Ousted Liberal candidate says party was aware of his online comments for weeks

Widely covered and unclear exactly how his comments made it through the vetting process given that they were likely to be uncovered by B’nai Brith and others. And intriguing if Liberals were working on defensive media lines (which could be developed):

Ousted Liberal candidate Hassan Guillet admits to posting online about a Hamas-aligned activist, but says the party was well aware of his comments and were even working on a public relations plan before they withdrew his nomination.

Last week, the Liberal Party dumped Guillet as a candidate in Quebec after a Jewish human rights group accused him of making a number of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel statements.

In a statement posted to its website Friday, B’nai Brith Canada alleges Guillett congratulated a Hamas-aligned activist, Raed Salah, upon his release from a “prison of occupied Palestine” and prayed that he would one day succeed in liberating “all of Palestine.” The group said he described Salah as “frontier-fighter.”

The group also said it found a since-deleted Facebook post from 2016 in which Guillet allegedly wrote “the Zionists control American politics.”

The group said it reached out to the Liberal Party more than a week ago to make it aware of their allegations against him. The Conservative Party also called for his withdrawal.

Later that day, the Liberal Party said Guillet’s “insensitive comments” don’t align with the party’s values and revoked his candidacy in the riding of Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel.

Guillet held a press conference in the riding on Wednesday, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with supporters. He said the party was aware of the contents of his Facebook page since at least Aug. 8 and already had discussed an action plan that involved reaching out to the Jewish community.

Guillet, a member of the Council of Quebec Imams who gained national attention after delivering a speech in Quebec City honouring victims of the Quebec mosque shooting, said he did congratulate Salah after he was released from prison because he had protested the closure of a Jerusalem mosque, but insisted he wasn’t aware of his background.

Liberals say decision is final

“The party either knew or should have known what it contained. Why, then, if these words were so problematic, why was my candidacy … accepted?” he said. “One is entitled to ask the question, was it incompetence or bad faith?

“I am not anti-Semitic. On the contrary, I campaigned and I will always campaign against all forms of racism, including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.”

Guillet said a member of the Liberal Party approached him Friday and said he could resign for personal reasons — or the party would withdraw its support.

The Liberal Party isn’t changing its mind.

“Following an internal review, the Liberal Party of Canada took the appropriate steps to remove Mr. Guillet as the Liberal candidate for the riding of  Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel. That decision is final,” said party spokesperson Parker Lund in an email Wednesday.

Neither is B’nai Brith Canada.

“Today’s press conference only confirms our position that Hassan Guillet is not fit to carry the Liberal Party banner,” said Michael Mostyn, the group’s chief executive officer.

“We are satisfied with our role in exposing his anti-Semitic statements, and disappointed that he spurned an opportunity to retract them.”

Source: Ousted Liberal candidate says party was aware of his online comments for weeks

Liberals dump Quebec candidate after B’nai Brith, Conservatives allege anti-Semitic comments

Embarrassing that the candidate vetting process did not discover these earlier statements.

Suspect an Italian-Canadian may now be the Liberal candidate given the complaints by some Italian-Canadians in the riding that a non-Italian-Canadian won the nomination:

The Liberals have dumped a candidate in Quebec after B’nai Brith Canada accused Hassan Guillet of making a number of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel statements.

“The insensitive comments made by Hassan Guillet are not aligned with the values of the Liberal Party of Canada,” the party said in a media statement.

“Following a thorough internal review process that has been ongoing for a few weeks, the Liberal Party of Canada has made the decision to revoke the candidacy of Mr. Guillet for the riding of  Saint—Léonard Saint—Michel in this fall’s election.”

Guillet, a member of the Council of Quebec Imams, gained national attention after delivering a speech in Quebec City honouring victims of the Quebec mosque shooting.

In a statement on its website, B’nai Brith Canada said Guillett praised a Hamas-aligned activist, Raed Salah, and had a history of making anti-Semitic comments on social media. The group said it reached out to the Liberal Party more than a week ago to make it aware of their allegations against him.

In a post on his Facebook account earlier today, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to “do the right thing, immediately condemn these anti-Semitic comments, and fire this candidate.

“Anti-Semitism is unfortunately all too real in Canada and threatens the safety and security of Jewish Canadians. As political leaders, we need to speak out and condemn it at every opportunity.”

