WaPo: Israel’s Unique Support for Preserving Minorities’ Identities
Last week, I spent some time in Israel talking to people about religion, ethnicity and identity. Viewing faith as integrally tied to your place and your ancestors and your history is probably more common worldwide than the modern American and Western European view of faith as a personal choice. That radical difference in worldviews explains much of what makes many Americans most uncomfortable about Israel: calling itself the Jewish state, maintaining separate educational systems for Arabs and Jews, excusing most Arabs from mandatory military service.
Israel gives its religious minorities ample freedom to practice their faith, as Israel defines itself by Judaism. But Israel’s religious minorities don’t necessarily resent that in the way Americans might expect. I spoke to Shadi Khalloul, a Maronite Christian activist in the Galilee who is working to revive Aramaic as the daily language of his community. He wants a separate school system for his community’s children.
If a country protects the civil rights of minority citizens, as the Israelis generally do, it can offer the one thing that an aggressively secular liberal state can’t: easy preservation of the minorities’ own particularist identities, which tend to be lost in aggressively secular liberal nations as the minorities are more or less forcibly assimilated.
Israel is able to accommodate these communities more tolerantly not despite its particularist self-definition but because of it. Judaism isn’t a universalizing creed – it doesn’t seek converts – so the Jewish majority feels relatively little threat from other faiths.
The first Israeli Conservatism Conference sought to bring some of the biggest conservative intellectual names to its event in Jerusalem on Thursday. In that vein, British writer and commentator Douglas Murray spoke, along with well-known Israeli right-wing figures.
Murray has given several talks in Israel this week on immigration, the subject of his hit book The Strange Death of Europe, which came out in 2017 and was released in Hebrew late last year.
“Immigration is the major issue everywhere, and even the countries where it isn’t the number one issue, it ends up becoming one,” Murray told The Jerusalem Post this week.
Murray pointed to differences between Israel and Europe on the issue: “In Israel, you see strong borders as the best way to ensure peace, while in Europe, people see it as a cause of war. Israel has had little taste of what Europe had in recent years in much larger numbers.
“People in developed countries have been lucky, and are trying to work out what latitude should be given to people born in unlucky countries,” he said. “There is a consideration of that in Israel, but the scale is very different than in Europe.”
Behind the different views on immigration is a drastically divergent understanding of the concept of nationalism, Murray explained.
“In Europe, everything to do with identity, history, patriotism and nationalism is viewed in a suspicious light, for reasons I don’t need to elaborate on,” he said, referring to fascism and World War II, “while in Israel, nationalism is viewed as good, and patriotism is good. The religious inheritance in Europe is incredibly fraught, while Israel is not lacking in friction, but people have a healthier attitude and are more engaged.”
Melanie Phillips: The groups who hand antisemites their get-out-of-jail-free card
Yet faced with this chilling display, the media could barely bring itself to shrug. This is largely because progressive people refuse to acknowledge that their signature Palestinian cause — so revealingly exposed by the mind-bending distortions of Rashida Tlaib — is the new antisemitism.
And that’s because they refuse to acknowledge that Palestinianism itself is fundamentally anti-Jew.
This denial of a most inconvenient truth—that the Arabs’ hatred of Israel derives from their murderous hatred of the Jews—was illustrated by one aspect of a BBC documentary last week about the border riots in Gaza.
In it, a Gazan boy says “the revolutionary songs excite you, they encourage you … to rip a Jew’s head off.” But, instead of accurately translating the Arabic word Yahud that he and others used for Jew, the BBC mistranslated it as “Israeli.”
The BBC insists that this was “both accurate and true to the speakers’ intentions.” This is simply untrue. In Arabic, yahud means “Jew.” When Arabic media refer to Israel, they use that word in Arabic letters.
A chant frequently heard among Islamic religious extremists is Khaibar, Khaibar, ya Yahud, Jaish Mohammed, sa yahud, which means “Jews, remember Khaibar, the army of Mohammed is returning.”
Anyone who reads Islamic religious texts can see that hatred of the Jews is embedded in Islamic religion and culture. Yet in America and Britain, this is all but unsayable.
Anyone who points out that Islamic society is fueled by hysterical and obsessional antisemitism is deemed to be Islamophobic — not least by prominent British Jews.
