Korean crisis raises stakes of US-Israel missile cooperation – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Kim Jong-un, North Korea leader. (photo credit:KNS / KCNA / AFP)

WASHINGTON Meeting with senior Trump administration officials in Washington last week, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman twice referenced the growing threat posed by North Koreas missile programs preoccupying the White House in its first days on the job.

Liberman described to US Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson an axis of evil stretching from Tehran to Pyongyang, according to the Defense Ministry a striking reference to a past time, the era of president George W. Bush, in which Irans military cooperation with North Korea was said to have peaked. American security cooperation with Israel once again has implications beyond the Middle East, the ministry added.

The US and Israel have worked together for years to mitigate missile threats from Iran and North Korea, which have in turn worked jointly to advance their programs.

But Washingtons cooperation with Jerusalem has been fraught with complications that naturally come with the territory of missile defense.

While offensive missile technology can be easily exported, missile defense technology is threat-specific. It is unclear whether Israels response programs to its unique threat landscape are transferable to the US or its allies in the Asia-Pacific region, which face a multitude of missile challenges from an enemy already nuclear-armed.

The question of transferability has led to tensions over funding after Israel began drawing nearly 10% of the Pentagons own missile defense budget since its war with Hamas in Gaza in 2014. During negotiations over a new decade-long defense package with Israel in 2016, Obama administration officials suggested its own Missile Defense Agency was running dry of resources to conduct research for the unique intercontinental threats facing the US homeland.

Israels program provides the US with some clear strategic benefits: It is one of the few battlefields in the world in which missile defense programs have actually been tested, and may reasonably face future tests. And the Jewish state shares with the Pentagon much of the technology it produces with US parts using US contractors.

The question is whether Israels short, intermediate and long-range programs intended to diminish threats from Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran can be of practical use to South Korea, Japan and the US as they seek to mitigate a decreasingly stable North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un.

The transferability of Israels programs in addition to proof of Iranian collusion with North Korea, still unseen might in the eyes of its advocates in Washington justify an increase in US aid beyond what was ultimately detailed in Obamas defense package.

Under that agreement, Israel obligated itself not to ask for more funds and even to hand back the check should Congress offer more money than the deal prescribes.

The MoU guarantees $5 billion in US aid for Israels missile defense over the next decade. Israel may ask for additional emergency funding only in the case of war, Jacob Nagel, Israels acting national security adviser, said during the signing ceremony in September.

The figure is large, but broken down into annual sums amounts to less than what Israel received in recent years a statistic not lost on the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which is considering whether or not to lobby for more aid ahead of its annual policy conference in Washington next week.

Some Republican leaders in Congress say they are prepared to write in more funding for Israels missile defense than the MoU allows and believe that President Donald Trump would sign off on it. But Jerusalem may treat the agreement as inviolable: Some Israeli officials fear that breaking the framework and increasing aid this year would open the door to future aid decreases.

Immediately following Trumps inauguration, a new White House website floated his intention to fund state of the art missile defense programs to counter threats from Iran and North Korea. He has since proposed the largest defense budget increase in modern American history and began campaigning against sequestration cuts that have crippled growth at the Pentagon.

Meanwhile, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Mattis suggested the US put together a combined air missile defense capability for our Gulf allies in order to deter Irans increasingly sophisticated program. He advocated for increased investments in the Pentagons ICBM and missile defense programs.

The Trump administration is actively exploring ways to foster Israeli-Arab cooperation against Iran, which it hopes will blossom into greater normalization of ties.

At the same hearing, Mattis was asked what the new administration could do to improve its strategy on the Korean Peninsula.

It is going to take an international effort, Mattis said.

While Israels role in this research is not yet clear, Libermans decision to incorporate North Korea into his discussions in Washington might signal Israels willingness to expand the scope of its missile defense work to incorporate the needs of Americas allies in Asia.

Its entirely unclear where were going yet, but the Israelis are looking to rebuild ties and Id think they would be very willing to demonstrate their value to the Pentagon, said Jonathan Schanzer, vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. As this relationship is starting off, I think the Israelis would be remiss if they didnt raise North Korea as part of their threat matrix, given what the US is looking at.

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Korean crisis raises stakes of US-Israel missile cooperation – Jerusalem Post Israel News

The Resurgence of Antisemitism and Hate – The Gateway

A sign outside the entrance to the David Posnack Jewish Community Center after people were evacuated because of a bomb threat, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, in Davie, Fla. Photo Courtesy of salon.com

James Hill CONTRIBUTOR

Animosity toward Jewish people and immigrants have skyrocketed as of late.

In the last two months, there has been 100 bomb threats sent to Jewish community centers and schools. Around 100 gravestones were vandalized in Jewish cemeteries in St. Louis and Philadelphia in the same week. Two Indian men, who were mistaken to be Iranian, were attacked in Kansas City by an assailant who reportedly shouted, Get out of my country!

Parents are beginning to pull their children from schools due to the frequency of these threats. 50 students that attend a Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Orlando, Florida have withdrawn and 12 families removed their children from a center in Albany, New York.

These events are stirring up memories from those who have already suffered far more than any human should.

My fathers a Holocaust survivor, and I just called him up, and hes crying on the phone, Dr. Jamie Husyman said to CNN affiliate WSVN. Huysman also has a child in a JCC that received a bomb threat.

President Trump addressed these hate-fueled acts during his address to Congress on Feb. 28.

Recent threats targeting Jewish community centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last weeks shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms, Trump said.

Trump condemning these acts is meaningless considering he only added fuel to the embers of hate during his campaign.

He generalized Mexican immigrants as murders and rapists. Trumps immigration ban originally was for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States. On CNN, Trump said he thinks the entirety of Islam hates us and not just radical Muslims, who hate everyone including other Muslims.

Trump might not have said anything ill toward the Jewish community, but he did not need to. His biggest fans, the alt-right, have that covered.

The alt-right is a movement centered on white nationalism. This group has been accused of whitewashing clear racism, white supremacism and neo-Nazism. The man who coined this phrase, Richard Spencer, is a white supremacist. Spencer repeatedly quotes Nazi propaganda and has openly been critical of Jews.

One wonders if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem, Spencer said about Jewish people in a speech in Washington.

During the same speech, he said that America belongs to the whites. A major idea among alt-righters is an all-white country would be a utopia.

America was, until this last generation, a white country, designed for ourselves and our posterity, Spencer said. It is our creation and our inheritance, and it belongs to us.

President Trump, whose daughter practices Orthodox Judaism, can never fully separate himself from the alt-right and their backwards beliefs since he hired Steve Bannon, who was the head of the alt-right Breitbart News, as chief White House strategist.

Bannon says that he is not racist or anti-Semitic but he is happy to pander to those people and make common cause with them in order to transform conservatism into European far-right nationalist populism.

Bannon had some disturbing remarks to criticisms from the media toward him.

Darkness is good: Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. Thats power. It only helps us when they get it wrong. When theyre blind to who we are and what were doing, Bannon said.

In an interview with The New York Times, Trump said he would not even considered hiring Bannon if he thought Bannon was a racist.

President Trump may have thought he was tapping into the silent, rural communities that are angry over the lack of blue collar jobs, being unable to speak without offending someone, being called homophobic just because they are Christian and just wanting the government to leave them alone. Trump may have believed that speaking negatively toward Mexicans, Muslims and saying how it is would be just the thing these people wanted to hear. In doing so, Trump unknowingly made it socially acceptable to hate again.

The only redeeming factor of the alt-right is hating political correctness. As liberal from a tiny, rural Iowa community filled by deep red conservatives, the only way to win a discussion about social issues or politics is to speak your mind without a filter. When you speak honestly without worrying about upsetting someone, it makes you seem genuine.

So, if you are a firm believer in the alt-right and all of their crazy ideas about how American society should be, your way of thinking is obsolete. If you believe Jews, blacks and Muslims are lesser than you, I do not consider you American. You are not welcome here.

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The Resurgence of Antisemitism and Hate – The Gateway

Trump to Palestinian leader: It’s time for peace – The Hill

President Trump spoke with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by phone Friday night, calling for a comprehensive agreement to end the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“The President emphasized his personal belief that peace is possible and that the time has come to make a deal.The President noted that such a deal would not only give Israelis and Palestinians the peace and security they deserve, but that it would reverberate positively throughout the region and the world,” the White House release read.

Trump said that such a pact must be directly negotiated between Israel and Palestine, and the U.S. would work closely to help foster a deal.

He also invited Abbas to visit the White House “in the near future.”

Trump has vowed to be a steadfast ally of Israel, and recently met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The U.S. has long advocated for a two-state solution for the dispute, but Trump abandoned that stance during a joint press conference with Netanyahu last month.

Im looking at two-state and one-state [solutions], and I like the one that both parties like, he said. “I can live with either one.

Trumps remarks raised concerns in Palestines government that the Trump administration might not prove as friendly to its interests as past U.S. administrations.

But the Trump administration has also warned that expanding Israeli settlements in Palestine-occupied territory won’t help peace negotiations.

“I’d like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit,” Trump told Netanyahu at their press conference.

Read the rest here:
Trump to Palestinian leader: It’s time for peace – The Hill

Shore communities stoic as bomb threats rattle JCCs – Daily Record

Alex N. Gecan, @GeeksterTweets 11:04 a.m. ET March 10, 2017

People clap as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers remarks at the Kaplen Jewish Community Center on the Palisades during a rally against recent bomb threats made to jewish centers, Friday, March 3, 2017, in Tenafly, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)(Photo: AP)

Bomb threats. Evacuations. Religious vandalism.

