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Friday, May 6, 2016

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: More than is absolutely necessary
Corbyn’s moves to discipline Shah, Livingstone and an additional 50 party members for their expressions of anti-Jewish bigotry also indicate that he has no intention of fighting anti-Semitism.
Corbyn suspended their party membership. He didn’t expel them from the party. He didn’t bar them from serving in leadership positions in the future. The duration of their suspensions is undefined.
And there is little reason to believe that it will extend beyond the headlines. Once this story is forgotten, they will likely be reinstated.
When London residents set out to vote for their next mayor on Thursday morning, it worked out that polling places in north London, home to the largest concentration of Jews in the city, were sent the wrong voter lists. As a result, hundreds of people, including Britain’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and his wife, Valerie, were prohibited from voting.
All the relevant authorities insisted that it was simply a technical mistake. Two-and-a-half hours later, the proper voter rolls arrived and residents were permitted to vote.
Maybe they were telling the truth.
But with Britain’s second largest party, the largest party in London, embracing Jew-hatred and deliberately undermining the ability of British Jewry to freely defend its Zionist values, there is no reason to take their statements at face value.
Pat Condell: I Vote Against You - Israel 3:10 - (h/t Yenta Press)

Anne Bayefsky: The UN on Holocaust Remembrance Day: Where's the 'never' in the 'never again'?
Thursday, May 5 is Holocaust Remembrance Day or “Yom Hashoah,” an occasion to remember and mourn the unique horror that resulted in the murder of 6 million Jews including one million children – unfathomable numbers that still shock the conscience of humankind. Except at the United Nations. Though the UN was built on the ashes of the Jewish people, in our time this organization plays a disturbing role in advancing antisemitism.
Antisemitism works in many ways. Devotees deny or minimize its very existence. Instead, they appropriate the suffering of their targets and invert the genuine victim and the actual perpetrator. The U.N. of the 21st century does all of this.
On April 27, 2016, the Palestinian’s UN representative Riyadh Mansour, held a press conference at UN headquarters in New York.
He said: “If you throw a stone…if you throw it at a moving car of the army or the terrorist settlers, they send you to jail for 20 years, and yet their representative in the Security Council…he paints them as terrorists. Guess what. All colonizers, all occupiers including those who suppressed the Warsaw uprising labelled those who were resisting them as terrorists.”
Jewish victims of Palestinian rock-throwers have been maimed for life with catastrophic brain injuries or have died as their cars careened out of control. According to the Palestinian spokesman, however, Israelis are like Nazis and Palestinians are their victims.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been asked to condemn Mansour’s comments and to remove them from the UN website where they are now broadcast around the world 24/7 – because, for starters, these comments contradict the essence of the U.N. Charter. But the Secretary-General has refused to do so.

Mark Regev | Full Address and Q&A | Oxford Union
Prior to his appointment as Israeli Ambassador to the UK in April 2016, Australian-born Mark Regev was the Chief Spokesperson for Prime Ministers Ehud Olmert and Benjamin Netanyahu from 2007 until 2015, and served the Israeli Foreign Ministry in Washington, Beijing and Hong Kong. He has been described as “the most prominent voice in defence of Israel”, and has a reputation for confronting Israel’s diplomatic situations head on.

David Collier: Israel. The two-stage solution
This is not a two state solution; it is a two stage solution. Tell the British born girl she is British. Tell those with Jordanian citizenship they are Jordanian. Scrap the working definition of a Palestinian refugee. Dismantle UNRWA and tell Lebanon that after 70 years it is about time they stop abusing the human rights of those within their borders.
Taking an addict and feeding both his addiction and his delusion simply because everyone is afraid to tell them the truth is abuse. Wanting to end the saga of refugees inside places like Lebanon, is a humanitarian cause. Kicking the can down the road only ensures the conflict continues and Israel remains trapped in a perpetual catch 22, with those on the outside working to permanently toxify the environment.
If you insist on permitting the artificially sustained and hate infested desires of those outside to dictate the basic terms of the discussion between the Jew from Jerusalem and the Arab from Ramallah, you will always exist in a deteriorating environment with little prospect for any type of lasting settlement.
So if the basic question over the issue of the two state solution, is to ask me if I believe in simply ‘kicking the can down the road’? Then my answer is also simple. No I do not.
Ben-Dror Yemini: Progress doesn't negate horror
When the leaders of Iran and Sudan sit at the head of the most important human rights ocouncil in the world, it proves that the world truly hasn't learned anything. And when the mechanisms for demonization and calls for boycott start to operate in the free world, are we really supposed to turn to Iran and Sudan for help?
Almost every blood libel ever said towards Jews is now being said towards the Jewish state. The combination of progress and horror isn't just something which happened in the distant past – its also today's reality.
