FRANCE: Macron Denounces Anti-Zionism as ‘Reinvented’ Anti-Semitism

From The New York Times:

Standing at a site from which thousands of French Jews were sent to their deaths during the Holocaust, President Emmanuel Macron of France on Sunday deplored his nation’s wartime role in abetting murder and pledged to fight a renewed tide of anti-Semitism.

Joined by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, as well as Holocaust survivors, the Nazi hunter Serge Klarsfeld and others, Mr. Macron commemorated the 75th anniversary of a roundup of Jews at the Vélodrome d’Hiver, or Vel d’Hiv, a Paris stadium.

“It was indeed France that organized” the roundup of 13,000 people at the stadium on July 16 and 17, 1942, he said. “Not a single German” was directly involved.

Some 77,000 French Jews died in Nazi concentration camps or extermination camps before the end of World War II, the vast majority of them at Auschwitz-Birkenau in occupied Poland.

For decades, many French have held on to the idea that their ancestors had been either victims or resisters of Nazis, or of the collaborationist regime that was set up in Vichy, France.

France Reflects on Role in Rounding Up Jews for Death Camps JULY 28, 2012

Marine Le Pen Denies French Guilt for Rounding Up Jews APRIL 10, 2017
President François Mitterrand, who worked as a low-level Vichy administrator before joining the Resistance, declared in 1992 that “the French state was the Vichy regime, it was not the Republic.” He argued, as his predecessors had, that the only legitimate representatives of France were in exile with Gen. Charles de Gaulle, who ran the wartime Resistance from London.

Ending decades of equivocation, President Jacques Chirac formally admitted France’s collective responsibility for wartime crimes, declaring in 1995: “the criminal folly of the occupiers was seconded by the French, by the French state.”

But the issue has not gone away. In April, Marine Le Pen, the far-right National Front leader whom Mr. Macron defeated in a May runoff election, declared that “France was not responsible for the Vel d’Hiv,” denying French responsibility and setting off a furor.

Ms. Le Pen later said that she considered the Vichy regime illegitimate, and believed that General de Gaulle had the legitimate power.

Mr. Macron condemned that argument. “Admittedly Vichy was not all of the French,” he said, “but it was the government and the administration of France.”

Mr. Macron’s comments came during a period of resurgent anti-Semitism in France, fueled by right-wing nationalism and by fundamentalist Islam.

Mr. Macron recited the names of victims of recent anti-Semitic and other extremist violence. Among them were Ilan Halimi, a young man who was tortured and killed in 2006; four people killed in 2012 at a Jewish school in southwestern France; and four people slain at a kosher supermarket in Paris in 2015. He also called for an investigation into the death of Sarah Halimi, a 66-year-old woman who in April was thrown from the window of her Paris apartment, which some suspect an anti-Semitic motive.

In his remarks on Sunday, Mr. Macron went further than his predecessors in linking attacks on Jewish individuals with attacks against the Jewish state, calling anti-Zionism an updated version of anti-Semitism.

“We will yield nothing to the messages of hatred,” he said. “We will yield nothing to anti-Zionism, because it is the reinvented form of anti-Semitism.”

The French president called on Israel and the Palestinians to renew peace talks and warned that ongoing construction of Jewish settlements threatened the region’s chances for peace.

“I call for a resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in the framework of the search for a solution of two states, Israel and Palestine, living in recognized, secure borders with Jerusalem as the capital,” Mr. Macron said.



From The Jerusalem Post:

The documentary puts BDS in its place: If you don’t know what it stands for, remove the ‘D’.

The three most popular letters of the Latin alphabet over the past decade have been “B,” “D” and “S.”

Go to any college campus across the United States and ask students what it means when those three letters are combined and most won’t know the answer. But it doesn’t stop them from taking it up as a cause.

“If you don’t know what BDS stands for, remove the ‘D,’” conservative Christian comedian Brad Stine says in the new film Boycott THIS! which had its initial theatrical release at the end of March.

In the Proclaiming Justice to The Nations “docu-tainment,” Stine and the animated “Facts Man” travel around Israel and the rest of the world speaking to those on the front lines of those targeted by the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Colored with clips from comedic films and popular songs, Stine takes his act to Palestinians working in Israeli companies in Judea and Samaria, students on American college campuses and Israeli rescue teams such as ISRAID, speaking to a wide array of leading figures who help make sense of this anti-Jewish crusade.

“I have no agenda. I’m a truth-seeker – no matter where that leads, because remember, the moment I can say there is no truth I can control you. I can create a fantasy world and I can demand that you live in it,” he was quick to point out in the first minutes of the 44-minute version of the film released to The Jerusalem Post – Christian Edition.

The humorous film doesn’t shy away from contentious issues or any sides in the conflict. He visits Palestinians living in the West Bank who all their lives have had an anti-Israel position, speaks with everyday Jews, Christians and Muslims in Israel to see if there is any legalized discrimination in hospitals, schools and other public institutions, and finds out the truth about the history of the land of Israel, touching on the biblical period, the Roman renaming of the area to Syria Palaestina, the era of the Palestinian Jews and the 1947 Partition Plan.

