Ben Shapiro: How to Fight Anti-Semitism
Understanding the particular nature of anti-Semitism requires fighting it wherever it exists. Believing that anti-Semitism is merely a symptom of generalized bigotry, by contrast, allows the parsing of anti-Semitism — and its sublimation into broader political conversations regarding hierarchies of power and privilege.
Take, for example, the anti-Semitic murder of Jews in Israel. The first theory of anti-Semitism suggests that such murder is the byproduct of radical Islamic anti-Semitism — and that such anti-Semitism isn’t driven by socioeconomic concerns, but by hatred of Jews. The death of a Jew in Pittsburgh at the hands of a white supremacist is driven by the same basic issues as the death of a Jew in Jerusalem at the hands of a member of Hamas.
The second theory of anti-Semitism suggests that such murder isn’t actually about Jewishness per se. In fact, such murder may be completely different than the anti-Semitic murder of a Jew in Pittsburgh. The solution, therefore, isn’t fighting anti-Semitism, but catering to its underlying causes. The first theory leads to a policy of staunch opposition to Palestinian terrorism and Iranian Jew-hatred; the second policy leads to a policy of appeasement and diplomacy with Palestinian terrorism and Iranian Jew-hatred.
The same logic holds true of anti-Semitism in Europe. The first theory suggests that such anti-Semitism is part of an age-old hatred of the Jewish people; the second theory suggests that anti-Semitism is merely a byproduct of Israeli policy.
To properly understand America, and to properly fight anti-Semitism, we must understand that the first theory of anti-Semitism is correct; the second is wrong.
The second theory actually feeds anti-Semitism: If hatred of Jews isn’t special, then why are Jews constantly in the headlines? It must be their outsized power and influence, brought about by structural inequities. Where fighting anti-Semitism conflicts with fighting other forms of bigotry, fighting anti-Semitism takes a back seat.
The first theory recognizes the amazing nature of America: a country founded on religious freedom, and on tolerance. We’ve strayed from that mission all too often — but the Jews are a success story.
Furthermore, the first theory recognizes that anti-Semitism is something different — and that it ought to be treated as such. That doesn’t mean that the interests of Jews ought to take precedence over those of other groups, of course — that would be ethnocentric and idiotic. But it does mean that Jew-hatred can’t be curbed by generalized progressive policy prescriptions. It must be fought at every turn.
Even before we knew many details about the horrific slaughter of 11 Jews on Saturday morning in Pittsburgh, critics were rushing to make the shooting about President Trump — in some cases, going to the lengths of blaming pro-Israel Jews who support Trump.
Now, there’s plenty to criticize in Trump’s rhetoric — something I have consistently done since I condemned Mitt Romney in 2012 for accepting his endorsement and that I continued to do through the 2016 election and into his presidency. But by trying to turn this attack into a referendum on Trump and his supporters, critics are only diminishing the much broader problem of anti-Semitism and ensuring that it gets swept under the rug. The sense one gets from reading a lot of media coverage is somehow, if we could just throw out Trump and his enablers, suddenly the problem will go away.
The reality is that anti-Semitism is an evil that has been with us for thousands of years and, despite the great blessings of freedom and religious liberty enjoyed by Jews here, it existed in America long before Trump entered the political scene. If we only talk about anti-Semitism within the limited context of Trump, we will fail to understand and combat it.
Since the FBI started keeping data in 1996 and through 2016 (the most recent year for which statistics were available and the year prior to Trump’s presidency), there were 19,023 anti-Jewish hate crimes recorded. That represented about two-thirds of all religious hate crimes in the U.S. — a shocking statistic considering that Jews only make up about 2 percent of the population. Those crimes occurred under both Democratic and Republican presidents.
It’s common for Jews to navigate armed guards, police, and metal detectors when going to worship at synagogues, drop their children off at Jewish daycare centers, or attend activities at local Jewish community centers.
Breitbart News’s Caroline Glick said left-wing Jews blaming President Donald Trump for inciting Saturday’s mass murder at a Pittsburgh synagogue are “dishonoring the dead” and “dishonoring the cause of fighting anti-Semitism.” She offered her remarks in a Monday interview with Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily.
Glick said, “It would’ve been good if the Jewish community in the United States and the national leadership, instead of pronouncing these milquetoast things that we all need to be more civil in our tone, would say, ‘No, we have to be less civil to anti-Semites. We have to be less civil to people who want to annihilate the Jewish people [and] the Jewish state.’”
Glick added, “But what we’re finding, particularly among left-wing Jews is that they’re using it to attack the administration and trying to conflate the Nazi who committed this massacre with President Trump. Obviously, nothing could be further from the truth.”
