#IAmBalfour – Declaring 100 Years of Britain’s Support for Israel
The Balfour Declaration, published on 2 November 1917, was a letter addressed by Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour that proclaimed Britain would support the establishment of “a national home for the Jewish people”. This declaration paved the way for Israel to be reborn as a nation.
In September 2016, the Palestinian Leader Mahmoud Abbas told the UN General Assembly that Britain should apologise for the Balfour Declaration. To attack Israel’s very existence is at its root anti-Semitic. And in October 2016, anti-Israel activists launched a campaign to pressure the UK Government to apologise.
#IAmBalfour is a year-long petition, starting on the 99th Anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, which provides YOU with an opportunity to declare solidarity with Britain’s 100 year support of Israel, seeks to raise awareness and urges the British Government to uphold its commitment to Israel and the Jewish people – without apology.
Sign the #IAmBalfour Declaration
We have just witnessed the shameful spectacle of a Jew-hating event hosted by the House of Lords and chaired by the notorious anti-Semite Baroness Jenny Tonge, who co-organised the event with the Palestine Return Centre. During the session, Israel was compared to Islamic State and Jews were blamed for pushing Hitler over the edge and bringing the Holocaust on themselves. Baroness Tonge appeared to enjoy the sessions. Her only concern was that someone might overhear them. There may be “Zionist ears in the room,” she warned her audience.
Baroness Tonge is no stranger to anti-Semitism and anti-Zionist paranoia. A purveyor of the modern-day blood libel, she accused the Israel Defense Forces’ medical team in Haiti in 2010 of harvesting organs. Two years later, she appeared at an Israeli Apartheid Week event and called for an end to the Jewish state, which she described as an “aircraft carrier.” She has also expressed support for Arab suicide bombers and has repeatedly railed against the so-called pro-Israeli lobby, which “has got its grips on the western world, its financial grips.”
Baroness Tonge represents everything that is wrong with left-wing liberalism in Britain. Arrogant, elitist, self-righteous, smugly comfortable, she is completely out of touch with the lower middle and working classes (she is, after all, a Baroness in the House of Lords). She is also one of those ‘anti-racist anti-Semites’ who sees racism everywhere except when it presents itself as Jew-hatred. Baroness Tonge, like many left-wing liberals, believes that history is on their side when it comes to multiculturalism, the demise of national borders and the annihilation of Israel.
In a word, she is despicable.
Late last week, the Southern Poverty Law Center, which became deservedly famous in the 1980s for combating violent white-power hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis, published a list of 15 individuals it labels as particularly threatening anti-Muslim extremists. It is sad but telling that the SPLC’s so-called field guide to Muslim-haters is not a list of violent extremists—who certainly do exist—but is instead a blacklist of prominent writers whose opinions on a range of cultural and political issues are offensive to the SPLC. The SPLC blacklist list contains practicing Muslims like Maajid Nawaz, ex-Muslims like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, foreign-policy think-tankers like Frank Gaffney and Daniel Pipes, and right-wing firebrands like David Horowitz—none of whom could be reasonably described as anti-Muslim bigots.
I spoke to Nawaz on the phone in London to ask for his reaction. “A bunch of first-world, comfortable liberal Americans who are not Muslims have decided from their comfortable perch to label me, an activist who is working within his Muslim community to push back against extremism, an anti-Muslim extremist.”
On the face of it, it’s difficult to understand why Nawaz was listed as such. As he told me, he’s a proud Muslim. “I learned Arabic in order to read my holy book,” he said. “In an Intelligence Squared debate, I defended the proposition that Islam was a religion of peace. This was the same week that the man who attempted to bomb Times Square was sentenced so it wasn’t the friendliest New York audience. I hosted Morgan Freeman in a mosque for his documentary The Story of God.”
Nawaz takes the SPLC blacklist seriously, he told me, because he believes that it has put his life in danger. “They’ve put a target on my head,” he said. “This is what putting people on lists does. When Theo Van Gogh was killed in the Netherlands, a list was stuck to his body that included Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s name. It was a hit list. When Bangladeshi reformers were hacked to death by jihadist terrorists, they were working off lists. Only fascists produce lists.”
The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement’s true objective is “wiping the Jewish nation off the face of the Earth,” Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked warned on Sunday.
