The Labour Party’s problem with Jews
One key point that tends to be overlooked in discussions of anti-Semitism is the role of the politics of identity. In an era when identitarian entrepreneurs enjoy great influence over Western culture, anti-Semitism is frequently written off on the basis that other minority groups suffer worse hatred than Jews do. A few days ago, Gus John, a leading anti-racist campaigner, resigned from a Church of England advisory body in protest against Archbishop Justin’s Welby’s endorsement of the chief rabbi’s criticism of the Labour Party’s anti-Semitism. John wasn’t merely protesting against what he called Welby’s ‘disgraceful endorsement of the chief rabbi’s unjust condemnation of Jeremy Corbyn and the entire Labour Party’ – more broadly he condemned Welby for choosing to speak out on this issue rather than on other manifestations of racism. He said, ‘No one section of the population of this nation has a monopoly on oppression, pain and hurt’, before noting that black and Asian people faced discrimination within the church.
That John’s defence of the Labour Party against what he called the chief rabbi’s ‘scaremongering’ was coupled with a denunciation of the church’s reluctance to make one of its black members Archbishop of Canterbury sums up the spirit of competitive victimhood that drives the politicisation of identity. John’s irritation with Welby expresses a widely held frustration on the left – that the focus on Labour’s anti-Semitism distracts attention from more important cases of racism.
Jews have clearly lost out in the identity stakes. According to the worldview of Anglo-American identity politics, Jews are the personification of white privilege. In an age in which white privilege is treated as a cultural crime, Jews are often portrayed as a unique, hyper-white community who have far more privileges to check than others do. Often, this reaction against ‘Jewish privilege’ meshes with hostility towards Israel, producing a very distinctive 21st-century narrative of anti-Jewish hatred.
Identity politics did not set out to promote anti-Semitism. However, it has helped to create a cultural and political climate in which Jewishness is increasingly perceived as a marker of privilege. And in a world in which hostility to privilege is now culturally endorsed, it seems that hostility towards Jews can be judged by a different standard to animosity towards other groups. What has happened is that anti-Semitism hasn’t so much been normalised as rendered banal.
Yes, we are still confronted with vicious forms of anti-Semitism – but it is the banalisation of anti-Semitism that is the most insidious manifestation of anti-Jewish sentiment today. Anti-Zionism may have given permission to anti-Semites to crawl out of the woodwork, but it is the politicisation of identity that discourages society from taking this racism seriously.
Col. Kemp: Friend of Hate
Never in history has a more dangerous man been a contender for leadership of any Western democracy.
Corbyn has consistently sided with those that wish us harm. When IRA terrorists bombed the Cabinet at Brighton, his response was to invite two convicted volunteers of the murderous organisation to the House of Commons.
And when Russian assassins were sent on a murder mission to Salisbury, Corbyn failed to condemn the Kremlin and called for further proof of state-sponsored involvement.
He calls Hamas and Hezbollah his ‘friends’ and appeared to take part in a ceremony honouring a terrorist involved in the Munich Olympics massacre.
He said the death of Bin Laden was a tragedy and wanted the leader of IS arrested not killed. The same with British jihadists Mohammed Emwazi and Sally-Anne Jones.
His deputies John McDonnell and Diane Abbott demanded the closure of MI5, the security agency that protects us from terrorists.
With Corbyn as PM how could our allies trust us with their most sensitive secrets?
The US and Israel, vital sources of life-saving intelligence, have reluctantly drawn up plans to restrict co-operation in the event of a Corbyn premiership.
The Guardian: ‘Anyone but Corbyn’: Jewish voters turn away from Labour
In the Three Bakers kosher cafe in Bury South, lunchtime customers agreed they had one thing in common with regard to the election: ABC – Anyone But Corbyn.
“You’ll get the same answer from everyone in here,” said Sara, a customer in her early 30s who has decided to vote Conservative. Indeed, none of those who spoke to the Guardian were planning to back Labour – in a seat it has held for 22 years.
Jewish voters are turning away in droves from the party, once seen as their traditional political home, owing to a combination of “extreme” left policies and poor leadership on antisemitism, which led to the recent unprecedented intervention from the chief rabbi when he effectively urged the community not to vote Labour.
“Jews have deserted the Labour party for two main reasons,” said Jonathan Boyd, executive director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR). “First, the party has lurched to the left; and second, the party has failed to understand or recognise how antisemitism manifests itself in leftist politics and as a result allowed it to fester and grow.
“To regain the support of Jewish voters, it would have to shift on both fronts: move back towards the political centre and root out the leftwing manifestations of antisemitism that exist – not only in the party itself, but in wider society.”
These factors play out in constituencies such as Bury South, with a Jewish population of 10%, as well as Finchley and Golders Green (21%), Hendon (17%), Hertsmere (14%), and Hackney North and Stoke Newington (11%).
