May 25, 2019

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11/02 Links Pt2: Caroline Glick: American Jewry’s false prophets; Most Progressive Israelis Are Zionists; UK police launch criminal probe of anti-Semitism in Labour

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: American Jewry’s false prophets
Contrast Trump’s actions with Obama’s actions. Not only did Obama refuse to transfer the US Embassy to Jerusalem, he rejected even symbolic acceptance of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem. The Obama State Department erased all the captions on archival photos of American dignitaries in Jerusalem that referred to the location as Jerusalem, Israel. This petty act demonstrated a deep-seated hostility to the history of the Jewish people and was nothing if not bigoted.

Yet, by the lights of Foer, Ioffe, Milbank and their fellow American Jewish Trump-haters, Obama was a friend of American Jews, and Trump and his Jewish supporters are their enemies.

Likewise, Trump’s decision to remove the US from the congenitally antisemitic UN Human Rights Council which Obama joined despite its open bigotry against Jews; his ending of funding to the genocidal, antisemitic UN Refugee Works Agency for the Palestinians (UNRWA), which Obama expanded; and his decision to cut funding to the terrorist-financing Palestinian Authority – which Obama increased – and close the PLO diplomatic mission in Washington – which Obama upgraded, were moves of historic significance in the fight against antisemitism and for Jewish rights. Trump is the first president in a quarter century to make the Palestinians and their international enablers pay a price for their rejection of peace and facilitation of terrorism and armed aggression against Israel and Israeli Jews.

Are these actions bad for American Jewry? When Trump says that Israel has a right to defeat its enemies and respond to aggression, is he harming American Jewry?

Of course not.

TRUMP’S JEWISH antagonists in the US media and their partner, ADL executive director and former Obama White House official Jonathan Greenblatt, insist that under Trump, antisemitic incidents in the US have risen 57%. But as David Bernstein demonstrated this week at Tablet magazine, the ADL data everyone is citing tells the exact opposite story. The claim that antisemitic incidents have risen under Trump is not supported by the ADL data.

What the data do show is that violent antisemitic attacks in the US have decreased significantly since Trump took office, while they increased significantly during Obama’s presidency. And as the blogger Elder of Ziyon noted this week, the data show no causative relationship between either administration and the level of antisemitism.

What is clear is that Trump has spoken far more seriously about antisemitism and the need to combat it than Obama ever has.
In January 2015, an Islamic terrorist massacred and held Jews hostage at the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris. Obama refused to acknowledge that it was an antisemitic attack and that the victims were killed because they were Jews. Instead he referred to them as “a bunch of folks in a deli.” (h/t Elder of Lobby)

Melanie Phillips: Grappling with the roots of anti-Semitism after Pittsburgh

For to acknowledge that fact would be to admit things that would shatter their view of themselves as wholly virtuous, and that the Muslims or Palestinians they support are always virtuous victims.

Those in the West who deny the true, metaphysical nature of anti-Semitism also fail to realize that it fuels the threat they themselves face from Islamist aggression. They think the Muslim world in general hates the Jews because it hates Israel, but they have this precisely the wrong way round. The Muslim world in general hates Israel because it hates the Jews—and much of the hatred of the West by radical Islamists arises from their conviction that the West is run by the Jews.

Blaming Israel is a way of blaming the Jews for anti-Semitism. People do this not just out of their own bigotry, but because they cannot acknowledge the unique and uniquely evil nature of the phenomenon.

They ask the question: Why are the Jews hated so much? And they conclude that the only possible explanation is that it must be the Jews’ own fault.

It is a tremendous mistake to assume that anti-Semitism arises from any political activity or ideology. It is a pathology based on the wish to exterminate the Jewish people—a moral and spiritual sickness unique in human history, and which morphs and mutates across religious, secular and political systems.

The continued existence of the Jewish people in the face of expulsion, exile and persecution defies rational explanation. Anti-Semitism is a never-ending evil that also defies reason.

But while the murdered Jews of Pittsburgh are mourned, the Jews remain the eternal people; and whether anti-Semitism comes from left, right or anywhere else, its diabolical goal will never be achieved.

Melanie Phillips: Jews and conservatism an idea whose time has come

This has all left American Jews in particular difficulties. Unlike British Jews, most of whom vote for the political party that at least calls itself Conservative, some three quarters of American Jews vote for a Democratic party that has embraced the identity politics, grievance culture and enraged narcissism that threaten to destroy American society.

