“You are wicked deceivers of the American people. You have sucked their blood. You are not real Jews, those of you that are not real Jews. You are the synagogue of Satan, and you have wrapped your tentacles around the U.S. government, and you are deceiving and sending this nation to hell.” —Louis Farrakhan
One thing irresponsible actors on both sides of the political spectrum now agree on—perhaps the only thing—is that the medieval bigot Louis Farrakhan and his followers are serious people who “represent” or can “speak for” black America.
And the poison is spreading.
It is being spread by Donald Trump, now partnering with rapper and Farrakhan fan Ice Cube, who enjoys tweeting anti-Semitic memes and images, like one depicting Jewish bankers seated around a Monopoly board resting on the backs of Black men. It is being spread by Barack Obama, headlining an event with the discredited Women’s March leader and Farrakhan acolyte Tamika Mallory. And it is being spread by the editors of The New York Times, who this weekend ran a fawning op-ed about the women behind Farrakhan’s Million Man March without so much as a nod to his overt and grotesque bigotry–which led the late John Lewis to boycott the event. When Jewish readers expressed anguish at this whitewashing, the author of the piece took to Twitter to tell them to stop “centering” themselves in this conversation. Can you imagine that being said by a contributor to the Times to any other minority group targeted for violence? And in the very year when there was a mass murder of Jews perpetrated by someone driven by the ideas that Farrakhan promotes?
The normalizing of America’s leading conspiratorial anti-Semite by both parties, in the hope of bringing out more African American voters, is one more symptom of the deeply corrosive and morally repulsive politics that has trashed the American liberal tradition. It makes a mockery of the left’s flood of outrage over Donald Trump’s failure to forcefully denounce white supremacists, while Trump’s courting of one of Farrakhan’s outspoken fans, reportedly through the good offices of his son-in-law Jared Kushner, makes a mockery of the idea that he is a bulwark against Jew-haters on the progressive left. As for The New York Times, we look forward to the forthcoming magazine issue devoted to explaining that Farrakhan, and not Martin Luther King Jr., was actually the lead character in the fight for racial justice in America, in a series of essays to be given out next year in public schools.
In familiar laceration mode, the Editorial Board of The New York Times Sunday Review recently (October 18) offered “The Case Against Donald Trump.” Page one (of nine) presented the editors’ indictment litany, familiar to any Times reader: “Lies Anger Corruption Incompetence Chaos Decay.” Columnists cited Trump’s “Unapologetic Corruption,” “Demagogy” and “Fake Populism,” while the editors mourned “A Nation Adrift” amid “An Economy in Tatters,” “A Planet in Peril” and “Women’s Rights Under Attack.” So what else is new at the Times?
One journalist who contributed to the tirade caught my attention: Serge Schmemann, who had become the Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief shortly before the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in November 1995. Among President Trump’s claimed successes, “dubious at best and illusory at worst,” he wrote, was its Middle East peace plan. For Schmemann it was nothing more than “a bag of gifts for the Israeli right, effectively undermining America’s potential as a mediator with the Palestinians.”
His familiar expression of the Times party line about Israel prompted a review of Schmemann’s coverage of Israel in the mid-1990s. He preposterously blamed Rabin’s assassination on “the bellicose settlers of Hebron” — a favorite Times trope — who “spew the violent religious ideology that fired Yigal Amir,” Rabin’s assassin. But Amir, who grew up in the town of Herzliya, north of Tel Aviv, was not a settler nor did he live in Hebron.
Schmemann was most detached and moderate when reporting Palestinian terrorist attacks. Following the massacre by a suicide bomber that killed 26 Israeli passengers on a Jerusalem bus, he mentioned “Israeli rage and grief” but focused on Prime Minister Shimon Peres’ “tough tone” in a Knesset speech.
“In the fury of the moment,” Schmemann wrote, Israelis “reverted to their basic instinct: that war against terrorism must be constant and total” — rather, presumably, than occasional and minimal.
Tom Gross: Conversations with friends: New York Times columnist Bret Stephens
Bret Stephens, a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the NY Times and before that the Wall St Journal, talks about his upbringing in Mexico, his family background in Europe, and becoming a journalist. Bret and Tom Gross discuss America’s place in the world, the ongoing ‘culture wars’ in the US, the pitfalls of Donald Trump’s presidency (but whether it is dangerous for some to suggest he’s a ‘fascist’ or ‘Nazi’), what Trump has got wrong but what he may have got right regarding China, the Mideast and the Balkans, and Bret’s own role at the New York Times, and the Times’ role in the world.
As Alan Dershowitz writes in his classic book The Case for Israel, “A good working definition of anti-Semitism is taking a trait or an action that is widespread, if not universal, and blaming only the Jews for it. That is what Hitler and Stalin did, and that is what former Harvard University president A. Lawrence Lowell did in the 1920s when he tried to limit the number of Jews admitted to Harvard because ‘Jews cheat.’ When a distinguished alumnus objected on the grounds that non-Jews also cheat, Lowell replied, ‘You’re changing the subject. I’m talking about Jews.’”
