Fred Maroun: Debunking 25 left-wing and Arab myths from a left-wing Arab perspective
Left-wing and Arab enemies of Israel make a number of accusations that they repeat as if they were facts. Here I take apart those myths from a left-wing Arab perspective.
I summarize the facts, but I include many links to other articles that provide further background. Some of the articles referenced are mine, where I reference serious sources not considered pro-Israel, including Haaretz, BBC, The Guardian, The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN, and The Huffington Post. I also reference pro-Israel sources that are known for their journalistic integrity, including The Times of Israel, The Jerusalem Post, and The Gatestone Institute.
This article is not for everyone. It is intended only for a narrow audience: People who are willing to base their opinions on facts and not lies. Others are kindly advised to stay away, lest they be contaminated by facts that they would rather continue ignoring.
1. “Israel can end the conflict by withdrawing from the “West Bank””
I would welcome the creation of a Palestinian state, but I would be lying if I said that the possibility is realistic under current conditions. Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, and the resulting transformation of Gaza into a terrorist base shows what happens when Israel withdraws unconditionally. Since Israel left Gaza in 2005, many thousands of rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel and many tunnels were built to try to infiltrate Israel. As reported by Haaretz in 2014, an online clock timer showed “how much time has passed since the last rocket was fired; Sadly, this counter never really gets above an hour”.
Israel cannot afford to make the same mistake in Judea & Samaria (the correct name for the “West Bank”) which is much closer to Israel’s large cities than Gaza is. If Israel withdrew from Judea & Samaria unconditionally, it is virtually certain that the newly evacuated land would be controlled by terrorists dangerously hostile to Israel. Until Arabs agree to a reasonable solution that provides Israel the security it requires, Israel’s military presence in Judea & Samaria is fully justified, and even as an Arab, if I want to be honest with myself, I have no choice but to support it. (h/t Gnomercy)
David Collier: The Corbyn v Jews chess match. Gaining time by doing nothing
Singing songs about process
The only possible discussions will be over process. To discuss the speed with which mechanisms will work if we can agree on antisemitism. Yet will will almost never agree and there will always be voices in Corbyn’s ear that reinforce the world vision that he adheres to. Thus antisemitism in Labour will always be just ‘anti-Zionism’, no matter what those pesky Zionists were accused of by the Labour member. Given that Ken Livingstone still hasn’t been expelled and there are demonstrations to re-instate him, the Jewish community and Jeremy Corbyn are not even speaking the same language. In fact, the only notable expulsion, Tony Greenstein, wasn’t even a success. We must remember that the Jews who have Corbyn’s ear – hate Tony Greenstein. For them, this was no sacrifice. They threw something to the Jews that they simply didn’t want.
Corbyn can do no more than give empty gestures even as he backtracks on any progress that is made. Everything is a contradiction. In yesterday’s meeting he apparently refused to adopt the IHRA definition (in full), which many believe had already been adopted. This is where Jeremy Corbyn wants everything – locked in vagueness. In the Evening Standard article Corbyn stated that ‘a genuine two-state solution is essential to lasting peace in the Middle East’ and yet within a paragraph was protecting anti-Zionists who explicitly oppose the very solution he suggests is vital for peace. Corbyn is not a natural two state supporter. He sees the 2SS as the most that can probably be taken back from the European thieves who took the Palestinian land.
The conversation between Jeremy Corbyn and the Jews cannot make sense because Zionism and Jews are intertwined and Zionism doesn’t make sense within Corbyn’s paradigm. Corbyn cannot justify it to himself and he certainly cannot justify it to his supporters. Attacking ‘privileged’ Jews, especially dressed up in the ‘Zionist’ disguise, is almost certainly a vote winner within his faction. The only question is whether anyone else cares enough to not vote for him because of it.
Sami A. does not work. He lives in Bochum, Germany. The newspaper Bild just revealed that Sami A. is the Tunisian who belonged to the squad of Osama bin Laden’s bodyguards and is under surveillance as an Islamist threat. As an aside, three of the 9/11 pilots, including Mohammed Atta, were based in Germany.
Sami A. only has to show up at the police station once a day. He cannot be expelled according to the German Supreme Court. The judges argue that he could be tortured in his country of origin. Since he lives with his family in Germany, Sami is now a well-paid public danger. And he receives a monthly benefit payment of 1,100 euros. By law, the Tunisian and his wife are entitled to € 194 each. In addition, they get between 133 and 157 euros for each of their four children.
Bin Laden’s bodyguard can walk, well paid and undisturbed, in the streets of Berlin today. A Jew wearing a kippah on those streets is risking his life.
Thousands of Islamists today in Germany live in multicultural enclaves such as that of Neukölln, the trendy district of the capital which draws in youngsters and Muslims alike. A few days ago, a small demonstration was held in that largely immigrant Berlin neighborhood. The flashmob in Neukölln proved all the fears that Jewish symbols today in Germany are under threat. Bystanders insulted and spit on participants and tore up an Israeli flag. The organizers ended the protest prematurely.
