May 29, 2020

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05/10 Links Pt2: Salt Lake Tribune Op-Ed Fits EU Definition of Anti-Semitism; Gaza: Where Terrorists Are ‘Victims’ and Terrorism Is ‘Resistance’; Jerusalem has never been holy to Islam

From Ian:

CAMERA: Salt Lake Tribune Op-Ed Fits EU Definition of Anti-Semitism
The Salt Lake Tribune recently published an Op-Ed, penned by one Michael S. Robinson, that can best be described as an anti-Semitic rant, filled with attacks against “the Jews,” falsehoods demonizing Israel, calls for “regime change” targeting the Jewish state and insistence that it was a mistake to establish a Jewish state. This conforms perfectly to the definition of “anti-Semitism” used by the United States and the European Union.

Perhaps one of the most appalling aspects of Robinson’s guest column is his dismissive and demeaning analogy of Jewish Holocaust victims to a young child who has suffered a minor injury in the past:

“…It doesn’t make a naughty child any better when parents decline all discipline, just because little Suzie had a nasty owie two weeks ago.”

Robinson tries to innoculate himself against charges of anti-Semitism by pretending he is merely criticizing the Israeli government and policy:

“I hate Israel — not, of course, its many innocent citizens, but its inhumane and murderous government.”

But he reveals early on exactly what he is trying to conceal – that his is not legitimate criticism of a specific Israeli policy but an attack on “the Jews” in general:

“There seems to be a mindless philosophy that, because the Jews have historically suffered so much, we must never criticize them… “[emphasis added]

Robinson again refers to “The Jews” when he demonizes them as as lacking in “human compassion”:

“Oh, yes, the Jews know all about concentration camps, but they seem unable to muster any human compassion for the suffering of their neighbors.”

Gaza: Where Terrorists Are ‘Victims’ and Terrorism Is ‘Resistance’

“One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” is one of the worst clichés in the English language. Unfortunately the phrase’s logic is applied all too often to the ongoing violence at the Israel-Gaza Strip border. Just look at Peter Beinart’s recent column on the riots there. “Why are thousands of Palestinians risking their lives by running toward the Israeli snipers who guard the fence that encloses Gaza?” asks Beinart. “Because Gaza is becoming uninhabitable.” And why is the Strip becoming uninhabitable? Because Israel is “denying Gaza’s people the water, electricity, education, and food they need to live decent lives.”

According to Beinart, the ongoing attempts to damage and breach the border security fence to attack Israel, the rocks and firebombs hurled and shots fired at Israeli soldiers, the firebomb-bearing kites that torment Israeli farmers trying to grow crops, the widespread presence of swastikas at the demonstrations, the anti-Semitic threats against Jews, the horrible ecological effects caused by burning tires to blind Israeli border guards—all actions carried out by Gazans—are reactions of victims motivated by resistance against their oppressors. The fact that most of the rioters who Israelis have killed were terrorist operatives, or individuals affiliated with terrorist organizations, is irrelevant, because it gets in the way of this narrative.

“Hamas is indeed a brutal and destructive force, to both Israelis and Palestinians,” acknowledges Beinart. “But Hamas did not force Israel to adopt the policies that have devastated Gaza. Those policies represent a choice—a choice that has not only failed to dislodge Hamas, but has also created the very conditions in which extremism thrives.”

This argument is so inaccurate—yet so commonly found in Western media—that it requires a response. One simply needs to look at recent “protests” to see who is really devastating the lives of Palestinians in Gaza, who suffer under the cruel and incompetent rule of Hamas, an Islamist terrorist group that seeks Israel’s destruction.

Apology? Abbas again mocks the Holocaust

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas is apparently incapable of concealing his true views.

Channel 10 News reported on Wednesday that Abbas had held a press conference following a meeting with the President of Chile and spoke about the suffering of the Jews in the Holocaust, while comparing their suffering to the suffering of Palestinian Arabs in Judea and Samaria.

“I respect the victims of the Holocaust, which was the greatest and most heinous crime in history, but also express the hope that the suffering of Palestinians who live 70 years in exile and the occupation will end,” Abbas said, according to the report.

The report follows last week’s controversy surrounding Abbas’s anti-Semitic speech in which he claimed was that the Holocaust was not the result of anti-Semitism but rather of the Jews “social behavior, [charging] interest, and financial matters.”

