Tuesday, September 17, 2019

From Ian:

Siraj Hashmi: The Women’s March Finally Dumped Linda Sarsour - And Replaced Her With Someone Worse
On Monday, the Women’s March made a shocking announcement: it had cut ties with three of its four founders––Linda Sarsour, Bob Bland, and Tamika Mallory. Sarsour and Mallory had become controversial figures due to allegations of anti-Semitism, including a cozy relationship with rabid anti-Semite and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Monday’s announcement should have been a turning point for a movement that has been tainted by the recurring strain of anti-Semitism. Instead, in a move both remarkable and disheartening, the Women’s March has managed to find yet another anti-Semitic Muslim woman to serve on its board.

Consider Zahra Billoo, an attorney and the executive director of the San Francisco chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations. Billoo’s hateful and anti-Semitic tweets, particularly in relation to Israel, were brought back into focus when she was “promoted” to board member within the Women’s March.

In a June 2012 tweet, Billoo wrote, “Apartheid Israel kills children as a hobby.”

In February 2015, Billoo responded to the Obama administration program to counter radical Islamic terrorism in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack by writing, “DHS and FBI should launch CVE [Countering Violent Extremism] programs targeting Israel supporters because Zionism is a very real threat to our national security.”

Billoo also made direct comparisons between the Jewish State of Israel and the terrorist Islamic State, posting on Twitter, “Who has killed, tortured, and imprisoned more people: Apartheid Israel or ISIS?”

She disparaged Zionists and even accused the FBI of recruiting for the Islamic State, writing, “I’m more afraid of racist Zionists who support Apartheid Israel than the mentally ill young people the #FBI recruits to join ISIS. #CVE.”

Unfortunately, Billoo’s racist tweets do not stand alone. They seem to reflect the views of most prominent Muslims in America on the Left.

BDS Co-Founder Omar Barghouti to Speak at Labour Party Conference Festival
Palestinian activist and co-founder of the BDS movement Omar Barghouti will speak on a panel at an event taking place alongside the British Labour Party Conference.

Barghouti plans to discuss “British state and non-state actors” using “a variety of methods to suppress the democratic mobilizing of those working for progressive causes” on Sept. 24 at “The World Transformed,” an annual four-day political festival running beside the Labour Party Conference.

The Labour Party Conference is not officially associated with the festival, though Labour Party members, including leader Jeremy Corbyn, have made appearances there in recent years.

A spokesman for the festival defended Barghouti’s involvement on the panel, saying, “Omar Barghouti is one of a number of internationally recognized human-rights defenders we have at this year’s festival, which features a range of distinguished speakers representing struggles from across the Global South. Mr. Barghouti has spoken extensively at universities, festivals and events around the world to defend the rights of the Palestinian people as recognized by international laws.”

Barghouti co-founded the BDS movement in 2005, and two years later, the Palestinian BDS National Committee, which has links to the US-designated terror group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Florida Dem Accuses Israel of Bulldozing Palestinians in Their Homes
A Democratic Florida congressional candidate has accused Israel of systematically eradicating Palestinian homes with civilians still inside them, an out-of-context claim that is routinely used by Israel’s detractors to inaccurately paint the Jewish state as committing acts of ethnic cleansing.

Christine Olivo, a self-described "humanitarian" who is running for Congress in Florida’s 24th district, made the claim Monday on Twitter while expressing frustration that anti-Israel activism is perceived by many in the mainstream of politics as anti-Semitic in nature.

"Everyone thinks that if you side with the Palestinians then you’re anti-Semitic. WTF [What the Fuck]!" Olivo wrote in response to an article about the upcoming Israeli elections that was tweeted by a cofounder of the virulently anti-Israel organization IfNotNow, which has accused sitting members of Congress of "dual-loyalty" to Israel.

"We can't turn a blind eye to the suffering that they're enduring at the hands of people that have endured great suffering themselves," Olivo wrote. "THEIR HOUSES ARE BEING BULLDOZED WITH THEM IN IT!"

