Wednesday, July 15, 2020

From Ian:

BESA: The Attacks on the Uniqueness of the Holocaust
The last decade has seen an explosion of attacks on the memory of the Holocaust. This expresses itself in many ways, including the casting of doubt on the Holocaust’s uniqueness. This version was aired in recent public debates in Germany and can also be found in historical manipulations by academic scholars.

The memory of the Holocaust has been under assault for decades from all sides: the extreme right, the extreme left, and parts of the Islamic world. A common tactic is to assert that the Holocaust was not unique, contrary to the Jewish claim.

Looking at the question on a purely empirical basis, the Holocaust was unambiguously a unique event. While some elements are comparable to other genocides, its combined characteristics are not. Several criteria collectively make the Holocaust an unprecedented event: the totality of the targeting (all Jews everywhere), its priority (all branches of the German state were involved in the effort), its industrial character, and its impracticality (instead of exploiting Jews for labor purposes, they were killed.)

Leading Holocaust philosopher Emil L. Fackenheim noted that the Armenian genocide was confined to the Turkish Empire. And even within that empire, not all Armenians there were targeted—for instance, those living in Jerusalem were spared. Geographical confinement also applies to the genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Sudan.

As Fackenheim pointed out, the Nazis, by contrast, set out to exterminate every last Jew on the face of the earth. He said that while the Holocaust does belong to the species “genocide,” the planned and largely executed borderless extermination of the Jews during the Holocaust is without precedent and, thus far at least, without sequel. It is thus entirely appropriate to call it “unique.”

Israel’s Centrist Consensus
So “Left” and “Right” mean only one thing in the Israeli context: where you stand on relinquishing territory in the Land of Israel, particular regarding the territories of Judea & Samaria (the mountainous regions overlooking the coastal plain) and the Jordan Valley, liberated from Jordan’s 19-year illegal occupation (1949-1967) in Israel’s 6-Day War of defense of June 1967.

Radical Leftists promote immediate and unilateral, unconditional withdrawal from what they term “occupied” territories (misrepresenting the Geneva Convention of 1949); the less extreme Left supports a negotiated withdrawal from most of these disputed territories. Both support – with more or less enthusiasm – the idea of the establishment of a “Palestinian” state in those territories.

Extreme Rightists claim all of the biblical Land of Israel and historical Mandatory Palestine as Israel’s patrimony, based on various international legal instruments like the San Remo treaty, and reject any notion of an Israeli withdrawal; they dismiss a “Palestinian” identity separate from wider Arab nationalism, oppose vigorously the idea of a Palestinian state, and would like to see most Arabs who identify as Palestinian move to neighboring Arab states. The less radical Right grudgingly acknowledges a “Palestinian” movement but insists this can be accommodated within existing nation-states in the region, promoting various forms of autonomy, and focuses on Israel’s security needs and the belligerence of the Arab and Palestinian leadership, noting the unlikelihood of any real peace possibilities in the near future.

The middle ground – incorporating various aspects of the more restrained concepts of both the Right and Left in Israel – is actually the ‘high ground’ held by a majority of Israelis, proven in polls and at the ballot box over the past few decades. This is what I call the moderate Center in Israel, and it is far more powerful, and widespread, than most people realize – not least as it doesn’t get the headlines with pithy media phrases like “Peace Now” and “Annexation”, or “Destroy the terrorists” and “Disengagement” and the like. Ironically but significantly, every government and prime minister of Israel, with perhaps the exception of Ehud Barak in 1999-2000, has followed the policy lines of this centrist trend – even ‘Leftists’ like Shimon Peres (who used conservative economic policies to save Israel’s economy in the ‘80s) and ‘Rightists’ like Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon (who were the only Israeli prime ministers to withdraw from territories with Israeli civilian communities living in them).

