Remembering the ethnic cleansing of the Middle East’s Jews
This date is not coincidental. The day after November 29 1947, when the United Nations General Assembly decided to establish a Jewish state in British Mandate Palestine, many Jewish communities in Arab countries immediately began feeling the pressure to leave. There was looting, riots and laws enacted against them and the Zionist movement.
The young State of Israel, while fighting for its very existence, absorbed hundreds of thousands of Jews from surrounding countries. Under conditions of extreme poverty, a severe lack of resources, being housed in transit camps, without knowing the language and regardless of their relatives left behind, these refugees started over.
Seventy years after the United Nations established a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees from Arab countries and Iran are still living in Israel. Many of them, including my mother, remember the exact moment they became refugees and how hard it was in the beginning to start from scratch. But they decided to build again, to give up their refugee narrative, to understand that the years following World War II created a new reality for not only themselves, but tens of millions of others as well.
The Jewish refugees from the Arab countries and Iran, together with hundreds of thousands of other Jewish refugees from Europe, built, created and persisted in order to establish a family, a state and a future for their people.
On the other hand, the preservation of the seven decade old narrative of Palestinian refugees is still in full force. It continues to serve political goals and is used as a tool to delegitimize Israel and not recognize it as the homeland of the Jewish people. The call for the return of millions of Palestinian refugees to Israel is just another means in the quest to destroy the Jewish state.
On this day, the story of the forgotten refugees needs to be told. Fortunately, these refugees had Israel as a home to take them in. Many of them never survived the deadly pogroms suffered at the hands of Arab regimes. It is for this reason it is so important to learn their story, for any injustice somewhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.
In France, since 2012, more than 250 people were killed by Islamic terrorism, more than in all other European countries combined. In addition, no other country in Europe has experienced so many attacks against Jews. France is a country where Jews are murdered because they are Jews.
Every year, Jews flee France by the thousands. Those who do not emigrate move to cities and neighborhoods where they hope they will be able survive without risking aggression.
Many non-Jews live in fear and remain silent.
The government does almost nothing. A few times a year, its members ritually denounce “anti-Semitism”, but never forget to mention that it comes from the “far right”. They only denounce “radical Islam” when the facts are so blinding obvious that it is impossible to do otherwise. If they can, they prefer to talk about people who were “radicalized”, without giving any details or explanation.
In August 2017, the Ministry of the Interior issued a statement that almost 300 jihadists were back from Syria and represent a risk. All of them could come back to France with French passports. None of them has been arrested.
In March 2015, the French intelligence services created a Report Card for the Prevention of Terrorist Radicalization (FSPRT); there are 15,000 names on it. Monitoring everyone would require nearly 160,000 police officers. Therefore, only a few dozen suspects, are under surveillance.
After France’s November 2015 attacks, a state of emergency was declared. It consisted mainly of sending soldiers and police officers to railway stations and airports, and placing guards and sandbags in front of synagogues and Jewish schools.
Two important Hebrew-language books were published recently: Deir Yassin: The End of the Myth by Eliezer Tauber, and Nakba and Survival: The Story of the Palestinians Who Remained in Haifa and the Galilee, 1948-1956 by Adel Manna. The value of these books emanates from their comprehensive presentation of data and facts hitherto not discussed.
Professor Tauber of Bar-Ilan University gathered all the available testimonies related to the Deir Yassin battle from all involved parties, including both villagers and members of the attacking Etzel and Lehi underground groups. On the basis of these testimonies, he provides a minute-by-minute analysis of the battle in the village’s various areas, including the death of each victim.
According to Tauber, Deir Yassin was the first case of house-to-house fighting in the 1948 war, as the defenders did not run away but fought from their houses until the end. The attackers broke into the houses by blowing up their doors, hurling hand grenades inside and storming in while shooting. This resulted in many casualties, including non-combatants. Yet except for one case in which an attacker shot dead non-combatants who had surrendered and stepped out of their house, all the rest were killed during house-to-house fighting.
This conclusion is based on testimonies gathered from both surviving villagers and attackers. The (false) accusations of civilian massacres appeared after the battle had ended, when forces of the Jewish mainstream Hagana underground organization entered the village, saw the many corpses, including women and children, and concluded that they had been murdered by Etzel and Lehi fighters. Due to the bitter enmity between the Hagana and the two groups, the atrocity charges became widespread and hugely inflated.