Worse, these liberal Jews either embrace or minimise the animus against Israel and open antisemitism displayed on campus by the left and by personalities embraced by the Democratic party. Worse still, they have told themselves that these universalist, secular “liberal” values are authentic Jewish values. They are in fact the very antithesis of Judaism.

Thus liberal Jews – the overwhelming majority in America – are on course to destroy themselves as a community while aiding the left in the undermining of America.

That’s how bad it is. But here’s the hopeful thing. Last year saw the JLC’s first conference on Jews and conservatism and some 300 people turned up. This year, 800 attended with a further 200 on the waiting list, some reportedly offering in desperation black market prices for a ticket.

Something out there is changing, and in the right direction. The people, the ordinary, decent people who understand and value the basic principles of western culture and want to defend them, the American Jews who realise the terrible danger to their own community and who feel a duty and responsibility to help save American civic society, all those disenfranchised, silent millions are now beginning to stir. Conservatism, even for American Jews, is an idea whose time has come.

Most Progressive Israelis Are Zionists

Almost all of Israel’s wars have been about Israel’s right to be. Battles with Hamas, which remains sworn on Israel’s destruction, are no different.

In recent weeks, IfNotNow released a manifesto titled “Five Ways the American Jewish Establishment Supports the Occupation.” Though the lengthy document assails Israel’s violation of Palestinian rights and the American Jewish establishment’s ostensible support of those violations, nowhere does the report detail decades of Palestinian violence against Israel, the thousands of rockets Hamas has fired – and continues to fire – at Israeli towns, the fact that playgrounds in Israel around Gaza are constructed with bomb shelters under seesaws and slides. In other words, nothing about the Israeli reality that Hamas has created.

I know more than a few of the members of this group, and I believe that they believe that they are well-intentioned. But telling a narrative that omits the question of how it started or the fact that Palestinians are still sworn on Israel’s destruction is to spin a narrative which can only utterly delegitimize Israel. There’s no other possible outcome. Why would they do that?

Most progressive Israelis are Zionists. Most progressive Israelis have daughters and sons who serve in the military. Most Israelis would also like to end the conflict, but have no idea how to do that.

No Jewish group that refuses to endorse the principle of Jewish sovereignty is going to get the attention of many Israelis. In failing to express any sympathy for Israelis or their predicament, IfNotNow members have made themselves not merely marginal to the Jewish story but hostile to their own people.

Pittsburgh paper prints Mourner’s Kaddish prayer on front page

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the largest newspaper serving the Pennsylvania city’s metropolitan area, printed a part of the Jewish mourner’s prayer in Hebrew as its front-page headline.

The first four words of the Mourner’s Kaddish were printed on Friday’s front page as a tribute to the 11 people killed last weekend in a shooting attack at the city’s Tree of Life synagogue, allegedly by a far-right extremist. The words mean “may His great name be exalted and sanctified.”

The same prayer, which is part Hebrew and part Aramaic, is to be recited Friday — the first Shabbat since the massacre.

On Twitter, historian Aaron Astor wrote: “The Jewish Mourner’s Kaddish is one of the most important prayers of all. This was a very moving gesture by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to post it as the headline.”

Jodi Kantor, an investigative journalist for The New York Times, wrote that the unusual headline is “The ultimate tribute to the victims. A statement that Jews belong.”

Thousands gather to bid farewell to 97-year-old synagogue massacre victim

Pittsburgh bid farewell Friday to 97-year-old Rose Mallinger, the oldest person killed in America’s worst anti-Semitic attack in history and the last of the 11 victims to be laid to rest.

Her visitation was scheduled to take place at the Rodef Shalom synagogue in the Pennsylvania city on Friday before the funeral service was to begin at 1:00 pm (1700 GMT), local media reported.

Mallinger was shot dead by a gunman who reportedly yelled “All Jews must die” after bursting into the Tree of Life synagogue during Shabbat services last Friday. Her daughter, Andrea Wedner, 61, was shot and wounded.

Born in 1921, Mallinger may have been just three years shy of 100, but for the former school secretary, “age was truly just a number,” her family said.

“She retained her sharp wit, humor and intelligence until the very last day,” they said in a statement. “No matter what obstacles she faced, she never complained. She did everything she wanted to do in her life.”

She was a devoted member of Tree of Life in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood, a center of Jewish life in Pittsburgh and home to a thriving, liberal and diverse community.

“Her involvement with the synagogue went beyond the Jewish religion… It was her place to be social, to be active and to meet family and friends,” said her family.