Former French Justice Minister Robert Badinter said yesterday that Germany used to be the most educated country in the world. We saw what happened to the most important educated people during the Holocaust period. We saw what happened to the nation which raised the largest number of Nobel Prize laureates in the world.
"How many of these educated people were against what was going on?" He asks. Neither the most educated, nor the most musically talented, nor even the most artistically talented were immune to the racism of the period. It's not enough to be educated Badinter says, one also needs to be a mensch.
Eduard Mossberg, who testified against Nazi war crimes, was also at the Holocaust Survivors Conference. He spoke passionately and charismatically – tears flowed from many of those in attendance.
"If Israel would have existed during the time of the Holocaust," said Mossberg, "they would have done what the Allies never did. Israel would have blown up the gas chambers, and would have stopped the Holocaust."
Mossberg isn't an Israeli – he went to the United States after the war. Yet he ended his speech with three words; "Israel will live."
Head of Holocaust Research Group Reveals New Shocking Testimony From Warsaw Ghetto (INTERVIEW)
The oft-repeated notion that Jews went willingly to the slaughter during the Holocaust is completely unfounded, a Holocaust commemoration activist told The Algemeiner on Thursday, citing a number of documents which were recently uncovered by his organization detailing eye-witness accounts of Jews fighting back.
Jonny Daniels, founder and executive director of From the Depths, which works with Holocaust survivors, Jewish communities in Eastern Europe and the Polish government to preserve the memory of the Holocaust, said that one of several projects he is engaged in includes translating first hand accounts that have sat untouched for years in Poland’s governmental archives.
Daniels said his organization has “uncovered remarkable documentation that shows thousands of accounts of ‘fighting back’ from eyewitnesses” throughout the Holocaust, which he is working on cataloging, translating and publishing.
Two months ago, Daniels and his team came across an old communist-era document written in the late 1940s. The document turned out to be an eyewitness account from a Jewish male in his 20s of an emotional tale of survival from the Warsaw Ghetto “which happened almost 73 years ago to this very day,” Daniels said.
Fred Maroun: Stop the inane Holocaust analogies
Some Zionists feel the need to make analogies between Nazi Germany and Israel. The latest such occurrence came from no less than IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Yair Golan. Golan said, “If there is something that frightens me in the memory of the Holocaust, it is identifying horrifying processes that occurred in Europe…70, 80 and 90 years ago and finding evidence of their existence here in our midst, today, in 2016”.
I admire Yair Golan for identifying weaknesses in the IDF and Israeli society and trying to improve them. He is not unique in this among Israelis. It is one of the main reasons why Israel is a light unto the nations. What bothers me however is that he made an utterly unwarranted analogy between Israeli society and pre-Holocaust Germany.
Does Golan seriously believe that Israel is in any danger of rounding up Arabs and shipping them to death camps? I ask this because this is exactly the extrapolation that the enemies of Israel will make. People whose full-time job is to demonize Israel and the IDF will say, “Even the IDF Deputy Chief of Staff says so”.
If there is frustration among Israeli Jews towards Arabs, who in their right mind could blame them? I am an Arab, and I get it. Why doesn’t Golan get it?
No joking matter: 1940s political cartoons warned US of Holocaust
Long before becoming a beloved children’s author, Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel wielded his pen for more sober reasons: He wanted to alert the American public to the horrors of the Third Reich.
In fact, Geisel belonged to a small but determined cadre of American editorial cartoonists who, as early as 1933, sounded the alarm about Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. Now the work of these legendary cartoonists is featured in Dr. Rafael Medoff and Craig Yoe’s new book, “Cartoonists Against the Holocaust.”
But beyond resurrecting these cartoons from history’s margins, the book upends the narrative that Americans were unaware of the mounting barbarism.
“There is a popular misconception that what Hitler was doing was not known to the American public until the camps were liberated,” Dr. Rafael Medoff, founding director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, told The Times of Israel. “When you look at the newspaper coverage at the time you see a great deal was known long before that. And the number of editorial cartoons further illustrates how widely known Hitler’s atrocities were before the end of the war.”
Write this down: I am an Israeli-Arab
The recent wave of terrorism put many of us into a state of fear, with distrust between Jews and Arabs at new levels, but for Abdullah Abed al-Rahman, 26, from Abu Ghosh, the situation was extreme.
Abdol, as he is known, is a social activist and his main field of activities is the social networks. He runs two Facebook pages. The first, “Abu Ghosh Now,” is an Arabic- language platform for the people of the village to discuss topics of the hour and political issues regarding their relations with neighboring Jews and Arabs.
The purpose of the second page, which he runs with Orthodox Jew Michal Julian, in Hebrew, Arabic and English, is to advance Jewish-Arabic coexistence from a Zionist point of view.
“I started the page in order to create an alternative to the established media, which portrays the Arab sector as constant victimizers or victims. The only time we hear about Arab individuals is when they join Islamic State or commit acts of violence. We never hear the sane and rational voice of the Arab sector, the one that opposes terrorism,” he says.
