Saturday, February 01, 2020

From Ian:

Ben Shapiro: When ‘Never Again’ Means Nothing
The truth is that #NeverAgain has become a virtue signal for many on the modern left, who are more than willing to greenlight the genocidal anti-Semitism of Hamas, Hezbollah, the Palestinian Authority, and the Iranian regime, among others. Islamic anti-Semitism, in their view, is not true anti-Semitism; it’s just religious conflict, or territorial disagreement, or anti-Zionism.

When such ideological disagreements result in open calls for the murder of Jews … well, that’s going a bit too far, but it’s understandable. After all, modern Jews—particularly Zionists, who insist on a Jewish state to ensure the survival of their people—are rather bothersome in real life, unlike those dead Jews from World War II, who aren’t any more real than their old black-and-white photos, and whose survival is no longer at issue.

It’s easy for radical leftists and their Islamic allies to spout #NeverAgain while proclaiming that today’s Jews aren’t like yesterday’s Jews. All of which is why Israel’s continued existence provides both a thorn in the side of modern anti-Semites and why Israel’s continued existence is so necessary.

Vague expressions of upset over an event that took place 75 years ago are no substitute for the hard-nosed defense of Jewish survival that Israel represents. And Jews should remember that when they decide to blind themselves to the real and present anti-Semitism of the Omars, Tlaibs, and Corbyns.
Holocaust education is not a miracle drug to immunize us against hatred
What were totally forgotten or ignored by all the speakers were two topics that can best be described as the “unfinished business of the Holocaust.” I am referring specifically to the issues of justice and restitution, which are neither identical nor equivalent, but have two important similarities. In both cases, there have been highly significant partial successes, but much more could and should have been done, which has not yet been done. Both are still continuing but the chances of any additional major successes are almost non-existent as far as justice is concerned, and only slightly better in terms of restitution.

I mention these two issues because they have a direct impact on future efforts to defeat antisemitism, and are part of the problems we continue to face in this regard. Justice is a genuine deterrent to crime and had more of the perpetrators of Holocaust crimes been punished, it’s likely that antisemitic crimes would not be as prevalent as they are today. The same can be said as regards restitution. The more property returned to Jews, the stronger the warning against harming Jews – since in both cases the root of these crimes is antisemitism.

I am certain that many of the leaders who ignored these issues would dismiss this argument by pointing to the passage of so many years since the crimes were committed, but the passage of time in no way diminishes the crimes of yesteryear, and the guilt of those who murdered and robbed. The problem is that it is always easier to stick to virtually meaningless platitudes about memory and remembrance rather than pledge to tackle unpopular problems which obligate difficult practical solutions. So of course remembering the Shoah and Holocaust education are important and beneficial, but they have to be accompanied by legal measures against antisemitic crimes and the determination that the perpetrators of such crimes will never benefit from them.


Yishai Fleisher: The Myth Of Arab Buy-In
However, while these Arab countries feel pressure to line up with Israel to defend their strategic positions, as leaders of Arab nationalism and authentic Islam, they still need to publicly save face.

That is why the Trump plan smartly kept the “two-state solution” on the table so that Arab states could pay lip service to the creation of a Palestine. This allowed Arab representatives to sit at the White House in their traditional robes as the deal was being unveiled. Yet the real effect of Arab states accepting the tenets of the deal was not the creation of an independent Palestine at all. Rather, it was the recognition of Israel as a legitimate Jewish entity in the Middle East — with its capital in Jerusalem and with rights in Judea and Samaria.

Shocking! And with regard to Palestine, the Arab states heard and acquiesced to the call on Palestinians to disarm, to stop paying for terror, to stop incitement — to basically give up the war with Israel. This was truly revolutionary. By agreeing to an Israel in the “West Bank” and also a defanged Palestine, the Arab states, quietly and without public pronouncement, essentially agreed to an end of hostilities with the Jewish state.

The Palestinian leadership, naturally, is up in arms. But it is not only their former Sunni Arab state allies who have turned their backs on them — it is also the proverbial Arab street. Many “West Bank” Arabs are tired of the pointless war with Israel and are tired of the corrupt Palestinian Authority. It is for this reason that there have barely been any protests against the “Deal of the Century” — just as there was a muted reaction to the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by the Trump administration.

