August 12, 2020

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05/12 Links: Eurovision: Israel Fights BDS with ‘Beautiful, Diverse, Sensational’ Campaign; American Jewry forgot the main lesson of the Holocaust; Antisemitic hate walks through London once more

From Ian:

Eurovision: Israel Fights BDS with ‘Beautiful, Diverse, Sensational’ Campaign
Ahead of next week’s Eurovision Song Contest, Israel is countering the anti-Israel boycott movement, or BDS, on social media and the internet with its ‘Beautiful, Diverse, Sensational’ campaign.

The move comes after Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs exposed a coordinated campaign by the BDS movement calling for the boycott of the Israeli-hosted international music event. As David Gerstman reported for Legal Insurrection earlier this month, the BDS movement had “deployed hundreds of bots to promote a campaign to boycott this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.” The online campaign was backed by several Palestinian groups, including designated terrorist groups Hamas, the PFLP, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, David wrote, citing an official Israeli report.

“Instead of believing in culture as a tool to unite, Israel’s detractors try to use it to divide,” Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan said recently. “Israel is a vibrant democracy which provides a safe-haven of freedom in the Middle East for its wide mix of cultures, people and religions. I call on all artists of the world to reject BDS’s hate-filled and bigoted campaign and continue to unite the world with their music.”

Israeli news website Ynetnews reported:
israel has launched a PR campaign to counter calls for a boycott of the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest final in Tel Aviv, using Google ads which refer to the boycott but lead to a glossy website extolling Israel. The international Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement dismissed the tactic as “crude propaganda”. (…)

Internet advertisements on Google featuring the words “boycott” and “Eurovision” encourage searchers to click on a link that, in fact, leads them to a pro-Israel website which – in a play on the BDS initials – extols Israel as “Beautiful, Diverse, Sensational”. (…)

Minister of Strategic Affairs, Gilad Erdan, said the advertisement, which features high quality photographs and videos, was intended to “show Israel as it really is, a diverse, beautiful and sensational place, while at the same time, successfully dispelling the lies BDS spreads.”

Eurovision boycott activists are opposed to Israel’s right to self-determination

Regrettably, there is a small group of extremist activists who have tried very hard over the past year to prevent the Eurovision happening this year or at least to stop Ireland’s state broadcaster RTE from airing the event.

These people like to call themselves ‘pro-Palestinian.’ Actually, they are not.

Their activism, their hatred, their negative calls for boycotts, and their aggressive intimidation of people who support Israel do not do anything to improve the life of a single Palestinian but show that their only agenda is an anti-Israel one.

They pretend that the Jewish people have no right to live in the places where they were born and where their history, religion and culture are deeply rooted since ancient times.

They ignore that since the 1990s continuous attempts to reach a peace agreement have been rebuffed and have been met with more and more Palestinian terrorism.

Only last week, Israeli civilians once again became the target of more than 600 rockets fired indiscriminately at towns and cities in southern Israel.

Hamas, the Palestinian terrorists who carried out those attacks, have committed a double war crime. They are intentionally targeting civilians in Israel while also using their own civilian population as human shields for their military assets and rocket launching sites.

In essence, all of this is being backed by those extremist boycotters.

While debate over Israeli policy, like a debate of any country’s policies, is, of course, legitimate, the extremists constantly try to bash and defame Israel by abusing terms and descriptions hijacked from other agendas, places and times.

The most extreme of those false allegations come dangerously close to being covered by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, adopted by representatives of 31 countries – including Ireland.

These include, for example, denying the Jewish people’s right to national self-determination; describing Israel as a racist state; dehumanising and demonising Israeli Jews. (h/t Zvi)

Is Eurovision Racist?

PA demands Israel remove Jerusalem from Eurovision promo videos

The Palestinian Authority called Saturday for Jerusalem to be cut from videos promoting Eurovision, accusing Israel of “propaganda” ahead of Tel Aviv hosting the international song contest.

The Kan public broadcaster aired a clip Friday aimed at tourists traveling to the country for Eurovision, which features a shot of East Jerusalem’s Temple Mount compound, the holiest place in Judaism, referred to as the Noble Sanctuary by Muslims, where the Al-Aqsa Mosque stands.

