Caroline Glick: The peril of politicized antisemitism
In 2017 Weisman wrote a widely cited book, (((Semitism))): Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump.
Weisman’s basic argument in his book is that Trump’s populism empowers far-Right antisemites and so threatens the Jewish community in the US.
It isn’t that antisemitism on the far Right is nothing to be concerned about it. To the contrary. There is great reason to be concerned, even alarmed by the Jew-hating rhetoric emanating from the far Right. To their credit, cognizant of the danger, Republican leaders, including Trump have consistently condemned and marginalized these voices and actors in their party.
There is also reason to be concerned with left-wing antisemitism, including when it takes the form of a New York Times journalist singling out for rebuke Jewish members of Congress who oppose an anti-Israel policy. Left-wing antisemitism should be should be fought without prejudice even when it is being propagated by minority groups. Farrakhan should not get a pass, nor should his African-American supporters.
Because the US has a two-party system, marginal forces always seek to use the machinery of the large parties to advance their positions and causes. As a consequence, it is not surprising that antisemites on the Right seek to penetrate the GOP. And it isn’t surprising that their leftist counterparts are seeking to take over the Democratic Party. But again, while the state and national Republican Party condemns and disowns antisemites, the Democrats woo them for their votes and political support and elect them to office. And as they do these things, they libel the Republican Party and Trump accusing them of Nazi sympathies and goals.
It is hard to see a happy end to the story. By attacking Trump, the most pro-Jewish president in living memory, as a Nazi, while ignoring the dangers of the growing power and numbers of antisemites in their own party, Jewish Democrats are doing themselves no favors. So long as Jewish Democrats go along with the rise of antisemitic forces in their party on the one hand, and assault the Republicans as Nazis on the other, the situation will only get more dangerous for them and for the Jewish community in the US as a whole.
Melanie Phillips: Should Jews Flee Europe
The same people who claim to see anti-Semitism in European populism or the political base of Donald Trump regularly accuse Jews of claiming anti-Semitism just to “sanitize the crimes of Israel” or “bring down Jeremy Corbyn.”
This reaction is worse, far worse, than the anti-Semitism itself. It’s worse even than indifference. For it imputes to the Jews malicious intent in claiming that Jewish people are being maliciously targeted. It says they are lying. It blames the Jews for their own victimization.
This reaction is the inescapable evidence that the Jews are being abandoned. Those of us who have loved Britain for its gentleness, its tolerance, its decency, its stoicism, its reasonableness, and the dampness of both its weather and national temperament feel as if we have been orphaned. But maybe we were living all along in a fool’s paradise.
Some people think Europe is over, that the demographics are against it and that it will become a majority-Muslim culture in a few decades. My guess is that Europe won’t go down without a fight. If that happens, the Jews are likely to get it in the neck from all sides. Whichever way it goes, it’s not a pleasant prospect.
So is it time to leave? It’s very personal, and I wouldn’t presume to advise anyone what to do. I can only speak for myself and say that for some years now, I’ve been spending a great deal of my time in Israel. Because even with 150,000 Hezbollah rockets pointing at us from Lebanon, even with Hamas trying every day to murder us, and even with Iran working toward its genocide bomb to wipe us out, Israel is where I feel so much safer and the air is so much sweeter, and it’s where Jews are not on their knees and where no one will ever make me feel I am not entitled to live and don’t properly belong.
Israel is where we have astonishingly renewed ourselves as a nation out of the ashes of the Shoah. Israel is where all those who want us gone meet their nemesis in the political realization of the eternal people. Israel is the ultimate, and ultimately the only, definitive and triumphant repudiation of anti-Semitism and the true vindication of the millions of us who perished in the unspeakable events that we memorialize on Holocaust Memorial Day.
John Podhoretz: Stop cheapening the Holocaust to score political points
In October 1975, the writer and survivor Elie Wiesel wrote these oracular words: “Novelists made free use of it in their work, scholars used it to prove their theories, politicians to win votes. In so doing they cheapened the Holocaust; they drained it of its substance.”
We’ve been witness to the same distressing intellectual trend this week, as prominent Americans ranging from former CIA chief Michael Hayden to the cable-TV showrunner Brian Koppelman and many others have made explicit analogies between what has been going on at the Mexican border with the separation of children from their parents that preceded the gassing and murder at Nazi concentration camps.