In Shadow of Tree of Life Synagogue Atrocity, Historian Revisits Pittsburgh’s Rich Jewish Past

The founders of the Tree of Life synagogue were Jews from Poland, Russia, Lithuania and other points to the east of Germany, from where the first generation of Jewish immigrants in Pittsburgh originated. Over 180 years, the Jewish population of Pittsburgh continues to grow, and Jews have flourished as a community and as notable individuals. Burstin is currently writing a biography of Sophie Masloff — the late mayor of Pittsburgh between 1988 and 1994, and the first woman and first Jew to hold that position — who was the daughter of Romanian immigrants.

“Her mother never spoke English, only Yiddish, and Sophie only spoke Yiddish until she went to school,” Burstin said. “She had a lot of strikes against her when she became mayor — she was 70-years-old, she wasn’t college-educated, she wasn’t part of the establishment, but she was beloved throughout the whole community, all over Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania.”

Masloff’s popularity with the city’s masses is presented by Burstin as emblematic of Pittsburgh’s culture of tolerance, and its rejection of racism and antisemitism. Like all good historians, Burstin understands that the study of the past can be a beacon for the future, insofar as we are able to learn the correct lessons. Perhaps the Tree of Life atrocity, she mused, would open a window to “some of the black militants who have pushed Jews away, maybe it will be an opportunity to restart a discussion.”

Burstin elaborated: “If we go back fifty years, a hundred years, Jews and blacks were in coalitions together. Social justice was always part of the equation of what it meant to be a good Jew.”

She also believes that the atrocity will persuade some of Pittsburgh’s unaffiliated Jews to reestablish ties with the organized community.

“Antisemitism makes Jews more cognizant of who they are, they start thinking about being Jewish,” Burstin said.

Jewish gun store owner from Colorado offers rabbis free rifles

The Jewish owner of a gun shop in Colorado has offered to give rabbis semi-automatic rifles for free following the murder of 11 worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Mel Bernstein, who owns Dragon Arms near Colorado Springs, made the offer in an item aired Wednesday on KOAA-TV’s News5.

“Lets say there’s a fire in a synagogue. What do you grab? You grab a fire extinguisher, right?” Bernstein, who goes by the name Dragonman, said on the NBC affiliate’s program. “OK, lets say somebody comes in and starts shooting everybody. What are you going to grab? You grab your AR-15 or a rifle or a handgun.”

During the shooting Saturday, “people sitting in the synagogue, they were sitting ducks,” and “nobody’s stopping him,” Bernstein said of the shooter, who authorities say was right-wing extremist Robert Bowers. “You have to have the tool to fight back, and this is the tool, and I’m donating these to the rabbis.”

The Enduring Irrationality of Anti-Semitism

The great historian Paul Johnson, whose many works include a one-volume history of the Jews, celebrates his ninetieth birthday today. His 2005 reflections on anti-Semitism remain as wise, and sadly as relevant, as ever:

It is widely assumed . . . that anti-Semitism is a form of racism or ethnic xenophobia. . . . But if anti-Semitism is a variety of racism, it is a most peculiar variety, with many unique characteristics. In my view as a historian, it is so peculiar that it deserves to be placed in a quite different category. I would call it an intellectual disease, a disease of the mind, extremely infectious and massively destructive. It is a disease to which both human individuals and entire human societies are prone. . . .

[Some of] the first recorded instances of anti-Semitism date from the 3rd century BCE, in Alexandria. Subsequent historical shifts have not ended anti-Semitism but merely superimposed additional archaeological layers, as it were. To the anti-Semitism of antiquity was added the Christian layer and then, from the time of the Enlightenment on, the secularist layer, which culminated in Soviet anti-Semitism and the Nazi atrocities of the first half of the 20th century. Now we have the Arab-Muslim layer, dating roughly from the 1920s but becoming more intense with each decade since.

What strikes the historian surveying anti-Semitism worldwide over more than two millennia is its fundamental irrationality. It seems to make no sense, any more than malaria or meningitis makes sense. In the whole of history, it is hard to point to a single occasion when a wave of anti-Semitism was provoked by a real Jewish threat (as opposed to an imaginary one). In Japan, anti-Semitism was and remains common even though there has never been a Jewish community there of any size.

