Melanie Phillips: The Labour Party – a safe space for hate
Today, the party passed the rule change making antisemitic abuse and harassment by Labour members a punishable offence. The Guardian reported:
“The rule change proposed by the Jewish Labour Movement, which has been backed by the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn and the party’s national executive committee, will tighten explicitly the party’s stance towards members who are antisemitic or use other forms of hate speech, including racism, Islamophobia, sexism and homophobia.”
Yet this change is worse than meaningless. Yes, it enables the party to expel antisemites. But crucially, it leaves unresolved the definition of what antisemitism actually is. And you can bet your bottom dollar that Labour will never, ever accept that demonisation and delegitimisation of Israel is the contemporary form of the oldest hatred.
How could it accept that? Its members overwhelmingly subscribe to it – even though many of them haven’t the faintest clue that what they believe to be the truth about the Arab-Israel conflict is in fact a pack of lies from start to finish.
In maintaining this fictitious distinction, Labour wields what it believes to be the ultimate weapon: the anti-Zionist Jews who offer themselves as human shields to protect those who they hope will destroy the State of Israel through demonisation and delegitimisation.
The assumption is that no Jew can be an antisemite; so if Jews say Israel is a Nazi apartheid racist murderous colonialist state committing unspeakabke atrocities, that cannot be antisemitism.
But that’s rubbish. Antisemitism has unique characteristics, including double standards applied to no-one else but the Jews, systemic lies and falsehoods, imputation of a global conspiracy to harm the world in their own interests, blame for crimes of which they are not only innocent but are the victims, and so on. All these characteristics that make antisemitism a unique collective derangement apply to the demonisation of Israel.
And of course, there have always been Jews who have done the antisemites’ dirty work for them. The fact that such a high proportion involved in this latest manifestation of the oldest hatred are people of Jewish descent merely demonstrates the tragic fact that there’s no disorder quite so pathological as when a Jew turns against his or her own identity at the deepest level. Jews are a people like no other; the hatred directed at them is a hatred like no other; and when Jews turn on their own people, they behave in a way that is replicated by no other.
PM Netanyahu’s UN speech
President Trump’s UN speech
Today, BBC anchor Jo Coburn interviewed noted filmmaker and Corbyn backer Ken Loach about this state of affairs, and he proceeded to unintentionally demonstrate just how dire matters have become.
Loach began by forcefully denying the presence of anti-Semitism not just in the Labour party, but on the left in general. “I’ve been going to Labour party meeting for over 50 years,” Loach said. “I’ve gone to trade union meetings. I’ve gone to meetings of left groups and campaigns. I have never, in that whole time, heard a single anti-Semitic word or racist word. Now, I’m not saying it doesn’t exist in society.”
Awkwardly, Loach then followed up this assertion of anti-Semitic innocence by rattling off a series of extremely anti-Semitic claims. First, he declared that progressive Jews, including Labour members of parliament, were inventing anti-Semitic incidents for political purposes, to tarnish Jeremy Corbyn. “It’s funny these stories suddenly appeared when Jeremy Corbyn became leader, isn’t it?” he mused. His BBC interviewer Coburn countered, “Well, they would explain that perhaps Jeremy Corbyn has allowed the oxygen for those sort of views.”
In fact, multiple Jewish Labour MPs have been open about their experiences of prejudice and Corbyn’s failure to counter it. MP Ruth Smeeth famously lamented how the party under Corbyn was no longer “a safe space for Jews.” And among other Labour luminaries, London’s first Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan blamed “the leader of my party” for “failing” to call out anti-Semitism. To Loach, however, these are not honest accounts of bigotry, but a sinister anti-Corbyn conspiracy. “Their aim is to destabilize Jeremy’s leadership,” he insisted. “This story, there is no validity to it. In my experience, no validity whatsoever.”
But Loach’s ugly insinuation that Jews fabricate their own oppression for personal gain—a staple of anti-Semitic invective for centuries—was just the beginning. When asked by Coburn about a fringe session at the Labour conference where a panelist called for open “yes or no” discussion of the Holocaust, the filmmaker point-blank refused to condemn Holocaust denial, demurring that “history is for all of us to discuss” before going off on an unrelated rant about Israeli evil.
