May 29, 2020

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08/02 Links Pt2: Camp Stupid USA; Former UN Rapporteur Falk is a member of antisemitic FB groups

From Ian:

Camp Stupid USA
Ordinarily a story like this – the “Palestinian” flag flying over a Jewish camp for kids in Washington State, USA – would rate scant attention, except that it symbolizes two points: 1. Our desperate need to be loved. 2. It happened at the time when an Islamic preacher in California got caught sermonizing death to all Jews.
That imam at Davis, CA lamely apologized (to stem the bad PR), and so did the officials at Camp Solomon Schechter who explained that they won’t do it again, but that they hoisted the flag because some Arab kids were coming to visit so this would be a good time for some solidarity.
According to them at the camp, it was meant to provide “a teachable moment” and to foster “empathy…”hope”…”love”…and “peace.”
Talk like that is not exclusive to that camp where the leaders meant no harm and no disrespect to Israel. Their apology, I do believe.
They were simply caught being stupid.
Stupid is who we are when we keep pleading for acceptance against enemies who just won’t take love for an answer.
Groveling is what we do even at home in America and even with Israel at our side; blessings that ought to make us feel high spirited and invincible instead of pathetic and submissive. (Borrowed from and based upon the novel “The Bathsheba Deadline.”)
I guess it’s too late to remind (some) American Jews that the “Palestinian” flag represents nothing, zero, since there is no “Palestinian” country or nation…and if it does mean anything, it means precisely what that imam preached – “the annihilation of all Jews everywhere.”

Author of anti-Israel UN report is mixed up in antisemitic FB groups

Richard Falk, an American professor who has held multiple positions at the United Nations which he has in the past notoriously used to propel an anti-Israel agenda, was discovered to be a member of an antisemitic hate group on Facebook.
Sources close to The Jerusalem Post discovered Falk is one of 5,408 members of “Shoah,” the Facebook group of an organization by the same name. The British group began operating in 2011 with the aim of ending “Zio-Nazi oppression” and the “environmental destruction of Palestine.”
Although the complete members list and the true total number of members is visible only to accepted members, The Jerusalem Post obtained a screenshot of Falk’s membership as of Sunday, July 30, 2017:
Screenshot of Richard Falk’s membership in the Shoah: Palestinian Holocaust Facebook Group, taken in July, 2017.Screenshot of Richard Falk’s membership in the Shoah: Palestinian Holocaust Facebook Group, taken in July, 2017.
The Shoah Facebook group has spread severely anti-Israel and antisemitic imagery, often depicting Israel and global Jewry as one and the same:
When questioned about his membership in the group, Falk told The Jerusalem Post, “Thank you [for] notifying me. I had never heard of this group before. I went to the link for the group, and found out that I had been added by someone named John Phoenix, whom I don’t know…”
This is a curious statement, considering Falk is friends with John Phoenix (the administrator of the Shoah group) on that same Facebook account. Being “friends” on Facebook requires action by both parties:

Breaking silence, AIPAC announces support for Taylor Force Act

A day before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will consider a revised version of a measure that would strip US funding to the Palestinian Authority over its practice of paying terrorists and their families, the most powerful pro-Israel lobby in Washington broke its silence and came out in support of the bill.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) urged the committee Wednesday to vote yes on the Taylor Force Act. The committee is due to meet on Thursday and the bill is on the committee’s agenda. Passage would send the bill to the entire Senate chamber.
For the last several months — since South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) introduced the motion in February — AIPAC has refrained from unequivocally endorsing the bill, instead saying simply that it supported its principle objective.
But after the Senate unveiled an updated version Tuesday, AIPAC was prepared to fully embrace the bill.
The new text incorporates some of the concerns expressed among committee members, like allowing for continued funding to the PA for humanitarian efforts and security cooperation, but it does not include a waiver that would grant the US president the ability to disregard the law on national security grounds.
AIPAC signaled on Wednesday that the provisions were critical for earning its backing.

Seth Frantzman: Secret cables reveal US efforts to prevent 2007 Hamas takeover of West Bank