Where is the ‘Center’ marked? For English speakers’ reference, Rabbi Daniel Gordis is right there, as are journalists/commentators like Yossi Klein Halevi and Haviv Rettig Gur, and historian Gil Troy; former minister and human rights activist Natan Sharansky and former Labor party MK Einat Wilf; and many of the politicians and thinkers and supporters of Blue & White (Benny Gantz, and Moshe Yaalon, less so Lapid’s Yesh Atid), Likud (which has also right-wingers of course in it), and Labor (which has also left-wingers, mostly in fact, of course).

But forget the political parties and labels: read anything by Amotz Asa El (he writes a column in the JPost called “Middle Israel”)… or for that matter anything I write. 🙂 There are Centrists in almost every Israeli political party and movement, except the hard Left and the hard Right, both of which are peripheral in Israeli society though they receive substantial press coverage. Even most of the 1.4 million Arab Israelis, some 20% of Israel’s population, can be included, perhaps ironically, in this category (though for historical, social, religious and cultural reasons many of them unfortunately vote for the most radical, anti-Israel, antisemitic and belligerent politicians to represent their sector in the Knesset). This is clear from both their behavior and polling data. (h/t Yerushalimey)
Phyllis Chesler: Israel's law against slavery
Bravo, Kudos, every kind of Kol Ha Kavod, to all those Knesset members, on both the right and the left, especially former Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked, and Gilad Erdan, then-Minister of Internal Security (now Israel’s new Ambassador to the United Nations), who worked on the new legislation that criminalized customers ("Johns"), not prostitutes; who understood that prostitution is violence against women; and who were wise enough to also pass a funded enforcement provision which has just gone into effect.

This is a revolutionary law because it recognizes that prostitution is violence against women.

Although the issue is hotly debated, especially among feminists (“sex workers have to eat, they can’t starve’), I stand with Knesset member, Shelly Yachimovich (Labor) who stated: “The war against prostitution is like a war to free the slaves.”

Oddly enough, many anti-capitalist feminists rarely glorify mind-numbing factory, agricultural, or low-level office work. They are clear that the “workers” are being oppressed. When it comes to prostitution, the alleged “work” is often viewed as a form of resistance, rather than as a forced choice, as a “job” which they actually say allows women greater independence than marriage ever can.

If caught, the newly criminalized customers (“Johns”), will have to pay a fine of 2,000 shekalim ($580.00). Repeat offenders might face criminal charges.

This is not the first time that I’ve been called upon to write about the Israeli heroes who were and still are fighting violence against women.
Dr. Anat Gur is a pioneering Israeli therapist, the founder of the Women’s Wisdom Center, a professor at Bar Ilan, and an author (Women Abandoned: Women in Prostitution, Foreign Bodies: Eating Disorders, Childhood Sexual Abuse, and Trauma Informed Treatment), has worked with women prisoners, incest and eating disorder victims, and prostitutes since 1984.

According to Dr. Gur: “Prostitution is not a job or a livelihood for women. In addition to the severe violence, humiliation, and ongoing rapes, it is not ‘easy money’ for anyone but the pimps and traffickers of women, not for the girls and women who are exploited as prostitutes. Prostitution is the direct continuation of the exploitation of the most vulnerable women in society, those who have already been ‘groomed” by childhood incest, and are ready to be exploited as prostitutes.”

Dr. Gur independently confirmed the important, and also long-time research of Dr. Melissa Farley, namely that the complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorders among prostitutes are more severe than the Stress experienced by many combat veterans of more recognized wars. Dr. Gur told me: “While exploited in prostitution, they are completely disassociated and disconnected and cannot afford to tell what is really happening to them.”

WaPo: Israel’s outgoing U.N. ambassador: ‘We have to fight anti-Semitism on all fronts’
Israel’s outgoing ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, spoke to The Washington Post about his five years in the position, security threats in the region and anti-Semitisim. The following is a lightly edited transcript.

Q: On Jan.?27 of this year, you tweeted a video to remember the victims of the Holocaust and included the voices of several other ambassadors to the U.N. Why did you do that?
A: The issue of anti-Semitism is very important to me — it is a global issue. We should not be silent about it. That’s why I dedicated a lot of effort to educate my colleagues at the U.N. about the danger of hate [and] anti-Semitism.