Ken Loach Refuses to Condemn Holocaust Denial
Holocaust denial, virulent anti-Semitism and Zionist conspiracy theories are the sort of dangerous, rabble-rousing poison you would expect from a neo-Nazi rally packed with knuckle-scraping skinheads.
Most people would not immediately associate this kind of vile behaviour with a self-styled anti-racist party, allegedly committed to equality and diversity.
But that’s exactly what has been on parade at this week’s Labour conference in Brighton. The Fascist Left have been in full flow, monstering supporters of Israel and demanding that members of the Jewish Labour Movement should be expelled from the party.
The Labour conference is not where you’d expect to find Holocaust deniers, virulent anti-Semitism and Zionist conspiracy theories, but you’d be wrong
Speakers who compared ‘Zionists’ to Hitler’s genocidal Nazis were applauded by delegates at an event advertised in the official conference handbook.
It was even argued that questioning whether the murder of six million Jews during World War II actually happened was a legitimate matter of free speech.
This from activists who in other circumstances would be busily ‘no platforming’ anyone who expressed views which offended their own political sensibilities.
Others claimed that alleging they were guilty of anti-Semitism was a plot by the pro-Israel lobby to stop Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister.
Ah, yes. That evil worldwide Zionist conspiracy again. They get everywhere, don’t they?
Labour members found questioning the Holocaust should be “kicked out on their ear” under new party rules, the Jewish Labour Movement has said.
Mike Katz said the group backs proposals from Labour’s ruling governing body, the National Executive Committee, which seek to change the conditions of membership to explicitly state, among other things, that “prejudicial” conduct includes anti-Semitism.
It follows calls for change from the JLM and others, with the debate emerging against the backdrop of a row over allegations of anti-Semitism at Labour’s conference after a speaker at a fringe event was reported to have said people should be allowed to question if the Holocaust had happened.
Mr Katz told delegates in Brighton: “The purpose of our rule change was to close off a loophole, a cop-out clause which says holding a sincerely held belief makes hate speech okay.
“Come on conference, is it really okay for a member to say they’ve got a sincerely held belief that women are inferior to men, or that the Holocaust didn’t happen? No, of course not.
“We want to see anybody saying that kicked out on their ear.
Miko Peled has sought to clarify the remarks he made at a fringe meeting during the Labour Party conference. In an email to the Guardian reproduced in this article he stated:
“The Holocaust was a terrible crime that we must study and from which we must all learn. I reject the idea that Holocaust deniers, foolish as they may be, should be treated as criminals and I doubt that supporters of Israel should be given the authority to judge who is or is not a racist and antisemite.
“Promoters of racist ideologies should not be given a public platform, and to me that does include people who promote Zionism – which is a racist ideology whose followers have committed and continue to commit crimes against the people of Palestine.
“If we are to do justice to the memory of the millions of victims of the Holocaust, Jewish and Roma and many, many others, then we must engage in robust debate and education about the causes of current, ongoing violence and injustice.”
Here’s a tweet on the same topic.
Yet again, he confuses the issues here. ‘Free speech is now antisemitism’ is a completely meaningless statement. Of course free speech includes antisemitism and all kinds of offensive remarks. He’s not even consistent – in the email quoted above he says:
Promoters of racist ideologies should not be given a public platform
If I’ve understood him correctly, this means those who identify as Zionists (which includes many who strongly oppose Israel’s current government) should be silenced and not deemed capable of adjudicating on issues of antisemitism. Although Peled doesn’t explicitly say that Holocaust deniers should be given a public platform, it’s striking that he reserves his harshest words for LFI and JLM types.
The UK’s Labour party voted Tuesday to adopt new rules to tackle antisemitism during the party’s annual conference in Brighton. The rule change on discrimination was proposed by The Jewish Labour Movement and allows for tougher sanctions against party members who are antisemitic or use other forms of hate speech, including racism, Islamophobia, misogyny and homophobia.
Speaking from the Labour Party Conference, Board of Deputies of British Jews Chief Executive Gillian Merron said: “We are pleased to hear that Labour National Executive Committee’s proposed rule change, modeled on that proposed by the Jewish Labour Movement, has been adopted by conference delegates.” “This is particularly important after the ugly scenes we have witnessed during this conference and shows the need for resolute and robust action,” she added.
