June 16, 2024

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11/30 Links Pt2: NYU President Slams BDS as ‘Affront to Academic Freedom’; Keith Ellison Said Israel Controls US Policy


From Ian:

JCPA: The War of a Million Cuts: The Struggle Against the Delegitimization of Israel and the Jews, and the Growth of New Anti-Semitism (free book)
The War of a Million Cuts explains how the delegitimization of Israel and anti-Semitism can be fought. The book describes the hateful messages of those who defame Israel and the Jews, details why anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism have the same core motifs, and discusses the main groups of inciters, including Muslim states, Muslims in the Western world, politicians, media, NGOs, church leaders, those on the extreme left and the extreme right, Jewish self-haters, academics, social democrats, and many others. It explains how the hate messages are effectively transmitted to the public at large, and discusses what impact the delegitimization has already made on Israel and the Jews.

Revealed: In Private Fundraiser, Keith Ellison Said Israel Controls US Policy

Congressman Keith Ellison’s announcement earlier this month that he wants to be the Democratic National Committee’s next chairman drew quick support from several key lawmakers, including Jewish senators Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders.
Ellison’s backers have also defended him against claims that he may hold antisemitic views, as well as being anti-Israel. A column in Israel’s liberal daily Haaretz quotes two rabbis praising Ellison, as “the best of our constitutional democracy and the best of America” and “an extraordinary leader. Anyone who would associate him with any kind of hatred hasn’t met him and certainly hasn’t worked with him.”
But a 2010 audio of Ellison speaking at a private fundraiser obtained by the Investigative Project on Terrorism calls such praise into question. In a fairly intimate setting, Ellison lashed out at what he sees as Israel’s disproportionate influence in American foreign policy. That will change, he promised:
The United States’ foreign policy in the Middle East is governed by what is good or bad through a country of 7 million people. A region of 350 million all turns on a country of 7 million. Does that make sense? Is that logic? Right? When the Americans who trace their roots back to those 350 million get involved, everything changes. Can I say that again?
The fundraiser for Ellison’s re-election campaign was hosted by Esam Omeish, a past president of the Muslim American Society (MAS), who was forced to resign from a Virginia state immigration panel in 2007 after an exclusive IPT videotape showed him praising Palestinians for choosing the “the jihad way … to liberate your land.” Omeish was a candidate for Virginia’s general assembly the previous year, and Ellison spoke at a fundraiser for that losing effort.

Keith Ellison’s Saudi Arabia Trip Included Meetings With Radical Cleric, Bank That Funds Suicide Bombings

Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.) during a 2008 trip to Saudi Arabia met with a radical Muslim cleric who endorsed killing U.S. soldiers and with the president of a bank used to pay the families of Palestinian suicide bombers.
Ellison, now a leading candidate to head the Democratic National Committee, was brought to Saudi Arabia for a two-week trip by the Muslim American Society (MAS), a group founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood to act as its “overt arm” in the United States.
Details of Ellison’s religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia are scarce, but photographs discovered by the Washington Free Beacon show that Ellison met with controversial figures during the trip.
A photo album of Ellison’s hajj trip posted by MAS’s Minnesota chapter includes a picture of the congressman meeting with Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, who was vice president of a Muslim Brotherhood-created group that in 2004 issued a fatwa urging “jihad” against U.S. troops in Iraq and supported the Palestinians’ Second Intifada against Israel.
“The Jihad-waging Iraqi people’s resistance to the foreign occupation … is a Shari’a duty incumbent upon anyone belonging to the Muslim nation,” the fatwa said, according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
Bin Bayyah’s group, the International Association of Muslim Scholars, issued the fatwa after a conference in Beirut, Lebanon.

