August 12, 2020

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05/11 Links Pt2: Phillips: Change the narrative, Mr. President; Joanna Lumley condemns ‘appalling’ boycotts of Israel

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Change the narrative, Mr. President
Trump is the ultimate big picture man.
He thinks with his gut. He doesn’t do detail.
So he should be told this simple fact: that the reason the Arab-Israel impasse continues without end is that America and the West have treated the Palestinian agenda as a reasonable basis for compromise, when in fact it has the unconscionable goal of destroying the homeland of the Jewish people. And negotiating with an unconscionable agenda encourages its proponents to twist the screw still further.
It’s possible that Trump knows all this and, having given Abbas enough rope with which to hang the Palestinian cause, will now pull the noose tight.
It’s also possible, though, that among all the pro-Israel people in his administration there isn’t one who has ever told him the inconvenient truth: that the reason the Arab war against Israel goes on and on without end is that it is the only war of extermination where the so-called civilized world has systematically rewarded and incentivized the aggressor.
Donald Trump wants to go down in history as the president who solved the Arab-Israel impasse. What the author of The Art of the Deal needs to realize, however, is that the solution lies in grasping that a deal here is impossible, and what is needed instead is to defeat the vile aim of destroying Israel.
Change the narrative altogether, Mr.
President, and your place in history will be all but guaranteed as the person who faced down an agenda of falsehood, hatred and extermination to pave the way for a more decent, stable and safer world. (h/t Elder of Lobby)

Caroline Glick’s Speech at Jpost NY Conference

Popular Jerusalem Post Columnist Caroline Glick wrapped up an illustrious roster of speakers at the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York City Last Week. Glick delivered her famous no-hold-barred brand of insight and analysis in front of an enthusiastic crowd.
The Conference also featured Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, intelligence Minister Israel Katz and Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon. Also on hand were Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress and Senior Trump Aide Sebastian Gorka. (h/t Elder of Lobby)

Joanna Lumley condemns ‘appalling’ cultural boycotts of Israel

National treasure Joanna Lumley has condemned cultural boycotts of Israel as “appalling”.
The celebrated actress and campaigner spoke to the Jewish News after addressing charity Tikva’s annual dinner in central London.
“I hate barriers, I hate walls, I hate boycotts,” she said when asked about cultural boycotts. “I think it’s appalling. I would never join in such a boycott.” Music stars from around the world are frequently targeted by BDS campaigners, urging them to cancel planned concerts in the country.
Lumley, who will receive the Bafta fellowship this weekend, said one of her “greatest heroes in life” is Daniel Barenboim, the Israeli conductor who established with Edward Said the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra to bring together young Israeli, Palestinian and Arab musicians.
The Absolutely Fabulous actress earlier delighted more than 200 guests at the event, regaling tales of her 40-year career from starting as a model to becoming a Bong Girl and starring in the hit sitcom opposite Jennifer Saunders. She also successfully led a campaign for Gurkha veterans who served in the British Army to have the right to settle in the UK.

NGO Monitor: Setting the Record Straight on NOVACT’s Response to NGO Monitor Research

On May 9, 2017, the Jerusalem Post published an opinion piece by Simonetta Costanzo (“Violence or Nonviolence: That is the Question”), president of the Spanish NGO NOVACT (International Institute for Nonviolent Action). Writing in reply to a news article (“Report: European States Fund NGOs That Incite to Violence Against Israelis,” Jerusalem Post, April 27, 2017) featuring NGO Monitor’s research, Costanzo alleged that the article included false information concerning NOVACT’s legitimization of violence, its funding, and its partners.
Examination of the details shows that, in contrast to her aims, Costanzo confirms NGO Monitor’s claims that NOVACT whitewashes violence.
Claim: “NOVACT has worked for more than 20 years to confront all forms of violence. NOVACT does not support any form of violence in any part of the world.”
Fact: In one example, a 2015 report, NOVACT stated that “The right of the Palestinian people to resist Israeli military occupation is not only a moral right but also a recognized right under customary international law.” The term “resistance” is widely used by Palestinians to refer to violent attacks against Israeli security forces and civilians.
NOVACT’s longtime Palestinian partner organization and grantee, the Popular Struggle Coordination Committees (PSCC), has organized protests that have turned violent. PSCC’s Twitter activity repeatedly employs “martyr” rhetoric and posts photos of demonstrators hurling rocks.