In a statement issued Thursday — before being dropped as a candidate — Guillet apologized for some of his past comments regarding the Middle East, without repeating the comments or detailing what they were.

“If these statements could be considered offensive to some of my fellow citizens of Jewish faith, I apologize. My intention was not to offend anyone. The lack of sensitivity of these statements does not reflect my personality or my way of being,” he said in French.

Source: Liberals dump Quebec candidate after B’nai Brith, Conservatives allege anti-Semitic comments

World War II and the Ingredients of Slaughter

Some uncomfortable parallels:

World War II began 80 years ago this Sunday after Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed a “nonaggression” pact that was, in fact, a mutual aggression pact. Adolf Hitler invaded Poland on Sept. 1, 1939. Russia’s invasion of Poland, no less murderous, followed two weeks later.

On Nov. 3 of that year, Joseph Goebbels, the propaganda minister, gave Hitler a report of his trip to Poland. “Above all, my description of the Jewish problem gets [Hitler’s] full approval,” he wrote in his diary. “The Jew is a waste product. It is a clinical issue more than a social one.”

For several years many commentators, including me, have written about the parallels between the prewar era and the present.

There’s the rise of dictatorial regimes intent on avenging past geopolitical humiliations and redrawing borders: Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia then; China, Iran and Russia now.

Polish Ontario newspaper accused of anti-Semitism

To watch:

Police in Peel Region have confirmed they are investigating a local Polish-language news outlet following a complaint from B’nai Brith Canada about anti-Semitic content.

The force’s Equity and Inclusion Bureau is “also aware” of the complaint, said spokesperson Const. Heather Cannon.

B’nai Brith laid the complaint after discovering “frequent anti-Semitic and hateful material” in Goniec, a news outlet based in Mississauga, Ont., that publishes a weekly newspaper with a circulation of about 1,000, and maintains a website and YouTube channel.

According to B’nai Brith, the paper has accused “Jews and Zionists” of having “terrorism in their blood,” and has urged readers to “stand up to the Jews,” in response to their attempts to “destroy” Poland.

In a series of “incendiary” articles, the outlet “warns repeatedly of Jewish control over the Polish government through ‘puppet politicians’ in the United States who favour ‘rewriting history’ in the interest of the Israeli government,” B’nai Brith said in an Aug. 15 statement.

Authors on the website have also stated that Jews are “playing their old game” of trying to interfere in various governments, while calling the actions of Jewish organizations “racist” and “satanic,” the Jewish advocacy group alleged.

“We are appalled by the blatant Jew-hatred peddled by this publication,” said Michael Mostyn, B’nai Brith’s CEO. “While there is room for disagreement over policies in modern Polish-Jewish relations, the anti-Semitic content that we are seeing is truly beyond the pale.”

Among other examples B’nai Brith cited was a photograph of Hasidic Jews juxtaposed with the U.S. Capitol building, followed by allegations that Congress is controlled by Jewish forces, as well as a headline saying, You Use WhatsApp – Jews Are Spying on You.

Goniec has also described a film documenting the 1941 anti-Jewish massacre in the Polish town of Jedwabne as “false propaganda of the ‘Holocaust enterprise’ in a plot to initiate reparations for Jewish property that was lost or stolen during the Second World War,” B’nai Brith charged.

Andrzej Kumor, the paper’s editor-in-chief and sole employee, called B’nai Brith’s accusations “unfounded” and said he will co-operate with police.

“I have nothing to hide,” Kumor told The CJN via email. “I was never hateful towards Jews or any other community. I see politics as a power play of different interests. I love the debate and I think that the debate is a cornerstone of (a) free, democratic society.”

He defended the material cited by B’nai Brith.

The headline about Jews spying, for example, “is about the security hole found in WhatsApp, which was exploited by (an) Israeli group with connections to … state security services,” Kumor explained, asking, “Is the headline, ‘The Russians are spying on us’ anti-Russian?”

He said the commentary titled Zionists Have Terrorism in Their Blood (not “Jews,” he noted) is about paramilitary groups in pre-state Israel – the Irgun, Haganah and the so-called Stern Gang – and “the smart political use of terrorism by Jews fighting for their country after the Second World War.”

