Josh Hammer: How to Combat Anti-Israeli Hate on College Campuses
The much-ballyhooed UN Security Council Resolution (“UNSCR”) 242, passed in the aftermath of the Six-Day War, does not in any way alter the conclusion that Israel is the best claimant to Judea and Samaria. That resolution affirmed “[w]ithdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict”; but as the careful reader will note, the operative language is “territories,” not “the territories,” therefore unambiguously permitting at least some Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria. Additionally, UNSCR 242 also requires Arab UN member states to “[t]erminat[e] . . . all claims . . . of belligerency and . . . acknowledg[e] . . . the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence” of Israel—obligations they clearly have not fulfilled. Given uti possidetis juris—not to mention the wholly defensive nature of Israel’s involvement in the Six-Day War—it would be extraordinarily peculiar to think of Israel as an “[o]ccupying [p]ower” under Article 49. Even assuming, arguendo, that “occupation” did commence in 1967, furthermore, it would not have survived the signing of the Oslo Accords and the peace treaty with Jordan, in 1993 and 1994—after all, Article 49 has no legal application outside of international armed conflicts. But this lattermost thought experiment notwithstanding, Israel was not an illegal “occupier” in 1948, it was not an illegal “occupier” in 1967, it was not an illegal “occupier” after the Arabs’ third failed attempt to exterminate Israel in the Yom Kippur War of 1973, and it is not an illegal “occupier” today.
This remarkably straightforward analysis and application of international law notwithstanding, supporters of the Jewish state on the American university campus today are routinely assailed as apologists for “apartheid,” illegal “occupation,” and/or European-style ethnic colonialism. Many, perhaps most, of these verbal assaults comfortably fit the requisite criteria for the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism. But due to the ubiquity of these incidents, however tragic that ubiquity may be, it is imperative that Zionists squarely address how to best handle them. Based on personal experiences and the vicarious experience of close friends and loved ones from the front lines of the on-campus “Israel wars,” here is some advice to Zionist students under siege on the American university campus today.
First, know your facts and your basic history. Understand, and be able to explain, what exactly the Jewish state of Israel is and how it first came into being. Understand, and be able to explain, the relevant history—the dates and events that matter, and why they matter. Understand, and be able to explain, a rudimentary conception of the international law principle of uti possidetis juris and how it applies to the state of Israel’s rightful legal claim to Judea and Samaria—dating back to Article XXII of the Covenant of the League of Nations. Be respectful of the other side’s narrative, but be confident in the moral and legal superiority of your claim.
Second, be the better person. We Zionist veterans of the on-campus “Israel wars” all know what a determined SJP/JVP foe looks like: threatening, slanderous, bellicose, hysterical. It is imperative that supporters and friends of Israel neither mimic their grotesque tactics nor stoop to their sordid level. Instead, recall: We have the better of the legal argument, we have the better of the historical argument, and we have the better of the moral argument. All we must do is maintain our composure, speak the historical truth, and make the unabashed moral case for Israel’s right to the land of Eretz Yisrael—forcefully but respectfully, unapologetically but reassuringly.
Third, be strong and be proud. You are standing up for the noblest and most just causes of all: the health, safety, prosperity, and security of the Jewish people and the Jewish people’s right to self-determination and territorial sovereignty in their ancestral, biblical homeland. If you are a proud Jew or a proud friend of the Jews, then there is simply no more righteous cause. The modern state of Israel, which was born from the ashes of one of human history’s darkest chapters, has survived against impossible odds and developed the region’s most advanced military—a fighting force, that is, which self-imposes the most stringent ethical norms in all of modern warfare and has executed countless daring raids to rescue Jewish hostages abroad and bring them home to safety. Israel has become the whole world’s envy in technology venture capital. It is an intrinsically moral state, a beacon of light amidst a turbulent sea, and an indispensable military and intelligence ally for the United States. Perhaps most importantly, it is the Jews’ Promised Land. Israel is, in a nutshell, one of the most remarkable human success stories in two to three millennia—and inherently worthy of a robust defense in the lion’s den of today’s neo-Jacobin American university campuses.
On the one hand, it is profoundly sad to see Israel, once such a unifying issue for our normally fractious politics become the intensely debated subject that it is today. On the other hand, it is cause for optimism that, despite all the intensity and vitriol that this issue lamentably engenders, there is such a simple, persuasive, and compelling legal argument to support the modern state of Israel’s rightful territorial claim to Eretz Yisrael—including the most relevant portion, for purposes of this essay, Judea and Samaria. It is my hope that beleaguered students today encountering the BDS movement’s headwinds will be able to utilize this essay to stand up defiantly for Israel’s dignity—and defy those who would smear it as an illicit “occupier.”
Ruthie Blum: Gal Gadot’s rude ‘wokening’
Suddenly, the international sensation with a sexy Hebrew lilt was blasted for having served in the Israel Defense Forces and – gasp – being proud of it. This was a huge no-no for the BDS crowd, who began to accuse her of war crimes.
Luckily for Gadot, her box-office success was of greater interest to her Hollywood studio than her country of origin or the fact that her military duty involved teaching calisthenics to combat troops. If anything – as she herself has said in interviews – her fitness prepared her for the role with which she has become synonymous.