Asked to explain why they hate Jews, anti-Semites contradict themselves. Jews are always showing off; they are hermetic and secretive. They will not assimilate; they assimilate only too well. They are too religious; they are too materialistic, and a threat to religion. They are uncultured; they have too much culture. They avoid manual work; they work too hard. They are miserly; they are ostentatious spenders. They are inveterate capitalists; they are born Communists. And so on. In all its myriad manifestations, the language of anti-Semitism through the ages is a dictionary of non-sequiturs and antonyms, a thesaurus of illogic and inconsistency. . . .

Anti-Semitism Is a Conspiracy Theory

People on the left are just as attracted to conspiracism, but they are less direct in their reliance on magical thinking, and that makes it harder to recognize. In right-wing conspiracy theories, magic is explicit. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion draws on the European motif of the Jews gathering at night in a secret parliament to plot evil. It is no accident that this reminds of witches flying broomsticks to occulted locales to practice black magic. Combined with a romantic fixation on ethnic nations and a belief in racialist pseudoscience, this motif produced the idea of supernatural coordination among Jews to destroy humankind. In far-right parlance, one name for this is ZOG—Zionist Occupied Government—which the Pittsburgh shooter referenced often on social media.

On the left, magic is depersonalized. The supernatural coordination is deflected onto “systems” and “structures” that are said to produce and perpetuate conditions of oppression. One of the basic ideas in conspiracism is that the evil elite uses its control of the mechanisms of society—the media, schools, etc.—to hide from the people the reality of their enslavement. Marxism borrowed this magical notion and gave it a fancy name—“false consciousness”—depersonalizing it by blaming it on capitalism. Workers in a capitalist system are fooled into acting against their own interests and perpetuating their own exploitation.

The left today routinely transposes this idea onto matters of race and gender. It powers concepts like “privilege” and “rape culture” that supposedly rule people’s lives and determine social outcomes with or without their conscious participation. Unfortunately, Zionism has become similarly mystified. People, ideas, and institutions are said ominously to be “Zionist”—blinkered in favor of the Israeli perspective, dominated by pro-Israel Jews, or controlled outright by Israel. Zionism, and Jews, are uplinked to the magical idea of whiteness. The “Israel Lobby” becomes unmoored from any factual basis, subsumes virtually all Jews, and emanates an aura of omnipotence. Just as “globalist” has become a euphemism for Jews on the right, “Zionist” often serves the same role on the left.

Conspiracism, which always carries a germ of anti-Semitism, can ignite into violence wherever it’s found on the political spectrum. This is why it is crucial to recognize it for what it is and to distinguish it from other odious forms of bigotry and prejudice. Ignoring left-wing conspiracism, or too discretely attributing the violence in Pittsburgh to Trump, will obscure the social forces that have brought us to this paranoid and populist place.

The Roots of American Anti-Semitism

Studies of genocide show that those who kill their neighbors must dehumanize them before such attacks are widely accepted. In America, white Americans had been dehumanizing blacks and unleashing violence on black bodies for 300 years before the rise of the re-formed Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s, when the organized targeting of Jews by hate movements began. The small population of Jews who lived in America throughout the 17th, 18th, and most of the 19th centuries did so in an environment of relative tolerance, backed by the assurance of the letter written by President George Washington, a slave owner, to the Hebrew Congregations of Rhode Island, stating that “the Government of the United States gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.”

Yet while American Jews avoided direct attack by the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s and 1930s, anti-Semitism itself was beginning to change as a small group of anti-Semitic radicals within the Klan moved from passivity to aggression, giving rise to a native-born American anti-Semitic movement whose radical ideology helped inspire the murder of 11 congregants at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue. Auto tycoon Henry Ford played a key role in this transformation. Through his widely circulated Dearborn Independent, Ford popularized alarming slurs against the Jewish people, borrowing from the fraudulent and anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion to accuse Jews of a secret, global financial conspiracy to undermine the United States and the western world.

At the same time, a man who helped publish Ford’s periodical, William J. Cameron, became interested in and promoted a school of pseudoscientific anthropological thought that repositioned Jews in the history of Judeo-Christianity. Cameron argued that the 10 missing groups from the lost tribes of the House of Israel (Israel’s Northern Kingdom), upon being overcome by the Assyrians, fled to the Caucasus, and populated that region. The remaining two tribes of Israel, the so-called House of Judah, eventually migrated to and settled in Europe. The latter were the true chosen people: Anglo-Europeans. European Jews, those who had been immigrating to America in droves in the three decades before, were in fact descendants of Mongol-Turkic Khazars.

