Friday, January 24, 2020

Germany: Reporter blames Israel for misusing Holocaust remembrance

Via The Jerusalem Post:
A German journalist for the publically-funded broadcaster ARD is under fire for writing a commentary that will be welcomed by right-wing extremists, because it condemns the behavior of Israel and Russia as unworthy during the remembrance of the liberation of Auschwitz, a prominent German Jewish leader alleged.

The commentary of the journalist, Sabine Müller, on Thursday triggered outrage on social media. The German Green Party’s member of the European Parliament Sergey Lagodinsky wrote on Twitter: “Not serious… Incredible chutzpah. There is so much weirdness in this commentary.”[…]

The Bild journalist Filipp Piatov termed Müller’s commentary “bad style” and as someone who has forgotten her history.

Müller wrote that “What was unworthy, however, was how Israel and Russia partially seized this commemoration day. How they celebrated their own political and memorial private party before the official event – with new verbal attacks against Poland and demonstratively lengthy bilateral talks between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and [Russian] President Vladimir Putin.”

In contrast to her criticism of the “egoism” of Netanyahu and Putin, she wrote that Steinmeier “lived up to the expectations of the first speech by a German head of state in Yad Vashem and, as a representative of the country of the perpetrators, delivered an impressively sensitive and clear speech – in English, mind you. A speech about German guilt and responsibility.”

Müller omitted the criticism that Steinmeier has faced in the German media for contributing to making antisemitism respectable, according to the Bild paper. In February 2019, Steinmeier sent a congratulatory telegram to Iran's mullah regime in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution in the name of federal republic's citizens.

He wrote “Congratulations on the occasion of the national holiday, also in the name of my compatriots."
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U.K.: BBC’s Correspondent links the murder of six million Jews in the Holocaust to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians

Via Antisemitism UK:
Orla Guerin, the BBC’s International Correspondent, has appallingly used a primetime segment on the BBC’s flagship News at Ten programme to link the murder of six million Jews in the Holocaust to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

In a story ahead of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, directly after interviewing a Holocaust survivor whose entire family was murdered by Nazi Germany, Ms Guerin showed images of young Israelis who were performing their military service entering Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem. Ms Guerin narrated in the background, saying: “The State of Israel is now a regional power. For decades it has occupied Palestinian territories. But some here will always see their nation through the prism of persecution and survival.”
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Thursday, January 23, 2020

France: Is St Anne basilica compound used as a staging ground for ideological and theological attacks on Jewish sovereignty in Israel?

"An Open Letter to Emmanuel Macron, President of France" by Dexter Van Zile  @ The Times of Israel:
[…] Yusef Daher, runs the Jerusalem Inter Church Center (JICC) whose office is located in St. Anne’s compound. While he’s there, Daher enjoys the protection of French sovereignty, which you so ardently defended.

In the past, Daher has portrayed legitimate Israeli security measures at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher as a huge act of oppression against Christians worldwide. For example, Daher has unfairly portrayed Israeli efforts to prevent a stampede outside the church as an evil act against Christians in Jerusalem. […]

I don’t mean to add to your headaches, but given that you just defended French sovereignty over St. Anne’s in the Old City of Jerusalem, I feel compelled to ask you some questions about how France administers the property. The central issue is this: Why does France allow its sovereign territory in Jerusalem to be used by the JICC, which is led by Daher, as a staging ground for ideological and theological attacks on Jewish sovereignty in Israel? If you pardon the expression, that doesn’t seem ... kosher.

I raised this question with the folks in France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2018 and no one got back to me.

I even asked officials from the White Fathers, the Catholic religious order that operates St. Anne’s. They were pretty tight-lipped, but the one thing they did say is that St. Anne’s Monastery enjoys diplomatic protection, “just like an embassy.”

So, here is the relevant text of an email that I sent to the folks in France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in an email sent, interestingly enough, on June 6, 2018:
I am currently writing an article about an organization called the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine/Israel (EAPPI). EAPPI is an institution of the World Council of Churches (WCC) that sends activists into Israel and the West Bank. The organization has come under increasing scrutiny and criticism from a number of institutions and commentators in Israel and elsewhere for its tendency to promote anti-Israel propaganda both in the Holy Land and in the home country of EAPPI activists.

