December 7, 2019

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11/01 Links Pt2: Anti-Israel Activists Now See the Holocaust as a Topic Inherently Inimical to Them; Lipstadt: Take anti-Semitism seriously ‘not just when there are dead bodies’

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2019/11/1101-links-pt2-anti-israel-activists.html

From Ian:


Anti-Israel Activists Now See the Holocaust as a Topic Inherently Inimical to Them
Last week, Harold Kasimow, a retired professor of religious studies, came to Benedictine University in Illinois to speak about his experiences surviving the Holocaust as a child. At his talk he was confronted by a member of the school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) who wanted to know if he supported or condemned “the establishment of the Zionist Israeli state”; the student eventually walked out after he refused to give the answers she hoped for. Video of the incident has been making the rounds on social media. Jonathan Tobin comments:

Kasimow wasn’t there to talk about Israel or [even to argue that] the history of oppression in the Diaspora that culminated in the Holocaust justified the quest to create a Jewish state. But in spite of his narrow, apolitical agenda, . . . SJP was still in effect ready to “cancel” him unless he didn’t merely condemn Israeli policy but agree that Israel needs to be erased.

Now it is not enough to demand that Jews acknowledge the tragedy of the Nakba for Palestinians. A Jewish refusal to treat the Arab disaster as morally equivalent to the Nazi “final solution” apparently justifies a walkout from a talk by an apolitical Holocaust survivor. The support [the student] gained on the Internet for her crude [attack on] Kasimow provides a troubling context for the incident.

Israel’s enemies have thus gone beyond Holocaust inversion—the claim that Jewish “oppression” of the Palestinians is equivalent to the Nazis’ attempted extermination of the Jews—to what Tobin terms “Nakba supersessionism”: the idea that the “catastrophe” entailed in the creation of a Jewish state should overshadow or replace any discussion of the Holocaust.

Prof. Phyllis Chesler: The war continues and it is a long war

This coming weekend (November 1-3), the University of Minnesota will be hosting the infamous Students for Justice Palestine (SJP). The nature and history of SJP has been exposed countless times, but to little avail.

This time, Ilhan Omar, whose district includes the Twin Cities, as well as Senator and Presidential contender Bernard Sanders, will be holding a rally on the same weekend, on Sunday, November 3rd.

On November 12th, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst will be hosting a pro-BDS panel featuring the former (fake) women’s rights activist and (always real) pro-Palestine activist, Linda Sarsour, Cornel West, and Omar Bhargouti (via video), among others.

The UMass/Amherst Chancellor, Kumble Subbaswamy, has issued a sobering critique of the cleverly devious view that attacking BDS is an attack on legitimate “dissent.” The faculty has launched a petition castigating or taking issue with the Chancellor.

A cursory view of the signatories reveals that one professor of African-American Studies, the distinguished John H. Bracey, did co-edit a book about Black-Jewish relations after Nation of Islam’s Louis Farrakhan’s “divisive” visit to the campus in the 1980s. His other books are all about Black History and Black Arts in America.

Ironically, so few of the professor-signatories seem to be academic experts in the history of Israel, Zionism, or Judaism; or about the Arab Muslim rejection of the only Jewish state; or about Islam’s historical relationship to the black African slave trade, slavery in general, colonialism. imperialism, and gender and religious apartheid.

Q & A with Brooke Goldstein: Defending the rights of Jews

Brooke Goldstein, who was born in Toronto and graduated from McGill University, is the founder and executive director of the New York-based Lawfare Project, a non-profit advocacy organization that serves as a legal think tank and litigation fund intended to uphold the civil and human rights of Jews and pro-Israel activists around the world. She also co-authored the book, Lawfare: The War Against Free Speech: A First Amendment Guide For Reporting in an Age of Islamist Lawfare, which serves as a guide for journalists reporting on the national security threats faced by liberal democracies.

Goldstein will speak at Adath Israel Congregation in Toronto on Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m.

What’s a good definition of lawfare? It’s acquired a bad rap as a kind of frivolous or vexatious legal action.

That’s basically what it is. It’s a term used to denote the use of the law as a weapon of war. So instead of “warfare,” it’s “lawfare.” But more generally, it is the frivolous and malicious use of legal systems to undermine basic rights and civil liberties. A perfect example that I use is the al-Qaida manuals that were discovered by coalition forces, which instructed captured militants to file false claims of torture in order to reposition themselves as victims in the eyes of the media and the law.

