Melanie Phillips: The full-scale unraveling of Western cultural norms
The Kavanaugh confirmation circus is not just a jaw-dropping and unedifying spectacle. It is a paradigm event in the unraveling of American and Western cultural norms.
The allegations of sexual assault against the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have crumbled away under their own multiple contradictions, absence of corroboration and unsubstantiated claims.
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So have all those who instantly proclaimed Kavanaugh guilty as charged expressed contrition for this character assassination? On the contrary: They have merely shifted the goalposts to yet more spurious accusations.
These include his alleged teenage drinking, lying and pedophilia, along with the apparently supreme disqualification for judicial high office of having displayed anger and upset at having his hitherto stellar reputation tarnished forever through such smears.
Worse still, though the eyes of this frenzied mob, Kavanaugh himself stands proxy for every social evil or injustice.
So faced with vicious character assassination on the basis of demonstrably absurd accusations, it is the victim who finds himself dehumanized, demonized and delegitimized. Moreover, the very suggestion that he is indeed the victim is itself treated as a further outrage.
Sound familiar? It should. For this is exactly the same treatment meted out to the State of Israel and those Jews who support it.
A mandatory event on Thursday for the University of Michigan’s art students compared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler.
The event was hosted by the Stamps School of Art & Design for their “Penny Stamps Speakers Series Presentation” and featured Emory Douglas. On the department’s website, it explains that Douglas “worked as the resident Revolutionary Artist and Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1967 through the 1980s.”
During the event, a slide was put on the screen that showed a picture of Netanyahu and Hitler with the words “Guilty Of Genocide” written across Netanyahu’s and Hilter’s faces. Below the photo was the definition of genocide.
Outrageous: Last night, a radical speaker compared Israel to Nazi Germany in a mandatory art lecture at @UMich.
The University of Michigan has one of the most vibrant Jewish communities of any school in the country. It must act swiftly to ensure that remains the case. pic.twitter.com/S5D61FwdQv
— AJC (@AJCGlobal) 5 October 2018
The university confirmed that undergraduate students receive academic credit for attending 10 of the 14 scheduled Stamps events.
A student who attended the event first posted about it Friday morning. “Yesterday I was forced to sit through an overtly anti-Semitic lecture,” Alexa Smith wrote on her Facebook. “In what world is it ok for a mandatory course to host a speaker who compares Adolf Hitler to the Prime Minister of Israel?”
It is fashionable to claim that the internet is a purveyor and spreader of fake news. This may be true in certain respects, but when it comes to Israel, I would argue the opposite is often the case.
Take one small example from April 2002, before Facebook, Twitter and YouTube had been invented, and the term blog was barely known.
That month, almost every British news outlet repeated the same lie, day after day, about events in the West Bank town of Jenin – and it was all but impossible for audiences to know the truth.
The Daily Telegraph reported the IDF had “stripped [the Palestinians] to their underwear, they were searched, bound hand and foot, placed against a wall and killed with single shots to the head.”
The Evening Standard spoke of Israel’s “staggering brutality and callous murder.” “We are talking here of massacre, and a cover-up, of genocide,” wrote a columnist for the paper.
Janine di Giovanni of the Times wrote: “Rarely in more than a decade of war reporting from Bosnia, Chechnya, Sierra Leone, Kosovo, have I seen such deliberate destruction, such disrespect for human life.”
These reports seem to have been based on the claims of a single individual: “Kamal Anis, a labourer” (The Times), “Kamal Anis, 28” (The Daily Telegraph), “A quiet, sad-looking young man called Kamal Anis” (The Independent).
Caroline Glick: Jewish Federations, we need to talk
At the end of the month, the Jewish Federations of North America will hold their annual General Assembly in Israel. And while the Federations’ decision to hold their annual conference in Israel rather than America seems at face value to be a statement of solidarity with Israel, in this case, it isn’t.
Five months after US President Donald Trump moved the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv in an extraordinary act of friendship, the Jewish Federations of North America chose to hold their annual General Assembly in… Tel Aviv.
The name the Federations gave their conference is also a stunner.
“Israel and the Diaspora, We Need to Talk.”
What do we “need to talk” about?
The homepage of the conference’s website makes that clear enough. At the very top, it spells out all the differences dividing Israeli and American Jews.
Fifty percent of American Jews define themselves as liberal and only 8% of Israeli Jews define themselves as leftists.