EAPPI is closely affiliated with another WCC institution — the Jerusalem Interchurch Center — whose general secretary, a Palestinian Christian by the name of Yusef Daher, has posted ugly anti-Israel propaganda on his Facebook page.

I write to you because EAPPI is currently headquartered in the Church of St. Anne’s, a basilica located in Jerusalem’s Old City. The church, which is currently operated by the White Fathers, an order of Catholic missionaries, is located on French property given to France by the Ottoman Empire in the 1850s. The Ottoman Empire gave France the property out of gratitude for assistance given during the Crimean War. I also believe that the JICC is located in the same property. (I was at the property on Sunday, June 3, 2018 and saw that a French flag flies over the property.)

I am currently asking both the World Council of Churches and the White Fathers questions about the presence of the EAPPI and the JICC on the property of the Basilica, but I also need some information from the French government. My questions are: 
1. Is the property in question sovereign French territory? (If yes, does this confer any special diplomatic protection to the operations of the EAPPI and JICC?) I ask this question, because the language I see in articles indicates that the property is “owned” by the French government, but “entrusted” to the White Fathers.

2. Am I correct in my belief that the JICC is also headquartered in St. Anne’s?

3. Who made the decision to allow EAPPI and JICC to put their headquarters on the property?

4. Did the French Government or anyone in the French diplomatic corps agree to allowing EAPPI and JICC to put their offices on the property or was this decision made exclusively by the White Fathers?

5. Is anyone in the French government or diplomatic corps concerned about the use of French property to house organizations that promote anti-Zionist propaganda. [Sic]

6. What would happen if the shoe were on the other foot and Israeli-owned property in France was used to de-legitimize France? (I know that this is a challenging question, but it seems like a reasonable one to ask.)
I don’t mean to be a nudge, Mr. President, but in light of your ardent defense of French sovereignty over St. Anne’s, these questions seem perfectly reasonable to ask. 
I hear tell that lot of Jews are leaving France and it just doesn’t seem right to help make their lives more difficult in their new home.
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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

UK: Reaction to a letter to The Times by senior politicians calling for the recognition of a Palestinian state

Mark Pickles, writer and artist:
Here is a piece in reaction to a letter to The Times by over 20 senior and deluded British politicians calling for the immediate recognition of a Palestinian state, oblivious to the realities on the ground:
Yesterday, 20th January 2020, twenty-odd British political worthies of the left and right –and of both chambers – wrote a short letter to The Times titled, “The Time is Right to Recognise Palestine”. (I’ve put a screenshot of the letter after the footnote references.) The “time is now”, we are told, to “best serve the cause of peace”. We are told that “Israel’s actions are pushing a two-state solution beyond reach”.

The signatories of the letter finish by telling us they want “equal rights for peoples in two states”.

The two-state solution is beyond reach – through no fault of Israel – regardless of the fact that two-states remains the official foreign-policy position of the UK Government. The two-state solution was emphasised by Boris Johnson when he was Foreign Secretary, who on the centenary of the Balfour Declaration in 2017 wrote his “vision for Middle East peace”. Prime Minister Johnson’s piece is still on, where you will see that it is not visionary at all, but the same old British broken-record stuck on “two-state solution”, oblivious to the realities. [i]
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France: Antisemitism means Jews ‘do not lead the same life’ as others, says top expert

67% of French people indifferent to Jews leaving France

Via The Algemeiner:
One of France’s leading political scientists bluntly asserted on Tuesday that rising antisemitism meant that the country’s Jews “do not lead the same existence” as their fellow citizens.

“We do not lead the same life when we are not Jewish,” Prof. Dominique Reynié — who teaches at the prestigious Institute for Political Studies (Sciences Po) in Paris — told national broadcaster RTL in an interview on Tuesday.

Reynié was commenting on a new study published on Tuesday which revealed that three-quarters of the French population — Jews and non-Jews alike — recognized that antisemitism was “a problem that affects of all of society.”

The survey — conducted by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and Fondapol, a liberal political think tank based in Paris — showed that 67 percent of Jewish respondents felt that there were high levels of antisemitism in France, compared with 47 percent of the general population who felt the same. [...]

It found that “70 percent of French Jews say they have been victims of at least one antisemitic incident in their lifetime, 64 percent have suffered antisemitic verbal abuse at least once.”

