December 14, 2018

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12/06 Links Pt2: Leftist Jewish Paper Suggests Blacks’ Attacks On Brooklyn’s Jews Are Because Of Gentrification; A Dangerous Future for J Street; Irish Senate approves bill criminalizing WB settlement activity

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2018/12/1206-links-pt2-leftist-jewish-paper.html

From Ian:


Leftist Jewish Paper Suggests Blacks’ Attacks On Brooklyn’s Jews Are Because Of Gentrification
On Wednesday, The Forward, a leftist paper that centers on Jewish issues, published an article revolving around recent attacks on Jews living in Brooklyn, suggesting that recent attacks on Jews by blacks arise from gentrification, and quotes a local black leader saying that attacks from blacks on Jews are precipitated not by anti-Semitism per se, but because blacks see Judaism as “a form of almost hyper-whiteness.”

That statement came from Mark Winston Griffith, executive director of the Black Movement Center, who argued that blacks resented the gentrification of their neighborhoods driven by whites.

The Forward stated, “Jews are being targeted, say residents of these communities, by members of non-white ethnic groups who see Jews as symbols of gentrification in their neighborhoods.” The Forward noted that of the six attacks on Jews in Brooklyn in the last six weeks, three have occurred in Crown Heights: “On Oct. 15, a teenager beat a Jewish man with a stick. On Nov. 19, a high school-age yeshiva student was ‘sucker-punched’ by an assailant. On Saturday, a man was punched without provocation on his way to synagogue. The last incident came amid four attacks on Jewish people — two of them on children — that occurred on the same weekend.”

In addition, a group of black teenagers loitering near a Brooklyn synagogue hurled a metal pole through the synagogue window on November 10; one congregant told The New York Post, “People were praying inside at the time. Everyone is upset already. So, this we don’t need this now.”

Last April, a black man attacked a 52-year-old Jewish man near the Kingsbrook Medical Center in Crown Heights. After that attack, State Senator Jesse Hamilton stated, “As a community, we must stand united in speaking out against these hateful, anti-Semitic crimes. These attacks are an assault on decency and an assault on our values; they are crimes that are especially cruel for violating the sanctity of a time for worship, peace, and reflection.”

Suspect in Brooklyn attack on Orthodox Jew arrested, charged with hate crime

New York police have arrested a man alleged to have punched an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man in the head and charged him with a hate crime.

In addition to the hate crime charge, Eric Gerena, 32, who was arrested on Tuesday, was charged with assault in the third degree.

The attack on Friday night targeted a Hasidic man who was wearing a streimel, a traditional fur hat, and talking with a group of similarly dressed men outside of a synagogue in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Gerena has a rap sheet, but it includes no prior hate crimes, police told the New York Post.

The man did not use any anti-Semitic slurs or racial epithets during the attack, which was captured on surveillance video.

Jewish Community Leaders in Brooklyn Thank NYPD for Swift Arrest of Antisemitic Hate Crime Suspect

Leaders of the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn on Wednesday welcomed the arrest by New York City police of a 32-year-old man who violently assaulted a Hasidic Jew in the borough’s Williamsburg district on Friday night.

The United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn issued a statement thanking the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force “for their prompt and appropriate response leading to the arrest of the individual suspected of carrying out the unprovoked hate-crime attack.”

Details of the arrest of the assailant — local resident Enrique Gerena — were released at a meeting on Tuesday between Jewish community leaders and top New York police officers and politicians. The group included the NYPD’s 90th Precinct Commanding Officer Capt. Timothy Skretch, NYPD Hate Crime Unit Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Mark C. Molinari, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, NYC Jewish Caucus Chair Councilman Chaim Deutsch and Pinny Ringel from NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Community Assistance Unit.

Friday night’s incident occurred as the victim was walking home from Shabbat services with his young son. When he stopped to greet a friend on Throop Avenue, Gerena allegedly ran up behind the victim, landing a brutal punch to the back of the head and instantly flooring him. The victim has since made a recovery.

A Dangerous Future for J Street

This radical faction will not be determining how most House Democrats will be voting on Middle East issues like aid to Israel and the Palestinian Authority or even terrorism. The Democratic leadership is composed of elderly members like Hoyer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who value their ties to AIPAC and the notion of a bipartisan pro-Israel coalition.