“I really don’t know a lot about Israel, but I have a connection to it based on my faith… I feel I have a biblical obligation to understand, and even an obligation to defend her,” Stine said in the beginning of his stand-up routine, which, in a Seinfeld-esque manner, fed off of the interviews he conducted over the course of the film.

For example, while trying to discover if Israel really is an apartheid state, the comedian finds out that the 1999 Miss Israel was Arab, there has been an Arab Supreme Court judge and more than 75 Arabs have been members of Israel’s national legislature, the Knesset. Then, Palestinian human rights activist Bassam Eid confirms that Israel is not an apartheid state, and Kenneth Meshoe, a leading South African politician, implores the world that by calling Israel an apartheid stated “you are destroying the memory of the real apartheid.”

Back on the stage, Stine jokes, “When it comes to apartheid, Israel sucks. For people who ‘rule the world’ you’d think they’d do a better job.”

The general conclusion is straightforward. He finds out that Israel, like any other country in the world, isn’t perfect. But Stine can’t help but highlight Israeli innovations and projects that have positively impacted, and sometimes completely changed, the lives of millions of people around the world, including Arab citizens of Israel and Palestinians.

By being a true “BDS-er,” one would have to give up cellphones, laptops, life-saving drugs, and essentially go back to the Stone Age. In other words, as Stine pointedly quips, “They have the audacity to be in the Middle East and be a democracy – that has got to stop.”

Laurie Cardoza-Moore, founder and president of Proclaiming Justice to The Nations, told the Post that the goal is to take the documentary to churches, synagogues, university and college campuses and community centers, and to encourage people to spread the word about the truth behind the BDS movement.

“The goal is to present a narrative to show that the Jewish people are not a people who have hatred in their DNA,” Cardoza-Moore says. “These are a people who are constantly creating to make the world a better place, to actually fulfill what it says in the Scriptures, that they would be a light to the nations. And to present that story to Christians.”

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What the NY Times didn’t say about Barghouti


From The Times Of Israel:

Op-Ed: Publishing an opinion piece full of invented horror stories, the Times neglected to tell its readers that the author is a murderer, convicted on multiple counts in a civilian court.

The thing which stands out most – and is most infuriating – about the opinion piece published by Marwan Barghouti in the New York Times is the single sentence below the article identifying the author. “Marwan Barghouti is a Palestinian leader and parliamentarian,” it says dryly. That isn’t an error, that is an intentional deception.

Nothing is further from the truth. The missing part of the previous reports is that Marwan Barghouti is a murderer. He was convicted in a civilian (not military) court on five separate counts of murder of innocent civilians. He was involved in dozens of attempted terror attacks. He caused people to lose their families and led to people being maimed. He destroyed lives.

Barghouti doesn’t only believe in violence, he also believes that its permissible to lie. He believes in the approach, which typifies terror organizations, that the West is weak and naïve and so our media and good intentions should be cynically abused to attack us from within.

The attempt by the New York Times “to be balanced” amuses Barghouti. He understands that this sacred attempt at balance creates equal standing between murderer and murdered, terrorist and victim, lie and truth.

So Barghouti tells horror stories about torture he underwent during Israeli investigations. There is no factual basis for these stories. The torture he describes is prohibited under Israeli law and even Israel’s greatest opponents must acknowledge that we abide by our laws.

The reality is that a convicted terrorist is inventing stories about those who imprison him, as prisoners do all over the world, including in the United States.

Instead of saying to him – as a responsible newspaper should – that if he doesn’t have a shred of evidence to support his stories then they can’t be published, the New York Times published them in its opinion pages and didn’t even bother to explain to its readers that the author is a convicted murderer of the worst kind.

The peak of Barghouti’s violent ‘career’ came during the Second Intifada. It’s worth remembering that it broke out immediately after Israel’s prime minister at the time, Ehud Barak, made the Palestinians an offer that the whole world, including president Clinton, thought was impossible to refuse: a withdrawal to 1967 lines, a division of Jerusalem, a humanitarian solution to the refugee issue. Yasser Arafat said “no” and sent Barghouti and his people to murder Israelis in suicide attacks on buses and in shopping malls.

That’s why Barghouti is in prison. Not for his views, not for his desire for a Palestinian state, not for his right to freedom of expression. He could have – along with the prisoners who are with him – been a free citizen of an independent Palestinian state long ago. He chose the path of terror, murder and violence.

But the New York Times neglected to tell its readers that.

Fatah: ‘Bloodshed will follow if Trump moves US embassy to Jerusalem’


“I believe that any American act of stupidity will ignite the Palestinian territories,” says senior Fatah official.

The Palestinians will start a new violent uprising if Donald Trump’s incoming White House administration relocates the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a senior Fatah official indicated this week in an interview translated by MEMRI.

