Kushner said pushing to close UNRWA, end refugee status for Palestinian millions
Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, has been pushing to remove the refugee status of millions of Palestinians as part of an apparent effort to shutter the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, a report on Friday said.
Under Trump, the US has frozen hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA, with the US president linking the decision to the Palestinians’ refusal to speak with his administration after he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
According to emails published Friday by Foreign Policy magazine, Kushner has been highly critical of UNRWA, with he and other White House officials weighing its closure as part of their peace efforts.
“It is important to have an honest and sincere effort to disrupt UNRWA,” Kushner wrote in an email dated January 11, just days before the US froze $65 million in funding for UNRWA. “This [agency] perpetuates a status quo, is corrupt, inefficient and doesn’t help peace.”
“Our goal can’t be to keep things stable and as they are… Sometimes you have to strategically risk breaking things in order to get there,” he added in the email, according to Foreign Policy.
Uniquely, UNRWA grants refugee status to all descendants of Palestinians who left or fled Israel with the establishment of the state in 1948, swelling the number to an estimated five million at present, when the number of actual refugees from that conflict is estimated to be in the low tens of thousands. In peace talks, the Palestinian leadership has always demanded a “right of return” to Israel for these millions — an influx that, if accepted by Israel, would spell the end of the Israel as a majority Jewish state.
According to a new poll released by Ami Magazine, an international magazine catering to the Jewish community, 91.6% of Orthodox Jews from the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut approve of President Trump as “satisfactory” or “very satisfactory.”
The 263 respondents of the poll varied in political affiliation, with 34.6% registered as Republican, 29.3% as not registered, 28.9% as Democrat, and 7.2% independent.
“There are many possible reasons why,” Jake Turx, Ami Magazine’s Senior White House Correspondent told The Daily Wire. “Though, one thing I see that Orthodox Jews have in common with Trump himself— personality wise— is a very strong sense of loyalty, in the sense that ‘if you have my back, I have yours.’”
Turx also says that there were many critics of Trump in the Orthodox Jewish community at the beginning of Trump’s term but many are now quieter.
“After the Jerusalem declaration and the pardoning of Rubashkin, they just disappeared,” Turx explained, referring to Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Trump pardoning Sholom Rubashkin, the former owner of the largest U.S. kosher meat processing plant who was sentenced to prison for 27 years for financial crimes. “Some became fans, and some just stopped criticizing him, not because of pressure, but because at the end of the day they feel that if he has their back, they have his.”
New Jersey senator Cory Booker (D.) was pictured on Friday afternoon at the liberal Netroots Nation conference holding a sign calling for the removal of security borders in Israel, a policy proposal from a radical anti-Israel group with financial ties to terrorist groups.
Booker, standing next to radical activists from the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, is holding a sign that says, “From Palestine to Mexico, all the walls have got to go,” a slogan used by the group in its call for the removal of Israeli security barriers used to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks.
The picture of Booker was posted by the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, a radical activist group that supports anti-Israel campaigns such as the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) movement and was recently found to be financially tied to designated terrorist groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
“Excited to be here at Netroots Nation talking with progressives like Sen. Cory Booker about our shared commitment to freedom, justice, and equality for all people,” the group wrote.
Booker’s senate office did not initially respond to an inquiry on the picture and whether he believes security barriers that prevent terrorists based in the West Bank and Gaza Strip from entering Israel should be removed, but after publication sent a statement claiming the New Jersey senator didn’t know what was written on the sign he was holding.
The Palestinian ruling Fatah faction on Saturday warned Hamas against reaching a cease-fire agreement with Israel in return for humanitarian and economic aid to the Gaza Strip, saying such a deal would be a “free gift to Israel.”
The warning came amid unconfirmed reports that Israel and Hamas were close to reaching a long-term truce agreement.
Fatah spokesman Osama Qawassmeh warned Hamas against striking such a deal a truce with Israel “at the expense of national unity.”
He said that such a deal would be considered a “free gift to Israel and another coup against the Palestinian people and their homeland.” He was referring to the Hamas’s violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007.
Qawassmeh said that the number one priority should be achieving Palestinian unity on the basis of previous agreements signed between Hamas and Fatah, and not a truce with Israel in return for humanitarian aid.”
The Fatah spokesman expressed fear that the US and Israel would take advantage of a deal between Hamas and Israel to separate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank and impose US President Donald Trump’s yet-to-be-announced plan for peace in the Middle East which, he charged, “is aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause.”