Even if she had been a commando, however, she would have been at a loss in the face of American “woke” culture, in which the pen has become stiff competition for the sword. What she ought to have learned by now, after so much time among progressive bullies in the United States, is that the animosity she’s currently experiencing cannot be countered through appeasement.
Indeed, she can argue that Cleopatra was a descendant of Macedonian Greek general Ptolemy; she can shout “Joe Biden for president” from the rooftop of her LA mansion; and she can work to reassure her social-media followers that her main mission is to promote female empowerment – you know, in the vein of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose Sept. 18 passing spurred her to thank the late judge on Instagram “for everything [she] brought to this world,” and to punctuate the tribute with a broken-heart emoji.
None of the above would or does suffice for the radicals bent on discrediting her, not only as a fair-skinned Israeli, but as someone who hasn’t gone far enough to the left. Short of renouncing her roots and refusing the cinematic role of her dreams, there’s nothing she can do to satiate their cancel-culture hunger.
But she might want to consider expressing a bit of gratitude to the slew of conservatives engaging in ideological warfare on her behalf. That would make her a genuine superhero.
Israeli actress Gal Gadot talked about her upbringing in Israel and the Hebrew prayer she recites every morning in a cover story interview with Vanity Fair for its November issue.
The “Wonder Woman 1984” star, who grew up in the central Israeli city of Rosh Ha’ayin, told the magazine from her home in Tel Aviv that she started her days with the Jewish prayer “Modeh Ani.”
“I say thank you every morning,” she explained. “In the Jewish culture there’s a prayer that you’re supposed to say every time you wake up in the morning to thank God for, you know, keeping you alive and dadadada. You say ‘modeh ani,’ which means ‘I give thanks.’ So every morning I wake up and step out of bed and I say, ‘Thank you for everything, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.’”
The actress, 35, then closed her eyes, as if she was saying the prayer again, adding, “Nothing is to be taken for granted.”
Gadot grew up in a home with two working parents. Her father, Michael, was an engineer, and her mother, Irit, was a gym teacher who taught sports to Gadot and her younger sister, Dana, Vanity Fair reported.
Following high school, Gadot spent two years completing her mandatory service in the Israel Defense Forces, where she was a fitness and combat readiness instructor, before she went to college.
“I came from a home where being an actress wasn’t even an option,” the former Miss Israel said. “I always loved the arts and I was a dancer and I loved the movies, but being an actress was never a discussion. My parents were like, You need to graduate university and get a degree.”
In a decision that has angered both Muslims and western liberals, Israeli actress Gal Gadot has been cast to play the Islamic prophet Muhammad in an upcoming film about the founder of Islam’s life.
The ‘Wonder Woman’ star and Israel native will don a fake beard to play the lead role in ‘From Medina to Mecca: One Man’s Journey to Change the World, Establish the Caliphate, and Find Himself.’ She will speak Hebrew instead of Muhammad’s native Arabic, but director Patty Jenkins said that “most viewers won’t know the difference.”
“Muhammad was Middle Eastern and Gal is Middle Eastern, so it just made sense,” said Jenkins. “Besides, she knows a little Arabic, like ‘Show me your ID’ and ‘Stop or I will shoot.’”
Gadot’s casting drew criticism from Muslims, who objected to Muhammad being portrayed on film; leftists, who accused Gadot of cultural appropriation; and the alt-right, who opposed both a film being made about a Muslim and an Israeli Jew playing a leading role. James Zogby, the president of the Arab American Institute, called Gadot’s casting a “genocide.”
Gadot was originally cast to play Cleopatra in an upcoming biopic of the Egyptian queen but was forced to drop out after people on Twitter pointed out that she is not in fact Egyptian and did not die in 30 BC. Instead, Rob Schneider will replace Gadot as the film’s lead.
Peter Beinart, a longtime Atlantic writer whom the New York Times recently hired as an opinion contributor, received over six figures from a leading anti-Israel foundation that has funded groups active in the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
The Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP), a U.S.-based nonprofit that provides grant money to a host of leading anti-Israel organizations, hired Beinart as a consultant in 2016. The foundation paid him more than $140,000 through at least 2018, according to its financial disclosure forms. His compensation is significantly higher than that of any other FMEP employee at the time, other than the group’s executive director.
The New York Times hired Beinart as a contributing opinion writer this week. His columns criticizing Israel, including a recent article arguing against Israel’s right to exist, have made him a leading figure in left-leaning foreign policy circles. Beinart’s FMEP work provides a window into his relationship with some of the leading purveyors of the BDS movement, which seeks to wage economic warfare on Israel.
Beinart began working with the group in 2016, according to its financial disclosure forms. He was paid $66,667 that year. The group’s 2017 and 2018 tax forms show Beinart received $33,333 and $110,000, respectively. The forms list Beinart as the only outside consultant receiving more than $50,000 a year. The group’s website lists him as a nonresident fellow.
“I’m proud to have been a non-resident fellow of the Foundation for Middle East Peace since 2017,” Beinart told the Washington Free Beacon in an email. “I’m also proud of the podcasts and other events I’ve done with them, which aim to amplify voices in Israel-Palestine that are too often ignored.”
Even Beinart’s claim that the growing population of Israeli settlers in the West Bank inevitably led to less territory for a prospective Palestinian state is false. Beinart may occasionally be alarmingly ignorant about the realities of the Arab-Israeli conflict, but here he is being knowingly dishonest.