“I believe that any American act of stupidity will ignite the Palestinian territories,” Fatah Central Committee member Sultan Abu al-Einein told Egypt’s Alghad TV on Sunday.

Al-Einein, an aide to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, also pointed to Israeli “arrogance” and settlement activity along with the potential US maneuver as provoking Palestinian violence.

“We must prepare for a confrontation with the new US administration, which has clearly and audaciously declared that Israel and its settlements are legitimate and legal,” he asserted.

The Palestinian official charged that Washington and Jerusalem “will bear responsibility for the return of the bloodshed in the Palestinian territories.”

The Trump team has said that the US president-elect considers moving the embassy a “very big priority.”

Throughout his campaign for the presidency, Trump repeatedly said he would move the US Embassy if elected – a political promise past US presidents have frequently made, yet has never been held.

Longstanding US policy is to treat the status of Jerusalem as an issue to be settled in final-status negotiations with the Palestinians.

Trump’s pledge to move the mission has been met with mixed reactions from Israeli officials.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has questioned whether it would be wise for Trump to prioritize moving America’s embassy upon taking office. Meanwhile, Israel’s ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer has backed the potential move as “a great step for peace.”

Original Article: The Jerusalem Post

UN vote tops Wiesenthal list of top 10 antisemitic, anti-Israel cases in 2016


Jewish human rights organization releases its 2016 ranking.

The US abstention from a recent vote against Israeli settlements at the UN Security Council topped the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s annual list released Tuesday of the 10 worst outbreaks of Jew-hatred and anti-Israel incidents.

The Jewish human rights organization ranked the Obama administration’s move as the top case, charging that it erased Jewish history.

“The most stunning 2016 UN attack on Israel was facilitated by President [Barack] Obama when the US abstained on a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel for settlement construction. It reversed decades-long US policy of vetoing such diplomatic moves against the Jewish State,” wrote the center.

The organization added: “It also urges UN members ‘to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967,’ effectively endorsing BDS.”

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn along with former British politician Baroness Jenny Tonge ranked second.

According to the ranking, “antisemitism in the [Labour] party has greatly escalated.

Corbyn, who previously called Hamas and Hezbollah his ‘friends,’ also promoted his strategy adviser Seumas Milne, a Hamas proponent.”

France earned the third spot for “singling out Israel. Amid a backdrop of devastating and murderous Islamist terrorist attacks, continued targeting of French Jewry and reports of the refusal of some Muslim police officers to guard synagogues, the French government became the first member of the European Union to implement the requirement of labels on all Israeli goods produced beyond the Jewish state’s 1967 borders.”

Fourth place included a list of BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) actions targeting Israel.

“Leaders of the German Teacher’s Union (GEW) local in Oldenburg have called for a total boycott of Israel. In September, the Oldenburg GEW local published a pro-BDS article by Christoph Glanz, a public school teacher and fanatic opponent of the Jewish state.

Glanz, who has tried posing as a Jew to avoid charges of anti-Semitism, recently called for the eradication of the State of Israel and relocation of its Jews to southwestern Germany,” notes the list.

Also included in spot four were the United Church of Christ, which overwhelmingly voted to endorse BDS, as well Ryerson University in Toronto, where the student union voted to endorse the BDS movement.

The head of the far-right US-based National Policy Institute, Richard Spencer, garnered the fifth spot for being “America’s 21st century Nazi.”

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas ranked sixth.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center cited past comments later retracted by Abbas in which he referred to false claims that Israeli rabbis had called for the poisoning of Palestinian wells.

“Just a week ago, a group of rabbis in Israel announced, in a clear announcement, demanding their government, to poison, to poison, the water of the Palestinians. Is this not incitement? Is this not clear incitement, to the mass murder of the Palestinian people?” Abbas had initially said.

The list also pointed to a Hamas TV program that aired a play in which Palestinian children dressed in military fatigues and armed with guns and knives “kill” those acting as Israelis.

The explosion of antisemitic attacks in the Netherlands catapulted the country to the seventh slot. At a high school “some of the graduates broke out in song with the lyrics, ‘Together we’ll burn Jews, because Jews burn the best’- a chant sometimes heard in the country’s soccer stadiums,” wrote the center.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom was ranked eighth for worrying about terrorists and not their victims “Commenting on the violence in Israel of knife-wielding Palestinian terrorists, and measures taken by Israeli police in their wake during the so-called ‘Knifing Intifada’, Wallstrom, called for an investigation into what she called ‘extra-judicial killings’ by Israeli police,” she was quoted as saying.

The ninth slot covered antisemitism in the sports arena. Outbreaks of antisemitism were cited in the US, the Netherlands, Croatia, Italy, the United Kingdom and Poland.

The last spot went to Poland for its persecution of “prominent historian Jan Tomasz Gross, who documented Polish participation in the murder of Jews in wartime Poland.

