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Friday, October 21, 2016

From Ian:

Douglas Murray: The Party of Left-Wing Anti-Semitism
Readers depressed at the state of U.S. politics can console themselves with the knowledge that however bad off their party might be, it’s not Britain’s Labour. The party of Clement Atlee, Harold Wilson, and Tony Blair now finds itself in the worst crisis in its 116-year history. It has not won a general election for a decade. Its advocacy of mass immigration and the European Union has alienated it from much of its voter base. And worse, it has lost whatever halo-advantage it once had by becoming irrevocably tainted with what was once one of the greatest sins of European civilization. Over the last 15 years, it became increasingly clear that anti-Semitism, which had previously been expected to surface only on the political right in Britain, had traveled around the political circle and snuck up behind the political left. And now it has taken over the Labour Party.
Surveying the horrifying news from September’s Labour Party conference, one would have been forgiven for thinking that the biggest question facing Britain is a Jewish one. The place of Jews in the party and in Great Britain altogether seemed to dominate the proceedings. Activists at a “Momentum” grassroots event—Momentum being the group created to promote the leadership of the radical back-bencher Jeremy Corbyn, who won Labour’s top slot in 2015—handed out leaflets calling for the Jewish Labour Movement to be disbanded because its members represented “a foreign power.” Ruth Smeeth, a Jewish member of parliament, found it necessary to bring a bodyguard to protect her from potentially violent anti-Semitic members of her own party. On the main stage of the conference, a Jewish Labour Movement member was heckled from the floor as he was describing how let down many Jews in the party feel. Lord Mitchell, a Jewish peer, resigned from the party. His co-religionists in Labour now find themselves debating whether to stay and fight or declare the party a lost cause. It is not an easy choice.
The story of the takeover of the Labour Party by forces aligned with naked anti-Semitism begins with the aftermath of September 11 and the run-up to the Iraq war. In September 2002, three Jewish leftists who marched in a Stop the War demonstration described in a letter to the Guardian how they became increasingly uncomfortable with the “anti-Israel and anti-Jewish imagery” of their comrades: “Where does that leave us,” the trio wrote, “as Jews who totally oppose the war in Iraq but felt hostility or indifference from many of our fellow marchers?” The open link between leftist politics and the defenders of anti-Semitic terror in the Middle East was made clear by the way that the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament, a Cold War–era radical leftist group, allied itself with the Muslim Brotherhood to form the Stop the War coalition, one of whose leaders was Jeremy Corbyn.
Video: Dave Rich examines ‘The Left’s Jewish problem’
Dave Rich is deputy director of communications at the Community Security Trust (CST), and is the author of a timely new book titled The Left’s Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Antisemitism.
The following is a short clip from Rich’s talk at an Oct. 20th Fathom Forum on: Antisemitism and Labour: where has this crisis come from, how has it impacted the UK Jewish community, what must the party do now to put things right?
Dave Rich | ‘The Left's Jewish problem’

David Collier: The story of a Jewish boy called Haim
Today Haim is a successful and happy adult. If we were to make a list of what constitutes success, Haim would score highly in almost every single one. Yet my word, this Jewish lad has enemies. In a sickening turn of events, some act as if Haim’s life is somehow up for debate. There are actually people who publicly suggest they want Haim killed.
Not the Chinese kid or the boy from Pakistan. Not the Russian or the South African, nor the Brit or the African. They see the little Jewish kid, and it is *only* him they want ‘removed’.
These people are the modern day anti-Zionists.
The Jewish umbrella
This letter in the Guardian is a classic example of twisted logic.
In 1903 the British government offered the early Zionist movement an isolated area of what is now Kenya for a national home for the Jews, a proposal that split the Zionists into opposing camps. One favoured acceptance, but the other insisted that a Jewish homeland, and future Jewish state, could only be in the historic homeland in Palestine. The second camp won, and the proposal was refused. I am one of those who regrets that rejection. Does this make me a Jewish antisemite?
Apparently, because some people opposed a theory in 1903, objecting to today’s reality somehow amounts to the same thing. The Independent are another that throw this false premise around at will.
Radical left and Islamic groups find and use Jewish people willing to promote the smear and elevate them to ‘guru’ status. Ilan Pappe, Max Blumenthal, Ronnie Barkan are a few examples. In the UK, people like Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi are readily sought out by radio stations and newspapers to push this insane idea. As about 90% of Jewish people in the UK see Israel as forming part of their Jewish identity, the tiny minority of ‘opposites’ are rolled out to provide an umbrella against arguments of antisemitism. As if a few Lord Haw Haw‘s could represent the people of Britain in 1940.
It is absurd of course. Whatever theoretical discussions one may have had 80 years ago, it is patently absurd to suggest that anti-Zionism of the 1930’s is the same as opposing Israel today. Israel is not a theoretical discussion; Israel is a vibrant democratic state with a population of over 8 million.
And anti-Zionism TODAY means destroying Israel. It means ignoring the democratic will of 8 million people. Anti-Zionism does not mean having issues with Israeli actions, with Israeli settlements, with Israeli policy. It means taking the only liberal democracy in the Middle East and destroying it.
Which leads to another chronic deception. The people who say criticism of Israel is not antisemitism Of course it isn’t. Criticism of Israel is legitimate, but these anti-Zionists do not want to criticise Israel, they wish to destroy the Jewish nation.

