March 18, 2019

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06/08 Links Pt2: Phillips: The lethal moral confusion of saying Kaddish for Hamas; Leftist groups accused of inciting Diaspora Jews against Israel

From Ian:

Dr. Mordechai Kedar: Mired in delusions
Up until the Six Day War, Jordan ruled Judea and Samaria, strangling any attempt by its residents to develop nationalistic Palestinian sentiments independent of the Hashemite Kingdom. Liberating these territories from Jordanian occupation freed the Arab populace there from the fear of the Jordanian intelligence network. Israel allowed them to speak, write and publicize the idea of Palestinian nationalist aspirations, just as long as they did not act overtly against Israel. Paradoxically, the Six Day War allowed the Arabs of Judea, Samaria and Gaza to invent the idea of a “Palestinian people” and develop it to the proportions it has reached, to the point where its spokesmen are able to convince the Argentinian soccer team to cancel their planned trip to Jerusalem to play a friendly game against Israel’s team.

On the other hand, the entire idea of “Palestinian nationalism” has been falling apart in front of our eyes, ever since its main proponent – the PLO – signed a peace treaty with Israel in September 1993. The PLO even cooperates with Israel’s security forces in order to stifle other organizations . Hamas destroyed the Palestinian nationalist idea when it carried out a coup in Gaza in June 2007. It seems that the idea was not any stronger than the nationalist Arab idea that was a victim of the Six Day War.

This rather bleak situation has Arabs, stuck on the front lines, running from one modern ideology imported from Europe – and destroyed in the Six Day War – to another, despite the fact that the only form of government that can work in the Arab world is the tribal situation created by the Middle Eastern culture of tribe and desert. The Gulf Emirates are the only success story in the region because each of them is based on one dominant tribe.

It is about time for the Arab world to awaken from its delusions, and put an end, with Western and Russian aid, to the artificial, failed states established in the region by colonial powers. On the physical and ideological ruins of those states the world could create successful, prosperous emirates ruled by the local families, like those in the Gulf.

Melanie Phillips: The lethal moral confusion of saying Kaddish for Hamas

The Hamas onslaught against Israel at the Gaza border fence has illustrated a danger for the Jewish people even more fundamental than the declared attempt to invade Israel and slaughter Jews.

This is the fallout among the Jews themselves.

In London, a group of young Jews assembled outside parliament to recite the kaddish prayer for the Hamas terrorists who were killed while attacking the fence in the most violent riots on May 15.

In the US, Jonathan Greenblatt, head of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote: “It is a horrific tragedy that so many people have been killed and wounded at the Gaza border.”

Such sentiments produced a visceral reaction. The Jewish mourners-for-Hamas were variously described as disgusting little trolls, repulsive, scumbags, traitors and Kapos.

This reaction in turn produced remonstration from certain liberal Jews condemning such language and decrying the substitution of insult for civilized debate.

That point in itself is indeed important. Debate should always be reasoned and criticism should be free of gratuitous insults.

It was however, dispiriting that those condemning such insults voiced deep concern over the damage being done to the Jewish community – not by the mourners-for- Hamas, but only by those who were insulting them.

It was shocking and distressing to witness the Jewish mourners-for-Hamas endorsing the lies being used against Israel and lending succor to the enemies of the Jewish people.

Caroline Glick: If not now, then when?

Whereas the leadership of these massive movements of non-Orthodox American Jews may have decided to embrace antisemitism and antisemites, a significant portion of their membership have no interest in joining them. Now that the Reform and Conservative movements have embraced antisemitic voices and ideals, these committed Jews are increasingly recognizing that they have no place in the movements they have belonged to all of their lives.

They are and will, in ever increasing numbers, continue to look for a new way to express and live Jewish lives.

In an interview with Makor Rishon last week, Deputy Minister Michael Oren presented a proposal to bring ten thousand non-Orthodox American Jews to Israel on aliya every year. Oren recommends that Israel provide financial and other incentives to young non-Orthodox Jews to come to Israel. Aliya, he explains, is the surest way to prevent intermarriage and assimilation. “Someone who makes aliya settles here, marries and starts a family, [and] will most likely have Jewish kids.”

Oren noted that the Reform and Conservative movements “set a goal to preserve the Jewish people, number- wise and value-wise, in light of the challenge of the modern world,” a goal they are failing to meet.

Now that these movements have abandoned this goal in favor of the morass of “miscegenation” and a reinvention of Judaism as the anti-Judaism Chabon upholds and IfNotNow embraces, it is Israel’s duty to take it on.