Since January, scores of Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) and day schools in at least 30 states have received over 100 bomb threats. In New Jersey, 19 incidents at religious facilities throughout New Jersey have been reported; eight were bomb threats targeting six JCCs

No explosive devices were found at any of the centers, but the sudden spike in threats has shaken communities and, so far, raised more questions than answers, including who is behind them, why they are doing it and why they are doing it right now.

HATE AND PREJUDICE: Blame Trump? Shoreline says ‘No’

“This is nothing that we’ve seen before,” Joshua Cohen, director of the Anti-Defamation League’s New Jersey office, told the Asbury Park Press. “They’ve been coming in waves since the beginning of the year. There were bomb threats that were called into Jewish institutions last year, and these happened from time to time, but nothing like this wave.”

JCCs: Bomb threats raise old fears

He said that the purposes of bomb threats are twofold – “to disrupt operations and to create fear and panic in the community. This wave of bomb threats, while credible, has created fear and panic in the community.”

When asked what he attributed the increase in bomb threats to, Cohen said the recent political climate – a contentious presidential election, the emergence of the so-called “alt-right” – could be a factor.

“Individuals are feeling empowered and emboldened to act out, speak out, commit acts of anti-Semitism in an environment where they may not have felt comfortable to do so,” he said.

While the most recent bomb threats represent a sudden spike in anti-Semitic incidents, hate crimes targeting Jews and Muslims were already trending upward in the state even as total bias incidents have begun to decline, an Asbury Park Press analysis of state police data found in 2016.

Crimes against both Jewish and Muslim New Jerseyans spiked in 2015. Religiously motivated hate crimes had been in decline until rising 10 percent in 2015.

Of the victims of religiously motivated bias crimes, Jews were the most common targets with 113 reported incidents in 2015. There were 14 reported Muslim victims and only six targets of other religions.

According to the Pew Research Center, Muslims comprise only three percent of adults in New Jersey, and six percent are Jewish.

Old sickness, new symptoms

“To be honest, I think this has always been our reality, and I think this nation has some unfinished business around race religions,” said Elizabeth Williams-Riley, president of the American Conference on Diversity. “It’s always been a part of the fabric of our nation, it’s why we exist as an organization. So what has happened is the platform has been given to, in a very bold way, folks who can now see their own attitudes and behaviors as being right, or being reinforced, or being celebrated.”

Williams-Riley recalled a surge in reported hate crimes following the 2016 Presidential election.

“It was occurring in K through twelfth grades most frequently, which is a tremendous ‘ah-ha’ for us,” she said, referring to reports of students hurling Islamophobic, racist and otherwise discriminatory remarks after the 2016 election. “I’ve also heard a lot about students feeling more open to say things about LGBTQ students and saying things about them not belonging, and they need to get themselves together.”

‘NO HATE’: Kean University, American Conference on Diversity hold town hall

American with disabilities have also faced increased harassment under the new administration, she said, because “one of the first things that Trump did was mock someone with a disability,” in reference to then-candidate Donald Trump’s apparent mocking criticism in November 2015 of New York Times investigative reporter Serge Kovaleski, who lives with arthrogryposis.

Racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, vitriol towards those seen as foreign – none of these are new sentiments. Williams-Riley suggests that kids learn biases at home, in their families. But now that Americans have seen groups like the so-called alt-right eating up airtime and a presidential candidate-cum-president stoke nationalist ire, they have become confident enough to act out on those beliefs. “In this instance, the notion to be openly bigoted or openly biased, to express yourselves about certain things, has been violated,” she said.

Politicking in response

Whatever the ideological motivation for the threats, if there even is one, other experts say that the reaction has been extremely political.

“I think the issue here, the reason this has become a bigger political issue, is because for many … President Trump’s response was slow in coming, to the point where we now have all 100 U.S. senators demanding action in response to these anti-Semitic incidents from the White House,” said Ben Dworkin, director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University. “That kind of unanimity almost never happens these days, and therefore an issue that might not be political has become political.”

TRUMP: “Anti-Semitism is horrible, and it’s going to stop and it has to stop.”

President Trump spoke out against the threats and vandalism at Jewish centers during his speech to a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28: “Recent threats targeting Jewish Community Centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a Nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.”

To his critics, the denunciation – like his repudiation of former Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard David Duke – was too little, too late.

CPAC: White nationalist Richard Spencer ousted

Dworkin urged against ascribing a political motive to the bomb threats.

“That’s plausible, but until we capture somebody or until we find an email that says ‘somebody is planning this and doing it,’ it is simply a plausible reason,” he said.

BOMB THREATS: Morris reps call for probe

In the 2016 presidential election, exit polls showed that 71 percent of Jewish voters cast ballots for Hillary Clinton, according to the Pew Research Center. However, Orthodox voters were more inclined to vote for Donald Trump: A September 2016 poll conducted by the American Jewish Committee found that approximately 50 percent of Orthodox voters favored Trump while 21 percent supported Clinton. Fifteen percent said they would not vote.

The president’s own daughter, Ivanka, converted to Judaism before marrying Jared Kushner, who is Orthodox, in 2009.

The Anti-Defamation League has compiled a list of bomb threats against Jewish day schools, community centers and other facilities. They counted 121 total threats in five waves between Jan. 4 and Feb. 27 nationwide – and at least another eight in a sixth wave on March 7.

The fifth wave, comprising only the day of Feb. 27, accounted for 40 bomb threats.

Federal agents have made one arrest so far in the wave of bomb threats.

Juan Thompson, 31, of Missouri is charged with sending threats to eight Jewish organizations as part of a bizarre plot to harass and discredit a former lover.

Thompson is, apparently, no stranger to the untrue. In 2016 online news agency The Intercept fired him after it “discovered that he had fabricated sources and quotes in his articles,” according to a statement from the publication.

Garden State threats

In New Jersey, the League counted seven specific bomb threats – three at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly on Jan. 9 and 31 and Feb. 27 and one each at the Jewish Community Center of Central Jersey in Scotch Plains and the Middlesex Jewish Community Center in Edison on Jan. 18, the Jewish Community Center of Metrowest New Jersey in West Orange on Jan. 31 and at the Betty and Milton Katz Jewish Community Center in Cherry Hill on Feb. 27.

On Feb. 27 the state Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness reported “19 incidents at religious facilities throughout New Jersey,” including eight bomb threats spread over six JCCs, but officials would not specify where each “incident” took place.

WATCH: Unity rally at Cherry Hill JCC

Asked for a list of the incidents, Special Agent Michael Whitaker, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Investigations’ Newark field office replied, “The FBI and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division are investigating possible civil rights violations in connection with threats to Jewish Community Centers across the country. The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence, and will ensure this matters is investigated in a fair, thorough and impartial manner. As this matter is ongoing, we are not able to comment further at this time.”

CENTRAL JERSEY: JCCs receive bomb threats

Police evacuated the Jewish Community Center of Central Jersey in Scotch Plains after the Jan. 18 bomb threat but staff and members were allowed back inside the same day. Still, Sandra Kenoff, director of marketing for JCC of Central Jersey, said it was a worrisome event.

“I think our community was very appreciative of the fact that we were pretty vigilant about our safety practice and protocol,” Kenoff said. “Certainly, it’s a concerning event to happen to the organization.”

The fallout from the threats has brought politicians of different stripes into agreement.

“Just a few days ago you had Senators (Bob) Menendez and (Cory) Booker side-by-side with (Gov.) Chris Christie up in Tenafly, New Jersey, at a rally denouncing … these incidents,” Dworkin said. “In New Jersey we have not seen that kind of politicized response.”

Shoreline connection

While the threats have certainly disrupted operations where they have forced evacuations, Jewish community organizations along the Jersey Shore have, at least for now, been insulated from much of the fear and panic.

“It hasn’t affected us really in any way practically, though we are more careful about our surroundings,” said Rabbi Shmuel Naparstek, who leads Chabad of Jackson. A newer organization, the Chabad hosts 30 to 50 people at its time in its various programs, Naparstek said.

“It has not been a factor in any of our programs or operations,” Naparstek said. I can’t speak for other organizations but personally it has not affected us.

Elsewhere in Jackson, opponents of an ordinance that would ban dormitories have denounced it as anti-Semitic. They say the ordinance directly targets the township’s Orthodox Jewish community, a specific subset of Jackson’s larger Jewish population.

“I personally have not encountered any of that animosity, and I really don’t see that as being any factor,” Naparstek said when asked if there may be escalating anti-Semitic sentiment in Jackson.

JACKSON: Swaskita, ‘white power’ graffiti appear

In Freehold Borough the Freehold Jewish Center reached out to local police, just to be on the safe side.

“I cannot tell you how good they’ve been,” Executive Director Marvin Krakower said of police in the borough and township.

“Thank God, we haven’t seen anything yet, but there’s been additional swastikas and threats,” Krakower said. “It’s just bringing out the worst right now – but most people in this country are good.”

LAKEWOOD: Cops arrest juvenile swastika suspects

Krakower applauded President Trump and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent denunciations of anti-Semitism, and that more politicians should “step up to the plate.”

Meanwhile, Cohen of the Anti-Defamation League’s New Jersey office said it is imperative to investigate any such threats when they come in.

“We take these incidents very seriously, and we continue to work with our federal and local law enforcement partners, in addition with our local law enforcement partners,” Cohen said.

Alex N. Gecan: 732-643-4043; agecan@gannettnj.com

The USA Today Network contributed to this report.

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Shore communities stoic as bomb threats rattle JCCs – Daily Record

Trump tells Abbas ‘time has come’ for peace deal with Israel – Washington Times

President Trump told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud AbbasFridaythat its time for a comprehensive agreement to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The president emphasized his personal belief that peace is possible and that the time has come to make a deal, the White House said in a readout of the phone conversation between the two leaders. The president noted that such a deal would not only give Israelis and Palestinians the peace and security they deserve, but that it would reverberate positively throughout the region and the world.

