February 23, 2020

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04/03 Links Pt2: Sorry You’re Offended, But ‘Palestine’ Does Not Exist; Trump exposes United Nations as world’s epicentre for Jew-hatred; 3 liberal US Jewish groups back anti-BDS congressional resolution


From Ian:

Sorry You’re Offended, But ‘Palestine’ Does Not Exist
In progressive America, an official elected in a predominantly Jewish district in the country’s largest city can be punished for asserting an indisputable historical fact if it happens to offend the sensibilities of hard-left activists. In this case, Kalman Yeger, a councilman from Brooklyn, in a back-and-forth about Rep. Ilhan Omar, tweeted that, “Palestine does not exist. There, I said it again. Also, Congresswoman Omar is an antisemite. Said that too.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio quickly issued an ultimatum to Yeger demanding he apologize, or else. After he refused, NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson booted Yeger from—what I assume is a wholly useless—city immigration committee. “I found Council Member Yeger’s comments completely unacceptable…” Johnson explained. “They were dehumanizing to Palestinians and divisive, and have no place in New York City.”

Yeger’s statements might be debatable—perhaps some of you don’t find Omar’s numerous attacks on American Jews anti-Semitic—but the other contention is a historical and present-day reality. Despite this, nearly every media story covering the kerfuffle frames the councilman’s contention about the status of the West Bank and Gaza as some kind of appalling attack on decency. What other Howard Zinn-like historical fantasies must we adopt to participate in debate?

“Now, if he comes out and he apologizes, and says, ‘Look, I was wrong and I realize what I did was hurtful and I’ve got to change,’ different discussion,” de Blasio said. Pointing out that there’s no nation called Palestine might be provocative and argumentative, but the contention is no less accurate because of the emotional reaction it provokes. The American left’s censorship mission creep already deems numerous words and ideas off limits if enough people act insulted. Now, they’re trying to impose limits on speaking out about incontestable geopolitical truths.

Where exactly is your ‘Palestine,’ Mayor de Blasio?

He did not play by the rules, as dictated by the Democrats, so New York City Councilman Kalman Yeger has been bounced off the council’s immigration committee.

That’s his punishment for saying “there is no Palestine,” and then refusing to apologize, and if they could send him to a Soviet-Mao style “re-education camp,” they would.

We don’t have reorientation gulags here yet, but it’s coming, and already exists on campus. Free speech for me, but not for thee.

One man speaks up and it’s like he disturbed a wasps-nest.

Mayor de Blasio and other Democrats felt that Yeger’s tweet was an insult to Palestinians everywhere – though in real life there are Palestinians nowhere.

We touched on this a while back in the column, “Even the Beatles preceded the Palestinians,” and here is part of what we wrote:

“Say this for Arafat, he knew how to put one over. He knighted himself and the rest of his gang ‘Palestinian’ and the world said, sure, why not?

“Anything that antagonizes the Jews is a sale.

“Since then…since 1964…the ‘Palestinians’ have been the world’s number one concern, even though they have been nothing but a headache and exist in no history books. Nothing to be found about them before June 2, 1964. That’s when the Arab League certified them as the PLO.

Twitchy: Manhole cover proves that Palestine’s sewage system is older than the ‘Zionist terrorist illegal occupation’

All we know about Abbas Hamideh is what we learned from his Twitter bio, which states that he doesn’t compromise on one inch of Palestinian land, and also apparently lives in Cleveland.

If that’s true, we’re guessing someone else took this picture proving that Palestine’s sewage system predates the illegal Israeli occupation of the land.

The Jerusalem Post’s Lahav Harkov looked into the history on display here and found some inconvenient truths.

Our next exhibit: that Post-it Note that says “Palestine” stuck on a world map in Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s office.

David Singer: Trump exposes United Nations as world’s epicentre for Jew-hatred

President Trump’s Proclamation recognising Israel’s sovereignty in the Golan Heights—and the condemnation issued by the United Nations Security Council in response – has exposed the United Nations (UN) as the world’s epicentre for rabid Jew-hatred.

Jews do have ancient, historic and legal claims to sovereignty in the Golan Heights that cannot simply continue to be dismissed by a UN media release headed “Security Council Members Regret Decision by United States to Recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over Occupied Syrian Golan”.

