Tuesday, October 06, 2020

From Ian:

Cuomo, de Blasio Scapegoat Exasperated Jewish Communities in Brooklyn for Coronavirus Spike
New York City has announced plans to close all schools and possibly all nonessential businesses in nine ZIP codes, most of them in areas with large Jewish populations. In Hasidic neighborhoods, such a shutdown would cripple the local economy, send schoolchildren back to crowded apartments, and effectively ban the large tisches—or festive sukkah gatherings with major rabbinic figures—that are one of the highlights of the holiday of Sukkot. Outdoor holiday festivities that would normally take over 13th Avenue in Borough Park for Sukkot and Simchat Torah have already been canceled, as have similar events in Crown Heights.

Other disruptions to normal life lie ahead. In an Oct. 5 press conference, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo blamed many of the state’s new hot spots on illicit mass gatherings of Orthodox Jews. “Orthodox Jewish gatherings often are very, very large and we’ve seen what one person can do in a group,” Cuomo said. As proof of recent Jewish rule-breaking, the governor displayed a picture of a Satmar funeral from 2006. The consequences of the spike would begin immediately. “We’re gonna close the schools in those areas tomorrow. And that’s that,” said Cuomo.

The governor also claimed he would immediately begin the process of closing synagogues, something that his downstate foil, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, apparently lacked the courage to do himself. “The city’s proposal does not close religious institutions. We know religious institutions have been a problem. We know mass gatherings are the superspreader events. We know there have been mass gatherings going on in concert with religious institutions in these communities for weeks—for weeks.” Cuomo declared that in order to remain open, Orthodox leaders, who he said he would meet with the next day, would have to agree that their shuls would adhere to social distancing rules and then cooperate with a new state-level enforcement task force which would deputize local-level health and law enforcement personnel. His timeline for the creation of the task force, and for the state issuing permission for synagogues in hot spot ZIP codes to operate, was notably vague.

The closure threat has been a gift to local demagogues. “The spike at 11219 and 11204 ZIP codes are a fake spike” claimed Heshy Tischler, an increasingly popular former City Council candidate, last seen bolt-cutting open locked parks during the tail end of New York’s initial “pause.” “The Jews have been very complacent” added Tischler, shortly after he issued a condemnation of “Fuhrer de Blasio” during an interview last week. “We’re easy targets,” he said of Borough Park’s Jews. “Our leaders are mice. They’re people that are scared of actually leading.”

There are other, less abrasive attempts underway at addressing the shutdown threat. Last Wednesday, a Yiddish-language notice from the Aaron faction of the Satmar Hasidic movement in Williamsburg urged: “We very much ask that anyone who feels ‘100% healthy and strong’ should, for God’s sake, come to take a test and thereby save the situation. The test takes only a second, it is only a short swab in the nose, and you can thereby save the institutions and study houses, as well as Jewish livelihoods.” Similar messages circulated on multiple Bobover Hasidic WhatsApp groups in Borough Park.
Cuomo used 14-year-old photo to show mass Orthodox gatherings during pandemic
What a shanda.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo put New York’s Jewish Orthodox community on blast Monday for hosting mass gatherings amid the pandemic — but used a nearly two-decade old photo to illustrate his point.

“We know there have been mass gatherings going on in concert with religious institutions in these communities for weeks,” Cuomo said during a news briefing addressing COVID-19 outbreaks in certain areas of the Empire State.

On display beside the gov was a slideshow with images purporting to be of recent packed events in the Orthodox community, in Crown Heights, Brooklyn and Orange County.

“These pictures are just from the past couple of weeks,” Cuomo declared.

In fact, one of the photos was taken 14 years ago — at the 2006 funeral of revered Hassidic rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum in the Orange County village of Kiryas Joel.

Orthodox Jews bristle at NYC’s selective response to virus surge
Amid a new surge of COVID-19 in New York’s Orthodox Jewish communities, many members are reviving health measures that some had abandoned over the summer — social distancing, wearing masks. For many, there’s also a return of anger: They feel the city is singling them out for criticism.

