July 14, 2020

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11/11 Links: Kristallnacht, and Our Modern-Day Approach to Antisemitism; Iran building a permanent military base in Syria — report


From Ian:

Looking for an American bipartisan issue? Try the fight against BDS
As Texas continued to dry out from Hurricane Harvey, one city found itself embroiled in a bit of an imbroglio.

The city of Dickinson, a Houston suburb, announced it wouldn’t approve grants to repair hurricane damaged homes or businesses if the applicant supported boycotting Israel.

It was in the manual. The city’s flood assistance application included this clause: “By executing this Agreement below, the Applicant verifies that the Applicant: (1) does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement.”

The clause was included because Texas law bars state agencies from contracting with or investing in companies that boycott Israel. The city council voted to remove the clause as it pertains to individuals. However, businesses must still pledge to not boycott Israel in keeping with the Texas law.

As controversial as the law may be, it enjoys broad bipartisan support in the Lone Star State. In fact, nearly half the states in the country — regardless of political majority — support anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) legislation, belying the popular narrative that Israel has become a polarizing issue.

“To those saying Israel is an increasingly partisan issue, that narrative is prescriptive rather than descriptive. In Congress, and across the country, Israel is, on a basic level, bipartisan and this legislation really shows that,” said Northwestern University law professor Eugene Kontorovich.

That there are now 24 states in the nation to have anti-BDS laws is a testament to that bipartisanship.

How the Quakers Became Champions of BDS

The Gaza experience—where in fact the AFSC excelled at providing relief and creating infrastructure, despite resistance from the refugees themselves—was enough to convince the leadership to get out of the relief business altogether. At the same time, a faction of the organization’s leadership advocated a radical pacifist, and anti-American, agenda, aimed at nuclear disarmament and elevating the status of the Soviet Union and Communist China. By the 1960s, the AFSC became a liberal pressure group, one that openly supported North Vietnam. Support for Saddam Hussein and North Korea quickly followed.

But the AFSC never lost entirely lost interest in the Arab-Israeli conflict. After 1967, the AFSC escalated its involvement, beginning with quasi-theological criticism of Israel, acting as PLO’s legal representatives in Jerusalem during the 1970s, and conducting ‘interfaith’ events in which American Jews were shamed for supporting Israel. The Quaker tradition of even-handedness and political neutrality was long gone; by the late 1970s the AFSC had effectively enshrined Palestinians as the “new Jews.” Support for Palestinian terror as “resistance” against Israel’s “structural violence” and against sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program is now standard.

These policies are reflected in the educational curriculum of Quaker schools across the country, but most of all in the AFSC’s leading role in the BDS movement. Today, the AFSC runs several offices dedicated to supporting the BDS movement, partners with the odious Jewish Voice for Peace and with the Muslim Brotherhood backed Students for Justice in Palestine to train BDS activists and run campus events at which Israel is vilified and its supporters are harassed, and endorses the Palestinian right of return, which would destroy Israel as a sovereign Jewish state.

Joyce Ajlouny’s appointment epitomizes the transformation of the AFSC. Quaker schools and education have long been hijacked by Palestinian advocacy, as was recently seen at Friends’ Central School in Wynnewood, PA, where BDS supporter Sa’ed Atshan was scheduled to speak to students. Ajlouny, who served for 13 years as the Director of the Ramallah Friends School, will undoubtedly increase that kind of education, given her stated desire to, “bring educational programming on Israeli-Palestinian issues into Quaker schools, where many of the students are Jewish.”

Many Jewish parents are attracted to Quaker schools, which seek to instill values mistakenly believed to be analogous to those of Judaism, especially since the Quakers and their schools have enshrined “social justice” as a guiding principle. This is misleading. The AFSC’s concept of “justice” is one-sided, and Jewish parents must decide whether Jewish values and Quaker values, as they exist today, are really the same. Ajlouny’s appointment makes this more pressing.

In Morocco, Israeli judoka permitted to display his country’s name

Israeli judoka Ori Sasson was booted from the Openweight World Championships in Marrakech, Morocco on Saturday after losing to Frenchman Cyrille Maret.

But Sasson, a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, was at least allowed to wear Israeli insignia — in contrast to the ban imposed on Israeli national symbols at a tournament last month in Abu Dhabi.

