July 30, 2021

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08/20 Links Pt2: Is the Campus BDS Threat Shifting to Academic Boycotts?; How Al Sharpton Failed African Slaves


From Ian:

Is the Campus BDS Threat Shifting to Academic Boycotts?
In some cases, the principle of academic boycott is of greater concern than the direct impact on students.

At Pitzer, fewer than a dozen students have participated in the Haifa program since 2007. And the idea that a university should institutionally sever access or collaboration with international partners is not only antithetical to the very idea of a university, but can actually have tangible adverse effects on student course enrollment and even school choice. No student should have to consider an individual professor’s political agenda when registering for courses or choosing a major. Students should be able to pursue any degree, any course, or any study-abroad destination without fear that someone else’s politics will limit their own educational journey.

Antisemitic ideology will also pose threats to healthy campus life this year in other vehicles besides academic boycotts. Already, a pair of Israeli student athletes at the University of Indianapolis found a swastika on the wall as they were moving into their dorm. Graffiti incidents are increasingly commonplace on campuses, and other forms of harassment, including mock eviction notices, continue to disenfranchise Israel-supporting students. On the eight campuses where divestment failed last year, there’s likely to be some attempt to revive a traditional BDS push in the next year. Students will also undoubtedly see a continued campus presence from right-wing white-nationalist groups, which have increased their college activities.

While other concerns are sure to pop up this year for Jewish and pro-Israel students, the academic boycott against Israel has the most potential for coordinated activity. An entire section on the BDSMovement.net website — run by the Palestinian BDS National Committee — serves as an instructional guide to launching start-up chapters to help them promote the boycott. Anti-Israel activists across the country are sure to attempt to capitalize on the near success of the Pitzer campaign and pursue boycotts against Israeli institutions at whatever levels they can.

Supporters of Israel, democracy, and the free exchange of ideas must recognize the threat that academic boycotts pose to the health of the university environment and make clear that these attacks on academic freedom are not welcome on any campus.

Learning the Wrong Lessons from the Disengagement from Gaza

Fifteen years after Israel withdrew completely from the Gaza Strip, and evicted the Jews who lived there, many of the former officers and other self-described security experts who supported the move at the time continue to argue that it was the correct decision, pointing to the decrease in the number of Israelis killed and wounded since then. But, argues Gershon Hacohen, this is the wrong yardstick:

[B]y making the number of casualties the main criterion by which to assess the security situation, as U.S. generals did in Vietnam to cover up their abysmal failures, the “experts” ignore the fact that a national-security equation does not by any means depend primarily on the number of wounded and killed. If that were indeed the key criterion, most struggles for national liberation would not have happened.

To begin with, Israel’s withdrawal reinforced Hamas’s belief that Palestinian victory will be won through “resistance” and not by political means, à la the approach of Mahmoud Abbas. . . . According to Hamas, it was not the yearning for peace that impelled the Israelis to withdraw from Gaza but operative and mental distress in the face of relentless “resistance,” similar to the panicky flight from Lebanon in May 2000. Hence the two-state solution has succumbed to a radical logic that paints it, according to Hamas’s former leader Khaled Mashal, in the colors of an ongoing phased strategy in the ceaseless struggle for Israel’s destruction.

For rockets, missiles, and mortars, as well as explosive and incendiary balloons, the fence [separating Israel from Gaza] is not an obstacle. Nor does it inhibit the tunnel threat. The fence does contribute to the regular security routine, but in symmetrical fashion it helps the enemy build up its power undisturbed. Under the protection of the fence, . . . Hamas and Islamic Jihad have been able to form an organized military force, comprising battalions and brigades, replete with a concealed and protected arsenal of rocket fire and supported by an effective command-and-control system.

How Al Sharpton Failed African Slaves

In 2001, Al Sharpton paid a visit to Sudan, where he met with black Christians who had been held as slaves by Muslim Arabs. Most of these slaves had been captured during raids on their villages in which the male population was slaughtered and women and children sold into servitude. Sharpton, notorious for aggravating racial tensions in the U.S. and provoking two murderous outbreaks of anti-Jewish violence in New York City, pledged to take up their cause and for a brief time spoke about it publicly. But he soon abandoned the issue, as Charles Jacobs explains:

When Sharpton returned from Sudan he met with senior members of Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam. Farrakhan had been vigorously denying that Arabs were enslaving blacks. His mission is to convince American blacks that Islam is the path to authentic freedom; it would be damaged by living and breathing proof that blacks are enslaved and slaughtered in African countries like Sudan where Islam dominates.

In 2017, after ignoring Africa’s slaves for many years, Sharpton returned to the issue. The occasion was a CNN report on Arabs in Libya capturing and selling Africans as slaves which featured a video of an auction where a man was sold for $400. . . . For whatever reason, Sharpton never actually went to Libya, but he did meet with Libya’s UN ambassador Elmahdi Elmajerbi to discuss the problem—and made sure to get the photo-op. Just as with his trip to Sudan, however, Sharpton’s ire quickly faded and once again the slaves went down the memory hole.

