A spree of attacks and threats against media outlets in Iraq has alarmed the United Nations, journalists and monitors, who demand the government prevent the "silencing" of journalists covering mass protests. Raids over the weekend carried out by unidentified gunmen have added to concerns for freedom of expression that were first flagged when authorities implemented a near-total internet blackout after anti-government protests erupted last week in the capital and the country’s south. On Saturday evening, the Baghdad bureaus of Kurdistan-based NRT TV, Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya and local Al-Dijla channel were raided by masked men, the stations said.
From Texas Standard . Many American media outlets – along with UK Prime Minister Theresa May, Pope Francis, and even far-right French leader Marine Le Pen – have all criticized the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border. Josue Moreno is a bilingual journalist working at the Texas Standard this summer, and he’s looked into how Central American media are responding to the crisis.
BUT ISRAEL has some issues on the horizon that, if they would come together at the wrong time, would be a perfect storm. Among these is the increasing hostility of Turkey. Ankara has become more nationalist and religious-nationalist, a toxic mix. It is flexing its muscles, taking over swaths of northern Syria and seeking to keep on track to totally remove the Americans from the region. That would be a setback for the US – and setbacks for the US also impact Israel. Turkey is buying the S-400, not in itself a problem for Israel. Ostensibly, both Ankara and Jerusalem have an interesting relationship with Moscow today, borne of Russia’s increased role in the region, particularly in Syria.
Russia’s role in Turkey is strategic and also related to energy and Syria. This can impact Israel in a complex way. Turkey’s current government is seeking to take up the mantle of being the main opposition to Israel in the region. It bashes Israel over Jerusalem, and its media run hyperbolic stories about Israeli abuses. Turkey is close to the Muslim Brotherhood today and wants to see Hamas have a more prominent role in Ramallah. Yet Israel can deal with Turkey’s anger. The question is whether it can deal with the emerging Turkey-Iran relationship.
Iran has been a challenge for Israel due to a variety of reasons, but lately it is capitalizing on the weakness of its adversaries. That means it is increasingly playing a role in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. That means it is transferring precision missile technology to Hezbollah.
Iran’s IRGC says that it can destroy Israel. It launched an attack on Saudi Arabia on September 14 that has ramifications for Israel. That Riyadh did not respond shows that Israel’s supposed common interests with the Gulf are more problematic than in reality. Saudi Arabia won’t confront Iran. So who will confront Iran? The US? No. The US has signaled it will not. And the next US administration may be more pro-Iran than this one. That could give Tehran what it wants in Syria, which means a kind of “land bridge” that ends near the Golan and threatens Israel.
What Israel faces today is potentially two strong adversaries in Turkey and Iran, although they are quite different in how they confront Israel. Turkey uses soft power; Iran uses hard power. But Israel, appearing strong, now faces these challenges in some ways alone. It is not like the 1950s, when Israel was truly alone. Israel has made major inroads in India, China and elsewhere. But the immediate challenges are still there. It is dangerous to be too confident and arrogant today, and it is essential that Jerusalem seek to analyze and deal with these challenges in the long-term because short term planning won’t work. Iran thinks in the long term – and its role in the region is a long-term role.
Against that backdrop, the 22nd Knesset was sworn in on Thursday in Jerusalem. Many are wondering if, like the 21st Knesset, it will also last for less than two months and perhaps become the shortest-lived legislature in Israel’s history.
As the Post’s Lahav Harkov pointed out on Wednesday, there are only eight new members of this Knesset, as well as another nine who are returning from past stints as legislators, which means that 103 members of the 22nd Knesset will be sworn in for the second time this year.
A proud institution, the Knesset is in danger of becoming a laughing stock. But it’s no joke. Israel needs a stable government and a stable Knesset. Every attempt must be made to prevent the newly sworn-in Knesset from becoming the shortest Knesset in Israeli history.
All parties should take the responsibility upon themselves as if they alone are charged with insuring that a third election is not called for. The country has survived some nine months of paralysis, but it’s only a matter of time before the string starts to unravel out of control and the situation begins to do irreparable damage to Israel and its population.
At Thursday’s ceremony, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein led the MKs with “I pledge allegiance to the State of Israel and to faithfully fulfill my mission in the Knesset.” And the newly sworn-in lawmakers responded: “I pledge.”
Let’s hope they take that allegiance and mission seriously and prevent a third election.
European Union Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process Susanna Terstal, writing in the Jerusalem Post on Sep. 21, evidently believes that incessant repetition of the phrase "two-state solution" adds some element of legitimacy and feasibility to the idea. But the two-state solution has never been agreed-upon between Israel and the Palestinians, and does not figure in any of the agreements between them. It is nothing more than an expression of wishful thinking within the UN and the EU.
To the contrary, the Oslo Accords, to which the EU itself is a signatory, clearly leaves the issue of the permanent status of the territories to be decided in negotiations. Thus, whether the outcome will be one, two or three states, or a federation or confederation, remains on the negotiating table. By incessantly plying a two-state solution, the EU is in fact prejudging an agreed negotiating issue.
Suggestions by Israeli leaders to "apply sovereignty" led EU representatives to complain that unilateral modification of the Oslo Accords "undermines the entire agreement" and "dismantles Oslo." One wonders why the EU did not view the recent declarations by the Palestinian leadership canceling the territorial division between areas A, B and C in a similar light. Did this not undermine the accords?
The EU representative also expressed support for a "Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines." Yet the issue of borders is an agreed-upon permanent-status negotiating issue, and her presumption of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines clearly contradicts and prejudges both the Oslo Accords and UN Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967.
The EU cannot in good faith claim that it does not take sides in the conflict. The EU has not only taken sides, but clearly demonstrates a distinct political bias against Israel in virtually all its positions, policies, statements and dealings regarding the Israeli-Palestinian negotiation process.
The National Museum of Iran opened on Wednesday an exhibition of around 300 cuneiform clay tablets returned from the United States after a drawn-out legal saga.
The tablets were found at the ruins of Persepolis, capital of the Persian Achaemenid Empire (6th – 4th c. BC) in the south of Iran. Cyrus the Great, who ruled during the Achaemenid Empire, is said to have liberated the Jews from Babylonian captivity in 539 BCE, allowing them to return home and build the Second Temple.
The works on display belonged to a group of 1,783 clay tablets or tablet fragments returned to Iran by the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago.
In the 1930s, the university had received on loan around 30,000 tablets or tablet fragments found at Persepolis for research purposes, Iranian media reported.
A large portion of the tablets were returned in three batches between 1948 and 2004 before their restitution was blocked by legal action initiated by American survivors of an attack in Israel in 1997 carried out by the Palestinian Hamas terror group.
Blaming Tehran for supporting the armed group, the plaintiffs demanded the seizure of the tablets and their sale put toward the $71.5 million that Iran was ordered to pay in the case.
The proceedings only ended in February 2018 when a US Supreme Court decision banned the seizure of the works.
In March 2018, Mossad Director Yossi Cohen, 58, updated then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo on what the Mossad had found inside Iran's secret nuclear archives that it had stolen from the heart of Tehran in January 2018. Sources close to Cohen told the Jerusalem Post that the information the Mossad seized is "still being used right now" to glean high-quality and valuable intelligence. A map of nuclear sites captured in the operation has yet to be made public. These revelations "even go beyond Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's revelation of the Abadeh nuclear site" earlier this month. Cohen says Pompeo praised the Mossad for redefining "daring and boldness."
Dozens of agents were involved in surveillance missions and the heist itself. Neutralizing any electronic surveillance that could expose them, they spent six hours and 29 minutes nabbing Iran's secret nuclear files, which were kept in 32 safes. They used special torches to slice into these safes. They loaded the vast files onto trucks and used Iranian smugglers to get across the border.
Cohen's view is that relations with Sunni countries in the Gulf are "not as much about personal trust, but about overlapping national interests" - especially when it comes to Iran. For example, while Cohen would be against sharing sensitive Israeli technologies with the Saudis to combat the drone threat from Iran, he would seek to help states in the Gulf combat Iran together in other ways.
Regarding the Palestinians, sources close to Cohen indicate that he does not believe anything will move on the peace process until PA President Mahmoud Abbas leaves office.
There is no chance of a “peace party” returning to Jerusalem unless Israelis see that Palestinians have unequivocally denounced the past, that the celebrations of those who’ve died killing Israelis are rejected. That is impossible to envision in the near-term: neither Fatah, nor Hamas, nor the Israelis, nor Washington want the Palestinian people voting. All fear the worst—the wrong side winning. Perhaps most perversely, the Israelis are invested in a security status quo with Fatah that likely negates the chance of any Palestinian change, and surely makes Hamas more popular on the West Bank than its tyranny in Gaza has earned. But it’s possible that if there were a free vote among Palestinians the hostility towards Israelis—the fundamental rejection of the legitimacy of a Jewish state—could be the common denominator among Palestinians who otherwise loathe Fatah’s and Hamas’ dictatorships. Palestinians again voting could lead to intense violence, among Palestinians and against Israelis. Nonetheless, Palestinian popular sovereignty is likely the only way out of this cul-de-sac. We have two peoples wanting the same land with national and especially religious narratives that negate the other’s. For even non-practicing Muslims, Moses is a great prophet, trying to lead his people toward the one, true calling—Islam. A Jewish homeland wasn’t in Allah’s message. Yet the unrelenting secularism of Westerners reduces the most compelling stories we have to differences about water rights, East Jerusalem, and security checkpoints.
The basic character of a people and faith can change, but that usually happens after a truly devastating military defeat or a long evolution. The Palestinians haven’t actually seen a society-crushing catastrophe; they have endured foreign, non-Muslim overlords, with all of the indignities, and incompetent, avaricious, ambitious, insouciant, deluded and sometimes brutal native rulers (they, however, get a middling score in hideousness in the modern Middle East).
Since 2002, the Israelis appear to have a consensus: Palestinians cannot be trusted. On the other side, Palestinians seem more conflicted about the Jews, more divided religiously and culturally, more prone to internecine violence today than they were when the Israelis directly ruled all of the West Bank and Gaza.
The continuing decline of America in the Middle East will unavoidably remove certain delusions about what might be possible between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The torpor of the peace process under Obama and Trump is likely the new American standard. If they haven’t already, Palestinians will give up on the idea of Washington’s intercession, of American democracy coercing Israeli democracy into making concessions to unelected Palestinian officials. For the Palestinian people that will, at least, change the rhetoric and excuses of the ruling elite.
America’s retreat may tempt the Israelis to act more hubristically towards the Palestinians, to take land in the West Bank that has no plausible security value. But the most effective check on ugly Israeli actions has always been the internal debate, the tension between the executive, legislative, and judicial authorities in Israel’s messy democracy.
For decades out, it’s hard to see anything better than an unpleasant modus vivendi between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Given that it is the Middle East, however, that isn’t an awful state. Americans always want to believe that honesty is the best policy, that without honesty solutions aren’t possible. We are certainly tardy in applying that principle to the Israeli–Palestinian clash.
UAV Warfare Another hint of the effectiveness of Patriot defense are Houthi/Iranian alliance efforts both to suppress it and evade it. To elucidate this point, we need to refer to another aspect of the Houthi/Iranian war machine in Yemen: UAV warfare. UAVs are one of the main pillars of Iranian military doctrine. Together with other weapon shipments, Iran has been providing the Houthis with numerous types of UAVs, both of the larger types used for armed reconnaissance such as the Shahad 129 (roughly equivalent to Israel’s Hermes 450) and smaller “suicide” UAVs (such as the Ababil, used by Hezbollah in 2006 for attacks deep within Israel, which for the sake of Iranian deniability has been renamed Kasef 2). The Houthi arsenal is augmented by the acquisition of mail order UAVs such as the Chinese “Skywalker” available online from Ali Baba. More remarkable, the Iranians have provided the Houthis with knowhow, production machinery and expertise to set up a UAV industry of their own in their stronghold of Sad’ha in northern Yemen. The Houthi UAV industry is now producing unique designs of long-range machines, some equipped with jet engines, obviously designed in Iran. Beyond the classic UAV roles of reconnaissance and light bombardment, the Houthi/Iranian alliance is using them for direct “suicide” attacks on Patriot batteries. Three incidents of direct attacks on Patriot batteries have been claimed: Two attacks were within Yemen, probably targeting UAE batteries in Mocha and Marib, and one attack on a Patriot battery defending the Saudi border city of Najran, with unknown results.
Even more significantly, the Houthi/Iranian alliance exploits the Patriot’s system limitations in engaging low and slow threats in order to penetrate beneath the Saudi air/missile defense shield. In fact, UAVs are now being used by the Houthi’s as ersatz land attack cruise missiles. With immunity against air and missile defense, and with much better accuracy than ordinary ballistic missiles, UAVs now seem to be the preferred weapons for imaginative and audacious strikes deep within Saudi territory. For example, the civilian airport of the Saudi town of Abha, about 120 km. from the Yemeni border, was attacked by Houthi suicide UAVs no less than three times during the month of June 2019, wounding 28 passengers and airport workers. In August 2019, the Houthis managed to strike the Shaybah oilfield deep within Saudi Arabia, almost 1200 Km from the Houthi stronghold in Sad’ha. The attack was carried out by no less than 10 UAVs and sparked a fire in gas storage tanks. Such a complex attack needs precise coordination and excellent navigation, which demonstrates the proficiency achieved by Iran’s UAV operators. While those strikes did not cause excessive damage – perhaps intentionally so – they were propaganda coups for the Houthis, providing them with solid achievements in the cognitive battlefield.
The fourth lesson for Israel is the growing military role of UAVs both for missile defense suppression and for evasion. UAVs were first used by Hezbollah for reconnaissance over Israel even prior to the 2006 Lebanon war. At the closing stage of that war, four suicide UAVs were launched by Hezbollah against Israeli targets (One suffered a failure and fell near the border, two were intercepted by Israeli jet fighters, and the fourth vanished). In the 2014 Gaza war Hamas tried to attack Tel Aviv with its own UAVs (Two, perhaps three UAVs were shot down by Patriot air defense batteries). This experience is not indicative of the future. The Yemen war demonstrates how UAVs will be employed in future wars in significant numbers to erode Israel’s missile defense capabilities by attacking the Iron Dome, David Sling and Arrow batteries. Hostile UAVs, in conjunction with precision rockets, may well be tasked to damage Israel’s critical infrastructures such as desalination plants. Consequently, Israel needs to integrate air defense capabilities into its missile defense systems, and to provide its critical infrastructures with their own point defenses.
