May 19, 2019

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11/13 Links Pt2: Judea Pearl: The Balfour Declaration at 100 and How It Redefined Indigenous People; Normalizing anti-Semitism on campus

From Ian:

Judea Pearl: The Balfour Declaration at 100 and How It Redefined Indigenous People
Balfour understood that Eretz Israel is an inextricable part of Jewish identity. Accordingly, he also understood that indigeneity is based on intellectual attachment and historical continuity no less than on physical presence or genetic lineage.

In 2014, when peace negotiations seemed somewhat hopeful, Palestinian chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat was reported in The New York Times as saying: “the Palestinians could never accede to Israel’s demand that they recognize it as the nation-state of the Jewish people. … I cannot change my narrative.” A few months later, when pressed to explain what narrative defines his position Erekat told the Times of Israel: “I am the proud son of the Netufians and the Canaanites. I’ve been there for 5,500 years before Joshua. ”

On this centennial celebration of the Balfour Declaration it is worth reminding Erekat and Khalidi that the declaration’s most profound imprint on the world’s conciousness has been a universal understanding that the essence of indigineity is cultural and intellectual, not genetic or geographical.

Palestinian resistance to accepting their neighbors as equally indigenous to the region has been so obsessive and so counter-productive that it begs to be enlivened through a hypothetical scenario, however imaginary. I can’t resist imagining Balfour attending Khalidi’s lecture at Columbia, raising his hand and asking politely:

“Professor Khalidi, can you name a Canaanite figure that you are proud of? A Canaanite poem that you enjoy reciting? A Canaanite holiday that you celebrate? A Canaanite leader who is a role model to your children?

Replace the word “Canaanite” with “biblical” and you will find four questions that every Israeli child can answer half asleep.

There is merit and wisdom in hypothetical scenarios. In this case, I would hope it could mitigate the Palestinian claim to exclusive ownership of the title “indigenous people” and, God-willing, usher a genuine reconciliation effort based on mutual recognition and shared indigeneity. (h/t Elder of Lobby)

JPost Editorial: Bipolar Britain

What’s more, the meetings became known to the Foreign Office three months ago. If they were such a big source of concern, why was nothing done about them for so long? Why is it that the “scandal” was made public in Britain last Friday, to coincide with Netanyahu’s visit to London for meetings with May and to mark the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration?

Meanwhile, the British press, in a tendentious attempt to sensationalize what was in reality nothing more than a breach of protocol, presented one leg of the trip as though Patel was seeking to transfer hard-earned British taxpayers’ money to the Israeli military.

In reality, however, Patel was looking into the possibility that Britain would help defray some of the costs for maintaining an Israeli field hospital on the Golan Heights that treats wounded Syrian refugees.

Both The Guardian and The Independent – at least initially – reported that the money was going to the IDF, as noted in a piece for The Algemeiner by Simon Plosker, managing editor of

The Times of London claimed, meanwhile, that Patel sought to provide British aid to an Israeli Army program “treating wounded Syrian jihadists, including al-Qaida fighters.”

We understand that newspapers have to make money and that sensationalism sells. We also understand that nearly anything to do with Israel arouses strong emotions in Britain.

But what about journalistic integrity? There is much to appreciate in Britain’s approach to Israel. May is undoubtedly one of the most pro-Israel heads of state in Europe, though she is bogged down with political problems.

But Patel’s treatment is not just the collateral effect of May’s crisis-ridden government. Rather, the Patel scandal is an uncomfortable reminder of the toxic atmosphere of anti-Israel sentiment both in British society and in the Foreign Office. Apparently, it is no coincidence that this reminder was made now, as Israel and Britain celebrate the Balfour Declaration, the Jewish people’s first decisive diplomatic success on the road to statehood.

Antisemitism Campaigners Urge Prince Charles to Repudiate 1986 Letter Decrying US ‘Jewish Lobby’

CAA Chairman Gideon Falter said that Charles’s letter was “disturbing.”

