David Collier: Attacked again – just another day researching antisemitism
Yesterday I was physically attacked at an anti-Israel protest at Kings College London. I emerged relatively unscathed, but a demonstrator clearly intended to deprive me of my camera. He rushed at me and tried to grab it and run. The force of the attack had left me with slight friction burns on my hands and a broken tripod. Just a few minutes earlier, another demonstrator had attacked pro-Israeli activist Harry Markham from behind, trying to take his Israeli flag. He was also unhurt, but his flagpole was destroyed.
The event and the protest
Inside KCL was an event being jointly held by Israeli societies on KCL & UCL. The speaker Eyal Dror oversaw the operation ‘Good Neighbour’. It helped Syrians near the border who had been caught up in the Syrian civil war. More than 7,000 Syrian’s were treated in Israeli hospitals, His team also led the evacuation of the White Helmets.
Eyal Dror is currently on tour with ‘Stand With Us‘. Tonight he is at Warwick where they are also expecting protests. The man is a hero and the episode of Israeli humanitarian activity during the Syrian civil war is a story that should be heard. Which is exactly why the anti-Israel activists are protesting him. They don’t want the world to hear the truth.
A protest was arranged online. Three years ago there was uproar over the speech of a Wanstead schoolgirl. Well she is no longer a schoolgirl nor so innocent. It seems as if she is now a major player on the anti-Israel scene. Here she is, inside the toxic antisemitic group Palestine Live, calling for people to attend the emergency protest at KCL:
I got to the campus early as I always do and watched a crowd of soon-to-be protestors gather a little way down the road. For a while I thought some were going inside and they may have been planning a co-ordinated action, but as it turned out, almost no hostile activists attended the event itself and it passed peacefully.
The protestors then made their way to the front of the building, unfurled a few banners and began to chant ‘from the river to the sea’. If anyone is not clear about what this means, at one point the ‘student’ with the megaphone said ‘we want the Israelis gone, we want our land back – from the river to the sea‘ – which is an even more explicit and undeniable call for the total destruction of Jewish life in the region.
Then came the attack on me – the Jewish journalist. My crime was reporting on the event. Someone slowly edged towards me before trying to take my camera. I wouldn’t let go, but he broke the tripod. pic.twitter.com/hsTV9T9Msr
— David Collier (@mishtal) November 19, 2019
Then again, the wing of the American left that Sanders represents has absorbed that eliminationist mentality. “Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea” isn’t just something Hamas fanatics scream; it was chanted at the Democratic Socialists of America’s national convention at the University of Illinois in 2017.
The river is Jordan, the sea is the Mediterranean. If Palestine were “free from the river to the sea,” then there would be no Israel.
Mainstream Democrats rolled over for the far left so quickly on Israel that it’s hard to imagine them returning to a sane place. Jews, who vote for Democrats in overwhelming numbers, need to finally wake up to the reality that their party despises the world’s sole Jewish state.
Criticizing any country or its leadership should always be fair game, to be sure, even when it’s our ally. But what is disturbing about such episodes — and the poll numbers they mirror — was summed up in a recent New York Times sub-headline: “President Trump’s hawkish support of Israel has led many Democrats to question the United States’ relationship with one of its closest allies.”
If Trump is for something, in other words, then Democrats have to be against it. That’s absurd and childish. But it’s also based on a lie.
It’s a lie to say Democrats and mainstream liberals are now turning against Israel. That turn happened under the Obama administration. Now mainstream Democrats are struggling just to beat back the tide of overt Jew-hatred in their midst.
And they’re doing a feeble job of it. Either the Democratic candidates are too afraid of the hard-leftist base to stick up for Jews and their national homeland — or they don’t want to. Either way, this isn’t leadership.
Further, by establishing a unique standard for Israel, this decision fits the internationally accepted definition of antisemitism, cited in the United Nations’ recent report on global antisemitism. So it’s rich for the European Commission to tell Fox News, “Any suggestion that indication of origin on products coming from Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory or in the occupied Golan has anything to do with targeting Jews or anti-Semitism is unacceptable. The EU stands strongly and unequivocally against any form of anti-Semitism.”
Check out that loaded word choice. Then consider that such critiques are fair game. The EU does not stand unequivocally against antisemitism. There are bright spots, like Austria’s second largest city banning support for BDS. However, European Jews are acutely aware that antisemitism is widespread and dangerous.
EU officials like Michael O’Flaherty, director of the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency, know that in spite of the many reported antisemitic crimes across the EU, 80 percent remain uncounted. “As one person asked [O’Flaherty], ‘Why would I report antisemitism to an antisemite?’” Over in Britain, which has not quite left the EU, nearly half of British Jews have said they “would ‘seriously consider’ emigrating if [Labour Party leader Jeremy] Corbyn is elected prime minister [in December].”
