December 5, 2020

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11/10 Links: Glick: J Street, NIF Accused Trump of Antisemitism While Boosting Antisemitic Terrorists; Middle Eastern Christians Are Under Threat. How do They Feel about Jews and Israel?

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: J Street, NIF Accused Trump of Antisemitism While Boosting Antisemitic Terrorists
Having made his unsupported accusation, Ben-Ami proceeded to make a pitch for donations for J Street and for Democratic candidates supported by J Street.

Whereas there is no evidence that Trump has incited or empowered or otherwise engaged in actions that provided any support for Bowers, there is direct evidence that Ben-Ami and his organization have tolerated antisemitic mass murderers.

Just a week-and-a-half before the massacre in Pittsburgh, on October 17, Ben-Ami and the senior J Street leadership met with and expressed support for the leaders of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah. Among those they met was the PA’s Minister of Civil Affairs, Hussein al-Sheikh.

As Stephen Flatow reported, before assuming his current position, al-Sheikh was a senior terror commander for the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade of Fatah, the PA’s ruling faction, headed by Mahmoud Abbas. In the framework of his duties, al-Sheikh paid for and provided arms to terrorists who used the money and the arms he provided to murder and maim Jews – including American Jews.

On March 21, 2002, a Palestinian suicide bomber from the Aksa Martyr Brigades detonated in downtown Jerusalem. Three people were killed in the blast, including Tzippi Shemesh, who was five months pregnant with twins. A hundred people were wounded. As Flatow relates, among the seriously wounded were U.S. citizen Alan Bauer and his seven-year-old son Jonathan. Bauer was hurled twenty feet by the force of the explosion.

“Two screws that were packed into the bomb ripped clear through his left arm. … Jonathan suffered severe shrapnel wounds and fell into a coma. Jonathan subsequently underwent numerous operations to remove nails and screws from his head, including one that was lodged in his brain.”

Elliott Abrams: American Jews and Israel

Everyone knows that American Jews are becoming increasingly distant from and disenchanted with the State of Israel. Articles and books expound on this subject regularly. And everyone knows why: Israel’s right-wing government and its policy of expanding settlements, and Israel’s maltreatment of non-Orthodox strains of Judaism are repeatedly mentioned as the key explanations.

But it seems that what everyone knows is simply wrong–and oddly enough we learn this from none other than the left-wing Jewish group called J Street. J Street has for several elections cycles done a post-election survey of American Jews, and this year’s is found here. The poll found that Jews called themselves Democrats rather than Republicans by a 76-19 percent ratio, which is close to what many other polls have found. What did respondents say about Israel?

The survey asked “Compared to 5-10 years ago, do you feel more positive, more negative, or about the same toward Israel?” The result: 55 percent said about the same, 26 percent said more positive, and 19 percent said more negative. Respondents were asked “Does the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank make you feel positive about Israel, negative about Israel, or have no impact on how you feel about Israel?” The result: 48 percent said not had no impact at all, 32 percent said a negative impact, and 19 percent said expansion of settlements had a positive impact on them.

Perhaps most strikingly, respondents were asked “How much have you heard about Israeli policy towards the non-Orthodox population, such as who can pray at the Western Wall, who can perform marriage ceremonies, who can grant divorces, and who can convert to Judaism?” This has been a source of constant controversy, especially with the largest denomination among American Jews, the Reform movement. Only 14 percent of respondents had heard “a great deal” about all of this, and another 21 percent said they had heard “a good amount” (whatever that actually means). But 32 percent said they had heard only “a little” about it and a remarkable 34 percent had heard nothing at all. J Street’s poll adds those numbers up and notes in bold print that 35 percent say they have heard a good or great deal about the great controversy, while 65 percent have heard little or just plain nothing.

Those numbers cannot have made J Street’s publicists very happy, nor can they cheer the propagandists who are constantly telling us that such Israeli actions (or more narrowly, Netanyahu policies) are simply ruining relations between the American Jewish community and Israel. But relations are not ruined and more people said they felt more positive about Israel now than said the opposite–with most saying their views had not changed. And the impact of the great brouhaha about treatment of non-orthodox Judaism turns out to be exaggerated. Of the 35 percent who have heard a lot about the matter, half say it makes them feel more negative toward Israel; the other half are divided between 22 percent who say it makes them feel more positive and 28 percent who say it doesn’t matter. Do the math: while the treatment of non-Orthodox angers some American Jews, the great majority don’t know and/or don’t care.

