had discovered that the symbol engraved on the bell was removed along with part of a Nazi-era inscription, the church’s branch in Hannover said. The church said a note claiming responsibility was found on the church door, but didn’t provide details.

Local newspaper Die Harke published a picture of the note, headed: “Spring cleaning 2018.” It said “it was time for spring cleaning to bring fresh air to the village.”

The church suspended the use of the bell last year after the swastika was found, but local church officials decided in mid-March to put it back in use. That move, and a decision not to replace the bell, was contested by the pastor and his objections were still under consideration.

The church said it will now consider how to proceed and whether to take any legal action.

France must ‘make an example’ of anti-Semites, former PM urges

France has tough laws against anti-Semitism but needs to better apply them, according to former French prime minister Manuel Valls.

In a wide-ranging interview conducted two days before the gruesome murder of a Parisian Holocaust survivor, Valls urged French society not to shy away from saying publicly that most anti-Semitic attacks are perpetrated by Arab Muslims and called on authorities to better treat victims of such hate crimes.

“Yes, France has laws against anti-Semitism, but they need to make an example and be harsh,” Valls said, speaking to The Times of Israel on the sidelines of an anti-Semitism conference in Jerusalem. “Anti-Semitism, like all other kinds of
racism, is a crime and not an opinion.”

Indeed, he added, anti-hate laws are “already very harsh, but the law needs to be applied, and better applied.

“There is an enormous amount of work to be done,” he said, especially vis-a-vis the internet and social media, where racism and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories abound.

On Friday, 85-year-old Mireille Knoll was stabbed to death and then burned in her Paris apartment in what appears to have been an anti-Semitic attack. Two suspects, one of whom is reportedly Muslim, were said to have been planning to rob the elderly Holocaust survivor, thinking that she must have money because she was Jewish.

Save a Child’s Heart organization wins prestigious U.N. award

Although the United Nations Security Council has tried to condemn Israel for its efforts to deal with incursions from Gaza, the UN Population Fund has announced it is giving a special prize – the 2018 Population Award – to the Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) organization at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon.

To date, SACH has saved the lives of more than 4,500 children with congenital heart defects. The children have come from Africa, South America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, including the Palestinian Authority. The organization has performed the operations free of charge at the government hospital and in some hospitals abroad, while training more than 150 medical personnel in these countries.

Each year, the Committee for the UN Population Award honors an individual or institution for outstanding contributions to issues of population and reproductive health and to their solutions. The award was established by the UN General Assembly in 1981 and was first presented in 1983. It consists of a gold medal, a diploma and a monetary prize.

SACH’s goal is to improve the quality of medical care for children with heart disease from developing countries and to create skilled treatment centers in these countries. The organization was founded at the Holon facility in 1995 by Dr. Amram Cohen, a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon. It aims at bettering the health and welfare of all children, regardless of their nationality, religion, color, gender or financial situation.

Haifa team sires Intel’s ‘best processor ever’ for laptops

Intel Corp., the world’s second-largest semiconductor maker, unveiled on Tuesday a new line of eighth generation processors, which includes what the US giant called the “best processor” for laptops Intel “has ever built.” The design of the new chips was led by its development team in Haifa, Israel.

The new family of eighth generation Intel Core processors is aimed at gamers and content creators, Intel said, and allows computers to perform 88 percent better than a three-year old PC and 29% better than the firm’s seventh-generation processors.

The new and “powerful” 8th Gen Intel Core i9 processor is the highest-performance laptop processor Intel has ever built, the company said in a statement, to enable users to get better performance from their laptops while playing games or creating content.

The new 8th Gen Intel Core i9, i7 and i5 processors for laptops are based on Intel’s Coffee Lake chips, and they use a 14 nanometer process technology that allows them to deliver up to 41% more frames per second while playing games or to edit 4K video up to 59% faster than the previous generation, the statement said.

Why Harry and Meghan should have a Holy Land honeymoon!

Stunning scenery and cutting-edge cuisine: check.

Beaches and parties: check.

Romantic spots and religious sites: check.

Dogs and diversity: check.

Israel’s got everything the royal couple could possibly want for their honeymoon, so how about it, Harry and Meghan?

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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