What Ireland’s Boycott Bill Means For Israel
Fiamma Nirenstein, a former member of the Italian parliament and currently a Fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, considers the boycott movement more of a threat due to what she defines as troublesome constituent elements. “On the one hand, BDS is viewed as a way of attacking Israel without being accused of extremism, so in this sense it is a great invention by the Palestinians. On the other hand,” she expounded to The Media Line, “the program is connected to the worst anti-Semitic organizations, including terrorist ones.”
Nirenstein further highlighted the danger associated with the potential blurring of boundaries. “Boycotting commerce outside of the [1967 borders] interferes with business conducted inside of them, including banking, insurance, etc… So there is a fine line between calling for a boycott of products in [the territories] and advocating for a [blanket] ban of the Jewish state.”
As regards the EU, specifically, she considers the body the “mother of the BDS, as it is globalist, anti-religious and totally devoted to the idea of peace whatever the cost may be. By contrast, Israel is a nation-state with religions undertones that must constantly defend itself and Europe cannot forgive that. I do not think that Israel can do anything to change this attitude.”
Somewhat paradoxically, though, the law itself is a critical barrier to the implementation of European boycotts on Israeli goods. As noted by numerous economists, should the Irish bill be passed, U.S. companies, for example, might be forced to end their operations in Ireland as American firms are legally prohibited from participating in foreign economic bans not sanctioned by Washington. Such an eventuality would, in turn, render an estimated 150,000 people in Ireland jobless. And the same holds true across the continent, the potential negative ramifications of which have been made evident by ongoing European efforts to negotiate around renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran.
Aside from the legal, economic and moral implications, there is also the long-touted political norm against taking action that could “pre-judge” the outcome of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Increasingly, European countries seem to comprehend that applying uni-directional pressure on Israel is not a recipe for peace, but, rather, serves to push both sides further away from the negotiating table.
Indeed, critics of BDS the movement note its overall limited realization of its raison d’etre to damage the Jewish state diplomatically and financially. Nevertheless, most analysts agree that cases such as the Irish Senate legislation require a fervent Israeli defense, if not measured offensive. Such instances are, in the eyes of Jerusalem and its proponents, more than much ado about nothing, even if the economic sky is not liable to fall.
Ireland did not extend recognition to Israel until 1963 and did not establish an embassy in Tel Aviv until 1996. Furthermore, Ireland was one of the first European countries to call for a Palestinian state in 1980 and has persistently focused on the Palestinian refugee issue.
Today, despite its subordinate position within the European Union to such larger powers as France and Germany, Ireland has played an outsized role as a voice on matters concerning Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Last year, the Irish parliament passed a symbolic resolution calling on the EU government to recognize Palestinian statehood. Ireland was also the first European country to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization. At the same time, the BDS movement in Ireland is viewed by many as extremely powerful.
The Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which has been at the forefront of anti-Israel sentiment in Ireland, led to Israel banning some 20 activists associated with the Dublin-based group from entering the Jewish state as part of a “blacklist” targeting anti-Israel BDS groups.
As such, Kittrie believes that Israel needs to do a better job improving the country’s image in Ireland.
“Israel has a good story to tell. It needs to do a far better job of telling it to the Irish people,” he said.
“Watching the debate in the Irish Senate, one would think that the lack of peace between Israel and the Palestinians is entirely the fault of Israel. That is just not correct. I think education has a big role to play in improving relations between Ireland and Israel.”
The European Union is pushing back after an Israeli minister accused Brussels of funding boycotts and even terrorism against Israel.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini recently complained to Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, saying a report from his ministry was spreading disinformation in a report accusing the EU of funding anti-Israel groups with ties to terrorists.
EU Ambassador to Israel Emanuele Giaufret also rebuffed the suggestion Tuesday.
“The idea that the EU could support terrorism is entirely unfounded,” he told The Times of Israel on Tuesday. “We’re very determined in our fight against terrorism and remain opposed to the isolation of Israel or the questioning of its legitimacy. That’s why we don’t fund any BDS activity.”
He added that the EU was open to hearing “issues of concern” from Israel.
Mogherini sent a letter on July 5 to Erdan responding to a May report from his ministry that alleged that the EU funds nonprofit groups that campaign for boycotts of Israel or have ties to terror groups.
Education Minister Bennett: If Breaking the Silence wants to change things, it should act at home, not abroad • Breaking the Silence: The law proves how much Bennett fears his own ideology • Delegitimizing groups should be outlawed, right-wing forum says.