There are a number of explanations for the Reform and Conservative movements’ decision to destroy themselves by embracing antisemitic Jews and their messages of hatred. But understanding their decision is not the most pressing challenge that Israel and the non-Orthodox Jews of America, who do not accept this decision, face. The most urgent order of business is to minimize the damage they can cause Israel and maximize the number of American Jews who will not go down with them.

The Palestinian Authority Sponsors Terrorism, and the Taylor Force Act Puts It Out in the Open

With the passage of the Taylor Force Act, Congress acknowledges that the Palestinian Authority has laws in place and budgets allocated to paying terrorists and their families. Yet articles in the Washington Post and Atlantic dispute whether the 2018 PA budget of $360 million for Prisoners and Martyrs in fact goes primarily to terrorists. They postulate that prisoners include innocents that happen to be arrested, and attempt to inject definitional terms on what a terrorist is. Both claim that these payments are a social responsibility. They are wrong.

To claim that the PA sends money to car thieves or even minor offenders is simply untrue. The PA has a schedule for payments, and you need to achieve a 5-year sentence as a male and a 2-year sentence as a female to get a lifetime annuity. Currently there are 6,500 prisoners being compensated by the PA.

The secretary-general of the PA government, Ali Abu Diyak, stated in December 2015: “The prisoners’ salaries are paid to the fighter prisoners, who were arrested due to their national struggle, and not to others…. [The government] will not pay allowances and salaries to criminal prisoners.” The PA has an institutional commitment to sponsoring terror against Israel that comprises more than 7% of its entire budget and 45% of the foreign aid it expects to receive in 2018.

Edwin Black: Pro-Israel Groups Pursue Criminal Charges Against Disruptions

Disruptions of pro-Israel events by anti-Israel groups continue to escalate into physical aggression and violence across campuses and even into the community. As a result, Jewish and pro-Israel groups have started to explore the criminal aspects of such incidents.

The invasion, disruption, and nose-to-nose intimidation of a May 17, 2018 Students Supporting Israel (SSI) event at the University of California, Los Angeles was one several red lines recently crossed. The small UCLA gathering, dubbed “Indigenous Peoples Unite,” brought Kurdish, Armenian, and Israeli individuals to discuss their common bonds.

As shown in this video, beginning at minute 41 disruptors suddenly and loudly stormed into the room mid-session. One person grabbed a flag, demonstratively pulled away a desk placard, and cursed threateningly close to the face of a panelist. With bullhorns, whistles, staged dancing, and slogan shouting, intimidation brought the event to a halt.

The May 17, 2018 UCLA incident hit a nerve among some Jewish leaders. Previous Jewish and pro-Israel responses have long focused on formal requests for administrative relief, petitions, and public statements. Few of those efforts seem to have slowed the escalation of disruptive tactics. After the UCLA event, several Jewish and pro-Israel groups began considering responses based on Title 11 of California’s criminal code that might apply to such conduct — not as an exceptional response, as it was for the Irvine 11 who disrupted an Israeli diplomat’s speech, but as a new rule of thumb in California.

Title 11, Sec. 403 concerns disruption of public meetings. The statute reads, “Every person who, without authority of law, willfully disturbs or breaks up any assembly or meeting that is not unlawful in its character … is guilty of a misdemeanor.” This was the very statute used to successfully prosecute and convict the Irvine 11, whose conduct was much less severe than the physical intimidation seen at UCLA.

Ron Prosor: Analysis: Waging diplomatic counter-terrorism in the wake of Israel-Argentina

Among all the network babble and contradicting reports surrounding the cancellation of the Israel-Argentina football match, it’s important to carefully analyze what we’re actually facing.

While the cancellation on its own is unfortunate, unlike what the following day’s headlines conveyed, Israel did not suffer a catastrophic blow.

On the other hand, we can’t ignore the possibility that this was a clear example of Diplomatic Terrorism, assuming the cancellation was indeed the result of violent pressure from Palestinians bodies orchestrated by the BDS movement.

Diplomatic terrorism is a unique activity against the state or its representatives, taking place on the international arena aimed at delegitimizing Israel’s standing among the family of nations. Diplomatic terrorism can have effect on many fields, such as media, culture, sport, civil society etc. It succeeds by planting chaos, fright, insecurity and especially the notion that Israel is being defeated on the global podium.

I saw it first hand while representing Israel at the UN.