“I called the page ‘Right Wing and Arabs Tweeting’ because I believe that the right-wing voters in Israel, who usually avoid making contact with Arabs, have a lot in common with us, and if they will be exposed to our views, we could create a solid ground for coexistence. This is just a name, but everyone is welcome there.”
Abdol thinks that there are many like him, but they are silenced.
Honour of being a Zionist
It's precisely the success of the Zionist enterprise that has perversely persuaded many of today's purported radicals that Israel is a colonialist enterprise rather than an essential liberal cause. It's a historical accident that the realisation of the dream of Jewish statehood came after the wave of self-determination of smaller nations in the 20th century. If only Israel had been founded earlier, then some European Jews at least might have been saved from Nazi barbarism.
The fact that Israel now exists is a guarantor that Jews will have a refuge in future. But it's not only Israel's right to exist that ought to be an integral part of left-wing politics. It's also Israel's right to be a sovereign, independent power, with a right - consequently - also to make mistakes and learn from them.
Like many of Israel's friends, I'm dismayed at Israel's settlement policies and the needless frictions of its present government with overseas supporters like the Obama administration. But what I value about Zionism more than anything is that it embraces pluralism as part of its being. Its founders cracked down on Jewish terrorist groups early in the state's existence. When there is eventually a two-state solution between a secure Israel and a sovereign Palestine, that too will be an expression of the pluralist values of Zionism.
In the meantime, while it's not strictly true to call me a Zionist, I'll always be honoured to be described that way.
Internatl Red Cross No Match for Palestinian Barbarism
Palestinian Red Cross/Crescent is a main actor – for terrorism
Consequently, says the report, the (Red Cross) Federation aims to support PRCS, the “Palestinian Red Crescent society”, which is “one of the main actors in the Palestinian active civil society”. If the PRCS is a “main actor” in Palestinian civil society, what does it do and how good an example is the PRCS to others?
The answer is quite shocking. Just recently, Palestinian Media Watch reported that PRCS headquarters – doubtless donated by the international arm of the Red Cross– actually served as the venue for a ceremony commemorating a mass murderer, Dalal Mughrabi. The infamous Dalal Mughrabi led the Palestinian attack, on Israeli civilians in 1978, known as the Coastal Road Massacre, in which a bus was hijacked on Israel's Coastal Highway and the passengers were slaughtered. 37 civilians were killed, including 12 children. Nor was this barbaric “ceremony” an isolated event of terror glorification by an arm (the “Palestinian” arm) of the International Red Cross ; see other reports of misdoings by the Palestinian Red Crescent society in the pmw website of Palestinian Media Watch.
Corbyn rallied with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh
If peace between Israelis and Palestinians is a cause dear to your heart, would you join an angry anti-Israel rally where one of the speakers is Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh?
Jeremy “Peace Process” Corbyn did just that in London in June 2007. When he addressed the rally, he offered no words of compromise, no coaxing sympathy for both sides, and no call to end the terrorist violence.
Instead it was a typical tirade. Israel is like apartheid South Africa. Its settlement products have no place in our shops. Palestinian prisoners must be freed. Building the wall that keeps out suicide bombers is wrong. Israel must be denied the arms it needs to defend itself. Hamas must be respected.
Suitable words for a “victory to the intifada” crowd.
Hamas leader Haniyeh addressed the rally via a video link.
Naturally Haniyeh spoke up for violence, saying:
…we adhere to the Palestinian peoples right to defend themselves and resist the occupation in accordance with divine laws and international accords and conventions.
He also had warm words for his friends in London:
I salute you all for your stand, for your solidarity, and for your human, brotherly, and patriotic true feelings.

Thank you all once again for your continued support and solidarity with the Palestinian people.

There were also calls for Israel’s annihilation at the rally. George Galloway shouted for “a free country from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean sea”. Azzam “Kaboom” Tamimi added “the whole of Palestine will be free – from the sea to the river, from the north to the south”. The crowd chanted “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
Another UK Labour member suspended for anti-Semitic remarks
A Labour spokesman confirmed that David Watson, a fundraising coordinator in the London area of Walthamstow, has been suspended pending an investigation, the Jewish Chronicle reported.
According to the JC, Watson posted items on Facebook claiming that the Islamic State group used weapons made in Israel, comparing Mossad to the Nazis and accusing Israel of genocide against the Palestinians.
He also reportedly wrote on the social media site that Zionism is a “racist ideology,” and that, “If I were a Palestinian, like most people … I’d probably want to be a guerilla fighter and liberate my people from a brutal and oppressive occupation.”
Local councilors on Friday blamed the row over anti-Semitism for the party’s poor showing in heavily Jewish areas of Manchester and Glasgow in Thursday’s local elections.
