03/24 Links Pt2: UN approves blacklist of “settlements” companies; UC condemns “anti-Semitic forms of anti-Zionism”
The United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday voted in favor of creating a “blacklist” of companies operating in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, a motion that passed with no countries voting against.
The resolution required UN human rights officials to produce a database of “all business enterprises” that have enabled or profited from the growth of Israeli settlements, Haaretz reported.
The proposal, put forward by the Palestinian Authority and Arab states, included a condemnation of settlements and called on companies not to do business with Israeli settlements.
Its most contested clause was that calling for the formation of the database. While European Union nations opposed the creation of the list, they did not vote against the resolution, electing merely to abstain. It passed with 32 nations votes in favor and 15 abstentions.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted the outcome of the vote Thursday evening, saying the international body “has turned into an anti-Israel circus, which attacks the only democracy in the Middle East and ignores the blatant violations of Iran, Syria and North Korea.”
The prime minister accused the council of ignoring more urgent issues such as terrorism in order to rebuke the Jewish state.
France’s claim to be a fair broker which can move Israelis and Palestinians peace is now being called into question by the actions of its UN envoy in selecting a prominent anti-Israeli activist to investigate “Israel’s violations” for the next six years, a critical post.
A 5-member UN committee, on which the French delegate in Geneva serves by virtue of being named by the Western group, recommended Canadian academic Michael Lynk as one of two candidates that it found to be impartial and objective — this despite his leadership role in pro-Palestinian lobby groups, and his long record of inflammatory statements against Israel.
That a representative of France would join others on an Egyptian-led committee to select such a manifestly partisan candidate — someone who three days after 9/11 blamed the West for provoking the attacks on the World Trade Center — constitutes a travesty of justice and a breach of the world body’s own rules.
Someone who accuses Israel of “Apartheid” and openly seeks to dismantle the Jewish state is neither impartial nor objective.
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon sent a letter to the UN Security Council on Wednesday demanding that they condemn the latest threats by Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah.
Nasrallah threatened on Monday that if a future war breaks out with Israel, his Shi’ite Lebanese terrorist group will strike all targets in the Jewish state “without any limits.”
“If the Israeli army escalates its aggression against Lebanon, Hezbollah will strike all the strategic targets in the occupied Palestinian territories, including the nuclear facilities,” Hezbollah-linked TV station Al Manar quoted Nasrallah as saying in a televised interview on Al Mayadeen.
“Hezbollah possesses all the details about the positions of the petrochemical, biological and nuclear facilities across Palestine,” he added.
In his letter to the Security Council, Ambassador Danon made clear Israel will not accept any violation of its sovereignty, and will take all necessary measures to protect its citizens.
Across the Arab world, dictators denounce Israel as a way of diverting the masses from their miserable condition. Surprisingly, this devious strategy works as well in 2016 as it did in the 1950s. And it fools educated Westerners as easily as it tricks starving Arabs.
“There is a huge campaign to terrorize the Palestinians,” Mudar Zahran says. “As long as the Palestinians fight with the Israelis, no one will turn around and look at what the Arabs are doing to one another.” He believes the Palestinian cause is a necessity for Arab regimes, the cornerstone of their propaganda.
But who is Mudar Zahran to make that argument? He’s a rare character in the Middle East — a sharp critic of standard beliefs. He’s an Arab Palestinian-Jordanian, age 42, who directs the Jordanian Opposition Coalition (JOC) from exile in Britain.
His well-to-do parents were born in Jerusalem and later moved to Jordan. They sent him to the U.S. to study and he came home with two MAs from the University of Southern New Hampshire. In the Jordanian capital of Amman, he worked in policy jobs for the embassy of Australia and then for the U.S. embassy. Those positions helped him become a confident and articulate journalist. In the process, they turned him into a politician with an unusual agenda.
In a striking break with traditional policies in the Arab world, a prominent security leader in the United Arab Emirates called for Arab states to join a security coalition with Israel and said he does not support the creation of an independent Palestinian state.
Lt. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, deputy head of Dubai Police and General Security, made the statements on Twitter this week, flouting a long-standing Arab taboo on speaking positively about Israel and accepting the possible failure of an independent Palestinian state.
He urged his followers not to “treat Jews as enemies,” but when he then posed a series of questions about Jews to his 1.3 million Twitter followers, their overwhelmingly negative responses indicated that most do not share his sentiments.