Q: In this fight against anti-Semitism, how important is it to also fight the glorification of the Nazis or Nazi symbols?
A: I think we have to fight anti-Semitism on all fronts. Today with social media it is a challenge, and we have debates with scholars and legal experts about what we can do regarding, hate crimes, how to deal with freedom of speech and where we draw the line. We cherish freedom of speech, but we cannot cherish freedom of hate.

Q: Were you directly confronted with anti-Semitism during your time at the U.N.?
A: I had difficult moments, both when you hear the voices coming from Iran or the hate crime in Pittsburgh here in the U.S.

Q: You mentioned in interviews trips to Dubai and to other Arab countries. How is Israel’s relationship with the Arab states at the moment?
A: It’s a very important and strategic relationship, beneficial for both sides. We share the common threat over the Iranian regime, which is threatening the entire region.

We collaborate and can collaborate more. The issue is whether the Arab states actually recognize, publicly, the accomplishments and cooperation. I think it is about time to move to the next level and to see what we can do publicly, not only behind closed doors.
Guardian op-ed attacks liberal Zionists (or anyone supporting Israel's existence)
We were expecting the Guardian to weigh in on Peter Beinart’s recent conversion from ‘liberal Zionist’ to anti-Zionist, and, sure enough, yesterday they published an op-ed by Joshua Leifer, Beinart’s colleague at Jewish Currents – the site that ran his call for an end to the Jewish state.

Leifer’s piece (“The two-state solution is a political fiction liberal Zionists still cling to”, July 14) attacks liberal Zionists – whose members included, until two seconds ago, Peter Beinart – for advocating the “political fiction” of two states. He then suggests that Israeli support over the years for two-states was a ‘washing’ of sorts – a public relations scheme to deflect criticism of what he later called the state’s “territorial expansion”.
The abstract idea of two states has also served a valuable strategic purpose for the Israeli government and professional Israel advocates. References to Israel’s putative commitment to two states in theory have become a way to shield Israel from criticism, and consequences, for actions that in practice rendered a two-state solution impossible.

In order to maintain his fiction that when Israeli leaders said they supported two-states they didn’t really mean it, Leifer (like Beinart in his piece) has to erase the fact that PA leaders have, on three occasions, rejected Israeli peace offers that would have resulted in a two-state solution. The offers would have created a sovereign Palestinian state in over 90% of the West Bank, 100% of Gaza, and a capital in east Jerusalem.

Perhaps it’s not surprising that Leifer omits such important historical facts, as to do so would require acknowledging that Palestinians possess moral agency, and that their leaders’ bad decisions have invariably led to bad outcomes.

Leifer than scolds “self-defined liberal” Zionists for the fact that they still won’t “confront their contradictions, or surrender their talking points”. The liberal Zionist groups he’s attacking, he makes clear in a subsequent sentence, includes J Street, Americans for Peace Now and other leftist groups that are extraordinarily critical of Israel, yet, unlike the Guardian writer, support Zionism.

Then, after erroneously claiming that all West Bank Palestinians live under Israel’s “military dictatorship”, ignoring that the overwhelming majority live in PA ruled Area A, he goes after liberal Zionists again:
the position staked out by Dermer and the Trump administration is not that different from the liberal Zionist one: both envision a Palestinian “state” as an archipelago of isolated, non-contiguous Bantustans subordinated to Israeli control.

It’s unclear what he bases this on. But, the fact is that the Israeli offers we noted previously would have included a territorially contiguous Palestinian state in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, with a free passage route to connect Gaza.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Where Is the Outrage Over Anti-Semitism in Sports and Hollywood?
The Hollywood Reporter columnist calls out the hateful outbursts against Jews by Ice Cube, DeSean Jackson and others and explains how the muted response "perpetuates racism" and contributes to an overall "Apatholypse."

Recent incidents of anti-Semitic tweets and posts from sports and entertainment celebrities are a very troubling omen for the future of the Black Lives Matter movement, but so too is the shocking lack of massive indignation. Given the New Woke-fulness in Hollywood and the sports world, we expected more passionate public outrage. What we got was a shrug of meh-rage.