Occupied Syrian Golan is UN diplomatic doublespeak
The “Occupied Syrian Golan” is UN diplomatic doublespeak contrived after Israel:

  • Captured the Golan Heights in the 1967 Six Day War from Syria,
  • Passed an Act in 1981 declaring that the law, jurisdiction and administration of Israel applied to the Golan Heights – which was immediately rejected by Security Council Resolution 497 .

Circumstances have since changed as Israel now faces Syria and its “invitees” Russia, Iran and Hezbollah across this very strategic piece of territory‚—whilst the UN remains powerless to end the carnage and displacement of Syria’s citizens by its ruler Bashir Assad during the past eight years.

Thirty-eight years of unbroken UN refusal to recognise Jewish sovereignty in the 1150 square kilometres Golan Heights has finally been called out and trashed by Trump.

The UN’s continuing anti-Israel and pro-Syrian bias in 2019 is the product of a structured regional-representation system which has seen decisions of its 193 member states impacted for decades by:

UN’s continuing anti-Israel and pro-Syrian bias

  1. 16 member States that have never recognized Israel
  2. 11 member States that have had no diplomatic relations with Israel for decades
  3. 30 member States (in addition to those in 1 and 2) that are members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)‚—hardly a Jewish fan club
  4. 77 member States that fraternise and associate with the above 57 Jew-hating States in a 134 member voting bloc at the UN called the G77‚—guaranteeing an automatic majority for any resolution in the UN General Assembly‚—no matter how dismissive or contemptuous of Jewish rights and claims.

Wiesenthal Center urges removal of Anne Frank’s name from NGO due to antisemitism

The prominent US human rights organization Simon Wiesenthal Center on Monday called on the Germany-based Anne Frank Center to remove the Holocaust victim’s name from its organization after it invited an alleged anti-Jewish conspiracy theorist who loathes Israel to speak at its conference on antisemitism.

The latest antisemitism scandal at the Frankfurt-based Anne Frank Educational Center is roiling Frankfurt’s city government.

Deputy Mayor and City Treasurer Uwe Becker told The Jerusalem Post that the center should disinvite the alleged antisemite Daniel Bax.

In a statement to the Post, Simon Wiesenthal Center associate dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper directed his criticism to the management of the Anne Frank Educational Center:

“How dare you! Anne Frank is not a brand to be marketed. She was a Jewish girl who was murdered by Nazi Germany for the crime of being a Jew – and because no country, including the US, would admit the Frank family and millions of other European Jews,” he stated.

“Yes, people have the right to speak their minds, but debasing Anne’s memory to abet efforts – to delegitimize and eliminate the Jewish state in Germany no less – is beyond the pale. Remove Anne’s name from this Center and have the guts to openly promote your animus towards the democratic State of Israel,” Rabbi Cooper said.

Cooper added: ”don’t degrade her memory to push the big lie that Israelis are today’s Nazis. This isn’t only about a disinvite but the loss of a moral compass by a German institution that carries her name.”

Why Is Ilhan Omar Asking Trump to Secure the Release of a Muslim Brotherhood Member?

Call me crazy, but I’m going to guess the chances of this happening are pretty low.

Ilhan Omar posted this to Twitter yesterday, asking President Trump to help work toward freeing someone named Hoda Abdelmonem.

Who exactly is Hoda Abdelmonem? It turns out that she’s a lot more than just a “political prisoner,” as Omar describes her in the above tweet.

Abdelmonem was not low level either. She’s described as a senior member of the “Muslim Sisters,” which is the female wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Like much of the Middle East’s conflicts, there’s no clear “good guy” in the battle over Egypt’s internal politics. Regardless, it’s an objective fact that the Muslim Brotherhood promotes Islamism. That is, they support Islamic fundamentalism, not in just in their religious views but also at the political and legal levels. During Obama’s tenure, he sought to empower the Muslim Brotherhood and it turned into an abject disaster. Egypt’s military eventually had to remove Brotherhood member Mohamed Morsi as the people rose up to protest his increasing authoritarianism and Egypt’s decent into Islamism.

