November 30, 2021

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10/27 Links Pt2: Reflections on Balfour 100 from Rabbi Sacks; Protester Caught on Video Calling Israeli-Arab Activists ‘Rats’

From Ian:

David Horovitz: World judo must honor its own ethics code, stop UAE’s anti-Israel discrimination
Some might argue that Israel should not have participated in a tournament whose UAE hosts messed the team around regarding visas and informed the sport’s international administration in advance that Israelis would only be tolerated if they exhibited no sign whatsoever of being Israeli. But the Israeli thinking was that its excellent judokas emphatically should participate, and that they would hopefully strike a contrast, through sporting excellence and good grace, to the rudeness of the UAE organizers. And so it has proved.

But that emphatically should not be the end of the matter. When the UAE Judo Federation made plain ahead of the tournament that the Israeli team would not be allowed to compete under the Israeli flag, the IJF wrote to the hosts to demand that “all delegations, including the Israeli delegation, shall be treated absolutely equally in all aspects, without any exception.”

The UAE Judo Federation paid it absolutely no heed. Why would it? It had imposed the same discrimination against Israel’s judokas two years ago; Israel won two bronze medals in the 2015 tournament — which meant far fewer headlines than the unignorable gold-medal success of Tal Flicker.

Rather than Israelis facing the dilemma of whether to compete as unwanted intruders in events such as this, it now falls to the IJF to ensure that there is no discrimination at future tournaments, and that hosts who cannot abide by its requirement that all delegations be treated “absolutely equally” not be permitted to hold events. (Incidentally, “Palestine,” as an International Olympic Committee member, is one of the IJF’s 198 “member countries.” We can all argue long and hard over the differences or similarities, but if Israel wanted to host an IJF event, it would be required to treat Palestinian participants equally.)

A martial art with a 135-year history, judo is governed by etiquette designed to underline the importance of respect. The very word “judo” means “gentle way.” There should be no place in the sport for those who do not embrace its spirit.

As the IJF’s own Code of Ethics (clause 2) states unequivocally, “There shall be no discrimination between the participants on the basis of race, gender, ethnic origin, religion, philosophical or political opinion, marital status or other grounds.”

The UAE trampled all over those principles this week. It should not permitted to do so again.

Alan Dershowitz: Antisemitic Caricature of Me Generates No Criticism From Berkeley Hard-Left

To be sure, the students had the right to publish this cartoon, but they also had the right not to publish it. I am confident that if the shoe were on the other foot — if a cartoon of comparable hate directed against women, gays, blacks or Muslims were proposed — they would not have published it. There is one word for this double standard. It’s called bigotry.

The best response to bigotry is the opposite of censorship: it is exposure and shaming in the court of public opinion. The offensive cartoon should not be removed, as some have suggested. It should be widely circulated along with the names prominently displayed of the antisemite who drew it and the bigoted editors who decided to publish it. Every potential employer or admissions officer should ask them to justify their bigotry.

Joel Mayorga is the antisemitic cartoonist. Karim Doumar (editor-in-chief and president), Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks (managing editor) and Suhauna Hussain (opinion editor) head the editorial board that oversaw the decision to publish it. They must be held accountable for their reprehensible actions. I challenge them to justify their bigotry. It will not be enough to hide behind the shield of freedom of speech, because that freedom also entails the right not to publish antisemitic expression, if they would refuse to publish other bigoted expression.

After I submitted my op-ed, the Daily Cal tried to censor my piece in a self-serving way by omitting my characterization of the cartoonist as an antisemite. As far as I know they did not edit the offending cartoon. Also, the editor claimed that the intent of the cartoon was to expose the “hypocrisy” of my talk. Yet, the newspaper never even reported on the content of my talk and I don’t know whether the cartoonist was even at my talk. The cartoon was clearly based on a stereotype not on the content of my talk.

Melanie Phillips: Real threat to the West: Why can’t Britain see it?

In any event, the deal does not prevent Iran from making nuclear weapons, because its “sunset clause” allows it to do so in 10 or 15 years’ time – and reports suggest it has the capacity to develop them extremely quickly.

Worse still, the deal allows Iran to develop ballistic missiles. Sanctions relief has enabled it to pour money into its proxy army Hezbollah, promote Hamas terrorism and spread its influence and terrorism into Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

Yet the British government not only helped create but still implacably supports this terrible capitulation to Iranian power. Parting company with Trump, Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the nuclear deal is “a crucial agreement that neutralized Iran’s nuclear threat” which has “undoubtedly made the world a safer place.”

