July 9, 2020

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12/06 Links Pt2: Melanie Phillips: Anti-Semitism Is a Unique Obsession; Israel a Sanctuary for Gays: Ignored or Jeered at by West; Red Yellow Journalism

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2019/12/1206-links-pt2-melanie-phillips-anti.html

From Ian:


Melanie Phillips: Anti-Semitism Is a Unique Obsession
Anti-Semitism is not a prejudice like any other. It has unique characteristics applied to no other group, people or cause. It’s an obsessional and unhinged narrative based entirely on lies; it accuses Jews of crimes of which they are not only innocent but the victims; it holds them to standards expected of no one else; it depicts them as a global conspiracy of unique malice and power. Anti-Zionism has exactly the same unique characteristics directed against the collective Jew in Israel.

Judaism is indivisibly composed of the people, the religion and the land. To attack the right of the people to the land is to attack Judaism itself. The onslaught on Zionism and Israel has therefore legitimized and encouraged anti-Semitism, with behavior of a malice and virulence directed at no other community.

In Britain there is a false equation of anti-Semitism with anti-Muslim abuse. But Jews suffer proportionately vastly more abuse and attacks than Muslims. Synagogues and Jewish schools have to be under guard and behind barbed wire, not mosques and madrassas.

People can’t stand the uniqueness of anti-Semitism because they can’t stand the uniqueness of the Jewish people. The refusal to acknowledge the uniqueness of Jew-hatred merely demonstrates precisely that Jew-hatred.

Khaled Abu Toameh: Sanctuary for Gays: Ignored or Jeered at by West

“Israel has always embraced this path [of liberty] in a Middle East that has long rejected it. In a region where women are stoned, gays are hanged, Christians are persecuted, Israel stands out. It is different.” – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to the U.S. Senate, 2011.

Adam and Rami are among scores of Palestinian members of the LTBGQ community who, in the past few decades, have fled their homes to seek shelter in Israel. Yet, their plight is totally ignored not only by human rights organizations, but by but by people who purport to be advocates of gay rights. This is part of a far more malignant story: when Israel looks good, the international community looks away.

Hate for Israel has blinded people to the point where they align themselves with their own executioners.

alQaws pointed out that some Palestinian groups actually celebrated the police threat against the LTBGQ community, “raising (yet again) disturbing questions about the Palestinian Authority’s commitment to human rights.”

Palestinian gays have two choices: hide their sexual preferences and lead double lives in their villages, or flee to Israel and live as normal human beings. Groups such as Queers for Palestine, though, are too busy bashing Israel on college campuses and the streets of San Francisco to take much notice of the sanctuary to which their gay Palestinian friends have chosen to relocate.

MEMRI: Algerian Interior Minister Describes Political Opponents as Homosexuals and Traitors

Algerian Interior Minister Salah Eddine Damoune said ahead of the General elections set to take place on December 12, 2019 that “colonialist ideology” exploits “Algerian children – or rather, quasi-Algerians, who are traitors, mercenaries, queers, and homosexuals.” His remarks were made on December 3, 2019 on Beladi TV (Algeria). On the same day, Algerian journalist Alsaid Bensedira said on Al-Hurra TV (U.S.) that the Algerian people demand that the elections be boycotted and the Interior Minister, whom he referred to as “queer effeminate” is fired immediately. He concluded that he doesn’t know any homosexuals, if the Interior Minister knows homosexuals he must be one of them.

In Nablus and Cyprus, the Accusation That Jews Ritually Murder Christians Is Alive and Well

At the Jacob’s Well Church in the West Bank town of Nablus, pilgrims can visit the tomb and sacred relics of St. Philoumenos, who was canonized by the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem in 2009 and is also revered as a saint by a few other Orthodox denominations, including the Russian Patriarchate in Moscow. According to descriptions of his martyrdom, Philoumenos—who had served as the head of the monastery attached to the church—was murdered “by Zionist settlers who wanted to cleanse the area of any trace of Christianity.” His killing was supposedly done in a ritualist fashion, with his body mutilated after his death. These descriptions can be found in such presumably reputable works as the Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity.

