Eugene Kontorovich: The Problem With Using the Tax Code to Punish Israeli Settlements
J Street and like-minded progressives are campaigning to eliminate U.S. tax exemptions for charitable groups that provide support to Jewish communities in the West Bank. The reason: the communities’ existence contradicts the views of President Obama. J Street’s campaign violates the law and the Constitution, and it also suggests an alarming trend in which critics of Israel get a free pass from the Left’s overall strong commitment to civil liberties and distrust of authoritarian government.
While J Street claims that its demand is justified on the grounds that private Americans’ support for settlements contravenes “established public policy,” J Street is calling for the administration to do something unprecedented and clearly unconstitutional. To put it simply, J Street et al are asking that some non-profits be denied tax exemptions because they disagree with the President on diplomatic matters. That’s what going against ”public policy” means here—not violating any statutes, but pursuing goals at odds with the foreign policy of the President.
J Street hides its effort behind language in Treasury regulations restricting the tax-exempt status of groups that act “contrary to clearly defined and established public policy.” But what J Street fails to mention is that groups only act “contrary to clearly defined and established public policy” when they contravene a policy established by law and the Constitution. According to the IRS itself, the public policy exception applies only to one context: racial discrimination. The public policy exception provides no basis for the idea that the IRS can revoke tax exemptions for groups that favor policies disfavored by the White House or State Department.
Unlike presidential disdain for Israeli settlements, the legal background of combating racial discrimination is enshrined in several Constitutional Amendments, numerous statutes, and countless Supreme Court precedents. The legal pedigree of combating racial discrimination is vital to the legal validity of applying IRS exception, as the Supreme Court stressed in narrowly upholding the racial discrimination exception several years ago. J Street makes a mockery of the law and the nation’s long struggle for equality when it attempts to assimilate the “crime” of donating ambulances to communities living in Shilo or the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City into what the Supreme Court justly called the unique “stress and anguish” of racial discrimination in the nation’s law and history.
To get an idea how shocking J Street’s suggestion is, consider its potential scope. During the Bush Administration, it was the firm policy of the U.S.—repeatedly endorsed by Congress and the President—to fight a global war on terror and detain suspected terrorists in Guantanamo. Under J Street’s rule, anti-war groups or civil rights groups protesting Gitmo could have their tax exempt status revoked. After all, protest groups are often explicitly at odds with government policy.
Magen David Adom MDA Heroes Talk About 365 Days of Terror
Jerusalem-based paramedics recount their experiences saving lives over the past year, when Palestinian terror attacks against Israelis skyrocketed.
The current wave of Palestinian terror began on the eve of Rosh Hashana – the Jewish New Year – exactly a year ago, and continued in full intensity.
Listen to the heroic paramedics of Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s national emergency medical service, discuss 365 days of saving lives while working under constant threat.
They talk about the victims – real people, not mere statistics.
This video presents the stories of the MDA teams in the Jerusalem region, where the largest number of terror attacks occurred.
Yom Kippur War: This day in 1973 Arab armies invaded and almost destroyed Israel
October 6, 1973, was Yom Kippur (in the Hebrew calendar). As most Israeli Jews were attending services or otherwise observing the most holy day in Judaism, there was a surprise attack by Egyptian and Syrian armed forces.
As I related in an earlier post:
There are certain events when you just remember exactly where you were when you heard the news.
I was on stage for a third-grade practice of a school play when a teacher walked into the room (the gym, which also was the school theater and lunch room) and told everyone that Martin Luther King, Jr. had been killed. We were sent home early.
I was at my desk using AOL to access the internet (!) when early reports came in of a “small plane” hitting the World Trade Center. And you know the rest.
And on October 6, 1973, I woke up expecting to go to Temple for the Yom Kippur holiday. I turned on my clock radio, the old style that had the metal flaps that flipped to change the time. And I heard that Israel had been invaded in what would become known as the Yom Kippur War. The rest of the day is a blur, I don’t even remember if we went to Temple. I remember the feeling of helplessness, and the near panic in the community because there was nothing we could do.
The situation was dire at the start, and there were fierce battles along the Suez Canal and the Golan Heights. I recounted some of that history along the Golan Heights after I visited two of the sites of some of the largest tank battles ever, Tel Saki and the Valley of Tears:
Incoming UN chief a friend of Israel, but won’t shy away from criticism
Israeli officials this week described incoming United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as a friend of Israel, though it is unclear what exactly that will mean for his term at the helm of a body often seen as institutionally biased against the Jewish state.
A former prime minister of Portugal and, most recently, the head of the UN’s refugee agency, Guterres has had a distinguished political career. And yet Guterres’s views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are largely a blank slate, as he has rarely publicly commented on the matter.
