November 24, 2017

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11/04 Links: Phillips: Britain’s unfinished Balfour business; Lebanon’s PM resigns, slams Iran and Hezbollah

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2017/11/1104-links-phillips-britains-unfinished.html

From Ian:


Melanie Phillips: Britain’s unfinished Balfour business
There is indeed unfinished business arising from the Balfour declaration.

Unfinished is Britain’s pledge to create the Jewish homeland which it subverted and betrayed when it tore up the UK’s legally binding Mandate obligation to settle the Jews throughout Palestine, instead denying desperate Jews entry from Nazi Europe while turning a blind eye to illegal Arab immigration in order to block the Jewish homeland that Britain was legally bound to create.

Unfinished is the acknowledgement that Britain did indeed create a separate state for the Palestinian Arabs in 1921, when it hived off more than three quarters of Palestine to become Transjordan, now Jordan – the original two-state solution and national home for the Palestinians which everyone now ignores.

Unfinished is the Arabs never having been held to account for their unceasing attempts to destroy the State of Israel through war, terrorism or the “strategy of stages” – through which the Palestine state to which the FCO is so deeply committed is intended to serve as the geographical platform for Israel’s destruction.

Unfinished is the Palestinian Arabs’ incitement and glorification of terrorism and the indoctrination of their people into Nazi-style antisemitism and the historical lies which seek to write the Jewish people out of its own history.

If Sir Simon McDonald wishes finally to realise the “lasting peace” that he said would fulfil the whole of the Balfour Declaration, this is the real unfinished business Britain must no longer ignore.

Simon Schama at Balfour lecture: ‘The life of Israel is Hitler’s failure’

The historian Professor Simon Schama concluded a bravura Balfour Centenary Lecture on Wednesday night with an emotional belief that some of the hopes and fears of the makers of the Balfour Declaration were being realised in Israel, “a living, breathing, debating, thriving, rejoicing democracy.”

Israel’s six million Jews, Professor Schama said, “are the ultimate retort to the number that Adolf Hitler exterminated. The life of Israel is Hitler’s failure”.

And he took pleasure in celebrating the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, because, he said, “the dark pages of Jewish history have been lit by such impossibilities.”

His lecture, which took place in front of a 300-strong audience at the Royal Society in London, was live-streamed to sell-out events across the UK including at JW3 in London, and venues in Bournemouth, Leeds, Glasgow, Belfast, Brighton and Barnet. The Royal Society was chosen due to its reputation as the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.

In his hour-long address Professor Schama sought to put Balfour in the context of what was happening globally — and also locally, by starting his remarks with warm memories of his father’s experience of dancing in the streets of Whitechapel as the Balfour Declaration was made public to the Jewish community. At the beginning of December 1917, Arthur Schama stood outside the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden as the audience rose to applaud the singing of Hatikvah.

Simon Schama’s Balfour Centenary Lecture

Before Balfour: The Labour Party’s War Aims memorandum

Ronnie Fraser tells the little-known story of the British Labour Party’s support for Zionism. Three months before the Balfour Declaration, its War Aims Memorandum made clear that ‘The British Labour Movement expresses the opinion that Palestine should be set free from the harsh and oppressive government of the Turk, in order that the country may form a Free State, under international guarantee, to which such of the Jewish People as desired to do so may return, and may work out their salvation’.

Contrary to popular belief, the Labour Party’s support for Zionism did not originate with the Balfour Declaration but with the Party’s own War Aims memorandum which was published in August 1917, three months before Balfour’s letter. The five thousand word memorandum set out a Socialist and Labour vision for the future, once peace had been achieved. It was divided into six sections; making the world safe for democracy, territorial questions, economic relations, the problems of peace, the restoration of the devastated areas and the reparation of wrongdoing, and a proposal to hold an international conference of labour and socialist organisations. Foremost in the Labour party’s plans was the establishment of the League of Nations. The section on territorial questions proposed solutions for Belgium, Alsace Lorraine, the Balkans, Italy, Poland and the Baltic provinces, the Jews and Palestine, and addressed the problem of the Turkish Empire, Austria-Hungary and the colonies and dependencies. Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann credited the Jewish socialist group, Poale Zion for the inclusion of Jewish rights in the memorandum.

Poale Zion (the Workers of Zion) was a Marxist–Zionist movement which was founded in Eastern Europe at the turn of the 20th century. The ideology of Poale Zion was a blend of socialism and Zionism aimed at persuading Jewish workers to support Palestine as a Jewish homeland as well as campaigning for Jewish equality in all countries. Poale Zion was active in Britain from 1905 onwards and established branches in London, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool. Throughout the First World War, the organisation, under the leadership of J. Pomeranz and Morris Meyer, the editor of the Jewish Times, campaigned for the granting of political and civil rights for the Jewish people in all countries where they were denied. Their efforts were rewarded when both the 1915 and 1916 Congresses of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) adopted resolutions about the civil and political rights of Jews.

