The hateful whispers that make me want to move from London to Tel Aviv
There’s a train of thought among right-thinking people in London at the moment that Israel is culpable; that it is responsible for all the ills of the Palestinians, all the woes of the Middle East. If it weren’t for Israel, they say, the world would be a better place. If you go to a dinner party you can hear things that wouldn’t have sounded unfamiliar in 1930s Germany. They say they’re just ‘anti-Zionist’ but to be anti-Zionist is to be anti-Semitic. No one is anti- any other country. No one questions, say, Iran’s right to exist.
I’ve voted Labour in the past, but these days people in the Labour party all too often say things about Jews having big noses, or controlling the media, or somehow engineering the attack on the World Trade Center. Israel is behind Isis, they say. At demonstrations people hold up placards that say Hitler was right. Those words, exactly. Much of Labour barely raises an eyebrow.
If only those people who wish ill on Israel, on Jews, could know what it’s like to hear their hatred — to live in London and hear that Jews are the puppet-masters of the world, that Israel only helps in disaster zones to harvest organs. My father would have known. He spent time in the 1940s in Nazi concentration camps, because he was Jewish. His parents and sister were murdered for the same reason. My father would feel the same dread chill, and know — first-hand — where all this blame and hatred of Jews leads. If you think I exaggerate, then tell me; where do you think it leads? It may be only the first ugly murmur, from stupid people, but it won’t end there.
I’ve been to Tel Aviv four times in five years, and it seems to me a place of positive things: hope, investment in the future, strength and patience and humour. This is why I’m thinking of moving.
David Collier: Helpless before the hatred at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL)
This was my first anti-Israel university event of 2017. The start of an extremely busy time in the annual calendar. Apartheid Week, an intensive period of vicious anti-Israel activity on campus is only a month away. To highlight this intensity, this was one of only three events taking place I could have chosen. The other two were at SOAS, and Salisbury.
It was also my first event since Al -Jazeera launched a visible attack on British Jews, via an undercover operation driven from within a deeply antisemitic paradigm. As I pointed out at the time, even though sane people watched the show and saw nothing, for the antisemite, the show was the delivery of proof of Jewish conspiracy. So how would this play out on the UK campus?
The event itself was at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) campus, ‘discussing the BDS movement, its impact and importance’. Hosted by the QMUL Friends of Palestine Society, it was a Friends of Al Aqsa (FOA) event, and a bag of FOA material was handed out to all attendees.
On the panel was Ben White, Malaka Mohammed, Prof. Moshe Machover and Shamiul Joarder. The range of hate that lines up against Israel. Islamic thought, the Palestinian, the Marxist Jew, and well, the other, the British guy who attaches himself to Islamic thought and Jewish Marxists, to push a highly dubious and quintessentially hypocritical humanitarian cause.
The evening began with a short clip. I have provided just 10 seconds below, all that is needed to highlight the disgraceful distortion of history that is behind the BDS campaign:
Europe's Jihad against Israel
Resolution 2334 was as sickening a surrender to the Arab-Muslim jihad in the name of "peace," as was the surrender of UK Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain to Adolf Hitler at Munich in September 1938.
The UN before 1967 did not refer to the West Bank and Gaza as "occupied" territories when they were "occupied" by Egypt and Jordan after the 1948-49 war, which the Arab states launched against Israel. The Arab states then were the "occupiers" of parts of Palestine west of Jordan until 1967, and rejected any notion of Jews having a historic connection with Palestine, which they claimed was an integral part of Arab lands.
From the time of the Balfour Declaration and the League's Mandate for Palestine until the UN Resolution 181 (1947), reference to Palestine meant land with historic connection to the Jewish people. It was on this basis that the Jews' (Zionist) claim to reconstitute their national home was given legal recognition by the League, which the UN, as its successor, was legally bound to protect.
From the Arab perspective of religion and politics there never was a "Palestinian" people, or nation, distinct and separate from Arabs as a people or nation. The jihad called by the Mufti Haj Amin el-Husseini against Jews in Palestine after 1921 was in the name of "Arabs" and Islam, and it has so remained since. According to the Hamas charter, "the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf [Trust] upon all Muslim generations till the day of Resurrection."
