Friday, November 29, 2019

From Ian:

Jeremy Corbyn Reminds Us Why Israel Exists
Israel looms large in Corbyn’s worldview. The Corbyn-led Labour Party was initially unable to adopt The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance of anti-Semitism until tremendous outside pressure compelled them. Why? Because the guidelines conflicted with its anti-Zionism, the most significant and consequential form of Jew hatred that exists in the world today. Anti-Zionism is now the predominant justification for violence and murder against Jews in Europe and around the world. Corbyn is one of its champions.

“It’s not anti-Semitic to be critical of Israel,” Corbynites, and their progressive ideological cousins here in the United States like to say. And, of course, they’re correct. Curiously enough, though, those who reserve special opprobrium for a Jewish state they view as an inherently racist and colonial endeavor, as most Corbynites do, also seem to have odious views about the people who democratically govern that small strip of land.

As Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis correctly points out, Corbyn hasn’t merely “tolerated” anti-Semitic attitudes — as so many publications like to claim — but rather he has actively transformed Labour, once one of the most important political parties in the free world, into a safe haven for Jew hatred. As Mirvis notes, under Corbyn, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, Labour has “hounded parliamentarians, members and even staff out of the party for challenging anti-Jewish racism.”

Perhaps Corbyn’s rise simply reflects a new — or is it a renewed? — reality in Europe? A recent ADL poll claims that a quarter of Europeans hold anti-Semitic views. Around 45 percent of Poles and 42 percent of Ukrainians admit to pollsters that they believe that “people hate Jews because of the way Jews behave,” a view that over 30 percent of our old friends the Austrians and Germans share. And one of the fastest growing groups in Europe, Muslims, are importing an even deeper enmity towards Jews than is found in Poland, Ukraine, Germany, and elsewhere. Muslims in Western Europe are anti-Semitic at almost three times the rate of the general population. Thus far, Corbyn has appeased, rather than tried to extinguish, this hatred.

If Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party ends up winning next month, Britain will be led by an openly anti-Semitic government. Mirvis warns that such a result is an existential threat to Britain’s Jewry. What he can’t say, but implies, is that people such as Corbyn are exactly why Israel must exist.

Daniel Gordis: Liberal Jews and their anti-democratic, anti-liberal critique of Israel
All of this ultimately proves the central thesis of my book. What separates American Jews and Israel is, well, everything. The majority of Israeli Jews and the majority of American Jews are demographically different, have different instincts when it comes to concessions for peace, and differ when it comes to visions for Jewish life. It was inevitable that Jews who constitute 2% of the population of the country in which they live and those who constitute some 80% would see the world differently and create radically different visions of what Jewish life can and should be.

Israel was not created in order to enable American Jews to feel virtuous – it was created to be a sanctuary of Jewish survival. Israelis have fashioned different instincts than American Jews on the ideal balance between risk and the quest for peace and have made their own unique determinations about what Jewish cultural survival looks like.

We ought to celebrate those differences, not bemoan them, for it is our disagreements that give us what to learn from each other. The first step toward that mutual learning, however, is not preaching, but listening, seeing each other through the most generous lens we possibly can.

Sadly, condescending and paternalistic attitudes to each other (in Rabbi Yoffie’s concluding words, “It may be that Israelis themselves don’t see as clearly what US Jews see from there”) take us in precisely the wrong direction.
David Collier: The orthodox Rabbis, the letter and the offices that weren’t
Did you see the letter supposedly written by the Orthodox Rabbis supporting Jeremy Corbyn? This week has been full of drama. It started on Monday, when the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis wrote a scathing article about Jeremy Corbyn, claiming he is ‘not fit’ for high office. The Chief Rabbi was supported by the Archbishop of Canterbury and British Hindu leaders. The timing could not have been more problematic for the Labour Party. The article came as they prepared to launch their ‘race and faith manifesto’. Instead of a positive news cycle, the headlines were telling the story of Labour’s total failure on the antisemitism issue.

