July 2, 2020

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06/03 Links Pt2: BDS: A new face on an old hate; Jeremy Corbyn on Israel; Mekonen – Journey Of An African Jew


From Ian:

Prof. Phyllis Chesler: This bigoted radical does not deserve a “feminist artist” award
[Angela] Davis experienced her first visit to “Palestine” (with other “scholars of color”) as a “nightmare . . . the wall, the concrete, the razor wire everywhere conveyed the impression that we were in prison.” Deftly, she compares the jailing of black Americans with the jailing of Palestinian . . . terrorists. She tells her audiences that if they support BDS, “Palestine will be free.”
In the guise of anti-racism, Davis is a bigot — an activist Jew-hater. In her lectures, she doesn’t condemn Jordan or Egypt for their anti-Palestinian actions, nor does she fault the many Arab and Muslim countries that have systematically refused citizenship and even employment to Arab Palestinians.
Davis doesn’t talk about the anti-black racism of Arabs or about the practice of real gender and religious apartheid in Muslim countries. She doesn’t even fault the Palestinian leadership for torturing and executing its gays and dissidents or for forcibly veiling and subordinating Palestinian women. A real feminist would do so.
Real feminists wouldn’t be honoring such a figure.
In early May, 100 activists and artists staged a protest at the Brooklyn Museum about “displacement both in Brooklyn and Palestine.” This demonstration was organized by the Decolonial Cultural Front and Movement to Protect the People.
No one mentioned the relentless Palestinian terrorism against Israeli Jewish civilians — or the enormous “displacement” and murder of Christians by Arab Muslims, or the “displacement” brought about by indigenous civil wars among Muslim Afghans, Libyans, Iraqis and Syrians, a “displacement” that threatens the stability and viability of the Western world.
I doubt they will demonstrate against Angela Davis.

BDS: A new face on an old hate

BDS- boycotts, divestment and sanctions against the world’s only Jewish State are nothing new, and are not related to the “occupation”- but against the very existence of Israel, within any borders.
From the Saturday Evening Post, Dec 27 1947 spoken by Salel Jabur, Prime Minister of Iraq
“What is it”, he asked me, that Americans want?” If it is a safe home for the Jews, that cannot be found in Palestine for Palestine is in the heart of the Arab world. We surround it. How shall a Jewish state live there?”
We will boycott it, give it no foods or raw materials, buy nothing from it. We will squeeze it in a ring of steel until it dies and our heart is ours again”

Richard Landes: Been up so long looks like down to me: own goal punching

Been Down So Long: Cheering the Intifada and Punching Up
Few incidents illustrate the topsy-turvy world of cognitive disorientation than last year’s controversy about PEN giving Charlie Hebdo an award for “freedom of speech.” A significant number of authors, including Joyce Carol Oates objected. Charlie Hebdo certainly had the right to do what it did, they argued, but that hardly means that we need to reward them for their actions, especially given the bad taste involved. Picking on the Muslim minority in Europe is “punching down,” and as any comedian can tell you, “punching down is not funny.” When one “speaks truth to power,” wittily or not, one punches up. Gary Trudeau, author of the Doonsbury cartoons explained:
By punching downward, by attacking a powerless, disenfranchised minority with crude, vulgar drawings closer to graffiti than cartoons, Charlie wandered into the realm of hate speech, which in France is only illegal if it directly incites violence. Well, voila—the 7 million copies that were published following the killings did exactly that, triggering violent protests across the Muslim world, including one in Niger, in which ten people died. Meanwhile, the French government kept busy rounding up and arresting over 100 Muslims who had foolishly used their freedom of speech to express their support of the attacks.
Unpacked, Trudeau’s remarks amount to the following:
Muslims cannot be expected to control themselves: if we offend them they’ll get violent.
We should be deferential to Muslims because of their tendency to violence.
We should view Muslims as a powerless, disenfranchised minority, whom we need to protect.

We should protect their right to support violence against those who offend them – i.e. those who “foolishly used their freedom of speech…”
We should protect their rights even as we disapprove of those who upset them.