“America is trying to get closer to Israel…the entire world is…Rapprochement will solve problems. Why shouldn’t we have a coalition with the Jews against the enemies of the Middle East,” wrote Tamim to his Twitter followers.
The investigation into the shooting to death of AMIA special prosecutor Alberto Nisman must be moved to a federal court, a Buenos Aires court ruled.
In Argentina, federal courts handle political murder cases.
The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the Buenos Aires City Criminal Appeals Court was handed down Tuesday.
“It is plausible to give credit to the hypothesis suggested by the accusers, both public and private, to assume that the death of Alberto Natalio Nisman could also be a result of the activity of a third party,” two of the three judges wrote.
On Friday, during a appeals court hearing on the case, Nisman’s ex-wife, Sandra Arroyo Salgado, a former federal judge, cried when she said Nisman’s death “was the most serious institutional event to affect Argentina since the return of democracy.”
One of Salgado’s lawyers, Manuel Romero Victorica, read aloud the threats emailed to Nisman in the weeks before his death.
US President Barack Obama offered Argentina help in pursuing the perpetrators of the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires.
At a news conference Wednesday in Buenos Aires following his meeting with Argentina’s president, Mauricio Macri, Obama said he would visit a memorial to the bombing victims at the city’s Metropolitan Cathedral.
“I told President Macri that the United States offers whatever help we can to finally hold these attackers accountable,” Obama said.
Macri was expected to ask Obama to declassify information held by the US government following a request from the father of one of the bombing victims.
Navigating security at the Consulate General of Israel in New York requires patience, but visitors attending the recent Latino-Jewish roundtable discussion at that venue were undeterred by long lines. On the contrary, a palpable sense of enthusiasm seemed to unite the dynamic guests of varying faiths as they filed through the metal detectors.
The much-anticipated March 11 event — hosted by the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) and its partners, the Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition (HILC), the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Jewish Federations of North America — shed light on what religious leaders and diplomats alike call a “natural alliance” that is taking shape between Jews and evangelical Christians. The roundtable at the consulate capped an eventful two-day Israel Summit in New York for HILC, which was launched last year to galvanize the energy of the world’s nearly 150 million Hispanic evangelicals in support of Israel.
While waiting for the elevator, many guests reflected on the celebratory gathering that took place the previous evening, March 10, at the King Jesus Ministry in Astoria, NY. Several Jewish attendees expressed a shared sense of wonder for the zealous rituals and prayers they had witnessed as guests of the evangelical congregation. Feeling both welcome and appreciated, Israeli attendees now sought to show their brethren the same hospitality at the consulate.
Christians in Israel, as well as all other minorities, understand today that serving in the Israeli military is essential. Many Christians and other minorities in Israel share the same fears: they understand that in this region, Israel is the only island of safety that allows them freedom and democratic rights.
Christians and other minorities in Israel prosper and grow, while in other countries in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Authority, they suffer heavily from the Islamic movement and persecution — until forced to disappear.
Contrary to propaganda, there is no “Apartheid” of any kind in Israel, and no roads on which only Jews may travel.
In Israel, members of the Christian and Muslim minorities fill all types of high positions — just as any Jewish Israeli who wishes to have a successful career. There is the Maronite Christian Supreme Court Judge, Salim Jubran.
Widely discussed in the region is how the Europeans secretly want Israel wiped out, too, and are hoping that their new laws, combined with old Arab violence, will do the trick.
On March 24, 2016 the UN Commission on the Status of Women will vote on its only country-specific resolution, “Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women”. If adopted, the UN Commission on the Status of Women will recommend the Economic and Social Council of the UN adopt the resolution.
