Tuesday, January 07, 2020

From Ian:

Trump goes all out against congresswomen for being 'totally against Israel'
Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib are not only anti-Israel but also anti-Semetic, US President Donald Trump claimed while doing a radio interview on Monday.

Speaking to conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, Trump said, “If you go back 10 years or eight years maybe even five years, Israel was the king of the Congress. Our Congress protected Israel and fought for Israel. You look at the way the Democrats in Congress are treating where you have AOC, and you have Tlaib, and you have Omar they are actually, you know, anti-Semitic.”

“They are totally against Israel,” he added. “The things they’ve said. You go back to the past. You look at the things that they’ve said about Israel and Jewish people. It’s incredible. Ten years ago, that would be unacceptable.”

Trump lamented that this was unfortunate because of Israel's importance to the administration. "I think they've lost their minds, to tell you the truth," he attacked.

Although Trump didn’t provide specific examples, Ocasio-Cortez, Omar and Tlaib critics slammed the two Congresswomen for recent anti-Israel comments.

Ocasio-Cortez is in favor of cutting military aid to Israel as long as it maintains its presence in disputed territories in Judea and Samaria and Israel barred both Tlaib and Omar from visiting Israel because of their pro-BDS convictions.

He continued: “I still can’t believe it. I’m a little bit old-fashioned in that sense. Because I’ve grown up and there was always great protection and reverence for Israel. Now it’s the opposite. In the Democrats, it’s almost a negative. They’re going out and what they do for Tlaib and what they do for Omar, Representative Omar of Minnesota and AOC —I think for incredible the way they talk about Israel. You know it just was unthinkable to do that ten years ago and sooner.”

Limbaugh then suggested that Trump’s pro-Israel legislation has helped drive the hypercritical Israel sentiment among progressives within the Democratic Party.

“I actually think you helped drive them even more insane than they were,” he said.

Ilhan Omar Named 2019 Anti-Semite of the Year
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) was named the 2019 anti-Semite of the year by an organization that seeks to combat the spread of anti-Jewish bias.

The organization StopAntiSemitism.org chose Omar, who has repeatedly spread anti-Israel and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, following a public nomination and voting period.

"Among Rep. Ilhan Omar's transgressions, she perpetuated anti-Semitic tropes on Twitter to nearly two million followers and introduced an anti-Semitic resolution in Congress that promoted boycotts of the State of Israel and likened them to boycotts of Nazi Germany," the group wrote in a press release Monday. "The public's vote highlights the growing concern among Americans about the Congresswomen's ability to use and abuse her position of power to propagate hatred in the U.S."

Liora Rez, a spokesperson for StopAntiSemitism.org, said in a statement that Omar's selection highlights the public's growing awareness of rising anti-Semitism in the United States.

"Anti-Semitism is plaguing our nation and it's about time we create real consequences for those spreading it," Rez said. "By exposing bigots like Rep. Ilhan Omar, we are ensuring that the public is alert and able to take action."

AOC Likes Tweet From Russian State Media Claiming Iran Doesn’t Target Civilians
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) liked a tweet from a Russian-funded operative claiming that Iran, the world's most prolific state sponsor of terrorism, does not target civilians.

"A friend flying into the US says he hasn't seen so much security since 9/11," activist Rania Khalek said in a Sunday tweet liked by the Democratic congresswoman. "The US is terrified of how Iran will retaliate. Iran won't attack civilians, that's what al Qaeda does. But it shows this assassination did the opposite of making Americans safer and our leaders know it."

Khalek is a host for In the Now, a viral media company funded by the Russian government that was kicked off Facebook for its pro-Russia propaganda. She previously served as an editor for anti-Israel site The Electronic Intifada but resigned after speaking at a pro-Bashar al-Assad conference in Syria.

The extent of Khalek's pro-Iran advocacy was on full display in a recent YouTube livestream in which the activist claimed that "Iran is a country that mostly keeps to itself." She also said "it's a really brave country that's been essential to keeping the Middle East stable throughout the last several decades."