It has been just over 10 years since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip. The Office of the US Security Coordinator (USSC), established in 2005, played a key role in preventing the chaos there from spreading, yet key aspects of how it achieved that have gone unreported. A look at secret US diplomatic cables, published by Wikileaks, sheds some light on what happened and why it still matters today.
“The Palestinian Authority is having difficulty asserting its authority in Gaza and the West Bank,” reads a US diplomatic cable written in Tel Aviv on January 6, 2006, intended as a “scene setter” for a visiting delegation. The US Embassy said that Fatah, the ruling party of the PA, “is fractured by internal rivalries, and is being challenged by Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other armed militias affiliated with Fatah,” according to the cable.
The memo also said that then-USSC head Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton had recently returned from Washington after meeting then-president George W. Bush and then-secretary of state Condoleezza Rice. “Dayton’s mission is to work with the Palestinian security sector reform issues and his multinational team works to ensure coordination and communication between the PA and GOI [Government of Israel],” the 2006 cable read.
Ostensibly, this was about the US “commitment to peace,” but it was really about saving the Palestinian Authority. With the death of Yasser Arafat in November 2004 and the rise of Abbas, the PA was in crisis. Hamas was on the march in the West Bank and Gaza. The Bush administration had supported Israel’s policies to defeat the Second Intifada and wanted Arafat to exit the stage.
Washington “believed that an opportunity had arrived to achieve progress on Palestinian security reform,” wrote Jim Zanotti in a 2010 report for the US Congressional Research Service titled “US Security Assistance to the Palestinian Authority.”
Lt.-Gen. William “Kip” Ward was the first leader of the USSC, but Dayton left the biggest mark after taking over in December 2005. An interview request to Dayton, who is now retired, was turned down.

Palestine. Land of Promise

In 1938, the United States Department of Agriculture sent Walter Clay Lowdermilk to the “Near East” to make a survey of land use. These photos are from his book, Palestine, land of Promise, published in 1944, which examines the “geological setting of these these areas, the state of their population, and the present achievements of Jewish agriculture and industry”
He writes (p.85)
…the newcomers in Palestine became pioneers, building their own economy in a backward and neglected land…These pioneers in Palestine found the country denuded of trees and depleted of its natural fertility.
With an innovative spirit that persists even today, the Jewish community began transforming the land using scientific agrarian methods
(p.91) The Arab cow gives about 800 quarts of milk a year, but the cows in Jewish settlements average 3500 quarts, while some prize specimens among them give more than 5000 quarts yearly.
(p.92 )The native Arab hen is a scrawny fowl which lays an average of 60 small eggs a year. Jewish settlers have introduced the leghorn hen and crossed it with native breeds,The resultant new strain is heavier and lays an average of 150 large eggs per year.
(p.94) The most outstanding achievement of Palestinian agriculture is the scientific production of citrus crops… The Arabs quickly adopted the modern methods of the Jews and together the two communities have built up a citrus industry which before this war made Palestine the second largest citrus exporting country in the world.
It was not just the land that prospered- it was the people as well.

Fred Maroun: Was it ethical of Israel not to deport Arabs in 1948 and 1967?

So what next?
The ideal outcome of this conflict would be that Palestinians develop a national identity that would sideline their hatred towards Israel. This would lead to Palestinians placing their national project as their top priority, a precondition for a viable two-state solution.
This will however not happen as long as Palestinian terrorism and incitement continues without any significant challenge by the Arab world, Europe, the United States, and the United Nations. As long as the Palestinian refugee problem is maintained and nurtured by the UN. As long as the Palestinian Authority President is treated by all world leaders, including President Trump, as a legitimate leader when in fact his legitimacy has run out long ago and his funding of terrorism is well known.
The world has placed Israel in an impossible situation, and God only knows what will happen next. Can Israel continue to uphold the highest standards of ethics while its enemies have no ethics at all? The expectation that Israel would continue to do that is in fact not reasonable or even ethical, and the world must wake up to the situation that they created due to their own immorality and cowardice.

Europe: The Censored Film They Do Not Want You to See

Murderers of Jews as Honorary Citizens
ARTE, as part of its programming, broadcasts films such as “The Little Stone Thrower of Silwan” — a report sympathizing with sweet Arab children in Jerusalem who just want to make their neighborhood “Jew-free”.
Would the station ever show a serious film about anti-Semitism?, Gatestone asked the journalist Jean Patrick Grumberg, of the French-language news site Dreuz. Grumberg replied:
“France is also a country were communist mayors celebrate Palestinian Jew-killers as honorary citizens. Arte would never denounce a communist. They would instead introduce the Terrorists as “Freedom fighters”… the heads of Arte France would never – ever – be hired if they are suspected of being pro-Israelis or conservatives. As a matter of fact, being a radical is welcome.”
According to Grumberg, “nearly 100% of the French media are anti-israel.” Anyone who is pro-Israel must conceal it, or deal with the threat of repercussions.
“And within this hard to believe environment, France Television and Arte are the worst among the ‘islamo-lefties’.
“To start with, France’s Arte heads of program refused to produce a documentary about anti-semitism in Europe because they knew too well that it would underline the Muslim anti-semitism issue, and Muslim anti-semitism is taboo in France, most notably among the left and in the media.
“One has to keep in mind that France is the Western country with the largest number of Jews assassinated during the 21st century (14 Jewish people killed because they were Jewish). All of them were killed by Muslims, not by the Far right. Arte would never want you to know that.”