The PA chairman’s remarks were met with a flurry of condemnations, both in Israel and abroad.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman ripped Abbas over his remarks, saying the PA leader has “reached a new low in attributing the cause of massacres of Jewish people over the years to their ‘social behavior relating to interest and banks.’ To all those who think Israel is the reason that we don’t have peace, think again.”

German’s Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, criticized Abbas as well, writing on Twitter that Germany was responsible for “one of the worst crimes in history and therefore, we must respond resolutely to any anti-Semitic expression.” He linked his comment to Abbas’s speech.

Britain similarly criticized the anti-Semitic speech, saying Abbas’s remarks were “deeply concerning” and unhelpful to peace in the region.

Dr. Ephraim Herrera: Jerusalem has never been holy to Islam

Dr. Ephraim Herrera speaks to the “Salute to Jerusalem” Arutz Sheva Conference organized by Dr. Joe Frager.

Alan Baker: Did the Palestinians Ever Really Recognize Israel?

According to reports in various news outlets, including Al Jazeera and The Times of Israel, the Palestinian National Council (PNC), the legislative body of the PLO and the official representative of the Palestinian people worldwide, has adopted a resolution freezing Palestinian recognition of Israel and conditioning it on Israel’s recognition of a state of Palestine.

The resolution was proposed by Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the PLO and head of the Palestinian Authority, at the PNC’s meeting in Ramallah — the first time that the PNC was convened in nine years.

This is not the first time that Abbas has threatened to revoke recognition of Israel. He periodically pulls this curious rabbit out of his meager bag of tricks when he feels the necessity to reaffirm his self-importance to his dwindling constituency, both at home and among his international supporters, mainly in Europe.

The question that comes to mind is whether the Palestinians ever genuinely recognized Israel and if so what relevance or weight this has in the general context of the peace process.

There have been some claims that Yasser Arafat, when pressed by the US leadership in 1988, prior to his first appearance before the UN General Assembly, did express a limited form of recognition of Israel. This is doubtful.

Analysis: Out-of-the-box peace proposals

A possibly realistic approach to the now hundred-year-old conflict between Arabs and Jews in the land of Israel has come from Bar Ilan University scholar Mordechai Kedar.

Kedar is promoting the so-called ‘Palestinian Emirates solution’ instead of a two-state solution with the defunct and corrupt Palestinian Authority.

‘Due to tribal rifts and local patriotism, there will never be a successful unity government among the Palestinian Arab population centers in Judea and Samaria or Gaza,” Kedar argues.

“Like the PLO in the past, the PA/Fatah and Hamas do not represent the true ambitions of the majority of peaceful Arabs who just want a better future for their children within a traditional framework and local governance,” according to the Middle East expert.

Kedar notes that Palestinian Arabs in “Gaza and from competing tribes in the West Bank are so culturally different that they rarely marry among each other,” and he thinks that “it is best for the Palestinian Arabs to be broken up into (8) homogenous emirates.”

These independent emirates, Kedar says, should be the seven major cities in the current Palestinian Authority and Gaza while Israel should retain control over the other areas in Judea and Samaria and over Jerusalem in order to prevent the creation of “another Hamastan” overlooking much of Israel’s coastal plain and part of the Negev desert.

Paraguay confirms relocation of its embassy to Jerusalem, following US

Paraguay’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that the country will shift its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, following the US and Guatemala.

It said President Horacio Cartes ordered the move, but didn’t specify a date in the Wednesday announcement.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said earlier this week that Cartes will attend the opening ceremony, which he said would occur by the end of May. Paraguay didn’t confirm Cartes’ trip.

The US officially opens its embassy in Jerusalem on May 14 followed two days later by Guatemala.

US President Donald Trump overturned decades of US policy last year by announcing the Jerusalem move.

Friends of Zion launches massive campaign for U.S. embassy move

The Friends of Zion Museum launched a massive campaign across Jerusalem this week honoring President Donald Trump and the State of Israel ahead of the moving of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem next week.

Over 150 Billboards were placed in recent days on buses and buildings throughout the city. The museum’s previous campaigns have included welcoming President Trump and Vice President Pence when they each visited the State of Israel.