The Promise: A Powerful, Memorable Film

With “The Promise,” filmmaker Terry George, known for his 2004 Oscar-nominated “Hotel Rwanda,” set out to tell the story of 20th century’s first genocide.
Following the timeline of events that led to the Ottoman Empire’s perpetration of genocide against the Armenian population in 1915, the plot is centered around a love triangle between an Armenian student named Mikael Boghosian (played by Oscar Isaac), an Armenian from Paris named Ana Khesarian (played by Charlotte Le Bon) and an American reporter named Chris Myers (played superbly by Christian Bale).
Leaving his small Armenian village in the Ottoman Empire, Boghosian travels to the Turkish capital Constantinople to study medicine.
The film depicts Turkish-Armenian relations at a high point (“high” is meant in the vaguest sense). Many Turks still held venomously racist views towards Armenians, but they went to the same universities, lived in the same cities and shopped in the same markets (when walking through the market, a Turk exclaimed to him, “that Armenian pig will rip you off.”)
Shortly after, as the Ottoman Empire entered the First World War, Turkish aggression against the Armenian population became a mainstay of government policy. This film portrayed this accurately, as the blueprints for Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich soon spread to every village in the Ottoman Empire.
Turkish officers began rounding up Armenian intellectuals and businesspersons, executing them on a whim. Boghosian was yanked out of medical school, and sent to a labor camp where he was effectively starved, and made to work while awaiting execution.

How the Six Day War changed American Jews

Half a century after the victory, organized American Jewry wrestles with its legacy. Fundraisers and activists lament that there isn’t the same kind of unifying cause around which Jews can rally. Committed activists are split among a right wing that feels God delivered into Jewish hands a land that can never again be divided, and a left wing that sees the war and the decisions made in its aftermath as the start of what has become Israel’s most intractable problem: control of millions of Arabs living on lands seized during the victory.
Five decades later, says Hirschhorn, the joy felt in 1967 has faded for many American Jews born long after the war. They don’t remember the Six-Day War as a massacre averted or a near miraculous victory of David over Goliath. For Jews with memories of 1967, Hirschhorn said, feeling strong was an exhilarating experience. Now American Jews are still grappling with the meaning of Jewish power.
“The pride they felt in that moment has changed for our generation, who look at it in a different way and have seen the outcome of the war,” said Hirschhorn, who was born well after the war. “Now the question of our generation is, how do you manage Jewish power responsibly, whether that’s in the State of Israel or outside of it?”

BDS is failing – a continuing series (May 2017)

Here’s the latest installment in our ongoing series documenting BDS fails and exposing the spectacularly misleading media narrative on the alleged successes of the campaign to economically and socially isolate the Jewish state.
Bassem Eid of Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group explains why BDS is bad for Palestinains
All 100 US senators sign letter asking for equal treatment of Israel at the U.N.
All 100 U.S. senators signed a letter released Friday asking U.N. Secretary General António Guterres to address what the lawmakers call entrenched bias against Israel at the world body.
The unanimous message notes that the United States is the largest contributor to the United Nations but does not threaten the withholding of U.S. dues. Still, it uses strong language to insist that the United Nations rectify what the senators said is unequal treatment of Israel on human rights and other grounds.
“Through words and actions, we urge you to ensure that Israel is treated neither better nor worse than any other U.N. member in good standing,” the letter said.

Texas House committee unanimously passes anti-BDS bill
The Texas Senate passed on March 23 a similar bill opposing BDS by a 25-4 vote. Texas Governor Greg Abbott is expected to sign a finalized anti-BDS law from the legislative chambers.

