Melanie Phillips: The strategic importance of the argument from law
Earlier this week, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely was almost prevented from speaking at Princeton University, after left-wing Jewish students claimed her work “causes irreparable damage to the prospects of a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Meekly genuflecting to this preposterous claim, Princeton Hillel, no less, abruptly canceled her invitation. The day was saved by Chabad, which provided a venue in which Hotovely could speak.
Hillel officials subsequently apologized for this disgraceful episode, adding that this was “an isolated incident.”
Well no, it isn’t. I had an identical experience earlier this year when Berkeley Hillel, which had invited me to speak, disinvited me on the grounds that they couldn’t guarantee my safety. Similarly, it was Chabad which provided a “safe house” where I could speak to Berkeley’s Jewish students.
For years now there have been problems with “open Hillel,” a student-led movement which seeks to advance groups promoting anti-Israel agendas in mainstream Jewish campus life. It’s part of the twin phenomenon whereby pro-Israel students increasingly feel threatened and intimidated, while more and more Jewish students are frighteningly ignorant of both Judaism and the Middle East and are correspondingly hostile toward Israel.
Melanie Phillips: British Foreign Office misrepresented the Balfour Declaration
Please join me in this video clip as I describe to Avi Abelow of Israel Video Network the way in which the British Foreign Office misrepresented the Balfour Declaration on its centenary, and the intellectual contortions of the Palestinian Authority in its eagerness to blame Britain both for making and not making in Balfour’s famous letter the same promise to the Arabs as to the Jews.
Please join me in this video clip as I point out to Avi Abelow of Israel Video Network the falsehood of the claim that there was ever an ancient Palestinian national identity, and emphasise that the Jews are the only surviving indigenous people of the land of Israel.
On November 11, 1938, a front-page story appeared in The New York Times. It read: “A wave of destruction, looting, and incendiarism unparalleled in Germany since the Thirty Years War and in Europe generally since the Bolshevist Revolution swept over Great Germany today as National Socialist cohorts took vengeance on Jewish shops, offices and synagogues for the murder by a young Polish Jew of Ernst vom Rath, third secretary of the German Embassy in Paris.”
Another Times story was headlined, “All Vienna’s Synagogues Attacked.”
These stories refer to Kristallnacht, the rampant violence on November 9-10, 1938, when Nazi storm troopers throughout Germany and Austria ransacked Jewish homes; broke the windows of Jewish-owned stores and looted their merchandise; set fire to synagogues; randomly attacked Jewish men, women and children; and arrested thousands of men.
When the violence ended, at least 96 Jews were dead, 1,300 synagogues and 7,500 businesses were destroyed, and countless Jewish cemeteries and schools were vandalized. A total of 30,000 Jews were sent to concentration camps. The broken glass strewn through the streets from the mayhem led the pogrom to be called “Crystal Night”– or Kristallnacht.
The initial reaction of the White House was to refer questions to the State Department. After five days of public outrage, Franklin Roosevelt recalled the US ambassador from Germany and held a press conference in which he proclaimed: “The news of the past few days from Germany has deeply shocked public opinion in the U.S. Such news from any part of the world would inevitably produce a similar profound reaction among American people in every part of the nation. I myself could scarcely believe that such things could happen in a 20th century civilization.”
The real truth is that Obama, Kerry and the Democratic Party team of Israel haters that includes Hillary Clinton imply want to demonize the Jewish State–the way others used to demonize the Jews.
Jew haters worked with the ADL to prevent Jews from speaking out against the anti-Semitic President of the United States. Jewish politicians walk blindly behind their party’s Anti-Israel President and damn the Jewish people with their silence just to be able to move up the political ladder will not be able to silence us either.
Jews in Congress such as Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Sander Levin (D-MI), and Adam Schiff (D-CA), forgot all about what happened on Nov. 9, 1938 and supported the American President’s legacy deal which will allow Iran to create a nuclear bomb and attack the Jewish State (and the U.S.).
Today, is the 79th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the start of the Holocaust.
We owe it to the people who died during the Holocaust to speak out while they remain silent.
