Thursday, October 08, 2020

From Ian:

A lesson in Israeli public relations
In 1993, in the Oslo Accords, Arafat was given a foothold in Judea and Samaria and Gaza, along with control over the residents of these areas. The autonomy envisioned by Menachem Begin, meanwhile, did not include Arafat’s Palestinian Liberation Organization, although it did crack open the door for exactly that. Bandar has a score to settle with Arafat—one might say a bloody one.

In the years he served as Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Washington, he was one of the more influential figures in the United States and on certain issues pertaining to the Middle East, the energy industry and terror; he was even stronger than then-U.S. President George W. Bush. Bandar was the one who strong-armed Bush and his secretary of state, Colin Powell, to publicly declare U.S. recognition of the Palestinian right to an independent state of their own.

The Bush administration at the time went even further than the Clinton roadmap. It was Bandar who pressured Bush to allow many Saudi individuals, including those tied with Osama bin Laden and the Sept. 11 attacks, to board planes and flee the United States. For comparison’s sake, to this day one poor Jew, former spy Jonathan Pollard, cannot even leave the state of New York let alone fly to Israel.

Bandar did not become pro-Zionist overnight, but when it came to his narrative regarding the Six-Day War, he noted that it didn’t start due to wanton Israeli “aggression,” rather then-Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser’s decision to close the Straits of Tiran.

This moment in time, with the Saudis attacking the Palestinians, exposes the fact that peace with the UAE and Bahrain is essentially peace with the ancient birthmother of Arab nationalism. It was Bandar’s ancestors who rode, swords drawn, with Lawrence of Arabia to liberate most of the Middle East from the Turks during World War I.

Beyond this, the Saudi stance alongside Israel mostly indicates the Arabs’ reduced standing as a global power. They were at their apex in the 1970s and 1980s. From Israel’s vantage point, strategic patience and durability paid off. It appears that true victories aren’t achieved via lightning strikes but through dedicated commitment to a long-term process.
Daniel Pipes: Is the Israel Victory Project still needed?
In the outside-in approach, Arab states partially assume Israel’s role to impose defeat on the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Note the elements of what Khaled Abu Toameh terms their “divorce process:” the emerging warm peace between Abu Dhabi, Manama and Jerusalem; the imam of the Great Mosque in Mecca (who has been banned from Western countries for his crude antisemitism) talking about Muhammad’s friendly relations with Jews; the Arab League unprecedentedly turning down a Palestinian initiative and the Arab states reducing their financial support to the Palestinians by 85%.

Does this mean Israel Victory has been superseded? No. Sunni Arab states unfortunately make up only a portion of the Palestinians’ vast and multifaceted support system. Exceptional public relations prowess, combined with antisemitism, transmogrified the tiny, weak and relatively prosperous Palestinian population into the world’s most prominent human rights issue, one which benefits from immeasurably more solicitude than the far more wretched Syrians or Yemenis.

That support system starts with Iran and Turkey, the only countries – in US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s description – to have “vehemently denounced” the recent agreements. Indeed, those two regimes have largely replaced the Arab states (whose last major war with Israel was in 1973) as the Palestinians’ regional stalwarts.

Second, because the foreign policies of Russia and China globally oppose the US, Jerusalem’s tight alliance with Washington makes them both significant Palestinian supporters.

Third, Israel’s Left despises Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pooh-poohs the recent accords and touchingly believes that Palestinians will be content with a Palestine adjoining Israel.
Tom Gross: Conversations with friends about their lives: Times of Israel editor David Horovitz
David talks with Tom Gross about his upbringing, about editing the Times of Israel (and before that the Jerusalem Post), about interviewing Paul McCartney and others, about the difficulties of striving for fair and independent journalism in an era of fakery and misrepresentation, and about life in Israel and beyond.

Peter Beinart, the New York Times and the Coming Campaign to Eliminate Israel
The goal of this campaign is clear: to normalize and mainstream the idea of eliminating a nation. It is to convince a decisive majority of Americans that it would be a good thing, the moral thing, for a nation of eight million people to disappear. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was once called a “warrant for genocide.” Now, a new warrant is being written.

And it is clear that this campaign will push Jews to the forefront. It is no coincidence that Beinart and Rhodes are Jewish, and that they collaborated in firing the first shot. This indicates that the campaign will be directed at Jews as well. It will seek to convince us to abandon Zionism. To persuade us, in other words, that we do not deserve to live.