Gil Troy: Israel’s bad PR: Our fault – and theirs…

I recently completed a week-long, 15-lecture speaking tour in London. I was impressed by how much more connected the British Jews I met feel with one another and with Israel than do many American Jews – yet distressed by how much more beleaguered they feel, scarred by European anti-Zionism. The last question asked during my last talk addressed this blight.
The questioner wondered whether this intensifying hostility toward Israel and Zionism represented Israel’s tactical failure to defend itself effectively or the antisemites’ irrational hatred. I answered: “yes, both.” We haven’t explained ourselves well, yet our efforts are doomed. Antisemitism, the world’s longest – and hippest – hatred, persists no matter how brilliant our arguments, or selfless our actions. Anti-Zionism grew in academia, and Europe, during the Oslo peace process, when Israel was conceding territory.
True, for too long, Israel too frequently defended itself abroad with unappealing bureaucrats making heavy-handed arguments. And while Foreign Ministry advancement too often reflects one’s skills at self-promotion not national defense, Israel has sent exceptional, eloquent ambassadors to the UK. Daniel Taub, and now Mark Regev, represent a new generation of media-savvy diplomats who understand that representing Israel involves winning PR wars.
Still, while worrying about Israeli PR, I reject the Diasporist critique that particular Israeli policies “don’t do us any good” abroad. That approach reflects the victim’s obsession with the oppressor. We need Israeli policies that are good, not policies to make Israel look good.
Let’s also acknowledge the massive Jewish educational failure regarding Israel and Zionism. Most Jewish day schools excel at motivating kids to get into the right college, not motivating them to defend Israel while at college. Too many Jewish educators and parents describe Israel in such glowing terms, they neglect any problems, any complexities. They transform Israel into this perfect, and perfectly fragile, vase. The first time a professor, a roommate, an author, criticizes Israel the glass shatters for the propagandized student. Many, feeling betrayed, then turn on Israel, and the Jewish community.

Elliott Abrams: Flying Over the Boycotts of Israel

How’s that movement to boycott Israel going?
Here are just a few announcements made in 2017, and I am sure I have missed many others.
“Ryanair Launches 15 New Flight Routes Between Israel and Europe.” Ryanair will add twice weekly flights to Eilat from Baden-Baden, Berlin, Brussels, Frankfurt, Milan and Polish cities Warsaw, Gdansk and Poznan, and will add seven new routes to Tel Aviv from Baden-Baden, Gdansk, Milan, Poznan, Krakow and Wroclaw in Poland, and Paphos in Cyprus.
“WOW air Announces Service to Tel Aviv.” WOW, a low-cost carrier based in Reykjavik, Iceland, has announced that it will be starting service from there to Tel Aviv, Israel in September.
“BUDGET AIRLINE RYANAIR ANNOUNCES NEW TEL-AVIV-ROME ROUTE.” The story continues, “The Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair will add flights connecting Ben-Gurion Airport and Rome to its winter 2017 schedule, the company announced on Thursday. With the addition of daily flights from Rome, Ryanair will be flying between Tel Aviv and eight Europe destinations this winter: Baden Baden (twice weekly), Gdansk (twice weekly), Krakow (twice weekly), Milan Bergamo (four times weekly), Paphos, Cyprus (daily), Poznan (twice weekly), Rome (daily) and Wroclaw (twice weekly). The company projects serving some 330,000 customers each year on these 28 weekly flights.”

Anti-Israel activists try to shut down protests over California bakery honoring Palestinian terrorist

That’s because in most states (but not in California) privately-owned shopping malls and centers can restrict free speech. Since the mid-1970s, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that, unlike in the public square, like on city streets and in parks, the First Amendment doesn’t guarantee citizens the right to free speech on private mall properties.
But the San Francisco Bay Area pro-Israel group is in luck.
In an important 1980 case, Pruneyard Shopping Center vs. Robins (447 U.S. 74, 80), the SCOTUS upheld the general claim that citizens have no free expression rights in private shopping centers, but found that state constitutions could confer broader speech rights, if they so desired, permitting free speech in these private arenas.
Pruneyard involved a group of California high school students who were denied permission by the manager of a private mall in Campbell to man a table, hand out leaflets, and collect signatures for a petition against the virulently anti-Israel and antisemitic UN General Assembly Resolution 3379, which determined that ‘Zionism is a form of racism’.
The Court stated that the student group had the right to set up a table, and approach passersby in order to solicit names for their petition, discuss the issue, and distribute their literature because the broadly worded California Constitution does in fact give citizens the right to speak and assemble freely, and to petition, including in private malls.
That is, the Supreme Court recognized that state constitutions may provide more protection than the U.S. Constitution does when it comes to speech in privately-owned malls.