Jerusalem, its principal city, was built by King David, a Jew, some ten centuries earlier.
South Africa Cannot Claim Ancestral Land Yet Deny Jewish People the Same Right
I have supported the ANC for decades, and thus far resisted the temptation to call out the organisation with regard to its foreign policy towards Israel, but now my silence borders on sinful. The policy is disturbing because it disregards the fundamental prerequisites of foreign policy – clarity, transparency and consistency.
It has become the norm to publicly castigate Israel as a reliable scapegoat and thus redirect the public’s attention elsewhere, which is exactly what transpired soon after the ANC’s January 8 statement.
The ANC’s view on Israel is divorced from history and reality; and this is surprising, given our own recent history of dispossession.
Any people that have ever felt the yolk of colonialism should understand the plight of the Jewish people in Israel. Colonial empires thrived on dispossessing indigenous people of their land, and the only difference between us Africans and the Jews is that we were internally displaced, while the Jewish people were dispossessed and exiled.
Is it illegal or undesirable for Jewish exiles to return to their ancestral homeland, and do exiles forfeit their right to do so because they fled persecution? In the case of Israel, the world deems this undesirable – but then how is it possible for our president, Jacob Zuma, and others in the liberation movement to return from exile in 1990, yet condemn Israel for settlements and occupation?
The ANC singles out Israel for special attention based on a false pretext, yet it endorses the One China Policy – which treats Taiwan and Tibet as mere provinces of China. The Dalai Lama has been in exile since 1959, yet both the ANC and our government do not support the aspirations of the Tibetan people. The same applied when Russia annexed Crimea.
Caroline Glick: Netanyahu's shameless opponents
Over the past week, Israel was subjected to the diplomatic equivalent of a lynch mob in Paris. It received unexpected assistance from Britain, which twice in two days departed from its traditional anti-Israel stance and blocked the Paris conference’s anti-Israel declaration from being adopted as the official position of the European Union.
Also over the past week, outgoing US President Barack Obama, outgoing Secretary of State John Kerry and outgoing UN Ambassador Samantha Power used their final appearances in office to blast Israel.
On the other hand, President-elect Donald Trump and his team played a key role in bringing about Britain’s change of heart toward Israel.
While these events have been widely covered by the foreign media, they have barely been mentioned in the Hebrew broadcast media, from which the majority of Israelis receive their news.
Instead, led by Channel 2 with its monopoly ratings share, the local media spent the past week covering almost nothing but the criminal probes being carried out against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Divest This: In With the New
While America is Israel’s most important ally, it is not her only one. Fretful news stories of Israel’s impending isolation ignore that the nation’s diplomatic position is stronger today than it’s been in years, even among sworn enemies who understand the real threats to their regimes (not to mention their necks). Similarly, Israel’s growing success beyond politics (in areas like business, technology, medicine, academia and the arts) means that alliances now reach well beyond politics: into commerce, science, the academy and other important components of civil society. Indeed, it is only because of Israel’s success that there are so many products the BDSers can boycott, and so much investment they’re fighting to end.
So in addition to increasing support within the different branches and levels of American government, Israel must continue to expand friendships and relationships across the planet, regardless of how things play out in American politics (over which Israel and her supporters have little to no control) over the coming years.
With regard to what we can and cannot impact, remember that Israel’s greatest achievements and triumphs (the creation of the state, in-gathering of exiles, victory against overwhelming odds in the wars of 1948 and 1967) all took place before the current alliance with the US came into being in the 1970s. This is not to diminish the criticality of that alliance for a small nation still targeted by much larger and more powerful enemies. But it does point out that things tend to go best for the Jews when we count on ourselves, rather than others, and take responsibility for our own history – if for no other reason than our own self-respect.
Despite detente, ancient Hebrew text ‘proving’ Jewish ties to Jerusalem set to stay in Istanbul
Jerusalem and Ankara may have restored diplomatic relations in 2016, but the long-awaited thaw won’t see the return anytime soon of one of the most important ancient Hebrew inscriptions, found in Jerusalem and currently held in Istanbul, Israeli officials say.