How an Iranian asylum seeker raised over $1,000,000 for the Pittsburgh synagogue

Khashayar “Shay” Khatiri doesn’t like taking too much credit for the money he raised for the Pittsburgh synagogue where a shooting took place last month.

“It’s not my fundraiser,” Khatiri, 29, said in a phone interview with JTA on Thursday. “It’s the fundraiser that I started, but it belongs to everybody who donated.”

The Iran native and Washington, DC, resident has made headlines across the country for helping to raise over $1 million in the aftermath of the shooting, in which a gunman killed 11 people at the Tree of Life Congregation.

Khatiri, who is not Jewish, says that he was moved to action shortly after learning about the shooting. The graduate student was staying at a Jewish friend’s apartment on the morning of the deadly attack.
A Jewish emergency crew and police officers at the site of the mass shooting that killed 11 people and wounded 6 at the Tree Of Life Synagogue on October 28, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images/via JTA)

“I woke up, and she gave me the news and it was very upsetting,” recalled Khatiri, who is seeking political asylum in the United States due to his political activism against the Iranian government.

Khatiri, who is studying at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, initially told his friend that he wanted to donate directly to the synagogue.

“I told her I was going to give a little money, a small amount, to the congregation, but then I thought to maybe do this in the hope of it going viral and actually have a big impact,” he said.

Middle Eastern Christians Are Under Threat. How do They Feel about Jews and Israel?

In the Holy Land itself, the tensions are even more palpable. Both Christian Israelis and Christian Palestinians are deeply affected by the conflict, whose impact is not limited to the political grand stage but manifests itself in daily encounters with the Israeli government or with individual Israelis. One recent example is the legal dispute over church revenue in Jerusalem; another, extending beyond Israel’s borders, is the dispute between Copts and the Israeli government over the Deir al-Sultan monastery on the roof of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, control of which is claimed by both the Coptic and Ethiopian churches.

Yet on this front, too, Middle Eastern Christian views are neither totally monolithic nor uniformly hostile. Father Gabriel Nadaf has led a movement among Israeli Christians to reject Arab identity—his followers call themselves Arameans—and embrace military service and a sense of pride in their country. For some Christians outside of Israel, moreover, hatred of Palestinians trumps hatred of Israel and Jews—an attitude shared even by some Muslims. In Egypt, President Anwar Sadat’s decision in the late 1970s to make peace with Israel coincided with an official media campaign against Palestinian Arabs, portraying them as undeserving of support, as traitors to their own cause, and as a source of Egypt’s economic failures. Similarly, many Maronite Christians look upon Palestinians, who fought against them during the Lebanese civil war, with unremitting hostility.

And that brings us to a larger point: many Middle Eastern Christians were never comfortable with the Arab/Islamic nature of the conflict with Israel, for the simple reason that they don’t consider themselves Arabs, let alone Muslims, and it has not escaped their attention that an Arab/Islamic identity has often been forced upon them. The rise in our time of Islamism, and the threat it poses for the future of Christians in the Middle East, has led many to see Israel as the proverbial enemy of their enemy.

For some, indeed, such comradeship goes beyond perceived common interest to a sense of community with Jews as fellow religious minorities in the Middle East as a whole. In the 1940s, Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators in Egypt targeting Jewish properties or marching against Jews and Zionism often chanted “today is Saturday, tomorrow will be Sunday, O Christians!” The meaning of that threat is easy enough to decipher, and so is its seriousness; in recent years, it has been carried out with systematic barbarity across the Middle East by the legions of Islamic State.

CAMERA Op-Ed The Media Hides Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program

“Facts,” the English philosopher and writer Aldous Huxley once observed, “don’t cease to exist because they are ignored.” Yet, by ignoring recent revelations about the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, several press outlets and pundits seem to hope otherwise.

An Oct. 29, 2018 report by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a Washington D.C.-based think tank, highlighted new documentation seized by Israel from Tehran’s “nuclear archive” which “indicates that Iran’s nuclear weaponization efforts did not stop after 2003.” On April 30, 2018, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed that Israeli intelligence operatives managed to remove thousands of documents, which were later authenticated by the U.S., showing that Iran had not only lied about its nuclear program, but was engaged in hiding it during negotiations with the U.S. and others.

The Institute’s analysis upends a widely accepted narrative.