Today, in five Arab and Muslim African countries—Sudan, Mauritania, Libya, Nigeria, and Algeria—blacks are enslaved. These are known realities, easily documented. Sharpton and Farrakhan ignored or denied the current-day plight of black people who are taken as slaves. They do so for two primary reasons; first, so as not to denigrate Islam, and secondly, to keep “America’s racism” a singular and unique focus, the benefits of which would be lost to them if blacks here knew that today, sadly, in some parts of the Islamic world, African men, women, and children are still in bondage, captured, bought, and sold as chattel.

Al Sharpton heard the groans of enslaved black Africans, saw their tears, and then, seeing the way the wind was blowing, ran away.

Netanyahu promises ‘there will never be another Babi Yar’

Standing at Babi Yar, but with Iran obviously on his mind, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared it is Israel’s “constant duty to stand against murderous ideologies in order to ensure that there will never be another Babi Yar.”

Netanyahu’s comments came at a memorial ceremony on Monday at the site, where some 34,000 Jews were murdered by the Nazis and Ukrainian collaborators in September 1941.

“For humanity, Babi Yar is a warning sign,” he said. “For Jews, it is an eternal imperative – we will always defend ourselves, by ourselves, against any enemy.”

Netanyahu, who arrived in Ukraine on Sunday for a two-day visit – the first by an Israeli prime minister in 20 years – said that it was hard to believe that “this beautiful forest saw the horror that happened here. The forest was silent, but so too was the world.”

The prime minister, accompanied at the ceremony by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, noted that the horrible brutality in the forest did not take place on another planet.

“It took place just minutes from the bustling center of Kiev,” he said. “The massacre at Babi Yar by the Nazis and their collaborators paved the way for the murder of a million and a half Ukrainian Jews. It also preceded the final solution.”
Netanyahu praised Zelensky and the Ukrainian government for preserving the memory of the Holocaust, and for its continued efforts against antisemitism. He contrasted the state of the Jews then – when it was a people who wandered from place to place, only to be slaughtered – to the situation of the State of Israel today.

“From a helpless people that was slaughtered, we have become a strong and proud state,” he said.

US scraps West Bank conference over Palestinian protests

The US Embassy in Jerusalem on Monday was forced to postpone a conference that it organized in Ramallah after Palestinian officials and factions called for a boycott and threatened to organize protests.

The Palestinians cut ties with the US after it recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in 2017.

The embassy had organized a conference this week to bring together alumni of US educational and cultural programs, including dozens of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip who received permission from Israel to attend.

The Palestinian leadership viewed the conference as an attempt to circumvent its boycott of the US administration.

“We are aware of recent statements regarding a planned event for alumni of US educational and cultural programs,” the US Embassy said. “In order to avoid the Palestinian participants being put in a difficult situation, we have decided to postpone the event for now.”

It said this and other events “are designed to create opportunities for exchange and dialogue between Americans and Palestinians at the grassroots level.”

“This event, in particular, is intended to give alumni of all ages and backgrounds from Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza an opportunity to network with each other and to engage in leadership and capacity building activities,” it said.

Paraguay recognizes Hamas, Hezbollah as terror groups, drawing Israeli praise

Paraguay on Monday said it had officially recognized the military wings of Palestinian group Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah as terrorist organizations drawing praise from Israel’s prime minister and foreign minister.

President Mario Abdo Benitez made the declaration in an official document, signed on August 9, saying it was aimed at supporting the fight against international terrorism. He also recognized the Islamic State and al-Qaeda as global terror organizations.

Both Iran-affiliated movements, who have been waging a decades-long war against Israel and have attacked its cities with tens of thousands of rockets, will now be blacklisted in the Latin American country.

Interior Minister Juan Ernesto Villamayor said the decision was in line with work carried out by the United Nations and international treaties protecting human rights.

ceremony at ‘Lopez Palace’ in Asuncion, Paraguay, on August 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)

Paraguay on Monday said it had officially recognized the military wings of Palestinian group Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah as terrorist organizations drawing praise from Israel’s prime minister and foreign minister.

President Mario Abdo Benitez made the declaration in an official document, signed on August 9, saying it was aimed at supporting the fight against international terrorism. He also recognized the Islamic State and al-Qaeda as global terror organizations.

Both Iran-affiliated movements, who have been waging a decades-long war against Israel and have attacked its cities with tens of thousands of rockets, will now be blacklisted in the Latin American country.

Interior Minister Juan Ernesto Villamayor said the decision was in line with work carried out by the United Nations and international treaties protecting human rights.

