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October 26, 2016 / 24 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘antisemitic’

Newsweek Middle East Editor Goes on Anti-Semitic Twitter Rant

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Tower Magazine website}

An editor of Newsweek Middle East launched into a Twitter tirade invoking several anti-Semitic tropes late last week, including that Jews are greedy and are not descended from biblical Hebrews, and therefore have no historical connection to Israel.

After the magazine was criticized by pro-Israel bloggers last week for creating an inaccurate documentary video about the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the magazine’s senior deputy editor, Leila Hatoum, responded harshly, calling her critics “Zionist trolls,” accusing them of worshiping money, and falsely claiming that Jews are not Semites and therefore not native to the Middle East. (The term anti-Semitism was coined by the 19th century German journalist Wilhelm Marr, who opposed Jewish emancipation and sought to popularize a term that would make Jew-hatred sound more scientific.)

The video that Hatoum shared claimed that references to “Palestine” prior to 1948 meant that an Arab Palestinian state used to exist. In fact, the artifacts that the video claimed to have proven its case actually showed that Palestine was under British control, not independent; one document even contained the Hebrew initials for “Land of Israel.”

Hatoum’s Twitter rant was first exposed by Israeli blogger “Aussie Dave,” who had been one of the chief critics of the video Hatoum posted. The blogger subsequently discovered earlier offensive tweets that Hatoum wrote, including an (inaccurate) claim that Adolf Hitler’s mother, girlfriend, and doctor were Jewish.

Hartoum also cited the discredited “Khazar” theory of the origins of today’s Jews to try to prove that modern Jews or Jews who lived in Eastern Europe are not descended from biblical Jews.

In reality, the shared Middle Eastern ancestry of Jewish communities, including those who resided in Europe, has been established by multiple genetic studies. “Historical evidence suggests common origins in the Middle East, followed by migrations leading to the establishment of communities of Jews in Europe, Africa and Asia, in what is termed the Jewish Diaspora,” researchers explained in a 2010 study published by Nature that traced “the origins of most Jewish Diaspora communities to the Levant.” (Notably, the study also revealed “a close relationship between most contemporary Jews and non-Jewish populations from the Levant,” including Palestinians.)

Media watchdog Honest Reporting noted that Newsweek Middle East is editorially independent of Newsweek and is owned by the Dubai-based ARY Digital Network. The watchdog organization wondered if Newsweek would be pleased to have “their brand name being dragged through the mud by the likes of Leila Hatoum and the anti-Israel propaganda being produced on the Newsweek Middle East site.”

The Newsweek video highlighted what Shany Mor referred to in the January 2015 Issue of The Tower Magazine as “the mendacious maps of Palestinian ‘loss,’” which uses historically inaccurate information to argue that an independent Palestine disappeared due to the establishment of the State of Israel.

The series of maps referred to by Newsweek conflate different aspects of land control. One shows inhabited areas, another shows a proposed partition plan, and two more show political control. Mor argued that if one looked at a series of maps showing the history of Palestinian political control, a more accurate picture would emerge:

The categories of political control and international partition plans are quite easy to map out over time. Since the concern of those publicizing the maps above is Palestinian control of land, we can illustrate this with a more honest series of maps showing areas of political control, using the same years as the original—adding one for clarity.


As seen above, 1946 has exactly zero land under Palestinian Arab control—not autonomous, not sovereign, not anything—as it was all under British authority. We could go further back in time, to the Ottoman era, for example, and the map wouldn’t change in the slightest. 1947 sees no changes to the map, as Palestine was still under British control. Before the war in June 1967, control is divided between three states, and none of them is Palestinian. The 2005 map would be exactly as it is presented in the original series, showing the very first lands ever be ruled by Palestinian Arabs qua Palestinian Arabs. To clarify this a bit more, I have added a map from 1995, showing the withdrawals undertaken during the first two years of the Oslo process, just up to but not including the 1997 Hebron Protocol.

In fact, if we zoomed in a bit more, we would see how the peace process of the 1990s resulted in the first time a Palestinian Arab regime ruled over any piece of land. This occurred in 1994 with the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in Gaza and Jericho. That control steadily expanded over more and more land during the years leading up to the failed final status talks. Much of it was then lost during the second intifada, but eventually regained as violence died down, and the Gaza disengagement even expanded it slightly. All of these Palestinian land gains have taken place in the last 20 years and every square meter of it came not from Turkey or Britain or Jordan or Egypt, but from Israel alone; and nearly all of it through peace negotiations.