This strange stew of white supremacy, anti-Jewish conspiracy baiting, and racialized anthropology—which began overseas as British-Israelism, and morphed in the United States into Anglo-Israelism—is central to the white nationalist ideology that continues to pursue and enact violence against Jewish targets. It is an ideology that, even if he may not realize it, helped fuel Robert Bowers’ rage against Jews.

Brooklyn synagogue defaced with ‘Kill the Jews’ graffiti

A synagogue in New York City’s Brooklyn borough was defaced Thursday with anti-Semitic slurs and a call to “Kill all Jews.”

The New York Post reported that a vandal broke into the Union Temple building in Brooklyn Heights and scrawled several hate notes inside.

The incident prompted the cancellation of a political event during which actress Ilana Glazer was to interview several state senate candidates and a reporter inside the synagogue.

Organizers said they feared for attendees’ safety.

“There was a lot of anxiety,” attendee Kathryn Gonzalez told the Post. “Especially given last weekend’s events and the upcoming election, the tension and fear feels heightened.”

Howard University Distances Itself From Professor Who Claimed Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre Was ‘Strictly Political’, Not Hate Crime

Howard University in Washington, DC, has dissociated itself from a former faculty member who claimed that the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre was a “strictly political” attack, as opposed to a hate crime.

Abeer Kayed — a former political science instructor at Howard — suggested that “the media is trying to distort the reason for the motive” behind Saturday’s shooting, in which 11 Jewish worshipers were killed at the Tree of Life Synagogue by gunman Robert Bowers, who had a history of posting antisemitic messages on social media and reportedly yelled, “All Jews must die,” during the assault.

“If we examine what motivated Robert Bowers to carry out this terrorist attack, we see that he had written on his social media pages that he wanted to take revenge upon Jews, because Jewish societies help the convoy of immigrants — Latinos and others — get to the United States,” Kayed said in an interview on Sunday with Al-Araby TV, according to a translation by the DC-based Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). “The motive is strictly political, so why does the media turn it into hatred?”

“This issue has to do with American public opinion and American Jews, and it will be dealt with in a completely different manner — first of all because of the power of the Zionist lobby here, and also because of the historical significance of the role of the Jews in American life,” she said. “This is why there is more sympathy towards them, as if they get the credit for the existence of the United States.”

Following several complaints by members of the Howard community, the school’s Provost and Chief Academic Officer Anthony Wutoh affirmed that Kayed “is not currently a faculty member at Howard University, and has not been since January 2017.”

Jim Geraghty: The Truth about George Soros Is Damning Enough

Whatever Soros’s worldview and philosophies as a boy during World War II were, he’s a committed, outspoken, extraordinarily deep-pocketed liberal progressive now. It is not an exaggeration to characterize Soros’s views as radical, particularly compared to the American mainstream.

Because Soros grew to prominence on the U.S. political scene when he spent more than $25 million trying to defeat President Bush in the 2004 election, most members of the media think of him as just another liberal billionaire — Tom Steyer or Michael Bloomberg with a different accent. But his views are genuinely shocking to middle America when they hear them.

Soros was flatly opposed to the War on Terror after 9/11 and declared the U.S. response to al Qaeda to be morally equivalent to the terrorist attacks: “We abhor terrorists, because they kill innocent people for political goals. But by waging war on terror we are doing the same thing.”

In 2006, Soros said that “the main obstacle to a stable and just world is the United States.” Not Iran, not Russia, not China, not Islamist terrorist groups, not transnational crime . . . the United States.

In 2010, he declared that China has “a better functioning government than the United States.”

He has generously donated to groups that call on governments the world over to sever or downgrade their diplomatic relations with Israel and calls for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. He’s made several comments that some interpreted as blaming Jews for anti-Semitism, such as, “I don’t think that you can ever overcome anti-Semitism if you behave as a tribe . . . the only way you can overcome it is if you give up the tribalness.”

He wrote in 2007, “I do believe that attitudes toward Israel are influenced by Israel’s policies, and attitudes toward the Jewish community are influenced by the pro-Israel lobby’s success in suppressing divergent views.”

UK police launch criminal probe of anti-Semitism in Labour

British police have launched a criminal investigation into allegations of anti-Semitic hate crimes within the opposition Labour Party.

The Metropolitan Police said Friday that it was acting on a dossier of information given to London police chief Cressida Dick. A police spokesman said it was handed to her on September 4 following an interview on LBC radio.

LBC had in its possession an internal Labour Party dossier that detailed 45 cases involving social media posts by party members, including one post that read: “We shall rid the Jews who are a cancer on us all.”