What planet is he living on? Iran is marching toward regional hegemony. In Iraq, there are reports that its Quds Force has been coordinating with Iraqi government officials to recruit the most effective ISIS fighters and release them from Iraqi prisons. These fighters are being organized, trained, and equipped to attack US and other regional forces.

Despite all this, however, the threat that worries Britain most is not Iran, but the prospect of war against Iran. The fact that Iran has been waging war against the West since 1979, in the course of which it has repeatedly attacked Western targets, murdered countless civilians and been responsible for the deaths of many British and American soldiers in Iraq, is brushed aside.

Unless it really does reform itself, Saudi Arabia will continue to pose a threat from its religious extremism. Nevertheless, it is an ally against the greater enemy at this time: Iran.

The Iranian regime must be defeated. It is shocking that, unlike President Trump, Britain is intent on appeasing it.

Caroline Glick: Balfour’s greatest of gifts

This week Israel’s judo team was harassed and discriminated against by UAE officials when they tried to board a flight from Tel Aviv to Istanbul, en route to Abu Dhabi to participate in the Judo Grand Slam competition.

Apropos of nothing, UAE told the Israelis they would only be permitted to enter the UAE from Amman. And once they finally arrived at the competition, they were prohibited from competing under their national flag.

The discrimination that Israel’s judokas suffered is newsworthy because it’s appalling, not because it is rare. It isn’t rare. Israeli athletes and performers, professors, students and tourists in countries throughout the world are regularly discriminated against for being Israeli Jews. Concerts are picketed or canceled. Israelis are denied educational opportunities and teaching positions.

Israeli brands are boycotted and Israeli shops are picketed from Montreal to Brooklyn to Johannesburg.

The simple act of purchasing Israeli cucumbers has become a political statement in countries around the world.

And of course, there is the world of diplomacy, where the nations of the world seem to have flushed the news of Israel’s establishment 70 years ago down the memory hole. The near-consensus view of UN institutions and to a growing degree, of EU institutions, not to mention the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, is that the Jewish exile should never have ended. The Jews should have remained scattered and at the mercy of the nations of the world, forever.

In the face of the growing discrimination Israelis suffer and rejection Israel endures, how are we to look at the centennial of the Balfour Declaration, which we will mark next Thursday? One hundred years ago, on November 2, 1917, Arthur Balfour, foreign secretary of Great Britain, detonated a bomb whose aftershocks are still being felt in Britain and worldwide.

Reflections on Balfour 100 from Rabbi Sacks (h/t Yerushalimey)

The ideal that moves me

The handful of lines that have come to be known as the Balfour Declaration ushered the Jewish people into a new age. For the first time since the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E. and the failed Bar Kokhba revolt 65 years later, an international body with some authority officially recognized the practical possibility of the Jews’ return to Zion. The declaration was vague, but it contained the hope that ultimately, at the end of a long process, a Jewish state would be established.

The Jews were so impressed with the declaration that people started marking the declaration’s date, Nov. 2, 1917, like a birthday. The comparison to the Cyrus Cylinder was almost immediate, and the expression “Atchalta de’geulah” (Aramaic for “The beginning of the redemption”) was omnipresent. Children born around that time were given names having to do with the redemption.

To this day, historians still debate the reasons – diplomatic, military, political, religious – that led Britain to issue the declaration. It is hard to say specifically what prompted it, because it is still shrouded in mystery and has not been fully understood. In many respects, the declaration was unprecedented, because it promised the Jewish people a state in a geographical location where the vast majority of them did not live.

It is worthwhile to take a close look at the wording of the declaration. The introduction clarifies that it is not a balanced diplomatic document, but rather expresses the “sympathy” of the British government for “Jewish Zionist aspirations.” The conclusion of the document also asks Lord Walter Rothschild, to whom the document is addressed, to “bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.” The reference is to the federation of British Jews, but still, it amounts to the recognition of the Zionist movement as a diplomatic body, capable of engaging in negotiations.

Palestinian Authority Plots Rallies Worldwide to Demand Britain ‘Apologize’ for Balfour Declaration

Palestinians are rallying in protest around the world demanding that Britain apologize for the Balfour Declaration – a hundred-year-old document that Palestinians blame for leading to the establishment of the State of Israel, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported on Wednesday.

The declaration, which is about to celebrate its centennial, marks then-British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour’s promise that his government would support a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, which was then under Ottoman rule.

According to Palestinian Authority officials, a major protest will be held in Ramallah on Thursday. Smaller rallies will be held in Jerusalem and other cities around the world, the report said, before adding that a large rally was being planned for London next weekend, with British parliamentarians in attendance.