Michael Lumish: The Reem’s Protest is Doomed

Fuggedabout it.
The protest against Reem’s antisemitic restaurant and bakery at the Fruitvale BART Station in Oakland, California never had a chance.
There are a number of reasons for this.
The first is the absolute failure of the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish leadership, including both the synagogues and Stand With Us, to stand with us.
If the people with the money and the influence do not seem to care it is exceedingly difficult to get anyone else to give a damn. Why should any non-Jew with power and influence care if even the local Jewish leadership does not?
So, the institutional support is lacking which obviously depresses potential support even in a cause as just as opposing the veneration of a genocidal Jew Hater in a public restaurant.
Another reason for the failure of the Reem’s action is that the leader of the small group of elderly protesters wants anonymity retained as much as possible because standing up in favor of Jewish rights can be a dangerous game.
Our enemies are not opposed to using violence, quite obviously, in order to support their anti-Jewish agenda. Thus I have been reprimanded for mentioning the names of people at the last protest.
That is my mistake, I am sure.

New York Congressman Demands Investigation Into Iranian Funding of US Universities Through Alavi Foundation

A New York congressman is urging US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to investigate the funneling of millions of dollars by an Iranian regime-controlled foundation to Ivy League universities, including Harvard, Columbia and Princeton.
“Did this foundation attempt to subvert American academic institutions?” Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY), who represents the Staten Island borough, asked concerning the donations from the New York City-based Alavi Foundation, which critics say have funded anti-Israel and pro-Iran academics.
“We need to investigate this, and universities have to do a better job of vetting their donors,” Donovan said on Tuesday.
The Alavi Foundation has disbursed more than $50 million in grants since its foundation in 1973. It says that its goals are to promote Persian culture and interfaith dialogue and insists that it operates independently of the Iranian government.
But at the end of June, a Manhattan jury determined that the foundation was controlled by the Tehran regime following the culmination of a nine-year legal battle in which federal prosecutors successfully charged that Alavi’s management of its prestigious office building on New York’s Fifth Avenue violated US sanctions against Iran. As a result of the court’s decision, the $500 million property was seized by the American government, which now plans to sell it and distribute a large portion of the proceeds to victims of Iranian-sponsored terror outrages.

Left-wing NGO petitions court: Jewish signs destroying Palestinian Hebron

The left-wing NGO Rabbis for Human Rights has petitioned the High Court of Justice against Israeli signs in Hebron, warning that they were erasing Palestinian history in the West Bank city.
The signs in Hebrew and English direct pedestrians to Jewish areas of the city, located in the small sections under Israeli military control.
Many of the signs have been placed on Shuhada Street, whose shops have been forcibly closed by the Israel Defense Forces for over two decades for security reasons.
Palestinian vehicles are barred from that road as it connects between the Tomb of the Patriarchs and three Jewish apartment complexes.
This includes Beit Hadassah built in 1893 with money donated from the Iraqi Jewish community.
The Hebron Jewish community’s signage projects is the latest in an Israeli-Palestinian cultural war over the identity of the city that is home to 220,000 Palestinians, but whose Jewish history dates back to Biblical times.
“The settlers are trying to use the signs to change the identity of Hebron, erase Palestinian history and pretend we do not exist,” said Issa Amro, founder and chairman of Youth Against Settlements and a resident of Hebron.
“The name of the neighborhood in which I was born was changed from the Arabic name Bab el-Khan to the Hebrew name, Emek Hebron. The final intention of all this is to pressure Palestinian families to leave their homes and to make it look as though Hebron is a part of Israel.”

