Gerald M. Steinberg: The Shakir Case: Human Rights Watch vs. Israel
Both ostensibly and legally, the Omar Shakir case coming before the Israeli High Court on September 24 is not about Human Rights Watch (HRW) per se. The formal question is whether Shakir, the “Israel and Palestine Director” at HRW, violated both the terms of his visa and the law that mandates the exclusion from Israel of leaders of the BDS movement.
The government’s case, reinforced by amicus briefs filed by Israeli watchdog groups (including NGO Monitor), includes overwhelming evidence of Shakir’s BDS activity. HRW’s legal team argues that the case is political, asserting that Israel is targeting HRW for alleged human rights work that is critical of Israel. The organization claims that Shakir’s BDS work ended when he arrived in Israel in 2016.
The Jerusalem District Court was unimpressed by the HRW spin, and its ruling accepted the government’s position. Shakir was nevertheless allowed to stay in the country pending the High Court appeal.
Although its language is narrowly legal and technical, this case reflects major issues not only for Israel but in the wider realms of lawfare, soft power, and public diplomacy. The arguments on human rights and nebulous aspects of international law are proxies for a multi-front war that has been escalating for 20 years around soft power de-legitimacy. This 21st-century political, legal, and economic war seeks to demonize and thereby destroy Israel, much as the wars fought by armies and missiles attempted to defeat the Jewish state on the battlefield.
From its opening shots almost 20 years ago, HRW has been a leader in the attacks against Israel, and the Shakir case is an important milestone in this history. HRW brings an annual budget of $92 million ($641 million over the past decade) to the battlefront and provides a vast array of skilled social and mainstream media warriors. The image of a small group of volunteers sacrificing their spare time to promote universal human rights values is a façade. These are highly paid mercenaries waging propaganda wars with all the weapons money can buy. (h/t IsaacStorm)
When the Joint List, the Arab party that emerged as Israel’s third largest in the recent round of elections, endorsed Benny Gantz as its candidate for prime minister on Sunday, pundits took to every available perch to declare the moment historic. After all, no Arab party has ever endorsed a Jewish leader, and Ayman Odeh, the party’s Obama-esque leader, seized the moment properly by tweeting a line from Psalms. To many, this felt like a breath of fresh air, a surge of coexistence and compromise after Benjamin Netanyahu’s hard-line policies.
The hosannas, however, are premature: The Joint List, sadly, remains a vehemently anti-Zionist party whose members have often expressed their support for convicted terrorists. All it takes is a brief look at the party and its principles to learn why Gantz—whose Blue and White party is currently Israel’s most popular, with 33 Knesset seats—should immediately and forcefully reject this endorsement.
Most egregious among the party’s members, perhaps, is Heba Yazbak. A doctoral student studying gender and colonialism at Tel Aviv University, Yazbak has occasionally taken to Facebook to praise convicted terrorists, most notably Samir Kuntar. On April 22, 1979, Kuntar, the teenage son of a wealthy Lebanese family, landed a rubber dingy on the shore of the northern Israeli town of Nahariya. Together with three other terrorists, he shot and killed a police officer before breaking into the apartment of the Haran family and taking them hostage. Smadar, the family’s mother, managed to hide with her 2-year-old daughter, Yael. Fearful that the toddler’s cries will give them away, she stifled the child’s whimpers, accidentally suffocating her to death. Kuntar then led the family father, Danny, to the nearby beach, together with his 4-year-old daughter, Einat. When IDF soldiers arrived to free the hostages, Kuntar executed Danny in front of his daughter’s eyes. He then grabbed Einat, and, using the butt of his rifle, smashed her head against a nearby rock.
Kuntar was released from Israeli prison in 2008 in return for the bodies of two fallen Israeli soldiers. He received a hero’s welcome from Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, and continued to plan attacks against Israelis, earning himself an international terrorist designation from the United States Department of State. He was killed in 2015 in a strike south of Damascus, which many believe was orchestrated by Israel. (h/t IsaacStorm)
Such direct admonitions appear to have helped prompt Special Envoy Carr, to, paraphrasing the bard, “show us the mettle of his (intellectual) pasture.” Rising to the occasion, without hesitation, Elan Carr replied: “So, first of all, there is no question that’s the case,” openly acknowledging the ADL findings demonstrating a disproportionate prevalence of extreme Antisemitism amongst Muslims, worldwide.
Carr then added, emphatically,
Virtually all of the violence against Jews in Western Europe has been from the Arab [Muslim] and [broader] Muslim population—virtually all. So, we cannot ignore that fact, we can’t downplay that fact. That is, we’re stuck with it, and that is something we have to acknowledge.