Classic terrorism has one immediate goal – taking lives. Just a few days ago Israel’s security forces apprehended an underground cell that planned to assassinate senior Israeli officials, including the Prime Minister and the mayor of Jerusalem. Keeping that in mind, its long-term goal is to destabilize the people’s sense of security, plant fear and lead political changes in violent means. This is what the Palestinian terror organizations have been doing for dozens of years.

Next to the classic violent terrorism, the Palestinians and their supporters around the world have developed a second wing, more sophisticated – the diplomatic terrorism.

Hasbara war strategies

I’m just back from a speaking tour in Europe, where I was confronted with the challenge of justifying Israel’s actions on the Gaza border and even the country’s very legitimacy as a nation among nations.

The deep “psychological asymmetry” (as Dr. Irwin Mansdorf calls it) employed by Hamas and Fatah as a strategic weapon against Israel – is working. The Palestinians exploit civilians in order to meet strategic goals, by placing them in danger or condemning them to unending refugee life.

The ensuing misery gnaws away at the conscience of well-meaning and naïve observers around the world, and they find it hard to justify the “imbalance” in suffering between the Palestinians and Israel. The soft bigotry of low expectations (by Europeans of the Palestinians) excuses PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Izzadin Kassam Brigades leader Yahya Sinwar of any responsibility for their people’s predicament.

Then there is the radical progressivism that has captured much of mainstream political discourse in the West. This makes liberal people uncomfortable with the use of force by nation-states in almost all cases.

Israel’s “over-dog” position and its frequent recourse to military action to defend itself is then magnified and manipulated by malign and much less naïve actors to skewer the Jewish state.

On this particular trip I also encountered a growing proclivity to take refuge in a false, manufactured dichotomy between “good old Judaism” and “bad new Zionism.”

The ancient Jewish faith is something to be admired and commemorated, you see.

Western European attitudes to Jews: Report on a major study

Anti-Semitic prejudices are still widespread in Western Europe. One question asked by pollsters was whether people agree with the statement “Jews always pursue their own interests and not the interests of the country they live in.” Approximately 50 million Western Europeans agree with this claim. In Portugal the prejudice is highest, There 36% of the population agree. This was equal to the number of those who disagree. In all other countries, the percentage of those who disagree with this statement is higher than the percentage that agrees. Yet in Spain this is barely so, 32% agree and 34% disagree. There is no country in Western Europe where less than 13% of the population agrees with this anti-Semitic prejudice.

In addition, the prejudice that Jews “always overstate how much they have suffered” is held by tens of millions of Western Europeans. In each of the countries investigated the percentage of those disagreeing with the statement is substantially higher than those agreeing. Yet in Italy 36% hold this prejudice, 33% in Portugal, while in Spain the figure is 30%.

Additional insights in yet another anti-Semitic attitude comes from an earlier ADL research. A 2005 poll asked citizens of some West-European countries whether Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus. Nineteen percent of Belgians, 21% of Danes, and 19% of Swiss polled answered affirmatively.

A 2012 ADL poll asked the same question in various other countries. It found that among those polled, 18% of Austrians, 14% of Germans, 38% of Hungarians, 15% of Italians, 16% of Dutch, 19% of Norwegians, 46% of Poles, 21% of Spaniards, and 18% of the citizens of the United Kingdom believed this fallacy.

Agreeing with this statement is a stereotypical example of anti-Semitism. The figures are the more shocking as one would assume that the significant percentages of non- religiously affiliated do not hold this belief.

The European Union claims that it is fighting anti-Semitism. If it were serious about this issue it would order a major study on the extent of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism in its 28 member states. It would also investigate how the resulting figures break down between Christians, Muslims and religiously non-affiliated.

To tackle the anti-Semitism issue seriously, one would also have to obtain insights into the attitudes of supporters of the extreme right and the extreme left.

Leftist groups accused of inciting Diaspora Jews against Israel

Radical left-wing Israeli organizations Breaking the Silence and the New Israel Fund held a book launch for a collection of essays titled “Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation” in Melbourne on Thursday.

The New Israel Fund’s Australian branch invited Jewish youth movements and Zionist organizations from the local Jewish community to the launch. Among those who refused to take part in the anti-Israel event were members of the World Betar Movement, which accused event organizers of trying to encourage people to “judge the IDF and join the chorus of Israel haters.”

Betar organized a protest against the event outside city hall, not far from the site of the book’s Australian launch. Members of the Zionist youth movement handed out flyers detailing the political agenda of both Breaking the Silence and the New Israel Fund and accusing them of inciting the Jewish community against the policies of the Israeli government. The Australian Jewish Association also took part in the protest.

