Monday, July 13, 2020

07/13 Links Pt2: Zionism 2020 is Alive and Kicking: A wave of many Jews and Israelis are asking to return home; In first, Saudi researcher contributes article to Israeli academic journal

From Ian:

JPost Real Estate Feature: Zionism 2020 is Alive and Kicking: A wave of many Jews and Israelis are asking to return home
As a result of the global Corona crisis many Israelis living abroad have decided to return home and Jews from communities across the globe are asking to make aliyah. Will Corona Zionism bring with it another wave of Israeli settlers, similar to the waves of immigrants in the 60s and 70s? Which are the most attractive cities for new neighborhoods? What are the prominent characteristics immigrants take into account before purchasing an apartment?

Since the founding of the state to the current day, history has proved that global crises leave their mark on Jewish communities across the world, increasing the number of those making aliyah to Israel. Israel’s coping abilities and high functioning throughout the crisis have coined a new phrase, Corona Zionism.

The global Corona crisis has resulted in many Israelis, who emigrated abroad for various reasons, asking to return home and many Jews living in various communities across the globe taking an interest in making aliyah. Have you too found yourself examining places to live? Attractive areas for employment? Quality education? Life in an enveloping and embracing community? And who are the real estate entrepreneurs who make it possible to realize your dream of a home and move forward economically without giving up financial security and peace of mind?

“Avney Derech” Group, who have been active for over a decade, have so far populated 1,000 housing units and are in the planning and construction stages of an additional 2,500 housing units, leading a unique and original business world view that combines business thinking, creative social Zionist measured thinking, allowing hundreds of families whose dream of buying an apartment seemed far from possible, to purchase an apartment, and even move forward financially. The company specializes in finding housing solutions for young couples and families with children thanks to the perfect professional envelope they provide their customers. And as part of that, they are the only entrepreneurs with a subsidiary that currently manages about 500 units owned by home buyers from Israel and abroad.

In addition, the group owns a mortgage consultation firm that accompanies buyers throughout the financial process of taking out a mortgage or other loans.
Caroline Glick: How can Israel help Diaspora Jewry?
One of the reasons for the precipitous drop in synagogue membership and ritual observance is costs. Today, there are already extraordinary programs in Israel that train young rabbis to serve as community rabbis in Diaspora Jewish communities. The young rabbis and their families move to far-flung communities for five years where they build, organize and serve the communities. The rabbis provide religious leadership and training and religious services like supervising the preparation and sale of kosher food enabling local community members to open kosher restaurants and supermarkets.

The government should support and expand these programs. By sending young Israeli rabbis abroad, Israel will lower synagogue membership costs—and through them the cost of living Jewish lives. These rabbis and their families will develop strong, lasting grassroots relationships between Israeli Jews and Diaspora Jewry.

The rise in violent attacks on synagogues and Jewish schools, grocery stores and other Jewish institutions worldwide over the past several years has made many Jews fearful of participating in communal life. Israel can and should help Jewish communities protect themselves by providing them with the means to protect their institutions.

Again, at marginal cost in terms of manpower and financial outlays, Israel can and should provide training for local Jewish security officers and when necessary, provide security officers to protect Jewish institutions from attack.

By every measure, the position of Jewish Diaspora communities is deteriorating. The steep rise in anti-Semitism; the high rates of assimilation and the rising cost of membership in synagogues and tuition costs for Jewish schools amid economic turndowns all contribute to the rapid emptying out of Jewish communities worldwide; the weakening of their ties with Israel and the rise of radical forces within the weakened communities.

The government made a critical decision on Sunday. Israel has to develop and begin implementing a strategic plan to reconnect Diaspora Jewry to Israel and to Judaism. Israel has the professional and human resources to accomplish this vital goal. Given the gravity of the situation, the government must define clear methods and goals now to ensure the success of its efforts.
Dutch Holocaust theft of Jewish assets has finally been revealed
A talk with Raymund Schütz, whose doctorate exposed the role of the notaries who made money from transactions and mortgages of stolen Jewish real estate during the German occupation of the Netherlands..

"Holocaust and restitution issues keep coming up regularly in new Dutch public debates even though it is seventy-five years after the Second World War. The post-war restitution of stolen Jewish real estate during the war is one of several such topics currently in the media. The journalist platform Follow the Money and the TV program Pointer have brought it to the public's attention. Thereafter it has been picked up by local papers.

“The official reason why this issue has not been discussed publicly earlier was that no historic data was available about what happened to Jewish-owned real estate robbed during the German occupation. This was a false argument because the relevant transactions had to be registered in the land register, which is accessible to the public. It was not easy to find the data, but my past research has proven that this was possible years ago."

