In March 2004, a group of Israel Defense Force soldiers founded Breaking the Silence, a nongovernmental organization ostensibly seeking to hold the military to its own stated standards of warfighting conduct. In theory, such a group could serve an important role in checking abuses. In practice, however, Breaking the Silence is something different. It has dubious sources of funding, pursues explicitly leftist political aims, and routinely misrepresents facts to paint Israel in the worst possible light.
Kingdom of Olives and Ash, a new collection of essays edited by Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman, features 26 different writers—all of whom visited Israel on delegations organized by Breaking the Silence. The book is a latticework of propaganda, pieced together by distortions and half-truths. The writers are talented, so there are no misplaced commas even though there are plenty of misguided ideas. The felicitous, compelling prose that makes this collection so readable is precisely what makes it so dangerous.
In their introduction, the married novelists Chabon and Waldman explain that they had long avoided the conflict: “Horrified and bewildered by the blur of violence and destruction, of reprisal and counter-reprisal and counter-counter-reprisal, put off by the dehumanizing rhetoric prevalent on both sides; we did what so many others in the ambivalent middle have done: we averted our gaze.” This claim is belied by the fact that Chabon wrote a novel 10 years ago featuring an entire counter-history of the Jewish state, while Waldman, the daughter of a Sabra émigré, has spent a decade fulminating about Israel’s misdeeds on social media.
No, Chabon and Waldman are neither ambivalent nor in the middle. Their insistence to the contrary is an attempt to gull the uninformed reader into believing they came into the project in innocence and came away sadder and wiser and ready to speak truth to power. They claim to have had “no political expectations of these writers,” but their partnership with Breaking the Silence tells a different story. The only scintilla of honesty comes in the form of punctuation: the two quotation marks with which they set off the word “security” when they ask whether Waldman bears “some measure of responsibility for the crimes and injustices perpetrated in the name of [Israel] and its ‘security.’” Since checkpoints, border walls, and police raids might all be justified when the security of civilians is at stake, Chabon and Waldman are compelled to imply that “security” is a mere ruse, that something far more sinister lies at the heart of these unfortunate realities.
While today’s widespread use of the term “fake news” can be traced to US President Donald Trump claims that well-established facts are not actually facts, Israel has long had to grapple with the phenomenon of media outlets bending the truth for political gain.
Indeed, the mainstream media often blames Israel for all the problems in the Middle East, and this trend has only been exacerbated by the explosion of social media networks and alternative online outlets. Yet instead of complaining about this unfair treatment, organizations such as Israel’s Tazpit Press Service (TPS) are providing real-time, accurate and reliable news stories for international media outlets seeking coverage of Israel and the Middle East.
“Foreign agencies come to Israel with their own perspectives. No one is completely objective,” says Amotz Eyal, the CEO and founder of TPS. TPS employs “Christians, Arabs, Druze and Jewish experts who provide accurate stories about Israel,” Eyal says. “Our goal is to expose stories that other services do not cover — not just terrorist attacks, but stories about the different communities in Israel.” Since its establishment in 2012, TPS has broken stories on a wide range of topics related to economics, security, politics, technology, scientific developments, agriculture and more.
With regard to Reuters, The Associated Press and other leading wire services, the TPS CEO isn’t worried about taking on the industry’s Goliaths. “We’re not trying to compete by size, but rather by quality,” Eyal said. “We have 250 photographers all over Israel. We have more people on the ground here than any other service. As a result, we get to the stories more quickly than any other news agency.”
Mark Pellegrino: What Makes A State
Mark Pellegrino is an American actor of film and television, best known for his work as Lucifer in Supernatural, Paul Bennett in Dexter, and Jacob in Lost. He is co-founder of The American Capitalist Party.
