Archive for the ‘Antisemitism’ category

Israel Tries Its Hand at a Travel Ban

January 12, 2018

Israel Tries Its Hand at a Travel Ban, American Thinker,  Michael Curtis, January 12, 2018

Israel is proposing to prevent foreign supporters of BDS from entering Israel, although ministers have the right to deny individuals entry on a case-by-case basis, as in the case of Omar Barghouti, one of the founders of BDS, who is married to an Israeli citizen of Palestinian origin.  On January 7, 2018, Israel announced it plans to establish a task force to identify the hundreds of activists already in Israel and deport or deny entry to individuals who support BDS.

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Commenting on President Woodrow Wilson’s “long overdue ” decision to enter World War I, Winston Churchill wrote that if the president had acted earlier, it would have meant abridgment of the slaughter, sparing of the agony, and prevention of ruin and catastrophe.  Even if the parallel is not exact, Israeli authorities are acting to prevent further harm to their country by imposing a travel ban blocking members of organizations supporting BDS, the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement, from entering the country.

Mark Twain in his book Innocents Abroad wrote that travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.  Unfortunately, as Israel has found, hostile activists can also encourage those qualities.

The travel ban implements the intention of the law passed in March 2017 that bars entry into the country by groups that actively promote anti-Israeli boycotts.  The ban is virtual recognition of the adage, “Oh, I have taken too little care of this.”  Israel has now taken the offense against those who are not simply rational critics of Israeli policies and actions, but either implicitly or explicitly refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of the State of Israel or seek its elimination.

By banning any foreign activist who has knowingly signed a public call to boycott Israel or pledged to take part in a boycott, Israel is preventing harm to its citizens.

On January 7, 2018, Israel issued a ban on 20 worldwide organizations, including 11 European and six U.S. groups, that are involved and active in BDS activities.  They include the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC); Code Pink; the U.S.-based Jewish Voice for Peace; the U.K.-based Palestinian Solidarity Campaign; of which Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is a patron; the British group War on Want; and BDS organizations in France, Italy, Norway, and the Netherlands.

It is worth looking, if only as illustration of hypocrisy, at War on Want, an organization founded in 1951 in London as an antipoverty charity.  It supported liberation movements in Africa.  For a time, the anti-Israeli George Galloway was its general secretary; during that time, there were accounting irregularities, and reports were “materially misstated.”  In 2006, War on Want launched its Palestinian Rights movement and advocated BDS, calling for an embargo on arms to Israel.

One controversial incident resulting from this policy of banning occurred in 2016, when Isabel Phiri, a Malawian citizen living in Switzerland, the assistant general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva and former professor of African theology in South Africa, was refused a visa by Israel.  Israeli authorities maintained that she has been involved in BDS, and it was the first time a foreign national was refused for that reason.  Though the WCC has not formally called for an outright boycott against Israel, it believes that the “Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories is a tragedy for the Palestinian occupied.”

Let us be straightforward on this controversial issue.  The argument against the travel ban is that it violates freedom of expression, and of course, to some extent, this is true in a democratic country such as Israel.  The problem with this is that not only does the freedom to call for a boycott exist everywhere, but much of the expression on Israel is based on falsehood and misrepresentations and the Palestinian Narrative of Victimhood.

Taking two examples illustrates the point.  The AFSC that won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1947 announced extravagantly on January 8, 2018 that “for 51 years Israel has denied Palestinians in the occupied territories their fundamental human rights in defiance of international law. ”  Then there is the absurdly disproportionate announcement issued on February 13, 2015 by over 100 British artists, including some well known personalities such as film directors Ken Loach and Mike Leigh, explaining their cultural boycott of Israel as based on the fact that “Palestinians have enjoyed no respite from Israel’s unrelenting attack on their land, their livelihood, their right to political existence.”

The BDS campaign calls for economic, cultural, and academic boycotts against the State of Israel and Israeli citizens.  But its real intention is not to advocate measures to alleviate the condition of Palestinians, but to implement the Palestinian campaign for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel, founded mainly by Omar Barghouti, to refuse to recognize Israel as a legitimate state.

What is important is that boycott activity is counterproductive, against peace.  It results in increasing hatred, and as Israeli president Reuven Rivlin has remarked, it symbolizes all that stands in the way of dialogue, debate, and progress.  It is against cooperation toward a peaceful solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A reminder of the past may be helpful in understanding the Israel travel ban.  On November 9-10, 1938, Kristallnacht occurred in German cities, with a pogrom against Jews, involving murders; beatings; and destruction of Jewish property and businesses as well as synagogues.  At the core and the call to German citizens was a boycott of Jews in all forms.

Obviously, actions such as calling for Israel to be excluded from international oganizations such as the world soccer governing body FIFA and the insistent commands by rock star Roger Waters to fellow performers not to perform in Tel Aviv are not on a par with the Nazi Holocaust, but it would be foolish to ignore the implications of BDS.  Implicitly if not explicitly, it promotes anti-Semitism as well as tolerating terrorist activity against Israel.

It does this by not criticizing the funds that the Palestinian Authority (P.A.), through its Martyrs’ Fund, gives to terrorists in Israeli prisons or to the families of those terrorists killed by Israel.  It is encouraging that the U.S. Senate by the Taylor Force bill is considering the issue in an appropriate way.  Named after the American citizen, a former U.S. army officer and a Vanderbilt University student, murdered in March 2016 by a Palestinian terrorist in the West Bank, the Taylor Force Act, introduced in 2016, aims to stop all U.S. economic aid to the P.A. as long as it continues to pay those salaries to terrorists and families.