Dr. Raymund Schütz, born in 1964, is an independent researcher, formerly of the Netherlands Red Cross, where he worked in its war-time archive in The Hague. The title of his doctorate on the role of the notaries during the German occupation is Cold Fog: The Dutch Notaries and the Heritage of the War.

“It took until 2008 when another Dutch historian, Eric Slot, found one of the war time books of these sales of robbed assets (Verkaufsbücher) at the National Archives. The books listed the first transactions of expropriated Jewish real estate. There were 18 volumes with transactions, one of which is missing In 2016, I published my doctorate about the role of the notaries who made money from such transactions and the resulting mortgages.

“My estimate is that there were 10,565 assets involved. In 2013, scholars claimed --on the basis of sampling --that in almost all cases, restitution had taken place. In many cases the original owner was dead. Yet I have since found by studying only one town, Hoorn, that 40 assets have not been restituted there. Generally, it is interesting to note that in the Netherlands a substantial number of robbed Jewish assets were purchased by municipalities.

“Besides buildings, now also robbed shops, building plots, heathlands, and forests owned by Jews are in the public eye. Jews also owned some agricultural lands. Yet one finds little about these in the sources because when expropriated no notarial act was required for their sale. One could transfer ownership via an agent through a private act. The historian Rob Bakker claims that 17 million guilders was received for these, which were not passed to the original Jewish owners.. They represented 0.9 percent of the Dutch territory. In order to find out more information about this, one would have to do research in individual localities.

Online pro-Israel advocacy groups unite to form single coalition
Four influential pro-Israel activist groups have united to form a single advocacy unit, called the Israel Coalition.

The Israel Advocacy Movement, David Collier, Sussex Friends of Israel and North West Friends of Israel will join together to form the new coalition.

All four are widely known for their social media activity fighting antisemitism.

Joseph Cohen, founder of Israel Advocacy Movement, commented: “The internet shapes public opinion of Israel, but up until now, online Israel advocacy groups were under-resourced and uncoordinated.

“We formed the Israel Coalition to resource, unify and amplify the most successful online pro-Israel initiatives.”

Veteran campaigner against antisemitism David Collier added: “For too long our grassroots - which have led the fight against anti-Zionist lies, extremism and rising antisemitism have been fighting with both its arms tied behind its collective back.

“The Israel Coalition will give us all the freedom to fight back properly and give the British Jewish community the Zionist representation it truly deserves”.
Racism Is Recognized as Intrinsic to Western Societies. Why Isn’t Antisemitism?
Many understand that racism is an intrinsic part of Western societies. So is antisemitism, yet this is acknowledged by very few. Antisemitism was on display during mass demonstrations about the coronavirus pandemic and the problem of racism, but was scarcely remarked upon. There has also been an outpouring of new mutations of anti-Jewish conspiracy theories in the wake of the pandemic. As has occurred for millennia, western cultures are interweaving their antisemitism into issues of the day.

On May 25, 2020, a 46-year-old black man, George Floyd, was asphyxiated and killed by police in Minneapolis. His murder led to huge anti-racism demonstrations in the US. Some were accompanied by extreme violence and looting. Anti-racism demonstrations also took place in several European countries, including the UK and France.

Many people understand that racism is, to varying degrees, an intrinsic part of western societies, and they view it as a problem to be eradicated. Antisemitism is also an intrinsic part of Western society with a very long history, yet this obvious fact is only acknowledged by a few.

The societal integration of antisemitism exposes itself clearly from time to time. In the past few years, the institutional antisemitism of the British Labour Party drew international attention. This was partly due to the inaction about complaints by the party’s then leader, Jeremy Corbyn, a self-declared “friend” and “brother” of genocidal Arab terrorist organizations.

In the past few months, the presence of antisemitism in Western societies has shown itself in two contexts: the coronavirus pandemic and the massive anti-racism manifestations. Antisemitism often infiltrates mass demonstrations that have no relation to Israel or Jews.
The Jewish real estate developer who stood up to racist US housing policies
To those with a passing knowledge of architecture, the name Joseph Eichler is synonymous with the iconic mid-century modern homes that help define suburban Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Between 1949 and 1964, the Jewish developer’s eponymous company built some 11,000 tract homes for middle-class Californians. Thanks to details like post-and-beam construction, open floor plans and indoor/outdoor living designed around central atriums, “Eichlers,” as they are colloquially known, remain very much in demand by design buffs today.

It turns out, however, that Eichler’s work was groundbreaking in another perhaps more significant way: He was one of the first major developers

A recent story in Dwell magazine highlights Eichler’s longstanding yet little-known commitment to undoing racist housing policies. He was one of the first builders to sell a home to anyone who could afford it — regardless of their race, ethnicity or religion.

“I really do think Joe may have been motivated by discrimination against Jews back in New York,” Dave Weinstein, features editor at CA-Modern Magazine and the Eichler Network, told Dwell. “It was common not just in housing, but in society in general.”