“There’s no record of him making any remarkable statement against Israel,” former Israeli ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor told Army Radio on Thursday.
“He likes Israel,” a senior official in Jerusalem said, speaking on condition of anonymity since the government has not yet officially commented on Guterres’s appointed, which was unanimously backed by the 15-member UN Security Council on Thursday. (That recommendation now goes to the UN’s 193-member General Assembly, which is expected to vote on incumbent Ban Ki-moon’s successor next week. Ban’s second five-year term ends December 31.) “Like all European socialists, Guterres likes Israel but dislikes the settlements.”
Before serving as the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees, in which position he expressed empathy for the people of Gaza during the 2014 Israel-Hamas war, Guterres headed the Socialist International for six years.
“He loves Israel. But he’s a very objective man, which means that he sees the whole picture,” former Labor MK and diplomat Colette Avital, who served as Israel’s ambassador to Portugal in the 1990s, told The Times of Israel. “He won’t support anti-Israel moves at the UN. But he will try to advance the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. He doesn’t consider that to be anti-Israel.”
Douglas Murray: The great conundrum for the Islamophobia lobby
The other day I wrote about the ‘academics’ who had signed a letter to the Guardian insisting that Britain should not have a counter-terrorism policy, a view which is increasingly echoed at the top of the Labour party. Interestingly enough, since pointing out that the letter’s signatories included people who are not only not academics, but extremists, I have learnt a most interesting thing. A signatory informs me that letter was not just signed by that friend of ‘Jihadi John’, Asim Qureshi, but was in fact in organised by him. That is right, the man who believed the head-hacker of Isis was a ‘beautiful’ person actually wrote to the signatories of that letter inviting them to sign it.
One wonders what the families of the men Asim’s friend tortured and beheaded think about him trying to direct UK counter-terrorism policy? Or of the Guardian newspaper being either duped or complicit in giving such a man an uncritical control of their pages? And did the signatories of that letter – low-grade occupants of low-grade posts though most of them are – sign such a letter knowing that it came from such a source? During the Second World War or the Cold War, if a Nazi or Communist activist was openly trying to subvert the state a view would have been taken about their activities. Perhaps such a view will one day be possible again.
In the meantime, the pro-beheading lobby is assisted by a number of other useful idiots helping to grease their progress. For instance earlier this week a group from the Council of Europe which calls itself the ‘European Commission against Racism and Intolerance’ (ECRI) has slammed Britain for an alleged upsurge of ‘anti-foreigner sentiment’ and tied this to Brexit. In particular the group highlights a rise in that mythical beast ‘Islamophobia’. According to the group’s chair (one Christian Ahlund), ‘It is no coincidence that racist violence is on the rise in the UK at the same time as we see worrying examples of intolerance and hate speech in the newspapers, online and even among politicians.’
Mr Ahlund’s group appear uninterested in the fact that the real, serious attacks on Muslims in Britain are in fact carried out by other Muslims. It was not a British newspaper editor or politician who murdered a Muslim shopkeeper in Glasgow before Easter this year. Nor was it any columnist who slaughtered an Imam in Rochdale in February. These real, actual crimes were committed by other Muslims who thought the Muslims they killed were not the right sort of Muslim. But this attempt to blame the papers for an alleged upsurge in ‘Islamophobia’ points to a fascinating conundrum for dim-witted groups like the ECRI.
The Rise of 'Soft' Holocaust Denial
Holocaust denial is no longer solely the province of neo-Nazi cranks. A new, loosely-affiliated movement is making inroads by accepting key facts, but manipulating political contexts in order to implicate Jews, then and now.
After Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel died in July at the age of 87, American leaders mourned the loss of his globally respected advocacy for peace and tolerance. “Elie Wiesel was one of the great moral voices of our time, and in many ways, the conscience of the world,” President Barack Obama wrote.
Some anti-Zionist opportunists, however, leapt to slander Wiesel for his lifelong Zionism and support for Israel. Ali Abunimah, founder of the anti-Israel blog Electronic Intifada, called Wiesel “vile” and tweeted, “Elie Wiesel will be remembered by Palestinians for his racism.” Jewish anti-Israel blogger Max Blumenthal falsely called Wiesel a denier of the Armenian genocide and tweeted, “Elie Wiesel went from a victim of war crimes to a supporter of those who commit them. He did more harm than good and should not be honored.” In an op-ed, Blumenthal called Wiesel Islamophobic for writing about Hamas’s use of human shields.