The current civil wars in the Middle East – especially in Syria and in Yemen – resemble the Spanish civil war of the 1930s inasmuch as they are exploited by outside powers to test new doctrines, weapons and tactics in realistic battle conditions. What the Axis powers (and to a lesser extent the USSR) did in Spain during the 1930s is being done today by Iran in Yemen.
It would be advisable for Israel’s Ministry of Defense and the IDF to closely study the civil war in Yemen, particularly its rocket and drone warfare aspects. The weapons and tactics in use in Yemen today will be employed against Israel tomorrow.
Israel wants to “share the land and find a way to live together” with the Palestinians, President Reuven Rivlin told Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, one of the highest-ranking Vatican diplomats, when they met at the President’s Residence on Thursday night.
Sandri, who is the Prefect of the Congregations for the Oriental Catholic Churches, came with a delegation that included several Franciscan priests, as well as the Papal Nuncio and the Custos of the Holy Land.
He is in the region to mark the 800th anniversary of the Pilgrimage of Peace to the Middle East by St. Francis of Assisi and his dialogue with the Sultan of Egypt.
Rivlin, who has met with Pope Francis and is aware of the efforts being made by the Vatican to bring about a cessation of hostilities in the Middle East in general and between Israel and the Palestinians in particular, told Sandri that he knows how hard the Vatican is working to find a solution to this century-old tragedy.
Knowing that Sandri is also going to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Rivlin asked him to convey his regards, and noted that Abbas had sent New Year greetings to the people of Israel.
Emphasizing the need to build understanding between Israelis and Palestinians, Rivlin was of the opinion that a valuable asset in this regard was the restoration of the baptismal site at Qasr el-Yahud on the Jordan River near Jericho, where Jesus first met John the Baptist.
The restoration project was approved by Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian leadership, said Rivlin, who was personally involved in the process.
Although the details of the “Deal” are as yet obscure, it would appear the Jordan is slated to play a major role in it—grudgingly or otherwise. Accordingly, the feasibility of the “Deal”—indeed its acceptability—will be dramatically impacted by the nature of the regime east of the Jordan River and its prospective stability (or lack thereof).
After all, although some may hope otherwise, there seems little prospect that any successor regime in Amman will be more favorably disposed toward Israel than the current one.
This takes us back to the crucial strategic importance for Israel of the highlands of Judea-Samaria and the Jordan Valley. As I have been at pains to point out on numerous occasions, not only are these highlands the only topographical barrier between Jordan and the heavily populated coast plain, but any forces—regular or renegade—deployed on them will have complete topographical command and control of virtually all Israel’s airfields (military and civilian, including Ben Gurion, the only international airport), its major ports and naval bases, is principal traffic axes (rail and road), vital infrastructure installations/systems (electrical power, desalination plants and water conveyance), centers of civilian government and military command and 80% of the civilian population and commercial activity.
All of these will be in range of cheap, readily available weapons that have already been used against Israel from areas evacuated by it and transferred to Arab control.
Thus, the rationale of any plan that entails Israeli evacuation of this vital territory will hinge critically on the nature of the regime-type in Jordan, which abuts it from the East.
For whatever other grave detriments their might be in such a plan, it will matter greatly if Jordan is ruled by a government that strives to reign in forces hostile to Israel, or one that is indifferent to their aggressive intent—or worse, is complicit with it.
After all, should the Trump plan entail significant territorial concessions, Israel may well find itself in a situation in which it will have to contend with a huge expanse of hostile territory, stretching from the fringes of Greater Tel Aviv to the border of Iraq—and perhaps beyond.
Accordingly, Israel’s security establishment should indeed draw up plans to deal with prospective alternatives in Jordan—not only how to cope with them once they arise, but to prevent them from arising at all.
Another Arab Spring-like protest movement now seems to be arising, seeking to topple the present Iraqi government. As Israelis, we should support the Iraqi people in their quest for true freedom and democracy.
Mendi Safadi, heads of the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights, has noted that if we want to prevent the creation of another Syria, we should call upon the community of nations to intervene as soon as possible to uphold the rights of the protesters, prevent additional bloodshed, and stop the radical Islamists, Iran, and the former Baathists from overtaking the protest movement.
“Today, this Arab Spring has begun to take over Iraq against a government that is corrupt and loyal to Iran,” Safadi said. “These protesters are against the Iranians taking over Iraq. Talks with activists on the ground and the leaders of the protest movement reveal that the people are repulsed by the government, who betrayed their nation by becoming a proxy of Iran. The Iranian takeover of Iraq has gotten the people to revolt, to take to the streets and to demand that Iraq be returned to its rightful owners. They seek freedom and basic human rights that every citizen of this world deserves.”
According to a report from the Internal Commission of Iraq, “The Iraqi government takes instructions from Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commander Qassem Soleimani. Over 700 members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard shot live fire at Iraqi demonstrators. There were demonstrators who were killed including men, women and children. The Iranians even went as far as burning a 2-year-old child in a car with her father. The Iraqi people are calling upon the international community to intervene urgently in order to save the Iraqi people, who have suffered under Iran and political Islam. We demand that all pro-Iranian parties be banished from Iraq and to take away all of Iran’s influence in the country. We seek to hold the regime accountable and to change from a parliamentary system to a republican form of government. We seek that the rights of women be respected, as the number of women in the country is very high. The Iraqi people will stop protesting only once our demands are met.”
Protesters in Iraq prepared Friday for bloody clashes with security forces in Iraq after three days of protests that saw the government order live fire against the demonstrators. The protesters are angry. They have tried to block roads to the airport in Baghdad and break into the “Green Zone” where foreign embassies are located. They are shocked that officials have ordered live fire used against them.
The protests began on October 1 in the wake of Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi sidelining a popular Counter-Terrorism service commander named Abdul Wahab Al-Saadi. But the real reason for the protests are much larger. They are angry over corruption and wage stagnation and lack of opportunities.
The Prime Minister has closed down internet and sought to isolate cities in Iraq. He gave a speech on Thursday evening and has indicated he could meet the protesters. But there are no clear leaders of the protests. The demonstrators gained some solace when the Shi’ite religious leader Ayatollah Ali Sistani appeared to express sympathy on Friday. Many believed that after prayers on Friday there would be bloody clashes unless the government retrains its tactics. It is not entirely clear which police have been ordered to fire on the protesters, because protesters say they cannot identify them by uniform. Some said it was not the Federal Police but other interior ministry forces. Others claims it was members of Shi’ite militias loyal to Iran, including the Saraya Khorosani unit. But much of this is rumors and has not been confirmed. What is clear is that security forces can be heard in dozens of videos using gunfire. Up to fifty demonstrators may have been killed and thousands injured, including members of the police.
The UN has called on Iraq to have a transparent investigation about the shooting of the demonstrators. “We call on the Iraqi government to allow people to freely exercise their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”
Iranian media and local sources in Iraq have reported on the protests sweeping the country with increasing concern that the protesters oppose Iranian influence. This concern has now reached the highest levels of Iran’s regime where the narrative that has been concocted is to blame “foreign” hands for the unrest. Under this logic tens of thousands of young men, leaderless and braving the gunfire of security forces, have been sacrificing themselves by the dozens all because of some complex conspiracy.
Iraq’s government of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has shut down internet, social media and even made phone calls difficult in areas across Iraq, all to stop the protests. Yet the protests continue. To discredit them an Iranian cleric on Friday claimed the US and Israel are behind the protests. Supposedly it was to “disrupt a major annual Shi’ite Muslim pilgrimage planned to be held in Iraq later this month,” Reuters reported. “The enemy is now determined against the Islamic nation, America and Zionism are targeting the Arabaeen pilgrimage in Iraq, causing trouble,” claimed Ayatollah Mohammad Emami-Kashani.
His full Friday sermon, published at Tasnim News in Farsi claims that “America and Zionism are the enemies of God.” He mentions the Houthi rebels in Yemen who “have shown themselves against the miserable Saudi rulers,” and notes that Saudi Arabia’s reputation has been weakened. This is a reference to the September 14 drone and missile attack on Saudi Arabia. He also mentions the US “maximum pressure” sanctions on Iran and says that it has not been successful. “Endurance is the way of the martyrs.” It is in this context he says that the “enemies” are targeting the religious pilgrimages to the holy sites in Karbala, where Shi’ites make pilgrimage. He calls on people to take refuge in the shrine of Imam Hussein.
In Iraq the senior Shi’ite religious leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, lamented the deaths of dozens of protesters and called for an end to the deaths, casualties and destruction. He called on the government to listen to the people’s demands about corruption and other issues.
A Russian journalist has been arrested in Iran on suspicion of spying on the Islamic Republic on behalf of Israel, according to family members and Russian media reports.
Yulia Yuzik was first declared missing earlier this week by family members who said she was arrested in Tehran days ago. Her ex-husband Boris Voytsekhovskiy posted on Facebook that Yuzik was facing charges of cooperating with Israeli intelligence services, and that her trial is scheduled for Saturday.
According to Voytsekhovskiy, Yuzik’s charges carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
It wasn’t clear when Yuzik was arrested; her last post on social media was a series of Instagram pictures taken in Kashan, a city in northern part of Isfahan province.
Voytsekhovskiy told Russian media outlets that Yuzik used to work as a correspondent in Tehran several years ago, and she returned to the Iranian capital last week at the invitation of an unknown party.
An anti-Hamas bill has been severely watered down by Congressman Eliot Engel. It’s a turn of events that should trouble every supporter of Israel.
The New York Post revealed this week that Engel (D-NY), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, agreed to change the bill after heavy pressure from Qatar and the Palestinian Authority (PA)
The Post quoted “a personal acquaintance of Engel’s” as saying, “Eliot told me directly that he was getting a lot of pressure from the Qataris” about the bill. At the same time, Engel or his representatives held seven meetings this past spring with lobbyists for the PA, apparently to discuss the bill.
The Qataris didn’t like the fact that the bill mentioned Qatar’s massive financial support for Hamas. The PA didn’t like the fact that it would have penalized regimes—like the PA—that assist Hamas in various ways.
So the bill, which was authored by Rep. Brian Mast (R-Florida), was changed. The language about Qatar was removed, and loopholes were added so that aid to Hamas which is considered “humanitarian” would not be blocked.
We put “humanitarian” in quotation marks because we all remember how “humanitarian” concrete, which supposedly would be used to build homes, instead was used to build tunnels to kidnap and murder Israelis.
At this point in the story, you would imagine that those Jewish leaders who claim to be Engel’s buddies would have intervened to restore the original language of the Mast bill.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan last week dismissed speculation that his country was moving toward the establishing of open diplomatic relations with Israel. Speaking at the Asian Society in New York City last Thursday, as reported by the Middle East Eye website, Khan reiterated Pakistan’s traditional stance on the issue:
“Pakistan has a very straightforward position,” the Pakistani prime minister and former cricket star said. “It was our founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah who was very clear that there has to be just settlement, a homeland for Palestinians, before Pakistan can recognize Israel.”
His remarks, according to Middle East Eye, were met with enthusiastic applause. They came amid widespread recent speculation at a possible diplomatic breakthrough between Jerusalem and Islamabad. Prominent Pakistani journalist Kamran Khan launched the rumors with a tweet on August 25, asking “Why can’t we openly debate pros cons of opening direct and overt channels of communication with the State of Israel?”
What is the background to the recent speculation, and is there a realistic chance of a breakthrough, or do Imran Khan’s remarks settle the matter in the negative?
THERE IS a school of thought in Pakistan that favors the abandonment, or at least the questioning, of Islamabad’s long rejection of formal ties with the Jewish state. Why now?
A 45-year-old technology administrator at the police headquarters in central Paris went on a knife rampage inside the building on Thursday, killing three police officers and an administrative worker before he was shot dead by an officer, French officials said.
French broadcaster BFM TV said the attacker had converted to Islam 18 months ago.
Officials did not say anything about the motive for the attack and said they were still trying to discover if there was a terrorism link.
The man launched the attack in his office then moved to other parts of the large 19th-century building across the street from the Notre Dame Cathedral.
An officer stopped the attack when he shot the assailant in the compound's courtyard, said a police official. The official was not authorized to talk publicly about the case and requested anonymity.
The IDF and Israel Police thwarted an attempt to smuggle weapons from Lebanon into Israel in September, according to an IDF spokesperson.
An IDF field observer from the 869th battalion spotted two suspects acting suspiciously on the Lebanese side of the border with Israel near the border fence. IDF soldiers went to the scene to check the issue.
Bags found in the area contained about 40 pistols and magazines which were meant to be smuggled from Lebanon into Israel. The background of the incident is being looked into.
One suspect was arrested on the Israeli side of the border and was transferred for questioning by security forces.
"I saw a suspect approaching the fence and immediately realized that this was an unusual incident," said Pvt. Adi ben Naim, the field observer who identified the suspects. "I alerted the troops and directed them to the location. It was only after the incident that I realized that a very large weapon-smuggling attempt was thwarted. My job as a field observer is to identify what takes place in the field and alert my commanders; which is exactly what I did in this incident.
Thanks to the vigilance of Adi, an 18-year-old combat intelligence soldier, a smuggling attempt of 40 guns from Lebanon into Israel was thwarted.
The Israel Defense Forces marked “Mean Girls Day” this week by tweeting a meme of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Lebanese Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah.
The meme, posted on Thursday, October 3, was an altered version of a “never before seen” photo published by the Iranian government showing the supreme leader, Nasrallah and Qassem Soleimani — the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force.
The IDF photoshopped the Iranians into a “Mean Girls” scene alongside Lindsay Lohan, with the caption: “There’s no one meaner than the mean girls of the Middle East…”
The IDF added #DontSitWithThem and #MeanGirlsDay to their post.
October 3 was a date that was mentioned in passing by Lohan’s character to her crush in Mean Girls, and has since become a pop cultural phenomenon marked annually by movie fans.
The “Don’t sit with them” refers to a line in the movie when Rachel McAdams’s character Regina George is turned away from popular clique’s table at lunch because she’s wearing sweatpants.