Eichler was born in New York City in 1900, the son of German Jewish immigrants. According to a profile of the builder that was published on the Eichler Network, he “was raised in a politically liberal family that revered Franklin Roosevelt, and grew to maturity in the culturally diverse community of New York City.” He began his career on Wall Street and later joined the wholesale poultry business run by the family of his wife, Lillian, who was the daughter of Polish Jewish immigrants.
Hate wins when leaders stay silent
“The only two certainties in life are death and taxes.” It is a line attributed to both Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin. No matter who coined it, few can doubt its veracity. Today, it might be revised to add a third certainty: Louis Farrakhan is an anti-Semite and a hate monger. We cite as evidence his July 4 address, “The Criterion,” that was scheduled to air on, but cancelled by, Fox Soul, a new streaming service by the broadcast giant.

It was then aired on Revolt TV, a channel founded and run by Sean “Puffy” Combs, also known as P. Diddy, Diddy and Puff Daddy. The rapper and songwriter, worth an estimated $885 million, evidently was proud to air Farrakhan’s message, tweeting: “Everyone can watch … Just not the scared ones.”

Truth be told, Jews have every reason to be scared. They recall another hate monger from the 1930s who started out by putting across his message in the beer halls, until he had millions of followers goose-stepping with him through the streets of Germany.

During his speech, Farrakhan — who has called Jews “termites” and falsely accused Jews of being behind the slave trade — stated that Jews are “responsible for this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out, turning men into women and women into men.” He has questioned whether the Holocaust occurred, stated that Jewish people are “Satan,” and claimed that Jews rejected the Torah and replaced it with the Talmud.

“They made that word in their minds, and in their believers’ minds, greater than God’s words,” Farrakhan said. He warned Black and brown Americans not to be immunized against COVID-19 if a vaccine is created, saying it will be a plot to depopulate them.

In the weeks leading up to Farrakhan’s address, personalities such as rappers Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg tweeted out remarks in support of Farrakhan to their millions of followers. The founder of Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles, Melina Abdullah, has been outspoken in her support of Farrakhan, as has Tamika Mallory, one of the organizers of the 2017 Women’s March.

Twitter is inciting anti-Jewish hatred after it refuses to act against antisemitic #JewishPrivilege viral hashtag
Twitter has refused to take action as an antisemitic hashtag, #JewishPrivilege, has gone viral over the past 24 hours.

The abusive tweets were remarkable for the range of antisemitic motifs they adopted, as a small sample of examples illustrates.

One user wrote, in a post reminiscent of classical Christian antisemitism and nineteenth-century philosophical antisemitism: “#JewishPrivilege is being born into a world where your ancestors have ‘progressive-ly’ transformed an entire civilisation into a Jewish ‘utopia’ by inverting its formerly Christian values into their exact opposites.”

Another said: “#JewishPrivilege is running the Slave Trade, owning the Slave Ships and owning the Cotton Plantations but constantly blaming Slavery on White people with the very media that you completely control.”

Contrast that post with yet another: “#JewishPrivilege is shaming whites while pretending to be one of us…”.

Radical left-wing antisemitism blames the Jews for being white, while for white supremacist antisemites the Jews are not white enough.

The hashtag was also then co-opted by Jews and allies attacking it.

However, on being challenged to take action against the hashtag, Twitter reportedly refused, saying that it did not breach its terms of service, which evidently permit the platform to be used for the dissemination of racist material.
DeSean Jackson exposes the hatred
NFL player DeSean Jackson represents the American dream. At least, he did until last week, when he started to represent everything that is wrong with America. He plays for the best football teams in the US, wins prizes and trophies. Last week, in a social media post, the true face behind his success was unmasked.

The athlete posted a quote attributed to Hitler that claims that "Negroes are the real Children of Israel" and that the Americans would be horrified to realize that they had slaughtered and humiliated the Chosen People by enslaving and discriminating against them – all as part of the protest against institutionalized racism in the US. But the story doesn't end there. Another post says that the Jews' goal is to extort America and seize power over the entire world, a well-known anti-Semitic blood libel. It later turned out that Hitler never said any of this, but the remarks were attributed to him by a group of neo-Nazis whose goal was to show that Hitler was not racist – he simply believed that "Negroes" were the true children of Israel.

The posts caused severe backlash in and outside of the Jewish community. On one hand, many Jews and non-Jews condemned Jackson for posting the material, forcing him to apologize, but there were also those who backed him, claiming that he was "telling the truth." But that isn't the only anti-Semitic "truth" Jackson has shared recently. A clip of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan in which he calls Jews "cockroaches" made its way to Jackson's social media.

