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Latest United Nations farce supported by UK, France and Germany

The United Nations has demonstrated yet again just how unfit it is to hold that name title. Also worrying is how it has been supported in its last farce by the UK, France, Germany.

2016-05-26-16-01-14-267196083These nations, together with other EU states have voted for a UN resolution, co-sponsored by the Arab group of states and the Palestinian delegation, that uniquely singled out Israel at the annual assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) as the only violator of “mental, physical and environmental health.”

They further commissioned a WHO delegation to investigate and report on “the health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory” and in “the occupied Syrian Golan,” and to place it on the agenda again at next year’s meeting.

By contrast, the UN assembly did not address Syrian hospitals being bombed by Syrian and Russian warplanes, or millions of Yemenis denied access to food and water by the Saudi-led bombings and blockade, nor did it pass a resolution on China, North Korea, Libya or any other world nation.

Out of twenty-four items on the meeting’s agenda, only one, Item number nineteen against Israel, focused on a specific country.

“The UN reached new heights of absurdity today,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer, “by enacting a resolution which accuses Israel of violating the health rights of Syrians in the Golan, even as in reality Israeli hospitals continue their life-saving treatment for Syrians fleeing to the Golan from the Assad regime’s barbaric attacks.”

“Shame on Britain, France and Germany for encouraging this hijacking of the annual world health assembly, Neuer added.

In contrast to the shocking collaboration of the UK, France and Germany, there is much to commend the principled stand taken by the U.S., Canada, Australia, Paraguay, Guatemala, Micronesia and Papua New Guinea in joining Israel to oppose perpetuating a politicized agenda item.

The U.S. and Canada both took the floor today to strongly object to the anti-Israel exercise.

The vote was 107 to 8 for the resolution, with 8 abstentions and 58 absent.  The resolution calls for reports on a series of alleged Israeli violations, including on “the impact of prolonged occupation and human rights violations on mental,
physical and environmental health” in “the occupied Palestinian territory.”

By backing the measure, EU states effectively adopted an inflammatory report which, amongst other things, blamed the increase in Palestinian traffic accidents on the fear of “being pursued by settlers”; as well as a Syrian submission laced with anti-Semitic conspiracy tropes, yet circulated as an official UN document on the conference agenda, which alleges that “the Israeli occupation authorities” continue “to experiment on Syrian and Arab prisoners with medicines and drugs and to inject them with pathogenic viruses.”

Unable to deny Israel’s medical treatment of thousands of wounded Syrians, the regime accuses Israel of a plot: healing “armed terrorists from Jabhah al-Nusrah” so that they can “resume their subversive terrorist activities directed against the country’s peaceful citizens and its infrastructure.”

The EU states could have introduced their own resolution about how Syria has killed hundreds of thousands of its own people, destroying the health rights of the Syrian people.

Last month, France and Spain voted for an Arab-sponsored UNESCO resolution that contained the wild conspiracy accusation that Israel was “planting fake Jewish graves” in Jerusalem.

With today’s vote, which robs the world health assembly of limited time and resources in order to portray Israel as the world’s only violator of health rights, the entire EU now descends into irrationalism.

By scapegoating the Jewish state for all the world’s health problems, just as medieval Europe once accused the Jews of poisoning the wells, the EU aids and abets the UN and its World Health Organization to betray the cause of humanity and the very principles upon which they were founded.

This article is adapted from one published by UN Watch. Follow the link to it here.

Anti-Semitism on social media rocketing

Anti-Semitism has skyrocketed on social media, mirroring the experiences of many Jewish communities particularly in Europe. The latest data was released by the Shem Olam Institute and social media monitoring and analysis company Buzzilla.

Anti-Semitism on social media has reached new heights, according to a Shem Olam Institute study released Tuesday.
Anti-Semitism on social media has reached new heights, according to a Shem Olam Institute study.

The study revealed that anti-Semitism online was four times higher after September 2015, when the recent spate of terror attacks began in Israel, than it was before Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

“From October 2015 to March 2016 there was a significant increase in the average number of conversations showing anti-Semitic expressions,” the report said. “For the purpose of the present research, anti-Semitism is defined as any deliberate verbal attack towards Jews and the Jewish people (including its history).”

