Wednesday, December 11, 2019

12/11 Links Pt2: Douglas Murray: Labour’s anti-Semitism shame must never be forgiven; Left labels Trump an anti-Semite for defending Jews; 15 Former Labour MPs Sign Letter Saying Don't Vote Labour

From Ian:

Douglas Murray: Labour’s anti-Semitism shame must never be forgiven
As I say, I could easily go on. Anyone could. And for those who are still inclined to vote for the Labour party on Thursday perhaps nothing can now be said. They include people who hate the Conservative party and think that they must always vote Labour for tribal reasons. And they include people who think that whatever the unpleasantness that may linger around Corbyn and McDonnell and co it can be put down as a second order of business after the priority of getting the Conservative party out of office.

Well, I would like to make another suggestion. Jeremy Corbyn will lose this election and every effort should be put into ensuring that he loses it big: that what happens on Thursday is not just a defeat, but a defeat of such crushing totality for the Labour party that it takes it years to recover. It should be such a defeat that it is not possible for a Keir Starmer or Emily Thornberry to simply pick up the reins and go back to business as usual. Other left-wing parties may emerge and flourish. But the Labour party must never be forgiven for what it has offered to the public at this election. What Corbyn has brought into the mainstream has toxified Britain and the party that allowed it to happen should be held to account.

Nor should his wider rabble of supporters simply be allowed to slip away. Instead, they should each themselves be held accountable for what they have done – as the Mosley-ites were in the ‘30s. All those Labour MPs who decided to support Corbyn because he was the leader that they had. All the weird media creations who have popped up on the television day-after-day (with no identifiable credentials other than brute loyalty or loyalty to a brute). And all those columnists and ‘journalists’ of the left who pretend that they have spent their lives ‘tackling’ racism only to spend recent years campaigning for the most racist force in British politics to gain power and making Britain a pariah among the nations.

In 1936, it was a former Labour MP who had to be stood up to by the Jews of Britain and their friends. In 2019, it is the serving leader of the Labour party who has to be stood up to. It is Jeremy Corbyn who must be stood up to with those historic words: ‘They shall not pass’.
The virtue of vengeance
With the alt-right’s nighttime, torchlit march on Charlottesville, where chants of “Jews will not replace us!” could be heard, and the disruption of European soccer matches by neo-Nazis thriving across the continent, Nazis — the original brownshirts, not the modern-day wannabes — have reentered the public imagination. And with that, so, too, has the idea of vigilante justice.

In the broader culture, the Third Reich never actually left us. The evil of Nazism and depictions of its steadfast servants have always been en vogue, at least in popular culture. Whether Hogan’s Heroes in the 1960s, the television miniseries Holocaust in the 1970s, the feature films Sophie’s Choice and Schindler’s List in the 1980s and 1990s, respectively, the smash Broadway musical The Producers, which set a new Nazi-mocking tone for the millennium, or countless other artistic and documentary representations, the image of jackboots and high-handed salutes has continued to fascinate artists and audiences alike.

Now, the resurgence of a particular genre of this Nazi fixation is upon us, one that is guided by the muse of revenge. Good revenge has always gotten a bad rap.

Netflix is showcasing a new documentary, The Devil Next Door, a five-part series about John Demjanjuk, a Cleveland autoworker accused in the 1970s of being the sadistic Treblinka guard "Ivan the Terrible." The Justice Department denaturalized and extradited him to Israel, where he was tried and found guilty, only to be sent back when new evidence was introduced that cast doubt that he was, in fact, Ivan the Terrible. Regardless, he was still a guard in a death camp. On that allegation, he was eventually extradited to Germany, where he was found guilty (he died while awaiting appeal).

There’s more. Bestselling novelist Joseph Kanon’s latest thriller is The Accomplice, which revolves around an aging Nazi doctor suddenly recognized by one of his former victims. The Holocaust survivor’s nephew, a CIA agent, takes it upon himself to settle the score. A recently published work of nonfiction, Citizen 865: The Hunt for Hitler’s Hidden Soldiers in America, by Debbie Cenziper, describes how the United States got into the business of apprehending and deporting some of Hitler’s most notorious henchmen, who managed to reinvent themselves as unblemished American citizens.