Eventually, anyone sane realized that the athlete's posts were beyond the pale, but also that they revealed something about American society that no apology or condemnation can erase. Too many Americans have no real desire to stop racism; they want to look as if they want to, and the difference between the two is light night and day.
Mike Gundy Surrenders $1M for Wearing OAN Shirt, DeSean Jackson Slapped on Wrist For Antisemitic Posts
Meanwhile, the NFL’s DeSean Jackson posted anti-Jewish quotes he thought were made by Nazi German madman Adolf Hitler and also posted video messages from notorious anti-Semite, Louis Farrakhan.

Last week, social media exploded when people began noticing the hateful Instagram posts Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson was posting.

In the posts, Jackson quoted an alleged quote from Hitler claiming that Jews were lying to America, and posted video messages from hate leader Louis Farrakhan. After a day of controversy, the Eagles put out a mild rebuke of Jackson saying that they had “spoken” to him about the unacceptable posts.

Finally, five days after the original posts caused a stir, the team finally announced that Jackson was to be “penalized” for his posts. Though, that penalty was a mere undisclosed fine for “conduct detrimental” to the team.

The difference in treatment of these two members of the sports community could not be more stark.

Despite not personally expressing any hate for anyone, and just because he wore the shirt from a cable network that woke leftists irrationally hate, Mike Gundy faced swift, loud, and irrevocably condemnation, and lost a tremendous amount of money.

On the other hand, Jackson certainly did express anti-Semitic tropes, disgorged hate for Jews, and reposted messages from one of America’s worst anti-Semites. Yet, his actions were ignored by most and even supported by some current and former NFL players. Not to mention the NFL’s stunning silence and lack of condemnation for Jackson, or those defending him.

Gundy who was immediately excoriated, denounced, and met with harsh penalties for no legitimate reason. But Jackson’s case has been swept under the rug despite his clear and obvious guilt.
Nick Cannon spreads antisemitic conspiracy theories online
Cannon later referenced “going as deep as the Rothschilds, centralized banking, the 13 families, the bloodlines that control everything even outside of America.” Cannon claimed that when people understand who the real Jewish people are, “it’s never hate speech, you can’t be antisemitic when we are the semitic people. When we are the same people who they want to be. That’s our birthright.” He later added that “we are the true Hebrews.”

Cannon also spoke about “giving too much power to the ‘they’ — and then the ‘they’ turns into the Illuminati, the Zionists, the Rothschilds.”

Cannon has praised Farrakhan repeatedly on his YouTube show, saying that “every time I’ve heard him speak, it’s positive, it’s powerful, it’s uplifting… for whatever reason, he’s been demonized.”

The prolific actor, singer and TV host’s most recent single is titled “Madoff.”

In 2013, Cannon was criticized by the Anti-Defamation League for appearing in a video from the New Black Panther Party, which the ADL refers to as “the nation’s largest antisemitic and racist black militant group.”

Rabbi David Wolpe, the senior rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, told JI that the comments in the video “are a lamentable combination of ignorance and hostility.”

In comments to JI, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said that “anyone seeking a Ph.D in Jew-hatred should watch this ‘interview’ in its entirety. Farrakhan’s hateful screeds on full display in the next generation inculcating [the] 21st century through cultural figures and social media. Pure poison.”

Corbyn 'forced' to stand down as Labour leader 'by conspiracy motivated from Israel', claims Margolyes
Actress Miriam Margolyes has claimed Jeremy Corbyn “was forced” to stand down as Labour leader “by a conspiracy within the party motivated from Israel”.

In an interview with The Times, the 79-year-old star, who is Jewish, also insisted Mr Corbyn “was not and never was an antisemite” and that politically she has moved “sharply to the left” with age.

The Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets actress – who described her upbringing as “mainstream Jewish middle class” – also admitted her views have left her facing hostile reactions from former friends including Maureen Lipman.

But she added: “I think when they go on their holidays they have to go and see how things are for the Palestinians on the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

“Go and have a look, see how they are being treated.”

Mrs Margolyes also defended her appearance on the Channel 4 comedy show The Last Leg in May where she had said she had “difficulty not wanting Boris Johnson to die” when he contracted coronavirus.

She said: “The first half of the sentence said one thing and the last half of the sentence said completely the opposite but I was referred to as ‘worse than Hitler’.
Labour frontbencher apologises for post about ‘dangerous’ Zionism
Labour frontbench MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle has apologised for suggesting Jewish claims to Israel were “not progressive in [their] very nature” and that Zionism was a “dangerous nationalist idea”.

Mr Russell-Moyle, a shadow environment minister and former ally of Jeremy Corbyn, made the comments on a Woodcraft Folk (WF) Facebook group before becoming an MP in 2017.

Mr Russell-Moyle was previously chair of the WF, an education group, and while he held the role in 2010, children as young as nine voted to boycott Israeli goods at the group's annual meeting.

The Sunday Times reported that after being asked about the comments, he apologised, adding: “I have now deleted these posts and recognise why they were offensive.”

