JPost Editorial: BDS has failed
It has become abundantly clear that the campaign to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel is losing steam.
Radiohead, Bon Jovi, Elton John, Neil Young, Madonna and Bryan Adams either have already performed here or plan on coming. All of these artists have rejected calls by BDS lobbyists – led by Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters – to skip Israel on their tours.
When singer Nick Cave was in Israel last month, he held a press conference in part to rebut proponents of BDS. “I came to Israel for two reasons,” Cave said.
“One is because I love Israel and Israelis. Two is to take a principled stand against anyone who attempts to shut down, censor, silence or bully musicians.”
On US college campuses, while there is still a toxic atmosphere that makes many students who are openly pro-Israel feel unsafe, pro-Palestinian movements have repeatedly failed to pass resolutions that would force their universities to boycott Israel.
Just last month, the University of Maryland’s student government association rejected a resolution, brought by Students for Justice in Palestine, that accused Israel of human rights violations and that called for the university to divest from a range of American companies investing in Israel. The same dynamic has been played out on other campuses as well.
And while doomsayers have for years warned that Israel faces imminent diplomatic, military and economic isolation and censure for its policies, this has not happened. If anything, Israel has succeeded in cultivating relations with a wider range of nations, not just in Africa and South America but also in Europe. Just last month Israel hosted Blue Flag, an 11-day joint military exercise that brought together the air forces of Germany, Poland, India, France, Italy, Greece and the US. If this is isolation, what do open diplomatic relations look like?
The reason the BDS movement is failing is that it is based on lies and people are not stupid. Anyone with access to the Internet can easily uncover the many inconsistencies and internal contradictions of the BDS movement.
StandWithUs at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference
As I write, we do not know what might go into President Trump’s planned announcement on Jerusalem. But on at least some of our college campuses, protests are already being prepared.
At Oklahoma University, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) are set to argue that any declaration, even if it is merely an acknowledgment of Israel’s claim to West Jerusalem as its capital, “will fuel extremism, violence, and tension in Palestine and the Middle East, and the consequences will be costly for all the parties involved.” SJP of the City College of New York quoted American Muslims for Palestine to the effect that any declaration will “unleash chaos in the Arab World.”
This is pretty rich. Students for Justice in Palestine is the campus wing of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement. BDS and SJP laud figures like Ali Abunimah, a fixture on the anti-Israel campus speaking circuit, whose apologetics on behalf of Hamas are well-documented, and Leila Khaled of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, known mainly for her work as a hijacker. Hatem Bazian, chair of the national board of American Muslims for Palestine, is most recently in the news for sharing a blatantly anti-Semitic tweet. He apologized, but he also has a track record.
Faced in 2015 with an opportunity to condemn violence against civilians during the “knife intifada,” BDS organizations instead issued statements of solidarity. “A new generation of Palestinians is marching on the footsteps of previous generations, rising up against Israel’s brutal, decades-old system of occupation, settler colonialism, and apartheid.” But now, they worry about fueling extremism?
Student activists around the country are planning protests of President Donald Trump’s expected announcement later Wednesday recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and expressing his intention to relocate the U.S. embassy to the city.
In New York City, the Palestine Solidarity Alliance of Hunter College and Jewish Voice for Peace, a far-left organization, are cohosting a protest titled, in Arabic, “We will not abandon Jerusalem.”
Hundreds have expressed interest in attending the demonstration. Students from Columbia University, Brooklyn College, and the New School have marked themselves as “going.”
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at the University of Oklahoma have organized a similar protest for this afternoon.
Trump’s move would be in “violation of international law,” insists SJP.
The group has claimed, “The demonstration is not associated with our organization or any OU association,” though the club is listed as the official hosts of the demonstration and promoted the event on their social media page.
SJP did not respond to request for comment and clarification of its role.
Some 300 people may be expected at an “emergency rally” in Boston organized by the Jewish group IfNotNow, which believes Israel is a “daily nightmare” for Palestinians.
In 1976, two Palestinians and two Germans hijacked an Air France flight on its way from Tel Aviv to Paris, diverting it to Entebbe Airport in Uganda. There, the hijackers took more than 200 passengers prisoner, until commandos from the Israel Defense Forces attempted a hostage-rescue mission. Now, that story is coming to the big screen with 7 Days in Entebbe.
The first trailer for José Padilha’s thriller introduces Rosamund Pike and Daniel Brühl as the two German hijackers, as the Israeli government tries to decide whether to negotiate with the terrorists or launch a rescue attempt.
7 Days in Entebbe will hit theaters March 16.
Trump’s Jerusalem Embassy Move: Legal? Dangerous? Or Justified?
The below are six facts the MSM doesn’t tell you about Jerusalem controversy:
1) Jews have always been a large (even dominant) segment of the Jerusalem Population: During the period of 135 CE when the Romans kicked the Jews out, through 1948 when Jordan occupied the eastern part of Jerusalem, there were large populations of Jews in Jerusalem. In fact, beginning with the earliest information available (1844), there were more Jews in Jerusalem than any other faith.