Hezbollah runs much of its financial operations in South America. Villamayor said Paraguay would now be obliged to take action against the money flow to terror groups through local banks, Paraguayan media reported.

“Now the task has to be coordinated and open to all in the terms of this decree,” he said.

Report: Brazil Considering Labelling Hezbollah as Terrorists in Appeal to U.S.

The Brazilian government is considering labelling the Lebanese Shia militant group Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, as President Jair Bolsonaro seeks to closer align his country’s foreign policy with the United States.

According to a report from Bloomberg on Monday, senior Brazilian officials are considering the idea but are not convinced it could be easily implemented. Aside from the fact that the proposal does not retain widespread support, the proposal may also struggle to overcome the intricacies of Brazilian law.

Under current legislation, the only two groups considered terrorist organizations are those marked by the U.N. Security Council, those being the Islamic State and al-Qaeda. Should Hezbollah be classified as such, it would give Brazilian authorities the right to refuse entry, arrest, and freeze assets of those suspected of being members.

The proposal forms part of Bolsonaro’s wider efforts to align Brazil foreign policy with the United States, with previous left-wing administrations more sympathetic to groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. Yet the move risks upsetting Iran, who use Hezbollah ally as their terror proxy while funding them to tune of millions of dollars.

Israel can fight and defeat lone-wolf terrorists

The recent string of terrorist attacks isn’t unique within the context of previous waves of murderous terror. Once again, Israel is facing terrorists known as “lone-wolves” or who are “unaffiliated with a terrorist organization,” who in most cases prey upon random victims without prior planning. The defense establishment accurately profiles these attackers and is capable of identifying and locating them in the vast majority of cases.

The central characteristic common to these terrorists is the inspiration they reap from previous events and attacks. Tensions surrounding the Temple Mount are the main catalyst for mobilizing youths (even young women) to perpetrate stabbings and car-ramming attacks, but these same terrorists had already considered taking such action, usually due to personal problems connected to unrequited love, financial difficulties, low self-esteem, failures, low socioeconomic status, ostracization and more.

The vociferous activity of many Palestinians on social media – who share and view images, audio recordings and video clips of cars ramming into civilians or of police officers being stabbed near the Temple Mount, alongside incitement videos – serves as inspiration for those with a predilection for such acts.

This is the power of the internet and is the basis for the inspiration it offers and influences it wields. The internet creates the desire for mimicry and bolsters the belief among young Palestinian men and women that they will be rewarded for their deeds in the afterworld. Not always for religious reasons, but social ones as well, are they viewed as “shahids” (holy martyrs), while in their lives they often hail from the lowest strata of Palestinian society.

IDF arrests brothers of Dvir Sorek’s killer – Palestinian report

Three brothers of Qasem Araf Khalil Atafra, a Palestinian suspected of killing 19-year-old Dvir Sorek, were arrested by the Israeli Defense Forces, the Wafa Palestinian News Agency reported on Tuesday.

According to Wafa, the IDF detained a total of six people in an operation carried out on Tuesday at dawn in the Palestinian village of Beit Kahil, north of Hebron in the West Bank.

On August 11, the IDF announced that the suspects of the terror attack against Sorek were identified as 30-year-old Qasem Araf Khalil Atafra and 24-year-old Hamas activist Nazir Saleh Khalil Atafra, both from Beit Kahil. They had no previous arrests.

Sorek was enrolled in the Hesder military program at the Orthodox Machanayim Yeshiva in Migdal Oz, by which he would have simultaneously served in the IDF as both as a soldier and yeshiva student. He had not undergone any military training, was not in uniform and was unarmed at the time of his death.

His body was found a short distance away from the yellow security gate of the Migdal Oz settlement on August 5.

The IDF posthumously promoted him from a private to the rank of corporal.

Facebook Post Spurs Calls to Murder Israeli Police Officer

After a photograph of the Israeli police officer who killed one of the terrorists responsible for last week’s stabbing attack at the entrance to the Temple Mount was posted to Facebook on Sunday, there have been numerous threats on his life.

The post, on a Facebook page with more than 7 million followers, stated: “The extremist Zionist policeman, circled in blue, who shot the two Jerusalemite boys, Nassim Abu Rumi and Hamoudeh al-Sheikh, two days ago was also the one who took furniture from the prayer house at the Gate of Mercy last night.”

In response to the post, dozens of commentators called for the officer’s murder.

“There are heroes in Jerusalem, the time of his stabbing is coming soon,” read one of the comments.

Others included: “Which type of car should I run him over with?” “His end is near,” “Allah will deal with him” and “His days will come to an end, God willing.”

Israeli official: Israel willing to pay for flights for emigrating Gazans

Israel is actively encouraging the emigration of Palestinians from Gaza, a senior Israeli official told reporters accompanying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his current trip to Ukraine.