Glick noted an article published at the Atlantic by Franklin Foer, a Jewish writer accusing Trump of inciting anti-Semitism. Foer also called for the shunning of other Jews supporting Trump:
In Donald Trump’s abhorrence for globalism and in his inability to smack down David Duke, it was easy to hear the ominous chords of history, to see how he was activating dormant hatreds with his conspiratorial tropes.
Any strategy for enhancing the security of American Jewry should involve shunning Trump’s Jewish enablers. Their money should be refused, their presence in synagogues not welcome. They have placed their community in danger.
Just disgusting. @hrw‘s Mideast Director @sarahleah1 retweets rabid antisemite. Tweet is full of blatantly false statements. Remember this next time @kenroth asks you to take their #Israel reports seriously pic.twitter.com/ieSayRVat5
— NGO Monitor (@ngomonitor) October 30, 2018
Some 500 Americans and Israelis gathered Sunday night to sing somber songs in Hebrew and English at Jerusalem’s Zion Square in a candle-lit vigil in memory of the 11 victims of Saturday’s massacre at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh organized by The Meeting Place Dialogue Group, The Jerusalem Movement and the Hartman Institute Hevruta program.
Dina Winer from The Meeting Place Dialogue Group told The Jerusalem Post, “Whenever there’s a terrorist attack in Israel, we meet in Zion Square and it’s especially sad for us that we have to do this for an attack that took place in America. I think we have all gotten used to terrorist attacks being something we deal with in Israel, but I grew up in America and that didn’t feel like it was ever a part of living in America.”
Daniel, 18, from Los Angeles and a gap year student at the Hartman Institute Hevruta program told the Post he wanted to do something to show his solidarity with the people of Pittsburgh. “I just said ‘text your friends about the event,’ and it just snowballed.”
Standing in the crowd, Rachael, 22 from Pittsburgh said “I think it’s amazing they are supporting Pittsburgh.” Although she did not attend the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill, she said Pittsburgh’s Jewish community is tight knit. As a former counselor at a Jewish summer camp, she shared one of her camper’s grandmother was one of the 11 victims.
Currently teaching English with the Masa Israel program, she said this event “makes me miss Pittsburgh.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday described the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue over the weekend as a “chilling act of mass murder.”
Sanders began the day’s White House press briefing by reflecting on the deadly attack at the Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday, when a gunman killed 11 people and injured several others before surrendering to authorities. Robert Bowers, the man accused of perpetrating the shooting, has been charged with 29 felony counts, including 11 counts of use of a firearm to commit murder and 11 counts of obstruction of the exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death.
“This atrocity was a chilling act of mass murder. It was an act of hatred, and above all, it was an act of evil. Anti-Semitism is a plague to humanity, and it is responsible for many of the worst horrors in human history,” Sanders said. “We all have a duty to confront anti-Semitism in all its forms and everywhere and anywhere it appears. The American people reject hatred, bigotry, prejudice, and violence. We are a nation that believes in religious liberty, tolerance, and respect.”
Bowers, 46, made anti-Semitic statements during the shooting and often attacked Jews on social media, according to law enforcement officials.
Sanders went on to thank the four police officers who were injured in the line of duty while trying to stop the shooter.
JPost Editorial: A history of antisemitism
Since the murder on Saturday of 11 Jews at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, people have been searching for a reason. They wondered online – in Facebook and on Twitter – why this massacre of innocent people happened.
For some, the explanations were easy to find. One prominent American-Jewish journalist, herself a target of antisemitic trolls, placed the blame on President Donald Trump who, she said, incites violence and on American Jews who support him because he moved the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“And a word to my fellow American Jews: This president makes this possible. Here. Where you live. I hope the embassy move over there, where you don’t live, was worth it,” GQ Magazine writer Julia Ioffe wrote on Twitter.
Others, like David Simon, creator of the acclaimed TV series The Wire, blamed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his support for the Trump administration.
“Netanyahu’s interventions in US politics aided in the election of Donald Trump and his raw and relentless validation of white nationalism and fascism,” Simon tweeted. “The American Jewish community is now bleeding at the hands of the Israeli prime minister.”
Some pundits claimed that Trump’s “Jewish enablers” like casino magnate Sheldon Adelson or Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, share the blame for the attack.
Their rationale is that Trump incites violence against minorities, does not denounce antisemitism and is a self-proclaimed nationalist. Anyone who supports Trump, by extension, enabled the attack to take place.
