September 24, 2018

Labour Party MP Calls Leader Corbyn Anti-Semitic; Party to ‘Take Action’ Against MP

Photo from Flickr.

Labour Party Member of Parliament (MP) Margaret Hodge confronted the leader of her party, Jeremy Corbyn, and told him that he’s anti-Semitic. The Labour Party is planning to punish her for doing so.

Hodge decided to confront Corbyn after the party, at Corbyn’s urging, decided to uphold their new rules on anti-Semitism that have been criticized as being too weak.

“It is not what you say but what you do, and by your actions you have shown you are an anti-Semitic racist,” Hodge told Corbyn.

Hodge defended her actions in an op-ed in The Guardian.

“Under Jeremy’s leadership, the Palestinian/Israeli conflict has been allowed to infect the party’s approach to growing anti-Semitism,” Hodge wrote. “It appears to have become a legitimate price that the leadership is willing to pay for pursuing the longstanding cause of Palestinians in the Middle East. Because of that, anti-Semitism has become a real problem in the Labour party. In the last year my colleagues and I have been subjected to a growing number of anti-Semitic attacks on Facebook, Twitter and in the post.”

Hodge noted that while she is a secular Jew, numerous members of her extended family were murdered by the Nazis, including her grandmother and uncle.

She added that the party has been uninterested in dealing with complaints of anti-Semitism and that under the new rules, party members could refer to a Jew as a Nazi and not be punished for it.

“A definition of sexual harassment agreed without the explicit endorsement of women would be unconscionable,” Hodge said. “A definition of Islamophobia that was rejected by the Muslim community would never be entertained. Yet a definition that rolls over the sensibilities of Jews who are the victims of this racism is somehow OK.”

The Labour Party signaled that it is planning on retaliating against Hodge for her actions.

“Under the terms of PLP [parliamentary Labour party] rules, behavior has to be respectful between colleagues and not bring the party into disrepute,” a senior party official told the Guardian. “The behavior was clearly unacceptable between colleagues. Jeremy’s door is always open to discussions with members of the PLP. Action will be taken.”

Seven-hundred people protested the Labour Party’s rules on July 19; no one from the Labour Party attended.

Jewish Groups Slam Zuckerberg for Refusing to Take Down Holocaust Denial Content from Facebook

Photo from Wikipedia.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a recent interview that while he finds Holocaust denial content posted on Facebook to be disgusting, the social media platform will not remove such content, resulting in blowback from Jewish organizations.

Zuckerberg was asked by ReCode’s Kara Swisher in a July 18 interview if he would take down conspiracy-theory content such as what is promulgated by the Infowars website. Zuckerberg replied by saying that Facebook would take down content that results in violence. He then turned to Holocaust deniers to illustrate his reasoning.

“I’m Jewish, and there’s a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened,” Zuckerberg said. “I find that deeply offensive. But at the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong. I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong.”

Swisher interjected by stating that Holocaust may actually be intentionally getting it wrong, prompting Zuckerberg to respond by noting that it’s difficult to prove intent

“The reality is also that I get things wrong when I speak publicly,” Zuckerberg said. “I’m sure you do. I’m sure a lot of leaders and public figures we respect do too, and I just don’t think that it is the right thing to say, ‘We’re going to take someone off the platform if they get things wrong, even multiple times.’”

Zuckerberg added that instead, such content just wouldn’t be widely promulgated by Facebook’s algorithms.

The Facebook CEO’s comments resulted in backlash from Jewish organizations. Simon Wiesenthal Center Associate Dean Abraham Cooper said in a statement that Facebook officials told the Simon Wiesenthal Center in 2009 that Holocaust denial content would be removed from the platform.

“Holocaust denial is the quintessential ‘fake news,’” Cooper said. “The Nazi Holocaust is the most documented atrocity in history, allowing the canard of Holocaust denial to be posted on Facebook, or any other social media platform cannot be justified in the name of  ‘free exchange of ideas’ when the idea itself is based on a falsehood.”

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement, “Holocaust denial is a willful, deliberate and longstanding deception tactic by anti-Semites that is incontrovertibly hateful, hurtful, and threatening to Jews. Facebook has a moral and ethical obligation not to allow its dissemination. ADL will continue to challenge Facebook on this position and call on them to regard Holocaust denial as a violation of their community guidelines.”

In response to the blowback, Zuckerberg sent a statement to Swisher that read, “I personally find Holocaust denial deeply offensive, and I absolutely didn’t intend to defend the intent of people who deny that.”

Facebook has also issued a statement doubling down on their policy.

“Reducing the distribution of misinformation—rather than removing it outright—strikes the right balance between free expression and a safe and authentic community,” the company said. “There are certain forms of misinformation that have contributed to physical harm, and we are making a policy change which will enable us to take that type of content down.”

Swedish Parliament Candidate: Israel Should Deport All Jews to the U.S.

Photo from Pexels.

A woman running for Swedish parliament said in a recent interview that her “fantasy” is for all the Jews in Israel to be deported to the United States.

Feminist Initiative Party candidate Oldoz Javid told the Feministiskt Perspektiv in a July 13 interview that Israel caused “people to flee from their own homes, taking their land and stolen their livelihood and freedom.”

Therefore, Javid suggested her “fantasy-based solution” to the matter.

“Israel’s best friend is the United States, another infernal regime with vastly large land areas,” Javid said. “So why not invite their friends over to their land and make room for them on the farm?” They seem to enjoy each other’s company. And the Palestinians can live in peace and again build up the country that once was theirs. I can allow myself at least [to] get [to] a dream about such a solution, right?”

Javid later asked Feministiskt Perspektiv to remove that portion of the interview, claiming that it would be misconstrued as anti-Semitic.

She is already under fire for her comments.

“Here’s [an] inconvenient fact for Swedish politician fantasizing deporting Israelis to US so Palestinians can get ‘their’ land back,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper said in a statement sent to the Journal, “Jewish people have [a] 3,500 year history in their land. What were Swedes doing when Israelis gathered in Solomon’s Temple in 800 BCE? Vikings showed up [in] 800 AD.”

Swedish pro-Israel activist and writer Annika Henroth-Bernstein wrote on Facebook that Javid’s fantasy sounded “like a final solution to me.”

Anti-Semitism is a serious problem in Sweden; for instance, in December 2017 a group of men threw Molotov cocktails at a Swedish synagogue that was hosting a Hanukkah party. Two-hundred protesters in Malmo hurled anti-Semitic slurs after President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

As a 2017 New York Times op-ed noted, synagogues and Jewish day schools have to be heavily armed and secured and Jews don’t feel safe adorning Stars of David around their neck.

Anti-Semitic Robocall Endorses Holocaust-Denying GOP Congressional Candidate

Screenshot from Facebook.

An anti-Semitic robocall, issued by the white nationalist organization, is calling on voters to vote for Northern California’s 11th District GOP congressional candidate John Fitzgerald, and “end the Jewish takeover of America and restore our democracy.”

During the call, Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” plays in the background.

“Even if you’re a registered Democrat, it’s no longer a real democracy when the 2 percent ethnic minority that are Jews has dominance over America and uses it to serve the foreign country of Israel,” the robocall states. “Your vote for John Fitzgerald means no more U.S. wars for Israel based on their lies, like the Jewish-conducted attack of 9/11.”

The robocall further accuses Jews of getting the United States to fight wars on behalf of Israel and states that claims of Fitzgerald being a neo-Nazi “shows how dumb they [Jews] think you are.”

Fitzgerald has distanced himself from the robocall.

“Road to Power is a despicable, hate-filled person, dresses like a Nazi soldier, calls blacks ‘negroid ape creatures’ and openly hates Jews,” Fitzgerald wrote. “I do not.”

Fitzgerald also told a local TV station in an email: “I have NO affiliation to Road To Power nor any of his/their affiliates, organizations or otherwise, and nor will I ever in the future.”

Democratic Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, the incumbent, told a local TV station that the robocall is “not going to resonate in California, Contra Costa County. People are open-minded, tolerant, good people.”

Fitzgerald has a history of Holocaust denial. He told The New York Times the Holocaust was a “complete fabrication.”

Fitzgerald has a history of Holocaust denial. He told The New York Times the Holocaust was a “complete fabrication” and “everything we’ve been told about the Holocaust is a lie.” He also perpetuated the conspiracy theory to the Times that the Israeli government was behind the 9/11 terror attacks and that “elitist Jews” are the puppetmasters of the Democratic and Republican parties.

He also told The Realist Report podcast in June that people call him anti-Semitic because of his statements on “Jewish control and supremacy and that lovely state/country called Israel that does all these horrible atrocities and blames them all on everybody else and vilifies everybody else.”

Anti-Defamation League Central Pacific Regional Director Seth Brysk told Oakland TV station KTVU that Road to Power is “a white supremacist and extremist group that’s based in Idaho” and spreads “lies and bigotry, mostly targeting the Jewish community.”

Simon Wiesenthal Center Associate Dean Abraham Cooper told the Journal in a phone interview, “We shouldn’t be surprised that once an individual like that goes public and has managed to get his name on the ballot with a major political party for the November election, that like-mind bigots and Jew-haters will try to find a way to be of help to him.”

Fitzgerald was the only Republican to run against DeSaulnier, garnering 23.1 percent of the vote in the primary to face DeSaulnier in the runoff. Being the only Republican triggered an automatic endorsement from the state GOP, but the party rescinded the endorsement in late May after Fitzgerald’s views on Jews, Israel and the Holocaust came to light.

California GOP Chairman Jim Brulte said in a statement, “As always, California Republicans reject anti-Semitism, and all forms of religious bigotry, in the harshest terms possible. We reject John Fitzgerald’s campaign and encourage all voters to do the same.”