The latest blow: an order Monday from Gov. Andrew Cuomo temporarily closing public and private schools in several areas with large Orthodox populations. It will take effect Tuesday.

“People are very turned off and very burned out,” said Yosef Hershkop, a Hasidic Jew from Brooklyn who works for a chain of urgent-care centers. “It’s not like we’re the only people in New York getting COVID.”

Over the past few weeks, top government officials, including Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, have sounded the alarm about localized upticks in COVID-19 after several months in which the state had one of the nation’s lowest infection rates. Officials say the worst-hit ZIP codes overlap with large Orthodox Jewish communities in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens and in a couple of nearby counties.

The goal is to head off a feared second wave of infections months after the city beat back an outbreak that killed more than 24,000 New Yorkers.

Under the shutdown plan submitted to Cuomo by the mayor, 100 public schools and 200 private ones would be closed in nine areas that are home to close to 500,000 people. Those areas represent 7% of the city’s population but have been responsible for about 1,850 new cases in the past four weeks — more than 20% of all new infections in the city during that span.

De Blasio had proposed the shutdown on Sunday, the second day of the Jewish holiday Sukkot, when Orthodox Jews would not be using telephones or computers and thus wouldn’t have heard the news until sundown.

“Announcing this in the middle of a Jewish holiday shows City Hall’s incompetence and lack of sensitivity towards the Jewish Community,” tweeted Daniel Rosenthal, a state Assembly member from Queens.

De Blasio said he was aware of the holiday but felt obligated to announce the plan as soon as it was developed.

YouTube Removes Nation of Islam Channel
YouTube has taken down the Nation of Islam (NOI) channel from its platform.

According to YouTube, the NOI channel was removed on Oct. 2 for violating YouTube’s policies against hate speech, specifically the notion that members of a protected group are part of an evil conspiracy theory.

“We have strict policies prohibiting hate speech on YouTube, and terminate any channel that repeatedly or egregiously violates those policies,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement to the Journal. “After updating our guidelines last year to better address content that spreads hateful conspiracy theories, we saw a 5x spike in video removals and have terminated over 25,000 channels for violating our hate speech policies.”

NOI did not respond to the Journal’s request for comment.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) wrote in a July blog post that Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is the “most popular anti-Semite in America.” The ADL noted in that post that Farrakhan said during a July 4 speech “that Jews are enjoined by their religion to poison prophets and that Jews had ‘broken their covenant relationship with God.’ He referred to Jews collectively as ‘Satan’ and the ‘enemy of God,’ and claimed that white people “are born with lie [sic] and murder in their nature.”

Since August 2019, YouTube also has removed several white nationalist figures from its platform, including David Duke and Richard Spencer in June.
Black Jewish woman defeats Roger Waters’ choice candidate for Canadian party leadership
The Green Party of Canada announced Saturday that Annamie Paul won the party leadership race, beating out seven other candidates to take the leadership of the fringe party that has had little success to date in Canadian federal politics.

“Tonight, we have to recognize that this is a historic moment,” Paul said in her victory speech, becoming the first black Canadian and first Jewish woman to be elected leader of a major federal party in Canada.

“We as Greens, once again, are leading the way. We have done something that has never been done before in Canadian politics, and I congratulate us,” Paul said.

Born in the Toronto area to parents from the Caribbean, Paul, 47, converted to Judaism. She has been involved in politics since 1996.

In 2016, the Green Party endorsed the anti-Israel BDS campaign and only repealed that support several months later after receiving heavy criticism. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as being anti-Semitic and contrary to “Canadian values,” accusing its supporters of intimidating Jewish students on Canadian university campuses.

Her closest rival in the leadership race was lawyer and activist Dimitri Lascaris, who has repeatedly stated his support for the BDS movement and tweeted that he was “honoured to have the endorsement” of anti-Semitic musician Roger Waters, known as a rabid opponent of Israel. (h/t Zvi)
Jewish Incumbents in US Congress Being Targeted by Twitter Antisemites, New ADL Report Reveals
A new survey released on Tuesday by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) found that incumbent Jewish members of the US Congress who are running for re-election had been inundated with antisemitic messages on Twitter questioning their loyalties and accusing them of being agents of bigger conspiracies.

