August 8, 2020

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04/22 Links Pt2: Collier: Why the mainstream is to blame for the antisemitism crisis; Pipes: More Academic Malfeasance; What is Medgar Evers College thinking by honoring Al Sharpton?

From Ian:

David Collier: Why the mainstream is to blame for the antisemitism crisis
Antisemitism spread through the left like a tsunami through city streets. It may have entered via radical minority groups on the fringes, but as it hit the shore, there were no defences in place. Nothing to stop anti-Jewish sentiment moving from constituency to constituency. For decades, the mainstream has flirted with anti-Zionist activism. They have justified racist boycotts and supported the demonisation of the ‘Zionist’. They stood silently, as people wearing keffiyehs, turned every meeting into one that spread lies about Israeli actions.

Even staunch opponents of antisemitism will begin each sentence with a statement suggesting they ‘don’t support the Israeli government’. Sending an unspoken message that implies those demonising Israel are right. That Israel is indeed guilty of all it stands accused of. The mainstream allowed for the image of Israel as pariah to spread – so when antisemitism hit – there was no way to stem the tide. Anybody who stood up to shout down antisemitism, was accused of defending the indefensible.

The ‘it is just to stop criticism of Israel’ excuse has been given some level of legitimacy by major political players across the spectrum. Does this sound like ‘conflation’? Of mixing up antisemitism and Israel? Yes? Good, because it was meant to. Anybody today who suggests the two issues are entirely separate understands *NOTHING* about antisemitism at all. Which is at the heart of the entire problem.
Antisemitism as anti-Zionism

Antisemitism is embedded in the roots of anti-Zionist activism. Hitler wrote that Jews promote Zionism only because they ‘want a refuge for convicted rascals and a high school for future rogues’. Early opponents of Zionist activity frequently relied on anti-Jewish hate with tragic and devastating consequences. Those seeking support to oppose Zionism, found fertile ground in the sewers of global antisemitism. And the best part about antisemites? You can say whatever you like about the Jews and it will be believed.

Anti-Israel activity is a pyramid of lies. That is not to say that the Israeli state doesn’t overstep or make mistakes. It simply means what it says – most of what Israel stands accused of – is entirely false. And this trend is not new, it has been drip-feeding for as long as Zionism has been active. Sometimes, during conflicts such as 2014, the drip turns into a flood, but even during relatively quiet moments, the tide continued to rise. Another article in the Guardian, another documentary on the BBC, a few more viral videos – or a singer attacked for performing in Israel. The daily news feed that paints Israel as some type of pariah state was spread throughout the mainstream. Like spreading kindling in the dry forest.

Daniel Pipes: More Academic Malfeasance

Did you know that that the War on Terror actually “is a war for natural resources – and that terrorism has little to do with it”?

So argues John Maszka in his book, Washington’s Dark Secret: The Real Truth About Terrorism and Islamic Extremism (Potomac, 2018), as summarized in the publisher’s blurb. If you were curious how this “Terrorism Scholar” (his capitals) and professor of international relations at the Higher Colleges of Technology in Abu Dhabi, would pull off so implausible a thesis, you might want to dip into the book.

A sentence, however, on p. 54, might give you pause: “Islamophobes such as Daniel Pipes insist that there is no such thing as a moderate Muslim.”

Okay, you might ignore the predictable “Islamophobe” silliness; but where did that statement come? Wherever did I “insist that there is no such thing as a moderate Muslim”?

A search of the archive at turns up 5 article titles and 6 blog titles including the words “moderate Muslim”; also 2 and 3 titles, respectively, with the term “moderate Islam.” In all, the term “moderate Muslim,” turns up 619 times there and “moderate Islam” 1,270 times. That adds up to nearly 1,900 references.

You will find so many of my articles on this topic that there is even a collection of them in a “Bibliography – My Writings on Moderate Muslims.” In addition, a favorite, standing slogan of mine, “Radical Islam is the problem, moderate Islam is the solution,” shows the centrality of moderate Islam to a strategy I have long held for defeating Islamism.

By teaching in Abu Dhabi, Maszka spreads crackpot American ideas around the world. A UAE national responded to his errors by writing me, “Unfortunately, with Islam still so largely unknown in the West, some academics manipulate facts and ideas for career purposes. Emirati institutions urgently need better quality control.”

CAA petition denouncing Jeremy Corbyn as an “antisemite” who is “unfit to hold any public office” passes 50,000 signatures

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s petition denouncing Jeremy Corbyn as an “antisemite” who is “unfit to hold any public office” has passed 50,000 signatures.