“It appears that our future king believed in 1986 that the ‘influx’ of Holocaust survivors to Israel were not ‘Semitic,’ ’cause great problems’ including terrorism, and should be ‘eliminated,’ presumably through their removal,” Falter said. “The letter also appears to endorse the view that Israel is not simply the result of Jewish self-determination in the historic Jewish homeland, but the result of bullying by an all-powerful ‘Jewish lobby,’ which holds US presidents in its clutches. We view these comments as unmistakably antisemitic.”

Noting that Charles retains a good relationship with the UK Jewish community, Falter called on Charles to “urgently repudiate” these “historic remarks” as a gesture of reassurance.

The eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II – who this year became the longest-reigning monarch in British history – Charles and his suitability for the throne have long been a favored topic of discussion in the British press. Critics of the prince charge that his publicly-expressed views over the years on matters as varied as architecture and religion show him to be remote and out of touch.

Prince Charles’ staff issue statement disavowing his 1986 letter as “not the Prince’s own views”

In a letter exposed today in the Mail on Sunday, it was revealed that Prince Charles made deeply troubling comments about refugee Holocaust survivors and the power of the “Jewish lobby”. Following criticism by Campaign Against Antisemitism and others, Clarence House, Prince Charles’ residence and office, has now issued a statement dismissing the views he expressed in a letter over thirty years ago.

In a 1986 letter to explorer Laurens van der Post, the heir to the throne wrote: “Dear Laurens, Am on my way to Cyprus and Italy having passed through Suez Canal. Lovely having three days at sea. This tour has been fascinating and have learned a lot about Middle East and Arab outlook. Tried to read a bit of Koran on way out and it gave me some insight into the way they think and operate. Don’t think they could understand us by reading the Bible though. Much to admire some aspects of Islam – especially accent on hospitality and accessibility of rulers. Also begin to understand their point of view about Israel. Never realised they see it as a US colony. I now appreciate that Arabs and Jews were all a Semitic people originally and it is the influx of foreign, European Jews (especially from Poland they say) which has helped to cause great problems. I know there are so many complex issues, but how can there ever be an end to terrorism unless the causes are eliminated? Surely some US president has to have the courage to stand up and take on the Jewish lobby in the US? I must be naïve, I suppose! Charles”

Following publication of the letter, Campaign Against Antisemitism issued a statement saying: “This letter is disturbing. It appears that our future king believed in 1986 that the ‘influx’ of Holocaust survivors to Israel were not ‘Semitic’, ‘cause great problems’ including terrorism, and should be ‘eliminated’, presumably through their removal. The letter also appears to endorse the view that Israel is not simply the result of Jewish self-determination in the historic Jewish homeland, but the result of bullying by an all-powerful ‘Jewish lobby’ which holds US presidents in its clutches. We view these comments as unmistakably antisemitic. However, since the letter was written, the Prince of Wales appears to have warmed to the Jewish community and we note his friendship with the former Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, as well as his attendance at the inauguration of the present Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis. In order to reassure the worldwide Jewish community, including Jews living in Israel, that the heir to the throne has changed his views, these historic remarks must urgently be repudiated by Prince Charles.”

The Place of Anti-Semitism in Today’s Fractured Conservative Politics

With the emergence of the alt-right onto the American political scene, right-wing anti-Semitism has crawled back out from the shadows. In the 1950s, William F. Buckley, Jr. had made strenuous efforts to drive anti-Semitism out of the pages of National Review and out of the ranks of the new conservative movement that he was hoping to shape. He renewed these efforts in the 1990s, as his erstwhile colleagues Joseph Sobran and Patrick J. Buchanan became increasingly vocal about their hatred of Jews and the Jewish state. The experience resulted in a book, In Search of Anti-Semitism. In conversation with Jonathan Silver, Matthew Continetti discusses Buckley’s book and the issue of right-wing anti-Semitism then and now.

‘Rock stars’ of the IDF: Israeli soldiers go on tour to educate the masses

The questions come fast and furious for Israel Defense Force reservists Keren and Haitham, who goes by the nickname Tom.

“How do you show your support for Israel on campus?” “How does training and combat affect you?” “Do you have to live in Israel to show your love for it?”

About 40 students sit inside the book lined beit midrash, or study hall, of Hebrew High School of New England (HHNE). They have more questions than time allows. Still the pair does their best to answer each one clearly, concisely and completely.