The Knesset on Monday passed a legislative proposal designed to keep out of schools nongovernmental organizations that advocate against the Israeli military. The bill passed its second and third readings with a vote of 43 in favor to 23 against.
The law, sponsored by Habayit Hayehudi MK Shuli Mualem-Rafaeli, was dubbed the “Breaking the Silence bill” for a controversial advocacy group dedicated to exposing alleged wrongdoings by the IDF. The group has been excoriated numerous times for encouraging legal action against Israeli soldiers, an allegation its leaders deny.
The legislation expands Section 2 of the Public Education Law and states that public education will teach Israeli youth about performing a meaningful role in the IDF or in national service.
The bill also grants the education minister the power to establish guidelines that will prevent organizations from outside the school system from activity in public schools if their work contradicts the goals and values of the public education system.
Isi Leibler: The perils facing Anglo Jewry
Over 10 years ago, I warned that the Anglo-Jewish leadership’s passivity would lead to disastrous political consequences and negatively impact the younger generation.
I described Anglo-Jewish leaders as “trembling Israelites, whose uppermost objective was to lie low and avoid rocking the boat.” The policy for confronting anti-Israel or anti-Semitic adversaries was summed up by then-President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews Henry Grunwald as the “softly softly” approach – attempting to resolve problems by silent intercessions.
The prevailing tendency of the leadership was to ignore the fierce waves of anti-Semitism and hostility from both Muslim immigrants and the Left. When the Muslim leadership called for the abolition of Holocaust Memorial Day, the Board of Deputies responded apologetically.
When London Mayor Ken Livingstone ranted his anti-Israel and anti-Semitic utterances, the Jewish leadership ignored him.
To enhance their social acceptability some Jewish leaders publicly condemned Israel, most noteworthy of whom was Sir Mick Davis, then chairman of United Jewish Israel Appeal, who proclaimed that Israel was in danger of becoming an “apartheid” state.
In 2006, Melanie Phillips wrote “Londonistan,” predicting the growth of Islam in Britain and the consequent dangers. She was immediately assailed by the Jewish leadership as an extremist. Yet, within the decade, her prophecies were not only realized but considered understated.
Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has received intense backlash after an interview with PBS in which she made comments with anti-Semitic undertones that prompted even left-leaning pundits to express embarrassment over her remarks.
In an interview on PBS’s “Firing Line” with host Margaret Hoover, Ocasio-Cortez called Israel the “occupiers” of Palestine and then fumbled over her words when pressed to explain herself.
After an stumbling attempt to explain her answer, the economics and international relations major eventually conceded that she did not know what she was talking about, saying that she was not “an expert.”
Still, the backlash that she faced online was overwhelming and brutal, with tens of thousands of people responding to Ocasio-Cortez’s disastrous interview.
— David Rutz (@DavidRutz) July 16, 2018
The upstart New York politician and self-described democratic socialist has a history of being critical of Israel, tweeting during her campaign that the killing of Palestinians at mass border protests by Israeli security forces was “a massacre.”
But during a Friday interview on PBS’ “Firing Line” Friday, Ocasio-Cortez gave a more nuanced answer when asked her views on the Jewish state. “Well, I believe absolutely in Israel’s right to exist. I am a proponent of a two-state solution. And for me, it’s not — this is not a referendum on the state of Israel,” she said.
Ocasio-Cortez walked back her use of the terms “massacre” and “occupation.” “I am not the expert on geopolitics on this issue,” she laughed. “I am a firm believer in finding a two-state solution on this issue, and I’m happy to sit down with leaders on both of these…”
But when Ocasio-Cortez interviewed with the left-wing Democracy Now! on Monday, she was singing a different tune, now declining to say she supported the two-state solution.
“Are you still for a two-state solution with Israel and Palestine?” asked host Amy Goodman.
“You know, I think this is a conversation that I’m engaging with with activists right now,” she responded. “Because this is a huge– especially over this weekend. This is a conversation that I’m sitting down with lots of activists in this movement on, and I’m looking forward to engaging in this conversation.”
Ocasio-Cortez became the Democratic congressional nominee in New York’s 14th Congressional District after defeating incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in last month’s primary.
On Tuesday, New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) slammed Democratic Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for her recent comments regarding Israel in which she called Israel an occupation force over Palestinian territories.
