In late October, The New York Times published “Whose Promised Land?” – a special feature on modern-day Israel. The authors of the article toured the country from Kfar Giladi in the north to Eilat in the south and discovered Israelis to be a much-divided people, nurturing resentments and wrestling with contradictions, “a collection of incompatible factions, each with its own priorities, grievances and history.” One would think with the very real social, religious, ethnic and national tensions so avidly described by the Times, together with the ever-present security threats – the thousands of rockets aimed at Israel’s cities from Gaza and Lebanon, terrorists eager to stab and shoot, and Iran busily enriching uranium – that it would be logical to presume Israelis are a tense, worried and depressed lot. But it is not so. On the contrary, by global standards the Israeli public is remarkably happy, with statistics attesting to this repeatedly produced by an international organization not renown for praising the Jewish state, the United Nations.
The UN’s annual World Happiness Report consistently positions Israel as one of the happiest countries on the planet. The most recent index is no exception: with the 2021 compilation of aggregate data taken over the last three years placing Israel in the twelfth spot in a list of 149 countries.
Ahead of Israel in the aggregate happiness index are Finland (1), Denmark (2), Switzerland (3), Iceland (4), Holland (5), Norway (6), Sweden (7), Luxembourg (8), New Zealand (9), Austria (10) and Australia (11). They are all countries that have the luxury of living in peace with their neighbors. That Israel would immediately follow them in the rankings is quite astounding.
Even more instructive is to look down the list to see which countries are less happy than Israel. According to the UN’s data, Israelis are happier than the citizens of the predominantly English-speaking democracies of Canada (14), Britain (17) and the United States (19).
A survey of Jewish community leaders in Europe found that 23 percent said they were considering emigrating.
That figure is unchanged since the last time the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee conducted its regular survey of European Jewish sentiment three years ago.
But the JDC survey found that European Jewish leaders, especially in Western Europe, are increasingly concerned about antisemitism, which for the first time since 2008 topped respondents’ rankings of concerns for their communities.
It also found that European Jewish leaders say they feel less connected to communities across the continent than they have in the past and that they are more concerned about poverty in their own communities.
Only 3% of the leaders surveyed said they had made active preparations to leave Europe and 67% said they had not considered emigrating at all. Another 8% did not answer the question.
Of the Jewish community leaders who said they had contemplated leaving, roughly two-thirds said they would make aliyah, or immigrate to Israel. Illustrative: Immigrants from France arrive at Ben Gurion airport in central Israel on July 10, 2017. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
The survey did not ask respondents their reasons for contemplating emigrating. But it is clear from their responses that European Jewish leaders are increasingly concerned about antisemitism and security.
More than two-thirds of respondents said they expected antisemitism to increase in Europe over the next decade; only about half of respondents answered that way in 2008, the first time the survey was conducted. At the same time, 22% of respondents said they feel unsafe in their cities now, compared to 7% in 2008.
The gathering, which took place on the sidelines of the 2021 Federalist Society conference, included remarks by Richard Goldberg, who drafted one of the first anti-BDS laws while working for former Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner in 2015.
Goldberg reminded those in attendance that 33 states currently have laws that either require pension funds to divest from or refuse contracts to companies that boycott Israel. He also called on the attorneys general to demand an explanation from Ben & Jerry’s parent company, Unilever, regarding its relationship with the independent board that oversees the ice-cream maker.
“[Unilever has] pledged that Ben & Jerry’s has said they will find a way to still work in Israel, even though its independent board chair has said it won’t,” he told The Washington Post. “It opens up a lot of questions as to the truthfulness about their statements to the market.” Subscribe to The JNS Daily Syndicate by email and never miss our top stories
Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita said, “Unilever is on our radar.” At the meeting, he also pronounced his support for state governments taking action that affect the share prices of companies that “do not share our values.”
The New York State comptroller announced in October that it is pulling $111 million in investments from Unilever. Florida is moving $139 million in investments from Unilever, and Texas, New Jersey and Arizona announced similar measures.
He’s an Arab, a Christian, and an Israeli Ambassador. George Deek makes the unlikely case for his country.
Shortly after taking up his new position as Israel’s ambassador to Azerbaijan in 2018, young, personable, and articulate George Deek sat down for an introductory talk with a local government minister that left the Azeri official confused.
After the initial pleasantries, the conversation turned to the deep-rooted Azeri tradition of tolerance that has allowed a Jewish community to flourish in the country for centuries.
“Our two communities go back a long way,” ventured the minister, referring to Muslims and Jews, who have long coexisted peacefully in the South Caucasus.
“That’s very special,” replied the ambassador, “but did you know that I’m actually an Arab?”
