Monday, July 20, 2020

From Ian:

Why does cancel culture never apply to anti-Semitism?
Weiss’s letter highlighted a now-familiar irony: not only does anti-Semitism not count in the new reckoning of racial harms, but Jews are seen as the enemy. She noted that colleagues could “publicly smear me as a liar and a bigot on Twitter with no fear that harassing me will be met with appropriate action. [It never is].” Indeed: cancel culture never applies to anti-Semitism.

The responses to Weiss’s letter made me feel even queasier. Writing in Forbes, Dani Di Placido was just one writer who managed to distort the real outrages Weiss had elucidated, and mock her reasons for resigning: “Bari Weiss, famous for trying to silence professors during her college years… recently quit her position at the New York Times because of perceived harassment and the supposed self-censorship of the newspaper, apparently the fault of Twitter.” The jibe about silencing professors is a reference to Weiss’s involvement in calling out the social and intellectual bullying she experienced and observed, as a pro-Israel undergraduate, by pro-Palestinian professors at Columbia University, where she studied. Di Placido’s sneer about silencing professors just offers another example of how the left now operates: when a Jew calls out flagrant anti-Semitism, that Jew is accused of ‘silencing’ criticism about Israel. This is a mendacious trick.

Di Placido continued, implying that Weiss was duplicitous, with greedy ulterior motives for resigning: “Whatever your opinion of Weiss, she’s likely to land on her feet; there’s a very lucrative market out there for opinionated people who loudly claim to have been ‘cancelled.’” This is gaslighting plain and simple, and it is vile.

In the UK, of course, the idea that those who call out anti-Semitism are conspiring for personal gain against the true warriors of truth and justice (the PC mob) gained significant ground under Jeremy Corbyn. And even though he’s gone, the idea persists. Last week saw his allies throwing tantrums as Labour seemed set to apologise to anti-Semitism whistleblowers for the harassment and bullying they faced under the former leader. Corbyn’s hangers-on still think the whistleblowers’ evidence of anti-Jewish culture under the dear leader, revealed in a Panorama programme last year, was just a cynical attempt to smear the party, rather than the sign of a party gone rotten to the core.

The illiberal left, obsessed with policing thought, speech, art and expression, insists it wants justice for the oppressed. It is a grotesque irony that this campaign requires treating Jews just like our persecutors always have: liars who – no matter what we say or what happens to us – are always on the side of manipulation and greed. A culture that allows this kind of thinking about Jews to flourish, or that tolerates the kind of double standards experienced by Bari Weiss, is a culture that needs a reboot – fast.
I’m a Jew of color. I won’t be quiet about anti-Semitism.
My mother learned to be wary of German public officials of a certain age — those who likely served in the Nazi government and escaped postwar prosecution. For a time, my family lived in a small country village in Germany. When my father, who served in the Air Force, was invited to bring his family with him to meet the mayor of Bitburg, Germany, during President Ronald Reagan’s visit to the country in 1985, my mother refused to go. The official was a member of the Christian Democratic Union, a conservative German party that was home to many ex-Nazis. When my father asked how he should explain her absence, my mother responded, “Tell him I’m a Jew from Amsterdam!”

“There are all these things about growing up in that particular time, space and that particular era that become part of your consciousness and part of your worldview,” Mom said.

In the wake of the terrorism of Charlottesville, Virginia, and the attack on Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, I began to seek out other Jews of color, especially Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, who is vocal about Judaism and race online. It has been frightening and disheartening to witness a blooming of violent, white supremacist anti-Semitism.

This week, in the wake of Cannon’s statements and subsequent firing, and Diddy’s rush to embrace him, my stomach turned anew when I saw messages like this one on social media. It was genuinely chilling, and this time, the anti-Semitism was coming from people who looked like me, people who attended the same historically black university as me and reveled in the school as a place of Black pride and intellectualism, just like me.

But unlike in that long-ago journalism class, now is not the time for me to shrink back, to remain quiet.

“Surviving something obliges you to carry on the knowledge,” my mother told me when I FaceTimed with her this week. “I remember [someone] saying, ‘Never think it won’t be so bad. We thought that in 1936 and it was late in the game.’ ”



The Connection Between Pan-Africanism and Zionism
Israel’s enemies today often ignore that Zionism and Pan-Africanism have intersecting histories. But they share one great commonality — both are international movements committed to unifying diaspora peoples to build up their own, newly-independent homeland.

My choice for the “godfather” of Pan-Africanism is Edward Wilmot Blyden. His trajectory ultimately led him to visit the Holy Land, whose destiny he envisaged as linked to “that marvelous movement called Zionism.”