Although Carr further suggested going “to the source,” the Arab Muslim Middle East, and encouraging “these countries to change the way they speak about Jews,” he failed to identify the canonical Islamic Antisemitic motifs inculcated by the Middle East’s most authoritative religious teaching institutions, notably, Sunni Islam’s Vatican, Al-Azhar University, which animate this Jew-hating discourse.
Kudos to Elan Carr for courageously shattering the prevailing, enforced silence of our national political class regarding the global pandemic of Muslim Jew-hatred, embodied by Malaysian Prime Minister, and 2019 Muslim Man Of The Year, Mahathir Mohamad. It is my fervent hope Mr. Carr will next acknowledge how this pandemic of hate is rooted in mainstream Islam. Such acknowledgment must be followed, in turn, by intellectually honest admonition of institutional Islam to begin its own mea culpa-based process—akin to Vatican II/Nostre Aetate—for removing theological Islamic Jew-hatred from the minbar.
I already blogged Meir Zamir’s previous discovery, that the British in 1944 were engaged in convincing the Syrian opposition to reject the French Mandate, accept the British and together they’ll create a Greater Syria with Jordan and there’ll be no Jewish state.
U.K. Intel Encouraged Arab Armies to Invade Israel in 1948
Intelligence obtained by the French secret services in the Middle East sheds new light on Britain’s role in the Arab-Israeli War of Independence. It was reported that
Brig. Iltyd Clayton…“architect” of the Greater Syria plan, the Oriental Bloc and the bilateral defense treaties with the Arab states – was now advocating a new scheme for the partition of Palestine. The plan proposed that : “Imperialist Lebanon will annex the Western Galilee up to Shavei Zion; Syria the northeastern part of the Galilee and part of its southern region; Egypt will have part of the cake; and Transjordan will swallow up the rest.”
In fact, these and other reports in the Lebanese press on the activities of British secret agents were part of a secret war being waged by French intelligence against the British.
Information conveyed by the French intelligence services to the Haganah [the prestate underground Jewish army] in the fall of 1947 indicated that Brig. Clayton and his assistants were involved in a new initiative to secure Britain’s strategic position in the Middle East, and linked Clayton to the escalating Arab-Jewish conflict in Palestine…Brig. Clayton had, on December 17, 1947, reached an understanding with Lebanese Prime Minister Riyad al-Sulh, according to which the British forces would evacuate northern Palestine and give free rein to the irregular forces of the Arab Liberation Army, headed by Fawzi al-Qawuqji, to attack Jewish settlements.
Ankara hosted a pro-Palestinian conference last week that featured radical Islamists who urged the obliteration of the Jewish state and advocated the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign targeting Israel.
“Israel must be dissolved and destroyed,” said one speaker, according to a report in the German daily Die Welt.
Speakers also urged boycotts, divestments and sanctions (BDS) against Israel at the event titled “Congress on the Future of Islamic World and Palestine.”
Kadir Arakas, the chairman of a Turkish-Shi’ite association, said “resistance in Palestine is important” during the “weakest period of Israel’s history.” Arakas urged that no Islamic country reach agreements with Israel or work toward closer relations with the Jewish state.
He did not define “resistance” but the meaning of the word for Iran’s mullah regime and its chief proxy, the Shi’ite movement Hezbollah, is violence against Israel. “If we want the liberation of al-Aqsa Mosque [in Jerusalem], we have to help the mujahedeen,” said Arakas.
The Islamic Republic of Iran’s Ayatollah Mohsen Araki also spoke at the event. At a conference of Islamic clerics in Beirut in 2015, Araki supposedly said that “annihilation of the Zionist regime is a sure thing and Quranic pledge.” The pro-Iranian Taghrib News Agency reported on Araki’s genocidal antisemitic remarks. Araki served as the personal representative for Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in London.
It would also be a mistake to think that anti-Semitism is confined to the political Right. Karl Marx, in 1847, repeated the ancient calumny that “Christians really did slaughter human beings and eat and drink human flesh at Communion.” The Second Intifada and the Arab–Israeli impasse retrained focus on the Jews. In 2001 journalist Chris Hedges wrote in Harper’s that Israeli soldiers “entice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport.” On Holocaust Memorial Day in 2003, The Independent ran a political cartoon that showed Ariel Sharon eating the head of a Palestinian baby. Recently Rutgers University professor Jasbir Puar was celebrated for enrobing the canard of Jewish organ theft in a sumptuous fabric of critical theory.
