September 22, 2019

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04/17 Links Pt2: Judea Pearl Renounces NYU Distinguished Alumnus Status as School Prepares to Award Students for Justice in Palestine; Shapiro: Criticism of Rep. Ilhan Omar Isn’t Incitement

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2019/04/0417-links-pt2-judea-pearl-renounces.html

From Ian:


Judea Pearl Renounces NYU Distinguished Alumnus Status as School Prepares to Award Students for Justice in Palestine
Turing Award winner Judea Pearl has renounced his status as a distinguished alumnus of New York University, following the school’s decision to award its Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter — which orchestrated an ongoing boycott of Zionist student clubs — for “extraordinary and positive impact on the University community.”

Pearl, who graduated with a doctoral degree from NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering in 1965, was granted a Distinguished Alumnus Award by the Polytechnic Alumni Association during a campus lecture in 2013 and is currently a chancellor’s professor of computer science at the University of California, Los Angeles. He also leads a foundation named after his late son, journalist Daniel Pearl, who was killed by Islamic terrorists in 2002 while on assignment in Pakistan.

“In the past five years, SJP has resorted to intimidation tactics that have made me, my colleagues and my students unwelcome and unsafe on our own campus,” Pearl wrote in a letter to NYU President Andrew Hamilton. “The decision to confer an award on SJP, renders other NYU awards empty of content, and suspect of reckless selection process.”

Pearl stated that his efforts to engage with university officials over these concerns “have been met with platitudes about ‘free speech’ despite the fact that the US State Department now includes, in its definition of discrimination, intimidation based on race, religion and ethnicity.”

“Mr. President, I have been in academia for close to 50 years, and I know the difference between free speech and campus norms,” he continued. “Entrusted with the mandate of maintaining a climate of learning and mutual respect, your office should distance itself from the SJP selection and explain to the campus why such distancing is necessary. In the absence of a corrective action by your office the academic standing of this university is begging for other voices to call out the Orwellian character of (SJP’s) award.” (h/t MtTB)

Ben Shapiro: Criticism of Rep. Ilhan Omar Isn’t Incitement

That minimization of 9/11—and that’s what it is—resulted in blowback from conservatives. It’s not as though Omar’s history of treating terrorism with kid gloves is anything new, after all. In 2013, Omar did an interview in which she chided one of her professors for treating terrorist groups with horror while failing to do the same to America, England, and the military:
The thing that was interesting in the class was every time the professor said ‘al-Qaeda,’ his shoulders went up. … But you know, it is that you don’t say ‘America’ with an intensity. You don’t say ‘England’ with the intensity. You don’t say ‘the Army’ with the intensity.

In 2016, Omar wrote a letter to a judge asking for lighter sentences for men accused of being Islamic State group recruits, noting that these men merely “chose violence to combat direct marginalization” and calling their recruitment “a consequential mistake” that resulted from “systematic alienation.”

In 2017, Omar wrote for Time magazine: “We must confront that our nation was founded by the genocide of indigenous people and on the backs of slaves, that we maintain global power with the tenor of neocolonialism. … Our national avoidance tactic has been to shift the focus to potential international terrorism.” That’s not exactly a ringing rebuke of international terrorism.

But now Omar is criticizing those who merely quote her as inciting violence. She has claimed that President Donald Trump, who posted a video that juxtaposed footage of 9/11 with her “some people did something” comment, is responsible for an uptick in the number of death threats she has received. Her close friend Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., went so far as to compare Omar to a victim of the Holocaust.

This is immoral in the extreme. Omar isn’t a victim because she’s being criticized. And speech isn’t incitement. Sen. Bernie Sanders wasn’t responsible for the congressional baseball game shooting. Former President Barack Obama wasn’t responsible for the Dallas police shooting. And Trump isn’t responsible for those who send Omar death threats. He’s responsible for criticizing her—rightly, in this case.

Democrats who hide behind the charge of incitement are simply attempting to quash debate. And that’s far more dangerous for the future of America than criticizing a radical politician.

