October 20, 2021

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08/04 Links: Secret documents may help prove that the UK is paying terrorists with taxpayer cash; Propaganda for Gaza in The Sunday Times; Michael Lumish: Jews are from Judea


From Ian:

Secret documents may help prove that the UK is paying terrorists with taxpayer cash as government loses legal battle to keep files under wraps
The Government has lost a legal battle to keep back secret documents which may support claims that terrorists have been paid using British taxpayers’ cash.

UK foreign aid money is said to have funded ‘salaries’ to Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails for terrorist acts.

The payments of between £400 and £2,000 a month came from the Palestinian Authority (PA), which controls the West Bank and has received hundreds of millions in British foreign aid.

Recipients reportedly include master bombmaker Abdullah Barghouti, who was jailed after attacks that left 67 dead. It is claimed that he has been given more than £100,000 by PA.

Campaigners including UK Lawyers For Israel (UKLFI) have long accused the Government of failing to come clean over the alleged misuse of cash, claiming that Ministers have potentially misled Parliament by saying that salaries for terrorists were simply welfare payments.

For the past year, campaigners going through the Information Commissioner’s Office have demanded that the Department For International Development release an audit of where UK aid given to the PA has gone. DFID told the ICO that releasing the audit would harm relations between the UK and PA.

But now the Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has ruled that there is a ‘significant public interest’ in the disclosure of the information. Between 2008 and 2015, Britain paid the Palestinian Authority £430.5 million. More than eight per cent of money from the PA Central Treasury was used to pay terrorists’ salaries, according to documents obtained in 2012 by Israeli NGO Palestinian Media Watch.

‘Our children are buried while the terrorists celebrate’

Bereaved families are protesting this morning, Sunday, in front of Ofer Prison, regarding the conditions of terrorists’ incarceration.

The families of the “Bochrim Bachayim” (“Choosing Life”) forum of the Im Tirtzu organization are protesting against the benefits and gratuities received by terrorist murderers from the prison service, at the expense of Israeli citizens.

Recently, the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) revealed that there are fitness facilities in all the prisons for the welfare of the terrorists, and that every security prisoner is entitled to a daily newspaper subscription and one magazine subscription.

Meirav and Herzl Hajaj, whose daughter Shir was murdered in a ramming attack in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem, said: “We have come here to shout against the exaggerated living conditions those who murdered our precious children get. It is time for Minister Erdan to act immediately to approve the conclusions of the committee that he led and put an end to the festivities happening in prisons.”

”We came to hand out gifts and sweets to terrorists to show the absurd reality that the terrorists receive. We cry and they laugh. We are bereaved families of a different type, we will not be silent and will not rest until the prison parties stop,” the parents promised.

Honest Reporting: Propaganda for Gaza in The Sunday Times

Advocacy journalist Sarah Helm has a history of lies and distortions when it comes to reporting on Israel. In recent years we’ve called her out for using a quote falsely attributed to David Ben Gurion and lying about Israel’s Gaza border fence in The Independent. We’ve also taken Helm to task for an opinion piece in The Guardian that was littered with bias and blatant falsehoods. Other examples of Helm’s bias have been cataloged at UK Media Watch.

So it’s hardly surprising that Helm has appeared in The Independent and The Guardian that regularly display overt hostility towards Israel. Unfortunately The Sunday Times, a more balanced media outlet, has now given Helm a platform to disseminate her anti-Israel bias. While this latest article is behind a paywall, thus limiting its reach, it is nonetheless worthy of a response.

Helm tells the story of Bilal Masoud, “shot in his legs and right arm by Israeli soldiers at the border fence separating Gaza from Israel. Now he was unable to do anything for himself or feed his birds.”

Even the way that Masoud and other Palestinians in the story are referred to by their first names is a deliberate attempt to elicit sympathy for their plight. Indeed, that Masoud eventually commits suicide is undoubtedly disturbing. It is also legitimate to feel some level of sympathy for Palestinians whose lives have been ruined as a result of reckless or violent behavior, incited by Hamas terrorists to riot at the Gaza border fence.