Israel is proposing to prevent foreign supporters of BDS from entering Israel, although ministers have the right to deny individuals entry on a case-by-case basis, as in the case of Omar Barghouti, one of the founders of BDS, who is married to an Israeli citizen of Palestinian origin.  On January 7, 2018, Israel announced it plans to establish a task force to identify the hundreds of activists already in Israel and deport or deny entry to individuals who support BDS.

The Israeli travel ban might be considered in the context of the continuing war on Jews.  It is three years since Hypercacher, the Jewish Paris supermarket, was attacked by terrorists.  Four were killed.  Coinciding with the Israeli travel ban, on January 9, 2018, an arson attack burned down a French kosher grocery store in Creteil, a suburb of Paris, and the store was completely gutted by fire.  Six days earlier, two stores in the area were targeted with paintings of swastikas.

Hatred and anti-Semitism: this is the real essence of the boycott of Israel and Jews.

The never-ending fight against delegitimization of Israel

December 15, 2017

The never-ending fight against delegitimization | Anne’s Opinions, 15th December 2017

Even before Donald Trump’s Jerusalem declaration there was no shortage of anti-Israel agitation going on, as readers of this blog know well. But times are changing, and so are the attitudes of those confronting this bigotry, in particular the Israeli government which has finally woken up to the threat of BDS and delegitimization and is starting to act in a coordinated manner to combat it – with some success.

Just a few items from the last few weeks:

Israel bans Swiss diplomats from visiting Gaza:

Israeli authorities announced on Thursday [30th Nov.] that Swiss diplomats will not be allowed to access the Gaza Strip because of their ongoing contacts with the EU and US-classified terrorist group Hamas.

Switzerland, a non-EU country, does not recognize Hamas or Hezbollah as terrorist organizations. Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday that Israel declines to comment on the ban.

Swiss diplomats meet Hamas members

A photograph of Hamas leader Yayha Sinwar and Swiss diplomat and representative for the Palestinian Authority, Julien Thöni, at a joint Tuesday meeting sparked irritation from Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, according to a report in the Swiss daily Basler Zeitung.

How “neutral” can you get? Switzerland, which benefits from a “halo” image of a human-rights benefactor, does not recognize one of the pre-eminent terror organizations in the world as a terror organization? This is mind-boggling. I am pleasantly surprised that Israel has found the backbone to stand up to this Swiss hypocrisy, not to say idiocy.

Due to more European double-think, Israel pulled out of a German exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls:

Despite the German’s decrying the latest manifestations of antisemitism in their country this week, following the anti-Trump protests, the government itself cannot find it within itself to acknowledge Israel’s own Jewish history, encapsulated by the Dead Sea Scrolls:

Israel has pulled out of a planned exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls in Frankfurt because the German government would not guarantee their return if claimed by Palestinians or Jordanians.

No country on earth would allow its precious artefacts to be exhibited in another country if that country would not guarantee their return. What gives the Palestinians the right to claim the Dead Sea Scrolls as their own? They contain pieces of parchment describing Jewish history, Jewish laws, and Jewish customs of Jewish sects who were hiding in caves in the desert during the Roman occupation. They have no connection whatsoever to the Arabs, whether in the form of Jordan or the Palestinians – who only came into being in 1964!

Fragment of the Hebrew Bible from the Dead Sea Scrolls (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

The chutzpah of the Arabs to attempt to claim these scrolls as their own is paralleled only by the Germans’ bending over backwards to accommodate these potential claims.

The Frankfurt Bible Museum announced that it has canceled the exhibit which was scheduled for a September 2019 opening. Its director, Jürgen Schefzyk, said he regretted the German government’s decision, adding that neither Holland nor Austria would have hesitated to issue general immunity guarantees.

According to German news reports, the government guarantee would have blocked Palestinian or Jordanian authorities from contesting the provenance of the scrolls, which are among the oldest known texts related to the Hebrew Bible.

“Because of the unwillingness of both ministries to give the necessary declaration, as Qumran lies in today’s West Bank, the Israel Antiques Authority is not letting the material out of the country and the Bible Museum had to cancel its plans,” Uwe Becker, the deputy mayor of Frankfurt, told The Jerusalem Post.

Becker expressed outrage at Germany’s foreign and culture ministers on Thursday, sending letters to Culture and Media Minister Monika Grütters and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel asking them to change their position to support the exhibition.

“If Germany is unwilling to clearly express the legal status of the fragments of Qumran as Israeli world-cultural-heritage goods, it would dramatically change the coordinates in our German-Israeli relations. And it would mean the construction of a wall toward the places of the birth of Christianity in the holy country, because it would be the same for Bethlehem, Jericho, east Jerusalem and many other places of Jesus’s work,” Becker said.

Kol hakavod to Mr. Becker. He should be leading the German government, not their painfully PC leadership. Interestingly:

Becker, widely considered one of Israel’s strongest supporters in the federal republic, led a legislative effort to ban BDS activity in Frankfurt.

Becker said that the German government’s decision to not guarantee a return of the scrolls also damages Germany’s relations to Christianity in the Middle East. He noted that in consideration of “Palestinian sensitivities, the special relationship to Israel weighs more significantly.”

Here too I am delighted that the Israeli government had the courage of its convictions and refused to play along just to “make nice” with a foreign government, however friendly it might be.

