Posts Tagged ‘anti-Semitism’

For Omar and AIPAC, a tweet about money turns into a way to raise some

February 15, 2019

Democrats and pro-Israel lobby are not alone, as The Forward, ZOA and others use the anti-Semitism controversy to pitch donors

In this Jan. 16, 2019 file photo, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., center, walks through the halls of the Capitol Building in Washington. (AP/Andrew Harnik)

In this Jan. 16, 2019 file photo, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., center, walks through the halls of the Capitol Building in Washington. (AP/Andrew Harnik)

JTA — What do Ilhan Omar, AIPAC, the Forward and the ZOA have in common?

They’re all using the same controversy to ask for your money.

For those who haven’t been on the internet this week, here’s a recap: Omar, a Minnesota Democratic congresswoman, tweeted that politicians were being paid to be pro-Israel. Batya Ungar-Sargon, the opinion editor at the Forward, wondered who, exactly, Omar thought was paying the politicians.

Omar’s response: “AIPAC!” That would be the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a major pro-Israel lobby.

Politicians on both sides of the aisle denounced the freshman lawmaker’s tweets as an echo of anti-Semitic stereotypes involving Jewish money and power. She apologized. Then President Donald Trump called on Omar to resign.

And now the controversy has led to fundraising on all sides.

The Zionist Organization of America sent out a pitch saying it “does not accept her recent phony apologies since she has continued her ugly anti-Semitic statements.” Omar appealed to people who considered Trump’s intervention hypocritical after his and other racially charged comments by Republicans.

The Forward, whose opinion editor’s challenge helped spark the controversy, called on donors to help a legacy Jewish newspaper hold politicians to account. AIPAC said Omar’s actions were examples of how Israel is under attack and urged supporters to “renew your commitment to this important work today by clicking here,” offering suggested dollar amounts.

The AIPAC appeal appeared in an email.

“On Sunday, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar invoked old anti-Semitic stereotypes with tweets suggesting that the U.S. government supports Israel only because of Jewish money,” the lobby’s email said, according to media reports. “She has also said that AIPAC pays politicians to be pro-Israel. Aside from being offensive, divisive and ill-informed, the congresswoman’s assertions are plain wrong.”

Zionist Union party leader Avi Gabbay addresses the pro-Israel US lobby AIPAC at its policy conference in Washington DC, March 4, 2018. (John Bowel)

Some who shared the email said the request for money served as an ironic confirmation of Omar’s point, expressed in her apology for the AIPAC tweet, about the “problematic role of lobbyists in our politics.”

But AIPAC has noted that it does “not rate, endorse or direct funds to candidates,” and said in a statement on Omar’s tweet, “Our work is the best manifestation of American democracy: the ability to petition our government and advocate directly for the policies, principles and values important to us.”

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Eli Clifton

@EliClifton

AIPAC just sent out an email denouncing @IlhanMN “suggesting the US government supports Israel only because of Jewish money… and that AIPAC pays politicians to be pro-Israel.”

“The congresswoman’s assertions are plain wrong.”

Then they LITERALLY asked for money.

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Omar also urged her followers to help her pursue the policies, principles and values they share in a fundraising message titled “Trump wants me to resign.”

Notes of support are posted on the name plate outside the office of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) in the Longworth House Office Building on February 11, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images/AFP)

“After their failed midterm strategy of tying Democrats to Nancy Pelosi, their desperation has given birth to a new plan: smearing women of color as radical, anti-Semitic, or crazy,” the email read, referring to Republican groups. “Running on racism may have worked for Trump in 2016, but it’s not going to work in 2020, as long as we all stick together and support one another.”

The email went on to reference times when Trump was accused of supporting bigotry, including in 2017, when he said there were “very fine people” on both sides of a standoff in Charlottesville, Virginia, between white supremacists and their protesters.

“Donate now to send a message to those who want to smear our movement and silence our voices,” the Omar email said.

In her apology, Omar had written that “Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes.”

The Forward wouldn’t be the first publication to capitalize on a scoop or story it generated, and in a fundraising letter Wednesday titled “Battling the new anti-Semitism,” it said that Ungar-Sargon “sparked a major conversation early this week when she called out a congresswoman for her blatant anti-Semitism.”

The fundraising letter offered a blunter reading of the controversy than the opinion pages that Ungar-Sargon edits, which included a range of views on whether or not Omar was trafficking in anti-Semitism. They included op-eds with headlines like “Ilhan Omar Is Not Anti-Semitic. She’s An Anti-Imperialist”; “Ilhan Omar Shouldn’t Apologize. Her Critics Should”; “The Democrats Have A Jewish Problem”; and from Ungar-Sargon herself, “Ilhan Omar Tweeted Something Anti-Semitic. Again.”

This November 1, 1936, magazine section of The Forward, illustrates its evolution from a Socialist publication to a Social Democratic supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal (Public Domain)

The email also incorrectly identified Omar as a congresswoman from Michigan instead of Minnesota. In addition to being another Midwestern state beginning with the letters “Mi,” Michigan is home to the other freshman Muslim congresswoman, Rashida Tlaib. The Forward corrected the email an hour later, but it was too late for some denizens of Jewish Twitter — and progressive Jews in particular, whocastigated the left-leaning paper for the email and perhaps confusing Omar and Tlaib.

Like most nonprofits, Jewish organizations regularly fundraise off events that touch on their business, some taking more credit than others.

Although the current Omar controversy was sparked by a round of tweets among Omar, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. (the House minority leader and former majority leader, who threatened “action” against Omar), Ungar-Sargon and Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept news site. The Zionist Organization of America took credit for “exposing” Omar.