BDS Suffers Another Defeat At University of California-Santa Barbara, As Divestment Resolution Gets Zero Votes in Favor

Zero votes were cast in favor of a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) resolution at the University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB) early Thursday morning following a marathon debate between pro- and ant-Israel activists.
Over 100 students signed up to speak for and against the Students for Justice in Palestine-backed (SJP) resolution at a meeting of the student government (AS) that ran from 6:30 pm local time Wednesday until 4:00 am on Thursday, according to campus paper the Daily Nexus.
Ultimately, 16 student representatives voted against the resolution, which was titled “Divest From Companies that Profit From Human Rights Violations in Palestine/Israel.” There were seven abstentions.
During the open-forum debate, many Jewish students called the resolution antisemitic, with some describing the environment on campus as divided and contentious throughout the BDS campaign, which was launched on Yom HaShoah last month.

Pro-Israel Peace Mural Vandalized at University of California-Santa Barbara Amid ‘Hostile Environment’ Ahead of BDS Vote

A pro-Israel peace mural was vandalized twice last weekend at a major California school, ahead of a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) vote by the university’s student government that a campus leader said has created a “difficult, challenging and hostile environment.”
Nate Erez — the president of the University of California-Santa Barbara’s (UCSB) chapter of Students Supporting Israel (SSI) — told The Algemeiner on Wednesday that the mural was erected last Thursday as a collaborative effort between SSI and Hillel, as part of Israel Peace Week. Over the weekend, an unknown perpetrator — who Erez said was “definitely with the pro-divestment side” — scrawled “Free Palestine” across the mural; this occurred after the same phrase had been etched in smaller letters a day earlier, though that created minimal damage students had fixed themselves.
Following the second incident, the group that had created the mural, Artists 4 Israel, was contacted and a local artist with the group returned quickly to the campus to paint a new mural focusing on the message “Stop Hate.”
The artist also wrote: “This mural was originally created by pro-Israel groups to express love, peace, unity. It was vandalized overnight by anti-Israel groups. Those who vandalized are likely the same who want 2 divide campus with a BDS vote. Stand up 4 tolerance & respect!”

Jewish Community Awakens to San Francisco State University’s ‘Institutional Antisemitism’

San Francisco State University (SFSU) has been a hotbed of antisemitism for decades. During this time, Jewish community leaders either ignored the hostile campus environment or worked quietly behind the scenes, failing to alleviate the problem.
But a year after protesters from the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) prevented Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat from speaking, shouting him down with amplified obscenities while the police stood by, the anger in the Jewish community has recently surfaced in a long series of published articles.
SFSU President Leslie Wong, who is no friend of the Jewish community, declined to take any disciplinary action against GUPS. During his five-year tenure, antisemitism has gotten substantially worse at SFSU. Last month, students at the local Hillel chapter declared in a letter to Wong that SFSU suffers from “institutional antisemitism.”
Even in the current climate of political correctness, safe spaces and capitulation to the demands of militant, “marginalized” students, SFSU possesses a unique view of the academic world.
Since the tumultuous days of the late 1960s, SFSU has made its resources available to a segment of students and faculty less interested in the objective conduct of inquiry than in creating an activist base to organize identity groups.
SFSU takes pride in its political activism, which it pursues at taxpayers’ expense.

Dartmouth Announces Linda Sarsour Lecture, Days After Refusing to Co-Sponsor Event Featuring Israeli Soldier

Dartmouth College announced Wednesday evening that it will be hosting a lecture by virulently anti-Israel activist Linda Sarsour, days after an office at the school declined to co-sponsor an event featuring a veteran of the Israel Defense Forces.
The Sarsour event — to be held Friday evening in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month — is co-sponsored by the college’s Office of Pluralism and Leadership (OPAL) and Special Programs and Events Committee. According to a member of Dartmouth Students for Israel (DSI) — who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution by the administration — OPAL turned him down earlier this week when he approached them about co-hosting a program featuring Izzy Ezagui, the only soldier to ever return to battle after losing an arm in combat.
DSI was told by an OPAL representative that the Ezagui lecture “sounds like a great event, but it is felt that it does not meet the mission of OPAL.” The representative then suggested “more appropriate places to reach out to” for assistance, including the Student Accessibility Services, which the DSI member said is “generally not an organization that does events.”
On its website, OPAL describes its mission as “to foster a Dartmouth where all students can thrive, value difference, and contribute to the creation of a socially just world.”