Hikind snapped, “What’s incredible isn’t that liberal, knee-jerk reactions and misinformation can come from an inexperienced candidate like Ocasio-Cortez — it’s that experienced, informed Democrats do nothing and let it pass! Where are the leaders of the Democratic Party on this? Where are New York Democrats? Scapegoating the Jewish State, which is under constant attack, is now acceptable?
Hikind continued, “The head of the Democratic Party has called Ocasio-Cortez the future of our party. Considering this statement of hers, that’s a frightening thought! I call on my fellow Democrats to address her outrageous comments! Your silence is deafening.”
The recently launched Freedom from Facebook coalition, which includes anti-Israel groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace and Linda Sarsour’s MPower Change as members, showcased signs portraying two top Jewish Facebook officials as an octopus with its tentacles across a globe, an anti-Semitic trope used by the likes of Nazi Germany to push conspiracies of Jewish control.
Freedom from Facebook members showcased the signs showing Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg as an octopus in the opening moments of Facebook executive Monika Bickert’s testimony to the Judiciary Committee. The signs could be seen clearly in C-SPAN’s broadcast, though the protesters were quickly told to put away the signs and removed from the hearing.
A clearer image of the sign was posted shortly after they were displayed at the hearing by Eddie Vale, a communications representative for Freedom from Facebook.
The portrayal of Jews with tentacles over the globe is nothing new and has in fact already been used against Facebook’s Zuckerberg by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which eventually apologized for publishing it.
Vale, who told the Washington Free Beacon he himself designed the signs, said any notion that his cartoon is anti-Semitic is “silly.” He said his intention was to play off a cartoon critical of Standard Oil, which also includes an octopus.
Sixty-eight British rabbis signed an open letter decrying antisemitism in the country’s labor Party and calling on the party to accept the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism.
In a rare united position, rabbis ranging from ultra-progressive to haredi Orthodox signed on to the letter.
Labor’s national executive committee is set to meet Tuesday to approve the party’s new code of conduct, which will include a softened version of the alliance’s definition of antisemitism. labor’s definition omits at least four points featured in the original one, including accusing Jews of “being more loyal to Israel” than their own country; claiming that Israel’s existence is a “racist endeavor”; applying a “double standard” on Israel; and comparing “contemporary Israeli policy” to that of the Nazis.
“The labor party’s leadership has chosen to ignore those who understand antisemitism the best, the Jewish community,” the rabbis said in their letter, which was published in The Guardian. “By claiming to know what’s good for our community, the labor party’s leadership have chosen to act in the most insulting and arrogant way.”
The Guardian reported that legal advice given to the labor Party by the Jewish labor Movement ahead of Tuesday’s meeting warns that the new definition of antisemitism could violate the Equality Act in Britain.
The advice, according to the Guardian, says that in crafting the new definition, labor has ignored the so-called Macpherson principle – that a racist incident is one perceived to be racist by the victim – and therefore when it comes to antisemitism, Jews are being treated less favorably than other groups.
A labor spokesman told the newspaper that is “entirely untrue” that the party’s code of conduct is not fully in line with the Macpherson principles.
The UK’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirivis strongly criticized the Labour party Monday for failing to adopt in full antisemitism guidelines set out by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, saying its omission of critical clauses constitutes an “unprecedented message of contempt to the Jewish community.”
Mirvis wrote his letter to the Labour National Executive Committee on Monday, but the body nevertheless adopted its own, heavily criticized guidelines regarding antisemitic behavior on Tuesday afternoon, although reportedly left room to “re-open” discussions on the code of conduct with the Jewish community.
Labour’s new guidelines are based on the IHRA’s working definition of antisemitism, but exclude several of key clauses, including one which stipulates that accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations, is antisemitic.
Another clause omitted in Labour’s guidelines is that is antisemitic to apply a double standard by requiring of Israel a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
In his letter to the NEC, Mirvis urged it to adopt the IHRA guidelines in full, noting that they have been adopted by the UK government, Welsh Assembly, Scottish Parliament and 120 local municipal authorities, as well as the Jewish community.
At last night’s PLP meeting, Labour MPs passed a motion calling on the party to adopt the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism. Before the vote, Chris Williamson raised a point of order attempting to stop two Jewish Labour MPs from moving their motion, to the fury of his colleagues. Peak Chris Williamson.
Meanwhile away from the meeting, 68 rabbis took the unprecedented step of signing a letter calling on Labour to adopt the full IHRA definition. In an extraordinary intervention from a broad spectrum across the Jewish community, they wrote:
“antisemitism within sections of the Labour party has become so severe and widespread that we must speak out with one Jewish voice. The Labour party’s leadership has chosen to ignore those who understand antisemitism the best, the Jewish community. By claiming to know what’s good for our community, the Labour party’s leadership have chosen to act in the most insulting and arrogant way.”