Olivo's claim, which was offered without evidence, is often deployed by Israel's critics to falsely accuse the Jewish state of carrying out the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in disputed territories.

US pressed European lawmakers to oppose BDS, report shows
US diplomats in Dublin and Berlin pressed lawmakers and officials in Ireland and Germany to oppose bids to boycott Israel or the Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

A State Department report delivered last week to Congress and obtained Monday by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency lists actions taken by US diplomats to oppose the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel in compliance with a 2015 law mandating such periodic reports.

According to the report, the diplomats engaged senior government officials and party leaders in Ireland “strongly urging them to drop their support” for a bill that would target for penalties the importing of goods from settlements in the West Bank.

The bill passed a reading in January but has not fully completed the legislative process. The State Department document says it is not clear if the measure will advance. Ireland’s foreign minister and deputy prime minister, Simon Coveney, opposes the bill, the report says, as he fears it would limit Irish influence in the region.

In Germany, the report notes that a court last year dismissed a lawsuit filed by an Israeli against Kuwait Airlines because it would not allow the passenger to board a flight. Following the ruling, the report says, “Embassy Berlin engaged senior officials,” adding that the embassy routinely “conducts outreach” to German officials, as well as federal and state lawmakers, with respect to Israel and Jewish life.

Subsequently, the parliament approved a resolution designating BDS as anti-Semitic.
A "Guide" to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict by the United Church of Christ
Titled, "Promoting a Just Peace in Palestine-Israel", and sub-headed "A Guide for United Church of Christ Faith Leaders", this toxic document is a desperately one-sided, inaccurate, and counter-factual exercise in futile politics.

There is no room in it for a Jewish, Israeli or moderate Christian voice; just hatred of Israel and defence of the Palestinians who, time after time, have turned down generous offers of peace. The naïvety of the UCC is particularly striking in its choice to take at face value the Palestinian statement that if Israel ended its occupation, "Then they will see a new world in which there is no fear, no threat but rather security, justice and peace." That is simply bunkum. Sadly, the Palestinians have a history of regarding every goodwill gesture by Israel as a retreat, as the triumph of aggression over diplomacy -- as if to say: We shoot at Israelis and they leave; so, let's keep shooting!

Palestinian terrorism against Israelis has continued up to 1967, right through the period of Israeli non-occupation. There were no "settlements" then. Rather, the Palestinians have always regarded all of Israel as one big "settlement". Just look at any Palestinian maps; they cover both the entirety of Israel and the Palestinian territories.

The UCC boasts that it is "a just peace church", but instead of supporting peace and justice, it defends mass murderers. It complains about the defensive actions of the Jews but is knowingly silent about the horrors wrought by Palestinian wars and terrorism.
Omar: God ‘Expects’ You to Vote a Certain Way
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) said during a forum last week that God expects people to vote a certain way.

"God does not expect you to vote for people who will ultimately hurt you and other humans around you," Omar said during a forum on the "Plight Of Black Immigrants" in Washington, D.C. Her remarks were caught on video by America Rising.

Omar was explaining to the audience the importance of being educated on the government's policies and getting "off the sidelines."

"And I beg of you, to really think about what is your role as a member of our community, our society, our country, our world to dealing with some of these policy challenges," Omar said. "Make sure you're voting. Make sure you understand why you're voting. And make sure you know who you are voting for. And yes, God has obligations to all of us but God expects us to do the righteous work."

Omar is an advocate of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, which has been condemned by the Anti-Defamation League. BDS also has links to terrorism and has been called anti-Semitic by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.). In a Sunday interview, Omar reiterated her support for BDS, claiming it would lead to a peace process in the Middle East. During her 2018 campaign, she told Jewish voters she opposed BDS because it would be counterproductive to the peace process.