These vitriolic attacks on Wiesel, which likely would not have surprised him, were only the latest examples of a growing trend in which anti-Zionists use the tragedy of the Holocaust to attack Israel. This tactic is nothing less than a form of soft Holocaust denial. Unlike the “hard” Holocaust denial practiced by neo-Nazis and other openly anti-Semitic groups, soft denial is the pseudo-intellectual hijacking of the meaning of the Holocaust in pursuit of delegitimizing the Jewish state. While hard denial forces us to prove that the Holocaust happened, soft denial forces us to prove that it still matters.
Ben Cohen on the Stunning Rise and Preposterous Mainstreaming of British Anti-Semitism
A new book explores the decades of historical and political tensions that led to today, when Britain’s leading opposition party has been mired in a months-long anti-Semitism scandal.
It’s hard to think of a more contested form of prejudice in the post-war era than anti-Semitism. Particularly over the last twenty years, during which the intrusion of anti-Semitic motifs into attacks on the State of Israel have become ever more visible, the counter-claim that anti-Semitism is an historical relic revived by devious Zionists to deflect criticism of the Jewish state has gained vastly in currency.
There are few better guides to this discursive maelstrom than Dave Rich, an analyst with the Community Security Trust, an organization that provides security to the British Jewish community. Having known Rich as a personal friend for more than a decade, I can confirm that he has an encyclopedic knowledge of both anti-Semitism on the Left and other forms of extremism more generally. But I doubt that even he anticipated that, in 2016, he would be publishing a book about a problem that mushroomed, as he puts it, “into front-page news in Britain.”
The immediate cause of Rich’s book The Left’s Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Anti-Semitism, which draws on his recent doctoral thesis, is Corbyn’s election as the leader of Britain’s Labour Party. While it contains valuable detail on the rash of anti-Semitic episodes that have accompanied Corbyn’s brief tenure, the book has a much more enduring value. Like George Orwell’s essays and broadcasts on the politics and culture of his day, the immediacy of Rich’s topic is offset by his examination of the historical provenance of the current, wretched relationship between the Labour Party and Jews in Britain. With Corbyn’s successful retention of the Labour leadership in September, when he fought off a challenge from the more centrist Owen Smith, that relationship is set to get worse.
Now I know what you might be thinking: you’re an observant Jew, you’d love to hear about how the conference plans to stamp out anti-Semitism (and of course Islamophobia, Which Must Always Be Mentioned In The Same Breath As Anti-Semitism, Along With Other Forms of Racism), but the timing just doesn’t work for you.
Fear not! Others will fight your corner. The conference is organised by Unite Against Racism, which has an impeccable record of fighting against anti-Semitism in all its forms, even if it on occasion omits millions of Jews from its list of those who perished in the Holocaust. The lead speaker appears to be Jeremy Corbyn himself, who needs no introduction. Ably supporting him are, among others:
Diane Abbott, the new Shadow Home Secretary;
Owen Jones (who, sadly, appears to have made a “choice” that is increasingly clear);
former UCU General Secretary Sally Hunt;
Harun Rashid Khan, Secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, whose website still carries a statement that trivialises the Holocaust by likening it to the Palestinian “genocide”;
Salma Yacqoob, former leader of the Respect Party and current head of the Birmingham Stop the War Coalition, who described the 7/7 bombings as “reprisal attacks”;
David Rosenberg, recently seen deflecting concerns about anti-Semitism within the Labour Party, by referring to Conservative policies from the 1930s;
Malia “Zionist-led media” Bouattia, NUS President;
and, of course, former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg.
If you do manage to go along, I’m sure you’ll have a whale of a time and will leave thoroughly equipped to stamp out anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. The best news? It finishes at 4:30 p.m. so, provided you don’t stick around for tea and biscuits afterwards, and as long as the traffic isn’t too bad, you’ll still be at home on time for the start of the England game. Heaven only knows which event will be worse.
In Guardian letter, Jackie Walker’s Jewish supporters mischaracterize antisemitism definition
Jackie Walker was recently suspended from the Labour Party (and removed from her role of vice chair of the radical-left pro-Corbyn group Momentum) after she falsely claimed, during a meeting about antisemitism organised by the Jewish Labour Movement, that Holocaust Memorial Day did not honor victims of other genocides.
She also questioned the need for security at Jewish schools, and mischaracterized what’s known as the Livingstone Formulation.
Walker had previously been suspended from the party (and then readmitted) after she accused Jews of being the chief “financiers of the slave trade”.