After being presented with evidence of the inaccuracy of similar maps that they had posted, both MSNBC and the textbook company McGraw-Hill acknowledged their error. But months after the maps were thoroughly discredited, Newsweek Middle East risked its credibility by publishing them again.


Tower Magazine

That Awkward Moment when the MSNBC Anchor Tweets Something anti-Semitic

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

Once again, the Orthodox seat-switching dilemma strikes. Twitterers from all four corners of the Earth offer their opinions and advice to the man who was asked to switch seats. Some say that the lack of secular education is at fault. Others say that the religion itself is to blame. Others say that the Hasidim are a virus in our society. Some say smart things; most say dumb things.

The MSNBC anchor, Christopher Hayes, however, says that it’s the “perfect time to start a good, frank BDS convo.”

When is a good time to “start a good, frank BDS convo?”

(Not that there is ever a good time, but that’s beside the point.)

A “good” time would be when you disagree with a policy of the Israeli government.

A “good” time would be when you see a troubling statistic about Israeli society.

A “good” time would be when you see a video in Haaretz of something that disturbs you.

The indicators of a “good BDS conversation” (if there really is such a thing) are those that display serious criticism of the Israeli government.

A “good, frank BDS convo,” however, cannot be started because Hasidic Jews bother you.

That conversation just cannot be started.

Do you know why?

Because that Hasid has nothing to do with Israel. You are conflating his Jewish existence with the notion that he represents the Jewish State — which he doesn’t — thus giving you the license to boycott the State of Israel because one Jewish dude ticked you off.

  • If a member of the BDS-supporting group Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) accidentally bumped into you on the metro, would you claim that it’s time for a conversation about BDS?
  • If the Jewish guy in your office accidentally stepped on your foot, would you say that we should talk about divestment?
  • If the Jewish girl in your class got a better test score than you, would you say that it’s time for a boycott?

No. And if you said so, plainly we would call you a bigot. (Because you would be.)

But when it comes to this one Jew, Christopher Hayes bore the notion that he represents the State of Israel.

No. Not even. He conflated him with the State of Israel, allowing frustration with the man to translate into a “need” for BDS.

This may be jarring for some — but that’s anti-Semitic. If you hold all Jews — any Jews — as representatives of the State of Israel (even when they have no connection to it!), and are using this skewed logic and their unrelated-to-Israel actions to justify a boycott on a nation, you are indeed a bigot.

  • If a Chinese man angered you, would that then give you license to boycott the Chinese government?
  • If a French woman frustrated you, would you have a good reason to boycott France?

Of course you wouldn’t.

The Hasidic man probably isn’t even from Israel — yet, he irritated you, and now you get to boycott it?

You, Christopher Hayes, think you can boycott a country because a man (who is probably not from the country you hate) of the same religion of said country is annoying people on a plane?

If so, yes — it is the perfect time for a good, frank, bigoted BDS convo.

Shame on you, Christopher Hayes.

See the Twitter exchange here:


Hasidic twitter


Leora Eisenberg

Swastikas, Anti-Semitic Graffiti on Ukraine Synagogue

Friday, August 19th, 2016

The front doorway of a synagogue in Kolomia in western Ukraine was sprayed with a swastika and anti-Semitic slogans Thursday night, an official of the local Jewish community has told TPS. The official, Jacob Zlishiker, said the identity of the perpetrator is not known, and added that these things are routine in this city, and police are treating them very seriously.

The local Jewish cemetery also sustained some damage overnight.

The Kolomyia Synagogue graffiti / Photo credit: TPS

The Kolomyia Synagogue graffiti / Photo credit: TPS

Kolomia, which used to be the most developed city in the region before the war, boasted a large Jewish community, with about 19,000 Jews out of a general population of 43,000. The Jewish community was “culturally vibrant and complex,” influencing the Jewish culture of Galicia, according to the website Jewish Galicia & Bukovina. Before the war there were some 50 synagogues in Kolomia, among them the magnificent Hoiche Shul, a Yerushalmi synagogue, several Hassidic kloizes and even a Zionist synagogue.

In 1941, all of the Jews of Kolomia and its environs were concentrated in a ghetto that was divided into three separate sections. In 1942, these sections were burned and the entire population of the ghetto was annihilated: some were murdered in the city streets, others were taken to the Belzec extermination camp, and the rest were shot in the forest outside the village of Sheparivtsy, near the city.

A few dozen Jews returned to Kolomia after its liberation by the Soviet army and they continue to maintain a small community around the synagogue.