So why is a U.S. Representative taking to social media to promote a Muslim Brotherhood member’s release? That’s a big question obviously.

Republican NGO launches ad campaign attacking Ilhan Omar

A political advocacy group with ties to the Republican Party is launching a advertisement campaign slamming the Democratic party and Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, according to CNN on Wednesday.

American Action Network told CNN that the campaign would launch later this week, spending six figures to question Omar for criticizing congress members’ support for Israel.

In February, Omar said at an event, “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country.” Many Jews took this statement as a reminder of the antisemitic trope of dual loyalty.

The ad says Omar “keeps hurling anti-Semitic slurs.” including images of tweets such as the now-deleted tweet from 2012, where Omar wrote “Israel has hypnotized the world.” Omar tweeted this before she was an elected congressional representative.

When It Comes to UK Labour, the Party’s Over for the Jews

Her response was clear and unequivocal. Speaking about those who had left the party, she said, “It was our manifesto and our leader that gave them the huge majorities that they now have in their seats — those seats they have betrayed by their actions. If our new independent splitters have got the guts to have by-elections, we will crush them.”

Like the man who thought he was getting back with his girlfriend and got it wrong, British Jews in March of this year were told in no uncertain terms that their relationship with the Labour Party was well and truly dead — crushed in fact. Yet, the Jewish establishment still hasn’t gotten the message, refusing even now to declare that Corbyn and his entourage are a lost cause. Some leaders claim that contact needs to be maintained in case Labour is elected. The political reality is that the Labour leadership wants nothing to do with the Jews now, when they potentially need their votes, so there is little or no chance of a Labour government answering the phone when the Jewish establishment calls.

Labour is off limits to the Jews, and Jewish leaders need to say so. Trying to cosy up to a group that hates us makes us look weak and ineffective. The Jewish leadership needs to understand what most of British Jews already know: the Labour leadership doesn’t want Jews. Corbyn et al must be told that British Jews no longer wish to join a club that doesn’t want to have them as members. No more trying to maintain contact just in case they get into power, no more demands that have no prospect whatsoever of being met, and above all a clear and powerful refusal to have anything to do with a Labour leadership that not only tolerates antisemitism, but promises to punish those Jews who protest about it. Enough is enough, the party is over.

Sheffield University lecturer under fire for ‘engaging in denial of anti-Semitism’ in Labour Party

A lecturer at one of the University of Sheffield’s most prestigious departments has come under fire for “engaging in denial” of anti-Semitism allegations within the Labour Party.

Piers Robinson, Chair of Politics, Society and Political Communication at the Department of Journalism Studies signed a petition that claimed allegations of anti-Semitism within Labour are “being used as a weapon to silence those who speak out against injustice”.

National organisation the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) called for the University to take “all actions necessary” against Mr Robinson, who is also the Co-Director at the Organisation for Propaganda Studies.

A UJS spokesperson said: “It is unacceptable that an academic who should be fostering intelligent education and safe environments for learning appears to be… engaging in denial of antisemitism.

“University staff should know better than to undermine the fight against antisemitism.”

Despite several requests from Forge Press, the University declined to comment.

Video shows UK troops apparently shooting at picture of Corbyn

Britain’s military said Wednesday it launched an investigation after a video posted on social media appeared to show UK troops using a poster of British opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn for target practice.

The video posted on Twitter focuses on four soldiers with handguns standing and firing in what looks like an indoor firing range supposedly in or near the Afghan capital Kabul. When the shooting stops, the person making the video shifts the camera to focus on the target, a large poster of Corbyn, and moves closer to show the bullet holes.

A large banner at the bottom of the video frame says “happy with that.”

Corbyn, a veteran socialist, has often been critical of British military campaigns overseas.

The British Army said that the apparent behavior “is totally unacceptable and falls well below the high standards the Army expects. A full investigation has been launched.”

Extremists Worldwide Overjoyed That “You Can Hate Pretty Much Everyone” Following Former London Mayor Remarks (satire)

Extremists and terror groups worldwide ranging from ISIS and al-Qaeda to the IRA and Israel’s Kahanists have been celebrating following former Mayor of London and prominent ex-Labour party politician Ken Livingstone’s remark that “it’s not anti-Semitic to hate the Jews of Israel”.