Yet, while many Arabs want to end hostilities, it is a mistake to pine for public Arab buy-in. Israel is anathema to both their Arab nationalism and a core tenet of Islam — and if they must swallow the existence of Israel, they prefer it play out as coercion, or at least a gradual and quiet acceptance rather than voluntary proclamations of “peace in our time.” In the end, helping the Arab world transition from war to cooperation is a delicate task and it will surely benefit Israel. But the Muslim world, which is hungry for prosperity, modernity, and reform, stands to gain even more.



Weekend at Bernies
The problem with Bernie Sanders isn’t Bernie Sanders. It’s the way that the 78-year-old socialist, who has already suffered one heart attack on the campaign trail, is being used by an assortment of anti-Semitic frauds and weirdos who have glommed onto his campaign, using Uncle Bernie like an ATM that dispenses free passes for anti-Semitic bigotry (and campaign cash).

It’s all of a piece with what 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton recently referred to as “the culture around” Sanders. “It’s his leadership team. It’s his prominent supporters. It’s his online Bernie Bros and their relentless attacks on lots of his competitors, particularly the women,” she told the Hollywood Reporter. With Sanders being the most high-profile Jewish politician in the country and the most successful Jewish presidential candidate in American history, that his campaign has become a vessel for such ugliness is a phenomenon worth exploring.

Let’s take a spin through the carnival of bigots surrounding the senator. Reprising her role as a Sanders surrogate is Linda Sarsour, a woman who espouses Saudi Arabia as a model for American feminists, cheered the clitoridectomy of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and has fawned over Louis Farrakhan.

Sanders surrogate Amer Zahr has written of a “Jewish jihad” against Palestinians and defended Zahra Billoo, who was forced to resign from the Women’s March board over her support for Hamas.

Progressive internet grifter and Sanders surrogate Shaun King—whose representation of his own identity has come under scrutiny—praised Sanders for “speak[ing] out against apartheid-like conditions in Palestine even though it’s not popular” in a video that the Sanders campaign posted on its website.

Last November, Sanders welcomed the endorsement of Minnesota Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. When Omar asserted that her House colleagues had been bribed by the Israel lobby and imputed dual loyalty to American Jews, Democrats across the country condemned the Minnesota lawmaker. Of all the candidates seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, Sanders defended Omar the most vociferously, labeling criticism of her “outrageous” and “racist.”

Sanders’ eagerness to leap to the defense of someone flinging charges of dual loyalty at American Jews was notable considering how he was himself the target of such an insinuation in 2016, when NPR’s Diane Rehm cited a list she found on the internet as evidence for his “dual citizenship with Israel.”
Trump Takes Out Another Top Terrorist In The Middle East
President Donald Trump appears to have added another name to the list of terrorists that his administration has killed as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reportedly launched a drone strike that killed the leader of Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen.

“The officials expressed confidence that the Qaeda leader, Qassim al-Rimi, was killed in a January airstrike in Yemen but were awaiting confirmation before making a public announcement,” The New York Times reported. “If confirmed, his death could represent a significant blow to the Qaeda affiliate, which remains one of the most potent branches of the terrorist group. The Yemen branch, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has tried to attack the United States and Europe and is thought to still want to.”

The Times reported the CIA learned about al-Rimi’s location in November from an informant in Yemen and then started to track him using drones and other technology.

Thomas Joscelyn, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the Times: “He was an Al Qaeda veteran whose career started in the camps in pre-9/11 Afghanistan. After he was busted out of prison, he was part of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s relaunch management team, becoming their military commander.”
Trump’s Middle East Peace Plan Attracts Much-Doubted Arab Support
The president of FIFA, soccer's international governing body, which has massive reach in the Middle East, also signaled unlikely support for the deal.

"I definitely welcome all efforts that are made to ensure that peace in the Middle East becomes reality. It is important that we all believe in peace in the Middle East, in peace between Israel and Palestine. And it is important that we all work hard towards that objective and towards giving hope and joy to millions of people in the Middle East," FIFA president Gianni Infantino told the Free Beacon.

