Western aversion to Israel is really self-hatred
The recent Conservatism Conference in Jerusalem, sponsored by the Tikvah Fund, was notable in a number of respects. Besides being a gathering of almost 800 like minded people who share a moral and intellectual clarity about critical political and philosophical issues, the Conference cast both a direct and a reflected light on some of the most pressing issues confronting the West.
Yoram Hazony, one of Israel’s greatest minds, made the exhilarating point that much of the world not only respects Israel, but wants to emulate Israel. Hazony believes that foreign observers applaud our traditionalism: our traditional values, our engagement if not observance with religion, our respect for the family, community and nation.
British political commentator Douglas Murray went on to contrast attitudes in Israel with those in Europe, finding that Israelis were more comfortable embracing nationalism, patriotism, and a respect for national borders than their European counterparts.
Murray made the provocative point that guilt was driving much of the European behavior towards migrants, and this was perhaps a reason for their adopting policies that he depicted as suicidal.
While the two men seemingly contradicted each other, I think they were actually describing two sides of the same coin.
In Murray’s view, the West has been untethered from the values and the mindset that made it the West. He detects a lurking fear of reverting to 20th century behavior, much as a recovering addict fears slippage back into his own self-destructive behavior.
This fear is the product of an expansive guilt, not just of German genocidal evil, but guilt about Colonialism. Murray astutely noted this feeling in England which once “controlled much of the world,” but also noted its widespread existence in Sweden, “which never controlled anything.”
On December 18, 2010, two female friends – one Christian and the other Jewish – were hiking together in the hills of Jerusalem when they were accosted by a pair of members from a Palestinian terror cell. Both women were bound and hacked with machetes until the Christian, Kristine Luken, was dead and the other seemingly so.
But in an incredible display of a bottomless will to live, Kay Wilson – with thirteen machete wounds, a crushed sternum, multiple rib fractures, bone splinters in her lungs, a dislocated shoulder and broken shoulder blade – got up and walked over a mile barefoot, bound, and bleeding until she reached help. She survived to testify against her assailants in court. The reason the pair was caught was that Wilson had managed to stab one in the groin with a penknife during the assault, and investigators linked him to the DNA in his blood on her clothing. The two monsters, who were convicted of other crimes as well, including stabbing another Jewish woman to death earlier that same year, were imprisoned for life.
The Rage Less Traveled: A Memoir of Surviving a Machete Attack is Kay Wilson’s relentlessly gripping, intensely personal story. You can find it on Amazon here (and here on audiobook) where the book has racked up dozens of exclusively 5-star reviews. Simultaneously raw and poetic, transcendent and unsentimental, The Rage Less Traveled is not a predictable book about learning to forgive your attackers or seeking interfaith dialogue with members of a Jew-hating ideology. The book acknowledges that evil exists and that there can be no coexistence with it. It is a story about the tortuous road through survival into the light. As Wilson said in her 2019 AIPAC address, “My story is Israel’s story.”
Ms. Wilson kindly agreed to answer some questions about the book and her shocking experience.
During the current month of Ramadan, official Palestinian Authority TV is broadcasting a series called Children of the Village Chief. The series portrays Arab life around the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 and afterwards in a village in what was until the Six-Day War in 1967, the “West Bank” of the Kingdom of Jordan.
The poster of the series
The first program starts with the so-called Palestinian “Nakba” – the “catastrophe” of the creation of Israel – and continues until the 1980s. In the series, which deals primarily with daily life during this period, attitudes to Israel and Jews are likewise expressed.
In one episode, a boy around the age of 10 asks his uncle to teach him how to use a rifle because he wants to shoot at “the Jews.” The uncle willingly answers his nephew’s request, explaining that he should only aim at “your enemy,” who the boy then identifies as “the Jews”:
Nephew Fares: “Uncle Ibrahim, I want you to teach me how to use the rifle”
Uncle Ibrahim: “Why do you want to learn to shoot?”