The ADL’s Center for Technology and Society collected and analyzed all tweets from July 23-Aug 23 that were directed at the 30 incumbent Jewish members of the House and Senate. A total of 5,954 tweets were identified as “potentially antisemitic.”

According to the ADL report, 10 percent of these tweets were labeled as “Problematic” for containing antisemitic content.

“Within this, there were distinct categories of antisemitic content, including: 1) George Soros-related conspiracy theories; 2) explicit antisemitic language; 3) tropes related to Jewish power and control and 4) tweets questioning the loyalty and faith of Jewish incumbents,” the ADL explained.

Nearly half of all tweets labeled as “problematic” questioned the loyalty, honesty, ideology and faith of Jewish incumbents, while 39 percent pushed misinformation about George Soros, the Hungarian-Jewish financier who has become a hate figure for the global far right.

The report observed that Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) were disproportionately targeted with the highest number of problematic tweets. Other lawmakers who were disproportionately targeted in the ADL sample include Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI).

While most of the postings avoided the use of explicit antisemitic language, the ADL noted that some had “included slurs, the use of the echo ((( ))) symbol, and one instance of Holocaust denial.”
Halfon expresses anger over ‘Jewish lobby’ references in Swire political diary
Robert Halfon MP has told of his anger over the use of the term “Jewish lobby” in the recently published political diaries by Lady Sasha Swire.

Speaking at a Board of Deputies fringe event at Conservative Party conference, the Harlow MP bemoaned the fact that “diarists are now allowed to talk about the ‘Jewish lobby’ in parliament with impunity” as he discussed measures to prevent the spread of hatred, racism and antisemitism online.

The JC last week reported how the wife of former Tory minister Sir Hugo Swire referred to the “Jewish lobby” on two different occasions in the book, which has attracted headlines over its gossipy revelations about ex-Prime Minister David Cameron’s time as leader.

Mr Halfon had been calling for tougher use of defamation laws in the online sphere - in line with those usually applied to newspapers and books - when he remarked that Lady Sasha’s book appeared to have escaped further attention.

Elsewhere in the discussion about the forthcoming Online Harms Bill, Home Office Minister Victoria Atkins, who has responsibility for safeguarding, made it clear that the government was due to give a full response to the consultation on the Online Harms White Paper in the autumn.

While being careful not to pre-empt that response, she said she would imagine that “any independent regulator will look very very carefully” at the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.
Disgraced Chris Williamson disinvited from Royal Holloway Students’ Union in compliance with hate speech policy
Royal Holloway’s Students’ Union has disinvited the disgraced former MP Chris Williamson from a Debating Society event in order to comply with its policy on hate speech.

In a statement, the Students’ Union said: “Over the weekend the Students’ Union was made aware of an event Debating Society had planned, involving the former Labour MP Chris Williamson, that contravened our Guest Speaker Policy – a policy introduced following the October 2019 referendum on No Platform for Hate Speech.

“No advance notice of this event was given to the Students’ Union and the society has failed to follow the guidance and training that has been delivered to them over the summer. The event has subsequently been cancelled and robust discussions will now take place with the society to understand why they have circumvented the policy, brought the Students’ Union’s reputation into disrepute, and to understand if further action is required.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism welcomes the disinvitation to Mr Williamson, whose views were anathema even to Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.
Baltimore Private School Alums Outraged Over Headmaster’s Condemnation of Anti-Semitism
A group of self-described "white alums" from a historically Jewish private school in Baltimore excoriated the institution's leadership this week after they condemned anti-Semitism from black students, alums, and parents who demanded the school implement a wide-ranging series of reforms.