Contrary to Khalek's claims, Iran has been responsible for countless attacks on civilians carried out by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its funding of various terror organizations. Ocasio-Cortez's office did not respond to questions about Khalek's Russian state affiliation or her claims about Iran's targeting of civilians.

Jonathan S. Tobin: Jews needed to show pride by marching. Now can they show smarts?
After a year in which there was a surge of violent anti-Semitic attacks on ultra-Orthodox Jews in the greater New York area, the rest of the Jewish community, which had often ignored assaults on their brethren, finally acted. The march and ensuring rally over the Brooklyn Bridge – sponsored by a host of mainstream organizations and attended by more than 25,000 people – was a remarkable gesture of Jewish unity.

It may have been late in coming and only happened until the violence appeared to be spiraling out of control with the shooting at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City and then the Hanukkah stabbing attack in a rabbi’s home in Monsey, NY But when it comes to Jews expressing pride in their identity and publicly standing up to hate, better late than never.

The same goes for a variety of gestures taken by those who share the concerns of the throngs who showed up for the march. That’s true even if it was just a matter of changing their Facebook profile picture to indicate their solidarity with Jews who have been attacked, coupled with a willingness to defy the anti-Semites.

But this is not the time for Jews to pat themselves on the back for attending or sympathizing with the demonstration. As encouraging as the walk and rally were, the event also laid bare the ongoing divisions within the Jewish community at the heart of the problem. Just as important, it’s far from clear whether the organized community that took the lead in making the march happen is willing or able to confront all varieties of anti-Semitism, rather than just acting in a manner that validates some of their leading donors’ political prejudices.

The first thing to celebrate about the march is that it was an assertion of Jewish pride.

For far too many members of the community, the instinctual reaction to anti-Semitism is to seek not to draw attention to their identity, lest they be singled out for hate themselves. That’s why even gestures that seem like an exercise in virtue-signaling , like those that are done on Facebook, shouldn’t be deprecated. At a time when Jews fear to wear identifying clothing or jewelry so as to not be targeted by anti-Semitic thugs – as is the case for sensible Jews in many Western European cities – the spectacle of a mass of people participating in such an event is important.

United against anti-Semitism march organized by hypocrites
A ‘unity’ march was partly organized by the ADL (Anti-Defamation League), an organization that thinks anti-Semitism is strictly associated with white neo-Nazis, which has ignored most of the NYC area attacks because the anti-Semites have been black and brown. The other organizations organizing it were the American Jewish Committee (AJC), UJA Federation (also largely silent when Israel is attacked especially of late), and whose several representatives in the area couldn’t be bothered to say that Jews being threatened is anti-Semitism. They combined it with ‘all hate.’

Many of the signs at the march were plastered with ‘no hate, no fear.’ The planners could not even be bothered to highlight anti-Semitism. To combine anti-Semitism with ‘all forms of hate’ is to not singularly focus on the dangerous situation currently at hand for Jews. In order to address the issue, it is necessary to identify the problem.

After palling around with Ilhan Omar, after denouncing Israel’s non-existent occupation, Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez had the temerity to attend Sunday’s march. The JCRC (Jewish Council Relations Council) even thanked AOC for showing up at the march.

Anti-Semitism is not a liberal only issue of course. There are plenty on the Right who are anti-Semitic too. Most recently, the shootings in Poway, CA and Pittsburgh, PA were at the hands of white Neo-Nazis. The difference between the parties is that today’s Republican National Committee routinely speaks out against anti-Semitism and denounces any Republican who is against Jews. However, neither of those murderers cited President Trump, and with good reason, as President Trump has been the most pro-Israel American leader of our time.

Liberal policies, especially locally, have undeniably led to an environment where anti-Semites, particularly other minorities who are the assailants, have been given leniency. This all stems from bail reform. Money for bail has been largely eliminated by New York and a laundry list of crimes has been reduced in their charges – hate crimes being on one of them. Assault as a hate crime is no longer eligible for bail or pretrial detention. The liberal District Attorneys have been releasing the anti-Semitic criminals, and many re-committed crimes soon after being free on the streets.