The decision came following a fresh scandal on the issue which erupted on the sidelines of the conference in which Israeli-American author and pro-Palestinian activist Miko Peled said people should be allowed to question whether the Holocaust took place in the name of free speech. Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson vowed the party would investigate the speaker and said he was disgusted the party gave him a platform.
Reports also emerged from fringe events of speakers comparing Israel supporters to Nazis and activists calling for the Jewish Labour Movement and Labour Friends of Israel to be kicked out of the party While Jewish groups welcomed the rule change, they said it must be followed up by swift and decisive action.
PreOccupiedTerritory: SS Death Camp Guards Bristle At Being Called Antisemitic (satire)
Security personnel at the busiest of the extermination camps in the Third Reich echoed the sentiments of British Labour Party politicians this week, objecting to being characterized as antisemitic simply because they insult, marginalize, dehumanize, rob, brutalize, isolate, and kill Jews.
Guards, executioners, and administrative staff at the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex voiced displeasure today at being lumped in the popular conception with Jew-haters, accusing those who call them antisemitic of trying to silence discussion of how awful the Jews are. Their remarks came on the heels of statements by Labour figures Ken Livingstone and Ken Loach, who at a conference of the party this week lamented the facts that Holocaust denial was met with charges of antisemitism, and that bad-mouthing Jews as a group carries the automatic consequence of being called antisemitic.
“We know exactly what they mean,” declared Deputy Camp Commandant Dietrich Totenkopf, as he dispensed pellets of Zyklon-B cyanide into a gas chamber crammed full with Jews. “A guy can’t do his part in the Final Solution without getting assaulted by accusations of Jew-hatred. But we know the game. The Jew-controlled media is trying to silence anyone who disagrees with their agenda, let alone does something to combat it, by making it seem that such dissent could only come from fascist monsters.”
“It didn’t start just today,” observed Feliks Krematohr, a guard whose chief duties include beating to death any inmates who fail to stand at attention for the full roll call. “My brother-in-law was part of one of the Einsatzgruppen, the mobile Jew-killing squads, over in Lithuania last year, and as you can imagine, the Jews and their puppets won’t leave him and his colleagues alone. Charges of antisemitism can seriously damage a person’s employment prospects and career – and I’d bet anything that’s exactly what they’re trying to do, too. It’s nothing less than a denial of his rights. They can’t do that.”
The September 2001 Durban conference ostensibly held to mark the end of apartheid and launch the effort to eliminate discrimination and racism in all of its manifestations, was turned into an infamous platform for hate and antisemitism. Denunciations, including from Prof. Irwin Cotler, Mary Robinson (who, as Human Rights Commissioner, presided over this event) and the late US Congressman Tom Lantos continue to reverberate.
The Durban agenda and the singling out of one country continue apace, particularly among many powerful NGOs that claim to be the protectors of human rights and universal principles, including some that spoke under the infamous Item 7 earlier today. The Durban NGO Forum, including the final declaration embody this antisemitism and the leaders of this community, many of whom participated, repeat the slogans and myths in their ongoing campaigns. The funders of these NGOs, including many governments, particularly in Europe, share responsibility for these basic moral violations that has done immeasurable damage to the credibility and reputation of the human rights community.
In the past 16 years, the state of human rights in the world has deteriorated further, highlighting the failures of these institutions.
There is no room for antisemitism and hate in any form within human rights frameworks, and the recent attempt by the Special Rapporteur “on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory” to include a virulent antisemite under the category of a “human rights defender” is a case in point. We also commend the actions of the Commissioner in clearly and immediately rejecting this action.
Thank you Mr. President
A World Bank consultant who raked in £1.7million in bribes while advising the United Nations onpoverty stricken countries has been jailed.
Wassim Tappuni, 64, rigged bidding wars between companies vying for contracts worth £43m to supply medical equipment to hospitals in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Tappuni gave corrupt firms the inside track on what the World Bank was looking for during bidding processes.
He also helped them to discredit rival offers in exchange for huge bribes, which he hid in a secret tax-free Swiss bank account.
Tappuni pulled off the scam from his luxury home in Kingston-upon-Thames, in south-west London, while he was being paid £170,000 a year by the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme .
He was convicted of a total of 13 fraud charges on July 25 following a trial at Southwark Crown Court .