As for the July 1941 pogrom in Jedwabne, “this crime should be investigated to the very end … to find out how many people died, and other circumstances,” Kumor said.

Several sources agree that at least 340 Jews were murdered in the pogrom, 300 of whom were locked in a barn that was set on fire.

Peter Jassem, past chair of the Polish-Jewish Heritage Foundation of Canada’s Toronto chapter, said it was brought to his attention “on numerous occasions” that Kumor was publishing “anti-Semitic content for years, sometimes explicitly, sometimes as innuendo regularly present in numerous articles written by him and his contributors.”

As for B’nai Brith’s translations, “everything seems to be accurate,” said Jassem. However, the title of one video cited by B’nai Brith “does not mean that Zionists have terrorism in their blood, but rather that they are guilty of terrorism,” Jassem explained. “But when you listen to the video, (Kumor) does say this: ‘Jews or Zionists have terrorism in their blood.’ ” Later in the same video, Kumor says, “It is said that Jews simply invented modern terrorism,” according to Jassem.

He added that both in this article and in an interview Kumor gave to an online Polish television station that Jassem views as anti-Semitic,” Kumor “seems to show  himself as a martyr and a freedom fighter whose mission is to uncover the truth and to defend freedom of speech. He blames Jewish conspiracy for this action against him.” 

Source: Polish Ontario newspaper accused of anti-Semitism

Trump’s tweets about ‘disloyal’ Jews are laced with centuries of antisemitism

Situates the broader and historical contexts:

It was January in Paris – cold, gray – when a ceremony held on the Champ-de-Mars roiled the city’s elite. Military officials and civilians gathered to watch as a young Jewish artillery officer was punished for his alleged treason. Days earlier Alfred Dreyfus had been convicted of passing secrets to the Germans in a rushed court-martial. A French army officer stripped his insignia medals, took his sword and broke it over his knee. Dreyfus was marched around the courtyard of the École Militaire as crowds jeered and spat. Cries of “Jew!” and “Judas!” drowned out his muffled professions of loyalty to the French state.

The scene was striking – in the shadow of the newly built Eiffel Tower, a symbol of modernity, an almost primal witch-hunt unfolded. A once decorated army servant pleaded for pity as his neighbors called out “death to the Jew”. Dreyfus was exonerated two years later. The message of his trial was clear: even in a cosmopolitan city, in a country whose revolutionary myth called for liberty and equality, leaders could baselessly point their people’s animus toward the other in their midst.

There’s a sordid history to charges of Jewish dual loyalty in the US In the early years of the second world war, isolationists opposed to American involvement dismissed the war as little more than a “Jewish cause”. Charles Lindbergh berated Jewish leaders for “agitating for war”. Decades later, when the US senator Joe Lieberman ran on the Democratic ticket for vice-president, pundits questioned whether he was more loyal to Israel than to the US. During the democratic primaries in 2015, the Vermont senator Bernie Sanders was challenged on his “dual citizenship” with Israel.

Source: Trump’s tweets about ‘disloyal’ Jews are laced with centuries of antisemitism

Imam banned from preaching at Edmonton community centre

Of note, both the initial offence and the Muslim community response:

A community centre in Edmonton has banned a local imam from holding services there because he allegedly used anti-Semitic tropes in his services and online.

The Killarney Community League Hall banned Sheikh Shaban Sherif Mady from using their space to hold services after B’nai Brith alerted the community centre to Imam Mady’s rhetoric, including claims that international Zionism is behind all global terrorism, including ISIS and the New Zealand shooter, and that the Muslims will kill the Jews on Judgment Day.

Aidan Fishman of B’nai Brith said the police are “dutifully investigating” the matter. He also said B’nai Brith has been in contact with the Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council (AMPAC).

“They’re aware of this and they, like I’m sure the vast majority of Muslims in Alberta and in Edmonton, have communicated to us that they totally disagree with what this guy said and they condemn it as well,” he said.

Faisal Suri of AMPAC confirmed that AMPAC condemned Shekih Mady’s speeches and online posts. He said AMPAC recognizes both anti-Semitism and Islamaphobia, as they affect two of the biggest communities most harmed by hatred and discrimination.