The police statement said the person making the complaint “alleged that the documentation included evidence of anti-Semitic hate crimes. The contents have been examined by specialist officers. A criminal investigation has commenced into some of the allegations within the documentation.”

Police said they were seeking “early investigative advice” from the Crown Prosecution Service.

Dick told BBC radio there was evidence a crime may have been committed, based on the material given to her.

“If somebody passes us material which they say amounts to a crime we have a duty to look at that and not just dismiss it,” she said.

“We have been assessing some material that was passed to me, in a radio studio of all things, about two months ago and we are now investigating some of that material, because it appears there may have been crime committed.”

Police open criminal investigation into secret internal Labour Party antisemitic hate dossier following report by CAA

The Metropolitan Police Service has now publicly disclosed that it has begun a criminal investigation over a secret internal dossier of Labour Party antisemitism, which was reported by Campaign Against Antisemitism to Commissioner Cressida Dick live on LBC radio.

The dossier contains over eighty pages of antisemitic hatred by Labour Party members, including Holocaust denial and threats to harm Jewish Labour MPs. Some of the perpetrators admitted to the Party that they were behind some of the hatred chronicled in the dossier, which is just one of many dossiers compiled by the Party’s internal Compliance Unit for consideration by the Party’s Disputes Panel. The panel is currently chaired by Claudia Webb, who defended Ken Livingstone and claimed that the “combined machinery of state, political and mainstream elite” are conspiring to smear Jeremy Corbyn with “false allegations”.

The secret dossier is believed to be just one of several compiled by the Labour Party’s Compliance Unit, though all but one of the original researchers in the unit have now left, with at least one of them publicly voicing their disgust at attitudes towards antisemitism.

Labour Blog Publishes Half of Hitler’s Manifesto

The left wing blog Labour Hub published 13 points of Hitler’s 1920 Nazi manifesto.

The blogging platform says its purpose is to “educate, inform and inspire Labour Party members” in it’s About Us page.

The article has been taken down now but Red Roar archived it and it can be viewed here (it’s literally Hitler’s manifesto with some modern chaff thrown in).

How can these people educate anyone when they can’t even recognise the Nazi manifesto when it’s literally in front of their faces?

According to Red Roar the person most intimately connected to Labour Hub is Michael Calderbank. We’ve spoken about Calderbank before.

What’s striking here is that Calderbank, or whoever is running Labour Hub, hasn’t addressed this, they just removed the post. They should have made a statement, they should show recognition of the fact that when presented with Nazi economic ideas they readily published them. They should apologise for the offence they caused by publishing the material and they should reflect on how it was that they were duped into running with it.

David Collier: In the antisemitic swamp with Jenny Tonge – the journey of a single post

Jenny Tonge is a member of the House of Lords. Tonge is a key anti-Israel activist, but for years has been faced with allegations of extremism and antisemitism. In 2004 she had stated that she ‘might consider becoming a suicide bomber if she were Palestinian’. In the UK such remarks are clearly rewarded and a year later, Tonge was made a life peer in the House of Lords. By 2006 she was speaking about the western world being the ‘grips of the Israeli lobby‘. In 2010, an online newspaper of which Jenny Tonge was a Patron, made outrageous claims about an Israeli team sent to help earthquake victims in Haiti ‘harvesting organs’. A week later Tonge suggested Israel should set up an ‘independent inquiry‘ to investigate these claims. As a result she was sacked from her position as the Liberal Democrats health spokesperson.

In 2012, blogger Richard Millett recorded Tonge commenting that Israel ‘would not be there forever’. This led to her resignation from the Liberal Democrats whip. In 2016, I attended an event with Tonge, in which several attendees made antisemitic remarks. My report led to Tonge’s final departure from the Liberal Democrats. Since 2016 she has been sitting as an Independent.

In March of 2018, I exposed Jenny Tonge as one of the political figures actively posting in a secret Facebook Group called Palestine Live. A group swimming in antisemitism. This week, following the horrific attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Jenny Tonge created a post on Facebook that blamed Israeli actions for the attack:

Communist Group Targets Cruz, O’Rourke With Anti-Semitism, Pig Heads, Calls For Revolution

Last weekend, a mural of Rep. Beto O’Rourke in Austin, Texas that featured the congressman as a superhero was vandalized with anti-Semitic messages by a local communist group.

According to Far Left Watch, the radical left-wing group, Red Guards Austin, likely committed the vandalism to draw attention to O’Rourke’s support for Israel.

