Tuesday, January 22, 2019

From Ian:

The Persistence of European Antisemitism
Today’s public debates on antisemitism are frequently dominated by people who, while eager to express their personal opinions, are clearly ill-informed about the long history and chameleon-like character of Judeophobia. They are blissfully ignorant of the way Jew-hatred over the centuries has kept the same semantics but modified its forms and expressions according to changing circumstances.

Consequently, we hear passionate affirmations that “rightist populism is responsible for contemporary antisemitism,” or that “the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is the main cause,” or that “classical Jew-hatred is in retreat” — all long-since rejected by empirical research. Completely misleading, too, is the assertion that “antisemitism and Muslim-hatred are closely related,” or that present-day Muslims suffer the same discrimination Jews once did.

A misleading, albeit common allegation is that not enough research has yet been conducted on the problem of antisemitism. In this way, the copious results of existing research on the subject are swept under the rug and the real struggle against Jew-hatred is pushed into the future. Also, in recent times we hear and read frequently that “antisemitism has reached the middle of society.” “Reached”? Jew-hatred always came from the educated social center. There sit its most representative perpetrators. It has never been otherwise.

As in the past, present-day antisemitism reproduces and multiplies Jew-hating tendencies deeply rooted in Western consciousness. It follows the age-old pattern that attributes to the Jews all the miseries of the world. Antisemitic rancor is always directed against Jewish existence per se — and today, this means the most vital symbol of Jewish existence, the State of Israel. The opposition to Israel is now the meeting point of Jew-haters of diverse political and ideological colors, the common ground of present-day antisemitism. The old Judeophobia is projected onto the Jewish state.

Here lies the critical point where European official policy should intervene. Tirades of hate against the Jewish state are found not on the margins but in the center of Western society. Rancor against Israel feeds the dissemination of present-day antisemitism more than any other factor.
The Beginning of Post Holocaust Antisemitism?
I have pasted below a submission made to the UN Special Committee on Palestine in July 1947. The text is a statement made by the Iraqi representative Fadel Jamali, it is long (a shade under 5000 words) but well worth the read.

It shows how little the anti-Zionist arguments have changed in the last 70 odd years.

It also shows the evolution of the antisemitic arguments that are now causing so much consternation in the UK and USA and includes conspiratorial beliefs that are now flourishing healthily in the West:
“The Zionists have not come only for Palestine, which is mainly a barren, rocky and sandy country. Palestine is just a stepping-stone to the economic exploitation of the whole Middle-East. In the long run, the Zionists dream of big economic returns which will make up for the temporary losses. Hence, the whole world needs critically to examine Zionist propaganda and Zionist influence on the world press if we are to achieve peace in a democratic world. Great donations of money in a humanitarian guise for terrorism and aggressive invasion of Palestine must stop if we are to achieve peace in this part of the world.”

Nazi/Zionist comparisons were being made even as the survivors were still lived in the concentration camps from which they were liberated:
Some Zionists in this War probably joined the Allied Forces with a double end in view — the defeat of Hitler and the conquest of Palestine by force. They certainly learned some of the deadliest and most treacherous Nazi methods of warfare. They are applying them in Palestine today.

The irony of calling for a single democratic state that entirely ignores the expressed desires of one third of its potential inhabitants is lost on the representatives of various Arab states addressing the committee (as are many other things).

Melanie Phillips: Exhibition of cowardice in Golders Green
Here’s a little thought experiment for you to try.

Suppose a synagogue wanted to hold an exhibition commemorating, say, co-existence between Jews and Muslims in medieval Spain.

Suppose a group of Jews who objected to anything showing Muslims in a good light intimidated the organisers of the exhibition into dropping it, threatening them with violence if it went ahead.

There would be a huge outcry by the wider Jewish community at such behaviour. It would almost certainly make the national papers which would be delighted to show Jewish “extremists” in such a bad light.

Yet when the reverse happens the reaction is… silence.