Since then, lawfare has been used in a variety of situations, whether it’s to silence and chill free speech about issues of national security, such as terrorist organizations or terrorist sympathizers who file lawsuits against anyone who is brave enough to report and speak publicly about theologically motivated terror, in an effort to basically intimidate them. And then you have any type of lawsuit that does not have the goal of the pursuit of justice or recovery of a wrong, but of intimidating someone for political purposes.

Actually, it’s funny because the name of our project is sort of counter-intuitive. We are the “Counter-Lawfare Project.” We don’t engage in lawfare. We engage in civil rights advocacy on behalf of the Jewish community, as a minority community. We fight against lawfare.

I started my career working for Daniel Pipes of Middle East Forum. I ran a legal defence fund, where we raised money to support anyone who was sued, whether it was the counter-terrorism community, moderate Muslims or reporters who were speaking publicly about issues that others wanted to have silenced. I realized that there were millions of dollars going toward these lawfare strategies. When I left Daniel Pipes, I said, “I want to work for a pro-Israel litigation fund,” and there wasn’t one. So we set up the Lawfare Project about 10 years ago and we got into the litigation game about four years ago.

PodCast: Lipstadt: Take anti-Semitism seriously ‘not just when there are dead bodies’

This week “People of the Pod” speaks with Deborah Lipstadt, the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University, whose book, “Anti-Semitism: Here and Now,” proved to be tragically prescient when released earlier this year prior to a spate of lethal anti-Semitic attacks around the world.

In conversation with the podcast’s co-host, Manya Brachear Pashman, Lipstadt provides insight on the many directions from which anti-Semitism is emanating today, along with what can be done to fight it.

Weekly podcast “People of the Pod” is produced in partnership between the American Jewish Committee and The Times of Israel to analyze global affairs through a Jewish lens.

Lipstadt’s book was conceived of in the wake of a 2014 attack by a jihadist gunman on Belgium’s Jewish Museum that killed four visitors, and “a lot of the anti-Semitism that emerged around the war in Gaza,” the author says. “But it was clear to me that it wasn’t just related to the war in Gaza, that there had been enough other things happening that to just say, ‘This is all about Gaza,’ was a simplistic view.”
People of the Pod logo

Lipstadt discusses “white genocide theory, or white replacement theory” on the far-right, whose conspiracy theorists accuse “the Jews” of being behind an insidious plan to displace America’s white majority.

On the far left, the author says, anti-Semitism finds a foothold in anti-Israel and anti-Zionist rhetoric – though in many cases those are just stand-ins for classic Jew-hatred.

“All you have to do is follow the comments made by Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the British Labour Party and those around him, or Ken Livingstone, the former mayor of London, who is very much a man of the left, or some people in this country, our representatives and leaders in this country as well,” to see this in action, Lipstadt says.

A Year After Pittsburgh, Time for Action

This past Sunday, we mourned on the first anniversary of the Tree of Life shooting. In Jewish tradition, this is an important moment. Mourners have completed saying the daily Mourner’s Kaddish, released from their daily obligations and restrictions as the official period of mourning has passed. Graves are visited and headstones have been unveiled.Those who lost their beloved family members are no longer considered mourners.

Grief, however, has no expiration date.

The pain of these violent, cruel deaths, wrought by a white nationalist terrorist, is unimaginable and will linger for families and for the entire Jewish community. It has changed us. The time for grieving is ending, and the time for action is upon us. We have had a year to mourn, to rage, think, to write, to organize, to cry, but overwhelmingly we haven’t learned the lessons of the Tree of Life. We must heed the call, we must learn the lessons now.

Anti-Semitism continues to grow and the Jewish community is frightened. A landmark new poll from the American Jewish Committee reveals stark realities: Nine out of 10 Jews believe anti-Semitism is spreading in America, and one-third of American Jews have hid their Jewishness in public. These numbers don’t surprise me. I am also frightened.

But I believe we must stand up and fight anti-Semitism. It is our patriotic duty, for anti-Semitism is a threat to all Americans.

First, we need to have a national conversation about anti-Semitism. Most Americans are still woefully ignorant about it. They don’t understand that anti-Semitism often functions as a conspiracy theory, where Jews are cast as evil demonic monsters controlling and manipulating the government, the media, the banks, and the whole world for greedy and nefarious gains. Anti-Semitism is a serpent that can easily adapt itself to different worldviews and political aims as it provides a scapegoat and an antidote to what ails us. This is also what makes it so devastating for democracy: It removes accountability.

This is a moment in which all Americans of conscience are working to learn about each other, to understand each other and the dangers we face. America must learn about anti-Semitism, recognize the tropes, the particular terrors and the devastating history. America must listen to Jews.