According to the report, half of online anti-Semitic comments include rhetoric such as “Hitler was right.” At the same time, 22% include comments such as “I hate the Jews”; 11%, contain statements like”Burn the Jews” and “I hate the Jewish people”; and 6% contain epithets such as “Bloody Jews.” The study found that the Facebook pages with the most anti-Semitic comments are the pro-Hamas Middle East Monitor, with 710,000 followers, followed by Americans Against Genocide in Gaza, Images of Palestine, Israel Lies and Deceits, and the International Solidarity Movement.

The most anti-Semitic posts were of a video, stemming from the Facebook page of Al Jazeera, purportedly showing the IDF bombing a school in Gaza and a video allegedly showing Israeli police threatening to murder Palestinians. The first video garnered 1.2 million views, 33,000 shares, hundreds of comments, and 20,000 likes. The second video topped it with 1.8 million views, 34,000 shares, and almost 2,000 comments.

In a statement, Shem Olam chairman Rabbi Avraham Krieger described the anti-Semitism on social networks as a “red flag” that reflected the hatred of Jews harbored by many individuals around the world.

Follow the link to the original article here.


United Nations doesn’t even follow its own rules in its continued hatred of all things Israel

Last month, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) appointed Canadian professor Michael Lynk as “Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.”

Un-flag-squareEnsuing debate has focused on Lynk’s suitability for the role. Critics of the appointment cite Lynk’s record of significant involvement in advocacy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including with organizations that are clearly biased against Israel.

Lynk’s may have an impressive career background in academia and law, therefore, there is nothing to suggest he lacks the knowledge or experience for such a position. But this is ultimately irrelevant to the question of whether Lynk is a suitable choice for Special Rapporteur.

First and foremost, the UNHRC itself has declared (in resolutions 5/1 and 16/21) that “impartiality” and “objectivity” are of “paramount importance” when selecting mandate-holders. The choice of any activist is a clear violation of this core requirement.

Lynk has served as an advisory board member to Palestinian advocacy organisations like CEPAL and Friends of Sabeel North America. These organisations have slandered Israel as an “apartheid state.”

Lynk has also accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing.” He has addressed “one-state” conferences, which — despite academic niceties — are premised on the notion that the world’s only Jewish state should be abolished.

He is on record as saying that Israel and Hamas should both be tried for “war crimes,” an allegation that attempts to equivocate the actions of the only liberal democracy in the region to the same moral level as jihadists who in their Covenant publicly call for the destruction of Israel.

Lynk has urged the president of Western University to reject an award from the Jewish National Fund, one of the oldest environmental organizations on earth. As long ago as 1996, Lynk testified before a parliamentary committee considering legislation to establish Canada-Israel free trade, arguing that the bill was “detrimental to the peace process.”

For decades, he has been actively and formally involved in advocacy initiatives that he would characterize as pro-Palestinian but others, with reason, would characterise as anti-Israel.

Lynk is, of course, entitled to hold strong opinions and advocate for them. But in so doing, he disqualifies himself from meeting the “paramount” test of impartiality and objectivity required — that seems to exist only on paper in the halls of the UNHRC.

All of which is to say that Lynk’s appointment is but one manifestation of the corroded nature of the UNHRC. In its most recent session, the UNHRC passed five resolutions against Israel compared to none against Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Russia, Burundi, and China. The Council’s Special Rapporteur for the Palestinians refuses to investigate violations of Palestinian rights by the Palestinian Authority or Hamas. It’s no surprise that 9/11 conspiracy theorist Richard Falk felt at home in the role. Nor can we be shocked the next time a brutal dictatorship like Iran or North Korea is appointed to chair a UN initiative focused on women’s rights or disarmament.

In November, the Trudeau government took a widely noted stand at the UN by maintaining Canada’s opposition to the annual series of General Assembly resolutions singling out Israel. In the same vein, its Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion has commendably raised legitimate concerns with the Lynk appointment and called for a review of the decision. Such a clear positive stance is all too often lacking from other democratic nations.

Indeed, just as hatred of Jews foreshadows the decay of an entire society, anti-Israel bias at the UNHRC reflects broader, systemic dysfunction at the UN — which affects the entire international community.

This article is adapted from an article by Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and published in The National Post.

‘Kill the Jews’ painted on Ukrainian synagogue

Vandals have daubed “kill the Jews” on a synagogue in the central Ukrainian city of Cherkasy. In a separate incident, unidentified persons torched a wreath that an Israeli cabinet minister had placed for Holocaust victims in Kiev.