Fares: “So that if the Jews come to the village, I’ll shoot them like you shot them at Khirbet Al-Loz.” …
Ibrahim: “Fares, your weapon will only be pointed at your enemy, and you know who your enemy is.”
Fares: “The Jews, who removed us from our land and our homes, like they removed us from Khirbet Al-Loz.”
Ibrahim: “Therefore, Fares, immediately when you see your target, aim at it well and shoot it. Are you ready?”
Ibrahim: “Go ahead, hero.”
[Official PA TV, Children of the Village Chief, May 11, 2019]
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin issued a defiant statement on Saturday after Germany’s top official on fighting antisemitism suggested that Jewish men should limit the wearing of kippot in public.
“We will never submit, will never lower our gaze, and will never react to antisemitism with defeatism,” Rivlin said.
His statement came after the German government’s Commissioner on Antisemitism, Felix Klein, said on Saturday, “I cannot advise Jews to wear the kippa everywhere all the time in Germany.”
Klein blamed this situation on “the lifting of inhibitions and the uncouthness which is on the rise in society,” and said, “The internet and social media have largely contributed to this — but so have constant attacks against our culture of remembrance.”
“The statement of the German government’s antisemitism commissioner, that it would be preferable for Jews not wear a kippa in Germany out of fear for their safety, shocked me deeply,” Rivlin responded in a statement.
“Responsibility for the welfare, the freedom, and the right to religious belief of every member of the German Jewish community is in the hands of the government of Germany and its law enforcement agencies,” he said.
“We acknowledge and appreciate the moral position of the government of Germany and its commitment to the Jewish community that lives there,” Rivlin added, “but fears about the security of German Jews are a capitulation to antisemitism and an admittance that, again, Jews are not safe on German soil.”
Honest Reporting: Is Antisemitism Free Speech or Hate Speech?
Defamation and incitement are not “free speech”
While the First Amendment protects some significantly distasteful speech (including a Nazi march on American soil) it does not protect all speech.
Libel and slander are both forms of “defamation“: injuring a person’s character or reputation by false and malicious statements. Defamation is almost universally considered a civil offense, and in some jurisdictions it is even a crime.
Typically, defamation law protects only people (i.e. not countries or governments). In some cases defamation law can protect corporations, and in Texas it oddly enough protects the beef industry. However mainstream defamation laws are not limited to individuals. They also protect groups of people, such as a Jewish community. Thus, when “criticism” of Israel crosses the line into antisemitism, as it does disturbingly often, this too can fall within the bounds of defamation.
“Incitement” is the act of persuading someone to commit a crime, such as encouraging violence. Incitement is illegal under U.S. Federal criminal law, as well as in most jurisdictions around the world. “Hate speech” (speech that carries no meaning other than the expression of hatred for some group) is not in itself illegal, but the moment it begins to encourage violence, it becomes like any other form of incitement: an illegal, criminal offense.
Eugene Kontorovich: CBN segment on Irish “Occupied Territories Bill”
I explain how Ireland’s discriminatory “Occupied Territories Bill” does not ban business with occupied territories, but with Jews. And it would make Christian tourism to Jerusalem’s Old City a crime punishable by jail time.
JPost Editorial: Come to Bahrain
How about a different approach? Why not attend the Bahraini economic workshop, participate in the forum and challenge the Americans and the Israelis to make the concessions needed to achieve a sustainable and lasting peace? Throw the ball back into the Israeli side of the court and see if Netanyahu and the new government he is trying to form, are able to reciprocate.
The answer might be that the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah doesn’t really want peace. Abbas and his colleagues at the helm of the PLO and Fatah, seem to prefer for the conflict to continue so they can ensure the survival of their regime and power. If there was peace, what narrative would they tell their people? They would have to make economic reforms that would come at a price and would need to create institutions with full transparency that would reveal the corruption said to be entrenched in the Palestinian Authority.
