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          09/12 Links Pt2: Soviet Antisemitism in a British Guise; Interview with Colonel Richard Kemp; Artist turns Kassam rockets into flowers and mezuzahs      Cache   Translate Page      
From Ian:

Soviet Antisemitism in a British Guise
Most of all, there was the Soviet practice of wheeling out “citizens of Jewish nationality” to denounce Zionism as a “racist” tool of “imperialism.” In March 1983, the Soviet news agency TASS even published a definition of Zionism drawn up by the state-run “Jewish Anti-Zionist Committee” that read as follows:

“In its essence, Zionism is a concentration of extreme nationalism, chauvinism, and racial intolerance, justification of territorial seizure and annexation, armed adventurism, a cult of political arbitrariness and impunity, demagogy and ideological sabotage, sordid maneuvers and perfidy.”

To my mind, the most obvious question here to Jeremy Corbyn, The Morning Star, and those of a similar pedigree, is this: Is there anything in this Soviet definition of Zionism that you disagree with? Make no mistake, the answer is critically important, because it is exactly this characterization of Zionism that grounded both the USSR’s domestic persecution of its Jewish community, and its international alignment with Arab regimes and terrorist groups.

If the answer is to disagree with this formulation — highly unlikely, given that Corbyn himself was present at dozens of left-wing political gatherings during the 1970s and ’80s where Soviet and Arab antisemitic literature was distributed — then it is a disingenuous one. Because when Corbyn and those in his camp speak and write about the triangle of Jews, Zionism, and Israel, these are the terms in which they think, and have always thought.

That is why Corbyn’s house journal uses terms like “embittered fifth column” to describe their leader’s Jewish opponents — also used by Valery Emelyanov, an official Soviet ideologue, in 1978 to describe the “internal danger” posed by Soviet Jews. It’s why they have no qualms about saying that Jewish leaders opposed to Corbyn have “tasted blood,” despite the associations with the antisemitic blood libel that such a metaphor unleashes; then again, Vladimir Begun, a particularly toxic Soviet antisemite, wrote with great enthusiasm of the “bloodthirstiness” that was inherent in “Zionist gangsterism.”

Given the number of occasions that Corbyn publicly defended the Soviet regime — “The Soviet Union makes far greater nursery provision than this country” (1984), “I do not believe that [the USSR] has ever intended to invade western Europe” (1990) — he was clearly well aware of Moscow’s stance on all the key international matters of the time, as well as its propaganda practices. That doesn’t make him a spy, but it does make him an ideological fellow-traveler. And as The Morning Star has demonstrated by defending Corbyn with an ugly rhetorical assault on British Jews, that Soviet-inspired journey rolls on.

Yisreal Medad: An Exercise in Deconstruction
Deconstruction is a literary term indicating "a critique of the relationship between text and meaning ".

I found this poem, "Everything in Our World Did Not Seem to Fit" by Naomi Shihab Nye here. It is an example of "new Palestinian poetry". Excuse me, "Arab Palestinian poetry". Ms. Nye's family roots are in Sinjil, just down the road from Shiloh where I live.

I realized that here poem is a literal work of deconstruction - of history, of Jewish national identity, of politics and of simple rational logic.

Let's deconstruct that literary work.

Once they started invading us.
Actually, the Arabs invaded Eretz-Yisrael in 638 CE. Moreover, despite the loss of political independence, Jews continued to reside in the Land of Israel, if in small numbers depending on the conditions and crcumstances of the various occupiers.

Taking our houses and trees, drawing lines, pushing us into tiny places.
Throughout the Zionist resettlement enterprise, almost all the land was purchased from its owners.

It wasn’t a bargain or deal or even a real war.
The Arab terror war against Jews in 1920, 1921, 1929, 1936-1939 and the 1947 war was real as were the fedyeen and the PLO's launching in 1964.
Interview with Colonel Richard Kemp
A United Nations report on recent violent clashes along the Israel-Gaza border hasn’t been written yet, but international terrorism expert Richard Kemp already knows it will condemn Israel for defending its borders against armed hordes.

Kemp, a retired British army officer who has watched, and fought against, terrorism around the world for 30 years, will tell an audience in Hamilton Thursday that’s the traditional response of a world community that doesn’t want to face up to terrorism.

In an interview ahead of his appearance, Kemp said the recent attacks on the Gaza border were just the latest phase of ongoing efforts by the terrorist group Hamas to smash the Jewish state.

It’s a campaign built around Hamas’ standard tactic of sprinkling its terrorists among civilians in the hope Israel’s response will result in civilian deaths that can, in turn, spark international outrage against the country.

“By creating a situation of violent disorder, breaking through the fence and attacking Israeli communities Hamas hope to provoke Israel in the hope that Israel’s reaction will result in many of (Hamas’) own people being killed,” he said.

Kemp said the tactic has worked to a degree – even fair-minded citizens around the world who understand a country’s right to defend itself are made uncomfortable by the sight of civilians being shot by Israeli soldiers.

“Even if people are against Israel, most sane people can understand that a country has to respond if it is attacked, if rockets are launched at it or attack tunnels are dug underneath it. Most people can accept that even if they don’t like it,” Kemp said.