Nor was he alone. Many a European newspaper, refusing to publish even the post-massacre cover depicting Muhammad shedding a tear – a newsworthy item if there ever were one – explained how they did so not because of intimidation, but just out of respect for Muslim feelings and contempt for the arrogance of those who would offend them. The NYT, the only US paper not to publish the cover, insisted it was out of consideration for the feelings of Muslims, not fear of Jihadi retaliation

When Muslim Antisemitism comes to Australia

As a boy, I spent many a Friday prayer in mosques hearing clerics wax lyrical about Jewish conspiracies and their intent to dominate the world and rid it of Islam. Descriptions of Jewish wealth, miserliness and hooked noses were commonplace. It just seemed normal and I didn’t think twice about it until I started meeting Jews in high school, even being invited to my first bar mitzvah in Year 7.
There is a story told by Muslims to each other, repeated in sermons and conversations, one I remember hearing as a child, that Muhammad gloriously slaughtered hundreds of Jews.
After defeating an invading army in Medina, Muhammad allegedly turned on the Jewish residents of the Banu Qurzaya tribe, who had remained neutral in the battle. He picked hundreds of the men and murdered them before dividing the spoils of conquest, varying from women to horses, amongst his Muslim followers. The tale is not recounted in the Koran but is in the Hadith and the Sira, which is the biography of the Prophet, and is spoken about as a source of pride among clerics and scholars. There is no record of it in any Jewish historical documents.
Recent controversies in the UK have raised the prospect of antisemitism in Muslim communities and, as a consequence, a greater tolerance of it in UK Labour and other leftist parties, which those of Muslim origin overwhelmingly vote for. There is a growing view among Jews that the British Labour party no longer has a place for them, illustrated by prominent British figures such as author Howard Jacobson withdrawing their support.

Way to go, Jeremy Corbyn – root out those Jew-haters!

You can expect the Labour MP Naz Shah to be cleared pretty soon, given that she has now said she is terribly sorry, up to a point, Lord Copper. Naz had said that a perfectly good solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be to ‘relocate’ Israel to the middle of the United States of America. ‘Problem solved!’ she tweeted. She was suspended, but don’t expect that to last very long. Vicki Kirby, another activist with a colossal IQ, was suspended for saying, among other things, that Jews had ‘big noses’. She was reinstated — and then suspended again. But she’ll be back soon too, I would reckon.
At the moment, the Labour party — led by a man who calls the deeply anti–Semitic terrorist group Hamas his ‘friends’ — has suspended perhaps 18 people in the row over anti-Semitic comments. Jeremy Corbyn has said himself that anti-Semitism is not ‘a huge problem’ within the party. Following which analysis, he then appointed the not noticeably Jewish Shami Chakrabarti to lead the investigation into anti-Semitism within the addled ranks of his Momentum supporters and Muslim councillors.
I am one of the 18 still suspended, for having attempted to explain where Labour’s anti-Semitism came from — to wit, the infantile and sometimes fascistic white liberals who comprise Momentum and loathe Israel perhaps as an adjunct to loathing the West, and from Labour’s growing Muslim membership, many of whom simply hate Jews, full stop.
It is not remotely a serious investigation. Nor could it ever be, because — as Douglas Murray has pointed out — the very top of the Labour party is now comprised of people who support Muslim terrorist attacks upon Israel and, further, equate Jews with capitalism and in particular western capitalism. Oh, and they also have big noses, of course. Perhaps we should fling sausages at them.

Should Jackie walk? What Labour can learn from #football about tackling racism

Two years later, the Italian footballer Mario Balotelli, then playing for Liverpool, was banned and fined by the FA after he posted an image of computer game hero Super Mario on Instagram. At first glance it was a cute anti-racist cartoon. “Don’t be racist – be like Mario,” it read. “He’s an Italian plumber created by Japanese people who speaks English and looks like a Mexican.”
Then came the racist payoff: “Jumps like a black man and grabs coin like a Jew.”
Balotelli is Black, has a Jewish grandmother and a Jewish foster mother. He clearly isn’t racist or antisemitic and he misunderstood the meaning of the cartoon, which he quickly deleted.
Nonetheless, the FA takes a strict liability approach to the use of racist language. They charged Balotelli under FA Rule E3, invoked the “Aggravated Breach” clause in Rule E3(2) because of the reference to ethnic origin and/or colour, and Balotelli was banned for one match, fined and sent on an educational course about racism in football. His apology was genuine and heartfelt.
We know all of this because the FA published their findings on the FA website. We also know the names of the people who sat in judgement of Balotelli, an outline of the evidence they heard and the reasons for their decision.
Contrast this with the Labour Party’s murky dealings over Jackie Walker, a party activist from Kent who was recently suspended and then unsuspended for an alleged antisemitic comment on Facebook.
Walker wrote, in a discussion about the Holocaust, that “millions more Africans were killed in the African holocaust and their oppression continues today on a global scale in a way it doesn’t for Jews… and many Jews (my ancestors too) were the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade.” She continued in a further post: “what do you think the Jews should do about their contribution to the African holocaust? What debt do they owe?”