Morocco had threatened not to grant visas to the Israeli team in the days leading up to the tournament. At one point last week team members arrived at Ben Gurion Airport only to be forced to head back home after receiving word they would not be allowed into the predominantly Muslim nation.

Eventually the matter was resolved after International Judo Federation President Marius Vizer personally intervened, and the Israeli athletes finally arrived in Marrakech, via Munich, on Thursday.

Kristallnacht, and Our Modern-Day Approach to Antisemitism

Seventy-nine years ago, Nazis across Germany and Austria razed synagogues, smashed windows and murdered almost 100 innocent Jews in a violent pogrom. Kristallnacht — or the “Night of Broken Glass” — is so named to describe the shattered glass that littered the streets the next morning. In the weeks that followed, approximately 30,000 Jews were transported to concentration camps — a sorrow foreshadowing of what would soon ensue.

On Kristallnacht’s 79th anniversary, I am compelled to address the rising tide of antisemitism sweeping Europe, reaching levels not seen since the end of the darkest chapter in Europe’s history.

In the first half of 2017, some 767 antisemitic attacks were recorded in the UK alone. This represents the highest figure since monitoring began in 1984 — and, staggeringly, was a 30 percent increase from 2016. In the meantime, violent assaults on Jews this year have risen 78 percent compared with the same period in 2016.

The above figures are broadly replicated in other major Jewish communities throughout Europe, including France and Germany. Even in the U.S., according to a recent survey by the ADL, there has been a significant spike in antisemitism across the country.

Kristallnacht is considered by many to represent the transition from the harassment of Jewish communities to outright violence against them.

Seventy-nine years later, many Jews across Europe are once again singled out because of their race — with Jewish property, institutions and even cemeteries, coming under assault.

Clearly, a new way to combat this tide of hatred is required.

79 Years Later: The synagogue that survived Kristallnacht

As is commonly said, a picture is worth a thousand words. But a few photos I found while going through a box of pictures that had belonged to my late in-laws, Anne and Joe Osofsky, sparked a thousand questions.

The black and white snapshots were of a synagogue in Europe built in the International or Bauhaus style developed in the 1920s. A large group of American GIs was standing in front of it. One photo bore a legend on its reverse side indicating that the pictures were taken during the rededication of the synagogue apparently right after the end of World War II.

Where was this synagogue? If it was in Germany, how did it survive Kristallnacht – the “Night of Broken Glass” – when Jewish homes and stores were pillaged, Jewish men rounded up throughout Germany and sent to concentration camps, and most of the country’s synagogues set aflame in November 1938? And how did my in-laws, who were young people in America during World War II, receive these pictures?

I was unsuccessful in discovering the location of this synagogue until I turned to a friend in Germany for help. Andreas Lehnertz, a doctoral student at the Arye Maimon Institute of Jewish History at Trier University, was able to work some Web magic, and in less than a day I received the answer: The synagogue was indeed located in Germany – in the spa town of Bad Nauheim in the Hessen province, some 28 km. from Frankfurt am Main.

Some additional research on my part yielded some fascinating information about the synagogue and its rededication after the war.

Douglas Murray: Name: “Sword of Islam”? Let Him In!

It is only eight weeks since an 18-year old Iraqi-born man walked onto the London Underground and left a bomb on the District line. Fortunately for the rush-hour commuters and school children on that train, the detonating device went off without managing to set off the bomb itself. Had the device worked, the many passengers who suffered life-changing burns would instead have been among many other people taken away in body bags. Ahmed Hassan came to the UK illegally in 2015 and was subsequently provided with foster care by the British government. He has now been charged, and is awaiting trial, for causing an explosion and attempted murder.

As stories like that of Mr. Hassan emerge, there are varying reactions. Some people say that this act is not indicative of anything, and that we must accept that such things happen — like the weather. Others suggest that anyone might leave a bomb on the District line in the morning, and that there is no more reason to alter your border policy because of it than there is to alter your meteorological policy because of it.

As poll after poll shows, however, the majority of the public in Britain — as in every other European country — think something else. They think that a country that has lost a grip on its immigration policy is very likely to lose control of its security policy, and that one may indeed follow the other.