Left labels Trump an anti-Semite for defending Jews
US President Donald Trump is expected to use the power of the presidency to sign an executive order to protect Jews from anti-Semitism on college campuses. That order will broaden the federal government's definition of anti-Semitism and instruct it to be used in enforcing laws against discrimination on campuses.

Like many issues in the US, this too rapidly became a partisan issue. While the potentially game-changing decree was embraced by Republican Jews and pro-Israel advocates, free speech activists and Democrats slammed the move.

Sen. Norm Coleman, Chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition, called the executive order a “historic and important moment for Jewish Americans” and lauded the president as the “most pro-Israel” in American history.

Seffi Kogen, the global director of Young Leadership at the American Jewish Committee, took a more nuanced middle-of-the-road take:

“Let's set aside how we feel about the president. I'm a member of the Jewish nation, aren't you?” he asked on Twitter, referring to the order’s definition of Judaism which labels it not only a religion but a nationality.

Despite Jewish groups lobbying for this move for years and the Obama administration’s expansion of the federal government’s interpretation of Title VI to cover religious groups back in 2010, liberal Jews and free speech advocates demonstrated yet again that Trump can’t do anything right in their book.
How Trump’s executive order on antisemitism originated in Harry Reid’s office
President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order today that will formally adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.

Details: The measure, which penalizes colleges and universities under federal anti-discrimination laws if they tolerate antisemitic activities, comes in place of the Antisemitism Awareness Act, which had been stalled in Congress. The legislation would have applied the IHRA definition, which the State Department adopted in 2016, to the Department of Education. Trump’s executive order applies the definition to the Department of Justice’s enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as well.

Worth noting: The groundwork for the executive order was laid in 2004 by Ken Marcus, at the time the assistant secretary of education for civil rights, and reaffirmed in 2010 by Russlynn Ali, who held the same position in the Obama administration. In a letter to colleagues at the time, Ali wrote, “While Title VI does not cover discrimination based solely on religion, 14 groups that face discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics may not be denied protection under Title VI on the ground that they also share a common faith.” Ali listed Jews, Muslims and Sikhs among the groups facing discrimination.

Behind the scenes: Wednesday’s signing is the culmination of a multi-year effort led by an influential group of Democrats and a private equity businessman from New York. Five years ago, Apollo Global Management co-founder Marc Rowan visited then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Washington to discuss the rise of antisemitism. Attendees at the meeting included Reid’s chief of staff, David Krone, and super-lobbyist Norm Brownstein, a longtime Jewish community leader from Denver. Reid proposed the idea of pushing a wider adoption of the State Department’s definition and Rowan, Krone and Brownstein spent the next five years building a coalition of organizations to push legislation through Congress. Reid himself continued to work on the issue even after leaving the Senate, including hosting a town hall on antisemitism in Las Vegas earlier this year.

JCPA: Corbyn’s Anti-Semitism Is More Important than Brexit for Europe
Corbyn promotes deniers of the Holocaust and finances them; he uses the word “Zionist” as a derogatory slur and describes it as an offense for Jews worldwide; and this anti-Semitism that he has so aptly demonstrated, has embedded itself into a significant part of his party. Some Labour Party members say today that all Jews must be exterminated and, of course, they claim, this is directly related to the terrible cruelty and colonial selfishness of Israel. It is no wonder that the Labour Party’s own Commission on Equality and Human Rights received more than 70 sworn statements from the Jewish Labour Movement that the “party does not consider the race and religion of Judaism to be a characteristic worthy of protection…This [the Labour Party] is a very dangerous place to be.”1

Fifty percent of the British Jews have declared that if Corbyn is elected they will have to leave the country. But “leaving” is not the right action. If he is elected, they will have to run for their lives, as Jews have been obliged to do many times.

Professor Robert Wistrich, a renowned authority on anti-Semitism, invited the Left many times to examine its own anti-Semitic past– from Proudhon to Karl Marx to the Soviet Union – some hated Jews (and afterward Israel), who they saw as imperialist and capitalist. The left-wing anti-Semitism is the most modern and the most prosperous, but it is directly connected to the old prejudices of Nazi-fascists because it sees Israel as the root of all evil in the modern world – genocide, apartheid, oppression. But anti-Semitic leftists are smart enough, as Corbyn is, to frame their hatred for Israel as legitimate criticism, and then to window-dress their hatred, by claiming that their best friends are their Jewish neighbors and compatriots.