May the memory of the Holocaust started 79 years ago today be a reminder of what happens when the world is silent. May there always be people to speak out against the silence.
May the memories of the victims of the Shoah always be for a blessing.
And may Americans wake up and realize that one of its political parties has become the anti-Semite party.
Of particular interest to HonestReporting is the media. Jerusalem Post reporter Seth J. Frantzman describes a journalistic “obsession” with Israel: a disproportionate focus on this one topic beyond most other topics in the world. Certainly there are some journalists who truly hate Israelis, or in some cases even Jews altogether: for example, Frantzman discusses CNN’s Diana Magnay, who referred to the Israeli victims of Hamas rockets in Sderot as “scum.” Yet there is a more insidious and subtle problem we face in the media: prevailing literature, biased reports, agenda driven narratives and even prior journalism form a basis for future journalism. Even the most well meaning journalists must learn about a topic somehow: skewed basic understandings inform not only news articles, but the basic comprehension and opinions of the journalists themselves.
The HonestReporting challenge
At HonestReporting we sometimes face off against reporters with a hateful or angry agenda. Yet we also find ourselves up against well meaning journalists who simply understand the Middle East incorrectly, due to all the reasons Ryvchin explores. Biased, misleading and sometimes outright untrue information provides the factual basis for news reports and the emotional mindset of news reporters. Of course the final step in this chain of information is the newsreader: for most people, the news is their window to the world.
All is not lost
While a reading of Ryvchin’s book might leave a reader with a reasonable sense of urgency and frustration, it should also inspire a feeling of hope. The methods of the anti-Israel agenda are well understood, and organizations like HonestReporting use this knowledge every day to counter it. We see frequent corrections and improvements in the news, just as the various contributors to Ryvchin’s book see constant progress in their own respective fields.
The Anti-Israel Agenda by Alex Ryvchin is an excellent read: whether you work in the field of professional Israel advocacy or merely wish to know more about it, it is an insightful tool, a meaningful body of knowledge, and an enjoyable learning experience. I very much recommend it.
Swedish filmmaker Bo Persson is in a battle with Sweden’s national public TV broadcaster after it refused to screen his latest documentary, Watching the Moon at Night, about antisemitism and terrorism.
The documentary began as a co-production with regional Swedish film fund Kino Koszyk HB, Film i Väst and Swedish Television (SVT), but the latter pulled out of the agreement and has refused to purchase and broadcast the film. Persson, who made the documentary together with Joanna Helander, has no doubt that the decision was made because four Israeli citizens feature in the documentary.
These include Arnold Roth, whose daughter was murdered in the 2001 terrorist attack on the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem, and Dan Alon, one of the surviving Israeli athletes from the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre.
The hour-and-a-half-long documentary also incorporates personal experiences of terrorism victims from Algeria, Spain, France, Moscow, Israel, the US, Colombia, Germany, Northern Ireland and elsewhere.
Filmed in six countries, it juxtaposes contemporary terrorism, antisemitism and the experiences of their victims with the analysis and views of noted experts in these fields.
The primary funder of the film was the Swedish Film Institute, and film director and screenwriter Marianne Ahrne, who approved the funding, has spoken out against SVT’s decision not to screen it.
“I approved the funding of their film while working as a commissioner at the Swedish Film Institute,” she wrote last month in an op-ed for Israel National News. “Since then, I have followed its destiny, seeing it praised at festivals and by several of the foremost global experts in the fields that it tackles – terrorism and antisemitism. But [SVT], our country’s national public TV broadcaster, has, for some obscure reason and despite the fact it originally signed on to co-produce it, refused to screen it. And continues to refuse.
“With the passage of time and after having followed all the ups and downs, I have come to believe that SVT’s refusal to show the film is, sadly, connected to the fact that among the Spanish, British, Irish, Swedish and Algerian victims of terrorism sympathetically interviewed in the film, there are also a couple of Israelis,” Ahrne wrote.