This is the second to last stop on a nearly three-week long Israeli Soldiers Tour, or IST, through New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Along the way the two, whose last names have been withheld for security reasons, met students at University of Hartford and cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

“This is something very important to us. The students here have a variety of views and it’s really important for us to show them the complexities of Israel. The reality on the ground is more complicated than what they might know,” said Rabbi Jeremy Bruce, HHNE’s head of school.

IST, sponsored by the Israel advocacy organization StandWithUs, is just one of several such tours to crisscross the United States, Canada and Europe each year. While each organization differs, they all seek to put a “human face” on the IDF. Additionally, they work to counter misconceptions about life in the IDF and push back against anti-Israel activists.

Normalizing anti-Semitism on campus

At McGill University recently, three board members of the University’s Students’ Society were removed from their appointments after a vote at the Fall General Assembly due to their alleged “Jewish conflict of interest.” The ouster was led by a pro-BDS student group, Democratize McGill, which was campaigning against pro-Israel students in the wake of a September ruling by the Judicial Board that had rejected the BDS movement on the McGill campus once and for all. This was done on the grounds that the movement failed to uphold the university’s constitution by “violat[ing] the rights of [Israeli] students to represent themselves” and discriminating on the basis of national origin.

In retaliation, and to eliminate pro-Israel views on the board, Democratize McGill launched an effort to purge the board of BDS opponents. This effort was based on the cynical notion that such opponents harbored a clear conflict of interest that arose from their purported biases. Because the students in question were Jewish or pro-Israel (or both), they were labeled by Democratize McGill as incapable of making informed or fair decisions as student leaders.

In stating this premise, the pro-BDS students ignored their own obvious biases as well as the lack of any balance in their own views on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. They nonetheless felt entirely comfortable suppressing pro-Israel voices and Jewish students on the board, asserting that they sought to remove these students because they “are all either fellows at the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee (CJPAC), an organization whose explicit mandate is to promote pro-Israel discourse in Canadian politics, or primary organizers for the anti-BDS initiative at McGill.”

Those students were to be disqualified, in other words, for having views that differed from those of the student leaders who sought to purge them. The Jewish board member and two other non-Jewish, pro-Israel board members were subsequently voted off the board.

McGill has a history of seeking to suppress pro-Israel expression, not only in the student government but also in its press. An example is a 2016 controversy involving The McGill Daily, which made the astonishing editorial admission that it was the paper’s policy not to publish “pieces which promote a Zionist worldview, or any other ideology which we consider oppressive.”

Petra Marquardt-Bigman: Wake Forest Professor Barry Trachtenberg’s Defense of Antisemitic Comparisons Between Israel And Nazi Germany Reflects His Anti-Israel Activism

Barry Trachtenberg is a professor at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he was appointed to the Michael H. and Deborah K. Rubin Presidential Chair of Jewish History in July 2016. His areas of expertise include “the Nazi Holocaust,” as he emphasized in his recent testimony at the House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee during a hearing on antisemitism at US college campuses.

Unfortunately, however, Trachtenberg’s testimony reflected his longstanding associations with anti-Israel activists whose ardent “anti-Zionism” regularly echoes age-old antisemitic tropes.

The views Trachtenberg expressed in the recent hearing prompted some shocked reactions, with commentators highlighting the fact that he downplayed antisemitism on campuses, while defending the antisemitic comparison between Israel and Nazi Germany.

It is noteworthy that Trachtenberg advanced the utterly disingenuous argument that this was a rather common comparison since e.g. “President George H. W. Bush famously compared Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to Adolf Hitler.” But as a scholar of Jewish history and the Holocaust, Trachtenberg surely knows the difference: Israel is a country where the Jews who managed to escape or survive the Nazis’ genocidal campaign found refuge, and where their children and grandchildren live. Telling them that their survival resulted in Nazi-like evil is a monstrous echo of the Nazi slogan, “The Jews are our misfortune.”