Seven of nine high school students who were killed after they were swept away in torrential floods during a hike were named late Thursday.
They were part of a group of 25 students who had been accepted to the Bnei Tzion pre-military academy in Tel Aviv for the coming year, and were on a hike organized by the school.
Eight girls and one boy were killed and one girl remained missing after the trip to Nahal Tzafit, a riverbed in the southern Dead Sea area, ended in tragedy.
Two of the other students were lightly to moderately injured, and the remaining 13 were located and rescued unharmed.
A woman cries alongside police officers outside the Bnei Tzion pre-military academy in Tel Aviv, which organized a field trip in which 9 youths were killed earlier in the day, April 26, 2018 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
The fatalities were identified as Shani Shamir from the central city of Shoham; Ella Or from Ma’ale Adumim; Maayan Barhum and Yael Sadan from Jerusalem; Tzur Alfi, the only boy who was killed, from the central town of Mizkeret Batya; Agam Levy from the central Israeli town of Herut; and Romi Cohen of Maor, near Hadera.
A number of pro-Israel campus organizations, as well as the ADL, have gone after Canary Mission, an organization that documents people and groups that promote hatred of the USA, Israel and Jews on North American college campuses.
Thank you to @umich student leaders for exposing Canary Mission’s Islamophobic & racist rhetoric as “antithetical and destructive to supporting Israel and eliminating anti-Semitism on campus.” https://t.co/KLbAzPE0XN
— ADL (@ADL_National) April 24, 2018
So how is what Canary Mission does different from what I do?
True, they go to great lengths to remain anonymous, and I don’t. And I tend to focus more on those who post antisemitic things, whereas Canary Mission has a broader scope, including anything hateful in a more anti-Israel context.
But from what I can see, they do not go after people “merely” for being anti-Israel. There is the added component of extreme hate speech or promotion of terror and violence.
I suspect the other thing that really gets up the nose of the ADL and these pro-Israel campus groups is the fact so many of those exposed by Canary Mission happen to be Muslims students or faculty staff. News alert: this does not make Canary Mission “Islamophobic” – it just points to the fact that so much of the antisemitism, terror support, and hate speech is emanating from those who profess to be Muslim.
In fact, I challenge them to find even one “Islamophobic” statement put out by Canary Mission.
This attack on Canary Mission is truly pathetic, and symptomatic of the kind of “shmekky Jew” thinking that plagues so many of us. Time to “man/woman up” and take on the extreme haters – within the boundaries of the law, of course – by using their own words against them.
President Harry Truman once wrote, “The only thing new in the world is the history you don’t know.”
But sometimes what you don’t know can put you at risk — or worse.
Nicholas Rose of Irvine, a 26-year-old teacher of English as a Second Language (ESL), faces a six-year-plus sentence for recent violent anti-Semitic threats against prominent Jews in the entertainment industry. Luckily, he was turned in by his parents.
Rose was arrested in a rented room, accused of possessing 22-caliber ammunition, anti-Semitic literature and “kill lists” of Hollywood Jews. His goal: “Killing my first Jew.” Forget ESL, Rose’s only true language involved menacing threats targeting a Russian Orthodox church and a Greek Orthodox church he believed favored “the Jewish cause,” as well as a local synagogue. His anti-Semitic fixation was clear. The chilling association with April 20 — Hitler’s birthday — was no coincidence.
Police are searching Rose’s computer to see whether he was a member of a hate group. Rose might be a “lone wolf” terrorist wannabee. Some 20 years ago, another domestic terrorist “lone wolf,” Buford O. Furrow Jr., came to Los Angeles from a white-supremacist compound in Hayden’s Lake, Idaho. He failed to penetrate his first target, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance, but succeeded in a shooting rampage terrorizing a Jewish community center and killing a Filipino American mailman.
Here in Southern California, home to Hollywood, there is a historic precedent for a Jew “kill list.” Nazi sympathizers during the 1930s who planned to terrorize the Hollywood Jewish community were not lone wolves. British-born Leopold McLaglen arrived in Los Angeles in 1937, possibly to try to follow in the career footsteps of his Academy Award-winning brother, actor Victor McLaglen. A veteran of the British army, Leopold McLaglen combined pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic fervor with international renown as a lethal jiu-jitsu expert and authority on espionage and military explosives. He was quickly drawn into the circles of the fascist Silver Shirts and the German American Bund. He also began to work for Philip M. Chancellor, a millionaire socialite who shared his rabid, right-wing views and, according to Leopold McLaglen, agreed to finance his violent plots against communists and Jews.