Stop Making the BDS Movement About Free Speech

So supporters of the BDS movement seek the destruction of a key American ally, Washington’s most important in the Middle East, with which it shares crucial moral and strategic interests. In other words, on top of being anti-Semitic, Barghouti’s campaign threatens American interests.

The BDS movement is also closely linked to terrorists. In a report released earlier this year, Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs found more than 100 links between Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), both Palestinian terrorist organizations that seek Israel’s destruction, and non-governmental organizations that promote the BDS movement. “The [BDS] campaign involves a network of non-governmental organizations, a number of which have close ties to designated terrorist organizations, most prominently Hamas and [PFLP],” the report states. “Hamas and PFLP operatives have infiltrated and adopted seemingly benign NGOs in the Palestinian Authority, Europe, North America, and South Africa, for the purpose of advancing their ideological goal: the elimination of the state of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.” Even if supporters of the BDS movement are not advocating violence, their terrorist allies sure are.

NGOs that promote the BDS movement employ more than 30 current and former terror operatives in Hamas and PFLP, according to the report.

Simply put, Barghouti’s creation is part of a terrorist network. And terrorist networks should be treated with hostility, not praise. Barring Barghouti from entering the United States is like barring someone who provides support to Hamas. Treating him as an innocent activist does not change that fact.

Criticizing the Israeli government and even boycotting Israel to make a political stand are perfectly legitimate, albeit deeply misguided, actions. But the BDS movement is something different, something much darker. Most Americans recognize that supporting Hamas or other terrorist groups is not a defensible position. Supporting the BDS movement should be viewed in the same way.

So, no, Michelle Goldberg, Israel’s defenders are not worried about having their views challenged or engaging in public debate. They are worried about the Jewish state surviving. Trying to twist the issue to make it about free speech rather than an attack on Jewish sovereignty will not silence those who care about Israel’s survival.

Call your Congressional Reps: Ask them to Co-sponsor H.Res 246

H.Res 246 is a new Congressional resolution with wide bipartisan support. The resolution condemns the anti-semitic, anti-peace BDS tactic, and reaffirms Congressional support for a negotiated peace agreement between Israel and her neighbors.

There are currently 198 co-sponsors. If your Congressional Representative isn’t listed here, call them and ask them to co-sponsor the resoultion. If they are already here, call and thank them.

Pelosi defends Omar: ‘No taint’ of anti-Semitism in Democratic Party

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday the Democratic Party had “no taint” of anti-Semitism, and accused US President Donald Trump of cynically politicizing the issue.

Trump has repeatedly attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat, as anti-Semitic, and tweeted a video on Friday that attacked her for remarks she made last month that supposedly offered a flippant description of the September 11 terror attacks.

The attack drew a defense from Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress, and many other members of the party, who said Trump had misrepresented Omar’s comments.

Trump further escalated the fracas Monday morning, accusing Omar of anti-Semitism in a tweet that read: “Before Nancy, who has lost all control of Congress and is getting nothing done, decides to defend her leader, Rep. Omar, she should look at the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and ungrateful U.S. HATE statements Omar has made.”

“I don’t think the congresswoman is anti-Semitic. I wouldn’t even put those in the same category,” Pelosi said in a CNN interview Wednesday in Dublin, Ireland, where she is traveling.

“We have no taint of that in the Democratic Party,” she said, “and just because they want to accuse somebody of that doesn’t mean that we take that bait.” Trump’s accusations, she said, were a sign that he is “out of ideas.”

La. Attorney General: Omar Fundraised for Terror-Tied Group

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (R.), a former member of Congress and an Army veteran, claimed that freshman Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar (Minn.) has been fundraising for a terror-tied organization that has a “long history of financing terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and al Qaeda.”

Landry, in remarks criticizing Omar’s recent appearance before the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, accused the Democratic lawmaker of working on behalf of a group that disseminates anti-Israel propaganda and has a history of close relations with notorious terror organizations.