Sixty-one percent of American Jews think that “Israel and an independent Palestinian state can coexist.” Only 43% of Israelis agree.
Tel Aviv is an extraordinarily liberal oasis in a nation founded by socialists and social democrats. Yet people see this country as a rehashing of the American civil rights movement, where Arabs are black and brown victims and multiethnic Israelis are…white oppressors? Most Israelis are Middle Eastern and African; Americans would call them people of color.
Palestinian nationalism is not the story of a minority once bound in slavery now advocating for equality. It’s a zero sum fight for sovereignty. Jews will not be granted citizenship in a future state of Palestine, even in biblical towns like Hebron or Jericho. Yet 20% of Israelis are Arabs and their citizenship is not up for debate.
Israel has 6 million Jews, most of whom fled here and are unwelcome in former homes in Baghdad, Cairo, Tunis and beyond. The surrounding Arab world has over 400 million souls. To this day, Israelis are barred from most Arab states. Who is the disenfranchised minority?
Palestinian politics bear no resemblance to a nonviolent integration movement. Hamas embraces a radical Islamism linked to al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS. They are intolerant fundamentalists with social policies that make The Handmaid’s Tale look like a rom-com. When they say they’re resisting the occupation, they mean all of Israel. Their struggle ends with the annihilation of the Jews.
The Palestinian Authority rejects peace when it isn’t stealing from its own people. It supports terror groups that compete with Hamas for brutality and it’s far from democratic – the last time there was an election was in 2006.
Israel is a plucky example of democratic socialism. Whichever party is in charge, universal health care, muscular labor unions, public arts funding and a strong safety net are secure. These are the very achievements progressives like me strive for back home.
Nadia Murad, a Yazidi human rights activist and survivor of sexual slavery by Islamic State in Iraq, and Denis Mukwege, a gynecologist treating victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, are the winners of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize as announced on Friday.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee said it had awarded them the prize for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.
“Both laureates have made a crucial contribution to focusing attention on, and combating, such war crimes,” it said in its citation.
Mukwege, a gynecologist treating victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, leads the Panzi Hospital in the eastern city of Bukavu.
Opened in 1999, the clinic receives thousands of women each year, many of them requiring surgery from sexual violence.
Israeli journalist Efrat Lechter Peres on Friday recounted an interview she conducted last year with Yazidi activist Nadia Murad, a former ISIS sex slave who won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize on Wednesday for her campaign to raise awareness of her and her people’s trauma.
Murad was kidnapped by ISIS terrorists when they overran Yazidi areas of Iraq. The radical Islamist group slaughtered the men and took thousands of women as sex slaves. Murad was abducted in 2014 and repeatedly raped and beaten by her “owner,” who also allowed her to be gang-raped by other ISIS terrorists.
While many Yazidi victims of systematic rape and slavery sought to conceal their identities out of shame after being liberated, Murad went public with her story and launched an international campaign to raise awareness of the mass victimization of Yazidi women by ISIS. She has spoken in many international forums and recently published a book on her experiences.
Murad shared the prize with Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege, who has worked extensively with rape victims of the brutal war in his country.
Peres, a reporter for Israel’s Channel Two, interviewed Murad when she visited Israel to give a speech to the Knesset. “I was so nervous that I didn’t know how to begin the interview with her,” writes Peres, so she simply told Murad that she had met with other Yazidi survivors of rape and their stories “have been with me every day since then.”
Good: When the UNHRC obscenely includes DRCongo as a member, @NobelPrize honors Dr. Denis Mukwege, its leading activist against rape; and as UNHRC session refuses to adopt a single resolution on the Islamic State, Nobel goes to their Yazidi victim—and brave activist—Nadia Murad. https://t.co/4m4uAAIW9R
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) October 5, 2018
Thirty-one years ago, on Aug. 30, 1987, an Israeli cabinet voted to terminate Israel’s Lavi fighter program, ending the largest single weapons development effort in the history of the Jewish state. It was a narrow, party-line vote in a divided “national unity” Cabinet. As the story behind this airplane has receded into history and its memory has faded among the succeeding generations, its broader meaning and significance to Israel’s national security has likewise been largely lost. The consequences of decisions not fully understood at the time that they were made will so often be visited upon the generations that follow. For the Lavi, the implications behind this program, and the ripple effects of its cancellation, continue to cast waves across Israel’s strategic standing even to this day.