That’s exactly what the synagogue picketers are doing. Like Lowell pretended to care about cheating, but only cared about Jewish cheating, so Hirskovitz and Co. pretend to be for “human rights,” and to care for Arabs killed in conflicts, but, in fact, they only care about Arabs who are killed by Jews. It’s not about Arab lives. It’s not about justice. It’s about Jewish behavior. (And it’s certainly not about what Arab terrorists do to Jewish civilians, ed.)
According to the vehemently anti-Israel NGO B’Tzelem, in the 27 years between 1987 (the First “Intifadah”) and 2014 (Operation Protective Edge), Israeli counter-terrorism measures killed a grand total of 8,441 Palestinians. But in only nine years (2011 – 2020), Arabs killed 586,100 Arabs in the Syrian Civil War, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights’ report. Hirskovitz and Company were nowhere to be seen. Nor have they likely been writing about the grand slaughters of the last century, like those in the Soviet Empire (at least 20 million) and Máo’s China (perhaps 65 million). For him and his kind, only Israeli behavior — and it’s microscopic “massacres” — count.
The same disproportionate concern with Jewish conduct and its concomitant erasure of truly horrid crimes in Israel’s neighborhood and beyond can be endlessly extended.
So let us turn the tables. My organization, Americans for Peace and Tolerance, developed a way to counter such lies by moving the spotlight from fantasies of Israeli evil to the hideous human rights atrocities which appear not to really trouble this world’s Henry Hirskovitzs.
We produced a series of meme posters highlighting the moral hypocrisy of anti-Israel arguments, particularly those of the BDS movement. They can be downloaded here, or directly and in full resolution from our website.
For Mayor Schewel and his fellow Democratic Party members, though, the incident brought additional outside support for their political ambitions—much of it from Jews. Over the past 13 months, some $266,000 has poured into the Democratic Party platform campaigns. For State Attorney General Josh Stein—who was once a partner in a firm with JVP chapter leader Tom Stern—some 30% of his campaign support has come from donors outside of North Carolina, including $5,400 from George Soros and 290 donations from individuals in California, where JVP is based.
The rapid political progress in Durham has likewise attracted repeat marquee visits from BDS activist Linda Sarsour, who shared the city council’s misprisioned understanding of the Israeli law enforcement programs when she said elsewhere that American police are sent to be trained by “Israeli police and military, and then they come back here and do what? Stop and frisk, killing unarmed Black people across the country.” After Sarsour’s keynote last February at a UNC Chapel Hill public health conference—where Sarsour, who has no medical background, weighed in on the public health issues of the day by explaining that “I believe and I support the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement”—she was brought back to give a $9,000 main address focusing on intersectionality and activism at a women’s history month Courageous Conversations event.
Wolf, Friedman, and others in the Durham community filed what would total three lawsuits against the city and leadership for both discrimination and violations of public records laws for using personal email accounts to communicate about the resolution before it was debated publicly. Two of those suits were eventually dismissed, and the third is now pending in a federal appeals court.
“In my view, making these sorts of announcements is discriminatory and illegal. However, it’s very difficult to get a court to agree to that,” David Abrams, a lawyer who represented one of the dismissed suits, told me. “If a town announced that we’re no longer hiring people of race X for position Y, and then it turns out that later they say, ‘well, we weren’t going to hire anyone for position Y,’ I don’t think a court would have a problem saying that the announcement itself is unlawful. It just seems that with Israel, people don’t take discrimination quite as seriously.”
In March, following the passage of the resolution, there was perhaps some indication that courts might wish to take anti-Semitic hate and its connection to passing purely speculative resolutions targeting the world’s only Jewish state more seriously. At a conference in Durham hosted by the Duke-UNC Middle East Consortium, a rapper named Tamer Nafar opened the performance of his song, “Mama, I Fell in Love with a Jew” and asked for assistance from the energized crowd. “This is my anti-Semitic song … I know it sounds like R&B stuff, but don’t think of Rihanna when you sing it,” Nafar said. “Think of Mel Gibson … Go that anti-Semitic … Let’s try it together. I need your help. I can’t be anti-Semitic alone.”
A video of the performance posted online led to outrage in some quarters of Durham. Others took a blithe view of the incident, including a UNC professor and adviser for JVP who challenged the logic of how someone could be anti-Semitic if they openly announced themselves to be anti-Semitic. “If your song is anti-Semitic, you’re not going to say that,” Eyse Crystall told one reporter. “The song was about being in love with a Jewish woman.”
Looking back since the passage of the resolution, Katherine Wolf told me that she anticipated the template used to pass the resolution in Durham would be implemented in progressive strongholds. “People think Durham is an isolated case. Actually, we’re the canary in the coal mine.”
For Deborah Friedman, the whole encounter with JVP and the institutions which rallied around them ultimately left her feeling unsure of her place in her own city. “You raise your kids here, they go to school in Durham, and you think you’re welcomed in the community. And you’re not. It really felt like the Invasion of the Body Snatchers, you suddenly don’t know who your friends are anymore,” she said.
“They don’t care if they’re lying, or what they need to do. They just want to take their big old intersectional measuring stick and whack you over the head with it.”