The video also refers to Jerusalem as “our beloved capital.” Palestinians claim the eastern sector as the capital of their future state.

East Jerusalem was captured by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed in a move never recognized by most of the international community. The US recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017, and moved its embassy to the city last May.

The PA’s foreign ministry said Israel was using the song competition to “entrench its colonial occupation by effectively normalizing the global acceptance of its unlawful conduct.”

Hamas can prevent the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel, warns Hamas TV editor

American Jewry forgot the main lesson of the Holocaust

Two synagogue shootings in six months, and American Jewry are in disbelief. The Internet is flooded with editorials and opinion pieces with titles such as; “Once We Were Free,” and “Synagogue Shootings Shattered our Illusion. America is No Safe Haven for Jews.”

Amidst the chaos, everyone is pointing fingers. Jews on the Left are calling out US President Donald Trump and the elevated platform given to white supremacists, while Jews on the Right are targeting Democrats who support US. Rep. Ilhan Omar, other political officials who seek to delegitimize the State of Israel and the vigilante BDS activists infecting college campuses. Antisemitism has again found a comfortable home in the United States, and everyone wonders who or what to blame for the surge in prejudice against American Jews.

I believe Holocaust education is partly to blame. Or rather, the lack thereof.

In the United States, Holocaust education has been appropriated and hijacked, used mainly as a vehicle to teach about human rights, racism, prejudice and bullying. It is rarely employed as a means of teaching the main lesson of the Holocaust, which is that antisemitism is so incredibly dangerous, it can lead to the mass murder of Jewish people.

When done appropriately, Holocaust education inherently transmits messages about the hazards of all forms of racism and prejudice. When taught correctly, antisemitism must be the central theme and students, after having completed classes on the subject, should walk away with at least a handful of historical facts about the events that took the lives of six million Jews. Six million Jews who were murdered solely because of antisemitism.

“Never Forget” is not a reminder to remember those who perished in the Holocaust; it is a reminder not to forget why they perished.

No dogs or Jews allowed

No dogs or Jews allowed” was written on a sign my grandmother regularly passed on the streets of New York as a child. What always struck me about the sign was less its discriminatory intent but more how the sign placed Jews after dogs, as if the order indicated that dogs would be more welcome than Jews at said establishment.
While signage like this is far less ubiquitous in modern day America, it seems the imagery is not. Last week, The New York Times found it appropriate to run a cartoon depicting Netanyahu as a dog pulling none other than the president of the United States by a leash with a Magen David on the collar.

Many on the Left have been quick to dismiss criticism of this cartoon as overdramatic and another example of how people unjustly equate antisemitism with anti-Zionism. On the other hand, those on the Right see this as yet another painful illustration of rising left-wing antisemitism. However, few have approached the core issue of this cartoon – which is why the graphic is antisemitic in the first place and how the same point could have been communicated in an appropriate manner.

The content’s antisemitic nature is clear. First of all, for centuries Jews have been compared to all sorts of animals such as pigs, rats, insects and dogs in an effort to dehumanize Jewish people; the choice to draw Netanyahu as a canine is part of that sad historical pattern.

Additionally, a deeper look at the cartoon exposes another antisemitic cliché – Jewish manipulation. The cartoonist sees the US president donning black sunglasses as a way to convey his blindness to Netanyahu’s supposed intentions and even goes as far as to Judaize the president with a kippa. The kippa is used here not to show Trump’s religious nature, as, after all, he identifies as a Christian, but rather as a way to show he is Netanyahu’s ally – in antisemitic terms, painting Trump as a pawn in the “Jewish conspiracy.”

The cartoon’s choice to portray Netanyahu as a controlling and even inhuman influence on the president is an example of classic antisemitic propaganda that many have correctly pointed out recalls antisemitic cartoons dating back to 19th century Europe and of course the Nazis.

PMW: Abbas gives gifts to murderer of 3 and to mother of murderer of five, despite PA financial crisis

In the midst of the self-imposed financial crisis, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has found a spare 40,000 shekels ($11,239/€10,005) to provide a prosthesis for triple murderer Muhammad Brash, who shot and killed 3 Israelis.