The documentary was shown last year in the European Parliament and the Swedish legislature, where it premiered, as well as at many international film festivals and in front of audiences in the United States and Europe
Three years after the slaying of four people at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in what prosecutors say was a jihadist terrorist attack, the institution opened its first new exposition, whose theme is immigration.
The new exhibition, which opened last month and is titled “Belgium, Welcoming Land,” was inaugurated following renovations during which the museum was closed to the public for many months. Before closing for renovations, the museum had reopened briefly after the attack, for which a French national who fought in Syria, Mehdi Nemmouche, is currently standing trial.
The history of immigration to Belgium since its creation in 1830 is explored in the exhibition through photographs, testimonies and artifacts, the RTBF French-language broadcaster reported. The exhibition will remain open until March 19, which will be the 6th anniversary of the murder of four Jews in Toulouse by another Islamist.
Jewish community leaders, including Pinchas Goldschmidt, the president of the European Conference of rabbis, referred to the 2012 Toulouse attack, in which jihadist Mohammed Merah killed three children and a rabbi at a Jewish school, as the opening shot of a wave of shootings and other acts of violence by armed European Islamists that began with Jewish targets but has since broadened to include non-Jewish ones as well.
Both Merah and Nemmouche were born in Europe to families originating in the Middle East.
Once again, politics had come in the way. The restructuring of the DCRI was Sarkozy’s work and, at Central, the new director Bernard Squarcini was Sarkozy’s man. Back in 1993, Sarkozy, then mayor of the city of Neuilly, had gained popularity by directly negotiating with Eric Schmidt, a man who called himself “the Human Bomb” and had taken a whole primary school hostage. There was a political gain to be made at the prospect of defeating yet another terrorist himself. On the stand, Squarcini claimed he never saw the note sent by Toulouse. DCRI-Central was in no position to identify Merah on the video, either.
On March 21, two days after the Hozar Ha-Torah killing, the siege at Merah’s apartment was a joke, with the minister of interior giving instructions to the raid squad while playing PR for Sarkozy all night long on news channels. Meanwhile, Merah was free to leave his apartment to send the videos of his killings to Al-Jazeera and then return home, unwatched by anyone.
The next day in a full-page interview published by Le Monde, Squarcini came up with the lone-wolf theory. “He radicalized himself alone, in jail, by reading the Quran. There is no belonging to any network.”
On the stand, Squarcini, who supervised the surveillance of Islamists networks in the ’90s, admitted the existence of the Artigat network. He then tried to justify himself by explaining how one could be both “solitary and with accomplices.” Once again, in France, language, confronted with terror, lost its meaning.
The last day of the trial, Latifa Ibn Ziaten, mother of Mohamed Ibn-Ziaten, was hit in the chest right outside the courtroom by a young militant of the Jewish Defense League, an extreme-right wing organization populated by a handful of Jewish thugs and delinquents. That same day in the city of Bagneux, the commemorative plaque set in memory of Ilan Halimi, the young Jewish boy kidnapped, tortured for three weeks, and killed by the Gang of the Barbarians, was defaced one more time with anti-Semitic graffiti.
On 2 November 2017 we celebrated the Balfour Declaration centenary. On the 29th November, we celebrate seventy years since UN resolution 181 – the United Nations ‘partition plan’. Looking at much of the discussion over Balfour, there is still clearly misunderstanding over the process that led to the creation of Israel.
The Balfour Declaration was a stepping stone, an important point of recognition. Yet the United Nations went on to divide the land, something Balfour never proposed. So – what changed?
There are twenty-eight days from the start of one anniversary to the end of the other, so here I have listed twenty eight stepping stones, twenty eight events, that took Balfour through to partition, and into the civil war that was to bring about the creation of the State of Israel.
Day one – November 2nd 1917. The starting point of this story – the Balfour Declaration. A crucial stepping stone for the Jewish people as their right to self-determination, and a return to their homeland, was recognised in a letter written by the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Lord Rothschild. A letter that is often misunderstood, as Balfour did not create the divide between the Jews and Arabs and did not create Israel. The paradigm of Balfour was a one-state solution (something those shamefully seeking an apology never seem to understand).