“Even if they accept that they can’t understand how a civilized country like Israel can gun down people involved in peaceful demonstrations. We know they’re not peaceful demonstrations, but that is how it’s portrayed.”



New York Times Stumbles in a Strange Front-Page Antisemitism Story
A front-page New York Times news article appears under the headline “U.S. Revives Rutgers Bias Case In New Tack on Anti-Semitism.”

The Times article hypes what it describes as a “significant policy shift.” It claims that the federal education department and its assistant secretary, Kenneth Marcus, “put the weight of the federal government behind a definition of anti-Semitism that targets opponents of Zionism.”

It goes on to claim that the Education Department “adopted a hotly contested definition of anti-Semitism that included ‘denying the Jewish people the right to self-determination’ by, for example, ‘claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor’ and ‘applying double standards by requiring of’ Israel ‘a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.'”

It’s extremely strange that The New York Times would all of a sudden describe this particular definition of anti-Semitism as “hotly contested.” The Times itself, as recently as this month, published two articles describing the exact same definition as “internationally accepted.”

On September 4, the Times published a Reuters dispatch: “LONDON — Britain’s opposition Labour Party adopted an internationally accepted definition of anti-Semitism on Tuesday.” An Associated Press dispatch published by the Times the same day begins, “LONDON — Britain’s main opposition Labour Party on Tuesday adopted an internationally recognized definition of anti-Semitism.” On July 26, a Times-written article from London also referred to the same definition as “internationally accepted.”

Got that? When the British Labour Party adopts the definition, the Times describes it, accurately, as “internationally accepted.” Yet when the US government tries to enforce the definition on an American college campus, then all of a sudden the Times describes the definition as “hotly contested.” In fact, the definition is internationally accepted everywhere except in The New York Times newsroom, or at least in that portion of it responsible for the Rutgers article.
Sightless in Bethlehem
“Israel made me hate it” has long been a common theme among Jewish critics of Israel. In fact, New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman practically built his career out of it, winning a Pulitzer Prize for a book based on the claim that he was an uncritical supporter of Israel until he covered the 1982 Lebanon war, where he saw outrageous Israeli behavior that changed his mind.

That version of Friedman’s biography turned out to be a fabrication. In 1990, pro-Israel activists revealed that he actually had been a hostile critic of Israel all the way back to his days as a student at Brandeis University, in the early 1970s. He was the leader of a student group that publicly derided Israel’s Labor government for not negotiating with Yasir Arafat, and condemned the Jewish community for protesting against Arafat’s infamous speech at the United Nations.

But back in 1990, before there was an internet, it wasn’t hard for anyone to get away with misrepresenting his biography. The exposure of Friedman’s lies was buried, and he was soon promoted to the position of op-ed columnist for the Times, a perch from which he has bashed Israel on countless occasions.

Now it looks like a new generation is taking up where Friedman left off in the department of creative autobiographical writing. Case in point: Jacob Plitman, the 27 year-old editor of the far-left magazine Jewish Currents.

Recently, a major article in the New York Jewish Week featured Plitman, describing him as being at the center of an “emerging new Jewish left” that is more willing than its elders to criticize Israel. And how did Plitman get to be a critic of Israel? You guessed it—Israel made him hate it.

As a youngster, “his parents sent him to a Young Judea camp.” Plitman “soaked up its messaging on Israel and Zionism,” so much so that he decided to spend his gap year in Israel. And then came The Great Disillusionment.

“His rosy view of Zionism began to change,” the article reported, when Plitman “visited Bethlehem” (interesting choice for a Jewish tourist) “and came face to face with Palestinians for the first time. ‘The things that I saw there were more powerful than my ability to ignore them’,” Plitman told the Jewish Week. As a result, Plitman and his magazine now devote themselves to railing against “the occupation” and “the settlers.”

That’s his version. But I have my suspicions. Here’s why.


Israel among 'shameful' countries abusing human rights activists, according to U.N.
The United Nations on Wednesday listed Israel among 38 "shameful" countries, which it said had carried out reprisals or intimidation against people cooperating with it on human rights, through killings, torture and arbitrary arrests. Allegations of ill-treatment, surveillance, criminalisation, and public stigmatization campaigns targeting victims and human rights defenders were also included on the list.

Israel earned its spot on the list for it's ongoing legal battle against Human Rights Watch representative Omar Shakir, who's visa wasn't extended and who's deportation was ordered last May on the grounds of supporting the BDS movement. Interior minister Deri who ordered the deportation last May said he acted on the recommendation of the Strategic Affairs who had gathered information showing that Shakir “is an active and consistent supporter of boycotting Israel.”

Humans Right Watch challenged the decision and accused Israel of trying to silence criticism on its human right's record and that going after Shakir was an attempt to go after HRW as a whole.

Shakir remains in the country after the Jerusalem District Court backtracked on its original decision to go through with the deportation and the case remains under review.