He said he would be contacting the Jewish Labour Movement for talks, adding: “I am completely and unreservedly committed to supporting Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner’s pledge to rid the party of antisemitism.”

In one deleted comment, Mr Russell-Moyle wrote: “The point is people who are form Jewish decent/Jewish but are not Zionist is that the two are not automatic that you can be proud of being Jewish but realise that idea of inheriting/claim a land that you may have never visited or seen but have a ‘heritage’ claim for is not progressive in its very nature.”

He also compared Israel to the National Party of apartheid-era South Africa, saying: “Terrorism feeds of violence, that is why it is only Israel that can stop the violence, it was the National Party in South Africa that had to make the first steps.”
In first, Saudi researcher contributes article to Israeli academic journal
A senior Saudi Arabian researcher has had an article published in an Israeli journal, in a development Tel Aviv University on Monday called “unprecedented.”

Prof. Mohammed Ibrahim Alghbban, head of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and Hebrew Studies at the Department of Modern Languages and Translation at King Saud University in Riyadh, wrote an essay about the Prophet Muhammad’s good relations with Jews, in which he said Islam’s founder did not clash with Jews on religious grounds, but rather only on politics.

The Hebrew-language article was titled “A Contribution to the Improvement of the Prophet Muhammad’s Image in the Eyes of the Israeli Public: Muhammad’s Alliances and Mail Exchanges with Jews from the Arabian Peninsula.” It was published in Kesher, a journal from the Shalom Rosenfeld Institute for Research of Jewish Media and Communication at Tel Aviv University.

According to the university, the article came about after the journal’s editor, Prof. Gideon Kouts, met Alghbban at a number of academic conferences and on a visit to Saudi Arabia in 2015.

In a preface to the article, Alghbban said he wished to correct past misrepresentations of the prophet, saying the letters had never been translated into Hebrew before.

“Erroneous assumptions about the origins of Islam, proposed by Oriental studies researchers in the previous century – some of which were written in Hebrew – led to a distorted understanding of manuscripts, wrong methodology, and negative influences on Hebrew speaking Middle Eastern Studies researchers,” Alghbban wrote. (h/t Zvi)
Former College Professor Is a Rabid Antisemite — and Must Be Condemned
Former adjunct professor at the University of Texas (UT) Spencer Wells went on a recent Twitter tirade against Israelis. Wells, who also served as a member of the UT College of Natural Science’s Advisory Council, dreams of a nuclear war with Israel, and calls on people to “bomb [Israel] until the sand turns to glass.” He denied Israelis a right to self-defense and even their lives, saying, “You’re Apartheid oppressors. You deserve to die.”

He writes: “I just hope that with the upcoming US pullback from its role of Middle East protector that the Iranians feel empowered to take bolder steps in dealing with Israeli aggression.”

Yet Wells is a celebrated figure. A former “explorer in residence” at the National Geographic Society, he is considered a world expert on the subject of “personal genomics.” He has given TED talks, been a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and is regularly interviewed by media outlets around the world. Wells also served as a member of the College of Natural Science’s Advisory Council.

Although his service to the university expired last May, his legacy remains. He remains an “Outstanding Young Texas Ex” as awarded by TexasExes, the university’s “official alumni association.” Other recipients elevated to such honor include Governor Greg Abbott and film star Matthew McConaughey.

While Wells’ most recent tweets were issued after his work at UT, his antisemitism also manifested during his employment there. In April, while still an adjunct professor, Wells attacked Jews for their spending habits. He noted on Twitter “Jews hiring private jets to fly to Israel for burial. Utterly insane.” Despite Wells making said statement during his time and in his capacity at UT, the university did not condemn it.

BBC Arabic purports to present the views of Mizrahi “Jews who moved to Israel”
This is the sixth post in a series by CAMERA Arabic (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, and part 5) documenting how Arabic language news networks, including those affiliated with Western media outlets, frame the topic of Jews originating from or living in the Middle East and North Africa by distinguishing between ‘loyal’ Jews and ‘treacherous’ Zionists.

BBC Arabic’s “Xtra” magazine, which describes itself as a programme that “sheds light on distinguished human stories [taken] from our lives”, aired a July 9th 2019 programe titled “Jews of the Mashreq – victims of a religious conflict or political manipulation?”. The second of two programs focusing on Jewish communities in the Arab world was presented with the following synopsis:
“What do we know about the Jewish culture [and] its connection with the Arab world? Are the followers of the Jewish religion victims of religious or political manipulation? In the second part of this BBC Xtra we shall focus the debate on the Jews of the Mashreq lands [i.e. the eastern part of the Middle East and North Africa. In this case the word collectively signifies Egypt, the Fertile Crescent, the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf].