To march against anti-Semitism is to speak up on behalf of all Jews – Jews being assaulted in Western Europe, mostly by Muslims, to show support for the only Jewish homeland, Israel. And to clearly identify the perpetrators.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Better Pack Up The Missiles, Boys – There Was a Rally In Brooklyn by Yahya Sinwar, Hamas Chief (satire)
Thank you, gentlemen, for attending this meeting on such short notice. I know we – you – have important projects and initiatives to oversee, not to mention families who require your already-limited time. But the news out of New York yesterday is not good, not good at all. We may have to close up the entire Resistance as a result: a few thousand people rallied across a bridge, chanting slogans in favor of Jewish safety. It may be time to admit defeat against Israel and pack up the missiles.

I know what you’re thinking: that we’ve overcome overwhelming odds before; that our very ethos is spitting in the face of doing the ‘responsible’ thing; that it would be a betrayal of our sacred heritage and mission. But brother mujaheddin, twenty thousand people rallied against hate in Brooklyn two days ago. Do you even grasp the magnitude of that? That’s more Israelis than we’ve ever managed to kill. We have to face reality. I mean, Matisyahu warmed up the crowd. Matisyahu. Can our rockets even compete?

I hear your objections, Khaled and Muhammad. Please, one at a time. I fully appreciate the unfamiliar territory that admission of failure represents. But get it into your heads. They held a rally. We have no real answer for that. We are doomed.

You see now that the various initiatives and projects from which I summoned you might as well never see completion. Now that a bunch of Jews and Jew-lovers marched across the Brooklyn Bridge and tagged themselves with #NoHateNoFear, our vast arsenal of Iran-supplied weaponry has been rendered irrelevant.
Corbyn Praised 'Inclusive', 'Tolerant' Iran at Pro-Soleimani London Islamic Centre
Footage has emerged of far-left Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn praising the Iranian regime at the Islamic Centre of England in London, which held a mass memorial for Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Qasem Soleimani.

Speaking at an event titled “The All-Encompassing Revolution” — intended to “commemorate the auspicious anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran” in 2014, according to the Stand for Peace interfaith organisation — the 70-year-old socialist shared a platform with a number of controversial figures such as Lord Ahmed of Rotherham, who was later charged with historic child sex offences.

“When the director [of the Islamic Centre of England] spoke in opening this conference… he was describing the history and traditions of Islam, but he was also describing the inclusivity, the tolerance, and the acceptance of other faiths, other traditions, and other ethnic groupings within Iran,” Corbyn gushed — despite the Islamic Republic imposing the death penalty for a penalty for apostasy.

He went on to lambast the “history of grand imperial Britain”, “the rule of the Shah” and its “abuse of human rights”, and size of the British embassy in Iran when he visited the country.

“I respect Iran’s history, I respect what brought about the revolution in 1979,” he concluded.

Corbyn, who has been paid thousands of pounds by Iranian state television during his time in Parliament, was elected Labour leader just a year after he gave the Islamic Centre speech.

Thousands march in France over decision to not prosecute Jewish woman’s killer
Several thousand people, many of them Jews, rallied in several cities in France to protest a court’s ruling not to try a Muslim man who confessed to killing his Jewish neighbour while shouting about Allah.

Republique Square in Paris became crowded with protesters over the ruling last month on the fate of Kobili Traore, a 29-year-old Muslim. He brutally killed Sarah Halimi in 2017.

Reaffirming an earlier ruling, the Paris Appeals Court last month asserted that Traore killed Halimi because she was Jewish but cited psychiatric evaluations saying his consumption of marijuana before the incident gave him a “delirious episode” that made him not legally responsible for his actions.

Several thousand Jews marched in Marseille in protest of the ruling, which leaders of French Jewry, including the CRIF umbrella of French Jewish communities, have suggested was designed to avoid scrutiny of Muslim antisemitism.