But as the 2020 presidential campaign begins in earnest in the coming months, the Democrats’ radical faction, which has more support among grassroots party activists than it does among members of Congress, may be in a position to influence both the large field of candidates and the nature of the debate about foreign policy among Democrats.

In the end, the real loser here probably isn’t going to be AIPAC or Israel. The ability of Tlaib and Omar to function effectively despite their open embrace of an antisemitic creed will do more to undermine J Street than its mainstream competition.

J Street has never come close to making good on its initial hopes of rivaling AIPAC when it was established a decade ago. But it has been able to maintain a niche of support on the left as a voice of liberal Zionism.

Openly anti-Zionist groups like Students for Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace, and IfNotNow are outflanking J Street on the left on college campuses, and many of its members are increasingly open to supporting BDS in one form or another. But the decision of Tlaib and Omar — and those Democratic legislators who join them — to eschew J Street’s trips to Israel and its efforts to influence Democrats to reject Israel’s government while still embracing the state are showing that the left-wing lobby’s efforts on Capitol Hill are also failing.

If Tlaib and Omar become the loudest voices on the Democratic left, then it means that the “pro-Israel, pro-peace” mantra of J Street is being replaced by the hateful propaganda of the BDS movement. If so, it’s a dark day for the Democrats — and all friends of Israel.

Rashida Tlaib Misrepresented Soros Stipend in Financial Disclosures

Congresswoman-elect Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) did not disclose the name of the source of funds for a fellowship that was paid by liberal billionaire George Soros—as required by the House ethics committee—and also disclosed a lesser amount than she received, according to a review of tax and financial disclosure forms.

The Washington Free Beacon obtained the most recent copies of tax forms for a number of Soros’s organizations, including the Open Society Institute, the legal name for the Open Society Foundations, the entity in which Soros pushes millions in funding to a number of liberal causes and organizations.

An expenditure of $85,307 to Rashida Tlaib in Detroit, Mich., from 2017 is shown on page 97 of the 321-page report to “to increase involvement of disenfranchised urban communities of color with their local governance process by creating a community benefits strategy for equitable development and creating a leadership training for impacted residents focused on negotiation skills and identifying leverage at the local level.”

Tlaib did not report any income in the amount of $85,307 on financial disclosure forms submitted as she was running for office, which identified the names of the sources that provided her income in three of four cases. Tlaib received compensation from the Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center, Wayne State University, and Metro Solutions, the forms show.

However, the fourth reported source of earned income is marked as a “Leadership in Government Fellowship,” but does not identify who provided the payment.

A press release from 2016 shows that Tlaib was chosen for a “leadership in government” fellowship by Soros’s Open Society Foundations along with seven other individuals.

Professors, Students: CNN ‘Racist’ For Firing Marc Lamont Hill After He Called For End Of Israel

Hundreds of college professors and students are calling liberal news network CNN “racist” for firing Marc Lamont Hill after the Temple University professor called for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea,” a veiled phrase that is a call for the destruction of Israel.

“CNN’s response to Marc Lamont Hill was extremely unjust. CNN and Temple University should have celebrated Hill’s call for justice and equality, but instead used it as an opportunity to silence and intimidate those who criticise the state of Israel,” says the online letter addressed to CNN.

“The racist nature of this incident should not be overlooked nor can it be excused. We are not alone in our deep disappointment in CNN for firing Marc Lamont Hill. It is for these reasons, that we, as supporters of justice and liberation for all, condemn CNN’s firing of Marc Lamont Hill. We believe in fairness and anti-racism and thus cannot stand idly by while CNN enacts blatant anti-Blackness and anti-Palestinian violence. We also urge Temple University to avoid repeating CNN’s mistake and to stand by Marc Lamont Hill’s right to speak for justice in Palestine.”

While the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) ripped Hill for using a United Nations speech to call for the establishment of Palestine “from the river to the sea,” the professors and students say the ADL “ignores Hill’s call for justice and conflates criticism of the Israeli state with anti-Semitism” which signatories assert is both factually incorrect and “extremely dangerous.”