The groups are overjoyed that “you can hate pretty much everyone now” and are publishing a new guidebook to racism in honour of the outspoken Jeremy Corbyn ally. “It’s simply the best thing that’s happened since slavery”, one American white supremacist has said. “If an ‘anti-racist’ leftist like Ken says that you can hate half of the world’s Jewish population and all the Jewish citizens of the only Jewish country on the planet but still claim to love the Jews, well, frankly, the sky’s the limit in terms of how racist it’s acceptable to be now!”

Citing the “Livingstone Doctrine”, the racism guidebook stipulates that prejudice against different groups is “100% acceptable if they’re in their ‘natural habitats’ meaning that it’s fine to hate Jews in Israel as well as those in banks and Hollywood. Regarding the gays, it’s totally fine to hate on them during pride marches, and at ‘those’ clubs of theirs, and of course, gay therapy clinics where they truly belong. And it’s now officially totally OK to hate black people in Africa or in America, and, well, hating on the blacks is kind of fair game anywhere to be honest.”

3 liberal US Jewish groups back anti-BDS congressional resolution

Three liberal Jewish groups have joined their centrist counterparts in supporting a nonbinding bipartisan congressional resolution that condemns the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel.

The resolution, backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, was introduced in Congress last month while the Israel lobby was holding its annual policy conference in Washington, D.C.

It’s seen as a compromise to get Democrats to support anti-BDS language. Previous anti-BDS legislation failed to attract overwhelming support from Democrats because of concerns advanced by civil libertarians, a key Democratic constituency, that legislating to limit BDS infringes on speech freedoms. The earlier measures were binding and punitive.

Garnering the support of liberal Jewish groups could bring more Democrats from the party’s left on board. Among 17 groups backing the resolution in a March 26 letter to the congressional leadership are three associated with the community’s liberal wing: the Union for Reform Judaism, the National Council of Jewish Women and Jewish Women International.

Groups perceived as centrist who already signed the letter include the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.

Sen. Cotton Seeks IRS Investigation Into SPLC’s Tax-Exempt Status

The SPLC has garnered massive amounts of cash for its operations. The Washington Free Beacon reported in early March that the group has $518 million in assets, with $120 million now offshore.

“The business model has paid well,” Cotton writes in the letter. “The SPLC has accrued more than $500 million in assets. According to the group’s most recent financial statement, it holds $121 million offshore in non-U.S. equity funds. The SPLC uses these assets to pay its executives lavish salaries far higher than the comparable household average.”

Cotton also references a CNN report that states the organization “suffers from a pervasive racism culture.” Its co-founder, Morris Dees, was recently fired over inner turmoil among its treatment of its workers. Richard Cohen, the group’s president, has also stepped down.

“Based on these reports, and in the interest of protecting taxpayer dollars from a racist and sexist slush fund devoted to defamation, I believe that the SPLC’s conduct warrants a serious and thorough investigation.”

“Engaging in systematic defamation is not a tax-exempt purpose: Federal law requires nonprofits classified as 501(c)(3) organizations to comply with IRS guidelines and have a “tax-exempt purpose,” Cotton writes.

Pro-BDS stickers found in kosher-for-Passover supermarket aisle

Stickers that said “Boycott Israeli Apartheid” were found in a Toronto supermarket on Tuesday in the kosher-for-Passover aisle, according to Canadian Jewish News.

“We are saddened to see another act of anti-Israel hatred targeting members of Canada’s Jewish community,” B’nai Brith Canada Daniel Koren, who works in media and communications, said. “We will not be intimidated, and we will continue to celebrate our holidays and observe our traditions, just as we will continue to support the Jewish State of Israel.”

Customers found the stickers at the No Frills at Centerpoint Mall near Yonge and Steeles in Toronto. When the store was notified, it apologized for the stickers and removed them.

Billboard across from ‘NYT’ building highlights paper’s Israel coverage

A giant billboard was hung across from The New York Times building in New York City, saying the paper “inflames with biased coverage” of Israel, according to JNS.

