Young Anti-Zionist Jews Claim to Speak For My Generation. They Don’t. It’s Time We Called Them On It.
“If six million people were walking around saying that they were ‘chosen,’ you would want to kill them, too.”
A few months ago, I was shocked to hear these words from a fellow Brown University student. With a remarkable degree of ignorance about the history of the Holocaust and Jewish theology, he suggested that the Jews are so repulsive that we brought the Nazi genocide upon ourselves. He shut down another student for daring to bring up her grandparents’ Holocaust experiences at a Shabbat dinner conversation, calling her selfish for recounting her own family’s history. He declared that Jewish religion and ethics are meaningless as long as Israel, which he regarded as the epicenter of global evil, exists.
He was Jewish.
He had internalized a toxic culture of anti-Semitism and grown to resent Holocaust survivors, Zionists, and all who represented resistance to the mentality that he had chosen to adopt. Anti-Zionists had repeated the narrative that they represented “young Jews” and “our generation” until he believed them. He couldn’t stand to be confronted with millennial Jews like me who had taken the harder path, had chosen to name anti-Semitism, talk about it, and fight back.
People like him claim to speak for the whole of my generation, but they are a small minority of Jewish millennials. According to Pew’s comprehensive study of American Jews, a full 81 percent of Jewish 18-29 year-olds consider “caring about Israel” to be “essential” or “important” to being Jewish. Only 11 percent of us say we are “not at all attached” to Israel. We may be critical of its policies and politicians, but not its existence.
Judea Pearl: The Basel Conference — 120 Years Later
However, I believe that Herzl, in effect, founded the Jewish state much earlier. True, Herzl’s specific plan to persuade the Ottoman sultan to allocate land for a Jewish state was sheer lunacy and led to painful disappointments. But transforming Jewish statehood into an item on the international political agenda was a monumental achievement; it maintains this position today.
Moreover, the idea that Jews are reclaiming sovereignty by right, not for favor, completely changed the way that Jews began to view their standing in the cosmos. It transformed the Jew from an object of history to a shaper of history.
This new self-image was the engine that propelled history toward a Jewish statehood already in the early 1900s. The 40,000 Jews who made up the Second Aliyah (1904-1914) were different in spirit and determination from the 35,000 Jews who came earlier with the First Aliyah (1882-1903). At their core, the second wave knew that they were building a model sovereign nation and that Zionism was the most just and noble endeavor in human history. They established kibbutzim, formed self-defense organizations, founded the town of Tel Aviv and turned Hebrew into a practical spoken language. This spirit of hope, purpose and immediacy emanated from the Basel Congress, not from the utopian “in time to come” Zionism of Ahad Ha’am.
The diplomatic efforts that led to the Balfour Declaration and the subsequent ideological immigration of the Third Aliyah (1919-1923) all were direct products of the Zionist movement and made statehood practically inevitable.
The miracle of Israel was planted, indeed, in 1897.
If I had to choose the single most significant impact that the Basel Congress has had on our lives here, in 2017 America, I would name one forgotten statement that Herzl made in his first speech at the Basel Congress. On the morning of August 29, 1897, after 15 minutes of wild cheering, Herzl took the stage and said: “Zionism is a homecoming to the Jewish fold even before it becomes a homecoming to the Jewish land.”
As I observe how the miracle of Israel is becoming the most powerful uniting force among our divided communities, and as I witness the excitement of our children, grandchildren and college students as they internalize the relevance of Israel to their identity as Jews, Herzl’s statement about “homecoming to the Jewish fold“ stands out, perhaps, as more visionary than his prediction about Israeli statehood. It was the future of the Jewish people, not just of Israel, that was forged there in Basel, 120 years ago.
Some 120 years after this historic congress, the State of Israel today deals with questions Herzl has already asked. In our day, he represents the connection between the State of Israel in the Land of Israel and the solution to the Jewish problem.
Herzl searched for a real solution to this problem from the roots up. He completely changed how the future of the Jewish people was conceived. The idea of uprooting Jews from Europe and transferring them to Israel depended on re-evaluating the relationship toward Jews by European society and the features of this society. As it was impossible to predict that European society would eventually adapt itself to the values of tolerance, freedom and equality toward Jews, anti-Semitism was understood as a permanent state between Jews and non-Jews that would only get worse if the Jewish problem would remain unsolved.