‘Never again’ is here and now

A year has passed since the awful Pittsburgh synagogue attack, the most deadly anti-Semitic attack ever on US soil. Half a year has passed since the shooting attack at the Chabad of Poway, California. What has changed? It seems only the location of the next attack.

According to a report by the Anti-Defamation League, which was published this month, at least 12 racists who adhere to an ideology of white supremacy have been arrested since the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh for allegedly threatening or perpetrating anti-Semitic attacks in the US. The report also details at least 50 other cases in which white supremacists planned to vandalize Jewish institutions. It also notes that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the US is close to an all-time high.

A survey conducted and published this week by the American Jewish Committee, shows that every third Jew in the United States avoids wearing Jewish symbols in public, such as a kippah, and every fourth Jew admits to avoiding public events and visiting Jewish places because they don’t feel comfortable as Jews. It appears the irrational hatred for Jews, even in places where very few Jews live, is only growing. In the past six months, 12 Jews have been murdered on US soil. Anti-Semitic attacks in New York have become commonplace, an epidemic for all intents and purposes. In Brooklyn – where Jews are often easy to spot due to their clothes – harassment, provocations, arson attempts and physical violence against Jews have become daily occurrences.

The State of Israel doesn’t have the authority to take action in foreign countries. But the fact that it lacks such authority doesn’t mean we don’t have a responsibility. As the Jewish state, any anti-Semitic incident – even if it occurs thousands of miles from our Israel’s shores – is a local and domestic issue. It is incumbent upon us to display our solidarity with Jewish communities abroad and stand with them shoulder to shoulder against this scourge.

“Anti-Zionism is the new form of Antisemitism”

Head of EU relations at the European Jewish Association, Ruth Ruth Daskalopoulou Isaac speaks to Jeff Smith on the rise of antisemitism in Europe and how to combat such threats.

J Street’s foul formula

This is shocking: actively campaigning to cut US military aid to Israel. Even the most pro-Palestinian president of the US, Barack Obama, didn’t seek to harm Israel’s security by cutting military aid to Israel. Just the opposite. To his credit, Obama increased military aid to Israel and signed an agreement to guarantee this aid for a decade.

Of course, this was part of Obama’s campaign to snow Israel over the ruinous Iran deal. And Obama fiercely pressured Israel regarding settlements too. But he never conditioned US military aid on Israel’s bending to Washington’s dictates regarding peace diplomacy.

In other words, J Street is less protective of Israeli security than Obama was.

Alas, J Street is getting results. At its Washington conference this week, several Democratic presidential candidates cozied up to J Street’s formula, including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg. They said they were open to cutting or conditioning US military aid to Israel as a way of forcing Israel to bend to their will on the conflict with the Palestinians.

Sanders said he would transform some US aid to Israel into humanitarian aid for Gaza “on the first day of his administration, because we have a right to demand respect for human rights and democracy.” “Uncle Bernie” wants to take money that Israel uses to defend itself against terrorists and instead give it to the terrorists.

To this, add the cabal of Congressional Democrats who back the boycott Israel movement (Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota), and others (like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ro Khanna of California) who have said that US aid should be used to pressure Israel.

J Street loves them all for their “courage.”

In other words, instead of helping moderates in the Democratic camp responsibly steer the discourse on foreign policy and Israel in useful directions, J Street is egging-on the radicals who seek confrontation with Israel and who would effectively empower Hamas to kill more Israelis.

It is further worth noting the way J Street advances its confrontation with Israel. J Street conference speakers earnestly broadcast their “profound” Jewish and “spiritual” identities to besmirch the mainstream Jewish and Israeli publics and drive a distancing in US-Israel relations.

And they call this “pro-Israel.”

Joe Lieberman at Herzl Conference: I see storm clouds gathering on American support for Israel

Former US Senator and Democratic nominee for Vice President Joe Lieberman warned of the presence of “storm clouds gathering” on American support for Israel while speaking at the first Herzl Conference on Contemporary Zionism organized by the World Zionist Organization in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

“In my opinion, [bipartisan American support for Israel] is not collapsing, but it is changing and there are parts of the American political spectrum where support for Israel is dearly diminishing. I am not by nature an alarmist, but amidst the continuing encouraging facts on the ground, I see storm clouds gathering,” he said, mentioning “real attrition among liberals, Democrats and younger people – millennials.”

The former senator expressed his concern over recent statements by Democratic presidential hopefuls Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders about rethinking US military aid to Israel.