Despite party's anti-Semitism row, first Muslim mayoral candidate looks ready to take London
Sadiq Khan of Britain's opposition Labor Party is the strong favorite to win London's mayoral election on Thursday after a contest marked by religious tensions and accusations of racism.
Polls show Khan, the son of a bus driver, is as much as 20 percentage points ahead of rival Conservative Zac Goldsmith in the race to run one of the world's top financial centers. If he wins, he will succeed current Conservative mayor Boris Johnson to become the first Muslim to head a major Western capital.
London's population of 8.6 million is among the most diverse in the world and it is rare for identity politics to enter British campaigning.
But Goldsmith, with the support of Prime Minister David Cameron, has for weeks focused on Khan's faith and past appearances alongside radical Muslim speakers, accusing him of giving "platform, oxygen and cover" to extremists.
Despite anti-Semitism scandal, Labour suffers only minor losses in England
Early results Friday from British local and regional elections seen as a key test for opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn showed strong gains for Scottish nationalists, as London looked set to elect its first Muslim mayor.
Initial results showed the Scottish National Party winning what their leader called a “historic” victory in Scotland, as it seeks a mandate to move towards a second independence referendum.
Some counts were expected to stretch into the weekend as 45 million eligible voters were asked to cast their ballots in contests across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
UK’s Labour said to lose big in Jewish areas in local elections
Britain’s Labour Party fared less badly overall than many had predicted in Thursday’s local and regional elections, suffering a humiliating loss in Scotland but clinging on to control of major cities in England. Its performance in areas with a strong Jewish population, however, was reportedly dismal, reflecting the ongoing row over anti-Semitic remarks by a string of its officials.
In Manchester, home to the secondlargest Jewish community in the UK, the party saw its support collapse in a key area, the Jewish Chronicle said. Local councilors blamed the defeat on the anti-Semitism row, with one from the heavily Jewish suburb of Prestwich calling the results a “backlash against the Labour Party.” Sedgley, the district that includes Prestwich, went from Labour to Conservative control in local government.
“It’s down to one person, and that’s Ken Livingstone,” councilor Alan Quinn said, according to the Chronicle. “He has caused grotesque offense to the Jewish population in Prestwich with his absolutely awful comments. Our councilors put their hearts and souls into representing the area and there really is no place in the Labour Party for bigots like Ken Livingstone.”
Ken Brings Up Hitler on Live TV, Again
Ken has been on Sky again to attack “embittered old Blairites” and “far right Labour MPs”, before the Hitler klaxon was sounded:
“There was a relationship between a small section of the Jewish community and Adolf Hitler… I don’t think the people of Israel need to be ashamed about what happened 80 years ago.”
Sure they’ll be pleased to know.

Australian Jewish Leader urges friends of Israel to shun the New Israel Fund
Michael Burd: ...Isi, two hard left anti-Zionist organizations are trying to make inroads into Australia. J Street, which has an extremist Muslim as their leader on campus, and the NIF, the New Israel Fund, we all recognize is a major sponsor of Israel's worst enemies. The NIF supporters have even embedded themselves on the boards of some of our most prominent pro-Zionist organizations. I think they're trying to convince the Jewish community that they're mainstream. Isi, you're considered one of Australian diaspora's strongest supporter of Israel, and there are no Australian community leaders or representatives that know more about what is happening in Israel than you. What do you say to Australian potential Jewish supporters of the NIF that believe, regardless of all the harm the New Israel Fund is doing to Israel's image abroad, some of the good the NIF do within makes up for all the bad? Do you agree? Or not agree?
Isi Leibler: No, I certainly do not agree, and I would urge anybody who has the interest of Israel at heart not to have anything to do with New Israel Fund. It is an organization which is sponsoring enemies of the Jewish people, which is sponsoring groups which are reviling and demonizing the Jewish people. It is sponsoring groups within Israel which are undermining the Zionist vision, and all I can say is you can just look at the list of where their donations go to some of these organizations. It's quite frightening.
TIP CEO: Legislative Victories Against Boycotts Show Attempts to Demonize Israel Backfired
The passage of legislation against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign in eight states over the past year has sent a strong signal to anti-Israel activists that their “smear campaign to delegitimize and demonize Israel has backfired,” Josh Block, CEO and President of The Israel Project, wrote in an op-ed published in The Hill on Tuesday.
Citing the words of Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who said upon signing his state’s anti-BDS bill in March that the campaign is “fueled by anti-Semitism,” Block observed that “the proponents of this anti-Semitic movement have sought to mainstream anti-Israel discrimination in America, and around the world.” He added that the campaign has targeted “[business] sectors and college campuses” as a means of isolating Israel.
By overwhelmingly supporting anti-BDS legislation, state legislatures have delivered a message to those seeking to single out Israel for discriminatory boycotts that their “attempts to malign Israel with false accusations of repellent human rights violations and obscene blood libels like ‘organ stealing’ have been exposed,” Block argued.