There is a very good reason for this.

In the 1970s, former Israeli Air Force chief Benny Peled had a remarkable insight. He said in an interview, “Our enemies had to examine the ingredients of our strength, and they of course discovered the thing that we’ve been shouting at full volume: that our strength is our spirit.”

“And they decided to attack that,” he said. “The Jewish people’s strongest weapon.”

The new campaign to eliminate Israel and Zionism is nothing but that: an attempt to shatter the Jewish spirit. And it has to be this way. Because those advocating elimination are not stupid. They know quite well that Israel is strong and getting stronger, and it is doing so very quickly. They cannot eliminate it in the flesh, but they can, or at least they can try, to eliminate it in spirit.

But the ironic thing is that, whatever their fantasies might be, they cannot win. I do not say this out of hubris or chauvinism. It is a matter of historical record. The Jewish spirit, if it can be called that, has withstood assaults far more horrendous than anything Beinart, Rhodes or the Times could come up with. If we have survived what we have already survived, we can certainly survive them.

The ominous question, however, is how much damage they can do in the meantime. If the historical record teaches us anything, unfortunately, it is that the damage could be quite substantial. We should not look away from what is coming, and we should ready ourselves to face it.

Israel in the Middle East: A year of achievements and one big failure
Over the past year, Israel has found itself playing three roles in the Middle Eastern arena. The first, and perhaps the most important, is balancing the Iranian and Turkish aspirations for regional hegemony with an unofficial alliance with the core states of the Arab Sunni world – Egypt, Jordan and some of the Gulf states. The second role Israel is playing is in dividing the Muslim and Arab world. The peace agreements with the UAE and Bahrain deepen the divisions in the Arab world between supporters and opponents of the move. The third role is one of mediator between Arab states and the US administration, directly or through the Jewish lobby. This mediation includes Egyptian and Jordanian demands for US economic help (for example through International Monetary Fund and World Bank loans), support for the sale of F-35 jets to the UAE and for Sudan’s request to be removed from the list of terror supporting states and support for Morocco’s request for US (and Western) recognition of its annexation of Western Sahara.

Part of Israel’s success in the region stems from its non-involvement in regional conflicts, some of them far from its borders, such as those in Libya and Yemen. However, Israel did not intervene in Syria’s civil war, either, other than aerial strikes on Iranian or Hezbollah positions there.

The overall threat against Israel essentially remains unchanged. Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas and Turkey, in part, continue to constitute threats, but none is existential. What is more, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and US sanctions on Iran, the repercussions of the Syrian civil war, Hezbollah’s difficulties in Lebanon following the Beirut port blast, and the Hamas troubles in Gaza reduce the intensity of the threat against Israel. Turkey is somewhere in the middle, because despite the diplomatic tensions stemming from Israel’s rapprochement with Greece and Cyprus, Israel and Turkey continue to maintain diplomatic ties (although not at ambassadorial level) and commercial ties to the tune of several billion dollars annually.

Israel’s failure, however, lies in its divorce from the Palestinian problem. Israel and the US have significantly weakened the Palestinian Authority, adopting unilateral measures such as US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, US aid cutoff to UNRWA, US President Donald Trump’s peace plan and the annexation idea. The peace with the Emirates has saved Netanyahu in the short term from the danger of annexation, but Israel’s continued indifference to the Palestinian issue could overshadow the current achievements next year. Israel must address this problem by establishing an active dialogue with the Palestinian leadership. The Jewish year 5781 will likely be dedicated to medical issues, but resolution of the Palestinian problem is also important for the health of Israeli society.
What the United Nations Gets Wrong About Fighting Anti-Semitism
Finally, it's worth noting that Europe's Holocaust denial laws fail to address the roots of hatred, and have not prevented the growth of anti-Semitic parties in Austria, France and Germany. They may even be counterproductive. Criminal prosecutions give anti-Semites added notoriety and a persecution narrative to exploit.

The U.N. should combat anti-Semitism. Initial efforts to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition make for a step in the right direction. The IHRA definition captures how modern anti-Semitism is often couched in anti-Israel rhetoric, including:

Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavor. Applying double standards by requiring Israel to exhibit behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

Both the U.N. and all of its 193 member-states should adopt the IHRA definition and act consistently. The U.N. Human Rights Council should cease its biased treatment of Israel, and the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights should retract its "Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions" blacklist.