JPost Editorial: Kurdish statehood
As a religious minority whose political independence is at best grudgingly recognized by the nations of the Middle East, Jews are natural allies of the Kurds. Cooperation – particularly military cooperation – dates back at least to 1966 when Israel, with Iranian help, aided Kurds in a battle against Iraq.
Kurdish society in northern Iraq is remarkably tolerant, though the Kurds’ de facto leader, Masoud Barzani, is no democrat.
Israeli flags could be seen on the streets of Erbil on Monday.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his support for “the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to achieve a state of their own.”
Netanyahu happens to be the only head of state who has come out in favor of an independent Kurdistan in northern Iraq.
Netanyahu has since honored Kurds’ request to tone down support. Ministers have reportedly been asked not to speak out on the referendum. Kurds are concerned that their many detractors will use Israel’s support for Kurdish independence against them. Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq’s vice president, said on Sunday during a meeting with US Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Sliman that his country “will not allow the creation of a second Israel in northern Iraq.”
But Israel’s natural and publicized affinity with the Kurdish cause in north Iraq should be the least of the Kurds’ worries. The Kurds have no international support for the referendum. The US, the UN and the EU have all opposed the timing of the referendum. Their central claim is that it shifts attention away from a unified battle against ISIS and sparks separatism and infighting.
Turkey and Iran, which share borders with northern Iraqi Kurdistan, are openly opposed. A fifth of Turkey’s population is Kurdish; a tenth of Iran’s population is. Neither country is interested in igniting Kurdish aspirations at home.
Zionism invented the Palestinian people. Unlike the Kurds, the Palestinian national identity was based exclusively on denying Zionism. The unity is based on the desire to see no Jews in the 1967 or 1948 borders. The desire for nationality and unity has developed—it exists today—but not enough for them to give up on the dream to kick out the Jews. The unwillingness to compromise, which has been proved on every occasion, is the foundation.
That’s also the main difference between the Left and the Right, not just regarding the Kurds but also in terms of nationality. In the Western world, including Israel, there’s deep contempt towards “rightists who think.” It’s the silliest original sin of most “public opinion leaders”—the ease in which solid political perceptions are turned into dust. In Israel, this ease makes it possible to bind together everything that comes from the Right in order to cancel and reject it.
That’s how populism (of which there is no shortage, unfortunately, on the Right) is mixed with a deep-rooted ideology. Anyone who opposes the problematic idea of two states in the 1967 borders is turned into a messianic person seeking a binational state. It’s hard to find writers on the Left who delve deep into the ideas behind Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett, former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and even Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in the rare moments in which he clarifies his comments.
It began somewhere in the ideological battle over influence and ideas: On one side stood the supporters of the utopian “John Lennon” approach of cancelling borders, religions and nationalities, because we’re all human beings; on the other side stood the supporters of nationality and separation between groups with a different identity. Over time, these insights were undermined by populism. The Right and the Left are equally responsible for that, but this tendency on the Left carries a political price—defeat everywhere in the world.
That’s how solid security-strategic perceptions about the need for land and security control are mixed with religious messianism. That’s also how weighty statements about healthy nationality are mixed with slips of the tongue and Facebook nonsense with a nationalistic inclination. That’s how Kurds are mixed with Palestinians for hypocritical reasons, without seeing that the opponents of nationality are actually seeking Palestinian nationality.
The difference between the Kurdish nationality and the Palestinian nationality lies in the ability to survive as an independent state and in the price of this kind of independence. With the Palestinians, it means harming Israel’s security, which is why the interest is reduced independence, somewhere between an autonomy and Netanyahu’s “state minus.” With the Kurds, nationality means a contribution to regional stability. And that’s, very briefly, the entire difference between interest and theory.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday said Israel should “review” its support for Iraqi Kurdish independence, warning the Jewish state’s support for the bid could negatively affect diplomatic ties between Ankara and Jerusalem.
“If they do not review, we cannot take a lot of steps that we were about to take with Israel,” Erdogan was quoted by the official Anadolu news agency as saying. “It is not possible for us to take steps with those who do not see Turkey as a playmaker in the region. Turkey is a playmaker in the region,” he said.
Despite years of close security and intelligence ties, Israel’s diplomatic relations with Turkey have been frosty under Erdogan’s rule, reaching a nadir after Israeli troops raided the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara ship and killed nine Turkish nationals, who attacked them violently aboard, in May 2010.