The map of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s shutdown in Brooklyn can be perfectly correlated to the Orthodox Jewish community in the borough, and that is by design. In a video appearance, the governor has pegged spiking cases on the shoulders of only one community within the city: Orthodox Jews, and he linked the surge in the virus to the religious practices of Orthodox Judaism. In a public address, Cuomo explained, “We’re now having issues in the Orthodox Jewish community in New York, where, because of their religious practices, we’re seeing a spread.”
Through words and actions, the governor has shown that he views Jews as vectors of disease, and his mitigation strategy for the virus rests on shutting down the religious practices of Orthodox Jews.
Infection rates in the area are going up, and so the governor has decided to shut the entire area down: schools, stores, etc. Despite the fact that retail and education have not been tied to these spikes in cases (which have not resulted in nearly the numbers of hospitalizations and deaths we saw in the spring), the state punitively took action against only one entire area, those populated by Orthodox Jews, locking it down in its entirety.
In a recently released half-hour audio clip of a private phone conversation between Cuomo and rabbis in the community, we hear Cuomo say this: “I didn’t propose this, it was proposed by [Mayor Bill de Blasio] in the city. I’m trying to sharpen this and make it better. But it’s out of fear. People see the numbers going up and close everything, close everything. It’s not the best way to do it. It is a fear-driven response. The virus scares people. Hopefully, we get the numbers down in the ZIP codes, the anxiety comes down, and we can have a smarter, more tailored approach. Your point is right; why close every school? Why don’t you test the schools and close the ones that have a problem? I know. But, first, I don’t know if we have the resources to do that now. But I can tell you honestly, the fear is too high to do anything other than let’s do everything we can to get the infection rate down now; close the doors, and close the windows.”
On Friday, it was announced that a school in Brooklyn, Bais Yaakov Ateres Miriam, decided to push back against this fear-based response by the governor and demand its right to reopen safely, filing a lawsuit with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. The complaint on behalf of the Bais Yaakov school with the District Court for the Northern District of New York tasks the court to allow the school to reopen immediately and is the first of its kind, but should hardly be the last. In its briefing to the court, the Becket Fund explains, “Fear is not a compelling government interest, and—even in a pandemic—constitutional rights deserve better than a hatchet job. That is particularly true where the government admits public health is not in jeopardy.”
Despite the rising infection rate and the reopening of the school at the beginning of the year, the school has seen zero cases of the virus among its students or staff. The school has proven its ability to operate safely, and Becket is rightly fighting for it to continue to do so.
HAPPENING NOW: Media outside a Jewish Orthodox institution in Brooklyn, New York, attempting to report on lack of social distancing stymied by the community blasting car horns. pic.twitter.com/aFTTz2V0m5
— SV News 🚨 (@SVNewsAlerts) October 19, 2020
— Rabbi Yisroel Kahan (@ykahan) October 20, 2020
Fake Kazakh journalist Borat has blamed Israel and the Jews for the coronavirus.
The bumbling reporter is played by Jewish comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, who is promoting the sequel to his 2006 hit film.
The character was known for being wildly anti-Semitic — more as a way of exposing and lampooning entrenched bigotry in American society than as commentary on Kazakhstan.
Baron Cohen, appearing on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” opened the show by spraying disinfectant across the set and saying that his country’s intelligence services “have make discovery this morning that there is a virus.
“It come from a place called Wuhan, which is in Israel. There is no surprise. They are spreading everything,” Baron Cohen said.
“It spread from the you-know-whos,” he added, simulating a big nose with his hand.
He administered a “normal Kazakh plague questionnaire” to Kimmel, which opened with the question, “In the last week have you been in the presence of more than 15 minutes of any Jews?”
He also asked if Kimmel, “as a member Hollywood elite,” had recently drunk any “unpasteurized children’s blood” — a reference to anti-Semitic blood libels against Jews.
The problem with this coverage is that it would be like telling the story of lynchings in the US South by the KKK as a series of “extremists” killing “random people.”
For instance, the 2015 attack on the kosher market in Paris was described by US president Barack Obama as “a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.”
But it wasn’t random. Terming the systematic murder of African-Americans by the KKK as “random” would miss the nature of the terror campaign being conducted. The KKK sought out specific targets to spread fear, not just random people. The same methodology tends to underpin killings like the murder of the teacher.
This leads to questions about whether calling the KKK “violent extremists” would be better than reporting more narrowly on its white supremacist motivations. “Religious supremacist” is a term rarely, if ever, used to describe the terror attacks in places like France, but at the root of beheadings is a form of far-right, religious, supremacist attacks.
Re-focusing the attacks on the outcome, such as police shooting the perpetrator, tends to move the focus to the perpetrator rather than the victim and leave behind questions of motive and worldview.
Twenty years after the US declared a global war on terror, governments and the media still struggle with how to define these kinds of attacks.
Brendan O’Neill: The silence of the anti-fascists
Anti-fascists are incredibly quiet about the fascist in France who cut off a man’s head because he displayed some cartoons in a classroom. It is two days since the gruesome Islamist murder of schoolteacher Samuel Paty for the supposed crime of showing caricatures of Muhammad to his pupils during a classroom discussion about freedom of speech. And yet the self-styled anti-fascists of the European and American left have said barely a word. There have been no big protests outside of France, no angry rallies, no Twitterstorms, no knee-taking or fist-raising, no promises by ‘Antifa’ to face down these extremists who slaughter schoolteachers for talking about liberty. Their craven, cowardly silence is as revealing as it is depressing.