In August 1917, the Labour Party published its draft ‘War Aims Memoran­dum’ containing the following paragraph on the Jews and Palestine:
The British Labour Movement demands for the Jews in all coun­tries the same elementary rights of tolerance, freedom of residence and trade, and equal citizenship that ought to be extended to all the inhabitants of every nation. It furthermore expresses the opinion that Palestine should be set free from the harsh and op­pressive government of the Turk, in order that the country may form a Free State, under inter­national guarantee, to which such of the Jewish People as desired to do so may return, and may work out their salvation free from interference by those of alien race or religion.

Petra Marquardt-Bigman: David Hirsh: Fighting anti-Semitism on the left from the left

A recently published book on “Contemporary Left Antisemitism” is an arguably long overdue study of “antisemitism amongst people who believe that they strongly oppose antisemitism.” That’s how the author David Hirsh, a sociologist at London’s Goldsmiths University, puts it in his Introduction, acknowledging that he is examining “a phenomenon whose very existence is angrily contested.” One reason Hirsh’s book is special is that he – a man of the left for all his life, and a veteran opponent of anti-Semitism – has experienced up close and personal just how angry reactions can get when a leftist insists on calling out left-wing anti-Semitism. Yet Hirsh’s analysis remains remarkably dispassionate, and the book has drawn well-deserved praise from leading intellectuals and scholars.

Israelis interested in contemporary anti-Semitism will have a chance to meet David Hirsh at a series of events in Haifa, Jerusalem, Netanya and Tel Aviv between November 5-8. On the evening of November 8, The Times of Israel will host Hirsh for a screening of the documentary “Whitewashed” that examines the efforts to ignore and downplay anti-Semitism in the British Labour Party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. (Ticket info for this event at the end of this post.)

While this documentary and much of the book focuses on anti-Semitism propagated by the British left, it is striking to see how easily Hirsh’s analysis can be applied to examples elsewhere.

Consider this observation that Hirsh offers at the very beginning of his book:
“If the Palestinians stand, in the antizionist imagination, as symbolic of all the victims of ‘the west’ or ‘imperialism’, then Israel is thrust into the centre of the world as being symbolic of oppression everywhere. Like antisemitism, antizionism imagines Jews as being central to all that is bad in the world.”

Netanyahu: I Won’t Forget How UK Backtracked On Balfour Declaration

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he won’t forget how the British reneged on the decision to fulfill the Balfour Declaration, but added that it still provided the impetus for the world to acknowledge the Jewish people’s right to the land of Israel.

He made his remarks while on a visit to the UK to honor the centennial anniversary of the declaration, which marks then-British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour’s promise that his government would support a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine.

“I don’t forget for a second that the British backtracked from the decision, but I am doubtful that without it we would have received international recognition of our right on the land [of Israel]. But it is clear to me that without defense and settlements [by the Jewish establishment] we wouldn’t have received a nation,” he said.

Netanyahu continued, “There were two sides – on the one the old British Zionists like [Winston] Churchill and [Lord Arthur James] Balfour and Lloyd George, and on the other the anti-Zionist element in the Colonial Office who changed [the Balfour Declaration] and grew stronger.”

Netanyahu also slammed the Palestinians for calling on Britain to apologize for the declaration, saying that according to them “even a national homeland [for the Jews and the Balfour Declaration] is a historical crime.”

Why Do Zionists Celebrate Unfulfilled Promises?

In the coming weeks, numerous Jewish organizations and institutions will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, and the 50th anniversary of the United Nations partition plan for Palestine.

Remarkably, however, the proposals that will be celebrated were just that — proposals. Neither of them actually was implemented, at least not in the way that their authors intended.

The Balfour Declaration, issued in the form of a letter from the British foreign minister on November 2, 1917, endorsed “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” and pledged to “use [Great Britain’s] best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object.” Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann said that he “heard the steps of the Messiah” in Balfour’s proclamation.

For a short time, the British Mandate authorities opened Palestine’s doors to Jewish immigration, and permitted Jews to purchase land without restrictions. But when Palestinian Arabs began to riot, British policy began to change. Each new wave of Arab terrorism in the 1920s and 1930s resulted in new limits on the development of the Jewish national home.

The 1939 White Paper reduced Jewish immigration to a trickle, and the 1940 Land Transfer Regulations allowed unrestricted Jewish land purchases in just 5% of the country. At protest rallies throughout the country, the new regulations were compared to laws in Nazi Germany that likewise prohibited Jews from owning land.