“Despite repeated claims that CAIR is a benign, mainstream civil-rights advocacy group, the truth remains that CAIR has a long history of financing terrorist groups like Hamas, Hezbollah and al Qaeda,” Landry said in a statement. “Since 9/11, 15 CAIR leaders have been criminally convicted or implicated in terrorism investigations—including one convicted for violating sanctions of Iraq and another for financing al Qaeda and the Taliban.”

In June, the Louisiana House of Representatives passed legislation that would compel law enforcement and government organizations to avoid and suspend all contact with CAIR as a result of its links to terror groups.

“In fact, CAIR was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest successful prosecution of financing terrorism in this nation’s history—the Holy Land Foundation case (HLF),” Landry said. “During the trial, CAIR was identified as a Muslim Brotherhood front group and FBI agents testified that it also operates as a front for Hamas.”

Omar, Tlaib Saw Spikes in Campaign Cash After Anti-Semitic Remarks

Democratic representatives Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) both saw spikes in campaign contributions as they battled accusations of anti-Semitism, Federal Election Commission filings show.

The freshman duo, particularly Omar, have found themselves in hot water over the past two months. During a “progressive town hall” on Feb. 27 at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C., Omar remarked on the “political influence” in the United States “that says it’s OK to push allegiance to a foreign country” while speaking in relation to Israel. Tlaib was at the event alongside Omar.

Senior Democratic officials were forced to rebuke Omar over the comments, and House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Eliot Engel (D., N.Y), who is Jewish, called the remarks a “vile anti-Semitic slur.”

Prior to the event, Omar found herself under fire for a tweet in which she claimed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was funding her critics. Omar pushed back against her Democratic colleagues following the event and has continued to make such remarks publicly.

Despite, or perhaps because of, the controversy over her comments, Omar and Tlaib (the latter regularly defends Omar’s remarks), both saw spikes in campaign contributions, filings show.

Sarsour Looking For Ways To Raise Money For Islamists But Look Like Helping Notre Dame (satire)

A prominent activist for women’s and Muslims’ rights in the US aims to repeat the feat she managed two years ago following the desecration of Jewish graves, this time pretending to help Parisians rebuild a famous Paris cathedral destroyed yesterday in a fire, but in fact holding the monies for herself and the Islamist groups she supports.

Women’s March leader Linda Sarsour sent a message amid news coverage of the blaze that gutted the Notre Dame cathedral in central Paris, in which she attempted to gauge the feasibility of drawing donations from the public ostensibly to help the Roman Catholic community cope with the extensive damage to a major piece of its heritage, but that will in fact pay for her living expenses and for the support of her allies such as the Nation of Islam.

“How can we, as a community, demonstrate our public solidarity with Notre Dame, and leverage that effort to strengthen our own community?” wondered Sarsour in the message. “This is a powerful moment, and we would be remiss if we did not seize it as we did when that Colorado Jewish cemetery was vandalized.”

“Only this time,” she continued, “we will make better preparations regarding the visibility of the small portion of the collected funds we do provide for the Notre Dame repairs. As you may recall, in 2017 our movement faced unjust but robust criticism for not transferring in what critics called a timely manner what we collected for defaced Jewish cemeteries. While ultimately we provided tens of thousands of dollars, the perceived delay was a public relations setback for our movement. I could go on about Jews, money, and lack of gratitude, but now we must focus on leveraging the current moment and Notre Dame.”

Burgon Denied Saying ‘Zionism is the Enemy’ Under Oath

Readers will recall that Richard Burgon won a court case in January against The Sun. It was over a story they ran that claimed that his heavy metal band used “Nazi imagery”. The Sun argued in mitigation that there was a public interest in this issue because of the issue of Labour’s problem with anti-semitism and Burgon’s potential attitude towards Jews. Exploring the issue he was questioned in Court in reference to the same 2016 Mail article which Andrew Neil questioned him about regarding the claim he’d said “Zionism is the enemy of peace”.