Rod Liddle: The origins of Labour’s racism
Take just one example: the BDS movement. This stands for Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions, and it aims to denude Israel and Israelis of money, prestige, recognition, employment and, in the end, its existence. The BDS will tell you that it is anti-Zionist, not anti-Jewish. But it is explicitly anti-Jewish. One of the things it has been quite successful in campaigning for is stopping Israeli academics taking up posts, or speaking, in western universities. It has been successful in this because paradoxically, you might think, our universities are stuffed with some of the most stupid people on God’s earth and they have been cheerful signatories to this racism.
But BDS does not actually mean ‘Israeli’ academics. It means only Jewish academics. It is quite clear about this. Arabs who live in Israel are specifically exempted from their repulsive bullying: the boycott is just for the Jews. And the British far left, not terribly bright, goes along with this business and eventually starts parroting it itself, eventually recycling the old conspiracy myths, the blood libel, the Jews controlling everything.
You may remember that a bunch of ‘senior academics’ (they were nothing of the kind, as Douglas Murray has hilariously detailed on The Spectator’s website) signed a letter which insisted that the claims of anti-Semitism within the Labour party were cooked up by Corbyn’s enemies and had no basis in fact. One of the signatories, Jane Dipple from Winchester ‘university’, whose field of expertise is zombies (I kid you not), has since been suspended by Labour … for anti-Semitic posts she had made on pro-Palestinian social media sites. Including one site which reproduced articles from The Daily Stormer, an American neo-Nazi publication.
That’s how it happens with the lefties. If you bathe in excrement, you’ll end up smelling of it.
JUST in case anyone was in any doubt about it, Jeremy Corbyn finally confirmed at 7.15pm on Tuesday that he has no intention of dealing with anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.
He didn’t put it like that, of course. He said the exact opposite — that he was “absolutely committed to rooting out anti-Semitism from our party and our society.”
But you should never judge a politician by their words. Always look at their actions.
That was when his meeting with representatives of the Jewish community broke up — a meeting Mr Corbyn had called after 2,000 Jews gathered in Parliament Square last month to say “enough is enough”.
They had finally had enough of Labour’s refusal to deal with its anti-Semites.
That demonstration turned the issue from a minor annoyance that has dogged Mr Corbyn’s time as leader into a serious political issue his allies had to deal with or risk real damage to his image.
But the results of Tuesday’s meeting — absolutely nothing — show that it was only ever meant to neutralise a political problem.
Mr Corbyn’s action — or, more accurately, inaction — shows he neither takes anti-Semitism seriously nor wants to do anything worthwhile to deal with it.
Of course, he doesn’t. Anti-Semitism is in the DNA of the hard Left, in which he has spent his entire political career.
Some people are surprised when they hear about left-wing anti-Semitism, as if it is solely the preserve of Nazi types and Islamists. But there is a long and foul history of hard-Left anti-Semitism. Stalin in Russia, for example.
Mr Corbyn and those around him define themselves by their supposed anti-racism.
One of the arguments often used to dismiss the left-wing anti-Semitism that is so rampant in the Corbyn Labour Party is that it can’t be real because the Left is built on fighting racism, not promoting it.
But in the mindset of the extreme Left, anti-Semitism — or, to be blunt, hatred of Jews — is not real racism. Real racism is discrimination against black people and oppressed minorities, such as gypsies.
Jews are regarded as something very different. Far from being oppressed, Jews are seen as part of the powerful elite.
Labour lawmaker Ruth Smeeth was escorted by around 50 fellow MPs to a hearing on antisemitism at the British Parliament on Wednesday as she was heckled by far-left protesters shouting slogans such as “Free Palestine.”
The hearing dealt with Labour activist Marc Wadsworth, who had accused Smeeth of being involved in a media conspiracy against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
At the presentation of a 2016 report on antisemitism in the party, which many accused of being a whitewash, Wadsworth said, “I saw that The Telegraph handed a copy of a press release to Ruth Smeeth MP so you can see who is working hand in hand.” Smeeth, who considered the remark antisemitic, left the room and burst into tears. Corbyn, who was present at the meeting, said nothing.
Since Corbyn took control of the party, Labour has been beset with antisemitism scandals. Prominent figures have been suspended for making antisemitic remarks, Jewish and non-Jewish MPs have faced violent harassment for denouncing antisemitism, and Corbyn himself has been found to be a member of several Facebook groups in which antisemitic content was shared.
The situation reached the point that Jewish groups recently organized several public rallies against antisemitism under the slogan “Enough Is Enough.”
Corbyn’s supporters vehemently deny he is antisemitic and claim such allegations are part of a conspiracy to topple him.
The European Union (EU) and European governments provide funding to a number of Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for culture, art, and related activities. In 2017, the EU budgeted €400,000 for Palestinian cultural NGOs for “support to Euro-Palestinian cultural activities.”