The BNVCA, a Jewish community watchdog, says virtually all violent antisemitic assaults in France are cases of “new antisemitism” — defined as hate crimes by people whose families immigrated to France from Muslim countries.

But in its 2016 report, the French National Consultative Commission on Human Rights, a government agency, said it had no evidence that new antisemitism exists.

American Historical Association Rejects Anti-Israel Resolutions for Fourth Time
Two resolutions targeting Israel failed to pass at the American Historical Association’s annual meeting in New York on Sunday, amid a years-long campaign encouraging the organization to take a stance in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The measures — which were introduced by academics affiliated with the group Historians for Peace and Democracy (H-PAD), and supported by 104 signatories — were among a total of three items submitted by AHA members that were voted on during the business meeting, and the only ones focused on a foreign country. While their text did not explicitly mention the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, the movement has previously been endorsed by H-PAD.

The first of the two resolutions urged AHA, which counts some 12,000 members in its ranks, to call on Israel to allow Palestinian faculty and students to travel without restriction in pursuit of higher education, and to cease denying entry to any foreigners “seeking to promote educational development in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

The second called on the US State Department to contest “Israel’s denials of entry of U.S. academics who have been invited to teach, confer, or do research at Palestinian universities.”

Five supporters and five opponents of the resolutions were each given two minutes to debate their side in front of around 125 meeting attendees before voting commenced. The first resolution was rejected with a tally of 80 against, 41 supporting, and one abstention, while the second failed with 61 against, 36 supporting, and three abstentions, according to several meeting participants.
A Model Response to BDS
Consider the materials prepared by the AAF for the meeting. They don’t urge historians to join hands and sing Hatikvah. They urge historians to abide, even in advocacy, by their own standards: “in all cases,” the AHA Council has said, “the relevant facts should be established before issuing a public statement.”

Since the resolutions singled out Israel as uncommonly hostile to academic freedom, such “relevant facts” include how Israel’s record compares to the records of other nations. Whether the subject is travel restrictions on academics, which are imposed by democracies and non-democracies alike, or broader denials of educational opportunity, the AAF materials give historians ample reason to doubt that Israel should be a special object of the AHA’s righteous attention.

As importantly, the AHA isn’t made for “policing [academic freedom] issues worldwide.” Organizations like Scholars at Risk have the kind of “full-time expert staff” that gives them a fighting chance in that kind of work. The historians of AHA could issue pronouncements, as the resolutions invite them to, on everything from individual military actions to visa policies, only by pretending to know things they don’t know, thereby forfeiting their profession’s claim to respect.

What our academic associations need is less a pro-Israel party to counter an anti-Israel party than a party of the profession to defend the norms of scholarship. Historians in the AAF, including Sharon Musher of Stockton University, David Greenberg of Rutgers University, and the University of Maryland, College Park’s Jeffrey Herf stand up year after year in defense of such a party.

That it needs defending is suggested by another HPAD-sponsored resolution, which passed at this year’s meeting, “condemning affiliations between ICE and Higher Education and the U.S. Border Patrol.” The resolution will now be considered by AHA’s Council. There will always be academics eager to make symbolic pronouncements about the issues of the day. But even those who might eagerly sign on to such pronouncements as members of political parties or activist organizations do well to think twice about signing onto them as scholars.
Anti-BDS Effort Buoyed by New Executive Order
The most important BDS-related development last month was an announcement by the Trump administration of an Executive Order expanding protections to Jewish and other students under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VI prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities that receive Federal funding.

Unlike the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)’s definition of antisemitism, the order does not mention Israel. The bipartisan background of the Executive Order also stretches back over a decade that notably includes instructions from the Obama-era Justice Department to the Department of Education in 2010.