Day two – Saturday 18th January 1919. The Paris Peace Conference begins. The Versailles Peace Conference, was the meeting of the Allied victors, following World War One. The Conference was to decide on the creation of the League of Nations, and adopt a policy of awarding German and Ottoman overseas possessions as ‘mandates’. At the British National Archives in Kew is a large file on the conference, containing hundreds of documents discussing the future of Palestine. This is a petition from the ‘inhabitants of Nablus’:
While T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) raised an army of Arab irregulars in the Hejaz, no indigenous revolt occurred in Syria or Iraq, and indeed only the landing of a British army led to the driving out of Ottoman forces from Palestine after the victories of Gaza, Beersheba and Megiddo. There was thus no “twice-promised land” — and consequently no fraudulent British dealings — which both friends and foes of Israel have frequently alleged to lie at the root of the conflict.
It is one thing to see the Balfour Declaration as a vital link in a chain leading to Israel’s creation more than 30 years later, which it was. It is quite another to invest the declaration with responsibility for the tragic consequences of the war Arabs insisted upon launching to abort Israel’s creation.
The Palestinian tragedy is not the Balfour Declaration. It is the Arab and Muslim supremacism that has determined Palestinian Arab political decisions at virtually every turn in the past century, ensuring that the Palestinian leadership opposed and denied — and continue to deny — any Jewish claim or connection with the land, and refuse to countenance the idea that Jews are entitled to the self-determination they insist upon for themselves. The Palestinian Arab leadership’s demand of a British apology for the declaration leading up to its anniversary merely underscores this fact.
This ongoing tragedy is unlikely to end until Palestinian Arabs relinquish the dream of Israel’s dismemberment, recognize the right of the Jews to their sovereign existence, and undertake to work with Israel to bring about peace, not war.
Blame for all manner of decisions and acts across intervening decades can be leveled at all parties involved. But that is no reason for Israel or Britain not to celebrate Lord Balfour’s high-minded act of statesmanship one 100 years ago, which helped the Jewish people to rejoin the family of sovereign nations after two millennia of statelessness, persecution and massacre.
They are impressive scholars, these who have come to confront Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party where hating Jews is all they do practically round the clock.
Back here in America I’ve paid scant attention, until a friend told me that Corbyn might well become Britain’s next prime minister. Attention must be paid.
Corbyn would be no friend to President Trump or to any other patriot of the United States.
So I read all the articles and commentaries pertaining to that open letter, which appeared in The Times of London, and was penned by novelist Howard Jacobson and historians Simon Schama and Simon Sebag Montefiore…all stamped kosher as Zionists.
Doesn’t get much better than that so far as literary craftsmanship, nor worse when it comes to speaking up for Israel and Jews everywhere.
Finally I read the letter itself. I liked it. The first half. The second half took it all back and proved that not all Zionists are true…but are rather asterisk Zionists…people who are pro-Israel only by a half… never in with both feet…and always ready to compromise and be good sports for the world and Israel’s enemies.
Non-Jews with Progressive tendencies do the fawning routine just as well and they too need to be careful.
No sooner had President Trump nominated Kenneth Marcus, president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under the Law, to be Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education, than extremist anti-Israel groups began to mount an aggressive campaign to derail the appointment.
This is a remarkable affront to a civil rights lawyer who has spent his career fighting for the rights of women, the disabled, and members of many minority groups: African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians, as well as Sikhs, Arabs, and Muslim Americans.
Marcus’s prior tenure at the federal Office for Civil Rights was widely lauded for effective leadership and support for the rights of all students. For this reason, most civil rights groups have thus far refrained from subjecting Marcus to the vituperation that other recent Trump nominees have faced.
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Some extremist anti-Israel groups, however, have broken ranks, attacking the administration’s Jewish civil rights nominee with reckless and malicious falsehoods.
One of these groups, Palestine Legal, whose mission is to bolster the anti-Israel movement by challenging efforts to protect Jewish students from anti-Semitism, immediately issued a letter smearing Mr. Marcus as an “Anti-Palestinian Crusader” and opposing his nomination in terms of the so-called Livingstone Formulation.