Astoundingly, they equate Islamophobia — the term designed to silence criticism of the Islamic world — with antisemitism. So they remain silent about this major threat to themselves from the Muslim community, the group of which the left will permit no criticism, while inflating the threat from “the right,” the group the left blames for all the ills of the world—and in which it preposterously lumps together white supremacists, anyone who criticizes mass immigration and all those who voted for Brexit.
Denial of Palestinian and Muslim antisemitism is legitimizing, mainstreaming and fueling antisemitism in the West.
When confronted with their own bigotry, people like Tlaib and Suleiman claim that the real problem of antisemitism comes from “the right.”
And which groups in both America and Britain hand them this particular “get out of jail free” card so they can continue to escalate the climate of Jew-hatred? Why, the left, of course — and the Jews.
The second semi-final in the 2019 Eurovision was broadcast live around the world Thursday night from Tel Aviv, hours after Madonna finally signed a contract to perform at the grand final Saturday night.
The four Eurovision hosts – Erez Tal, Lucy Ayoub, Bar Refaeli and Assi Azar – greeted thousands of fans in Expo Tel Aviv and millions watching around the world.
“Shalom, erev tov, baruch haba; good evening Europe, good morning Australia!” Azar proclaimed from the stage. “What’s up, party people?”
And, luckily for the four hosts, Madonna signed her contract earlier that day, leaving them free to crack jokes about her upcoming appearance.
Ayoub said that, come Saturday night, a host of huge stars will show up on stage, “and one of them is the ultimate ‘Material Girl.’ She doesn’t like being preached to, but she goes by only one name, and it starts with an M.”
Azar suggested Mariah Carey or Meryl Streep, before Ayoub confirmed what almost everyone in the venue already knew: “It’s Madonna!”
Madonna aside, there was plenty of glitz, glamour and star power on stage Thursday night for the second semi-final, where 18 more countries – Armenia, Ireland, Moldova, Switzerland, Latvia, Romania, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Croatia, Malta, Lithuania, Russia, Albania, Norway, the Netherlands, North Macedonia and Azerbaijan – competed for a spot in the grand final.
An emotional performance by the Shalva Band at Thursday’s Eurovision second semifinal earned widespread praise from viewers in both Israel and abroad, who hailed the band for its message of inclusivity and acceptance.
Shalva Band, which dropped its widely supported bid to represent Israel at the Eurovision contest in order to avoid performing on the Sabbath, took to the stage Thursday as guest artists, performing the song “A Million Dreams.”
Following the performance, thousands of Eurovision fans took to Twitter to praise the band, whose members are made up of musicians with disabilities.
The Eurovision organization called the band inspirational for “inspiring us to think differently about challenges and acceptance,” while many viewers at home said the performance brought them to tears.
The group received a long standing ovation at the end of their act, and host Bar Refaeli appeared to be holding back tears as she remarked on their performance.
The Shalva Band were finalists on the reality TV show “Rising Star,” that was to determine Israel’s entry for the annual song contest taking place this week in Tel Aviv, but the group quit the show over the prospect of being forced to break the Jewish day of rest if selected as the winner.
Shalva Band. Just one of a million reasons why #Eurovision is THE GREATEST SHOW! pic.twitter.com/Co12y88tVd
— BBC Eurovision🇬🇧 (@bbceurovision) May 16, 2019
Eurovision Fans Take a Quiz on Israeli Pop Culture
As hundreds Eurovision fans have traveled to Israel for the song contest, our Sarah Williamson tested these tourists on Israeli pop culture. Did they pass?
Ok, so the music was great, but really again, the highlight of this 2nd #Eurovision Semi Final for me were the ‘postcards’! Just so creative & again underscoring what a breathtakingly stunning, beautiful & diverse country @Israel is!#DareToDream@kaneurovision @Eurovision pic.twitter.com/POMdLM4iKM
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) May 16, 2019
— Ozraeli Dave (((דיויד לנג))) (@Israellycool) May 16, 2019
— Ozraeli Dave (((דיויד לנג))) (@Israellycool) May 17, 2019
Against the backdrop of the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, the radical pro-Palestinian group Breaking the Silence (BtS) initiated its own form of competition this week, offering visitors to Israel here for Eurovision guided tours of Hebron.
Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan criticized the move, saying on Twitter that “the organization of hate ‘Breaking the Silence’ has once again found time to spread lies against the State of Israel.”
“Here’s a tip,” he said, “Instead of inciting against the brave pioneers in the city of our forefathers, take the tourists on a tour to familiarize them with the Hamas regime’s terrible human rights violations in Gaza. Or a tour of the Palestinian Authority, that will impress upon them its financing of terrorists and its praise of the despicable murderers,” Erdan said.