Instead of “facilitating” Jewish statehood as Balfour had pledged, the British were now blocking it. If a Jewish state were to come into being, it would be despite British obstruction of the Balfour Declaration.

30 years after Thatcher’s rebuff, Theresa May celebrates Balfour with Israel

When Israel marked the 70th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration in 1987, it invited Margaret Thatcher to join its Knesset celebrations.

Despite her staunch support for the Jewish state, the Iron Lady chose to stay away. Fear of upsetting Arab states — who continued to hold Britain responsible for its seeming endorsement of the Zionist project in 1917 and all that subsequently flowed from it — had long gripped the Foreign Office and warped the UK’s relationship with Israel.

Thirty years on, Theresa May’s government has adopted an altogether more positive approach.

“Britain was more attentive [in the 1980s] to Arab sensitivities over Balfour and the threat of Arab retaliation than she is now,” argued Dr. Azriel Bermant, author of “Margaret Thatcher and the Middle East.”

On Thursday night, May joined Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a glittering gala dinner hosted by Lord Rothschild in central London, where she delivered an unequivocal message about Britain’s close ties with Israel, saying she was proud of Britain’s “pioneering role in the creation of the State of Israel.”

She attacked the BDS movement and the “new and pernicious form of anti-Semitism which uses criticism of the actions of the Israeli government as a despicable justification for questioning the very right of Israel to exist.”

Thousands of pro-Palestinians march in London against Balfour and Israel

Several thousand pro-Palestinians marched through the streets of London on Saturday to protest the centenary of the historic Balfour Declaration that helped lead to the creation of the Jewish state and to denounce Israel.

The marchers held signs reading “Free Palestine” and Justice for Palestine,” while they chanted “Free, Free Palestine” and “Occupation no more.” There were several ultra-Orthodox Jews spotted marching in the crowd, presumably from extremist anti-Zionist sects.

The protest came with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visiting the United Kingdom to celebrate the 100th anniversary of then-foreign UK secretary Arthur Balfour’s promise of London’s support in the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Mandate Palestine.

Several people in the crowd called for Israel’s destruction, Israel’s Channel 10 reported, with some chanting “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

Israeli TV reports said there were some 3,000 marchers, and that two hours after the protests started, several hundred pro-Israel counter-protesters arrived and waved Israeli flags nearby.

The Syrian Civil War and the Spread of Anti-Israel Hatred

In the past, it was common to hear both Arabs and Iranians quip that “Iran is willing to fight Israel down to the last Arab.” In Syria, this has changed — as both Arabs and Persians are dying side by side. The Quds Force, Hezbollah and Shiite militias from around the globe are no longer independent forces, financed by Iran to fight far-flung conflicts that insulate Iran itself. In Syria, these groups are integrated under Iranian command, with battle-hardened Hezbollah fighters fighting and dying with Iranian officers who may never have seen action before being sent to Syria.

This integration, wherein the supposed puppet masters of an Arab-Israeli conflict are now dying alongside their Arab proxies, will inevitably bring the perspective of the two groups closer together. Added to this worrying situation is the fact that Iranian personnel in Syria, along with Hezbollah and other Shiite militiamen, have been targeted and killed by Israeli and American planes — and also proxies of the international anti-ISIS coalition.

The war in Syria has no doubt made the stakes of the Iranian-Israeli conflict real to those Iranians who, for so long, kept their heads above the fray. Iran’s proxies are no longer proxies. The units fighting ISIS and Syrian rebels across both Syria and Iraq contain Iranian officers, Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, Syrian and Iraqi Shiite volunteers, Afghan and Pakistani Shiite conscripts, and large components of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces, which are now somewhat integrated with formal Iraqi military forces.

This has the makings of a multinational Shiite force, now with experience serving under Iranian command — and they will be responsible for protecting the land bridge between Beirut and Tehran.

It’s easy to think of hating Israel as a public relations tool from a café in Tehran, but much harder at a checkpoint along a road south of Damascus where you can see Israeli jets flying over the Golan. For thousands of members of the Iranian military, the conflicts and projects they sewed now require their blood to succeed. And where one hateful abstraction forces its way into reality, others will follow.

Dawa: Sowing the Seeds of Hate

“In Western countries, dawa aims both to convert non-Muslims to political Islam and to bring about more extreme views among existing Muslims. The ultimate goal of dawa is to destroy the political institutions of a free society and replace them with strict sharia.” — Ayaan Hirsi Ali in her book, The Challenge of Dawa: Political Islam as Ideology and Movement and How to Counter It.

The ultimate goal of establishing an Islamic state in the United States could hardly be much clearer. The pretense of caring for “diversity” and “inclusion” that ICNA displays on its public website cannot be characterized as anything other than an attempt at dissimulation, as is the stated goal of “establishing a place for Islam in America.”