The genesis of the Lavi has its origins in the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War. In the weeks and months leading up to and following that war, Israel’s traditional arms suppliers in Europe would halt the flow of weapons to the Jewish state. This is a reality that the current generation, in both Israel and the United States, may find difficult to fathom: a time when there was no “special relationship” between the United States and Israel. The supply of Mirage fighters and Saar 3 missile boats from France, as well as a secret agreement for the supply of Chieftain main battle tanks from the United Kingdom, would all be suspended. It was out of this bitter experience that Israel’s leadership placed a renewed emphasis on the development of an indigenous Israeli arms industry—both to provide a safeguard against future interruptions in the supply of weapons and spares, and also to better respond to the unique and specific requirements of Israel’s armed forces.
It was from these initiatives that such Israeli weapons programs as the Shafrir and later Python air-to-air missiles were launched, as well as the Gabriel family of anti-ship missiles, the Saar 4 missile boats, the Merkava main battle tank, as well as the Nesher and later Kfir family of fighter-bombers. Moreover, while the United States would eventually step in as Israel’s benefactor and primary source of arms, subsequent delays and suspensions in U.S. arms deliveries would only serve to reinforce the value of an indigenous Israeli arms manufacturing capability. This occurred in 1975 for example, when the United States suspended the delivery of jet warplanes to Israel as a pressure tactic during negotiations for Israel’s withdrawal from the western Sinai. This was but the first of many incidents, whereby the supply of weapons would be tied to concessions in Israeli policy. These domestic arms capabilities could never fully insulate Israel from future arms embargoes. However, they could and did help to blunt the impact of shorter-term policy squabbles as the United States became Israel’s sole major supplier of arms.
In the last month or so the scales have slipped from my eyes. Something I never used to understand has — almost in a lightning flash — become clear to me. It happened even before all those Palestinian flags materialised at the Labour conference.
It seems obvious to many of my generation that you see a wrong thing, you make a fuss about it. You see what you think is prejudice, you call it out. The taxi driver tells you he doesn’t much like black people, you suggest he keep it to himself. You don’t just let it go, because we know where letting it go leads.
But it does mean that you sometimes look back on your not so distant ancestors with an almost embarrassed surprise. There they were in safe Western countries, and they were too scared to say “boo” to a goose. How unnoble was that?
Take the Jews of Canada in the 30s or 40s. I came across a report this week of a conference in Montreal not so long ago looking at what had happened to Jewish refugees from Nazism who had fled across the Atlantic. A historian at Montreal University, Max Beer, had presented a paper entitled Holocaust Survivors and the Montreal Jewish Community.
And what he showed was that the Montreal Jewish community had been desperately worried that too many refugees would stoke antisemitism in the province of Quebec. They felt that their position even in a country like Canada was precarious. When they did hold events to protests against what the Nazis were doing in Germany, they would make sure the front seats were filled with non-Jews so that people would not accuse them of always looking after their own interests. In an interview, Max Beer explained that “Everything had to be presented from a non-Jewish point of view. They had to make it appear that it was a universal cause. The message was that everyone was the victim of Hitler.” Even so, when war came, there were plenty of Quebecois who would argue that it was a “Jewish war” fought with Canadian blood.
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office MK Michael Oren (Kulanu) has called for Israel to prepare “the warmest invitation” for British Jews to make aliyah, including various state-backed incentives, should UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn win a general election and become prime minister.
Oren described Corbyn as being extremely hostile to Israel, and said that his election would create an even worse atmosphere in the UK for Britain’s 270,000 Jews.
Should Corbyn be elected, said Oren, Israel should reach out to the UK Jewish community and make aliyah to the Jewish state as easy as possible, while drawing up a detailed plan to prepare for any mass immigration from Britain. A poll conducted for the UK’s Jewish Chronicle last month showed that 40 percent of British Jews would consider emigrating should Corbyn become prime minister.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Thursday, Oren said that Israel missed an opportunity to bring more French Jews to the country from 2015 onwards, when terror attacks directed at the Jewish community and increasing antisemitism in France led tens of thousands to leave.
While many did come to Israel, many thousand also went to the UK and Canada, particularly the French-speaking province of Quebec.
