Wednesday, July 22, 2020

07/22 Links Pt2: Twitter’s Colossal Fail: Star Of David Is Hate Speech; UK Labour apologizes, pays damages in antisemitism lawsuit; John Lewis: The Man Who Opposed Hate

From Ian:

Honest Reporting: Twitter’s Colossal Fail: Star Of David Is Hate Speech
A couple of weeks ago, #JewishPrivilege trended on Twitter. The antisemitic hashtag was reportedly triggered by white supremacist Twitter accounts, using the trope at a time when America is undergoing social unrest over issues of racism and systematic discrimination. The concerted effort pinned the hashtag within posts that raised classic conspiracy theories of Jews dominating and controlling the media, claims to deny the Holocaust, and accusations of Jews orchestrating recent demonstrations across the US.

While Twitter failed to act the hashtag was co-opted by Jews and allies attacking it. #JewishPrivilege ignited an online furore that emboldened many Jewish celebrities to share their experiences growing up as Jews. Instead of taking action, Twitter did nothing, saying that #JewishPrivilege did not breach its terms of service.

And Twitter’s unwillingness to combat antisemitism has global implications. The Islamic Republic of Iran regularly uses the platform to spread antisemitism, conspiracy theories, and incitement to violence.

Social Media: A Megaphone For Antisemitism
The growing problem of online antisemitism isn’t confined to Twitter. Social media giant YouTube still hasn’t totally de-platformed infamous antisemite Louis Farrakhan. On the Fourth of July, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan delivered a three-hour address on YouTube featuring a litany of antisemitic remarks. Farrakhan’s speech, with over 900,000 viewers on YouTube, was promoted by the rap artist Sean Combs to his 35 million Twitter followers.

While YouTube eventually removed Farrakhan’s address from its platform following pressure from HonestReporting, a petition directed at HonestReporting with the aim of reinstating Farrakhan’s video on YouTube was quickly created, distributed online, and gathered signatures.

Online Antisemitism: It Doesn’t Stay Online
When social media outlets are used to disseminate hatred, they enable bad actors to promote their lies. The good news is that Twitter and YouTube have occasionally deleted accounts that violated their policies against the promotion of violence or incitement to hatred. But all too often they seem to be playing catch up.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, there’s been a significant increase in antisemitic social media posts over the last few months. And the danger of not acknowledging the growth of online antisemitism is that it often doesn’t stay online. That’s why it’s crucial to develop a clear definition of what constitutes anti-Jewish hatred and intolerance.

In contrast, current hate speech terms on Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok, and YouTube don’t address all the modern forms of antisemitism. And even when it’s reported, antisemitic content doesn’t always fall within these platforms’ broad definitions of hate speech.

As a result of this wishy washiness, known antisemites are using social media platforms to peddle their hate speech while couching it in the language of social justice.
The Man Who Opposed Hate
On Oct. 16, 1995, hundreds of thousands of African Americans traveled to Washington, D.C., for the Million Man March. Convoked by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, the event aimed to “convey to the world a vastly different picture of the Black male.” Arriving less than two weeks after O.J. Simpson was acquitted of double homicide, at a time when America’s racial gulf seemed wider than at any point since the heyday of Jim Crow, the Million Man March held the promise of being, in the words of Glenn Loury, a “great moment in American cultural politics.”

That the march was not such a moment owes entirely to the man who organized it. Farrakhan’s well-documented history of anti-Semitic, racist, sexist, and lunatic remarks, however, did not dissuade a long list of African American luminaries including Maya Angelou, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Reps. John Conyers and Charlie Rangel, and Rosa Parks from speaking under his aegis.

John Lewis was not among them. The Democratic congressman and civil rights icon, who died last week at the age of 80, could not “overlook past statements by Louis Farrakhan—and others associated with the Nation of Islam—which are divisive and bigoted.” While Lewis, writing in Newsweek, believed that the “goal of encouraging African American men to be responsible is sound,” the march was “fatally undermined by its chief sponsor.” He would therefore not attend the event, as it went “against what I have worked for—tolerance, inclusion, integration.”