Burgon is a trained lawyer and a Shadow Justice minister. His clear evasiveness and failure to give a direct answer suggests in retrospect that he knew that the Mail’s story was right and realised they had no hard evidence. Meaning, he calculated, that if he avoided giving a definitive answer he would be off the hook on this crucial point. Hence his failure to give a yes or no answer. The Sun are appealing the ruling and Burgon’s failure to answer this question, together with his denial which he now admits was not true, means that his evidence was not true. For a would-be Justice Minister to be giving false sworn testimony in Court is extraordinary…

Local Labour Chair Attempts to Overturn Anti-Semitism Candidate Suspension

The man in charge of Labour’s local candidate selections in Brighton and Hove has written to the party to demand that a candidate suspended over anti-Semitism be reinstated. Jon Rogers, chairman of the Brighton Pavilion Constituency Labour Party wrote to all local candidates in an email leaked to Guido saying:

“I have written today, on behalf of the LCF [Local Campaign Forum], to ask that the suspension is lifted immediately. The LCF approved Alex as a candidate and I remain convinced that this was an excellent decision.”

Alex Braithwaite was suspended by Labour for sharing “abhorrent” posts on social media, claiming Israel is “whipping up Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis to smear Jeremy Corbyn” and that the BBC was controlled by Jews. Alex’s local party appears to be standing by her…

Sky’s Posh Eco-Loon Vandalised Tory HQ, Shared Anti-Semitism Conspiracy Theory

The eco-loon who stormed out of a Sky interview earlier this morning, Robin Boardman-Pattison, (the posh sounding double barrelled name was mysteriously dropped for the broadcast) was a leading member of an anti-Heathrow expansion group that vandalised CCHQ last summer. The group broke windows and spray painted the building before being arrested…

Boardman-Pattison, who was until recently a languages student at Bristol University, spends his time vandalising multiple buildings and occasionally making pretentious foreign language poetry videos on YouTube. As any posh professional activist with too much time on his hands would…

Over the summer Boardman-Pattison shared a conspiracy theory on Facebook calling allegations of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party a “smear campaign against Jeremy Corbyn by the Netanyahuite [sic] supporters.” It’s all so predictable…

Lovejoy actor and Labour candidate Chris Jury reportedly peddled antisemitic conspiracies

In one post published in March, Mr Jury allegedly wrote: “My disgust at the cynical abuse of the memory of the 6 million [Jews murdered by the Nazis] by the right-wing of the Labour Party, aided and abetted by the Israeli Embassy, grows daily and has left me despairing for the future of the Labour Party. There is no evidence at all that the Labour Party has a particular problem with antisemitism.” He also defended Chris Williamson in that article.

The International Definition of Antisemitism adopted by the British Government and the Labour Party, states that “Manifestations [of antisemitism] might include the targeting of the State of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity…Antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for ‘why things go wrong’.”

In another post from April 2017, Mr Jury concluded that: “70 years after the defeat of the Nazis their racist, colonial, Eurocentric, moral degeneracy is still playing out in the Middle-East.”

Under the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is antisemitic.

In a tweet from August last year, Mr Jury also said that British politics was being “subverted” and antisemitism was being “weaponised by the Right of the Labour Party…”

Demonization: One year ago the Durham boycott of police training in Israel launched

Durham Has Many Pressing Issues – Israel Just Isn’t One of Them

In an email appropriately titled “Priorities?” sent after the April 16 Council meeting that focused for hours on Israel, a Durham realtor expressed the outrage of many, writing to Mayor Schewel, “Can you please explain to me why citizens with a huge, costly sewer project issue must wait at a Durham City Council meeting until after midnight while the Council wastes most of the meeting discussing the training of Durham police officers in Israel? Do you control the agenda?” The mayor acknowledged that the City Council meeting on Israel was “perhaps the longest meeting in my seven years on the council.”

Many in Durham have questioned why the City Council is focused on foreign policy with Israel while local issues appear to be neglected and mishandled. For example, following almost 20 years of planning, in March of 2019 the Durham City Council and other neighboring areas such as Orange County failed to secure a light rail project that ranked high on the Council’s priority list. In the end, Duke University would not agree to the light rail project, but this was only one of a number of issues. Many have since asked, shouldn’t the City Council have paid more attention to City issues rather than squandering its time boycotting Israel, protesting Jordan Peterson, and targeting the police and military on social media?