Thus far, nearly 30 countries have offered their support for the plan, sources said. In addition to the major Arab nations, early support has come from the European Union, U.K., France, and several Latin American nations, including Honduras, Chile, Colombia, and Brazil.

However, there is no shortage of critics who accuse the Trump administration of pandering to Israel and ignoring the Palestinians' plight.

"At first glance, the plan appears to have an air of reasonability. It talks of a ‘realistic two-state solution' to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, pledges an unprecedented $50 billion in investment, and even mentions the words ‘Palestinian capital' and ‘Jerusalem' in the same sentence," wrote Khaled Elgindy, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute, in a recent piece for Foreign Policy magazine. "Beyond the thin veneer of acceptability, however, is a far more insidious program that is designed to do away with a genuine two-state solution while normalizing permanent Israeli occupation and annexation within a de facto one-state reality."

Furthermore, support for the plan domestically has been split down party lines, with Democrats describing the plan as worthless and Republicans praising Trump for supporting Israel's security needs.
Gantz vows to advance US peace plan immediately if elected prime minister
Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz on Friday vowed to immediately advance US President Donald Trump’s peace plan following the upcoming elections if he is elected prime minister.

Gantz lauded the proposal as the base for any future peace agreement with the Palestinians.

“This week I met with President Trump, a true friend of the State of Israel and the Jewish people and I’m deeply grateful to him for our positive meeting,” Gantz wrote on Facebook.

“Prior to the meeting were months of discussions with his team about the peace plan and its details, and I can say that this is a plan that will constitute the basis for any future arrangement,” Gantz wrote. “I will advance the plan immediately after elections in full coordination with the governments of the US, Jordan, Egypt, others in the region and the Palestinians.”

Both Gantz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Trump at the White House this week, and have been seeking to use the plan to advance their election campaigns. Trump released the plan at the White House on Tuesday, with Netanyahu at his side.

On Wednesday Gantz said he would bring the plan before the Knesset plenum next week for a vote. It’s unclear what legal force a Knesset vote on the plan would have, but it would likely place Blue and White’s right-wing rivals in a bind.
Joint List MK says party won’t back Blue and White over support of Trump plan
A lawmaker from the Joint List alliance said Friday it would not give its backing again to the Blue and White party after the next elections since leader Benny Gantz said he would work to adopt the Trump peace plan if elected.

“We will not support Gantz [in forming a government] due to his support of this project they call the ‘Deal of the Century,'” said MK Yousuf Jabareen, speaking to Channel 12 TV.

Jabareen said the plan released Tuesday by US President Donald Trump “ignores the rights of the Palestinians according to law.”

The proposal recognizes Israel’s right to annex the Jordan Valley, all West Bank settlements and their surroundings — some 30% of the West Bank in total.

Trump hosted Blue and White leader MK Benny Gantz in Washington before he rolled out the peace plan, and Gantz has since said he will bring the entire proposal for approval by the Knesset next week.

However, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will try and annex the West Bank settlements and the Jordan Valley ahead of the elections, Gantz said the plan should only be implemented after the March vote and in coordination with the international community.

“The Trump administration’s peace plan is a significant and historic milestone indeed,” Gantz said, first in Hebrew and then in English after meeting Trump. “Immediately after the elections, I will work toward implementing it from within a stable, functioning Israeli government, in tandem with the other countries in our region.”


Netanyahu, Gantz slam Abbas for rejecting Trump plan, deriding ‘non-Jewish’ olim
Gantz said in a statement that Abbas “once again does not miss an opportunity for rejectionism,” echoing a talking point used by senior White House adviser and peace plan architect Jared Kushner, who deemed the Palestinians as having been solely responsible for all failed peace talks in recent decades.

“The time has come to start working for future generations and for peace rather than remaining stuck in the past and preventing the entire region from [achieving] a future of hope,” Gantz added.

Both Gantz and Netanyahu took issue with Abbas’s claim during a speech at an Arab League meeting Saturday that the Palestinians could not accept Israel as Jewish state because it consists of many minorities who are not Jewish. Abbas claimed many immigrants to Israel from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia were not Jewish.

