Efraim Karsh: Turks, Arabs Welcomed the Balfour Declaration
“100 years have passed since the notorious Balfour Declaration, by which Britain gave, without any right, authority or consent from anyone, the land of Palestine to another people. This paved the road for the Nakba of Palestinian people and their dispossession and displacement from their land.”
So Mahmoud Abbas claimed at last year’s annual meeting of the U.N. General Assembly in what constitutes the standard Palestinian indictment of the November 1917 British government’s pledge to facilitate “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” providing that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.”
It is an emotionally gripping claim, but it is also the inverse of truth. For one thing, Britain did consult its main war allies, notably U.S. president Woodrow Wilson, before issuing the declaration, which was quickly endorsed by the contemporary international community, including the leaders of the nascent pan-Arab movement. Furthermore, the declaration was used as a model by the Ottoman Empire for its own official communiqué.
Mahmoud Abbas’s rejection of the Jewish right to national self-determination, which was acknowledged a hundred years ago by the international community, including the world’s foremost Muslim power, leaders of the pan-Arab movement, and ordinary Palestinian Arabs, affords a sad testament to the unchanging nature of the Palestinian leadership’s recalcitrance.
It was Hajj Amin Husseini’s predication of Palestinian national identity on hatred of the “other” rather than on a distinct shared legacy that “paved the road for the Nakba of Palestinian people and their dispossession and displacement from their land.” And it was Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas’s persistence in this zero-sum approach, despite their feigned moderation in the Oslo peace charade, which ensured the perpetuation of Palestinian dispersal and statelessness to date. It is only by shedding their century-long revanchist dreams and opting for peace and reconciliation with their Israeli neighbors that Palestinian leaders can end their people’s suffering. And what can be a better starting point for this sea change than endorsement of the Balfour Declaration rather than its atavistic denigration? (h/t Elder of Lobby)
To mark the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority published an op-ed in the British Guardian newspaper. After castigating Lord Balfour for promising “a land that was not his to promise” he went on to describe the Palestinian people as “a proud nation with a rich heritage of ancient civilisations, and the cradle of the Abrahamic faiths.”
Contradicting Abbas’ historical revision, just a day before, PA official TV broadcast an interview with the historian Abd Al-Ghani Salameh, who explained that in 1917 there was no Palestinian people.
During the broadcast, the host of the program asked:
“There always was a historical struggle over Palestine, and many wanted to rule it. How did the aspirations to rule affect the Palestinian existence, the Palestinians’ options, and the Palestinians’ possibilities of development?”
“Before the Balfour Promise (i.e., Declaration) when the Ottoman rule ended, Palestine’s political borders as we know them today did not exist, and there was nothing called a Palestinian people with a political identity as we know today, since Palestine’s lines of administrative division stretched from east to west and included Jordan and southern Lebanon, and like all peoples of the region [the Palestinians] were liberated from the Turkish rule and immediately moved to colonial rule, without forming a Palestinian people’s political identity. However, Palestine as a geographic area and the people dwelling within it enjoyed prosperity.” [Official PA TV, Nov. 1, 2017]
Danny Ayalon: The History of the Palestinian People
Today we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. Why did Balfour only think to offer a nation-state to the Jewish people and not to the Palestinians?
Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration – a letter sent from the British Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur Balfour to Zionist leader Lord Rothschild in 1917 expressing the British government’s support for reestablishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
Today to mark the occasion all official PA print media, WAFA and the official PA daily, including its front page, came out only in black. PA TV news readers and reporters all wore black. The front page of today’s official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, had a giant headline:
“The null and void promise”
The front page also had a cartoon of British Prime Minister Theresa May driving a tractor with “the Balfour Declaration” to crush “Palestinian rights.”
Above the cartoon are the words:
“May: ‘Britain is proud of the creation of the State of Israel, we will celebrate the Balfour Declaration.'”