BtS tours of Hebron, which it runs regularly, are characterized by an exclusively pro-Palestinian account of the history of the ancient city, the Jewish history of which is first recorded in the Bible.
According to the Jewish community of Hebron, which resides in just three percent of the city, under heavy Israeli Defense Forces protection due to frequent terrorist attacks, BtS did not approach them or ask them to provide their perspective. In fact, they said, BtS tries to ensure their tour participants avoid any contact or dialogue with Jewish residents.
Between 1939 and 1941, when Europe was at war and America wasn’t, Hollywood did something uncharacteristic: It produced a series of motion pictures with an overt political agenda. The films warned that the armies rolling over Poland, Belgium, France et al. would always be hungry for more lebensraum. Defying the oft-quoted advice of producer Samuel Goldwyn (“If you want to send a message, use Western Union”), they telegraphed a blunt message, boldfaced, in all caps: Nazism was a clear and present danger to the homeland.
Against expectations, the most potent entry in Hollywood’s prewar anti-Nazi cycle (a cycle is a time-bound cluster of like-themed films too short-lived to be a genre) came from MGM, the most controversy-averse and conservative-minded of all the major Hollywood studios. Released in June 1940, The Mortal Storm dramatized the metamorphosis of Germany into a gangster state by showing the imprint of the Nazi jackboot on a single family. Though long in circulation and in regular rotation on TCM, the film has been restored recently by the UCLA Film and Television Archive, which first unspooled the results last February at its Festival of Preservation. On May 7, the crisp new 35 mm print was screened at the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline, Massachusetts, as part of the National Center for Jewish Film’s annual festival.
The anti-Nazi cycle was jump-started by Warner Bros., the most politically engaged and unapologetically Jewish of the major studios, with Confessions of a Nazi Spy, released in April 1939, four months before the Nazi invasion of Poland. A ripped-from-the-headlines exposé of a Nazi espionage ring operating out of New York, it was the first big-budget feature film to showcase the imagery and iconography that would fill the motion picture memory of the 20th century: sinister Nazi villains in slick SS uniforms, swastikas emblazoned on flags, armbands and banners, and authentic newsreel footage of swarms of robotic soldiers precision marching to a martial drumbeat. The ads screamed, “The picture that calls a swastika a swastika!”
Although not the huge hit Warner Bros. had hoped for, Confessions of a Nazi Spy opened the floodgates. Even before American entry into WWII, all of the major studios adopted anti-Nazism as official company policy. Whether bargain basement B-movies or prestige productions, the anti-Nazi thread connected films as diverse as the exploitation quickie Hitler: Beast of Berlin (1939) and Charles Chaplin’s cri de coeur The Great Dictator (1940).
John Podhoretz: Marvel and the Jews
Like so much of 20th-century pop culture, the comics business was the creation and handiwork of first-generation and immigrant Jewish businessmen, writers, and artists whose outside-inside position in America gave them a peculiar and useful vantage point. As a character in Michael Chabon’s novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay notes: “They’re all Jewish, superheroes. Superman, you don’t think he’s Jewish? Coming over from the old country, changing his name like that. Clark Kent, only a Jew would pick a name like that for himself.” The Jews who made the comics told contemporary folktales about powerful people often forced by circumstance to pretend to be relatively powerless even as they contested with external evils that wished above all else to destroy them and the society around them—the very society that these stiff-necked people sitting in the culture’s cheap seats felt hard-done-by.
The creators of Superman, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, were kids from Cleveland who sold their intellectual property for $130 to a company called DC run by two immigrants named Jack Liebowitz and Harry Donenfeld. DC’s chief rival was a company that would eventually be called Marvel; it was the property of one Martin (né Moe) Goodman, who brought his nephew Stanley Lieber on board to help out. Lieber eventually changed his name to Stan Lee and became the public face of the business—and, in his own prose contributions to the comic books he wrote and edited, introduced the self-mocking jokey tone of the Borscht Belt to boys across America and helped form their understanding of what humor was.