Still Labour moderates do nothing about this other than send a few tweets. Once again the Tory shambles letting Labour get away with this…
NGO Monitor: NGO Involvement in the 2018 Gaza Flotilla
On July 19, 2018, the Freedom Flotilla, comprising four boats, will set sail from Italy with the aim of “end[ing] the siege” of Gaza and “demand[ing] an end to our governments’ complicity with Israel’s war crimes and violation of human rights.”
The Freedom Flotilla partners with the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), identified by Fatah as an official PFLP “affiliate” and by USAID as the “agricultural arm” of the PFLP, a terrorist organization designated as such by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel. According to academic scholar Glenn E. Robinson, UAWC was founded in 1986 by “agronomists loosely affiliated with the PFLP.” According to the Israeli NGO Shurat HaDin, UAWC “was established by the PFLP; is controlled by senior PFLP operatives; makes its assets available to the PFLP; and acts in coordination with and to advance the interests of the PFLP (including active involvement in PFLP political activity).”
Many of the passengers aboard the flotilla have connections to highly biased and politicized NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict, including Medical Aid for Palestinians, Israel Social TV, Christian Peacemaker Teams, Health Work Committees, and CODEPINK.
NGO Monitor has analyzed the NIF’s 2017 financial reports (latest available), detailing grants to a wide variety of Israeli non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This analysis focuses specifically on 20% of the NIF’s funding that is distributed to 30 political advocacy NGOs claiming to promote human rights.
In analyzing NIF’s financial documents, NGO Monitor found that:
– 2017 expenses were $31 million, approximately the same as in 2016. Total revenue was $29 million, a 3.5% increase from 2016 ($28 million).
– Total authorized grants to all NGOs was approximately $13.6 million in 2017, approximately the same as in 2016 (See Table 1).
– The amounts listed in the annual financial statements comprise both “core grants” made directly by the NIF and “donor advised” grants. NIF details the division between these two funding formats in a separate online report.
NGO Monitor1 presents this submission to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (“Committee”) at its 70th session regarding its review of “State of Palestine” and its compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (“CEDAW”), to which it purported to accede in April 2014.
Under CEDAW, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is required to “condemn discrimination against women in all its forms” and to “agree to pursue by all appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating discrimination against women” (Art. 2); to “ensure the full development and advancement of women, for the purpose of guaranteeing them the exercise and enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms on a basis of equality with men” (Art. 3); to “(b) participate in the formulation of government policy and the implementation thereof and to hold public office and perform all public functions at all levels of government” and to “participate in non-governmental organizations and associations concerned with the public and political life of the country” (Art. 7); to “take all appropriate measures to ensure to women, on equal terms with men and without any discrimination, the opportunity to represent their Governments at the international level and to participate in the work of international organizations” (Art. 8); to “ensure to them equal rights with men in the field of education” (Art. 10); to “accord to women equality with men before the law” (Art. 15); and to “eliminate discrimination against women in all matters relating to marriage and family relations” (Art. 16).
Yet, the PA is currently not fulfilling these obligations, as indicated in its own submission to the Committee. Personal status laws discriminate against women in matters of marriage, divorce, child custody, and inheritance. Repressive cultural practices such as child marriage, female genital mutilation, polygamy, and “honor” crimes are endemic. Coupled with unsatisfactory educational and employment opportunities, the laws and customs create an environment where there is both entrenched de jure and de facto discrimination. In addition to legal and cultural discrimination, the PA exploits women and girls to carry out and incite acts of terrorism against civilians. The PA promotes female terrorists as national role models for young girls, enabling a culture of violence, in direct opposition to the principles of CEDAW. The PA also supports so-called “civil” society organizations that promote the exploitation of women for nationalism and violence, denying women the ability to access legitimate organizations that might aid them in achieving equality and prosperity.
Apparently, it’s an occupational hazard for Christian Bible scholars to think ill of Israel and its Jewish citizens. This tendency doesn’t afflict every Christian scholar of the Bible, but the fact is, some of the people who should be most committed to preaching a Biblical message of love and forbearance have a difficult — if not impossible — time offering much consideration to Israeli Jews. Some of these scholars say and write hateful falsehoods about Israeli Jews who attempt to defend themselves from hostile attacks from their Palestinian neighbors, many of whom are motivated by an virulent antisemitism rooted in the Koran and Islamic doctrine.