Faculty Who Say Yes to ‘Anti-Zionist’ Conspiracy Theories

Late this May, Vida Samiian, Director of Middle East Studies at California State University, Fresno, resigned. Her complaint: “the unethical and discriminatory cancellation of the Edward Said Professorship [in Middle Eastern Studies] search.”
According to the administration, the search was canceled “because of critical procedural errors.” The search committee, the administration says, was improperly formed, and “an unauthorized party was participating” in the deliberations. Samiian insists instead that the administration caved to outside pressure applied by “individuals and forces that defend” Israel, “the last settler colonial regime.” These Zionist were racists, too—the search “was canceled based on animus toward the national origin, racial, and ethnic background of the four finalists.”
As Colleen Flaherty gently observed for InsideHigherEd, Samiian presented virtually no evidence of outside pressure. Instead, she reported second-hand details of “a handful of interactions between search committee members and—less than outside groups—other unnamed colleagues on campus.” Samiian presented no evidence at all for the charge of racism. Nonetheless, people who describe themselves as intellectuals and academics were off to the races.
The U.S. Campaign for an Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel decried the “bullying by Zionists” that had taken place at Fresno and agreed that the cancellation constituted “discrimination against Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims.” Jewish Voice for Peace sponsored a “faculty letter” which worried that “the search was canceled … in response to pressures from Israel advocacy groups.” That “could potentially qualify as national origin discrimination.” Hundreds of faculty members, supposedly accustomed to disciplining themselves to follow the evidence, signed. The Middle East Studies Association skipped the charge of outside influence. But it submitted the evidence of one Joe Parks, professor of education and the Equal Employment Representative on the search committee, to suggest that “the administration ‘caved’ to racism because the four finalists were of Middle Eastern ethnicity.”
If the anti-Israel elements on our campuses were capable of embarrassment, they might be shamed by Steven Lubet’s extensive and careful coverage of the Fresno incident. Consider what Lubet, a professor at the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, told us about Parks, who is also cited in Samiian’s resignation letter. Parks, unschooled in the nuances of covert anti-Semitism, forgot to speak of “Zionists” and said outright that the search was derailed by “the Jewish faculty.” In 2008, he was disciplined for making “offensive comments in class related to gender, race, national origin, ancestry and religion,” and “for retaliating against a student.”

Ben & Gideon Mark Their Diaries: Australian Israel-haters to fly in the big guns

Hot on the heels of the BDS Conference that has just taken place at the University of Sydney, with the usual suspects in place, comes notification by Israel-bashers and -haters Down Under of another chin-wagging onslaught against the Jewish State.
Under the auspices of AFOPA (the Australian Friends of Palestine Association), it’s due to take place in Adelaide in late November:
The Symposium will be inviting a number of Australian and international guests, each scholars or experts in their fields, including:
Mr Gideon Levy, acclaimed journalist with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, who will deliver the keynote annual Edward Said Memorial Lecture;
Dr Mohammed Shtayyeh, member of the PLO Negotiation Team
Dr Peter Slezak, University of New South Wales, Independent Australian Jewish Voices
Dr Ahmad Shboul AM, University of Sydney
Mr Ben White, writer, journalist, researcher and activist
Ms Samah Sabawi, acclaimed Palestinian-Canadian-Australian writer, commentator, playwright and PhD candidate.
As reported by Rachel Baxendale in The Australian on 19 July,
‘The University of Sydney has distanced itself from a controversial Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions conference being hosted by its Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, after members of the Jewish community labelled the gathering an “anti-Israel hate-fest”.
The department is holding the conference on July 28-29 in conjunction with lobby group Sydney University Staff for BDS and a range of pro-Palestinian organisations. Conference events include a speech on Palestinian rights under Donald Trump by US Campaign for Palestinian Rights executive director Yousef ­Munayyer, a paper by pro-BDS academic Jake Lynch on the pro-Israel influence in Australia, and a panel discussing anti-Semitism with pro-BDS Jewish speakers Peter ­Slezak, Marcello Svirsky and Vivienne Porzsolt….
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Vic Alhadeff said the obsessive focus on BDS by the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies ignored the reality that it does nothing to advance a resolution to the conflict.
“Then there is the irony that the organisers have scheduled a discussion on working with the Jewish community for a Saturday, automatically excluding ­observant Jews and demonstrating how tokenistic any attempts to understand the Jewish community actually are,” he said.

Michael Lumish: This Week on Nothing Left

This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman speak with Emily Gian from the Zionist Federation of Australia and then hear from English-Israeli journalist political commentator and journalist Barry Shaw on the BDS movement.
After that they are joined in the studio by Hugh Kitson, producer of a new documentary called ‘Whose Land?’ which has its premiere in Melbourne this Sunday night, and then speak with American journalist Hunter Stuart who found his views on Israel changing after he was assigned there.
Isi Leibler is taking a break from work for a while so the fellahs play a very interesting clip on moderate Muslims from Robert Spencer.
6 min Editorial: Violence on Temple Mount
12 min Emily Gian, Zionist Federation of Australia
26 min Barry Shaw, journalist and commentator on BDS
50 min Hugh Kitson, film producer of Whose Land?
1 hr 8 min Hunter Stuart, Christian journalist whose views on Israel changed

PreOccupiedTerritory: UK Labour Says Wrist Slap For Antisemites Might Cause Bruising (satire)