American Jewish Committee Northern California Director Rabbi Serena Eisenberg credited the GOP for rejecting Fitzgerald’s candidacy, but said more needs to be done: “We must work together to ensure that Fitzgerald’s worldview and the message in these vile robocalls are rejected by Americans from every walk of life.”

University of Oregon Hillel Sign Defaced With ‘Free Palestine You F*cks’

Screenshot from Facebook.

A “Welcome” sign from the University of Oregon Hillel was vandalized with cuss-laden graffiti on July 6.

The sign originally stated “Welcome” in both English and Hebrew; black marker was used to write “Free Palestine you f*cks.” Also written in black marker was something that resembled, “F*ck your high horse.”

In a Facebook post, the Oregon Hillel Foundation wrote that they were “shocked and saddened” by the vandalism and that they took the sign off the premises to clean off the marker.

“We greatly appreciate the immediate support of President [Michael] Schill, the Dean of Students Office and the Office of Equity and Inclusion,” Oregon Hillel wrote. “All have voiced their concern and support for our community and offered their resources.”

The post also included a statement from University of Oregon Division of Student Life Vice President Kevin Marbury condemning the vandalism.

“Anti-Semitism and other forms of hate have no place at the University of Oregon. We condemn this as an unacceptable violation our university values,” Marbury said. “The UO Police Department has taken the initial report and is working with Eugene PD to further investigate. To the extent we are able, we will share additional information as it becomes available.”

At the end of May, University of Oregon’s student government passed a resolution calling on the university to divest funding from companies that do business with Israel. Shill denounced the resolution as not being “welcoming and inclusive.”

Despite all this, the Oregon Hillel Foundation is pressing on.

“Despite hate we celebrate light by lighting the Shabbat candles with our community around the world,” they wrote.

Israeli Professor Assaulted by Palestinian in Germany; German Police Respond by Beating Professor and Apologizing for It

An Israeli professor was visiting Germany, only to be assaulted by a Palestinian. The police responded to the incident by attacking… the professor.

The Times of Israel (TOI) reports that the 50-year-old University of Baltimore philosophy professor, who has not been publicly identified, was walking through a park in the city of Bonn with a friend. The 20-year-old Palestinian, who has also not been identified, took umbrage at the yarmulke the professor was wearing and knocked it off numerous times as he shouted “No Jew in Germany!”

The Palestinian also smacked the professor’s shoulder and shoved him.

The professor, who was in Germany as a guest lecturer, attempted to defend himself, as he chased after the Palestinian. The police, however, according to TOI, thought that this meant the professor was the aggressor – especially after he didn’t comply with their calls to stand down. They initially went after the professor, resulting in an altercation where “he was hit in the face and wrestled to the ground” by police, according to TOI.

Eventually, the professor’s friend explained to the police what had transpired, prompting the police to arrest the Palestinian and apologize to the professor.

“A terrible and regrettable misunderstanding in the field, for which I have expressly apologized to the professor concerned,” Bonn police chief Ursula Brohl-Sawa said in a statement. “We will examine exactly how this situation came about and do everything possible to avoid such misunderstandings in the future.”

The Palestinian was eventually released from detainment, but he faces charges of assault and incitement. The police are saying he was under the influence of drugs at the time of the assault.

Simon Wiesenthal Center Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper slammed the Bonn police’s actions in a statement.

“It is difficult to fathom how a middle-aged professor wearing a kippah would be identified as the perpetrator,” Cooper said. “Then comes word that the suspect, rather than being held in jail, received a psychiatric evaluation and then sent home? We are deeply concerned that in Germany, France, and The Netherlands, that ‘psychiatric evaluations’ are being used to whitewash anti-Semitic acts instead of confronting and dealing forthrightly with violent Jew-hatred.”

Cooper added, “During his recent visit to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, we told German President Steinmeier of our concerns that German authorities aren’t doing anything to confront the anti-Semitism that many Arabs and Muslims in Germany harbor. The incident in Bonn is yet another indication that Germany is not yet taking this source of anti-Semitism seriously enough. The Wiesenthal Center urges Chancellor Merkel’s government to expand the budget and powers of Felix Klein the Anti-Semitism Commissioner to ensure police and other state entities are properly trained to respond to such hateful attacks.”

UC Davis SJP Admits They Want to See Israel Destroyed

Screenshot from Facebook.

Whether they realize it or not, the UC Davis Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter admitted in a recent op-ed they don’t think Israel should exist as a nation.

UC Davis SJP wrote an op-ed for The California Aggie in response to an Aggies for Israel op-ed that accused SJP of leveling anti-Semitic invectives toward Jewish and pro-Israel students in March. SJP claimed in their op-ed they were merely protesting Israeli government policies.

“Palestinian houses are simultaneously being demolished, and Palestinians are being imprisoned, slaughtered and tortured,” UC Davis SJP wrote. “We demand to have our voices heard because the voices of Palestinians are being killed off one by one. We will continue with these efforts because we will not allow the victims of Israeli colonization to be forgotten on this campus.”

The op-ed proceeded to ramble on about how it was hypocritical for students to be pro-Israel and stand with progressive causes, even promulgating the falsehood that the Israeli government forcibly sterilizes African migrants. But SJP let the cat out of the bag in the op-ed’s concluding paragraph.

“It is an ideological fantasy to really believe that progress is possible so long as the state of Israel exists,” UC Davis SJP wrote. “Underlying this naive fantasy is the belief that a state that engages in racist laws, systematic killings and home demolitions can also function as a beacon of peace. The goal of Palestinian resistance is not to establish ‘love’ with those who are responsible for the suffering of the Palestinian people; it is to completely dismantle those forces at play. So continue to watch in ‘horror,’ because we are here to stay.”

In other words: UC Davis SJP doesn’t want any part of a two-state solution, they want Israel gone altogether.

Charline Delkhah, a recent UC Davis graduate who served as the president of Aggies for Israel, explained in a July 9 Aggie op-ed that Jewish and pro-Israel students felt intimidated by SJP’s actions on March 5:

“This year, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) held an event on the Quad sharing stories and poetry and showcasing Palestinian art, literature and clothing. Board members of Aggies for Israel (AFI) attended the event as bystanders and as students of the UC Davis community. Members of SJP decided to use the platform of the event to spew hate at those who showed up. Their ‘invite[s]’ for board members of Aggies of Israel to speak about how ‘they are able to defend a country of genocide and killing,’ were followed up by the yelling of ‘shame,’ (alluding to what was yelled at Jews during the Holocaust). As one may expect, our hearts started racing uncontrollably.

“The hate speech did not end there. A few minutes later, one of the speakers specifically singled me out, ‘invited’ me up again to speak and stated how AFI ‘is complicit’ and that we ‘lie and are hypocritical.’ This speaker continued by saying, ‘[We] are alone on this campus because [we] stand for racism, genocide and massacre,’ and that, ‘The UC Davis community stands for Palestinian people.’ He then turned the direction of the audience to my fellow board members with the intention of intimidating them and silencing their beliefs. In that moment we felt so alone, so scared, so unprotected and subjugated — as if no one cared for us or our protection on campus.”

Delkhah added that UC Davis SJP has been waging a campaign to oust student president Michael Gofman because he’s a pro-Israel activist. She also explained that the UC Davis administration hasn’t taken any action against the campus SJP chapter because of freedom of speech.

“Why are actions like hate speech, anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism going unnoticed?” Delkhah wrote. “Why are Jews and our safety not cared about by the administration? I, along with other members of the Jewish community, demand answers from the administration. We will no longer stay silent on these matters, especially when we do not feel safe on our own campus.”

H/T: Algemeiner

CA Dem State Assembly Candidate Under Fire for Praising Farrakhan and Other Anti-Israel Comments

Screenshot from Facebook.

Maria Estrada, who is running in the for state assembly in Assembly District 63 of southeastern Los Angeles, is under fire from Jewish organizations for her praise of Farrakhan and other anti-Semitic comments.

The Progressive Zionists of the California Democratic Party wrote in a Facebook post about how Estrada once praised Farrakhan’s sermons on Facebook and compared Israel to the Nazis.

“On May 10, 2017 she posted a cartoon replacing the Magen David on the Israeli flag with the swastika of the Nazis, but the next day she apologized for her post,” the Progressive Zionists wrote. “However, on October 6, 2017 she claimed non-Jews could not be Zionists without being influenced by Jewish friends or loved ones. In this same exchange, she commented that she ‘enjoys listening to Farrakhan’s sermons’, as well as claiming Democrats turn a blind eye to Palestinians, and justify it by bringing up the Holocaust. As if what happened 70 years ago justifies what is happening now.’”

Farrakhan, of course, has a lengthy record of vile anti-Semitic comments, including referring to Jews as the “Synagogue of Satan” and promulgating the conspiracy theory that Israelis and Zionists were behind the 9/11 terror attacks.

When asked by The Forward about her praise of Farrakhan, Estrada used the “I am anti-Zionist, not anti-Semitic” defense.

“Listening to Farrakhan doesn’t equate to being anti-Semitic,” Estrada said. “There is no doubt he is wrong on many issues, including Judaism. Listen to him speak on the American media, imperialism and several other issues.”

Additionally, on July 10 Estrada posted a screenshot of the definition of genocide while writing “#FreePalestine” on Facebook. She wrote in another comment, “The argument from Zionists is that the number of Palestinians has grown. Apparently they aren’t killing enough Palestinians for them to consider it a genocide.”

The Progressive Zionists have called on Estrada to drop out of the race.

“Maria Estrada’s repeated expressions of anti-Semitism disqualifies her from seeking public office,” they wrote. “We call on Maria Estrada to resign from this race, apologize for her blatant anti-Semitism, and take the necessary time to consider her harmful and hateful words.”