David Collier: The University of Cambridge – teaching ignorance and hate
Universities and ‘free speech’ arguments are back in the news again. This time at Cambridge, with the Evening Standard running a story about the University of Cambridge being ‘slammed by senior academics over a ‘crackdown on free speech’ at a student Palestine event.
Social media is also full of a petition, aimed at criticising Cambridge for forcing a change in the chair for the event.
The entire argument is bogus. On both sides.
I should know – I was there.
The University of Cambridge motto reads – ‘from this place, we gain enlightenment and precious knowledge’. What I witnessed on Wednesday was the opposite. The only thing the students gained was hate and ignorance.
There were three speakers:
Omar Barghouti, a founder of BDS
Malia Bouattia, ex-president of the NUS
Asad Rehman, the Executive Director of War on Want
I was clearly in the presence of hard-core anti-Israel royalty.
The talks begin and we get to hear Barghouti first. A polished performance he has probably delivered 1000 times before. I lost count of the number of times Barghouti mentioned ‘settler colonialism’ and ‘apartheid’. I also lost count of the number of lies and distortions that were delivered to the audience.
Rutgers University is embroiled in a campus controversy.
A United Nations watchdog group wants to know why the school hired a fierce critic of Israel who spent years working for a man most consider a war criminal.
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, next semester Rutgers students will be able to sign up for a political science class called ‘International Criminal Law And Anti-Corruption.’
It’s taught by Dr. Mazen Adi who is listed as an adjunct professor.
On the Rutgers University website, the biography for Mazen Adi mentions his impressive credentials including 16 years as a career diplomat.
But the bio doesn’t mention who he worked for — the pariah nation of Syria, and dictator Bashar Al-Assad who has been widely considered a war criminal for using chemical weapons on his own people – an oversight first noticed by the The Algemeiner newspaper, a Jewish newspaper based in New York.
During his years at the U.N. Mazen Adi defended Assad and accused Israelis of an unimaginable crime; helping to traffic children’s organs.
Ex Assad spokesman lands professor job at Rutgers University
A coalition of two dozen clubs at New York University (NYU) has boycotted a subsidized trip to Israel for student leaders, claiming it is a “propaganda” program that is “part of the right-wing strategy to combat the Palestinian movement for human rights and self-determination in the academy.”
The coalition, led by the recently created NYU chapter of the far-left Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), made a “pledge to not participate in or apply” for the NYU Israel Experience, which will take approximately 25 students to the country in January to “promote intersectionality and inclusiveness” and introduce students to “Israel beyond the headlines,” according to the application.
“Out of solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for human rights and self-determination and their demand for Israeli adherence to international law, we refuse to go on a trip that includes a visit to illegally occupied land,” the coalition’s boycott statement states.
The coalition includes the NYU College Democrats, NYU Against Fascism, NYU Freedom for North Korea, the Arab Student Union, Democratic Socialists of America at NYU, NYU Student for Justice in Palestine, and the Queer Union — NYU.
A student group at McGill University admitted that it used anti-Semitic propaganda to prevent a Jewish candidate from being reelected to the student government at the Montreal school.
At a meeting last month of the General Assembly of the McGill’s Student Society, or SSMU, seven students were voted onto the board. But three others — one of them Jewish and a previous board member, and all known for their pro-Israel stances — were denied seats.
“I was blocked from participating in student government because of my Jewish identity and my affiliation with Jewish organizations,” Noah Lew, a third-year arts student, posted on his Facebook page after the vote.
Lew and Jewish groups in Canada alleged that campus groups supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel were behind the bid to keep pro-Israel students off the undergraduate board. One group, called Democratize SSMU, includes Igor Sadikov, a student who earned notoriety last February for his “Punch a Zionist today” tweet.
Boy George shot down claims from BDS activists that his performance in Tel Aviv Tuesday night was tantamount to performing in South Africa during apartheid, saying the two weren’t comparable and that Israel was in his heart.