If there was peace, Abbas would have to hold real, free and open elections, something he has not agreed to since 2005. If there were elections, Abbas would face challengers and might lose. Going to Bahrain therefore jeopardizes it all.
The reason to still go though is because both peoples – Israelis and Palestinians – deserve better. They deserve a reality – or at the very least – a genuine attempt to end this conflict. Young Palestinians in their twenties don’t know Israelis beyond the soldiers they see throughout the West Bank and young Israelis don’t know Palestinians except for the few who are allowed into Israel to work.
There could be a different reality. It might not look like the one the world has imagined since the Oslo Accords were signed by Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin at the White House in 1993, but with real leadership there is a chance.
This is the ultimate test of leadership – do they try to improve the reality of their peoples or do they work for their own fortune and survival. Leaders, on both sides, need to be prepared to take personal risks and pay personal political prices. Let Bahrain be the first step.
The Palestinians can’t continue recognizing Israel as long as it does not recognize them, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said on Sunday.
“We will reexamine all agreements signed with Israel,” he said in a speech he delivered during a Ramadan iftar meal for families of Palestinian prisoners and those killed by the IDF in the city of Halhoul, 5 km. north of Hebron. “It is impossible to continue recognizing Israel as long as it does not recognize us.”
PLO and Fatah institutions have called on the Palestinian leadership to “revise” relations with Israel in wake of the Israeli government’s policies and the US Administration’s “bias” in favor of Israel. The recommendations include revoking PLO recognition of Israel and halting security coordination between the PA security forces and the IDF in the West Bank.
Shtayyeh accused Israel of “waging a war on the Palestinian narrative.” Israel, he said, “wants to falsify our narrative about al-Aqsa Mosque and the church to make the Jewish narrative dominant. However, it will never fabricate history because we are rooted in this land.”
A Bloomberg article last week inaccurately reported that Israel’s capture of the West Bank has “been ruled an illegal occupation in repeated UN resolutions” (“Even a Failing Jared Kushner Peace Plan May Help Israel Annex the West Bank,” May 22).
It has not.
While the UN has made clear that any Israeli annexation of the West Bank would be “inadmissible,” none of its post-war resolutions — General Assembly resolutions 2252, 2253, 2254, and 2256, and Security Council resolutions 236, 240, and 242 — argued that the capture of the West Bank from Jordan and subsequent occupation was unlawful.
The drafters of Security Council Resolution 242, which called for an Israeli withdrawal from unspecified “territories occupied in the recent conflict,” have repeatedly clarified that their resolution calls for any Israeli withdrawal to be to “secure and recognized boundaries” negotiated in peace talks between the parties to the war, and do not regard the occupation as illegal: “Until that condition is met, Israel is entitled to administer the territories it captured – the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip – and then withdraw from some but not necessarily all of the land,” explained Eugene Rostow, one of the resolution’s drafters and an Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs in President Johnson’s administration.
That reflects the view of other international law scholars.
Likud’s chief negotiator, MK Yariv Levin, said Sunday that the ruling party had reached an agreement with three out of five of its likely coalition partners — with the exception of Yisrael Beytenu and Kulanu — to “preserve the status quo in all legislation pertaining to church and state.”
He did not elaborate on the specifics of the proposal.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held an emergency meeting with ministers in his Likud party on Sunday in light of the impasse in coalition negotiations that is threatening to send Israel to new elections.
Four days before the deadline to form a coalition, Netanyahu has yet to ink a deal with any of his prospective partners. The sticking point is a bill on the ultra-Orthodox military draft, which the Haredi political parties seek to soften, and which must swiftly be re-legislated under Supreme Court order.
Yisrael Beytenu party leader Avigdor Liberman, meanwhile, has insisted he won’t budge from a Defense Ministry-drafted version of the bill regulating the number of ultra-Orthodox seminary students drafted to the military.