If Western leadership is unable to fathom the danger posed by organizations such as Tablighi Jamaat, iERA and ICNA, and, according to critics, others such as CAIR and ISNA — let alone do something about it, instead of endlessly obsessing over “Islamophobia” — Qaradawi could be proven right.

Dutch parliament: Netherlands must oppose UN anti-Israel efforts

The Dutch parliament called on the kingdom’s government to oppose anti-Israel initiatives in United Nations forums.

A majority of members of the Tweede Kamer, the Dutch lower house, passed on Thursday a nonbinding motion urging the cabinet to “actively oppose UN organizations that devote disproportional attention to Israel.”

The authors of the motion cited as their motivation for submitting the text motions adopted recently by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which the United States announced last month that it would leave over anti-Israel bias.

The motion was co-authored by Kees Van der Staaij of the Reformed Political Party, Geert Wilders of the Freedom for Party and Thierry Baudet of the Forum for Democracy.

UNESCO, a Paris-based body, is responsible for UN efforts to educate and preserve heritage sites worldwide. In July, UNESCO declared the Old City of Hevron an endangered “Palestinian heritage site” – despite the fact that the Jewish people have both historical and religious ties to the city.

Watch: Netanyahu opens trading on the London Stock Exchange

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Friday morning opened trading on the London Stock Exchange.

He then met with British corporate leaders and business people to whom he said, “The future belongs to those who innovate. Israel is the innovation nation. Invest in Israel.”

UN mob defends terror attacks against Israelis

Israel shuts down Syria at UN meeting

Islamic Jihad threatens to build more terror tunnels, reports 12 dead in recent blast

A Palestinian militant group in the Gaza Strip on Friday said that five more of its members, who were previously thought to be missing, died when Israel destroyed a cross-border tunnel earlier this week, raising the number of deceased in the incident to 12.

Islamic Jihad said that the five militants had been digging the tunnel leading into Israeli territory “for years.” In the 2014 Gaza war, Islamic Jihad and Hamas militants used tunnels to wage attacks against Israel. “We announce that five heroes from the al-Quds Brigades have risen to heaven,” the al-Quds Brigades, Islamic Jihad’s armed wing, said in a statement.

The group’s statement came after Israel denied authorities in Gaza immediate access to the Gaza-Israel border area, where the militants were thought to be located. Israel controls a buffer zone near its frontier with the Strip.

Earlier this week, the Hamas-run Civil Defense in Gaza asked the International Committee of the Red Cross to request permission on its behalf from Israel to search for the five militants in the border region.

Following a conversation between the Red Cross chief in Israel and the Palestinian territories Jacques De-Maio and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the latter said in a statement on Thursday that Israel “will not allow for locating the terrorists in the tunnel without progress on the issue of missing and captive Israelis.”

Hamas is believed to be holding captive the bodies of two Israeli soldiers—Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul—as well as three Israeli civilians— Avraham Abera Mengistu, Hisham al-Sayed and Juma Ibrahim Abu Ghanima.

Netanyahu: Hariri’s resignation a ‘wake-up call’ on Iran threat to the region

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday warned that Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri’s resignation should be a “wake-up call” to the international community to the threat posed by Iran’s regional ambitions, which he said endanger not only Israel but the entire Middle East.

“The resignation of Lebanon’s prime minister Hariri and his remarks [on Iran] are a wake-up call to the international community to take action against the Iranian aggression, which is turning Syria into a second Lebanon,” tweeted Netanyahu.

“This aggression endangers not only Israel, but the entire Middle East. The international community needs to unite and stand against this aggression,” the prime minister added.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman warned Lebanon would become like Iran.

“Lebanon=Hezbollah. Hezbollah=Iran. Lebanon=Iran,” he tweeted. “Iran is a danger to the world. Saad Hariri proved this today. Period.”

Hariri announced his resignation during a trip to Saudi Arabia on Saturday, citing threats on his life and Iran’s “grip” on Lebanon.

Lebanon’s PM resigns, says he fears for his life, slams Iran and Hezbollah

Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri resigned from his post Saturday during a trip to Saudi Arabia less than a year after taking office, in a surprise move that plunged the country into uncertainty amid heightened regional tensions.

In a televised address from Riyadh, Hariri said he feared for his life: “We are living in a climate similar to the atmosphere that prevailed before the assassination of martyr Rafik Hariri” — Saad’s father, a former prime minister who was assassinated in 2005, allegedly by Hezbollah. “I am aware of what is being plotted to target my life,” he said.

