May 26, 2020

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11/07 Links Pt2: Israel can’t allow those who call for its destruction to remain; Jewish Chronicle urges Brits not to vote Corbyn; Stanford Activists Compare Ben Shapiro To An Insect

From Ian:

The Problem with Anti-Zionism
Anti-Zionism is a flourishing politics today on many university campuses and on parts of the left, and the standard response from many Jewish organisations and from most of the Jews I know is to call it the newest version of antisemitism. But anti-Zionism is a subject in itself. I take “Zionism” to mean a belief in the rightful existence of a Jewish state, nothing more. Anti-Zionism denies the rightfulness.

Most versions of anti-Zionism first appeared among the Jews. The first, and probably the oldest, takes Zionism to be a Jewish heresy. According to Orthodox doctrine, the return of the Jews to Zion and the establishment of a state will be the work of the Messiah in the days to come. Until then, Jews are required to accept their exile, defer to gentile rulers, and wait for divine deliverance. Political action is a usurpation of God’s prerogative.

“Waiting for the Messiah” has a left-wing version, which might be called “waiting for the revolution.” Jews (and other minorities) were often told that all their problems would be solved, and could only be solved, by the triumph of the proletariat. Many Jews took this to be an expression of hostility, a refusal to recognise the urgencies of their situation. But I don’t see antisemitism here, only ideological rigidity and moral insensitivity.

The second Jewish version of anti-Zionism was first proclaimed by the founders of Reform Judaism in nineteenth-century Germany. There is no Jewish people, they insisted, only a community of faith – men and women of the Mosaic persuasion. Jews could be good Germans (or good citizens of any state) since they were not a nation like the other nations and did not aspire to a state of their own. Zionism was perceived as a threat to these good Germans, since it suggested that they had an allegiance elsewhere.

Many leftists have adopted this denial of Jewish peoplehood, and then they go on to claim that a Jewish state must be a religious state, something like a Catholic or Lutheran or Muslim state – political formations that no leftist could support. But Reform Jews adopted this position knowing that most of their fellow Jews didn’t share it. They weren’t all looking for a homeland in the land of Israel, but even the Bundists, who hoped for autonomy in the Tsarist empire, were Jewish nationalists.

The early Reform Jews wanted to change the course and character of Jewish history; they weren’t ignorant of that history. Leftists who argue against Jewish peoplehood are, mostly, ignorant.

Ben-Dror Yemini: Israel can’t allow those who call for its destruction to remain

From the moment Omar Shakir stepped on Israeli soil, he had the same modus operandi he always did and even traveled to Bahrain to promote a FIFA ban on Israel. Bahrain denied him entrance to the country.

Last year, following the decision to cancel Shakir’s visa, 15 human rights organizations, Including Israeli NGOs B’tselem and Breaking the Silence, called for the decision to be reversed.

“This decision only serves to partner Israel with a list of shady countries whose governments want to control the opinions, thoughts and actions of human beings, instead of protecting their right to free speech,” the groups said.

Well, let’s see: Canada banned former British MP and vehement Israel-hater George Galloway; France banned Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, considered by Sunni Muslims to be a prominent intellectual; Britain banned American anti-gay protester Fred Phelps and his daughter, Shirley Phelps-Roper from entering the country, as well as Michael Savage, a far-right conservative radio host; the U.S. denied entry to Filipina human rights activist Liza Maza who intended to attend a conference on American activity in her country; and recently, both the U.S. and Britain banned the entrance of Omar Barghouti, the co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and Omar Shakir’s ideological twin.

It’s safe to assume that anti-Israeli elements will resume their usual drivel about damage to free speech, which is curious given that Shakir himself is an advocate of harming free speech.

In 2015, Shakir signed a petition calling for a ban on Muslims who dared accept the invitation of the Hartman Institute (on Jerusalem-based center for pluralistic Jewish thought and education) for an educational tour of Israel.

Every country has the right to deny entry to agitators, and there’s no country in the world that would allow a person who denies its right to exist enter its borders. This is true of Israel as well.

In front-page editorial, Jewish Chronicle urges Brits not to vote Corbyn

In a front-page editorial, the British Jewish Chronicle implored UK citizens not to vote for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the upcoming December 12 election, citing his long record of comments against Israel and failure to stamp out anti-Semitism within his opposition party.

“To all our fellow British citizens. This front page is addressed not to our usual readers — but to those who would not normally read the Jewish Chronicle. In other words, to non-Jews,” it read.