College Students Work to Promote Informed Dialogue About Israel on Campus
A panel at the Jewish National Fund annual conference, held this year in Washington, DC, titled “Positively Israel: Influencing the Narrative on Campus” featured Jewish and non-Jewish students, along with faculty, who spoke about the importance of building relationships with open-minded members of the campus community willing to engage in constructive conversations about Israel.

“As a young person and a college student, I believe it is important for pro-Israel students to be leaders of the future, not the conflict,” said Caravan for Democracy participant Deandra Denton, who attends Hofstra University on Long Island, NY. “Israel is one of the most fascinating countries on the planet. The program helped shape my perception of Israel and allowed me to see that Israel is a diverse country with a rich and complex society. All too often, the topic of Israel is sloganized and simplified, and people fail to see the nuances that exist.”

The panel lamented the fact that anti-Israel students continue to promote negative and deliberately simplified views about Israel on campus, along with more potent activism in the form of the BDS movement, which in turn creates a tense and unwelcoming environment for Jewish and pro-Israel students.

“We create pro-Israel spaces on campus, where people can come in and have a conversation about where they stand and how they perceive Israel,” said co-chair of JNF-USA’s College Summit and Ohio State University student Maya Rosenberg. “The reality is that there are spaces on campus that refuse to allow pro-Israel students to express their opinions; however, we want to promote a dialogue that is respectful and open. There has never been a more important time for pro-Israel students to come together to change the narrative on campus.”
Belgian university denotes 'Jew' with the same hand-sign for hooked nose
A gesture signaling a hooked nose is how one Belgian university described “Jew” in its online sign-language dictionary.

The University of Ghent compiled the dictionary and features the gesture in videos on the website.

The European Jewish Association protested in a statement Monday. Its director, Menachem Margolin, said the first two videos depicting a Jew “seem standard.” Both show a presenter stroking an imaginary beard.

“The second involving side-locks are borderline acceptable if misleading,” he said, “and the last two are simply racist and demeaning to Jews, using a gesticulation of a large and hooked nose to define Jew.”

Margolin has asked campus authorities to remove the two gestures from the dictionary.
Jewish Student Group Target of Vandalism at Lehigh University
A Jewish student group at a Pennsylvania university was the target of an apparent act of vandalism.

According to local paper The Morning Call, Lehigh University is investigating the theft of a banner reading, “Office of Jewish Student Life,” outside the university’s Jewish Student Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Rabbi Steven Nathan was quoted saying, “It would be easy to say, ‘Oh this was just a prank.’ But why did they choose our building?”

Citing a general atmosphere of rising antisemitism, Nathan said, “To me this is some sort of intent there to send a subtle message like, ‘We want to rattle you a little bit. We don’t necessarily think you belong here or we want to make you feel a little bit uncomfortable.’”

The university’s vice president for equity and community, Donald Outing, sent a school-wide email saying, “Lehigh University will not tolerate acts of prejudice, discrimination, or property destruction directed at religious groups, just as we would not tolerate such acts based on race, gender, culture, immigration status, or sexual orientation.”

“The faculty, staff, and students of Lehigh University are committed to building a campus culture that embraces all people and reflects a commitment to welcoming and celebrating the diversity of our community,” he added.
The Washington Post Smears Israel Before Its Elections
Israel is increasingly “illiberal” argues Robert Kagan in an unprecedented four-page spread in The Washington Post (“Israel and the decline of the liberal order,” Sept. 15, 2019). Kagan’s argument—made on the eve of Israel’s second free and fair elections in six months—falls flat on its face. Indeed, not only is it Israel’s second election in less than a year, polls suggest that the election, with topics hotly debated in the press, is likely to be quite close—the precise opposite of what one would see in an illiberal polity. But this is not the only flaw in a deeply flawed piece.

As Washington Examiner editor Seth Mandel detailed in a must-read Twitter thread, Kagan’s argument is a “master class in straw men, undefined terms, nut-picking, outsourcing and historical ignorance.”