According to Nabil Shaath, adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on international affairs, the aim of the protests “is to send a message to the British government to apologize to the Palestinian people for the Balfour Declaration and to compensate them.”

Shaath added that instead of apologizing, the UK was planning to celebrate the event, which he called a “crime” against the Palestinian people.

Mustafa Barghouti, a senior official at the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and BDS activist, blamed the Balfour Declaration for establishing the “basis for the apartheid system” in Israel. No rush “apartheid system” exists.

Yisrael Medad: Apartheid in Palestine

Yes, there was apartheid in Palestine.
“Was”, not “is”. When?

When the British regulated land purchases as part of their new White Paper policy in 1940, a policy that reneged on the League of Nations Mandate decision to promote the Jewish reconstitution of their national home in the country. That White Paper altered the purpose, intent and meaning of the Balfour Declaration, the San Remo Conference decision as well as the Mandate decision of the League of Nations and the sense of the deliberations at the Versailles Peace Conference and stated:
The objective of His Majesty’s Government is the establishment within 10 years of an independent Palestine State…The independent State should be one in which Arabs and Jews share government

There were also Zones A and B. Today, we’ve progressed and we have A, B and C, courtesy of the Oslo Accords.

As my friend EG reminded to me, the regulations:
set up three [2.5] distinct kinds of zones in the country, A and B zones along the coast and in the lower and eastern upper Galilee

where Jews were to continue to be allowed to buy real estate. However, A zones, where Jews were to be allowed to buy real estate freely, made up only 5% of the country west of the Jorda. In B zone, 31.6% of the country, Jews could only buy land from non-Palestinian Arab owners, such as churches. In the overwhelming majority of the country, including nearly all of Judea & Samaria and half or more of the Galilee [western Galilee] plus the Negev, Jews were totally forbidden to buy land. This was in 1940 at the beginning of the Shoah.

So, not only was this a betrayal of the Mandate, and here’s from the front page of the Palestine Post in May 18, 1939:

and not only was this an apartheid move by separating on the basis of Jews/Arabs, national and/or racial lines or however you wish to phrase it, but it was immoral in that this new arrangement, which included severe immigration restrictions and limitations, led to the containing of Jews in Nazi Europe, effectively keeping them there and allowing Hitler to murder them more easily.

For shame.

Don’t Send the Iraqi Jewish Archive Back to Iraq

In 2003, U.S. forces in Iraq discovered thousands of books, Torah scrolls, and documents belonging to the local Jewish community in the flooded basement of the headquarters of Saddam Hussein’s secret police. They sent the collection, which includes many manuscripts dating to the 16th century, to Washington, DC, where it has been preserved and restored. But, following an agreement between the Obama administration and the Iraqi government, the State Department plans to return the archive to Iraq next year. Joseph Samuels, who was born in Baghdad in 1930, urges them to reconsider:

[T]hese artifacts belong to the Iraqi-Jewish community and their descendants. Returning the trove to Iraq is tantamount to returning stolen treasure to a thief. President Trump and the State Department should do all that they can to prevent such an injustice. . . .

After the failed Arab war against Israel in 1948, the Jews of Iraq and other Arab countries faced anti-Semitism and open hostility. We suffered arrest, torture, public execution, and confiscation of property. The Iraqi-Jewish artifacts are a rare example of what was stolen from more than 850,000 Arab Jews and the historical Jewish presence that Arab regimes are attempting to erase. At present, there are only about 3,000 Jews living in Arab countries who are continuing our story.

Decades later, the Baath Party, led by Hussein, looted and confiscated public and personal items from synagogues, Jewish schools, and community properties. . . .

[Today’s] Iraq has proved itself an unreliable custodian, and we fear these historical treasures could be lost forever. . . . I implore the Trump administration, on behalf of all Jews from Arab lands and our descendants, to keep our icons of history from being sent back to those who stole them from us.

The history of Iraqi Jews is in peril

After the failed Arab war against Israel in 1948, the Jews of Iraq and other Arab countries faced anti-Semitism and open hostility. We suffered arrest, torture, public execution and confiscation of property. The Iraqi-Jewish artifacts are a rare example of what was stolen from more than 850,000 Arab Jews and the historical Jewish presence that Arab regimes are attempting to erase. At present, there are only about 3,000 Jews living in Arab countries who are continuing our story.

Decades later, the Baath Party, led by Hussein, looted and confiscated public and personal items from synagogues, Jewish schools and community properties. On May 6, 2003, the U.S. Army uncovered these artifacts hidden in a flooded basement of the Mukhabarat (Iraqi secret service) headquarters.