Detailed research and analysis of this funding reveal that many of the supported organizations utilize cultural activities to indoctrinate children and youth, promoting rejectionist and violent agendas. Often framed as a form of “cultural resistance,” these activities are not presented as a non-violent alternative, but rather as a “tool in the liberation battle.” As described by one group, “cultural resistance” is defined as “not a substitute for any other form of resistance; It is a complement. Various forms of resistance can be described as a large mosaic where each stone represents a different form.” In other words, cultural resistance results in the use of art as a vehicle for indoctrination, incitement, hatred, and sympathy to terrorism. As such, organizations involved in promoting cultural resistance directly contradict European values.
This report provides examples of this phenomenon and places it within the context of the EU’s concerns regarding funding to Palestinian NGOs claiming cultural agendas.
Alan Dershowitz at the StandWithUs Southeast Gala 3/15/18
No, Food & Wine. The mural is not a mere “polarizing distraction” and Odeh is not merely a “divisive figure.” She truly is the murderer of two innocent people. The implication this may not be true and is only the result of a coerced confession is as offensive as it is wrong.
What’s more, Odeh is unrepentant, and still desiring the destruction of the state of Israel.
Would Food & Wine dare award a prize to a restaurant with a mural of another murderer, say Pol Pot? I highly doubt they even would award a prize to a restaurant with a mural of Donald Trump!
Reems owner Reem Assil does not only glorify a terrorist, but continues to spread hate against Israel. Those protesting the mural have been attacked, both physically, but also with lies.
No, Food & Wine. Reems certainly does not build bridges. It promotes terrorism, hatred and divisiveness. And by rewarding them, you are acting as an enabler.
Belgium’s prime minister criticized one of the country’s leading universities on Wednesday over its plan to honor British director Ken Loach, following complaints that it has overlooked the filmmaker’s alleged anti-Semitism.
In a speech at Brussels Grand Synagogue to mark the 70th anniversary of Israel’s foundation, Premier Charles Michel said Loach’s comments about Israel and its policy towards the Palestinians justified the withdrawal of the honorary doctorate.
“No accommodation with anti-Semitism can be tolerated, whatever its form. And that also goes for my own alma mater,” Michel said.
Michel, 42, studied law at the Free University of Brussels, which has stood by plans to award Loach an honorary doctorate on Thursday after the 81-year-old director of 2016 Palme d’Or winner “I, Daniel Blake” strongly denied accusations that his long-time support for Palestinians was in any way anti-Semitic.
Loach, the director of numerous films going back to the 1970s, has earned harsh criticism over his calls for a cultural boycott of Israel. A fierce advocate of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, he has also pledged that “every penny” earned from the screening of the film in Israel would go to Palestinian organizations.
Some 20 protesters disrupted a speech by an Israeli ambassador at Syracuse University in New York on Tuesday, raising concerns about efforts to chill free speech on campus.
Dani Dayan, Israel’s consul general in New York, began addressing around 100 audience members during an event exploring the future of the Middle East when a group of protesters situated outside the lecture hall started chanting loudly in an attempt “to drown out the talk,” Miriam Elman, an associate professor of political science at Syracuse, told The Algemeiner on Wednesday.
Elman, who attended and helped organize Dayan’s lecture, said the protesters — among whom were both students and professional activists — had assembled in advance underneath the windows of the event room, holding posters claiming “Zionism = Racism,” “Judaism Rejects Zionism,” and endorsing the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. “They were quiet,” she noted. “They talked to people who came by. Nothing wrong with that.”
But the chanting started as soon as the event commenced at noon — and escalated about three minutes into Dayan’s speech, when Ariel Gold, a campaign director for the far-left activist group Code Pink who sat among the audience members, stood and unfurled a banner reading, “Free Palestine.”
“Dani Dayan, you have blood on your hands,” Gold shouted at the ambassador, according to video footage. “Israeli settlements are entirely illegal under international law,” she continued.
Instead, Tai complained to her readers that the ADL “is a staunch supporter of Israel and advocates against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement;” she misleadingly claimed that BDS just “calls for an end to Palestinian occupation” and added: “How ironic is it that ADL is involved in a racial bias workshop while supporting Israel’s policing and oppression of Palestinian people?”
Well, it’s not all that ironic, because what Tai denounces as Israel’s “policing and oppression of Palestinian people” has nothing whatsoever to do with racial bias. Instead, Israel has unfortunately been forced to defend itself for pretty much all of its existence against Palestinian terrorism; another similarly unfortunate fact is that so far, Palestinians have never been really interested in a state alongside Israel.
Tai then proceeded to regurgitate some of the main talking points of an ugly antisemitic campaign called Deadly Exchange, designed “to blame Jews for police violence in the United States.”
Accordingly, she accused the ADL of sponsoring “exchange programs that allow Israel’s military to provide training to US law enforcement officers,” adding: “During a time when Black Lives Matter is galvanizing against the militarization of police and an end to police brutality against black and brown bodies, this is a grave oversight. These are the politically charged structural-level issues implicit bias work is deflecting from. Because it makes people uncomfortable.”
