May 25, 2020

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04/06 Links Pt2: Phillips: The Hamas Formulation; Murray: Livingstone and the Decay of Labour

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: The Hamas Formulation
Why is everyone so shocked by the Labour party’s decision not to expel Ken Livingstone? I wasn’t the slightest bit surprised. Indeed, I would have been amazed had it done so.
Of course, his claim that Hitler had supported Zionism was a grotesque and profoundly Jew-bashing untruth. The only overtures between Zionists and the Nazis were for the Jews a desperate manoeuvre to save some from extermination, and for the Nazis a way of getting rid of them. The ludicrous claim that Hitler supported the national self-determination of the very people he wanted to wipe off the face of the earth is a malevolent distortion which Livingstone appears either to have got from sources who are themselves driven by hatred of the Jews or is his own misrepresentation of other accounts.
Having already been suspended from the party for twelve months over these remarks, Livingstone has now been suspended for a further year. Far from being repentant, however, he has doubled down and repeated the calumny, thus compounding the general outrage and the deep distress of the Jewish community.
There are three main reasons, though, why it was never likely he would be expelled.
1) Labour’s leader Jeremy Corbyn is opposed to expelling someone for antisemitism, because to Corbyn it is simply impossible for someone on the left to be an antisemite.
2) Labour plays heavily to the Muslim gallery and many Muslims believe Jews and Nazis are virtually synonymous, particularly in Israel.
3) If Livingstone were thrown out, similar action would become necessary against other Labour members who have displayed anti-Jewish attitudes. This the party has already refused to do – as over incidents in the Oxford university Labour club — effectively whitewashing Labour party antisemitism and refusing to acknowledge that the Labour party is riddled with it, not least because of 1) and 2) above.

Douglas Murray – Ken Livingstone and the Decay of Labour

UNRWA Spreads False Notion that UNRWA will introduce new curriculum of peace

Over the past week, UNRWA spread the word that UNRWA intends to introduce a new curriculum for peace and tolerance in the UNRWA school system.
​​However, UNRWA reports widespread popular opposition to such an initiative.
The fact that UNRWA admits that there is a problem in their schools represents a newsworthy development in itself.
However, the Center for Near East Policy Research checked all public and private sources in UNRWA. No intention, initiative or program exists in the UNRWA Department of Education for any change in the UNRWA curriculum.
UNRWA curricula in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and Gaza remain under the supervision of the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education, which makes it clear that no plans are afoot for any change in the Palestinian Authority Education System.

US State Dept. designates Hamas commander as global terrorist

The State Department gave a “global terrorist” designation to a Hamas military commander who it accused of being involved in the 2006 kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
On Thursday, the State Department declared Abu Anas al-Ghandour a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” under a 2001 executive order that imposes sanctions on foreigners who have committed or pose “a significant risk” of committing terrorist attacks.
The US and its citizens will generally not be allowed to conduct business with Ghandour, and any assets he has in the US will be frozen.
According to the State Department, the Israel-born Ghandour leads a Gaza brigade for Hamas, which the US considers a terrorist organization. In the kidnapping of Shalit at an Israeli border crossing, two Israeli soldiers were killed and four were wounded.
Shalit was released in 2011 in exchange for over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

France: ‘They tried to cover up the terror attack’

Paris police are checking suspicions that a 27-year-old Muslim murdered his Jewish neighbor, Sarah Lucy Halimi, following a confrontation in her apartment.
According to a report in Yediot Aharonot, 66-year-old Halimi was attacked by the terrorist as she slept in her bed. He stabbed her and pushed her from her third-story apartment to her death while shouting “Allahu Akbar.”
Halimi is to be laid to rest today, Thursday, at 11:30 at the Har Hamenuhot cemetery in Jerusalem. Her family asked that the public come and pay final respects.
Halimi was found lifeless on Monday night outside her apartment in Paris. Neighbors told police that, at a late hour of the night, the terrorist ascended to the third floor of the apartment complex, yelled “Allahu Akbar” and acted wildly before pushing Halimi to her death.
During the police investigation, the terrorist asserted that the Koran had commanded him to murder her. He was sent for psychiatric evaluations.
Halimi’s family says the incident was a terror attack and blames police for trying to silence the murder for political reasons related to elections in France.