BDS at the University of Wisconsin Revisited

Rivkin and others then petitioned the Judiciary to invalidate the vote and sanction the chair of ASM, as well as Representative Katrina Morrison. Morrison had not only led the charge to push the resolution through but also dismissed the problem of holding the vote on Passover. It would be a “hassle,” she said, to schedule another meeting. She would later distinguish herself by publicly denouncing Rivkin and others for having the gall to petition the Judiciary.
Here is the Judiciary’s decision. It relies in part on a provision in ASM’s constitution that forbids discrimination on the basis of religion. Introducing “legislation that members of the Jewish community had expressed interest in, when it was known that these members would not be able to attend due to religious observance, does violate [that provision of] the Constitution.” It is “wholly unacceptable to discriminate against Jewish students by denying them their full opportunity to speak in front of Student Council regarding an issue they had expressed interest in.”
The Judiciary invalidated the vote, though the broader divestment resolution that passed at a subsequent meeting stands. The student Justices could not sanction the ASM chair who presided over the meeting, as she is no longer part of the student government, but they do suggest that “Chair Gosey attend a training on religious tolerance and understanding, so she may better understand how her actions harmed Jewish members of ASM. It is also recommended that she apologize to the campus Jewish community for her discriminatory acts as Chair during and before the April 12th meeting.”
As for Representative Morrison, who was recently elected chair of ASM, she is required to issue a statement explaining “why the nondiscrimination clause of the ASM constitution is essential, why Passover is important to the Jewish community, and apologizing to all Jewish council members.”
These sanctions may not seem to amount to much, but on college campuses, in which administrations have never honored a call to divest, BDS’s whole game is public relations. Being called out for religious discrimination is a public relations disaster. Ariela Rivkin and those who stood with her deserve credit for showing that not only administrators but also students can stand for justice against invidious discrimination.

BDS urges audience to give ‘zero points to Israel at Eurovision’

Imri Ziv, Israel’s representative in this week’s 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, may “feel alive” as his entry song goes, but a group of Israelis affiliated with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is definitely not feeling the love.
The small but vocal group aired its grievances in a Facebook group called “Eurovision boycott of Israel – ZERO points to the song of Israeli Apartheid.
“We are a group of Israeli citizens. This week Europeans (and also Australians) will get a chance to tell Israel what we think of the oppression and dispossession of the Palestinians, and to express solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike. In the Eurovision Song Contest, we should give Zero Points to the Song of Israeli Apartheid!” demands the group on its Facebook page.

Human Rights Watch’s Israel-Palestine director barred from Bahrain

A Human Rights Watch staffer said Wednesday he was barred from entering Bahrain for the annual FIFA congress in the Gulf state, which restricts access to foreign activists and journalists.
HRW director for Israel and Palestine, Omar Shakir, said he spent 18 hours in the airport before being obliged to change his return ticket and board an outbound flight.
Shakir said he traveled to Bahrain to lobby participants at this week’s FIFA congress to ban Israel from holding league soccer games in West Bank settlements.
Shakir, a US citizen, told AFP by telephone that he was hoping to get a visa at the airport, as is customary for holders of American passports.
But he was denied a visa once he declared he was there for the FIFA meeting and that he worked for HRW.

IsraellyCool: Dutch Journalist Derk Walters Set To Lie At Anti-Israel Event

A few days ago, reader Paul exposed the real reason why Dutch journalist Derk Walters faces deportation from Israel. It had nothing to do with his pathological hatred for Israel, and everything to do with contravening the application guidelines.
Yet Derk has doubled down, and is now planning to speak to a hostile, anti-Israel audience about why he is being deported.
Per Google auto-translate:
On Wednesday, June 7th will Derk Walters along with Amira Hass a lecture show how it is in Israel to be a journalist and the Palestinian territories. Amira Hass is an Israeli journalist who is best known for her articles in Haaretz . She writes critical and is not always easily get away. Derk Walters is a correspondent for the NRC . He must leave Israel because his visa was not renewed. Of this, he will tell you more. He probably should not be because of his critical pen.
Curious? Soon there are tickets available for this lecture to be held on Wednesday, June 7th at 19:30 in Nieuwspoort The Hague. This lecture organized EAJG with The Rights Forum. The official language is English.