And here is another piece of excellent news: The Palestinian terrorist Leila Khaled was prevented from entering Italy – this shortly after she addressed the European Assembly in Brussels:

ROME —Leila Khaled, a member of the US and EU-designated terrorist Palestinian group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), who is conducting speaking tours across Europe to promote the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign, was prevented from entering Italy. She was denied entry at Fiumicino airport near Rome.

Leila Khaled, Palestinian terrorist, denied entry to Italy

The move came a week after the European Parliament decided to ban members of terrorist organizations from addressing the body. The decision came after Khaled spoke at an event in September in the European Assembly in Brussels, using the stage to incite to violence against Jews and comparing Israelis to the Nazis. She glorified terrorism and trivialized the Holocaust. “Don’t you see a similarity between Nazi actions and Zionist actions in Gaza?,” she declared. “While the Nazis were tried in Nuremberg, no one has ever tried the Zionists,” she said.

Israeli Minister for Public Security Gilad Erdan and several pro-Israel groups had complained to European Parliament President Antonio Tajani regarding Khaled’s speech.

Kol hakavod to Italy for carrying through on the European Parliament ban. And kudos too to the European Parliament for instituting this (very belated) ban on terrorists and terror groups.

Just a reminder of who Leila Khaled is:

Leila Khaled was a key member of a terrorist cell that hijacked TWA Flight 840 in 1969. A year later, she participated in the attempted hijacking of EL AL Flight 219. She lives in Jordan.

Olga Deutsch, Europe Desk director at the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, applauded Italy’s decision to deny entry to Khaled.

‘’We have long warned European governments that they have been funding radical, politicized NGOs, including those linked to the PFLP terror group and which were involved with Khaled’s event,’’ she said.

However, these successes notwithstanding, we still have a long way to go and there is no end in sight. The pro-Israel educational and activist NGO Stand With Us produced a video showing the highlights – or rather the lowlights – of the last week’s demonstrations around the world where pro-Palestinian, i.e. anti-Israel, protests descended rapidly into outright antisemitism, calling for Israel and the Jews’ destruction (as I mentioned in my post on the subject last week).

 

Let us keep up the good fight. Remember the lesson of Hannukah – the few against the many, the righteous against the evil, the weak against the strong. With G-d’s help we beat the enemy then and we shall beat them again today.

After Anti-Israel Rally, Swedish Synagogue was Firebombed

December 10, 2017

After Anti-Israel Rally, Swedish Synagogue was Firebombed, The Point (FrontPage Magazine), Daniel Greenfield, December 10, 2017

If only it wasn’t for Trump, I’m sure he would be dancing the hora and discussing how much he loves Jewish and not smashing Jewish store windows. We should never hold anti-Semites responsible for anti-Semitic violence. Instead we must blame Jews and their supporters for causing it by refusing to die. Just ask J Street, JVP, If Not Now and the rest of the gang.

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Don’t worry, firebombing a synagogue is anti-Zionist. Not anti-Semitic. Just ask the National Socialists. Or the plain old Socialists. Or the Islamofascists.

Pro-Palestinian Arab demonstrators on Saturday night threw a firebomb at a synagogue in Gothenburg, Sweden, local media reported.

According to the report, about 20 Muslim protesters who were demonstrating against U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel are responsible for the attack.

The attack took place as Jewish students were holding a party inside the synagogue. A firefighter who was called to the scene told a Swedish news site that a fire had broken out between parked vehicles in a car park outside the synagogue.

Dvir Maoz, a representative of the World Bnei Akiva movement in Gothenburg, who witnessed the incident, said, “It happened at 10:18 p.m. Sweden time. There was a youth party inside at the time. Before the party I sat in the lobby with one of the security guards, we talked a little bit and as we were talking, I saw fire, so I told the security guards that a firebomb had been thrown at the building. They called the police. The youths were scared. This was the first time they had experienced any form of terrorism so close to them.”

“The police came, they cleaned the place, and they checked to make sure that everything is in order. The parents came and took the children home. There were a few children who were very stressed. One of them told me that he was feeling very unsafe. Another told me casually that because he has a very Jewish name, it causes Arabs in his school to curse him, harass him and spit on him. It’s very hard for him,” continued Maoz.

“I live ten minutes away. Relatively close. At the same time, I cannot say that we feel an increase in anti-Semitism every day,” he concluded.

Clearly, it’s Trump’s fault.

On Thursday, a man wearing a Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) flag smashed the windows of the kosher HaCarmel restaurant, which is located in a heavily-Jewish part of Amsterdam.

The suspect smashed the window and kicked down the restaurant’s doors before police officers who were on the scene arrested him.

If only it wasn’t for Trump, I’m sure he would be dancing the hora and discussing how much he loves Jewish and not smashing Jewish store windows. We should never hold anti-Semites responsible for anti-Semitic violence. Instead we must blame Jews and their supporters for causing it by refusing to die. Just ask J Street, JVP, If Not Now and the rest of the gang.

Kaf Tet beNovember: 70 years since UN Resolution 181

November 29, 2017

Kaf Tet beNovember: 70 years since UN Resolution 181 | Anne’s Opinions, 29th November 2017

Today 29th November, or as it is quirkily called in Hebrew “kaf tet beNovember”, is the 70th anniversary of the fateful UN Resolution 181 which aimed to partition Palestine and created a Jewish area and an Arab area. As we all know, the resolution was rejected by the Arabs who never fulfilled any of its provisions or conditions, while it was accepted in full by the Jews. No sooner had the vote passed in the UN than 5 Arab armies invaded the newborn Jewish state with the overt intent of destroying it before it was born. They lost the war and the rest is history.