“We definitely condemn the words of this one individual. One individual’s actions and words do not reflect upon the Muslim community,” Suri said.

He also added that AMPAC is investigating Sheikh Mady, and whether other individuals hold similar views. He said the counci is working to prevent the imam from having any public platforms to advance his views.

Holocaust survivors have home ransacked as antisemitic incidents hit new record in UK

Of particular note “Where a perpetrator’s ethnic appearance was recorded, over two thirds were described as white, 12 per cent Asian, 11 per cent black and 8 per cent Arab or north African”:

Holocaust survivors had their home ransacked and sprayed with graffiti in one of a record number of antisemitic incidents reported in the UK.

The Community Security Trust (CST) said the elderly couple returned from holiday in April to find the house “ransacked and desecrated” with “c*** Jews” scrawled in large letters across their living room wall.

Other incidents saw Jewish victims punched, kicked or pelted with stones, bottles and eggs, while swastikas and slogans including “gas the Jews” were sprayed on buildings.

The CST, which monitors antisemitism and provides security for Jewish communities, recorded a total of 892 incidents in the first six months of this year – a 10 per cent increase on last year and a new record.

It named discussions around antisemitism in the Labour Party as one cause of spikes in reports, as well as wider divisions in British society.

CST chief executive David Delew said: “This is the third year in a row that CST has seen an increase in reports of antisemitic incidents.

“The problem is spreading across the country and online, it reflects deepening divisions in our society and it is causing increasing anxiety in the Jewish community.

“It will take people of all communities and backgrounds standing together to turn this tide of hate around.”

The highest monthly totals were February and March, when antisemitism was prominent in news and politics because of the continuing controversy over antisemitism in the Labour Party.

The period saw MPs including Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie and Chukka Umunna, leave the party as some cited antisemitism as a reason for their decision.

The CST recorded 25 antisemitic incidents in February and 30 in March that were related to arguments over the Labour Party, while the debate is also believed to have increased online abuse against Jewish organisations and public figures who commented on the issue.

“Many of these antisemitic reactions were in the wider context of ‘smear’ accusations, spoke of conspiracy and attempted to delegitimise clear evidence of antisemitism,” the report said.

“It is hard to precisely disaggregate the impact of the continuing Labour antisemitism controversy upon CST’s statistics: but it clearly has an important bearing.

“The trend for monthly totals above the 100 figure began in April 2016 following controversial comments by Ken Livingstone and it has only fallen below 100 twice since then.

“In this context, the dynamics of antisemitism are similar to other forms of racism or political violence: expressions of hatred worsen when perpetrators feel motivated or emboldened to act.”

The CST recorded 145 cases involving antisemitic conspiracy theories, 67 with a “far-right political motivation”, nine linked to Islamist extremism and 12 to other religions, and five related to Brexit.

The charity does not consider criticism of Israel or Zionism “inherently antisemitic” but 203 antisemitic incidents alluded to the Middle East, including those equating the Israeli government with Nazis.

More than a third of recorded incidents involved social media, which the CST called an “essential and convenient vessel” for antisemites to harass, abuse and threaten Jews.

The CST said it does not trawl for online incidents and only records those reported by the public and involving an offender or victim in the UK.

The report found the most common kind of offline incident was the “random, spontaneous, verbal abuse of strangers who are believed for whatever reason to be Jewish, as they go about their lives in public spaces”.

Antisemitic assaults rose by 37 per cent to 62 in the six-month period, while there were also 38 incidents of damage and desecration.

Jewish individuals in public, under half of whom were wearing religious symbols or clothing, were targeted in 225 incidents, many involving antisemitic abuse or threatening language.

Other incidents targetted Jewish organisations, communal events, commercial premises, synagogues and schools.

Almost two thirds were recorded in London and Manchester, the two largest Jewish communities in the UK, followed by Hertfordshire, Merseyside, Gateshead and Leeds.

Where a perpetrator’s ethnic appearance was recorded, over two thirds were described as white, 12 per cent Asian, 11 per cent black and 8 per cent Arab or north African.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council said it would analyse data to establish whether increases recorded by the CST “reflect a greater incidence of hate crime or further improvements in reporting levels”.