The situation did not get any better. On Tuesday morning, Corbyn was late for the launch of the manifesto. The reason? An anti-Corbyn demonstration by British Jews was taking place. Worse still, three vans had parked outside the venue displaying billboards about Labour’s failure to deal with antisemitism. Corbyn’s team did not want him to be filmed walking past such a demonstration, so they held him back. Eventually, as neither the demonstration nor billboards left, they had to send Corbyn in anyway. A few minutes before he arrived a few loud and large pro-Corbyn activists appeared – clearly a damage limitation rent-a-mob – and there was a scrum as he made his way to the venue.

Tuesday night saw the car-crash interview of the decade. Andrew Neil destroyed Jeremy Corbyn in 30 excruciating minutes. The interview was littered with not-to-be-missed disaster moments. Jeremy Corbyn and his election campaign were on the ropes. Corbyn’s activists needed some ammunition to deflect the tsunami of criticism.
The Orthodox letter arrives

Suddenly and without warning a pro-Corbyn letter emerged. It was apparently written by a group of ultra-orthodox Rabbis presenting themselves as a group called ‘United European Jews’. The letter condemned the words of the Chief Rabbi. It was dated 26th November, signed by a Rabbi Mayer Weinberger and it carried a letterhead with several other Rabbi’s listed.

The pro-Corbyn machinery sprang to life. Jewish Voice for Labour, Socialist voice, the Canary and Skwawkbox all pushed the letter. JVL’s tweet alone had over 1000 retweets. Official Labour outlets such as ‘Southgate Labour’ retweeted it. The letter went viral. In just one day, Jewish advocacy groups on Facebook had to delete 1000s of repetitive posts, placed by Corbyn activists who wanted to argue that Chief Rabbi Marvis is a Tory, doesn’t represent many Jews and it is all one big media smear. Suddenly everyone was an expert in the divisions of the Jewish community.

Labour doesn’t have a few bad apples. It’s systematic rot
Under Corbyn, it seems that a dual track approach was taken to try and play to the hard left activist base that his leadership had attracted, whilst keeping the status quo. However, this approach, much like his ‘wait and see’ approach on Brexit which has tried to play to both Brexiteers and Remainers, has failed.

You see, that hard left activist base, anti-imperialist in its nature also brought with it conspiracies about the ‘Rothschilds’, about Jews being ‘all powerful’ and ‘controlling the banking world’; these classic tropes had become fused within this hard left activist base who then used Palestine as their social justice crutch to rehash these tropes.

They also must have thought that this world view was one that Corbyn’s leadership may subscribe to, given that he, in their eyes, was an ‘anti-Imperialist’ campaigner.

Corbyn has tried to balance this base whilst repeatedly claiming that he is against antisemitism and an ardent anti-racist.

However, the question can be asked, that if you know someone is racist, doesn’t justifying and keeping their existence in your presence make you as bad as them?

You see, this is the fundamental issue here; that Labour’s antisemitism problems are not just a ‘few bad apples’.

There is a systematic rot that starts with dear ‘Comrade Corbyn’. How long will he be seen as ‘Cuddly Corbyn’ or ‘Grandpa Corbyn’, before we realise that he has actively played the Labour Party and sold out Jewish communities in his desire to play all sides. With racism, you can’t play all sides – you have to choose what you stand for. On this Corbyn has made his decision. He stands with the hard left and all of the antisemitic baggage they bring.

Corbyn rejected by prominent British Nazi historian
Sir Richard Evans, one of the world’s leading historians of Nazi Germany, on Friday reversed his decision to support the British Labour Party in the December 12 election.

“Back from a visit to Germany to find Anthony Julius's persuasive open letter to me in the New Statesman. As much as [Labour leader Jeremy] Corbyn's lamentable failure to apologise in his tv interview, or the intervention of the Chief Rabbi, this has persuaded me to change my mind and not vote Labour,” wrote Evans on Twitter.