“What is most troubling about these statements is not that they are challenging elements of Israeli policy. That has been happening in America for a long time. It is healthy and will continue,” Lieberman said. “The ominous unprecedented factor here is American Presidential candidates threatening to withhold American aid to Israel. This I fear is a reflection of what they are hearing among potential Democratic primary voters.”

Biden: ‘Outrageous’ to leverage aid to Israel against settlement expansion

Democratic presidential nominee hopeful Joe Biden on Thursday responded to calls from other candidates that aid to Israel be conditioned on an end to settlement expansion, calling the idea “absolutely outrageous.”

When asked by a Wall Street Journal reporter whether he would be open to the idea of leveraging aid to the Jewish state, the former vice president said it would be a “gigantic mistake.”

Biden’s comments came after some candidates for the nomination gave details on aspects of their Israel policy in addresses to the annual conference of J Street, the liberal Jewish Middle East policy group

Jonny Gould’s Jewish State: Ep 24: David Collier: “ I live in the UK to fight antisemitism, seriously”.

David Collier is an extraordinary researcher and his reports on Labour antisemitism and the deligitimization of Israel have at times, dominated the mainstream media.

In this detailed interview profiling his work and background, we get behind the computer screen to reveal more about the man and his mission.

He says his undercover work online has uncovered extraordinary levels of Jew hate at the highest levels of British politics and explains the antizionism he’s encountered as nothing more than antisemitism.

David’s most recent projects have been to lodge a complaint against the publisher, Pearson over a textbook about the Middle East, which he says has been lifted in large part from Wikipedia – and a report into Amnesty, which he believes over obsesses about Israel.

He doesn’t mince his words over the EHRC investigation into the Labour Party either, which he worries will not tell it like it is: that there is a growing alliance between the hard-left and Islamists.

CAA applauds St Columba’s Church for cancelling event with Stephen Sizer, Gilad Atzmon, Miko Peled and Mick Napier, and urges new venue to follow suit

St Columba’s Church in Chester has cancelled an event titled “Palestine: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow”, which was set to feature disgraced conspiracy theorist Rev. Dr Stephen Sizer, the antisemite Gilad Atzmon, and the activists Miko Peled and Mick Napier.

The event, organised by the group Interfaith for Palestine, was due to be held at the church today and tomorrow, but following an intervention by North West Friends of Israel, the event was cancelled. A spokesman for the Diocese of Shrewsbury said: “The Diocese of Shrewsbury condemns and opposes antisemitism in all its forms and will not allow such activities on its premises. When serious concerns about the nature of this event were brought to our attention appropriate steps were immediately taken.”

Rev. Dr Sizer has claimed that an Israeli conspiracy was behind 9/11, and in February 2015 he was ordered by the Church of England to stop using social media. While the Church said the material that Rev. Dr Sizer posted was “clearly antisemitic”, the Daily Mail revealed that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wrote to the Church defending Rev. Dr Sizer, saying that he was being victimised because he “dared to speak out against Zionism.”

Mr Atzmon is reported to have blamed the Grenfell Tower tragedy on “Jerusalemites” as well as reportedly telling university students that “the Jews were expelled from Germany for misbehaving.” He is not shy about his antisemitism, telling a Jewish Twitter user in 2014: “I am not a Jew any more. I indeed despise the Jew in me (whatever is left). I absolutely detest the Jew in you.”

BBC to dismiss Labour complaint over Panorama programme on Party’s antisemitism

The BBC is expected to dismiss a complaint by the Labour Party claiming that the Panorama investigation into Labour antisemitism was a “one-sided authored polemic”.

In the episode, which was titled “Is Labour Anti-Semitic?” and televised in July, former Labour Party employees spoke out publicly to reveal Jeremy Corbyn’s personal meddling in disciplinary cases relating to antisemitism. The programme explained how senior Labour Party staffers, some of whom Campaign Against Antisemitism has known for years, used to run Labour’s disciplinary process independently, but soon after Mr Corbyn’s election as Party leader found themselves contending with his most senior aides, who were brazen in their efforts to subvert due process.

The Party submitted a 28-page complaint to the BBC, claiming the programme failed to meet the BBC’s standards because of “the tendentious and politically slanted script; the bias in the selection of interviewees; and the failure to identify the political affiliations or records of interviewees in a highly controversial, sensitive and contested subject produced a programme that was a one-sided authored polemic”. Labour also resented the decision to allow documentary-maker John Ware to make the programme, as he allegedly has a “record of public political hostility to Jeremy Corbyn, his politics and leadership of the Labour party”.

However, according to The Guardian, the BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit, which is the top level of the broadcaster’s internal complaints process, has concluded its review of Labour’s concerns and has decided to back the makers of the episode. Labour can now take its complaint to Ofcom, the media regulator, but a final decision from Ofcom is likely to take time.