Mr. Trump invited Mr. Abbas to a meeting at the White House soon.

The president underscored that such a peace agreement must be negotiated directly between the two parties, and that the United States will work closely with Palestinian and Israeli leadership to make progress toward that goal, the White House said.

The president noted that the United States cannot impose a solution on the Israelis and Palestinians, nor can one side impose an agreement on the other, the statement said.

Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah saidAbbas stressed the commitment to peace as a strategic choice to establish a Palestinian State alongside the state of Israel, according to the official Palestinian WAFA news agency.

alestinians are concerned at the more favorable approach shown by Washington toward Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu since Mr. Trump came to power. Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Trump have spoken on the phone at least twice since the inauguration, and Mr. Netanyahu visited Washington last month.

Palestinian officials indicated Abbas would emphasize his concern about Israeli settlement-building on occupied land and the need for a two-state solution to the conflict. This article is based on wire-service reports.

See the article here:
Trump tells Abbas ‘time has come’ for peace deal with Israel – Washington Times

Pensacola synagogue beefs up security following attacks – WEAR

Pensacola synagogue beefs up security following attacks

Attacks on Jewish landmarks and places of worship across the country have had an impact on a local level.

“With the recent threats going on we just want to kind of be sure that our congregation is safe,” Benjamin Nettles, president of the B’Nai Israel Synagogue said.

Nettles said they have not had any issues with threats or vandalism at their building on 9th Avenue, but feel it is necessary to beef up security. They have installed more lighting outside, as well as an alarm system and put extra locks on doors.

“When anyone is here like the sisterhood cooking Hamantaschen for Purim, we make sure they keep the doors locked,” Nettles said.

Jewish cemeteries have been desecrated in places like Philadelphia. On Tuesday, Jewish schools and community centers received dozens of bomb threats all over the country.

“I think it’s sad, it’s really sad that this is happening,” said Kate Lollar, a member of the B’Nai Israel Sisterhood. “It’s 2017, why is there anti-Semitism?”

She blames the president’s administration. She said they made it OK to hate and blame others. She said attacks on Jews is not a new issue, but feels it certainly has been revived.

“The one thing that I would love for everybody in the world to know is that Jewish people are not bad,” Lollar said. “We just want to get along with everybody else.”

She said Pensacola has been good to her. She said that when she celebrates Purim this weekend she expects nothing but a great time.

“I have no fear of being Jewish in Pensacola, Florida,” Lollar said.

Nettles agreed and adds that he had never experienced an attack on his faith in this community. He wants others around the country to be able to say the same.

“I feel like we should be able to come in and worship whichever way we want and we should feel safe in doing that, especially in this country,” Nettles said.

On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that President Donald Trump condemns the attacks “in the strongest terms.”

See the rest here:
Pensacola synagogue beefs up security following attacks – WEAR

ISIS Hunter: Time to Wake Up to the White Nationalist Terror Threat – Daily Beast

Rita Katz has been tracking jihadist radicals for nearly two decades. She says an equally grave threat is being largely ignored: the rise of white nationalist extremism.

I was born and raised Jewish, and have witnessed anti-Semitism firsthand. My father was executed in a public hanging in Baghdad by Saddam Hussein. His crime: being a Jew. My grandmother, at 52 years old, was murdered by the same thugs, for the same reason.

Later in my life, still a child, I lived in Israel, where the Holocaust was a cornerstone of our education. We grew up in an atmosphere of normalized war as the Arab-Israeli War and others clashes unfolded before us. We saw our very lives and existence as a nation in peril.

My husband and I moved to the United States, after we had three boys, largely so they could be free of such threats and feelings. But over my past 20 years here, I am still hatedeven personallybecause of my heritage.

On white nationalist forums, members threaten Jews and exclaim that they must protect themselves from Filthy Jew Rita Katz, now that I am tracking what they say online. Such rhetoric seems fitting to a recent wave of anti-Semitic hate crimes across the country, including messages on subway windows, the desecration of hundreds of graves in Jewish cemeteries in St. Louis and Philadelphia, defacements to buildings, bomb threats to Jewish centers, and a plot to shoot a synagogue in the spirit of Dylann Roof.

While we dont yet know who has committed some of these recent crimes, they give more than enough reason for a long-outstanding discussion about this countrys white nationalist movement. Having monitored jihadist and far-right threats for years, Ive always been troubled by how little attention the latter receives from both authorities and the media.

As a result, Americans often hear about hate crimes by white nationalists but miss a full view of the larger community itself. That can no longer stand. With anti-Semitic and white nationalist rhetoric hitting a fever pitch, its time to take such extremism seriously.

White nationalists are not a collection of isolated individuals. They comprise an organized community which recruits, incites, and propagates its message like any other extremist movement. Their hate, just like jihadists hate, is reinforced by structured ideologies and communicational spaces. Websites like Stormfront, an online white nationalist forum with more than 240,000 members (most of whom are Americans), and Vanguard News Network (VNN), a neo-Nazi forum, are hubs for extremist activity. Users often make incitements, distribute literature and articles from white nationalist news outlets, and praise the actions of people like Adolf Hitler and Dylann Roof.

And much like jihadi forums, these sites are also hotbeds for incitement of violent sentimentssome of which manifest into real-life attacks.

Frazier Glenn Miller, a prominent white supremacist leader, was active on VNN for years, expressing disgust for Jews and calling for genocide against them. He was dangerous offline, too. In the 1980s, he was indicted for allegedly plotting the assassination of Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) founder Morris Dees, and was arrested again for running a paramilitary training camp in violation of a signed agreement with Dees.

Despite his high profile, Miller continued posting violent rhetoric on VNN uninterrupted. Such messages included praise of Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011. Miller wrote that he had read some of [Breiviks] manifesto, and suggested to apply the same style of attack on Jewish kids in the United States:

I mean, if some enterprising American fellow, went to a youth camp in the Catskills, Camp David, or Marthas Vineyard, and sprayed some younguns belonging to our immigrant-loving JOG [Jew-owned government]I just might sleep even better than my norm, possibly with a wide grin on my face.

On April 13, 2014, Miller opened fire on a Jewish Community Center and a Jewish retirement community in Kansas. Three were murdered.

Miller was not the only one on these forums to commit violence. Wade Michael Page was a high-profile member of the Hammerskins skinhead organization and larger white nationalist movement. He was also active in the white power music scene with his band, End Apathy. Pages rhetoric on Stormfront, where he was active since at least as early as 2008, and the Hammerskins Crew 88 forum urged action by other white nationalists regardless of the outcome, and proclaimed, Passive submission is indirect support to the oppressors. Stand up for yourself and live the 14 words (14 words referring to the slogan We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children).

On Aug. 5, 2012, Page opened fire on a Wisconsin Sikh temple. Six people were murdered.

Incitements against Jews persist on these forums to this day. Commenting on the Jewish cemetery defacement in Philadelphia, a prominent Stormfront member posted: Jewish cemeteries are a waste of valuable land Jews should be cremated so they dont take up space. A senior American forum members reply brought back chilling memories of my education on the Holocaust, reading: LIVE Jews should be cremated so they dont take up space.

Of course, conversations on Stormfront have also taken aim at me, my extremist-monitoring organization SITE, and other Jewish and Jewish-led observers of extremism, condemning our reporting as anti-white for opposing White advocacy, White solidarity, and White unity.

The white nationalist movement is poised to spread its message on social media through any medium available: songs, videos, memes, you name it. This month, Stormfront users celebrated a parody rap video featuring Moon Man, a white nationalist meme-character taken from old McDonalds advertising. The music video, titled, Right Wing Death Squads, declares fascisms back and both visually and lyrically depicts violence against Jews, Latinos, African Americans, and other minorities. One part shows Moon Man shooting an offensively characterized Jewish man in a YouTube Think tank room. Another part makes a picture of political cartoonist Ben Garrison rap:

Moon Mans dad, back for round two, got a life sentence when I shot a Jew Name the Jew, BLAME the Jew, and when youre online then blame the Jew.

Thank You!

You are now subscribed to the Daily Digest and Cheat Sheet. We will not share your email with anyone for any reason

Though some users on the Stormfront forum wrote the video off, others praised it for finding new angles to promote their message. One user stated:

Moonman is hilarious, but he also has said numerous truths and exposes the lies, propaganda and antiWhite agenda. He is verbally brutal. Good. No time to be a pussy.

Its strange that at a time in which every headline reveals a new hate crime, we somehow fail to bring attention to anti-Semitic statements and videos such as these. And its just as strange that the video, with more than 111,000 views, still hasnt been taken down from YouTube since it was posted on Dec. 14, in clear violation of its policies. When compared to ISIS videos, which are typically taken down by YouTube within hours (sometimes minutes) of being uploaded, this reaction proves pitiful and dangerously permissive.

President Trump did indeed speak about the recent wave of hate crimes in his address to Congress last week with a long-overdue condemnation, stating that we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.

The presidents statement was imperative but ultimately useless by any practical measurement, particularly when considering that his administration plans to refocus the governments Countering Violent Extremism program, which has encompassed white nationalist activity, exclusively on jihadi terrorism.

Whether youre assessing recent hate crimes, analyzing the alt-right movement on social media, tallying casualties from deadly domestic attacks, or observing the emboldened rhetorical emanating from white nationalist circles, its clear that jihadism is not the only extremist threat to the U.S. As someone who has received death threats from various extremist communities, I am far more scared of Americas white nationalists than I am of its jihadists. Like any domestic lone wolf jihadist, white nationalist extremists live among us, and recruit and attack on American soil. Some are even so bold as to try running for public office.