When Golders Green Hippodrome was turned into a mosque in 2017, the Jewish community voiced initial concerns. These were largely dissipated when it emerged that the mosque, called the Markaz or Centre for Islamic Enlightening, was run by a Shia sect that follows Grand Ayatollah Sadiq Hussaini Shirazi.

The Shirazi are opposed to the Iranian theocratic regime on the grounds that there should be separation between mosque and state. As a result of this conflict, writes the counter-extremist researcher David Toube on the Quilliam website, the followers of the Shirazi school have been persecuted and its leaders arrested.

The Markaz has gone to some lengths to display neighbourliness and friendship towards the Jewish community. Its Jewish supporters say its leaders have a strong history of interfaith co-existence, have generally steered away from politics and have denounced jihadi groups.
Melanie Phillips: Crazy world Women's March antisemitism, Brexit end-game
Our crazy world: Please join me here as I discuss with Avi Abelow of Israel Unwired the antisemitism infesting the US “Women’s March”, the Brexit crisis in Britain which has reached its nail-biting end game, and more.

The woman and organization behind legal victories against antisemitism
Brooke Goldstein and the Lawfare Project – which she founded in 2010 and still leads – have been busy this year.

Their most recent success was last month when they held Saudi Arabia accountable for having discriminated against Israelis as host of a world international chess tournament run by the World Chess Federation (FIDE).

In a recent interview with The Jerusalem Post, Goldstein discussed her legal battles against anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish discrimination by Saudi Arabia in chess, by Kuwait Airways and at San Francisco State University.

Under pressure from a threatened lawsuit by the Lawfare Project, FIDE stripped Saudi Arabia from hosting a 2019 chess tournament and moved the location to Russia.

The Lawfare Project sent a lawyers’ letter on behalf of Israeli nationals after the Saudis blocked Israelis from participating in the same tournament last year because of their nationality and were set on doing the same again.

“Saudi Arabia engages in an illegal racist boycott of Israeli persons,” but “competition and chess... should be free of political drama,” Goldstein told the Post, noting that the Saudi chess story is just the latest version of antisemitism by “turning against the Jewish state.”

Goldstein said that apparently some of the other Israeli chess players were offered €500 each as compensation for the discrimination. But she said “my two clients did not accept this pay off,” saying none of the chess players should have had to choose between accepting money or an uphill fight against discrimination.
World chess governing body vows Israelis will always have right to compete
Newly elected President of the Athens-based Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE - World Chess Federation) Arkady Dvorkovich, expressed his ongoing support to root out antisemitism and continued to ensure that Israelis will have the right to compete in all competitions held by the FIDE, during a visit to Israel last week.

Dvorvich met with President of the Israeli Chess Federation Moshe Slav and Director General of the FIDE Emil Sutovsky, the first Israeli to achieve the title.

"We talked about a partnership with the Israel Chess Association on big international competitions that can be held in Israel and about training young chess players.” Dvorvich said to TASS news agency.

During the meeting, Israeli officials lauded the swift decision making of the FIDE to relocate its World Blitz and Rapid Championship from Riyadh to Russia after Saudi Arabia barred Israelis from participating in the tournament. Saudi Arabia had also banned Israeli players in 2017.

During which time the FIDE released a statement saying, "FIDE rejects discriminatory treatment for national, political, racial, social or religious reasons or on account of gender,” adding that the FIDE statutes stipulate that only federations offering free access to competitors are allowed to host tournaments.

"The State of Israel thanked us for changing the World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships to St. Petersburg, in agreement with the Saudi partners, and this allowed for Israeli players to take part in the championship," Dvorkovich said in regards to last year's competition.
CAMERA Op-Ed: The Media’s Antisemitism Problem
Adolf Hitler was a genocidal dictator who unleashed the most destructive war in the history of mankind and perpetrated the Holocaust. He was also a lover of animals and art who, initially anyways, brought Germany’s economy out of the doldrums. Life is complicated.