Pro-Palestinian, Anti-Zionist, Anti-CNN Protest in NYC in Support of Marc Lamont Hill by CNN

On December 1, 2018, a pro-Palestine, anti-Zionist, and anti-CNN protest was held in New York City following CNN’s firing of Marc Lamont Hill over comments about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the United Nations. Nancy Mansour, who is the founder of the pro-Palestinian organization “Existence is Resistance,” said that the Zionists pressured CNN to fire Hill, and that she hopes this will be the beginning of a real fight against “anti-Semitic, white supremacist Zionists.” Zacharia Barghouti of the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) said that the PYM recognizes that Israel cannot be a Jewish ethno-state and democratic simultaneously. Alexi Shalom from “In Our Lifetime – United for Palestine” said that Israel is not a state and that anti-Zionism is the fulfillment of the human rights of oppressed people all over the world.

Israel in talks with Hungary over controversial Budapest Holocaust museum

Israeli officials are negotiating with the Hungarian government to reach a compromise over a new Holocaust museum in Budapest that some fear could minimize its countrymen’s role in the killing of half a million Jewish citizens during the Holocaust, according to a television report on Wednesday.

Some members of the Hungarian Jewish community, as well as Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial center, have boycotted the project due to the historical account presented by the museum on events leading up to and during World War II.

Two advisers to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban have arrived in Israel and were to hold talks with representatives from the Prime Minister’s Office on Thursday, Channel 10 television news reported Wednesday, citing senior Israeli officials.

An Israeli official, who asked to remain anonymous, told the station that the Foreign Ministry is firmly against any deviation from the historical facts about Hungarian Jews in the Holocaust, as documented by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Center in Israel and the Washington Holocaust museum.

According to the official, the PMO has not completely adopted the Foreign Ministry stance and ministry officials were not invited to participate in the talks.

JCPA: American Non-Government Organizations Are Intertwined with PFLP Terror Group

Two American NGOs – Interfaith Peace-Builders and Dream Defenders – support and promote the mission of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a U.S.-designated terror organization. The PFLP has used bombings, shootings, and plane hijackings to achieve its political goals.

Interfaith Peace-Builders (IFPB), also known as “Eyewitness Palestine,” claims to have led more than 60 delegations to the Palestinian Authority. IFPB houses its participants in the homes of PFLP terrorist operatives and encourages them to participate in violent demonstrations against Israel.

Dream Defenders and its members endorsed the PFLP and espoused its tactics by backing PFLP terrorists on social media and at various public events. It brings people to the Middle East to meet with PFLP members and PFLP-affiliated organizations.

In March 2016, Dream Defenders put together an alternative school curriculum that includes the PFLP as one of nine “heroes” that should be used to teach “rebellion” strategies and tactics.

The group identifies with the PFLP’s struggle, stating: “They [the PFLP] want to be free from global imperialism. They want liberation. They want equal rights. Just like the Dream Defenders.”

University of Vermont Flies Palestinian Flag After Israeli Flag Raised in Solidarity With Victims of Pittsburgh Massacre

A Palestinian flag was raised over the student center at the University of Vermont early last week, after anti-Zionist students objected to the display of an Israeli flag in the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre.

The flag was flown outside the Davis Center following a request by Students for Justice in Palestine, which surrounded the flagpole with handmade signs featuring various accusations against Israel. Some messages promoted the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign, while others called for a “Free Palestine” — both in English, Arabic, and broken Hebrew.

The signs were placed under the flag on Thursday during an SJP gathering in honor of the United Nations’ International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, as well as the Palestinians’ “rejection of UN Resolution 181,” which called for the creation of both Jewish and Arab states in Mandatory Palestine. A university spokesperson told The Algemeiner that they were put up in violation of university policy against solicitation, and consequently removed.

The whole display was seen by some as a direct response to the recent flying of an Israeli flag at the same location — an initiative spearheaded by Aaron Goren, a senior who is president of Catamounts Supporting Israel, following the massacre of 11 Jewish worshipers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in October.

Goren told The Algemeiner that he saw the Israeli flag “as a mark of resilience against antisemitism here in the USA,” noting that it has “always stood tall against oppression, and the resilience to it that the Jewish people have.”

Senators Intent on Riders Clarifying Antisemitism, BDS In Educational Arena

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) is looking to insert into the upcoming must-pass spending legislation this month his proposed Anti-Semitism Awareness Act that would require the Department of Education to adopt the State Department’s definition of antisemitism in evaluating incidents on college campuses and at other educational institutions.

