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BBC News Promotes False and Defamatory Lies About ‘Genocide’ and ‘War Crimes’ in Gaza

The BBC logo is seen at the entrance at Broadcasting House, the BBC headquarters in central London. Photo by Vuk Valcic / SOPA Images/Sipa USA.

As previously noted here, on November 2, the BBC News website published a filmed report titled ‘”Israel-Gaza war: Three reasons Egypt tightly controls the Rafah crossing.”

Presented by Amal Saeed of BBC Arabic in Cairo, that item does not confine itself to the topic of Egypt’s policies concerning the crossing on its border with the Gaza Strip.

The Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt opened on Wednesday to allow a number of civilians to leave Gaza for the first time since the war began on 7 October.

The crossing has been open and shut frequently over the years. Why is it so contentious for Egypt? And where does Egypt stand in the Israel-Palestinian conflict?

The BBC’s Amal Saeed in Cairo explains.

Saeed opens with a reference to the “Israel-Gaza war,” despite the fact that Israel is not at war with Gaza, but with the proscribed terrorist organization Hamas.

The three reasons cited by Saeed for Egypt’s tight control of the Rafah border crossing are security (she mentions the ISIS “militants” in Sinai), refugees (she states that Egypt does not have the ability to accommodate large numbers of Gaza Strip residents), and the “Palestinian cause.”

Saeed later presents viewers with her version of Egypt’s “complex history with Israel and Gaza”: “This goes back to 1948 when a war started between Israel and a handful of Arab countries, including Egypt, which ended in Egypt controlling Gaza.” [emphasis added]

That portrayal clearly whitewashes the fact that the war was initiated by those Arab countries with the intention of annihilating the nascent Israeli state and that Egypt illegally occupied — rather than merely “controlled” — territory assigned by the League of Nations for the creation of a Jewish homeland. Saeed goes on:

In 1967 another war started between Israel and some Arab countries, including Egypt, ending with Israel taking over Gaza among other areas.

Once again Egypt’s role in bringing about that second war intended to annihilate Israel is whitewashed by Saeed.

After erasing the fact that Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005 as well as the violent nature of Hamas’ coup against the Palestinian Authority two years later, Saeed goes on: “In 2007 Hamas took over Gaza and the situation on the border between Egypt and Hamas became more complex.”

Viewers are not given any explanation of what “more complex” means, and are told nothing about topics such as Hamas’ cooperation with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Egypt’s imprisonment of Hamas operatives, or the 2008 infiltration of the border by tens of thousands of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip.

Saeed fails to make any mention whatsoever of Hamas’ October 7 infiltration of Israel and the murderous rampages that sparked the current war throughout her entire almost four-minute-long report. Neither does she refer to the terror attack perpetrated by an Egyptian policeman against Israeli tourists in Alexandria the following day, before going on to tell viewers about opinions on the Egyptian street that include “condemning what Israel did with the harsh bombardment of civilians.” [her words]

A particularly notable part of Saeed’s report refers to al Azhar Institute: “On the ground you find al Azhar, which is the highest religious institute in Egypt, called what Israel is doing in Gaza a ‘genocide’ and a ‘war crime.’ Al Azhar is widely followed by Egyptians.”

Al Azhar — which is funded both by the Egyptian government and the UAE — is also widely followed by other Sunni Muslims elsewhere in the world, as the BBC surely knows full well. It is therefore particularly significant that BBC Arabic chose to amplify that institution’s redundant allegations of “genocide”and “war crime.”