With the approval of Iraq’s provisional government, the U.S. military rescued the damaged items and brought them to this country. The U.S. government has since spent more than $3 million to restore the archive, exhibiting it across the country. The artifacts brought tears to my eyes when I first visited the collection at the Nixon Library. It’s almost as if my lost history in Iraq came back to life.

The hearts of the Iraqi Jewish community are filled with gratitude toward the heroic teams who rescued and restored this collection. Thanks to the United States, we have preserved these pieces of history for present and future generations.

But Iraq has proven itself an unreliable custodian, and we fear these historical treasures could be lost forever. Trump has the chance to be remembered as the preserver of our history, just like Moses who brought the Hebrews from Egypt and kept their message alive for future generations. I implore the administration, on behalf of all Jews from Arab lands and our descendants, to keep our icons of history from being sent back to those who stole them from us.

FIFA won’t take up Palestinian complaint against Israeli clubs

FIFA will not weigh punitive measures against Israel over Israeli soccer clubs’ activity in the West Bank, Europe’s top soccer official said.

In a meeting Friday, the world’s top soccer body decided to remove the issue from its agenda. Aleksander Čeferin, president of UEFA, the Union of European Football Associations, of which Israel is a member, notified Israeli Soccer Federation head Ofer Eini of the decision.

According to Hebrew media reports, FIFA views the matter as a political dispute between Israelis and Palestinians and has thus elected not to intervene.

Eini called the move “a significant achievement” for Israel. He praised FIFA’s decision as “correct and brave.”

The Palestinian Football Association (PFA) had complained that the activities of six Israeli clubs based in settlements beyond the Green Line were in breach of FIFA statutes, which forbid member associations from playing in another nation’s territory without permission.

The Palestinians have said that as a full FIFA member the PFA has the right to block Israeli teams from playing on land Palestinians consider their own. It demanded that FIFA take punitive action against the Israeli teams.

Protester Caught on Video Calling Israeli-Arab Activists ‘Rats,’ ‘Garbage’ at University of Minnesota Event

A protester interrupted a group of Israeli Arab activists who spoke at the University of Minnesota on Tuesday, denigrating them and their families before being detained by campus police.

In an edited video obtained by The Algemeiner, an unidentified female protester is seen walking up to Jonathan Nizar Elkhoury — a minorities coordinator for the advocacy group Reservists on Duty (RoD), which organized the delegation — and launching into an insult-laden tirade.

“In 2000, after South Lebanon was freed from Israeli occupation, Jonathan’s cowardly rat of a father scurried across the border,” the woman said. Elkhoury’s father served as an officer in the South Lebanon Army, a Christian militia active during the Lebanese Civil War, which received support from Israel.

“I’m standing right here, so am I a coward?” Elkhoury responded. The woman agreed before again calling his father a “cowardly rat.”

“She didn’t have any information about what we went through in Lebanon,” Elkhoury told The Algemeiner. “What we are doing is the opposite of cowardly, because we are speaking out and defending our country, which gives us all the opportunities in life.”

Another week, another anti-Israel program at Center for Jewish History

It appears The Center for Jewish History (CJH) has decided to keep on hosting events which are anti-Israel. Since David N. Myers took the role as CEO – there has been a steady stream of extreme radical events held.

Next up: November 1 the American Jewish Historical Society will have an event at CJH celebrating the 20th anniversary of Meir (Miro) Gal’s acclaimed “9 Out of 400: the West and the Rest.”

Who is Meir Gal? He is co-signer of a document which claims, “The Israeli government may be contemplating crimes against humanity”, and that Israel could use situations to “commit further crimes against the Palestinian people, up to full-fledged ethnic cleansing.”

Mr. Gal called “upon the International Community to pay close attention to events that unfold within Israel and in the Occupied Territories, to make it absolutely clear that crimes against humanity will not be tolerated, and to take concrete measures to prevent such crimes from taking place.”

Mr. Gal has the right to claim Israel commits crimes against humanity, yet why would a Jewish institution host and thus glorify opinions that libel the Jewish nation? As we asked previously with Jewish Voices for Peace programs (which CJH eventually cancelled) why would a Jewish institution host someone with these viewpoints? Why must the Center for Jewish History continue to honor people with radical ideologies? Would they host an event with someone who claims Iran would be justified to launch a nuclear bomb?

The warped bias of anti-Israel boycotts

The fraudulently named Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) will be holding their national conference at the University of Houston — a public, taxpayer-funded institution of higher learning.