Representatives of Britain’s Labour Party today attributed the organization’s reluctance to take even token measures against party figures for espousing anti-Jewish positions, arguing that a slap on the wrist might leave such persons with unsightly marks on their skin.
Repeated episodes in which prominent members of Labour echo classic antisemitic tropes, deny or minimize the Holocaust, liken Israel to the Nazis, or otherwise apply double standards in discussing Jews, have resulted in public pressure on the party leadership to take measures to discipline the offending politicians. The leadership, however, notably Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, remains hesitant to adopt such public but meaningless penalties that can later be quietly reversed, lest the move result in aesthetic damage.
“We are civilized,” explained Dianne Abbot, a senior Labour official. “It goes against our values to engage in corporal punishment, however symbolically. You might want to look in the so-called Jewish holy books for how to administer whippings,” she continued, referring to penal procedures that were last practiced under Jewish auspices centuries ago, while ignoring their rampant practice in the modern world, especially in Muslim countries.
“Some of them might be haemophiliac,” worried Stratford Councillor Ann Tissemitt. “We cannot risk endangering anyone in that fashion. It would be irresponsible.” A reporter’s research found no indication of any antisemitic Labour figures diagnosed with haemophilia.

Irish journalist accused of anti-Semitism, misogyny apologizes

An Irish journalist accused of sexism and anti-Semitism apologized Tuesday for a column that got him fired, saying, “I am the author of my own misfortunes.”
Kevin Myers was fired by The Sunday Times of London over a column titled, “Sorry, ladies — equal pay has to be earned,” after the piece sparked widespread accusations of anti-Semitism and misogyny.
Commenting on a campaign by female BBC workers for equal pay, Myers wrote, “I note that two of the best-paid women presenters in the BBC — Claudia Winkelman and Vanessa Feltz, with whose, no doubt, sterling work I am tragically unacquainted — are Jewish. Good for them. Jews are not generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price.”
Elsewhere he wrote, “Only one woman is among the top 10 best-paid BBC presenters. Now, why is this? Is it because men are more charismatic performers? Because they work harder? Because they are more driven? Possibly a bit of each. The human resources department … will probably tell you that men usually work harder, get sick less frequently and seldom get pregnant.”
The article was widely condemned on social media, prompting Sunday Times editor Martin Ivens to issue an apology.

Seth Frantzman: So, the ‘Sunday Times of London’ fired a man for an anti-semitic column, why was he paid in first place?

What’s really going on here is not just a question of “how many people edited this,” but an unfortunate tendency of newspapers to give platforms to offensive voices. This isn’t to be confused with critical voices. When a newspaper has a columnist, it stands behind the columnist, despite the claim that the views don’t represent the newspaper. Yes, the views do. You can’t distribute a column to thousands or millions of viewers and readers and then pretend “we don’t agree.” You do agree. A newspaper has a choice on who it runs and every word in every column ins’t “just opinion,” it is part of the newspaper and the newspaper does stand by it.
Yet, newspapers public racist trash all the time. I’ve highlighted many times how Israeli newspapers often publish racism, for instance columns claiming Russians have “alcohol and crime in their blood” (and claimed they aren’t Jewish) or articles claiming black people have skin color “stained with evil,” and have justified using racist terms for black people. They have published anti-hispanic cartoons, and called Jews of color “wannabe Jews.” But the offensive columns continue and so does the excuse that “it’s just one or two ‘crazy’ writers.”
Antisemitism in the UK is at a record level. An article notes: “In the U.K. instances rose 42 percent in a year, with 1,309 anti-Semitic incidents in 2016, compared with 924 the previous year. Of these, 24 percent involved abuse on social media.” If you do the math, the number of antisemitic incidents per capita in the UK is five times that of the US and Jews are twenty times more likely to be a victim of anti-semitism. Yet newspapers happily give columns to people who once wrote proudly of denying the Holocaust?
The reality is that we have to ask more about the venue and the audience. Recently two imams were accused of anti-semitism in California sermons, joining others in Montreal, Toronto and Denmark. Is the problem the imam, or the audience and the organization that gives him a venue? The problem of racism is not really racist columnists, there are lots of racists out there who, if given the opportunity, might like to be a well-paid columnist. The problem is the newspaper and the audience who remains silent.
Unfortunately many people have remained silent. Kevin Lynch says that it may have to do with the concept of the journalists fraternity. “We journalists are a tight bunch: we never like to see one of our own in a spot of bother. But My Arse is not one of us. His banishment from mainstream media would be a good thing.” When you critique a newspaper or a columnist you are often accused of being against free speech of “de-legitimizing” the media. But critique of racism in media isn’t against free speech. People can be racist in their home or on their personal computer. Free speech doesn’t mean a right to have a column in a newspaper (which is a privilege) and a newspaper doesn’t have an obligation to publish everything. In fact newspapers have an obligation not to publish everything and have more of an obligation to reduce hatred in society, not encourage it. It’s time newspapers take responsibility for why they keep employing hate-mongers.