Jeremy Corbyn on Israel

Here’s Jeremy Corbyn talking about Israel while on a demonstration outside Downing Street in September 2011. He has some really interesting views on what’s going on in Israel within the 1948 borders as he puts it:
“And within the 1948 borders of Israel there are another very large group of Palestinians whose homes are being destroyed by property speculators, their villages destroyed, the ecology of the desert destroyed as the settlements continue to strike out the life blood of the Palestinian people.”
Of course this is just Jez being himself but it gave us a wonderful opportunity to create our very own Youtube Channel.

Comparing Israel to Nazis Is Anti-Semitic, 31 Western Nations Declare

An intergovernmental body devoted to commemorating the Holocaust adopted a definition of anti-Semitism that includes some hate speech against Israel.
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, or IHRA, adopted the definition on May 26, according to a statement posted earlier this week on its website. The organization was launched in 1998 and has 31 member states, all of them Western nations, and 11 observer countries.
“Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews,” reads the newly adopted text, which the IHRA called a “non-legally binding working definition.”
Manifestations, the definition reads, “might include the targeting of the State of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity” though “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.”
The examples section of the definition includes classic forms of Jew hatred such as “stereotypical allegations about Jews as such” and spreading conspiracy theories about Jews, as well as calls to harm Jews.

PreOccupiedTerritory: UK Labour Sea Bed Survey Finds No Evidence Of Antisemitism (satire)

A study of the sea floor commissioned by the Labour Party to look for evidence of bias against Jews has concluded that the phenomenon does not exist, the party’s leader announced today.
MP Jeremy Corbyn told reporters that an exhaustive survey of the ocean floor has found nothing to indicate the presence of antisemitism, and that recent accusations that Labour has a problem with antisemitism in its ranks has now been conclusively disproved. He made the remarks at a press conference dedicated to the publication of the findings.
“It is my sincere hope that we can now put this unfortunate episode behinds us,” intoned Corbyn, members of whose party have been extensively documented vilifying Jews as a group, often failing to veil their hatred for Jews behind a veil of opposition to Israeli policies. “For weeks, this special commission looked at every available square metre of the earth beneath the North Sea, the Irish Sea, the English Channel, and all around Scotland, and found not a trace of antisemitism. It is time to lay this canard to rest, and return to the business of conducting an effective opposition to the Conservatives.”
Labour officials praised the results of the study. “I could have told you this would be the case,” said former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone.
The results of the undersea survey recalled a similar case during the last round of fighting between Israel and Hamas, when, despite Israeli accusations, a comprehensive geological study of Venezuela failed to turn up any evidence that Hamas had committed war crimes, such as using the residents of the Gaza Strip as human shields and placing military positions in, under, or abutting civilian targets.

There’s nobody left to oppose UCU bigotry

The reason that we do not hear much about anti-Semitism anymore in the University and College Union (UCU) is not that the culture has changed. It is that there are no Jews left in the decision making structures of the union willing or able to oppose it.
For more than a decade now UCU has had a tacit deal with its core of Israel-hating activists. The activists pass whatever motions they like about boycotting Israelis and about the threat of Israel and what it calls ‘Zionism’ on our campuses; and then the union bureaucracy rules that they will not be acted upon because to do so would be illegal. The activists are happy because they can make their radical speeches; the bureaucracy is happy because it does not have to do anything.
Back in 2005 and 2007 this was fun for the boycotters because they were able to have a fight with the Jews; those Jews anyway who did not support excluding Israelis, and only Israelis, from our campuses. The boycotters enjoyed going up the lectern, preening themselves and speechifying about how courageous they were to stand up against Zionist power.
Nowadays it is not so much fun because there are no Jews left at UCU Congress who are willing or able to stand up against them. There are a few Jews there, but they are Jews who support and kosherize the boycott campaign; there is also a handful of Jews who keep their heads down for their own reasons.