The billboard read “While Hamas firebombs Israel… The New York Times inflames with biased coverage” and featured a large photo of a Molotov cocktail, including a burning Times article headlined “Israel Bulldozes Democracy.”

The Molotov cocktail is said to evoke one of Hamas rioters’ “favorite weapons,” according to JNS.

JNS cited CAMERA’s executive director, Andrea Levin, as saying the billboard was put up to show Hamas’s violence both toward Gazans and Israel.

CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, sponsored the billboard “for at least six months,” according to JNS, and has put up similar billboards in the past to highlight the Times’s Israel coverage.

Guardian trots out Ronnie Kasrils to (‘as a Jew’) smear Israel as an “apartheid” state

Ronnie Kasrils,is a former South African politician and anti-Zionist activist who praised Hamas, has characterised Israel as baby killers who behave like Nazis, and described Jews throughout the world who support Israel as enemies of humanity.

So, quite naturally, he’s Guardian editors’ ideal choice to pen an op-ed demonising Israel, rejecting its legitimacy and smearing it as an apartheid state – albeit, of course, ‘as a Jew‘.

His piece, “I fought South African apartheid. I see the same brutal policies in Israel”, April 3, is poorly reasoned, even by Guardian anti-Israel op-ed standards:

He accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing”, a completely counter-factual claim easily contradicted by, amongst other things, population statistics since 1948.

He accuses Israel of silencing anti-Israel voices throughout the world without citing any real examples – oh, and whilst writing an anti-Israel diatribe for a global media organisation.

He also accuses Israel’s supporters of “conflating opposition to Israel with antisemitism”, ignoring his own record of using language that falls within the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism, including his use of Nazi analogies and his support for extremist movements like Hamas. In fact, elsewhere in the Guardian op-ed, he suggests that Zionism is inherently a racist endeavor, which similarly runs afoul of the IHRA definition.

Moreover, his apartheid analogy fails the most rudimentary critical scrutiny.

Unchallenged pro-Hamas propaganda on BBC WS ‘Newshour’

As we see, the BBC’s chief international correspondent managed to tick nearly all the BBC’s framing boxes in her introduction. That framing includes:
  • Erasing the fact that around 80% of those killed during the violent rioting at the border have been shown to be affiliated with various terror organisations – primarily Hamas.
  • Erasing or downplaying the violent nature of the events by failing to provide audiences with a representative view of the number of attacks using firebombs, IEDs, grenades and guns, the number of border infiltrations and the number of rockets and mortars launched throughout the past year. As of March 29th 2019, BBC audiences had heard nothing whatsoever about the use of airborne explosive devices or the activities of Hamas’ so-called ‘night confusion/disturbance units’.
  • Erasing or downplaying the violent nature of the events by uniformly describing them as ‘protests’, ‘demonstrations’ or ‘rallies’.
  • Failing to provide adequate context concerning the stated aims of the events including ‘right of return’ and lifting of counter-terrorism measures.
  • Erasing or downplaying Hamas’ role in initiating, facilitating, organising, financing, executing and controlling the events and euphemising terrorists as ‘militants’.
  • Citing casualty figures provided by “health officials” without clarifying that they are part of the same terror group that organises the violent rioting.

Doucet then brought in Tom Bateman (on a bad line) in the Gaza Strip who, after he had described seeing around a thousand people “close to the fence” who were throwing rocks from slingshots and burning tyres, went on to note the use of tear gas and live ammunition by Israeli forces, claiming to have been “told” of the death of one person and 40 others injured.

Many of CNN’s national security analysts have undisclosed ties to oppressive Qatari regime

Several of the so-called national security experts at CNN that you see on television every night have direct links to the nation of Qatar, a terror-funding, Islamist enclave in the Middle East that has placed itself on the warpath against America’s most important regional allies.

But you would never know about these connections, because none of the CNN regulars disclose their financial and/or institutional ties to Qatar when they appear on the airwaves. And off air, they are also not forthcoming about their Qatar-backed connections. Even when it comes to discussing issues where they have a clear conflict of interest, such as commenting on Israeli, Saudi, or UAE affairs, these CNN contributors have no issue going to bat against Qatar’s rivals, while never mentioning that their editorial freedom is restricted or that they are personally compromised.

