Tuesday, April 21, 2020

From Ian:

Jonathan Tobin: Remembering the Holocaust in a post-'sacred survival' era
With each passing year, the number of Holocaust survivors – whose memories largely embodied the journey that Jews had taken from abject powerlessness and slaughter to current security and strength – decreases. With fewer of them to bear witness, the Holocaust could be fated to be viewed as one more piece of ancient history. Just as important, the growing willingness to universalize the Holocaust has lessened its ability to instruct Jews about their own history and fate.

That has led to a situation in which the Shoah is perceived by some as more of a weapon to be used against Israel and those seeking to perpetuate Jewish life as anything else. The canard that Israel is now as oppressive as the Nazis is the product of a desire by the Arab and Muslim world, and the Europeans, to justify their desire to erase history. But it has now been internalized by many Jews who have rejected both the idea of sacred survival, as well as the clear verdict of history that Zionism was the only logical and necessary response to the incurable virus of anti-Semitism.

Sacred survival as the sole motivation for Jewish identity was fated to collapse over time. Neither historical memory nor vicarious identification with Israel is enough to sustain Jewish life in the long run. Instead, its perpetuation of Jewish life requires a joyful embrace of all that is life-affirming in both Judaism and the heritage of Jewish peoplehood. To the extent that American Jewry will continue as a coherent community will be on the basis of choosing to embrace that positive vision.

But it would be a mistake to think that our focus on the Holocaust must be sacrificed in order to achieve a healthier Jewish future based on transmissible values.

To the contrary, the challenge for contemporary Jews is to incorporate the memories of the survivors and the sacrifice of the Six Million to forge a community that is forward-looking while still anchored in the same ideas of historical memory that have sustained Jews since they began recounting the story of slavery and the Exodus from Egypt thousands of years ago.

Nor, even as we rightly reject the narrow vision of sacred survival, should we forget that the fate of world Jewry is still linked to the tragedy of the Shoah. On the eve of Yom Hashoah this week, Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics noted that by the end of 2018, the worldwide Jewish population stood at 14.8 million – a figure that is still less than the estimated 16.6 million who were alive in 1939 on the eve of the Holocaust.

Jewish life cannot be solely justified, as in Fackenheim's lesson, as a response to the crimes of the Nazis and their collaborators. And thanks to the triumph of Zionism, the Jewish people are no longer helpless victims. But neither can we afford to forget that powerlessness is an invitation to future Jewish genocide.

Johnathan Sacks: A Lesson from the Torah: Vilification and Evil Speech Are Destroying the World
Judaism is, I have argued, a religion of words and silences, speaking and listening, communicating and attending. God created the universe by words — “And He said … and there was” — and we create the social universe by words, by the promises with which we bind ourselves to meet our obligations to others. God’s revelation at Sinai was of words — “You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a Voice” (Deut. 4:12). Every other ancient religion had its monuments of brick and stone; Jews, exiled, had only words, the Torah they carried with them wherever they went. The supreme mitzvah in Judaism is Shema Yisrael, “Listen, Israel.” For God is invisible and we make no icons. We can’t see God; we can’t smell God; we can’t touch God; we can’t taste God. All we can do is listen in the hope of hearing God. In Judaism, listening is high religious art.

Or it should be. What Tom Hanks shows us in his portrayal of Fred Rogers is a man who is capable of attending to other people, listening to them, talking gently to them in a way that is powerfully affirming without for a moment being bland or assuming that all is well with the world or with them. The reason this is both interesting and important is that it is hard to know how to listen to God if we do not know how to listen to other people. And how can we expect God to listen to us if we are incapable of listening to others?

This entire issue of speech and its impact on people has become massively amplified by the spread of smartphones and social media and their impact, especially on young people and on the entire tone of the public conversation. Online abuse is the plague of our age. It has happened because of the ease and impersonality of communication. It gives rise to what has been called the disinhibition effect: people feel freer to be cruel and crude than they would be in a face-to-face situation. When you are in the physical presence of someone, it is hard to forget that the other is a living, breathing human being just as you are, with feelings like yours and vulnerabilities like yours. But when you are not, all the poison within you can leak out, with sometimes devastating effects. The number of teenage suicides and attempted suicides has doubled in the past ten years, and most attribute the rise to effects of social media. Rarely have the laws of lashon hara been more timely or necessary.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood offers a fascinating commentary on an ancient debate in Judaism, one discussed by Maimonides in the sixth of his Eight Chapters, as to which is greater, the chassid, the saint, the person who is naturally good, or ha-moshel be-nafsho, one who is not naturally saintly at all but who practices self-restraint and suppresses the negative elements in their character. It is precisely this question, whose answer is not obvious, that gives the film its edge.