The Arab citizens of Israel need rapid development of their areas. They dream of having high-tech zones and industrial centers; they seek enhanced police work to battle the crime that is raging in the streets of Arab cities; and they resent the vicious incitement against them that was led for years by the prime minister and the ruling party. Will the future government, which for now is still nowhere to be seen, be able to fulfill all of these demands and build bridges between the establishment and one-fifth of Israel’s population?
During the recent political campaign, the Likud party accused Gantz numerous times of “planning to create a government with [Joint List MKs] Ahmad Tibi and Ayman Odeh,” but the leaders of the bloc had ruled it out many times. When Blue and White MK Ram Ben-Barak, ex-deputy director of the Mossad, turned to the Arabs this summer, he said that Blue and White needed them “to change the government.” But what will happen the day after such a change is accomplished?
Amjad Iraqi, a contributing editor at +972 magazine, said to The Media Line that what is missing from the tactical decision of the Joint List is thought about the day after. “This decision is quite some gamble that could also backfire, especially if a unity government will be formed eventually between Likud and the Blue and White bloc. I do understand the logic —Ayman Odeh decided to prioritize getting rid of Netanyahu, and most of the public endorsed him because they want to change at least some part of the equation. But how do we know that the Blue and White bloc, whose leaders had their share of critical and negative remarks about Arabs, will be able to live up to its promises?” said Iraqi.
El-Sana believes that if the Joint List is unable to maximize its gains this time around, the alternative for the next time will be voting for existing Jewish parties or for a joint Arab-Jewish party, a project that el-Sana tried to run this time together with the former Knesset speaker, Avrum Burg. There are also many question marks about the participation of the Balad party, which is increasingly seen by many in the Arab public as a destabilizing element that fails to serve its people. “If they were to participate in the elections today by themselves, they would go down. They have three seats in the Joint List, but they are worth only 1.5 seats, or even less” says Darawshe. On the opposite side, Iraqi believes that Balad gives legitimacy to the Joint List, serving as a link between them and the wider Palestinian cause. “Balad still represents a significant portion of voters. They need the Joint List, and the Joint List needs them,” he concludes.
For now, Arab voters seem to be quite satisfied with the result. They proved to be resilient against incitement and intimidation, increased their representation at the Knesset, and now will wait just like everyone else to see how the current political reality TV unfolds.
The leaders of the Joint List will now have to prove to their voters that they can make some real gains with the increased power that they received this time. Considering the shaky structure of the bloc, which includes four different parties with contradicting ideologies, this will not be easy. If no government is formed and Israel goes to a third round of elections, the bloc will have to campaign extremely hard to maintain its success. For now, it is unlikely that the Joint List will top its current result—13 seats. The quiet revolution in the Arab sector, however, will continue, sweeping Arab Israeli citizens away from segregation and isolation, toward integration and equality.
Thousands of Arab Israelis held protests Friday at the conclusion of prayers, a day after a general strike over a wave of deadly violence within the minority community.
Protesters blocked roads, including sections of the major highways in the north of the country. Demonstrators carried signs with slogans such as “our children’s blood is not cheap” and chanted slogans about what they say is police inaction on the issue.
Ayman Odeh, the head of the Knesset’s predominantly Arab Joint List faction, called on the Jewish community to join the protests, saying that a society without weapons should be the ideal for everyone.
“I also urge the Jewish public to join the protests. A society without firearms is a civil and social aim for us all,” Odeh tweeted.
Some Israelis — many, in fact — will celebrate the holiday of Sukkot this year holding their four species bound with holders produced in the Gaza Strip.
Ahead of the Jewish holiday, the IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) has approved the import of tens of thousands of four species holders, used for the traditional customs of the holiday.
The four species – the etrog, a citron fruit; the lulav, a frond of a date palm; the hadas, a myrtle bough; and the aravah, a willow branch – are the species the Jewish people are commanded to bind together during the holiday.
The holders are made out of dried palm leaves, woven into a shape that allows the four species to be held together comfortably during the holiday prayers. The abundance of palm trees in Gaza, as well as cheap labor, makes the enclave a prime location for the production of the holders.
Despite the growing tension between Hamas, the terror group that controls Gaza and Israel, COGAT was able to facilitate the import successfully, passing it through the Kerem Shalom Crossing under heavy security inspection.
Halfway between the West Bank cities of Ramallah and Nablus, the road gives way to an exit unlike any other along Israel’s Highway 60. At first glance, this route — lined with palm trees and polished sidewalks that lead up to lavish stone villas — looks like a well-funded Jewish settlement. But a closer look reveals that unlike other typical settlements, there is no security gate at the entrance to the community and its houses are not lined up in rows along the hilltops.
The expensive homes scattered on slopes among olive trees, reminiscent of the famous Hollywood Boulevard, are actually a window into the Palestinian diaspora. The majority of their dwellers are dual American-Palestinian nationals who live in the United States for most of the year and treat the village of Turmus Ayya as their summer home.
Turmus Ayyans are not only based in the United States. These Palestinian villagers are spread throughout the world, with members of the community living in Spain, Panama, Cuba and Brazil. According to the village’s municipal office, there are some 11,000 Turmus Ayyans in total; 4,000 are permanent residents, while 7,000 made their home abroad.
Unlike the majority of Palestinians living in the diaspora, Turmus Ayyans are not refugees of the 1948 war. Rather, they are economic immigrants who chose to leave this West Bank village in pursuit of better financial opportunities. Residents told Haaretz that the first villager to immigrate was Odeh Abdel Qader, who left for the United States in 1909 and worked in Manhattan's Little Syria (where the Financial District is situated today). Local Wadi Abu Awad recalls Qader’s return to the village: "He was the guy who came from America," he says. Throughout the 20th century, Qader’s legacy became an inspiration for other Turmus Ayyans who wished to chase the American Dream.
A picture making the rounds on social media shows the leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, with his six sons, standing healthy in tailored suits, and beneath it, a picture of Gaza youths who have had a leg amputated after rioting at the Gaza fence.
Another example is a recording by a Gazan father whose son was wounded at the border confrontations.
"I was told I needed to provide his medicine out of my own pocket. If he were the son of one of the Hamas higher-ups, the whole world would have given aid."
"Where am I supposed to get money for medicine? They told my boy to get on the bus and protest, and then they threw him out to die."
Iran has not drawn back to a less threatening military posture in the region following the Sept. 14 attack on Saudi Arabia, the top U.S. admiral in the Middle East told Reuters, suggesting persistent concern despite a lull in violence.
"I don't believe that they're drawing back at all," Vice Admiral Jim Malloy, commander of the U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet, said in an interview.
The United States, Saudi Arabia, Britain, France and Germany have publicly blamed the attack on Iran, which denies involvement in the strike on the world's biggest crude oil-processing facility. The Iran-aligned Houthi militant group in Yemen has claimed responsibility.
Malloy did not comment on any U.S. intelligence guiding his assessment. But he acknowledged that he monitored Iranian activities closely, when asked if he had seen any concerning movements of Iranian missiles in recent weeks.
Malloy said he regularly tracks Iranian cruise and ballistic missile movements -- "whether they're moving to storage, away from storage." He also monitors whether Iran's minelaying capabilities head to distribution sites or away from them.
"I get a briefing of movements on a daily basis and then assessments as to what that could mean," he said.
Relations between the United States and Iran have deteriorated sharply since President Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear accord last year and reimposed sanctions on its oil exports.
For months, Iranian officials issued veiled threats, saying that if Tehran were blocked from exporting oil, other countries would not be able to do so either.
However, Iran has denied any role in a series of attacks that have followed, including against tankers in the Gulf using limpet mines earlier this year.
The UN’s nuclear watchdog said Friday Iran had taken “a step in the right direction” towards dealing with questions on its nuclear program but cautioned that the issues have not been “completely addressed.”
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) did not detail what the questions related to but said it was “discussing substance” with the Iranians.
There has been “engagement” from Tehran in recent weeks on questions relating to its nuclear safeguards declarations to the agency, IAEA acting head Cornel Feruta told journalists in Vienna.
“[That] engagement doesn’t mean that the issues are completely addressed but it’s a step in the right direction,” he added.
Feruta said the queries did not touch directly on the faltering 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers but rather on Iran’s separate safeguards agreement with the agency.
Diplomatic sources in Vienna say the agency has been waiting for information from the Iranians relating to samples taken earlier this year from a warehouse near the capital Tehran.
Iran and the United States have one month to get to the negotiating table, France's foreign minister warned, suggesting Tehran's plan to increase its nuclear activities in November would spark renewed tension in the region.
French President Emmanuel Macron attempted but failed to broker talks between US President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in New York last week.
"We consider that these initiatives, which didn't succeed, are still on the table and it is up to Iran and the United States to seize [them] in a relatively short amount of time because Iran has announced new measures to reduce its commitments to the Vienna accord in November," Jean-Yves Le Drian told parliament's foreign affairs committee.
Iran is breaching the restrictions of its 2015 nuclear deal with major powers in response to US sanctions imposed since Washington pulled out of the agreement in May of last year.
It has said its next roll-back would be at the start of November, and diplomats fear that this next breach could force European powers, which are trying to salvage the accord, to respond.
Iran said on Friday that France's call for it to release a detained French-Iranian scholar was an interference in its internal affairs and would not help resolve the issue, the official news agency IRNA reported.
France's Foreign Ministry on Thursday demanded Iran release dual national Fariba Adelkhah, a senior research fellow at Sciences Po university in Paris, who was detained on unspecified charges earlier this year.
"(Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas) Mousavi said the French Foreign Ministry's interference in the case of an Iranian citizen was irrelevant..., and added: 'This will not only fail to help resolve the issue, but rather make the legal process more complicated'," IRNA reported.
Rights activists have accused Iran of arresting a number of dual nationals to try to win concessions from other countries - a charge that the Islamic republic has regularly dismissed.
Adelkhah's arrest came at a time when France and other European powers were caught up in an international standoff over Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal, which the United States abandoned last year.
More than 20 ships carrying around one million tonnes of grain are stuck outside Iranian ports as US sanctions create payment problems and hamper the country’s efforts to import vital commodities, sources directly involved in the trade said.
Trading companies such as Bunge (BG.N) and China’s COFCO International have been hit by payment delays and additional costs of up to $15,000 a day as the renewed US restrictions stifle the processing of transactions, trade sources said.
According to Reuters, food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies are exempt from sanctions Washington re-imposed after US President Donald Trump said he was walking away from a 2015 international deal over Iran’s nuclear program.
But the US measures targeting everything from oil sales to shipping and financial activities have deterred several foreign banks from doing any Iranian business, including humanitarian deals such as food shipments.
The few remaining lenders still processing Iranian business face multiple hurdles to facilitate payments as financing channels freeze up.
The conflict between Iran and the U.S. that has created tensions throughout much of the Middle East is now also being felt in Lebanon, where Washington has slapped sanctions on the Iran-backed Hezbollah and warned they could soon expand to its allies, further deepening the tiny Arab country’s economic crisis.
The Trump administration has intensified sanctions on the Lebanese militant group and institutions linked to it to unprecedented levels, targeting lawmakers for the first time as well as a local bank that Washington claims has ties to the group.
Two U.S. officials visited Beirut in September and warned the sanctions will increase to deprive Hezbollah of its sources of income. The push is further adding to Lebanon’s severe financial and economic crisis, with Lebanese officials warning the country’s economy and banking sector can’t take the pressure.
“We have taken more actions recently against Hezbollah than in the history of our counterterrorism program,” Sigal P. Mandelker, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the U.S. Treasury, said in the United Arab Emirates last month.
Mandelker said Washington is confident the Lebanese government and the central bank will “do the right thing here in making sure that Hezbollah can no longer have access to funds at the bank.”
The Islamic Republic of Iran’s foreign ministry blasted a prominent German official on Wednesday after the commissioner tasked with combating antisemitism told The Jerusalem Post that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration should withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and re-impose sanctions on Tehran for its nefarious conduct.
The Iranian regime-controlled PressTV wrote that "in an online statement on Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi condemned the remarks by Uwe Becker, commissioner of the Hessian federal state government for Jewish life and the fight against anti-Semitism.”
PressTV added that “Becker on Monday called on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to put Israel's security above ‘possible economic interests’ that comes with the deal – known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).”
Becker, the commissioner of the Hessian federal state government for Jewish life and the fight against antisemitism, told the Post on Monday that “the current escalation with Israel should be reason enough for Germany to advocate the.... Iran nuclear agreement, which has been undermined by Iran... [as] dead, and for the necessary sanctions against Tehran to become effective again in their entirety.”
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In his sermon for Rosh Hashanah, Ammiel Hirsch, the rabbi of a prominent Reform synagogue in Manhattan, urged his congregants not to lose sight of “the central Jewish principle [that] all Jews are responsible one for the other.” It is impossible, he argued, to “live a full Jewish life” without feeling that “the pain of a Belgian Jew is our pain; the fear of an Israeli child terrorized by rockets is our fear; the insecurity of Orthodox Jews attacked repeatedly on the streets of Brooklyn is our insecurity.” Yet, in the face of the anti-Semitic threats that come from so many different directions—which Hirsch went on to analyze—Jews must not lose their sense of pride, or begin to see Judaism as a burden rather than a privilege.
In the war against BDS, the most recent development in academia was the Department of Education censure of Duke University and the University of North Carolina for the misuse of Federal Title VI funds, prompted by complaints over a BDS related event in the spring. Title VI of the Higher Education Act is intended to support foreign language instruction and US national security needs, but has become a slush fund for tendentious Middle East Studies education and programming aimed at college students and K-12.
The Education Department’s letter to the Duke-UNC Center for Middle East Studies complained that fewer than 1,000 students were taking Middle East language courses, while almost 7,000 were enrolled in Middle East Studies courses with “little or no relevance to Title VI.” The complaint also criticized the lack of focus on religious minorities in the Middle East and the near exclusive emphasis on Islam, particularly for K-12 teachers.
The schools were instructed to respond with a compliance plan. In the interim, however, predictable complaints were voiced by academics regarding the alleged “chilling effect on academic freedom” and by BDS advocates, who characterized the move as “anti-Palestinian.”