A version of this tortured logic made an appearance in a Jan. 4, 2019 Op-Ed by Los Angeles Times columnist Robin Abcarian entitled “Can you admire Louis Farrakhan and still advance the cause of women? Maybe so. Life is full of contradictions,” which acted as an apologia for the antisemitism of several Women’s March leaders. Abcarian lamented three of the Women’s March founders’ praise of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan despite “his abysmal record of anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia and sexism.”

But the columnist insisted that the “bigger picture” demands that, “Everyone involved in the Women’s March can take a bow,” regardless of which leader said “what to whom about Jewish people when, and the merits of a noted anti-Semite.” Abcarian omitted and obfuscated on the antisemitic tendencies of several Women’s March founders, which have been extensively documented by Tablet Magazine, among others—and which go way beyond the conference call praising Farrakhan that Abcarian highlighted.

Would a major U.S. news outlet be so casually dismissive of other prejudices? Doubtful. The LA Times column is emblematic of a troubling trend: the media’s unwillingness to treat antisemitism seriously.
The New York Times’ Favorite Conversation
Michelle Alexander fancies herself a pioneer, heroically "breaking the silence" on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In her latest column, "Time to Break the Silence on Palestine," the New York Times columnist invokes the memory of Martin Luther King Jr., on the eve of his namesake holiday, to offer what she describes as a groundbreaking approach that—get this—blames Israel for the conflict.

Alexander describes how, at the Riverside Church in Manhattan on April 4, 1967, King spoke out against the Vietnam War, despite the backlash that he expected to receive. "A time comes when silence is betrayal," he said, and "that time has come for us in relation to Vietnam."

Apparently Alexander sees herself as a 21st century, female version of the great man, only this time her focus is on what she calls "Israel-Palestine."

King's remarks are "what I think about when I go over the excuses and rationalizations that have kept me largely silent on one of the great moral challenges of our time: the crisis in Israel-Palestine," Alexander writes.

"Until very recently," she continues, "the entire Congress has remained mostly silent on the human rights nightmare that has unfolded in the occupied territories."

"Many civil rights activists and organizations have remained silent as well, not because they lack concern or sympathy for the Palestinian people, but because they fear loss of funding from foundations, and false charges of anti-Semitism," she adds.

Then there are the students, fearful of expressing support for Palestinian rights because of, according to Alexander, the "McCarthyite tactics of secret organizations" that blacklist those who publicly support boycotts against the Jewish state. Because college campuses are, of course, known for their right-wing Zionist activists, silencing the few lone leftists among the faculty and student body.
A Guide to B’Tselem: Israel’s in-house subsidized fifth column
B’Tselem is a non-governmental organization that wants you to think it is a pacifist movement guarding against “human rights abuses” by the IDF against the civilian Palestinian Arab population both inside Israel's pre-1967 borders (actually Armistice lines) and the 'West Bank' and Gaza.

Although today it is run by Israeli anarchist leaders, in the past, B’tselem was run by American anarchists living in Israel. “B’Tselem” means “in Thine own image,” a biblical quote referring to man's soul, applying the lie that it exists solely to keep Israel on the straight and narrow regarding human rights.

A beter look shows that B’Tselem is a dedicated fifth column against the Jewish state and an unannounced ally of the likes of Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Fatah and the PFLP. B’Tselem is funded by a plethora of EU NGOs that openly promote BDS and could be termed a “back door” for Israel’s enemies to roam about the Jewish state and worldwide media trying to convince the world that the IDF is Jack the Ripper.

B’Tselem writes on its website that “in its capacity as a human rights organization – now unequivocally demands an end to the occupation. To promote that goal, B’Tselem works to expose the injustice, violence and dispossession inherent to the regime of occupation, to deconstruct the apparatuses that enable it, and challenge its legitimacy in Israel and internationally”.