He is in the crosshairs of Polish authorities who are considering charges that could put him behind bars for three years for ‘harming the country’s reputation.’”

Original Article: The Jerusalem Post

NEW YORK: Evidence of Anti-Israel Indoctrination in Elementary School Event


Footage showing young children at a New York state elementary school being indoctrinated to hate Israel at an event last year has recently been released following a campaign by the popular blog Legal Insurrection.

The event in question — a “Palestinian human rights” presentation to third-graders at the Beverly J. Martin School in Ithaca, which took place in September 2015 — featured two radical anti-Israel activists. One was Bassem Tamimi — infamous for pushing his own children to provoke Israeli soldiers, and then catching the encounters on camera for propaganda purposes. The other, Ariel Gold, has described his personal goal as “delegitimizing Zionism.”

News of the presentation was first brought to light by Legal Insurrection last year, after Gold and another local activist, Mary Anne Grades Flores, “bragged on Facebook how they managed to bring…Tamimi to a third-grade class as part of a presentation on the suffering of Palestinian children at the hands of Israel.” When the story broke, the principal of the elementary school at which the event took place denied that it had involved any improper anti-Israel propaganda.

However, through a New York Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request, Legal Insurrection discovered that the Ithaca City School District had been withholding some key footage of the presentation and — after a long legal battle between the blog and the school district — a court ordered all of it to be released. The event was subsequently condemned by the superintendent of the Ithaca City School district, who in a Letter of Reprimand called the presentation “politically skewed [and] inflammatory.”

One video shows Tamimi presenting the infamous “Janna Jihad” interview, which features his young daughter, Ahed, issuing a “message for the world from the Palestinian children.”

“We don’t like [that] Israel kill us, kill Gaza, kill Palestinian and we don’t like they to kill us [sic],” she is heard saying. “They [Israel] can’t be terrorists. We don’t like them to be terrorists.”

Ahed made headlines in 2012 when she appeared in a video confronting an IDF soldier — prompting Turkey to invite her to the country to receive a “courage” award. In 2015, Ahed once again caught the attention of the international community when she was filmed biting and hitting an Israeli soldier who was attempting to subdue her rock-throwing 12-year-old brother.

A second video shows part of the class discussion which followed the formal presentation. In it, Tamimi tells the third-graders that Israel persecutes Palestinians, especially children. He also says, “Our children is our resources, our children is our future, our children who will fight [sic].”

Tamimi then tells the kids they must “defend” the Palestinian people. “You can do a lot for, and be the freedom fighter for the Palestine [sic],” he says.

During the discussion, the children in the class appear to be receptive to Tamimi’s message. In the video, one participant is heard saying, “Um. So, I think that Israel is wrong to think that Palestine could be theirs because they already have a lot of land and they shouldn’t just take more thinking they own the world.”

Another, referring to Israel’s security barrier — called the “apartheid wall” by anti-Israel activists — says, “I have a question. Can’t they just blow up the wall?”

This is not the first time that Tamimi has been the focus of controversy. As The Algemeiner reported, in October 2015, Tamimi caused an uproar when he accused Israel of stealing the organs of Palestinians. On Facebook, Tamimi shared an image showing the sutured side of a man’s body. The caption read, “When Israelis arrest Palestinian CHILDREN, what is the purpose? To STEAL THEIR ORGANS. The same #Zionists doing this control the #media. So don’t expect to be told this by the #BBC.”

More recently, in March, Tamimi accused the US of revoking his travel visa “to stop [his] efforts against the Israeli occupation.” As an investigation later revealed, Tamimi’s visa was permanently revoked after US immigration officials discovered he had lied on his application about never having been arrested.

Original Article: Algemeiner

Bipartisan Bill to Fight anti-Semitism on American Campuses Heads to House

isr usa univ

Measure also defines ‘demonization, double standard and delegitimization’ as benchmarks for when criticism of Israel crosses into anti-Semitism.
A bipartisan slate of leading House members introduced a bill that would expand how the Department of Education defines anti-Semitism in advising learning institutions on how to identify discrimination.

The bill introduced Friday by Reps. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., and Ted Deutch, D-Fla., replicates a similar bill passed last week by the Senate, which was sponsored by Sens. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and Bob Casey, D-Pa.
Senior House of Representatives members including Reps. Eliot Engel and Nita Lowey, both D-N.Y., and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., are backing the bill.
The measure expands previous guidelines sent periodically to educational institutions receiving federal funding to define anti-Semitism according to a definition first published by the State Department in 2010.
It adopts the definition set forth by the European Parliament Working Group on Anti-Semitism: “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.”
Both definitions also outline when criticism of Israel crosses into anti-Semitism, citing the “three D’s” first advanced by Natan Sharansky, the Israeli politician and former prisoner of the Soviet gulag: Demonization, double standard and delegitimization.
The Anti-Defamation League, which has led lobbying for the legislation, said the bill, should it become law, “addresses a core concern of Jewish and pro-Israel students and parents: When does the expression of anti-Semitism, anti-Israel sentiment and anti-Zionist beliefs cross the line from First Amendment-protected free expression to unlawful discriminatory conduct?”
A number of left-wing and pro-Palestinian groups have criticized the legislation, saying the Israel-related language is too vague and would inhibit debate on campus about Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.
“It mis-classifies criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism and aims to ensure that the Department of Education will investigate and suppress criticism of Israel on campus,” said a statement by Open Hillel, a loose network of campus groups that rejects restrictions on engagement with other students that exist under the aegis of the more established Jewish student umbrella, Hillel.
Original Article: HAAETZ