Another group interested in inflating these charges was the Palestinian Arab leadership, seeking as it did to stir up public opinion in the neighboring Arab states, so as to pressure their governments to join the war against the Jews after the end of the British Mandate in mid-May.
My research, and the book I hope to eventually complete, deals with two issues – one is the conflict between Israel and its neighbours, the other is what I view as a connected topic – the rise of left wing antisemitism. As part of the search for truth and in the hope the conflict will someday end, I go to events to gain a better understanding of the landscape, and to describe this terrain to others.
I am not hostile to the Arabs of Ramallah and Gaza – far from it. I spent many years working with them, building bridges, and both welcoming them to my home, and being welcomed into theirs. There is however an international industry that has been built around them. An industry designed to artificially perpetuate the conflict, and I see this as the fundamental issue that must be addressed if peace is to be achieved. Left-wing antisemitism is rising in part as a product of that industry.
So I go to events to research, and to learn. It was with interest then, that I saw an event taking place in Westminster that had been organised by an NGO called the ‘EuroPal Forum’.
Did they cancel those with Jewish names?
Six days after I had registered and received confirmation, and only two days prior to the event, I suddenly received an email, that informed me, my registration had been cancelled:
There is some truth in the email. Shortly after receiving it, I became aware the venue had changed from ‘Committee Room 9’ to ‘Committee Room 6’. I contacted the events team at the House of Commons and asked them for details about the rooms. Room nine can hold ninety people, Room six, only sixty-five. There was a possible overbooking scenario of twenty-five people.
Yet, this ‘fact’ holds the assumption the event had been fully booked. It also assumes the room change had been forced on them. I went looking for others who had registered. What became apparent very quickly, was that several of the people I knew had also had their tickets cancelled. In fact, what was alarming was that all of the online discussion of cancellations I saw, came from the Zionist side. Some people who had complained, had never been to an event like this before, so they can hardly have been on any ‘hit-list’. This implies a process of going through the list picking out Jewish sounding names.
Within the anti-Israel camp, I did not see a single comment to suggest anybody had been de-registered. It seems to have been a very careful de-selection process. One that is clearly discriminatory.
A phrase that likely originated as a wartime code of conduct, “shooting the messenger,” describes the act of blaming the bearer of unpleasant news.
Before the era of modern telecommunications, messages had to be delivered by human envoys — and during hostilities, if a distressing communique sent from one warring party to another was viewed as unacceptable, then the receiver could fend off the bad news by blaming the emissaries, and even having them killed. Thus a norm evolved that messengers had to be inviolable — chivalrous commanding officers were expected to receive and send back diplomatic envoys unharmed.
In contemporary times, the phrase has come to mean unfairly blaming the media or whistleblowers for presenting unwanted news about a favored cause, individual or institution. It’s now viewed as a disgraceful tactic meant to undermine arguments via wholly irrelevant personal attacks on the messengers, in the misguided hope that damaging their reputations will by default also discredit their arguments.
A perfect example of how targeting the emissary of unwelcome news, as opposed to focusing on the critical issues at hand, isn’t a very effective method for handling problems — or for remaining well-informed — was recently provided by Rutgers University President Robert Barchi in a set of remarks delivered at a November 16 student government-sponsored town hall event.
In his remarks, Barchi effectively smeared The Algemeiner newspaper for “bringing forward” and “researching” the ongoing controversies surrounding three members of the Rutgers faculty (food science professor Michael Chikindas, women’s studies professor Jasbir Puar and adjunct professor of international law Mazen Adi), each of whom have repeatedly voiced and circulated grotesque anti-Jewish tropes and racist canards, including dressed-up modern versions of the medieval blood libel.
Im Tirzu, a right-wing NGO known for campaigning against non-right-wing NGOs, protested a conference held at Hebrew University on Sunday that featured representatives from the Coalition of Women for Peace, an Israeli NGO promoting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
According to Im Tirzu, the “Coalition of Women for Peace is a radical organization that leads boycott campaigns against Israeli banks, security companies like Elbit and G4S, and was even involved in the Norwegian Government Pension Fund’s decision to divest from Israel. It is absurd that an Israeli university funded by taxpayers could provide a platform to such an organization.”
The conference, “Arms Trade, Saving Lives: Exporting Weapons to Areas of Conflict,” was organized by Hebrew University’s Truman Research Institute for Peace and focused on Israeli military exports.