In its call for British nationals to take Jewish concerns into account on election day, the editorial cited a March poll showing that 87 percent of British Jews believe Corbyn to be anti-Semitic.

“There is racism on all sides of politics and it must be called out wherever it is found. History has forced our community to be able to spot extremism as it emerges — and Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour leader in 2015 is one such example,” it said, citing Corbyn’s past affiliation with members of Hamas and Hezbollah, his presence at a ceremony that honored the Palestinian terrorists behind the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre, his reaction to anti-Semitic statements by members of his party, and his 2018 comment that “Zionists” do not grasp “English irony.”

Stanford Activists Compare Ben Shapiro To Insect While Condemning ‘Dehumanizing’ Speech

In a glaringly ironic moment that highlights the gap between the talking points of some activists and their own actions, “concerned” Stanford students advertised their planned protest against the supposedly “dehumanizing” ideas of Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro by comparing Shapiro to an insect in need of extermination.

Shapiro will be speaking on Stanford University’s campus on Thursday evening in a Young America’s Foundation’s Fred Allen Lecture Series event hosted by the Stanford College Republicans. The famous conservative’s appearance at Stanford has been met, as usual, with backlash from the social justice left, including attempts to erase promotions for the event, an open letter denouncing the administration for allowing Shapiro to speak, and a “silent rally” scheduled to take place before the event Thursday.

In a letter expressing their “disappointment” with the administration for letting the mainstream conservative author and political commentator voice his opinions on the campus, a self-styled “coalition of concerned students” sounded the alarm over the supposed “violence that Ben Shapiro’s hateful, dehumanizing ideas incite against members of our community.”

“We would like to express disappointment, but not surprise, with the Stanford administration for continuing to put the safety of Black, Brown, Trans, Queer, and Muslim students at risk by allowing this event to happen,” the protesters wrote in a letter first reported by The Daily Caller’s Betsy Rothstein. “Our protest is not about SCR’s right to free speech, it is about the violence that Ben Shapiro’s hateful, dehumanizing ideas incite against members of our community. This event has no place on this campus, much less in Stanford’s largest venue.”

“We have chosen to protest this event in silence because many of our bodies are the antithesis to Shapiro’s hateful speech,” they alleged. “Ben Shapiro’s bigotry tells him that Black Americans are disproportionately locked up because of their culture, that people of Arab descent ‘like to bomb crap and live in open sewage,’ that Palestinians need to be subjected to forced population transfer, and that transgender people are inherently ‘mentally ill.’ Our real-world experiences, rooted in both fact and feeling, teach us otherwise.”

Crazed Stanford Leftists Backtrack, Apologize for “BenBGon” Shapiro Bug Spray Flyer

Leftists at Stanford who were responsible for the creation of the “silent rally” poster that depicted Shapiro as vermin on a “BenBGon” bug spray bottle have apologized, saying they understand that the imagery “plays into antisemitic tropes that say Jews are insects and pests that need to be exterminated.”

According to an email obtained by Young America’s Foundation, the student group “Coalition of Concerned Students” expressed a “sincere apology” for their grotesque imagery. The email then went on to claim that they are “sensitive to antisemitism.”

Irony is dead– these moronic leftists were the sole perpetrators of antisemitism in this incident, given their depiction of an Orthodox Jew as vermin. Their attempts to backtrack and pretend they’re not hateful are laughable.

They go on to claim that Ben Shapiro himself is anti-semitic. “We condemn Shapiro’s unwavering Islamophobia and antisemitism through his belief that only way to be a real Jew is to agree with him and through his strong support of Zionism.” After depicting him through an antisemitic lens, the hateful leftists are trying to shield blame and take the focus off of their own discriminatory actions–you can’t make this up.

Jonathan Tobin: The Democrats Don’t Have to Go the Way of Labour

Do Americans need to worry about the possibility that the Democratic Party could undergo a similar transformation? There are vast differences between the Democrats and Labour in terms of their history and ideology. Still, the Democrats’ turn to the left in recent years is undeniable. Bernie Sanders was once as marginal a player in American politics, as Corbyn was during his 32 years as a Labour back-bencher, but he now has a not-insignificant chance to win his party’s presidential nomination in 2020.

Elizabeth Warren’s plans for the country are every bit as radical as those of the Vermont septuagenarian. And both have called for conditioning aid to Israel as part of a policy of pressuring it to make concessions that its citizens have rejected. This is also a party that widely regards people like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) (D-NY) as a rock star who represents the face of the future. The same is true of fellow “Squad” members Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), who are open supporters of the BDS movement and guilty of repeated instances of antisemitic and anti-Israel rhetoric.