The Terrorism Industry

When one looks at Westerners, one can only envy the hyper-morality of their self-criticism. They are forever accusing themselves of moral lapses. Sometimes they seem to have some kind of autoimmune disease whose function is to cleanse their societies.
One honestly has to wonder at the West, surrounded as it is by murderers, rapists and terrorists responsible for the flight of millions of refugees from the Middle East, yet struggling to be hyper-moral, dealing obsessively with self-criticism about people who offend terrorists, or how to be nicer to individuals who often can be seen not accepting hospitality but trying to see how much advantage of it they can take. There do not seem to be many refugees risking their lives to get to the oil-rich countries of the Gulf — Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait. Nor do there seem many invitations from them to go there.
The so-called “human rights” groups — usually just political hit-squads — the lazy, biased media; the sweet but misguided do-gooders of Europe; the sanctimonious church groups who cannot tell their friends from their enemies; the United Nations, which empowers all the corrupt dictatorships — they really do not give a rap about us, our jobs, or well-being or our rancid governance. To us, it looks as if all they really care about are hating Jews and stroking corrupt dictatorships.
Perhaps the time has come to learn from our “enemy” and first take a cold hard look at ourselves.

The Guardian on Ken Livingstone: their best editorial on antisemitism…ever.

Complimentary blog posts or tweets about the Guardian represent the opposite of clickbait for our many loyal followers. That is, those familiar with the Guardian’s decades-long history of institutional anti-Israel bias – which sometimes crosses the line into outright antisemitism – are understandably wary of suggestions that otherwise ideologically rigid editors have changed course on matters of concern to British Jewry. But, it is our view that a modest editorial pivot concerning antisemitism is evident. Though it’s difficult to explain with any degree of certainty the reason for the slight shift, noting the radically different tones of two Guardian editorials on the issue of antisemitism within five years of each other is instructive.
Twin Guardian editorials published in 2012 on the Islamist-inspired murders of four innocent Jews in the French city of Toulouse represented an example of great accomplishments in obfuscating antisemitically motivated violence. In over 900 words of text in the two pieces, the Guardian failed to use the word “antisemitism” even once, and somehow even managed to avoid acknowledging the Jewish identity of the victims. Editors responsible for the piece seemed more concerned about the possibility of an Islamophobic reaction to the attack by a French Muslim than to the disturbing fact that a 23-year-old French-born citizen was so inculcated in Jew hatred that he chased a small, terrified innocent Jewish girl into a corner and shot her three times in the brain.
Though the current row over toxic remarks, falsely suggesting a “collaboration” between Zionists and Nazis, by Ken Livingstone represents a far different dynamic than what occurred in Toulouse, today’s powerful Guardian editorial on the Labour Party’s failure to expel the former London Mayor does however represent an unmistakable break from previous moral abdications.
The editorial, (“The Guardian view on Labour and Ken Livingstone: wrong decision, terrible message”, April 6) should be read in its entirety, but here are excerpts – some of which surreally sounds as if they’re acknowledging their own previous failures.

UK’s PM May says Labour ‘betrayed’ Jewish community by failing to expel Livingstone

More than 100 out of 229 Labour MPs signed a statement saying the decision was a betrayal of the party’s values and was “not done in our name.”
Current London Mayor Sadiq Khan, also of Labour, added to growing calls Thursday for Livingstone’s expulsion. Saying there should be no place for Livingstone in Labour, Khan said in a radio interview: “I think some of his views were anti-Semitic. Whether he is or not is a different issue.”
And May weighed in, saying her opposition rivals had plunged to new lows. Labour had “revealed the depths to which it has now sunk, betraying the Jewish community in our country by letting Ken Livingstone off the hook,” she said in a party campaign speech. She said Labour showed itself to have moved a long way from Britain’s common, center ground.
The disarray comes ahead of the May 4 local authority elections in Britain, with Labour trailing badly in opinion polls.