The leading left-wing political journal, the New Statesman, has, unusually, declined to endorse the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn over antisemitism.
In an editorial the magazine read: “the essential judgement that must be made is on Mr Corbyn himself. His reluctance to apologise for the antisemitism in Labour and to take a stance on Brexit, the biggest issue facing the country, make him unfit to be prime minister.”
The editorial went on to note that Labour has become only the second party (after the BNP) to be probed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. That full statutory investigation was launched on 28th May following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
It also noted the Chief Rabbi’s unprecedented intervention calling out Labour antisemitism, warnings made by the Jewish Chronicle, the Jewish Labour Movement’s decision not to endorse its own Party, and other developments.
Three Hasidic Jews were reportedly among those wounded in gunfire Tuesday in Jersey City, New Jersey, that left a neighborhood, including a school, on lockdown.
Sporadic, heavy gunfire rang out over the course of at least an hour along a major thoroughfare where the shooting occurred. SWAT teams and federal agents responded to the scene, and police blocked off the area, which has a Catholic school, some stores, a kosher supermarket and a hair stylist. Phones rang unanswered at several businesses. The Catholic parish, Sacred Heart, has closed, and no one answered at its associated school, which runs from preschool through eighth grade.
Police tactical teams were going through the school, which remained on lockdown, according to scanner traffic.
Jersey City Police said they had no information to provide over the phone on the shooting.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry, tasked with determining if Israeli citizens are among the victims in such situations, said Israeli diplomats were aware of three Hasidic Jews hurt in the incident, though none were Israeli citizens.
One was wounded in his hand as he fled the scene. Two others were wounded in the kosher supermarket. All are believed to be members of the Satmar Hasidic sect.
There was no immediate confirmation from US officials.
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said US President Donald Trump had been briefed on the shooting and was monitoring it.
Channel 4’s fact checker has again disputed Jeremy Corbyn’s claims about Labour’s disciplinary processes, claiming that some members were reportedly given “lesser sanctions” for expressions of antisemitism.
Channel 4 suggests that this contradicts Mr Corbyn’s insistence that “where anyone has committed any antisemitic acts or made any antisemitic statements, they are either suspended or expelled from the Party.”
Mr Corbyn has recently stated that he had “strengthened processes” for dealing with antisemitism and that in the summer he had “proposed that egregious cases should be fast-tracked.” Although Channel 4 had reported that the new fast-track policy was still not in force by mid-October, it has now been clarified that the policy was implemented since then, but only used at one panel meeting on 5th November. The panel supposedly expelled “several” members in that session, but the exact number has not been disclosed.
Channel 4 concluded: “The new information we’ve had from this senior insider suggests it is still the case that people found to have said or done antisemitic things are not always suspended or expelled from the Labour party, despite what Mr Corbyn has claimed.”
WATCH: In 2012 @JeremyCorbyn gave an interview to a right-wing conspiracy theorist in which he alleged “there are two lobbies here [the UK]…an Israeli government lobby” and “a very strongly pro-Israel Zionist lobby”……
— The Golem (@TheGolem_) December 9, 2019
Lord Dyson, the former Master of the Rolls and Supreme Court judge, has said that there is a “powerful case” that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is an antisemite.
Lord Dyson, who is Jewish, made the remarks in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph. He said that he was “disturbed” by elements within the Labour Party, and described it as “deeply concerning” that Jewish MPs had been hounded out of the Party.
Asked whether he believes that Mr Corbyn is antisemitic, Lord Dyson replied: “I think all I can say is — I don’t want to say positively that he is antisemitic — but I think there is a powerful case that he may well be. I’m choosing my words rather carefully here.” He went on to say: “There is evidence that he is antisemitic, but I wouldn’t like to say positively that he is. There is evidence that he may well be.”
He added: “I’ve spoken to a lot of Jewish friends about this [and] some say that if Corbyn gets elected they will leave the country and they may well do that,” he said.
“There are undoubtedly some nasty things going on in certain parts of the Labour Party,” he said, agreeing that the Chief Rabbi’s unprecedented intervention in the election calling out Labour antisemitism was “justified”.
Tom Gross: Antisemitism emerges as a key issue: Tom Gross on this week’s UK election
* “People are familiar with antisemitism of the extreme right [which of course has been much more deadly], but many people are not familiar enough with the long history of antisemitism on the hard left.”
* “A rule change enabled lots of socialists and communists to join the (moderate-left) Labour party en masse, and they then proceeded to take it over and bring in Corbyn as their leader.”
* “Never before has antisemitism been such a major political issue in a British general election as it has in 2019”
* “Traditionally the British Jewish community has not been very vociferous or outspoken. Corbyn has changed that.”
British Jewish students who protested a visit by Jeremy Corbyn to the city of Bristol on Monday ahead of the general elections later this week were targeted with antisemitic vitriol by supporters of the Labour leader.