Im Tirzu also noted in a statement on Tuesday that Sunday’s conference featured members of Coalition of Women for Peace’s “Hamushim” (“Armed”) project, which, according to the Coalition, “works to expose the true human price of the Israeli military industry and arms trade, as well as to mobilize actions against it.”
The project is co-sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee, a US-based organization that promotes BDS and the “right of return” for Palestinians.
Matan Peleg, Im Tirzu’s chairman said in a statement on Tuesday: “It is very unfortunate that Hebrew University opts to provide a platform for BDS organizations who are the embodiment of new antisemitism.”
German public broadcasters have dropped plans to air concerts next year by British ex-Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, citing what they call “accusations of antisemitism against him.” Waters, part of one of the world’s most critically acclaimed and commercially successful rock bands from 1965-85 before going solo, is a member of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) that targets Israel over its occupation of territories where Palestinians seek statehood.
Five state television and radio affiliates of the national ARD network have pulled out of broadcasting concerts by the 74-year-old Waters in Berlin and Cologne scheduled next summer “in reaction to antisemitism accusations against him,” Berlin and Brandenburg public radio (RBB) said.
RBB, part of the ARD network, said it wanted to send a message to other artists who, heeding the BDS, refuse to perform in Israel. Waters joined the movement in 2011.
“Taking a clear position here is an important signal for RBB to the Jewish communities in Berlin and Brandenburg,” RBB director Patricia Schlesinger said in a statement.
“The quick and decisive reaction by the broadcasters …is an important signal that rampant antisemitism against Israel `has no place in Germany,” said Josef Schuster, president of The Central Council of Jews in Germany.
Convicted Palestinian terrorist Leila Khaled was barred from entering Italy on Wednesday on the grounds that she lacked a valid visa.
Olga Deutsch, Europe Desk director at the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday: “We applaud Italy’s decision to deny entry to infamous terrorist Leila Khaled at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport, the same place from which she once hijacked an airliner. As a research institute, NGO Monitor documented Khaled’s September 2017 speech at the European Parliament and alerted senior EU officials. We have long warned European governments that they have been funding radical, politicized NGOs, including those linked to the PFLP terror group and which were involved with Khaled’s event.”
She added, “We hope that Italy’s move, coming on the heels of European Parliament President Tajani’s decision to bar terror-linked individuals and organizations from EU premises, signals a new awareness among European leadership, and that it leads European Institutions and governments to reexamine policies that fund such NGOs.”
Khaled, a member of the US- and EU-designated terrorist entity Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP),
has conducted speaking tours across Europe over the years to promote the abolition of Israel and the spread of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
The former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone – long regarded as a foe of Britain’s Jewish community for his incendiary attacks on Zionism – was at the center of a new controversy on Tuesday after he was announced as the star of a political comedy show at a West End theater.
Livingstone, who is currently suspended from the opposition Labour party over allegations of antisemitism, will appear in the annual show hosted by Matt Forde, a comedy writer and radio broadcaster, at the Leicester Square Theater on December 7. Past guests on the show have included former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Britain’s Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAAS) condemned the invitation. “There is nothing remotely funny about Ken Livingstone’s unapologetic claim that ‘Hitler was supporting Zionism,’” the CAAS said in a statement. In April 2016, Livingstone was suspended from the Labour party after he claimed in a radio interview that the Nazi dictator was “supporting Zionism” before “he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.”
Livingstone has not retracted or apologized for those remarks, leaving his adversaries furious that Labour’s far-left leader, Jeremy Corbyn, still refuses to expel him from the party. In the meantime, Livingstone has dug in even further, claiming before a Labour party tribunal last March that the Nazi SS – whose paramilitary units alone murdered more than one million Soviet Jews by 1943 – “set up training camps so that German Jews who were going to go (to Palestine) could be trained to cope with a very different sort of country when they got there.”
The CAAS said it was “outrageous” for Livingstone to be given a platform on a show that will separately be hosting Nick Clegg and Anna Soubry, two senior politicians from the Liberal Democrat and Conservative parties respectively. “No doubt they will wish to reconsider their participation rather than appear as a warmup the day before Ken Livingstone,” the CAAS said.
IsraellyCool: Rag’n’Bone Man Reportedly Caves in to BDS
After announcing a May 16 Tel Aviv concert last month, he has now announced its cancellation on Twitter, without giving a reason.
Unfortunately the show scheduled to take place on the 16th May 2018 in Tel Aviv has been cancelled.