2) Jerusalem has been part of Israel since 1948. The Arab Nations aren’t objecting to Israel’s presence in the part of Jerusalem controlled since June 1967, they are objecting to any Israeli presence in Jerusalem, even the section agreed to as part of the 1949 Israeli/Jordan armistice. Because of the rejectionism by Israel’s neighbors, the United States has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
3) Under Arab rule holy sites were not protected. Only since 1967 when Israel took control of all of Jerusalem have the holy sites in the eastern part of the city been protected and open to all faiths. Between 1949 and 1967 the Jordanians breached their commitment (in the Armistice Agreement) to allow free access of Jews to the holy sites, mainly to the Western Wall and to the cemetery on the Mount of Olives. They also desecrated the Jewish holy sites.
4) The Official 1925 Supreme Moslem Council (Wakf) Guide Book To Al-Ḥaram Al-Sarif, recognized the presence of the Jewish Temples atop the Mount. Shown below is paragraph two on page four, which says, “It’s [the Temple Mount] identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute.” Now 90 years later the head of the Wakf is disputing it.
5) The location of the Farthest Mosque in Jerusalem is a modern construct. The Arab Mulisms based their claim on Jerusalem based on a line in the Quran that says “Glory to (Allah) Who did take his servant for a journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest mosque” Modern Muslims claim that the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is the farthest Mosque. However ancient Muslim philosophers reject that notion:
Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiya (638-700), a close relative of the Prophet Muhammad, is quoted denigrating the notion that the prophet ever set foot on the Rock in Jerusalem; “these damned Syrians,” by which he means the Umayyads, “pretend that God put His foot on the Rock in Jerusalem, though [only] one person ever put his foot on the rock, namely Abraham.”
6) Arab Leaders Ignored Jerusalem Until the Six Day War. They don’t really care about the holy city, they just don’t want the Jews to have it.
Under Jordanian rule, east Jerusalem became an isolated provincial town, less important than Nablus. The economy so stagnated that many thousands of Arab Jerusalemites left the town: while the population of Amman increased five-fold in the period 1948-67, that of Jerusalem grew by just 50 percent. To take out a bank loan meant traveling to Amman. Amman had the privilege of hosting the country’s first university and the royal family’s many residences. Jerusalem Arabs knew full well what was going on, as evidenced by one notable’s complaint about the royal residences: “those palaces should have been built in Jerusalem, but were removed from here so that Jerusalem would remain not a city, but a kind of village.” East Jerusalem’s Municipal Counsel twice formally complained of the Jordanian authorities’ discrimination against their city. Source: Meron Benvenisti, Jerusalem: The Torn City (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1976), p. 28.
Here’s the bottom line the objections to the US recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital have nothing to do with the Muslim faith or history, and everything to do with the fact that just like the rest of Israel, if the Jewish State has it, they want it.
NGO Monitor: Amnesty Fails Basic Reading Comprehension
On December 6, Amnesty International condemned US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (“USA: Recognition of unified Jerusalem ‘reckless’ and undermines Palestinians’ human rights”). In so doing, Amnesty blatantly misrepresents the content of the announcement in order to allege that it somehow violates international law and Palestinian human rights.
In its statement, Amnesty repeatedly asserts that “the US is recognizing unified Jerusalem as Israel’s capital” (emphasis added), which, according to Amnesty, would amount to “violating its own international legal obligations not to recognize or assist an illegal situation” (i.e. Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem in 1980).
There’s just one problem. Trump’s speech expressly says the opposite.
The text of the remarks reads, “We are not taking a position of any final status issues including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem or the resolution of contested borders. Those questions are up to the parties involved” (emphasis added). In fact, the term “unified” does not appear in the speech at all. (The word “United” appears six times, as in the United States.)
Reasonable people can disagree as to whether American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a positive development. Shamelessly misreading the official announcement of that decision, in order to make your point, is an embarrassment to Amnesty International.
After U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, on December 6, 2017, Mobarak Haidar (above), renowned Pakistani historian and author of multiple books, wrote the following on his Facebook page:
“Jerusalem And Muslim Claims
“The Holy Koran spoke of Al-Aqsa Mosque when it was not a ‘mosque’ in the Islamic sense. It was a holy place because of the prophets of Israel, from Moses to Jesus. It was the holy spot of worship for Jews and Christians. Obviously, there were no Muslims in the city of Jerusalem till the era of Emir-ul-Momineen Umar ibn Khattab… The Prophet [Muhammad] and his followers prayed with their faces toward this Jewish-Christian holy temple because Kaaba (the present center of Islamic Hajj) was full of idols.