The investigation comes after a recent study demonstrated that Arab and Muslim countries had donated billions of dollars to American colleges and universities in the past decade, with over $1.5 billion from Qatar alone. The impact of these donations is difficult to measure, but the deference and obsequiousness shown by universities and academics to donors generally is well known.
Underscoring the impact of BDS and biased pedagogy on campus, another report also indicated that Israel-related antisemitism on campuses increased dramatically between 2017 and 2018. Strong increases were seen in accusations of “genocide” against Israel, along with justifications for terrorism. Most important were dramatic increases in faculty-led BDS activities including sponsored events and individual boycotts of Israel and supporters.
Finally, it was announced that the National Students for Justice in Palestine conference would be taking place at the University of Minnesota at the beginning of November. The announcement also touted the election of Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). The conference is designed to train BDS activists, many of them already on record espousing violence, as well as expand “intersectional” alliances of those “who struggle against state violence, settler-colonialism, and imperialism — from Palestine to Turtle Island, from the Philippines to Mexico and beyond.”
The majority of recent reports on the connection of the BDS movement to both terrorism and antisemitism make many different recommendations on how to stop the growing antisemitism of our era. One recommendation of particular note is that countries should accept the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, uphold its principles and outlaw the BDS movement.
The IHRA’s working definition is a concise description of a complex hatred that takes many forms. It reads: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
The people who lead the BDS movement bring many different kinds of antisemitic hatred into our public conversation, and the IHRA definition helps identify the sort of bigotry they spread. It defines antisemitism as accusing Jews or Israel of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust; accusing Jews of dual loyalty; using blood libel to criticize Israel; comparing Israel to the Nazis; and holding the Jewish state to a double standard – or, in one of its purest forms of hate, denying the Jewish people the right to self-determination. Now that many in the world are finally acknowledging just how evil BDS is, our Jewish community and fellow Americans must follow suit. Governments and NGOs must adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism. Our local, state and federal governments must pass laws and resolutions that condemn and delegitimize the vile hatred of BDS. Politicians and bureaucrats should stop funding educational programs that include BDS bigotry. Financial platforms should not be allowed to provide services to BDS organizations that publish antisemitic content or have links to terrorism. And we shall all demand that social media platforms remove antisemitic BDS content.
After a decade of excuses and inaction about BDS, it seems that some people are finally waking up to the danger this movement poses – not only to the Jewish people, but also to the basic values of the liberal societies in which we live.
It is the responsibility of our leaders to build on the recent momentum to inform the public about the BDS movement’s antisemitic agenda, its shadowy funding sources, its true aim of denying Jewish self-determination, its lopsided and underhanded tactics, and its connection to terrorism.
BDS is the new face of the old antisemitism, and when it comes to fighting antisemitism, the old adage “better late than never” is particularly apt for our moment. It’s time for us all to get to work.
Chief Rabbi of UK Speaks of BDS and the Rise of Antisemitism
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis of the United Kingdom spoke with Jordana Miller on the rise of antisemitism and the effects of the BDS movement in the UK.
Dozens of neo-Nazis marched through the German city of Dortmund on Monday, calling for Palestinian support to eradicate Israel.
The demonstration, which came on the heels of an anti-fascist protest in the western German city, involved approximately seventy neo-Nazi activists marching through the streets, holding flags of the Third Reich flag and chanting, "Palestine help us, Israel still exists" and "Israel no more."
Israel's Ambassador to Germany Jeremy Issacharoff posted condemned the neo-Nazi rally, writing on Twitter: "Disgraceful to see neo-Nazis openly on the streets of Dortmund just as we celebrate the Jewish New Year, my wife’s great grand parents were from Dortmund and were murdered by the Nazis, where there is no remorse there can be no forgiveness."
Dortmund is considered to have the biggest neo-Nazi presence of any city in western Germany, with the majority of them living in the Dorstfeld quarter.
Dorstfeld is littered with graffiti of Third Reich's flag, symbols and writings.In September, anti-fascist activists arrived with police backup in Dorstfeld, where they covered the hateful graffiti with colors and messages calling for unity and tolerance.
When the neo-Nazis pledged retaliation for the clean-up, the anti-fascist activists vowed to march against them every Monday for the next 13 weeks.
The creation of the State of Israel was an act of racism, imperialism, and colonialism. Eleanor Roosevelt supported it, which means she was not the humanitarian everyone believes her to be, but rather a racist, imperialist, and colonialist. That is the central thesis of Geraldine Kidd’s dissertation-turned-prosecutorial brief against the most influential first lady in American history.
Readers will have no trouble surmising where Kidd (who teaches at University College in Cork, Ireland) stands on the Arab–Jewish conflict, and why she is so disappointed in Mrs. Roosevelt’s sympathy for Zionism. Arab violence in Mandatory Palestine was merely a response to “incursions by the land-hungry Zionists” (p. 90) and “the insidious and ever-growing [Jewish] colonization” (p. 91), Kidd asserts. Arab leaders who violently opposed the creation of a Jewish state of any size were merely “vigorously defending Palestinian rights in the face of Jewish imposition” (p. 80). As for Mrs. Roosevelt, she “aspired for a Jewish-occupied Palestine” (p. 240) and her “growing interest in Palestine as a Jewish state bade ill for the indigenous people, whose land the Zionists coveted” (p. 54).
“Indigenous,” incidentally, is a term invoked by Kidd with almost comic frequency. She applies it to the Arab residents of Mandatory Palestine no less than eleven times in the first 100 pages of her book, yet never feels it necessary to explain the basis for that assertion. For Kidd, it is self-evident that the Arabs have been the rightful owners of every inch of the country since time immemorial, while “the foreign, migrating Jewish minority” should be regarded as usurpers and criminals (p. 31).
As she chronicles Mrs. Roosevelt’s views and record on Palestine, Kidd has trouble letting her have the last word. Again and again, she cites some remark by the first lady, then quickly follows with a rebuttal of her own. The book at times resembles a meeting of a debate club. Mrs. Roosevelt states that Palestine did not belong to Britain; Kidd interjects, “She was ignoring the fact that the Mandate granted them legal authority to govern it” (p. 123). Mrs. Roosevelt alludes to illegal Arab immigration into Palestine; Kidd retorts, “This statement is an extraordinary reversal of the facts, for it was not the Arabs who had moved into the Jewish orbit but instead it was the Jews who had steadily encroached on the Arabs” (p. 123). The former first lady finds fault with the Palestinian Arabs who fled in 1948; an incensed Kidd responds, “This argument is weak, as obviously the Palestinians, in their panic, had no way of knowing what the future might hold for them.” Kidd adds, for good measure, that Mrs. Roosevelt’s point “neatly coincided with contemporaneous Zionist thinking” (p. 174).
In his Conservative Party Conference speech, Prime Minister Boris Johnson lambasted “the fratricidal antisemitic Marxists who were in Brighton [at the Labour Party Conference] last week.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism reported multiple instances of antisemitism or concern over anti-Jewish abuse at the Labour Party Conference, and has warned that the Labour Party is now institutionally antisemitic.
"Let's get #Brexit done!"@BorisJohnson reiterates his promise for the UK to leave the EU on the 31 October.
He also hits out at Labour saying he wants to win an election "against the fratricidal anti-semitic Marxists".
On 28th May, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a full statutory investigation following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
In recent months, twelve MPs and three peers have resigned from the Labour Party over antisemitism, along with a large number of MEPs, councillors and members.
British Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid reiterated his support for the Jewish state at a Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) event on Tuesday.
Addressing the gathering, which was attended by six cabinet ministers as well as a slew of other prominent figures, Javid said, “When I look at Israel… it is a country that aligns with all of our values… it’s great to see how strongly this party supports the values of Israel at every level.”
Javid also condemned antisemitism in the UK, declaring, “Everyone in this room has a duty to stop it.”
“Anyone with a sense of history knows full well why the Jewish community feels uneasy now, and nowadays we don’t have to look to the past to learn, sadly you just have to look around you,” he continued.
Israeli Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev told Javid, “You can be proud… that under this Conservative government, the Israel-UK partnership is stronger than ever before. Our trade is growing beyond the £8.6 million we had last year, we have just signed a trade agreement so that trade will continue to grow in the years to come. That’s prosperity and that’s jobs.”
Jeremy Corbyn sparked outrage for releasing a Rosh Hashanah video that features an activist who last year led a public Jewish mourning prayer for dead members of Hamas.
In the clip posted on Twitter ahead of the Jewish holiday, Corbyn visits a grocery store with Jewish Labour Party members to discuss the symbolism of honey and apples for the Jewish new year and promote Labour’s “Green Industrial Revolution” program.
Alongside him is Rob Abrams, a Jewish anti-Zionist activist who in May 2018 led the Kaddish prayer in Parliament Square for 62 Palestinians killed on the Israel-Gaza border, at least 50 of whom were Hamas operatives, according to the Jewish Chronicle.
Israel activist David Collier wrote in response to the clip, “There is no way you are not aware much of the Jewish community were outraged when this person explicitly led a prayer service for dead Hamas terrorists. Which makes your actions here deliberate. Your spiteful nature highlights you are a real danger.”
Also in the video is Labour counselor Sue Lukes, who tweeted an article titled the “Jewish ‘War against Corbyn’ risks bringing real antisemitism to Britain” and wrote a piece to “honor” Malia Bouattia, the former National Union of Students president who was accused of antisemitism.
A local UK Labour party branch is planning a no-confidence vote against a Jewish MP on the eve of Yom Kippur.
Dame Louise Ellman, the Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside, who is Jewish, has been active in Jewish Labour groups and critical of antisemitism in her party.
Labour has been beset by series of antisemitism scandals since Jeremy Corbyn became its leader in 2015.
Ellman has held leadership positions in the Labour Friends of Israel and the Jewish Labour Movement, and is currently vice president of the Jewish Leadership Council.
The proposed motion by the St. Michael’s Labour branch states, “This Branch is fully behind Jeremy Corbyn,” and cites a statement by Ellman in which she said that she understood “why Jews would seriously consider leaving Britain if Corbyn became PM.”
As a result of her statement, says the motion, “We have no confidence that our MP Louise Ellman will carry out the wishes of our [Constituency Labour Party] and the Riverside constituency, or that she will follow Labour Party policy.”
“This Branch therefore calls on our Riverside MP, Louise Ellman, to resign,” the motion concludes.
The motion will be taken up at a meeting to be held at 8 p.m. next Tuesday, which is the eve of Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year.
Stephen Marks, a member of the antisemitism-denial group and sham Jewish representative organisation, Jewish Voice for Labour, has been re-elected to Labour’s National Constitutional Committee, the Party’s disciplinary body.
Mr Marks signed a 2017 petition in support of Jackie Walker, a former vice-chair of Momentum and one of those exemplifying the institutionalisation of antisemitism in the Labour Party. Mr Walker was repeatedly suspended by Labour and finally expelled earlier this year. She has persistently claimed that complaints of antisemitism are part of a plot to destabilise the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and has rejected the International Definition of Antisemitism.
Last year Mr Marks also reportedly shared a petition in support of David Watson, who was suspended from Labour in 2016 for allegedly sharing claims on social media comparing the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad with the Nazis and accusing Israel of genocide. Mr Marks is reported to have written in respect of Mr Watson: “It is cases like this which ‘bring the party into disrepute’. Those responsible are the ones who should be suspended!”
Earlier this month Mr Watson reportedly called for the abolition of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which launched a full statutory investigation into Labour antisemitism on 28th May following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
Jenny Manson, the co-chair of the antisemitism-denial group and sham Jewish representative organisation, Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL), is scheduled for a speaking engagement on Kol Nidrei, the night of Yom Kippur.
The event, titled “Resisting the rise of the racists and fascists”, will feature Ms Manson on a panel with Weyman Bennett, a member of the Socialist Workers Party’s central committee. The panel is part of a larger “West London stand up to racism” event at St Mary’s Church Hall in South Ealing on 8th October. It is anticipated that there will be debate on far-right extremism and antisemitism.
Although Ms Manson has previously admitted that JVL was founded in order “to tackle allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party”, she has reportedly been “hurt” by suggestions that question her Jewishness and the organisation has also stressed its Jewish credentials (including in its name). Some have suggested that this stance is somewhat undermined by undermined by Ms Manson’s decision to participate in a speaking engagement at a church on Yom Kippur.
Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar and is marked by most Jews with fasting and synagogue attendance. Communal organisations are shut and work or public engagements are generally discouraged.
Labour’s MP for Kensington has apologised for liking a Facebook comment claiming Israel “disgraces all of us Jews worldwide.”
Emma Dent Coad, who was elected in 2017, ‘unliked’ the comment within hours of Jewish News reaching out for comment.
A spokesperson for the MP said: “Emma liked this in error and apologises.”
A comment posted by online user Earl Okin on Monday evening read: “I’ve always been a Bevanite – my ultimate political hero….and as a Jew, the current Israeli apartheid regime disgraces all of us Jews worldwide.”
It was reported to Jewish News by the anti-racism Twitter account GnasherJew.
The post was a response to another post by online user Bob Pandy critical of “Blairite” MPs and “members of the Netanyahu fan club”.
On Monday, former pogrom leader and current Democrat kingmaker Al Sharpton boasted on his Facebook page the fact that he was “being presented to speak at the Rosh Hashanah Services of the East Side Synagogue by Rabbi Perry Berkowitz and Rabbi Leah Berkowitz.”
For the record, the ESS informed its members that “this year our worship space of many years, the All Souls Sanctuary, is undergoing extensive renovation and is not available for our use. We are blessed that services will be held instead at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church at corner of 73rd Street and Madison Avenue in Manhattan. This is a beautiful and awe-inspiring space that will deepen our High Holyday (sic) experience.”
Like the old joke says, “The synagogue is closed for the holidays.”
By now practically every Jewish newspaper in New York has condemned the notion that Sharpton, who is identified more than anyone else with the August 1991 Crown Heights Pogrom, should be preaching to Jews on the “High Holyday.” Sharpton marched through Crown Heights and in front of the 770 Eastern Parkway headquarters of Chabad-Lubavitch shortly after the riot, leading some 400 rioters who were chanting, “Whose streets? Our streets!” and “No justice, no peace!” Sharpton himself notoriously called Jews “diamond merchants,” which was his personal contribution to the anti-Semitic vernacular.