Gay Never Trumper Becomes Latest Victim of Campus Attacks on Free Speech

Self-described “queer-liberation” activists on the campus of DePaul University are preparing to ambush an event later Wednesday evening featuring a prominent conservative gay rights activist due to his views on radical Islam and the threat they allege those views pose to minority groups.
James Kirchick, a conservative author, reporter, and gay human rights activist, is scheduled to appear at DePaul Wednesday evening for an event titled, “Dictatorships and Radical Islam: The Enemies of LGBT Rights.” Kirchick is expected to address the ways in which oppressive regimes endanger gay rights.
The event has generated controversy on campus, with DePaul officials censoring a poster promoting the talk due to its statement: “Gay Lives Matter.”
The effort by liberal activists on campus to shutdown Kirchick’s event is just the latest salvo in a larger campus war over free speech rights for those with conservative political views. DePaul students appear to object to Kirchick not because of his gay rights activism, but because of his right-leaning political views, despite the fact that Kirchick has been a vocal critic of President Donald Trump.

Amid collusion allegations, AP releases review of its coverage of Nazi Germany

The Associated Press has conducted an in-depth review of its operations in Nazi Germany, concluding that the news agency acted as “forthrightly and independently as possible.” But the review also found AP handled some situations inadequately.
The review was undertaken after an article published last year contended that the AP allowed Nazi propagandists to exert some influence over its news photo report in the 1930s by maintaining a photo subsidiary in Germany, registered under a restrictive Nazi press law.
The author, historian Harriet Scharnberg, also identified AP German photographers who were drafted into or joined Nazi military propaganda units during World War II, some while still being paid by AP.
AP’s review disputed Scharnberg’s conclusion that the news agency was in any way complicit with the Nazi regime during the years 1933-41, when the agency was present in the country. The AP was kicked out of Germany when the United States entered World War II in December 1941.
“We recognize that AP should have done some things differently during this period, for example protesting when AP photos were exploited by the Nazis for propaganda within Germany and refusing to employ German photographers with active political affiliations and loyalties,” the report says.
“However, suggestions that AP at any point sought to help the Nazis or their heinous cause are simply wrong,” it adds.

Associated Press admit firing Jews at Nazis’ behest during WWII

The Associated Press news agency on Wednesday admitted to dismissing Jewish employees at the behest of the Nazis in 1935, during World War II.
AP released a statement confirming that after an in-depth review of its operations in Nazi Germany, the news agency concluded it had handled certain situations inadequately, but all in all acted “forthrightly and independently as possible.”
“We recognize that AP should have done some things differently during this period, for example protesting when AP photos were exploited by the Nazis for propaganda within Germany and refusing to employ German photographers with active political affiliations and loyalties,” the report says.
“However, suggestions that AP at any point sought to help the Nazis or their heinous cause, are simply wrong,” the agency said in a statement.
The American news agency claimed that it assisted the six photographers, whom the Nazis claimed were Jewish, to escape Nazi Germany and that all survived the Holocaust.
AP’s review was conducted after Studies in Contemporary History, an academic journal, published an article by historian Harriet Scharnberg in 2016 that alleged that the news agency had permitted Nazi propagandists to exert some influence over its photojournalism reporting in the 1930s by maintaining a photo subsidiary in Germany, registered under a restrictive Nazi press law.

BBC Trending recycles a previously published BDS falsehood

Nowhere throughout the entire article are BBC audiences informed that Marwan Barghouti is serving five life sentences for his role in lethal terror attacks and neither are they told that additional “Palestinian hunger strikers” are also serving time for acts of terror. As in previous BBC reports concerning the ‘hunger strike’ (see ‘related articles’ below), audiences are not told what the “jail conditions” that the prisoners are supposedly protesting actually are or what they are demanding. Neither are readers given any insight into the political background of the strike.
“Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners have been refusing food since 17 April to protest against Israeli jail conditions, relying on an intake of saltwater.”
“Palestinian ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour has said that more than 6,500 Palestinians are imprisoned or arbitrarily detained by Israel.”