Nonplussed, the Azeri minister attempted to reorient himself and began again. “Ah, yes, so then you and I are Muslims…” he clarified.
But the Israeli diplomat still hadn’t finished. “No, I’m actually not a Muslim,” he told the bewildered dignitary. “I’m a Christian.”
“It was just too much for him,” George Deek shares with me in a recent interview. “An Arab-Christian turning up as the Israeli ambassador to Azerbaijan — he didn’t know how to process it.”
“Who are you?” is really the story of Deek’s life. If Israeli diplomacy is all about telling Israel’s complex story to a world that thinks in black and white, the ambassador’s own hyphenated existence is the technicolor version.
A Yafo native whose family has been in the country for centuries, he’s named after a grandfather who fled during the War of Independence, then returned to Israel once the reality of Arab propaganda became clear.
Even though he’s the son of an Arab nationalist, the 37-year-old is convinced that Israel is one of the best things to have happened to the Middle East. A practicing Christian, he developed an unusual connection with the late Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.
Noa Tishby was a bonafide teen TV star in Israel on Ramat Aviv Gimmel, went on to appear in Hollywood movies with the likes of Matthew McConaughey, and was instrumental in adapting the Hebrew TV series B’Tipul into the Emmy-nominated American series In Treatment, on which she served as executive producer.
But instead of pursuing bigger roles and even bigger paychecks, the Israeli actress has gradually evolved over the last decade into one of Israel’s most vocal defenders and explainers on the hasbara (public diplomacy) landscape.
“I’ve been doing this for years, so if I’ve lost jobs because of it, I lost them a decade ago,” said Tishby, speaking on The Jerusalem Post Zoomcast from her home in Los Angeles. “I always made my opinions [about Israel] very clear. I don’t really know if I’ve lost jobs because of it, but to be honest, I don’t care. Since I got the deal to sit down and write the book, it became very clear to me that this is what I do.” Tishby was referring to her debut book, Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth, which was published earlier this year and described by one reviewer as “the much-needed schooling/scolding for all sides of the conflict.”
The book, together with heavy a social media profile, including a viral clip that rebuked TV host John Oliver’s satirical pokes at Israel during the Guardian of the Walls war in Gaza earlier this year, helped propel Tishby’s status as an unofficial Israeli spokesperson.
Going from Hollywood to hasbara may not seem like a natural progression, but Tishby explained that the process was gradual and may have been a delayed reaction.
Israel Vilified While Palestinian Terrorism Overlooked
In 1967, Israel defeated numerous Arab states openly threatening it with extermination in a stunning six-day victory. As a result of that war, Israel tripled in size, with eastern Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights coming under its control. Although Israel forged peace deals with Jordan and Egypt, surrendering parcels of land in the process, it has still not reached final agreements with Syria and the Palestinians.
In 2017, to mark 50 years since the war, Breaking the Silence organized a VIP tour of Israel together with Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Chabon and his wife Ayelet Waldman, herself a well-known writer, resulting in an anthology of essays about the life of Palestinians.
The ensuing Associated Press report detailed how the resultant book included essays that “describe the segregated city of Hebron,” and identified Breaking the Silence as the driving force behind the project. Omitted is the fact that Hebron was divided in accordance with an agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) whereby Israeli citizens, including Arab Israelis, can access only 20% of the city and not the other 80%.
By comparison, Palestinians in Hebron are able to wander approximately 97% of the city. They were banned from entering the remaining 3% following rampant terrorism, including countless shootings and sniper attacks in which even a three-month-old baby was targeted; suicide bombings; rock-throwings; Molotov cocktail attacks; and stabbings of Israeli soldiers protecting Hebron’s minuscule Jewish community and Judaism’s second-holiest site, the Cave of the Patriarchs.
The book was also reviewed by The New York Times, which wrote of a work detailing “a status quo of chronic entwinement, choking the Palestinians.” The Irish Times headlined its piece, “Indignation and horror: 26 writers visit Palestine”; and a Financial Times article about the book described the conflict as one “which doles out small injustices and humiliations to Palestinians more often than it does rank brutality,” and names the writers “as guests of Breaking the Silence, a pro-peace non-governmental organisation.”
Even though the New York Times’ Gal Beckerman saw through the charade, describing Chabon and Waldman as having “gathered their friends, most of whom, they admit, had never given the occupation more than a glancing consideration,” and panned the book as “fairly superficial, full of unearned authority and exhibitionist empathy,” it still accepted the basic premise.
Beckerman slammed “Israel’s occupation of large swaths of Arab land to which it had no legitimate right besides brute force,” and spoke of “deeply etched marks of subjugation.”