“There are 1.5 to 2 million Russians in Israel today, some of whom are Christians and some of whom are Jews. When the Soviet Union collapsed, the gates opened. To prove that they were Jewish, they would go to some rabbi, pay him 100 rubles, get a certificate that they were Jewish, and go to Israel.”

He added: “Even the Falash Mura from Ethiopia, believe me, the percentage of Jews among them is tiny.”

Responding to the claim, Netanyahu tweeted that “Apparently [Abbas] hasn’t heard of the tribes of Israel.” The premier went on to call immigrants from Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union “our brothers and sisters, the flesh of our flesh, thoroughly Jewish, who dreamed in exile for generations of the return to Zion and have fulfilled that dream.”

Gantz added that Abbas’s “ignorance and contempt for our immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia, who are an integral part of the Jewish people, is shameful. This is not how peace is built.”
Savaging Trump plan, Abbas says Palestinians cutting all ties with Israel, US
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said he was cutting all ties, including security coordination, with both Israel and the US on Saturday, in a lengthy speech delivered at an Arab League meeting in Egypt’s capital denouncing the new White House plan for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“We’ve informed the Israeli side…that there will be no relations at all with them and the United States, including security ties,” Abbas declared.

The PA leader said he’d stated as much in letters sent to both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and CIA Director Gina Haspel. The PA currently cooperates with Israeli security services and US intelligence agencies against terrorism.

Abbas has threatened to cut security ties in the past on several occasions though he has not followed through with action on the ground.

The Arab League in a statement rejected the Trump proposal, calling it “unfair” to Palestinians. The pan-Arab bloc said in a statement that the plan “does not meet the minimum rights and aspirations of Palestinian people.”

Arab leaders also vowed “not to … cooperate with the US administration to implement this plan.”
Abbas to present an alternative peace plan at the UN
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki announced that Head of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas will present an alternative peace plan in place of the "Deal of Century" to the United Nations on February 11th, Channel 13 reported.
Backing Abbas, Arab League unanimously rejects Trump’s Middle East peace plan
The Arab League on Saturday unanimously rejected US President Donald Trump’s controversial Middle East plan, calling it “unfair” to Palestinians.

The pan-Arab bloc said in a statement that it “rejects the US-Israeli ‘deal of the century’ considering that it does not meet the minimum rights and aspirations of Palestinian people.”

Arab leaders also vowed “not to… cooperate with the US administration to implement this plan.”

The US plan would grant the Palestinians a state with restricted sovereignty in Gaza and in parts of the West Bank, while allowing Israel to annex all its settlements and keep nearly all of East Jerusalem.

The League warned that Israel must not act on the plan unilaterally — a reference to Israel’s stated intention to move on annexation as soon as possible.

“Israel will be solely responsible for the consequences of such policies,” the bloc said. It said it would call on international powers to take steps to prevent any such action.


Arab envoys at peace plan event lacked full details, diplomat tells paper
The three Arab nations that sent envoys to the unveiling of Washington’s controversial new peace plan Tuesday did so because they had not been fully informed by the Trump administration of the details of the proposal, the Haaretz newspaper reported Saturday evening, citing an unnamed Arab diplomat.

All three nations — Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates — on Saturday backed an Arab League decision that rejected the US plan, seemingly dashing any hopes the administration may have had of Arab support for its efforts.

The official told the newspaper the White House had urged the nations to attend the event, sending them a document “with generalized details about the initiative, which mostly focused on [it including] a Palestinian state with capital in eastern Jerusalem.”

But, he said, “when they got into the details of the plan they understood there was no true Palestinian state and no capital in East Jerusalem and, more importantly, that there was an attempt to promote a move of dividing Al-Aqsa.”

The mosque, the third holiest site for Muslims, would remain under Israeli jurisdiction according to the plan.

“These are clauses no Arab or Islamic nation could agree to, so in the end the foreign ministers aligned with the position opposed to the Trump plan.”
Hundreds of Arab Israelis protest US plan, blast bid to transfer villages
Hundreds of Arab Israelis demonstrated in northern Israel on Saturday against the recently released US peace plan, blasting its inclusion of a clause which proposes redrawing the borders to include minority towns in the so-called Triangle in a future Palestinian state.