Seventy-four years after the Holocaust’s end, the EU is no haven for Jews. Nor is it a particularly reliable friend to Israel. Calling the decision “disgraceful,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) told The Federalist, “This labeling singles out Jews who live in communities where Europeans don’t think they should be allowed to live and identifies them for boycotts. It is reminiscent of the darkest moments in Europe’s history.”
Indeed, the CJEU may have forgotten, but world Jewry hasn’t. We also know that discrimination and other harms that start with Jews never end with us. So whether or not the timing was coincidental, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcing a reversal of Obama-era policy regarding Israel’s settlements certainly looks fortuitous, because this fight is far from over.
The left’s anti-Israel agenda has been energized recently by radical politicians using their Congressional visibility to slander the Jewish State and its supporters with classical slurs and stereotypes. Simultaneously, there has been an increase in antisemitic agitation among progressives invoking blood libel imagery and repugnant myths of disproportionate Jewish wealth, influence, and disloyalty.
Such is the backdrop against which Democrats are urging Jewish voters not to treat Israel as a “wedge issue” during the 2020 election season, though what they are really asking is for Jews to ignore the pro-BDS, anti-Israel, and antisemitic vitriol being spewed by reactionaries who influence party doctrine and to overlook party leadership’s appeasement of the left and disregard of hateful prejudice.
By lamenting the use of Israel as a “wedge issue,” Democrats are acknowledging that it already is and that their base’s hostility towards the Jewish State is motivated not by policy concerns, but by antisemitism. And just as they did in 2016, they are enlisting Jewish party loyalists to promote the fiction that conservatives pose a more serious threat to fellow Jews, despite public opinion research indicating that antisemitic sentiment is prevalent among radicals, progressives and left-wing Democrats. The same surveys suggest conservative Republicans are more likely to support Israel and condemn Jew-hatred.
The antisemitic Squad
These trends help explain some recent disturbing Democratic behaviors, including the failure to censure Representatives Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for their inflammatory rhetoric and for validating antisemitic public figures like Louis Farrakhan. Examples of moral disingenuity abound, as when Democrats criticized the Netanyahu government for blocking Tlaib and Omar from a planned trip to Israel that was to be sponsored by an anti-Israel organization. Supporters of the congresswomen were unconcerned that their proposed visit was neither planned as part of an official Congressional delegation nor intended to serve any legitimate governmental purpose.
The Israeli government had initially agreed to allow Tlaib and Omar entry into the country, but withdrew its approval after determining they would not be part of the scheduled Congressional delegation and that their itinerary was intended to disparage Israel and promote boycotts. The purpose of the trip was no surprise considering it was to be partially sponsored and coordinated by Miftah, the anti-Israel organization founded by Hanan Ashrawi, a PLO Executive Committee member and outspoken Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions advocate, who was barred by the State Department from entering the United States last May.
Anti-Israel amendments were voted down at the California Democratic Party fall convention over the weekend.
A group of organizations, including Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI), which said it mobilized a battalion of more than 850 convention delegates, worked to defeat the amendments, which called for the Palestinian “right of return” and to eliminate support for the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
About 65 percent of the 2,500 delegates of the California Democratic Party State Central Committee rejected the anti-Israel amendments.
“We’re tired of sitting back and letting a few vocal outliers hijack the Democratic Party’s Israel policy, so we’re thrilled an overwhelming majority of California Democratic Party leaders and delegates rejected attempts to incorporate extreme and one-sided, anti-Israel planks into their platform,” said DMFI President and CEO Mark Mellman in a statement. “Instead, the platform continues the party’s proud history of supporting both Israel and the peace process.”
Instead, the party adopted language advocating for a two-state solution to the conflict “directly negotiated by the parties that guarantees equality, security and democracy for all; recognizes Israel’s future as a secure and democratic Jewish state with recognized borders; and provides Palestinians with independence, sovereignty and dignity.”
The platform also recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and that the “decision to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem should not remove Jerusalem from final-status negotiations, nor should the capital city be used to undermine the peace process.”
It also objected to the anti-Israel BDS movement and called for stronger ways to fight hate speech, including antisemitism.
A number of actors and academics have endorsed a disgraceful letter describing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as “a life-long committed anti-racist” who “is being smeared as an antisemite by people who should know better.”
While conceding that antisemitism is present within society and all political parties, including Labour, the signatories insist that “no political party or political leader has done more to address this problem than Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party,” and outrageously claim that “Labour’s political opponents and much of the media have trivialised and weaponised this issue for ideological ends.”