I have worked full time in Durham for the past seven years and my family attends synagogue in Durham. I have never heard colleagues or friends in Durham express the view that the City Council should concern itself with Israel. I have heard concerns on a wide range of local issues such as affordable housing, crime, gun violence, immigration, the safety of immigrants, LGBTQ rights, racism, and even affordable parking. For example, one teacher I know takes his girlfriend to work and picks her up every day because she can’t afford to park. I have heard school staff members talk about moving back in with their parents because of the high rents in Durham. These are the types of issues a City Council needs to address.

The Durham City Council has spent endless hours focusing on Israel. Now Durham will spend many more hours and likely hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars defending its Israel foreign policy in court.

Durham has many pressing issues – Israel foreign policy just isn’t one of them.

Congress Wants Investigation Into Taxpayer-Funded Anti-Israel Events at UNC, Duke

Congress is petitioning the Education Department to explain how $235,000 in taxpayer dollars were used to fund a series of anti-Israel events organized by Duke University and the University of North Carolina that featured speakers and events tied to Palestinian terror groups.

Rep. George Holding (R., Ga.), a member of the Ways and Means Committee, petitioned Secretary of Education Betsy Devos in a letter sent Monday to investigate the events, which the lawmaker described as featuring “severe anti-Israeli bias and explicit anti-Semitism.”

Holding had received a spate phone calls from citizens concerned about the anti-Semitic events.

The conference in question, titled “Conflict over Gaza: People, Politics, and Possibilities,” was co-sponsored by the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies, which is said to have “applied for and received a $235,000 grant through the Department of Education in 2018.”

The anti-Israel events have generated controversy at both schools due to what observers have described as a vitriolic anti-Israel bias that fosters an unsafe environment on campus for Jewish students. Duke has come under fire in past moths for hosting similar events that witnesses have described as anti-Israel.

Duke is still facing the fallout over the publication by its student newspaper of an opinion piece defending Rep. Ilhan Omar from charges of anti-Semitism and defending her use of language accusing pro-Israel and Jewish lawmakers of holding dual loyalty, a classic anti-Semitic trope.

Did a campus conference on Gaza feature antisemitism?

Lara Friedman, the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, did not see the concert but spoke at the conference the next day and said it stayed within the bounds of appropriate discourse on the issue. Friedman self-identifies as a liberal Zionist. She said the conference included criticism of Israel, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, as well as of U.S. policy on Gaza.

“It was within the norms and bounds of reasonable discourse on this issue,” she said. “There was nothing in the discourse here that isn’t heard in any discussion on Israel-Palestine.”

But Ari Gauss, the UNC Hillel’s executive director, said Nafar’s performance crossed a red line.

“Whether he’s attempting be a comedic provocateur, I don’t know, but I didn’t find it funny,” said Gauss, who was not at the performance but saw footage of it.

“The idea of the university sponsoring a musician who would sing about antisemitism in an at-worst glorifying way and at best belittling and lighthearted way, they’re not happy about it,” he said. “You still have the option to bring speakers who don’t play fast and loose with this language, and if you want to push the envelope, you have to cover your bases.”

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reached out to Nafar for comment. After communicating with JTA over the course of a day, he did not respond with a statement by press time.

But Elyse Crystall, a comparative literature associate professor at UNC who is the faculty adviser for the campus chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, said she felt that Nafar was ironically poking fun at American notions that Palestinians and Arabs are antisemitic.

“The way I heard that was, ‘All of you here probably think that because I’m Palestinian, I’m antisemitic, and maybe you’ve been sitting here waiting for me to say something negative, so here’s the song you’ve been waiting for,’” she said. “I don’t think he was being antisemitic. I think he was satirizing our own stereotypes of Palestinians and maybe Arabs more generally as antisemitic.”

The video of Nafar’s performance came during the same week that antisemitic fliers were found at a library on the UNC campus. The fliers warned of “an evil Jewish plot” and said “do everything you can to fight the silent covert Jewish attempt to enslave and kill good Americans,” according to the UNC Hillel.