The protest in Baqa al-Gharbiya, the second in the Triangle area in so many days, was attended and led by lawmakers from the predominantly Arab Joint List party, who said US President Donald Trump’s proposal adopted the views of the far-right.

The idea of ​​transferring Arab Israeli towns to a future Palestinian state “was once [seen as] marginal and delusional, but it is now being adopted by the mainstream of the Israeli and American right,” Joint List MK Yousef Jabareen said at the rally.

“Together with the thousands here today, we are protesting against the dangerous initiatives of annexation, apartheid and transfer,” he added.
Joint List MKs lead a protest against US President Donald Trump’s peace plan in Baqa al-Gharbiya on February 1, 2020. (Courtesy)

Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh told those present at the protest that Israelis would respond to the Trump plan at the ballot box by voting for the Joint List in droves.

“No one will deprive us of citizenship in the homeland where we were born,” he added.

The Triangle is an area southeast of Haifa, near the Palestinian city of Jenin, which includes 14 towns and villages where more than 260,000 Arab Israelis live.
Rocket fired at south for 4th day in a row amid escalating tensions; no injuries
Palestinian terrorists fired a rocket at Israeli communities east of the Gaza Strip on Saturday night as tensions escalated in the region amid daily missile attacks from the Palestinian enclave, the military said.

No damage or injuries were caused.

The attack triggered sirens in the kibbutz communities of Nahal Oz and Alumim in the Sha’ar Hanegev region, sending hundreds of residents rushing to bomb shelters.

A spokesperson for the region said the impact site was found in an open field.

Channel 13 news on Saturday cited an unnamed IDF official who warned Gaza could be approaching a point of no return, and continued rocket fire would lead the IDF to a harsher response than that seen so far.

The attack occurred while Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz and other top members of his faction were visiting the area, forcing them to hold their meeting with residents in a bomb shelter.

Saturday was the fourth day in a row in which terrorists in the Strip fired rockets or mortar shells at southern Israel.

Throughout the day on Saturday, a number of balloons suspected of carrying explosive devices were launched from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel.
Time to Pressure Lebanese Government on Hizbullah
The new Lebanese government is racing around the world to foreign governments and banks to obtain enough aid to avoid a broad financial default, former Israeli National Security Council chief Brig.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland told the Institute for National Security Studies on Thursday. "This is exactly the time that the answer from all American and EU institutions should be to tell the Lebanese government: we will give you loans based on certain economic conditions....1) sign and commit that there will be no production of precision missiles on Lebanese land; and 2) whatever arms Hizbullah already has, is yours, but a commitment not to import more weapons from Syria and Iran."

U.S. State Department sanctions official David Peyman discussed the success of the "maximum pressure" campaign. "Iran is now telling Iraqi Shi'ite militias 'we won't fund you anymore.' Iran has cut its defense budget by 29%. The IRGC has been cut by 17%. Hizbullah is looking for donations. 17 out of 18 Iranian pension funds are failing."

Iran’s regime ramps up violent persecution of Baha’i community
Iran has intensified its violent repression of Baha’is in a series of arrest actions, home raids and denial of identification cards.

“These developments are part of a surge in persecution against the Baha’i community in Iran,” the Baha’i World News Service reported this past week, adding that “Iranian authorities are preventing Baha’is across the country from obtaining national identification cards, while a series of home raids, confiscations, arrests and attacks on properties have unjustly targeted Baha’is.”

According to the report, this is “despite continuous claims by Iranian officials inside the country and in UN fora that Baha’is have citizenship rights,” said Diane Ala’i, representative of the Baha’i International Community in Geneva. “The authorities are institutionalizing yet another mechanism that aims to destroy the Baha’i community as a viable entity, thereby extending a four-decade-long and relentless campaign of persecution against Baha’is across virtually every dimension of life – cultural, social, educational and economic.”

She added that, “Even so, the Baha’is of Iran continue to strive to live in accordance with the teachings of their faith, which upholds truthfulness as ‘the foundation of all human virtues.’ How could Baha’is who apply for their national identification cards, for public sector jobs, or to enroll in universities be punished simply for being truthful?”

The Bahá’í World News Service explained that: “Members of several religious minorities in the country face restrictions in applying for a new national identification card, removing a previous facility that allowed the option ‘other’ to be selected instead of one of four recognized religions—Islam, Christianity, Judaism or Zoroastrianism.

