Melanie Phillips: Dual loyalty taunt? Israel slandered? So what’s new?
Within hours of the Labour party giving its members wriggle room to defame Israel without any pushback, posters appeared on central London bus-shelters slandering Israel as a “a racist endeavour”.
The virus of left-wing antisemitism is out of control. Why is anyone surprised? None of this is new. Jeremy Corbyn may have made the poison more toxic but he didn’t release it. He is rather its most malevolent symptom.
I first experienced this in 1982. Colleagues implied that my real country wasn’t Britain but Israel. At the time, I’d never even been there and never wanted to go. All I’d done was stick up for it against the lies and blood-libels.
For that, I was instantly pigeon-holed as not fully British. During the following years, Jewish defenders of Israel like me were accused of dual loyalty.
So why was anyone surprised when Corbyn suggested that British Jews who supported Israel were a breed apart who couldn’t understand English irony?
Over the past few decades, Israel has been the victim of a campaign of demonisation and delegitimisation of a kind directed at no other country, people or cause.
Every accusation hurled at it is untrue. Displaced the indigenous people of the land: untrue. Acts illegally: untrue. Racist, apartheid, colonialist state: untrue. Disproportionately aggressive: untrue. Contemptuous of the lives of innocent Palestinians: untrue.
To these obscene falsehoods and more from the left, others have shrugged or, worse, nodded along. Even now, it’s not the lies about Israel that are provoking such horror. It’s the stuff about hook-nosed bankers or Jewish conspiracy theories or Jewish fascists.
Shocking and vile indeed. But this loathing of Jews is umbilically connected to loathing of Israel.
On August 2, 2018, a number of UN and European government officials attended an event that included a virulently antisemitic artwork display in the Area C encampment of Khan al-Ahmar.
Attendees included UNICEF-oPt’s Special Representative Genevieve Boutin; UNESCO’s Ramallah Office Senior Program Officer Sonia Ezam; Head of Mission at South Africa’s Representative Office in the State of Palestine Ashraf Suliman; the Representative of Norway to Palestine Hilde Haraldstad; and representatives from the German government’s development agency, the UK, and Italy’s Vento di Terra.
The event was hosted by the PA’s “Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission.”
None of the UN or government officials walked out or expressed their protest about such overt antisemitism.
On September 7, 2018, Makor Rishon published an article exposing the event and its attendees. The article includes the following statement from UNICEF:
“Ms. Boutin visited Khan al-Ahmar many times and expressed her concern about the right to security and equality in education for 170 children aged 6-15 from this village and the environment in which they study. Ms. Boutin was invited to a concert held by children from the village at the invitation of the Minister of Education. However, before entering the concert in the village, Ms. Boutin was asked instead to accompany the inauguration of an art exhibition which she was not aware of before her arrival. Ms. Boutin’s impression was that the art exhibition was shocking and very inappropriate, especially because this exhibition was presented in close proximity to the school, and children should be protected from violence and not exposed to violent representatives or messages that promote hatred and intolerance”.
The failure of the government and UN officials to vigorously and publically condemn this incident stands in sharp contrast to claimed human rights agendas.
Report: the Palestinian Authority has already sent NIS 12,000 to the family of Ari Fuld’s murderer https://t.co/sdvAQUEw7Aפרסום-ראשון-הרשפ-העבירה-כספים-לרוצח-א/
— ElderOfZiyon (@elderofziyon) September 17, 2018
More than 48 hours ago this father of four was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist while shopping for his family.#AriFuld was an American citizen.
— Jerusalem Chai (@JerusalemRescue) September 17, 2018
Despite the disturbingly high number of terror attacks on French Jews in recent years, there will be little or no Jewish presence at this year’s ceremonies marking a national day of mourning for French terror victims, because it falls on September 19 — Yom Kippur.
Chief Rabbi of France Haim Korsia told Makor Rishon he has participated in previous such ceremonies, at one of which he heard “the emotional and sad testimony of my good friend Shmuel Sandler,” a father and grandfather of victims of the 2012 massacre at a Jewish school in Toulouse.
This year will be different, but “I asked the rabbis to add a special prayer for the victims of the terror attacks that struck our country. This is our way to connect with the events that take place on a national level.”
The chief rabbi indicated that the national ceremony will be held in the future on March 11, the European Day of Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism, which coincides with the 2004 Madrid train bombings by Islamic extremists.
The president of the French chapter of B’nai B’rith, Philippe Meyer, tweeted, “It is unacceptable to us that they will not allow Jewish families, who are victims of French terror, to participate in the national ceremony for victims of terror because it takes place on Yom Kippur.”