But Helm doesn’t bother examining what’s really motivating Palestinians like Bilal to risk their lives or even actively seek to end them.

Bilal rushed to the fence, knowing that Israeli troops would open fire if he got too close. He was badly maimed by the shots; his injuries so unbearable that ultimately he chose another way to end his life.

Bilal is one of thousands shot by Israeli soldiers since the Great March of Return protests began near the fence in March last year.

The Great March of the Return protests marked Palestinians’ desire to go back to their families’ former homes in what is now Israel.

So Israel is simply shooting thousands of Palestinians who merely “desire to go back to their families’ former homes.” This is a narrative that ignores the very violent intentions of many of those driving the weekly demonstrations at the border fence, least of all Hamas, which barely warrants a mention.

Anti-Semitism is flourishing once again, and it is terrifying

Opinion: The Netherlands’ chief rabbi is horrified by the openly anti-Jewish tone of a recent article in a Dutch newspaper, which reminds him of the sentiments in Europe in the 1930s

It is summertime. Many are abroad and enjoying it… but I feel uncomfortable.

The Belgian newspaper De Morgen (The Morning) published an obscene purely anti-Semitic article.

The fact that there is anti-Semitism is not new to me. But the fact that this can be published more and more frequently, the fact that anti-Semitism is getting more and more common, this makes me worried.

If you think I exaggerate, judge for yourself.

The article states, “that the land of Israel is not a promised land, it is stolen land.” It also says that, “being a Jew is no religion: there is no God who would give His creatures such an ugly nose.”

But also the countless convictions of Israel by the United Nations bother me. Israel is being convicted because Israel is the cause of Palestinian women being discriminated against.

Yes, you read it correctly: because in the Palestinian world women apparently take a subordinate place, it is Israel’s fault. And my own country of The Netherlands agreed and applauded when this resolution was passed.

Abusing the term “Concentration Camp”

“How should I describe it? The most painful picture, when people were treated worse than animals. They take care of animals, but they didn’t take care of people.”

This is a quote from my grandfather, speaking of his experience in the Transnistria concentration camp during World War II. This camp was unique in that it became known as “the forgotten death camp.” Rather than systematic murder, in Transnistria, the goal was to enforce hard labor and essentially work you as a malnourished slave, until you die.

As the grandchild of Holocaust survivors, I learned firsthand the sensitivity with which these memories must be treated. Today, the term “concentration camp” evokes an emotion in men and women around the world that words can never describe. It will forever be connected to the murder and abuse of millions of men, women, and children during the Holocaust.

As the crisis at our southern border continues, many politicians and media commentators have described our border facilities as “concentration camps,” which has, as expected, attracted tremendous attention.

These border facilities are made up of migrants fleeing their home country in hopes of creating a better future. While the border crisis must unquestionably be resolved, simply declaring our border facilities “concentration camps” will fail to help the migrants in any way, and will only attract attention to the politicians and media commentators who do so. It is disrespectful and offensive to the victims, survivors, and families of Holocaust survivors to use their pain to help further another cause.

Michael Lumish: Jews are from Judea

Jews represent about .02 percent of the world population and about 1.5 percent of the population of the United States. And, yet, we actually have representatives in the US Congress who think that Jews are illegally “occupying” Judea.

These people — including Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) — are racist antisemitic anti-Zionists who have found comfortable homes for themselves within the Democratic Party.

It must be understood that Arabs are from the Arabian Peninsula and that Jews are from Judea, otherwise known as Israel.

It was not the Jews that conquered almost the entire Middle East and North Africa.

It was the Arabs who did so. And one of the amazing things about the Arab-Muslim imperial conquests is that they have actually managed to convince the guilt-ridden “white” people of Europe and America that Arabs are indigenous to other peoples’ lands.

David Horovitz: Goodbye withdrawal, hello sovereignty: The triumph of the settlers

Indeed, the main ideological opposition to the pro-settlement Netanyahu going into September’s elections comes not from the left or center-left, but from the still more pro-settlement, Ayelet Shaked-headed, United Right alliance.