So the British public were not at all reassured by the news this month that the country’s Home Office has lost track of tens of thousands of foreign nationals who were due to be removed from the country. Nor that there is no evidence of any effort to find the people in question.

Figures revealed in two new reviews by the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration showed that nearly 56,000 foreign nationals have disappeared from the radar of the British authorities after being told that they were required to leave the country. This figure includes over 700 foreign national offenders (FNOs) who went missing after being released into the community from prison. It also revealed that around 80,000 foreign nationals are required to check in on a regular basis at police stations and immigration centres while authorities prepare for them to leave the country. By the end of 2016, just under 56,000 of them had failed to keep appointments and had become persons “whose whereabouts are unknown and all mandatory procedures to re-establish contact with the migrant have failed.”

Nevertheless, with a straight face, Brandon Lewis, the immigration minister for the present Conservative government, declared that “People who have no right to live in this country should be in no doubt of our determination to remove them.” Yet he still admitted that “Elements of these reports make for difficult reading.”

U.N. to condemn Israel 9 times today, slam Jewish state for “repressive measures on Syrian Golan”

The U.N. General Assembly will condemn Israel nine times today, “part of its annual ritual of enacting 20 Arab-sponsored resolutions singling out the Jewish state, and making no mention of Hamas stabbings, shootings or vehicular attacks against Israelis,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based monitoring group UN Watch. Click here for list of 9 resolutions.

By contrast, in this year’s session there will be a total of 6 condemnatory resolutions for the rest of the world combined — with one each on Syria, North Korea, Iran, Crimea, Myanmar, as well as one on the U.S. for its Cuba embargo.

All 193 UN member states participate in the initial committee vote today, and then almost always vote the same way in a second and final vote at the GA plenary in December.

“The U.N.’s assault on Israel today with a torrent of one-sided resolutions is surreal,” said Neuer.

“Even after Syrian president Bashar Assad has used chemical weapons against his own people within the past year, the U.N. is about to adopt a resolution — drafted and co-sponsored by Syria — which falsely condemns Israel for ‘repressive measures’ against Syrian citizens on the Golan Heights. It’s obscene,” said Neuer.

“While there will be a total of 20 resolutions against Israel this session, not a single U.N. General Assembly resolution is planned today or this year for gross human rights abusers such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Venezuela, China, Cuba, Pakistan or Zimbabwe.”

“At a time when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his state-controlled media incite to the continued stabbing and shooting of Israeli Jews, the U.N.’s response is to reflexively condemn Israel in nine separate resolutions, each of them one-sided, each of them utterly silent on Palestinian abuses.”

The resolution drafted annually by Syria condemns Israel for holding on to the Golan Heights, and demands Israel hand the land and its people to Syria.

An Iranian Sinner Takes the Floor at the U.N., NYC, 11-10-2017

Syria with U.N. mic: There is no Jewish people

Watch: Poison of Antisemitism at UN, Syria & co., 11/10/2017

New UNESCO chief says US ’empty chair’ can’t last, reaches out to Israel

New UNESCO chief Audrey Azoulay has rebuked the US for its decision to withdraw from the UN cultural body citing anti-Israel bias and says America is “affected by everything” the agency does.

Following her confirmation Friday as director-general’, Azoulay acknowledged difficulties in the Paris-based organization that has been rocked by US funding cuts since 2011 over the admission of Palestine as a member and a series of anti-Israel resolutions.

But the 45-year-old former French culture minister, who has already urged the US and Israel not to withdraw from UNESCO, told The Associated Press that the Trump administration’s announcement to pull out of the agency is not tenable in the long term.

“I obviously regret their departure … but this ’empty chair politics’ is not sustainable because the United States is also affected by everything that UNESCO does,” she said, speaking at the agency’s Paris headquarters.

The UN’s educational, scientific and cultural agency is best known for its World Heritage program to protect cultural sites and traditions, but it also works to fight violent extremism, improve education for girls, promote Holocaust understanding, defend media freedoms and encourage science on climate change.

Priti Patel wanted “to curry favour with Jewish Tory donors” according to unnamed Conservative MP, while Labour’s Lord Falconer suggests Prime Minister risks being “in hock” to foreign power

The resignation of Priti Patel as Secretary of State for International Development has unleashed some disturbing comments, including from politicians and journalists who have carelessly or deliberately evoked sinister stereotypes of powerful Jews.