“After the ‘Conquest of Mecca,’ Muslims were told to turn their faces toward Kaaba and away from Jerusalem. They have never faced their loyalty toward Jerusalem after that, for the last 1,400 years. No Muslim ever went to pray in Jerusalem till it was conquered by the second caliph [Umar ibn Khattab], although there was no restriction on Muslims. They do not go there today because it was no longer their center.
“Christians were masters of Jerusalem before Muslims conquered it. It is still a holy place for Christians. But Christians have no dispute over ownership of the city. It is their religious right to visit the holy city; and the Jews do not stop them. Muslims, too, should have the same religious rights, and in fact they have those rights; Jews do not stop them. Muslims of the world, therefore, have no religious basis to rule Jerusalem. Most of the Muslims have never even wished to visit Jerusalem. As for the political claim, only Palestinians can make it and only they should negotiate.
“It cannot be a collective Muslim claim. Quraishi Arabs were masters of Jerusalem for some time. Then Mamluks, Muslim kings, took over. Turks came after them. Colonial Christians were the last political rulers. It is interesting to note that Iranian Muslims or Muslims of the Indian Subcontinent or Southeast Asia or of Africa have never been its masters. They can claim only spiritual ties.
As expected, reports of U.S. President Donald Trump’s intention to announce today, December 6, 2017, that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and that the U.S. Embassy will be moved there has prompted furious reactions from Palestinians and from the Arab and Muslim world in general. In advance of the announcement, the Palestinian Authority called for a day of rage on this date.
The concluding announcement of a December 5 emergency Arab League meeting referred to the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the “occupation state” and the establishment of any diplomatic representation whatsoever in Jerusalem, or moving one there, as “a shameless attack on the Arab nation and on the rights of the Palestinian people and of all Muslims and Christians… and a grave threat to peace, security, and stability in the region.”
Among the reactions was also an uncommon response by Palestinian journalist Bakr Awida, who writes a column for the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat. He wrote in his December 6 column that he was “swimming upstream” by criticizing the rage and ranting, primarily in the Palestinian street, about the anticipated announcement by President Trump “eliminating the Palestinian cause.”
In a column titled “Jerusalem and the Embassy – Do Not Despair,” published December 6, Awida called on Palestinian statesmen to act wisely and to refrain from making harsh and useless statements condemning President Trump’s move. He said that they should instead find alternatives and propose solutions, such as inviting the U.S. to also open an embassy in Ramallah as well as a consulate in Gaza, in order to maintain Palestinian-U.S. cooperation. Moving the U.S. flag from the embassy building in Tel Aviv to another building in Jerusalem has no impact on the rights of the Palestinians, he added, because these rights would continue to exist as long as the Palestinians themselves existed.
A Palestinian activist with a history of making false statements about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including repeated claims that rockets fired at Israel don’t carry explosives, was interviewed by MSNBC’s Ali Velshi on Wednesday afternoon.
Diana Buttu, a former advisor to the Palestinian Liberation Organization, was brought on by Velshi to discuss President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city and begin the process to move the U.S. embassy there. She called the announcement a “nail in the coffin” for the non-existent peace process.
The decision to feature Buttu as an expert on the situation is surprising given her history of ignoring the facts. That ignorance was last exhibited during a 2014 interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper during which she denied the fact that Hamas had ordered people to act as human shields as well as the existence of a “culture of martyrdom” among Palestinians.
Previously, during a series of interviews with Western media in 2008 and 2009, Buttu repeatedly insisted that Qassam rockets fired by Palestinians do not carry explosives. She repeated her claim in 2012 during a speech at the Harvard Kennedy School, where she was a fellow.
News reports at the time directly contradicted Buttu’s assertions.
NBC White House correspondent Peter Alexander said on Wednesday that the United States recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was supposed to be the final “gift” from America to Israel, and he’s not sure the Jewish state deserves the “ultimate reward” yet.
MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle asked Alexander why the decision to name Jerusalem the capital of Israel is happening now, and if the timing of the announcement is significant.
“Well Stephanie, to be clear, this goes against decades of precedent within the United States,” Alexander said. “Remember, recognizing Jerusalem was supposed to be sort of the ultimate reward for Israel. It’s not clear that Israel has done anything in return for this gift right now.”
Alexander’s comments suggested the United States has the ability to use the declaration as a sort of “gift” or “reward” for Israel moving forward in Middle East peace talks and solving the two-state problem in Israel between the Israeli and the Palestinian people.
New York Times coverage of upcoming changes to American policy toward Jerusalem has been thorough — at least when it comes to chronicling opposition to the proposed changes.
Consider, for example, the quotations that appear in the Dec. 3 story, “Wary Response to Trump’s Expected Declaration of Jerusalem as Capital.”
That piece quoted Betty Mizrahi, an Israeli government worker, speaking in support of formal US recognition of Israel’s capital.