Double standards and dictators
Kagan cites “Israeli foreign policy,” which he claims has been trending in an “anti-liberal direction,” as evidence of the Jewish state’s budding authoritarianism. For proof, he lists several very different governments that Israel has varying degrees of relations with. Israel has worked to establish ties with Hungary’s Viktor Orban, Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, Poland’s Law and Justice Party and Russia’s Putin. Israel, he notes, has also “consistently provided strong support for” Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia. It has also offered a Chinese state-owned firm a contract on the port of Haifa and “provided a state visit” for the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duerte.

Kagan even throws India’s Narendra Modi and the U.K.’s Boris Johnson into the mix. Somehow, by establishing close relations with these democracies, Israel is being fundamentally anti-democratic.

Worse still, the writer fails to note that much of the West—including the United States—has ties to many of these same countries. Plenty of Western nations hold “state visits” for less than reputable leaders and do business with Chinese state-owned firms—including charter members of what Kagan questionably considers to be the “Western liberal order,” like France and Germany. Indeed, antisemitism is skyrocketing in many of the countries that constitute the European Union (EU).

Kagan fails to explain why Israel—and Israel alone—should be held to a different standard.
CBC Falsely Claims Israel is Planning on Annexing Areas “From Palestine”
Whoops! In a September 10 news article entitled: “Israel strikes Gaza after rocket sirens force Netanyahu off stage,” CBC.ca falsely claimed Israel is planning on annexing areas “from Palestine”.

A photo caption erroneously said the following: “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, stands Tuesday next to a map showing areas Israel will annex from Palestine if he wins national elections next week. (Amir Cohen/Reuters)”

Firstly, Israel says it’s merely extending sovereignty over areas of the Dead Sea, the Jordan Valley and its settlements in what it regards as Judea and Samaria as Part of Area C which it has full civil and security control over, which the international community refers to as the “west bank”. These areas have never had a sovereign and therefore Israel cannot annex the areas because the land it gained in the 1967 war was not held by a sovereign foreign country. Lastly, there is no country called “Palestine”.

CBC acknowledges this fact: in its language policy: “Note: In the segment, Murad refers to “Palestine.” Our CBC Language policy, states there is no modern country of Palestine, although there’s a movement to establish one as part of a two-state peace agreement with Israel. Areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority are considered Palestinian territories: Fatah-run West Bank and Hamas-run Gaza Strip.”

After HRC submitted a complaint to the CBC, the photo caption was commendably corrected. It now states the following: “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, stands Tuesday next to a map showing areas Israel will annex the heart of the West Bank if he wins national elections next week. (Amir Cohen/Reuters)”
NJ teen accused of deliberately swerving car twice to hit Jews
A New Jersey teenager is accused of deliberately swerving his car – twice – at two Jewish men while the passengers yelled insults about their religion.

The incident occurred on Saturday in Jackson, the Asbury Park Press reported. The men were standing near the curb in front of a home and had to jump out of the way, local police told the newspaper.

A witness called police to report the incident, according to the report.

Police tracked down the driver, a juvenile, after being given the car’s license plate number. Police charged the teen with harassment and bias intimidation.

The case will be heard in Family Court, according to the report.
The Target Is Chassidim, Not Overdevelopment
Many Jews outside of Lakewood, Rockland, or Kiryas Joel may wonder if the Republican Party of Rockland wasn’t at least partially correct in accusing Jews last month of overdeveloping Rockland County. Aren’t non-Jewish neighbors right to be concerned about increased traffic and the environmental impact of overdevelopment?

The answer to this question depends on the answer to another one: Do opponents of overdevelopment in chassidic-populated areas favor chassidim moving into neighboring towns and villages? The answer is no. Locals call it “chassidim taking over.”

Opposition to chassidim moving into new neighborhoods is evident in hundreds of daily posts and comments in Facebook groups obsessed with chassidim; in the remarks of activists at local government meetings; and in the targeted enforcement of laws against chassidim (not to mention hostile government ordinances relating to parks and eiruvin).