Naz Shah backs calls for Ken Livingstone expulsion

MP Naz Shah has backed calls for Ken Livingstone to be expelled as she spoke out on the case for the first time since he was suspended for defending her a year ago.
The Bradford MP has been widely praised for her efforts to learn more about the Jewish community and Israel after she was suspended over a social media post widely deemed to be anti-Semitic.
Despite the fact she quickly apologised, Livingstone has continued to maintain the post wasn’t anti-Semitic. It was in touring media studios 11 months ago that he made his now infamous comments about Hitler and Zionism.
But Shah has now joined more than 100 MPs in signing a Jewish Labour Movement letter in condemnation of the decision this week not to expel him, and rather to impose a further one year suspension.

I Won’t Translate Ken

I don’t know if it’s his genius and he planned it this way or it’s just incidental but suddenly Jews all over the UK are on the defensive.
Every op-ed in the Jewish Chronicle or Jewish News and even in the nationals seems to be rushing to explain to Joe Public that NO Zionists weren’t actually complicit with Hitler in the Holocaust. Naturally the more people read denials the more they’ll think there’s no smoke without fire.
Cheers Ken.
And this is why I wonder if it’s Ken’s genius. If you really hate Jews pushing this idea is a wonderful way of casting aspersions on us and our ideology of national liberation. And maybe it’s right that people try to educate the public on what the Haavara agreement was but I’m not playing ball. But I’m sorry to disappoint anyone out there but no, Zionists weren’t in league with Hitler.

IsraellyCool: Electronic Intifada Goes Full Antisemitism In Defense Of Ken Livingstone

Gloating over Ken Livingstone’s lenient punishment for outright antisemitism? Check
Justifying his comments linking Hitler and Zionism? Check
Painting the tribunal as a witch-hunt orchestrated by the Jewish lobby “Israel lobby elements”? Check
Putting “anti-semitism crisis” in scare quotes, as if it is also something orchestrated by you-know-who, and not the real thing that it is? Check
Well done, Asa! I am really glad you wrote this, and that Ali published it. This vile piece shows what you guys and the EI are really all about.

Labour Gorton Candidate Accused Israel of ‘Genocide’

Labour’s candidate in the Gorton by-election accused Israel of “genocide” in a vitriolic rant revealed in a secret recording obtained by Guido. The bombshell tape shows Afzal Khan giving an angry speech at an anti-Iraq war rally, in which he says Israel has “been committing genocide against the Palestinian people” and claims this is a “far more pressing issue” than Saddam:
“There is a very real suspicion of President Bush, his motives for this war. He talks about weapons of mass destruction. I ask you, is it only Iraq who have these weapons?… What about America who even use the nuclear weapons? What right does America have? And what about the chemical weapons… it’s America who used it… And what about that man of peace Ariel Sharon? Who makes mockery of the word peace. Who’s been committing genocide against the Palestinian people. What about him? Of course we need to deal with Saddam, but far more pressing issue is the problem of Palestine.”
Khan made the inflammatory comments at an anti-Iraq war rally in 2002. In a statement to Guido he apologises and says he has changed his ways:
“I’m deeply sorry for my use of language 15 years ago and I strongly support a two state solution between Israel and Palestine.”
Labour members have been suspended for saying similar…

Daniel Gordis: American Protesters’ Cause Isn’t Clear to Israel

Israelis are growing tired of what they see as widening and dishonestly masquerading anti-Israel sentiment among American Jews, and are beginning to push back. Israel just passed a law (controversial among American Jews but much less discussed in Israel) giving the government permission to refuse entry to foreigners, Jewish or not, who support a boycott of Israel.
At a Jewish town-hall meeting near Boston last week, a member of the audience spoke to four visiting members of Knesset, referring to Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014. “I cannot look the other way when three Israeli teenagers are brutally murdered,” she said, “and the response is to kill 2,300 Palestinians.” The four lawmakers, representing a broad swath of Israeli politics, all chastised her for that lopsided characterization of the conflict.
Likud’s Amir Ohana responded most pointedly: “War is horrible. I lost friends, I lost family. … But to say that the response to the murder of the three youngsters was the killing of 2,300 [Palestinians] is to ignore the thousands and thousands of rockets thrown from Gaza to Israeli citizens. Each and every one of them [was] targeted to kill us. And if I will have to choose between losing more lives of Israelis, whether they are civilians or soldiers, or losing you, I will sadly, sorrily, rather lose you.”
Haaretz was right that something is shifting, and may never be the same. What will change because of these protests, however, is not U.S. Jewry, but the relationship between American Jews and their Israeli counterparts. Growing groups of each community are now willing to disown the other. Given political and cultural trends in each country, the widening chasm may be inevitable — but given how interconnected the flourishing of the two communities has long been, it could well also prove trouble for both.