The petition notes that Mr Corbyn has “lied, distracted, tried to twist the definition of antisemitism to exclude his past conduct, and issued false apologies when pressure mounted” and that “his actions have been consistent with those of an ideological antisemite”. It concludes: “For as long as the Labour Party is in Jeremy Corbyn’s grip, it cannot be a force for good. His past demonstrates that he should never have been elected to the leadership of the Labour Party and he is unfit to hold any public office. Antisemites must not hold positions of power.”

The petition has already made headlines in newspapers such as The Times and The Sun and the petition continues to spread virally through Facebook, Twitter and e-mail.

Those signing have done so despite an attempt by to disparage them by posting a notice at the top of the petition warning that its facts are contested. You may wish to tell what you think about their warning notice by e-mailing

Pressure is mounting on the Labour Party as a poll showed that 55% of the British public agrees with the petition’s sentiment that Mr Corbyn is unfit for office over antisemitism.

Meanwhile, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has begun pre-enforcement proceedings against the Labour Party following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant. The pre-enforcement proceedings are a precursor to opening a full statutory investigation.

NGO Monitor: Response – Trocaire letter to the Irish Times

The Irish Times last month published a letter by the head of Trocaire which absurdly focused on attacking NGO Monitor; we attempted to exercise our right-of-reply, but after a month of back-and-forth, the newspaper’s editorial staff claimed that too much time had passed (!). We will be filing a formal complaint.

Here is our original response:
Apparently, Trócaire, like all powerful institutions, has little tolerance for criticism. When shown evidence of its disproportionate focus on Israel – as of December 2018, its website mentions Israel 193 times, much more than other conflict zones like Yemen (62), Saudi Arabia (26), and Myanmar (41) – the church group lashed out against a small, independent research group from Jerusalem.

Trócaire has a €75 million budget, much of which is provided by governments including Ireland’s. The bulk of its letter in these esteemed pages is devoted to innuendo and smears, but it does not and cannot challenge the numbers.

Trócaire is also silent on its devastating financial role in the conflict. It funded an NGO that published grotesque, antisemitic cartoons, and gave money to another NGO linked to an EU-designated terror organization. Trócaire is also a major supporter of the Israel boycott bill which applies a unique standard to Israel and Jewish businesses – ironically this government-funded organization lobbies the parliament that funds it.

Unfortunately, we are accustomed to seeing powerful NGOs try to salvage their damaged reputations. But, defaming NGO Monitor will not erase the stain of Trócaire’s shameful contributions to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

What is Medgar Evers College thinking by honoring Al Sharpton?

Medgar Evers College, a branch of the City University of New York (CUNY), has announced that, at its upcoming commencement ceremonies, it will grant an honorary doctorate to Reverend Al Sharpton—whose past incitements of anti-Semitic violence have led to multiple deaths. The editors of the New York Post comment:

What makes this [decision] especially galling is that it’s to take place in [the Brooklyn neighborhood of] Crown Heights, the site of the 1991 anti-Jewish riots in which Sharpton played a key role in riling up the mobs. The reverend has never apologized for his actions during those days, which included denunciations of Orthodox Jews as “diamond dealers” and a false claim that Jews operated an “apartheid ambulance service.”

Not until twenty years later did he finally admit he’d made some “mistakes,” while still claiming Jewish “extremists” deliberately misconstrued his remarks.

[L]ittle about Sharpton has changed over the years—save his weight, fancier clothes, fatter bank account, and now-national platform. Medgar Evers College thinks that adds up to an “unwavering commitment to racial, educational, and socioeconomic equity.” . . . But he isn’t a worthy choice for this honor—especially not from a college named for a true civil-rights hero who paid the ultimate price for his genuinely “unwavering commitment” to racial justice.

Sharpton is also expected to speak at a conference sponsored by the Religious Action Center, a major arm of organized Reform Judaism in America, in May.

UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ responds to allegation of anti-Semitism at UC Berkeley

To the Berkeley Campus Community

I have been made aware of what appear to have been disturbing expressions of bias at a public ASUC meeting held Wednesday, April 17th. Even as we seek to more fully understand what was said, I want to make clear that the University’s administration condemns bias, including racism, anti-Semitism and other forms of prejudice, on this campus and beyond.
I also understand that at the same meeting students of color provided passionate, moving comment about the extent to which they feel isolated and marginalized on this campus. This, too, is disturbing and demanding of our attention and concern.
The divisions of Student Affairs and Equity & Inclusion are determined to support all students in our community. We must have a truly inclusive culture where all can feel safe, respected, and welcome. We also must come together and determine how we can best deter and confront not only bias but all manifestations of intolerance and exclusion that violate our shared values and Principles of Community.
If you need support, the campus has several resources, including counseling services. For help navigating these resources, please contact:, or visit


Carol Christ

Swedish Teachers Stop Student Speech For Being Too Pro-Israel

A 17-year-old Swedish high school student attempted to give a pro-Israel speech in front of her classmates but was shut down by teachers who said it would be met with negative reactions.

