What are Jews who embrace Black Lives Matter movement endorsing?
Some Jews have fallen for the delusion that they need to join BLM in order to help moderate its radicals. Others have convinced themselves that this is their opportunity to be considered worthy successors to those Jews who worked to end “Jim Crow” laws and marched with Dr. Martin Luther King. They think focusing on the attacks on Israel or even the growing number of incidents of anti-Semitism in the African-American community is to miss the point. They believe that Jews are obligated to go along with BLM because they accept the notion that the United States is irredeemably racist in nature and that there is an epidemic of murders of African-Americans by the police.
The problem with this formulation is that it is simply wrong. Despite a troubled past, America is not a racist nation today. The statistical evidence also contradicts the widely accepted claims about a police war on blacks.
It’s also worth exploring what is in the summary of the new BLM platform. Rather than an easily supported agenda around which all Americans of good will could rally, it is a laundry list of far-left radical and Marxist proposals antithetical to the idea that BLM deserves mainstream support.
Supporters will say their demands are irrelevant, and what matters is a statement supporting the struggle against racism.
But the letter from the 600 groups is more than a restatement of idealistic notions about tikkun olam or amorphous and highly dubious claims about alleged police brutality. It goes out of its way to mischaracterize skepticism about BLM and the vicious cancel culture it has helped to spawn as morally equivalent to attacks on King from segregationists and racists.
It doesn’t merely ignore the fact that so many “peaceful protests” turned into violent riots and the way BLM activists have sought to intimidate anyone who will not bow to their agenda. It also seeks to link opposition to the movement to anti-Semitism. That isn’t just wrong. It’s outrageous since intersectional radicals who form the shock troops of the BLM movement, including cheerleaders for the Nation of Islam and its leader, Louis Farrakhan, as well as race-baiter Al Sharpton, are themselves guilty of anti-Semitism.
We can only shake our heads at the chutzpah of anti-Zionist groups like IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace, which have consistently been guilty of anti-Semitism, condemning it in others. But you have to wonder how groups that are avowedly Zionist—like JCPA, the ADL, and the mainstream religious movements and synagogues—can justify legitimizing these groups by signing the BLM manifesto along with them.
An elite private school in Baltimore founded by Jews is revamping its curriculum in response to a pressure campaign by Black Lives Matter activists demanding an examination of the school’s “wealth hoarding” and “tolerance of Zionism.”
BLM activists’ latest academic target is Baltimore’s Park School, which was founded in 1912 by Jews who were barred entry into the city’s existing private schools. In a letter to the school, an anonymous group identifying itself as the “Black at Park Organizing Collective” calls for “an examination of Park’s history: its inception, early exclusions, culture of whiteness and wealth hoarding, its tolerance of Zionism, and its parasitic relationship to Baltimore City.”
The Collective, which claims to be composed of “recent and distant alumni,” accused the school of promoting “anti-blackness” and “anti-black violence.” It seeks radical changes to the school’s curriculum, admissions, and hiring. The school, they claim, is home to “white supremacist structures and environments of learning, teaching, and community-making,” and Park “has established this culture of anti-blackness as normal and permissible.” The administration, they wrote, must “atone for the deep and painful anti-black violence our black peers have experienced.”
The language in the letter highlights the prevalence of anti-Semitism in Black Lives Matter activism. Across the country, protesters associated with the movement have defaced Jewish institutions, demanded that American Jews denounce Israel, and embraced anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has condemned American Jews for years.
Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg, spiritual leader for more than 40 years at Baltimore’s Beth Tfiloh synagogue, expressed concern about the Collective’s rhetoric.
“There are a lot of code words here that have been associated with anti-Semitic tropes,” Wohlberg told the Washington Free Beacon. “But I don’t like calling people anti-Semitic unless I know them and know that to be true. However, [with] those tropes of ‘parasites’ and ‘wealth hoarding,’ combined with ‘tolerance of Zionism,’ you have to question the motives of these people.”
Park administrators declined to address the Collective’s use of anti-Semitic language, but officials told the Free Beacon the school is working with the group to implement a series of reforms, including changes to its “diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.”
In a brief, erudite introduction to the short stories, and in our phone call, Oren says that the short story, imagination constrained by the structure of brevity, is a characteristically Jewish combination of freedom and discipline.
“The freedom-limit paradox can be confounding but also intoxicating,” Oren writes in the introduction, telling the story of “a friend who was born Jewish but hated his heritage.”
The friend accompanied Oren to synagogue for Simchat Torah, the holiday “when Jews dance and sing while embracing the scrolls.”
The friend, Oren writes, “was flummoxed. ‘They’re celebrating a book that tells them all these things they can’t do?’”
Reports Oren, “unable to grasp the contradiction,” the friend “finally, in desperation…began to study the Bible and then the Talmud, and eventually became observant.”