Corbyn and his acolytes insist that they will defend British Jews from religious and ethnic discrimination because they are opposed to any oppression. But it’s not true. His anti-Semitism is the worst, most dangerous, and most aggressive, because it connects so easily with the widespread Islamic anti-Semitism that has been imported today into Europe. The hatred for the Jews will destroy Europe, its spirit, its strength. The European leaders, right and left, must speak out today – or never. Much more is riding on this election than abolishing Brexit. Corbyn must not succeed.
HonestReporting: Antisemitism: Britain's Soul is at Stake
A country that used to be one of the most tolerant places for the Jewish community is now filled antisemitism and 42 percent of British Jews are considering leaving the country.

Jeremy Corbyn's antisemitic Labour party is making headline news and in an unprecedented move, the UK's Chief Rabbi has called out the party and has warned everyone that "the very soul of our nation is at stake."

Election Watch: The Jewish Women Leading the Fight Against Anti-Semitism in Britain
So how dangerous is Labour anti-Semitism? How does it manifest in the digital age and how much worse will it get? How are Jews fighting back? And in the end, what truly defines diaspora communities in the age of the Jewish state?
* * *
“My mum is Jewish and my dad is Manchester United,” says Rachel Riley as she sips a cup of herbal tea. Riley is the star of Channel 4’s cult TV program Countdown. With a math degree from Oxford, she solves number puzzles at vertiginous speed for viewers across Britain. She is blond-haired and blue-eyed: the embodiment of the photogenic daytime TV star, and now one of the most high profile voices in the fight against Labour anti-Semitism. I first met Riley back in February at a pub in West London right by the Chelsea soccer stadium, and the story she told me was one that I would come to hear again and again over the following months: about how anti-Semitism has birthed an awakening of her Jewish identity.

If you want to understand what Jeremy Corbyn has done to British Jewry then Riley is the exemplum. Before he came to power, her Judaism, while present, was peripheral. “As a kid I knew I was Jewish, but I didn’t do anything particularly religious,” she says. “And I have blond hair, and my name is Riley—I don’t look like a typical Jew,” she says with heavy sarcasm. “In school, I knew not to sing to Jesus during morning hymns but that was about it. And as soon I knew what the term atheist meant, I thought: That sounds like me.”

“And Jewish identity is different anyway, because it is not just a religion, it’s not just a race, it’s not just a culture, it’s not a simple identity, it’s everything and nothing at the same time—and it’s all mixed up.”

And then she pauses, and says evenly and clearly: “But the stuff to do with anti-Semitism: I own that part of my identity absolutely. There is no conflict. None.”
JPost Editorial: No to Labour
This is not easy – for anyone. Citizens across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have a major issue before them at the ballot box, the reason why this snap election was called in the first place: the future of Brexit. And that is important, and a question for the people of the United Kingdom to decide.

But there is another issue – just as large, just as important, that also stands before the voters: Jew-hatred. Plain and direct, there is no other way to say it. This is an issue that cannot be ignored, and that demands a loud and open response.

To be clear: this is not a matter of political leanings. The Labour Party has always stood to the left of center, backing issues and taking sides on subjects that held to its worldview. No problem there.

But it is clear, with overwhelming evidence, that Jeremy Corbyn does not just represent those ideals of Labour and the Left. This is not a matter of being critical of Israeli policies, or vowing to immediately recognize a Palestinian state upon election, or to halt arms deals with Israel.

This is also a matter of calling Hezbollah and Hamas operatives “friends,” or attending a memorial ceremony for the Palestinian terrorists who murdered 11 Israelis at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.

No, Corbyn’s politics is personal, and he – and his party – has a problem with Jews, as illustrated in recent weeks by his failure, despite repeated requests, to simply apologize to the Jewish people.
Fifteen Former Labour MPs Sign Letter Saying Don't Vote Labour
Following yesterday’s YouGov MRP poll, which showed a hung parliament is now within the margin off error, fifteen former-Labour politicians, have put their names to an open letter that will run today as an ad in local papers across the north.