All of these details, writes David Gurevich, recall nothing more than the ritual-murder accusations of Middle Ages—of which the blood libel was the most notorious—responsible for so much violence and abuse of Jews. While the real Philoumenos was murdered by a deranged serial killer from Tel Aviv in 1979, none of the facts corresponds to the now-standard martyrdom narrative. Gurevich writes:

The account of Philoumenos’ tragic martyrdom, the torture by “fanatical Jews,” and, furthermore, Philoumenos’ post-mortem miracles, leading to his glorification as a saint, all resonate with the medieval accusations.

Philoumenos was born in Cyprus. . . . In the pilgrimage church of the famous Machairas Monastery in [Cyprus’] Troodos Mountains, I witnessed a painting that depicts Philomenos’ martyrdom—the Christian monk is seen being assaulted by a man presented as an ultra-Orthodox Jew wearing a typical hat, peyot, and a long beard. . . . Shortly after Philoumenos’ canonization, nuns in the monastery [in his hometown of Orounta] published his hagiography—a comprehensive book which elaborates the saint’s life story, death, and the miracle-doings. The book tells about various miracles performed by St. Philoumenos before and after his death. One of the miracles is saving Jacob’s Well church from shells of the “Jewish tanks” that attempted to storm the church in 2005 but were stopped by his intervention.

[C]ontrary to the Catholic Church, Orthodox churches have never abolished the veneration of past sanctified “victims” of Jewish “ritual murders.” In the course of the general return to religion in the post-Soviet Orthodox states, [some of these] cults were revived. . . . Moreover, in 2017, the Russian Orthodox Church established an official committee of inquiry into whether the last tsar was a victim of ritual murder by Jews.

Roman Polanski’s Dreyfus

The film’s subject is, yes, this France of a century ago, cleaved in two: one half enraged anti-Semites that I have always believed paved the way for the deadliest of European fascism; and another half for whom the affair, still known today in France as “l’Affaire,” shook, unsettled, or sometimes destroyed anti-Semitic prejudices.

The Jews of France were among the inventors and builders of France.

They were, with Rashi and the Tosafot of Champagne, those talmudic commentators with the merit of having first written, and thus fixed, the words of the French language.

They were with the kings of France, whose coronation was always done invoking kings David and Solomon, and who built the Collège de France (François I) so that there would be, in Paris, at least one professorship of living Hebrew.

They were among the inventors of the republican idea, whose model was, in the 16th and 17th centuries, not ancient Rome or Athens, but the Hebrew kingdoms as described in Kings and Samuel.

Their role was recognized—reaffirmed and reinforced, even—when Napoleon, in 1802, gathered the Grand Sanhedrin and cut the last ties that bound them and kept them from their freedom and integration in the nation.

And this entire process, this slow work that allows us to say, today, that “France without the Jews would not be France,” was paradoxically led to its culmination by the drama, tragedy, the political embolism, and the denouement, of the Dreyfus affair.

JCPA: Jerusalem’s Tomb of the Kings: Did the French Hijack a Jewish Heritage Site?

France owns four sites of religious significance in Jerusalem. One is the Tomb of the Kings, containing the tomb, hewn into the rock, of Queen Helena, originally from Kurdistan, who converted to Judaism and moved to Jerusalem around 30 CE. Also buried there are first century figures, Nicodemus Ben Gurion, a wealthy philanthropist, and his friend Kalba Savua, the rich father-in-law of Rabbi Akiva. The site is located about 800 meters north of Jerusalem’s Old City walls.

Bertha Pereire, a wealthy Jewish philanthropist, purchased the area of the tomb for 30,000 francs. In 1874, she gave her acquisition to the Jewish Consistoire Central de France, writing, “I have no other objective than the conservation of this ancient and respected monument….It is a relic of my ancestors that I want to preserve from any further desecration.”

After her death and that of her two sons, Bertha’s cousin, Henry Pereire, curiously gave the Tomb of the Kings to France. But he was not Bertha’s heir and had no right to give away such property without first offering it to the Consistoire as its legitimate owner. Nevertheless, the site was directly handed over to the French consul in Jerusalem in 1886.

In 1997, French Consul Stanislas de Laboulaye allowed a Palestinian cultural society, Yabous, to hold a music festival there. In recent years, the Consul repeatedly permitted Yabous to use the site. In effect, the French hijacked a Jewish heritage site. The president of the Consistoire Central Israelite de France has questioned why a site under French sovereignty is forbidden to Jews and has argued that a concert performance is inappropriate for a holy site.