Many, if not most, Democrats — in Congress and out of it — still support Israel, and don’t think much of AOC and her pals or the radical plans of Sanders and Warren. But these radicals are popular among the party’s left-wing activist base.

Only a few short years ago, Labour was a moderate party that Jews saw as their natural home. All it took was one leadership election and the unleashing of extremists to change that. Someone like Corbyn might be alien to American sensibilities. But it is not out of the question that a victory of the left in the Democratic primary race could produce a result that — while not identical to the debacle in Britain — would still leave one of our major parties in the hands of its left-wing with unknowable consequences. And with the hopes of centrist Democrats resting on the declining candidacy of former vice president Joe Biden, such an outcome is by no means inconceivable.

Corbyn’s rise is a warning to Jewish Democrats that what happened in Britain can happen here. It’s up to them to work to find alternatives that will ensure that their party doesn’t fall into the hands of radicals who could marginalize pro-Israel Jews who still remain loyal Democrats.

Tom Watson, UK Labour No.2 and top voice against anti-Semitism in party, resigns

The UK Labour party was rocked late Wednesday by the shock resignation of deputy leader Tom Watson, who has long-challenged leader Jeremy Corbyn over issues like Brexit and dealing with the rise of rampant anti-Semitism in the party.

In a letter to Corbyn, Watson said he would not run to retain his seat in next month’s generals. He insisted his reasons for standing down were “personal, not political” and that he wanted to “start a different kind of life.”

Watson published his letter in a tweet and said he would still campaign for some Labour party candidates in the election.

“I’m as committed to Labour as ever. I will spend this election fighting for brilliant Labour candidates and a better future for our country,” he wrote.

However, his resignation could symbolize the end of a long-running battle over the identity of Labour party between moderates like Watson and Corbyn’s hard-left faction.

Labour MP Chris Williamson blames Israel for interfering in UK politics

Labour MP Chris Williamson, whom the party suspended in February for claiming it has been “too apologetic” about antisemitism, has resigned.

His decision on Wednesday followed a party announcement that he would be barred from running as a Labour candidate and would not be reinstated.

In his resignation letter to the Labour Party, Williamson blamed the Israeli government for interfering in UK politics, and accused the Jewish Labour Movement and other Jewish groups of being behind the “witch hunt” against him.

“Perhaps the most tragic element of this witch hunt is that unbeknownst to many loyal members, it has been led by those who shroud themselves in the banner of socialism,” he said, charging that “Labour Party officials have capitulated to the Jewish Labour Movement – formerly known as Po’ale Zion – an organization revived in 2015 at the same time as the State of Israel launched a diplomatic strategy to delegitimize Palestinian activism on the Left and normalize Zionism in our movement.

“As I made clear to the NEC [National Executive Committee] in April,” he said, “this witch hunt primarily serves the objectives of the far-right activists – including members of Britain First and the Jewish Defence League – who led the campaign for the Labour Party to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism and its examples.”

Labour’s new parliamentary candidate in Clacton previously called a Jewish fellow councillor “Shylock”

Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate in Clacton is understood to have referred to a Jewish Labour councillor as “Shylock” earlier this year, in an apparent reference to the villainous Shakespearean Jewish character.

Gideon Bull reportedly made the comment when he was a labour councillor at Haringey Council in London, where he also served in the cabinet. The recipient of his abuse made a complaint.

Cllr. Bull also had the Labour whip withdrawn over his opposition to certain local development plans.

The revelation comes after an analysis by Campaign Against Antisemitism showed how supporters of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn are trying to place a cast of Jew-haters, antisemitism-deniers and Jew-baiters in dozens of constituencies ahead of general election.

On 28th May, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a full statutory investigation following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.

Bullock: Bernie Sanders is “flat wrong” on Israel

Montana Governor and 2020 presidential candidate Steve Bullock told Jewish Insider Tuesday that Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was “just flat wrong” when the Vermont senator said the United States should condition aid to Israel.

Speaking at the J Street Conference in Washington last week, Sanders insisted that Israel would have to “fundamentally change” its relationship with Gaza for continued U.S. military aid. Bullock insisted Sanders’ comments were out of touch with the majority of Democratic voters. “Bernie may have shifted away from supporting Israel, but I also believe we as a party certainly haven’t.”