But if locals oppose the vertical growth (“overdevelopment”) of chassidim within Lakewood, Monsey, and Kiryas Joel as well as the horizontal growth of chassidim into nearby towns and villages, where exactly should chassidim move to? Israel? Auschwitz?

Let’s be clear. The opposition is not to overdevelopment. It’s to chassidim. (h/t IsaacStorm)
Wiesenthal Center denounces threats, vandalism at atrocity site in Romania
The Weisenthal Center announced yesterday in Jerusalem that it denounces the vandalism with swastikas of a Holocaust memorial in Bogdaovka, where one of the great atrocities of the Holocaust took place. The massacre by Romanian soldiers, the regular Ukrainian police Kazachievici, civilians and ethnic Germans murdered over 40,000 Jews.

Bogdaovka was the location of an extermination camp in Transnistria, Romania, with mostly Ukrainians from Odessa and the rest from Bessarabia. With the outbreak of typhoid, the German and Romanian administrator decided to kill all the internees.

The massacre took place from December 21 through December 31. In the first stage, the infirm were forcibly packed into two locked stables, doused with kerosene and set ablaze. In the next stage, other prisoners were led to a ravine and shot in the neck or killed by hand grenades. The rest of the prisoners froze to death while digging pits in the freezing cold with their own hands. The Romanian administrator then ordered that all the bodies be burned.

In the center’s press statement, Director for Eastern European Affairs and Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff also noted that there were threats made against three prominent Jews: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Jewish activist Eduard Dolinsky and former minister Evgeny Chervonenko, now a television presenter.

Zuroff's statement said that antisemitic vandalism was "frequent" in the Ukraine and was due in part to the failure of Ukrainian authorities to criminalize antisemitic acts. He stated that as long as the perpetrators of “these disgusting and offensive actions” are not punished, “they will continue and increase.” The center urges expediting the passing of legislation to outlaw “antisemitism and all other forms of racial hatred and xenophobia."
Teenager sporting fake Hitler mustache performs Nazi salute near synagogue
A teenager in Scotland was filmed performing the Nazi salute in front of a local synagogue while wearing a fake Hitler mustache.

The STV station on Monday reported that the incident outside Giffnock & Newlands Synagogue, which was exposed in social networks but whose exact date is not known, is being treated as an anti-Semitic hate crime by local police.

“Police Scotland is aware of a video circulating online on various social media channels which shows a teenage boy conducting actions of an anti-Semitic nature outside a synagogue. Inquiries are ongoing to trace the persons responsible for making and distributing the video,” a police spokeswoman was quoted as telling STV.

A spokesperson for Police Scotland told the Jewish Chronicle later on Monday: “A 16-year-old-boy has been charged and is the subject of a report to the Procurator Fiscal and the Scottish Children’s Reporters Administration in connection with the incident.”

The video is believed to have been created via the TikTok social media video app and reportedly was circulated among students at the end of last week, according to the Jewish Chronicle.
New Jersey Mayor Calls on City Council President to Apologize for Use of Antisemitic Slur
The mayor of Trenton, New Jersey, is calling on the city council’s president to apologize after she used an antisemitic slur.

The local paper The Trentonian reported that, at an executive meeting on Sept. 5, Council President Kathy McBride said a city attorney settled a personal injury lawsuit by being “able to wait her out and Jew her down.”

Mayor Reed Gusciora called on McBride to apologize, saying, “As the mayor of this city that encompasses diverse communities of racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, I find this to be offensive.”

“This antisemitic remark, particularly about an attorney in our law department that happens to be Jewish, should have no place in our public discourse,” he added.

Addressing McBride, the mayor said, “I hope that after some reflection you would apologize for these remarks.”

Councilwoman Robin Vaughn, however, defended McBride, saying, “We really need to get a more acute meaning and understanding of ‘antisemitic.’”