WAFA ,the official PA news agency, reported today:
“Marking the 100 year anniversary for the sad occasion of the Balfour Declaration, the state-run media in Palestine came out on Thursday in black… Staff at Palestine TV wore black as the term ‘Down with Balfour Declaration” was posted in Arabic, English and Hebrew on the TV screen.”
The PA needs the Balfour Declaration in 2017 as much as the Zionist movement needed it in 1917. For Zionism in 1917 it meant international recognition of the Jews’ historic right as an indigenous people to return to their homeland. For the PA in 2017, it is used to deny the Jews’ historic right as an indigenous people in their land.
An ancient Palestinian history is fabricated by the PA to fill the vacuum created by the erasure of actual Jewish history in the land. The Balfour Declaration is the document the Palestinians wave to their people to brandish this myth.
In honor of the 100th anniversary of this important document, the PA decided to make the Balfour Declaration and denial of Israel’s right to exist its primary messaging this year. Abbas took the lead with public statements such as: “It must be emphasized that the historical injustice that was caused to our people, and which continues to accumulate, began in fact with the ominous Balfour Promise.
“Therefore, we call on the government of Britain to bear its historical and moral responsibility and not mark and celebrate the 100th anniversary of this invalid promise. Instead, it must submit an apology to our Palestinian people.” [Al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 16, 2017]
PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said that Abbas “intends to submit a lawsuit… if Britain insists on celebrating the 100th anniversary of the ominous Balfour Promise.” [PA TV News, October 22, 2017]
Fatah has called it the “Balfour crime of the century” and “the most inhuman terrorist crime… creating a Zionist illegal state.” [Fatah Facebook, October 27, 2017] Fatah spokesman Osama al-Qawasmi went so far as to declare that the Balfour Declaration was “the most horrible crime in the history of mankind.” [Al-Hayat al-Jadida, October 15, 2017]
The PA has transformed the Balfour Declaration from a recognition of Jewish history in the land into the starting point of Jewish history in the land. Without Balfour, the PA has no hook upon which to anchor its warped reality. Had there been no Balfour Declaration, the PA would have had to invent it.
A bipartisan resolution to be introduced in the U.S. Senate will recognize the 100-year anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.
Sens. James Lankford, R-Okla., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., were to propose the resolution on Thursday. A concurrent resolution was to be proposed in the House of Representatives.
“It is entirely appropriate for the United States Congress to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, a statement that ultimately led to the reestablishment of the State of Israel in 1948,” Lankford said in a statement. “Israel is one of our closest friends and allies, and it is important that we stand with her and honor this important milestone.”
In the 1917 declaration, named after then-British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour and obtained on Nov. 2nd that year after long talks with Zionist leaders, the British government vowed to help establish a national home for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel without jeopardizing the rights of other area inhabitants.
“The Balfour Declaration of 1917 represents a pivotal moment in Jewish history and the creation of the modern State of Israel,” Manchin said in a statement, adding the resolution “reaffirms our support for one of our strongest allies and most steadfast friends in the region as we remember an important moment in their history.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday said she would “absolutely not” apologize for the 1917 Balfour Declaration which paved the way for the establishment of the “most extraordinary” State of Israel, while noting that the document’s vision of Jewish-Arab coexistence remained “unfinished business.”
In a speech marking the centenary of the declaration, May was glowing in her praise of the Jewish state, describing it as a “true start-up nation” and a “a symbol of openness, as a thriving democracy; and a beacon to the world in upholding the rights of women and members of the LGBT community.”
The address — which was closed to the press, but released in a transcript — also saw May come out strongly against the boycott movement against Israel, while linking anti-Israel sentiment to a “new and pernicious form of anti-Semitism.”
“We are proud of our pioneering role in the creation of the State of Israel,” May told a London dinner marking the 100th anniversary of the declaration.
Britain’s Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Thursday urged the UK government to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration by unilaterally recognizing Palestine.
In a statement issued to mark the anniversary, Corbyn noted that the British foreign secretary, Arthur James Balfour, in his letter 100 years ago “promised to help establish a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine while pledging that nothing would be done to prejudice the rights of its ‘existing non-Jewish communities’.”