The SJP website is a survey course in the history of anti-Semitism. “Zionist” or “Zionism” is code for Jews. Who are they kidding? Fables of Zionist control can be found long before the 1903 publishing of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., whose ideals will undoubtedly be invoked for show this upcoming weekend, acknowledged this when in 1968 he told a Cambridge University student, “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism!”

A study released in April by the anti-Semitism watchdog group AMCHA Initiative revealed a rapidly growing correlation between anti-Semitism and pro-BDS activism. Campuses with active anti-Israel groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine are overwhelmingly more likely to experience anti-Semitic activity compared to schools where BDS or other anti-Israel activism has no presence.

Still, spewing BDS hate is perfectly legal under the Texas anti-BDS law as well as the legislation passed by the other 21 states. Individuals are free to publicly condemn Israel and peddle as much anti-Semitic vitriol as their lungs will endure. Businesses are free to do the same.

Free speech is alive and well in the Lone Star State. The only thing the anti-BDS legislation does is protect the taxpayer from becoming complicit in hate speech and anti-Semitism.

Richard Millett: “Pro-Israel” Labour MP Wes Streeting hosts Friends of Palestine event, afterwards attacks me on Twitter.

It’s de rigueur at Labour chaired anti-Israel events in Parliament for those making Israel’s case to be branded “disrupters” and threatened with removal. In April Labour MP Mark Hendrick had myself and others removed by armed police after I, literally, asked a question.

Labour MP for Ilford North Wes Streeting threatened to have me removed on Tuesday night from his Gaza on the brink? event in Parliament. My crime: passionately asking why the panel spent their time totally blaming Israel for the plight of Gazans while giving Hamas a free pass.

Admittedly, I had also congratulated the three NGO representatives on Streeting’s panel for all making a great living out a desperate situation. Streeting immediately slammed me for questioning their motives.

But the “Palestine Industry”, so to speak, is the great untold story. Aimee Shalan of Medical Aid for Palestinians, Omar Shakir of Human Rights Watch and Helen Thompson of Care International all came to Parliament and spoke about the same subject. They even repeated exactly the same phrase to describe Gaza’s situation: “De-development”.

They complained how little money Gaza is receiving which, in addition to Israel’s “occupation” of Gaza, is causing this “de-development”. Shakir, Thompson and Shalan are just three of thousands receiving salaries for the same work; money that could be spent on Gazans.

Not that pledged money gets to those Palestinians in need anyway. Hamas siphons off money to build terror tunnels into Israel and the Palestinian Authority financially rewards families of Palestinian terrorists.

In New Book, Rutgers Professor Accuses Israel of Maiming Palestinians for Profit

Next month, Duke University Press will publish The Right to Maim, a new book from Rutgers University professor Jasbir K. Puar. A passionate advocate of BDS who had previously accused Israel of harvesting the organs of Palestinians and who threatened to sue anyone who published her talk at Vassar earlier this year, Puar, to say the least, is a controversial figure. But books, even ones written by academics, deserve to be taken on their own merit. And, on its own merit, Puar’s book is an intellectual and moral hoax, a bit of sizzling sophistry designed to stir the faithful into a frenzy of outrage divorced of any and all observable reality.

The section of the book that deals with Israel makes the following claim: The Jewish state’s efforts to refrain from killing innocent Palestinians—everything from the IDF’s cautious open-fire protocols to the “roof knock” policy of warning civilians prior to bombing attacks—are actually a devious scheme to strengthen the stranglehold Israel’s colonialist regime has on its Palestinian subjects.

At first blush, this argument makes no sense. Why would Israel spare the lives of its foes? If it is indeed, as Puar repeatedly argues, a colonialist project, won’t it seek to emulate its predecessors and either destroy the indigenous people it was dispossessing, enslave them as cheap labor, or urge them to assimilate? Security and demographic considerations negate options two and three, which makes it very hard to understand, on Puar’s own terms, why and how Israel benefits from shooting to maim instead of to kill.

IsraellyCool: Antisemitic Rutgers Professor Michael Chikindas Falsely Accuses Me Of Hacking

As I told The Algeminer

The founder and managing editor of Israellycool, who writes under the name Aussie Dave, rejected the accusations as “entirely false and ridiculous.”

“I do not know how to hack sites and personal computers, nor would I ever do such a thing on principle,” he told The Algemeiner. “Someone needs to explain the concept of public Facebook posts to Mr. Chikindas, which can be viewed by anyone who visits a Facebook profile.”

“All information in my post comes directly from publicly available information on the Internet, which Mr. Chikindas himself — or Rutgers, his employer — published,” Aussie Dave pointed out. “To answer Mr. Chikindas, my goal with these posts is to show just how prevalent antisemitism is among those claiming they are only critics of Israel.”