In an op-ed in Israel Hayom published on Thursday, Oren noted that in 2015 then Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky together with the head of the World Zionist Organization and aliya groups drew up a detailed document stipulating what measures would be required to attract 50,000 French Jews to Israel.
The plan was shelved however and never implemented, and since 2015, only approximately 15,000 Jews have made aliyah.
Back in March, when the Jewish community demonstrated outside Parliament to protest about Labour antisemitism, Mr Corbyn accepted for the first time that this was a significant problem. The left has its own forms of antisemitism, he wrote, that should not be “dismissed as simply a matter of a few bad apples”. Momentum, the activist movement that organises Mr Corbyn’s foot soldiers, agreed. “Accusations of antisemitism,” they said, “should not and cannot be dismissed simply as right-wing smears nor as the result of conspiracies.”
But their followers were not listening.
Some Labour MPs who attended the community demonstration were abused on social media and threatened with deselection.
The Facebook pages of The Canary and Skwawkbox filled up with comments about “More ridiculous, vile and false antisemitism smears”, “Wealthy Jewish [sic] prepared to slander Corbyn”, “This is about the illuminati/world bankers/Rothschild’s [sic] who happen to majority Jewish [sic] and happens to be true of what is happening to our planet”, “Zionists run the BBC”, “This is what happen’s [sic] when Zionist Jews control our government!”, and so on.
Some in the leadership of the Labour Party and Momentum now understand that they have lost control of what their supporters think about Jews and “Zionists”. The worry is that it is too late.
One consequence is that Jewish Labour members increasingly find their local party meetings intolerable. An obsession with Israel, expressed in the most extreme, hateful terms, and the assumption that any talk of antisemitism is an anti-Corbyn trick, has persuaded many that it is time to leave.
It is hard to avoid the conclusion that Labour is now institutionally antisemitic. This is an alarming situation for all British Jews, whether they support Labour or not. But for Labour, the party that once enjoyed the support of the vast majority of British Jews, and which prides itself on its anti-racism, it is nothing short of a disgrace.
Tickets are nearly sold out for the first event in Campaign Against Antisemitism’s new fundraising programme to support our ongoing efforts to counter and expose antisemitism in Britain.
The first event on the calendar is a comedy night that will be held later this month at the Arts Depot in Finchley, London. “Funny you should say that!” features an exciting line-up of the best of British Jewish comedy, headlined by comedian Bennett Arron, dubbed the “Welsh Seinfeld”. Also performing on the night are special guests: “Mock the Week” regular Gary Delany; celebrity prankster, Simon Brodkin (aka Lee Nelson); Jewish Comedian of the Year 2015, Philip Simon; Sol Bernstein, the comedy creation of veteran stand-up Steve Jameson; and writer, director, and educator Rachel Creeger who is currently on her debut tour.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s fundraising team are currently inviting any supporters who are interested in assisting at events or donating facilities for future events to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tickets are selling fast. if you would like to support Campaign Against Antisemitism by attending “Funny you should say that!”, or would like to learn more about the event, please visit the Arts Depot online box office.
An Emmy-winning documentary about Israel’s most popular soccer team gets it all wrong for all the worst reasons
Like the most dutiful of high school papers, Forever Pure—an Israeli film that, earlier this week, won an Emmy for outstanding politics and government documentary—wastes no time delivering its thesis statement. Its subject, an opening title card informs us, is Beitar Jerusalem, “the most controversial team in the Israeli football league.”
Just what is it that makes the club so contested? The title card is followed by an ominous shot of a slow-rolling Honda Accord, with fans clad in yellow and black hanging out its windows, chanting like berserkers about to ravage some peaceful village. Another title card—it’s that kind of movie—informs viewers that “the club’s avid fan base believe Beitar Jerusalem is about more than football.” If you can muster enough sympathy to overcome this statement’s painful banality—would you believe that sports fans find deeper meaning in cheering on their favorite teams?—you’re ready for the film’s J’accuse. It’s simple: Beitar is “controversial” because its “avid fan base” is composed of a throng of irredeemable racist apes.
If you know little about Israel, sports, politics, or human beings, you may walk away convinced that the film’s director, Maya Zinshtein, makes a convincing enough case. She tells the story of the tempus horribilis 2012/2013, when the team was forced to welcome two Chechen players to its ranks, causing some of its fans to cry foul and refuse to cheer on the team until it rid itself of its Muslims.