Germany-Based Salafi Cleric Abul Baraa Calls for a “Show of Hands”: Who Wants to Die Right Now and Meet Allah? pic.twitter.com/6eq1qkDW7x
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) September 17, 2018
Having started his scholarly career as a student of ancient Roman politics, Erich Gruen—now a professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley—later shifted his focus to the study of Jews in the Hellenistic and ancient Roman eras. In a retrospective on his scholarship of ancient Jewry, Gruen sums up some of his key conclusions:
I entered [the academic debates concerning ancient Jewry] directly by confronting the widespread notion that societies tended to define themselves by “othering” those unlike them and by demonizing those from whom they wished to distance and distinguish themselves. The classic statement of that approach rang loud and clear in Edward Said’s powerfully influential Orientalism. And it seeped deeply into studies of the ancient world. Negative images, misrepresentations, and stereotypes, it was regularly argued, justified marginalization and exclusion, a tendency to divide the world into the acceptable and the unacceptable, whether Greek and Persian, Roman and barbarian, Jew and Gentile—in short, the invention of the “Other.” . . .
[I] attempted to show that Greeks, Romans, and Jews (whence comes the bulk of our evidence) had far more mixed, nuanced, shifting, and complex opinions about other peoples and did not simply propagate derogatory images to enhance their own self-image. There was more going on than ethnocentrism or xenophobia. [Thus, many ancient] Jewish writers underscored their connectedness [to the Gentiles] rather than their separatism, as in the story [in Genesis of Judah and his daughter-in-law] Tamar and of [the convert and ancestor of King David] Ruth, and in the manipulation of traditions that implied kinship between Jews and Greeks, such as turning Abraham into a forefather of the Spartans or inventing a marriage alliance between Abraham and Heracles, as well as a number of tales that linked Jewish sages to Greek philosophers. These intertwinings, however fictitious, reveal a mindset that did not retreat into isolation and xenophobia.
Nor did Greek and Roman writers view Jews as beyond the pale. They might mock their customs and badly misconstrue their practices. But that was due more to ignorance or dismissal than to animosity or malice. Even the notorious [anti-Jewish] tirade by the Roman historian Tacitus, normally seen as the chief purveyor of [ancient] anti-Semitism, had a very different agenda. Tacitus’ penchant for irony and sardonic reversal twisted the image of the Jews largely to skewer his own countrymen. . . .
The US decision to withdraw its support for UNRWA raises the possibility that other countries will follow suit, and this organization will come to its end. These circumstances call for a retrospective look at the period of UNRWA’s establishment. As so happens, alongside UNRWA, which was intended to help rehabilitate the Palestinian refugees after the war, the United States transferred funds for a parallel project to aid Jewish refugees from Arab countries.
This chapter of Israel’s history is forgotten for a simple reason – it succeeded. Hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees from Arab countries were assimilated into Israel. In contrast, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees were rejected by the countries that were supposed to absorb them, in a cynical move designed to perpetuate the Arab-Israeli conflict in conditions where other conflicts have long since been resolved.
In their book “The War of Return“, Adi Schwartz and Dr. Einat Wilf deal with the establishment of the organization and with the US administration’s involvement in its establishment. However, when the lens is slightly widened, one discovers that alongside the establishment of UNRWA, there was a large-scale move by the American administration taking place to rehabilitate refugees and countries in the years following World War II. UNRWA and the aid for Jewish refugees from Arab countries were supposed to be part of this process.
Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita told Breitbart News last Wednesday that the Kingdom of Morocco supports the Trump administration’s policies towards Iran.
Comparing the Trump administration favorably to its predecessor, Bourita said, “We have an opportunity with this administration. We need to make things happen. We have an opportunity also because they are clear in their position about Iran.”
The exclusive interview, held at the Moroccan Embassy in Bucharest, Romania, focused on Morocco’s concerns regarding Iran’s multifaceted operations in North Africa; the threat these operations pose to Morocco and North and West Africa more generally; and Morocco’s hope to cooperate with the Trump administration in blocking Iran’s rise in the region.
Morocco has a history of poor relations with Iran. Rabat cut off ties with Tehran in 2009, and only renewed them in December 2016. The Kingdom cut relations off once again on May 1, 2018. Since then, Bourita has been avidly seeking U.S. support for the Kingdom’s efforts to confront and defeat the threat Iran now poses to North and West Africa.
The Kingdom’s stance suggests that former Obama administration officials — like former Secretary of State John Kerry, who has continued meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif — are wrong to claim that America’s allies stand opposed to President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the nuclear deal with Iran.
