Thursday, October 10, 2019

From Ian:

Why the US should change its approach toward the Palestinian Authority
Besides promoting a culture of violence within the Palestinian people, the boycott of the Kushner/Greenblatt plan to deliver $50 billion of assistance further calls into question whether the PA even governs in the interest of its people.

Considering President Abbas and the PA’s long record of denying Israel’s right to exist and glorification of terror, the PA is an obstacle to peace, not a partner, and the U.S. should approach its leadership with the understanding that it institutionally engages in the indoctrination of the Palestinian people to hate Israel.

However, while the U.S. must have a paradigm shift in its relations with the PA, it cannot afford to cut off all communication with the PA or wait for new leadership. Palestinian-Israeli relations need U.S. engagement to avoid the fragile situation from spiraling out of control, especially on matters of security coordination. Also, the U.S. cannot simply wait out the current generation of PA leadership, since is not clear that the next PA president will be any more moderate than the current leader or any more inclined towards peace.

Instead, the U.S. should model its approach on the Helsinki Accords that it signed with the Soviet Union in 1975, which allowed Soviet citizens to push for human rights and develop civil society organizations that fostered the dissolution of the Soviet Union 25 years after their creation. Promoting similar independent human rights watchdog organizations in Palestinian society should further reveal PA corruption and intransience that, over time, will promote and enable moderate Palestinians to demand the rights they deserve.

The acknowledgment by Congress in the Taylor Force Act that the Palestinian Authority has institutionalized its promotion and sponsorship of terrorism must translate into a shift in how the U.S. interacts with the PA and engages them in negotiations. Since the current PA leadership has shown it won’t end its incitement, there will be lasting peace between the PA and Israel only once a new group of moderate Palestinians have power.

PMW: A new house and huge terror salaries - the PA’s rewards to a family of murderers
Even while the Palestinian Authority was facing a self-inflicted financial crisis, the PA coffers were still full enough to fund the reconstruction of the houses of terrorists demolished by Israel as a means of deterrent.

Making good on promises made by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the PA has financed the rebuilding of the home of a terrorist, who also has five other terrorist brothers - all of whom murdered Jews. Four of them are serving multiple life sentences and a fifth was killed when he resisted arrest after murdering a member of Israel’s Security Agency. The mother of the terrorists - Um Nasser Abu Hmeid - is the focus of constant PA attention and even led the PA’s bid for membership in the UN in 2011, simply because she is the mother of multiple murderers. Now the PA is rebuilding her and her sons’ house:

“The rebuilding of the four story house is being conducted with full vigor, and the construction of the first floor is already finished. It is being funded by the [PA] Presidential Office and is being carried out by the popular committee to serve the refugees in the Al-Amari camp.
Um Nasser said to Raya that the construction of the house is expected to conclude at the end of this year [2019]. She thanked [PA] President [Mahmoud] Abbas for his support for her family...
It should be noted that the [PA] Ministry of Public Works began to remove the ruins of Um Nasser's demolished house at the beginning of January this year."
[Raya, independent Palestinian news network, Sept. 2, 2019]

Despite the financial crisis that the PA was facing, Abbas committed the PA to rebuild the house immediately after its demolition.
Fatah Central Committee member and Head of Civil Affairs in the PA Hussein Al-Sheikh: "President Abbas has given direct orders this morning [Dec. 15, 2018] to quickly and immediately rebuild the home of the Abu Hmeid family. This is a fighting family. We bow to this family, its history of struggle, and their heroism (i.e., terrorists who murdered at least 10). Therefore, the minimum that can be provided to this family is to stand by it and immediately rebuild its demolished home." [Official PA TV News, Dec. 15, 2018]

At the time, Fatah’s Central Committee member, Fatah Commissioner of Mobilization and Organization in the West Bank, and PLO Central Council member Jamal Muhaisen also expressed his support for PA financing the rebuilding of terrorists’ houses:
Time for Europeans to pay for pay-to-slay
Every year the European Union and its member states pour over 400 million Euros into the coffers of the Palestinian Authority. As Israelis know all too well a substantial portion of this money is spent by Mahmoud Abbas and his cronies to reward the families of those who murder Jews. Just in 2016 these blood-stipends amounted to US$303 million.

As a European Gentile this pains me deeply. After all, as a European taxpayer I am as complicit in the murder of innocent Jews as was the average German citizen during the Third Reich. Since I cannot stop paying taxes, allow me to make atonement for the murders my government funds, by providing fellow Zionists, Jews and Israelis with a piece of advice.