The film gives a good-enough account of the season’s descent into hell. In the beginning was the team’s then-owner, the shady Russian oligarch Arcadi Gaydamak; seething that his millions did not secure him a seat as Jerusalem’s mayor, and eager to use Beitar to promote his business interests, Gaydamak took his players on a highly unusual midseason trip to Chechnya, to play a local team there as a way of courting the country’s strongman leader Ramzan Kadyrov. As a parting gift to the hosts, Gaydamak decided to recruit two of the Chechen team’s players, Zaur Sadayev and Dzhabrail Kadiyev. Sitting in his ornate living room—think Napoleon by way of Las Vegas—Gaydamak grins wolfishly and, using words like “propaganda,” admits to the camera that he recruited the Chechens for no reason other than trolling the fans he felt had disappointed him electorally.
Strategic Affairs and Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Friday that Lara Elqasem is a prominent BDS activist, and that the Left has been spreading lies regarding the decision to deport her.
Alqasem reeived a student visa but was then charged with supporting the boycotting of Israel – and will therefore be legally deported, he insisted.
“The false tweets by the Meretz party and the radical Left regarding Lara Elqasem have prompted me to put the facts in order,” said Erdan.
“We are talking about a foreign boycott activist, who used to head a branch of the BDS movement that uses violence to silence Israel supporters on US campuses. According to law, her entry into Israel must be blocked, and the appeals court that heard the case has approved this.”
“No sane country would allow the entry of foreigners who arrive with the intent of harming its citizens in any way. Israel is no exception,” he added. “Belittling the campaigns that Lara and her organization took part in does not change the truth. This is a BDS activist who seeks to harm Israel and the companies that operate within it, and provide thousands of citizens with their livelihoods.”
An event hosted by a Jewish student group at the University of Missouri (MU) faced repeated vandalism of its promotional materials — but nonetheless took place in a packed classroom on Wednesday.
The talk — hosted by MU Chabad House — featured Noam Bedein, an Israeli photojournalist and director of a media center dedicated to showcasing life in Sderot, a southern Israeli town that has sustained heavy rocket fire from terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip.
Bedein, who also spoke on campus in 2013, sought to present the stories of victims of recent arson attacks launched from Gaza, which have sparked more than 1,300 fires in Israel since March, according to government figures.
Yet fliers promoting the event were repeatedly vandalized — behavior an alumnus who helped promote the event said was all too common on campus.
Daniel Swindell, who graduated from MU in 2010, said on social media on Monday that in less than two weeks, more than 80 leaflets advertising Bedein’s lecture have been “systematically torn down” — including four separate times at one bus stop.
“Just yesterday, I re-hung these fliers, and today they were ripped down by hand,” he wrote on Facebook.
Recently an associate professor in the American Culture department at the University of Michigan drew headlines over his decision to deny a student a letter of recommendation for a semester-long study-abroad program at Tel Aviv University.
But this incident was not an isolated event; it exemplified a recent disturbing trend at the school.
Canary Mission – which is a blacklist of anti-Israel activists, academics and organizations – recently released a detailed report in June about the University of Michigan, whose student government passed a BDS resolution in November 2017 through a secret ballot.
Initiated by Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE), the University of Michigan chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), the resolution called for the academic institution to severe its connections to the Jewish state through “a non-violent way to put pressure” on the school, according to minutes from the Central Student Government (CSG) meeting, where the measure succeeded.
Forty individuals were key to the resolution’s success: four SAFE activists were behind the #UMDivest campaign, which was launched a month before the resolution’s passage; four co-authors and one co-sponsor of the resolution, three of whom affiliated with SAFE; four professional BDS activists spoke in favor of the resolution; five pro-BDS students, including the CSG vice president, in addition to seven representatives, also advocated for the resolution; and 15 representatives who voted for the measure.
Concealing the fact that Hizballah deliberately started the Second Lebanon War in July 2006 by conducting a cross-border raid and firing missiles at Israeli civilian communities, the report went on:
“Israel, which in 2006 fought a war with Hezbollah, has conducted air strikes in Syria aimed at stopping Iran supplying its ally with advanced weaponry. […]
In another speech on Thursday morning, the Hezbollah leader declared that the dozens of Israeli strikes aimed at preventing it from acquiring rockets with highly accurate targeting capacity had failed because it had “already been achieved”.