Jewish whistleblower who featured on BBC Panorama episode on Labour antisemitism will now run as Labour candidate

Joshua Garfield, a Jewish councillor who appeared on BBC’s Panorama investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn, has been selected as a parliamentary candidate for the Party.

Cllr Garfield is an officer at the Jewish Labour Movement and was formerly a member of the pro-Corbyn group, Momentum, before he quit in April saying he felt “unsafe and untrusted” as a Jew. He stepped down as youth officer of the Newham branch of the group, saying “I cannot work alongside individuals who seek to silence the legitimate concerns of Jewish Labour members, or who remain silent in the face of blatant racism.” He went on to insist that “our Jewish comrades need solidarity, not faction based infighting.”

Nevertheless, he is contesting the Braintree constituency on behalf of the Labour Party. The seat is held by Conservative Party Chairman, James Cleverly, who currently holds a comfortable majority. In a tweet Cllr Garfield stated that “It’s an honour to announce I’ve been selected to fight for Braintree at the next election.”

John Mann enters House of Lords as new independent antisemitism advisor

John Mann, the former MP who quit the Labour Party earlier this year as he accused Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of “giving a green light to the antisemites”, has been inducted into the House of Lords as a crossbench peer.

Lord Mann, who was formerly the Chairman of All Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, was appointed as an independent advisor to the Government on antisemitism. He has warned that between overstatement and understatement of antisemitism, “the biggest danger is that we will understate the problem.”

In his induction, Lord Mann was introduced by the former Chief Rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, who tweeted in advance that it would be an “honour” to do so, and Lord Clarke of Hampstead.

Birkenhead Labour Party, which rejected offer of antisemitism training, votes for Chris Williamson to be reinstated

Members of the Birkenhead Labour Party have overwhelmingly voted for disgraced MP Chris Williamson to be “immediately” reinstated. Of the fifty members in attendance, only a handful reportedly voiced opposition to the move.

Mr Williamson has devoted much of his time as an MP to baiting Jews by dismissing allegations of antisemitism as “proxy wars and bulls***” whilst supporting Labour activists like Marc Wadsworth and Jackie Walker who were expelled from the Party over their comments. He has been suspended by Labour three times (although the second suspension was overturned by the High Court). He is currently on suspension.

Birkenhead’s Constituency Labour Party apparently rejected a training course on antisemitic conducted by the Jewish Labour Movement, according to minutes of a November 2017 meeting seen by the JC.

Birkenhead is represented by Frank Field, an MP who resigned from the Labour Party in 2018 saying that the Party’s leadership was becoming a “force for antisemitism in British politics”.

Anti-Zionists Blame CAMERA for Chancellor’s Condemnation of BDS

UMass Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy has condemned the anti-Israel BDS movement that has taken root on college campuses throughout the United States, stating that the movement “fails to acknowledge the humanity on the Israeli side of the conflict” and serves to alienate Jews who attend the school.

Subbaswamy condemned BDS in statement posted on UMass Amherst’s website on Oct. 21, 2019 in response to a panel about Israel organized by UMass Professor Sut Jhally scheduled to take place on Nov. 12, 2019. A number of speakers, including Linda Sarsour, who has declared “Nothing is creepier than Zionism” and Omar Barghouti, who has called for Israel’s elimination, will participate in the event.

Subbaswamy said he will not interfere with the event, but laments that it will take place on his campus.

“It is troubling that such a one-dimensional, polarizing event should take place on our campus,” he said. “A panel discussion where only one perspective is shared does little to increase the understanding of such a complex topic like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

In response to Subbaswamy’s statement, Jhally, chairman of the communications department at the school, complained to a local newspaper, The Daily Hampshire Gazette, declaring that he objected to his nonprofit organization, the Middle East Education Foundation as being portrayed as a “sinister” outside organization.

University of Illinois Student Leader Hailed for ‘Courageous’ Stand With Jewish Community in Fight Against Anti-Israel Resolution

As tensions soared Wednesday night during a student government meeting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), where a controversial resolution denying any link between antisemitism and anti-Zionism was set to pass by a landslide, student-body vice president Jack Langen went against the tide.

By the time he spoke, hundreds of Jewish students had already walked out of the meeting in protest of not being consulted on the content of the resolution.

In the days ahead of the meeting, the UIUC chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) aggressively promoted campus legislation that defined antisemitism using its Oxford English Dictionary definition, instead of the one set by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

“We are using our position as student leaders to define what the Jewish community goes through,” Langen said, to jeers and boos from the remaining audience members. “I believe this is wrong, and we would be speaking for a community that has publicly disagreed with how we would be representing them.”