New Testament scholars in particular are vulnerable to the temptation of casting modern day Jews into the frame of Jewish and Roman villainy laid out in the Gospels. By using these frames to interpret the conflict, these Christian scholars do not promote love or peace, but instead broadcast a contemptuous and hateful commentary on the Israel-Palestinian conflict that demonizes Israelis and gives Palestinians a pass.
This scripturally-rooted narrative of Jewish villainy offered by Christian scholars like Naim Ateek, Walter Brueggeman and Gary Burge has helped pave the way for a resurgence of antisemitism in the Western church. This narrative has engendered indifference to the suffering Israelis have endured over the past several decades and given license to Palestinian violence and hostility against the Jewish people.
It is as if the early church fathers who sought to destroy the prestige of the Jewish people in order to promote the ascendancy of Christianity have come alive again in the 21st century to work their evil against the Jewish state.
The recent, months-long campaign of Palestinian arson attacks is described by Middle East-based scholar and Gatestone Institute contributor Bassam Tawil as “a well-organized campaign of terror orchestrated by terrorists and activists belonging to Hamas and other Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip.” They “formed a terror cell called the ‘Kites Unit’ similar to the gangs that fire mortars and rockets at Israel,” Tawil says, and their goal is to “kill as many Jews as possible and bring about the obliteration of Israel.” He explains that this is part of a global “jihad (holy war) against the enemies of Allah and Islam.”
“Ingenious” and “exasperating” are hardly the terms that come to mind to describe this terror campaign that has burnt down thousands of acres of farmland, woodland, and fields in Israel, scorching its wildlife and releasing toxic fumes on its human inhabitants. The first term carries the positive connotation of resourcefulness and brilliance while the second suggests a mere annoyance, minimizing the disastrous impact of these actions on plant and animal life and their injurious effect on human life.
Yet these are precisely the words chosen by New York Times correspondent David Halbfinger to describe the Palestinian arson campaign. In a July 9th article faulting Israel’s “punitive” response to kite terrorism for “chok[ing] off” Gaza’s “economic vitality,” Halbfinger referred to the Hamas-initiated campaign as “an ingenious and, for Israel, exasperating tactic.”
It was an intermittently amusing segment. It also placed Baron Cohen in the shallow waters waded by the likes of John Oliver, Michelle Wolf, and the other TV hacks who confuse outrage for insight and who select their targets from a very, very short list of preapproved bugbears.
Now, look: I’m a lifelong gun-rights advocate—I wasn’t much older than 4 when I squeezed my first trigger—and I will readily admit that our camp—to the extent that you can call it that—has its share of crazies. Every political persuasion does, without exception, which is what happens when a host of passionate people get together to pursue a cause. But I would expect a satirist of Baron Cohen’s caliber to transcend the preposterous and try a little bit harder. Why not, say, visit Chicago and ask the good people there how they explain why—given that Illinois is one of only seven states in the nation to require a permit to buy any firearm and one of only five states to enforce a waiting period before receiving said firearm, and given that Cook County enforces an assault weapons ban—the city’s gun violence rates keep climbing to grizzly new heights?
The answer would deliver fresh insights, but it would also open up the conversation to the possibility that there are irrational people promoting emotionally satisfying but practically useless proposals on both sides of the conversation. And that simple, basic, all-too-human realization—the sort, by the way, that had once made Borat such a keen observer of American culture—is no longer permissible here.
Who Is America? is not a question asked in a vacuum. It’s posed in a moment in time when the guardians of our cultural institutions have decreed that actors aren’t free to act as they please lest their choice of roles offend someone’s sensibilities. It’s posed when editors at large publications propose that committees for public safety gather to ascertain what’s fit to print and what’s just ideologically transgressive. It’s posed when free speech is considered by many a menace rather than a foundational right. A benighted moment like this calls for a great comic to parse the folly and show us the sad state of our union. Instead, we got another feckless clown telling the same tired talking points to the ever-shrinking audience that’s willing to listen. Come back, Borat Sagdiyev; our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
Sacha Baron Cohen is back, and he is taking aim at a strain of “pro-Israel” thought that has both delighted and unsettled many American Jews: the unconditional love engendered by the country among deeply conservative Americans.
In “Who is America?,” a show that made its debut Sunday night on Showtime, the British Jewish comic returns with the shtick that made him famous — disguising himself in order to prank the famous and not-so-famous.