Today, 120 years after the First Zionist Congress, we have a duty to examine the way we went since then,do some soul searching and evaluate the aims of both the Zionist movement and the state. The Zionist movement succeeded in realizing its dream by virtue of its leadership, ideology and the mobilization of its people. The question is what is the essence of Zionism today. This ideology succeeded in gathering together the Jewish people, not only those who were citizens of one country, but all the Jews living in the Diaspora. Is our leadership capable bringing about the realization and fulfillment of aspirations and form concrete plans for the future, or does it cause us to occupy ourselves with the day-to-day and a decline in the present as we abandon our future?
Just last week, the city government in Frankfurt, Germany, passed an initiative to “ban any municipal funding or the renting of rooms for any activities of groups or individuals who support the antisemitic BDS movement. We also instructed our city-owned companies and called upon private landlords to act in the same way,” said the city’s Deputy Mayor Uwe Becker.
He went further and noted that: “The BDS movement does not only strongly resemble the ‘Don’t Buy from Jews’ argumentation of former times of the National Socialists, but the movement is built on the same toxic ground and it is poisoning the social climate in the same dangerous way.”
Scores of banks in France, Germany, Austria and Ireland have terminated accounts held by BDS organizations.
All of this helps to explain why the UNHRC’s BDS activity damages the conditions for peace.
What can the US and Europe do? The U.S. along with many European countries sit on the 47-member Human Rights Council. The UN’s economic warfare targeting Israel and companies that trade with it should prompt a counter-attack that includes the U.S. and morally-principled countries resigning from the UNHRC.
A joint announcement at a press conference by Haley with her counterparts, including the German and British ambassadors, warning of a mass resignation if the blacklist is implemented, would be a good first move. After all, many U.S. and EU companies will be directly affected by the counter-productive and discriminatory blacklist.
Put simply, the UNHRC should not be in the business of using the tools of economic warfare to bring about precisely the result it claims it wishes to avoid: a powerful setback to the Israel-Palestinian peace process.
The German Interior Ministry declined on Tuesday to bar the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine from campaigning as a political party in the September general election to the Bundestag.
The PFLP has been designated by the EU and US as a terrorist organization.
A spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry told The Jerusalem Post a party’s entitlement to run is “not dependent on the assessment of politics or candidates.”
When asked by the Post if the Interior Ministry plans to outlaw the PFLP, the spokeswoman said it “does not, in general, comment on bans.”
The spokeswoman said, “candidates from parties and candidates in Germany cannot be banned or allowed by the Interior Ministry in Germany,” adding that the federal election committee determines the registration of candidate lists.
The PFLP is running on a joint list with the Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany.
Last weekend in Berkeley, Calif., a group of neo-communist antifa — “anti-fascist” — thugs attacked peaceful protesters at a “No to Marxism in America” rally, wielding sticks and pepper spray, and beating people with homemade shields that read (I kid you not) “No Hate.” The Post reports how one peaceful protester “was attacked by five black-clad antifa members, each windmilling kicks and punches into a man desperately trying to protect himself.” Members of the Berkeley College Republicans were then stalked by antifa goons who followed them to a gas station and demanded they “get the [expletive] out” of their car, warning, “We are real hungry for supremacists and there is more of us.”
The organizer of the anti-Marxism protest is not a white supremacist. Amber Cummings is a self-described “transsexual female who embraces diversity” and had announced on Facebook that “any racist groups like the KKK [and] Neo Nazis .?.?. are not welcome.” The protest was needed, Cummings said, because “Berkeley is a ground zero for the Marxist Movement.”
As if to prove Cummings’s point, the antifa movement responded with jackboots and clubs — because their definition of “fascist” includes not just neo-Nazis but also anyone who opposes their totalitarian worldview.
And let’s be clear: Totalitarian is precisely what they are. Mark Bray, a Dartmouth lecturer who has defended antifa’s violent tactics, recently explained in The Post, “Its adherents are predominantly communists, socialists and anarchists” who believe that physical violence “is both ethically justifiable and strategically effective.” In other words, they are no different from neo-Nazis. Neo-Nazis are the violent advocates of a murderous ideology that killed 25 million people last century. Antifa members are the violent advocates of a murderous ideology that, according to “The Black Book of Communism,” killed between 85 million and 100 million people last century. Both practice violence and preach hate. They are morally indistinguishable. There is no difference between those who beat innocent people in the name of the ideology that gave us Hitler and Himmler and those who beat innocent people in the name of the ideology that gave us Stalin and Dzerzhinsky.