Hariri fired a vicious tirade against Iran and Hezbollah for what he said was their meddling in Arab affairs and said “Iran’s arms in the region will be cut off.

“The evil that Iran spreads in the region will backfire on it,” Hariri said, accusing Tehran of spreading chaos, strife and destruction throughout the region.

“Iran has a grip on the fate of the region’s countries… Hezbollah is Iran’s arm not just in Lebanon but in other Arab countries too,” he said.

“In recent years, Hezbollah has used the power of its weapons to impose a fait accompli,” he said, reading a speech from behind a desk.

Report says Lebanese PM survived attempt to kill him days before he quit

An assassination attempt on Lebanon’s prime minister Saad Hariri was reportedly thwarted just days before he announced his resignation during a trip to Saudi Arabia on Saturday, citing threats on his life.

The plot was reported by Saudi Arabia’s Al-Arabiya news station, citing unnamed sources, and occurred “a couple of days ago.” It did not say who tried to kill him.

The report gave few details except to quote a source as saying “the planners of Hariri’s assassination attempt disrupted the watchtowers (control towers) when his convoy was passing by.” It was not immediately clear what they were referring to.

The report came hours after Hariri announced he would resign in a surprise move that plunged the country into uncertainty amid heightened regional tensions.

Netanyahu, Trump effigies hang on nooses as Iran marks 1979 US Embassy takeover

Crowds in Tehran chanted “Down with US” and “Death to Israel” Saturday as Iran marked the anniversary of the 1979 US Embassy takeover and hostage crisis.

Thousands gathered at the former US embassy in downtown Tehran amid uncertainty about Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

Some demonstrators marched with a mock scaffold on which were hanging effigies of US President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi King Salman and Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Iran also displayed a surface-to-surface missile as part of events. The weapon was believed to be a 2,000-kilometer range Sejjil. It was the first time Iran displayed a missile during the annual gathering.

Report: Dutch technology may have helped advance Iran’s weapons program

Iran, along with Syria and Pakistan, may have obtained technology that can be applied to military programs that can cause widespread destruction, intelligence services in the Netherlands said late last month.

“Dutch technology was used in programs of weapons of mass destruction and means of delivery in Iran, Pakistan or Syria,” wrote the Dutch ministers of defense, foreign affairs and foreign trade in a letter sent to the lower house of parliament in the last week of October.

The ministers said Dutch intelligence services are aware of “indications in a number of cases” where technology from the Netherlands played a role in weapons of mass destruction programs, reported ANP, the country’s largest news agency.

Onno Eichelsheim, the head of the Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service, told ANP in September that his country is “almost a supermarket for countries that want to develop these types of weapons.”

The northwest European nation’s intelligence services “every year uncover a substantial number of attempts by foreign entities to obtain know-how and materials for weapons of mass destruction,” wrote the outgoing ministers, Lilianne Ploumen for foreign trade, Bert Koenders of foreign affairs and Klaas Dijkhoff of defense.

Iranian Foreign Minister Slams Washington Think Tank Over Revelations of Tehran’s Backing of Al Qaeda

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has lashed out at a Washington, DC-based think tank for its ongoing revelations about the cooperation between the Tehran regime and Al Qaeda before and after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Details of the relationship have been published in the Long War Journal, a publication of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), which is currently analyzing a cache of thousands of documents, videos and images concerning Al Qaeda’s operations released by the CIA. The documents demonstrate that Iran maintained a consistent, if sometimes fractious, military relationship with Al Qaeda. The Iranians also facilitated travel and financing for Al Qaeda’s leaders and gave sanctuary to one of Osama Bin Laden’s wives and their children in the days after 9/11.

In comments published on Twitter on Thursday and then reported on by official Iranian media outlets, Zarif implied that Saudi Arabia had financed the revelations, calling it a “record low for the reach of petrodollars.” Accusing the CIA and FDD of manufacturing “fake news,” Zarif — who is widely regarded as a regime “moderate” in many Western capitals — added that the document release “can’t whitewash role of US allies in 9/11.”

Seven Columbia Professors Who Support Israel Divestment Rated ‘Top of the Worst’ in New Student Guide

Seven professors who endorsed boycotts against Israel have been identified as “the top of the worst” at Columbia University in New York City, according to a guide shared with students on Thursday.

Thousands of copies of the “Columbia 101” newspaper — which includes a list “of the worst and best professors on campus” — were distributed near the university’s main entrances and some halls, a student who requested to remain anonymous told The Algemeiner.

It is currently unclear who wrote and distributed the document, which is also available online.

Seven of the “Bottom 10 Professors” identified by the guide — Rashid Khalidi, Joseph Massad, Hamid Dabashi, Audra Simpson, Gil Anidjar, Katherine Franke, and Josh Whitford — were signatories of a 2016 letter endorsing a campaign by Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD), calling on the university to cut ties with companies that “supply, perpetuate, and profit from a system that has subjugated the Palestinian people.”