According to various tweets from reporters on the trip, the official said that Jerusalem is in contact with other countries – including some in the Mideast – to see if they would be willing to absorb Gazan emigrants. The official noted that more than 35,000 Gazans left the area last year.

According to the official, Israel is willing to finance flights from an airport in the south for those who are interested in leaving. The official said so far no country has responded positively to accepting emigrants from Gaza.

According to an NPR report last month, between 35,000 to 40,000 people have left Gaza via Egypt since Egypt opened the Sinai-Gaza border in May 2018. Egypt reportedly allows a few hundred Gazans to cross the frontier each day.

According to these reports, some of those exiting Gaza via Egypt fly from Cairo to the Gulf. Others remain in Egypt, while some fly to Turkey and in the hope of smuggling their way into Greece, and from there to other European Union countries.

In ultimatum, Hamas tells Israelis to ease blockade or face renewed violence

Hamas has reportedly issued a direct threat to escalate the violence along the Gaza-Israel border if Israel hinders the entry of Qatari cash into the Gaza Strip and fails to increase the supply of electricity.

The threat, published in the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar on Tuesday morning, follows outbursts of violence and tension along the border over recent weekends, and repeated warnings by Hamas and other Gazan terror groups that the blockaded Palestinian enclave was on the verge of an “explosion.”

“The factions have given the interlocutors a direct threat [to pass along to Israel]: If the enemy does not implement the understandings, allowing entry of the Qatari funds and increasing the quantity of electricity by this weekend, they will move to escalate on the ground,” an unnamed Hamas source told the newspaper.

Hamas has sought to distance itself from a series of cross-border attacks over the past month, painting the perpetrators as young lone-wolf Palestinian attackers exasperated by the humanitarian situation in the enclave. On Monday, Hamas leaders expressed concerns that popular anger could snowball into another war with Israel.

Gaza has faced severe electricity shortages under a joint Israeli-Egyptian blockade, which grew more severe after 2014, when an Egyptian crackdown against Hamas all but sealed the enclave’s border with the Sinai Peninsula.

Hamas Leader: We Will Destroy Ashkelon, Other Israeli Cities, with Hundreds of Missiles

In an August 16, 2019 speech, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar promised that Hamas will never give up its weapons, its tunnels, or its missiles, of which he said Hamas has many. He promised to the Palestinian refugees from Ashkelon that, on the day of battle, Ashkelon will be destroyed and that hundreds of missiles will be launched into Israel in a single salvo. In a similar speech he gave on August 13, Sinwar praised older generations of Palestinians for “providing” their offspring to Hamas and for never hesitating to sacrifice everything dear to them “on the altar of liberation and return.” Sinwar promised that Hamas will amass power in preparation for Palestine’s liberation and that it will purify the holy places in Palestine. Mentioning a Hamas operation that took place during 2014’s war in Gaza in which Hamas militants emerged from a tunnel in Israel and killed five soldiers, Sinwar said: “We saw the signs of defeat on the faces of the [enemy’s] soldiers… [Our militants] stepped with their boots on [their] necks and heads.” The audience shouted “Allah Akbar”, and Sinwar ceremoniously held up a sword and a Palestinian flag. Both speeches aired on Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas-Gaza).

Hizbullah MP: In Future War, We’ll Invade Galilee, Hula Valley; Will Help Syria Liberate Galilee

Hizbullah MP Elwalid Succariyeh said in an August 13, 2019 interview on Al-Manar TV (Lebanon) that Hizbullah’s strategy has changed since the 2006 Lebanon war and that in a future conflict with Israel, it should invade the Galilee, the Hula valley, and pre-1948 Palestine. He also said that Syria has changed its strategy with the help of Iran, and that Hizbullah should fight alongside Syria if it invades northern Israel.

On Video, Gaza-Based Jihadi Group Accuses Hamas of Apostasy, Praises ISIS

The Gaza-based jihadi group Jaysh Al-Islam shared a video on Telegram that attacks the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoot Hamas, accusing the groups of apostasy, according to a report by the Middle East Media Research Institute shared exclusively with JNS.

The 28-minute video accuses the groups of adopting Western attitudes and allying with “unbelievers” such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, but praised the Islamic State for implementing Sharia law. The Gaza jihadi group also accuses Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood of harboring aspirations to democracy.

The video further points fingers at Hamas for helping the British government of releasing BBC journalist Alan Johnston in 2007, who was a former captive of Jaysh Al-Islam. The video claims that this decision by Hamas led to the deaths of 11 of its fighters.

The video depicts footage of killed jihadi fighters and offers information, including training for suicide attacks.

Bahrain Becomes First Gulf State to Join US, UK Coalition Against Iran

Bahrain announced on Monday that it would join the US-led efforts to protect shipping in the Gulf after Iranian aggressive and violent behavior in the area.

Bahrain King Hamad met with US Central Command (CENTCOM) head Gen. Kenneth McKenzie.