Just as Izzy Baline wrote “White Christmas” after changing his name to Irving Berlin and foreign-born Hollywood chieftains like Szmul Gelbfisz (later Sam Goldwyn) and Carl Laemmle helped create the ideal of America for Americans, the all-but-unknown and mostly Jewish writers and editors of comics gave metaphorical power to American adolescent anxieties about strength and weakness and public exposure. It turned out those anxieties had a great deal in common with the existential terrors that erupted across the world after 9/11. It was at that point, in 2002 and with the release of the first Spider-Man movie, that the intellectual property created by Marvel’s Jews became the source material for the 21st century’s most popular entertainments.
PodCast: Spies Like Us
This week on Unorthodox, spies, sex, and comedy!
Our Jewish guest is journalist Matti Friedman, whose newest book, Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel, explores the little-known story of four Mizrahi Jews who went undercover as Arabs during the time of the country’s founding. He tells us how the story of these young Jewish men from Arab countries, who risked their lives as part of a ragtag intelligence unit, adds texture to the overwhelmingly Ashkenazi narrative of Israel’s founding.
Our gentile of the week is Pete Holmes, who talks to us about his new book, Comedy Sex God, his HBO show Crashing, and his journey from being raised Evangelical Christian to becoming a follower of spiritual teacher Ram Dass.
Hamas, the militant Palestinian terror group, praised Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for his support of an anti-Israel rally last Sunday in central London, MailOnline reported.
“We have received with great respect and appreciation the solidarity message sent by the British Labor Party Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, to the participants in the mass rally that took place in central London last Saturday in commemoration of the 71st anniversary of Nakba,” the statement said.
Corbyn’s message was read out at the rally, organized by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which anti-racist campaigners deem to be antisemitic. He is listed as a patron on the campaign’s website.
The Hamas statement which called upon the “current British government to stop supporting the Israeli occupation state” said that Corbyn’s message “condemned the Israeli occupation forces’ shooting at unarmed Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza who were calling for their rights to be recognized,” and said that “He stressed that peace cannot be achieved with the continued illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories.”
Referring to Trump’s peace plan which is “doomed to failure”, the statement saluted “Mr. Jeremy Corbyn for his principled position in rejecting the so-called Trump Plan for the Middle East or the ‘Deal of the Century’ if it was based on erasing Palestinian rights, primarily the right to an independent state.”
Glyn Secker, the Secretary of the the antisemitism-denial group, the sham Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL), who said that Jewish organisations are “in the gutter” and “part of the problem”, will reportedly be giving training on antisemitism to Labour members at an official Labour Party event.
According to the JC, an advertisement on Labour’s official website confirms that Mr Secker will be giving a presentation to Reading and District Labour Party on 30th May. He will deliver the talk in his role as Secretary of JVL.
On Saturday, Mr Secker made a speech at the “National Demonstration for Palestine” in central London which was rapturously received, claiming that Jews were “in the gutter” and “part of the problem”.
Holding American Rabbis responsible for fuelling the neo-Nazis behind antisemitic terrorism, including the fatal terrorist attack on Poway synagogue, Mr Secker claimed that they were “unleashing the extreme-right to win key votes in marginal states which determine the presidency”.
He then called 119 Labour MPs who are “friends of Israel” a “fifth column in the Labour Party led by [Dame Margaret] Hodge and [Tom] Watson and the Jewish Labour Movement.” Upon hearing the name of the Jewish Labour Movement, the crowd booed loudly.
“What on earth are Jews doing in the gutter with these rats?” Mr Secker asked, after claiming that the “Zionist Federation embraces the [far-right] English Defence League”, which is a fabrication. The crowd responded with calls of “Ban then from the Labour Party”.
Bridget Prentice, the former Labour minister and MP for Lewisham East, has resigned from the Party over its failure to tackle antisemitism.
In a letter posted on Twitter, Ms Prentice wrote: “Over the past three years I have watched in horror as Jewish members have begged for support against the growth of antisemitism both within and out with the Party. Mealy-mouthed words have replaced what should have been strong and determined condemnation of bigots and bullies. The response was slow, reluctant and inadequate…For a pregnant woman MP [Luciana Berger, who is Jewish] to be bullied out of the Party is shameful and embarrassing.”
In response, a Labour Party spokesperson issued the hackneyed and meaningless lie that: “The Labour Party is absolutely committed to challenging and campaigning against antisemitism in all its forms and wherever it occurs.”
Ms Prentice, a Labour Party member for 45 years, served as a Labour MP for Lewisham East from 1992 to 2010 as well as serving as a government whip and a junior minister.