“The decision to remove that option now prevents Baha’is from obtaining their identification cards, depriving them of basic civil services such as applying for a loan, cashing a check, or buying property.”
Courageous women at vanguard of Iran's unrest
Iran’s three-day cover-up of the unintentional shootdown of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 recently is a problem for the ruling mullahs who claim the moral high ground as they await the messianic Hidden Imam, all the while amassing vast business empires and allegedly participating in corrupt schemes.

Indeed, protesters’ slogans have revealed their anti-government grievances with chants of such as “Death to the Dictator” and “Our enemy is right here, they lie to us that it’s America”.

Celebrities added their voices. Iran’s only female Olympic medal winner, taekwondo’s Kimia Alizadeh chose to protest as “one of the millions of oppressed women in Iran”, and the country’s favourite actress, Taraneh Alidoosti, posted on Instagram: “We are not citizens, we are hostages, millions of hostages.”

The turmoil created a crisis of confidence for journalists working for state broadcaster IRIB. Three female presenters resigned, admitting they had lied for years to comply with government directives.

Lacking freedom of speech, assembly and association, Iranians came to depend on communication via the internet, but this avenue was subject to state filtering and blocking.

Parliamentary representation in Iran is a sad travesty. When Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini led the revolution and founded the Islamic Republic in 1979, he promised elections, but clerics in the Council of Guardians continue to disqualify candidates they deem insufficiently committed to Iran’s radical aims.


Glorifying Jew Killers at Cal
Last semester, Bears for Palestine, an anti-Israel group on the UC Berkeley Campus set up a display in the Student Union, glorifying terrorists and Jew-killers.

The hateful display and the subsequent direct action by outraged Jewish students was met with indifference by the larger campus community.

Maya Reuven, sophomore at Cal writes in today's Daily Cal about feeling unsafe on campus

It’s hard to feel completely safe as a Jewish person anymore. I find myself second-guessing attending the concerts of Israeli artists, and I never sit by the street window during Shabbat dinners at Chabad. Watching security pile up at the Jewish spaces I call home breaks my heart. Is it really so much to ask that we don’t idolize those that cause this fear and pain in a university building? How can Jewish students feel supported during these dark times when we walk through a campus every day that has posters of our murderers in its buildings?

As a Jewish student, I am tired. I am tired of having to fight for the acknowledgment of anti-Semitism on a campus that claims to stand up for the marginalized. I am tired of having my people’s suffering justified to me time and time again. I am tired of people’s excuses for why their own anti-Semitism is only “anti-Zionism,” as if the two are not practically identical.


Maya's weariness is justifiable. Who are the women being lionized in the Bears for Palestine poster? At least 3 are terrorists who targeted innocent civilians.

Rasmea Odeh of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group confessed to the bombing of a SuperSol Supermarket in Jerusalem, that killed two young men.

Fatima Bernawi placed a bomb in a Jerusalem cinema in 1967.

Leila Khaled also of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group attempted to hijack two planes in Europe in 1969 and 1970. In a shameful glorification of gun-violence, the campus display has her holding an AK-47 rifle.
Jewish nonprofit AJC puts ‘significant investment’ in new Arabic media platforms
The 114-year-old American Jewish Committee launched a new series of brief Arabic-language video explainers about Jews and Judaism on Thursday, along with new Arabic language social media platforms. The launch comes on the heels of increased Jewish-Muslim outreach efforts, including a high-profile, unprecedented AJC-organized visit to former Nazi death camp Auschwitz by Muslim World League head Mohammed al-Issa and a group of Islamic clerics.

“This new initiative offers us an unprecedented opportunity to reach those in the Arab world who may never have a chance to meet a Jew, including the many millions of young people who may be curious to hear a Jewish perspective on the subjects they encounter on social media,” said AJC CEO David Harris in a statement.

The video series — called “An al-Yahud,” or “About the Jews” — will focus on “various aspects of contemporary Jewish life, Jewish history, and current issues of importance to the Jewish people,” according to the AJC announcement. It will be disseminated by social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, where, the Jewish nonprofit hopes, discussions will ensue over the material.