The site, closed in 2010, was reopened on June 27, 2019, but with limited, reserved, and paid admission. The official French announcement reopening the Tomb was translated into Arabic, but not into Hebrew. It stated that the “Tomb of the Sultans” will be opened. Yet the tomb predates the nomination of the first Arab sultan by 11 centuries.

Being Zionist in some NY circles is like walking into a lion’s den

The Lion’s Den is not a roadmap to peace. It’s a sagacious exposé about “the crux of this conflict” and offers tremendous insight into many of today’s other contentious issues: BDS, reactions to refugees, the occupation. The reader feels that the author is sensitive to the Left, but she has a definite response to their downplay of what Jews see as existential threats.

The intellectual Left pays short shrift to the cumulative impact on the mind of the Jews from the expulsions, pogroms, the Holocaust, and how nations sealed their doors to prevent Jews from entering after escaping from Nazis. Some of the Left justify as acceptable strategies Arab wars launched against Israel, their intransigence against normalizing relations with the Jewish State, and terrorism that has morphed into pay-for-slay of Jews.

Linfield is no sycophant. She upfront expresses her personal criticism of the State’s policies and actions, including settlers in Hevron who, she feels, do not represent “Zionist values,” but, she feels,”they have re-created the despised, endangered, and ghettoized position of the Jews that Zionism was designed to eradicate. Talk about the return of the repressed!”

She wears her sympathy for a two-state solution – by now rejected by most Israelis as a suicidal idea – on her sleeve but asks the Left: what kind of state will the Palestinians create? A free, democratic state respectful of gays, women’s rights, minority rights? Or will a Palestinian state be more in the fashion of repressive Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the ayatollahs in Iran?

She concludes with a warning to the Left, both Jews, and Arabs: “The opposite of realism isn’t principle; it’s pathology. To reject realism makes you — and your children — into slaves of the past and strangers to the future.”

My warning to readers draws on the caveat of sociologist Andrew Chrucky: “not [to] confuse influence and popularity with importance.” The intellectual leftists are popular but hardly important in defining the actions of adversaries. Israel will not just disappear. Palestinians are unlikely to become Democrats. To me, the timely question in this age of conflict denouement is, how far will the new Jews with nuclear weapons go when facing utter calamity?

Red Yellow Journalism

Which leads us to the Times’ chief competitor in the pursuit of truth and justice, The Washington Post. In a tweet highlighting the paper’s story on Mirvis’ article, the paper’s Twitter account declared that Labour “has been hit by claims of anti-Semitism because of strong statements on Palestinian rights.” Bombarded with criticism, the Post apologized for the tweet, correctly noting that “anti-Jewish statements” by Labour members “should not have been conflated with statements on Palestinian rights.”

Concerns that the paper might have a blind spot when it comes to anti-Semitism, however, were bolstered by a glowing profile published earlier this week of former CIA agent and current Democratic congressional candidate Valerie Plame. In the course of some 3,000 fawning words, writer Jada Yuan gushes that Plame “looks astoundingly good, at 56, as if the high-altitude desert air has preserved her skin since the day she arrived here 12 years ago.” What she studiously avoids to mention is Plame’s 2017 endorsement, via Twitter, of an article titled “America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars,” which advocated both prohibiting Jews from “national security positions involving the Middle East” and publicly identifying them in media appearances “kind-of-like a warning label on a bottle of rat poison.” This article was published on the website of a Holocaust denier, Ron Unz, of which Plame was apparently a longtime, avid consumer, having shared several of its pieces on Twitter.

The inability of highly educated, well-intentioned, decent people to recognize and acknowledge anti-Semitism that doesn’t come dressed up in jackboots and a swastika is a transatlantic affliction. Even Richard Evans, perhaps the world’s leading expert on Nazi Germany and star witness against David Irving, had to be carefully and gently talked out of supporting Corbyn, whom, irony of ironies, was praised by Irving two years ago as “a very fine man.” Writing in London’s The Spectator, the Scottish journalist Stephen Daisley observes that “the Corbyn moment, counter-intuitively, is not the story of far-left anti-Semitism but of liberal collaboration, of those who know in their gut this is wrong but deploy a series of strategies to avoid, minimize, invert, excuse and deny what is happening.” The same could be said about left-wing anti-Semitism in this country, as moderate liberals trip over themselves to safeguard the reputations of characters like Linda Sarsour and Ilhan Omar.