“By now you may have heard how the ZOA and its President Mort Klein exposed Rep. Ilhan Omar for the vile, anti-Semitic and Israel hatred that she has spewed,” a Wednesday fundraising email from ZOA said.

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) president Morton A. Klein (Joseph Savetsky/courtesy of ZOA)

The email said that ZOA leaders “were there first” on Jan. 16 when they called on Omar to be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (while also misspelling her name as “Ihlan”). That same day, Omar appeared on CNN and defended her 2012 tweet in which she accused Israel of “evil doings” and said that nation had “hypnotized the world.”

The American Jewish Committee, another major Jewish group that advocates for Israel, didn’t take credit for being part of the controversy. But AJC did note, in a fundraising email Thursday, that it brought a delegation of high-school students to lobby on Capitol Hill as the scandal was unfolding — and that the students called on officials to condemn Omar’s statement.

“And shortly after meeting with the group, several members issued condemnations of Omar’s remarks,” the email said. “They didn’t do it because of Jewish money; they did it because our young leaders made the compelling case that silence in the face of anti-Semitism was not an option.”

The Anti-Defamation League also sent out an email Tuesday highlighting its work around the controversy, with a donation button reading “Support our work” in the footer.

The Omar controversy was a fundraising opportunity for anti-Zionist groups as well. In a fundraising email Thursday, Jewish Voice for Peace said the attack on Omar reflected anti-Semitism “being cheapened as it is weaponized to suppress and deny important political realities.” JVP said Omar was “attacked for speaking the truth,” along with other people of color who have criticized Israel.

Its email included a “Donate Now” button.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/for-omar-and-aipac-a-tweet-about-money-turns-into-a-way-to-raise-some/

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UK: Labour centrists prepare to form breakaway party

February 14, 2019

MPs ready to act if Jeremy Corbyn rejects amendment calling for a second referendum

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Chuka Umunna is believed to be among the MPs planning to form a breakaway party

By Jim Pickard and Henry Mance in London

Moderate Labour MPs are plotting to form a breakaway political party within weeks if Jeremy Corbyn refuses to back an amendment calling for a second referendum. At least half-a-dozen backbenchers have been holding regular conversations about splitting from the party and forming a new, pro-EU centrist group.

They say Labour has tacked too far to the left under the leadership or Mr Corbyn, a life-long Eurosceptic who spent decades on the party’s fringes. Some MPs say February 27, the date of the next round of voting on Theresa May’s Brexit deal, could be the point of schism if, as expected, Mr Corbyn does not support an amendment backing a so-called people’s vote.

“I’ve talked to them [the moderates] lots of times and they are just so angry. They aren’t listening any more. It sounds like nothing will stop them breaking away,” said one Labour MP. Triggering a by-election to embolden rebels Under one plan, at least one MP would step down to prompt a by-election.

Winning back his or her seat under the banner of a new party would prove the group could “win elections”, a backbencher said. At that point, the breakaway faction would try to persuade other MPs to leave Labour and join them.

A core group, including the backbenchers Chris Leslie, Chuka Umunna, Angela Smith and Gavin Shuker, has been discussing a breakaway party for months. However, in recent weeks others have become “emotional” — a word used by three different MPs — over issues ranging from Brexit to Mr Corbyn’s refusal to criticise the government in Venezuela and his reluctance to condemn Moscow over the poisoning of Sergei Skripal a year ago.

Everything depends on whether Corbyn honours our unanimously agreed policy on a people’s vote Labour MP Recent gatherings of the Parliamentary Labour party have seen growing fury over the leadership’s failure to protect MPs such as Luciana Berger from anti-Semitic abuse allegedly by Corbyn backers.

Members of Ms Berger’s local party have also tried to hold a vote of no confidence in her and are being investigated over claims of bullying. Mr Corbyn has long struggled to win the affection of Labour MPs, with more than 160 signing a petition urging him to quit in 2016. But in the subsequent leadership race he won comfortably and is still held in high esteem by most of the membership, despite growing concerns about his Brexit stance.

The Labour MP Neil Coyle called on Mr Corbyn to change the party’s stance on Brexit and anti-Semitism.

“Members leaving in their thousands over Brexit. Councillors quitting. MPs will leave,” he tweeted.

Talk of a split has been fuelled by Labour falling behind the Conservatives in the polls, with Mr Corbyn now seen by voters as the worst opposition leader in modern history — despite making gains in the 2017 general election. Mr Leslie said this week on Twitter that the membership was being thwarted “from the top” in its desire for another vote. “Brexit is a disaster and we are being played for fools,” he added. One of the potential rebels said it was too early to put a date on the split, saying it could be in the spring.

But the point at which Mr Corbyn rejects a second referendum is seen as the likely trigger. “At the moment, people feel like they have leverage over the process as long as they stay in the party. At the [point when] Corbyn doesn’t go with a popular vote, then what’s the point of staying?” the MP said.

Recommended John McTernan John McTernan: Labour’s ambiguous Brexit stance is now untenable Labour’s official policy is to seek a general election and — if that fails — support other options, including a second referendum.

That compromise, agreed during the party’s annual conference in Liverpool in September, was designed to quell anger among pro-EU grassroots members.

“Everything depends on whether Corbyn honours our unanimously agreed policy on a people’s vote,” said one Labour MP. The vote on February 27 “could be the moment of truth [for a breakaway]. It could theoretically be two weeks after that.” The main supporters of a second referendum are not pushing an amendment this week calling for a new vote.