When it comes to Israel, people generally fall into two categories of thought. The first, is that Israel is an artificial construct of victorious European powers; that it is a result of imperialism and has no claim to legitimacy, and thus no right to exist. The second, is that Israel was founded by Jews thousands of years ago and has every right to exist as a Jewish state regardless of its modern origins. Which perspective is right? Both sides claim a kind of squatter’s status to the land. The first claims an Arab majority has lived in the region for millenia and that this majority cannot be removed by legal fiat. The second claims a historical connection to the land dating back to the Late Bronze and early Iron Ages which entitles an entire people – via a kind of historical deed – to resettlement and re occupation of a geographic area. Though I sympathize with this latter view in terms of verifiable ancestral origins making a clearer tie to the land; and though the idea of migration from one place to another seems, to me, to be a fundamental human right, I find neither argument (from indigenousness) suffices to establish legitimacy in the eyes of those who are undecided on the issue. Furthermore, the fact that indigenousness or the artificiality of redrawn borders is not much mentioned in the establishment of the legitimacy of any Arab state in the Middle East (which were almost universally formed in the same ‘arbitrary’ way as Israel) leads me to believe that something may be rotten in the state of Denmark with such a standard. So, perhaps it’s not the origins of a state that makes for its legitimacy, but rather something else entirely. And perhaps it is the evasion of this fact that shifts the argument constantly to indigenousness as a standard for the establishment of a rightful ‘state’.
Let’s face it, like ALL human knowledge the concept of the state has evolved over time; and, despite the resurgence of statism in the early and mid twentieth century, the idea that the state’s function is the protection of this little thing called ‘right’ has been a nearly impossible discovery to avoid. Even vile statist regimes must play to the notion that they are servicing rights by violating them, and spend much blood and money upholding that illusion. The inflation of rights and the establishment of modern democracies has been the mechanism by which statists maintain this fiction. But the awareness that such a fiction need be maintained shows an evolution. The evolution is this: that even statists recognize protection of right as the function that legitimizes a state. Anything other than rights protection is illegitimate. In other words, any state that practices rights protection is legitimate and has a right to exist (since its right is predicated upon the protection of rights). Any state that does not, or actively violates those rights is illegitimate (for the same reason).
A spokesman for the German foreign ministry compared Israel’s policy on funding on non-governmental organisations to that of Russia and China, provoking a rebuke from the Israeli embassy in Berlin, Haaretz newspaper reported.
Speaking on June 14 about a new law in Hungary that would force foreign-funded NGOs to register as “foreign-supported organisations,” the spokesman for Germany’s foreign ministry, Martin Shaefer, said that the law was similar to new laws in other countries.
“Hungary thus joins the ranks of countries like Russia, China and Israel,” he said at a weekly press briefing, “which obviously regard the funding of non-government organisations, of civil society efforts, by donors from abroad as a hostile or at least an unfriendly act.”
The remarks, reported at the time, elicited a stern demand for clarification from Israel’s mission in Berlin, the Israel daily revealed on Tuesday.
“Israel is a vibrant and free democracy and there are no restrictions on donations,” the paper quoted the embassy as saying. “Recently, Israel adopted a demand for transparency, as is custom in other democracies.” (h/t Yenta Press)
Albert Einstein was one of the greatest scientists of all time. His contributions to physics revolutionized our understanding of the universe. A current television series based on his life is appropriately titled Genius. But did Einstein also help facilitate a mass rescue of Jews from Germany?
That was the surprising — and profoundly misleading — claim made in last week’s episode of Genius, the Ron Howard-produced series, which is being shown on the National Geographic channel.
Last week’s episode (#8) depicted how in late 1932, as the Nazis were rising to power in Germany, Einstein applied for a visa to the United States. An American consul in Berlin, Raymond Geist, was shown asking Einstein to sign an affidavit that he was not a member of the Communist Party. In the final scene of the episode, Einstein tells Geist that he will sign it, but adds: “But promise me [that] Elsa and I will not be the only Jews you help find their way to America’s shores.”
Then the following statement appeared on the screen, before the credits began to roll: “From 1933 to 1939, United States Consul General Raymond Geist helped issue life saving visas for more than 50,000 German Jews.”
Viewers were left with the impression that Geist was responsible for rescuing tens of thousands of Jews from the Nazis, perhaps because his conscience was prodded by Einstein’s remark.
The American consul general in Berlin even told his colleagues that German Jews’ hostility to the German government was only temporary, and therefore their deep-seated loyalty to Germany could disqualify them from visas to the United States.
Einstein soon became aware of these policies, and protested vigorously. In one appeal to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, he charged that the Roosevelt administration’s attitude “makes it all but impossible to give refuge in America to many worthy persons who are the victims of Fascist cruelty in Europe. … The method which is being used [by US consular officials] is to make immigration impossible by erecting a wall of bureaucratic measures.”
