Human rights defenders, or offenders
Unfortunately, those prestigiously honored as human rights defenders by the international community have made a mockery of these universal values of human rights.
For example, the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN’s health body, in October appointed Zimbabwe’s outgoing dictator Robert Mugabe as a “Goodwill Ambassador.” Mugabe’s apparent defense of human rights, including the universal right to health, comprises of leading an extremely violent regime, completely destroying Zimbabwe’s economy, and manipulating elections to maintain his dictatorial role. The ICC has even been urged to investigate Mugabe for crimes against humanity.
Another instance is Aung San Suu Kyi—the leader of Myanmar. Despite winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 and being affirmed by Hilary Clinton as having a role in giving the world “new hope” in the ability for countries to transition from dictatorship to democracy, Suu Kyi is currently the leader of a country committing human rights violations against the Rohingya population. She has also lied to the world about her regimes culpability in a humanitarian disaster that many are calling genocide.
Likewise, the UN’s “expert” on Israel Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk, who is also a Western University professor, proclaimed that Manal Tamimi, an individual who uses virulently antisemitic and violent rhetoric on her Twitter, is a “human rights defender.” It is difficult to understand how someone who posts tweets that call for violent uprisings and include cartoons that depict Jews as rats promote the UN’s universal values.
Finally, is Glamour Magazine’s inclusion of the “Women’s March Organizers” in its 2017 list of “Women of the Year.” However, one of the organizers, Linda Sarsour, overtly promotes particularistic human rights—for instance, arguing that feminism and Zionism are mutually exclusive. Sarsour, in direct opposition to broad international support of a two-state framework for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, supports a “one-state solution”—which would effectively lead to the demise of Israel and a denial of Jewish rights to sovereign equality. She is also an advocate for discriminatory BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns against Israel. The organizers of the Women’s March further damaged their credibility by publically supporting Rasmea Odeh—a convicted terrorist, responsible for the 1969 bombing of a supermarket in Israel that killed two students.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called on the Palestinians to “accept the reality and act for peace and not for extremism,” following U.S. President Donald Trump’s official recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Responding to calls from Muslim leaders calling for east Jerusalem to be recognized as the capital of Palestine and condemning Trump’s declaration, Netanyahu said Palestinians should “recognize another fact when it comes to Jerusalem: not just that it is the capital of Israel, we also preserve freedom of worship in Jerusalem for all religions, and we are the ones who preserve this safeguard in the Middle East, in a manner that no one else preserves it, and on which others have also failed, sometimes miserably.
“Therefore all of these declarations do not impress us. The truth will come out, and many countries will yet recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move their embassies.”
Netanyahu made the statement at a Mossad intelligence agency event in Jerusalem.
There is nothing weirder than the gap between the American Jewish conversation about Israel, on the one hand, and the real day-to-day lives of Israelis on the other.
American Jews are re-litigating the twentieth century, while Israelis are living the twenty-first.
American Jews ask: will Israel make peace or live forever by the sword? Why does the occupation never end? Will antisemitism destroy us all? Do Jews have a right to every inch of the biblical lands? Will Netanyahu cause a break with American Jews? Will Israel’s democracy be ruined by demography? How will the tiny Jewish state survive against an ocean of enemies? These are questions Israelis have mostly stopped asking, and American Jews cannot understand why.
The answer is that everything has changed. The strategic, economic and cultural opportunities facing Israel have drowned out the existential threats. The old anxieties have been overrun by both Israel’s successes and failures.
Successes: it is now a vibrant and powerful country, and its power has changed the thinking of national governments not just in Europe but also across the Arab world. Today Israel has only one real strategic enemy – Iran, which has been the force behind all of Israel’s wars in the past decade-and-a-half.
Economically, the Jewish state has become a global leader in technology, from agriculture to autonomous vehicles. It has solved its two biggest problems of nature: water and energy. Culturally, it has become an exporter in everything from film to art to wine to architecture to electronic music.
Israelis now count their Nobel prizes the way Jews used to. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called in Istanbul on Wednesday for unity among Muslim nations in opposing US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
However, the attendees at the emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation were not unified. The leaders of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates did not attend, sending a message that they would not be standing shoulder to shoulder with Iran.
Eighteen heads of state attended the meeting, including those of Azerbaijan, Qatar, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Lebanon and Jordan. In addition the prime ministers of Malaysia and Pakistan came to Istanbul. Leaders of several weak and failed states, such as Yemen, Somalia and Libya, showed up as well.