The rabbis said some severe things about lashon hara. It is worse than the three cardinal sins — idolatry, adultery, and bloodshed — combined. It kills three people: the one who speaks it, the one of whom it is spoken, and the one who receives it. Joseph received the hatred of his brothers because he spoke negatively about some of them. The generation that left Egypt was denied the chance of entering the land because they spoke badly about it. One who speaks it is said to be like an atheist.

I believe we need the laws of lashon hara now more than almost ever before. Social media is awash with hate. The language of politics has become ad hominem and vile. We seem to have forgotten the messages that Tazria and Metzora teach: that evil speech is a plague. It destroys relationships, rides roughshod over people’s feelings, debases the public square, turns politics into a jousting match between competing egos, and defiles all that is sacred about our common life. It need not be like this.
Jason Greenblatt: Humanity is in this together
I learned about the atrocities of the Holocaust when I was a child directly from those who suffered through it. The memories of my extended family and their close friends helped shape who I became. Their stories were captivating and horrifying. Against all odds, after the brutal destruction of European Jewry, these survivors had the strength to raise strong Jewish families, strong American citizens, and build new homes in their new country. The fortitude of that generation was a marvel to behold.

My parents were luckier than most. My father's family was able to flee Hungary in time to save themselves. My paternal grandmother painstakingly tried to line up all the necessary visas to enable her family to escape Hungary. It was a desperately frustrating task, where the consequences meant life or death. One day, after months of my grandmother trying and failing, a German diplomat gave her the visas that she was so desperately seeking. My mother's family was liberated by the Soviet army. After the war, her family made their way back to Debrecen, Hungary, where they were reunited. They continued living in Debrecen until the Hungarian Revolution, at which point they fled Hungary and moved to the United States.

When asked to recount some of my most memorable moments during my nearly three years at the White House, I often speak about a Holocaust-related experience. One day I was privileged to visit the memorial commemorating the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising with the Vice President of the United States, the Prime Minister of Israel, and the Prime Minister of Poland. For me to be able to stand there with them as a proud American, a proud Jew, and a Senior White House official was remarkable. Later that day I gave a speech in Warsaw and I was in awe when I realized that right in the front row listening to me were three elderly Righteous Among the Nations individuals who saved Jews during the Holocaust.

While I have remained on lockdown with my family for several weeks as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, I have had more time to reflect and try to grow as a person. Time to reflect and grow often eludes me during our fast-paced, normal lives. I hope to change this when we emerge from this isolation. I often think about the German diplomat and the three Righteous Among the Nations individuals who I met in Warsaw who, together with so many others, heroically put themselves and their families at great risk to save Jews.

Israel's Holocaust Memorial Ceremony aired online for first time ever
Despite Yad Vashem’s Warsaw Ghetto Square being eerily deserted, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day ceremony nevertheless went ahead in perhaps the strangest circumstances of the country’s history.

In the shadow of the coronavirus epidemic, the host of the ceremony addressed an empty square and vocalists performed without an audience – but the speeches from the country’s leaders, the stories of survivors and the prayers for those murdered all went ahead regardless.

Speaking via video, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the fight against the coronavirus outbreak was perhaps the biggest global crisis since the end of the Second World War.

He noted that during the Holocaust, multitudes of Jews died from disease due to the inhuman conditions imposed upon them by the Nazis, but said that although Israelis face today another contagion, the circumstances could not be more different.

“Today we have a national home, we have our own country. A strong, advanced country which is much appreciated,” said Netanyahu.

He noted that earlier this year, the country had hosted many world leaders at Yad Vashem to commemorate the liberation of Auschwitz and pledge to fight antisemitism, saying that they had been impressed with the Jewish’s states success in “replacing helplessness with power and mighty accomplishments.”