In one article in The Times, Policy Editor, Oliver Wright and Political Editor, Francis Elliott, cited an unnamed senior Conservative MP writing: “Another senior Conservative MP claimed that Ms Patel was planning to use her ministerial position in DfID to support Israel to curry favour with Jewish Tory donors. ‘The Israel lobby in the Party is hugely influential and this was about Priti cynically trying to win their support. She thought she could be the next leader.”

In another article in The Times, Oliver Wright wrote: “She didn’t relish the DfID job and saw it as a staging post rather than a mission. And in that regard the meetings she secretly held in Israel were less interesting than the person she held them with. Lord Polak, as the former longstanding head of Conservative Friends of Israel, has always been a key power-broker within the Tory party — with the numbers and contacts of dozens of key Tory financial backers.”

Meanwhile, Labour peer, barrister and former Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, told the BBC’s Today Programme: “This has nothing to do with paranoia about any particular country or any particular group. You do not want a Prime Minister who is in hock to the United States of America. You do not want a Prime Minister who is in hock to any particular group.”

Under the International Definition of Antisemitism adopted by the British Government, “Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions” is antisemitic.

IDF missile defense system shoots down drone near Syrian border

The Israel Defense Forces’ Patriot missile defense system shot down a drone above the Golan Heights Saturday after the unmanned aircraft approached the Israeli border from Syria.

Israeli security officials said the drone’s operators had deliberately attempted to fly the aircraft across the Israeli border, Channel 10 reported.

The IDF later concluded that the aircraft belonged to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime. It did not enter Israeli territory.

Last month, the IDF fired into Syria, hitting three rocket launchers, in response to earlier rocket fire, and warned that further fire would prompt a more intensive response.

Earlier that month, the Syrian army launched an interceptor missile at Israeli Air Force reconnaissance aircraft, which the IDF says were flying over Lebanon. In response, Israel sent out a second sortie of F-16 fighter jets to bomb an anti-aircraft battery that it believed launched the missile.

Germany charges Palestinian with murder of Christians over Temple Mount tensions

Germany’s federal prosecution charged a Palestinian man on Friday with murder and six counts of attempted murder.

Ahmad A., 26, wanted “to kill as many German nationals of the Christian faith as possible,” the prosecutor’s office said, according to the indictment. He wanted his actions “to be viewed in the context of an Islamic attack, and understood as a contribution to worldwide jihad.”

Ahmad allegedly murdered one man, aged 50, with a 20-cm. knife and wounded an additional six people, at a supermarket in Hamburg on July 28. German authorities said Ahmad was not a member of Islamic State.

He was animated to murder because of the “escalating conflict between Muslim believers and Israel security forces at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem,” the indictment states.

On July 14, three Palestinian terrorists shot to death two Israeli policemen near the Lions’ Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City, using weapons that had been smuggled onto the Temple Mount. The attack prompted Israeli authorities to install metal detectors at the main entrance to the Mount. The new security measures unleashed Palestinian protests and riots.

Ahmad, whose last name was not released to protect his privacy, “found the Israeli entry restrictions at the Aksa Mosque wrong and intolerable,” said the prosecutor’s office.

Ahmad, said the indictment, considers “Germany jointly responsible” for the situation at the holy site, where the Aksa Mosque is located. Ahmad said German Christians should therefore die.

At Hebrew University rally, Arab students call for ‘Zionists, out’

Arab students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem protested Israel’s presence in the Golan Heights on Wednesday in a demonstration that also saw protesters call for the expulsion of “Zionists” from the country.

“Zionists, out. My land [must be] Arab and free. There is no solution, no solution, but to get rid of the occupier,” students said, according to footage obtained by Channel 2.

“Shahid [martyr], be calm, we will continue the struggle,” the demonstrators also chanted during the rally at the Mount Scopus campus, which was organized by the student branch of the communist Hadash party.

“From Jerusalem to the Golan, one nation will not be weakened,” they called, waving Palestinian flags. “Palestine is Arab, and the Golan is Syrian.”

A complaint about the slogans was later lodged with police on the grounds of incitement to violence, the TV report said.

Abbas: PA could move to back one-state solution if two states fail

If the two-state solution fails, Palestinians will back a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with full rights for all citizens, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday.

