Isi Leibler: This Passover, Israelis Have Reasons to Rejoice
In the coming days, most Israelis, secular and observant, will celebrate Passover — the festival of freedom in which we recount our life of slavery and exodus from Egypt, and how we became a nation. The Haggadah that we read at the Passover Seder also carries a universal theme of human rights, but its focus is the Jewish people, stressing our shared past and our aspirations for a renewal of Jewish sovereignty during 2,000 years of harrowing exile, endless persecutions, expulsions and attempted genocide.
We read in the Haggadah that “in every generation, they rise against us to destroy us. But the Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from them.” We appeal to the Almighty to “pour out Thy wrath” against the wicked and destroy them.
The Haggadah recounts the Egyptians’ pattern of Jew-hatred: They envied the prosperity of their Jewish minority, enslaved them and ultimately engaged in genocide, with Pharaoh’s decree to drown all newborn Jewish males. This pattern has recurred throughout the generations with those who’ve tried to destroy us: the pagans, the church, secular racist Jew-haters, Nazis and communists.
Today, there is a global tsunami of antisemitism, especially in Europe, where Jews are being transformed into pariahs. The current threat emanates from the bizarre combination of Islamists and radical leftists, who are renewing the vicious antisemitic propaganda of the 1930s that was a precursor to the Holocaust. In its current manifestation, this campaign is also directed against the Jewish national homeland — the only nation-state in the world whose right to exist is under threat.
It’s reassuring to smell cowardice in opponents, but depressing to see it in friends: the quivering lips, the darting eyes, the sweaty palms. Alas, many American Jews are emitting the stink of the scaredycat these days. Too many are dodging the upcoming fiftieth anniversary of the Six Day War, and especially of Jerusalem’s reunification – or burdening what should be festive celebrations with craven equivocations and politically correct genuflections about Palestinian suffering that obscure Israel’s extraordinary June 1967 triumph.
Seeking to avoid war is noble; apologizing for winning is disgraceful. I am proud that Jews sing songs of peace, crave reconciliation and regret killing. However, true peaceniks are realistic optimists, not naïve masochists.
Had Israel lost in 1967 there would be no Israel.
“Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel,” Egypt’s dictator Gamal Abdel Nasser vowed that May. Those were the stakes: Jewish women would have been raped then slaughtered; Jewish men would have been tortured then butchered. Jerusalem would sit atop one more layer of ruins – from the 19-year failed Jewish state. Tel Aviv would be a mass tombstone, reduced to rubble like the Jewish towns Palestinian radicals destroyed after the 2005 Gaza Disengagement, but this time with corpses rotting underneath.
In 1967, barely 22 years since the Nazis had finished transforming their rantings into mass murder, every reasonable person had to take the Arabs’ genocidal threats seriously. That is why Israel had young recruits digging mass graves in Tel Aviv. And that is why American Jews finally, belatedly, rallied around their homeland, under the gun, that May.
Politico has written an indictment of an entire sect of Judaism, getting basic facts wrong and making wild implications about a Jewish conspiracy in Russia tied to the Trump family.
On Sunday, Politico published an article casting Chabad (a Jewish organization dedicated to increasing religious observance among global Jewry) as an interlocutor of political power connecting President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Against a backdrop in which 2016’s presidential election is suggested to have been compromised by “interference” from the Russian government at the direction of Putin (with possible “collusion” from Trump and his political teams), Politico portrays Chabad as another brick of intrigue in its narrative wall.
“Some of the shortest routes between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin run straight through [Chabad],” alleges Politico.
As an example of the “piling up” of “links between Trump and Chabad,” Politico points to Trump’s hosting of a wedding at Mar-a-Lago between the daughter and son of two separate Chabad-connected Jewish Soviet emigres.
Politico alleges the existence of an “affinity” between “Chabad enthusiasts” and Trump, describing Chabad’s Jewish membership as “Trump’s kind of Jews.” No mention is made by Politico of long-term political support across observant Jewish denominations – and religious Jews and Christians, more broadly – for Republican and broader conservative values.
Chabad’s relationship with the Russian government is framed as a function of the organization’s political ambition, rather than a function of political necessity given the nature of Russia’s politics. No consideration is offered by Politico of political realities in Russia that would compel Chabad to develop and maintain relationships with Putin in order to best serve its mission.