Baltimore's Park School, which was founded in 1912 by Jews who were barred entry into the city's existing private schools, vowed to work in partnership last month with a cadre of activists calling themselves the "Black at Park Organizing Collective." The group demanded the school change its leadership, curriculum, and hiring practices. It also accused the school of inappropriate "wealth hoarding" and "tolerance of Zionism"—prompting Park School leaders to condemn the collective's use of anti-Semitic language.

Former students calling themselves "white alums to the Park community" in an open letter this week scolded school headmaster Daniel Paradis for condemning the collective's anti-Semitic rhetoric. The alumni suggested that concerns about anti-Semitism are the product of "far right" media outlets, including the Washington Free Beacon, which first reported on the controversy in early September. "As white alums we stand in solidarity with them, doubling down on all of their demands with a renewed emphasis on the critical exploration of the links between Zionism, settler colonialism, and anti-Blackness," the alumni wrote in their open letter, which includes a link to the Free Beacon‘s report.

The unfolding controversy in Baltimore is playing out against the backdrop of nationwide protests by the Black Lives Matter movement against what it claims is systemic racial injustice. These efforts have been marred by the prevalence of anti-Semitism in the BLM movement, which has not shied away from anti-Israel activism. BLM activists across the nation have defaced Jewish establishments and feted notorious anti-Semites like Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

The Black at Park group's initial September letter demanded "an examination of Park's history: its inception, early exclusions, culture of whiteness and wealth hoarding, its tolerance of Zionism, and its parasitic relationship to Baltimore City."

Park School headmaster Daniel Paradis, in a response to the activists, denounced the inclusion of "language and imagery that is, in its own right, rooted in hatred."
New Arts Initiatives Counter Trending Anti-Israel Rhetoric on College Campuses
A recent study by the AMCHA Initiative released in July offered a disturbing and eye-opening insight into anti-Zionism on US college campuses. The study noted that while incidents of classic antisemitic harassment on campus have declined by nearly half in the years 2018-2019, anti-Zionist incidents increased by 60% in the same time frame.

Less than a century ago, genocide was committed against the Jewish people under the banner of racial inferiority, with Jews labeled as being non-“white.” Today, Jewish students contend with campaigns by antisemitic faculty members, student organizations like Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), and fellow students alleging that Zionists are inherently racist white supremacists.

The racial categorization of Jews appears to be flexible to the needs of the particular hate group seeking to threaten them. Antisemitic faculty and students call for “canceling” Jewish students and allies of Israel from higher education — a racist action itself. According to the same AMCHA report, acts involving the public shaming, vilifying, or defaming of students or staff because of their perceived association with Israel increased by 67% in 2019. There was also a 51% increase in acts involving the unfair treatment or exclusion of students because of their perceived association with Israel. Now more than ever, it is imperative that those of us in the Jewish communal world support college students as they explore and create connections with both the Jewish community and with Israel — without compromising to appease bullies.

In a traditional year, student organizations like IACT, Masa Israel Journey, and CAMERA on Campus promote Israel and engage students on campus at educational tables in the campus center — and by hosting events in person. However, due to COVID-19, this is anything but a traditional year. Efforts to combat the rise in anti-Israel sentiment on campus today are significantly limited by rules restricting face-to-face events. Yet, as reported by AMCHA, anti-Zionist advocacy has adapted on campuses, with antisemitic Zoom-bombing, continued campus BDS campaigns in virtual spaces, and antisemitic rhetoric and images appearing both online and in person.
Follow the Money or Follow the Lies: Students for Justice in Palestine at Duke
Many proponents of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement conflate the struggle for racial justice in the United States and the war against Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. Duke University’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter, unsurprisingly, is no exception; they hide behind their social media accounts to promote outright falsehoods, attempting to paint anti-Zionist activism as a virtuous fight against colonialism.

According to the ADL, “Zionism is the Jewish national movement of self-determination in the land of Israel — the historical birthplace and biblical homeland of the Jewish people.” What SJP is doing — spreading lies about Zionism — is an aggression against the Jewish people that cannot be taken lightly.

To quote Duke SJP’s Instagram page directly: “We are motivated by that revolutionary love and support that has existed between both communities of color who live under white supremacist settler-colonial states.”