Progressive Jews and their allies find themselves in a trap: The more they call out the anti-Jewish bigotry in their midst, the more they are condemned as special-pleaders, “neocons,” and deviationist wreckers. Some choose the easier path and remain silent, a tiny group of insecure sycophants assist the anti-Semites in the pathetically unrealistic hope they alone might be spared once the revolution comes. “It’s one of my biggest worries,” a co-founder of Jews Against Boris admits to Mueller. “That Labour will lose and everyone will blame the Jews.” Even some of Corbyn’s own Jewish enablers tacitly acknowledge the party’s institutional anti-Semitism. Why can’t our leading newspapers do the same?

Sanders Aide’s Tweets Include Homophobic Slurs, References to ‘Jew Money’

Gordon, who joined the Sanders campaign in November, is the latest in a string of Sanders aides and surrogates who have made disparaging remarks toward Jews and Israel. Belén Sisa, Sanders’s national deputy press secretary, questioned in a Facebook post whether the “American-Jewish community has a dual allegiance to the state of Israel,” while Linda Sarsour, a Sanders surrogate, has attacked Jews who support Israel and likened them to white supremacists.

Matt Brooks, president of the Republican Jewish Coalition, said the anti-Semitic remarks from Gordon will further the Sanders campaign’s image problem in the Jewish community and called for Gordon to be fired.

“Sanders’ campaign already has an image problem in the Jewish community, after he proposed withholding military aid to Israel and appointed Linda Sarsour as a campaign surrogate,” Brooks said in a Friday statement following this report. “This latest incident just confirms that Sanders’ problems run deep.”

“It is outrageous that Bernie Sanders would hire him, given Gordon’s history of posting blatantly anti-Semitic comments on social media,” Brooks said. “The Sanders campaign should fire him immediately.”

Are Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib victims of fake news?

A bombshell report by The Guardian revealed that Muslim congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan may have been the victims of an elaborate international smear campaign targeting the two lawmakers.

According to the British daily, a “mysterious” Israeli organization is behind an “international operation that exploits far-right pages on Facebook to inflame Islamophobia for profit.”

The paper’s investigation revealed that the Israeli group used 21 Facebook pages that would bombard right-wing pages with fake news posts about the congresswoman, all for the purpose of accruing a profit from digital advertising. The Facebook pages stemmed from various countries including the US, Australia, the UK, Canada, Austria, Israel, and Nigeria.

“The posts exacerbate Islamophobia by amplifying far-right parties and vilifying Muslim and left-wing politicians. Their content is a blend of distorted news and pure fabrication,” The Guardian wrote.

The investigation found that Omar has been the subject of 1,400 posts, while Tlaib was mentioned in 1,2000, this far outweighs “any other member of congress.”

Omar told the paper that the report “makes clear, foreign interference – whether by individuals or governments – is still a grave threat to our democracy. These are malicious actors operating in a foreign country, Israel, spreading misinformation and hate speech to influence elections in the United States.”

Publisher Stonewalls as Ethics Questions Swirl Around Omar Book

Ilhan Omar became an instant celebrity when she defeated a longtime Democratic incumbent in a tough primary fight in 2016—and it wasn’t long until news broke that the young congresswoman and frequent presidential sparring partner had inked a lucrative book deal after her election to Congress.

But the Minnesota lawmaker and her publisher, Dey Street Books, have refused multiple requests for comment about when, exactly, Omar signed that book deal, making it impossible to determine whether she is complying with ethics rules that prohibit House members from receiving book advances.

Some new lawmakers who, like Omar, garner national attention on the campaign trail and draw the attention of book publishers, work around the rule by signing book contracts after they are elected—but before they are officially sworn into office. Doing so allows them to accept advances that frequently run well into the six-figure range—Omar’s book deal was reportedly worth between $100,000 and $250,000, according to Forbes —while still complying with House ethics rules.