The media and investigators seem to prefer masked savages overseas, declaring America as an enemy, over those purporting to fight for the nation. Weve witnessed this double standard at SITE for years. When we report on jihadists calls for attacks, we get emails and phone calls from journalists and government officials asking us for more information. But when we report on the same types of messages from white nationalistsspanning calls for lone wolves to target government officials, statements that Dylann Roof should have shot up a synagogue, or fantasies of anti-whites hanging from every light postwe hear nothing but crickets.

If Trump and other leaders are as concerned with national security as they say, they should counter white nationalism with the same vigor as radical Islamic terrorism. Doing so wont require any violations of constitutional rights or civil liberties, only a look into whats already out in the open. If approached with half the energy as is shown for a teenager praising ISIS on Twitter, attacks like Millers, Pages, and others can very well be prevented.

My family and I came to the U.S. to get away from the threats that had chased us for generations. I want my children to always feel safe and protected. My country, the United States of America, holds dearly freedom and the right to pursue happiness. To enable this pursuit, the U.S. must protect all people under its wing from those who prove a true threat. My family, and numerous other families around our country, depend on it.

Read more from the original source:
ISIS Hunter: Time to Wake Up to the White Nationalist Terror Threat – Daily Beast

No rushing the peace process – Washington Times

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

JERICHO, WEST BANK | This palm-fringed oasis in the Jordan Valley has been continuously inhabited for 10,000 years. That justifies it billing itself as the oldest city in the world.

Officers of the Palestinian National Security Force (NSF) headquartered here will proudly tell you that its now among the safest places in the Arab Middle East, and that their paramilitary organization is an important reason why. Theyre also grateful for the training, arms, ammunition, equipment and even buildings being provided by American taxpayers.

This arrangement was agreed to by the Israelis who, in 1994, gave the Palestinian Authority administrative control over Jericho and other West Bank cities.

Could the next step be a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict? Count me among those who see that as unlikely anytime soon no matter how energetic, determined and skillful the diplomacy of the Trump administration turns out to be.

The Middle East, always a bloody corner of the world, has become bloodier over recent years. Historians will debate the extent to which President Obamas policies contributed to that result. But given this reality, Israeli leaders from Labor on the left to Likud on the right are convinced that the withdrawal of their military forces from the West Bank would leave a vacuum and that jihadis would fill it.

Consider the precedents. In 2005, every Israeli soldier and settler was pulled out of Gaza. Within two years, Hamas had taken control and begun launching missiles at Israeli villages and cities. A series of small wars followed, as has the incessant digging of terrorist tunnels into Israel.

Five years earlier, the Israelis withdrew from southern Lebanon. That strengthened Hezbollah, Irans proxy, with whom other wars had to be fought, the last in 2006. Since then, Hezbollah has installed more than 150,000 missiles in homes, schools and mosques all aimed at Israel.

Back in 1982, as part of a historic peace agreement signed a few years earlier, Israelis handed the Sinai Peninsula over to Egypt. Today, a branch of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, wages an insurgency there.

Despite all that, and contrary to some reports, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has never ruled out the possibility of a land for peace deal with the Palestinians. But in return for relinquishing the West Bank (seized from Jordan in a defensive war nearly 50 years ago), he is adamant that the Jewish state receive a verifiable Palestinian commitment to peaceful coexistence.

Hamas, which controls Gaza and has cells throughout the West Bank, unequivocally rejects that idea. Hamas believes that Islamic law obligates Muslims to fight non-Muslims who control lands that were, at any time in the past, conquered by Muslims.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who turns 82 this month, does not appear to share Hamas religious convictions. But were he to end his long career by shaking Mr. Netanyahus hand on the White House lawn, hed be labeled a traitor, not just by Hamas but also by those seeking to succeed him in the West Bank, as well as the Islamic Republic of Iran which, as a direct result of Mr. Obamas policies, is currently the ascendant power in the Middle East.

Youll hear it argued that in the absence of a two-state solution there will have to be a one-state solution, meaning Israeli annexation of the West Bank and Gaza. At that point, Israelis would face a Catch-22: refuse to grant citizenship to Palestinians living in those territories, in which case Israel ceases to be democratic, or become a minority in their own country.

There is no mystery about what the latter choice would mean. Jewish communities have been persecuted in and expelled from many lands, not least Muslim-majority lands. Nor can we say that was in the past and, since then, attitudes have changed. There are more than 20 countries that call themselves Arab and more than 50 that self-identify as Islamic. Minorities enjoy equal rights in few if any. (By contrast, Arabs and Muslims constitute about 20 percent of Israels population and they enjoy more freedom, rights and benefits than do Arabs and Muslims in any Arab or Muslim country.)

All this suggests now is not the time for dramatic diplomatic initiatives. Significant changes will occur once Mr. Abbas passes from the scene. American policymakers should be getting ready.

Meanwhile, its worth prodding the Palestinians to develop the institutions like the NSF that both define and sustain true statehood. Lacking that, they will remain dependent on the donor community indefinitely. Worse, a Palestinian state could arise, achieve recognition and then fail. Who would benefit from that?

The lives of West Bank Palestinians, in Jericho and elsewhere, can be made better. They are in dire need of more jobs with better pay and benefits. Israelis are willing to assist, willing to expand economic cooperation. But first Palestinian leaders must end both their opposition to normalization with Israelis and their support for BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction), a campaign that seeks to drive away Israeli investors, businesses and employers.

Finally, a little perspective would be helpful. Palestinian resentment of the Israeli military presence in the West bank is understandable, as is bitterness over the fences and walls that separate the West Bank from Israel. But both were a response to conventional and terrorist attacks that killed thousands of Israelis they were not the cause.

In recent days, the artist who calls himself Banksy has generated quite a lot of media attention by opening a hotel next to a section of wall in Bethlehem, proclaiming that it has the worst view in the world. Is there no reporter with spine enough to ask him why he considers the bombed-out ruins of Aleppo, Mosul and Sanaa more scenic?

Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a columnist for The Washington Times.

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No rushing the peace process – Washington Times

Center Field: Yes, presidential leadership matters in fighting … – Jerusalem Post Israel News

GEORGE WASHINGTON led, but will our current president?. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Last weeks arrest of an African-American liberal for phoning in antisemitic bomb threats to American Jewish Community Centers seemingly ruined two popular narratives. It proved that American antisemitism is not a Donald Trump-driven right-wing phenomenon.

It also implied that having President Trump denounce antisemitism wasnt as important as many suggested.

The first corrective is correct: antisemitism is the worlds all-purpose prejudice. Just as European antisemites hated Jews for being Rothschild-like capitalists and Marx-like communists, American antisemitism has become an altright and alt-left disorder. But the second corrective is incorrect: whether Trump would have swayed this particular criminal is irrelevant. Leadership counts, words matter, gestures speak loudly, in fighting Jew hatred or any prejudice, and Americas president can help win the battle.

Trumps moral leadership in repudiating bigotry albeit belatedly is important because bigotry is a conceptual crime and a social disease. The Rogers and Hammerstein song from South Pacific is correct: Youve got to be taught before its too late/ Before you are six or seven or eight/ To hate all the people your relatives hate. No one is born hating people who practice another religion or have another skin color a minor genetic variation some humans exaggerate into major moral differences. As Americas national teacher, the president helps shape attitudes on many things, especially something as fluid as prejudice.

Furthermore, bigotry is a social disease affected by peer pressure and groupthink. Consider all the animal pack metaphors used when discussing prejudice. When we say bigots are dog whistling subtly or hounding overtly, because its open season on a particular group; when we say leaders should call off the dogs or hold haters at bay, we acknowledge the power of the group and the group leader. As Americas national preacher, the president can legitimize some behaviors and delegitimize others.

Fortunately, Americas presidents have an impressive track record in fighting antisemitism. In 1790, president George Washington reassured the Hebrew Congregations of Newport, Rhode Island, that the Government of the United States gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance. With Jews more accustomed to leaders assisting persecutors, not assailing them, Washingtons embrace was extraordinary.

A century later, before becoming president, Theodore Roosevelt was even more aggressive and clever in fighting Jew hatred, demonstrating what Vice President Mike Pences visit to the St. Louis Jewish cemetery to fix destroyed tombstones showed that gestures can speak very eloquently.

When Roosevelt was New Yorks police commissioner, an antisemitic German preacher visited New York.

Resisting requests to ban the speech to avoid making Rector Hermann Ahlwardt a free speech martyr, TR ordered Ahlwardt protected by the very people he detested dozens of Jewish policemen. In his autobiography, TR explained that he made this bigot ridiculous to teach an object-lesson: Americans must judge each individual on his own conduct and merits.

This wealthy New York Republican and passionate nationalist demonstrated that Americanism should be welcoming and that what he would call as president the White House bully pulpit shouldnt become a bullying pulpit. Fortunately, most of TRs successors added their own links to this chain of presidential decency. William Howard Taft was the first president to attend a seder decades before there were White House Hanukka parties and seders. Woodrow Wilson appointed the first Jew to the Supreme Court despite being warned that antisemites would fight Louis Brandeiss nomination. And in April 1945, Dwight Eisenhower while still a general forced all the German residents of the town of Gotha to visit the neighboring Ohrdruf concentration camp to rebuke them for enabling the overpowering…. starvation, cruelty, and bestiality, he witnessed at the camp his troops had just liberated.

Its silly to accuse Trump of being antisemitic for dithering before denouncing antisemitism. His hesitation reflected a more fundamental flaw: except for his speech before Congress, he has failed to understand that, as Franklin Roosevelt explained, the presidency is preeminently a place of moral leadership. From his prickly inauguration speech to his nightly Twitterhea, Trump has preferred the leadership low road to the high road.