“Instead, community reaction in the eight states where discriminatory anti-Israel BDS schemes have so far been defeated has overflowed with support for Israel,” he continued. “Indeed, it has been heartening to observe communities and leaders in states as diverse as Iowa and Florida mobilizing and taking action to embrace Israel’s values and friendship, and ensuring that American tax dollars are not flowing to companies that engage in or otherwise indulge BDS-hate.”
Iowa Governor Will Sign Anti-BDS Legislation
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad confirmed he will sign a bill that will not allow public companies to do business with firms involved in Israel boycotts.
Iowa’s Senate passed House File 2331 last week in a 38-9 vote. The legislators hope the bill counters “efforts of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement.” Palestinian groups began the movement in 2005 as a way to money and goods from Israel.
“I just think it is wrong to be boycotting our friend and ally, Israel,” declared Gov. Branstad. “There is a lot of opportunity for us to do business with them, and I don’t believe we ought to be penalizing Israel, of all countries. They are one of our best friends and allies. This is something I strongly support.”
Iowa joins Florida and Arizona as the only starts that “ban both state investment and procurement in companies that engage in a politically motivated boycott of Israel.”
German mayor embroiled in row over anti-Semitic bank account
The mayor of Stuttgart, who served as one of the patrons of an event celebrating Israel’s 68th birthday on Wednesday, defended his city’s ownership stake in the BW bank that provides an account to an NGO that promotes a boycott of the Jewish state and plays down the Holocaust.
“The idea of facilitating - even in a most indirect way - a boycott of Jews is something that should be self-evident for business people and the city government that they should not be involved in,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.
“When people at the city-owned bank [BW] paid checks to people who minimize the Holocaust that is not something that Germans would want to be associated with,” he said. “BDS [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions] everyone knows it is anti-Semitic.”
The city of Stuttgart, which is located in the southern state of Baden-Württemberg, owns nearly 20% of the BW bank. The state owns roughly 25% of the bank.
Major University System Embraces Invidious and Illegal Anti-Israel Discrimination
On April 15th, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement claimed a victory when the Doctoral Students' Council (DSC) at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) adopted a Resolution Endorsing the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions. The vote on the resolution was scheduled late on a Friday despite protests that many Jewish students would be unable to vote due to Sabbath observance. The DSC represents nearly 4,000 members of the graduate school who are also students and faculty across many of the campuses within the CUNY system. The DSC’s affiliate, the Adjunct Project, a self-described resource center for Graduate Center Student Workers and CUNY adjuncts, has also endorsed the resolution.
BDS calls for, among other things, academic institutions and individual scholars to boycott activities and programs sponsored by Israeli universities. While it is pitched as a peaceful movement interested in social justice for Palestinians, as California Assemblyman Travis Allen cautioned “The reality is more sinister: The BDS movement seeks to delegitimize Israel’s very identity and existence and ultimately bring about its destruction and replacement with a Palestinian state, which would be dominated by the terrorist group Hamas.” One leading BDS activist has explained that, “[t]he real aim of BDS is to bring down the state of Israel. . . . There should not be any equivocation on the subject… Justice and freedom for Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the state of Israel."
The BDS resolution, which calls for members of the University community to engage in invidious discrimination based on national origin and/or religion, marks a significant infringement of academic freedom and protected personal rights. As such, it is of serious concern to the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ), and it should be of equally serious concern to the University.
The BDS movement claims to be “anti-Zionist” and not anti-Semitic, but the sad reality which belies the reason for its existence is that its victims are often Jewish people—or even people perceived to be Jewish—who are American citizens with no connection at all to the State of Israel. Importantly, a recent study found that pro-BDS activity “is the strongest predictor of anti-Jewish hostility on campus.” Unfortunately, this could not be truer than at CUNY.
Politicisation of BBC World Service programme on Israeli water technology
The part of the programme concerning Israel (from 12:50 here) is both interesting and informative. One must therefore wonder all the more why presenter Justin Rowlatt found it appropriate to introduce the item using facile politicized messaging.
“…and it is to Israel that we turn our attention now. Water is of course an extremely contentious issue in Israel’s neighbourhood. Israel and Palestine are in deadlock over water sharing across the green line. Meanwhile, Jewish settlements are accused of hogging water supplies on the West Bank and the River Jordan itself is shrivelling as Israel and its Arab neighbours collectively draw too much from it.”
The BBC’s long-standing and repeated politicization of the topic of water means that we have addressed that issue many times on these pages. Agreements regarding water form part and parcel of the Oslo Accords – but apparently Rowlatt has never heard of the Israeli-Palestinian Joint Water Committee and does not know that Israel actually supplies the PA with more water than stipulated in the agreements. Rowlatt’s populistic claim that “Jewish settlements” are “hogging water supplies on the West Bank” is obviously not based on an understanding of the fact that 97% of the Palestinian residents of that area get their water supplies from the Palestinian Water Authority and his jaundiced portrayal of the Jordan River is likewise devoid of context.