But Labour MPs Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson are mobilising support for an amendment that would be debated on February 27, whereby second referendum supporters would agree to back Mrs May’s Brexit deal on the proviso that she puts it to a popular vote. Would a split be counter-productive? A breakaway could be seen as counter-productive by some supporters of a second referendum, who want to keep attention focused on the possibility of another vote because they believe the opportunity to force one could arrive at any time until the end of March.

Any new party would probably comprise only a small core of critics of Mr Corbyn as a larger group of Labour MPs is considering ways of influencing and forming policy without breaking entirely with the party. Ever since Mr Corbyn became Labour leader in 2015, there has been speculation about potential donors wanting to put their money behind a new centrist party.

In theory, such an entity could attract some of the handful of pro-EU Conservative MPs currently being targeted for deselection by their own, Eurosceptic grassroots, such as Anna Soubry and Sarah Wollaston. The new group, which could draw from the organisational structure of the “People’s Vote” campaign, could eventually merge with the Liberal Democrats, who lost most of their MPs after a spell in coalition with the Tories from 2010-15.

One of the half-dozen rebels admitted they were not a “well-oiled organisation” with a “clinical” plan. “It’s more of an emotional thing,” he said.

https://www.ft.com/content/f9b00620-2f9c-11e9-ba00-0251022932c8

Can the Democrats ever get over their anti-Israel bias? — Defiance, anger and hatred are not good policy

February 13, 2019

Whew, that was a close call. But now that Democrats have pulled back from the brink of unchecked anti-Semitism, they can return to their regularly scheduled programming of routine anti-Israel bias.

The vile tweets of Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar about Jews, money and dual loyalty were forcefully repudiated by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others, though their decision to merely scold her means Omar remains on the Foreign Affairs panel and has a prominent perch from which to peddle her BDS B.S.

By Michael Goodwin
Commentary

Any doubt that Omar will do just that was erased in her defiant “apology,” which included another snide reference to AIPAC where she compared its lobbyists to those of the NRA and oil industry.

“It’s gone on too long and we must be willing to address it,” she concluded about all three. She also continues to retweet complaints from others who charge they, too were falsely accused of anti-Semitism after criticizing AIPAC, a sign she considers herself the victim of what, Jewish power?

The problem going forward for Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has multiple tentacles, and they overlap in Omar. She succeeded Keith Ellison, who freely associated with Louis Farrakhan, as did other Democrats, meaning a significant number of elected officials are comfortable with the most notorious anti-Semite in America.

Recall the long-suppressed photo of a grinning Barack Obama with Farrakhan. Imagine if Donald Trump or any other Republican had . . . you get the point.

Another new Dem, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, once wrote a column for Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam publication. And some supporters with her when she declared her intention to “impeach the motherf–ker,” meaning Trump, believe Israel has no right to exist.

To be clear, not all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic, and as a nation state, it should generally be held to the same rules and norms we expect from others.

While there’s not always a bright line between legitimate criticism and veiled anti-Semitism, a consistent one is when someone says Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish state, or demands policies that would lead to the same outcome.

As a test, the next time you hear someone make such comments, ask what other countries also have no right to exist. Chances are you won’t get an answer, just an assault on Israel over its treatment of Palestinians or some other supposed injustice against mankind.

And let’s not waste time discussing the United Nations, where the general tone is that the world would be a better place if Jews would disappear.

Even the anti-Semites among Democrats don’t go that far, at least publicly. But much of the party, and many of its young members, are guilty of singling out Israel for condemnation while ignoring the same practices by other nations.

Or, conversely, they criticize other nations — say, for harsh treatment of gays or making women second-class citizens — without acknowledging that Israel is an excellent exception in the Mideast.

Most revealing is that many Dems will never make a strong, straightforward case for Israel. Any defense of it is begrudging and often whittled to nothingness with criticisms of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, or of Israeli settlements or the ultra-Orthodox.

In their own ways, these Democrats resemble NeverTrump Republicans, who must acknowledge something nice about the president. They’ll do it, but they’d rather bite off their tongues.

This persistent double standard reflects a bias so common, it is no longer noteworthy. Especially on college campuses and other far-left hangouts, Israel is just a colonizing power, a bullying nation of white interlopers oppressing nonwhites. The comparisons to South Africa’s apartheid system are routine — and ridiculous.

Ridiculous because they deny history, as if Jews just showed up in Jerusalem after the Holocaust. Those who spew such nonsense are also ignorant of the Bible — or perhaps they see the Bible as an oppressors’ version of history.

They also understand nothing about the dynamic economy Israel has created, a mighty engine that goes beyond the well-documented tech industry. The first time I was there, in 2000, there were concerns about fresh water, especially with Syria trying to divert water on the Golan Heights.

Now Israel is a leader in desalination projects. And it has made the desert bloom by treating sewage water and reusing it for irrigation.

With its offers of a two-state solution rejected for nearly two decades by Palestinians, Israel has forged remarkable diplomatic and security alliances with Arab states. And it has developed trading relations with China among others in Asia.

Democrats dare not admit or admire any of these accomplishments, nor can they acknowledge the real cause of the Palestinians’ plight: the failure of their leaders to take yes for an answer to Israel’s offer for a separate state.

The rejections and insults of President Mahmoud Abbas toward Trump have added to his people’s misery — yet there is no challenge to his leadership, or even a free vote. So where is the American left’s outrage about the violence and intimidation of ordinary Palestinians?

As for Hamas, what advice do college leftists have for how Israel should deal with a terror group whose charter pledges to eliminate the Jewish state? After all, these college snowflakes can’t even bear to hear a thought they don’t agree with, yet they act as if they have the answers to Mideast peace.

That is the Democrats’ ultimate problem. Their party is now largely secular, angry and radical, and moving away from its Judeo-Christian roots. The trends are more pronounced now than they were 10 years ago, and we can only imagine where the party will be 10 years from now.