As Wiesel’s words remind us, there’s nothing new in deploying the Holocaust as a political or aesthetic cudgel.
What’s different about this week’s events is that expressions of concern about the misuse of the Holocaust analogy have been the occasion for heated, even enraged, criticism: No, it is those who object to likening the extremely bad policy of the Trump administration to the worst event in human history who are doing wrong.
In a piece called “Yes, You Should Be Comparing Trump to Hitler,” a self-described “professional journalist” named Adam Roy writes (citing me and Yair Rosenberg of Tablet), “This, to put it mildly, is a load of bunk. We want to believe that the Nazis were a special, exceptional kind of evil, because it’s easier for us. But the reality is that their brutality was just another manifestation of humanity’s worst flaws: our fear of the Other, the unthinking cruelty we unleash upon each other as soon as society gives us license.”
John Podhoretz: Charles Krauthammer, 1950-2018 A life well lived
He was the most extraordinary person I have ever known, and I have been blessed to know many. We roasted Charles a few years ago at our annual fundraiser. Of course, no one could think of a bad thing to say about him. He said bad things about us. They were hilarious, because that’s the other thing he was—funny. Very, very, very funny. We’ll release video of it over the coming days.
There is more to say—about Charles as a Jew, about Charles as a brilliant social commentator, and about Charles as a medical miracle. For that he was. He was a quadriplegic who lived to the age of 68—and died not of complications from his condition but from cancer. He told Bill and Fred and me back in 1995 that he did not know how much longer he had to live and he needed to earn as much as he could to ensure Robbie and his son Daniel were provided for if the end came unexpectedly. He lived for 23 years after that. He wrote a book that sold a million copies. People flocked to him at personal appearances as though he were a Beatle.
Has anyone ever done more with the life God handed him, or played a bad hand as astoundingly as Charles did?
He did not believe in God, but if there is a God and there is a heaven, I hope Charles is playing basketball right now and cracking wise with the wisest of men, for he was among the greatest-souled of men. Baruch Dayan Emet. And may Robbie and Danny be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
Ben Shapiro: IN MEMORIAM: Charles Krauthammer
I grew up on Charles Krauthammer.
I don’t mean that I grew up reading Charles Krauthammer. I mean that Krauthammer helped me grow up. The older I got, the more I valued Krauthammer; as I attempted to move beyond the temptation toward provocativeness and toward something more substantial, I saw Krauthammer as something of a guide. When my father asked me which writer I considered the best in the business, there was always only one answer: Krauthammer.
Charles Krauthammer is the thinker I aspired to be, the writer I wanted to emulate.
I failed; I’ll always fail. But, to be fair, that’s not my fault. He was just that good.
I’m not alone. Krauthammer’s writings shaped an entire generation of young conservatives – conservatives who were looking for thoughtful, reasoned explanations of the issues of the day. Krauthammer was a moral and political bellwether. If you didn’t know what to think, Krauthammer nearly always did.
And if he didn’t, that was because Krauthammer was willing to consider all sides of an issue. Read some of his columns. This was a man who picked up an issue, turned it over, examined its smooth surfaces and rough undersides, and came away with a judgment. Because, in the end, that’s what Krauthammer was: a judge. A judge of nations, a judge of character, a judge of men.
Charles Krauthammer, a fierce defender of Israel and one of the most widely read conservative columnists of his generation, has died.
In a letter written by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and sent to Krauthammer earlier this month, the Israeli leader claimed he felt he and Krauthammer were “like brothers” and hailed him as “among the greatest friends of Israel of all times.”
I was profoundly saddened to hear the news of the death of Charles Krauthammer, a noble and extraordinary spirit, who was one of Israel’s greatest friends.
This is the letter I sent to him two weeks ago when I received news of his terminal condition. pic.twitter.com/dlCAtnCkPq
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) June 22, 2018
Krauthammer was outspoken for decades in his support of Israel, and was a lacerating critic of the Obama administration. His rejection of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was influential in galvanizing Jewish organizational opposition to the deal. He regularly made himself available for Jewish events.