The claim he advances is that with a growing settler population, Israel offered less and less land to the Palestinians for a future state. This claim has the double benefit of both laying all the agency at Israel’s door (“Israel has redefined statehood to include ever-less territory”) and to put the blame on an unpopular Israeli action, namely settlement activity (“as more Jews have settled in the West Bank, Israel has demanded that a Palestinian state include larger and larger Israeli carve-outs”). What’s the evidence? As Beinart lays it out, in 2000, with the settler population (he is counting East Jerusalem) at 365,000, Palestinians could make peace with Israel at the cost of 9% of the West Bank, but by 2020, “with the number of settlers approaching 650,000,” the Trump plan would have them concede 30% of the West Bank.
But using more than two data points shows just how hollow the empirical claim Beinart is making here is, as well as the larger claim about the causal process. It’s true that in 2000 the Palestinians rejected a state along the lines Beinart sketched out. But it’s also true that in 2001 the Clinton Parameters proposed a significantly smaller Israeli annexation of 5%, even though there were more settlers in 2001 than in 2000, and the Palestinians rejected this too. It’s also true that in talks at Annapolis in 2007, even smaller land swaps were mooted, but no deal was reached — and there were more settlers in 2007 than in 2001. In 2008, Prime Minister Olmert proposed a Palestinian state with a roughly 2% land swap, and Palestinian President Abbas walked away. And yes, there were more settlers in 2008 than in 2007. The connection between the number of settlers and the contours of a two-state solution is not the one that Beinart posits. Fitting the curve on only two data points is radically dishonest.
Nor is Beinart’s claim that more and more Israelis are settling in the West Bank particularly robust. The number of Israelis settling in the West Bank has dropped rather dramatically in the past generation. In 1996, 6,000 Israelis migrated from Israel into the West Bank; twenty years later in 2016 that number fell to only 2000. Nearly all the growth of Jewish population in the West Bank has been from births, not from “settling” at all. Three-fourths of the population growth in the last forty years has been in three settlement blocs which can be accommodated with land swaps of less than 5% of the territory (much less, even, if some of the rejected proposals are taken seriously).
Looking just at the past fifteen years, during most of which Israel was governed by a right-wing pro-settlement government, nearly all the population growth was concentrated in two ultra-Orthodox settlements with high birth rates, Beitar Ilit and Modiin Ilit, neither of which is affiliated with nationalist settler movement. I urge everyone to open up a map and look where those two are. One starts about 600 meters from the old armistice line and the other about 700 meters (about one third of a mile). The settlement enterprise may very well be a moral and strategic catastrophe for Israel (I am convinced it is and have written about this often), but there is no sense in which Beitar Ilit and Modiin Ilit make drawing a line between a State of Israel and a State of Palestine impossible in any way. The settler movement and the nationalist right in Israel prefer that you not know the numbers and the lay of the land, for obvious reasons. Beinart, perversely, works just as hard to obfuscate this reality.
Trump’s ending of funding to the genocidal, antisemitic UN Refugee Works Agency for the Palestinians, which the Obama-Biden administration expanded;
Trump’s decision to cut funding to the terrorist-financing Palestinian Authority; which the Obama-Biden administration increased; Trump’s closing the PLO diplomatic mission in Washington, which the Obama-Biden administration upgraded; etc.; were moves of historic significance in the fight against antisemitism and for Jewish rights.
Trump made America energy independent, which has advantages in Mid-East deliberations.
The Trump-orchestrated Abraham Accords between Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain are a historic achievement, the first in the Middle East since Israel signed a treaty with Jordan in 1994.
By exposing the intransigence and corruption of the Palestinian authorities, and thereby removing them from diplomatic deliberations, the Trump administration reestablished the “peace process” as a negotiation between states that have incentives to band together. One of the principal geopolitical reasons for Sunni nations and Israel to strengthen ties was the Obama-Biden administration’s coddling of Iran.
Biden and other leading Democrats have long argued that wider peace would not be possible without acquiescing to the Palestinians first. After the Trump administration moved the American Embassy to the Israeli capital of Jerusalem, the same people warned that an eruption of violence would envelop the Middle East. They made the same claim after Trump lethally struck Soleimani. They were all wrong.
Under the Obama-Biden administration, ISIS, which Obama dismissively called “Junior Varsity,” seized eastern Syria and northern Iraq. Trump expunged the Obama-Biden administration’s hamstringing rules of engagement, and unleashed US Special Forces with sufficient power to wipe ISIS of the Iraqi-Syrian landmass. This culminated in October 2019 with the raid on the Caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, whose killing indicated that Trump can exert significant influence in the region and in the fight against terrorism.
The Obama-Biden administration reoriented America’s Middle East policy in favor of the ayatollahs, to make Iran the regional superpower in the Middle East, and disfavored America’s traditional allies: Israel, Egypt and the Sunni Arab monarchies. In that sense, Biden was not bamboozled by Iran and Obama. Biden got the Middle East he wanted; a pivot towards a regime seeking America’s and Israel’s destruction.
Biden is not a friend of Israel. A Biden presidency would be a third Obama term, as far as Israel is concerned. Thankfully, the accomplishments and successes of Donald Trump, the most pro-Israel American president in history, would get Trump re-elected US President.