Censorship cannot reverse hate. Only more contact with Jews, deeper understanding of the Holocaust and Nazi ideology, and knowledge of Israel's ancient and modern history can change people's beliefs and behaviors. For this to happen, Jews must be able to think, speak and live—in freedom and safety—according to their beliefs. As the U.N. looks ahead to the next 75 years, it is more important than ever for America to point the way back to freedom as the true path to peace and security.
CUFI founder and chairman John Hagee diagnosed with COVID-19
Christians United for Israel (CUFI) founder and chairman Pastor John Hagee has been diagnosed with coronavirus, announced his son during Sunday services at the Texas church founded by his father.

“He is receiving extremely good medical treatment, and I can tell you that he feels well enough to be upset with his doctors,” said Pastor Matt Hagee, 42. “He did let me know before I came to church today that he covets your prayers, and he looks forward to seeing you again very soon back here at Cornerstone Church.”

Hagee, 80, is a stalwart supporter of Israel, and of U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted: “I pray for the speedy recovery of @PastorJohnHagee. Israel has no better friend.”
Bahraini journalist: We're looking forward to working with Israelis
Ahdeya Ahmed al-Sayed, president of the Bahraini Journalists Association, said on Thursday that she expects journalists from her country to play a very important and crucial role in promoting normalization with Israel.

She said that she and many of her colleagues were looking forward to working with Israeli journalists after Bahrain became the second Gulf state to sign a peace accord with Israel. She also lashed out at the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate for attacking her and Bahrain over the peace treaty with Israel.

“Journalism has always led public opinion,” Sayed said in an exclusive interview with The Jerusalem Post. “Journalists have a big impact on public opinion. If you are living in a country where journalists are refusing normalization and are not welcoming it, it’s going to be very challenging to convince people that this political step is something positive and that they have to look at it in a positive way.”

Sayed, the first female to be elected to the 600-member Bahraini Journalists Association, won a seat for the first time for Bahrain at the International Federation of Journalists Gender Council that aims to protect and defend the rights of female journalists around the world.

Sayed, who was also appointed to the board of trustees of the Dubai-based Arab Women Federation, began her journalism career at the age of 18 by working as a junior reporter for the Gulf Daily News in 1991. Over the past 30 years she continued working in the print media until she became deputy editor-in-chief of the Daily Tribune and editor-in-chief of Al-Salam.

3 Ways America Can Support Its New Model For Arab-Israeli Peace
What can we in the American public do to weigh in on the side of helping Israelis and Arabs achieve peace through engagement and normalization? Here are three ways.

First, shine a light on anti-normalization practices of Arab governments by calling on Congress to pass a new bipartisan bill introduced by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rob Portman (R-OH). This law would require the State Department to add to the annual human rights report instances of Arab government retribution towards citizens who engage in people-to-people relations with Israelis. Such retribution is unfortunately the law and practice throughout the Arab world. We can support courageous individuals like the Egyptian playwright Ali Salem, but first, we need to know about them. This law requires the State Department to make such people-to-people contacts a priority.

Second, invest in making the UAE and Bahrain deals successful for all three countries and therefore an attractive model for others in the region. The potential between Israel and the UAE—the two most dynamic economies and societies in the Middle East—is enormous. For example, my Israeli students at Shalem College in Jerusalem offered some creative new proposals in a course on the Gulf countries this spring. Their final papers included proposals for joint UAE-Israel space research (both countries have advanced programs), joint production of television serials in Arabic using Israeli Arab and Jewish actors, a fusion Israeli-Gulf culinary exhibition and restaurant, and a Saudi-UAE-Israel free trade zone and tourism venture in the Red Sea. There is no shortage of good ideas, some are underway. The United States should jumpstart this potential by organizing private investment funds and by using our regional embassies to do Israeli-Gulf partnership deals.

Third, insist that our leaders support this new model as a bipartisan priority of the United States and not allow it to stay trapped in the bitterness of U.S. domestic politics. This doesn’t mean abandoning the Palestinians, but rather means more engagement with them as other Arabs normalize with Israel. The go-slow signals emanating from the American foreign policy establishment should not become the policy of a future Democratic administration. Only leaders can make clear this priority and Joe Biden should do so now.
Kuwait’s Emir Names Security Czar Sheikh Meshal as Crown Prince
Kuwait’s new ruler on Wednesday named veteran security chief Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad as crown prince, retaining power firmly within the ruling family’s oldest ranks and signaling the OPEC member state is unlikely to pursue disruptive change.