The UN report did not highlight how it categorized the case against Shakir and why it would place Israel on the "shameful' list.
This Week in Julia Salazar She had a trust fund, her ancestors were Catholic elites, and she has a new version of her conversion story.
A state senate race that was once hailed as a test of the rising strength and power of insurgent socialists has devolved into a full-fledged New York City tabloid circus, featuring charges of lies, identify fraud, theft, and an affair with New York Mets legend Keith Hernandez.

And that was just last week.

Every time the life story of first-time state senate candidate Julia Salazar, 27, seems it can’t get any more convoluted, it does. First, questions were raised about her religious background and political affiliation, after it was revealed she grew up in a Christian family and was a registered Republican who led an anti-abortion group in college before running for office as a Jewish socialist. Then, her self-identification as an immigrant came under fire — she was born in Miami — and her own brother went to town on her claims that she is from a working-class background. Next came revelations of a complex legal dispute with Hernandez’s wife that had led to Salazar being arrested on identity-impersonation charges; she doggedly pursued a defamation countersuit that was ultimately settled in her favor. Amid that story, legal documents surfaced showing her lawyer pointing to “Ms. Salazar trust Account records showing in excess of $600,000” in assets in 2011 and therefore no incentive to steal from Hernandez’s wife.

Now the campaign has confirmed Salazar has had substantial assets held in trust for her. “Julia’s father, who played a very limited role in raising her after her parents’ divorce, was not able to work due to disability in the final years of his life, but on his death in 2009 he left a house and considerable retirement savings; those assets were put in a trust to be divided evenly between Julia and her brother,” campaign spokesman Michael Kinnucan said. “Julia does not have direct access to the trust; the trustee is a relative in Colombia.”

On September 13, Salazar will face off with incumbent Senator Martin Malavé Dilan; the primary winner is all but assured of victory in November.

Salazar’s bid, which has won endorsements from and/or appearances with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cynthia Nixon, and Nina Turner of Bernie Sanders’s Our Revolution, has even drawn attention in her father’s homeland of Colombia, where a genealogist’s findings further undermine her early campaign claims of having come from a working-class mixed Jewish-Christian family and raise questions about how aware of her own Colombian heritage she has sought to be, despite her repeated statements identifying with it. Meanwhile, interviews with the candidate and with Jewish religious leaders show her story about converting to Reform Judaism could not have happened as she has described it to multiple reporters, because the person she now says guided her conversion process was not an ordained rabbi and also was, in any case, not affiliated with Columbia University the year she initially said she converted through the Columbia/Barnard Hillel.

According to Maria Emilia Naranjo Ramos, a genealogist with the Colombian Academy of Genealogy and Historic Academy of Córdoba, the Salazars have for generations been a prosperous family in Colombia that has played a prominent role in civic and political life. Far from being the daughter of struggling immigrants of mixed Jewish-Catholic religious heritage, which early news reports described her as based on her statements and those of her campaign, Julia Salazar is the scion of longtime Latin-American Catholic elites.
Citizens Union drops endorsement of Julia Salazar, citing 'not correct' information about her academic credentials
A good government group has withdrawn its backing of Julia Salazar for state Senate, saying the candidate provided information about her academic credentials that proved to be incorrect.

Citizens Union had previously issued its “preference” — the term the group uses rather than endorsement — for Salazar, whose campaign has been plagued in recent weeks by revelations about misrepresentations of her past religious and political beliefs and her immigration status.

“Citizens Union is hereby rescinding the preference it expressed for Julia Salazar in the Democratic Primary for New York State Senate District 18,” Randy Mastro, the chair of the group, said in a statement. “Salazar recently admitted that the information she originally provided to Citizens Union about her academic credentials was not correct, so Citizens Union has decided to express no preference in this race.”

A campaign spokesman called it an “error in her endorsement application.”

"Julia regrets that an error in her endorsement application led to Citizens Union rescinding its endorsement, but remains committed to working with Citizens Union and others opposed to Albany corruption if elected to take money out of politics and clean up Albany,” he said.

Gillum Aligns With Groups That Support Boycotts of Israel
Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum has aligned himself with several prominent anti-Semitic organizations known for promoting boycotts of Jewish goods and individuals, fueling questions about how the Democratic candidate would handle issues of import to the state's large pro-Israel community.

Gillum, who is riding a progressive a wave of young Democrats highly critical of Israel, is running against Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.), a prominent Israel supporter. The Democrat has a history of working with several organizations promoting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS, an anti-Semitic movement that seeks to wage economic and political warfare on the Jewish state.

Gillum's open association with these organizations is raising questions in the pro-Israel community, particularly as U.S. states seek to slash ties with BDS organizations and prevent taxpayer funds from supporting these movements. While Gillum has committed to "push back against anti-Israel efforts, like BDS," he has not distanced himself from several organizations leading the charge.

DeSantis, meanwhile, has positioned himself firmly against the BDS movement and is the co-author of legislation that will protect American businesses from being pressured into backing Israel boycotts. The issue is likely to be raised with both candidates as the gubernatorial contest heats up in a state with many Jewish voters.

DeSantis said he is concerned and dismayed by Gillum's ties to radical anti-Israel groups.