No one has drawn a link between the conference and the fliers.

It also appears that the conference has not sparked significant student protest.

Kyra Rubin, a senior who is active in both student government and J Street U, the campus arm of the liberal Israel lobby, wrote to JTA in an email Tuesday, “To be quite honest, this is the first I have heard about this conference.”

Brown University President Explains Decision Against Israel Divestment, as Protesters Crash Freshmen Ceremony

The president of Brown University in Rhode Island explained why she chose not to abide by the demands of a student referendum calling for divestment from companies over their ties to Israel, as pro-BDS protesters disrupted a welcome ceremony for incoming freshmen.

The demonstration, which took place in a hall where members of class 2023 had gathered on Sunday, saw protesters chant, “Brown students voted yes on divest. Provost Locke: what’s next? End our complicity now,” the student-run Brown Daily Herald reported. The protesters also dropped leaflets promoting their campaign, according to video footage shared on social media.

The divestment referendum was held on campus from March 19 to 21 and in part called on the university to “divest all stocks, funds, endowment and other monetary instruments from companies complicit in human rights abuses in Palestine.”

Sixty-nine percent of the students who voted — representing 27.5 percent of the total undergraduate student population — backed the referendum, which some Zionist and Jewish students accused of employing biased language and heightening tensions on campus. President Christina Paxson rejected the referendum at the time, saying the polarizing move would wrongly turn the school’s endowment into “a political instrument,” while reiterating her view “that Brown should not embrace any of the planks of the BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions) movement.”

University of St. Thomas Student Government Passes Pro-Israel Resolution

The University of St. Thomas in Minnesota passed a bill in its student government on Monday defining antisemitism and recognizing the Jewish people’s right to self-determination.

“Antisemitism includes the delegitimization of Israel through denying Jewish people their right to self-determination and denying Israel the right to exist,” stated the resolution.

It also said that “The University of Saint Thomas Undergraduate Government will recognize that the Jewish people, like all peoples, have a collective right to self-determination.”

The bill was introduced by the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee in the undergraduate student government, which has 12 members, and adopted by the student government as a whole.

The president of the school’s Students Supporting Israel chapter celebrated the outcome.

Is Qatari funding influencing BDS on U.S. college campuses?

Zachor Legal Institute, an Israeli advocacy and legal group, has filed a lawsuit to compel Texas A&M University to share information regarding its funding.

In May 2018, the think tank filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, or an appeal for Texas A&M to disclose its funding sources, specifically Qatar or its proxies. Instead of complying with the request, Qatari lawyers from the Qatar Foundation, a state-supported NGO, intervened.

Qatar has given US $1 billion to American universities since 2011, and Zachor hopes to make a connection between Qatari funds and the “fondness for the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions.” on college campuses. The legal institute is focused on waging “a legal battle against anti-Israel movements in America,” specifically, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).

Since 2011, Qatar has awarded USD $225 million to Texas A&M University, according to Zachor. In addition, the Qatar Foundation has given money to Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Georgetown, Northwestern, and Virginia Commonwealth University, the group said.

Tel Aviv will have Jennifer Lopez’s ‘Love’ on August 1

Jennifer Lopez, the pop singer formerly known as Jenny from the Block, will be getting loud on the floor in Tel Aviv this summer, with her first concert in Israel on August 1 at the Yarkon Park.

J. Lo’s show, part of her “It’s My Party” world tour, is expected to attract tens of thousands of people in one of the summer’s blockbuster concerts, at the same venue that will host Bon Jovi on July 25.

Lopez’s Israel show will come at the tail end of her North American tour, a 25-show engagement kicking off June 7. She will then continue to a show in Russia and four shows in Europe.

Lopez will arrive in Israel with a 100-person entourage, including dancers, instrumentalists, and light and sound technicians bearing 45 tons of equipment. Mario Arlowski of Talent Music Events, who is producing the concert, said the singer had not faced any pressure from boycott activists.