Imagine for a moment the outrage that would (rightfully) erupt if a mainstream publication wrote an indictment of an entire sect of Islam, while getting basic facts like the name of the sect wrong, and hit publish the night before Ramadan began. Or the outrage that would (rightfully) erupt if Breitbart or an alt-right site published the same about Jews. The latter did happen over the weekend, only it wasn’t Breitbart writing a diatribe against a secret web of shadowy Jews, but instead, Politico Magazine.
This is, unfortunately, becoming a bit of a tradition at the publication. On the eve of another major Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashanah, Politico published a piece accusing politically conservative Jews of remaining silent on Donald Trump’s ascension. Because of the rules regarding work and technology on major Jewish holidays, many Jewish writers and publications were unable to respond to the smear in a timely manner, although Tablet Magazine’s Yair Rosenberg took the time to do so, pointing out for both the writer and editor of the publication just how Jew-y the anti-Trump camp of the conservative movement was and is.
Now Politico is accusing Jews of the opposite: working in a secretive, highly-funded conspiracy to put Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin in power, and keep them there. Or something. Truthfully, I didn’t really understand the crux of the piece, despite reading it several times.
Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is a non-Jewish organization that undermines the fight against, and enables, antisemitism by legitimizing and mainstreaming the anti-Israel movement’s assault on Jewish identity.
JVP presents itself as a social justice organization committed to non-violence and peace. But as we’ve documented in dozens of posts, its tactics and affiliations tell a different story.
JVP masquerades as merely devoted to ending Israel’s ‘occupation’ of Judea and Samaria/the West Bank when what it really wants is to end Israel. Its leadership and activists frequently promote and partner with extremist individuals and groups that demonize the Jewish state and delegitimize Zionism, while trafficking in negative stereotypes of Jews.
Basically, JVP gives cover to the anti-Israel boycott movement (BDS) and its political war on Israel by washing away the stain of antisemitism central to the movement’s founding, actions, and identity.
As we’ve highlighted in recent posts, all of this has been shamefully on display by the group’s proud embrace of Rasmea Odeh, convicted in 1970 of the terrorist bombing of a supermarket killing two Jewish students. She recently agreed to plead guilty to immigration fraud charges, to be deported, and to be stripped of her U.S. citizenship.
Last weekend, Odeh—who has never expressed an ounce of remorse of her crimes—was honored with the opportunity to deliver a keynote address at JVP’s national conference in Chicago, where she wowed an adoring JVP crowd.
Douglas Murray: Why Does the West Keep Colluding with Terrorists?
If it is true that our societies are “bewildered”, as the Dean says, might it be because we have not heard a wide-enough range of possible explanations for such outrages — because we have deliberately cut ourselves off, by choice,- from the warnings of ex-Muslims such as Hirsi Ali? Amid the “narratives” that are acceptable and to be tolerated, perhaps we have failed to listen to the explanations that outline the sheer scale of the religious and societal problem now in front of us?
Of course, for many Muslims, such as those critics of Hirsi Ali in Australia, there is a clear reason why they want to stop her speaking. Were people to hear her, they would realise the vast enormity of the challenge ahead of us and the depth and breadth of its nature. Her audiences would discover the defensive play around the world in which many Muslim organisations are engaged — a campaign to limit speech precisely in order to protect their own interpretation of their religion and keep out any other.
It is, however, the dissenting, silenced voices such as Hirsi Ali’s that are precisely the voices the world needs to hear at present. How tragic that a week that began with a silencing, should end with yet another all-too-predictable terrorist attack — one which Sweden will do as much to fail at comprehending as Britain did two weeks before her.
Hearing from voices such as that of Hirsi Ali could lift the fog of our “bewilderment” and explain, for instance, what does motivate some people to drive a car or truck into crowds of people going about their lives. There is a whole pile of reasons why Islamists want to stop her explanations from being aired. But why — when the attacks keep on happening — do our own societies collude with such sinister people to keep ourselves in the dark?