As the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) noted in The Daily Caller, several commentators—many of them supporters of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, popularly known as the “Iran deal”—immediately claimed that Israel’s findings revealed “nothing new.” A May 3, 2018 report by CNN, for example, was headlined “Israel reveals nothing new about Iran’s nuclear program, experts say.” But amazingly, these “experts” made their claims—which were uncritically parroted by nearly every major Western news outlet—without having viewed any of the thousands of documents.

Indeed, some pro-Iran deal advocates, such as Ned Price, a former spokesperson for the Obama administration’s National Security Council (NSC), even claimed “what Netanyahu disclosed today was news to the United States…more than a decade ago. The intelligence community declassified parts of its assessment on the matter in 2007.” The 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that Price linked to claimed that Iran had “halted its nuclear arms bid in 2003,” as The Washington Post noted upon its release.

Price’s views were widely quoted by The Post, The New York Times, and others. Time and careful analysis, both of which Price avoided, have proven them to be incorrect.

CAMERA Op-Ed How the PLO Helped Create Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards

On May 10, 2018, Israel struck dozens of Iranian-military targets in Syria in response to rocket fire directed at the Jewish state from units of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force, also known as the Pasdaran. For decades, the IRGC has targeted Israel and Jews throughout the world at the behest of Tehran’s Shi’ite Muslim theocratic dictatorship—often by supporting proxies, including Palestinian Sunni Muslim terror groups like Hamas.

Although Western press outlets and policymakers often discuss the Quds Force’s role as a purveyor of terrorism, less known is the pivotal role that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) played in creating the IRGC. Today’s IRGC might be a top terror sponsor; training and equipping terrorist groups across the globe, but it was once a beneficiary of what was arguably the preeminent terrorist organization of the 1970s: the PLO.

Under the direction of Yasser Arafat, the head of the Fatah movement and chairman of the, the organization carried out dozens of terror attacks against Israel, hijacking planes, buses and ships. After a brief but bloody war, the PLO was expelled from Jordan in 1971 and subsequently sought refuge in Lebanon. There the group attracted the attention of an Iranian Shi’ite cleric named Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who himself had been banished by Iran’s ruler, Shah Reza Pahlavi, in 1964.

Born in 1902, by the 1960s Khomeini had become convinced that he was destined to change the world. He began to preach, “Islam is the only solution” and argued against the separation between civil and religious authority that was the mainstay in Iran. Khomeini’s preaching’s “had a distinct internationalist claim” and sought to create a “new Islamic epoch” that, while launched by a Shi’ite “was free of confessional restraint,” as Council of Foreign Relations scholar Ray Takeyh noted in his 2011 book Guardians of the Revolution.

Women’s March: Our Leaders ‘Reject Anti-Semitism In All Its Forms’

On Thursday, Women’s March leaders tweeted that the movement’s leaders “reject anti-Semitism in all its forms.” In addition to that statement, they offered this: the real cause of violence and oppression of various communities the movement supports is the rhetoric coming from President Trump and the members of the Republican Party.

The statement began with this:

Women’s March wouldn’t exist without the leadership of women of color, and we stand with Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory. Women’s March leaders reject anti-Semitism in all its forms.

That’s an interesting statement, since Sarsour’s history of hatred for Israel is well-documented. As recently as two months ago, Sarsour reportedly said of Israeli Jews, “If you’re on the side of the oppressor, or you’re defending the oppressor, or you’re actually trying to humanize the oppressor, then that’s a problem sisters and brothers, and we got to be able to say: that is not the position of the Muslim American community.”

The statement continued with a disavowal of Tamika Mallory favorite Louis Farrakhan: “We recognize the danger of hate rhetoric by public figures. We want to say emphatically that we do not support or endorse statements by Minister Louis Farrakhan about women, Jewish, and LGBTQ communities.”

Then the attack on member of the political Right: “It’s important to remember that many on the right are thrilled to use any tool they can find to divide and undermine our movement – one that inspired the #Women’sWave we saw this week in the midterm elections.”

AP Avoids Calling Farrakhan Comments “Anti-Semitic”

For some mysterious reason, the Associated Press felt Louis Farrakhan’s mutterings on international relations deserve close attention. “Louis Farrakhan, in Iran, warns Trump a Mideast war possible,” a Associated Press headline announced, as if the firebrand anti-Semite’s views on Persian Gulf tensions are any more newsworthy than David Duke’s overview of China’s transportation infrastructure.

