David Collier: Gilad Atzmon, solidarity in Reading and RISC – the anti-Israel hosts
Last week, Gilad Atzmon gave a talk at the Reading International Solidarity Centre (RISC).
This blog isn’t about free speech. You want a racist book? You want to subscribe to a white supremacist magazine that hates Jews, blacks and gays? Then go ahead, nobody is stopping you. But you shouldn’t expect the National Lottery fund to subsidise the product. The public purse can be legitimately discerning about where it provides funding. That is not an argument over free speech.
Which is why publicly funded Reading International Solidarity Centre were so outrageously ‘off the mark’ when they allowed this event to go ahead.
Gilad Atzmon the idiot
Gilad Atzmon is an idiot with a highly exaggerated sense of his own intelligence. Just as any functioning computer, Gilad Atzmon operates with the data he has to play with. If some founding pieces, have been contaminated, then the final output is likely to be an incoherent mess. Thus, Gilad Atzmon remains oblivious to the fact that his basic reasoning is badly flawed and his conclusions are askew. A consensus opinion held even by many of those who ‘hate’ Israel. Gilad Atzmon has been outed as an antisemite by many in the anti-Israel camp.
The event in Reading highlighted all this perfectly. In effect, you have to be unbelievably stupid or an antisemite yourself, not to see the antisemite in Gilad Atzmon. There is a working processor churning away behind Gilad Atzmon’s ideology. He correctly identifies some serious problems in society – discussing identity politics, political correctness, automation, and the related scary cliff we face over the possibility of a growing disenfranchised ‘underclass’. Gilad Atzmon’s problem is an infected operating system. Gilad Atzmon has a virus called antisemitism.
Whether it’s the “blood libels” of early modern Europe, Germany in the 1930s, Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017, or even Occupy Wall Street, any person of good will should be able to detect the pattern: Jews are the canary in the coal mine. In a society with a large population of Jews, when things start to go wrong, that’s where we unfortunately point fingers. In American culture, it is certainly a disgrace on the right.
The work William F. Buckley Jr. did to rid the conservative movement of the John Birchers seems to have lost some of its power as the tiki-torch wielding Jacobins of Charlottesville rose together as to speak with one voice, chanting, “Jews will not replace us.” This would be enough of an embarrassment but it only gained steam when President Trump gave one of the more mealy mouthed denunciations when addressing the horror that took place in Charlottesville, which resulted in the death of an innocent woman. It seems, however, that this issue has gone under reported on the left, for it is certainly a problem on the political left as well.
When Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz went to the University of California, Berkeley recently to discuss the liberal case for Israel, the student newspaper, the Daily Californian, ran a cartoon that could have easily sprung from the mind of Joseph Goebbels. The cartoon depicted Dershowitz as all anti-Semites depict Jews: ugly, exaggerated features, while he propped up the murder of Palestinians by an IDF soldier.
This blatant anti-Semitism would no doubt be explained away in terms of anti-Zionism, not anti-Semitism. It is convenient how often the two intersect. The same conspiratorial language is often used and, as one can see here, the same horrifying stereotypes are often employed. In Charlottesville, hundreds of people felt comfortable enough in their anti-Semitism to march in one of the nation’s most prominent college towns. In Berkeley, the editorial board at the newspaper of one of the better respected universities in the country, felt comfortable enough to print an anti-Semitic cartoon. The comfort of both of these groups of people is quite disturbing.
Having encountered only scattered social media reaction to like-minded tweets in the past, Plame’s initial reaction to angry responses on Twitter was to double down, insisting that “many neocon hawks ARE Jewish” and admonishing her followers to “read the entire article,” which she called “provocative, but thoughtful.”
Only when the backlash began to draw mainstream media inquiries did Plame begin to backtrack, first by implausibly feigning ignorance of both the article (claiming only to have skimmed it) and of UNZ.com, then with a more full-throated apology and letter of resignation from the board of Ploughshares Fund.
What’s astonishing about this affair is that Plame wasn’t drunk or distressed in any way (unless she found the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah distressing), nor was she caught unawares on a hot mic. Her grotesque expressions of bigotry were premeditated, public and purposed, however clumsily, to advance a political agenda. And they were largely ignored until they reached the threshold of Zyklon B metaphors and forcing Jews to display outward identification.
Even then the reaction among liberal commentators was apologetic and circumspect.
The Washington Post columnist Molly Roberts bemoaned Plame’s “casual, careless anti-Semitism” not because it is deeply unsettling to Jews or encourages the worst instincts in the rest of us, but because it undermines critiques of Israel “that might otherwise hold merit” and does a “disservice to those who want to have a wider discussion about Israel’s influence” in Washington. Liberals tend to view rampant anti-Semitism in universities and other bastions of the far left in much the same way — if they acknowledge it at all.