The FBI’s own reporting guidelines explain why identifying an offender’s race and ethnicity, as well as religion, sexual orientation, etc., is relevant. To determine whether a crime is motivated by hate, guideline § 2.2 says it is important to ascertain whether “The offender and the victim were of a different race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, and/or gender identity.” It’s also helpful to know whether “a historically-established animosity existed between the victim’s and the offender’s groups.”
So, for example, to determine whether a victim was targeted because they were Jewish, it would be helpful to know whether the perpetrator was a white member of the Aryan Brotherhood or an Arab who hates Jews. It would be extremely helpful if the FBI and other law enforcement authorities would record whether hate crime perpetrators and not just victims are Arab. For that matter, why not add all victim categories to perpetrator/offender categories such as religion and sexual preference?
Fischer explained the purpose of identifying offender characteristics: “Providing the offender race and ethnicity data allows the UCR Hate Crime Program to provide more granular data about the offenders committing these types of crimes. It also helps our participating agencies determine where they need to focus their resources.”
Is there a problem with anti-Semitic violence in Arab-American and Muslim communities? If so, it needs to be acknowledged and addressed. We have strong evidence from Europe that anti-Semitism is a serious problem in these communities, and this hatred often leads to acts of violence. The situation in Europe has deteriorated to a far greater extent than in the U.S., but America should not consider itself immune. The American Jewish community needs concrete information on who is committing anti-Semitic hate crimes in the U.S. in order for proper action to be taken.
Anti-Semitism is a very serious disease, and in order to cure it, it is critically important to know the cause.
Michael Totten: Why Europe is Falling Apart
For decades, the world has known a liberal and united Europe. But the Old Continent is in a deepening crisis–one with disturbing implications for democracies across the world.
Europe as we have known it for over five decades has been a stable and prosperous place at peace with itself, famous for its museums, cafes, classical architecture, and graceful retirement from history. But today, it’s under assault. The greatest refugee crisis since World War II is overwhelming the continent, while Jews flee by the thousands. Populist parties so outrageous that they make their American counterparts seem like milquetoast centrists are winning or almost winning one election after another. One of them—Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz—has already transformed Hungary into an authoritarian state. Russian President Vladimir Putin is swaggering like a conquering warlord and winning applause for his exploits as far west as Great Britain. The European Union has already begun to unravel and could be replaced down the road by God only knows what as an aloof United Kingdom decides to go it alone while Europe circles the drain.
Journalist and author James Kirchick lived and worked in Europe for six years, and in his bracing first book, The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues, and the Coming Dark Age, he dives deep into the continent’s turmoil. The cumulative effect is sobering and alarming, but also perversely comforting if misery truly loves company. The book makes it clear that America’s political crisis is part of a larger crisis of democratic liberalism and institutional legitimacy that stretches from Seattle to Athens, and Kirchick does his American readers an invaluable service by informing them, in a can’t-put-it-down style, that they aren’t going through this alone.
“According to one estimate, 10−15 percent of the world’s Muslims are Islamists. Out of well over 1.6 billion, or 23 percent of the globe’s population, that implies more than 160 million individuals.” – Ayaan Hirsi Ali, in her new book, The Challenge of Dawa.
That was Ronald Reagan’s major achievement in his long war against the Soviet Union: presenting communism as a joke — exposing the lies of the Soviet regime, exposing the misery under which its people were living, and explaining why Western values were preferable to Communist ones. This is exactly what the West, Hirsi Ali explains, should be doing with radical Islam.
Western civilization is a humanist vision in which Christianity integrated Jewish wisdom, Greek philosophy and Roman law, thereby giving Western culture its distinctive character: freedom of speech and of the press, equal justice under law, the primacy of the individual, separation of religion and state, freedom of religion and from religion, property rights, sexual equality, an independent judiciary, and independent education, among other values. This is what radical Islam wants to destroy. That is why terrorists are attacking our churches, the State of Israel and why they are subverting democracy to turn it into Islamic law, sharia.
Indonesian illustrator of ‘X-Men Gold #1’ included references to Koranic verses warning against friendship with non-Muslims
Superhero powerhouse Marvel Comics has been forced to apologize to fans and remove several pieces of artwork from a publication after it was found that an Indonesian artist had included subliminal anti-Semitic and anti-Christian messages in the publisher’s latest comic book release.