In a pre-recorded speech broadcast on large screens in Gaza City as tens of thousands gathered to mark the death of PLO leader Yasser Arafat, Abbas, who has not visited Gaza since his allies were thrown out by Hamas in 2007, hailed his predecessor’s legacy.

“Our Palestinian people, who have always loved you as a great leader, still have that love, respect and loyalty,” he said.
Palestinians wave yellow Fatah movement flags during a rally marking the 13th anniversary of the death of Fatah founder and Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat, in Gaza City, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

Abbas said the Palestinians were pushing ahead to seal reconciliation and to achieve Arafat’s “dream… for freedom, sovereignty and independence on our Palestinian national soil.”

“There is no state in Gaza and there is no state without Gaza,” he said, stressing that the Palestinian people were “united” and “refuse divisions.”

He added that “The accurate implementation of the [reconciliation] deal and the full empowering of the government will surely lead to easing the suffering and reviving hope of a better future for all of us.”

MEMRI: Palestinian Authority Daily: We Will Not Sit Idly By In Face Of Iran’s Interference In The Palestinian Arena

On November 5, 2017, the day after Lebanese prime minister Sa’d Al-Hariri announced, in Riyadh, that he was stepping down, and also the day after the Houthis in Yemen fired a ballistic missile at Riyadh’s King Khaled International Airport – both of these events reflecting further escalation in Iran-Saudi tensions – Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud ‘Abbas visited Saudi Arabia, meeting with King Salman and with Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.

Before leaving the country, ‘Abbas expressed “solidarity with Saudi Arabia against the attacks on it” as well as his “full support for it and for the steps it is taking to protect its security and stability.”

According to a report on Raialyoum.com, and in the Lebanese Al-Akhbar daily, which is close to Hizbullah, ‘Abbas had been “suddenly summoned” to Saudi Arabia while he was visiting Egypt, where he met with Egyptian President ‘Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi, as part of Saudi efforts to form a coalition against Iran and Hizbullah as well as against Hamas, which has recently been strengthening its ties with Iran. According to the report, his summoning was in coordination with the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

During ‘Abbas’s Saudi visit, the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida published two unusually harsh anti-Iran articles, criticizing this country’s involvement in the region, particularly with the Palestinians. An editorial stated that Iran was trying to infiltrate the Palestinian arena by means of strengthening ties with Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and clarified that Iran was not doing this to serve the Palestinian interests but to expand its own control in the region. It stressed that the PA would not allow Iran to interfere in its territory and to duplicate what it had done with Hizbullah. Additionally, columnist Anwar Rajab called on the Palestinians to reexamine their relations with Iran and to beware of becoming a tool for it, because this would harm Saudi support for them and damage the entire Palestinian cause.

EXCLUSIVE – Fatah Official: Palestinian Weapons Are An Internal Issue

The weapons of the “resistance” in the hands of various Palestinian jihadi organizations is an internal Palestinian issue, Fatah official Iyad Nasser told Breitbart Jerusalem in the wake of a recent escalation in the Gaza Strip.

“The weapons of the resistance are an internal Palestinian issue that will be dealt with in internal Palestinian discussions and the demands presented by the Israeli occupation are not binding on the Palestinians,” said Nasser, a member of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council responsible for Fatah’s public relations efforts in the Gaza Strip.

“By refusing escalation, the Palestinian factions succeeded in preventing Israel from thwarting reconciliation efforts by dragging the factions in the direction of military escalation,” said Nasser. “The Palestinian resistance understands the challenges and the sensitivity of this special period of time.”

“Resistance” is usually used by Palestinian officials as a euphemism for terrorism targeting Israelis.

Nasser thanked Egypt for its role in calming tensions and preventing escalation, noting, “Egypt will contribute to stabilizing the security situation in the Gaza Strip.”

According to the Palestinian official, Egypt is also “overseeing the process of handing over authority and control at the border crossings, working with Hamas without any problems or disagreements.”

Iran building a permanent military base in Syria — report

Iran is building a permanent military base in Syria just south of Damascus, the BBC reported Friday, citing a Western intelligence official. The British broadcaster commissioned a series of satellite pictures that indicate widespread construction at the site.