A further “23 percent have been targets of physical violence on at least one occasion, with 10 percent saying they were attacked several times.”

As a result, French Jews were increasingly wary of disclosing their identities in public.

The roughest edge of French antisemitism was being experienced by the community’s youth, the poll found.

“The youngest Jews, ages 18-24, are on the ‘front line’ more than older cohorts in confronting antisemitism,” the survey observed. “84 percent of them have suffered at last one antisemitic act, compared with 70 percent of all respondents; 79 percent had suffered verbal abuse, compared with 64 percent of all respondents, and 39 percent faced an act of physical aggression, compared with 23 percent of the full Jewish sample.”

The workplace has also become a focus of concern for French Jews. A full 46 percent had experienced verbal antisemitic abuse while at work — a statistic the AJC called “disturbing.”
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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Germany: Jewish government worker was subjected to anti-Semitic harassment

Via JTA:
A Jewish man working as a driver for the German Chancellery in Berlin has reported being subjected to anti-Semitic harassment.

An unnamed source told the daily Bild am Sonntag newspaper that the man, who comes from Lebanon and worked in the Chancellery’s motor pool, reported that several colleagues have insulted and bullied him since early 2019, calling him “Jewish pig” and “Kanake,” a word referring to migrants from primarily Muslim countries or southern Europe.

The employee, who was not a driver for Chancellor Angela Merkel, reported the incidents to the federal government’s anti-Semitism commissioner in the Ministry of the Interior, Felix Klein, the Bild reported.

While confirming basic details, a government spokesperson told Bild that no further comment could be provided in the confidential matter. The employee reportedly now works in a new location, away from his former colleagues. There was no information available on the identity of the colleagues.
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Monday, January 20, 2020

Europe: What a strange idea for Israel to invite European leaders to Yad Vashem to denounce the rejuvenation of anti-Semitism

Shmuel Trigano @ Israel Hayom:
What a strange idea it was for President Reuven Rivlin to invite European leaders to Yad Vashem to denounce the rejuvenation of anti-Semitism, particularly in Europe. Despite the political importance of the event, the entire endeavor reflects the degree to which Israelis are deluding themselves in relation to the Old Continent. The notion that the memory of the Holocaust needs to be refreshed in order to fight modern anti-Semitism is pointless, as Israel itself is now accused of turning the Holocaust and its memory into a tool with which to achieve its goals, while the anti-Zionists alter its "lesson" to benefit the Palestinian cause – by equating it to the Nakba (the Palestinian national "catastrophe" caused by Israel's creation).

It is a strategic mistake to view the anti-Semitism of our time as an extension of the anti-Semitism of 30 years ago. To be sure, it still exists among the classical far-right; but is blossoming primarily in the form of anti-Zionism within Muslim and far-left post-colonialist circles. The deeper problem is turning the "lessons of the Holocaust" into the moral basis for fighting anti-Semitism. As an explanation, it favors victimhood over the political: Jewish suffering is put on display as a call to end hatred, instead of presenting Israel's status as a sovereign country as a counterweight to the new anti-Zionistic anti-Semitism. When the justification for Israel's existence is predicated on the memory of victimhood, Europe can view the state as a type of humanitarian tent for Jews, and less as a sovereign country. Consequently, Israel is not permitted, in the eyes of Europe, to realize its legitimate right to self-defense. The moment the Israeli soldier ceases being the emaciated extermination camp survivor, he morphs into a monster in the eyes of the Europeans.

European recognition of Israel is based, therefore, on feelings of guilt toward the Jews – implying that the same guilt applies to the Palestinians. Europe turns a blind eye to Arab-Muslim anti-Semitism – which is the main source of modern anti-Semitism – in the belief that the Arab world is not responsible for the Holocaust, and that Europe oppressed the Palestinians by contributing to the establishment of the Jewish state. Isn't it only natural, therefore, that some of the participants of the Yad Vashem will visit Ramallah immediately after it ends? The reliance on the Holocaust in this regard means strengthening even further the myths that breed the new anti-Semitism – Nakba, occupation, original sin.
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Germany: Anti-war activists disinvite Jewish councilor, sparking antisemitism row (update)

Update: the conference has been cancelled 

Via The Jerusalem Post:
“Peace activists are boycotting not only Israel, but also Jews in Germany,” a Jewish member of Munich City Council has told German media website Taz after he was disinvited from addressing an anti-war event.