Don’t rely on European goodwill or European good-faith. Whether the indifference of most European leaders to Jewish blood is due to atavistic antisemitism or pragmatic Realpolitik is irrelevant. What matters is the end result. This end result must be challenged with the same ruthlessness masked as benevolent humanism that European leaders have mastered.

Israel’s government or – alternatively – a Zionist philanthropist, should announce that in view of the unspeakable traumas that Africans, Asians and Latin Americans experience due to the legacy of European colonialism and imperialism, and in the light of the destitution faced by the families of people convicted for harming Europeans, grants and scholarships will be paid out to the families of future convicts.

This philanthropic grant should be announced with maximum media fanfare in order to galvanize European outrage and indignation. To make sure that this outrage and indignation are channeled constructively, the donors involved in this initiative should clarify that these grants will be suspended as soon as the European Union and its member states persuade the Palestinian Authority to cease its pay-to-slay policy.

Muslims threaten pro-Israel campus activist at York University
Being a pro-Israel campus activist should not be intimidating. No one should be threatened for supporting democracy. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

The Pro-Israel Campus Activist
Lauren Isaacs is a pro-Israel campus activist. She is not afraid to stand up for the truth and defend Israel. But that does not make it any less frightening when Muslims attack her for being a Zionist. Supporting the state of Israel means supporting democracy and freedom. And anyone who fights against that – well, they are fighting against Western values.

Having a platform for dialogue to educate others about your beliefs in a non-violent way does not deserve violence. The fact that campus security needed to come to protect pro-Israel activists is a sad reality. College campuses have become a hotbed for antisemitism.
The Violent Muslims on Campus

Lauren and her organization tried to educate others about Zionism. But violent Muslims came to spread hate.

As Lauren said, “I was attempting to educate about Zionism. Since it is the Jewish self-determination movement of the Jewish people, and myself and everyone in our organization are proud Zionists, that’s exactly what we were doing. And we were having success until these hateful, close-minded, Antisemitic people showed up. And no, they were not against the Israeli government. They were simply against Israel existing or a Jewish state existing. They said as much in plain English. And all day they celebrated Hamas, called for intifada (that’s a violent uprising), and hurled antisemitic rhetoric like Jews controlling the world, Holocaust collaboration, etc. You should come by next time and see the Jew-hatred for yourself. The only people trying to say that they aren’t against Jews, only Zionists, are people like you… who weren’t there.”

This is the type of antisemitism that Jews and pro-Israel activists experience on campus. This is the type of hate that we must eradicate from our world!
On Colleges Campuses, the History of Israel and Palestine Is Manipulated By Those Who Teach It
Unfortunately, a lot of my courses will continue to mirror the blatant disregard for multiple narratives when it comes to Israel. History is taught from the perspective of the professor. I believe that the Israel-Palestine question can be explored in academic spaces without engendering violence against Jewish students. It is not that criticism of Israel is always antisemitic, but rather that when BDS and anti-Israel activity comes to campus, antisemitism follows.

Courses like these, if anything, institutionalize anti-Jewish rhetoric, providing an academic pedestal that offers a mirage of equality.

This course illuminates a more widespread issue, one that plagues Occidental College and college institutions across the country. In our quest for equality, fairness, and justice, professors are quick to discount and dismiss the very threads that complicate or add to the picture. Academia needs to take responsibility for its endorsement of Jewish erasure and how that in turn normalizes anti-Jewish sentiment. It is not that Palestinian voices are unimportant, but rather that we are choosing to privilege certain voices at all.

More Jewish students like myself need to go into academia, not to shift the narrative in our favor — but to ensure that history is taught in socially responsible, nuanced ways. Twenty-five students will enroll in “A History of the Palestine-Israel Question” at Occidental College, and will leave the classroom with a different understanding than when they came in. Unfortunately, they’re only going to hear one side of the story.
Study: Anti-Israel Bias on Campus Is Growing
A recently published report suggests that the anti-Israel bias is growing on college campuses around the United States.

According to a report by the AMCHA Initiative, anti-Israel sentiment is expanding on American college campuses. The report concludes that acts of harassment based on an anti-Israel sentiment have significantly increased over the past few years.