The truth about anti-Semitism in America is that we are further away from dispelling it than we are other forms of bigotry. Those who peddle overtly racist dogma do not sit on the boards of reputable NGOs, do not land lucrative speaking gigs and certainly do not get admonished in The Washington Post for carelessly undermining more legitimate criticism of African-Americans. Liberals for whom Plame was, and will likely remain, a cause célèbre should ponder why the equivalent cannot be said of anti-Semites.
Ron Prosor: A century of missed opportunities
True, since Nov. 29, 1947, when the U.N. General Assembly voted on the partition plan, the U.N. and international agencies have been assisting the Palestinians in their anti-Israel struggle and your automatic majority in international bodies allows you to pass almost every anti-Israeli resolution, but this has led you to develop a false notion that, with just a little more effort, you will be able to erase Israel off the map.
But who better than you knows that these are all illusions, and time and again they collide with reality because you – and the rest of the world –know that the State of Israel is a fait accompli, a productive and significant member of the international community.
Mr. President, you have evolved from a leader of a terrorist organization to the leader of the Palestinian Authority, a position you have kept for 15 years despite various difficulties. Time and again you set opposite Israeli leaders and you have seen how far they are willing to go. Time and again you have witnessed the State of Israel make concessions for peace, while you failed to rise to the occasion and make courageous decisions.
Now, sir, you must show leadership. You must take responsibility and retire from the business of peddling illusions. Do not confuse the Palestinian people with delusions of erasing history; don’t encourage them with hopes for building a future on this basis; do not rile them up with what once was but help them aspire to what could be.
A century of missed opportunities is long enough, sir. Do not sentence your people to 100 years of solitude as well.
More than 800,000 Jews ended up fleeing Arab and Muslim countries. A majority were resettled in Israel where, over time, they strengthened the nation. Today, roughly half of all Israelis are descendants of Jews from the broader Middle East — Morocco to Iraq (Baghdad was close to a third Jewish as recently as 1945) to Afghanistan. Slightly fewer Palestinians, an estimated 700,000, fled Israel, many going to Arab countries that chose not to assimilate or even integrate them.
A third anniversary: In 1967, Egypt, Syria and Jordan waged another war intended to drive the Jews into the sea. The Israelis not only survived, they seized Gaza from Egypt, and the West Bank (earlier known as Judea and Samaria) from Jordan. Over the years since, the possibility of transforming these territories into an independent Palestinian state — the “two-state solution” — has been the basis for one peace plan after another.
None has succeeded. I’d argue that the primary reason is that Palestinian leaders are still fighting wars of the past. They refuse to recognize the legitimacy of Israel under international law, the necessity for Israel given the durability of Jew-hatred, and the reality of Israel established and defended by “blood and iron.”
Throughout 2017, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian leaders have been denouncing the Balfour Declaration as a “crime,” demanding that the British renounce it and apologize for it.
But British Prime Theresa May said last week that Britons are “proud of the role that we played in the creation of the State of Israel and we certainly mark the centenary with pride.” A separate British government statement asserted that the “important thing now is to look forward and establish security and justice for both Israelis and Palestinians through a lasting peace.”
Who doesn’t want self-determination for the Palestinians? Who doesn’t want to see Palestinians living in freedom and prosperity? That could have begun 70 years ago. It could begin tomorrow. In theory, it would require only willingness on the part of Palestinians to accept and peacefully coexist alongside the “national home for the Jewish people” envisaged by the Balfour Declaration. In practice, such a change of heart might be another hundred years away.
The True Story Behind the Balfour Declaration
Learn from Dr. Martin Kramer, founding President of Shalem College in Jerusalem, as he explains how the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917, reflected international recognition of the natural rights of the Jewish people to self-determination in their historical homeland, the Land of Israel.
“There’s no need for Britain to apologize for the Balfour Declaration”
David Singer: Balfour Declaration falsehoods
The centenary of the Balfour Declaration issued on 2 November 1917 is being used to unleash a barrage of falsehoods designed to denigrate the Jewish people and delegitimise the Jewish State of Israel.
Among those current egregious falsehoods:
Raja Zaatry – an official of the High Follow-up Committee – the Arab community’s leadership body in Israel – has asserted:
“In 1917 less than 10% of the population was Jewish and more than 90% Arab. The British gave to the Jews something that didn’t belong to them,”
The British Government gave nothing to the Jews in 1917 other than its “declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations” expressed in the Balfour Declaration. Palestine in 1917 still remained under Turkey’s rule as part of the 400 years old Ottoman Empire.