The order creates no limits on speech, nor does it instruct administering agencies to do so. To the contrary, it instructs that “As with all other Title VI complaints, the inquiry into whether a particular act constitutes discrimination prohibited by Title VI will require a detailed analysis of the allegations.” A White House official later clarified that a complaint against a lecture would not trigger a Title VI investigation, but only “actionable conduct” such as refusal to rent event space to a Hillel.

Presidential adviser Jared Kushner published an op-ed defending the order and noted, “The Remembrance Alliance definition makes clear what our administration has stated publicly and on the record: Anti-Zionism is antisemitism. The inclusion of this language with contemporary examples gives critical guidance to agencies enforcing Title VI provisions.”

Legal analysts noted that the extension of Title VI protections to Jews merely closed a loophole in the original legislation. But other analysts have claimed the order is illegal, since modifying Title VI requires Congressional approval, and that Jews cannot be covered under the law’s “national origins” provision, which is taken to refer only to country of birth.
U.S. Department of Education’s OCR Opens Investigation on Alleged UCLA Title VI Violation
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) notified StandWithUs on January 3rd that it has accepted its complaint alleging that UCLA violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VI”) and has opened the matter for full investigation on the merits. StandWithUs alleged that the UCLA administration repeatedly failed to prevent a hostile campus environment for its Jewish campus community in direct violation of the school's Title VI obligations.

The StandWithUs Saidoff Legal Department and the StandWithUs Center for Combating Antisemitism, together with UCLA senior Shayna Lavi, filed a complaint with OCR alleging that UCLA violated Title VI based primarily on a guest lecture in Lavi’s Anthropology class, during which the speaker, San Francisco State University Professor Rabab Abdulhadi, described the State of Israel as a racist endeavor, denied its right to exist, and characterized Zionists as white supremacists.

After Lavi challenged Abdulhadi during the class, she was verbally harassed by her and, in subsequent class sessions, by her professor Kyeyoung Park, who invited the guest lecturer. Lavi informed UCLA administration, which failed to respond adequately or effectively.

“Students should never be subjected to discrimination, harassment or retaliation by their professors after standing up for themselves, their identity, and their community," StandWithUs co- founder and CEO Roz Rothstein said. “For Shayna, as for many Jews, Zionism is an integral part of her Jewish identity, and university administrators should be in the business of protecting students against conduct that marginalizes and demonizes them, not giving such hate a free pass.”

Many of the statements made during the guest lecture satisfy the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism. As part of the December 11, 2019 Executive Order on Combating Anti-Semitism, OCR must consider the IHRA definition and accompanying examples of antisemitism when determining whether a Title VI violation has occurred.

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – December 2019 and year end summary
The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks (Hebrew) during December 2019 shows that throughout the month a total of 116 incidents took place: 75 in Judea & Samaria, 31 in Jerusalem and inside the ‘green line’ and ten in the Gaza Strip sector.

In Judea & Samaria and Jerusalem the agency recorded 81 attacks with petrol bombs,19 attacks using pipe bombs, four arson attacks and two shooting attacks.

Incidents recorded in the Gaza Strip sector included two shooting attacks, one petrol bomb attack, one IED attack, one grenade attack and five incidents of rocket fire.

There were no fatalities or injuries during December.

The BBC News website reported just one of those 116 incidents – a rocket attack on Ashkelon on December 25th which was mentioned 14 hours later in an article on another topic. Previous rocket attacks on December 7th and December 19th did not receive any BBC coverage.
Beyond levity: ‘The New York Times’ 2019 ethical failures
The New York Times’ “Best Corrections of 2019” is a lighthearted review of mishaps at the paper of record, highlighting corrections that left editors “red-faced” and “readers chuckling.”

“When the Times makes a mistake, we publish a correction,” assures senior staff editor Alexandria Symonds in the December 30 year-end review. “It’s more than a procedural obligation: According to our style guide, it’s ‘an ethical responsibility.’”