Contrary to the impression created by Genius, Einstein’s remark to Geist did not cause him to start bending rules for visa applicants. In fact, Geist at one point specifically advised his colleagues against greater leniency toward refugees, on the grounds that it would result in “undesirable persons” entering the United States.
On 21 June 1967, with the Arab world still smarting from their stunning defeat in the Six Day War, the Spanish government undertook a secret operation to free hundreds of Jews from Egyptian prisons. The Forward tells this hitherto untold story:
At the outbreak of the Six Day War, Egypt arrested hundreds of Jews – “at least one from each family, in order to frighten the whole minority population,” Angel Sagaz, the Spanish Ambassador to Egypt, would later write. Within a week, as many as 800 Egyptian Jews (the figure usually quoted is 400 – ed) — a full 20% of Egypt’s Jewish population — had been rounded up. Many were transferred to the Abu-Zaabal prison, a notoriously brutal military facility outside of Cairo. The prisoners were attacked by an angry Egyptian mob, then beaten by military guards.
With Israel still reeling from the war and U.S.-Egypt relations at a nadir, Franco’s Spain stepped in. The Iberian country was uniquely positioned to negotiate with President Gamal Abdel Nasser; Spain had not recognized the State of Israel, and it had good relations with many Arab countries.
Sagaz (who would go on to become the Spanish Ambassador to the United States) led the charge, petitioning the police and even President Nasser himself to release the Jewish prisoners. In meetings with the Egyptian Interior Ministry, he emphasized that Spain had an obligation to protect the descendants of the Sephardic Jews that had been expelled. Sagaz’s argument relied upon a 1924 decree by deposed dictator Primo de Rivera that granted Spanish citizenship to all Sephardic Jews (a similar argument was used during the Holocaust by Angel Sanz-Briz, who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews by issuing them Spanish passports). If the Egyptian police had no objection to their departure, Sagaz said, Spain would be willing to offer documents and plane tickets to the country’s Jewish population.
Between 1967 and 1970, 615 families – more than 1,500 Jews – fled Egypt with the help of Sagaz and the Spanish government.
The expulsion of Jews from Arab and Muslim countries
On June 20th, the world marks ‘World Refugee Day’, commemorating the strength, courage and perseverance of of refugees. On this day, we remember the 20th-century expulsion of Jews from Arab and Muslim countries. Jewish communities in Arab countries formed a significant part of the Jewish diaspora. From 1920 onward, some 850,000 Jews were expelled from their homes – from Tripoi to Cairo, from Damascus to Baghdad.
A look at the list of speakers reveals the true nature of the event. There was Baroness Jenny Tonge, who quit the Liberal Democrats in 2016 after she was suspended for anti-Semitic comments. Tonge has long used inflammatory rhetoric against the Jewish people and has condoned acts of terrorism. In 2004, she said she would consider becoming a suicide bomber if she were a Palestinian. Also among the speakers was Mick Napier, chair of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, who was convicted in March of aggravated trespass over allegations of intimidating the staff at Barclays Bank over its investment in Israel’s Iron Dome.
Meanwhile, marchers including young children draped themselves in Hezbollah flags and organizers distributed placards emblazoned with the slogan, “We are all Hezbollah.” A friend, who attended the counter-rally, said she could hear them chant “From the river to the sea” — a sanitized version of the genocidal fantasy of throwing the Jews into the sea. Protesters also peddled anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and claimed the Zionists created ISIS to give Muslims a bad name. Even the horrific tragedy that unfolded at Grenfell Tower was not safe of their twisted worldview and the fire declared a Zionist plot.
The UK-based Campaign Against Antisemitism reported that the Metropolitan Police Service refused to make arrests or accept reports of hate speech when approached by concerned members of the public. One inspector even claimed “that Hizballah flags belong to a legitimate ‘state’ instead of a terrorist organisation.”
However, section 13 of the U.K. Terrorism Act clearly states, “A person in a public place commits an offence if he wears an item of clothing, or wears, carries or displays an article, in such a way or in such circumstances as to arouse reasonable suspicion that he is a member or supporter of a proscribed organisation.”
This controversial stance led to a woman attempting to make a complaint to three separate police constables about Hezbollah flags at the al-Quds demonstration on Sunday, with the police refusing to accept it.