It would serve us well to recall the events of that historic day. The Israel-advocacy organization Legal Grounds, which promotes Israel’s legal rights to all the Land of Israel, sent out this important backgrounder with vital facts that are either unknown, misunderstood or ignored:

INFORMATION ALERT: 70 YEARS SINCE RESOLUTION 181

In June, Attorney Karen Stahl-Don made a presentation in The Hague, on behalf of the Legal Grounds Campaign, on the subject of UNGA Resolution 181 of 1947:

The Resolution, which is often misunderstood, was merely a recommendation and carried no weight in international law.

Palestinian Arabs refer to it as “The Partition Plan,” claiming, after all this time, that it gives them rights to a state. This is blatantly false, as they rejected this plan 70 years ago. According to international law, a party that rejects an agreement does not retain any rights based on that agreement.

What is more, the recommendation was not simply that two states, one Jewish and one Arab, be established. It proposed that two states be joined by an economic union, with a myriad of requirements. The states were to share currency, transportation, postal systems, and a great deal more; both were to be democratic, provide civil rights and prohibit discrimination.

Israel accepted this partition. However, acceptance was premised on what was described in the Resolution: economic cooperation and peaceful coexistence. Israel never agreed to disregard the nature of the Arab state recommended for creation at its border.

In the end, Resolution 181 was abandoned and never came to fruition. The UN Palestine Commission charged with facilitating the Resolution never even met, and the Security Council would not lend support. The Commission was officially relieved of its duties.

Israel, the sole party to accept Resolution 181, is not responsible for its failure, and is certainly not in violation of international law by not complying with it now.

Keep this last paragraph in mind as we now read of the UN’s efforts to delegitimize Israel on a daily basis.

In order to “celebrate” this auspicious day, the UN – as it has done every year for 70 years – makes it its business hold an International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Not the International Day of Solidarity with Israelis and Palestinians mind you. Just those most pampered self-made “refugees” in the world, the Palestinians, who only arrived at this glorified status because of their constant rejection of any Jewish State, of any size, anywhere in the Middle East at all.

Isn’t it pathetic that the UN (Useless Nations) cannot find it within themselves to celebrate a National Day for the Inalienable Rights of the Jewish People to their own Homeland in the State of Israel.

Surely after 70 years it is about time that the UN gave up this charade? Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor demanded of the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that the UN repudiate its ingrained anti-Israel hatred:

The seventieth anniversary of the passage of UN Resolution 181 partitioning Palestine into Jewish and Arab states on November 29 will be marked by UN offices around the world as the “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.” The global organization first designated the date as a day of Palestinian solidarity in 1977, with a General Assembly resolution authorizing the practice as an “annual observance.”

In a letter to Guterres, Prof. Gerald Steinberg – president of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor – argued that the Day of Solidarity, along with the numerous UN bodies that promote an anti-Israel agenda through various pro-Palestinian committees and agencies, undermine the UN’s stated desire for peace based on a “two-state” solution.

“Too often, UN officials are willing and active players in this dynamic, applying double standards and singling out Israel for attack,” Steinberg wrote. “Next week, as occurs every year, the UN will hold a special meeting in Geneva on the occasion of ‘International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People,’ featuring anti-Israel demagogues and highlighting agendas that undermine the spirit of UNGA 181.” Among the events planned is a photographic exhibition at UN Headquarters in New York entitled “The Palestinian People: Everlasting Roots, Infinite Horizons.” The exhibition, according to the UN’s web page devoted to the “Question of Palestine,” “…celebrates the lives and careers of Palestinians who have contributed to humanity in different walks of life, in the face of extraordinary challenges. The UN General Assembly will also hold its annual debate on the question of Palestine on this day.”

Steinberg highlighted a number of UN bodies – such as its dedicated Division for Palestinian Rights and its annual condemnation of Israel through the UN Human Rights Council’s Agenda Item 7 – as contributing decisively to the anti-Israel environment at the UN. The Division for Palestinian Rights in turn services the “Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People” (CEIRPP), created on November 10, 1975 – in the same session of the General Assembly that passed the infamous Resolution 3379 denouncing Zionism as a “form of racism.”

In his letter to Guterres, Steinberg pointed out that the UN spends millions of dollars on pro-Palestinian activities every year. “In October 2017, 24 separate UN agencies contracted with the Palestinian Authority to spend more than $18 million on campaigns aimed at isolating Israel through coordinated political, economic, and legal attacks,” he noted, emphasizing the need for the UN as a whole to “accept the obligation to end the rampant and systematic discrimination against Israel that currently plagues the UN.

“A good place to start will be in your remarks to be read on November 29 in Geneva at the forthcoming ‘Special Meeting on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People,’” Steinberg told Guterres. “Your repudiation of anti-Israel hate and rejectionism on this occasion would send a strong message that the vision and principles expressed in the 1947 Partition Plan remain guiding principles in the UN.”

The amount of money spent pampering the Palestinians is mind-boggling. Imagine how many genuine refugees and other minorities could be assisted with this money.

Gutteres is actually relatively sympathetic to Israel, but whether he will have the intestinal fortitude to stand up and condemn his own institution’s racism is another matter. And if he does, will his words be heeded? I doubt it somehow.