But make no mistake: a roundup about misreporting on the number of bacteria inhabiting a toilet seat, the confusion of Ivanka Trump (the daughter) with Ivana Trump (the ex), the erroneous reference to poppy seeds as opposed to sesame seeds on Whopper buns, or the mistaken assertion that Rep. Rashida Tlaib took her oath of office with a Quran that once belonged to Thomas Jefferson, is in no way an exculpatory mea culpa. It’s a cover up.

By highlighting the amusing and the inconsequential, Symonds obscures the paper’s devastating ethical failures: whitewashing, mainstreaming and peddling of the world’s oldest hatred: antisemitism.

The most notable instance was the publication last April of an antisemitic cartoon indistinguishable from the most vile Nazi propaganda: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a guide dog wearing a Jewish star collar leading a blind, kippah-clad President Donald Trump.

Following an uproar, editors published a cold-blooded Editor’s Note stating that the cartoon, which “included antisemitic troops,” originated with the paper’s cartoon syndicate and was subsequently deleted.
AFP Captions Whitewash Arch-Terrorist Dallal Al-Mughrabi
Last week Fatah supporters in Bethlehem carried a huge sign glorifying arch-terrorist Dallal al-Mughrabi, who was involved in the deadliest massacre in Israel, the 1978 coastal attack in which 38 Israeli civilians, including 13 children. An Agence France Presse photographer captured images of sign, but most of the accompanying carried captions failed to identify al-Mughrabi or whitewashed her as a “militant,” as if she had fought Israeli soldiers in the battlefield, and had not slaughtered dozens of unarmed men, women and children.
About al-Mughrabi’s role in that particularly brutal attack, The New York Times has reported:
. . . Dalal Mughrabi, was the 19-year-old leader of a Palestinian squad that sailed from Lebanon and landed on a beach between Haifa and Tel Aviv. They killed an American photojournalist, hijacked a bus and commandeered another, embarking on a bloody rampage that left 38 Israeli civilians dead, 13 of them children, according to official Israeli figures. Ms. Mughrabi and several other attackers were killed.

The following Jan. 1 AFP caption misleads, falsely characterizing her as a “militant”:
Supporters of the Palestinian Fatah movement march with posters of late leader Yasser Arafat (L), Fatah chairman and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas (R),and female militant Dalal al-Mughrabi during a rally marking the 55th foundation anniversary of the political party in the West Bank town of Bethlehem on January 1, 2020. Musa AL SHAER / AFP
Two other captions failed to identify her at all, though big signs glorifying her in Arabic as “Palestine’s guerilla warrior” and “martyr,” are featured in the images.
Brenda Crouch Distances Her Ministry from Antisemitic TruNews
Evangelical singer Brenda Crouch has distanced herself from antisemitic news broadcaster Rick Wiles and his network, TruNews. In an email sent to CAMERA on Jan. 6, 2020, Crouch declared that a performance of hers that was broadcast during the Christmas season in December 2019 was “was filmed several years ago” and that her ministry “is not and never will be aligned with antisemitic beliefs or teachings.” She also declared that her ministries are “huge supporters of Israel.”

CAMERA contacted Crouch after TruNews aired a Christmas special featuring her singing on Dec. 25, 2019. In an email sent on January 2, 2020, CAMERA informed Crouch of Wiles history of antisemitism and asked if she knew about this history when she performed on TruNews, which Wiles describes as part of his “Flowing Streams” ministry headquartered in Florida.

“It seems pretty incongruous to be singing about the love of Jesus on a show hosted by a man who regularly inveighs against Jews in an astoundingly hostile manner,” the email stated. Brenda Crouch’s full response is as follows:

Thank you for reaching out. The Christmas Special program, which you are referring to was filmed several years ago. Brenda Crouch Ministries is not and never will be aligned with anti semitic beliefs or teachings. We were unaware of any such thing from the Flowing Streams ministry at the time of making a guest appearance. We are huge proponents and supporters of Israel and travel there frequently to work with various ministries abroad.