Julius, a British solicitor advocate who holds the chair in Law and Arts in the Faculty of Laws at University College London, wrote to Evans: “Let me remind you, on the subject of the Jews, the party has become cruel, malicious, stupid and dishonest. The cruelty has been persistent and extreme – death threats, shouted abuse at branch meetings, online trolling. The malice has been patent, incontinent and pervasive.”

Evans tweeted on Sunday that “I'm voting Labour. Great manifesto, pity about the leader, shame about Labour's support for Brexit, though at least they promise another referendum. The failure to deal with antisemitism in the party makes me very angry. But in my constituency only Labour can beat the Tory.” Evans's message electrified the Twitterverse because of his standing as a prominent historian and intellectual historian.

Julius responded in his letter: “But recall Corbyn's disparagement of ‘Zionists who, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony.’ My friend David Hirsh got it right: Corbyn was enjoying the old, sneery English view of Jews, and he was doing it to humiliate the Jews he was talking about. They live among us but they’re not really one of us.
Respected European Rabbi Menachem Margolin says Corbyn’s legacy is abhorrent to the Jews of Europe
The respected Rabbi Menachem Margolin has delivered a blistering attack on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Rabbi Margolin, who is based in Belgium, is the founder and chairman of the Brussels-based European Jewish Association, a leading organisation in the community.

On Mr Corbyn, Rabbi Margolin told Campaign Against Antisemitism: “There is no nuance, no clever turn of phrase or election soundbite that can undo what is done by Jeremy Corbyn. His record of supporting terrorists who want nothing short of the destruction of the world’s only Jewish State, his sympathy with those who murder and maim women, children, the elderly – any civilian – as long as they are Jewish – is a matter of public record that no amount of spin or whitewashing can erase. This is his legacy. He must live with it, and the solid and justified judgement and abhorrence that comes with it from the vast majority of Jews, not just in the UK but in Europe too.”

Rabbi Margolin’s intervention comes following that of Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, who declared that Mr Corbyn is “unfit for office”. The Chief Rabbi was supported by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Senior Sefardi Rabbi, Joseph Dweck.

It also comes after a fringe anti-Zionist group, United European Jews, released a statement backing Mr Corbyn. A previous letter by this group was promoted by Jewish Voice for Labour, an antisemitism-denial group and sham Jewish representative organisation.
Leaked document casts doubt on Corbyn antisemitism claim
Jeremy Corbyn faced veteran interviewer Andrew Neil this week, who grilled him on the party’s handling of antisemitism.

The Labour leader was challenged on a case involving a member who shared a video that cast doubt on whether six million Jews died in the Holocaust — but who only received a “reminder of conduct” letter from the party.

Mr Corbyn said he had “strengthened processes” since then and that “during the last few months” he had “proposed that egregious cases should be fast-tracked”.

But FactCheck has seen an internal Labour party document showing that as recently as mid-October, a senior party insider didn’t expect the policy to be implemented until after the general election.

We asked Labour to show us any proof of its having been introduced, but they did not respond to FactCheck’s requests.

Mr Corbyn has also claimed during this election campaign that: “Where anyone has committed any antisemitic acts or made any antisemitic statements, they are either suspended or expelled from the party and we have investigated every single case.”

But Labour’s own general secretary wrote to MPs in February this year setting out dozens of cases where members were found to have been antisemitic, but were not suspended or expelled from the party. The same letter also revealed that hundreds of complaints of antisemitism had not been formally investigated.
Can the Public Trust Anti-Vaxxer Corbyn with NHS
Can voters trust Corbyn and McDonnell with the NHS – a would-be PM who in 1999 outed himself as an anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorist when signing an EDM linking vaccinations and autism. It went as far as calling on the Government to “set up and monitor a register of autistic children“. Corbyn at least didn’t blame this on the Jews…

The conspiracy was based on a paper by ex-physician Andrew Wakefield who was later completely discredited and struck off by the General Medical Council in 2010 for serious professional conduct. This absurd conspiracy is far from the only one pushed by crackpot Corbyn, who has also:
- Suspected the “hand of Israel” in the destabilisation of the Middle East
- Backed Russia’s view in the Salisbury Poisoning
- Defended that conspiratorial antisemitic mural
- Blamed a think tank staffed predominantly by Jewish Americans, ‘The Project for a New American Century’ for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq

