Jonathan Marks: Real anti-Semitism on Campus
At Ithaca College, of six “bias-related incidents” reported in 2017-18, three were “cases of aggravated harassment involving swastikas.” One Jewish student there reported that a mezuzah “was knocked off of his door and damaged.” At Western Washington University’s library, seven Jewish Studies books were defaced with anti-Semitic slurs or destroyed, and someone drew a swastika on “a poster outside a faculty member’s office.” The University of Miami is investigating multiple anti-Semitic incidents, including one in which someone drew a “large swastika” on a whiteboard hanging on a Jewish student’s door. At Knox College, a professor of African Studies tweeted, among other things, that Jews are “pulling the strings for profit.” A faculty member involved in discussing the incident “found an anti-Semitic image had been slid under her office door.”
That’s a sampling of news stories appearing in the month of April.” This month, we learned of an incident at Towson University in which members of a Jewish fraternity “were walking near the campus when . . . two assailants began shouting “F*** the Jews” and called them by an ethnic slur.” The “assailants then began punching one of the fraternity members in the face.” The victims believe their assailants were fellow students. Last week, at UC-Irvine, amid an anti-Israel protest, a protester called a pro-Israel advocate a “Christ killer.”
The Anti-Defamation League has reported that anti-Semitic incidents were up 89 percent in 2017. There is no reason to think that 2018 will be a better year.
As the AMCHA Initiative’s useful but depressing “swastika tracker” indicates, incidents of anti-Semitism on campus are quite often perpetrated by people who are or are pretending to be neo-Nazis or white nationalists. According to the construct invented by some on right to justify these acts of subterfuge, no treatment is too harsh for the globalists who are betraying our country. A mirror image of this paradigm prevails in certain circles on the left. For supporters of the Jewish state, Jews who refuse to denounce the Jewish state, or sometimes just for Jews who are not card-carrying members of the anti-Israel movement, no treatment can be too harsh. After all, they are responsible for all that is wrong with America.
Left-wing anti-Semitism and right-wing anti-Semitism, then, need to be addressed, and no one who claims to care about anti-Semitism can address just one or the other. It must be said, however, that when it comes to campus anti-Semitism, our failure occurs almost wholly with respect to the left. To be sure, institutions often do quite well when anti-Semitism is absolutely blatant. On the other hand, the most thinly veiled anti-Semitism —for example the blood libel perpetrated by Jasbir Puar of Rutgers University—is not only tolerated but celebrated and rewarded. Academics are much more comfortable denouncing right-wing anti-Semitism, which is almost entirely an off-campus phenomenon, than left-wing anti-Semitism, which has a real, albeit small, foothold at our colleges and universities.
Cary Nelson: The Presbyterian Church’s demonisation of Israel
The Presbyterian Church (USA) has published an ideological and political manual for anti-Israel organising ahead of its bi-annual gathering in June. Reviewing its content, Cary Nelson argues that the publisher’s claim to have produced ‘a study guide’ cannot be accepted. Rather, the language of ‘intersectionality’ is misused in a Church-sponsored demonisation of the Jewish state that is propelled by insinuation more than responsible argument. The controversial academic Steven Salaita argues that the phrase ‘Israeli hummus’ is not just an act of ‘cultural appropriation’ but ‘a promise of genocide’. Sarah Schulman slams Israel’s gay-friendly legal and cultural environment as ‘pink-washing’. Reconciliation and dialogue initiatives are trashed as ‘normalisation’. Israel is accused of ‘genocide’ and the conflict is said to have ‘parallels to the history of slavery in the United States’. The result is a glossy Church-sponsored prospectus for the abolition of the Jewish state that should deeply concern Presbyterians in America.
Toward the end of the Presbyterian anti-Zionist book, Why Palestine Matters: The Struggle to End Colonialism, a sequel to Zionism Unsettled issued in April 2018, just barely in time for PC(USA)’s bi-annual meeting in June, there is a decidedly improbable effort to extend the politics of intersectionality to include a link between Gaza and Puerto Rico. The second item in ‘Parallels with Puerto Rico’ is ‘Letter from Gaza: “We Are All Puerto Ricans,”’ which opens by declaring ‘I know what it’s like to struggle with shortages of vital supplies such as electricity, gas, cash, and safe water’ (82).