Be blessed, friend in your continued pursuit to bless and pray for the peace of Israel! Shalom 2020!
Italy expels Moroccan imam, cites his support for IS
Italy on Saturday expelled a Moroccan imam back to his home country because of what it said was his support for the Islamic State group.

Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese cited reasons of state security in sending the 41-year-old imam, identified only as M.G., back to Casablanca.

In a statement, the interior ministry said the imam had expressed support for the late IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and shared jihadi propaganda on Facebook. The ministry said his Moroccan wife had also filed a formal complaint against him for abusing her because she refused to wear the covering niqab.

Italy has largely been spared Islamic-inspired attacks that have targeted France, Spain and other European countries in recent years. Italian officials point to its program of expelling suspected extremists. Since it began in 2015, the program has resulted in 462 people being sent home, including 98 last year.
English Soccer Player in Hot Water Over Antisemitic ‘Rothschild’ Tweet
An English professional soccer player on Monday issued a qualified apology after an antisemitic tweet he posted over the weekend caused widespread offense.

Tom Pope — a forward for Port Vale, who sit in the fourth tier of the English Football League (EFL) — said he had not intended to offend anyone with a remark about the Rothschild family, a traditional target of antisemites.

Pope made the sports headlines on Saturday after he scored Port Vale’s only goal as they were defeated 4-1 by top Premier League side Manchester City. One Port Vale fan asked Pope on Twitter to “predict the World War III result you king!”

Replied Pope: “We invade Iran then Cuba then North Korea then the Rothchilds [sic] are crownded (sic) champions of every bank on the planet — the end.”

According to The Jewish Chronicle, when warned by other Twitter users that his comments could be seen as racist, Pope responded: “I mentioned them owning the banks which is fact and now I’m facing all this.”
Israeli cyber firm Armis acquired for $1.1 billion by Insight Partners
American private equity firm Insight Partners has agreed to acquire Israeli-founded cybersecurity company Armis in a deal valued at $1.1 billion, the companies announced early Tuesday.

Under the terms of the agreement, representing the largest acquisition of a private Israeli cybersecurity company to date, Armis will continue to operate independently and be led by Israeli co-founders Yevgeny Dibrov and Nadir Izrael. The deal is expected to close in February.

Founded in 2015, Palo Alto-headquartered Armis offers a platform to manage cybersecurity risks faced by enterprises when adopting Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The platform identifies suspicious or malicious devices and quarantines them to protect critical information.

Malicious actors can target traditional equipment like laptops and smartphones, but also the growing presence of unmanaged smart devices including industrial robots and medical devices.

The companies said software-focused Insight Partners will acquire the company in cash, with participation from Alphabet’s private equity firm CapitalG valued at $100m., and rollover from certain existing stockholders.

Seeking to deepen its presence in the Israeli ecosystem, Insight Partners opened an office in Tel Aviv in October 2019. Prior to the acquisition of Armis, the New York-headquartered venture capital firm – which manages over $20b. in assets – had invested over $700m. in Israeli companies.
Mitsubishi Motors enlists Israeli startup as it plays catch-up on connected cars
Mitsubishi Motors Corp has signed on to Israeli startup Otonomo’s car-data marketplace as Japanese automakers race to make up ground on US and European rivals to provide in-vehicle connected services.

The first Japanese auto manufacturer to join a platform like Otonomo’s, Mitsubishi Motors will get access to a network of some 100 retailers, insurers, and others who will pay for the data and provide revenue-generating services such as parking apps, on-demand car washing, and subscription-based refueling.

The initiative will roll out this year in the United States and Europe, with Japan following later, the companies said. They did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

The Japanese have lagged in providing connected-car services, with just 30% of vehicles sold last year equipped with embedded connectivity, compared with more than half in the United States and Europe, according to consultancy SBD Automotive.

It could be a costly missed opportunity. McKinsey & Co. predicts the market for in-vehicle data will swell to as much as $750 billion by 2030.
CliffhangerYet-to-open Israeli desert hotel makes CNN to-visit list
A still un-opened Israeli hotel was one of the picks for CNN’s list of 20 best new hotels to visit in 2020.