“Occupation,” of course, has multiple meanings to the BDS and anti-Israel media war machines. Sometimes it is used referring only to the 'West Bank' and Gaza, but most of the time it means all of Israel. Point of fact, B’Tselem sees itself as a media and propaganda tool against the entire Jewish state.
Republican Rep. trying to stop West Bank trip led by Democrat Tlaib
A Republican lawmaker from Texas is trying to prevent congresswoman Rashida Tlaib from leading a delegation of freshman lawmakers to the West Bank.

The trip led by Tlaib, who is Palestinian American, would be held at the same time as the traditional Israel mission for first-term lawmakers sponsored by the education arm of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, which includes touring and meetings with leading Israeli figures in business, government and the military.

Rep. Brian Babin said in a letter dated January 17 to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and circulated to fellow congressmen that the taxpayer-funded trip led by “an outspoken supporter of the ‘BDS’ Israeli boycott movement and whose personal vitriol led her to publicly brag about calling our President a “mother****er” to her young son, is both ill-conceived and inconsistent with our national values.”

He said that Israel is “of vital importance to US interests in the Middle East,” and that a trip of lawmakers exclusively to the West Bank “threatens that relationship. To signal to our most threatened ally in the region that the United States Congress sanctions an official trip to visit Israel’s nemesis would be an exceedingly dangerous path forward.”
US lawmaker says she ‘unknowingly’ used anti-Semitic trope in Israel criticism
Freshman US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar on Tuesday said she “unknowingly” used an anti-Semitic trope to criticize Israel in 2012, but the Minnesota Democrat insisted she won’t shy away from future criticism of the Jewish state.

Responding to a New York Times op-ed that criticized her 2012 comment accusing Israel of “hypnotizing the world” to carry out “evil,” Omar said she was unaware of the “ugly sentiment” that accompanied the remark.

“In all sincerity, it was after my CNN interview that I heard from Jewish orgs. that my use of the word ‘Hypnotize’ and the ugly sentiment it holds was offensive,” she tweeted.

The tweet, which said that “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel,” came in reaction to Israel’s November 2012 operation against the Hamas terror group in Gaza.
The Women’s March Failed By Sowing Discord Instead Of Unity
I believe in the power of people to make change – especially women. I have seen women of different religions, ethnicities, backgrounds, socioeconomic levels, belief systems, and lifestyles, come together toward a common goal and make it happen.

That’s why watching the deterioration of the Women’s March has been so painful, both as a woman and — even more so — as a Jew.

For instead of focusing on the 98% they have in common with all women, the “leadership” of the Women’s March, especially Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory, insisted on focusing on the 2% that makes us different. And this was their downfall.

By now, Mallory’s refusal to condemn the viciously anti-Semitic words of Louis Farrakahn is famous.

But it’s not just a refusal to condemn Farrakhan that has made Jewish women feel alienated from the March. The truth is, the Women’s March leadership has an obsession with Israel. And instead of being an inclusive space for all American women, it’s chosen to focus on an issue 6,000 miles away, sowing division and discord instead of unity.

Last week, Mallory refused to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist. This was coupled with the inclusion of the boycott against Israel as the only international item in the civil rights section of their new, 71 page agenda.

“One of the biggest threats to speech today are the attempts to silence social movements, including those advocating for Palestinian rights, Black liberation in the United Sates, Indigenous rights and environmental progress,” the document states.
Women’s March protesters express concern over anti-Semitism among leadership
Usually, the way these Campus Reform videos go is that the interviewer walks onto a college campus and asks people at random about some progressive issue or group and it turns out the students don’t know much of anything about the topic beyond the simple idea that if it’s on the left it’s good by definition. So this clip is a bit different. The women approached in this clip are all out participating in the Women’s March in Washington, DC over the weekend. Quite a few of them not only know about the allegations of anti-Semitism among Women’s March leadership but agree that it’s a problem even though they obviously support the march.