This is not the first time an antisemite has lied following one of my exposes on them. A number of them have come after me, accusing me of pedophilia, and raising money for my wife’s cancer treatment only to pocket it, among other things.

But it comes with the territory. When you make life uncomfortable for such nasty people, I accept they are going to fight dirty.

It doesn’t mean I will back down though.

IsraellyCool: My Interview With Chasing News NYC About Antisemitic Rutgers Professor Michael Chikindas

Yesterday, reporter Ashley Johnson from Chasing News, which airs on My9, and FOX 5 in NYC, interviewed me as part of a story about antisemitic Rutgers professor Michael Chikindas. Some of my comments made it into the final story.

Note how Chikindas repeats his libel that I hacked his account and even has proof! Given I never did such a thing, this should be good.

In any event, it is heartening to see how this story has taken off, and real action against this vile antisemite may be taken.

And props to Ashley for pronouncing Israellycool perfectly!

McGill Launches Investigation After Student Leader Says He Was Targeted for Being Jewish

McGill University in Montreal, Canada has launched an investigation into a recent vote by the school’s student union, which Jewish human rights and pro-Israel groups say unfairly targeted a student leader over his involvement in the Jewish community.

Noah Lew, a member of the Board of Directors (BoD) at the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU), wrote on social media on Tuesday that he was not ratified during an SSMU General Assembly (GA) meeting a day earlier, “because of my Jewish identity and my affiliations with Jewish organizations.”

Lew — along with Alexander Scheffel and Josephine Wright O’Manique, two other directors who were not ratified — were targeted in the lead up to the vote by Democratize SSMU, a self-described “coalition of student activists [and] groups” formed in reaction to the “unjust” ruling by SSMU’s BoD against the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

In one portion of a statement urging students to join their campaign for a “better student union,” Democratize SSMU accused Lew — who is involved with the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee — and the other directors of having a “conflict of interest.” Democratize SSMU later apologized “for the way in which our original version of this section was insensitive to anti-Semitic tropes of Jewish people as corrupt and politically powerful.”

UKMW prompts Economist correction to misattributed dialogue in review of the play ‘Oslo’

An Oct. 6th review of the play ‘Oslo’ published in The Economist included the following paragraph:

…there are glimpses of a shared humanity as the characters warm to each other, sprint around the stage plastered on whisky and joke together about their region of the world. Of course the Norwegian vision of unity does not always prevail. Characters also scream, accuse each other of murder and of stealing land, and even come to blows. “In my country, we see you as terrorists and murderers who wish to drive us into the sea!” yells one of the Palestinian negotiators to his Israeli counterpart. “In my country, we see you as a savage nation whose army shoots our children for sport!” the man responds in kind.

However (as you can see in this PBS clip of the dialogue), its naturally the Israeli negotiator who yells that “in my country, we see you as terrorists and murderers who wish to drive us into the sea!”, and the Palestinian who accuses Israel of ‘shooting our children for sport’ – not as stated.

We tweeted the Economist’s Culture Editor, Fiametta Rocco, alerting her to the error, and followed up with an email.

Police seeking 3 who painted swastika on NY synagogue

The NYPD is searching for three suspects who were caught on film spray-painting a pink swastika on a Manhattan synagogue, the New York Post reported.

The vandals painted the Nazi symbol on the Sutton Place synagogue on the Upper East Side at 225 East 51st Street on Oct 25. The incident occurred at 5:00 AM.

The vandals fled the scene after leaving their mark on the synagogue.

The NYPD is asking anyone with information on the crime or its perpetrators to call their Crime Stoppers Hotline.

Leader of UK neo-Nazi group charged with encouraging murder

The leader of a banned British neo-Nazi group, National Action, was charged Thursday with encouraging murder.

Police did not identify the intended victim, but a lawmaker issued a statement thanking police for keeping her safe.

The Greater Manchester Police force said Christopher Lythgoe, 31, and five other men were charged under the Terrorism Act with belonging to the proscribed organization.

Lythgoe also faces a charge of encouragement to commit murder, and another of the six has been charged with the intention of committing acts of terrorism.

Police released no details of the allegations, but the opposition Labour Party issued a statement from Rosie Cooper, a member of Parliament from northwest England.

Italian Soccer Club’s Flower Tribute Over anti-Semitism Flung Into River

A wreath of flowers, presented by Lazio president Claudio Lotito to Rome’s synagogue to apologize after photos of Anne Frank in a Roma jersey were posted during a football game, was recovered from the Tiber river on Wednesday.