The Israel Fire and Rescue Service on Sunday said it suspects arson as the cause of a fire that broke out on Thursday at Ben Shemen Forest and burned down almost the entire adjacent community of Mevo Modi’im in central Israel.
Fueled by the scorching weather, more than a thousand fires devastated towns and forests across the country from Thursday to Saturday, forcing thousands of people out of their homes.
Some 50 houses burned down in central Israel — 40 of the 50 homes in Mevo Modi’im and 10 more in the nearby Kibbutz Harel. Residents of the two communities have not been allowed to return home.
Authorities investigating the fires were looking at electrical faults, Lag B’Omer holiday bonfires, arson and incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip as possible causes for the various fires countrywide.
After an investigation into the Mevo Modiim blaze, the fire service determined it was sparked in several different spots, raising suspicion of arson.
Officials had previously blamed the fire on a faulty Israel Electric Corporation power line.
More than 70 years after the last Spitfires of King Farouk’s Royal Egyptian Air Force were seen in the skies above Ashdod (then Isdud) and 40 years since Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty, Egypt’s Air Force was back on Friday, this time for a different kind of fight with their former enemy.
Cairo came to Jerusalem’s aid sending two Mi-8 transport helicopters to battle brush fires which broke out in Israel’s South.
While the Russian-produced helicopters are designed to transport service personnel or to carry cargo or weapons, they are also able of carrying out search-and-rescue operations, medevac and humanitarian missions.
This time their mission was to assist in battling wildfires.
The last time the #Egyptians were in the Ashdod area was in 1948 during #Israel’s War of Independence. 71 years later they are helping Israel to fight fires which have broken out in the area. https://t.co/kwautIERiK
— Anna Ahronheim (@AAhronheim) May 24, 2019
They joined some 1,000 firefighters from the National Fire and Rescue Authority battling some 1,023 fires which were wreaking havoc across the country, from the West Bank to Lake Kinneret in the north and around the Gaza border area.
A 23-year-old Palestinian woman from a village near Kalkilya, who joined ISIS through “Telegram” and was planning to execute a terrorist attack in Israel, was arrested by Palestinian authorities beforehand for “attempting to shake regional stability,” Ynet reported on Sunday.
According to the exclusive report, Ala’ Bashir joined ISIS, who then taught her – through manuals sent through the Internet – how to assemble large explosive devices that she could strap to herself and commit a suicide terrorist attack in the heart of Israeli territory.
“Yes, it is the same Palestinian Authority that cooperates daily with the Israeli defense establishment,” the left-wing Peace Now said on Sunday about the arrest. “The same Palestinian Authority that the Right is fantasizing about, and is working to weaken and dismantle it. The same Palestinian Authority that, if dismantled, will be replaced by far more extreme elements. Remember this the next time right-wing leaders lie to the public.”
Bashir was arrested two weeks ago by PA security officers in a mosque in the village of Jainsafout, east of Kalkilya. Witnesses said 25 security officers raided the Othman Bin Affan mosque and arrested Bashir while she was teaching children the Koran.
The PA’s Preventive Security Service (PSS), whose members arrested Bashir, said she was taken into custody on the basis of information that “certain parties operating outside the national consensus, and which had contributed to the destabilization of surrounding Arab countries, had exploited her difficult psychological and social condition.”
The PSS did not name the alleged parties. However, it said that they had sought to “incite and recruit the woman, with the help of some members of illegal armed militias, to harm the Palestinian security forces in the West Bank.”
Bashir was arrested in order to save her from this exploitation attempt, the PSS added.