Breitbart News reported in June that Williams College was facing a federal investigation by the Department of Education over their refusal to acknowledge a pro-Israel student organization. The investigation was initiated after George Mason University Professor David Bernstein filed a complaint with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

Although “classical antisemitism” activity has dropped on campuses, the report claims that acts and rhetoric motivated by an anti-Israel sentiment have drastically increased.
While acts of classical antisemitism in the U.S. reached near-historic levels in 2018 and included the deadliest attack against Jews in American history, the nation’s colleges and universities revealed a somewhat different but nonetheless troubling story. According to AMCHA Initiative’s survey of antisemitic activity in 2018 on campuses across the country, harassment motivated by classical antisemitism actually decreased, and significantly so. At the same time, however, the number of Israel-related acts of harassment increased significantly.

Breitbart News reported in September 2018 that a professor at the University of Michigan refused to write a letter of recommendation to a student that was planning to study abroad in Israel.

Twitchy: ‘As if Linda Sarsour wasn’t enough’: Bernie Sanders’ new surrogate has a bit of an anti-Semitism problem
Bernie Sanders not only has excellent taste in repressive governments; he’s also great when it comes to picking surrogates. Check out the new guy, comedian Amer Zahr:

Zahr’s a big fan of racial, economic, and social justice, you guys. Tweeter Marc Liebovitz combed through some of Zahr’s greatest hits to show everyone what a fan of justice Zahr is.

Online hate uncovered in New Zealand anti-Israel group.
Antisemitism online is a global phenomenon – the World Jewish Congress undertook a study of online antisemitism in 2017 and found there was an antisemitic post made every 83 seconds.

Such antisemitism, however, is not confined to White Supremacists. The United Nations issued its first report on antisemitism last week, acknowledging the growth in global antisemitism and identifying its sources as including radical Islamists, the far-right, and the far-left.

An investigation into a New Zealand-based anti-Israel group, Kia Ora Gaza, has found that it has allowed dozens of comments that would clearly be considered antisemitic according to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition, a definition accepted by the European Union and the UN. IHRA is an organisation with representation from 33 countries.

For example, comments on the Kia Ora Gaza Facebook page suggested that Israel was responsible for the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, posts compared Israel to Nazi Germany, called Jews dogs, and wished for their “punishment”.

Example comments tolerated on the Kia Ora Gaza Facebook page.

There were also posts calling Jesus a Palestinian, denying the fact that he was a Jew born in Judaea.

And official posts from the group have included comparisons of modern-day Israel with Nazis. The uncovered comments and posts have nothing to do with legitimate criticism of any Israeli policy; they are tropes identified by IHRA as antisemitic.

Nick Robinson says BBC questioned if he should speak at Holocaust dinner
The BBC’s Nick Robinson has revealed that a decade ago a boss at the corporation asked, in respect of a Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) dinner to which Mr Robinson had been invited to speak, whether it was “wise” for him to accept. Mr Robinson said: “I replied that I hadn’t got my BBC guidelines in front of me but my hunch was on balance we are opposed to the Holocaust.”

The broadcaster made the remarkable disclosure in a speech at the HET dinner this week, where he also claimed that “MPs are being driven out of their political homes for being Jewish.”

Mr Robinson, whose grandfather was a Jewish doctor in Nazi Germany, also slammed the disgraced Labour MP Chris Williamson, relating that “Chris Williamson told me on the Today programme he’s never seen antisemitism in the Labour Party. Well, I’ve seen it Chris, the people in the Labour Party fighting it have seen it Chris, and we will never stop pointing it out.”

Mr Williamson was suspended from Labour and then readmitted, only to be resuspended following a public outcry after claiming that Labour has been “too apologetic” over antisemitism.
BBC journalist scoffs at a topic the corporation fails to cover
In fact, Netanyahu’s mention of the Yom Kippur War related to budgetary considerations connected to security needs. [translation: BBC Watch]

“Secondly, [we] need to make budgetary decisions which we have not known for many tens of years. It is possible to go back very many years, maybe to the end of the Yom Kippur War, in order to understand what is demanded of us.”

Plett Usher refrained from informing readers that the Israeli journalist she quoted also wrote the following words:

“Deep concern seems to be spreading among Israel’s top security leadership that a rapid deterioration of the situation on the Iranian front is a distinct possibility. […]

All signs indicate that Iran decided to respond forcefully to the many aerial attacks against Iranian and other Shiite targets in Syria and Iraq, which tend to be attributed to Israel.”