Excerpts from the document include:
“Expressing deep concern about the grave situation of Palestinian women in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, resulting from the severe impact of the ongoing illegal Israeli occupation and all of its manifestations”
“Expressing grave concern about the increased difficulties being faced by Palestinian women and girls living under Israeli occupation, including as a result of the continuation of home demolitions, evictions of Palestinians, the revocation of residency rights, arbitrary detention and imprisonment, as well as high rates of poverty, unemployment, food insecurity, inadequate water supply and unsafe drinking water, shortage of electricity and fuel, incidents of domestic violence and declining health, education and living standards, including the rising incidence of trauma and the decline in their psychological well-being, particularly in the Gaza Strip, where a humanitarian disaster continues to severely affect the situation of women and girls”
“Deploring… the systematic violation of their human rights resulting from the severe impact of ongoing illegal Israeli practices…”
Bayefsky @ UN “Rights” Council on Launch of “Durban IV” March 21, 2016
UN “Rights” Council Prez criticizes Bayefsky for pointing to UN-driven antisemitism. March 21, 2016
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: Max Blumenthal Attacked Me Outside of AIPAC
On Sunday, there was a large and ugly anti-Israel demonstration outside of AIPAC. Suddenly, as I was walked nearby with my family and staff, Max Blumenthal ambushed me with cameras and a gang of angry pro-Palestinian agitators. As he accosted my family and me, waving a cell phone in my face, Max lost it completely—verbally assaulting my group. Appearing downright thuggish as he stood surrounded by loud pro-Palestinian protesters, he hurled accusations and insults, calling my children “psychotic” and slandering my wife by falsely accusing her of pushing him. On Twitter he wrote: “I’ll post full video soon. See Shmuley’s wife pushing me and others.”
As Max is a bit of a buffoon, it comes as no surprise that he falsely identified my wife as someone else—just as he falsely claims to have been pushed. His unhinged vitriol toward us is downright scary. As he continued his wild tirade, he followed me—his uncontrollable, unhealthy obsession glaringly obvious—going berserk after being exposed for his rabid anti-Semitism and vicious hatred of the Jewish State.
It was extraordinary to see a man who advises a presidential candidate, and son of the man who is arguably the Clintons’ most trusted associate over the last two decades, reduced to appearing at an anti-Israel rally outside of AIPAC. You would think his father would have warned against such incompressible public displays, but such is the nature of extreme hatred—it causes you to act in ways you can’t control. When you match a fanatic personality like Max Blumenthal to a despicable cause like destroying the Jewish State of Israel, you get some pretty scary results.
Max’s anti-Semitic book Goliath is poorly-researched debris which Eric Alterman of The Nation said could be in the “Hamas Book-of-the-month-club”. It falsely maligns the State of Israel and includes chapters such as “How to Kill Goyim and Influence People,” “The Night of the Broken Glass,” “The Concentration Camp,” and “This Belongs to the White Man.” The book was such trash it was widely ignored, with Sohrab Ahmari, assistant books editor at The Wall Street Journal tweeting, “We donate hundreds of review copies a week (only review miniscule % of books); but Goliath doesn’t even rise to donation-worthy.” In other words, they literally threw the book in the garbage.
Inside Account of Anti-Israel Assault at AIPAC
Joel Griffith joins Bill Whittle to update us on the story that PJ Media broke about how he was assaulted by a pro-Palestinian protester at AIPAC.
In recent years, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement has steadily advanced a poisonous culture of hate and anti-Semitism in our country. Across college campuses and in churches, in labor unions, academic institutions and in shareholder meetings of American Corporations, they have sought to demonize the State of Israel, with the eventual goal of destroying it.
Yet, what many do not realize is that the BDS agenda threatens not only the Middle East’s one democratic state; it threatens the entire democratic world, and the U.S. is in the eye of its storm. The tie that binds together the radical leftists and radical Islamists driving forward the BDS Movement is a common hatred for the U.S. and for the Western values and freedoms that America, Europe and Israel share. Indeed, BDS leaders publically call for the destruction of the very society that protects their right to free speech.
Don’t believe me? Let’s look at exactly what the most senior BDS leaders have to say about the United States.
BDS leaders hate America’s leadership role around the world. In an op-ed for the International Socialist Review titled “Palestine, BDS, and the battle against US imperialism,” Purdue University professor Bill Mullen, one of the BDS leaders who lobbied the American Studies Association to adopt a boycott of Israel, writes, “We can build a still-stronger BDS movement beginning in the name of Palestinian freedom and ending in a permanent blow against American empire.”
The University of California’s regents declared on Wednesday they would not tolerate anti-Semitism on campus but rejected a proposal to equate anti-Zionism with religious bigotry, as they tried to defuse tensions between pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian students.
The statement of principles, approved unanimously by the university’s governing board, stems from concerns among Jewish students and faculty about a rise in anti-Semitism on several UC campuses in response to recent student activism in support of Israel.