Vincent Fean – British consul general to Jerusalem between 2010 and 2014 – reportedly said the UK should uphold its commitment to helping achieve a two-state solution promised in the Balfour Declaration – if only to prevent radicalization at home – stating
“I firmly believe that this unresolved issue contributes to radicalization in our own country among the Muslim community and if only for that self-interested reason we should think of doing something about it.”
The Balfour Declaration promised no two-state solution. Islamic State has caused Muslim radicalization in Britain.
Melanie Phillips: BBC Today’s disgraceful Balfour travesty
The Today programme’s disgraceful coverage of the Balfour anniversary was redeemed to some extent only by Robinson’s co-presenter, Mishal Husain, who interviewed the Palestinian general delegate to the UK, Manuel Hassassian (around 0835).
Invited to say what the declaration meant to him, Hassassian replied most tellingly that it meant “the destruction of Palestine” and that bringing the Jews to Palestine was “itself a crime against humanity”. The Balfour declaration had become part of the British Mandate, he went on, which had facilitated Jewish immigration “without mentioning political rights” for the Arabs.
Echoing Robinson’s error, Mishal Husain sought to correct Hassassian by saying the declaration stated “nothing should be done to prejudice those rights”. Remarkably, Hassassian then corrected her by stating the truth: that the second part of the letter did not mention political rights.
Indeed! But then two things developed. To her credit, Mishal Husain observed that it sounded as if Hassassian was objecting also to the first part of the declaration, thus suggesting he was opposed to the very existence of the State of Israel; and she further pressed him to acknowledge the hundreds of Israeli civilians killed by Palestinian terrorist attacks.
To which Hassassian not only professed to be “really shocked” by this equation of the “occupiers with the occupied” but blustered that the existence of Israel was a “different reality” (reflecting the deceptive formula by which the Palestinian Arabs conceal their enduring aim to destroy Israel by accepting merely the reality of Israel’s existence rather than its right to exist as a Jewish state) and that the second part of the declaration had not been fulfilled because no Palestinian state had been created. Hassassian thus totally contradicted his statement a few seconds earlier that the declaration had conspicuously failed to acknowledge Arab political rights.
So what precisely is the outrage? That the British had promised the Arabs a state carved out of Palestine, or that they had failed to make such a promise?
For the “Palestinians”, of course, it’s both at the same time. For their useful idiots and worse in Britain, the contradiction isn’t even noticed.
The significance of the Balfour declaration was that Britain, then a great power in the world, explicitly reaffirmed the inalienable right of the Jewish people to recreate its own ancestral home in the former land of Israel. The BBC has chosen to portray this as “controversial” on the false basis that it represented a “broken promise”.
Balfour must be turning in his grave.
Is the job done? No. But I am deeply proud of Israel’s efforts to address the challenges, and work to ensure equality for all the Arab citizens of Israel. In the president’s office, as part of the understanding that Israeli society today is made up of different communities, Jewish and Arab, religious and secular, we have made tremendous strides forward in building bridges and understanding between the Arab and Jewish communities especially. We are on the right path.
Of course, there are others living with us in this narrow strip of land between the historic Jordan River, and the Mediterranean Sea. Israel will continue to seek and strive to find a lasting and peaceful solution to the conflict—the tragedy—between us and the Palestinians. A solution that is rooted in mutual acceptance. Because ultimately the Balfour Declaration called upon everyone to understand that the Jewish people had returned home. When it is truly understood, as I have always said, that the Arabs and Jews of the Holy Land are not doomed to live together but indeed destined to live together, then the legacy of Balfour will be truly realized.
There is one final stipulation in the Balfour Declaration which is also of great importance: that the establishment of a Jewish homeland would in no way prejudice the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country. Words which, as we once again see the dangers of anti-Semitism raising its ugly head around the world, are as pertinent as ever.
While Jews will always be welcomed to their historic home in Israel, we stand firm in our support for every Jew to live in safety and freedom wherever they should choose. And we remain deeply grateful to the British government, and many others across Europe and the world for their commitment to the Jewish community, and to the fight against anti-Semitism and all racism.
Quite astoundingly, the Balfour Declaration is less than 70 words long, yet 100 years later, and 70 years after the establishment of the State of Israel, its legacy endures, as I am sure it will for many more years to come.
Here’s Balfour Declaration Myth 4: The British failed to consult the Palestinian Arabs. True, they didn’t consult, but why was that a failure?
• This was war, the British hadn’t yet taken Jerusalem. Who in history has consulted the population of enemy territory in wartime?
• And they were the enemy. Palestinian Arabs didn’t revolt against the Turks or help the Allies. Lloyd George later called them “quiescent and cowering…. We could not get in touch with the Palestinian Arabs as they were fighting against us.” (See illustration: Arab recruits to Ottoman army leave Jerusalem for Gallipoli.)