Why Palestine Matters is a 110-page oversized book consisting of 39 essays, over 30 breakout supplements, and a large number of illustrations with full paragraph captions. It includes three very useful colour maps, one each of Gaza, West Bank settlements, and West Bank Areas A, B, and C. The editors make an effort to describe it as the third ‘study guide’ issued by IPMN, the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (US), but it is so fiercely one-sided that it really serves exclusively as an ideological and political manual for anti-Israel organising. The volume breaks with IPMN’s history by explicitly aligning itself with the BDS movement and doing so at length. Many of the essays are new, but a few are excerpts from earlier publications. In the latter category are Steven Salaita’s unusually intense ‘Cultural Appropriation or Theft?’ which warns us that the phrase ‘Israeli hummus’ is a radical form of cultural appropriation, amounting to ‘a project of erasure, a portent of nonexistence, a promise of genocide’ (61) and Sarah Schulman’s ‘Rebranding with Sex and Sexuality,’ which reprises her 2011 brief against ‘pinkwashing,’ the purported effort to distract attention from the military occupation of the West Bank by highlighting Israel’s gay-friendly legal and cultural environment.
David Collier: Banksy and the alien god killers that occupy Bethlehem
The Banksy Hotel and antisemitic imagery
Throughout the museum, there is use of Holocaust imagery, part of an ongoing strategy of equating the results of the 1947/48 civil conflict with the Holocaust. This one plays on both Holocaust and the idea that the value of life is not equal, with one Israeli tooth carrying more weight than over 2000 Arab lives.
This one suggests Israelis kill for money. That Arabs die just so Israelis can test weapons and the conflict is only there so that Jewish business can thrive.
Babies, clothing, shoes. Everywhere you look is the image of a brutal Holocaust committed by money grabbing Jews upon a defenceless and helpless population. Devil against the angels.
The next one is classic antisemitic imagery. Jews as god killers. An image of a Christ like figure with a red-dot sight on his forehead.
Endless hate in the Banksy hotel
There are many other similar images that will be uploaded by the groups who were there with me, and the IAM is also producing a video on the trip, but these few images provide a clear taste of the viscous propaganda on display. Our itinerary included various different faces of the conflict, but this was an important one. This is part of what we are up against, raw hatred dressed up as art. There is no middle ground to be found when facing such distortion and those who create it have no interest in building a dialogue. They want Jews to be seen as money grabbing god killers who invaded a foreign land and brutalised the inhabitants.
The Banksy hotel is a disgraceful blot on the landscape and full of antisemitic images. And the truth is that there is far more hate that went into building the exhibits within the hotel, than went into building the defensive wall the Hotel was designed to protest. One was designed to save lives, the other only sets out to demonise a people. Rather than join some of those we met who really want to make peace, Banksy chose to run with the hate.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada’s government will formally apologize for turning away a ship full of Jewish refugees trying to flee Nazi Germany in 1939.
The German liner MS St. Louis was carrying 907 German Jews fleeing Nazi persecution and had also been rejected by Cuba and the United States. The passengers were forced to return to Europe and more than 250 later died in the Holocaust.
Trudeau said in speech to a sold-out Jewish fundraising event Tuesday that the decision to turn away the St. Louis was a blight on Canada’s past.
In the run-up to World War II and the ensuing Holocaust, the Canadian government heeded anti-Semitic sentiment and severely restricted Jewish immigration. From 1933 to 1945, only about 5,000 Jewish refugees were accepted.
I want to tell you that I am very grateful for, and fully agree with your policy of “recognizing Israel’s right to exist within the 1948 borders.” This is such a good policy that it should be adopted by every country. After all, the effort to create and build Israel, the lives lost and the need to win battles have nothing to do with our existence. So, thanks Jeremy, for recognizing my “right” to exist.
To repeat: recognition of a people’s right to exist in its own land is such a good policy it should be made universal. Without delay, Israel should recognize England’s right to exist within the borders of 1603, before Scotland was joined to England because a king of Scotland was made king of England.
The same applies to Ireland, which was invaded constantly over hundreds of years by England and forced into a unilateral Act of Union in 1800. The English government was obviously guilty of war crimes: replacing populations, starving millions of people and forcing emigration of more millions. It took many an Irish rebel and much spilled blood to get the English out of Southern Ireland by 1922.