The selection of the octogenarian Sheikh Meshal, deputy head of the country’s National Guard and the eldest of several rumored candidates for the job, must be approved by the Gulf Arab state’s parliament.

It “was blessed by the Al Sabah family,” state news agency KUNA cited a statement from the emir’s office as saying.

The new emir, Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah, assumed power following the death of his brother Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad last week, at a time of tension between Kuwait’s larger neighbors Saudi Arabia and Iran and as the government tries to shore up finances strained by low oil prices and COVID-19.

Diplomats and analysts say that due to his low-key style and age, Sheikh Nawaf, 83, may delegate a larger portion of responsibilities to his heir apparent, who would have to act swiftly to tackle domestic issues.

The parliament speaker had said that if the emir announced a crown prince on Wednesday, then lawmakers would vote on his choice on Thursday, the last day of parliament’s term.
Israeli Arms and Defense Companies Invited to Abu Dhabi for Middle East’s Largest Exhibition of Its Kind
The defense relations between Israel and the Gulf States were for years a secret. Now, less than a month after Israel signed an agreement to establish full diplomatic relations with both the UAE and Bahrain, Israel’s defense sector companies have been invited to openly participate in the upcoming International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) set to take place in Abu Dhabi in February 2021. IDEX is a biennial arms and defense technology sales exhibition and the largest of its kind in the Middle East.

Over recent days, IDEX organizers signed an agreement with the organizers of the Israel Defense Exhibition (ISDEF) to coordinate Israeli participation in the conference in Abu Dhabi.

IDEX is a five-day event held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center, which prior to the Covid-19 pandemic would attract 100,000 visitors from across the world to view exhibits and displays by over 1,000 companies from 60 countries. The upcoming event is expected to be smaller due to coronavirus, but unlike similar events, hasn’t been canceled to date.

IDEX is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and is organized by the Capital Events in association and with the full support of the UAE Armed Forces.
Are Bill De Blasio and Andrew Cuomo Targeting New York City's Jews?
This looks an awful lot like invidious animus. Cuomo and hizzoner have positioned themselves as the modern-day heirs to a most lamentable and vile Western tradition, dating back at least to the Black Death of 14th-century Europe, of singling out the Jews for being uniquely culpable transmitters of a highly contagious pandemic. Perhaps, amidst today's increasingly anti-Semitic leftist grassroots, these "leaders" expect political accolades for directing their ire against the world's oldest, most frequently targeted scapegoats.

For de Blasio, such boorish behavior is hardly unexpected; around the time of the COVID-19 outbreak, hizzoner threatened—in galling defiance of either the plain letter or overarching spirit of the First Amendment—to "permanently" close houses of worship that did not properly comply with social distancing. For Cuomo, his finger-wagging represents a nadir in Jewish community relations for a man who, like his late father, long valued and seemed to prioritize Jewish outreach. Alas, no longer.

Albany and City Hall best prepare for litigation: The situation is fluid, but there will assuredly be a flurry of lawsuits filed on behalf of New York City's Jews. The Constitution's federalist structure does provide states and localities with so-called "police power" over emergency health-related regulatory measures, but anti-religious discrimination is verboten under the First Amendment and relevant federal statutes, such as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.

But litigation, whether real or threatened, is insufficient. Attorney General William Barr should immediately open a Department of Justice Civil Rights Division investigation as to whether Cuomo and de Blasio are violating federal law by discriminating against New York City's Jewish community in such transparent fashion. For far too long since the initial COVID-19 lockdowns in mid-March, hizzoner and his overlord Cuomo have targeted the nation's largest Jewish population with unequal and selective enforcement of the law.

And in the meantime, conscientious NYPD officers, lacking morale after a summer of anarchic mayhem and nursing long-held grievances against the anti-cop denizens of City Hall, ought to refuse to effectuate the latest Cuomo-de Blasio salvo against the Jews. An unjust law, as the oft-quoted Aquinas maxim goes, is no law at all.
Jewish reporter assaulted by ultra-Orthodox mob in Brooklyn
A well-known and respected ultra-Orthodox reporter was assaulted and beaten during a protest in Brooklyn by haredi demonstrators, who are protesting statewide restrictions on houses of worship.

Jacob Kornbluh, who reports for the Jewish Insider and has been covering the recent ultra-Orthodox protests in Brooklyn, was implicitly threatened on Wednesday by local radio host Heshy Tischler, who called him “a rat, a kapo [a Jew who helped the Nazis], and a moisser [informer],” for his reporting.