“I believe her comment ‘Jew down’ was more in reference to negotiating, not ‘I hate Jews,’” she added. “Inappropriate in today’s PC culture absolutely, but to Jew someone down is a verb and is not anti-anything or indicative of hating Jewish people.”
How the Non-Jewish Director of the First-Ever Holocaust Movie Resisted Communist Pressure to Write Jews Out of the Story
On Sunday, the 1947 Polish film The Last Stage was shown at a Tel Aviv theater. Its director, Wanda Jakubowska—a Gentile Polish Communist—was imprisoned in Auschwitz in 1943; after the war, she became one of her country’s foremost filmmakers. Using former prisoners and townspeople from the nearby hamlet of Oswiecim as her cast, she filmed the movie at the camp itself. Later Holocaust films would splice in its footage and even imitate some of its shots. Ofer Aderet writes (free registration required):

The film centers around a Jewish heroine, Marta Weiss, who is deported to the camp with her family. [Upon arrival], she translates the commander’s instructions for the other prisoners and is chosen to serve as an official interpreter. Later she exploits her position to help her fellow inmates smuggle supplies and information, and eventually escapes with a friend, Tadek, in order to tell the world about the plan to “liquidate” the camp. But the two are caught and sentenced to execution. . . . Marta Weiss is based on . . . Mala (Malka) Zimetbaum, a Polish Jew who moved to Belgium with her family as a child and was deported to Auschwitz in 1942.

Reexamination of the film all these years later clearly reveals its historical weaknesses; after all, it’s a Communist propaganda film. Praise for the Soviet Union, Stalin, and the Red Army is woven in. They are depicted as the prisoners’ only saviors—without any mention, of course, of Stalin’s cooperation with Hitler at the start of the war. . . . In the film, all resistance to the Nazis is led by Communist women.

Nor is there anything about how Jewish prisoners were harshly discriminated against by prisoners of other nationalities; this wouldn’t serve the message. . . . Also, in the film one hears Polish, Russian, German, and French, but no Yiddish. This is no coincidence. Produced under the auspices of the Soviet Union, the film deliberately avoids any mention of the uniqueness of the Holocaust and instead emphasizes the universality of the war’s victims. In this, the film betrays the truth. Most of the 1.1 million victims at Auschwitz were Jews.

But unlike other works produced under the Communist regime, the Jews aren’t completely absent from this one, thanks to Jakubowska’s stubborn insistence. Describing it years later, she said she was pressured to alter the plot and remove any mention of Jews.
How a "Dream Team" of Rescuers Salvaged Masses of Jewish Cultural Treasures Looted by the Nazis
In the immediate aftermath of World War II, the U.S. and Allied armies deployed a team, popularly known as the Monuments Men, to locate and restore to their rightful owners huge caches of European art and cultural works that had been looted by the Nazis or, in some few cases, successfully hidden away for safeguarding.

Less well known is that this group was also assigned to salvage the material artifacts that had survived the Nazi destruction of European Jewish culture in particular: nearly three million books, manuscripts, art works, archives, Torah scrolls, ritual objects, historical records, letters, and other documents, some of them centuries old. Taken together, these formed a detailed tapestry of the history of millions of now lost Jewish lives.

But though these Jewish shards had been recovered, their former owners and heirs were mostly dead, and those who had survived were either in displaced-persons camps or had left for new lives elsewhere. To whom, then, should, could, or would these material remains of European Jewish civilization be returned?

For the Monuments Men, such questions were mostly practical. But for Jews they posed nothing less than an existential quandary. In her impressively detailed account, A Mortuary of Books: The Rescue of Jewish Culture After the Holocaust, the German scholar Elisabeth Gallas unfurls the saga of how an unprecedented consortium of Jewish organizations and individuals from around the world helped craft the answer.
Israel's Economy Grew by 3.6% in First Half of 2019
According to the second estimate by Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics, the economy grew by 3.6% on an annualized basis in the first half of 2019. This compares with 2.8% in the second half of 2018 and 3.5% in the first half of 2018.