Born to free parents on Charlotte-Amalie, capital of St. Thomas, Blyden prided himself on his “pure” African ancestry, yet also prized his close cultural ties with Jews, beginning with members of Amalie’s 400-strong Jewish community, which produced such expatriate luminaries as Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro.

Young Blyden played on Synagogue Hill, watched the Yom Kippur services from outside the congregation, and struck up a youthful friendship with David Cardoze (Cardozo), later a rabbi, who taught him the rudiments of Hebrew.

Discriminated against when he journeyed to the United States in 1850, Blyden was sent as an agent of the American Colonization Society to Liberia, the American “Back to Africa” experiment that in 1847 became an independent nation. He devoted the rest of his life to Africa as an educator, publicist, and diplomat, including an 1866 trip to Jerusalem that he wrote about in From West Africa to Palestine (1873). Blyden didn’t visit early Alliance Israelite Universelle projects, but nevertheless predicted that “Jews are to be restored to the land of their fathers” once “the misrule of the Turks” was overcome.

Blyden longed for the emergence among African-Americans of leaders to mobilize the selective return of some Blacks to help regenerate Africa. He was fascinated by Herzl’s meteoric rise as Zionism’s new Moses. His response to Der Judenstaat and the First and Second Zionist Congresses, held in 1897 and 1898, was a pamphlet, “The Jewish Question” (1898), published with the help of Liverpool merchant and African trader Louis Solomon.
How a century-old recording revealed the lost world of African-American cantors
In over 40 years of working with historic sound recordings, there has only been one record in which I had an irresistible burning interest and passionate curiosity to hear but one which a) no one had or b) had never even heard of: a single June, 1923 OKeh session credited to a Thomas LaRue billed as "Der Shvartzer Khazn/The Black Cantor."

I knew about this recording because in the mid-1970s, famed discographer/music historian Dick Spottswood had come to New York to begin work on what would becoming his monumental 7-volume Ethnic Music On Records 1897-1942 (EMOR) a listing of every foreign language record made in the US between 1895 and 1942. Dick invited me to join in his research on the Jewish records and, over the next few years, cataloged some five thousand entries, including the LaRue titles.

For the next four decades, while quietly (but fruitlessly) searching for this recording, I slowly built a dossier of period news articles, advertisements, reviews, all of which revealed a heretofore wholly forgotten moment in Jewish and African-American cultural symbiosis.

And then recently -- quietly -- the recording turned up enabling me to finally scratch a decades old itch and, at last, to tell this amazing and long obscured story.

A moment in african-american jewry 1920s-1930s

The first few decades of the 20th century saw the rise of African-American synagogues simultaneously drawing inspiration from Jewish tradition and a Black worldview. What accounts for this rise is manyfold: Jim Crow laws which supplanted Reconstruction in the south drove a northern migration, a demographic shift which, in New York, brought African-Americans to the already established Jewish community in Harlem (by World War One, Harlem boasted the second largest Jewish community in the country.) Blacks were now encountering Jews as neighbors, employers, inspirations, customers and rivals.

Simultaneously, Black national aspirations grew, and drew inspiration from Zionism -- itself a "back to Africa movement" — as a model.

Unaffiliated and unaccepted by the Jewish religious establishment, the congregations were for the most part small and poor, meeting in a storefront or a house -- what similarly sized Orthodox congregations would call a shtibl , a little house -- they constructed a crazy quilt of traditional Jewish practices (life cycle events, modesty of dress, kashrus/dietary laws, separate seating, etc) plus rituals which reflect the unique African-American worldview. Services were for the most part in Hebrew with some congregations conversant/fluent in Yiddish. Vestigial remnants of these Jewish inspired congregations still exist today in everything from Chicago's prestigious Beth Shalom B'nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation to derivative fringe "Black Hebrew" groups and even in the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam.
4 lessons we can learn from civil rights hero John Lewis – opinion
Second, Lewis did not quit. As I look at Lewis’ life I wonder how often others (including myself) would have walked away from the battle. Would I have continued after being beaten the way Lewis was? Would have I walked away after the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and thought I had earned some rest? Would I have given up on public service after losing my first bid for Congress? Would I have retired when political opponents began to dismantle what I had sacrificed so much for? Would the election of the first African-American president have been a signal that the nation had turned a corner? John Lewis never gave up, never stopped working to make this country the place he knew it could be. His voice was powerful to the end.

Third, Lewis used his hard-earned moral authority widely. Lewis understood that the struggle for equality needed to include equality for all. He was a strong supporter of LGBT rights, for example, and was always a great friend and ally to the Jewish community. Lewis believed that peace and safety were key elements of Dr. King’s “Beloved Community,” which led him to be a leading opponent of the Iraq war and — as recently as 2016 – to lead a sit-in on the House floor in support of anti-gun violence legislation. He simply refused to take a narrow view of his responsibility.