Trumps in-your-face antics command media coverage and national attention as if he had put everyone under the hypnotic, brainwashing Imperius Curse from the Harry Potter series. And Trumps smallness as a leader so far reflects the smallness of todays self-indulgent, celebrity culture. His campaign soared thanks to Americas cynical postmodernism that scorns ideals.

Yet the positive polls following his speech showed how anxious Americans are for ennobling leadership and how quick Americans will be to forgive other transgressions, if Trump acts statesmanlike.

Meanwhile, all those lecturing Trump should follow their own advice. University presidents and professors should condemn campus Jew hatred with the passion they demanded from Trump even when the Jew haters are from the Left, and even if they mask their antisemitism with human rights rhetoric about Israels treatment of the Palestinians. Zero tolerance on campus for all bigotry except Jew hatred encourages Jew hatred.

And rather than just looking up to those in authority to hate haters, Americans should remember the democratic teaching that individuals are ultimately responsible for their society, not their leaders. Every one of us, in America and beyond, must stop relying on Big Brother or Sister. Lets take responsibility to fight bigotry passionately, consistently and effectively, especially from our political allies, where our objections will have more credibility and impact.

The author, a Distinguished Scholar in North American History at McGill University and a Visiting Professor at the Ruderman Program at Haifa University, is the author of The Age of Clinton: America in the 1990s, published by St. Martins Press. His next book will update Arthur Hertzbergs The Zionist Idea. Follow on Twitter @GilTroy.

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Center Field: Yes, presidential leadership matters in fighting … – Jerusalem Post Israel News

UN rights chief says US not doing enough against anti-Semitism – The Times of Israel

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad al-Hussein said on Wednesday that US President Donald Trump needs to do more to combat anti-Semitism and racism in the US.

Greater and more consistent leadership is needed to address the recent surge in discrimination, anti-Semitism, and violence against ethnic and religious minorities in the US, he said at a meeting of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Zeids comments were made a day after a number of Jewish community centers and Jewish institutions received threats in the sixth such an incident since the start of the year.

At least three Jewish cemeteries in the US have also been desecrated over the past month, with vandals toppling hundreds of headstones.

While the White House has condemned the anti-Semitism, Jewish leaders have called for action to back up the words.

A man looks at fallen tombstones at the Jewish Mount Carmel Cemetery, February 26, 2017, in Philadelphia, PA. (AFP/Dominick Reuter)

In addition to condemning the lack of movement over the recent swell of anti-Semitic and racist incidents, Zeid also singled out Trumps policies on immigration, saying they may violate international law.

Expedited deportations could amount to collective expulsions and refoulement, in breach of international law, if undertaken without due process guarantees, including individual assessment, he said.

Vilification of entire groups such as Mexicans and Muslims, and false claims that migrants commit more crimes than US citizens, are harmful and fuel xenophobic abuses, he added.

Zeid said he was worried about the revised executive order issued Monday banning travelers from six Muslim-majority countries, while also adding that he was dismayed by attempts by the [US] president to intimidate or undermine journalists and judges.

He also criticized Israeli policy toward the Palestinians, condemning recent settlement building and accusing Israel of using disproportionate force against rocket attacks.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Raad Zeid al-Hussein gives a speech on the opening of a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council on February 27, 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland. (AFP Photo/Fabrice Coffrini)

Zeids criticism of the US came after Politico reported last month that the US is considering cutting its ties with the Human Rights Council in protest of the bodys actions in general, and specifically its treatment of Israel.

Theres been a series of requests coming from the secretary of states office that suggests that [Secretary of State Rex Tillerson] is questioning the value of the US belonging to the Human Rights Council, a former official was quoted as saying.

Citing two well-connected sources, the report said that one of the main reasons behind the US entertaining the option of leaving the UN body was its treatment of the Jewish state, which US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has described as unfair.

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks to reporters after a Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, Thursday, February 16, 2017 at UN headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

After her first meeting at the UN Security Council in February, Haley called out the Human Rights Council for breathtaking double standards and outrageously biased resolutions against Israel.

In a speech earlier this month before a session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, US envoy Erin Barclay called on the body to drop its obsession with Israel, which she described as consistent, unfair and unbalanced.

No other nation is the focus of an entire agenda item The obsession with Israel is the largest threat to this councils credibility, she said. It limits the good we can accomplish by making a mockery of this council. The United States will oppose any effort to delegitimize or isolate Israel.

US envoy Erin Barclay addresses the United Nations Human Rights Council March 1, 2017 (Screen capture: UNHRC)

Should Trumps administration opt out of the UNHRC, it wouldnt be the first to shun the body.

When the UNHRC was created out of the discredited UN Human Rights Commission in 2006, then-US president George W. Bush refused to join the new group, believing that it would lack credibility and that, like its predecessor, it would allow human right violators to become members.

In 2009, president Barack Obama reversed that decision, hoping to improve the UNHRC.

When asked about the Politico report by a reporter during a press briefing on Tuesday, State Department Spokesman Mark Toner dismissed it as rumors that may have been circulating out there and said the US is hard at work on the ground and bringing an agenda to the Human Rights Councils meetings this month.

Judah Ari Gross and AP contributed to this report.

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UN rights chief says US not doing enough against anti-Semitism – The Times of Israel

More Jewish Institutions Get Bomb Threats Days After Copycat Arrest – Huffington Post

More Jewish institutions received bomb threats Tuesday, ending a short lull in incidents since Friday, when the FBI arrested a man accused of making eight threats.

Five Jewish Community Centers, a Jewish day school in Floridaand offices for the Anti-Defemation League all received threats. Police searched JCCs in Milwaukee, the greater Washington area, Portland, Oregon, and Rochester, New York, and cleared them all, according to the Jewish Community Center Association of North America. A JCC in Chicago also alerted police after a bomb threat was called in, according to NBC Chicago.

Four ADL offices in Atlanta, Boston, New York and Washington D.C. received telephoned bomb threats today, said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League. This is not normal. We will not be deterred or intimidated.

That raises the total number of bomb threats to JCCs and schools to at least 109 since the first big wave of them on Jan. 9.

It is time for action, and we call on the Administration and Congress to take concrete steps to catch those threatening the Jewish community, Greenblatt said.

It also ends any semblance of normalcy since the FBI arrested Juan Thompson on Friday though there was never an indication that he was involved in all of the threats. Hes accused of making eight bomb threats to harass his former girlfriend. Police allege he committed the first offense on Jan. 18 nine days after the first series of bomb threats around the country.

Tuesdays new wave of threats against JCCs were made primarily via email, a method Thompson is accused of using. But many others have been direct phone calls, at times disguised in a robotic voice. The Jewish Telegraph obtained chilling audio from one of those calls in February.

In a short time, a large number of Jews are going to be slaughtered, a voice says in the message. Their heads are going to be blown off from the shrapnel.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer condemned the new wave of threats Tuesday afternoon.

It is incredibly saddening that I have to continue to share these disturbing reports with you, and I share the presidents thoughts that he feverently hopes that we dont continue to have to share these reports with you, Spicer said during a briefing with reporters. But as long as they do continue, well continue to condemn them and look at ways in which we can stop them.

Along with the threats, Jewish cemeteries in Missouri and New York have been vandalized.

The FBI is investigating the dozens of other threats across the country.

[Were]gratified by the arrest made in connection with the large number of anti-Semitic threats that have targeted JCCs and other Jewish institutions over the past two months, JCC Association CEO Doron Krakow said in a news release following the arrest of Thompson.

We trust that the perpetrators behind all of the threats will be swiftly identified and brought to justice.

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More Jewish Institutions Get Bomb Threats Days After Copycat Arrest – Huffington Post

Trumpism and Antisemitism – Algemeiner

President Donald Trump. Photo: White House.

The United States is witnessing a disturbing rise in antisemitic acts. In St. Louis, more than 100tombstones were tipped over; similar hate crimes have taken place in Philadelphia and New York. Suchattacks are alsotaking place in small towns. In Scottsburg, Indiana (a community with less than 10,000residents), the gravestones of a Jewish couple were defaced with spray paint. To date, there have been reports of bomb threats against Jewish institutions in 33states.

There has been arise in hate crimes of all types since Donald Trumps election. Four days after his electoral victory, an Episcopal Church in a small town in southern Indiana was vandalized with Heil Trump. Last weekend, in Orchard Parka suburb of Buffalo, New Yorkresidents and local police officersdiscovered spray-painted swastikas and vulgar graffiti on overpasses, a dozen vehicles and an elementary school playground. Ten Jewish community centers have recently been targeted with bomb threats. And the list goes on.

These latest acts constitute the escalation of the overt antisemitism thatreappeared during the presidential campaign. What began with tweeting and Internet trolling is now manifesting itself in more brazen and threatening ways. Unless the underlying conditions areaddressed, there is every reason to expect that these attacks will persist and become more violent.

March 7, 2017 11:07 am

The growing antisemitism in the United States has been fed by a social-political atmosphere that is conducive to it. White nationalist groups have been encouraged by the current administrations willingness to lend an ear and more to those on the far Right.

President Trumpdoes not have to be explicitly, or even implicitly, antisemitic in either words or deeds to create conditions in which antisemitic groups feel emboldened. By being ever ready to entertain conspiracy theories, by showing little regard for facts when they are not to his liking, by remembering the Holocaust without any mention of the destruction of European Jewry, by empowering figures such as Steve Bannon, and by lending credence to the agenda of the alt-right, the president has helped to make these waves of antisemitism and bigotry possible.