The United States defeated two murderous ideologies in the 20th century. So we should all be repulsed by the sight of our fellow Americans carrying the banners of either movement, whether they are waving the red flags of communism or black flags of Nazism. Yet we are not. Communism is not viewed as an evil comparable to Nazism today. As Alex Griswold recently pointed out, the New York Times has published no fewer than six opinion pieces this year defending communism, including essays praising Lenin as a conservationist, explaining why Stalinism inspired Americans, and arguing that the Bolsheviks were romantics at heart and that women had better sex under communism. Can one imagine the Times running similar pieces about the Nazis?
The argument the professors make relies on a much narrower reading of self-defense than Bray uses. For Bray, violence is not simply a question of kicking a fascist if a fascist kicks you but of “preemptively” shutting down “fascist organizing efforts . . . before they turn deadly.” Indeed, practically the whole point of Bray’s analogy between our time and that of the rise of Fascism in Europe is that “by any means necessary” thinking should kick in much earlier than most people think. The Campus Reform piece on Bray was certainly polemical, and I hold no brief for that publication, but it did not fundamentally mischaracterize his position. The threats against Bray are disturbing, and I hope the people who made them are tracked down and prosecuted. But, however well-intentioned the professors’ letter may have been, it does not come to grip with Bray’s position.
As for President Hanlon, there are times when university leadership should distance itself from the opinions of faculty members. I was heartened, for example, that many college university presidents declared their opposition to academic boycotts when the American Studies Association endorsed such a boycott against Israel. Though there is now talk of setting up some kind of shop in academia, Antifa does not call for a response from academic leaders in the same way that the academic wing of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement did. Certainly, sympathetic treatment of the Antifa movement by a single faculty member does not call for a presidential statement. I agree with Noah Rothman that the left should denounce rather than romanticize its violent wing and would add that liberals should have nothing to do with a crew that Bray informs us “have no allegiance to liberal democracy.” A political figure like Nancy Pelosi can certainly be expected to distance herself from Antifa.
But college presidents have no obligation to denounce individual professors who hold wrongheaded views. Whether violence is ever justified is a legitimate ethical question, and I doubt very much that, whatever Hanlon may say, Dartmouth’s values are really inconsistent with the endorsement of any kind of violence under any circumstances. It is a legitimate empirical question to ask under what circumstances violence could be more effective than nonviolence. As for the rejection of liberalism, although colleges and universities owe their status and safety to liberalism, college presidents should not be called upon to denounce every intellectual departure from it. If they are called upon to do so, their typical response should be that tolerance for free inquiry is among liberalism’s great strengths.
Academic administrations have a duty take sides in moral and policy disputes from time to time. But when they do, they take the risk of compromising their Socratic core in favor of preaching, or what may be worse, of constantly reassuring anyone who will listen that professors who might shock us are rare and perhaps undesirable in academic communities. So they should be reluctant to wade into such disputes. It is hard to see what good Dartmouth has done by making a statement about one of its visiting scholars. It is not hard to see how, if college presidents keep answering the call to sound off on every stray utterance of their staff members, they might do colleges and universities more harm than good.
The Department of Homeland Security issued a confidential warning to law enforcement authorities three days before the deadly Aug. 12 Charlottesville protest rally, saying that an escalating series of clashes had created a powder keg that would likely make the event “among the most violent to date” between white supremacists and anarchists.
The “law enforcement sensitive” assessment, obtained by POLITICO and reported for the first time, raises questions about whether Charlottesville city and Virginia state authorities dropped the ball before, and during, a public event that was widely expected to draw huge crowds of armed, emotional and antagonistic participants from around the country.
The Aug. 9 report by the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis was done in coordination with local, state and federal authorities at the Virginia Fusion Center. It stated that white supremacists and anti-fascist “antifa” extremists had clashed twice before in Charlottesville, at a white nationalist rally on May 13 and a Ku Klux Klan gathering July 7. At each event, “anarchist extremists” attacked protesters who had been issued permits, leading to fights, injuries, arrests and at least two felony charges of assault and battery.
And both sides were clearly gearing up for an unprecedented confrontation in the weeks leading up to the Aug. 12 “Unite the Right” rally and a weekend of events planned around it by white supremacist rally organizers and those protesting it.