"In all my years in Florida, I’ve never seen a candidate for state office who has been as anti-Israel as Andrew Gillum," DeSantis told the Washington Free Beacon in an interview. "He opposes our embassy in Jerusalem, he does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal and indivisible capital, and he even criticizes Israel’s response against Hamas [militants] in May of 2018. His anti-Israel views are part and parcel of his overall far left wing, Democrat socialist agenda. He doesn’t share the values of the vast majority of people in Florida with his position."
Former ambassador to U.N. Prosor writes scathing piece against Corbyn
Prosor wrote that during his tenure as ambassador to the UK from 2007 to 2011, “the extreme-Left had started to dominate debate on Israel, not with rational, legitimate criticism but with irrational, racist hatred. I saw antisemitic poison, tropes of ‘Zionist control,’ being injected from the political fringes into the arteries of British public life. Demonstrations outside my embassy turned violent.”

Prosor said that Corbyn was neither the most charismatic or the smartest of the politicians who attended anti-Israel gatherings at the time, “but he was without doubt one of the most committed. As was his director of strategy, Seamus Milne.”

Corbyn,” according to Prosor, “can’t solve Labour’s antisemitism problem, because he embodies it.” He called the Labour Party leader an “equal opportunities terrorist sympathizer,” saying that whatever the terrorist group – be it the PLO, Hezbollah, or Hamas – they could count on Corbyn’s support as long as their target was Israelis or Jews.

“Corbyn didn’t invent the crank politics of conspiracy theory and Jew-hatred. But he has taken it from the fringe meetings of the far-Left and placed it on the front-benches of the House of Commons,” Prosor wrote.

He concluded: “This is not just an issue for the Labour Party, or for a British Jewish community feeling threatened and vulnerable. Corbyn is an embarrassment for Britain. Around the world, all who, as I do, love and admire Britain are watching and hoping that the British public, famed for their decency, tolerance and sense of fair play, stand together and say, enough is enough.”
Top Corbyn aide said working in parliament despite rejected security clearance
A top aide to UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was refused clearance required to work in parliament over security concerns but has worked there regularly anyway, entering with the help of other staff members, Huffington Post UK reported Wednesday.

Corbyn’s private secretary Iram Awan was hired in late 2017 but was denied clearance due to concerns by security services over her associates, the report said. There were no details on who those associates were or how they could compromise security.

Despite this, Awan has regularly been working in the Commons, the report said, with other Labour staffers routinely meeting her at the entrance and waving her in to security personnel, apparently as a supposed visitor. The report alleged that this behavior has been practiced for the past nine months.

“Visitor passes are for visitors only,” a parliament spokesperson told the news site. “They cannot be used to carry out work on the parliamentary estate. While we are unable to comment on specific cases, any alleged breach of the rules on passes will be investigated by the House authorities.”

The report said little is known of Awan, but noted that she has donated to Helping Households Under Great Stress, a group that seeks to “provide financial, emotional, and practical support and advice to Muslim households impacted by counter-terrorism, national security and extremism-related laws, policies and procedures in the UK and abroad.”
Another Top Corbyn Aide Working Without Security Clearance
Another top Corbyn adviser, Andrew Murray, has reportedly been working in the Labour Leader’s Commons office for eight months without the required security clearance. His application has been pending for over a year..

Andrew Murray was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain until he joined Labour two years ago.

A quick glance at the parliamentary pass application form might explain why so many of Corbyn’s team have been having trouble. Question 30 asks if applicants have ever been associated with people or groups who have “intended to overthrow or undermine Parliamentary democracy by political, industrial, or violent means?” A number of Corbyn’s top team are probably going to need more than half a page to give full details on that one…
British MP of Palestinian Descent Condemns “anti-Semitic” Posters, as Labour Party Investigates Infiltration by Iran
A British Member of Parliament of Palestinian Arab descent has denounced the defacing of bus-stops in London with “Israel is a racist endeavour” posters as “blatantly anti-Semitic,” The Jewish Chronicle reported Thursday.

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, who represents Oxford West and Abingdon, told the BBC: “I’m a Palestinian… The fact that this has come from a group that purportedly is speaking for Palestinians, I take great offence at myself, because I think it is blatantly antisemitic.” She clarified that “there are extremes in the Israeli government… But to say that an entire country is racist is entirely wrong.”

Moran was responding to comments made by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, a close ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who stated that “It is not at all anti-Semitic to describe a state as racist.”

The posters were meant to mock the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, which Labour reluctantly adopted in full last week with a caveat vowing “free speech” on Israel. The IHRA definition, which gives calling “a state of Israel… a racist endeavour” as an example of anti-Semitism.
Why Rachel Shabi's 'alliance of colour' will go nowhere
Our token Mizrahi Corbynista has been gracing the columns of the Guardian as a pundit commentating on local politics. But on the question of the antisemitism rampant in the far-left of the UK Labour party, a note of anguish has been creeping into our Shabi's writings.
Rachel Shabi

In response to a Labour centrist MP's charge that Labour is 'institutionally racist', her latest piece acknowledges that antisemitism is a real problem in Jeremy Corbyn's faction. What about anti-Zionism? Is there such a thing as antisemitic anti-Zionism? 'Zionism is both racist and anti-racist', she fence-sits unhelpfully, despite having written a book portraying Mizrahim as victims of Israel's Ashkenazi establishment.