The IDF said it carried out a second airstrike in the Gaza Strip on Saturday afternoon, targeting a cell launching incendiary balloons into Israel from the southern Palestinian enclave. The strike came hours after the military targeted a cell launching balloons in the northern Gaza Strip.
The airstrikes came amid reports that the Strip’s Hamas rulers were considering a long-term ceasefire deal with Israel.
Earlier in the day, firefighters battled two blazes in the Gaza border area started by flaming balloons. On Friday there were 26 fires started by incendiary devices flown from Gaza.
Since March 30, southern Israel has experienced hundreds of fires as a result of incendiary kites and balloons flown over the border from Gaza. Over 7,000 acres of land have been burned, causing millions of shekels in damages, according to Israeli officials.
A balloon carrying flaming material was found on the roof of a home in the southern city of Beersheba Friday night, following a day of violence on the Gaza border that saw over two dozen fires sparked in southern Israel by incendiary devices launched from the Palestinian enclave.
Residents alerted police to the balloon. After sappers arrived at the scene, any “concern was removed,” Hebrew media quoted police saying.
No injuries or damage were caused.
It was not immediately clear where the balloon was launched from.
It was the second such balloon found in Beersheba this week, raising concerns the incendiary airborne devices could reach even further into Israel. The city is some 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
The incident came after firefighters battled 26 blazes in the Gaza-area Friday started by flaming balloons, the Fire and Rescue Services said.
These numbers will grow as Netanyahu relentlessly charges his opponents with abandoning the symbols and principles of the founding fathers. I don’t want to suggest that this is merely a cynical campaign strategy. Netanyahu, like every one of his predecessors (and the great majority of Israelis) believes that Israel is sui generis, a country founded with a specific purpose for a particular people. The law reflects that.
Israel is a democracy, but it’s not egalitarian. It is a Jewish democracy. All its citizens have civil rights (to vote, hold office, get a fair trial, speak freely and worship in their own way) but the Law of Return gives Jews anywhere in the world the right to automatic immigration. This is discrimination, plain and simple.
Members of the progressive intelligentsia and their Jewish counterparts abroad, want to see Israel drop its Zionist mission and become, like other modern democracies, simply a state of all its citizens. They argue that an officially Jewish state is both undemocratic and unattractive. In the long run, critics say, it could cost Israel its reputation and its American support.
Perhaps they are right about this. But the long run isn’t really the issue. Prime ministers stay in power one election at a time, and Bibi intends to win re-election to a fourth consecutive term. His right wing coalition partners will be with him because they have nowhere else to go. But if he makes inroads in the center, he can have the kind of broad government he has dreamed of.
If that comes to pass, he will look back on the 19th of July, 2018 as the day his opponents walked into the trap by voting against a bill that happens to enshrine the most cherished values of the Israeli mainstream.
Tens of thousands of people, waving Israeli and Druze flags and calling for equality, gathered at Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Saturday night to demonstrate against the controversial Jewish nation-state law.
Leaders of the Druze community were among the key organizers of the demonstration. Members of the community serve in the Israeli army and have expressed particular outrage at the law’s provisions, saying it renders them second-class citizens.
The demonstration took place amid heightened tensions over the legislation. The nation-state law — which for the first time enshrines Israel as “the national home of the Jewish people” and says “the right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people” — has sparked widespread criticism from Israel’s minorities and opposition, the international community, and Jewish groups abroad.
In an interview with Hadashot TV on Saturday night, Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan suggested that people with an anti-government political agenda were “stirring divisions” in Israeli society over the legislation.
Earlier this year, CAMERA researcher Dexter Van Zile wrote a lengthy (5,400-word) article about the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine Israel (EAPPI), an organization founded by the World Council of Churches in 2002. In numerous articles Van Zile has documented how EAPPI activists have used their status as peacemakers to promote anti-Israel propaganda.
The article, which was published here at The Jerusalem Journal, a website edited and published by Brian Schrauger, was based in part on testimony from Israelis living in the West Bank and from information provided by NGO-Monitor. One source quoted in the article reports that EAPPI volunteers turn a blind eye to Palestinian violence and work assiduously to obtain and broadcast footage of Jews behaving badly. (None of this comes as much of a surprise given the information posted on the internet by EAPPI activists.)
The article also cites evidence that EAPPI activists engage in political activism in Israel (contrary to WCC rules) and have accompanied Palestinian extremist Hasan Breijieh as he harasses and tries to intimidate Israelis living in the West Bank, an action that seems contrary to the actions of a Christian ecumenical peacemaking organization.