Michael Lumish: The Obama Administration is concerned about random acts of violent extremism done by no group in particular and for no reason that we can discern

After this latest Jihad attack at Ohio State University, president Barack Obama took the bull-by-the-balls and trotted out White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest to tell us:
There’s still a lot of information to review and collect but obviously this is a difficult situation and our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Columbus and OSU at this time.
This is, indeed, a difficult situation and, speaking strictly for myself, I am just pleased that it had nothing whatsoever to do with “radical Islam” or “political Islam” or “Jihadism” or “Islamism” or the “Qu’ran” or the “Koran,” or anything whatsoever do to with Islam or what President Barack Obama calls “violent extremism.”
Like 9/11, the Boston Marathon bombing, the gay nightclub murders in Orlando, the shooting up of US military personnel at Fort Hood, TX, the San Bernardino attack, or the beheading in Oklahoma – and on and on and on and on – we should be grateful that the OSU misunderstanding was either completely accidental, the act of a random psychopath, or the direct result of our own shameful behavior as a people and a nation.
We have to understand that when goodhearted folk are morally aggrieved by the United States (if not Americans, more generally) that they have every reason to feel this way because we earned their contempt due to our own misbehavior. It is for this reason, sadly, that we deserve whatever beating they wish to give us, our children, and our family and friends.

Michael Lumish: This week on NOTHING LEFT (Nov 29, 2016)

Hosts Michael Burd and Alan Freedman tell us:
Here is this week’s episode of NOTHING LEFT (29 Nov 2016), and apologies for the lack of FM transmission this morning which was caused by an external internet problem.
4 min Editorial: Avi Yemeni & One Nation controversy
10 min David Southwick MP
33 min Avi Yemeni, Independent Jewish Council of Aust
51 min Nonie Darwish, former Muslim activist
1 hr 43 min Asra Nomani, Muslim journalist

When it comes to Israel, is François Fillon friend or foe?

This Sunday, some 4.6 million French voters at 10,228 poling stations across France paid two euros each and signed a “charter of right-wing and centrist values” to cast their ballots in a decisive French center-right presidential primary election.
By evening, François Fillon was declared winner with 66.5 percent of the vote, beating his rival, Alain Juppé, nearly two-to-one. Fillon is now the favored candidate ahead of the May 2017 French presidential elections.
During his tenure as minister and prime minister, the current member of parliament from Paris expressed himself on many occasions on a variety of topics of interest to the greater Jewish world, including the French Jewish community, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the war in Syria. His statements could at times be described as hostile, at other times as ambiguous, and sometimes as firmly supportive.
On Wednesday morning, a new controversy broke out when Fillon, who was invited to speak to Europe 1 radio [all links are in French], compared the French Jewish community with the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the country.

Report: German Intelligence Officer Arrested Over Suspected Terrorist Attack

A German intelligence officer was recently arrested on the suspicion he was plotting to bomb the headquarters of Germany’s domestic spy agency in Cologne.
The 51-year-old, who converted to Islam two years ago, admitted in a “partial confession” that his goal was to “infiltrate” the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Der Spiegel reported Tuesday.
An official with the intelligence agency said the man attempted to pass on “sensitive information about [the agency], which could lead to a threat to the office.”
The suspect also used online chat rooms in an attempt to recruit radical Islamists to the spy agency to mount attacks against “non-believers.” The man was caught after chatting with an undercover agent from the office, according to Der Spiegel.