The Siloam Inscription, a 2,700-year-old ancient Hebrew text that provides concrete historical support for a Biblical event, is one of three ancient Jewish inscriptions unearthed in the Holy Land currently owned by the Istanbul Archaeology Museum.
Despite an emphatic speech in October proclaiming the Siloam inscription’s significance to Jerusalem and the Jewish people, and the newly restored diplomatic relations with Turkey, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has taken no steps to secure the artifact’s repatriation, his office confirmed to The Times of Israel.
The ancient Hebrew text was discovered in 1880 in a tunnel hewn into a limestone hillside outside the Old City sometime in the late 8th century BCE.
JPost Editorial: Pollard’s time
By the time US President Barack Obama reads this editorial he will be winding up the last few hours of his presidency. During his last days in office, Obama has used his clemency power to commute the prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, a former US Army analyst who was convicted of espionage in July 2013 by a military court after she turned over a massive cache of defense and diplomatic records to the organization WikiLeaks.
Obama has granted a total of 1,385 commutations, establishing himself as the most clement president in recent history. Obama has issued the most combined commutations and pardons of any president since Harry Truman, and more than Reagan, Clinton and both Bushes combined.
We are asking Obama to consider one more commutation – that of Jonathan Pollard, a US Navy civilian intelligence analyst who spied for Israel over a span of 18 months in the 1980s.
Pollard has paid his price. Before being paroled in 2015 and placed under highly restrictive conditions, he spent more than 10,000 days in a series of maximum and medium-security prisons. After being sentenced, he was incarcerated in a federal prison hospital in Springfield, Missouri, where he was reportedly “routinely deprived of his clothing and his eyeglasses in attempts to humiliate and ‘break’ him.”
In 1988, he was transferred to a maximum security prison in Marion, Illinois, where he remained in solitary confinement until 1993, when he was moved to a medium- security facility in Butner, North Carolina.
What’s more, Pollard was never tried in a court of law.
President Trump puts fight against ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ at heart of inauguration speech
In a forceful, uncompromising inauguration address, US President Donald Trump placed the battle against Islamic extremism at the heart of his foreign policy as he took office on Friday, vowing to work with allies to destroy the jihadist threat.
“We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones, and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth,” he declared.
That focus conformed strongly with the mindset of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who tweeted his congratulations “to my friend President Trump” even before the 45th president had been sworn in.
Trump’s predecessors George W. Bush — who invaded Afghanistan and ousted the Taliban regime — and Barack Obama — who ordered the raid that killed Osama bin Laden — also fought extremism. But Trump has gone further than both in his use of language, suggesting that he sees the fight as a civilizational battle between America and a threat springing from the Islamic faith itself.
Report: The UN is occupying State-owned Israeli land
An investigation by the Regavim organization, which works to ensure that Israeli sovereignty is enforced over State-owned land, has revealed that part of the UN compound in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem lies on State-owned land, and that, therefore, the government can cancel the UN’s permit to reside there any time that it wishes.
The organization presented aerial pictures which prove that the UN compound infringes on about 8 acres of State-owned land which are not part of the original compound granted to the UN for its use. The Jerusalem municipality has confirmed that there are deviations at the site from the original plan, and that Police are checking the matter.
Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Environmental Protection Zeev Elkin said this morning during an interview with Radio Tel Aviv: “I ordered a check, and it appears that there is a problem there. The time has come for Israel to stop allowing itself to get beaten up by the UN, including the option of [evicting the UN from the premises].”
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely promised: “The matter will be checked in the Foreign Ministry with respect to possible steps that can be taken against the UN agencies, following the Security Council decision against settlements.”
San Diego Student Says Her View of Israel as ‘Akin to Apartheid’ Completely Changed After Visiting Jewish State
A California student who previously believed Israel was “akin to an apartheid state” had a complete about-face after visiting the country, San Diego State University’s independent student newspaper The Daily Aztec reported on Wednesday.
According to the report, SDSU political science and international security and conflict resolution senior Erin Gonzalez said she had expected the worst before her trip, but discovered the place wasn’t at all as she had envisioned. Rather, she encountered a society that embraces all religions and cultures, she said.