Announcing Abbas’ decision, the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs added that it shows the “priorities” of the Palestinian leadership:
“The [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs announced… that the Honorable [PA] President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas ordered to cover the full cost of preparing a prosthesis for sick prisoner Muhammad Brash… at the expense of the [PA] Presidential Office.
The commission said that this step emphasizes that the prisoners’ cause is the Palestinian leadership’s top priority, and that the efforts will continue until the release of all of the prisoners from the occupation’s prisons.”

[Donia Al-Watan, independent Palestinian news agency, April 30, 2019]

In a similar gesture, Abbas decided to provide a special “presidential grant” to fund the cost of an electric wheelchair for the mother of terrorist Mahmoud Abu Kharabish who murdered five people, including a mother and her three children, when he threw a Molotov cocktail at a civilian bus.

“[District] Governor of Jericho and the Jordan Valley Jihad Abu Al-Asal and the head of humanitarian aid in the [PA] Presidential Office Raeda Al-Fares awarded a presidential grant in the form of an electric wheel chair to the mother of prisoner Mahmoud Abu Kharabish.”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 10, 2019]

Tlaib on Holocaust: I Have a ‘Calming Feeling’ Knowing My Ancestors Helped ‘Create a Safe Haven for Jews’

Freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) on Friday invoked the Holocaust in a positive light, saying she felt a “calming feeling” knowing her ancestors helped “create a safe haven for Jews.”

Tlaib made the claim about her ancestors during an appearance on the Yahoo News Skullduggery podcast when she was asked about her support for a one-state solution between Palestine and Israel.

“So congresswoman, you’ve created something of a stir by coming out in favor of a one-state solution, Israel and Palestine, and I think you may be the only Democrat who’s publicly supported a one-state solution, so what is your vision for a one-state solution that meets both Palestinian and Israeli-Jewish national aspirations?” asked Dan Klaidman, the co-host of the podcast and Yahoo’s editor-in-chief.

Tlaib, the first Palestinian woman elected to Congress, said within the last two weeks she “celebrated” and “took a moment I think in our country to remember the Holocaust.”

“There’s kind of a calming feeling, I always tell folks, when I think of the Holocaust and the tragedy of the Holocaust and the fact that it was my ancestors, Palestinians who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, the human dignity, their existence in some ways had been wiped out,” Tlaib said.

“All of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post the Holocaust, post the tragedy and horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time. And, I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right?” Tlaib continued. “In many ways. But they did it in a way that took their human dignity away, right? And it was forced on them.”

David Collier: Eyewitness account: Antisemitic hate walks through London once more

Yesterday in London I saw a few thousand people march down Regent Street, past Piccadilly and into Whitehall. All the usual faces were present, hard-core antisemites and Holocaust deniers leading a bunch of foolish sheep. They sang songs about destroying Israel through violence, they held aloft antisemitic signs and they gave antisemitic speeches. The only media that did report it, presented it as some type of peace march. Events such as this show how distorted and dangerous the discussion over Israel and British Jews has become.
The preparation

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) set up the event in London. Everyone knows that hate and racism runs through the veins of this organisation. My report into the high levels of antisemitism in the PSC was published in Feb 2017. Last week the Evening Standard published their own expose of the antisemitism in the group. According to all my research, when people who wave the Palestinian flag gather in the UK, at least 40% of them share antisemitic ideologies. For someone like me, seeing thousands walk proudly through London’s streets, an event such as this is truly sickening. Stop the War Coalition and Friends of Al Aqsa also helped organise the event. Buses were arranged nationally and there was talk of this being ‘the largest’ demonstration ever:

London march
In truth, the eventual turn-out was quite poor. I think the organisers knew it was going to be. They made a last-ditch effort to raise numbers by bringing Ahed Tamimi over to London. On Thursday she was pictured at Jordan’s Queen Alia airport and soon after news began to spread that she would attend the demo. When numbers are needed at a rally in London, nothing works like advertising the attendance of a photogenic terrorist sympathiser.