“We absolutely hope that it is inserted into the upcoming spending bill,” Scott spokesperson Ken Farnaso told JNS.

Scott and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) introduced the bill in the upper chamber, while a version of it was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps.Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y).

This development comes as The Intercept reported on Tuesday that Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) is looking to insert his Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which would amend the Export Administration Act of 1979, forbidding American firms from partaking in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, including boycotts advocated by international organizations such as the United Nations.

Lately, Cardin’s legislation has been put on the back-burner due to skepticism from his fellow Democrats.

The bill has support from organizations such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, while groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union oppose it.

The anti-BDS act is a top priority for AIPAC, a spokesperson told JNS.

Two Northeast Police Departments Give in to Boycott Pressure, Cancel ADL Training in Israel

Two police departments in the northeastern United States have cancelled their participation in a joint counterterrorism program with Israeli and Palestinian law enforcement that encourages “community resiliency” in the aftermath of terror attacks under pressure from the anti-Semitic boycotts movement, Haaretz reported Saturday.

The Vermont State Police and the police department for Northampton, Massachusetts announced that they had pulled out from the ADL-sponsored seminar during which police officers from the U.S. learn methods Israel uses to “thwart terrorism within its framework of a democratic and multicultural nation.”

When the city of Durham, North Carolina, in April became the first U.S. municipal to bar its police department from training in Israel, the boycotts movement claimed that cooperation with Israeli law enforcement “further militarize U.S. police forces that train in Israel.” They also charged that the IDF deploys “tactics of extrajudicial killing, excessive force, racial profiling, and repression of social justice movements.”

Peter Reitzes, a pro-Israel activist who campaigned against the boycott in Durham and wrote in The Tower about his experience, said: “Anti-Israel activists were led by the deceptively named Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), who recently declared themselves to be ‘antizionist Jews.’” Reitzes noted that “JVP lobbied the Mayor, Durham City Council, and public by alleging that Israeli training ‘helps the police terrorize Black and Brown communities here in the U.S,’ – a modern version of the blood libel of old, which accuses Jews of using the blood of Christian children to make matzoh.”

Irish Senate approves bill criminalizing West Bank settlement activity

In a watershed moment, the Irish Senate (Seanad Éireann) approved a bill to criminalize West Bank settlement activity on Wednesday, thereby taking a stand both against European Union policy and its own government.

This is an “historic, momentous occasion,” said Irish Senator Frances Black, who had submitted the private member’s bill that now goes to the House (Dáil Éireann) for approval before it is passed into law.

The senate vote puts Ireland on track to become the first European Union country to end trade with Judea and Samaria, as well as with Jewish areas of Jerusalem over the pre-1967 lines.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said that the Irish Senate had approved “the most extreme anti-Israel piece of legislation in Europe.”

The ministry added: “This bill will not help a single Palestinian and is aimed at negating the historical connection between the people of Israel and the birthplace of the Jewish people.”

In Dublin, senators stood and applauded after the vote.

NGO Monitor: Trocaire’s Anti-Israel Campaign on Twitter: November 2018

An NGO’s Twitter output is a good reflection of the priorities and agendas of powerful organizations claiming to promote universal human rights. In the wake of the intense political warfare campaign in Ireland targeting Israel through antisemitic BDS (boycotts, divestment and sanctions), the following analysis of Trocaire’s Twitter feed demonstrates the efforts of this institution.

During the month of November 2018, Trocaire, the official overseas development agency of the Catholic Church of Ireland, tweeted (including retweets) 69 times on issues ranging from women’s rights, climate change, human rights in Myanmar, and World Children’s Day.

Of those 69 tweets, 12 (17.39%) of them focused exclusively on Israel, specifically on Ireland’s “Control of Economic Activity (Occupied territories)” bill, which would make it illegal for Irish citizens and residents to import or sell “settlement goods” or to provide or attempt to provide “settlement services.” On November 28, a Trocaire tweet referred to the bill as an “important vote in support of international law.”

On November 20, Trocaire also demonstrated support for Airbnb’s decision to “removing listings” in “Israeli settlements in the Occupied West Bank” by calling it “Great news.” (As was widely noted, this singling out of Israel among many countries involved in ongoing conflicts stands in contrast to the working definition of antisemitism as adopted by International Holocaust Remembrance Association, and endorsed by the European Parliament, among many others.)