“We shall engage in dialogue regarding the condition of followers of the Jewish religion in the Mashreq states, what is the fate of those among the Jews of the East who remained in the Arab States? And what is the view of those Jews who moved to Israel?”

The highlighted question is a seemingly promising novelty since Jewish Israelis have been largely excluded from the discourse surrounding Middle Eastern Jews in Arabic language media and their opinions seldom sought, even when mentioned. That exclusion is particularly notable given that Israelis make up well over 99% of the Jews who live in the region today, that the vast majority of Jews with Mizrahi ancestry now live in Israel and that they form a majority among the Jews of Israel.

In a previous “Xtra” programe broadcast eleven days earlier which dealt with the Jews of North Africa (the Maghreb), the BBC had shown some signs of taking a different path. The program featured a brief interview with a Jewish man, Amnon Sofer from the Israeli city of Ashkelon, who visited his birthplace in Tunisia which he left as a toddler fifty years ago.
Extremism on the rise in Germany, increasing threat of antisemitism
Political extremism is on the rise in Germany across the political spectrum, increasing the threat of racism and antisemitism in the country, a new government report has found.

The number of criminal acts motivated by left-wing extremism jumped up nearly 40% between 2018 and 2019, a report by Germany's Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) found, according to Deutsche Welle.

On the Right, the number of right-wing extremists recorded by the office rose sharply over the same period, largely due to the classification of the 7000 members of the "Flügel" wing of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and the party's youth wing as right-wing extremists, nearly 20% of the party membership.

According to the office's report, the BfV identified 32,080 right-wing extremists and 33,500 left-wing extremists in Germany in 2019. The rise was far greater on the Right, up from 24,100 in 2018, whereas that year's figure for left-wing extremists was 32,000.

Speaking at a press conference for the report, Germany's Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said that the increase in right-wing extremism is driving an increase in racism and antisemitism.

"Racism and antisemitism emerge to a very considerable degree out of right-wing extremism," Seehofer claimed, adding: "Over 90% of anti-Semitic incidents can be traced back to right-wing extremism. And, therefore, it is not an exaggeration to say this is the biggest security policy concern in our country."
Dozens of graves in Europe's oldest Jewish cemetery vandalized, desecrated
Dozens of graves in what is believed to be the oldest Jewish cemetery in Europe were vandalized and desecrated last week, the European Jewish Association (EJA) said on Sunday, according to multiple media reports.

The graves were in Heiliger Sand, the Jewish cemetery in Worms, Germany. The community in the city, renowned for counting the famous medieval French rabbi Rashi among its residents at one point, was established in the 11th century. The oldest still-legible tombstone dates back to 1058/59, and thousands still visit the cemetery every year, the European Jewish Press reported.

“The Jewish community in Germany is in shock after unknown individuals vandalized and desecrated dozens of gravestones in the ancient Jewish cemetery in the city of Worms,” the EJA announced.

Among the tombstones vandalized belonged to the Maharam of Rothenburg, one of the chief Ashkenazi rabbis of the medieval period who was famous for opposing domestic violence against women, and for being a major contributor to the tosafot on Rashi's commentary.

It is currently estimated that anywhere from 50 to 100 gravestones were vandalized. However, according to the community, it isn't possible at the time to determine how many were actually affected because many of the graves were covered in paint.

“It is not yet possible to determine exactly how many gravestones are affected because the color often resembles the patina of the stones,” the community said in a statement.

Rabbi Joseph Havlin, a Chabad rabbi from the nearby city of Frankfurt, slammed the vandalism as an act of antisemitism.

“We are witnessing, and not for the first time, desecration of German cemeteries alongside a disturbing rise in antisemitism in the entire public sphere. We call on the German government to declare an uncompromising fight against antisemitism to ensure that such acts do not are no longer repeated,” he said in a statement, according to media reports.
Italian PM saves ancient Jewish graveyard from being destroyed
The Italian government approved a request made nearly a year ago by Chief Rabbi of Israel David Lau demanding that efforts be made to prevent the destruction of the Jewish cemetery in Mantova by a construction project.

The graveyard, in which hundreds of year old graves are located, was at the danger of being destroyed due to something called the "Mantova Hub construction plan." In light of the danger, Lau sent a letter to Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte nearly a year ago.

The chief rabbi of Israel congratulated the prime minister in his letter for the effort to save the Jewish cemetery in a letter to Italian government officials following the approval.

"I congratulate you, Mr. Prime Minister, on the determination and effort to prevent any harm to the sacred deceased buried in the cemetery and to maintain character of this holy place of the Jewish people," Lau wrote.

Though the timing was unintentional, the request was approved earlier this month on the four hundred year anniversary of the death of Rabbi Menahem Azariah da Fano. In addition to the request, the government allocated a special budget to change construction plans to prevent damage to the ancient cemetery.