Those rules prohibit “the receipt of any advance payment on copyright royalties”—that is, a book advance—as well as “the receipt of copyright royalties” unless the contract has first been approved by the House Ethics Committee.

Document lists 9 instances of anti-Semitism by Corbyn among thousands in Labour

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been accused by a party branch of personally engaging in anti-Semitic acts on nine occasions.

The accusation was featured in a damning 53-page report filed by the Labour Jewish Movement, one of the oldest societies affiliated with the party, to the body tasked with probing anti-Semitism within the UK’s main opposition party and its failure to adequately deal with complaints about the matter.

Jewish groups have accused Corbyn, a far-left politician, of allowing a massive rise in anti-Semitism within the ranks of the party that was once considered the natural home of British Jewry. Thousands of cases of alleged hate speech against Jews have been recorded within Labour since 2015, when Corbyn was elected to lead it. The party is currently being formally investigated by the UK’s anti-racism watchdog.

British media reported the filing of the document Thursday, a week before general elections in which Corbyn is running against Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party.

Gil Troy: Targeting of pro-Israel Jews on campus must be countered

For years, we at McGill have tolerated outrages that reflect poorly on our institution — and us — cowering behind our respect for academic freedom and student autonomy. As long as Israel-bashers yell “occupation,” many academics have allowed this legitimate political criticism to mask anti-Semitism. And when certain leaders of the SSMU — the Students’ Society of McGill University — have harassed pro-Israel students, we’ve insisted, “it’s not us, it’s the students.” Meanwhile, every year more students suffer — and our university is besmirched when student leaders in official positions show contempt for anyone who deviates from the politically correct Israel-bashing line.

So when Jordyn Wright, a McGill undergraduate, found herself the latest target of today’s socially acceptable campus witch-hunt — targeting pro-Israel Jews — it seemed as if it would be one more episode in a sad history.

Fortunately, this time, many McGillians said: “Enough.”

Last week, Wright reported that after she enrolled in a free Hillel Montreal Israel trip, Face-to-Face, the SSMU Legislative Council passed a motion claiming this “conflict of interest” required her “resignation” from student government. What “interest” was involved? Certainly nothing connected to the student governance issues that justify the “M” in SSMU, meaning the reason why student tuition dollars fund the organization and SSMU may use McGill’s name.

Beyond the “thinly veiled and blatant anti-Semitism” Wright says she experienced, watch what’s happening to McGill’s brand. “I was warned about getting involved in student leadership at McGill,” she writes. “The toxic environment, countless scandals, prohibitive anti-Israel sentiment, and anti-Semitism have led to a tainted image of an unfriendly campus for Jews.”

York U. imposes sanctions after protest at pro-Israel event

Action was taken to address an anti-Semitic incident at York University which was called unacceptable by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Doug Ford and Mayor John Tory.

But it was not the action that was expected.

Following an aggressive attempt to interrupt a pro-Israel event, York University has suspended Students Against Israeli Apartheid from operating on campus, pending a review.

But the university also informed the host of the Nov. 20 event, Herut Canada, it’s privileges — such as hosting events on campus — are being pulled.

“The preliminary internal review has led us to conclude that a more immediate intervention is needed with both Herut Zionism and Students Against Israel Apartheid (SAIA),” said a letter sent to both groups by the university.

Needless to say this did not go over well with Jewish leaders, who were still shaken after demonstrators recently disrupted an evening with reservists from Israel’s defence forces.

Toronto Police are investigating the demonstration in which protesters chanted “Viva, Viva Intifada.” (h/t Dave4321)

Dickinson College Student Government Passes Mandate to Ban Sabra Hummus

The student government at Dickinson College—a small liberal-arts school in Carlisle, Pa., outside Harrisburg—passed a resolution on Tuesday night to ban Sabra hummus, an Israeli product, as part of a campaign on campus to boycott the Jewish state.

The person leading the charge has been Henry Cohen, whose father, Jeremiah Cohen, owns Bullfrog Bagels in Washington, DC, and is also a supporter of the BDS movement.

An ensuing petition has been launched calling for a boycott of Bullfrog Bagels; it currently has 90 signatures.

It mentions anti-Israel activities by both Cohens, including Jeremiah’s daughter, Rosemary Cohen, who was a member of the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter at Haverford College outside Philadelphia.