• The British ruled an empire of 400m people. They didn’t consult Indians or Egyptians about their future, so why expect them to consult Palestinian Arabs?
• They did insist on the prior approval of the one world leader who championed self-determination: Woodrow Wilson. He signed off on the Balfour text in advance.
Henry Kissinger: Balfour gave hope not just to Jews but to mankind
On November 2, 1917, Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour sent a letter to Walter, Lord Rothschild, which became known as the Balfour Declaration. In the United States, the Balfour Declaration was seen as in harmony with Allied war goals. President Wilson endorsed it in September 1918.
As a result, the Balfour Declaration became entwined with the peace settlement. The League of Nations invested Britain with the mandate for Palestine and the Balfour Declaration was connected with the mandate issued on July 24, 1922. From this point forward, the Balfour Declaration took on a life and momentum of its own. It became part of a turning point in the concept of world order.
The Balfour Declaration thus was in the vanguard of a new era of the international state system. The San Remo Conference of 1920 pointed the way and the 1922 Mandate System of the League of Nations was installed “to give advice and assistance to facilitate the development of these territories as ‘independent states’”.
What territories? Those of the collapsed Ottoman Empire. There was no reversionary interest, no legitimate territories to which to revert once the war was over. A map of the Middle East in the post-Ottoman period showed no political lines; the new “independent states” were to be delineated ab initio.
The Balfour Declaration was issued with the State of Israel as the assumed eventuality. Balfour told Churchill that “by the Declaration they (the Foreign Office) always meant an eventual Jewish state.” This assumption was institutionalized in the Mandate System, which imposed upon the victorious powers, most notably the British Empire, the responsibility to prepare the peoples of the mandate for statehood.
The Palestinians have yet to take the basic step that Great Britain did 100 years ago when it issued the Balfour Declaration recognizing the right of the Jewish people to a state in their homeland, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his British counterpart on Thursday.
The two leaders met at 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the British prime minister, less than a day after Netanyahu arrived in London to celebrate that seminal event in Zionist history.
“One hundreds years after Balfour, the Palestinians should finally accept a Jewish national home and finally accept a Jewish state. When they do, the road to peace will be closer and, in my opinion, peace will be achievable,” said Netanyahu.
Flanked by Israeli and British flags, the two leaders spoke a few public words to the camera, before heading into a private meeting.
May told Netanyahu that her country was proud of the role it played in establishing the State of Israel. It has related to the Balfour Declaration’s anniversary “with respect and pride,” she said.
But May also paid homage to the political debate in Britain around the anniversary. The Labor party, including its Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry, believe that Great Britain should mark the event by unilaterally recognizing the State of Palestine.
The Guardian’s efforts to amplify the ‘injustice’ of Israel’s continued existence in the context of the Balfour Centennial went into high gear yesterday, as they published an op-ed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas that included nearly every distortion and lie within what’s known as the ‘Palestinian narrative’.
Here are some of Abbas’s claims in his op-ed (Britain must atone for the Balfour declaration – and 100 years of suffering, Nov. 1).
In 1948 Zionist militias forcibly expelled more than 800,000 men, women and children from their homeland, perpetrating horrific massacres and destroying hundreds of villages in the process. I was 13 years old at the time of our expulsion from Safad. The occasion on which Israel celebrates its creation as a state, we Palestinians mark as the darkest day in our history.
No serious historian alleges that all of the Palestinians (750,000 according to the UN) were expelled. Most fled – in, let’s remember, what was an Arab war of annihilation against the Jewish population – out of fear, or because of instructions from Palestinian Arab leaders. Historian Benny Morris has concluded that there was no Israeli policy of “ethnic cleansing”. “At no stage of the 1948 war”, he wrote, “was there a decision by the leadership of the Yishuv or the state to “expel the Arabs”.
Regarding his second assertion, that his family was expelled from Safed, Abbas has previously admitted (in Arabic) that his family left Safed out of a general (unfounded) fear that Jews would take revenge for the Arab massacre of Jews in 1929. In other words, Palestinians in Safed, such as his family, fled, and weren’t “expelled”.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Britain Apologizes To Balfour For Palestinians (satire)
In response to more than a year of Palestinian clamoring for an apology from Great Britain for the latter’s 1917 Balfour Declaration, the government of the United Kingdom issued a formal apology to Balfour for the Palestinians.
Prime Minister Theresa May and Minister of Foreign Affairs Boris Johnson signed the apology, which was delivered to the current Lord Balfour, as part of a process of atonement for the kingdom’s role in failing to uphold its commitments to the Jews as set forth in the 1917 letter, including policies that led to the formation of an entitled, violent, rejectionist, terrorist Palestinian ethos with a victim mentality.