According to Twitter user Hannah Rose, who posted video of the incident, backers of Corbyn — who is considered antisemitic by the majority of British Jews — shouted, “From Kashmir to Palestine, occupation is a crime.”
Rose noted that the students were carrying no signs or other paraphernalia related to Israel and their protest was solely on the issue of antisemitism, meaning the Corbyn supporters were declaring non-Israeli Jews responsible for Israeli policy.
This meets the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism, which includes, “Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the State of Israel.”
Another video showed a man wearing Labour paraphernalia shouting at the Jewish protesters about the “killing of Palestinian people” and calling a female protester a “disgrace.”
Rose stated that the man was later questioned by the police.
The absolute state of this.
Jewish students protested Labour antisemitism at a Corbyn visit to Bristol today. Not only did local labour supporters counter-protest, but accused them of occupying Palestine and Kashmir. Police were called.
Antisemitic, even by Labour’s standards. pic.twitter.com/KABD6WATyF
— Hannah Rose (@hannah1_rose) December 9, 2019
Labour frontbencher Barry Gardiner has said that Jeremy Corbyn and the Party have been wrongly accused of antisemitism, and that the Labour leader is merely “critical of the politics of Israel”.
Mr Gardiner, who is the Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade, said that it was “important” to have “clarity” on Mr Corbyn’s record, and that “What Jeremy [Corbyn] has always done is be critical of the politics of Israel and the way Israel has dealt with the Palestinian question. And he has been absolutely unequivocal on that. He has not and the Party has not, in my view, been antisemitic.”
However, in the first release of its Antisemitism in Political Parties research, Campaign Against Antisemitism has shown that Jeremy Corbyn is personally responsible for 24 incidents of antisemitic discourse, which is equal to fifteen percent of all recorded incidents involving parliamentary candidates and party leaders. Overall, Labour Party candidates for Parliament account for 82 percent of all incidents.
Guido has obtained an extraordinary recording of Jonathan Ashworth, the serving Shadow Health Minister, giving a candid appraisal of Corbyn and the Labour Party’s chances in this election. He is asked by a friend “If he got in would he be as bad as I suspect?”
“I don’t know, on the security stuff; I worked in No.10, I think the machine will pretty quickly move to safeguard security (I mean the civil service machine). But it’s not going to happen! I can’t see it happening!”
On the prospects for Labour nationally Ashworth tells his worried interlocutor:
“I’ve been going round these national places, it’s dire for Labour… it’s dire… it’s awful for them, and it’s the combination of Corbyn and Brexit….outside of the city seats… it’s abysmal out there… they can’t stand Corbyn and they think Labour’s blocked Brexit. I think middle-class graduates – remainy people – Labour’s doing well among… but not in big enough numbers to deny the Tories a majority.”
Over one hundred Liverpudlians have signed a letter condemning antisemitism and the abandonment of the city’s two Jewish MPs, Luciana Berger and Dame Louise Ellman.
The letter reads: “Liverpool has a proud history of mobilising against racism and a proud history of solidarity with the victims of racism. Over the past few years we have seen a string of antisemitic incidents culminating in 2019 with the successive resignations from the Labour Party of two Liverpool MPs, Luciana Berger and Louise Ellman. They both denounced institutional antisemitism in the Labour Party and a culture of bullying, bigotry and intimidation in their local CLPs. This should have been a turning point. Instead, they were largely allowed to ‘walk alone’. We, citizens of this city, Jewish or not Jewish, want to express our profound disquiet and regret at these events as well as our solidarity with Luciana and Louise. We will not tolerate antisemitism and we will not tolerate the accommodation of antisemitism. We commit to hold to account, to educate and to mobilise. Today, we reclaim Liverpool’s proud history.”
On Nov. 29th, the Liverpool Echo published a truly warped letter to the editor which included an antisemitic conspiracy theory and likened the British Chief Rabbi to the devil.
We complained to Liverpool Echo editors about their decision to publish such a hateful letter – one which advances the conspiratorial claim that Israel’s intelligence agency is helping to orchestrate the ‘fake’ Labour antisemitism scandal – and they responded thusly:
– While we would always support freedom of speech we accept that the letter should not have been published. In this case it slipped through a normally rigorous checking procedures. We have spoken to the journalists concerned.
– The Liverpool Echo prides itself on fairness and tolerance and our own views on anti-Semitism were made clear in our pre-election leader column published on Monday.
– We apologise for any offence caused by the published letter.
– No further submissions from the contributor will be considered.
Jeremy Corbyn’s long history of befriending, defending and allying with hard line anti-Semites makes him utterly unfit to serve as Prime Minister.
— Campaign Against Corbynism (@OpposeCorbynism) December 10, 2019
Members of the Islamist militant group that governs this coastal territory criticized today attempts to compromise the work of the organization’s unit to manipulate public opinion in Britain in favor of the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn, calling those attempts a malign enterprise to corrupt the group’s enterprise to corrupt upcoming British parliamentary elections.