There are still two weeks before the election for Corbyn to claim Elvis is still alive or that the moon is made of cheese…
McDonnell Stands By Anti-Semitic Poster
This morning on TV, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell showed an extraordinary lapse in judgement standing beside a Soviet poster depicting two hook-nosed ‘capitalists’ being crushed by Stalin’s five-year plan. Gordon Brown levels of self-awareness…

Iranian cleric compares gay marriage to bestiality
Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party, last week canceled her slated appearance at an event with a former representative of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, who compared gay marriage to bestiality.

The British paper The Times first reported that Sturgeon and Scotland’s chief constable, Iain Livingstone, pulled the plug on an event in Glasgow with Dr. Mohammad Shomali, who has served as an official representative of Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran.

Shomali wrote: “A hundred years ago, it would have been unthinkable for gay marriage to be sanctioned. Perhaps a day will come when some will desire marriage with animals.” The event was the Peace and Unity conference. According to The Times, they canceled their appearances “after concerns were raised over the presence of the outspoken supporter of the Tehran regime.”

The Times reported that “The multi-faith event was set up by the Ahl al-Bait Society Scotland, a Glasgow-based charity whose director, Azzam Mohamad, accompanied the former SNP [Scottish National Party] leader Alex Salmond on his visit to Iran in 2015.”

Shomali served until recently as the “respected representative of Grand Ayatollah Khamenei and head of the Islamic Center of England, London.” He termed homosexuality as “unlawful.”
How Universities enable hijacking free speech when Jews are involved
In a country where multiculturalism has a reverent following and criticism of protected minorities has essentially been criminalized as “hate speech,” it is more than ironic that on some Canadian campuses radical students have taken it upon themselves to target one group, Jewish students, with a hatred that is nominally forbidden for any others.

And with a recent incident that took place on November 20th, York University, in particular, has now revealed a troubling pattern of tolerating physical and emotional assaults by pro-Palestinian radicals against Jewish students and others who dare to demonstrate any support for Israel or question the tactics of Islamists in their efforts to destroy the Jewish state.

Herut Canada, “a Zionist movement dedicated to social justice, the unity of the Jewish people, and the territorial integrity of the Land of Israel,” was sponsoring an on-campus event featuring Reservists on Duty, former IDF soldiers who would be discussing BDS and the particular challenges facing the IDF in its interaction with terrorism. But York’s perennially-radical group, Students Against Israeli Apartheid at York University (SAIA York), was having no part of the visit and, joined by off-campus members of the equally radical Antifa organization, disrupted the event with some 600 activists heckling, chanting through bull horns, and even physical assaulting other students—all aimed at shutting down the event and preventing attendees from hearing what the guests from the IDF had to say about negotiating for peace.

What was particularly revealing, and chilling, about the hate-filled protest (or riot, more accurately) was the virulence of the chants and messages on the placards, much of it seeming to suggest that more sinister hatreds and feelings—over and above concern for Israeli military operations—were simmering slightly below the surface. Many of the furious protestors, for instance, shrieked out, “Viva, Viva Intifada” and “Long live the Intifada,” a grotesque and murderous reference to the Second Intifada, during which Arab terrorists murdered some 1000 Israelis and wounded more than 14,000 others.

Canceling Roger Waters
Something significant happened last month that went pretty much unnoticed. A small group of activists fighting back against rising antisemitism got a screening of the Roger Waters documentary US + Them canceled in IPic Los Angeles regional theaters.

In Jewish circles, Roger Waters has become almost as well known for his antisemitism as for his music. Waters first came under fire for floating a pig-shaped balloon with a Star of David and a dollar sign at his concerts in 2013. Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center described the balloon as a “grotesque display of Jew-hatred.”