Remember New York State Senator Julia Salazar? She’s the Democratic socialist who lied about being an immigrant and a Jew. This will probably come as a major shock to you, but it seems that the kind of person who would lie about being Jewish doesn’t actually have a whole lot of respect for Jews.
On September 30, teenage thugs threw large objects (reportedly milk crates) through the window of the Rivnitz synagogue in Brooklyn during a Rosh Hashanah service:
Two nights ago, some young people apparently threw objects into a window of a building at Throop & Bartlett St, where neighbors were gathered for Rosh Hashana prayers.
We need to care for each other and protect each other. This isn’t acceptable in our district or in our city.
Pro-Trump youth group Turning Point USA (TPUSA) announced this week that it has severed ties with one of its brand ambassadors following a picture of her at a dinner over the weekend with accused antisemites and white nationalists.
A spokesperson confirmed on Monday to Right Wing Watch, a project of People for the American Way, which monitors far-right activities and content, that Ashley St. Clair is no longer part of TPUSA.
“TPUSA is a large national organization that touches hundreds of thousands of people all across the nation,” said the spokesperson. “Ashley is no longer one of our thousands of volunteer activists and ambassadors. [Founder and executive director] Charlie [Kirk] and TPUSA have repeatedly and publicly denounced white nationalism as abhorrent and un-American and will continue to do so.”
The spokesperson also noted that St. Clair wasn’t representing the organization while she was photographed.
St. Clair, who is Jewish, attended a dinner held after a debate between antisemitic and white-nationalist podcaster Nicholas Fuentes, who attended the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., and conspiracy theorist Jacob Wohl.
St. Clair, who wasn’t at the debate, attended what she told Right Wing Watch was a “diverse dinner.”
Grammy-nominated American singer and actress Demi Lovato’s love affair with Israel on her recent visit here seems to have come to an abrupt halt.
In an Instagram post on Wednesday that was then deleted, Lovato apologized if her trip offended anyone.
Lovato’s visit initially appeared to have gone well, so the controversy that followed came as a surprise. The pop singer, who has more than 74 million Instagram followers, posted photos of herself at the Western Wall, being baptized in the Jordan River, touring Yad Vashem, and visiting the Shalva National Center for people with disabilities.
“There is something absolutely magical about Israel,” she gushed. “I’ve never felt such a sense of spirituality or connection to God… something I’ve been missing for a few years now... I’m grateful for the memories made and the opportunity to be able to fill the God-sized hole in my heart. Thank you for having me, Israel.”
But on Wednesday, she wrote in an Instagram story: “I’m extremely frustrated. I accepted a free trip to Israel in exchange for a few posts. No one told me there would be anything wrong with going or that I could possibly be offending anyone. With that being said, I’m sorry if I hurt or offended anyone, that was not my intention. Sometimes people present you with opportunities and no one tells you the potential backlash you could face in return. This was meant to be a spiritual experience for me, NOT A POLITICAL STATEMENT, and now I realize it hurt people and for that I’m sorry. Sorry I’m not more educated, and sorry for thinking this trip was just a spiritual experience. Going against all advice right now and apologizing because it feels right to me and I’d rather get in trouble for being authentic to myself, than staying quiet to please other people. I love my fans, all of them, from all over.”
The BDS backlash began as soon as Lovato posted photos of her Israel visit on Instagram. Angry fans responded with scathing comments that she was ignoring the plight of the Palestinians and that she should boycott Israel.
Lovato then deleted the comments on a photo showing her Jordan River baptism where she praised Israel as “magical.” Her detractors took to Twitter to criticize the singer. Among the comments, Nouran Ahmed wrote: “Hey, Demi... actually, you need to read more about the history of this land because it’s called Palestine, not Israel, and the magical feeling that you felt, it’s back to the history of the land (Palestine) not Israel.”
While BDS supporters have long campaigned to persuade celebrities to cancel planned trips to Israel, the controversy over Lovato’s visit is unusual in that the pressure came following her visit. Apparently, the singer was taken by surprise by the criticism. But why she then removed her apology – which lives on in screen grabs – is unclear.
Meanwhile, Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Ze’ev Elkin took credit for inviting her as an initiative of his ministry. (h/t Esty)
Just fyi, one pic she posted I saw yesterday was her meeting with special-needs kids.
This is what she's feeling made to apologize for. Bringing smiles to the faces of Jewish children with special needs.
BDS is a genuinely cruel way to express hatred of Jews.
On Monday, the German city of Aachen announced that it had withdrawn a decision to give a prestigious art prize worth €10,000 (roughly $10,900) to artist Walid Raad, citing his alleged support for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, a pro-Palestine movement. But, according to a new report, that move is not the end of the story.
The German news network WDR reports that Raad will receive the award after all, via the Ludwig Forum for International Art, a museum in the city that facilitates the award, the Aachen Art Prize. The museum’s board reportedly made the decision on Tuesday night.
Marcel Philipp, the mayor of Aachen, previously said in a statement, “According to research, we have to assume that the designated prizewinner is a supporter of the BDS movement and has been involved in various measures for the cultural boycott of Israel.” He added that, when the city of Aachen had inquired with him about his alleged support for BDS, Raad had been “evasive.” The city alleged that Raad “could not distance himself from BDS,” which it referred to as an “anti-Semitic” movement.
The Ludwig Forum’s board reportedly disagreed with the city’s of Aachen’s decision, however, and WDR said that its members could not find any evidence that Raad was an anti-Semite.
The Ludwig Forum and Raad did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In an interview with the German publication Deutschlandfunk, the Ludwig Forum’s CEO, Michael Müller-Vorbrüggen, said that the museum had obtained the funds to give out the award, and it was therefore it did not need to the city’s permission to offer Raad the prize.
The University College Union (UCU) has apologised after it left out Jews from a description of the different groups murdered in the Holocaust, an omission the chief executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust called “completely unacceptable”.
The UCU had sent out an e-mail to branch and local association secretaries, in which chapters of the union were encouraged to observe HMD 2020, which takes place on January 27.
It described how the Nazis had persecuted groups such as “trade unions, including social democrats and Communists”, “Europe’s Roma and Sinti people”, “Black people”, “disabled people”, “freemasons”, “gay and lesbian people”, “Jehovah’s witnesses” and “'asocials’, which included beggars, alcoholics, drug addicts prostitutes and pacifists” were persecuted by the Nazi regime.
It also specifically mentioned “non-Jewish Poles and Slavic POWs”. However, it made no mention of Jews, the primary targets of the Holocaust.
When the e-mail was publicised, Jews on social media attacked the “shocking” and “sickening” omission, with others suggesting that the mention of “non-Jewish Poles” showed the Union had clearly been thinking about who to include – and who to leave out.
A link in the e-mail led to a specific page on the UCU about HMD, which also neglected to mention Jews as victims of the Holocaust, while mentioning other significant groups.
In a subsequent e-mail from the union’s “equality support official”, the organisation apologised for what it called “drafting errors” in its initial message.
I want to give Mohamad credit on one score: He’s honest about his Jew-hatred. He doesn’t pretend he’s only attempting to champion Palestinian rights. He doesn’t pretend to be supporting boycotts just to encourage Israelis to withdraw from “occupied territories.” He doesn’t claim that he’s not anti-Semitic but merely anti-Zionist.
That last claim I find particularly misleading and annoying. Because, given a choice, I’ll take anti-Semites over anti-Zionists any day. Garden-variety anti-Semites – I’m not talking about neo-Nazis or Stalinists or Khomeinists or Salafi/jihadis – disparage Jews. They don’t want them working in their businesses, living in their neighborhoods, or joining their clubs. That’s nasty but disparagement is survivable, and alternative businesses, neighborhoods and clubs can generally be found.
Anti-Zionists, by contrast, seek a more consequential goal. They want to deprive Israel of its fundamental right to exist. They want to end Jewish self-determination in any part of the ancient Jewish homeland, a unique refuge for Jews who fled not only from Europe but also – and in larger numbers – from Arab and Muslim countries.
Were anti-Zionists to achieve their goal, were they to succeed in eradicating the Jewish state, what would happen to the more than 6 million Jewish Israelis who live there? I think you know. I think Mohamad knows too. Perhaps he’d be “very sympathetic to them.” If he’s still around, of course.
Last week, during a forum of world leaders held in my school, Columbia University, Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad spoke.
The 94-year-old leader is probably the most anti-Semitic head of state. He doesn’t try to hide his anti-Semitism, he doesn’t just criticize Israel, he practices classic anti-Semitism, the kind that has been associated with various slurs against the Jewish people (they have long noses; they rule the world; they cause others to fight and die for them, and so forth).
Letting the Malaysian leader speak is only the latest example of the institution's problematic choice of speakers, having already let former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speak at the university about a decade ago.
The organization that I head, Students Supporting Israel (SSI), has refused to stay silent. Although we could not get Mahathir's speech canceled, we decided to generate a critical conversation so that the university won’t even consider inviting someone like the Malaysian prime minister ever again.
We were told that we would lose, that he would be welcomed with great honor at the university and that his anti-Semitic agenda would not be condemned.
But we did not relent. We created a petition that got more than 3,000 signatures, we sent a letter to the university president and to the professor who was to introduce the prime minister at the event, and we demanded that both university officials condemn Mahathir.
Websites that support the Iranian regime, state media in Turkey, and voices from authoritarian regimes and human rights abusers sought to cynically exploit the anniversary of the murder of former Saudi insider Jamal Khashoggi. Since last year, the genuine grief over the death of Khashoggi has been hijacked in some countries and media to use it for ulterior motives, talking about press freedom while journalists are jailed, expelled and harassed.
“Even as Turkish leaders call for an international inquiry into Saudi Arabian journalist Khashoggi’s murder, the Committee to Protect Journalists found the Turkish government to be the world’s biggest jailer of journalists for the third consecutive year,” ABC news noted last year.
Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders were on hand in Istanbul this year to commemorate the murder of Khashoggi. Amnesty published a special call to honor his legacy.
While Amnesty was commemorating Khashoggi, the human rights organization also pointed out the long list of abuses of freedom in Turkey. Yet Ankara’s state media outlets have sought to highlight Khashoggi’s death as an example of press freedom.
A scientist was sentenced to 15 months in prison just days before the Khashoggi commemoration for the apparent crime of publishing environmental findings. Amnesty has called for charges to be dropped against the academic, whom it describes as a whistle-blower.
Amnesty noted in August that Turkey carries out mass blocking of websites, a “full-frontal attack on freedom of expression.” According to the human rights organization, the Reporters Without Borders representative that attended the Khashoggi event was himself detained in 2016 “after symbolically guest editing a publication for a day as part of a solidarity campaign.”
A Sept. 25th op-ed at the Guardian (“Ousting Netanyahu isn’t enough for Israel’s Palestinians. They want equality”) by former +972 contributor Amjad Iraqi included the claim that Israel has “dozens of discriminatory laws”.
Iraqi’s claim that Israeli Arabs are afforded less rights than Jews links to a report by the radical-left NGO Adalah (where he works as its advocacy director) alleging the existence of at least “50 racist laws” in Israel. However, CAMERA and other watchdog groups have refuted Adalah’s claims of racism – a term used so carelessly by the NGO that even an Israeli public health law requiring that parents vaccinate their children is included on their list of “racist laws”.
Among the most comprehensive analyses of the “50 racist laws” claim was conducted by the Institute for Zionist Strategies (IZS), a policy and research organization dedicated to preserving Israel as a democratic Jewish state.
Here are the highlights from their detailed July 2016 report:
- The overwhelming majority of the laws featured in the list (53 out of 57) do not even relate to the citizens’ ethnic origins and those that do, are designed to prevent and avoid discrimination. For example, the Law and Administration Ordinance (1948) that defines the country’s official rest days, and the Law for Using the Hebrew Date, both explicitly exclude institutions and authorities that serve non-Jewish populations for whom the law provides for definitions and procedures appropriate for their specific needs.
- In 21 cases, Adalah’s claims of discrimination stem from the organization’s extremist stance that rejects the nature of Israel as a nation-state in general and as the nation-state of of the Jewish people in particular. For example, the Yad BenZvi Law is defined as a discriminatory law because of the institution’s objective of promoting Zionist ideals.
- 18 of the laws reflect customs in other Western democracies whose democratic character no one would disparage. For example, according to Adalah, the flag constitutes a discriminatory law. Needless to say, this unfounded reasoning would mean that any country, the flag of which bears a cross or crescent discriminates against its non-Christian or non-Muslim minorities. A more in-depth comparison between the laws frequently found that Israeli legislation is actually characterized by a higher degree of tolerance for its national minorities.
The overwhelming majority of American Jewry has a positive view of Israel. Yet, the overwhelming majority of opinion pieces and reporting from major U.S. news outlets doesn’t reflect this reality. Instead, the media promotes a small and unrepresentative minority. The Washington Post offers a case in point.
Ninety-five percent of American Jews have a “strongly positive” view of Israel, according to an August 2019 Gallup poll. The pollster noted that this was “significantly more pro-Israel than the overall national averages of 71% favorable views of Israel and 21% favorable views of the Palestinian Authority.”
Similarly, a 2013 Pew survey observed: “76% of Jews (identified by religion) said they were at least somewhat emotionally attached to Israel. In addition, almost half said that caring about Israel is an essential part of being Jewish (with most of the rest saying it is important although not essential) and nearly half reported that they had personally traveled to Israel.”
In short: American Jewry is, except for a miniscule minority, pro-Israel. Yet, the American media often chooses to give a megaphone to Jews that actively oppose, or are hypercritical of, the Jewish state.
The Washington Post, for example, gives inordinate column space to the tiny fraction of Jews, American and otherwise, who are against the right of Jewish self-determination. In a Sept. 20, 2019 tweet, Mairav Zonszein of +972 magazine cheered that her publication was “all up in The Washington Post opinion pages today,” with two pieces from the same organization appearing on the same day. Zonszein proudly noted that editors of “mainstream outlets” were no longer editing out or tweaking her use of the term “apartheid.”
As this city’s Jewish community celebrated Rosh Hashanah this week, the Tree of Life synagogue stood closed, its doors blocked by a chain-link fence.