The signatories include various familiar controversialists such as academics Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein and Yanis Varoufakis; actors Mark Ruffalo, Mark Rylance and Steve Coogan; playwright Caryl Churchill; designer Vivienne Westwood; and musicians Brian Eno and Roger Waters. Some of the signatories have made second careers out of baiting Jews.
The letter follows a previous letter by a group of prominent, respected figures calling out Labour antisemitism and showing solidarity with Britain’s Jewish community.
Meanwhile, former Labour member Eddie Marsan, said of Mr Corbyn that “you are either antisemitic or you are ignorant”, declaring that, after voting for Labour since 1987, he would no longer do so, and would be launching an initiative for the Liberal Democrats.
Speaking in 2017, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn claimed that Jewish newspapers “kept them powerful, and kept them in a position to influence the politics of the environment they’re in.” The footage, uncovered by The Golem, shows that Corbyn singled out Jewish people as being uniquely “powerful” and with “influence” that he did not ascribe to other minority communities at the time. It clearly reveals his subconscious conception of Jews. Classic.
The Conservative election candidate for Leeds North East has been accused of “repellent antisemitism” after claiming British Jews are travelling to Israel and returning as “brainwashed extremists.”
In a speech delivered to the European Parliament in Brussels, Amjad Bashir said: “Young men are going over from England where I come from – people of the Jewish faith who my grandchildren have grown up with as decent young men.
“But have come back as extremists – as people that are brainwashed.
“They will not listen to reason. There is something very peculiar and wrong going on Israel.”
Mr Bashir was confirmed as the Tory candidate to fight the December 12 election last week in a seat Labour’s Fabian Hamilton is hoping to regain.
The Tories have sought to exploit Labour’s antisemitism crisis ever since Mr Corbyn became leader – and have also positioned themselves as the pro-Israel party.
Leeds North East has a large Jewish population, many of who have been outraged by Mr Hamilton’s close association with Jeremy Corbyn and his anti-Israel views.
Just a reminder our Jewish leadership in the UK support Yachaduk who continually spurt out vile propaganda spews from mouths of the #BDS movement to travel across different social media platforms & targets Jews by filthy antisemitic attacks ?@ImTirtzu? ?@Campaign4T? pic.twitter.com/0QIekCiIfW
— Eye On Antisemitism (@AntisemitismEye) November 18, 2019
Dear President Brown,
I was surprised by the letter you are sending out in reference to the Sarah Ihmoud case. Given my experience with you during the years I taught at BU, and the integrity you showed in dealing with the various problems that arose during those years (I retired in 2015), this seems out of character. Although the Sociology Department has voted not to offer her a position, the issues I bring to your attention remain salient, especially in view of the fact that she’s still up for a position in BU’s Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program (WGS).
In this case, unlike “all cases involving review and assessment of candidates for faculty positions,” your evaluation and hiring process can not have been based on “peer evaluation of a candidate’s scholarly and professional achievements within the appropriate discipline and according to established disciplinary criteria.”
Rather, it is nearly impossible that anyone in support of her candidacy has checked any of Dr. Ihmoud’s footnotes, which are uniformly based on unreliable, unverifiable claims that cite either self-referential literature (much like Holocaust denial “scholarship”) or notoriously unreliable propaganda sites like Electronic Intifada.
Nowhere is there any reference to the extensive controversy surrounding her claims (e.g., her lurid and unsubstantiated claims of what happened at Deir Yassin). In the “old days,” this kind of ranting would not have passed muster as an undergraduate paper.
High school matriculation exams serve to reinforce “hateful content” taught in Palestinian schools, underscoring “the need for an urgent and determined intervention in the Palestinian curriculum,” a Jerusalem-based watchdog has warned.
In a report released this month, the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) found that six of the 26 tawjihi exams for 2019, which are taken by twelfth-grade Palestinian students and are necessary for enrollment in Palestinian and some Arab universities, included “problematic material” that reflects themes taught in Palestinian Authority textbooks and on official preparatory websites.
IMPACT-se pointed to multiple tawjihi questions that conveyed concerning messages, such as a query on the geography exam that asked students what countries share the Jordan River basin. Acceptable answers included Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt and Iraq, with Israel tellingly omitted.
In another instance, the Arabic-language exam featured the poem “A Refugee’s Will,” which described a subject coming with a “weapon in your hand” to a “dear violated homeland.”
An official study website aimed to clarify the poem’s meaning with the explanation that “liberation of the homeland can be done only through resistance with arms,” and “what was taken by force can be recovered only by force,” IMPACT-se stated.
So how does Twitter’s new policy affect the online pro-Israel movement? It is unclear exactly as of yet, since by Gadde’s own admission, the policy will evolve as the company receives more feedback. Yet there is still good reason to be apprehensive.