“So George are you saying you would have played South Africa during apartheid??” a Twitter user asked the Culture Club frontman.
“I could have an[d] I didn’t. Could have earned well from such a gig. Israel is in my heart. Completely different equation,” Boy George shot back.
“I play for my fans, not politicians. I have never looked at any political figure and thought ‘yeah, you speak for me.’ The flow of positive energy is the key!” the singer responded to a different post critiquing his decision to perform in Israel.
On Tuesday, Twitter user Magenta Purple wrote to the singer: “Disappointed that you have played Israel. I wish you would get involved with the @BDSmovement [Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement].”
“I’m disappointed by your tweet. Also by the fact that you are actually doing zero to help anyone or anything? Your energy is negative!” Boy George fired back.
Culture Club last played in Israel three decades ago.
Anti-Israel boycott initiatives at multiple North American universities have prompted heated debates between students and faculty in recent weeks.
Nine faculty members at the University of Maryland (UMD) published an open letter Thursday asking the student representatives behind a pro-boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) resolution currently moving through the student government legislative process, “Do [you] want to help destroy the American alliance with Israel?”
“Rather than laud [U.S.-Israel] connections as part of a praiseworthy alliance among democracies, it casts aspersions on them in an effort to break that alliance and isolate Israel,” write the faculty, who are associated with the history, kinesiology, computer sciences, classics, mathematics, women’s studies, and engineering departments.
The faculty takes issue with the exclusion of the word “Israel” from the motion‘s title—”A Resolution to Promote Human Rights by Divesting from Companies that Profit from Investments in Palestine”—writing that such a move “illustrates that the purpose of the resolution is to eliminate the state of Israel.”
The venerable women’s magazine Glamour boasts almost ten million print readers, and more than 11 million visitors monthly to its website. Mainly devoted to clothing, makeup and feminist topics, Glamour’s also won acclaim for its coverage of health issues.
This year, however, Glamour veered into unhealthy territory with its 2017 Women of the Year list. Alongside actress Nicole Kidman and NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, Glamour will be honoring the organizers of last January’s Women’s March. Included among those organizers is virulent anti-Israel activist and terrorist sympathizer Linda Sarsour.
The awards will be presented at a ceremony on November 13, which will be live streamed on Glamour‘s website, as well as to Glamour’s 5.5 million followers on Facebook. The ceremony will be preceded by a “Summit,” at which the honorees will “discuss the issues we care about most right now.”
Sarsour openly supports the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel — a movement that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer terms, “a deeply biased campaign that I would say … is a ‘reinvented form of anti-Semitism’ because it seeks to impose boycotts on Israel and not on any other nation.”
Sarsour has also said that “nothing is creepier than Zionism,” and that Zionists can’t be feminists. As CAMERA has written, “although she tries to present herself as simply a critic of Israel, what Sarsour is really campaigning for is the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state.”
How can one write an article to make any country seem awful? It is very simple. Take as many negative stories as possible and put them together. Report only a country’s flaws, not any of its redeeming features. Take the most damning interpretation of any given story, or policy. Find a racist/sexist sounding line from any elected Parliamentarian, and present it as an example of the views of the whole country. Throw in references to past crimes, and suggest the possibility of future ones. Subjected to this treatment, it is genuinely very simple to make any country look bad.
However, generally we would consider articles like this a mark of unsophistication, even bordering on propaganda. No self-respecting paper would publish an article like that on the UK, Germany or any other country. But everything described above is standard fare in writing about Israel. Is Israel a uniquely extreme country? Or is Israel journalism uniquely extreme writing?
There are lots of mitigating factors to the picture the Guardian painted about Israel. Israel is a burgeoning democracy, providing technological and humanitarian solutions to some of the world’s greatest problems. Minorities are better represented in the parliament of Israel than that of France. Arabs in Israel have more rights and opportunities than Arabs anywhere in the Middle East. In 2015, the Israeli government enacted the largest ever stimulus package for the Arab Israeli communities – hardly the sign of that “most right wing government” lead by “fanatical extremists.” The fever pitch of emotion about Israeli settlements cloud the fact that the last government-approved completed settlement was built 25 years ago.