North Korea’s official news agency reported on May 24, 2019 that a Fatah delegation headed by the movement’s deputy chairman Mahmoud Al-‘Aloul had met in Pyongyang with Choe Ryong-hea, president of the presidium of North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly. According to the Palestinian official news agency WAFA, Al-‘Aloul handed Ryong-hea a letter from Palestinian President Mahmoud ‘Abbas to the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, discussing the steps the Palestinian leadership intends to take vis-à-vis the American Middle East peace initiative known as the “Deal of the Century.” Ryong-hea conveyed Kim’s greetings to the Palestinian people and to President ‘Abbas, and stressed the North Korean leader’s support for the Palestinian cause. He commended ‘Abbas for his steadfastness in the face of “the arrogance of the U.S. administration and its extensive pressures,” and condemned U.S. President Trump’s decisions vis-à-vis the Palestinians, in particular the transfer of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and the American “siege” on the Palestinian people and leadership.
The Fatah delegation, which also included Palestinian Ambassador to North Korea Nimr Isma’il, Palestinian Ambassador to China Fariz Al-Mahdawi, and Fatah Revolutionary Council member Riyad Radwan, met with North Korean official Pak Thea Song and discussed developing and strengthening the relations between the peoples “which began in the days of [North Korean] president Kim Il-sung and [Palestinian] president Yasser Arafat.”
It should be noted that Palestinian and North Korean officials periodically exchange letters and greetings, and hold meetings in which they stress the similarity between Palestine and North Korea in terms of their political situation and the American pressure on them.
Pathological lying much? https://t.co/otM4sUW0ED
— Ozraeli Dave (((דיויד לנג))) (@Israellycool) May 26, 2019
Al-Jazeera Network Airs Footage of Houthi Drone Attacks in KSA: Houthis Able to Target Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Oil Facilities, Airports, Seaports pic.twitter.com/YX6E115LqY
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) May 26, 2019
Saudi Arabia sent invites to Arab leaders for emergency summits that are supposed to convene in Mecca on May 30. First announced on May 18, the invites arrived through the Arab League to member states and Gulf leaders. Kuwait, Yemen and Lebanon have welcomed the invites. Qatar says it was excluded. The UAE says the meeting is of critical importance.
Saudi Arabia is inviting the leaders to two summits, one of leaders to discuss the “aggression and consequences” related to tensions with Iran and the sabotage of four oil tankers on May 12. The second meeting will be at the 14th session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, according to Saudi Arabia’s official news agency. Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir said this week that the Kingdom does not want war with Iran but believes Tehran is seeking to destabilize the region. Jubeir has been a critic of Iran’s policies for many years.
In Lebanon, Lebanese President Michel Aoun spoke with Prime Minister Saad Hariri and agreed Hariri will lead the Lebanese delegation, according to Arab News. Aoun has tended to be an ally of Iranian-backed Hezbollah while Hariri is closer to Saudi Arabia. Hariri’s father was murdered in 2005 in an assassination blamed on Hezbollah.
The UAE and Saudi Arabia have coordinated their foreign policies closely in the last few years. This has included in the support of Yemen’s government’s war against the Houthi rebels. On the night of May 20, the Houthis fired a ballistic missile deep into Saudi Arabia and on May 13 Houthi drones attacked Saudi oil facilities. Iran has supported the Houthis and Fars News mocked the “great Saudi arsenal” on Tuesday, noting it couldn’t defeat Yemen’s simple technology.
Former Iranian MP Alireza Zakani: Obama Administration Gave Us $1.7 Billion; First $400 Million Was Cash in a Suitcase pic.twitter.com/OLCHWrjFtL
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) May 26, 2019
US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) bashed Politico for depicting presidential candidate Bernie Sanders with a money tree in its article “The Secret of Bernie’s Millions,” which was published on Friday.
“Can politico explain to us how photoshopping money trees next to the only Jewish candidate for president and talking about how ‘cheap’ and rich he is *isn’t* antisemitic?” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Saturday in a series of tweets where she defended Rep. Ilhan Omar, who has been accused repeatedly of antisemitism.