SPME BDS Monitor: Boycott Movements Thrive on Campus and in Sanders Camp

The academic year closed with dramatic protests to shut down pro-Israel and free speech events. But other developments, the rejection of a BDS resolution and further association with the movement by the United Methodist Church, and the appointment of BDS supporters to the Democratic Party’s platform committee, show BDS is firmly an issue in the religious and political mainstream. The two Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton who denounced BDS before the Methodist vote, and Bernie Sanders, who appointed the BDS supporters to the Democratic Party platform committee, neatly illustrate the role of political leaders in suppressing and encouraging anti-Israel sentiment. The divide also portends a bitter divide within the party.
The most dramatic campus BDS protest in May took place at the University of California Irvine where pro-Israel students screened a film about the Israeli army. Some 50 BDS protesters including the local Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) chapters attempted to enter the room and effectively prevented others from leaving or entering while yelling “intifada, intifada — long live the intifada! F—k Israel and f—k the police,” “displacing people since ‘48/ there’s nothing here to celebrate,” and “all white people need to die.” After the film ended campus police escorted the pro-Israel students from the building. Students complained of feeling threatened by the protesters.
Accompanying the protesters were representatives of the National Lawyers Guild, who claimed “The protesters made no threats, destroyed no property, and listened to UCIPD when they said they needed an unobstructed exit.” SJP celebrated the incident saying it had “successfully demonstrated against the presence of IDF soldiers on campus,” and denied that the slogan “All white people need to die” had been used.

Anti-Israel boycott movement hit by slew of cyberattacks

The international movement calling for a boycott against Israel said on Thursday its website was repeatedly attacked earlier this year and raised suspicions that Israel was behind the attacks.
The BDS movement released a report showing that its main website was hit by six attacks in February and March. The denial-of-service attacks, which work by flooding a target website with bogus traffic, knocked out the BDS website for several hours at a time.
The report, compiled by nonprofit online security service eQualit.ie, said the attacks had a level of “sophistication and commitment” it normally does not see. It also noted that an unidentified Israeli human rights group had been attacked at the same time, indicating there was a “common adversary.”
Assigning responsibility for cyberattacks is notoriously difficult and the report did not speculate on who might be behind the rogue traffic.
In a statement, the BDS movement said the “advanced technology used in the attacks and the size of the botnets involved may show that Israel was directly involved,” but it offered no hard evidence.
Israeli cybersecurity expert Gilad Yoshi, of the electronic defense training company CyberGym, said such attacks do not cause serious damage and it was unlikely a government was behind them.
“These are not high-level attacks,” Yoshi said.

McGill U Professor Calls Student Judicial Ban on BDS ‘Huge;’ Says It Recognizes ‘Jewish Concerns Deserve Respect Like All Others’

A history professor and anti-BDS warrior at McGill University in Canada responded enthusiastically to a landmark decision taken on Wednesday by the legal arm of the institution’s student body to ban anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions activities on campus.
Gil Troy, among 150 academics at McGill who recently signed an open letter lauding the principal of the university for condemning BDS and calling on faculty everywhere to do the same, told The Algemeiner on Thursday that in his view, “This decision is huge! It means that Jewish concerns are respected with all others, and that antisemitism is also recognized as bigotry, as well as something that triggers macro-aggressions.”
Troy, author of Why I Am A Zionist and a Shalom Hartman Research Fellow in Jerusalem, where he lives, was responding to the “Reference re Legality of the BDS Motion and Similar Motions” — a long, detailed “legal” document issued by the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Judicial Board, which reached what it called a “unanimous” decision to eliminate efforts to promote anti-Israel boycotts at the Montreal-based school, asserting that such activities are discriminatory, unconstitutional and in violation of SSMU’s “equity policy.”
The decision came in the wake of three BDS motions over the past year and a half, which were put to a student vote at McGill and defeated.