This was not the first time Lewis deployed the moral authority he earned on the Edmund Pettus Bridge against the “most popular anti-Semite in America.” In 1993, a Nation of Islam leader named Khalid Abdul Muhammad delivered a speech accusing Jews of “sucking our blood on a daily and consistent basis” and bringing the Holocaust upon themselves. After three months of protest, Farrakhan held a news conference to address the controversy surrounding his lieutenant. “While I stand by the truths that he spoke,” Farrakhan hedged, “I must condemn in the strongest terms the manner in which those truths were represented.” Muhammad, he elaborated, was “brilliant, highly gifted, committed.” His “truths,” furthermore, derived from The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, a repulsive NOI tract alleging Jewish “control” over the international slave trade.

Farrakhan’s sly equivocation was sufficient for the NAACP, which announced that it was not only “satisfied” with his “condemnation” but “prepared to believe Minister Farrakhan’s statement that he is neither anti-Semitic nor racist.”

John Lewis was not satisfied. In fact, he was “surprised” that an organization with so storied a legacy of fighting bigotry as the NAACP would prioritize the avoidance of conflict with a powerful Black leader over the moral imperative of denouncing his unmitigated and undisguised hate. “You have to bring the filth from under the rug and out of the dark corners so we can deal with it,” Lewis stated.
HonestReporting: Julian Edelman of the Patriots and ESPN get it right on antisemitism
When NFL player Desean Jackson made antisemitic statements while speaking about the Black Lives Matter cause, four different ESPN anchors condemned him and made clear that antisemtism is no different than hatred against African Americans. New England Patriots player Julian Edelman went one step further in equating the two.

HonestReporting's Dov Lipman praises them and calls on all media outlets and movements for equality to do the same.

UK Labour apologizes, pays damages in antisemitism lawsuit
The UK Labour Party apologized and agreed to pay damages to seven whistleblowers who sued the party for defamation after they were denounced for telling the BBC’s Panorama about antisemitism in the party, despite pressure from former party leader Jeremy Corbyn to fight the case.

The party’s apology was issued in the High Court, including an admission that it acted to sully the former employees’ reputations after they spoke out against the efforts of then-leader Corbyn’s team’s attempts to undermine internal investigations into antisemitism in the party.

“Before the broadcast of the program, the Labour Party issued a press release that contained defamatory and false allegations about these whistleblowers,” Labour’s apology read. “We acknowledge the many years of dedicated and committed service that the whistleblowers have given to the Labour Party as members and as staff. We appreciate their valuable contribution at all levels of the party. We unreservedly withdraw all allegations of bad faith, malice and lying.”

The party added: “We would like to apologize unreservedly for the distress, embarrassment and hurt caused by their publication. We have agreed to pay them damages.”

Corbyn, Milne and Formby attempt to stop Labour apology
The JC understands that Jeremy Corbyn, Jennie Formby and Seumas Milne have instructed lawyers to complain to the Labour Party about the party's proposed settlement of its libel suit from whistleblowers featured in the BBC's Panorama last July.

High Court listings for Wednesday appear to confirm that Labour is ready to publicly apologise to the BBC Panorama antisemitism whistle-blowers who sued the party for libel after the programme was aired last year.

Court listings suggest statements by lawyers representing the Labour Party are due to be read out in open court in the cases of seven whistle-blowers and also that of John Ware, the Panorama reporter who also sued the party after Labour said he had deliberately set out to mislead viewers.

The listing confirms this will take place at Court 14 in the Queens Bench Division of the High Court before Mr Justice Nicklin at 10 am.

But the JC understands that Mr Milne is claiming that the Labour Party has breached the terms of his departure agreement – that the party would keep him informed about the progress of the case and they did not.

Allies describe the three as "livid" that there has been a settlement.