In fact, the U.S. has many allies who are deeply supportive and encouraged by the Trump administration’s strategy for blocking Iran’s path to a nuclear arsenal and stopping its regional and global terror operations.
A Tunisian city where Islamist terrorists struck in 2015 will name four streets for local prominent Jews.
The municipality of Sousse, a vacation destination for Westerners, announced the honor this month recognizing Claude Sitbon, a lawyer; Daniel Uzan, a physician; Yvonne Bessis, a midwife; and for the Ghouila-Houri and Ichoua families of city developers, the news site Kapitalis reported last week.
The streets are located in a new neighborhood of villas in the city’s north.
Three years ago, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack in Sousse that killed 38.
Tunisia, which had a Jewish population of 140,000 prior to Israel’s creation in 1948, now has a dwindling community of 1,700 Jews. It is the second largest of any Arab country after Morocco’s 3,000 Jews.
The Tunisian Association for Support to Minorities, or ATSM, which often flags expressions of anti-Semitism, praised the Sousse municipality’s move and called it “important for encouraging multiculturalism.”
As with the Right, left-wing populism is the result of a passionate awakening of popular public opinion against the ruling class. This awakening disrupts agreements, political regulations and balances achieved in the aftermath of the crises of the 20th century. It also foments anti-Semitism, which has lately been seen mainly on the Left.
Corbyn did not want to bow his head in submission to his colleagues in Labour, who sought to prevent the party’s destruction as a result of its members divided views on the anti-Semitism controversy. They did not want the wind blowing through Momentum’s sails to weaken. After all, the organization, comprised of a network of passionate activists, flourished on social media. Anti-Semitism is not the essence of left-wing ideology; it contradicts its humanist assumptions. But from a sociological perspective, anti-Semitism is closely related to the awakening of social protest.
The divide between ideology and sociology is particularly noticeable in the leftist populism currently on the rise in Europe and the United States. Ideology or organized programs like Labour’s 1945 nationalization efforts are not the strong point of left-wing populism but sociology. Radical statements and words can enlist the masses. Their plans can be summed up not as fundamental change to the relationship between production and the structure of the global economy but the redistribution of resources – with the clear potential to slip into the destructive pattern now seen in Venezuela that that entails.
When emotions are at the core of the debate in Europe, it is not surprising to see anti-Semitism rear its ugly head on the Left. The danger is clear: Anti-Semitism is built into the miserable situation of the Left. The Left has no practical plan to rescue society from the inequality created by the Right. It has only rhetoric. And when rhetoric is the main thing, the anti-Semitic beast will always be at the center.
A professor @U_of_michigan wrote this letter to a student who was planning on studying in #Israel. Academic boycotts aren’t just theoretical. They have a direct impact on students daily lives on campus. This is why we fight. pic.twitter.com/VNUqa9kSvL
— CAMERA on Campus (@CAMERAonCampus) September 17, 2018
A Spanish district court has annulled a BDS resolution passed by the municipal council of Ayamonte, a town in the country’s southwest, banning any association or economic agreement with Israeli companies and organizations.
The decision was made September 4 in response to a legal suit by the ACOM anti-BDS organization in Spain, which has succeeded in fighting a strong battle against the spate of more than 100 municipal and regional council BDS resolutions.
ACOM has succeeded in having approximately 35 of these resolutions repealed or annulled, of which the Ayamonte resolution, originally passed in May 2017, is the latest.
The initiative behind these resolutions, all of which are extremely similar in content, comes principally from the left-wing populist Podemos Party which is strongly pro-Palestinian.
These BDS motions include provisions banning the municipality or local authority from entering into contracts and agreements with Israeli companies and entities, and even banning business ties and agreements with Spanish citizens who are associated with Israel or Israeli organizations and companies.
The State could face infringement proceedings by the EU or a third party if a Bill that would ban imports from Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories is passed, the European Commission has warned.
A Government official privately sought the advice of the commission’s trade directorate last week on the proposed legislation, which is sponsored by Independent Senator Frances Black and passed its first vote in the Seanad in July with the support of Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, Labour and some Independents.
Fine Gael opposes the passage of the Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018 on the basis of advice from the Attorney General that trade is an exclusive competence of the EU and under EU law Ireland cannot introduce a unilateral ban on goods imported from Israeli settlements.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said the Government opposes Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands. But he also said that international trade fell under the common commercial policy of the EU and that legally no member state has taken action on a national basis on such an issue.
DaphneAnson: Hoary-headed Haters Harangue HSBC (video)
Here are some more of those bourgeois silver-haired types who seem to proliferate among PSC branches in genteel parts of the UK. This bunch are spending a nice sunny Saturday (15 September) in Kingston-on-Thames spreading hate against the Jewish State.