The political shift is nothing short of extraordinary. Barely a quarter-century ago, after all, Rabin was warily shaking hands with Yasser Arafat on an agreement-in-principle to gradually withdraw from much of the West Bank. By 2000, Barak was offering to relinquish some 90% of the territory, involving the uprooting of most of the settlements. Only a decade ago, Ehud Olmert was ready to withdraw from almost the entire West Bank, with one-for-one land swaps.

Now settler leaders, rather than battling against governments advocating withdrawal, are divided over whether to demand Israeli sovereignty in 10%, 60% or 100% of the territory.

Dilmoni and his colleagues are patently upbeat, believing that their “planning for permanence” strategy is paying off, and with good reason: Polls show the Israeli public is divided and uncertain over the fate of the West Bank, but some are clearly moving in their direction, not just empathetically but literally: “We had 3% growth in the settlements last year, with an average of 4.2% over the past decade — and that’s more than double the national average,” he said, reeling off a list of key statistics. The 450,000-470,000 settlers are diverse — a third ultra-Orthodox, a third modern Orthodox, and a third secular, he said. It’s a very young population — 48% aged 18 and under; 53% with the right to vote, compared to 72% nationwide. “Classrooms are overflowing. Birth rates are high. Demand to move here is huge,” and not only to settlements close to the pre-1967 lines.

“Why not?” he asked rhetorically. “It’s affordable, there’s clean air, good schools, we’re close to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. It’s nice if people move for ideology; but it’s also great if they move for economy.”

Outside Shiloh, Igael Tumarkin’s “Dovecote” sculpture was recently spruced up and freshly painted — an act of somewhat ironic renewal that reflects the local residents’ sense of confidence, and of permanence. Far from an intrusive, reproving presence, it’s something the residents enjoy looking at as they pass.

Proof of your victory, I suggested to Dilmoni. He smiled and half-demurred. “I don’t want to brag that we’ve won,” he said softly. “Others would say it appears that we’re winning.”

The Latest UN Horror Show: Christian Refugees Ignored

Jordan is supposed to be their transit country; they are seeking resettlement to other countries via the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Australian Special Humanitarian Program.

The registration with the UNHCR gives them the protective status of refugee as they await resettlement. Yet, the process of resettlement takes at minimum several months and sometimes even years due to the growing refugee backlog….. “The majority of those stuck in limbo have been waiting more than two years—some since the rise of ISIS in 2014,” according to the report.

“Since January, the process has become even slower and more difficult. The UNHCR has not even granted newcomers refugee status since. They just give them an appointment date, then they cancel the date and give them a new one. So we all keep waiting.” — Lorance Yousuf Kazqeea, a Christian originally from Baghdad, has been an asylum seeker in Jordan with his wife and two children since September 2017; to Gatestone Institute.

“You can contact the local UNHCR office in your country and demand answers – why Iraqi Christians have been waiting for resettlement for years and why the West continuously rejects them.” — Juliana Taimoorazy, founding president of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council, which has been active in Jordan since 2015; to Gatestone Institute.

PA, Human Rights Watch are Angry UN Won’t Say Israel Violates Children’s Rights

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres released his annual report on children and armed conflict last week, and while the report called for an investigation of the 59 deaths of Palestinian children in 2018, he stopped short of embarrassing Israel by not adding it to his “list of shame.”

Are you an average Jew who always complains how the UN always focuses on Israel while ignoring the terrible war crimes elsewhere? It appears that Secretary General Guterres has been paying attention. Instead of attacking Israel, he cites 225 attacks on schools and medical facilities in Syria, and 254 schools and hospitals targeted in Afghanistan.

“Increased numbers of attacks were also verified in the Central African Republic, Colombia, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, the Sudan and Yemen,” Guterres said.

Regarding Israel, Guterres said in his report: “I am extremely concerned by the significant rise in the maiming of and injuries caused to children across Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, including by tear gas inhalation requiring medical treatment,” but did not cite the Jewish State as shame-worthy.