The “X-Men Gold #1” comic was released just four days ago, but it didn’t take fans long to spot a number of curious numerical references in the illustration and take to Marvel’s dedicated online fan forums where the meaning of the secret messages was quickly deciphered.
The most obvious reference was on the T-shirt worn by the character Colossus reading “QS 5:51,” referring to the Qur’an Surah [Koranic passage] 5:51. That passage, according to the Muhammad Sarwar translation of the Quran, reads: “Believers, do not consider the Jews and Christians as your intimate friends for they are only friends with each other. Whoever does so will be considered as one of them. God does not guide the unjust people.”
David Collier: The sentinels of the antisemites, protecting Jew hatred
At almost every event I attend I see antisemites. But why are those that hate Jews given such legitimacy. Why is it so hard to extract even one rabid politician from a mainstream party? These are the defenders of the Jew haters. Sentinels of the antisemites. Academia is occupied, media is lost and the politicians will always sway to the demographic changes.
As I grew up in the UK, I viewed antisemitism as a minor, defeated issue. I knew it still existed, indeed I had my own run-in with local Nazis, but believed that it had been pushed out into the far-right shadows. I could also see it within Arab discourse about Israel, but wrongly assumed that it remained within the context of an ongoing conflict.
Back then, I never imagined for one moment I would witness rising antisemitism in the 21st century. Never thought for a day, that as an adult I would be ‘out there’, personally facing down Jew hatred on London’s streets just as my grandparents had done 80 years before.
But then in those days, the Holocaust was the one global event that for me was ‘beyond explanation’. I never thought I would ever understand how it happened. It has been a brutal awakening to realise how slippery the slide towards oblivion is.
NBC News launched the latest in a series of failed attempts to link Dr. Sebastian Gorka — the philosemitic, pro-Israel deputy foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump — to the neo-Nazi far-right on Saturday.
As with all such previous attempts, NBC found nothing to prove any extremist ideas or views on the part of Dr. Gorka. And as with all such previous slanders, NBC relied on fraud — this time, in the form of the phony “Anne Frank Center.”
The full name of the bogus front organization is the “Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect” — an ironic title, given that it is a full-throated Democratic Party attack machine that shows no respect for anyone else whatsover.
The self-described “civil rights activist” who leads it, Steven Goldstein, is an LGBT activist who has beclowned himself on cable news over the past few months in his efforts to tarnish President Trump as the second coming of Adolf Hitler.
Breitbart Jerusalem editor Aaron Klein exposed Goldstein and his organization in February. Goldstein is no Holocaust expert: he is merely an ardent Hillary Clinton supporter who found a ready audience for his political schtick among a gullible press corps eager for ammunition in their war against the White House. He has no qualms about exploiting the name and memory of Anne Frank for his purely partisan purposes. It is Holocaust desecration, if not outright denial.
Jewish student leaders at Tufts University “are working intensely” to combat a surprise boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) resolution initiated by an anti-Israel group for a vote days before Passover, the campus chaplain told The Algemeiner on Friday.
“Yesterday, without any forewarning, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) put forward this resolution, to be voted on by the [Tufts Community Union (TCU)] student senate this Sunday night,” said the campus Hillel’s executive director, Rabbi Jeffrey Summit, who also serves as a research professor in the department of music and the Judaic studies program.
“The Hillel Jewish community is deeply disturbed by this vote, and by the way the resolution was brought so close to Pesach, at a time when many of our students are home with their families, readying themselves for the holiday,” Summit said.
He added that Hillel has been in close contact with a coalition of Israel-related student groups, including Tufts Friends of Israel, Tufts American Israel Alliance (TAIA), Tufts Students for Two States and J Street U.
“The phenomenal student leaders have been working very hard to oppose this from the moment we found out,” Summit said, adding that Hillel strongly believes “BDS is not a productive way to promote any sort of useful dialogue.”
During the argument SJP admitted it had been working on the resolution all semester. It also admitted that it it could have brought the resolution a week earlier, but many of its supporters were at a conference. (I assume that was the Jewish Voice for Peace conference in Chicago). A JVP student was one of the student leading the argument in favor of divestment.
The SJP students could not even answer if Tufts invests in the four companies at issue.