As is wont on Holocaust Remembrance Day, Netanyahu raised the spectre of ongoing threats to the safety of the Jewish people, including “radical Islam led by Iran,” which he said would not dissipate in the coronavirus crisis.

President Reuven Rivlin also delivered a recorded address, saying that the coronavirus pandemic and its attendant difficulties should not cloud out the memory of the past.
Millions of Documents on Nazi Victims, Survivors Now Online
The Arolsen Archives, formerly known as the International Tracing Service, have added a “milestone” 13 million documents to their online database of documents and information on the victims of Nazi persecution.

This follows the upload of 13 million documents with the launch of the online database in May 2019.

It will now be possible to access and search all 26 million of the Arolsen Archives’ documents online. They contain information on 21 million names of those displaced, persecuted and murdered by the Nazi regime.

“The Arolsen Archives have recently expanded the collections on the internet to include documents on forced laborers and on deportations to concentration camps,” the Archives said in a statement earlier this week.

The latest uploads included data about the deportations of Jews, Roma and Sinti from the former German Empire, Austria, Bohemia and Moravia, and the card index of forced labourers.

“This means that the majority of the documents in the world’s most comprehensive archive on Nazi persecution are now accessible online,” the Archives said.

“They are a unique body of evidence that documents the crimes committed by the Nazis, and they are of immeasurable value to the relatives of the victims of Nazi persecution.”

The archive, which is based in the north German town of Bad Arolsen, said that the project was facilitated by its Israeli partner Yad Vashem.

Almost all the documents that relate to Nazi persecution are now publicly available online, it said.

Worldwide population of 14.7 million Jews falls short of pre-war numbers
The worldwide population of Jews stands at 14.7 million, still fall short of the pre-World War II numbers, according to a report by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics.

The figures, which are similar to the population of world Jewry in 1925, were released ahead of Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. The numbers are current to the end of 2018.

World Jewry reached a population of 16.6 million right before the start of World War II in 1939.

Israel’s 6.7 million Jews make up 45 percent of the world total. Some 5.2 million Jews were born in the country, while about 1 million are natives of either Europe or the Americas, as well as about 293,000 of Africa and 164,000 of Asia.

The United States has the second-largest Jewish population with 5.7 million, followed by France at about 450,000 and Canada at some 392,000. Next is the United Kingdom (292,000), Argentina (180,000), Russia (165,000), Germany (118,000) and Australia (116,000).

In 1948, on the eve of the establishment of the State of Israel, the number of Jews in the world was 5.11 million, including 650,000 in prestate Palestine, according to the report.
Arab MK speaks at Knesset on Holocaust Remembrance Day for first time
MK Mansour Abbas, head of the religious United Arab List party that is part of the Joint List, eulogized the victims of the Holocaust in a speech to the Knesset on Tuesday, Holocaust Remembrance Day, the first Arab MK to do so. Abbas said that he was uttering a prayer from the Quran in memory of the souls of the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust.

"As a religious Palestinian Muslim Arab, who was raised on the legacy of Sheikh Abdallah Nimr Darwish who founded the Islamic Movement, I have empathy to the pain and suffering over the years of Holocaust survivors and the families of the murdered. I stand here to show solidarity with the Jewish people here and forever," said Abbas.

Abbas said that he would speak about the Holocaust "not from books or from internet quotes, but rather from a moral worldview and internal contemplation on the person inside me and historical insights formed through a number of years."

"I bow my head before the heroism of women and men who started the Warsaw Ghetto uprising against the decree of death and the feeling of despair to protect the human image," said Abbas. "I also bow my head before heroes from multiple nations, righteous among the nations, Christians, Muslims and other, especially Muslim Arabs in the great mosque of Paris and in and in the Muslim country of Albania that took in and protected Jews throughout the war."

Over 1,700 resistance fighters, of which only a few were not Jews, hid in the mosque in Paris, explained Abbas.

"Holocaust denial is a remnant of Nazi ideology. It is a moral failure and its betrayal of the values of truth and justice is a transgression of a fundamental principle in Islam, the testimony of truth and justice," said Abbas.