Other Jewish organizations have criticized Estrada’s statements.

“We are deeply disturbed by Maria Estrada’s comments praising Farrakhan, an avowed anti-Semite who leads a group that traffics in hate not just towards Jews but also the LGBTQ community,” Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Los Angeles Regional Director Amanda Susskind said in a statement sent to the Journal. “Despite his continuing popularity among his loyal followers, Farrakhan’s views about Jews put him far outside of the mainstream.  Such hatred should not be difficult to denounce. We hope that Ms. Estrada will denounce him for the bigot he has shown himself to be.”

Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper and consultant Dr. Harold Brackman wrote in a July 10 Journal op-ed, “Like Farrakhan and other anti-Semites before him, Estrada has taken a page from Farrakhan’s anti-Jewish playbook and invoked ‘God’s Chosen People’ to justify her vilification of Jews, not just Zionists. She apparently took no notice that Farrakhan’s hateful dog whistle also transcends the racial chasm between Black Nationalists and White racist anti-Semites who marched in Charlottesville this past August. Alt-right Charlottesville guru Richard Spencer wants to meet with Farrakhan, to work together toward ‘the sort of self-determination we and the broader Alt-Right support.’”

American Jewish Committee Director of Political Outreach Julie Rayman also rejected Estrada’s “anti-Zionism, not anti-Semitism” defense.

“The Israeli government’s policies, like the policies of any government, are of course subject to criticism,” Rayman said. “Yet the use of Nazi imagery and bigoted tropes against Jews crosses a line into something far more sinister. Ms. Estrada’s comments and posts should be condemned by all people of good will.”

Estrada has not responded to the Journal’s request for comment.

Estrada is currently part of a runoff election with incumbent Democrat Anthony Rendon, the Assembly speaker.

French Court Convicts Three Members of Anti-Semitic Gang for Raping, Assaulting, Robbing Jewish Couple

Screenshot from Twitter.

A French court convicted three members of an anti-Semitic gang of raping, assaulting and robbing a Jewish couple in December 2014.

The three members, identified as 26-year-old Abdou Salam Kolita, 23-year-old Ladje Haidara and 22-year-old Houssame Hatri broke into the victims’ apartment after the male, identified as 21-year-old Jonathan B., answered the door anticipating he was getting a mail delivery. The trio tied up Jonathan and 19-year-old Laurine B., where they belittled them for being Jewish with statements like “Jews don’t keep money in the bank” as they vandalized Jewish symbols adorned in the apartment.

One of the men raped Laurine; Hatri dropped knives on Jonathan’s back with cries of “This is for my brothers in Palestine.” The three men also stole Jonathan’s credit card and used it to withdraw $500 from an ATM.

Both Jonathan and Laurine’s lives have been shattered by the incident. Jonathan was eventually let go from his job and the couple is now separated because they don’t “know how to talk to each other anymore,” per Algemeiner.

Kolita was sentenced to eight years in jail and Haidara was sentenced to 13 years in jail. Hatri, who has yet to be captured by police, was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

The aforementioned rape, assault and robbery is the latest example of the rising anti-Semitism in France, highlighted by the horrific murder of 85-year-old Mireille Knoll on March 23. According to the Associated Press, anti-Semitic violence rose by 26 percent and anti-Semitic vandalism rose by 22 percent in 2017.

Farrakhan’s Bigotry Finds Traction Across the Political Spectrum

Photo from Twitter.

Louis Farrakhan, octogenarian leader of the unIslamic, anti-white Nation of Islam, has been active ever since the 1960s, sowing the seeds of racism, anti-Semitism and hate for our blessed American nation. So why worry about an aging bigot today? Suddenly, Farrakhan’s life’s work is paying off, winning accolades from the far right to the progressive left. Hatred is seeping into the mainstream of our political culture, not hidden in smoky backrooms or behind anonymous social media postings, but proudly touted on the internet and in interviews—a guaranteed path to gain name recognition, recruit voters and grab media attention.

Here are examples from the Republican side of the aisle:

· In California, John Fitzgerald, a proud Holocaust denier, captured 23 percent of the vote in the “open primary” in a California congressional district northeast of San Francisco. This made him the official GOP candidate and, initially, won him the automatic endorsement of the State Republican Party which inexplicably waited two months before it rescinded the endorsement. Among Fitzgerald’s eye-popping platform planks: endorsement of the Farrakhan’s scurrilous pseudo-history, “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews,” falsely alleging that the tiny number of colonial Jewish merchants “dominated” the massive slave trade between Africa and the Americas.

· In Illinois, “The Land of Lincoln,” Arthur Jones, who boasts that he was once head of the American Nazi Party, ran unopposed and won a GOP congressional primary in a district including parts of the city of Chicago, defending the position that: “To me the Holocaust is what I said it is: It’s an international extortion racket.” Republican Governor Bruce Rauner hesitated before declaring that the GOP faithful should vote for anybody, even a Democrat, other than the Neo-Nazi Jones.

· In Wisconsin, in retiring U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan’s district, Holocaust denier Paul Nehlen vaulted to the front of would-be successors. Before Twitter suspended his account, Nehlen photoshopped an image of Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s biracial American bride with the face of Cheddar Man, the dark-skinned man supposed to be the first modern Briton.

Lest Democrats be complacent, Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) not long ago said: “I personally know [Farrakhan], I’ve been to his home, done meetings, participated in events with him. I don’t regard Louis Farrakhan as an aberration or anything, I regard him as an outstanding human being.” Asked specifically about Farrakhan’s history of anti-Semitic statements, “Davis was dismissive and said that many people in politics have a history of inflammatory comments.” But then Davis backtracked—or sidestepped—stating that he would like to know what Farrakhan has said about Jews “recently.” Only belatedly did Davis criticize Farrakhan.

Congressman Davis is an old inner-city politician from Chicago. Even more disturbing was Farrakhan’s intergenerational political romance with Tamika Mallory, co-chair of January 2017’s Women’s March. Mallory, an avowed Farrakhan admirer, showed up at his recent annual Saviour’s Day Address and had her photo taken with him. Far from apologizing, she doubled down, proudly sharing her attendance on Instagram. She even likened Farrakhan to the crucified Jesus: “If your leader does not have the same enemies as Jesus, they may not be THE leader! Study the Bible and u will find the similarities. Ostracizing, ridicule and rejection is a painful part of the process . . . but faith is the substance of things!”

In California, Maria Estrada, the Democratic candidate for State Assembly from Los Angeles, had this to say last year on Facebook: “Democrats turn a blind eye to the genocide against Palestinians and justify it by bringing up the Holocaust,” she wrote last year. “As if what happened 70 years ago justifies it. Anyone who believes they are one of ‘God’s chosen people’ automatically feels superior and justified in all they do. Religious fanaticism is used to justify apartheid and crimes against Palestinians and no one shuld be okay with it. #FreePalestine… It is extremely problematic when delegates are being flown to Tel Aviv by AIPAC, and even more problematic when Palestinian children are being arrested, taunted and murdered in the name of Zionism…  The complete denial and/or justification of what is occurring in Gaza in the name Zionism is hypocritical and inexcusable.” Estrada who absolved Hamas of any responsibility tweeted “I, for one, enjoy listening to Farrakhan’s sermons.”

Like Farrakhan and other anti-Semites before him, Estrada has taken a page from Farrakhan’s anti-Jewish playbook and invoked ‘God’s Chosen People’ to justify her vilification of Jews, not just Zionists. She apparently took no notice that Farrakhan’s hateful dog whistle also transcends the racial chasm between Black Nationalists and White racist anti-Semites who marched in Charlottesville this past August. Alt-right Charlottesville guru Richard Spencer wants to meet with Farrakhan, to work together toward “the sort of self-determination we and the broader Alt-Right support.”

Fifty years ago, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., inspired young people of all races to dream of a color blind America. Today, we are witness to bigots from the far Left and the far Right who praise Farrakhan, energized by his divisive demagoguery. These extremists are hard at work wending their way into the mainstream of our society.

Younger generations of Americans—Democrats, Republicans and everyone else in between—better wake up and decide whose vision will guide our nation in the 21st century.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper is associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Global Social Action director.

Dr. Harold Brackman is long-time consultant for the Simon Wiesenthal Center and its Museum of Tolerance and co-author of From Abraham to Obama: A History of Africans, African Americans, and Jews (Africa World Press, 2015).

South Carolina Becomes First State to Have Formal Definition of Anti-Semitism

Photo from Wikipedia.

South Carolina made history on July 6 when its state government officially adopted a uniform definition of anti-Semitism, the first state in the country to do so.

Gov. Henry McMaster (R) signed a proviso stating South Carolina would adopt the State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism, which is as follows:

“Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

The State Department also acknowledged that the delegitimization and demonization of Israel, as well as applying double standards to the Jewish state is also anti-Semitic.

The proviso was signed in order to help combat rising anti-Semitism on college campuses. Prior attempts to pass the law were met with resistance from organizations, such as the Foundation for Individual Rights and Education (FIRE), who were concerned that such law would infringe upon free speech.

However, the proviso merely works as a definition when it comes to targeted “harassment, assault, and vandalism,” StandWithUs argues.

“We have seen a marked increase in anti-Semitic incidents in 2017, according to the ADL. We have not seen a comparable increase in prosecutions for these crimes,” StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein said in a statement. “Law enforcement and administrators are often left powerless to act because of an unclear definition of what anti-Semitism is.”

Rothstein added, “We need to define anti-Semitism in order to defeat it. Thankfully, South Carolina is leading the way.”

Back in May, a bipartisan bill was proposed in Congress to officially establish the State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism at the federal level.