Having created Borat (a dimwitted Kazakh journalist) and Ali G (a dimwitted hip-hop journalist), Cohen now rolls out Israeli Col. Erran Morad, a purported terrorism expert. In Sunday’s show, Cohen as Morad dupes a few current and recent politicians, as well as gun rights activists, into supporting a fictitious initiative to arm toddlers.
The gun rights activists, Philip Van Cleave and Larry Pratt, endorse Morad’s “Kinderguardian” program. So do Trent Lott, the former senator from Mississippi; Reps. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., and Joe Wilson, R-SC; and a former Rep., Joe Walsh, R-Ill. (Van Cleave stars in a Barney-like instructional video in which he sings a variant of “Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”: “Aim at the head, shoulders, not the toes, not the toes.”)
On Monday, CNN contributor and Temple University professor Marc Lamont-Hill decided he wanted to celebrate the birthday of an accused cop-killer.
And the full quote on Instagram:
Thinking about Assata Shakur on her 71st birthday. She wrote the second book that changed (and saved) my life. She taught me about the value and power of Freedom Dreams. She showed me the beauty of struggle. And she proved that “a wall is just a wall. and nothing more at all. It can be broken down.” I pray for her continued safety and protection. I continue to work to demonstrate her innocence. And I implore the State to stop prosecuting an unjust and unfair campaign against one of our most treasured Freedom Fighters. Thank you Mama Assata. Wishing you 100 more ears! #palenquequeen#handsoffassata #freeallpoliticalprisoners#everysingleone
For those who don’t know Shakur’s history: her birth name was JoAnne Deborah Byron. She married when she was almost 20; her husband for that year was Louis Chesimard so she became Joanne Chesimard. She began using the name Assata Olugbala Shakur in 1971, rejecting Joanne Chesimard as a “slave name.”
In the early 1970’s, she joined the Black Liberation Army, an offshoot of the Black Panthers. The Black Liberation Army attempted an armed struggle against the U.S. government by robbing banks and killing police officers and drug dealers.
Jewish people are protected by a law against racial discrimination in employment decisions, a federal magistrate judge has concluded in siding with a football coach suing a private Baptist college in Louisiana.
The nation’s highest court hasn’t defined what “race” means under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, U.S. Magistrate Mark Hornsby said in a court filing Friday. But he concluded that Jewish citizens have been treated as a racial or ethnic group entitled to the law’s protection against employment discrimination.
“Modern sociologists and anthropologists, especially with advancements in DNA studies, debate whether Judaism is a people, a religion, or both. There is no doubt, however, that many people have and continue to view being Jewish as a racial identity,” Hornsby wrote.
The magistrate issued his findings in a civil case football coach Joshua Bonadona filed against Louisiana College in February. Bonadona claims the college’s president, Rick Brewer, refused to approve his hiring because of what he allegedly called the applicant’s “Jewish blood.”
The magistrate recommends allowing Bonandona to continue pursuing his claim that the Pineville college racially discriminated against him because of his Jewish heritage.
According to Melamed, he was wearing a kippah when a self-identified Palestinian man asked if he was Jewish and then proceeded to follow him, shouting things like “I f*** Jews. I f*** Jews” and “No Jews in Germany.”
He then threw Melamed’s kippah to the ground three times and pushed him three times. In response, Melamed said he tried to kick the man in the groin twice, but missed both times.
The attacker fled after hearing a police siren. Melamed wrote that two police officers ran past the attacker and tackled him instead, then two or three other policemen helped pin him to the ground and handcuffed him. He said police punched him in the face several dozen times, bloodying him and breaking his glasses.
“I didn’t have much time to wonder, as almost immediately four or five policemen with heavy guard jumped over me (two from the front, and two or three from the back),” Melamed wrote. “They pushed my head into the ground, and then while I was totally incapacitated and barely able to breath[e] not to mention move a finger, they started punching my face. After a few dozen punches, I started shouting in English that I was the wrong person.”
A police officer then suggested that Melamed provoked the beating, Melamed wrote. He responded by describing his ancestors’ deaths in the Holocaust.
“Then the same policemen shouted at me in a didactic tone (in English): ‘Don’t get in trouble with the German Police!’” Melamed wrote. “This was more than enough. I told the policeman sardonically, ‘I am no longer afraid of the German police. The German police murdered my grandfather. They murdered my grandmother. They murdered my uncle, and they murdered my aunt. All in one day in September 1942. So, alas, I am not afraid of them anymore.’”