MEMRI: Kuwaiti Film Producer: End Incitement Against Jews In Mosques
Tareq Baddar, a Kuwaiti writer and film producer for Nawras Media, published an article criticizing preachers who incite against Jews in mosques and speak at length about their lowliness and evil, while ignoring the acts of tyrannical Muslims throughout history, such as Arab leaders or members of ISIS. According to Baddar, these preachers earn a living by preaching submissiveness and passivity. He added that even if Israel was wiped from the map, Muslims would continue to fight each other.
The following are excerpts from the article:
"Our filming [of the piece we are currently working on] began last Friday at around 10 am, and by Friday evening prayers, we had finished half of our work... My colleagues and I went to the nearest mosque... I sat there for half an hour and listened to a sermon that originated in ancient history. Most of the sermon [was dedicated] to warning of the Jews – their evil, deceit, cunning, backwardness, and lowliness. [It claimed] that the world was in its current state because of the Jews – that the Jews undoubtedly played a part in all wars and disasters, big and small, and that Jews are behind every transgression, ever murder, and every act of corruption. Naturally, the sermon ended with [the phrase]: 'Oh Allah, glorify Islam and the Muslims.'
"I left the sermon in a bad mood, and in order to rid myself of it, I must dissect this matter:
"The sheikh forgot that my religion – and his – permits marriage to a Jewish woman, which means a Jewish woman could be a wife, a maternal aunt, a paternal aunt, even a mother. How many Jews live in Yemen, Iraq, and Morocco? How nice for me to be in your mosque while my Jewish mother sits at home and hears me say 'amen' when you curse her.
Michael Lumish: Brief Note: Hillary's Likely Middle East Foreign Policy
It's always dicey, and usually quite foolish, to predict the future.
Nonetheless, this morning I intend to take a quick whack at it.
What we are likely to see going forward is a Hillary Middle East foreign policy that will be similar, in broad strokes, to Obama administration tendencies.
This will mean the continued erosion of US influence in that part of the world resulting in a power vacuum - as we are clearly already seeing for a number of years, now - that will be filled by Russia, Iran, and mutating rogue Jihadi forces like ISIS.
The Hillary administration, much like the Obama administration, will continue to support certain Islamist organizations, like the Brotherhood in Cairo, but not others.
If she follows Obama's Middle East foreign policy then she will divide the Islamist world into three parts:
Good Jihadis (who we support, like the Brotherhood).
Bad Jihadis (who we sometimes kinda fight, like al-Qaeda).
Jihadi groups that the US is basically indifferent toward (such as Hamas in Gaza or Hezbollah in Lebanon).
Empress Trudy: A response to Hillary's foreign policy
I believe that progressive's dire threats that Hillary is a secret war hawk are nonsense.
First - that's a political statement to set progressives apart. Second - there's little history to suggest this is true. The US has been very reluctant to do more than window dressing foreign policy-wise. Oh they talk shit but it's 10x louder than a real effect. And yes there's 6,000 or so troops in Iraq and Syria (but don't mention that, that's a big secret!) as well as helicopters and strike drones and the random air strike but in the context of the whole region the US presence in the Mideast and North and Sub Saharan Africa is about the size of France's involvement.
The Hillary regime will be no less neo-isolationist than Obama. We're in a new era - an era of proxies with new customers and their new enemies. Western leaders of France, the UK and the US see their foreign policy role as arms dealers to local presidents, generals, wazirs, republican guards, rebel armies and the like. President Dear Leader Queen Hillary the Even Greater the Second will sell gear to them before she sends our people in droves. After all, that would require her to put women in harms' way under the new rules of the DoD which opened almost all combat jobs to women. No one seriously believed they'd be called on to follow through on that.
Moreover, Hillary's mutterings about overall budgets and funding puts the US on a path to have the smallest armed forces since the late 1920's-early 1930's. And ALL the western states are on the same path - Canada, the UK, Germany, France, and the minor NATO states. Even Turkey with its purges has no choice but to shrink its overall posture.
But leaving that aside, we're left with 'soft power'. That is, the power of transnational bodies like the UN, EU, NGO’s, ‘foundations’, unapproved treaties, international law and such. The people extolling the greatness of that plan are the same people who are relying on them. That's not a reliable or accurate point of view to have. Maybe it’s effective but it’s probably not very effective for the same reason any cartel isn’t effective. Everyone makes grand pronouncements then violates their own deals and cuts secret side deals on their own.
Trump, Pence to give video addresses at GOP rally in Jerusalem
Donald Trump and Mike Pence will make satellite video addresses at a Republican Party rally in Jerusalem next week that will stress the unity of the city, Republicans Overseas Israel announced Wednesday.
Several hundred people are expected to attend the October 26 rally, which will be held at an unspecified location near the Temple Mount under the headline of “strengthening Jerusalem,” the organizers said.
The group’s statement to announce the rally highlights this week’s approval of a controversial UNESCO resolution that effectively denies historic Jewish and Christian ties to the holy sites in Jerusalem.
The rally intends to send a message that the Republican Party “is united behind need to safeguard the unity of Jerusalem, and to prevent any political interference regarding the historic identity of the city,” the statement said.
Likud politician calls to strip B’Tselem head’s citizenship
Coalition Chairman and Likud MK David Bitan on Friday called for stripping B’Tselem Director Hagai El-Ad of his citizenship for appearing before the UN Security Council last week and calling for sanctions over West Bank settlements.
Bitan told Channel 2 Friday that he’s weighing the possibility of taking legal action against El-ad to strip him of his Israeli citizenship, saying his actions were “borderline flagrant breach of trust by an Israeli citizen against the state and therefore it’s appropriate for him to find other citizenship.”
El-Ad sparked fury in Israel last week, when he denounced the “invisible, bureaucratic daily violence” that dominates Palestinian life “from cradle to grave,” including Israeli control over entrance and exit from the territories, and farming rights.
The NGO director’s remarks drew fierce denunciations from Israeli politicians, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who vowed he would bar national service volunteers from working with the organization.
Mondoweiss Launches Anti-Semitic Attack on New Editor-in-Chief of ‘The Atlantic’
Apparently, Weiss is under the impression that without a giant neon sign shouting “JEW,” The Atlantic‘s new editor might be confused for one of the many Episcopalian Jeffrey Goldbergs in journalism.
But more seriously, the insistence on publicly labeling individuals with their religious background in order to darkly impugn their motives and delegitimize their standing is textbook bigotry, and the classic recourse of the anti-Semite. It is the same ugly impulse that fuels the far-right fever swamp’s attempt to slur top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin as a Muslim Brotherhood conspirator. It is exactly the sort of anti-Semitism Trump mouthpiece Breitbart News stoked when it attacked a Washington Post columnist by citing her Jewish heritage. Normal people critique their political opponents on policy grounds. Racist people critique their political opponents based on their ethnic or religious backgrounds.
In other words, the reason The Atlantic did not mention that Goldberg is a Jew in its announcement of his appointment is the same reason it would not mention a Muslim writer’s faith in such a context: it is not a racist publication.
Mondoweiss, on the other hand, despite serving as a popular clearinghouse for anti-Israel content, has long had a checkered past when it comes to promulgating anti-Semitism. Its attack on Goldberg is a reminder that in this season of alt-right anti-Semitism, the far-left is no less culpable. Anti-Jewish bigotry has always been interspersed with the site’s anti-Zionist writing and calls to boycott the Jewish state. As George Mason University professor David Bernstein put it in the Washington Post in 2015, “whatever Mondoweiss’ value as a news aggregator, it is also a hate site.” At the time, Bernstein pointed to a Phil Weiss post titled “Forgiving the Anti-Semites,” which features this remarkable section:
Defying Past Antisemitic Vandalism, Jewish Students at U of Montana Erect Campus Sukkah
Jewish students at the University of Montana (UM) refused to allow antisemitism to deter them from building a sukkah on campus, the independent student newspaper the Montana Kaimin reported on Wednesday.
“To be able to do this again, it feels very Jewish. People have tried to keep us down by destroying it in the past, but we have come back and made it again,” said former Hillel vice president Grace Johnson, referring to the second annual construction of the traditional temporary dwelling on campus after a five-year hiatus.
Daniel Harris, a UM Hillel member who sponsored the construction of the religious structure, told the Montana Kaimin, “Not a lot of students have landlords who will let them build this kind of facility and follow this important commandment. It gives you a sense of belonging.”
Jewish students gathered throughout the week to celebrate the holiday by eating and doing homework in the sukkah. Hillel encouraged all students to visit and explore the dwelling, the report said.
The presence of the sukkah on campus has a tumultuous 20-year history history. According to Johnson, nearly every one of the dwellings has been destroyed by drunkards or vandalized by antisemites.
In 2010, a sukkah on campus was torn down and reconstructed as a cross. In 2009, it was defaced with lewd graffiti of penises.
U of California System ‘Doing Nothing to Curb Plague of Antisemitic Bigotry,’ Says Political Columnist
A syndicated political columnist from California recently blasted his state’s major universities for “doing little or nothing so far to curb their plague of antisemitic bigotry.”
In an op-ed last week in the Napa Valley Register, Thomas Elias wrote, “There’s little or no good news on the campuses…when it comes to officially tolerated antisemitism.”
Recent events at various California schools only serve to highlight the University of California system’s failure to put its stated policy of combating the phenomenon.
Referring to the controversy over an anti-Israel course at UC Berkeley — which, as The Algemeiner reported, was suspended and then reinstated without any major changes to its syllabus — Elias wrote that its “one-sided political orientation was clear and never denied. Like most of the movement to boycott Israel…this class is less about settlements…and more about the hate that’s spurred Palestinian terrorists attacks on Jews around the world and not only in Israel or the West Bank.”
The course syllabus defamed the Jewish state, which is in “clear violation” of UC Regents prohibition of the use of the classroom for political indoctrination, and of a six-month-old policy against bigotry, which “lacks teeth,” Elias wrote.
When It Comes To Antisemitism, The NUS Just Doesn’t Get It
The outrage that has followed legitimate criticism over a failure to deal with antisemitism can only strengthen these feelings, and demonstrates the rank hypocrisy of a student movement which zealously claims to be anti-racist.
The lack of trust which has now developed between the NUS and UJS - two organisations which have historically shared a proud record in combatting racism - is a sad state of affairs, and I do not have the confidence that this relationship can be repaired while Malia Bouattia is NUS President.
While she refuses to accept any of her past comments have been problematic, her supporters seem blind to the problem, more intent on suggesting that highlighting incidents of antisemitism is done to demonise their leadership than dealing with the problem itself.
There is an age-old cliché that students are the leaders of tomorrow, yet too many student leaders are now part of a problem which has left thousands of Jewish students without any trust in the organisation which is supposed to represent them on a national level. When the seriousness of antisemitism is trivialised in this way by those at the top of a movement, we should worry about the direction in which our society is heading.
7 sites near University of Toronto defaced with swastikas
Swastikas were found at seven sites on and near the campus of Canada’s largest university in what appears to be two separate anti-Semitic incidents.
The first three swastikas near the University of Toronto’s downtown campus were discovered late last month. Just before Yom Kippur last week, two more were discovered on a mural. Two days later, another was found on a nearby sidewalk outside the anthropology building.
Similar graffiti were also discovered on the steps of the school’s mining building and on a city-owned road near the campus.
A University of Toronto spokesperson told The Canadian Jewish News that the university worked to remove the graffiti as quickly as possible.
Rob Nagus, director of the university’s Hillel, said his organization appreciated how quickly the university condemned the acts and removed the daubings.
PreOccupiedTerritory: World Health Organization Calls Clouds Of Glory A Pollution Hazard (satire)
In the midst of the Sukkot festival celebrating the divine protection manifest in the Clouds of Glory that surround the Israelites in their journey from servitude in Egypt to sovereignty in the Promised Land, at least one international body has expressed misgivings at the implications of those clouds for air quality in the region and the long-term effects of the phenomenon.
The World Health Organization issued a statement today warning that the various clouds accompanying the Israelites in their odyssey through the wilderness carry dangerous risks to the respiratory health of anyone in proximity to them, and that the Israelites would do well to minimize whatever activities were contributing to the presence of those clouds. Israelite leaders accused the organization of bias, saying no such criticism had ever been leveled at other contemporary peoples, such as the Babylonians, who notoriously embarked on the largest urbanization and construction project in history, with disastrous implications for the environment.
Deputy Director of the WHO Dr. Ama Lek informed reporters at a press conference today that the clouds, which surround and protect the Israelites from attack and the elements, may contain harmful particulate matter that adversely affects bronchial health. “We urge the Israelites to change their policies to reduce or eliminate the cloud, which may already be causing cancer,” she declared.
Media Minimizes Latest Palestinian Post-Terror Celebrations
Forgetting Fatah
The Post has continued to whitewash Fatah's support of anti-Jewish violence. In the paper's October 10, 2016 dispatch on the terror attack by Sbeih, reporter Ruth Eglash omitted Fatah's honors and praise for the murderer (“Two Israelis, one a police officer, killed in Jerusalem by Palestinian gunman”). The Post pointed out that the murders were “cheered by Hamas as ‘heroic,'” but failed to note similar praise from Fatah. Hamas, a U.S.-designated Palestinian terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip, competes with Fatah for power and control.
Other major U.S. news outlets, such as The Baltimore Sun, failed to report either Hamas or Fatah celebrating the murder of a grandmother and a police officer (“Israeli police: Shooting spree in Jerusalem kills 2, wounds 5,” October 10). In its coverage, USA Today said that Hamas leaders “welcomed the attack in a statement,” but similar to The Post, USA Today readers were not informed of Fatah's praise (“Palestinian man shoots, kills 2 near Israeli police HQ in Jerusalem,” Oct. 10). USA Today reporter Jim Michaels quoted U.S. State Department's vague condemnations of “the [Palestinian] statements glorifying this reprehensive and cowardly act,” but failed to mention Fatah.
Fatah and Hamas weren't the only ones expressing blood-soaked glee. Images broadcast on social media by the Israeli government showed Palestinians handing out candy and food in a macabre ritual that is frequently repeated after every terrorist attack. As the website Israellycool pointed out, footage taken by the Hamas-affiliated Shehab News televison shortly after the murders, showed Sbeih's mother receiving crowds of “well-wishers” in front of the terrorists' house in eastern Jerusalem.
US Settlement Policy Error in Washington Post
In an otherwise excellent Washington Post story about neighboring Palestinian villagers visiting the mayor of Efrat’s succah for a holiday celebration, the text includes the following:
In fact, the US government does not consider Jewish settlements to be illegal. It considers them to be objectionable, calling them “obstacles to peace” and prejudicial to the outcome of final status talks and questions their legitimacy. It has not, however, called them illegal.
As recently as September, HonestReporting called out the Sunday Telegraph for erroneously stating that the US considers Jewish settlements to be illegal. The Telegraph subsequently amended its article.
Obviously media outlets should be factually accurate but on the issue of settlements, terming them “illegal” has serious implications relating to issues such as the recent US military aid package or how the US relates to its own citizens who live in settlements.
German policeman dies of gunshot wounds in raid on neo-Nazi’s home
A German policeman died of injuries suffered in a shootout during a raid on the home of a neo-Nazi.
The death of the unnamed officer was announced Thursday, hours after the shootout the previous day.
The shooter — a 49-year-old member of the Reichsburger, a fringe group that believes Hitler’s Reich still exists — was arrested and lightly wounded in the raid. Another officer is recovering from a gunshot wound and two others were lightly wounded, The New York Times reported.
The unnamed man shot at police who entered his home in Georgensmund, in the Bavarian region, with the intention of confiscating his stash of at least 30 guns, the Times reported Wednesday.
According to authorities, the suspect had failed to pay taxes and vehicle fines for months. He had a hunting license but was declared unfit to own weapons after ignoring his summons. He could now face murder charges.
Vienna court sentences policeman for ‘Heil Hitler’ shout
A policeman in Austria was sentenced Thursday for shouting “Heil Hitler” at a Hungarian driver during a traffic check at the border with Hungary in April.
A Vienna court handed the officer a nine-month suspended jail term after finding him guilty of “re-engagement with National Socialism” — a crime in Austria that has been punishable by up to 10 years in prison since 1947.
The 29-year-old was denounced by a colleague who had witnessed the incident at the Nickelsdorf border checkpoint in Burgenland state, on April 27.
The accused had stopped the Hungarian driver and greeted him with the phrase “Heil Hitler,” according to the prosecution.
The policeman denied the charge, insisting his colleague had misunderstood him.
Brexit will bring closer Israel-UK ties, British envoy says
The United Kingdom’s shock referendum decision earlier this year to leave the European Union creates a “real opportunity” for closer ties between Israel and the UK, Britain’s ambassador to Israel said Thursday.
At a Sukkot holiday party at the ambassador’s residence in Tel Aviv, Ambassador David Quarrey described the current global political climate as “uncertain.” He said the Brexit referendum result presents “challenges,” but also “creates a real opportunity for Israel and the UK to work even more closely together.”
Once the UK activates the clause allowing it to leave the EU — which newly appointed Prime Minister Theresa May has said will happen by March 2017 — negotiations on the terms of Britain’s departure would run for two years. In that time the UK will then have to renegotiate independent trade deals with dozens of countries around the world, including Israel.
Leaving the EU “will certainly present challenges,” Quarrey said. “But with Israel I see the opportunity for closer cooperation on trade, investment, technology, science and security,” he added.
Wonder Woman not interested in being Israeli PM
Israel might be looking for a super hero savior, but it’s not going to be Wonder Woman.
Gal Gadot told US late-night talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel on Wednesday that she has absolutely no interest in being prime minister of Israel.
After the Israeli actress told Kimmel that this had been her first time watching US presidential debates, the conversation turned to her homeland.
“As Wonder Woman have you considered running for prime minister of Israel?” Kimmel asked.
“No,” was her emphatic reply.
Nevertheless, the former Miss Israel, who plays Wonder Woman in the film based on the DC Comics heroine, took the time to explain the intricacies of the Israeli political system to Kimmel.

Chinese, Indian Tourism to Israel Up 10 Percent
The Israeli Tourism Ministry has stepped up marketing campaigns in India and China, hoping to increase the numbers of incoming travelers from these major emerging markets for tourism.
Some 40,000 Indians and 47,000 Chinese visited Israel during 2015. While still a drop in the pan in terms of potential—about 20 million Indians and 120 million Chinese vacationed overseas in 2015—the number of visitors from India and China is rising by 10-13% from year to year, according to the Tourism Ministry.
“Breaking into the large Asian market—in particular China and India—is one of the main objectives set by the Tourism Ministry,” said Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, who hopes to attract 100,000 visitors per year from each country by 2018.
In August, the Tourism Ministry launched its first major TV advertising campaign in India, under the slogan: “On most vacations, you take a trip. But in Israel, you take a journey.”

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Exactly two years ago I noted that Arabic news sites, including Egypt's El-Fagr and Hamas' Felesteen, published an article called "Qualities of the Jews in the Koran" where they listed the horrible qualities of Jews:

  1. Jews have knowledge of the truth but they conceal it among themselves and give bad advice to others so they can profit.
  2. Jews are miserly
  3. Jews obtain other people's money unjustly, using usury and fraud and deception
  4. Jews are cowards, hiding behind fortified cities and building walls and living in ghettos
  5. Jews insist on doing sin
  6. Jews circumvent things that are forbidden
  7. Jews are foolish

Apparently it is a slow news day, because El Fagr just repeated the entire antisemitic article, verbatim. 