Students Supporting Israel: Anti-Semitism on Campus: A Student’s Perspective

The elocution was the most terrifying hour of my life. I was told that the Holocaust was a myth perpetuated by Jewish to justify the “occupation of Palestine”; that rabbis tell Israeli soldiers to annihilate Muslims; that we control the media and the banks; that we as Jewish people are supremacists who view the rest of the world as cattle; that the Talmud is full of hateful doctrine and that we deserve the hate an prejudice against us. He said he would support “legitimate resistance” but left that vague which caused me to wonder whether that meant attacks against the Jewish people. I watched as the room with 500 or so people applauded this insane bigotry.
I wanted to cry or panic but I knew that if I did in that space I would have been outed as a Jewish Zionist and I worried that I would have been assaulted for it. I have never felt as scared to be who I am as I was in that room. I felt sick to my stomach listening to this slanderous diatribe, especially in what is meant to be a educational space.
The fact that our tax dollars fund this University means we have a say and an obligation to stop it. I was proud when Avi Benlolo, CEO of the Friends of Simon Weisenthal Centre and speaker at the rally introduced legislation to curb the BDS movement in Ontario, especially on campus, along with MPPs Mike Colle and Tim Hudak. The bill stated that public entities could not enter contracts with businesses that implemented BDS and that educational institutions could not implement BDS. This would have created a financial disincentive for companies to practice BDS.
I was dismayed when it failed as the failure illustrates complacency at best and deep seated prejudice at worst when it comes to tackling anti-semitism. I urge all of you to write to your MPP about this to show your disapproval if they voted this legislation down or to voice your support if they voted in favour of it. I also urge you to take a stand; write articles, come to rallies and fund initiatives that curb BDS and anti-semitism. We can make an impact if we come together.

BDS is failing: a continuing series (June 2016)

Here’s the latest installment in our monthly round-up of BDS fails.
VW Invests $300 million in Israeli rideshare Gett
German auto giant Volkswagen has made a $300 million investment in Israeli rideshare start-up Gett, which has a presence in more than 60 countries worldwide including London, Moscow and New York.
The deal will see the two companies form a “strategic partnership,” which will allow them to share data and explore collaboration for future projects. Volkswagen will offer Gett’s services to business customers, while Gett drivers will be able to buy discounted VW cars to use as taxis.
Volkswagen said the deal was part of a move towards modernizing the company’s technological and business platforms.
UK healthcare company BTG plc for $110 million
Cancer treatment company Galil Medical has been acquired by UK healthcare company BTG plc for $110 million. Galil Medical, which has its development operations in Yokneam near Haifa, has developed cryoablation systems and needles for treating kidney, prostate and other types of cancer. BTG, traded on the London Stock Exchange and Nasdaq specializes in cancer treatments and medical devices and has a market cap of $2.2 billion.

Disputed or occupied? Documenting the BBC’s continuing double standards

On June 1st the BBC News website published an article – “Western Sahara: Polisario Front leader Abdelaziz dies” – in which the corporation’s double standards were once again on display.
“Mohamed Abdelaziz, 68, was secretary-general of the Polisario Front, which fights for an end to Moroccan rule in Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony annexed by Rabat in 1975. […]
Morocco considers Western Sahara to be its “southern provinces”, but Algeria and other countries recognise the Saharan Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) declared by the Polisario Front in 1976. […]
The Moroccan government has proposed wide-ranging autonomy for the region, but the Polisario Front wants self-determination through a referendum for the local population, as called for in UN resolutions.
In April Morocco expelled 84 UN civilian staff after after [sic] UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon referred to Morocco’s rule over Western Sahara as “occupation” during a visit to refugee camps in Tindouf.
The same month, senior Polisario Front member Bachir Mustafa Sayed warned of possible war over the disputed territory if the UN failed to set a timetable for a referendum on self-determination.”

The BBC’s presentation of Western Sahara as “disputed territory” contrasts markedly with its inevitable – and stipulated – portrayal of Judea & Samaria, parts of Jerusalem and even the Gaza Strip as “occupied”. As long as that inconsistency in terminology exists, the corporation cannot be surprised that its impartiality is called into question.