Now look at Northern Ireland. Is it not true that England implanted English and Scottish Protestants in Ireland to keep the Catholic Irish in line? These settlements should have been evacuated. They were an impediment to peace for hundreds of years. Only when the two sides understood they were there to stay was an uneasy peace achieved.
In addition, Jerry (may I call you Jerry, just by coincidence the nickname the English gave the Germans in both World Wars), England, having returned to its original borders, might consider whether Wales has been fairly treated. On this Welsh question, I lack sufficient information, so I’ll leave it.
The Labour Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) has invited prominent Jewish members of the Party to a meeting of its working group on antisemitism, only to refuse to let them in.
The farcical scene saw the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) being told that its leaders were invited by the working group “to attend their next meeting and contribute to their discussion on this issue”, but upon arrival they were not permitted to enter the meeting room.
One of the JLM delegation, Adam Langleben, reported that he had been disinvited from the meeting and that his invitation had been a “misunderstanding”. After waiting outside the meeting room for over an hour, the delegation was still not allowed to enter.
The Labour Party said: “Jennie Formby has written to Adam Langleben to clarify that the invitation was only extended to people with a role in Labour’s disciplinary process. Peter Mason has first-hand experience of our processes and his invitation was in that capacity, not as National Secretary of the Jewish Labour Movement. An invitation had already been sent to the Jewish Labour Movement for a separate meeting with Jennie Formby to discuss combatting antisemitism.”
It is astonishing that the Labour Party’s working group on antisemitism decided to go to work without the Labour Party’s Jewish affiliate. That it excludes them speaks volumes about their intentions.
The Israeli Ministry of Interior has revoked the work visa granted in April 2017 to Human Rights Watch (HRW) employee Omar Shakir, a long-time anti-Israel, pro-BDS activist. In its response, HRW (and its local lawyer, Michael Sfard) makes the false claim that “neither HRW – nor Shakir as its representative – advocate for boycott, divestment or sanctions against companies that operate in the settlements, Israel or Israelis (sic).”
As documented below, both HRW and Shakir repeatedly have demonized Israel, including calls for boycotts of, divestment from, and sanctions against Israeli and other companies and businesses. Shakir’s advocacy started before HRW hired him, continues to the present-day, and even intensified. In fact, it appears that Shakir’s extensive experience in advocating for BDS and a 1948 agenda is precisely why he was selected by HRW
Despite HRW’s denials, most of its publications and advocacy relating to Israel aim to cause economic, diplomatic, legal, and cultural damage and to internationally isolate the country, as adopted in the infamous NGO program of the 2001 Durban conference. In the past year, HRW campaigns include targeting Israel’s membership in FIFA (the international soccer association), pushing the UN to “blacklist” companies doing business in Israel, baseless allegations of war crimes in Gaza, and lobbying for International Criminal Court prosecution.
In its complaints about Shakir, HRW does not explain why it alone should be granted special status and entitlement to work visas that would not be provided to any other private group or business. Specifically, why should HRW be exempt from relevant Israeli regulations and allowed to benefit from Israeli work visas while attempting to cause economic and other harm to the country? Currently, there are thousands of NGOs operating in Israel and hundreds if not thousands of activists campaigning for Palestinian causes (including via BDS). Because HRW lacks capacity, almost all of its work relies exclusively on local Israeli and Palestinian NGOs; the NGO does not make any case that it provides specialist work or experience entitling it to work visas. In addition, HRW employs a locally-based Israeli citizen, further weakening its claims regarding Shakir’s visa.
Alan Dershowitz Addressed 2018 UN Watch Gala Dinner
Starting in June, the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), an anti-Israel organization based in Washington, DC, is planning to launch a “three-year plan” to support “municipal-level campaigns across the country” which aim at ending U.S. support for Israel.
In rolling out this new plan to advance “exciting work” at the “street-level,” USCPR is hoping to capitalize on the recent success of its member groups in the city of Durham, NC.
The context of that “victory” was a resolution passed last month banning the Durham Police Department from taking part in trainings with Israeli law enforcement personnel which we described in detail, Demonization: Durham NC City Council bans police exchanges with Israel.