IsraellyCool: Stop the #NaziWashing
Left-wing radicals often accuse Israel of “pinkwashing,” a term used to accuse Israel of “whitewashing” its “crimes” by flaunting its gay-friendliness. Israel, they argue, purposefully makes its policies in the West Bank/Judea and Samaria less egregious by broadcasting its acceptance of progressive values. God forbid people should recognize that Israel is an overall leader in liberalism and human rights! But the Left is guilty of a far more dangerous and now popular form of whitewashing: Naziwashing.
Radical leftists position themselves as the heroic crusaders against Nazism, which they inflate as a world threat. In doing so, these radicals cast themselves as moral touchstones who are immune from criticism because, after all, they take a clear stance against one of the world’s worst evils. But this contempt for Nazism is a far cry from the kind held by the likes of Winston Churchill. It’s anti-American, anti-capitalistic, and anti-individualistic in nature, the successor of another evil, Communism.
This tactic needs to be called out and discredited.
Naziwashing provides Leftist extremists, Jews included, cover for their desire for immoral rule, in which they would, for example, shut down or physically assault someone (or something) who does not eschew antisemitism or Nazism as fiercely as they deem appropriate. They become self-appointed, righteous vigilantes who should not be punished if, for example, they take a bat against protesters in Charlottesville who made antisemitic remarks. Meanwhile, they wouldn’t dare lay a hand on the Palestinian who slaughtered an Israeli family in cold blood last month during their Shabbat dinner celebration. Palestinians are, after all, victims of Israel’s pink-washed “occupation.”
We then enter the new, insidious phase of Naziwashing: Since Nazism today is the Evil of the World, and Israel, according to their revisionist interpretation, behaves like Nazis for “oppressing” a minority group, taking a knife against regular Israeli “Nazi-sympathizers” is justified, too.
U.S. banking giant Comerica’s closure of an account earlier this year held by an organization that wages legal and economic warfare against America and Israel may be the harbinger of a successful strategy against BDS.
BDS—or the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement—is a global effort that seeks to isolate the Jewish state from the international community in order to secure a Palestinian state by endangering Israel’s existence. BDS seeks a one-state solution rather than an Israeli and Palestinian state living side by side in peace. Our research shows many BDS organizations are entwined with states and other entities that advance hate groups and terrorism at large.
Dallas-based Comerica said in May that it closed the account of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, also known as IADL, due to a “business decision.” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s signing into law of an anti-BDS law in early May set the stage for the shutdown of the anti-Israel organization’s account
Months of growing pressure on the bank from Texas politicians, human-rights groups and the prominent Harvard jurist Alan Dershowitz certainly played a role in Comerica’s calculus.
Dershowitz said the IADL “was founded as a communist front and supported financially by the Soviet Union. It is anti-democratic to its core and supportive of terrorism and repression. No decent person or institution should be associated with or supportive of its anti-democratic agenda and actions.”
Look at the groups at the bottom of the picture. Anyone shocked? Yeah, me either. Not shocked at all to see SEIU, Texas Rio Grande Legal Aide, Communications Workers of America, and Faith in Texas listed as sponsors…all left-wing groups and unions.
LawNewz reached out to TOP in order to clarify–and break down exactly–where funds raised for the Hurricane Harvey Community Relief Fund are headed, but a full response was not received at the time of publication. This post will be updated as soon as TOP replies. A request to Ms. Sarsour was not answered either.
Sarsour insisted that she didn’t mislead anyone, even though the way she worded her tweet, any sane person would think she meant immediate humanitarian aid…which is exactly what Houston needs right now.
People immediately caught onto the scheme and realized that the tweet does mislead people, tricking them to donate to raise awareness:
The people in Texas need actual relief, NOT political organizing. Here are some ways you can actually give humanitarian aid:
As Twitchy told you earlier today, Linda Sarsour was blasted for raising money for a liberal political action group by masquerading is as a Hurricane Harvey relief fund.
The backlash was immediate:
However, here’s who Sarsour blames for the backlash:
“Alt-right” must have sent out an email blast. My mentions are on steroids.
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) 30 August 2017
She’s got to be kidding…
Who could possibly object to trawling for political donations in the name of “hurricane relief”? Nazis, that’s whohttps://t.co/rnR0DVeTCd
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) 30 August 2017
A Jewish umbrella group has filed a police complaint over demonstrators in Rotterdam shouting in Arabic about killing Jews.