In this context, we should perhaps go back to Tai’s discussion of “implicit” vs. “explicit” bias – because arguably, it’s a manifestation of very explicit bias if you think that “police brutality against black and brown bodies” in the US has anything whatsoever to do with a Jewish-American organization like the ADL that has been fighting racism of all kinds for more than 100 years, or with the world’s only Jewish state. Indeed, the Nazis had a very explicit slogan that neatly summed up the kind of bias that leads people to see Jews behind everything that’s bad somewhere in the world: “The Jews are our misfortune.”
A reconfiguration of the protocols by which those who have never engaged in sexual intercourse are allotted to incoming Islamic shahids for the latter’s gratification now prioritizes the selection of those who devote their earthly energies to finding reasons to take offense on behalf of groups they consider marginalized or victims of discrimination, a Heavenly spokesangel announced today.
Starting this Ramadan – which begins on the 15th of May in 2018 – the cohort from which virgins for Islamic martyrs will be taken first will be Social Justice Warriors, a class of humanity whose keen sense of empathy and capacity to discern justified grievance in every population but white, male, or Jewish render them superior beings and fit consorts for the noble Islamic warriors killed fighting infidels. Additionally, noted the spokesangel, there appears to be a copious supply of SJWs who are still virgins.
Archangel Gabriel announced the new policy this afternoon, stating that it will replace the decades-old method that since the Second World War has allocated virgins by alphabetical order. An outcry from SJWs over the literacy-centric, discriminatory nature of that system led to the formation of a committee to explore alternatives.
If you read Ayman Odeh’s Op-Ed in last Wednesday’s edition of the New York Times, you might believe that, under Israel law, it’s legal for a new town in southern Israel to reject potential residents based on their race. That, after all, is what the author explicitly claimed about the planned town of Hiran.
“According to the planned town’s bylaws, it will be home to religious Jews only,” wrote Odeh, a member of Israel’s Knesset. Indeed, the bylaws do say this about the unbuilt town. But Odeh went on to claim that “these racist requirements are legal under current Israeli law.”
They are not.
The relevant law permits rural villages in certain parts of the country to screen potential residents based on specific criteria. Some of the criteria are narrow and straightforward — a village can reject candidates who are minors, unable to afford the property, or unwilling to establish their center of life in the town. Other criteria are more vague, and relate to the candidate’s social and cultural compatibility with the towns culture and social fabric. But the law explicitly forbids a town’s admission committee to reject applicants due to their race or religion: “The admissions committee will not refuse to accept a candidate for reasons of race, religion, gender, nationality, disability, personal status, age, parenthood, sexual orientation, country of origin, political-party opinion or affiliation.”
The bylaws drawn up by the town’s founders, then, are irreconcilable with Israeli law. Perhaps the founders don’t know that. Or perhaps they don’t care.
The same can be said for Odeh. Perhaps he doesn’t know that Israeli law legally prohibits what he claimed was legally permitted. Or perhaps he doesn’t care.
In the April 23 print edition, and online here, a Haaretz Op-Ed by Odeh Bisharat (“Idol Worship on Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl”) mocks Israel’s Independence Day torch-lighting ceremony in general, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech in particular.
Caught up in his mockery, Odeh derides Netanyahu for an interview in which he supposedly claimed he saw British soldiers as a child, although he was born one year after their departure from pre-state Israel. Odeh wrote:
I would guess that Netanyahu got mixed up, and perhaps he heard these voices at some evangelical conference in the United States rather than in Rome. But that isn’t surprising, since we’re talking about someone who once described how he met British soldiers in Palestine during his childhood, even though he has born a year after the British Mandate ended.
The ostensible source for this falsehood is a Yediot Achronot interview that Netanyahu gave in 2006. The interview was indeed published claiming that Netanyahu had said this. When Netanyahu’s spokesman denied that the prime minister had claimed to have seen British soldiers, editors listened to the recording and learned that in fact Netanyahu had not said that he saw the soldiers. Rather, he said that as a child he had played on the playground equipment that the soldiers used.
A young man described as a “nationalist” threatened the employees of the Memorial of the Deported in the French region of Mayenne on Tuesday.
The memorial is dedicated to those who died in the Holocaust.
According to Le Monde, the unidentified man entered the reception area of the museum around 3 p.m. local time and produced a shotgun that was later found to be unloaded.
He reportedly said, “This is a hostage situation.” Two employees called for help and succeeded in disarming the attacker. Police then arrived and arrested him.
When searched, the man’s backpack was found to contain copies of several antisemitic books, including Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.
The prosecutor of the case, Guirec Le Bras, said that the suspect had “regularly consulted antisemitic sites.” He described the young man as a “nationalist” who wanted to commit a “spectacular act.” He apparently planned the attack for a month.
While freedom of speech is permissible in the U.S., for centuries, hateful and violent rhetoric targeting Jews has been invariable in the religious and political discourse of Muslims, and is now as common in US and Canadian mosques, as in the Middle East.