Lord Roderick Balfour, grand-nephew of Lord Arthur James Balfour, received the apology letter in a formal ceremony at Westminster. The elder Balfour wrote the 1917 letter after successful diplomatic efforts by Zionist representatives to secure commitment to a Jewish homeland in the Holy Land from the soon-to-be-victorious main powers in the First World War: Britain, France, and the United States. The Declaration, as it has since become known, was later enshrined into international law at the 1922 San Remo Conference, but later abandoned by Britain as it sought to appease oil-rich Arab potentates and restive portions of the British Empire, then negated entirely by subsequent policies that lopped off most of the British Mandate of Palestine for what became the kingdom of Jordan, and restricted Jewish immigration to Palestine even as Nazi Germany annihilated most of Europe’s Jews.
“Her Majesty apologizes for Britain’s irresponsible policies in creating a Palestinian nation,” the statement read. “If not for the short-sightedness and political expediency that characterized successive British governments’ attitude toward Jews in their ancestral homeland, a troubled region could have achieved stability and prosperity long ago. Instead, Britain’s appeasement of Arab violence by imposing restrictions on Jewish rights only invited further violence by demonstrating its effectiveness.”
McGill University in Montreal, Canada has appointed an investigator to probe allegations that three students were removed from leadership roles over their ties to the Jewish community.
Noah Lew claimed on social media last week that the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) did not ratify him as a member of its Board of Directors “because of my Jewish identity and my affiliations with Jewish organizations.”
He added that Alexander Scheffel and Josephine Wright O’Manique — two non-Jewish directors who also failed to be ratified by the SSMU — were voted down “because they opposed the [boycott, divestment and sanctions] movement and because they had attempted to support McGill’s Jewish students.”
A day following the publication of Lew’s remarks, McGill principal and vice-chancellor Suzanne Fortier announced the launch of an investigation into the controversy, following allegations “that the votes against one or more of those directors were motivated by anti-Semitism.”
In a follow-up email sent to students and staff on Tuesday, Fortier indicted that she appointed Spencer Boudreau — a retired professor of education at McGill who also served as the ombudsperson for students — to lead the inquiry. While a high school teacher, Boudreau received an award from the Canadian Jewish Congress for his work promoting interfaith dialogue, according to his biography.
For the past three years, BDS has been the organizing principle behind most of the major controversies on our campus. Motions to support BDS were brought forward three separate times in 18 months, before they were declared unconstitutional by the Judicial Board, SSMU’s version of a supreme court. Since then, the struggle over BDS has continued through proxy debates over constitutional issues, proposed reforms, and, as we saw last week, votes on individual student representatives.
Incidents like Lew’s removal are nowadays generally accompanied by a semantic debate about what does or does not constitute anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, or some other form of -ism. Those who voted against Lew claim that their grievances were only political, though I’m not aware of any legitimate criticisms of Lew, since no one even bothered to speak during the allotted debate period before the vote. But whatever their intentions, what matters most is that their actions have real, damaging consequences for our university’s Jewish students.
By voting against board members for things like their membership in CJPAC, McGill students are forcing many of their Jewish peers to make an unfair and harmful choice. They are forced to choose between getting involved in their communities and participating in student government at our university. No McGill student should be put in such a situation, and it’s our responsibility as fellow students to ensure that no one is. That’s why, after the results of the vote against Lew were announced, I joined dozens of my peers in walking out of the general assembly.
The University College London (UCL) will be hosting an event next week featuring a speaker with ties to the Islamist terrorist group Hamas and another with a history of making antisemitic remarks.
Miko Peled — an Israeli-American activist who was disinvited from speaking at Princeton University in 2016 after publishing a series of controversial tweets, including one saying “Jews have reputation 4being sleazy thieves” — will appear at UCL on Friday, November 10, at an event organized in part by the school’s Friends of Palestine Society.
Peled will be joined by Azzam Tamimi, a British-Palestinian academic who previously admitted to being associated with Hamas.
“I have a great honor to be close to Hamas,” Tamimi said at Queen Mary’s University in 2012, Haaretz reported. He claimed that “all the leaders of Hamas are my friends,” and added, “I am not ashamed of my association with Hamas. Hamas, in my view, is the true representative of the Palestinian people.”
Tamimi also said “that it was only unfortunate that he himself did not have a leadership role within the group,” according to the paper.
Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) set out on a campus tour in the US Wednesday night in a first-ever visit of a senior Israeli politician to Ivy League university campuses in order to combat prevalent propaganda against the Jewish state and the mounting threat posed by the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement (BDS) who are active in such academic institutions.
Ahead of her departure, Hotovely said that she intended to “talk to the younger generation in the US who [sic] grew up hearing lies about Israel. It is important for me to share with the common challenges that radial Islam poses to democratic countries and to tell them the success story of the State of Israel, which thrives in the face of all challenges.”