“The king confirmed the Kingdom of Bahrain’s participation in the joint effort to preserve the safety of international maritime navigation and secure international corridors for trade and energy in the region,” the Bahraini News Agency reported.

Some other Middle Eastern states are in talks with the United States to join the coalition in the Gulf with one source, telling The National that it’s seeking more details about the mission.

Israeli, US special forces practice ship takeovers amid high tensions in Gulf

Israeli and American naval special forces completed a large-scale exercise in the Mediterranean Sea last week simulating the takeover of a merchant ship carrying illegal weapons and contraband, as Iran and a US-led coalition square off on shipping routes in the nearby Persian Gulf.

The Israeli military said the exercise, Noble Rose 2019, was not in direct response to these tensions.

Israel’s elite naval commando unit, known in Hebrew as Shayetet 13, participated in the drill alongside US Special Forces. An Israel Defense Forces spokesperson refused to comment on the precise number of troops that took part in the exercise, but said it was “larger than what we’ve done before.”

During the exercise, which concluded last Wednesday, the special forces soldiers simulated a number of scenarios, including “regaining control of a hijacked ship and extracting forces from enemy territory,” the military said in a statement.

“In the exercise, advanced and varied capabilities of the Israeli Navy’s Commando Unit were displayed, including taking over a vessel by parachuting from a plane, climbing, rappelling, sniping, and medical evacuation,” the military said.

Iranian Dissident Professor Jailed after Questioning Hostility to Israel

Sadegh Zibalkam, a political science professor at the University of Tehran and prominent liberal intellectual, has received a one-year prison sentence for his outspoken views against the Islamic Republic of Iran, according to IRNA state-run news.

Zibalkam was charged by the conservative judiciary with “spreading lies for the purpose of agitating the public,” after he compared the employment costs of hiring 300,000 clergymen to the wealth of three poor provinces within Iran.

After an Iranian religious cleric suggested hiring the new clergymen to oversee “public morality,” Zibalkam argued in a short op-ed that the costs exceed the budgets of three poor Iranian provinces and placed religious authority at the forefront of Iranian government aspirations over concerns for public welfare.

The one-year prison sentence will be added to his already pending 18-month prison sentence for previously spreading “propaganda against the regime.”

“Zibakalam is a unique personality in Iran for his unabashed criticism of policies and comments that would easily land others in jail,” a source told Radio Farda. “Some believe his outspokenness is tolerated as a ‘safety valve’ in the restricted environment of the Islamic Republic.”

He often appears on state media, “where he speaks critically against conservative and hardliner ideas – a rare occurrence in Iran.”

Fairfax, VA Imam: Arab Regimes Collaborate with Israel; We Must Remove Arab Governments

In an August 9, 2019 Friday sermon, Egyptian-American Imam Shaker Elsayed of the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Fairfax County, Virginia – where Anwar Al-Awlaki had been imam during 9/11 – criticized Arab regimes for working with Israel to erase Palestine, for being weak, for fighting over trivial issues like borders and resources, and for imitating the West and “scavenging” like an “unwanted dog at the dinner table.” Imam Elsayed went on to say that all powers that interfere with the Arabs’ aspirations for glory must be removed by all means possible, and he added: “We cannot continue to have peace with repressive regimes… We have to remove the source of our misery, [which is] these governments.” He cited an Arab poem that says that the door to freedom is stained with the blood of the hands that have knocked on it, and he said that the Arabs need people who are willing to “take initiative” and be “ingenious” like the Palestinians in Gaza and like the Afghans in the 1980s. Imam Elsayed concluded with a prayer asking Allah to grant victory to the mujahideen throughout the world. The sermon was uploaded to the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center’s YouTube channel, and it was the ninth installment of a series of talks titled “The Crisis of Our Ummah.” In the past, Imam Shaker Elsayed has been the subject of criticism and censure for antisemitic statements and for statements that have been in support of Jihad and female genital mutilation (see MEMRI TV Clips No. 5989, No. 6043, No. 6057, and No. 6378). According to the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center’s website, Imam Elsayed is the Secretary-General of the Muslim American Society (MAS), which has also recently been the subject of criticism surrounding a pro-Jihad children’s event at a MAS-affiliated school in Philadelphia

Oberlin College’s Reprehensible Attack on a Local Bakery Is Part of a Larger Pattern That Includes the Coddling of Anti-Semites

In 2016, Allyn Gibson, a member of the family that owns an off-campus bakery and convenience store, followed and tried to stop a student from nearby Oberlin College with a fake ID who had shoplifted two bottles of wine. The student, joined by two others, proceeded to beat Gibson severely until the police arrived and arrested all three. As the students were black, charges of racism—belied by all available evidence—immediately surfaced on campus against both the police and the bakery. School administrators then incited a mob of students against the business—founded by the Gibson family in 1895—and ceased the college’s own purchases of its products, encouraging others to do the same.