The book received yet more exposure in the Los Angeles Review of Books, in which co-editor Ayelet Waldman is quoted as describing Hebron thus: “It is absolutely reminiscent of apartheid South Africa. It’s reminiscent of the areas of German cities from which Jews were barred.”
The newly-appointed head of Israel’s national memorial to the Holocaust has identified the “trivialization” and “distortion” of the Nazi persecution of the Jews as the most urgent challenge facing the faithful commemoration of Jewish history’s nadir.
Speaking to The Algemeiner on a recent visit to New York, Dani Dayan — a former Israeli Consul-General to the city who was appointed as chairman of Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial, in August — said that the exploitation and appropriation of the Holocaust for political ends was a growing problem across both civil societies and governments.
“We have two different problems, trivialization and distortion of the Holocaust,” Dayan said. Demonstrations around the world against COVID-19 public health protocols and mass vaccinations have been littered with protestors displaying Holocaust -era symbols, in a bid to depict social contact restrictions on those who freely refuse the vaccine as analogous to the Nazi genocide of six million Jews. “With the coronavirus, you see the trivialization,” said Dayan.
Holocaust distortion, he continued, “is so problematic because in many cases we are dealing with governments.”
As Dayan explained it, “the nature of today’s distortion is to recognize that the Holocaust occurred, but to say as well, ‘my fellow countrymen were okay.’ We hear this from the Poles, from the Ukrainians, the French, the Dutch — but they were not okay. This is the kind of distortion that we are determined to combat.”
The Democratic National Committee is considering disaffiliating from College Democrats as the national student organization faces fallout from an anti-Semitism scandal.
Anti-Semitic comments from the organization’s new vice president, Nourhan Mesbah, have prompted calls for her resignation from College Democrat members—a push Muslim advocacy groups are calling “Islamophobic.” In response to the conflict, the DNC is weighing disaffiliation from the student organization, which includes more than 500 campus chapters across the country.
“They are caught up in their own drama and playing ‘Boys State’ government,” a Democratic official told Politico. “They think they’re the hottest s— on Earth.”
The College Democrats’ Jewish Caucus called on Mesbah to resign in September after her anti-Semitic tweets resurfaced, the Washington Free Beacon reported at the time. In one post, Mesbah blamed the “yahood,” an Arabic word for Jews, for Hillary Clinton’s performance against Donald Trump in a 2016 presidential debate. In the tweet, Mesbah tagged Dima Jubara, an acquaintance who has tweeted that she prays “God will kill the Jews.”
Mesbah apologized for her tweets in a statement, saying they were “in no way rooted in malice or anti-Semitism” and attributed them to her “different regional dialectic linguist comprehension” as an immigrant from North Africa. The College Democrat official also said she has faced harassment over the tweets, which “is never acceptable but unfortunately all too common for Muslim, immigrant women of color who often face bigoted targeting unique to our experience.”
A new report from College Democrats’ director of inclusion, diversity, equity, and access reignited the controversy last week after the group concluded Mesbah’s tweet was anti-Semitic and that her accusations of Islamophobia are “unfounded.” The report also claimed Mesbah has demonstrated “a pattern of discrimination against members of the black community, specifically black women.”
Melanie Phillips: Keir Starmer and Labour’s antisemitism problem
The leader of Britain’s Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, was the guest of honour at this week’s annual Labour Friends of Israel lunch in London.
British Jews on the left were devastated by the antisemitism that exploded within the Labour Party under its previous hard-left leader, Jeremy Corbyn. They desperately want to believe that the moderate Starmer, a former head of the prosecution service in England and Wales, will make it safe for them to support Labour once again.
Starmer, who like the Democrats in America believes that his party embodies all decent values, was horrified by the baroque Jew-hatred that convulsed it under Corbyn.
Starmer is a decent man. He is also married to a Jewish woman. However, as someone who was originally a human-rights lawyer he is also deeply reluctant to acknowledge the moral corruption that has poisoned his “progressive” side of politics through the left’s universalist and anti-west agenda.
Like so many liberals in Britain, America and elsewhere, he selects aspects of an issue that conform to his idealistic viewpoint while blanking out those that undermine it.
This flaw bedevils his intention to deal with Labour antisemitism. Appalled by its most unambiguous characteristics, he blinds himself to its roots within the movement to which he is so deeply attached. As a result, he himself unwittingly perpetuates some of the toxic myths concerning the State of Israel that give Jew-hatred plausible cover.
This tendency is a characteristic not just of British liberals but also of many Jews who support Labour in Britain and the Democratic Party in America. It is perhaps the most conspicuous downside of the “progressive” mindset — the refusal to tolerate ideas or even facts that threaten to puncture its idealistic fantasies.