Lower-level attendance was common from the allies of Saudi Arabia, the same group that cut relations with Qatar in June.
The Egypt-Saudi-UAE alliance represents a new Arab core in the Middle East. In the strictest sense it opposes Iran and Iran’s proxies such as Hezbollah.
However, this alliance also opposes Qatar because it views Doha as supporting extremism and terrorism, by which it means the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
US President Donald Trump’s envoy to the United Nations unveiled Thursday what she said was “undeniable” evidence proving that Iran is funneling missiles to Houthi rebels in Yemen in violation of international law.
At a news conference in a hanger at a military base in Washington, Nikki Haley presented recently declassified evidence including segments of missiles launched at Saudi Arabia from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen.
Haley said the missile parts bear markings showing they originate in Iran and that they have technical specifications specific to Iranian-manufactured weapons.
“It was made in Iran then sent to Houthi militants in Yemen,” Haley said. “From there it was fired at a civilian airport with the potential to kill hundreds of innocent civilians in Saudi Arabia.”
The missiles prove “blatant violations” of UN Security Council resolutions while the international community was “looking the other way” because of the nuclear deal, Haley said. The US will now rally other nations to push back on Iran’s behavior, she added.
Iran immediately dismissed the evidence as “fabricated,” saying the accusations were baseless.
The US administration is serious about getting a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians, but its proposed plan is still being put together, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said.
US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and eventually move the US Embassy in Israel there has angered the Palestinians, who question Washington’s role as a sponsor of Middle East peace.
Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is leading efforts to restart negotiations, though his bid has shown little public progress so far.
“We believe the Trump administration is serious about bringing peace between Israelis and Arabs,” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir, a former ambassador to the United States, told France 24 television late on Wednesday.
“They were working on ideas and were consulting with all parties, including Saudi Arabia, and they are incorporating the views represented to them by everybody. They have said they would need a little bit of time to put it together to present it.”
Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel overturned decades of US policy and ignored international consensus that the city’s status should be decided only in a future peace agreement.
Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its capital, including the eastern part which it annexed after capturing it in a 1967 war. The Palestinians want the eastern part of the city as capital of a future independent state of their own.
The Siasat Daily, India’s largest circulated Urdu Daily, has reported something I have not seen elsewhere: that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman offer PA President Mahmoud Abbas $10 billion to give up claims on Judea and Samaria.
Last week a senior Palestinian official gave insights about the linkage between the announcement and Trump’s broader plans for the region. This official was briefed on the details of the surprise meeting last month between Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority (and head of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the PLO), and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. Abbas was summoned to Riyadh on November 6 by the Crown Prince as part of the latter’s high-powered effort to engineer a joint Arab-U.S. offensive against Iran and its allies.
According to the source, Mohammed bin Salman is playing a high-stakes gamble to cement both his leadership and his corollary offensive. On this score, the crown prince announced that the Arab Peace Initiative (API) is effectively dead. The crown prince declared that it’s time for Plan B, a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip. When Mahmood Abbas asked about the place of the West Bank and East Jerusalem in this scheme, the crown Prince replied, “We can continue to negotiate about this.” He is also said to have offered the Palestinian leader $10 billion to sweeten the bitter pill he had just prescribed. Abbas is in dilemma he can neither say no nor yes.
I have no idea if this is true, and even doubt it, especially give the tone of Abbas’ speech yesterday. But the very existence of the report is interesting, especially at a time there are other reports that the Saudi Crown Prince has been invited to Israel.
A Palestinian ambassador’s boast that he assaulted an Israeli student in an argument over the origins of falafel is drawing strong criticism from British Jewish leaders and veteran Israeli diplomats.
Manuel E. Hassassian, the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) chief envoy in London, asserted in a recent Lebanese television interview that when he was a graduate student at the Ohio-based University of Toledo in 1976, he got into an argument with an Israeli student who claimed “that falafel and hummus are Israeli foods.”
Hassassian continued, “I said to him: ‘How dare you? You steal my land, exile my people and now you are robbing us of our folklore and national foods? You claim that it is Jewish food? It is our food, of the Palestinian people, and I will not allow this.’ I then grabbed him and gave him a beating.”
According to Hassassian, he was arrested by campus security officers, but after he explained to them what had happened, they released him, saying “Palestine should be proud of you.”
Yet Meghan Cunningham, director of communications for the University of Toledo, told JNS, “There are no campus police reports involving a person by that name.” A search by JNS of the campus newspaper, The Collegian, found no articles resembling Hassassian’s claim.