Islamic State Claims Its “Soldier” Carried Out Ohio State Attack

The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency has released a short statement claiming that yesterday’s attack at Ohio State University was the work of its “soldier.” Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a Somali refugee, drove his car into a crowd of people before exiting the vehicle and using a knife to assault his victims. Eleven people were hospitalized as a result. Artan was quickly shot dead by a campus police officer.
Amaq claims that Artan “carried out the operation in response to calls to target the nationals of the international coalition countries.” Amaq has used the same phrasing after previous attacks in both Europe and the US.
For instance, Amaq released a nearly identical statement after another native Somali, Dahir Adan, stabbed multiple people at a mall in Minnesota in September. [See FDD’s Long War Journal report, Islamic State claims its ‘soldier’ was responsible for stabbings in Minnesota.] US officials contacted by The Long War Journal in October said that Adan’s digital trail was still being investigated.
Prior to his demise in August, Abu Muhammad al Adnani repeatedly called upon the so-called caliphate’s members and supporters to strike the coalition of nations targeting its territory in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere. Adnani was the Islamic State’s spokesman and oversaw the group’s external operations before he was killed in an American airstrike.
The language in Amaq’s claims is intended to emphasize that the terrorists are acting in accordance with Adnani’s and the Islamic State’s directives.

Vile Antisemitism At Ryerson University With Student Walkout

Last night, Aedan O’Connor, Vice President of programming at Students Supporting Israel at Ryerson University, uploaded the following Facebook Post:
Today at the Ryerson semi-annual general meeting a member of Hillel Ryerson presented a motion to have a Student Union sponsored Holocaust education week. This was primarily going to be organized by Jewish groups on campus to combat the growing anti-semitism and raise awareness on possibly the greatest tragedy in the history of man kind. When presenting the motion we were snickered at and told to sit down and not present by other students. When it approached the time to vote on this motion a large group of students started messaging each other and coordinated a walk out to rid the assembly of quorum. This was done to silence Jewish students. I wish I could say that that I am aghast or distressed. But I could not muster the tears that were falling from my friends’ faces. I have grown despondent from the abundant anti-semitism present in the diaspora. I have grown accustomed to being silenced because of my Judaism. That does mean that it is fair or all right. So tonight I take my voice back. I condemn in the strongest terms what my peers did. We will take this motion further and I promise that we will ensure that there is something to allay anti-semitism at Ryerson and in the greater community.
At the Annual General Meeting at Ryerson University in Toronto Canada, dozens, if not hundreds, of students walked out of the auditorium with the purpose of breaking quorum. They filled these seats so that other students who wanted to come couldn’t make it in. Looks like the typical action of Students for Justice in Palestine during a pro-Israel resolution.
Here’s the catch though: the resolution had absolutely nothing to do with Israel. It was about condemning antisemitism and promoting Holocaust remembrance and education. Yet it angered a group of students to such an extent that they felt they had to leave in protest, to sabotage the vote.

NYU President Slams BDS as ‘Affront to Academic Freedom’

The president of New York University (NYU) had some harsh words for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, slamming the global initiative in a recent interview as “an affront to academic freedom.”
Speaking to the student newspaper NYU Local on a host of campus issues, Andrew Hamilton said the anti-Israel movement aims to “restrict…the flow of students or faculty from universities anywhere” in engaging with Israeli institutions.
“[If] we are going to defend what we do in research, in areas of political science, in areas of gun violence, in areas of reproductive health, if we’re going to defend that to our own government, we will certainly defend that when it comes to our engagement with other governments, and so for me that speaks to BDS,” he said.
Hamilton’s comments are in line with the position of the school’s Board of Trustees, which has come under continual pressure by anti-Israel activists to cut all ties with the Jewish state.
NYU has a long history of BDS activity, led mainly by the school’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter, which describes itself as an “anti-Zionist group” working to end the “Israeli system of Apartheid and discrimination against the indigenous Palestinian population.”

Unintended Irony Over French Settlement Labeling?

The Independent reports that France is the first EU state to implement labeling of items from Israeli settlements. One can posit that The Independent is probably fully behind anything that singles out settlements.
So it is safe to assume that the illustrative photo in the story was not quite what the media outlet had in mind:

Firstly, the caption erroneously states that the Golan Heights “overlooks Israel’s controversial separation barrier.” This is geographically incorrect.
But the choice of photo itself is ironic. The Hebrew on the cardboard box in the foreground reads “Abu Jabal” and to the left, it is possible to make out that the location of the apple factory is Madjal Shams, a Druze Arab town on the Golan Heights.
Did The Independent mean to illustrate just how potentially damaging labeling or boycotting of settlement goods is for Arabs as well as Jews? Probably not.