Among the elite colleges the deputy foreign minister is slated to visit are New York University, Columbia University and Princeton University.
“The university campuses are one of the most difficult and important arenas, and I come as a representative of the government and a representative of the ruling party on a journey that will begin the hard work of changing the trend toward Israel on US campuses. Students who identify with Israel will no longer be afraid to speak their minds,” she said in a statement.
Moshe Machover, who had been expelled by the Labour Party, has now had that expulsion rescinded. A leaked e-mail from Jeremy Corbyn’s Stakeholder Manager, appears to confirm that this is the case, and moreover, it expresses pleasure in the outcome.
Professor Machover is a Holocaust revisionist, who, like Ken Livingstone (with whom he publicly sympathises), seeks to distort the history of the Jews under Hitler in order to characterise Zionists as cooperative partners of Nazism and imply that the Nazis were well disposed towards Zionists at the time. He did so at the recent Labour Party Conference, when a leaflet reprinting his article in Labour Party Marxists was circulated. He quotes none other than Reynhard Heydrich who said: “National socialism has no intention of attacking the Jewish people in any way” — as if, especially in retrospect, the lying promises of a genocidal Nazi are somehow to be taken in good faith. He imputes that Nazism only changed course and decided to kill Jews in 1942, despite the fact that at that time, Heydrich himself had been responsible for hundreds of thousands of Jewish deaths as Hitler’s armies marched through Eastern Europe in its war on Russia. His article also included the now standard claim that “the Jewish Labour Movement and the right wing media have been running a completely cynical campaign…with the help of the Israeli government and the far-right in the United States.”
However, the Labour Party has failed to reject those who twist the history and significance of the Holocaust. Ken Livingstone is still a member, albeit temporarily suspended from holding office, despite 107 MPs and 48 peers describing his as “insidious racism” that was “not done in our name and we will not allow it to go unchecked”. The Labour Party claims to have adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism which clearly states that “Denying the …intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices…” is antisemitic, and yet here is Professor Machover, not only re-admitted, but warmly welcomed back to the fold.
A French official has admitted knowing Oxford professor Tariq Ramadan was “violent and aggressive” sexually, but denied hearing anything about rape.
Bernard Godard, who was considered the “Monsieur Islam” of the French Ministry of the Interior between 1997 and 2014, was well acquainted with Mr Ramadan, a prominent Islamic scholar and grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
When asked whether he had any knowledge of the rape and sexual assault that Mr Ramadan is now being accused of, Mr Godard insisted he had “never heard of rapes” and that he was “stunned”.
“That he had many mistresses, that he consulted sites, that girls were brought to the hotel at the end of his lectures, that he invited them to undress, that some resisted and that he could become violent and aggressive, yes, but I have never heard of rapes, I am stunned,” he told French magazine L’Obs.
The claim puts the French authorities in a tricky position as it suggests they were aware of Mr Ramadan’s abusive behaviour towards women but failed to act.
Honest Reporting Podcast: Spotting Fake News on Israel
Whatever you call it – #FakeNews, propaganda, media bias – telling it *not* like it is has been around since we started communicating with each other. And when it comes to Israel, #FakeNews dates back to the founding of the state. With the proliferation of more pro-looking fake news, social media, bots, etc., telling fact from fiction is getting more difficult. Joe Hyams, CEO of Honest Reporting, tell us about the evolution of fake news and how to spot it.
The Toronto Star featured an article by reporter Patty Winsa yesterday entitled: “Gaza doctor’s refusal to hate is still an inspiration” which reported the following as undisputed facts:
Body paragraph: “On Jan. 16, 2009, Israeli military tank shells killed three of Abuelaish’s daughters and his niece and destroyed their home in Gaza.”
Photo caption: “Izzeldin Abuelaish’s daughters Mayar, left, Aya and Besson on a Gaza beach about a month before they were killed by an Israeli tank shell.”
Presently, the Israeli Army says it may not have killed the Gaza doctor’s three daughters. The Star links to a Haaretz article reporting this Israeli claim and Ms. Winsa herself reports: “The military has also claimed it thought the Abuelaishes were Hamas lookouts, and has said that some of the substances in shrapnel removed from Shatha and a cousin who was wounded do not match material in use by the Israeli military, according to a story by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.”
Presently, the veracity of the situation is unknown. There’s no verifiable evidence at this point which proves that Israeli military tank shells killed the three girls.
Mr. Abuelaish (and others) may claim that Israeli shells killed the girls, that’s fine, but for the Star to state that this is a matter of fact, is wrong. The references above should be in attribution. We believe this is deserving of a correction and have communicated this to the Star’s Public Editor. We await a reply to our concerns.