All this was on display in Starmer’s speech at the lunch. He repeated that “antisemitism is a stain on our party,” and pledged to “tear this poison out by its roots”. But then he revealed that he didn’t understand what those roots were.
An Israeli speaker who was due to attend a Friday Night dinner event organised by Warwick University’s Jewish Society has pulled out of tomorrow’s event over fears for her safety.
Jewish News understands that the decision was taken to cancel the female guest’s appearance after three student groups including Warwick Action For Palestine planned a protest over claims she had worked for Israel’s Minister of Affairs recruiting young people into the IDF.
The Friday Night JSoc event was organised by the Union of Jewish Students, Jewish Agency For Israel and the Stand With Us organisation and time to coincide with Mizrahi Remembrance month.
But there were fears that anti-Israel campaigners would mount protests outside the Friday Night Shabbat event.
But student protest groups – which also included the Warwick Anti-Racism Society and the uni’s Anti-Sexism Society wrote to the JSoc expressing “sheer disappointment and anger” that the event was taking part in collaboration with Stand With Us.
The letter branded the campaign group “Islamophobic” and “far-right” and demanded they withdraw the invitation to the speaker and cancelled Stand With US’s sponsorship of the event.
A statement on the Warwick Action For Palestine Facebook page said:”We are outraged and disgusted that StandWithUs have been invited to sponsor an event taking place on campus this Friday, as well as a speaker who boasts of working extensively for the Israeli Occupation Forces.”
Following an attack by activist Nandini Jammi that suggested a Jewish journalist was affiliated with “neo-Nazis”, B’nai Brith Canada has issued a statement of condemnation against Jammi.
“The accusation of being a Nazi is extremely serious,” said Michael Mostyn, CEO, B’nai Brith Canada. “Jammi’s flippant use of that term beside an image of Mr. Hoffman, an Orthodox Jew, is unacceptable and unwarranted. Her proper next step is a fulsome apology.”
Jammi, who uses her pending not-for-profit company Check My Ads to deplatform conservative media sites by threatening their advertisers, suggested Post Millennial editor Ari Hoffman, an Orthodox Jewish man, was affiliated with neo-Nazis in the tweet below:
“To wage a social media war against a website whose politics she may not agree with, only belittles the gravity of that term. On Remembrance Day, we recall the sacrifice of our fallen soldiers,” Mostyn said, “many of whom lost their lives in defence of our freedoms to the hands of the Nazis. The term Nazi is synonymous with evil and we cannot allow its historical connotation to be trivialized.”
Jammi is not only targeting The Post Millennial in her ad boycott campaign. Conservative outlets The Daily Wire, Breitbart, The Federalist, Bongino Report, and Fox News have also been targeted.
Oberlin College is defending one of its professors, Mohammad Jafar Mahallati, a former Iranian diplomat. He stands accused of helping to cover up the mass killings of thousands of dissidents and members of the Baha’i faith at a notorious prison massacre that took place in Iran in 1988.
In the face of protests, petitions, and letters from the families of the victims of these mass killings, who assert Mahallati used his position as an Iranian diplomat at the United Nations to help cover up the atrocities, Oberlin has stuck by its professor, stating there is no evidence that he had any direct knowledge of the prison massacre, which was declared a crime against humanity by the Canadian Parliament in 2013.
In October 2020, Mahallati declared he had no knowledge of the atrocity he is accused of helping to cover up. In November 2020, he declared he was only doing his job when he said what he said at the UN. (More about that below.)
On Oct. 12, 2021, the school issued the following statement: “After consulting a number of sources, and evaluating the public record, the College could find no evidence to corroborate the allegations against Professor Mahallati, including that he had specific knowledge of the murders taking place in Iran.”
The school further stated: “Since coming to Oberlin in 2007, Professor Mahallati has become a tenured professor of religion. Over the years, as a scholar and a teacher, he has developed a reputation for espousing religious tolerance and seeking peace and understanding between all people. His record at Oberlin includes no instances of the anti-Semitic behavior of which has been accused.”
According to Oberlin’s Communications Director Scott Wargo, Mahallati is still on the faculty — and still teaching — at Oberlin College.
What do you do when you’re a journalist or the United Nations (UN) and you want to talk about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but the thought of giving representative Israelis a voice makes you gag? Simple: find a fringe token Israeli or, if you’re feeling extra bold, just invent an “Israeli” and speak for him!
That was the basis of a two-day “International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East” the UN held this week. The UN and the media talking about Israel; what could go wrong?