A well-known conspiracy theorist who claims Israeli and Zionist Jews planned the 9/11 terror attacks spoke at San Jose State University’s flagship library on Saturday, despite strong objections from Jewish faculty members, The Algemeiner has learned.
Christopher Bollyn, described as “a raging anti-Semite” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, lectured at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library — which is jointly run by SJSU and the city of San Jose — about the alleged role of Israeli and American Zionists in orchestrating “false flag” attacks on the World Trade Center. Nearly two dozen people were in attendance, according to an SJSU professor who gave The Algemeiner an account of the event on condition of anonymity.
Bollyn’s beliefs are well recorded. In his 2012 book Solving 9/11: The Deception that Changed the World, Bollyn called the 9/11 attacks “a monstrous Jewish-Zionist crime of our time,” whose culprits were “being protected by a gang of like-minded Jewish Zionists in the highest positions of the U.S. government.”
Despite this, in a now-removed listing on SJSU’s events calendar promoting his appearance (cache available here), Bollyn was only described as an “independent researcher, investigative journalist, and author.”
Jonathan Roth, a history professor at SJSU, told The Algemeiner that Bollyn’s talk was booked by Candice McGee — the university’s meeting room, exhibits, and administrative specialist — and approved by both Tracy Elliott, the dean of the university library, and Jill Bourne, the city of San Jose’s chief library director.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) board member Sami Al-Arian appears to be thriving in his new environment — after being deported from the United States in 2015.
Al-Arian is scheduled to speak next month at a conference in Istanbul that is sponsored, in part, by his old pals at Georgetown University’s Saudi-endowed Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. The center’s director, John Esposito, a Muslim Brotherhood apologist, also considers himself a “very close friend” of Al-Arian’s. And — as we noted last spring, family ties strengthen the Al-Arian/Georgetown connection.
Al-Arian was deported to Turkey in 2015, pursuant to terms in his 2006 guilty plea connected to his Palestinian Islamic Jihad support. A computer scientist by training, Al-Arian now works as “director of the Center for Regional Politics at Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University.”
His conference biography casts him as a civil rights activist and thinker. It is silent about Al-Arian’s documented role as secretary for the PIJ’s Majlis Shura, or board of directors. It also omits a 1991 introduction of Al-Arian captured on videotape, in which he is described as the head of “the active arm of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine” in the United States.
This makeover may be part of a public comeback that Al-Arian is staging as he starts a new life in Turkey. Following the failed coup attempt there, Al-Arian offered his analysis on its suspected instigators, twice hinting that Israel was involved.
A group of Oberlin College alumni have released a letter in support of a professor who was recently fired by the University of Maryland.
The letter, which was addressed to university president Wallace Loh and Provost Mary Ann Rankin, called the termination of award-winning professor Melissa Landa, who had been an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Education, as “surprising and troubling.”
Landa had helped found and was president of the Oberlin chapter of Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF), which fights the rise in anti-Semitic incidents on campus.
“Melissa is an excellent instructor, teaching a curriculum she developed, and winning awards and a strong vote of confidence from her students. She has a book soon to be published. She created and led an education abroad program in Israel and raised money to ensure the participation of first generation college students,” the letter stated. “There has been no suggestion that either her teaching or her scholarship is anything but excellent.”
The letter also noted that Landa is “a committed Jew and a supporter of Israel.”
Two incidents, however, suggest that Landa’s advocacy for Israel played a role in her dismissal. Dr. John O’Flahavan, a mentor of Landa’s, and Associate Chair of the university’s Undergraduate Elementary Education Program had discouraged Landa from displaying an Israeli flag in her office. O’Flavahan also removed Landa “from her longstanding position on the program’s literacy team in May 2016, shortly after she became active in an antiBDS faculty organization, the Academic Engagement Network (AEN).”
In addition, Shiri Moshe reported for The Algemeiner that shortly after Landa joined AEN, “O’Flahavan withdrew from a paper that he and Landa were set to jointly present on April 12, at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association in Washington, DC.” The paper incorporated research conducted by both professors, including research Landa had done in Israel. O’Flavahan said that he had family obligations and was unreachable by Landa during the conference.
The Alan Parsons Project is returning to Israel for two concerts in November, almost 3 years after their last concerts here.
According to their official website, they will be performing here on November 9 and 11 in Haifa and Tel Aviv respectively.