"Politicians or religious men or any person who doesn't manage to shake off racism or hatred of the other or doesn't stop inciting conflict and war should not touch the Holocaust and should not desecrate their sanctity," added the Arab MK.
Gil Troy: To my daughter regarding her canceled Poland mission: Choose life!
Remember: memory is a tricky thing. Like an anchor, it stabilizes us, so we can navigate safely, intelligently, in the real world. But as with anchors, we need just enough buoyancy to stay afloat, never being so flighty that we forget, nor too burdened that we drown.

Holocaust education requires sensitivity, remembering enough so “Never Again” colors our worldview, but not so much that it blackens our souls.
As an “identity Zionist” who emphasizes how lucky we are to live in a world where Israel can be our identity anchor, our values platform, our source of inspiration – with all its challenges – I regret weighing you down with the responsibilities of Jewish history. But it’s our privilege, too.

In Kaddish, Wieseltier, the son of two Holocaust survivors, sighs: “It is one of the lessons of Jewish history that the community of Jewish fate is larger than the community of Jewish belief.”

In other words, traditionally – and today, too – most Jews let Jew-haters define them as Jews, rather than defining themselves as Jews by loving Judaism.

You’ve already shown yourself as someone who loves Judaism and Jewish life and the moral path. That’s the key to starting a healthy Holocaust-learning-and-teaching journey. That perspective puts the Jew-haters – and our martyred millions – in context. It frees you never to forget “Never Again” while always remembering the Torah’s invitation – which you’re living daily – to choose life. L’Chaim!
Hitler’s Jewish neighbor lived under Nazis’ noses, is now locked down in the UK
In 1929, Adolf Hitler moved into an apartment across the street from the Feuchtwanger family in Munich, Germany. Then a boy, Edgar Feuchtwanger, his father Ludwig and mother Erna would catch glimpses of Hitler through the window.

“I would have been mincemeat had the Nazis known who I was and that I was living right under their noses,” Feuchtwanger, 95, told The Times of Israel in a recent interview from his home in Winchchester, England.

Feuchtwanger teamed up in 2013 with French journalist and writer Bertil Scali to publish his improbable story in a memoir titled “Hitler, mon voisin.” The book was translated to English in 2017 as “Hitler, My Neighbor: Memories of a Jewish Childhood 1929-1939,” and it is now out in paperback edition.

Feuchtwanger recalls wondering what Hitler was doing or thinking as he seized increasing power and stripped Jewish citizens like the Feuchtwangers of their rights after becoming chancellor in 1933.

Like most everyone, Feuchtwanger was locked down in his home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s a bit of a bore,” he said. “But we can survive this. Things have been worse.”

While some may be interested in simply knowing what it was like to be only one degree of separation from the most evil individual in history, others will find critical lessons in this memoir for the world in which we live today. The book is arguably more relevant now than it was when it was first published in the pre-Trump, pre-Brexit era.

In “Hitler, My Neighbor,” Feuchtwanger recalls in vivid detail, and from child a child’s perspective, what it was like to grow up in the cradle of Nazism as life became increasingly unbearable for German Jews.

Webinar - Exposed: The ICC Targets Democracies with Col. Richard Kemp
Col. Richard Kemp CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) served in the Army for 29 years. During his final period of military duty he handled the interdiction and response to all major global terrorist attacks. Lt. Col. Richard Kemp is a member of NGO Monitor’s International Advisory Board. See his full bio here.

Anne Herzberg is the Legal Advisor of NGO Monitor. Her areas of research include business and human rights, international human rights law, the laws of armed conflict, universal jurisdiction, international fact finding, NGOs, and the UN.