Before Oren rings off, I ask him, as the former ambassador and the author of Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide, how he views the upcoming American election and its potential effects on US‐Israel relations.
“Both candidates running are very pro-Israel,” Oren says. A Biden administration might bring policy differences over “the Palestinian issue,” West Bank settlements and the Iran nuclear deal, Oren points out. He notes, though, that Trump has also offered to negotiate a deal with Iran. Oren suggests that Israel could help by spelling out clearly “what would be a good deal” with Iran.
The bigger picture, he says, is that “Israel depends on a strong and self-confident America.”
It was concerning instead to see what appeared like “a superpower that is not quite certain how to police itself, much less police the world,” Oren adds.
This normalization of bigotry and hatred toward Jews will have profound implications for generations to come.
As economies around the world tremble under the weight of the devastating economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, as unemployment becomes entrenched and protest and anti-government sentiment become endemic, extremism, hatred and antisemitism are only likely to increase, providing fertile ground for the spread of extremism just as they did some 80 years ago.
Before war broke out in September 1939, no one could have imagined the horrors that would emerge, but today we cannot say that we do not know what happens when hatred in all its forms rears its head, and as we mark another solemn anniversary, events must serve as a wakeup call.
We call on governments around the world to show zero tolerance toward antisemitism, all forms of intolerance and hatred toward all minorities; to broaden teaching of the Holocaust and other genocides, as well as the lessons of World War II and the period leading up to the outbreak of war.
Every year, as chairman of the International March of the Living, the quintessential expression of collective Holocaust memory, remembrance and Jewish identity, I lead a delegation to Auschwitz, a monument to human depravity, to the end product of hatred, intolerance and dehumanization.
As an educational organization, the International March of the Living is committed to teaching that all human beings are created in God’s image, and are worthy of equal dignity and respect; to build a world free of oppression and intolerance, a world of freedom, democracy and justice, for all members of the human family.
This year, because of the pandemic, the March of the Living was canceled, and in its place we are launching an innovative virtual community to inspire tolerance, inclusion and respect as a message to counter hatred, intolerance and bigotry.
We can no longer say we do not know that hatred and intolerance lead to war and genocide. We cannot afford to stand still for one moment.
We cannot let the antisemitism cancer spread unchecked.
Although the Jewish Resistance Organization in France carried out one of the Holocaust’s most extraordinary rescue operations, the story is not well known in either France or Israel, and is often distorted for political reasons. During his historic recognition in July 1995 of France’s responsibility for the extermination of its Jews, President Jacques Chirac claimed that the French Righteous Among the Nations had saved three-quarters of the Jews of France — completely ignoring the central part played by the Jewish Resistance in the rescue. This version was then adopted by his successors.
There is no doubt that the French Righteous Among the Nations deserve a place of honor in the history of the Holocaust, but it was the Jewish Resistance that made the crucial contribution to the rescue of some 230,000 Jews — about three-quarters of French Jewry.
Members of the Jewish Resistance were the main ones who initiated contact with the French rescuers, and who — often at the risk of their lives — issued good-quality forged certificates and food stamps, without which it would have been impossible to obtain groceries. They even maintained regular contact with hidden children in order to boost their morale and prevent their loss to the Jewish people. They assisted detainees in the camps and smuggled them away; they moved convoys of children and adults to hiding places in France, Switzerland, and Spain; and they set up guerrilla groups and transferred funds for the sake of the struggle against the Nazi occupier.
Despite the existence of extensive documentation regarding the independent activities of the Jewish resistance movement, the French media and politicians continue to adhere to the erroneous story that the movement operated within the framework of the general French Resistance. In practice, not only did the general French Resistance not engrave on its banner the rescue of the Jews as part of its struggle for the liberation of the French homeland, but the first nucleus of the Jewish Resistance was established as early as June 1940, after the Nazi occupation, while the general French Resistance movement formed more slowly.
The disconnect over Israel between the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and the senior members who wrested back control was also on display in August. Reports suggest that former vice president Joe Biden himself led the pushback against BDS support within the party and the platform. The platform expresses support for the two-state solution, final status negotiations over Jerusalem, and opposes BDS, “while protecting the constitutional right of our citizens to free speech.” It contains no references to the “occupation.”
At the party’s televised convention, leading BDS supporter and Sanders surrogate Linda Sarsour appeared briefly. Immediately following Sarsour’s appearance, a Biden spokesman quickly noted that “Joe Biden has been a strong supporter of Israel and a vehement opponent of antisemitism his entire life, and he obviously condemns her views and opposes BDS, as does the Democratic platform,” adding that Sarsour “has no role in the Biden campaign whatsoever.”
That grassroots level attitudes regarding BDS have already shifted was also on display in New York, where the Democratic Socialists of America issued a statement asking candidates, among other things, “Do you pledge not to travel to Israel if elected to City Council in solidarity with Palestinians living under occupation?” The request for a “pledge” was widely condemned by members of the city and state governments, including mayor Bill de Blasio.