The Friends of Zion Museum and Heritage Center, under the leadership of Dr. Mike Evans, will hold a gala dinner celebrating the historic move, featuring Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, and Senior Advisors to the President Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

The Friends of Zion has previously presented the Friends of Zion Award, which is given to world leaders whom have gone “above and beyond” for the States of Israel. Previous FOZ Award recipients have included: 45th President of the United States Donald J. Trump, 43rd President of the United States George W. Bush, and most recently 50th President of Guatemala Jimmy Morales. Friends of Zion is giving its award to all world leaders who move their embassies to Jerusalem.

Europeans said boycotting Foreign Ministry event celebrating new US embassy

European diplomats will reportedly skip a Foreign Ministry event next week marking the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem in protest of US President Donald Trump’s recognition of the city as Israel’s capital.

Despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inviting the entire foreign diplomatic corps to Sunday’s event, many European envoys, including those from the United Kingdom, France and Germany, will boycott the ceremony, Hadashot TV news reported Wednesday.

“It is a little strange to invite us to celebrate an event that we opposed and condemned. The Americans were more clever and knew in advance not to invite us to save themselves from embarrassment,” the network quoted a diplomatic source as saying.

The Foreign Ministry later said it was not aware of any decision to skip the event.

“At the moment 30 of 86 ambassadors have responded positively [to the invitation]. A large number of ambassadors have yet to respond. We hope all the ambassadors will arrive,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said.

Trump signs Holocaust property law that has angered Poland

US President Donald Trump has signed an act that Jewish groups praise as helpful in their efforts to reclaim lost property in Poland, but which the Polish government says is discriminatory.

The White House said on Wednesday that Trump signed the Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today — or JUST — Act. It requires the State Department to report to Congress on what steps dozens of countries in Europe have taken to compensate Holocaust survivors or their heirs for assets seized under Nazi German and Communist rule.

The law does not give the US any powers to act against any country and does not single out Poland. But Poland is the only country in Europe that has not passed legislation to compensate former owners for assets seized in the upheavals of 20th-century European history, and Warsaw sees itself as the key target of the law.

The Nazis’ seizure of Jewish-owned property in Poland during World War II, and the murder of most of Poland’s Jewish population, was followed after the war by the Communist state’s seizure of large amounts of property that was nationalized.

Most of the original owners of that property were not Jewish.

Michael Lumish: Breaking: Jew Builds Second Bathroom in East Jerusalem

{This is the satirical bit that got me booted off of Daily Kos, lo these many years ago.}

Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem — The entire world was shocked yesterday when this reporter revealed that retired electrician, Ehud David Netanyolmert, shook the peace process to its roots by building an illegal second bathroom in his East Jerusalem home.

“This is yet another example of Israeli intransigence,” said Palestinian Authority PM, Mahmoud Abbas. “We cannot negotiate with the Israelis if they insist upon violating international law with the continued building on Palestinian lands. Israel must pressure Mr. Netanyolmert to dismantle the illegal mini-settlement that he has constructed.”

Only slightly taken aback by the world community’s rejection of the second bathroom, Benjamin Netanyahu told the Jerusalem Post, “Israel wants peace and two states for two peoples. The Palestinians need to sit down at the negotiating table and I honestly do not see what some guy’s second bathroom has to do with anything.”

In Washington, US President Barack Obama convened an emergency meeting with his cabinet in order to evaluate the situation and to determine the best response to this most recent Israeli aggression. In response to the crisis, US diplomat George Mitchell claimed, “Israelis have rights, but so do the Palestinian people. While the United States remains deeply committed to Israeli security, it is entirely unclear how the second bathroom promotes that security or in any way advances the cause of peace.”

The BDS movement: Why has it had some success among American youth?

The anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement has gained significant support in recent years, especially among American youth. Much of this support stems from a lack of historical and even common knowledge. Polls show that 70% of millennials don’t know what Aushchwitz was and 40% don’t know what the Holocaust was. The great majority of millennials have never visited Israel or read books or newspaper articles about it. Many of them see Israel as an authoritative repressive state. This has greatly enhanced the willingness of many BDS followers to believe a series of half- and quarter- truths.

The great majority of American youth are evidently unaware of key moments when top Arab and Iranian leaders have openly spoken the truth. American youth are largely unaware that the Arab grand mufti of Jerusalem at the time, Amir al-Husseini, visited Nazi Germany during World War II, holding a series of meetings with top Nazi leaders, including Adolph Hitler. Husseini wasn’t there to complain about the ongoing murder of millions of Jews.