Finally, it’s impossible to talk about John Lewis without talking about his faith. Lewis was a civil rights leader, a legislator, an author, and a mentor to many. But he was always a preacher. The day he and I shared the stage, he gave a version of a speech he must have given thousands of times — about growing up in a two-room “shotgun shack” and practicing his preaching with chickens as his audience. It was more than his style or his cadence that marked Lewis as a preacher — he preached, he taught, with his entire life. Perhaps there is someone in our lifetimes who better met our challenge, set out in the Torah, to “do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God” than John Lewis, but I have no idea who it would be. Each of us finds strength in different places, but for Lewis that place was in his church and in his faith. That, I’m confident, is no small part of what gave him the confidence and conviction he needed to help us usher in a better time.

And how we will miss his leadership. I hope and pray there is a remarkable 23-year old out there today, ready to step forward, and that we will have the wisdom to listen. Or even teenagers preaching to chickens, or perhaps, delivering their b’nai mitzvah talks by Zoom, and getting ready for lives of service.
Cannon Frustrated as Black Community Turns on Him, Calls Him a ‘Sell-Out for Apologizing’ for Anti-Semitism
I blogged about Nick Cannon’s apology for his anti-Semitic comments. I noted that quite a few black people lashed out at him for the apology.

Cannon also noticed the backlash. I guess he now realizes you cannot please everyone.

You can read about his anti-Semitic comments in my post on July 15, which includes his desire to learn from his mistake.

Cannon spoke to Simon Wiesenthal Center associate dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper, who encouraged the TV host to post a formal apology on social media.

The apology came out the next day, reiterating his determination to educate and connect with the Jewish community.

Cannon proved he meant everything he said in his apology because he posted a picture of him sitting with Cooper for an episode of his podcast.

The responses, though.

The replies to his apology will not surprise you, unfortunately. It made me sick to read one person insisting the apology proves “that black celebrity is completely controlled by white supremacy.”

Others could not believe that Cannon apologized for speaking the truth. A few people thought the PR firms forced it out of him.


NPR:Revisiting Louis Farrakhan's Influence Amid Celebrities' Anti-Semitic Comments
NPR's Michel Martin speaks with professor Peniel Joseph about why some Black celebrities have recently praised Louis Farrakhan's philosophies — and why they've faced criticism as a result.

JOSEPH: Well, paralleling Louis Farrakhan's really, at times, very, very effective work in terms of organizing and calls for Black political self-determination has been speeches where anti-Semitic references and conspiracies prevail. So on one hand, you've got the Louis Farrakhan who's preaching Black pride and dignity and self-determination. And on the other hand, you have a version that is preaching at times anti-Semitism, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, numerology, just different theories that some Black leaders feel unbelievably uncomfortable with, refused to participate in while others feel comfortable enough because of his real importance among the Black grassroots to participate in events like the Million Man March or just even be seen with Farrakhan, taking a picture.

JOSEPH: Well, I think - I hope we keep in mind that we're at this watershed period in American history. We have so much more commonalities when we think about Blacks and Jews who are interested in human rights and civil rights for all people, including in Palestine, than we do differences and divergences. And so I think that this is a blip. This is not the main story. We should be fighting against anti-Semitism, fighting against anti-Black racism and systemic racism and white supremacy. And I think we're moving forward because of this watershed year that we've all experienced in that battle.




Ice Cube: a Poet Laureate for our times. by Jeremy Corbyn (satire)
With so much confusion in the streets, it is sometimes difficult to make heads or tails of what is happening to us, or more importantly, Who is doing these things to us. Which is why I was Quite Chuffed by the recent Twitter activity of Mister Ice Cube. Mister Cube truly cuts through the proverbial noise to deliver some rather uncomfortable truths. Incidentally, many of these Uncomfortable Truths deal with a certain group of people who may or may not be over-represented in the Entertainment Industry. And the Banks. And the Weather. Ice Cube has had some rather unpleasant run-ins with this group, who sadly lack the ability to understand irony and thus appreciate Mr. Cube’s constructive criticism. One thinks of Mister Jerry Heller, Ice Cube’s former manager in the group NWA. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 30 years since Ice Cube wrote “No Vaseline“, which is quite simply a Masters Class in Speaking Truth to Power. When Ice Cube complained that his fellow bandmates had “Let a Jew break up our crew“, well you could have knocked me over with a feather. When Mister Cube then admonished his former bandmates (more out of sadness than anger, one might add) that there was “a white Jew tellin’ you what to do“, one knew that class was in session.