A Left that insists on a myopic analysis of race and power, taking the supernatural coordination inherent in conspiracy theories and offloading it onto “systems” and “structures,” is, at best, oblivious to the anti-Semitism of putative victims who “punch up.” In that moral void, the Holocaust becomes a drain catch for whatever is the crisis of the day. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez retrofits it to Trump’s border policies, which she calls “dehumanizing.” Yet she defends Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, who partner with present-day peddlers of the blood libel. The Holocaust parallel there is much clearer.
We cannot afford double standards. In Poland in the aftermath of the Holocaust, 42 Jewish residents of Kielce were murdered by their neighbors acting on rumors that Jews had kidnapped a young boy. In Brooklyn today, Jews are attacked on the street with increasing frequency. Many of those hate crimes are committed in Crown Heights, where in 1991 an anti-Semitic riot broke out after rumors that Jews had hoarded emergency medical attention for themselves while a local young boy died.
America has seen two mass murders of Jewish worshipers in the past year. Stereotypes of the anti-human are the armature of extremism. “Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a god,” Eric Hoffer observed, “but never without a belief in a devil.” (h/t IsaacStorm)
NYPost Editorial: The Women’s March still has an anti-Semitism problem
The new board included Zahra Billoo, who has tweeted that “apartheid Israel kills children as a hobby” and that she see no “difference between American youth leaving the country to join isis or idf . . . both are murderous, war crime committing terrorist entity.” That’s ISIS and the Israeli Defense Force, the law-bound army of a democratic US ally.
An instant outcry led the new board to vote her out, but its members still include:
Charlene Carruthers, who in 2018 after a trip to the Middle East, dropped an extended Twitter rant about the “massacre in Gaza,” adding that she is “afraid . . . to speak out against the Israeli occupation [because she’s] witnessed the consequences”
Samia Assad, a Palestinian activist with the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice, retweeted a video with the caption “Israel = worse than the devil.” In a “Voice of Santa Fe” podcast, she ranted that, under President Trump, “[Muslims] are going to be targeted like no other time in history . . . I feel like I’m in Nazi Germany.”
Rinku Sen penned a San Francisco Chronicle op-ed complaining of America’s acceptance of the “supremacist aspects of Zionism.” She also called Zionism — the movement that created a country whose population consists of at least 30% Sephardic Jews and 20% non-Jews, including Muslims — as a “movement that claims all of the land from Iraq to Egypt for Ashkenazi (white) Jews”
This is no course correction: The Israel-haters have colonized the Women’s March, and they’re not letting go.
Petra Marquardt-Bigmam: Rashida Tlaib Endorses Prominent Antisemite — and No One Cares
Most importantly, however, Tlaib’s enthusiastic embrace of Billoo elevates a radical fringe voice that is not representative of mainstream American Muslims. Pew surveys show that American Muslims are “largely assimilated, happy with their lives, and moderate with respect to many of the issues that have divided Muslims and Westerners around the world.” Pew found that two-thirds of American Muslims acknowledge “that the quality of life for Muslims in the US is better than in most Muslim countries.”
And nearly half (48 percent) of American Muslims say that Muslim leaders in the United States “have not done enough to speak out against Islamic extremists.”
Billoo, by contrast, has always been very proud of her extremist brother.
In 2007, Billoo happily announced on her blog: “my lil’ brother was quoted in the Jewish Journal.” But Billoo had no reason to be proud of her brother Ahmed, who told The Jewish Journal that “the righteousness of suicide bombers needs to be evaluated on a ‘case-by-case basis.’” Ahmed Billoo was clearly reluctant to condemn suicide bombings and explained that he believed they were “something that Islam justifies,” claiming that it was “very rare that I meet someone who says suicide bombings in Palestine are not justified.”
Fast forward to July 2019, and Zahra Billoo’s brother Ahmed is a cleric, also known as Ahmed Ibn Aslam Billoo, who leads a trip to Jerusalem for his employer, the “Institute of Knowledge” in California. When departing from BenGurion Airport, Ahmed Billoo reportedly posted a no longer publicly accessible — but archived — Facebook update that he was “feeling annoyed,” adding an invocation in Arabic that reads in translation: “Oh God, reduce their numbers, exterminate them, and don’t leave a single one alive.” The hashtag “Zionists” in English clarified whom Ahmed Billoo wanted exterminated.
Upon his arrival in the US, Ahmed Billoo apparently complained about harassment by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials, and his sister Zahra eagerly seized the opportunity to emphasize: “My brother @AhmedIbnAslam makes me proud often but there’s a special appreciation I have here – putting his privilege to good use, asserting his rights, speaking out against @CBP harassment, and thereby making it somewhat easier for those who are unable.”
Rashida Tlaib legitimizes Zahra Billoo’s unhinged views, and Zahra Billoo legitimizes her brother’s extremism, all for the sake of a supposedly “progressive” #FreePalestine agenda that seems motivated primarily by a bigoted and even murderous hate for the world’s only Jewish state.