They are unaware of or ignore the fact that Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas only last week declared that the Jews got what they deserved in the Holocaust.

Similarly, they pay no attention to Tehran, where Iranian leaders every Friday in their services declare “Death to the United States” and “Death to Israel.”

Second, the BDS movement claims that Israel is an apartheid state, like South Africa before the 1990s. The problem is that the youth don’t seem to be capable of realizing that this is simply not true.

Take education: Before the creation of Israel in 1948, 156,000 Israeli Arabs had an average of two years of education, while today, as Israeli citizens, 1.7 million Israeli Arabs have an average of 11 years of education. Far from being isolated, 37,000 Israeli Arabs are attending Israeli universities. The government is working to increase the number in both universities and hi-tech companies. At the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Israel’s elite hi-tech university, 25% of graduates in electrical engineering are Arabs.

Columbia University Professor Blames Israel for ‘Every Dirty, Treacherous Act Happening in the World,’ Claims Iran Nuke Deal Opposed by ‘Fifth Column Zionists’

A professor at Columbia University in New York accused Israel on Tuesday of being behind every calamity in the world, and asserted that Zionists who oppose the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran are disloyal to the United States.

Hamid Dabashi, a professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia, wrote on Facebook, “Every dirty treacherous ugly and pernicious act happening in the world just wait for a few days and the ugly name of ‘Israel’ will pup [sic] up as a key actor in the atrocities.”

His post linked to a New York Times article claiming that unidentified critics of the nuclear agreement with Iran hired Black Cube, a private firm founded by former Israeli military intelligence analysts, to gather information on a top aide to President Barack Obama and his family.

The professor also denounced “opponents of the Iran Nuclear deal” as “diehard Fifth Column Zionists working against the best interests of Americans and for the best interests of Israelis.”

Accusations of dual loyalty against “Zionists” are frequently employed by neo-Nazis, including former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke, who in 2012 said that “Israel and the Zionist fifth column in government, big media and finance” support a war with Iran.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism, which has been adopted by the US and 30 other member states, includes “accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.”

Does J Street know of the ‘human rights’ activist they invited?

The ‘Ad Kan’ Organization has uncovered that one of the speakers invited to the recent J Street conference is Nassar Nawaja, a coordinator of the ‘B’tselem’ Organization who spoke in his role as a ‘human rights activist.’ He discussed Israeli policy in Area C and received much applause from the crowd. However, it seems that the J Street organizers either did not know or did not care that the very same Nassar Nawaja has been recorded giving over the names of PA Arabs who dared to sell land to their Jewish neighbors. These Arabs were later tortured and even murdered.

An investigative report aired on the ‘Uvda’ television program exposed that Nassar Nawaja and Ezra Nawi were recorded handing over several Arab land sellers to the Palestinian Authority security forces, who later murdered them.

Recently, the organization filed a petition to the Supreme Court against Nawaja and other leftist activists demanding that they be indicted in light of the evidence against them. “The evidence suggests that they have perpetrated serious security offenses including involvement in kidnapping and the harming of Israeli citizens,” explains the petition.

Gilad Ach, Director of ‘Ad Kan,’ commented, “It seems that the anti-Israel Agenda of J Street has led it astray. A man who has been recorded handing over Palestinians to harsh torture and even murder for the crime of merely doing business with Jews, is somehow invited to speak as a ‘human rights activist’ worthy of recognition. Hypocrisy and lies were heard throughout every minute of the J Street conference. I call on J Street to apologize to the Israelis and Palestinians who have suffered at the brutal hands of the Palestinian Authority, terror organizations, and their enablers.”

Amy Spitalnick, Schneiderman Press Sec and Former J Street Spox, is Having a Bad Day

The back-to-back bombshells of abuse allegations against New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman and President Donald Trump’s decision to leave the Iran nuclear agreement dealt a tough blow today to Amy Spitalnick, who before signing on as press secretary for Schneiderman worked for nuclear deal advocate group J Street.

The news that Trump would be leaving the Iran deal came just a few hours after Spitalnick had to alert reporters that her boss wouldn’t be coming in to the office after he was accused by four women of nonconsensual sexual violence and resigned.