Indeed, it is possible that banning ads about political candidates and elected officials would hinder pro-Israel activists from highlighting the anti-Semitism of Congresswomen Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), as well as British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. This could ease their paths to re-election, since they would face less in the way of online opposition.
Moreover, Israel advocates may not be able to promote ads criticizing anti-Israel judicial rulings, like the recent decision by the European Court of Justice that dictated that Israeli goods produced in the disputed territories over the 1949 Armistice Lines must be labeled as “settlement” products (despite no similar labeling being mandatory for goods produced in over 200 other disputed territories worldwide).
The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel would certainly be considered a legislative issue according to Twitter’s parameters, especially since it has been brought up before for debate in both Congress and the parliaments of other countries. Banning ads on legislative issues could potentially prevent activists from advocating against this evil movement that demonizes the Jewish state and aims for its ultimate destruction.
Some may argue that the new policy would harm the anti-Israel movement just as much as the pro-Israel community. But this argument is flawed.
While it may be true that both the pro-Israel and anti-Israel online communities are harmed by the policy, large news outlets will be exempt from it should they meet specific criteria. In the past, Twitter has defended exempting news outlets from certain transparency policies by arguing that they “report on these issues, rather than advocate for or against them.” In other words, Twitter has relied on the objectivity of these organizations. Yet, as so many in the pro-Israel movement know, news outlets are far from objective.
A tenured Columbia University professor endorsed terrorism in a speech given at the Palestine Center earlier this month.
“The Oslo Accords inaugurated this process of liquidating the Palestinian national struggle while the ‘Deal of the Century’ plans and hopes to conclude it,” Professor Joseph Massad said. “The only thing standing in its way is the ongoing Palestinian resistance to Israeli settler colonialism and racism that continues inside Israel and Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza; the ongoing Marches of Return in Gaza; and the armed resistance of the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades to Israeli invasions in Gaza.”
The al-Qassam Brigades is the military wing of Hamas, which is a US-designated terrorist organization. It has killed more than 650 civilians, but according to Massad, Israel’s “settler-colonialism” justifies al-Qassam’s actions. In reality, most conflicts between Hamas and Israel are triggered by Hamas indiscriminately firing rockets into Israel.
While people on both sides of the conflict criticize Oslo, Massad’s speech mischaracterized its goal of taking steps toward a peaceful, two-state solution. In his eyes, “The establishment of the Israeli settler colony resulted in the usurpation of all of historic Palestine,” meaning Israel has no right to exist.
In his speech, he cast Hamas as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people instead of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), furthering rendering Oslo illegitimate.
BREAKING: A presentation by amazing humanitarian, Israeli Lt. Col. @EyalDror4 who led an effort to treat 1,400 Syrian children & deliver tonnes of aid into an enemy country is being hijacked at Warwick Uni by pro-Palestinian activists. Protesting help for Syria, sickening. pic.twitter.com/xyarwCyuwK
— StandWithUsUK (@StandWithUsUK) November 19, 2019
Dear Mr Satloff,
As @WashInstitute prepares to honor @KingAbdullahII on Thursday night, as we learned just now, are you aware he harbors the @FBIMostWanted bomber of Jerusalem’s #Sbarro pizzeria and of the children who were inside?
Can we talk?
— This Ongoing War (@ThisOngoingWar) November 17, 2019
Hello, thank you, how do you do? Yes, I do, thank you very much. My, what a lovely home. Well, except for all the bad decorating, maintenance, management, parenting, relationship, and other decisions you’ve made. I came to point those out. But now that I’m already here, you have to let me stay or you’re a racist who’s trying to hide all the abuse that I know I’ll find if I stick around long enough and twist everything to fit my preconceived bias. I’m a human rights coordinator and I know better than you.
There! Your fence with the neighbors is too high and too secure. How do you think they feel, blocked from gaining access to that beautiful garden? It’s a violation of their rights to fence them out. Their dog has the same right as anyone else to come in and dig up your tulip bulbs, and any measures you take to prevent it are a violation of international law, not just the neighbors’ human rights. Besides, they claim to have owned the property first, and you’re in no position to demand they produce any proof of that, because you’re clearly motivated by racism.
By the way, if you hadn’t let me in, knowing my purpose in visiting, I’d still accuse you of all the same things. Just so we’re clear on that point.
No, I won’t have some coffee. In fact I’m going to tell all the families in town not to drink your coffee either, because of the way you treat those poor neighbors. I’m going to tell them to ostracize you and refuse to come to your barbecues, refuse to attend any block parties, refuse to invite you to their events – in short, to boycott you and not have anything to do with you. How dare you tell me to leave?! What else are you hiding, you monster?!