UKMW prompts Economist correction – retracts false claim on ‘Arabic song ban’

Yesterday, we posted about an Economist article (‘The Economist Explains: The status of Arabic speakers in Israel‘, Nov. 24) which included the bizarre claim that “Arabic songs were banned from Israeli radio for several decades.”
However, as we clearly demonstrated in our post, there is absolutely no evidence that there was ever anything resembling a ban on Arabic songs in the history of the state, yet alone one lasting “several decades”. Indeed, there have been Arabic programs (including music) on Israeli radio since the state’s founding.
We contacted the editor responsible for the article, who promptly responded to inform us that they upheld our complaint and removed the sentence in question.

Fact-Check Fail Fixed: Israel Never Bombed Morocco!

Israel has never bombed Morocco. Period.
It is safe to assume that this is a simple fact-checking error that had no malicious intent on the part of the newspaper although the lack of context is unhelpful.
For the historical record, Israel bombed the PLO headquarters in Tunis, Tunisia in October 1985 in response to a wave of terror, while the Jewish-American referred to is most likely Leon Klinghoffer, murdered by Palestinian terrorists who hijacked the Achille Lauro cruise ship that same month.
Thank you to the Daily Telegraph for making a correction shortly after we brought the error to its attention. Most of the paragraph has now been removed.

Does said threefold rise in German antisemitism signal a ‘new era’?

A top European rabbi has warned that the world has entered a new era of antisemitism, in response to a report released Tuesday about rising antisemitism in Germany.
The UK Times reported that antisemitism in Germany has risen threefold in one year, citing data published by the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung. According to the report, the German Justice Ministry revealed that there had been 2,083 cases of attacks on Jews, Jewish property and hate speech against Jews last year, in contrast with 691 in 2014.
“There is a rejection of mainstream politics and we need to be aware of the waves of antisemitism sweeping across Europe,” said Conference of European Rabbis President Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt. “As a society we must take measures to reject antisemitism and ensure that it does not become a new norm.”
“What we see right now is a revolution happening in the world,” Goldschmidt told The Jerusalem Post earlier this month, following the victory of US President-elect Donald Trump. “Europe has been weakened with Brexit and we fear now that with new winds blowing from the US, Europe is going to change as well. And not for the better.”

‘It could happen again,’ says hero of Holocaust escape film for kids

French director Lola Doillon knew that she had three ideas for her third feature film. She wanted to make a road movie, with and for children, about World War II. She just needed to find the right story. Then her producer discovered the autobiography, “The Journey of Fanny Ben-Ami.” It became the inspiration for her latest film.
“Fanny’s Journey” (“Le Voyage de Fanny”) is a compelling, wartime survival tale set in 1943 Vichy France. Its protagonist is 13-year-old Fanny (Léonie Souchaud), who finds herself in charge of a group of Jewish children as they set off on a dangerous journey, traveling through occupied France in order to reach the Swiss border. Away from any trusted adults, they learn resilience, teamwork and independence.
Since its release in France in May, it has screened at film festivals throughout Europe and, in October, was shown at the Haifa Film Festival. “Fanny’s Journey” was the closing gala film at the 20th UK International Jewish Film Festival, which ran in November.
After she had read the book, director Doillon went to Holon, Israel, to meet Fanny Ben-Ami, now 86.
“I filmed her for a few days because I really wanted to know more about the story, the facts, where she lived and the thoughts and feelings she had as a kid,” Doillon explains over the phone from France.
Ben-Ami was very open with her.
“This is a woman who gives talks in schools [about her experience]. She wants to tell her story,” says Doillon.