The Dutch Central Jewish Board said in a statement Wednesday that the July 22 incident occurred at a rally advertised by a newly formed organization called the Palestinian Community in the Netherlands, or PGNL. The Rotterdam branch of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which also advertised the event on its Facebook page, was the real organizer of the rally, according to the statement.
A day earlier, BDS Rotterdam shared a call on Facebook to attend the rally by Amin Abou Rashed, a senior operative of the Al Aqsa Foundation, which the Dutch secret service and judiciary in 2003 flagged as a Hamas front and banned.
Participants in the rally, which was protesting the use of security measures by Israel around the Al-Aqsa mosque following a deadly terrorist attack there, shouted in Arabic, “Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning,” the statement said. The cry relates to an event in the seventh century when Muslims massacred and expelled Jews from the town of Khaybar, located in modern-day Saudi Arabia.
The Rotterdam rally, including the anti-Semitic chants, was broadcast live by the Shebab News Agency, an organization banned by the Palestinian Authority over its alleged ties to Hamas.
The Jewish board’s complaint with police was for racist incitement to violence, the statement read. Earlier this year, a Belgian court convicted a Palestinian who shouted the same words in 2014 in Antwerp.
Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill (D.) had to skip a question on the anti-Semetic efforts to boycott Israel because she doesn’t not know what the acronym “BDS” means.
McCaskill was asked about the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Movement, commonly referred to as BDS, during a town hall stop in Camdenton, Missouri, last week.
“I don’t know what anti-BDS is,” McCaskill said as she moved on to the next question.
McCaskill is one of thirteen Democratic senators to sponsor the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which directly addressed the BDS movement.
A spokesman for McCaskill said that the senator is “obviously” familiar with the issue, despite not recognizing the acronym.
“She didn’t immediately recognize the acronym, but is obviously familiar with the issue,” said the spokesman.
McCaskill’s support for the anti-BDS legislation has become a hot-button issue for her, forcing her to tell the Intercept that she is “taking a look at” the legislation. She was also criticized in the local Missourian for her support for the bill.
British Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz is suing the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) after the group denounced him in a report calling him an anti-Muslim extremist.
Earlier this year, Mr. Nawaz announced that he would be seeking damages from the SPLC along with several Christian groups after being put on a “hate list”. The list, referred to as a “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists” by the SPLC, put Nawaz and several conservative Christian groups along side extremists like the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and members of actual neo-Nazi organisations.
In a video statement put out on YouTube in July. Nawaz said: “The Southern Poverty Law Center, or SPLC, who made their money suing the KKK, was set up to defend people like me but now have become the monster they have claimed they wanted to defeat.”
Nawaz was placed on the hate watch list alongside Somalian-Dutch national Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former Muslim and anti-Islam activist who lives under constant security protection because of threats to her life from radical Islamic adherents.
Jess Phillips is the latest Labour MP to bravely speak out about some members of the British-Pakistani community “having issues about women’s roles in a family, in society”. The response from the hard-left? Threatening to deselect her at the next election. Oh, and they’ve added in their online graphics that Jess is apparently a “Zionist“. Not sure what that has to do with anything…
IsraellyCool: YouTube Again Targets My Channel
It looks like YouTube has undergone a face lift, with a brand new look and feel.
But the aesthetics can’t hide the fact something very rotten is still going on there.
About a month after they took down my Roger Waters video as “hate speech” – only to reinstate it a week later – they’ve now done it again, this time regarding a Hamas video I uploaded for this post.
Is this part of a campaign to target pro-Israel accounts? Or is it YouTube trying to crack down on videos from terrorists? Given it is the raw video without commentary, I accept if they want to remove it (although I think it is a mistake since exposing Hamas’ hatred and lies to as many people as possible is important). But to issue a strike against my account, as if I support the content of the video (note the video title) – that’s just wrong.
I have appealed and we’ll see if that does anything. I would hate to lose the 170+ videos with combined views of over 1.2 million.
In his 2004 book The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace, former U.S. Middle East envoy Dennis Ross provided a post-mortem of the failed peace negotiations he mediated in 2000 during President Bill Clinton’s administration. He lamented that then-Palestinian leader and PLO chief Yasir Arafat was unwilling to “give up Palestinian myths,” “compromise or concede” or “generate a fundamental transformation” among his people to prepare them for peace with the Jewish state.