Abraham Socher, a professor emeritus at Oberlin, takes a careful look at the entire shameful saga—which recently resulted in a court’s ordering the school to pay Gibson’s Bakery over $30 million—and the appalling conduct of Oberlin’s administrators in this and other instances:

In court, Dean of Students and Vice-President Meredith Raimondo and other key players in the Oberlin administration were shown to have actively supported two days of student protests against Gibson’s after the arrests, and to have cursed and derided the Gibson family and its supporters in emails and texts—“idiots” was among the milder epithets. [Later on], the director of Oberlin’s Multicultural Resource Center and interim assistant dean of students, Antoinette Myers, texted her supervisor, Dean Raimondo, . . . “I hope we rain fire and brimstone on that store.”

Socher goes on to connect this episode to a previous scandal, involving an African American assistant professor named Joy Karega, whose habit of advertising grotesque and fanciful anti-Semitic conspiracy theories on her Facebook page was exposed just when a radical black student group was demanding that she be instantly granted tenure:

Meredith Raimondo had been appointed vice-president and dean of students in the midst of the Karega controversy with the specific mandate to “address campus climate, including . . . items identified as high-priority” by [the same student group]. When the Gibson’s protests began, Karega’s fate was still officially undecided. But, as Raimondo must have known, and the students did not, the board of trustees was going to announce her dismissal in just a few days. There was thus something fortuitous in the distraction provided by this new crisis. . . . Indeed, as it turned out, the response to Karega’s final dismissal the following week was surprisingly muted. Oberlin, one might conjecture, is Machiavellian in that which is politically correct.

Yisrael Medad: A Matter of Origin

Jordan, invading Israel in June 1967, effectively put an end to the legitimacy of those lines.

To sanctify, as it were, the “pre-1967 borders” is an act of nonsense.

Now, between you and me, everyone knows Israel has extended its administrative rule to those regions of the Land of Israel that were under British Mandate rule until 1948, a rule quite legal and internationally recognized. That is the meaning of “belligerent occupation”, that it si the rrsult of military engagement. Israel, in an act of self-defense, thwarted the intentions of the invaders and assumed administrationn over Judea and Samaria, as well as Gaza.

Those regions were geographically part of the area of ‘historic Palestine’ the League of nations awarded to the Jewish people to, among other purposes:
encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency. referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews, on the land, including State lands and waste lands

From 1922 until 1967, no recognized country or state legally ruled those areas except the Mandate. In Hebrew, the Mandate was translated as “Land of Israel”. Jordan was an illegal occupier.

All this leaves us with a simple solution for the requirement of the EU to note the origin of the product: the Land of Israel.

PA’s ban on LGBTQ group gets two minutes of BBC airtime

Knell did not clarify where her interviewee is located: a factor obviously relevant to his participation in this item.

Abu Ramilla: “That was so shocking to us. For the police to release such a statement that incites people to follow or to report anyone that knows anything about the organisation, which translates to people reporting anyone they know who might be LGBT or Queer in their lives…well. And we think that’s very dangerous, obviously.”

Knell: “Other activists suggest the Palestinian Authority could be in breach of UN treaties on human rights which it signed to try to strengthen its hand in the conflict with Israel. When contacted by the BBC, the Authority’s police refused to comment. The EU funded mission which trains Palestinian police said it was continuing to give advice – including on LGBT rights – and that it was trying to clarify the circumstances of the statement.”

The same item was aired six hours later on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Midnight News’.

In short, listeners to one domestic BBC radio station heard a two-minute item in two news bulletins, neither of which will be available to the public a month from now.

TVO Depicts Tel Aviv as an Israeli City that Victimizes Arab-Palestinians

On August 12, TVO re-aired the program “The Life Sized City” hosted by Urban Design Expert Mikael Colville-Andersen. The program’s first season saw its fifth episode focus on Tel Aviv (the program was originally broadcast on TVO on October 8, 2017). You can watch the program in full on TVO’s website or by clicking on the image below:

The show was advertised by TVO as follows: “Few modern cities evoke as much division as Tel Aviv, with its reputation as a laid-back and permissive party town in a hotbed of conflict and turmoil. The problems of a rising cost of living, deficient public transport, and development conflicts are often put aside in the face of cyclical religious and cultural struggles that have marked its complex history. But people from both sides of the political and cultural divide are working together to create a more functional and united city.”

Host Colville-Andersen promised at the introduction of this program to “look past the propaganda,” but ended up promulgating a series of mistruths about the Arab-Israeli conflict in his depiction of Israel’s second-largest populated city, Tel Aviv.