On Oct. 4th, the Guardian published a letter by “Jewish members and supporters of Momentum” defending Walker. The letter, signed by (among others) Tony Greenstein and Ilan Pappe, included the following claims:
The Jewish Labour Movement, which ran the event, states that the EU Monitoring Centre on Racism’s [EUMC] working definition of antisemitism is the standard definition, despite the fact that its successor body, the Fundamental Rights Agency [FRA], has junked this definition, which equates criticism of the Israeli state with antisemitism
First, it’s misleading to claim that the FRA “junked” the EUMC Working Definition of Antisemitism. Whilst it’s narrowly true that the FRA doesn’t include the definition on its new website due to the fact that its mandate differs from EUMC, FRA certainly did not in any way repudiate the definition. Further, the definition is still used by major government bodies in the US and the UK (including the US State Department and the UK Police Hate Crime Operation Guide.)
Fake Anti-Semitism Flap Finds Trump Foes in New Low
How low will Donald J. Trump’s foes go to tear him down? Why not concoct a fake anti-Semitism flap?
“Donald Trump is normalizing bigotry,” a Washington Post headline screamed Friday night. “His campaign manager’s website publishes an anti-Semitic screed.”
The unsigned editorial slams “a personal attack on the website Breitbart, whose executive chairman is Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman.” The editorial explained that “the piece was written by an obscure Polish American writer” and that it criticized Post columnist Anne Applebaum who is “as the item repeatedly and gratuitously pointed out — a woman of Jewish origin.”
Yes. “Repeatedly.” As in precisely twice.
The deeply offensive passages in this September 27 article about Polish politics and the result of a corruption scandal read as follows:
“This turn of events ended Applebaum’s dream of being Poland’s first Jewish-American first lady.”
“And hell hath no fury like a Polish, Jewish, American elitist scorned.”
That’s it: The full extent of the Semitism in this article – anti-, pro-, or otherwise. Nonetheless, the Post ominously warns:
Hamel: killed by Islamists, manipulated by leftist Catholics
It was easy, too easy, to turn (see the movie “Of Gods and Men”) the story of the seven slaughtered Algerian monks of Tibhirine, decapitated by Algerian rebel Muslims in 1996, into a tribute to irenicism and multicultural brotherhood. The history of Algeria in the ‘90s says the contrary. It is the story of a war to cleanse the last remnants of Christendom from North Africa.
Now a book turns even Father Jacques Hamel, murdered by an Islamist commando last July in a small French church, into a symbol of the interfaith dialogue. The book is titled “Martyr, vie et mort du père Jacques Hamel” (with a preface of the former Italian minister Andrea Riccardi) and written by the Belgian journalist and theologian Jan De Volder, a professor of “Religions and Peace” at the Catholic University of Leuven, a member of the secular community Sant’Egidio and involved in inter-religious dialogue.
In the book, everything is carefully recounted, minute by minute, the arrival during the Catholic Mass of a young man, the theological discussion with sister Huguette, the violent clash between father Jacques and his Islamist murderers, the brief resistance of the man of cloth, the fatal stabbing. and most of the conversation that followed between the jihadists and the elderly sisters, while two bodies were on the ground, that of the priest and that of an elderly parishioner, while terrorists spoke of Jesus, the Koran, the fear of death.
Jan De Volder gives us the image of “a humble priest, uncomfortable in this world.” It recounts that, at the end of the ‘60s, “Jacques Hamel was following the debate at the Vatican II that abandons the wealth that he abhors”. He should have become a French army officer, Father Hamel, but he rejected that to such a degree in the name of “refusal to instruct men to kill other men”.
EU Wants Britain Not to Report When Terrorists are Muslims
The European Union is trying to crack down on the British press and force them to stop describing terrorists as Muslims when Islamic terror attacks occur, reports the UK paper Express. It's an effort meant to stifle speech in the name of political correctness.
The aptly titled European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) issued an 83-page report that includes 23 recommendations for changes to criminal law, freedom of the press, crime reporting and equality law, according to the report. ECRI chair Christian Ahlund blames conservative UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Britain’s desire to leave the EU for increasing racist thought and is urging her to comply with the commission’s report.
“The Brexit referendum seems to have led to a further rise in ‘anti-foreigner’ sentiment, making it even more important that the British authorities take the steps outlined in our report as a matter of priority,” Ahlund said.
The ECRI believes the British government should give “more rigorous training” to the press, saying, “It is no coincidence that racist violence is on the rise in the UK at the same time as we see worrying examples of intolerance and hate speech in the newspapers, online and even among politicians.”
Facts are problematic to Ahlund, who believes that it's not pertinent to mention a Muslim carried out an attack because it furthers nothing but prejudice against the religious group:
Brussels police stabbing was 'terrorist attack'
Belgian prosecutors charged a suspect with attempted murder Thursday over the stabbing of two police officers in a “terrorist attack” in Brussels, the latest such incident in a city still reeling from deadly bombings in March.