She said the goal of her school’s 2017 “Israel Apartheid Week” was “recognizing apartheid in Israel and American financial complicity in that apartheid,” while rejecting “peaceful dialogue.”

“I say there’s too much at stake,” she was quoted saying. “We can’t put ourselves and peaceful dialogue before a struggle.”

Chicago Can Do More to Combat Hate Crimes

Alarm bells were ringing for many among our city’s Jewish population when Chicago’s Human Relations Commissioner Mona Noriega announced that hate crimes so far this year are up 60% from 2018. We obtained the hate-crime stats from the Chicago Police Department via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, and our analysis shows a more modest, but still troubling, 26% rise since the beginning of the year.

The CPD data is even more disturbing. While Jews comprise only 4% of our city’s population they have been the targets of 81% of all religion-motivated hate crimes in Chicago — an increase of 70% since last year.

Rising antisemitism is not unique to Chicago. A new national survey by AJC, released last month, shows that 88% of American Jews believe antisemitism is a problem in the U.S. today, and more than a third revealed that they hide their Jewishness out of concern for their safety.

In sum, American Jews are feeling rattled, in ways they had not before this year, highlighted by the fatal attacks on synagogues in Pittsburgh last year and Poway, California in April. The New York Police Department reported in September that hate crimes are up 63% this year, compared to 2018, and more than half of all hate crimes in the city in 2019 are antisemitic.

Images of London rabbi’s attackers revealed, police seek help

London police have released images and footage of the two men that brutally assaulted a senior rabbi in London.

The attack, which had taken place in Stamford Hill on Friday, reportedly left the rabbi beaten on the ground by the two men, who shouted “kill Jews” and “f**k Jews.”

The victim was said to be “beaten and traumatized,” according to a report by SkyNews.

Both UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn condemned the attack, but according to the Stamford Hill Shomrim’s chairman Rabbi Herschel Gluck, only Corbyn personally called to express his shock and sympathy with the Jewish community, The Guardian reported.

Stamford Hill is known for having the largest hasidic population in Europe.

French Jewish MP exposes anti-Semites behind death threats

Due to the recent influx of threats and anti-Semitic remarks directed at him, a Jewish member of France’s National Assembly, Meyer Habib, decided to publicly reveal the faces of those that send threats and insults his way.

Habib, who was elected to parliament in 2013, receives threats and abuse on a daily basis, and files roughly 25 claims a month against those who have made threats against him and his family.

After thoroughly analyzing the severity of the material, Habib’s team sends transcripts of hateful messages and an image of the people issuing them to a lawyer. These threats result in a trial being conducted roughly every six months.

In 2015, a man who threatened to decapitate Habib was jailed for 15 months.

In August 2018, Habib’s office in the French parliament received an envelope containing an unidentified white powder, resulting in the entire building have to shut down for six hours.

Even though threats, curses, and anti-Semitic caricatures have been a part of Habib’s day-to-day life and are the reason for his heavy security detail, the recent influx of threats and anti-Semitic remarks have prompted him and his team to take drastic measures, and expose the faces of the transgressors on social media. (h/t IsaacStorm)

Belgian teacher shares video calling for jihad against Jews

A teacher on Islam at a Belgian high school posted on Facebook a video of an imam calling for a jihad, or holy war, against Jews and those who “conspire” with them.

Talal Magri, who teaches about Islam as part of the religions major at the Royal Agri Saint-Georges Athenaeum 35 miles southeast of Brussels, last month posted the video of an unidentified man preaching in Arabic, the La Dernière Heure website on Thursday reported.

“Those who cooperate, work, conspire with the Jews, Allah, take them without delay. Shake their bases and topple their buildings, Allah. Support the jihad fighters, whom some of us find excuses not to join,” the preacher is seen saying.

Education ministry officials in Wallonia, the Belgian state that employs Magri, told La Dernière Heure they complained about him to police over hate speech. The school declined to comment on whether he will be allowed to continue to teach there.

‘Heil Trump’ and an anti-gay slur scrawled on a church lead to an unlikely suspect – and a hoax

The graffiti in rural Indiana became a national sensation, part of a string of high-profile hate crime reports in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory. Late-night television host Stephen Colbert featured an image of one of the tagged walls during a monologue. The church’s priest, the Rev. Kelsey Hutto, appeared on CNN to champion the values of St. David’s, an island of liberalism in conservative Brown County.