What a pity it is for BBC World Service audiences that even a science programme is allowed to become a platform for opportunistic uninformed Israel-bashing.
BBC’s Nicky Campbell materially misleads on Jewish self-determination
Following its written and audio items relating to antisemitism and anti-Zionism, the BBC took the same topic to its British audience’s television screens. The May 1st edition of BBC One’s “moral, ethical and religious discussion series” titled ‘The Big Questions’ purported to address the question “Is anti-Zionism anti-Semitic?”.
What followed is perhaps best described as tabloid television; various pre-selected participants engaged in repugnant defamation of Israel by means of populist slurs such as ‘ethnic cleansing’, ‘colonisation’ and ‘apartheid’ and promoted falsehoods such as the baseless allegation that Israel ‘burnt’ Palestinian children with white phosphorus.
Of course nothing other than that was to be expected given the records and ideologies of some of the people the BBC chose to invite to the programme such as MPAC UK’s Raza Nadim, Tony Greenstein, Daphna Baram and Moshe Machover. Without doubt the programme’s producers got entirely predictable results.
One particularly notable feature of the programme, however, came not from the invited guests but from the show’s presenter Nicky Campbell who twice introduced the following theme into the discussion.
“Benjamin Netanyahu – the prime minister – he wanted to pass this law saying Israel is the nation-state of one people only – the Jewish people – and no other people. If any other country in the world said that, people would be jumping up and down saying that’s racist.”
The bill to which Campbell refers was in fact first proposed by the Kadima party’s Avi Dichter in 2011 and additional versions were subsequently proposed by several other members of the Knesset – including Netanyahu. In 2013 the then Minister of Justice, Tsipi Livni, commissioned Professor Ruth Gavison to examine the issue and compile recommendations. To date the bill has not passed a preliminary reading.
Spanish town suffers vandalism upon changing its anti-Semitic name
An ancient Spanish town that voted to change its name because it was deemed anti-Semitic has come under attack from extremist groups who have daubed the town’s signposts and buildings with offensive right-wing symbols and messages protesting the change.
Castrillo Mota de Judios (“Jews’ Hill Camp”) town mayor Lorenzo Rodriguez Perez said Thursday that after the latest weekend attack the town had decided to file a complaint with police.
The north-central village of some 50 inhabitants voted in 2014 to change its name from Castrillo Matajudios (“Camp Kill Jews”) to its current form. Rodriguez said that since then there have been six vandalism incidents as well as protests whenever Jewish or Israeli representatives visited.
He said the graffiti and vandalism by groups came from outside and would not change the town’s push to honor its Jewish origins.
Polish nationalist burns poster of mayor shown wearing kippah
A Polish ultranationalist burned a poster of the mayor of Wroclaw wearing a kippah during a protest march.
Roman Zielinski, who authored a book titled “How I Fell in Love with Adolf Hitler,” set the poster of Mayor Rafał Dutkiewicz on fire in front of cameras on Sunday during a march against the European Union in Wroclaw, in western Poland, the PAP news agency reported Monday.
It was not reported whether the mayor was actually wearing the kippah or if it was superimposed on the poster.
The march was organized by the National Radical Camp, or ONR, a formation that was banned in the mid-1930s because of its extremism but reactivated in 1993. Zielinski is a figurehead of a faction of fans of the local soccer team Sląsk Wrocław.
Israeli flag burned at Kiev Holocaust memorial on Yom Hashoah
A group of young people burned an Israeli flag outside a Ukraine Holocaust memorial in Kiev on Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, on Thursday.
The flag burning near the Babi Yar ravine, where 30,000 Jews were murdered over the course of two days in September 1941, was captured on surveillance video, Interfax-Ukraine reported.
Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko condemned the incident, referring to the flag burners as “young vandals.” He called on law enforcement authorities to investigate.
“This happened on the national Holocaust Remembrance Day, when the Jewish people all over the world remember the 6 million victims who perished during World War II,” the press service of Kiev City State Administration quoted Klitscho saying, according to Interfax.
“It is intolerable to brutalize the memory of the victims, especially at the place which is globally known as one of the symbols of a terrible crime of fascism, at the [Babi Yar], where dozens of thousands of people of different nationalities, the majority of them, Jewish, had been destroyed,” he said.
MEMRI: The 'Quenelle+' Facebook Page – Popular Among Followers Of Antisemitic French Comedian Dieudonné
The controversial French comedian Dieudonné M'bala M'bala has been prosecuted several times for antisemitic statements and incitement; in 2009 in Paris he was fined €10,000 for making such statements, and, most recently, in 2015, he was sentenced in Belgium to two months' imprisonment and fined €9,000 for inciting to hatred in a 2012 show he gave in that country. In other shows, and in videos, Dieudonné depicted Jews as "Zionists" in black religious garb, and mocked the Nazi gas chambers as fake.