“A hundred years on,” added Corbyn, “the second part of Britain’s pledge has still not been fulfilled and Britain’s historic role means we have a special responsibility to the Palestinian people, who are still denied their basic rights.”
Urged the opposition leader, “So let us mark the Balfour anniversary by recognizing Palestine as a step towards a genuine two-state solution of the Israel-Palestine conflict, increasing international pressure for an end to the 50-year occupation of the Palestinian territories, illegal settlement expansion and the blockade of Gaza.”
Jeremy Corbyn is, in effect, a Zionist, it has been revealed.
Emily Thornberry, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, said the party leader believed in a two-state solution, and as such, he could be termed a Zionist.
She was responding to a question about Mr Corbyn at the Balfour centenary conference in Parliament on Thursday afternoon.
Ms Thornberry said Mr Corbyn backed the party’s position on finding a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and told the audience “read from that”.
If Zionism was the belief in a Jewish state of Israel, she said, then “of course, it’s self-evident” that Mr Corbyn is a Zionist.
She had earlier given a balanced address in which she explained her comments earlier this week in which she said it was better to “mark” the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration rather than “celebrate” it.
In the past eight centuries, England has bequeathed to the world two of the most important foundational documents in the history of mankind: the Magna Carta in 1215 and the Balfour Declaration of 1917.
On the surface, these two legal instruments would appear to have little in common. After all, the Magna Carta, which laid the conceptual basis for the idea of individual freedom against arbitrary state power, was the seed that eventually blossomed into modern liberal democracy, a political system that has brought more liberty to more people than any other thus far conceived by mankind.
Many civil and political rights that are taken for granted by hundreds of millions of people from Pasadena to Prague can trace their intellectual origins to the charter that was agreed upon by King John of England and rebel barons on the southern bank of the River Thames at Runnymede on June 10, 1215.
By contrast, the Balfour Declaration, a letter containing just 67 words issued by British foreign secretary Arthur James Balfour on November 2, 1917, reaffirmed the right of the Jewish people to renew their ancient biblical homeland in Israel.
What could one possibly have to do with the other? The connection is in fact quite compelling, and it is well worth pondering as we celebrate the centennial of the Balfour Declaration today.
PA Foreign Minister: Abbas has instructed the PA to sue Britain over “the ominous Balfour Promise”
Official PA TV newsreader: “[PA] Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riyad Al-Malki said that the [PA] leadership intends to submit a lawsuit, according to the instructions of President Mahmoud Abbas, if Britain insists on celebrating the 100th anniversary of the ominous Balfour Promise (i.e. Declaration)…” PA Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riyad Al-Malki: “There are several steps that we may take, including submitting lawsuits to the British, regional, and international courts against Britain over what it did 100 years ago when it gave a promise that it did not have the right to give… We say that the Balfour Promise 100 years ago was the beginning of the Palestinian disaster. This disaster is expressed primarily by the uprooting [of Palestinians] and the establishment of the Zionist entity that is the State of Israel.” [Official PA TV News, Oct. 22, 2017] The Balfour Declaration of Nov. 2, 1917 was a letter from British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Baron Rothschild stating that “His Majesty’s government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” In 1922, the League of Nations adopted this and made the British Mandate “responsible for putting into effect the declaration,” which led to the UN vote in 1947 and the establishment of the State of Israel.
A bomb threat forced the cancellation of an event at the Jewish Museum of Florida on the Balfour Declaration.
Law enforcement apprehended a 21-year-old college student after he allegedly issued the threat ahead of Thursday’s event, the American Jewish Committee’s Miami office said in a statement.
Oscar Aguayo, who attends Florida International University, was taken into police custody, according to the Miami Herald. Police said the message threatened to “raise havoc” at the event.
While Aguayo was being interviewed by police, an FIU police dog identified possible explosives in his car, leading to the evacuation of a university parking garage.
“We won’t be intimidated by threats and will continue to stand for our principles and values,” wrote Brian Siegal, the AJC Florida office’s director, who was scheduled to speak at the event.