After being taken to the police station, Melamed wrote that police did not tend to his wounds and repeatedly tried to dissuade him from filing a complaint against them — including by suggesting that he attacked the police first, and by threatening to accuse him of resisting arrest. Eventually, he was taken to another office, where he filed a complaint.
A large group of men attacked a 17-year-old German Jew who wore an Israeli pin and kippah on Friday night in what the police believe was an antisemitic attack.
Media in the German city of Dusseldorf reported that some 10 men of “North African or Mediterranean” appearance pushed the young Jewish man, causing painful injuries.
The men also insulted the youth, whose name was not published in German media reports. According to the police, the suspects are between the ages of 18 and 23. Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon tweeted in response to The Jerusalem Post story: “Those are not just separate and distinct events. It’s a pattern, a pattern of antisemitic attacks by Muslim migrants against the members of the Jewish community, just because they are Jewish. It is unacceptable anywhere, and doubly so in Germany.”
Michael Szentei-Heise,the executive director of the Jewish community in Dusseldorf, told the WAZ daily newspaper that the attack showed, “For the safety of Jewish citizens in Germany it is catastrophic.”
On Tuesday, voters in California’s Bay Area began receiving anti-Semitic robocalls declaring that the “Jews are taking over the world and must be stopped.” The calls promoted John Fitzgerald, a former Democratic 2010 candidate who flipped to Republican in 2012 and who is the only Republican challenger to incumbent Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord.
Road to Power, a white-nationalist, neo-Nazi organization headed by Scott Rhodes, is rumored to be the culprit of these robocalls. Road to Power also sent out robocalls on behalf of Patrick Little, an anti-Semite who ran for Feinstein’s Senate seat (luckily, Little failed miserably and only secured one percent of the vote in the June primary).
Fitzgerald called the robocalls a “smear against my campaign.”
“I do not, never have and never will hate or degrade any ethnic group solely based on their ethnic identity,” he said in a statement on his campaign website. “I question Road To Power’s true motives and funding along with the news agencies who are falsely characterizing and smearing me as a person of ‘hate’ and as an ‘anti-Semite’ by associating me to the robocall.”
A Polish satirist who in 2016 made anti-Semitic jokes on television and later accused Jews of fomenting hatred against themselves was awarded his country’s highest distinction for artists.
Ryszard Makowski, 62, was awarded the Gloria Artis Medal for Merit to Culture on Thursday along with 20 others by Culture Minister Piotr Gliński in Warsaw, the w Polityce news website reported. Makowski won the bronze medal, the lowest of three categories in the distinction awarded annually to artists by the ministry.
“It is an expression of thanks by Poland for your creativity and for your commitment, for your talent – that is always augmented with work, perseverance, creative courage,” Gliński said in presenting the award.
In 2016, B’nai B’rith Poland protested Makowski’s performance on the public broadcaster TVP3 over a song with words saying that dishonest banking practices have been around for as long as “tsimmes and gescheft” – Yiddish words that mean a sweet carrot stew and business, respectively. The song also references the Rothschild Jewish family.
In March, Makowski wrote in w Polityce about the protest by Israel and Jewish organizations against a law that criminalized blaming the Polish nation for Nazi crimes. The law was amended last month.
“One may suspect that this ostentatious struggle of Jewish circles,” he wrote, “is aimed at sparking up anti-Semitic moods.”
U.S. sales and marketing software giant Salesforce announced Monday that is has signed an agreement to acquire Datorama, which develops cloud-based artificial intelligence-powered marketing analytics software.
Israeli media reported the deal was worth some $850 million, but neither company would confirm the details.
Salesforce has been a key beneficiary of so-called digital transformations, a growing trend in which companies move their operations onto lower cost cloud-based services that offer more scalability.
Founded in 2012 by entrepreneurs Ran Sarig and Efi Cohen and advertising executive Katrin Ribant, Datorama has more than 3,000 international customers, including PepsiCo, Ticketmaster, Trivago, Unilever, Pernod, GoDaddy, L’Oréal, Ricard and Foursquare, to name a few.
The Tel Aviv-based firm has 17 offices worldwide and employs 400 people. It is expected to remain headquartered in Israel, where it will operate as a Salesforce research and development unit.
Israel’s Evogene Ltd., a plant genomics company that uses gene modification to improve crop quality and productivity, has reached an accord with Brazil’s Instituto Mato-grossense do Algodão (IMAmt), a developer and marketer of cotton seeds, to work together on the development of insect-resistant seeds.