Lord Sugar and his opinions on Jeremy Corbyn will Sugar leave the country? pic.twitter.com/lr43Ktucdo
— Eye On Antisemitism (@AntisemitismEye) May 16, 2019
The ugly face of BDS was personified. As my brother put it, it looked like Waters had gone over to the Dark Side of the Moon. To use the lyrics of one of his songs, Waters thinks he “can tell heaven from hell, blue skies from pain.” But he can’t. He is clueless.
Last year, backing conspiracists who claimed that reports of Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons attack on Douma in Syria were staged, Waters called the White Helmets – the Syrian volunteer group nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for its search-and-rescue work – a “fake organization” producing propaganda for “jihadists and terrorists.”
Calling for the boycott of the Eurovision does nothing to promote world peace or even regional peace. On the contrary. We don’t need no Roger Waters. Israel’s a free country and bashing the prime minister and government – even before the new coalition has been formed following last month’s elections – is something of a national sport. Especially after massive rocket bombardments and increased threats of terrorism.
PINK FLOYD released its seminal album The Wall in 1979. Of greater importance historically, it was the year Ayatollah Khomeini overthrew the shah in Iran. And of personal significance, I moved to Israel, singing along to Gali Atari and Milk & Honey’s Eurovision-winning “Hallelujah.”
A few years ago, when Waters issued a similar call for a cultural boycott, Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli, proving she’s not just a pretty face, demanded Waters remove a photograph of her used in the video art during his performances. “If you’re boycotting – then go all the way,” she tweeted at the time.
With poetic justice, while Waters rants about boycotts, Refaeli is one of the four hosts of the Eurovision at Expo Tel Aviv. Waters was bashing his head against a brick wall. More than 40 countries are participating in this year’s Eurovision, thousands of tourists arrived for the event, some 1,500 journalists flocked here to cover the show and surrounding events and an estimated 200 million viewers around the world are watching the broadcasts.
A coalition of parties from the center, right and left in Germany will come together on Friday to back a parliamentary motion condemning the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign that seeks to cut all commercial, political and cultural ties with the State of Israel throughout the international community.
The non-binding motion, titled, “Resist the BDS Movement — Fighting Antisemitism,” is the joint initiative of the social democratic SPD Party and Green Party from the left, the governing CDU Party and the FDP Party from the center, and the conservative CSU Party from the right, in the country’s federal parliament, the Bundestag.
At the heart of the text is the contention that the Bundestag opposes the BDS movement — which it defines as “antisemitic” — for the same historical and moral reasons that the legislative body is opposed to other forms of antisemitism.
In practical terms, the motion would prevent “organizations which express themselves in an antisemitic manner, or question the right of Israel to exist” from using “premises and facilities under Bundestag administration.”
It also urges the federal government to oppose BDS with equal resolve, specifying that no organizations advocating Israel’s elimination or a boycott of Israel should be eligible for state funding.
A Zionist club that was rejected by the student government of Williams College in Massachusetts nonetheless received recognition this week as a registered student organization (RSO), following intervention by the administration.
The Williams Initiative for Israel (WIFI) was initially denied RSO status by the student-run College Council (CC) on April 23rd, in what was believed to be the first such rejection in over a decade. Students who spoke against the group, which according to its constitution seeks to “support Israel and the pro-Israel campus community,” emphasized their disagreement with its perceived political stance.
The decision was criticized by WIFI leaders, as well as President Maud Mandel, who last week said she was “disappointed” that the CC failed “to follow its own processes and bylaws.” Mandel added that WIFI could continue to operate without RSO status, and maintain access to “most services available to student groups.”
Yet some off-campus critics, among them the AMCHA Initiative, Academic Engagement Network, and Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), called for more action, arguing that WIFI should receive the status and all accompanying benefits it was eligible for.
In a statement shared on Wednesday with FIRE and confirmed by The Algemeiner, Williams spokesperson Gregory Shook said WIFI has since been granted recognition through “a parallel path to RSO status” laid out in the Student Handbook, which “involved a committee made up of administrators and CC reps.”
“Under Massachusetts state law, a college’s student handbook is a binding contract between students and the institution,” Shook explained. “Therefore, we had a legal obligation to offer that process if WIFI requested it, which they did.”
Universities must do more to tackle anti-Semitism amid an ‘appalling’ spate of attacks on Jewish students, the higher education minister has warned.
Chris Skidmore said it is ‘unacceptable’ that Jewish societies have to pay up to £2,000 for security at events because they are often gate-crashed by thugs.