Neither Hassassian nor his staff responded to multiple requests for comment on the incident.
Former Egyptian Pharmacists Union Chief Ahmad Farouk: Boycott U.S. Medicine, Just Like North Korea pic.twitter.com/9HxeqPLnSz
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) December 14, 2017
IDF Southern Command held a ceremony today honoring soldiers who exhibited exemplary behavior during operational activity over the past year.
Marcello Perez de Lira, a combat soldier from the 50th Battalion of the Nahal Brigade, was chosen to receive a certificate of appreciation from the Commander of the Southern Command, Major General Eyal Zamir, for his behavior during operational activity in October.
While guarding the Gush Etzion Junction under the Etzion Regional Brigade, Marcelo noticed a suspicious figure approaching him. He immediately reported the incident and proceeded with army procedure for detaining a suspicious person.
After warning the suspect twice to stop, Marcello loaded his gun. The terrorist began to run toward him with an object in his hand, and Marcelo skillfully shot him with only one bullet that neutralized the terrorist without harming other people.
The Gush Junction is a crowded intersection at all hours of the day, and Marcelo’s accuracy in neutralizing the terrorist avoided harm to the many residents passing by during these hours.
Israeli Who Took Down Knife Wielding Terrorist Honored by StandWithUs
When Kfir Itzhaki, a former combat instructor in the IDF’s elite counter-terrorism unit, saw a stabbing terrorist attack, he took down the knife-wielding terrorist with his bare hands. Last week, StandWithUs had the opportunity to honor him for his heroism at the annual Festival of Lights Gala in Los Angeles.
Incoming rocket alert sirens sent residents of southern Israel rushing for cover on Thursday afternoon for the fourth straight day, in what the army later said was a false alarm.
The sirens sounded in the Eshkol Region, specifically in the Kerem Shalom community, which lies on the border of both Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula.
After a quick investigation, the army said the rocket alert sirens were a false alarm. It was not immediately clear what triggered the system.
Earlier in the day, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman called on Israelis to “relax” despite the dramatic increase in the number of rocket attacks from Gaza over the past week.
Speaking from the southern city of Sderot, Liberman said the rocket fire was the result of internal Palestinian political spats and not an indication that terrorist groups were no longer afraid of Israel.
“The fact that we’re here this morning in Sderot… shows everyone that they can remain calm and relax,” Liberman said, during a tour of a new weapons manufacturing plant in the southern city, which has been targeted by rocket fire repeatedly over the past week.
“The recent launches from Gaza at Sderot have nothing to do with Israeli deterrence, but [are a result of] internal Palestinian struggles between different groups and factions,” he said.
The IDF confirmed intercepting two rockets over the city of Sderot on Wednesday night after a barrage of rockets was launched toward southern Israel for the sixth night in a row.
While the rockets did not cause any damage, according to Magen David Adom a 30-year-old man sustained light injuries to his leg while running to a shelter in Sderot and two others were treated by paramedics for shock.
Two rockets were intercepted over Sderot and a third rocket landed in open territory in Eshkol Regional Council, causing no damage or injuries.
Another rocket hit failed to reach Israel, instead damaging an UNRWA school in Beit Hanun, in northeastern Gaza.
“I expect the prime minister, the defense minister and the chief of staff to strike at the terror organizations mercilessly,” Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi said. “We will not tolerate continued firing at Sderot. This drop in the bucket [in response] is not a viable plan.”
Israel announced the closure of its Gaza border crossings on Thursday in response to daily rocket fire from the enclave over the past week after U.S. President Donald Trump’s official recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on Wednesday stoked Palestinian anger.
The IDF said in a statement that “due to the security events and in accordance with security assessments” Kerem Shalom crossing – the main passage point for goods entering the Gaza Strip – and the Erez pedestrian crossing would be shut as of Thursday. It did not say how long the closure would last.
Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi told Israel Radio on Thursday that while Hamas was not technically behind the rocket attacks, it needed to rein in terrorists from “breakaway groups” or it would find itself forced to contend with the Israeli military.
Some 15 rockets have been fired into southern Israel since Trump’s Dec. 6 announcement. No casualties have been reported as a result of the projectiles, but the attacks have taken a psychological toll on the residents of southern Israel.
Israel’s military posted a statement on Facebook late Wednesday night saying that a missile fired on Israel from Gaza earlier in the evening, hit and caused damage to a classroom in a school in Gaza.