Spitalnick had called Schneiderman a “proud feminist” and regularly referred to him as her “feminist boss,” bragging earlier this year that he was the only man invited to speak at the Women’s March, which has now said it will stand with the women accusing Schneiderman.


The accusations against Schneiderman, revealed by the New Yorker, came from two women described by the magazine as “articulate, progressive Democratic feminists” who said their “anger grew” as they watched him use feminist causes to raise his profile. They both say they were slapped and choked by Schneiderman, who also threatened them with his power as attorney general if they left him.

The Starbucks Scandal and the Mainstreaming of Antisemitism

A fundamental red line has been crossed. For the first time in our collective memory, radical activists successfully used antisemitism to convince one of America’s largest companies to turn its back on an established and respected civil-rights organization.

A little history for perspective: About a century ago, this country suffered from a plague of rampant and normalized antisemitism. In that context, the venerable Jewish social services organization B’nai Brith established two major entities that still thrive today — Hillel and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

As a board member and supporter of Hillel on a local and national level for more than a decade, I’m painfully aware of how anti-Zionism and rank antisemitism have permeated our colleges and universities, and how difficult it is to be Jewish on most campuses today.

This is the first time, though, that I’ve seen that same vitriol effectively move from the quad to Main Street.

As has been widely reported, after a shameful racial incident at one of its Philadelphia stores last month, Starbucks established an advisory committee to guide racial-bias training for all of its employees. The ADL originally was a member of this committee, along with several other civil-rights organizations.

Subsequently, several progressive activists expressed their displeasure with the ADL’s inclusion in this effort. Their comments weren’t particularly subtle. Tamika Mallory, an organizer of the Women’s March and admirer of notorious antisemite Louis Farrakhan, tweeted that Starbucks was “NOT serious about doing right by BLACK people!” Why?

NBC News Defames Gatestone Institute

Gatestone Institute, far from being “anti-Muslim”, is pro-Muslim. Gatestone does not want to see Muslims deprived of freedom of speech, flogged or stoned to death for supposed adultery. Gatestone is also opposed to “honor” killings, children forced into marriages; homosexuals flogged or killed, and so on. Is one to assume that NBC and its followers do want to see these abuses? Good to know.

Gatestone is, however, openly committed to educating the public about an aspect of Islam, namely Sharia law, which, according to the European Court of Human Rights and others, is incompatible with liberal democracy.

NBC states that Russian trolls tweeted a total of four Gatestone articles — out of more than 200,000 tweets identified by Twitter as being linked to Russian accounts. By way of comparison, the database shows that Russian trolls tweeted seven articles from Heidi Przybyla, the author of the NBC report.

A search of articles on Sputnik, the Russian government-controlled news agency, turns up 1,650 pages of NBC citations. “If getting retweeted 4 times makes you a Russian spy, NBC must be the Kremlin.” — Daniel Greenfield, journalist

Alan M. Dershowitz: NBC’s Demonization of Bolton and Gatestone

Let John Bolton be judged by his own statements and actions, for which he needs no defense from me. But let not the media indulge in the discredited tactics of guilt-by-association, distortion and outright deceit based on ideological or political differences.

I am a frequent op-ed contributor to Gatestone and often speak at its events. I also proudly serve on its board.

I find Gatestone to be refreshingly centrist. It encourages dialogue between the center-left, represented by people such as Senator Joe Lieberman and myself, and people from the center-right represented by speakers such as John Bolton and the eminent historian Victor Davis Hanson. I am scheduled to speak at an event with Ayaan Hirsi Ali who, based on her own personal experiences of female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, has expressed views about abuses committed by some Muslims against other Muslims in the name of Islam. These discussions are always informative and serious. I disagree with some of what I hear and read at Gatestone events and in its publications, but that is true of every organization of which I am aware. Przybyla wrenches out of context a few points of view that to her seem controversial, and not only attributes them to the organization, but makes it appear as if these views are the only ones the organization represents.

The answer to deception and falsehoods has always been truth. I urge everyone who has read Przybyla’s misrepresentation to go to the Gatestone website and read a wide array of its extensively substantiated articles. Then everyone can judge for themselves. Is Gatestone an “anti-Muslim think tank”? Or is it an open-minded institute that encourages diverse views on a wide range of pressing subjects? Then you can answer Groucho Marx’s famous rhetorical question: “Who are you going to believe – me or your lying eyes?”