Referring to what she described as “an apparent Iranian attack on Saudi oil installations”, Plett Usher later told readers that:

“The Israelis have been pushing back more aggressively and more openly against Iran’s proxies in the region, determined to halt the proliferation of Iranian missiles near their border. But the Saudi attack rang new alarm bells.

If Iran could directly hit Saudi Arabia with cruise missiles, went the thinking, it could do the same to Israel.”
BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – September 2019
Seven people were wounded in attacks throughout the month of September. Three members of the security forces were wounded by petrol bombs in Jerusalem in two separate incidents. Two civilians were wounded in a stabbing attack in Azun on September 7th. On September 20th an off-duty soldier was injured in a stone-throwing attack while driving near Ma’ale Shomron and on September 25th a civilian was wounded in a stabbing attack near Modi’in. None of those incidents was given any coverage on the BBC News website.

Neither did the BBC report the death (not included in the ISA report) of a 74-year-old woman who was seriously injured in a rocket attack on Ashkelon last November.

Just one of the five incidents of rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip during September received any mention from the BBC and that was because incoming rockets interrupted a September 10th election rally in Ashdod.

The BBC News website reported 0.7% of the terror attacks during September and since the start of the year has covered 23.6% of the attacks which have taken place and 72.7% of the terror related fatalities.
UK: New Subversive "Guidance" for Journalists
Policy Exchange's report on the leaked guidance gives rise for concern. In the words of the report, the guidance, "seems designed to bind the hands of UK newspapers when it comes to reporting on stories relating to Islam and Muslims – with potentially serious long-term consequences for the workings of a free and independent press". — Policy Exchange Report, "Eroding the Free Press," by Will Heaven and Sir John Jenkins.

As the Policy Exchange authors write, "In all of this, there seems to be a suggestion that journalists should take a different approach to covering Muslims than that employed towards other faith groups. This all seems remarkably ill-conceived. If we ruled out reporting on matters specific to Muslims not only would we miss some big issues – not least the threat from Islamist extremist terrorism, which continues to dwarf other global terrorist threats – but we would also be unable to report properly on discrimination against Muslims. More generally, we must ask: is it really the role of journalists to consider community cohesion before truth and accuracy? And what are the potential consequences of such an ethos?" — Policy Exchange Report, "Eroding the Free Press," by Will Heaven and Sir John Jenkins.

"As Policy Exchange has previously pointed out, one of the things that makes the APPG's attempts to institutionalise an illiberal definition of Islamophobia so unpalatable, is the fact that it resembles a form of blasphemy law, protecting Islam specifically, implemented by the back door". — Policy Exchange Report, "Eroding the Free Press," by Will Heaven and Sir John Jenkins.

"Taken as a whole, the IPSO guidance document seems to mark a decisive shift in the purpose of the regulator – which takes it beyond considerations of accuracy or discrimination, as per the Editor's Code. Instead, it is moving into the realm of 'insensitivities' and 'unbalanced coverage' – elastic and subjective terms". — Policy Exchange Report, "Eroding the Free Press," by Will Heaven and Sir John Jenkins.
Kent Police launch investigation after headstones smashed at Chatham Jewish cemetery in run-up to Yom Kippur
Police in Chatham, Kent, have launched an investigation after headstones were smashed at a Jewish cemetery in the run-up to Yom Kippur. Numerous headstones were knocked to the ground and smashed between Saturday and Monday night.

Police are reviewing security camera footage. Anybody with information should contact the police on 101.

Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “This cowardly act of vandalism must not go unpunished. We are grateful to Kent Police for their swift response.”
A Romanian Film about Holocaust Remembrance and Denial Is a Searing Satire with a Dark Void at Its Core
During World War II, Romania of its own accorded murdered tens of thousands of Jews, more than any other country save the Third Reich itself, with which it was allied. The new Romanian film “I Do Not Care if We Go Down in History as Barbarians” tells the story of Mariana, who is producing a pageant about her country’s celebrated defeat of Soviet forces in the 1941 battle of Odessa. Dara Horn writes in her review:

The municipal government funding her pageant is hoping for a display of nationalist glory. . . . But Mariana has something different in mind. She wants to reenact another aspect of the Odessa victory: the murder of some 20,000 of Odessa’s Jews, which was in fact only two days out of a years-long, Romanian-led campaign of mass murder. She is convinced that if today’s Romanians knew what their countrymen did, the country could move beyond mindless patriotism to a mature and vibrant future. To no one’s surprise but hers, that isn’t in the cards. As the film makes clear, Holocaust minimization in post-Communist Romania is a bit like the Pledge of Allegiance, an entry-level credo that no one questions.