While many Muslims seem never to tire of complaining about “Islamophobia” against their communities, they seem to have no problem disseminating hate speech — and sometimes hate acts — against other groups.
Statistics show that blacks, gays and Jews are far more disproportionately targeted for hate crimes in both the U.S. and Canada than Muslims are. When did anyone in North America last hear of ministers in churches or rabbis in synagogues calling for the death of Muslims?
Progressive Muslims and their imams should be promoted, consulted, and celebrated.
A Syrian imam who endorsed Palestinian suicide bombings and was banned from Denmark last year as a “hate preacher,” is now visiting several mosques in the eastern United States.
“All the Jewish people are combatants,” meaning they are acceptable targets for attacks, Sheikh Mohammed Rateb Nabulsi wrote in his 2001 “ruling on martyrdom operations in Palestine.”
“They do not have a career that a military rank does not encounter: doctor, pilot, engineer, for example, is a tank commander. Every civilian, citizen,” he wrote. “They do not have a regular army; they have a reserve army, and all the people can fight, so this is essentially an entirely aggressive entity from A to Z. This is the Sharia ruling.”
He deleted this fatwa from his Arabic website in 2014 after the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) first wrote about his visit to the US on behalf of the Syrian American Council (SAC) and Shaam Relief. A cache of the original post remains available.
Nabulsi, who has endorsed the death penalty for homosexuals, also suggested in a 2010 post on his website that same-sex marriage was a reason for Muslims to wage violent jihad against the West.
JPost Editorial: Protecting kippot
A large turnout at a mass rally in Berlin protesting the attack on the kippa-wearing youth would send an important message. A demonstration of solidarity in which thousands of non-Jewish Germans wear kippot alongside Jews is a powerful statement against antisemitism.
But such demonstrations have only a temporary impact. The immigration crisis, and Merkel’s treatment of it, is crucial to the fight against antisemitism. It would not be an exaggeration to say that combating antisemitism in Germany, whether of the right-wing, left-wing or Islamist version, hinges on the continued success of moderate parties like Merkel’s CDU and the Social Democrats. And success depends on adopting a more reasonable immigration policy.
Merkel has succeeded in remaining chancellor for 12 years in part thanks to her ability to co-opt the policies of her political opponents, which has the effect of dampening their appeal and increasing her own.
But immigration appears to be Merkel’s blind spot.
Abandoning her characteristic pragmatism, she seems to have been overcome by a laudable, but unrealistic, desire to erase Germany’s past mistakes by showing a boundless magnanimity toward Muslim refugees and asylum-seekers.
Merkel has the very best of intentions. Germany’s economy is strong. The stability of the European Union, a bulwark against extremism, nationalistic chauvinism and Russian expansionism, depends on Germany. It would be tragic if Merkel allowed the immigration crisis to be her downfall. And it would be a tragedy not just for Germany’s Jews but for the entire EU project.
The debate about wearing a kippah in Western Europe returned only a decade or so ago, but it has nonetheless come to follow a rigid pattern even in that short period of time.
The cycle – there have been dozens of such cases — begins with an anti-Semitic assault. It prompts a Jewish community official to warn congregants not to wear the Jewish skullcap in a certain area or at certain periods to avoid inviting further violent attacks.
This triggers a wave of indignation that often exceeds the reaction to the original assault.
International Jewish groups hold up the warning as a sign of how bad Western Europe’s anti-Semitism problem has become. Some of these groups criticize only the relevant authorities. Others also blast the local Jewish official who advised others not to wear the kippah, saying he or she should support a higher community profile, not a lower one. Finally, some local Jews downplay the official’s concerns and the media move on – until the next incident.
That’s exactly how things are playing out this week in Germany, when a non-Jewish man wearing a yarmulke was assaulted on April 17 by an attacker shouting “Jew!” in Arabic. The victim was an Israeli Arab who said he donned the kippah to test whether it had actually become dangerous to wear a yarmulke in Germany.
Now, the head of Germany’s Central Council of Jews is even advising people “against showing themselves openly with a kippah in a big-city setting in Germany, and wear a baseball cap or something else to cover their head instead.”
I was still a child when I learned that I had to be careful about walking in public with my kippah on. A startled glance was the very minimum reaction I’d get. Verbal attacks, especially in Arabic, became so frequent that my parents suggested I began hiding my kippah underneath a Nike cap. Italy is no exception; similar episodes occurred while I was in Switzerland and France, too.
When the time came for me to attend high school, I enrolled in a renowned public gymnasium. Although I felt uneasy with the idea of being the first kippah-wearing student to attend the school, I thought that, at the end of the day, it was a school, and as such it was supposed to be a safe space.