Several public figures, including former Trump Trump administration official Jason Greenblatt and New York Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler condemned the incident and called for those responsible to be brought to justice.

“I was just brutally assaulted, hit in the head, and kicked at by an angry crowd of hundreds of community members of the Borough Park protest – while yelling at me “Nazi” and “Hitler” – after Heshy Tischler recognized me and ordered the crowd to chase me down the street,” tweeted Kornbluh after the incident.

“I was saved by heroic police officers and several community members. I’m safe right now,” he continued, and said that he would be filing charges against Tischler for incitement and physical assault and will seek charges against any individual who hit him.

Private Eye claims one of Grazia’s new writers, hired to “fight for diversity”, claimed Holocaust commemoration can represent the “erasure of brown trauma”
One of Grazia magazine’s new writers – hired in order to “fight for diversity, inclusion and women’s rights” – has reportedly claimed that commemoration of the Holocaust can represent the “erasure of brown trauma”.

According to Private Eye, Stephanie Yeboah, who is now a contributing writer for Grazia, has previously stated on social media that “You know how I love Jews”, “Every Jew has an attic, but not every attic has Jews”, and “AUSCHWITZ Gas Chamber Music LMAO SHM [laughing my a*** off, shaking my head]”.

Last January, during the 75th anniversary commemorations of the liberation of Auschwitz, when the President of the UN General Assembly said that “The Holocaust remains the most horrific genocide in human history,” Ms Yeboah reportedly tweeted: “There have been bigger and more horrific genocides. They happened to brown people though, so I guess it doesn’t matter, huh?”

Responding to protest from another user, Ms Yeboah said: “I know what the occasion is [the 75th anniversary] and I’m doubling down on what I said. Of course it’s tragic, but the erasure of brown trauma is a real issue.” She added: “Lol of course it matters when Jews are killed. Nothing else matters more. We learn about it in school. It’s *THEE* [sic] most important thing. But it also discounts the other absolutely despicable things that have happened. So pls don’t play the oppression card here.”

In December 2019, protesting the exposure of antisemitism in the Labour Party to, in her view, the exclusion of racism in other parties, she also tweeted that “There’s a hierarchy of prejudice which always leaves black and brown people at the bottom.” She has also tweeted: “I haven’t seen any empathy/sympathy shown from those complaining about antisemitism towards those who have suffered under this Islamophobic/racist government.”

Jeremy Corbyn’s chief of staff sought to force out MPs who protested Labour antisemitism, according to report
Jeremy Corbyn’s Chief of Staff sought to force out Labour MPs who protested antisemitism in the Party, according to a report.

In WhatsApp messages, Karie Murphy expressed disappointment in April 2019 in reaction to seven Labour MPs quitting the Party in February, according the JC. She reportedly wrote: “F**king idiots. All the work I did to trigger them and they leave before I had the pleasure.” It appears that the message as reported is referring to so-called “trigger ballots” by local Labour Party branches to deselect incumbent MPs.

Efforts to deselect MPs who opposed antisemitism in Labour was a major issue during Mr Corbyn’s tenure, with three Jewish women MPs — Luciana Berger, who was among the seven who quit; Dame Louise Ellman, who quit later in the year; and Dame Margaret Hodge, who decided to continue to take the whip from Labour — all repeatedly threatened with deselection by pro-Corbyn elements in the Party and in their local constituency parties.

This report lends credence to the claim that at least some of these deselections were being encouraged by Mr Corbyn’s inner circle.

The messages also apparently show that Ms Murphy was involved in removing Keith Birch of the Unison union from the equality portfolio on the Labour Party’s ruling National Executive Committee. Mr Birch had called for the Party to adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism, which was controversial on the pro-Corbyn far-left of the Party. Ms Murphy reportedly wrote: “We took out Keith so Unison are p***ed. He has been a c**t for years.”

Labour has reportedly confirmed that it has opened an investigation into Ms Murphy’s messages.
JVL founder calls for Labour members to 'resist' Starmer's attempts to tackle antisemitism
Jewish Voice for Labour founder Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi has openly urged Labour members to “resist” attempts by Sir Keir Starmer to tackle antisemitism in the party.

And in a damning admission, Ms Wimborne-Idrissi, the vice-chair of Chingford and Woodford Green Labour Party, also said that as a result the actions of some pro-Palestine activists, “Jewish people are genuinely going to feel defensive and uncomfortable.”