So imagine my pleasant surprise when Ice Cube tweeted a photo of my favorite mural in London. And what a powerful mural it is. The backs of the Oppressed balancing a Monopoly Board. The International Bankers who stand above them, many of whom have a more than incidental physical similarity to some chaps I have encountered on the Northern Line. Now there was the usual complaints from the (((usual))) usual corners, but my only advice to Mister Cube is to continue to Speak Your Truth. For in the immortal words of Chuck D, “Apology made to whoever pleases. Still they got me like Jesus.“

Tune in next week when we discuss the exciting career renaissance of Professor Griff!
Cabinet approves NIS 6 b. 'Check for All' program, NIS 500 m. for needy
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz, Finance Minister Israel Katz and Economy Minister Amir Peretz approved the NIS 6 billion "Check for All" program on Monday.

Blue and White’s position to modify it in favor of helping the weaker members of Israeli society was accepted and NIS 500 million will be provided for the needy, The Jerusalem Post’s sister publication Maariv reported on Monday.

Offering grants to almost all Israelis in an attempt to get “the wheels of the economy spinning again,” as Netanyahu said last week, the program is to be presented to the government and Knesset for final approval on Tuesday.

The cabinet agreed that NIS 750 will be added to the benefits currently offered to the disabled, those on welfare, the elderly, unemployed people over the age of 67, and Jewish immigrants (olim). About 800,000 people will be given this grant.

In addition, it was decided that state officials earning more than NIS 30,000 per month will not get it, as well as people who earn more than NIS 640,000 per year. In the original plan, grants were meant to be given to everyone, rich and poor alike.

Peretz said: “It's very important that the message will be that the weaker groups in society are first [in the government's] priority list at this time.”

On Sunday evening, Katz tweeted his support of giving single adults NIS 750 as part of the “Check for All” program, saying that not doing so will be unfair to out-of-service IDF soldiers and students “who benefit Israel’s strength and economy.”
Knesset panel votes to keep pools, beaches open; decision on restaurants pending
The Knesset’s coronavirus committee voted Monday to keep pools and beaches open on weekends, contrary to a cabinet decision last week that would see those locations included in weekend closures aimed at halting a recent surge in infections.

The vote came after coalition whip Likud MK Miki Zohar told the panel the government was not opposed to the step.

Committee chair MK Yifat Shasah-Biton said “the decision to not close public pools and beaches is the right one… Mental and physical health are extremely important to all of us,” she said. “Beaches and swimming in the pool provide vital positive value.​​”

The committee met to discuss whether to approve the weekend closures decided upon by the cabinet Friday, as well as the open-ended closure of restaurants and cafes (except for takeway and delivery), gyms and other public places.

After hours of discussion, the panel urged the cabinet to reverse its decision to close restaurants starting Tuesday, and instead to allow them to operate at 35 percent capacity indoors while maintaining necessary social distancing between customers outdoors.

Ministers were set to discuss the matter in th evening, with Channel 12 reporting that Health Minister Yuli Edelstein would present a plan allowing restaurants to host up to 50 diners outdoors, with indoor seating banned.
Coronavirus ‘doubling rate’ drops to every 24 days - Hebrew U.
The restrictions implemented in the last 10 days to two weeks have already started to reduce coronavirus infection in Israel and may lead the country back to where it needs to be, according to a predictive model created by the Hebrew University.

In a release disseminated to the press on Monday, the university team showed that the doubling rate has dropped to every 24 days; it was around every seven days at the peak of the second wave.

During the first wave, the number of infected patients doubled as fast as every three days.

Moreover, the team showed that the increase in the number of patients with serious or moderate symptoms is slowing down and doubling around every 15 days.

“It seems that the steps taken to stop the pandemic have been very effective,” the team explained, predicting that the country could reach an infection rate of 1:1 within one week.
Israel to remain closed to foreign visitors until at least September
Restrictions preventing foreign visitors from entering the country due to the coronavirus pandemic will be extended until the the beginning of September, the Israel Airports Authority announced Monday.

The ban will continue until September 1 due to the recent surge in virus infections in Israel, the IAA said.

Recent weeks have seen daily infections climb consistently to nearly 2,000, although on Monday the Health Ministry reported a drop to 1,139 cases in the previous 24 hours. The death toll increased by six overnight Sunday and Monday morning, to 415.

The ongoing ban allows only returning Israeli citizens or those who obtain special permission from the Population Immigration and Border Authority to enter the country. All those who do arrive are required to self-quarantine for two weeks.