Meanwhile, over in Geneva at the UN Human Rights Wrongs Council, the 29th November – in fact any day at all – is a day to be marked by condemning Israel for .. well…. anything it can think of. The most popular crime du jour is the settlements of course, and the HRC last year put together a list of companies “profiting” from the settlements – and that includes neighbourhoods of Jerusalem and other major cities – so that their products should be boycotted. Doesn’t this have echoes of a much darker time in our history? 1933 anyone? And then in September the UN began sending out warning letters to these companies that they will be added to this blacklist:

The UN’s Human Rights Commissioner began sending letters two weeks ago to 150 companies in Israel and around the world, warning them that they are about to be added to a database of companies doing business in Israeli settlements in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, senior Israeli officials and Western diplomats involved in the matter told Haaretz.

The Israeli official, who requested to stay anonymous due to the sensitivity of the issue, noted that the letters, sent by Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said these firms were doing business in the “occupied Palestinian territories” and could thus find themselves on the UN blacklist for companies acting in violation of “internal law and UN decisions.” The letters, copies of which also reached the Israeli government, request that these firms send the commission clarifications about their business activities in settlements.

The Washington Post reported in August that among the American companies that received letters were Caterpillar, Priceline.com, TripAdvisor and Airbnb. According to the same report, the Trump administration is trying to work with the UN Commission on Human Rights to prevent the list’s publication. Israel’s Channel 2 reported two weeks ago that the list includes some of the biggest companies in Israel, such as Teva, Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, Bezeq, Elbit, Coca-Cola Israel, Africa-Israel, IDB, Egged, Mekorot and Netafim.

Senior Israeli officials said the Israeli fear of divestment or scaled-down business due to the blacklist is already becoming a reality. They said that the Economy Ministry’s Office of Strategic Affairs has already received information that a number of companies who received the letters have responded to the human rights commissioner by saying they do not intend to renew contracts or sign new ones in Israel.

“These companies just can’t make the distinction between Israel and the settlements and are ending their operations all together,” the senior Israeli official said. “Foreign companies will not invest in something that reeks of political problems – this could snowball.”

Countering this vicious boycott attempt, fighting fire with fire, a pro-Israel law group, The Lawfare Project, has announced that companies targeted by the UN HRC for working in the settlements will have legal recourse:

International firms targeted by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for doing business with Israeli settlements will have legal recourse, a US-based pro-Israel nonprofit law group noted this week.

It is expected that a “blacklist” of such companies will be published by the UNHRC by the end of this year — a move which both the US and Israel oppose and are lobbying against.

According to the Washington Post, the list could include Caterpillar, TripAdvisor, Priceline.com and Airbnb.

On Monday, the Lawfare Project issued a statement saying the purpose of the UNHRC’s potential action was “clear” — “to coerce the blacklisted companies into reducing or ceasing their Israeli operations, and/or to prompt other business entities (and consumers) to boycott or refuse to deal with the named companies.”

However, the Lawfare Project continued, “what the UNHRC seems to ignore, perhaps purposefully, is that compliance by business enterprises with the boycott of Israel can violate a slew of US federal and state laws.”

“It comes as no surprise that the proponents of the Israeli boycott — the Human Rights Council, NGOs, Arab League member states, and others — do not acknowledge the serious legal implications of actually carrying out the discriminatory conduct for which they advocate,” Benjamin Ryberg — the Lawfare Project’s chief operating officer and director of research — said.

… “When corporations are faced with such proposals or consider implementing boycotts based on the HRC’s database, it is imperative that they are well-versed in the relevant laws so that they can act in their own self-interest, which is to firmly reject the boycott,” he went on to say. “To this end, the Lawfare Project drafted a comprehensive analysis of US and foreign law relating to the boycott of Israel, which we have disseminated to a number of Fortune 500 companies that have been or may be targeted. Our aim is not to threaten legal action, but to prepare these entities to protect themselves from liability that could ensue should they succumb to pressure from the boycott campaign.”

Good for them! Kol hakavod to the activists in the Lawfare Project for throwing the boycott back in the UN’s face, and equally as important, for involving Congress in this anti-boycott legislation:

Lawfare Project Director Brooke Goldstein stated, “For years, the Human Rights Council has focused obsessively and disproportionately on Israel, while turning a blind eye to the most egregious and rampant human rights violators in the Middle East and around the world. With this blacklist, the HRC continues to unabashedly devote disproportionate resources to foment discrimination based on national origin. It continues to make a mockery of its mission to the detriment of human rights worldwide.”

Lawrence Hill — the chairman of the Lawfare Project’s board — said the UNHRC’s “farcical conduct” demonstrated the necessity of the Israel Anti-Boycott Act — which is currently making its way through Congress.

The six Nos of the Arabs besides the 3 Nos of Khartoum

As a reminder of the complete irrelevance of the settlements to the Palestinian’s self-made predicament, it is worthwhile looking back at the article written by John B McCormick, (chairman of Hawke’s Bay Friends of Israel Association and a member of Hawke’s Bay Branch of NZ Institute of International Affairs) which was published in Hawke’s Bay Today newspaper back in January 2017, which I quoted from in this blog at the time. Here is a relevant excerpt:

The focal point for peace efforts was (and many say should still be) UNSC Resolution 242 of November 1967 – the way the UN dealt with the outcome of the 1967 Six Day War. This requires an understanding of its wording. It calls for:
Clause 1 (I) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;

It is very precise wording. The words “all” or “all the” are not used. The UK’s UN Ambassador Lord Caradon who helped write 242 said in 1978: “We didn’t say there should be a withdrawal to the 67 line, we did not put the ‘THE’ in, we did not say ‘all the’ territories deliberately… we all knew – that the boundaries of 67 were not drawn as permanent frontiers, they were a ceasefire line of a couple of decades earlier…. We did not say that the 67 boundaries must be forever.”