Against this madness, give Trump his due. He embraces Israel for the miracle and strategic ally it is, and boldly moved our embassy to Jerusalem. And so far, when it comes to standing with Israel, the Dems looking to challenge him in 2020 offer no competition.

https://nypost.com/2019/02/12/can-the-democrats-ever-get-over-their-anti-israel-bias/

Ilhan Omar Should Know: Left-wing anti-Semitism is a gift to the right.

February 12, 2019

Last October, after a crude mail bomb was found in George Soros’s mailbox, Representative Kevin McCarthy, the California Republican who is now the House minority leader, tweeted, “We cannot allow Soros, Steyer and Bloomberg to buy this election!” The tweet, since deleted, was referring to Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg, both of them, like Soros, Jews who are often the object of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Speaking on CNN, Steyer, who had also been sent a mail bomb, described McCarthy’s tweet as a “straight-up anti-Semitic move.”

So it was a bit rich when, last week, McCarthy posed as the indignant defender of the Jewish people, threatening to force congressional action against two freshman Democratic representatives, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, for their criticism of Israel.

It would have been easy enough for either Omar or Tlaib to point out McCarthy’s cynical hypocrisy. Instead, Omar responded with a blithely incendiary tweet quoting Puff Daddy’s ode to the power of money: “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby.” When an editor at The Forward, a Jewish publication, asked who Omar thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel, she responded, “Aipac!,” meaning the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the United States’ most prominent pro-Israel lobby.

[Listen to “The Argument” podcast every Thursday morning, with Ross Douthat, Michelle Goldberg and David Leonhardt.]

Commentary
By Michelle Goldberg
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Image result for Ilhan Omar, cnn, pictures

Consciously or not, Omar invoked a poisonous anti-Semitic narrative about Jews using their money to manipulate global affairs. This came just weeks after she’d had to apologize for a 2012 tweet in which she said that Israel had “hypnotized” the world, phrasing that also recalled old canards about occult Jewish power. Her words were a gift to Republicans, who seek to divide the Democrats over Israel, even as their president traffics in anti-Semitic imagery and stereotypes. The knives were out for Omar and she ran right into them.

On Monday afternoon, Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the House Democratic leadership rebuked Omar and called on her to apologize for her “use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters.” It was a depressing fall from grace for someone who just weeks ago was being feted as a path breaker, a refugee from Somalia who, alongside Tlaib, rose to become one of America’s first two Muslim congresswomen.

Omar herself has been subject to vicious Islamophobic smears, and has also come under attack for supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which seeks to use economic pressure to secure Palestinian rights. Perhaps such criticism is why she’s sometimes seemed unwilling or unable to distinguish between disingenuous political pile-ons and good-faith calls to respect Jewish sensitivities. But whether from carelessness or callousness, her weekend tweets damaged her political allies and squandered some of her own hard-won power.

After I tweeted about Omar on Monday, an anti-racist activist sent me a message expressing genuine confusion about why I found the congresswoman’s words offensive. After all, it’s hardly radical to point out that lobbyist money has pernicious political effects. (Aipac doesn’t make direct contributions to candidates, but it does rally donors on their behalf.) And I certainly have no problem with denunciations of Aipac, which plays a malign role in pushing American policy in the Middle East to the right.

But at a moment when activists have finally pried open space in American politics to question our relationship with Israel, it’s particularly incumbent on Israel’s legitimate critics to avoid anything that smacks of anti-Jewish bigotry. And the idea of Jews as global puppet masters, using their financial savvy to make the gentiles do their bidding, clearly does.

In 2017, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, a left-wing, broadly anti-Israel group, put out a guide to help progressives understand anti-Semitism. It describes how in “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” the early-20th-century Russian forgery purporting to reveal a Jewish plan for world domination, “Jews are depicted as shadowy figures with a lot of money, top-level access, ready to betray the nations of our residence (and our neighbors) in service of an unseen authority.”

In truth, while Aipac’s influence is extensive, no one needs to pay off conservatives to make them support Israel. Evangelicals, a far bigger constituency than American Jews, tend to be pro-Israel for religious reasons; some believe that the return of Jews to their biblical homeland is a precondition for the rapture and the Second Coming of Christ. Plenty of others on the right love Israel because it’s a nationalistic, pro-American power in the middle of the Middle East. You can’t blame Jewish money for Kevin McCarthy’s terrible politics.

Not long after Pelosi’s statement, Omar released one of her own, apologizing “unequivocally.” She wrote, “Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes.” Personally, I’m happy to accept her apology. Progressive American Muslims and Jews should be natural allies; our mutual future depends on deepening this country’s embattled commitment to multiethnic democracy. Prejudice helps bind the modern right together, but unchecked it can rip the left apart.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email:letters@nytimes.com.

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Michelle Goldberg has been an Opinion columnist since 2017. She is the author of several books about politics, religion and women’s rights, and was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for public service in 2018 for reporting on workplace sexual harassment issues. @michelleinbklyn

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page A22 of the New York edition with the headline: Ilhan Omar’s Very Bad Tweets.

Anti-Semitic acts sparks outrage in France

February 12, 2019

A tree planted in a Paris suburb in memory of a young Jewish man who was tortured to death in 2006 has been chopped down, authorities said Monday, confirming the latest in a series of anti-Semitic acts in France.

Ilan Halimi was kidnapped by a gang that demanded huge sums of money from his family, believing them to be rich because he was Jewish.

After being tortured for three weeks, the 23-year-old cellphone salesman was found dumped next to a railway in the southern suburb of Sainte-Genevieve-des-Bois. He died while being brought to hospital.