As we highlighted in this prior post, Durham’s City Council catered to a coalition of local left-wing radical groups and activists who alleged that training programs for American police officials in Israel, some of them funded by the Anti-Defamation League, are to blame for discriminatory racial profiling and even the killings of blacks by cops on the beat in American cities.
It’s a charge that many have described as akin to a modern day antisemitic blood libel in which “Jews are falsely blamed for outrageous crimes.”
USCPR Executive Director Yousef Munayyer explicitly mentions this “win” in the city of Durham, NC in his organization’s solicitation for tax-deductible donations (“In whatever amount works best for you”) so that “amazing, committed organizers” can have the resources that they need to run “even more municipal-level campaigns across the country.”
Tamika Mallory, one of the chairwomen of the anti-Trump Women’s March, recently returned from a trip to Israel, where she had a chance to meet with representatives of various groups dedicated to defaming the country. The trip came on the heels of, first, revelations about her close connections with Louis Farrakhan and, second, her condemnations of the Anti-Defamation League. Upon her return, she announced that those policies of President Trump that she finds most odious are “lines out of the Netanyahu book of oppression.” To David Schraub Mallory didn’t go to Israel in order—as many assumed—to improve her credibility with potential supporters wary of her anti-Semitism but in order to make her own anti-Semitism acceptable:
If one dislikes Jews, there are many ways for that disdain to manifest itself. But among these diverse options, people with anti-Semitic views want to express those views in ways that will gain social approval—at least in the communities they care about. Hence, we should expect that anti-Semitic sentiments will be systematically channeled in directions where their expression can expect to find validation. . . . The content of those sentiments will vary from community to community. In some, railing against “globalist financiers” will do the trick. In others, speaking of those who “crucified Christ” will work. And of course, in still others, lambasting Zionist perfidy is the winning ticket.
In Mallory’s case, then, the shift from Farrakhan to the ADL to Israel is a move from forms of anti-Semitism that have encountered great resistance to one which will (again, in the relevant communities) gain plaudits. [Her trip to Israel] is a rehabilitation tour because it moves her sense of grievance toward Jews out of a context where even her allies would have trouble defending her, to an arena where people in her community are quite accustomed to dismissing Jewish complaints. Even though the sequence of events for Mallory offers compelling evidence that she’s at least in part motivated by a sense of antipathy toward Jews, the fact that she’s now expressing her disdain in terms of anti-Israel sentiment suggests, ironically, that people will view further complaints about her anti-Semitism as weaker rather than stronger. . . .
PreOccupiedTerritory: After Israel Trip, Tamika Mallory Realizes Palestinians Liars, Becomes Zionist (satire)
A leader of the Women’s March social justice movement announced today that following her visit to Israel and Palestinian territories, where she met with local activists and saw the situation up close, she has changed her mind about expressing solidarity with the Palestinians, who she now understands maintain a false narrative of entitlement that only perpetuates conflict. Instead, she declared, progressives must side with Israel, which represents a progressive cause par excellence.
Tamika Mallory, 37, returned from a visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories this weekend after an intensive series of visits with Israeli-Arab and Palestinian dignitaries, activists, residents, and journalists. A leader of the Women’s March with Palestinian-American Linda Sarsour, Mallory disclosed that she spent her return flight pondering what she had experienced and witnessed, coming to the conclusion that everything she had assumed or been told about the century-old conflict is a lie.
“It’s actually the Jews who are indigenous, and that’s been so obvious the whole time I’m kicking myself for swallowing antisemitic propaganda,” she wrote in a series of tweets. “Zionism is a national liberation movement for Jews reasserting sovereignty in their ancestral homeland, and progressives should be all about that, about taking back what’s rightfully yours.”
“Seeing the situation with my own eyes, all I can say is we’ve been duped,” Mallory continued. “I saw Arabs with Israeli citizenship and full political rights, and spoke to the leader of an Arab alliance of lawmakers in Israel’s parliament. That doesn’t square with any of the ‘Apartheid’ and ‘marginalization’ rhetoric that so many of us take at face value. It turns out, in my conversations with actual survivors of 1948, that the vast majority of Palestinian ‘refugees’ weren’t forced out by Israel, but left at the encouragement of Arab leaders hoping to get them out of the way and push the Jews into the sea. And Zionist leaders actually begged them not to go.”