Yossi Beilin speaking at the UN International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East on November 16, 2021.
I spent nearly five years covering and researching the UN. I cannot recall a single instance in which the UN brought in a mainstream Israeli voice to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Instead, I recall only fringe, left-wing Israelis who never have anything nice to say about their fellow Israelis, or, on occasion, diaspora Jews who make careers out of lecturing and talking over Israelis. This included folks from fringe Israeli or Jewish groups like Jeremy Ben-Ami of J-Street, B’tselem’s Hagai El-Ad, or the Joint List’s Aida Touma-Sliman (who spent his time claiming there is no such “creature” as the “Zionist left”).
This would be like the UN inviting only members of the Green Party or the Libertarian Party and presenting them to the world as somehow representative of the American public.
This week was no exception to the rule. Instead of bringing a fairly representative Israeli personality, perhaps a Jerusalem Post journalist like Lahav Harkov, the UN once again turned to a favorite token Israeli: Yossi Beilin.
This is also not the first time I’ve seen Beilin at the UN. In 2018, I watched him in-person at a UN panel during which he had nothing kind to say about his own country (unless it happened to make him look like a saintly peacenik). While the audience taunted him, belittling the very idea of a Jewish state, while others called the Jewish State “racist” and a “fascist society,” Beilin could hardly be bothered to stand up for his fellow Israelis. He was once again trotted out as a token Israeli for a UN panel in 2020 during which, alongside notable anti-Israel personalities like the terror-justifying Hanan Ashrawi and James Zogby, he focused on criticizing Israel’s “threat of annexation.”
Here’s a sociology professor warning Muslims not to make chicken soup with Jews. Because he knows what they’re really up to. https://t.co/hcY0jOkZr5
— David Hirsh (@DavidHirsh) November 18, 2021
In reality, Al Sharpton played a pivotal role in the 1991 Crown Heights riots, which one historian described as “the most serious anti-Semitic incident in American history.”
Sharpton helped heat the cauldron of black-Jewish relations days earlier, after City College of New York Black Studies professor Leonard Jeffries claimed that “rich Jews” ran the transatlantic slave trade, and “Russian Jewry … and their financial partners, the Mafia, put together a system of destruction of black people.” When asked about the comments, Sharpton came to Jeffries’ aid. “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house,” Sharpton defended offensively.
Then came Crown Heights. On August 19, 1991, a car in the detail of the late Rabbi Menachem Schneerson struck two young black children, killing 7-year-old Gavin Cato. As the neighborhood rioted, many chanted, “Kill the Jew!” A group of up to 30 people surrounded a rabbinical student from Australia named Yankel Rosenbaum, stabbed him four times, and fractured his skull. He died after hospital staff missed one of his wounds.
The next day, Al Sharpton ignored the wishes of then-New York City Mayor David Dinkins (D), stirring up a crowd that marched through the streets of Crown Heights chanting, “No justice, no peace.” During Cato’s funeral sermon, Sharpton denounced Jewish “diamond merchants,” adding: “The Bible says that a man sows, that shall he also reap. Well, who sowed violence?” The Wall Street Journal reported that worse rioting ensued that night:
Jews were pelted with stones, pulled out of cars and attacked. A mother hit by a rock thrown through her window called 911 six times as rioters shook her door, but police never came. … Told to hold the line, nearby police stood as hundreds of rioters threw objects. Eventually police were ordered to retreat. … [A]round 200 NYPD officers turned away from the riot and ran.
The next day, rioters attacked and wounded 10 police officers (including Police Chief Lee Brown) and 10 civilians, and they threw a bottle at Dinkins. As the NYPD finally received orders to begin enforcing the law, the riots subsided. All told, 43 law enforcement officers and 152 civilians had experienced violence or bloodshed.
politico refers to Jesse Jackson calling New York “Hymietown” as a mere misstep in his political career pic.twitter.com/4PpnTZXNKS
— Joe Gabriel Simonson (@SaysSimonson) November 19, 2021
November 19 marks 78 years since the liquidation of the Janowska concentration camp, which saw a failed uprising and the murder of 6,000 Jews. The Janowska camp was situated near Lviv, then-Poland and currently in western Ukraine. The city itself was very multicultural, and before World War II, Jews made up around 32% of the population. By the time the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union, the number of Jews grew due to refugees from Poland and now numbered well over 150,000.
However, the city was soon occupied by the Nazis, and pogroms soon spread.
A concentration camp was set up in September 1941, used for slave labor and as a transit camp for Jews before they were deported to killing centers.
The camp had a selection process similar to Auschwitz, where those who were chosen to remain were made to work and those unfit to work were either sent to be killed at Belzec or Sobibor or simply shot in the Piaski ravine.