David Israel

Study: German Extreme Left also Extremely Anti-Semitic

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

An online survey of 36,000 people conducted by the Free University Berlin (FU) suggests that anti-Semitic attitudes among the German far-left are more widespread than has been generally believed, Die Welt reported.

34% of individuals identified by the study as belonging to the “extreme left” agreed with the statement that Jews had “too much influence” in Germany.

Among the “radical left,” — which, unlike the “extreme left,” supports democracy and the German constitution, 16% agreed with the statement.

Altogether, 10% of Germans surveyed agreed Jews had “too much influence” in Germany.

The Freie Universität Berlin, often abbreviated as FU Berlin or just FU, is one of the most prominent universities in Germany.

Individuals identified by the survey as being on the extreme left and radical left made up 17 percent of respondents.

A high proportion of the far left agreed with the anti-Semitic stereotype that Jews are “greedy.” 34% of the extreme left, and 13% of the left agreed with the statement, while across the entire political spectrum only 8% did.

The researchers, Monika Deutz-Schroeder and Klaus Schroeder, also examined the use of violence by the far left, concluding that while the far left does not represent an immediate threat to German democracy, its propensity to violence is probably going to increase.

14% of respondents on the extreme left consider politically motivated violence to be justified, compared with only 7% across German society.

Schroeder complained to Die Welt that the extreme left’s connections to many politically motivated acts of violence are not reported. For example, according to the official report, 600 violent crimes each year are carried out by leftists who are not identified as “extremists.” But Schroeder argued that, by definition, “anyone who tries to create political change through violence is an extremist. Period.”

David Israel

Anti-Semitic Obama Cartoon in Leftwing Spanish Poster on Eve of State Visit

Saturday, July 9th, 2016

A cartoon showing a generalized form of President Obama hugging a generalized cartoon of a religious Jewish man with dollar bills as explosions erupt in front of them was posted on Twitter by the far-left United Left party, inviting its followers to come to a protest rally in front of the American Embassy in Madrid on Sunday.

Obama was scheduled to arrive in Seville on Saturday night and on Sunday visit an American military base in southern Spain. On Monday he is having lunch in Madrid with King Felipe VI and leading Spanish politicians. However, because of the Dallas shooting, the president will arrive in Spain only on Monday, directly for that lunch with the king.

The Israeli Embassy on Friday condemned the poster, stating, “Nothing can justify the usage of anti-Jewish caricatures, and silence shouldn’t be maintained in the face of this flagrant expression of anti-Semitism.”

United Left said the rally on Sunday will protest both American and Israeli policies, and that it opposes the president’s visit because the US promotes “neocolonialist international relations” of war, destabilization and interference.

This is Obama’s very first visit to Spain as president, at a time when this country is facing political instability following an election last month that didn’t give any party a conclusive victory.

Guerras No


David Israel

Israel Rocked by Anti-Semitic Rape of Mentally-Handicapped Woman and Police Coverup

Friday, May 27th, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Tel Aviv (TPS) – A horrific gang rape of a mentally-handicapped Jewish woman earlier this month, allegedly committed by three Palestinian Authority Arabs who shouted anti-Semitic comments during the attack, has shaken Israeli society and stirred outrage – including towards the police, who apparently kept the case under wraps for weeks for fear of stoking tensions between Jews and Arabs.

The police announced on Wednesday it had arrested two Palestinian Authority Arabs for the rape of a 20-year-old disabled Israeli woman in southern Tel Aviv on Israeli Independence Day several weeks ago. Imad Al-Din Daraghmeh, 42, is accused of filming as he and two other attackers raped, urinated, and spit on the young woman – all while berating her with anti-Semitic slurs. He also allegedly threatened to murder her aunt and brother if she complained to the police.

The second Palestinian Authority Arab suspect arrested is underage and a third suspect escaped and remains at large.

Meanwhile, right-wing politicians and feminist activists are trading accusations of hypocrisy and selective attention to sexual violence, while the police is under fire for silencing the incident for almost two weeks in an apparent effort to avoid ethnic violence over the emotionally charged crimes.

“It’s an unfathomable horror,” wrote Likud lawmaker Yoav Kisch on Facebook on Wednesday. “The more details of the rape investigation involving the young girl that are revealed, the more I shudder.”

Yet Kisch also rebuked both the police and feminist activists for supposed silence.

“I am horrified at the police’s decision to silence the incident in order to ‘prevent riots,’ but it is mainly the silence that infuriates me. Where are all the heroines of women’s rights? Where are the celebrated feminists?” he asked, accusing his “left-wing colleagues” of not speaking out because the suspected perpetrators are Palestinians.