UK Labour Party Under Fire for Lackluster Anti-Semitism Guidelines

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Britain’s Labour Party has been plagued by issues of anti-Semitism under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. The party has since issued some new guidelines on anti-Semitism, and they have not been well-received by Jewish organizations.

The guidelines claim to embrace the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)’s definition of anti-Semitism, stating that anti-Semitism is racism and that it’s wrong to blame Jews for the actions of the Israeli government, as well as accuse Jews of double-loyalty to Israel.

However, as the Jewish Chronicle’s Lee Harpin points out, the guidelines state that while it is anti-Semitic to use slurs like “zio,” “It is not anti-Semitism to refer to ‘Zionism’ and ‘Zionists’ as part of a considered discussion about the Israeli state.” The guidelines also discourage against comparing the actions of Israel to the Nazis, however, “Discourse about international politics often employs metaphors from examples of historic misconduct. It is not anti-Semitism to criticise the conduct or policies of the Israeli state by reference to such examples unless there is evidence of anti-Semitic intent.”

This prompted the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)’s Jonathan Greenblatt to tweet:

Additionally, Harpin noted that the guidelines state that it’s “problematic” for Israel to call itself the Jewish state.

British Jewish organizations have criticized the guidelines for not fully embracing the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, namely the parts that state it’s anti-Semitic to delegitimize the state of Israel in order to prevent the Jews from exercising “their right to self-determination.”

“It is impossible to understand why Labour refuses to align itself with this universal definition,” The Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council said. “Its actions only dilute the definition and further erode the lack of confidence that British Jews have in their sincerity to tackle anti-Semitism within the Labour movement.”

Corbyn has been accused of anti-Semitism, with examples of him being involved in a secret Facebook group where people posted material from David Duke and used anti-Semitic slurs like “JewNazi,” as well as him praising the terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends.” Given how close Corbyn was to becoming prime minister of Britain, the Labour Party’s anti-Semitism is particularly important to monitor going forward.

German President Discusses Iran Nuclear Deal and Anti-Semitism


In a discussion with Jewish leaders at the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance on June 18, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier discussed a range of issues, with a focus on the Iran nuclear deal and the rise in anti-Semitism in parts of Europe.

On the Iran deal, Steinmeier acknowledged it would be difficult for Europe to continue to uphold the deal because President Donald Trump, in walking away from the agreement, had laid out secondary sanctions on companies doing business with Tehran. He also said he didn’t think the Iranian mullahs would relinquish their grip on power anytime soon.

Steinmeier was Germany’s chief negotiator when the Iran deal was forged in November 2013. In October 2015, Steinmeier hailed the agreement as “an opening for further diplomatic endeavors.” On May 6, Steinmeier told ARD, a German public news outlet, that former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was correct in saying that the deal avoided war.

“One has to remember what could happen if this agreement collapses again and new re-armament takes place in the Middle East,” Steinmeier told ARD.

Two days after Steinmeier made those remarks, Trump announced the U.S. was exiting the Iran deal, arguing that it enriched and emboldened Iran’s reign of terror in the Middle East. After his announcement, Simon Wiesenthal Center Dean Rabbi Marvin Hier and Associate Dean and Global Social Action Director Rabbi Abraham Cooper praised Trump’s decision.

“Leaving the status quo with Iran awash with billions of U.S. taxpayers’ cash would only ensure a growing circle of violence and terrorism in the region and ultimately could help pave the way for a nuclear arsenal that could reach our shores,” Hier and Cooper said in a statement.

During his visit, Steinmeier, together with a German delegation that included Germany’s ambassador to the U.S. and 10 members of the federal parliament, took a tour of the museum led by Hier, Cooper, the Wiesenthal Center’s Executive Director Rabbi Meyer May and Board Chairman Larry Mizel. 

Steinmeier became the first German official to read a letter at the museum written by Adolf Hitler in 1919, in which Hitler first outlined his plans for the annihilation of the Jews.

Steinmeier became the first German official to read a letter at the museum written by Adolf Hitler in 1919, in which Hitler first outlined his plans for the annihilation of the Jews.

Hier told the delegation that Hitler wrote the letter when he was working for the Bavarian army’s propaganda section. Asked to respond to a Bavarian army undercover agent – — Adolf Gemlich — whether Jews were responsible for backstabbing Germany during World War I, Hitler wrote a four-page letter to Gemlich that read in part: “Anti-Semitism stemming from purely emotive reasons will always find its expression in the form of pogroms. But anti-Semitism based on reason must lead to the systematic legal combating and removal of the rights of the Jew, which he alone of the foreigners living among us possesses (legislation to make them aliens). Its final aim, however, must be the uncompromising removal of the Jews altogether. Both are possible only under a government of national strength.”

About 22 years later, Hier said, those words became a “horrifying reality for Jews in Germany.” 

In response to today’s rise in anti-Semitism, including a June 8 Al Quds Day protests in Berlin with 1,600 protestors showing support for the Iranian regime and calling for the destruction of Israel, Steinmeier said that Germany expects newcomers to understand Germany’s past and to abide by the laws of the nation, including the protection of its Jewish minority.

At the end of his visit, Steinmeier told reporters: 

“Germany and the United States are bound by our eagerness to develop democracy, so we are looking not only backward to the past, we are looking to the future where digitalized communication will influence our daily life and our societies, and will change for sure the liberal democracies.”

Petition Circulates Calling for Removal of Columbia Professor Who Referred to Zionists As ‘Hyenas’

Screenshot from Facebook.

A petition is being circulated that is calling for the removal of Columbia Professor Hamid Dabashi, who has come under fire for referring to Zionists as “hyenas,” among other things.

The petition, put forward by the Stop Anti-Semitism website, calls Dabashi “a well-known anti-Semite” due to his “history of demonizing Israel and Jews on social media.” The petition proceeds to list some of Dabashi’s comments, which includes him glorifying Hamas and calling Zionists “hyenas.”

Additionally, when Dabashi ran Columbia’s Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies Department in 2004, he wrote the following about Jews:

“Half a century of systematic maiming and murdering of another people has left its deep marks on the faces of these people. The way they talk, the way they walk, the way they handle objects, the way they greet each other, the way they look at the world. There is an endemic prevarication to this machinery, a vulgarity of character that is bone-deep and structural to the skeletal vertebrae of its culture.”

The petition noted that while Dabashi has a right to freedom of speech, his comments have helped “create a hostile environment on campus for Jewish, Israeli, and pro-Israel students.”

“Students Supporting Israel (SSI) has filed a complaint with Columbia’s student governing board and university administration detailing that anti-Israel groups ‘have monopolized the conversation on campus relating to the Israeli-Arab conflict and have systematically maligned, harassed and silenced’ pro-Israel voices,” the petition states. “During the past year, such incidents have included repeated vandalization and removal of SSI flyers, the disruption of a speech on campus by Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon, anti-Semitic chants, and the organization of a ‘Gaza solidarity rally’ adjacent to a Holocaust Remembrance Day vigil.”

The petition concludes with a call to boycott Columbia until Dabashi is fired. It has over 4,100 signatures so far.

The petition comes on the heels of Columbia alumni authoring a letter calling for Dabashi to be suspended as well as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) calling Dabashi’s comments “clearly anti-Semitic and deeply problematic.”

ZOA: MSNBC Should Fire Joy Reid for Perpetuating ‘Sinister Anti-Semitic Canards’

Screenshot from Twitter.

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is calling for MSNBC to fire host Joy Reid for promoting “sinister anti-Semitic canards” in old blog posts.

The June 11 statement on the ZOA’s website highlights old posts from Reid in which she echoes former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s statement that Israel doesn’t have a right to exist, calling Israel’s use of force against Hamas the “population equivalent of 100 9/11s” and claiming that the U.S. went to war in Iraq at the behest of Israel.

“It is truly remarkable and a sign of the sickness of our times that someone who espouses sinister anti-Semitic canards and gives voice to bizarre conspiracy theories hold a major broadcasting position on a TV network,” ZOA President Mort Klein said. “More outrageous still is the fact that Joy Reid’s outrageous record, once discovered and publicized, has not led to her immediate firing, which the ZOA urges MSNBC to do without a moment’s delay.”

Other controversies from Reid’s now-defunct blog includes her photoshopping an image of ailing Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) onto Virginia Tech shooter Seng-Hui Cho in 2007 and other posts that have been criticized as homophobic. Reid has apologized for the McCain image; as for the latter, she originally claimed that she was hacked but later apologized after no evidence of hacking was found.

H/T: Daily Wire

Medical Aid for Palestinians NGO Accused of Supporting Terrorism in Complaint

The Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) NGO has been accused of spending their money on propaganda that supports terror organization in a complaint filed by The Lawfare Project and UK Lawyers for Israel.

In a statement released on June 7, The Lawfare Project stated that their complaint alleges that MAP has ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror organization and promotes anti-Semitic content, including a video of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and a play called “The Seven Children,” which has been accused as anti-Semitic for its portrayal of Israelis as uncaring toward the suffering of Palestinians.

“Medical Aid for Palestinians is advertised as a charity involved in the provision of health care. MAP is also involved with NGOs linked to a terrorist organization, the PFLP, designated as such by the UK government among others,” The Lawfare Project’s Brooke Goldstein said in the statement. “The complaint asks the Charity Commission to take appropriate steps to conduct a review of the organization and ensure its work is limited to lawful activities for the public benefit.”

An MAP spokesman claimed that the complaint was a “smear.”

“This appalling smear appears to be part of a wider pattern of attacks on legitimate NGOs,” the spokesman said. “Should the Charity Commission raise points with us, we would be pleased to respond.”