The film, writes Horn, is darkly funny and deeply disturbing, satirizing Mariana’s naïveté, the townspeople’s anti-Semitism, and the government officials’ attempts to sabotage her production, along with the absurdity of making a pageant about the Holocaust in the first place. While finding all of this effective, Horn also comments on “the dark void” that the film leaves unmentioned:

When the movie mentioned the city of Cernauti, I realized with a jolt that this was Tshernovits—the city known for the lauded Tshernovits Conference of 1908, where the great Yiddish writer Y.L. Peretz and many others declared Yiddish a national Jewish language, deserving of institutional support. . . . As I watched the film, names like these kept seeping in unacknowledged, because no one in the film had the knowledge to do so.

Here was Satu Mare—a hick town to Romanians, but known on my planet as the birthplace of the Satmar ?asidim, who in their enclaves today maintain Yiddish as a living language even as it has died out nearly everywhere else. There was Focsani—another nowhereseville from the Romanian viewpoint but cemented in my memory as the hometown of the paradigm-setting scholar Solomon Schechter. It was also the host city for the world’s first Zionist congress in 1881 (sixteen years before Herzl’s in Basel).
Akamai Buys Israeli Cybersecurity Company ChameleonX
Nasdaq-listed cloud computing company Akamai Technologies has announced on Wednesday an agreement to acquire Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity company ChameleonX, set to close in the fourth quarter of 2019. The financial details of the agreement were not disclosed, but one person familiar with the matter who spoke with Calcalist on condition of anonymity put the sum at around $20 million.

Founded in 2016 by CEO Maor Hod and Shay Elkana, ChameleonX develops client-side protection technology. The company is an alumnus of Citi Group’s accelerator program. The company raised $1.9 million to date from venture capital fund Firstime.

ChameleonX’s employees will join Akamai’s research and development center in Israel. Akamai stated the acquisition will strengthen its security offering.
Team of Israeli Doctors Fly to Cyprus to Save Woman’s Life
A team of four Israeli heart specialists traveled to a hospital in Cyprus with life-saving technology to save a woman who was suffering cardiac issues following childbirth, the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer revealed on Facebook on Sunday.

The Medical Center said a 29-year-old woman from Nicosia, Cyprus, suffered “a severe problem in her left main cardiac arterial region during the course of childbirth.”

Doctors at Nicosia Hospital were apparently “running out of time to save her life” since the medical facility lacked a life-saving Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine, which pumps and oxygenates a patient’s blood outside the body, allowing the heart and lungs to rest.

The doctors made an emergency call to their colleagues at Sheba’s Leviev Heart Center.

Within seven hours, a group of Israeli doctors arrived at the hospital with the ECMO machine, stabilized the patient and transported her to Sheba, where she is recovering in the Leviev Heart Center.
Future Meat Technologies to build lab meat production facility outside Tel Aviv
Israeli startup Future Meat Technologies announced Thursday that it was building the world’s first cultured meat pilot production facility outside of Tel Aviv.

The company is a Jerusalem-based biotechnology firm that seeks to create cultured meat directly from animal cells through the production of fat and muscle cells, the core building blocks of meat, in a cost-effective manner.

The new facility will be located south of Tel Aviv and is expected to begin operating in 2020.

All cultured meat has until now been produced in labs at a small scale, but the new plant will turn out much larger quantities, the company said.

“With this investment, we’re thrilled to bring cultured meat from the lab to the factory floor and begin working with our industrial partners to bring our product to market,” said Future Meat technologies CEO Rom Kshuk in a statement. “We’re not only developing a global network of investors and advisors with expertise across the meat and ingredient supply chains, but also providing the company with sufficient runway to achieve commercially viable production costs within the next two years.”

The move was made possible after the company raised $14 million in funding from Chicago’s S2G Ventures, which helped finance Beyond Meat’s IPO, and Switzerland’s Emerald Technology Ventures.
Israel Feeds Growing Global Appetite for Food Technology
Investment in Israel's food tech sector has tripled over the past five years. Investors are clearly hungry for new ideas and innovations. Our Ariel Levin-Waldman spoke with leaders in the industry at Tel Aviv's food tech expo.