The argument on the resolution is ongoing now. We’ll report on the results when known.
UPDATE: The Resolution passed. The vote was 17 for, 6 against, and 8 abstentions. The Senators refused to allow their names to be used, and based on the audio, the names of those voting a particular way were not recorded. So the Senators cannot be held accountable for their actions. There was also strict enforcement of a no-video and no identification of speakers policy. As if debating the Resolution when large numbers of Jewish students had already left campus for Passover was not bad enough, it was done in a secretive manner.
It was obvious that the pro-divestment side was very well prepared with their social justice arguments. The opposing side, which only received notice of the Resolution a few days ago and was weakened by the Passover Eve scheduling, never mounted a serious challenge to the underlying premise of the Resolution, which is that Israel is responsible for the conflict. There was little to no discussion of the history of Palestinian terrorism, the suicide bombing campaigns, and rejectionism. In contrast to other campuses where the anti-BDS side has successfully opposed divestment resolutions by educating student government as to the facts, the sneak nature of the attack and timing worked to the pro-BDS students’ advantage.
The latest report issued by a covert campus watchdog group revealed a string of highly offensive social media statements made by students at six Cleveland schools over the past few years.
The dossier, released on Thursday, highlighted dozens of antisemitic, homophobic and racist comments, including, “I’m gonna finish what Hitler started,” and “I’m bringing rocks to school…that Jew better run.”
According to the report, compiled by Canary Mission – which anonymously monitors anti-American, anti-Israel and antisemitic activity on US college campuses — the remarks were made by current and former students affiliated with branches of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), the Muslim Students Association (MSA) and the Arab Student Union (ASU) at the Cleveland schools.
Bahaa Falweh, the former president of the Cleveland State University (CSU) ASU, who is currently pursuing an MBA in health administration, tweeted in 2012, “Goodnight everyone, tonight ill be keeping gaza in my thoughts and prayers, inshallah Jews die.”
Earlier that year, he had commented: “If those dirty Jews invade [Gaza] tonight then I will personally hop on a plane, fly there and start killing them my self #realtalk.”
Walaa Mohammad, the current treasurer of the CSU SJP who is also affiliated with the campus MSA branch, tweeted in July 2016, “allah yin3an al yahood [May Allah curse the Jews].” Mashhour Shehadeh, in his last year at CSU, wrote in March 2016: “When life hands you rocks, throw them at yahood [jews].”
An anti-Semitic voicemail message was left for a librarian at Washington University in St. Louis.
The message came after the librarian helped organize an exhibit on the Holocaust at a local museum.
The Huffington Post first reported the anti-Semitic incident on Friday, though it occurred on March 15. The librarian, who declined to be named, notified The Huffington Post of the incident through its “Documenting Hate” project in conjunction with the ProPublica nonprofit news organization dedicated to investigative journalism.
A university spokeswoman told The Huffington Post that the university alerted local and federal authorities, as well as Jewish organizations of the incident.
According to a transcript of the call published by The Huffington Post, the caller questioned why the facts of the Holocaust are not “open for debate” and asked “why in many nations in Europe it’s outlawed to even discuss it? If it were the truth then it wouldn’t need laws to support it. ”
In yesterday’s London Sunday Times, Anthony Julius and Deborah Lipstadt on the latest Livingstone imbroglio:
“Ken Livingstone, who has been suspended from holding office in the Labour Party following his claims that Adolf Hitler supported Zionism, is a provocateur. That is to say: he doesn’t care about the truth.
To respond to him is already to elevate him; to debate him is a waste of time. Self-pitying, self-admiring, he believes himself to be a truth-telling, special-interest-defying, independent-minded maverick. He cannot be persuaded out of these delusions.
The implication is that anti-semitism is best engaged with at the level of reason, or ignored, following a diagnosis of imbecility. The problem with that approach is that it overlooks the fundamentally malicious nature of anti-semitism. Anti-semites have not reached their conclusions by some faulty line of reasoning that can be corrected. As if Livingstone, when presented with the historical record would say: Oh I see! Gosh, I got it wrong!