By contrast, Saddam Hussein was a Baathist dictator — i.e. an Arab national socialist who espoused an ideology that is actually indebted to the Nazis. And presumably, Professor Trachtenberg has heard of the Farhud, which the US Holocaust Memorial Museum describes as “a turning point in the history of the Jews in Iraq.” That’s why Israel is not only home to Jews who escaped the Nazis, but also to Jews who escaped the predecessors of Saddam Hussein, as well as to those driven out of other Arab and Muslim countries.

Glamour’s unworthy ‘Women of the Year’

Glamour Magazine just announced its 2017 “Women of the Year” awardees, whom they describe as “game changers, rule breakers, and trailblazers.” Perhaps some recipients are changing the world — though not all for the better — but nothing is changing at Glamour. The magazine continues its tradition of using this award to honor women who advance an extreme, leftist political agenda, while ignoring every woman with right-of-center views. The big question is, will this be the year that its readers decide enough is enough?

The average Glamour reader who seeks out the magazine for advice about this season’s hot lipstick shade and skirt length probably isn’t interested in a loving tribute to the organizers of the intensely partisan Women’s March.

The march, held in January to protest President Trump’s election, talked a lot about women coming together, diversity and inclusivity. But organizers weren’t even open-minded enough to allow a pro-life group that wanted to join them in protesting Trump to soil their ranks.

Today, it’s clear the march and movement were never really about women. The real purpose is to advance the left’s political agenda: The whole “women” thing is just a convenient political banner.

How else to explain why one of the march’s leaders, Linda Sarsour, who was featured by Glamour, defends sharia law and Saudi Arabia’s legal system — which, as CNN explains, denies women basic rights, such as the freedom to “marry, divorce, travel, get a job or have elective surgery without permission from their male guardians”?

Sarsour is pals with terrorist sympathizers and tweeted that female-genital-mutilation survivor and activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali is asking “4 an a$$whippin’ ” and “I wish I could take their vaginas away — they don’t deserve to be women.” Is this really the new poster girl for women’s lib?

The New School Invites Linda Sarsour to Lead Panel on Anti-Semitism

Founded in 1919 by progressive New York intellectuals, The New School rose to prominence two decades later, when it took in a small band of Jewish intellectuals fleeing the Nazis. Eminences like Hannah Arednt, Leo Strauss, and Erich Fromm all benefited from the institution’s commitment to taking in the victims of the world’s most ancient and persistent hatred and giving them a place to pursue their ideas in peace.

How things change: Later this month, the university will co-sponsor a panel on anti-Semitism that will feature, among others, Linda Sarsour, who opined that “nothing is creepier than Zionism,” praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, and believes one cannot support the right of Jews to a homeland of their own and still be a feminist. Alongside Sarsour will be Rebecca Vilkomerson, who heads the odious Jewish Voice for Peace. The group, as an ADL report aptly put it, “uses its Jewish identity to shield the anti-Israel movement from allegations of anti-Semitism and to provide the movement with a veneer of legitimacy.” Among JVP’s recent achievements are the enthusiastic support of Rasmea Odeh, a Palestinian terrorist convicted of a bombing attack on a Jerusalem supermarket that left two young students dead and who was recently deported from the United States after lying about the incident on her immigration forms. The group is also a frequent supporter, despite its allegations to the contrary, of Alison Weir, an activist robustly promoting modern-day blood libels against Jews.

It goes without saying, sadly, that the event—which is co-sponsored by prominent progressive institutions like the radical magazine Jacobin—features not a single actual scholar of anti-Semitism, nor one voice that doesn’t belong comfortably in the deep left. In supporting this pathetic farce, then, the New School betrays its mission and its heritage twice: First by inviting some of the leading purveyors of anti-Jewish prejudice to discuss anti-Semitism, and second by failing to invite to the panel anyone who might disrupt the torrent of invective with dispassionate facts and real expertise.

New York Times Travel Section Celebrates Convicted Terrorist

Of all the restaurants in the world possibly to deserve a feature article in the New York Times Sunday travel section, the newspaper has somehow chosen one whose interior features a big mural of a Jew-killing Arab terrorist.

The article appears under the headline, “An Arab Bakery in Oakland Full of California Love.”

The Times declaration that the bakery is “full of…love” is sure strange, because it will appear to a lot of people as if it is full of hate.