Instead, the Palestinian leader continued to assure his people that accords with Israel were just a first step in a “phased strategy” to replace the Jewish state with a Palestinian one, while presenting a peaceful face to a Western audience. This “phased” strategy is spelled out in the Palestine National Council’s 1974 ten point program, known as the “Phased Plan” for Israel’s destruction, which would first create a Palestinian state on any territory handed over by Israel (Article 2) and then use that state to “complete the liberation of all Palestinian territory.” (Article 8).
This approach, continued by Arafat’s successors, has resulted in the persistent failure of Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations. Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas continues to publicly and categorically reject a Jewish state in the region. Palestinians are taught – both by the Hamas leadership in Gaza and the Fatah leadership in the West Bank – that Israel has no right to exist, that Jews have no history or rights in the region, that Jews and Israelis are evil interlopers trying to take over Muslim holy sites and that it is incumbent upon Muslims and Palestinians to wage violent jihad in order to protect these sites.
But these unassailable fact were not to be found in NPR’s Morning Edition’s recent coverage of U.S. envoy Jared Kushner’s visit to the Middle East. Those filtered reports about the prospects for peace were predicated on the notion that any failure to advance peace is due only to Israeli policy and the supposed inability of the Israeli government to compromise with the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinians and their leaders, by contrast, are presented as having no agency of their own in the matter. Their rejection of previous statehood offers, their repeated refusal to accept a neighboring Jewish state, and their continuous demonizing of Israeli Jews and calls to jihad are treated as if they never occurred.
Fatal Palestinian road accidents are, sadly, all too common, and it seems unlikely that The Independent would have reported on the tragic death, on Saturday (Aug. 26), of a young Palestinian girl in the West Bank if there wasn’t a “settler” angle. The girl, Aseel Abu Oun, was killed after an Israeli vehicle struck her on a road which runs through the Jordan Valley.
Here’s the Indy’s headline accompanying their story on the incident.
The article opens:
An Israeli settler has reportedly been questioned by police after running over and killing an eight-year-old Palestinian girl. Aseel Abu Oun was killed near her village of Furush Beit Dajan in the occupied West Bank. She was leaving a supermarket with a friend when she was hit by the car, Al Jazeera reported.
Then, after citing a Haaretz report that “police detained the driver for questioning and had opened an investigation,” the article continued:
Members of Aseel’s family told Al Jazeera they had asked for an independent actor to oversee the investigation. “We are used to the Israeli police and their ways of dealing with settler aggression or attacks on Palestinians,” Jawdat Abu Oun, one of Aseel’s relatives said.
CAMERA’s UK Media Watch contacted Mickey Rosenfeld, spokesperson for the Israeli police, to check on the results of their investigation. Rosenfeld said that police determined that Abu Oun was killed in an accident, and ruled out the possibility of any negligence or criminal actions by the driver. UK Media Watch tweeted Samuel Osborne, the journalist who wrote the article.
A couple of hours later, the Indy added text noting the police conclusion that it was “a regular road accident.” Though the headline wasn’t changed, the strap line was updated and now reads: “Israeli police say event was ‘regular road accident.'”
As readers may recall, back in July the BBC’s coverage of commemoration of the mass arrest of French Jews in World War II did not include any mention of the French president’s remarks concerning anti-Zionism.
“Macron’s statement is of course in step with the IHRA working definition of antisemitism that was adopted in recent months by the British government and the EU parliament as well as in accord with the US State department’s definition. […] However, the BBC News website’s report on the ceremony made no mention whatsoever of the French president’s recognition of anti-Zionism as a manifestation of antisemitism.”
Moreover, several days later a regional BBC radio station described President Macron’s statement as a “very controversial claim” to its listeners.
During his recent visit to Israel the UN Secretary General told President Rivlin that:
“I do believe that […] those that call for the destruction of the State of Israel that that is a form of modern anti-Semitism”
Poland’s tourism minister said Wednesday he was firing the head of the national tourism organization after he said he wanted to remove the Auschwitz memorial and a Jewish history museum from tours for foreign journalists.
Witold Banka said on Twitter he was dismissing Marek Olszewski immediately over “scandalous remarks” the head of the Polish Organization of Tourism made in Wednesday’s Gazeta Wyborcza daily.
The newspaper quoted Olszewski as saying he wanted to “promote the values of Poland’s culture” and had “no need to show places and events relating to the history of other nations.”
According to the paper, he had removed the site of the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz and POLIN Museum of the History of Poland’s Jews, in Warsaw, from tours for foreign journalists.