In a further claim, JVL’s media officer said: “In the past year we haven’t just seen victory for the Zionist lobby, we’ve seen a close collaboration between the pro-Israel advocates and the entire political elite and establishment.

“We’re talking about the interests of imperialism and colonialism worldwide, we’re talking about the interest of the capitalist financial system — so we’re up against it.”

Ms Wimborne-Idrissi had been addressing an online meeting of Harrow and Brent Palestine Solidarity Campaign on September 29 when she launched her scathing attacks on both Sir Keir and Labour General Secretary David Evans.

She said: “We should be working to resist the imposition of the IHRA so-called definition — the non-legally binding definition of antisemitism on councils. (h/t Zvi)
BBC portrayal of the upcoming Israel-Lebanon maritime border talks
The BBC made no effort to inform readers that under the terms of UN SC resolution 1701, Hizballah forces should not be in southern Lebanon and that UNIFIL has failed to enforce the terms of that resolution since it was passed in 2006. Neither did the BBC’s report clarify that the same terrorist organisation has thwarted past attempts to solve the dispute over the maritime border.

Listeners to BBC Radio 4 on the same day were wrongly informed (from 06:30 here) in a news bulletin aired on ‘The World Tonight’ programme that the upcoming talks are not only about the maritime border.

Newsreader: “Israel and Lebanon have agreed to hold talks on their disputed maritime and land borders under US mediation. The two countries remain technically at war. The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has hailed the move as historic.”

The claim that the talks also concern the land border is inaccurate, as reported by the Jerusalem Post.
BBC portrayal of the upcoming Israel-Lebanon maritime border talks
In our complaint, we noted that multiple media outlets (including the Guardian, Independent, Daily Mail, NY Times, Associated Press, Washington Post, and LA Times) have, following communication with CAMERA, corrected articles which, implicitly or explicitly, claimed that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital.

We also reminded editors of the 2012 ruling by the Press Complaints Commission (the predecessor to IPSO) stating that it’s wrong to inform readers that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital.

Our complaint was upheld, and the word “Tel Aviv” was replaced with “Israel” in the sentence – though, as is usually the case with such corrections, the more accurate word, “Jerusalem”, to signify the country, was not added.
Online giants removing anti-Semitic content in Spanish — watchdog
Google, Facebook and YouTube are successfully removing large percentages of the anti-Semitic content in Spanish from their platforms, a Buenos Aires-based watchdog has found.

The Web Observatory, or Observatorio Web — a joint initiative between the Latin American Jewish Congress, a regional branch of the World Jewish Congress; the DAIA political umbrella organization for Argentina’s Jewish community; and the AMIA Jewish community center — released a report September 25 on the prevalence of online anti-Semitism in Spanish. In 2016, about 30% of Spanish-language online search results for the word “Jew” — “Judio” in Spanish — contained anti-Semitic content. That figure is now down to about 3%, the report finds.

The quantity of anti-Semitic content in the top 10 results of a Google search for the term alone has dropped by 50% over the past year.

Spanish is the second most popular language used on Facebook, and about 30% of the content mentioning Jews on the platform in Spanish involves anti-Semitism, the report found. Within the anti-Semitic content, about 65% of it involved the word “Zionism,” and about 40% involved the word “Israel.”

“Israel and Zionism are the vehicles for anti-Semitism online, this is a consolidated trend,” the report states.
Time for US to write definition of anti-Semitism into law
In May 2016, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) gifted the world an opportunity to abandon subjective decisions of what does or does not qualify as anti-Semitism. The IHRA – a united front of 31 nations whose common goal is to promote Holocaust education and remembrance – negotiated the working definition of anti-Semitism which empowers moral and well-intentioned democracies to create policies that effectively combat the spread of this stubborn global contagion.

Many nations, including the United States, adopted the non-legally binding working definition. The stronger option is to give the working definition the force of law. It is a choice that every nation can make, and many have. Governments that have taken the distinct step to codify this working definition demonstrate seriousness and determination in combating the evolving societal challenges of anti-Semitism.

Sadly, the United States has failed to take this step.

For decades, the United States has led the world in leveraging its awesome influence, economic might and moral foundations to force light into dark corners of the world where Jews are targets for discrimination. This powerful nation, however, has not yet fully examined the question of what constitutes anti-Semitism or harnessed the power that comes with applying a definition in curing our own societal ills.