CAA calls for Jeremy Corbyn to be suspended from Labour after spreading further conspiracy theories about antisemitism in the Party, this time regarding the courageous whistleblowers
Campaign Against Antisemitism is calling for Jeremy Corbyn to be suspended from the Labour Party after he called the Party’s decision to settle the defamation case brought by the Panorama whistleblowers and the journalist John Ware “a political decision” that was “disappointing”.

Mr Corbyn said that the settlement reached today, which reportedly requires the Labour Party to issue an apology and pay damages and costs worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, “risks giving credibility to misleading and inaccurate allegations about action taken to tackle antisemitism in the Labour Party in recent years.” In other words, Mr Corbyn was sticking to the same line that he and the Party took when he was Leader.

The outrage is exacerbated by the fact that ordinarily the Labour Party and Mr Corbyn might have been expected to stand up for whistleblowing workers who call out abuses by their employers. Indeed Mr Corbyn even tweeted as much in 2017, quoting his Shadow Attorney-General Shami Chakrabarti saying: “Whistleblowers keep us safe. We can’t allow them to be silenced.”

It now appears, however, that Mr Corbyn believes that those whistleblowers who tried to keep Jews safe by revealing how the Labour Party under his leadership failed to address antisemitism should be silenced.

Mr Corbyn has a long history of antisemitism controversies implicating him directly, and over 57,000 people signed our petition denouncing him as an antisemite and declaring him “unfit to hold any public office.” Campaign Against Antisemitism submitted three complaints against Mr Corbyn over the years since 2016 and these complaints formed the basis of our referral of the Labour Party to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

It is past time for Mr Corbyn to be disciplined and suspended by the Labour Party.

Syracuse University Silent On Assault And Death Threats Against Conservative Students
The Student Association, which wields a vast amount of financial and political power on campus, has also been openly bigoted towards conservatives. After the College Republicans attempted to bring Ben Shapiro to campus as a speaker, the Student Association quickly condemned Shapiro as a “white supremacist” and stated that Shapiro must address issues of “racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, classism and xenophobia.” As I’m sure one could have guessed, conservative speakers are not invited to campus often either.

All of these examples paint the clear picture that conservatives are not welcome on Syracuse University’s campus. To add to the already overwhelming evidence of the hostile campus environment, we can look towards the state of free speech at SU.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education ranks Syracuse University within the top ten worst schools for free speech. Further evidence of their refusal to affirm constitutional rights can be found within the university’s own statements. In court documents Syracuse University admits that it “does not incorporate a right of free speech that is coextensive with the First Amendment…” Further, they state “the University’s policy expressly limits free expression.” Ironically, SU is also ranked as the best school in the country for journalism.

Conditions at Syracuse University are rapidly deteriorating as an increasing number of conservative students question whether it is safe to return in the fall. But don’t be surprised, as attacks on conservatism occur on nearly every campus in the United States. Stories appear daily of students being threatened, harassed, and even removed from their universities for expressing conservative views. The sentiments I convey in my letter are felt by conservative students everywhere, and it is time for a change.

Colleges and universities have neglected conservative students for far too long. Our pleas have gone unanswered, and our patience has worn thin. It’s long past time for this situation to end. (h/t MtTB)

Daily Beast Falsely Attributes Claim About Jeffrey Epstein Money to PM Netanyahu
Four years after four major media outlets corrected a doctored quote which journalist Noga Tarnopolsky attributed to former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, the freelance reporter once again falsely attributes a statement to an Israeli public figure: this time, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The July 20 Daily Beast headline, “Besieged Netanyahu Blames Israel’s Protests on Epstein Money Conspiracy Theory,” echoes a false claim appearing twice in Tarnopolsky’s article: “Netanyahu said” that Jeffrey Epstein money was funding demonstrations against him.
The reporter wrote: “Netanyahu said money from the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was funding the mounting demonstrations.”
Later she repeats the claim that Netanyahu said Epstein money is funding the demonstrations, even more specifically mentioning the Wexner Foundation:
On Sunday morning, Netanyahu’s only comment about the rallies, which drew thousands in Jerusalem and in Tel Aviv, was to repeat the conspiracy theory that the Wexner Foundation, an American philanthropy, is funneling Epstein money to former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, which he is using to “organize the protests.”