Israel has long warned that Iran is trying to establish a permanent presence in Syria as part of its efforts to control a land corridor from Iran through to the Mediterranean Sea as it attempts to expand its influence across the Middle East.

According to the BBC report, the base is situated at a site used by the Syrian army near El-Kiswah, 14 km (8 miles) south of Damascus, and 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the Israeli border.

The BBC provided satellite images that show “a series of two dozen large low-rise buildings, likely for housing soldiers and vehicles.”

The photos, taken over several months, show additional buildings being constructed. However, the report said that “it is impossible to independently verify the purpose of the site and the presence of the Iranian military.”

Iranian Arab separatist shot to death in Netherlands

An Iranian activist who advocated for the independence of the country’s Arab minority was shot to death in the Netherlands on Wednesday.

Ahmad Mola Nissi, 52, was a founder of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz, or ASMLA, which advocates for an independent state in Iran’s oil-rich Khuzestan Province.

Dutch police said an investigation had been opened into the shooting and a suspect had been detained at the crime scene in The Hague.

“His involvement in the incident is being investigated,” police said about the suspect, according to Reuters. “Emergency services were at the scene quickly and reanimated the victim, but he died shortly later.”

The Ahvazi, who are ethnically Arab, are one of a number of minorities in Iran that says it is persecuted by the country’s Persian majority. Members of the ethnic group say they face discrimination in employment and housing and are often denied political and civil rights, according to Amnesty International.

In July, Mola Nissi told Reuters the ASMLA wants to “liberate Ahwaz lands and people from the Iranian occupation.”

Report: BDS Activists Secretly ‘Took Over’ American Studies Association Before It Endorsed Israel Boycott

Anti-Israel activists implemented a “covert campaign” to gain leadership positions at the American Studies Association (ASA), which they subsequently manipulated into endorsing an academic boycott of Israel, a Jewish human rights group said on Thursday.

The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law — which is representing four plaintiffs suing the ASA over its 2013 adoption of the boycott — revealed that newly-uncovered emails showed how activists with the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) “took over” and used the ASA to advance their political agenda.

A proposed second amended complaint filed by the plaintiffs — all current and former American Studies professors — named five of the 10 individual defendants as USACBI leaders: Sunaina Maira, Neferti Tadiar, J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Jasbir Puar, and Steven Salaita.

The defendants “misappropriated the American Studies Association’s funding, name, prestige, membership lists, and respected institutional voice” on behalf of USACBI, thereby subverting ASA’s “apolitical mission and scholarly purpose,” the plaintiffs said.

According to the complaint, the “defendants obtained control of the nominations process by which the American Studies Association chose its leaders,” then restricted nominations to individuals affiliated with USACBI and who would support the ASA’s proposed boycott of Israel.

Shortlisted Little Horton candidate and former Respect activist Nasreen Khan says remarks she made five years ago were ‘unacceptable’

BRADFORD’S Labour party has found itself embroiled in another anti-Semitism row, after shortlisting for political office a woman who faced criticism for a series of controversial posts about Jews.

Former Respect activist Nasreen Khan issued an apology after making a series of posts about Jews on Facebook five years ago.

Last night Ms Khan, who has since joined the Labour Party, said she had apologised for the comments she made about a video called ‘The Palestine you need to know’ and accepted they were “inappropriate and unacceptable”.

In 2012 using the name Naz Kahn she said: “It’s such a shame that the history teachers in our school never taught us this but they are the first to start brainwashing us and our children into thinking the bad guy was Hitler.

“What have the Jews done good in this world??”

When questioned about the comment, she had added: “No, I’m not a Nazi, I’m an ordinary British Muslim that had an opinion and put it across. We have worse people than Hitler in this world now.”

And, facing further criticism, she had said: “Stop beating a dead horse. The Jews have reaped the rewards of playing victims. Enough is enough!!”

‘Who’s Roger Waters?’ Famed Israeli-American Violinist Itzhak Perlman and Wife Dismiss BDS-Supporting Rocker

Israeli virtuoso Itzhak Perlman — widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest living violinists — had some dismissive words for leading BDS advocate and former Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters in a Billboard interview published this week.

Asked what he thought “of musicians like Roger Waters, who also lives part-time out here in the Hamptons, who boycott Israel?” Perlman responded, “What am I going to say? He’s entitled to his opinion.”