The suspect in Wednesday’s attack, named as 43-year-old Hicham D., has been “charged with attempted murder in a terrorist context and participation at the activities of a terrorist group,” a statement from the prosecutor’s office said.
His brother, Aboubaker D, had also been taken into custody “in the framework of the terrorist attack against two police officers” in Brussels, it said. The brother was born in 1970 and both men have Belgian nationality.
“The investigating judge, specializing in terrorism, will decide tomorrow on the possible extension of his detention,” the statement added.
Police shot the attacker in the leg after he used a knife to attack the two officers, one female and one male, in the Schaerbeek area of the Belgian capital before breaking the nose of a third officer.
FBI Confirms Minnesota Mall Terrorist Was Radical Islamist
The FBI have now confirmed that Dahir Ahmed Adan, the 20-year-old Somali refugee who went on a steak knife-wielding rampage at a St. Cloud, Minnesota mall on Sept. 17, was indeed motivated by radical Islam.
At a press conference on Thursday, the FBI revealed that they had talked with "numerous credible witnesses" that heard Adan yelling "Allahu akbar!" and "Islam! Islam!" and asking potential victims if they were Muslims before inflicting wounds in the head, neck, and chest of a total of 9 shoppers before being shot dead by off-duty officer Jason Falconer, who was thankfully armed. On his way to the mall, Adan injured another person: a cyclist, whom he hit with his car at an intersection.
The FBI provided some details Thursday about Adan's radicalization, which the bureau believes occurred recently. After recently turning to a more intensive study of Islam, the eventual jihadist began "flunking out of college almost overnight," withdrew from his other hobbies and interests, and began encouraging his female relatives to start observing Islamic teachings more strictly. "We were told (he) had not previously shown an interest in religion,"said FBI Special Agent Rick Thornton.
Whether he was influenced in his radicalization by others or "self-radicalized" is still being investigated. Regardless, the evidence shows that by the time he went on his thwarted murder spree, he had embraced the jihadist teachings of radical Islam.
Saudi Sheikh: "Blessed" Terrorism and Jihad Required by the Shari'a, but Blowing Up a Car...
Saudi Cleric Mamdouh Al-Harbi: "Blessed" Terrorism and Jihad Required by the Shari'a, but Blowing Up a Car among Peaceful People Forbidden - Archival
In a video posted on his YouTube channel, Saudi Cleric Sheikh Mamdouh Al-Harbi said that "the concept of terrorism is a blessed one" and that it is "required by the Shari'a." He further said that the only meaning of Jihad is fighting the infidels, stressing that the term "Jihad," which "lies in the magnificent Quran" "does not apply to anything other than fighting." In the video, which was posted on May 22, 2015, Al-Harbi warned that killing children, women, or monks under the pretext of a so-called "martyrdom operation" was "a transgression."
IsraellyCool: Test Yourself: Nazi Era Antisemitic Cartoon Or Modern One?
It is no secret the Holocaust did nothing to stop antisemitism. In fact, we have been seeing a huge rise in antisemitism for quite a while now, even though it is often hidden behind the facade of “anti-Zionism.”
One of the manifestations of this is in cartoons, predominantly from the Arab world but also elsewhere. And more often than note, these cartoons are like something out of Nazi Germany.
With this in mind, I have created a quiz for you, to see if you can identify the Nazi era cartoons versus the modern ones. To make things a little harder, in some cases, I played around with the black and white settings.
BDS Leader: BLM Support Us because Freedom for Palestine Means Freedom for Blacks in the U.S.
Speaking on Mayadeen TV, Omar Barghouti, the co-founder of the BDS movement, hailed the achievements of the movement, saying that the academic, cultural, and economic boycott of Israel had a great impact.
He said that the BDS movement focuses on eliminating Israeli occupation and “apartheid” and on the right of the refugees to return to the homes from which they were expelled.
Barghouti said that the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S. had "recently incorporated BDS into their platform," and that "freedom for Palestine means freedom for blacks in the U.S."
According to Barghouti, Hillary Clinton supported the fight against BDS because she was financed by "American-Israeli Zionist" Haim Saban.
In First, Spanish High Court Rules Israel Boycotts are “Unconstitutional Discrimination”
A regional Spanish High Court upheld a ruling last week declaring that a municipal boycott of Israel was illegal and discriminatory, The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.