Betar Director Naria Meir said, “After Breaking the Silence lost its legitimacy in Israel, they are [now] trying to incite the Jewish communities in the Diaspora. Betar puts an iron wall up against the treacherous subversion of Breaking the Silence.

Michael Lumish: “The Goop and Feathers Strategy”

What I would like, therefore, to recommend to Benjamin Netanyahu and the IDF is the Goop and Feathers Strategy.

The border between Israel and the maniacs is about 35 miles long. As a Jewish American citizen living on this terrific expanse of land, thirty-five miles does not seem like a very long distance. I understand that Jewish resources are not as extensive as what Americans can conjure, but surely Israel can patrol the Gaza border with helicopters.

So, why not humiliate the bastards?

What would CNN say about splashing goop, feathers, and Fruit Loops onto these idiots with their
Swastika Nazi Bomb Kites? This is merely a pet idea that, of course, is never going to happen… sadly.

Nonetheless, those of us who honestly care about the well-being of the Jewish people should be creative.

Water extinguishes fire better than bullets. My commenter is right about that.

And bullets deter racist-arsonists better than does water.

But Goop and Feathers will make them look like morons and that, my friends, is priceless.

{I, actually, just want to see the video.}

Kenneth Marcus Confirmed to Education Department’s Top Civil Rights Post

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Kenneth Marcus, a leading advocate against campus antisemitism, to serve as assistant secretary at the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in the Department of Education.

Legislators approved Marcus with a party-line vote of 50 to 46, concluding a nearly eight-month confirmation process marked by Democratic opposition. He will assume his post under Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, replacing acting OCR chief Candice Jackson, who has also faced strong criticism from Democratic lawmakers.

Marcus previously assumed the same role under President George W. Bush in 2003, before serving as staff director of the US Commission on Civil Rights between 2004 and 2008. Under his guidance, the OCR extended protections afforded under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to members of groups that “exhibit both ethnic and religious characteristics, such as Arab Muslims, Jewish Americans and Sikhs.”

He continued his advocacy after leaving government and founding the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, a Jewish civil rights group, in 2012.

“This is a momentous occasion not just in the fight against antisemitism, but against all forms of prejudice and hate,” said Alyza Lewin, LDB’s chief operating officer, following Marcus’ confirmation. “I cannot imagine anyone better qualified than Kenneth for this position.”

Campus Unmasked:
Meet The Activists Behind UMich’s BDS Push

According to watchdog group Canary Mission, the University of Michigan’s Students Allied for Freedom and Equality group didn’t just advocate for the school to stop doing business with companies like HP and Boeing that support Israel themselves. This group also brought in outside anti-Israel professionals.

One of the speakers was Sabry Wazwaz, who has said “this is for Palestine, Ramallah, West Bank, Gaza — it’s about time you globalize the intifada, referring to the Palestinian uprisings that cost thousands of Israeli and Palestinian lives. Wazwaz also compared Zionists to Nazis and Palestinians to Jews and attended solidarity rallies for Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh, who masterminded a bombing that murdered two college students.

Still, it’s not as though the divestment resolution actually matters. The UMich administration said “we appreciate hearing from students,” but went on to note that “the university’s longstanding policy is to shield the endowment from political pressures and to base our investment decisions solely on financial factors such as risk and return.” UM’s board of regents was even more blatant, saying it “strongly oppose[d]” the BDS movement.

And I’m pretty sure the student activists knew this position all along. You would think that, if the issue really mattered to them, they’d maybe transfer schools, but of course leftists never did have a good understanding of the free market.

Meet The Activists Behind UMich’s BDS Push

Zionists Need Not Apply to San Francisco State University?

How long does it take to remove a Facebook post — 30 seconds? But if doing so falls under the auspices of California State University (CSU)’s politically-correct bureaucracy or San Francisco State University (SFSU)’s spineless administration, the answer is three months and counting.

On February 23 of this year, Rabab Abdulhadi, director of SFSU’s Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative (AMED), authored an inflammatory Facebook post opposing SFSU President Leslie Wong’s public assurance that “Zionists are welcome on our campus,” which Abdulhadi proclaimed to be “a declaration of war against Arabs, Muslims, [and] Palestinians.” She also attributed the statement to the “Israeli lobby.” Wong had been apologizing to the Jewish student group SF Hillel for an earlier interview in which Wong declined to affirm that Zionists are welcome at the school.