Needless to say, the fact that Israel has not been dragged through the mud is upsetting to its enemies, starting with the PA Minister of Social Development Ahmad Majdalani, who stated that “UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres seems to have heard nothing of the violations committed by the Israeli occupation government against Palestinian children on a daily basis,” and wondered just how Israel had managed to get itself excluded from the report.

Democrats to arrive, hope to combat impression party is anti-Israel

Amid all the noise being generated by freshman congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who are harshly critical of Israel, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer will bring a large delegation of freshmen Democrats to Israel on Monday on a week-long trip that Democrat leaders hope will dent the growing public perception that the party no longer supports the Jewish State.

And while an anti-Israel perception may not hurt Democrats in solidly left-wing Democratic districts with few Jewish voters like the one Tlaib represents in Detroit, 39 of the party’s 62 freshman member flipped their districts from Republican to Democrat in 2018, and in some of those districts coming across as hostile to Israel – a perception that could be created by pointedly refusing to take part in one of these trips on ideological grounds – could be an electoral or campaign funding liability, not an asset.

These trips are sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF), a charitable foundation affiliated with AIPAC, and are organized in August of every off-election year for new congressmen, many whom have never been to Israel before.

Hoyer will be leading the Democratic group that will arrive on Monday, and will be joined by Hakeem Jeffries, the chair of the House Democratic Caucus. The presence of those two party leaders is an indication of the importance the party leadership attributes to the trip.

A Republican group is set to arrive on Friday, led by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

The two groups will overlap for two days, and hold a joint press conference next Sunday. While the number and names of those on the trips are being held as a closely guarded secret by the organizers, these are expected to be among the largest ever delegations.

Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson pledges to reverse Trump’s Golan recognition

Author and spiritual guru Marianne Williamson, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination next year, has pledged that, if elected, she would rescind US President Donald Trump’s official recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

“I would rescind the president’s affirmation of sovereignty of Israel over the Golan Heights,” she said in response to a questionnaire from the Council on Foreign Relations. “I understand the [Israeli] occupation of the Golan Heights, but only until there is a stable government in Syria with whom one can negotiate.”

Williamson, whose debate performances last month and on Tuesday caused a buzz, is one of 16 candidates who have said that they would re-enter the United States in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal if they become elected president.

Finally, Williamson, who is Jewish, is one of nine candidates who has vowed to keep the US Embassy in Israel in Jerusalem. It was moved from Tel Aviv on May 14, 2018, five months after Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“The capital of Israel is Jerusalem; it is the location of their Knesset, or parliament building, and no one disputes that,” Williamson previously told JNS. “Countries such as the United States kept their embassies in Tel Aviv as a sign of the deference to the ongoing process of negotiations – or potential for negotiations – regarding parts of Jerusalem as related to any final plan for a two-state solution.”

Red Sea Diving Resort tells the unbelievable story of an affordable Israeli hotel with good service (satire)

There’s a hot new Netflix film called “Red Sea Diving Resort”, and people in Israel can’t stop talking about it! The film tells the story of the Mossad’s clandestine operation to rescue Ethiopian Jews in the 1980’s and bring them home to Israel. But perhaps the most unbelievable part is that in order to make the mission succeed, the Mossad set up a really good hotel. That’s right. An Israeli hotel that was affordable AND with good customer service! The Daily Freier wandered around Central Tel Aviv pestering random strangers for their feelings on this crazy tale.

“Amazing!” enthused Ron C. as he sat on a bench on Dizengoff. “The way the Mossad went “deep undercover” by teaching their agents to treat the customers like ‘customers’ instead of ‘somebody stopping me from taking a smoke break.’ I mean, this didn’t just happen overnight. Ron took a drag from his cigarette and continued. “The flashback scenes were perfect: The meticulous planning, including a mock-up of the hotel where the waiters were specially trained not to throw their menus at the customers and demand tips! I felt like I was there!”