With the same photo to illustrate "Jews:"

(If you were a patron of EoZ, you would have seen this article yesterday. Join now!)

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From Ian:

Jerusalem’s Walls, Breached Again
In a saner era, the latest archeological discovery in Jerusalem would be the sort of thing only academics or ancient history buffs would care about. But in a month when UNESCO has voted repeatedly to treat Jerusalem’s holiest spots as if they were solely Muslim, the dig that located the site where the Romans breached the capital’s walls during the great Jewish revolt in 70 C.E. is of more than academic interest. It is not only yet another reminder of the insidious nature of the war still being waged to extinguish the rebirth of Jewish sovereignty in the Jewish homeland.
The details of the discovery are exciting to those who care about this chapter of history during which the second Jewish commonwealth ended. Archeologists have uncovered the remains of the “Third Wall” that protected the northern extremity of the capital during the Roman siege that ended in the city’s destruction as well as the burning of the Second Temple. The dig, which was supervised by the Israel Antiquities Authority, also found the remains of one of the guard towers that dotted the defensive structure as well as stones that were the ammunition for catapults the Romans used to pummel and ultimately break through the wall, as the historian Josephus attested. The defeat of the defenders at this spot gave the Romans the chance to get inside the city. It would take them another two and a half months to get through the other two inner walls and begin the orgy of murder and destruction that ended Jewish independence for two millennia.
It is hardly surprising that such fascinating artifacts could be found in the heart of Jerusalem. And that is the problem for the Palestinians and their supporters in institutions like UNESCO. All you have to do to prove the existence of historic Jewish ties to Jerusalem is to start digging virtually anywhere in the city or, for that matter, anywhere in the country. That’s why Palestinians and their supporters are so quick to resist archeological work in and around the Old City such as the separate dig at the City of David—a site that points to an even more ancient Jewish kingdom a thousand years before the Romans laid waste to the city.
Pretending, as the Palestinians and now the majority at the UN agency that claims to be its educational, scientific and cultural organization do, that the Temple Mount and the Western Wall—the heart of the Jewish city that the Third Wall was built to protect—is Muslim a statement of astonishing ignorance. The stones of the Temple Mount and the remains of part of its outer enclosure that make up the Wall are living evidence of 3,000 years of Jewish history as well as the events and places that are integral to the beginnings of Christianity. But it’s far more than that. This revisionism is at the center of a century-old effort to deny Jewish history and the rights of the Jewish people to their homeland and its capital.
UNESCO V Josephus Flavius
The controversy was less over what the resolution said so much as the way they said it, an analysis by Nir Hasson (also in Haaretz) says the following;
The term Western Wall appears in quotes throughout the document, while the Arabic term for the site, Al-Burak, does not. The document refers to the Temple Mount by its Arabic names, Haram Al-Sharif and Al-Aqsa, while making no mention of its Jewish names.
The BBC provided an excellent all around analysis also though it strikes me that not much of an analysis is needed. The bottom line is that a UN body just crapped all over Jewish history.
This is why I take more pleasure than usual at the announcement that Israeli archaeologists located the site where the Romans breached the wall to Jerusalem sometime around AD 70.According to the Times of Israel;
The discovery, made last winter during an excavation of a construction site for the new campus of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design outside the Old City, also finally confirmed the description of the wall that was breached provided by the historian Josephus Flavius.
I guess no one at UNESCO has bothered to read The Jewish War. It doesn’t matter so much now anyway as Israeli archaeologists (nor the country as a whole) are no longer cooperating with UNESCO.
If anyone ever wondered why an American veto was so necessary in the UN Security Council this kind of nonsense is the demonstrable reason.
The perfect response to UNESCO: Succot
Walking the streets of Jerusalem during these festive days, it suddenly struck me just how perfectly timed was the absurd UNESCO decision disconnecting Judaism from the Temple Mount – because no holiday exposes the idiocy of the UNESCO vote better than Succot.
We begin with the commandment in the Bible - written over 3,000 years ago, before Islam’s inception - that the people of Israel were to celebrate on the Temple Mount for the entire duration of the Succot holiday: “For seven days you shall celebrate for the Lord your God, in the place that the Lord will choose.” (Deuteronomy 16:15) This is the only holiday which has a specific command for the Jewish people to celebrate in the Temple for an extended period of time.
The special relationship between the Jewish people and the Temple Mount was cemented when King Solomon dedicated the First Temple on Succot (Kings I 8:2), and when the Second Temple was dedicated on Succot (Ezra 3:4). Both Jewish Temples - which sat right there on the Temple Mount - were dedicated during these days of a Succot! This, no doubt, is a major reason for our national rejoicing during these days.
Lest anyone think that the Temples were built only to benefit the Jewish people, King Solomon offered the following prayer on that first Succot in the Temple: “Also a gentile who is not of Your people Israel, but will come from a distant land, for Your Name’s sake; For they will hear of Your great Name and Your strong hand and Your outstretched Arm – and will come and pray towards this Temple; May You hear from Heaven, the foundation of Your abode, and act according to all that the Gentile calls out to You, so that all peoples of the world may know your Name, to fear You as Your people Israel and to know that Your Name is proclaimed upon this Temple that I have built.”