A brown, wilted wreath hung on a tree near the synagogue, where a gunman killed 11 worshipers last year in the worst anti-Semitic attack in American history. Jewish stars bearing the names of the victims are taped to a glass door at the front entrance, behind a fence and under an Israeli flag and a sign thanking first responders. A makeshift wooden sign on a barricade next to the building reads “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.”
The synagogue is built to welcome hundreds of Jews. But the only person to enter regularly now is a custodian who maintains the building while the three congregations that meet there decide what to do. Tree of Life has been shuttered since the attack.
“I hope it’s torn down,” said Ellen Surloff, who was president of one of the congregations, the Reconstructionist Dor Hadash, at the time of the shooting. “I don’t think that I could ever go back in that building and not be continually reminded of what took place there.”
Signs of the attack remain everywhere in Squirrel Hill, the quiet, warm, tree-lined community that has been the home to Pittsburgh’s Jews for more than a century, and which otherwise feels idyllic as summer turns into fall.
Local businesses display a sign created shortly after the attack that reads “Stronger than Hate” alongside a yellow Star of David and blue and red diamonds — the city’s traditional colors. The kosher supermarket hangs a banner with the names of the 11 victims. The local Starbucks has three large hearts painted on its windows with the words “love,” “kindness” and “hope” painted in Hebrew and English on each one.
A FIVE-YEAR-OLD student began wetting himself in class after he was subjected to antisemitic bullying over the course of four months, while a 12-year-old student was forced to kiss the feet of a Muslim child and was physically assaulted.
Both Jewish students, who have asked to remain anonymous, had to leave their public schools because their families felt the principals did not provide them adequate support.
The first child, a prep student at Hawthorn West Primary School, started wetting himself in bed at night, and in class. He also became agitated, began using derogatory language and looked for an excuse each morning to avoid going to school. His parents knew something was wrong, but were unsure if it was all a part of the adjustment process from kindergarten.
Then, after spilling his cereal one morning, the five-year-old broke down. “He literally fell down on the floor,” his mother shared with The AJN, “and said, ‘Mummy, you shouldn’t love me. I’m a worthless, Jewish rodent. I’m vermin.'”
Mortified, his mother crumbled on the floor with him.
It was later revealed that the young boy was being bullied on a daily basis by five classmates in the school bathrooms. It started when he was questioned about being circumcised. Then came the barrage of antisemitic insults, including “Jewish vermin”, “the dirty Jew” and a “Jewish cockroach”.
But when raised with the school, the mother says they were “dismissive” of the antisemitic element. The school’s solution was to keep the student from using the regular bathroom, offering the facilities of another bathroom instead.
“But we felt uncomfortable because obviously you’re not addressing the issue,” remarked the student’s mother.
The parents called for an education policy about antisemitism to be rolled out. But the school declined.
According to the student’s mother, “they refused to accept there was an antisemitic issue. ‘It’s not antisemitism, it’s just bullying.’ The principal said, I don’t want to make other students feel uncomfortable”.
Back in 2012, I drew attention on this blog to a disturbing trend identified at schools in north-west England.
The repellent state of affairs had been revealed by the noted Anglo-Jewish historian Professor Geoffrey Alderman:
'Last November, in my capacity as a visiting professor at York St John University, I had the privilege of hearing a presentation by doctoral student Joy Schmack. Mrs Schmack, an extremely experienced teacher and inspector of secondary-school religious education, is researching the use of the word "Jew" in teenage classrooms in the north-west of England. She presented chilling evidence of the unmistakeable revival of the word "Jew" as a common term of abuse amongst teenagers, who apparently habitually use it as a synonym for "cheat" or "swindler", or "snitch". "Don't you dare Jew me", one Merseyside youngster might say to another - perhaps hardly realising the significance of these words.
Scarcely four months after hearing this presentation I received a communication from a retired gentleman whose family escaped from Nazi Germany in 1934 and who now devotes his retirement to talking about antisemitism to youngsters in schools in Cheshire, Merseyside and Lancashire. He had been moved to write to me because of his experience at one such school, where his presentation was discourteously received and where a teacher confessed to him that the word "Jew" had now replaced the word "gay" as a playground term of abuse. The teacher said: "If kids wish to insult each other, they now use (the word) Jew" [Emphasis added]....'
Now, the Australian Jewish News, in a scoop, reveals the antisemitic targeting that Jewish schoolkids at non-Jewish day schools in Melbourne have been enduring, causing them extreme anxiety and distress, and of the craven, odious response of the school authorities when the abused kids' parents (having tardily learned of the abuse from their persecuted offspring). That response was basically: "It's not antisemitism, it's bullying, and your kids should learn to toughen up".
They refused one set of parents' request to teach the school body about the realities and consequences of antisemitism.
Jacek Tchorzewski, an 18-year-old neo-Nazi Polish national staying in Buckinghamshire, has been sentenced to four years in prison.
Mr Tchorzewski was arrested at Luton Airport in February on suspicion of terrorism offences as he tried to board a flight to Poland, with police recovering an “enormous amount” of digital documents, including manuals on making explosives and weapons. In one voice recording, Mr Tchorzewski said it was his “dream” to “plan some terrorism” and carry out an attack, and he wrote in a notebook found while he was remanded: “Let’s fill our hearts with terror and London’s streets with blood.”
Other documents included extreme right-wing material which praised Hitler, neo-Nazism and Satanism and also featured antisemitic sentiments and even called for genocide. He was also said to be connected to convicted terrorist Oskar Dunn-Koczorowski, who was jailed in June.
Mr Tchorzewski pleaded guilty on 21st June at the Old Bailey to ten counts of possession of information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, contrary to section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000. He was sentenced on 20th September at the Old Bailey.
The trial of an alleged neo-Nazi terrorist cell accused of plotting violent political upheaval in Germany opened Monday amid reports the country’s far-right scene is growing more armed and radical.
Eight members of the so-called Revolution Chemnitz group aged between 21 and 32 will answer to charges of forming a right-wing terrorist organization, according to federal prosecutors.
Almost a year to the day after most of the suspects’ arrest in coordinated raids, the proceedings took place under tight security in Dresden, the capital of Saxony state, a stronghold of the extreme right.
Resentment runs deep in the region over Merkel’s liberal refugee policy that led to the arrival of more than a million asylum seekers to Germany since 2015.
The anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim Alternative for Germany (AfD) party scored 27.5 percent in a state election earlier this month, just shy of the 32 percent garnered by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives.
The suspects are accused of “coming together to achieve their political goals — to shake the foundations of the state — with serious violent acts,” a spokeswoman for the superior regional court said.
They allegedly sought to carry out “violent attacks and armed assaults” against immigrants, political “opponents,” reporters and members of the economic establishment.
The Museum of the Holocaust in Argentina’s capital on Wednesday took custody of the largest collection of Nazi artifacts discovered in the country’s history.
Federal police and Interpol agents found the more than 70 Nazi objects hidden behind a bookcase in a collector’s home north of Buenos Aires in 2017 as part of an investigation into artworks of illicit origins. The Nazi items include busts of Adolf Hitler, an instrument to measure people’s heads to supposedly determine their racial purity and statues of the Nazi eagle with a swastika under its talons.
Owning Nazi objects in Argentina can be illegal if it is determined that the items incite racial or religious hate in public, although they can be allowed in private. It has not been determined if the collector violated the anti-discrimination law, although he has been charged with owning pieces of illegal origin.
Agents with Interpol began following the collector and with a judicial order raided the house on June 8, 2017. A large bookshelf caught their attention and behind it agents found a hidden passageway to a room filled with Nazi imagery.
Police said Thursday a Jewish woman reported being harassed in Brooklyn on Rosh Hashanah.
The 22-year-old said that she was approached on Sunday evening by a female teenager who “pulled her scarf and wig from her head,” a New York Police detective, Annette Shelton, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in an email.
The incident occurred in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood and the perpetrator, who was described as being 16 years old, was accompanied by another teenager, the woman told police.
Shelton said that the police’s Hate Crimes Task Force was investigating the incident.
The incident is the second alleged attack that occurred on Rosh Hashanah in the borough. On Monday, the windows of a synagogue were broken in the Williamsburg neighborhood.
That incident drew condemnations from Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
BREAKING: Jewish woman attacked in Williamsburg; headscarf yanked off her head.
We cannot allow this to continue! The Jewish community is being terrorized!
Fliers bearing white nationalist language and hate speech were circulated to businesses in Whitefish, Montana.
The fliers were circulated on Monday, the first day of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah.
“The hate literature was not only offensive in relation to the Jewish holiday, but it is concerning as there is a recorded rise and mainstreaming of antisemitism in the United States, including the troll storm perpetrated from outside the community onto the Jewish people of Whitefish just two and a half years ago,” Rachel Carroll Rivas of the Montana Human Rights Network said in a statement.
The fliers included code words like the number “88,” which stands for “Heil Hitler” (because H is the eighth letter of the alphabet) and “14 Words” which represents a 14-word statement asserting white supremacy that was created by white nationalist David Lane, who is specifically named on the flier, according to the network.
Similar fliers appeared in Helena, Montana, over the weekend.
Neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin launched a campaign in December 2016 against Jews in Whitefish in which he published personal details and photos of Jewish residents, including a child. The campaign stemmed from a real estate dispute in Whitefish between Tanya Gersh, who is Jewish, and Sherry Spencer, the mother of white supremacist leader Richard Spencer.
Gersh said that anonymous internet users harassed her family after Anglin revealed her home address and phone number, her husband’s business contact information and her son’s Twitter handle.
Other Jewish families in Whitefish were also targeted. The Jewish population of the city is about 60.
Ride-sharing company Uber is set to expand its collaboration — first announced in February — with Israel-based public transit app developer Moovit App Global, the latter said Wednesday. The original partnership saw Uber leverage Moovit’s application programming interface to provide users in London and four other cities with public transportation information, so that riders can access real-time transit data and route planning in the Uber app. As part of the expanded partnership, Uber is set to expand its service to 15 additional cities globally, including Paris and San Francisco.
Moovit also announced that ride-sharing company Lyft is set to implement a similar service in New York.
Founded in 2012 and based in central Israel, Moovit develops and offers a free mobile navigation app providing real-time public transit information in 3,000 cities and 92 countries. Its app has over 500 million users, adding to the company’s database of over 7,000 public transportation operators, according to the company’s statement.
Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is negotiating a deal to acquire a 25 percent stake in web and mobile monetization company IronSource for $450 million, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke to Calcalist on condition of anonymity. The deal, which values IronSource at $1.55 billion, is expected to be signed in the upcoming 24 hours, the people said, adding that the company is expected to hand out $100 million-worth of dividends to shareholders before the deal is complete.
The negotiations almost came to an unsuccessful end two months ago due to disagreements over IronSource’s valuation, which has since been resolved, the people familiar with the matter said. If completed, the deal is expected to be the biggest secondary deal of an Israeli company. CVC will become IronSource’s largest shareholder, but its founders will keep a controlling share with a 45-50 percent stake held between them, down from the 60 percent they currently hold, according to the people. The company’s employees, which hold options worth $25 million, will also take part in the sale.
The CVC sale is expected to be the last funding IronSource raises before its initial public offering, scheduled for the second half of 2020. The company, which is expected to see revenues of around $1 billion for 2019 with an EBITDA of $150 million, expected to see its revenues and profit grow by its IPO. Its net profit for 2019 is estimated at $120 million to $130 million for 2019, according to the people familiar with the matter, and the company has no debt.
Founded in 2009, IronSource was originally a download optimization software developer, which shifted its focus to rewarded ads following a series of acquisi
Welcome to the $100 Target Gift Card Giveaway! #FallIntoTarget
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The article below is rather coy about it but they are clearly trying to convey that children develop high math skills by the mere presence of parents with high math skills. They want to avoid the conclusion that a kid's intelligence is all due to that nasty genetics. There is something else there as well which can make you bright.
And it may well be true that having a bright parent cues you into strategies that are helpful in mathematics. But their research does not prove that. All they did was old stuff: They correlated parental math scores with offspring math scores. And there was, as usual, a strong association between the two. There was nothing in their findings that could not be explained by a wholly genetic transmission of mathematical ability.
We have known for around 100 years that mathematical ability is genetically transmitted so there was really no point to the study. Its only point was its "slant" towards a politically correct conclusion.
Parents' math skills 'rub off' on their children
First evidence found of intergenerational transmission of an unlearned, nonverbal competence in mathematics
Summary: Parents who excel at math produce children who excel at math. This is according to a recent study that shows a distinct transfer of math skills from parent to child. The study specifically explored intergenerational transmission -- the concept of parental influence on an offspring's behavior or psychology -- in mathematic capabilities.
FULL STORY Parents who excel at math produce children who excel at math. This is according to a recently released University of Pittsburgh study, which shows a distinct transfer of math skills from parent to child. The study specifically explored intergenerational transmission -- the concept of parental influence on an offspring's behavior or psychology -- in mathematic capabilities.
"Our findings suggest an intuitive sense for numbers has been passed down -- knowingly or unknowingly -- from parent to child. Meaning, essentially, the math skills of parents tend to 'rub off' on their children," said lead researcher Melissa E. Libertus, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and a research scientist in the University's Learning Research and Development Center. The Department of Psychology is within the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. "This research could have significant ramifications for how parents are advised to talk about math and numbers with their children and how teachers go about teaching children in classrooms."
Within the study, Pitt's researchers found that the performance levels for early school-aged children on standardized mathematic tests could be reliably predicted by their parent's performance on similar examinations. Specifically, they observed major correlations in parent-child performance in such key areas as mathematical computations, number-fact recall, and word problem analysis. Surprisingly, the researchers also found that children's intuitive sense of numbers -- i.e. the ability to know that 20 jelly beans are more than 10 jelly beans without first counting them -- is predicted by their parents' intuitive sense of numbers. Researchers determined that such close result parallels could not have been produced through similar institutional learning backgrounds because their previous research showed that this intuitive sense of numbers is present in infancy.
The findings represent the first evidence of intergenerational transmission of unlearned, nonverbal numerical competence from parents to children. While separate studies have pointed to the existence of intergenerational transmission of cognitive abilities, only a select few have examined parental influences in specific academic domains, such as mathematics.