While hundreds of rockets were being launched from Gaza at Israelis, several Washington Post dispatches showcased what is wrong with the newspaper’s reporting on the Jewish state. The Post uncritically quoted one terrorist group, Hamas, while ignoring the expressed motivations of another, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). And while missiles rained down on Israel, the Post filed a story warning about “vandalism and violence” by “Israeli settlers.”
On Nov. 12, 2019, the Israeli military conducted a surgical strike against Baha Abu Al-Ata, a top operative of PIJ, an Iranian-backed U.S.-designated terrorist group. PIJ is a sometime competitor, sometime collaborator with Hamas, the terror organization that rules the Gaza Strip where both are based. As Times of Israel reporter Judah Ari Gross noted, Abu al-Ata was responsible for most of the rocket attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip over the past year.
Israeli military officials told Gross that Abu al-Ata “was also in the midst of planning a fresh terror attack along the Gaza border to be carried out in the coming days, which would combine sniper fire or an improvised explosive device attack on the border with rocket fire, making him a ‘ticking bomb.’”
After the Israeli Defense Forces successfully eliminated the terror leader, PIJ responded by launching hundreds of rockets into Israeli communities. The barrage shut down schools and forced thousands of Israelis to seek shelter in bomb shelters
Those who followed recent reports from the BBC Jerusalem bureau correspondent Tom Bateman on various BBC radio programmes may have noticed some interesting framing of the activities of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al Ata who was killed by Israeli forces in the early hours of November 12th. [emphasis in italics in the original]
BBC Radio 4, ‘Today’, November 12th 2019 from 2:26:06 here:
Bateman: “Well Abu al Ata was a commander for Palestinian Islamic Jihad for the north and east of the Gaza Strip – significant areas where there has been over the last 18 months or so much tension between militants in the Strip and Israel.”
BBC World Service radio, ‘Newshour’, November 12th 2019, from 00:29 here:
Bateman: “He [Abu al Ata] has really come to prominence within Gaza only within the last year, commanding a brigade of fighters in the north of the Gaza Strip for Islamic Jihad. […] he was seen as somebody who was […] taking it upon himself to order rocket fire into Israel after these very tense events on Fridays in which many Palestinians protest at the perimeter fence and there are violent confrontations and Israeli troops shoot at – using live fire – at the Palestinians. I mean ten days ago there were dozens of injuries and al Ata it seems had ordered rocket fire into Israel.”
There is of course an important difference between violent rioters who pose an “imminent danger to IDF forces or Israeli civilians” and “protesters…at weekly protests” as described by Bateman.
As we have repeatedly documented on these pages, most of the BBC’s reporting on events along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip over the past 20 months has promoted very specific framing which has inaccurately portrayed the ‘Great Return March’ rioting as “protests” and “demonstrations” and the participants as “protesters”, while concealing the hundreds of violent incidents such as shooting attacks, IED attacks, grenade attacks and infiltration attempts which have taken place during those so-called “protests”.
The result of that editorial policy of promoting a sanitised portrayal of the events is that the BBC’s Jerusalem bureau correspondent now misleads audiences by falsely claiming that Israel uses, and will continue to use, “live fire – live ammunition – on protesters”.
On November 12th the BBC News website published a filmed report titled “Israel-Gaza violence: Rockets and air strikes follow militant death” on its ‘Middle East’ page.
In that film BBC audiences saw an interview (apparently filmed during the funeral proceedings for Baha Abu al Ata) with senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Khader Habib in which he made the following statements:
“We are on fire and angry and that should be translated into action. These actions have started this morning after the crime was committed. Rockets were fired towards Tel Aviv, and Islamic Jihad, with all the resistance groups, will continue targeting all the occupation’s safe places.”
The BBC promoted those statements to its worldwide audiences ‘as is’, making no effort to qualify the use of the term “crime” to describe the killing of a terrorist responsible for attacks on civilians or to clarify what Habib actually meant by ‘the occupation’ (seeing as Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip over 14 years ago) or precisely what “the resistance” is supposedly resisting.
Like the rest of the BBC’s coverage of this story (see ‘related articles’ below), this report too failed to provide audiences with any background information about the aims and ideology of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, even while quoting its leaders.
November 13th 2019, BBC News website, ‘Israel-Gaza fighting continues for second day after militant’s death’ – version 7:
“Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry said 26 Palestinians, including three children, had been killed by Israeli fire by Wednesday evening. […]
The IDF said “20 terrorists” were killed, most of them from Islamic Jihad.
The health ministry in Gaza, which is run by Hamas militants, said three children were among the 23 people killed in Israeli strikes on Wednesday.
PIJ said the dead included members of its military wing, the al-Quds Brigades. Khaled Faraj, a field commander, was killed in a strike in central Gaza.”