In an essay in The Weekly Standard in 1998, he wrote about Israel’s vulnerability and his attachment to the Jewish state.
“Israel too is a small country. This is not to say that extinction is its fate. Only that it can be,” he wrote. “Moreover, in its vulnerability to extinction, Israel is not just any small country. It is the only small country — the only country, period — whose neighbors publicly declare its very existence an affront to law, morality, and religion and make its extinction an explicit, paramount national goal. Nor is the goal merely declarative. Iran, Libya, and Iraq conduct foreign policies designed for the killing of Israelis and the destruction of their state. They choose their allies (Hamas, Hezbollah) and develop their weapons (suicide bombs, poison gas, anthrax, nuclear missiles) accordingly. Countries as far away as Malaysia will not allow a representative of Israel on their soil nor even permit the showing of ‘Schindler’s List’ lest it engender sympathy for Zion.”
He returned to that theme in 2015, lamenting what he called Arab recalcitrance in foiling chances for peace.
“Peace awaits three things. Eventual Palestinian acceptance of a Jewish state. A Palestinian leader willing to sign a deal based on that premise. A modicum of regional stability that allows Israel to risk the potentially fatal withdrawals such a deal would entail,” he wrote.
“I believe such a day will come. But there is zero chance it comes now or even soon.”
Dr. Charles Krauthammer, perhaps the most luminous and incisive columnist of this generation, announced two weeks ago that he was stricken with terminal cancer and had only weeks to live. I feel an obligation to pay homage to this incredible man, and to add a Jewish, Zionist and personal angle to the many tributes to him that have rightly poured forth.
For 38 years, Krauthammer’s columns, essays, and lectures have stood as pillars of conservative principle and moral clarity.
On foreign policy matters, he was unquestionably the most radiant intellectual hawk in America, and on Middle East affairs he was the most consistent defender of Israel and the US-Israel special relationship.
Two examples of his razor-sharp writing regarding Israel and American Mideast policy will suffice, among hundreds of exhibits.
Krauthammer wrote in 2014 about “Kafkaesque ethical inversions” that make for Western criticism of Israel. “The world’s treatment of Israel is Orwellian, fueled by a mix of classic antisemitism, near-total historical ignorance and reflexive sympathy for the ostensible Third World underdog,” he wrote.
He understood that eruptions featuring Palestinian casualties (such as recent Hamas assaults on the Gaza border) were “depravity.”
“The whole point is to produce dead Palestinians for international television; to deliberately wage war so that your own people can be telegenically killed; indeed, moral and tactical insanity,” he said. “But it rests on a very rational premise. The whole point is to draw Israeli counter-fire; to produce dead Palestinians for international television, and to ultimately undermine support for Israel’s legitimacy and right to self-defense.”
Charles Krauthammer on Israel pic.twitter.com/Xjf545eCfh
— Dani Dayan (@AmbDaniDayan) June 22, 2018
It is appropriate for all free men and women to honor two scholars who helped preserve Western Civilization from totalitarian aggression. Both became American by choice.
Sadly, both, one British, one Polish, died this May.
Bernard Lewis and Richard Pipes, both veterans of World War II, risked their lives against the modern world’s first wave of authoritarianism, Nazi fascism. Their bold and far-sighted analyses of new threats to liberty were driven by the totalitarian ideologies of Soviet Communism and Islamic triumphalism, and received the expected condemnation from acolytes of these enfolding systems.
Richard Pipes, prominent Harvard academic, testified to the barren ideology of Marxist-Leninism by boldly calling the October Revolution of November 7, 1917, a classic coup d’état executed by the Bolsheviks. He argued that the Bolsheviks acquired popularity through deceptive promises of bread to urban workers, peace to soldiers and land to peasants. Professor Pipes’s counsel about the Russian threat to the Free World made him a despised figure among some of his liberal colleagues, some of whom welcomed the Soviet Union’s apparent embrace of Marxist principles.
Pipes, however, a Pole and a Jew, was probably sensitive to Russia’s historical penchant for expansion. Because of Russia’s acquisitiveness, Poland, more than once, disappeared from the map of Europe.