100 anti-Semitic incidents reported in US post-election

One hundred anti-Semitic incidents occurred in the 10 days following the presidential election, representing about 12 percent of hate incidents in the US recorded by a civil rights watchdog.
The report released Tuesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center looked at 867 hate incidents that occurred in the 10 days following the election of Donald Trump. The incidents targeted various minority groups, including Jews, immigrants, African-Americans, Muslims and the LGBT community. Incidents counted had been submitted through the watchdog’s website or reported in the media.
Of the 100 incidents classified as anti-Semitic, 80 were “vandalism and graffiti incidents of swastikas, without specific references to Jews,” while others targeted Jews more overtly, such as the harassment of individuals or vandalism of a synagogue, the report said. Many of the vandalism incidents included references to Trump, the nonprofit said.

Guatemala’s president arrives here on historic visit

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales, an evangelical Christian whose election last October was seen by some diplomatic officials as a harbinger of closer ties with the Central American state, began his state visit Monday by meeting with President Reuven Rivlin.
“I want to thank you, Mr. President, for your personal support and for the support of your country for Israel on the international stage,” Rivlin said to Morales, making his first visit outside the Americas since taking over as president in January. “Israel can help greatly in development and innovation in your region and around the world, and we are committed to doing so.”
Morales, who arrived with his wife and four cabinet ministers, is scheduled to meet on Tuesday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu is expected to raise the issue of voting patterns in international forums with the Guatemalan president. In recent years Guatemala has generally abstained on votes in the UN of importance to Israel.
One diplomatic official said Jerusalem has felt an improvement in ties with Guatemala since the election of Morales – a former television comedian with no governmental experience – both in terms of bilateral cooperation and support in international forums where Guatemala has spoken out on Israel’s behalf.
The official noted that Israel has had good relations with Guatemala under previous presidents as well, and that Otto Perez Molina was the first Guatemalan president to ever visit Israel when he did so in 2013. At the same time, the official said, Perez was not “committed to Israel to the same extent” as Morales.

At Knesset, Guatemalan president speaks of bolstering Israel ties

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales on Tuesday visited the Knesset, where he took part in a ceremony marking the anniversary of the 1947 vote on the United Nations partition plan, which sought to divide the British Mandate for Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state.
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein thanked Morales for Guatemala’s activism in favor of the plan 69 years ago.
“The ties between Israel and Guatemala are deep and historic. Before Israel’s establishment, on the eve of the UN decision on November 29, we still remember and appreciate the actions of Guatemala’s ambassador to the UN, Dr. Jorge Garcia Granados, who enlisted Latin American states to vote in favor of the partition plan. It could be that without Guatemala, the resolution on that fateful day would not have passed, and history would be very different,” Edelstein said.
Edelstein thanked Morales for his country’s continued support for Israel and said the visit expresses both states’ readiness to increase cooperation and strengthen ties.
The Guatemalan president said he was happy that Guatemala was among the first countries to recognize Israel upon its establishment in 1948.

Israel marks expulsion of Jews from Arab lands and Iran

The event, which will take place at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem, will be attended by ministers, members of Knesset and other public figures from Israel and abroad. Foundations and organizations for Jews from Middle Eastern countries will also be represented.
During the ceremony, stories will be recounted of the tribulations faced by the Jewish communities in Arab countries and Iran — the pogroms, persecution, expulsion and their road to Israel. These stories, which have never been told, will be told in first person by the men and women who experienced the ordeals themselves.
“For 68 years, the chapter of Mizrahi Jews has been omitted from the annals of the Jewish people,” said Gamliel.
“The time has come to amend this, and we will. This is the essence of the day to mark the exit and deportation of Jews from Arab lands and Iran. This is not just in the interest of Mizrahim; it is a national, Jewish and Zionist interest. It is the right of the Jewish nation to know its heritage, and historically this is also its obligation.”