The article also documents the relationship between the EAPPI program and the Jerusalem Inter Church Center (JICC) whose executive director Yusef Daher has posted anti-Israel incitement that valorizes Palestinian violence on his Facebook page.
UN Watch: Big tent No, big lie
Venezuela: Some powers with horrific colonialist track records seek to give human rights lectures. Thanks to the Bolivarian Revolution we have a society that fully guarantees all human rights and democratic freedoms.
Russia: The EU continues to bury its head in the sand when it comes to the discriminatory policy of the Baltic countries.
Iran: The fault of violence against women and girls is through misusing available technology
China: How about the real human rights situation in the EU and many other countries in terms of receiving and accepting refugees… there is serious racism and xenophobia.
Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia’s legislation pays special attention to women by prohibiting the use of violence against women and preserving women’s dignity within the family and within the workplace.
UNHRC President: I now give the floor to United Nations Watch
Hillel Neuer: Mr. President, we reject the attempt by brutal regimes to use the United Nations to corrupt the language and idea of human rights.
Indeed, regular people around the world ask: “Why does a human rights council include so many non-democracies?”
Defenders of the system have a ready reply: “We need a big tent,” they say, “so that countries with poor records can engage, learn and improve.”
The niece of a Scottish student who died in a Tel Aviv terrorist attack in 2002 visited that city with dozens of Jewish children from the United Kingdom, many of them seeing Israel for the first time.
Chloe Jesner, 13, landed in Israel last month as part of a group of 100 British Jewish children touring the country for three weeks this summer in an initiative by the JNF UK charity to counter anti-Israel sentiment, organizers of the new program said.
Her uncle, Yoni, came from Glasgow, Scotland, to study at Yeshivat Har Etzion in 2002 and was killed, along with five others, in a September bombing that year during the second intifada. Hamas claimed to have carried out the attack, in which a suicide bomber set off an explosive charge aboard a bus on Allenby Street.
The tour that brought his niece to Israel exposes participants to projects such as a peace center, where Jewish and Arab children with disabilities receive treatment thanks to the support of world Jewry.
The West Bank, also known by its biblical name Judea and Samaria, is one of the most contested territories in the world. But driving through its rolling hills—a landscape dotted with olive trees, ancient stones and, increasingly, the location of top-notch wineries—is a stark contrast to the violent images that have come to define this land, claimed by the Palestinians but which the Israeli military has controlled since capturing the area from Jordan in the 1967 war.
I recently found myself entranced by this scenery, jolted back to the prevailing complex reality only upon fully conceptualizing the nature of my own immediate environment. This journey was no joy-ride; rather, a military patrol, and my host was Israel Defense Forces Officer Lt. Col. Dr. Ido Dachtman. He is not the type of soldier that makes front-page news; instead, his job is to provide medical treatment, to both Israelis and Palestinians alike.
“We are on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Dachtman told The Media Line. “If there is a civilian with a heart attack, if there’s a terror attack, we are always in a state of readiness.
“It is quite a hard life for medical personnel to serve here, but it is very fulfilling. It’s very fulfilling.”
Dachtman is based at the headquarters of the IDF’s Judea & Samaria Division, from where he oversees approximately 100 personnel, spread out across six regional brigades, each one located in the vicinity of a major Palestinian city. Together, the team is responsible for all emergency medical services in the 3,000 square kilometer region.
Now Tamimi has become more famous than Ahed. Since early childhood she has been pushed forward to contront Israeli soldiers to create viral video.
Ahed is exploited by Western anti-Israel activists who use Ahed’s image in their anti-Israel propaganda:
A topic rarely addressed, however, is why Ahem is more famous that other exploited Tamimi children, like Janna Jihad, who also is used for video provocations:
Part of Ahed’s fame is that she has learned how to be dramatic for the cameras. She can cry and scream in supposed pain on cue.
But part of Ahed’s fame is that her flowing blond hair and Western dress made her a sympathetic image to Westerners, according to her father Bassem:
Tamimi’s father argues that her blonde hair and Western dress have contributed to the attention she has received.
“If she was veiled and dark-skinned, would she have got the same attention?” Bassem Tamimi told AFP.
“The Zionist propaganda machine always depicts the Palestinian as dark-skinned and ugly, attacking the blonde victim, but now she is blonde.”