And Roger Waters’ week just keeps getting worse!
You may recall he tried talking Alan Parsons into boycotting us last time. Alan’s response? A link to a blog post of mine ripping Waters!
Alan followed that up with ripping Waters for not honoring his request to keep things between them private, before performing his heart out.
Naturally, Waters was really pissed off, and even attacked Israellycool.
Ian Halperin’s past films have focused on Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Kurt Cobain and even Brad and Angelina.
But the Canadian celebrity journalist’s latest movie puts the lens on a topic that transcends Hollywood: contemporary antisemitism. The film, Wish You Weren’t Here, premiering next week in Canada, focuses mostly on musician Roger Waters, who has become one of the most vocal and visible supporters of the boycott Israel movement. Pink Floyd’s ninth studio album, from 1975, was titled Wish You Were Here.
“I’d say about 70% of the film is Roger Waters,” said Halperin in a phone interview late Monday night. “It’s time Roger Waters issues an apology to Israel and to the Jewish people,” he added, “because what he’s espousing is hatred and antisemitism and it’s just uncalled for.”
Halperin knows as well as anyone that an apology will not be forthcoming. Waters has been unrepentant in his criticism of the Jewish state and his attempts to stop artists from performing here. The former Pink Floyd front man has called Israel an apartheid state, compared its government to Nazi propaganda efforts, and said Israel is the worst human rights offender in the world.
And while Waters has rebuffed any attempts by Halperin to contact him or comment on the movie, the film will literally be following him around Canada next month. In every city Waters performs in on his “Us + Them Tour,” B’nai Brith Canada will be hosting a screening of the documentary.
Waters will be playing shows in Toronto on October 2 and 3, Quebec City on October 6 and 7, Ottawa on October 10, Montreal on October 16 and 17, Winnipeg on the 22nd and Edmonton on the 24th and 25th. B’nai Brith Canada will host screenings of the film in Toronto on October 2, Quebec on October 7 and 8, Ottawa on the 10th, Montreal on the 16th, Winnipeg on the 22nd and Edmonton on the 25th.
In the first half hour of the film, which The Jerusalem Post was granted access to see ahead of its premiere next week, Halperin intersperses footage of Waters’s statements with experts and other leading figures critiquing his statements and actions.
A Washington Post report on a Sept. 26, 2017 Palestinian terror attack pushed the narrative that “despair” and “frustration” over the lack of a Palestinian state was a motivating factor in anti-Jewish violence (“Palestinian shoots dead 3 Israelis at settlement near Jerusalem”).
The dispatch, by Post reporter Ruth Eglash and Jerusalem bureau chief Loveday Morris, provided details about the attack in which a 37-year-old Palestinian named Nimr Mahmoud al-Jamal murdered an Israeli policeman and two security guards at the entrance to Har Adar in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria). Al-Jamal, who worked in Har Adar, opened fire shortly after 7 a.m., murdering the three men and wounding another Israeli.
In an otherwise informative article, The Post uncritically repeated the claim that “Palestinians say such attacks are caused by frustration stemming from 50 years of occupation.” However, as CAMERA has frequently noted, Arab anti-Jewish violence—including terrorist attacks—predates Israel’s acquisition of disputed territories in the 1967 Six Day War (for example, see “Anti-Jewish Violence in Pre-State Palestine,” Aug 23, 2009).
According to CAMERA’s BBC Watch, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) encourages the media to push the narrative that “despair” and “frustration” over the lack of a Palestinian state are the motivating factor behind terror attacks. (see “Reviewing BBC compliance with PLO media guidance,” Dec. 8, 2015). The Post, and others, frequently seem to follow these PLO-approved talking points.
Some Palestinian leaders, however, have refuted the idea that frustration over a “military occupation” is the motivating factor behind anti-Jewish violence. For example, Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas, declared in a speech at a rally on Jan. 19, 2016, at the very height of the so-called “stabbing intifada”:
“This intifada [violent uprising] is not the result of despair. This intifada is a jihad, a holy war…only a holy war will drive the occupier out of Palestine.”
A Times of London article by Miriam Berger (Bahrain’s King Al Khalifa seeks to end Arab boycott of Israel, Sept. 23) included the following claim:
The Arab boycott of Israel has been in effect since the 1967 Six Day War. Egypt and Jordan, key members of the Arab League, have since signed peace treaties with Israel.