He added: “We must take seriously the guidance of law enforcement authorities who advised that in the interests of public safety our educational event could not take place as scheduled. We hope to reschedule in the very near future.”
The ECOSOC Chamber of the United Nations Secretariat in New York pulled together a lecture on the Balfour Declaration and the impact it has had on the Palestinian people.
And frankly? It wasn’t that bad.
I know good news is not news, but bear with me.
Rashid Ismail Khalidi, the lecturer, is an American historian – or as he likes to call himself: a Palestinian American historian. His father worked for the UN, so Khalidi, as he says, grew up seeing how the UN fails to live up to its mandate. Not too bad from a ‘Palestinian,’ right?
But it got better.
Khalidi is known to believe that there is such a thing as a Palestinian identity. What’s more, according to him, it already existed way before the Balfour Declaration, and the only problem was that following the WWI the Palestinians were suffering from a collective PTSD, so they were too weak to act upon on any sort of national identification, let alone a nationalistic move.
“The Balfour Declaration was a gun pointed at the Palestinian’s heads,” says Khalidi. “It was a declaration of war, from the Brits towards the Arabs.” Let me highlight: he did not attack the Jews, he attacked the Brits. And he did so throughout his talk.
Former Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal on Thursday vowed that the Palestinian Arabs will forcefully cancel the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which proclaimed Britain’s support for the establishment of a Jewish national home in then-Palestine.
Speaking at a conference in Gaza, Mashaal attacked Britain for boasting of the “crime” of the Balfour Declaration instead of apologizing for this “mistake” and correcting it.
“We do not expect them to correct history,” he said, adding, “We will take the initiative into our own hands and correct history and the Palestinian people and the fighters will trample the Balfour Declaration with their feet.”
In a defiant tone, Mashaal then said that the Palestinians did not need an apology from Britain and that this “crime” would forever be a mark of Cain on its forehead.
The former Hamas leader also noted that the Palestinian people have a right to resistance in all its forms, including armed resistance, although at this stage Hamas is prepared to carry out “popular resistance” in Judea and Samaria.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Scientists Create Quantum-Size Violin To Play For Palestinians (satire)
Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have succeeded in generating the smallest-ever violin to play in acknowledgment of the Palestinian plight, a spokesman for the Institute announced today.
Professor of Particle Physics Itzhak Perlman told journalists at Weizmann Thursday morning that a team under his leadership had caused subatomic particles to form the shape of a string instrument and bow, and succeeded in manipulating the two formations to create friction that produced sound. The quantum violin, as they have termed it, will play in solidarity with the Palestinians, whose decades of self-inflicted suffering and poor decisions command sympathy only insofar as others can exploit the situation for their own advantage. While once upon a time the Palestinian predicament elicited genuine sympathy, their leadership and allies have consistently opted for policies and rhetoric that damn the Palestinians to continued misery.
“It’s just a fraction of a nanometer in length,” noted Perlman. “Essentially, we put together a number of subatomic particles and arranged them to make a rudimentary instrument. The sounds it makes can’t properly be called music, since at that scale the wavelengths of sound are all but meaningless, just as the Palestinians could not properly be called a nation, but in both cases, the symbolism is what’s important.”
Indeed, concurred Pinkas Zuckerman of Brookhaven National Laboratories on Long Island, who was not involved in the research, symbolism tends to carry more weight in the Palestinian arena than substance. “One of the dysfunctions of the society we’re talking about is its deep sense of shame at not being part of a successful genocide of Jews in 1948, or 1967,” he observed. “Such shame could, under other circumstances, be removed by removing the Jews, who represent that shame, but since that endeavor has only brought more shame after repeated failures and the consequent disasters for Palestinians those efforts wrought, they’ve had to settle for a pettier level on which to operate.”
An Israeli lawyer has shed light in a new book on the role the Mossad, Israel’s national intelligence agency, has played in U.S. litigation she pursues against the international financing of Israel’s enemies.