On Monday, municipal workers sent to prepare a memorial site for an annual remembrance ceremony this week discovered that a tree planted in his honour had been chopped down and a second one partly sawn through, local officials told AFP.

Joann Sfar, Facebook screengrab | An anti-Semitic graffiti tag (“Juden”, or Jews in German) discovered on a Bagelstein restaurant in Paris on February 9, 2019

The police are investigating the incident, which the French government’s special representative on racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination, Frederic Potier, described as “ignominious”.

It is the latest in a series of anti-Semitic acts and attacks that have raised fears of a new wave of anti-Jewish violence in a country that is home to Europe’s biggest Jewish population.

Anti-Semitic acts surged by 74 percent last year, from 311 in 2017 to 541 in 2018, French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said Monday.

“Anti-Semitism is spreading like poison,” the visibly moved minister said near the spot where the tree was chopped down.

“By attacking… Ilan Halimi’s memory, it’s the Republic that’s being attacked,” he added, vowing that the government would take action.

In two separate incidents in the past two days, swastikas were drawn on Paris postboxes containing portraits of late Holocaust survivor Simone Veil and the word Juden (German for Jews) was sprayed on the window of a bagel bakery in the capital.

The incident involving the postboxes was reported by artist Christian Guemy, who painted the portraits of Veil on the boxes in the city’s 13th district to mark her burial last year at the Pantheon, final resting place of France’s most illustrious figures.

A former justice minister, Veil was a hugely respected figure whose death in 2017 caused a national outpouring of emotion.

“Shame on the despicable person that disfigured my tribute to Simeon Veil, Holocaust survivor,” Guemy tweeted Monday along with pictures of the boxes.

Reacting to the tweet, European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau expressed consternation over the “desecration”.

Jihadist attacks

Meanwhile on Sunday, one of the founders of French bagel bakery chain Bagelstein said vandals had sprayed the word “Juden” in yellow paint on the window of an outlet in the Ile Saint-Louis island in central Paris.

Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux drew a line between the graffiti and an arson attack last week on the home of parliament speaker Richard Ferrand, over which the “yellow vest” protest movement has come under suspicion.

But Gilles Abecassis, co-founder of Bagelstein, said he did not believe that anti-government demonstrators, some of whom have shown support for a comedian convicted of anti-Semitism, were responsible.

“They wrote it in yellow but that could be for the Star of David,” he said, adding that he had received thousands of messages of solidarity from around the world.

In November, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe warned that France, whose pro-Nazi regime deported Jews during World War II, was “very far from being finished with anti-Semitism”.

In recent years, French jihadists have targeted Jews in a number of attacks.

In 2011, an Islamist gunman shot dead a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse and in 2015 an extremist claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group killed four people at a kosher supermarket in Paris.

(AFP)

GOP leader promises ‘action’ against Democrats accused of anti-Semitism

February 9, 2019

Kevin McCarthy says remarks by pro-BDS lawmakers Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar on Israel are as bad as a Republic lawmaker’s musings on white supremacy, if not ‘more so’

Illustrative: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Republican-California) speaks to reporters as he returns to the Capitol from a meeting with US President Donald Trump about border security and ending the partial government shutdown, in Washington, on January 2, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Illustrative: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Republican-California) speaks to reporters as he returns to the Capitol from a meeting with US President Donald Trump about border security and ending the partial government shutdown, in Washington, on January 2, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINTON (JTA) — The Republican leader in the US House of Representatives said he would take action against two Democrats who have sharply criticized Israel if the Democratic majority did not do so.

“If they do not take action I think you’ll see action from myself,” Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader, said according to Capitol Hill reporters writing for a number of newspapers. “This cannot sustain itself. It’s unacceptable in this country.”

McCarthy noted that he had recently taken action to isolate Republican Representative Steve King of Iowa, who has long associated with white supremacists. The precipitating event for McCarthy was when King wondered in an interview why terms like “white supremacy” were stigmatized.

Statements by freshmen Democrats Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota were equal to King’s and “more so,” McCarthy said. He did not say what action he might initiate against them.

This combination of 2018 photos shows Representatives Ilhan Omar (Democrat-Minnesota), left, and Rashida Tlaib (Democrat-Michigan), in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster,)

It’s not clear what statements McCarthy particularly found offensive, but both lawmakers embrace the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel, and both have been accused of tweets that cross the line to anti-Semitism: Tlaib in January when she appeared to accuse senators of dual loyalty for advancing a bill that would protect states penalizing commercial Israel boycotts; and Omar in 2012 when she said Israel was “hypnotizing” the world. Omar has in recent days apologized multiple times for that tweet.

Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House speaker, has not spoken out against the pro-BDS positions or the controversial statements of Tlaib and Omar, although a number of other Democratic leaders have, including Representatives Ted Deutch (Democrat-Florida), the chairman of the House Middle East subcommittee, and Eliot Engel (Democrat-New York), the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/gop-leader-promises-action-against-democrats-accused-of-anti-semitism/

UK anti-Semitism breaks record high for 3rd year in a row, says watchdog

February 7, 2019

Community Security Trust, which monitors and protects British Jews, reports 16% increase in incidents in 2018, indicating upward trend for Jew-hatred

Members of the Jewish community hold a protest against Britain's opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn and anti-Semitism in the  Labour party, outside the British Houses of Parliament in central London on March 26, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMEN)

Members of the Jewish community hold a protest against Britain’s opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn and anti-Semitism in the Labour party, outside the British Houses of Parliament in central London on March 26, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMEN)

The number of recorded anti-Semitic events rose 16 percent in the last year, to 1,652 incidents around the UK, according to British Jewry’s watchdog and security group.