In a Rolling Stone interview in the same year, Waters called on fellow artists to join him in a boycott of the Jewish homeland commonly referred to as BDS (an acronym for boycott, divestment, and sanctions). Since then, he has made numerous statements attacking Israel and denigrating entertainers who chose to perform there. He claims other artists are afraid to join him because they fear that it would end their careers; an accusation clearly aimed at Jews in the music business and not at Israel.

Despite all this, Waters has remained relatively unscathed at a time when the accusation of other “isms” like racism and sexism have derailed many high-profile careers. His concerts continue to generate millions of dollars, he is a popular subject for interviews, and he has faced relatively few successful counter-boycott campaigns. A couple of notable exceptions include the city of Miami Beach, which abruptly canceled the participation of a dozen teenagers in a concert after the local Jewish Federation accused him of antisemitism; and several German public broadcasters that dropped plans to air his concert for the same reason.
BBC ignores conviction of man it portrayed in 2011 as ‘the Gandhi of Palestine’
Readers of that profile are told that:

“Sheikh Salah has been described by some as the “Gandhi of Palestine”.”

“Sheikh Salah is a poet and a father of eight children.”

“Sheikh Salah is a citizen of Israel – he was born in 1958 in the town of Umm al-Fahm, which a decade earlier had become part of the state of Israel when Palestine was divided.”

“…he became a founding member of the Islamic Movement in Israel, which is a legal organisation. He is now leader of its northern branch.”

The Northern Islamic Movement ceased to be a “legal organisation” four years ago.

If the BBC is going to leave backgrounders such as this fawning profile of Salah (which includes a link to a pro-Hamas website) online as “historic public record”, then it should obviously be obliged to update them as subsequent events occur in order to ensure that the information available to audiences accurate and relevant.
CAMERA Op-Ed Politico and Unpleasant Truths
“There are no facts, only interpretations,” the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once asserted. This seems to be the operating principle of Politico, the Washington D.C.-based publication, when it comes to reporting on Israel. Facts that are inconvenient to the preferred interpretation are simply omitted. One only need look at Politico’s Nov. 18, 2019 dispatch “Pompeo bends toward Israel with new U.S. stance toward settlements,” for confirmation.

The article, by correspondents Caitlin Oprysko and Nahal Toosi, details the Trump administration’s recent announcement that it does not consider the construction of “settlements”—homes in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria)—to be illegal. However, the report is littered with omissions and an unwillingness to confront the real obstacle to peace: Palestinian rejectionism.

At a press conference on Nov. 18, 2019, U.S. Sec. of State Mike Pompeo said, “The Trump administration is reversing the Obama administration’s approach towards Israeli settlements.” The decision, Politico told readers, was a rejection of a 1978 State Department legal opinion “that categorically calls Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank ‘inconsistent with international law.’”

In fact, the Carter administration’s 1978 ruling was itself an aberration. As Pompeo noted in his remarks: “In 1981, President Reagan disagreed with that conclusion and stated that he didn’t believe that the settlements were inherently illegal. Subsequent administrations recognized that unrestrained settlement activity could be an obstacle to peace, but they wisely and prudently recognized that dwelling on legal positions didn’t advance peace.”

Group of men attack two Jewish teens in Crown Heights, Brooklyn
A gang of five men attacked two identifiably Jewish teens on the street in Brooklyn.

The incident happened on Nov. 11 in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, but was reported by police on Wednesday, according to the New York Post.

The group approached a boy 14, dressed in traditional Hasidic garb, and smacked him in the head, knocking off his kippa. They then snatched the hat off the head of a second boy, aged 15.

The boys were not injured in the attack, according to police.

The incident is being investigated as a hate crime.
Swedish city plagued by anti-Semitism to invest millions to fight phenomenon
The Swedish city of Malmo, plagued by anti-Semitism in recent years, has finally decided to allocate funds to fight the phenomenon after an outcry from the local Jewish community.

The city's municipality announced that it will invest some 20 million Swedish Krona ($2 million) in various initiatives intended to protect Malmo's Jewish community which over the past 10 years has dropped from 3,000 people to some 1,500.