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, an Orthodox Jewish mother of six, heads the not-for-profit Shurat Hadin Israeli Law Center, which has named the Palestinian Authority, Iran, the Lebanon-based Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah and North Korea as defendants in lawsuits it has brought.
Many of the cases were heard in U.S. courtrooms, either because victims of Palestinian shootings and bombings or Hezbollah rockets held American citizenship, or to target suspected militant funds held in banks in the United States.
Titled “Harpoon,” after the code name of the Mossad finance-tracking unit Darshan-Leitner worked with, the book lays out how Israel targets foes’ bank accounts as well as arsenals.
In the closest that the secretive Mossad can come to a public endorsement, its former director provided praise for the book on its cover.
Darshan-Leitner, who is mostly engaged by private citizens, said that after her law center began suing Palestinians over attacks during the Second Intifada that was launched in 2000, she was invited to Mossad headquarters for a consultation.
“I explained to them what we do, how and where lawsuits are filed, what evidence and jurisdiction is required, the general rules. Their response was: What do we have to do to file more lawsuits? What do you need?” she said.
Hundreds of far-left South African demonstrators protested in front of the Israeli embassy in South Africa, demanding the South African government shut down the embassy and expel the Israeli delegation.
The demonstration, held in the northern city of Pretoria, was organized by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, the third largest political party in South Africa.
EFF chief Julius Malema led the protest, and called upon participants to “occupy” Israel’s embassy on the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, which led to the League of Nations Mandate to establish a Jewish national home in the historic land of Israel.
“We love Self determination, peace & justice, democracy is our nickname,” Malema tweeted. “We are not free until Palestine is free, let’s occupy Israel embassy.”
During the demonstration, Malema called for the abolition of Israel as a Jewish state, and its replacement with an Arab-majority state of Palestine.
“We want one state. We want the Palestinians and the Jewish community to live under one democratic country.”
A statement by the EFF denounced Israel as an “apartheid” regime and called for a boycott of Israel.
A Jewish student who was removed from a leadership role at McGill University in Montreal, Canada in an episode that sparked accusations of antisemitism will maintain his position until further evaluation.
The Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Judicial Board unanimously ruled to suspend a controversial motion by the body’s General Assembly (GA), which led to the failed ratification of three members of its Board of Directors last week, The Bull & Bear — McGill’s student-run campus magazine — reported on Wednesday.
One of the directors, Noah Lew, claimed on social media last week that he was not ratified “because of my Jewish identity and my affiliations with Jewish organizations.” Lew added that Alexander Scheffel and Josephine Wright O’Manique — two non-Jewish directors who also failed to be ratified — were voted down “because they opposed the [boycott, divestment and sanctions] movement and because they had attempted to support McGill’s Jewish students.”
The Judicial Board decided to suspend the GA motion until an official hearing can be held to determine its constitutionality. The ruling ensures that all of the directors who failed ratification but have already begun their terms — in this case, Lew and Scheffel — will maintain their positions in the meantime. It will not apply to O’Manique, who was only recently nominated to serve as a director.
“This is a positive development after what was a very troubling decision made by students at McGill University,” Avi Benlolo, head of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies, said in a statement. “However, we must not forget the clear antisemitism that took place during last week’s vote and demand that an investigation into the matter continues regardless of the suspension’s outcome.”
In October, BDS was characterized by “intersectional” accusations and a variety of assaults on free speech, university and Jewish organizations. Among the most odious were accusations that sexual harassment by disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein proved the connection between gender violence, white supremacy and Zionism. More perversely, one BDS supporter accused Israel of being indirectly responsible for the Las Vegas mass shooting by exporting “assault rifles” to the US.
BDS on campus also focused on disrupting pro-Israel events. Reports indicate that a group of Israeli Arabs visiting the US received threats via social media. At Stanford University, the Hillel chapter rescinded its invitation to the group for unspecified reasons, likely related to safety concerns. The local Chabad chapter then hosted the event. But at the University of Minnesota, a woman was arrested after disrupting the group’s presentation. A similar disruption occurred when the group spoke at a New York-area synagogue.