“The Iron Dome intercepted two rockets launched from the Gaza Strip. What they did not tell you is what happened with another rocket launched from Gaza … The residents of Gaza, it’s important that you know, the rocket hit the Ghazi al-Shawa public school in Beit Hanun and destroyed a classroom there!” read a statement on the Arabic Facebook page of the Government Coordinator of Activities in the Territories (COGAT).”The terrorists in Gaza now prove what we have repeatedly said — that they are destroying their children’s future with their own hands.”
Rockets were fired at Israel for the sixth-straight night as two were intercepted over the city of Sderot and a third rocket landed in open territory in Eshkol Regional Council, causing no damage or injuries.
“I expect the prime minister, the defense minister and the chief of staff to strike at the terror organizations mercilessly,” Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi said. “We will not tolerate continued firing at Sderot.”
The IDF struck Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in response to earlier rocket fire fired from the enclave, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit confirmed.
The IDF said the targets were training sites and weapons storage units.
Earlier tonight, three rockets were fired into Israeli territory, as two rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome over the city of Sderot and a third fell in open territory in Eshkol Regional Council, causing no damage or injuries.
This was the sixth night in a row with rockets fired at Israel.
The IDF confirmed earlier that one of the rockets fired from Gaza landed inside the Strip and hit a school there.
“The State of Israel an attack, or attempted attack, on its citizens and will continue to defend them and its sovereignty sharply and decisively,” the IDF statement read. “The terrorist organization Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, leads the people of Gaza into a life of poverty, destruction and despair, and bears responsibility for the situation.”
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday afternoon that Israel must return the bodies of five Arab terrorists recovered from a terror tunnel built from the Gaza Strip into Israel and demolished by the IDF in October.
In October, Israeli forces discovered a terror tunnel extending from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip into the western Negev in Israel.
The tunnel, which extended from the city of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, was demolished by the IDF shortly after its discovery.
Twelve terrorists present inside the tunnel at the time of the demolition were killed. Of the 12 terrorists, the remains of five were recovered by IDF forces after the demolition was completed.
Relatives of the terrorists, the Hamas terror organization, and the Israeli-Arab NGO Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel demanded Israel return the bodies of the terrorists to Gaza – a demand the government has hitherto refused.
“The holding of bodies contradicts the principles of international humanitarian law,” argued Adalah. “Bodies of individuals who are killed during situations of conflict must be returned to their families for burial with dignity. International humanitarian law prohibits using bodies for political purposes or as bargaining chips.”
IDF forces from the Etzion, Binyamin, and Yehuda brigades as part of the IDF’s battle against incitment on Wednesday night carried out three separate operations.
In preparation for the events celebrating the anniversary of Hamas’ founding, the IDF forces raided Birzeit University in the Palestinian Authority (PA) town of Birzeit and Al-Quds University in the PA town of Abu Dis.
In Hevron, the forces also raided a printing house and a center for the dissemination of terror-inciting materials, confiscating inciting announcements, flags, posters, and other inciting materials.
Also on Wednesday night, Border Police, Shabak, Israel Police, and the IDF arrested eight wanted terrorists in Judea and Samaria.
Hamas was founded in 1987 during the First Intifada. Dedicated to the destruction of Israel, Hamas was designated a terror group by Israel, the United States, the European Union and many other world powers. Members of the group are known to carry out suicide bombings among other forms of attacks against Israel.
During the last operation between Israel and Gaza, Operation Protective Edge in summer 2014, Hamas and other armed groups fired thousands of mortars and rockets into Israel. The IDF retaliated and over 2,000 casualties were reported in Gaza.
In addition, Hamas is known to dig terror tunnels from Gaza into Israel. The IDF has destroyed dozens of such tunnels.
Hamas also became involved in political struggles in the Gaza strip, winning a victory against rival faction Fatah in 2006. Clashes broke out between Hamas and Fatah and in 2007 and Hamas ousted Fatah from Gaza, taking control of Strip.
In October of this year, Hamas announced a reconciliation with Fatah, brokered by Egypt, giving Fatah political control of Gaza. The handover, however, has yet to be completed.
The IDF holds Hamas accountable for everything that happens in Gaza, including rockets fired by other militant groups towards Israel.
The Hamas terrorist organization declared on Wednesday that “Al-Quds [in its entirety] is the eternal capital of Palestine, not its eastern or western part, and is an Arabic Islamic city.”