When reading the dark squishy entrails of popular culture, meh-rage in the face of sustained prejudice is an indisputable sign of the coming Apatholypse: apathy to all forms of social justice. After all, if it’s OK to discriminate against one group of people by hauling out cultural stereotypes without much pushback, it must be OK to do the same to others. Illogic begets illogic.

Ice Cube’s June 10 daylong series of tweets, which involved some creepy symbols and images, in general implied that Jews were responsible for the oppression of blacks. NFL player DeSean Jackson tweeted out several anti-Semitic messages, including a quote he incorrectly thought was from Hitler (not your go-to guy for why-can’t-we-all-get-along quotes) stating that Jews had a plan to “extort America” and achieve “world domination.” Isn’t that SPECTRE’s job in James Bond movies?

These statements would be laughed at by anyone with a middle-school grasp of reason, but then former NBA player Stephen Jackson, a self-proclaimed activist, undid whatever progress his previous advocacy may have achieved by agreeing with DeSean Jackson on social media. Then he went on to talk about the Rothschilds owning all the banks and his support for the notorious homophobe and anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan. That is the kind of dehumanizing characterization of a people that causes the police abuses that killed his friend, George Floyd.
ViacomCBS Drops Nick Cannon After Anti-Semitic Tirade
ViacomCBS dropped Nick Cannon from its MTV network following an anti-Semitic tirade in which the host, among other things, accused Jewish people of controlling the global banking system.

"ViacomCBS condemns bigotry of any kind and we categorically denounce all forms of anti-Semitism," the media conglomerate, which owns MTV, VH-1, and Cannon’s ‘Wild ‘N Out’ television show, said in a statement Wednesday. "We have spoken with Nick Cannon about an episode of his podcast ‘Cannon’s Class’ on YouTube, which promoted hateful speech and spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories."

Cannon sparked a firestorm of criticism earlier in the week after he praised anti-Semitic leader Louis Farrakhan and spread conspiracy theories about Jewish people during an episode of his YouTube show. Cannon issued a non-apology in which he said he does not condone hate speech.

Fox Television and the producers of Cannon's upcoming daytime talk show have remained silent about his comments. Cannon hosts Fox’s The Masked Singer television show and is currently working on a daytime television show with Lionsgate's Debmar-Mercury group.

Ilhan Omar snags Pelosi endorsement, but falls behind in fundraising
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has lent her considerable political weight to the reelection bid of Rep. Ilhan Omar, who has faced allegations of invoking anti-Semitism.

Meanwhile, an opponent in the Democrat primary who has attracted the support of pro-Israel givers nationwide has outraised Omar by millions of dollars.

“Ilhan is a valued and important Member of our Caucus,” Pelosi said Tuesday in a statement. “In her first term, Ilhan has already established herself as a leader on a host of issues — from child nutrition to housing to US-Africa relations.”

Pelosi was among Democrats in 2019 who joined in criticizing Omar for a number of statements about pro-Israel influence that were seen as anti-Semitic. Omar apologized for some but not all of the statements.

Antone Melton-Meaux, one of four Democrats challenging Omar in the August 11 primary for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district, has fundraised nationally in part by rebuking Omar for her stances on Israel, including support for boycotts of the Jewish state.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Tuesday that Melton-Meaux had raised $3.2 million in the last quarter while Omar had brought in $472,000.
Ilhan Omar’s Payments to Husband’s Firm Hit $1 Million in 2020 Cycle
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) continues to dish out six-figure payments to her husband's firm, which has now received more than $1 million from her campaign this cycle.

Federal Election Commission records released Tuesday afternoon show that Omar's campaign funneled $228,384.93 last quarter to the E Street Group, a D.C.-based consulting firm run by the congresswoman's husband, Tim Mynett. The payments, predominantly for digital and fundraising services, bring the total that Omar's campaign has sent to Mynett's firm to just over $1 million for the 2020 cycle.