Prof. Gerald Steinberg is founder and president of NGO Monitor and founder of the Program on Conflict Management and Negotiation at Bar Ilan University. His research focuses on the The Politics of Human Rights Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Israeli Politics and Arms Control.
UC Irvine student government divests from BDS
The student government at the University of California, Irvine, has voted to repeal a 2012 resolution ‎that called for the school to divest from firms that conduct business in Israel.‎

The original March 12 resolution passed with 16 votes in favor, six against and two abstentions.‎

The new resolution that repealed the pro-BDS measure states that "anti-Semitism is a universally condemned discriminatory activity that premises itself on ‎ethnic, cultural and economic practices that seek to undermine the legitimacy, life and property of the ‎Jewish people," and that "a sustained campaign of harassment and intimidation has been waged ‎against Jewish students and their allies on UCI's campus with impunity."‎

The new resolution also said that the BDS resolution "has created a noxious campus climate that has ‎fostered the aforementioned campaign of harassment."‎

Moreover, its "very title is an Orwellian smear intended to stain indelibly any who would question its ‎true and malicious intent" as the "baseless and bigoted assertion that the State of Israel is apartheid is ‎nothing less than a blood libel."‎
Danish Bible Society’s translation omits dozens of references to Israel
The Danish Bible Society has omitted dozens of references to Israel from translations of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament.

Defending the deletions, the society said they prevent confusion with the modern-day country.

The omissions occurred in a project titled “Bible 2020” that was published earlier this year under the society’s supervision, the 24NYT news site reported Sunday. It’s the first translation into Danish in more than 20 years.

Jan Frost, a Bible enthusiast and supporter of Israel from Denmark, drew the media’s attention to the omissions on YouTube and other social networks. He counted 59 omissions out of 60 references to Israel in the Greek origin for New Testament texts. References to “the People of Israel” were replaced with “Jews,” while “Land of Israel” became “the land of Jews.”

In other places, references to Israel were translated as referencing all readers or all of humanity.

The Song of Ascents from the Book of Psalms in the Hebrew Bible, a popular Shabbat hymn for Jews, originally states that “He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” In the new translation, Israel is replaced by the word “us.”

A Bible Society representative told Frost that the decision was made to avoid confusing the Land of Israel with the State of Israel. However, the names of other countries from that time that still exist, such as Egypt, have not been changed.

“The old theological expression for this is ‘replacement theology,’ in which you replace Israel with the church,” Frost wrote Monday on Facebook.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Scholars: Facile Users Of Holocaust Analogies Exactly Like Nazis (satire)
Researchers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in the nation’s capital repeated their warning today that casual and overblown comparisons of contemporary events to the horrors of the industrialized dehumanization and murder of millions of Jews make a person literally Hitler.

Department heads at the country’s flagship institution for Holocaust research and education released a statement Tuesday to mark Yom HaShoah, Israel’s annual commemoration of Nazi genocide against Europe’s Jews – and of resistance efforts to it – in which the museum noted what it called the worrisome rhetorical trend of using the Holocaust to describe phenomena that fall far short of the real-world horror the episode involved. The statement declared that such continued appropriation of the Holocaust demonstrates an evil on par with those of its perpetrators.

“One cannot in good conscience make analogies to Nazis for everyday events,” the statement read, in part. “People who do so might as well fire up the crematoria and force marginalized groups to wear yellow six-pointed stars.”

Officials at the museum also spoke individually about the phenomenon. “If you invoke the Holocaust to protest, for example, the consumption of meat, you’re basically Goebbels,” explained Deputy Director of Communications Stephen Kupferwasser. “Bottom line, if you’re Jewish, don’t betray your brethren by cheapening the Holocaust for personal gain or political capital, you kapo.”
BBC compares Israel to Nazis again, after trying to dismiss our ongoing complaint about Orla Guerin’s coverage that did the same thing
The BBC has compared the policies of Israel’s Government to that of the Nazis yet again, even as it tries to dismiss Campaign Against Antisemitism’s ongoing complaint about controversial journalist Orla Guerin’s Holocaust Memorial Day coverage, which did the same thing.

On this occasion, the comparison features in a travel article on the BBC website about life in Bethlehem. The article contains numerous inaccuracies, but most offensively implies an equation between the condition of the residents of Bethlehem – which the author attributes to Israeli policy – and that of the Jews suffering under the Nazis.

The article discusses a “cultural renaissance” in the city, which it describes as both “counterintuitive” but also “surprisingly commonplace where people feel their human rights are under intense restrictions”. Within the same paragraph, three other historic examples are provided, including the most notorious Nazi death camp: “Even amid the infamous Nazi horror of Auschwitz, prisoners passed around poetry and composed music, risking torture if they were caught.” The article goes on in the next paragraph to quote the author of a book titled One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps.