Libertus said the study is an important step toward understanding the multifaceted parental influences on children's mathematic abilities. Her future studies will examine why this transference of mathematic capability occurs.
"We believe the relationship between a parent and a child's math capabilities could be some combination of hereditary and environmental transmission," said Libertus. "We look forward to future research endeavors that will explicitly examine the degree to which parents pass down key genetic traits and create an in-home learning environment that is conducive to producing high-achieving math students."
For the present study, the math abilities of parents and children were assessed using the appropriate subtests from the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement, a nationally recognized standardized examination of baseline math ability. Children completed three subtests designed to gauge their capabilities in mathematical computations, basic number-fact recall, and word problems with visual aids. Parents completed a math fluency subtest as a measure of mathematical ability, and they were surveyed on the importance of children developing certain math skills.
The study sampled 54 children between the ages of 5 and 8 as well as 51 parents -- 46 mothers and five fathers -- between the ages of 30 and 59. In terms of racial demographics of participating children, 45 were Caucasian, five biracial, three African American, and one Asian. Forty-six participating parents had at least a college degree, and all possessed at least a high school diploma.
A Pitt faculty member since 2013, Libertus' research focuses on the understanding of how children perceive and learn mathematical concepts. The long-range goals of her work seek to identify key factors in the successful learning of mathematics. Emily J. Braham, a doctoral student with a cognitive-neuroscience concentration in the Department of Psychology, assisted in this research study.
The study "Intergenerational Associations in Numerical Approximation and Mathematical Abilities" is available in the latest edition of Developmental Science.
UK: Now they want to outlaw non-violent political groups
A report from the Tony Blair Institute proposes some alarming new forms of censorship.
Our freedom from government interference – our freedom to speak, to campaign and to operate as we please outside of the reach of the state – is under constant assault today. A recent report from the grandly named Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, titled New Policy Responses to Stop Hate Crime, is just the latest example of this.
Its suggestions for further restrictions on what we can say about people’s religion are bad enough, and blur the line between anti-religious speech and blatantly racist speech. But the proposals about hate groups are even more disconcerting. Put bluntly, the report’s complaint is that the government does not have enough powers to make life difficult for organisations that promote views we don’t like, and so it ought to award itself some more.
The problem, as the institute sees it, is this: too many groups, such as Britain First or Generation Identity, promote odious ideas, but remain annoyingly non-violent. Which means they cannot just be summarily banned under current anti-terror legislation that allows for the censorship of violence-inciting speech. The institute’s modest proposal to deal with this alleged difficulty is a ‘new tier of hate-group designation’, which could be proudly announced as the ‘first of its kind in Europe’.
Available by Home Office fiat, such designations would be based on the fairly vague claim that a group might ‘demonise specific groups on the basis of their race, religious [faith], gender, nationality or sexuality’, or be guilty of ‘disproportionately blaming specific groups (based on religion, race, gender or nationality) for broader societal issues’. Or they might be regarded as ‘aligning with extremist ideologies, though not inciting violence’.
What would be the impact on a group that was designated as hateful? The report is short on detail, but it speaks in terms of such groups ‘not [being] allowed to use media outlets or speak at universities’, and not being allowed to ‘engage, work with or for public institutions’. They would be ‘suspended from the electoral roll’. (This is an odd phrase showing, perhaps, evidence of over-hasty writing. Presumably, it means the groups would be deregistered as political parties.) The designated groups would also be banned from holding any public marches at all.
This is all quite mild, the report insists. Group members would still, graciously, be allowed to meet in private. And any new offences to back up the proposed prohibition on hate groups would be ‘civil, not criminal’. Oh, and there would be an incitement to virtue, too. Groups might be given back their privileges, rather like errant schoolboys who showed good behaviour, if they mended their ways and became more enlightened.
Where to start with all this? The first thing to note is that these measures are envisaged as applying to organisations operating entirely within the law. What we are talking about here is the introduction of powers to impose severe restrictions on the activities of lawful groups; groups that are neither violent nor dedicated to criminal activity.
Despite the report’s protestations, the restrictions are severe. Preventing a group from taking part in any procession, excluding it from addressing students and banning it from democratic activity as a political party are essentially telling that group that it may only operate in private.
It gets worse. Consider the words ‘not allowed to use media outlets’. Are broadcasters now to be automatically penalised by Ofcom if they publicise the views of a government-disapproved body? Will we reach the position of old Eastern European dictatorships and punish newspapers for publishing material from specific groups? As for the comforting statement that any offences created would be civil not criminal, don’t be taken in. If anything, this would make it even easier to assert state control over certain political groups, as it would mean that fines could be levied and bans enforced without the need to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
Think about what kind of activity might fall under the ban. What about a Christian evangelical group known for its strong views on transgenderism? Could it be driven from public life until it mended its ways? On the other side, what of pro-choice activists who regularly call out what they see as the medieval bigotry of the Catholic Church on reproductive matters, or a group of gay-rights supporters who attack the Koran for its uncompromising view on homosexuality? Might they be found guilty of disproportionately blaming a religious group for societal ills and find themselves banned?
We need to criticise and challenge proposals like these long before they become law.
Scotland’s ban on smacking is an assault on parental freedom.
Scotland has banned smacking. MSPs decided this afternoon, by a majority of 84 to 29, to make it a criminal offence for parents to discipline their children with a slap. What a nasty, authoritarian decision. This is an outrageous intrusion into the sovereignty of the family and into parents’ freedom to decide for themselves how to raise their children. It is yet another expression of the PC middle classes’ arrogant presumption that they know better than the rest of us how children should be brought up and how households should be run. Anyone who believes in freedom and good parenting should oppose this meddling law.
The quinoa mums and blogging dads who make up the commentariat and the political elite have always looked with snobbish horror at parents who smack. Smacking offends their parenting-manual worldview, in which kids must always be surrounded in cotton wool and must be told every five minutes that they are wonderful individuals, whose self-esteem is the most important thing in the world. To these people discipline itself is bad news. They might occasionally use the naughty step against their offspring, but a clip round the ear? A smack on the bum? A stern word in the ear of the kid who plays up in public? No way. That’s fascism, right?
They look upon working-class, immigrant and religious families that tend to use traditional methods of discipline as criminal, effectively. And now, in Scotland, they will be criminal. The new law forbids even ‘reasonable’ physical force against children. It is called the ‘equal protection’ act because it will give children the same protection from ‘assault’ that adults enjoy. A mum isn’t allowed to walk into Asda and smack an adult who is doing their weekly shop, so why should she be allowed to smack her own kid during a trip to Asda? That’s the infantile thinking behind this insidious ban.
The elitist anti-smacking crusaders make a basic error. They think the smacking of children is assault, that it is an act of violence. It absolutely is not. Parents smack their children out of love, not hate; out of concern for their welfare, not as an attack on their welfare. Yes, some parents beat their children, often badly, and there are laws in place to deal with these acts of violence. But a clip, a tap, a smack or an occasional whack with a slipper are not acts of violence – they are acts of disciplinarian concern and love.
The idea that you aren’t allowed to smack adults and therefore you shouldn’t be allowed to smack children is ridiculous. Adults do many things with children that they would never do with adults. They clean their bums, send them to their room, block adult content from their computers, forbid them from wearing certain clothes. We do these things to children because they are dependants – they need guidance and socialisation and sometimes control. And smacking is, or should be, a perfectly acceptable part of that process.
The anti-smacking zealots and so-called parenting experts claim that kids who get smacked will come to think that violence is an acceptable response to difficult situations. Nonsense. I was smacked. Regularly. I needed it, too. Virtually everyone I knew in the immigrant, working-class community I grew up in was smacked. Did we become violent maniacs? Of course not. In fact, we came to a clear understanding of how one should behave. We learned self-control and respect. Our parents hit us because they loved us and wanted us to be properly socialised as boundary-respecting adults. And they were successful.
Parents should use whatever methods of discipline work best for them and their families. It ought to be none of the state’s business. Scotland is effectively disciplining its own citizens, its own adults, and that is a far more horrible thing than a kid occasionally getting a smack from a parent who loves him.
Tony Abbott has stood by his decision to appoint knights and dames into the Australian honours system and suggests they be reintroduced.
In his first long post-election interview to mark the Liberal Party’s 75th anniversary, Mr Abbott recognised there were things that caused him “a lot of grief” when he was PM between 2013-15, including his captain’s pick of appointing Prince Philip a Knight.
But Mr Abbott stood by his decision for knights and dames in the Australian honours system, and suggested they be back on the agenda and reinstated.
“If we are going to have an honours system (then) I think that at the apex of the system we should have knights and dames,” Mr Abbott said.
“If you are a tradition-minded leader of a centre-right party, that’s exactly the kind of thing that you should do. At the heart of our centre-right tradition, it is not so much reform but restoration.
“I should have found a way of doing in this country what they did in New Zealand when John Key brought it back (by) upgrading the ACs to AKs. And I shouldn’t have made it the prime minister’s personal pick, it should have been the Council of the Order of Australia which did it.”
In 2014, Mr Abbott announced that up to four knights or dames would be appointed in any year, saying the honour would be extended to Australians of “extraordinary and pre-eminent achievement and merit”. Mr Abbott then appointed Prince Philip a Knight on Australia Day, recognising him for his “contribution to Australia throughout the Queen’s reign.”
However, in 2015 Malcolm Turnbull dumped his predecessor’s system saying his “Cabinet recently considered the Order of Australia, in this its 40th anniversary year, and agreed that Knights and Dames are not appropriate in our modern honours system”.
Mr Turnbull said while knights and dames was “a long way from being the most important issue in Australia”, the decision reflected a modern Australia. “Knights and Dames are titles that are really anachronistic, out of date, [and] not appropriate in 2015 in Australia,” Mr Turnbull said.
In his exclusive interview, Mr Abbott conceded he made mistakes as prime minister but overwhelmingly blamed Mr Turnbull’s overweening ambition for his government’s demise four years ago.
Mr Abbott said he wished he had longer than two years as prime minister and did not rule out a return to parliament.
“It wasn’t that we had a divided government, it was more that there was one person who was determined to get to the top by hook or by crook,” Mr Abbott said. “Malcolm always thought it was his destiny to be prime minister and I happened to be the obstacle to that and so he dealt with me as best he could.”
While Mr Abbott said he had “mostly” forgiven those who had turned against him and had no “lasting enmities”, he would consider returning to parliament. “If the Liberal Party ever wanted me to do that, I would be more than happy to consider it, but I find it difficult to imagine the circumstances that they would want me,” he said. “I’m not ruling it out but I’m not expecting it to happen.”
With the Liberal Party having governed nationally for 48 of its 75 years, Mr Abbott said it could reasonably claim to be Australia’s natural party of government.
“No party can represent the country as wholeheartedly as we can,” he said. “First, because no particular section owns us the way the unions own the Labor Party. And, second, because we have not succumbed to the siren song of globalism to anything like the extent that the political left has.”
Mr Abbott said the Liberal Party was the custodian of three principal political traditions — liberalism, conservatism and patriotism — but the key to Scott Morrison’s election victory was being more pragmatic than ideological.
“There’s the liberal strand, there’s the conservative strand and, above all else, there’s the patriotic strand,” he said about the Liberal Party’s philosophy. “Yes, we are the freedom party, yes we are the tradition party but above all else we are the patriotic party.
“What we always need to do is to ask ourselves what are the issues that are troubling people at this time and come up with feasible, understandable ways forward. We certainly looked the more practical and the less ideological of the two parties at the last election, and that’s why we won.”
The former prime minister, who was a guest at the British Conservative Party conference in Manchester last week, praised US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for putting their nations first.
“There has been a much greater sense of the nation state and of good old-fashioned patriotism in the approach of Trump and Trump’s Republicans and in the approach of Johnson and Johnson’s Conservatives,” Mr Abbott said. “I also think that one of the reasons why we succeeded in 2013 was because we had a no-nonsense approach to border protection which put Australia first.”
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
Directed Discrimination New York City has issued new rules about hate speech. You cannot threaten to call ICE or refer to someone as an "illegal alien" (because "illegal alien" is a thoroughly accurate but "derogatory" term). There will be no discrimination in New York City (except, of course, for those who think that ICE might serve a good purpose or that people who come into the country illegally are "illegal" -- those can be discriminated against). Each offense is punishable with up to a $250,000 fine. We'll see if that passes a "free speech" challenge.
Follow the Money According to CNN's story, Bernie Sanders has a new tax plan ... targeting income inequality. The stated goal is to "penalize companies who have large disparities in compensation between their highest paid officials and median workers." Because the function of government today is to literally take from the rich and give to ... well, the government, I guess. Note that this is on top of his plan to tax the wealthy to pay for "Medicare for All." Now, it's interesting to me that folks like Bernie are wealthy by my standards, but they're careful not to include themselves in these "income inequality" issues. And I would imagine that those (like Bernie) pushing a new America (read "socialist") wouldn't much care about trifles like the Constitution. Mind you, I'm not defending the greed of the wealthy. I just don't have any reason to trust the greed of the government either.
Dilemma Former Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) has urged Republicans not to support Trump's reelection. "My fellow Republicans, it is time to risk your careers in favor of your principles," he wrote. Now I have a dilemma. (Okay, I had it before and it hasn't gone away.) I am a registered Republican who could not support Trump for president in 2016. I'm facing a second presidential election with Trump as the Republican offering again. I actually agree with Flake that we shouldn't be supporting Trump for reelection. I am not being listened to. (Surprise, surprise!) So what's a Christian to do? People tell me that to not vote for Trump is to vote for the Democrats' candidate (which, from what I can see, is a vote for Socialism). Christians tell me that to fail to support Trump for president is to fail to support the party of the faith, so to speak. "If you're not for Republicans, you're for baby-killing, God-hating, sin-loving Democrats." (That line of reasoning, by the way, is one of the reasons I so seriously opposed Trump in 2016. I believed supporting a man of his moral character and childish behavior would redefine what "Republican" and "conservative" and even "Christian" meant in this country. I believe I am being proved correct.) So I have a choice of being called a traitor to the party, a traitor to the nation, a traitor to the faith, and a supporter of everything I abhor from the Left or I can toss all my principles and vote for a man I consider to be the worst thing to happen to the party, the country, and the church in my lifetime. Nice dilemma, eh? It's a shame that Christians in America today have begun to associate a political party with Christianity when Scripture itself won't do it.