This is racist and uneducated agitprop. Around 75.5% of the eight million Israelis are Jewish, with 52% of those Jews coming from Sephardi or Mizrahi backgrounds.

Furthermore, Israel’s security apparatus is not developed to be an oppressive system, but a steadfast line of defense against terrorist attacks and suicide bombings in Israeli population centers. But perhaps most glaringly, this statement propagates an especially antisemitic idea: that Jews somehow perpetuate the same kind of ideology that led to the Holocaust.
Florida High School Principal Fired for Saying ‘Not Everyone Believes The Holocaust Happened’ Could Be Rehired
A Florida high school principal who was fired last November for telling the mother of a student that “not everyone believes the Holocaust happened” could be rehired this week.

Palm Beach County School Board members will meet on Wednesday to consider a proposal to rehire the former principal of Spanish River High School , William Latson, in the wake of an administrative judge’s ruling that he was improperly terminated.

Schools Superintendent Donald Fennoy has recommended that Latson be reinstated and given $152,000 in back pay.

At its meeting last November, the board explained that Latson was being fired for having “violated” school-board policies and ethics codes, according to the meeting minutes.

In April 2018, Latson told the mother of a student who sought to ensure that Holocaust education was “a priority” that “not everyone believes the Holocaust happened” in an email.

“And you have your thoughts, but we are a public school, and not all of our parents have the same beliefs,” he continued.

Latson added that educators had “the role to be politically neutral, but support all groups in the school.”

“I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event because I am not in a position to do so as a school-district employee,” he wrote.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Trump Foes Bracing For Shift To Calling Pence Hitler Instead (satire)
US President Donald Trump’s hospitalizaton following his diagnosis as positive for the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen has caused scrambling on the political left to prepare for a scenario in which they must go from comparing him to the most reviled dictator in history, to comparing the current vice president to the same fascist figure, should the VP be called upon to replace the president.

Democrats and so-called “Never Trump” Republicans began their efforts today to smooth a possible transition to calling Mike Pence “Hitler” instead of reserving the moniker only for Trump, one senior Capitol Hill Democrat disclosed today. The veteran legislator, speaking on condition of anonymity, described a flurry of activity in Congressional and party offices and online Slack rooms, aimed at recalibrating the vehement he’s-literally-Hitler rhetoric targeting the current president to fit the caricature of his anticipated successor, should COVID incapacitate Trump.

“Pence is obviously a Nazi also, and that’s a given,” explained the lawmaker, echoing widespread sentiment among her political allies. “I mean, he’s GOP. That’s all that needs to be said. But he doesn’t tweet or speak the way Trump does, so we have to anchor our Hitler analogies in other material.”

“For example,” she continued, “Pence has a personal policy of not meeting alone with women who are not his wife. Back in 2016, I think it was, we and our buddies in the media had a field day with that, calling it anti-women, and accusing him of depriving women of professional advancement opportunities. That outrage burned itself out after few days, as such things do, and we had to find something else with which to fan popular rage. But now we can resurrect it for a nice Hitler analogy. The one that comes to me offhand is that Hitler had various wholesome habits such as not drinking or smoking, and Pence’s approach to cherishing his marriage the way he does calls to mind the Führer.”
Indy correspondent again evokes antisemitic trope
A Sept. 30th Independent article (US presidential debate: The questions Trump and Biden need to answer) provided their journalists’ views on what questions the moderators should ask during the first US presidential debate to be held that night.

Despite the fact that the first debate focused on domestic issues, they nonetheless allowed their long-time Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk to weigh in.