Despite the trials and condemnation, Dieudonné remains very popular among a growing number of French young people, many of whom follow French conspiracy theorist Alain Soral and are affiliated with either the extreme-right Front National or the extreme left in France. Dieudonné's followers have created "Quenelle" pages on Facebook, with variations in spelling, named for the "f*ck-you" gesture that Dieudonné invented and popularized and that has sparked protests because of its resemblance to the Nazi salute.
One of the "Quenelle" Facebook pages that post incitement content is the "Quenelle+" page; as it states on its "About" page, its name is aimed against France's Canal+ television channel, which it attacks for "acting like the whore" of the French "oligarchy," that is, the wealthy and powerful in the country.
What’s Behind the Recent Glut of New York Times Holocaust Stories?
Though the paper made no direct acknowledgment of Holocaust Remembrance Day — at least that I could discern — it marked the occasion with at least two Holocaust-related articles.
One, from the metro desk, appears under the headline, “Search for Family’s Lost History Leads to Mass Grave in Poland.” It reports on the Pomeranc family, a New York real estate family who funded an investigation that discovered mass graves at Adampol, Poland.
A second article, in the arts section, is by a critic writing about her grandfather, who listened to classical music at the Buchenwald concentration camp. It appears under the headline, “Love and Loss, Set to Music, During the Holocaust.”
The Times’ Holocaust interest extends beyond Holocaust Remembrance Day. On one random day last month, the newspaper’s home page featured both an arts article, headlined “Does My Family Own an Artwork Looted by Nazis?” and a “couch” column by a New York psychoanalyst exploring the complexity of treating a Polish patient, given that the psychoanalyst’s father had been in the Belzec concentration camp. (The “couch” column says, “details have been altered to protect patient privacy,” so it’s not clear how much of it is actually true, but that is another matter.)
The Shoah, in other words, is a Jewish topic that the Times adores covering nearly as much as it likes to write about Jewish food. It’s almost as if, by dwelling on the genocide retrospectively decades later, the newspaper is trying to compensate for its own embarrassingly bad coverage of atrocity when it was actually happening.
If the Times wanted to atone genuinely for its World War II-era errors, it would do so by doing a better job of covering contemporary Jewish issues. There, the newspaper’s record ranges from the laughably clumsy to the downright shameful.
Mapping the Holocaust: How Jews were taken to their final destinations
Nini Ungar clearly recalled that Friday in February 1942 when the Nazis loaded her, her husband and her parents on a cattle cart and transferred them, standing upright, to the railway station in Vienna.
She was in her mid-20s and did not yet know that she was pregnant. The family had already spent days in the squalid compound of a school where thousands of Jews destined for deportation were warehoused. She was among 1,000 on the transport that set out that day for the ghetto in Riga, Latvia.
“The Viennese were standing and laughing. ‘Finally they got the Jews out!’ ” Ms. Ungar, who was born Mina Tepper and was one of only 36 from that transport to survive the war, recounted in video testimony. “We scraped the ice from the windows — we were so thirsty. We didn’t have water. We didn’t have anything,” she said of the train journey.
Her journey across a wintry Europe can now be traced on a database that documents about 1,100 transports, searchable by train (or boat or bus) or victim’s name. A project of Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial and research center, the database sheds new light on the cross-border, Europewide nature of the stages leading to the mass extermination of some six million Jews, known in Hebrew as the Shoah.
Book signed by Anne Frank sells for $62,500
A book of fairy tales that belonged to Anne Frank sold for $62,500 dollars at a New York auction on Thursday, Swann Auction Galleries said.
The 1925 edition of “Grimm’s Fairy Tales,” including “Snow White” and “Hansel and Gretel,” belonged to Frank and her sister Margot, whose names are written on the title page, the auction house said, adding that the book went for more than double its estimated price.
The auction included half a dozen potential buyers and lasted a minute, a spokesman for the auction house said.
“The Diary of a Young Girl,” which Frank wrote while hiding from the Nazis in an Amsterdam attic from June 1942 to August 1944, has sold more than 30 million copies and been translated into 67 languages.
Jewish leader calls on Michelin to rank Israeli eats
The leader of an umbrella organization representing world Jewry has asked the Michelin travel guide company to evaluate Israeli restaurants with its famous rating system.
In a letter to the Michelin Guide, World Jewish Congress President Ron Lauder says it is a “concerning omission” that Michelin does not have a guide to Israel’s “exceptional cuisine.”
“Though I am sure that it is not your intention, some have speculated that reasons other than merit color Michelin’s decision not to visit Israel,” Lauder, a billionaire businessman and philanthropist, added. The letter was obtained by The Associated Press.