Most egregiously, Host Colville-Andersen claimed that Tel Aviv was “founded in 1909 by Jewish settlers, just north of the 4,000 year-old Palestinian city of Jaffa.” He also claimed that “Jaffa is the former capital of Arab-Palestine… this city has excited here for a millennia…” First and foremost, as former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir once said: “When was there an independent Palestinian people with a Palestinian state? It was either southern Syria before the First World War, and then it was a Palestine including Jordan. It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.”

California students make Nazi salute, sing marching song at awards ceremony

Students at a Southern California high school made a Nazi salute and sang a Nazi marching song at the start of an awards ceremony last year.

The school district will not say publicly if or how it disciplined the students.

The incident involved 10 members of the boys water polo team at Pacifica High School in Garden Grove, California, the Daily Beast reported. The video was posted to Instagram by one of the athletes and widely circulated among students at the high school, according to the Daily Beast.

A spokesperson for the Garden Grove Unified School District which includes Pacifica High School said that school administrators learned of the incident and video in March, four months after it occurred.

“While the district cannot comment on student discipline, the school did address this situation with all involved students and families,” the spokesperson said.

“The district adheres to strong policies about harassment and cultural sensitivity, and we condemn all acts of anti-Semitism and hate in all forms. We remain focused on educating students about cultural sensitivity and are committed to holding students accountable, educating them on the consequences of their choices, and the impact these actions have on our schools and community at large,” the spokesperson said.

Welcome to Germany 2019

1,646 antisemitic acts were reported in Germany in 2018. Jews no longer feel safe.

Uruguayan soccer star says sorry for birthday photo at Auschwitz

A Uruguayan soccer player apologized after sparking outrage for wishing himself a happy birthday with a photo from Auschwitz.

Rodrigo Zalazar decorated a snap of himself outside the Nazi concentration camp with celebratory emojis and posted it to his Instagram. The insensitive image was taken on August 12, when Zalazar turned 20.

Zalazar, who currently plays for Polish club Korona Kielce, has deleted the post. In a video message posted to the team’s Instagram account with nearly 15,000 followers, he used poor English to read what was apparently a pre-written statement:

“It was not in my intention to insult concentration camp victims. I did not know where I exactly was standing when I was making this photo. I am ashamed of my act because now I know what happened behind this gate. I want to apologize to everyone who felt offended by my act.”

He also said he would make a donation to an “Auschwitz memory foundation.”

The picture showed him standing on the train tracks used to transport victims of the Holocaust into the Nazi camp in southern Poland. The museum that now operates on the site has in recent years had to repeatedly remind visitors not to take photos or selfies in the most sensitive areas, such as the tracks or the rooms in which people were murdered.

Capture of White Nationalist in Ohio Was ‘Situation Where Everything Went Right,’ Local Leader Says

The cooperation between the Jewish community and local law enforcement agencies leading to the arrest of a white supremacist who appeared to threaten the Youngstown Jewish Community Center is a “situation where everything went right,” Bonnie Deutsch Burdman — the community relations director of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation — said in an interview with The Algemeiner on Monday.

James Patrick Reardon was arrested on Friday night by the New Middletown police. Weapons, ammunition, body armor, and a gas mask were found at this home at the time of his arrest.

Burdman told The Algemeiner that the Federation had been contacted at 5:30 this past Friday by police from nearby New Middletown.

According to a statement released by the Federation, the New Middletown police had come across a video posted to Instagram of a figure holding a weapon that appeared to have “the capability of discharging multiple rounds in a short time span.” There were sounds of screaming and sirens that could be heard over the sounds of gunfire in the video. The post was captioned, “Police identified the Youngstown Jewish Family Community shooter as local white nationalist Seamus O’Rearedon.”

Burdman told The Algemeiner that the Federation then contacted the police departments of Youngstown, the neighboring jurisdiction of Liberty, and the local FBI office.

Intel unveils inference-capable chip sired by Haifa team

Intel Corp. on Tuesday unveiled details of a new artificial intelligence-based chip that enables computers to gain knowledge by inference — that is, to reach conclusions that are drawn from evidence and reasoning. The technology was sired by the tech giant’s Haifa lab.

Called Intel Nervana NNP-I or Spring Hill, the chip is designed for large computing centers, Intel said in an emailed statement. Intel showcased the product for the first time on Tuesday at the Hot Chips Conference in Silicon Valley, an annual tech symposium.

Social media giant Facebook is already using the product, the statement said.

Artificial intelligence — the field that gives computers the ability to learn — has been around since the 1950s. It is now enjoying a renaissance made possible by the higher computational power of chips. The field is expected to be a $191 billion market by 2025, according to MarketsandMarkets, a research firm.

Companies such as Intel, Nvidia, Qualcomm and Google and startups globally are all on the hunt for new technologies in this field, which involves among other things creating the hardware to enable the processing of huge amounts of information.

Immigration to Israel up nearly 30%, largely due to Russian speakers

Immigration to Israel rose by almost 30% in the first half of 2019 compared to the previous year, according to the Jewish Agency for Israel.