“Doing the right thing is not always the popular thing, and if that’s why we were targeted, we’re okay with that,” she said.

The church purposely left the graffiti untouched for more than two weeks to send a message that it would not be cowed. Stang played music as the spray paint was finally scrubbed off at a ceremony of healing attended by more than 200 people. But the hatred and distrust behind the markings could not be washed away so easily – either for the congregation or for its 26-year-old organist.

As a gay man, Stang had dreaded the unexpected triumph of Trump and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, an ardent opponent of same-sex marriage and other LGBTQ rights. Stang’s boyfriend, a professional flutist, had wept after the election results were finalized.

When Shrader appeared on his doorstep five months later, in April 2017, Stang was struggling with major depression. Over the winter, he had contemplated suicide. His face – fine-featured and quick to come alive when he sat at the keyboard or stood before a classroom of undergraduates – was covered in dark stubble.

Stang, expressionless, watched the 30-year-old detective’s face. There had been no arrests for the vandalism, and no outward signs that investigators were making progress. But the case had reached a critical juncture, and though Stang didn’t know it, Shrader was surreptitiously recording their conversation. A copy of the video was later provided to The Washington Post.

“I’ve spent six months on this case, okay? A long time,” Shrader said slowly. He took a breath and placed his right hand, palm down, on the armrest console that separated them.

“Based on what I’ve found in this investigation,” he told the organist, “you’re responsible for this.”

Racist Graffiti Found at New York Holocaust Museum for Second Time in Two Weeks

Racist graffiti was discovered at a New York Holocaust museum for the second time in two weeks.

The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County in Glen Cove was defaced with swastikas and other vandalism.

“It’s shocking because we’re a museum and education center,” Deborah Lom, acting director of development at the museum, told Patch on Thursday.

“And now, we’re faced with this incident right here,” she said. “That makes it even more shocking to us.”

In a statement on Thursday, the center said, “We are shocked and saddened about the appearance of this representation of Nazi ideology. Ironically, we learned about this symbol of hate appearing here on the same day we hosted a major public event on antisemitism.”

The vandalism occurred 10 days after graffiti, including a racial smear, was discovered on the museum.

Canadian Supreme Court Declines to Hear Citizenship Appeal of Ex-Nazi Death Squad Member

The Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday declined to hear the appeal of an ex-Nazi death squad member to restore his Canadian citizenship, which was revoked after the Canadian government learned of his wartime activities.

Helmut Oberlander, 95, was born in Ukraine and became a German citizen during World War Two, serving first as a translator for Nazi death squads and later as an infantryman in the German army, court documents from 2018 state.

“He was found to have significantly misrepresented his wartime activities to Canadian immigration and citizenship officials when he applied to enter Canada” in 1952, according to the Supreme Court’s case summary.

He obtained Canadian citizenship in 1960 and was initially stripped of it in 1995, after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police began an investigation into his involvement in war crimes.

Oberlander has testified he was forced to join one of the Nazis’ Einsatzkommando mobile killing squads at age 17, and did not take part in any atrocities, the court documents from 2018 show.

Merkel expresses shame during Auschwitz visit, vows to fight antisemitism

Angela Merkel expressed “deep shame” on Friday during her first visit as chancellor to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Holocaust memorial and vowed to fight rising racism and antisemitism in Germany and Europe.

Dressed in black, Merkel said the crimes committed at the site in southern Poland where the Nazis ran their largest death camp would always be part of German history.

“This site obliges us to keep the memory alive. We must remember the crimes that were committed here and name them clearly,” Merkel said during a ceremony attended by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

“I feel deep shame given the barbaric crimes that were committed here by Germans,” she added.

Merkel brought a 60-million-euro ($66.13 million) donation from Germany’s federal government and its 16 states to help conserve the site where 1.1 million people were killed, most of them Jews.

Prince Charles thanks, celebrates UK Jewry

While things may be tense for Jews in the UK at the moment, Prince Charles did his best to assuage these fears in his speech Thursday night at Buckingham Palace’s pre-Hanukkah reception.