What was horrifying about this event was the high-level support. Everyone knows that the PSC are an organisation riddled with antisemitism – who would align with them? Several MPs chose to, so did Jeremy Corbyn. At a time of well publicised disquiet amongst British Jews, several Members of Parliament actually chose to publicly spit in their faces. Several, like Laura Pidcock uploaded videos urging people to attend:

In the video Pidcock pushes the notion of a two-state solution, all whilst urging people to support organisations that do not. Ignorance and hypocrisy rolled into one. MPs Diane Abbott, Richard Burgon and Lloyd Russell-Moyle even spoke at the event.

Crowds at Corbyn-supported anti-Israel march attended by National Front leader cheer as speaker says Jewish organisations are “in the gutter” and “part of the problem”

Central London was brought to a chaotic standstill today as thousands marched and rallied against Israel at the “National Demonstration for Palestine: Exist! Resist! Return!”

The march saw open antisemitism from attendees, many of whom cheered as one speaker told adoring crowds that Jewish organisations are “in the gutter” and “part of the problem”. Numerous antisemitic banners and placards were carried through the streets, including one declaring that “Israel provokes antisemitism.” Marchers included senior Labour MPs, known Islamist extremists, and Tony Martin, the leader of the neo-Nazi National Front.

Volunteers from Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Demonstration and Event Monitoring Unit went into the thick of the protest to gather evidence which our Crime Unit is already reviewing.

Under a heavy police presence, protesters assembled outside the BBC headquarters and marched to Whitehall, the heart of British democracy, via iconic Regent Street. The BBC is just a short walk from Central Synagogue where many Jews were gathered for the Sabbath.

Various placards and badges on brazen display drew upon antisemitic conspiracy theories. One large placard declared that “Israel provokes antisemitism”. A badge emblazoned with a Star of David with a Nazi swastika in its midst proclaimed “Down with Zionism”. Another placard repeated the rhyme frequently chanted by the marchers; “From the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea, Palestine will be free”, which only makes sense as a call for the destruction of the Jewish state and its replacement with a Palestinian state, and is thus an attempt to uniquely deny Jews the right to self-determination. One marcher held aloft a placard suggesting that the BBC is controlled by the Israeli Prime Minister, whilst others hinted strongly at blood libels, carrying a coffin emblazoned with a claim that “Israelis execute Palestinian children” while another held a placard showing a diamond dripping with blood, stating that Israel exports “blood diamonds”, a phrase normally used to refer to diamonds mined by war criminals, usually using child slave labour.

Known Islamist extremists were also spotted by our volunteers, including one who was wearing the emblem of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Activists from “Labour Against Zionist Islamophobic Racism” or LAZIR, founded by Pete Gregson, who was reportedly expelled from the GMB Union over his claims that Israel “exaggerates” the Nazi Germany’s genocide of six million Jews “for political ends” and who seeks to drive “Zionism out of the Labour Party”, handed out leaflets claiming that Zionism, the movement to grant Jews self-determination, is “racism”.

Guardian and Indy whitewash antisemitism at London anti-Israel rally

Articles at the Guardian (“London protest demands Israel end ‘unprecedented attacks’ on Palestine”, May 11) and Independent (“Thousands march in London to support Palestinians after Gaza rocket exchanges”, May 12) whitewashed multiple instances of antisemitism at an anti-Israel rally in London on Saturday.

The demo, “National Demonstration for Palestine: Exist! Resist! Return!”, was organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, Palestinian Forum in Britain, Friends of Al- Aqsa and the Muslim Association of Britain.

Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) monitored the event reported that the demo included numerous antisemitic banners carried through the streets. One suggested that the BBC is controlled by Benjamin Netanyahu, whilst another blamed Israel for causing antisemitism.

Crowds also cheered as one speaker – Glyn Secker, head the antisemitism-denial group Jewish Voice for Labour. – claimed that Labour Friends of Israel MPs are “fifth columnists”, accused Jewish leaders of being “in the gutter”, and alleged that Jews who complain about antisemitism are “crying wolf”.

Other marchers called for “victory to the Intifada”, and chanted “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”.

Yet, both publications provided entirely positive accounts of the protests, with neither the Guardian nor Indy noting any of the egregious examples of racism cited by CAA – representative of a broader pattern documented by this blog of both publications consistently downplaying and obfuscating antisemitism and support for violence within the anti-Israel movement.

