Sunday, 18 December 2016

This is just one week's worth of the Jewish-Muslim alliance.

A Jewish film-maker creates propaganda films to make Americans feel good about Muslims.
FBI statistics show that the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes jumped dramatically directly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and have remained much higher than prior to that turning point. 
These trends long troubled Jewish filmmaker Joshua Seftel. For five years, he wanted to combat ignorance, fear and hate by making a series of short films introducing Muslims and Islam to Americans, but funders and distributors were reluctant to back the project. Things changed, however, after Donald Trump began his run for the presidency, ramping up the level of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric in the US. Suddenly there was interest in supporting Seftel’s “Secret Life of Muslims” project, and in getting it made and broadcast as soon as possible. 
The hunch that the time was ripe for these videos was correct. With funding from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, the Ford Foundation, the New York Community Trust, and the Pillars Funds, the project launched through Vox and USA Today’s distribution channels in early November. 
The first six of the series’ 15 films released so far have spread virally via social media, garnering millions of views to date.“The political tenor in our country for the last year or so created greater need for this content. The project came together quickly in recent months. Sadly, we have Donald Trump to thank for that,” Seftel, 48, told The Times of Israel from his New York office. 
... Seftel’s personal experiences as a Jew growing up in Schenectady in upstate New York in the 1970s and 1980s had a lot to do with his desire to make “Secret Lives of Muslims.” He is certain that having experienced bullying as a Jew (schoolmates threw coins at him, and a rock was thrown through the front window of his home) subconsciously drew him to this project. There wasn’t much he could do as a boy to fight anti-Semitism. Today he has the professional tools to counter negative portrayals of another group in the media.

Imams and rabbis plot their resistance to Trump.
On Sunday, the meeting of the third Summit of Greater Washington Imams and Rabbis was better attended – 100 or so leaders were on hand at Tifereth Israel, a Conservative synagogue in the District of Columbia, about 30 more than last year – and the group picture was just as friendly. But in that anxious “we’re in this together” way. 
Following an afternoon packed with tales of Muslims enduring taunts, vandalism and bullying in schools, the host rabbi, Ethan Seidel, sang a Hasidic melody to calm the rabbis, imams and lay leaders as they scrambled into place (“short folks in front!”). What changed? The name some said they could hardly mention: Donald Trump, the president-elect. “Think of the rhetoric of a person I won’t name,” said Ambereen Shaffie, a co-founder of the DC chapter of the interfaith Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, addressing the group after the photo shoot.
Rabbi Sid Schwarz, a senior fellow at Clal: The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, outlined to the larger group what his lunch table came up with, including volunteering to register as Muslims should Trump make good on his campaign proposal to set up a national Muslim registry. (The ADL’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, proposed the same idea last month at his organization’s plenary in New York.) 
But Schwarz also voiced a sense of helplessness that permeated the discussion. “There’s got to be a more proactive agenda to counter the way Trump has characterized Islam as radical,” he said. “How do you get out of the vacuum?” a participant asked. 
“Reverse freedom rides,” someone else said. “We take our bubble into the hinterlands.” Some practical ideas emerged, including synagogue members appearing outside mosques during Friday prayers bearing signs expressing support, and setting up volunteer systems that would accompany children to school who had been subjected to harassment there. 
Rabbi Jason Kimmelman-Block, the director of Bend the Arc Jewish Action, spurred participants to sign his group’s petition urging President Barack Obama, before he leaves office, to dismantle the National Security Exit-Entry Registration System, an existing structure that Trump could use to facilitate a Muslim registry. 
Walter Ruby, the Muslim-Jewish relations director for the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, said a 10-person steering committee would be chosen from those attending the meeting. 
Rabbi Gerald Serotta, the executive director of the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington, circulated an outline of a rapid response system should hate crimes occur. Shaffie saiford Muslims and Jews should set an example by broadening the current paradigm of “utilitarian” collaborations — joining in legal challenges, for instance — to establish deeper friendships. She described how the women in her group, the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, visit each other’s homes “when babies are born, when someone passes.”

Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, Lodewijk Asscher, the new Jewish leader of the Socialist party intends to focus on resisting the "far-right" aka the anti-Islam Geert Wilders.
This outspokenness by Asscher, an eloquent yet down-to-earth statesman who once served as deputy mayor of Amsterdam, was key to his comfortable victory last week in the Labour primaries. He ran on a relatively aggressive platform that promised left-wing voters an unrelenting assault on Holland’s rising far right ahead of the general elections in March. After thanking his predecessor at Labour’s helm, the first goals that Asscher listed in his victory speech were “the need for unity against right-wing politics” and a “progressive and uniting answer to Wilders.”

Jews are desperately trying to get Muslims to climb aboard the Holocaust train and unite against the evil goy/kuffar.
“This past year, Europe has faced many challenges. Rising antisemitism is one of them and it has repercussions on society at large,” said Katharina von Schnurbein, European Union coordinator on combating antisemitism. 
She emphasized the need to join forces and fight all forms of racism in a holistic way, via concrete policies, law enforcement on hate crimes and tackling online hatred. She also stressed the importance of education and coalition building as preventatives measures. “Our common values are under attack and we need to fight for them together,” she said. 
As part of their outreach efforts in Muslim communities, the delegation listened to a presentation on the plight of North African Jewry during the Second World War and making the Holocaust relevant for immigrant populations in Europe, delivered by Prof. Haim Saadoun at the Ben-Zvi Institute in Jerusalem. Tor and von Schnurbein explained to The Jerusalem Post that during the seminar participants discussed ways to make Holocaust education more relatable to Muslim students, such as focusing on the situation of North African countries, such as Libya and Tunisia, during the war and showing how they too were affected by the Nazi regime. “It makes it difficult to be a Holocaust denier if there was a Nazi occupation of your own country and if you were also victims,” von Schnurbein said. 
“We thought Israel could offer something useful by showing various facets of how the Shoah [Holocaust] is taught to Arab and Muslim populations here,” Tor added, mentioning a lecture that was given to the participants on tolerance and Holocaust education in Arab schools. “It’s important to make education relevant and to separate it from other societal problems of alienation,” Tor said. 
“Israel faces some similar challenges to Europe – we want young Israeli Arabs to learn this history when it’s not a natural part of their narrative. Europe faces a similar situation – they want to teach them [non-European immigrants] this history that they may feel alienated from, so by looking at it from this way, it creates a point of entry.
“And you also need to acknowledge their current situation,” von Schnurbein added, pointing to discrimination against Muslims in the labor market, the housing market and education. “It’s the same principle. You have to make the link to their own backgrounds.” 

Analysis shows that Jews and Muslims were the only two religious groups that voted against Trump, something that gives great satisfaction to author Neal Gabler, writing in the Jewish newspaper Forward.
According to a Pew Research Center survey, Donald Trump won a majority of every other religious group: Catholics by 52% to 45% (non-Hispanic white Catholics, naturally, 60% to 37%); Protestants, 58% to 39%; evangelicals and born-agains, 81% to 16%; Mormons, 61% to 25%. Muslims weren’t tallied separately, though a bucket titled “other faiths” favored Hillary Clinton, 62% to 29%. And then there were Jews. They voted for Clinton 71% to 24%. So consider this: If only Christians had voted, Donald Trump would have won the presidency by roughly 60% of the vote — a landslide. There is a frightening thought for you. 
I am never been more proud to be a Jew than at election time. While every other religious group is voting its prejudices or venting its malice, the overwhelming majority of my co-religionists are voting their compassion and their better angels.


  1. Be careful what you say at Virginia Tech. Chances are, it could be a microaggression.

    Multiple groups at Virginia Tech have collaborated to collect “microaggression testimonials” from students, who came up with roughly 50 different expressions that offend them.

    The grievances were collected at a series of weekly meetings hosted by the NAACP, the Muslim Student Association and Jewish Student Union. They can be categorized into several identity politics genres, including: disability, race, religion and sexual orientation.

    This is not the first time Virginia Tech has put up controversial posters. Earlier this year they came under fire after displaying messages that asked Christian students to check their “religious privilege.”

    As for the 50 microaggressions collected at Virginia Tech, they include:

    “All Jews are rich.” - I’m working to pay myself through college.
    “Jew are just white people”… explain these communities who have existed for centuries.
    There are many holidays to be observant of, and I may have to miss class. Please respect my religion.
    When someone finds out that I’m Jewish and then asks if I was born that way.
    Being called an “angry black woman” when speaking in a stern voice or standing up for yourself.
    When people tell you you’re only at Virginia Tech because of affirmative action.