Jewish World Update Sep/Oct 2019

MAINSTREAM NEWS MEDIA’S TAKE ON ISRAEL: DEMONIZE IT, DELEGITIMIZE IT, AND ENCOURAGE ANTI-SEMITISM
The vast majority of media coverage of anything involving Israel includes false accusations, distortion or omission of facts, or some combination thereof. Any or all of these techniques results in a running commentary that demonizes and delegitimizes the Jewish state.

However, the consequences don’t end there. Rather, biased news coverage of Israel also encourages demonization of the Jewish people and feeds age-old anti-Semitic tropes, the likes of which are resurfacing today with alarming regularity.

One example of consistent demonization and delegitimization of Israel, rooted in false accusations and factual errors, is found in 15 years’ worth of op-eds written by George Bisharat, professor at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and published in the Los Angeles Times. In a 2004 piece, Bisharat falsely accused Israel of ethnic cleansing of the Arab population and distorted and omitted facts to make such erroneous claims as (1) Israeli Arabs cannot serve in the Israel Defense Forces, (2) Israeli Arabs have restricted access to land, (3) Israel expelled about 700,000 Arabs in 1948, and (4) Israel is to blame for poor infrastructure in Israeli-Arab towns.

All of these accusations are false. A thorough refutation can be found on the CAMERA website (www.camera.org) in an article titled “CAMERA Prompts Correction of George Bisharat Error.”

Fast-forward to Bisharat’s latest article, “The Case for a Democratic One-State Solution for Israelis and Palestinians,” published in the LA Times on May 23, 2019. In this piece, he delegitimizes the Jewish state’s existence on the spurious grounds that Israel is racist because it identifies as Jewish. This allegation is particularly absurd in light of the fact that 22 countries in the Middle East identify as Arab without being accused of being racist for their self-identification. Indeed, it is the denial of the Jewish people’s right to self-determination in a single Jewish state that is, in fact, racist.

In this op-ed, Bisharat also draws a false equivalency between property Arabs lost in 1948 and property Jewish people lost during the Holocaust. In 1948, the Arabs followed the instructions of their own Arab leaders to leave their homes “temporarily” while their own forces attempted to destroy the new Jewish state. The six million Jews who lost their property during the Holocaust were forcibly removed from their homes permanently and murdered by the Nazis as part of the Final Solution to rid Europe of Jews.

Any “drawing of comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” (which Bisharat does through his false equivalency) is part of the accepted definition of anti-Semitism issued by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. Another part of the definition includes denying the Jewish people the right to self-determination in their ancestral homeland through the fallacious claim that the State of Israel is a racist endeavor.

Therefore, through his false accusation that Israel is a racist state—a charge disproved by the fact that between 23 percent and 25 percent of Israel’s citizens are Arabs, Druze, and other ethnicities that enjoy the same rights and opportunities as Jewish citizens—and the use of an erroneous comparison, Bisharat is not only demonizing and delegitimizing Israel, but also making a shameful contribution to the alarming resurgence of anti-Semitism.

The fact that op-eds of this nature have been consistently published for 15 years by the LA Times reveals an inexcusable failure on the part of editors to fact-check what they publish. As a result, the LA Times bears considerable responsibility for publishing anti-Israel pieces that feed anti-Semitism in a city where attacks targeting Jewish people are definitely on the rise.

As the French Imam Hassen Chalghoumi told The Jerusalem Post, “Anti-Zionist propaganda is a mask; it is actually anti-Semitic but is used to say anti-Semitic things in a more polite manner.”

by Tricia Miller, an evangelical Christian who works as a senior research analyst for CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America

IDF REVEALS LARGEST TERROR TUNNEL EVER
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has uncovered the largest Hezbollah tunnel ever seen. It is 22 stories deep and 2,500 feet long, with air conditioning, phone lines, rail tracks—and a staging area for an invasion into Israel, JNS.org reported. “Zar’it is a small agricultural community of 250 residents on the Israel-Lebanon border. Above ground, it’s quiet and peaceful, but underground, Hezbollah was planning for death and destruction,” CBN News reported. The tunnel took years to construct and millions of Iranian-supplied dollars. To watch a CBN video inside the tunnel, go to tinyurl.com/y5ssagoq.