“I was sitting on the edge of my seat with suspense!” remarked Alert Local Ronit S. “I mean, the most suspenseful scene? Probably when they almost blew their cover after a customer asked for ice and Chris Evans laughed and said ‘This isn’t America’. You could just cut the tension with a knife until he recovered, smiled, said he was just joking, and brought a full carafe of ice.”

Dutch band cancels Lebanon gig in support of local group

A Dutch band said Sunday it had canceled its gig at a top Lebanon festival in solidarity with a Lebanese group pulled from the event after threats over alleged offense to Christians.

Within Temptation joined other activists in protest after festival organizers last week pulled Lebanese indie group Mashrou’ Leila from the program over fears of “bloodshed.”

The Dutch symphonic-rock outfit had been set to play on Wednesday at the event in the Christian-majority seaside town of Byblos.

“We have decided to cancel our show in Byblos in solidarity with Mashrou’ Leila and in support of tolerance, freedom of speech and expression,” they said in a statement on Facebook.

They made the decision after learning the festival had withdrawn Mashrou’ Leila from the program “due to security reasons after religious fanatics demanded their performance to be cancelled followed by violent threats”, they said.

Lebanese clerics have accused Mashrou’ Leila, whose singer is openly gay, of offending Christians in two of their songs titled “Idols” and “Djin.”

Report: Dozens dead as Iranian weapons delivery explodes in Syrian airport

A massive explosion at the Shayrat Airbase in central Syria has left 31 people dead and dozens more wounded, Arab media reported Saturday.

According to the report, the fatalities include Syrian soldiers and Shiite militiamen.

Syrian media labeled the explosion an “accident.” Quoting a military source, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency said the explosions took place at an ammunition depot while troops were removing faulty munitions.

The official said it is believed the munitions overheated due to extreme temperatures and exploded.

The base is known as a port for weapon deliveries headed to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Intelligence website Intelli Times claimed that the explosion took place while the troops were handling a new weapons shipment that arrived from Iran.

The Shayrat Airbase was previously attacked by the US in April of 2017 after Washington accused the Syrian government of carrying out a chemical weapons attack on the Idlib Governorate town of Khan Sheikhoun.

Iran: Flogging a Dead Donkey Is Futile

The Europeans pretend to be working on a magic potion that shall have the dead donkey up and running in no time. For their part, Tehran’s Khomeinist leaders insist that the donkey is alive and well but continue to pull off its legs one by one. The Russians and the Chinese serenade the dead donkey every now and then but are clearly not interested in whether it is dead or alive.

Trump may have done everyone a service by exposing the fraudulent nature of the JCPOA and seeking a fresh round of negotiations to address the totality of issues that have kept relations between Iran and the outside world in a state of crisis for the past four decades. The wisest course in the interest of all concerned is to bury the dead donkey and clear the deck for new initiatives on a solid legal basis.

The failure of the G7 summit to come up with a united and constructive stance on the “Iran problem” would encourage the mullahs to pursue policies that have done so much harm to Iran, indeed to the whole Middle East, in the past four decades.

Iran seizes third foreign tanker, says it was carrying ‘smuggled fuel’

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard seized a ship in the Persian Gulf suspected of carrying smuggled fuel, state media reported Sunday, marking Iran’s third seizure of a commercial vessel in recent weeks and the latest show of strength by the paramilitary force amid a spike in regional tensions.

State TV and the semi-official Fars news agency reported that seven crew members were detained when the ship was seized late Wednesday carrying 700,000 liters of “smuggled fuel” from Iran. The local reports did not provide further details on the vessel or the nationality of the crew.

The news agency reported that the ship was seized near Farsi Island, where an Iranian Guard Navy base is located. The island sits in the Persian Gulf between Saudi Arabia and Iran, north of the Strait of Hormuz.

“This foreign vessel had received the fuel from other ships and was transferring it to Persian Gulf Arab states,” Fars quoted Gen. Ramazan Zirahi, a Guard commander, as saying.

This would mark the third vessel seized by the Guard in the past two weeks, and the second accused of smuggling fuel.