Marian Offman was due to give the opening greeting at the annual Munich Peace Conference at the city's Old Town Hall in February in his capacity as a representative of the city, but just before Christmas the SDP council member received an email from organizers telling him that he was not welcome.

The reason? Event organizer Thomas Rödl accused Offman of having "aggressively and polarizingly dealt with political groups and events that critically assess the policies of the government of Israel" in the past, according to Süddeutsche Zeitung.

"I was completely perplexed," Offman told Taz. "As far as I know there has never been anything like this."

Rödl was referring to Offman's opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, which has been labelled antisemitic by a resolution in the Bundestag that was passed by members of parties from across the political spectrum. In a letter sent to Munich city officials last month, Rödl said that if Offman were allowed to speak, the topic of BDS “would dominate the event in the Old City Hall, which is not the subject of our program.”
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Sunday, January 19, 2020

Finland: MP singles out Israel for blame, a double standard that amounts to anti-Semitism

Via YLE:
The World Jewish Congress, an international federation of Jewish communities and organisations, has criticised Finnish MP Anna Kontula's attempt to demonstrate against the blockade of the Palestinian territory of Gaza. [Left Alliance MP held in Israel over unauthorised attempt to enter Gaza]

The congress accused Kontula of holding Israel "fully to blame" for the humanitarian and economic consequences of the blockade, thus ignoring Egypt's role in Gaza. This singling out of Israel is, according to the congress, a double standard that amounts to an expression of anti-Semitism.

"Holding Israel to a double standard not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation is never legitimate, and in fact constitutes an expression of antisemitism," the congress said in a press release.

In a Facebook post written in Finnish, the Jewish Community of Helsinki has also questioned Kontula's actions.

"By criticizing only the Israeli embargo on Gaza, and without any criticism of or action against a similar embargo by Egypt, the MP is, according to the International Holocaust Remembrance Association (IHRA) definition, quite likely guilty of anti-Semitism," the community wrote. 
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Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Netherlands: Kosher restaurant in Amsterdam targeted with fake bomb (4th incident in 2 years)

Via EJP:
Explosives experts checked out the box,
which was lightly sealed with tape and had a wire sticking out. 
In 2017, the restaurant was already targeted when a Palestinian man waving a Palestinia flag smashed the main window, stealing the Israeli flag hanging there. According to the owner, Sami Bar-On, this is the fourth incident in two years.

A kosher restaurant in Amsterdam has been targeted with a fake bomb.

The suspicious package left outside the HaCarmel restaurant sparked a major security scare but it did not contain explosives, police confirmed.

The Amstelveenseweg, the street where tne restaurant is located, was sealed off and locals urged to leave the area while explosives experts checked out the box, which was lightly sealed with tape and had a wire sticking out.

It had been placed by the main door of the kosher eatery, which was not open at the time.
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Thursday, January 16, 2020

France: Model says Lebanese designer dropped her from Paris show because she’s Israeli

Via The Times of Israel:
Maison Rabih Kayrouz evades answering when asked if he canceled Arbel Kynan’s appearance after hearing that she lives in Tel Aviv

An Israeli fashion model said that she was denied a job offer from a Lebanon-born French designer because of her nationality.

Arbel Kynan told At magazine in Israel earlier this week that Maison Rabih Kayrouz canceled a gig that had been lined up for her at Paris Fashion Week on January 20 in Paris. She would have modeled the designer’s clothes in the haute couture part of the show.

Kynan said her agent received an email that her invitation was canceled and that it informed her that the reason was because she is Israeli.

Kynan had told employees of Kayrouz’s fashion house during a photo shoot for the show that she’s living in Tel Aviv.

“An hour ago I got an email from my agency telling me the client is Lebanese and isn’t interested in having me take part in the show because I live in Tel Aviv, Israel,” Kynan wrote on Instagram on Monday. “That’s literally what the email said.” 
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Europe: The Palestinians and Europe's secret agenda

Khaled Abu Toameh @ Gatestone Institute:
- The foreign media and human rights organizations seem quite uninterested in Palestinians who are arrested or tortured to death by PA security forces. After all, they have not been arrested by Israel for security-related offences.