Bullock’s criticism represents the most direct attack on Sanders’s comments made by any presidential rival. Former Vice President Joe Biden told reporters last week that it would be “absolutely outrageous” for the United States to condition aid to Israel but did not single out another candidate. In addition to Sanders, both Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg expressed willingness to condition aid if Israel undertakes the annexation of any part of the West Bank. Neither went as far as Sanders.

The United States currently provides $3.8 billion in annual military assistance to Israel, most of which is spent on military equipment manufactured in the U.S. The funding goes towards the purchase of major weapons systems like fighter jets as well as for missile defense programs including Iron Dome.

Ilhan Omar’s Very Selective Anti-Imperialism

Over the weekend, Representative Ilhan Omar, making a stump speech for the presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, praised him for his willingness to “fight against Western imperialism and . . . for a just world.” But, notes, Clifford May, it is unlikely she was referring to, say, European colonization of Africa, which ended in the 20th century. She seems, in fact, indifferent to contemporary imperialism:

Right now, people in Hong Kong, Iraq, and Lebanon are putting their lives on the line in struggles against oppressive empire builders. Omar, Sanders, and others who fancy themselves anti-imperialists show not the slightest concern for them. Start with Hong Kong, a colony of the British empire in the past, most of whose 7.3 million citizens vehemently oppose Hong Kong’s becoming a colony of the Chinese Communist party in the future. . . . [I]n a “just world,” wouldn’t governments require the consent of those they govern?

Move on to Iraq, where demonstrators by the tens of thousands have been protesting the ills caused by chronic corruption and economic mismanagement. They blame the Islamic Republic of Iran. . . . Turn next to Lebanon, [also under the thumb of Iranian imperialism, via the Tehran-controlled terrorist group Hizballah].

Unlike Western imperialists of the 20th century, the rulers of the Chinese and Iranian empires are unlikely to respond to protests by quietly lowering their flags and going home. Nevertheless, the free nations of the world should be implementing policies in support of those fighting 21st-century imperialism. At the very least, that means providing no financial assistance to governments controlled by terrorists or Communists.

Anti-Israel Native American Congresswoman Spends ‘Intense’ Visit in Ofra

Rep. Debra Anne Haaland (D-New Mexico), one of the first two Native American women elected to the US Congress, on Thursday paid a visit to the Jewish settlement of Ofra in northern Samaria. It was probably not a good visit, despite the organizers’ efforts to present it politely as merely “intense.”

Haaland, who came as part of a delegation of five Democratic lawmakers led by J Street president Jeremy Ben Ami, was described by an Israeli leftwing blog after her 2018 election as one of eight new congresswomen of color who were certain to cause Israel problems. The group included the notorious “squad” of Israel haters –Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

Back in May 2018, after the IDF had killed 60 Arab rioters—most of whom were proven to be on Hamas’s payroll—at a particularly vicious protest at the Gaza Strip border fence, Haaland tweeted: “The murder of 60 Palestinians in Gaza just as Ramadan begins weigh heavy on my heart today. The youngest was just 8 months old. Here are their names.”

According to Arutz 7, Aharon Lipkin, a spokesman for Ofra, tried to keep a civilized face on the event, reporting an intense encounter in the face of deep controversies over political differences, saying: “The general atmosphere was good and it was evident that the participants had a sincere desire to also understand the lives of Israeli residents living in Benjamin and the rest of Judea and Samaria.”

UKMW prompts Guardian correction to claim regarding Rashida Tlaib

Though the Guardian’s Nov. 6th report about the Israeli Supreme Court’s ruling on Human Rights Watch regional director Omar Shakir was – as we detailed in yesterday’s post – full of distortions, we lodged an official complaint to their readers’ editor over one egregiously misleading claim.

The claim in question was in a sentence within the article attempting to provide context on the broader effort by Israel to fight BDS:
In its most high-profile use, Israel blocked in August two US congresswomen, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, from a planned trip to Palestine and Jerusalem.

As we noted to editors, the Guardian itself reported on Aug. 16th that the Israeli prime minister subsequently decided to allow Tlaib to visit the West Bank on humanitarian grounds – so she could visit her family. Though the congresswoman rejected the prime minister’s offer, the claim that Israel “blocked” her entry is not accurate.

Our complaint was upheld, and this new sentence was added to the article:
Israel later agreed to a request by Tlaib to visit on humanitarian grounds on the condition that she did not express her views on the boycott. Tlaib rejected the offer.