Livingstone and people like him conform to a familiar pre-1933 – that is to say pre-Holocaust – type of anti-semite. This kind of anti-semite lived among journalists, politicians and others with access to newspapers, radio stations and other public forums. They could be relied upon to see the Jews behind every scandal, to give a “Jewish twist” to any issue of public concern.
The leaders of the body representing thousands of Labour councillors have condemned the “lenient” punishment handed to Ken Livingstone and demanded an urgent meeting with the party’s general secretary amid mounting pressure for further action.
Jeremy Corbyn announced within hours of the decision not to expel the former mayor for bringing the party into disrepute that the NEC would start a new investigation.
But councillors Nick Forbes and Alice Perry, who head the Labour Group of the Local Government Association and also sit on the party’s NEC, complained that Livingstone remains able to attend meetings and canvass on behalf of the party during the remainder of his two-year suspension while “continuing to share views that are causing great offence to Jewish communities”.
In a letter to the Labour’s general-secretary Iain McNicol, seen by the Jewish News, they said his words “undermine” efforts to build good community relations.
One of the world’s largest banks, the Paris-based BNP Paribas, may have closed the account last year of a French organization that advocates boycotting Israel. After the former president of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) sent a letter to BNP in May 2016, the donation section on the organization’s CAPJPO-Europalestine website was scrubbed of the BNP account.
Israeli journalist Jean Patrick Grumberg, a reporter for the French-language American website Dreuz.info, told The Jerusalem Post on Friday that “CAPJPO removed the link to the page with their bank information… It’s possible that BNP quietly closed the CAPJPO bank account after receiving the letter from CRIF.”
CAPJPO is the acronym for the Coordinated Calls for a Just Peace in the Middle East – an umbrella organization for hardcore anti-Israel organizations – and is an energetic advocate of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Movement targeting Israel.
Robert Ejnes, a spokesman for CRIF, told the Post, “BNP Paribas called Roger Cukierman for a direct discussion. The CRIF president [Cukierman] restated that, since the boycott is illegal in France, an organization that supports BDS should not be authorized to hold a bank account with BNP. We do not know what BNP Paribas did. CRIF’s message was not an instruction but a recommendation.”
IsraellyCool: Richard Silverstein Smears Israeli-Arab As “House Arab”
Israeli Arab Rasha Athamni is a highly accomplished woman. A cadet at Israel’s Foreign Ministry, she has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and English literature from Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, as well as a Masters’ in Public Policy.
Here she is addressing the UN 3rd committee on persons with disabilities, elderly & youth, when she was Israel’s first ever youth delegate to the UN General Assembly.
A truly impressive and talented woman.
But anti-Israel douchebloggerTM Richard Silverstein reduces her to nothing more than a “house Arab” – all because she supports and defends Israel.
This is not the first time Silverstein has let his bigotry shine through while disparaging a Zionist.
Citing her “tremendous success” in bridging the gap between the police and the Black Lives Matter movement, President Trump announced he has appointed Kendall Jenner to lead Israeli-Palestinian peace talks for his administration.
“Listen, this Kendall Jenner, I’m hearing great things,” Trump told The Mideast Beast. “I hear she does amazing things with Pepsi, and she is being recognized more and more. She’s going to solve this conflict so fast it’ll make your head spin.”
“And let me tell you, I’d like to grab her by the Pepsi,” Trump continued. “The mic isn’t on, right?”
Trump’s announcement comes after Jenner’s controversial Pepsi ad, which showed Jenner bringing together police and protestors by giving an officer a Pepsi, was pulled from the air. While the ad has received criticism, it has reportedly inspired the administration to send shipments of Pepsi to Syria in hopes of ending the country’s civil war.
Ayala’s story is one of hundreds of which BBC audiences have no knowledge because non-fatal terror attacks – however devastating for the victims and their families – are for the most part not reported by the BBC and certainly do not receive any follow-up coverage. During 2016, for example, the BBC News website reported all the terror attacks against Israelis that resulted in fatalities, but those attacks were a small proportion of the total number of incidents and audiences were not provided with the crucial context of the scale of attacks as a whole.