Anna, a student at a major high school in Gothenburg, wanted to give a speech on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the perspective of the Israeli side of the conflict and immediately started to get negative comments from classmates, SVT reports.

According to the 17-year-old, after teachers noticed the comments they called her to a meeting and asked her to change the subject of her speech to not upset other members of the class.

“Okay if you keep the speech you know how they will react. If they start to react like this before you even give the speech,” one of the teachers told the teen according to the Swedish media report.

Education lecturer Christer Mattsson slammed the school for pressuring the teen to keep quiet about the subject saying, “You have to say what you think and think about what you want in school. As long as it does not conflict with the law and as long as the intention is not to offend anyone.”

Fact checking the BBC’s DFLP profile

The BBC’s profile of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) was published in February 2002 and has not been updated in the seventeen years since then.

That profile includes the following:
“In the 1970s, the group began a relatively small scale campaign of bombings and assaults both in Israel and the occupied territories.”

CAMERA’s Sean Durns has produced a new backgrounder on the DFLP in which he examines that claim.
“Although a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) profile of the DFLP claimed, “In the 1970s, the group began a relatively small scale campaign of bombings and assaults,” the evidence suggests otherwise. In fact, the DFLP carried out numerous attacks during this period, many of them both intricate and infamous.

According to the University of Maryland’s START Global Terrorism Database, the DFLP participated in at least 54 terrorist attacks between 1974 and 2014. With one exception—an Aug. 3, 1974 assault in France that left no victims—every attack took place in Israel or in PA or Hamas-ruled areas. As of 2014, these attacks resulted in at least 50 murdered and twice as many wounded. Twenty-nine of these terrorist attacks occurred after the U.S. de-listed the DFLP as a terrorist organization.”

Channel 4 News levels baseless charge that Israeli politician used “racist tropes”

An April 10th Channel 4 News report on the Israeli elections by Inigo Gilmore included a very brief exchange between the presenter and Likud MK Gideon Sa’ar during the party’s victory celebration in Tel Aviv. Before showing the exchange, Gilmore described Sa’ar’s reply to his question about Netanyahu’s promise to annex some West Bank settlements as repeating “familiar racist tropes”.

Here are the comments by Sa’ar that Gilmore describes as racist (the 2:16 mark of this video):
Sa’ar: “Never in the history [was there a] Palestinian state, and the future will be the same”.

Gilmore: “So, the re-election of Netanyahu means the end of any hopes for a Palestinian state. Is that right?”

Sa’ar: There are enough Arab states in the region…and the Arabs living in Judea and Samaria will continue to enjoy full autonomy”.

Whilst you can of course reasonably find Sa’ar’s opposition to the creation of a Palestinian state objectionable, it’s unclear how such views can be characterised as evoking “familiar racist tropes”.

Further in the report, Gilmore casually claimed that Benny Gantz, who led the rival Blue and White Party, has “boasted about killing Palestinians”. This is extremely misleading, as the presenter is likely referring to campaign videos put out by Gantz, the former IDF Chief of Staff, in which he took credit for killing terrorists and destroying Hamas military targets during the 2014 war. This is a far cry from “boasting about killing Palestinians“. In fact, Gantz has expressed pride in IDF’s efforts to avoid civilian casualties, and repeatedly said during the campaign that “seeking peace with the Palestinians is not shameful”.

Wealthy Luxembourg is western Europe’s last Holocaust restitution deadbeat

When Luxembourg assumed the chairmanship of the world’s foremost international Holocaust remembrance task force, its government pledged energetic action.

“We have to act. We have to mobilize. We have to go against” revisionism and indifference, George Santer, Luxembourg’s ambassador to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, said in a statement last month about his country’s assumption of the rotating chairmanship of that task force of 32 nations.

Nearly two months on, though, Luxembourg still makes it harder than any other Western European nation for Jews to reclaim property and assets lost under the Nazis.

Critics say the country’s laws make even applying for restitution impossible for most of the Jews who had lived there during World War II and their descendants.