The subject of the news article, though, wasn’t the only thing funny about it. Here’s how AP’s anonymous author addressed Farrakhan’s long history of anti-Semitism:
The 85-year-old Farrakhan, long known for provocative comments widely considered anti-Semitic, criticized the economic sanctions leveled by Trump against Iran after America’s pullout from the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

His “provocative” comments are “considered” anti-Semitic. Those comments include descriptions of Jews as “termites,” as a “synagogue of Satan,” and as responsible for “filth and degenerate behavior,” the 9/11 attacks, and evil in general. They are as straightforwardly anti-Semitic as it gets.

So did AP avoid straightforwardly describing Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism as “anti-Semitic” due to some journalistic constraint — a disciplined refusal to editorialize or even characterize?

Israel and Qatar said to agree to sea crossing between Cyprus and Gaza Strip

Israel and Qatar have reportedly agreed to establish a sea crossing between Cyprus and the Gaza Strip as part of Egyptian-mediated talks aimed at reaching a deal between Israel and Hamas, which rules the Palestinian enclave.

The Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar reported that Israel is demanding that the crossing be monitored physically by international inspectors as well as Israeli security forces. Hamas, a terror organization committed to Israel’s destruction, is reportedly insisting that the crossing be under video surveillance while agreeing to international forces.

Negotiations are ongoing, according to the report.

Qatar on Friday began paying the salaries of Palestinian civil servants in Gaza in a bid to ease tensions in and around the impoverished territory. A total of $90 million is to be distributed in six monthly installments of $15 million, according to authorities, primarily to cover salaries of officials working for Hamas.

Hamas on Friday lauded what it described as a gain of the weekly protests along Gaza-Israel perimeter fence, which have often turned deadly.

“Today, we see some fruits of the protests — the partial breaking of the siege on Gaza,” Khalil al-Hayya, a senior Hamas official, told reporters at a protest in east Gaza City, referring to the grant. “We are still waiting for the implementation of all other understandings.”

The cash was driven into the Palestinian enclave through Israel late Thursday by Qatar’s envoy to Gaza, Mohammad al-Emadi, according to a government source in Gaza.

IDF says it tracked Gazan who burned greenhouse, residents were never in danger

The military officer in charge of defending Israel’s border with the northern Gaza Strip on Saturday visited a greenhouse in an Israeli community that was set on fire a day earlier by a Palestinian infiltrator.

“We’ll learn from our mistakes,” Northern Brigade commander Col. Avi Rosenfeld told residents of Netiv Ha’asara.

The army in its probe into the incident said IDF surveillance had “identified the suspect near the border fence in the northern Gaza Strip before he crossed over, and continued to track him throughout the incident. Following the identification large military forces were rushed to the area and operated in cooperation with civilian security forces. The forces surrounded the area where the suspect was identified.”

It said the suspect moved 500 meters into Israeli territory and that troops arrested him near a greenhouse at the edge of the farmland, about a kilometer from the community. Rosenfeld insisted that the suspect at no point posed a danger to residents.

“During his presence in the greenhouse area the suspect set a greenhouse alight. He was not found carrying weapons and was taken for questioning,” the army said.

Residents disputed the army’s account, telling Hadashot news the suspect had come as close as a few dozen meters from homes.

Israeli court indicts Jewish man for inciting murder of Arabs, leftists

A Jewish Israeli man was indicted this week for racist incitement on social media against Arabs and “leftists,” and sentenced to six months in jail.

Eliyahu Eliyav Muallem, a 29-year-old resident of Modiin, was indicted for incitement to violence as well as racist incitement in the Ramle Magistrate’s Court on Thursday as part of a plea deal, according to a report on the Hebrew website Ynet.

As part of the agreement, Muallem admitted to publishing posts on his personal Facebook page that included calls to attack or murder Israeli Arabs and Palestinian Arabs, praise for such violent acts, and encouraging discrimination against them.

One such post read: “Proud to be Israeli [after] we don’t leave a single Arab living anywhere in the world.” Another called outright to murder Arabs: “Yalla, murder without checking too much who the person is.”

Muallem also praised the murder of Palestinian teen Muhammed Abu Khdeir, who was kidnapped, brutally beaten and burned to death in 2014 by a group of Jewish men. “Very good, yasher koach [a congratulatory greeting] to the next murderer of an Arab,” Muallem wrote, according to the report.