And in opposition to the move, it quoted: Senior Palestine Liberation Organization member Hanan Ashrawi; Nasser al-Kidwa of the Palestinian Fatah party; Hamas leader Ahmed Yousef; Fatah leader Ayman Rigib; Hamas representative Ali Barakeh; an additional Hamas statement; and Palestinian Jerusalem resident Hani Juwaihan. Ofer Zalzberg, an Israeli national who works for the International Crisis Group, is quoted explaining that the U.S. moves will be perceived negatively by Palestinians, as if the many Palestinian representatives didn’t sufficiently get the point across. The article is rounded out with additional critical comments by Jordan’s King Abdullah, and by former American diplomats Daniel Shapiro and Aaron David Miller.
A subsequent story, “US to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital, Trump Says, Alarming Middle East Leaders” (Dec. 5), initially quoted only critics of the plan: King Abdullah, PLO spokesman Xavier Abu Eid, and Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
In the main, countervailing voices were excluded, though there were plenty for the newspaper to pick from. Amos Yadlin, the Executive Director of Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies and a former head of Israeli military intelligence, views US recognition of Israel’s capital in Jerusalem as a “positive” and “important” step.
Honest Reporting: Trump Jerusalem Declaration: Media Muck Ups
Daily Mail Needs Some Religious Education
Only days after the Daily Mail demonstrated its capacity to make a historical mess of its Israel coverage, more evidence that someone at the media outlet needs to employ a decent fact checker.
Two stories in the Daily Mail include a backgrounder “Three Faiths and Thousands of Years of History Have Shaped the Embassy Battle” (excerpt below):
For once it’s not just about Israel and the Jews. The Daily Mail has managed to get it wrong on all three major religions.
It’s the Western Wall, not “West Wall.”
The Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site, not the Western Wall.
The Al-Aqsa mosque, not the Dome of the Rock, is Islam’s holiest site in Jerusalem (its third holiest site in the world).
The holy sites mentioned are not all on the Temple Mount as written in the first paragraph. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is in another part of Jerusalem’s Old City.
A bill that will put a massive political obstacle before any Israeli leader seeking to concede parts of Jerusalem in a diplomatic agreement is expected to become law on Monday.
The vote is scheduled to take place five days after US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but said Israel and the Palestinians should determine its borders.
The legislation, an amendment to Basic Law: Jerusalem, would raise the number of MKs needed to give up Israeli sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem to 80 MKs, two-thirds of the Knesset.
However, it does not preclude the government from making predominately Arab areas of Jerusalem into a new municipality and giving them up in negotiations. Still, doing so would be subject to a referendum, in accordance with a different Basic Law.
Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett pushed the bill, which was submitted by MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli of his party.
Bennett argued that “for 25 years, talks of peace failed, because they were always based on the illusion of carving up Jerusalem. This week, President Trump took a bold step toward peace, making it clear Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.”
Passing the Jerusalem bill is another step toward making peace, the education minister added, because passing it “will guarantee no changes are made in our united and eternal capital without broad consensus and support.”
The analysis of contemporary antisemitism is becoming increasingly complex. In 2010 the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) undertook the laudable initiative to publish the top 10 major slurs or incidents every year. The size of these SWC documents and the number of antisemitic incidents included under each of the headings has substantially increased over the years.
This year again there are many candidates that could be included in the SWC publication. There are the annual recidivists such as the BBC and the United Nations Human Rights Council. The Jewish Voice for Peace movement is one of the 10 most anti-Israeli organizations in the United States according to the Anti Defamation League and could be added to the list of recurrent slur producers.
One among many new candidates for the list is Kada Traore, the murderer of French Jewish woman Sarah Halimi. Abdoe Khoulani, a member of the municipality of The Hague on behalf of a Muslim party could also be included. When a parliamentarian of the Dutch Christian party SGP received a group of Israeli school children Khoulani tweeted: “Zionist terrorists in the making neatly visit the SGP. These are the future child murderers and occupiers.” The Dutch prosecution office decided that this was protected speech.
Beyond antisemitic slurs and incidents more attention should also be given to those who facilitate the classic antisemitism and anti-Israelism of others. Such facilitation can be done in a variety of ways without the perpetrators meeting the criteria of the most common definition of antisemitism. This definition, of the International Holocaust Remembrance Association (IHRA), required the approval of its 31 member countries, all from the Western world.
A few examples enable one to better understand the issue. Antisemitism in the British Labour Party became more visible a few months after it elected Jeremy Corbyn as its leader in 2015. Part of Corbyn’s own behavior and statements came close to antisemitism without however meeting the IHRA definition. For instance, he donated money to and appeared at meetings of an organization headed by Holocaust denier Paul Eisen. He also called Hezbollah and Hamas his “friends.” Corbyn furthermore appointed extreme anti-Israel individuals to high positions. All this encouraged others in the party to make antisemitic statements.