Over the past year, our public discourse has deteriorated; what was once political spin has been replaced by palpable and shameless lying. It is clear that Trumpism with its contempt for inconvenient truths and glorification of authoritarian strongmen is in part responsible for what is taking place. Racist ideology feeds off of illusionsbeliefsthatare held because they satisfy deep-seated wishes, without regard for evidence, justification or warrant. Trumpism has provided the soil in which such illusions are free to grow unhampered by a sense of moral responsibility.

The current rise of antisemitism was able to take root more easily when common manners and basic decency were shoved aside during an increasingly ugly election. Courtesy and manners are essential to ethical life (in the Hegelian sense). The loss of the simple decency that we generally take for granted has wide ramifications, and ultimately it creates a social environment where inhibitions against overtly racist acts are weakened, and hate crimes are more likely to occur.

Trump has shown himself ready to make brazen accusations without citing any evidentiary support; he has shown contempt for the rule of law and the freedom of the press. Trumpism insists that we cannot be held morally responsible for the claims we make, and the statements we endorse.

To stem the rise of antisemitism, we mustrestore the integrity of our public discourse and our commitment to intellectual honesty and self-scrutiny. Antisemitism has been allowed to grow because we, as a country, have created an environment that is conducive to race-minded reactionaries. Our country has grown meaner and more cynical. In the span of only a decade, comments that would have been inconceivable to say in public are now becoming increasingly commonplace.

We cannot underestimate the importance of trust. As the philosopher Jay Bernstein observed, [T]rust relations provide the ethical substance of everyday living. Trust relations are relations of mutual recognition in which we acknowledge our mutual standing and vulnerability with respect to one another. Trust is the invisible substance of our moral lives we only notice it when it has been shattered.

Therecentantisemitic and racist acts are attacks precisely on that trust.

Restoring social trust is a long and difficult process. In this case, it will involve, among other things, undoing the moral and epistemic harm caused by Trumpism. And Trump himself must begin this undertaking.

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Trumpism and Antisemitism – Algemeiner

Camborne Science and International Academy pupils learn about … – Cornwall Live

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Pupils heard a harrowing first-hand account of survival against all odds from a Holocaust death camp survivor whose father was murdered at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

History pupils in Years 9 and 10 at Students at Camborne Science and International Academy (CSIA) listened as Joanna Millan, a grandmother who spent two years in a concentration camp in Theresianstadt, near Prague, talked through her harrowing experiences.

“It was such a privilege for us to welcome Joanna Millan to our school,” said history teacher Ella Wasley. “She talks for the Holocaust Educational Trust and having heard her compelling account, we hope our students will be encouraged to learn from the lessons of this devastating atrocity and make a positive impact in their own lives.”

Read more: Man dies behind the wheel of tipper truck near holiday chalet in Cornwall

The 180 pupils heard that Joanna was born Bela Rosenthal in Berlin in 1942. Her father was snatched from the streets and sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau where he was murdered on arrival in 1943. Later that year, Bela and her mother were sent to the Theresienstadt ghetto, where her mother succumbed to TB, leaving her orphaned in the camp until she was liberated in 1945.

Pupils Evangeline White, Harvey Angwin, Rhys James and Shannon Clifford with Joanna Millan.

Along with 299 other surviving orphans, Bela was flown to England and adopted by a Jewish couple from London before her name was changed to a less German-sounding name – Joanna. “Years later she was encouraged to research her background and over the past 25 years, Joanna has been telling her story,” said Mrs Wasley. “Our students were captivated and horrified at Joanna’s experiences and totally compelled to listen and share her story. It was clear that they gained a far greater understanding of the Holocaust and the suffering it caused to so many people having listened to a personal account.”

Read more: Heartbroken family warns others after puppy is killed by another dog on beach in Cornwall

Harvey Angwin, in Year 9, said: “It’s been a good experience to meet her, and learn about what happened and how it happened. You can read it in a book but it’s not the same as having someone actually there to tell you about it.”

Rhys James from Year 10, said: “It made me feel quite shocked experiencing her whole speech and how she described it. I didn’t expect so many people to be so willing to end their own lives because of the situation they were in. The way that they weren’t allowed to walk along the pavements along with the German citizens, I thought it was just horrible” said .

Joanna Millan survived the Theresienstadt concentration camp and was adopted by a Jewish couple from London.

Mrs Wasley added: “It’s such an amazing resource for the students and to share those different experiences. With the Holocaust, quite often you can think of one route and one experience but actually nobody’s experience is exactly the same. Joanna’s story is one of incredible courage and our students were given the opportunity to learn where prejudice and racism can ultimately lead.”

Read more: Watch the crazy moment a lorry overtakes four cars and a tractor on the A30 at Roseworthy Dip

Following Joanna’s talk, pupils got to ask her questions to explore the Holocaust further.

Sean and Thea, from Year 9.

CSIA principal Ian Kenworthy said: “It is vitally important that we understand the horrors of the past so that we can all play our part in learning from them – we have a shared responsibility for reducing hatred in the world. Our students were given a live testimony and a human story about how it affected those involved.”

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Camborne Science and International Academy pupils learn about … – Cornwall Live

Report: Ivanka Trump takes private tour of US Holocaust Museum … – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Ivanka Trump departing from the White House, Feb. 1, 2017. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

(JTA) Ivanka Trump took a private tour the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum last week.

Reports of the visit, said to have taken place last Monday, originated on Friday with Bloomberg, citing an unnamed person the news service reported was familiar with her visit, which was not announced publicly.

She reportedly was accompanied by her mother-in-law and father-in-law, Charles and Seryl Kushner.

Bloomberg also cited two White House aides who said that Ivanka Trumps father, President Donald Trump, has expressed an interest in a similar private tour.

The Trump administrations statement issued in January for International Holocaust Remembrance Day omitted a specific mention of Jews, which raised hackles in the Jewish community in the United States and around the world.

In addition, President Trump had initially declined to condemn the anti-Semitism behind the targeting of Jewish institutions, including four Jewish cemeteries and more than 100 JCCs and Jewish organizations in recent weeks.

After initially demurring to comment directly when asked about the spate of recent anti-Semitic incidents, Trump eventually called the threats to the community centers horrible and painful, and Vice President Mike Pence paid a visit to a Jewish cemetery vandalized near St. Louis.

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Report: Ivanka Trump takes private tour of US Holocaust Museum … – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

ADL: Juan Thompson’s arrest alone won’t stop ‘unprecedented’ wave of anti-Semitism – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Evan Bernstein, the Anti-Defamation Leagues New York Regional director, speaking during a news conference at the ADL national headquarters in New York City, March 3, 2017. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) Thanking the FBI and police for the arrest of Juan Thompson, who allegedly made eight bomb threats to Jewish institutions, the Anti-Defamation League calledthe current wave of anti-Semitic acts unprecedented.

Law enforcement at all levels is a close friend to the Jewish people in America, Evan Bernstein, ADLs New York regional director, said at a news conference Friday. Just because theres been an arrest today around our bomb threats does notmean that the threats have disappeared or will stop.

Earlier in the day, sources told the media that Thompson was a copycat and that the investigation continued into finding the hoaxers behind the dozens of other bomb threats reported since January.

The news conference was convened after law enforcement announced Friday that Thompson had been charged in connection with the deluge of bomb threats received this year by Jewish institutions. Thompson, 31, of St. Louis, allegedly made bomb threats to JCCs, Jewish schools and an ADL office as part of his cyberstalking of a former romantic partner.

The ADL and several other Jewish groups had met Friday with FBI Director James Comey. According to a statement from the groups in attendance, which were not listed but included the ADL, the Jewish Federations of North America and the JCCAssociation of North America, the meeting concerned recent anti-Semitic acts and collaboration between Jewish institutions and law enforcement.

All the organizations in attendance expressed the deep gratitude of the entire community for the extraordinary effort that the FBI is applying to the ongoing investigation, the statement said. The representatives of the Jewish community left with the highest confidence that the FBI is taking every possible measure to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.

According to statistics compiled by the New York Police Department, anti-Semitic acts have nearly doubled in early 2017 as compared to one year earlier. The ADL said that due to the reach of the internet and the quantity of recent bomb threats, white supremacists are more emboldened than ever.

Were in unprecedented times, said Oren Segal, director of the ADLs Center on Extremism. Weve never seen, ever, the volume of bomb threats that weve seen.White supremacists in this country feel more emboldened than they ever have before because of the public discourse and divisive rhetoric.

In total, more than 100 Jewish institutions, mostly JCCs, have received bomb threats since the beginning of the year. The last two weeks saw vandalism at Jewish cemeteries inPhiladelphia,St. Louisand Rochester, New York, as well as twomore wavesofbomb threatscalled into JCCs, schools and institutions across the country, representing the fourth and fifth waves of such harassmentthis year.No explosive device was found after any of the calls.

The ADL called on President Donald Trump to take action against anti-Semitism, including by directing the Department of Justice to launch a civil rights investigation into the threats, and by creating a federal interagency task force on combating hate crimes chaired by the attorney general.

We need action to stop these threats, Bernstein said. History shows that when anti-Semitism gains the upper hand, courageous leaders need to speak out and take action before its too late.

Segal said the ADL has been tracking Thompson, a disgraced former journalist, since he fabricated the identity of a cousin of Dylann Roof, the gunman who killed nine at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.

On its Twitter feed Friday, the ADL posted information gleaned from the U.S. Attorneys complaint and media portraying Thompson as a former journalist he was fired from his job at the online news site The Intercept for inventing quotes and sources who had recently became more hostile to whites in general.

According to the ADL, he has posted inflammatorytweets about white police officers and the white New York liberal media.