In a letter being sent to all universities this week, he will urge them to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism to help clamp down on incidents.
It follows complaints from Jewish students that they are being made to feel unwelcome at UK universities.
They are often targeted by hard-Left groups aligned to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has seen his party engulfed by scandal over its handling of anti-Semitism.
This week it emerged that a dossier of leaked Labour messages about the crisis will be submitted to the equalities watchdog.
Meanwhile, Jewish societies have told how events hosting Israeli speakers are often stormed by aggressive pro-Palestine activists.
— Ozraeli Dave (((דיויד לנג))) (@Israellycool) May 16, 2019
If professors in their classrooms were spewing a doctrine of white supremacy, black inferiority, or inherent Arab villainy, how do you think this would be received? Would they be ignored because, after all, there is, thankfully, academic freedom in the West?
Or would there be an outcry against their points of view, a demand that they be censured, better yet fired, and while we’re at it, prosecuted for hate crimes?
I would guess, the latter. And who would likely be in the vanguard of such an outcry? I would guess Progressives and those social justice warriors on the Left who find it hard to tolerate the existence of points of view that differ from their own.
It is precisely for this reason that when professors are called out for promoting the boycott, demonization or delegitimization of Israel, the ones calling them out are immediately labeled by many on the Left as McCarthyites and fascists.
This was all too evident this week when the social justice warriors went into a frenzy after the Zionist organization Im Tirtzu launched a website called “Know your Professor,” which lists professors who, among other anti-Zionist things, support boycotts against Israel, accuse Israel of crimes against humanity, and encourage people to refuse to serve in the IDF.
Note that the website does not call for the removal of the vilifying professors so identified. It just points out who they are.
The great irony is that all the professors listed on the website have their paychecks signed by the Israeli taxpayer, since their institutions are heavy recipients of funding from the Israeli government.
Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!
Dozens of organizations on Wednesday applauded the University of Michigan (UM) for its adoption of a Blue Ribbon Panel report that states that faculty should base decisions such as letters of recommendations and other academic judgments, “solely on educational and professional reasons,” never on politics.
The panel was established after University of Michigan Professor John Cheney-Lippold agreed to write a recommendation for a student and then reneged, admitting that his refusal was based solely on the fact that the recommendation was for a program in Israel. After denouncing Cheney-Lippold’s decision and announcing professional consequences for his behavior, UM President Mark Schlissel and Provost Martin Philbert appointed the Panel to examine the issue more closely and establish professional recommendations for faculty.
The Panel’s report states, “Faculty may not reward students because they are politically like-minded. Nor may faculty deprive students of equal opportunity and fair evaluation because they disagree politically. Nor may faculty help students pursue future educational and professional opportunities because they politically approve of the students’ aspirations, or refuse to help because they politically disapprove.”
The report also acknowledges limits on academic freedom, noting that some faculty members who thought that “any and all requirements to do things they do not want to do are invasions of academic freedom” were incorrect.
According to the Twitter feed of the film’s producer Olly Lambert, he did his filming in the Gaza Strip in December 2018 at the same time that the ‘Today’ programme’s Mishal Husain was there.
Surely then the BBC should have realised by late December that the account of the incident it had promoted in May 2018 (and which is still available online) according to which the IDF opened fire without provocation was inaccurate and that the paramedic who appeared in Tarek Loubani’s story was actually a member of Hamas.
Nevertheless, three months after Lambert had filmed his interviews in the Gaza Strip, the BBC Radio 4 ‘Today’ programme once again provided an unchallenged platform for Tarek Loubani’s activist propaganda.
The New York Times yesterday described Palestinians killed in the act of shooting Israelis and planting bombs as having been shot by Israel while merely “demonstrating.” CAMERA has informed editors of the inaccurate language, and has called on them to publish a correction to set the record straight for misinformed readers.
New York Times reporter David Halbfinger
According to yesterday’s story, by New York Times‘ Jerusalem bureau chief David Halbfinger, the American ambassador to Israel delivered a speech on Tuesday during which he mentioned violent clashes in Gaza exactly one year earlier, on May 14, 2018. During those clashes, Halbfinger claimed, “Israeli soldiers killed about 60 Palestinians demonstrating along the border fence”.