BDS efforts to “anti-normalize” even the most mainstream Jewish organizations were seen in the campaign to “Drop the ADL,” spearheaded by American Muslims for Palestine, IfNotNow, CAIR, the Movement for Black Lives, the American Friends Service Committee, and a host of others. Building on the false accusation that Israeli training is responsible for police violence in the US, the groups allege that the ADL has “a history and ongoing pattern of attacking social justice movements led by communities of color, queer people, immigrants, Muslims, Arabs, and other marginalized groups, while aligning itself with police, right-wing leaders, perpetrators of state violence,” and that it had an “ongoing legacy of supporting racist policing, surveillance, colonialism, and the silencing of social justice activism.” The ADL refuted the allegations in a statement, but refrained from addressing the underlying antisemitism.
Finally, the novel factor that will shape BDS in the fall semester and going forward is the normalization agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel. BDS leaders unironically decried the move as a “sell-out” to a “dictatorship” that legitimized Israeli “oppression,” while academic supporters of BDS stated the agreement “makes the chance of a just, equitable and sustainable peace much, much, much harder.” Maintaining the dominance of the Palestinian issue in academia will become somewhat more difficult when measured against the reality of expanding peace agreements between Israel and Arab countries. The likely tone will therefore be more shrill and hysterical, with even greater “intersectional” comparisons in order to elide essential differences.
Democrats think that Pompeo, because he is the Secretary of State, must forfeit his First Amendment right of free speech 24×7. The Democrats charge that Pompeo shattered the longstanding precedent that it is improper for a sitting Secretary of State to deliver a political speech to a partisan audience. Pompeo’s critics should look back at a far more partisan speech delivered by President Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of State William H. Seward during the 1864 presidential campaign.
Seward spoke to a large crowd of Lincoln supporters assembled in a park on an early September day in 1864 – about two months before the 1864 presidential election. While Pompeo’s speech was a bit over 600 words long, Seward’s speech was ten times longer. Seward minced no words in urging voters to vote for Lincoln and in going after the opposition Democratic Party by name – all while still serving as the nation’s Secretary of State. Mike Pompeo neither urged voters to vote for President Trump nor criticized the opposition Democratic Party in his recorded Jerusalem speech.
The Democrats’ whining about alleged violations of the Hatch Act and of State Department norms is just a smokescreen for what really is sticking in the Democrats’ craw. President Trump’s Israeli policy represents continuity of what once was a proud bipartisan tradition. The Democrats are the ones who have turned the traditional bipartisan support for Israel on its head. They are being driven away from supporting Israel against the Palestinian terrorists by their progressive leftist base.
The progressive organization Data for Progress reported that a poll it commissioned last year showed that “a net majority of Democratic voters support reducing military aid to Israel.” They would treat Israel no differently than the world’s worst human rights abusers. “Republican voters, on the other hand, answered the question about military aid to human rights abusers and the question about military aid to Israel very differently,” the report’s findings revealed. Only 19% of self-identified Republicans supported reducing military aid to Israel specifically for alleged human rights reasons, while 56% of these voters supported reducing U.S. military aid to real human rights abusers in general.
The Data for Progress report concluded that “Democratic politicians who raise the possibility of imposing material consequences on the state of Israel for its mistreatment of Palestinians are doing so with the support of their party’s voters.” Republican voters are not willing to lump the only democracy in the Middle East together with human rights abusing autocrats in the rest of the world.
The Democratic Party today is no longer the party of Harry Truman – a reliable friend of Israel. The party is morphing into a welcoming home for the Palestinian cause. Democratic leaders resent President Trump and Mike Pompeo for telling the truth about who still stands firmly in Israel’s corner.
Israel Advocacy Movement: Linda Sarsour believes in Israel
A piece (paywall) in the Independent by Robert Fisk (“What the weaponisation of religion in the US presidential race reveals about the Biden camp’s true stance on Israel”, Aug. 26) focused in part on criticism of Linda Sarsour by Democratic Party leaders:
I was slightly more worried this week by a tiny, nasty, unpleasant and largely unnecessary dispute within the House of Biden. It started when Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian-American “activist”…appeared on a panel as part of the Democratic National Convention where she discussed voting in the American Muslim community…
But Sarsour also supports BDS, the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel which is decidedly non-violent and calls for Israel to abide by international law (withdrawal from occupied Palestinian territory, for starters), but which Israel’s self-proclaimed supporters constantly label “antisemitic”.
Fisk’s characterisation of BDS is a lie, as we’ve repeatedly documented that the movement’s openly stated goal is not for Israel to “abide by international law”, but for the state to no longer exist.