This represents the highest number of incidents against Jews since Community Security Trust (CST) began keeping track in 1984.

In a report released Thursday, CST said that 2018 marked the third consecutive record high year for reported anti-Semitic incidents. In 2017, there were 1,420 and in 2016, the organization recorded 1,375.

The numbers come after a year that saw Britain’s Labour Party grapple with accusations of anti-Semitism. Almost 150 incidents were linked to the party, according to CST.

According to the CST, the consistently high figures indicate that people who hold anti-Semitic opinions feel more comfortable expressing those views, causing the increased levels of anti-Semitism to now be the standard rather than the exception. In addition, the CST report said, victims or witnesses may be more motivated to report about anti-Semitism they encounter.

The figures reflect what Jewish leaders in the US and Europe have pointed to as an alarming rise in anti-Semitism, much of it linked to the rise of far-right populists. An EU report published in December found some 90 percent of Jews across the Continent felt that anti-Semitism had increased where they live.

The CST report noted a decrease in the overall number of violent assaults reported to the group in 2018, down to 123 violent assaults compared to 149 in 2017. However, this year saw the first case of “Extreme Violence” since 2015, characterized as “any attack potentially causing loss of life of grievous bodily harm.”

Adam Thomas and Claudia Patatas, alleged neo-Nazis living in the UK who named their baby after Hitler. (West Midlands Police via BBC)

In that case, the CST report said, “the victim was attacked and cut with a knife, punched and kicked, while the offender stated ‘I’m going to kill you, you f***ing Jew.’”

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There are over 263,000 Jews in the United Kingdom as of the 2011 national census, making it the fifth-largest Jewish community in the world, and the second-largest in Europe. Nearly 75% of the incidents reported in 2018 took place in the Greater London or Greater Manchester areas, home to the two largest UK Jewish communities.

In an incident in May, the perpetrators shouted racist insults at a Jewish man walking to synagogue on Shabbat. They pelted him with food from McDonald’s.

More than 100 incidents — an unprecedented number — were reported in each calendar month of 2018. Prior to January 2016, the entire decade saw only six months in which monthly totals surpassed 100 incidents.

The report theorizes that spikes in incidents over 2018 correlated to events abroad, such as the weekly Palestinian March of Return protests along the Gaza border. Those protests saw a significant number of Palestinians – many of whom were members of the Hamas terror group – killed or injured by Israeli fire during the months of April and May.

The CST study also suggested that an increase in incidents likely paralleled moments when an ongoing debate over anti-Semitism in the Labour party received increased media attention.

According to the report, there were “148 antisemitic incidents in 2018 that were examples of, or took place in the immediate context of, arguments over alleged antisemitism in the Labour Party.”

Illustrative: A swastika and the word ‘kikes’ spray painted on the sign for the Etz Chaim Synagogue in Leeds. (UK Jewish News)

recent study by the London-based Institute for Jewish Policy Researchshowed that anti-Israel and anti-Semitic attitudes in the UK were closely linked. In addition, last month one of Britain’s top lawyers said that the country’s Jews faced a “perfect storm of pressure from left and right.”

The CST report stated that 45% of the incidents reported in 2018 involved the use of extremist language or imagery, up from 30% in 2017.

However, the report said, “Not all of these incidents revealed a clear, single ideological motivation: many involved the varied and confused use of different extremist motifs, drawn from a broad reservoir of antisemitic sources.”

According to the CST, 456 incidents involved far-right or Nazi language or imagery, 254 involved Israel and the Palestinians, and 285 contained “more than one type of extremist discourse.”

In 502 cases recorded last year, witnesses gave descriptions of the alleged perpetrators. Among them, 64% were described as Europeans and 37% as Arab, South Asian, or black.

CST has recorded anti-Semitic incidents since 1984. The number of incidents since 2013 has more than tripled from the 535 recorded that year.

With contributions from JTA.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/uk-anti-semitism-breaks-record-high-for-3rd-year-in-a-row-says-watchdog/

UN chief: World must rise up against worsening anti-Semitism

January 29, 2019

Antonio Guterres tells Holocaust commemoration event that international community should not ignore similarities between today and 1930s, says hate moving into mainstream

Antonio Guterres delivering remarks at the opening of the exhibit 'Beyond Duty: Righteous Diplomats among the Nations.' (UN/Manuel Elias)

Antonio Guterres delivering remarks at the opening of the exhibit ‘Beyond Duty: Righteous Diplomats among the Nations.’ (UN/Manuel Elias)

UNITED NATIONS — Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Monday that hatred of Jews is growing, calling for a concerted fight “against rising anti-Semitism.”

“Not only is anti-Semitism still strong – it is getting worse,” Guterres told the UN’s annual commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. “We must rise up against rising anti-Semitism.”

Guterres cited figures that showed anti-Semitic incidents in the United States increased 57 percent in 2017, according to the Anti-Defamation League and noted that the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency reported last year that 28 percent of Jews experienced some form of harassment just for being Jewish.

In this photo from October 6, 2018, police officers search a visitor of a far neo-Nazi rock concert in Aploda, Germany. Slogan on the shirt reads ‘guaranteed indexed.’ (Sebastian Haak/dpa via AP)

And he urged the world not to “ignore the similarities” between political discourse and attacks on Jews and other minorities today and in the 1930s.

The UN chief pointed to attempts to rewrite the history of the Holocaust, during which 6 million Jews and many others were murdered by Adolf Hitler’s forces during the Nazi occupation of Europe in World War II.

Guterres also warned that neo-Nazi group are proliferating and recruiting the disaffected and people with military experience.