Roger Waters calls on Madonna not to perform at Eurovision in Tel Aviv

Roger Waters on Wednesday called on Madonna to cancel her rumored performance at the Eurovision Song Contest finals in Tel Aviv on May 18, claiming that it “normalizes the occupation, the apartheid, the ethnic cleansing, the incarceration of children, the slaughter of unarmed protesters.”

Madonna has been booked to perform at the finals of the competition next month, but her participation has not yet been officially announced by the event organizers.

“I am routinely accused of being anti-Semitic,” Waters wrote in an open letter published by The Guardian. “That accusation can be used as a smokescreen to divert attention and discredit those who shine a light on Israel’s crimes against humanity.

“I should point out that I support the fight for human rights for all oppressed peoples everywhere. The religion of the oppressor is neither here nor there,” he said.

Waters, best known as a former member of Pink Floyd who conceived the rock opera “The Wall,” has long been a passionate supporter of the Palestinian cause and has angered Israelis by leading calls for a cultural boycott of the Jewish state.

New York Times Adopts Erroneous ‘Palestine’ Terminology

In two recent articles, The New York Times has incorrectly referred to the present day West Bank or Gaza Strip as “Palestine,” contrary to Times style. References to modern “Palestine” in the West Bank and Gaza are inaccurate, and those areas should be referred to as the West Bank and Gaza Strip, or, where, appropriate (in the West Bank), “Palestinian Authority territories.”

First, a book review by Jouman Khatib errs, stating “When [author Isabella] Hammad, 27, first visited Palestine six years ago. . . “

In addition to appearing online, the article also appeared April 4 in the Books section, then again April 5 in the New York edition, and a third time April 11 in print in the International New York Times.

A separate online article (“She was forced to marry in Bangladesh . . .”) likewise errs: “As of mid-March, 73 women had stayed at Asiya — all immigrants from Bangladesh, Egypt, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria, or Yemen . . . “

In August 2017 and in December 2016, The New York Times commendably corrected this identical error. Other media outlets which have corrected in the past include National Geographic, The Los Angeles Times (screen capture below), and Voice of America.

Avi Yemini on Jim Jeffries, Comedy Central, and Being Deported (LIVE)

Avi Yemini (YouTube creator) joins Dave live to discuss his scandal with Jim Jeffries on Comedy Central and why he was deported. Avi was supposed to be here in studio but was detained by the FBI and deported back to Australia.

New Mexico coffee shop closing after backlash to owner’s anti-Semitic rant

A New Mexico coffee shop is closing following public backlash to the owner’s anti-Semitic rant on Facebook.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Monday that Michael Palombo, owner of V Roast Bistro, admitted to writing a since-deleted Facebook post in which he referred to Jews as “f–king animals that deserve everything that has happen to them and don’t deserve our sorrow for what has happen to them.”

Palombo initially said someone else wrote the anti-Semitic comments on his personal Facebook page, according to local news outlet KRQE.

But he told the local newspaper Monday that he wrote the post “in a moment of anger.” Palombo made anti-Semitic remarks in the post about his landlord’s business practices.

The coffee shop was widely boycotted by the Albuquerque community last week after the post surfaced. But Palombo denied that he was closing his business because of the controversy.

In a subsequent post Monday, Palombo apologized, writing that “it is not who I am, or who we are or who we’ve been at V Roast Bistro.”

“This has been one of the most painful and embarrassing moments of my life,” he added. (h/t MtTB)

Police Service of Northern Ireland investigating antisemitic comments in pub, including “Hitler didn’t kill enough f***ing Jews”

The Police Service of Northern Ireland is investigating shocking antisemitic comments made in a pub, including that “Hitler didn’t kill enough f***ing Jews.”

Israeli author and journalist, Tuvia Tenenbom, filmed several men inside a pub in Derry’s Bogside, a predominantly nationalist area, as part of a documentary on Brexit. The clip has been widely circulated online.