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ADL: Juan Thompson’s arrest alone won’t stop ‘unprecedented’ wave of anti-Semitism – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

JPost Editorial: Israel needs an ‘antisemitism czar’ – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Police at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park, Kansas (File). (photo credit:REUTERS)

Amid daily news of bomb threats to Jewish institutions and desecrations of Jewish cemeteries throughout the United States, these outer manifestations of a resurgence of latent antisemitism have naturally prompted calls for intervention by the governments of both Israel and the US. Unfortunately, both governments already have departments that deal with antisemitism, but do so ineffectively due to a lack of coordination.

Israel has half a dozen agencies charged with fighting antisemitism wherever it manifests itself and does so in numerous arenas, but these scattered efforts are unnecessarily duplicative and, in the Israeli nature of things, involve unproductive bureaucratic struggles for power.

Ironically, while the Israeli front in this world war against resurgent antisemitism needs a single, unifying command to direct these essential efforts, US President Donald Trump is reportedly planning to retreat from the battlefield by eliminating the State Departments special envoy for combating antisemitism, as part of his plan to raise funds for a massive hike in defense spending.

It seems the war against antisemitism holds as much promise of success as the so-called war against terrorism both of them irrational phenomena that involve contempt for human life. There is no way to completely eliminate them, but there must be a better way of fighting them.

Israels response to antisemitism would be made more productive by combining its agencies under a single antisemitism czar who would direct their efforts, instead of the current situation where responsibilities are split. For example, that czar would have authority over the Diaspora Affairs Ministrys division for combating antisemitism.

The ministry headed by Naftali Bennett received a mandate last year to lead the government campaign against antisemitism by monitoring antisemitism on social media; developing a curriculum to teach the Holocaust to refugees from Muslim countries in Europe; and collecting into one accessible address all the laws against antisemitism. The catch is that, according to Yogev Karasenty, who heads the ministrys division, the American security agencies are on the case and he is sure they will arrest those responsible for the current wave of antisemitic incidents.

What about the Foreign Ministrys Bureau for World Jewish Affairs and World Religions, which has its own antisemitism unit? The 2016 State Comptrollers Report decried a lack of coordination between the Foreign Ministry and the Strategic Affairs Ministry in dealing with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. It also noted that the Foreign Ministry and Diaspora Affairs Ministry do not sufficiently cooperate on combating antisemitism.

And dont forget the Strategic Affairs Ministry, charged with fighting antisemitism under the guise of combating the antisemitism of the BDS movement. Not to be left out, the Mossad has a unit called Bitzur that helps provide security for Jewish communities throughout the world.

In addition, The Jerusalem Posts Herb Keinon has reported that no fewer than two bodies meet regularly to discuss antisemitism: the Interministerial Coordinating Forum on Antisemitism led by the Diaspora Ministrys director-general, as well as the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism, which also includes representatives of the Jewish Agency.

This is not enough for the Jewish Agencys Board of Governors, a number of whose US federation heads said last week that they want to hear clear statements of condemnation from Israel. Such a response is clearly incumbent on the worlds Jewish state.

Meanwhile, Israels democratic big brother is considering downplaying the threat of increasing antisemitic incidents in the US despite the position of special envoy dedicated to fighting antisemitism being mandated by Congress, which passed the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act in 2004. This law directs the State Department to establish the Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, headed by the special envoy.

Ira Forman, the former executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, was the envoy under president Barack Obama. Trump has not yet named a replacement.

This is as bipartisan as an issue as you can get, Forman told the Jewish Insider, and I just hope folks at the White House come to their senses.

We hope the folks at the Prime Ministers Office do so as well. The main role that Israel can play in fighting antisemitism abroad is to concentrate its efforts to raise the alarm in time to act.

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JPost Editorial: Israel needs an ‘antisemitism czar’ – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Is the ‘Rising Tide’ of US Antisemitism Only a Surge in Reporting … – Algemeiner

A security expert who deals exclusively with Jewish institutions, Jason Friedman of the Community Security Service (CSS), told JNS.org that he is not convinced that there has been a dramatic increase in antisemitic events, rather than a big increase in the reporting of and on such events.

CSSrecently issued a detailed 42-page report documenting 45 years of antisemitic incidents, includingshootings, arson attacks, use of explosive devices and hostage situations; it didnot catalogue hoaxbomb threats and cemetery desecrations.Two sample entries from 2016 include afoiled bombing attempt at an Aventura, Fla. synagogue in April, and explosives thrown at the homes of two Chabad-Lubavitch rabbis in Rockland, NY. Although those acts caused property damage and were intended to inflict physical harm, even death, they received little media coverage.

The FBI has been compiling statistics on hate crimes since 1999, and through 2015 the most recent year for which data is available Jews have always been the biggest target of religious hate crimes by a wide margin.

In 1999, Jews were on the receiving end of 76 percent of all religious hate crimes in America. That figure was 56.5 percent in 2001 and 65.3 percent in 2002. No other religion suffered half as many hate crimes as Jews during those years. Jews have been the targets of between 500 and more than 1,000 hate crimes every year since the FBI began its documentation.

While news headlines and politicians decry the rising tide of hatred against Jews, the Pew Foundation recently published a report, titled Americans Express Increasingly Warm Feelings Toward Religious Groups, whichbelies such claims. Between June 2014 and January 2017, non-Jewish Americans feelings toward Jews grew warmer, from 63 to 67 degrees, according to the survey, conducted last month.

Friedman, meanwhile, said he sees a silver lining in the possible uptick in the reporting of antisemitic incidents that it encourages Jewish institutions to be forward-thinking and proactive.

Thoughthere has been a groundswell of anger directed at President Donald Trump for allegedly failing to swiftly or sufficiently denounce antisemitism and some critics have labeled the president an antisemite and claimed he is responsible for unleashing a wave of religious hatred the White House has condemned the recent acts. The president beganhis Tuesday speech to Congress bycalling attention to the recent threats targeting Jewish community centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries.

Soisthere really a surge in antisemitism, or just a rise in the coverage of an old problem?

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Is the ‘Rising Tide’ of US Antisemitism Only a Surge in Reporting … – Algemeiner

Byko: I am a Jew and I am not afraid – Philly.com (blog)

Recent incidents desecration of Jewish cemeteries in Philadelphia and St. Louis, and dozens of phoned threats to Jewish community centers across the nation have alarmed some who share my religion, especially those who let emotion and political viewpoint rule them.

Here I point a finger at those who point their fingers at President Trump, calling him an anti-Semite at worst, an enabler at best.

This is not a defense of Donald Trump, who has been too slow to condemn various kinds of hate. But ananti-Semite?With a Jewish daughter, son-in-law, grandchildren?

Friday, police announced thearrest of a St. Louis man, charging him with at least eight of the scores of phone calls and emailed bomb threats to Jewish institutions. Juan Thompson, 31, seems like quite a guy fired for faking news stories from the Intercept, a muckraking website, and accused of fabricating anti-Semitic hoaxes to settle a score with an ex-girlfriend. This is not quite in the league of trying to kill Ronald Reagan to impress Jodie Foster.

There is nothing to suggest he is a Trump supporter. He attacked Trump in tweets.

The phoned threats seemed orchestrated and had the earmarks of a conspiracy, and the FBI is investigating. The threats can be unnerving, especially because there are children in JCC facilities, but they were only threats.

Do terrorists give notice of an advance attack? asked security expert Ed Devir, president of Protexia One Security Group, which is on the Main Line and protects several area synagogues. Phoned threats seldom result in an attack. They are terrorism and psychological warfare.

Through his law enforcement sources, Devir told me, he had word several days ago the FBI was closing in on a suspect, and speculated Trump might have had the same information, which led Trump to suggest the attacks were staged to frame his supporters. He was widely condemned for that speculation.

He may have been right, but we may never know and it is hard to take Trumps word for anything.

Lets turn to the cemetery desecrations, almost 900 miles apart.

Thevandalism at the Mount Carmel Cemeteryin the Northeast was not a first.

The cemetery was attacked in 1989 and 1982, and neither set off anti-Semitic alarm bells. It was believed drunken teenagers were probably the perpetrators. Maybe this time, too. We dont know.

What was different this time was, the attack came on the heels of St. Louis and the wave of threatening phone calls.

To some, it seemed like the start of something big and bad. American Jewish organizations and community leaders sounded the alarm, supported by leaders of other religions and various elected officials.

And this is where it is so different from what has happened to Jews here, and especially overseas, in the past.

In Europe, over the centuries, both the state and the church targeted Jews. America never passed a law saying Jews could not come into the country, I am told by Josh Perelman, chief curator at the National Museum of American Jewish History.

Without question, there have been prejudice, exclusion and discrimination against Jews over the centuries in America, but from the earliest days of the republic, Jews were welcome here, officially.

In 1790, in a letter to a synagogue in Newport, R.I., President George Washington made that clear.

May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants, he wrote.

The government, he wrote, gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

Washington knew Jews supported the cause of independence, and Haym Salomon, a Jew, was called the “financier of the revolution.”

Moses Seixas, a leader of the Newport congregation, proclaimed fidelity to America because Jews for the first timehad the invaluable rights of free citizens.

For the first time in millennia, Jews had a safe harbor.

The safe harbor is still here. Even with the occasional hate crime, I am a Jew and I am not afraid.

Yes, there are anti-Semites among us, as there are racists and homophobes among us. But they are a minority and we all are protected, no matter who is in the White House, by the Constitution.

If you ask me if I am saying it cant happen here, as it did in Germany and elsewhere, my answer is: Itcanthappen here.

Have faith in your beautiful country and the embrace of your fellow Americans.