Speaking at the opening plenary of the Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors meeting in Jerusalem, Shaked said the BDS movement is “deeply rooted in the classical anti-Semitism that has spread throughout Europe over the past few hundred years.”
The board, which meets at least three times a year, is the central policy-making body of the Jewish Agency.
Addressing the plenary, Shaked warned “all agents of ignorance and hatred” against testing Israel’s strength and determination to defend itself, Russia’s RT news reported.
She said the BDS movement “has no interest in promoting human rights, only in wiping the Jewish nation off the face of the Earth.”
FrontPage Mag Editor’s Note: The following letter was sent to the presidents of the ten campuses named in the Freedom Center’s report on the “Top Ten Schools Supporting Terrorists.” In alphabetical order, the ten campuses are: Brooklyn College (CUNY), San Diego State University, San Francisco State University, Tufts University, University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Irvine, University of California, Los Angeles, University of Chicago, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Vassar College.
October 27, 2016
Dr. Janet Napolitano President University of California Dear Dr. Napolitano,
Your school purports to promote the values of diversity, inclusiveness and tolerance yet provides resources, funding and legitimacy to Students for Justice in Palestine. Students for Justice in Palestine is a campus organization whose sole purpose is to conduct hateful propaganda against Jews and the Jewish state for the terrorist organization Hamas. The explicit goals of Hamas are the destruction of the world’s only Jewish state and genocide against its Jewish population. For these reasons, among others, three campuses of the University of California—Irvine, Los Angeles, and Berkeley—have been named among the “Top Ten Schools Supporting Terrorists” by the David Horowitz Freedom Center. You may read the full report here: http://www.stopthejewhatredoncampus.org/news/top-ten-schools-supporting-terrorists-fall-2016-report
While it masquerades as a typical campus cultural group, SJP is an integral part of Hamas’s efforts to annihilate Israel through the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. This is an insidious effort that attempts to delegitimize Israel, and smear it as a rogue “apartheid” nation. These claims are ludicrous. More than a million Palestinians enjoy Israeli citizenship including the rights to vote and to sit on the Israeli courts and parliament. Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz has said of the BDS movement, “It is anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist, anti-human rights, anti-intellectual, anti-science, anti-negotiation, anti-peace, anti-compromise, and anti-Palestinian workers when they are denied opportunities to work.” Both Larry Summers and Hillary Clinton have denounced BDS as anti-Semitic Jew hatred. Yet your school provides a platform and funding for its sponsors.
The European Union’s foreign policy chief recently affirmed the right of EU citizens to boycott Israel, citing freedom of expression and rebuffing claims by Jerusalem that such measures amount to banned anti-Semitic activity.
While upholding the right of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement to blacklist the Jewish state, Federica Mogherini also noted that the EU itself opposes efforts to boycott Israel.
“The EU stands firm in protecting freedom of expression and freedom of association in line with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which is applicable on EU Member States’ territory, including with regard to BDS actions carried out on this territory,” Mogherini said in a written reply to a query by an Irish member of the European Parliament last month.
“Freedom of expression, as underlined by the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, is also applicable to information or ideas ‘that offend, shock or disturb the State or any sector of the population,’” Mogherini said.
She continued: “The EU rejects the BDS campaign’s attempts to isolate Israel and is opposed to any boycott of Israel.”
A guest post by Harvey Garfield
Last Thursday in London, I attended a (CAMERA sponsored) UCL Jewish Society talk given by Hen Mazzig, an Israeli activist. I was well aware that with the Palestinian Facebook reminders of his status as an ex-officer of the IDF he stood no chance of speaking anywhere on the UCL campus, and when I arrived it soon became apparent that the original venue had been changed. It was no longer Archaeology G3, but an entirely different building and it took several calls to be updated of the new venue.