Every left-wing cause is ‘Cause+anti-Zionism’. Hating Israel is the price of entry pic.twitter.com/eeTQ4Jgum4
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) September 23, 2019
Pressure is mounting on Sen. Bernie Sanders to cut ties with longtime campaign surrogate Linda Sarsour, with critics such as Manhattan billionaire Ronald Lauder citing her long history of anti-Semitic comments.
“Linda Sarsour is a virulent anti-Semite who has publicly stated that ‘nothing is creepier than Zionism.’ Her views have no place in our political discourse and any candidate who associates with her is guilty of handing a megaphone to anti-Semites around the country,” Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, told The Post.
“What’s even more disturbing is that Bernie Sanders, the only Jewish candidate, has chosen an anti-Semitic surrogate,” the Manhattan cosmetics mogul added.
Lauder’s sentiments were echoed by the Zionist Organization of America, which also called on the Brooklyn-born Democratic Socialist to pull the plug.
“It is particularly painful that Jewish Senator Bernie Sanders is (again, as he did in 2016) employing vicious Jew-hater and terrorism promoter Linda Sarsour as a campaign surrogate,” according to a statement issued by the group.
“ZOA likewise urges Senator Sanders to immediately disassociate himself from vicious Jew-hater Linda Sarsour.”
Deven Anderson, who recently joined Pete Buttigieg’s (D.) presidential campaign as a regional organizing director in Columbia, S.C., has a history of praising anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and attended a sermon where Farrakhan said “You can walk with a Jew, but you can’t walk with me.”
Between April 2010 and August 2013, Anderson tweeted more than 20 times about Farrakhan, praising his sermons and tweeting out quotes. Two days before Farrakhan spoke at Union Temple Baptist on April 25, 2010, in southeast Washington, D.C., Anderson tweeted about planning to attend the sermon.
In another tweet on April 23, he responded to a now-deleted tweet saying he has “never seen the Honorable Minister Farrakhan in person,” adding that choosing between Cornel West and Farrakhan will be a “real tough decision.” On the morning of the service, he tweeted that he and two friends were “on [their] way to see The Honorable Minister!”
After the event, Anderson tweeted, “all i can say is The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan preached today.” While Anderson didn’t tweet about anything Farrakhan said during his sermon, there is video on YouTube of the remarks, which commemorated the 37th pastoral anniversary of Reverend Willie Wilson.
“When Wall Street saw they were going to regulate, Wall Street paid back all the money. The banks still not loaning you nothing. Do you know why?” Farrakhan asked. “They print money right over there next to the Holocaust Museum. That is not an accident either.”
David Collier: The conference that signals the end of the Labour Party
The followed and the follower
Ignorance was everywhere. These people who wear the lanyards and hate the ‘zionists’, gave ridiculous answers to every question that was raised. Yet even amongst the ignorance we faced, there were subtle differences that separated these people into types.
Some had nothing beyond empty ‘keyword answers’. Know-nothings who have comfortably given themselves over to supporting Palestinians the way they would a football team. The Zionists who support the other team are therefore legitimately open for a torrent of vile and incoherent abuse. These type of discussions are depressingly similar. Where every decision that goes against you is down to nothing more than an ‘off day’ or a blind and biased referee.
They’ve simply joined a cult and learnt as much as necessary to comfortably wear the teams colours.
Then there were those who have more vigorously rationalised their anti-Jewish racism. When confronted with a ‘left field’ question, they could formulate an answer. You could taste the flavour of conspiracy in every response they gave. When questioned about the EHRC, and whether a total condemnation from the commission would shift them, the EHRC simply joined a list of groups conspiring against them. It was all about the rich and powerful manipulating the events of the world.
The end for Labour
The sheer weight of the hostility was like nothing I have ever experienced. Not even at a pro-Hezbollah rally and far beyond the conference of 2017. There is no way back from this. You cannot just remove Corbyn and move on. Too many members of the Labour Party have fully embraced and internally legitimised the logic behind a foul racism. There are far too many in the party who have bought into the split community myth and swallowed the virus whole. They have broken down the walls.
They have even dangerously associated ‘national survival’ and the ‘creation of a new society’ with the need to rid the party and country of ‘Zionist power’. It gets no more insidious than this.
These people can NEVER, not EVER be given the power to turn these thoughts into policies. It will take a generation to undo this damage. So much hate. And this was just day one.
A recent row has surrounded Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn after it was discovered that he signed his named to the 2002 Cairo Declaration which essentially accuses Israel of carrying out a genocide against the Palestinian people as well as backs armed resistance to “the Jewish state,” according to the Telegraph.