At the University of California at Berkeley, a talk by lawyer Alan Dershowitz was initially canceled on flimsy procedural grounds, likely motivated by safety concerns. The event was ultimately held but was marred by an antisemitic cartoon attacking Dershowitz in the student newspaper. The university chancellor and the newspaper editor apologized for the cartoon, but there was little further response from the Berkeley community.
BDS-inspired disruptions opposing free speech escalated even more dramatically in October. Campus events that were disrupted included a talk by white supremacist leader Richard Spencer at the University of Florida, a Skype talk at Columbia University by right-wing English extremist Tommy Robinson, and a talk at the University of Michigan by sociologist Charles Murray.
This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman speak firstly with Prof Bill Rubinstein about his article discussing the drift to the Left by our communal organisations.
We then hear from Middle East correspondent Benjamin Weinthal, and speak with Prof Efraim Inbar who was in Australia recently to promote his new think tank.
And Isi Leibler joins us as usual from Jerusalem.
3 min Editorial: Alan’s observations on Europe
11 min Prof Bill Rubinstein controversial article on JCCV
27 min Benjamin Weinthal, Jerusalem Post European correspondent
52 min Prof Efraim Inbar in Australia
1 hr 25 min Isi Leibler on why we should be working with the Right wing Parties that support Israel
A Sept. 26, 2017 Foreign Policy Op-Ed argues, “The Rohingya are the New Palestinians.” To advance his argument, Craig Considine, a professor of sociology at Rice University, makes several misleading claims.
The author seeks to compare the Rohingya, a Indo-Aryan group of people living in what is today Myanmar, with Palestinian Arabs. Most Rohingya are Muslim, but a minority is Hindu. The government of Myanmar has been accused of discriminatory tactics and violence against the Rohingya.
Considine’s efforts to compare the two, however, fall short.
For one, he asserts, “Muslims worldwide have watched for decades as Palestinians have been repeatedly displaced, subject to disproportionate collective punishment, and denied statehood.”
In fact, several Muslim nations, such as Jordan and Kuwait, have expelled Palestinians en masse themselves. In the former case, after elements of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) attempted to overthrow the Jordanian government in 1970, and in the latter after PLO head Yasser Arafat sided with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein after he invaded Kuwait in 1990 (for more details see CAMERA’s “Backgrounder: Palestinian Arab and Jewish Refugees,” May 12, 2009).
The head of the Anti-Defamation League declared his organization was “astonished and horrified” by a recent steep rise in antisemitic incidents in the US, as the ADL released new data on Thursday that compared 2017 with the previous year.
ADL’s Audit of Antisemitic Incidents — which covers the period from January through September of this year — recorded almost 1,300 antisemitic outrages across the country, including physical assaults, vandalism and attacks on Jewish institutions.
According to the ADL, that total “represents a 67 percent increase over the same period in 2016 and already exceeds the 1,266 incidents reported all of last year.” The organization emphasized what it said were a “disturbingly high number of antisemitic bullying and vandalism incidents in K-12 schools and college campuses across the US.”
“We are astonished and horrified by the rise in anti-Semitic harassment, incidents and violence targeting our communities,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO and national director.
Greenblatt stated that while the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August “highlighted this trend, it was not an aberration.”
“Every single day, white supremacists target members of the Jewish community — holding rallies in public, recruiting on college campuses, attacking journalists on social media, and even targeting young children,” Greenblatt continued.
The ADL noted that “consistent with prior reports, the states with the highest number of incidents tend to be those with the largest Jewish populations. These include New York State (267 incidents); California (197); Massachusetts (117); Florida (69) and Pennsylvania (58).”
Serious concerns are being raised about white supremacy posters circulating at the University of Victoria.
The posters say “(((Those))) who hate us will not replace us,” and provide links to white supremacist websites.