Labour anti-Semitism ‘fueled by a flow of anti-Semitic tweets,’ says watchdog

A small number of online social media accounts have driven the discourse on anti-Semitism in the British Labour party, a new study by a prominent Jewish watchdog group says.

According to the new report, released on Sunday by the London-based Community Security Trust, which monitors anti-Semitism and provides security services for UK Jews, “the problem of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party over the past three years has been fueled by a flow of anti-Semitic tweets and posts on social media, done in the name of the Labour Party and its leader, Jeremy Corbyn.”

The report was conducted in conjunction with data science firm Signify.

The report identified what it said were 36 key pro-Corbyn Twitter accounts, which it collectively nicknamed the “engine room.” Each, it said, have “their own, overlapping, online networks that drive social media conversations about anti-Semitism” and “are responsible for encouraging the widespread belief that allegations of anti-Semitism are a smear against Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.”

Those accounts frequently use content from a network of alternative media sites that “consistently claim that anti-Semitism is being weaponized as a smear” and “provide the fuel for an atmosphere in which allegations of anti-Semitism are denied, while leading and encouraging attacks against anyone who criticizes the Labour leadership for their record on the issue.”

A new CST report on UK Labour’s antisemitism crisis

The Community Security Trust (CST) has – together with the data science company Signify – released a report (PDF) concerning “The online networks behind the Labour Party’s antisemitism crisis”.

“The problem of antisemitism in the Labour Party over the past four years has been fuelled by a flow of antisemitic tweets and posts on social media, carried out in the name of the Labour Party and its leader, Jeremy Corbyn. Many of these tweets use hateful language to attack Jewish Labour MPs or other people who raise concerns about antisemitism; other tweets claim that any mention of antisemitism is part of a conspiracy to ‘smear’ Corbyn and Labour. […]

This report analyses the behaviour of Labour supporting Twitter accounts, networks and alternative media sites to discover whether (and if so, how) antisemitic narratives have taken root in Labour-supporting online circles. Using up to four years’ worth of tweets, it finds that there is no separation online between generic pro-Labour Twitter accounts and campaigns, and abusive Twitter accounts that claim to act in support of Labour in order to shut down allegations of antisemitism against the party.”

The report states:

“Over the last three years, the Community Security Trust (CST) has recorded a year-on year increase in the number of antisemitic incidents reported in the UK. In 2018, the months in which CST recorded the highest monthly antisemitic incident totals correlated to periods when political and media debate over allegations of antisemitism in Labour was at its most intense. […] Data collected for this report shows that Jeremy Corbyn’s time as Labour leader has seen the baseline level for national online coverage and engagement, across all media, of Labour, antisemitism and related issues, reach a level unprecedented in recent years.”

Undisclosed conflicts further taint Durham (NC) boycott of Israel police training

On April 16, 2018, the Durham North Carolina City Council passed the “Israel Resolution” making Durham the first city in the United States to boycott police training specifically with Israel. This took place even though Durham conducted no police training with Israel, and had no plans to do so.

It was purely an anti-Israel symbolic act designed to demonize Israel, as part of a broader racist, anti-Semitic campaign under the banner of “Deadly Exchange” to falsely blame Israel for policing problems, including shootings, in minority communities in the United States.

I have recently learned that one of the key players supporting the boycott on the Durham Human Relations Commission, which rejected a challenge to the City Council action, had campaigned for a City Council member who also advocated the boycott.

This began on April 5, 2018 when local activists led by the anti-Zionists of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) petitioned the City Council demanding that Durham ban police trainings with Israel. Activists, many of them college students, asked the Council to act quickly so they could leave town for summer vacation.

Despite massive opposition from the mainstream Jewish community and allies, the City Council took just 11 days to comply with JVP’s demands. 11 local rabbis published a statement calling the Council’s actions a “punch in the gut” to the Jewish community.

The Guardian: UK council refused to host Palestinian event over antisemitism fears

Officials at a London council that refused to host a charity event in aid of Palestinian children did not tell the organisers the decision was based on fears their criticism of Israel could breach antisemitism guidelines, internal emails have revealed.