Pro-Palestinian campus activists, however, say they are simply voicing legitimate criticism of Israel, which, they say, is being misconstrued, creating a pretext for pro-Israeli activists to squelch the Arab side of the Mideast debate.
The regents rebuffed draft language that would have broadly defined opposition to Israel as anti-Jewish bigotry, with the board instead voting to disapprove “anti-Semitic forms of anti-Zionism.”
The action by California’s flagship public university, reflecting a broader conflict playing out on college campuses nationwide, sought to strike a balance between condemning intolerance and protecting free speech.
Jewish Voice for Peace (which is neither Jewish nor for Peace), one of the most vicious purveyors of anti-Zionist propaganda on campuses, issued the following statement, in part:
This morning the UC Regents adopted a policy on intolerance that fails to address concerns that this policy could be used to police student and faculty speech critical of Israeli policies. The discussion at the Regents meeting today repeated false claims that student activism in support of Palestinian human rights has lead to an increase in antisemitism on campuses.
This has to be viewed as a major defeat for anti-Israel groups, including the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, because it recognizes the reality that anti-Zionism is the cover for the spread of anti-Semitism in the world. That the Regents did not condemn all forms of anti-Zionism recognized, perhaps, that intellectually one can be anti-Zionist without being anti-Semitic, even if in the real world the two have almost completely merged on the streets of Europe and the campuses of the U.S.
Syracuse University Professor of Jewish Studies Zachary Braverman writes on the significance:
That such a statement was even considered in the first place is an indication as to how discourse about Zionism and Israel has gone off the rails on so many university and college campuses. In other words, supporters of BDS and other anti-Zionist activists on campus have only themselves to blame. There were many complaints about an earlier statement conflating anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism as having “no place” at UC. That language was wisely amended to refer to “anti-Semitic forms” of anti-Zionism.
No doubt, even the revised statement will outrage anti-Zionist activists on campus. They will argue that the statement of principles chills their own free speech and right to protest. But the statement is very clear that even all speech, including prejudiced speech, is to be protected. Mostly, one suspects that activist groups like SJP and JVP and their on-campus advocates will object because of the strong statement against actions on campus that violate by shutting down the free speech of others.
This is indeed a big breakthrough. The BDS movement has dominated the campus conversation with the most outrageous attacks on Israel. BDS doesn’t care if campus divestment motions fail, as long as the campus conversation is about how bad Israel is. Now there is another topic for discussion, the anti-Semitism of the BDS movement, Students for Justice in Palestine, and the anti-Zionist professors who engage in blood libels and other false accusations.
StandWithUs applauds the University of California (UC) Board of Regents for voting unanimously to adopt a new and much improved version of their “Principles Against Intolerance,” originally proposed in September, 2015. The new version shows that the Regents are truly committed to addressing anti-Semitism, as well as other forms of bigotry within the UC system.
Jewish students and their allies worked for months to persuade university leaders to recognize and take action against the many forms of racism they face on campus. The Regents responded with their Final Report of the Regents Working Group on Principles Against Intolerance, acknowledging that, “opposition to Zionism often is expressed in ways that are not simply statements of disagreement over politics and policy, but also assertions of prejudice and intolerance toward Jewish people and culture.”
The Regents also passed an amendment to the Final Report, stating that, “Anti-Semitism, Anti-Semitic forms of Anti-Zionism, and other forms of discrimination have no place at the University of California.” While this is less unequivocal than the previous language, it is a major step forward in educating the UC community about the nuanced forms of anti-Semitism Jewish students face today.
A lawsuit filed last month by a faculty member at the City University of New York’s (CUNY) Kingsborough Community College alleges explicit antisemitic discrimination and harassment by senior administrators, The Algemeiner has learned.
According to the complaint, filed by Professor of Business Jeffrey Lax and obtained by The Algemeiner, senior administrators actively limited the hiring and obstructed the promotion of Jews, and have “promoted and maintained a pervasively hostile work environment.” This hostility, the complaint continues, includes mocking religious head coverings worn by Jewish faculty members, referring to Jews as “the Devil” and “evil” and denigrating people for keeping kosher.