Critics claim Irish confab on Israel’s right to exist uncorks anti-Semitism

The final day of an international conference debating Israel’s right to exist opened with the accusation that the Jewish state is “no longer guided by the ‘book,’ but instead by the power of the gun.”
The conference, held at the University College Cork (UCC) in Ireland, was entitled “International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy Exceptionalism and Responsibility.” Previously scheduled for Southampton University in the United Kingdom, is was cancelled there due to heavy protests and security concerns. Instead, it was held from March 31 through April 2 in Cork City Hall and venues at UCC.
The claim that Zionism is based only on “blood and might” and seeks to do away with the “meek” Jew came from the first speaker, Dr. Hatem Bazian, professor of Near Eastern studies at University of California Berkeley. Bazian accused Zionists of adopting “a racist, genocidal and exclusive world view” and claimed they had “embarked on a national project of settler colonialism.”
The event was headlined by controversial Jewish scholar, Prof. Richard Falk, author of the recently rejected UN report labeling Israel as “apartheid.” The conference hosted over 40 speakers — only one of whom was pro-Israel.

Skipping speech, Jerusalem mayor says SF State University helping ‘demonize’ Israel

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said Thursday he would boycott a planned lecture Friday at San Francisco State University to protest what he called a double standard in the way the college had tried to make amends for an event last year that was disrupted by anti-Israel protesters.
In a statement, Barkat explained the return event required pre-registration and was not publicized by the university. By limiting the profile of the lecture, the university had “contributed to the continuing marginalization and demonization of the Jewish state,” he said.
In April 2016 dozens of pro-Palestinian protesters, calling for the liberation of Palestine “from the river to the sea,” disrupted a lecture being given by Barkat and demanded that the mayor be expelled from the campus.
Barkat, who is in the US for various events, was scheduled to give a lecture Friday at the invitation of university president Leslie Wong in what was intended to be a second opportunity for the mayor to speak to students about the capital city he runs.
“President Wong invited me back to the university to provide students the opportunity to learn what they were denied last spring,” Barkat said. “I felt a moral obligation to return to San Francisco State and share Jerusalem’s progress, challenges and opportunities.”

Kansas legislation seeks to combat anti-Israel boycotts

The Kansas House has approved a bill that would prohibit the state from awarding contracts to companies that participate in any boycott of Israel.
The House passed the measure Wednesday on a 116-9 vote.
Similar policies in 17 states are intended to slow the boycott, divest and sanction, or BDS, movement, backed by pro-Palestinian freedom groups.
Supporters contend the laws don’t prohibit free speech because individuals and companies can still criticize Israel, or they can boycott it as long as they’re not vying for the state’s business. But the state shouldn’t “subsidize or reward discriminatory behavior,” said Jacob Millner, Midwest regional director and senior policy analyst for the Israel Project.
Republican state Rep. William Sutton, who has called the boycotts an “economic attack” on Israel, said the bill would protect Kansas’ trading relationship with Israel.

The hypocrisy of BDS on a university campus

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israeli companies, cultural and academic institutions finds fertile ground on North American university campuses. The phenomenon of BDS on campus often follows a pattern:
1. Student union formally adopts the BDS platform.
2. Student council attempts to pressure university governance boards and pension plans to cede to the BDS platform.
3. University administration typically rejects the nonsense – not because Middle East politics have no place on university campuses, but rather because the movement itself is deeply flawed in both its tactics and aim.
Academic boycotts are incongruent with the academic mission of a university, which at their core are meant to foster a diversity of intellectual pursuits.
Investments are typically managed by third-party fiduciaries, with minimal input from university governance. Most importantly, BDS is deeply flawed because its singling out of just Israel for alleged human rights violations is often accompanied by a wave of antisemitic activities on campus.