Abdulhadi’s post was then shared to the official, university-affiliated Facebook page for AMED, a program of SFSU’s College of Ethnic Studies. Meanwhile, she produced another post on her own page declaring unequivocally that “Zionists are NOT welcomed on campus.” This was immediately followed by the ominous appearance of campus vandalism decreeing, “Zionists Not Welcome.”

Despite media attention and public outcry at Abdulhadi’s bigoted pronouncement — including an AMCHA Initiative-organized letter to CSU signed by the Middle East Forum and 59 other organizations — and assurances from both CSU and President Wong that action would be taken, as of this writing the Facebook post remains.

American Italians don’t tell Italy what to do

This past week, Italy swore in a new government that is so right wing it makes Donald Trump seem like a moderate in comparison.

Made up of the anti-establishment 5 Five-Star Movement and the even more populist League Party, the coalition agreements call for every last illegal immigrant to be forcefully removed from Italy.

In a victory rally, new Interior Minister Matteo Salvini promised a raucous crowd that he had ordered his office to “reduce the number of arriving migrants and increase the number of expulsions”.

“The good times for illegals is over — get ready to pack your bags,” added Salvini.

Meanwhile, Italian ex-pats around the world were nonchalant about the populist wave rocking the old country. Italians from Northern New Jersey and Long Island did not publish Op-Eds bemoaning the disconnect they felt from their people. The threats to boycott Italy were left unsaid.

Contrast that to how American Jews reacted to Israel’s plan to expel the thousands of African migrants that have overrun South Tel Aviv. Almost every US Jewish organization that respects itself sent out a blizzard of increasingly shrill press releases denouncing the move.

Spanish city declares Israel an ‘illegal country’

Following a major Spanish city’s vote to boycott Israel, the leader of Spain’s third-largest party called the Jewish state a “criminal country” during an interview aired by public television broadcaster.

Pablo Iglesias Turrión, leader of the Podemos far-left party, said this in an interview earlier this week on RTVE.

“We need to act more firmly on an illegal country like Israel,” said Iglesias Turrión, whose party in 2015 won 20 percent of the votes in the general election just one year after its creation.

Last week, a motion promoted by a local fraction of Podemos on the city council of Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city, was passed declaring a boycott of Israel and Valencia a “Israeli apartheid-free zone.”

Podemos has called for a blanket boycott of Israel and has accused its government many times of pursuing apartheid-like policies. However, calling Israel’s existence illegal is a new development.

ACOM, a Spanish pro-Israel group, said that Iglesias Turrión’s statement reflects anti-Semitism because Podemos does not consider any other country in the world illegal but Israel. ACOM also said that it has initiated legal proceedings against Valencia over its vote to joing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. In recent years ACOM actions have led to the scrapping, annulment or suspension of 24 motions to boycott Israel by Spanish municipalities.

Bernie Sanders, focusing on foreign policy, blasts Israel on Gaza

In his historic 2016 run for US president, Bernie Sanders was faulted for not having much of a foreign policy beyond reminding folks that his rival for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton, had favored the Iraq War.

A key stumble in that campaign was a wide-ranging interview with the Daily News editorial board prior to the New York primary. The Daily News, then owned by Mort Zuckerman, wanted to hurt Sanders, and all it had to do was run the transcript in its entirety. Sanders was diffident, vague and not sure of his facts. He made a major error when he vastly overstated the number of Palestinians killed in the 2014 Hamas-Israel war, which got the Jewish candidate dinged by Jewish organizations.

The Independent senator from Vermont, 76, is considering another presidential run in 2020, and this time he’s making foreign policy a focus. Among issues where he has taken a lead: blasting US President Donald Trump for pulling out of the Iran deal, calling for an end to support for Saudi Arabia in its bombing raids on Yemen — and offering tough criticism of Israel for how it’s responding to Palestinian protesters attempting to breach the fence with the Gaza Strip.

Sanders’ surprisingly effective challenge to Clinton as the flag bearer for the party’s left — he was the first Jewish candidate of a major party to win state primaries — and his focus on Israel is likely to spur more Israel-related debate within the party as the election approaches.

Gerald M. Steinberg: Foreign-Funded NGOs, Political Power and Democratic Legitimacy

In 2001, after the infamous NGO Forum of the UN Durban Conference that launched the BDS and demonization campaigns, I began to research the political power of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), particularly those active in the realms of human rights and international law.

As an academic, I was surprised that there was essentially no critical research or analysis on this issue. Discussion of these groups largely accepted their own self-definitions, as politically neutral promoters of liberal democratic norms, doing good things. This “halo effect” extended to their donors, who, in providing resources to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, among others, were feted among the good and great of the world.