A spokesman for Hamas’s UK election social media task force told reporters Tuesday the movement condemns efforts to mischaracterize or disrupt its use of Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms to defend Labour and Corbyn from allegations of antisemitism, in particular by Jews, with the overall Hamas aim of securing as many British votes as possible for Labour and Corbyn.
“It is unconscionable that we cannot conduct these online operations in peace,” stated Fawzi Barhoum. “Our enemies are trying to interfere in our attempts to interfere with the elections, and the world must stand against such behavior.”
Barhoum explained that the unit’s various teams had for months – in some cases years – run Corbyn-friendly, English-language Facebook pages out of Gaza to counter or drown out reports, allegations, and documentation of the Labour Party’s institutional antisemitism and its at-best-token efforts to address the problem. “We’ve had to masquerade as Britons concerned for the truth,” he recalled. “Our operatives facilitated numerous cases of ‘voters worried about the libelous accusations against Jeremy’ calling the allegations smears and, of course, blaming the Jews for stoking antisemitism. It was going pretty smoothly until someone of the wrong sort noticed who’s been running those pages and accounts.”
Ben-Dror Yemini: French resolution: First victory in long fight against BDS
Last week the French National Assembly—the lower house of the country’s legislature—voted to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism, which includes the more extreme forms of Israel-hatred. (Contrary to the claims of its detractors, it expressly does not label criticism of Israel anti-Semitic.) Ben-Dror Yemini argues that, although the resolution has no legally binding consequences, it is a victory for the Jewish state and its supporters:
Even if it’s essentially only a symbolic move, [the vote] has great significance [with regard to a grave] problem: the funding that the European Union and countries such as Germany and France give to organizations that support the boycott, divestment, and sanctions [BDS] movement. This decision in France will empower those who oppose such funding.
This racist and anti-Zionist campaign is a problem for Europe and France because it is led by the red-green coalition of the Islamists and the radical left. This coalition, which has a stranglehold grip on academic and media circles, is among the main causes of Islamic radicalism, which ultimately harms the Europeans themselves.
When Israel is presented as a monster, as an apartheid state, as a perpetrator of genocide, there are Muslims who believe these lies. They vent their rage in France and blame the French authorities for cooperating with what they believe is a monster. This new definition of anti-Semitism makes it clear that just as the demonization of Jews is anti-Semitism, so is the demonization of Israel or likening it to the Nazis. This is exactly what the opponents of the resolution do.
The first phase has succeeded in France, but the more important battle is the one for European public opinion and the cessation of funding for entities involved in this campaign of demonization.
A promoter of sanctions against Israel who said its supporters “vastly inflate” anti-Semitism is scheduled to receive an award for promoting peace at Belgium’s main Holocaust memorial museum.
The Forum of Jewish Organizations on Sunday protested in a letter to Belgian government officials, including Flemish Region Prime Minister Jan Jambon, the plan to honor Brigitte Herremans, an aid worker for the Catholic Broederlijk Delen organization who in 2016 was banned from entering Israel. The honor is set to be presented at Kazerne Dossin, a transit camp from which Belgian Jews and Romani were sent to concentration camps during the Holocaust, in Mechelen.
Another Catholic group, Pax Christi, which in 2017 called on the European Union to “suspend economic relations” with Israel until it “respects International law,” plans to award Herremans its title of “ambassador for peace” at the state-run former camp.
During the Holocaust, Nazis and local collaborators sent from there about 25,000 Jews to be murdered in Nazi death camps in occupied Poland.
“Brigitte Herremans is on an anti-Israel mission,” Hans Knoop, a spokesperson for the Forum, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “She shouldn’t be honored at a Holocaust monument, it’s a disgrace.”
Asked about the rise in anti-Semitism in Europe in a radio interview in 2016, Herremans said: “When you sometimes hear criticism from certain pro-Israel circles, also in Belgium, then I think that mostly they try to vastly inflate this business to distract” from how Israel “wants to do only as it pleases in the Palestinian territories.”
She also has called for sanctions on Israel and on Israelis visiting Europe.
On December 12, 2019, the Belgian Catholic NGO Pax Christi Vlaanderen (Flanders) will award its “ambassador for peace” prize to Brigitte Herremans, a leading anti-Israel activist and former employee of the BDS-supporting organization Broederlijk Delen. The event is scheduled to be held at Kazerne Dossin “a transit camp from which Belgian Jews and Romani were sent to concentration camps during the Holocaust.” Today, Kazerne Dossin serves also as a Memorial, Museum, and Documentation Centre about the Holocaust and human rights.
The selection of this venue draws a false equivalence between Nazi war crimes and Israeli policy, a violation of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.