On its Facebook page, which has 8,000 followers, the communist group shared a photo of the mural vandalized with words including, “Imperialist Pig” and “El Paso Gentrifier Supports Israel No Hero,” marked with the communist hammer and sickle logo.

“We received the following images in support of the boycott of the electoral force,” Red Guards Austin said in a post with the photo. “Mural of gentrifier and imperialist pig ‘Beto’ AKA Bolillo O’Rourke has been targeted for redecoration. Reactionaries of the Democratic Party think they can hide the people’s messages under a banner but they do not have a banner big enough to hide O’Rourks [sic] crimes.”

J Street PAC ‘Skirting’ FEC Guidelines on Donations

A D.C.-based watchdog says J Street PAC is “skirting” FEC guidelines for the specific type of PAC it is operating.

J Street PAC is the political spending arm of the nonprofit group J Street, a Middle East advocacy organization viewed by many as being far-left and anti-Israel.

Most PACs are standalone entities, meaning they exist independently of any nonprofit, corporation, or union. As such, those PACs can also accept donations from the general public.

However, J Street PAC is different. In 2011 it filed an amendment to its organizational structure with the FEC declaring that it was a “connected” PAC, registered as a “separate segregated fund.” This was a change from how the PAC was originally established in 2007.

A connected PAC operates similar to a union PAC. Unions cannot give directly to political candidates from their general fund due to campaign finance laws and so they set up a side PAC.

Gillum’s Ties to Anti-Israel Radicals More Extensive Than Previously Known

Democratic Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum’s ties to radical anti-Israel groups are more extensive than previously reported, according to information obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Gillum, who is running in a hotly contested race against Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.), has connections to several organizations that have sponsored anti-Israel events and promoted the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS, an anti-Semitic movement that wages economic warfare on the Jewish state.

Gillum’s ties to these groups stand in contrast to his comments on the campaign trail attempting to distance himself from the most radical, anti-Israel elements of the progressive movement.

Gillum’s ties to such groups have set him apart from DeSantis, who has been firmly pro-Israel in Congress and has vowed to block Israel boycotts as Florida’s governor. The state is home to a large contingent of Jewish voters, who could help tip the vote in DeSantis’ favor.

One pro-BDS group, Dream Defenders, has publicly endorsed Gillum, calling him one of the “most progressive” candidates in the country.

Durham and its police chief are being sued over Israeli policing statement

Two Israeli volunteer police officers have filed a civil discrimination lawsuit against the city of Durham and its police chief, dragging the debate over the City Council’s recent action on international police exchanges into Superior Court.

The action — which the lawsuit describes as a policy but city officials refer to as a statement — discriminates against the men on the basis of national origin, the lawsuit states.

“The city of Durham has two standards when it comes to international police exchanges: One for the Israelis and one for the rest of the world,” the lawsuit states. The plaintiffs are Moshe Eyal and Itay Livneh.

The lawsuit claims the city’s actions violate a section of the North Carolina Constitution that says no one shall be discriminated against because of race, color, religion or national origin.

Durham City Attorney Patrick Baker said he hasn’t seen the lawsuit and declined to comment until he had more information.

David Abrams, executive director of the Zionist Advocacy Center in New York City and an attorney of the plaintiffs, said the lawsuit was filed to “challenge the recent Israel resolution of the Durham City Council.”

BDS Event At UMich Two Days After Synagogue Massacre

A gunman killed 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue on Sunday and on Tuesday, the University of Michigan held a town hall on the Boycott, Divest, Sanction movement aimed at punishing companies that do business with Israel, according to Campus Reform. Yeah, PROBABLY not the best optics. Let’s check it out.

UMich held an event that bills itself as an explainer on the BDS movement. It says “what is BDS? And why does it matter?” You’d think you might get a definition and maybe hear from both the pro and anti-divestment sides of the aisle. But if you take a look at those three little names there, they are all coincidentally anti-Israel activists who support the movement.

Let’s start with Susan Abulhawa. She makes very nuanced, mild-mannered posts like one saying “death to Israel.”

Then there’s Tom Pessah, who used to serve on the board of UC Berkeley’s Students for Justice in Palestine, where he wrote a BDS resolution. He also supported a hunger strike led by this bloke, Marwan Barghouti who led the Palestinian Authority and founded the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, both of which have perpetrated terrorist attacks on Israelis.