Countless Jews were victims of Russia’s pogroms over the centuries. Pipes also cut through pious cant lauding the Soviet Union’s socialist experiment. Rather, he firmly asserted the affinities between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and Tsarist Russia’s authoritarianism.
#BDS HATE NET EXPOSED: Minister of Strategic Affairs @GiladErdan1 revealed for the 1st time “The Hate Net”: A map showcases the network of ties between the most prominent BDS organizations― ten of which have ties with #Hamas and the #PFLP. pic.twitter.com/hC165tvtl3
— 4IL (@4ILorg) June 22, 2018
On Monday, five American Jews went to JFK Airport to see off several dozen young adults embarking on Birthright trips. Jewishly engaged millennials, they had lived in Israeli kibbutzim, worked for Hillel and grown up in other Jewish-American spaces.
At the airport check in, however, where participants meet and engage ubiquitous “Jewish geography,” the Birthright trip leaders were not too happy to see them.
That’s because these five American Jews had come to wish Birthright participants a great trip — and deliver a certain message on behalf of the far-left, anti-Occupation activist organization IfNotNow.
This was the sixth “Birthright Sendoff” IfNotNow has performed nationally since the first one in San Francisco last year.
In a statement, IfNotNow said the sendoffs’ intent is to provide resources to participants on their trip: “To help them ask questions to better understand what the Occupation really means for Palestinians, for Israelis, and for our Jewish community, and to reject Birthright’s attempt to narrowly limit our access to the complex truths of life in Israel/Palestine.”
On Monday, as two Birthright groups gathered their participants at a corner of JFK’s Terminal 1, the IfNotNow members set up shop.
As your children or grandchildren head off to summer camp, do you know what they will be learning there about Israel?
The anti-Israel group IfNotNow is planning to attempt to infiltrate Jewish summer camps to teach campers “about the occupation.” The group has held two training sessions, one in person and one online, for counselors, in which they suggest, among other things, that camp counselors “practice with them [i.e.,12 to 15 year old campers] saying the Kaddish every morning for Palestinians who have been killed in Gaza or its environs.” Of course, many of those killed in Gaza were Hamas members who, prior to their demise, were bent on destroying Israel. Other strategies for other age groups – as young as six – were discussed.
Although the Ramah camps have made it clear that IfNotNow’s anti-Israel agenda is not welcome, the group still plans to attempt to surreptitiously indoctrinate Ramah campers without the consent of the camp administrations. Moreover, participants in IfNotNow’s training may also be targeting Young Judea camps, the Union of Reform Judaism camps, and Hashomer Hatzair, Habonim Dror, and Bnei Akiva camps.
IfNotNow is a relatively new anti-Israel organization, marketed towards Jewish young adults. The group is reported to have about 1700 members, and it has 14 chapters or “hives” around the country. The group’s website states, “the time has come to end our community’s support for the occupation. We will be the generation to do it. The occupation is a daily nightmare for those who live under it and a moral disaster for those who support and administer it. IfNotNow is working to transform the American Jewish community’s support for occupation into a call for freedom and dignity for all.”
During his show, Roger Waters accuses Israel of being anti-Semitic, but denies his own anti-Semitism • He screens a cartoon of Trump giving a Nazi salute and goes after Mark Zuckerberg • But ultimately, Israel’s number one enemy is shallow and stupid.
During the intermission, instructions shot from the screen. The word “resist” appeared a number of times. At first, the audience, who had only come to see a rock show, was told to resist anti-Semitism in general. Then we were told to resist Israeli anti-Semitism.
My blood slowly began to boil. The next message sent my nerves into overdrive: “Yes, Israel discriminates against Palestinians on the basis of religion and ethnicity.”
Waters then set his sights on the United States and another of his archenemies, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Absurdly, Waters ignores Facebook’s enormous contribution in spreading his anti-Israel message around the world. For him, opposition is automatic, not rational. He is a knee-jerk responder.
The concertgoers around me were not fazed by the messages. Some said they had only come for the music, but others appeared to have absorbed Waters’ incitement, even if just a little.
Waters was a year old when his father was killed while serving in the British army in World War II. His father’s death appears to have left quite a few scars and anxiety, bordering on paranoia. In the past, Waters has dismissed allegations of anti-Semitism with the argument that his father fought to defend the Jews – a narrow and self-serving view of reality.