Jewish Rights Advocate: Tide Starting to Turn Against Academic Boycotts of Israel, Following Court’s Rejection of Attempt to Stop Anti-BDS Lawsuit

A court’s rejection of the American Studies Association’s (ASA) attempt to stop a lawsuit brought against its academic boycott of Israel signified “the turning of the tide against BDS,” the head of a Jewish rights-focused legal organization told The Algemeiner on Wednesday.
Kenneth Marcus, president and general counsel of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, applauded the Washington, DC district court’s Monday decision to allow the complaint — filed last year by a group of prominent professors — to move forward against the ASA’s December 2013 boycott resolution.
“This is a pivotal point in the case, as we can now move on to discovery,” Marcus said. “But it also signals to other associations that they can be held liable if they engage in BDS activities that violate their own internal rules, violate the laws of incorporation and constitute a breach of trust with their members.”
“This decision has generated an enormous amount of not just relief, but excitement from those people, genuine scholars, who hate academic boycotts and want to see academic associations returning to scholarship,” he continued.
“From the moment this complaint was filed, it has had an impact,” Marcus added, noting that the case was cited as being partially responsible for the Modern Language Association’s failed attempt in January to pass a BDS motion.

At Ryerson, a rare win for Jewish groups on campus (and one with a pleasant twist)

Last November, at Ryerson University, Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslim Students Association led a walkout of Ryerson Student Union’s (RSU) Semi-annual General Meeting in order to suspend quorum, when the group Students Supporting Israel (SSI) brought forward a motion endorsing Holocaust Education Week. Without quorum, the motion was unable to pass.
It was later discovered that the RSU executive was complicit in the walkout. The rationale offered by the obstructionists was their preference for a motion to endorse a week in which all genocides would be commemorated. But, as a member of SSI told me, an inference reinforced by other witnesses, “anti-Semitism was present in the room.”
Although the original motion was passed at another meeting a month later, the widely-publicized debacle left a bitter aftertaste. If even the Holocaust, which has nothing to do with Zionism or Israeli politics, was considered too contentious a subject for automatic RSU approval, it seemed to confirm the belief among many Jewish students (and Jewish donors, some of whom expressed anger to the administration) that while the condemnation of “oppression” of other minorities on campus as they themselves define it was scrupulously supported, Jewish-specific victimhood was open to often-arbitrary interpretation.

NSW Young Greens Boycott AUJS

The Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) is angered and disappointed that the NSW Young Greens have informed AUJS it is their official policy to boycott Jewish students. AUJS, the peak representative body of thousands of Jewish tertiary students across Australia and New Zealand, is a pluralistic organisation committed to engaging Jewish students with political parties and activists across the spectrum.
The fact that the NSW Young Greens have chosen to boycott an opportunity to engage with Jewish students on account of their mistaken beliefs about AUJS’ attitudes towards foreign policy speaks volumes of their problematic attitudes towards the Jewish community.
To reduce Australian Jews entirely to their political perspectives on a conflict occurring overseas, and to erroneously pigeonhole the entire Jewish student community as ‘support(ing) the occupation of Palestine’ demonstrates the deep, systematic prejudices which pervade the NSW Young Greens.
This is in line with the far-left trend where hatred for Israel is so strong that it can result in the antisemitic effect where the Jewish community is boycotted for the supposed crime of self-defining its cultural, ethnic and national identity.

PreOccupiedTerritory: After Primary Postponed For Britney Spears Concert, Labor Calls For BDS By Musicians (satire)

Leadership of the Israeli Labor Party is now considering joining the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions movement in the latter’s targeting of entertainers not to perform in Israel, after an upcoming concert by Britney Spears this summer forced the party to change the date of its scheduled internal election.
Prominent Labor officials voiced sympathy for the first time with BDS after the postponement announcement yesterday, and in anticipation of a veritable flood of famous musicians scheduled to perform in Israel over the next several months. They argued that with all the concerts taking place starting this May, there will be no time to conduct a proper primary campaign.
“It’s not just Britney Spears,” explained MK Nachman Shai, a new proponent of BDS. “Tom Jones, Aerosmith, Rod Stewart, the Pet Shop Boys – and that’s just through June. When the heck are we going to conduct the business of this party – and of this country? It has to stop. I hate the idea of an international embargo by musicians against Israel, but if that’s what it takes to get something done around here, so be it.”