The letter, organised by Ian Austin’s Mainstream campaign, accuses the party of “antisemitism and extremism”, whilst being “weak on national security”. It concludes “Jeremy Corbyn: not fit to be Prime Minister.” Just one day to go…
CAA praises Hindu Forum of Britain for letter of solidarity with Jewish community and against antisemitism
The Hindu Forum of Britain has today published a letter of solidarity with the Jewish community and against antisemitism.

The Forum, which is the largest umbrella body of British Hindus and represents over 320 Hindu groups throughout the UK, rightly noted in its letter that the Hindu and Jewish communities have for decades “existed in harmony together” and “shared similar journeys upon arrival in this country”.

The letter goes on to say: “We have watched antisemitism seep into British politics with horror, and have worked closely with Campaign Against Antisemitism to oppose it. Bigotry within any political party is to be condemned and we take inspiration from the courage shown by the Chief Rabbi in denouncing antisemitism within the Labour Party.

“Just as our communities have shared so many succeses over the years, we now sadly feel that we share your distress and disgust at some of the current divisive rhetoric that has been used in these elections, which has led us to conclude that not only is there antisemitism in some parties, but also a strong anti-Hindu agenda.”

The President of the Hindu Forum of Britain, Trupti Patel, also spoke to the crowd of thousands at the #TogetherAgainstAntisemitism national rally in Parliament Square on Sunday.
“Let’s annihilate them all”: Leaked documents show rampant antisemitism in Labour and disciplinary processes unfit for purpose
Leaked documents show that antisemitism is rampant in the Labour Party and that its disciplinary processes are unfit for purpose.

Notwithstanding Jeremy Corbyn’s claims to the contrary, many cases have resulted in lenient sanctions, if any.

Several newspapers have highlighted a handful of alarming cases, a selection of which are summarised below.

One Labour Party member wrote a series of Facebook posts saying: “I call for the complete annihilation and extermination of every Jew on the planet”; “The Jew is worse than Black Death, worse than ebola virus. The Jew represents pure evil”; “You have to think with a scientific method…with clarity of thought. No emotion. We need to eliminate this infection. We kill viruses every day”; “Can we hope for the complete extinction of all Jews by 2017? It is possible by doing your bit to eliminate this global infection”; “Every EU country should kick out every single Jew”; and Jewish people worldwide were funding “a Holoacust against every Arab nation”. Although the Party suspended him the day after receiving a complaint and noted that his words “would not be out of place in the Third Reich”, it took the Party ten months to expel him.

One Labour activist angrily told a veteran councillor that he was “licking the bum of Jews for money”. That comment was passed to Labour’s disciplinary team, along with a social media post she had shared that said: “Our Jewish agenda is to employ the tools of chaos magic — to use deception lies, craft and magic — to obtain the conquest of the Gentile world and establish our Jewish New World Order.” Nevertheless, the Party took four months to process the case, did not suspend her, gave her only a ‘formal warning’ which has no ramifications, and despite the Party’s insistence that future behaviour would result in stronger sanctions, the same activist is known to have shared posts alleging that a Jewish woman MP is an “intelligence asset of the United States”.

CAA investigators unearth shocking social media posts by former Labour candidate Jann Oliver who claimed to have stepped down “for personal reasons”
Jann Oliver, until recently a Labour candidate in the general election, was deselected by the Party’s ruling body in November for what her constituency branch called “personal reasons”. However, Campaign Against Antisemitism can reveal that Ms Oliver also had a history of antisemitic social media activity.

In June, Ms Oliver was selected to represent the Labour Party as its parliamentary candidate for Bromley and Chislehurst. However, on 7th November 2019, with only weeks to go before the general election, it was reported that she had been deselected by Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee the previous day. No reason for the deselection was provided. Ms Oliver’s local Labour constituency branch, however, announced that she had stood down “for personal reasons”.

However, another candidate. Jason West, who was to stand for Labour in West Dorset, was apparently deselected simultaneously with Ms Oliver. He expressed his annoyance at being cited in the same Huffington Post reportage, claiming that the news website “should have no idea” why he was deselected, as he was “told not to tell anyone by the Labour Party.”