The increase of 16,005 newcomers from 2018 comes mostly from Russian speakers who have been leaving countries associated with the former Soviet Union.

The overwhelming majority of new immigrants reportedly came from Russia, numbering 7,884 (a 73% increase), and Ukraine with 3,007 (a 6% increase).

Immigration from the United States remained stable, with French immigration dropping 21%.

According to the Jewish Agency, 839 new arrivals came from France to Israel in the first six months of 2019. Immigration from France spiked from 2013 to 2015 but has dropped as many have struggled with finding employment and failing to acclimate to the Middle East.


RODDIE EDMONDS WAS BORN NEAR KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE: Almost a century later, in 2015, he was posthumously recognized as “Righteous Among the Nations,” Israel’s highest honor for non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

He never told his story to his friends or family. His son learned about it only after his father’s death.

Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds’ unit was surrounded by the Nazis during the Battle of Bulge. While they held out as long as they could, they eventually surrendered on December 19, 1944. On January 27, 1945, Edmonds arrived at Stalag IX-A along with well over a thousand fellow POWs, all of them exhausted, dirty, half-starved, cold, and no doubt frightened. As the highest-ranking non-commissioned officer among them, he was in charge.

For reasons I cannot begin to understand, the camp commandant’s first priority was to separate the Jewish from the non-Jewish POWs. Germany’s defeat was all but certain by then; you’d think he’d have given it a rest. Nevertheless, as soon as Edmonds arrived with his men, the commandant ordered Edmonds to assemble all Jewish soldiers the next day so that they could be dealt with separately.

“We are not doing that. We are all falling out,” Edmonds’ men remember him saying to them. So instead, all of the American POWs assembled that morning. The irate commandant held a pistol to Edmond’s head and ordered him to identify the Jews: “They cannot all be Jews!”

“We are all Jews,” Edmonds replied.

Edmonds told him that if he wanted to kill the Jewish POWs, he was going to have to kill them all. He reminded him that there is such a thing as a war crime and that under the Geneva Conventions name, rank, and serial number are all you get, not religion.

Miraculously, the commandant relented. (h/t MtTB)

Blue-collar Latvian ‘Schindler’ saved dozens with few resources of his own

Under the occupying Nazi regime during World War II, Latvia’s Jewish population was decimated through ghettos, massacres and deportations. Worsening the situation, individual Latvians collaborated with the Germans, a murky legacy leaving lingering tensions into the present day.

Yet one Latvian achieved international recognition for heroically saving Jews from the Nazis. By war’s end, Žanis Lipke had rescued some 60 Jews, sheltering them in a bunker beneath his home. Lipke is recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem, and his story is told in a new Latvian historical dramatic film, “The Mover.”

Directed by veteran Latvian filmmaker Davis Simanis, “The Mover” made its US premiere at the Washington Jewish Film Festival in May, with upcoming screenings at Jewish film festivals in Warsaw and Berlin. It is based on the Latvian novel “A Boy and a Dog” by Inese Zandere and Reinis Pētersons. In an email to The Times of Israel, Simanis described “The Mover” as “the first feature film about the Holocaust in the Baltic states.”

Simanis, who described himself as a Lutheran who rarely goes to church, said that when Latvia was part of the USSR, the authorities kept Lipke’s story shrouded in secrecy, which continued into the first decade of Latvian independence. Later, in college, Simanis learned more about Latvian Jewish history and Lipke. Simanis calls the Lipke narrative “a surprising story with a lot of courage, humanity and at the same time violence and thriller [elements]. For me it was a shock that people didn’t talk about him before.”

A forgotten Jerusalem: Rare color footage from 1930s casts new light on holy city

Rare footage from the 1930s shows Jerusalem as never seen before, from the lens of the Margulis family, who vacationed in the city and took with it a 16 mm camera and a newly acquired color film.

The rare documentation includes footage of Old City alleyways, the Hebrew University at Mount Scopus, and above all — the Western Wall, long before the modern-day plaza existed, when only a narrow path separated it from the Moroccan Quarter, which was destroyed after the capture of East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War.

The rare documentation includes footage of Old City alleys, the Mount Scopus Hebrew University and above all — the Western Wall, long before the modern-day plaza existed, when only a narrow path separated it from the Moroccan Quarter, which was destroyed after the 1967 seizing of East Jerusalem.

The highlyprized material was transferred to the Jerusalem Cinematheque archive, which digitized it and made it accessible to the public.

Photos show Haredi Jews from the Old Yishuv, Muslims wearing traditional garbs, women in elaborate hats, camels, donkeys and beggars on street corners.

The few cars in the streets belong to people who served in administrative positions.

“The Western Wall always had beggars,” says Rabbi Israel Gelis, a 10th generation Jerusalemite and a well-known story teller.

The Western Wall, long before today’s plaza even existed

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