I arrived at the hastily arranged venue, only to be greeted by approx 60-80 pro-Palestinian supporters, mainly young Muslim women who had somehow got wind of the venue change. I was somewhat taken aback that there were so many women and I speculated whether this was an official strategy in order to present a softer side to Palestinian activism. If it was, the strategy failed since these women were more fanatical than many of the males I have encountered as part of my grass-roots pro-Israel activism . From the start they jostled for position directly in front of the doors in order to gain access and monopolise the room. They began a loud and passionate chorus of chants: ‘ River to the Sea Palestine will be Free’, etc which, as we all understand, puts paid to the very idea of a two state solution . In fact it puts paid to Israel as an independent Jewish homeland full stop. Several of the males were wearing keffiyehs covering their faces in order to avoid identification.
There were two university security guards present who were quite clearly overwhelmed by what was happening and who subsequently called the police. At this point the room was commandeered by the Palestinian side who had entered by a side door swiftly taking over the platform. Palestinian flags were unfurled and many of the women had whipped themselves up into a frenzy of anti-Israel hate.
The violent mob attack against Jews attending the talk by an Israeli at University College London has been widely reported. Yet in their classic inversion of reality style, there are some – like anti-Israel goon and liar Ben White – who have tried to portray the Jews as the trouble-makers, as can be seen from his Twitter feed below (incidentally the video was heavily edited and, according to an eyewitness, Elliott was “was shouting at group who’d hit women & abused gay speaker”)***. But note who eagerly responded to this tweet seeing it as an opportunity to push more lies about ‘Islamophobia’. Step forward Tell MAMA – the odious, deceitful, Israel-hating organisation that was set up with government funding to ‘monitor Islamophobic attacks’ (but in practice has been used to criminalise criticism of Islamist ideology and curtail free speech in the UK).
As I have reported many times before Tell MAMA continues to receive support from mainstream Jewish organisations like the Board of Deputies and CST. Indeed, in this article on their website CST brag that they:
“helped in the creation of Tell MAMA, a Muslim community initiative to measure and combat anti-Muslim hate crimes.”
Some relevant information about Tell MAMA and its leader Fiyaz Mughal is reproduced below. Note the important update regarding his campaign against Tim Burton.
Lawmakers of the Virginia General Assembly, the board of the International Leaders Summit think tank and other individuals and organizations concerned with antisemitism recently called on George Mason University in Fairfax to stop the group Students for Justice in Palestine from holding its national conference there.
The event, set to take place next month, is hosted by the university’s Students Against Israeli Apartheid group.
In a letter addressed to university president Dr. Ángel Cabrera, the BDS opponents wrote that they are reaching out “on behalf of concerned citizens and the Jewish community.
“According to published reports and letters sent from state legislators, including our distinguished colleagues in New York, about Students for Justice in Palestine’s actions and statements, the antisemitic and anti-Israel group’s agenda is to promote the total destruction and elimination of the State of Israel,” the letter said. “[It] fuels intimidation and fear among Jewish and pro-Israel students and faculty members.
“According to reports from US college campuses, Students for Justice in Palestine continues to stoke the flames of hatred and incites violence and harassment against Jewish students and pro-Israel students,” it continued. “Criminal behavior on any university campus is unacceptable; it is an assault on individual liberty, the rule of law and the safety and well-being of citizens.”
In the wake of this petition and following queries from a number of people, Citi have stated they are not sponsoring Roger Waters’ upcoming tour (hat tip: Steve).
This seems to be suggesting that Waters had mentioned Citi in his original post, not because they were ever sponsors, but rather as part of a pre-sale of tickets for card members as part of their entertainment access program.
I have reached out to Citi to clarify this and will update the post if I receive a response.
Either way, it seems there is no need for the petition and Roger Waters’ currency is devalued due to his unhinged attacks against Israel.
Daphne Anson: Nasty Nick Cotton’s Noxious Nonsense (video)
“It’s like Syria on a smaller scale, the Gaza Strip” casually proclaims BBC soap East Enders actor John Altman (aka “Nasty Nick Cotton”) to receptive listeners at a leafleting demo against Hewlett-Packard by the Richmond and Kingston Palestine Solidarity Campaign branch a few days ago, in which that mendacious map set figures prominently.
(We met “Nasty Nick” some time ago sounding off at an event given by the same PSC branch, mendacious maps and all, at which Jenny Tonge also added her ten cents’ worth against Israel.)