Omar, a freshmen congresswoman, has faced scrutiny over numerous financial and personal issues since she was elected in 2018. She has drawn criticism for a lack of transparency about her previous marriages, over campaign finance violations, and for a potential violation of House ethics rules pertaining to the advance she received on a recently published memoir. Pressed for answers, she has routinely dismissed the inquiries as "smears" and "conspiracy theories."

Mynett's firm is the top vendor for Omar's campaign, which doled out $521,000 between April 1 and June 30 with Mynett's share accounting for 44 percent of that total.

The financial relationship between Mynett and Omar began before the two announced they were married this March, but it is unclear how long the two were romantically linked before they tied the knot. Omar denied the two were romantically involved, but Mynett's then-wife alleged in divorce papers that the two were having an affair.
University of York adopts International Definition of Antisemitism
The University of York has reportedly adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has long urged widespread adoption of the Definition. The UK was the first country in the world to adopt the International Definition, something for which Campaign Against Antisemitism and Lord Pickles worked hard over many meetings with officials at Downing Street.

In recent months, other universities, including the University of Bristol and University College London also adopted the Definition, while the University of Warwick is mired in controversy for refusing to do so.

The development follows a call on universities to adopt the International Definition by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
California Board of Education Urged to Reject Campaign to Impose Ethnic Studies Curriculum Viewed as Antisemitic
Eighty-eight Jewish and pro-Israel groups have expressed concern in a letter over a campaign to subvert the California Department of Education’s approval process and institute an ethnic studies program viewed by many as antisemitic.

Members of the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Advisory Committee (ESMCAC) are pushing for the adoption of a draft ethnic studies model curriculum accused of political bias, which California Governor Gavin Newsom called “deeply offensive” and Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond said needed to be “substantially redesigned.”

Last year, the California state legislature’s Jewish Caucus charged that the proposed curriculum “erases the American Jewish experience, fails to discuss antisemitism, reinforces negative stereotypes about Jews, singles out Israel for criticism, and would institutionalize the teaching of antisemitic stereotypes in our public schools.”

Tuesday’s letter to Darling-Hammond said, “The Save CA Ethnic Studies campaign has promulgated a plethora of misinformation and sown a great deal of confusion among school board members and school district residents. We therefore urge you to issue an official statement pointing out the misguided and premature nature of these resolutions and urging district school board members to wait until the state’s revision process is completed before affirming support for the high school ethnic studies model curriculum or considering whether and how to implement it in their district.”
Institutional Antisemitism: Non-Profit’s Tweet Shows Scope of Jew-Hatred
In a social media climate riddled with antisemitic messages from personalities such as DeSean Jackson and Ice Cube, it’s easy to overlook hate speech from sources that aren’t as high-profile. As is often the case, however, the prejudice that flies under the radar is just as vile as the rest — and perhaps even more dangerous.

Consider the UK-based organization Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPACUK), which recently tweeted a message touting notoriously bigoted academic Norman Finkelstein and his book The Holocaust Industry, a virulently antisemitic work whose claims include allegations that Jews use the Holocaust as a cynical scheme aimed at stifling purportedly legitimate criticism of Israel.

The anti-Zionist Finkelstein, who is Jewish and in the past has referred to relatives of his who were murdered during the Holocaust, has a large following of far-left and far-right bigots who leverage his religion and experiences to “disprove” the fact that Zionism is a viable, non-racist ideology.

The MPACUK’s Twitter message — which also retweeted a video of Finkelstein chastising a Jewish Zionist at a University of Waterloo event — included this text:
Florida State University Student Senate, Led by President Accused of Antisemitism, Filibusters Resolution Defending Jewish Students
A Florida State University student government resolution that sought to combat antisemitism and ensure the empowerment of Jewish students on campus was successfully filibustered last week by the Student Senate, whose president has himself been accused of antisemitism.

Ahmad Daraldik — who is Palestinian-American — recently replaced the previous president of the Student Senate who was expelled for criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement.