The woman was sure that flying the “terrorist flags”, which depict an assault rifle held overhead in a clenched fist, was an offence, and was concerned that the officers’ refusal to register her complaint would mean they could “do like last time [and] say nobody complained”.
“You need to go and reacquaint yourself with the rules and the law around that particular flag,” an irate inspector told her. “There are specific wordings around when you, or anybody, can claim or refer to it as becoming an offence [to fly the flag],” he said.
“You can’t explain to me [why] a proscribed terrorist organisation [is allowed] to raise its flag on the street,” she countered.
“You’ve got a smartphone, right? You’ve got a smartphone? Google it!” he instructed, before walking away.
She attempted to press her case, but the inspector dismissed her, saying she had simply “seen a flag of a state”.
“They’re not a state,” she said. “It’s not the flag of a state, it’s the flag of a terrorist organisation.”
“We’re not going to argue that, I’m not here for that,” he snapped. “End of conversation.”
Jihad survivor protests at UK Al Quds Day march
Lucy Brown, Rebel UK’s latest contributor, headed down to the US Embassy in London yesterday where hundreds of people congregated to protest against the Islamist Al Quds Day march and to show their support for Israel and the Jewish people.
While she was there she caught up with Kay Wilson, a survivor of a brutal Jihad attack in Israel which killed her friend and left her fighting for her life.
The evil started in Durban. God willing it will end in Cape Town and Jerusalem. The 2001 Durban Conference Against Racism and Xenophobia that took place in Durban, South Africa, 16 years ago is still considered the opening shot in the intensifying global war to delegitimize Israel. It was at the United Nations-sponsored Durban Conference that Israel was defamed and charged with being the “new” apartheid South Africa.
Even prior to Durban, Israel’s Foreign Ministry categorized South Africa as one of Israel’s toughest diplomatic challenges on the face of the earth. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) was a close ally to former PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat. ANC and PLO forces trained together in the Soviet Union. The ANC has constantly reminded the world of Israel’s diplomatic and security relationship with the former apartheid regime.
The situation is no less complex for South African Jewry. While some South African Jews actively fought against apartheid policies and in favor of equality for South Africa’s black majority, the South African Jewish community has continually been identified as part of South Africa’s white and wealthy elite. In short, Jerusalem has long considered this dominant country on the African continent a lost cause for strong diplomatic relations.
Recently, however, there seems to be a new and unexpected breakthrough unfolding. Ambassador Dore Gold, President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, took steps to establish strong ties with post-apartheid South Africa during his recent tenure as Director General of Israel’s Foreign Ministry. Gold succeeded to “break the ice” with the South African government, securing a meeting with South Africa’s Foreign Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, considered a strident official with a firm anti-Israel orientation.
Gold noted, “She did not become one of Israel’s closest friends, but we established a diplomatic channel.” Gold added, “there is no other way to break pre-existing biases and stigmas other than pursuing constant efforts to engage counterparts in discussion.
Last month, Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Liberia to meet with a number of West African heads of state; he made a similar visit to East African capitals last year. The trips are part of the prime minister’s global effort to strengthen Israel’s diplomatic standing. But Netanyahu also had a more specific goal in mind: putting pressure on South Africa—to which many of the continents’ nations look for leadership—to end its hostility toward the Jewish state. Amnon Lord explains:
The strengthening of relations with African countries is intended, among other things, to create a greenhouse effect, melting the “glacier” of South Africa’s hostility that [in turn] limits Israel’s relations with [other] African countries. . . .
South Africa’s experience under apartheid is used by the BDS movement as a political weapon. South Africa is largely the territorial base of BDS. . . . The power of [anti-Israel] movements is multiplied in South Africa, [which despite] all of its corruption and failures, has been transformed since the elimination of apartheid by Nelson Mandela’s leadership into a “moral power.” This [authority] could be a strategic resource for Israel—but South Africa’s status as a moral power is instead directed against Israel. . . .
Official solidarity with the Palestinian cause is absolute. It is a South African legacy of the longstanding partnership with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) that was created by the Soviet Union during the cold war. The [governing] African National Congress (ANC), [which led the anti-apartheid movement under Nelson Mandela] had many Communist members, many of them Jews. They formed the connecting link between the ANC and the PLO. This is why the senior Hamas official Khaled Meshal was received in South Africa as an official guest of honor, and even had a meeting with President Jacob Zuma.