In March 1942, the camp was expanded into a proper concentration camp as more and more Jews arrived.
Some had heard in advance that there were plans to liquidate the camp. One of these people was inmate Simon Wiesenthal, who was able to escape on October 2, though he was eventually recaptured after the liquidation and sent to another camp before finally being liberated from Mauthausen and becoming a prolific Nazi hunter, and whose legacy led to the foundation of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Germany’s justice system was still filled with former Nazis well into the 1970s, as the Cold War colored efforts to root out fascists, according to a damning official inquiry presented Thursday.
In the 600-page collection of findings entitled “State Security in the Cold War,” historian Friedrich Kiessling and legal scholar Christoph Safferling focused on the period from the early 1950s until 1974.
Their research found that between 1953 and 1959, around three in four top officials at the federal prosecutor’s office, which commissioned the report, had belonged to the Nazi party.
More than 80 percent had worked in Adolf Hitler’s justice apparatus, and it would take until 1972 before they were no longer in the majority.
“On the face of it, they were highly competent lawyers… but that came against the backdrop of the death sentences and race laws in which they were involved,” said Margaretha Sudhof, state secretary at the justice ministry, unveiling the report.
“These are disturbing contradictions to which our country has long remained blind.”
To support their case, Kaplan and the other attorneys have brought in the plaintiffs to describe their suffering, alongside evidence of private and public social media interactions among the rally planners. They have also summoned expert witnesses, including global antisemitism expert Deborah Lipstadt, to comment on the role that hate speech has historically played in fomenting violence.
The defendants, meanwhile, are arguing that their actions were not coordinated and that they cannot be held responsible for the violence that ensued. They’ve defined their plans and incendiary statements leading up to the march as little more than jokes in poor taste.
At the same time, the defendants are also choosing to use their time in court to advance the invective and theories of racial superiority that fueled the violence, turning their own testimony into de facto recruitment tools. According to Ellie Silverman, a Washington Post correspondent who has been covering the trial daily, one defendant representing himself pressured a plaintiff to name friends who were subject to racist vitriol during the rally; those friends were then immediately doxxed by white supremacists tuning into the trial from a public access line.
Some defendants and their attorneys have frequently inserted pejorative terms into the proceedings, including the N-word and “kike,” ostensibly to describe and address the evidence.
When Peter Simi, an associate professor of sociology at Chapman University in California, took the stand as an expert witness, he found himself having to constantly repeat such terms during cross-examination. Josh Smith, a lawyer for the defense with a history of associations with white supremacists — and who was born Jewish as Daniel Joshua Nusbaum — pressed Simi on the pervasiveness of the term “gas the kikes” among white supremacists. He kept repeating the phrase, ostensibly to show that it was meant ironically and not literally.
“You said they say this phrase all the time, do they do it all the time? I.e., do they ‘gas the kikes’ all the time?” Smith said.
Smith kept pressing the issue, frustrating Judge Norman Moon, who ended up using the phrase himself.
“You asked him whether the people were ‘gassing the kikes’ all the time,” Moon said. “The answer to that was no.”
Simi, whom one defendant unsuccessfully pushed to remove as a witness owing to his “Jewish ancestry,” was on the stand to argue that these sorts of conversations, slogans and memes, along with the speeches, the uniforms and the confessions in evidence, were not disparate but were instead knitted into a single culture.
“What we’re talking about here is really an organized effort to transform society by a collection of individuals and organizations,” said Simi, who was embedded with white supremacists for years from the late 1990s through the early 2000s to study their culture. “We’re not talking about a random individual who may express a racist idea over the holidays with their relatives … We’re talking about organizations and individuals that share culture, that have common strategies and common goals.”
A leading Australian civil rights organization has condemned a “reprehensible” desecration of a Jewish gravestone at a Tasmania, Australia cemetery.
A white-supremacist sticker with the words “White Force – Old School Aussie Hate” was discovered placed on top of the Star of David on a gravestone at Launceston’s Carr Villa Cemetery, the Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) said Friday.
It was found by a Jewish mother and daughter who pay weekly visits to the cemetery, the group said, and perpetrated on the anniversary of “Pogromnacht” — the Nazi-led violent riot against the German Jewish community in 1938.
Dr. Dvir Abramovich, Chairman of the ADC, called it a “repulsive desecration of the dead,” with the aim “to intimidate and sow fear.”
“Make no mistake: those who committed this vile act of violation, if given the chance, would once again operate the gas chambers of Auschwitz, and the contagion of antisemitism that is spreading like wildfire throughout our nation has now reached Launceston,” Abramovich commented. “To violate the sanctity of those who are deceased and to trample on their memory with the dangerous rhetoric of white supremacism is a cause of grave concern.