— Ragga Bun Man (@RagNBoneManUK) November 24, 2017
But it is apparently because he has caved in to BDS – at least according to one leading British BDS-hole.
During a vigil outside his performance at the O2 Academy in Brixton on 24th November 2017, the award winning English musician songwriter Rag’n’Bone Man (Rory Charles Graham), after talking to the protestors via his manager, publicly announced cancellation of his scheduled performance in Tel Aviv next May.
Inminds human rights group’s vigil outside the O2 Academy in Brixton urging Rag’n’Bone Man to respect the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of apartheid Israel and cancel his scheduled performance in Tel Aviv on 16th May 2018, was met by incredible support from both the fans and passers-by with hundreds of leaflets being snapped up in no time and people hugging and congratulating us for being there.
It was less than 30 minutes into the vigil, when a person from Rag’n’Bone Man’s team came out holding a mobile phone with Rag’n’Bone Man’s manager on the line. Rather than ignore us Rag’n’Bone Man had graciously decided to engage with the protestors. We explained why we were protesting. The manager told us that we were all on the same side on this one, he explained that they had tried to find a venue to also perform for Palestinians but due to the occupation that was not possible so would no longer be performing in Israel.
I recently met a couple who told me that their Jewish daughter attends Duke University, which they believe to be a great school for Jewish students. I would be pleased to share their enthusiasm. But in certain pockets of that institution, a serious, faculty-driven, anti-Israel bias exists, often expressed publicly and unreservedly.
Recently, Duke University Press (DUP) published The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability, by Jasbir Puar. Elsewhere, I have written about Paur’s modernized brand of blood libel, which often relies on the fog of absurd, self-consciously academic jargon to disseminate anti-Semitism. At least six members of Duke’s Editorial Advisory Board and a number of DUP staff members publicly support initiatives related to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. As the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) explains, “The predominant drive of the BDS campaign and its leadership is not criticism of policies, but the demonization and delegitimization of Israel.”
No less a source than the U.S. Department of State recognizes the demonization of Israel, the application of a double standard to that nation, and attempts to delegitimize it, as three distinct examples of anti-Semitism. Numerous members of the faculty and staff at Duke commonly engage in such acts. Sometimes, the validity of an entire department may be in question.
The Cultural Anthropology Department lists ten faculty members with the title of Professor. Of these, seven have supported initiatives related to the BDS movement. Anne Allison, Charles Piot and Orin Starn are signatories to DukeDivest, which calls upon Duke University to “end military ties to Israel.” Engseng Ho and J. Lorand Matory are signatories to the Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions (ABIAI). Ho is also listed as a signatory on the “Call by Middle East Studies Scholars and Librarians for the Academic Boycott of Israel.” Diane M. Nelson supports both DukeDivest and the ABIAI. Irene Silverblatt is listed a signatory to the “Historians’ Letter to President Obama and Members of Congress,” which states, “We urge you to suspend US military aid to Israel.”
During an interview with me, Duke freshman Natalie Ecanow observed that such a situation “makes it really hard for me to seek out cultural anthropology classes…if they are being taught by professors who are actively supporting a movement which is an attack on who I am and the lifeblood of my people.” She added “Having Duke professors support BDS divides the campus into two camps. It fragments our communities.”
Michael Lumish: This Week on Nothing Left
This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman have a pretty excellent line-up it looks to me.
Milo? I haven’t listened, yet, but I am very much looking forward to it.
Barry Shaw and Dore Gold are very big names.
Juliet Moses, I do not know. But I am willing to learn.
You guys should tune in.
2 min Editorial: Gideon Levy (Haaretz) and the AJDS
11 min Juliet Moses, New Zealand politics
29 min Milo Yiannopoulos
51 min Barry Shaw, alternatives to 2-state solution
1 hr 18 min Dore Gold, JCPA on UN Resolution 181
1 hr 31 min Isi Leibler in Jerusalem
In 2009 Ezra Nawi was convicted of assaulting police officers and rioting. Shortly before Nawi was sentenced, the BBC’s Tim Franks – at the time based at the corporation’s Jerusalem bureau – produced a report for BBC Radio 4 titled “Non-Jews ‘treated worse than fifth class’”.
“A peace activist [sic] in Israel is due to be sentenced today after being found guilty of assaulting Israeli paramilitary policemen in the West Bank. Ezra Nawi was protesting about the Israeli demolition of a Bedouin shack deep inside the occupied West Bank in 2007, and his arrest was filmed and posted on youtube. Middle East correspondent Tim Franks, returned with Ezra Nawi back to the same West Bank Bedouin encampment.”