In his online posts, Muallem called for the “deaths of leftists,” and said people who hold such views “have no place here.”

Muallem is said to have expressed regret for his actions. The court noted that Muallem’s posts were open to the public as well as to over 1,000 Facebook friends.

Military choppers called in to rescue group stranded by floods in Israeli south

Two military helicopters were sent Saturday afternoon to help in rescue efforts in southern Israel after five people were caught in a flood during an off-road excursion.

Rescuers were in contact with the stranded group south of Mitzpe Ramon, and the five were not in immediate danger, officials told Channel 10 news.

In a separate incident 12 hikers were caught in a flood but managed to extricate themselves to safety.

Meanwhile the Foreign Ministry said Saturday it had managed to make contact with all previously missing Israeli travelers in southern Jordan, amid deadly flash floods across several areas that have so far claimed the lives of 12 people since Friday.

The ministry had earlier said two Israeli tourists were unreachable but later stated that they had been found. An additional four Israeli tourists in Jordan were said earlier to be safe.

The Nature and Parks Authority said it had dealt with 11 incidents over the weekend in which hikers required rescue due to floods. On Friday police said the military’s elite search-and-rescue Unit 669 was dispatched to find four hikers in Nahal Og who were stranded in a cave by rising floodwaters. The hikers were pulled to safely via military helicopter, and one was hospitalized for minor injuries, according to a statement.

Two Israeli tourists found safe as flash floods kill 12 in Jordan

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said Saturday it had managed to make contact with all previously missing Israeli travelers in southern Jordan amid deadly flash floods across several areas that have so far claimed the lives of 12 people since Friday.

The ministry had earlier said two Israeli tourists were unreachable but later stated that they had been found.

An additional four Israeli tourists in Jordan were said earlier to be safe.

The death toll from flash floods rose from seven on Friday to 12 on Saturday and the kingdom’s main tourist attraction, the ancient city of Petra, was closed for cleanup after what local officials said was the biggest deluge in the area in decades.

Those killed included two children and a diver who had been involved in rescue efforts, according to state media and Jordanian government spokeswoman Jumana Ghuneimat.

On Saturday, rescuers continued the search for missing people around the Wala reservoir in central Jordan. In the southern town of Maan, authorities opened a shelter for dozens of people whose homes were surrounded by water.

Israel said to warn Beirut it will strike Hezbollah rocket factories

Israel has reportedly sent a message to the Lebanese government via Paris demanding that it act against the Hezbollah terror group’s rocket factories in the country, saying if Lebanon refused to do so, Israel could take military action.

The message was delivered by Israel’s deputy national security adviser Eitan Ben-David to Orléan la-Chevalier, a top adviser to French President Emmanuel Macron, during the latter’s visit in Jerusalem on Monday, according to Israel’s Channel 10 news.

“The Lebanese government must be careful when it comes to Hezbollah’s rocket factories. If the issue isn’t dealt with through diplomatic means by the Lebanese government, Israel will act on its own,” the message read, according to the report, which cited unnamed “Western diplomatic sources.”

Ben-David asked that la-Chevalier deliver the message to Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

France has close longstanding ties with Lebanon, and is considered close to Hariri.

The Prime Minister’s Office declined to comment Thursday on the report.

Ben-David said Israel would be patient, and was willing to wait to see if Lebanon took steps against the factories, but said it would not allow their construction to continue undisturbed.

Hezbollah Leader: If Assad Loses, We Will See Netanyahu in Damascus

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned in a speech on Saturday that if Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad is defeated, “we will see Netanyahu and the like visit Damascus.”

Speaking in commemoration of the terrorist group’s “Martyrs Day,” Nasrallah also blasted any “normalization with the Israeli enemy” and openly threatened the Jewish state.

“Netanyahu wants to evade our rocket capability,” he said, according to Yediot Aharonot, “while he tries to make further gains. We will defend our country and respond to any Israeli attack or bombing in Lebanon.”

Nasrallah also charged that the US was involved in Israel’s threats against Hezbollah, saying Netanyahu “also uses the Americans.”

Slamming Oman for allowing Netanyahu to make an official visit to the country, Nasrallah said, “We condemn any aspect of normalization with the Israeli enemy. We call on all the peoples to refuse this.”