The Times handles the issue in two paragraphs.

The third sentence of the article reports, “Reem’s is one of a handful of Arab bakeries in the Bay Area — but it is likely the only one where you’ll find the children’s book ‘A Is for Activist’ on the shelves and an enormous mural of the controversial Palestinian activist Rasmeah Odeh on the wall.”

“Controversial” is such shabby journalism that the New York Times’ own style manual has an entry about the word: “This completely acceptable word becomes an unfair shortcut when attached to the name of a person, program or institution without elaboration: it places the subject under a sinister cloud without stating any case. At a minimum the issue should be specified soon after the word appears. Once that is done, the need for the adjective will often — though not always — evaporate.”

In this case, the Times waits until the last paragraph of the article to specify or elaborate, and then only vaguely:
While Ms. Assil’s food has drawn plenty of praise, the bakery’s mural has invited criticism: in late June, an online op-ed charged that Ms. Odeh’s portrayal glorified terrorism, and the bakery’s Yelp page was besieged by a slew of one-star reviews. “It was really scary,” Ms. Assil said of the experience, but added that it won her new allies. “I’m feeling really blessed by the following we’ve built,” she said. “It’s really a testament to when you build community, your customers support you.”

In New York Times, Convicted Bomber Becomes ‘Controversial Palestinian Activist’

Days after a New York Times arts piece about the Louvre Abu Dhabi covered up an official Emirati ban on Israeli symbols at the international Grand Slam judo tournament last month, the paper of record this week published a travel article which whitewashes convicted bomber Rasmeah Odeh as a “controversial Palestinian activist.”

The Nov. 11 “Bites” New York Times restaurant review is all about the love, community organizing and social justice purportedly exemplified by Reen Assil, owner of Reem’s California (“An Arab Bakery in Oakland Full of California Love”). Rebecca Flint Marx writes:
Reem’s is one of a handful of Arab bakeries in the Bay Area — but it is likely the only one where you’ll find the children’s book “A Is for Activist” on the shelves and an enormous mural of the controversial Palestinian activist Rasmeah Odeh on the wall.

But there is not a word about the source of Odeh’s “controversy,” as The Times delicately puts it. As The New York Times itself reported May 27, 2017, Odeh “was convicted in Israel of playing a role in the bombing of a supermarket that killed two civilians in 1969.”

Odeh was convicted of perpetrating the bombing in which Hebrew University students Leon “Arie” Kanner, 21, and Edward Joffe, 22, were murdered. That makes her a convicted terrorist, not an “activist.”

IsraellyCool: New York Times Puff (Pastry) Piece on Terrorist-Loving Reems Bakery

And the victims are not Leon Kanner and Eddie Joffe – who perished in Odeh’s terrorist act – but rather Reems owner Reem Assil, who is painted as just a gal wanting social justice for all, yet who has been unfairly attacked, an experience that left her “scared.”

But while social justice “has always been a core component of Reem’s,” Ms. Assil said, her business was inspired by the bakeries she visited during a trip to the Middle East several years ago. “Even though there was political turmoil outside, you never would feel it inside,” she said. “In Oakland, I felt we didn’t have enough of those places where people could feel alive and safe and connected.”

While Ms. Assil’s food has drawn plenty of praise, the bakery’s mural has invited criticism: in late June, an online op-ed charged that Ms. Odeh’s portrayal glorified terrorism, and the bakery’s Yelp page was besieged by a slew of one-star reviews. “It was really scary,” Ms. Assil said of the experience, but added that it won her new allies. “I’m feeling really blessed by the following we’ve built,” she said. “It’s really a testament to when you build community, your customers support you.”

I would imagine as a Jew or even anyone with a sense of morality, walking into a bakery to find a convicted terrorist murderer staring down at me from the wall would be the scary thing. But then again, I am not the New York Times.

The piece spends a great deal of time describing Reem’s food, which Assil herself calls “Arab street food made with California love.” The author, having just spoken about the mural, exclaims “And there’s much to love here.”

Naturally, the piece ends with Reems’ details, because this is promoting Reems after all.