Public Security Minister Erdan urges German bank to close BDS accounts

The Jerusalem Post’s disclosure of a bank account in Germany held by an entity that supports the BDS movement prompted Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan to urge the Germany-based Bank for Social Economy this week to pull the financial plug on its accounts that enable activities to boycott the Jewish state.

“I call on all German banks to cut their ties with any and all BDS organizations, and join the many German institutions and leaders who have united against the antisemitic boycott campaign,” Erdan told the Post via email.

“During my recent trip to Frankfurt, I emphasized the need to defeat the discriminatory and hate-filled BDS [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions] campaign against Israel’s right to exist,” he added. “This stance has already been adopted by our close friends in Germany, including the CDU [Christian Democratic Union Party] and major municipalities such as Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich.”

Erdan was in Germany in late November to speak at a pro-Israel conference in the city of Frankfurt.

The pro-BDS group – German Coordination Circle Palestine/Israel (KOPI) – holds an account with the Bank for Social Economy and is a known supporter of the BDS movement against Israel. KOPI listed an account with the bank in a letter it sent recently to raise funds for the pro-BDS website Das Palästina Portal – The Palestine Portal.

Ohio State University Student Leaders Overwhelmingly Reject Anti-Israel Boycott for Fifth Time

Student leaders at Ohio State University on Wednesday overwhelmingly rejected a resolution endorsing the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

With a vote of seven in favor, 30 against, and three abstentions, OSU’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG) struck down legislation brought forward last month by the OSU Coalition for BDS — marking the fifth time anti-Israel divestment resolutions were defeated at the school in recent years.

The measure called for OSU to divest from companies accused of benefiting “from the Israeli occupation of Palestine,” and to boycott Israeli universities and academics, including “currently invited speakers and visiting professors.”

It faced opposition from Protect OSU, a coalition of students who argued that the proposal engaged in “hate speech against Israel,” would “divide our community,” and “could keep jobs, internships, and investments from OSU.” Among the group’s leaders was Buckeyes for Israel President Maya Rosenberg, who opened the debate on Wednesday evening by saying that the resolution had the potential to “completely shut out one side of the conversation, eliminating the possibility for truly constructive dialogue.”

Several students followed her testimony by expressing concern over the impact the resolution would have on academic freedom, while others revealed that they felt targeted based on their Jewish identity and warned that BDS was fundamentally discriminatory — echoing a charge levied against the Palestinian-led movement by major Jewish communal bodies worldwide, including the principal bodies of Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox Judaism in the United States.

CST report cites UK Media Watch’s critique of Financial Times’ dual loyalty trope

CST’s recently released report, Antisemitic Discourse in Britain 2017, is a comprehensive review of antisemitic rhetoric in the mainstream media, social media, and politics in the UK last year.

Its section on antisemitism in the mainstream media included an extremely problematic report at the Financial Times that was first flagged by UK Media Watch:

The Financial Times published an article [on Aug. 7, 2017] about US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner’s role as a Middle East peace envoy that suggested his Jewish faith meant he was “clearly partisan” and unsuitable to fulfil that role. The article, titled ‘Jared Kushner looks for a deal in the Middle East’, credited Kushner with successfully defusing tensions over Jerusalem in July through effective dialogue with various parties in the region, but then said: “However, critics argue that in seven months Mr Kushner and his team have offered nothing in the way of strategy or even goals in the Middle East. He is dismissed as naive, inexperienced and clearly partisan: he practises modern Orthodox Judaism, only recently divested Israeli bonds and counts Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a family friend.” The implication is that the fact Kushner “practises modern Orthodox Judaism” is as relevant as his ties to the Israeli Prime Minister and recent financial investments in Israel, in making him “clearly partisan”.

In response, the Financial Times published a letter from Adam Levick of UK Media Watch that queried whether any critics of Kushner had actually cited his religion as grounds to object to his diplomatic role, and then argued: “While the report also included legitimate concerns about Mr Kushner’s personal ties to Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, I have never read a serious commentator suggest that his Jewish faith alone renders him partisan – an accusation of dual loyalty which should be out-of-bounds within mainstream British discourse.” Levick concluded: “Whatever one’s views of Mr Kushner’s ability to carry out the difficult task of negotiating Middle East peace, the fact that he is a ‘practising Orthodox Jew’ is completely irrelevant.