New York Times, Under Pressure, Suspends Luxury Tours To Iran

The New York Times, under pressure, has suspended its moneymaking “Times Journeys” journalist-guided vacation tours of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The 106-page printed catalog of 2019 departures hit mailboxes of Times subscribers this week. It includes trips to Antarctica, China, Japan, and the Galapagos Islands. But terror-sponsoring, Israel-hating Tehran, which has been a destination for the Times since the “Times Journeys” launched in 2014, has been unceremoniously dropped from the list.

A Times spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a question about why the trips had been stopped. The US Treasury also didn’t immediately respond on the record to a question about whether the Trump administration’s newly-tightened sanctions on Iran had required the Times to stop offering the journeys.

A booking representative for the Times Journeys explained that the Times Iran tour had been put “on the shelf for the next year or two,” the result of “just a change in the kind of direction that we wanted to go with the travel program.”

The New York Times has been searching for new revenues in recent years to replace its declining print newspaper advertising business. Adventure and educational travel marketed to Times readers and in some cases accompanied by Times journalists is one business that the Times has tried to build. The newspaper even offered a $135,000 around-the-world tour by chartered jet that included meetings with the Times publisher and an op-ed columnist along with a stop in Iran.

The Times website lists a single remaining departure for the “Tales From Persia” tour, for November 10-22, 2018, with a cost of, “From $7,895.”

FIFA to Engage With Iran to Lift Ban on Women in Stadiums

World football’s governing body FIFA said on Thursday it would work with Iran to end a long-running ban on women attending matches but offered no insight on when to expect the breakthrough.

FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura made the announcement after she met Maryam Qashqaei Shojaei, a prominent Iranian campaigner who made headlines at this summer’s World Cup with her #NoBan4Women sign protesting the men-only stadium rule.

“Held v. constructive talks this morning with advocates for #NoBan4Women,” Samoura said on Twitter.

“We will keep engaging with them, as well as public & (FIFA) authorities in (Iran) to work towards stadium access for all.”

Iran has long barred women from attending male soccer matches and other sports fixtures, partly to protect them from hearing fans swear.

Iranian officials could not be reached for comment. FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in May that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had told him there were plans to allow women to attend matches soon.

The Equality League, which campaigns against sexism in sport, used Twitter to call on FIFA for firm dates for a breakthrough, asking: “What is your timeline to help secure stadium access for all?”

31 Student Groups Urge UCLA to Cancel SJP Conference, Citing Its ‘History of Violence on California Campuses’

Thirty-one student groups have called on the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to nix an upcoming national conference by Students for Justice in Palestine — described as a “hate group” with a “history of violence on California campuses.”

The Israel-focused clubs described SJP — a leading proponent of anti-Zionist activism on North American university campuses — as a “violent organization … which fuels campus anti-Semitism and which seeks the elimination of the world’s only Jewish-majority country.”

They pointed to the disruption of an indigenous peoples event held by Students Supporting Israel (SSI) at UCLA this past May, when members of SJP and members of the off-campus Revolutionary Communist Party tore down Armenian and Israeli flags, threw SSI materials onto the ground, and used bullhorns to chant slogans calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state in place of Israel.

Two months later, a member of SJP at Stanford University threatened to “physically fight zionists on campus” — a threat he amended hours later by replacing “physically” with “intellectually.” The student later 10 to anyone who was “triggered” by his language and stepped down from his job as a resident assistant.

“According to FBI statistics, Jews are the primary target of religious hate crimes in the United States,” the student groups wrote. They also cited research by the AMCHA Initiative — a nonprofit that aims to combat antisemitism on college campuses — which found that campuses that have active anti-Israel groups like SJP are more likely to have antisemitic incidents than campuses that don’t.

“The two phenomena are connected,” the students argued. “SJP is therefore a threat to the physical safety of the Jewish community,” and violates UCLA’s Principles of Community, which rejects harmful conduct including discrimination on the basis of personal characteristics such as ethnicity, religious beliefs, political preference, and national origin, they continued.

Boston Globe Defends Mobbing of Jewish Republican

When it comes to Jews and Israel, the Boston Globe has a habit of inverting reality in the nastiest ways imaginable.

Decades ago, the Globe reported on a Palestinian who had been arrested after the bomb he was making blew up and blinded him. The Globe headline? “Israelis Arrest Blind Palestinian.” Really.

For years on the holiest Jewish day of Yom Kippur, when Jews repent for their personal sins, the Globe published op-eds by an anti-Israel Jewish activist who hectored Boston’s Jews to repent for “oppressing” the Palestinians.