In 2011 an Irish politician abandoned a presidential bid after it emerged that in 1997 he wrote a letter on official Irish parliamentary stationary appealing for clemency for his partner at the time – Ezra Nawi – who had been convicted of statutory rape of a 15 year-old Palestinian boy. The BBC reported that story too – albeit with incorrect representation of Nawi’s name.
Given Ezra Nawi’s record and the blatantly partisan agenda of the political NGO with which he is linked, one might perhaps have thought that one of the last places one would find a photograph of him (apparently from 2009) would be on the header of the official Twitter account (active since 2010) of a BBC journalist committed to editorial standards of impartiality – including in relation to social media – particularly as that journalist still produces content relating to Israel and the Palestinians.
One of the clearest warning signs of bias in the press is a double standard — a similar story that’s treated one way if it involves Jews or Israel, and a different way if it involves a different religion or a different country.
One such case is on display in the New York Times this week.
The November 27 Times features a news article of about 700 words by a Times journalist, Isabel Kirshner, under the headline “Railway Work in Israel on the Sabbath Threatens to Unravel Netanyahu’s Coalition.” The online version features two photographs. The article is about the politics of conducting repair work on Israel’s state-owned railway on the Sabbath. It reports the prime minister agreed to introduce “legislation to limit the opening of convenience stores on the Sabbath.”
Meanwhile, in another country, Poland, lawmakers, at the behest of Catholic bishops, voted to eliminate Sunday shopping in the country entirely by the year 2020. The Times didn’t cover that article in the print newspaper at all; it handled the matter instead with a brief online item by the Associated Press of about 200 words, with no photographs.
Got that? The New York Times paid a lot of attention to the political news about the Sabbath and Israeli Jews, while downplaying to the point of almost ignoring the news about the Sabbath and Polish Catholics.
Though British news outlets including the Guardian will almost always correct such false claims when we bring it to their attention, they still usually refuse to write the word “Jerusalem” in this context. So, if a passage originally claimed that “Tel Aviv decided….”, the correction will not say “Jerusalem decided….”, but rather “Israel decided…”.
So, what motivates such obfuscations?
It’s complicated, but we believe that journalists who make such errors generally fall into two categories:
- Genuine Ignorance: those who truly believe that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital.
- Ideology: those who know on some level that Tel Aviv is not the capital of Israel and that Jerusalem is the seat of government and Israel’s designated capital, but they operate within a media echo chamber which believes that journalists acknowledging such facts are parroting the pro-Israeli view of the conflict.
The second category is much more worrisome than the first, as it represents a broader UK media pattern of what we call ‘advocacy journalism’: the belief held by many reporters that they have a moral duty (in the spirit of ‘comforting the afflicted and afflicting the powerful’) to advocate on behalf of Palestinians and give credence to their narrative, a duty which transcends their ethical responsibilities as professional journalists to be objective and tell the truth.
This distorted understanding of their professional responsibilities, we believe, more than any other single factor, drives such falsehoods about Tel Aviv, and media bias and inaccurate reporting about Israel more broadly.
Following communication from CAMERA’s Israel office, The International Business Times commendably amended both the headline and the article to reflect the fact that the Lebanese paper had apologized, and had mistakenly used Gal Gadot’s photograph (but had not said that the actress was a spy). The accurate headline now states: “Lebanese Newspaper Apologizes For Using Gal Gadot Photo In Story About Mossad Agent.”
The corrected and updated article now states:
However, at least the way a Lebanese newspaper portrayed her, Israeli actress Gal Gadot has another secret identity—as a Mossad agent.
The paper later apologized for misusing the photo and the implication that Gadot is an Israeli agent.
The paper, a daily known as Al Liwaa, published an image of Gadot on their front page Monday in a report (via The Times of Israel) about Collette Vianfi, an agent from Israel’s international spy agency who was allegedly recruited to work with Lebanese actor and playwright Ziad Itani, who was arrested on Friday on charges of “collaborating” with Israel and gathering information about political figures.
In addition, editors placed the following note at the top of the article alerting readers to the changes:
This story has been updated to reflect that Al Liwaa apologized for using Gal Gadot’s photo to illustrate a story about an alleged Mossad agent.