The statement, released in honor of the 30th anniversary of the founding of Hamas, is in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel will not cancel the right of the Palestinian national and religious people to the city, and Al-Quds will remain an Arab Islamic state, Hamas stressed.
The terrorist group further stressed that it was continuing the path of liberation and the resistance in all its aspects until the last layer of historic Palestinian land is liberated, noting that it “bombed occupied Tel Aviv that was established on our occupied land in Jaffa.”
The statement also called for an end to the Palestinian Authority’s security coordination with Israel and stressed that the “right of return” is a private and collective right that cannot be revoked by any party.
All those well-meaning diplomats and politicians urging Palestinians to make peace with Israel, or at least sit down to negotiations, miss one crucial point: without perpetuation of the conflict, I feel purposeless. Once a Palestinian state is established at peace with Israel, what would I and my supporters do? Govern? You have got to be kidding.
Governing is for the little people. I represent a movement, a glorious phenomenon led by none other than the legendary Raïs Yasser Arafat, whose name and image I invoke all the time in the hopes of some of his legitimacy and gravitas rubbing off on me by association, and I cannot be bothered with such minutiae as administration. Such menial tasks are UNRWA’s job, not the role of a person in the august position of he who embodies Palestinian nationalist aspirations. You can’t have those aspirations if they’re fulfilled already.
As Chavez, Ghaddafi, and Mao showed, it can be messy to govern and maintain a “revolution” at the same time. I’m just not interested in it. What kind of glory is there in signing bills into law? But leading a movement against occupation of our homeland that just happens to match the borders drawn up by Britain and France in 1916 even though we claim Palestine has existed for millennia? Well, look at all the pilgrims who come to pay tribute to Arafat. That’s what I want for myself. Not going to get that by agreeing to a final-status arrangement. It’s a non-starter.
The fact that we stand no chance of destroying Israel makes it all the more reason to continue the fight to do so. If we were to engage in an epic struggle that had some likelihood of success, we might have to consider what would happen when that success arrived. Thankfully, Israel has never been stronger and we Palestinians have never been weaker, so those worries remain irrelevant. I can focus my energies on fighting, slandering, terrorizing, and inciting murder, which is what I’ve always wanted to do anyway.
A Duke professor subsequently sent me several polite and critical emails, which I believe are important to discuss publicly.
The professor wrote: “The military occupation has certainly involved many abuse. … But it is also certainly true that Hamas is a nasty violent group, and Islamic extremism very bad news (As most Muslims would agree.) I’d be delighted to sign any petition that appeared in my inbox asking Duke to have no ties with jihadist groups.”
To me, the casual comparison of Israel, a world leader in human rights, to Hamas, Islamic extremists and jihadists is deeply troubling. If that is a common point of view among academics that deny the presence of antisemitism among their peers, then the BDS proponents apparently have indoctrinated them very well.
Israel has repeatedly offered the Palestinians viable and dignified statehood. But the Palestinian leadership has rejected every peace and statehood offer, and has never made a single counteroffer. In the words of President Bill Clinton: “I killed myself to give the Palestinians a state,” and, “the deal was so good I couldn’t believe anyone would be foolish enough to let it go.”
Hamas is an internationally-recognized terrorist organization with the stated goal of killing all the Jews in the world. If Israel is compared to Hamas by this professor, might the next step be to compare the United States to ISIS?
There are many reasons that it is immoral to disproportionately target Israel. Alan Dershowitz, in his seminal essay “Ten Reasons Why BDS Is Immoral and Hinders Peace,” writes: “The BDS movement is highly immoral” because it “imposes the entire blame for the continuing Israeli occupation and settlement policy on the Israelis”; “it violates the core principle of human rights: namely, ‘the worst first’”; “it focuses the world’s attention away from far greater injustices, including genocide”; and “it would hurt Palestinian workers who will lose their jobs if economic sanctions are directed against firms that employ them.” Dershowitz notes that BDS “threatens the peace process and discourages the Palestinians from agreeing to any reasonable peace offer.”
Yet the Duke professor wrote to me that, “I have never, ever heard anything like antisemitism from any Duke colleague, many of whom are Jewish themselves.”
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the British Labour party, said Wednesday he does not support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, but does back targeted action against Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria.
Corbyn’s spokesman clarified the Labour leader’s position after a cabinet split emerged over the issue when Kate Osamor, the shadow development secretary, publicly backed BDS, according to a report in The Guardian.
A tweet from Osamor this week said BDS “works to end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians”. The statement provoked a row with the Labour Friends of Israel group.