Now Ahed’s mother Nariman, who instructed Ahed to attack the soldiers and who also was just released from prison, is also accusing the Tamimis’ Western supporters of racism:
Ahed Tamimi’s mother said that the media attention and worldwide solidarity that her daughter received following her arrest by Israeli occupation forces was rooted in racism.
“Frankly it is probably Ahed’s looks that prompted this worldwide solidarity and that’s racist by the way,” Nariman Tamimi told the Anadolu Agency, “because many Palestinian children are in Ahed’s position but weren’t treated in this way.”
Shock & sorrow permeate this West Bank city after residents learned that spoiled actress who would never dare pull her stunts on an Arab police force political prisoner Ahed Tamimi had eaten “Palestine” during her stay in an Israeli jail. Ms. Tamimi, who gained fame punching Israeli soldiers on film, had apparently eaten the geographic entity known as “Palestine” in between her second and third helpings of baba ganoush some time in late June.
Palestinian Authority President shared his sorrow. “Never in the 14 years of my 4 year term of office have I felt such shame and humiliation. This is Al-Naqba 2018.”
The UN wasted now time scolding Israel for the unfolding tragedy, passing a Motion in the General Assembly by a vote of 147-2 (The United Kingdom abstained) admonishing Israel for giving Ahed “The Freshman 15”.
Meanwhile, Bree Skyfire-Williams, co-captain of the latest Flotilla to Gaza, was somewhat philosophical about the turn of events. “I guess this means she won’t need the emergency hummus and pita that we put in our cargo hold for her.“
As the rial, the Iranian currency, continues its plunge, and as Iran gets ready for the sanctions instituted by the Trump Administration to be implemented on Monday, the protests against the despotic, theocratic government in Iran are reaching a new level, with protesters reportedly chanting, “Death to the dictator,” a reference to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Noting the recent revelations that Iran’s leaders are raking in millions while the people suffer economic deprivation, some protesters also chanted, “The nation is forced to beg while the leader lives like God,” according to the National Council of Resistance (NCR) of Iran.
Iran’s state-run news agency IRNA reported that on Tuesday and Wednesday, roughly 200 people demonstrated in the city of Karaj, west of Tehran. In videos reportedly from Gohardasht, a suburb of Karaj, demonstrators have been shouting “Death to the dictator.” In Sari, roughly 100 people protested; other protests occurred in Shiraz, Ahavz and Mashhad.
M. Hanif Jazayeri of the NCR stated, “Mullahs must answer for wasting Iran’s wealth on terror.” Maryam Rajavi, NCR’s president-elect, has said the regime must be toppled. She stated, “Protesters will not rest until the Iranian people and the nation are free … Iran’s risen and revolting cities are joining the protests, one after the other. The cry for freedom is becoming louder, and the uprising is expanding more and more every moment. There is no force more powerful than the united force of young people.”
France’s energy giant Total and carmakers Peugeot and Renault are reportedly leaving Iran.
Yes, I really do think that Jeremy Corbyn qualifies as a Zionist! By now, I think that everyone is aware of the situation in the UK, where the Labour party under Corbyn has a serious problem with antisemitism. No Jew, however removed from his or her Jewish identity, feels comfortable with the antagonistic and abusive atmosphere that pervades the Labour party hierarchy, even when the Jews concerned are either not supporting Israel or critical of its policies.
It is true that the disease of antisemitism is deeply imbedded in British society, despite there being a counter-strain of philo-Semitism. For proof, just read Anthony Julius’s great and comprehensive book Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England. The pathology has equally affected the right and the left in the UK over many years. As we know, much of the aristocracy was favorably inclined towards Hitler and the fascist party led by Oswald Mosley, who with his blackshirts led marches into the heavily Jewish East End of London.
The Labour party used to be the natural home of Jews, very much like the Democratic party in the US. In my youth, there were more Jews in the Labour party than in all the others combined. Sure, Ernest Bevin, the foreign minister in the post-war Attlee government, was viscerally antisemitic. But the charismatic duo of Aneurin Bevan and Jennie Lee more than compensated with their passionate support. Hugh Gaitskell, the party leader, was pro-Israel and married to a Jew, and Harold Wilson was a great supporter of Jewish causes.
In Europe, the socialist parties were enthusiastically pro-Israel. The kibbutzim were idealized socialist havens. That began to change after the Six Day War, when Israel was no longer regarded as a struggling, endangered state at risk, surrounded by enemies, but rather as a militarily successful aggressor. This, combined with the economic need for oil and the massively larger Muslim markets and bloc vote, led to the alienation of most of the European socialist world from Israel.
UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Friday vowed to root anti-Semitism out of his party, but dismissed accusations from the British Jewish community that the prospect of his party coming to power posed an “existential threat” to the Jews.
Corbyn had been expected to make a speech to the Jewish community, but in the end published a letter in the Guardian newspaper on Friday entitled “I will root anti-Semites out of Labour – they do not speak for me,” finally addressing the mounting accusations that his party is a haven for anti-Semites and that, if not one of them himself, he has done little to stop them.
“Driving anti-Semitism out of the party for good, and rebuilding that trust, are our priorities,” he wrote. He categorically dismissed the accusations that the party represented a threat to UK Jewry, calling the notion “overheated rhetoric that can surface during emotional political debates.”
“I do not for one moment accept that a Labour government would represent any kind of threat, let alone an ‘existential threat,’ to Jewish life in Britain, as three Jewish newspapers recently claimed,” he wrote.
However, he did promise to take Jewish fears seriously.
“But I do acknowledge there is a real problem that Labour is working to overcome. And I accept that, if any part of our national community feels threatened, anxious or vulnerable, not only must that be taken at face value but we must all ensure those fears are put to rest,” he wrote.
UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is facing growing criticism for an opinion piece published Friday in which he dismissed accusations from the British Jewish community that the prospect of his party coming to power posed an “existential threat” to Jews.
“This statement from Jeremy Corbyn bears all of the hallmarks of his spin doctors’ usual techniques,” Gideon Falter, head of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, told the Daily Mail. “He has released a vague and meaningless article, just as the Jewish community goes home to begin the Sabbath.”
Corbyn had been expected to make a speech to the Jewish community, but ultimately published an article on the Guardian website Friday entitled “I will root anti-Semites out of Labour — they do not speak for me.”
The opinion piece addressed mounting accusations that Corbyn’s party is a haven for anti-Semites and that, if not one himself, he has done little to stop them.
“I do not for one moment accept that a Labour government would represent any kind of threat, let alone an ‘existential threat,’ to Jewish life in Britain, as three Jewish newspapers recently claimed,” Corbyn wrote, before dismissing it as a kind of “overheated rhetoric.”
You have a tight deadline and if you miss it there will be trouble. Only it’s a Friday and you’ve got plans so you do a slapdash job and copy and paste from a previous piece of work hoping no-one will notice.
This at least appears to be what happened to Jeremy Corbyn on Friday. After a week of tawdry allegations of anti-Semitism, the Labour leader attempted to stem the anger growing at his handling of the situation by penning an article for the Guardian. Only readers were quick to point out that it bears a striking resemblance to the last article on anti-Semitism he wrote for the Evening Standard.
Attlee was a major in British army, fought communists in East End, went into Coalition with Tories, helped found Nato, created U.K. nuclear deterrent, hated Soviets, admired US, pro Israel. What’s incredible is you think he and Mr Corbyn are similar. https://t.co/ZxbY5hcbX0
— Andrew Neil (@afneil) August 3, 2018
The Labour Club at Oxford University (OULC) in England called on Monday for disciplinary action against a parliamentarian who appeared to blame accusations of antisemitism within the opposition party on “right-wing trolls.”
MP Chris Williamson — a strong supporter of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn — said in an April interview that he saw evidence of people “setting themselves up as pro-Labour, pro-Jeremy Corbyn individuals on social media,” and then making “antisemitic, horrible and abusive remarks.”
The OULC said Williamson’s comments “dismissed the legitimacy of the issue of antisemitism within our party,” and recommended the withdrawal of the Labour whip.
“It is imperative that the Labour Party and OULC send a clear message of solidarity with the Jewish community,” the club said.
Williamson drew further condemnation after speaking at a meeting of left-leaning Labour members a day after the OULC issued its criticism — this time from the Jewish Labour Movement, which claimed he was complicit “in the face of antisemitism.”
Corbyn called Hamas terrorists “brothers” on TV
For some reason, six years have gone by and nobody noticed that Corbyn referred to a man who received seven life sentences for assisting a terrorist attack that killed seven people, a ‘brother’.
Rod Liddle: Bigots of the world, unite!