“We’re now having issues in the Orthodox Jewish Community in NY, where because of their religious practices we’re seeing a spread. But we see it, we know it, we understand it – because we’re doing more testing than anyone else, and then you have to attack **them**.” pic.twitter.com/t89M3C0oDW
— The Meturgeman (@HaMeturgeman) October 14, 2020
Leaked audio of @NYGovCuomo admitting that the new COVID lockdowns in New York (targeting Orthodox Jews only) is not based on any science or medical expertise, but rather in his words is a “fear based response.” pic.twitter.com/mOzxZBCEEM
— Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) October 14, 2020
The top Democratic candidate in the special Senate election in Georgia defended antisemitic pastor Jeremiah Wright back in 2008.
Rev. Raphael Warnock, pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, defended Wright after a tape emerged of a 2003 sermon called “Confusing God and Government” in which Wright said, “not God Bless America, God damn America.”
The tape came to light during Barack Obama’s presidential run in 2008, as Obama was at the time a member of Wright’s church in Chicago. During the campaign, Obama disavowed the remarks and eventually withdrew his membership from the church.
“The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisoners, passes a three-strike law, and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America,’” said Wright in the sermon. “No no no, not God bless America, God damn America, that’s in the Bible, for killing innocent people, God damn America for treating her citizens as less than human, God damn America as long as she tries to act like she is God and she is supreme.”
In a March 2008 appearance on Fox News, Warnock, who said that he had been “dispatched” to defend Wright after the tape emerged, praised the “social transformation that’s been the hallmark of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s ministry.”
The American Jewish Congress hired the former director of Jewish outreach for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign to be its executive director.
Joel Rubin will be the advocacy group’s first Washington-based director in a decade. Once a venerable advocate for civil rights, the group fell on hard times because of the 2008 recession and because it was among the groups defrauded by disgraced financier Bernie Madoff. In recent years it has existed mainly as an outlet for Jack Rosen, an investor and prominent pro-Israel political donor who had been harshly critical of Sanders.
“Sanders’s recent comments on conditioning military aid to Israel represents a radical and dangerous departure from the bipartisan consensus – one that is supported by an overwhelming number of our fellow Americans,” Rosen wrote last December in a Jerusalem Post op-ed.
A former congressional staffer and top State Department official, Rubin is steeped in the liberal wing of the pro-Israel movement and is one of the founders of J Street, the liberal Middle East lobby. In a statement, Rosen suggested that a progressive like Rubin would reach younger Jews likely to be as exercised by social justice issues as they are by Israel.
“The Jewish community is facing significant risks right now, including to the safety of our community, the delegitimization of Israel, and the rising tide of global hate that affects us all, Rosen said. “At the same time, momentous domestic challenges, such as racial injustice, have not been effectively addressed.”
The most glaring current example of American politics’ invasion by dangerous conspiracy theories is QAnon, the “Q Clearance Patriot.”
Did you follow the sagas of troubled mothers involved in child custody disputes who have kidnapped their own children because they believe — because QAnon tells them — that pedophile rings are preying on America’s youngsters? QAnon also claims that anti-virus lockdowns are part of a plot by global elites for world domination.
What about South Carolina voters nominating a Republican QAnon supporter for Congress — or that almost 20 Republican members of the current Congress are refusing to vote for a resolution disavowing QAnon?
A Simon Wiesenthal Center report exposes QAnon’s use of 4chan and 8kun platforms to promote antisemitic libels about the Rothschild family controlling the world’s banks, and — in a newer vein — the Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor and financier George Soros as a satanic puppet master conspiring to buy the 2020 election and steal it from Donald Trump.
This is straight out of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and many Republicans are happy to embrace it — along with QAnon’s political support.
A reading of QAnon Internet blogs and e-books shows how their obsession with pedophile rings are updates for 21st century consumption of medieval fantasies that Jews kidnapped and murdered Christian children to use innocent blood in religious rituals.
Melanie Phillips: Time to end this culture of impunity
In the Middle East, with hitherto unimaginable overtures of peace and reconciliation being made towards Israel by certain Gulf states, there are hopes of a potentially momentous change for the better in the century-old Arab war of extermination against the national homeland of the Jewish people.
Clearly, however, those in the west still committed to Israel’s extermination haven’t got the memo. Indeed, they are now ramping up their hate-mongering activities to ever more alarming levels.
Last Saturday, five people were arrested for criminal damage and assaulting the police after Palestine Action protesters threw red paint at the London office of Elbit, the Israeli defence electronics company which helps equip Britain’s armed forces.
In recent months, Elbit has become the cause du jour for Israel-bashers. Huda Ammori, a prominent member of Palestine Action, said it was “up to the people to take direct action to shut Elbit down for good.” The group, which was launched earlier this year, said it had targeted Elbit sites across the country “over a dozen times”.
The indefatigable David Collier, who heroically spends his life wading through the sewers of British antisemitism and anti-Zionism in order to expose them, has written a new blog post about Palestine Action. Let’s hope this finds its way onto the desks of the police and security service. They should immediately act on what he has uncovered.
Collier describes an induction event that Palestine Action held on Zoom. He reports on the incendiary and ludicrous falsehoods they spout in this video about Elbit and Israel, revealing a level of ignorance exceeding even their malevolence. Thus much is pretty well par for the course in such degraded circles.