She finds the view common among leftwing ideologues that Jews are 'white' allies of the Christian West to be wrong. "We are a racialised minority' she protests. She herself is a Mizrahi Jew of Iraqi origin.

Her answer is to start a Jewish-black-Asian-Muslim alliance that would relaunch Jews as 'people of colour'. This alliance is not based on shared Judeo-Christian values. 'If there is a historic sharing of values it is a Jewish-Muslim one,' she writes.
Corbyn in 2015 – let British jihadis travel to Syria
Jeremy Corbyn’s antisemitic record has been under scrutiny for several weeks now, and rightly so. But let’s not forget other issues which are important, starting with our own national security.

He should never be entrusted with the security of the United Kingdom. It would be seriously endangered.

Look back to early 2015. Islamic State was on the march. No wonder – its strength and confidence had been boosted by a big influx of foreign fighters from Europe. They included Britain’s very own “Jihadi John”, who began his beheading spree in 2014.

Those fighters were a top priority for Western intelligence services, in large part because there were fears they could return to the West deeply indoctrinated, highly trained, and ready to carry out devastating terrorist attacks.

Jeremy Corbyn was asked about this issue at the time. He didn’t sound very convinced.
UK's Corbyn stuns by blasting Hungarian PM for anti-Semitism
British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn accused Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban of "pandering to anti-Semitism" ahead of a vote in the European Parliament over whether to censure Hungary for breaching core EU values.

Corbyn, himself under fire for rampant anti-Semitism in his party and for his own anti-Israel and anti-Semitic comments, stunned with a tweet on Tuesday that said, "Labour MEPs will vote to hold Viktor Orban's government in Hungary to account. The Conservatives must do the same, and [British Prime Minister] Theresa May should condemn his attacks on judicial and media independence, denial of refugee rights, and pandering to anti-Semitism and Islamophobia."

Labour has been battling accusations of anti-Semitism for months, and Corbyn has previously apologized for what he has described as "pockets" of anti-Semitism in his party.

Former U.K. Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has called Corbyn an anti-Semite and said comments revealed last week that Corbyn made about British Zionists five years ago were the most offensive by a senior U.K. politician in half a century.
Anti-Israel Satmar group forges UK rabbis’ pro-Corbyn letter
A hassidic group disseminated a letter in support of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has come under fire for supporting antisemites, in which the signatures of haredi leaders in the UK were forged.

The Jewish Community Council of North London tweeted overnight Tuesday to “confirm and clarify this letter is fake and bears no authority from any of the assigned names.”


The letter, purportedly from the leadership of London’s haredi umbrella organization, the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, claims to have the support of the UOHC’s Principal Rabbinical Authority Ephraim Padwa, Senior Dayan (religious court judge) S. Friedman, and 27 others.
BREAKING: Leading UK Rabbis have released a letter to repudiate the false notion that British Jews are against @jeremycorbyn and/or the @UKLabour .
"We feel it's necessary to clarify that Jews have no connection with these irresponsible remarks!
— True Torah Jews (@TorahJews) September 9, 2018
US takes on anti-Israel BDS activities on university campuses
The U.S. Education Department's Office of Civil Rights has decided to adopt the international definition of anti-Semitism, which defines Judaism not only as a religion but also an ethnicity and includes holding Jews responsible for Israel's actions as a form of anti-Semitism, Israel Hayom learned Wednesday.

According to a letter written by Assistant Education Secretary for Civil Rights Kenneth L. Marcus to the Zionist Organization of America, anyone who acts "to deny the right of the Jewish people to self-determination, on the grounds that the State of Israel's existence is a racist endeavor" or applies double standards to Israel that it does not apply to any other democratic country will be deemed an anti-Semite.

The ZOA lauded what it called the "groundbreaking decision," saying, "This definition accurately addresses how anti-Semitism is expressed today; it recognizes that Jew-hatred can be camouflaged as anti-Israelism or anti-Zionism. The OCR is not only reassessing the evidence already in the record; the agency is also going to determine whether a hostile environment for Jewish students currently exists at Rutgers [University]."

Pro-Palestinian activists in the United States have warned the move will hinder pro-Palestinian efforts as any such activity will be deemed anti-Semitic.
Daphne Anson: Rogues with a Brogue
In Belfast on Tuesday, heavily outnumbering pro-Israel counter-protesters, dozens of raucous members of an outfit calling itself BDS Ireland (part of part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement along with Sinn Fein) yell their opposition to Northern Ireland's first friendly football match against Israel in Windsor Park. Over 5,000 Israel-haters signed a petition demanding the match's cancellation, but the match went ahead, the home team winning by 3 goals to nil.


Footballer James Rodríguez Caves In To Israel Haters After Being Subjected to Online Abuse
Colombian footballer James Rodríguez, considered one of the best players of his generation, was recently in Israel. And he wanted his almost 100 million (!) followers on social media to know just how amazing it is here. So he posted the following on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

The Israeli flag triggered the haters, resulting in the young footballer being subjected to a barrage of hate – which he clearly was not prepared for. Unfortunately, he caved in, and replaced the tweet and postings with the identical picture and wording, sans Israeli flag.