A council’s anti-Israel motion is “wholly alienating” for many Jews, the Court of Appeal has heard.
Jewish Human Rights Watch made the argument as it sought to persuade the court Leicester City Council was wrong to pass a resolution four years ago to boycott goods from “illegal Israeli settlements” in the West Bank.
The High Court rejected JHRW’s case for a judicial review in 2016 but the group mounted a fresh effort at the one-day hearing at the Court of Appeal on Wednesday.
Robert Palmer, counsel for JHRW, argued Leicester had failed to consider the impact of any boycott position on the Jewish community.
The council resolution came in the wake of the conflict in Gaza that summer, which had led to a “marked increase” in antisemitic incidents in the UK.
There was a “direct” link between events in the Middle East, as well as the international response to them, and antisemitism in the UK, JHRW said.
When South African celebrity Shashi Naidoo angered Israel haters over her pro-Israel comments a few days ago, I mentioned fellow South African celebrity Gareth Cliff in the same breath, given he had done the same thing last month. But that is where the similarities end.
I was curious to hear what Gareth thought about Shashi’s capitulation to the Israel haters, and sure enough, he has weighed in on the issue, albeit before her infamous press conference with BDS South Africa.
Not surprisingly, he did not hold back.
In a joint statement published Wednesday, dozens of leaders of nonprofits who are banding together for a potential defamation lawsuit against the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) warned that those who rely on and repeat the “misrepresentations” of the left-wing organization are “complicit” in its defamation of American citizens.
“Editors, CEOs, shareholders and consumers alike are on notice: anyone relying upon and repeating its misrepresentations is complicit in the SPLC’s harmful defamation of large numbers of American citizens who, like the undersigned, have been vilified simply for working to protect our country and freedoms,” the leaders wrote.
As PJ Media’s Tyler O’Neil reported on Tuesday, following the SPLC’s $3.375 million defamation settlement with Maajid Nawaz and his Quilliam Foundation, at least 60 nonprofits similarly maligned by the partisan organization are now considering a class action lawsuit against the self-styled “hate group watchdog.”
British electronic music band Clean Bandit is heading to Israel next month. In case you don’t recognize the name, you surely know this song – it has been viewed over 1.8 billion times on YouTube alone!
Their singer Grace Chatto was recently interviewed by Israel’s Walla! News, and she had some very pointed things to say about BDS:
Did the BDS movement pressure you not to come to Israel?
“No, when I created the band, we were seven (band members), and one of them did not want to go to Israel for that reason … I found it terrible and very stupid … We found ourselves in an unpleasant situation because of this, but unfortunately I could not do anything with it. Now we can do what we want to do, and that is to visit Israel and perform, so yes, I wanted to come to you all my life, and I am so very excited. “
A coalition of pro-Israel groups – including the World Jewish Congress, the Lawfare Project, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and Israeli-American Coalition for Action – applauded the introduction of a bill in Congress that protects American businesses from pressure to comply with boycotts of US allies such as Israel.
The bill, Export Administration Anti-Discrimination Act (EAADA), which was introduced last week by Reps. Ron DeSantis (D-Fla.) and Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) in the House of Representatives, seeks to update anti-discrimination protections codified in the Export Administration Act (EAA) of 1979, which prevents foreign entities from pressuring US corporations to comply with boycotts of US allies, including the State of Israel.
It will also update and strengthen enforcement of the 1979 law by creating a private right of action for those harmed by unlawful boycotts.
“The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement has weaponized economic activity to purposefully inflict financial harm on Israel,” said DeSantis. “Americans and our allies alike deserve the freedom to conduct business without the perpetual threat of discriminatory boycotts.”
World Jewish Congress president Ronald S. Lauder said, “I would like to thank congressmen Ron DeSantis and chairman Bob Goodlatte for putting forward this important legislation that will combat the BDS movement, which is rearing its ugly head all over the world.”
The Netherlands’ main public broadcaster retracted claims it published that Israel threatens Iran with destruction and that land gained by the Jewish state in 1948 is “occupied.”