"It is with great appreciation and pleasure that I received the news that the government is currently working on making changes to the Mantova Hub construction plan," Lau wrote.

"We also received with great satisfaction the news that the solution was found to protect the deceased and prevent any damage to them as the mass grave – graves from ancient times that were discovered near the Jewish cemetery in Mantova," Lau continued.
Germany’s soccer captain Neuer filmed singing song by pro-Nazi Croatian singer
A video has emerged of the soccer captain of Germany and the Bayern Munich club, Manuel Neuer, singing a Croatian song which has right-wing nationalist links while on holiday.

In the filming, Neuer, 34, can be seen in a group at a beach-side bar singing “Lijepa li si” (You are beautiful) by controversial Croatian singer Marko Perkovic, known as “Thompson.”

Perkovic, who is known for his sympathies for Croatia’s World War II pro-Nazi regime, earned the nickname “Thompson” for the brand of weapon he carried during the Croatian war of independence in the early 1990s.

The song in question is a patriotic number that cites Herceg-Bosnia — which Zagreb-backed Bosnian Croats self-proclaimed as a statelet during Bosnia’s 1990s war and which they had hoped would eventually merge with Croatia.
US-Israel fund to invest $8 million in 10 new joint projects
Ten new joint US-Israeli projects, including the makers of an artificial-intelligence based genetic testing technology and an autonomous driving system for agriculture machinery, will get a total of $8 million in funding from the US-Israel Binational Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation.

In addition to the BIRD grants, the projects will also be able to access private sector funding, bringing the total value to all projects to some $20 million, BIRD said in a statement on Monday.

The BIRD Foundation promotes joint ventures US and Israeli companies in various technological fields so they can jointly create new products. In addition to providing grants of up to $1 million for approved projects, the foundation works with the companies to identify potential strategic partners.

Projects submitted to the BIRD Foundation are reviewed by evaluators appointed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of the US Department of Commerce, and the Israel Innovation Authority.

Since it was set up 43 years ago, BIRD has backed 1,000 joint projects for a total investment of over $350 million, and help to generate direct and indirect sales of more than $10 billion, the statement said.

The newly approved projects are:
Aeronautics Defense Systems (Yavne, Israel) is working with PreVision (Edgewood, New Mexico) to develop a wide area motion imagery (WAMI) sensor that has an automated interface with an electro-optics system fitted onto an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) platform.
AEYE Health (Tel Aviv, Israel) and University of Massachusetts Medical School (Worcester, Massachusetts) are working to develop a diagnostic screening system for retinal imaging.
Datumate (Yokne’am Illit, Israel) and Heavy Construction Systems Specialists (Sugar Land, Texas) are developing a construction site management collaboration framework.
Firedome (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Olibra (Cresskill, New Jersey) seek to make traditional consumer electronics devices into connected cybersecurity guardians of the home.
Genoox (Tel Aviv, Israel) and ASPiRA Labs, a Vermillion Company (Austin, Texas) are working to develop an AI-based affordable genetics testing technology.
Redler Technologies (Netanya, Israel) and Martin Technologies (Hudson, Michigan) to develop an advanced automotive electronic power distribution module.
Senso Medical Labs (Nazareth, Israel) and Haystack Diagnostics (Brookline, Massachusetts) are working together to develop a multi-electrode device to advance electrodiagnostic medicine.
Serenus.AI (Tel Aviv, Israel) and HealthTrio (Denver, Colorado) seek to create an AI-based platform to assist medical professionals and insurance companies in making better medical decisions.
Vaya Vision (Or Yehuda, Israel) and Trimble (Sunnyvale, California) are working to develop a perception-based autonomous-driving system for vehicles and heavy machinery in the agriculture, construction, and mining markets.
XRHealth (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Boston, Massachusetts) seek to create a virtual reality platform that will distract patients from pain while undergoing medical procedures.
Potential of India-Israel defense partnership in drone technology
In a recent speech to Indian armed forces posted in Leh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reasserted India’s determination to the Self-Reliance goal when he said: “after getting inspired by you, the resolve of a self-reliant India becomes even more powerful.” The Self-Reliant India mission is India’s answer to expansionist forces’ economic and psychological warfare and it’s a reminder that India is not only a market of 1.3 billion consumers but home to creative minds and millions of producers too.

The post-COVID world will certainly be different, many new opportunities will emerge. While recovering from the economic damages and developing the national reconstruction plans, every country will have to redraw its partnership strategies. India-Israel relations have a good track record and Israel should see the Self-Reliant India mission, one of the biggest drives of India, as an opportunity to pursue higher aims together. Amid the pandemic, through regular telephonic conversations between the leaders, and with frequent interactions among diplomatic teams (via webinar/digital conferences), the way both sides have sustained the momentum in this partnership is encouraging for the future.