And then there were all those articles through the years explaining that the Palestinians murdered Jewish people simply because they had no other choice.

So now comes Tom Mountain, a Jewish Massachusetts Republican official who, on Friday, November 2 was blocked from his own office by a group of Democrats wearing Jewish prayer shawls while chanting that Republicans are the party of White Nationalism and are responsible for the mass murder of Jews in Pittsburgh. Mountain, understandably annoyed, told reporters that these people were “a disgrace to the Jewish people” and “an embarrassment to this country.” The mob of Democrats refused to let him through and the police had to physically haul them off.

Amsterdam BDS rally at monument to Nazi victims features suicide bomber song

Representatives of the Netherlands’ ruling party have asked the capital city’s government to explain why it allows anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incitement at a monument for victims of Nazism.

Amsterdam City Council lawmakers Marianne Poot and Diederik Boomsma of the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy and the Christian Democratic Appeal, respectively, filed nine questions to the city government earlier this week in connection with Sunday’s edition of an action promoting a boycott of Israel that anti-Israel activists stage weekly at the Dam Square monument.

That day, the action, which is usually limited to a handful activists, saw new participants, mostly Arab men but also Europeans and several women. Organizers played from loudspeakers a song by the rapper Ismo, who has featured anti-Semitic and homophobic content in his songs. In a 2014 song, he said “I hate Jews more than the Nazis.”

Titled “Free Palestine,” the lyrics celebrate the actions of a female suicide bomber who blows herself up in Tel Aviv.

“Rush hour in Tel Aviv, she boards the bus with a 60-year-old man, she sits down and closes her eyes and desires for revenge come out and she wants to express them, she blows herself up,” Ismo’s voice was heard singing at the Dam monument, the pro-Israel Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI, wrote on its website based on recordings made at the event.

Later that day, one activist told a JTA journalist filming the event: “Cancer Jews, you people don’t exist, you’re made up.” But another, a woman from Ireland, insisted that the rally isn’t anti-Semitic, saying “Criticism is not anti-Semitism.”

Polish leaders to join anti-Semitic nationalist at Independence Day march Sunday

The Polish government and the organizers of a yearly march organized by far-right groups have agreed to hold a joint march on the 100th anniversary of Poland’s rebirth as a state on Sunday.

The announcement late Friday means President Andrzej Duda, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, and other state officials will march in the capital with groups whose November 11 march last year included racist banners and white supremacist symbols.

Michal Dworczyk, the head of Morawiecki’s chancellery, tweeted that both sides reached an agreement, adding: “Poland won. On Nov. 11 there will be a great communal march to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Independence!”

The deal was also announced by the top march organizer, Robert Bakiewicz. He is a leader of the National Radical Camp, which traces its roots to an anti-Semitic movement of the 1930s.

The development underscores how the socially conservative ruling Law and Justice party has at times sought to embrace the same base that supports far-right groups. It’s a source of controversy in Poland, where many are furious at how radical nationalists in past years have come to dominate the Independence Day holiday.

Critics accuse the governing authorities of pandering to the nationalists.

Earlier this year, Bakiewicz led a protest in front of Duda’s palace during which he called Jews a “fifth column,” an expression implying disloyalty to Poland.

How to explain the ‘timid’ reaction of American Jewish leaders to Kristallnacht?

When American Jews learned of Nazi Germany’s Kristallnacht pogrom 80 years ago, the community’s leaders were determined to keep a lid on people’s emotions.

During the night of November 9-10, Nazi-led “demonstrators” murdered 100 German Jews in a nationwide orgy of violence. Thirty thousand Jews were rounded up for concentration camps, and more than 200 synagogues became smoldering ruins. Although the pogrom was described as Germany’s most bloody assault on Jews since the Middle Ages, few Jewish leaders in the US were prepared to agitate.

Most notably, the influential General Jewish Council insisted on maintaining radio silence following Kristallnacht. Comprised of leaders from the so-called “defense” organizations, the council issued these instructions in the pogrom’s aftermath:
“There should be no parades, public demonstrations, or protests by Jews,” according to the directives. The council also reminded American Jews that it was in their interest not to advocate for admitting more Jewish refugees into the country.