For many decades, one of the givens in the discussion about the Arab world’s war on Israel was the role that the American and international oil industry played as a supporter of the Arab war on Zionism. One of the most important factors in sustaining the hostility of the foreign-policy establishment to Israel was the enormous influence of the huge oil companies that viewed the U.S. relationship with Israel as a threat to their ability to do business in the Middle East. The notion of any of those corporations doing business in Israel was unthinkable since they were among the primary enablers of the Arab boycott of the Jewish state.
That’s why last week’s completion of the purchase of Noble Energy, the country that operates and holds rights to most of the natural-gas reserves off of Israel’s coastline by the Chevron Corporation, should be regarded as a milestone in the country’s economic history. The fact that even many news sites treated it as just an interesting, if not particularly earth-shaking, piece of Middle East business news isn’t so much curious as it is a sign of just how absurd the BDS movement’s efforts to economically isolate the Jewish state have become.
If the economic muscle behind the Arab world’s long campaign to treat Israel as a pariah state has not only given up that fight, but is making a massive investment in that country’s future, then where does that leave a movement that still imagines that its antisemitic propaganda will erase the Zionist experiment?
While something for friends of Israel to cheer, the $4 billion sale price was actually a bargain. Noble took all the risks in a hazardous project that it embarked upon more in 1999. The energy industry has been hard-hit by the slackening demand brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, the success of fracking in the United States and the opening of new sources outside of the traditional oil-producing nations.
But Chevron also sees a golden opportunity in the Eastern Mediterranean as vast new fields of cheap energy under the seabed are still waiting to be tapped. As The New York Times recently reported, natural gas from new energy suppliers like Israel has become much more marketable because of concerns about climate change in which it is somehow viewed as less of a problem than oil.
Ironically, the BDS movement is engaged in the very type of oppressive measures that they accuse Israelis of, fundamentally opposed to pluralism and the free exchange of ideas.
When two prominent Palestinian software companies were invited to Bir Zeit University near Ramallah to help secure jobs for Palestinian students, they were forced off campus amidst BDS rioters chanting “normalization is treason.” The reason? These software firms had previously worked with Israeli tech companies.
Similarly, Palestinian teenage girls who attended a coexistence summer camp with Israeli girls in the US were victims of verbal abuse from the BDS community. Vilified as “traitors” and “prostitutes,” many Palestinians left the camp out of fear. The BDS movement also demanded that the European Union cancel a coexistence event in Belgium with young Israelis and Palestinians, prompting many participants to withdraw.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel, which serves as the boycott movement’s leading cultural arm, targets artists and athletes who intend to visit or play in Israel. Over the years, several artists, including Lauryn Hill and Lana Del Rey, have attempted to perform in venues in both Israel and the West Bank and have been rebuffed by Palestinian venues due to pressure from BDS anti-normalization activists.
Last year, when Jordanian singer Aziz Maraka performed in the Arab-Israeli town of Kafr Yasif to nearly 5,000 fans, he was the victim of a demonization campaign by BDS proponents, who ignored the outpouring of support and gratitude from his fans, most of whom were Arab.
“BDS people,” said Maraka at that time, “have an interest in keeping me – and us, the artists – paralyzed and intimidated… I’m not willing to be dictated to about what to believe and who to talk against.”
As more and more Arab states abandon their decades-long policy of anti-normalization with Israel, the Bahraini and Emirati normalization deals are laying bare what many of us who have monitored the BDS movement have always known: their goal is the elimination of the State of Israel, not coexistence between the region’s Jews and Arabs. Those seeking a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would best be served by casting BDS from the mainstream into the radical fringe where it belongs. Perhaps now the world will finally see them for what they are: extremist ideologues who have always been anti-peace.
A politician from Spain’s leading far-left political party has courted accusations of antisemitism by declaring that Jews should be held accountable for the actions of the State of Israel toward the Palestinians.
Sonia Vivas — a member of the leftist Podemos party and a city councilor in Palma, the capital of the eastern island of Mallorca — told a council meeting that “Jews” were voting for a government that abuses Palestinian rights. She also compared support for Israel with “institutionalized homophobia.”
“I haven’t spoken to all the Jews, but their government is elected and they’re voting for a government that constantly violates fundamental rights of Palestinians,” Vivas charged.
Asked by a journalist at last Wednesday’s meeting to clarify whether she meant Jews in general or Israelis specifically, Vivas curtly responded: “You didn’t understand me because you don’t want to understand me. My explanation was clear and comprehensive.”
Vivas’ remarks were made at city council meeting on international aid where a grant of 80,000 euros for Palestinian organizations in the West Bank was discussed.
When Vivas compared “Jews” voting for the Israeli government with Spanish citizens voting for a political party whose aim was “institutionalize homophobia,” her fellow councilor Fulgencio Coll accused her of “insulting Israel.”
Noted Coll: “If you want to compare what you call the Palestinian conflict with homophobia, the best you could do is take an interest in the situation of gay and transgender people in Gaza and the West Bank. I cannot imagine a Pride Day parade in Palestine.”
Podemos has a long record of hostility toward Jews and Israel that it is cultivated by the party’s leadership.
FEDERAL Liberal MP Dave Sharma has had defamation proceedings against him over a tweet accusing former federal Labor MP Melissa Parke of antisemitism discontinued in the Federal Court.