Washington Post on ‘Netanyahu’s Shift’ Conventional, Not Wise

Washington Post editorial writers opine under the headline “Mr. Netanyahu’s rightward shift; He says progress on a Palestinian state is still possible, but he’ll need to back such talk with action” (June 2, 2016, print edition).
Actually, no, he won’t—at least not initially. Palestinian leaders will—unless The Post wants readers to imagine Netanyahu wields a magic wand. It’s up to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the rest of PA leadership to test the Israeli prime minister’s rhetoric. If the Palestinian side seeks, despite its repeated rejections, what is still referred to as a “two-state solution,” then it should negotiate.
But as The Post editorial concedes, obliquely enough to be missed, “Netanyahu may protest, with some reason, that Palestinian leaders have been uncompromising.” How uncompromising? The newspaper declines to elucidate. But for readers who push through the 572-word lead editorial, some missing fundamentals:
*In 2000, at Camp David, the Palestinian side, led by Yasser Arafat, rejected a U.S.-Israeli offer of a West Bank and Gaza Strip “Palestine,” with eastern Jerusalem as its capital, in exchange for peace with Israel. Instead of a counter-offer, it launched the second intifada.
*In 2001, at Taba, Egypt Palestinian leaders rebuffed a similar two-state proposal and continued the intifada, in which more than 1,000 Israelis and more than 2,000 Palestinian Arabs died.
*In 2008, Abbas rejected a third two-state deal that included land swaps roughly compensating “Palestine” for approximately two percent of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), including the major settlement blocs, to be annexed by Israel. Again, the Palestinian side made no counter-proposal.
*In 2014, Abbas spurned U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s “framework” to resume negotiations with Israel leading to a two-state agreement.
*In March, 2016 Palestinian leaders likewise rebuffed an initiative with the same objective by U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden.

IHRA adopts working definition of antisemitism: when will the BBC?

At the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism held in May 2015, one of the many issues identified was the necessity for media organisations to adopt standard accepted definitions of antisemitism such as the EUMC Working Definition or the US State Department definition.
We have in the past noted here the need for the BBC to work according to a recognised definition of antisemitism in order to prevent the appearance of antisemitic discourse in its own content as well as on its comments boards and social media chatrooms.
Among the proposals included in BBC Watch’s submission to the DCMS public consultation on the renewal of the BBC’s charter was the following:
“The need for the BBC to work according to an accepted definition of antisemitism in order to ensure that complaints are handled uniformly, objectively and accountably is obvious. In addition, the absence of adoption of an accepted definition of antisemitism means that […] public funding is likely to be wasted on dealing with complaints from the general public which, if a definition were available, might not have been submitted.
Clearly the compilation of such a definition is neither within the role nor the expertise of the BBC and common sense would dictate that the definition adopted by Britain’s public broadcaster should be the one already used by the All Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism and the College of Policing Hate Crime Operational Guidance (2014) – i.e. the EUMC Working Definition. That definition was also recommended to media organisations as an industry standard by the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism in May 2015.”

French magazine forced to disable comments to ‘The Jews’

A well-known French magazine was forced to close the online comment section of an article about a new film about anti-Semitism because it was inundated with anti-Semitic statements.
Fifteen minutes after the article about “The Jews” was published Monday on the website of the weekly Marianne, “a flood of hysterical comments” appeared under the text, the author of the article, Martine Gozlan, wrote in an op-ed about the decision to shut down the comments.
The comments were “not only polemical or hostile: Those comment are welcome,” she wrote, “but bare naked hate, crass nonsense, ignorance made of a patchwork of rumors and conspiracy theories.” She added that “the taboo words ‘Israel’ and ‘Jews’ regularly provoke such reactions.”
“But this time, I said enough. Stop the flood. End the fanfare and the comments,” she wrote in a separate article, which also was closed for comments. Calling anti-Semitism a “malignant tumor,” Gozlan wrote that she was no longer prepared to “see it grow, flourish and disfigure Marianne.”

Anti-Semitism jumps by more than 100% in New England

Anti-Semitic incidents in New England are up more than 100% this year, according to numbers released this week by the Anti-Defamation League.
In 2015, an average of five such incidents occurred each month, while so far this year, there have been over 10 each month. The increase is “fueled by vandalism, harassment, and other acts at schools and colleges,” reports the Boston Globe.
“Clearly, people are acting out on some long-held stereotypes and hatred toward Jews,” said Robert Trestan, director of the New England Regional Office of the ADL, “and it’s designed to send a message of intimidation. We’re increasingly living in an environment where incivility is becoming common and accepted practice.”
In April, Newton’s Mayor Setti Warren called a public forum to discuss ways to respond to the rising anti-Semitism in the city – though he did not use that term in his advance letter to residents about the forum. Despite this, most of the discussion at the forum did, in fact, center around the growing anti-Semitism in Newton, and particularly in its schools.
Of the 56 incidents so far this year, the vast majority, 47, occurred in Massachusetts. Half of these occurred at public and private schools and college campuses.