After every Islamist terror attack, we hear the same thing from significant sections of the Western left, including those who style themselves as anti-fascist. Their first concern is always, but always, that an Islamist terror attack might give rise to an ‘Islamophobic’ backlash. We have to be careful about how we talk about Islamist terrorism, they say, or we might help to make Muslim communities into targets for racist violence. This is such a morally warped response to the extremist violence of radical Islamists. Imagine if, following an act of far-right violence carried out by a white man, someone said ‘Let’s not get too angry about this because we might alienate white people and put them at risk’. Imagine if, in the wake of the terrorist attacks by Anders Breivik in Norway or Brenton Tarrant in New Zealand, people’s first response was to wonder if white people would be okay, if white men were feeling safe. That is how crazy leftists sound when their Pavlovian response to the mass murder of children in Manchester or the slaughter of Bastille Day celebrants in Nice or the mowing down of Christmas shoppers in Berlin is to say: ‘I hope Muslims will be okay.’
Their instinct is always to hush and chill discussion of radical Islam. They have developed numerous strategies for doing this. The first, as described above, is to imply that there could be violence against Muslims if we get too angry or heated about an Islamist attack – a form of moral blackmail designed to stymie frank discussion of Islamist violence. Another is to promiscuously deploy the insult of ‘Islamophobe’ against anybody who raises awkward questions about the frequency and bloodiness of Islamist attacks in Europe, or who even uses that i-word at all (Islamist) to describe these acts of violence.
A mosque in Paris has apologised for sharing a video from a parent who called for a ‘mobilisation’ campaign against Samuel Paty, a teacher who was beheaded after showing his class a caricature of the Islamic prophet Mohammed shortly afterwards.
On Sunday, the leader of the Pantin mosque in Paris, M’hammed Henniche, admitted to sharing the video, which detailed the terror victim’s identity and address. Following the dissemination of the video, Paty was beheaded in an Islamic attack believed to have been committed by 18-year-old Chechen migrant Abdoulakh Anzorov.
“In hindsight, given what happened we regret having published it. We are now exploring how in the future we can take a step back before getting carried away with things like that,” the mosque leader said per FranceTVInfo.
“Nobody, really nobody, could imagine, on October 9 when I posted it, that it would end with this killing,” he added.
Henniche claimed that the video was widely shared through Muslim circles in the city, telling the French newspaper Libération: “At least ten people sent it to me. It circulated a lot, especially through WhatsApp groups.”
Following the Islamic attack, the mosque deleted the video from its Facebook page and called for its members to join tribute rallies for the victim.
Sheikh Ali Al-Yousuf: Killing of French Teacher Paty Was in Keeping with the Ruling of the Shari’a
Qatari Sociologist Abd Al-Aziz Al-Khazraj Al-Ansari: Samuel Paty’s Murder May Have Been Orchestrated Like 9/11; Killings, Stabbings Are Normal Reactions to Insults against the Prophet Muhammad pic.twitter.com/hGTSDDsTVJ
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) October 20, 2020
The outspoken Unite union leader, Len McCluskey, who has repeatedly downplayed antisemitism in the Labour Party, has apologised after saying that a Jewish politician should “go into a room and count his gold”.
Mr McCluskey made the comment about Lord Mandelson, a New Labour grandee and former minister, in an interview with the BBC. Told that Lord Mandelson had praised the new Leader of the Labour Party, Mr McCluskey told Newsnight: “I stopped listening to what Peter Mandelson said [sic] many, many years ago. I suggest that Peter just goes into a room and counts his gold, not worry about what’s happening in the Labour Party – leave that to those of us who are interested in ordinary working people.”
Lord Mandelson has made no secret of his Jewish heritage in the past. His grandfather founded the Harrow United Synagogue and his father worked at the JC. Lord Mandelson said in 2010: “It’s not that I am religious. It’s the extended family, which part of me wants to be part of.”
The notion that Jews are rich and self-interested is an age-old antisemitic trope.
Unite defended Mr McCluskey’s remark, reportedly saying in a statement: “Mr Mandelson’s religion was not relevant to the comments made by Mr McCluskey. Indeed, to the best of our knowledge Mr Mandelson is not Jewish. The ordinary meaning of the statement made by Mr McCluskey is one of his belief that in recent years Mr Mandelson has had more interest in increasing his own wealth than in fighting for social justice for working class people. The suggestion of any antisemitic meaning to the commentary would be ludicrous.”
However, late last night, Mr McCluskey tweeted: “Before this gets out of hand, let me say language is important and I apologise to Peter Mandelson and anyone else if mine has caused hurt.”
“Could be??!!” pic.twitter.com/J4TtrTEMWM
— SussexFriendsofIsrael (@SussexFriends) October 19, 2020
Ken Livingstone has said he has not seen a draft copy of the report by Britain’s equality watchdog into Labour antisemitism in advance of its publication.
Asked to comment on his response to the long-awaited Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report the former Mayor of London told the JC: “I haven’t objected to it. I haven’t seen it.”
Organisations and individuals which could be facing criticism in the report into Labour’s handling of antisemitism were sent draft copies in July.