UNESCO isn't the only one to blame...
The UNESCO vote is a slap in the face to history, archaeology and theology, and represents an assault on the very foundations of the Judeo-Christian tradition that underpins Western civilization. But even as Israel points an accusatory finger or two at the UN group, the government would do well to consider whether perhaps its own policies may have contributed to this farce.
After all, Israel bars Jews from praying on the Temple Mount, limits their access to the site and has allowed the Muslim Wakf which oversees it to destroy ancient archaeological relics there in the past. If this is how the Jewish state itself treats Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, then should it really come as a surprise when other nations seek to downplay or obfuscate our connection to it? Just yesterday, for example, an 18-year-old Israeli was arrested, according to media reports, “on suspicion of having bowed while visiting the Mount.”
I’m no lawyer, but since when can a person be arrested because he might have bowed down while visiting a public place? And even if he did bow, where exactly in the criminal code is such an act forbidden? How sadly ironic that this took place during Succot, when each day in the additional Mussaf prayer, we ask God to rebuild the Temple to which “we will ascend and appear and bow before You during our three pilgrimage seasons.”
Similar examples unfortunately abound. A chilling You- Tube video shot back in January shows big, burly Israeli policemen surrounding an Israeli teen on the Temple Mount and detaining him after he put his hand over his eyes and appeared to recite the Shema prayer. And just last week, five Israeli teens were arrested when they prayed at the entrance gate before setting foot on the Mount, even though a district court judge had previously ordered the police to allow them to do so.
For years, Jews ascending the Temple Mount have faced all sorts of restrictions such as limits on the hours they can visit and prohibitions against carrying a Bible, a prayer book or an Israeli flag. There have even been cases where police arrested Jews for moving their lips in a manner suggesting that they may have uttered a silent prayer.
In a dramatic twist, Italy vows to oppose UNESCO’s Jerusalem resolutions
In a sign that European countries may be increasing their support for Israel’s battle against UNESCO’s Jerusalem resolutions, Italy announced on Friday that it would vote against such texts in the future.
These resolutions are “incomprehensible, unacceptable and wrong,” Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi told an Italian Radio station during a visit to Brussels. Earlier this week he was in Washington, where he was honored with a state dinner at the White House.
Renzi’s decision increases to seven the small bloc of six-countries that have opposed these resolutions.
Ultimately, if Israel plans to defeat such resolutions it will need countries to follow Italy’s lead, rather than Mexico’s, which made headlines earlier this week when it withdrew its support from the Jerusalem text.
Mexico, however, doesn’t plan to oppose the measure, intending instead to take the neutral position of abstaining. Such abstentions help Israel secure a moral victory, but ultimately do not help it defeat such Jerusalem resolutions which ignore Jewish and Christian ties to Temple Mount, referring to it solely by its Muslim name of Al Haram Al Sharif.
“We warmly congratulate the Italian government and the Italian Prime Minster for this useful statement,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said.
“We hope Italy guides the way for other European countries and countries all over the world,” Nachshon said.
Not a peep from the pope
Last Friday, Channel 10 anchorwoman Ayala Hasson asked the Executive Board chairman of UNESCO whether that international organization would adopt a resolution that said Christians had no ties to the Vatican or that Muslims had no ties to Mecca.
“Such a resolution would never happen,” replied Michael Worbs of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Of course not. Such things only happen to the Jews. Such preposterous resolutions can be expectorated by the global community only with regard to Israel.
Only when it comes to denying the Jewish people’s claim to its ancestral homeland; especially its historic ties in Jerusalem; and most especially its foundational links to the site of the Holy Temples – can crackpot clubs like UNESCO assert that the earth is flat and Jews have no place on it.
The usual suspects voted in April and again last week for the dingbat resolution that ignores Jewish ties to the Temple Mount. Unfortunately, supposedly semi-friendly countries like Russia joined them; and ostensible friends of the Jewish state such as France, Italy, Kenya and Japan abstained.
This is wicked and witless. As Prof. Martin Kramer has pointed out, “Jews were worshiping in their Temple in Jerusalem when Moscow was a pine forest, and Jews had prayed for the Temple’s restoration for a thousand years before a Slav laid the first brick of the Kremlin.”
But what’s truly infuriating and disappointing about the UNESCO vote is the deafening silence of significant Christian figures.
UNESCO Vote Hurts Palestinian Cause
Palestinians are celebrating the latest vote by UNESCO—the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization—to treat Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and the Western Wall as solely Muslim holy sites. Though, as I noted last week, support for their efforts to deny Jewish history is declining, for both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, the votes are a key element of their ongoing diplomatic campaign to isolate and delegitimize the Jewish state. But though both they and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s left-wing critics are quick to seize on this as proof they are winning, the pyrrhic nature of this victory is becoming more obvious with each passing day.
That’s not just because shortly after the UNESCO board approved the offensive resolution, the organization’s director-general issued a statement rejecting its premise and condemning it as unhelpful to the cause of peace. Nor is that evaluation solely due to the fact that Mexico announced that it disavowed its vote for the measure or the subsequent news that Brazil also said it would not back similar resolutions in the future. That more and more nations are refusing to go along with the usual Third World demonization of Israel is the result of the Netanyahu government’s diplomatic breakthroughs. It is, though, also the product of a realization of what the Palestinians are doing and that ought to be the main takeaway from this episode.
Let’s agree that the votes are an awful spectacle. That any international group, even an agency of a United Nations that has become immersed in a culture of anti-Semitism and hate for Israel, would deny that the site of the biblical temple of ancient Israel has anything to do with Judaism and the Jews is shocking. That’s especially true when the evidence of the existence of the Second Temple is staring right at the world in the form of the Western Wall and the network of ruins that run along the Temple Mount plateau, where mosques were planted to assert Islamic pre-eminence during the period of Muslim conquest.
Arguments about a possible re-partition of Jerusalem—reversing its unification and restoring a division that existed between 1949 and 1967 when illegal Jordanian occupiers barred Jews from their holy sites—are normative in the international community. What the Palestinians have done by changing the topic to denying Jewish ties to Jerusalem is something else. It is, in effect, a dropping of the veil from their purported desire only to return to the situation of June 4, 1967, when an embattled Israel prepared to be attacked despite not being in possession of the West Bank, Gaza, or the parts of Jerusalem held by the Jordanians.
WSJ Video: Opinion Journal: UNESCO Rewrites Jewish History
Touro Institute Professor Anne Bayefsky on the U.N. cultural agency’s resolution on Jerusalem.
A really new Middle East
In this respect, he echoed the long-held (and in some quarters still held) view among Middle East “experts” in the American and international foreign policy crowd that were it not for the Palestinian issue, most problems in the region, including that of the West’s problematic relationship with the Arab world, would have been long resolved.
Prof. Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security adviser to president Carter, rarely addressed any Middle East subject without prefacing it with the statement that the “Road to Baghdad” (or Damascus, Cairo, etc.) “leads through Jerusalem,” implying that solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – usually adding that this would require concessions especially on the part of Israel – was the way to any positive developments in the Middle East. Those “experts” ignored, among other things, the fact that by far the greater majority of wars and upheavals in the Middle East since the end of the Second World War had nothing to do with the Palestinian- Israeli conflict.
Most of the world applauded the Oslo agreement (though some critics observed that it could easily fit in as another chapter in Barbara Tuchman’s March of Folly) while Israelis who had initially been supportive soon soured ― with buses blown up by Palestinian terrorists in Tel Aviv and elsewhere. But it took the dramatic unraveling of the entire region and the ensuing turmoil created by the Arab Spring, the rise of al-Qaida, ISIS and other Islamic terrorists on the one hand, and Iran’s terror promoting and destabilizing activities on the other, to open the eyes of most of the world as to the real symptoms of the Middle East situation (though even today there are those who still refuse to accept this reality, and declare the Palestinian problem to be the root of everything that has gone wrong in the region).
There were two basic misapprehensions regarding the supposed link between the Palestinian issue and Peres’s approach: namely, that the Arab world and especially its leaders – notwithstanding their declared empathy for the lot of the Palestinians – did not necessarily see their particular national and geopolitical interests exclusively through the prism of the Palestinian- Israeli conflict; and on the other hand, that many Arabs and significantly most Palestinian Arabs, did not (and do not) see the creation of a Palestinian state in parts of “Palestine” as their real aim, but rather the total disappearance of the State of Israel.
Clifford D. May: A final stab at resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict
You’re probably familiar with the old story about the inebriated guy looking for his wallet at night under a streetlight — not because that’s where he dropped it but because what would be the point of poking around in the dark? This, in essence, has been the American approach to resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict for years.
Over and over, the Israelis are asked to make concessions, to “take risks for peace.” Under pressure, they sometimes do. Reciprocal concessions are not demanded of Palestinian leaders because what would be the point of asking for what they can’t or won’t do? Hamas, which rules Gaza, rejects the very idea of peaceful coexistence with the Jewish state. Hamas’ openly stated goal is Israel’s annihilation. As for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, he can’t set foot in Gaza and, on the West Bank, his support has grown so thin he couldn’t sign a peace agreement with Israel even if he wanted to — and it’s by no means clear he does.
Too many of us have short memories. In 2000 at Camp David, President Bill Clinton presented Israeli and Palestinian leaders with his “parameters” for a “two-state solution.” The Palestinians, Mr. Clinton would later write, were to receive “roughly 97 percent of the West Bank,” all of Gaza, as well as sections of east Jerusalem. The Israelis were to get “a formal end to the conflict.” This was not a baseline for further talks — this was as far as Mr. Clinton believed the Israelis could possibly go in exchange for a promise.
The Israelis accepted the deal. Then-Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat did not. Instead, he proceeded to ignite a wave of terrorist violence against Israelis that became known as the Second Intifada.
Five years later, another “land for peace” experiment was run: Israelis withdrew from Gaza, territory taken from Egypt — not from Palestinians — in the defensive war of 1967. Before long Hamas and Fatah, its rival, led by Mr. Abbas, were embroiled in a brutal civil war there. Hamas won. Instead of providing Gazans with peace and prosperity, Hamas began launching missiles into Israel and, more recently, digging terrorist tunnels under Israeli villages and farms. Today, Hamas collaborates with the Islamic State, which is waging jihad against Egypt in Sinai, land Israel also seized in 1967 but returned to Egypt in exchange for a peace treaty.
This recent history is especially relevant now because President Obama is expected to refocus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after the November elections, during his final days in office. He has reportedly asked the State Department to come up with a list of options. Among them: “Obama parameters” that would replace the Clinton parameters, measures to discourage and/or punish those who support Israeli settlements beyond the 1949 armistice lines (which would give a boost to efforts to delegitimize Israel, notably the Boycott, Divest and Sanction, or BDS, campaign), and not vetoing a U.N. Security Council resolution that would recognize a Palestinian state.
'Israel has every right to refuse a 1967 withdrawal'
US support for a resolution to replace UN Security Council Resolution 242 would conflict with commitments given to Israel by Washington going back to 1973, former Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.
“I remember that after the ’73 war the United States gave Israel commitments that it would not allow for a change in United Nations Security Council Resolution 242,” Gold said.
“The United States is Israel’s major ally, that has not changed,” Gold told the Post on the sidelines of a speech he delivered to the Israel Allies Caucus conference in Jerusalem.
“While we have tactical disagreements from time to time, I believe that America will stick by its commitments to Israel.”
Resolution 242 was approved in November 1967, some five months after the Six Day War. It is the basis on which the entire Israeli-Arab peace process is structured.
Most significantly, its text specified an Israeli withdrawal from “territories” – not “the territories” – captured during the war.
“All the peace agreements [and initiatives] were based on this resolution,” Gold said.
Obama Administration Tells Palestinians to Push Anti-Israel UN Resolution After US Elections
"Both Egypt and the United States have warned the Palestinian leadership not to advance any moves at the UN Security Council until after the U.S. presidential election next month, a senior Palestinian official told Haaretz on Thursday.
Egypt currently holds a rotating seat on the Security Council and the U.S. is a permanent member.
According to the senior Palestinian official, the messages were sent both directly and indirectly to the Palestinian Authority, through Western and Arab intermediaries. The messages stressed that until the U.S. election is over, Washington will veto any resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, including a denunciation of the settlements...
Despite the Palestinians' dissatisfaction with this situation, he added, they do not intend to make any moves at the Security Council until after the U.S. elections. Immediately after the elections however, the Palestinians do plan to ramp up their efforts at the Security Council, a senior Abbas aide said.
'We're at the consultation stage now, and we'll advance our move after the elections,' he said. 'At the moment, there's no agreement on the final wording, and it's not clear to us what the American position will be and if, after the elections, the administration really will be willing to cooperate, or will still cast a veto.'..."
Leaked emails show Clinton keen to patch things up with Netanyahu
Hillary Clinton’s plan to meet Israel’s prime minister in her first month as president is listed high in an internal campaign memo outlining the priorities of her first 100 days — a sign of how important it is to repair bilateral tensions.
The campaign’s determination to distance itself from President Barack Obama’s difficult relationship with Benjamin Netanyahu is seeded throughout emails stolen from her campaign chairman John Podesta’s private account and dumped in recent weeks by WikiLeaks. (Podesta is one of the officials CC’d on the first 100 days memo.)
The leaked emails offer a glimpse of the sausage-making of a presidential candidate’s policies when it comes to Israel, the Iran deal and the boycott Israel movement — sometimes spicy, sometimes bland and sometimes hard to swallow.
Improving US-Israel ties
Tony Carrk, the research director for Clinton’s campaign, on January 27 distributed to top campaign officials a compilation titled “top priorities/first 100 days answers.”
It’s not clear how the memo was to be used, but one possibility is as a quick-answer reference for donors, surrogates or reporters.
The Democratic nominee’s pledge to invite the prime minister to visit in her first month is the top entry in the memo’s foreign policy section.
PreOccupiedTerritory: If Abbas Addresses Knesset, Joint List To Boycott Over ‘Normalization’ (satire)
Members of the Joint List political alliance of mostly Arab parties voiced concern today over rumors that Palestinian Authority President and PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas might make a historic visit to the Israeli parliament, saying that if the Palestinian leader did so, they would feel compelled to shun the speech as an unacceptable demonstration of “normalization” with the Zionist entity.
MKs Haneen Zoabi, Jamal Zahalke, Ayman Odeh – the list chairman – Dov Henin, Ahmad Tibi, and various officials of the four parties composing the faction gathered this afternoon in this city – Zoabi’s hometown – to coordinate a unified response in the event that Abbas accepts Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s invitation to conduct a historic summit reminiscent of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s address to the Knesset in November 1977 as part of the process that led to the Camp David Accords, a peace agreement that still stands. The group agreed that while it appears unlikely to happen, a swirl of unconfirmed reports of such a development necessitates a coherent policy on the part of the 13-member Joint List. They agreed unanimously to boycott any Abbas speech to the parliament, as condoning it would send the wrong message to the world.
MK Odeh explained that more than simple international relations was at work. “There’s a personal political element mixed in,” he noted. “A good number of us have staked our political careers on aligning ourselves with some of the most radical anti-Israel factions among the Palestinians, and to abandon those partners and their rejection of normalization with Israel just because the leader of the PLO has decided to pursue a path of conciliation would be a shameful betrayal of our paths to date.”
India Speaking Up For Israel Is A Refreshing Change In Its Foreign Policy
Yasser Arafat did not hesitate to attend the Islamic Summit conference organised by Pakistan in 1974, despite his cordial relations with Indira Gandhi. He was also reportedly jubilant about the ‘Islamic nuclear bomb’ of Pakistan. Such consistent non-reciprocal gestures have frustrated sensible Indians. This was revealed soon after India established full diplomatic relations with Israel in January of 1993, by none other than J N Dixit, then foreign secretary of India. He bluntly asked, "What have the Arabs given us, if I may ask? Did they vote for us in the Kashmir issue? Were they supportive of us when we had the East Pakistan crisis?" (Kumaraswamy, P R “Israel-India Relations: Seeking Balance and Realism,” Israel Affairs, Autumn/Winter 2004)
Worse, the so-called Palestinian jihadists have used Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) for terrorist training against Israel and pro-Palestinian propaganda nodes in various nations including the US also import jihadists to fight jihad in Kashmir. For example, Nabil Awqil who provided logistics for the notorious 'shoe bomber' in Israel, was originally trained in PoK. Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a supposedly non-fundamentalist organisation for promoting a 'positive image of Islam in the US' was co-funded by Omar Ahmed who also co-founded Islamic Association for Palestine. Not only that the organisation often takes a pro-Hamas pro-Hezbollah stands, its employee Randall Ismail was indicted in 2003 for his role in a US-based jihad network that visited and supported terrorist camps in Pakistan which trained jihadists to fight in Kashmir. (Matthew Levitt & Dennis Ross, Hamas: Politics, Charity, and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad, Yale University Press, 2007) Islamist missionary organisations like Tablighi Jamaat, working in US had recruited and indoctrinated African-Americans and had them sent for Jihad in Kashmir. (For a detailed study see Alex Alexiev, Tablighi Jamaat: Jihad's Stealthy Legions, Middle East Quarterly Winter 2005, pp. 3-11) So essentially, India’s perceived closeness with Israel does make no difference in the clash of civilisations unleashed by jihadist forces against the Hindus and Jews.
Whatever cuckoo land India’s old media barons prefer to live in, Israeli commando operations like the one in Entebbe have set the standards for the expected state response to terrorism in common men and women. If the old media feels perturbed by Prime Minister’s eulogising of Indian military surgical strikes drawing parallel with the legendary prowess of Israeli military, then there is another comparison with Israel to which their attention should be drawn. A visiting missile technologist from India to Israel praised Israeli media for providing positive, spirit lifting news of the accomplishments of Israeli common citizens against the backdrop of daily terrorist attacks which Israelis face. He wanted the Indian media to emulate this aspect of Israeli media. His name was Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.
Despite reconciliation, Turkey presses on with trial of IDF officers
The recent reconciliation deal between Israel and Turkey hit a bump on Wednesday, when a Turkish court refused to dismiss a case against members of the Israeli military, a key condition of the agreement.
Dismissing the legal charges against IDF officers connected to a 2010 naval raid on a Turkish flotilla trying to breach Israel’s blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip was a key Israeli demand in the talks.
But, Channel 2 television reported, a court in Istanbul on Wednesday refused to dismiss the case and, instead postponed the hearing until December.
The raid, in which IDF commandos were attacked by activists on board the Mavi Marmara vessel, left 10 Turks dead and several Israeli soldiers wounded. Israel several weeks ago paid Turkey $20 million in compensation for the deadly raid, another central pillar of the deal.
The compensation was a key Turkish demand in the reconciliation deal, along with an apology by Israel and an easing of the blockade on the Gaza Strip.
Argentina renews extradition call for Iranian ex-minister
Argentina issued another extradition warrant Thursday for an Iranian ex-foreign minister over the deadly bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires in 1994, the government said.
Investigating Judge Rodolfo Canicoba asked Baghdad to extradite Ali Akbar Velayati, who is on the Interpol wanted list, since he is currently on Iraqi soil.
He asked Iraq to arrest Velayati, now a senior aide to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, “in order to extradite him, after learning via the international press that the accused traveled to Baghdad” on Wednesday, the Argentine justice ministry said in a statement.
In July, Argentina issued a similar warrant to Singapore and Malaysia after learning Velayati was on a lecture tour to those countries.
Argentine investigators accuse Velayati and four other Iranian former officials, including ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, of orchestrating the July 18, 1994 car bombing at the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association (AMIA) center in Buenos Aires.
The Iranians allegedly ordered the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah to carry out the bombing, the deadliest terror attack in the South American country’s history.
INSS: The Palestinian Terrorism of the Past Year: Causes and Policy Recommendations
Since the individuals who set out with the goal of carrying out an attack know that their action will likely end with their death, their deeds can be seen as a kind of sacrifice. Although some have left behind explicit wills in which they do not attribute national or religious justification to their actions, the general atmosphere, namely the Israeli occupation and the political deadlock, creates a national-religious context for the attacks and may be used to accelerate the outbreak of more organized and dangerous terrorism.
Israel cannot address all of the fundamental problems motivating "lone wolf" terrorism, but it can moderate some of these factors with the goal of partially addressing the causes of the phenomenon and not just its symptoms. There is great importance in maintaining a low level of friction with the civilian population and continuing to refrain from collective punishment. In addition, Israel can make a very significant contribution toward improvement of the economic reality in the West Bank and the Palestinian Authority's strengthened ability to govern, which in turn can improve the restraint of violence.
Regarding the long term, with the continued stalemate of the political process on the one hand, and understanding the importance of a functional and effective PA on the other, Israel can act to redefine the kinds of areas in the West Bank. For example, Israel can redefine Area C in coordination with the Palestinians, or independently, if this coordination does not help. Instead of seeing all of it as a single bloc, it can be categorized into a number of areas representing different statuses for different purposes. For example, different areas can be designated for tourism development, agricultural development, development of industrial parks, and infrastructure development. Distinguishing between different parts of Area C would enable Israel to maintain control over the most essential areas for security and settlement needs, while allowing it to allocate land to the economic infrastructure required for developing the Palestinian economy in a way that expands the territory under full Palestinian control (such as Area A). In addition, Israel can apply the model of the electricity agreement signed recently with the Palestinian Authority to other types of infrastructure, such as water, sewage, environmental protection, and transportation, in a way that delegates more authority and responsibility to the Palestinian Authority. These kinds of agreements aid in improving the PA's ability to govern and its political performance, reduce the chances of its collapse, restrain violence, and may perhaps even succeed in strengthening its public support, which has significantly eroded in the past year. These kinds of steps might over time change the atmosphere, aid in enlisting the pragmatic Arab world and the international community in renewing the political process, and create better conditions for its revival.
Palestinian who stabbed cops sought ‘martyr’s death’ — prosecution
A Palestinian who stabbed and wounded two police officers in Jerusalem last month wrote in a will made before the attack that he was seeking a “martyr’s death,” according to an indictment submitted Thursday at Jerusalem District Court.
Ayman Kurd, 20, from East Jerusalem, stabbed the two officers near the Herod’s Gate entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City on September 19, seriously wounding a 38-year-old policewoman and moderately injuring her 47-year-old male colleague.
The policeman managed to shoot and wound Kurd several times after he was stabbed.
The indictment states that prior to carrying out the attack, Kurd wrote several wills on his phone.
“My mother, my heart, please don’t cry and don’t be angry, pray for me to die as a martyr. I want you and [your sister] to hold a party for me,” the indictment quotes him as saying in one of the wills, Channel 2 reported. “Be assured that I didn’t do this because of anyone, but only because I wanted to.”
Terrorist attacks in Jerusalem doubled in September: Shin Bet
Terrorist attacks in Jerusalem doubled last month compared to August, according to Israel’s security agency, the Shin Bet.
There were 26 attacks in the capital in September, compared to 13 in August, the Shin Bet wrote in its monthly report for September published this week. The number of attacks perpetrated against Israelis in the West Bank remained unchanged at 78.
With the increase in Jerusalem, the total number of attacks against Israelis in September rose to 109, constituting a 17 percent increase over the 93 attacks recorded in August. The August figure was the lowest monthly tally recorded since March 2015 and the first dip since then below the 100-incident mark.
Ten Israelis were wounded in the September attacks, compared to seven in August. September saw no Israeli fatalities from attacks.
More than half of the attacks in September involved the hurling of firebombs.
Despite the increase in attacks in Jerusalem, the September tally was 47 percent lower than the average number of attacks carried out there per month since September 2015.
Israel looks to buy three new nuke-capable subs – report
Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of $1.3 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.
The planned purchase aims to replace within the next decade the oldest vessels in its existing Dolphin fleet, which began entering service in 1999, the Maariv daily reported.
Contacted by AFP, the Defense Ministry declined to comment on the report.
Israel already has five of the state-of-the-art German submarines, with a sixth due for delivery in 2017.
Foreign military sources and governments say the Dolphins can be equipped with missiles armed with nuclear warheads.
They believe Israel has between 100 and 200 warheads and missiles capable of delivering them.
Israel is thought to be the Middle East’s sole if undeclared nuclear power, refusing to confirm or deny it has such weapons.
“The new submarines are said to be more advanced, longer, and equipped with better accessories,” the newspaper report said.
Fatah-Affiliated Terrorists Training in Gaza for War with Israel
Terrorist belonging to Fatah, the political party led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, are training in Gaza in preparation for a war with Israel, veteran Palestinian affairs correspondent Khaled Abu Toameh reported Wednesday.
A division of Fatah’s militia, the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, recently announced the opening a new terror-training academy in Gaza, in which nearly 300 of its members are enrolled and learning different types of warfare, Abu Toameh reported. The United States, European Union, Israel, Canada, and Japan all have officially designated the Brigade to be a terrorist organization.
The Martyr Nidal al-Amoudi Division is named for a top Martyrs’ Brigade militant who carried out a series of attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers during the Second Intifada, and was killed by Israeli forces in 2008. A statement announcing the opening of the academy explained that the academy was named in his honor “to fulfill his dream of qualifying the fighters militarily, morally, religiously and revolutionarily.”
The Martyr Nidal Al-Amoudi Division is one of five Fatah-linked terrorist groups operating openly in Gaza despite the 2007 split between Fatah and Hamas, the terrorist organization that governs Gaza. Their presence is allowed, Abu Toameh explained, because “now it seems that Hamas has nothing to fear from the Fatah militants, as Israel is the sole target.”
Beneath the surface, Gazans are in the middle of an existential crisis
Everywhere in the Gaza Strip, one sees and hears the sounds of reconstruction.
The whizzing of electric saws and the thumping of hammers lasts long into the night; in the streets cars must drive around large piles of rebar and gravel that sit in front of construction sites. In the area that was once the Israeli settlement of Gush Katif, a dozen brand-new residential towers, built with Qatari funding, now glitter in the sun.
Visiting Gaza, in early September, for my first time, I was surprised at how difficult it was to see evidence of the 2014 war, which saw Hamas, the Islamist group that rules Gaza, fire thousands of rockets and mortar-bombs into Israeli territory and Israel’s military respond by unleashing thousands of airstrikes (and a ground invasion) in Gaza. In the end, 73 Israelis and more than 2,200 Gazans were dead.
I had the impression, mostly from the media, that Gaza was more or less destroyed. The images of bombed-out buildings and piles of rubble I saw in the news looked apocalyptic, Syria-esque. The reports from human rights groups and NGOs that I’d read were equally horrifying, in particular one published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development last September that said Gaza’s infrastructure had been “ravaged” by the three wars that have occurred there since 2008. The report predicted that the Strip would become “uninhabitable” in five years if current trends persisted.
But, as my taxi brought me south from the Erez Border Crossing toward the heart of Gaza, I was struck by how normal it seemed.
US, Saudi Arabia blacklist Hezbollah members, financiers
The United States and Saudi Arabia on Thursday imposed sanctions on alleged Hezbollah members and financial backers, accusing them of funneling money to the Lebanese terror group or engaging in terrorism.
The US Treasury Department said it targeted four individuals and one company, effectively freezing their US assets and blocking any transactions with them, while also announcing related action by Saudi Arabia.
In a related action, the US State Department also blacklisted alleged Hezbollah commander Haytham Ali Tabatabai, alias Abu Ali al-Tabatabai, the Treasury Department said in a statement.
Tabatabai has commanded Hezbollah special forces, operated in Syria, and is now believed to be in Yemen, the State Department said. His actions in Syria and Yemen “are part of a larger Hezbollah effort to provide training, materiel and personnel in support of its destabilizing regional activities.”
The State Department declared Hezbollah a terrorist organization in 1997 and long-standing US efforts have sought to disrupt the organization’s funding.
Gatestone Institute: "Nothing to Do with Islam"?
"Politicians rarely have long term vision. They want tangible, if possible immediate, results."