We favor a two state solution, the BDS Movement opposes it
“Most definitely, we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine. No Palestinian – rational Palestinian, not a sell-out Palestinian – will ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine.” -BDS Co-Founder Omar Barghouti pic.twitter.com/CAiWpNNbuR
— Democratic Majority for Israel (@DemMaj4Israel) July 23, 2019
However, leaving details of the row within the Democratic Party aside, Fisks’s suggestion that Sarsour’s support for BDS is the only example of her antisemitism is an even more egregious lie.
She supports a “one state solution”, in which, by her own admission, Jews would be a minority, and, as this tweet demonstrates, views Zionism, supported by the overwhelming majority of the world’s Jews, as intrinsically racist – a view deemed antisemitic by the IHRA definition.
The most cited ‘scholar’ of international law, Richard Falk, published a blatantly antisemitic cartoon on his blog.
He also promoted 9/11 conspiracy theories.
Which tells you pretty much all you need to know about the current state of the discourse on international law. pic.twitter.com/0NGtsKYkUn
— Asher Fredman אשר פרדמן (@fredman_a) September 1, 2020
Black Lives Matter’s name is a carefully crafted deception, designed to draw attention away from the fact that BLM is a hardcore Marxist movement whose overriding mission is to raze American society and its traditions to the ground, and to erect a Communist utopia upon those ruins. Toward that end, BLM works tirelessly to discredit the United States as an irredeemably racist wasteland founded upon nothing but slavery, genocide, and all manner of oppression.
It is immensely significant that BLM’s principal heroine is Assata Shakur, the Marxist revolutionary and former Black Panther who brutally murdered a New Jersey state trooper in the 1970s and has spent the past 41 years as a fugitive protected by Communist Cuba. It is equally noteworthy that the late totalitarian dictator of that island nation, Fidel Castro, is yet another revered figure in the pantheon of BLM icons.
A number of BLM’s demands are very clearly modeled on elements of the famous “Ten-Point Program” put forth by the murderous Black Panther Party in the 1960s. These include such overtly socialist and racialist agenda items as the guarantee of taxpayer-funded housing, education (through the college level), and “living-wage employment” for all black people.
BLM openly rejects “the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure,” advocating instead the socialist ideal of “villages” serving as “extended families” that “collectively care for one another.” In other words, BLM repudiates the singular value that, if it were to be embraced, would offer black Americans the principal tools they need in order to create for themselves a prosperous and fulfilling life.
BLM is infested with Jew-hating anti-Semites who falsely accuse Israel of such abominations as “colonialism,” “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” “land theft,” and “the denial of Palestinian humanity.” It also supports the Boycott, Divestment, & Sanctions (BDS) movement, a Hamas-inspired initiative that aims to use various forms of public protest, economic pressure, and court rulings to permanently destroy Israel as a Jewish nation-state.
BLM’s anti-police rhetoric and violent activities have had devastating consequences for black Americans as a whole. In the aftermath of protracted BLM protest/riot campaigns in 2015 and again in 2020, for example, police officers in many U.S. cities—fearful of having their lives and reputations permanently destroyed by frivolous charges of racism—became highly reluctant to engage criminal suspects except in cases where absolutely necessary. As a result, the incidence of homicide and other violent crimes skyrocketed across urban America. And the vast majority of both the victims and perpetrators of such crimes were black.
The only black lives that matter to BLM are the infinitesimally small number that are ended by the actions of white people, particularly white police officers. Meanwhile, the thousands of blacks whose lives are terminated by black killers each and every year are never mentioned by BLM—no matter how brutally, mercilessly, or senselessly those lives may have been snuffed out.
It is indeed a tragedy that a movement so evil and so ruinous has been able, with the help of a compliant mainstream news media, to dupe millions of Americans into embracing it as a crusade for “racial justice.” In reality, BLM is the very embodiment of Marxism, anti-Semitism, and racism—a trifecta of wickedness capable of destroying any society.
We cannot stand idly by and watch antisemites single out the Jewish community and the Jewish State as they pressure candidates running for office in New York City to boycott Israel.
— American Jewish Congress (@AJCongress) August 31, 2020
A top Jewish group slammed a Canadian Quaker publication on Sunday for spreading what it called a “big lie” by claiming that Israel was responsible for US police violence against minorities.
The article by Sara avMaat appeared in the publication Quaker Concern, and asserted that the “racism that pervades our society” was revealed by the “increasing militarization of the police,” which she alleged was a result of “exchange visits and joint training that takes place between Israeli personnel and North American law enforcement professionals.”
She quoted from a book by far-left Israeli-American activist and BDS supporter Jeff Halper, who falsely charged that the training included tactics such as “interrogation bordering on torture, use of aggressive and disproportionate force, administrative detention and mass arrests, and aggressive crowd control.”
AvMaat then cited an already-discredited claim by Amnesty International and the anti-Israel group Jewish Voice for Peace on the matter. She also made a guilt‐by‐association argument by highlighting a public radio report that police in Minnesota, where George Floyd was killed, participated in the training, though there was no indication that this was in any way connected to Floyd’s death.