According to NGO Monitor, MAP has partnered with the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry and from 2013-2014 had Dr. Majer Nasser, who has links to the PFLP, as their Director of Programs in the West Bank. NGO Monitor’s report on MAP accuses the organization of using “highly biased and politicized language, accusing Israel of ‘indiscriminate attacks’ and ‘collective punishment’ against the Palestinian population while alleging that Israeli defensive measures are ‘arbitrary.’”

Trial Date Set for Lawsuit Alleging Anti-Semitism At SFSU

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

A trial date has been set for a lawsuit alleging that San Francisco State University (SFSU) engaged in anti-Semitism, according to a press release from The Lawfare Project.

The press release states that California Superior Court Judge Richard Ulmer Jr. scheduled the trial to take place on March 4, 2019. The lawsuit was brought on by two Jewish students alleging that SFSU Hillel was discriminated by the university for being excluded from the school’s “Know Your Rights” fair that educates students on how to handle a hostile climate.

The students are being represented by The Lawfare Project and Winston & Strawn LLP.

“It is profoundly ironic that one of the most victimized communities in America would be excluded from a university-sponsored event that would help equip them to protect and defend their rights,” Amanda Berman, director of Legal Affairs for the Lawfare Project, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, it’s not particularly shocking, given that SFSU’s President Wong has suggested that the physical safety of Jews on campus is a ‘political issue.’”

Winston Strawn LLP’s Seth Weinsburst said in a statement that SFSU is “one of the country’s most anti-Semitic campuses.”

“We look forward to proceeding with a transparent and expeditious discovery process, and we are confident that we will be successful as we seek justice for our clients at trial next spring,” Weinsburst said.

SFSU is also facing a lawsuit alleging that they didn’t discipline a Palestinian student who threatened to kill Israeli soldiers and that they ordered police not to do anything as anti-Israel protesters disrupted a Jerusalem Mayor Nir Bakat’s April 2016 speech on campus

Signs of Anti-Semitism at Florida State

Screenshot from YouTube.

Indications of anti-Semitism at Florida State University (FSU), originating in its Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter, have been uncovered, according to a new report by the pro-Israel watchdog organization Canary Mission.

According to the report, 36 percent of social media posts of FSU SJP members “were endorsements or promotion of terror as well as calls for intifada and violence against Jews.”

As examples, the report cited that SJP has issued several posts in support of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorists Rasmea Odeh and Leila Khaled, referring to the former as a “freedom fighter” and a “Rosa Parks” figure. Odeh had been convicted by an Israeli military court of being behind a 1969 bombing of a Jerusalem supermarket that resulted in the deaths of two Hebrew University students.

The report also noted that SJP posted a photo of a quote from Khaled in support of International Women’s Day in March 2017. Khaled took part in two airplane hijackings in 1969 and 1970 as a member of the PFLP.

Additionally, the report highlighted SJP’s frequent defense of Palestinians who attempted to attack Israeli soldiers with knives during the November 2015 intifada.

“Brutal military occupation uses violence to quell peaceful resistance,” SJP wrote at the time. “And we wonder why resistance turns to armed struggle? To knives?”

One of the SJP students highlighted in the report was Albert Kishek, the former co-president of the chapter who once tweeted, “long live hzballah,” a reference to Iran’s terror proxy Hezbollah. Another SJP student was Betty Kishek, who tweeted in June 2013, “Facebook and Yahood – the cause of all the worlds problems.” Yahood is Arabic for Jews.

One SJP activist, Yousef Mohamed, tweeted in 2013, “Where do black Jews sit? Wait for it…IN THE BACK OF THE OVEN.” Another, Reem Zaiton, tweeted in November 2016 that she wanted to “f– up a Zionist,” per the report

The full report can be read here.

Responding to Anti-Semitism: Revisiting Old Assumptions, Understanding the New Threats

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

A renewed assault on Jews is now underway. The incidents of anti-Semitism are again on the increase. The forces that today are driving hatred in America, and more directly, contemporary anti-Semitism and racism appear to be fundamentally different and the responses will likewise need to incorporate alternative approaches if we are to effectively succeed in minimizing religious bigotry and ethnic and racial prejudice.

There exists a growing consensus that the political landscape in America is poisoned by the deep fissures found within the political culture. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2043, white Americans will cease to comprise this nation’s majority. This factor, among others, is contributing to a backlash among certain sectors of this nation that are fearful of a fundamentally different type of society. In response to these demographic shifts and changing economic conditions, there has been a significant growth in hate-based organizations, conspiracy-driven websites and media personalities expressing hostile views toward such ideas as pluralism, multiculturalism and globalism. This renewed focus on nationalism and race has given license to attacks on religious constituencies, ethnic groups and immigrant communities. The rise of factionalism and the politics of blame represent today the new political mindset requiring a Jewish response.

Indeed, the data revealing the growth in anti-Semitism must be seen as disturbing. The 2017 Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Audit on Anti-Semitism identifies a 57 percent increase, representing the largest single jump on record. The 1,986 incidents comprise cases of harassment (1,015 cases), vandalism (221) and assaults (36). These figures account only for specific actions but do not reflect the hostile messages delivered on social media. Yet, just a few weeks ago, the ADL released a study identifying some 4.2 million anti-Semitic tweets that have been posted this year.

Jonathan Weisman in his new book, “(((Semitism))): Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump,” suggests that the 2016 campaign would bring to the surface the alt-right with its conspiracy theories and hate messaging. But the assault is evident as well on the left, as we observed leaders associated with the Women’s March and the Chicago Gay Pride Parade making statements and taking actions that must be seen as unwelcoming to Jews and hostile toward Israel. Case in point, Linda Sarsour, one of the organizers of the Women’s March, who suggested that one cannot be a Zionist and a feminist.

The initial question we should be asking when it comes to anti-Semitism, “Why now, and why here?”

To be certain anti-Semitism is not pervasive, but there are most certainly changes occurring within the fabric of American culture and intergroup relations. While we are reminded by opinion surveys that most Americans hold favorable attitudes toward Jews and Israel, the tenor of social interaction has become far more challenging and uncertain. Elsewhere, I have written about the toxic political climate as a contributing factor to religious and racial hatred. “As factionalism and the politics of blame have increased in this country, some Americans are fearful of the future, triggering their fury and anger against the current state of this society.”

The Cycle of Hate: Historian Jonathan Sarna reminds us that in fact this nation has experienced various periods of social unrest, when anti-Semitism and other forms of prejudicial behaviors were present. Sarna noted in particular that with the election of Warren G. Harding in 1920, the country would experience a period of heightened anti-immigrant responses and a spike in anti-Semitism. Social and political conditions promote the repetition of prior forms of racial and religious expressions of hate.

Responding to Anti-Semitism: For more than 100 years, the American-Jewish community has been managing its response against anti-Semitism by employing a set of accepted community relations tactics. In examining some of the core assumptions that defined the community’s understanding of anti-Semitic behavior and its “treatment,” is it possible that these strategies may no longer be effective?

The policy of “isolation” that defined Jewish practice for much of the 20th century no longer works. Historically, Jewish institutions opted to embrace this strategy of systematically “isolating” bigots and anti-Semites. Today, with the presence of social media and other vehicles of open communication, it is no longer possible to contain such voices of hate.

The motivation for minority political organizing was based on the collective proposition that these groups endured a shared sense of powerlessness. In this current environment, these “traditional” minority communities are no longer necessarily seen as marginalized or without power. As Jews, for example, became “white folks” or were seen by some to be part of the established order, their case for victimhood was diminished, just as certain enemies of our community now define American Jews as operating outside the boundaries of an oppressed peoples. Indeed, some have described the contemporary position of Jews in America as the new “WASPS” (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants). The current rhetoric critiques Jews as power brokers who are seen as part of the existing political elite class. By adopting this new definition, it is then possible to assign blame to the Jews for the problems that confront our society. If, in the past, Jews were defined by their enemies as the subversive outsider, today we are described as the “oppressive insider.”

In modern times, anti-Semitism has metastasized to encompass anti-Israelism and other manifestations of political and religious hate. Rather than containing anti-Judaism as a religious expression, the community has experienced an increase in the different forms and varieties of anti-Jewish sentiment. In the past, the national defense agencies have treated all varieties of anti-Semitism through the same lens; this proposition no longer has merit.

If anti-Semitism was at one time seen as either being generated by the “right” or from the “left,” today there is a simultaneous assault on Jewish interests by groups on both edges of the political spectrum, creating new challenges to our community.

One of the propositions adopted by the Jewish community relations enterprise contended that history must be seen as linear, implying that past injustices and prejudices will give way over time to a more enlightened understanding of the human condition. Under this notion, anti-Semitic behavior and other forms of social hatred will dissipate as individuals are exposed to the shared story of all peoples. Education would free folks from their prejudicial past, empowering them to better manage ethnic and racial differences. This supposition has not proven to be correct.

If, in the past, Jews were defined by their enemies as the subversive outsider, today we are described as the “oppressive insider.”

The promise of 20th century nationalism and the founding of the Zionist movement held out the mistaken assumption that creating a “nation state” for the Jewish people would forever end anti-Semitism. If Jews had their own national identity, they would be seen and treated “like other peoples,” removing the seeds of anti-Jewish rhetoric and behavior.

At one point, Israel was seen as vulnerable, making its case more appealing to potential allies. Today, Israel has become the lynchpin for the new anti-Semitism. The enemies of the Jewish state, for example, have craftily employed Nazi symbols and terms, applying these images to Israel’s conduct. The Jewish community viewed the Nazi experience as unique to a particular ideology and political culture. Jews would contend that any cross-reference to Nazism is inappropriate and has no comparative basis. Many of Israel’s enemies reject this argument, as they move forward to impose Nazi labels on the Jewish state and introduce their Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) proposals. Today, anti-Israel sentiment is one of the major challenges in our fight to push back against anti-Semitism. Clearly, we need to separate out those who express particular criticism of Israel in connection with specific policy matters from the opponents of the Jewish state who seek to challenge its very existence.