An Open Letter to Arthur Sulzberger

Arthur Sulzberger and The New York Times’ editorial board recently called for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to step down. The Times made this demand not for Abbas’ continued support of terrorism against Israeli civilians, but instead for his attacks on Jewish people around the world — attacks on people like Mr. Sulzberger.

The Times editorial said that these attacks destroyed Abbas’ credibility as a “trustworthy partner” in negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel. Your paper seems to believe that Abbas had any credibility left in the first place — after the Palestinians’ continued incitement and support of terrorism; after continued Palestinian promotion of laws that make payments to terrorists and their families for murdering Jews; after Palestinian stabbings, car attacks, shootings, bombings, kite arsons, and attempts to breach the southern border of Israel; and after spreading anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli hate through education systems and media outlets throughout the Arab world. Yet somehow, Abbas’ latest “anti-Semitic comment” was the “new low” for you?

Mr. Sulzberger — anyone who is paying attention to the Middle East knows that Abbas has never had any credibility. He has been a lifelong Holocaust denier, who has spent substantial energy fighting Zionists, Israelis, and Jews. Now, in again revealing his true colors, Abbas is going after the Jews of the world, including you. But this is the first time that your editorial board has called for Abbas to step down. Shame on you.

IsraellyCool: Former CNN Journalist Jim Clancy’s Vile Reaction to Antisemitic Attack on Boy

It seems Clancy cannot just condemn a heinous, antisemitic attack on a young boy without “But, Israel.” He seems to even be implying that the reason for the attack on the young boy was Israel’s actions.

There’s a word for this: “antisemitism.”

And another word: “unhinged.”

Not that we should be surprised. It was his unhinged hatred of Israel that resulted in his departure from CNN in 2015. And he’s been at it since.

Blood and mud poured on Netherlands Holocaust monument

Unidentified individuals poured blood and mud on a Holocaust monument in the Netherlands shortly after the country’s national day of mourning for its war victims.

The blood was discovered shortly after the May 4 Memorial Day on the monument in Utrecht, 30 kilometers (20 miles) east of Amsterdam. It features the names of more than 1,200 Jews deported to their deaths from the city, RTV Utrecht reported Wednesday. The report did not specify the source of the blood.

Police said they do not yet know how the blood got on the monument or whether the people who put it there targeted a Jewish symbol.

The Dutch Railway Museum in Utrecht in 2013 had opposed plans to erect the monument near its entrance.

The museum is built on an old train station from which the Jews were deported.

Event recalling Nazi massacre leaves out mention of Jews

A Lithuanian museum housed in a camp where Nazis and collaborators murdered 50,000 Jews is hosting an event for families featuring battle re-enactments.

The May 12 event, which the Kas Vyksta news website billed as a “feast,” is scheduled to take place at the Ninth Fort, a 19th century bunker complex that the Nazis and their helpers turned into a camp and execution area.

Titled “Past History — Today’s Strength,” the event will feature mock cavalry and men wearing Lithuanian army uniforms, complete with weapons.

Active-duty soldiers will explain to visitors about their various armaments, including the GOL rifle, which is produced in the German town of Birkenau. Also present will be police officers and firefighters as well as municipal officials.

The event is part of this year’s centenary celebrations of Lithuanian sovereignty, according to the website of the state-run Ninth Fort museum.

According to an official website of Kaunas, Lithuania’s second city, the museum “reveals the Jews’ tragedy in Lithuania and tells the story of Kaunas Ghetto and massacre,” in addition to showcasing “examples of weaponry and equipment of World War I.”

The museum’s website for the May 12 event does not mention Jews or the execution of civilians on the site.

Amsterdam kosher eatery owner says he’ll close shop due to assaults

The owner of a frequently vandalized kosher eatery in the Dutch capital said he will close it down unless city officials install permanent security measures outside his business.

Sami Bar-On’s lawyer, Herman Loonstein, told the Het Parool daily Wednesday that his client feels it is “irresponsible to go on like this” at HaCarmel restaurant without permanent security measures.

In December, a 29-year-old Syrian asylum seeker smashed the restaurant’s window while holding a Palestinian flag. He then broke into the restaurant as two police officers watched and took out an Israeli flag from inside the restaurant before they arrested him. He has been charged with vandalism in an indictment that does not include an aggravated element of a hate crime.