Also naturally: the author of this revolting piece, Rebecca Flint Marx, is Jewish. I say naturally, because we tend to be our own worst enemies. Or at least many of those who consider themselves “liberal.”

IsraellyCool: Something Else for BDS-Holes to Boycott: Star Wars!

Not all that long ago, in a galaxy far away right here on Earth, an Israeli producer was one of those entrusted with the Star Wars franchise.

The Hollywood duo behind “The Last Jedi” have just been handed the keys to the future of the “Star Wars” franchise.

American director Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman, a prolific Israeli producer, have been tasked by Disney with creating a whole new “Star Wars” trilogy that, for the first time ever, will take place with characters and locations independent of the episodic Skywalker saga.

David Singer: ABC News Admits “Human Error” Wiped Israel from Map

ABC News has belatedly admitted that “human error” caused Israel to be wiped from the following map:

This admission came during the investigation of a complaint lodged by me concerning a segment aired on Media Watch featuring the above map titled “Misplaced map outrage”

Audience and Consumer Affairs (“AACA”) – a unit separate to and independent of the content making areas of the ABC – dealt with my complaint alleging that Media Watch had breached the ABC’s editorial standards of accuracy.

Media Watch had focused on a Daily Mail story dated 19 August which accused the ABC of wiping Israel off the map.

Media Watch sought to provide the context missing from the Daily Mail article – namely, that the ABC report was about repealing a law which allows rapists to escape punishment if they marry their victims, that Israel had never had that law whereas such laws had been applied in Palestinian territories.

This dismissive response coming from the annual $1 billion taxpayer-funded ABC is not acceptable.

Reprimanding those responsible for this “human error” and those who sought to publicly justify Israel’s exclusion from the map using artificially-contrived reasons is surely warranted – particularly as the ABC has been recently accused of anti-Israel bias.

MEMO Balfour event participant hosts BBC Radio 4 discussion on Balfour Declaration

A journalist known for his promotion of the notion of a secretive ‘pro-Israel lobby’ allegedly influencing British politics who regularly writes for one media outlet linked to Hamas and participated in a Balfour Declaration/Israel bashing ‘conference’ organised by another outfit with Hamas connections might not seem like the ideal presenter for an item discussing the Balfour Declaration centenary aired by a broadcaster supposedly committed to ‘impartiality’.

Nevertheless, Peter Oborne did present the October 28th edition of BBC Radio 4’s ‘The Week in Westminster’ and that programme included (from 22:03 here) “reflections on the letter which paved the way for the creation of the state of Israel, 100 years ago”.

One of the other people ‘reflecting’ was MP Stephen Kinnock who last December accepted an award from the Hamas-linked ‘Palestinian Return Centre’ as thanks for his support during its campaign for UN accreditation. Mr Kinnock’s views on Israel have long been clear: shortly after the conflict of summer 2014, for example, he wrote the following:

“This devastating onslaught on Gaza has triggered yet another humanitarian crisis, and that’s what’s creating headlines in the here and now. But it is also possible that it has inflicted such damage on Gaza’s already crippled infrastructure that it will become an unliveable place well before 2020. You just can’t help wondering whether the Israeli government factored this into its calculations when it opted to launch such a wide-ranging attack on the Gaza Strip.”

Kinnock is also on record as an enthusiastic supporter of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign but Radio 4 listeners were not informed of that fact before they heard him promote it in this item

BBC Watch complaint on Partition Plan inaccuracy upheld

On November 10th – over five months after the programme was originally broadcast – we were informed by the Head of Executive Complaints that the ECU had upheld our complaint.

Of course the vast majority of people who listened to ‘PM’ on June 8th will be highly unlikely to search out the relevant page on the BBC website on the off-chance that a correction may have been made to something they heard over five months ago.

And so, the BBC’s partly outsourced complaints system (which one could be forgiven for thinking is primarily designed to make members of the public give up and go away) continues to do a disservice to licence fee payers by ensuring that by the time a material inaccuracy is addressed, virtually no-one will receive the corrected information.

Israel protests after Polish nationalist rally calls for Jews to leave

Israel called a far-right march that took place in Warsaw “a dangerous march of extreme and racist elements,” and urged Polish authorities to act against the organizers Monday.