Israel, and only Israel, is judged exclusively by a list of its (perceived and real) flaws. With remarkable confidence, journalists throw together opinions, a few stories, select quotes, and feelings of impending doom – and hey presto, Israel is demonised. Israel is not a uniquely bad country. Journalism about Israel is often uniquely bad journalism.
Cenk Uygur, co-founder of The Young Turks, appeared on a counter-extremism panel this week in Europe and promptly claimed Christianity was responsible for the Holocaust.
Uygur was responding to Muslim Reform Movement leader Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, who was harshly critical of “the conflation of extremism by fascist groups in the West, white supremacists, whatever they might be, with Islamist extremism, just because they use the same tactic,” calling such a conflation “ahistoric … to say Islamist extremism is all the same thing is absurd, because it, in a way, negates the harm of governments that are running hundreds of millions of people across the planet.” He named the governments of Iran, Pakistan, the Wahabis of Saudi Arabia, the AKP in Turkey, among others.
He added, “If you conflate that with the hyper-nationalists in the West, because they use the same tactic, you are going to avoid and actually anesthetize Muslims to the solution that we need globally, which is the overthrow of the regimes.”
As Jordan Schachtel of Conservative Review pointed out, “Uygur didn’t mention that Hitler came to despise Christianity in favor of his eugenicist worldview. Historians have documented that Hitler viewed both Catholics and Protestants with disdain and sought to replace Christianity with what some refer to as the ‘Reich Church.’”
A crowd of teens from an Orthodox Jewish school demonstrated Thursday outside the New York City home of a former Nazi concentration camp guard whose US citizenship was revoked but who hasn’t been deported.
About 100 students from Rambam Mesivta stood across the street from the Queens home of 94-year-old Jakiw Palij on the 79th anniversary of Kristallnacht. He did not come out as they shouted “Your neighbor is a Nazi.”
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Police stood in front of the three-story row house, marked by an overgrown garden and a rotting front door.
Palij was a guard at the Trawniki concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1943. He has said he was forced to be a guard.
The teenagers smile as they take selfies with a heroically posed Hitler, apparently unaware that the giant backdrop to their happy moment is the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp where more than a million people were exterminated by the Nazi dictator’s regime.
It’s a scene that plays out every day at a waxwork and visual effects museum in Yogyakarta, an Indonesian city better known for its universities, Javanese culture and as the seat of a historic sultanate. The infotainment-style museum, De Mata, is defending the display as “fun” for teenagers.
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Human Rights Watch denounced the exhibit as “sickening” and the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, which campaigns against Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism, demanded its immediate removal.
“Everything about it is wrong. It’s hard to find words for how contemptible it is,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the center. “The background is disgusting. It mocks the victims who went in and never came out.”
A gang of between 30 to 50 children have reportedly caused police to issue a dispersal order over antisemitic behaviour during Halloween directed at the Jewish community on Canvey Island in Essex. A community of Orthodox charedi Jews from Stamford Hill in London have pioneered a move to establish a new community on the island.
According to the Echo News, on Tuesday evening last week, police invoked powers under the Anti-Social, Crime and Policing Act to issue a dispersal order after reports of a large gang of up to 50 children gathering near the Jewish Centre in Meppell Avenue, and other reports of children gathering in the town centre.
The children, believed to be aged between 11 and 15, all reportedly wore black hoodies and masks. One resident, Rebecca Vos, witnessed one member of the Jewish community trying to disperse the children, only to be met with a torrent of abuse. She told the Echo News: “It is a nightmare. I did go and apologise to the man because it was horrible. In all honesty, these children don’t even know what they are saying, they don’t understand, but they are creating a gang mentality where they feel safe to act this way.”
The Central Bureau of Statistics noted a rise of 60% in tourism, with nearly 464,000 visitors arriving in Israel over the course of October 2017, compared with 290,000 last year. The days just prior to the holiday of Sukkot saw the most visitors, with an average of 17.4 thousand per day, compared to the monthly average of 11.8 thousand per day.