It seems the Guardian wants to shut down all social and cultural life in Israel. Last week it published an article which accused the Jewish state of “sportswashing” its reputation by hosting the Giro d’Italia‘s first leg, irrespective of the fact that Israel had obviously been invited to host it!
Implicit in the accusation of “sportswashing” is the historical antisemitic trope of “dishonest Jews” manipulating the world via unethical business practice.
This antisemitic trope has reared its ugly head yet again today with the Guardian publishing a letter by artists. The letter is about the Seret International Film Festival currently underway in London. The letter states:
“Art, media and culture are being employed to give an apparently acceptable face to a brutal reality.”
Again there’s the implicit notion of “dishonest Jews” manipulating others in an unethical manner.
The artists then use Israel’s dealing of the current unrest in Gaza to “call on our cinema, media and cultural institutions to uphold basic ethical standards: they should refuse to provide platforms for national celebrations sponsored by a regime that is guilty of systematic and large-scale human rights violations.”
This is a call for a racist boycott. The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) is simply a call for the destruction of the Jewish state (mainly via the so-called Palestinian “right of return”). In 2014 the Tricycle Theatre cancelled the Jewish Film Festival in response to similar pressure but London’s Jewish community protested outside. The Tricycle eventually apologised.
The artists in this letter claim “large numbers of unarmed protesters in Gaza are killed or maimed with impunity by Israeli snipers”. However, it seems, 80% of those killed in the recent Gaza riots have been terrorists. And the two “journalists” cited in the letter who died, Yaser Murtaja and Ahmed Abu Hussein, seem to have had links to terrorist groups; Murtaja with Hamas and Abu Hussein with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
The French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard joined dozens of other film-industry professionals from France who vowed to boycott an event celebrating Israeli cinema.
Godard, a pioneer of the 1960s New Wave cinema and an avowed Marxist who has fought accusations of anti-Semitism, added his name to a May 4 petition calling for a boycott of the France-Israel Season event by the Institut Francais. The state-run organization for furthering French culture abroad scheduled next month’s event in cooperation with Israeli government officials.
“Posing as an event for cultural exchange,” the petition reads, “this effort is meant to boost Israeli reparation, tarnished by its increasingly hard-handed policies vis-a-vis the Palestinians.”
The National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism on Tuesday accused the cosignatories of “trying to discriminate against the only Jewish democratic state” while “staying blind, deaf, and mute when it comes to Palestinian anti-Semitic culture in which theaters, cinemas, and music are used to propagate this hatred in schools” in the West Bank and Gaza.
In addition to Godard, the maker of “Breathless,” the petition also was signed by Eyal Sivan, an Israel-born director who in 2001, amid anti-Semitic assaults in France, said that “Jewish Agency agents have one way of increasing aliyah: Burning synagogues.” He also said Jews in France were paying the price for “the colonial and murderous situation that has prevailed for more than fifty years in Israel-Palestine.”
The philosopher Alain Finkielkraut called Sivan a “Jewish anti-Semite,” leading the director to sue Finkielkraut for libel. Sivan lost the trial. In 2013, Eyal said that “Zionism runs France.”
Stony Brook University’s Muslim chaplain is under fire for standing up for the campus Hillel against an attack by a member of the university’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter.
The SJP accused chaplain Sanaa Nadim of a “heinous level of betrayal to the Palestinian people” for supporting a statement calling for tolerance after an SJP member called for Hillel to be expelled from campus.
The dispute was touched off by comments made by Rakia Syed, a member of SJP and a senior at the state university, to the campus newspaper, The Statesman.
“We want Zionism off this campus, so we want Hillel off this campus,” said Syed. “What we want is a proper Jewish organization that allows Jews to express their faith, have sabbath – everything like that, that are not Zionists, that doesn’t support Israel.”
The comments came in an article about tension between SJP and Seawolves for Israel, a student club supported by Stony Brook Hillel, over an information table sent up in the Student Activities Center for Israel’s 70th Independence Day last month. During the event, Hillel students handed out free snacks and commemorative T-shirts, while SJP members chanted and held up signs saying “Zionism is Terrorism,” according to The Statesman.
The president of Columbia University this week criticized Israel for expelling an American professor who endorses Palestinian terrorism. That’s the same Columbia University which has never apologized for expelling a student who protested the university’s friendly relationship with the Nazis in the 1930s.