But reporting from the time made clear that, far from “demonstrating,” many of the casualties were well-armed combatants. According to a May 15, 2018 story in the New York Times itself,
Eight of the dead, the army said, were armed Hamas militants in civilian clothes who tried to storm the fence in northern Gaza and attacked Israeli forces with grenades and pipe bombs before being killed in a shootout. A photograph showed what the military said was an Israeli battalion commander’s armored vehicle pockmarked with Kalashnikov fire. Another three militants were killed while laying an explosive device in the south, the army said.
Parts of a text commemorating the murder of Jewish children in the Holocaust were painted over, as if redacted, at a newly opened memorial park for victims of the genocide in Paris.
Police received reports this week of the unusual vandalism at the memorial space that opened in 2017 near the main Vel d’Hiv monument for Jewish children who were murdered by the Nazis with help from French authorities.
Among the sentences painted over was assertion that victims were “killed in terrible and cruel conditions” as well as the words “extermination” and that the Nazis wanted to “annihilate” Jews.
Also painted over was the number, 4,115, of French Jewish children who disappeared without a trace during the Holocaust, after being killed by the Nazis following events like the Vel d’Hiv roundup in 1942, the Le Parisien magazine reported Wednesday.
“Can you imagine something more lowly,” the French Jewish philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy wrote on Twitter Thursday about the incident.
A fifth-grader at a Tennessee public school was sent to the principal’s office this week after telling students to stop doing Nazi salutes.
“Please comment with support for my 11-year-old daughter. She was removed from class and sent to the principal’s office for the rest of the day last Thursday for shouting, ‘Stop it, put your hands down now,’ to a group of students giving the Nazi salute,” tweeted Keith Gamble, the child’s father.
In a Twitter thread, Gamble detailed how his daughter was bullied by students giving Nazi salutes “in the hallways and at recess for weeks, after a teacher assigned a student to give the Nazi salute in a Hitler costume for an assignment.”
“Each time, my daughter spoke out even though she was told by a teacher ‘not to address it.’ She has been bullied by classmates and targeted personally with Nazi salutes, so school feels lonely sometimes,” he tweeted.
The man suspected of stabbing a Jewish woman in Sweden did not commit a hate crime, targeting her randomly amid a psychiatric crisis, his mother said.
The 29-year-old man, who has an extensive criminal record for assault, was released from 12 days at a psychiatric institution one day prior to the attack Tuesday in Helingborg, according to Expressen.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry announced that the suspected attacker is Muslim in a statement widely reported in Israeli media, though this has not been confirmed by Swedish officials.
“I do not share the image that is spread in the Israeli media though I understand the concern and do not want in any way to downplay it,” prosecutor Linda Seger told the Helsingborgs Dagblad daily.
“This does not have anything to do with religion,” the suspect’s mother told Expressen. Neither she, her son nor the victim have been named. The Expressen report did not say whether the suspect is in fact Muslim.
A jogger was arrested for allegedly verbally threatening and spitting on elderly Jews in Florida as they walked home from synagogue.
Daniel Valerivich Starikov, 33, of Hollywood, Florida, who is originally from Britain, was arrested on Wednesday on two charges of battery on persons 65 years or older, and three charges of assault while evidencing prejudice.
The incidents he is accused of took place in the Miami-area village of Bal Harbour on Friday night, March 22, and some of his actions were caught on surveillance cameras, according to the Miami Herald.
Starikov approached one group of elderly Jews and slammed his fists together in a threatening gesture.
“I’ll show you,” he told the group, according to a police report cited by the newspaper. “I’m going to shove my d— down your throats. You Jews, I’m gonna get you.”
He approached a second group five minutes later and allegedly spat on them.
The men in the groups were wearing kippas and one was dressed in Hasidic Jewish garb.
Germany’s main Jewish organization gave its Leo Baeck Prize to journalist and publisher Mathias Döpfner for his commitment to Israel and German Jewry.
At a time when media and popular sentiment increasingly blame Israel for defending itself, Döpfner steadfastly defends truth, said Josef Schuster, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany.
“You don’t remain silent,” Schuster told Döpfner at a gala dinner May 16 in Berlin. “You don’t try to explain away this hatred for Israel and for us Jews. Or to justify it.”
Döpfner, 56, who has called himself a non-Jewish Zionist, made the “fight against anti-Semitism his personal concern,” Schuster added.
Speaking extemporaneously, Döpfner said that his first visit to Israel, in 1981, shaped his later career. He was also influenced by his friendships with several Holocaust survivors.
Döpfner said he’d always felt it was not enough to condemn anti-Semitism; one had to stand up against it.