Parke launched court proceedings in January this year over an April 2019 tweet by the former Australian ambassador to Israel, which accused her of “antisemitism and trafficking in conspiracy theories”.
The tweet was in response to an article headlined “Melissa Parke quits as Labor’s Curtin ‘star candidate’ over Israel remarks”, where it was revealed Parke accused Israel of a “fully fledged system of apartheid” in a speech to Palestinian supporters last year.
Parke withdrew from the election race as Labor’s candidate for the WA seat of Curtin shortly after the comments were made public.
“My views are well known. But I don’t want them to be a running distraction from electing a Labor government,” she said at the time.
The Federal Court on Wednesday dismissed Parke’s defamation action against Sharma, with Justice Anthony Besanko ruling Parke was entitled to take up an earlier settlement offer from the Liberal MP, despite initially rejecting the offer.
Each party must pay their own costs under the arrangement.
In a statement on Wednesday evening, Sharma said he was “pleased” the action was dismissed.
“It is a defeat for Ms Parke and all those like her who would seek to stifle political debate in this country and shut down differing viewpoints. It is a victory for free speech,” Sharma said.
The student government at Butler University in Indiana this week hosted a two-part BDS event and failed to pass a resolution condemning anti-Semitism.
The Oct. 6-8 event was titled “Boycott & Safe Protesting 101.”
It was hosted by the university’s Student Government Association’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Board, in partnership with the school’s branch of Students for Justice in Palestine.
On Wednesday, a resolution proposed to the SGA to condemn anti-Semitism was struck down.
The resolution, obtained by JNS, stated that the SGA’s constitution prohibits discrimination “based on many factors which include religion,” and that “all SGA members shall promote an atmosphere of professionalism and courtesy.”
The resolution also read that BDS “is a movement with the sole purpose of the destruction of Israel,” that SGA “condemns anti-Semitism of any form, including all forms of BDS,” and that it “shall no longer sponsor [a] ‘Boycotting and Safe Protesting’ event because SGA does not participate in events that promote hate of a religion or nationality.”
Finally, the resolution stated that SGA “stands behind all students that have been hurt by BDS events, especially those which practice Judaism and have a Jewish family history.
Ladies and Gentlemen – the editor of Newsweek Middle East. Honestly, I wouldn’t know where to bury myself out of embarrassment for her. How can someone with this level of ignorance (and apparently not a little malice against Jews) be the editor of @NewsweekME pic.twitter.com/I5DjxJZfSU
— Yonatan יונתן يوناتان (@__jacker__) October 14, 2020
Not for the first time, Haaretz‘s English edition inserts false information contradicted by the corresponding Hebrew article concerning the legal status of a Palestinian home in the disputed eastern Jerusalem of Silwan. The page-one English edition article yesterday regarding the Sumreen family home in Silwan (“Facing int’l outcry, JNF reconsiders eviction of E. Jerusalem Family”), which is also online here, erroneously reports:
The request to evict them was originally filed in 1991, based on the debunked claim the owner was an “absentee,” e.g. a civilian living in an enemy country.
The transfer of the property to the Custodian of Absentee Property was note based on a “debunked claim” but on the fact that the owner’s children, the heirs, were located in an enemy countries when the owner (Moussa Sumreen) passed away in the 1980s. Thus, Nir Hasson’s Hebrew version (in print and online) of the same article accurately reports (CAMERA’s translation):
The Jewish National Fund received the property from the Custodian of Absentee Properties, according to the law on abandoned properties, after the heirs of the house’s owner were found to be in enemy countries at the time that he passed away.
CAMERA’s Israel office yesterday prompted correction of a Christian Science Monitor Facebook post which falsely described Israel’s West Bank security barrier as “electrified.” The Oct. 3 Facebook post had erred: “During the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, people crossed through a hole in the electrified fence that divides Israel and the West Bank to visit the sea.”
The photo gallery to which the post links (“West Bank families find their day in the sun“) does not make the erroneous assertion that the security barrier is electrified.
While much of the barrier is electronic, meaning that it has sensors and cameras which alert Israel’s army of any contact or breach, it is not electrified, and will not electrify anyone who touches it.
In response to CAMERA’s communication requesting correction, editors promptly amended the post, which now accurately refers to the “electronic” fence.
Dear ?@SkyNews? and ?@adamboultonSKY?,
Why do you keep interviewing Ashton, a man with a long history of appalling antisemitism? The BBC has stopped having this man on its screens and it shames you that you still have him. pic.twitter.com/k1CxkXsr6p
— Stephen Pollard (@stephenpollard) October 13, 2020
Representatives of the Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok came under fire in the Knesset on Wednesday for allegedly failing to combat the spread of anti-Semitism on their network.
At a hearing of the Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee Wednesday morning on the topic of anti-Semitism on social media platforms, Knesset members accused the controversial social media giant of failing to stop the spread of viral videos that the MKs said denied, made fun of, or cheapened the memory of the Holocaust.
TikTok had refused to participate in two earlier Knesset panels on the subject of online anti-Semitism but on Wednesday two representatives joined the session via Zoom — Elizabeth Kantor, director of government relations and public policy UK, Ireland and Israel, and Erik Shadowens, TikTok’s policy manager.
While representatives of Google, Facebook and Twitter were also in attendance, Knesset members’ opprobrium was directed most pointedly at TikTok.