BBC News website passes off anti-Israel hate fest as ‘academic conference’

The three days of defamation and delegitimisation of Israel seen in Cork should come as a surprise to no-one: the event’s activist organisers had made it clear well in advance that their intent was to question the very existence of Israel and their motive political rather than academic.
“This conference will be the first of its kind and constitutes a ground-breaking historical event on the road towards justice and enduring peace in historic Palestine. It is unique because, while most attention today is directed at Israel’s actions in the 1967 Occupied Territories, the conference seeks to expand the debate surrounding the nature of the State of Israel and the legal and political reality within it.
The conference will raise questions that link the suffering in historic Palestine to the manner of Israel’s foundation and its nature. It aims to generate a debate on legitimacy, exceptionalism and responsibility under international law as provoked by the nature of the Israeli state. It will also examine how international law could be deployed, expanded, and even re-imagined, in order to achieve peace and reconciliation based on justice.”

Nevertheless, the BBC News website elected to inaccurately pass off a patently political event as an “academic conference”, to portray delegitimisation and defamation of Israel and Jews as “critique of Israeli state policy”, to depict Richard Falk as a benign academic and to steer audiences towards the view that the event’s organisers suffer “chilling repression”.
How all that got past the supposed BBC editorial standards of accuracy and impartiality is anyone’s guess.

BBC News amplifies Balfour agitprop yet again

However, readers are not told that Lord Warner is a trustee of the Council for European Palestinian Relations (CEPR) according to the website of that Hamas-linked group which was outlawed by Israel in 2013. The CEPR’s director is Dr. Arafat Shoukri (aka Arafat Madi Mahmoud Shukri) who is also linked to the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC), which is likewise outlawed in Israel due to its links to Hamas.
Neither were readers of this report informed that Lord Warner has a long record of collaboration with delegitimisers of Israel and has previously made numerous anti-Israel statements in Parliament.
The BBC cannot claim to be providing its audiences with accurate and impartial coverage of the topic of the already redundant – yet ongoing – ‘Balfour Apology Campaign’ if it reports – and amplifies – support for that campaign from certain British parliamentarians without also clarifying to audiences their record on Israel and their links to organisations connected to a Palestinian terror group proscribed by the British government.

IsraellyCool: British Board of Film Classification Classifies Israellycool As A Hate Site

A few weeks ago, a reader in the UK alerted me to this message they received when trying to access Israellycool.
Thoroughly rejecting any suggestion Israellycool is about, or somehow promotes, “weapons, violence, gore and hate”, I contacted Sky Broadband, who promised they had passed details of the website to their content list provider Symantec, to ensure that the correct category would be assigned to the site.
But I had to know why the site was assigned to the troublesome and unfair category to begin with. This is the response I received when I asked:
It has been found that some of the content on this site fits the category definition for Hate.
The guide for this category is below
Sites which advocate hostility, aggression and the denigration of an individual or group on the basis of race, religion, gender, nationality, ethnic origin, or other involuntary characteristics. Sites that use purported scientific or commonly accredited methods to justify inequality, aggression, and hostility.
This Site was reviewed by the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) and the following adjudication was made on this

US Senate passes resolution condemning ethnic, religious hate crimes

A bipartisan-drafted resolution condemning ethnic, religious and racial hate crimes passed the US Senate unanimously on Wednesday night.
The resolution — which was co-sponsored by California Sen. Kamala Harris (D), Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R), California Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) and Main Sen. Susan Collins (R) — asks federal law enforcement to work with state and local officials to expedite its investigations into hate crimes nationwide.
It also asks the Trump administration to provide material support and fund security at places of worship and other religious institutions of any faith that have been targeted. Since January, there has been a surge in hate crimes directed at Jews, Muslims and other demographic minorities.
Over the last thee months, nearly 150 bomb threats have hit JCCs, Jewish day schools and other institutions, causing the evacuation of dozens of Jewish community centers and prompting some parents to remove their children from JCC programs.