The Independence Day march Saturday was organized by groups that trace their roots to radical nationalist, pre-World War II anti-Semitic groups.

Some 60,000 people took part, including families with children, but also young men carrying banners with messages including “White Europe of brotherly nations.”

Some participants chanted anti-Semitic slogans such as “Pure Poland, Jew free Poland,” “Jews out of Poland,” and “Refugees get out.”

A number of participants carried the Celtic Cross, a white supremacist symbol, and marchers also spoke out against Muslims.

Participants marched under the slogan “We Want God,” words from an old Polish religious song that US President Donald Trump quoted during a visit to Warsaw earlier this year. Speakers spoke of standing against liberals and defending Christian values.

Watch: NYPD nabs anti-Semite for harassing Jews

Police arrested a New York man in the Crown Heights area of Brooklyn last Thursday after he threatened a Jewish man as he walked past him.

The incident occurred at the intersection of Albany Avenue and Eastern Parkway last Thursday afternoon.

The suspect reportedly spat on the Jewish man and yelled “all you Jews must die”.

Immediately thereafter, the Jewish man notified police stationed nearby of the incident.

Officers searched for the suspect, who was quickly located and arrested. The suspect resisted arrest, but was eventually subdued by the two arresting officers.

According to, the suspect was taken to the 71st Precinct and has been charged with aggravated harassment. Authorities are treating the incident as a hate crime.

New Memorial Plaque to Murdered French Jew Ilan Halimi Unveiled Amid Fresh Concern Over Antisemitic Violence

More than 100 people joined Jewish community leaders and local officials for the dedication of a new memorial plaque to Ilan Halimi – the 23 year-old French Jew kidnapped, tortured and murdered by an antisemitic gang in February 2006 – one week after the previous plaque was defaced with antisemitic graffiti. The event took place as new figures released by the French Jewish community’s defense organization disclosed that Jews make up 30 percent of the victims of all racist attacks in the country.

The plaque was dedicated in a park in the Paris suburb of Bagneux, where Halimi, who was buried in Israel, had lived with his mother and sister. Its wording paid tribute to Halimi as a victim of “barbarism, antisemitism and racism.” Speaking at the ceremony, Bagneux Mayor Marie-Hélène Amiable pledged that “we will never forget,” while local Jewish leader Elie Korchia declared that the “antisemitic thugs” who vandalized the previous memorial to Halimi “will never win.”

Halimi was kidnapped on January 20, 2006, by a mainly Muslim gang calling themselves “The Barbarians.” Lured into the gang’s hands by an attractive young woman who flirted with him in the cellphone store where he worked as a salesman, Halimi subsequently spent three weeks in captivity, during which he was constantly beaten and burned with cigarettes while being tied up.

Throughout the ordeal, “The Barbarians” attempted to extort 450,000 Euros in ransom money from Halimi’s relatives, believing them to be wealthy because – as one of the gang members later explained to police – “Jews have money.” On 13 February, Halimi was dumped, barely alive and with burns on 80 percent of his body, near a railway track on the outskirts of Paris. Discovered by a passerby who called for an ambulance, Halimi died on his way to the hospital.

Israel boasts highest fertility rate among OECD nations

Some 186,000 babies were born in Israel over the course of 2016, including 7,676 twins and 261 triplets, data from the country’s maternity wards shows. On average, a baby is born in Israel every three minutes, and a cesarean section is performed every 20 minutes.

These figures, and many others, were presented at the annual conference of the Israeli Society for Maternal and Fetal Medicine, which looked at the country’s 26 hospitals and discovered that the average fertility rate in Israel is 3.1 children per woman, the highest among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development member-nations. Mexico placed a distant second with an average fertility rate of 2.2 children per woman, and the average fertility rate for countries like France, the U.S., Britain, the Netherlands, and Spain is less than two.

The average age at which women in Israel have their first child is rising, and for 2016 stood at 28.3. Births by mothers under the age of 19 are uncommon in Israel, comprising only 0.5% of births, whereas mothers over age 45 accounted for 3.52% of births.