Today our nation is in the throes of an important conversation about how America can be truer to its ideals. The focus on race, ethnicity, socioeconomics, gender and other factors is healthy and reflects a mature society willing to struggle with what America will stand for in the 21st century. We must add to this conversation how America defines anti-Semitism so we can rise above it once and for all.
Stickers apparently blaming Jews for virus posted in Halifax, Nova Scotia
Stickers that seem to blame Jews for the spread of the coronavirus were found posted throughout Halifax, the capital of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.

The sticker reads “The Bug That Backfired COVID-19,” flanked by a Star of David and a symbol of the Freemasons.

The stickers were found throughout downtown Halifax and on some university campuses, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported on Sunday.

The Atlantic Jewish Council, which represents the Jewish communities of eastern Canada, called the stickers a “malicious blood libel” in a tweet.

“The implication is that the Jewish community was the cause of COVID-19, which obviously is completely false and very anti-Semitic,” Naomi Rosenfeld, the council’s executive director, told the CBC.

Brooklyn synagogue defaced, Sukkot symbols destroyed
Police arrested a 25-year-old man on Wednesday suspected of defacing the Shore Parkway Jewish Center synagogue in Brooklyn, the local Brooklyn Paper reported.

At around 9 p.m. on Sunday, the assailant, Osman Butt, allegedly grabbed an Israeli flag from outside the synagogue and smashed it through the synagogue’s windows. He then reportedly broke in and vandalized the synagogue, while destroying several items and symbols marking the holiday of Sukkot.

The synagogue's director, Susan Altman, told the Brooklyn Paper that the attack is a disaster for the synagogue, which is experiencing financial difficulties as it is.

“We’re a poor shul. We don’t have the funds to replace our glass. I don’t know how we’re going to get out of this,” Altman said.
Note in child’s shoe at Auschwitz leads to discovery of father’s suitcase
A note found in a child’s shoe at the Auschwitz museum this summer has led researchers to a suitcase that likely belonged to the child’s father.

In July, employees of the Auschwitz museum discovered the name of Amos Steinberg written in a shoe. Amos Steinberg was born in Prague in 1938 and killed with his mother at Auschwitz.

Late last month, the museum linked the shoe to a suitcase in its collection that belonged to Ludwig Steinberg, who researchers believe is Amos’ father. Ludwig Steinberg, who was deported to Auschwitz on an earlier transport from his wife and son, survived the Holocaust and emigrated to Israel, according to the museum.

Steinberg’s name was written on the suitcase as was his transport number. Relatives living in Israel came forward with more information, according to the museum.

Steinberg moved to Israel in 1949, changing his name to Yehuda Shinan. He was a teacher and principal, and worked as a cantor in several synagogues. He died in 1985 and is survived by six grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Six Israeli Tech Companies Surpass $2 Billion Valuation This Year
In Israel in the past few months, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, six companies have crossed the $2 billion valuation threshold.

Monday has developed a platform for managing work teams in organizational projects. Snyk finds and fixes vulnerabilities in code. Via has developed a dynamic smart transportation platform.

Gong improves sales performance using artificial intelligence. Next Insurance is a digital insurance company. Tipalti automates management of payments to suppliers.
Israeli medical cannabis company signs deal to export to UK market
Israeli medical cannabis company Tikun Olam Cannbit Pharmaceuticals signed an MoU for cooperation with British company ITH Pharma, for the supply of CBD oil and other medical cannabis products in the UK.

According to the agreement, announced Wednesday, ITH Pharma will undertake an order to purchase approximately one ton of cannabis oil from the company per year, in bi-monthly doses, most likely starting December 2020.

In addition, Tikun Olam Cannbit will sell ITH Pharma the formulas for an array of different THC and CBD rich oils and flowers, to sell in the emerging UK medical cannabis market.

Subject to the removal of regulatory restrictions applicable to the parties in connection with export and import and other conditions to be set out in the agreement, it stipulates that the companies will work together to establish a joint company which will engage in the marketing and manufacturing of medical cannabis products in the UK.

This announcement is a continuation of Tikun Olam Cannbit’s plans to expand into Europe, which it announced at the end of May of a binding supply agreement with Fette Pharma for the German, Austrian and Swiss markets in a deal amounting to more than NIS 100 million.
Israel’s REE Automotive Hits the Track With Three Electric, Fully Modular, Next-Generation Platforms
Seven years after it was founded, and three years after shifting its focus to the development of electric vehicles, Israeli company REE Automotive has revealed three prototypes of its next-generation EV platforms.