Anti-Semitism is driven by the un-educated and uninformed. For the past 100 years, the community relations establishment held to the position that in order to “defeat” anti-Semitism, educational initiatives would need to be employed to offset misunderstandings, ignorance and prejudicial judgments about Jews and Judaism. Indeed, for decades our national agencies launched a series of informational programs designed to dispel myths that were fostered about Jews. Today, however, the new reality suggests that well-educated individuals know very well their case against Jews and Israel is designed to influence public opinion and to seed doubt about the role of Jews in our society. Today, we face a highly sophisticated strategy directed against Judaism and the Jewish community.

In the early decades of the 20th century, the model of Jewish organizing was constructed around the proposition that other like-minded communities will want to coalesce with Jewish organizations and leaders in opposing hate-based activities. This assumption was based on the common plight of prejudice endured by minority constituencies. Today, there are significantly different and individualized approaches employed by groups in responding to hate-directed attacks. There appears to be no longer a shared strategy for opposing prejudice and racial hatred, nor are some communities necessarily interested in being identified with the Jewish community.

Social elites were seen as the essential civic glue necessary to build public support in opposition to anti-Semitism. For decades, the Jewish “defense” strategy was directed toward mobilizing these elites as a wedge in condemning anti-Semitic rhetoric and behavior. As societies have radically changed, these leadership elites in such disciplines as government, business, the arts and religion no longer carry the same credibility or leverage that they once held, minimizing their impact on social behaviors.

For much of Western history, Jews contended with Christian theological anti-Judaism. Over the course of the 20th century, Christian-Jewish encounters would significantly alter the negative historic patterns associated with Christian religious views on Jews and Judaism. In the Western experience, Jews never formally had to deal with Islam. This is no longer the reality. As Islam has become an integral part of Western political culture and as Muslim influence has expanded, at this point in time, Jews are bereft of a strategy in managing Jewish-Muslim connections on a broad scale.

As anti-Semitism reasserts its presence on the political stage, these new assaults present significant yet different challenges to the Jewish community relations enterprise. Traditional responses appear to be no longer appropriate. The historic practice of “containment,” as an example, does not represent a viable strategy, but neither are the existing operational principles. The Jewish communal system will require a different framework for political and religious engagement in managing these contemporary threats against Judaism, Israel and the Jewish people.

Steven Windmueller is the Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk Emeritus Professor of Jewish Communal Studies at the Jack H. Skirball Campus, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles. A version of this article appeared on His writing can be found on his website,

Why Anti-Zionism Is Anti-Semitism

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Is it possible to be anti-Zionist and not be anti-Semitic?

That’s what the virulent anti-Israel crowd has been claiming of late. A group of students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo — my alma matter — calling itself The Drylongso Collective wrote a list of demands to the university administration in response to a racial incident. One demand called for an increase in student government “funding for ALL cultural clubs, with the exception of organizations that are aligned with Zionist ideology.”

In response to backlash from its demands, The Drylongso Collective issued a statement clarifying that it was standing in solidarity with the Palestinian “struggle” and that criticisms of anti-Semitism were a red herring from its goal of fighting “anti-black and anti-brown racism at Cal Poly.”

Similarly, San Francisco State University Professor Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi lashed out on Facebook at SFSU President Leslie Wong for her statement that Zionists were welcome on campus, calling it “a declaration of war against Arabs, Muslims, Palestinians and all those who are committed to an indivisible sense of justice on and off campus.”

The post also featured a photo that stated, “I am anti-Zionist. I’m NOT anti-Jew. So DON’T call me anti-Semitic.”

So, is their “anti-Zionist, not anti-Semitic” defense valid? I would argue it isn’t.

Zionism is the belief that the establishment of a Jewish state was the only way to create “a viable Jewish communal existence” in light of rabid anti-Semitism in Europe, according to the Jewish Virtual Library.

Anti-Semitic attacks against Zionism are best described by former Israeli Minister for Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs Natan Sharansky’s “3D” formula: demonization, delegitimization and double standards.

Israel delegitimizers, the Jewish Virtual Library explains, use tactics that involve belittling Israel, demonizing and blacklisting Israelis, and imposing their will on Israel even if opposed by the Israeli population at large, all with the goal of destroying the country.

When Abdulhadi singles out Zionists and The Drylongso Collective calls for excluding Zionist clubs from funding, that isn’t just delegitimizing Israel, it’s delegitimizing Jews on college campuses. How is that not anti-Semitism?

Comparing the actions of Israel to the Nazis is the demonization of the Jewish state. How is that not anti-Semitism?

The “double standards” aspect of the formula was best articulated by neoconservative pundit Norman Podhoretz in his 1982 essay “J’Accuse,”  in response to vitriol against Israel for invading Lebanon:

“Historically, anti-Semitism has taken the form of labeling certain vices and failings as specifically Jewish when they are in fact common to all of humanity: Jews are greedy, Jews are tricky, Jews are ambitious, Jews are clannish — as though Jews were uniquely or disproportionately guilty of all those sins. Correlatively, Jews are condemned when they claim or exercise the right to do things that all other people are accorded an unchallengeable right to do.”

Podhoretz continued by stating that double standards when applied to Israel are therefore anti-Semitic, citing a UN resolution at that condemned “Zionism as a form of racism.”

“According to the thinking of this resolution, all other people are entitled to national self-determination, but when the Jews exercise this right, they are committing the crimes of racism and imperialism,” Podhoretz wrote. “Similarly, all other nations have a right to insure the security of their borders; when Israel exercises this right, it is committing the crime of aggression.”

Today, similar double standards are evident in the fact that 86 percent of U.N. resolutions single out Israel while ignoring human rights abuses in countries such as Syria, North Korea and Iran.

None of this is to say that any criticism against Israel is unwarranted, but it is simply dishonest and disingenuous of The Drylongso Collective and Abdulhadi to hide behind the “anti-Zionist, not anti-Jew” defense.

CA Dem Board Member Suggests Calling Jews ‘Fascists’ and ‘Murderers’ [UPDATED]

Screenshot from Facebook.

UPDATE: Tania Singh issued a statement on Facebook claiming that her comments were aimed at Israeli government policy, not Jewish people as a whole.

“I do not hate Jewish people as a group, and I do not judge individuals negatively because of Jewish ethnicity, religious belief, or identity,” Singh wrote. “I apologize for the lack of clarity in my language and for any pain it caused anyone; I can see that someone coming across particular comments without the original context could interpret them as an attack against Jewish people generally and be entirely justified in reacting negatively.”

Singh added, “I believe people should be able to characterize the Israeli government as oppressive without being unjustifiably labeled as anti-Semitic.”

Read her full statement here.


An executive board member from the California Democratic Party suggested calling Jews “fascists” and other nasty adjectives instead of using the word “Nazi” toward Israel.

As The Israel Group first reported, Tania Singh, under the name “Tania Bhatia” on Facebook,  was responding to a Facebook commenter who wrote, “Israel is the new NAZI regime!!!!”

“No,” Singh responded. “Don’t use the word Nazi for Jewish people.”

Singh then suggested a list of “alternatives,” which included the words “fascist,” “ethno-nationalist,” “genocidal maniac,” “murderer,” and “xenophobe.”

Singh later deleted her comments and acknowledged the deletions in a Facebook post.

“I have nothing to say lately that’s unique or insightful so I’ve been just sharing dank memes created by my closest friends,” Singh wrote.

Her comments have been captured in screenshots by The Israel Group.

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) denounced Singh’s comments.

“Debates about Israel, including criticism of its policies, can be had without launching broad and baseless accusations against Israelis and Jews,” AJC Los Angeles Acting Director Roslyn Warren, AJC San Francisco Director Matt Kahn, and AJC Northern California Director Rabbi Serena Eisenberg said in a statement sent to the Journal. “Ms. Singh’s offensive comments demonstrate the need to strengthen coalitions across diverse communities to combat anti-Semitism and the delegitimization of Israel. AJC is responding by leveraging and growing our long-standing partnerships at every level of government and across communities to combat bigotry – whether toward Jews or toward any group of people.”

The California Democratic Party is distancing themselves from Singh’s comments, as Communications Director John Vigna told the Journal in an email that Singh is “very new to the Party” and has “very little influence” over it.

“We strongly support Israel’s right to live peacefully and securely with it’s neighbors and we believe in a peaceful resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict that ensures the safety and security of the people of Israel and the integrity of Israel’s borders,” Vigna said. “We recognize that this is an issue where people have strong feelings, but we encourage all of our activists to use their first amendment rights in ways that are constructive and helpful in reaching solutions, not resorting to name-calling or ad hominem attacks against whole groups of people.”

Singh has not replied to the Journal’s request for comment.

Deputy DNC Chair Says Questions About Ties to Farrakhan ‘Offends Me’

Photo from Flickr.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the deputy chair Democratic National Committee (DNC), said he was offended when he was confronted about his prior ties to Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam.

Ellison was asked by a Jewish student about the matter at an April event hosted by the Harvard Institute for Politics. Ellison responded to the question by downplaying the Nation of Islam’s influence.

“They don’t have any influence,” Ellison said. “Nobody listens to them. They don’t have any answers for anyone. Nobody’s paying any attention to them. I’m telling you, they’re not.”

Ellison proceeded to claim that efforts to tie him and others to Farrakhan are nothing more than “a smear.”