Meanwhile, Ms Oliver’s Twitter account was deleted. Nevertheless, Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Political and Government Investigations Unit can now reveal that Ms Oliver had regularly retweeted posts which clearly fell foul of the International Definition of Antisemitism, which had been adopted by the Labour Party over her (and others’) objections.

Having discovered that Ms Oliver followed @SocialistVoice, an account run by expelled Labour activist Scott Nelson, our investigators discovered that she had also shared a number of disturbing posts on social media, many of them sharing the common theme that ‘Zionists’ were supposedly conspiring, using smears and lies, to contrive the downfall of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Jewish Group That Backs Corbyn Mocked for Member Mosaic Featuring Duplicate Images
A group that has defended the British Labour Party amid a years-long antisemitism scandal and heavy criticism from the British Jewish community was mocked online after releasing a mosaic of supporters that was filled with duplicate images.

Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) published the image — which was ostensibly compiled using 4,800 photos of supporters, and bears the likeness of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn — on Sunday. “This image of Jeremy Corbyn is constructed out of many photos of Jews supporting Labour,” the group wrote. “All those, apart from Noam Chomsky and Naomi Klein, are photos of Jews in Britain.”

Yet critics quickly pointed to the mosaic’s heavy repetition of many photos, which they described as misleading and evidence of the low support both JVL and Corbyn maintain in the British Jewish community. One photo of a woman in a red shirt appeared more than 200 times in the collection, according to a count by The Algemeiner.
Here’s what media outlets wrote about antisemitism in their election endorsements
Here are the endorsements by major British media outlets for tomorrow’s general election, and what they wrote about antisemitism in their editorials.

The Guardian:
Endorsement: Labour
On antisemitism:
[Corbyn’s] obdurate handling of the antisemitism crisis has disrupted the message of hope. Anything less than zero tolerance against racism tarnishes Labour’s credentials as an anti-racist organisation. The pain and hurt within the Jewish community, and the damage to Labour, are undeniable and shaming. Yet Labour remains indispensable to progressive politics.

Endorsement: Labour
On antisemitism: (Nothing)

The Independent:
Endorsement: Anyone but Johnson.
On antisemitism:
But of most concern to a great many voters, Mr Corbyn’s failure to deal rigorously and honestly with prejudice in his party against Jewish people has been a moral disaster.

Trump to Sign Order Targeting Antisemitism on College Campuses
US President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order on Wednesday threatening to cut federal assistance to colleges that fail to combat antisemitism, a senior administration official said on Tuesday.

The order would extend protections against discrimination under the 1964 Civil Rights Act to people subjected to antisemitism on college campuses, the official said.

The order “just explains if an incident is antisemitic it could fall into a Title 6 violation,” the official said, referring to Title 6 of the law which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.

“Just because someone is Jewish doesn’t mean they should be punished and not receive the same protections for discrimination under Title 6,” the official said.

The Anti-Defamation League, which tracks acts of racism, said it recorded 201 antisemitic incidents at colleges and universities in 2018, down from 204 in the previous year.
Antisemitism on Canadian campuses
SOME IN the Jewish community were shocked that the Student Society at McGill University (SSMU) tried to force a Jewish student to resign from her student government position this week. Yet this is the same SSMU that tried to kick Noah Lew off the board of directors because he is Jewish, the same SSMU whose members tweeted “punch a Zionist,” and the same SSMU that has allowed multiple BDS resolutions to be placed on their agenda.

This is on the same campus were one of the students I worked with hosted an Artists4Israel program where anti-Israel activists blocked her mural of peace with anti-Israel posters – for four hours straight. All this occurred the day before I (and the students I was working with) had to chase down a student – in the middle of a Montreal winter – who stole the Israeli flag from our table at Concordia University and threw it in the trash.

The situation is even more severe at Ryerson University. I was lucky enough to work with brave and motivated student leaders who ended up passing the first ever definition of antisemitism (which included language about Israel) through the Ryerson Student Union (RSU), making history on Canadian campuses. That, however, came years after the RSU passed a BDS resolution and after a staged walkout of an RSU meeting to prevent a Holocaust Education Week motion from passing because it asked to “work with the Zionists.”