Another noteworthy aspect of this article comes in the following paragraph:
“The BDS – or Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions – is a self-described human rights organisations [sic] which supports a boycott of Israel as a form of pressure. Support for the campaign has grown on UK university campuses and has been criticised by some Jewish students.”
The link in that paragraph leads to an article by Jon Ironmonger that appeared on the BBC News website on April 27th and was discussed here. There too BBC audiences were inaccurately led to believe that the BDS campaign is a “human rights” group.

Hamas leader contradicts Financial Times claim the group no longer seeks Israel’s demise

Yesterday, we posted about an article published at the Financial Times (FT) alleging that Hamas had dropped its call for Israel’s destruction.
We noted that whilst the Islamist terror group’s new policy document announced on May 1st did suggest they’d agree to an interim Palestinian state along 67 lines, the FT article obfuscated the fact that the text also made clear the group nonetheless rejects “any alternative to the…complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea”. Also omitted from the FT article is the even more important context: that the new document wasn’t designed to replace the objectives in the group’s founding charter – the 1988 document which explicitly calls for the murder of Jews and Israel’s annihilation.
However, later in the day, Reuters published an article providing more evidence attesting to the fallacy of the FT claim. The piece, “Leading Hamas official says no softened stance towards Israel”, quotes one of Hamas’s most senior officials, Mahmoud al-Zahar, clarifying that the new policy document is not meant to contradict its founding charter.

Study: Over 10% of Eastern Europeans don’t want Jews as citizens

More than 10 percent of Central and Eastern Europeans do not accept Jews as citizens of their countries, according to a new study.
The study, released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center, surveyed the residents of 18 countries and found that 80 percent of respondents would accept Jews as fellow citizens. The remainder was not sure or declined to answer.
Many fewer respondents would accept Jews as family and neighbors. Less than half would accept Jews as family and fewer than three-quarters wanted them as neighbors.
The study interviewed 1,500 to 2,500 residents in each of the countries from June 2015 to July 2016.
Jews, however, were more accepted across the region than Muslims and Roma. Only 57 percent of respondents would accept Roma as citizens, while only 19 percent would accept them as family. Roughly two-thirds of the region would accept Muslims as citizens, while only 27 percent would accept them as family.
In some countries, the number of respondents who do not accept Jews as citizens was far higher than the median, notably Armenia, where a third of respondents said Jews should not be citizens.

Do Leftists Know What Their Hero Karl Marx Thought of Blacks, Jews, and Mexicans?

Marx had a racial vision that might be interesting to his modern-day black supporters. In a letter to Engels, in reference to his socialist political competitor Ferdinand Lassalle, Marx wrote: “It is now completely clear to me that he, as is proved by his cranial formation and his hair, descends from the Negroes who had joined Moses’ exodus from Egypt, assuming that his mother or grandmother on the paternal side had not interbred with a nigger. Now this union of Judaism and Germanism with a basic Negro substance must produce a peculiar product. The obtrusiveness of the fellow is also nigger-like.” Engels shared Marx’s racial philosophy. In 1887, Paul Lafargue, who was Marx’s son-in-law, was a candidate for a council seat in a Paris district that contained a zoo. Engels claimed that Lafargue had “one-eighth or one-twelfth nigger blood.” In a letter to Lafargue’s wife, Engels wrote, “Being in his quality as a nigger, a degree nearer to the rest of the animal kingdom than the rest of us, he is undoubtedly the most appropriate representative of that district.”
Marx was also an anti-Semite, as seen in his essay titled “On the Jewish Question,” which was published in 1844. Marx asked: “What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money. … Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist. Money degrades all the gods of man — and turns them into commodities. … The bill of exchange is the real god of the Jew. His god is only an illusory bill of exchange. … The chimerical nationality of the Jew is the nationality of the merchant, of the man of money in general.”
Despite the fact that in the 20th century alone communism was responsible for more than 100 million murders (, much of the support for communism and socialism is among intellectuals. The reason they do not condemn the barbarism of communism is understandable. Dr. Richard Pipes explains: “Intellectuals, by the very nature of their professions, grant enormous attention to words and ideas. And they are attracted by socialist ideas. They find that the ideas of communism are praiseworthy and attractive; that, to them, is more important than the practice of communism. Now, Nazi ideals, on the other hand, were pure barbarism; nothing could be said in favor of them.” That means leftists around the world will continue to celebrate the ideas of communism.