Defense and Security partnership is a crucial strategic asset of India-Israel relations. In the post-COVID phase, the focus of this partnership should be more on future threats, where we still need to work on a war footing approach. We must remember that before experiencing the Corona pandemic, the bio-warfare was a mere emerging global trend for us, which we were exploring, analyzing, and discussing with great curiosity. The pandemic came as an assault, at a time when a majority of us were unprepared, unaware, and unwarned and its experiences have taught us that the nature of warfare is changing more drastically than we used to perceive and anticipate.

In the Joint Doctrine of Indian Armed Forces released in 2017, it is mentioned that “the character of future wars is likely to be ambiguous, uncertain, short, swift, lethal, intense, precise, non-linear, unrestricted, unpredictable and hybrid.” Within three years with the rapid innovations in drones, we are witnessing that future unfolding before our eyes. After cyber and bio attacks, the lethal Drone Wars are the inevitable future and it is not a mere coincidence that China is leading in this front too. According to some reports, within a decade (from 2008 to 2018) China emerged as the third-largest exporter of multi-role strikes capable Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), next after to Israel and the USA.
Jerusalem Film Fest cancels rescheduled August event, hopes for December date
The 37th Jerusalem Film Festival, which had been postponed from the beginning of July until August 20-30, is now canceled due to the surge in coronavirus cases over the past few weeks.

The management announced the change on Monday in light of the Health Ministry’s recent guidelines prohibiting cultural events, presumed to continue for the next few weeks or months.

Instead, the JFF will be holding online programs and showcasing selected festival titles on a new streaming platform launched by the Jerusalem Cinematheque-Israel Film Archive.

The Film Festival management hopes to hold a winter edition of the event over the Hanukkah holiday, December 10-20, including films that would have been screened during the planned summer festival.

It was a difficult and painful decision to cancel the festival, wrote Noa Regev, director of the Jerusalem Cinematheque and Jerusalem Film Festival, and Elad Samorzik, artistic director of the festival, in a statement.

The festival program had already been finalized with more than 150 films from 60 countries, ten competitive categories awarding prizes in the amount of NIS 1 million, screenings throughout the city’s neighborhoods, special programs and a selection of new film ventures.
‘The most terrible camp’: After 80 years, cruelty of SS site on UK soil revealed
British archaeologist Caroline Sturdy Colls compares her work on the sites of Nazi atrocities to a police inquiry.

“This is an investigation into historic crime, but crime that still has relevance for people today,” explains the Staffordshire University professor. “You wouldn’t conduct a police investigation only looking at witness testimony.”

For Sturdy Colls, who has worked on Holocaust and genocide sites throughout Europe, including Treblinka, it is the bringing together of physical evidence and witness testimony which offers the opportunity to find “new evidence and new perspectives on the nature of these crimes.”

Alongside a team from the university’s Center of Archaeology, Sturdy Colls has just completed a decade-long investigation into one of the least-studied scenes of Nazi barbarism: Lager Sylt, a slave labor and concentration camp on the island of Alderney.

Alderney is in one of the small clusters of islands — an archipelago which includes Jersey, Guernsey, and Sark — which lie in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy. Semi-independent, they were nonetheless the only part of the British isles to be occupied by Germany during World War II.

The result of the Staffordshire University team’s research is published in April’s edition of the academic journal Antiquity. It brings together declassified aerial photographs, archival accounts, and a range of other non-invasive techniques — such as ground-penetrating radar, and light detection and ranging surveys (LiDAR) — to produce the first investigation of Sylt since a British government inspection in 1945. It is also the first to use archaeological methods.
Banknote helps Holocaust survivor reunite with soldier who liberated her
The great-grandson of Auschwitz survivor Lily Ebert, Dov Forman, 16, shared an interesting story about how the family's matriarch reunited with the soldier who liberated her.

Forman said that his great-grandmother showed him an Allied military authorities' (Alliierte Militärbehörde) banknote inscribed with a hopeful message. A message that also helped her find the kind individual who gifted her the note and freed her from the Nazi death camp near the end of the Holocaust.

“A start to a new life. Good luck and happiness,” the note read in English. "Assistant to Chaplain Schacter."

To whom the note is referring to is an assistant to Chaplain Herschel Schacter.

Schacter was an American Orthodox rabbi who seved as a chaplain in the Third Army's VIII Corps. Schacter also participated in the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp on April 11, 1945, where he aided survivors afterwards and led religious services. He is also credited for assisting in the relocation of survivors, one such survivor in particular being orphaned writer and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel.

After the post became widespread, earning over 15,000 likes and 2,000 retweets, Forman received responses from around the world and found the unnamed soldier to be Private Hayman Shulman from New Jersey. Shulman passed away seven years ago. And further due to the success of the post, Lily and Dov had the opportunity to speak with the family of the deceased soldier to thank them for his kindness posthumously.

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