As we see, the BBC made no attempt in any of those reports to independently verify the claims of various parties. Neither was any effort made to inform audiences in its own words of how many of those killed in the Gaza Strip were members of terror groups – even when they had been identified as such by their own organisations.
The BBC cannot possibly claim that such an editorial policy contributes to meeting its public purpose remit of providing “duly accurate and impartial news, current affairs and factual programming to build people’s understanding” and offering “a range and depth of analysis and content not widely available from other United Kingdom news providers” so that “audiences can engage fully with major… global issues”.
Following the CAMERA-prompted Reuters correction of an article earlier this month which had erroneously reported that Israel has “criminalized” support for the anti-Israel BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) campaign, CAMERA Arabic elicited correction of the identical error at Reuters Arabic. The Nov. 5 Arabic article (“Israeli Court Upholds the Decision to Deport a Human Rights Watch official“) had erred: “Israel has criminalized the movement [i.e. BDS] and has called Western powers to follow suit.”
As previously reported by CAMERA, Israel’s anti-BDS legislation treats calls for BDS as a civil, not criminal offense. Specifically, the 2011 “Law for Prevention of Damage to the State of Israel Through Boycott,” as amended by the Supreme Court, allows businesses that have suffered economic harm as a result of such boycotts to sue for civil damages. There is no criminal component.
Incidentally, the English text of the 2011 bill is helpfully provided by Adalah, an Israel-based organization which itself has engaged in BDS activity.
MEMRI: Weapons Confiscated Under ‘Red Flag’ Law From Suspected Leader Of Washington State Chapter Of The ‘Atomwaffen Division’ Extremist White Supremacist Terrorist Network – But He Is Not Charged With A Crime; A Review Of Atomwaffen Division’s Online Activity
In October 2019, Seattle authorities confiscated five rifles, including an AK-47, and three pistols and other gun components from 24-year-old Kaleb James Cole, an avowed neo-Nazi. The weapons were seized under Washington State’s “red flag” Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO), which authorities requested to file against him on September 26. The request stated: “Kaleb Cole is a self-admitted member of the Atomwaffen Division and believed to be the cell leader of the Washington state chapter.” The judge in the case said that Cole posed “a serious threat to public safety by having access and possession to firearms and a concealed pistol license.” A prosecutor said, “This was an individual who had access to firearms and was preparing for a race war.” Under ERPO, he is prevented from owning weapons for up to one year.
Later, on November 4, Cole was present during the arrest of a suspected Atomwaffen Division member in Post, Texas. Aiden Bruce-Umbaugh, 23, was arrested for possessing firearms while illegally using marijuana and THC oil. Law enforcement seized firearms from Bruce-Umbaugh’s vehicle, including a Sig Sauer 9mm pistol, an AR-15 rifle, an AK-47 rifle, and another semi-automatic rifle, and at least 1,500 rounds of ammunition. At the time of the arrest, both Cole and Bruce-Umbaugh were wearing tactical military gear, which is commonly worn by Atomwaffen Division members.
While Atomwaffen Division, one of the most violent extremist groups in the U.S. which is linked to a series of killings, openly calls for violence against Jews, minorities, the LGBTQ community, and the federal government, and its members undergo military training to actively prepare for a “race war,” Cole was not charged with any offense.
Against this backdrop, this report will review Atomwaffen Division members’ online activity promulgating hate speech and calls for violence and also showing means of taking action.
The phone line and voicemail of a restaurant in Portland, Oregon, that bills itself as selling Israeli street food was hacked and its greeting changed to an antisemitic message.
The Shalom Y’all restaurant said in a message posted on its website that it became aware of the incident on Saturday evening and has been in contact with its telephone service provider and the city police, who are investigating the incident as a possible bias crime.
The line was repaired and then hacked again on Sunday evening, according to the message, which said the attackers also “committed various hate/prank calls using our phone number.” The calls were made to two other Middle Eastern restaurants in the area, according to KGW8, the local NBC affiliate.
“We are deeply disturbed by the hateful, destructive, violent messages they have been sending and disseminating using our account,” the message also said.
How disgusting is this tweet? Look how many likes it has. This is a verified account. 😲 https://t.co/MS5aGBM0bl
— AZ (@americanzionism) November 18, 2019
Germany’s International Center on Nazi Persecution has uploaded some 850,000 documents with information on ten million people collected after the end of World War II in the American occupied zone of Germany.
The Bad Arolsen-based archive said in a statement Tuesday that the documents contain information about victims of Nazi persecution that was collected in the winter of 1945/46 in Germany based on orders by the four occupying powers — the US, Britain, France and the Soviet Union.