President Johnson said in 1968 relating to UNSC242 that “We are not the ones to say where other nations should draw lines between them that will assure each the greatest security. It is clear however that a return to the situation of June 4 1967 will not bring peace.”

In 2005 Israel withdrew completely from the Gaza Strip without any kind of peace agreement. At the same time they also withdrew from the West bank city of Jenin and four nearby settlements, again without any agreement. The Palestinian response was indiscriminate firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel.

The British were granted the mandate for Palestine at the San Remo Conference in 1920.
In 1921 Britain separated what we now know as Jordan from the rest of the mandate, making Transjordan the Arab Palestinian State on 78 per cent of the mandate area, and banned Jewish settlement east of the River Jordan. In 1923 Britain ceded the Golan Heights to the French mandate of Syria. The remaining mandate area, 22 per cent of the original total, was to be the Jewish homeland. Read it for yourself! Do the UN and the Arabs want to go there?

So where to now? On January 3 on Palestinian TV Palestine Liberation Organisation executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi, said: “We have refused and still refuse to say that Israel is a Jewish state.” The PLO was formed in 1964 when there was no Israeli occupied territory.

So until there is a Palestinian leadership that accepts Israel as the Jewish State nothing much will happen.

And I will leave it to the redoubtable Melanie Phillips who succinctly sums up the entire argument about the irrelevance of settlements to the Arab-Israeli conflict in her article: The signature cause of Western progressives is purging every Jew from Israel:

MEMRI has translated a report in the the Urdu daily Roznama Urdu Times in wihich al Habbash said: “Every Palestinian will continue the struggle till the complete freedom of Palestine. Those who started the movement for the freedom of Palestine took a pledge, while leaving this world, from the next generation that it will continue this struggle until the land of the first qibla [direction of prayer, i.e. Palestine] is purified of the impious existence of Jews.”

As is clear from the rest of his remarks, he was not talking merely about the “West Bank” and Gaza. He meant the whole of Israel would be “purified” of Jews. This man does not speak for Hamas. He is part of the Palestinian Authority, regarded by the west as “moderate”, and religious adviser to Abbas, regarded by the west as a statesman-in-waiting.

Western “progressives” support the Palestinian Authority and support the Palestinan cause. What do they imagine Mahmoud al Habbash means by the world “purified”? How do they think he intends to put that word into practice in Israel? I’ll give them a clue. It will involve, at the very least, a war of annihilation, racist ethnic cleansing and mass murder.

Only when the West finally admit to themselves that what they are working for is ethnic cleansing of the worst sort against the Jews, and when they apply the force of law and morals to the Palestinians, to all the Arab states and their international supporters, only then will we have a chance for peace.

UK Muslim Labour Candidate: We’re Brainwashed into Thinking Hitler Was the Bad Guy

November 12, 2017

UK Muslim Labour Candidate: We’re Brainwashed into Thinking Hitler Was the Bad Guy, The Point (FrontPage Magazine), Daniel Greenfield, November 12, 2017

(Please see also, The horrifying scale of antisemitism in the British Labour Party and Kristallnacht, and Our Modern-Day Approach to Antisemitism. — DM)

The left embraced Islamists to be tolerant. And ended up embracing Islamofascists. Even while bellowing that everyone who didn’t embrace them was a Nazi. While their new friends defended Hitler.

Nasreen Khan, a former member of George Galloway’s Respect Party, made offensive remarks about Jews on Facebook five years ago.

Miss Khan, a Muslim who has since joined the Labour Party, said they were ‘inappropriate and unacceptable’.

But despite the remarks, she is on a two-person shortlist for the Labour nomination in a safe seat in Bradford at next year’s local elections.

In 2012, writing under a video titled ‘The Palestine you need to know’, she said: ‘It’s such a shame that the history teachers in our school never taught us this but they are the first to start brainwashing us and our children into thinking the bad guy was Hitler.

‘What have the Jews done good in this world?’ When questioned about the comment, she had added: ‘No, I’m not a Nazi, I’m an ordinary British Muslim that had an opinion and put it across. We have worse people than Hitler in this world now.’

The Labour Party’s position is, no comment.

A Labour Party spokesperson said: “We do not comment on internal selection matters.”

But don’t worry. This isn’t anti-Semitism. It’s anti-Zionism. The two just happen to be really hard to distinguish.

Kristallnacht, and Our Modern-Day Approach to Antisemitism

November 11, 2017

Kristallnacht, and Our Modern-Day Approach to Antisemitism, AlgemeinerVladimir Sloutsker, November 10, 2017

(Please see also, Family History by our own Anne in PT. She focuses on the Kristallnacht and later experiences of members of her family who were living in Germany. Here is a short video documentary on Kristallnacht:

— DM)

A store damaged during Kristallnacht. Photo: German Federal Archives via Wikimedia Commons.

Kristallnacht is another important reminder that the Holocaust did not begin with the death camps; that’s where it ended. Rather, it began with words, the singling out of one group of people and far too many in society looking the other way in the face of such hatred. Nobody is born to hate; they learn to hate.

Third, we must recognise that oppression is not a uniquely Jewish problem, and that what starts with the Jews, seldom ever ends with the Jews. When we consider the predicament of other minorities, racial or religious, hatred and bigotry is rarely far behind. The Jewish community should consider itself a partner in a wider struggle, and cooperate with other faith groups in the battle for their right to exist peacefully.