14 percent of Americans hold anti-Semitic views, 52 percent concerned about violence against Jews, ADL polls find

Most Americans do not hold anti-Semitic views and are worried about violence against Jews, according to polls by the Anti-Defamation League.
Only 14 percent of Americans expressed anti-Semitic attitudes, a slight increase from 10 percent in 2015, according to the data, which was released Thursday. Older and less educated respondents were the most likely to hold anti-Jewish views.
However, 52 percent of respondents said they were concerned about anti-Semitic violence and an even higher proportion, 76 percent, were worried about violence against Muslims, the ADL found.
Forty-seven percent of respondents said there was more anti-Semitism during the 2016 presidential campaign than in previous times. Nearly half of Americans, 49 percent, said Donald Trump had not done enough to discourage anti-Jewish sentiments as a candidate, while 39 percent said he had.
The polls found that a higher proportion of Muslim Americans, 34 percent, held anti-Semitic views than the general population. That number, the ADL noted, is lower than among Muslims in Europe and the Middle East and North Africa, where 55 and 75 percent hold anti-Jewish views, respectively. The polls also found that half of Muslim Americans hold a favorable view of Israel and most Muslim Americans, 89 percent, were worried about violence against them and Islamic institutions.

How did a member of “Schools without Racism” experience anti-Semitic bullying?

A 14-year-old German schoolboy suffered bullying and physical abuse by classmates simply because he is Jewish. It sounds like a story from the dark days of the Nazi era, but it happened just this year at the Friedenauer Gemeinschaftsschule in the Schöneberg district of Berlin.
The school has been a member of the anti-discrimination network “Schools without Racism – Schools with Courage” (SOR – SMC) since 2016. The network is supposed to promote tolerance among students and teachers. It begs the question how this message fits with what happened to the Jewish boy.
“SOR – SMC” is run by the association Aktion Courage and was started in 1995. The goals of Aktion Courage include “furthering cooperation between and mutual understanding among members of different nations…, overcoming intolerance and hatred and resolving social conflict.”
A school doesn’t have to pass a test to become a member. Instead, 70 percent or more of students, teachers and all other school staff have to sign the membership request and confirm that they will stand up for the organization’s goals.

Footage shows eggs being thrown at Jews outside Golders Green shul

Neighbourhood watch group Shomrim has released CCTV footage of a Toyota Prius driving through Golders Green whose occupants are alleged to have thrown eggs at Jewish worshippers outside a synagogue.
According to the volunteer security force, the incident took place late on Tuesday night, at approximately 23.40, as worshippers performed the Kiddush Levanah ceremony outside a shul.
On Wednesday, Shomrim North West tweeted: “Last night occupants of a blue Toyota Prius deliberately threw eggs at Jews outside a synagogue. If you witnessed this incident or if you have any information relating to the occupants of the vehicle please call police on 101 or Shomrim NW London on 0300 999 1234.
Earlier this week a 26-year old man was arrested after he was reported to be shouting anti-Semitic abuse at Jews on Golders Green Road, spitting at them and performing the Nazi salute.

German government pays $1.28m to heir of Nazi-looted painting

A painting looted by the Nazis from a Jewish collector will continue to hang in a German museum after the German government and a private foundation paid the heirs of the former Jewish owner.
The German government announced Friday that $1.28 million had been transferred to an heir of Hans Hess in compensation for the painting, “The Judgment of Paris,” a 1913 work by the expressionist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.
The Nazis stole the painting from the Hess collection, and it has been on display since 1979 at the Wilhelm-Hack Museum in Ludwigshafen.
The money came from the German federal and state governments and the Ernst von Siemens Foundation.

Dutch store pulls coloring book with Hitler picture

A Dutch retailer on Wednesday said it had withdrawn from its stores a children’s coloring book that featured Adolf Hitler, complete with Nazi salute and a swastika on his arm.
“Nice, your coloring book!” commented one customer on the Facebook page of the Kruidvat chain, posting a photo of the page that showed the Nazi dictator ready to be colored-in.
Kruidvat, which sells household goods, said on Facebook that it “deeply regretted this incident” and described the image, appearing in two different coloring books themed around football and castle towers, as “inappropriate.”
“The coloring books went on sale on Monday April 3 and were immediately withdrawn from sale,” the retailer said, adding that it was investigating how the image ended up featuring in the books.