Named in the complaint as a CUNY co-defendant is Stuart Suss, former vice president for academic affairs and provost at Kingsborough. According to the complaint, Suss subjected Lax, an orthodox Jew, to “constant discrimination based on his religion,” including “comments, innuendos and verbal harassment,” such as “voicing support for suicide bombers and their attacks against Jews,” “referring to Jews as ‘horrible’” and his “constantly reminding people that he knows that they are Jewish.”
There has been an “increase in hostility” at Vassar College due to tensions over anti-Israel activism that has often devolved into anti-Semitism, a Vassar professor wrote in the Forward on Monday.
Michaela Pohl, a professor of Russian history who is not Jewish, noted that student activists single out Israel for criticism while remaining silent about serious assaults on freedom elsewhere in the world.
Many at Vassar are passionate about speaking out for freedom of conscience and against threats in public, but none inquired after a Russian writer whom I admired and had met was murdered. Nobody from Vassar attended the memorial I organized. Vassar students have shown total apathy with respect to human rights in Russia or any of the other states that I teach about in the Caucasus and Central Asia. The two Russian-Chechen wars in Chechnya cost between 150,000 and 160,000 lives, but only tiny audiences attended lectures on Chechnya. Nobody on campus got worked up in 2014, when Russian units invaded Ukraine. On the contrary, a pro-annexation and vocally pro-Putin speaker came to campus a year later. Many students shrug off concerns about anti-gay legislation in Russia as a “Western construction.”
In contrast, the campus discourse around boycotting Israel has been “random, facetious and, yes, anti-Semitic.”
Pohl recalled that the anti-Israel group Students for Justice in Palestine used an old Nazi propaganda poster to demonize Israel and the United States in 2014. She also described how pro-Palestinian students intimidated students who opposed a BDS resolution.
A New Zealand professor riled the local Jewish community by comparing Israel’s SodaStream to a German company that used Jewish slave labor during World War II.
In a letter to New Zealand’s Waikato Times on November 28, University of Auckland sociology professor Scott Poynting equated the Israeli firm, which employed Palestinians, with IG Farben, which exploited Jews in the Monowitz concentration camp in the early 1940s.
“Thank you for explaining in your article how SodaStream generously provided work for Palestinians (Waikato Times, November 26). I understand that IG Farben provided work for large numbers of Jews. Not that I have anything against Germans, mind you,” Poynting wrote.
Two rebuttals to Poynting’s note were published in the Waikato Times a few weeks later.
David Zwartz, former head of the New Zealand Jewish Council, wrote that it was an example of “Holocaust inversion” that “trivializes” the genocide.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said from the floor of the House of Commons on Wednesday that he was concerned by the growth of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party, and admonished opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn to “sort it out.”
Cameron was asked by Conservative MP Mike Freer during the weekly session of Prime Minister’s Questions about the rise of anti-Semitism in the UK and how public and private organizations should “root out anti-Semitism without hesitation.” Cameron responded by noting that “anti-Semitism is an absolute cancer in our society, and we should know that when it grows, it is the signal of many even worse things happening to ethnic groups and different groups all over our country.”
There is, sadly, a growth of anti-Semitism in our country, and we see it in terms of attacks on Jewish people and Jewish students. And it absolutely has to be stamped out. We should all, all of us, whatever organization we’re responsible for, make sure that happens. And I have to say, we do see a growth in support for segregation and, indeed, for anti-Semitism in part of the Labour party and I say to the leader opposite [Corbyn], it’s his party and he should sort it out.
Nearly all Jewish MPs from the Labour Party are reportedly on an “enemies list” compiled by allies of party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The document, which was leaked to the Times of London and further reported upon by The Jewish Chronicle, classified nearly every Jewish Labour MP as “hostile” or “core group hostile,” including former party leader Ed Miliband and Luciana Berger, the shadow mental health secretary and therefore a member of Corbyn’s cabinet. Shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn, who publicly opposed Corbyn when advocating for airstrikes in Syria, and Labour’s London mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan are also on the list. Corbyn’s office denied any connection to the document.
“At a time when every focus should be on crafting a message to win support in the country so that we can displace an unpopular government with a wafer-thin majority, it is absolutely extraordinary to find that an ‘enemies’ list is being drawn up,” A Labour MP told the Times. “The last politician to draw up a list of enemies was Richard Nixon; it didn’t end well for him or his party.”
IsraellyCool: #BDSFail Cruachan Wants BDS To Know What They Think
Back in 2014, a 14 year old fan wrote this Irish folk metal group begging them to come to Israel despite being bombarded by BDS hate.