The new controversy concerns Columbia law professor Katherine Franke. When Palestinians unleashed a wave of stabbing attacks on Israelis in October 2015—which Israel’s prime minister characterized as “Palestinian Islamic terrorism”—Prof. Franke responded with this tweet: “Palestinian resistance 2 Israeli policy isn’t ‘Islamic terrorism’ – it’s anti-colonial resistance.” Prof. Franke is also one of the leaders of the Academic Advisory Council of the organization “Jewish Voice for Peace,” which promotes the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.
When Franke sought to bring a 19-person delegation to Israel last week, she probably had some inkling that her positions and activities might result in Israel denying her admission. (Certainly such antics could keep a foreigner from entering the United States. Non-citizens who “endorse or espouse terrorist activity” are denied entry to the U.S. under Sec. 212 (3)(b)(IV)(bb) of the U.S. Criminal Code.) Unsurprisingly, the Israeli authorities turned Franke away. At which point Columbia University president Lee Bollinger jumped in, declaring: “I think it is wrong for a country to deny entry to a visitor because of his or her political beliefs.” That appeared in a New York Times column headlined “Israel Banishes a Columbia Law Professor for Thinking Differently.”
But Israel does not deny entry because of a person’s political beliefs or thoughts. In fact, 15 of the 19 members of Franke’s delegation were allowed to enter, despite their unabashedly unfriendly beliefs and thoughts. (The declared purpose of the delegation was to “witness” what they called Israel’s “history of systematic displacement and institutional racism” against Arabs.) Among the delegation’s members was Tammika Mallory, co-chair of last year’s Women’s March and an outspoken supporter of the antisemitic Rev. Louis Farrakhan. Mallory has been participating in Farrakhan’s rallies “regularly for over 30 years,” she has acknowledged. And yet “oppressive” Israel allowed her to enter.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Kanye Now Googling ‘How To Convert To Judaism’ (satire)
One of America’s premier entertainers continued to confuse and infuriate the political left this week by sharing a screenshot on social media that displayed his browser search history, in which the question “how do I convert to Judaism” took pride of place.
Kanye West, one of the country’s most successful hip-hop artists, fashion personas, and cultural icons posted the image on both Twitter and Instagram, to a combined audience in the tens of millions, sparking another wave of bewildered and angry reactions from personalities with progressive politics, following on the heels of an episode in which West voiced opinions out of step with the left-wing cultural mainstream, including a controversial characterization of slavery as a “choice.”
While West explained the slavery tweet as referring to mental slavery, not coerced physical subjugation, the Judaism searches have prompted further speculation regarding the performer’s mental health. “He can’t be right in the head,” posted a troubled John Legend.
“What is WRONG with you??” tweeted Women’s March leader Linda Sarsour. “Not that I have anything against Jews.”
Other progressive personalities echoed Ms. Sarsour. “Wow, your betrayal is complete. You’re dead to me,” posted New York civil rights activist Al Sharpton.
A 14-year-old boy was punched and cursed at outside of a yeshiva and high school in Queens, New York.
The attack on Sunday evening occurred outside the Yeshivath Shaar Hatorah Grodno, the Forest Hills Post reported.
A man punched the teen in the face and called him a “Jew boy,” the local newspaper reported, citing police. It was not reported whether the teen was a student at the yeshiva.
The incident is being investigated as a bias incident by the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force.
The attack comes on the heels of several recent assaults with allegedly anti-Semitic motives in Brooklyn targeting visibly Orthodox Jewish men.
“This alleged anti-Semitic assault targeting a young person is disgraceful,” said Evan R. Bernstein, ADL New York regional director. “Although the recent assaults do not appear connected, collectively these events stoke fear in the community and must be condemned in no uncertain terms. We call on all New Yorkers to condemn this hatred. We must do all we can to prevent such events from becoming normalized.”
ADL is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the person responsible.
At least 14 male students at a Boston-area high school are accused of spraying a swastika and anti-gay slurs on the school building.
The vandalism, using the spray from fire extinguishers at Arlington High School, occurred a week ago and was removed before school started for the day, the Boston CBS affiliate reported. The vandals also allegedly shattered the glass of vending machines, display cases and of the fire extinguishers.