German defense chief bids to rid army of Nazi Wehrmacht links

Germany’s defense minister announced reforms Wednesday to rid the armed forces of links with the Nazi-era Wehrmacht, responding to a scandal around a far-right attack plot within the military.
Two soldiers and one civilian have been arrested over an alleged conspiracy to kill pro-refugee politicians and — having created the fake identity of a Syrian refugee — make it look like an Islamist attack.
Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced a series of reforms for the NATO member’s armed forces, including a review of its 1982 “decree on traditions” which allows the display of Wehrmacht memorabilia within its “historical context.”
The current rules “include many good points but allow for back doors,” she said, following revelations that Nazi-era army steel helmets, weapons and pictures were on open display in some army barracks.
Amid the scandal, debate has flared on why a Wehrmacht item can be shown in a glass display but not in an officers’ mess, and why several barracks are still named after World War II field marshall Erwin Rommel, dubbed the “Desert Fox” for his North Africa campaign.

Chinese investment in Israeli tech hits record $16.5 billion in 2016

Struggling to seal deals in the United States as regulatory scrutiny tightens, Chinese companies looking to invest in promising technology are finding a warmer welcome for their cash in Israel.
Chinese firms have long hunted in the United States for deals to develop their technological know-how and open up new markets, but their quarry has become more elusive since late 2016 due to increased U.S. protectionism and a tougher regulatory stance.
Last year, Chinese investment into Israel jumped more than tenfold to a record $16.5 billion, with money flooding into the country’s buzzing internet, cybersecurity and medical device startups. These investments surged in the third quarter just as the U.S. regulatory crackdown began to bite.
In contrast, Chinese bidders scrapped a record $26.3 billion worth of previously announced deals from the United States in 2016, the data shows.
Speaking on the sidelines of a Hong Kong conference last month, TCL Corp. Chairman Li Dongsheng said the review of one target company, which he declined to name, had been frozen following the appointment of President Donald Trump, who has championed a protectionist agenda.
Li’s phones-to-fridges group is scouting in Israel instead.

As Modi visit approaches, Israel and India seem closer than ever

As Israel has emerged recently on the world stage, its foreign relationships have blossomed.
US President Donald Trump will be visiting Israel at the end of the month.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has visited Russian President Vladimir Putin five times in less than two years and speaks to him frequently on the phone. Netanyahu recently went on a tour of four African nations. Israel is working closely with Sunni Arab states that share a hatred and fear of Iran.
Yet, while all these are important, there is another event that may be even more important in the long run – the visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel in July. The prime minister is, significantly, visiting only Israel and skipping the West Bank and Gaza Strip. And his visit follows the visit to Israel last January by Indian Foreign Minister Shushma Swaraj.
India and Israel, surprisingly, have much in common. Both became independent of British colonial masters at nearly the same time, India in 1947 and Israel in 1948. Both were initially Third World countries. Their dominant groups – Indian Hindus and Israeli Jews – had to fight bitter wars of independence against Islamic enemies.
India went on to fight three further wars against Pakistan, in 1965, 1971 and 1999, while Israel has fought 10 more wars.