$18.6 BILLION: NOTHING TO SNEEZE AT!
More than 500 Israeli-founded companies operating in New York City contributed $18.6 billion in revenue in 2018 and a whopping $33.8 billion—2 percent of the New York gross domestic product—when accounting for spending on local goods and services, according to a report by the independent New York-Israel Business Alliance. The companies directly employ 24,850 New York residents and indirectly employ another 27,502, JNS.org reported.

ISRAELI COMPANY WINS BID TO SECURE U.S. BORDER
The U.S. subsidiary of Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems has been awarded a $26 million contract by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to install a multisensor system in Arizona to monitor the U.S.-Mexico border, JNS.org reported.

U.S. AMBASSADOR DEFENDS ISRAEL’S RIGHT TO ‘SOME’ OF WEST BANK
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said that “under certain circumstances,” Israel has the right to annex at least “some, but unlikely all, of the West Bank,” JNS.org reported. Friedman’s statement represents a shift from the Obama administration, which allowed the UN to pass a resolution in 2016 condemning Israeli settlements as a “flagrant violation” of international law, bolstering the Palestinian claim to the entire West Bank and East Jerusalem, JNS.org said. Friedman gave no indication as to the American response if Israel annexed West Bank land.

HANDHELD FOOD-ALLERGY SENSOR IN THE WORKS
SensoGenic CEO Alon Yasovsky has developed a handheld, digital food-allergen biosensor. After his son, Noam, was diagnosed with food allergies, Yasovsky began creating the only device capable of detecting all common food allergens, such as milk, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, soy, fish, and shellfish, reported israel21c.org. The biosensor detects even the tiniest amount of allergy-causing proteins when a small food sample is placed on it. For feedback, SensoGenic is recruiting hundreds of beta testers, particularly families with young children. “We’ll start from Israel and go worldwide,” Yasovsky said. He anticipates a “full working product” by 2022.

RWANDAIR FLIES TO ISRAEL
Rwanda’s national airline, RwandAir, now flies from Kigali International Airport in Rwanda’s capital to Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod, outside Tel Aviv, CNBC Africa reported, according to JNS.org. “This is a big step for us. Israel is our second destination in the Middle East after Dubai,” RwandAir CEO Yvonne Manzi Makolo told CNBC Africa, adding, “This is a very exciting route for us.”

FLYING ELECTRIC CAR DESIGN UNVEILED
NFT Inc., an Israel-based start-up, is developing a flying electric car featuring 14 propellers, collapsible wings, and the ability to reach a top speed of 240 km per hour (149 miles per hour), worldisraelnews.com reported. Called Asaka, Japanese for “flying bird,” the car will cost between $200,000 and $300,000 initially, but less as production increases.

TOURISTS KEEP COMING
From January to May this year, almost 1.9 million tourists visited the Jewish state, compared to 1.75 million in the same period last year—a jump of 8.3 percent, JNS.org reported. Around 440,000 tourists entered Israel in May 2019, or 11.1 percent more than in May of last year, and 26.8 percent more than that period two years ago, according to the country’s Central Bureau of Statistics. Israel’s Ministry of Tourism reported a general 14 percent increase in incoming tourism over 2017 and a whopping 42 percent increase over 2016, JNS.org said.

30 BDS ACCOUNTS CLOSED, TIED TO TERRORISM
Israel’s campaign to put pro-BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) organizations with ties to terrorism out of business has led to the elimination of 30 accounts in the past two years, unitedwithisrael.org reported. A report by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, “Terrorists in Suits,” exposed BDS groups with connections to Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and organizations promoting anti-Israel boycotts. Ten U.S. and 20 European accounts were closed, reducing the funding the terrorists receive.

ARCHAEOLOGISTS DISCOVER ANCIENT ZIKLAG>
The Israeli Antiquities Authority, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and Macquarie University of Sydney, Australia, have announced the discovery of what they believe is the biblical city of Ziklag, the Philistine city in which young David took refuge from King Saul (1 Sam. 27), JNS.org reported. The Bible mentions Ziklag many times in relation to David, who received sanctuary there with his army, with the permission of Achish, king of Gath.

For news about Israel updated daily, log on to foi.org/news.

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