In Israel, the discourse was slightly different. Some, like Deputy Minister Michael Oren, called on Netanyahu to finally give formal government recognition to progressive Jewish movements – Tree of Life is a Conservative Synagogue – in response to the attack. Others, like Labor Party chairman Avi Gabbay, called on Jews in the United States to make aliyah.
For the latter part of the last two decades, the progressive and vocal leftist leadership of American Jewry, in their world of “enlightened” opinion, has shed no tears for the thousands and tens of thousands of Israeli Jews who have been murdered or wounded by the savagery of Palestinian Arab terror because in some way the Israeli’s were asking for it. Whether Netanyahu, or the Likud, or the so-called “occupation”; as far as they are concerned, the Jews got what they deserve. These progressive American Jews have excused Palestinian Arab terrorism against Israeli civilians for years again and again with no remorse or regret, thinking that there will never be a spill-over effect against Jews in other countries. They take it for granted that Israeli Jewish behavior or cruelty is the source of the primal rage against Jews in the Muslim world. Of course, the Jews are responsible in some way or another according to this mindset
This inexcusable need on the part of progressive leftist American Jews to ignore blatant and ever increasing anti-Semitism on the part of Palestinian Arabs and Muslims in general has directly contributed to the leap of anti-Semitic beliefs over the Atlantic from the Middle East to the American continent. According to the FBI anti-Semitic incidents accounted for half of religious hate crimes in the United States during 2014-2015 before President Trump was even elected and 11 % of all hate crimes in 2016. Why the silence in response to these terrifying statistics, could it be because Muslims are involved in perpetuating these hate crimes, could it be due to this occurring during Obama’s watch. Only recently, a stage shared by the rabid anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, ex- President Bill Clinton, and other Afro-American notables without a word be said to condemn anti-Semitism. Instead we heard only silence on the part of the progressive leftist Jewish leadership
Linda Sarsour has worked closely with left-wing Jewish groups including Jewish Voice for Peace and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, despite widespread characterizations of her beliefs as anti-Semitic coupled with antipathy for Jews in general. The Anti-Defamation League, along with the president of the Zionist Organization of America, has criticized her stance on Israel claiming that Sarsour’s support of BDS “encourages and spreads anti-Semitism”. This has not preventing the American Jewish progressive leadership from embracing her and joining hands giving their support to Sarsour publicly as well as financially.
The anti-Semitic thread tying together the likes of Farrakhan, Sarsour, and Bowers has to do with their effort to dehumanize Jews whether in Israel or in the United States. Bowers referred to a “kike infestation,” and it turns out Farrakhan has claimed he’s not just an “anti-Semite” but “anti-termite.” Same terminology. Same message
So rather than blaming President Trump or Prime Minister Netanyahu, progressive Jews must begin to understand that in the age of social media in which murderers like Robert Bowers, spend much of their leisure time in social media being inundated with anti-Israel and anti-Jewish content that has its origins with the very associates and members of the progressive Jewish left. They need to attack not only those on the other side of the political aisle but also those anti-Semites on their side of the political aisle who perpetuate and expand social media content that makes its way to anti-Semites everywhere. You only need one to take these messages one step further and walk into a Synagogue on Shabbat.
Iranian immigrant Shay Khatiri created an online fundraiser for the victims of Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh after waking up on his Jewish friend’s couch to the heartbreaking news that 11 mostly elderly Jews were shot dead by an armed gunman who entered during weekly Shabbat services on Saturday. Six others were injured in the Oct. 27 attack.
“She told me what happened, and she was just broken,” Khatiri told CNN. “Seeing how upset she was, I wanted to donate to the congregation.”
“I thought to myself, I could donate $18 or $36—something like that. But that wouldn’t make a huge impact,” he said. “If I did something like this, maybe it could go viral.”
As of Monday afternoon, the 29-year-old graduate student’s certified GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $800,000 out of a $1 million goal.
In less than 48 hours, more than 11,000 donations have poured in. Half a million of the funds were raised by Sunday evening.
Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said that adequately securing all Jewish institutions in the US, including synagogues and schools, could cost hundreds of millions of dollars and even as much as one billion dollars.
He mentioned that there are hundreds of small Jewish communities around the country where the burden of security costs would be “very taxing.” Hoenlein said that the situation was currently “better than it was,” and noted that many communities work well with local police departments. He pointed in particular to cooperation with the LA and NY police departments, which he described as “remarkably sensitive and cooperative with the community.”
The Security Community Network organization, established by the conference, and the Jewish Federations of North America work closely with any community requesting security advice and assistance, and provide local federations with security training, Hoenlein said.
However, he said, prioritizing security requirements is often neglected shortly after incidents like the Pittsburgh attack.