The document, signed by Corbyn and a myriad of high-level British politicians including close ally and former Communist Party member Andrew Murray, calls for the boycott of Israel and accuses the state of being guilty of systematically administrating “apartheid” against Palestinian citizens.
The controversy emerged on the night of Labour’s conference in Brighton and was handed out in the form of pamphlets to arriving delegates to paint the party further in a negative light. Critics have claimed that his decision to sign the document places him on the side of those who question Israel’s right to exist.
Many moderate party members have called out Corbyn’s stance, adding that British Jews are fearful of what a government under his leadership might look like.
“Jeremy Corbyn’s disturbing obsession with the world’s only Jewish state is once again clear for all to see,” said Labour Friends of Israel Director Jennifer Gerber. “This declaration shows not an ounce of sympathy for the hundreds of innocent Israelis who were being brutally murdered at the time by Palestinian terrorists on buses, [in] pizza restaurants and nightclubs. No wonder the Jewish community fears Corbyn becoming Prime Minister.”
The document claims that Israel robbed the Palestinian people of their land with the help of the United States’ “unlimited support to the Zionist perpetrators of genocidal crimes against the Palestinian people,” and its intent is to give support to the “legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people to resist occupation, liberate their land and return to their homes.”
We have just been given this flyer at the Labour Conference advertising a talk by Azzam Tamimi.
A Malaysian news agency, Bernama, referred to Tamimi in 2006 as a “Hamas special envoy”.
This is what the Labour Party has become 😔 pic.twitter.com/oIC2XhMTtt
— Israel Advocacy Movement (@israel_advocacy) September 23, 2019
It has emerged that the figure behind an emergency motion at the Labour Party Conference against controversial new disciplinary rules on antisemitism previously said that Jewish organisations are “in the gutter” and “part of the problem” and was himself suspended from the Party.
Glyn Secker, the Secretary of the antisemitism-denial group and sham organisation, Jewish Voice for Labour, was suspended from the West Dulwich and Norwood Labour Party in May, but he was able to attend the Party Conference and propose a motion as a member of the Lambeth and Southwark Unite Community union branch.
Under the proposed rules that Mr Secker opposes, panels of Labour’s National Executive Committee would have the power to expel members in disciplinary cases, particularly over antisemitism, whereas currently only the Party’s National Constitutional Committee can do so.
It is extraordinary that a suspended Labour member is able to participate in proceedings of the Labour Party Conference, especially to propose a motion relating to antisemitism despite his record. This is yet another reminder of Labour’s institutional antisemitism and the total failure of its leadership to tackle the problem.
Some of the most telling stories are the ones The New York Times doesn’t print.
In that category falls the recent decision of a section of the American Political Science Association to reject a resolution calling for a boycott of Israel.
Miriam Elman, a political scientist on leave from Syracuse University who is the executive director of the Academic Engagement Network, which opposes boycotts of Israel, wrote a Facebook post reporting, “The proponents of a discriminatory anti-Israel academic boycott resolution (and its accompanying obnoxious FAQ) experienced a colossal defeat.”
She wrote, “This spectacular fail needs to be advertised WIDELY, as we all know that BDS zealots will either try to bury it or spin this as some kind of remarkable victory”
“Bury it” was precisely the approach The New York Times took to the news.
A lengthy Times examination in July of the movement to boycott, divest, and sanction Israel reported, “The idea has significant support, and may be gaining ground” and noted “votes by two faculty groups last year — the Association for Asian American Studies and the larger American Studies Association — for limited boycotts of Israeli academia.”
While Times readers were informed of the votes for boycotting Israel by two faculty groups, the subsequent decision by the political scientists not to boycott Israel was not reported by the Times.
The Munich branch of the Catholic social service organization Caritas pulled the plug on an event slated for Monday in one of its rooms with the pro-BDS Jewish-Palestinian Dialogue Group (JPDG) due to alleged antisemitism.
The Munich-based Abendzeitung paper reported on Thursday that the head of the city’s Jewish community, Charlotte Knobloch, protested in a letter to Caritas against the slated lecture by JPDG.
JPDG supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that targets Israel.
According to the paper, Knobloch, a Holocaust survivor, wrote that Caritas’s decision to offer JPDG a room “in the best case scenario, I have to understand is dangerous carelessness.” She said Caritas was understood up until now as a “reliable partner in the fight against antisemitism.” She urged Caritas to reconsider its decision to host JDPG.
The German parliament classified BDS as antisemitic in May. The City of Munich passed legislation proscribing BDS as antisemitic and banning providing pro-BDS groups with space or subsidies in 2017.