The NOS broadcaster made the two retractions within the space of two weeks amid protests by Dutch Jews and others who complained that the state-funded organization has an institutional anti-Israel bias. A senior NOS spokesperson denied this.
The correction involving Iran came Tuesday. An NOS article stated that “Iran and Israel are arch-enemies that regularly threaten one another with destruction.” Iranian officials have often spoken about Israel’s destruction. But Israeli ones have not, NOS acknowledged after protests by the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI, pro-Israel group.
“Israel sees Iran, which regularly threatens to destroy Israel, as a grave danger,” the corrected text reads. Israel has threatened repeatedly “to intervene, also with bombing of Iranian targets,” it also says.
Dick Jansen, the chief editor of international news at NOS, said the original phrasing was “insensitive.”
In another sub-section titled “What’s been the reaction?” readers were told that:
“UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the decision was “regrettable”, arguing that while reforms are needed, the UNHRC is “crucial to holding states to account”.”
Interestingly, BBC audiences were not told that just one day before the US announcement, the UK Foreign Secretary had criticised the UNHRC’s treatment of Israel.
“Britain on Monday urged the UN Human Rights Council to reform its treatment of Israel, joining the United States in demanding an end to what has been described as the body’s bias against the Jewish state.
Addressing the opening of the 38th council session, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson criticized the council’s controversial Agenda Item 7, a permanent fixture on the schedule exclusively devoted to discussing rights abuses in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
“We share the view that the dedicated Agenda Item 7 focused solely on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is disproportionate and damaging to the cause of peace, and unless things change we shall vote next year against all resolutions introduced under Item 7,” Johnson said.”
However, the BBC failed to report that story at the time and continues to present criticisms of the UNHRC’s infamous anti-Israel bias as coming solely from the United States while sidelining the bigger question of why democratic states did not join America’s efforts to bring about reform at the UN body.
In part two of this post we will look at how the US announcement was presented on BBC radio.
Shah failed to inform listeners that the US had been trying for a year to introduce exactly such reforms. Neither was it clarified to audiences that the “reform process” subsequently referred to by Roth is not the same one that the US was promoting or that his organisation – along with others – had actively opposed the US’s proposed reforms.
Roth: “Yes, there’s actually an active reform process underway at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. And the US government was participating in that process until now. Now it’s walking away. So ironically it’s less likely to get any reforms by turning its back on the council but that’s why I don’t think this move is really about reform. This move is about trying to discredit the council because the council criticises Israel and that one-dimensional policy is just fortunately not where the rest of the world is. The rest of the world recognises there’s a need to address serious problems elsewhere in the world as well.”
Ritula Shah closed the item there. Listeners were not informed – as BBC editorial guidelines on impartiality require – of the “particular viewpoint” of Ken Roth and Human Rights Watch on Israel despite that being of obvious relevance since his messaging was given an almost unchallenged stage.
And so, listeners to BBC Radio 4 heard a person presented as the head of an authoritative sounding “international human rights organisation” telling them repeatedly that the US withdrawal from the UNHRC is actually “really about” Israel and – as was the case in his organisation’s press release – that because of Israel, human rights in the rest of the world will suffer.
In addition to his celebrated 1932 novel Journey to the End of the Night, Louis-Ferdinand Céline wrote three political “pamphlets”—one nearly 400 pages in length—between 1937 and 1941 warning of the Jewish threat to France. These often-scatological works endorse wild anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and justify the murder of Jews. Last year, the French publishing house Gallimard announced its plans to publish a new edition of these pamphlets, leading to months of intense controversy in France. Eventually Gallimard backed down, although not without issuing a statement that “condemning [the pamphlets] to censorship hinders efforts to reveal their roots and ideological reach and cultivates an unhealthy curiosity instead of critical reasoning.” Robert Zaretsky responds:
First, it has never been a question of censorship. The pamphlets can be found not just in libraries and used bookstores . . . but also on the Internet, where one can download a PDF in seconds. Besides, the work of examining the literary roots and measuring the ideological reach of these pamphlets has been under way for decades. From Alice Kaplan’s pathbreaking work . . . to Pierre-André Taguieff and Annick Durafour’s recent study Céline, le race, le juif, there has been no shortage of scholarly works. (Or for that matter damning ones: Taguieff and Durafour reveal that Céline denounced a number of French Jews to the Vichy authorities.) Finally, Gallimard’s refusal to issue the pamphlets à la Mein Kampf—namely, with the texts buffered by a solid critical apparatus—would more likely encourage than discourage “an unhealthy curiosity.”