Asked about the dispute, Corbyn’s spokesman said supporting BDS was not Labour party policy but argued Osamor should not be disciplined over the matter.
“Jeremy is not in favour of a comprehensive or blanket boycott,” he stressed, according to The Guardian. “He doesn’t support BDS. He does support targeted action aimed at illegal settlements and occupied territories.”
Asked if Corbyn would be happy to buy Israeli goods himself, the spokesman replied, “Yes.”
IsraellyCool: Jeremy Corbyn Heckled at Hanukkah Party
Jeremy Corbyn was called a “liar” during his speech at the Jewish Labour Movement’s Chanukah party on Wednesday night, after he said there was “zero tolerance” of antisemitism within the Labour Party.
Mr Corbyn told a crowded room at the party’s headquarters in central London: “I’m here because I want the party to be strong in all areas, I want the Jewish Labour Movement to be absolutely part of and involved with the party at all levels.”
Prior to Mr Corbyn’s speech, a plea had been made for all those in the room to treat each other in a comradely spirit. However, at this point a female heckler responded with the words: “But you hate us”.
During the Labour leader’s speech, the same heckler shouted: “Corbyn, you’re a liar”, before reportedly being removed from the room.
“The issues of racism in our society are serious. The issues of antisemitism are very, very serious indeed”, Mr Corbyn continued.
“That’s why I asked Shami Chakrabarti… to undertake an investigation and a report. It’s why we have achieved by very broad consensus a rule change in the party which has gone through, and why we have an investigative process for any claims of antisemitism against anyone in the party.
McMaster University in Ontario, Canada is investigating social media posts made by students who glorified Adolf Hitler, praised Palestinian terrorists, and perpetuated negative stereotypes against Jews.
“The University is actively reviewing some disturbing social media posts after being made aware of them this week through a published internet news report,” McMaster announced in a statement on Wednesday.
The posts — unearthed by the clandestine watchdog group Canary Mission — were first reported on by The Algemeiner on Tuesday. Canary Mission’s research uncovered dozens of individuals affiliated with the campus group Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) at McMaster, who made hostile and sometimes explicitly violent comments against Jews, Zionists, and Israel in recent years. SPHR is an autonomous chapter of the anti-Zionist group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).
The tweets in question expressed “love” for Hitler and called him a “great leader,” promised to “get rid” of Jews, claimed “Zionists don’t count as human beings,” and praised the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) — a blacklisted terrorist group in Canada.
“McMaster is unequivocal in its condemnation of acts of anti-Semitism, hatred, and discrimination,” the university wrote. “Quite clearly these social media comments do not reflect McMaster’s campus-wide commitment to inclusivity, civility, and respect.”
The tweets were also denounced as “offensive and antisemitic” by the Jewish campus organization McMaster Hillel.
Advocates and community members have applauded Rutgers University for taking disciplinary action against a professor who shared tweets denigrating Jews and Israel.
After completing an initial internal investigation, the university confirmed in a letter sent to faculty on Friday that Professor Michael Chikindas — who claimed that Judaism is “the most racist religion in the world” — “posted extensive bigoted, discriminatory, and anti-Semitic material on social media.”
The letter, signed by President Robert Barchi and Chancellor Deba Dutta, announced that Chikindas will no longer teach required courses or serve as director of the school’s Center for Digestive Health. “No Rutgers employee will be required to work in an administrative unit that he heads,” they wrote.
Chikindas will also be required to take part in a cultural sensitivity training program, and “will be subject to ongoing monitoring if and when he returns to the classroom.”
The professor may also face “further disciplinary action” under Appendix H of the faculty contract, which deals with procedures for suspending faculty members at less than full pay.
The decision was well-received by the Jewish campus group Rutgers Hillel, which commended these “important, significant and welcome steps” in a statement sent to The Algemeiner.
The University of California-Irvine (UCI) has softened the sanctions it levied against a student club with a history of disrupting on-campus events, after the group appealed its punishment for derailing a program last semester.
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) successfully fought one of the three sanctions issued against them for shouting down Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reservists while they were on campus in May to give an interactive lecture on life in Israel as religious and ethnic minorities.
The administration overturned on Nov. 20 its original requirement that SJP meet with the dean of students two weeks prior to a holding an event, UCI spokesperson Tom Vasich told the Washington Free Beacon.
A two-year disciplinary probation, set to expire on Nov. 20, 2019, and a requirement that SJP meet with the dean six times a year to “discuss free-speech issues” during that time remain in place, said Vasich.