“It is necessary – more and more – that we sound an alarm,” he said.

A person holds a sign during a protest gathering on the block of the Jewish Community Center in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, where the funeral for Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz, Tuesday Oct. 30, 2018. (AP/Gene J. Puskar)

The massacre three months ago at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh by a heavily armed man shouting “All Jews must die” was in keeping with the neo-Nazis’ “advocacy of violent, so-called ‘lone wolf’ attacks,” the secretary-general said. The man killed 11 worshipers in the worst anti-Semitic attack in US history.

“Inevitably, where there is anti-Semitism, no one else is safe,” Guterres said. “Across the world, we are seeing a disturbing rise in other forms of bigotry.”

He pointed to attacks and persecution aimed at Muslims in several countries, at Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, at the Yazidi minority in Iraq, and at others, “simply for who they are.”

“Intolerance today spreads at lightning speed across the internet and social media,” Guterres said. “Perhaps most disturbingly, hate is moving into the mainstream — in liberal democracies and authoritarian systems alike.”

Supporters of the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement hold flags during a demonstration at the Kungsholmstorg square in Stockholm, Sweden on August 25, 2018. (AFP/ TT News Agency / Fredrik Persson)

He said political discourse is being coarsened and “the demonization of others rages on,” with political parties once considered pariahs now making gains and no longer afraid to trumpet their views.

“Such hatred is easy to uncork, and very hard to put back in the bottle,” he warned.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day marks the liberation of the Nazi’s Auschwitz death camp 74 years ago, and Guterres said it is imperative to heed the lessons of the Holocaust, especially by keeping its memory alive.

Illustrative image of students visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp site in Poland, April 16, 2015. (Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)

But he cited a recent poll in Europe that said one-third of people surveyed reported knowing “little or nothing about the Holocaust.” Among millennials, “some two-thirds had no idea Auschwitz was a death camp,” he said.

“Education is crucial — about the Holocaust, about genocide and crimes against humanity, about racism and the history of slavery,” Guterres said.

“And we must stand up to those who disseminate hatred,” he said.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/un-chief-world-must-rise-up-against-worsening-anti-semitism/

At Women’s March, anti-Semitism scandal overshadows anti-Trump effort

January 20, 2019

Who do women hate most?

Groups leaders address Jewish community directly in attempt to fend off allegations, as smaller crowd highlights divisions rocking organization

Co-presidents of the 2019 Women's March, Linda Sarsour, left, and Tamika Mallory, center, join other demonstrators on Pennsylvania Avenue during the Women's March in Washington on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Co-presidents of the 2019 Women’s March, Linda Sarsour, left, and Tamika Mallory, center, join other demonstrators on Pennsylvania Avenue during the Women’s March in Washington on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

WASHINGTON — Leaders of the Women’s March tried to allay accusations of anti-Semitism roiling their movement on Saturday, as they gathered for their third annual march on Washington.

After months of controversy, the cloud hanging over the organization because of its leaders’ alleged anti-Semitism led not only to a smaller turnout from years past, but also appeared to overshadow the group’s policy goals.

In a relatively subdued demonstration compared to years prior — without the star-studded presence it had become accustomed to — speaker after speaker addressed the Jewish community directly.

“Over the last year, my sisters in Women’s March and I have faced accusations that have hurt my soul, charges of anti-Semitism,” Carmen Perez, one of the national co-chairs of the organization, told a crowd of hundreds gathered under grey skies in DC’s Freedom Plaza. “And I want to be unequivocal in affirming that Women’s March and I and my sisters condemn anti-Semitism and homophobia and transphobia in all forms. There is no defense of bigotry. There is no excuse for hate.”

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Ginny Suss, Carmen Perez, Gloria Steinem, Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory and others. CNN photo

Over the last several months, the Women’s March has been embroiled by accusations that the leadership pushed out the movement’s allies because they are Jewish, and that two of the co-chairs said in a private setting that Jews were responsible for the oppression of people of color. Both of those leaders — Perez and Tamika Mallory — have denied the charge. The group’s leaders also have close ties to the notorious anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam.

“To my Jewish sisters,” said Mallory when speaking from the stage, “do not let anyone tell you who I am. I see all of you. I see you and I hear your pain.”

On Friday, Mallory initiated even more controversy when she refused to affirm on a PBS broadcast that Women’s March believed Israel had a right to exist.

“I have said many times that I feel everyone has a right to exist, I just don’t feel anyone has a right to exist at the disposal of another group,” she said.

Co-president of the 2019 Women’s March, Tamika Mallory, center, joins other demonstrators on Pennsylvania Avenue during the Women’s March in Washington on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

The interviewer, Margaret Hoover, pushed her to specify whether that applied to the Jewish state. “Does that include Israel and Israelis?” she asked. “I’m done talking about this,” Mallory responded.

Demonstrators hold signs on Pennsylvania Avenue during the Women’s March in Washington on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

She also posed with Farakhan two years ago after he made anti-Semitic remarks. Appearing on The View this week, Mallory refused to explicitly condemn Farakhan. “That is not my language,” she said instead, referring to the Nation of Islam leader’s history of Jewish hatred.

In another attempt to shift attention from the firestorm surrounding the Women’s March, another national co-chair, the Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour, suggested on Saturday that it was a distraction from a real crisis: Donald Trump’s presidency.

“The media can talk about whatever controversy they want, but the real controversy was in the White House,” she said. “What’s controversial is a president and administration that cages children. That throws tear gas at human beings at the border. A president who wants to take back rights for LGBTQ people. What’s controversial is our complicit support for a Saudi-led war in Yemen. Controversy is collusion with Russia. So if you want to talk about controversy, let’s start talking about the real controversy.”