However, as we pointed out to the journalist in a tweet yesterday morning, the Arab boycott began prior to statehood, in 1945, and was in effect the day Israel declared independence in 1948.
We contacted Times of London editors to point out the error, and they upheld our complaint, issuing the following correction in the print edition of today’s paper:
Earlier in the month, we commented on a Daily Mirror photo essay on the “tunnel children” of Gaza, “brave youngsters” who, we were told, keep the economy in the Hamas run enclave going.
The piece, we noted, was in some sort of time warp, as Egypt destroyed most of the tunnels in 2013 and 2014, collapsing what was known as the “underground Gaza economy”. Sure enough, when we did a search, it turned out that all of the tunnels depicted in the series were first published in a 2013, a fact not revealed by editors.
We complained to Daily Mirror editors, arguing that readers were grossly misled by their decision to recycle a story from four years ago and published it as if it were current. After several emails to editors without a response, we complained to Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) under the terms of the accuracy clause of the Editors’ Code. IPSO gave the Daily Mirror an opportunity to respond to our complaint, but editors chose not to dispute our claim, and agreed to our request that they remove the entire photo series.
Knell of course knows full well that the phrase “construction of Jewish settlements” is inaccurate and misleading, with no new communities having been constructed for decades. She closed her report with the BBC’s standard – yet partial – mantra on ‘international law’.
Knell: “Of course settlements are seen as illegal under international law, although Israel disagrees with that. And the other complicating factor that we have to remember are [sic] these fresh signs of reconciliation between the two main Palestinian political factions; between Hamas and Fatah. Ehm…they’ve just said in the last week or so that they want to work towards a unity government; expected to have more on that and Hamas of course is seen by the US, by Israel, by the EU and others as being a terrorist group.”
In conclusion, listeners to this report ostensibly about a terror attack against Israelis did not hear the words terror or terrorist used in the BBC’s portrayal of the incident. Neither did they learn anything about the three people murdered other than their job descriptions and Yolande Knell carefully avoided narrative-conflicting topics such as the Palestinian Authority’s incitement to violence, glorification of terrorism and financial rewards to terrorists.
However, BBC World Service listeners did hear two references to the “occupied West Bank”, five references to “settlements”, two references to “the occupation” and a one-sided portrayal of international law.
Anticipating the sun’s rapid ascent in the African skies, six barefoot men align themselves early in the morning in a drafty corridor of the still-cool interior of Africa’s oldest synagogue.
Casually humming a biblical hymn in Hebrew, they and an Israeli journalist hold off on holiday prayers in the hope of performing them in a minyan — the quorum of 10 Jewish men that Orthodox Judaism mandates for certain prayers, and a threshold requirement for any viable community.
Members of a dwindling Jewish minority on this Tunisian island, they wait for hours under the ornate arches of the centuries-old El Ghriba Synagogue in Riadh, a town where thousands of Jews once lived but now has only a handful of Jewish families. It will take a while for reinforcements to arrive: three more Jews from Hara Kebira, the last remaining Jewish town in Djerba, located four miles north of the synagogue.
Belonging to one of the Arab world’s few active Jewish congregations, their patience reflects a determination to preserve their ancient tradition in a tight-knit community of 1,000. Many members feel duty-bound to remain on the island even though they can envisage no future here for their children.
“Everybody’s thought about leaving, myself included,” says Ben Zion Dee’ie, a 30-year-old yeshiva teacher who walked four miles to the El Ghriba Synagogue from his parents’ home in Hara Kebira, where nearly all Djerba Jews live. “The economy’s bad, the currency’s plummeting, tourism’s suffering because of terrorism and jobs are scarce and not well paying. It’s not perfect.”
As Britain faces Brexit and the looming threat of financial institutions’s exit to other shores, its government is stepping up efforts to attract new investor interest, and is calling on Israeli financial institutions and companies to invest in hundreds of energy projects in the UK, with a focus on the clean-energy sector.
According to data provided by the British Embassy in Israel, there has been increased Israeli business interest in the UK since it voted to leave the European Union. In the 12 months since the referendum, June 2016 to June 2017, 32 Israeli companies have set up businesses in the UK, bringing further capital investment of £152 million, some $204 million, compared with 25 in the previous 12 months and a capital of £114m, an increase of 33 percent.