They issued orders to German local authorities, companies and others requiring them to draw up lists of foreign nationals, German Jews and stateless people who were registered with them.
A large collection of these documents as well as other lists from the American Zone of Occupation can now be viewed online.
Rebecca Boehling, acting director of the National Institute for Holocaust Documentation at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, said in the archive statement that because the American Zone was the largest of the four the information gathered there is “of exceptional significance for the search for missing persons and for determining the path of persecution of both survivors and those whose lives were stolen.”
At age 92, Laureen Nussbaum is one of the few people still alive who personally knew Anne Frank.
Nussbaum’s family lived in the same Amsterdam neighborhood as the Franks, and Anne’s father, Otto, was the best man at her 1947 wedding. After the war, Otto spent months trying to find his daughters, Anne and Margot, who had been deported to Bergen-Belsen. With Nussbaum’s husband, Rudi, Otto would go to the train station every day with photos of his children hoping for news of their fate.
“They showed those pictures and asked everyone, ‘Did you by chance know this woman? Did you know by chance know these girls?’” Nussbaum said in an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “And that’s how they bonded.”
The effort was ultimately for naught. Of the 100,000 Dutch Jews deported from the Netherlands between 1942 and 1945, only 5,200 survived. Neither Rudi’s mother nor the Frank daughters were among them.
But Nussbaum’s entire Jewish family survived. In her new memoir, “Shedding Our Stars: A Story of Hans Calmeyer and How He Saved Thousands of Families Like Mine” (written with Karen Kirtley), Nussbaum focuses less on her famous friend than on Calmeyer, the little-known German official who saved her family.
Roman Polanski’s new film is topping the French box office despite a new rape allegation against the controversial director.
“An Officer and a Spy” surged ahead of the Matt Damon racing car epic “Ford v Ferrari” — which is top of the US box office — despite the publicity campaign for the movie being suspended in the wake of the latest claims against the veteran film-maker.
French photographer Valentine Monnier threw the release of the historical thriller about the Dreyfus Affair into disarray by accusing Polanski of raping her in 1975 when she was 18 after beating her “into submission” at his Swiss chalet.
But despite protests outside cinemas and a call by feminists to boycott the movie starring Oscar-winning actor Jean Dujardin, nearly 400,000 people had flocked to see it by late Monday.
Polanski, 86, denies attacking Monnier, a former model and actress, and has threatened to sue his accusers.
The unexpectedly strong turnout for the film is the seventh best opening weekend by a French film in 2019, according to figures from CBO Box-Office.
Two patients in Israel were implanted last week with an artificial meniscus, the first times such an operation has taken place locally for commercial, and not experimental, reasons, according to a statement by the US developer of the product on Sunday.
The procedures were performed by two surgeons: on Monday, Dr. Gabriel Agar of the Yitzhak Shamir Medical Center, formerly the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center in central Israel, completed the first commercial case in a public hospital; on Tuesday, Dr. Ron Arbel of the Ramat-Aviv Medical Center treated the first commercial patient in a private clinic, Active Implants LLC.
Until now the implant was only available in Israel as part of clinical trials. The product, called the NUsurface implant, was developed at the US firm’s research and development center in Netanya, Israel, and is made out of polycarbonate urethane, a medical grade plastic.
The meniscus is a tissue pad between the thigh and shin bones; the lateral meniscus is near the outer edge of a knee joint, and a medial meniscus is toward the inside. Current treatment for a damaged or torn meniscus includes pain management, physical therapy, injections, or a partial or total meniscectomy, in which a damaged meniscus is partially or totally removed.
One day in October, Sephora was sick with worry. She cares for 105 orphans in Chad, and food was running out. The kids were subsisting on corn porridge, white rice and pasta.
Suddenly, five Israeli Flying Aid (IFA) volunteers appeared at her doorstep. When she saw the Star of David on their shirts, she started to cry.
“Every Sunday in my church we pray for the safety of the Jewish people in Israel. We believe whoever prays for you will be blessed,” Sephora explained to IFA Founder and CEO Gal Lusky. “Now you showed up on one of the worst days of my life.”
It turned into one of the best days of her life. IFA stocked Sephora’s warehouse with $5,000 worth of nutritious ingredients to feed the orphans and staff members for six months.
“Sephora cried with every sack of food we unloaded,” Lusky tells ISRAEL21c. “It was so emotional. She said, ‘God really exists, he didn’t abandon me!’”
Since Argentine soccer megastar Lionel Messi and his teammates arrived in Israel Sunday, few sports reporters could refrain from making the same play on words, opening their reports about Monday evening’s friendly against Uruguay with the words messi-ba, which in Hebrew means both “Messi is coming” and “party.”