While the recent article by Ron Krebs and James Ron (“Why Israelis Should Welcome Funding of Their NGOs”) fits the “halo effect” myth, reality does not.

Increasingly, these groups are recognized as powerful political players without accountability. In Israel, as NGO Monitor research has shown, 30 NGOs, all from the left extreme of the political spectrum, have received NIS 500 million (about $150 million) over the past five years. Two-thirds of this total of foreign NGO funding, which has no parallel in any other democratic society, comes from the EU and Western European governments. And many of these NGO recipients use the money to promote demonization of Israel, including BDS and the allegations of “war crimes” and apartheid that fuel anti-Semitic attacks around the world.

A budget of NIS 500 million is particularly huge, especially in the absence of accountability, checks and balances, and transparency. Provided in the name of democracy, the recipient NGOs suffer from a basic democratic deficit, including lack of transparency and accountability. In addition, with their European government funds, B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence, Yesh Din, and the other NGOs in this closely interconnected network lobby politicians, pay PR companies to get extensive media coverage, and flood the courts with political cases, thus generating more media attention for their agendas.

While the principles of sovereignty and non-interference in the democratic processes of other countries are central in relations between states, these are violated when European governments become the primary funders of Israeli political NGOs. A number of Israeli political leaders have suggested funding polarizing NGOs involved in various European separatist movements. How would they react, they ask, if the NGO funding shoe was on the other foot?

London’s Jewish community to boycott pro-BDS store

Jewish residents in a northwest London suburb have vowed to boycott a Co-Op Food branch because of its boycott of Israeli products made in Judea and Samaria, the London-based Jewish Chronicle reported on Thursday.

Co-op Food, part of the Co-operative Group, is due to open a branch in the Hampstead Garden suburb next week.

Local Jews told the Jewish Chronicle that many people might not be aware of the chain’s policy on Israeli goods.

“This organization [the Co-operative Group] is an active supporter of the anti-Israel boycott,” said local resident Anthony Goldwater.

A considerable number of Jews live in the Hampstead area and “may prefer to boycott the shop if they were made aware of this,” he added.

Adrian Wayne, who also lives in Hampstead, told the Jewish Chronicle: “I telephoned their customer service department to inquire if the Co-op still boycotts Israeli products. The answer was that ‘they boycott products from conflict areas.’ I took this as a yes. Fellow Zionists, meaning all of us, should make a point of remembering this and avoid using any Co-op whatsoever.”

According to its website, The Co-operative Group does not trade in goods from places “where there is a broad international consensus that the status of a designated region or state is illegal,” specifically citing “Israeli settlements in the Palestinian occupied territories.”

As Keith Ellison Leaves Congress, One Likely Replacement Faces Criticism for Anti-Israel Views

Just moments before yesterday’s 5 p.m. filing deadline, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison declared his candidacy for Minnesota attorney general, marking a somewhat abrupt end—or possibly just a multi-year pause—to the congressional career of one of the leading progressives in American politics.

A little over a year ago, Ellison was nearly elected head of the Democratic National Committee, and he’s been a standard-bearer for Democrats who believe the party’s alleged centrism helped pave the way for Donald Trump’s election. Ellison is still deputy chair of the DNC, and it seems impossible that someone of his stature won’t return to national electoral politics at some point in the near future, maybe when Al Franken’s former Senate seat is up in 2020. For the time being, one of Ellison’s last major acts as a congressman will be the surprise creation of a 10-week snap primary to fill one of his party’s highest-profile vacancies, amid an election season that’s seen the Democrats’ chances of retaking the House of Representatives steadily decline.

One potential candidate who may replace Ellison is Minnesota state rep. Ilhan Omar, the nation’s first Somali-American lawmaker and a declared candidate for the August 14th vote. Although Ellison secured the endorsement of pro-Israel stalwart Chuck Schumer during his run for DNC chair, the Minnesotan was one of the House’s most reliable critics of the Jewish state, and also advocated for the restoration of diplomatic ties between the United States and Iran. If elected, Omar appears likely to continue Ellison’s approach to Israel, if not intensify it.