#MeFirst As expected, a federal judge blocked Georgia from putting their child protection bill into effect. "This is a victory for Georgia and the people," Planned Parenthood spokesperson, Barbara Luttrell said, ignoring the millions of dead babies for whom it is not a victory. Nancy Pelosi argued that saving the lives of the most vulnerable Americans is ignoring basic morality despite the fact that she classifies herself as a "devout practicing Catholic." I will never understand the pro-abortion version of morality. Apparently it's "whatever I want to do ... Oh, no, not you." We've had the #MeToo thing going on; it should be #MeFirst as the definition of American morality.
Powerful This week Amber Guyer was found guilty of murdering a young black man named Botham Jean. She was an off-duty police officer who claimed to have walked into the wrong apartment by mistake, mistook him for a burglar, and shot him to death. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison. One particular aspect of the story was Brandt Jean's victim-impact statement. Brandt is Botham's brother. Quite a message. When the judge hugged the convicted killer after the sentencing and gave her one of her own Bibles, people objected. "This judge choosing to hug this woman is unacceptable," wrote former ESPN anchor Jemele Hill. The private gift of a Bible from judge to convicted felon will not go unchallenged, of course. And there is apparently no forgiveness for some ... and not in a good way (Matt 6:14-15).
Politics as Usual In California (of course) a charity event to honor a fallen officer was indefinitely postponed because the Thousand Oaks chief of police objected that Republicans were invited. Thousands of dollars had already been raised for families of fallen officers, but they're returning the money to the donors because Chief Tim Hagel argued, "This is not Trump country ... We don't want Republicans here." "We're not bringing the honor guard. We're not coming. We're not going to be there, not supporting it." I'm not clear about what level of hate for Trump and Republicans is needed to produce this kind of assault on fallen officers and their families, but it isn't coming from the Right here. It is often the Left complaining "Those on the Right are doing nothing but politics." It's clearly not the Right this time.
Truth in Reporting Last week a 12-year-old girl from the same Christian achool where Karen Pence (Mike Pence's wife) works reported that three white boys cornered her on the playground, held her down, insulted her, and cut off sections of her dreadlocks. People were (rightly) outraged. The school was (rightly) appalled. An investigation was (rightly) begun. This week the girl admitted she made the story up. The event didn't happen. The story was false. Her grandparents (who are her legal guardians) apologized to the school, the families, and the boys involved.
I am glad that everyone took it so seriously and glad that the grandparents made no effort to deflect and glad that the truth came out. Unfortunately, much of the media has gone out of its way to avoid "the rest of the story" and many who have pointed to this story as proof of Christian racism have failed to admit that the story was false. The story includes liars and people with integrity. Most of the media outlets don't suffer from excessive integrity.
More White Supremacists Revealed After the Anti-Defamation League last week declared the "OK" hand symbol a hate symbol for white supremacists, new images have surfaced revealing Obama and the Clintons as white supremacists.
Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/GettyLast month’s massacre of 22 people in a Texas Walmart by a man aiming to battle “a Hispanic invasion” is only the latest horror story as the radical right continues to murder and terrorize. For the first time in memory, a consensus of U.S. law enforcement officials agree that white supremacist domestic terrorism has become the No. 1 terrorist threat facing the United States. The question now is, what is to be done?I recently attended a conference hosted by the National Counterterrorism Center, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security, entitled “Domestic Terrorism and Its Global Context: Exploring the USG Approach”—an invitation-only gathering of government officials, civil society activists and academics concerned with the threat. The meeting was convened specifically to make suggestions for U.S. government action.I have been studying the radical right for almost 25 years now, and it’s difficult enough to come up with anything approaching a “solution” for private groups or individuals, let alone laws or police actions that must and should be carried out by a government that respects civil liberties in a free society. There is nothing approaching a silver bullet for the government, or for private citizens.The government’s Countering Violent Extremism program, begun under the auspices of DHS in 2011, illustrates part of the dilemma. It directed millions of dollars toward working with community groups to prevent or reverse radicalization by engaging with at-risk youth and others. But while the program is supported by some, large numbers of Muslim and other minority groups say it stigmatizes their communities as likely terrorists, encourages neighbors spying on one another, and is largely ineffective. Many believe it has done more harm than good.Another example is the City of New York Police Department’s Muslim surveillance program, started in 2002, which included listing mosques as potential terrorist organizations, sending undercover agents into Muslim neighborhoods to listen in on conversations, and undertaking a “mapping” of people believed to be vulnerable to radicalization. The program was widely criticized after it was exposed and drew lawsuits over its religious profiling and suspicionless surveillance and, in 2014, then-NYPD Commissioner William Bratton disbanded the squad. A federal lawsuit against the NYPD ended in 2018 with a major settlement for the plaintiffs.The United Kingdom’s Prevent program, started in 2007, ran into similarly severe criticism for its highly disproportionate targeting of Muslim communities. Many have called for the entire counter-radicalization effort to be scrapped.Of course, there have been some useful efforts, many of them focused squarely on violence from the white supremacist movement. Exit programs, aimed at helping individuals leave the movement, have had some success though the Trump administration has largely defunded them. De-platforming of radical ideologues—convincing private companies like Google and Facebook to remove extremist content—also has had some impact, and major tech companies recently agreed to expand their Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism.But those efforts, and others like them, have had limited effect, and most likely never disrupted a violent white supremacist attack. No one yet has come up with a reliable list of indicators of radicalization. In addition, the positive benefits of some programs have been overwhelmed by President Trump and other far-right politicians seeming to endorse ideas of the white nationalist movement while painting Islamist terrorism as the only serious threat.The Texas attack capped a kind of sea change among law enforcement officials, however, as new statistics showed that right-wing domestic terror since the Sept. 11, 2001 al Qaeda attacks has been significantly deadlier than Islamist terror.At the Sept. 23 conference, held just outside Washington, D.C., the most substantive subject discussed was the idea of passing a national law outlawing “domestic terrorism.” Proponents argued that right-wing terrorists in the U.S. can only be charged with such crimes as murder and weapons violations, unlike foreign terrorists who face charges like terrorism or materially aiding a terrorist group. A new terrorism statute, they suggested, might elevate the importance of the threat in the minds of criminal investigators, the courts, and the broad public.But at least 40 civil rights groups, including the most important such organizations in the country, staunchly oppose such a law. They argue, rightly in my view, that no new laws are needed to deal with extremist violence. They cite a long and sordid history of government abuse and infiltration of left-wing groups, suggesting that a domestic terrorism law might provide cover for a replay.The changes we need lie elsewhere.The real problem has been the reluctance of generations of American officials to describe racially motivated violent extremists correctly—as terrorists, just as dangerous and criminal as foreign Islamist terrorists. For years, the FBI refused to label the murders of abortion physicians by Christian extremists as terrorism. More recently, it claimed “eco-terrorists” were the main domestic terror threat in the country—an absurdity, given that not a single person has been killed by animal rights or environmental extremists. It is important to call a terrorist a terrorist, but the problem is political cowardice, not the lack of a new law.I walked away from the conference with the sense that many participants were looking for a technical fix—some law or program that would ease or even end the threat of terroristic violence from the domestic radical right.That shows a lack of basic understanding about the nature of the threat. Despite the claims of President Trump and media outlets like Fox News, it is not internet algorithms, mental illness, violent video games or even foreign plots that are driving the violence. The fact is, huge socioeconomic changes convulsing Western societies—including demographic shifts, cultural upheaval, and real economic hardship—have produced this movement.And that means, regardless of the most well-meaning of efforts to confront the threat of resurgent white nationalism, that there are no easy fixes. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Yesterday Haaretz published a tedious, clumsily written 5000 word rant titled, “The Fake Nazi Death Camp: Wikipedia’s Longest Hoax, Exposed.”
It seems that some Israelis and Jews are very disturbed that Poles have a gas chamber narrative of their own. “For over 15 years, false claims that thousands of Poles were gassed to death in Warsaw were presented as fact. Haaretz reveals they are just the tip of an iceberg of a widespread Holocaust distortion operation by Polish nationalists”
I’m not even remotely an expert on gas chambers. I am neither an engineer nor a historian and have no opinion on the validity or historicity of claims that Poles were gassed by Nazis. But what is plain is that Israelis and Jews are insisting upon dominating any narrative of the past and not just the Jewish past. They are outraged that other victims of the Nazis claim to have been gassed. They insist that being gassed must remain the sole domain of the Jews.
“It’s fake history,” says Prof. Havi Dreifuss, a Tel Aviv University historian and Yad Vashem’s expert on Poland and the Holocaust, when asked about gas chambers in Warsaw.” Professor Dreifuss, a Jewish-Israeli academic, feels entitled to comment on the validity of the emerging Polish gas narrative. I do not have an issue with Dreifuss’ sense of academic privilege, yet, you don’t need me to remind you what happens to a gentile academic, comedian or politician who is even mildly critical of any piece of the Jewish holocaust narrative.
The Haaretz article is mainly concerned with the relevant Wikipedia entry. Writing that, since the Wikipedia article on the “Warsaw concentration camp was opened in August 2004, and until it was completely rewritten this past August, it falsely claimed that there was an extermination camp in the Polish capital.”
Israel’s relentless quest to dominate Wikipedia is not a new story and is hardly a secret. Back in 2010 The Guardian wrote that Israeli “groups seeking to gain the upper hand in the online debate have launched a course in ‘Zionist editing’ for Wikipedia, the online reference site.” You can watch the rabid right wing Israeli politician Naftali Bennet commenting on a Wikipedia editing workshop that teaches Jews and others how to edit Wikipedia pages to favour the Israeli position.
It seems the Hasbara Ziopedia schooling produced the goods. “The person who first discovered the scale of the (Polish gas chamber) distortion – and is now arguing to have it recognized as Wikipedia’s longest hoax – is an Israeli editor dubbed Icewhiz, who refuses to be identified by his real name but agreed to speak with Haaretz. Icewhiz has already rewritten the English-language article for KL Warschau to reflect the accepted historical truth, but his attempt to cleanse other Wikipedia articles that incorporate material from it reveal that the principal entry is only the tip of an iceberg.”
Although the Israeli Wikipedia editing courses were initially set to teach Jews how to dominate the debate over Israel on Wikipedia and on the net in general, it seems it didn’t take long before the Israelis saw a duty to dominate the past of the Poles and of any other people’s history so their past fits with the primacy of Jewish suffering.
The message Haaretz delivers is that God’s chosen people or maybe just the Israelis, want the Shoah for themselves, they will not share Nazi victimhood with anyone else. Haaretz writes, “this attempt to revise the accepted history of the Shoah on the internet encyclopedia parrots the revised historical narrative currently being trumpeted by the Polish government. In this narrative, the Poles in general – not just the country’s Jewish population – were the main victims of the Nazi occupation.”
If this position is puzzling or if you wonder what is wrong with sharing Nazi victimhood, Haaretz answers: “This line attempts to shift the light away from a growing body of research into cases of Polish cooperation and collaboration with the Nazis in the persecution of Jews. The effort to rewrite Polish history on Wikipedia joins Holocaust distortion efforts by Polish think tanks – picked up and echoed by nationalist media outlets – that try to increase the estimate of the number of Poles who perished during the so-called Polocaust, a term that has gained popularity in recent years and is used to describe the mass murder of non-Jewish Poles at the hands of the Nazis. Many times, this also includes minimizing the number of Jews who died during the Holocaust. And while this new Polish narrative has failed to make headway in academia or the world media, on Wikipedia it has thrived.”
Israel fights to prevent other nations from writing their own histories if such attempts seem to interfere with the most popular Jewish religion: the holocaust. Poland lost between three to six million of its sons and daughters between 1939-1945. This tragedy understandably compels Poles to look into their past, to revise it and even to fetishize some elements of it.
Every day we read that Jewish pressure groups are publishing ‘alarming statistics’ about the rise of antisemitsm. If there is anyone who thinks that the attempt by Israel and Jewish bodies to dominate Poland’s past is likely to suppress antisemitism and make Jews loved in Poland please stand up.
Fake news is a type of pervasive propaganda that spreads misinformation
online, taking advantage of social media's extensive reach to manipulate public
perception. Over the past three years, fake news has become a focal discussion
point in the media due to its impact on the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
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pizzeria carrying a rifle because he read that Hillary Clinton was harboring
children as sex slaves. This project presents a high accuracy (87%) machine
learning classifier that determines the validity of news based on the word
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few sentences of an article. This can help readers identify the validity of an
article by looking for specific features in the opening lines aiding them in
making informed decisions. Using a dataset of 2,107 articles from 30 different
websites, this project establishes an understanding of the variations between
fake and credible news by examining the model, dataset, and features. This
classifier appears to use the differences in word distribution, levels of tone
authenticity, and frequency of adverbs, adjectives, and nouns. The
differentiation in the features of these articles can be used to improve future
classifiers. This classifier can also be further applied directly to browsers
as a Google Chrome extension or as a filter for social media outlets or news
websites to reduce the spread of misinformation.
What an utter farce this election has been. The format for what should’ve been the “Big” debate was a mess. The format blew chunks. Canadians needed and some actually wanted to hear from the candidates, but the Consortium of media outlets that put this together seemed more focused on gender politics than Canadian politics. If […]
Former Trump aide Steve Bannon says in a new book that there’s no such thing as “the Deep State,” and that the entire conspiracy theory about a deep state plot to remove Trump is absolutely bogus. This is a huge blow to Republicans and right wing media outlets who have been talking nonstop about a […]
Elizabeth Warren hasn't always described this pivotal moment in her career in the same way, a point that has prompted some media outlets to question whether she was in fact fired. In her telling, Warren was "shown the door" by the school principal in 1971. If that hadn't happened, Warren has said she might well still be a public school teacher. The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate spoke exclusively with CBS News campaign reporter Zak Hudak about that story and why it has evolved.
On the campaign trail, Elizabeth Warren often tells the story of how she was fired from her first teaching job in 1971 because she was pregnant. But several media outlets have questioned the veracity of these claims. CBS News 2020 campaign reporter Zak Hudak discusses his reporting with CBSN's Elaine Quijano on "Red and Blue."