In an October 2019 article announcing the prize recipients, Pax Christi Vlaanderen justified its selection of Herremans, stating that her “way of looking and speaking bears witness to a desire to understand the conflicts in the Middle East and to interpret them as honestly as possible.”
— Eye On Antisemitism (@AntisemitismEye) December 10, 2019
Belgium has formally asked UNESCO to delist as a heritage event one of the kingdom’s main parades amid allegations of anti-Semitism.
The request to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization considerably increases the probability for removal of the Aalst Carnival, whose previous edition featured effigies of grinning Jews holding money with a rat on one of their shoulders, from the agency’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage is scheduled to vote on delisting the Aalst Carnival, which was put on the list in 2009.
The display of Jews prompted an outcry by Jewish groups and UNESCO itself, which in a statement called it “racist and anti-Semitic.”
The float’s defenders argued in response that it was part of the carnival’s tradition of edgy humor, with themes mocking all religions and creeds. Carnival organizers prepared ribbons with caricatures of Jews for the 2020 edition, which they said were meant to mock UNESCO.
— (((David Lange))) (@Israellycool) December 10, 2019
The row between the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA) and the German news outlet Deutsche Welle widened after the media watchdog organization accused the publicly funded media group of stoking antisemitism.
Deutsche Welle suggested that members of the American nonprofit are “Israel lobbyists” after the group compelled DW to correct a significant error in an article that falsely stated 600,000 Israeli settlers reside in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
CAMERA fired back at DW.
“We’re appalled for a few reasons,” CAMERA’s Jonah Cohen told The Jerusalem Post on Monday. “One, we simply pointed out a factual error in their reporting, and their response has been to attack us for it. Two, we’re not a lobby, which would have taken almost no research to discover. And, three, the phrase ‘Israel Lobbyists’ has antisemitic connotations in German discourse. Only Israel is singled out as having lobbyists.”
There are no Israeli settlers living in Gaza. Hamas, however, has taken two mentally challenged Israelis hostage and is refusing them Red Cross access.
Christoph Jumpelt, a spokesman for DW, told the Post on Tuesday: “We generally comment on specific questions regarding our reporting,” adding that he “flatly rejects the accusation.” It is unclear what accusation he meant, but it is believed to be the charge of antisemitism leveled by CAMERA.
Over two years after improving inaccurate language falsely citing Israel’s security “barrier surrounding the biblical city” of Bethlehem, the Associated Press once again misrepresents.
AP’s Joseph Krauss and Mohammad Daraghmeh wrote yesterday (“Palestinians in Bethlehem look beyond religious tourism”):
Bethlehem itself is almost completely surrounded by the barrier and a string of Jewish settlements
The Peace Now map shown below clearly shows where the barrier exists (solid red line) or is planned (dotted red line) on the northern and western sides of Bethlehem. On the south east, there are the settlements (solid pinks blocks) of Tekoa, Nokdim and Sde Bar. To the north and west of this block of settlements there are significant stretches with no barrier and no settlements. (The block with red lines, dubbed Givat Eitam, due south of Bethlehem, is slated for Israeli construction, according to Peace Now’s map.)
In December 2016, AP’s Isma’il Kushkush accurately referred to “the concrete barrier that surrounds part of Bethlehem.”
Given that neither the barrier nor settlements abut significant portions to the east and south of the city, AP’s description of Bethlehem as “almost completely surrounded by the barrier and a string of Jewish settlements” is unfounded.
“Variety is the most authoritative and trusted source of entertainment business news,” boasts its web site but readers should not have any expectations about the accuracy of its geopolitical coverage. A May 2019 movie review which just came to our attention erroneously placed the northern Israeli city of Nazareth in “Palestine.”
Asserting that movie director Elia Suleiman, “the eternal observer, trusts his audience to know the facts,” Variety’s Jay Weissberg gets the facts wrong, erroneously reporting: “‘Heaven’ begins in Palestine — Nazareth, to be precise . . . ” (“Film Review: ‘It Must Be Heaven,'” May 24, 2019).
Nazareth is a city in northern Israel, within the undisputed pre-1967 boundaries of the country. It is not in “Palestine,” the West Bank or the occupied territories, as this United Nations map makes clear.
The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks (Hebrew) during November 2019 shows that throughout the month a total of 745 incidents took place including 127 in Judea & Samaria, 32 in Jerusalem and inside the ‘green line’ and 586 in the Gaza Strip sector.
None of the other incidents which took place throughout November received any coverage which means that the BBC News website reported 60.7% of the attacks which took place during November.
Since the beginning of 2019 the BBC News website has covered 33.4% of the attacks which have taken place and 72.7% of the terror related fatalities. In five of those eleven months, no reporting on terrorism was seen at all.
Jewish philanthropist and World Jewish Congress president Ronald Lauder has announced that he is going to establish a new organization to fight antisemitism in the political and academic field and that he has set aside $25 million from his personal funds for this purpose.