Kerry: Iran deal made Israel safer


Secretary of State rejects Donald Trump’s stance on Iran nuclear agreement, claims it made the world – including Israel – safer.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry argued on Monday that the nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers last year had made the world – including Israel – safer.

Kerry rejected President-elect Donald Trump’s references to the agreement as a “disaster” and “the worst deal ever negotiated”.

“The region is safer, Germany and the United States are safer, Europe is safer, Israel is safer and the world is safer… It depends on all of us to keep this alive,” he said at an event at which he was awarded the German Order of Merit, according to Reuters.

The Secretary of State added that President Barack Obama had already approached Trump about the matter.

During the election campaign, Trump publicly spoke out against the Iran deal, calling it “disastrous” and vowing to “rip it up” as president.

After he won the election, Trump’s senior foreign policy adviser, Walid Phares, hinted that while Trump might not actually rip up the agreement, he would act to change it.

Kerry’s remarks on Monday are not the first time that he and Obama have argued that Israel is safer by the deal and that even the Jewish state agrees with this notion.

Kerry in February cited comments by IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot as proof that the nuclear deal with Iran has improved Israel’s security.

Obama claimed in August that the nuclear deal signed between Iran and the West had been successful, and said that even Israel acknowledges this fact.

“It has been well over a year since the agreement with Iran to stop its nuclear program was signed. And by all accounts it has worked exactly the way we said it was going to work.”

“And it’s not just the assessment of our intelligence community. It’s the assessment of the Israeli military and intelligence community,” he stressed. “The country that was most opposed to this deal (ie. Israel -ed.) that acknowledges this has been a game-changer that Iran has abided by the deal that they no longer have the sort of short term breakout capacity that would allow them to develop nuclear weapons.”

Despite the comments, Israel appears to remain opposed to the deal. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, speaking on Sunday to the Saban Forum, reiterated his longstanding position on the threat Iran poses to the State of Israel, and added that he looks forward to speaking with Trump “about what to do about this bad deal.”

Original Article: Arutz Sheva

Muslim-Zionist Activist: ‘Antisemitism Is the Norm in the Islamic Community, But… Its Mistake’


Antisemitism and Israel-hatred is the norm among Muslims, including in the United States, even though the Koran can be read as a “Zionist text,” a devout American Muslim told The Algemeiner this week, explaining how she came to work to promote interfaith dialogue and understanding and how she thinks the world will come to see the Jewish state in a different light.

Nadiya Al-Noor — a graduate of Maryland’s Goucher College studying for her master’s degree at Binghamton University in upstate New York — was explaining her evolution into a person who warmly embraces both Jews and the Jewish state. On and off campus, Al-Noor said she constantly finds hypocrisy about antisemitism and Israel, and she has made a mission of letting the world know about these incidents through social media.

Recently, Al-Noor posted a picture on Facebook of a drop-down menu on an online Binghamton emergency contact form that listed “Occupied Palestinian Territories” as a location option. She told The Algemeiner, “Israel was also included, so that was a relief, but no other location was labeled ‘occupied.’ Not Northern Cyprus or Kosovo [both under military occupation]. Just the Palestinian territories.”

Raised in Stony Brook, Long Island, Al-Noor had many Jewish friends, but said antisemitism was still imbued in her at an early age. In an hour-long interview, she spoke of the journey that led to her change in outlook and why she started blogging about being a Muslim Zionist.

The Algemeiner: How did you get into pro-Israel activism?

Al-Noor: When I was at Goucher, I was trying to sign up for access to the Hillel’s kosher kitchen — because that was the closest thing to halal — but I filled out the wrong form. I had actually signed up for the pro-Israel committee, and then I was too scared to tell the Israel fellow my mistake. At that point, I was still pretty anti-Israel, but I had become very interested in Judaism, so I began going to the programs. I met Israelis and IDF veterans, started reading material from sources other than anti-Israel ones — before that, I was getting my information from places like Electronic Intifada and Al-Jazeera — and I realized how wrong I had been about it all.

The Algemeiner: What had drawn you to Judaism?

Al-Noor: One day I woke up with yearning in my chest to learn about Judaism. I just had to. It felt like a call from God.

The Algemeiner: What has it been like to be a Zionist at university?