Untold stories such as that of Ayala Shapira are no less important than the fatal attacks which do make BBC headlines in helping audiences to understand Israel’s policies, counter-terrorism measures and the concerns of the Israeli people. The fact that such stories are ignored also means that when Israel is obliged to respond to rising terrorism, audiences and BBC journalists alike are unable to put events into their appropriate context and thus arrive at uninformed and inaccurate conclusions.
Any media organisation genuinely committed to fully informing its audiences would make efforts to periodically report that essential context.
Last year, a decision by a professional pedagogic body not to include the novel ”Borderlife” by Dorit Rabinyan – which features an Israeli-Palestinian love affair – in the Israeli high school curriculum was mischaracterised by Times of London as a “ban”.
We prompted a correction to the Times of London article – as did our colleague at BBC Watch to a similar claim at BBC Radio – after demonstrating to editors that there was in fact no such “ban”.
- Israelis are free go to bookshops anywhere in the country and purchase the book.
- The book made it to the Israeli best seller’s list.
- Israeli students can borrow the book from libraries.
- Israeli teachers in advanced literature classes across the country are free to assign the book to their students if they choose.
Yesterday, the Guardian committed a similar error, in a story by their Jerusalem correspondent, Peter Beaumont, about the controversial book which included the following headline:
Since August 2014 forty separate attacks using trucks, tractors, vans or cars have been perpetrated against Israelis, with images encouraging such attacks commonly appearing in incitement posted on social media. The use of vehicles to carry out terror attacks however goes back still further; what Europe has been seeing in the past nine months has been an all too familiar sight to Israelis for many years.
Many of those attacks – even fatal ones – have been ignored by the BBC. Those that were reported have – in contrast to similar incidents on European soil – not been described as terror attacks in the corporation’s own words.
The reason for that double standard lies in the BBC’s failure to distinguish between method and aims, with the result being that when somebody deliberately drives a vehicle into a group of people, the corporation’s description of the attack as terror – or not – depends on the perceived aims and affiliations of the perpetrator.
It is high time for the supposedly impartial BBC to explain its now well-documented double standard when reporting vehicular (and other) attacks to its funding public.
A shocking story of a 14-year-old Berlin boy enduring beatings from Muslim classmates when it became known he was Jewish, emerged one day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel dismissed calls to introduce a law regulating Muslim religious practices.
The boy had been subjected to punches, kicks, and threatened with a replica gun in a campaign of intimidation by Muslim pupils who told him, “Muslims hate Jews. All Jews are murderers.”
The violence and intimidation got so bad, he had to permanently leave the school.
In response to the beatings, school administrators buried their heads in the sand hoping the irksome problem of radical Islam would simply go away. His British mother told the Daily Telegraph:
“They told us this is normal for adolescents from this background, that they’re just trying to find their identity.”
Beating a Jew is normal for Muslims, just part of who they are? Yeah, boys will be boys. Suck it up and embrace Germany’s newfound cultural enrichment!
And don’t you dare embrace Islamophobia in response to Islamofascism.
Watch as I share more from this story of how everything changed for this boy once his religion was revealed.
Germany: Muslim boys “find their identity” beating Jews
The year, as we mark the season of Passover, there has been a discovery of the remains of a pyramid in Egypt that was reportedly built around the time of the Exodus:
Ahead of the Passover holiday, an unknown pyramid was discovered in Egypt, dating roughly to the time of Jews’ exodus from bondage.
A top antiquities official says an Egyptian excavation team has discovered the remains of a pyramid dating back to the 13th Dynasty, some 3700 years ago.
The head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector, Mahmoud Afifi, said in a statement Monday that the remains were located north of King Sneferu’s bent pyramid in the Dahshur royal necropolis south of Cairo.
And while that is good news for those who love ancient Egypt, there is now troubling evidence that the Exodus from Egypt is nearly complete: There are only 18 Jews left in the nation. An AFP report from Emmanuel Parisse details how handful of Egyptian Jews remain in the Arab world’s most populous country and struggle to preserve their heritage.
Thirty headstones toppled in a Jewish cemetery in the Philadelphia area fell due to age and environmental factors, police said.
The damaged headstones were discovered on Friday at Mt. Sharon Cemetery in Springfield, Pennsylvania. It was reported by a woman who went to visit her father’s grave and noticed the overturned and cracked headstones.