— (((David Lange))) (@Israellycool) September 22, 2019
We have sent correspondence to the school with regards to Dr Swee Ang event and her brush with KKK David duke and hope the school reconsiders platforming of this event https://t.co/KOY6cDIF0Z (2014) by @JakeWSimons @Campaign4T pic.twitter.com/5xFS4iT1K6
— Eye On Antisemitism (@AntisemitismEye) September 23, 2019
Daphne Anson: Cacophony on Carnaby Street (video)
Outside the Puma Store in London’s Carnaby Street at the weekend, hardcore Israel-haters trying, on behalf of the Muslim-dominated Inmnds organisation, to persuade shoppers to boycott the Puma brand owing to Puma’s sponsorship of “Israeli apartheid” attract hardly a glance as shoppers do their own thing.
On this Alex Seymour/Seymour Alexander footage, only one person of their own volition approached the pedlar of the leaflets, specifically to take one. Most people dodge and walk on by.
Little wonder that the Israel-haters attract little custom, given their atrocious and in some cases raucous delivery of the kind of script once so theatrically intoned by Ms Sandra Watfa, who used to be imitated to the best of her ability by the woman with the long grey hair (who, with the dude with an Irish brogue whose shtik is calling for Israel to be expelled from Fifa, had a penchant for boarding Tube trains to recire anti-Israel “poetry”).
The BBC reported only three out of 149 terrorist attacks against Israel in August 2019, and none of the seven rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, according to media watchdog organization BBC Watch.
The Shin Bet security agency’s report on terror attacks (Hebrew) during August 2019 shows that throughout the month a total of 149 incidents took place, including 97 in Judea and Samaria, 25 in Jerusalem and inside the Green Line, and 26 in the Gaza Strip region.
In Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem, the agency recorded 95 attacks with petrol bombs, 14 attacks using pipe bombs, five arson attacks, two shooting attacks, two stabbing attacks, one attack using a grenade and one vehicular attack.
Incidents recorded in the Gaza Strip sector included nine attacks with petrol bombs, three attacks using pipe bombs, one attack using a grenade, three shooting attacks and seven incidents of rocket fire.
Two people were murdered and eight wounded in attacks during the month.
The BBC News website reported the Aug. 7 murder of Dvir Sorek the following day but no follow-up reporting was seen until over two weeks later. The murder of Rina Shnerb and injury of two additional civilians in an IED attack on Aug. 23 was reported.
An incident that took place on the border with the Gaza Strip on Aug. 1 and resulted in injuries to three members of the security forces did not receive any BBC coverage. A stabbing attack in Jerusalem in which a police officer was wounded on Aug. 15 was not reported. A vehicular attack in Gush Etzion the next day in which two civilians were injured was ignored at the time, but referred to in a report a week later.
None of the seven separate incidents of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip during August received any coverage on the BBC News website.
There’s a new player within the Western Arabic-language media universe: Independent Arabia – a joint venture of the UK based Independent and the Saudi media group SRMG, with ties to the Saudi state.
Unfortunately, so far it’s shown little commitment to western journalistic standards, and often prefers following Arab newspapers’ preference for parroting anti-Israel propaganda.
For example, a recent article by ‘Izz ad-Deen Abu ‘Eisheh, Independent Arabia’s correspondent in the Gaza strip (“Reviving ancient manuscripts in Gaza to refute the Israeli narrative”, Aug. 12) included an interview with a Hamas government official about the restoration of several manuscripts, dating back to the 16th century.
Mr. Abd al-Lateef Abu Hashem, an expert overseeing the project on behalf of Hamas’ Ministry of Waqfs and Religious Affairs in the Strip, made a few preposterous claims about Israel and its relation to local history, claims that went unchallenged in the article. Abu Hashem was uncritically quoted stating (all translations, emphasis and in-bracket remarks are by CAMERA Arabic unless otherwise specified):
He claims that the “Israeli narrative” suggests that, in the past, “Palestine” was uninhabited:
“the manuscripts are the memory of the Ummah [this could mean either the Islamic Ummah, i.e. all Muslims, or the Arab Ummah, i.e. all Arabs], they […] prove that this land was teeming with its residents and scholars. This is contrary to the Israeli narrative, which says that Palestine was void of residents”
It is unclear what Abu Hashem means when he refers to the “Israeli narrative”. However, if there is, among Jewish Israelis today, a generally-accepted view of the history of their homeland, it clearly does not include the assumption that it was completely empty of residents, either Jews or non-Jews, at any given time since antiquity.