16th century painting looted by Nazis returned to victims’ heirs

France on Monday officially returned a rare painting sold to the Nazis under duress in 1938 to the descendants of its rightful owners.
Then-Paris residents Henry and Hertha Bromberg sold the painting, a 16th century portrait attributed to Dutch artist Joos van Cleve, as they were fleeing Nazi Germany for the United States. Henry had inherited the painting from his father, Martin, who acquired it at an auction in Berlin in 1912.
On Monday, French Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay returned the portrait to the German-Jewish couple’s grandchildren, Henrietta Schubert and Christopher Bromberg.
Azoulay said she was “very happy” to return the painting to Bromberg and Schubert. “I measure the importance of this gesture in the eyes of history,” she noted.
“You never expect something like this,” Schubert, 67, told Canada’s CBC News. “The Nazis are dead, and this can help our wounds heal.”
“The painting doesn’t even have to have any monetary value. It’s about connecting us to our past and the story of our family that was lost,” Bromberg added.

Just a little more patience: Guns N’ Roses coming to Israel

It’s official: Guns N’ Roses will perform in at Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv on July 15.
Negotiations with the band, as first reported by Israel Hayom, began several months ago. An official announcement of the concert date is expected to be issued next week.
Unlike previous performances in Israel, the band will perform with its original members: singer Axl Rose, bassist Duff McKagan, and legendary guitarist Slash. The group has been performing together across the globe for the past half year.
In 1993, the original band put on a show in Tel Aviv as part of its Use Your Illusion tour. Axl Rose last performed in Israel in 2012 with different bandmates.
In more music news, new details have emerged hinting at a Coldplay concert in Israel.

Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson adopt military’s Kfir Brigade

A delegation of some 70 members of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, currently in Israel, met with soldiers and officers from the IDF’s Kfir Brigade on Yiftah Base in southern Israel last week.
A moving ceremony marked the brigade’s formal “adoption” by the FIDF, which was made possible thanks to a donation by Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson.
The donors take care of the lone soldiers serving in the brigade and members of the brigade whose families struggle financially, and provide weeks of rest and relaxation and other activities for the soldiers’ benefit.
Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson were the guests of honor at the FIDF’s annual gala, held in New York this past March. In addition to adopting the Kfir Brigade, the Adelsons have also adopted the Golani and Givati infantry brigades, and have lent their support to other programs and projects that the FIDF organizes for IDF troops.

African diplomats go on rare, ‘enlightening’ tour of Old City’s Jewish sites

After trekking through a narrow 600-meter, 2,000-year-old tunnel believed to have transported water from Jerusalem’s Temple Mount out of the city, the African diplomats were ushered into a small area where they could see and touch the foundation stones of the Western Wall, underneath the area known as Robinson’s Arch.
“Up there, at the main section of the wall, you compete with hundreds of visitors for God’s attention,” said Ze’ev Orenstein, who led the envoys’ archaeological tour through parts of the Old City. “But this is what I call the VIP room of the Western Wall.”
The 11 diplomats, all members of the Christian faith, were taking part in a highly unusual tour of Jewish archaeological sites in the Old City, sponsored by the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce in a bid to foster Israeli-African business ties. Monday’s visit, which also included a meeting with Israeli officials in the eastern part of the city, started at the City of David archaeological park and led the group, through the drainage tunnel, to the Western Wall.
Looking at the ancient stones, the diplomats took a few long moments to reflect on the holiness of the place. Many stretched out their arms and touched the stones, bowing their heads silently; some whispered a brief prayer.
But beyond its spiritual meaning for the foreign dignitaries, the tour also marked an unusual deviation from standard diplomatic etiquette for foreign diplomats stationed in Israel.

Tom Watson Sings in Celebration of Israel

The words mean “the nation of Israel lives” and are the same words Benjamin Netanyahu wrote in a visitors book when he visited Germany. The contrast with Corbyn & Co. is striking, this is not merely a much appreciated symbolic difference, it is ideological…

Tom Watson Singing Am Yisrael Chai

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