The half yearly growth figure is a better indicator of the state of Israel's economy than the quarterly figures, which were greatly influenced by the tax hike on cars at the end of the first quarter. Consequently, the economy grew at just 1% in the second quarter of 2019 and 4.6% in the first quarter, after rising 4.2% in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Private consumption expenditure fell by 1.1% in the second quarter of 2019 after rising 4.2% in the first quarter of 2019 and 5.4% in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Starbucks Partners With Israeli Milk-on-Tap Startup Milkit
Starbucks Germany has completed a four-months-long pilot with Israeli milk-on-tap startup Milkit, Milkit co-founder and CEO Assaf Blank said in an interview with Calcalist last week. Following the successful pilot, Starbucks Germany will be implementing Milkit’s electric milk-dispensing system into 140 stores over the next two years, with the potential to expand to additional locations in the future, Blank said.

The pilot took place in five Starbucks locations in Munich and five in Hamburg, Blank said.

Founded in 2014 and based in central Israeli town Herzliya, Milkit offers cafes and restaurants an electric milk-dispensing system that delivers accurately measured doses of milk at the push of a button. The system connects to a patented 10 to 15-liter milk bag, saving on single-use milk containers and helping to reduce waste through the use of a programmable, accurate pour mechanism. The company has raised $1.5 million to date, and lists the Carleton hotel in Tel Aviv and chocolate chain Max Brenner International as customers.
Most Israeli Jews Can’t Say If They’re More Israeli or More Jewish. And That’s a Good Thing
In their recent book #IsraeliJudaism, Camil Fuchs and Shmuel Rosner examine the perceptions and practices of Jewish Israelis regarding religion and identity. They find, among other things, that most, if asked whether they feel themselves to be Jews first and Israelis second or vice-versa, answer that they weigh both identities equally. Speaking with Rosner, the eminent legal and political theorist Ruth Gavison explains what this finding says about Israeli society and argues that, across the political spectrum, Israelis agree that the country should be Jewish; they disagree only about how much so and in what ways. Even growing numbers of Arab citizens have shown themselves willing to accept this premise. Gavison concludes by forcefully making the case that the Jewish state can best overcome its religious-secular divides if each side avoids attempts at compulsion.

British Jewish TV Presenter Rachel Riley Joins Campaign to Tackle Social Media Trolls, After Being Targeted for Calling Out UK Labour Antisemitism
Rachel Riley, host of the UK television show “Countdown,” has joined a campaign to fight social media trolls after being targeted online over her efforts to call out antisemitism in the UK’s Labour party.

The British Jewish 33-year-old joined a group of television stars, politicians, actors and campaigners who pledged to no longer publicize the abuse they receive from online trolls but instead mute notifications, block users and report abusive comments as a way to prevent the trolls from getting the wider attention.

The campaign was launched by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) following the publication on Monday of a report titled, “Don’t Feed the Trolls.”

Riley was involved in the research behind the CCDH report and said the experience had “totally changed the way I interact on Twitter.”

“Before having CCDH’s knowledge it felt like not responding to trolls or blocking them was weak, and calling them out, trying to engage in conversation and education was helpful, but the research shows otherwise,” Riley said. “I now block trolls as common practice, and have changed my settings to avoid seeing much of their output, which has made life much better from a mental health standpoint and vitally, is not inadvertently helping to grow their audiences or feed their negativity.”

During an appearance on the BBC‘s “Victoria Derbyshire” show, Riley said she has blocked around 1,500 people on Twitter thus far.

She explained, “I’ve had people denying my Jewish heritage, saying that my dead granddad would be disgusted by me. I’ve been compared to a Nazi, a white supremacist, a pedophile enabler. I mean you name it, these people are saying it. And I don’t need to give them any oxygen. It’s pointless.”

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