The High Court of Spain’s northwestern Asturias region found that the Langreo City Council lacked the “competencies to decree an international boycott and to alter the European Directive and the national law on public procurement” when it agreed to boycott Israel, according to ACOM, a group that opposes the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign in Spain. “In addition the High Court expands on the blatant unconstitutional discrimination and lack of neutrality that such a boycott would represent.”
The ruling was the result of a case brought forth by ACOM, which originally sued the Langreo City Council at Court Number 4 of Oviedo, which ruled the boycott illegal. The city council then appealed to the region’s High Court.
The case marked the first time that a Spanish High Court has ruled on the BDS campaign. ACOM President Angel Mas said nearly 60 Spanish municipalities have declared boycotts of Israel during the past year, representing a “growing trend in Spain among local municipalities.” In some cases, the local governments enact the boycotts intentionally, while in others they are deceived into adopting the measures by anti-Israel activists.
“We have to create the opposite deterrence, letting them know that there are consequences for their actions,” Mas explained. “Otherwise they [BDS] will win.”
Major Jewish Organization Says Suspension of Tenured Holocaust Denier by Canadian University Signals ‘Swinging of Pendulum’ Against Campus Antisemitism
The recent suspension of a tenured University of Lethbridge professor who used his classroom as a platform to promote antisemitic and anti-Zionist conspiracy theories signals that Canadian universities are finally taking the concerns of the Jewish community seriously, an official from a major Jewish advocacy group told The Algemeiner on Thursday.
Amanda Hohmann, national director of B’nai Brith Canada’s League for Human Rights, the organization that prompted Lethbridge to investigate Anthony Hall for supporting “open debate” on the Holocaust and blaming Israel for 9/11 — called the move “symbolic of the fact that the pendulum is starting to swing the other way and that some university administrations are waking up to the fact that indoctrination into subtle, sub-textual and systemic antisemitism begins on campus.”
In a video posted online on Wednesday, Hall announced he had been suspended without pay while the university prepares termination procedures. He suggested that the “organized Zionist Lobby” is responsible for “breaking down the structural basis for free and open discussion” on campus, and directly accused B’nai Brith Canada of “taking control” of Lethbridge to advance its own agenda.
Hohmann scoffed at the accusation, saying that Hall himself “is solely responsible for his suspension.” The Jewish community, she told The Algemeiner, “refuses to be victimized by his hateful speech and spoke out against it, and I am proud of the united front we presented in saying that this was not okay.”
Jewish Students at U of Michigan ‘Deeply Offended’ by ‘Apartheid Wall,’ Mock Israeli Checkpoints Erected on Campus During Rosh Hashanah
Jewish students at the University of Michigan were “deeply offended” that an “apartheid wall” and mock Israeli checkpoints were allowed to be erected on campus during the high holiday of Rosh Hashanah, the student newspaper The Michigan Review reported on Wednesday.
According to the report, the structures — assembled by the anti-Israel group Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE) as part of Palestine Awareness Month — outraged those members of the Jewish community who remained on campus during the holiday and were “left to cope…without the support of many of their peers,” who were away observing the holiday.
According to the report, SAFE needed to receive advance permission from the school to hold the “apartheid” event, “suggesting that the university initially saw no problem” with it.
In response, students launched a petition calling on the school’s president, Dr. Mark Schlissel, to condemn the event and its props.
Mideast Scholars: Anti-Israel Professors in US Ignoring Violent Suppression of Academic Freedom on Palestinian Campuses
Academic freedom on campuses in the Palestinian Authority (PA) is suppressed by a surrounding societal culture of intimidation and violence — something that anti-Israel professors in the United States have been ignoring, two scholars told The Algemeiner this week.
Cary Nelson, Jubilee Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) — who recently penned an article about the radicalization of Palestinian students — and Asaf Romirowsky, executive director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), said that aggressive, sometimes life-threatening tactics are employed on West Bank campuses to stifle thinkers who may question or contradict the mainstream Palestinian narrative.
Nelson said Palestinian students are “weaponized” by terrorist groups to intimidate academics into conforming to a strict Islamist ideology; Romirowsky claimed Palestinian education culture is one that uses the cover of academic freedom to “perpetuate hate.”
Nelson recounted a conversation he had with a Palestinian faculty member, who described West Bank campuses as filled with “gangs of young students trained by Hamas, the terrorist organization that rules Gaza, and PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction to threaten staff, burn cars, kill and beat” and bemoaned the fate of fellow academics who would like to engage in genuine scholarship, but face a “crazed level of intimidation.”
As Sizer Announces Retirement, UK's Israel-Demonising Christians Shifting into High Gear?
Our old mate Stephen Sizer, vicar of Virginia Water, vice-chair of Biblica Europe and trainer for Christianity Explored, recently made an announcement to his followers on social media.