JPost Editorial: The Gaza paradigm

Three large-scale operations – which Israel does not classify as wars – have taken place, in 2008, 2012 and 2014. In March 2018, the weekly Great March of Return border protests began. Almost every week Palestinians are shot in the riots.

Without a strategic objective, Netanyahu has managed this crisis well. He understands that there is no strategic gain in launching a fourth large-scale operation in Gaza that would end with significant casualties on both sides – in two days of rockets four Israelis were killed and 30 Palestinians – but with both sides back at the status quo the dust has settled.

Thus Netanyahu prefers to hit Hamas hard from the air rather than send troops into Gaza. Having learned the lesson from the 50-day Gaza campaign of 2014 which brought quiet for three years until it began to erode in 2018, he prefers to end each flare-up of violence as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, violence and attacks from Gaza will continue so long as Hamas refuses to recognize Israel’s existence. But there are ways to ameliorate the economic and humanitarian crisis in the coastal enclave which could stave off the next round.

For years, Israeli officials have discussed the construction of an artificial island off the Gaza coast that would serve as a port for the Strip. It could also house key infrastructure projects, including a power plant so Palestinians can have continuous electricity, and a desalination plant to provide potable water. Sewage treatment plants need to be repaired and added. All these projects would contribute desperately-needed employment. Here too, there is no shortage of ideas for establishing internationally-monitored industrial zones to create jobs.

Finally, Israel must encourage its Egyptian ally to open the border to Sinai. Many Gazans would doubtless emigrate if they were allowed to.

None of this will ensure on its own that there will no longer be war. That will ultimately be up to Hamas, which refuses to come to recognize Israel’s existence. But, together, these measures could potentially improve the quality of life in Gaza, and force Hamas to think a bit more before instigating a new round of violence with Israel.

Israel is known as the start-up nation renowned for its creativity and innovation. After repeated cycles of violence, now would be a good time to start applying some of that business and engineering savvy to the situation along the Gaza border.

A year after opening the Jerusalem embassy: On the right side of history

On May 14, 2018, the United States finally opened its embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem. In making the courageous decision to take this historic step, President Donald Trump not only fulfilled a 23-year-old mandate from the United States Congress but he also recognized a 3,000-year-old truth that Israel’s enemies have long sought to erase.

America has been fascinated by Jerusalem since the early days of our republic. In 1844, Warder Cresson, the first consul general, announced after his appointment by the secretary of state that the United States was thereby extending its protection to the Jews of Jerusalem. The first permanent consular presence opened just inside the Jaffa Gate in 1857, and diplomatic presence has remained constant in and around the Old City ever since. President Abraham Lincoln, just before his death, told his wife how he longed to visit Jerusalem. And President Ulysses Grant and Mark Twain both visited Jerusalem in the mid-19th century and wrote extensively about their experiences.

Neither Grant nor Twain were all that impressed with Jerusalem in those days. It was poor, inhospitable and undeveloped. The Old City of Jerusalem remained that way well into the 20th century, whether under the rule of the Ottoman Empire until 1917, the British Mandate until 1948, or the Kingdom of Jordan until 1967.

In 1967, Jerusalem was reunified as a single city under Israeli rule. Almost immediately, Jerusalem began to bloom, to flourish and to become, for the first time in its history, a free city open to the worshipers of all three Abrahamic faiths. Many in the United States took notice and, in 1995, Congress, by overwhelming majority votes, passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and requiring the relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Abbas: Terrorists acted out of “national interest, not for personal reasons” – we must pay them

Location found in Golan Heights for town to be named after Trump

The government has already found a location for the establishment of a new community in the Golan Heights that will be named after US President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the outset of Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting.

The prime minister – who said last month that a community in the Golan Heights would be named after Trump as a sign of appreciation for his decision to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the strategic heights – said that he will bring the name to the cabinet for its approval when the community is established.

Makor Rishon reported last week that the community, which will be a mixed secular-religious settlement that in its first stage will number some 120 families, will be set up in the northern Golan at Beruchim, where plans for a previous settlement were approved in 1991, and where there have been unsuccessful efforts over the years to establish a community. Beruchim is near the existing community of Kela Alon.