Anti-Semitic flyers plastered across Arizona State University campus

Fliers bearing a swastika and a Star of David were discovered around the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe.

The Hillel Jewish Center at ASU said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that some of the fliers depict references to the Holocaust, and “trivialize” it.

“Like you, we believe this message has no place on our campus. We are proud to work with you to make Jewish life on campus stronger every day, and an isolated incident such as this one will not deter us,” the post said.

A student first discovered one of the fliers on Friday, The State Press, the campus student newspaper, reported.

Arizona State University Police, in conjunction with the Tempe Police, are investigating the incident.

Israel’s Government Allocates NIS 2 Million to Organizations Combating BDS Movement

Israel’s Ministry for Strategic Affairs announced on Wednesday that it will allocate NIS 2 million (about $575,000) to fund advocacy organizations active in the fight against BDS.

The funds will be used to produce and promote viral videos on social media to help increase familiarity with the Jewish state, expose BDS misinformation and mobilize other pro-Israel activists to combat those who delegitimize and boycott it, according to i24News.

The videos will be produced in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German and several other languages.

“This is another important step to assist Israeli advocacy in the world,” Minister for Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan said in a statement. “We will continue to present the just truth about Israel, and fight the lies and incitement of BDS organizations.”

The move is part of an initiative launched last year by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs to donate NIS 6 million ($1,719,789) to pro-Israel organizations all over the world.

Yair Netanyahu tells Boteach in NYC his father saves Jews ‘from annihilation’

Yair Netanyahu, a tall, light-haired and handsome 28-year-old man, is the prime minister’s eldest son, and a heavy hitter on Twitter and Facebook. Even Wikipedia has his occupation listed as “social media.” Netanyahu made it abundantly clear he feels his use of social networks wasn’t a choice, but a necessity. After a lifetime of watching his father fall victim to, as he put it, “a vicious, vile, lynch media,” he now feels he has an opportunity to speak directly to journalists “about their lies.”

He said that almost all of Israel is united behind his father, but a very, very small group controls “100 percent of the media” in Israel and “they are all vicious.” It has been “lies and slander for 30 years.”

I got the distinct impression that he didn’t much like Israeli news outlets. But just in case anyone might have missed the point, he continued.

“A small group from the radical fringes — not even the left — have control of the mainstream media,” Netanyahu said, adding that “there is no fair media in Israel, and only on social media could the silent majority have a voice.”

With that off Netanyahu’s chest, Boteach took an opportunity to profess his intense love of the prime minister.

Netanyahu claimed his father took Israel from a primitive socialist economy (“with no exports except for oranges”) and made it an economic powerhouse, and said most Israelis recognize this. “Economic strength is diplomatic strength,” he said, because “no one wants to be friends with someone weak.”

He exulted in his father’s landmark visit to Oman, as well as close relationships with US President Donald Trump, India’s Narenda Modi, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro.

Netanyahu said his father never gets more than five hours of sleep a night, and that being prime minister isn’t a job, but a “mission to protect the Jewish people from annihilation.” It was here, about 35 minutes in, while talking about Turkey’s recent violent action against the Kurds, that the first of several interruptions took place. (h/t Elder of Lobby)

Watch: CODEPINK Hooligans Disrupt Shmuley Boteach Interview with Netanyahu’s Son

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son, Yair, on Wednesday night was in the middle of an interview with Rabbi Shmuely Boteach in New York in a live-streamed conversation on Facebook, when four protesters from the anti-Zionist organization CODEPINK disrupted the event and started shouting at Netanyahu’s son.

Code Pink: Women for Peace (a.k.a. CODEPINK) is a leftist NGO that describes itself as a “grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end US-funded wars and occupations.”

Critics have accused CODEPINK of working closely with “terrorist organizations and state sponsors of terrorism” in Gaza and in Iran. The group endorsed the “Cairo Declaration to End Israeli Apartheid” which calls for a sweeping boycott of Israel.

Rabbi Boteach chastised the CODEPINK activists, who had earlier received his permission to attend the interview peacefully. He told them: “You disgraced yourselves and you disgraced good faith. Unbelievable that you lied to me. Disgusting. Disgusting. Absolutely vile.”

Boteach added: “For those of you who wonder why Yair goes to war on social media every day, now you see a demonstration, because it’s one thing to disagree with Israel’s policies, but to have no integrity, to have no truth, to lie through your teeth… I’m astonished.”