Here are the relevant parts of his answer: Since the Middle East regularly damages the US presidency (see Carter, Reagan, Bush junior), it’s the one wound in the world that needs America’s constant attention – but since Mr Trump regards the region as a playground for Israel’s power and security and the Palestinians as unworthy of compassion, post-election America is going to have problems with it whoever wins. …
But should the present crackpot remain in the White House – legally, at least – Mr Trump doesn’t have to do very much at all. Support Israel right or wrong, cow-tow to the wealthiest Gulf Arabs, betray old allies like the Kurds and ignore the colonisation of Arab land, overlooking the permanent breach of international law which this constitutes. And if Trump has any problems with that, he can always call the UK prime minister for advice. …
To Mr Biden, then: How can he hope to control Israel when, for the entire Trump presidency, it has largely written, organised and produced the US’s Middle East policy – if Mr Trump ever had one?

Arguing that Israel has “written, organised and produced the US’s Middle East policy, is indistinguishable from the antisemitic trope charging Jews, in either Israel or the diaspora, with ‘controlling US Middle East policy’. (You may recall that, in 2019, the NY Times published a graphic depiction of this antisemitic idea. The cartoon, which they later deleted and apologised for following widespread criticism, depicted a dog with a Jewish star around its neck and the face of a Jewish leader, leading a blind, yarmulke-wearing U.S. President.)

Further, this is not the first example of Fisk employing this antisemitic narrative.
The film closes with an unsupported and unexplained claim from Thompson, followed by a quick flirt with antisemitic ‘Jewish lobby’ tropes.

Thompson: “Israel assumed the role of America’s regional policeman. This, and the continued influence of the Zionist lobby on successive governments, served to increase Arab hostility towards Israel.”

Interestingly, the BBC has nothing to tell its young audiences about the role played by the USSR in fanning the flames of Arab antisemitism during the Cold War.

Another topic the BBC chooses not to address is Nasser’s treatment of Egypt’s ancient Jewish community during the Suez crisis.

“…Nasser declared that the Jews were enemies of the state and the massive expulsion of the Jews continued with 25,000 Jews fleeing. Jews were given 2 days to evacuate their property, which was later confiscated by the government, and were forced to leave with one bag and no more than twenty dollars in hand. Nearly 1,000 of those who remained in Egypt were imprisoned or tortured.”

Like its predecessors, this educational video gives British school students a superficial and incomplete view of a chapter of Middle East history while failing to clarify the highly relevant “particular viewpoints” of its academic contributors.

Greek Jewish cemetery desecrated days before neo-Nazi verdict
A Jewish cemetery was desecrated on Monday near Athens just days before the keenly-awaited verdict in a murder trial involving neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, prompting strong condemnation from Greece’s government.

“Juden Raus,” a phrase once used by the Nazis that means “Jews Out” in German, was painted in black on the outside fence of the cemetery in the town of Nikaia, along with a symbol similar to the swastika used by Golden Dawn, the Israelite Council of Greece said.

In a statement, government spokesman Stelios Petsas denounced “this act of vandalism.”

“Nazism and anti-Semitism and their followers have no place in Greece and will not be tolerated,” he said.

An Athens court is due to hand down a verdict in a landmark murder trial on Wednesday involving Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos and other party members over the murder of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas in 2013.
Far-right groups recruiting children as young as twelve through livestreaming events on YouTube
Far-right groups are recruiting children as young as twelve through livestreaming events on YouTube, according to The Times.

The events reportedly include live interviews with teenagers who are considered to be rising stars in far-right circles, aimed at viewers born in the 1990s and 2000s.

It is understood that groups such as Patriotic Alternative, a fascist organisation founded last year, are using such tactics, including through “Zoomer Night”, a regular event livestreamed as part of the group’s “Patriotic Talk” series.

In one recent such event on YouTube, four males in their teens and early twenties talked about their concerns over the supposed “complete erasure of white Europeans” and “white genocide”, and how “white people being written out of their own history”. One participant said: “The [British] Government is preparing for a future without white people and that should be obvious to everybody.”

Other far-right individuals and groups are reportedly using the same tactics.

Police believe that the far-right constitutes the fastest-growing terrorist threat to Britain.

Patriotic Alternative reportedly said: “It is not our intention to ‘recruit’ anybody because our way of thinking is already widespread. It is simply our intention to provide a voice for the millions of people who already agree with us.”
Housing and Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick defiant over death threats in connection with proposed Westminster Holocaust Memorial
Robert Jenrick has sounded a note of defiance in the wake of death threats made against him in connection with the proposed Westminster Holocaust Memorial.