I’m not shocked by Kevin Myers’ anti-Semitic comment – as a Jew I hear this type of remark all too often

When we think of racism, we think of thuggish attacks in the street and you’d be right. As I read through the dire article, I was reminded to check my emails to see if any progress had been made into the police investigation into the anti-Semitic hate crime I experienced last month when a young man yelled “Heil Hitler” at me on the street.
But, there is a more insidious racism at work in the UK as reflected in Myers’ writing: even in the most well lettered circles, anti-Semitism is unquestioned and tacitly accepted. I have on more than one occasion nonchalantly been reminded that it makes sense that I’m a journalist because, you know, “the Jews run the media”. It is often accompanied by a smirk and insistence that the individual is not anti-Semitic but, on one occasion, an Ivy League alumnus justified it by listing all of the Jewish Hollywood directors and actors he could call to mind.
There are real-life consequences of these comments; so many Jews I have spoken to are fearful to be open about their cultural and religious heritage because of the inevitable fear of anti-Semitic bigotry and, occasionally, violence.
It seems impossible nowadays to predict who might espouse bigoted views so, to prevent falling into a dangerous situation; it’s often easier to avoid it all together. On many occasions, I would outright lie to avoid, in a best case scenario, casual anti-Semitic jokes being thrown around in conversation or, at worst, flagrant prejudice. Be it heartless comments about the concentration camps, hooked noses or money-hoarding, I’ve heard it all – and, unfortunately, I’m not the only one.
The article now may have been removed but until the true extent and severity of the anti-Semitic crisis in our country is recognised, anti-Jewish sentiment is here to stay.

BBC changes its tune on Israeli missile defence

Mr Marcus took great exception at the time to our critique of the claims made by his source. Six weeks later, the BBC News website published filmed and written reports by Kevin Connolly on the same subject, asking “Does Israel’s Iron Dome actually work?”.
Fast forward to July 4th 2017 when an article by Jonathan Marcus appeared on the BBC News website’s US & Canada page under the title “North Korean missiles: Can the US defend itself?“
In that article, after giving some historic overview on the subject of missile defence systems, Marcus tells readers that:
“… the threat that missile defence is now ranged against is very different. It is not – despite Russian protests – aimed at weakening Russia’s nuclear forces. It is designed to protect against a very specific threat – from Iran or North Korea’s developing missile arsenals.
Against this kind of threat, the requirement is not simply to alter an adversary’s strategic calculations, but to stop each and every missile getting through.
Technology has advanced dramatically with some of the most significant strides being made by Israel. Its interceptor systems and their associated radars – funded in large part by the US – have shown themselves spectacularly successful, even though against a full-scale onslaught even Israel’s system would be sorely tested.”

Well fancy that!

96-year-old ‘bookkeeper of Auschwitz’ ruled fit to serve sentence

A former Nazi SS guard known as the “Bookkeeper of Auschwitz,” now 96, is fit to serve out his sentence, German prosecutors said Wednesday.
Oskar Groening was found guilty in July 2015 of being an accessory to the murders of 300,000 people at the camp and sentenced to four years in prison.
“The prosecutor has rejected the application from the defense for a sentence suspension,” court spokeswoman Kathrin Soefker told AFP, confirming local media reports.
A summons for the start of the sentence has not been issued, she said, adding that the prosecutor will make a decision separately on this.

Three teens identified in Boston-area Jewish cemetery vandalism
Footprint leads police to teenage suspects in toppling of gravestones at 158 year old Jewish cemetery.

Police have identified three teenage boys as responsible for the toppling of headstones in a historic Jewish cemetery in Massachusetts.
One of the teens, who all live in Melrose, a city near Boston, is facing felony charges of damaging headstones and malicious destruction of property over $250. The discovery of the vandals’ identities was announced Tuesday.
The other two teens were present when the six headstones were kicked over at the Netherlands Cemetery on Thursday morning are not being charged as of now. Only the footprints of one teen were found on the toppled headstones and other ones, according to the Wicked Local news website for North of Boston, citing local police.
The vandalism is not being treated as a hate crime, according to police.
The incident was a “bad decision by youths,” a police spokesman told the local news website, and did not include elements of bias.

Family of Kansas JCC shooting victims settles gun purchase suit

The family of two people fatally shot outside the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kansas, has settled a lawsuit with Walmart over one of the guns used in the shooting.
The Kansas City Star reported the settlement’s terms between Walmart and the family of William Corporon and his grandson, Reat Underwood, are confidential.
The two were killed in April 2014 by F. Glenn Miller Jr., who was trying to kill Jews. He also killed Terri LaManno at a nearby care center. None of the victims was Jewish.
The lawsuit contends at least one Walmart employee was present when another man bought the 12-gauge shotgun used to kill Corporon and Underwood at a Walmart in Republic, Missouri. Miller could not buy a gun because he was a felon.