“No matter what you do to cut the route, the matter is over and the Resistance possesses precision and non-precision rockets and weapons capabilities.””
So as we see, the BBC is fully aware of the fact that since 2006 Iran has made considerable efforts to supply the terror group Hizballah with “advanced weaponry”. It would therefore obviously have been appropriate for the BBC to go on to inform its audience that such efforts breach more than one UN Security Council resolution, including that which brought the 2006 war to an end.
“At the end of the Second Lebanon War, the U.S. and France drafted the text of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which was adopted unanimously on August 11, 2006, with Russian and Chinese support. Article 15 states that the resolution prohibits all UN member states from allowing their nationals to engage in “the sale or supply to any entity or individual in Lebanon of arms and related material of all types.” In short, Iranian weapons transfers to Hizbullah are a violation of a decision of the UN Security Council. Several years earlier, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1559, which also called for the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias on the soil of Lebanon.”
Given the BBC’s dismal record of reporting on violations of UN SC resolution 1701, it is unsurprising to see that once again audiences reading this article were denied key information that would enable them to “engage fully” with this issue.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has just published a 2019 calendar which focuses on the museum’s new exhibit about Americans’ responses to the Holocaust. Remarkably, two-thirds of the calendar has nothing do with Americans’ responses to the Holocaust. This stark discrepancy is a small but striking illustration of a disturbing bias that has crept into some of the museum’s work in recent years.
Several of the months in the calendar are illustrated by photographs of the possessions of European Jews who immigrated to America during the Nazi years: a little girl’s dress; a teenager’s chess set; a teddy bear in which a family hid its jewelry.
A disturbing bias that has crept into some of the museum’s work in recent years.
Poignant images, to be sure, but they reveal very little about America’s response to the Holocaust. In a sense, they are even misleading, since their captions fail to explain that these immigrants were the lucky few who managed to get through the harsh immigration system which the Roosevelt administration utilized to keep out most refugees.
By showcasing the exceptions and not mentioning the rule, the text leaves the erroneous impression that these refugee immigrants were not necessarily exceptions at all. The reader has no way of knowing that nearly 200,000 quota places from Germany and Axis-occupied countries sat unused during the Roosevelt years, or that the U.S. quota for immigrants from Germany was filled in only one of those twelve years (and in most of them, it was less than one-quarter filled).
A swastika and graffiti praising the Holocaust were discovered this week at Appalachian State University in North Carolina, shortly before a survivor of the Nazi genocide spoke on campus.
Members of the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi came across the graffiti early Sunday morning, the group’s president told ASU’s student newspaper.
The slogan “Heil Hitler” was spray-painted above a bright Nazi flag, alongside a Jewish star and the words, “The Holocaust was a good thing,” according to photos posted online by the Watauga County branch of the NAACP.
The graffiti was found days before the school’s Peace and Genocide Education Club hosted a Holocaust survivor, Susan Cernyak-Spats, for a well-attended Q&A on campus on Tuesday.
The North Carolina branch of Hillel said on Sunday that it was “deeply disturbed” by the incident, and working with campus officials “to ensure this matter is investigated and properly addressed.”
“These words and images are incredibly painful and offensive to Jews and non-Jews alike, denigrating the memory of six million Jews and millions of other victims of the Nazis, and have no place on campus or anywhere in society,” the Jewish campus group said in a statement.
It added that the “offensive symbols” — discovered in an area of campus known as the Free Expression Tunnel — “were promptly painted over and replaced with positive language and imagery.”
Barring unexpected delays, Silvia Foti is months away from fulfilling an old promise that’s become her life’s work: to write a biography of her late grandfather, who is a national hero in his native Lithuania.
Foti, a 60-year-old high school teacher from Chicago, made the pledge to her dying mother 18 years ago. She has spent a long time studying the life of her grandfather, Jonas Noreika, as well as acquiring the writing skills necessary for chronicling it and finding a publisher.
But rather than celebrating Noreika’s legacy as her mother requested, the biography that Foti wrote confirms and amplifies the findings of Holocaust scholars who for years have called for stripping Noreika of his honors.
The national hero, she and they insist, was a Nazi collaborator who helped murder thousands of Jews and steal their property.
The unpublished biography, which Foti summarized in a bombshell Salon article in July, split her own family. She said her father and his second wife asked Foti not to publish the book because it would “make Lithuania look bad.” And it would have distressed her mother if she were still alive — the author said this causes her “great pain.”