The word “allies” appears five times in the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center report in question, but not once in relation to Israel and ISIS. While the report never vaguely hinted that Israel and ISIS are allies – temporary or otherwise – the headline nevertheless placed quotation marks around the word “allies,” as if the report actually used this term in respect to the two sides. Allies have agreements to help and support each other. Israel and ISIS have no agreements and do not help or support each other, and thus in no way are they allies.
The report points to nothing more than what is already well known for a long time – that, as common enemies of Iran, both ISIS and Israel share a narrow interest. That doesn’t make them allies, despite the reporter’s unfounded assertion in the first paragraph: “A new report suggests that in a narrow arena of confronting Iran’s presence in Syria, ISIS and Israel’s interests may temporarily converge, which in a way makes them allies.” (Emphasis added.)
In response to communication from CAMERA, editors commendably amended the headline. The headline now accurately states: “Report: Israel, ISIS interests aligned against Iran.”
Contrary to standard journalistic practice, editors did not append a note notifying readers of the change.
Members of the small Jewish community in the West German city of Bochum announced that they will no longer wear kippot because of attacks on them by Muslim youths.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, “Germans, more than any other people in Europe, should understand what starts with the Jews never ends with the Jews. When I raised the issue brought to Germany by many Arab and Muslim immigrants with the German justice minister, I was told this issue would be dealt with in the context of the German authorities’ efforts to integrate newcomers into German life and values.”
He added, “The German authorities, Church leadership and NGOs have a moral obligation to ensure 21st century German Jews will never have to hide their Jewish identities on the streets of Germany.”
Cooper said that he has not heard of any government efforts to rope in antisemitism among Muslim communities in the Federal Republic since his 2014 meeting with the justice minister.
The news outlet Radio Bochum first reported that a representative of the community said members will stop wearing kippot in public because they are routinely faced with insults on public streets when they are recognized as Jews.
“Muslim youths attacked people of the Jewish faith,” the segment said.
A German court has upheld two convictions of a well-known neo-Nazi for Holocaust denial and sentenced her to 14 months in prison.
Ursula Haverbeck, 89, was sentenced Tuesday by a district appeals court in Detmold for repeatedly denying the Holocaust, which is a crime in Germany.
Haverbeck had appealed her 2016 conviction for writing to the Detmold mayor during the trial of an Auschwitz guard claiming the death camp was only a labor camp. In closing arguments at that trial she again denied the Holocaust, prompting another conviction.
Several courts have sentenced Haverbeck to prison sentences in the past, including a Berlin district court in October, but Haverbeck has remained free pending appeals.
The German news agency dpa reported Haverbeck’s lawyers would again appeal this latest conviction.
A German court ruled on Wednesday that a 96-year-old German known as the “bookkeeper of Auschwitz” was fit to go to prison, rejecting his plea for the sentence to be suspended.
Oskar Groening, who is physically frail, was sentenced to four years in prison in 2015 for his role in the murder of 300,000 people at the Nazi death camp Auschwitz.
However, he had not started serving his sentence due to a legal argument about his health.
Prosecutors said in August that a medical examination showed Groening was fit to start serving his prison sentence, though Groening’s lawyer disputed that.
On Wednesday a court in the northern German town of Celle said: “The higher regional court thinks, based on expert opinion, that the convicted man is able to serve his term despite his advanced age.”
It said enforcing Groening’s sentence would not breach his fundamental rights and added that special needs related to his age could be catered for in prison.
Supporters of Sudan’s Al Hilal Omdurman soccer club displayed a banner with a portrait of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and the word ‘Holocaust’ during a match over the weekend.
According to reports, this incident is a gruesome first for Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Fare network, an umbrella organization that advocates social inclusion and fights discrimination in soccer with a network in over 40 countries, has launched an investigation into the incident.
European sports teams have long used anti-Semitic and Holocaust motifs as a way to degrade rival teams. Being associated with Judaism in the European soccer world is supposed to be a form of degradation. Fans call supporters of rival teams “Jewish” as a way of degrading them.
Earlier this month, anti-Semitic stickers of Holocaust victim Anne Frank surfaced at some soccer events in Germany. They first triggered a scandal involving Lazio fans in Italy. This incident was the latest in a long line of racist or anti-Semitic incidents involving Lazio supporters. Lazio’s ultras have long been known for their far right-wing political stances and fascist leanings. During a 1998 derby, Lazio ultras held up a banner directed at their Roma counterparts that read, “Auschwitz Is Your Country; the Ovens Are Your Homes.”