The process – which saw the Labour Party confirming they had received a draft version -allowed them 28 days to mount any challenge to claims made within the document.
Mr Livingstone also told the JC he believed he had been subjected to “lies and smears” ever since he was first elected leader of the Greater London Council in 1981.
He said: “I’ve been accused of being corrupt, alcoholic…violent.
“I’ve had 39 years of lies and smears. Don’t worry about it.”
Mr Livingstone resigned from Labour after 50 years in May 2018 saying the issues around antisemitism had become a distraction.
He had been suspended since 2016 over comments relating to Adolf Hitler and Zionism.
StandWithUs, the pro-Israel organization that opposes anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist activities on college campuses, has written to Zoom Video Communications urging the company to deny a platform to airline hijacker Leila Khaled when she is scheduled to address students on Friday, Oct. 23, at the University of Hawaii. Zoom previously denied its platform to Khaled when she was scheduled to address students at San Francisco State University.
StandWithUs (SWU) released a copy of its letter to Eric S. Yuan, founder and CEO of Zoom Video Communications, and also informed David Lasser, president of the University of Hawaii, of its strong objections to the event.
Below is a copy of the SWU letter that was sent to Yuan:
Dear Mr. Yuan, We write on behalf of the StandWithUs Saidoff Legal Department and the StandWithUs Center for Combating Antisemitism, two divisions of StandWithUs, an international non-profit Israel education organization, concerning an upcoming Zoom event featuring convicted terrorist Leila Khaled. Ms. Khaled is apparently scheduled to speak through Zoom at an event at the University of Hawaii this upcoming Friday, October 23, 2020. According to the Facebook post, the purpose of the event is “to protest the lockstep censorship by Facebook, Zoom, YouTube, and SFSU of an Open Classroom featuring Leila Khaled. This webinar explores—and refuses!— the use of the label ‘terrorism’ to censor political speech and criminalize resistance.” In light of Khaled’s membership in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a U.S. State Department-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, and, more importantly, her terrorism convictions in connection with the 1969 hijacking of TWA Flight 840 and the 1970 hijacking of El Al Flight 219, we ask that you immediately take all necessary steps to ensure that a convicted terrorist not receive a platform on Zoom.
Boycotts only divide people and spread disunity and discrimination.
In a time of rising intolerance, boycotts only divide people and spread disunity and discrimination. There is a better way to bring about peace, and a better way to bring about change.
BDS is just a big lie!
> BDS has its own political agenda
> BDS is not a human rights org
> BDS aims to destroy Israel
> BDS does not seek to bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians pic.twitter.com/UxrlY1SfgG
— Bassem Eid (@eid_bassem) October 19, 2020
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) October 20, 2020
How does she make her money?
Via @Donorbox donations.
We are calling on Donorbox to cease all business relations with Kiswani and WOL. pic.twitter.com/1SFInn4sYr
— StopAntisemitism.org (@StopAntisemites) October 19, 2020
Indeed, even narrowly thinking about suffering in the Middle East that’s on par with that of the Uighurs, O’Grady clearly didn’t consider Syria and Yemen – where hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed, and millions displaced.
To provide another comparison: The total death toll in the nine year Syria Civil War is believed to be over 400,000. In Yemen, six years of war have claimed over 230,000 lives. The number of Arabs (including Palestinians) killed in conflict over the last 100 years is around 91,000. (25,000 Jews were killed during that time period)
If you look at the past year, a total of 133 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces – a number (reported by the anti-Israel NGO B’tselem) which includes Palestinians slain whilst carrying out terror attacks, or in some way involved in hostilities (nearly half of the total number).
Using another metric of suffering, governments’ violations of their citizens’ human rights, the human rights organisation Freedom House lists, as the countries with the worst overall scores for political rights and civil liberties: Syria, Eritria, South Sudan, Turkmenistan, North Korea, Equatorial Guinea, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Somalia and Tajikistan.
By contrast, Freedom House ranks Israel as the best country in the Middle East on political and civil rights.
For the Indy journalist to assert that the collective suffering of the Palestinians is even in the same moral universe as that of the Uighurs suggests either profound malice or, more likely, a staggering level of ignorance.
On Aug. 28, a full-page advertisement was published in The New York Times to endorse Black Lives Matter. Claiming to represent “the majority of American Jews,” the ad not only proclaimed support for the “Black Lives Matter” message – the pursuit of racial justice, freedom and safety for Blacks – which the vast majority of American Jewish communities strongly support, but for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement – a framework encompassing different entities about which many American Jews are more apprehensive.
The ad celebrated the larger movement as America’s “current day Civil Rights Movement” and the “best chance at equity and justice.” Spearheaded by radical-left and pro-BDS groups like Bend the Arc and Jewish Voice for Peace, the ad purported to represent Jewish organizations from across the spectrum “speaking in one voice” to support the BLM movement. It also implicitly attacked those voicing concern about the movement’s antisemitism by suggesting they were racists and white supremacists who were “pointing fingers, scapegoating, and using antisemitic dogwhistles” in order to undermine Black-led movements. The advertisement thus provoked anger and anxiety within the American Jewish community.