The Israel-bashing Anglican cleric, who in January 2015 infamously made an odious post on Facebook suggesting Israel's involvement in the 9/11 atrocity, has advised:
"Easter 2017 will mark my 20th anniversary as vicar of Virginia Water. After prayerful reflection and in consultation with our Church Council, I plan to retire from parish ministry on Easter Sunday, 16th April.
God willing, I will then dedicate the rest of my active life to serving the Lord wherever the Church is under-resourced, disadvantaged or persecuted, where human rights are denied, or justice, peace and reconciliation needed.
Friends have helped set up a charity to facilitate this. We will launch the charity at a reception on Saturday 3rd December, 19:00 at Christ Church, Virginia Water. Garth Hewitt, one of our trustees, will be performing songs from his new album, Peace at Christmas...."
What might that charity be?
The six-month ban from social media imposed on Sizer by his bishop as a result of that 9/11 post has long since expired. As far as I'm aware, the vicar (whose posts suggest political support for Jeremy Corbyn) has avoided directly mentioning the subject of Israel on his Facebook posts since his ban expired, being content to "like" posts on that subject by such "Friends" of his as the Israel-demonising Jenny Tonge.
Nazi flag spotted in dorm window at University of North Carolina
A student at the University of North Carolina Charlotte was caught hanging a Nazi flag from their window.
According to the report by Charlotte's WSOC-TV news station on Thursday, the school's chancellor, Philip Dubois, said there is little the school can do about the incident.
“Unfortunately, such statements amount to constitutionally protected free speech and, as such, do not violate the Student Code Of Conduct,” Dubois said in a statement.
The station received a photo of the flag in the window as well as a Snapchat photo of a student holding a gun with the caption, “You are about to catch me on the news.”
UNC Charlotte's Hillel chapter said in response that "while flying flags may be protected by the First Amendment, neither antisemitism nor hate speech against any other group has a place at UNCC or any campus."
"This act was offensive, hurtful and divisive," the Hillel statement said.
Swastika, KKK Graffiti on Bathroom Wall of Georgetown U Medical School 'Powerful Reminder to Stay Vigilant Against Antisemitism,' Jewish Life Director Tells Student Paper
A swastika and Klu Klux Klan initials drawn on the wall of a bathroom at the Georgetown University medical school in Washington, DC serve as a “powerful and important reminder…that…unfortunately, we need to stay vigilant against antisemitism and to check ourselves for it, too,” GU’s Director for Jewish Life told the student newspaper The Hoya this week.
Rabbi Rachel Gartner was responding to the appearance of the offensive graffiti, first reported on September 21, about which the executive dean of GU’s School of Medicine, Edward B. Healton, stated: “This fateful action will not be tolerated. We are a community that is welcoming to all people that values understanding, dignity, inclusion and respect.”
According to The Hoya, the Georgetown University Police Department said that the incident is being investigated and that there is no cause for any serious alarm. “There was nothing written that was threatening and that charted a course of action,” said GUPD Chief Jay Gruber, assuring that if and when the perpetrator is caught, he or she could be barred from the campus. Furthermore, he added, if it turns out to be a student who desecrated the wall, he or she could face disciplinary action. In the meantime, anyone with information relating to the case is being asked to come forward.
This is the latest in a string of antisemitic incidents on US college campuses. According to a watchdog report, during the first half of 2016, 52 percent of 113 schools examined had experienced the phenomenon — up 58% from the same period last year.
Czech kids’ volleyball team named for poison used by Nazis
Czech Jews protested the naming of a children’s volleyball team after the poison that Nazis used to kill Jews and Roma in gas chambers during the Holocaust.
The team Cyklon B – the Czech-language transliteration for the Zyklon B pesticide that the Nazis used — participated recently in a Prague tournament featuring teams from Czech Republic orphanages.
Fans at the tournament, which was sponsored by the ING Bank Fund of the Tereza Maxová Foundation, shouted “Go Cyklon B,” the Pravo daily reported Thursday.
Tomas Jelinek, a former leader of the Jewish Community in Prague, told the daily that the Cyklon B team from an orphanage in Dolni Pocernice, an eastern suburb of Prague, had also played against a team of Roma players.
The Czech Freedom Fighters Association condemned the choice of name.
“The error involving the name Cyklon B for a children’s sports team is primarily the responsibility of adults and their ignorance, and I would term it stupidity,” Emil Kulfánek, vice chairman of the association, told Pravo.