Man accused of threatening Jewish institutions to vilify ex Mar 3 – 3:39 PM

Vandalism at Mount Carmel Cemetery: Complete coverage Mar 2 – 8:20 PM

Following bias incidents, Christie announces increased patrols Mar 3 – 5:59 PM

Gov. Wolf requests federal investigation of crimes against Jewish institutions Mar 2 – 8:08 PM

‘An abominable crime’: investigation underway into toppled headstones at Jewish cemetery Feb 26 – 10:41 PM

Families, cops & politicians seek answers in Jewish cemetery vandalism Feb 27 – 6:48 PM

Ubias: ‘Something bad is happening in our country’ Feb 27 – 3:13 PM

Trump told Pa. AG attacks on Jewish sites could be ‘to make others look bad’ Feb 28 – 5:45 PM

Published: March 3, 2017 2:48 PM EST | Updated: March 3, 2017 10:30 PM EST Philadelphia Daily News

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Byko: I am a Jew and I am not afraid – Philly.com (blog)

Former ADL head says anti-Semitism in US not at ‘crisis’ level – The Times of Israel

The former head of the Jewish hate-crime watchdog Anti-Defamation League said concerns over rising anti-Semitism in the US are being blown out of proportion by political operatives and that US President Donald Trump should not be pressured over the issue.

Abraham Foxman, who stepped down as ADL director in 2015 after nearly 30 years at the helm, told the Forward newspaper that the wave of bomb threats at Jewish institutions and vandalism at cemeteries are a far cry from deadly anti-Semitic incidents that have wracked the community in the past.

I am not shocked that this is happening, Foxman told the paper. What were seeing now is serious, but it is not a crisis.

He accused politicians of hijacking concerns over anti-Semitism to use as a cudgel against Trump.

The whole issue has become a political football and that doesnt serve us, he told the Jewish newspaper.

Abraham Foxman (David Karp/JTA)

Jonathan Greenblatt, who took over the ADL from Foxman, has been at the forefront of condemning the bomb scares and cemetery attacks, calling for increased law enforcement and criticizing the Trump administration for failing to tackle the issue.

The level of threats and incidents is astounding, and must not stand. We will do everything in our power to combat this wave of anti-Semitism, Greenblatt said earlier this week, after the ADLs San Francisco office was threatened along with some 20 other Jewish centers in a single day.

Jonathan A. Greenblatt, the National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, speaking at the ADL Annual Meeting in Los Angeles on November 6, 2014. (Courtesy ADL)

The ADL has also called on the Trump administration to adopt a plan to combat anti-Semitism and has demanded that Trump himself speak out firmly against anti-Semitism, as he finally did during an address to Congress Tuesday after a long silence.

But Foxman told the Forward that pressure on Trump to speak out was misguided, even though he himself had joined the calls last month.

Does anyone think that had he condemned it earlier we wouldnt have threats to 90 JCCs? I dont think so. It would have made us feel better. But thats all, Foxman told the New York-based publication.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department K-9 officers search the Jewish Community Center of Southern Nevada after an employee received a suspicious phone call that led about 10 people to evacuate the building on February 27, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP)

However, on February 17 Foxman, who currently heads the Center for the Study of anti-Semitism at the Museum of Jewish Heritage A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York, criticized Trump for refusing to answer a Jewish reporters question on what the administration planned to do to tackle anti-Semitism.

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the East Room at the White House on February 16, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images, via JTA)

Jews in more than 40 communities in the USA are anxious and in fear as a result of anti-Semitic threats. All they want is for the President to acknowledge that he is aware of fears he knows, cares, is sensitive to their anxieties, and will instruct law enforcement to deal with these crimes, he said in a statement.

During his 28 years as the head of the ADL, Foxman became one of the most powerful Jewish figures in the US leading the fight against hatred of Jews. Critics accused him of creating a bully pulpit to determine what was and wasnt anti-Semitic, sometimes along partisan lines, and of using the group to stump for pro-Israel causes.

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Former ADL head says anti-Semitism in US not at ‘crisis’ level – The Times of Israel

Perez, Ellison and the meaning of anti-Semitism – Canada Free Press

Perez is ready to cooperate with Ellison because the two men have the same ideological worldview and the same vision for the Democratic Party

Speaking to Fox News, Dershowitz said that Perezs election over Ellison, is a victory in the war against bigotry, anti-Semitism, the anti-Israel push of the hard left within the Democratic party.

There are two problems with Dershowitzs view. First, Perez barely won. Ellison received nearly half the votes in two rounds of voting.

Tipping his hat to Ellisons massive popularity among the partys leadership and grassroots, Perez appointed the former Nation of Islam spokesman to serve as deputy DNC chairman as soon as his own victory was announced.

There is a good reason that Perez is so willing to cooperate with Ellison in running the DNC. And this points to the second problem with the claim that Perezs election signals a move toward the center by Democratic leaders.

Perez is ready to cooperate with Ellison because the two men have the same ideological worldview and the same vision for the Democratic Party. As Mother Jones explained, Theres truly not much ideological distance between the two.

Far from being a victory for the centrist forces in the party, Perezs win marks the solidification of the far Lefts control over the party of Harry Truman. Only hard leftists participated in a meaningful way in the race for leadership of the second largest party in Americaa party that less than a decade ago controlled the White House and both houses of Congress.

The implications of this state of affairs are disastrous for the US generally. It is inherently destabilizing for a nation when one of the parties in a two-party political system is taken over by people who have a negative view of the country.

While America as a whole will suffer from the radicalization of the Democratic Party, perhaps no group will suffer more from the far Lefts takeover of the party than the American Jewish community. The vast majority of American Jews give their partisan allegiance to the Democratic Party and their ideological allegiance to the Left.

While Perez made a name for himself by fighting the enforcement of US immigration and naturalization laws against illegal immigrants, and Ellison rose to prominence for his activism in radical African American and Islamic circles, thanks to the so-called intersectionality of the far Left, that makes the cause of one faction the cause of all factions, today Perez is as much an apologist for Israel bashers as Ellison.

Perhaps in response to the danger that the far Lefts takeover of the Democratic Party represents, Sunday Malcolm Hoenlein, the long-serving professional head of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations called for the convening of a global conference on anti-Semitism. In a meeting with the Jerusalem Posts editorial board, Hoenlein said that one of the goals of the proposed conference would be to reach a universally accepted definition of anti-Semitism.

At the same meeting at the Post, Hoenlein insisted that We cant afford a split on Israel among the Republicans and the Democrats.

On the surface, Hoenleins position makes sense. Israel and the Jewish community in the US are both endangered by the partisan split. If a broad consensus can be reached on the definition of anti-Semitism, in theory, such a move could force the radical Left, which now controls the Democratic Party to eschew Jew hatred.

The problem with Hoenleins view is that to get everyone on board, it is necessary to pretend that even anti-Semites oppose anti-Semitism.

This sad state of affairs has been on prominent display in the wake of the recent spate of anti-Semitic attacks against Jewish cemeteries in the US. Muslim Americans with records of anti-Semitism have been quick to condemn the attacks.

On the face of it, statements by Ellison, Hamas supporter Linda Sarsour and others condemning the attacks on Jewish cemeteries are welcome. Sarsours support for Palestinian mass murderers of Jews and open calls for Israels destruction have been ongoing for more than a decade. Its nice that she is suddenly raising money to repair broken Jewish graves in St. Louis.

The problem is if Sarsour and her Jew hating comrades are viewed as legitimate partners in fighting anti-Semitism, when they themselves are abetting and popularizing anti-Semitism, then the notion of fighting anti-Semitism is destroyed.

If Sarsour, who wrote in 2012 that nothing is creepier than Zionism, is a legitimate voice in the fight against anti-Jewish discrimination and violence, then the fight against anti-Jewish discrimination and violence is reduced to farce.

Sarsour, like Ellison is no fringe figure on the Left. She has become a major mover and shaker in the second party in America. Sarsour was one of the organizers of the anti-Trump womens protests the day after the President was inaugurated.

Sarsours rising prominence in progressive and Democratic circles despite her open support for Hamas shows why it is important today to draw a line in the sand and reject the notion that anti-Semites can suddenly become defenders of Jews.

With each passing day, the Left becomes more open in its embrace of anti-Jewish voices. If Sarsours leadership role last month in the anti-Trump womens protests constituted a new low in progressive politics, a month later the bar has dropped even lower. At the next round of womens protests, Ramsea Odeh is one of the announced organizers.

Whereas Sarsour simply supports the terrorist murder of Jews, Odeh an actual terrorist murderer of Jews. Odeh participated in a PLO terrorist attack at a Jerusalem supermarket in 1970 in which two Jews were murdered.

According to Politico, the radical lefts takeover of the Democratic Party apparatus through Perez and Ellison isnt enough to satisfy the partys young activists. They also want for long-serving Democratic lawmakers in Congress to retire and clear the path for their takeover of the Democratic Congressional roster.

Following my column last week, where I harshly criticized Senator Robert Menendez for questioning the loyalty of David Friedman, Trumps ambassador designate to Israel, a number of prominent American Jews insisted that in asking the question Menendez was not embracing the anti-Semitic dual loyalty slur. He was trying to protect Friedman from his more radical Democratic colleagues.

There is good reason to accept their argument. Menendez has a long record of standing up for Israel and he has paid a political price for that support.

The problem is that such justifications of Menendezs actions indicate that American Jews have already lowered the bar on what constitutes anti-Semitism too far and made defending their own interests all but impossible.

The Democrats are in a dangerous place for themselves, for the US and for the American Jewish community. They will not move back to the center if standards for judging what it means to be anti-Semitic are lowered. The only chance that they will return to their senses is if they are made to choose between the Sarsours of the world and the Dershowitzes. And this cannot happen by looking for a consensus on what anti-Semitism means. It can only be doneif it can be done at allby drawing a line and demanding that it be respected.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

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Perez, Ellison and the meaning of anti-Semitism – Canada Free Press