If Jews would get out of Israel and also stop drinking the blood of gentile children, perhaps the rest of the world would like them a little more. That seems to be the fairly broad view among the Hamas groupies on the white British left as well as throughout almost the entire Islamic world. But in particular within the left of the Labour party, which has imbibed this foul ideology for a long while (dating back to the Cold War). A member of the party’s National Executive Committee, Peter Willsman, has blamed Jewish supporters of Donald Trump for fabricating claims of anti-Semitism against Labour. Willsman then asked fellow members if they had ever witnessed anti-Semitism within the party, adding: ‘I’ve certainly never seen them.’
Sadly, almost as he was speaking, Labour was forced to suspend a Bognor Regis councillor for suggesting that Jews drink the blood of gentile children and also rape them — probably rape them first, I suppose, otherwise it would be terribly messy. Oh, and that Jews need executing. Damien Enticott at first said that someone must have hacked his Facebook account. But then it was pointed out that a couple of years before he had made the acute observation that Hitler would have found a solution to the Israel problem and that the Jews needed gassing again.
Ah, OK, it’s a fair cop, this fair-minded socialist subsequently confirmed. But still on the message boards, Corbynista morons were defending Enticott, echoing Willsman’s line that this was all a confected outrage and isn’t it funny that when the government is in big trouble the newspapers start making up these stories about anti-Semitism in the Labour party? And who owns the newspapers? Yes, it’s those pesky hooked-nose bastards again. Just like they run the world and were the architects of the very capitalism which is strangling our people, etc etc. The left is consumed with hatred — of Tories, of people who disagree with them on message boards, of Jews.
If you’ve spent any time at all in left wing politics, you’ve met at least one ‘socialist’ who’d be pathetically easy for a fascist to flip. Here’s a Corbyn fan happily contemplating British Jews fleeing their own country out of fear of a Corbyn government. Just fucking saying. pic.twitter.com/4Dj6EdPVht
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) August 3, 2018
A former UK Labour MP and transportation minister has resigned from the party after over 30 years as a member amid mounting accusations that Labour, led by Jeremy Corbyn, has become a haven for anti-Semites.
In his letter to party headquarters this week, Tom Harris said the party was “just not the place for me any more,” according to a Guardian report.
“It’s not a comment on any people who have chosen to remain. This is just what’s right for me. It’s just a personal thing,” he told the Scottish newspaper the Herald.
Harris represented Glasgow from 2001-2015, and was transport minister from 2006-2008.
Harris has been a critic of Corbyn, writing a number of columns in the UK media this year slamming the Labour leader. In March, Harris penned a piece in the Telegraph titled “Jeremy Corbyn apparently cares more about power than expunging anti-Semitism from Labour” in which he said the party “could acknowledge that problem’s existence, confront it and deal with it. Or it can shrug, mutter something about UN security council resolutions and continue to court the support of those on the far left who are the source of the problem.”
“Jewish members of the party have scant reason for optimism about which course will be pursued,” he wrote at the time.
If Hamzeh Daoud assumed the outcry over his threatening posts would die down, he was wrong.
From Inside Higher Ed: After Threat of Violence, Calls to Fire RA
From the Jewish Journal: More Expletive-Laden Anti-Zionist Social Media Posts Emerge from Stanford Student Who Threatened Violence Against Zionists
From the Times of Israel Stanford urged to act against student who said he’d ‘physically fight Zionists’
From the National Review: Stanford Student Threatens Violence against Pro-Israel Students
From Stanford’s own school paper: A statement from SCR on Hamzeh Daoud’s threat
As of today, Hamzeh Daoud has since stepped down from his position as a resident assistant, to the relief of Jewish and Israeli students on campus.
Stanford University issued the following statement on Aug. 3, 2018.statement regarding Hamzeh Daoud Facebook post
We have heard many expressions of profound concern in recent days over the issues surrounding a Facebook post by a Stanford student scheduled to be a resident assistant (RA) in the upcom his staff position as an RA, expressing deep regret for the original post and recognizing the importance of promoting healing across the many communities that make up the Stanford community.ing 2018-19 academic year.
Norman Finkelstein, one-time professor who was fired from DePaul University, and now travels the world giving anti-Israel speeches labeled as “independent scholar with a PhD from Princeton”, is a kook who embarrasses himself at every appearance with his off-the-wall behavior. I have seen him speak three times, twice at UC Irvine and once at Cerritos College. You can read my reports on those appearances here, here, and here. Suffice to say, Norman is always good for a few laughs with his hysterical style.