BDS Event At UMich Two Days After Synagogue Massacre

Instagram removes 2 anti-Semitic hashtags after report details hate on site

Instagram removed two anti-Semitic hashtags after a New York Times report showed that the social media site was home to thousands of hateful posts.

The Facebook-owned site deleted “#911wasdonebythejews” and “jewsdid911,” both of which promoted the conspiracy that the Jews were responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

On Monday, The New York Times reported that it had found nearly 12,000 posts under the latter hashtag. The Times also said it found other anti-Semitic hashtags that referenced Nazi ideology.

Even after the two hashtags were taken down, reporters for The Atlantic and Forbes said they could still easily find anti-Semitic posts on Instagram.

Social media sites, including Twitter and Facebook, have come under fire for not doing enough to crack down on hateful content. Facebook said it was looking into the hashtags after it was notified of them by The Times.

CAMERA Asks UMC Bishop in Chicago to Address Church’s Role in ‘Othering’ Jews in U.S. and Israel

The Oct. 27 murder of 11 Jews at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh by a gunman who ranted on the internet about Jews “infesting” the Trump Administration has highlighted the manner in which American Jews have been “othered” and portrayed as fifth-column enemies of American democracy and American civil society.

The attack raises the possibility that antisemitism, which has long been a problem in the Middle East and Europe, has become a resurgent force in American life. Writing in the Jewish Week, David Harris, CEO of the American Jewish Committee, declared that the attack confirmed what many people in the Jewish community understood all along: “We knew anti-Semitism was out there. We knew it was growing. More and more people felt uninhibited in expressing their hatred and bigotry.”

In this same piece, Harris stated that defeating antisemitism “requires recognizing the main sources of the menace, and they are three: the far right, the far left and jihadists” adding that “all [three] need to be confronted head-on.”

Speaking at an event organized by Christians and Jews United for Israel (CJUI) the day after the Pittsburgh massacre, author Mark Steyn declared that antisemitism has become a unifying agenda for both the left (which promotes multiculturalism) and the right (which hates it — and blames it on Jews). “They all meet at what my friend calls, ‘Jew-hate junction.’”

$250m. Sygnia buy-out dominates October acquisitions

Our merger and acquisition news for October 2018 opens with the buyout of Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity consulting and incident response company Sygnia by Singapore’s Temasek Holdings. Press reports estimate the deal at $250 million. Three-year-old Sygnia plans to pursue collaborations with other Temasek portfolio companies and expand its global reach.

Check Point Software Technologies of Tel Aviv and California acquired Tel Aviv-based cloud cybersecurity company Dome9 Security for an undisclosed amount speculated at between $175 million and $200 million.

The acquisition of Starhome by Vista Equity Partners also was not disclosed but is estimated by Israeli business daily Calcalist as “around $100 million.” Fortissimo Capital acquired Starhome in 2012 for $80 million from Israel’s Comverse Technology, where the company was founded in 1999 to provide mobile network optimization and roaming services. Headquartered in Zurich, Starhome maintains a Ra’anana development center.

Bet Shemesh Engines of Beit Shemesh has signed an agreement to acquire Pratt & Whitney subsidiary Carmel Forge, which produces parts for turbine aero engines, for $58.5 million. Carmel Forge, based in northern Israel, provides the main raw materials for Bet Shemesh Engines.

6 top tomato innovations from Israeli experts

Next time you chop some luscious red tomatoes into your salad or sauce, you can thank Israeli scientists.

Tomatoes didn’t originate in Israel, but our agricultural wizards transformed this wild fruit into a flavorful, long-lasting, nutritious, disease-resistant commercial crop enjoyed everywhere as a fresh ingredient and as a source of healthful extracts.

“Regarding tomatoes, Israel is a powerhouse in breeding and development of knowledge,” says noted researcher Ilan Levin, head of the Plant Sciences Institute at the Volcani Center-Agricultural Research Organization.

“Based on the interest of multinational companies in our work, I assume we are among the leading sources of knowledge about tomatoes.”

In 2013 (the latest year for which figures are available), Israel produced 421,000 tons of tomatoes. But more significant than the fruit are Israeli tomato seeds, highly prized across the world for the traits they were painstakingly bred to carry.

“We develop seeds that cost more per ounce than gold, and they depend on local knowledge,” says tomato expert Prof. Haim D. Rabinowitch of the Hebrew University’s Institute of Plant Science and Genetics in Agriculture. “Seeds are knowledge. Everything I know is embedded in the DNA of the seed.”

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