Situation: An Arabic-language book festival in Haifa attracts 5,000 people
New York Times reporter: “Hmmm… how do I make Israel look bad? I know, I’ll write about the fact that Arabs can’t get books published in Lebanon because Israel doesn’t trade with enemy countries.” pic.twitter.com/aLHSpaZMPI
— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) September 23, 2019
This passage in particular is telling. Why is Lebanon’s ban on Israeli products understandable worthy of a brief reference and a glib “of course,” while Israel’s ban on particular kind of Lebanese product warrants an entire article? pic.twitter.com/CubHKqF7ZW
— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) September 23, 2019
On September 21st the BBC News website published a report headlined “TWA Flight 847: Greek police arrest aircraft hijacking suspect” which opened by telling readers that:
“A 65-year-old Lebanese man suspected of involvement in the hijacking of an American airliner in 1985 has been arrested in Greece, police say.
The man, who has not been named, was detained on Mykonos after disembarking from a cruise ship on Thursday.
His identity came up as being wanted by Germany during a passport check.
The TWA Flight 847 was seized by militants thought to belong to the Islamist group Hezbollah, a claim they denied. A US navy diver was killed.”
In other words, in just one sentence the BBC managed to portray airline hijackers as “militants” and a terrorist organisation as an “Islamist group” as well as to suggest to audiences that the hijackers’ connections to Hizballah are still in doubt thirty-four years after the event and to amplify the terrorist organisation’s related denials.
The bizarre incident of the rogue Marrakesh Holocaust memorial, built by an idiosyncratic German “guerilla-artist,” and the heavy-handed destruction of the monument by the Moroccan authorities, reveal a much larger angst about the meaning of memorializing the Holocaust and its politicization, claim Aomar Boum and Daniel Schroeter writing in Haaretz. The Marrakesh case is reminiscent of an earlier incident in Ashdod, Israel, in which a plaque praising the Moroccan wartime king Mohamed V for ‘saving the Jews’ from the Holocaust, became the object of controversy.
Clearly the government felt it had to act, once international attention was drawn to a freelance Holocaust memorial with neither official sanction nor the approval of the Moroccan Jewish community leaders, and was triggering loud opposition.
But the Moroccan government’s bulldozing of this rogue monument was not only about its unauthorized construction. It was also about controlling the narrative of the Holocaust in Morocco.
For the Moroccan government today, the story of Mohammed V, protector of the roughly 240,00 Moroccan Jews in the then-French Protectorate, exemplifies Morocco’s open-mindedness and tolerance.
Praising Mohammed V’s heroic role defying Vichy to protect the Jews of Morocco is a sine qua non of any Holocaust commemoration in Morocco – and by all indication, this was Bienkowski’s crucial mistake.
The descendants of a Swedish diplomat who saved tens of thousands of Jewish lives during the Holocaust are demanding that their government take a more active role in pressing Russia to divulge details regarding his death, 74 years after he disappeared into the Soviet prison system during the final months of World War II.
Raoul Wallenberg, a businessman-turned-diplomat often described as the “Swedish Schindler,” saved around 30,000 Hungarian Jews by placing them in an ad hoc network of safe houses with diplomatic status around the Hungarian capital.
When the Soviets entered Budapest months before the war ended, they summoned Wallenberg to their headquarters over allegations of espionage in January 1945, after which he was never seen again. He was 32.
“I want specific answers to specific questions,” Wallenberg’s niece Marie von Dardel-Dupuy told The Guardian on Monday, describing her family’s effort to push the Swedish government to take a more assertive stance vis-a-vis the Russians, who have long resisted releasing information that could cast light on the diplomat’s fate.
Von Dardel-Dupuy and Wallenberg’s daughters Marie and Louise have long argued that Stockholm has been largely passive regarding the matter out of a desire not to antagonize the Russians. This week the three women plan on visiting the Swedish capital to lobby for action.
Less than a year after he immigrated to Israel from Russia, Dima Eygenson has already voted twice in his adopted country.
In April, Israeli voters cast ballots in an election that resulted in a virtual tie between the longtime incumbent prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and political newcomer Benny Gantz. On Tuesday, they were back at the polls because Netanyahu couldn’t cobble together a governing coalition.
“I’m a seasoned voter by now,” Eygenson, a 39-year-old marketing specialist, said “It’s pretty exciting and new to me that voting could actually make a difference, lead to a real change in the country’s fate. You can vote in Russia, but it will make no difference.”
The sense that Russia is growing increasingly illiberal is helping drive a surge of emigration by Jews there to Israel in the past four years. Since 2015, nearly 40,000 of them have arrived in Israel. In the entire decade prior to 2015, only 36,784 Russian Jews had come.
That’s not the only reason for the current wave of immigration: among other causes are economic woes and a persistent crime problem. Yet many observers and immigrants see those issues as merely contributing factors to an exodus pushed largely by the significant deterioration in personal freedoms under President Vladimir Putin, a phenomenon some have begun to call the “Putin aliyah.”