CAMERA’s Israel office today prompted correction of an Agence France Presse article which grossly inflated the number of Palestinian Arabs displaced in 1948. Today’s article, “Lord Balfour reflects on ancestor’s divisive legacy” (12:25 PM GMT), had originally stated: “The [Balfour] document eventually led to the creation of Israel in 1948, the displacement of millions of Palestinians and decades of strife between the two communities.” (Emphasis added.)
The number of Palestinians displaced from the 1948 war is less than one million. As another AFP story today (“67 words that shaped Palestinian, Israeli lives”) correctly states: “For Palestinians, however, it marks the beginning of a catastrophe – arguably leading to hundreds of thousands fleeing or being forced from their homes during the war surrounding Israel’s creation.” (Emphasis added).
The British Foreign Office suggested the number was between 600,000 and 760,000. The 1950 report by the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine endorsed an estimate of 710,000 refugees by an “expert of the Statistical Office of the United Nations.” Israel’s Foreign Ministry and Central Bureau of Statistics estimated the number to be between 500,000 and 600,000.
The latest variation of this false charge was made in a long article by Adam LeBor published in the FT Magazine (Israel at 70: my return to a divided country, Oct. 27).
Here’s the paragraph:
What does it mean to be a Jewish democracy ruling over 2.9 million Palestinians in the West Bank, in the territories captured in 1967? One that subsidises paramilitary settlers who appropriate that captured Arab land under claim of a divine mandate, and then construct an infrastructure of roads, water and electricity supplied exclusively for Jews?
Whilst the propagandistic characterisation of settlers as “paramilitary” is absurd, and the claim regarding exclusively Jewish water infrastructure is extraordinarily misleading, the suggestion of religiously exclusive roads is an especially insidious lie because it evokes the greater lie that Israel is an ‘apartheid’ state.
Here are the facts:
For security reasons, a very small number of West Bank roads (about 40 km in total) are indeed prohibited to Palestinian traffic.
However, the overwhelming majority of roads in the West Bank are open to Palestinian traffic.
All roads are open to Israeli citizens, foreigners and tourists of all faiths (Muslim, Christian, etc.), not just Jews.
A plaque in memory of Ilan Halimi, a Parisian Jews who was kidnapped and tortured to death more than a decade ago, was vandalized for the second time.
The plaque, located in a park in the Paris suburb of Bagneux, was discovered on Wednesday morning to be covered with anti-Semitic and insulting graffiti.
Among the epithets drawn on the plaque were a swastika, the name Hitler and “Free Frofana,” referring to the gang leader convicted and jailed in Paris three years after Halimi’s death.
“This kind of act is an insult to this young person and all those who fight against anti-Semitism and racism,” said the mayor of Bagneux, Marie-Hélène Amiable, according to the French newspaper L’express. The mayor said the plaque would be replaced as soon as possible.
“This cowardly and odious act hurts the memory of the victim and is an affront to the values of the Republic,” said French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb in a statement. He said that “everything will be done to identify the perpetrators of this act and bring them to justice.”
A gang of at least 16 people led by Youssouf Fofana, dubbed the “barbarian gang,” lured Halimi to them using a young woman who asked him out on a date at his job at a cell phone store, abducted him, then tortured and starved him for 24 days while they negotiated with his family to obtain a ransom. Fofana assured his gang that they would be paid because Halimi was Jewish.
Halimi was found naked and handcuffed in a Paris suburb on Feb. 13, 2006. He had burns on 80 percent of his body and died on his way to the hospital. He was buried in Israel.
The Dutch Red Cross offered its “deep apologies” for failing to act to protect Jews during World War II following the publication of a research paper on its inaction.
“The war years are undoubtedly a black stain on the pages of our 150-year history,” Inge Brakman, the Dutch Red Cross’ chairwoman, told the De Telegraaf daily Wednesday. There was a “lack of courage” on the part of the organization during the Nazi occupation of The Netherlands, she said.
“We have offered our deep apologies to the victims and their relatives,” she said, adding that the organization “acknowledges the mistakes made during and after the war.” The Dutch Red Cross has apologized for its inaction on behalf of Jews in the past.
In a study commissioned by the Dutch Red Cross, the Amsterdam-based NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies found there was “a serious shortfall in the help given to persecuted Jews in The Netherlands.”
“Dutch political prisoners in camps outside the Netherlands also had to go mostly without the help of the Red Cross,” the study concluded. But it also said that the Red Cross had mounted considerable efforts for some prisoners, though not Jewish ones.
Hundreds of Jews across Germany will take part in a special Torah study event to mark the 79th anniversary of the 1938 Kristallnacht pogrom.