Lauder revealed his new initiative in an interview with The New York Times, which was published on Monday.
Called the Antisemitism Accountability Project, or A.S.A.P., the project was described by WJC president as both an NGO and a super PAC, with the mission of targeting politicians at any level who engage in antisemitic discourse.
“Although I am a lifelong Republican, antisemitism knows no political party. I’m going after the Right as well as the Left,” he told the Times, mentioning as an example Steve King, a Republican congressman from Iowa who in the past, has often expressed positions close to white supremacist ones.
Asked about US President Donald Trump, who has also made remarks considered by many to be antisemitic, including accusing American Jews who vote Democrat of being “disloyal,” the philanthropist responded that he didn’t believe that Trump had a single “antisemitic bone” in his body.
He further said that, in his opinion, the president made what he thinks clear when he said that “we must never ignore the vile poison of antisemitism, or those who spread its venomous creed,” in the 2019 State of the Union.
Standing alongside Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, local faith leaders, elected officials, and community partners, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt announced last week that the New York-based group will be doubling the number of Brooklyn schools involved in its “No Place for Hate Peer to Peer Program” for the 2019-2020 school year. The ADL committed $250,000 to expand the initiative, which has helped promote tolerance in more than 1,700 public and private schools nationwide since 1999.
The program has already been rolled out in 22 schools in Brooklyn, N.Y., and reached more than 8,200 students, according to ABC7. The number of schools administering the program will expand to up to 40 this academic year, with a focus on the neighborhoods of Crown Heights, Williamsburg and Borough Park, where most of the recent anti-Semitic incidents against Orthodox Jews have taken place.
“We track acts of harassment and vandalism and violence, and what’s so alarming is that the situation has not improved this year,” said Greenblatt. “The severity of the incidents seems to be increasing in terms of their frequency, their aggressiveness, and their physicality.”
The 2018 Hate Crime Statistics, released on Nov. 12 by the FBI, revealed that of the 1,617 victims of anti-religious hate crimes reported in the United States, “56.9% were victims of crimes motivated by offenders’ anti-Jewish bias.” Brooklyn alone experienced at least 93 incidents of anti-Semitic violence, harassment, and vandalism in 2018. The most recent acts of anti-Semitic vandalism involve the unprovoked attack on a 21-year-old Orthodox man in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood and a series of egg-throwing incidents targeting Jews in Borough Park.
An Israeli student said he was assaulted Monday in the Paris metro after he was heard speaking Hebrew.
France’s National Bureau of Vigilance Against anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, identified the student as B. Yogev, 30. It said he entered the train at the Château d’Eau station in Paris and answered a phone call from his father before he was accosted by two men, described as tall and of African origin.
One of those men attacked the student, striking him on the head, body and face. The student fainted on the floor of the train car, according to the report.
“They hit me a few times. My glasses broke and I lost consciousness,” the Israeli was quoted saying by the Ynet news site. “Luckily people helped me.”
The student, who was hospitalized for his injuries, said “it is clear to me they attacked me only because they heard I’m Israeli.”
He said he went to police after his release from the hospital but was told to return in six hours. He then reached out to Meir Habib, a prominent Jewish lawmaker in France’s National Assembly.
Habib said he asked the interior minister to immediately order a police investigation into the incident.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday phoned an Israeli student who said he was assaulted in Paris, apparently for speaking Hebrew.
The Israeli, who has been identified as Yogev, told the prime minister he was sending his dad a voice message as he boarded the Paris Metro, when he was attacked.
“I can’t think of any other reasons besides the Hebrew language,” Yogev can be heard saying on speakerphone in a video released by Netanyahu.
Yogev recalled losing consciousness and being hospitalized following the assault. He has filed a complaint over the attack with French police.
“The police officers, I must say, are very surprised. They don’t understand why a prime minister and member of parliament are calling me. To them this is a normal incident,” he said.
In response, Netanyahu said, “To us this is not a normal incident and we are not prepared to accept it.”
The prime minister wished Yogev a speedy recovery, “both physically and mentally,” and told him he could call at any time.
The “Groyper Army” is an American far-right conservative movement that follows 22-year-old Nick Fuentes, the white nationalist host of “America First,” a political commentary show on YouTube. “Groyper” refers to an illustrated toad, based on the internet meme Pepe the Frog. Fuentes’ supporters, who call themselves “Groypers” differentiate themselves from other rightwing nationalists and conservative groups, whom they view as “fake conservatives” or “Conservative Inc.”, who have sanitized their views on “traditional values” in order to maintain the “optics” of mainstream acceptability, thus betraying the true heart of conservativism as defined by the Groypers. The Groyper Army gained national attention when they publicly heckled Donald Trump Jr. during a national tour to promote his book. This is part of the “Groyper War,” in which Groypers attend conservative events on college campuses and troll the speaker with homophobic and racist questions, including ones relating to popular antisemitic conspiracy theories. The following report includes an overview of the online presence of Fuentes and the Groypers, including examples of their anti-Semitic and inciting posts.