These four CNN regulars, two of whom are full-time employees, double as Qatar-tied propagandists, but you would never know it if you only watched CNN.

Ali Soufan
A CNN regular who was prominently featured in the network’s anti-Saudi Arabia documentary, Ali Soufan is the executive director of the Qatar International Academy for Security Studies (QIASS), which is based in Doha and funded by the Qatari regime. Oddly, the leadership roster at the state-controlled Qatari institution is almost identical to his U.S.-based Soufan Group.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Soufan has a “personal relationship” with the top leadership of Qatar.

Wiesenthal Center calls to preserve Holocaust mass grave in Belarus

The Simon Wiesenthal Center sent an official letter to the Belarus ambassador in Israel Vladimir Skvortsov on Tuesday calling on his country’s authorities to halt a building project in Brest after a mass grave with victims of the Holocaust was discovered there in February.

“We firmly believe that the mass murder sites of the Holocaust should not be tampered with,” wrote the Center’s director for Eastern European Affairs Dr. Efraim Zuroff, “and should remain the final resting places of the victims and places of commemoration, memory, and mourning.”

The grave was uncovered by chance in February on a construction site in a residential area in the center of Brest, Reuters reported.

Soldiers wearing white masks sifted through the site with spades, trowels and their gloved hands to collect the bones.

Press Secretary of the Belarus Embassy in Israel and Belarus Counsel Andrei Sadovski told the Jerusalem Post that until now 1,214 bodies were exhumed and the rescue excavation ended in the end of March.

Skeleton of Mother Cradling Baby Discovered at Holocaust Mass Grave Site in Belarus

Excavations at the site of a Holocaust mass grave in Belarus have uncovered the remains of more than 1,000 Jews murdered by the Nazis — including that of a female skeleton cradling her baby.

A BBC reporter observing the excavations on Tuesday in the western city of Brest relayed the harrowing scenes at the site, as skeletons, many belonging to children, were unearthed by military examiners.

The military team usually searches for the bones of Soviet soldiers. But at the site in Brest, in the west of the country, “they have removed the small skulls of teenagers instead, and a female skeleton with the remains of a baby, as if she’d been cradling it,” the BBC‘s Sarah Rainsford reported.

The BBC report noted that almost half the 50,000-strong population of Brest on the eve of World War II were Jews.

Poles use anti-Semitic rhetoric at NY protest against Holocaust restitution

Polish nationalists protested in New York City against a bill designed to help Holocaust survivors and their descendants reclaim lost property in Poland, with some using anti-Semitic rhetoric.

Hundreds of people participated in the protest on Sunday in Foley Square. One protester held a sign calling to the “stop Holocaust industry,” while others questioned how many Polish Jews were killed during World War II, according to author Molly Crabapple, who posted photos from the event on Twitter.

One protester told Crabapple that the Jews of Warsaw were “mostly killed by other Jews,” while another waved a dollar bill at a Jewish counter protest.

They were protesting a law, which President Donald Trump signed last year, called the Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today Act.

The measure requires the State Department to report on how certain European countries have progressed in returning wrongfully confiscated or transferred Holocaust-era assets. It does not mention Poland specifically, but Poland is the only European country that has not passed laws to compensate those who lost their property and other assets during World War II.

LA youth hockey team players suspended for cursing Jews and Hitler salute

Three coaches and 15 players from a youth hockey team in Los Angeles have been suspended over a video posted on social media showing a player making a Nazi salute as other players make antisemitic remarks.

The Los Angeles Jr. Kings announced the suspensions of coaches and players from the 14U Bantam AAA team on Friday.

The 9-second video was posted March 9 on social media, The Athletic NHL website reported. In the video, players can be heard saying “Are you a Nazi?” “f**k the Jews” and f***ing Jews.”

Steve Yovetich, president of Los Angeles Jr. Kings Hockey, said in a statement: “We are a club that prides itself on being a community; one that fosters values such as friendship, respect and teamwork, and upholds ideals like diversity, equality and tolerance.

It added: “The events on March 9 are regretful to many, especially the players and parents. We will work together to educate and grow, and in this regard lead with action.”