Now he has teamed up with someone named Jamie Stern-Weiner in the curiously-named magazine, Jacobin, to write an article on the Israel-Gaza conflict. It seems that no matter how many rockets Hamas launches into Israel, no matter how many Gazans try to storm the fence into Israel, where, if successful, innocent people would no doubt die, Israel has no right to defend itself, according to Finkelstein and Stern-Weiner. Before you laugh, check out the article itself because that is exactly what these two characters claim.
“But the fact is, Israel cannot claim a right to use any force in Gaza — whether moderate or excessive, proportionate or disproportionate; whether protesters are unarmed or armed, don’t or do pose an imminent threat to life. If it appears otherwise, that’s because the current debate ignores critical caveats in international law and abstracts from the specific situation in Gaza.”
And what is Finkelstein if not an abstract thinker?
Notably, the person brought in to answer that question – described by Coomarasamy as “Joshua Landis…a Syria expert who heads the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma” – is renowned for his portrayals of the Assad regime as ‘the good guy’ in the enduring conflict (and before it) and has himself amplified propaganda pertaining to the ‘White Helmets’. It therefore came as little surprise to hear Landis – unhindered by Coomarasamy – promote some Assad-style propaganda in his own more subtle style.
Landis: “They’re doing a big favour for the United States and for the European powers in carrying out important humanitarian work and we’ve noticed that throughout the war, Israel has taken in a number of Syrian rebels as well as their family members and civilians who’ve been wounded, treated them in its hospitals, has tried to do humanitarian work in Syria. Of course Israel has been bombing Syria at the same time, attacking Iranian emplacements, Syrian emplacements, shooting down the odd Syrian plane. But for Israel this is about doing a good deed.”
Failing to clarify to audiences that Israeli strikes have targeted Iranian weapons transfers to the terror group Hizballah, Coomarasamy went on:
Coomarasamy: “But as you allude to, it’s something that’s happening on Israel’s doorstep and is very much a military conflict that Israel is getting involved in as well.”
Landis: “Yes, Israel has increasingly become involved in the Syrian civil war. It has supported a number of rebel groups, helping to build a small buffer zone. That has collapsed now, so Israel is going back to dealing with the Assad government and particularly through the Russians and this means that the rebels are collapsing and some of them are seeking asylum, through Israel, to the West.”
Landis’ roundabout portrayal of the ‘White Helmets’ as “rebels…seeking asylum” unsurprisingly went completely unchallenged by Coomarasamy as did his false claims that Israel is “involved in the Syrian civil war” and “has supported a number of rebel groups”.
As we see, the UK’s publicly funded public service broadcaster continues to amplify conspiracy theories no different from those put out by the regime controlled news agencies of Syria and Russia.
The childhood home of late Nobel Prize-winning author and Holocaust survivor Elie Weisel was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti overnight Friday, police in the Romanian town of Sighet told local media.
A police spokesperson on Saturday said an investigation into the vandalism had been opened immediately, and police were combing security camera footage from a nearby building in an effort to identify the perpetrators.
Some of the graffiti included slurs against Wiesel, calling him a “Jewish Nazi” who was “in hell with Hitler,” and an “anti-Semitic pedophile.” There was also a reference to Germany’s Angela Merkel, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, and US President Donald Trump.
Wiesel’s pre-World War II home was converted into a Holocaust education center in 2014 in memory of the 13,000 local Jews who were deported to Auschwitz, where most were killed.
In 2014, when it was inaugurated the “Holocaust Cellar,” Weisel said he was “deeply honored” his home would be a place where the local Romanian population could learn about the Holocaust.
A modernized theatrical production of The Diary of Anne Frank in Los Angeles will re-imagine the Jewish Frank family hiding from Nazis with Latino immigrants hiding from Immigration, Customs, and Enforcement (ICE) officials, its directors have revealed.
The production, directed by former Roseanne writer Stan Zimmerman and scheduled to run throughout September, “was inspired by the true story of a Jewish woman in Los Angeles who created a ‘Safe House’ for a Latina mother and her two daughters after her husband was deported by ICE.” The play’s characters in the attic will be played by a LatinX cast, according to a promotional website.
“Director Stan Zimmerman has cast his production of the classic play The Diary of Anne Frank, by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett and newly adapted by Wendy Kesselman,” the play’s promotional content reads.
“The cast includes Keith Coogan (“Adventures in Babysitting”), Tasha Dixon (Miss Arizona USA), David Gurrola (“Insecure”), Heather Olt (“The Middle”), Raquenel (“My Life is a Telenovela”), Robert C. Raicch (“Are We There Yet?”), Teddi Shaffer (“The Open Book”), Raymond Abel Tomas, Emiliano Torres (“Shooter”) and introducing Genesis Ochoa as Anne Frank,” it continues.