See Also: Pence to Venezuelans: Now’s a pretty good time for a little revolution, you know

The first young women in this clip said the reports of anti-Semitism don’t bother her. But as you’ll see her ability to explain why completely falls apart and she winds up sounding a bit confused. To be fair to this young lady, if you stuck a camera in my face unexpectedly there’s a better than average chance I’d sound confused as well.
Report: Trump intends to deliver SOTU as scheduled at the Capitol, despite Pelosi's objection

But most of the rest of the respondents seemed to agree the allegations of anti-Semitism are a problem. The woman dressed as a vagina said, “I’m concerned if there is anti-Semitic support at the march.

Edwin Black: UCLA kept the peace at a pro-Israel event - what happened?
UCLA’s refusal to refer its students for prosecution or even investigate the crime was thwarted when legal staff at StandWithUs and the Brandeis Center converged on the campus to walk students into the UCLA PD and UCI police stations to file criminal complaints. Filing those complaints forced the police to investigate and then refer the case to prosecutors. Ultimately that included both student and non-student participants.

Whether or not the perpetrators at UCLA or UCI are prosecuted, it seems the reality on the ground at UC campuses has been altered. In the days after Thanksgiving 2018, this writer delivered four consecutive lectures on Israel history at California campuses: UC Davis, UC Berkeley, San Francisco State, and UCLA. Despite concerns, no interference or disruption manifested.

The UCLA event was sponsored by a coalition of groups including the same Students Supporting Israel chapter that had been harassed last May. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center attended to kick off the event which was live-streamed. At UCLA, it was a new day. When campus police learned of the event, they took immediate steps to ensure it would proceed with no interference. Two UCLA PD officers were dispatched to the event itself, both highly trained and deeply conversant with the pro-Israel and Jewish communal scene. A representative of the administration joined the officers. The police and administration declared that, in the event of a disruption, perpetrators would be given one warning to immediately cease and desist; and if they did not, “they will be arrested and charged.” This, coupled with the LA Prosecutor’s watchful eye, combined to insulate the event from criminal disruption.

Thus, thanks to leadership at StandWithUs and the Brandeis Center, and courageous students who stepped forward, combined with intense media scrutiny, the rate of acceleration of anti-Semitism on campus and especially at UC colleges, has been temporarily slowed—at least, slowed for the moment.
After settlements, Airbnb to delist rentals in Georgian breakaway regions
Airbnb, which has taken heat for removing listings in West Bank Jewish settlements, has updated the areas it would delist, adding two contested autonomous areas in the republic of Georgia.

South Ossetia and Abhkazia has been added to the places where Airbnb will not offer rooms and homes for rent.

In November, Airbnb announced that it would remove listings in the settlements, citing the “dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.” At the time, it was criticized for only including the West Bank and no other disputed or occupied territories.

“As a global platform operating in 191 countries and regions and more than 81,000 cities, we must consider the impact we have and act responsibly,” the company said late last week in an updated statement titled “Framework for Evaluating Listings in Disputed Areas.” “Accordingly, we have developed a framework for evaluating how we should treat listings in disputed territories, including territories some consider occupied where homes — the core of our business — are central to ongoing tensions.”
In this photo from January 17, 2016, Moshe Gordon sits outside his guest house advertised on the Airbnb international home-sharing site in Nofei Prat settlement in the West Bank. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, File)

The company said it is continuing to review other areas of the world that are the subject of disputes.

A visit to the Airbnb website shows that rentals in Jewish settlements remain posted and are available to rent for the next several months in most cases.

BuzzFeed Runs Crazy Story Accusing Jews of Conspiring Against George Soros
BuzzFeed is not having a good week.

The cat listicle website is under attack for its fake story about Trump and Cohen. And then it decided to double down on those false claims while running a crazy story claiming that Jews had conspired to smear George Soros.

Now Hannes Grassegger's nutty rant isn't just the usual media whitewashing of Soros. Lately the media has decided that the only anti-Semitism it will recognize is criticism of George Soros.