It was later discovered that Daraldik had made numerous offensive comments online, such as “stupid Jew” and “f**k Israel.” In addition, a web page belonging to Daraldik openly minimizes the Holocaust, calling it simply an “atrocity” and comparing Israel unfavorably to Nazi Germany.

A bid to remove Daraldik gained a majority vote, but fell short of the two-thirds majority required.

In response, Jewish students and their allies pushed Resolution #59, which called for the appointment of a student liaison to “increase Jewish communication and representation” in student government, requiring education in “Jewish culture and antisemitism through communication with the Jewish community on campus,” and the creation of a task force to deal with issues facing Jewish students on campus.
Winnipeg Free Press Commentator Wrongly Claims Jesus Was Palestinian
It’s undisputed that Jesus was a Jew born in the land of Judea who lived in the Galilee. In fact, Jesus would never have even heard the word ‘Palestine’, a Roman word implemented to erase Jewish history.

The imperialist term “Palestine” was coined by the Romans after they destroyed Jerusalem’s Holy Temple, crucified thousands, and exiled the Jewish people from their ancestral homeland. The Romans named the area “Palestina” after the Philistines, one of many ancient adversaries who sought to wipe the Jews off the map. The Arab people only took the areas in question seven hundred years after Jesus’ death.

Even the anti-Israel New York Times issued a correction recently for claiming that Jesus was a Palestinian Jew: “Because of an editing error, an article last Saturday referred incorrectly to Jesus’s background. While he lived in an area that later came to be known as Palestine, Jesus was a Jew who was born in Bethlehem.”

Make no mistake, Jesus did not identify as a Palestinian or as an Arab as present-day Palestinians do, and any efforts to claim to the contrary, serves to de-Judaize Jesus.
Studies find far-right using Telegram, ISIS using Facebook
The social media platform Telegram is being used by far-right extremists to promote hate and violence against Jews, blacks and law enforcement, according to a new study by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Wiesenthal Center officials indicated that much of their real-time research has been shared with the Department of Justice, Homeland Security and the FBI. The center urged Telegram to introduce clear and comprehensive policy guidelines to stop the proliferation of hate, extremism and terrorism on its social-media platform.

“Our researchers found that far-right channels on Telegram are used to glorify terrorist actors and movements, including the murderers of Jews and Muslims at prayer,” Wiesenthal Center associate dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper said. “The sharing of harmful material and incitement to lone-wolf violence regularly occurs on these channels.”

The study cited research by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a London-based think tank, which found that Telegram channels associated with white supremacy and racism grew by more than 6,000 users during March.

The think tank released a study on Monday that found a pro-ISIS account network on Facebook consisting of several hundred accounts and reaching audiences in the tens of thousands.
ADL Offers up to $10,000 Reward for Those Tied to Anti-Semitic Attack in Brooklyn
The New York Police Department is investigating a possible bias-crime attack against a Jewish man on Saturday, and now the Anti-Defamation League is offering a reward to help catch the assailants.

According to NYPD spokesman Det. Hubert Reyes, the 51-year-old victim was walking down a street in Brooklyn, N.Y., on July 11 when occupants in a blue SUV began yelling anti-Semitic slurs at him. The victim answered them back, and “two men in the vehicle stepped out and punched the victim in the head.

The assailants drove off while the victim walked to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for a laceration to his head and a broken finger on his right hand.

“We are alarmed and deeply disturbed that another violent anti-Semitic incident has occurred in Brooklyn,” said Etzion Neuer, interim regional director of the New York/New Jersey ADL. “This is horrific, and the hate must stop. The fact that this alleged attack took place during the Sabbath makes it even more egregious.”

The ADL is offering a reward of up to $10,000 information leading to the arrest and conviction of the attackers.

Even though it has a large and heavily Orthodox Jewish population, Brooklyn is no stranger to anti-Semitic incidents.
German regional police chief forced out over force’s far-right links
The police chief in the German state of Hesse on Tuesday resigned over suspected far-right links in the regional force he was heading.