“After an incident, people are very concerned for about a week, and then when [the] budget comes up security gets short shrift,” said Hoenlein.
On Saturday, a gunman entered the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh and killed 11 people, wounding six others. In total, he spent 78 minutes in the building. It was the worst recorded anti-Semitic act in American history.
Here’s how the tragedy happened. (This account has been reconstructed from JTA’s reporting, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The New York Times and the “Today” show. Some of the times are approximate.)
Before the shooting
Robert Bowers, the alleged gunman, is a truck driver from the Pittsburgh area who lives in a one-bedroom apartment about a half-hour’s drive from Squirrel Hill, the diverse neighborhood that has long been the center of the city’s Jewish community. Acquaintances described him to The Times as a loner, “pretty much a ghost” with few people close to him. His next-door neighbor would see him occasionally but had forgotten his name.
But that quiet exterior obscured Bowers’ hateful beliefs, which he expressed on Gab, a social media platform for the far right. Bowers would post bigoted and anti-Semitic comments. Shortly before the shooting he vilified HIAS, the Jewish refugee aid group, for its work resettling Middle Eastern refugees in the United States.
The six police officers wounded while subduing the gunman who murdered 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday were identified on Monday.
According to The Daily Mail, the officers are John Persin, Michael Smigda, Tyler Pashel, Dan Mead, Tim Matson, and Anthony Burke.
Persin, Smigda, and Pashel have been released from the hospital after being treated for their wounds. The other three remain hospitalized. At least one is in critical condition.
Two of the officers confronted gunman Robert Bowers at the front door of the synagogue shortly after he opened fire on congregants. One officer was wounded in the hand and the other lightly injured by debris. Bowers then retreated back into the synagogue, and SWAT team officers later confronted him on the third floor.
After being shot several times, Bowers surrendered to police. He told the arresting officers that he wanted all Jews to die.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette described wounded SWAT team officer Timothy Matson as a courageous and good-humored man, who was cracking jokes in the hospital.
“We were in his hospital room today, visiting, and as soon as we walk in he’s already cracking jokes,” Commander Jason Lando was quoted saying. “He’s in that situation, where his life is the one in danger, and everyone is so worried about him — but he’s cracking jokes and it makes everyone feel better.”
Cecil and David Rosenthal lived together, worshiped together, made their way through life together, two intellectually disabled brothers in their 50s who were ensconced in Pittsburgh’s close-knit Jewish community.
And on Tuesday, they will be buried there together, in one of the first funerals to follow the shooting that killed the brothers and nine other people at Tree of Life synagogue.
Funerals were also set Tuesday for Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz, a family-medicine practitioner known for his caring and kindness, and Daniel Stein, a man seen as part of the core of his congregation.
Other victims’ funerals have been scheduled through Friday in a week of mourning, anguish and questions about the deadliest attack on Jews in US history.
US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump plan to visit Pittsburgh on Tuesday to “express the support of the American people and to grieve with the Pittsburgh community,” the White House said.
My doctor Jerry Rabinowitz was among those killed in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. He took care of me up until I left Pittsburgh for New York City in 2004.
In the old days for HIV patients in Pittsburgh, he was the one to go to. Basically before there was effective treatment for fighting HIV itself, he was known in the community for keeping us alive the longest. He often held our hands (without rubber gloves) and always always hugged us as we left his office.
We made a deal about my T-cells, in that I didn’t want to know the numbers visit to visit, because I knew I would fret with every little fluctuation and I also knew that AZT was not working for my friends. The deal was that he would just let me know at some point when the T-cell numbers meant I needed to start on medications. The numbers were his job and my job was to finish my masters thesis and get a job with insurance and try to not go crazy.
I got lucky beyond words—because when he gently told me around November 1995 that it was time to begin taking medications—there was an ACTG trial for two HIV medications that saved my life. One of which I still take today.
Thank you ACT UP for getting these drugs into a safe but effective expedited research protocol. You saved my life.
The first three people to treat Pittsburgh synagogue shooter Robert Bowers at Allegheny General Hospital were Jewish, the president of the hospital revealed in a television interview that aired on Monday.
“We are here to take care of sick people,” Dr. Jeffrey Cohen, who is also a member of the Tree of Life synagogue where Saturday’s massacre of 11 worshipers took place, said. “We’re not here to judge you. We’re not here to ask, ‘Do you have insurance or do you not have insurance?’ We’re here to take care of people who need our help.”
The 46-year-old Bowers — who was wounded in a gunfight with police before he was arrested — appeared in a federal courtroom on Monday and was ordered held without bond for the deadliest attack ever on America’s Jewish community.