As a meme, the Groyper meme, but mostly Pepe the Frog, are not used only by the conservative-religious right, but by white nationalists and white supremacists – and in some cases, by Islamist terrorist organizations like the Lebanese Hezbollah – who do not necessarily share the same conservative ideals held by the original “Groypers”.
Websites: Dailygroyper.com; Nicholasjfuentes.com
Nick Fuentes’ Social Media: YouTube – “America First with Nicholas J Fuentes,” 65,700 subscribers, 31 videos, active since October 2019; Twitter – @NickJFuentes, 69,200 followers, 6,593 tweets, active since April 2014; Telegram – NickJFuentes, 10,795 members, active since June 19, 2019
Groypers On Telegram: – Daily Groyper, 603 members, created November 4, 2019; GroyperGang,82 members, created October 30, 2019; Groyper Takes, 272 members, created October 17, 2019; Catholic Groyper, 197 members, created October 20, 2019.
A 20-year-old Queens man has been arrested for allegedly threatening Jewish customers, including an 11-year-old boy, at a Costco on Long Island, where a rabbi captured the anti-Semitic tirade on video, according to reports.
Justin Pichizaca faces arraignment Tuesday on charges of aggravated harassment and menacing, police said.
Rabbi Avrumi Fri was shopping with his wife and son at the store on Rockaway Turnpike in North Lawrence, Nassau County, on Sunday when the incident occurred, according to Patch.
In a lengthy Facebook post, the rabbi said he was in the men’s room when the unhinged man walked out of a stall and said, “(expletive) Jew, the Nazis will finish you off!”
Fri said he followed the man and began recording his rant on his cellphone to out “this bigot while demonstrating that there is this type of bigotry, even here at ‘home’ in Five Towns.”
“To indicate that I had no desire to get physical, I kept my left hand down at my side while holding up the phone with my right hand. After a few times of my telling him to ‘say it to my face,’ he went on the rant you saw in the video,” Fri wrote.
Henry Ford II took over the automotive company of his grandfather and namesake company in 1945, but he did not inherit his grandfather’s vicious anti-Semitism. While the elder Ford notoriously used his wealth and influence to disseminate anti-Jewish propaganda, and collaborated with Nazi Germany, the younger Ford explicitly rejected those attitudes and was an enthusiastic supporter of the Jewish state. Zack Rothbart writes:
Shortly after Israeli independence, Hank the Deuce, [as Ford II was informally known], oversaw a trade deal that would see a major shipment of automotive parts to help alleviate the young state’s transportation crisis. The next year, he personally presented Israel’s first president with a Ford Lincoln Cosmopolitan. . . . A $50,000 contribution from Ford in 1950 made him the top donor to the United Jewish Appeal’s first ever Christian Committee Campaign for Israel.
Around the time of the Six-Day War in 1967, Hank the Deuce nonchalantly gave his good friend, the Jewish businessman and philanthropist Max Fisher, a warm personal note with a $100,000 check inside for the Israel Emergency Fund.
Not long after, he fulfilled his promise to have a Ford assembly plant in Israel and maintain business dealings with the Jewish state, refusing to give in to boycott threats despite extensive and lucrative interests across the Arab world. The Arab boycott took effect and cars began rolling out of the plant in Nazareth, at which point he reportedly said, “Nobody’s gonna tell me what to do.”
But the name Adam Sandler in pop culture still evokes that feeling one might experience after lighting a bag of poop on fire on your nemesis’ doorstep: I’m laughing at this, but I feel dirty doing so, and I shouldn’t be. Or perhaps, especially for Jews, his name brings to mind the lovable Hanukkah song.
That could be about to change. His performance in “Uncut Gems” might just bring him an Oscar.
“Uncut Gems” is the sixth film by Josh and Benny Safdie, a pair of thirtysomething Jewish brothers who have earned serious acclaim for their gritty indie works that probe the New York City underworld — like “Heaven Knows What” (2014), about a homeless heroin addict, and “Good Time” (2017), which stars Robert Pattinson as a bank robber.
In “Uncut Gems,” Sandler plays Howard Ratner, an unscrupulous jeweler in New York’s extremely Jewish Diamond District. Howard’s marriage (to Dinah, played with steely resolve by Idina Menzel) is in tatters after he has had an affair with a young employee in his shop, and he has a debilitating gambling problem. He pools money he makes from sales and under-the-table deals to bet impulsively on NBA games, and is in debt to the kinds of characters whom no one wants to be indebted to.
But there’s so much more going on here above and below the surface that words on a page won’t do the visceral experience of watching the film justice. It’s a frantically paced freight train of suspense and emotion capped off with a bombshell ending. It’s full of nuanced underlying commentary on consumerism, the downsides of international trade, addiction, family life and even basketball — former NBA star Kevin Garnett portrays himself in a slightly alternate universe in which he believes a rare stone that Howard lends him improves his play on the court.