Last week Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz told Radio 103FM that one of the biggest impacts on the economy by the virus was the limitation of international air travel, and that reopening Israel’s skies was a priority. Many carriers have canceled their routes to and from Israel, and with the infection rate climbing are not likely to change that policy anytime soon.

Israel, he continued, has an “export-orientated high-tech economy. The interaction between Israel and the world has been seriously damaged because of the aerial lockdown.”

Israel closed its borders to foreign travelers in mid-March and has periodically extended the restrictions since then.
Israel is spearheading a ‘bio-convergence’ revolution
Four months after the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic, COVID-19 remains at the forefront of the global health agenda and will likely continue to be in the foreseeable future. But this acute global challenge hasn’t displaced the long-term problems plaguing health systems worldwide – increasing rates of multiple chronic diseases, rising drug development costs and inefficient, unsustainable and prohibitively expensive healthcare delivery models. Indeed, the pandemic has only accentuated and exacerbated these pre-existing conditions.

Ignoring or downplaying these longer-standing issues won’t help countries effectively combat the current health crisis and are only a recipe for ensuring more crises down the line. Researchers, clinicians, entrepreneurs, business leaders and governments must therefore adopt a two-pronged approach, investing in innovative solutions for addressing both near- and long-term healthcare challenges.

This will entail nothing short of a revolution in medical treatment – and Bio-convergence is poised to play a major role in making it happen. Bio-convergence represents a 21st-century approach to problem-solving, an upcoming technological wave with the potential to revolutionize the digital health industry, as well as many other sectors.

What exactly is Bio-convergence? The nascent field fuses life sciences with different technologies from mathematics, engineering, and the physical and computational sciences, creating a sum far greater than its parts. Indeed, the human body is an incredibly complex organism made up of countless intricate systems, so it makes perfect sense that treating it must be multidisciplinary and multifaceted. Enabled by advances in genomics, gene therapy, DNA sequencing, artificial intelligence, big data, nanotechnology, and synthetic biology, Bio-convergence is paving such a holistic path to remarkable innovations in treatment, discovery and delivery, regenerative medicine, and diagnostics, with potential benefits for COVID-19 and well beyond.
'Jews should no longer stay in Germany'
"It wasn't the wooden door that saved us, it was God," Max Privorozki, the head of the small Jewish community in Halle, Germany, told me as he opened the door still bearing the shooting marks from the neo-nazi who tried to massacre the Jewish worshippers on Yom Kippur nine months ago.

Privorozki confirmed that the suspect, identified as Stephan Balliet could have easily entered the prayer house from another entry and due to the lack of police protection he could have carried out his plan. But having failed to breach the door, he turned his weapon on a woman across the street and then killed a man at a nearby shop.

Balliet's trial begins this week. He is facing two counts of homicide, as well as the attempted murder of 68 people and racial incitement. The proceedings will be held under heavy security.

Balliet tried to break from prison several weeks ago.

Privorozki, like many of those who were at the service that day, won't be in the courtroom, unless he is called to take the stand. "I have a lot of other things to do," he said. "We have a visit from a non-Jewish school that day, so this is more important I believe."

Privorozki, who immigrated to Germany with his parents some 30 years ago, is critical of the German establishment. "Before the attack, we got protective services from the police only as a function of the local authorities' threat assessments, so if they had no information on a likely attack, there was no security, even when we approached them before the High Holy Days and told them there would be a high concentration of members in the synagogue," he lamented, adding that ironically now the place has 24/7 protection but no services take place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
All but eradicated in Holocaust, Frankfurt’s Jews today have a potent voice
There were approximately 30,000 Jews in the city of Frankfurt before World War II, making it the largest community in Germany.

By the time the US military occupied the city in 1945, there were only about 100 left.

“Jewish life was destroyed,” said Tobias Freimuller, author of the recently published “Frankfurt and the Jews,” a history of the community from 1945-1990.

Flash forward to 2020 and the Jewish community of Frankfurt is once again a powerful force in the city, one of Germany’s largest and a major business hub.

There are only about 6,600 Jews in the city of 753,000, but they have a political influence that other minority populations don’t. Fighting anti-Semitism is a city priority. Jewish leaders are in regular contact with city leaders. When there is a tragic or otherwise newsworthy event, a representative of the Jewish community is always involved in the city’s response.

“If we open our mouth, everybody listens,” said Leo Latasch, a professor of medicine who oversees social affairs and security, among other things, for the Frankfurt Jewish Community organization. “We have an excellent relationship with the democratic parties.”

Freimuller, deputy director of the Fritz Bauer Institute — a Holocaust research center affiliated with the city’s Goethe University — chronicles the Jewish resurgence in his book, which was published on April 15.