Since the incident, the restaurant’s windows were again smashed once and are repeatedly spat on and smeared with garbage, Bar-On said. Police beef up security after each incident but leave shortly after, he said.

Campaign sign for Ohio Jewish candidate defaced with swastika

The campaign yard sign of a Jewish candidate for Congress from central Ohio was defaced with a swastika.

The sign for Lawrence Cohen, a Jewish candidate for the Republican Party’s nomination for Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, had been placed on public property, Justin Shaw, director of Jewish community relations at the Jewish Federation of Columbus, Ohio, told the Cleveland Jewish News.

The swastika was discovered on May 6, two days before the state primary.

“It seems like they decided that a Jewish candidate running for Congress was not something they could tolerate and decided to deface the sign,” Cohen told the local Channel 10 news.

“Whether it’s on a banner for a congressional candidate, or the side of a synagogue, or on a Jewish doctor’s office, it’s a hate crime and it’s extremely disturbing,” Cohen also said. He filed a report with the Licking County Sheriff’s Office.

A statement from the Columbus Jewish Federation said that swastikas are “the ultimate symbol of hatred and its appearance locally is extremely disturbing.”

U.S. States Feature at Israel’s Agritech Conference

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb joined over 40 ministers of agriculture from around the world on Tuesday at the Agritech Israel conference, a triennial showcase of Israeli innovation in agricultural technology.

Holcomb was not the only American presence at the conference. The State of Iowa commanded two booths, just opposite a pavilion of 20 Israeli startup agricultural companies chosen by organizers to exhibit their innovations.

U.S. states are not just interested in expanding the global profile of their agricultural industries, but also want to bring home the latest in Israeli technology, much of which has developed to meet the challenges of a dry climate.

One company, Supplant, uses sensors to measure plant data and feed them to a computer interface, also available as a smartphone app, that allows farmers to intervene immediately — with additional irrigation, for example.

Other companies exhibiting at the conference specialize in ideas as diverse as seed development, compost management, advanced hydroponic systems, and even the use of drone technology to measure crop conditions in real time.

Google set to acquire Israeli cloud migration startup Velostrata

The Israeli cloud migration start up company Velostrata will be acquired by Google.

Company CEO and co-founder Issy Ben-Shaul announced on Wednesday that Velostrata would join Google Cloud, subject to closing conditions.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed by either company. Velostrata was founded in 2014.

Velostrata’s software enables companies to move their data and applications from onsite computers to the cloud quickly and easily, and with minimal downtime. The company’s technology is used by companies in the healthcare, finance, energy and public sectors, the company said in a statement.

The company will work out of Google’s Tel Aviv offices, Eyal Manor, Google Cloud’s Vice President of Engineering, said in a statement.

Anti-Semitic Bully Is Better At Apologizing Than Media Professionals

Over the past weekend, I saw a video that made my blood boil. In the video shared on Twitter and Facebook, a New York City man approached a young Jewish boy with a traditional Hassidic haircut and begins mocking him to his face.

“I’d be crying if I looked like that, too, bro,” the grown man said to the stone-faced boy. “That’s f**ked up what they be doing to you.”

In the abstract, I could understand why people found it funny; there’s something humorous about the idea of a grown man tearing into a small child. It’s the sort of thing where if I saw it happen in a movie, I would’ve laughed. But I knew that it wasn’t fiction, that it was a real kid being accosted and insulted, and for publicly practicing a faith that has been subject to denigration for millennia.

One tweet sharing the video picked up more than 30,000 retweets almost entirely from people who thought it was funny. It was eventually deleted as more and more people pointed out how horrific and unfunny it actually was (you can still see it here).

The news cycle moved on, and eventually people forgot and found other social media outrages to dwell on. But then the unexpected happened. The man who posted the video, Quaishawn James, began making efforts to apologize and reach out to the Jewish community.

In his video apology, James apologized directly to the boy, to his family, to the Jewish community, and admitted without reservation that he was wrong.

“[Jews] have been through too much. Too much. We’ve been through as much as they have. They’ve been through worse,” he said. “That was just me being real immature. That was one of the most immature videos I’ve ever recorded and posted online.”

“It’s my fault that I didn’t think about this while I was doing, before I even did it. I should have been more considerate and more open to other people…” he continued. “That right there was a form of bullying. I cannot take that back.” (h/t jzaik)

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