On Monday, Channel 4 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania interviewed Dr. Jeff Cohen, President of Allegheny General Hospital, who is Jewish and a member of the Tree of Life synagogue, who helped supervise the treatment of the shooter who committed the worst massacre of Jews in America’s history on Saturday morning at that synagogue. Asked what he saw when he met the shooter after the shooter had been treated, Cohen displayed no evident rage or bitterness, but simply gave a response that was the quintessential Jewish response when Jewish doctors wind up treating enemies of the Jewish people: that their job is to treat the patient with every means at their disposal.
Cohen stated: “Yesterday I went up to meet him, and I was just curious as to ‘who is this guy?’ And quite honestly, he’s just a guy. And he’s … people say that he’s evil, he’s this … he’s some mother’s son. And how did he get from that to where he is today? That’s going to be a large debate that we have to wrestle with as a society.”
The interviewer commented, “Effectively, you were sort of at the head of a team that saved his life.”
Cohen responded, “It may be a bit of an overstatement, but yes. He was severely injured and he got great care here. Many of the people that attended to him were Jewish. And they’re heroes. They did like the cops did; they did their job. They went and they confronted the problem and they were true to their core beliefs; and I’m very proud of them.”
The interviewer asked, “And as a doctor, but also as a parishioner of the synagogue, and you looked into his eyes, what did you see?”
Cohen replied, “I just looked at him and he’s like a lot of people that come in here. They’re scared; they’re confused; they don’t quite understand it. But once again, my job isn’t to judge him; other people give that — that’s a pretty awesome responsibility. My job is to take care of him.”
“My job isn’t to judge him… my job is to care for him.”
This Jewish doctor looked into the eyes of the man who killed 11 people in his own synagogue. pic.twitter.com/KwgjYAL49B
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) October 29, 2018
Ofir Gendelman, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Arab media spokesman, rebuked Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Monday in a sharp Twitter exchange on the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre.
Zarif tweeted, in an apparent dig at US President Donald Trump, “Extremism and terrorism know no race or religion, and must be condemned in all cases. The world deserves better than to have to live with weaponized demagoguery.”
“Thoughts and prayers with victims of terrorist attack on Pittsburgh synagogue and their loved ones,” Zarif added.
Gendelman shot back, “Says the foreign minister of a tyrannical regime that is the world’s #1 sponsor of terrorism, that swears every day that it will destroy my country & kill its 9 million citizens, that bombed the Jewish center in Buenos Aires & helped Assad murder hundreds of thousands of Muslims.”
In the wake of the massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue that was the worst attack on American Jews in the country’s history, with 11 Jews murdered and six others wounded, the Columbia student life office, which describes itself as “your hub for University-wide student life information and initiatives,” issued an email with its statement that left out two words: “Jews” and “anti-Semitism.”
The email stated:
We are deeply saddened by the senseless violence at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday morning. Violence in our nation’s houses of worship is an affront to the freedoms our community holds dear. We stand strongly against these efforts to create fear and terror.
For some in our community, this is a particularly frightening time as we have seen a growing number of highly visible attacks directed at faith and identity — on worshippers and people of faith as they go through their daily lives, on groups gathered to celebrate an LGBT Latin night at Pulse Nightclub; on civil rights and anti-racist protesters in the streets of Charlottesville, and in so many other places, as occurred in last Wednesday’s shooting of two African-American shoppers in Kentucky. Please know that you are not alone, and that you are part of this community founded on the fundamental dignity and worth of all.
On Sunday, the office of university life amended the first sentence in its original statement to read: “We are deeply saddened by the horrific antisemitic attack on Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday morning.”
Neugut responded to the new statement by tweeting, “To be fair Columbia College privately DM’d me an apology and revised their statement here: https://universitylife.columbia.edu/pittsburgh To also be fair they shouldn’t make this mistake in the first place and their new statement is barely better Conflating anti-semitism with other hatreds is idiotic.”
MSNBC host Ayman Mohyeldin tried valiantly Sunday to get Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer to criticize President Donald Trump for the mass murder at a Pittsburgh synagogue the day before.
Not only did Dermer not give in to the host — but also Mohyeldin’s repeated, near-combative baiting questions resulted in MSNBC’s audience getting a stark history lesson about the left’s anti-Semitism.
Mohyeldin noted that the Anti-Defamation League reported a 57 percent increase in anti-Semitic attacks in the U.S. and asked Dermer he attributes that “at least partly to the more heated rhetoric in this country since President Trump took office? Or how do you, as an Israeli government official, explain this explosion of anti-Semitism in the U.S.?”