The Housing and Communities Secretary has been given counter terrorism police protection over what was described in reportage as a “series of vicious attacks”, including antisemitic letters and threats “to burn down his home, and to kill his family”.

Mr Jenrick, whose wife is Israeli-born, reportedly told the JC: “The behaviour of some of the opponents to the memorial has been shocking and disgraceful. The fact that I have been subjected to these smears, and my family to antisemitic abuse and death threats only shows the paramount importance of the memorial.”

Mr Jenrick also welcomed Sir Keir Starmer’s support for the proposed Memorial.
Roman Polanski’s Holocaust saviors to be named Righteous Among the Nations
Israel is set to honor the couple who rescued Jewish film director Roman Polanski from the Holocaust.

A grandson of Stefania and Jan Buchała will accept the medal naming them posthumously as Righteous Among the Nations, a title that Israel confers on non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews from the Nazis, Haaretz reported. The ceremony will take place in Poland next week.

The Buchalas hid Polanski, then 10 years old, from 1943 to the end of World War II after his father smuggled him out of the Krakow ghetto. Yad Vashem, Israel’s state Holocaust museum, recognized the Buchałas’ actions last year. The couple died in the 1950s.

The Buchalas are among 7,112 Poles who have been named Righteous Among the Nations, the highest tally by any single country. Poles account for 25% of all recipients from some 50 countries.

Last month, Israel presented the medal to the descendants of four couples in neighboring Lithuania: Stanislava and Juozas Gaižauskas; Palionė and Juozas Sturonai; Petronėlė and Pranas Šimka and Petronė and Vincent Pocius. (h/t Zvi)
Dutch Fox sports channel adds anti-Semitic chants to soundtrack of soccer match
With professional sports taking place in empty stadiums because of the coronavirus pandemic, many TV stations are adding audience sounds when they broadcast games.

For a Dutch soccer game on Sunday, those sounds included anti-Semitic chants.

The gaffe happened Sunday in a FOX Sports Netherlands’ live broadcast of a match between the Amsterdam team, Ajax, and a rival from the city of Groningen. The network added a recording from a past game that featured the popular chant, “Whoever doesn’t jump is a Jew.”

Supporters of rival teams sing the chant to taunt the players on Ajax, which many Dutchmen associated with Jews because of Amsterdam’s rich Jewish history.

One Dutch soccer fan told JTA in 2017: “I have nothing against your people. When I say I hate Jews, I just mean supporters of Ajax.”

In recent years, the chant has been heard at several protest rallies with Islamist participants.

The network apologized for including the chant in its soundtrack for the game.
Itamar Medical’s sleep apnea device wins US National Sleep Foundation award
The US’s National Sleep Foundation (NSF) has chosen Israel’s Itamar Medical Ltd. as the winner of its 2020 SleepTech Award, which recognizes the year’s most innovative achievement in sleep technology.

The Caesarea, Israel-based firm, which has shares listed on the Nasdaq and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, develops non-invasive medical devices and solutions to help in the diagnosis of respiratory sleep disorders. The company describes its key product, the WatchPAT ONE device, as the first and only disposable home sleep apnea test that connects to a smartphone app and easily transmits sleep data for review.

“We congratulate Itamar Medical for winning our 2020 SleepTech Award by further innovating their product to help advance sleep technology. Their response to customer insights and needs is particularly relevant this year in the effort to promote better sleep health during a pandemic,” said John Lopos, CEO of NSF in a statement.

The NSF SleepTech Award is given annually to support innovation in technology products that can improve sleep health. NSF has no financial relationship with the 2020 SleepTech Award winner, the NSF statement said.