Interestingly enough, his next posting is still up, despite clearly identifying Israel and not “Palestine.”
Honest Reporting: Surf’s Up in Gaza: Riding the Anti-Israel Wave
In a long and somewhat labyrinthine article in The Independent, author and academic Andy Martin focuses on a documentary film about a Palestinian surfing club in Gaza.

Feeding the prejudices of The Independent’s readership, every activity in Gaza, even leisure, is turned into an opportunity to attack Israel and spread inaccuracies and falsehoods.

Martin makes it crystal-clear what he thinks about Israel:
Set aside the whole dubious history of Israel, the events of 1948 that the Palestinians refer to as the Nakba (or “Catastrophe”), the Six Day War, the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the continued imperial expansion and slow-motion ethnic cleansing known euphemistically as “settlement”. Even set aside, most recently, the “Nation State” law that spells out, reiterates and reinforces a condition of apartheid. Do you want to know the final straw? They won’t allow surfboards into Gaza. They are obviously part of some sinister Hamas-inspired conspiracy. They may exhibit coded subversive messages on stickers applied to their decks, such as “Life’s a beach”, or “Surf’s Up, Dude”.

Are surfboards “illegal” in Gaza?

So let’s set aside the whole dubious references to “ethnic cleansing” and “apartheid” that Martin casually tosses into the water and deal with his allegations regarding surfboards. Are they really “illegal” in Gaza as the article and the headline suggest?
Merkel: ‘No excuse’ for far-right violence, attack on kosher restaurant
Chancellor Angela Merkel assured parliament Wednesday she takes seriously Germans’ concerns about crimes committed by migrants and pledged a strong response, but condemned recent demonstrations as “hateful,” saying there is “no excuse” for expressions of hate, Nazi sympathies or violence in response.

The comments come after the killing of a German man for which an Iraqi and a Syrian have been arrested prompted days of anti-migrant protests in the eastern German city of Chemnitz that at times turned violent.

Neo-Nazis were seen giving the stiff-armed Hitler salute in the largest demonstration, the day after the killing, which attracted some 6,000 people, and on the sidelines of the protest masked men threw stones and bottles at a kosher restaurant yelling “Jewish pig, get out of Germany.”

The day before, in spontaneous protests by hundreds immediately after the killing, several foreigners were attacked and injured in the streets.

Merkel assured lawmakers that her government was equally aware of its responsibility to take the wider concerns of the public seriously, and that it was working with “all resolution” on the issue.

“We are especially troubled by the severe crimes in which the alleged perpetrators were asylum-seekers,” she said. “This shocks us… (and) such crimes must be investigated, the perpetrators have to be taken to court and punished with the severity of the law.”
Pig guts thrown at office of Australian lawmaker whose wife is Jewish
The district office of an Australian member of Parliament whose wife is Jewish was targeted by racists who threw pig’s entrails at the front door.

The early Wednesday morning attack follows an earlier attack by the neo-Nazi group Antipodean Resistance on September 1 on another office belonging to the same MP, Labor lawmaker Mike Kelly, in which the group plastered swastika stickers on the door.

Mike Kelly’s wife is Jewish.

The attack involving the pig’s entrails took place in the New South Wales city of Queanbeyan, located just 10 miles from Australia’s capital Canberra. The swastika attack took place in the coastal town of Bega, 135 miles from Queanbeyan.

A former military attorney, Col. Mike Kelly joined the Australian military serving in Somalia, East Timor and Bosnia, and was among senior Australian military personnel who served in the Iraq War. In 1993, he was awarded the Chief of the General Staff Commendation.

“The series of attacks directed at my electorate offices are evidence of the need for constant vigilance and the confrontation of extremist groups in our country,” Kelly told JTA.

“If the perpetrators think that they will intimidate me into refraining from defending Israel or supporting our Jewish community they are deluded,” Kelly said. “Actions like this only spur me to greater efforts and commitment. I have faced much worse threats in my Army career and I will continue to fight racism and ignorance wherever I find it.”
Database helps Jewish families obtain properties' restitution in Poland
In the small park behind the only synagogue in this city to have survived World War II, Yoram Sztykgold looks around with a perplexed expression.

An 82-year-old retired architect, Sztykgold immigrated to Israel after surviving the Holocaust in Poland. He tries in vain to recognize something from what used to be his childhood home.

“It’s no use,” he says after a while. “To me this could be anywhere.”

Sztykgold’s unfamiliarity with the part of Grzybowska Street where he spent his earliest years is not due to any memory loss. Like most of Warsaw, his parents’ apartment building was completely bombed out during the war and leveled, along with the rest of the street. His former home is now a placid park that is a favorite hangout for mothers pushing baby carriages and pensioners his age.

The dramatic changes in Warsaw’s landscape have bedeviled efforts for decades to obtain restitution for privately owned properties like Sztykgold’s childhood home, making it difficult for survivors like him to identify assets that may have belonged to their families.