“We call on all political and community leaders to deplore this cowardly, stomach-turning outrage that is a stain on our community,” he added.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced in October that the country would adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Antisemitism (IHRA).
In September, the Australian state of Victoria revealed a proposed legal ban on Nazi symbols to be presented next year, which would be the first such measure in the country.
Cricketer Azeem Rafiq shocked the political word on Tuesday with his revelations about the abuse he suffered while a young player at Yorkshire Cricket Club. But Mr S has now been sent social media posts which show Rafiq himself was no stranger to using racist language when young, with a leaked message revealing the former player posted anti-Semitic content on Facebook when he was 19 years old.
Screenshots obtained by Steerpike show Rafiq joking about ‘a jew’ going ‘after my 2nds again ha’ as ‘only jews do tht sort of shit’ in 2011. He appears to be referencing an (unknown) cricketer at Derby, with a man by the name of Ateeq Javid claiming the Derby cricketer is: ‘a dik he will nt pay!!!! watch he iz guna be like i left my card at home ect ect ect’
Rafiq has claimed former England cricket club Michael Vaughan told a group of Yorkshire players of Asian ethnicity in 2009 that ‘there’s too many of you lot, we need to do something about it’, during a T20 game. It was just last week that the new Chairman of Yorkshire Cricket Club Lord Patel said: ‘Let me be clear from the outset, racism or discrimination in any form is not banter.’
Yorkshire Cricket Club has been contacted for comment. Prior to Steerpike’s publication, Rafiq released a public statement claiming he is ‘ashamed’ of such messages. Talk about bowling a googly…
Azeem Rafiq the Pakistani cricketer who kicked up a major fuss for “racist” comments from former English colleagues has been caught sending “Anti-Semitic” tweets back in 2011 pic.twitter.com/ucmLwzqSr4
— Eye On Antisemitism (@AntisemitismEye) November 18, 2021
A journalist working for one of Brazil’s largest broadcasters apologized for saying on TV on Wednesday that the only way his country could match Germany’s wealth is by killing its Jews.
Jose Carlos Bernardi, a pundit for Jovem Pan, a right-leaning radio and television station, made the comments in a discussion Tuesday about a visit by former Brazilian president Luis Inácio Lula da Silva to Germany.
Asked by journalist Amanda Klein how Brazil could attain the economic development enjoyed by Germany, Bernardi replied: “Only by attacking Jews will we get there. If we kill a gazillion Jews and appropriate their economic power, then Brazil will get rich. That’s what happened with Germany after the war.”
Bernardi’s remarks provoked an outcry by critics who accused him of inciting violence and repeating antisemitic stereotypes about Jews and wealth. A prosecutor in Sao Paulo is looking into charging Bernardi with incitement to hatred, according to the Brazilian newspaper Jornal do Commercio.
In a statement, Bernardi said he “apologized for the unfortunate remarks” he had made, saying his intention was to address and highlight the injustice done to Jews by Germany rather than recommend it as a course of action.
Jovem Pan also apologized for the remarks. The network has not responded to calls to fire Bernardi.
Rehovot-based foodtech startup Redefine Meat has launched of the first-ever category of plant-based whole cuts that achieve a level of product quality comparable to high-quality animal meat, the company announced Tuesday.
Initially available at select restaurants in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Israel, this marks the first time that high-end restaurants will offer plant-based whole cuts as part of their menus. The range of New-Meat products includes beef and lamb cuts, as well as premium-quality burgers, sausages, lamb kebabs, and ground beef.
Eshchar Ben-Shitrit, co-founder and CEO of Redefine Meat said: “Over the past few weeks at COP26, we’ve seen world leaders commit to landmark goals such as the elimination of all deforestation by 2030, which requires a significant reduction in global meat consumption. Redefine Meat has its eyes set on the real problem – not meat, but the way it’s produced. We have a genuine solution that today, not in 2030, preserves all the culinary aspects of meat we know and love, but eliminates cattle as a means of production.
“We’ve achieved a level of superiority in taste and texture that surprised even some of the most recognized chefs in the world, and our unique technological capabilities enable us to replace every part of the cow for the first time. By continuing our close collaboration with the top-tier culinary world, we will accelerate our product rollout in the coming months – beginning with Europe and followed by the USA and Asia – and launch within multiple distribution channels next year,” Ben-Shitrit added.
Redefine Meat’s products were recently served at a private blind-tasting event for top UK chefs, where they received further praise.