Israel, particularly Tel Aviv, has a vibrant food scene, melding flavors from Jewish immigrants around the world with local Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. In recent years, Israeli cuisine has earned international acclaim, with Tel Aviv recognized by Saveur Magazine as an outstanding travel destination for food lovers in 2014.
Australia’s ‘Carpageddon’ to unleash Israeli-developed virus on invasive killer
Herpes virus developed to target predatory fish that are reportedly causing serious damage to national economy
Dubbed "Carpageddon" and backed by the man who threatened to kill Johnny Depp's dogs, the latest plan to control introduced species in Australia will use the herpes virus to eradicate millions of predatory fish.
The National Carp Control Plan will cost Aus$15 million (US$11 million) to spread the virus through the aggressive common carp, introduced to Australia in the mid-1800s.
And it has brought Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce another brush with notoriety after his threat last year to put down Hollywood star Depp's dogs after he and wife Amber Heard breached Australia's quarantine laws.
Joyce strutted and yelled in an extraordinary show in parliament on Monday when he reported the carp scheme to members. In a booming rasp, the red-faced Joyce branded the fish "disgusting mud-sucking creatures", and kept shouting "CAAARP" and "venereal disease" to the amusement of some MPs.
8 early-stage Israeli startups chosen for EU grant
Eight early-stage Israeli startups recently were awarded grants in the European Commission’s SME Instrument Program, which helps small- and medium-sized businesses advance development of products judged to be high-potential for Europe and beyond.
The percentage of grants won by Israeli companies was more than double that of companies from other countries – 19 percent of Israeli companies that submitted applications won grants, compared with 8.7% of all European companies that filed proposals.
Four of the grantees specialize in the environment and alternative energy. The others are developing products in communications, nanotech, biotech and transportation.
The Israeli winners of €50,000 grants are:
Israeli group ridesharing startup Via raises $100 million in colossal investment
Israeli cooperative transportation startup Via announced a $100 million Series C investment Thursday in a round led by Pitango Growth, Poalim Capital Markets, and C4 Ventures. Other investors include 83North, Ervington Investments and Hearst Ventures.
“Via is creating the public transit system of the future,” said CEO Daniel Ramot and VP of Development Oren Shoval, co-founders of Via in their communiqué to the press. “With existing transportation infrastructure straining and in some cases failing to meet rising demand across the globe, Via’s dynamic bus system offers cities a smart solution to traffic congestion and emissions. We’re delighted to have secured significant backing for our vision: eliminating single-occupancy vehicle trips by creating a mass transit system powered by advanced algorithms and data.”
Founded by Israelis Ramot and Shoval in 2012, the company is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Chicago and Tel Aviv. This injection of cash just about quadruples the company’s total fundraising, bringing them to an impressive $137 million.
Unlike many of the other actors in the ride share space like Uber or Lyft, Via is looking to offer more than just freelance drivers that can push you up at the push of a button on your app. They appear to have built an infrastructure for making mass transportation smarter and better organized.
Pop Star Katy Perry Wishes for Weekly Worldwide ‘Shabbat’ to Disconnect From Social Media
Pop superstar Katy Perry declared in a recent interview that the whole world needs a weekly day of rest “like Shabbat,” to disconnect from social media.
“I wish there was a thing like Shabbat that wasn’t particularly religious-based, that was kind of a worldwide day where we’re not on our phones — like a movement,” the singer, who is not Jewish, told Cosmopolitan. “I just think something like this would be really great for our minds, especially because kids today — if they weren’t born in the 80s — don’t even know what a life without internet is like. And I think it’s going to be really difficult for our focus and our attention spans moving forward. So I’d love if the world implemented an actual day of real rest.”
The Fireworks singer added that she thinks social media use can be “very narcissistic and displays a life that isn’t really real.” She told the magazine that while she is not opposed to social media, she tries separating herself from it by mediating 20 minutes a day, which helps her “stay grounded and take in some mindfulness.”
Israeliness is the answer
Alarms are going off. American Jews – particularly Millennials – have become less connected to their faith and to the State of Israel.
According to the now infamous 2013 Pew Research Center study, “A Portrait of Jewish Americans,” approximately one-third of American Jews between 18 and 29 years old describe themselves as having no religion at all, and two-thirds do not have a strong connection to Israel. In a study published by Brandeis University last year, fewer than half of Jewish college students could correctly answer even the most basic questions about the Jewish state. This is stark contrast to older American Jews, eight in 10 of whom feel attached to Israel.
Many now suggest that the State of Israel, our Jewish homeland, has become an obstacle in our effort to engage the next generation in Jewish life. They see Israel as a source of conflict and alienation between older and younger Jews and between young American Jews and their Jewish heritage.
Despite the hype and the headlines of recent years, I have seen firsthand that the State of Israel and the Israeli people are anything but a liability when it comes to engaging young people. They are our most powerful and effective solution.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.


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