On Tuesday, UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) held, for the first time, an Energy Investor Forum in Israel. The gathering was attended by all major Israeli financial institutions and a number of British clean energy companies and government officials, who presented opportunities to invest in energy and infrastructure projects in the UK. Participants were welcomed by British ambassador David Quarrey at his residence in Ramat Gan.
During the event, Israel-based Helios Energy Investments, Phoenix Insurance Company and Meitav Dash Investments Ltd. said they will increase their investment in Bioenergy Infrastructure Group (BIG), which manages waste-to-energy projects in the UK, by NIS 110 million ($31.1 million).
The deal follows increased UK efforts to attract Israeli investments for hundreds of clean energy projects, the British Embassy said in a statement.
Japan has reportedly turned to Israel for assistance on counterterrorism issues ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games, an Israel Police official said.
Security and intelligence officials from six countries visited Israel recently as part of an international conference hosted by the police’s Operational Directorate on dealing with the growing threat of Islamic terrorism.
“We have something to teach the world given our experience in dealing with terrorism, but we also have something to learn from the world,” the official told Israel Hayom.
Japan is preparing for the Olympics and hopes they will boost national morale as well as the Japanese economy, but the international games also raise numerous security concerns among organizers, athletes and tourists.
As the threat of Islamic terrorism worldwide increase, Japan’s security forces are gearing up for all potential scenarios, including hostage negotiations with terrorists, such as occurred in the 2015 terrorist attack in the Bataclan theater in Paris, France, when Islamic State terrorists held the audience hostage and killed 89 people.
“There was a considerable period of time [during the Bataclan hostage situation] when negotiations were conducted and there was no shooting,” a senior police source told Israel Hayom.
If you’ve ever listened to Yiddish rap, you know that Jewish music has come a long way over the past few hundred years.
Just how far?
The Y-Studs A Capella group, based at Yeshiva University, has just released a new five-minute music video detailing the “Evolution of Jewish Music.” The journey includes everything from 17th century Ladino tunes to Naomi Shemer’s 1967 “Yerushalayim Shel Zahav” and reggae singer Matisyahu’s 2009 hit “One Day.” There’s even a few bars of Adam Sandler’s Saturday Night Live 1994 jingle “The Hanukkah Song.”
The all-male 13-member Y-Studs partnered up with Ben Bram, the producer for the popular A Capella group Pentatonix, which is famous for its similar arrangements and videos. Pentatonix’s 2013 video Evolution of Music has been viewed more than 108 million times, and the group has won three Grammy awards.
Sine the Y-Studs Evolution of Jewish Music was posted just a week ago, it has garnered 25,000 views on YouTube and another more than 320,000 views on Facebook.
In July, hassidic Internet personality Meir Kay released his own 8-minute “Evolution of Jewish Music,” complete with costume changes and dance moves – and instruments. That version has been viewed more than 400,000 times across social media platforms.
As Israelis prepared to celebrate Rosh Hashanah last week, several dozen members of the IDF Home Front Command were packing their equipment ahead of a 20-hour journey to Mexico, where they were being dispatched to provide assistance in the wake of the deadly Sept. 19 earthquake that rocked the central part of country.
Since their arrival in Mexico City on Thursday, members of the Israeli delegation have been taking part in search-and-rescue operations, as well as surveying damaged buildings.
“Our mission is to support the people here, and this is very important for us,” Colonel (res.) Gili Shenhar told The Algemeiner by telephone from Mexico on Monday.
More than 300 people were killed and thousands were injured by the 7.1-magnitude tremor, whose epicenter was located around 76 miles southeast of the Mexican capital.
Shenhar praised the “very strong” resilience of the Mexican people, saying it was “really nice to see.”
“So far, we have not been lucky enough to pull out anyone alive from under the rubble, but we have been able to find some bodies and bring them to the families who were waiting for them,” Shenhar said.
On Monday, the Israeli team was working at the site of a collapsed six-story building.
“The gratitude of the people has been amazing,” Shenhar said. “I’ve never seen such warmth. They keep saying, ‘Thank you for coming.’”
“All people on the street, they recognize us immediately and say that we are the best and they are so happy we arrived,” he continued.
The delegation is expected to return to Israel later this week.
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