A total of 4.5% of births were multiples (twins and triplets). Among women age 45 and older, most of whom used donor eggs to become pregnant, the rate of twins is four times higher, accounting for 17.8% of births among women in that age group, which also has a higher than average rate of premature births, before the 33rd week of pregnancy. Nearly 7% of mothers in that age group gave birth prematurely, compared to an average premature birth rate of 1.25%.

Iconic Norwegian pop band A-ha coming to Israel

Israeli music lovers will have an aha moment this summer, when iconic Norwegian pop band A-ha takes the stage at the Tel Aviv Convention Center on June 21.

Lead vocalist Morten Harket formed A-ha in 1982 in Oslo with keyboardist Magne Furuholmen and guitarist Paul Waaktaar-Savoy.

The group’s biggest success came in 1985 with their debut album “Hunting High and Low.”

The album produced two international No. 1 singles: “Take on Me” and “The Sun Always Shines on TV.”

The iconic video for “Take on Me” used a pencil-sketch animation – and became one of the most popular music videos in the U.S. In 1986, the video was nominated for eight awards at the third annual MTV Video Awards.

In October 2009, the band announced they would split after a worldwide tour in 2010, the Ending on a High Note Tour. Thousands of fans from over 40 countries on six continents congregated to see the last leg of the tour.

Anne Frank’s Diary gets graphic treatment

The Diary of Anne Frank, the young Jewish woman who was murdered in the Holocaust, is already one of the most well-read books around the globe. Now, Anne Frank Fonds, the Swiss-based foundation that was set up by her father, is publishing a graphic version of her story, aiming to reach an even wider audience.

While readership is on the rise, said the foundation, “a change is occurring in the behavior of readers. The youth of today are socialized differently and are growing up in a different historical context and with a different educational background. Due to the Internet, images are becoming increasingly important. This is the reason for the graphic diary edition with original texts, illustrations and images.”

The graphic version of Frank’s diary was created by Israelis Ari Folman and David Polonsky, the duo behind 2008’s Waltz with Bashir – the animated war film that was nominated for an Oscar. The pair were selected for the project, in part because the Anne Frank Fonds wanted it to “be thought of as a kind of film… The graphic narrative follows the structure of a movie.”

While the English version of the book will not be released until next year, versions in several languages, including Hebrew and French, have already come out. The foundation said it developed the project to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the publication of Frank’s diary in 1947. According to Anne Frank Fonds, her family has supported the project, including her cousin Buddy Elias, who died in 2015. “It was clear for Buddy Elias, who was himself a gifted narrator and actor, that this form can appeal to the youth of today at their level. It also manages to juxtapose the very prevalent humor and imagination in the family with the known sad and serious context of the story.”

Greek woman, 106, named Righteous Among the Nations

Yad Vashem recognized a 106-year-old woman from Thessaloniki and her late husband as Righteous Among the Nations in a ceremony held in the Greek city last week. The ceremony was the initiative of the Israeli Embassy in Greece, the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem and the city’s Jewish community.

During the Holocaust, Vasiliki and her husband Kostas Athiridis hid five members of the Essel family: Marcus, Aida and their children Freddie, Janine and Jacqueline.

Marcus was a businessman who at one point in time had helped out Kostas. An appreciative Kostas told him that if he ever needed anything, he would return the favor.

During the Holocaust, Marcus looked for a place for his family to hide. After two people refused to hide his family, Marcus turned to Kostas, who agreed. Marcus and his family spent the remaining months of the war in hiding in the Athiridis’ home. Kostas and Vasiliki kept their young daughter home from kindergarten for months out of concern she would tell others they were hiding Jews in their home.

The ceremony was unique in that it was not held at the residence of Ambassador Irit Ben-Abba but rather in the auditorium of the local Anatolia school, where Vasiliki’s grandchildren are enrolled and where many Jewish students who perished in the Holocaust once studied. Diplomats, city council representatives, the president of the school, the head of the local Jewish community, middle school students and members of Vasiliki’s family were among those in attendance.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked on Sunday visited the Japanese city of Tsuruga, where she met with Mayor Takanobu Fuchikami and thanked the city’s residents for taking in Jews during the Holocaust.

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