What is the Controversy Over the Movement?The controversy about the BLM movement – in contrast to the cause – began years earlier, when movement leaders came out in support of the antisemitic BDS movement following a junket to “Palestine” organized by one of the BLM-affiliated groups called Dream Defenders that brought black activists to Israel and the West Bank to meet with BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti and other radical anti-Israel activists and militants. Among them was the BLM movement co-founder, Patrisse Cullors.
The December 2014 trip was the first of several such trips organized by Dream Defenders, a group founded by three alumni of Florida state universities in Tallahassee in reaction to the killing in Florida of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, following a physical altercation. Although the group’s co-founders were initially focused on repealing Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” Law which they believed resulted in Martin’s killing and Zimmerman’s acquittal, the mission quickly expanded. One of the co-founders of the group was a Palestinian-American activist by the name of Ahmad Abuznaid whose own focus was to create a nexus between Palestinian grievances and those of African Americans and to link the emerging BLM movement with BDS. In April 2014, Abuznaid spoke at an event sponsored by the BDS group, Students for Justice in Palestine, at his alma mater. His topic was “The Freedom Struggle From Florida to Palestine: A Look at Racial Oppression in America and Israel.”
So, where did the Telegraph get the 400 figure from?
Well, Reuters published a similar story a week ago (“Palestinian village installs cameras, accusing Israeli settlers of attacks”, Oct. 7), which quoted Ali Faraj, co-founder of the Palestinian camera project highlighted in the Oct. 19th Telegraph article, claiming more than 450 such incidents.
So, the 400+ figure appears to be nothing more than an unsubstantiated Palestinian claim.
To be fair, there is a lot of tree vandalism in the West Bank by settlers, with thousands of trees vandalized, per the UN database, yearly. But, physical violence is of course not the same thing as vandalism, which is an important distinction given that the article uses wording (“they are attacking us“, Palestinians have been “beaten”) suggesting daily occurrences of the former.
We’ve been in touch with the Telegraph, and asked that they either provide a credible source for the 400 figure, or clarify to readers that it’s merely an unverified Palestinian claim.
A combination of a recent Holocaust survivors’ campaign, as well as a shocking US study that showed a serious lack of knowledge among so-called Generation Z, 48% of whom could not name a single concentration camp., has prompted social media giants Facebook and Twitter to announce last week that both platforms will ban posts denying the Holocaust, in line with their respective rules on violating hateful conduct policy.
While this is a very important step, US Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism Elan Carr argues that social media is rife with “raw hate” against Jews and will probably remain as such in the foreseeable future.
Carr, who was named as the Trump administration’s special envoy on anti-Semitism in February 2019, told JNS that there is only so much that the federal government can do to curb online posts.
“Obviously, a portion of online anti-Semitism rises to the level of crime, and, of course, that should be addressed and addressed aggressively. But the vast majority of online hate is protected by the First Amendment, so the government can’t go after protected speech nor should it,” he said.
Asked whether a free-market approach could better combat anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism on social-media sites, Carr said, “Competition is always a good thing, and certainly, the government has expressed that view specifically in the context of the social-media platforms.
“At the end of the day, you’ve got some bad actors who are spouting hate on the Internet. One can decide to regulate this or that platform, but at the end of the day, we’ve got to go to the source of the problem. The source of the problem is people hold despicable views. The First Amendment protects despicable views, but it doesn’t mean we can’t condemn them or call them out. I think that is absolutely critical.
After more than 20 red Swastikas were spray-painted all along rue de Rivoli in the center of Paris, the Criminal Court, surprisingly, didn’t, retain the “antisemitic character” of the act.
A 31-year-old man from Georgia was arrested at the scene on October 11 on suspicion of spray-painting the swastikas. He will be judged on November 18 by the court for “refusal of signaling” and “degradation of classified property” but “the antisemitic character” of the alleged act was denied and not retained by the court.
This decision was strongly denounced by the International League Against Racism and Antisemitism (LICRA).
“Something is not right in the functioning of justice. The Minister of the Interior himself denounces the tags as Nazi’s, but the prosecution does not retain any aggravating circumstances in the matter, considering that swastikas are not Nazi,” LICRA declared in a tweet.
According to the Paris prosecutor’s office, it is not legally possible to retain the aggravating circumstance of the commission of acts due to religion, insofar as these degradations have been committed without specifically targeting buildings identified as linked to the Jewish community.
Tagged in red on the columns of the arcades of the rue de Rivoli, the swastikas were visible early Sunday morning in photos posted on social networks.
A San Diego teenage boy was arrested by police last Friday in connection with a violent assault on a rabbi in the University City neighborhood the previous weekend.
The 14-year-old was booked into Juvenile Hall on battery and hate crime charges, San Diego Police Lt. Shawn Takeuchi said. On the previous Saturday, Oct. 10, the teen was alleged to have punched Rabbi Yonatan Halevy of the Shiviti Congregation to the ground as he walked to synagogue with his father for Shabbat services.
Halevy explained that the teen had ridden past him on a bike, and then abruptly turned and punched him in the face. After regaling the rabbi with insults and a reference to “white power,” he rode off laughing, Halevy told The San Diego Union-Tribune.
“I was shocked, stunned, and hurt, but was grateful that my father was unharmed,” the rabbi recalled.