Al-Noor: As soon as undergraduate students get on campus, they are bombarded by anti-Israel rhetoric and activists, and there is a light trained on you by such movements when you are Muslim. You are expected to join.

When I was at Goucher, the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) had disbanded, but its former members were still active and their perspective was festering. The pro-Israel group planned a program featuring Assi Azar [an Israeli television personality and LGBT rights activist], and the SJP tried to get the school to cancel the event. The college refused, so SJP stormed the event and protested so intensely that the program had to be stopped early. After I saw how SJP treated my Jewish friends, making them scared to be openly Jewish or go to class — one of my friends got his kippah knocked off his head while he was walking on campus — I decided that I had to do something, I had to act. I started with a blog post, “Open Letter from a Muslim Woman.”

Binghamton — which is 30% Jewish and far more pro-Israel than not — once had a very active SJP, but it has since disappeared. Today, the biggest problem facing advocates of Israel is apathy from the general student population.

The Algemeiner: Would you say those instances of your friends being afraid to be visibly Jewish on campus are isolated cases?

Al-Noor: Antisemitism is a problem at universities, and it goes unrecognized because people see Jews as white. They think white people can’t be oppressed, so it follows, in their minds, that Jews cannot be persecuted. Antisemitic tropes feed this thinking: Jews are seen as wealthy and powerful, as JAPs (Jewish American Princesses) with privilege. Even though 60% of religion-based hate crimes in the US are antisemitic, no one really talks about it. They say, “But there are Hillels on campus,” or, “A Jew almost became president [Democratic primary contender Bernie Sanders],” and so they conclude that there is no antisemitism.

Meanwhile, anti-Zionism is not counted as antisemitism at all. People say they are protesting and against Israel, not Jews. The deeply antisemitic tone of anti-Zionism and the antisemitic by-products of the movement are not considered valid examples of antisemitism.

The Algemeiner: How do you see your role in combating this way of thinking?

Al-Noor: When someone like me speaks out for Israel, I challenge everybody’s idea of what they think they know about Zionism and the country. It changes minds. Whenever non-Jews are pro-Israel, they get more attention and credibility, and are taken much more seriously. I can also speak to Muslims at a theological level that is rarely ever reached or talked about.

But, the Jewish and pro-Israel world needs to do more to reach out to people like me, to bring us into the community and make us allies. You have to start educating the public about Israel, because you aren’t getting anywhere when you’re only talking to Jews, while the majority of the public isn’t Jewish.

You have to communicate with Muslims, in particular. I’m actually pushed away by many Jews who are suspicious of my motives. I’ve been called a “lying terrorist” many, many times by people who think I only talk about peace so that I get infiltrate the Jewish community and attack from the inside.

This breaks my heart, because I’m here and trying to be an ally. I’ve devoted my life to this work.

The Algemeiner: What should the pro-Israel and Jewish world know about the Muslim community?

Al-Noor: First, that there is a big difference between Islam and Islamism. Islam is a religion that can exist in secular society; Islamism is the violent attempt to force that on other people, like ISIS.

Terrorism is a cycle: there is a terrorist attack, then the Muslim community is marginalized, which breeds more terrorism, and so on. We need more dialogue to stop this sequence, and not to give up on changing things before we even start.

It actually says in the Koran that some of its verses are metaphorical and some literal — and it states outright that there will be people who will select verses in order to harm others. It’s all about interpretation and education.

The Algemeiner: What is the attitude of mainstream Muslims?

Al-Noor: Antisemitism is entrenched in the community. Growing up, I had antisemitic thinking so ingrained in me, I didn’t even notice it until I was older and had learned more. Even though most of my friends were Jewish or Christian, not Muslim, I remember thinking, “Why are all the Jews rich? Why do they have big noses?”

And the community’s deep-set antisemitism only got much worse, exploded, after the establishment of Israel. We are all taught that the county is evil, that it’s a Nazi and apartheid state, committing genocide. In America, where there are a lot of Palestinians, it is particularly bad.

Muslims stand with our Ummah, the term for Muslim peoplehood. So, Palestinians are seen as our brothers and we are taught that they are being oppressed. I really don’t think Muslims would care about Palestinians if they weren’t Muslim — but, even more, if their “oppressors” weren’t Jewish. The Muslim world doesn’t care about what’s going on in Pakistan — and that’s an actual apartheid state — because the oppressors there aren’t Jewish. But Muslims need to start looking at the facts about Israel and stop getting their information from anti-Israel sources.

The Koran says — and I’m paraphrasing here — “The holy land belongs to the Jewish people and one day all the Jews from the corners of the earth will converge on Israel.” What is that if not the state of Israel?

The Algemeiner: So, what can be done to try and change these perceptions?

Al-Noor: I am the social media intern for the Institute for Jewish Muslim Action (IJMA), a young organization started by two Rabbis and a Muslim to educate people about the Judeo-Islamic tradition and what makes the two nations natural partners. I also work at Binghamton’s Center for Civic Engagement, where I help students volunteer and get politically engaged. I’m getting a double Masters in Public Administration and Student Affairs Administration, so I’ll be able to work in government or at universities to build interfaith dialogue.