Despite a low number of Jewish residents, the city - the third largest in Sweden - suffers from dozens of anti-Semitic incidents annually, due in part to the rise of Neo-Nazism in Europe and Jihadist views (a third of Malmo's population is from Muslim countries).

Among the initiatives proposed by the city's officials are educational programs in schools to uproot racism against Jews, promotion of Jewish culture and a study to gauge the public's perception of Jews.

Malmo mayor Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh said her city is a global hub and that is why "we are promoting programs to counter any kind of racism."
Jewish residents say they are still wary of going out in public wearing Jewish markings and expressed the hope that the municipality's initiatives will put an end to their hesitancy.

The Swedish government is reportedly planning to hold an international conference on anti-Semitism in Malmo.
Italy uncovers plot to create new Nazi party
Italian police said on Thursday they uncovered a plot to form a new Nazi party and seized a cache of weapons during searches across the country.

Police in 16 towns and cities from the Mediterranean island of Sicily to the Alps in northern Italy took part in the investigation, which was launched two years ago.

The probe revealed a "huge and varied array of subjects, residents in different places, united by the same ideological fanaticism and willing to create an openly pro-Nazi, xenophobic and anti-Semitic movement", a police statement said.

Police did not say how many people joined the group or how many arrests were made. In Italy "defense of fascism" and efforts to revive fascist parties are considered crimes.

The new party was called the Italian National Socialist Party of Workers and police showed off a range of Nazi paraphernalia, including swastikas and pictures of Adolf Hitler seized during searches of 19 properties.

They also found a large number of weapons, including pistols, hunting rifles, and crossbows.
Jewish teen leaves German public high school over classroom anti-Semitism
A Jewish parent in the German city of Offenbach near Frankfurt is reportedly removing her son from public high school due to frequent anti-Semitic comments in the classroom, though her son is not personally targeted by them.

It is the atmosphere in the school that led Alina R. to make the move. She told German news media that teachers and administrators had failed to react to anti-Semitic comments thrown casually around the classroom. Comments such as “It’s as hot and humid as Auschwitz in here,” or “you Jew” as an insult are common, she said, noting that her own son’s Jewish identity is not public.

Her son, 16, is transferring to a private school where, his mother said, such problems are less common since the private school takes greater care to call out and punish such behavior.

According to German news reports, Alina R. had encouraged her son to speak with a teacher about the problem. The teacher did not take any action, she said.
German army sorry for ‘retro’ Nazi uniform post
The German army on Wednesday apologized for posting a photo on Instagram of a military uniform complete with two Iron Crosses bearing the Nazi swastika and appearing to celebrate it as “retro”.

After media reports sparked outrage, the army removed the picture of the Nazi-era Wehrmacht uniform and explained that it was an “unacceptable mistake.”

The Bundeswehr said it was seeking to do a photo-essay on the influence of military uniforms on fashion through the ages but failed to provide the correct historical context in its captions.

“We are very sorry,” it said.

“The uniform is an item on exhibition in our military history museum in Dresden. But we did not correctly label the image historically and gave it a wrong and unsuitable caption,” it added on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Bild daily, which first reported on the photo, said it carried a “Retro” sticker and bore the caption “To this day, military style elements remain in haute couture.”
Police officer dismissed over sale of Auschwitz items and Nazi memorabilia on eBay
A police officer in Northamptonshire has been found to have committed gross misconduct for selling items from Auschwitz and Nazi memorabilia on eBay.

Police Constable Matthew Hart was revealed last year by the JC to have, together with a relative, Paula Hart, administered an eBay account by the name of ww2autographs, which sold memorabilia from Holocaust extermination camps. At the time, the police force said that “no wrongdoing had been identified”, but it since decided that PC Hart’s eBay activity “contravened his declared business interest”, and he was hauled before a discplinary panel.