British-Jewish actor Sacha Baron Cohen was nominated on Monday for a Golden Globe for his role as famous Israeli agent Eli Cohen in the Netflix miniseries “The Spy.”
Golden Globes nominations were announced early Monday on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Facebook page and Cohen received a nomination for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television.”
Following the news, he wrote on Twitter, “I am hugely proud of The Spy and thrilled that it has been seen and embraced by audiences around the globe. I share this recognition with Eli Cohen’s family and everyone who worked on The Spy.”
He added, “A heartfelt thank you to the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for this honour. I have long wanted to move away from comedy and do something uncommercial, not reliant on jokes, that few people would see.”
“The Spy,” a six-episode miniseries, is based on the true story of Eli Cohen being selected by the Mossad to infiltrate the Syrian government in the 1960s using a fake persona as a wealthy businessman named Kamel Amin Thaabet. The Syrian government eventually discovered Cohen’s true identity and he was publicly hanged in Damascus in May 1965.
Israeli Actress Gal Gadot to Bring Israeli Drama ‘Queens’ to the US
Gal Gadot and her husband Jaron Varsono are executive producers of the drama “Malkot” (Queens) which will air in the US. Co-Creator of the Israeli version Dani Rosenberg joins Sarah Williamson in our studio.
Kirk Douglas was born as Issur Danielovitch on December 9, 1916, in Amsterdam, New York, on the Mohawk River, the son of Bryna and Herschel Danielovitch. Douglas grew up as Izzy Demsky and legally changed his name to Kirk Douglas before entering the US Navy in World War II.
He wrote in his 1988 autobiography, The Ragman’s Son: “My father, who had been a horse trader in Russia, got himself a horse and a small wagon, and became a ragman, buying old rags, pieces of metal, and junk for pennies, nickels, and dimes…. Even on Eagle Street, in the poorest section of town, where all the families were struggling, the ragman was on the lowest rung on the ladder. And I was the ragman’s son.”
Douglas served as a communications officer in anti-submarine warfare aboard USS PC-1137, and was medically discharged in 1944 for war injuries sustained from the accidental dropping of a depth charge. He married actress Diana Dill in 1943 and they had two sons, Michael in 1944 and Joel in 1947, before they divorced in 1951.
Douglas wanted to play on the stage, but his friend, Lauren Bacall, helped him get his first film role in Hal B. Wallis’ 1946 movie, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, with Barbara Stanwyck.
Happy Birthday 🎉 to Issur Danielovitch (aka #KirkDouglas), who turns 103 years young #OnThisDay! Douglas is not only one of the finest actors ever, he is also a mensch, a proud Jew and a Zionist! pic.twitter.com/AsEXTHRWgD
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) December 9, 2019
Albania’s prime minister on Monday hailed the work of Israeli engineers who have come to the country to help in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake that destroyed thousands of buildings.
The Israelis are among scores of foreign engineers and experts who have arrived in or will be headed to the country to help determine whether buildings left standing can still be inhabited, or to help construct buildings to replace those that were destroyed.
On Monday, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama was in the western port city of Durres, encouraging residents to have confidence in the work of the engineers. Durres and northwestern Thumane were the two areas hardest-hit by the quake.
“They are from Israel and they are No. 1,” Rama said to a resident who was hesitant to enter an apartment building. “The engineer says that after the catastrophe you should kiss your home because it has resisted [the quake] and has protected you.”
A special moment took place in Albania yesterday.
The IDF delegation sent to help the Albanian people recover from a devastating earthquake, shared good news with Muslim leader Baba Mondi that after inspection by IDF experts, his mosque was safe to pray in & could be reopened. pic.twitter.com/XEfgWEHmIl
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) December 9, 2019
@netanyahu Albania was proudly the only country in Europe with more Jews after World War II then before it!Today we are grateful to the State of Israel for its immediate help while Albania is facing the post-earthquake emergency🙏God Bless this great guys🙏God Bless #Israel🇮🇱🤝🇦🇱 pic.twitter.com/dl8L2Pz7xX
— Edi Rama (@ediramaal) December 9, 2019
Former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky has been awarded Israel’s prestigious 2020 Genesis Prize for a lifetime of work promoting political and religious freedoms, organizers announced Tuesday.
The $1 million-award is granted each year to a person recognized for outstanding professional achievement, contribution to humanity and commitment to Jewish values. Following a tradition set by previous winners, Sharansky has decided to forgo the award, and the prize money will be donated in his honor to nonprofit organizations not yet chosen, the Genesis Prize Foundation said.
In a statement, Sharansky said he was “humbled” by the award. Quoting the late US President Ronald Reagan, he said, “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”
“It is not passed to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like to live when men were free,” he said.
We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.