“Auschwitz is not a tourism product but a place of martyrdom and deep thought, while we do promotion of Poland as a tourist attraction,” Olszewski said.
Swastikas and graffiti, some of it anti-Semitic, was painted on the wall of a public high school in Stamford, Connecticut.
The vandalism discovered Saturday morning at the Academy of Information Technology and Engineering was the second act of anti-Semitic vandalism to occur this summer in Stamford. In July, a city resident used feces to smear a swastika and a Star of David in the window of a downtown television station.
In addition, two people were reportedly called anti-Semitic slurs while leaving local synagogues in the past two weeks, according to the United Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford, New Canaan and Darien.
“We cannot and will not tolerate hate in our community,” the federation said in a statement. “We call on faith leaders to come together and speak out against hate. These hateful and disturbing acts are not just a Jewish problem, but one affecting all minorities.”
German prosecutors called Thursday for the case of a 96-year-old former Nazi medical orderly at the Auschwitz death camp to be thrown out because he was deemed unfit for trial.
Hubert Zafke had faced charges of 3,681 counts of being an accessory to murder in the concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.
But concerns over his mental and physical health had led to repeated postponements of the trial, which began in February 2016 in the northeastern lakeside town of Neubrandenburg.
Stefan Urbanek, a spokesman for the regional prosecutor’s office, said in a statement that medical evaluations in March and July this year had found the wheelchair-bound Zafke “unfit to stand trial.”
In an unusually harsh condemnation, the European Jewish Congress said the Polish government has a “staggering lack of concern” about anti-Semitism and a “transparent divide-and-rule tactic” vis-a-vis Jews.
The statement Thursday follows an open feud between leaders of Polish Jewry on whether Poland has seen an increase in anti-Semitic incidents or sentiment since the rise to power of the nationalist Law and Justice Party in 2015.
The EJC statement offers support for the organization’s Poland affiliates, the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland and the Jewish Community of Warsaw, in their fight with other Jewish organizations in Poland.
The fight erupted earlier this month when leaders of the affiliated groups blamed the government for allowing if not encouraging an alleged increase in anti-Semitism. Other Jewish leaders disputed this claim, saying it constitutes a partisan tactic against the ruling party by the EJC affiliates.
French discount sporting goods giant Decathlon is set to open its first store in Israel Tuesday. Spanning 3,000 square meters (32,000 square feet), the new store in Rishon Lezion’s G Center, in central Israel, has 60 departments and will sell athletic shoes, sports equipment and clothing, as well as dietary supplements at competitive prices.
Decathlon is the third international sports chain to enter the Israeli market, following American retailer Foot Locker and Switzerland’s Intersport. According to financial daily Globes, Decathlon’s arrival is expected to spark fierce competition in the sector, which features higher prices than in other Western countries, is controlled by only a few players and has an annual revenue of over 2 billion shekels ($560 million).
Founded in France in 1976, Decathlon employs 78,000 people in 1,221 stores across 32 countries. Decathlon’s sales increased some 50% between 2006 and 2010, and the company ended the 2016 fiscal year with 10 billion euro ($12 billion) in revenue.
At a press conference on Sunday, Decathlon Israel CEO Louise Chekroun said, “I have been in Israel for a while now. People here have told me, ‘Decathlon is great, it’s wonderful — but at what prices? Will the prices be like in France?’ Israelis travel the world and they know the prices and they told us, ‘ Don’t come if it’s not the same prices.’ I can say with great pride that the prices in Israel will be the same prices as in France.”
The clementines that Avi Schwartzer picked from his backyard tasted disappointingly bland. As a computer scientist then working as R&D manager at Hewlett-Packard in Israel, he figured there must be a tool or app to help determine, on the spot, a fruit’s quality and ripeness.
He discovered “lots of scientific instruments” that each provide little pieces of this puzzle, necessitating further analysis and interpretation.
“Fast feedback is well-known in the software industry, and I was amazed that feedback in the agriculture world is so slow,” Schwartzer tells ISRAEL21c.
“This is when I came up with the idea for the AclaroMeter,” says Schwartzer, who based the name on a Latin word for understanding or clarity.
“Know Your Fruit” is the motto of AclarTech, the company he founded in December 2016 with partner Ruby Boyarski in the Rehovot suburb of Ness Ziona.
Despite lingering budget inequality, significant gaps in the level of education between the Jewish and Arab education systems have “almost completely closed,” according to an independent Israeli study released on Wednesday.