As someone who moved to Israel, I sometimes forget how difficult it was to be vocally pro-Israel on Canadian campuses. So, am I upset to see my students, my home and my campuses flooded with antisemitism? Yes. Am I surprised? No way – and you shouldn’t be either.
International Soccer Federation FIFA Slammed for Posting Pro-Palestinian Tweet
The international soccer federation FIFA faced criticism on Monday after it published a pro-Palestinian tweet despite its usual policy of keeping politics out of sports.

The tweet contained an image from a series of photographs by Amelie Debray, showing the West Bank security barrier, built by Israel to thwart Palestinian terror attacks, covered in soccer-related graffiti.

“The script in this graffiti reads: ‘Freedom Through Football,’” said FIFA. “Together the photographs show football as a representation of life and freedom in Palestine.”

FIFA’s tweet was quickly called out by members of the pro-Israel online group DigiTell, organized by the Jewish state’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs to combat anti-Israel incitement on social media.

Aftermath: YorkU's response to violent, antisemitic protest punishes Jewish students
David Menzies of Rebel News reports: Blaming the victim: Last month, Herut Canada staged a pro-Israel event at Toronto’s York University. This led to a violent protest. Yet, in the aftermath, the administration at York thought that one solution is to take away the privileges of... the Herut club!? In an exclusive interview, Lauren Isaacs, the Toronto director of Herut Canada, tries to make sense if it all.

White House Says Antisemitic Website ‘Not Credentialed’ for Media Coverage as Congress Members Deliver Letter of Protest
The White House said on Tuesday that the white supremacist website TruNews was not credentialed to cover press events at the Executive Mansion — hours after two members of Congress sent a letter to President Donald Trump’s acting chief of staff urging him “to condemn the antisemitic comments by TruNews founder and host Rick Wiles and deny TruNews any future access to the White House.”

In their letter on Tuesday to Mick Mulvaney, Reps. Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Elaine Luria (D-VA) asserted that, “Shockingly, published reports suggest that TruNews has participated at press events at the White House, including on Sept. 26, 2018, when President Trump took a question from TruNews during a press conference.”

They added: “On March 28, 2019, Donald Trump Jr. granted TruNews an interview during a political rally for his father.”

The letter to the White House from the legislators followed the outcry two weeks ago over a violently antisemitic rant by Pastor Rick Wiles — the founder of TruNews — while the outlet was streaming a segment on the impeachment proceedings presently facing Trump.

Warning against what he called a “Jew coup,” Wiles declared: “That’s the way the Jews work, they are deceivers, they plot, they lie, they do whatever they have to do to accomplish their political agenda.”
Italian Catholic museum opens exhibit on 'fake news' Jewish blood libel
On March 23, 1475, a two-year-old boy, Simonino, disappeared in the city of Trento, located in the north of modern Italy. His body was found three days later. Local Jews were quickly accused of killing the boy to use his blood for religious rituals, arrested, tortured and killed. Five centuries later, a new exhibition at the local archdiocese museum denounces the propaganda and the antisemitic culture behind the myth of Jewish ritual homicides and the Simonino case, one of the most infamous examples of blood libel against Jews in history.

Titled "The Invention of the Culprit," the exhibition will be inaugurated on Friday at the Museo Diocesano Tridentino, just meters away from the city's fourteenth-century cathedral. The initiative, supported by local Catholic and civil authorities, is devoted to delve into and debunk what the museum called a piece of "egregious fake news from the past" and "one of the darkest pages" in the history of antisemitism.

Already on the day after the boy disappeared, suspicions were focused on the local Jews, who numbered about thirty belonging to three families, according to the Italia Judaica project by the Tel Aviv University. On Easter Day, March 26, 1475, one of them, named Samuele from Nurenberg, reported to the authorities that the body of a young child was found in the stream that flowed by his house. Immediately afterwards, Samuele, his wife Brunetta and all Jewish men in the city were arrested, while rumors about miracles surrounding the body of Simonino, which was displayed in a church, started to spread.

Samuele and the other Jews confessed under torture.