“It is frustrating to be pulled out and be in and it’s like it’s your daily moment to denounce anti-Semitism,” Ellison said. “We denounce it. We absolutely denounce it. We think it is reprehensible, murderous, and genocidal. And it offends me that anyone would insist that I do it one more time.”

Ellison also cited criticisms against the Congressional Black Caucus for their connections to Farrakhan as “offensive.”

“The Black Caucus has fought for justice more than any other caucus in the United States Congress, period, and that’s who is being questioned about whether we really stand against hatred,” Ellison said. “It’s offensive.”

Ellison was involved with the Nation of Islam for at least a decade – contradicting his claims that he was only involved with them for 18 months – and repeatedly defended Farrakhan from accusations of anti-Semitism under the bylines of “Keith Hakim” and “Keith X.” When Ellison ran for office in 2006, he claimed that he had renounced his past associations with Farrakhan, but he reportedly met with Farrakhan at least three times since he has been in Congress.

Scores of other congressional Democrats have ties to Farrakhan as well, including Reps. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and James Clyburn (D-SC), as well three Women’s March leaders.

In addition to his ties to Farrakhan, Ellison has allegedly claimed that “Jews were themselves oppressors”, said that the 9/11 terror attacks were analogous to the Reichstag fire and defended Kwame Ture, also known as Stokely Carmichael, who once wrote, “The only good Zionist is a dead Zionist.” A donor to Ellison also reportedly called for Israelis to be bombed.

H/T: Daily Wire

Pity Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during his meeting with Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro at the Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela May 7, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Only a confirmed hater of Palestinians — and a confirmed anti-Semite — could believe that they have the leadership they deserve.

Permit me to explain.

Last week, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas blamed the Jewish behavior of usury and money lending for causing the Holocaust. This isn’t the first time that Abbas has engaged in bizarre theories of history. Year ago, his doctoral dissertation, written while he was a student at Patrice Lumumba University in Russia, was on the “secret” relationship between Nazism and Zionism. Six million was exaggerated. He was a soft-core Holocaust denier.

Only this year, he reiterated that often repeated myth that the Jews have no attachment to the Temple Mount, none to Jerusalem or to the land of Israel, the Bible — archaeological evidence and religious practice of 2,500 years notwithstanding.

Now an elderly, sick man of 82, Abbas has been president of the Palestinian National Authority — to some, the State of Palestine — for 13 years and will go to his grave with no accomplishments to his name as the leader of his people. Divided between Gaza and the West Bank, they are ever more distant from statehood.

His achievements: He has become the No. 1 ally of Israel’s right-wing intent on having a one state solution, a Jewish state.

And he has become the No. 1 enemy of those of us who support a two-state solution because he has little credibility and alienated all but the most extreme for support for Palestinian statehood. Any possibility of a two-state solution will have to await not only a change in Israel’s current attitude but, more significantly, a change in Palestinian leadership.
He twice has rejected reasonable offers from former Israeli Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, walking away, as did the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat before him, without even countering an offer of his own, afraid that he might be assassinated or go down in history as having betrayed his people’s most maximalist goals.

One must view Mahmoud Abbas as a pathetic figure and pity his people who hold onto him because they can’t imagine another way.

He even has alienated support within the Arab world, which no longer sees the Israel-Palestinian conflict as the central issue of the Middle East. Many Arab leaders view the Sunni-Shite conflict as more fundamental, and Israel as an indispensable force against Iran dominance.

I am beyond anger. Anger is based on expectations and disappointment when those expectation are not met, but I have no expectations from Abbas. Time has passed him by, his place in history is now secure. He has achieved nothing. Challenge yourself to name one positive accomplishment by him.

So one must view Abbas as a pathetic figure and pity his people who hold onto him because they can’t imagine another way.

Still, I cannot rejoice in the magnitude of his defeat because unlike the Israeli right and their American-Jewish supporters, I think that Israel desperately needs a two-state solution because it cannot sustain a Jewish state and a democratic state while still retaining control over so sizable a population that has no desire to be ruled by Israel. Day in and day out, we witness the cost of occupation not only to the Palestinian people but to Israeli democracy.
Nothing can happen until Abbas is no longer in power; the only way for something to happen is for the Palestinians to reverse the pressure on Israel by presenting a credible possibility of co-existence.

And again, the hypocrisy of some global institutions is glaring. When Abbas touched the sacred cow of the Holocaust, he was forced to retreat. He offered an apology: “Sorry to offend,” “didn’t mean to attack Judaism as a religion.” Yet when he denies Jewish ties to the land of Israel and to Jerusalem, its capital under David and Solomon and the locus of Jewish prayers since 70 C.E., many are silent and UNESCO and others endorse his fantasies. And then they wonder why Israel turns rightward and inward, scorning those institutions that should be pressing Palestinian leadership not to follow the path to perdition.

Michael Berenbaum is director of the Sigi Ziering Institute and a professor of Jewish Studies at American Jewish University.

ADL Finds Over 4 Million Anti-Semitic Tweets Posted In A Year

Photo from PxHere.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released a report on May 7 concluding that 4.2 million anti-Semitic tweets were issued from January 2017-Janury 2018.

By searching key anti-Semitic buzzwords, the ADL was able to find that anti-Semitism on Twitter was broken down into the following categories:

• Harvey Weinstein
• Conspiracy theories involving the Rothschild family, false flags and George Soros
• Holocaust denialism
• Using “Zionism” as a bludgeon to attack Jews

Various anti-Semitic tweets attributed Weinstein’s alleged sexual assaults to his Jewishness, as well as other figures like former Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) who have been accused of sexual harassment.

When it comes to conspiracy theories, a number of anti-Semitic tweets that blame Jews for concocting false flag operations, such as the Las Vegas shooting and the attempted bombing of New York City’s Port Authority Bus Terminal.

The Rothschild banking family has been the subject of many conspiracy theories, most notably that they control the weather; on Twitter they are routinely accused of financing chaos in the world in order to gain wealth, a common anti-Semitic trope.

Soros faces a lot of criticism for his funding of various left-wing causes; such criticisms “sometimes take on an anti-Semitic cast, especially when they associate Soros’ actions with his Jewish identity.”

As for Zionism, the difference between legitimate criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism can be distinguished by when the term “Zionism” is used as a substitute for the word “Jews.” For instance, one tweet highlighted in the report accused “Zionist parasites” of hijacking the federal government and the media. Another claimed Zionists are “committing genocide in Palestine” and another accused the media of being “Zionist Nazi.”

When looking at the numbers in aggregate, the ADL wasn’t able to determine a particular pattern for inflection points in the number of anti-Semitic tweets, other than the week that President Trump announced the Jerusalem move.

The report recommends that Twitter should combat such anti-Semitic tweets by providing “more access to the platform’s data,” properly enforce its terms of service and allow users to better filter out such vile tweets.

“This new data shows that even with the steps Twitter has taken to remove hate speech and to deal with those accounts disseminating it, users are still spreading a shocking amount of antisemitism and using Twitter as a megaphone to harass and intimidate Jews,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said during the organization’s recent conference. “We hope this report will create a renewed sense of urgency among all social media providers that this problem is not going away and that they need to find innovative new ways to tamp down the spread of hatred online.”

The full report can be read here.

Abbas Apologizes for Holocaust Remarks

FILE PHOTO - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas adjusts his glasses during a news conference with Canada's Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon (not pictured) at the Lester B. Pearson building in Ottawa May 25, 2009. REUTERS/Chris Wattie/File Photo

After facing widespread condemnation for his recent comments, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas issued an apology for blaming the Holocaust on the Jews.

Abbas said in a May 4 statement, “If people were offended by my statement in front of the PNC [Palestinian National Council], especially people of the Jewish faith, I apologize to them.”

“I would like to assure to everyone that it was not my intention to do so, and to reiterate my full respect for the Jewish faith, as well as other monotheistic claims.”

Abbas added that the PA has a “long held condemnation of the Holocaust as the most heinous crime in history” as well as “anti-Semitism in all its forms.” He concluded his statement with a call for a two-state solution.

However, Abbas’ apology has not been warmly received.

“Abbas is a wretched Holocaust denier, who wrote a doctorate of Holocaust denial and later also published a book on Holocaust denial,” Israel Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman tweeted. “That is how he should be treated. His apologies are not accepted.”

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) also excoriated Abbas in a tweet.

“‘If people were offended is not an apology,” the AJC tweeted. “A real apology can include ending Palestinian Authority payments to terrorists who murder Jews.”

On May 2, Abbas said, “The Jewish question that was widespread throughout Europe was not against their religion, but against their social function, which relates to usury (unscrupulous money lending) and banking and such.” The blowback against Abbas has been severe to the point where even The New York Times called on him to step down after he made his anti-Semitic remarks.

NYT Calls On Abbas to Resign

FILE PHOTO - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas waves in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank May 1, 2018. Picture taken May 1, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman/File Photo

The New York Times called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to step down from his position in a May 2 editorial in light of his recent Holocaust comments.

The remarks in question came on Monday, when Abbas blamed the Jews for the Holocaust.

“The Jewish question that was widespread throughout Europe was not against their religion, but against their social function, which relates to usury (unscrupulous money lending) and banking and such,” Abbas blustered.

The Times editorial board excoriated Abbas for “feeding reprehensible anti-Semitic myths and conspiracy theories” and losing “all credibility as a trustworthy partner.” They also criticized Abbas record, from his Holocaust denial dissertation and his failure at governance.

“Mr. Abbas, who oversees a governing system plagued by corruption and dysfunction, has lost support among the Palestinian people,” the Times editors wrote. “He has weakened government institutions that are essential for a future state and refused to call new elections, thus overstaying his term by many years and preventing younger leaders from emerging. He has also failed to unify the Palestinians in the West Bank, where his Fatah faction dominates, with those in the even more desperate circumstances of the Gaza Strip, where Hamas holds sway.”