The BBC’s obsession with comparing Israeli policy to that of the Nazis, in breach of the International Definition of Antisemitism, was also recently exhibited by Orla Guerin.
Alhurra Retracts Fake News That Israeli Health Minister Blamed Homosexuality For Covid-19
CAMERA Arabic this week prompted correction of a false online Arabic report at Alhurra, the U.S.-based public satellite television channel, which had falsely charged that Israeli Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman had said that the coronavirus disease is divine retribution for homosexuality. Numerous international media outlets in the United Kingdom, Australia, India and Pakistan (where the false account originated) had previously corrected the fake news story thanks to communication from CAMERA’s UK Media Watch.

The April 18 Alhurra article originally carried an erroneous headline, stating about Litzman: “He claimed that it is a divine punishment and got infected with coronavirus — an Israeli minister insists on breaching quarantine. …”

Moreover, the article falsely reported (translation and bracketed comments by CAMERA Arabic):
The Business Line web site [an Indian online newspaper whose correction was prompted by UKMW] has quoted a report, published by ‘Times of Israel’, that the minister – who considered the ongoing spread of the Coronavirus a divine punishment for homosexuality – has breached the quarantine that was imposed on him.

Following communication from CAMERA Arabic, Alhurra editors quickly amended the item’s headline and prominently placed a clarification at the top of the article. The editors’ transparent, commendable steps to set the record straight made clear that Litzman has never attributed coronavirus to divine punishment, let alone for homosexuality. Alhurra’s follow up also addressed the possible source of the error. A Times of Israel report noted that ultra-orthodox Rabbi Me’ir Mazuz, not Yaakov Litzman, cited “pride parades” as responsible for the pandemic. The amended headline clearly states: “Israeli Minister of Health did not argue that coronavirus was a divine punishment.”
Anti-Semites break into virtual Holocaust memorial hosted by Israeli embassy
Virtual vandals on Monday evening disrupted on online Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony organized by Israel’s embassy in Germany by shouting anti-Jewish slogans, displaying photos of Adolf Hitler and pornographic images.

The incident triggered angry responses from officials in both countries and Israel said it may ask police to investigate.

On Monday evening, Israel’s embassy in Berlin co-hosted a Zoom meeting featuring Holocaust survivor Tswi Joseef Herschel. About 20 minutes into Herschel’s lecture, a group of anonymous Zoom users started disrupting his English-language presentation, posting Hitler and porn photos and yelling “anti-Semitic slogans,” according to Israeli Ambassador in Berlin Jeremy Issacharoff.

The event was part of the “Zikaron BaSalon” lecture series in honor of Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, which started on Monday evening and lasted until Tuesday evening.

Issacharoff described the group as “anti-Israel activists.” It was not immediately clear where they were based.

He said the session was suspended after the interruption. It resumed after a short while, “without the activists and conducted in an appropriate and respectful way,” Issacharoff said.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called the incident “an indescribable shame!”

“What an incredible lack of respect toward survivors and toward the memory of the deceased,” he tweeted.

Issacharoff took to Twitter as well to denounce the anti-Semitic incident. “To dishonour the memory of the Holocaust and the dignity of the survivor is beyond shame and disgrace and shows the blatant antisemitic nature of the activists,” he wrote.
Nvidia, Mellanox get Chinese nod, paving way for $6.9 billion deal
US gaming and computer graphics giant Nvidia Corp. has received approval from the Chinese antitrust authorities for its acquisition of Israeli chip maker Mellanox Technologies Ltd., paving the way for the completion of the deal.

The company said in March last year it will acquire Mellanox for $6.9 billion in a bid to help the US firm speed up the flow of information to and from data centers and boost its profit and cash flow.

The Chinese nod follows antitrust approval from the European Commission and Mexico and the expiration of the waiting period required under US antitrust laws. “With the exception of the remaining customary closing conditions, all conditions to the deal’s closing have been satisfied,” Nvidia said on April 16.

Closing of the acquisition is expected to occur on or about April 27, the company said.

China’s approval was necessary as both firms generate significant revenues from China, the biggest market for semiconductors. In addition, there were concerns that US-China trade tensions could jeopardize the deal.