It’s a complex narrative, say members of the Jewish community and those close to it, because the Nazis’ destruction was so complete; a Jewish presence had to be rebuilt with help from the outside.
CAA reveals that Twitter deems Jewish Star of David to be “hateful imagery” and is locking accounts of proud Jews who display it
Twitter has deemed the Star of David, a symbol of Judaism and Jewish pride, to be “hateful imagery”, and is locking the accounts of users who display it.

Several Twitter users have contacted Campaign Against Antisemitism in recent days reporting that their accounts have been locked, and Twitter has provided the following rationale: “What happened? We have determined that this account violated the Twitter Rules. Specifically for: Violating our rules against posting hateful imagery. You may not use hateful images or symbols in your profile image or profile header. As a result, we have locked your account.”

The social media platform advises users that if they delete the “hateful imagery”, i.e. the Star of David, the account may be unlocked.

The Stars of David in the profile pictures of locked accounts vary from artistic blue Stars of David and graffitied white Stars of David to, most ironically, a portfolio of yellow Stars of David.

Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “It is deplorable enough that Twitter consistently fails to act against antisemitism on its platform, but now it is taking action against Jews for the simple crime of showing pride in their identity by displaying a Star of David. It never fails to astound just how low Twitter is prepared to go.

“So often social media companies claim that they lack the resources to tackle hate on their platforms, but Twitter has put the lie to that claim by demonstrating that it does have the resources, but chooses to target the benign symbol of a victimised minority instead of the countless racists who use its platform with impunity.

“Twitter must immediately restore these accounts, apologise to the owners, and pledge finally to take robust action against the antisemites whom it has enabled for so long.”


Honest Reporting: Define It to Fight It: Adopt IHRA
The current hate speech terms on Facebook, Twitter, and Tik Tok don’t address all the modern forms of antisemitism that exist today. And so even when reported, antisemitic content don’t always fall within their broad definitions of hate speech.

That's why it's so important that social media platforms clearly define antisemitism in all its forms. Its time for Facebook, Twitter and Google to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism into their hate speech definitions.

Social Media networks: define it to fight it, adopt IHRA.


Bari Weiss bullied at the NY Times, smeared by the Guardian
Assuming she read the short resignation letter, Donegan’s failure to inform readers that the bullying Weiss was subjected to included antisemitism represents an intentional decision not include information which would allow the former NYT editor to appear sympathetic. At various points in the article, Donegan refers to Weiss as a “professional rightwing attention seeker“, a “glorified shock jock“, and someone who “deliberately provokes outrage” designed “to appeal to people uncomfortable with social forces that challenge the established hierarchy of power”. This echoes a view expressed by Donegan in 2019, when she employed the vapid woke trope that Weiss’s views “privilege the powerful”.

Yet, even a cursory review of Weiss’s op-eds shows that this portrait of Weiss is absurd.

Whatever Donegan’s take on Weiss’s politics, it’s clear that her views are sober, thoughtful and well-informed – the opposite of the ‘provocateur’ the Guardian columnist is trying to paint. We challenge Donegan to cite even one of Weiss’s NY Times columns – or public appearances – that conform to this crude caricature.

Whatever Donegan’s take on Weiss’s resignation, we would have hoped that following a Labour antisemitism crisis which included countless instances of antisemitic – and often misogynistic-laden – bullying on social media, that editors would have learned something: that when Jews complain of antisemitic bullying, their accusations should be taken seriously and that they, at the very least, shouldn’t be belittled and smeared.
BBC’s ‘Hardtalk’ recycles an inaccuracy previously acknowledged and corrected
In February of this year the BBC’s response to a complaint from CAMERA UK acknowledged that the PLO representative in London, Husam Zomlot, “is not strictly speaking an ambassador” and said that it would “remind editors of his actual title”.

If given, that reminder was apparently not very effective because – despite the fact that the UK does not currently recognise a Palestinian state and Mr Zomlot has never presented credentials to the Queen as required by protocol – the inaccurate title ‘ambassador’ was recently used again.

The synopsis to the July 16th edition of ‘Hardtalk’, aired on the BBC World News channel and the BBC News channel, and that of the audio version of the programme broadcast on BBC World Service radio the following day states:
“HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to the Palestinian ambassador in London Husam Zomlot.”

Despite the fact that the BBC Academy’s style guide clarifies that “[t]here is no independent state of Palestine today”, the radio version of the programme was presented with the title “How could Palestine respond to annexation?”.

Stephen Sackur likewise described Zomlot as an ‘ambassador’ in his introduction:
Sky News Arabia omits terror acts of Covid-19-infected Palestinian prisoner
However, Lutfi failed to inform his viewers that Abu Wa’ar was convicted for his role in the murder of four Israelis: three civilians (including a teenager) and a soldier, a conviction based in part on his own admission.