Sleep apnea is a condition in which an individual has trouble breathing while asleep, with patients suffering from conditions ranging from short, shallow breathing to gasping and wheezing during sleep to going for long seconds or even minutes without drawing a breath. The body needs oxygen 24 hours a day, and the body’s autonomic nervous system generally takes care of breathing while an individual is asleep. When the body is denied a sufficient measure of oxygen, the results can include daytime fatigue, heavy snoring, and liver and heart problems.
On 47th Anniversary of Yom Kippur War Outbreak, IDF Releases Newly-Digitized Color Footage of Conflict
The Israel Defense Forces’ Archives released a series of digitized color videos of the Yom Kippur War on Tuesday to mark the 47th anniversary of the outbreak of the conflict.

Israel lost nearly 3,000 soldiers during the weeks-long conflict in October 1973, which began with an Egyptian-Syrian surprise attack on the Jewish state’s northern and southern borders. Although Israel ultimately repelled the invasions, the cost was devastating to the young country and the war remains seared in the nation’s collective memory.

Israeli news site Walla reported that most of the newly-released images had not been seen by the public before, and color footage of the war is generally rare, with most of the available video shot in black and white.

The IDF Archives digitized the footage, culled from 150,000 hours of audio and video materials, and upgraded the image quality as much as possible. The digital format also allows for the preservation of the materials for posterity.

The footage includes images of the fighting along the Suez Canal and in the Sinai Peninsula, Air Force maneuvers and parachute operations. Almost all the footage was shot by members of the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

It also shows visits by the IDF chief of staff and other generals to the southern front, and even a performance to soldiers by famed Fiddler on the Roof actor Haim Topol.

Bipartisan Group of Senators, House Members Introduce Bill Honoring Yitzhak Rabin
A bipartisan group of lawmakers from the US Senate and US House of Representatives have introduced identical resolutions in their respective chambers to remember former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin ahead of the 25th anniversary of his assassination.

The Senate resolution was introduced by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), while the House one was introduced by Reps. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.).

The Senate resolution is being co-sponsored by Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Kevin Kramer (R-ND), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).

The House resolution is being co-sponsored by Reps. Tom Reed (R-NY), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) and Jamie Raskin (D-Md.).

The resolution praises Rabin for signing the 1975 interim Israel-Egypt peace agreement, which led to the 1979 Camp David Peace Treaty between the two countries; for signing the 1993 Oslo Accords; and for signing the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty.

The measure includes several quotes from Rabin. It calls him “a model for securing peace during a time of conflict.”
UN Watch: Bari Weiss To Be Honored by UN Watch
United Nations Watch, the Geneva-based non-governmental human rights organization, announced today that journalist Bari Weiss will receive its Per Ahlmark Award, in recognition of her moral courage and eloquence in defending the principles of democracy and in combating antisemitism.

UN Watch’s prize will be presented at the watchdog group’s 2020 Online Gala on November 1st.

“During a time when critical thinking, reasoned arguments and resistance to mob mentality are considered fatal to one’s career, Bari Weiss dares to confront those on either side of the political aisle who betray the liberal ideals of freedom and independent inquiry,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.

“And during a time when Jews in the United States were targeted more than ever before by deadly attacks, from her own family’s Pittsburgh synagogue to a New Jersey Kosher grocery, Bari Weiss has become a leading voice for a new generation in decoding today’s varied manifestations of the world’s oldest hatred, and she inspires so many with her determination to fight it.”

“I am honored to be chosen for this award,” said Bari Weiss. “UN Watch is a leading human rights organization that provides global platforms for dissidents targeted by repressive regimes, shining an international spotlight on horrific abuses that require the world’s attention.”

“When I feel wobbly and need an example of moral courage, I watch my friend Hillel Neuer sitting in a room of despots and speaking up in favor of the downtrodden. A few minutes and his powerful example inevitably stiffens my own spine.”

“Telling the truth is hard, and increasingly so in our present age. But UN Watch lights the way. You show the rest of us the power of living in truth.

Recipients of previous UN Watch awards include Nobel Peace Prize laureate David Trimble, former French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, and philosopher Alain Finkielkraut.
Descendants of Nazis, Holocaust Victims March Together for Peace

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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