(Over 600 Columbia students, faculty, and alumni responded at the time with a petition condemning CUAD, a position underscored in a subsequent letter signed by more than 200 Columbia faculty and administrators.)

Notably, the original pro-divestment letter was also signed by Robert Gooding-Williams, Farah Griffin and Mahmood Mamdani, all of whom were named among the top ten professors at the university by “Columbia 101.”

From Whence Cometh the Enemy?

Having a conversation with a friend who lives in the United States is always interesting, but especially at times when the Jewish community appears divided in its perception of their country’s president. An avid supporter of the Democratic Party, she is part of the majority of American Jews who consistently vote Democrat, as happened again in the 2016 election when 71% of the Jewish vote went to Hillary Clinton.

Our most recent conversation was in the aftermath of Charlottesville, when my friend stated, “Trump fails to condemn outright the white supremacists and neo-Nazis – he says there are bad people on both sides.” There can be no question that pro-Nazi marchers, carrying swastikas and chanting Nazi slogans, must be condemned vociferously by all. However, does this mean that we Jews should fear the Right more than the Left?

The far-Right marchers are easy to identify with their graphic slogans and fascist rhetoric. The Left, however, frequently cloaks its antisemitism in anti-Zionism as a so-called concern for “human rights.” The target is always Israel, while what is happening in Syria, Iraq and Yemen as well as to the Kurds – among many other nations and peoples – is of little consequence.

On campuses in the US, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel is aligning itself with “Antifa” protesters (those who fought against the Charlottesville white supremacists and pro-Nazi march), accusing Israel and its supporters of being racists and fascists. At the University of Illinois, the Students for Justice in Palestine held a rally that announced there was “No room for fascists, white supremacists, or Zionists at UIUC.” The advertisement for the event stated: “The confluence of fascism and Zionism is becoming more obvious by the day.”

At Tufts University, a “Disorientation Guide” prepared for incoming freshmen accused Israel of “white supremacy” and promoted “Israel Apartheid Week, which the Tufts branch of the SJP holds each spring. SJP activists at Columbia University were among the authors of the Columbia edition of the “Disorientation Guide” branding Israel “an apartheid state.”

Glamour Magazine to Honor BDS Proponent Linda Sarsour

The women’s fashion magazine Glamour has announced its 2017 Women of the Year. Women such as actress Nicole Kidman and NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson will be honored in an awards ceremony to be live streamed on Glamour’s website as well as on Facebook onNovember 13. The ceremony will be preceded by a “Summit,” at which the honorees will be given a platform to “discuss the issues we care about most right now.”

Among others, Glamour has chosen to bestow this honor on the organizers of the January Women’s March, including virulent anti-Israel activist and terrorist sympathizer Linda Sarsour. Sarsour is a proponent of the BDS movement, which seeks to eliminate the existence of Israel as a Jewish state, and has said that Zionists can’t be feminists even while she herself minimizes misogyny in the Arab and Muslim world.

Is blatant bigotry against Israel and Jews acceptable to the editors at Glamour, or to parent company Conde Nast? Would anti-Black or anti-LGBT bigotry disqualify a woman for inclusion in this honor, or is only bigotry against Jews condoned?

Glamour claims to have 9.7 million print readers and more than 11 million unique visitors to its website each month. It has named its own “Women of the Year” for 27 years. In the past, the list has included a mix of celebrities and activists, with features in the magazine about both the ceremony itself and the summit.

The magazine’s choice to honor a woman who does not believe that Jews are entitled to a homeland (but who is fine with the existence of 56 Muslim-majority nations), who has said that “Nothing is creepier than Zionism,” (nothing, including female genital mutilation –more on that below) and who has written off her critics (including CNN’s Jake Tapper) as right-wing racists, is a frightening normalization of bigotry.

Anti-Propaganda Film Targeting Israel Is Itself Propaganda

A new anti-Israel movie — “The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States” — is making the rounds.

Released in 2016, the movie has already been shown in a number of venues, most notably liberal Protestant churches, local libraries and college campuses. If history is any indicator, the film will generate animus toward Jewish sovereignty that will manifest itself in one-sided resolutions at church-wide assemblies of liberal Protestant denominations during the next few years. Anti-Israel activists can be expected to use the film to motivate BDS campaigns on college campuses and to incite hostility toward pro-Israel Jews.

This is no innocent peacemaking documentary, a reality underscored by the film’s choice of narrator — Roger Waters, a well-known Israel-basher and Jew-baiter — who displayed a balloon of a giant pig emblazoned with a Star of David at a concert in 2013.