After entering the pub and seeing Palestinian flags on display, Mr Tenenbom asked drinkers at the bar why they support Palestine. Some of the blatantly antisemitic responses were: “Because we hate the f***ing Jews” and “The Israelis are child-murdering scum.” A man in an orange high-visibility jacket then declared: “The only thing that Hitler didn’t do wrong. He didn’t kill enough f***ing Jews…Jews are the scourge of the Earth.” The comment was met with laughter from other patrons.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland confirmed that it is investigating the incident. Chief Inspector Gerard McLaughlin said: “Police have received a complaint in relation to a video on a social media site. Enquiries are ongoing into this incident.”

Police seek man who failed to face charges of forcing his way into synagogue in Stamford Hill screaming “I want to kill all disbelievers”

A man who allegedly forced his way into a synagogue in Stamford Hill in north London screaming that “I want to kill all disbelievers” is once again being sought by police after failing to appear in court.

Following the incident last month, Stamford Hill Shomrim, a Jewish volunteer neighbourhood watch, were on the scene within 45 seconds. The suspect was subsequently arrested by the Metropolitan Police Service and charged with an offence of racially aggravated harassment, alarm and distress offence under section 5 of the Public Order Act.

However, the defendant failed to appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates yesterday. The court issued a warrant for his arrest and he is now wanted by police.

NYC Council Member Accuses Queens Campaign Group of ‘Grotesque Antisemitism’ After Protest Outside Synagogue

A New York City Council member on Tuesday charged a community group in the borough of Queens with having carried out “a grotesque act of antisemitism” when its supporters demonstrated next to the Long Island synagogue of a real estate developer with whom they were in conflict.

“Protesting outside a person’s synagogue on the Sabbath because they might not develop their private property the way you want is a grotesque act of antisemitism and fully deserves our unqualified condemnation,” Rory Lancman — a member for the 24th District of the New York City Council — declared in a statement.

Lancman was referring to an impromptu rally organized during Shabbat services last Saturday by a local activist group, the “Glendale Middle Village Coalition,” outside Temple Or Elohim in Long Island — where realtor Michael Wilner serves as president.

The group is opposed Wilner’s plan to establish a homeless shelter at a former factory in the Queens neighborhood, and have called on him to build a school instead.

Lancman said that the Glendale Middle Village Coalition members “should be ashamed of themselves, and should apologize for their repugnant conduct.”

Fire Brigade Chaplain Who Saved Notre Dame Relics Has History Of Heroism

A fire brigade chaplain who ran inside the burning Notre Dame Cathedral to save precious relics has a history of heroic actions.

Father Jean-Marc Fournier rushed inside the cathedral to save several sacred religious artifacts Monday, including the Crown of Thorns. Fournier was also one of the first people to rush inside the Bataclan theater during the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris.

Eighty-nine people died in the theater in 2015 during the Eagles of Death Metal concert, when Fournier rushed inside to pray for the dead and comfort the wounded.

“He showed no fear at all as he made straight for the relics inside the Cathedral, and made sure they were saved. He deals with life and death every day, and shows no fear,” an emergency services source reportedly told The Daily Mail.

The Daily Mail also reports that while serving as a chaplain for the Army, Fournier survived an ambush in Afghanistan that killed 10 soldiers.

Medieval Haggadah on public exhibit after a century

A medieval Haggadah dating back to 1390 went on public display for the first time in a century at the Les Enluminures gallery in New York City.

Created in Milan, Italy, the Haggadah is known as the Lombard Haggadah, which was on display in the legendary Paris World’s Fair.

It belonged to a French family, until it was bought in 1927 by the renowned Jewish publisher and collector Zalman Schocken, remaining in private hands ever since. A century later, it will be on exhibition from April 12th to April 20th.

The Haggadah features seventy-five water color paintings depicting the most iconic moments on the Jewish exodus from Egypt, such as a man holding a bunch of bitter herbs, the portraits of the Four Sons and the baking of the matzah. The artwork was created by the artistic circle headed by fourteenth century Milanese artist Giovannino de Grassi.

The Lombard Haggadah is the oldest stand-alone Italian Haggadah and one of three illustrated Medieval Haggadot still privately owned. It is currently for sale.



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