“We see evidence that [Holocaust-denial] hasn’t been removed,” MK Michal Cotler-Wunsh told a representative of TikTok.
“I am pleased that after their notable absence at our past two hearings, that TikTok has now chosen to take this first step in accepting responsibility for the virulent anti-Semitism on its platform,” she said.
TikTok is a social media platform popular with teenagers in which they can create short 3-15 second music, dance comedy or talent videos. It is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance and its Chinese provenance has raised concerns among critics about possible data security weaknesses and even foreign espionage.
.@tiktok_us and ALL digital platforms must take responsibility and be accountable to the hate that runs rampant online.
— מיכל קוטלר-וונש | Michal Cotler-Wunsh (@CotlerWunsh) October 14, 2020
A day after disclosing a “consensual, inappropriate messaging relationship” with a local television anchor, Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz resigned Tuesday, effective at the end of next week.
The announcement was made during a meeting of the Anchorage Assembly. Berkowitz was not in attendance.
Berkowitz, who is married, announced his resignation in a statement read by his chief of staff, Jason Bockenstedt:
“It is with profound sadness and humility that I resign as mayor of the Municipality of Anchorage. My resignation results from unacceptable personal conduct that has compromised my ability to perform my duties with the focus and trust that is required. I know my conduct has done great injury to my family, my staff, to municipal employees, and to the people of our community, and for that, I am deeply sorry. To make this transition as smooth as possible, my resignation will be effective Friday, October 23, at 6 p.m.”
The rapid downfall of the state’s top elected Democrat began on Friday, just after noon, when Maureen “Maria” Athens, an anchor/reporter for stations KTBY and KYUR, posted unsubstantiated allegations against Berkowitz on social media, accusing him of posting inappropriate photos on an “underage girl’s website.” The mayor’s office on Monday released a voice mail it alleged was from Athens expressing antisemitic sentiments.
The Argentine Football Association adopted the definition of antisemitism developed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance last Thursday. The AFA governs all soccer activity in Argentina.
A day earlier, the University of Buenos Aires, the country’s most prestigious university, did the same.
“We consider extremely important that UBA and AFA have adopted the definition of anti-Semitism. In the case of soccer, there are lots of precedents of concrete discrimination by religion and by nationality, among others, and this decision represents a tool to fight against hate in our main sport,” Victor Garelic, vice president of the Argentine Jewish political umbrella organization DAIA told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
The IHRA definition calls anti-Semitism “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews” that is “directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.” But it also includes “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination … by claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavour,” and “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”
The parts of the definition that include have come under fire in recent years, as some critics have said it stifles the free speech of protesters and activists.
Argentina’s soccer culture has had its share of anti-Semitism controversies in recent years. In 2018, fans of the Atlanta team were bombarded with chants about “killing the Jews to make soap,” likely a reference to the unsubstantiated claim that Nazis made soap out of dead Jewish bodies. Earlier this year, a player made an antisemitic gesture while leaving the field during a game.
Antisemitism watchdog Simon Wiesenthal Center has called on the Chilean authorities to take action following a public demonstration by armed neo-Nazi groups in Santiago.
The demonstration, held Saturday to protest a new constitution, saw numerous armed neo-Nazi protesters present, with at least one notable protester wearing a shirt that said “F**k You Israel” over a Jewish star with a cancel sign, according to local news outlet Lanacion.
“To see uniformed Nazis marching in Santiago – in ideological lockstep with antisemitic leftist pro-Palestinians – is a step to the abyss,” Simon Wiesenthal Center international relations director Dr. Shmuel Samuels said in a statement.
“Chile did not end its military dictatorship to accept these challenges to its democracy.”
“How long will we have to wait for the protection of Jewish citizens in Chile?” Simon Wiesenthal Center Latin America director Dr. Ariel Gelblung added.
“Hate knows no boundaries. It is neither from the Right nor from the Left. Hate is devious. It calls for legislative action. If not immediate, it will be too late to regret.”
The rabbi of a synagogue in a San Diego neighborhood was assaulted by a teenager on October 10.
ABC 10 reported that Rabbi Yonatan Halevy was walking with his father to Shiviti Congregation in University City, which is near UC San Diego, when a teenager rode his bike over to them. Halevy told KUSI News that the teen hit him in the head with his fist and shouted “n—–“ and “white power.”
“I was dressed in traditional Jewish Middle Eastern holiday garb, and I fell down to the floor and my hat fell down to the floor, and I’m just glad he hit me instead of hitting my father, who would have suffered much injuries than myself,” Halevy said.
The teen then began circling the synagogue on his bike, his friends on skateboards, and began taunting Halevy and other congregants.
Halevy told ABC 10 that the teen who assaulted him is part of a group of teenagers who have routinely caused trouble for the synagogue.
“Everyday they come by here, taunt us, throwing bottles at us, sitting on our roof blasting music, and then breaking a window to my van,” Halevy said. He also told KUSI that the teens have been stealing property from the synagogue as well.
Police are investigating the matter as a hate crime; Halevy said that the synagogue is beefing up its security in response to the incident.
The Polish Senate voted Wednesday to postpone provisions in a controversial animal rights bill that would ban exporting kosher meat until 2025, though the head of one of Europe’s largest Jewish groups says the fight isn’t over yet.