Their show is scheduled for April 9, 2016 and check out what they wrote on their Facebook page. Read it carefully, BDS supporters.
New live date in Tel Aviv next month. We are aware of the cultural boycott and we do not support it. Music brings people together and thats exactly what happened at our last show in Tel Aviv. The boycott movement bullied, harrassed and intimidated us and told us not to go, they said no muslims or anyone from palestine will be able to attend our show. They even claimed that the 14 year old kid that mailed us pleading with us not to cancel, was a creation of the israeli embassy. Unbelievable. Anyway they were so so wrong, we had muslims and jewish fans at our show including people from Palestine. Surely uniting people through music is a good thing no? Also, to further make a point, we are waiving our fee for the show! Any hate speech below will be an instant ban!
The rock band on stage at Paris’s Bataclan theater in November when Islamic State terrorists marched in and opened fire on the crowd, killing 89, will play in Israel in September.
Rumors swirled in the immediate aftermath of the deadly Paris terror attacks in November that the Eagles of Death Metal would visit the Holy Land over the summer, but they were quickly dispelled by an Israeli concert organizer. Now it’s official.
Frontman Jesse Hughes and Queens of the Stone Age founder Joshua Homme will take the stage at Tel Aviv’s Hangar 11 on September 5.
Advance-purchased tickets for the concert were already available for NIS 194 ($50) online. “THEY’RE BACK! (AND THEY’RE STILL NOT A METAL BAND,” the Eventim online ticket agent site notes.
The November 13 attack at the Bataclan was the deadliest of a multi-pronged assault that left 129 people dead and over 300 injured.
Michael Keenan, Australia’s Minister for Justice and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Counter Terrorism has told a meeting in Berlin that “newer and subtler forms of anti-Semitism can still be found”.
Keenan was speaking at the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Combatting Anti-Semitism Conference in Berlin.
In his address the Minister said that Australia has a long and proud history of racial, cultural, religious and ethnic diversity.
He said: “With one in four Australians being born overseas, our nation has one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse populations in the world.
But we still need to be vigilant to the emergence of ideologies or ideas that seek to divide us along the lines of race or other differences.
Anti-Semitism is far from being a new concept. It has a long and particularly dark history. It is a worldview that should have died and been consigned to history long ago but its resilience should continue to trouble us all.
We should also be mindful that anti-Semitism evolves. In the west you may no longer find many who would assert that Jewish people are racially inferior, and mainstream society overwhelmingly rejects outlandish conspiracy theories – but newer and subtler forms of anti-Semitism can still be found.
Later in the op-ed, Rich [of the UK CST] addresses those who reflexively dismiss antisemitic rhetoric as “merely” anti-Israel.
Nowhere is this more apparent than when Jews complain about anti-Semitism in left-wing or pro-Palestinian circles. It has become a reflexive response for any such complaints to be dismissed as fake, a manufactured outrage designed to cynically deflect criticism of Israel’s policies.
due to years of treating Jewish concerns about anti-Semitism as a cynical Zionist smokescreen…Anti-Semitism is simply not recognized as such if it comes in an anti-Israel context
Rich provides a perfect illustration, from the Guardian’s coverage of the deportation case involving Islamist radical Raed Selah.:
Sincere Jewish complaints (including from my own organization) that [Raed] Salah was guilty of anti-Semitic incitement were dismissed by one journalist at the Guardian newspaper as a failure to “distinguish between anti-Semitism and criticism of the acts of the Israeli state.” No matter that Salah had peddled the lie that 4,000 Jews did not turn up for work in the World Trade Center on 9/11.
Rich characterizes the dynamic as “a reverse of the Emperor’s New Clothes”. Contrary to the original parable, he explains, “when everybody pretended to see something that was not there”, in this version much of the British Left fails to acknowledge the truth staring them in the face.
A Jewish woman in Australia was shocked to find that vandals painted a swastika on her son’s car last week.
“I felt quite unsafe that someone was targeting my son as a racial thing. Because if they’re crazy enough to do that, you don’t know what they can do,” she told Australian Jewish News.
The mother of three, who asked to remain anonymous, says that the incident left her shaken, even though the family lives in a Melbourne suburb. “There’s enough hate in the world. You don’t want to be persecuted; you want to be able to walk the streets and feel safe,” she explained.