The incident involving a synagogue was discovered on Wednesday in Cherkasy, Eduard Dolinsky, the director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, wrote on Facebook. In addition to spray-painting the message of incitement to violence against Jews on an external wall, the perpetrators wrote: “Jews annexed Ukraine.”

The vandals used the word “zhyd,” which many Ukrainian Jews consider derogatory.

Eduard Dolinsky
Eduard Dolinsky

Dolinsky sarcastically described the inscription as “traditional congratulations for Purim.”

On Tuesday, Dolinsky wrote that the wreath placed earlier this month by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked at the Babi Yar Holocaust monument had been torched hours after she left it there. The attack was the seventh case of vandalism against the monument since 2015. During the Holocaust, Nazis and local collaborators killed 50,000 Jews there.

Russia and Ukraine have traded accusations of anti-Semitism since relations between the countries deteriorated in 2014. That year, protesters brought down the government of former president Viktor Yanukovych, whom critics said was a corrupt Kremlin stooge.

Russia reacted by annexing the Crimea from Ukraine, citing a need to protect minorities, including Jews, from post-revolution Ukraine, which Russia said was led by anti-Semitic fascists. Denying and mirroring the accusation, Ukraine’s new government accused Russia of oppressing its minorities.

In both countries, the number of anti-Semitic incidents reported annually is lower than 50 — a figure which is more than 10 times lower the data from France and Britain.

Follow this link to the original article here.

Labour Peer threatens to quit party over anti-Semitism

One of our most widely read and discussed reports in recent times was titled,  “The inconvenient truth for the left and why Labour is in such a mess.” It would appear that the furore behind the headline shows little sign of abating. Indeed, matters are potentially going to get even worse for its embattled leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Lord Levy

The party’s former chief fundraiser, Lord Levy, has threatened to quit the party unless more efforts are made to address growing allegations of anti-Semitism plaguing its ranks.

“Anti-Semitism in any political party cannot be tolerated and it is for the leadership to make that absolutely clear,” Lord Levy — who served under former prime minister Tony Blair — said in a Sky News interview. “If they don’t make that clear, then I will start to question myself and actually question my being a Labour peer.”

“It is now up to leadership to make sure that there is a clear and unequivocal message out there that anti-Semitism in any form will not be tolerated within the Labour Party,” Levy continued.

“The leadership must come out with that message in absolutely a specific way because from my perspective — being a member of this party — that is of paramount importance to me.”

However, Corbyn’s is still grappling, amongst other things, with the fallout from his endorsement of enemies of the Israel, including the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah.

Corbyn has rejected accusations that he endorses anti-Semites as “ludicrous and wrong,” and reiterated statements on his determination to fight racism in all its forms. But many British Jews remain suspicious in view of his public endorsements and the stream of allegations emerging out of the left’s dalience with the BDS movement.


Leaked memo examines French police officers who refused to protect synagogues

A leaked confidential memo from the French Department of Public Security, published by Le Parisien, details 17 cases of police officers radicalized between 2012 and 2015. Particularly noted were the police officers who listened to and broadcast Muslim chants while on patrol.

Some of these police officers openly refused to protect synagogues or to observe a minute of silence to commemorate the deaths of victims of terrorist attacks.images-2

…the police were alerted to a policewoman who incited terrorism on Facebook, and called her police uniform a “filthy rag of the Republic” while wiping her hands on it.

In January 2015, immediately after the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the Hypercacher kosher supermarket in Vincennes, which had left 17 people dead, she wrote on her Facebook page: “Masked attack led by Zionist cowards… They need to be killed.”

Some have suggested this raises the prospect of a Muslim police terror attack in France.

UN nomination for key role – same old story

The United Nations are at it again.

Tim Marshall says in his commentary on this latest issue, “Imagine: You’re on trial and you discover the judge appointed to hear the case has already decided you are guilty and has a long history of publicly saying so.”

In this instance it revolves around the UN Human Rights Council’s first choice to become the new Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian territories.

9nLl3xwG_200x200Criminologist, Penny Green, is a professor of law and globalisation at Queen Mary University of London. Her views on Israel are well documented. She is on record as saying that Israel has a “criminal government”, and she believes it is “time to stand up against Israeli state violence”.

She supports the total boycott of Israel, wants Hamas de-listed as a terrorist organisation, and has wondered why the British and Americans have not begun “bombing Israel for its massacres”.

Her opinion she may rightly be entitled to. However, surely anyone, even if they supported these views, might understand that holding them disqualifies you from impartially judging the behaviour of one of principle parties.