Four decades on, the family’s gambit certainly has paid off: Levy’s meat shop and deli in this city’s 17th district is a communal institution. With a kiss on the cheek, Levy and his teenage son, Maurice, welcome dozens of regulars daily to Boucherie Jerry Levy who swear by the signature foie gras, artisanal charcuterie and assortment of North African salads.
But like other producers of kosher meat in Western Europe, the Levys are no longer certain of the viability of their business. In recent years they have been suffering both from declining revenues due to emigration from France by Jews fearful of jihadist violence and anti-Muslim measures targeting the ritual slaughter of animals.
“I want Maurice to learn a trade because with the meat industry, who knows what tomorrow will bring,” Levy told JTA about his 17-year-old son. “All kosher delis, they will be a thing of the past within one generation either because they’re made illegal, suffocated by anti-kosher regulations or defeated by supermarkets.”
Not all kosher meat producers in France, a country with 500,000 Jews, share Levy’s pessimism. But several of his counterparts in the Netherlands and Belgium do following a fresh wave of restrictive regulations and legislation in those countries, where a total of 90,000 Jews live.
In Holland, the viability of the country’s only kosher slaughterhouse, Slagerij Marcus, and its meat shop are under threat from a new deal signed in July by the government with the Jewish community, according to Slagerij Marcus’ lawyer, Herman Loonstein. The measure limits the production of kosher meat to local consumption, a stipulation that Loonstein says amounts to an export ban that may render the business nonprofitable.
Community representatives say they reached an oral agreement with the government that will head off the export restrictions, but a government spokesman declined to confirm the claim. The spokesman told JTA only that “special circumstances may be taken into account” when it comes to export.
The umbrella group representing French-speaking Jewish communities in Belgium filed an appeal with a federal court against a regional ban on the production of kosher and halal meat.
The Belgian Federation of Jewish Organizations, or CCOJB, filed the motion with the Constitutional Court of Belgium earlier this week seeking an injunction against the ban passed in May by the parliament of Belgium’s Wallonia region – one of the binational kingdom’s three autonomous regions, CCOJB’s president, Yohan Benizri, told JTA on Tuesday.
Both the Wallonia region and Belgium’s largest, the Flemish region, passed laws earlier this year that as of 2019 outlaw any slaughter that is not preceded by stunning. Both halacha, the Jewish religious Orthodox law, and Muslim religious laws forbid the consumption of animals that are not fully conscious when their necks are cut. If the animals are stunned at the time of the slaughter, the meat is not considered kosher by Jewish standards or halal by Muslim standards.
In recent years, ritual slaughter has come under attack from anti-Muslim activists and animal welfare lobbyists who view it as cruel or foreign to European culture.
“If the legislation is not annulled prior to coming into force in 2019, it would undermine the ability of minority faith communities to practice central tenets of their religions in Belgium,” CCOJB said of its lawsuit, which is being supported by The Lawfare Project, a legal think tank combating what it regards as anti-Jewish discrimination.
The rise of the extreme-right Jobbik party is the biggest threat to Hungary’s Jewish community in its fight against antisemitism, a leader of the community told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday during a conference in Budapest about the situation of Jews in today’s Europe.
The conference, titled “Is there a future for Jews in Europe?” was organized by the Action and Protection Foundation and discussed the impact of migration and terrorism on the Jewish community.
“Here in Hungary, we face an additional challenge from an extreme right party, the Jobbik, which has built its base on spreading rational hatred and antisemitism, and today is using the general frustration of voters to gain favor,” said Kálmán Szalai, the Secretary of the Action and Protection Foundation. “Education is the only way to form an inclusive society and we hope that this conference will be part of that solution.”
Jobbik party looks set to become the second largest political force in the country, a grave concern for the Jewish community due to the party’s history of antisemitism.
Over the past couple of years Jobbik has tried to distance itself from its antisemitic history and present itself as a moderate right-wing party. But leaders of the foundation believe this shift is only superficial.
Daniel Bodnar, chairman of the foundation said Jobbik was largely to blame for antisemitic rhetoric in Hungarian society.
An Israeli resolution focusing on the use of agricultural technology for sustainable development passed the United Nations Second Committee on Tuesday with the highest number of co-sponsors ever for an Israeli initiative at the world body.
An unprecedented 117 countries signed on as co-sponsors of the Israeli resolution, which passed with 141 votes in favor, 1 against and 34 abstentions.
Syria was only country to vote against the resolution, while other Arab countries abstained.