Counter-protesters hold signs as people march during the Women’s Unity Rally at Foley Square on January 19, 2019 in New York City. (ANGELA WEISS / AFP

Sarsour, who is a vociferous backer of the anti-Israel BDS movement, said the Women’s March called for defending “freedom of speech and the constitutional right to boycott, divestment, and sanctions in these United States of America.”

She also said Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American member of Congress and another vociferous BDS supporter, her “favorite” new voice on Capitol Hill.

There has been a push in Congress over the past year to pass Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which would criminalize boycotts against the Jewish state.

The legislation has been deeply controversial. It’s opposed by both the American Civil Liberties Union and the liberal Middle East advocacy group J Street, which opposes the BDS movement, on the grounds that it would unconstitutionally suppress the speech rights of BDS adherents. The bill’s authors say it would protect US companies from needing to comply with boycott attempts called upon by international bodies, like the UN.

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As opposed to the last two years, Women’s Marches in Washington and elsewhere drew smaller numbers, and many high profile supporters stayed away.

Many who did show up were also forced to grapple with the anti-Semitism allegations.

“We know there is no room for anti-Semitism in our movement. We know this,” Democrat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a 2020 presidential contender, said at a Women’s March in Iowa. “We know that our movement is empowered when all of us lift each other up.”

In New York, an alternate women’s march organization held a parallel rally a few miles away from the official New York Women’s March protest.

While many Jewish protesters and groups said they would stay away from the march, some did participate, including Abby Stein, a transgender Jewish woman and ordained rabbi.

Stein gave an impassioned speech in which she said she was there with her “Jewish family” and that “some in the media are trying to divide us.”

Those gathered, she added, should seek unity. She went on to lead a cheer seeking to exorcise various forms of hatred, yelling out each one in succession.

The first one she screamed: anti-Semitism.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/at-womens-march-anti-semitism-scandal-overshadows-anti-trump-effort/

Women’s March has twisted feminism into toxic femininity

January 19, 2019

As campaigns against “toxic” manhood continue in this #MeToo era, few people talk about “toxic” femininity. Unfortunately, this is because the poison of modern-day feminism has convinced a malleable culture that masculinity should be denigrated. Somehow, eschewing half of society is how equality will finally be achieved.

One culprit in this misaligned crusade is the Women’s March. What began as a response to President Trump’s election and his questionable behavior toward women has morphed into a symbol of another sickness, that of toxic femininity. The organizers of the Women’s March insist they promote equality, diversity, and freedom — while contradicting these values with their words and actions. Included on their page of unity principles are the terms human rights, gender justice/gender norms, racial justice, and reproductive freedom.

Meanwhile, women directly associated with the campaign’s very formulation, Tamika Mallory and Sharia law-loving Linda Sarsour, are unabashed anti-Semites. Mallory, who reveres the blatantly racist Louis Farrakhan, refused to publicly condemn his words of hate during a recent exchange on “The View” with

As the Daily Beast reported:

‘Do you condemn Farrakhan’s remarks about Jewish people?’

‘We didn’t make those remarks,’ Mallory responded. ‘I don’t agree with many of Minister Farrakhan’s statements.’

‘Do you condemn them?’ McCain asked again.

‘I don’t agree with these statements,’ Mallory said. ‘It’s not my language, it’s not the way that I speak, it’s not how I organize … I should never be judged through the lens of a man.’

‘You won’t condemn it,’ McCain said.

In response to the continued and unapologetic anti-Semitism, even the Democratic National Committee removed its sponsorship from the group.

Let us also not forget how the Women’s March enthusiastically supports killing the unborn as part of their basic platform of supposed equality. What they call “reproductive freedom” includes “open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people, regardless of income, location or education.”

How thoroughly discriminatory. There is nothing so anti-freedom as stripping the most basic of human rights, life, upon which every other right is built. To do so and call it progress or justice is an abomination. And still, the Women’s March proudly claims the life-ending procedure as a virtue to be praised.

 

The Women’s March, its organizers, and those who uncritically support them are awash in toxic femininity.

If we’re going to talk about “toxic” masculinity, then we need to discuss its counterpart. Both masculinity and femininity are natural and necessary for the health of society. The men and women who reject the inherent and honorable qualities within each are the issues, not the attributes themselves. Treating men as almost the sole reason for the cultural breakdown, when women have also played a major part in the deterioration, is to ignore the problem.

We live in a post-Harvey Weinstein world where, thankfully, legitimate sexual harassment and abuse won’t be swept under the rug any longer. As society addresses issues that have been dismissed for far too long, it also must not give in to believing only one party is to blame. Femininity that rejects diversity, pins the onus on men, and gleefully embraces the destruction of life through abortion is just as destructive.

Kimberly Ross (@SouthernKeeks) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog and a senior contributor at RedState.com.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/the-womens-march-has-twisted-feminism-into-toxic-femininity

Related:

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Female Marine recruits in boot camp in Parris Island, S.C., Feb. 27, 2013. PHOTO: SCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES

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Compared to other species, including our closest relatives, chimpanzees, the brain takes up much more body weight in human beings. Photo: iStockphoto

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  (December 18, 2018)

See also:

‘It’s about time’: Facebook faces first lawsuit from U.S. regulators after Cambridge Analytica scandal

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/12/19/dc-attorney-general-sues-facebook-over-alleged-privacy-violations-cambridge-analytica-scandal/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0a7f6680eccd

Cambridge Analytica, the political firm, sought to create “psychographic” profiles about social-media users — using their Facebook data — and target them with messages that preyed on their hopes and fears.