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UNRWA set up a photo gallery of images from its collection to show the world the history of Palestinian Arabs under its mandate.

Palestinians, in UNRWA's world, are only victims.

The gallery is meant to be "a unique and historic testament to the resilience and steadfastness of Palestine refugees." (Of course, when they say Palestine refugees, they only mean Arab refugees - Jewish refugees who lost their homes during the 1947-48 war don't count.)

UNRWA has photos from 1948 - but only of Palestinians fleeing, even when they didn't have to, as with these girls leaving Jaffa.

There are photos from 1967 of more Palestinian "refugees" - who were not in any way forced out of their homes, and were not refugees by any definition, either UNRWA or UNHRC's. Nearly all of them "fled" after the Six Day War was over.  They simply didn't want to live under Israeli rule, but they were not fleeing any danger whatsoever.

There is even a category for the second intifada - which was by definition a Palestinian uprising - but not one photo showing Palestinians attacking Jews. Instead, it shows a house demolition meant to discourage violence.

No photos of Hamas rockets, or masked Palestinian stone throwers, or anti-Israel rallies that attract tens of thousands of people in Gaza.

Palestinians are not only innocent victims of Israel in the photo collection. They are also innocent victims of Jordanian and Lebanese violence.

But Palestinian Arabs are themselves blameless for everything.

The only use of the word "massacre" is for Sabra and Shatila, for which the blame always goes to Israel (and never to the Christians who actually killed the Palestinians.)

UNRWA pushes its extensive photo archives in many venues. But anyone who thinks that there is any historic value in these one-sided exhibitions is already brainwashed.

(h/t Irene)

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A court in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip issued a prison sentence of three months to two young men who tortured and killed a dog.

The two men  were arrested 15 days ago on charges of killing a dog after video of the crime spread on social networking sites.

The incident was widely reported in Arabic media, with the news reports calling the crime "heinous" and "disgusting."

Those are words that one never sees in Arabic to describe any attacks on Jews.

On the contrary, those who murdered Jews (or even attempted to murder Jews) are considered heroes. They get salaries in prison and automatic jobs when they are released.

So by any measure, dogs - which are generally reviled in popular Muslim culture - are infinitely better than Jews.

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William Booth in the Washington Post writes a heartwarming story:
 The gathering wasn’t exactly unprecedented. Jewish settlers and their Palestinian neighbors have met quietly before, many times. But not like this. This meeting, this was rare.
The settlement of Efrat is a bedroom community of 10,000 affluent Jews, including many Americans, a few miles south of Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The residents of Efrat live the good life in a growing hilltop community that the United States considers illegal and an obstacle to peace.

The Efrat mayor, Oded Revivi, who is also a colonel in the Israeli army reserve, invited Palestinians from surrounding villages to come to his house and celebrate the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, when the faithful gather in palm-roofed huts, a remembrance of the 40 years of wandering landless in the desert back in the time of Moses.

A couple dozen Palestinians accepted the mayor’s invitation this week to share brownies, grapes, cookies, apples and coffee, alongside 30 Israeli settlers. This was a first.

The idea? The sides were here to talk, perhaps even to bond — no matter if the dynamic was a little awkward and asymmetrical.

Everyone was very polite. A Palestinian farmer sat next to an Israeli diplomat. They live a mile and a world apart. A rabbi from the settlement broke bread with a Palestinian stone mason. Guests shook hands, took selfies, patted one another on the back. Both sides seemed a little stunned to be together celebrating a Jewish holiday.

The Palestinians spoke decent to fluent Hebrew. The settlers didn’t speak much Arabic.

One Palestinian stood and told the guests that he didn’t want to see the West Bank “turn into Syria.”