There are currently 33 towns and villages in the Golan, with the last one – Nimrod – established in 1999. Of the 33 communities, all but four were established by Labor governments from 1967, when Israel took control over the area, until 1977, when Likud first came to power.

Iranian judo officials agree to end decades-long boycott of Israeli athletes

In a historic move, Iranian judo officials have agreed to stop boycotting Israeli athletes on the mat, ending a practice that had drawn criticism against Tehran in the sporting world.

In a letter to the International Judo Federation published Saturday, Iran’s Olympic Committee and local Judo Federation agreed to “fully respect the Olympic Charter and its non-discrimination principle.”

In a statement, the IJF said the letter came after several rounds of talks regarding the “disturbing phenomenon, which involves the sudden ‘injury’ or failure of weigh-in of Iranian athletes,” which it said was related to Iran trying to avoid meeting athletes from certain countries.

Neither Iran nor the IJF specifically mentioned Israel, but Iranian athletes have on several occasions forfeited matches to avoid facing Israelis, who have become increasingly relevant in the sport on the world stage.

Iran’s sports policy is an outgrowth of the country’s official refusal to recognize Israel. Its leaders routinely encourage the demise of the Jewish state and the countries are considered arch foes. (h/t Zvi)

State reaches plea bargain with teen accomplice in Duma terror attack

The accomplice in the Duma terror attack reached a plea agreement with the State Prosecutor’s Office on Sunday in which he avoided conviction for planning the murders of the three Palestinians killed in the July 2015 firebombing.

The 19-year-old, whose name is barred from publication as he was a minor at the time of the attack, admitted to having planned the torching of a Palestinian home in the northern West Bank four years ago. However, the indictment against him was amended to make no mention of toddler Ali Saad Dawabsha and his parents, Riham and Saad, who were murdered in the attack.

Approved by a Lod District Court judge, the agreement saw the teenager confess to conspiring to commit a crime motivated by racism — the same count for which he was charged in January 2016. However, the indictment was corrected to specify the crime as arson, and not murder, as had originally been the case.

An official for the prosecution told The Times of Israel that the state agreed to the plea arrangement because the teenager was not present during the attack itself, for which another alleged Israeli extremist, Amiram Ben-Uliel, stands accused.

“For an unknown reason, the accused did not succeed in [making it to] the planned meeting between the defendant and the other [defendant] that night,” the official quoted the indictment as stating.

Cupich apologizes to ‘my Jewish brothers and sisters’ after Farrakhan speech

Cardinal Blase Cupich apologized to “my Jewish brothers and sisters” in a lengthy statement issued Friday, the night after Minister Louis Farrakhan “smeared the Jewish people” at Fr. Michael Pfleger’s St. Sabina Church.

Cupich laid the blame at Pfleger’s feet, saying the South Side priest did not consult Cupich before inviting the controversial leader of the Chicago-based Nation of Islam into his church.

“Minister Farrakhan could have taken the opportunity to deliver a unifying message of God’s love for all his children,” Cupich’s statement read. “Instead, he repeatedly smeared the Jewish people, using a combination of thinly veiled discriminatory rhetoric and outright slander.”

Cupich, leader of the Archdiocese of Chicago, made no mention of possible disciplinary action against Pfleger; he did “encourage” Pfleger to visit the Illinois Holocaust Museum “to meet with their leadership and dialogue with survivors.”

“Such statements shock the conscience,” the statement read. “Antisemitic rhetoric — discriminatory invective of any kind — has no place in American public life, let alone in a Catholic church. I apologize to my Jewish brothers and sisters, whose friendship I treasure, from whom I learn so much, and whose covenant with God remains eternal.” (h/t Zvi)

Mike Pence Renews Call That Ilhan Omar Be Removed From House Foreign Affairs Committee

Vice President Mike Pence was in Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s home state of Minnesota on Thursday and while there, he took the opportunity to renew his call for the freshman Congresswoman to be removed from the House Foreign Affairs committee.

On a segment of “Fox and Friends” that aired Friday, Pence noted she “has made statements, anti-Semetic comments, statements against our most cherished ally Israel that ought to be rejected by every American.”