Langen felt the Jewish community had been left in the dark throughout the whole legislative process.

University of Oregon accused of not reporting anti-Semitic incidents

The University of Oregon has been accused of not reporting anti-Semitic incidents on campus, according to a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Education against the school.

Not reporting such incidents could violate the Clery Act of 1990, which requires colleges and universities that receive federal funding to report crimes on or adjacent to campus.

The latest report listed only one hate crime in 2018, an assault based on the target’s sexual orientation.

The University of Oregon Hillel is neither on nor adjacent to the college campus.

“The University of Oregon has followed procedure,” University of Oregon Hillel executive director Andy Gitelson told JNS. “It doesn’t mean that an incident did not happen; it means that they followed what was required. We should be holding the Department of Education accountable to update their reporting requirements.”

Despite the omission of anti-Semitic incidents in the report, Jewish students at the university have received support from the school’s administration, said Gitelson, who added that even university leadership has participated in Hillel events, including on the High Holidays.

In 2018, the Hillel’s welcome sign was vandalized with “Free Palestine you f***s.” (h/t Dave4321)

BBC WS radio, a ‘Jerusalem suicide bombing’ and an omission

In response to a question Shalev told listeners:
“I was injured in a terror attack in Jerusalem one morning fourteen years ago […] a bus full of people exploded just next to me…”

Readers may have noticed that despite those repeated references to a “suicide bombing” central to the item’s content, no information was provided concerning the identity of the perpetrator of that attack – a Palestinian policeman – in which 11 civilians were murdered and over 50 injured.

In fact the sole mention of the word Palestinians came in Shalev’s description of the fictional characters in her book.

“…this Israeli family that I was writing about is not busy with politics. They don’t blame the suicide bomber, they don’t blame the Palestinians, they don’t blame the Israeli prime minister for the situation. They only blame themselves.”

In other words, the BBC managed to conduct a rare interview with an Israeli victim of Palestinian terrorism about a novel which includes an Israeli character injured in a terror attack while avoiding the relevant context of the identity of the perpetrators of such attacks.

The Guardian: the gaffe that keeps on gaffing

The Guardian is so full of gaffes that its nickname is “the Grauniad”: the paper that can’t get anything right, not even its own name.

Latest in this illustrious series is “PainGate” in which one of the newspaper’s top writers accused David Cameron of suffering only “privileged pain” over the prolonged death of his handicapped son. Tories don’t feel pain. Only complex, sensitive, profound Guardian readers feel real suffering – the pain of gendered pronouns or the sheer angst of being mansplained. Editor-in-chief Kath Viner, apologised for “falling short of our standards”; not the sort of thing the Guardian should write. Think, yes, just not put down in ink.

Or instead of “gaffe” should that be “gap”? This last weekend alone some 70 protesters have been killed by Iraqi security forces, with the threat of future explosion of sectarian violence. Luckily not one was shot by an Israeli so it all gets relegated to the “who cares?” pages.

And what to make of the Guardian’s adulation of Sadiq Khan; ardent anti-Trumpian, keen to protest Trump’s visit to London and to allow the puerile Trump baby blimp? Keen too – in stark contrast – to host, well, a veritable host of top Chinese officials including the mayors of Shenzhen (twice), Guandong, and Shanghai, the Communist Party secretaries of Beijing and Guandong (see Private Eye #1506) – all top members of the Chinese Communist Party and complicit in heinous human rights abuses. Trump might have tried to ban a few people from flying to the US, but he hasn’t put a million Uighur Muslims in concentration camps and allegedly harvested their organs, as the Chinese regime does. Does any of this temper the Guardian’s worship of the Great Khan? Not one bit. It’s latest love letter to him is here.

BBC News NI and the ‘family holiday gone wrong’

The details of Ibrahim Halawa’s case have been researched at length by Irish academic Dr Mark Humphrys but what should be made of the BBC’s amplification of Halawa’s claim that neither “he or members of his family are members of the Muslim Brotherhood”?

Ibrahim Halawa’s father is Hussein Halawa who, in addition to being a cleric at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland in Dublin – aka Clonskeagh mosque – is also General Secretary of the ‘European Council for Fatwa and Research’ (ECFR) and has held that position for some considerable time.