The highest numbers of visitors came from the US, Russia, France, and Germany. However, the countries which saw the greatest rise in the number of citizens visiting Israel were China, Poland, and Romania. Poland saw a rise of 61% since last year in the number of visitors to Israel, while Romania saw a rise of 57% and China 55%.
During the months of August-October 2017, 3.3 million tourists arrived in Israel, for an average of 274,000 per month. This represents a rise of .2 million from the previous three months (May-July 2017), when an average of 254,000 tourists arrived each month.
When Asi Naim, a severely autistic Israeli boy, started smacking his head against the wall and hurting himself in other ways, his parents tried every kind of psychiatric drug to calm him. Nothing worked.
“He was so totally out of it,” said his mother, Ricky Naim Blumenfeld. “It was scary.”
Then Asi entered a cannabis-based research program at Jerusalem’s Shaarei Zedek hospital. After a period of trial and error, he started getting a dosage of cannabinoid drops that worked. Four years later, Asi loves music, being at parties, going to the movies and traveling abroad.
The same medication has helped many of the 60 autistic children enrolled in neuro-pediatrian Adi Aran’s program. Aran is now in the middle of a second, controlled study with 100 children. The end goal: approval by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration as an experimental treatment.
The agency hasn’t yet approved a botanically derived medical cannabis product. But classifying the formulation as an FDA-recognized drug would mean it’s no longer covered by the federal ban on U.S. imports of marijuana, a key step in solidifying Israel’s reputation as a global center for medical weed research, development and exports. Belgium, Netherlands, Romania, Portugal, Czech Republic, Germany and Switzerland are major potential markets for medical marijuana, says Ameri Research Inc., a U.S. market-research and consulting company.
“The Margaret Lambert Story,” a new short documentary premiering Nov. 9 on the Olympic Channel, recounts how German-born Lambert, then known as Gretel Bergmann, was cheated out of competing in the 1936 Berlin Olympics by the Nazis because she was Jewish. Lambert died earlier this year at age 103 in Queens, New York.
Successful at the national level in athletics, Lambert moved to England to train and compete after being banned from sports clubs in Germany after the Nazis’ rise to power in 1933. In 1934, she won the British national championships. In 1935 the Nazi government wanted Lambert to return and try out for the German Olympic team, and threatened reprisals against her family if she did not acquiesce. But the Nazis were only interested in using her to convince the international community that Germany did not discriminate against Jews.
At 22, Lambert tied the German national record at the Olympic trials in June 1936 with a jump sufficient to win the Olympic gold medal. Then she received a letter that she was dismissed from the German Olympic team. Lambert arrived in New York in 1937 and won the U.S. women’s high-jump in 1937 and 1938.
In late 1943, the Germans were desperate to cover all traces of their death camp in Sobibor, Poland. They demolished buildings, bulldozed the evidence, planted trees.
More than 70 years later, archaeologists led by Yoram Haimi of the Israel Antiquities Authority set about excavating the site, uncovering gas chambers, mass graves — and, late last year, a girl’s silver pendant. It is engraved with a date, the place name “Frankfurt” and the Hebrew words “mazal tov.”
A cry from the earth, the remnant from a killing ground has opened up a tragic past to a family that knew little about it.
Thanks largely to a grandson of Holocaust survivors who is an amateur genealogist, the living relatives of the girl whose pendant it was, have been identified.
On November 13, more than 30 relatives of the girl, Karoline Cohn, will gather in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, to dedicate a “stumbling stone” memorial — a small brass plaque with the date of her birth and place of deportation at her last known address, Thomasiusstraße 10.
The memorial will be installed by artist Gunter Demnig, who created the project in 1996. Since then, more than 50,000 of the memorials have been installed throughout Europe.
Many of Karoline’s kin have never met before. They will be coming from the United States, Israel, Japan, Great Britain, Nicaragua and Hong Kong to honor the memory of someone they never knew.
Jewish Persecution Iraq
Jewish Persecution in Egypt
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