Daily TIP

The Daily TIP: TIP CEO Says Rep. Omar’s Remarks “Stigmatize” Jewish Political Participation

Posted by Tip Staff - March 08, 2019

TIP CEO Says Rep. Omar’s Remarks “Stigmatize” Jewish Political Participation
Columbia Unmoored: Academics Appropriate the Holocaust to Bash Israel
Former KKK Leader David Duke Calls Rep. Omar "Most Important Member" of Congress
Israeli Medical Clowns Do Serious Work Healing the World

TIP CEO Says Rep. Omar’s Remarks “Stigmatize” Jewish Political Participation

In light of Rep. Ilhan Omar's (D- Minn.) recent anti-Semitic statements, The Israel Project CEO and President, Joshua S. Block, told PBS in a TV interview Thursday that the congresswoman had used “specific language that seeks to marginalize and stigmatize Jewish participation in the political process, in a way that's very dangerous for Jews.”

While Block clarified to host Nick Schifrin that “there is nothing wrong with making policy concerns about Israel known,” he warned that the situation in the British Labour Party must serve as an example for Americans as to what happens when “a climate that's unsafe for Jews” replaces civilized political debate.

“I think we need to be very conscious here,” Block said, “of the need to stand up and make sure that the kinds of anti-Semitic language, tropes, ideas don't cloud the conversation when it comes to the discussion of Israel, which is a legitimate and important policy conversation to have.”

Omar recently drew criticism from both parties after suggesting political support for Israel entails "allegiance to a foreign country." Democrats later came under fire from within their own ranks when Rep. Ted Deutch (D – Fla.) blasted the party for condemning all forms of hatred in a resolution, rather than solely condemning anti-Semitism, in light of recent comments made by Omar.

In response to a comment from fellow panelist Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street – where he suggested that the toxic atmosphere for Jews in the country had “started at the top with the president of the United States” – Block fired back: “It's not just since the election of — this last presidential election. We need to be honest about the virality of this hate and confront it on both sides.”

He noted that “Jews are targeted six out of 10 times by religiously motivated hate crimes. They are the number-one target of those crimes per capita in the country. Unfortunately, that's been the case for two decades.”

Read more at The Tower.

Columbia Unmoored: Academics Appropriate the Holocaust to Bash Israel

Where is the line between criticizing Israel’s policies and anti-Semitism? Look no further than two late-January events at Columbia University’s Middle East Institute (MEI) that demonstrated how far Middle East studies academics are willing to go to promote anti-Semitism under the guise of anti-Zionism. Together, they provide a snapshot of the intellectual and moral decline of contemporary academia.

The first event was a panel discussion based on The Holocaust and the Nakba: A New Grammar of Trauma and History, a book published last year by Columbia University Press. Panelists drew a hollow connection between the slaughter of six million Jews in the Holocaust to the displacement of roughly 600,000 Palestinians at Israel’s founding in 1948 — known in Arabic as the “Nakba,” or catastrophe. Yet they omitted the contemporaneous dislocation of over 900,000 Jews from the Arab countries where their families had lived for thousands of years.

Preaching to a like-minded audience of around eighty, the speakers took pains to shield themselves from charges of antisemitism or moral relativism: “We are not claiming that they are equally equivalent events,” declared Hebrew University Professor Amos Goldberg.

This strategic disclaimer was repeated several times throughout the discussion, even as panelists consistently portrayed the two disparate events as morally equivalent.

To this end, Columbia University Professor and panel chair Gil Hochberg went so far as to proclaim, “Unless the connection is made by which the Jewish tragedy is seen to have led directly to the Palestinian catastrophe, we cannot coexist.”

Engaging in historical revisionism, the speakers promoted the fallacy that Israel was created in compensation for the Holocaust. Hochberg wondered aloud whether Europe would have “supported the Zionist colonialist project if the Holocaust had not happened?”

In fact, the legal conditions for the creation of a Jewish state were already in place well before 1948: starting with the Balfour Declaration in 1917, followed by the San Remo Conference of 1920, and finally, the Peel commission in 1937. The Holocaust may have accelerated the urgency for the establishment of a Jewish state, but to ignore legal precedent and assert this as the only motivation is either poor scholarship or intellectually deceitful.

To read the complete essay, please click here.

Former KKK Leader David Duke Calls Rep. Omar "Most Important Member" of Congress

White supremacist David Duke, formerly the head of the Ku Klux Klan, signaled his approval of controversial Rep. Ilhan Omar (D - Minn.), calling her the "most important member" of Congress, The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.

Duke promoted a show on his website using a tweet that said, "By Defiance to Z.O.G. Ilhan Omar is NOW the most important Member of US Congress." The tweet is illustrated with a photo of Omar accompanied by a heart eyes emoji.

Z.O.G. stands for Zionist Occupation Government, a term frequently used by neo-Nazis alleging that Jews secretly control the United States government.

However, the Post reported, during the actual show, Duke didn't mention the freshman congresswoman, but he justified the killing of Jews, warned that the United States had "unleashed Jewish power," and blasted "Jewish elite control over media.”

Last month, Duke had defended Omar when she tweeted that U.S. politicians supported Israel because they are paid by AIPAC.

Ironically, earlier this week, a critic of Omar's comments compared them to those of the white supremacist.

"Accusing Jews of harboring dual loyalty has a long, violent, sordid history," Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, told MPR News' Morning Edition on Tuesday. "It's the standard fare of [then-Ku Klux Klan leader] David Duke. It's difficult and dangerous because it evokes the Jews as the malevolent other, conspiring against society."

Omar has frequently been in the news over the past month for her views of American Jewry. In February, she was forced to apologize after tweeting that U.S. politicians supported Israel because Jews paid them to.

Read more at The Tower.

Israeli Medical Clowns Do Serious Work Healing the World

Israel Defense Forces medical missions always fly to disaster zones with tons of medical equipment. For David “Dush” Barashi, the most critical piece of equipment is his red nose.

A veteran member of Israel’s Dream Doctors Project, Barashi and fellow medical clowns take the skills they hone daily in Israeli hospitals and apply them at scenes of indescribable despair, death and destruction across the world.

Over the past 16 years, in addition to his day job at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, Barashi has tended patients and/or trained personnel in about 50 hospitals in Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Australia, United States, England, Bulgaria and France.

“Wherever we go, we work with people feeling scared, vulnerable and in pain,” says Barashi, 42.

Note he said “people,” not “children.” Though medical clowns do work with kids, many of the 29 Israeli hospitals in which approximately 100 Dream Doctors work also place them on adult units ranging from maternity to surgery. Their job is to provide stress relief and a more positive hospital experience for patients, families and healthcare workers.

In no other nation is this paramedical profession as advanced or as integrated in the health system, says Director Tsour Shriqui, whose father, Yaacov, won a presidential volunteerism award last year for founding Dream Doctors in 2002.

And as the nonprofit project has grown and matured inside Israel, so it has outside the borders.

In 2004, Dream Doctors Barashi and Jerome Arous took their first trip abroad, accompanying a team from Hadassah’s HIV Clinic to an HIV orphanage in Ethiopia. They worked with children directly and trained a medical clowning corps in Addis Ababa.

Later that year, following the deadliest tsunami in recorded history, four Dream Doctors flew to Thailand and Indonesia in coordination with the Israeli Embassy in Bangkok.

“We created positive activities with post-trauma young adults who’d seen their families and homes disappear,” Barashi tells ISRAEL21c.

(via Israel21c)

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