“AJC has long been a pioneer in fostering closer ties between the Jewish and the Arab and Muslims worlds. We view this project through the lens of that tradition,” AJC’s Managing Director of Global Communications Avi Mayer told The Times of Israel on Thursday.

“Through the project, we hope to introduce the Arab world to the Jews as we see ourselves, through a variety of ways and topics,” Mayer said. But the videos are not meant to be preachy, rather “informational,” he said, and springboards to deeper conversations.
Alternative historyNew series ‘The Plot Against America’ portrays anti-Semitic president
The first trailer for HBO’s adaptation of the Philip Roth novel “The Plot Against America,” depicting a fascist US president, was released on Thursday.

The series, co-created by David Simon and based on Roth’s 2004 novel of the same name, premiers on March 16.

Fans of the Roth novel should be excited, as the trailer shows that the miniseries is faithful to the book’s plot. In the novel’s alternate history, Charles Lindbergh, the aviator-turned-anti-Semitic-populist, becomes president and stokes anti-Jewish fear throughout the US.

The news show stars John Turturro (as a rabbi), Winona Ryder, Zoe Kazan and Morgan Spector (best known for his role on “Homeland,” the American adaptation of the Israeli series “Hatufim”).


Maryland Lt.-Gov. recruiting Israeli hi-tech companies to his state
Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford will leave Israel on Sunday after spending several days promoting his state’s health and cyber industries in the Jewish state.

“I am trying to encourage those international companies, and particularly Israeli companies and entrepreneurs looking to enter the US market, that Maryland is the place to be,” Rutherford told The Jerusalem Post.

The Republican lieutenant governor was in the country as the head of a delegation of state employees and Maryland-based businesses. The group first traveled to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and then came to Israel to take part in Cybertech Tel Aviv 2020, which ran from January 28 to 30.

His visit to Israel was arranged by the Maryland/Israel Development Center (MIDC). Rutherford was accompanied by four state employees.

The lieutenant governor said that Israel and Maryland have some long-standing business relationships, including for example that the headquarters of the Israeli-owned defense manufacturer ELTA is in the state. He said that as defense technologies increasingly shift toward cybersecurity, there are additional opportunities for collaboration.
Porsche Looks to Israeli Tech to Improve Driver Visibility at Night and in Bad Weather
An Israeli company has partnered with German luxury automobile manufacturer Porsche to help drivers see more clearly, regardless of the weather or time of day.

TriEye’s Short-Wave Infra-Red (SWIR) technology is said to improve visibility in less-than-ideal driving situations, such as stormy conditions or nighttime. The technology works with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicles (AV), with a camera providing image data that standard cameras cannot see.

Porsche had previously announced in August that it would invest in the product, but now will work with TriEye to develop it and improve its ADAS and AV technology in the process.

The collaboration announced earlier this month was “a significant vote of confidence in our technology,” TriEye Marketing Manager Nitzan Yosef Presburger told The Algemeiner.

TriEye’s announcement of the partnership came just ahead of the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, one of the biggest international technology conferences in the world, where it was also a big winner. TriEye took home two innovation awards, one in the “Embedded Technologies” category, and another in “Vehicle Intelligence and Transportation,” which is based on its innovative engineering, aesthetic and design.

Its high-definition SWIR camera is smaller in size, with higher resolution and significantly lower costs than existing technologies, the company says. It claims the technology works and can be mass-produced.
Citing Holocaust Lessons, UK Jewish Group Demands China End Persecution of Uyghur Muslims
A top UK Jewish group is demanding China end its persecution of the country’s Uyghur Muslim minority.

At a House of Commons event on Thursday, Board of Deputies of British Jews Vice President Edwin Shuker said: “Let us remember — what hurts the victim most is not the cruelty of the oppressor but the silence of the bystander. And it’s our silence that I find inexplicable. In this week when we commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day, we also devote ourselves to coming to the aid of those who are facing oppression and persecution like the Uighurs. We stand with them in their struggle for human rights and we will do whatever we can to help.”

In remarks at the same gathering, Rahima Mahmiut — a representative of the World Uyghur Congress — said, “No oppressor should be able to hide from the public glare.”

Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism in the UK Laura Janner-Klausner talked about the plight of the Uyghurs, saying, “There are reports of cemeteries flattened, and the systematic and deliberate demonization of an entire people.”

She added, “To all those politicians who have stood on platforms this past week and delivered that so often repeated line ‘never again’ — we ask you ‘to what lengths are you prepared to go to make that statement reality?’”

Imam Qari Asim — a UK government adviser on Islamophobia – noted, “We said ‘never again’ but it did happen again in Bosnia. How can we now protect another minority? We must stand up for justice. God is with those who do good, even in the face of adversity, says the Quran.”
The Jewish roots of Britain’s favourite dish
But where did it all begin?

Well, as the title suggests, fish and chips is another thing we have to thank the Jews for as it was Jewish immigrants who first introduced fried fish to Britain. Fleeing the persecution of the Spanish Inquisition in the 1500s the Jews sought a new life in England. Settling in East London, the Jewish community, not wanting to face any further problems, hid their Jewish identity from their neighbours.

At the time, one of the popular traditions amongst Christians was to abstain from eating meat on a Friday, as per the church’s instructions. This resulted in most British families eating fish on a Friday.

On a side note, this command resulted in some rather amusing rules being created by the church to accommodate some wealthier families who wanted more variety at their dinner tables on a Friday. One example was the church re-classifying duck as a fish, “because it swam on water”.

Going back to the Jewish traditions, the Torah commands that Jews are not allowed to work on the Sabbath (from sundown on Friday evening to sundown on Saturday evening) and that includes cooking. As a result, Jews developed various cooking methods to preserve their food for longer, meaning they could cook their meal on Friday morning and have it stay fresh throughout the Sabbath.

To do this with fish they developed the method of battering their fish in flour and breadcrumbs and then deep frying it in oil. The batter and oil preserved the fish for longer so it could be enjoyed fresh on the Friday night and throughout the next day. It was also very tasty. And, because it was fish, it meant they were keeping with the church’s instruction and thus kept up the appearance of being just like any other family in Britain. Their Jewish identity was kept secret.

Over time the Jewish community were able to express their Jewish identity more freely, but the treat of fried fish remained. It grew from just being a Sabbath treat for the Jews to being something commercially sold in London. As the popularity grew, the breadcrumb coating was replaced with the batter we know and love today.
‘She Was The Best of Us’: Calls Grow for Permanent Memorial to Scottish Holocaust Heroine Jane Haining
Born in 1897 on a farm in Dumfriesshire in Scotland, Haining was appointed matron of the Girls’ Home of the Scottish Mission in Budapest. She arrived in the Hungarian capital in 1932, spending the next 12 years caring for 400 children from the ages of six to 16.

By 1940, faced with the worsening situation in Europe, the Scottish missionaries were ordered to return home. Haining refused to leave, believing that the children in her care needed her more than ever. In March 1944, Germany occupied Hungary and soon began to deport the Jews from the Hungarian provinces. According to Yad Vashem, “Haining was not deterred and stood by her students with great bravery, exposing herself to danger.”

On April 25, 1944, two Gestapo men appeared at the mission, searched Haining’s office and gave her 15 minutes to get her things ready. She was taken first to Foutca prison for questioning. Eight charges were laid against her, including working among Jews, visiting British prisoners of war and listening to the BBC.

Haining was then deported to Auschwitz, where she became prisoner number 79467 and was forced into hard labor. Her last message to friends was a postcard asking for food. She ended her letter with the words: “There is not much to report here on the way to heaven.”

Scottish parliamentarian Kirsteen Oswald described Haining as “the best of us — selfless and dedicated,” while her colleague Angus Robertson declared: “It is high time there was a statue of Jane in Scotland.”

Representatives of Scotland’s Jewish community were among the guests at the launch of an exhibition about Haining in the city of Glasgow.

Rev Ian Alexander, interim head of the Faith Impact Forum of the Church of Scotland, told the gathering: “We have worked hard to share the story of Jane Haining with as many people as possible since we found her handwritten will in an archive in 2016.”

He continued: “We are pleased that there is growing recognition that she is a unique figure in Scottish history whose story of bravery, selflessness, compassion and faith inspires us all.”




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