Rabbi slams Ukraine for honoring anti-Semites

The chief rabbi of Moscow condemned the honoring in Ukraine of nationalists whose troops massacred Jews.
Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, who is also the president of the European Conference of Rabbis, spoke of his “concern” over the trend in an interview Tuesday with JTA during a gathering of the standing committee of the Conference in Vienna.
Goldschmidt was referring to Ukraine’s May 25 minute of silence observed in memory of Symon Petliura, a 1920s statesman whom a Russian Jew killed 90 years ago because the killer blamed Petliura for mass murders of Jews committed in the years 1917-1921 by militias under Petliura’s command.
A French court acquitted the killer in 1927 in what many interpreted as confirmation of Petliura’s culpability for pogroms that claimed the lives of 50,000 Jews. Earlier this week, a government official said Kiev would name streets after Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych, Ukrainian nationalists who collaborated with Nazi Germany and whose troops also killed Jews.
“Russian Jews and Ukrainian Jews share our concern by this celebration of the memory of known anti-Semites and collaborators,” Goldschmidt said, noting that Ukraine has a Jewish prime minister, Volodymyr Groysman.

‘Mein Kampf’ Publisher: ‘Have the Courage’ to Judge the Book for Yourself

Der Schelm, a publishing house in Leipzig, Germany—it’s owned by Adrian Plessinger, who has been “convicted of multiple counts of inciting racial hatred” according to Deutsche Wells—has begun selling a new edition of the 1943 version of Mein Kampf that is “unchanged and without comment.” Doing so may be against the law.
Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler’s treatise on his vision for the future of the Austro-German state and the Aryan race, was published in two volumes between 1925 and 1926. During his time as a rising political force and eventual place as Führer of Germany and leader of the Nazi Party, the book sold by the millions within the expanding German empire, becoming de facto required reading for the German populace. Hitler’s death in 1945 brought an end to the Nazi regime, but it started another debate—that of intellectual property rights.
This January, after a period of seventy years in which the rights to Mein Kampf were still retained by the Bavarian government, Mein Kampf entered the public domain in Germany. The Bavarian government made a decision to allow a German publisher to release a critical edition of the books, complete with over 3,500 annotations and notes from German scholars and historians. The idea behind the release was to contextualize and preface the book for a new generation of German readers. Though that decision itself was not without controversy, especially among Jewish groups in Germany, these recent developments have complicated the situation even further.
According to The New York Times, prosecutors in Leipzig are currently looking into whether or not there is any legal precedent that would allow them to press charges against Der Schelm, since the sale of Mein Kampf in its original form—that is, without the updated annotations—”risks violating Germany’s law against the distribution of Nazi propaganda.” German law on the promotion or production of Nazi ideology is notoriously stringent, emblematic of the liberal bent of post-war German political ideology.

‘Overwhelming’ number of riders in Auschwitz bike event

A record 150 cyclists or more are scheduled to participate in the third Holocaust commemorative “Ride for the Living” in Poland.
Participants aged 16-81 from eight countries are scheduled to join the 55-mile trek from the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in southern Poland to the Jewish community center in Krakow that begins on Friday.
The solidarity ride will be led by Poland’s chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich, and Auschwitz survivor Marcel Zielinski, according to Jonathan Ornstein, the director of the Krakow JCC.
Last year’s event featured 85 cyclists.
“We are overwhelmed by the incredible worldwide response to ‘Ride for the Living,’” Ornstein told JTA, noting the first ride had only 15 participants.
He said some 1,000 riders will be participating in rides organized across the United States and Canada by local Jewish communities in solidarity with the Polish event.

Israel to light up Georgia with state’s first solar field

Israel will be a literal light upon the nations – at least in the US state of Georgia, that is – after an Israeli solar energy company opens the state’s first commercial- scale solar field on Friday.
On Friday, Georgia Power and Energiya Global subsidiary Energiya USA will inaugurate the 24-hectare (59-acre) solar power field in Glynn County, Georgia after winning the competitive $30 million tender in 2014. As part of the 20-year contract, with the state power giant, it will produce 22.5 megawatts of electricity.
As part of its renewable energy initiative, Georgia Power is building nine other solar fields throughout the state with different companies.
Ahead of the inauguration, Energiya CEO Yosef Abramowitz said that “as an Israeli company, we are proud to help the US government take advantage of the land’s potential, especially in the field of solar energy.”
Before the field’s inauguration on Thursday, Energiya will first receive the “Deal of the Year” award from Conexx America-Israel Business Connector, which links Israeli and American businesses, at their annual Eagle Star Gala.