The damage was initially reported as vandalism, which caused concern in light of the vandalism in February at the Mount Carmel Cemetery, where about 175 gravestones were toppled in a vandalism attack, just after a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis was vandalized. No suspects have been identified in either attack.
Police said Saturday that the damage was not vandalism, but was caused by external factors, including recent bush and tree removal. The cemetery management said it would fix the toppled headstones, police told local media.
Almost everyone involved with tahini sees its popularity as more than a passing trend. Jebrini, taking a break from manning his factory in the Old City to sell two big jars of tahini and sesame oil to a European tourist, says that once people learn about its health benefits, they will keep it as part of their diet.
“I know people are mixing it with all kinds of things now, chocolate and other things, but at the end of the day, it’s about health,” he states.
The sisters behind Soom say they will continue their site’s popular blog and their collaboration with chefs in order to educate the public about this flexible and healthy ingredient.
“It’s not just trendy,” Zitelman says. “It’s a product people can use. It’s a chef’s food and it’s a staple. We want people to have tahini in their cabinet like they have ketchup.”
Market studies indicate that Israel will face more competition in the coming years from other tahini-producing countries, including those in Mediterranean Europe and the Persian Gulf. But for now, Israel remains at the center of the culinary world’s love affair with tahini.
A former Israeli fighter pilot, Didi Horn, has created a new drone that aims to help the oil and gas industry more efficiently and cheaply monitor rigs, pipelines and other operations.
SkyX, an Israeli-Canadian startup based in Ontario, on Friday announced its public launch and said it was preparing to raise money in a Round B of financing.
SkyOne craft, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) developed by SkyX, are equipped with cameras and sensors and are able to inspect pipelines for damage; they can also do mapping and security surveillance. The drones are able to take off and land vertically and fly autonomously and have the ability to intuitively know when they need recharging.
Different from other drones, through proprietary technology, the SkyOne doesn’t need to return to home base to recharge. Instead, it flies to the nearest available xStation, where it recharges in a weather-shielded dome before continuing its mission, the company said in a statement.
Manure preserved for millennia by the arid climate of Israel’s Timna Valley is adding fresh fuel to a long-simmering debate about the biblical king Solomon and the source of his legendary wealth.
Archaeologists discovered the 3,000-year-old dung in an ancient mining camp atop a sandstone mesa known as Slaves’ Hill. The area is dotted with copper mines and smelting camps—sites where the ore was heated and turned into metal.
University of Tel Aviv archaeologist Erez Ben-Yosef began excavating the site in 2013. Last year he and his team were uncovering the remains of several walled structures, including a fortified gate, when they discovered what appeared to be animal excrement of relatively recent origin.
“We thought maybe some nomads had camped there with their goats a few decades ago,” Ben-Yosef said, noting that the dung still contained undecayed plant matter. “But the [radiocarbon] dates came back from the lab, and they confirmed we were talking about donkeys and other livestock from the 10th century B.C. It was hard to believe.”
Harry Borden is Britain’s Annie Leibovitz. Sort of. The American-born, UK-raised portrait photographer, 52, admits there “are some parallels” in their careers, though “obviously, I’m nowhere near as successful,” he said.
Still, Borden is England’s go-to photographer when a publication wants a celebrity portrait. Elton John, Paul McCartney, Ewan McGregor and, perhaps most famously, Margaret Thatcher, have been among his subjects. His work has appeared on the covers of Vogue, GQ and the New Yorker, among many others, and he has over 100 of his works in England’s National Portrait Gallery.
Around nine years ago, however, he felt there was more to life than taking pictures of the rich and famous. At what he considered “the height of my powers,” he decided to “use my photography for something more useful.”
And there began a journey that took him as far as Israel, Australia and back to the US to take photos of Holocaust survivors — 200 of them, all told. Of these, 104 are collected in his new book, “Survivor: A Portrait of the Survivors of the Holocaust.”
The project was a personal one. Borden was born in New York but moved to England as an infant — first to London, then to rural Devon — where he attended church schools and sang in a church choir. He considered himself Christian, like his mother, Lavendar. Borden said his father, Charlie — an advertising executive and a non-practicing Jew — told him that the only thing he derived from his Jewish background was a fear of anti-Semitism.
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