The Rapporteurs job as mandated by a 1993 resolution is not to investigate all human rights abuses in Palestine, but only “Israel’s violations”. However, the UN claim that subsequent procedural changes do not make this stipulation and therefore “it would be perfectly conceivable for a mandate holder to interpret the mandate in a proactive manner… In short, this does not restrict the mandate holder from investigating Palestinian violations as well”.

Nevertheless, in the past eight years of 36 statements and reports by the Rapporteur, all 36 have only criticised Israel. No other conflict is investigated by the UN in this twisted manner.

Even if you left that ludicrous prejudice to one side, there would still be a problem. The UNHCR’s own rules state that when selecting a candidate, impartiality and objectivity is of “paramount importance”.

The council’s first choice should come as no surprise. The incumbent in the job is from Indonesia, a country that does not accept the right of one side in the conflict to exist. His predecessor was a 9/11 conspiracy theorist.

The council’s chair normally accepts the candidate recommendation. This is planned to happen on March 24. If a fuss is made, perhaps the compromise could be the second choice, a Canadian lawyer called Michael Lynk, whose views on Israel are, coincidentally, similar to those of Prof Green!


Holocaust denial flyers spread at Australian University

Hundreds of flyers calling the Holocaust the “greatest swindle of all time” have been distributed around Melbourne’s top university.

About 300 Holocaust denial leaflets were found at the University of Melbourne’s city campus car park on Monday afternoon, the first day of semester one.

2016-03-04-07-35-04--1499778926The anti-Semitic flyers claimed Holocaust studies was “replete with nonsense, if not sheer fraud” and included a link to a Holocaust denial website claiming to provide “the facts … not the Hollywood production”.

Dvir Abramovich, chairman of national Jewish human rights body the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission, said it was “utterly sickening that these repugnant flyers” had infiltrated the university.

“There has been an alarming escalation in anti-Jewish hostility in Australia in recent years. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this happened on the first day of semester.”

Jewish and Hebrew studies have been taught at the University of Melbourne since 1946 and include language, literature, history, art and politics courses.

Melbourne University spokesman David Scott said security staff removed the flyers from the University Square car park after being notified on Monday afternoon.

“Other car parks were checked but no other flyers were found.”

Mr Scott said he did not know if this was the first time flyers preaching racial hatred had been distributed at the university.

He said the incident had not been reported to police.

Anti-semitic flyers that in part read “wake up white Australia” were sent to homes in Sydney about 18 months ago.

The flyers, which referenced a neo-Nazi group, were left in letterboxes in Bondi and Double Bay, Fairfax Media reported at the time.

Read more here.

Record Numbers Experience Anti-Semitism on Social Media and Online

AntiSemitismWatch has recently reported on the role of social media in spreading the hate that is Holocaust denial and of the inadequate response by the social media movements in removing anti-Semitic abuse.  Now the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has discovered through its most recent survey that nearly four in every five teenagers living in the State of Israel have encountered anti-Semitism on social media and online, the highest level recorded in three years.

The poll of 500 teenagers between the ages of 15 and 18 found an overwhelming majority – 84 percent – witnessing overtly anti-Semitic content online in 2015 (compared with 69 percent in 2013). Among those, 16 percent said the content was personally directed at them.

Most respondents said they came across anti-Semitic content at least once a month and sometimes weekly or even daily.

“As a highly developed and technologically savvy society in a volatile neighborhood, it is perhaps not surprising that Israeli youths more than ever before are being exposed to anti-Semitic hate on social media,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO.  “It serves as a powerful reminder of the power of social networks and their ability to be used, and abused by those who seek to poison the internet with hatred of Jews.”

social media

The survey, commissioned by ADL’s Israel Office, began by showing respondents a definition of anti-Semitism and asked whether youths had encountered such anti-Jewish expression online, either directed at them or in general. Among those Israeli teens who reported encountering anti-Semitism, poll respondents indicated they witnessed it in various forms:

  • Ninety-four percent (94%) reported seeing anti-Semitic content in posts on Facebook, talkbacks, and Twitter.
  • Ninety-two percent (92%) indicated they had seen anti-Semitic caricatures, pictures or symbols.
  • Eighty-nine percent (89%) of respondents said they had encountered anti-Semitic pages on social networks.
  • Eighty-eight percent of respondents said that they had seen anti-Semitic video clips or songs.
  • Seventy-three percent of respondents said they had run across anti-Semitic websites.