The ECFR was created by the Muslim Brotherhood’s ‘Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe’ (FIOE) umbrella group and until November 2018 it was headed by Yusuf Qaradawi – a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The ECFR stated in 2018 that Hussein Halawa “presents a weekly call-in fatwa programme for Al-Hiwar channel in London”. Al-Hiwar was founded and is run by Azzam Tamimi who is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

Notwithstanding those well documented facts, the BBC obviously considered it appropriate to amplify Ibrahim Halawa’s denials and his allegation that anyone raising questions about his family’s connections to the Muslim Brotherhood does so out of racist motivation because he is “brown” rather than “blonde”, preferring instead to promote a superficial story about a “family holiday” gone wrong to its domestic and worldwide audiences.

Italian Jews condemn right-wing parties for not backing anti-Semitism committee

The Jewish community of Rome on Thursday denounced right-wing Italian parties for refusing to support forming a parliamentary committee to combat hate, racism and anti-Semitism.

The commission was pushed by Holocaust survivor Liliana Segre, 89, a senator for life, who said this week that haters post an average of 200 social media messages against her every day.

The motion passed, supported by the ruling 5-Star Movement and the center-left Democratic Party. However, the right-wing League, Brothers of Italy and Forza Italia parties all abstained, claiming it was politically biased, the Reuters news agency reported.

“The abstention of some parties is a bit dismaying. It’s a decision that we consider wrong and dangerous,” the president of Rome’s Jewish community, Ruth Dureghello, was quoted as saying after the vote.

The Vatican’s No. 2, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, told reporters: “I am worried, in the sense that on some things like fundamental values we should all be united. There is a danger that all this gets politicized. We need to break clear of this.”

Florida High School Principal Fired After Not Recognizing Holocaust as Fact

The principal of a high school in the heavily Jewish-populated Florida city of Boca Raton has been fired by the school board in Palm Beach County after he declined to recognize that the Holocaust occurred.

The board voted on Wednesday, 5-2, with “just cause” to terminate Spanish River Community High School principal William Latson’s employment, effective Nov. 21, according to minutes of the meeting.

The board said that Latson violated school-board policies and ethics codes, according to the meeting minutes.

Latson told the mother of a student in April 2018 who sought to ensure that Holocaust education was “a priority” that “not everyone believes the Holocaust happened.”

“And you have your thoughts, but we are a public school, and not all of our parents have the same beliefs,” he continued.

Latson added that educators have “the role to be politically neutral, but support all groups in the school.”

“I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event because I am not in a position to do so as a school-district employee,” he wrote.

War-torn Yemen demands return of Jewish treasures now in the U.S.

Yemen’s government has filed a request for a Memorandum of Understanding [MOU] with the US State Department in an attempt to claim ownership over Jewish cultural items it claims were smuggled out of Yemen illegally, Fox News reported.

Among the items are a centuries old Torah scroll that was smuggled to Israel by the family of Manny Dahari, whose family has owned the scroll for at least 300 years.

Dahari told Fox News that if the request was granted by the US, then, “basically it would criminalize anyone who brings any of these items to the United States, or takes them out of those countries,”

The Yemeni government submitted the claim under the guise that the Jewish items are “national cultural artifacts.”

Jewish groups worldwide have asked the US government not to honor by Yemen’s request.

“Jewish cultural property such as Torah Scrolls does not constitute the national heritage of governments who expel or who forced their Jewish communities to flee antisemitic prosecution,” Sarah Levin, the executive director of Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa [JIMENA], said.

JIMENA wrote on their website that, “MOUs demand that the governments themselves show they are taking measures to preserve and protect the heritage in their own countries and the Yemeni government is complicit in the bombing and shelling of cultural sites, including museums.”

Yemen had been locked in a civil war since 2015 between the official government of Yemen, which filed the request, and the Houthis. The conflict has massive implications to the region as it involves other players such as Iran and Saudi-Arabia.

Yemen’s Jewish community has a history dating back to approximately the 5th century BCE, and was strong in number until the creation of the State of Israel. During Operation On Eagles’ Wings [Also known as Operation Magic Carpet] in 1949-50, approximately 49,000 Yemenite Jews were airlifted to the newly created Jewish state.

New desalination technology to help Palestinian farmers

Desalination technology developed by the University of Birmingham in cooperation with academics and students in Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority is going to help Palestinian farmers to fight water shortages, the UK institution announced in a statement on Thursday.

According to the statement, the equipment is going to be especially convenient to use because it is built from off-the-shelf parts and can be deployed easily and cheaply.

The prototype has been trialed in Israel and the UK and the field tests in the Palestinian Territories are going to start soon.

“Our work demonstrates a successful example of researchers and students working across borders to create easily deployable technology that is solar-powered and helps to conserve precious groundwater,” project leader Philip Davies from the University of Birmingham said.