The overall argument of the film is that Israel is singularly responsible for its continued conflict with the Palestinians, who are hapless and innocent victims of Israeli oppression. Israel gets away with its crimes because of American support for the Jewish state rooted in a distorted view of the conflict promoted by pro-Israel propagandists, who lie and misinform the American people.

Ironically enough, the film’s producers engage in a number of deceptions of their own.

In an effort to portray Hamas as a pragmatic organization that can be negotiated with, the film’s executive producer Sut Jhally appears on camera to report that the terrorist organization’s charter — which calls for Israel’s destruction — is an “obscure political document written in 1988 by a small group of ideologues,” and that Hamas leaders “effectively disavowed” the text “a long time ago.”

Unfortunately for Jhally, Hamas leaders have regularly called for Israel’s destruction over the years. Just last month, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar told a group of Palestinian youths, “Gone is the time in which Hamas discussed recognition of Israel. The discussion now is about when we will wipe out Israel.”

Harvard Org to Honor CAIR Founder

Harvard University’s largest student-run organization will bestow a prestigious award Friday night on the founder and executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has ties to extremist and terror organizations.

The Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA) will be giving its Robert Coles “Call of Service” award to Nihad Awad, for his work to “defend the rights of Muslims” and for advancing “justice and mutual understanding.”

An online petition with over 500 signatures outlines the concerns some have with Awad, including the fact that he and the organization he created were named as unindicted co-conspirators in the 2007 Holy Land Foundation terror-financing case. Five Holy Land Foundation executives were found guilty of funneling millions of dollars to the terror group Hamas.

Awad also explicitly stated his support for the “Hamas movement” during a 1994 speech, write the petitioners.

Prior to founding CAIR, Awad worked as the public relations director for the Islamic Association of Palestine, which the petition notes was directly linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.

IsraellyCool: Hypocrite! Antisemitic Rutgers Professor Michael Chikindas Worked Until Recently With Israeli Bodies

This is priceless, and I am ashamed to admit it is something I missed the first time when I outed him as an antisemite, but some of my commenters did notice.

There are some pretty interesting items on Michael Chikindas’ resume! (and no, I did not hack it. The link is publicly available here)

In other words, this clear hater of Jews and the Jewish state has had no problem presumably accepting jobs and money from us.

In addition, his resume reveals that in 1993, he was very active accepting work in Israel as an invited lecturer/visiting scientist to
The Department of Food Engineering and Biotechnology at Israel’s Technion
Research and Development at Naharya Dairy Strauss, Naharya, Israel
Department of Biochemistry and Human Nutrition at Hebrew University of
Jerusalem
Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel

In addition, he attended the Eighth International Congress of Bacteriology and Applied Microbiology of International Union of Microbiological Societies in Jerusalem in 1996.

So while he shows his hatred of Israel and Jews and disseminates memes about the supposed Jewish love of money, Chikindas has until very recently been more than willing to accept money from us!

Neil Macdonald’s Apartheid Slur is Inflammatory and Unfounded

Ultimately, Macdonald’s modus operandi serves to demonize and stigmatize Israel, to tarnish the Jewish state’s hard-fought reputation and to malign its standing in the community of nations.

In his column, Macdonald misquoted sources when saying that: “…with a long list of Israeli political leaders, academics and public figures … all of whom have warned that the Jewish state is becoming, or already is, an apartheid state.”

As my HonestReporting.com colleague Daniel Pomerantz observed, most of the people referenced specifically say that Israel is not an apartheid state. To be precise, the cited individuals warn that Israel would be in danger of becoming an apartheid state if Israel were to adopt certain policies: policies which Israel has not adopted and most likely never will. Such is the nature of political debate in any free democracy: opposing politicians dramatically predict the consequences that would result from following one possible path to its theoretical conclusion.

Macdonald’s only source claiming that Israel is already an apartheid state is a 2007 opinion piece in a small New Zealand based web site by Shulamit Aloni: a now deceased, former Israeli politician from the far left Meretz party. Though certainly a part of the national debate, the party is currently one of the smallest in Israel.

In a country of 8.5 million people and with free speech, Pomerantz observes that you’ll find at least someone expressing every opinion imaginable. Yet Macdonald fails to come up with even one quote from the contemporary Israeli mainstream, or even from the current decade.

Macdonald claims that (emphasis added): “Expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank continued, and since the election of Donald Trump, colonization has surged with an invigorated enthusiasm.”

Reviewing BBC News website portrayal of Israel and the Palestinians in Q3 2017 – part one

Between July 1st and September 30th 2017, a total of fifty-eight reports with content relating to Israel and/or the Palestinians appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page, one of which was carried over from the previous quarter.