Assistant chief constable Mark Hamilton, the lead for hate crime, said: “It can never be acceptable to abuse someone because of their ethnicity or religion, but we see that there are still far too many in our society who are prepared to act illegally, fuelled by global events, divisions in our own society or by bigoted ideologies.

“The police will continue to improve our services to victims and to help bring offenders to justice.”

The European Jewish Congress said the trend of “spiralling antisemitism” was being mirrored in other countries around the world.

President Moshe Kantor said he was “deeply concerned” at the CST’s report, adding: “We once again note the correlation between incidents on the ground and escalating antisemitism in the Labour Party, which shows that the failure of political leaders to address antisemitic discourse from within has emboldened perpetrators to commit hateful acts.

“We call on our political leaders, teachers and community leaders alike to take a stand in calling out antisemitism and all forms of hatred.”

Andrew Gwynne MP, Labour’s shadow local government and communities secretary said: “It is deeply distressing to see antisemitism rising in our society and many other countries. Earlier this year it was revealed that as many as one in 20 people in the UK do not believe the Holocaust took place. That is a staggering statistic.

“This report, detailing the rise in antisemitic abuse, including the desecration of Jewish property, demonstrates how much further we have to go to root this ancient prejudice out of our society. We thank the Community Security Trust for the vital work it does highlighting and confronting antisemitism and in providing support and security for Jewish communities.

“The Labour Party is committed to challenging and campaigning against antisemitism in all its forms. Our Party has taken swift and decisive action in response to antisemitism complaints, with a more than four-fold increase in the rate at which antisemitism cases are dealt with, and we recently launched an education programme to deepen understanding about antisemitic stereotypes and conspiracy theories.”

Source: Holocaust survivors have home ransacked as antisemitic incidents hit new record in UK

Frum: American Jews Are Being Tested By Trump

As are all groups:

It’s becoming almost a daily occurrence: President Donald Trump denouncing anti-Semitism and expressing solidarity with the state of Israel.

Gone are the days when Trump tweeted out a Star of David atop stacks of money. The Trump White House has purged itself of oddballs with troubling backgrounds and even more troubling friends.

The larger MAGA universe may still pulse with anti-Semitic animus. Pro-Trump trolls may traffic in grotesque online slurs and threats. Hate crimes against Jews seem on the rise. A deadly anti-Jewish mass killing occurred on Trump’s watch. Although the Pittsburgh killer is often described as despising Trump, that’s not quite accurate. It would be more correct to describe the Pittsburgh killer as disappointed in Trump, whom he viewed as a promising racist naively duped by Jews. In one of his postings, a word bubble is drawn over a photograph of Trump receiving a visitor dressed in Orthodox garb. “Your character will appear to the public as a white racist,” the visitor seems to say to Trump. “It’s how we control Whites.”

“Anti-Semitism has no place in our country or anywhere in our world.

The Trump Administration is working every day to oppose and eradicate anti-Semitic hate crimes and ideology.”

The Trump presidency seethes with hostility toward many different minority and subordinated groups. But Jews have been elevated to a special protected category, exempt from the lines of attack deployed against Muslims, non-Norwegian immigrants, women Trump deems unattractive, and so on and on.

This special exemption poses a moral quandary for communally concerned Jews quite unlike anything in our collective experience.Jewish collective life in America has been built on the assumption that people who espouse any form of bigotry—whether against African Americans, or gays, or the disabled—will, sooner or later (and probably sooner!), also turn upon Jews. The famous Martin Niemöller poem begins, “First, they came for the socialists”; only in the third line do they “come for the Jews.”

But what if a new generation of bigotry arose, attended by a strong, take-it-to-the-bank guarantee: This time, they are not coming for the Jews—not sooner, not later. That ancient obsession is laughably out of date. Today we have other concerns. Here’s a photograph of me posing alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He likes George Soros even less than we do!

What if American Jews found themselves facing people who practiced a politics of incitement, but not against Jews—indeed, who found it more useful to cast themselves as allies of Jews?

Trump usually has, at most, a perfunctory word for mass shootings and hate crimes. But Trump traveled in person to pay respects to the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter. Vice President Mike Pence had led the way, personally helping to restore a desecrated Jewish cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri, early in 2017.