Anti-Israel politician George Galloway was spotted having lunch at an Israeli cafe in London’s Camden Market on Thursday afternoon.
Galloway, a former British MP, is known as one of the vociferous voices against Israel in Britain. He is a firm supporter of a boycott against Israel, who once declared Bradford—the northern English city where he was the local MP—as an “Israeli free zone”. He said: “We don’t want any Israeli goods, we don’t want any Israeli services, we don’t want any Israeli academics coming to the university or the college, we don’t even want any Israeli tourists to come to Bradford even if any of them had thought of doing so.” He was subsequently questioned under caution by police on suspicion of inciting racial hatred.
He later promised the “mother of all protests” against a Tel Aviv cultural festival in London. In 2013, he stormed out of a debate at Oxford University against this reporter, saying that he did not debate with Israelis—an act from that even made the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions National Committee distance himself from him. Galloway has also claimed that the “news media which are controlled by Zionism” tried to foil his re-election bid.
Galloway also declared his support for a third intifada, or Palestinian uprising, against Israel, tweeting, “Whenever it comes I will support it with every breath God gives me.” Galloway served as a member of Parliament for the UK Labour Party until he was expelled in 2003 for bringing the party into disrepute, including for inciting Arabs to fight British troops. He is a declared supporter of the Lebanese designated terror group Hezbollah, and has hosted a show on Iran’s state-run channel Press TV.
Soccer fans displaying Israeli flags at World Cup matches in Russia have been subjected to threats, harassment and violence.
In one incident, a man wearing an Israeli flag around his shoulders was filmed as he was being chased around Moscow’s Red Square by men shouting “Palestine,” including one wearing a Tunisian flag. The man wearing the Israeli flag, who was also wearing a kippah, was filmed walking away from the growing group of hecklers along with another man who walked alongside him.
The hecklers shouted “Israel the whore” in Arabic, “Get lost” and “F*** you” as the men they were pursuing walked away for long minutes without responding to the taunts. About five hecklers then shouted “Viva Palestine” while waving the Tunisian flag.
On Facebook, a page of supporters for the Tunisian team featured a post with a video of the incident on Red Square. Decorated with icons showing a flexed muscular arm, it was titled “When Tunisian chased Israelis in Moscow singing Palestine.”
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen spoke on Tuesday about being on the receiving end of antisemitic slurs ever since he was a Jewish teen.
“I’ve been taking Jewish slurs since I was in high school,” Rosen, 21, told the website Uproxx. “I’ve been taking that my whole life. Sport is sport and you do whatever you can to get in a guys head, if that’s your technique, that’s your tactic.”
The NFL player spoke about the same topic in April in an interview with NFL.com. He said his opponents on the field would use his Jewish heritage against him by making remarks such as, “Stay the f— down, you Jewish bastard,” and, “I’m gonna break your f—- nose, you Jew.”
In May, the California native gave advice to other Jewish athletes, saying, “Keep grinding.
Howard Rosenman is a spielmeister, a storyteller, “not anything more, not anything less.” A producer of Father of the Bride, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and, most recently, the critical favorite Call Me By Your Name, Rosenman has brought a wide array of compelling films to the big screen. But the best stories he has to tell are his own.
A brash, Brooklyn-born, Queens-bred gay son of 7th-generation Israelis and the descendant of four Hasidic dynasties (personal experience he brought to bear in producing the 1992 Sidney Lumet feature A Stranger Among Us), Rosenman is most well-known to audiences for the one time he stepped in front of the camera: as Advocate magazine founder and publisher David Goodstein in Gus Van Sant’s Milk, the biopic of another strident gay Jew, slain San Francisco city supervisor Harvey Milk. Speaking earlier this week at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., where, alongside Milk’s nephew Stuart, he was a guest of honor for an LGBT pride reception, Rosenman recalled how he got the part. Goodstein, Rosenman recalled, was a “rich, gay Jew,” and when Van Sant (whom Rosenman knew “from gay-ville”) was thinking about whom to cast, he told his casting director to “get me someone who looks like Howard Rosenman, talks like Howard Rosenman, acts like Howard Rosenman, and has Howard Rosenman’s vibe.” So he ended up with Howard Rosenman.