Udo Muench took early retirement after it emerged that police computers were used in unauthorized searches for details of two prominent personalities, including a far-left politician, who subsequently received threatening letters and emails.

The messages were signed “NSU 2.0,” a reference to the German neo-Nazi cell National Socialist Underground that committed a string of racist murders in the 2000s.

While far-right extremism was once thought to plague mostly eastern states, Hesse was shaken last year by the murder of pro-migrant politician Walter Luebke at the hands of a neo-Nazi.

It was also in a city in the region — Hanau — where a man gunned down nine people of foreign origin in February this year.

The row entangling Hesse’s police force came as German law enforcement services are under close scrutiny over far-right extremism in their midst, a debate that has also been amplified by the Black Lives Matter protests in the United States.
Kent Police investigate far-right stickers with phrases like “Hitler was right” just weeks after CAA revealed how similar stickers were appearing in the area
Kent Police are investigating far-right stickers with phrases such as “Hitler was right”, “they lied about Hitler” and “national socialist now”, just weeks after Campaign Against Antisemitism reported that similar stickers appeared in the area.

The new graffiti was found in Cliftonville and Dane Valley in the first week of July.

The report comes soon after members of the proscribed National Action group were sentenced to prison, having engaged, amongst other activities, in far-right stickering and recruitment campaigns.

At the time, Campaign Against Antisemitism commented that we have monitored and reported on far-right stickering operations, including on university campuses, for a long time, including by the new far-right Hundred Handers group. We continue to call on the authorities to take action against these seemingly low-level incidents, including because they are gateways into more heinous and dangerous activity.
Israeli-Made Drones to Help Rescue Operations in Northern Norway
Swarms of Israeli-made drones will patrol the arctic skies of Norway to help the country’s rescue services in cases of emergencies in remote locations. After a year of trials, Israeli manufacturer Atlas Dynamics has signed a contract with Norwegian People’s Aid (NPAID), one of the world’s top arctic rescue units for its Atlas Pro drones, designed to operate in extreme cold conditions for hours at a time.

The drones are equipped with artificial intelligence and distributed communication systems that enable them to operate as a swarm and independently from their human operator and transmit the information in real-time to the rescue forces.

The MESH technology will allow rescue crews to quickly scan large territories to locate those in need of rescue, which in the case of the northern Norwegian terrain made up of rugged mountains, glaciers, and fjords, usually means adventurous hikers. The drones will replace manned helicopters currently used for such missions.

According to the company, Atlas Dynamics and the Norwegian rescue organization plan to develop more shared products later this year that will assist in rescue operations next winter.

Atlas Dynamics was founded in 2016 by Ivan Tolchinsky — who serves as CEO — Guy Cherni (CMO), and Omri Cherni (COO). The company has offices in Tel Aviv, the UK, the US, and Latvia. According to data on PitchBook, the company raised a total of $8 million in funding .
Former Google Exec Launches Israel’s First Investment Fund Dedicated to Gaming
Eitan Reisel launched on Wednesday VGames, the first games-focused investment fund out of Israel. The first-of-its-kind fund has already raised $30 million, which it will invest solely in games studios in Israel and parts of eastern Europe.

Reisel, a former Google executive and naval officer, was introduced to the world of gaming in 2013 when he led the games division in the large tech company. After several years, he left to focus on building the first investment fund dedicated to the companies operating out of Israel.

“Israel is an unbelievable gaming industry,” said Reisel, speaking exclusively to CTech. “There are amazing companies that grow here, unicorns and multi-million dollar companies. I wanted to support the new generation.” He explains that Israel’s data-driven economy environment coincides nicely with programmers’ abilities to keep people tapping on their phones.

The gaming industry is one of the most lucrative industries in the world, with 2020 projecting revenues of more than $4 billion in Israel alone. With millions of people spending a lot of time this year in quarantine, those figures are only expected to rise as people continue to stay at home.