The term “Femi-Nazi” became all too accurate when a trio of academic tricksters participating in an elaborate hoax submitted portions of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” rewritten through a feminist lens to a leading peer-reviewed feminist journal. The satirical paper was accepted this past academic year for publication by Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work.
The sting operation against academic journals became public this week.
In a truncated year-long project aimed at highlighting the alleged influence of extremist dogma and confirmation bias in academia, the trio wrote 20 farcical “scholarly” papers — three of which were based on rewrites of “Mein Kampf” — for leading cultural studies journals. All 20 of the papers were based on “something absurd or deeply unethical, or both,” the authors have said; seven were accepted for publication.
One of the papers, “Our Struggle is My Struggle: Solidarity Feminism as an Intersectional Reply to Neoliberal and Choice,” was written under the alias Maria Gonzalez, PhD, who claimed to be based out of the fictitious Feminist Activist Collective for Truth (FACT).
According to the real-life authors, “The last two-thirds of this paper is based upon a rewriting of roughly 3,600 words of Chapter 12 of Volume 1 of ‘Mein Kampf,’ by Adolf Hitler, though it diverges significantly from the original. This chapter is the one in which Hitler lays out in a multi-point plan which we partially reproduced why the Nazi party is needed and what it requires of its members.”
A new study by a top European institute has placed Israel third in the number of artificial intelligence startup companies. The ranking relates to the absolute number of companies in each country and not a relative figure, thereby making Israel’s achievement that much more commendable, considering its relatively small size.
The study proved that the Israeli government had achieved the goal it had set – to position Israel among the world’s top five global leaders in the field, Israel Hayom has learned.
In a review of the global artificial intelligence landscape, the Asgard Institute for scientific research said Israel’s 362 artificial intelligence startups comprise 10% of all startups in this field, earning the Jewish state a spot in the top three world leaders in this area.
The United States dominates the field with 1,393 AI startups, or 48%, and China ranked second, with 383 firms, making up 11% of all artificial intelligence research.
Britain ranked fourth with 245 startups and Canada rounded out the top five, with 13 AI research firms.
Israel’s national artificial intelligence research program seeks to promote national security as well as strengthening the local economy.
The Israeli conductor and composer Omer Meir Wellber has been named the next chief conductor of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.
He will begin in the role in September 2019, conducting the orchestra in its concert series at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester as well as at the BBC Proms in London and on international tours.
“I first worked with the BBC Philharmonic in March and knew straight away that they were a very special group of people and exceptional musicians,” he said on Thursday.
“Manchester and the whole region is an incredibly rich area culturally, so I can hardly wait to start planning seasons to come.”
The 36-year-old succeeds Spanish maestro Juanjo Meno, who has led the orchestra for seven years.
Mr Wellber has been Music Director of the Raanana Symphonette Orchestra in Israel since 2009 and last month became Principal Guest Conductor at Semperoper Dresden.
In January 2020 he will become music director of the Teatro Massimo di Palermo.
Packed with lavish illustrations and a pinch of sauciness, “Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation” manages to give readers a more intimate take on the diarist than most of its cinematic and stage predecessors.
The graphic novel adaptation was a years-long labor of love for Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman. Oscar-nominated for his Lebanon War-based “Waltz with Bashir,” Folman approached the acclaimed “Diary of a Young Girl” with caution.
“If we were to illustrate the entire text in a graphic rendition it would require the better part of a decade and likely be 3,500 pages long,” said Folman in a Q&A released by publisher Pantheon. “The trickiest task, then, would be to retain roughly only 5 percent of Anne’s original diary while still being faithful to the entire work,” said Folman, whose parents survived the Holocaust.
Published in English this week, the Anne Frank graphic novel came out in Israel and parts of Europe last year. There is, however, very little context about the genocide of Europe’s Jews within the novel’s 160 pages. Folman is currently working on a full-length animated film adaptation, set for release next year, that will paint a broader picture.
For his partner on the novel, Folman chose David Polonsky, an award-winning children’s illustrator who also worked on “Waltz with Bashir.” Together, the artists brought visual expression to Frank’s cutting observations of those around her.
“I think her power was the way she could observe the world of the adults surrounding her, because she did not have a normal maturation process in hiding,” said Folman, adding that the teen was “unbelievably intelligent and in many ways funny.”
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