But Dermer wasn’t having it, noting to Mohyeldin that anti-Semitism was a growing problem around the world before Trump became president and went further by saying he was “very pleased” with Trump’s statements against anti-Semitism in the wake of the synagogue attack.
“I’m not aware of a single non-Israeli leader that has made such a strong statement in condemning anti-Semitism,” Dermer said of the president, who told an Illinois rally crowd that America will seek the destruction of those who seek to destroy Jews. “I have never heard a non-Israeli leader say that.”
Haaretz Correspondent Judy Maltz noted that “Israel’s Ashkenazi chief rabbi came under fire on Sunday for refusing to acknowledge in a newspaper interview that the massacre in Pittsburgh was carried out in a synagogue” (Israel’s Chief Rabbi Refuses to Call Pittsburgh Massacre Site a Synagogue Because It’s non-Orthodox).
She pointed out that Israel’s Haredi newspapers also refused to acknowledge that the Shabbat massacre “took place in a Jewish house of prayer because Tree of Life is a Conservative congregation, and they do not recognize the non-Orthodox movements.”
Maltz wrote that in an interview with the religious-Zionist Makor Rishon, Rabbi David Lau referred to the Tree of Life as “a place with a profound Jewish flavor (“Makom im sammeman Yehudi bolet”).” He really said it, and the paper made their headline. But to cherry-pick the quote from Rabbi Lau out of context – which a nasty editor did at Makor Rishon – is misleading, and re-ignites a religious war while we are burying our dead.
Here’s what the good chief rabbi said, this time in context:
Makor Rishon: The Haredi media refused to refer to the Tree of Life as a Conservative synagogue, but instead as a “Jewish center” at best.
Rabbi Lau: Am I a spokesman for the media?! All I can say, several times over, is what I like or dislike, appreciate or don’t appreciate regarding things that have been published. I am aware of what they write, and sometimes know that what they write has no connection to reality.
And Haaretz columnist Chemi Shalev exploited the massacre not only to attack the American president, claiming he was “blaming the Jewish victims for their deaths” by suggesting that an armed guard at the synagogue might have mitigated the extent of the brutal attack, but to attack the Israeli prime minister’s expressed sympathy and solidarity with the Jewish victims:
“…if the support of their own foul-mouthed, race-baiting president wasn’t enough of a burden, the hypocritical expressions of support emanating from Jerusalem – welcome as they may be – add insult to the American-Jewish injury…So, in their time of need and despair, American Jews in general, and Pittsburgh’s in particular, are condemned to being comforted by a president whose rhetoric and conduct appalls them and consoled by an Israeli government that rejects them and their values. In their eyes, and in the eyes of the world, the worldviews of both are closer to those of their Nazi assailant than to the values of the Jews who were murdered in cold blood in their sacred house of prayer.”
Such hate rhetoric directed at American and Israeli leaders or at support for Israel does not reflect mainstream American Jewish views, as the journalists suggest, but only their own. Is it any wonder why trust in the media continues to decline?
Following the massacre in Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, the Washington Post‘s “Morning Mix” posted a misleading headline suggesting that Pittsburgh’s Jewish leaders were averse to a condolence visit by the U.S. President. The headline declared:
“‘He is not welcome here’: Thousands support Pittsburgh Jewish leaders calling on Trump to ‘denounce white nationalism’”
The headline falsely implies that the leaders of Pittsburgh’s Jewish community, or the mainstream leaders, or the majority of Jewish leaders in Pittsburgh expressed inhospitable sentiments toward President Trump. As the article itself made clear, those opposed to his visit were a small group of anti-Trump activists, an affiliate of the group “Bend the Arc,” rather than Pittsburgh’s mainstream community leaders. Indeed, the targeted synagogue’s rabbi, Jeffrey Myers, expressed quite the opposite sentiment, saying that “The community would welcome [President Trump’s] presence here, because he is our president… [The anti-Semitic rampage] has nothing to do with politics in America. This is hate.”
After CAMERA contacted the Washington Post about the erroneous headline, it was changed to:
“‘He is not welcome here’: Leaders of Pittsburgh-based Jewish group want Trump to denounce white nationalism”
About two months ago, I received an invitation from a student society to speak at the University of Warwick alongside Ghada Karmi. I do not intend to name the society, nor the students involved, as I do not feel they are anything but unfortunate victims.
The event was to be a debate on Trump and the Middle East Peace Process, and by early September both speakers had been arranged. Over the last two months, I received several emails nailing down the finer details. On Friday I was told that the final pieces of information would be sent to me early this week. The event was scheduled for Thursday 1st November.