VGames will be investing in the pre-seed and seed stages for gaming studios. It already has a portfolio of four gaming studios, including InnPlay Labs and Brain Games. Citing success stories such as Miniclip and Playtika, Reisel has high hopes: “Israel is becoming the global leader in games. Aside from cyber security, you don’t see as much success with unicorns and multi-billion dollar companies under one category.”
Solar-Powered Transmitters to Warn Israeli Drivers of Camels on the Road
Ayman El-Sayed and Yoav Ludmer have found a technological solution for the deadly danger of camels roaming the roads of Israel’s Negev desert region. There have been several accidents involving camels and cars over recent years, with several people losing their lives and dozens being injured.

Every camel currently carries an ID tag that identifies its owner in case the camel is lost or involved in an accident. El-Sayed and Ludmer, who teamed up at Startup Negev, a new tech accelerator catering to Israel’s Bedouin minority, created a system based on radio signals. Every camel will receive a solar-powered collar that will transmit its location. As soon as the camel comes within 100 meters of a road or rail track, GPS users will receive an automatic notification, for example via the Waze application, allowing the driver to slow down and be ready for the hazard.

The project is about to enter the pilot stage during which an antenna will be set up at the entrance to Bedouin city Rahat capable of detecting transmissions from nine kilometers away.

“The goal of this initiative is to monitor wandering farm animals and prevent car accidents,” said El-Sayed. “We are here to protect the lives of the camels and of the drivers and raise the awareness of the different dangers that exist on the road.”

Ludmer is the CEO and founder of communications company SMBIT.

Gideon Shavit, chairman of Advanced Technology Center (Mata) and the entrepreneur behind Startup Negev, said: “The goal of this project is to encourage the Bedouin community across the Negev to join Israel’s tech entrepreneurs.”
Masa's new program offering allows fellows to work remotely from Israel
Masa Israel Journey, an umbrella organization for long-term experiences in Israel, is offering a new program for young professionals titled Masa Remote Israel.

The premise is that the fellows would move to Tel Aviv for four months, while working their current jobs in their home country. Throughout that time, they would participate in Masa's educational and social program schedule - which will be fixed around the fellow's current job and time zone, so that they are able to get in a full working day.

The cost of the program is around $1,780 per month, however, Masa usually awards scholarships to those requesting, which would normally covers rent as well as in some cases minimal program costs.

The program is geared towards post-college graduates under the age of 30, from English-speaking countries such as the United States, Canada or the UK.
Second Temple period Jewish ritual bath uncovered, in need of rescuing
A Second Temple period Jewish ritual bath was discovered by chance last month in the Lower Galilee and a group of locals are trying to save it from its current destiny of destruction.

The 2,000-year-old facility was revealed during a salvage excavation by the Israel Antiquities Authority in preparation for construction works of a new highway intersection near Kibbutz Hannaton.

Construction projects in Israel are required by law to be preceded by an archeological survey. However, considering the density of the country’s territory both in terms of population and of ancient remains, when researchers find something, in most cases they just document it and move as much as possible out of harm’s way before the works continue. The newly discovered mikve is set to represent no lucky exception and is set to buried again by the highway within a few weeks.

However, some Hannaton residents are hoping to be able to transfer the whole structure to the kibbutz and to create a small archaeological park around it. The mission especially resonated with them also because Hannaton is already home to a very special ritual bath, the only one in Israel that is open to anyone wishes to experience it regardless of religion, sex or age, as explained to The Jerusalem Post by Anat Harrel, a tour guide and a member of the kibbutz’s mikve committee.

“A few weeks ago, I participated into a tour visit of the ancient ritual bath organized by the IAA, which runs many initiatives to bring the public to archaeological excavations,” she said. “After learning that the mikve is going to be covered in cement I asked if it would be possible for us to build a replica for the kibbutz. The archaeologists actually suggested moving the whole thing.”

Once determined that the move would be possible logistically, the question has become to find the necessary funds. For this purpose, Harrel, together with Rabbi Haviva Ner-David who runs the mikve in the kibbutz, and Steve Gray, another resident, launched a fundraising campaign to collect the $75,000 necessary for the first phase of the project.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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