Another said he didn’t like “being lumped together with the terrorists.”

Everyone talked about peace. Nobody really talked about one state or two states. They didn’t mention Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Some Palestinian guests felt comfortable enough to complain out loud about how they are treated. Some Israelis mentioned the wave of Palestinian stabbing attacks against them.

There were some remarkable moments.

Ahmad Mousa, 58, a contractor from the neighboring Palestinian village of Wadi Al Nis, said, “We consider ourselves part of the family, part of the people of Efrat.”

You do not hear that much in the West Bank, at least not in public, with smartphone cameras rolling.

He said, “Seventy percent of our village works in Efrat. They treat us very well and we are very good to them, too.”

Noman Othman, 41, a construction worker from Wadi Al Nis, said this was his first time as a guest in a home in the settlement, although he had worked here for years, building houses.

“This is good,” he said. “Our relationship is evolving.”

Asked whether he bore any grudge against the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, now home to 400,000 settlers, which the Obama administration has condemned as “an obstacle to peace,” Othman said nope. He didn’t have any problem with Efrat.

If there was a Palestinian state someday, a dream Palestinians say is growing more distant, Othman said the Jews in Efrat “should stay on their land.”

He saw it this way: “These are their houses. They bought them with their own money. We should have no problem living together — if there is peace.”

Ali Musa, 49, came from the village of Al Khader. He told the gathering: “I came for a reason. I came to talk about our relationship, between you and us.”

He reminded his hosts that there is a locked yellow gate that blocks the entrance to his village, a closure enforced by Israeli security ­forces. “That gate should be removed,” Musa said.

He added: “And that racist sign? That should also be removed. It’s outrageous. It prevents our Jewish friends from visiting us.”

Musa was referring to the large red signs posted across the West Bank warning Israelis in capital letters that it is against the law and “dangerous to your lives” to enter “Area A,” cities and villages under full control of the Palestinian Authority.

The mayor gave a short speech. “Some people say there will be one state, some say two states,” Revivi said. “As neighbors, we are already living together.”

Revivi hailed the men who came to his home as “true men, courageous men.”

“I know there were men I invited and they did not come,” he said, “because this takes initiative and courage.”
But in Palestinian media, this story was treated as a catastrophe.

As soon as this story was reported, the deputy governor of Bethlehem Mohammed Taha promised an investigation and possible arrests for this crime of meeting Jews who live in Judea. Taha said he will initiate legal proceedings against the participants, saying it is not the culture and education of Palestinians to visit these Jews, it is a "dangerous and unacceptable phenomenon," and he will follow up on the matter with Palestinian security services and factions.

Indeed, that is what happened:

The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) security forces arrested three Palestinian Arabs from the Gush Etzion area who “dared” to visit the sukkah of Oded Revivi, mayor of the town of Efrat.

Channel 2 News reported on Thursday evening that the Arabs who were arrested were questioned over allegations they met with "baby-killers", an apparent reference to General Nitzan Alon, the head of the IDF's Operations Directorate, and the Shai District Police Commander, who were also guests in the same sukkah.

Revivi said on Thursday evening, “Yesterday we sat in the sukkah - Jews and Muslims. We ate, drank and talked about common themes and our hope for a better neighborhood and for peace. Today the PA summoned some of the Muslim guests for questioning.

“All those who pressure the Israeli government to enter a peace process with the Palestinian Authority should be reminded that they behave in a way that does the opposite of encouraging peace with their Jewish neighbors,” continued Revivi. “An authority which names squares after suicide bombers and summons for questioning citizens who drink coffee and talk about peace with their Jewish neighbors is not one that promotes peace.

“I salute my neighbors who were not afraid to come to our sukkah yesterday, to talk about peace, who asked to be photographed and to show the world that they are brave enough to stand up for peace,” he stressed.

I hope that the Washington Post publishes a follow-up. The arrests are just as important a story as the meeting was.

(h/t YMedad)

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

From Ian:

Daniel Gordis: A Dose of Nuance: Still time to reimagine
Yom Kippur ended with Ne’ila, which symbolizes the closing of the gates of repentance.
Interestingly, Jewish tradition has long asserted that the gates do not quite creak entirely shut as the sun sets on the holiest day of the year. The period of repentance extends, said our sages, through the last day of Succot. It is as if they were desperate to remind us that even when we think it is too late to change, too late to rethink, too late to reimagine ourselves, it is not. There is still time, even if it is ebbing.
Their surprising extension of the days of repentance is an important reminder for each of us. Who has truly done all the work of reimagining ourselves by the end of Yom Kippur? The question is no less relevant to us as a people and a nation. Are we sanguine about the state of this country? About what we will bequeath to our children? We would have to be foolish or blind not to be worried.
The value of worry, though, is that we believe that change is possible. The meaning of repentance is that we recognize the past, yet focus on the future.
That embrace of the future was what always animated the best of Zionism. Was there reason to think, in 1897 when Herzl convened the First Zionist Congress, that the world would ever endorse the idea of a Jewish state? Half a century later, with Polish Jewry destroyed and the British still forbidding Jewish immigration to Palestine, what were the chances that we would ever be able to declare Independence? When hundreds of thousands of Jews poured into a newly established and impoverished state, who could have thought that we would survive, that our fledgling economy would somehow manage? With all our challenges, we still need to repair. We have what we have and are who we are because Judaism – and Zionism – are committed to looking to the future. The past teaches us, informs us, shapes us and admonishes us, but it does not define us. Ours is a tradition that embraces the future – what it can be and what we can make happen.
Refocusing the battle against BDS
A number of European institutions as well have condemned BDS. The Paris City Council adopted two resolutions condemning attempts to boycott Israel. One of the resolutions says the City of Paris “opposes publicly all attempts to isolate Israel from the collective of nations.” In the UK, the British Cabinet Office released a statement saying that under government rules local authorities and public-sector organizations in Britain are banned from boycotting Israeli suppliers and that violators could face severe penalties. The statement added that such boycotts "undermine good community relations, poisoning and polarizing debate, weakening integration and fueling anti-Semitism.
The anti-Semitic character of BDS has not only been identified and stressed by the State of Israel, Jewish individuals and Jewish organizations such as the World Jewish Congress, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and the American Jewish Congress. Senator Chuck Schumer from New York also recently called the BDS campaign anti-Semitic.
Hillary Clinton and Republicans John Kasich, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, US Senator Cory Booker, a group of Latin American and Caribbean lawmakers, as well as then British Justice Minister Michael Gove, and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier have all condemned the BDS movement as anti-Semitic.
Much of the criticism of BDS, however, does not stress its anti-Semitic character.
One interesting exception concerns the student council of Leipzig University in Germany. The student council voted “to condemn the anti-Semitic BDS campaign,” and is “against anti-Semitic measures such as disinviting Israeli academics.” The vote against BDS was a response to a campus event featuring Lori Allen, a professor from the University of London who supports academic boycotts of Israel and justifies terrorism against the Jewish state.
In 2015 the German Green parliamentarian Volker Beck stated “There is no doubt of the anti-Semitic motivation within the spectrum of the BDS campaign. BDS aims essentially against Jewish Israelis and is therefore anti-Semitic. Whoever aggressively boycotts Israeli goods and people, should also be viewed as anti-Semitic by the federal government.” The German government refused to accept this at the time, claiming that there was no definition of anti-Semitism. Since then, the IHRA definition was accepted, which required the German government’s agreement. Now Beck’s proposal for Germany to view BDS as anti-Semitic merits another try.
Michael Lumish: The Hypocrisy of San Francisco State University President, Leslie Wong
In a recent piece, I noted that right-wing provocateur, David Horowitz, recently set his sights on San Francisco State University.
He and his people did so as part of a larger campaign to rile up political discussion concerning the connection between anti-Zionism and increasing levels of Jew hatred on American university campuses.
SFSU, like many universities around the United States, promotes three types of racism. These are humanitarian racism, anti-white racism, and anti-Semitic anti-Zionism.
In response, Horowitz sent some little ideological ninjas onto that campus at night - just before the biggest rainstorm San Francisco has had in almost a year - and plastered the area with various posters pointing out that targeting Jews for death, as Hamas does, is not very nice and that, perhaps, SFSU should not support it.
But support it, it does.
One of Horowitz's posters features professor Rabab Abdulhadi with text reading, “a leader of the Hamas BDS campaign; collaborator with terrorists; San Francisco State professor.”