The panel found no evidence of criminality nor any indication that the sales were motivated by any extremist ideology or Nazi sympathies. Instead, it concluded that PC Hart had “a genuine historical interest in this period of history.”
NYC Emergency Services Use Israeli Tech to Protect Computer Systems
Israeli security software firm Indeni has partnered with the New York City Police and Fire Departments to protect their critical computer networks.

Indeni has developed a security infrastructure automation platform enabling organizations to proactively detect and prevent computer system malfunctions before they affect vital operations.

The company currently names Mastercard, Bloomberg and Boston Scientific among its customers. Its platform will also be used by the U.S. space agency NASA to identify and fix computer malfunctions.

"Today, emergency calls to the police, important government services, and water and electricity suppliers are all dependent on advanced computer systems," said Indeni CEO Yoni Leitersdorf. "These systems must be immune to hacking and available 100% of the time."
In possible climate breakthrough, Israel scientists engineer bacteria to eat CO2
In a remarkable breakthrough that could pave the way toward carbon-neutral fuels, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have produced a genetically engineered bacteria that can live on carbon dioxide rather than sugar.

The extraordinary leap — reported Wednesday in Cell, and quickly picked up by prestigious publications such as Nature — could lead to the low-emissions production of carbon for use in biofuels or food that would also help to remove excess CO₂ from the atmosphere, where it is helping to drive global warming.

Plants and ocean-living cyanobacteria perform photosynthesis, taking the energy from light to transform CO₂ into a form of organic carbon that can be used to build DNA, proteins and fats.

As these photosynthesizers can be difficult to moderate genetically, the Weizmann team, under Prof. Ron Milo, took E. coli bacteria — more commonly associated with food poisoning — and spent ten years weaning them off sugar and training them to “eat” carbon dioxide instead.

Through genetic engineering, they enabled the bacteria to convert CO₂ into organic carbon, substituting the energy of the sun — a vital ingredient in the photosynthesis process — with a substance called formate, which is also attracting attention as a potential generator of clean electricity.
Israel to launch campaign on CNN to boost image in Africa
The Israeli government and CNN will for the first time launch a campaign aimed at presenting the Jewish state to Africa, with the goal of branding it as a force for good in the continent.

Despite the network being repeatedly criticized by Israel over alleged bias, several Israeli ministries have hired the network to produce promotional videos with a focus on how Israel has helped the residents of the continent.

Apart from airing the videos, CNN will also launch a special portal to allow users to explore the various Israeli projects in Africa, particularly in agriculture, medicine, and energy.

The campaign, which cost some 4 million shekels (1.2 million dollars) will run for 3 months and will see hundreds of airings and a flurry of posts on social media.

The decision to work with CNN comes in light of its broadcast potentially reaching more than 475 million households and hotel rooms worldwide, while its internet platforms reaching some 220 million people a month.

"This campaign will help us shed Israel in a positive light and present its great contribution in a variety of fields," the acting director general at the Prime Minister's Office told Israel Hayom.
Handwritten letter by Albert Einstein up for auction in Jerusalem
A handwritten letter written by Albert Einstein which includes complex details of his search for a 'Theory of Everything' is to go up for auction in Jerusalem next week. The starting price will be $20,000.

Written in German by the Jewish-German physicist to his friend and collaborator, the mathematician Ernst Gabor Strauss, in June 1950, the letter addresses concerns Strauss had over Einsteins attempts to develop a unified field theory. Following his breakthrough insight that space and time are one in the early years of his career, Einstein devoted the latter 30 years of his life to creating a theoretical framework in with the fundamental forces in nature, gravity and electromagnetic power, could be combined.

"I am glad that you are working so hard on the question of compatibility. But I do not think your concerns are justified. I would like to formulate the proof so that your letters are taken into account," Einstein wrote in the opening to his letter. He goes on to detail a complex and lengthy scientific proof for Strauss, interpreting Strauss’ equations and solutions to distinguish real degrees of freedom from coordinate effects, in order to understand the meaning of the equations’ solutions.

Einstein was ultimately unsuccessful in formatting his Theory of Everything, but his efforts left a lasting legacy in the field of quantum physics.

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