Halevy said that the synagogue had been targeted by a group of teens, including the alleged assailant, for a few weeks before the attack. They had been heckled and a car window was broken, he said.
Even before the attack on Halevy, the Anti-Defamation League’s regional director had highlighted the problems faced by the synagogue.
“We don’t want to be dismissive and say it was just kids,” the ADL’s Tammy Gillies said. “We have to take hate and any hate incident very seriously.”
A Director of a Canadian human rights group has posted a virulently antisemitic meme and antisemitic text on Facebook and Twitter, according to a report.
Aliya Hasan, also known as Aliyawa Jamal Hasan, a Director of Canadian Defenders for Human Rights (CD4HR), uploaded a post to Facebook on 14th October featuring an octopus with a Star of David symbol and a letter “Z” (for Zionist) on its head and its tentacles wrapped around the Capitol building. Each tentacle bore the initials of a Jewish organisation. The caption read: “Dear Americans, Sorry to break it to you, but America is under occupation and Biden and the Democrats won’t change that. Sincerely, The rest of the sane world.”
Commenting on her own post, Ms Hasan wrote: “I’ll be getting blocked by some more diehard dems [Democrats] soon.” She accompanied her post with ‘sad-face’ and ‘crying’ emojis.
She added, “Just letting the trash take itself out,” with a series of ‘laughing’ and ‘crying with laughter’ emojis.
On October 14, 2020 Hasan tweeted: “Dear Americans, Sorry to break it to you, but America is under occupation and #Biden and the #Democrats won’t change that. Sincerely, The rest of the sane world.” She attached the same antisemitic meme of an octopus with its tentacles wrapped around America’s seat of government.
The notions of the Jews as excessively powerful – often illustrated through tentacles imagery – and parasitic are common antisemitic themes.
Several Jewish cemeteries and a Holocaust memorial have been desecrated in Greece, the country’s Jewish council said Monday, just days after neo-Nazi leaders were jailed in a landmark trial.
A graffito saying, “With Jews you lose,” was sprayed Friday onto a monument dedicated to the 50,000 Jews of Thessaloniki in northern Greece exterminated during the Holocaust, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) said in a statement.
The words “Death to Israel” were also discovered at the Jewish cemetery of Thessaloniki, while four tombs were vandalized in the Jewish cemetery on Rhodes island in the southeast.
The acts of vandalism come after the leader of Greece’s neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn and his inner circle were handed 13-year prison sentences on Wednesday.
The sentences represented a major downfall for a party that had been the country’s third most popular in 2015 when the trial began.
An auction house in Munich, Germany, has again come under fire for selling Nazi memorabilia, this time including various speaking notes from Adolf Hitler.
The chairman of the European Jewish Association (EJA), Rabbi Menachem Margolin, said he couldn’t get his “head around the sheer irresponsibility and insensitivity” of selling such items to the highest bidder.
Hermann Historica was criticized in November 2019 for a similar auction. The lots ended up being bought by a Lebanese businessman, Abdallah Chatila, who then donated them to Yad Vashem to do with as they saw fit.
Following the fallout of the last auction, the EJA has been pushing European lawmakers to ban the sale of Nazi memorabilia as part of an overall plan to tackle antisemitism across the continent.
“It defies logic, decency and humanity for the very same auction house that came under fire less than a year ago for selling disgusting lots of Nazi memorabilia that they should do so again,” said Margolin in a statement. “What auctions like this do help legitimize Hitler enthusiasts who thrive on this sort of stuff.”
Margolin called for the auction to be stopped and for the German government to intervene.
An A-star student said to have fallen down “the rabbit hole of the internet” to become a neo-Nazi has pleaded guilty to fourteen terror charges.
Harry Vaughan, who is eighteen, is said to have begun taking an interest in Satanic neo-Nazism at the age of fourteen, unbeknownst to his parents, who were bewildered when he was arrested some years later.
He had “every advantage that could have been afforded to him,” according to his barrister, having been educated at a prestigious grammar school and received four A-star grades in summer exams.
In 2018, he applied to join the System Resistance Network, a white supremacist successor to National Action, which the Government proscribed as a terrorist organisation in 2016 following a long campaign by Campaign Against Antisemitism and others. He wrote at the time that “there is nothing I wouldn’t do to further the cause”.
He was arrested at home on 19th June last year in a counter-terrorism operation against a far-right online forum called Fascist Forge. His laptop was seized, revealing documents relating to antisemitism, Satanism and neo-Nazism, as well as as far-right terrorist book, bomb-making manuals and materials from the Sonnenkrieg Division, a neo-Nazi organisation that was proscribed by the Government this year.
Police also discovered videos of child abuse, which also led to charges to which Mr Vaughan has pleaded guilty.
A Nazi banner was seen draped out of a first floor window in a house in Stoke-On-Trent.
The banner in Birches Head was publicised on social media, where police announced that it was being investigated.
This is not the first time that a Nazi flag has appeared in the area. In 2017, a trader was suspended from a town market after displaying a Nazi banner at his stall in nearby Leek.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis of Home Office statistics shows that an average of over three hate crimes are directed at Jews every single day in England and Wales, with Jews almost four times more likely to be targets of hate crimes than any other faith group.