In the original version of the true story, 13-year-old Anne Frank details her life in her diary after her family is forced to hide in an attic in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. After more than two years of hiding, the Frank family is discovered by the Gestapo and sent to a Holocaust extermination camp, where only Anne’s father Otto survives.
The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has invested $2 million in the cybersecurity research center at Ben-Gurion University (BGU), RBC and BGN Technologies, the technology transfer company of BGU, announced.
Funding for the partnership between the financial institution and the university will support the development of adversarial artificial intelligence (AI), including machine learning-based cyber mitigation techniques, BGU said in a statement.
“This partnership provides our researchers with the opportunity to further apply their leadership in cyber security research to the banking industry, where security is crucial for daily operations and the safety of customers,” said Danny Shtaier, a business development manager at BGN Technologies.
The research collaboration will be developed by Prof. Yuval Elovici and Asaf Shabtai, both from the Department of Software and Information Systems Engineering at BGU’s Cyber Security Research Center.
United Airlines announced on Thursday that it would celebrate the 20th anniversary of its business in Israel by inaugurating a non-stop route between Washington, D.C., and Tel Aviv next year, making it the first-ever American airline to serve Israel from the D.C. area, Globes reported.
The carrier will offer direct flights to Tel Aviv from its hub at Washington Dulles, operating three flights a week starting May 22. United will use Boeing 777-200ER for the flights.
The route will give United a third non-stop link to Tel Aviv, which already operates flights to Israel from Newark and San Francisco.
“As we begin celebrating 20 years of service in Israel, we want to thank our customers and employees who have helped make United the top US airline serving Israel,” said United senior country director for Israel Avi Friedman.
United observed it has continuously served Israel since August 1999, when it launched a non-stop route between Newark and Tel Aviv.
“We thank the Israeli government for its ongoing support and partnership. We look forward to continuing to serve Israel with this new service for our customers traveling between the US capital and one of the most advanced science and technology sectors in the world,” he said.
Dr. Peter Schotten is emeritus professor of Government and International Affairs at Augustana University (Sioux Falls, South Dakota).
Review Essay: Lyn Julius, Uprooted: How 3000 Years of Jewish Civilization in the Arab World Vanished Overnight (London: Vallentine Mitchell, 2018).
Other Books Discussed:
Martin Gilbert, A History of Jews in Muslim Lands (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010).
Joshua Muravchik, Making David into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel (New York: Encounter Books, 2014).
Israel has become a victim of its own success. Initially, Its 1948 founding was celebrated by much of the western world. Israel’s modern realization represented a triumph of heroic tenacity as well as the advancement of the laudable political principles of freedom and self-determination. Even more important, Israel’s newly won statehood proudly proclaimed the survival of a Judaism that had faced extinction from an unfathomable Nazi evil. The early flourishing of the Israeli political and economic experiment, especially after its first days when it fought and won a war of national survival against numerous Arab nations, proved as improbable as its founding. Despite a bevy of predictable social, economic and political challenges, a fair-minded observer of Israel’s early history and world standing would conclude that everything, or nearly everything crucial, had gone right.
Of course it was all too good to last. Seventy years later, Israel continues to prosper amidst serious obstacles in one of the world’s toughest neighborhoods. But, in the meantime, its reputation has declined precipitously. Once almost universally admired, Israel today is routinely denounced and derided. How and why this happened is analyzed skillfully and successfully by Joshua Muravchik in Making David Into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel. According to Muravchik, much of Israel’s reputation problem could be attributed to its very flourishing. Israel’s robust democracy had produced an adversary culture, which from time to time challenged the very legitimacy of the Israeli state. Ever confident, Israel acted assertively and controversially. For example, Israel’s widely criticized 1982 military campaign in Lebanon against the PLO constituted a leading example of such an act. But perhaps the most decisive turning point had been Israel’s decisive victory in the 1967 Six Days War. Prior to the War, Israel was seen as inferior to the Arab states by any measure–population, territory, military, natural resources and national wealth. After Israel’s decisive victory with its newly-won expanded borders, Israel would never again be uniformly seen as the sympathetic underdog. No longer would it be the powerful Arabs versus Israel, the beleaguered Jewish state. Now Middle East politics would be increasingly cast as the mighty Israeli versus the persecuted, oppressed, occupied and dispossessed Palestinians.
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