Eurovision singers plant trees, perform in Tel Aviv

Israel doesn’t just take part in the annual Eurovision Song Contest; it hosts the participants in a pre-contest promo show.
Dubbed Israel Calling 2017, the four-day trip this week brought 28 contestants to Israel on a visit sponsored by the foreign affairs, tourism and Jerusalem ministries, as well as the Jewish National Fund, Stand With Us and the Tel Aviv municipality, which hosted the group.
It’s the second year that Israel is hosting a contingent of Eurovision contestants.
Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said he hoped the trip would become a tradition, as one in a series of marketing steps designed to promote tourism to Israel worldwide.
Besides some of the expected tourist sites, like the Western Wall, the 28 visitors planted trees with KKL-JNF in the Eurovision glade at the Hanasi Forest.

Israel proposes freight rail link to Jordan, Saudi Arabia

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz on Wednesday proposed linking Israel’s freight railway network with Jordan and Saudi Arabia, and said he presented the idea to U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy, Jonathan Greenblatt, last month.
Under the proposal, goods could travel by rail from Israel’s Port of Haifa through Jordan to Saudi Arabia’s Gulf Port of Dammam.
Katz, who also serves as intelligence minister, declined at a news conference to say whether Arab states had agreed to join his initiative.
After Syria’s civil war began in 2011, Israel opened its Haifa port as a conduit for goods coming from Turkey and Europe to be trucked to Arab countries further east, but traffic has been limited due to small capacity and political opposition.
A railway connection would formalize links across tense borders. Israel has peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, but not with Saudi Arabia.
Katz told reporters that Greenblatt expressed enthusiasm about the plan during his regional visit.

Israel signs air defense contracts with India worth almost $2 billion

Israel Aerospace Industries said Thursday it had signed its largest-ever deal, to supply India with advanced air defense missile systems worth almost $2 billion (NIS 7.28 billion).
The state-owned IAI signed a $1.6 billion (NIS 5.83 billion) contract to sell the Medium Range Surface to Air Defense Missile (MRSAM) system, known in Israel as the Barak 8, to the Indian army.
This is the largest single purchase in the company’s history, IAI said.
In a separate deal the company will also supply the Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LRSAM) air and missile defense system for the first Indian aircraft carrier.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the deal in February.

Ancient coin cache discovered under old pilgrim hostel

A cache of nine bronze coins from the end of the Byzantine period (seventh century CE) was discovered in salvage excavations that the Israel Antiquities Authority conducted during preparations for a Netivei Israel construction project to widen Highway 1 near Ein Hemed, about 10 minutes west of Jerusalem.
The excavations exposed a large two-story structure and an adjacent winepress. According to Annette Landes-Nagar, director of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, the hoard was found among large stones that had collapsed alongside the building.
“It seems that during a time of danger the owner of the hoard placed the coins in a cloth purse that he concealed inside a hidden niche in the wall. He probably hoped to go back and collect it, but today we know that he was unable to do so,” she said.
“The historical background to its having been hidden is apparently related to the Sassanid Persian invasion that occurred in 614 CE. This invasion was one of the factors that culminated in the end of Byzantine rule in the Land of Israel.”

Prince Charles recalls his grandmother hiding Jews in WW2, as he meets Shoah survivors

The Prince of Wales has spoken movingly about the role his grandmother played in saving the lives of a Jewish family as he met Holocaust survivors in Austria.
The last day of Charles and Camilla’s European tour has been overshadowed by claims the Prince’s use of the official Government plane for his trip forced the Prime Minister to take a costly charter flight for a Middle East visit this week.
Clarence House has defended the use of the plane, stressing that the heir to the throne’s nine-day tour was booked in advance of Theresa May’s trip.
Charles and Camilla spent the final day of the tour in Vienna and met British and Austrian survivors of Nazi persecution when they toured the city’s Jewish Museum.
The royal couple sat down with a group of very elderly men and women who shared their harrowing stories with them.
During the Second World War, Princess Alice, the Duke of Edinburgh’s mother and Charles’s grandmother, sheltered a number of Jewish people when Greece was occupied.
Alice – who is buried in Israel – was recognised by Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial as a Righteous Among the Nations, and was posthumously awarded the British Government’s Hero of the Holocaust medal.

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