Wonder Woman may be a hit at the box office, grossing $228 million worldwide in its first weekend, but the movie has hit the rocks in much of the Arab world because of its Israeli star, Gal Gadot.
After being banned in Lebanon, Wonder Woman is now facing bans in Tunisia, Jordan and Algeria.
The Hollywood media site Deadline.com reported Thursday that the movie’s scheduled release in Tunisia has been suspended because of Gadot’s defense of Israel’s 2014 incursion into Gaza.
Deadline said the secular Arab nationalist People’s Movement party petitioned the Tunisian culture ministry to ban the movie as part of an effort to isolate Israel. “We must continue the mobilization on this type of affair, as on everything related to normalization with the Zionist entity,” the People’s Movement said in a statement.
Deadline quoted a spokesman for the ministry who said the cancellation of the screening was “purely administrative,” but the movie’s Tunisian distributor Lassaad Goubantini said, “It’s a decision based on bogus accusations… Today they prevent a film because of an actress, tomorrow they’ll invent another excuse. It’s an attack on liberties.”
Addressing the phenomenon of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement targeting the Jewish state, Dani Dayan, Israel’s Consul General in New York, declared that the “real war” is the intimidation, disruption and attempted silencing of pro-Israel voices on U.S. college campuses.
“There we have a real war,” Dayan said, referring to attempts to shut down freedom of expression for Israel defenders on American campuses. “And we have to be much more aggressive, much more assertive. … But it is not only an Israeli problem, what is happening on many campuses across America. I think it is first and foremost an American problem.”
Dayan was speaking to this reporter during an onstage interview at the JBiz Expo, an annual business networking and pro-Israel event hosted by the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce.
Last month, Dayan himself was repeatedly heckled and disrupted during a speech at the City College of New York. There, students from the CCNY chapter of the Students for Justice in Palestine and other anti-Israel groups protested and temporarily disrupted the event.
San Francisco State University (SFSU) was hit by a lawsuit on Monday brought by students and local community members accusing the school of “an extremely disturbing and consistent pattern of anti-Jewish animus.”
Claiming that SFSU has allowed a “hostile environment” toward Jews since at least 1968, when the social justice-focused College of Ethnic Studies was established, the plaintiffs said that the situation “has only gotten worse over time” and that “SFSU and its administrators have knowingly fostered this.”
The plaintiffs include two current students, one recent graduate and three members of the local Jewish community, represented in part by attorneys from the Lawfare Project, a pro-Israel legal think tank.
All of the plaintiffs attended the April 2016 lecture by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, which was dramatically disrupted by students, including members of the SFSU student group General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS), who allegedly made “incessant threats and amplified chants,” including shouting, “Get the f*** off our campus!” and “Intifada!”
Nearly a year later, Barkat backed out of a hastily scheduled lecture at the campus — supposedly meant to make up for the previous spring’s disaster — saying that the school had treated him with disrespect in its disorganized planning of the program.
Now that the furor over Linda Sarsour’s commencement speech at CUNY’s Graduate School of Public Health is over, it is the right time for me to draw some conclusions and express some thoughts surrounding the event.
I had intended to weigh in earlier, and I could. It is not a domestic American issue in which a foreign diplomat is not entitled to intervene; it involves my country.
Sarsour, the former executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, supports calls to boycott Israel. She shows understanding, to say the least, toward acts of terror targeting Israelis and defames Zionism, the national liberation movement that established Israel. Most important, she implicitly and sometimes explicitly advances the heinous idea that Israel has no right to exist.
Therefore, as the senior diplomatic envoy of Israel in New York, it was my right – and probably my duty – to intervene.
Nevertheless, except for raising the issue once when CUNY Chancellor Michael Milliken called me on a different issue, I did not intervene. The main reason was the anti-Sarsour rally that took place outside CUNY premises on May 25. Some of the speakers there engaged in blatantly racist rhetoric, above all Milo Yiannopoulos, the “alt-right” personality.
Those viewing that clip – which of course was specifically chosen to be promoted on the BBC’s ‘Culture’ website – hear the following from Soueif:
“…and I chose to write about Jerusalem because for the last four or five years we’ve really seen the push against and into Jerusalem becoming stronger and stronger. And at the heart of Jerusalem is of course the Dome of the Rock within el Haram al Sharif which is the sanctuary – Al Aqsa.