In late 2012, amid Israel’s week-long military operation targeting Hamas’ long-range missile caches in the Gaza Strip, Omar, then a child-nutrition outreach coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Education, tweeted, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” Twitter-wise (as well as life-wise), 2012 is ancient history, which is why it’s notable Omar defended the tweet on May 31, when another Twitter user resurfaced her 2012 post: “Drawing attention to the apartheid Israeli regime is far from hating Jews. You are a hateful sad man, I pray to Allah you get the help you need and find happiness.” In Omar’s mind, equating Israel with “evil” and accusing the country of having a creepily metaphysical ability to impose itself on the entire world counts as legitimate criticism. In a follow-up tweet, Omar appeared to mock the idea that anyone could read anti-Semitic tropes into her earlier tweets.

Anti-Semite Paul Nehlan Urges Corey Stewart To ‘Disavow’ Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro And Kassy Dillon In Bizarre Email

In a bizarre email that went out to his remaining supporter(s), former Congressional candidate and noted anti-Semite Paul Nehlan urged Virginia Senate candidate Corey Stewart to ‘disavow’ Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro and Daily Wire reporter Kassy Dillon.

The email, sent from Nehlan’s candidate account, calls Dillon “Ben’s philosemetic flying monkey” for “attacking the GOP front-runner in Virginia, Corey Stewart for supporting my run against globalist NeverTrumper Paul Ryan.”

Indeed, Dillon revealed Monday that Stewart is on record calling Nehlan, who has published lists of Jews in the media (which he calls an “enemies list,” and which always includes Shapiro), an inspiration and a “personal hero.”

“One of my personal heroes, not from Virginia, but from the great state of Wisconsin, there is Paul Nehlen, who had a lot of courage and took on Speaker Ryan,” Stewart says on the tape, posted to his candidate account in 2017 and never removed, even when Nehlan was revealed to be an ardent white supremacist. “I can’t tell you how much I was inspired by you.”

Since that fateful day, Nehlan has tweeted out photos of anti-Semitic literature, made anti-Semitic threats against Commentary magazine’s John Podhortz, has spoken approvingly of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which ended with the death of a counter-protester, and was banned from Twitter for tweeting racist caricatures of the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle. He’s since also been removed from Facebook, and, a Twitter alternative used by members of the so-called “alt-right,” for doxing his “enemies.”

Kassy Dillon: Paul Nehlen: A Man Without Courage, A Heart, Or A Brain

On Thursday, Paul Nehlen, a candidate for Congress in Wisconsin, gave me a new nickname: “Ben’s philosemetic [sic] flying monkey.”

Nehlen gave me my new nickname in an email to his supporters. This comes after I published an article on Monday discussing Virginia Senate candidate Corey Stewart and his ties to Nehlen.

“In an article written for Ben’s publication, Kassy Dillon further ingratiates herself as Ben’s philosemetic flying monkey,” he writes. “[A]ttacking none other than the GOP frontrunner in Virginia, Corey Stewart, for supporting my run against globalist NeverTrumper Paul Ryan.”

Nehlen is known for his toxic, anti-Semitic views and brutal attacks on his political opponents. Nehlen’s campaign collapsed in January after his overtly racist and anti-Semitic social media posts surfaced, but the candidate didn’t admit any wrongdoing — he blamed Jews. Nehlen compiled a list of 81 verified, predominantly Jewish, Twitter users who have “attacked” him for his “#AmericaFirst positions.

Catholic school apologizes for lacrosse fans who taunted Jewish rivals

A Catholic school in Connecticut apologized to a state public school after its students used anti-Semitic chants during a lacrosse game.

During the May 30 state playoff game at Staples High School in Westport, fans seated in Fairfield College Preparatory School’s student section chanted “Happy Hanukkah” and “We have Christmas,” and sang “The Dreidel Song,” directed at Jewish players on the Staples team.

Religious leaders, representatives of the Anti-Defamation League and leaders of Fairfield Prep met Tuesday to discuss the anti-Semitic taunting.

About one-third of the Staples team is Jewish, according to local reports.

The superintendent of the Westport schools, Colleen Palmer, told CBS in New York that she is upset that no one stepped in to stop the anti-Semitic behavior, especially the referees.

TV Host Andy Cohen Urges More Holocaust Education After Visit to Israel’s Yad Vashem

TV personality and producer Andy Cohen visited Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust museum and research center on Wednesday.

“This is my first visit to Yad Vashem,” said the host of Bravo TV’s “Watch What Happens Live,” according to a Twitter post by the museum, which also uploaded a picture of Cohen at the research center. “I’m completely overwhelmed. As a Jew and as a citizen of the world it’s imperative that everyone get educated about what happened.”