From the minute I walked inside the building, I felt scrutinized and objectified. For most of the students, I was the very first Orthodox Jew they had ever encountered. While my classmates, the teachers, and the principal were supportive and respectful, the vast majority of the student body could not avoid staring at my head every time I stepped out of my classroom and ventured in the hallways. During my senior year, I even caught a student giving me the Nazi salute.
The fact that there are certain areas of Paris, Copenhagen, and of many other European cities that religious Jews avoid, speaks volumes. And the fact that people don’t feel safe to walk around with a kippah is a shame for these cities, their inhabitants, and their mayors.
We need a greater, broader effort to protect the freedom of religion and the safety of Jewish people in the streets of Europe. Otherwise, episodes like the Berlin attack remain trapped in a bubble, and that is not a constructive answer to the problem.
In a lively debate marking Israel’s 70th Independence Day in the German parliament on Thursday, German party leaders re-affirmed that the country was committed to Israel’s right to exist and lamented the recent rise of antisemitic incidents.
Addressing the most recent attack in Berlin, center-left SPD faction leader Andrea Nahles said: “we harshly condemn these attacks and we have to punish the perpetrators. Attacks against Jews are attacks against all of Germany, against democracy and our pluralistic society.”
“It is valid for all future generations, that we carry no guilt [for the Holocaust] anymore but we do hold responsibility. This responsibility has no boundaries and it is unbearable when Jews can’t live a full Jewish life in Germany without being afraid” Nahles continued.
On April 18, a young Jewish man wearing a kippa was physically attacked on a Berlin street by an Arabic-speaking man in an apparent antisemitic attack.
During the attack, the assailant lashed the man, who later turned out to be an Arab-Israeli, with his belt and repeated the Arabic word for Jew, “Yahudi.” The incident drew attention to how prominent antisemitism really is in the streets of Berlin.
Canada had a record number of anti-Semitic incidents in 2017, B’nai Brith Canada reported in its annual audit.
There were 1,752 incidents of harassment, vandalism and violence, a 1.4 percent increase over the record 1,728 last year, according to the Audit of Antisemitic Incidents released Tuesday.
The vast majority of the incidents took place in Canada’s two largest provinces. Ontario recorded nearly half the total, with 808, while Quebec had 474. The rest were scattered among the nation’s eight other provinces.
Acts of anti-Semitic vandalism doubled to 322 from 158 — the audit called it a “whopping national increase.”
The audit also saw as a “disturbing anti-Semitic trend” a rise in anti-Semitism from both the far right and far left of the political spectrum.
Quebec, with Canada’s only majority francophone population, “is home to Islamist extremist enclaves, a sophisticated far-right scene, and many of Canada’s largest anti-Israel groups,” the audit said.
To counter these trends, the audit proposed an eight-point plant to increase resources for police hate crime units, a national “Action Plan” and other measures.
A US man from suburban St. Louis has been arrested for toppling more than 100 headstones at a local Jewish cemetery more than a year ago.
Alzado Harris, 34, was arrested on Tuesday after police matched DNA found in a jacket left at the scene of the February 2017 vandalism to Harris, who has a prior criminal history. After his arrest at his home, Harris confessed to the vandalism at the Chesed Shel Emeth Jewish cemetery, the St. Louis Dispatch reported.
Harris faces up to seven years in prison on the charge of one count of institutional vandalism. He is not charged with a bias or hate crime.
“There is no evidence to indicate the incident was racially, ethnically or religiously motivated,” University City police said in a statement. According to the police statement, Harris said that “he acted alone, was angry over a personal matter and was under the influence of drugs when he committed the offense.”
Austria’s chancellor said Tuesday he is powerless to stop an upcoming commemoration of a 1945 massacre that has become a magnet for supporters of the Nazis’ Croatian allies and far-right sympathizers.
“The event taking place is an event organized by the [Croatian] Church,” Sebastian Kurz said ahead of the annual May 12 gathering in Bleiburg in the southern Austrian state of Carinthia.
“That means it is neither the decision of the federal government nor of the state premier [of Carinthia] and his administration whether this event takes place,” Kurz told reporters.
He added however: “If there are breaches of [Austrian] law then of course the authorities will act in a very decisive manner.”
The memorial remembers the killing of sympathizers of Croatia’s Ustasha regime and others at the hands of communist partisans at the end of World War II in and around Bleiburg.
The number of those killed is still debated. Estimates vary from a few dozen to tens of thousands.
Israeli students have developed a special system designed to identify wildfires at an early stage before they spread, preventing damage and even saving lives.
Developed by 17-year-old twins Gilad and Neta Drori, their system takes aerial photos taken by satellite or cameras attached to observer balloons, which then analyses and compares them using an algorithm for image processing.
The algorithm analyzes the color of the image by infrared and ultraviolet waves according to the time of the photograph, and compares the images at different times in order to ascertain if there is an indication of a fire. If one is detected an alert is then sent to the relevant authorities with the coordinates of the fire.