And it’s always…ever since I started doing this…the first time I went to Palestine in 2000 there was a moment when I walked into the sanctuary and I really, really felt…felt such a peace. I mean it’s such a beautiful space and throughout the festival I have really tried…wanted to give the visitors that sense…to give them that moment when you walk in and the world folds away. So I chose to describe the sanctuary and what it means and its history. And here is just the second paragraph in that piece which says –
A sanctuary on a hilltop. Around it the earth fell away. Palestinians are masters of terracing. They built Jerusalem on a hill and the Old City slopes gently towards the south-east; towards the sanctuary. And there, the central and biggest of 26 terraces is for the Dome of the Rock. From the south, 20 steps lead up to it. From the north, just nine.”
It is of course not in the least bit surprising to find veteran anti-Israel activist Ahdaf Soueif exploiting the wrapping of a literary festival for political ends. Predictable erasing all Jewish history from her portrayal of Temple Mount and using partisan terminology to describe the location, she promotes to Hay Festival goers and BBC audiences alike ridiculous ahistorical notions such as the idea that Palestinians built Jerusalem and the Dome of the Rock is situated on specially constructed ‘Palestinian terracing’.
However, the text accompanying this specifically selected clip does not include any factual information that would relieve audiences of those inaccurate impressions created by Soueif and it fails to adhere to existing BBC guidance on the use of terminology when describing Temple Mount and ‘Palestine‘.
Australian ABC Radio National’s Counterpoint program broadcast on June 19 featured an interview with Professor Amin Saikal, the Director of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Australian National University.
As for the interview with Professor Saikal, he is entitled to his views but he is not entitled to spread falsehoods. For example:
Two minutes in, Professor Saikal is asked what the trigger was for the Six-Day War. According to Saikal, the Arab leadership “decided to impose a blockade on Israel in order to pressure it to negotiate a resolution to the Palestinian problem.“
This could not be further from the truth. Even the Arab leaders themselves publicly proclaimed that their ultimate goal was the destruction of the State of Israel in its entirety. There was no effort on the part of the Arabs to negotiate anything with Israel. Professor Saikal has effectively made up history. To add insult to injury, Counterpoint’s presenter Amanda Vanstone interrupts with her own statement that the Israeli pre-emptive strike was “to take more land,” a distortion backed up by Saikal.
Vanstone asks another misleading and distorted question at 8mins 25secs: “Now what about Israel’s unwillingness to give up its occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem? That’s got to be a blocking point, hasn’t it?“
Vanstone confirms her own biases. Israel has offered to give up land for peace on numerous occasions, each time rebuffed by Palestinians who have preferred violence to negotiation. But this, of course, does not fit with the framing of Israel as the guilty party in Vanstone’s eyes.
According to accounts in Jerusalem Post, Haaretz and Israel HaYom, and comments from the official spokesman for the Israeli Police, several Muslims on the Temple Mount were arrested on Sunday morning after they began rioting and throwing rocks at officers. The rioting reportedly began after hundreds of Palestinians began shouting “Allahu akhbar” at a group of Jews peacefully visiting the Mount.
Here are the comments of police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld according to Jerusalem Post report:
“This morning there were attempts by radical Muslims to disrupt the routine of visits to the Temple Mount during the final days of Ramadan. Police arrested two suspects who attacked officers who were injured lightly and treated at the scene. The suspects were brought in for questioning to the police station in the Old City by Jaffa Gate, and visits to the Temple Mount resumed.”
However, here’s how Sky News Arabia framed it it (based on a translation from CAMERA’s Arabic department):
The Israeli forces retreated today from Al Haram Al Qudsi platform [Temple Mount] after a group of Israeli extremists stormed the mosque today [Sunday morning]. Israeli forces have dispatched their troops to Al Qasa plazas and the dome of the rock where the forces have spread in every corner of Al Aqasa.
In a Washington Post article about a lawsuit over antisemitism on campus, one sentence sticks out like a sore thumb:
The suit comes at a time when Muslims and other groups feel increasingly vulnerable, and as debate heats up over free speech and academic freedom on campuses nationally, after controversial speakers have been canceled, protested and shouted down on some campuses — and have even sparked violence and rioting.