When Trump attacked Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, he specifically cited her record of tweets and statements about Jewish money supposedly swaying Congress in favor of Israel. Among other pieces of classic anti-Semitic language, Omar had said, “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”

Statements like that goaded President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel to write here in The Atlantic: “No one is questioning the right of members of Congress and others to criticize Israeli policies. But Omar is crossing a line that should not be crossed in political discourse. Her remarks are not anti-Israel; they are anti-Semitic.” Her words set in motion a resolution in the House of Representatives to condemn anti-Semitic and other bigoted speech.

By contrast, the Trump administration has more than fulfilled the wishes of many American Jews on issues from moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem to condemning Palestinian incitement to countering the Iranian nuclear program. At the Department of Justice’s conference last week, Barr said:

“Far too often, Jews and Jewish communities in America suffer outside the spotlight. New York City, this past year, has seen a sharp uptick in attacks on Orthodox Jews, particularly in the Crown Heights neighborhood. People are attacking Jews in the streets and vandalizing synagogues. In Massachusetts in March, vandals desecrated 59 gravestones in a Jewish cemetery, knocking over headstones and scrawling swastikas and hateful graffiti.

While the tragic attacks in Pittsburgh and Poway appropriately drew national attention, these attacks and others like them in communities across the country are, sadly, less well known outside the Jewish community. But they form the daily background of concerns about security and safety that many in the Jewish community feel.

As attorney general and a fellow citizen, I want to assure the Jewish community that the Department of Justice and the entire federal government stands with you and will not tolerate these attacks.”

As measured by polls, the large majority of American Jews recoil from Trump and his administration. Yet if you spend time in the organized Jewish world, you have probably noticed an early but unmistakable warming to the president. The warming is most pronounced among the older, more communally committed, and more Israel-focused part of the Jewish world.

In western Europe, Jews have been pushed away from their historic home on the secular left toward new alliances on the nationalist right. Under Jeremy Corbyn, the British Labour Party has been stained by anti-Semitism—to a point where past leaders such as Gordon Brown have taken a public stand against Corbyn.In the United States, mercifully, Omar remains a marginal figure within the Democratic Party. On July 23, all but 17 members of the House of Representatives voted to condemn Omar’s project of anti-Israel boycotts; the “squad” member Representative Ayanna Pressley voted with the House majority. But an important part of Trump’s plan for 2020 is elevating Omar’s profile, and prodding American Jews to compare him not with the actual Democratic nominee, but with the target he has singled out for attention.

It’s part stunt and scam, as James Kirchick recently argued. But it’s not all stunt and scam.

At a conference in Washington, D.C., last week, Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri delivered a speech denouncing cosmopolitan elites. Some who listened to the speech thought they heard a slight against Jews. Yet the conference had been organized by an American-born Israeli, Yoram Hazony—and at every turn, the conference communicated Jewish inclusion in the new cross-border nationalist movement Hazony hopes to create. Hawley replied to his critics: “You’ll have to carry me out on a slab before I compromise my defense of the Jewish people, their greatness, their history, their safety, and the state of Israel.” That’s the language of committed friendship.

There is a message for American Jews in all this: These attacks on the other are not aimed at you. You can be part of us. We’d like you to be part of us. All you have to do is stop worrying about them. And after all, they don’t worry about you!

The comedian Chris Rock performed a classic comedy sketch about how bigotry always accelerates toward the Jews at the end. “That train,” he quipped, “is never late!” But what if that train is late? What if it’s been canceled altogether, at least insofar as it departs from Trump Station? What if the old community of interest between American Jews and other minorities is dissolving, leaving only the weaker tie of a community of values?

And not only American Jews! Many illiberal authoritarians around the world have tried to gain indulgence for other hatreds by friendship with Israel. Even the Viktor Orbán government in Hungary—which often theatrically glorifies violently anti-Semitic figures from the nation’s past—quietly assures that country’s still surviving Jewish community: None of this will translate into real-world actions against you. And indeed, thus far, that assurance has been honored.

Jews generally believe ourselves to be bound by an ethical code of tolerance and decency larger than our own parochial interests. Trump seems intent on putting that belief to the test. Will we meet it? Will we meet it as a united community? Or by tempting Jews with privileges denied to other, more marginal groups, will he split religious Jews from secular; more communally minded Jews from more universalist; more conservative from more liberal—embittering American Jews against one another, as he has sought more generally to embitter American against American?