All four separate incidents took place between October 2000 and August 2001:
1. On October 2nd, 2000, Abu Wa’ar was part of the armed mob who shot at the compound of Joseph’s Tomb, causing the wounding and later death of Border Police Cpl. Madhat Yusuf.
2. On October 19th, 2000, Abu Wa’ar was part of the Fatah terrorist squad who shot Rabbi Binyamin Herling, 64, dead in Mount Ebal near Nablus. Out of the group of hikers at whom the fire was opened, four more Israelis were wounded.
3. On May 8th, 2001, Abu Wa’ar was part of the Fatah terrorist squad who shot and stabbed Arye Orlando Arganouni, 48, as he was guarding an orchard near the settlement of Itamar.
4. On August 9th, 2001, Abu Wa’ar was part of the Fatah terrorist squad who gunned down a car driving four schoolgirls, killing Aliza Malka, 17, and wounding three of her friends. The incident took place near the girls’ boarding school in Kibbutz Merav, nearby the West Bank.
Canadian police apologize for calling anti-Nazi vandalism hate crime
Canadian police issued an apology after saying they launched a hate crime investigation into the vandalizing of an Ontario cemetery memorial that was linked to Nazis, CBC reported.

In June, Halton Regional Police announced that someone had vandalized a monument at the St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Cemetery in Oakville, Ontario, by spray-painting "Nazi war monument" on it. The police believed the vandalism took place around June 21, and announced they were treating it as a hate-motivated crime. However, they did not release images of the vandalism in order to stop "further spreading" the message, according to the Ottawa Citizen news outlet.

The images were later shown in a report from Ukrainian Kontakt TV on YouTube, according to CBC.

The police's announcement that they were treating the vandalism as a hate crime met backlash after independent research Moss Robeson took to Twitter to describe the nature of the monument itself.

The memorial was made to commemorate those who served in the unit of Ukrainian volunteers that fought for the Nazis. Part of the SS, its members all pledged allegiance to Adolf Hitler, and debates continue to this day about their culpability in war crimes, such as killing Polish women, children and Jews during World War II.

These allegations, as well as the debate over the division's allegiance to the Nazis, is arguably reflected in an anecdote from May 1944. As described by Polish-American academic Tadeusz Piotrowsk, SS leader Heinrich Himmler told the volunteers: “Your homeland has become more beautiful since you have lost – on our initiative, I must say – the residents who were so often a dirty blemish on Galicia’s good name – namely the Jews.
Calls made for Canadian auction house to drop the sale of Nazi memorabilia
A Jewish organization has called on a Canadian auction house to drop the sale of dozens of Nazi memorabilia items, which are being sold as part of a broader estate sale.

Shackelton Auctions near Aylmer, Ontario has been commissioned to sell thousands of items amassed by a prolific collector in his lifetime; among them dozens of items from the Nazi era ranging from guns and swords to flags and lapel pins bearing the swastika, and even bowls bearing Nazi insignia.

The items are being offered within an auction of WWI and WWII items due to close on August 18, but many of the items already have live bids. The auction house has attached a notice to the particular of the sales noting: "The items in this auction do not represent the views of opinions of Shackelton or Sackrider auctions or their staff."

Jaime Kirzner-Roberts of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies has called for the auction to be halted, and for the Nazi items to be donated to a museum. She is also calling for the law to be amended in Canada to outlaw the sale of such items.

"Our position is that it's disgusting and unacceptable that people should be buying and selling relics of murder and genocide," she said, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). "We find it very difficult to imagine any legitimate reason why someone would want to possess them."
Worcester councillor’s mezuzah is ripped off her door and posted through her letterbox with a swastika, and Worcester Council responds by adopting International Definition of Antisemitism
A local councillor in Worcester has recounted how her mezuzah was ripped from her front door and posted through her letterbox with a swastika drawn onto it.

A mezuzah is a decorative case containing a Jewish prayer which is traditionally fixed to the doorpost of a Jewish home.

Cllr Louise Griffiths, a Conservative, then tabled a motion at Worcester Council to adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism, which the Council unanimously agreed to do.

Cllr Griffiths said: “Antisemitism was not something I experienced on a regular basis, but it has seemingly become part of my daily life in recent years. For me, having the council sign up to this definition of antisemitism is a no-brainer.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism has long urged widespread adoption of the Definition. The UK was the first country in the world to adopt the Definition, something for which Campaign Against Antisemitism and Lord Pickles worked hard over many meetings with officials at Downing Street.
Ahead of verdict, former Nazi SS guard says he ‘apologizes’ to Holocaust victims
A 93-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard apologized to Holocaust victims at a Hamburg court Monday, ahead of the verdict in a high-profile trial over his complicity in World War II atrocities.