The Algemeiner: How do you view the future of Zionism?

Al-Noor: Israel has a lot of enemies, but I believe things will change. The world will one day realize its mistake, like it realized with the Holocaust, and will become much more friendly to Israel. Don’t give up on hope and peace, because it can still happen. Try to build bridges, and if you can change one person’s mind, that will start a chain reaction.

Original Article: Algemeiner

Alan Dershowitz: Keith Ellison, The Wrong Man at the Wrong Time


What should a political party that has just lost its white working class, blue-collar base to a “make America great again” nationalist do to try to regain these voters? Why not appoint as the new head of the party a radical Left-wing ideologue who has a long history of supporting an anti-American, anti-white, antisemitic Nation of Islam racist? Such an appointment will surely bring back Rust Belt voters who have lost their jobs to globalization and free trade! Is this really the thinking of those Democratic leaders who are pushing for Keith Ellison to head the Democratic National Committee?

Keith Ellison is, by all accounts, a decent guy well-liked by his congressional colleagues. But it is hard to imagine a worse candidate to take over the DNC at this time. Ellison represents the extreme Left-wing of the Democratic Party, just when the party – if it is to win again – must move to the center in order to bring back the voters it lost to Trump. The Democrats didn’t lose because their candidates weren’t Left enough. They won the votes of liberals. The radical voters they lost to Jill Stein were small in number and are not likely to be influenced by the appointment of Ellison. The centrist voters they lost to Trump will only be further alienated by the appointment of a Left-wing ideologue, who seems to care more about global issues than jobs in Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan. Ellison’s selection certainly wouldn’t help among Jewish voters in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania or pro-Israel Christian voters around the country.

Ellison’s sordid past associations with Louis Farrakhan — the longtime leader of the Nation of Islam — will hurt him in Middle America, which has little appetite for Farrakhan’s anti-American ravings. Recently, Farrakhan made headlines for visiting Iran on the 35th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, where he berated the United States, while refusing to criticize Iran’s human rights violations. Farrakhan also appeared as a special guest speaker of the Iranian president at a rally, which featured the unveiling of a float reenacting Iran’s detention of 10 US Navy sailors in the Persian Gulf.

In addition to embracing American enemies abroad, Farrakhan has exhibited a penchant for lacing his sermons with antisemitic hate speech. Around the time that Ellison was working with the Nation of Islam, for example, Farrakhan was delivering speeches attacking “the synagogue as Satan.” He described Jews as “wicked deceivers of the American people” that have “wrapped [their] tentacles around the US government” and are “deceiving and sending this nation to hell.”

Long after Jesse Jackson disavowed Farrakhan in 1984 as “reprehensible and morally indefensible” for describing Judaism as a “gutter religion,” Ellison was defending Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam — as in 1995, when Ellison praised Farrakhan as a role model for African-Americans, calling him “a tireless public servant of Black people, who constantly teaches self-reliance and self-examination to the Black community.”

Ellison has struggled to explain his association with Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. He has acknowledged working with the Nation of Islam for about 18 months to organize the Minnesota delegation to Farrakhan’s 1995 Million Man March in Washington. However, Ellison insists that he never joined the Nation of Islam and more recently, he has held himself out as a friend of the Jewish people and of Israel. This late conversion coincided with Ellison’s decision to pursue elected office in Minnesota, and an apparent realization that his association with the Nation of Islam might hurt his political fortunes. In 2006, he wrote a letter to the Jewish Community Relations Council in Minneapolis, in which he apologized for failing to “adequately scrutinize the positions” of Farrakhan and other Nation of Islam leaders. “They were and are antisemitic, and I should have come to that conclusion earlier than I did,” he wrote. In his recently released memoir — My Country, ’Tis of Thee: My Faith, My Family, Our Future — Ellison writes of Farrakhan: “He could only wax eloquent while scapegoating other groups.” Of the Nation of Islam, he writes: “[I]f you’re not angry in opposition to some group of people (whites, Jews, so-called ‘sellout’ Blacks), you don’t have religion.”

Ellison’s voting record also does not support his claim that he has become a “friend” of Israel. He was one of only 8 Congressmen who voted against funding the Iron Dome program, developed jointly by the US and Israel, which helps protect Israeli civilians from Hamas rockets. In 2009, Ellison was one of only two-dozen Congressmen to vote “present,” rather than vote in favor of a non-binding resolution “recognizing Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks, reaffirming the United States’ strong support for Israel, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.” And in 2010, Ellison co-authored a letter to President Obama, calling on him to pressure Israel into opening the border with Gaza. The letter describes the blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip as “de facto collective punishment of the Palestinian residents.”