Ghada Karmi is a fellow and lecturer at the Institute of Arab & Islamic studies at Exeter. This places Karmi working alongside conspiracy theorist Ilan Pappe at the heart of academic anti-Israel activity. Ghada Karmi is a well known figure on the anti-Israel circuit, and I have seen her talk many times before. Her book ‘Married to another Man‘ was already on my bookshelf. In preparation for this event, I also purchased another of Karmi’s books, ‘In Search of Fatima‘:
Yesterday afternoon I received a short email notifying me that the event had been cancelled:
The above email exposes a truly shameful episode. The reason given for this cancellation – Karmi ‘does not wish to debate with’ me. Yet Karmi had agreed to the debate and she had known it was me she was facing for some time. This last-minute cancellation is an extremely effective way of ‘no-platforming’, as without time to find a replacement, Ghada Karmi had quite clinically ‘shut down the debate’.
It is unlikely Karmi cares that students have been left ‘annoyed and confused’. Putting aside the outrageous notion that people in debate should decide who is allowed to speak for the opposition, Ghada Karmi is a ’cause above all’ academic, just like Ilan Pappe and many others. There are things these people don’t want students to know or see.
Despite the recent wave of anti-Israel incidents at the University of Michigan—and following the deadliest attack on Jews in history of the United States—the school’s Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies held a town-hall program fostering BDS on Monday, featuring advocates of the anti-Israel movement.
The event was held 48 hours after a gunman shot and killed 11 Jews in Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday morning, leaving six other injured.
In an email sent to CMENAS faculty and students on Tuesday, department director Samer Mahdy Ali said the event was organized “on short order in response to the current crisis,” and featured a 45-minute long “teach-in” portion that “is decidedly pro-BDS.”
Speakers included Anna Baltzer, director of organizing and advocacy at the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, and Huwaida Arraf, co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement—both professional BDS advocates.
The panel was altered on Friday to include just Arraf, in addition to author Susan Abulhawa and University of Michigan master’s student Daniel Kaplan, both of whom have been involved in BDS activism, according to The Algemeiner.
Moreover, Tom Pessah, an Israeli sociologist who is also a pro-BDS, also served as a panelist.
Last month, Cypriot journalist Rosie Charalambous shared a video of IDF soldiers supposedly executing a palestinian in cold blood. At least that is what she wants everyone to believe.
Naturally, it did not take long to realize the video does not pass the smell test.
For a start, the incident did not just happen, as Charalambous would have you believe. It happened over 10 years ago. Don’t believe me? Google ‘blindfolded Palestinian shot 2008.’ Voila!
More importantly, the palestinian, Ashraf Abu Rahma, was shot in the foot with a rubber-coated metal bullet and lived to tell the tale, even getting himself IMDB and Rotten Tomato entries. He continues to be active on Facebook, where he can post photos of himself showing solidarity with PFLP terrorists.
As you can see, he was not seriously hurt, and the soldiers claimed they had intended only to frighten him; not that they acted appropriately, and they were rightly punished by an Israeli military court.
Tellingly, despite being made aware of her mistake (or perhaps she knew all along?), Charalambous never deleted or corrected her post.
The Volkswagen Group together with Israel-based Mobileye and Israel’s Champion Motors announced plans to deploy Israel’s first self-driving ride-hailing service – or Mobility-as-a-Service – starting next year. For this, the partners are planning to establish a joint venture.
The planned cooperation is subject to approval by the relevant authorities and bodies.
Operating as “New Mobility in Israel,” the group’s proposal was formally accepted by the Israeli government during a private ceremony Monday at the Smart Mobility Summit in Tel Aviv.
The Volkswagen Group will provide the electric vehicles and provide in-depth knowledge and competency in design and deployment of user-centered mobility services. Mobileye will provide its level-4 AV Kit – a turn-key, driverless solution comprised of hardware, driving policy, safety software and map data. Champion Motors will run the fleet operations and control center.
Together, the three companies will add the mobility platform and services, content and other Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) tools, ensuring a seamless rider experience.
The Israeli government has committed to support the project in three main areas: furnishing legal and regulatory support, sharing the required infrastructure and traffic data, and providing access to infrastructure as needed.
Harman International Industries Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. focused on connected technologies for the automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, on Monday opened a new 46,000-square foot (4,273-square meter) facility that will be the base of all of its activities in Israel.
Located in Hod Hasharon, in central Israel, the three-story building facility will serve as the headquarters for Harman in Israel. It hosts a smart-car lab, where teams can research, test and validate the company’s cybersecurity, software and automotive cloud solutions in real-life conditions, the company said in a statement on Monday.