But for many restitution claimants in the capital, identifying assets will become easier thanks to a recent breakthrough with an unlikely source: the establishment of a first-of-its-kind searchable database. Users need only type in the name of their family to obtain a complete overview of all the assets they may claim under a new restitution drive in Warsaw.
Israel’s Ride Vision plans to make motorcycling safer
As the race heats up toward the launch of autonomous vehicles, state-of-the-art technologies like ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) are being designed to prevent collisions. But motorcycles have been largely overlooked in the process.

According to a 2018 US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, fatalities in traffic crashes occur nearly 28 times more frequently for motorcycles than for passenger car occupants, and motorcycle drivers comprise 17 percent of all driver- and passenger-related fatalities. There were 5,286 fatal motorcycle crashes in 2016 in the US, a 5.1 percent increase from 2015, according to NHTSA.

Uri Lavi and Lior Cohen are avid motorcycle riders who want to bring computer safety smarts to two-wheelers. Their company Ride Vision just raised a $2.5 million seed round from YL Ventures for its patented CAT (Collision Aversion Technology) for motorcycles.

Lavi and Cohen previously worked together in Israel’s homeland security industry. Lavi went on to become CEO of PicScout and brought in Cohen to serve as VP of R&D.

PicScout developed a technology for identifying images on the web that may have been used or modified without permission and then notifying the copyright owners. The company was acquired in 2011 by Getty Images for $20 million.

Lavi and Cohen gained expertise in technologies such as artificial intelligence, neural networks, computer vision and threat detection that is relevant in their newest venture, though it is quite different.
’70s rock band America heading to Israel to ‘give everyone a night off’
When Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley of the soft rock band America finally arrive in Israel for their long-planned October 9 and 10 performances in Caesarea, they intend to not only entertain the crowds, but also to learn a little about the country.

“We’re all geared up to see stuff,” said Bunnell, who splits his time between homes in Wisconsin and Los Angeles, and has never been to Israel.

Bunnell, 66, and Beckley, 65, are two of the original members of the 1970s-era band, which has been performing continuously since it began as a high school cover band.

They had planned to perform in Israel in the summer of 2014, but canceled due to the conflict in Gaza.

Even now, said Bunnell, speaking from his lakeside home in Wisconsin, he doesn’t know that much about Israel and its political situation.

“Every place has their issues, and I have to profess, I’m not versed in Israel,” he said. “I obviously follow the news, but the region is new to me. It’s just a matter of us going in with our eyes wide open and enjoying it. Our job is to entertain people; we’ve always made that point.”
Kim Kardashian signs deal with Israeli eyewear company
World-famous supermodel and reality TV star Kim Kardashian West will be heading back to Israel next year.

Israeli sunglasses company Carolina Lemke Berlin announced Wednesday that Kardashian West has signed a deal to join Bar Refaeli - the face of the brand - in an upcoming collaboration.

Supermodel and reality TV star Kim Kardashian West will be heading back to Israel next year.

Israeli sunglasses company Carolina Lemke Berlin announced Wednesday that Kardashian West has signed a deal to join Bar Refaeli – the face of the brand – in an upcoming collaboration.

The supermodel will fly to Israel in March “for a visit as part of our cooperation,” the company said. In addition to appearing in advertisements for the brand, Kardashian West will also design her own line of glasses for a limited-edition series sold by Carolina Lemke.

In a press release on Wednesday, the company said it selected Kardashian West, “the most famous woman in the United States, to be the face of the brand for at least two years, beginning in summer 2019.” The company said it will also be launching a website aimed at selling its products in the United States. Until now, the brand has been focused on Israel and Europe.
Afghan man sends gravely ill kids to heart center in Israel
Noorina is five years old and lives in Afghanistan. In July, her father brought her to Israel for lifesaving heart surgery arranged by Save a Child’s Heart (SACH), an Israeli medical charity based at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon.

When she is older, Noorina may be surprised to learn that an Afghan stranger willingly put himself and his family at risk to give her the gift of health.

Noorina was the fifth child from Afghanistan sent to SACH through the efforts of that same young Muslim father, who asked ISRAEL21c to call him Jangzapali, a pseudonym to hide his true identity.

“Jangzapali,” he explains, “means ‘victim of war.’”

Jangzapali is involved in all types of charity work and has built up an international social-media network over the past few years. Children needing urgent medical care are his top priority.

“Almost 10,000 [medical need] cases are registered with the Afghan Red Crescent. They are unable to do all cases, so through our broad network on social media, we arrange surgery for poor children in Afghanistan or India. For complicated cases they cannot handle, we work with Save a Child’s Heart,” he says.
Artist turns Kassam rockets into flowers and mezuzahs
Holding aloft a missile fragment, Gaza-area artist Yaron Bob explains to a Kann interviewer that not long ago the projectile had penetrated an Israeli car.

"The incredible Iron Dome is Israel's missile defense system. When rockets are fired into Israel, the Iron Dome shoots a missile to intercept the rocket, preventing destruction and the murder of innocent lives," says the description of one item on Bob's website.

"Bring Israel's heavenly protection into your home with this limited-edition Mezuzah made from an actual Iron Dome missile!"

"I cut it into rectangles, polish it, and craft the mezuzot. My mezuzot get grabbed up all over the world. They cost between $150-200."