Transparency International, a watchdog group fighting corruption worldwide, named Israel in its top category for enforcement against corruption in international transactions, financial daily Globes reported Sunday. This is the second successive year in which Israel gets top marks for combating this type of corruption.
Together with Israel, the US, the UK, and Switzerland were also given top marks among the 47 countries surveyed, the report said.
Transparency International operates in over 100 countries and its Israeli office is headed by former President of the National Labor Court Judge Nili Arad.
Recognizing the efforts Israel has invested in enforcing laws designed to eliminate corruption from international deals, the report said that between 2016 and 2019, Iocal law enforcement agencies have launched 10 investigations into such cases. One criminal indictment was filed and three cases concluded with imposing sanctions on the suspected parties.
According to Globes, the report made note of directives issued by the State Attorney’s Office in October 2019, outlining policy with regard to indicting corporations and the relevant penalties under the law. Investigations of foreign bribery cases are carried out by the Israel Police’s National Fraud Unit and are supervised by the Lahav 433 Major Crimes Unit. Some involve the Israel Securities Authority and Tax Authority.
Israel’s pension system ranks third in the world, according to an annual global survey.
The Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index rated Israel’s pension system 74.7 out of 100, giving it a B grade and placing it third out of the 39 countries surveyed.
This was Israel’s first year being included on the 12-year-old index. The two countries that placed ahead of Israel, the Netherlands and Denmark, were the only two given an A grade, and are already widely regarded as having the best pension systems in the world.
For comparison, the US and UK both were graded C+. More than half of the countries on the list saw their ratings drop this year as global economies contend with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis.
Broken down, Israel’s pension system ranked fourth for sustainability, seventh for integrity, and 12th for adequacy.
“Israel’s retirement income system comprises of a universal state pension and private pensions with compulsory employer and employee contributions,” the report said. “In most cases, annuities are paid from the private pension system.”
Facebook said Tuesday it has started to test a new, lightweight version of its popular Instagram App, with improved speed, performance, and responsiveness while using less data, to target users in emerging markets where network connectivity is unstable and speeds can be slow.
Instagram Lite, the new version of the app for Android systems, is being developed by the social media giant’s technology team in Tel Aviv, which was also responsible for leading the product development of the Facebook Lite feature — the lightweight version of the regular Facebook app for cellphones, used today by millions of users worldwide.
Facebook’s R&D hub in Tel Aviv, set up in 2013, today employs a few hundred workers locally and is the second-largest strategic development center for the social media giant after the US, Tzach Hadar, director of Product Management for Lite interfaces and Tel Aviv tech site lead, said at a virtual meeting with reporters.
Instagram Lite is less than 2MB, compared to 32MB for the regular app, which makes it fast to install and quick to load. It is designed to offer the core features of the original Instagram app for millions of users in emerging markets, such as Brazil, Indonesia, Philippines, Egypt and Turkey, who cannot access the original Instagram experience as they don’t have access to high-speed Wi-Fi internet and are reliant on mobile connections that typically don’t go above 2G or 3G, explained Michelle Lourie, product manager of Instagram Lite.
Emerging markets will account for over 90% of new mobile subscribers globally, Facebook said in a statement.
As Israel finalizes an agreement to normalize relations with the United Arab Emirates, Netanya-based agriculture technology startup CropX Technologies is already fielding numerous calls and emails from the Gulf country, which only a few months ago was off limits to Israelis.
“CropX has started receiving many inquiries from interested agricultural companies and investors,” said Tomer Tzach, CEO of CropX, which makes simple to install underground sensors that track moisture and other soil properties. “The UAE market is very relevant to CropX and has the potential of becoming CropX’s third largest market.”
The company’s sensors store and analyze the data in the cloud and notify farmers via phone alerts when to water their fields, saving large amounts of water – a potential game-changer for the parched Gulf landscape.
The experience of CropX highlights how the US-brokered agreement with the UAE is opening up opportunities for Israeli tech companies that focus on water and agriculture. The water-starved and fast-developing Gulf region is eager to find invest
Viewers were gripped Monday night by the first episode of “Valley of Tears,” or “She’at Neilah” in Hebrew, a fictionalized retelling of the 1973 Yom Kippur War that is the biggest-budget Israeli TV series to date.
At 9:15 p.m. on Kan 11, and on the Kan 11 website, the main characters were introduced in an engrossing double episode lasting 83 minutes.
Intended to tell the stories of the soldiers who battled in the war and deal with the national trauma the war inflicted on the Israeli psyche, “Sha’at Neilah” brings the 1970s to life, from cars and fashions to slang and tanks.
During the episode viewers meet Dafna (Joy Rieger), whose boyfriend, Yoav (Aviv Alush), is stationed at the Mount Hermon outpost that’s later attacked by Syrian commandos; Alush (Imri Bitton), saying goodbye to his girlfriend before heading to the Golan, and Meni, a boozy journalist played by Lior Ashkenazi, who’s in bed with two young women on Yom Kippur when his ex-wife calls, hysterical that their son is heading to battle.
Up north in the Golan Heights, viewers meet the soldiers stationed at the Mount Hermon outpost, including Avinoam (Shahar Taboch), a genius and socially awkward intelligence soldier who speaks Arabic and is terrified about what’s coming their way.
We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.