While in the beginning Pope Sixtus IV remained skeptical about the trial and the cult devoted to Simonino that quickly developed, he eventually gave in to the local Catholic leaders, declaring the trial "regular."
A Holocaust Survivor Received Anti-Semitic Threats, So Thousands of Supporters Rallied Around Her
The mayors, wearing sashes in the Italian green, white and red, were applauded as they entered the arcaded Galleria, and the crowd chanted “Liliana” when Segre met the mayors below the central glass dome.

Thousands of ordinary Italians joined the march or cheered form the sidelines, singing the anti-fascist anthem “Bella Ciao,” as the march proceeded through the 19th century Galleria to the square in front of City Hall.

The march was organized by the Italian mayor’s association and was meant to cut across party lines. But the role of League leader Matteo Salvini in fomenting anti-migrant and racist sentiment was recognized.

Bologna Mayor Virginio Merola told The Associated Press that rising racism in Italy could be traced to the country’s long economic crisis along with the League’s provocative rhetoric. Bologna is the largest city in Emilia-Romagna, a traditionally left-wing stronghold that faces tough regional elections next month, where Salvini is poised to make strong gains.

“There is too much racism, hatred and anti-Semitism in Europe, and Italy,” Merola said. “We need to react and show citizens that the way to live together is through civil cohabitation.”

El Al to operate three non-stop test flights to Melbourne
El Al will operate three round-trip test flights between Tel Aviv and Melbourne in April and May 2020, the national carrier said on Tuesday, as it evaluates the launch of a regular non-stop service between the distant destinations.

The flights, the longest carried out by an Israeli airline to date, will be served by El Al’s new fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

Flight duration from Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion Airport to Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport is expected to be 16 hours and 15 minutes. The return flight is expected to take 17 hours and 45 minutes.

Following the lengthy test flights, El Al says it will decide whether it is commercially feasible to launch regular operations. Passengers currently seeking to travel between Israel and Australia are required to stop over en route to their final destination.

Tickets are now on sale for the flights, which will depart from Tel Aviv on April 2, April 23 and May 14. Return flights will depart Melbourne on April 4, April 25 and May 16. Round-trip tickets from Tel Aviv will start from $1,199.
Israeli 'rubber band' solution could reduce plastic bottle waste by 80%
It is often said that necessity is the mother of invention, but what about simplicity?

According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, there could be more plastic than fish (by weight) in the ocean by 2050, if current plastic disposal trends continue. In fact, only 14% of the world's masses of plastic packaging materials is collected for recycling.

One French-Israeli serial entrepreneur, however, believes that recycling challenges posed by large quantities of plastic bottles could be significantly ameliorated with a solution based on the addition of a rubber band.
'I believe we have a lot to learn from Israel on water issues'
Cold temperatures greeted those who had arrived for the Watec Israel 2019 Conference in Tel Aviv several weeks ago.

This conference, perhaps more than any other forum, shows just how much of a powerhouse Israel has become in the field of water technology and innovation.

The guest of honor and keynote speaker was United States' Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler, who spoke with Israel Hayom on the side of the conference.

He has a lot of praise on the Jewish state, noting with admiration that Israel manages to reuse more than 87% of its water.

“I am here to speak about water issues, and that is certainly one area where I believe we have a lot to learn from Israel; on water issues, on the water that is recycled here. We only recycle 6% of our water in the United States, and earlier this year we issued a draft recycling plan,” he said.

“We are trying to move in that direction a lot more, but there is a lot of other areas in which we cooperate with Israel. Last year I signed a new memorandum of understanding and this was to reaffirm our commitment to both countries. Last month Israel sent a team from the Environmental Protection Ministry to the US to take a look at some of the environmental remediation in similar-type sites. So we took them to Virginia and Missouri and Nevada and they took a look at some of our cleanup technology to see what they could use here."

An example of just how close the two nations are when it comes to this field is the exports between them. Israeli exports in water technology totaled a value of 850 million dollars in 2018, and more than 21% of these exports were to the United States.
Hitting half a billion users, Moovit’s mobility empire wraps up record year
Moovit, an Israeli-founded urban mobility company that operates internationally, has had a big year. This summer, it hit a significant milestone with over half a billion users of its popular public transportation application, and strove to make transits and commutes even smoother by building on existing partnerships or sparking new ones with major multinationals including Uber, Microsoft, and most recently, Waze, an Israeli-founded navigation app sold to Google in 2013 for $1 billion.