The controversy is rooted in a 1950 law that restricts restitution eligibility to citizens and some “stateless persons” who immigrated to the tiny country prior to 1931. Unique in the continent’s west, Luxembourg’s restitution law excludes about 75 percent of roughly 4,000 Jews who had lived there before the Nazi invasion of 1940.

“This law is certainly unusual among Luxembourg’s neighbors,” said Vincent Artuso, a Paris-based historian.

Bacteria-hunting kit aims to spot food hazards before they enter our homes

Israeli startup Yarok Microbio says it has developed a way to identify life-threatening bacteria in as little as under an hour, before the food products they could be lurking in get sold.

The technology can thus protect not only consumers but also small firms that can’t afford the financial cost of recalls, lawsuits or the cancellation of their contracts with retail chains, the firm says.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 48 million people get sick each year in the US, 128,000 are hospitalized and another 3,000 die because of food-borne diseases — illnesses originating from food spoilage or contamination.

Escherichia coli (E. coli), salmonella and listeria are among the most common bacteria that can contaminate food during the various stages of production and the supply chain that brings them from field to table. E. coli can cause respiratory illness and pneumonia. Listeriosis is a disease that can be particularly dangerous for pregnant women and their newborns.

In the company’s Jerusalem’s R&D lab, CEO Jonathan Sierra told The Times of Israel that current testing methods — such as HPC (heterotrophic plate count), which measures bacterial colony formation — take a long time and therefore products are often brought to market before test results are obtained.

United colors of bandages: Israel’s secret sauce

Israel was created to fulfill the ancient promise of the Prophet Jeremiah: “Your children will return to their own land” (Jeremiah 31:17). Jews from 130 countries who speak more than 100 different languages have immigrated to Israel. More than 70 years after its founding, Israel is a technological powerhouse, in part because it is one of the most diverse places on the planet, with citizens originating from Asia, Africa, Europe and North and South America, and with large numbers of Christians and Muslims, as well.

One outstanding example of this diversity is a partnership between a Jewish Israeli medic who created a revolutionary bandage and a Bedouin Israeli factory owner who employs women to manufacture it.

Bernard Bar-Natan first started thinking about bandages in the 1980s, a few years after he moved to Israel from Brooklyn. When he enlisted in the IDF’s Medical Corps, he was shocked to learn that the army’s standard bandages were made around World War II and had not been modified since then. All the bandages had a pad in the middle and gauze strings on each side, and Bar-Natan was taught to grab a stone and add additional bandages over a wound to quell the flow of blood. Not only were these methods unsanitary, they required medics to carry large numbers of bandages.

After his military discharge, Bar-Natan began tinkering with alternatives and eventually came up with a bandage with a built-in handlebar (a substitute for a stone) that can provide up to 30 pounds of pressure to stanch bleeding, even with traumatic head injuries. He also invented a “reverse wrap” technique to exert more pressure without additional bandages.

By the early 1990s, Bar-Natan had a prototype. With the help of an Israeli government grant and accelerator program, he launched his business, but he lacked a way to mass-produce his Emergency Bandage until he found an unlikely group to help him: Bedouin in the North.

Mount Hermon sees first Passover snowfall in 22 years

On Sunday, April 21, snow fell on Mount Hermon during Passover for the first time in 22 years.

With approximately eight inches of snow already on the ground and accumulation set to continue throughout the day, the Hermon ski resort management closed the site to visitors. Snowfall was also reported in towns in the Golan Heights.

Unseasonable rainstorms drenched the country from north to south, as vacationers tried to find ways to enjoy the Passover holiday indoors. Many parks which were opened for free to hikers and visitors for the holiday were closed, including the Ein Gedi nature reserve. Outdoor events around the country were canceled or rescheduled for later in the week.

While some local scattered showers were forecast for Monday morning, the day scheduled for the traditional Priestly Blessing ceremony at the Western Wall plaza, temperatures are expected to rise and rains to dry up throughout the week, according to the Israel Meteorological Service.

Massive rainfalls this year broke a five-year drought. Measurements at the Sea of Galilee showed over triple last year’s rainfall.

A love song to Israel

A love song to Israel, written by Doron Medley and composed by Idan Raichel

70 years on the road I’m traveling and looking
At what was and what will
And how my soul is still this nation
From catching the sunrise
From Jerusalem with its palaces
From the beaches of the Kinneret
From the parties of Tel Aviv
My father dreamed and prayed
To live in the Land of Israel
Today my children ask me
What is the story of Israel?
This is my home This is my heart
And I will not leave
Our ancestors, our roots
We are the flowers, the melodies
A tribe of brothers and sisters

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