As part of the accord, Evogene will identify genes that are effective against the cotton boll weevil and the fall armyworm, Evogene said in a filing to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on Tuesday. IMAmt will validate the findings in its lab, and if they are found to be correct, the parties will enter negotiations for a commercial license agreement, the statement said.
Cotton is among the most significant commodity crops. Global production is estimated at $30 billion, with Brazil being the fourth-largest producer of cotton in the world, the filing said.
The cotton boll weevil and the fall armyworm are among the most devastating pests threatening the cotton industry. It is estimated that the former, which feeds on cottons buds and flowers, inflicts annual costs of $468 million in Brazil alone, with insecticides being only marginally effective.
Israeli humanitarian aid organization IsraAID set up a mobile dental clinic for one week in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya, home to over 190,000 refugees from across the region, the majority escaping violence and instability in neighboring South Sudan.
Staffed by volunteer dentists from Bloom Dental Group, a San Francisco Bay Area dental practice, and IsraAID volunteers, the mobile clinic provided a range of treatments from routine check-ups to surgical procedures.
The four-person dental team, led by Israeli-American Dr. Lior Tamir, arrived on July 2 to Kakuma Refugee Camp to begin treating thousands of refugees.
Also arriving at the camp were more than $26,000 in oral healthcare supplies and products donated by global distributor Henry Schein. The clinic is supported by the Koret Foundation.
“For many of the refugees it will be the first time in their life that they are receiving dental treatment,” IsraAID co-CEO Yotam Polizer tells ISRAEL21c. “I think what’s unique about this program is that dental care is not something we usually think about when we think of humanitarian aid. We can really make thousands of people’s lives a lot better in a relatively simple operation.”
According to IsraAID, lack of access to adequate dental care and oral hygiene education is a major issue affecting the lives of refugees in Kakuma and around the world. As the number of displaced people around the world grows to more than 68 million, strain on dental and medical services for refugees is likely to grow.
Tehoka Nanticoke scored the earliest goal he can remember when he was “3 or 4” years old, in a peanuts division game in Welland, Ontario. “I remember coming off the bench, getting the ball, coming across the crease—backhand,” he recalled on Friday night, a few minutes after the Iroquois Nationals had wrapped up their first and only practice of the World Lacrosse Championships at Netanya’s Wingate Institute. In Onondaga, Akwesasne, Six Nations and the other islands of Iroquois life remaining in the Northeast, young people are given sticks before they can even walk—Chase Scanlan, a rising freshman at Loyola and at 18 the youngest member on the team, told me he was playing full-floor box lacrosse from the age of 3. “There’s lots of magic in these sticks. The wooden ones anyway,” Iroquois general manager Scott Burnam explained just as that Friday night practice kicked off. “You’re given a stick at birth. You’re buried with your stick.”
In Iroquois communities, lacrosse is present at both the beginning and the absolute end of earthly consciousness, with the sport creating a through-line for the entirety of a person’s life. That’s how it’s been so far for Nanticoke, who grew up in Six Nations, Ontario and is now a 20-year-old rising sophomore at the University of Albany and perhaps the top underclassmen in NCAA lacrosse. He remembers the advice an older brother imparted during his peanuts days (again, the age of 4, roughly), in which his sibling “taught me to do what I had to do to get the ball in the net. I was doing backhands that young—I was doing everything. My first one-hand, between-the-legs-goal was in 2008. I was 10, it was against Burlington [Ontario], Kyle Hebert, the Stony Brook goalie. I remember it was on him.” This was meant as a description and not as a boast: I asked Nanticoke whether there was ever a moment in early youth when he realized he was a better player than everyone else around him. “I don’t go and look at myself like that,” he said.
On the field, Nanticoke is both fleet-footed and boulder-like. He’s cat burglar and battering ram, crashing through defenders and then salvoing shots before anyone on either team has adequately processed what’s happening. On the sidelines, he’s one of the few beacons of calm in a sport whose soundtrack is largely yelling based. Coaches and players scream in code: “HOT HOT HOT HOT! BALL BALL! BERMUDA PEACHES! Make ‘em roll back!” everyone bellowed at each other during a defensive drill on Friday night. The next day, moments before the opening face-off against England, Nanticoke poured baby powder down the entire length of his stick to reduce the feeling of recoil caused when the ball slams into its pocket. “Soft, soft,” he said, spinning the stick in his hands, “like you’re catching an egg every time.”
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