BBC’s Bateman recycles the ‘cultural censorship’ theme

Only at the end of his almost five-minute-long report did Bateman (using typically contorted metaphors) bother to mention that the proposed bill which is the subject of his report is actually no longer news.

Bateman: “The bill though has been sinking amid the waves of political crisis crashing around Israel’s coalition government. At a heated press conference last week Miri Regev accused fellow ministers prepared to derail it of giving state cash to what she called terrorists and Jew-haters. She postponed a vote on the bill and its future is now uncertain. Loyalty, it seemed, was not forthcoming from some fellow ministers – let alone from the rebellious world of art.”

The postponement of voting on the bill took place on November 26th. Nevertheless, nine days later the BBC found it appropriate to promote a tale of a “war on culture”, “nationalism of the right” and “curbing artistic freedom” while airbrushing many of the details necessary for audience understanding of the complete story.

EU adopts measures against antisemitism, World Jewish congress cheers

A declaration approved Thursday by the Council of the European Union calls on EU member states to take steps to ensure security for Jewish communities, institutions and citizens.

The declaration, agreed on by interior ministers from the 28 EU member states, emphasizes the importance of Holocaust commemoration and education; calls on all EU member states which have not already done so to endorse the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism in the fields of law enforcement, education and training; and calls on the European Commission and Europol to pay particular attention to online antisemitism and to content advocating antisemitic terrorist offenses.

The Declaration was put on the agenda and promoted by Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, whose country holds the rotating Presidency of the European Council.

Vice president of the European Commission Frans Timmermans, a member of the Dutch Labour Party, said that the declaration would lead to development of a common security approach to better protect Jewish communities and institutions.

Judge Gives No Prison Time to Man Who Shouted About Killing Jews While Attacking Elderly Jewish Man

A New York judge concludes drug and alcohol problems are the real culprit in the case of a man ‘repeatedly bashing an 84-year-old man on the head with a fire extinguisher while shouting, “I’m going to kill you, you mother f—ng Jew!”’

Here’s yet another incident involving violence against Jews on U.S. soil that seems to have been waged with the least ambiguous of motivations. In December of 2017, Alen Califano allegedly entered a Jewish nursing home in the Bronx and proceeded to “terroriz[e] residents,” punctuating his ramage by “repeatedly bashing an 84-year-old man on the head with a fire extinguisher while shouting, ‘I’m going to kill you, you mother f—ng Jew!,’” according to the New York Post. You’d think Califano had gone out of his way to make the reasoning for his alleged attack as clear as possible, but you are not Judge Nicholas Iocavetta. Per the Post, “Iacovetta said he wants Califano, who has alcohol and substance abuse problems, to go to an inpatient rehabilitation facility instead of serving jail time. “Mr. Califano meets the diagnostic criteria … and treatment is appropriate,” Iacovetta said, adding, “An institutional incarceration in a correctional facility is not necessary at this time.” At trial, Califano would face up to 25 years in prison.

Surely some happy medium exists between a maximal prison sentence and none at all for an alleged violent anti-Semite but the judge in the case is recommending a scandalous degree of leniency in the event a plea deal can be reached. If Califano avoids prison, straightforward, violent anti-Semitism would be recast as an unfortunate but narrowly clinical symptom of mental illness or addiction, a determination which—aside from being insulting to addicts and the mentally ill—sucks any moral agency, or even moral content, from Califano’s actions.

ADL Protests Inclusion of Viciously Antisemitic Titles at Official Qatar Book Fair

Six months after its much-heralded outreach to effort to US Jewish leaders petered out, the Gulf emirate of Qatar’s official book fair, which opened this week, is displaying books that carry blatantly antisemitic titles.

A report on Tuesday from the Anti-Defamation League noted that books titled Lies Spread by the Jews and The Myth of the Nazi Gas Chambers were available on the book fair’s website. In addition, the ADL reported on the inclusion of an Arabic version of former Ku Klux Klansman David Duke’s antisemitic tract Awakening to Jewish Influence in the United States of America, as well as Henry Ford’s The International Jew, a discredited work of antisemitic conspiracy theory that was based in turn on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a work fabricated by the Tsarist secret police in Russia more than a century ago.