American Senator Bernie Sanders, who participated in the 2016 presidential primaries of the Democratic Party, is yet another facilitator. He stated that the United States should not limit its friendship to Israel alone, but should also be friendly toward the Palestinians. An ADL study found that the highest percentage of antisemites in the world – over 90% – can be found among the Palestinian population.
An Argentine judge on Thursday ordered the arrest of the country’s former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner for allegedly covering up Iranian involvement in a 1994 bombing at a Buenos Aires Jewish center that left 85 people dead.
Judge Claudio Bonadio accused Kirchner of the crime of treason as he asked lawmakers to remove the immunity from prosecution she has as a senator.
Prosecutor Eduardo Taiano said the judge also ordered the arrest of former Kirchner aide Carlos Zanni and activist Luis D’Elia on the same charges. Former foreign minister Hector Timerman was ordered held under house arrest due to health issues.
The former president is accused of signing a deal with Tehran to allow Iranian officials suspected of ordering the attack on the Jewish center to be interviewed by Argentine magistrates in Tehran rather than in Buenos Aires.
She has previously called the case an “absurdity.”
Saudi Arabia deserves praise for recognizing and acknowledging the threat from Iran and for calling on other states to do the same. Before the administration in Washington puts too much faith in the regime in Riyadh, however, it must not ignore findings of a recent investigative report revealing that hundreds of Saudi and Kuwaiti nationals residing in the United States — many of them students with dual citizenship and receiving government scholarships — have joined ISIS and other terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq during the past three years, and the Saudi government has reportedly kept this information from American authorities.
As the Iran scholar Amir Taheri recently wrote:
“If Saudi Arabia is genuine in its declared desire to become an active member of the global system, the first thing it has to do is to offer the rule of law in the sense understood by most people around the world.”
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed, who is 32, has the opportunity to exact genuine change, particularly in a country more than half of whose population is under the age of 30. Whether he will follow through on his promise to liberalize the kingdom and fight extremism remains to be seen, but it is in the interest of the United States that it do so.
At a summit in Moscow in the spring of 1988, U.S. President Ronald Reagan said: “Here’s my strategy on the Cold War: we win, they lose.” This is the kind of strategy that the current administration in Washington needs to adopt in relation to the Middle East. Let us hope that Saudi Arabia will be part of that strategy, and not an obstacle to it.
Arab students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem called for the expulsion of “Zionists” from Israel in a protest attended by a Knesset member on Tuesday.
“Palestine is Arab from the river to the sea; Zionists leave, our land is Arab and free,” the students chanted in Arabic, according to a video recording and translation released by the right-wing Zionist group Im Tirtzu.
The students — who are affiliated with the Joint List coalition in the Israeli parliament — called Israel a “terrorist” state and described “death” as “better than humiliation.”
The rally was attended by Yousef Jabareen, a member of Knesset from the Joint List. “Keep on fighting for coexistence. We should be proud of our struggle,” Jabareen urged protesters, according to a Jerusalem Post reporter who shared footage of the protest.
Students affiliated with Im Tirtzu responded to the chants by singing Israel’s national anthem and waving Israeli flags.
The protest came on the heels of altercations between Jewish and Arab students at the Mount Scopus campus on Monday, after Im Tirtzu students set up a memorial to 19-year-old IDF Sgt. Ron Yitzhak Kokia, who was stabbed to death in the southern city of Arad last week. Arab students responded to the display by erecting a stand draped in a Palestinian flag. A scuffle broke out between the groups, which was dispersed by campus security.
“The increasing violence of the students associated with the Joint List is unsurprising,” Matan Peleg, chairman of Im Tirtzu, said in response to Monday’s incident. “When the Hebrew University permits calls on campus to destroy the State of Israel in the name of free speech, it paves the way for more serious acts.”
Why do we Arabs keep shooting ourselves in the foot? Is it pathological? Why does nothing we achieve have any lasting value? I don’t know about you, but the way in which we, collectively, squander our opportunities makes me think it better that we not be given those opportunities. We will continue to waste them, and sow further destruction and shame. We cannot have nice things because we commit horrible sins with nice things. But don’t let any Arab in power hear you say that, or you’re dead.
We blame everyone but ourselves, as if there’s some vast conspiracy to keep us down. It’s very comforting to believe that. Convenient. It’s not our fault, so we don’t need to change anything. Certainly not the corrupt kleptocracies that lead us, no – better look elsewhere, you seditious crypto-Zionist. Even when we do get nice things, our “leaders” take them for themselves.
You think I’m going to tell you who I am so you can kill me too? Think again. Or just think. I know it’s a daunting challenge, this thinking thing, but you might want to give it a try. You might even like it! You might even conclude that the propaganda your leaders have been shoving down your throat for generations has only a passing resemblance to reality, and resolve to chuck them both. Or you might decide that’s too scary a prospect, and react violently to anyone who mentions it, which is why I’m not telling you who I am.