As recently reported by the INSS:

The establishment that Egypt used to present as a beacon of “religious moderation” and the standard bearer of the ideological struggle against Islamic extremism has been revealed to be a supporter of terror. Since the outbreak of the war, al-Azhar has conducted a campaign designed to foment hostility in Arab-Muslim public opinion against Israel and its supporters in the West. […]

An initial response published by al-Azhar on the day of the October 7 attack, which saw the cold blooded murder of 1,400 innocent civilians and soldiers, Israelis and foreign nationals, and Jews and Arabs, as well as the rape of women and the abduction of elderly people, men, women, and children from their homes, stated that it “salutes with absolute pride the resistance efforts of the Palestinian people.” Al-Azhar also sought to “strengthen the proud Palestinian people who have breathed spirit and faith into us and restored us to life.” […]

…on October 18 al-Azhar issued a fatwa stating that “Zionist civilians on occupied land are not [at all] worthy of the description of ‘civilians,’ but they are occupiers of the land, usurpers of rights, deviants from the way of the prophets, who attack the historical holy places of Jerusalem.” The al-Azhar ruling that there are no “innocent’ Israeli citizens in effect makes it permissible to kill them.

Nevertheless, the BBC chose to provide worldwide amplification on its website for hate speech put out by that institution.

Saeed’s report closes with a tepid portrayal of anti-Israel demonstrations in Egypt: “There were also protests in Cairo and other Egyptian cities, with people raising the Palestinian flag, wearing the Palestinian scarf and chanting ‘free Palestine, victory for Gaza, open the border.’”

Saeed did not bother to inform BBC audiences that those demonstrations also included calls for Israel’s elimination. The topic of the Egyptian president’s unusual encouragement of demonstrations — and, relatedly, the upcoming presidential election in Egypt — was not addressed in Saeed’s account.

The BBC Cairo office’s uncritical amplification of talking points that are part of a propaganda campaign run by “the highest religious institute in Egypt” and the promotion of that messaging to world-wide audiences via the BBC News website and on BBC social media channels once again raises very serious questions about how the BBC interprets terms such as “trusted journalism” and “commitment to impartiality,” which it uses in response to criticism of its reporting.

A media organization that is on the one hand squeamish about using the term terrorism in entirely appropriate circumstances — but on the other hand has no problem irresponsibly bandying about words such as “genocide” and “war crimes” (and Saeed is far from the only BBC employee to have done so) — cannot expect to win public trust.

Hadar Sela is the co-editor of CAMERA UK — an affiliate of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA), where a version of this article first appeared.

The post BBC News Promotes False and Defamatory Lies About ‘Genocide’ and ‘War Crimes’ in Gaza first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Online Live Chat Service for Jews to Connect With Rabbis Sees 300% Increase Since Oct. 7 Attacks

A protester wrapped in an Israeli flag at a rally against antisemitism at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Photo: Reuters/Lisi Niesner

A live web service provided by Aish.com that allows users to speak directly with one of the Jewish organization’s leading rabbis has seen a 300 percent increase in usage since the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel.

More than 5,000 chat responses (over 225 per day) are received each month, according to Aish, which added in a press release that many of the chats turn into extended conversations, sometimes on WhatsApp, in which rabbis help unaffiliated or disconnected Jewish users reconnect with their Jewish identities and form bonds with other Jews.

The Jewish organization said it believes the increase in usage of its live web chat service is due to the global rise in antisemitism and a newfound curiosity about Israel following Oct. 7, as well as a “yearning for meaning and community in the face of life’s uncertainties, and a desire for deeper meaning and spirituality in the face of a fast-paced modern culture where spiritual needs have been put on a backburner for too long.”

“We’re hearing from so many Jews who feel profoundly disconnected, whether due to living in areas with little Jewish community or lack of affiliation growing up,” said Rabbi Tzvi Broker, who oversees Aish.com‘s Live Chat. “The personal nature of these interactions, coupled with their anonymity, creates a safe space to ask questions and begin exploring. Having a live rabbi to connect and share with, has been a draw for many, and we’re seeing lives transformed as a result.”

Among their efforts, Broker and his team have helped people on the chat slowly incorporate Jewish rituals and traditions into their lives, and have connected them with peers through the organization’s new online community Aish+ so they can continue learning and engaging with other Jews.

“It’s amazing to witness lives being transformed in such profound ways,” said Broker. “Jews around the world are finding threads of connection to their heritage, and tapping into the depth and wisdom of our tradition to find meaning, community, and resilience in these challenging times.”