Harman’s existing research and development (R&D) centers in Kfar Saba, Hod Hasharon and Ramat Gan will now be consolidated under one roof, in the new center.
Harman president and CEO Dinesh Paliwal inaugurated the new center, where he spoke about the importance of enabling Harman’s growth in Israel.
“We are now preparing for the next phase of growth — connected vehicles and automated driving — and the entrepreneurial spirit and innovations taking place in Israel play an instrumental part in this strategy,” said Paliwal.
Australian-Israeli startup Electriq~Global says it has found a way to use water to power electric vehicles.
The company, formerly known as Terragenic, was presenting its technology as part of the EcoMotion 2018 “Smart Mobility Summit” taking place Monday and Tuesday in Tel Aviv.
The company said its water-based recyclable fuel is “highly efficient, safe” and clean and can be used to power electric vehicles with zero emissions.
The technology, which the company calls “revolutionary,” extracts hydrogen from the fuel, which is then utilized to create electricity to power the vehicle.
The Electriq~Global system contains three key elements: the water, a chemical called BH4 or Tetrahydrobiopterin, and a metal layer – a “catalyzer” developed by the company – that triggers the production of hydrogen from the mix.
“We have created a new kind of fuel based on water,” said CEO Guy Michrowski in a phone interview. “It is safe, nonflammable and easy to use and to transport.”
A team of Israeli researchers says it has taken an important step toward the creation of environmentally friendly hydrogen-fueled cars.
The extraction of energy from hydrogen gas is a carbon-neutral, and thus environmentally friendly, process, but there’s a catch: pure hydrogen gas is almost impossible to find on Earth. To this day, the main means for producing hydrogen gas at industrial scales are inefficient and produce the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.
So scientists have been searching for years for carbon-neutral way to mass-produce hydrogen gas, which in turn could provide for a safe, clean energy source for cars, factories and more.
One of the most abundant potential sources for hydrogen is water. If scientists are able to efficiently split the water molecule H₂O into its component parts, it could force hydrogen molecules, H₂, to interact with oxygen molecules, O₂, in a process that would release a large amount of energy, and whose waste product is harmless water vapor.
But efforts to perfect the chemical mechanism have until now led to methods that expend huge amounts of energy in order to produce the reaction.
Now, scientists at Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba and the Technion in Haifa say they have found a key missing link in a chemical process involving solar power that could allow for the ongoing, automatic conversion of water into hydrogen fuel in a way that could become efficient enough to allow for the mass-production of vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells. These are easier to refuel than electric batteries and should allow for far higher mileage than current battery technology allows.
Beloved actress Audrey Hepburn worked directly under Dutch Resistance leaders to help defeat the Nazis, a new book reveals.
In Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II, author Robert Matzen writes of his proof that the Breakfast at Tiffany’s star was involved in fighting the Nazis during World War II.
Born in 1929 in Belgium and relocating to Holland at the start of the war in 1939, Hepburn was traumatized by the murder of her uncle Count Otto van Limburg Stirum.
In Matzen’s book, due to release in April, he reveals the discovery of a 188-page diary Hepburn’s uncle Otto wrote during the four months he was imprisoned by the Nazis before his death in 1942.
Hepburn’s son, Luca Dotti, says Matzen’s book solves mysteries he’s had about his mother.
‘I now understand why the words Good and Evil, and Love and Mercy were so fundamental in her own narrative. Why she was open about certain facts and why she kept so many others in a secluded area of her being,’ Dotti writes in the forward.
Matzen says Hepburn worked in the Dutch Resistance as a doctor’s assistant during the Bridge Too Far battle of Arnhem in 1944.
Dorian Kim is a South Korean YouTuber with almost 5,000 subscribers, who grew up in Israel (he even did university here). In this video, he explains (in Hebrew) the ten things he loves about Israel – a place he says he loves as much as South Korea.
Note I do not have time to translate the entire video (if anyone does, please let me know). But watching Dorian do his thing in Hebrew – even for a minute or two – is sure to put a smile on your face.
For those that did not understand the Hebrew, the ten things Dorian most loves about Israel are:
- The diversity and chaos in Israel brought on by people of different languages and religions
- Israeli food, such as hummus, falafel, shwarma, and burekas
- Shabbat and the Jewish festivals, which involve families spending time together
- The Hebrew language
- The openness of people in Israel
- His friends
- The love he receives as a Korean in Israel
- Life in Israel, which is meaningful
- The weather
- Drivers stopping at pedestrian crossings
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.