According to Gilad, the idea for the project came after the wildfires which ravaged Israel in late 2016. Some 2,000 to 3,000 hectares were burnt and firefighters from Israel and around the world battled 1,773 fires, at least 39 of which required at least ten crews or more.
In 2010, 44 people were killed in Israel’s worst wildfire.
The three-day Carmel Forest Fire destroyed thousands of acres of land and saw 17,000 people evacuated from their homes as well as various prisons, hospitals and military jails.
“I thought that we should develop a system that could recognize a wildfire at an early stage since once it spreads it’s hard to stop,” Gilad, who wants to be a mechanical engineer, told The Jerusalem Post.
Two broken ribs would send most of us to an easy chair, wincing in pain. Extreme biker Noga Korem from Israel isn’t like most of us. Speaking to ISRAEL21c from Chile just before the Enduro World Series (EWS) first race of the season in March, she acknowledged that the bones cracked in training hurt – but so what?
“That’s just part of the game; you get injured and make the best of it,” said Korem, 26, who never considered pulling out of the grueling two-day ride through the high Andes.
Noga Korem riding in the EWS#1 race at Lo Barnechea, Chile, March 25, 2018. Photo by Kate Ball/Enduro World Series
Korem was crowned Breakout EWS Rider of the Year in 2017, having snagged top-10 finishes in several races despite being a “privateer,” meaning she rode solo with financial support from a few corporate sponsors, handling every detail herself from booking flights to fixing bikes.
All that changed in 2018 when she was appointed the only woman member of GT Factory Racing’s Enduro team, joining Wyn Masters (New Zealand), Martin Maes (Belgium), George Brannigan (New Zealand) and Joey Foresta (USA).
In a surprise to Tel Avivians who complain of car exhaust and over-development, the city was recently ranked one of the world’s cleanest and most natural cities.
Tel Aviv stands as the 16th greenest city in the world, according to a study by online travel specialist TravelBird. The GreenCities 2018 index takes into account both natural and man-made areas, pinpointing recommended urban destinations for eco-conscious travelers.
Number one on the list is Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik. With 10% comprised of nature reserve areas, the city has more than 410 square meters of green space per person.
“The World Health Organization has reported that urban green spaces help individuals to feel more relaxed, reduce stress levels and also help protect against harmful pollutants,” said Travelbird’s chief traveler officer, Fiona Vanderbroeck.
“With many of our travelers seeking refuge from the grind of their daily routine, the thought of a city break might have once seemed contradictory to the idea of a relaxing vacation. But this index, highlighting the various green cities around the world, proves otherwise.”
Overall, about 23% of Tel Aviv is comprised of green space, offering 96 sq.m. per capita.
IDF Blog: Hard work pays off
He graduated with an academic degree, completed officers course, and jumped from a plane- all in order to provide the best medical care to the Paratroopers Brigade.
Lieutenant Muhammad, who volunteered to join the IDF and currently serves as a medical nurse at the Paratroopers Brigade training base, received special training in the “Peak” academic reserve program. This program allows soldiers to earn an academic degree and then become professional officers in the IDF. Lt. Muhammad worked hard to get where he is today, and he continues to lead his medical team and help save lives.
“Nine months ago, a combat medic came to me, complaining about stomach pain and vomiting,” recalls Lt. Muhammad. “These types of complaints are common in combat training and usually we find a quick solution. But that time, the soldier’s symptoms repeated several times and when the medic consulted with me explaining the severity of his pain, I made sure he saw a doctor immediately.”
“After the meeting, the doctor told me he had to undergo an urgent ultrasound,” continues Lt. Muhammad. “The clinic staff and I immediately began picking up telephones, trying to speed things up. Within two days, the results of the ultrasound came back and it turned out that he had a 30 cm tumor in his stomach. He had to undergo surgery and again, we all worked to accelerate the process.”
Thanks to the preliminary identification, commitment, and effectiveness of the medical team led by Lt. Muhammad, the soldier was able to undergo the operation as soon as possible.
“I was very happy that we helped him to speed things up. I feel that this is the place for me, that here I can have a positive influence and this is where I want to be,” says Lt. Muhammad.
At the age of 70, the State of Israel has entered a new era of “maturity and independence,” the editor-in-chief of The Algemeiner said in a recent television appearance.
Speaking as a member of a JBS discussion panel, Dovid Efune said, “I think we’re starting to see the realization…of what we’ve always wanted Israel to be and become. And that is to take a place among the nations of the world that is respected, that is equal, that is sought after.”
Efune highlighted the ongoing diplomatic renaissance Israel is currently experiencing.
“It’s actual quite unbelievable,” Efune noted. “For so many years, Israel was country that people sympathized with. It was a plucky state…There was a moral reason why it was so important to support Israel.”
Now however, Efune said, “people want Israel’s company, they want the relationship with Israel because of what Israel can give to them. And because there’s a real two-way street here.”
We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.