The Washington Post Boycotts Facts about BDS and Human Rights Watch

Not for the first time, The Washington Post is soft-pedaling the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. A Nov. 5, 2019 dispatch, “Israel’s Supreme Court allows expulsion of human rights activist,” by Jerusalem bureau chief Steve Hendrix and correspondent Ruth Eglash omitted key facts about BDS. The report noted that Israel’s Supreme Court “ruled…that the government could expel the head of Human Rights Watch’s Israel and Palestine office”—a man named Omar Shakir—“after accusing him of supporting boycotts against the country.” The court upheld a May 2018 decision not to renew Shakir’s work visa due to his support for BDS. But the Post didn’t provide readers with the full story about Shakir, HRW or BDS.

The courts ruling, the Post tells readers, “marks an escalation in Israel’s determination to prevent critics from operating in the country under new laws that equate support for the boycotts, divestments and sanctions movement (BDS) with challenging Israel’s right to exist.”

However, as CAMERA has noted, BDS leaders and co-founders do, in fact, call for the end of the Jewish state. BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti, among others, has openly called for the end of the Jewish nation of Israel. Barghouti’s admission is in keeping with the movement’s true objectives.

BDS seeks to delegitimize the world’s sole Jewish state, singling it out for opprobrium. And its advocates include U.S.-designated terrorist groups like Hamas, whose charter calls for the genocide of Jews and Israel’s destruction. Indeed, Hamas has exhorted “we salute and support BDS.” High ranking officials of the Fatah movement that controls the Palestinian Authority (PA) have admitted that they have financial ties to the BDS movement—a violation of the Oslo Accords which created the Authority and which remains the basis for its legitimacy.

Independent Arabia calls kidnapped, mentally-ill Israeli civilians in Gaza “captive soldiers”

Independent Arabia, operating under the imprimatur of a presumably “Western” media outlet, published a report from Gaza (“’Your soldiers are still in Gaza’ – Hamas shakes up the portfolio of Israeli captives”, October 23rd) that parroted Hamas propaganda .

Written by ‘Izz ad-Deen Abu-‘Eisheh, the news organization’s correspondent in the Strip, the report covered a new Hamas propaganda poster issued to mark the 8th anniversary of the prisoner exchange deal involving Gilad Shalit, using it as a launching point to discuss the possibility of such a deal between Hamas and Israel in the near future.

The poster features the photos of Hadar Goldin and Oron Sha’ul, two fallen soldiers, and of Avera Mengistu and Hesham Sha’ban as-Sayed, two captive civilians, all currently being held by Hamas at unknown locations inside the Strip.

However, to both Hamas and Abu-‘Eisheh all four are soldiers, and all four are alive (all translations, emphases and in-bracket remarks are by CAMERA Arabic):

“On the 8th anniversary of Operation ‘Deal of the Free’, in which a prisoner exchange took place between Israel and the Hamas movement under Egyptian auspices and international supervision, the [‘Izz ad-Deen] al-Qassam battalions, Hamas’ military wing, have published a poster showing Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu, in a state of frustration – accompanied by the captive Israeli soldiers in the Strip […].
“This is not the first time that al-Qassam battalions publish messages about the Israeli soldiers it detains […]

“During Israel’s war on Gaza in the summer of 2014, Hamas managed to capture two soldiers (Hadar Goldin and Sha’ul Aron [sic, i.e. Oron Sha’ul]), and it arrested two additional soldiers (Ibrahim [Avera] Mengistu and Hesham as-Sayed) who entered Gaza by mistake on separate occasions, according to Israeli claims.

”Since the moment of captivity, al-Qassam battalions has been keeping these Israeli soldiers in the Gaza strip, not releasing any information about them, however they have implied more than once they are alive.”

Holocaust survivor given police escort in Italy after antisemitic threats

Italian Holocaust survivor and Senator for Life, Liliana Segre, 89, has been placed under police protection after she received threats from far-right fanatics, security sources said on Thursday, highlighting concerns about rising extremism in Italy.

Born in 1930 into a Jewish family in Milan, Segre was deported to Auschwitz in 1944 at the age of 13 – one of 776 Italian children under the age of 14 who were sent to the Nazi concentration camp. Only 25 survived.

For the past 30 years, she has been one of the more active witnesses of the Holocaust, speaking to thousands of schools and groups all over Italy.

In January 2018, Segre was appointed senator for life by the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella.