Because clearly, Muslims feeling vulnerable is the main issue – followed by all those other groups, of which I am assuming Jews are included.
Seriously, WTF WAPO!
A swastika was recently found near an Ontario Jewish day school, marking what some have described as the third antisemitic incident at the institution within a month, Canada’s CJNews reported on Friday.
On June 11, staff at the Patricia campus of the Eitz Chaim Schools discovered the swastika drawn at the children’s playground near the school, according to the report, after students had found another one nearby days earlier.
The swastika etchings followed a May 30 incident in which passerby threw small rocks at students in the playground. According to the head of school, Rabbi Shlomo Shwartz, it was unclear if that incident was antisemitic in nature.
Schwartz added the swastikas might also be motivated by something other than Jew-hatred, including frustration that the public was recently banned from using the school playground.
School administrators wrote in an email to parents after last week’s episode that they had been in contact with the police and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), as well as local officials.
Administrators have reportedly implemented new security recommendations, and police has told the school “that they will elevate their level of patrol in the area.”
A popular Jewish deli in a Chicago suburb was vandalized in what is being investigated as a hate crime.
The message “Free Gaza” was spray-painted on the sidewalk outside of the Shmaltz Deli in Naperville, Illinois, on Sunday.
Because the message targeted a Jewish restaurant, Naperville Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime, according to reports. The police are reviewing video from the deli’s security cameras and other camera in the area.
“The reason they left it there, obviously painted it there, is because it is a Jewish deli,” Naperville Police Commander Lou Cammiso told the local CBS affiliate, CBS 2. “It’s not threatening. It’s a political statement, I guess, but because they’re Jewish that qualifies.”
Deli owner Howard Bender said it took him about two hours to get rid of the graffiti. He reportedly hung a sign above where the words were spray painted. The sign reads: “Hate Has No Home Here.”
Jan Grabowski, a 55-year-old Polish historian and son of Holocaust survivors, teaches history at the University of Ottawa, Canada, and published several books and articles accusing the Poles of taking part in a pogrom against Jews during World War II.
According to the Washington Post, following publication of his writings the Polish League Against Defamation launched a campaign against Grabowski, the son of a Jewish father, who survived the Holocaust, on the grounds that he had insulted Poland and blackened its name, with the organization’s leaders demanding he be tried.
At the end of last week, the heads of the Polish League Against Defamation published an open letter signed by dozens of Polish academics who denounced Grabowski, who they claim “falsifies the history of Poland, proclaiming the thesis that Poles are complicit in the extermination of Jews.”
Since then Grabowski has received several death threats, leading to upgraded security in his university department. Grabowski describes the campaign against him as a “very brutal, vicious, and personal attack.”
A study published by the University of Teacher Education in Vienna released on Saturday showed that almost 50% of young Austrian Muslims maintain an antisemitic attitude. The systematic delegitimization of Israel in Muslim-majority countries helps explain “imported antisemitism” into Europe, wrote the Austrian daily Der Standard in their report on the poll.
The poll asked Austrian Muslim students if they felt that “Jews have too much influence in Austria,” and 48% agreed with the statement.
The students aged between 16 through 19 have migrant backgrounds from a diverse set of Muslim-majority countries and some non-Muslim nations, including Bosnia, Turkey, Albania and Bulgaria. The students study at apprentice schools while working in the restaurant and hotel industry.
A German soldier was thrown out of the army after he denied Israel’s right to exist and expressed support for the Hamas and Fatah terror organizations in an internal survey.
The soldier, who served in a counterintelligence unit, was dismissed by the army’s Human Resources department after the survey’s results were received.
According to the army, the dismissal was necessary because the soldier did not commit himself to protecting liberal democracy whenever necessary.
Meanwhile, the Afghanistan-born soldier denied the accusations, claiming language difficulties prevented him from fully understanding the survey. However, the courts remained unconvinced.
Allowing such a soldier to remain in the army represents a severe threat to the army’s authority, they said.
“The army’s decision to dismiss the soldier was justified,” the court ruling stated.
In a hidden room in a house near Argentina’s capital, police believe they have found the biggest collection of Nazi artifacts in the country’s history, including a bust relief of Adolf Hitler, magnifying glasses inside elegant boxes with swastikas and even a macabre medical device used to measure head size.