The blue and white wreath — the colors of the Rome club — disappeared early Wednesday morning from the entrance to the synagogue in the Italian capital.

Lotito paid a visit to the Rome synagogue on Tuesday, bringing the floral wreath to remember all victims of anti-Semitism.

It followed indignation after Lazio fans defaced the Stadio Olimpico — which they share with rivals Roma — during Sunday’s league game against Cagliari with anti-Semitic slogans and stickers showing images of Frank wearing a Roma jersey.

It is believed the flowers were flung into the Tiber by youngsters from the Jewish community angered by Lotito’s note, “You have Jewish brothers,” according to Corriere della Sera newspaper.

During his visit Lotito also announced that the club would bring 200 young fans to Auschwitz — the Nazi concentration camp where Jewish teenager Frank was first deported before dying in Bergen-Belsen in 1945 — every year.

Italian soccer club president calls synagogue visit a ‘charade’

The decision to hold a moment of silence and read from the diary at professional, amateur and youth soccer matches was announced Tuesday, days after Lazio fans plastered a shared stadium with stickers showing the teenage Holocaust diarist wearing the uniform of a rival city club, Roma.

On Wednesday, Lazio players warmed up wearing jerseys with an image of Anne Frank and the words “No to anti-Semitism.” But fans of the Turin squad Juventus turned their backs and sang the country’s national anthem during the reading as a protest.

At a game between Roma and the Calabria-based Crotone, fans shouted team chants during the readings at the same stadium where the stickers were displayed, the BBC reported.

Meanwhile, Lazio President Claudio Lotito is denying that it was his voice on a recording mocking the synagogue visit in the wake of the poster incident. On Tuesday, he laid a wreath of blue and white flowers there and announced he would take 200 fans every year to visit Auschwitz.

The following day, the Italian daily newspaper Il Messaggero released the recording made by passengers as Lotito was boarding a flight from Milan to visit the synagogue in which he said, “These people don’t count a damn, they are worth nothing — do you realize how pathetic the whole thing is? Let’s go do this charade.”

Jewish leader urges Italian sports authorities to fight anti-Semitism

Italian sports authorities must do more to root out anti-Semitism in stadiums and apply sanctions against offending fans, the president of the Union of Jewish Communities in Italy, Noemi Di Segni, said on Thursday.

Di Segni, whose organization represents Italy’s 25,000 Jews, was reacting to an anti-Semitic outburst by Lazio soccer team fans, who on Sunday pasted stickers of Holocaust victim Anne Frank wearing the jersey of rival team AS Roma at Rome’s Olympic Stadium.

“There are new ways of expressing anti-Semitism and sports is one of them,” Di Segni said.

Sunday’s incident was widely condemned, and on Wednesday night a passage from Anne Frank’s diary was read out loud at the start of Series A matches during what was billed as “a moment of reflection.”

Lazio players wore T-shirts bearing Anne Frank’s picture and the slogan “No to Anti-Semitism” over their jerseys at the start of their away game against Bologna. Copies of her diary were handed out to children.

WATCH: Jewish actor Paul Rudd learns about his family’s difficult history

Paul Rudd, in a forthcoming episode of the PBS series Finding Your Roots learns about the antisemitism his grandfather endured in England in the wake of World War II.

Just how does he learn of this information?

Courtesy of a Jewish Telegraphic Agency news brief that was published in 1947.

“The Hempstead, Edgware, Catford and New West End Synagogues received telephonic threats this week warning that the structures would be either blown up or burnt down,” a mustachioed Rudd reads from the story.

The brief was published in JTA’s news bulletin on Jan. 12, 1947.

Rudd’s grandfather, David — after serving five years in the British military during World War II — returned to London. Instead of finding peace there, however, he experienced antisemitic riots led by homegrown fascist groups in his neighborhood.

“One of the new fascist groups — Union for British Freedom — held a meeting this week at Edgware, at which Victor Burgess, who was detained during the war as a ‘dangerous person,’ suggested that four British Jews should be flogged publicly,” the brief continued.

“Now think about your grandfather,” host Henry Louis Gates Jr., tells Rudd on air. “He had served in World War II to fight fascism and he comes home to fascism. Can you imagine?”

Pope Francis invited to launch Giro d’Italia cycling event in Israel

Canadian-Israeli real-estate magnate Sylvan Adams met Pope Francis on Thursday and invited him to come to Israel to launch the opening of the Giro d’Italia bicycle race for the upcoming year.

The Italian race will begin in Israel during May 2018 where 175 cyclists from around the world will gather in Jerusalem and then ride from north Israel to the Red Sea before moving on to complete the Giro in Italy.