Gonzalez, who is not Jewish, traveled to Israel as part of a “Fact Finders” program, hosted by the school’s Hillel chapter, to enable SDSU students to experience the country and learn about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Gonzalez told The Daily Aztec that the experience also totally altered her perspective on Israeli settlements.
“Although the global community, and recently the United Nations, condemned [them] as both internationally illegal and an impediment to peace, I no longer see it that way,” she said, adding that she was surprised to discover that many Palestinians benefit from the settlement community, through employment opportunities and government benefits.
BDS and the New ‘Anti-Normalization’
In early December, Professors Cary Nelson and David Greenberg wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post about the “anti-normalization” tactic that has been widely adopted by proponents of the movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel (“BDS”). As they explained, the tactic consists of preventing pro-Israel or anti-boycott arguments from even being heard, and includes shouting down speakers, or preventing speakers from even appearing on campus.
That’s what we saw when a CAMERA event at University College London last fall was disrupted, with one BDS leader present admitting that his true goal was to prevent future pro-Israel speakers from coming to that campus.
While the rationale provided for utilizing these measures is to reject any contacts between Israelis and Palestinians that “treat both parties as having legitimate grievances and aspirations,” this argument is specious. It’s illogical to ask people to take it on faith that Israelis have no legitimate grievances or aspirations. Equally striking is the fervor with which Nelson and Greenberg reported that the new BDS strategy is being pursued.
As I’ve written on CAMERA’s In Focus blog, only one conclusion can be drawn from these actions: that those setting the BDS agenda understand that the only way they win the argument is when the pro-Israel side does not have an opportunity to present its case.
Following Paris Peace Summit, Largely Forgotten 2013 French Court Ruling That Israeli Settlements Are Legal Receives Renewed Attention
A largely forgotten landmark 2013 French court ruling has received renewed attention this week following the international diplomatic summit held in Paris last Sunday at which Israeli settlements were portrayed as illegal.
In an editorial published on Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal wrote, “The conference was a failure, but the conferees could have helped themselves by first checking what French courts have to say about those settlements before scoring Israel again…In 2013 the French Court of Appeals in Versailles ruled that, contrary to Palestinian arguments, Jewish settlements don’t violate the Geneva Conventions’ prohibition against an occupying power transferring ‘its civilian population into the territory it occupies.’ The law, the court held, bars government efforts to transfer populations. But it doesn’t bar private individuals settling in the disputed territories.”
The Wall Street Journal was referring to the ruling on a lawsuit — detailed here — that was filed by the Palestinian Authority against two French companies that took part in the construction of the light rail line in Jerusalem — which traverses areas the Palestinians hope will be part of the capital city of their potential future state.
The intersectionality of fools
Over the last decade, the numbers of Chinese and Indian students at American universities have substantially increased. At the same time, faculty and students have campaigned to boycott China and India over the status of Tibet and Kashmir, to reject Chinese and Indian funding, and to shun collaboration with individual Chinese and Indian researchers. There have been organized assaults upon Chinese guest speakers and propaganda campaigns inciting students to purge universities of Chinese or Indian “influence,” including that of American citizens with a Chinese or Indian background. When students of Indian background object, they are informed that, wittingly or not, they are part of a global Hindu conspiracy.
Of course, none of this has happened. It is almost inconceivable that any of it would happen. All of this, however, has been directed against the State of Israel, and against American Jewish students, since the inception of bds, the campaign for “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions” against the Jewish state. This dubious selectivity is one unique aspect of bds. Another is the scale of its ambition. Generally, the introversions of Social Justice stop well before the water’s edge. There are global issues, most notably and vaguely the environment, but bds is the only form of campus activism to attack a single state internationally—and a single group domestically.
bds activists seek to curtail the freedom of others.
bds seeks to transform the atmosphere of university intellectual and social life, in order to effect changes in government and business policy. bds activists seek to control the intellectual environment, to create a “safe space” for the indoctrination of a biased and often false view of Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Thus, the practice of bds tends towards the abuse of free speech, in that bds activists frequently seek to curtail the freedom of others.