The exchanges among officials at Tower Hamlets council also reveal they thought the event should be turned down, in part because of the row over antisemitism in the Labour party.

The council told The Big Ride for Palestine, which has raised nearly £150,000 for sports equipment for children in Gaza since 2015, that the event’s “political connotations” meant that the closing rally of this year’s bike ride could not go ahead in the borough “without problems”.

Officials told organisers there was a risk speakers might express views which contradicted the council’s policies on community cohesion and equality.

Behind the scenes, council staff raised fears of a “real risk” that the event and its organisers could be seen to have breached the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism because of references on their website to apartheid and ethnic cleansing. One official said there were concerns “not least because of the recent furour [sic] within the Labour party over Anti Semitism [sic]”.

Times of London includes Ahed Tamimi in their 2019 “Teen Power List”

The Sunday Magazine in today’s print edition of The Times (Times of London) included a section titled “Teen Power List 2019”, a largely uncontroversial list of influential or up and coming teen athletes, activists and entertainers.

Yet, remarkably, their Teen Power List also included Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teen “activist” known for using antisemitic tropes, endorsing terrorism and calling for Israel’s destruction.

Here’s the Times’ anodyne bio of the girl nicknamed Shirely Temper by the blog Israellycool.
Here’s Tamimi is in 2018 endorsing, or at least legitimising, stabbings and suicide bombings.
Here she is in 2019 advocating for Israel’s destruction.
Here she is, also this year, engaging in antisemitism by claiming that the UK is controlled by Zionists.

In comparisons to other British media outlets, The Times is normally one of the more reasonable and thoughtful news outlets in their coverage of both the Israel-Palestinian issue and antisemitism in the UK, a fact which makes their glorification of a pro-violence, antisemitic teen especially perplexing.

UKMW prompts Guardian correction to Palestinian refugee claim

Last week, we posted about a July 25th Guardian review of a new science fiction book by Palestinian writers imagining “what their country might look like in 2048” that included this historical inaccuracy by the journalist:
Twelve acclaimed Palestinian writers have imagined what their country might look like in 2048, 100 years after the Nakba saw more than 700,000 people expelled from their homes, in what is believed to be the first ever collection of science fiction from the occupied territories.

As we noted to the journalist, Alison Flood in a tweet, and to editors in our complaint, there are no serious historians who claim that all 700,000 Palestinians were “expelled” during the 1948 war. It’s been demonstrated that most fled in the context of an Arab war of annihilation against the nascent Jewish state, not because of an expulsion order. We reminded the Guardian that their own journalists are almost always careful with their language about this issue, merely claiming that “some were expelled and some fled”.

Though we never heard back from Guardian editors, the journalist, to her credit, did eventually respond to apologise, and informed us that the sentence would be corrected.

Anglican Church of Canada to abandon prayer for the conversion of the Jews

The Anglican Church of Canada will remove a prayer for the conversion of the Jews from its liturgy, the Canadian Jewish News has reported.

According to the report, the current Book of Common Prayer features an invocation to “open their hearts that they may see and confess the Lord Jesus to be thy Son and their true Messiah,” among its optional prayers.

The General Synod of the Church, which met in Vancouver on July 16, approved a resolution to replace the prayer with a text devoted to “Reconciliation with the Jews.”

Anglican bishop of Quebec Bruce Myers said in a statement that the move is meant to encourage the community to “acknowledge and repent of the church’s participation in antisemitism, to stop singling out Jews as a target for our evangelistic efforts, and to assume a humble and reconciliatory stance with our Jewish elders in the faith.” He added that, “it also invites Anglicans to be ever mindful of Christianity’s deep Jewish roots.”

In 2016, an attempt to introduce a similar resolution at a meeting of the Church’s governing body failed.

There are about 2,800 Anglican churches in Canada. The Book of Common Prayer is used by only a minority of them, while the majority use the Book of Alternative Services, introduced in 1985.