To quote the video maker and uploader, Jewish BDSer Seymour Alexander, aka MrAlexSeymour, they are:
“Part of a nationwide protest organized by PSC calling on HSBC through demos outside its high street branches to stop facilitating the deadly arms trade with Israel.”
All in all, although these fanatics seem to be be distributing their anti-Israel propaganda to a large number of passers-by, they may hardly be said to be doing a roaring trade, considering how many people walk briskly past them with hardly a glance.
Prosecutors in Geneva have opened a rape and sexual misconduct investigation against Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, who has been detained in France since February on separate rape charges, Swiss media reported Sunday.
The Tribune de Geneve newspaper quoted justice ministry spokesman Henri Della Casa as saying that authorities had decided to open a formal criminal inquiry into allegations that Ramadan raped a woman in a Geneva hotel in 2008.
“I confirm the opening of an inquiry,” the paper quoted Della Casa as saying, a key step that indicated the authorities believed the allegations merit further investigation.
The accuser lodged her complaint in April.
“The prosecutors and Geneva police have worked quickly and worked well,” Romain Jordan, the lawyer representing Ramadan’s Swiss accuser, told AFP in an email.
He described the decision to open a criminal inquiry as “a major advance” that “demonstrates the seriousness of the allegations made by our client.”
In a gross violation of journalistic ethics and the network’s own published guidelines which require that “commentaries shall be clearly separated from news,” a Deutsche Welle Arabic television anchorwoman editorialized that the Palestinian Authority’s claim against Israel at the International Criminal Court is “a step we have been waiting for a long time.”
In the Sept. 10 broadcast of “Massaiya on DW,” the Arabic-language evening news magazine of Germany’s public international broadcaster, moderator Dima Tarhini was discussing the American closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington, D.C., when she failed to filter out her personal views. Speaking with her two guests, a diplomat from Ramallah and a George Mason University professor residing in Washington, D.C., Tarhini breached the journalistic imperative to refrain from editorializing, stating (just over 14 minutes into the broadcast):
However the Palestinian side, Dr. [Mohammed] Cherkaoui, has turned to the International Criminal Court, and this was previously, I mean, a step we have been waiting for a long time, and now they have done this and it seems that there are several issues [that can be tackled through such ICC lawsuits], like raising the case of Khan Al-Ahmar in front of the court… Shouldn’t that at least be credited to the Palestinian side, since this is what has [indeed] invoked anger in the American side because it might incriminate Israel, according to what the analysts say? [What is] your take [on the matter], being the expert of international affairs?
Julian Assange had just pulled off one of the biggest scoops in journalistic history, splaying the innards of American diplomacy across the web. But technology firms were cutting ties to his website, WikiLeaks, cable news pundits were calling for his head and a Swedish sex crime case was threatening to put him behind bars.
Caught in a vise, the silver-haired Australian wrote to the Russian Consulate in London.
“I, Julian Assange, hereby grant full authority to my friend, Israel Shamir, to both drop off and collect my passport, in order to get a visa,” said the letter, which was recently obtained by The Associated Press.
Assange’s involvement with Shamir, a fringe intellectual who once said it was the duty of every Christian and Muslim to deny the Holocaust, would draw indignation when it became public.
According to his personal website, Shamir was born in Novosibirsk, Siberia, and moved to Israel in 1969. After serving as a paratrooper in the army and fighting in the 1973 Yom Kippur War he took up journalism, the website says, and worked for the BBC in London. After spending time in Japan, he returned to Israel in 1980 and wrote for the daily newspaper Haaretz. He also served as the Knesset spokesman for the Israel Socialist Party (Mapam). In 2004 he was baptized as a Greek Orthodox Christian.
The November 30, 2010, Assange missive is part of a much larger trove of WikiLeaks emails, chat logs, financial records, secretly recorded footage and other documents leaked to The Associated Press.
The Hungarian government announced last week that the ownership and management of the new Holocaust museum, scheduled to open in Budapest next year, will be transferred to EMIH – Hungarian Jewish Federation in Hungary, affiliated with Chabad. The decision aims to resolve a years-long dispute between the Hungarian government and Mazsihisz, the Federation of Jewish communities in Hungary, associated with the ‘Neolog’ community (the Hungarian equivalent of the Reform movement).
Mazsihisz had opposed the appointment of a historian responsible for the content displayed in the museum. Rabbi Shlomo Koves, the chief rabbi of the EMIH – Hungarian Jewish Federation, noted that “transferring ownership to the Jewish community is intended to end the dispute by delegating responsibility for the content in the museum, as well as how it is displayed. This is very good news and we commend it.”