Emergency Motion for Protection of Jews at UK University With Notoriously Anti-Israel Atmosphere to Be Brought Before Student Union
An emergency motion aimed at protecting Jews at a British university notorious for its radical anti-Israel activism will be brought before the school’s student union on Tuesday, its initiator told The Algemeiner.
Avrahum Sanger, president of the Jewish Society at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, explained that the resolution he drafted seeks to tackle “issues that concern the welfare of Jewish students or make it difficult for them to both practice their religion and fully participate in university” – due, for example, to a lack of kosher food; scheduling that conflicts with Shabbat and Jewish holidays; and the silencing and marginalization of Jewish voices on campus.
Sanger recently told UK’s The Evening Standard that his peers at the school are “scared” to be recognizably Jewish, and refrain from wearing stars of David or speaking Hebrew in public. Sanger said that the intensely politically active student body is decidedly anti-Israel, promoting views that — as The Algemeiner has extensively reported — the US State Department has defined as antisemitic.
A spokesperson at SOAS said that the school is “very concerned to hear that any student is afraid to openly express their faith or belief.”
“We aim to be inclusive of all students of faith and we welcome suggestions about how to best achieve this,” the spokesperson told The Algemeiner.
Stupidity takes hold of another students’ union
I had never heard the acronym Soas before I started work at the BBC, almost 30 years ago. But as a very young producer at the corporation I was asked to fix up a story about something appalling happening in Africa — I can’t remember exactly what. Famine or cannibalism maybe. Or perhaps one mitigated by the other. The senior producer told me to get someone from Soas to explain it all. What’s Soas, I asked?
‘The School of Oriental and African Studies,’ I was informed. ‘It’s in London. It’s basically a place where we try to work out what on earth the natives are up to now.’
It was a different BBC back then. I was based in the old Broadcasting House, at the top of Regent Street. An eight-floor building — the first seven floors pretty much exclusively white. But then loads of black people working on the top floor — that was the canteen. By the time I left the BBC in 2004 things had changed markedly. The canteen was still staffed almost exclusively by black people. But now there were lots of black people several floors lower down, not serving food at all — in the ‘Community Affairs Unit’. Progress, then, of a kind.
I suspect Soas has changed quite a bit, too. As far as I can discern, it now seems to be a place for castigating whitey and especially British whitey. Fair enough — I suppose we need castigating, and it’s good for the soul. But it has got itself in the news recently as a consequence of the demands of its students’ union, which has outflanked even the students’ unions of Oxford and University College London in the cretin stakes. Which takes some doing.
Miami Officials Blast “Anti-Semitic” Israel Boycott After Vandals Target Jewish Stores
Six elected officials from the Miami area on Wednesday harshly condemned recent acts of vandalism committed near local Jewish businesses by supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign, which they blasted as an “anti-Semitic and anti-Israel” ploy to undermine peace prospects.
In a letter to Miami Police Commander Albert Guerra, officials including Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, Bal Harbour Mayor Gabriel Groisman, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez, and Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez denounced the defacement of public property in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood with hundreds of spray-painted “BDS” stamps, which were first spotted on November 15. The letter was also signed by Sharona Whisler, executive director of the Zionist Organization of America’s Florida chapter.
The stamps were concentrated in an area with many Jewish-owned businesses, including some with mezuzot on their doorways, and were reported to the Miami Police Department by local businessman and activist Joe Zevuloni. A video taken by Zevuloni and embedded below shows some of the stamps sprayed in front of an Israeli-owned store.
The incident is being investigated as a hate crime, a decision the officials said they “strongly support.”
LA Times Fanning The Flames Of Antisemitism
The caption reads:
A historic high-rise and symbol of modernity, the 17-story Plasco was built by Jewish plastics tycoon Habib Elghanian.
I cannot find a reason to mention he is Jewish in the caption besides implying his guilt in this affair. And even if that wasn’t the case, mentioning it will certainly help with the proliferation of the usual kinds of conspiracy theories.
The report actually mentions he was executed back in 1979..for guess what.
It also stood out for its builder: a Jewish plastics tycoon, Habib Elghanian, who was executed in the months after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Iran’s ruling mullahs accused Elghanian, the head of a prominent association of Jewish Iranians, of spying for Israel, which triggered an exodus of Jews from the country.