The Book That Obama Won’t Read, But Hillary Clinton Should
On a list of the most important historical episodes of the 20th century, the Suez Crisis of 1956 wouldn’t make the top 10, or even the top 20. Insofar as it was a war, it was a fizzle: Israel invaded Egypt with a small force, conquered some of the Sinai desert, and then gave it back a few months later. As a diplomatic incident, Suez was more significant, altering the balance of power between Britain, France, and the United States. But it hardly compares to a major Cold War confrontation like the Cuban Missile Crisis of a few years later, which threatened the survival of the world.
Yet the appearance of two new books on the subject of Suez—Ike’s Gamble by Michael Doran and Blood and Sand by Alex von Tunzelmann—suggests that the events of October 1956 continue to have a symbolic significance out of proportion to their actual scale. That is because Suez serves as a convenient marker for the twilight of European colonialism and the rise of American empire. At the same time, it encapsulates a number of the themes of America’s experience in the Middle East, down to the present day: the difficulty of identifying allies and enemies, the uncertainty about how deeply to get involved, and the dangerous law of unintended consequences.
Von Tunzelmann, a British popular historian and journalist, and Doran, an American Middle East specialist and occasional White House adviser, have produced very different books covering some of the same ground. Blood and Sand focuses on the two weeks of the crisis itself, from Oct. 22 to Nov. 8, with hour-by-hour updates on the action as it unfolds across several continents. (Sections are introduced by the kind of datelines familiar from Jason Bourne movies: “1500 Washington DC//2000 London//2100 Paris.”) And Von Tunzelmann interweaves the Suez affair with scenes from another crisis that, coincidentally, broke out at exactly the same time—the rebellion against Soviet rule in Hungary. The effect is a cinematic, you-are-there style of history-writing, which plunges the reader into the chaos of events, but does little to explain their deep background or ultimate consequences.
Doran, on the other hand, fits the Suez crisis into a broader argument about American policy in the Middle East during the Eisenhower administration. He draws on a wider range of primary sources, and crucially, he puts those sources themselves into question, showing how the biases and beliefs of the participants in the Suez drama shaped the way its history has been told. Indeed, Ike’s Gamble is a revisionist history, in which Doran takes issue with precisely the mainstream interpretation of Suez that is found in Blood and Sand.
David Horovitz: UK’s Jewish leader on Labour anti-Semitism: Corbyn can’t shift his irrational prejudices
The main opposition party in Britain, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, has an anti-Semitism problem. That was reconfirmed by an all-party panel of members of Parliament just last week. Anglo-Jewry constantly battles to ensure that shehita (ritual slaughter to produce kosher meat) is not banned; maintaining circumcision is no cakewalk either. Numbering somewhere from 300,000 to 350,000, the Jewish community is overwhelmingly outnumbered by a Muslim community estimated at about 2.7 million — or some 4.5% of the total British population.
And yet Jonathan Arkush, the lay leader of British Jews as the president of the Board of Deputies umbrella group, is optimistic, and credibly so, about British Jewry — its present and its future. He’s even begun holding meetings in mosques with Muslim leaders and congregants, to explain the community to them, build bridges, and encourage them to follow Anglo Jewry’s example in simultaneously embracing a religious lifestyle and what he calls “British values.”
Arkush is relatively upbeat, too, in discussing British attitudes to Israel, vouchsafing that an official visit to Israel by a senior member of the royal family (more substantial than Prince Charles’s two fleeting trips for the funerals of Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres) may now be imminent — the ultimate establishment confirmation of approval.
Visiting Israel, as he often does, Arkush, a good-natured barrister who chooses his words with an admirably direct precision, spoke to The Times of Israel about Labour and Corbyn’s prejudices, life on UK campuses for Jewish students, Muslim conspiracy theories, and the Jewish capacity for dissatisfaction.
Twitter’s ‘Juggernaut of Bigotry’
There are a lot of nasty things about this presidential election that would have seemed appalling back in the halcyon days of American democracy (which one could trace to say, the summer of 2015) but which we’re all just kind of sadly numb to by now. Take, for instance, the anti-Semitic hounding of Jewish journalists on social media. The image of an SS-appareled Donald Trump grimacing as a probably-Jewish opponent of his shrieks from behind a gas chamber door isn’t some one-off; it’s one of the icons of a horrid election season.
The harassment of Jewish media figures is a problem. But how quantitatively bad is that problem? Do we even want to know? Earlier today, the Anti-Defamation League’s Taskforce on Harassment and Journalism published a report looking at “the anti-Semitic targeting of journalists” over the course of the election. The report examined 19,000 Twitter mentions of journalists that included some kind of anti-Semitic content, and provides an analysis of both the scope and the nature of the phenomena. Here are five of the report’s biggest take-aways.
The most-targeted journalists are a diverse bunch
America’s Jews contain multitudes, and Jews in media are a case in point. There are prominent Jewish conservative writers, like Ben Shapiro; full-throated liberals, like Sally Kohn; sober-minded doyens of the media establishment, like Wolf Blitzer; and trailblazing young guns, like, I dunno, Yair Rosenberg, for instance. Guess what: All of the aforementioned crack the ADL’s list of the top-ten journalists targeted for anti-Semitic tweets.
They work in different media, they reach vastly different audiences, and they hold wildly and wonderfully divergent ideas about a wide range of political and social issues. But they all have two things in common: None of them support Donald Trump’s presidential campaign (as best I can tell), and you already know the other thing they all have in common.
Ben Shapiro: 6 Thoughts on Being The #1 Journalistic Target of Jew-Hatred
So, I’d like to thank the Academy, my wife, my parents, my agent, and God Almighty for the great honor of being the top journalist target of Jew-hatred in America over the past few months, according to a comprehensive study from the Anti-Defamation League. I’m honored because being targeted by mouth-breathing idiots is a compliment – you know you’re doing something right if people who tweet pictures of gas chambers on the day of your child’s birth find you unacceptable as a human being.
Here are some quick thoughts:
3. No, Jew-Hatred Is Not Widespread Among Trump Supporters. The ADL report links Trump support to Jew-hatred on Twitter. There’s no question that’s true for a small but loud segment of alt-right Trump supporters. But it is small. The vast majority of Trump supporters find the sort of hate I receive reprehensible. They’re not in line with the alt-right. To overestimate their percentage of the
population would be wrong and foolish.
4. A Lot of Online Jew-Hatred Is Astroturfed. The ADL study shows that Jew-hatred on Twitter spikes at certain times and cascades on itself. That means it’s being coordinated, or at least encouraged by specific Twitter personalities. I can say with certainty that the amount of Jew-hatred in my Twitter feed has dropped exponentially since Twitter banned Milo Yiannopoulos (a ban I opposed, by the way).
6. The Media Ignore Jew-Hatred If It’s Directed Against The Right. The ADL has done an admirable job of charting the rise of Jew-hatred against conservative pundits. But the entire media largely ignored that anti-Semitism so long as it targeted the right, and only began to notice it when it hit people on the left like Julia Ioffe. We Jews on the right who opposed Trump were used to it by then. Politico Magazine did an entire piece about anti-Semitism among a segment of Trump
supporters, asking, “why has the Jewish right looked away?” That’s patently insane, and demonstrates the myopia of much of the left. The left itself is replete with anti-Semitism – just check the charter for the Black Lives Matter movement.
So, what’s the future of the alt-right? If Trump wins, it’s likely to grow – the alt-right obviously feels emboldened. Even if he loses, they’ll live on at sites that now
rely on their enthusiastic support, like Breitbart. A rock has been overturned; the window of acceptability has moved.
The German Left’s Undeclared War on Israel
In Undeclared Wars with Israel: East Germany and the West German Far Left 1967-1989, Jeffrey Herf examines the active support for warfare and terrorism against the Jewish state in both Germanies during the cold war. Benjamin Weinthal writes in his review:
[East Germany’s] leaders, many of whom had opposed Hitler, [nonetheless] internalized the lethal anti-Semitism of the Nazis, which led inexorably to their desire to dismantle Israel. . . . Herf supplies exhaustive evidence of the German Democratic Republic’s secret military deliveries to Israel’s enemies in the Middle East—including the bellicose Hafez al-Assad regime in Syria, which was a strategic partner for East Germany. . . .
[Furthermore], the GDR supplied weapons and sophisticated training to the Palestinians in exchange for their refraining from carrying out terrorist attacks in Western Europe. In other words, East Germany largely subcontracted its war against the Jews to the Arabs in the Middle East. . . .
Herf [also] does not let the West German government off the hook. A scarcely covered topic in modern German history is Chancellor Willy Brandt’s abandonment of Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. After a surprise attack by multiple Arab armies, Israel was on the ropes, desperate for arms and ammunition. To the frustration of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, Brandt stuck to an ironclad “neutral position toward the conflict in the Middle East,” [refusing to allow the U.S.] to use the port of Bremerhaven to deliver weapons to the Israelis. . . .
JPost Editorial: Unsportsmanlike conduct
All sport is infected by the plague. Ben Cohen of reported that, in 2009, the United Arab Emirates denied Israeli tennis star Shahar Pe’er an entry visa, which forced her to withdraw from that year’s tennis tournament in Dubai.
“At an international swimming competition in Dubai and Qatar in 2013,” he wrote, “Israeli competitors were excluded from broadcasts and endured protests from officials, who refused to say the word ‘Israel.’ When Amit Ivry won the silver medal in the 100m Individual Medley, the Israeli flag was blanked off in broadcasts of the award ceremony.”
Closer to home, the Palestinian Authority has escalated its support of the worldwide BDS campaign against Israel to demand that FIFA, the world soccer body, boycott six teams based in Jewish communities in the West Bank. It has expectedly turned to the United Nations, which – surprise – has indicated it supports the move to recognize only Israeli clubs existing within the 1949 armistice lines.
While FIFA ponders its move, it should consider that the pursuit of social justice on the playing field includes more than Israel, for example Iran’s violation of gender discrimination by banning women from even attending matches.
Racism in sport does not stop at the Green Line, however.
It is a source of shame that the capital’s most well-known club, Beitar Jerusalem, is notorious for its demonstrative hatred of Arabs. Many Beitar fans, epitomized by the often violent “La Familia” group, pride themselves on being the only team in the Israel Premier League that has never signed an Arab player. The club has often been penalized for the extremist behavior of its fans both inside and beyond Teddy Stadium.
While it is long past time for antisemitism to be excluded from sport, if racism in sport is indeed a mirror of racism in society, then no society is immune.
British Prime Minister May Calls Out Labour Leader Corbyn: We Must Have Zero Tolerance for Antisemitism
The leader of Britain’s Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn must “think very carefully” about antisemitism within his party, British Prime Minister Theresa May declared on Wednesday.
May — the head of Britian’s governing Conservative Party who succeeded David Cameron at 10 Downing Street in July — made the statement during a Prime Minister’s Questions session, just days after the publication of a House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee report which found Labour had shown “demonstrable incompetence” in dealing with antisemitism within its ranks.
In response to a question posed by Conservative MP Oliver Dowden, May said: “I absolutely agree with my honorable friend that this house should send a very clear message that we will not tolerate antisemitism. I have been concerned about the rise in the number of incidents of antisemitism in this country.
“We should very clearly ensure that those incidents of antisemitism are properly investigated and dealt with, and that we give the clear message that we will not tolerate it. But that does have to be done by every single political party in this chamber, and I say to the leader of the opposition that given the report of the Home Affairs Committee about antisemitism and the approach to antisemitism in the Labour Party, he needs to think very carefully about the environment that has been created in the Labour Party in relation to antisemitism.”
UK Parliament Antisemitism Report Slams Controversial President of Country’s Largest Student Union for ‘Worrying Disregard’ of Campus Jew-Hatred
A recent Parliament report on the state of antisemitism in the United Kingdom slammed the head of the country’s largest student union for undermining efforts to combat Jew-hatred on campus.
The House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) report said that National Union of Students (NUS) president Malia Bouattia is not taking the issue seriously and has responded to Jewish students’ concerns about previous comments she has made — widely condemned as antisemitic — “with defensiveness and an apparent unwillingness to listen to their concerns.”
There is of no course no reason why an individual who has campaigned for the rights of Palestinian people…should not serve as President of the NUS. But Ms. Bouattia’s choice of language (and ongoing defense of that language) suggests a worrying disregard for her duty to represent all sections of the student population and promote a balanced and respectful debate. Referring to Birmingham University as a “Zionist outpost” (and similar comments) smacks of outright racism, which is unacceptable, and even more so from a public figure such as the President of the NUS.
Responding to the claims put forth by HASC, Bouattia said in a statement that she will “continue to listen to the concerns of Jewish students and the Jewish community,” adding:
Roger Waters is the ‘odd man out’
Roger Waters’s support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement shows just how much of an anomaly he is at this week’s Desert Trip festival – not to mention in the wider artistic community.
Waters expends a great deal of energy attempting to convince artists to embrace the cultural boycott of Israel and refrain from performing there. He is one of the most vocal supporters of the movement, and by far the most celebrated musician to have embraced it. Four out of the other five acts at Desert Trip, however – The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney and Neil Young – have been victimized by and explicitly rejected BDS pressure, including personal appeals from Waters himself.
Any artist who schedules a performance in Israel is subjected to a constant flow of false and inflammatory pressure by supporters of the cultural boycott, who attempt to manipulate them into canceling their show.
They accuse Israel of apartheid and genocide – accusations which can be proven false with even a modicum of research – using and abusing the struggles of others, and the emotional responses they trigger, in their battle against the Jewish state.
Though it often presents itself as a movement working to achieve Palestinian rights, to the founders and leaders of the BDS movement it is merely a tool to end the existence of the State of Israel. This violent aim is sometimes reflected in the tactics of boycott supporters.
Israeli embassy says antisemitic German teacher incites hate
Israel’s embassy in Berlin slammed a German public school teacher for incitement of hatred against Jews on Wednesday because of his promotion of a photograph stoking violence against Israelis.
“A teacher´s mission is to educate pupils and not to incite or to openly sympathize with violence. In his [Christoph Glanz] so called manifest he has committed himself to the BDS movement which does not recognize the right of existence of the State of Israel. A proof to that can be easily found on official websites of BDS, ” wrote the embassy to The Jerusalem Post.
The embassy added, “This antisemitism has no place in the 21th century, especially not in Germany where incitement of the people (Volksverhetzung) is against the law.”