Some of the reports were produced by other departments (e.g. BBC Technology, BBC Travel) or appeared on other pages of the website (e.g. ‘UK’ or ‘US & Canada’) but were also posted on the Middle East page.

Although the Israeli security services recorded 435 terror attacks during the second quarter of 2017 (see ‘related articles’ below), just four of those attacks received some sort of coverage on the BBC News website.

In all, 29.3% of the BBC News website’s reports in Q3 covered stories relating to security and/or terrorism. The additional topics found in the BBC’s coverage of Israel and the Palestinians during the third quarter of 2017 will be discussed in part two of this post.

Reviewing BBC News website portrayal of Israel and the Palestinians in Q3 2017 – part two

House panel advances bill sparked by JCC threats

A US House of Representatives committee advanced a bill that would enhance penalties for threats on religious institutions, sparked by a wave of threats on Jewish community centers and other Jewish institutions earlier this year.

“This bill clarifies that federal law prohibits threats toward religious institutions, and that the protection extends beyond places of worship, to places such as religiously affiliated community centers,” said Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, after the committee advanced the Protecting Religiously Affiliated Institutions Act of 2017 bill to the full House on Thursday.

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“Specifically, the legislation ensures that federal law will prohibit threats to property such as bomb threats, provided the threat is so serious that it obstructs an individual’s ability to exercise their right to practice their religion,” Goodlatte said in his statement.

Among other measures, the bill and an identical one under consideration in the Senate adds the word “threatens” to existing laws that criminalize attacks and attempted attacks on religious institutions.

Canadian Jews hike Israel with victims of terrorism

Eighty-eight Jewish Canadians hiked northern Israel last week on the 10th-anniversary trek of Israeli NGO OneFamily.

The organization arranges annual hikes to raise money for its work to help Israelis who have been bereaved, maimed or suffer from post-traumatic stress as a result of terrorist attacks.

The year hikers explored the Golan Heights during the five-day trip, which was organized in cooperation with OneFamily’s Canadian branch. Hikers were grouped according to four levels: advanced; intermediate; moderate; and para-trek for hikers with disabilities. Israeli able bodied and disabled victims of terrorism could join the para-trek group.

Among the latter was Orit Mark, whose father, Rabbi Michael Mark, 48, a father of 10 and the director-general of the Otniel Yeshiva, was killed in a drive-by shooting on Route 60 in the South Hebron Hills on July 1, 2016, and whose mother and sister, 14, were severely wounded in the same attack. A brother, 15, was lightly wounded.

Also joining them was Stevie (Shimon) Bloomberg, who has lost his wife, Tehiya, 16 years ago in a terrorist attack near Karnei Shomron, in which he and their daughter Tzippi were wounded. Both have been paralyzed since the attack. The para-trek group provided an opportunity for interactions between the victims and those who seek to support them from afar.

17 Israeli companies pioneering artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) gives machines the ability to “think” and accomplish tasks. AI already is a big part of our lives in areas such as banking, shopping, security and healthcare. Soon it will help us get around in automated vehicles.

By 2025, the global enterprise AI market is predicted to be worth more than $30 billion. Israeli industry can expect a nice piece of that pie due to its world-class capabilities in AI and its subsets: big-data analysis, natural-language processing, computer vision, machine learning and deep learning.

Daniel Singer of Medium recently mapped more than 430 Israeli startups using AI technology as a core part of their offering — nearly triple the number since 2014. Israeli AI startups have raised close to $9 million so far this year.

“The AI space in Israel is certainly growing and even leading the way in some fields of learning technologies,” writes Singer.

85,000 attend rally marking 22nd anniversary of Rabin’s murder

Some 85,000 people turned out at the annual rally in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Saturday marking the 22nd anniversary of the assassination of Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, which this year tried to emphasize national unity rather than its traditional focus on peace.

The rally was held under the slogan “We are one people.” It included a variety of speakers — but no party political leaders — including former Mossad chief Shabtai Shavit and local municipality leaders alongside representatives of the ultra-Orthodox and settler communities.

Orthodox right-wing extremist Yigal Amir shot Rabin to death on Nov. 4, 1995, at the end of an event the then-prime minister held to demonstrate public support for his efforts to make peace with the Palestinians. In the following days, and every year since on the Saturday nearest to the anniversary date, thousands of Israelis have gathered in Rabin Square, as it was renamed, to pay their respects.

This year’s rally was organized by the Darkenu movement and Commanders for Israel’s Security, two centrist advocacy groups that support “separation” from the Palestinians as part of a two-state solution.

The new organizers shifted the emphasis to promoting national unity. While many Israelis have welcomed the change, some on the political left have condemned it as an attempt to gloss over the assassination.



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