Politco’s article, written by senior staff Michael Kruse, depicts Sanders with modest beginnings, owning a rusty Volkswagen Dasher. Shortly after, Kruse quotes a friend of Sanders who called him “a cheap son of a bitch.” The article tries to understand how a poor democratic socialist was able to become a three-home-owning millionaire. According to the report, Sanders now has a net worth of at least $2 million.
Ocasio-Cortez questioned why no one was calling out this article as antisemitism.
“Are they just letting this happen because he’s a progressive politician they don’t like?” The freshman representative tweeted rhetorically. “Notice the people willing to explain this away, yet when Ilhan’s words are taken out of context, they are the 1st to jump on her.”
It is expected that the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) will launch a formal inquiry into the Labour Party over its antisemitism crisis.
Sources have told the Mail that the EHRC has been handed “compelling” evidence over Labour’s failure to tackle Jew-hate among its members.
The watchdog asked Labour to respond to concerns about the allegations in March. The party provided its response last month, but it has been claimed that the EHRC was “deeply unimpressed” by the submission, in which Labour reportedly ascribed the problem to a “small number of individuals”.
One close ally told the Mail: “This will be a real blow to Jeremy and it will go on for months and months. It’s the last thing we need.”
Sources also claimed that evidence submitted by the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) via lawyers at Mishcon de Reya were seen by the EHRC as “compelling”.
In an EHRC investigation, Labour would likely be asked to implement an “action plan” to change the way it processes complaints.
What if you called for an anti-Israel protest and no one came?
Thats what happened May 15. Local Israel-hater Hassan Fouda hosted a commemoration of the “Nakba”- the failure of 7 Arab states to destroy the nascent state of Israel in May, 1948. The response was underwhelming.
Hassan may have caught your attention with his fawning admiration for Raed Salah, the leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, who has served time for incitement after spreading some classic blood libel. Salah’s a Holocaust denier and conspiracy theorist, but that doesn’t bother Hassan.
Or perhaps you’ve noticed him posing “as a Jew” at local protests.
— Ozraeli Dave (((דיויד לנג))) (@Israellycool) May 26, 2019
Ariyana, using the word “Zionist” when you clearly mean “Jew” is fooling nobody https://t.co/2Etycz2yEh
— Ozraeli Dave (((דיויד לנג))) (@Israellycool) May 25, 2019
Updated identity politics terminology aside (Israel is a “homeland privileging Jews”), UC Hastings’ George Bisharat has been consistent for the last 15 years, smearing Israel in The Los Angeles Times as a pariah state which should be dismantled. His campaign for the elimination of the Jewish state, trendy political language notwithstanding, qualifies as antisemitism under the widely accepted definition of antisemitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. The IHRA definition includes:
Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
In his Op-Ed last Thursday openly arguing for the end of the Jewish state (“The case for a single-state solution in Israel,” May 23), Bisharat writes about Israel’s allegedly racist character:
Of course, an Israel founded on equal rights for all will no longer be a “Jewish state” — just as South Africa, after the fall of apartheid, was no longer a state that institutionalized white supremacy.
Moreover, the working definition of antisemitism also includes: “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”
Bisharat has done just that, falsely equating property lost in the 1948, which the Arabs started in an effort to annihilate the nascent Jewish state, to Jewish property lost in the Nazi genocide of Jews. He wrote:
My family, like survivors of the Nazi Holocaust seeking return of their seized works of art, insists that ownership of our grandfather’s Villa Harun ar-Rashid in West Jerusalem should be restored to us.
Being a professor on a US campus, Bisharat is well aware of the conversation surrounding intersectionality and supposed ‘white privilege.’ So it’s a natural stretch to turn Israeli Jews into a ‘privileged group’ in much the same way as bigoted left-wingers in US politics and academia have branded American Jews as the beneficiaries of ‘white privilege.’
Nowhere in his piece does the author address the glaring problem with a one-state solution from the Palestinian perspective. Palestinians are divided between two administrations, the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip. Despite numerous efforts to come to an arrangement, these two bodies are in open conflict with each other. Palestinians cannot even unite among themselves. Bisharat expects both sides to come together in harmony in a one-state solution?