As Daphne Anson notes, Stephen Sizer this week attended the now-notorious launch meeting of the “Balfour Apology Campaign” in the House of Lords, organised by the Palestine Return Centre and hosted by Jenny Tonge. He also wrote about it on his Facebook page:
It would seem that Revd Sizer has broken his February 2015 undertaking in two ways:
(1) He has attended a conference linked to Middle East campaigning; and
(2) he has informally written about the “historic backdrop” to the current situation in the Middle East (“It is time to say sorry for Britain’s historic duplicity to both Jews and Arabs”).
Revd Sizer has recently announced that he will be retiring from his role as vicar of Christ Church, Virginia Water, next Easter. It seems he will be taking on a new role as CEO of a new charity, “Peacemaker Mediators”.
If the words of his 2015 undertaking mean anything, Revd Sizer should surely be offering his resignation to his bishop immediately. However, the real question, surely, is how Bishop Andrew Watson will react to this development. Will he follow up on his strong warning, or meekly retract it now the time has come for enforcement?
Remarkably, this BBC report gives uncritical amplification to Jenny Tonge’s advancement of a well-worn trope concerning ‘powerful’ Jews:
“Speaking to the BBC, Baroness Tonge blamed the “power of the Israel lobby” and its sway over UK political parties for her suspension.”
As David Aaronovitch noted at the Sunday Times:
“Ten years ago the baroness did the old one about Jewish financial power in the form of “the pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the western world, its financial grips”. She got a reprimand from her party leader for it. Six years ago it was the ancient blood libel (Jews kill gentiles for their blood or body parts, see also under Shylock), when she demanded an inquiry into absurd allegations that an Israeli aid mission to Haiti was harvesting organs from Haitians. She lost a front bench job for that.”
One might therefore have expected the BBC to provide readers with some obviously relevant context concerning Tonge’s ignominious record of antisemitic statements – and to be able to recognise (and identify as such) a version of the Jewish lobby trope before promoting it in a quote. But sadly, the BBC’s own record on that particular topic has long been disturbingly dismal.
Though most news outlets we surveyed covered the story fairly, the Independent again demonstrated its characteristic anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian bias by blurring victim and perpetrator in both their headline and lead sentence.
Here’s the headline of the Oct. 29th article by Rachael Pells.:
Now, here’s the opening sentence:
Police were called to an event at University College London after violent clashes between pro-Palestinian protesters and members of a pro-Israeli group.
Though the strap line and quotes provided in the body of the article provide some clarifying information about the incident, the headline and opening sentence falsely suggest to readers that both parties were to blame.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Scholars: Haaretz ‘Likely A Forgery;’ ‘Utter Crap’ (satire)
Denshus pointed to the so-called paper’s adoption of a comically transparent effort to promote political organizations such as Btselem, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International, which the team noted in the article hold an analogous status in the human rights field – unconvincingly veiled political groups in the garb of organizations pretending to care about human rights per se, while in fact focusing disproportionately on the human rights of one population to the detriment of others.
An authentic newspaper, or even a more convincing forgery, he continued, would make an actual effort to present news coverage in an impartial manner. “The amateurishness with which this endeavor has been undertaken – especially when it comes to the English-language web site that Haaretz runs – leaves little doubt as to its provenance, or lack thereof,” he added. “It’s as if someone took Fox News, pulled it to the other end of the political spectrum, got rid of the handful of reasonable voices, translated it into highfalutin Hebrew, and gave it an austere logo.”
The team remains unsure what the motive might be for the elaborate hoax, since economic reward has not been associated with Haaretz for years. “Haaretz can claim perhaps three percent of market share,” observed Meg Gammati, a member of the research team. “That’s not sustainable, let alone financially rewarding. So the forgery is most likely the work of hobbyists, or perhaps satirists.”
A Japanese teeny-bop girl band has triggered outrage after wearing military-style costumes which have been compared to Nazi uniforms at a Halloween concert.
Keyakizaka46 sparked an online storm with their black one-piece dresses and capes, complete with peaked caps bearing a golden bird symbol resembling the Nazi eagle.
Social media has lit up since the troupe took to the stage in Yokohama on October 22.
In a Twitter backlash, several users slammed their choice of costume as “unforgivable” and “unacceptable” while Berlin-based Japanese writer Ichika Rokuso posted: “Seventy-one years have passed since the war ended but there are many people who lost loved ones. Please remember that.”