Even beyond Ellison’s past associations with anti-American and antisemitic bigotry, and his troubling current voting record with regard to Israel, his appointment as head of the DNC would be a self-inflicted wound on the Democratic Party at this critical time in its history. It would move the party in the direction of Left-wing extremism at a time when centrist stability is required. The world at large is experiencing a movement toward extremes, both Right and Left. The Democratic Party must buck that dangerous trend and move back to the center where the votes are, and where America should be.

Original Article: Algemeiner

Abbas: We will never recognize Israel


PA chairman and Fatah leader declares the Palestinian Arabs will never give up their fight against israel as a Jewish State.

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who is also leader of Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), on Wednesday declared that Fatah will never give up on its principles, its character and its identity in order to achieve the dream of freedom and an independent state.

Abbas was speaking at the Fatah congress being held in Ramallah, a day after he was re-elected by consensus as Fatah leader.

Attendees at the congress, which is being held for the first time since 2009, include representatives of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist groups, who were invited directly by Fatah, despite the fact that Abbas is considered a “moderate” by most of the Western world, while Hamas and Islamic Jihad openly call for the destruction of the state of Israel.

In his speech on Wednesday, Abbas reiterated that the Palestinian Arabs will not accept a state with temporary borders or interim solutions, and stressed that they will continue to refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

He reiterated the demand to implement the Arab peace initiative without changes, and stated that the PA would continue its efforts, with the help of friendly Arab countries, to approve a Security Council resolution against “Israeli settlements”.

Referring to the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which proclaimed Britain’s support for the establishment of a Jewish national home in then-Palestine, Abbas said that the PA is negotiating with Britain to apologize for the publication of this document, correct the “injustice” done to the Palestinians and recognize the “State of Palestine”.

The PLO has in recent months launched a new campaign in an attempt to force Great Britain to apologize for the Balfour Declaration, going so far as to threaten to sue Britain over the 99-year-old document that declared the right of the Jewish people to a homeland in what was then called southern Syria or Palestine, the name given the area by Rome before the existence of Islam.

Abbas’s remarks come as he continues to refuse to sit down for peace talks with Israel, while imposing preconditions on talks.

Just last week, his spokesman demanded that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announce the end of the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria, recognize the two-state solution and agree to participate in the international peace conference that France wants to convene by the end of the year.

Original Article: Arutz Sheva

UNITED KINGDOM: Jewish students attacked at Cambridge University


Three Jewish students at Christ’s College were violently attacked last month amid allegations of a cover-up by university officials.

According to a report in The Telegraph News, three Jewish students at Christ’s College in Cambridge, Britain were subjected to vile anti-Semitic abuse and physically attacked by members of the Cambridge University drinking society.

One of the victims has accused the university authorities of failing to investigate the incident properly and punish the perpetrators. Two members of Christ’s College were disciplined for their role in the attack but were cleared of charges of anti-Semitism.

According to the report, the students were attacked by a mob after they entered the graduate union building at the end of last month. The bar area had been rented for a party by the sporting societies of Christ’s College.

One of the victims, Shlomo Roiter-Jesner, 25, told The Telegraph: “It was a closed party so we walked out but as we did so these individuals started getting more physical and more vocal and they noticed our kippot. All of a sudden they were shouting: ‘Jew, get f—— out of here’. We tried to leave but they were yelling at us.”

Another of the victims wrote an email to the head of Christ’s College, Professor Jane Stapleton, stating “We, and other bystanders, heard a number of vicious anti-Semitic slurs including ‘f—— Jew, you don’t belong here’, ‘dirty Jew’ and to myself, ‘f— off, darkie’.

“They then proceeded to try and choke my friend with his scarf, leaving him gasping for oxygen, and to push me and the third friend around, despite our attempts to de-escalate the situation. They eventually went back in after threatening to ‘smash our faces in’.”

The university obtained security camera footage of the incident but no audio recording.

Two and a half weeks later, Mr. Roiter-Jesner received a perfunctory reply from Stapleton, stating “The internal disciplinary process of the tutors is now concluded and two students have been disciplined. Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention.”

The students were shocked by the response and the lack of appropriate recognition and disciplinary action. “The college has not confronted the issue at all,” said Mr Roiter-Jesner, “They have brushed it under the carpet.”

Prof Stapleton told the The Telegraph: “The internal investigation did succeed in identifying two Christ’s College students who admitted using foul language and participating in a scuffle but they denied initiating the physical hostility and denied using any anti-Semitic or racist language. In relation to the former they were disciplined.”

She added: “I reject categorically that Christ’s College has engaged in a cover-up on this matter.”

The attack comes amid a background of increasing anti-Semitism in Britain in general and on British university campuses in particular. A watchdog group, the Community Security Trust registered 557 separate incidents during the first half of 2016, This is an 11% increase compared to the first half of 2016. However, the number of anti-Semitic incidents on campus during that period more than doubled, continuing a recent trend of increasing anti-Semitism on British Campuses.

Original Article: Arutz Sheva