The Six Senses Shaharut, located in the stark Negev Desert in southern Israel, was described as “the perfect destination for the intrepid luxury traveler.”

It offers “a menu of unique and thrilling desert-centric diversions,” including camel safaris and rappelling into Makhtesh Ramon, the largest wind erosion crater in the world, CNN wrote last month.

Other hotels on the CNN roster included the Reefsuites, Great Barrier Reef in Australia; Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé in France; the Kachi Lodge in Bolivia; and the Rosewood Bangkok, Thailand

The hotel also recently made it on to a UK Times newspaper list of new hotels to watch in 2020, which gave the price for one night with bed and breakfast as £775 ($1,016).

According to the hotel’s website, the Shaharut “nestles into a dramatic cliff, at one with the almost-supernatural panorama, where sunsets meld into the orange dunes to become an inky sky scattered with stardust.”
Man who rescued Sudanese Jews honored by Benjamin Regional Council
A.Y. Katsof, director of the Heart of Israel, was honored earlier this week by the Benjamin Regional Council for rescuing a Jewish family from Sudan and bringing its members to Israel.

The head of the council - the largest regional council in the country - Israel Gantz - presented Katsof with a glass plaque for his efforts, on which it was written, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Katsof learned that a resident of the region had two nieces living estranged from their family in South Sudan. He traveled to the country and underwent many dangers to bring them back to Israel.

The two girls arrived in the country earlier this year with their children and have received citizenship.
New exhibit at Ben-Gurion celebrates Jewish Agency’s 90th anniversary
A new photo exhibition devoted to the history of the Jewish Agency was inaugurated at the Ben-Gurion Airport on Monday. The exhibition celebrates the 90th anniversary since the establishment of the organization in 1929.

“Presenting the exhibition at Ben Gurion Airport, through which millions of immigrants have entered Israel and millions of visitors from around the world pass through each year, is exciting and highly symbolic,” Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog said in a statement.

“In its tenth decade, The Jewish Agency is addressing major contemporary challenges facing our people in Israel and worldwide, including strengthening the ties between world Jewry and the State of Israel, acting as the voice of overseas Jewry in Israeli society, promoting Shalom Bayit (cooperative relationships) among the various streams of Judaism, ensuring the security and well-being of Jews around the world as they face rising antisemitism, and, of course, continuing to bring tens of thousands of immigrants to Israel each year,” he added.

Titled One to ninety the exhibition was curated by The Jewish Agency’s Global Brand Director, Elad Sonn. It includes pictures from different moments and places in the history of the organization, depicting both those who were part of its work and those who benefitted from it.
Top Israeli arms control researcher Emily Landau dies at 59
Emily Landau, a top Israeli expert on arms control and nuclear proliferation, died of a long illness at the age of 59 late Monday night, associates said.

A well-regarded national security analyst and commentator, Landau worked at Tel Aviv’s esteemed Institute for National Security Studies think tank as a senior research fellow and the head of its Arms Control and Regional Security Program.

In recent years, much of her research has focused on the issue of Iran’s nuclear program, though she has also written about the threat of nuclear proliferation around the world. Landau was a staunch critic of the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, regularly and readily arguing that the agreement was far too lax and failed to adequately curb Tehran’s atomic ambitions.

In 2015, Forbes Israel magazine named her one of the country’s fifty most influential women for her work on the Iran nuclear issue.

“The Director and staff of INSS are deeply grieved over the loss of their colleague, and express their condolences to Emily’s family. She will be sorely missed at the Institute,” the INSS said in a statement. (h/t IsaacStorm)
Commentary Magazine Podcast: Iran, Politics, Impeachment, and Gertrude Himmelfarb
Today we take up the aftermath of the killing of Qasem Sulemani and the American political response to it as well as the politics of the coming impeachment trial. And we pay tribute to Gertrude Himmelfarb, who passed away last week at the age of 97. Give a listen.

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