The survey also asked about anti-Semitic content teens encountered on popular social networks.  Among those polled, youths indicated they had seen anti-Semitism on Facebook (76 percent); YouTube (47 percent); Instagram (39 percent); Twitter (31 percent) and WhatsApp (18 percent). The poll did not ask about the specific nature of the anti-Semitic content.

Nearly 40 percent of those who encountered anti-Semitism said they had taken no action to report or counter it directly, compared with 33 percent in 2013.

“Israeli youths, who spend hours on the Internet and on social networks, are clearly more likely than most to have a heightened awareness of anti-Semitic content,” said Carol Nuriel, Acting Director of ADL’s Israel Office.  “Unfortunately, we have reached a saturation point for anti-Israel and anti-Semitic invective on social networks, and young people in Israel are seeing it more and more in their daily lives.  Some clearly feel powerless to confront it.  We need to equip students and young people to have the tools to respond to anti-Semitism appropriately and effectively.”

Read more here.


#TousAvecUneKippa read all about latest twist

#TousAvecUneKippa continues to spark social change in France.

The hashtag phenomenon (meaning “Everyone in a kippah”) was created in January 2016 when, in the aftermath of several violent anti-Semitic attacks, a Jewish community leader advised men to stop wearing their skullcaps in public, “until better days.”

The idea was simple: citizens were invited to take and share pictures of themselves wearing kippot in a display of solidarity with France’s beleaguered Jews.

In only a few short days, the phenomenon went viral, and photos of average citizens, politicians and celebrities wearing kippot took social media by storm. Many were moved to take the campaign off-line, donning skullcaps in their daily lives and sparking changes they would never have anticipated.

Collette (last name withheld), a 23-year-old nursing student living in Paris, says it was “an honour” to post her first selfie in a kippah: “It was eye-opening. It made me proud to stand beside French citizens under threat, and it led to a ton of new Twitter followers.”

The experience left Collette feeling responsible to continue her campaign in the streets – and before she knew it, she wouldn’t leave home without a kippah.

“It’s a political statement,” she says, “but they also look pretty great. I love the velvet ones.”

Collette is not alone. In fact, so many French men and women found it hard to take off their kippot that #TousAvecUneKippa has spawned a trend in the world’s fashion capital, with decorative, personalized, vintage and ironic kippot appearing on runways and couturiers across the country.

After a few short weeks, Collette found herself in a community of activists and trendsetters who were noticing more and more changes the longer they wore a kippah.

Philippe, 30, is a graphic designer who collects vintage kippot from American bar and bat mitzvah parties of the 1980s.

“At first, it was funny,” he says. “I’d order a baguette, they’d give me a bagel. My butcher wouldn’t sell me pork.”

“I started getting letters from the bank,” says Michel, 41, a tattoo artist and competitive slam poet, his eyes welling up, “telling me that my credit score had been upgraded. They never gave me a reason.”

Henrietta, 32, found herself growing frustrated at the assumptions she encountered: “A woman walked up to me the other day and said ‘I know a young man in Tolouse – Erik – he’s also been wearing a kippah lately. Do you know him? Erik? In Tolouse?’

“I nearly lost it. Why should I know some random guy in Toulouse? Because we’re both on social media? Does she think we all know each other?”

The incidents keep piling up. Louis, 24, returned to university to find that he had been transferred to pre-med. Louisa, 47, bought an expensive duvet set, only to find holes cut in the sheets.

Predictably, right-wing politicians and pundits began denouncing the group as a fifth column of French society.

“This is how they work,” said one pundit. “They own and control the social media, and now they’re using it to
undermine our democracy. “I bet Mark Zuckerberg wears a kippah.”

As relationships with friends and families grew strained, these non-Jewish kippah wearers began to frequent the few stores, parks, restaurants and churches where they felt welcome – until almost all of them wound up living in a single neighbourhood, which quickly became known as The Twittle (short for “Twitter shtetl”).

Thankfully, no violence has yet been reported, but threatening graffiti has appeared in the neighbourhood, promising “No forgiveness for the ones who crucified our values.”

There is a silver lining: the situation has been a welcome distraction for France’s Jews, who have used the time to remove their kippot, change their names, and integrate seamlessly into secular French society.

“It was a rough few centuries,” says Marie Girard (formerly Miriam Greenbaum), “but at least we’ve gotten rid of anti-Semitism for good.”