Pence also again took her to task for her recent attempts to blame America’s foreign policy for the humanitarian crisis and human rights abuses taking place in Venezuela.

Rep. Omar had asserted last week in an interview with the far left “Democracy Now!” program that the United States’s policies have had a “bullying” effect on the Venezuelan people:
You know, I mean, a lot of the policies that we have put in place has kind of helped lead the devastation in Venezuela. And we’ve sort of set the stage for where we’re arriving today. This particular bullying and the use of sanctions to eventually intervene and make regime change really does not help the people of countries like Venezuela, and it certainly does not help and is not in the interest of the United States.

Pence responded forcefully Thursday:
“Frankly, the fact that very recently she’s been trying to blame the United States of America for the deprivation and the poverty brought on by the dictatorship in Venezuela, it tells me – look, the people of Minnesota will decide whether or not she remains in Congress. But Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has no place on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the Democratic leadership ought to remove her.

College Event Blames CHRISTIANITY For Islamophobia, Anti-Semitism

Texas A&M organized a roundtable after the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre, according to Campus Reform. Professor Claire Katz suggested that it was a good idea to rebrand white nationalism as white Christian nationalism, even though there’s absolutely no evidence linking the shooter’s motives to Christianity. She was citing a quote from a Temple University professor.

Katz suggested that “wear your Sunday best” was related to “white Christian nationalism.” I don’t think I’ve ever once thought of church, Christ, etc. when I’ve said that phrase. Sure, it came from Christianity because we’ve always been and still are a predominantly Christian country, Claire, but it’s really become just another American colloquialism. You know what, though, don’t even pay attention to the fact that the professor’s handout during the event didn’t even use the right “wear.” No, no, Claire is very smart and if she says Monday it’s “wear your Sunday best” and Tuesday it’s genocide, I will listen and believe.

Katz’s speech wasn’t the only flop at this Texas A&M event. A lecturer named David Brenner butchered a Hitler quote. He claimed that the Nazi dictator told the New York Times that “it was America that taught us a nation should not open its doors equally to all nations.” But the real quote is the exact opposite. Hitler said “Moreover, it was America, in spite of its enormous territory, that was the first country to teach us—by its immigration law—that a nation should open its doors equally to all nations.”

Yeah, if you’re a probably left-leaning professor who can’t even properly quote the very person your side uses to defame and demonize Trump, Jordan Peterson, and pretty much everyone else who’s not a socialist, you might wanna go back to the drawing board.

European Officials Claim Spike in Anti-Semitism Due to “Reading Chart Upside-Down” (satire)

Amid fears that anti-Semitism is beginning to rear its ugly head on the once fertile, Jew-hating soil of Europe, an exodus off the continent has begun. Jews are starting to treat Europe like a bagel shop that ran out of lox, with more and more leaving every year. Many theories have been put forward as to why this migration is starting to take off, though most people cite increased anti-Semitic incidents. But it seems that European authorities have a different view, and say that anti-Semitism can’t be the root cause – not because anti-Semitism hasn’t increased, but because it has actually decreased.

“You see,” says French Police Chief Pepe Lepew, holding a chart in his hands, “you’re holding the chart showing the number of anti-Semitic incidents like this [Lepew holds the chart normally], when you should be looking at it like this [Lepew flips the chart upside-down].” The result of this Hilary Clinton-level flip-flop is that the chart’s anti-Jewish mountain has become a deep Jew-loving valley. Chief Lepew insisted to TMB reporters that this was the proper way to read the chart despite our objections that the axes and labeling were clearly upside-down. “Statistics aren’t science – like building a rocket, “responded Lepew, “they’re art- like painting a rocket. Look, I can hold this paper at all different angles, all resulting in different anti-Jewish trends. Actually… now that I think about it, if I hold the chart like this [flips chart around to the blank side], then we don’t have any idea how Jews are being treated! See? Problem solved!”