A life tenure appointment in the Senate can be granted by the president “for outstanding patriotic merits in the social, scientific, artistic or literary field.”

Since she took the position, Segre has become one of the most well-known and appreciated public figures in the country, working tirelessly to promote not only Holocaust remembrance but also a message of tolerance and solidarity.

‘No One Reacted,’ Says Young German Jew Assaulted in Gym Locker Room by Attacker Shouting ‘Free Palestine!’

A young German Jew has revealed the shocking details of an antisemitic assault he was subjected to while changing in a gym locker room on Monday.

Samuel Kantorovych said on his Facebook page that he was changing in the locker room of the gym in Freiburg — a city in southwestern Germany that is home to a Jewish community of under 1,000 — when a man snuck up behind him and ripped off his kippah.

Kantorovych said that the man was shouting the epithets “You dirty Jew!” and “Free Palestine!”

The assailant, Kantorovych continued, “spat on my kippah and threw it in the garbage!”

“I was shocked!,” he explained. “He looked at me and asked me, ‘Do you want me to beat you up? F__ off you dirty Jew!’”

Kantorovych said that he had been “overwhelmed by this situation and (for whatever reason) I asked him, ‘Here, in front of everybody?’”

He wrote: “Somehow I was hoping someone in the changing room full of men would interfere…. I turned around. I looked everyone standing around in the eyes!!! No one reacted, everyone was just watching.”

The young man said that he “literally was in fear of my life realizing that no one would help me but watch! Baruch HaShem, an old man stood up and tried to calm the situation down.”

Police say juvenile won’t face charges for daubing swastika on Minnesota school

Police in a Minneapolis suburb say a juvenile will not face charges after acknowledging drawing a swastika and other offensive graffiti on a shed at an elementary school.

Edina police were called Saturday about the chalk graffiti. The officer photographed the graffiti and then washed it off.

Authorities reviewed security video and identified the juvenile as a person of interest. Police say the juvenile confessed, but because there was no permanent damage, there was no crime to charge the juvenile with and no arrest.

In an email to Edina School District families, Superintendent John Schultz wrote that “when an act of hatred occurs anywhere in Edina, it affects our entire community.”

The Star Tribune reports Schultz says the district has turned to the Jewish Community Relations Council for guidance as they work through the issue.

Intel: Mobileye is our fastest growing business

Intel CFO George Davis: Mobileye is already exceeding our expectations with ADAS revenue today that is funding the future of driverless cars.

Mobileye president and CEO Professor Amnon Shashua told an investor summit at Mobileye headquarters in Jerusalem on Tuesday that the Intel unit projected significant and sustained revenue growth for the next decade. Mobileye reported that in the third quarter of 2019, Mobileye achieved another record quarter with 20% revenue growth compared with the corresponding quarter of 2018 due to continued advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) momentum.

Intel acquired Israeli driverless car technology firm Mobileye in March 2017 for $15.3 billion.

Intel said that Mobileye is, “One of the most successful acquisitions in Intel’s history, Mobileye is now Intel’s fastest growing business on an annualized basis. The strength of Mobileye’s business today is largely attributable to a rapidly expanding ADAS market, while its future business will expand greatly with forays into data monetization and the nascent robotaxi market.”

Intel CFO George Davis said, “Intel is participating in an expanded and increasingly data-centric total available market. As one of Intel’s big bets, Mobileye is a critical part of Intel’s future and is already exceeding our expectations with ADAS revenue today that is funding the future of driverless cars.”

Netanyahu hails Israeli robotics team for groundbreaking trip to Dubai

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday greeted Israel’s triumphant teen delegation’s return from the unofficial “Robotics Olympics” in a groundbreaking visit to Dubai.

The team’s second place finish at the FIRST Global Challenge and the warm welcome it received from its Emirati hosts highlighted the growing, and increasingly open, relations between Israel and the Gulf Arab state.

The countries have long had back-channel security and cyber ties, mostly based on a shared enmity for regional foe Iran. Israeli businessmen and tourists have also made clandestine visits to the oil-rich federation of sheikhdoms.

But issuing formal travel visas to the Israeli robotics team and openly welcoming them added a layer of formality to the warming ties.

Netanyahu told the team at his office Wednesday that their visit pointed to the increasingly “above water” relations between Israel and the Gulf states.

It’s Official: Heavy metal giants Iron Maiden coming to Israel

One of heavy metal’s biggest bands will be returning to Israel next year, for its first show in the Jewish state in 25 years.