French supermarket chain apologizes over swastika money belts

French supermarket chain Auchan admitted on Tuesday that it had sold military-style money belts bearing the Nazi swastika at its Polish stores in what it called an “oversight.”

“Our 2018 product offerings did indeed include these money belts from a Polish manufacturer, though our chain wasn’t aware of it,” Auchan Poland spokeswoman Dorota Patejko told AFP.

“It was an oversight on our part, a situation that we regret,” she said, adding that the group was currently checking stores nationwide and would recall any of the belts left in stock.

“Only one money belt with the Nazi symbol has been located so far. It’s been pulled from shelves.”

Lithuania’s genocide studies center accused of Holocaust denial

Lithuania’s state body for preserving the memory of the Holocaust broke the country’s laws against denying that genocide, local Jews said.

The controversy surrounding the Center for the Study of the Genocide and Resistance of Residents of Lithuania is the latest in a series of actions that the country’s critics say is a government-sponsored campaign to exculpate its people from its substantial complicity in the murder of 85 percent of the country’s 170,000 Jews.

The Center published last month a text claiming that “the Lithuanians operated against the will of the Germans” during World War II and that “the residents of occupied Lithuania in 1941 didn’t understand ghettos as part of the Holocaust.”

On March 28, the Jewish Community of Lithuania published on its website a harsh condemnation of the Center’s claims, threatening to take legal action unless it is retracted.

The text, the community said, “contains features which are crimes under the Lithuanian criminal code, namely, denial or gross belittlement of the Holocaust.”

German Court Closes Case of Former Nazi Death-Camp Guard

A court in Germany has closed the trial against a 95-year-old former guard at a Nazi death camp because of the defendant’s health problems, almost certainly ending one of the last such Holocaust prosecutions.

The defendant, a German who cannot be named for legal reasons, is now considered permanently unfit to stand trial, the court in the western city of Muenster said on Wednesday.

A medical report found that physical and cognitive constraints linked to heart and kidney problems meant the man could not follow the proceedings. The decision can be contested, the court added.

However, the development suggests that the trial will be terminated for good. The court had already given prosecutors, joint plaintiffs and the defense a chance to make a statement on the underlying medical examination.

The court had halted the trial in February because of the defendant’s ill health and said it intended to halt it permanently.

The man first appeared in court in November, accused of assisting in the murder of hundreds of people at Stutthof, a Nazi concentration camp during World War Two. A former guard in the SS paramilitary wing of Hitler’s Nazis, he denied the charges.

Taking Stand Against ‘Modern Day Antisemitism,’ German Soccer Giant Borussia Dortmund Donates $1.1 Million to Yad Vashem

One of Europe’s most storied soccer clubs is among the five top German companies who announced a major donation to Israel’s national Holocaust memorial on Tuesday.

Borussia Dortmund is contributing $1.1 million of a total $5.6 million donation to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. The soccer powerhouse — which is currently top of the German league, two points above arch-rival Bayern Munich — joined leading German corporations Daimler, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Bank and Volkswagen in making the donation.

The money will be spent on designing and building a new space — the Shoah Heritage Collections Center — to hold Yad Vashem’s growing collection of Holocaust artifacts. The construction of the new center, with a floor area of approximately 45,000 sq ft, is expected to start in August 2019.

“Remembering, documenting, researching and teaching are the pillars on which Yad Vashem is founded,” said Hans-Joachim “Aki” Watzke, CEO of Borussia Dortmund, in a statement. “It is our honor and obligation to strengthen them. Future generations should know the suffering that has been inflicted on people by other human beings.”

US government returns painting stolen by Nazis

The U.S. government has returned a painting stolen by the Nazis during World War II to the heirs of a renowned Jewish art collector.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman announced Tuesday that the 1639 work by Salomon Koninck was returned to two heirs of Jewish art collector Adolphe Schloss.

The painting titled “A Scholar Sharpening His Quill” was stolen by the Nazis in France and taken to Adolph Hitler’s personal headquarters in Munich.

Authorities say the painting resurfaced in November 2017 when a Chilean art dealer tried to sell it through a New York-based auction house. The FBI seized it until a judge authorized its release.

Berman says returning the painting restores a part of lost heritage, plundered by Nazis in a “sadistic and unjust” campaign.