I’m willing to bet the theory that this “Zionist” somehow rigged the building to kill people will gain traction.
BBC’s Yolande Knell touts the ‘1967 borders’ illusion on Radio 4
Predictably, Knell’s response had the history of the millennia-old city beginning just fifty years ago, with no mention of the preceding 19-year Jordanian occupation of parts of Jerusalem.
Knell: “That’s right and Jerusalem has proven time and time again to be one of the most explosive issues; one of the most difficult issues to solve in this decades-old conflict, not least because of its holy sites for Jews, Muslims and Christians. And of course Israel captured the east of the city – which includes the Old City – in 1967 in the Middle East war. It went on to annex East Jerusalem, declare all of Jerusalem its united, eternal capital – although that’s never been recognised internationally. And the Palestinians are basically saying that any move for a US embassy – bringing it from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – would kill the two-state solution; this long-standing goal of international policy on this conflict. It’s enshrined in UN resolutions: the idea of creating a Palestinian state to live peacefully alongside Israel. It will be based in Gaza, the West Bank and have East Jerusalem as its capital.”
Stourton: “I think I’m right in saying the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has been in the Vatican this weekend. He’s been talking about some of this, hasn’t he?”
In her response to that question, Knell introduced the falsehood of “pre-1967 borders” – a concept which not only does not exist, but was specifically and deliberately rejected by the parties to the 1949 Armistice Agreement.
Compromised BBC backgrounder surfaces again
On January 16th the BBC News website published an article titled “Egypt court upholds ruling halting transfer of islands to Saudi Arabia“. Included in that report was an insert of background information titled “Why the Red Sea islands matter”, which previously appeared in an article concerning the same story in June 2016.tiran-art-jan-17
The insert includes the following context-free information:
“Israel captured the islands in 1956 and 1967, subsequently returning them to Egypt both times”
As was noted here over six months ago:
“The BBC did not bother to inform readers why that was the case.
“In 1949, Egypt established itself on two small and deserted islands in the straits that had never belonged to it – Tiran and Sanafir. Later, they were leased to it by Saudi Arabia. In January 1950, Egypt assured the United States Government that the occupation of the islands was in no way intended to interfere with shipping in the waters of the gulf. But soon Egypt broke its word, fortified the entrance to the straits and blockaded Israel.
FBI probing wave of fake bomb threats to US Jewish centers
Twenty-seven Jewish community centers in 17 U.S. states reported receiving false telephone bomb threats on Wednesday, prompting evacuations and an FBI probe into the second wave of hoax attacks to target American Jewish facilities this month.
The Jewish Community Centers Association of North America, a network of health and education centers, said the threatened organizations were working with police and many had resumed operations after no bombs were found nor injuries reported, as was the case after the earlier series of threats on Jan. 9.
No one claimed responsibility for the calls on Wednesday nor nine days ago, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has not named any suspects nor described a likely motive.
The FBI and the Justice Department are investigating possible civil rights violations in connection with threats, the FBI said in a statement.
"The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence, and will ensure this matter is investigated in a fair, thorough and impartial manner," the statement said.
ADL urges US Jewish institutions to be alert following bomb threats
The Anti-Defamation league on Thursday issued a security advisory to Jewish institutions across the US, after a series of bomb threats to some 30 Jewish community centers in 17 states.
It was the second wave of such mass disruption in two weeks.
The NGO said that while the threats did not appear to be credible, it nonetheless urged communal establishments to take serious measures.
The ADL received reports of bomb threats at community centers in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
“We are recommending that Jewish communal institutions review their security procedures and remain in close contact with law enforcement,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL’s CEO. “While each incident needs to be taken seriously and investigated closely, thus far we are not aware of any of these threats being substantiated.
“Federal authorities and local police departments should be commended for their rapid response to these incidents,” he added. “We remain in close contact with law enforcement and are offering our support and resources to local community centers.”
Belgian court upholds two-month sentence for anti-Semitic comic
A Belgian court on Friday upheld French comedian Dieudonne's two-month jail sentence for incitement to hatred over anti-Semitic comments during a show in Belgium, a lawyer said.
Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, who has faced similar court cases in France, also had his 9,000-euro ($9,566) fine confirmed by the appeals court in the eastern city of Liege, said Eric Lemmens, a lawyer for Belgium's Jewish organizations.
"The appeals court in Liege upheld the verdict from criminal court in Liege," Lemmens told AFP.
He said the court warned the comedian he would be sentenced to "three extra months in prison if he fails to pay the fine."
Yolocaust What happens when you do yoga on top of a Holocaust memorial
Hundreds of thousands of selfies featuring smiling, yoga-posing, laughing people, all while visiting the 2,711 concrete slabs at the Holocaust Denkmal Berlin memorial have recently surfaced on multiple social media platforms.
The pictures in question are part of Yolocuast, an artistic initiative led by Shahak Shapira, an Israeli satirist and author who takes the images, all publicly posted on social media such as Facebook and Instagram, and edits the back drop to Nazi extermination camps.
Shapira's project serves as an artistic critique of individuals who visit sites commemorating the genocide of six millions Jews during World War II and then proceed to post pictures of themselves smiling and appearing to have a good time.
The artist named his project "Yolocaust" in an ironic word play on the word Holocaust and the term YOLO, short for "you only live once," a popular, life-affirming message people often add to their social media posts in the form of a hashtag.
The Yolocaust site describes the project as exploring "commemorative culture by combining selfies from the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin with footage from Nazi extermination camps."
Whitefish Police Force’s Wonderful Display Of Solidarity With Jewish Community
A few weeks ago, I posted about the planned Neo Nazi march in Whitefish Montana, with a Hamas-hole as a keynote speaker.
It turns out, the hater trying to organize it was unable to secure a permit (perhaps because he spelt his name wrong on the application form?), and will try again for next month.
But out of this story comes some light. The Whitefish police force has performed a wonderful gesture of solidarity with the Jewish community by having a mezuzah affixed to the outside door of the police station.
Bonus: the mezuzah is from Jerusalem, made of Jerusalem stone!
Tributes held two years after mysterious death of Argentine prosecutor
Two years after the death of Alberto Nisman, organizers of tributes to the deceased prosecutor appear hopeful that the circumstances of his death will be clarified.
Tributes were held both in Argentina and Israel on Wednesday for Nisman, who was found dead at his home in the Argentine capital in January, 2015, in the midst of his investigation into the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish Center.
“There is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel,” prosecutor German Moldes said Wednesday at a vigil in Buenos Aires. Moldes was one of the three speakers who addressed a crowd in front of the prosecutor’s unit that Nisman had led.
Moldes said that his colleague, Eduardo Taiano, who is leading the investigation into Nisman’s death, has received death threats over the ongoing investigation.
“We must continue working for the truth. How we will give up if Taiano who receives threats on his life does not give up,” Moldes told the crowd of more than 1,000 people.
Charting Israel’s aid overseas on the Israel Aid Map
For almost 15 years, ISRAEL21c has been writing stories about the incredible international aid work that Israel carries out overseas.
Whether it’s in response to an earthquake or other natural or manmade disaster, Israeli aid volunteers from the government, the army and nonprofit NGOs have been quick to respond, often reaching the disaster area before relief teams arrive from other nations.
Despite its tiny size, Israel is also involved in long-term educational, environmental and healthcare missions in countries including Kenya, Nepal, Japan, China, Vietnam, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Turkmenistan, Haiti, and Papua New Guinea.
Israel even helps the citizens of some enemy nations, treating refugees across the world, helping Syrians wounded in the civil war, or bringing children to Israel for lifesaving surgery.
And yet despite so many missions, little is known about the incredible aid work carried out by Israel. A year ago, ISRAEL21c decided to do something about that and created the Israel Aid Map. It’s a phenomenal way to show people the extent and breadth of aid from Israel.
WATCH: Gene Simmons: “Middle East Needs Israel To Exist”
We already knew KISS frontman Gene Simmons was a staunch supporter of Israel. So no surprises he would come out and say these things on Varney & Co earlier this month.
We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.