Asked how much profit he can extract from a single Kassam missile, Bob makes a quick calculation and answers "About $2,000 per Kassam."

A tour of his storage area reveals a representative variety of the weapons constantly aimed at Israel's children: "Here are rockets that fell a month ago; this one's a 120mm, this one's a Grad. Wanna see a whole Grad?" he asks deferentially, and lifts one from the pile. "Made in China," he says. "This one here fell in Dimona."

The interviewer asks Bob,"How do you have all these types?" and Bob retorts, "How do they?"




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          We Shouldn't Assume All 'Conspiracy Theories' Are False — Some Are All Too Real      Cache   Translate Page      
"Conspiracy theories" are presumed to be, by definition, untrue.

Before 2012, if you had voiced suspicions that the Australian government had been anything but open and honourable in dealing with East Timor – its newly independent but impoverished neighbour – you would likely have been dismissed as a conspiracy theorist. But it was then revealed Australian Secret Intelligence Service agents had bugged East Timor’s cabinet office during treaty negotiations over oil and gas fields.

Read more: When whistleblowers are prosecuted, it has a chilling effect on press freedom in Australia

Yesterday’s conspiracy theories often become today’s incontrovertible facts. In the mid-1990s, journalist Gary Webb’s claims that CIA officials conspired with drug dealers bringing crack cocaine into the United States were dismissed by many as a prime example of a conspiracy theory. But the claims were true.

It’s reasonable to suppose many of the views that are now dismissed or mocked as conspiracy theories will one day be recognised as having been true all along. Indeed, the net effect of terms such as “conspiracy theory” and “conspiracism” is to silence people who are the victims of conspiracy, or who (rightly or wrongly) suspect conspiracies may be occurring. These terms serve to herd respectable opinion in ways that suit the interests of the powerful.

Ever since the philosopher Sir Karl Popper popularised the expression in the 1950s, conspiracy theories have had a bad reputation. To characterise a belief as a conspiracy theory is to imply it’s false. More than that, it implies people who accept that belief, or want to investigate whether it’s true, are irrational.

On the face of it, this is hard to understand. After all, people do conspire. That is, they engage in secretive or deceptive behaviour that is illegal or morally dubious.

Conspiracy is a common form of human behaviour across all cultures throughout recorded time, and it has always been particularly widespread in politics.

Virtually all of us conspire some of the time, and some people (such as spies) conspire virtually all of the time. Given people conspire, there can’t be anything wrong with believing they conspire. Hence there can’t be anything wrong with believing conspiracy theories or being a conspiracy theorist.

Thinking of conspiracy theories as paradigmatically false and irrational is like thinking of phrenology as a paradigm of scientific theory. Conspiracy theories, like scientific theories, and virtually any other category of theory, are sometimes true, sometimes false, sometimes held on rational grounds, sometimes not.

It’s a striking feature of much of the literature on conspiracy theories, like much of the literature on terrorism, that authors assume they are referring to the same phenomenon, while a glance at their definitions (when they bother to offer them) reveals they are not.

Read more: Online conspiracy theorists are more diverse (and ordinary) than most assume

But seeking a fixed definition of the term “conspiracy theory” may be an idle pursuit, since the real problem with the term is that, although it lacks a fixed meaning, it does serve a fixed function.

A new inquisition?

It’s a function similar to that served by the term “heresy” in medieval Europe. In both cases these are terms of propaganda, used to stigmatise and marginalise people who have beliefs that conflict with officially sanctioned or orthodox beliefs of the time and place in question.

If, as I believe, the treatment of those labelled as “conspiracy theorists” in our culture is analogous to the treatment of those labelled as “heretics” in medieval Europe, then the role of psychologists and social scientists in this treatment is analogous to that of the Inquisition.

Outside the psychology and social science literature some authors will sometimes offer some, usually heavily qualified, defence of conspiracy theories (in some sense of the term). But among psychologists and social scientists the assumption that they are false, the product of an irrational (or nonrational) process, and positively harmful is virtually universal.

Whenever we use the terms “conspiracy theory”, “conspiracism” or “conspiracist ideation”, we’re implying, even if we don’t mean to, there is something wrong with believing, wanting to investigate, or giving any credence at all to the possibility people are engaged in secretive or deceptive behaviour.

One bad effect of these terms is they contribute to a political environment in which it’s easier for conspiracy to thrive at the expense of openness. Another bad effect is their use is an injustice to the people who are characterised as conspiracy theorists.

Following the philosopher Miranda Fricker, we may call this a form of “testimonial injustice”. When someone asserts that a conspiracy has taken place (especially when it is a conspiracy by powerful people or institutions) that person’s word is automatically given less credence than it should because of an irrational prejudice associated with the pejorative connotations of these terms.

When professional psychologists imply these terms it can constitute a form of gaslighting; that is, a manipulation of people into doubting their own sanity.

I hope and believe that in the future these terms will be widely recognised for what they are: the products of an irrational and authoritarian outlook. Prior to Popper, we got along perfectly well without these terms. I’m sure we can learn to do so again.

David Coady, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Tasmania

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

 

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