“Israel is proud to work with our friends around the world in promoting cutting-edge solutions to some of the world’s oldest agricultural challenges,” Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said following the resolution’s adoption.
“This is an issue that should bring all of us together,” he asserted. “Those opposing this resolution have clearly shown that instead of planting shoots of peace, they prefer to sow seeds of hate.”
The Israeli-sponsored resolution on Agricultural Technology for Sustainable Development was originally adopted in 2007 to assist with promoting food security and sustainable food systems without foregoing the resources of future generations.
MedyMatch Technology, an Israeli startup that has developed an artificial intelligence based software to help clinicians assess head trauma or stroke, has entered a partnership with GE Healthcare to integrate its products with the US giant’s imaging solutions.
This is the third industry partnership for MedyMatch, which has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) software that aims to be more accurate than the human eye and help physicians more quickly assess patients suspected of head trauma or stroke, ruling out the presence of a bleed in the brain. In March this year the company said IBM Watson Health and the healthcare unit of Samsung Electronics would integrate its platforms into their medical imaging products.
Working with GE, MedyMatch will integrate the intracranial hemorrhage detection platform into GE’s CT imaging solutions. The US multinational conglomerate is making a push to integrate artificial intelligence software into its products: the firm this week said that it will update some 500,000 of its medical devices around the world with technologies from NVIDIA and Intel.
The goal of the initial application is to help clinicians in their assessment of patients suspected of acute head trauma or stroke, where intracranial hemorrhage is suspected.
Three Israeli universities were ranked in the top 100 most innovative universities in the world on an annual list by Reuters.
The Hebrew University was 82nd, climbing 12 spots from last year. Tel Aviv University was ranked at 88 and The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology at 89.
The Reuters analysis identifies the educational institutions doing the most to advance science, invent new technologies, and power new markets and industries. The ranking is based on a number of indicators, including patent filings and research paper citations.
Reuters cited The Hebrew University’s technology transfer company, Yissum Research Development Company, which brings students’ and researchers’ technologies and discoveries to market, with 10,000 registered patents covering 2,800 inventions, more than 900 licensed technologies, and the launch of 125 startups.
Stanford was ranked first for the third consecutive year, followed by MIT and Harvard.
Overall, the top 100 consists of 51 universities based in North America, 26 in Europe, 20 in Asia and the three in Israel — the only schools ranked from the Middle East.
Israel’s economy is expected to grow by over 3.4% in each of 2018 and 2019, significantly higher rates than expected for the U.S. or Europe in the next two years, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said in a report released Tuesday.
However, OECD analysts warned of an Israeli real estate bubble, saying, “Housing prices continue to climb sharply and the risk of undesirable developments in the housing market, in which banks are heavily involved, remains high.”
The report calls on the Israeli government to take the necessary steps to tame housing prices. It said steps taken thus far, such as the Finance Ministry affordable housing program and increasing supplies, can – if they continue – lower housing prices.
The OECD attributed its growth projections to the development of Israel’s four offshore natural gas fields: Tamar, discovered in 2009 west of Haifa, Leviathan, discovered nearby in 2010, and Tanin and Karish, discovered northwest of Haifa in 2012.
Other contributing factors are wage increases that support an increase in private consumption, and low unemployment rates, expected to be 4.4% in 2018 and 4.2% in 2019.
An exhibition of holy texts from the world’s three monotheistic religions at a museum in Abu Dhabi opens with an artifact one might not expect to see in the Muslim emirate: a Hebrew Bible, written in Yemen in 1498.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi, the biggest museum of historical art in the Arab world, opened the exhibition at the beginning of November. It features hundreds of items acquired by the museum in recent years.
Located on Saadiyat Island, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is the first of a planned series of local branches of some of the most renowned museums in the world slated to open in the emirate, including the Guggenheim in New York. The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi was supposed to have been up and running by now, but it is still under construction with no opening date in sight.
A few visitors to the Louvre Abu Dhabi told Israel Hayom that a museum bearing a Jewish name was difficult for the Arab world to accept.
“People here aren’t used to relations with Jews,” one local man said.
“There are no Jewish communities in the emirates or in Saudi Arabia, and the Jews who have arrived since the emirates opened up to business and investment from all over the world usually play down their Jewishness so they won’t be associated with Israel. So it’s important that Jewish items are included in the exhibition and in the Louvre’s collection, which is sparking great interest among the local public and through the Arab world, near and far.”
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