Source: American Jews Are Being Tested By Trump

We must talk about Palestine – without being antisemitic

Worth noting:

It’s hard to write or talk about antisemitism and the Labour party’s handling of it without descending into deep despair, and not just at the mirror the sorry tale is holding up to the whole of our society, which seems to be becoming less tolerant, more racist and less safe for minorities. This is having greater consequences than the Labour leadership can imagine. In particular, it is stifling the ability of commentators and decision-makers to talk sensibly about the real issues in Palestine.

My mother is Palestinian. These issues are deeply personal; we still have family in the West Bank. I am very worried that, at this critical juncture in the history of the region, activists, parliamentarians and journalists feel that they cannot speak out for fear of being branded as antisemitic. My plea is that we must speak more about Palestine, not less, and in this current climate it is something members of both houses of parliament have confided that they are more fearful than ever to do.

Source: We must talk about Palestine – without being antisemitic

Top Trump officials headline conference focusing on the ‘new #antiSemitism’

Worth reading for the last pointed question posed to the three, which all deflected:

U.S. Attorney General William Barr called anti-Semitism a “cancer” at a Department of Justice summit on the topic notable for its focus on anti-Israel activity and for speeches by the top leaders of the departments of Education, the Treasury and the FBI.

Monday’s Summit on Combating Anti-Semitism, held at the DOJ headquarters here, featured panel discussions and an audience of about 150, mostly men representing various Jewish organizations and government agencies that deal with some aspect of hate crimes and civil rights.

The conference was bracketed by speeches by Barr and three other top officials of the Trump administration: Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Elan Carr, the State Department’s Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating anti-Semitism, said the lineup was a sign of how seriously the administration is taking what he called a “time of striking growth in anti-Semitism around the globe.” He said that growth extends from Europe to the United States, “where vandalism in New York and other cities, according to the Anti-Defamation League, occurs on a fairly regular basis, and campuses have become hostile places for Jewish and pro-Israel students.”

Anti-Israel activity — at colleges and by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel — was perhaps the major theme of the summit, with two of the four panels largely devoted to aspects of the topic: “Anti-Semitism on Campus” and “Combating Anti-Semitism While Respecting the First Amendment.”

Carr noted at least three sources of present-day anti-Semitism: the “white supremacist far right,” the “anti-Zionist far left” and “radical Islam.”

But he drew particular attention to what he called “the new anti-Semitism,” which he said “attempts to disguise its Jew hatred as hatred for the state of Israel and the anti-Zionist endeavor.”

DeVos said that “BDS stands for anti-Semitism.” She described her department’s investigations into incidents of alleged discrimination aimed at pro-Israel students at Williams College in Massachusetts and at a pro-Palestinian event sponsored by departments at Duke University and University of North Carolina.

She also invoked President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as did Mnuchin, as a sign of U.S. support for Israel.

In his remarks, Barr referred to the wide landscape of anti-Semitism, including a rise in reported hate crimes, the deadly shootings at synagogues in Pittsburgh and southern California, conspiracy theories and cemetery vandalism.

Describing anti-Semitism as a “cancer,” he said he wants to “assure the Jewish community that the Department of Justice and the entire federal government stands with you and will not tolerate these attacks.”

The conference, scheduled for weeks, was held following a news cycle dominated by accusations that President Donald Trump had himself courted bigotry, first in hosting a meeting at the White House for right-wing social media figures and then saying in a tweet that four Democratic members of Congress, all women of color, should “go back” to their countries of origin.

Josh Rogin, a columnist for the Washington Post who moderated a panel on “Prosecuting Hate Crimes,” referred to this tumult in a question to the three law enforcement officials on the panel. Asked to what they attributed the rise in hate crimes, and if they considered Trump’s often polarizing behavior as one of the causes, all three — representing the Attorney General’s civil rights division, the FBI’s criminal investigation division and the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia — declined to offer any reasons.

All three focused their answers instead on their efforts to prosecute purveyors of hate crimes and their work with local communities on prevention.

Source: Top Trump officials headline conference focusing on the ‘new anti-Semitism’