In response, the Simon Wiesenthal Center tweeted, “Latest #Quaker intersectionality outrage doing the Lord’s work by spreading another big lie — defaming #Israel for US police officers who violate their oath to protect all citizens. Carrying water for Palestinian demonizing Jewish state.”
Ex-Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters claimed in a recent interview with Al Jazeera that he was not antisemitic, despite his vehement activism against the Jewish state.
“Quite clearly, I’m not antisemitic,” Waters ‐‐ a vocal BDS supporter ‐‐ asserted in a video interview published on Saturday. “I’ve never done or spoken a single antisemitic word or act in my entire life, or had an antisemitic thought in my head in my entire life.”
Later in the interview, Waters slammed Israel for what he called a “70-year-old occupation of Palestine.”
The British musician also accused Israel of practicing “apartheid,” and said it committed “vile war crimes every single day against the people of Palestine.”
While discussing UK politics, he denied that former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn had promoted antisemitism, charging that such accusations were a “conspiracy” started by Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry.
“[Israel] used the antisemitic smear campaign to destroy Jeremy Corbyn’s chances” of electoral success, he stated, before criticizing Labour for not dismissing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.
In the past, Waters has publicly condemned other artists, such as Madonna, for performing in Israel.
PreOccupiedTerritory: After Erekat On Diplomacy, Harvard Taps Madoff To Teach Accounting (satire)
One of the nation’s leading educational institutions followed up its hiring last week of a prominent Palestinian diplomat, with nothing to show for his lifetime of high-profile work, to teach diplomacy, with an announcement that it has engaged renowned business personality Bernard Madoff to impart lessons on advanced accounting and bookkeeping practices.
Harvard University informed journalists today that it has hired Mr. Madoff to share with graduate students the lifelong business acumen and wisdom he accumulated and honed over decades of investment fund management. The announcement came only a few days after the university touted its latest hire in the field of international diplomacy and politics, former Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat. Over the course of their careers, both figures have amassed tremendous personal sums at the expense of the less-fortunate, even as they issue silver-tongued assurances of imminent better times with them at the helm. Mr. Madoff is slated to deliver his lectures via Zoom from federal prison.
“We are pleased to have engaged Mr. Bernard Madoff as a teaching fellow for the 2020-2021 academic year,” a statement by the university read. “Our MBA students will benefit from the formidable knowledge Mr. Madoff has accrued during his distinguished career in finance, and that experience will help shape the next generation of investment achievers.”
“Harvard is proud to add Mr. Madoff to its expanding roster of all-star fellows,” the statement continued. “In addition to his proven track record, the retired investment guru will add his talent stack to our already-powerful fellowship team that includes such achievers as veteran diplomat Saeb Erekat, who has played an integral part in steering Palestinian statehood aspirations firmly toward failure over nearly three decades.”
Today, September 1, marks 100 years of Lebanese independence. Unfortunately, over the course of its existence, Lebanon has rarely been a calm place. To mark the occasion, a piece by Associated Press writer Bassem Mroue summarizes 100 of years of Lebanese turmoil — but manages to whitewash years of violence against Israel.
One might think that in a piece about a century of violence, the rise of the infamous Hezbollah terror group would merit at least a paragraph. Sadly not, but Mroue does have space for the following, rather vague, line:
Israel’s 1982 invasion and the attacks on the Americans marked the rise of what later became the militant group Hezbollah.”
So the history of Hezbollah’s establishment is not mentioned, but there is space to claim it ostensibly arose to oppose Israel’s invasion of Lebanon? Of course, that was only ever part of the story.
Hezbollah, literally meaning Party of God, always had a much more grandiose vision than simply defeating Israel in Lebanon. Established in the early 1980s, Hezbollah was largely formed with the aid of the Ayatollah Khomeini’s followers in order to spread Islamic revolution and establish an Islamic republic in Lebanon. Describing Hezbollah in terms of pushing Israel out of Lebanon alone is highly misleading, and ignores its genocidal rhetoric, as well as its history of attacking Jewish civilians in Israel and around the world.
Whitewashing Hezbollah War Crimes
While Mroue does mention Hezbollah, he fails to detail the extent to which it has destabilized the country, nor its acts in breach of international humanitarian law. Hezbollah has launched rockets at civilian targets, plans to infiltrate Israeli territory to target and kill Israeli civilians, and held abducted Israeli combatants without access to international observers or medical staff.
Instead, readers are simply told that:
It fought Israeli forces to a draw in 2006, and tensions remain high along the border.”