The New England Revolution and Chelsea FC soccer teams will play in a friendly match on Wednesday evening titled the “Final Whistle on Hate” to raise awareness about hate crimes worldwide, especially antisemitic ones.
The game’s proceeds will be donated to 15 groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Agency for Israel, the World Jewish Congress and Community Security Trust.
Additionally, Revolution owner Bob Kraft and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will each give $1 million to back the mission.
Earlier this month, representatives from both clubs traveled to Poland to participate in the International March of the Living, held on Holocaust Remembrance Day.
After the shooting and tragic loss of life during April 27 Shabbat-morning services in Poway, Calif., an AI (artificial intelligence) security company executive immediately ordered 100 of his security systems. He then put out a request on a WhatsApp group for Chabad Houses to sign up to receive one, free of charge.
Within days, more than 100 Chabads signed up.
Miami Beach resident and Teaneck, N.J. native Ari Teman, 37, said his Teman GateGuard™ system, which, if bought retail, ranges in price from $3,600 to $5,600 with monthly Internet-connection fees, does not replace a full-time security guard or a closed-circuit camera security system, but it is a low-cost start with significant value. “We’ve given these units before to Chabads, and it’s enabled the rabbis to leave the door locked and still give them the ability to let others get in the building while they are away,” said Teman.
The unit is already installed in several Chabad Houses, including the Rok Family Shul, Chabad Downtown Jewish Center in Miami’s financial district, directed by Rabbi Chaim and Deenie Lipskar.
Herman Wouk, the versatile, Pulitzer Prize winning author of such million-selling novels as “The Caine Mutiny” and “The Winds of War” whose steady Jewish faith inspired his stories of religious values and secular success, died on Friday at 103.
Wouk was just 10 days shy of his 104th birthday and was working on a book until the end, said his literary agent Amy Rennert.
Rennert said Wouk died in his sleep at his home in Palm Springs, California, where he settled after spending many years in Washington, D.C.
Among the last of the major writers to emerge after World War II and first to bring Jewish stories to a general audience, he had a long, unpredictable career that included gag writing for radio star Fred Allen, historical fiction and a musical co-written with Jimmy Buffett. He won the Pulitzer in 1952 for “The Caine Mutiny,” the classic Navy drama that made the unstable Captain Queeg, with the metal balls he rolls in his hand and his talk of stolen strawberries, a symbol of authority gone mad. A film adaptation, starring Humphrey Bogart, came out in 1954 and Wouk turned the courtroom scene into the play “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial.”
Other highlights included “Don’t Stop the Carnival,” which Wouk and Buffett adapted into a musical, and his two-part World War II epic, “The Winds of War” and “War and Remembrance,” both of which Wouk himself adapted for a 1983, Emmy Award-winning TV miniseries starring Robert Mitchum. “The Winds of War” received some of the highest ratings in TV history and Wouk’s involvement covered everything from the script to commercial sponsors.
Set in the 1930s and ’40s, Wouk’s fourth book, “Marjorie Morningstar,” heralded a new era for American Jews. The novel followed the journey of a New York Jewish protagonist no different from any other bright and beautiful girl, an image further cemented by Natalie Wood’s portrayal of Marjorie in the 1958 film version.
Not since the 1927 film “The Jazz Singer,” starring Al Jolson, had a movie shown Jewish religious scenes. But unlike “The Jazz Singer,” Marjorie and her religion were not exoticized — Jewishness was portrayed as middle class and American. With Marjorie, Wouk had succeeded in making a story about Jews into an American story.
Marjorie also marked a turning point in his writing career. With confidence that he had readers who would follow him to less popular subjects, Wouk’s fourth book, his first work of nonfiction, took on the subject of Orthodox Judaism. Published in 1959, “This Is My God” was a primer about the Jewish religion intended for both Jewish and non-Jewish readers.
As other American celebrities would do, Wouk used his fame to draw attention to his little-understood religion. Serialized in the Los Angeles Times, “This Is My God” introduced readers to such Jewish particulars as the laws of kashrut and family purity and the holidays of Sukkot and Shavuot. The book showed, through anecdotes from Wouk’s glamorous Manhattan life, that it was possible to be both a modern American and Orthodox.
At a time when Jews still encountered quotas at universities and discrimination in hiring and housing, Wouk’s example provided inspiration. “This Is My God” became a popular bar mitzvah and confirmation gift for young Jews of all movements.
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