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Seventy-nine years ago, Nazis across Germany and Austria razed synagogues, smashed windows and murdered almost 100 innocent Jews in a violent pogrom. Kristallnacht — or the “Night of Broken Glass” — is so named to describe the shattered glass that littered the streets the next morning. In the weeks that followed, approximately 30,000 Jews were transported to concentration camps — a sorrow foreshadowing of what would soon ensue.

On Kristallnacht’s 79th anniversary, I am compelled to address the rising tide of antisemitism sweeping Europe, reaching levels not seen since the end of the darkest chapter in Europe’s history.

In the first half of 2017, some 767 antisemitic attacks were recorded in the UK alone. This represents the highest figure since monitoring began in 1984 — and, staggeringly, was a 30 percent increase from 2016. In the meantime, violent assaults on Jews this year have risen 78 percent compared with the same period in 2016.

The above figures are broadly replicated in other major Jewish communities throughout Europe, including France and Germany. Even in the U.S., according to a recent survey by the ADL, there has been a significant spike in antisemitism across the country.

Kristallnacht is considered by many to represent the transition from the harassment of Jewish communities to outright violence against them.

Seventy-nine years later, many Jews across Europe are once again singled out because of their race — with Jewish property, institutions and even cemeteries, coming under assault.

Clearly, a new way to combat this tide of hatred is required.

Until now, the international community has focused attentions on ‘minimizing’ the problem. This is inherently problematic; it enables us to label a reduction in antisemitism as a ‘success.’ What is needed is the eradication of antisemitism completely. To achieve this, we must be more proactive, smarter and more creative.

As I have said before, I believe that there are five key areas of focus for which all global citizens, not just the Jewish community, should pursue.

First, we must adopt a universal definition of antisemitism in Europe. The Israeli Jewish Congress (IJC) — an organization I co-founded to support Jewish communities —  has advocated for this for some time. Defining the problem is the first step to eradicating it.

In this regard, I commend European countries, including the UK, Germany, Austria, Romania and Bulgaria, for adopting the all-encompassing International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism. This definition accepts that the delegitimization of Israel and attacks on Zionism can also manifest as antisemitism. If we cannot define what we are trying to defeat, how can we defeat it? Therefore, I would call on all IHRA Member States to adopt this definition of antisemitism.

The second necessity is that we promote the value of education in understanding the scale of the problem. This program should not solely focus on the history of antisemitism, bigotry and the Holocaust; we should also touch on the vital contribution of Jewish people and texts to the wider cultural and economic prosperity of Europe.

Kristallnacht is another important reminder that the Holocaust did not begin with the death camps; that’s where it ended. Rather, it began with words, the singling out of one group of people and far too many in society looking the other way in the face of such hatred. Nobody is born to hate; they learn to hate.

Third, we must recognise that oppression is not a uniquely Jewish problem, and that what starts with the Jews, seldom ever ends with the Jews. When we consider the predicament of other minorities, racial or religious, hatred and bigotry is rarely far behind. The Jewish community should consider itself a partner in a wider struggle, and cooperate with other faith groups in the battle for their right to exist peacefully.

Fourth, recognizing that antisemitism and online hatred represents a major challenge today, we need to develop communications strategies that are fit for the digital age. Whilst social media channels are used as platforms for inciting racial hatred against the Jewish community, these platforms can also be used to reach new audiences — and encourage them to be advocates. We must develop engaging and comprehensive strategies to use these tools effectively.

Fifth, we need to energize the global debate on the roles and responsibilities of large technology firms to prevent the sharing of hateful commentary. We can utilize the pre-existing legal frameworks across Europe, as well as supporting modernization efforts to ensure that legislation is fit for the digital age. But the internet knows no state borders, and so our work with technology firms must be conducted at the international level.

In a landmark address before the European Parliament last year, former UK chief rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, described antisemitism as a “mutating virus.” Containment is not enough. It is high time we find an antidote.

Kristallnacht was a murderous example of the capacity of humans to escalate from harassment to violence. Yet the EU was built on a foundation of tolerance and openness. For this reason, it is the responsibility of European governments — and European people — to reconcile this foundation of tolerance with an unequivocal commitment to eradicating harassment and violent antisemitic racism at its source.

Vladimir Sloutsker is the president and co-founder of the Israeli Jewish Congress (IJC).

Trump’s Jewish nominee for Civil Rights Office smeared by Arab groups

November 10, 2017

Trump’s Jewish nominee for Civil Rights Office smeared by Arab groups, Israel National News, Dr. Richard L. Cravatts, November 9, 2017

(Please see also, Trump’s Latest Education Nominee Steps into the Maelstrom. – DM)

No sooner had President Trump nominated Kenneth Marcus, president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under the Law, to be Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education, then extremist anti-Israel groups began to mount an aggressive campaign to derail the appointment.

This is a remarkable affront to a civil rights lawyer who has spent his career fighting for the rights of women, the disabled, and members of many minority groups: African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians, as well as Sikhs, Arabs, and Muslim Americans. Marcus’s prior tenure at the federal Office for Civil Rights was widely lauded for effective leadership and support for the rights of all students. For this reason, most civil rights groups have thus far refrained from subjecting Marcus to the vituperation that other recent Trump nominees have faced. 

Some extremist anti-Israel groups have broken ranks, however, attacking the administration’s Jewish civil rights nominee with reckless and malicious falsehoods.