Moovit has, in fact, been commonly referred to as the “Waze for public transportation” since it was founded in 2012 by entrepreneurs Nir Erez, Roy Bick, and Yaron Evron. Headquartered in Ness Ziona, the company developed the first free crowdsourced app that provides real-time bus, train, subway, and light rail schedules, offers route options to help users find the quickest, most efficient way to their destinations, and issues exact instructions on how to get there.

The company grew quickly, raising over $3 million in venture financing the year it was founded, $28 million a year later and another $50 million in 2015, according to business intelligence platform Crunchbase. Investors have included Sequoia Capital Israel, BMW i Ventures, and NGP Capital, a VC firm based in Palo Alto, California.
Israeli Startups Raised nearly $900 Million in November
Israeli tech companies have already raised considerably more money in 2019 than in all of 2018.

Israeli startups raised nearly $900 million in November, according to press releases issued by companies that have completed financing rounds. The figure may be more as some companies prefer to remain in stealth and not to publicize the investments they have received. After raising $6.14 billion in the first nine months of the year, according to IVC, Israeli tech companies have now raised $7.84 billion since the start of 2019, having raised $800 million in Octobwer. This figure already easily surpasses the record $6.4 billion raised by Israeli tech companies in 2018, which according to IVC was up from $5.24 billion in 2017.

$700 million was raised by just 11 startups last month. Fraud protection company Riskified led the way in November raising $165 million followed by 3D imaging sensor company Vayyar Imaging, which raised $109 million. Cloud optimization company DoIt International raised $100 million and fintech company Blue Vine raised $102.5 million.

AIOps company Big Panda raised $50 million, payroll management platform Papaya Global raised $45 million and fintech company Capitolis raised $40 million. Medical device company XACT robotics raised $36 million, IoT cybersecurity company Insight Cyber raised $30 million and Diagnostic Robotics raised $24 million.
Israeli cyclists to race in Tour de France bearing Start-Up Nation banner
An Israeli cycling team will for the first time ever be taking part in the prestigious Tour de France 2020 bike race, and will do so bearing the banner of Israel as a Startup Nation.

The biking race in France is one of the world’s most popular sporting events, watched by a TV audience of 3.5 billion people.

The Israel Cycling Academy (ICA) presented its 2020 squad in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, with the team changing its name to “Israel Start-Up Nation” ahead of its first season in the 2020 UCI WorldTour. As such, it will be competing in the Tour de France, taking the slot of Swiss team Katusha-Alpecin.

The newly dubbed team will consist of 30 riders from 16 nationalities, the ICA and Start-Up Nation Central (SNC) said in a statement on Wednesday. Start-Up Nation Central is a Tel Aviv-based nonprofit organization that connects companies around the world to Israeli innovation. The ICA was founded in December 2014 in Jerusalem as Israel’s first professional cycling team.
Operation Israeli citizen
Even though 20-year-old Border Police officer Jamaysa Yael Bontong was born in Israel and doing military service, she was never an official citizen of Israel - until recently.

Her path to an Israeli passport began last year when her commanders discovered that she was not a citizen and embarked on a new mission to change that. The mission ended last weekend, when Bontong received her Israeli ID in a moving ceremony in Jerusalem.

Bontong pledged her allegiance to Israel during a naturalization ceremony at the Interior Ministry in Jerusalem, accompanied by her direct commander Uri Levy.

"I declare that I will be a loyal citizen to the State of Israel," Bontong said excitedly as she received her Israeli ID card, officially making her a citizen.

Bontong is the daughter of Maria Fatima Bontong, a Filipino woman who came to Israel to work as a carer for an elderly woman.

In Israel, Maria met Suchet, a foreign worker from Thailand, and the two had two daughters together, who they raised as Israelis in every way.
But Jamaysa was just 14, her father was deported when his working visa expired, and she recalls these years as nothing less than a nightmare.

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