The game, held at Tel Aviv’s newly renovated Bloomfield stadium, was indeed a celebration, but more for the mere fact that it actually took place than for the actual game, which, despite four goals, wasn’t spectacular.
In June 2018, a few days before the World Cup in Russia, Argentina’s national soccer team and its superstar forward were scheduled to play the Israeli squad in Jerusalem. But after intense pressure from Palestinian officials and activists, the team canceled on short notice, leaving a soccer-crazed nation shocked and disappointed. Some Israelis took the cancellation so badly that they refused to support Argentina during the tournament, and even relished its poor performance.
But Israelis are a forgiving people, at least when it comes to soccer heroes, and so the country cheered when Canadian-Israeli billionaire philanthropist Sylvan Adams announced that he managed to get Messi’s team to come to Israel and play a friendly against Uruguay.
— 4IL (@4ILorg) November 18, 2019
Online lender BlueVine, a startup providing banking services to small businesses, said Tuesday it has raised $102.5 million from investors including Citi Ventures and Microsoft’s venture arm M12.
The Redwood City, California-based startup founded by Israelis in 2013 will use the funds raised to further build up its business banking software, the statement said. The firm is an online invoice factoring company that enables small businesses to overcome their short-term cash flow problems. The firm helps them bridge the cash gap by selling their unpaid invoices. Firms open an account with BlueVine and typically get the funds in the same day.
The latest funding round brings the total amount of money raised by the firm to some $691 million, according to the database of Start-Up Nation Central, which tracks the industry.
The round was led by ION Crossover Partners with participation from all major existing investors, including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures, 83North, SVB Capital, Nationwide, Citi Ventures, Microsoft’s venture fund, M12, and private investors. The round also included new investors MUFG Innovation Partners Co., Ltd, O.G. Tech – Eyal Ofer’s VC, Vintage Investment Partners, ION Group, Maor Investments and additional private investors, the company said in a statement.
Baring Private Equity Asia (BEPA) said that its affiliated funds have agreed to acquire Israel-based Lumenis Ltd., a maker of minimally invasive clinical devices for aesthetics, urology and ophthalmology, from XIO Group.
The deal values Lumenis at over $1 billion, the two companies said in a statement on Tuesday.
Founded in 1973, Lumenis is a maker of minimally invasive clinical devices ranging from the aesthetics market — for hair removal and skin treatments, for example — to the treatment of eye diseases and surgical uses, including its urology products.
The company has a presence in over 100 countries and close to 1,500 employees worldwide. The Asia Pacific region is its largest market, though the firm has a “strong presence ” in North America, Europe and the Middle East as well, the statement said.
“In recent years, we have developed and introduced multiple groundbreaking technological solutions that have redefined our industry and opened entirely new market segments,” said Tzipi Ozer-Armon, CEO of Lumenis, who said the acquisition is a “tremendous vote of confidence” in the Yokne’am, Israel-based company. The partnership with Baring will help the firm “continue developing and delivering to the world better technology for better patient care.”
“Lumenis has built a market-leading position by creating some of the most innovative technologies in the industry,” said Yan Jiao, managing director at BPEA in the statement. “It is a clear leader worldwide, especially in Asia which recently emerged as the largest market for medical and aesthetics treatments.”
The writer and star of the hit Netflix series about legendary Israeli espionage agent Eli Cohen will receive a prestigious award from a leading Jewish civil rights organization later this month.
British-Jewish actor Sacha Baron Cohen — star of comedy smashes “Borat,” “The Dictator” and more recently, “The Spy,” in which he plays late Israeli hero Eli Cohen, who served as a Mossad agent in Syria during the early 1960s before he was caught and executed — will receive the International Leadership Award from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) at its annual “Never is Now” summit in New York on Nov. 21.
In a statement, ADL said that the award was given “to those exceptional individuals whose vision, imagination and creativity have left an indelible mark upon the global community.”
The organization said that in his career, Baron Cohen had “used humor and satire to expose people’s inherent biases by depicting racists anti-Semites, neo-Nazis, Islamophobes and others as deeply flawed, ordinary people whose prejudices are, ultimately, laughable. As a celebrity and public figure, he’s not shied away from taking on tough subjects off-screen, having recently spoken out about the failure of social media companies to adequately address the rampant racism, anti-Semitism and hate on their platforms.”
The ADL’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, added that “Sacha’s fictional satirical characters have made us laugh at the kinds of hatred and prejudice that under normal circumstances would be no laughing matter.”
Beautiful tribute: the central bank of #Lithuania announced it will manufacture a unique coin, a tribute to the heritage of the Jewish community in the country. @LithuaniaMFA @LithuanianGovt pic.twitter.com/8KjdugyHko
— Avital Leibovich (@AvitalLeibovich) November 19, 2019
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