Bisharat ends with a call for “the prospect of building a just and genuinely free and democratic society — a true beacon of progress for the region if not the world.” There’s a state of this description already in the region. Its name is Israel. Bisharat knows that Palestinians are incapable of building anything genuinely free and democratic. Far easier to take over the state that already exists through the ballot box and bring an end to Jewish sovereignty.
This call for a one-state solution, while presented in the language of liberalism, equal rights and justice, is nothing more than Bisharat’s politically correct method for bringing about the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state. Palestinian rejectionism has played a significant role in wrecking all initiatives for a Palestinian state living side by side with an Israeli one. Bisharat’s opinion piece is an admittance that his one-state solution is just that – a single Palestinian state where Israel currently exists.
With the emergence of the hard Left in the UK in recent years, many British Jews are worried about the rise of antisemitism.
At the same time as claiming to be anti-racist, papers like The Guardian and The Independent have normalized the language of delegitimization. The constant stream of anti-Israel articles, unparalleled in intensity and level of scrutiny, have done much to create an atmosphere in which any justification of Israel’s right to self-defense is regarded as beyond the pale.
The Guardian displays a Pavlovian loathing for Israel. Anything, even something as simple as holding an international music contest, becomes an opportunity to censure Israel while exempting the Palestinians from even a modicum of criticism.
This is the newspaper selected by Yehuda Shaul, co-founder of the Israeli anti-occupation group Breaking the Silence (BTS), as the most appropriate place to publish an op-ed criticizing the presence of Israeli civilians and the IDF in Hebron, calling it “legal discrimination.”
One might think that the balance, so clearly weighted against Israel, should be redressed to show Israel’s side of the picture. Instead, BTS clearly believes that Israel isn’t being criticized enough.
The article, “Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ Hasn’t a Hope of Bringing Peace,” was provoked by a tweet shared by Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s Middle East peace envoy, from Uri Karzen, a leader of the Jewish community of Hebron. The tweet described an iftar celebration in Hebron attended by Israelis and Palestinians as “laying the groundwork for peace.” In Shaul’s eyes, however, Hebron is “not a model of coexistence, but rather of segregation.”
In October 2020, Sweden will host an international summit to combat anti-Semitism. When Stefan Löfven, the Swedish prime minister, announced the parley last Friday, he didn’t disclose any further details, but the Swedish press has depicted the event as a forum that would be attended by government leaders and heads of state.
Given this information, it seems it’s worth thinking about the event. The first point worth noting is the planned location for the conference: the southern city of Malmö. Over the last 10 years, Malmö has become a potent symbol of Europe’s rising anti-Semitism and especially of its spread beyond the far Right to the ranks of the Left, as well as extremist elements within the city’s large Muslim community. The most immediate effect of this has been to shrink the city’s already a small Jewish population of 3,000 in 2009 by around 50% a decade later.
Indeed, part of the reason Löfven was in Malmö to make the announcement was due to an anti-Semitic scandal involving the local branch of his Social Democratic Party’s youth wing. On May 1, the party’s young activists were caught chanting the slogan “Long Live Palestine, Crush Zionism!” at an International Workers’ Day rally. Given that Malmö was the scene of violent anti-Israel demonstrations when the Israeli tennis team competed in the 2009 Davis Cup tournament in that city, one could perhaps regard these thundering denunciations of the Jewish state as an established local tradition. Here, then, is the first potential danger of the 2020 conference: It will allow Malmö to clean up its image as a center of anti-Semitism without cleaning up its act.
Plans for a Ku Klux Klan rally in Dayton, Ohio set the city on edge and attracted national attention. But only nine people showed up for the rally Saturday, and their slogans were drowned out by 500 to 600 protesters who gathered to show their opposition to the hate-group’s message.