Famous Bollywood Actress Visits Israel

Sonam Kapoor may not be a household name in Israel, but she is a huge deal in India, where she is one of the highest-paid actresses in Bollywood.
However, Israeli media have seemed to ignore her visit. But not to worry – that’s where Aussie Dave and Israellycool come in!
Sonam was here as a guest of the Israeli tourism ministry, for a magazine shoot by the sounds of things. She apparently extended her stay after her work was over.
A source close to the actress stated that, “Sonam was shooting in Jerusalem. After wrapping up her work, she decided to spend some more days in the country to spend time with her mum. They went for sightseeing. Usually, Sunita never accompanies Sonam for her shoots, but since she did this time, Sonam wanted to make the trip special for her.”

Israeli Who Won First-Place Award at Cannes Student Competition Says Not All Art Hailing From Jewish State Reflects Palestinian Conflict (INTERVIEW)

An Israeli filmmaker who won the top award at a competition at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival last month told The Algemeiner on Wednesday that not all films made in the Jewish state need to examine the conflict with the Palestinians — and that hers is a case in point.
“My film has no politics in it,” said Or Sinai, whose short film, Anna, won first place in the Cinéfondation student film competition. “Its story doesn’t reflect the ‘situation’ at all.”
“I guess when you’re outside of Israel, you think the conflict is something Israelis have to confront every day, but as an Israeli — as someone who has lived in Israel all my life — it’s simply a fact of life. Of course, there are periods when it is more on one’s mind, like two summers ago, during the war [Operation Protective Edge against Hamas terrorists in Gaza], which was horrible. But I don’t feel as though I create films about other subjects that they are some kind of therapy for the situation.”
Anna, which stars Israeli actress Evgenia Dodina, tells the story of a single mother who finds herself without her 10-year-old son for the first time in years, so she decides to roam the streets of her desert town in search of a man to be with, even for that one day. Sinai, 31, won a $16,800 cash prize for the 24-minute film, as well as a guarantee that her first full-length film will be screened at a future Cannes festival.

200,000 crowd Tel Aviv streets for annual pride parade

Under arches of rainbow balloons and flags, more than 200,000 people thronged through the streets of Tel Aviv Friday for the annual Gay Pride Parade.
Hundreds of police officers and volunteers were dispatched to help secure the march. Cars were banned from parking along the route of the parade, and traffic was redirected.
Knesset security also beefed up protection for Likud MK Amir Ohana, an openly gay member of Israel’s parliament, following threats to harm him during the event.
Sources close to Ohana blamed the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer (LGBTQ) community, telling Army Radio that it was unfortunate that such an open and accepting community would do to “the only gay MK in the coalition just because he’s right wing.”
Fellow Likud politician Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev told participants she “loves” the gay community and was happy to see so many participating in the event. She said the government “needs to do more for you because you deserve it like everyone else.”

Mekonen – Journey Of An African Jew

At UC-Irvine, violent protesters forced a Jewish student to hide and call police.
Protest organizers Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) commended the demonstration on Facebook, calling it a “success” and justifying the violent protesting tactics because of the presence of police and IDF soldiers.
Rabbi Raphael Shore of Jerusalem U and his wife Rebecca, produced “Beneath the Helmet,” the documentary film SJP tried to keep from being shown in California. Shore said that having 10 students willing to come out in the hostile campus environment to see the movie was an accomplishment.
One of the original characters in the real life story of young IDF recruits was Mekonen Abebe. Now a star in a follow-up film, “Mekonen – Journey of an African Jew,” we learn more about his life, trials and triumphs. Falasha means stranger. Mekonen talks about always being an outsider in Ethiopia. As a 5 year-old boy, he was a shepherd, in a family with dreams of returning to Zion.
He had only a mud roof over his head for most of his youth, but Mekonen has made it to Israel and is now an officer in the IDF.

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