- The European Union is said to be pressuring the Palestinians to hold long overdue presidential and parliamentary elections. It is not clear, however, how the Palestinians would hold new elections at a time when the PA and Hamas are busy in the West Bank and Gaza Strip locking up their political opponents.

- The "political arrests" are yet another indication of human rights violations perpetrated by Palestinian leaders against their own people. Inexplicably, though, the EU appears unfazed by them. Instead of pressuring the PA and Hamas to hold elections -- that in any case neither side seeks, as it would almost certainly hand a further victory to the terrorist group Hamas -- it would be better for the EU to encourage Palestinian leaders, as a first step towards holding free elections, at least to cease and desist making political arrests.

- Failing to hold Palestinian leaders accountable for their human rights violations casts serious doubt on the EU's desire to hold new elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and their deeper, seemingly malign desires for the region as a whole.
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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Portugal: Death of a Jew-hater (José Saramago, 2010)

Following yesterday's post on Portugal: Political Israel-bashing opera performed at the Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon), let's be reminded of one of greatest Portuguese writer's hatred of Jews and Israel.  It is worth remembering that not many Jews live in Portugal (less than 1,000).

As David Frum points out, before 1998, the year he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, Portuguese writer José Saramago did not make his obnoxious views on Israel and the Jews known - had he done so, he knew he would probably not get the Nobel Prize.

David Frum @ National Post:
Jose Saramago, Nobel laureate in literature and anti-Semite, died Friday aged 87 [2010].

Saramago won his prize in 1998. He put his new global fame to the service of a new cause: denunciations of Israel. But unlike other European anti-Zionists, Saramago explicitly connected his dislike of Israel to his feelings about Jews.

In a speech in Brazil on Oct. 13, 2003, Saramago reportedly unburdened himself of this thought about the world’s Jews: “Living under the shadows of the Holocaust and expecting to be forgiven for anything they do on behalf of what they have suffered seems abusive to me. They didn’t learn anything from he suffering of their parents and grandparents.”

It was Judaism itself that Saramago blamed for everything he disliked in Israel. He wrote in the Spanish newspaper El Pais on April 21, 2002:
“[C]ontaminated by the monstrous and rooted ‘certitude’ that in this catastrophic and absurd world there exists a people chosen by God … the Jews endlessly scratch their own wound to keep it bleeding, to make it incurable, and they show it to the world as if it were a banner. Israel seizes hold of the terrible words of God in Deuteronomy: ‘Vengeance is mine, and I will be repaid.’”
A few weeks previous, Saramago had visited Ramallah. The visit occurred shortly after the Passover 2002 suicide bombing at the Park Hotel in Netanya, Israel that killed 30 people and wounded 140 more. Saramago expressed no grief for these murdered innocents. Instead, he toured areas damaged during fighting between Israeli and Palestinian armed forces and pronounced to a Portuguese radio interviewer: “[I]n Palestine, there is a crime which we can stop. We may compare it with what happened at Auschwitz.”

Most European critics of Israel try to draw some kind of line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. The line may be half-hearted and unconvincing, but still — they try. Saramago ignored such niceties. He followed the example of Middle Eastern anti-Zionists: He hated Israel, he hated the Jews who lived there and he did not scruple to express his hatred bluntly.

In 2006, Saramago joined a group of other writers in a statement denouncing Israel’s campaign against Hezbollah in Lebanon: Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal, Howard Zinn, Arundhati Roy, Canada’s Naomi Klein. They accused Israel of plotting the “liquidation of the Palestinian nation.”
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Saramago wrote in the Madrid newspaper El Pais (as translated by Paul Berman in The Forward):
"Intoxicated mentally by the messianic dream of a Greater Israel which will finally achieve the expansionist dreams of the most radical Zionism; contaminated by the monstrous and rooted 'certitude' that in this catastrophic and absurd world there exists a people chosen by God and that, consequently, all the actions of an obsessive, psychological and pathologically exclusivist racism are justified; educated and trained in the idea that any suffering that has been inflicted, or is being inflicted, or will be inflicted on everyone else, especially the Palestinians, will always be inferior to that which they themselves suffered in the Holocaust, the Jews endlessly scratch their own wound to keep it bleeding, to make it incurable, and they show it to the world as if it were a banner."