But Hannes Grassegger goes well beyond that with an insane claim. The claim is that negative portrayals of Soros began in 2008 with some sort of conspiracy involving Netanyahu, Jewish campaign consultants and Viktor Orban.

Forget everything else.

Soros was a despised figure among Jews and non-Jews long before 2008. He had personally declared war on George W. Bush. He had accused Jews of being responsible for anti-Semitism. He was being condemned by the ADL and Elie Wiesel.
Target Israel: George Soros-Funded Groups Leading BDS War on Jewish State
Financing tied to billionaire activist George Soros is a common yet largely under-reported theme among organizations that lead or support the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign attempting to delegitimize the Jewish state.

In January, Israel released a list of 20 BDS-supporting organizations whose members will be banned from entering Israel due to their BDS activism, prominently featuring six American groups. At least four of the six BDS-promoting U.S. groups receive funding tied to Soros. Scores of other U.S. organizations that support the BDS movement are financed by Soros.

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a central proponent of anti-Israel BDS activism on college campuses and in churches, boasting a mission that exclaims active support for “boycott and divestment campaigns that target companies complicit in the occupation.”

AFSC has been financed by Soros’s Open Society Foundations as well as the Soros-funded Tides Foundation.

Tides is a central funding hub that distributes donor funds to far-left organizations. Indeed, Tides is one of the nation’s biggest funders of progressive organizations.

AFSC helped lead the campaign demanding divestment from Hewlett Packard and Sodastream due to the companies’ Israel branches.

AFSC works hand in hand with Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which is notorious for its anti-Israel crusade on college campuses, where the group peddles the BDS movement. AFSC and SJP are both featured on Israel’s list of six banned U.S.-based BDS-promoting organizations.

BBC News website still not sure who dug Lebanon border tunnels
On the evening of January 17th an article titled “Lebanon arrests US man for crossing illegally from Israel” appeared on the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page.

While the account of that still sketchy story is much the same as that seen in other media reports, the BBC also found it appropriate to add the following unrelated information.

“Tensions have been high in the region in recent weeks, with the Israeli military launching an operation to destroy six “attack tunnels” under the border that it says were dug by Hezbollah. Hezbollah has not commented on the tunnels.”

Apparently the BBC is still not convinced that Hizballah dug those cross-border tunnels or of their purpose. Yet again however the corporation refrained from providing audiences with an alternative explanation for tunnels hundreds of meters long quarried through solid limestone under the international border by a terror group dedicated to Israel’s destruction. And once again the BBC inaccurately stated that the terror group “has not commented” when in fact Hizballah’s second in command did just that.
BBC’s Mishal Husain fosters a narrative with airbrushed statistics
First let’s examine the source of that information. Although Husain uses the terms “UN” and “United Nations”, the data specifically comes from a press release put out by the local branch of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) which, as regular readers know, is a highly politicised and partisan organisation that has in the past used highly dubious methodology to produce reports on casualties in the Gaza Strip.

That UNOCHA press release states that 23,000 (79%) of the 29,000 people described by Mishal Husain as “injured by Israeli forces” sustained their injuries “in the context of Gaza’s ‘Great March of Return’ demonstrations by the fence”. As we see on UNOCHA’s own data base its definition of injured means:

“…people who were physically hurt in a relevant incident and received medical treatment at a clinic or hospital, or by paramedic personnel on the site of the incident. This includes people who received treatment due to suffocation [sic] by tear gas.”

And indeed, according to the break-down titled “Injuries by type of weapon” appearing on that data base, the most frequent cause of those injuries is defined as “Tear Gas (inhalation)”.

Another point arising from that data – but airbrushed away from audience view by Husain – is UNOCHA’s admittance that some of the casualties were terrorists.

“At least 28 of the Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in 2018 were members of armed groups in Gaza…”

The figure cited by UNOCHA is considerably lower than that claimed by Hamas. As was noted here in May 2018:
Rio mayor joins viral campaign to raise awareness of Holocaust
The mayor of Brazil’s second largest city has joined a global Jewish initiative to raise awareness about the Holocaust and the dangers of anti-Semitism.