Saturday’s Torah study event is the initiative of the Rabbinical Association of Germany and the latest in a series of activities organized by the local Jewish community in an effort to both strengthen Jewish identity in the country and protest the rise of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in Germany’s recent elections.
Kristallnacht, or “night of the broken glass,” is the name given to the night between Nov. 9 and 10, 1938, when Germany and Austria saw a massive pogrom in which Nazi supporters burned some 300 synagogues, shattered the windows of Jewish homes, institutions and businesses and rounded up 30,000 men to be taken to concentration camps. About 90 Jews were killed in the incident, considered to be the watershed event between incitement against Jews and the beginning of their systematic persecution.
At a conference in Tel Aviv this week automakers Hyundai and Volkswagen announced that they would be opening research and development centers in Israel, capitalizing on Israel’s growing reputation for developing technologies for autonomous, or driverless vehicles, The Times of Israel reported.
“We are very serious about creating a campus in Tel Aviv,” said Peter Harris, chief customer officer of Volkswagen (VW) Group, told The Fuel Choices and Smart Mobility conference, which was hosted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Tuesday. “There is no doubt we need to be here.”
VW intends to establish a research center similar to what it calls Future Centers, which the manufacturer has already set up in Berlin, California and China. Overall, VW 39 research centers spread out across Europe, North America and Asia.
Similarly, Youngcho Chi, the chief innovation officer of Strategy and Technology at South Korea’s Hyundai Motors Group said that his company is beginning to set up “an innovation hub that is expected to be launched in the early part of next year” in Israel.
“We like to work with the most innovative and creative minds to change mobility, and that is why I am in Israel,” Chi told the conference. “We want to partner with Israel in shaping the future of mobility.”
Yossi Wolf—the entrepreneur behind Temi, a new robotic butler of sorts, slated to hit the market next year—got the idea from his nana. She was having a hard time learning how to operate her smart phone, Wolf told an Israeli interviewer, so he wondered if she’d find the technology easier to operate if it was attached to a robot.
The answer might just turn out to be yes: Judging by early demo videos, Temi seems to open up a world of possibilities. Imagine Siri or Alexa on wheels, following you around the house, playing music or movies, searching the web on command, and connecting you to loved ones using advanced voice and face recognition software.
Wolf first worked with robots in the IDF, where motion-based machines are often used to scan crowded urban areas for explosives. “In the security sector, the first priority is saving lives. If you enter an urban environment,” Wolf said, “and you need to inspect a suspicious object with a robot, you need to map the street, identify anything suspicious, understand why it’s suspicious, and you want the robot to do all that so that the solider could do other things.” Replace the battlefield with your living room and the suspicious object with, say, your dog or your child, and you get why Temi is so promising.
The robot, which is about three-feet tall and has a 10-inch tablet computer for a head, is expected to go on sale sometime in 2018 and cost less than $1,500. That may sound like a lot of money for something that is essentially a marriage of convenience between an iPad and a skateboard, but Wolf told Wired earlier this year that he believed Temi will be a real game changer.
The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered between 1947 and 1956. After an initial flurry of excitement, the scrolls went into a period of quiet withdrawal. When I entered the field in the 1960s, only a few of the scrolls had been published. Those were the ones that were preserved in the Israel Museum that, in 1965, built a home for them known as the Shrine of the Book. A small number of the many texts discovered in the early 1950s while the West Bank was under Jordanian administration had also subsequently appeared. I was fascinated by the study of the scrolls, a then little-known and under-appreciated group of documents.
Since then, everything has changed. The full corpus of materials found at Qumran has been released. Anyone can consult the full set of volumes, with English translations, or get digital images online of all the scrolls. If you want to see the scrolls in person without traveling to Israel, look out for an exhibit coming soon to your neighborhood. The enormous number of visitors to these exhibits throughout the world and the tremendous public interest testify to the way in which the Dead Sea Scrolls have become part of our public culture.
How did all these changes take place? What impact did they leave on the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls today? From stagnation to reorganization In 1967, as a result of the Six Day War, Israel gained control of the area of the Judean Desert where Qumran and other archeological sites were located, and of the Palestine Archaeological Museum (now the Rockefeller Museum) in east Jerusalem where the still unpublished scroll fragments were housed. Nevertheless, the Israel Antiquities Authority (then the Department of Antiquities) left the Jordanian-appointed, judenrein international team in place and did not interfere in their work, believing their claims that work was going on constantly and that the large number of remaining texts would soon be published.
Between 1960 and 1990, a few members of the team still worked in the Palestine Archaeological Museum (PAM) in east Jerusalem, headed by John Strugnell of Harvard. They worked very slowly on the scrolls, saved many for dissertation topics for their own students, and refused outside scholars any view of the sequestered texts, although by the early 1980s international pressure had convinced them to include a few Israeli scholars.
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