This is Cohen’s first time in Israel. He visited the Western Wall on Thursday and on Friday participated in Tel Aviv’s Gay Pride Parade, where he was the Tel Aviv Pride 2018 ambassador. At a press conference on Thursday night, Cohen talked about being in Israel during Pride Week.

“It’s so great to be here. … I live in New York City and this is my first but definitely not my last time in Tel Aviv,” he said. “I am a proud gay Jewish man and the only gay host in late night TV. I have been struck by how incredible it is, not only to be here, but as a proud gay Jewish man surrounded by my people.”

Revelers take to the streets of Tel Aviv for region’s largest Pride Parade

Tens of thousands of people flocked to the streets of Tel Aviv Friday as the city’s 20th annual Pride Parade kicked off at noon. Much of the city closed down as partyers, many dressed in elaborate costumes, danced and marched alongside parade floats pumping out music from multiple sound systems.

The parade, expected to draw at least as many people as the 200,000 who attended last year’s event, is the peak event of the city’s pride week, with parties expected to continue for the whole weekend.

The march also brings tens of thousands of tourists to the coastal city, with many businesses displaying rainbow flags and advertising special offers to attract customers. Even Google got in on the action, with the internet giant putting a rainbow border around the page of search results for the event.

American television personality Andy Cohen is serving as international ambassador for the 2018 parade, a position held in 2017 by internet gossip columnist Perez Hilton.

Watch: Rudy Giuliani dances the night away in Jerusalem’s open-air market

Rudy Giulani, former American politician and current lawyer of US President Donald Trump, entered Jerusalem’s open-air market and was seen dancing the night away on Wednesday evening.

What is loosely translated as an open-air market, the Shuk is the heart of Jerusalem and is most accurately an ancient shopping mall.

Rudy Giulani, the former mayor of New York and a friend of Israel, was seen waving a napkin and dancing with a group of other dancers at a restaurant in the Shuk. (h/t jzaik)

UN Watch: Hillel Neuer addresses McGill 2018 Convocation after award of honorary doctorate

Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Prof. Antonia Maioni:

“Mr. Chancellor, born and raised in Montreal, Hillel Neuer holds a B.A. from Concordia University, a B.C.L. and LL.B. from our Faculty of Law, and an LL.M. in comparative constitutional law from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

An international lawyer and writer, he is the executive director of UN Watch, a human rights NGO that supports the just, and apolitical application of the values and principles of the United Nations Charter.

Prior to joining UN Watch, Hillel served as a law clerk for Justice Itzhak Zamir at the Supreme Court of Israel. It was while practicing commercial and civil rights litigation at the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, that he first became known as an active human rights defender at the international level.

Described as someone who walks softly, but carries a big microphone, Mr. Neuer regularly testifies before the United Nations Human Rights Council, on behalf of victims in Darfur, China, Russia, and Venezuela, and the cause of peace in the Middle East.

He has been an innovator, creating global platforms for courageous dissidents and champions of human rights from around the world. As a founder and chair of the annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, he leads a cross-regional coalition of 25 non-governmental organizations, that over the last decade have placed an international spotlight on urgent human rights situations.

He has, in a word, been instrumental in giving a voice to the voiceless.

Charles Krauthammer Announces He Has Weeks To Live In Tragic Letter

On Friday, Charles Krauthammer, the unchallenged dean of intellectual conservatism over the past four decades, announced that he was dying. It’s tragic news, particularly for those of us who grew up reading him and being shaped by his worldview, who appreciated his willingness to tell hard truths and to consider alternative viewpoints before coming to a conclusion. Rarely has there been such an accomplished wordsmith in the same person as such a gracious and thorough thinker.

Krauthammer is a uniquely kind man; I had the pleasure of meeting him only once, in his office, where he asked probing questions between chatting about baseball. Krauthammer wasn’t a man who reveled in the pure sport of politics – he was someone who saw politics as a surface gloss on deeper debates about values. And he was someone who devoted himself to living a fulfilled and purposeful life. Despite the unique tragedy of his paralysis while attending Harvard Medical School, he went on to graduate and become a resident in psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, work on the DSM-II, and then move onto essay writing, winning the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1987. An ardent advocate of a muscular, liberty-seeking America abroad and a cogent critic of governmental overreach at home, Krauthammer was by far the most respected conservative voice of his generation, his generation’s answer to William F. Buckley.

Krauthammer announced his health situation in a statement. He explained that he had a cancerous tumor in his abdomen that was operated on in August of last year, and that the operation resulted in secondary complications, necessitating his continued hospitalization. A battery of new tests showed that the cancer has now returned. (h/t jzaik)

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