On Thursday, the band Iron Maiden confirmed that it will be appearing in Tel Aviv next year for its first show in Israel in a quarter of a century.

“The production in Tel Aviv is just like the rest of our productions to date and is based on our mobile game ‘The Legacy of the Beast World Tour’ which actually takes some of Eddie’s reincarnation into a number of Maiden’s worlds. The inspiration to create a stage show that takes our fans through different worlds and experiences tailored to the songs,” said Iron Maiden signer Bruce Dickinson in a statement.

Bassist Steve Harris said the band was “very excited” to return to Israel.

“We put a lot of thought into assembling the set-list for this tour, because the songs had to follow the narrative of the changing worlds on stage. We feel it created a strong, balanced mix of alternating songs that some didn’t play for many years alongside songs that we would like fans to hear.”

The show, which will be part of the band’s 2020 ‘Legacy of the Beast’ world tour, is being promoted in Israel by Shuki Weiss and Live Nation Israel, Israel Hayom reported.

Iron Maiden is slated to perform at Tel Aviv’s Bloomfield Stadium on May 30th, with Israeli heavy metal band Orphaned Land opening the show.

NATO eyes expanding ties with Israel as key medical-aid partner

NATO has recognized the Israeli Navy as a key medical-assistance partner in the Mediterranean following a drill held last month practicing emergency evacuations of personnel.

During the drill, dubbed “Crystal Sea 2020,” held late last month, NATO vessels from the United Kingdom, Greece, Romania and Bulgaria simulated medical emergencies at sea with the Israeli Navy.

“It was an example of partnership between the Israeli Navy and NATO. This is the second joint exercise of its kind between NATO maritime forces and the IDF,” said Capt. Yuval Ayalon, who heads the Planning and Organization Department in the Navy.

Two NATO helicopters practiced flying personnel from ships at sea to Haifa’s Rambam Hospital, said Ayalon. In addition, an Israeli Navy delegation visited a NATO ship to practice providing medical treatment to on-board personnel.

“Among the capabilities we established is a surgery room on one of our major ships,” Ayalon stated, speaking to journalists by conference call. “We in the Israeli Navy and IDF welcome cooperation with NATO. I am really happy to say that NATO sees the Israeli Navy as a partner in the eastern Mediterranean, in this case, for medical aid.”

Herzog, Berlin community mark 81 years since Kristallnacht

Ahead of the 81st anniversary of Kristallnacht on Saturday, Jewish Agency chairman Isaac Herzog joined the rabbi of the Orthodox Synagogue of Berlin, Rabbi Yitzhak Ehrenberg, to remember the victims of the Holocaust.

Herzog and Ehrenberg lit a memorial candle and recited Kaddish, the Jewish prayer of mourning, on Thursday morning at the central Berlin synagogue, which was used by the Nazis to distribute the yellow Stars of David and converted during the Second World War into a sports hall.

The grand synagogue, which was restored to its previous use after the conclusion of the war, is today home to a growing Jewish community, dominated by immigrants from the former Soviet Union, visiting Israelis and several Jewish youth groups.

Jerusalem-born Ehrenberg, a former chief rabbi of Munich, has led the revived Berlin community since 1997.

“On Saturday, 81 years will have passed since Kristallnacht, the pogrom across 1,000 German synagogues, when the Holocaust started for the Jews of Europe,” Herzog told community members at the synagogue, addressing the rise of antisemitism in Germany and across the continent. “It it is unthinkable that Jews take off their kippah… and are afraid to walk in the streets of Europe.”

Brazilian soccer players wear star of David in honor of Kristallnacht

The Corinthians soccer club from Sao Paolo, Brazil, aims to hit back against antisemitism, with players wearing a Magen David on their shirts when they take to the field.

Historically, the Corinthians kit featured stars on their shirts to celebrate titles the club has won, but the feature was dropped in 2012. Seven years later, the club has opted to bring the star back but this time in the form of a solid yellow Magen David. The gesture has been made specifically in remembrance of Kristallnacht, ahead of the 81st anniversary of the event on November 9.

The move has been seen as a great boost to South America’s Jewish population, who hope that the visibility of the gesture will promote efforts to combat antisemitism.

Explaining the club’s motivation, Claudio Kalim, CEO of Tech and Soul, which has partnered with both Corinthians and the Holocaust Memorial for this action, said: “Corinthians is the people’s team, and as such has always been engaged in social causes, regardless of race, color and creed.

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