Elbit to supply equipment to Brazil Marine Corps

Elbit Systems Ltd. today announced that it won a contract from the Brazilian Marines to supply advanced systems for computerization, electronic warfare, radio, and communications.
Under the contract, operational systems and operational capabilities will be provided, including a variety of combat management systems applications, artillery systems, the latest generation of a teleprocessing suit for soldiers, as well as electronic warfare capabilities. The systems will be deployed at permanent and field headquarters, in vehicles, armor vehicles, as well as in portable form, in order to significantly increase the operational efficiency of the Brazilian Marine Corps and adapt its combat management capabilities to the most advanced warfare concepts available.
Yehuda “Udi” Vered, CEO of Elbit Systems, said: “We are proud of this important upgrade contract to supply key core systems to the Marine Corps, an important branch of the Brazilian Army. Elbit Systems is a global leader in the fields of teleprocessing, electronic warfare, radio, and communications, and our systems are based on generations of operational use and are proven by many customers worldwide. I believe that this unique solution will lead to additional projects in the Brazilian Marine Corps as well as other customers.”

Justin Bieber and Lance Bass Enjoy the Israel Life

Male pop stars current and former have been flocking to Israel recently—because of course they have. Last week, Justin Bieber and his Jewish manager Scooter Braun were in the Holy Land while former *NSYNCer Lance Bass is there now (as of this publishing).
Let’s start with Biebs and Braun. On Instagram (where else?) Braun posted photos of himself praying at the Western Wall and paying his respects to Holocaust victims at a Jerusalem memorial, as well as more sanguine snapshots of helicopter rides, soccer matches, and Dead Sea swims with Bieber, the latter of which sounds like an album title to me. He also met Doulan Abu Saleh, the mayor of Majdal Shams, a Druze town, and Benjamin Netanyahu’s foreign media spox David Keyes. Meanwhile, the Biebs’s concert at Yarkon Park made headlines when a woman in attendance went into labor. I repeat: a woman went into labor at a Bieber concert. Can’t make this s*it up.
And whether you love, hate, or love to hate the *NSYNC “It’s gonna be May” meme, you’ll probably be charmed to learn that Lance Bass and his husband, Michael Turchin, are in Israel this week. The Times of Israel reported that Bass, one of the boy band’s former members whose trip was sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, was spotted on vacation in Tel Aviv with Turchin.
Although Bass comes from a Southern Baptist background, he married Turchin, who is Jewish, underneath a chuppah in 2014. Their interfaith nuptials, an extravagant L.A. affair, scored them a fantastically titled E! TV special called “Lance Loves Michael: The Lance Bass Wedding.” During a promotional HuffPost Live event, Bass and Turchin revealed that they would take a “spiritual but not religious” approach to parenting. Do you, Bass-Turchins.

IsraellyCool: Lance Bass And Jamie-Lynn Sigler In Synch With Israel

Take that*, BDS-holes! Former *NSYNC member Lance Bass and actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler are currently in Israel as guests of the Tourism Ministry. And judging by their social media posts, they are having a great time.

The Jews of the Australian Military

In his recent book Jewish Anzacs, Mark Dapin recounts the history of Australian Jews’ participation in their country’s armed forces from the 19th century through the war in Afghanistan. Deborah Rechter writes in her review:
Dapin connects a surge in Jews’ military participation at the end of the 19th century with the relatively low incidence of anti-Semitism in Australia, Australian Jews’ British allegiance, and [their] desire to “prove themselves worthy of the empire that had granted them equal rights wherever English was spoken.” . . .
At Gallipoli, the experiences of Jewish Australians include the commanders, such as the valiant Lieutenant Colonel Eliazar Margolin and the triumphant General John Monash. . .
[The book’s readers] also feel the lived experience of the trenches through the eyes of the muddied and bloodied lower ranks. Like other Anzacs, the Jews came from all strata of society. The pre-war occupations of some of those who died in France included jockey, sign writer, cigar-maker, [and] ship’s steward. . . .
Dapin shows there was sometimes a potent, certainly different, significance to events for Jews. These moments include times when soldiers stationed in Egypt and Palestine during both world wars observed religious rituals near the setting of their biblical stories; concerns about Jew fighting against Jew in belligerent armies; . . . Jews motivated [in World War II] to fight Nazis because the lives of their family and coreligionists were at stake; the [Wrold War I] assault on Beersheva, which led to the Balfour Declaration supporting the establishment of the state of Israel.

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