Remember when the hated Zionist Entity was driven from the Gaza Strip in humiliation, and even dismantled its settlements on the way out? Sure you do! You probably remember that as a moment of triumph of Palestine and Arabs everywhere. You might even remember the scenes of joyous Gazans storming the greenhouses attached to those settlements and tearing them apart, those hated symbols of Jewish presence that the Zionists did not take with them when they fled. Except that those greenhouses were kept there so Gazans could continue to work in them and make a living. Better to live off UN welfare and remain in the shame of economic dependence than to sustain ourselves if the latter means seeing evidence of Jews! But woe betide anyone who criticizes the crippling honor-shame culture we nurture! This is why we can’t have nice things.
8 Times Linda Sarsour Showed Her “Progressive” Values
Legislators from the two main parties in the Munich City Council voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday in a committee meeting to approve a bill that would outlaw municipal funding and public space for Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions activity targeting the Jewish state.
The measure will now be sent to the full city council for a vote where it is expected to pass.
“With this remarkable approach, Munich sent a nationwide signal against antisemitism,” Charlotte Knobloch, the head of Munich’s Jewish community, said on Wednesday.
Knobloch, a Holocaust survivor who has advocated a ban of BDS in Munich city facilities for years, added, “The city sharply condemned all forms of open and disguised antisemitism and issued a clear statement against the antisemitic BDS campaign.”
Marian Offman, a city councilman with the Christian Social Union party, along with Social Democrats, spearheaded the anti-boycott measure. He told the Munich-based Süddeutsche Zeitung that BDS seeks the elimination of Israel. “That would be for me and other Jewish people like a second Holocaust. We would then again be alone.”
Three Green Party city council members and a Left Party member voted against the bill in the committee meeting.
A private French school in Lebanon has issued an apology following complaints from the parents of a fourth-grader that a map in geography class shows Israel — and not Palestine — as the country’s southern neighbor, violating the law.
Lebanon is technically at war with Israel, and Lebanese laws ban dealing with or recognizing Israel, including showing it on maps.
The private school issued an urgent statement late Wednesday, saying it respects Lebanon’s sovereignty and government school programs.
The incident came to public attention when the father of a nine-year-old girl posted the map on his Facebook page, saying “this is what my fourth grade daughter learned in class today.”
The case gained further attention on the day US President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
On November 14, 2017, the same day that US Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) proposed legislation “to prevent United States tax dollars from supporting the Israeli military’s ongoing detention and mistreatment of Palestinian children” – Bill van Esveld of Human Rights Watch (HRW) published an article on HuffPost in support of the bill. The opinion piece (“US Military Aid to Israel – from Another Perspective”) was only one example of HRW staffers promoting McCollum’s legislation, which also quoted from HRW reports. Director Ken Roth (here), Middle East Division Director Sarah Leah Whitson (here and here), and Israel and Palestine Director Omar Shakir (here, here, here, and here) were active on Twitter and other platforms.
The extensive advocacy by HRW and Van Esveld for the McCollum legislation is part of HRW’s adoption of the BDS agenda targeting Israel. In the past year, HRW has campaigned to kick Israel out of FIFA; assisted the UN Human Rights Council in its current effort to compile an anti-Israel blacklist; hired a professional BDS campaigner to run HRW’s Israel desk; and has received a grant for Israel-related work from the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, one the main private foundations funding BDS campaigns in the US.
Like the McCollum legislation, most of the claims repeated by Van Esveld are false, highly distorted, and originate with Defence for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P), a Palestinian NGO involved in using children to promote BDS and with reported ties to the PFLP terror group. The following points illustrate just a few of the many problems in the article, in particular, and how HRW promotes distorted if not fabricated information relating to minors in the Israeli justice system, in general. (For a complete discussion of these inaccuracies see NGO Monitor’s reports “The Origins of ‘No Way to Treat a Child’: Analyzing UNICEF’s Report on Palestinian Minors,” “No Way to Represent a Child: Defense for Children International Palestine’s Distortions of the Israeli Justice System,” and “Addameer: The PFLP Network’s Prisoner Advocacy Wing.”):
The BDS movement advanced nationally in November, with anti-Israel legislation introduced in the US Congress. The results of such resolutions on campus, however, were mixed — suggesting that persistence and outside help are critical to the progress of BDS. The role of faculty members and outside forces advancing BDS was also demonstrated when the conspiracy to take over the American Studies Association was revealed in an unfolding lawsuit. A critical lesson is that BDS is not a grassroots movement, but rather a Palestinian-Muslim Brotherhood-far left project aimed at Israel and the West as a whole.
In the political sphere, new legislation introduced in Congress seeks to “prevent United States tax dollars from supporting the Israeli military’s ongoing detention and mistreatment of Palestinian children.” Sponsored by Representative Betty McCollum (D-MN) and nine other members of the Democratic progressive caucus, the legislation alleges pervasive abuse of Palestinian children. But this allegation has been shown to originate with a number of BDS organizations, including the Palestinian chapter of Defense of Children International (DCI-P), which is linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The legislation was also endorsed by leading BDS groups, including Jewish Voice for Peace, the American Friends Service Committee and the Center for Constitutional Rights. Earlier this year, the United Church of Christ and the Disciples of Christ also passed anti-Israel resolutions based on DCI-P’s allegations.