The government decision on the matter, preceding an official statement, states: “The government agrees to transfer the ownership of the House of Fates to the United Hungarian Jewish Congregation – Statusquo Ante (EMIH–which stands for Egységes Magyarországi Izraelita Hitközség,) and to its owner, EMIH, or to a museum institution established by the owner of EMIH as its appointed operator, as being the operator and manager of the House of Fates.”
An Israeli company says it has come up with a unique item to protect against the threat of school shootings – a bulletproof backpack that transforms into a bulletproof vest.
Masada-Armour says its backpack also deploys a protective vest in less than two seconds by flipping out an armored plate from a concealed compartment. The standard protection claims to stop handgun bullets while upgraded versions can block rifle fire.
Co-owner Yair Rosenberg said the product, with its front and back protection, was designed to provide schoolchildren defenses against mass-shooting attacks.
“People are looking for solutions and this is very beneficial,” he said.
Some of the biggest names in Bollywood will be heading to Israel next month for an unprecedented event celebrating Indian culture and celebrity.
Among the close to 80 actors, singers and dancers who will perform at the Rishon Lezion Live Park on October 9 are some huge stars including Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit and Shilpa Shetty. These stars are all tabloid mainstays in India, with huge social media followings: Kumar has 28 million Twitter followers, while Shetty has 7 million Instagram followers and Dixit has 25 million fans on Facebook.
The stars will be joined by dozens of Bollywood performers for an evening of song and dance. The performance will be preceded by an event selling traditional Indian food and drink, and featuring men and women in traditional Indian dress.
“Israel is about to bear witness to a once-in-a-lifetime show,” said Oren Penker, the CEO of Bollywood Israel Productions, which is staging the event.
“In all of Israel’s history there has never been a Bollywood show of this size including acting, music and dance. This show is a salute to Israel, and reflects the strong connection that exists between the cultures.”
Israel will approve the immigration of some 1,000 members of the Falashmura tribe from Ethiopia to Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told ministers on Monday.
“I have decided that approximately 1,000 community members — whose children are already here — must be brought to Israel,” Netanyahu said at a ministerial committee for the integration of Ethiopian immigrants according to a statement from his office.
The prime minister said he had instructed Interior Minister Aryeh Deri to draft a government decision on the matter.
Netanyahu told ministers it was “not a simple decision” citing unspecified “other ramifications,” a likely reference to the debate in Israel over tribe members’ Jewishness.
He stressed that only tribe members with family already in Israel would be included in the decision.
The Falashmura are Ethiopian Jews whose ancestors converted to Christianity, often under duress, generations ago.
There are approximately 8,000 tribe members in Ethiopia with close relatives in Israel who are waiting to immigrate.
It was not clear what would happen to the remaining 7,000 people.
Ethiopian-Israeli director Aalam-Warqe Davidian’s acclaimed debut feature film “Fig Tree” won the prestigious Audentia Award for Best Female Director at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday. The award comes with a prize of €30,000 ($34,952).
Set at the end of the Ethiopian Civil War and filmed entirely in Ethiopia, “Fig Tree” follows a Jewish Ethiopian teenage girl, Mina, as she attempts to save her Christian boyfriend from being drafted, even as she and her family prepare to flee the country for Israel.
The film, in Amharic with Hebrew and English subtitles, defeated 12 others in the final round.
Davidian, 38, moved to Israel when she was 11 and graduated from the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School in Jerusalem.
She has made history as the first Israeli woman of Ethiopian heritage to direct a full-length feature film.
“I went through a lot of emotional ups and downs this week with the film’s screening at the Toronto International Film Festival,” Davidian said on Sunday.
In an English-language video released Monday and titled “If Israel were a village of 100 persons,” the Central Bureau of Statistics offers a lighthearted snapshot of Israeli society at the start of the Jewish new year.
For one thing, Israelis are evenly divided between men and women at 50 percent each, and have lots of kids — 28% are under 15.
The figures offer a broad brushstroke outline of Israeli society, showing that Jews make up 74% of Israelis, Arabs 21% and “others” 5%.
Surveying the Jewish population, the CBS figures show 45% of Israeli Jews say they are secular, 34% “traditional,” and roughly 11% each “religious” and “ultra-Orthodox.”
The video also offers insights into Israelis’ daily lives, such as the fact that 74% of them live in cities, 15% in small towns, just 10% in rural regional councils and only 1% in places without any municipal status — farms, tent encampments, military facilities and so forth.
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