In a video released by the company, REE showcased three of its modular platforms. The P1 platform of up to 1.3-ton GVW is geared for LSV last-mile inner-city delivery applications. The P2 platform scales up to 2.5-tons GVW and is designed to transport passengers and cargo. The P4 platform offers up to 4.5-tons GVW and is uniquely built for the North American market delivery segment.

In order to shorten and cheapen the development of electric vehicles, some car manufacturers have begun outsourcing the manufacturing of electric platforms on which they plan to base their future models. American company Rivian, which has raised over $6 billion, is providing Ford with its platform for the manufacturing of its electric off-road vehicle among others, and will also manufacture similar models under its own brand. Hyundai is planning to launch in two years an electric vehicle based on a platform built by American company Canoo.

REE has developed an industry-unique technology which offers a choice of REEcorner modules, each sized differently based on platform weight, dimensions and targeted applications. The REEcorner integrates all traditional vehicle components (steering, braking, suspension, e-motor) into the wheel’s arch and the REEboard which is a completely flat and modular chassis platform. That clears more room for passengers or cargo, with the unique structure also making maintenance and repairs easier to conduct.
Israel's Military Inclusion Program Inspires New U.S. Corps of Honor
Chris Neeley, whose son has Down Syndrome, is starting an American version of Israel's military inclusion program, Special in Uniform, so that young adults with intellectual and physical disabilities can serve their country. Neeley, a major in the U.S. Army National Guard, is a special-education administrator and chair of the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. "When I saw what the Israeli Defense Forces did to include them among their ranks, I realized this innovative approach could be a model for the United States," he said.

Neeley has visited some of the 28 bases where about 450 Special in Uniform soldiers are stationed. "I was blown away. I talked to the commanders about how the integration has helped relieve some of the garrison responsibilities like logistics, food services, medical services, transportation and administrative jobs so you can move soldiers without disabilities to the frontline. I saw how the IDF trains young people with autism to read satellite imagery and see things you and I can't see."
Netanyahu pushes plan to airlift 2,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday said the cabinet will vote next week on a plan to airlift 2,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel.

The proposal, which will be raised on Monday, earmarks NIS 370 million ($109 million) for the mass immigration, the Prime Minister’s Office said.

“Half a year ago, I committed to bringing the rest of the Jews of Ethiopia [to Israel],” Netanyahu said in a statement from his office. Monday’s cabinet vote is a steppingstone “on the way to bringing the rest,” he added. “We have also funded NIS 80 million for the community’s activities. We stand by our commitments.”

The announcement came days after a prominent anti-Netanyahu protester was heard on a video making a racially charged remark to a police officer of Ethiopian descent.

Deputy Public Security Minister Gadi Yevarkan of Likud, who is Ethiopian-Israeli, thanked the prime minister for the plan, while taking aim at Amir Haskel, the leader of the Ein Matzav protest group.

“Despite the racist calls we’re hearing, here is the answer. The best response is the continued immigration of Ethiopian Jewry, and certainly not to patronize them and tell them to thank everyone who had some sort of… [marginal] role in their immigration,” Yevarkan said.
Israeli singer to release album of secret collaboration with Iranian artists
An Israeli singer of Persian heritage will next month release an album she put together by secretly collaborating with Iranian artists, the UK Guardian newspaper reported Thursday.

Liraz Charhi said in an interview that she had feared for the lives of those who worked with her in Iran, a bitter foe of her native country that passed a law earlier this year making it illegal to cooperate with the Jewish state.

“Technically, it was very difficult,” Charhi, 42, said. “But emotionally, it was much more difficult. I felt night after night that I was doing a bad thing and these people could be arrested.”

Charhi, whose parents were from Iran, explained that for a long time she’d wanted to work with Iranians on a music project.

She contacted Iranian artists online, seeking out singers, composers, and those who could play the traditional baฤŸlama stringed instrument.

Many were eager to work with her, though some insisted that their real names not be used. Others who at first agreed later dropped out of the project, even changing their social media identities, she said.

An Iranian composer who gave only his professional name told the Guardian he was aware of the risks he took in working on the album, for which he wrote and sang songs.

“I know it is dangerous to work on this project,” Raman Loveworld said. “But we are just normal people.”

Loveworld recalled his surprise when he first found Charhi’s videos on Instagram.

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