“There’s nothing I say that will convince people otherwise, so that’s it,” he continued. “What can you do? There are many, many people who are on the bandwagon of boycotting Israel.”

Pressed on the point that Waters is a “famous musician,” Perlman answered, “He’s no friend of mine, so…”

Meanwhile, on hearing the name of Pink Floyd’s bassist, who wrote or co-wrote most of the band’s songs, Perlman’s wife Toby asked merely, “Who’s Roger Waters?”

The Perlmans also discussed their personal feelings toward Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (“We didn’t know that we’d be having tea with Netanyahu…That was also problematic because [of his politics…”],) and US President Donald Trump (“But with Trump, you just don’t go [to a White House event]. You say, ‘No, I’m sorry, I’m busy.’”)

Speaking about the disability he developed after contracting polio at the age of four, Perlman, now 72, said that his maxim was, “Separate your abilities from your disabilities.”

Noga Tarnopolsky’s Awkward Journalism on Balfour Centennial

Might not the source of Netanyahu’s “less than graceful” comments (as Tarnopolsky deems them) regarding British backtracking have more to do with the obstacles that the British subsequently put in place towards the realization of the Jewish state, such as the White Paper severely restricting Jewish immigration and condemning untold numbers of Jews to death?

Finally, Tarnopolsky’s repeated editorializing about the nature of Netanyahu’s comments (“resentful remarks,” “testy thanks for nothing,” “less than graceful comments”) stands in stark contrast to her matter of fact reporting of Rami Hamdallah’s comments (she casts no pejorative description or judgment on his declaration about “disgust” and allegation of “apartheid.” The remarks of Erekat and Thornberry likewise escape Tarnopolsky’s negative judgment.

When challenged about the editorializing and omissions, the newspaper insisted the piece did not cross the line into opinion, arguing that if the creation of Israel was an important event, then it is not a stretch to call Balfour’s document the “most important” diplomatic message ever. About Tarnopolsky’s failure to inform readers of the government’s outspoken support for, the Los Angeles Times acknowledged that it might have been appropriate to note Theresa May’s support for the Balfour Declaration, but nonetheless declined to redress the egregious omission.

BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ returns to an old trope

In the past we have documented on these pages numerous examples of the BBC’s promotion of the notion of an all-powerful “Israel lobby” and – even more frequently – the notion of a “Jewish lobby“. In November 2014, for example, listeners to BBC Radio 5 live heard the following:

“I mean if we’re not careful we’re going to turn into the east coast of America where, you know, where all of politics is in thrall…ehm…to the Jewish lobby and to the Irish lobby and as a result you get very, very distorted politics and good sense goes out of the window.” […]

“We can’t all observe dietary laws because it might offend the more powerful lobby – the Israeli lobby – which already has big brother America cow-towing to its every wish. I mean it really is unacceptable. It’s kind of un-British anyway…” [all emphasis added]

Over the past couple of years, however, the BBC has been noticeably more cautious about promotion of the ‘Jewish lobby’ trope.

The November 8th edition of the BBC Radio 4 news and current affairs programme ‘Today’ included several items relating to a story broken by the BBC several days earlier concerning a British cabinet minister and allegedly “undisclosed” meetings in Israel that actually took place several months ago and in some cases were posted on social media.

BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ Balfour Declaration centenary special – part three

Hotovely then spoke about Palestinian incitement and “schools and squares” named after terrorists that glorify violence against Jews but was again interrupted.

Robinson: “Well as you know there are many children who don’t believe that and many schools that don’t teach it. Let’s talk about the future if we could, minister, because that’s what matters now.”

Hotovely’s response to that interruption included the observation “it doesn’t seem like you’re shocked from [by] the idea that young children are being raised on this legacy of terrorism” but Robinson continued with yet another ‘question’ to which he also provided the answer.

Robinson: “Has Israel now abandoned the goal set by so many of a so-called two-state solution? In other words; of Israel living alongside and in peace with a Palestinian state. From everything you say, you have.”

Hotovely’s attempts to reply were repeatedly interrupted.

Robinson: “What’s your policy though? What’s your policy?”

Robinson: “So there will be no Palestinian state?”