The legislation is significant for several reasons, not least its direct connection to a terrorist organization. The bill demonstrates again that Palestinian factions within the PLO help orchestrate global BDS activities, but — more importantly — that these narratives continue to gain support in far-left political circles. McCollum and her cosponsors have a long track record of anti-Israel activity. She has also been endorsed by J Street, which continues to raise money for her.
Jeff Fager, the executive producer of “60 Minutes,” is at it again — telling everyone just how principled he and his fellow journalists are. His message goes something like this: “Yes, sometimes we make mistakes, but not very often. When we do, we own up to it, figure out what happened and move on.” (Fager loves that phrase: “own up to it.”)
There’s just one problem. What Fager says about his beloved show is simply not true — at least when it comes to a notorious error regarding Israel.
During a 2012 segment about Palestinian Christians in the West Bank, “60 Minutes” offered its viewers a factual misstatement about Israel’s security barrier.
In the segment, correspondent Bob Simon falsely reported that the barrier completely surrounded Bethlehem, “turning the little town where Christ was born into what its residents call ‘an open-air prison.” The misstatement of fact fed into an ugly theological trope about Jews trying to obstruct God’s purposes for humanity, as embodied by Jesus.
Despite repeated efforts to convince CBS News to correct the error, it was never fixed. A year after the show aired, Fager himself falsely declared in his own church, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in New Canaan, Connecticut, that the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) got it wrong — and that Bethlehem is surrounded by a wall. Clearly, Fager was offended by the pushback from Jewish groups in the US, which may help explain why “60 Minutes” never corrected its error.
Unbeknownst to Fager, I was in the audience during his Connecticut event, and after he made his statement, I told him — in front of 200 or so of his fellow congregants — that I’d give $5,000 to a charity of his choice if he could prove that the security barrier completely surrounded Bethlehem.
Listeners did not however hear what those “troubles” actually were.
After Stourton had asked questions about Mr Dangoor’s great-grandfather and his mother – the first ‘Miss Baghdad’ – he went on to inaccurately claim that the idyllic life portrayed so far had ended because of the establishment of the State of Israel.
Stourton: “You, I think, were born in the year that the State of Israel came into being. What began to change then?”
Dangoor: “We need to remember that Zionism, which is Jewish nationalism, grew at the same time as Arab nationalism in the early part of the 20th century. So it became a point of contention in many Arab countries between Jewish people in Arab countries and their Muslim neighbours. There were clashes from time-to-time and that began to become a bigger problem until of course in 1948, as you say, the Jewish state was formed and the enmity grew. Jews were seen as potential spies for what they called the Zionist entity and there was some hostility.”
In the rest of the item listeners heard how Mr Dangoor’s family left Iraq in 1958 after the murder of the royal family, of his nostalgia for Baghdad and how he believes Jews will one day return to Iraq.
Nowhere in this item, however, did listeners hear a proper explanation of the Farhud pogrom that took place seven years before Israel came into being and was the real turning point that triggered the demise of the Jewish community in Iraq.
Once again we see that on the rare occasions when the BBC does produce content relating to the topic of Jewish refugees from Arab and Muslim lands, it fails to tell a complete story.
One thing, nevertheless, seems to be constant and underreported. Since 1992, two years after Congress passed the Hate Crime Statistics Act, the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program information showed that anti-Semitic incidents have been higher than those perpetrated against other groups. By contrast, from 1992 to 2000, anti-Muslim incidents were the second least-reported. This changed in 2001, after the 9/11 attacks, when reports on anti-Muslim incidents rose to the rank of second-highest, with a steep spike in the immediate aftermath of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. To this day, the greatest number of reported religion-based hate crimes have been directed at Jews, and the second greatest against Muslims.
Between 2010 and 2014, the number of people victimized for their religion declined dramatically. This shifted in 2015, when there was a sharp rise in religion-based hate crimes, particularly against Islam and Muslims. Yet even then, Jews were 2.38 times more likely than Muslims to become victims of a hate crime.
Hate crimes — defined as those directed at someone “based on his race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity” — are not only illegal; they are immoral and should not be tolerated. However, we must not allow the dictates of political correctness, according to which “Islamophobia” is the most rampant form of bias in America, to cloud the reality that anti-Semitism is still more widespread.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee advanced a bill that will help Holocaust survivors and the families of victims obtain restitution or the return of Holocaust-era assets.
On Tuesday, the committee unanimously passed the Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today, or JUST Act.