In both instances, to back up her claim that Netanyahu “said” that Epstein money is going towards the protests, Tarnopolsky hyperlinked to this Netanyahu tweet, which she helpfully translated from Hebrew. Netanyahu tweeted (Tarnopolsky’s translation):
The cat is out of the bag: The Palestinian Authority flag in a left-wing demonstration organized by Ehud Barak, the partner of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, yesterday outside the prime minister’s house in Jerusalem. Shameful disgrace.

Netanyahu’s tweet did not mention a single word about money, funding, or Wexner. All he said was that the demonstration was “organized by Ehud Barak, the partner of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.” The rest is Tarnopolsky’s extrapolation, not what “Netanyahu said,” as the article erroneously claims.
Vogue Arabia Showcases Artists Who Erase Israel Off the Map
A common trait of contemporary Palestinian and Arab nationalist propaganda is the attempt to conceal its intrinsic contempt for millions of Israelis, Zionists and Jews under relatable labels such as “artistic expression,” “grassroots activity,” “personal initiative” or even “educational endeavor.” The flimsy veneer repackages the same old hateful content, making it seem just harmless enough for “respectable” media outlets to mindlessly amplify.

Vogue Arabia is the latest Western media outlet to fall for this stunt. In an article entitled “Arab Stars Criticize Absence of Palestine on Google Maps,” the fashion magazine featured a series of Israel-free maps under the pretense of “artistic protest” objecting to the absence of “Palestine” from Google and Apple maps. For example, Turkish artist Adige Batur’s take was a map of Israel and the Palestinian territories (pictured below), labelled only “Palestine,” with flowers covering almost everything with the notable exception of the Dome of the Rock.

“Batur,”opined Vogue Arabia, “created this graphic with one thought in mind: Hope.” Indeed, it seems to be an honest expression of Batur’s hope that all Israeli Jews simply empty out of Israel. While Vogue Arabia’s article conceded that “critical voices highlight” that Israel’s noticeable absence from the image fails to “offer a balanced understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” its Instagram entry could not be bothered to include that minimal qualification; instead, it referred to the image as Batur’s “creative rendering of Palestine” and included an even more extensive quote from the illustrator.
BBC’s ‘Hardtalk’ lets PLO rep's falsehoods slide, avoids tough questions
Zomlot’s deliberate misrepresentation of the coalition agreement under which the current Israeli government was formed was not challenged by Sackur.

Zomlot: “In the past Israel has nullified all agreements. The moment it had announced in its own government formation, from the far-Right to the Left, from the settler movement through the Likud to Labour, that they will illegally annex occupied territories, they nullified all the agreements we signed. It’s over. So we cannot continue committing to these agreements.”

As was the case in his previous interview relating to the potential application of Israeli civilian law to specific parts of Area C, Sackur avoided explaining to his audience that the area concerned was part of the Mandate which charged the Mandatory with creating conditions “as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home” or that Jordan illegally invaded and occupied that territory in 1948.

Remarkably, this entire interview – supposedly on the topic of the Palestinian leadership’s “vision, imagination and credibility” – ignored the prime issue of the divide between the various Palestinian factions. Palestinian terrorism, the refusal of factions such as Hamas and the PIJ to accept a two-state solution to the conflict and the issue of the Gaza Strip as a precedent were erased from the picture presented to audiences.

Sackur refrained from any serious investigation into what Zomlot and his PLO colleagues actually mean when they refer to a two-state solution and failed to ask the key question of whether the Palestinians would recognise Israel as the Jewish state, even though Zomlot provided reasons to delve deeper into those crucial points.

Zomlot: “…the two-state solution was never a Palestinian demand. It was a Palestinian concession to ally ourselves with international law.”