Michal Rozin, a Knesset member with the left-wing Meretz party, wrote a letter to Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan on Wednesday blasting the police’s handling of the case, suggesting that the hush around the case allowed the third suspect to escape.

“This is unacceptable and seriously damages the proper procedure in such cases. I ask you to clarify whether this is a case of police negligence, in addition to the violation of the victim’s rights,” she wrote.

Some activists voiced concern about the politicization of the attack.

“This incident should not be silenced or taken lightly – it’s awful – but such stories also shouldn’t be used to slander a specific group. Those who did it are bad people regardless of their ethnicity,” argued Nitzan Levenberg, an Israeli journalist and feminist activist, in an interview with Tazpit Press Service (TPS).

“The practice of expressing shock and outrage over violence against women only when the perpetrators are the ‘enemy’ exists all around the world,” she added. “It highlights the view of female sexuality as a tool of war, and such cases are used as a justification for bigoted and racist viewpoints.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for his part, lambasted politicians and the press for not loudly deploring the attack.

“This is a shocking crime that must be condemned across the board. But for some reason such a condemnation hasn’t been heard – not in the press and not across the political spectrum,” Netanyahu wrote on his Facebook page on Thursday night.

Netanyahu then intimated that there is a double standard for Jewish victims as opposed to Palestinian ones – and that had the roles been reversed the public outcry would be much greater.

“One can only imagine what would happen in the reverse case,” he said.

Joshua B. Dermer and Michael Zeff contributed to this article.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

36 Advocacy Groups Demand Action at UC Irvine after Anti-Semitic Protest

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

In light of the pervasive anti-Semitism allowed to fester at the University of California Irvine (UCI), 36 Jewish and civil rights groups today demanded UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman immediately implement the recently passed Regents Statement of Principles Against Intolerance.

“Jewish students report that UCI administrators have consistently turned a blind eye to acts of anti-Semitism that would have been promptly and vigorously condemned were they directed against any other racial, ethnic or gender minority,” the groups wrote to Gillman.

In the letter, organized by AMCHA Initiative, the groups demand Gillman publicly disclose how he plans to combat the rampant anti-Semitism on his campus.  Specifically, they ask him to answer the following:

“How do you plan to implement the Regents statement in addressing the alarming problem of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism that has created an intolerable campus climate for Jewish students at UC Irvine? Specifically, what rules, policies and procedures will you invoke or enact, and what educational initiatives will you establish, to ensure that anti-Jewish bigotry will be treated as promptly and vigorously as all other racial, ethnic or gender bigotry, and to guarantee the safety and well-being of Jewish students, and all students, at UC Irvine?”

In March, the UC Regents unanimously approved a policy to address the growing anti-Semitism plaguing many of UC’s 10 campuses.  The policy acknowledges that anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic forms of anti-Zionism are no less discriminatory than racism, homophobia or sexism, and calls on UC chancellors to address them just as they would any other act of discrimination.

“Recent events on your campus demonstrate the critical importance of promptly and comprehensively implementing the Regents statement at UC Irvine,” wrote the groups to Gillman.

Incidents include a massive disruption of a recent Hillel movie screening and a speech, by Neturei Karta’s Yisroel Dovid Weiss.  During the disruption event attendees were held hostage for nearly an hour by aggressive protestors and eventually had to be safely escorted out by police.  According to witnesses and university officials, protesters shouted threatening and violent profanities and attempted to push their way inside the room. The week before, during Anti-Zionism Week 2016, Weiss, invited to speak by the Muslim Student Union (MSU) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), spewed classic anti-Semitic tropes accusing Jews of mendacity, criminality and controlling the government. UC Irvine has played host to a number of anti-Semitic events over the past decade including the disruption of a speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren where multiple student protesters were arrested and prosecuted.

In March, AMCHA released an empirical study reporting widespread anti-Semitism in 2015 among the top 100 schools for Jewish students. The study found that the presence of anti-Zionist groups like SJP and MSU increased the likelihood of anti-Semitic incidents on U.S. campuses. In fact, 57% of schools with one or more active anti-Zionist student groups had one or more incidents that targeted Jewish students for harm, whereas only 8% of schools with no active anti-Zionist student groups had such incidents.

A full copy of the letter can be viewed here.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/36-advocacy-groups-demand-action-at-uc-irvine-after-anti-semitic-protest/2016/05/25/

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