One of these groups, Palestine Legal, whose mission is to bolster the anti-Israel movement by challenging efforts to protect Jewish students from anti-Semitism, immediately issued a letter smearing Mr. Marcus as an “Anti-Palestinian Crusader” and opposing his nomination in terms of the so-called Livingstone Formulation. Under that formulation, as identified by British sociologist David Hirsch, anti-Semites accuse Jews of fabricating anti-Semitism claims in order to silence decent people who are concerned about Israel’s supposed human rights violations.

In this way, Palestine Legal’s director, Dima Khalidi, levels the spurious charge that “Marcus is the architect of a strategy to abuse civil rights law to suppress campus criticism of Israel.” In other words, she contends that Marcus’ campaign to ameliorate campus anti-Semitism is not based on a virtuous desire to end bigotry but is a disingenuous attempt at “shielding Israel from scrutiny,” consistent with the “Livingstone Formulation.”

Part of that notion is “the counteraccusation that the raisers of the issue of anti-Semitism do so with dishonest intent, in order to de-legitimize criticism of Israel. The allegation is that the accuser chooses to ‘play the anti-Semitism card’ rather than to relate seriously to, or to refute, the criticisms of Israel.”

Of course, those who refuse to acknowledge that their speech or behavior may, in fact, be anti-Semitic normally resist such designations, but the allegation of Palestine Legal against Mr. Marcus is particularly odious because it seeks to impugn his integrity as someone fighting anti-Semitism, suggesting instead that his true motive, carefully hidden from view and masked as benign activism, is actually to serve the interests of Israel by trying to delegitimize and libel its campus critics.

Moreover, Palestine Legal claims, in order to shield Israel from scrutiny, to insulate its policies and state behavior from critique, Mr. Marcus, they say, pretends to be interested in anti-Semitism but is actually creating a smokescreen to shield Israel “at the expense of civil and constitutional rights.”

In addition to the Livingstone Formulation, these groups are also going after Marcus with the classic charge that Jews are attempting to use gain control of government power for nefarious purposes. “Marcus has no business enforcing civil rights laws when he has explicitly used such laws to chill the speech activities and violate the civil rights of Arab, Muslim, Jewish, and other students who advocate for Palestinian rights,” Khalidi charged.

It is not coincidental, of course, that a group dedicated to undermining efforts to fight anti-Semitism would have been aware of the efforts of Mr. Marcus and his colleagues as they attempted to identify the causes and corrosive impact of campus anti-Semitic speech and behavior.

For at least the last decade the primary source of anti-Zionist, anti-Israel, and anti-Semitic activism on campuses has been anti-Israel individuals and groups, including the Muslim Student Association and the radical Students for Justice in Palestine, among others. So, even as Ms. Khalidi would have one believe that Mr. Marcus launched a campaign to silence pro-Palestinian activists merely as a tactical ploy to insulate Israel from critique and condemnation, the anti-Israel activism which she so ardently defends has regularly spawned instances in which agitation against Israel has included speech and behavior which has been considered, and in fact often was, anti-Semitic.

Of great concern to those who have observed the invidious byproduct of this radicalism is the frequent appearance of anti-Israel sentiment that often rises to the level of anti-Semitism, when virulent criticism of Israel bleeds into a darker, more sinister level of hatred—enough to make Jewish students, whether or not they support or care about Israel at all, uncomfortable, unsafe, or hated on their own campuses.

That is precisely the type of “hostile environment,” created by generating hostility toward Jewish students over their perceived or actual support of Israel, that may violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, one of the legal tools Mr. Marcus has used and may well continue to use in his new role to help insure that universities take steps to ameliorate situations in which such prejudice-laced campus climates are allowed to develop.

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), another anti-Israel group that also, not insignificantly, supports the BDS movement, published an open letter denouncing the choice of Mr. Marcus for the OCR appointment, as well, repeating the spurious charge that the use of Title VI statutes, and such guidelines as the U.S. State Department Working Definition of Anti-Semitism, would have the perverse side effect of suppressing the free speech of “pro-Palestinian” activists.

And despite Palestine Legal’s fear that the conflation of “criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism    . . .  has really serious consequences for those who advocate for Palestinian human rights and are being condemned and censored and punished as a result of the enormous pressure being placed on universities by the likes of Marcus and dozens of other Israel advocacy groups,” the truth is that not human rights advocates behave in civil ways, and the fact that “pro-Palestinian” activists support a minority group does not justify their misbehavior and extremism, even for what they clearly believe to be a noble cause.

But pro-Palestinian advocacy on campus—the very activism Palestine Legal is so intent on preserving—has been shown to correlate directly to an uptick in anti-Semitic speech and behavior. For example, in two studies it conducted of anti-Semitism on U.S. campuses, the AMCHA Initiative, an organization that investigates and documents anti-Semitism at U.S. universities, found that “Schools with instances of student-produced anti-Zionist expression, including BDS promotion, are 7 times more likely to have incidents that targeted Jewish students for harm than schools with no evidence of students’ anti-Zionist expression and the more such anti-Zionist expression, the higher the likelihood of incidents involving anti-Jewish hostility.” This “anti-Zionist expression” and “BDS promotion are,” of course, the central aspects of Palestinian activism.

That is the issue here, and why it is necessary and important that, in the effort to promote the Palestinian cause, another group—Jewish students on American campuses—do not become victims themselves in a struggle for another group’s self-determination.

Richard L. Cravatts, PhD, President Emeritus of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, and the author of Dispatches From the Campus War Against Israel and Jews, is also a member of the board of directors of the Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under the Law and the AMCHA Initiative.