From reading CNN’s report on Lebanon’s new prime minister, you almost wouldn’t know that he was nominated by Hezbollah (the reason you almost wouldn’t know it is because they didn’t include that detail in the story) https://t.co/rboQrBzugH
— Omri Ceren (@omriceren) August 31, 2020
This guy was France’s ambassador to the US. His argument in favor of France giving aid money to terrorists (and asking the US to contribute) is that terrorists run the country, so who else are you supposed to give the money to?
I know, I know.
I know. pic.twitter.com/bY1MgqmOxL
— Noah Pollak (@NoahPollak) August 31, 2020
Eleven people were killed in alleged Israeli airstrikes near Damascus on Monday night, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
Syrian air defenses intercepted missiles over the southern region of the country on Monday near Damascus, state television cited a Syrian military source as saying. The source accused Israel of being behind the attacks.
The strikes reportedly killed seven Iranian-backed militants of non-Syrian nationalities and three Syrian soldiers, according to SOHR. A civilian woman was killed by shrapnel in the strikes as well.
The state news agency SANA, cited a military source as saying that only two people were killed, and seven were injured. The agency said a civilian woman had been killed and her husband injured in the blast. It was not immediately clear if she was among the two deaths initially reported by the military source, which had said that seven soldiers were wounded.
While Syrian officials accuse Israel of being behind the attack, the IDF has not confirmed this. IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman told KAN Reshet Bet radio on Tuesday that “the IDF is working to secure strategic objectives with a series of operations, especially in the northern sector.”
Israel has repeatedly attacked Iranian targets in Syria and those of allied militias, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
— Joe Truzman (@Jtruzmah) August 31, 2020
In a new move to enforce the new nationwide mask mandate, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad announced a new plan to use chemical weapons as a scare tactic. The plan comes after the spread of the novel coronavirus across the country threatened Assad’s nine-year run as the nation’s leading cause of death.
“It is a very easily enforceable solution,” said a spokesman of al-Assad’s. “It is much harder to require masks against an invisible killer. It follows, then, that it’s only logical to spread a visible killer through the streets, which is why we are now requiring all killer gas used as weapons be clearly colored and have a distinct smell.” The Syrian plan is expected to be applied first in neighborhoods with community exposure to the virus and is expected to lower potential virus deaths by ensuring those exposed pass away before the 14-day incubation period.
“We are merely listening to the advice of experts,” said the Syrian Health Minister. “Studies show that when chemical weapons are used, citizens are more likely to wear masks, and that masks lower the risk of exposure to the virus.” Similarly, the Syrian Health Ministry also announced a plan to increase bombing frequency to ensure more effective social distancing take place.
British-Arab Researcher Amjad Taha: Iran – Not Israel – Is Responsible for Deaths of 4 Million Arabs
Amjad Taha, a regional director at the British Center for Studies and Research (BMCSR), said in an August 27, 2020 interview on Russia Today TV that Iran, not Israel, is responsible for creating militias that have killed Lebanese, Iraqi, and Yemeni people. He said that it is responsible for the death of 4 million Arabs. Taha added that Iran has made alliances with the militias in the Gaza Strip and that Qasem Soleimani was a terrorist. He stated: “Even viruses evolve, but the peddlers of the [Palestinian] cause do not.”
The French satirical paper whose staff was decimated in a violent attack by Islamic terrorists in 2015 is reprinting caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad cited by the killers, declaring that “history cannot be rewritten nor erased.”
The announcement on Tuesday came on the eve of the first trial for the January 2015 attacks against Charlie Hebdo and, two days later, a kosher supermarket. The killings touched off a wave of violence claimed by the Islamic State terror group across Europe. Seventeen people died — 12 of them at the editorial offices — along with all three attackers.
Thirteen men and a woman accused of providing the attackers with weapons and logistics go on trial Wednesday. In an editorial this week accompanying the caricatures, the paper best known for vulgar irreverence said that although it had declined to publish caricatures of Muhammad since the attacks, doing so for the opening of the trial was necessary.
“The only reasons not to stem from political or journalistic cowardice,” the editorial said.
As the attackers, brothers Chérif and Said Kouachi, walked away from the carnage, they cried out: “We have avenged the Prophet.” Claiming the attacks in the name of al-Qaeda, they then killed a wounded policeman point-blank and drove away.
As France prepares for Wednesday’s opening of the landmark trial of the 14 suspects in the January 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, three of those charged will not be in the courtroom.
Two are presumed dead, while the third, Hayat Boumeddienne, remains on the run, according to French intelligence.
The trial will begin more than five years after three days of Islamist terrorist mayhem in the French capital left 16 civilians dead — 12 of them at the headquarters of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Jan. 7 and another four at a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris on Jan. 9.
Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, the two armed brothers who stormed the Charlie Hebdo offices, and their friend Amedy Coulibaly, the gunman who seized the Hyper Cacher market in the Porte de Vincennes neighborhood two days later, were all killed by police during the attacks.