“This research and development program demonstrates a valuable approach in regions facing transboundary water challenges. The achievements of this project have been possible because of coordinated efforts among UK, Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian scientists,” he added.

Israeli company that makes water out of thin air signs deal with Uzbekistan

The government of Uzbekistan has signed a memorandum of understanding with an Israel-based company that literally produces clean drinking water out of thin air.

The deal, estimated to be worth several million dollars, will see thousands of Watergen atmospheric water generators dispatched to cities and towns in the Central Asian country.

The MOU follows a successful Watergen pilot at an orphanage in the city of Bukhara.

It was signed Tuesday by Uzbekistan’s Minister of Innovation, Ibrohim Abdurakhmonov and Watergen’s Vice-President of marketing and sales, Michael Rutman.

The technology was developed by engineers working alongside entrepreneur Arye Kohavi, a former combat reconnaissance company commander in the Israeli Army. It uses a series of filters to purify the air. After the air is sucked in and chilled to extract its humidity, the water that forms is treated and transformed into clean drinking water. The technology uses a plastic heat exchanger rather than an aluminum one, which helps reduce costs; it also includes a proprietary software that operates the devices.

Each GEN-M water generator weighs 780 kilograms (1,720 pounds) and can produce up to 800 liters (210 gallons) of water per day. With its own internal water treatment system, the only infrastructure needed is an electricity source.

Israeli defense firm Elbit selected to provide Swiss army with tactical radios

The Israeli defense electronics firm Elbit announced Tuesday that it had been selected to provide the Swiss army with a radio communications system.

The contract, which is pending approval by the Swiss parliament, is valued at $200-300 million, according to Hebrew media reports.

Elbit said it was chosen to provide the Swiss military with a radio solution after lengthy testing by Swiss defense authorities, and was selected by the Swiss Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sport.

The company will provide Switzerland with a communications platform based on its E-LynX family of tactical software defined radio solutions.

“We are proud to have been selected to provide such an important capability to the Swiss Armed Forces. Switzerland is a strategic market for us and we will continue with our efforts to support the Swiss Armed Forces and expand our cooperation with the Swiss industry,” Elbit’s president and CEO, Bezhalel Machlis, said in a statement.

The Swiss military plans on buying the equipment sometime next year, it said. The order will replace its mobile radio devices and vehicle intercom systems, which are scheduled to end their service lives between 2018 and 2022.

Israeli Anti-Radiation Vest Headed for International Space Station

The AstroRad, an Israeli antiradiation vest for outer space developed by the US-Israeli startup StemRad, is set to be launched onto the International Space Station (ISS) along with an assortment of science-related supplies this weekend.

The Tel Aviv-based company in collaboration with the Israeli Space Agency (ISA) at the Ministry of Science and Technology said that a prototype of the vest would be launched on Saturday, November 2nd at 9:59 am EST time (3:59 am Israeli time.)

The AstroRad vest, a suit designed to help protect astronauts from radiation and mitigate its damaging effects, is made out of high-density polyethylene, a thermoplastic polymer, which is thicker around the more sensitive organs.

Three American astronauts will wear the suit during routine activities and under the space station’s gravity conditions for varying periods of time. The vest will be used to gather feedback from astronauts on ergonomics, range of motion, experience, and overall comfort level in the environment.

The vest protects the bone marrow, lungs, chest, stomach, colon, and the ovaries among women, organs that are particularly sensitive to the formation of malignant tumors as a result of exposure to radiation.

This will be the first time in history that the Israeli flag, mounted on the AstroRad vest, will be displayed at the International Space Station, a low-orbit space station that serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory between five participating space agencies: NASA, Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada).

Long-Awaited $17 Million Jewish Community Center Opens in Paris

French President Emmanuel Macron and leaders of the country’s Jewish community celebrated the inauguration a $17 million Jewish community center in Paris on Tuesday.

The European Center for Judaism was opened “amid painful times of terrorism and antisemitism,” said Joel Mergui, president of the Consistoire organization, which is responsible for Orthodox life in France. “It’s an expression of resistance—a desire to reanimate our community, for it to shine and open to the neighborhood, Paris and Europe.”

The new center in Jerusalem Square, in the heavily Jewish-populated 17th arrondissement (district) in Paris, has about 54,000 square feet of floor space, and includes a synagogue and auditorium, each with 600 seats. The center also has a gym, offices and a large terrace to accommodate a sukkah, among other features.

About one-third of center’s cost came from private donations, while the rest were a result of municipal and government subsidies and sponsorships by firms and nonprofit groups.



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