“Any further violations of university policy may result in suspension or a revocation of the organization’s status,” added Vasich.
Administrative action came after some 40 SJP-affiliated demonstrators held a sustained protest during the Q&A portion of the reservists’ presentation, during which they chanted slogans advocating for Israel’s elimination and accused the soldiers of “genocide.” The protesters later lined the narrow hallway leading to the main exit of the building, forcing event organizers—a student club named Students Supporting Israel (SSI)—to call for a police escort to lead attendees out a side door.
As CAMERA has noted before, Teen Vogue, a Conde Nast publication aimed at teenage girls with a circulation of over a million, has shifted away from a focus solely on fashion and shopping to include political issues. Last week, in an article ostensibly about model Bella Hadid, the magazine promoted Hamas, and relied on two DJs who together go by the name “Simihaze” for a quote on international law.
The December 7 piece, innocently titled “Bella Hadid Showed Solidarity With Palestinians on Instagram,” begins with a focus on Hadid and her post detailing her thoughts on President Trump’s announcement about Jerusalem earlier that week. Of course, Hadid is perfectly entitled to voice her opinions and feelings to her fans and followers, and in the context of fashion and celebrity gossip, that could be considered newsworthy. After quoting Hadid at length, however, the article by Araceli Cruz takes a dark turn:
Ismail Haniyeh, leader of Hamas– a Palestinian Islamist political organization and militant group –called on people to resist.
“We have given instruction to all Hamas members and to all its wings to be fully ready for any new instructions or orders that may be given to confront this strategic danger that threatens Jerusalem and threatens Palestine,” Haniyeh said, according to The Independent. “United Jerusalem is Arab and Muslim, and it is the capital of the state of Palestine, all of Palestine.”
Cruz does not take the trouble to inform her young readers that in 1997, the US State Department listed Hamas as a terrorist organization. She doesn’t tell them that in 2014 Hamas financed the kidnapping and murder of three boys the same age as many of Teen Vogue’s readers. Nor will her readers learn that when Haniyeh says “resist,” he doesn’t mean resist by wearing cute pink knitted hats. He means resist by firing rockets aimed at civilians, from civilian areas, including schools like the ones Teen Vogue readers attend. Or by tunneling into Israel to kidnap Israeli soldiers, usually teens themselves, or by perpetrating other acts of terrorism.
When Haniyeh says that “United Jerusalem is Arab and Muslim, and it is the capital of the state of Palestine, all of Palestine,” he is asserting a claim to the western section of Jerusalem as well as the eastern section. That territory is within pre-67 Israel – in other words, Haniyeh is denying Israel’s legitimacy in any set of borders.
Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA) published photo captions yesterday which incorrectly imply that an Israeli strike was responsible for the deaths of two Islamic Jihad members in Gaza. The photos and captions, distributed by major photo agencies including Agence France Presse (AFP) and Associated Press, note the funeral procession for the Islamic Jihad men “follow[ed] an Israeli strike in Beit Lahia, Northern Gaza Strip.”
ATTENTION/GRAPHIC CONTENT: Palestinians carry the body of one of two Islamic Jihad militants, during a funral procession following an Israeli strike in Beit Lahia, Northern Gaza Strip, 12 December 2017.Wissam Nassar.
ATTENTION/GRAPHIC’CONTENT: Palestinians mourn and shout slogans as they carry the body of one of two Islamic Jihad militants, during a funral procession following an Israeli strike in Beit Lahia, Northern Gaza Strip, 12 December 2017.Wissam Nassar.
But as DPA reported today (“Israeli air force bombs Gaza Strip after rocket attacks”):
Also on Tuesday, two Palestinian militants were confirmed dead after an explosion in the Gaza Strip, the Gaza Health Ministry said.
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad group said that the two militants – Hassan Ghazi Nasrallah and Mustafa al-Sultan – were preparing rockets when the explosion occurred.
Islamic Center of Jersey City Imam Aymen Elkasaby following the Sinai Mosque Massacre: ISIS? Don’t Be Ridiculous! This Could Only Have Been Done by the Jews, Arab Rulers pic.twitter.com/hj7QNcE8ro
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) December 14, 2017
Jewish groups in Germany are pressing the authorities to crack down on anti-Semitic acts following the burning of Jewish symbols and Israeli flags at protests.