Glanz, a teacher in the northern city of Oldenburg, posted a picture on his Facebook page of himself standing next to a stone mural, which depicts a Palestinian wearing a keffiyeh and aiming a slingshot.
Glanz, who uses the false identity Christopher Ben Kushka on his Facebook page, wrote above the photograph: “feeling definitely not neutral.”
The words on Glanz’s T-shirt in the photograph read “Make Trouble.” Glanz’s Facebook post was liked 34 times and shared once. It is unclear if his students read and endorsed the violent post.
Glanz, a hardcore BDS activist, said it would not be absurd to eradicate Israel and relocate Jewish Israelis to the German state of Baden-Württemberg.
Major Canadian Jewish Groups Express ‘Deep Alarm’ Over Spate of Antisemitic Vandalism at U of Toronto
Major Canadian Jewish groups expressed “deep alarm” over a spate of antisemitic vandalism on or near the University of Toronto (U of T).
Responding to the defacement of seven campus structures over the last two weeks with Nazi imagery, Berl Nadler, co-chair of the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), called the swastika a “symbol of violence against Jews and hostility towards Canada’s democratic values.”
“No student, Jewish or otherwise, should be forced to see their campus desecrated in this way,” he said in a statement.
CEO of Hillel Ontario Marc Newburgh called the appearance of the offensive graffiti a “cowardly attempt at intimidation [that] will not go unchallenged.”
“Jewish students at the University of Toronto have a right to feel safe on campus,” he said in a statement.
Michael Mostyn, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada, said in a statement that the “proliferation of Nazi symbolism at one of Canada’s most respected universities is shocking and outrageous…[and] indicative of the antisemitic climate on many Canadian university campuses that even a controversy which has nothing to do with Jews or Israel has sparked open displays of hatred.”
The first reports of swastikas on campus — three on a bus stop and two outside two campus buildings — emerged on the eve of September 30, Rob Nagus, U of T Hillel director, told CJN News.
On October 11, mere hours before Yom Kippur — the holiest day in Judaism — Nagus said he received a text message informing him of two additional swastikas on campus. A third was found two days later.
Anti-Israel Conference Plots Next Divestment Attack: Municipalities
Also working to their benefit is the fact that the Jewish Federation chose to walk out of the council chambers after their own presentation at a prior meeting, leaving the BDS proponents effectively unchallenged for the remainder of the session.
FOSNA (Friends of Sabeel North America) is hoping to expand upon and replicate these municipal divestment efforts by conducting weekly video conference training and support calls. Much planning is required for a campaign, all of which FOSNA assists with. Contracts must be identified along with procurement and/or renewal dates. In addition, a public relations campaign must be waged, the grassroots mobilized, and power centers targeted (called “power mapping”). FOSNA even helps with the “theological messaging.” And four lawyers with Palestine Legal Support are available to help with legal challenges.
One tactic mentioned was to attach anti-Israel divestment campaigns to unrelated campaigns, like environmental divestment. This is a tactic we already have seen used on campuses.
The irony of BDS attempting to leverage municipalities in the divestment campaign is that recently many states have passed anti-BDS laws. Such laws don’t ban BDS or make BDS illegal, but rather, constitute a divestment from companies engaged in boycotting Israel. It is the flip side of what the U.S. Campaign, Sabeel, Jewish Voice for Peace and others demand of government.
In response to such laws, BDS activists claim that it is inappropriate for government to take a side. Yet forcing government to take a side is exactly what BDS wants, it just doesn’t like the result that government and the America people are taking Israel’s side
Why is Apple Maps removing Star of David symbol?
Technology giant Apple has been removing Star of David symbols representing hospitals from its maps of Israel recently, Channel 2 reported on Wednesday.
Hospitals on Apple Maps are generally represented by the religious symbol of the majority religion in a given country, according to the report.
As examples, Channel 2 cited the Red Crescent of Islam symbol used on Apple Maps of Turkey and the Red Cross of Christianity used in France.
Until recently, most of the hospitals in Israel were represented by the Red Star of David on Apple Maps. However recently, the religion-neutral stethoscope symbol has replaced most of the Stars of David, according to the report.
The stethoscope symbol is used in other countries as well, Channel 2 reported, but not generally to represent hospitals, but rather, clinics and other medical facilities.
Apple did not respond to Channel 2's requests for comment.
DaphneAnson: Lentin's Loathsome "Elegaic J'Accuse"
Born into a Christian family in Lebanon, Professor Ghassan Hage of Melbourne, whom we've met before on this blog in connection with his petition against Israel of a few years ago, co-written with Sydney academic John Docker, and his on-going pro-BDS stance, is highly critical of white colonial settlement in countries such as Australia, which appears to inform his attitude to Israel.
Sometimes his indictment of white colonial settlement can appear so harsh as to give the impression, rightly or wrongly, of reverse racism.
Born in Haifa in 1944, Associate Professor Ronit Lentin of Dublin is one of a number of Israel-hating academics from Eretz/Medinat Israel resident in Britain and Ireland. Her name appears here as one of the endorsers of "The One State Declaration" of 2007 authored by Ilan Pappe and others, which if implemented would end Israel's existence, and her anti-Israel activism is well-known.
Ghassan Hage's poem (what she calls his 'elegaic J'Accuse') has inspired her to write one of her own, adapted from "white colonial Australia to Palestine," as she puts it:
CAMERA Letter-Writers Prompt National Geographic to Correct on Gaza Zoo Closure
National Geographic recently ran a feature about closing down the “world’s worst zoo,” located in Gaza. Initially, the article politicized a story that was ostensibly about animal welfare and used it to take gratuitous and one-sided digs at Israel.
After editors heard from CAMERA letter-writers, however, significant revisions to the article were made. The editors said that the story "came through our digital staff, not our magazine operation" and that they "are putting into place more checks to try to ensure that such pieces do not slip through our digital editing process."
In the original article, after describing how zoo owner Abu Diab Oweida taxidermied 50 dead animals in the zoo, author Richard Tenorio had initially quoted Oweida saying that he did it “to prove to the whole world that even animals have been affected and [killed] by the Israeli occupation after the three [recent] wars in the Gaza Strip.” The bracketed word “killed” appeared to have been inserted into the quote by the reporter. That language has now been deleted, along with Oweida’s reference to the “Israeli occupation.”
As CAMERA letter-writers pointed out to National Geographic editors, Israel completely withdrew from Gaza in 2005, removing both civilians and soldiers from the territory. A second quote from Oweida attributing his problems to the “Israeli occupation” was removed as well, and new language was added to clarify the current relationship between Israel and Gaza.
Europeans ignoring antisemitism at their peril, says EU human rights commissioner
The Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights Nils Muižnieks delivered an urgent call on Tuesday for the EU to fight antisemitism seriously and remember the Holocaust with a view toward informing the present.
“Europeans ignore the evidence of rising antisemitic hate speech, violence and Holocaust denial at their peril. The hate that begins with Jews never ends with Jews. Antisemitism is a threat to our European continent built on freedom and the rule of law," said Muižnieks on the council’s website.
He added, “Teaching remembrance of the Holocaust is a crucial safeguard against history and serious human rights violations repeating themselves.”
Regarding litigation to stop antisemitism, he said, “In the case of Garaudy v. France, the applicant, an author of a book titled The Founding Myths of Modern Israel was convicted of disputing the existence of crimes against humanity, defamation of the Jewish community and incitement to racial hatred.”
“Contemporary manifestations of antisemitism do not just include violent crime and hate speech. Contemporary antisemitism also revolves around the Holocaust, with some blaming the Holocaust on Jews or suggesting that Jews focus on this tragedy to gain advantage," said Muižnieks.
In response to Muižnieks’s remarks, Dr. Richard Landes, the Jerusalem-based chair of the Council of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, told The Jerusalem Post, “The statement does not even address the fact that all the deadly cases of anti-semitism in Europe today come from Muslims – a sign of timidity which does not bode well for opposing the phenomenon. Indeed, one might argue that real, exterminationist antisemitism like that of the Nazis is primarily found in the European Muslim community (and among Muslims around the world), while milder forms of Jew-hatred revive at an alarming rate among others (including ‘progressive’ Jews).”
Neo-Nazi gunman wounds 4 police officers in Germany
Four German police officers were wounded Wednesday, some of them seriously, after a right-wing radical opened fire on them as they were preparing to execute a search warrant in his home.
According to German media reports, the gunman opened fire on the officers as they were approaching his home in Georgensgmund, Bavaria. He "pumped shots through the door" before the officers even had a chance to ring the doorbell, one report said.
The officers returned fire, wounding the suspect, later named as Wolfgang P., 49, a known member of the far-right Reichsburger movement. According to the Daily Mail, he was wearing a bulletproof vest when he opened fire on the police, and suffered only minor injuries.
He was treated on site and taken into police custody.
A police spokesperson later said the raid was planned after the suspect refused mandatory firearm inspections by local authorities. Officers found a stash of over 30 weapons hidden in the house, he said.
German police said one officer suffered life-threatening injuries and was still in critical condition after surgery. A second police officer was shot in the arm, and two others sustained minor injuries.
Four arrested in beating of Chabad rabbi in Ukraine
Police in Ukraine arrested four suspects, including two teenagers, in the beating of a rabbi in the western city of Zhitomir earlier this month.
The suspects in the Oct. 7 beating of Mendel Deitsch, 63, were apprehended Sunday at a bus station in the city, which they planned to flee because they believed that police were closing in on them, according to a report by the MIG News website. The report did not name the suspects, who are aged 40, 21, 16 and 13.
The group encountered the rabbi at a train station, where a fight broke out, a police source told MIG News. The suspects fled the scene with the rabbi’s cellular phone and money.
Deitsch remains in stable condition at Tel Hashomer Medical Center near Tel Aviv, where he was airlifted following his injury, according to the world headquarters of his Chabad movement. He had emergency surgery at a hospital in Zhitomir prior to being airlifted.
Hitler’s Birth Home May Not Be Demolished After All
On April 20, 1889, Adolf Hitler was born on the top floor of an apartment building in Braunau am Inn, Austria, about a three-hour drive west of Vienna. Today, the structure has become a bit of a public relations nightmare for the Austrian government, which can’t seem to make up its mind about what to do with the building it fears will become a cult shrine of sort to neo-Nazis.
In fact, for years, the Austrian government has has been paying rent on the building to `a local woman who has refused to sell the building. The government has taken action to be able to seize ownership of the building but, according to the BBC, it still pays Gerlinde Pommer over $5,000 every month in order to make sure the building doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, which is a fine thing to do. (In 1933, the town refused to name him an honorary citizen.) The government has been doing this since 1972.
The building has been empty for five years. In the past it’s been used mostly for good, housing a library and school, pub, and workshops for disabled people, among other businesses. Still, with seemingly every month the building stands, new wrinkles in this story have emerged over the question of what to do with the building on a permanent basis: raze it, as Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka desires, or repurpose it? This is surely not something to take lightly.
Israel donates 117 earthquake-proof tables to Taiwan
Israel is giving a batch of 117 special protective tables to the ancient Taiwanese city of Tainan, in the hopes of saving more people from the devastating effects of earthquakes.
The earthquake-proof tables, designed by a Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design student, are engineered to shield up to two students from flying debris during a natural disaster event, according to the institution.
The decision to donate the tables follows the 6.6 magnitude earthquake that killed 117 people in Tainan in February. The Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei, headed by Asher Yarden, decided to cancel the office’s annual Israeli Independence Day celebration and instead allocate the funds toward purchasing the tables.
Designed by student Arthur Brutter, under the guidance of Prof. Ido Bruno, the tables are built using standard metal profiles and a single piece of plywood panel, Bezalel said. Due to their relatively inexpensive price tag, the tables can be constructed anywhere and come in a combination of different sizes that enable a certain area to be declared a safe zone.
First ‘Birthright for business executives’ trip takes in Israel
The Birthright program has brought more than half a million young adults to Israel on intense 10-day visits. To replicate that experience for members of the business world, AlmaLinks, a group focused on promoting ties between the global Jewish business community and Israel, has started sponsoring its own Birthright-style trip, bringing business executives to Israel to meet their local counterparts.
“Despite nearly two decades of Birthright, the program that brings college-age students to Israel to get to know the country, the large majority of American Jews have never visited Israel, and even with the reputation of the Start-Up Nation, there are many in the tech and business community who are not familiar with what we do here. They have missed out on brand Israel,” said Alma Links founder, business executive Tomer Sapir.
“Through AlmaLink activities including parlor meetings, lectures, social events, and now organized tours, we try to instill and promote a positive relationship between the two sides.”
AlmaLinks started out five years ago as an informal network of Israeli and US young executives who were looking for a way to keep the friendships they had made in Israel alive. Today, AlmaLinks is a network of over 600 outstanding young CEOs and executives in 10 global chapters. It is led by businesspeople and financiers who decided to form an organization focused on Israel and the Jewish people.
Children of Fallen Soldiers Celebrate Mass Bar Mitzvah
Dozens of orphans of fallen Israeli soldiers, and the son of an American serviceman who died in Afghanistan, celebrated their bar and bat mitzvahs in Jerusalem last week in a mass ceremony conducted by the IDF Widows and Orphans Organization.
The organization, which provides support for army widows and orphans, makes an “extra effort to be there at important junctions in the lives of children who lost parents, and one of these is the bar mitzvah year,” said Shlomi Nahumson, director of the group’s youth department.
Ahead of a celebratory concert, the children met with the Israeli army’s chief rabbi Thursday morning, from whom they received pairs of tefillin, the phylacteries Jewish men wrap around their arms and heads during prayer.
“A child should be able to begin this journey with the hand of their father on their shoulder and with their presence when they make their choices on becoming adults,” Nahumson said. “There’s no way we can bring their fathers back to them. But we can put our hands on their shoulders, so they know they’re not alone, and that we appreciate the sacrifices their parents made.”
As multicolored strobe lights illuminated the room during the evening gala, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin addressed the youngsters, accompanied by IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Eizenkot, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and other senior officials.
“I know that all of you will continue to be a source of hope to make the world a better and more peaceful place,” Rivlin said. “We will accompany you always as you continue to grow and make your families and the people of Israel proud.”

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