“These actions represent a terrible breach of the peace and harmony we seek to instill as a welcoming, tolerant and safe community,” said Arlington schools superintendent Kathleen Bodie in a statement. “Whether these students intended to or not, their words and actions are hateful and hurtful, and we must respond appropriately.”
The school district and police department are consulting with the Arlington Human Rights Commission, the Anti-Defamation League and the Arlington LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission to “determine the best possible response,” the statement also said.
The Holocaust denier known as the “Nazi Grandma” was arrested by German police days after she failed to appear at the prison where she was to start a two-year term for Holocaust denial.
Ursula Haverbeck, 89, had been ordered to appear on April 23 at the prison in the town of Bielefeld after being sentenced for incitement caused by public Holocaust denial. Prosecutors on May 4 issued an order for police to locate and arrest her.
She was located at her home in central German on Monday. She was arrested and immediately sent to prison, according to reports. The Associated Press had reported that the home did not look inhabited, citing piled up mail on the front doorstep.
Haverbeck has been convicted and sentenced to prison on several occasions for writing articles denying the Holocaust and incitement to hate. She has appealed all the decisions, however, and had yet to spend any time in jail.
An Israeli teenager has admitted to urinating on a memorial at the site of the former death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, Polish prosecutors on Monday said, adding that he is willing to pay a fine, according to AFP.
The 19-year-old committed the act in late March and was arrested the same day, according to Mariusz Slomka, prosecutor from the southern Polish city of Oswiecim.
“He confessed and over the course of the investigation expressed the wish to receive a fine of 5,000 zloty ($1,400),” he told AFP.
A guide from the museum at the site and several other people witnessed the act, according to Slomka, who added that nothing suggested the teenager had been under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Under Polish law, this kind of offence normally calls for a fine or restriction of freedom, especially community service.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko condemned “any manifestations of intolerance and anti-Semitism” in his country following a series of neo-Nazi and other recent anti-Semitic events there.
Poroshenko posted the statement Friday on his Facebook page. The anti-Semitic events in Ukraine include a march in Lviv to commemorate the World War II Ukrainian Galicia SS division and remarks by an ultranationalist leader at a public event in Odessa.
Poroshenko called such marches and demonstrations “shameful things” and he said he considers them “unacceptable.”
“The reaction of Ukrainian law enforcement agencies to such unlawful actions will be immediate,” he said. “Ukraine is not a place for discrimination and intolerance on any ground, since respect for life and dignity of every person is the highest value for the Ukrainian state.”
On Wednesday, Tetiana Soikina, the head of Odessa’s regional department of the Right Sector ultranationalist group, at the March of the Ukrainian order in that city said Ukraine “will belong to Ukrainians, not Jews.” The Lviv march was held at the end of last month.
The Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Ministry issued a statement Saturday rejecting allegations of an increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the country.
Iconic rappers Tyga and Fat Joe will be headlining the Shaka Festival in Rishon Lezion this summer.
Tyga, a Grammy-nominated artist from California, and Fat Joe, a rapper, actor and Grammy- nominated performer from the Bronx, will take the stage on August 9 at the Rishon Lezion Live Park. They will be joined by some of the hottest local acts in hip hop, including Stephane, Peled and Swissa.
This is the second year running for the Shaka Festival; last year 15,000 people turned out to hear rapper Sean Paul and a whole lineup of Israeli hip hop talent.
Tyga – which stands for “thank you God always” – just released his sixth studio album, and has had a slew of hits including “BedRock,” “Hookah,” “Wait For a Minute” and “Loyal.” He has collaborated with Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, Whiz Khalifa, Jason Derulo, Snoop Dogg and more. Tyga is also a regular in the gossip columns for his high-profile relationships, including with Blac Chyna and Kylie Jenner.
The leaders of Israel, Cyprus and Greece said Tuesday they are determined to push ahead with plans for a pipeline that would supply east Mediterranean gas to Europe as the continent seeks to diversify its supplies.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the East Med pipeline a “very serious endeavor” that was important for Europe, which is looking for new sources of energy.
Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said the three countries aim to sign an agreement this year to nudge the pipeline project forward.
“This project creates a rivaled network of common interests and clear strategic benefit for our countries and beyond since its implementation will tangibly contribute to the security of the European Union’s energy supply,” Anastasiades said.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called the project “emblematic” of the cooperation between the three countries.