Anti-Semitic graffiti painted on door of Minneapolis school

Anti-Semitic graffiti has been painted on the door of a US school in Minneapolis, the 17th incident reported by the local Jewish community so far this year.

The graffiti discovered on Thursday at the Lake Harriet Upper School in Minneapolis included a swastika and the words “Kikes must die!”

The graffiti was painted over on Thursday afternoon, according to local reports.

On Friday, students of the school created chalk street art to spread messages of love and acceptance. The artwork included Stars of David and messages such as “I belong, you belong, we all belong” and “Love all!” A second “Chalk the Walk: Love Lives Here” was scheduled for Sunday.

Two vases stolen by Nazi regime returned to family after 80 years

Two vases, estimated to be worth about $120,000, were returned to the family of Harry Fuld 80 years after they were stolen from his widow by the Nazi regime, in a ceremony made possible by the joint efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Art Crime Team and the American Embassy of Germany, according to a Fox News report.

Fuld, was a German-Jew who created the “first modern telephone system” in Germany, named H. Fuld & Co. Telefon und Telegraphenwerke AG. He and his wife, Lucie Mayer, lived in Germany in the 1930s. Fuld died in 1932.

According to an FBI press release, after Fuld’s death and the Third Reich’s rise to power in 1933, the Nazis subjugated the family accounts and placed an “exit tax” on Lucie, making it difficult for her to leave the country. Lucie escaped Germany in 1939, however, she had to leave behind her home, artwork and most of her possessions. In 1940, many of the assets she was forced to abandon were listed as “items for sale” at a Berlin auction house, less than one year after her departure.

The FBI added that the Nazi Party “determined proceeds from the auction satisfied the exit tax they put on Lucie. The work was listed as Lot 198 at the auction, described as ‘two bronze vases, fire gilded, two-tone, French, Louis XVI, 1780-1890.’”

Israeli chess prodigy to sit out championships set on Yom Kippur, Tisha b’Av

A 14-year-old chess prodigy from Israel turned down free trips to India and Slovakia to compete in chess championships because the contests are scheduled to take place on Jewish holy days.

Yair Hoffmann attends the religious Tzviah high school in Petah Tikva, near Tel Aviv. This week he declined the invitation to play at this month’s European Youth Championship in Bratislava in August because it includes games that fall on Shabbat and Tisha b’Av, a day of fasting and mourning marking historical calamities, mainly the destruction of the First and Second Temples.

Hoffman also turned down October’s World Youth Chess Championship in India because that match has games on Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, arguably the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.

Hoffmann won the Israel chess championship in his age category and has achieved a draw in a game against former world champion Viswanathan Anand. He discussed with the organizers the possibility of giving him and his rivals a technical draw in the matches scheduled for Shabbat. Hoffmann pulled out when this solution proved to be unworkable.

More Than 2,000 Jewish Athletes Attend Opening Maccabi Games in Hungary

More than 2,000 Jewish athletes attended the opening ceremony of the 15th European Maccabi Games on Tuesday in Budapest.

Hailing from 42 countries, the contenders will compete in sports such as swimming, boxing, fencing, chess and soccer. Israel sent 180 athletes, its largest delegation ever, to compete in the week-long tournament, which takes place every four years in a different European city.

Central Europe has not hosted the event since the first European Maccabi Games in 1929 in Prague.

The ceremonial torch was lit by Hungarian-Jewish chess grandmaster Judit Polgar.

Motti Tichauer, chairman of the European Maccabi Confederation, spoke at the opening ceremony about major threats facing European Jews. He said on the far-right, “Our societies have no place for fascism and racism” and on Islamist extremism, “Whoever comes to our continent has to respect our values.”

A rabbi at Tuesday’s ceremony also recited Yizkor, a mourning prayer, in memory of the Jewish athletes murdered in the Holocaust along other victims. He told the crowd, “That all of us are here now is proof of Jewish continuity in Europe, we are a symbol of ‘Am Yisrael Chai’—the people of Israel live and thrive, and tonight we are celebrating this.”

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