Bob Diener, the founder of hotels.com and the seed funder of Aish.com’s live chat, added in a statement: “The chat has been a powerful way for people to connect one-on-one with a spiritual leader and have their unique questions answered in a non-threatening and non-intimidating way. The chat’s rabbis are connecting so many people to their roots who otherwise don’t know where to go for guidance.”

“The chats have had a deep impact on many disconnected from the Jewish community,” said Aish CEO Rabbi Steven Burg. “Each of the people we connect with demonstrates a broad yearning to explore Jewish spirituality, peoplehood, and identity and that is why they have been turning to Aish for connection and guidance. We are happy to provide both while connecting them with local Jewish communities in their area, if there is one, to continue their journey.”

The post Online Live Chat Service for Jews to Connect With Rabbis Sees 300% Increase Since Oct. 7 Attacks first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Jerry Seinfeld Ridicules Anti-Israel Heckler Interrupting His Show in Australia: ‘You Moron, Get Out of Here’

Jerry Seinfeld attends the premiere of Netflix’s “Unfrosted” at the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles, California, US, April 30, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/David Swanson

Jewish comedian and actor Jerry Seinfeld roasted an anti-Israel protester who tried to disrupt his comedy show in Sydney, Australia, at the Qudos Bank Arena on Sunday night.

Videos from the scene showed a male heckler in the audience repeatedly shout, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” a slogan that has been widely used as a call for the destruction of Israel.

While the disruptive audience member continued to chant in support of Israel’s extermination, Seinfeld ridiculed him, sarcastically telling the audience:  “We have a genius, ladies and gentlemen! He’s solved the Middle East! He’s solved it: It’s the Jewish comedians, that’s who we have to get! They’re the ones doing everything.”

“Go ahead, keep going,” Seinfeld told the anti-Israel heckler as the audience laughed and cheered. “They’re gonna start punching you in about three second so I would try and get all of your genius out so we can all learn from you. It’s a comedy show you moron, get out of here.”

The heckler was eventually escorted out of the arena by security personnel and as he walked out of the venue, Seinfeld mocked him some more by sarcastically saying: “You’re really influencing everyone here. We’re all on your side because you have made your point so well and in the right venue. You’ve come to the right place for a political conversation. Tomorrow we will read in the paper: ‘Middle East, 100 percent solved thanks to man at the Qudos Arena stopping Jew comedian.’ They stop him and everyone in the Middle East went, ‘Oh my god, let’s just get along.’”

The “Seinfeld” creator then jokingly suggested that to solve issues with “indigenous Aboriginal people and the white people” maybe he should harass Australian comedian Jim Jefferies during a comedy show in New York because “if this works, that will work.”

“You have to go 20,000 miles from the problem and screw up a comedian. That is how you solve world issues,” Seinfeld quipped.

Seinfeld had a number of his comedy shows recently disrupted by anti-Israel activists because of his support for Israel since the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks. Seinfeld’s commencement speech at Duke University was also interrupted by similar protesters, who staged a walk-out shortly after he was introduced on stage.

During an interview last month, Seinfeld addressed protesters by saying: “It’s so dumb. In fact, when we get protesters occasionally, I love to say to the audience, ‘You know, I love that these young people, they’re trying to get engaged with politics … we just have to correct their aim a little bit.”

The post Jerry Seinfeld Ridicules Anti-Israel Heckler Interrupting His Show in Australia: ‘You Moron, Get Out of Here’ first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Ratted out: Phoebe Maltz Bovy on the end of feeling a need to ask if every contrived pop-culture trend is good for the Jews

As an expert (self-proclaimed) in the female heterosexual gaze, I took note of the trend of the “hot rodent man.” Does this mean you’re attracted to the friendly mascot from Orkin Exterminator Co.? Maybe you do, maybe he’s tremendous, but no, “hot rodent man” refers to what is essentially the male equivalent of jolie laide, […]

The post Ratted out: Phoebe Maltz Bovy on the end of feeling a need to ask if every contrived pop-culture trend is good for the Jews appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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