Nvidia sees Israel as a key to leadership in AI technologies

Santa Clara, California-based Nvidia Corp. sees Israeli talent and innovation as an integral part of its activities as the $98 billion firm completes its transition from maker of processors for gaming and computer graphics to leader in artificial intelligence and visual computing technologies.
“Nvidia is a real deep technology company and Israel is a very deep technology country, so it is a perfect fit and perfect match,” said Jeff Herbst, VP of business development at the firm, which has seen its share price surge almost 200 percent in the past 12 months on the Nasdaq.
Nvidia has been active in Israel for the past eight years, both selling its processors locally and buying stakes in startups. The company has invested some “tens of millions of dollars” in three startups over the past five years: Zebra Medical, the maker of a medical imaging insight software using artificial intelligence; Deep Instinct, which uses deep learning to predict cyber-threats; and Rocketick, a simulation and chip testing company which was then bought by Cadence in 2016 for a reported $40 million.
Now Nvidia has set up a new 20-person research and development team in Israel and is looking for new offices in Tel Aviv and for 15-100 additional workers in the near future, Herbst said in an interview with The Times of Israel.

First Israeli whiskey to be auctioned on Scottish site

Here’s a deal: The first 100 bottles of Israel’s first single malt whisky, made by the Milk & Honey Distillery in Tel Aviv, will be auctioned off on a Scottish auction site this month.
The hooch will be available on website Whisky Auctioneer from August 11-21, for buyers interested in snagging a bottle of this experimental series. It’s also kosher, certified by the Tel Aviv rabbinate.
The golden moonshine has been aged for three years, meeting the standards of Scottish whiskey. That said, it’s an Israeli-made spirit that the distillers say is mature and complex for its young age, thanks to the warm Israeli climate.
It’s from the first barrel of the Tel Aviv distillery, which was created in January 2014 by M&H distillers Tomer Goren and Jim Swan, a consultant who passed away this past February. Swan specialized in the maturation of whiskey in warm climates, but never got the chance to taste his Sabra creation.
The Milk & Honey malt whiskey was first aged in a 225-liter American oak cask and then distilled for an additional seven months in a former bourbon barrel. The final product has hints of malted barley, cinnamon, pepper, lemon and marzipan.

Revolutionary Israeli ALS Therapy Receives FDA Approval for Phase 3 Clinical Trials

BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics of Petah Tikva is recruiting American patients for a Phase 3 clinical study of its NurOwn stem-cell treatment intended to halt progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
The announcement was made in a patient webinar last week.
The NurOwn platform grew out of a technique developed at Tel Aviv University for growing and enhancing stem cells harvested from patients’ own bone marrow. The enhanced cells, injected via lumbar puncture, secrete elevated levels of nerve-growth factors believed to protect existing motor neurons, promote motor neuron growth and reestablish nerve-muscle interaction.
A 24-week Phase 2 safety study was concluded in 2016 on 48 participants (36 treated, 12 placebo) with possible, probable and definite ALS. This study was done at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Mayo Clinic.
The Phase 3 double-blind, placebo-controlled study, to begin enrollment in August, will look at efficacy and safety of repeated doses. The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine has awarded Brainstorm a $16 million grant to support the pivotal trial.
This study will accept 200 randomized study participants between the ages of 18 and 60 (half getting the treatment and half a placebo) at the three previous centers as well as California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, UC-Irvine near Los Angeles and another site not announced.

Israel arranges medical delegation for sick kids in Fiji

A team of three Australian ENT (ear-nose-throat) specialists and a nurse arrived in Fiji last week to provide free health screenings and surgeries for dozens of children at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva.
The humanitarian medical mission was arranged by the Israel Foreign Ministry’s MASHAV Agency for International Development Cooperation, the Israeli Embassy in Canberra and the Australasian Jewish Medical Federation.
Through August 2, the doctors are treating up to 50 children whose ENT conditions cannot be handled by hospital personnel. They are working closely with Fijian doctors through the South Pacific island nation’s Ministry of Health and Medical Services.
One of the children they were asked to evaluate was 2-year-old Florabelle Taylor Moses, who has suffered severe breathing problems since birth. They performed a difficult five-hour surgery on Florabelle on July 28 and she is recovering well.
“I’ll forever be grateful to the State of Israel for sending a great gifted team of medical professionals to Fiji. You saved my little girl’s life,” posted Florabelle’s mother, Roberta Taylor, on Facebook page of the group Fijians Love Israel. “Thank you for your love and support for our little island. May the Lord God of Israel continue to bless the work of your hands,” Taylor concluded.

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