Marcelo Crivella, who is not Jewish, gathered his entire municipal staff on Friday to take a group picture holding a poster with the hashtag #WeRemember.

“We are all putting on the #WeRemember T-shirt, in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. This tragic episode in the history of humankind will never be forgotten. Two million innocent children, four million fathers and mothers, innocent citizens, were killed, coldly murdered in concentration camps,” Crivella said, the Rio City Hall website reported.

“The campaign intends to combat anti-Semitism and all forms of hate, genocide and xenophobia. The aim of the campaign is to disseminate knowledge of the Holocaust in World War II through digital media, when about six million Jews were killed in Nazi concentration camps,” read the message about the World Jewish Congress-led campaign.
Brazilian Jews sue cartoonist over ‘Nazi hug’ Netanyahu drawing
Brazilian Jews have filed a lawsuit against an iconic cartoonist over a drawing that was considered anti-Semitic.

The Rio Jewish federation sued cartoonist Aroeira for his image featuring Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro, in a hug with their arms held in the shape of a swastika. The cartoon was published by O Dia newspaper and circulated on social media.

“Art can never be used to offend the memory of millions of people who died in World War II. The issue will be viewed with severity. We can’t tolerate the offense to Jews and other minorities,” Jewish federation president Arnon Velmovitsky told the weekly television show Comunidade na TV on Sunday.

The lawsuit made headlines after Rio’s largest newspaper, O Globo, highlighted the fact that the Jewish federation’s legal department is led by Rodrigo Fux, who is son of Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Luis Fux.
Zazzle pulls antisemitic T-shirt after complaints
Zazzle, the personalized gift company, pulled an antisemitic shirt for sale on its site after complaints.

The company, which allow users to design and sell a variety of customized items, removed a shirt on Sunday that read "At least I'm not Jewish."

The shirt was not designed by Zazzle itself, but by a user named "The Slesk Bazaar." As of Monday, the user no longer had any products for sale on Zazzle. A cached Google search showed that it had also been selling a shirt reading "At least I'm not Christian."

Twitter users - including the accounts @No2BDS and writer Ashlee Marie Preston, began complaining Sunday about the shirt. Zazzle quickly responded, saying it was removing the item in question.

"We’ve immediately removed the products in question," the company wrote on Twitter. "Zazzle provides an open marketplace where designers can create and upload wide variety of products. When a product is brought to our attention that violates our terms of service, we take swift action to have the product removed."
Nazi architect Speer’s daughter sold his paintings to fund Jewish women’s causes
When Hilde Schramm inherited several paintings collected by her father, Hitler’s chief architect and Armaments Minister Albert Speer, she was only sure of one thing: she did not want them.

Despite determining that they probably had not been looted from Jews during World War II, she wanted their legacy to somehow benefit others. So she huddled with friends around a rickety green table at her home office in Berlin and came up with a plan to sell them and use the proceeds to support Jewish women’s creative projects in Germany.

In 1994, that became the Zurueckgeben Foundation, a project for which Schramm is receiving an Obermayer German Jewish History Award on Monday. The honor was established by an American Jewish philanthropist to recognize the efforts of non-Jewish Germans to keep alive their nation’s Jewish cultural past.

The foundation’s name translates as “return” or “give back,” but can also mean “restitution.” Schramm said it was intentionally chosen to emphasize its goal of raising awareness at a time when looted Jewish property and art was a little talked-about issue.

“It was very much our point with this word ‘Zurueckgeben,’ which in a way is a provocation, because in a way nobody really can give back, to raise consciousness about the injury that had been done very broadly in Germany,” she told The Associated Press.
Researchers from Harvard, Bar-Ilan Discover Trigger for Immune System to Attack Cancers
Researchers from Harvard University and Israel’s Bar-Ilan University have revealed a new mechanism for activating the immune system against cancer cells, a discovery that could aid the treatment of lung and skin cancer.