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Portugal: Political Israel-bashing opera performed at the Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon)

A political Israel-bashing opera, The Sleeping Thousand, will be performed on 16 January at the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon. The Gulbenkian Foundation indicates that the opera was commissioned/supported/sponsored by the European commission and several European institutions: "Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg. A Festival d’Aix-en-Provence production in association with Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation [Portugal], Helsinqui Festival, La Monnaie/De Munt [Belgium], Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel [Belgium] and IRCAM-Centre Pompidou [France]. With the support of enoa and Creative Europe Programme of the European Union."

More via AFP/France 24 (2019):
It features an Israeli prime minister, Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, a hit squad and a Shin Beth spy chief. But this is not another story on the intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict but an opera unusually with a libretto in Hebrew, the official language of Israel.

"The Sleeping Thousand", an opera by Israeli composer Adam Maor with the libretto by Yonatan Levy, was premiered at the prestigious Aix-en-Provence opera festival in southern France this month.

"This opera speaks of oppression and above all, its impact on the oppressor," Maor told AFP. [...]

Maor is hugely critical of Israel's policies towards the Palestinians and spent two years behind bars for refusing to do his compulsory military service in protest at the "immorality of the occupation" of the Palestinian territories.

In the opera, which inhabits a world between science fiction and fantasy, a thousand Palestinian prisoners begin a hunger strike generating widespread media interest.

The Israeli government decides to sedate them "so that the world can move on to something else".

"It works very well until the day when the Israelis start having nightmares and wake up in the night speaking Arabic," explained Maor, 36.

One day, the government concludes that the Palestinians were seeking to sabotage Israeli dreams.

"They are tunnelling into the world of Jewish dreams and carrying out terror attacks!" declares an aide to the prime minister in the opera.

The prime minister then decides to send in the aide as a spy in Palestinian garb to kill them.

The different characters, all of them Israelis, are taken on by four singers. And at the back of the stage are the "sleeping" Palestinians, all played by volunteers lying on beds.

Referring to his own stint in jail, Maor said: "I chose to go to prison, whereas they (the Palestinians) didn't."

Thousands of Palestinians are held by Israel, some without charge under so-called administrative detention orders. They often go on hunger strike to highlight their plight.

Israel insists such detentions are necessary to punish criminals who carried out or planned violent acts, and ensure the Jewish state's security. [...]

Maor's family originally came from Damascus, where many Syrian Jews lived before leaving in the years before Israel's creation in 1948. But he is not sure he will ever be able to see his opera performed in Israel itself, complaining about the "the government's growing pressure on dissenting artists" under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
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Spain: New deputy prime minister hosted antisemitic TV debate

Via The Jewish Chronicle:
One of Spain’s four new deputy prime ministers, Pablo Iglesias, hosted a TV talkshow about the “power of the Zionist lobby” in which guests voiced antisemitic conspiracy theories and used anti-Jewish tropes.

In a video of Fort Apache, broadcast in April 2018 by the Iran-funded HispanTV, Mr Iglesias can be seen nodding and smiling as panel members hold forth about how Wall Street is “practically in the hands of Jews”, and the “huge” media power of the pro-Israel lobby which “determines” US foreign policy.

The leader of the far-left party Unidas Podemos ('Together We Can'), who was made deputy prime minister for “social rights” in Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s coalition government on Thursday, says at the start of the show, “Today we are talking about the power of the Zionist lobby over American politics”.

In her own introductory comments, journalist Teresa Aranguren, a self-described Middle East specialist and “defender of the Palestinian cause”, claims, "The pro-Israel lobby has the power to configure US policies from the inside, to the point where one can ask whether it directs American policy, rather than the other way around".

Another panel member, Carlos Enrique Bayo, a journalist for Spanish news website Público, says: “This lobby obviously has enormous media and communications power – but it also has huge economic power… big financial institutions on Wall Street are practically in the hands of Jews".

Liliana Córdova, co-founder of Red Internacional Judía Antisionista, states: "In this lobby you have foundations, like the Anti-Defamation League, which have fabulous amounts of money.”

Manolo Monereo, a former Podemos parliamentarian, says: “It’s more than a lobby… It has so much influence that it can determine North America’s international policy, concretely in the Middle East.” 
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