A sign identifying the Chabad Jewish student center at Texas A&M University was vandalized and then stolen.
An unknown vandal was caught on a surveillance camera kicking and knocking down the sign, and then returning to steal it, the local media reported. The incident occurred between 3 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. Sunday.
The incident is not being investigated as a hate crime, but the head of the Chabad center, Rabbi Yossi Lazaroff, told the local news station KBTX that he believes the Jewish center was targeted.
“This is a very serious matter,” Lazaroff said, according to Chron.com. “This is a religious center, this is a synagogue and this type of behavior is something that is very surprising to me because in my 10 years that I’ve been here we’ve never had something like this happen. This was damage, this was vandalism.”
A crowdfunding page was launched Sunday to raise money for what Lazaroff said will be a bigger and better-lit sign.
In August, a 13-foot blue and white Hillel welcome banner was stolen and then later returned.
The United Nations will begin serving kosher food in its cafeterias.
The decision Monday follows less than a month after Israel’s UN ambassador, Danny Danon, wrote to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calling for the change, pointing out that many UN employees and diplomats from around the world observe kashrut, Ynet reported.
UN cafeterias already offer halal, vegetarian and vegan selections.
“For many Jews around the world, eating kosher food is a fundamental aspect of religious practice,” Danon wrote in his letter last month. “We believe that all citizens of the world should feel welcome in the UN.”
This year for the first time, no official meetings took place on Yom Kippur at the UN’s New York headquarters, and Jewish employees were able to stay home from work without using vacation time.
Known to the world for its skin-baring beach culture and exuberant Carnival parades, Rio de Janeiro overwhelmingly chose an evangelical bishop as a mayor Sunday, signaling a resurgence of conservatism in Latin America’s largest nation.
Sen. Marcelo Crivella easily beat his opponent, socialist state Rep. Marcelo Freixo, taking 59 percent of the votes against 41 percent in the municipal runoff election. Rio was one of 57 Brazilian cities holding runoff votes.
The conservative Crivella’s triumph is the latest display of widespread anger at Brazil’s established left-wing parties amid the country’s worst recession in decades and the aftermath of an impeachment trial that threw the Workers’ Party out after 13 years in power. It’s also a sign of the rise of evangelical churches like Pentecostals.
Although Crivella had run and lost in previous mayoral and gubernatorial elections, in opinion polls that preceded the election he was clearly favored by Cariocas, the name by which Rio residents are known.
“I pray to God that my public life, as rocky as it has been, can teach all Cariocas that our time always comes when we do not give up,” Crivella told a crowd of supporters Sunday.
Italian President Sergio Mattarella began a four-day visit in Israel on Sunday, shortly after another major earthquake hit central Italy.
Mattarella, who is visiting Israel for the first time as president, was briefed on the earthquake but chose to continue with the visit as planned.
Mattarella is expected to meet with President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his visit.
His first stop was the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and museum in Jerusalem. After touring the museum, he laid a wreath at the Hall of Remembrance and wrote in the Yad Vashem guest book: “The Shoah poses a fundamental question about the absolute evil and darkness that existed, about the abyss in the heart of Europe that swallowed up millions of innocent people. [The victims] ask us not to forget. … As Primo Levi wrote, ‘Understanding is impossible, knowing is imperative.’ We must remember, to make sure it will never happen again.”
Mattarella also visited the grave of Israel’s ninth president, Shimon Peres, at the Great Leaders of the Nation plot on Mount Herzl.
United Nations peacekeeping forces are scheduled to participate in a special emergency field medicine seminar headed by the Israeli military and local medical professionals, Israel Hayom learned Sunday.
The seminar, to be held in the next few weeks, aims to address one of the fundamental challenges U.N. peacekeeping forces face in their assignments in conflict zones worldwide: saving lives on the battlefield.
“We are very proud to invite U.N. peacekeeping forces to Israel, where they can learn from the world’s top professionals on the unique methods Israel uses to deal with cases involving emergency medicine on the ground,” Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon said.
“Unfortunately, Israel has vast firsthand experience in how crucial it is to have professional emergency medicine. We hope U.N. personnel will be able to implement our methods and save lives worldwide.”
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