Israeli actress Gal Gadot and her husband Jaron Varsano, alongside a reputable team of partners, have launched a new line of boxed mac and cheese called GOODLES, according to a report by People.com on Tuesday.
The packs are said to contain 6 grams of fiber and 14 grams of protein. The brand includes flavors made with vegetables that include spinach and mushrooms while using real cheese. Gadot stated that while she is a “lifelong mac and cheese lover,” she recognizes that it is really bad to consume too much and “wanted to look for a healthier option,” People reported.
The names of all these varieties are Cheddy Mac, Mover & Shaker, Twist MY Parm and Shella Good. The cost for a four-pack is reportedly $20. “I’m so excited to bring you what we have been working on for so long,” Gadot wrote on Instagram. “GOODLES is a gooder Mac & Cheese – one that’s packed with nutrients and super yummy!”
A bipartisan group of the members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a bill on Thursday to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the last living prosecutor of the Nuremberg trials.
The bill was introduced by Reps. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.), Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Chris Smith (R-N.J.) would award the medal to 101-year-old Benjamin Ferencz on the 86th anniversary of the Nuremberg trials.
“From his military service during World War II, to his role as chief prosecutor in a trial that brought 22 Nazi officials to justice, Ben Ferencz has led a remarkable life dedicated to the pursuit of justice,” Frankel said in a news release. “He is a treasure to the Palm Beach County and hero to our global Jewish community, and it is an honor to be introducing a bill to award him the Congressional Gold Medal. It’s my hope that this award reminds us all of the importance of always taking a stand and doing the right thing, and helps us keep the horrors of the Holocaust from fading from our collective memory.”
Ferencz was born in 1920 in Transylvania, in modern-day Hungary. His family fled anti-Semitic persecution and emigrated to the United States, where Ferencz grew up in New York City.
He was awarded a scholarship to attend Harvard Law School in 1940, where he graduated with honors.
In 1943, Ferencz enlisted in the U.S. Army and joined an anti-aircraft artillery battalion that was preparing for the invasion of France. As an enlisted soldier under the command of Gen. George S. Patton, he fought in most of the major European campaigns.
Max, a German Jew who lost his wife and child in the Holocaust, has gotten a job with the Nuremberg water supply department in the aftermath of World War II. While rebuilding the war-ravaged facilities, he comes across a blueprint of the entire system. Using his artistic skills, he quickly copies it on paper and brings it back to a secret Jewish group that’s plotting a massive act of revenge for the Shoah.
It may sound like a larger-than-life thriller, but this story is actually true — and it’s the subject of a new film, “Plan A,” by Israeli fraternal directors Yoav and Doron Paz.
While Max is a fictional character created for the film, he’s based on Abba Kovner, leader of the underground group Nakam.
The group — whose name means “revenge” or “vengeance” in Hebrew — aimed to poison the water supply in several German cities, including Nuremberg, and kill millions of Germans in retribution for the dead of the Holocaust.
The plan ultimately failed, and Kovner became more famous for his Israel Prize-winning poetry than his plotting. Now, the Paz brothers are retelling the grim narrative of these “avengers” in “Plan A,” which is currently on the festival circuit and streaming online via the Boston Jewish Film Festival through November 21.
“Of course, in today’s [perspective] it was a horrible plan… killing innocent civilians, women and children,” Yoav Paz told The Times of Israel in a joint Zoom conversation with his brother. “For so many years, they kept it a secret. They know how it sounds today, how horrible it sounds.”
An auction house in Jerusalem has revealed a rare antique Jewish text that was written by a teenage girl.
Luna Amron, a 14-year-old Jewish girl from Rome, Italy, penned the 18th-century scroll of the Book of Esther.
Jerusalem’s Kedem Auction House announced the find on Wednesday. The scroll will go up for sale next week.
There are few examples of text that were written by women during the era, and the Amron scroll illustrates the importance of religious women in Italian Jewish community life at the time, the auction house said.
Amron was listed as the author in the scroll’s colophon, a statement at the end of the text with information about its publication. Kedem said her family was prominent and wealthy in their community.
The colophon said the scroll was “All handwritten, with the hand of G-d who bestowed wisdom to a maiden who is humble and pleasant. Mistress Luna Tama daughter of the honored philanthropist, the honorable Yehudah Amron and she is in the fourteen year of her life. Give her from the fruits of her hand and they shall praise her actions at the city gates.”
It wasn’t clear if Amron had both illustrated the document and written its text.
Kedem researchers said they had uncovered a marriage contract from nine years after the scroll’s publication detailing a 1776 marriage between Luna Amron and Jacob di Segni, a man from another prominent Italian Jewish family.