Local residents gawked from doorways and windows on Sunday as hundreds of Jews careened down the narrow cobbled roads of Szentendre, dancing behind two crimson canopies.
A rolling PA system on a makeshift bicycle cart played a series of horas throughout the sleepy town on the banks of the Danube River, situated about 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of the capital, Budapest. Many locals smiled and bobbed their heads along with the music. Others looked puzzled — fair enough given the odd spectacle in the town where only 300-400 Jews live among its 25,000 residents.
The celebration honored the opening of a new synagogue and community center in Szentendre by EMIH, a Hungarian Orthodox Jewish group affiliated with the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic sect, along with the dedication of a newly written Torah scroll for the congregation. The complex, in the process of completion, will have a prayer sanctuary, classroom and playground facilities for children, a kosher café, and a small art gallery with Judaica and Jewish art.
The hoopla represented only half of the day’s festivities for the EMIH: Directly following the dedication, revelers packed onto buses which proceeded directly to the inauguration of another synagogue, with a brand new Torah scroll of its own, in Budapest’s 13th district.
The State of Israel this week congratulated Saudi Arabia on its national day, showering the Gulf kingdom with warm wishes for peace and security, despite the absence of formal diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Arabic-language Twitter accounts run by the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem on Sunday and Monday issued at least three messages on the occasion of Saudi Arabia’s 89th national day, which, every year on September 23, celebrates King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud naming the area after his family in 1932.
“We congratulate the Saudi people on the occasion of its 89th national day,” the Foreign Ministry’s Arabic-language channel wrote.
“May this holiday take place again in safety, security and a climate of peace, cooperation and good neighborliness. We ask God, the exalted, that your efforts to develop, prosper and advance will be successful,” it said.
Electric battery-powered cars have stolen much of the buzz that hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles generated before the rise of Tesla and its fellow EV makers.
A new technology developed by researchers from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in collaboration with the team that founded the popular Israeli-made phone app Viber promises to put hydrogen back on the grid.
H2Pro uses a water-splitting technology called E-TAC (electrochemical thermally activated chemical) that draws hydrogen out of water by separating it from oxygen. Water is composed of one molecule of hydrogen and two molecules of oxygen.
Removing hydrogen from water is the only environmentally clean way to produce liquid hydrogen, but it’s inefficient and expensive. As a result, hydrogen hasn’t taken off for the generation of electricity production. Nearly all hydrogen produced today (for fertilizers, refineries and methanol production) comes from fossil fuels that release harmful CO2 emissions.
E-TAC technology was developed by Prof. Gideon Grader, Prof. Avner Rothschild and Dr. Hen Dotan at the Technion. Their research was spun off earlier this year into the new company H2Pro of Caesarea, which has raised $5 million from investors including Hyundai.
Investment Expert Recommends Investing in Israeli Companies
Bluestar Indexes CEO, Steven Schoenfeld recommends investors to invest in Israeli companies. Our Michelle Makori has the interview.
Story: Israel is known as start-up nation, Steven Schoenfeld goes into detail on why you should be investing in the growing companies in Israel.
Alex Borstein and Tony Shalhoub of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” won best supporting acting awards at Sunday’s Emmy Awards, which included varied messages of female empowerment after the hostless ceremony.
“I want to dedicate this to the strength of a woman, to (series creator) Amy Sherman-Palladino, to every woman on the ‘Maisel’ cast and crew,” Borstein said, and to her mother and grandmother. Her grandmother survived because she was courageous enough to step out of a line that, Borstein intimated, would have led to her death at the hands of Nazi Germany.
“She stepped out of line. And for that, I am here and my children are here, so step out of line, ladies. Step out of line,” said Borstein, who won the award last year.
Shalhoub added to the three Emmys he earned for his signature role in “Monk.”
1944 Should We Bomb Auschwitz BBC Documentary 2019 (on YT will disappear soon)
The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust will reveal a shofar (ram’s horn typically used during Jewish High Holiday religious services) that was hidden and blown in the Auschwitz concentration camp 75 years ago.
The shofar, which has never before been presented in public view, will be revealed at a Monday news conference. Museum leaders, a descendant of the survivor who inherited the artifact, and religious leaders will come together to display the artifact.
The shofar will join the more than 700 original objects and 400 photographs in the groundbreaking exhibition, which has been visited by more than 100,000 people since opening in early May and which is on view until January 3, 2020.
“Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away.” explores the dual identity of the camp as a physical location – the largest documented mass murder site in human history – and as a symbol of the borderless manifestation of hatred and human barbarity.
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