The American Jewish Committee Berlin, the JSUD group of Jewish university students, the Central Council of Jews in Germany, and the German-Israeli Society have called for tougher law enforcement and new laws to make it easier to ban or disband anti-Semitic demonstrations.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and other top German officials have condemned anti-Semitic acts seen at demonstrations against U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and vowed to prosecute illegal acts.
The American Jewish Committee Berlin said a new study by an Indiana University professor showed broader efforts were also needed to fight anti-Semitic attitudes among Muslim migrants from Syria and Iraq.
Germany has opened its borders to more than 1 million migrants mainly fleeing Middle East wars since 2015, sparking concerns about a further bump in already increasing anti-Semitism.
Former DC Metro Transit Police officer Nicholas Young had unusual political views, a federal prosecutor told jurors in Young’s terrorist trial — which started on Monday.
He “was attracted to Nazis and Islamic terrorists at the same time,” US prosecutor Gordon Kromberg said in his opening statement. “Both hate Jews.”
Young, a 36-year-old Muslim convert and resident of Fairfax, Virginia, is charged with attempting to provide material support to ISIS, and the obstruction of justice.
According to court filings, Young gave misleading statements to Federal agents when interviewed about the whereabouts of a close associate who Young believed had traveled to Syria to join ISIS. Young also tried to give his associate gift cards codes to help ISIS recruit new members.
Young had been a Washington Metropolitan Transportation Authority police officer since 2003. He drew investigators’ attention after a September 2010 interview with FBI agents, in connection with the arrest of an acquaintance, Zachary Chesser.
In 2011, Chesser was sentenced to 25 years in prison for communicating threats against the writers of the South Park television show, and for attempting to provide material support to the Somali terrorist group, Al-Shabaab.
Young used an Israeli flag as a doormat in his home, and his phone featured a picture of billowing smokestacks with the caption, “Together we can finish what Hitler started,” Kromberg told jurors in the Eastern District of Virginia. Young has an SS tattoo on his shoulder, and after attending a neo-Nazi gathering, said, “Don’t discount an alliance with Muslims to combat the Jews.”
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) will conduct a major survey in 2018 to investigate discrimination and hate crime against Jews in EU countries, the agency announced in a statement released Wednesday.
“Antisemitism remains a grave worry across Europe despite repeated efforts to stamp out these age-old prejudices,” said FRA director Michael O’Flaherty.
This is the agency’s second survey of discrimination and hate crime toward Jews and is set to be more extensive than the last. Jews living in 13 EU member states will be invited to take part in the survey from mid-2018, with results expected later that year. The countries slated to be involved are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
“This repeat survey gives Jews in Europe the chance to share their concerns, and policy-makers valuable feedback on how their efforts to curb antisemitism have progressed and importantly what still remains to be done,” said O’Flaherty.
As in 2010, following a tender process, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights contracted the London-based Jewish Policy Research and the international research agency Ipsos to carry out the survey.
Italy got a Hanukkah present – the opening of a national Jewish museum.
The National Museum of Italian Judaism and the Shoah, or MEIS, opened Wednesday with an inaugural temporary exhibit called “Jews, an Italian Story: The First Thousand Years,” that illustrates the history of Jewish presence in Italy from ancient Roman times until the Middle Ages.
The exhibit, which will run until September 2018, is the first step in a multi-year program of exhibits and events that will culminate in the final form of the museum and its permanent core exhibit, expected in late 2020.
MEIS is located in a complex of buildings that once housed a prison in Ferrara, a historic town in northeast Italy between Venice and Bologna that has a Jewish history dating back to early medieval times.
President Sergio Mattarella and other dignitaries attended the formal inauguration ceremony on Wednesday. Culture Minister Dario Franceschini, who is from Ferrara and has been a longtime supporter of the project, was among those on hand.
“With this exhibition, a dream has been achieved and a great void filled,” Franceschini said. “A few years will be needed before MEIS sees its completion. However, today we have made an important step forward.”
An Israeli startup has hired Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi as its brand ambassador.
Moshe Hogeg, a co-founder and co-CEO of Sirin Labs with Tal Cohen, posted a photo of himself and the world’s most famous soccer player on his Facebook page.
The company has developed what is says is an ultra-secure mobile phone using blockchain technology, which is a continuously growing list of computer records, called blocks, that are linked and secured using cryptography.
“We are excited to have Lionel Messi, the best soccer player in the world, as the global brand ambassador for Sirin Labs,” he said in the post. “We have identified the potential of blockchain technology and are developing SirinOS to improve the security and user-experience on the blockchain to encourage mass adoption.”
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