The Dayton police took a number of precautions to keep the protests from getting out of hand. Cara Neace, a Dayton police public information specialist, said that more than 350 police officers were assembled to keep the peace.
The Klan-affiliated group was confined to the courthouse square, and the members were separated from protestors by a fence. In the end, however, the protest remained peaceful and there were “no arrests, no citations and no use of force,” Neace said.
Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein told the Dayton Daily News that the KKK rally cost the city about $650,000 in personnel and materials.
Anti-Klan protesters, including some dressed to support the Black Panthers and the Antifa, shouted slogans such as “band against the Klan,” according to local media reports. Signs seen in the crowd included, “You Are Not Welcome Here” and “Injustice Anywhere Is a Threat to Justice Everywhere.”
It was late at night and a group of Jewish teenagers were on a walk around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir in Massachusetts.
Boston College Police Officer Carl Mascioli was on patrol.
“As I approached them, two of them ran up to my car,” said the patrolman. “There was a body in the water.”
Mascioli ran down the embankment and found a man partially submerged and not moving.
“While I was pulling him out of the water, I also observed that he had a swastika on his hand,” said Mascioli.
It turned out the man the Jewish boys helped save had a tattoo of the Nazi symbol, and Mascioli told them about it.
“I kind of let the gentlemen know sometimes some deeds have a funny way of turning around,” said the officer. “Their good deed had a little bit of a twist to it.”
The students, who study at a Yeshiva high school in Brighton, were not permitted to speak with NBC10 Boston about the incident, but they had a message for the officer to share with the man they helped rescue.
“They wanted just to let him know that it was four young Jewish boys that helped save his life,” recalled Mascioli, who said the students had no regrets about helping a man with an anti-Semitic tattoo. “A good deed is a good deed and that’s part of life. We should be helping everybody out.”
Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems will supply vehicular tactical radio systems worth $127 million to an unnamed South Asian army, the company announced on Sunday.
Tactical radios supplied over a three-year period will include configurations for integrating on-board armored fighting vehicles and tanks at battalion and company level, Elbit said.
“We are pleased with this contract award, which shows that customers recognize the advantages of our radio systems,” said Elbit Systems president and CEO Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis. “We believe that there is a significant growth potential for our communications and command and control solutions as armed forces increasingly seek to build up their networked warfare capabilities.”
In April, the Haifa-headquartered company announced that it had secured a $30m. two-year contract to supply STYLET – its precise guided mortar munition (GMM) – to an unnamed Asia-Pacific country.
Elbit saw its revenues significantly increase from $3.377b. in 2017 to $3.683b. in 2018. Rising revenues in Asia-Pacific were mainly a result of higher sales of tank fire control systems and drones.
Studying ancient texts is fascinating. But it’s one thing to examine them in a stuffy classroom, and quite another to immerse yourself in the world from which they originated. Just ask the South Korean students studying the Hebrew Bible bang in the middle of the Holy Land.
You won’t have much difficulty finding them. Over the past few years, the Bible department at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan has hosted numerous students from South Korea who have traveled across the world to study sacred texts in their original language and setting.
One such student is Kim Kyoungsik, a 38-year-old Christian pastor from Seoul.
“As a Christian, we know the Hebrew Bible; we call it the Old Testament,” he tells ISRAEL21c. “I was born as a Christian, so since I was very young I read the Bible and I heard the message of the Bible from parents and church, and naturally I wanted to learn Hebrew to understand the Hebrew Bible in its original language.”
In Korea he could not learn the Hebrew language at a deep level, he adds. “I also have a great interest in the Holy Land itself, so I also wanted to experience the geography of Israel.”
Kyoungsik is now completing his doctoral dissertation on plot conventions in the Scroll of Esther, and recently returned home after studying in Israel for almost eight years.
“I could experience the Bible and Israel through the physical geography. I traveled a lot during my studies and that kind of experience cannot be done in other countries,” he notes. His favorite discovery was the Judean desert.
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