The triple parentheses are used by online neo-Nazis to identify Jews, while the slogan is similar to “Jews will not replace us,” chanted during the rally in Charlottesville, Va., said Daniel Koren, media co-ordinator for B’nai Brith Canada.
B’nai Brith issued a statement Thursday saying the “brazen outburst of far-right antisemitism” at a Canadian university is a serious concern.
Koren says he is confident that university officials will do whatever they can to identify and discipline the culprits.
“We encourage members of the university to speak out against this violence and show solidarity with Jewish students,” he said in an interview.
“I’m sure Jewish students are feeling very targeted right now.”
He says in the aftermath of Charlottesville, where one protester was killed, antisemitic posters have appeared at American universities such as Cornell and the University of Houston.
In a statement released Thursday evening, the University of Victoria condemned the posters as antisemitic and said an investigation was ongoing.
Veteran BBC presenter Andrew Neil was forced to tell former Labour Party Leader Harriet Harman to “be quiet” after she repeated a disgusting Holocaust ‘joke’ live on air.
Mr Neil was discussing offensive jokes with his guests on the BBC’s This Week, and the troubles of Michael Gove who apologised for joking about sexual abuse by Harvey Weinstein. Ms Harman took the opportunity to tell Mr Neil about two offensive jokes she had previously protested about. She said: “I have long been accused of being a humourless feminist but I will give you two examples that I protested about because they were offensive and hurtful…People like Andrew [Neil] say that these things are perfectly alright. Two jokes. One was: ‘How do you get 100 Jews into a Mini? One in the drivering seat, and 99 in the ashtray.’ That is not funny.”
Ms Harman was about to tell the second ‘joke’ when Mr Neil interrupted: “Well we’ll stop with that one example and we won’t bother with the minute’s silence that you would dare to think what I would think about that because you have no knowledge of that at all.” Mr Neil then turned to another guest but Ms Harman tried to comment further, to which Mr Neil fumed: “Be quiet”.
Last month Mr Neil gave a speech at a fundraising dinner for the Holocaust Education Trust at which he spoke of the dangers of rising left-wing antisemitism.
India has sent an unprecedented contingent of 45 members of the country’s air force to an international military exercise in Israel.
The “Blue Flag-17” exercise marks the first time that India has dispatched a delegation to participate in a military drill in the Jewish state. The exercise also includes representatives from the US, France, Germany, Italy, Greece and Poland. The Indian participants are members of the elite Garud Commando Force and arrived in Israel aboard the C-130J “Super Hercules” aircraft.
“The exercise…will provide a platform for sharing of knowledge, combat experience and improving operational capability of the participating nations,” an Indian military officer said, The Times of India reported.
The military exercise follows July’s historic visit to Israel by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The countries have established deep defense ties during the last year, as Israel has supplied India with various weapons systems, missiles and drones. Israeli defense sales to India amount to nearly $1 billion per year.
A day after a terrorist attack hit New York, visiting Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner hinted at intelligence cooperation between his state’s law enforcement officials and Israel during an interview on Wednesday with The Jerusalem Post. The Republican governor, who arrived on Monday and will be leaving Friday, said that he had a “detailed discussion” with Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan during his visit.
“We will be exchanging information, will have mutual visits from some of our security people, and leaders from Israel who will come to Illinois,” he said. “We have a very strong, effective anti-terrorist center and task force commission within the Illinois state police based in Springfield. We are constantly monitoring and sharing information both with the federal government, leaders of other states, and we look forward to have a close working relationship with leaders in Israel.”
Asked if this included intelligence cooperation, he replied, “cooperation on various levels.”
Rauner met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this week, and said that 80-90% of that conversation dealt with economic issues, though security issues were also discussed, especially cybersecurity.
“We talked about the software and the mathematics and the engineering behind cybersecurity,” Rauner said. “The prime minister is very focused and knowledgeable about that.”
This was Rauner’s first meeting with Netanyahu, and he was full of praise.