Adams said that “The upcoming race in Israel is further testimony to the power of sports to transcend politics and division.”

He went on to say that regardless of who the riders might be, Jews or Arabs, Italians or Israeli, “all [will be] competing together in this Giro of Peace.”

Adams himself is an expert cyclist and the Canadian Jewish news reported that he won the Canadian cycling championship 6 times.

Adams also presented the Pope with a letter from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which the Israeli leader requested the head of the Catholic Church to honor the race with a public blessing.

Israeli High-Tech Firms Raise Record-Breaking $1.44 Billion in 3rd Quarter of 2017

A record-breaking $1.44 billion was raised by 144 Israeli high-tech companies in the third quarter of 2017, according to a report from the Tel Aviv-based IVC Research Center.

Capital-raising in Q3/2017 showed an increase of 14 percent over the $1.27 billion raised in Q2/2017, and a 54% surge from $933 million raised in Q3/2016.

The exceptional late round by Via Transportation of $250 million boosted the Q3/2017 results upward, according to the report.

The average financing round was $10 million in Q3/2017, the highest amount in five years, compared with an average of $8 million and $6.7 million in Q2/2017 and Q3/2016, respectively. Five deals of more than $50 million each were made in Q3/2017, accounting for one-third of the quarterly total.

VC-backed deals in Q3/2017 accounted for the largest quarterly amount in the past five years, with $1.2 billion raised in 89 deals. The VC-backed share of total capital increased steadily throughout the first three quarters of 2017 to 84% in Q3/2017, compared with 67% in Q3/2016.

In the first nine months of 2017, Israeli high-tech companies raised a record amount of $3.8 billion, but the number of deals – 457 in total – declined to the lowest number in the past five years due to a decrease in seed- and early-stage deals.

Wolfenstein Star Revealed to Be Jewish

Like a vaguely exotic Golden Age film star, rumors have been circulating for years if William Joseph “B.J.” Blazkowicz is secretly Jewish. Of course, Blazkowicz isn’t an actor, or even a real person; he’s the Nazi-fighting star of the hit video game franchise Wolfenstein, first appearing on screen twenty five years ago. And now, we finally have our answer.

Short answer: Yes, though his personal identity is a bit conflicted. Blazkowicz is often identified as Polish-American, and his name sounds more Polish than Polish-Jewish (particularly with that spelling). But there’s a reason for that. B.J.’s father wasn’t Jewish; only his mother. His blonde hair and blue eyes made it easier for him to infiltrate enemy lines and get killin’; breakout hit Wolfenstein 3D is regarded as the first serious first-person shooter game.

Hints as to Blazkowicz’s heritage have persisted, but creators of the game were always vague, insisting that it was up to the player’s interpretation, or that sure, maybe they thought of him as Jewish. But who knows!

Responses were reasonable: Hey, why can’t B.J. just be Jewish? Nazis appear all the time in video games, but Jews almost never do. Can’t we know for sure that this Nazi-hunting badass had real skin in the game, besides some sort of generic All-American machismo?

Things took a turn when the franchise rebooted a couple of years ago, with Blazkowicz brought to an alternate-present where Nazis succeeded in taking over the world. The trope is tired, maybe, but the take was nuanced; Wolfenstein: The New Order made the bold choice of including a concentration camp, and a Jewish member of the Resistance (OK, the character is also sort of a wizard. It’s a video game). The alt-right despises the game, which is always great news. But Blazkowicz (despite being shown reading Hebrew!) still remained mum on his own heritage.

Jerusalem auction house: ‘We were in total shock’ over Einstein letter

The Jerusalem auction house that sold a note written by Albert Einstein for $1,560,000 on Tuesday night said it was flabbergasted by the winning bid.

“We were in total shock, we didn’t believe it was happening,” said Avi Blumenthal, a spokesman for Winner’s Auctions and Exhibitions. “It’s the highest price ever for an item sold at auction in Israel.”

The note, written shortly after Einstein learned he had been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, says simply: “A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.”

According to the auction house, located in the Givat Shaul neighborhood of Jerusalem, the letter was written by Einstein in the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo in October 1922. When a messenger delivered something to his room, the scientist found himself short of a tip. Instead he gave the bellboy two notes and “told the messenger to keep them, as their future value may be much higher than a standard tip,” said the auction house.

Blumenthal told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday morning that the letters came to them directly from the great-nephew of the bellboy who delivered the message to Einstein.nesday morning that the letters came to them directly from the great-nephew of the bellboy who delivered the message to Einstein.

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