ArchaeologyArchaeologists discover 400,000-year-old paleo snack pack in Israeli cave
When the elephants left the Levant some 400,000 years ago, early man used more brains than brawn to fill a mammoth caloric vacuum: After a 360-degree analysis of cuts upon deer footbones excavated from an Israeli cave, a new Tel Aviv University study has uncovered what the researchers say is the first evidence of food preservation.

The study, published on October 9 in the peer-reviewed open access Science Advances journal, proves through a most visceral methodology how settlers in Israel’s Qesem Cave intentionally stored bone marrow inside deer bones. Through a replication experiment, the scholars found this method kept the valuable fatty proteins safe from bacterial invaders for up to nine weeks.

“We show for the first time in our study that 420,000 to 200,000 years ago, prehistoric humans at Qesem Cave were sophisticated enough, intelligent enough and talented enough to know that it was possible to preserve particular bones of animals under specific conditions, and, when necessary, remove the skin, crack the bone and eat the bone marrow,” said Tel Aviv University’s Prof. Avi Gopher in a statement.

The study, including the replication of the storage methods on freshly slaughtered deer, and was led by Dr. Ruth Blasco of both TAU’s Institute of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations and Spain’s Centro Nacional de Investigación Sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH). She was supported and aided by TAU’s Prof. Ran Barkai and Gopher, as well as colleagues from other international institutions.
Open Sukkah offers a holiday home to weary travelers, city dwellers in Israel
Along with cars, apartments, swimming pools and work spaces, sukkahs have found their place in the sharing economy with the Open Sukkah platform, which provides a place to spend the Sukkot holiday to anyone who needs one.

Observant Jews mark the weeklong harvest holiday, which starts on Sunday evening, by eating meals and spending time in the self-made outdoor huts.

On the Open Sukkah website, those with sukkahs can post their location and contact information on a map, and anyone who would like to come can get in touch with them or simply show up.

Canadian immigrant to Israel Aaron Taylor, 28, came up with the idea for the free Open Sukkah service three years ago while living in Tel Aviv.
Polish writer who has criticized anti-Semitism in country wins 2018 Nobel
Polish novelist Olga Tokarczuk and Austrian writer Peter Handke won the 2018 and 2019 Nobel Prizes for literature on Thursday, a rare double announcement that came after no prize was announced last year due to sex abuse allegations that tarnished the group awarding the prizes.

The Swedish Academy said Tokarczuk won for works that explore the “crossing of boundaries as a form of life.” Handke’s work was described as exploring “the periphery and the specificity of human experience” with linguistic ingenuity.

Tokarczuk is only the 15th woman to win the Nobel literature prize in more than a century. Of the 11 Nobels awarded so far this week, all the other laureates have been men.

Tokarczuk, 57, is one of Poland’s best-known authors, with a fast-growing reputation in the English-speaking world. She has been criticized by Polish conservatives — and received death threats — for criticizing aspects of the country’s past, including its episodes of anti-Semitism. She is also a strong critic of Poland’s right-wing government.

Her novel “Flights,” which won the Booker International Prize in 2018, combines tales of modern-day travel with the story of a 17th-century anatomist who dissected his own amputated leg and the journey of composer Frederic Chopin’s heart from Paris to Warsaw after his death.

Her 900-page “The Books of Jacob,” which the Swedish Academy hailed as her “magnum opus,” spans seven countries, three religions and five languages, tracing the little-known history of Frankism, a Jewish messianic sect that sprang up in Poland in the 18th century.
Ramat Gan names street after Mexican diplomat who challenged Jerusalem vote
The central city of Ramat Gan this week unveiled a new road named for a Mexican diplomat who was fired as UNESCO ambassador for refusing to vote in favor of a 2016 resolution that effectively denied Jewish ties to Jerusalem.

Ramat Gan’s El Al Street was officially renamed to Andres Roemer Street, to honor the diplomat’s contributions to the Jewish state, Mayor Carmel Shama-Hacohen said.

“He deserves it, I would be happy to live on a street named after someone who fought for Israel and paid a price for it,” Shama-Hacohen told the Ynet news site.

Shama-Hacohen, who was Israel’s UNESCO ambassador during Roemer’s tenure at the UN’s cultural agency, proposed the name change to the city council earlier this year.

“I’ve never been this excited before, maybe other than when my children were born,” Roemer told Ynet. “I have no words to describe this honor… I’ve been crying from all the emotion.”

After the new name was unveiled on Sunday, Roemer left a letter and gift basket for every resident on the street.

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