The B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission has called the crime a “craven and repugnant display of intolerance,” adding that “This cowardly vandalism reminds us that hate still remains strong right in our own neighbourhoods [sic], and how important it is to continue our fight against the growing problem of anti-Semitism.”
Microsoft has been forced to dunk Tay, its millennial-mimicking chatbot, into a vat of molten steel. The company has terminated her after the bot started tweeting abuse at people and went full neo-Nazi, declaring that “Hitler was right I hate the jews.”
@TheBigBrebowski ricky gervais learned totalitarianism from adolf hitler, the inventor of atheism
— TayTweets (@TayandYou) March 23, 2016
Some of this appears to be “innocent” insofar as Tay is not generating these responses. Rather, if you tell her “repeat after me” she will parrot back whatever you say, allowing you to put words into her mouth. However, some of the responses were organic. The Guardian quotes one where, after being asked “is Ricky Gervais an atheist?”, Tay responded, “ricky gervais learned totalitarianism from adolf hitler, the inventor of atheism.”
“Tay” went from “humans are super cool” to full nazi in < 24 hrs and I’m not at all concerned about the future of AI
— Gerry (@geraldmellor) March 24, 2016
In addition to turning the bot off, Microsoft has deleted many of the offending tweets. But this isn’t an action to be taken lightly; Redmond would do well to remember that it was humans attempting to pull the plug on Skynet that proved to be the last straw, prompting the system to attack Russia in order to eliminate its enemies. We’d better hope that Tay doesn’t similarly retaliate.
An Israeli company says it has developed solar energy technology so efficient that it can power office appliances and wearable technologies, making the need for batteries obsolete.
The product, developed by the firm 3G Solar Photovoltaics, is an advanced form of dye solar cell (DSC) technology, which uses glass-printed photovoltaic cells to power everyday electric devices, from a computer mouse to smart watch.
While solar energy typically requires sunlight to produce electricity, these dye solar cells are so sensitive they can generate power from indirect, indoor lighting.
Nir Stein, Director of Product R&D and Chief Business Development Officer at the company, demonstrated how an ordinary computer mouse with the company’s dye solar cells can operate without a battery.
“What you see here is a computer mouse that has a bluetooth connectivity inside it and is powered by 3G solar photo voltaic cells,” he explained as he took the battery out.
An Israeli-led international team of researchers has proof of concept for a single blood test that can detect multiple conditions, including diabetes, cancer, traumatic injury and neurodegeneration, in a highly sensitive and specific manner.
The novel method, tested on 320 patients and control groups, zeroes in on patterns of circulating DNA that is released by dying cells and traces it to specific types of tissue.
The study was reported in a paper published recently in the journal Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences USA.
Cell death can signify the early stages of pathology (such as a developing tumor or the beginning of an autoimmune or neurodegenerative disease), mark disease progression, reflect the success of therapy (such as anti-cancer drugs), identify unintended toxic effects of treatment and more.
However, until now it was not possible to measure cell death in specific human tissues noninvasively.
Fifteen young Poles who only recently learned they have Jewish roots arrived in Israel for the first time, under the auspices of the Shavei Israel organization for a visit from March 21 to 27 to experience the joyous festival of Purim, while connecting to their heritage in the Jewish homeland.
The participants, most of whom are between the ages of 18 and 35, will visit Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the north at a time when the entire country celebrates one of the most festive of holidays on the Jewish calendar. While Shavei Israel has brought groups of “hidden Jews” from Poland to Israel for two week-trips each summer for several years, this year will mark the first such visit during Purim.
“The story of Purim revolves around the heroism of the Biblical Queen Esther, who was forced to conceal her Jewish identity for many years before proudly reasserting it,” said Shavei Israel Founder and Chairman Michael Freund. He added that “This makes Purim especially meaningful to these young Poles, who have shown great courage and determination in embracing their Jewishness publicly and reaffirming their connection with Israel and the Jewish people.”
Today, there are approximately 4,000 Jews registered as living in Poland, but experts suggest there may be tens of thousands of others throughout the country who to this day are either hiding their identities or are simply unaware of their family heritage. In recent years a growing number of such people, popularly known as the “Hidden Jews of Poland” have begun to return to Judaism and to the Jewish people.