“Today I would like to apologize to those who went through the hell of this madness, as well as to their relatives. Something like this must never happen again,” said Bruno Dey from the dock.

In what could be one of the last such cases of surviving Nazi guards, Dey stands accused of complicity in the murder of 5,230 people when he worked as an SS tower guard at the Stutthof camp near what was then Danzig, now Gdansk in Poland.

The court is expected to issue its verdict on Thursday.

Prosecutors have sought a prison sentence of three years.

But in his summary on Monday, Dey’s defense lawyer Stefan Waterkamp asked the court for an acquittal or a suspended sentence, saying his client “would not survive” jail.

Dey himself has denied any guilt for what happened at the camp, and said that the trial had “cost a lot of strength.”

“I would like to stress again that I would never have voluntarily signed up to the SS or any other unit — especially not in a concentration camp,” he said in his final statements before the court delivers its verdict.

“If I had seen an opportunity to remove myself from service, I would have done so.”
Microsoft Is on the Move, Will Relocate Development Center to New WeWork Offices in Tel Aviv
Microsoft’s development center in Tel Aviv is set to expand, a person with knowledge of the move told Calcalist on condition of anonymity on Wednesday. The Tel Aviv expansion is taking place in parallel to the completion of the tech giant’s new center in Herzliya.

The company’s employees, who currently work out of shared office space in the WeWork building on Dobnov Street in Tel Aviv will relocate to a 6,600 square meter (70,000 sq. ft.) space, occupying four stories, in WeWork’s midtown building by the end of the year. Microsoft’s development center currently employs more than 1,500 people, including those who came on board with its recent acquisition of CyberX.

The new facility was designed by WeWork tailored to Microsoft Israel’s R&D division’s needs. It will accommodate hundreds of employees from the company’s cloud security R&D department as well as from its Microsoft for Startups department, the Microsoft accelerator, and the Reactor — a new technological hub for developers. In addition, the space will feature a studio for the recording of podcasts, lectures and meeting halls, an innovation lab, a coffee shop, a convenience store, and more.

The Tel Aviv Reactor hub joins similar initiatives in six other global locations including San Francisco, Sydney, Seattle, Redmond, New York, and London.
Intel’s Israel-Based Mobileye Is Collaborating With Ford on Sensor Technology for Future Vehicles
Israel-based Mobileye, an Intel company, is collaborating with Ford Motor Company to help provide driving assistance technology to Ford’s future fleet of vehicles.

Mobileye has agreed to provide its EyeQ family of devices, as well as its vision-processing software, to support autonomous vehicles up to Level 1 and Level 2. This includes its Lane-Keeping System, Auto-High-Beam headlamps, Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, and Adaptive Cruise Control. Levels 1 and 2 still require drivers to supervise the performance of the vehicle at all times.

As part of the collaboration, Ford agreed to display Mobileye’s name in the display unit of the SYNC driver-assist displays.

“It is a privilege to extend and expand our long-standing collaboration with a company that is so committed to safety on behalf of its global customer base,” said Professor Amnon Shashua, president and CEO of Mobileye. “We look forward to working closely together to bring these functionalities to market in the full Ford product lineup.”

Mobileye’s technology will be included in Ford’s next generation of production vehicles, starting with F-150 and Mustang Mach-E, as well as any other vehicle that provides Level 1 and Level 2 automation.
Israeli Synthetic Cornea Could Restore Sight to Millions
The Israel Health Ministry has approved clinical trials of a synthetic cornea developed by Israeli startup CorNeat Vision, the company announced last week.

The CorNeat KPro implant is designed to restore the vision of corneal blind patients immediately following implantation.

Dr. Gilad Litvin, inventor of the device, said implantation is "relatively simple" and takes less than an hour. "We expect it will enable millions of blind patients around the world...to regain their sight."
StandWithUs: Israel’s Judo Champion
It is no easy feat to become the world's judoka champion. But Israel's Sagi Muki has achieved just that. In 2019, Sagi was ranked world number one judoka. He has won the European championships, and he is set to represent his country at the Tokyo Olympics. But this Israeli hero is also a strong advocate for peace and equality between all nations. After an Iranian competitor refused to shake his hand after a match, Sagi reached out to him, and they have since become friends. Sagi believes that sports can be a powerful bridge between peoples. Join StandWithUsConnect as we discuss this important message and more with the master himself, Sagi Muki.




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