Police Seeking London Man Who Yelled ‘Dirty Jews, I’m Hitler, I’ll Kill the Jews’ Outside Stamford Hill School
A spokesperson for a neighborhood patrol group told The Algemeiner on Thursday about an antisemitic incident that took place earlier in the day outside a Jewish elementary school in London.
The spokesperson, from the volunteer-based Jewish organization Shomrim, said that just after 3 p.m., a black male walked by the school Beis Ruchel D’Satmar London in Stamford Hill and shouted, “Jews, dirty Jews, I’m Hitler, I’ll kill the Jews,” among other “shocking and disgusting” epithets, before leaving the premises.
Shomrim was called to the scene and notified police, who are searching for the perpetrator.
Stamford Hill, known for its large Jewish community, “quite regularly” experiences antisemitic incidents, the spokesman said, “though many don’t get reported.”
Thursday’s incident took place a day after a London man was found guilty of antisemitic abuse, for approaching a a Stamford Hill resident and shouting, “f*** all the Jewish people,” and, “I’m going to kill all the Jews.”
Israeli Hip-Hop Duo to Open for Chris Brown
The Israeli hip-hop duo Kafe Shahor Hazak (Strong Black Coffee) has been personally selected to open American R&B singer Chris Brown's concert in Israel next week.
The duo consists of Ethiopian-born musicians Ilak Sahalu, 25, and Uri Alamo, 23 - cousins who immigrated to Israel as children and were raised in Netanya.
Brown was introduced to the group, Channel 2 reports, after one of his producers saw a segment on Kafe Shahor Hazak's connection to recent protests from Ethiopian-Israeli community against racism.
"I saw the band in the news segment and I believed that Chris Brown would be delighted to invite them to appear with him," the producer said. "We made contact between Chris Brown and the producers and he asked to know everything about the band."
Execs from Facebook, Google, and Microsoft explain why they use Israel for their R&D
Sun, sea, sand, and startups are just a few of the words that might spring to mind when you think of Israel. Oh, and maybe soldiers.
Born just 68-years-ago, the State of Israel, as it is officially known, has developed a reputation as one of the world’s most innovative tech hubs and Silicon Valley multinationals have cottoned on, setting up offices in the region and acquiring a number of Israeli startups.
Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Intel are among more than 300 multinationals that have opened up research and development (R&D) facilities in the country, which is home to just 9 million people.
But what is it that makes Israel such a hotbed of innovation? Executives from each of the aforementioned US tech giants gave an audience of approximately 300 tech workers an insight during the DLD Innovation conference in Tel Aviv last week.
Life expectancy for baby born in Israel today is 82, compared to 77 in 1990
A child born in Israel in 2015 can expect to live to the age of 82, while that child’s parent, when born in 1990, had a life expectancy of 77, a new study found.
The study, conducted by the US-based Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and released Thursday, found Israelis living significantly longer than 25 years ago.
(Globally, life expectancy increased from about 62 years to nearly 72 from 1980 to 2015, the study found, with several nations in sub-Saharan Africa rebounding from high death rates due to HIV/AIDS.)
It also showed Israel has reduced deaths of expecting or new mothers: “In the midst of a growing population, the number of maternal deaths in Israel dropped from 11 in 1990 to 10 in 2015. The ratio of maternal deaths fell from 11 deaths per 100,000 live births to 6.”
Matisyahu delivers sobering anti-BDS message in new single
It’s Thursday evening and Matthew Miller is exhausted. He woke up early in the morning prepared to take on a full schedule of appointments and interviews as Matisyahu, but ended up spending most of the day as Dad, having spontaneously accompanied his son’s kindergarten class on a field trip.
By sunset he has returned to Brooklyn to work on some music before rushing back to Manhattan, driving through hipster and Hasidic enclaves in Williamsburg on his way to a comedy show in Madison Square Garden.
Two years have elapsed since Matisyahu put out his last album, and it will be another year before the next one sees light. Meanwhile, having just released a new single “Love Born,” as well as anti-BDS song “Dodging Bullets” with rapper Kosha Dillz, he mainly keeps busy touring, as well as writing music and acting as his own manager.
He has realized his dream as Matisyahu, the mega-hit Jewish reggae artist. So, what now? Being a good dad. When Matisyahu dropped his son off at school in the morning, the teacher asked if he wanted to join the class on a field trip.
“I looked in my son’s eyes and saw that took precedence over whatever meetings or interviews, or whatever I thought was supposed to happen today,” he says. “I was able to be in tune with my son and my real goals in life, of which number one is to be a good father. I was able to put everything in check as to what’s important and that’s exactly what I’m talking about: that ability to improvise in your life. It’s the same thing on stage.”
Improvisation is how Matisyahu keeps his music fresh these days — and how he stays inspired.
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