However, absent from the trial will be the terror suspect dubbed “France’s most-wanted woman” — Hayat Boumeddienne, Coulibaly’s wife, who flew to Turkey a few days prior to the attacks before crossing into Syrian territory controlled at that time by the ISIS terrorist organization.
The 32-year-old Boumeddiene surfaced less than a month after the attacks when she gave an interview to an ISIS propaganda outlet.
Asked about her husband — who murdered a policewoman followed by four Jewish shoppers at the Hyper Cacher — she said that Coulibaly had dreamed of fighting for the so-called “caliphate” created by ISIS.
An Aug. 30 Associated Press photo caption Sunday grossly underreported the number of incendiary balloons that Palestinian arsonists have launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel, erroneously citing “dozens. . . ” in recent weeks.
The caption accompanying the Aug. 30 photograph at left stated:
In Israeli police officer demonstrates a new laser defense system designed to intercept explosives-laden balloons launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel, on the Israeli Gaza border, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. Hamas-linked activists have sent dozens of the balloons into Israel in recent weeks, scorching large areas of farmland in southern Israel. Israeli police say the new system has a 90% success rate when activated. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
In fact, in recent weeks, since Aug. 10 until last night when a ceasefire was reportedly achieved, Hamas activists have launched dozens of incendiary balloons daily, as evidenced by the dozens of fires ignited by these balloons every single day. Many of the balloons don’t succeed in lighting a fire, so if there are 25 recorded fires in a day, there were many more balloons.
On Aug. 29, the incendiary balloons ignited at least 23 fires, Sunday over 20 fires were ignited, on Aug. 15 there were 19 fires, 60 fires on Aug. 11, 24 on Aug. 12, and so on. Since Aug. 10, the fewest number of fires has been 19 (on Aug. 15), and the most has been 60. Given that, as previously mentioned, many of the launched arson balloons don’t succeed in lighting fires, there have been well over 1000, if not thousands, of incendiary balloons.
At around 22:40 on the night of August 25th, shots were fired from Lebanese territory at Israeli soldiers located near Kibbutz Menara in northern Israel. Residents of that community and four others in the area were ordered to stay indoors and roads in the area were closed.
“According to a source who spoke to The Jerusalem Post, the troops were in the field when they heard gunfire directed toward them. The military then fired dozens of smoke shells and light flares in order to stop the gunfire and in an attempt to identify those who fired on the troops. […]
“In response to the gunfire, IDF attack helicopters and aircraft struck terrorist targets belonging to the Hezbollah terrorist group,” the IDF said, adding that Hezbollah observation posts along the border were among the targets hit.
Lebanon’s MTV news agency quoted Lebanon’s Supreme Defence Council as denouncing what they called “an Israeli assault” and said a complaint would be filed to the United Nations. The Lebanese army said on its Twitter account that Israeli helicopters had fired missiles at centers belonging to Green Without Borders, an environmental NGO that Israel says belongs to Hezbollah.”
‘Green Without Borders’ has been described by the Washington Institute for Near East policy as “a Hezbollah front, providing the militant group cover for operational activities prohibited under UN Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1701—from conducting preoperational surveillance to firing rockets at Israel” and has documented the NGO’s impediment of UNIFIL activity.
The IDF later released an illustration showing that the shooter/s were located approximately 250 meters from the border, between two UNIFIL posts.
NYPD Chief Chaplain Rabbi Alvin Kass was mugged on the Upper West Side early Tuesday, sources told The Post.
Kass, 84, was on his morning walk when he was attacked around 5:45 a.m. near West 107th Street and Riverside Drive.
Police said the suspect said he was hungry and demanded money, rifling through Kass’ pockets and grabbing his wallet.
The wallet fell to the ground and the attacker fled with nothing.
The rabbi — the longest-serving member of the NYPD, who’s been top chaplain for 54 years — fell and hurt his shoulder, sources said.
He refused medical attention at the scene. (h/t jzaik)
A Hassidic Jew who arrived in the Ukrainian town of Uman was apparently the subject of an anti-Semitic attack, the local Jewish community reported.
Ukrainian Jewish Committee Director General Eduard Dolinksy said the man suffered minor injuries. Other Hassids in the group, who like the victim were on the annual pilgrim to the grave site of the Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, were unhurt.
The latest attack comes on the heels of a similar incident in which Breslov Hassids were violently turned away from Uman even before Ukraine announced a ban on tourists.
“We usually don’t make contact with the locals, we just pray and have fun; we are very happy to have managed to arrive while upholding the various health regulations,” a Hassid told Israel Hayom on Tuesday.
Popular video-sharing social media platform TikTok has declared a “zero tolerance” policy on accounts that have been linked to instances of antisemitism, as well as other forms of bigotry.
The announcement, which came in an August 20 TikTok blog post titled “Countering Hate on TikTok,” comes as the app has faced controversy over hate speech content on the service, including the Holocaust challenge, which saw users attempt to portray themselves as Holocaust victims.