Mellanox, with headquarters in Yokne’am, Israel, and Sunnyvale, California, is a maker of high-speed servers and storage switching solutions. The products developed by the firm, a pioneer in InfiniBand and Ethernet technologies, are used in supercomputers globally.
Elbit Wins Swiss Army Tactical Reconnaissance Deal
The Israeli defense electronics company will provide the reconnaissance battalions and forward observers of the Swiss Army with command and control systems.

Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: ESLT; TASE: ESLT) announced today that it has been awarded a contract worth $15 million from the Swiss Federal Office for Defense Procurement (Armasuisse) to provide command and control (C2) systems for the Tactical Reconnaissance System (TASYS) of the Swiss Armed Forces. The contract will be performed over a three-year period.

Under the terms of the contract, Elbit Systems will provide the reconnaissance battalions and forward observers of the Swiss Army with C2 systems that improve target acquisition, prioritizing and data dissemination capabilities and will enable the generation of a common operational picture, thus facilitating rapid decision making and effective engagement.
Cast of ‘Fauda’ Talks Season 3, Filming in Areas Resembling Gaza and Coronavirus Isolation
Cast members of the hit Israeli series “Fauda” opened up on Friday about the thrills and obstacles filming the show’s third season, now streaming on Netflix, a possible season 4 and how they’re coping with the government-mandated coronavirus lockdowns in Israel.

Presented bilingually in Hebrew and Arabic with subtitles, “Fauda” tells the story of an elite undercover unit in the Israel Defense Forces with a focus on Israeli agent Doron Kavillio, played by the show’s co-creator, Lior Raz. The last two seasons took place primarily in the West Bank, but in the new one, the action moves to the Gaza Strip.

During a webinar hosted by the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) one day after the third season of “Fauda” launched on Netflix, actors Yaakov Zada Daniel, Boaz Konforty and Rona-Lee Shim’on discussed filming season 3 mostly in Israeli-Arab villages in Israel, but also in Jaffa and in IDF training zones.

Local populations were “unbelievably friendly and cooperative,” according to Konforty, who mentioned the idea of having a tour for “Fauda” fans to see the locations used for filming.

Daniel, who plays Eli, one of the members of the undercover unit in the show, said the IDF helped make the scenes taking place in Gaza as realistic as possible.

“Of course, we cannot get into Gaza, or there would be no season 3 today or season 4,” explained Daniel. “But the IDF really helped us and supported us. They gave us helicopters, and we worked together closely. I think we both benefited from this.”
The Fauda Effect: Israeli Active Defense on the Screen
While Israelis have embraced American pop culture in all its aspects, Israeli movies have not really penetrated the American psyche. This is mainly because their appeal to American audiences is so often diminished by their attention to inaccessible aspects of Israeli culture. For example, the 1986 Two Fingers from Sidon dealt with Israel during the first Lebanon war in 1982. It captured what Israelis felt while serving on Israel’s borders, but its message didn’t penetrate American Jewish sensibilities. Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman’s 2008 animated documentary Waltz with Bashir about Israel’s invasion of Lebanon and his own subsequent struggle with PTSD was more successful. Waltz with Bashir was more psychological than historical, and its historical elisions were especially prominent with regard to Sabra and Shatila — an event that has been co-opted by Arab-Palestinian propaganda as a tool with which to blame and shame Israel.

The Arab-Israeli conflict does continue to interest and attract fans worldwide, as can be seen in the great success of the Netflix hit series Fauda (Arabic for “chaos”). Fauda is Israeli active defense at its best. It showcases the reality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, provides a voice to both Jewish and Palestinian characters, and shows the multiculturalism of the Middle East and Israel that is so often overlooked. In contrast to Leon Uris’s Exodus, about which David Ben-Gurion said that “as a piece of propaganda, it’s the greatest thing ever written about Israel,” Fauda is not hasbara but a slice of cold reality.

In the age of infotainment, the danger is when entertainment completely rewrites both reality and history. Today’s American Jewry is fragmented and conflicted in its relationship to Israel. Film and television can be useful tools in changing the trajectory of American Jewish identity and easing its confusion and discomfort about Israel.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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