Rosenman, whose first name is “Zvi,” is a gay Jewish zelig. On May 5, 1967, he found himself in Jerusalem as a young medical volunteer in the Tzahal. “We were all petrified to death with 100 million Arabs clamoring for the death of the Jewish state,” he recalled. While Rosenman was on the Temple Mount when the chief Ashkenazi rabbi blew a shofar to mark Israel’s surprise military victory, an experience that “blew my mind to smithereens and I’m still picking up the pieces,” it was the encounter shortly thereafter with Leonard Bernstein that became “the most momentous experience of my life.” The composer, who was in town to conduct Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony in honor of the victorious Jewish nation, encountered the young Rosenman while visiting Hadassah Hospital. Remarking that Rosenman looked like the waiter who had served him at a disco back in New York, Rosenman replied, in Hebrew, “Maestro, I was your waiter.” Bernstein then “kissed me on the lips and gave me four tickets to the concert.”
IBM’s new artificial intelligence (AI) system engaged in the first ever live, public debate with two Israeli student debating champions on Monday, demonstrating the computer’s ability to deliver persuasive arguments against humans on complex topics.
Named Project Debater, the AI was unveiled at IBM’s Watson West site in San Francisco, where it began by preparing arguments for whether governments should subsidize space exploration and whether the use of telemedicine should be increased.
Preparation for Project Debater began six years ago at the IBM’s Haifa research lab, but IBM Research principal investigator and creator of Project Debater Noam Slonim said the AI system only gained the ability to participate in debates with people two years ago.
During the first debate, the computer was pitted against 2016 Israeli national debate champion Noa Ovadia. Both sides delivered a four-minute opening statement, a four-minute rebuttal, and a two-minute summary in their arguments for each topic.
A more serious question is whether Israel will ever be a center for international television production. In 2014, two English-language shows began filming in Israel. Dig (a USA Network/Keshet International coproduction) was a mystery about an FBI agent investigating a murder in an archeological site in the Old City. Tyrant (for FX/Keshet International) was a drama about a ruling family in a Middle Eastern country whose son, a doctor in America, comes home for a wedding and gets roped into intrigues. After each show had wrapped a few episodes, the war with Gaza broke out and both series moved production, Dig to Croatia and New Mexico, and Tyrant to Morocco and other locations. (Dig ran one season and Tyrant ran three.) Even Homeland chose not to film in Israel during its sixth season, when Saul (Mandy Patinkin) visits his sister, a West Bank settler, but shot instead in Morocco.
An interesting development took place in 2017, when Netflix remade the tween adventure drama Ha Hamama as Greenhouse Academy. This English-language show set in California was filmed entirely in Israel. A small group of American actors joined the Israeli cast, and an American writer, Paula Yoo, collaborated with Israeli creator Giora Chamizer to write the series. Israeli crews speak English and are good at filming on a shoestring budget and a tight schedule, and that made Israel attractive as a location for Netflix. It seems unlikely that viewers who don’t know about the true location would ever guess.
“I think there will be more series that will be filmed in Israel in the future, but I think it would be helpful if the Israeli government offered tax breaks that are as competitive as other countries’, said Berkowitz. That said, the idea that Israel might at any moment find itself at war is clearly going to affect the comfort level of production companies.
Whether or not Israel actually becomes a locale for television shows, the fact remains that millions of viewers around the world are watching programs developed by Israelis every day, and many more such shows are in the pipeline. Jews have always had an affinity for storytelling, which was put to good use by the movie moguls who created Hollywood. Now it’s Israeli Jews who have used their brainpower and energy to crack the popular-culture code. And while some academics and intellectuals would like to boycott everything Israeli, the architects of the Israeli television boom have already harnessed the power of the airwaves to entertain the world.
Check out the audience reaction and number of positive comments compared to negative on this video – that may just be his real power!
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