Rock band ‘Disturbed’ speaks Hebrew in announcement for Israeli concert

Disturbed, the best selling American hard rock / heavy metal band, promoted their debut in Israel in a video message in Hebrew.

Lead singer David Draiman, who is of Jewish heritage, spoke in Hebrew on a video message on the group’s Facebook page. “Shalom, we are Disturbed and we will be at Rishon Lezion’s Live Park on July 2nd.”

Although he has visited the country in the past, this is the first Disturbed concert in the Jewish state.

Formed in 1994, the band has released seven studio albums, and is probably best known in mainstream rock circles for their 2015 cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sounds of Silence.”

The 44-year-old Draiman, who was on a career path to become a rabbi before secular music changed his direction, has long been a staunch defender of Israel. In a 2011 interview with The Jerusalem Post while vacationing in the country, he claims to have close to 200 relatives in the country, including his Jerusalem-based brother Ben Draiman, also a musician.

Draiman wrote a song on the band’s 2010 album Asylum called “Never Again,” directed at Holocaust deniers and antisemitism.

Intel Capital president: Israel generates better ideas than Silicon Valley

Israel’s spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation was highlighted at Intel Capital’s annual, three-day Global Summit conference this week as hundreds of entrepreneurs, Intel executives, business leaders, and investors from Israel and across the world gathered in Phoenix, Arizona, for the event.

Speaking to the Israeli press on the sidelines of the summit on Monday, Intel Capital president Wendell Brooks said Israel was one of three tech hubs that Intel Capital, the Intel Corporation’s investment arm, is intently focused on (alongside China’s Beijing/Shanghai and California’s Silicon Valley) and that often Israeli entrepreneurs have “better ideas than in the Valley.”

“They certainly bring a different perspective,” said Brooks, who also serves as a senior vice president of Intel Corp.

During an onstage conversation as part of his keynote address at the summit, Brooks asked Malaysian-born American executive Lip-Bu Tan, the CEO of US multinational Cadence Design Systems and chairman of VC firm Walden International, which tech ecosystem — China’s or Israel’s — he traveled to more, to which Tan quipped about an easier flight from California to Tel Aviv.

“The entrepreneurship [in Israel] is very good, and they are very passionate. I invest quite a lot there,” Tan said.

Praising Israeli smarts, humor, and directness, Tan said Israelis “can debate with you, they can confront you, and I [prefer] that to beating around the bushes, they go straight to the point.”

Nintendo to have an official presence in Israel

Nintendo is going to have an official presence in Israel. The company has opened up a website for the region, and it includes the following message.

Nintendo is coming to Israel and you’re invited to join the family.

It’s finally happening! Nintendo is coming to Israel with official imports of the gaming line and finally launch the console that’s swiping away the world – Nintendo Switch. The Switch allows you to play your favorite games anywhere with anyone. Play in TV mode with a big screen, and then play anywhere with tablet mode.

We want to make you smile – and that’s official!

With official imports, first you can enjoy local customer support, receive the latest news about the social medias, discover and buy through our site, and join the most joyful community there is!

We have a lot to tell…

Want to be first to become Nintendo ambassadors? To know when it’s all happening and when? To receive details about the launch? Sign the form and we’ll take care of the rest (h/t Predictor92 )

DC Comics teases ‘Wonder Woman 1984’

DC Comics superfans got a sneak peek at the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984 film during the CinemaCon festival in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

At the Warner Bros. presentation during the convention this week, the studio showed a clip from the movie, which is slated to premiere on June 5, 2020. According to Variety, the scene showed off “Gal Gadot’s Princess Diana at the height of her abilities.”

Deadline reported that both Gadot and director Patty Jenkins spoke to fans in a video message.

Jenkins said the upcoming film has a storyline “we are very excited about. Diana is now at her full powers,” according to Deadline. And Gadot said the wild success of the first film “makes me want to work harder to do something even more special.”

According to Variety, the preview clip showed Gadot with co-stars Chris Pine (Steve Trevor) and Kristen Wiig, who plays her nemesis Cheetah, as well as leaping through a suburban mall and lassoing bad guys.

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