Even with this abysmal record, the Times called Abbas’ Holocaust remarks “a new low.”

“By succumbing to such dark, corrosive instincts he showed that it is time for him to leave office,” the Times editors stated.

The editorial concluded, “Palestinians need a leader with energy, integrity and vision, one who might have a better chance of achieving Palestinian independence and enabling both peoples to live in peace.”

Interestingly, the Times published an op-ed by Abbas in 2011 titled “The Long Overdue Palestinian State,” suggesting that these recent remarks could be a turning point against Abbas in the international court of opinion if even The New York Times is souring on Abbas. The Palestinians have certainly lost confidence in Abbas as well, as a December poll found that 70% of Palestinians think that Abbas should step down.

And yet, Abbas is reportedly going to double on “even harsher” and “more extreme” rhetoric.

The Golden Calf of Leftism

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Last week, the Nation of Islam called the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) a “racist spy agency.” “Sisters” Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour bullied Starbucks into dropping the ADL from co-leading its diversity training. Students with Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine were arrested at an Israeli Independence Day celebration in New York City for setting an Israeli flag on fire and assaulting another student. And Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut called Muslim reformer Zuhdi Jasser “anti-Muslim.”

No one on the left had anything to say about any of this. Indeed, it was just another week in the descent of the left into tribal, anti-feminist, anti-Semitic illiberalism. Or more simply: #woke.
But it was not another week entirely. At the White House Correspondents Dinner on April 28, comedian Michelle Wolf’s venom-filled monologue was so egregious that a handful of “names” from the left, including two New York Times reporters, tweeted afterward their horror and embarrassment. Wolf had crossed a line, creating a crack in the status-obsessed leftist orthodoxy.

Will it shatter from this? Doubtful. The left still hasn’t processed the fact that President Donald Trump didn’t cause the left to go off the deep end into this intolerant groupthink. Trump is a result of the left having already gone off this cliff. The most glaring example: the disallowance of any criticism of former President Barack Obama, no matter how respectfully it was voiced.

Yes, of course, the right has its own version of this. The right’s thought police won’t allow you to criticize Trump’s vulgar, dehumanizing language. It won’t allow you to say that many Americans who own guns are obsessed with them in a disturbing way. That building a wall on the United States’ southern border is not the most rational idea.

But I don’t think it’s going out on a limb here to say that the number of extremists on the right are far fewer than those on the left, that most people who still consider themselves proud members of the Democratic Party have bought into this leftist orthodoxy to some extent.

Today’s golden calf is the anti-Semitic, illiberal propaganda. 

Otherwise, how to explain the fact that Mallory and Sarsour remain unscathed — even after showing the world their bigoted, illiberal agendas? That criticizing them — as the ADL did — will just get you thrown to the ground and stomped on by every virtue signaler needing a status boost? That thousands of professors have remained silent while their universities have turned into propaganda machines, where freedom of speech is considered fascist?

The genius of classical liberalism is that it can instantaneously call the bluff of hypocrites on both the left and the right. It’s like a mirror to your political soul.

If you truly are a racist, classical liberalism will out you in a second. But it will also out you if you don’t believe in freedom of speech or if you think journalists or professors should be biased. And it will most especially out you if your compassion is merely a show for status. Maybe this is why classical liberalism is so hated by many on the left today, where protecting one’s status is far more important than standing up for liberal principles.

I have come to think of the election of Trump as an act of God, a Biblical act meant to teach all of us a lesson. Kind of like Moses throwing the Ten Commandments to the ground after descending from Mount Sinai and seeing the golden calf.

Throughout history, each and every time the left has gotten off the classical liberal path and descended into illiberal orthodoxy — communism, socialism and now, Islamist-led leftism — disaster has been the result.

You might think Trump is a disaster. And you have every right to do so. But if you haven’t yet considered the possibility that the way the left worshipped Obama — “utter only sanctimonious praise or I will publicly scream racist at you till you disappear” — led to Trump, or the way the left is now handling Trump — when they go low, we go lower — then we are still a long way from learning something from this saga.

Today’s golden calf is the anti-Semitic, illiberal propaganda — victimhood! identity politics! intersectionality! — emanating from self-proclaimed activists whose real agenda is so diabolical that only the most impetuous (Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, Sarsour) dare speak its name.

And so the question remains: Who is going to burn today’s golden calf?

Karen Lehrman Bloch is an author and cultural critic.

Abbas Blames the Jews for the Holocaust

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures as he speaks during the Palestinian National Council meeting in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank April 30, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas continues to become unhinged as evident by the fact that he blamed the Jews for the Holocaust in an April 30 speech.

According to the Times of Israel, Abbas’ incoherently long-winded speech blamed the Jews’ “social behavior, [charging] interest, and financial matters” for triggering the Holocaust. He also claimed that Adolf Hitler was responsible for sending Jews to Israel by allowing Jews who immigrated there to bring their assets into the area.

In other words, Abbas used a longtime anti-Semitic stereotype of Jews to blame them for the slaughter of six million Jews at the hands of the Nazis.

When he wasn’t engaging in his Holocaust revisionism, Abbas rambled about other anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, including the claim that Ashkenazi Jews have no historical lineage to the original habitants of Israel and that Israel was “a colonial project that has nothing to do with Judaism.”

Abbas also reiterated his refusal to accept any deals from the United States after President Trump’s Jerusalem move and suggested that the PA could take “take tough steps in the near future in our relationship with our neighbors (Israel) and the Americans.”

Naturally, Abbas praised the Hamas-led riots at the Israel-Gaza border.

“Thank God, they (Hamas) finally agreed and this is effective,” Abbas said, implying that the riots have been peaceful although they have been anything but.

The anti-Semitic rhetoric in Abbas’ speech certainly fits his background, which includes him writing a book that engages in Holocaust denialism.

Lawfare Project Succeeds In Taking Down Anti-Semitic Content Online

Photo from PxHere.

The Lawfare Project’s February legal action in Spain has already begun to show success with some online anti-Semitic content being taken down.

The Lawfare Project had sent out cease-and-desist letters in February to Facebook, Yahoo and Google warning them they would face lawsuits if they didn’t comply with Spanish law and take down anti-Semitic content on their platforms, which included Holocaust denialism. According to a press release from The Lawfare Project, three instances of anti-Semitic content have been taken down in response.

“Two of the items removed were articles published on some of Spain’s most popular conspiracist websites, denying the Holocaust while simultaneously blaming Jews for Nazi atrocities,” the press release states. “The third was a thread in a forum that spread the medieval style blood libel that Jews carry out ritual murders of children.”

One of the authors leads a Spanish far-right organization who apologizes for Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and has been on panels in Iran that openly engage in Holocaust denialism. The Holocaust denial articles were taken down by the authors and the manager of the forum took down the ritual blood libel.

While this is certainly progress for The Lawfare Project, Google and Yahoo have not acquiesced to their cease-and-desist letters. According to Lawfare Project Spanish Counsel Ignacio Wenley Palacios, Google hasn’t taken down the content in question because the legal issue was “complex” and Yahoo hasn’t responded to the letter.

“We are determined to take further steps to demand the enforcement of the law from search engines and social media platforms, and we will file lawsuits if they continue to tolerate blatantly racist and offensive content, when they have been effectively informed by detailed take-down notices,” Palacios said in the press release.

In total, The Lawfare Project plans on filing 10 total court proceedings against IT companies between 2018 and 2020.

As Palacios told the Journal in February, the tech platforms in question tend to be “erratic” when it comes to applying their policies of content being taken down, and should they proceed with their lawsuit there’s a good chance The Lawfare Project would win.

“Our actions are very nuanced, and meet the highest of European standards on free speech, and on liability of Internet providers, matching closely the reasoning of the case-law of both the Supreme Court of Spain, and the European Court of Human Rights,” Palacios told the Journal in an email.

Labour Party Member Announces He’s Leaving the Party Over Its Anti-Semitism

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leads his colleagues to the unveiling of the statue of suffragist Millicent Fawcett on Parliament Square, in London, Britain, April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

A Jewish member of the Labour Party announced that he will be leaving the party due to the anti-Semitism plaguing the party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

Jamie Susskind, an author, wrote in a letter that he posted to Twitter on April 25 that he had first joined the party as a teenager and served in executive positions at various Labour clubs.

“Being Jewish, being British, and fighting for social justice are therefore all wrapped up together in my identity,” Susskind wrote. “Until recently, Labour was part of that identity too.”

And yet, while Susskind acknowledged that most Labour Party members weren’t anti-Semitic, could no longer remain in the party due to the “insults and indignities” that the Labour Party has subjected Jews to.

“I can no longer belong, in good faith, to an institution that has allowed itself to become the foremost platform for anti-Semitism in British public life,” Susskind wrote. “Holocaust deniers and racists have been emboldened by the silence (and in some cases complicity) of senior figures in the party. In part, therefore, I am leaving Labour for the same reason that I joined: because I am Jewish.”

Susskind added that he didn’t want in any way responsible for any future electoral success the Labour Party may have.

“An institution that turns a blind eye to the injustice festering in its own ranks surrenders it claim to moral leadership of the country,” Susskind wrote. “And ‘comrades’ who tacitly offer a safe space for intolerance, or turn their faces from the suffering caused by racism (or misogyny, or any of the ills that afflict Labour) are not really comrades at all.”

Susskind concluded, “There is life beyond Labour, and I will try to find it.”

Anti-Semitism has become a major problem in the Labour Party under the leadership of Corbyn, who has referred to Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends” and was once part of an anti-Semitic Facebook group.

The full letter can be read below:

H/T: Tablet