UK Media Watch prompts Guardian to admit that Palestinians triggered latest conflict

An article by the Guardian’s former Mid-East editor Ian Black included the claim that the latest round of violence between Israel and terrorists in Gaza was triggered by the Israeli shooting of Palestinian protesters on Friday.
“The immediate trigger for this round of violence was the now routine shooting of Palestinians on the border with Israel…”

However, as we noted in a May 8th post responding to the claim by Black, every British media outlet we reviewed – including the Guardian’s own Jerusalem correspondent – was clear in their coverage that the mini-war was started by the shooting of an Israeli soldier by an Islamic Jihad terrorist in Gaza.

We contacted the Guardian’s readers’ editor, who upheld our complaint and amended the article accordingly.

It now reads:
“The immediate trigger for this round of violence was the wounding of two Israeli soldiers on the Gaza border…”

Polish anti-restitution activists rail against ‘Holocaust hyenas’ at march

Hundreds of protesters against Holocaust restitution in Poland marched through Warsaw.

The protest Saturday, which began outside the U.S. embassy and moved to the prime minister’s office, featured signs calling claimants “Holocaust hyenas.” Another slogan heard was “stop the Jewish claims,” Gazeta Wyborcza reported.

It was over the passing last year of a law, which President Donald Trump signed, called the Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today Act. The far-right National Radical Camp movement, known in Poland as ONR, had a significant presence at the rally, according to Gazeta Wyborcza.

The measure requires the State Department to report on how certain European countries have progressed in returning wrongfully confiscated or transferred Holocaust-era assets. It does not mention Poland which is the only European country that has not passed laws to compensate for private-owned property lost during World War II.

The nationalist Law and Justice government has said that as a victim in World War Two Poland should not be saddled with any financial obligations, Reuters reported. (h/t Zvi)

Heartwarming Israeli bus and beer videos win Webby Awards

The work of two Israeli creative agencies will be recognized at the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences’ 23rd annual Webby Awards in New York on May 13.

“Throw in a Kind Word,” a campaign created for the Metropoline bus company by Petah Tikva-based KOG, won a People’s Voice and a Webby Award in the “Video – Live Experiences” category.

The heartwarming campaign depicts the real-time reaction to short videos that Metropoline showed on several routes to introduce passengers to their drivers. Among these drivers were Armando Segev, 85, a former bodyguard from David Ben-Gurion; and Gabi Ben-Moshe, who volunteers with Magen David Adom and the Israel Police off-hours.

“You ride with them every day. Meet them every day. Now it’s time to give them a kind word,” was the tagline.

Passengers of all ages appear inspired by their drivers’ stories, applauding and thanking them afterward. The drivers, who were taken completely by surprise, are all smiles. (h/t Zvi)

Did this ancient Jewish scholar introduce the world to pizza?

In 1983, the Italian-Israeli professor Sandra Debenedetti Stow stunned the scholarly world with an explosive article that proposed that Jews introduced pizza to the European diet.

She cited Yehuda Romano, a 14th-century Hebrew scholar from Italy, who translated Maimonides’ use of the word “hararah” (a type of flatbread) in the Mishneh Torah with four simple Hebrew letters: peh, yud, tzadi and heh, or “pizza,” arguably the very first time the word was ever used in any language.

Before the leaven could rise, a new scholarly sub-field was born.

I tripped over this appealing historical fact while reading the catalog of the new National Museum of Italian Judaism and the Shoah in Ferrara on the intermediate days of Passover (no doubt that my gustatory interest was partially fueled by the holiday). I was intrigued by the possibility that while oblique references to the aromatic staple of adolescent diets can be traced to ancient times, it was the Jews who first gave a name to the global delicacy.

The connection to Maimonides was also quite tempting – was his “hararah” really an Egyptian antecedent of Chicago deep-dish? A thousand questions erupted. Did Maimonides hold, asked Yechiel Goldreich on Twitter, with the “one slice mezonos, two slices hamotzi rule”? And if Rambam ate pizza, wondered Professor Jared Ellias, how did we Ashkenazim get stuck with gefilte fish and stuffed cabbage? Even my wife chimed in: “Finally — the end of challah tyranny!”

Brian of London explains how Israelis mark Holocaust Remembrance

Sheila Gunn Reid of reports: On this week’s episode of The Gunn Show, British-Israeli blogger and activist Brian of London called in to talk about fighting fake news and presenting the real facts about Israel can get you deplatformed.

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