Institutions from Israel and Wisconsin this week signed two agreements to collaborate on water technology. One accord, between the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Wisconsin’s Water Council, paves the way for Wisconsin’s branch of the National Science Foundation to establish an Israel-based bureau.
In addition to its agreement with the Israeli university, the Water Council signed a deal with the Israel Innovation Authority to promote research partnerships between the US state’s water technology companies and Israeli firms. The pact aims to develop new innovations for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District and other Wisconsin water utilities.
The agreements were signed during Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s trade mission to Israel this week with a 16-member delegation, and came after the governor issued an executive order last week to ban state agencies from engaging with companies that have ties to the anti-Israel BDS movement.
With the passing of the order, Wisconsin became the 24th US state to enact official measures condemning BDS or prohibiting government business with entities that boycott Israel.
When I first meet Gilbert Gottfried he’s flossing his teeth.
No, I didn’t walk in on him in the bathroom. I was led to a conference room at a PR agency and there he was, seated at a table next to his wife Dara, flossing his teeth. I didn’t say anything, he didn’t say anything. By this point I was well acquainted with the fact that the real Gilbert Gottfried has many quirks.
Gottfried is one of the most brilliant and outrageous comedians of all time, but part of his allure is not knowing if he’s really like that. A new documentary film, “Gilbert,” answers some of these questions.
The voice you know from his routines, television appearances or animation work (where he tends to play avian characters) is, in fact, real, just amplified by a factor of one hundred. He doesn’t keep his eyes closed at all times, but he does tend to squint and slouch over. He’s definitely a miser of olympic proportion, as evidenced by the boxes of free soap and toothpaste he hoards all over his otherwise very nice apartment.
If you aren’t a fan of Gottfried, “Gilbert” is merely a good film; a well-made portrait of a strange man with more than enough funny moments from the road. (A night in an Illinois hotel that double-books Gilbert with collectors of military paraphernalia, including more than its share of Nazi enthusiasts, is the most hilarious thing I’ve seen all year.)
In Ethiopia, Yityish “Titi” Aynaw and her fellow villagers always dreamed of living in Israel.
“From as far back as I can remember, I was always told that I am Jewish and that I must live in Jerusalem,” said the former Miss Israel, who in 2013 became the first Ethiopian to hold the title.
“I imagined that Israel would look like how it’s described in the Bible, as the land of milk and honey … like a fairytale.”
Aynaw recently began her third Israel-advocacy speaking tour on US college campuses, in what she described as an opportunity “to give back” to the Jewish state — the country that gave her a new life.
Aynaw’s fall 2017 tour — facilitated by Jewish National Fund (JNF) and Media Watch International — began on October 30, and includes visits to campuses in the states of New York, Colorado, California, Washington and Oregon. The tour culminates with Aynaw’s keynote address to hundreds of American students at JNF’s national conference in South Florida on November 11.
Since being crowned Miss Israel, Aynaw’s meteoric rise has seen her become one of Israel’s top models, a prominent media personality and a staunch advocate for the Jewish state. Along the way, she has shattered a cultural glass ceiling and paved the way for other young Ethiopian-Israeli women to follow in her footsteps.
They came in tuxedos, red ballroom gowns, and velvet ties to help raise money for one of Israel’s most important causes.
Over sea bass and short ribs, guests at the American Friends of Magen David Adom’s annual Red Star Ball at The Beverly Hilton on Monday night heard tales from Israel’s first responders, and the danger they witness –– and put themselves in –– on a daily basis.
Founded in 1930, Magen David Adom is Israel’s go-to national ambulance, blood service, and disaster-relief organization. Among the evening’s honorees were longtime benefactors Sheldon and Dr. Miriam Adelson for the Humanitarian of the Year Award, Renee and Meyer Luskin for the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Nikita Kahn for the Leadership-Next Generation Award.
In addition to the funding of a new $30 million blood center, which will be built underground to protect it from future rocket attacks, the highlight of the night was a wide-ranging 40-minute set from legendary comic and fellow member of the tribe, Jerry Seinfeld, who touched on everything from cellphones to marriage to food.
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