Among the improvements listed in the report are a substantial increase in Arab Israelis enrolling in all levels of schooling and taking high school matriculation exams, as well as improved test scores.
According to the report, released by the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies, an independent Israeli research institute, the 2016 school year saw a substantial increase in math scores and a moderate increase in English scores on the fifth grade Meitzav exams for Arab Israelis. On the eighth grade test the gap in scores narrowed in science and technology, but the gap in math scores increased, and the gap in English remained unchanged, the report said.
One area of clear improvement in the Arab Israeli community was the percentage taking the high school matriculation exams.
Today, 81 percent of Arab-Israeli pupils take the exam, in contrast to 84% of Jewish students, and in the Druze sector the number rises to 90%.
Our Soldiers Speak, a U.S.-based NGO, recently brought 28 West Point cadets and Naval Academy midshipmen on a 12-day tour of “Israel through the Defense & Policy Lens.”
Lauren Larar, a senior at the Naval Academy, said that while it was a somewhat peculiar site for her to witness IDF soldiers carrying guns when she first walked Israel’s streets, any anxiety was swiftly replaced by a heightened sense of security.
Austin Neal, from West Point, said, “I expected it to be a lot more intense, especially around the borders we went to, but I felt safe even around the hot areas. It didn’t seem nearly as violent as it has been portrayed to me….We were in Jerusalem when an attack occurred a few days ago and there wasn’t a time when I didn’t feel safe. I felt safe the entire time. In terms of security, Israel’s got a hold on what they’re doing pretty well.”
Hannah Fairfield, a West Point senior, pointed to the proximity of Israel’s air defense sites to the civilian population. “It was crazy to me just how close we were to the city. Everything is just really compact and they really don’t have much operational depth. The IDF is really impressive in that sense how they still get everything done that they have to get done.”
Drew Bennet, a junior at the Naval Academy, said, “I am taking away a much greater appreciation for the Jewish people in general over the last 2,000 years and how much of a miracle it is that Israel has become what it is today.” He lauded the “one gem of a country that is able to stick out against all the odds.”
Lauren Larar was most profoundly struck by Israel’s sense of patriotism, which she said constituted the most inspirational takeaway of the tour. “To us, we think, ‘oh my goodness, they have to deal with this,’ but no matter how difficult the situation was that they told us about, the reoccurring theme at the end of every conversation with every person was just how much they love their country.”
Jerusalem therapist Miriam Ballin is the kind of person who takes the initiative.
Despite resistance from her ultra-Orthodox community, she became a medic. Then she launched a pacesetting psychological first aid unit. Clearly she was not just going to stand idly by while Tropical Storm Harvey flooded her native Houston.
So on Wednesday evening, Ballin left her husband to watch their five young children and headed to southeast Texas, where she and six other Israeli mental health professionals will help locals cope with the flooding. Their work will be guided by hard-won experience responding to local emergencies, including dozens of terrorist attacks.
“I just feel it’s necessary and needed, and simply the right thing to do,” she said. “When we have 150 people who have been trained to deal with exactly this, not to send them to Houston to help out is I think wrong.”
In addition to her day job as a family therapist, Ballin, 33, is the head of the psychotrauma unit of United Hatzalah, a mostly ultra-Orthodox volunteer emergency service based in Jerusalem. She spearheaded the creation of the unit last year amid a wave of Palestinian violence to provide psychological support to those experiencing potentially traumatic events.
Elite members of United Hatzalah’s Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit will be arriving in flood-stricken Texas this afternoon to help locals cope with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, America’s fiercest storm on record.
Sent by the Israel Rescue Coalition (IRC), they are the third Israeli aid team to arrive in the region, which this week has seen days of torrential downpours that have devastated and paralyzed the city of Houston, America’s fourth largest city, and wrecked coastal towns across Texas.
Earlier this week, Israeli NGO IsraAID sent a team of seven disaster management experts, mental health experts, and engineers to Houston to help with debris removal and trauma relief, and another Israeli aid group, iAID, sent a team of nine to the city.
“It’s overwhelming,” said Yotam Polizer, co-CEO of IsraAID, whose team began work in Houston yesterday, as Harvey, now downgraded to a tropical storm, continued to wreak havoc in Louisiana. “The flooding is catastrophic and we still haven’t been to the worst-hit areas and seen the full scale of it.”
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