The EU is looking favorably on the project, too, since the 28-member bloc has forked out €34.5 million ($41 million) to fund a technical study, the Cypriot president said.
An unprecedented number of ministers and deputy ministers, 23, plan to attend a conference on science policy in Jerusalem later this month, Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis said Wednesday.
Among the countries whose ministers are attending the event, titled “The First International Ministerial-Level Scientific Conference: Thinking Out of the Box,” are India, Argentina, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom. Even more countries plan to send lower-level delegations, including chief scientists and other officials.
According to Akunis, his flagship event is set to break an all-time record for ministers from foreign countries participating in one event of Israel.
“The professionals said to expect only 10 countries to participate,” Akunis said. “This is an unprecedented diplomatic achievement; 23 is a massive number by every parameter.”
The minister said the positive response “is a great show of faith in Israeli science and technology, and shows how Israel is admired around the world.
Israel’s Embassy in Egypt celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Jewish state’s founding on Tuesday in Cairo, the first such event since the 2011 Arab Spring uprising and a sign of improving ties between the two countries.
The party at the Nile Ritz Carlton was a step up for diplomacy in the Arab world’s most populous country, where relations with Israel have deepened under the rule of general-turned-president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who came to power after overthrowing his Islamist predecessor in 2013. The event was attended mostly by foreign diplomats, with only a few Egyptians.
The celebration raised eyebrows in the Egyptian media, traditionally a hotbed of anti-Israel sentiment, and one state-owned publication even published an anti-Semitic cartoon.
Some commentators voiced opposition to the event, especially in light of the recent violence at the Israel-Gaza border. Israel says its forces have opened fire to stop attempts to harm soldiers, damage the border fence, infiltrate Israel and attempt to carry out attacks. It has accused the Hamas terror group that rules the Strip of trying to carry out border attacks under the cover of the large protests, while Palestinians say protesters are being shot while posing no threat to soldiers.
In a speech at the event, Israeli Ambassador David Govrin welcomed the Arab world’s recent warming toward Israel, led mostly by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He also took a few shots at Israel’s nemesis Iran.
The New Statesman: One man’s race to bring the forgotten music of the Holocaust to life
The stories behind the concert may be deeply personal, but the performance was intended by the organisers to broadcast a message to the world. “Anti-Semitism in England is a major cause for concern,” says Samuel Hayek, the chairman of the Jewish National Fund. Holocaust survivors have for many years drawn on their experiences to raise awareness of prejudice. But, Hayek notes, the number of survivors is dwindling.
At the concert itself, it becomes clear that the message is also about Israel. After the great and the good stream into the cavernous Jerusalem concert hall, various speakers remind them that “there is nothing more moving than hearing the music played in Jerusalem, the capital of the state of Israel” – a statement that remains controversial to much of the world. For those who prefer to treat anti-Semitism and the politics of Israel-Palestine as distinct, separate issues, such rhetoric about Jerusalem is uncomfortable. But to others, it is simply realism.
“I am not sure Jews and Israelis can really do much about reversing trends of anti-Semitism anywhere,” one participant, the son of Holocaust survivors, tells me.
The music itself, though, is jazzy and upbeat – something of a surprise, until one remembers it was written by men and women steeped in the cabaret of Weimar Germany, and trying desperately to escape the darkest days of their lives. There are songs about lost loves and jokes about the harrowing conditions. “Tango in Auschwitz”, an adaptation of a popular tune, was written by 12-year-old Irka Janowski. “Before the war we sang, we danced the tango and foxtrot,” sings a woman in a flapper dress while, behind her, black and white images of the deadliest Nazi concentration camp loom. Janowski died there.
The catchy “Zitra” (Tomorrow) by Josef Roubicek, is wistfully upbeat, the syncopated piano chords more reminiscent of an indie film than a death camp (Roubicek did have his tomorrow, surviving the Holocaust and living until 1978).
And then Aviva takes the stage, her frailness disguised by her black glittery top and calm demeanour. Francesco Lotoro is waiting at the piano. The speakers have stepped down; the audience is quiet. She opens her mouth and out comes a supple, clear voice, still stretching to the same notes she learned as a child, in a concentration camp in what was then Czechoslovakia, from the nurse Ilse Weber.
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