“The provisions in this bill relating to kosher exports have had a very rough ride. It is clear that they enjoy little support from farmers and command little enthusiasm from the Senate itself,” European Jewish Association (EJA) chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin said in a statement.
“This is encouraging, and we thank all of those senators who have responded in such a strong way and who have taken what is a principled stand, as well as all the parliamentarians and Jewish leaders from across Europe who made their voices heard.”
However, Margolin, who instigated an open letter signed by dozens of notable Jewish leaders and lawmakers from across Europe, made it clear that the battle was far from over.
“But the battle isn’t over. It has merely been postponed. If you kick a can down a road, you will eventually run out of road,” he added.
“We will continue to oppose this bill, today, tomorrow, next week, next month and for the next years. Just as we have from generation after generation whenever our way of life, our very faith is called into question. In the weeks and months ahead we will redouble our efforts to ensure that 2025 becomes permanent instead, starting with the Polish Sejm where this Bill next appears for a vote.”
A new book about Sweden’s collaboration with Nazi Germany has prompted controversy and an unsuccessful lawsuit against the book’s Jewish author from one of the country’s World War II museums.
But the lawsuit, which got thrown out of court Friday, wasn’t even about book’s subject, which in Sweden has been out in the open for decades.
Instead, Aron Flam was sued over copyright ownership of a cartoon tiger that he used on the cover of his recently published book “This Is a Swedish Tiger.”
In Sweden, the tiger image was used in a propaganda campaign during World War II to discourage Swedes from saying things or take actions that would have jeopardized Sweden’s neutral status — in Swedish, the word “tiger” also means silence.
The image on the cover of Flam’s book has the tiger wearing a Nazi armband with a black swastika, although the original image bears none of these symbols.
The tiger symbol is owned by the Emergency Preparedness Museum, which includes exhibits from Sweden’s preparations for the war.
Germany has agreed to provide more than a half billion euros to aid Holocaust survivors struggling under the burdens of the coronavirus pandemic, the organization that negotiates compensation with the German government said Wednesday.
The payments will be going to approximately 240,000 survivors around the world, primarily in Israel, North America, the former Soviet Union and Western Europe, over the next two years, according to the New York-based Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, also referred to as the Claims Conference.
With the end of World War II now 75 years in the past, Holocaust survivors are all elderly, and because many were deprived of proper nutrition when they were young today they suffer from numerous medical issues. In addition, many live isolated lives having lost their entire families and also have psychological issues because of their persecution under the Nazis.
“There’s this kind of standard response for survivors, that ‘we’ve been through worse, I’ve been through worse and if I survived the Holocaust, through the deprivation of food and what we had to go through, I’ll get through this,’” said Greg Schneider, executive vice president of the Claims Conference, in a telephone interview from New York with The Associated Press.
“But if you probe deeper you understand the depths of trauma that still resides within people.”
A comprehensive list of anti-Zionists who are not antisemitic. pic.twitter.com/KmnescjJDj
— PreOccupied Territory (@POTerritory) October 13, 2020
HBO Max has acquired world rights to “Valley Of Tears,” an Israeli TV drama about the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Deadline reported on Tuesday.
The London-based sales and production company WestEnd will be producing and co-financing the project, which will be its first TV project through its banner WeSeries.
The ten-part show, inspired by true events, is Israel’s biggest-budget TV series, with each episode costing around $1 million, according to Deadline.
Told through the first-hand accounts of young soldiers in the Yom Kippur War, it will focus on four personal stories of combatants whose plot lines are intertwined. The “Valley of Tears” was the name given to an area in the Golan Heights that was the site of a major battle during the 1973 conflict.
“‘Valley Of Tears’ is a smart and thrilling series that goes way beyond the war drama genre. It will keep viewers on the edge of their seats while they become emotionally invested in the lead characters’ stories. HBO Max is truly the perfect home for the series and we can’t wait to share it with audiences worldwide,” said Maya Amsellem, managing director of WestEnd Films.
“Valley Of Tears” was created and co-written by Israeli-American TV and film writer Ron Leshem (“Euphoria”), Amit Cohen (“False Flag”), Daniel Amsel and Yaron Zilberman (“A Late Quartet”).
Zilberman also directed the entire series.
Israeli private high-tech companies raised a record $2.74 billion in the third quarter, overcoming the coronavirus pandemic with a 24 percent increase from a year ago, the Israel Venture Capital Research Center and ZAG law firm said on Wednesday.
In the first nine months of the year, fundraising — mostly in later stage rounds — reached $7.5 billion, close to the amount raised in all of 2019.
“This quarter foreign investors allocated the highest amounts of all time,” said Shmulik Zysman, managing partner at ZAG. “The total capital invested by Israeli funds is also the highest ever.”
Life science firms stood out in the third quarter, as one in four deals was from this sector.
Early-stage companies have been affected by the pandemic, with investors focusing on later stage companies, he said. Less than $100 million was raised by 95 seed deals so far this year.
“There is still more than enough money at the Israeli dedicated venture capital funds, but their appetite for risks has declined,” said Marianna Shapira, IVC research director.
Launching the first emergency fund for kids at sports clubs today, which will support young people in sport where families are unable to fund them. The fund will also allocate psycho-social scholarships, grants and mentoring and professional training. pic.twitter.com/hC7N1iYmZ8
— Reuven Rivlin (@PresidentRuvi) October 14, 2020
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