The researchers found that the immune system could be harnessed to fight cancer cells in an efficient manner when they blocked a mechanism that routinely serves the body by marking human virus-like genes in order to avoid identifying them as viruses.

“Deletion of the RNA-editing enzyme ADAR1 sensitizes tumor cells to immunotherapy,” explained Prof. Erez Levanon from Bar-Ilan University, one of the study’s co-authors.

The study, led by Prof. Nick Haining of Harvard Medical School, was recently published in the journal Nature.

“We, and others, are looking for a molecule that inhibits ADAR1. Such a molecule can serve as a drug and can be tested in animal models and later in humans. This will take several years,” Levanon said.

Recent years have seen the development of a new generation of cancer drugs that inhibit immune activity against tumors and which have shown success in treating several tumor types. However, these drugs have only been able to help a small number of patients and in many cases fail to cause the immune system to attack tumors.
Israeli director Guy Nattiv’s ‘Skin’ gets nod for short film Oscar
Israeli filmmaker Guy Nattiv’s short film “Skin” was nominated Tuesday for the Oscar for best live action short film.

The film, which was directed by Nattiv, is about a gang war in a small town that breaks out after a black man smiles at a white child at a supermarket.

Nattiv wrote “Skin” with Sharon Maymon, who is also from Israel.

The 20-minute film has been developed into a full-length feature by the same name, also directed by Nattiv.

Nattiv grew up in Israel and now lives in Los Angeles,
Miri Regev supports Stoudemire's request to be granted Israeli citizenship
Sports and Culture Minister Miri Regev supports Hapoel Jerusalem's and former NBA star Amar'e Stoudemire's request to be granted with Israeli citizenship.

Amar'e Stoudemire and Hapoel Jerusalem filed a request to the Interior Ministry requesting the approval of Israeli citizenship to the American basketball player.

Stoudemire's request was based on a clause that allows a player to be eligible due to his contribution to sports, but in that case he needs a recommendation from the related Minister, Miri Regev.

Regev sent her approval to Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, after Stoudemire declared that he is willing to pay taxes in Israel.

"Stoudemore is the first basketball player to declare his intention to pay taxes in Israel, which reflects his intentions to settle down in Israel at the end of his athletic career," Regev wrote to Deri. "I support the recommendation of the basketball association to grant Amar'e Stoudemire Israeli citizenship."
Ryanair CEO: We can bring millions more to Israel
Irish low-cost airline Ryaniar's CEO Michael O'Leary arrived in Israel on Tuesday and was interviewed by Channel 13 news.

"The sooner terminal 1 opens, the faster our growth in Israel would be," O'Leary said. "We can bring millions more to Israel, we will grow as fast as the authorities allow us to"

O'Leary also promised that Ryanair "can offer over 200 new airports and destinations" to the Israelis. He also promised that "both Israelis and tourists will enjoy the company's low prices."
Israel surges to take fifth place in new Bloomberg Innovation Index
Israel is ranked fifth among the world’s most innovative economies, according to a new Innovation Index published by Bloomberg, bounding five spots up from last year, when it came in 10th.

South Korea and Germany led the index, ranking first and second respectively, followed by Finland, Switzerland and Israel. Singapore took sixth place, Sweden seventh, and the US, Japan and France came in at eight, ninth and tenth. The US rose three spots in the 2019 ranking, after it fell out of the top 10 economies for the first time in 2018, Bloomberg said. South Korea took first place in the 2018 ranking as well.

The list published on Tuesday comes as global elites meet at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where they will discuss the future of globalization, the role of the state and how innovation can help push economies forward.

This is the seventh year of publication of the annual Bloomberg Innovation Index. The 2019 index is compiled by analyzing seven equally weighted categories, including research and development spending, patent activity, manufacturing capability and concentration of high-tech public companies.

Patent activity boosted Israel’s score this year, along with that of China, which ranked 16th this year, rising from 19th in the 2018 list.

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