“It is a great delight to welcome you this evening to Buckingham Palace, as the festival of Hanukkah approaches, and to celebrate with you the contribution of our Jewish community to the health, wealth and happiness of the United Kingdom,” the Prince of Wales said.

“In every walk of life, in every field of endeavor, our nation could have had no more generous citizens, and no more faithful friends. That is why I am so glad to have this opportunity to say thank you, albeit in a small way, for all that you do, and have done, across the country, in major national and international institutions, and in local communities the length and breadth of the land.”

The prince went on to describe how he views the United Kingdom as “a community of communities,” and described his recent trips and efforts to accommodate the country’s Catholic and Sikh citizens.

This time of year, he explained, is an important time for Christians and Jews alike, making it the perfect time to celebrate “the importance of unity through diversity [that] sits at the very heart of our values as a society.”

Prince Charles described the links between the British monarchy and the country’s Jewish community, which he described as something special.

UK’s Johnson serves donuts at kosher bakery ahead of elections

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is rolling up his sleeves for a final campaign push, with less than a week to go before parliamentary elections.

He literally did just that Friday, donning a “Get Brexit Done” apron and getting behind the counter at a kosher bakery to serve up pastries.

“This morning I made some ‘Get Brexit Done’ donuts at a wonderful bakery in Golders Green, North London. Thank you Grodzinski Bakery & to everyone who stopped by to say hello,” Johnson tweeted.

“I think some of my bakers are a bit worried now,” bakery manager Eddie Ezekiel joked to the Jewish News when asked if he would give Johnson a job.

Besides dishing out baked goods, Johnson also iced donuts at the bakery in Golders Green, an area of London with a sizable Jewish population that has been represented in parliament by Conservative candidate Mike Freer, who joined the prime minister on Friday.

Former Miss Iraq speaks out at UN about Jewish refugees

Sarah Idan, who represented Iraq at the Miss Universe pageant in 2017 and had her citizenship revoked after she posed for a photo with an Israeli beauty queen, spoke Wednesday at an event held by Israel’s UN Mission to mark the expulsion of Jews from North Africa and the Middle East following the establishment of the state of Israel.

This is the latest instance in which Idan, who has become a kind of unofficial good will ambassador for Israel, has publicly showed her support.

The event took place at UN headquarters in New York a day after the UN commemorated the 72nd anniversary of the General Assembly’s passage of the resolution recommended that Palestine be divided into Jewish and Arab states, also know as the “Partition Plan.”

The event was held in coordination with JIMENA (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa), and was attended by ambassadors from around the world and UN officials.

Idan, who received death threats after she posted the selfie with Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsman, spoke about what she learned about this issue when she visited Israel, according to a report in Algemeiner: “I was very surprised and especially touched by the experience of visiting the Babylonian Heritage Museum in Or Yehuda — which serves as a center to honor the heritage and history of Iraqi Jews.”

Israelis, American Jews, VIPs attend IAC Summit in Florida

Israelis and American Jews came together in Hollywood, Florida to help foster a “deep connection to Israel” at the Israel American Council’s National Summit, which kicked off on Thursday.

The summit brought 4,000 attendees together who will hear from a who’s who of influential personalities.

Chief among them is US President Donald Trump, who is scheduled to deliver a keynote address on Saturday night. This is the first time the president will address an apolitical Jewish organization.

On the first day of the jam-packed conference, the audience heard from Israeli pop singer Netta Barzilai, winner of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, who sat down with Israeli journalist Dr. Hila Korach for a conversation.

Barzilai’s irreverent anthem “Toy,” energized people of all ages with its message of feminism and self-confidence. Today, she’s often seen as an ambassador for Israel and the innovation and positivity stemming out of the country.

“I felt like I was amazing but not because I was Israeli,” Barzilai said. “But after experiencing what it’s like to be the face of Israel, I didn’t even have to get into politics in order to tell [the world] how truly amazing people we are as Israelis. We have moralities that no one can ever understand. We have togetherness that no one will ever get. Whenever I get off a plane in Israel, I thank God I am from here.”

Attendees at the opening plenary also heard from Yonatan Winetraub, Co-Founder of SpaceIL, the revolutionary Israeli space exploration company whose “Beresheet” spacecraft made international headlines by crash-landing on the moon in April.



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