However, other users are still known to make inappropriate jokes and comments of an antisemitic nature on the app, which is used by and marketed at a primarily younger audience.
In one such video that surfaced on Monday, US Army Second Lt. Nathan Freihofer, who has nearly 3 million followers on the app, made a Holocaust joke, the Jewish News Syndicate reported.
“What’s a Jewish person’s favorite Pokémon character?” Freihofer asked with a laugh.
“Ash,” he answered, referencing the protagonist of the Pokemon anime Ash Ketchum as well as the cremation of Jews in concentration camps. He added “If you get offended, get the f**k out because it’s a joke.”
Several hundred protesters, some associated with an antisemitic movement, stormed through a group of police officers to the doors of Germany’s parliament building in Berlin before being removed by other officers.
The demonstrators from the Reichsburger (Reich Citizens) movement were among some 38,000 people who showed up for a mostly peaceful rally Saturday to protest the country’s coronavirus restrictions.
The Reichsburger, which had some 16,500 members as of two years ago, has been described as an assembly of groups and individuals who sometimes espouse violence in their “fight against the Federal Republic of Germany.” They believe that the 1937 German empire still exists, and many of them deny the Holocaust happened.
Several hundred were arrested in incidents at both the Reichstag building and the nearby Brandenburg Gate, where protesters, allegedly instigated by right-wingers, reportedly threw stones and bottles.
Josef Schuster, head of Germany’s Jewish umbrella organization, the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said he saw the incident as “a last warning shot for democratic parties and security officials.”
An Israeli 3D printing pioneer has become a senior member of the National Academy of Inventors, making him the first scientist based outside the US to attain the status.
“It’s acknowledgment for my research, but also, in a sense, a mark of respect for Israeli science,” Noam Eliaz, professor of materials science and engineering at Tel Aviv University, told The Times of Israel.
Eliaz said that he sees the accolade as a reflection on his past work, but also as a mark of confidence in his current projects. He hopes those projects will lead to new applications for 3D printing, including the groundwork for “self-healing” cars and aircraft.
Eliaz was nominated for his new position, which will be officially conferred in a ceremony in Florida next year, after an American academic heard him speak in China and became interested in his work.
The academy said it chose him in recognition of his “technologies that have brought, or aspire to bring, real impact on the welfare of society,” and “contributions to the innovation ecosystem.” While he is the only senior member who is Israeli, there are three Israeli fellows.
Urban Aeronautics, which is developing one of the world’s first flying cars, has signed an agreement with Hatzolah Air to develop, produce and market its CityHawk aircraft for emergency medical service (EMS) applications.
When we wrote about Urban Aeronautics earlier this year, CEO Rafi Yoeli told us that the first deployment of the CityHawk VTOL (“vertical
“With such a small physical footprint, VTOLs serve a critical need: the ability to land anywhere,” Yoeli told ISRAEL21c. “You can bring a doctor directly to a patient or rescue a patient. Helicopters today often must land a kilometer a way, then the medical team runs through the streets. A lot of time is lost.”
Hatzolah Air is the aviation division of Hatzolah, the EMS organization staffed by volunteer paramedics, nurses and doctors founded more than 50 years ago in Brooklyn. Hatzolah now has divisions around the world. (Hatzolah is not related to United Hatzalah, an Israeli volunteer-run EMS service.)
Hatzolah Air has been flying fixed-wing aircraft. The CityHawk’s Fancraft internal rotor and wing-less design allow the craft to land on a sidewalk. The Hatzolah Air version of the CityHawk will be able to transport a patient plus a companion, two EMT personnel and a pilot, along with a complete package of life support equipment.
When Evgeni Machavariani and his wife became new parents, they couldn’t agree on why their baby was crying. Was the baby hungry? Wet? Tired?
For most couples, this situation might result in standard sleep-deprived strife. But Machavariani was also a senior hardware developer and electro-mechanical robotics engineer in the IDF’s elite Talpiot technology and science unit. He teamed up with another Talpiot alumni, Shauli GurArieh, a software whiz.
The two wondered if they could use the same kind of miniature devices they’d built in the army to control missiles to control, well, babies.
The result of their research is LittleOne.Care, a Tel Aviv-based startup that has created the first wearable wellness product for babies.
The LittleOne.Care device snaps onto a baby’s clothing just above the diaper line. It includes a tiny accelerometer — the same kind that’s in our mobile phones — to measure how and when the baby is moving.
A voice recorder captures the baby’s babbles, cries and eventually words. Artificial intelligence then turns those moves and sounds into actionable data for parents.
The LittleOne.Care device
Colored lights, calendar
LittleOne.Care outputs its understandings in two ways. First, the device has different colored lights which flash depending on what the AI has determined a baby’s cries mean. (As with all AI, the neural network “learns” over time, so the more you use it, the smarter it gets.)
We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.