The legislation requires the State Department to report on the progress of certain European countries toward the return of or restitution for wrongfully confiscated or transferred Holocaust-era assets, including property, art and other movable property. It also requires a report specifically on progress on the resolution of claims for US citizen Holocaust survivors and family members.
The JUST Act is designed to build on the international Terezin Declaration on Holocaust Era Assets and Related Issues of 2009, which affirms that the protection of property rights is an essential component of a democratic society based on the rule of law and recognizes the importance of restituting or compensating Holocaust-related confiscations made during the Holocaust-era between 1933 and 1945.
DiA Imaging Analysis of Beersheva, a medical imaging analysis software company, has signed a multi-year, non-exclusive licensing and professional services agreement with GE Healthcare to develop automated imaging analysis technology that will work with GE Healthcare’s ultrasound devices.
The Israeli company’s first-to-market automated tools for analyzing images from handheld ultrasound devices utilize advanced, proprietary pattern-recognition and machine-learning algorithms to improve monitoring of patient conditions. They are cleared by the FDA (United States) and CE (Europe).
“We are planning to soon launch additional automated imaging analysis tools as part of our vision to improve patient care,” said Hila Goldman Aslan, DiA’s CEO and cofounder. “We are excited with this collaboration, and look forward to working with a market leader such as GE Healthcare.”
“These tools would bring new capabilities to ultrasound at the point of care,” said Rob Walton, general manager of GE Healthcare Primary & Affordable Care.
On her many dives across the globe, Israeli marine biologist Shimrit Perkol-Finkel was distressed to see the ecological damage done by concrete ports, breakwaters and piers.
“These structures destroy the natural habitats, replacing natural reefs with a desert of concrete. If anything grows on it at all, it’s an invasive, harmful species,” Perkol-Finkel tells ISRAEL21c following a US road trip to promote her startup, ECOncrete of Tel Aviv, founded in 2012.
ECOncrete has developed a suite of environmentally sensitive concrete products that enhance marine life while increasing the structural stability, longevity and aesthetics of urban waterfronts and coastal structures.
The technology features a modified concrete “recipe,” a variegated texture attractive to marine life, and a 3D design to accommodate elements such as tiny holes for little fish to hide in.
ECOncrete CEO and Chief Scientist Perkol-Finkel and CTO Ido Sella earned their doctorates in zoology from Tel Aviv University and have extensive experience in marine biology and ecology.
Their startup was nurtured at the prestigious Entrepreneurship and Innovation Support Program (EISP) 8200 accelerator and won its award for best startup of 2014. By that time ECOncrete had raised $1.7 million in seed money and had three pilot projects on the go. Among these were two installations at Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York.
Their heroic quest to bring down fugitive Nazis such as the so-called “Butcher of Lyon” is widely known. But there’s more — a lot more — to the steely, yet unassuming, married duo of Nazi hunters Beate and Serge Klarsfeld, and a new exhibition in Paris is looking to tell that tale.
The French capital’s Shoah Memorial is this week hosting the world’s first-ever exhibition on their story. Using personal archives, including previously unseen video, “Beate and Serge Klarsfeld, Fighters for Memory” seeks to explain the couple’s fight to a new generation. It opens Thursday and runs until April 29.
The aim of the exhibition, say the organizers, is to show how Beate, 78, and Serge, 82, did much more than hunt Nazis, as is often portrayed in the media and in a 1986 film starring the late Farrah Fawcett. Notably, the devoted husband and wife team, married since 1963, played a pivotal role in understanding the horrors of the Final Solution in occupied France.
In this December 5, 2017 photo, French Nazi hunters Beate Klarsfeld (l) and her husband Serge look at at photos of young Jews deported from France at the Shoah Memorial in Paris, France. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
“Yes, parts of their story are known,” curator Olivier Lalieu said. “But we are showing that they are not just Nazi hunters … Serge is a historian and pioneer in the writing about the persecution of Jews. They added much to our understanding of what happened during the Holocaust.”
Thirty years ago to this day saw the largest gathering of Jews in American history.
On December 6, 1987, some 250,000 Jews came together on the National Mall in Washington, DC, to protest on behalf of Soviet Jewry. The demonstration, one day ahead of a summit between President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev, called for freedom of emigration for the 3 million Soviet Jews, as well as an end to their persecution within the communist bloc.
Beyond its raw power in numbers, the demonstration featured then-Vice President George H.W. Bush, as well as senators, House members and other dignitaries. Jewish leaders also spoke, as did Nobel laureate Elie Weisel and Natan Sharansky, the refusenik who had been released from the gulag just one year earlier and personified Soviet Jewry’s struggle.
“It is we, it is our struggle which makes governments in the free world strong,” Sharansky said at the rally. “It is our struggle which can make the Soviet government willing to open the gates of the Soviet Union.”
JTA spoke by phone Wednesday with Sharansky — now the chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel — about the march’s resonance, what it achieved and why, only a day before the march, Sharansky wasn’t even sure whether it would happen.
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