According to historians, most prominent American Jews were afraid of how their fellow citizens would react to “demands” from the Jewish community. Few Americans supported going to war with Hitler, and anti-Semitism was more widespread than at any other point in US history.
Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, the most prominent rabbi in the United States during the Roosevelt administration (public domain)

“When FDR asked his closest Jewish adviser, Samuel Rosenman — a prominent member of the American Jewish Committee — if more Jewish refugees should be allowed to enter the U.S. in the wake of Kristallnacht, Rosenman opposed such a move because ‘it would create a Jewish problem in the US,’” wrote Rafael Medoff, director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies.

“Nazi Germany Threatens to Exterminate Jews,” blared a large headline in The Houston Post on November 23, 1938, two weeks after Kristallnacht. In Boston, The Daily Record of November 18 led with the headline, “Nazis Prevent Jewish Exodus.” Underneath the massive “picture newspaper” headline was a photo of shattered Jewish storefronts after the pogrom.

There was no ambiguity about the fate of Jews under Nazi rule, but very few American leaders — Jewish or otherwise — were willing to advocate for increased refugee resettlement. There were, however, thousands of Americans willing to take in another kind of refugee from Europe: those who walked on four legs.

Daphne Anson: In 1938, a Tory MP’s account of post-Anschluss Vienna

(Sir) Beverley Baxter (1891-1964) was a Canadian-born journalist who spent most of his career in Britain, where he became a Conservative MP. His account of the persecution of Jews in post-Anschluss Vienna appeared shortly after the Kristallnacht pogrom, the 80th anniversary of which is being marked now.

Appearing in an Australian newspaper (Shepparton Advertiser, 25 November 1938), Baxter’s article was entitled “Jew-Baiting In Vienna: How the pogroms are organised”. Here is what he wrote (I’ve changed his original spelling of Brownshirts as two words):

What is the truth about the persecution of Jews in Germany and Austria? How far are tales of
atrocities figments of the imagination or inventions of propagandists? It was partly to answer these questions that I went recently to Vienna, where the Nazis are now in supreme control, and where purification of the Germanic race is proceeding according to plan.

It is difficult to describe the Nazi movement one way or another. To condemn it out of hand would be foolish and would show a lack of understanding. We who extol democracy must be willing to learn where this political and economic creed has succeeded against difficulties that would discourage the methods of democracy.

There is a tremendous and genuine idealism in the movement. It is written in the faces of the young men who have donned the uniform of the cause. One cannot look upon the clear eyes and fine physique of these boys without admitting that Hitler has accomplished miracles. Out of a defeated and disillusioned nation he has created a magnificent new generation — if we are to judge humanity by the welfare of the body and the purposefulness of the spirit.

Unfortunately, in the launching of this movement of “national regeneration,” and I do not mock the phrase — there were also let loose forces of national degradation which are now out of control. And the most vile of these is the persecution of the Jews.

An American Jew’s Failed Attempt to Create a Temporary Zion in Upstate New York

At various points in his life, the Philadelphia-born Mordecai Manuel Noah (1785-1851) was, in Jenna Weissman Joselit’s words, “a politician and a playwright, a man about town, a journalist, and a diplomat in Tunis, where he jousted with pirates.” But perhaps his best-known exploit was his attempt to transform Grand Island—a richly forested bit of land in the Niagara River, not far from Buffalo, NY—into a refuge for European Jews fleeing persecution and poverty. He called the putative settlement Ararat. Joselit writes:

Considerable fanfare—booming cannons, a 24-gun salute, the glorious sounds of Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus—attended Ararat’s public launch. Noah, kitted out in a costume inspired by Richard III—a crimson silk robe trimmed in ermine, festooned with an oversized gold medal—presided over the elaborate proceedings, whose centerpiece was an exceedingly wordy “Proclamation to the Jews.”

Adopting the mantle of “governor and judge of Israel,” Noah called on the Jews of the world to gather together “under the protection of the American Constitution,” where after a lapse of 2,000 years they would re-establish a “Hebrew government.” Quick to point out that Ararat was no substitute for Zion, but rather a “temporary and provisionary” place of refuge, an “asylum,” he also made it clear in his address, as well as in subsequent speeches, that the Grand Island settlement was no “mere colonization” but an exercise in amelioration, or what we today might call social engineering. The big idea was to provide the Jews with a “period of regeneration,” during which they would modernize themselves as well as deepen their familiarity with “liberal principles.”

For all the verbiage and hoopla, nothing came of Ararat except a 300-pound cornerstone and much public ridicule. No one took the newly fashioned governor and judge of Israel up on his kind offer to relocate to an island outside Buffalo.

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