Robinson: “Let me ask what you think the future is rather than your view of the Palestinians. Is your view of the future then a larger Israel incorporating what you call Judea & Samaria – what other people call the occupied West Bank – with second class Palestinian citizens live [sic] there? Is that your vision?”

After Hotovely’s reply to that question (and without it being clarified to listeners that her personal political views on that topic are not the majority view in Israel) Robinson continued by asking whether her three year-old and one year-old daughters have “Palestinian friends”:

Indonesian museum removes Nazi-themed exhibit after outrage

An Indonesian museum that allowed visitors to take selfies with a life-size wax sculpture of Hitler against a backdrop of Auschwitz concentration camp has removed the exhibit following international outrage, the manager said Saturday.

De ARCA Statue Art Museum in the Javanese city of Jogjakarta drew swift condemnation from rights groups after details of the controversial display were published in foreign media.

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The exhibit features a sure-footed Hitler standing in front of a huge photo of the gates of Auschwitz — the largest Nazi concentration camp where more than 1.1 million people were killed.

The museum’s operations manager, Jamie Misbah, said the the wax sculpture had been removed after the building was alerted to criticism from prominent Jewish human rights organization the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

“We don’t want to attract outrage,” Misbah told AFP.

Jewish woman, 70, has head smashed into wall in London anti-Semitic attack

A 70-year-old Jewish woman was hospitalized with concussion after being attacked by an assailant who called her “Zyd,” Polish for “Jew.”

The male attacker smashed her head into a brick wall while shouting “Zyd” during the attack on Saturday afternoon in London’s Stamford Hill neighborhood, which has a large Orthodox Jewish population, the London-based Campaign Against Anti-Semitism reported on its website.

The incident was first reported by the London chapter of the Shomrim Jewish neighborhood-watch organization.

New Film ‘1945’ Explores Post-Holocaust Hungary and Local Collaboration Against the Jews

A new Hungarian film depicting the post-WWII attitude toward Jews in the country premiered last week in New York.

The movie, “1945,” is set one year after the Jewish population of a small Hungarian village was deported to concentration camps. When two Orthodox Jews arrive in town on a morning train, the villagers — some of whom had turned on their Jewish neighbors for personal gain — confront feelings of guilt and fear. “What the hell do they want?” the locals ask. Are the new arrivals seeking revenge? To reclaim ownership of their stolen property? “We have to give it all back,” some of them say. Others seek to hold on to their ill gotten gains.

At the height of the Nazi deportations, many locals witnessed the forced transportation of their Jewish neighbors to concentration camps and then looted their possessions. There were few who were not collaborators in the redistribution of the land, home furnishings and belongings forcibly abandoned by the Jews, but some later felt guilt and shame in doing so. In “1945,” the town is led by a clerk who had betrayed his closest friend, a Jewish pharmacist, and then took over his business. One woman confesses her remorse in revealing a young Jew’s hiding place; overcome with guilt over the theft of Jewish property, another villager commits suicide. The film explores the tension between those returning from the concentration camps and those who stayed behind in the local towns and villages.

“The human stories; the small stories; the local stories tell a lot about a society,” said “1945” co-screenwriter Gabor T. Szanto, in an interview with The Algemeiner, “and it was a real drama when the Jews came back and met with those who had seen when they were deported, who took their properties, who got their properties on behalf of the state at discounted auctions. [It] was a very dramatic element: how the state made the society of collaborators against the Jews.”

Smartphone app listens to your voice for lung disease

Should you be worried that your mobile phone is invading your privacy by listening in to your conversations without your knowledge? Not if the goal is to save your life.

Israeli startup Healthymize has developed an app that records all your calls but, rather than send that data to Facebook or Google to sell you products you didn’t even know you wanted, Healthymize listens for signals of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

If Healthymize detects a negative breathing pattern, a particular kind of cough or deterioration in the caller’s rate of speech (compared with a baseline of previously recorded calls), the app alerts the patient and his or her medical team.

Such early intervention can significantly reduce hospitalization and even death. “We don’t want patients to get to the hospital. If they do, that’s already too late,” Healthymize CEO and cofounder Dr. Shady Hassan tells ISRAEL21c.

Most COPD patients don’t contact their physician when symptoms begin, but rather wait four or more days. Yet every 24-hour delay doubles the risk of hospitalization, Hassan stresses.

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