Other books available at the Doha fair include Talmud of Secrets: Facts Exposing the Jewish Schemes to Control the World, and The History of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the History of the Corruption of the Jews, and the Demise of their Entity.

The ADL asserted that in “the last few years, the Doha International Book Fair has a record of promoting blatantly antisemitic content in addition to other titles.”

Model Who Took Selfie At Holocaust Memorial: Hey, I’m Sightseeing

On Monday, British model Rhian Sugden decided she’d post a selfie of herself on Instragram with the caption “E.T. Phone Home.”

The selfie was taken at the Holocaust memorial in Berlin.

Sugden, who wrote in the Instagram post’s comments section that critics should “just remove” themselves from her Instagram page, later changed the caption to “#sightseeing #museum #Berlin.” She also fired back, ‘If anybody disagrees with me taking a selfie at a famous museum/memorial where every other person there was taking a pic – just remove yourself from my page. I’ve got no time for this moaning generation. I’m on holiday. Sightseeing and took a pic. Under no circumstances is this disrespectful.”

She also tweeted, “This is insane! I posted a pic of me sightseeing in Berlin – took a pic at a memorial and made a comment that I look like ET -the abuse I got is mental! I’m actually gutted people are saying I am disrespectful – I’m really really not. And for this to be picked up on is unfair.”

Gipsy Kings, ‘Bamboleo’ singers, returning to Israel for four shows

Gipsy Kings, the celebrated musicians from the south of France, will be heading to Israel for four shows next year.

The group – whose music has been described as “Spanish flamenco and gypsy rhapsody meet salsa funk” – is best known for their smash 1987 hit “Bamboleo.” They will will perform in Haifa on March 17, in Tel Aviv on March 18 and 19, and in Beersheba on March 20.

And the famed band will have a very special guest during their Israel shows: beloved local singer Miri Mesika. Mesika, who has released six albums and is a radio staple in Israel, will perform with the 10-piece band at all four shows. According to the concert organizers, the Gipsy Kings listened to performances by 10 Israeli artists before selecting Mesika for the honor.

The Gipsy Kings were most recently in Israel in 2011, when they performed in Ra’anana.

US ambassador to light Hanukkah menorah at Western Wall with Netanyahu

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman will join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for an official menorah-lighting ceremony at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem on Thursday night.

Netanyahu will light the menorah on the fifth night of the eight-day long festival which began on Sunday evening, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

The ambassador was also invited to light a menorah at the Western Wall last year.

Friedman already participated a public menorah lighting ceremony earlier this week in Jerusalem and drew some controversy by referring to the city as Israel’s “ancient and modern capital” in a tweet celebrating the festival.
US Ambassador David Friedman, left, lighting a Hanukkah menorah, at the Sultan’s Pool in Jerusalem, on December 3, 2018. (Matty Stern/ US Embassy)

Friedman, who is a religiously observant Jew, posted on Twitter that “More than 2000 years ago, Jewish patriots (Maccabees) captured Jerusalem, purified the Holy Temple and rededicated it as a house of Jewish worship. The UN can’t vote away the facts: Jerusalem is the ancient and modern capital of Israel. Happy Chanukah from this blessed city!”

When Late President George H.W. Bush Played Dreidel During Hanukkah

As the 41st president of the United States, George H.W. Bush, was memorialized in Washington, DC, on Thursday, the flood of tributes and fond memories included a video of the late commander-in-chief spinning a dreidel with a young visitor to the White House during the Hanukkah holiday.

In the encounter, the young girl explained to the president that each Hebrew letter of a dreidel results in a different outcome for the spinner. “How many guys can play? Can you get four in the game?” President Bush asked, to the sounds of laughter.

The president then invited his vice president, Dan Quayle, to come and join the game. Taking a turn himself with a larger dreidel, Bush landed on the letter “nun.” “What do I do now?” he asked. “It’s ‘nun,’ you can’t do anything,” the young girl answered.

Taking a spin with a smaller dreidel, Bush eventually landed on the letter “gimel.” Asking again what to do, the young girl told the president, “It’s ‘gimel,’ you take everything!” To loud applause, the president then swept the handful of coins on the table in front of him into the palm of his hand.

President George H.W. Bush Calls for Repeal of UN ‘Zionism is Racism’ Resolution
46th Session of the UN General Assembly September 23, 1991



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