Some 75 objects were found in a collector’s home in Beccar, a suburb north of Buenos Aires, and authorities say they suspect they are originals that belonged to high-ranking Nazis in Germany during World War II.
“Our first investigations indicate that these are original pieces,” Argentine Security Minister Patricia Bullrich told The Associated Press on Monday, saying that some pieces were accompanied by old photographs. “This is a way to commercialize them, showing that they were used by the horror, by the Fuhrer. There are photos of him with the objects.”
Among the disturbing items were toys that Bullrich said would have been used to indoctrinate children, a large statue of the Nazi Eagle above a swastika, a Nazi hourglass and a box of harmonicas.
Police say one of the most-compelling pieces of evidence of the historical importance of the find is a photo negative of Hitler holding a magnifying glass similar to those found in the boxes.
A Southern California teenager raised about $15,000 to send an 89-year-old Holocaust survivor to Israel so the man can meet his last living relative and finally celebrate his bar mitzvah, according to a local newspaper report Monday.
Drew Principe, 17, said he came up with the idea for a fund-raiser after meeting Henry Oster during a school assembly in January, where Oster told students at Viewpoint High near Los Angeles about his experiences during World War II.
In 1941, a few weeks before he was due to celebrate his bar mitzvah, Oster and his family were deported by the Nazis from their home in Cologne, Germany. They were sent to a ghetto in Poland, before Oster was taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp. He was then sent to several camps before being liberated at age 17. Eventually, he moved to Los Angeles, where he became an optometrist.
Principe discovered that Oster had never been to Israel, and decided on the spot to give him a bracelet he had bought on a trip to the Holy Land a few years earlier. The bracelet has the Shema Israel prayer inscribed on it.
Water, the most precious resource in the world, is increasingly scarce. However even as global water shortages threaten the world, Israeli innovation in countering water scarcity could yet lead the world out of the abyss of water shortage and war.
Cybersecurity, counter-terrorism and aerospace are most often associated with Israel. However the nation’s potentially greatest global contribution, water conservation, is relatively little known or understood. This ought to change. From California to North India, Israeli agricultural genius is changing people’s lives.
The overall global statistics on water shortage are truly frightening. According to the UN, desertification threatens over 1.5 billion people globally. The arable land loss rate is around 23 hectares a minute, depriving tens of millions of precious farming land and food. Already, civil wars in Africa are being waged over the question of water scarcity. How long before they explode into full blown interstate wars? This is a question global policymakers may rather not confront, given the relative silence over it. The wars of the future are likely to be water wars, but this can still be avoided
Pathogens developing resistance to antibiotics is one of the gravest threats to modern medicine, according to the World Health Organization, but new research may have found a way to help doctors fight such germs.
Researchers at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem say they have found a simple method for measuring a bacteria’s tolerance, or the time it takes to kill a bacterial population. This will enable clinicians to more effectively treat strains that are on their path to becoming resistant, the researchers say.
This tolerance has been “largely overlooked in the clinical setting,” according to Nathalie Balaban, the study’s senior author. The protocol exposes a sample population of a bacteria to different concentrations of antibiotics for varied time periods to see how many survive and for how long.
“Routinely measuring tolerance could supply valuable information about the duration of antibiotic treatments, reducing the chance of both under- and over-treatment,” Balaban said. “Furthermore, data compiled from such measurements could give an estimate of how widespread the phenomenon of tolerance really is, which is currently a complete unknown.”
JewishPress.com Pushes ‘A History of the Palestinian People’ to Top Amazon Ranking
JewishPress bloggers JoeSettler and Jameel of The Muqata blog posted a book review on Sunday of a new book by Assaf A. Voll, entitled, A History of the Palestinian People – From Ancient Times to the Modern Era.
The book provides an extensive and comprehensive review of 3000 years of Palestinian history.
In short, nearly all 132 pages are blank, except the dedication by George Costanza “Just remember, it’s not a lie if you believe it”.
Without a doubt the book is incredibly unique in its historical accuracy of 3000 years of Palestinian history and their unique contribution to humanity.
Update: As of Monday night, it is now #6 in the Middle East History category, and 1,780 in all books.
Update: As of Tuesday morning, it is now the #2 ranked book on Amazon for New Releases in the Middle East History category.
That’s the power and influence of our amazing bloggers and readers on JewishPress. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
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