Zomlot: “I believe that a two-state solution on the 1967 borders would have provided a beginning for addressing the real issues: equity, justice and a different interaction between the two sides. Yes, I consider ending Israel’s occupation, establishing a sovereign state, to be a milestone in our journey as two communities to actually build a different [unintelligible].”

When the BBC invites Husam Zomlot to participate (as it regularly does) it knows exactly what audiences are going to hear. Nevertheless, BBC journalists – including Stephen Sackur – repeatedly refrain from challenging his serial distortions and falsehoods and avoid asking the challenging but relevant questions – such as why the PA’s interpretation of the two-state solution does not include recognition of Israel as the Jewish state – which would enhance audience understanding of why the conflict persists.

Combat Anti-Semitism Movement Welcomes Spain’s Adoption of IHRA Anti-Semitism Definition
The Combat Anti-Semitism Movement today welcomed the Spanish government’s endorsement of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism.

Sacha Roytman-Dratwa, The Combat Anti-Semitism Movement Director : “We warmly congratulate the Spanish government on its decision to adopt the IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism. At a time when anti-Semitism is worryingly growing in strength in Europe and across the world, the IHRA definition has never been more important. It is a gold standard which spells out exactly what Jew-hatred looks like, making clear that it has no place in free, democratic and tolerant societies such as Spain.

“The Spanish government’s adoption of the IHRA definition will also resonate beyond its borders. It will encourage additional countries to take the same clear, firm and principled stance that anti-Semitism has no place in today’s world.”

The Combat Anti-Semitism Movement is a non-partisan, global grassroots movement of individuals and organizations, across all religions and faiths, united around the goal of ending anti-Semitism in all its forms. Since its launching in February 2019, 260 organizations and 270,000 individuals have joined the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement by signing the campaign’s pledge. The CAM Pledge draws upon the IHRA international definition of anti- Semitism and its list of specific behaviors used to discriminate against the Jewish people and the Jewish State of Israel.
CAA calls on CPS to go to Crown Court over “pitiful” sentence for teenage brothers who beat visiting senior rabbi bloody, decrying it as “a betrayal of British Jews”
Campaign Against Antisemitism is appalled by the slap-on-the-wrist sentence for two teenage brothers convicted for beating a senior rabbi bloody late last year.

The two brothers, who pleaded not guilty, were given a twelve-month Youth Rehabilitation Order and sentenced to an electronically-monitored curfew from 6:00 to 18:00 for just 30 days, as well as a victim surcharge of £21 each. They were also both ordered to attend a ten-day Diversity Awareness Programme.

The brothers — who are aged fifteen and sixteen and cannot be named for legal reasons — were said to have shouted “f*** Jews” and “dirty Jew” during the attack, which took place at approximately 21:45 on Friday 29th November as the rabbi walked along Amhurst Park in Stamford Hill. The assailants ran off laughing.

The incident took place during the Jewish Sabbath, when Orthodox Jews do not use telephones, but the incident was reported to the police and Stamford Hill Shomrim, a volunteer Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol.

The 54-year-old victim, a senior rabbi, was visiting Stamford Hill from Israel for a wedding and was left shaken after the attack, with an injured back and a bleeding finger. He immediately left the UK.
Germany synagogue killer begins trial with rant against ‘Semitism’
A German man accused of killing two people in one of the worst acts of anti-Semitic violence in post-war Germany sought to lay out his racist worldview at the opening of his trial on Tuesday, prompting stern warnings from the judge.

Stephan Balliet, 28, stands accused of shooting dead two people in October after he tried and failed to storm a synagogue in the eastern city of Halle last year.

He has been charged with two counts of murder and multiple counts of attempted murder in a case that has deeply rattled the country and fueled alarm about rising right-wing extremism and anti-Jewish violence, 75 years after the end of the Nazi era.

Addressing the court, Balliet claimed he had “decided in 2015 not to do anything more for this society which has replaced me with Muslims and Negroes,” in reference to the year when hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers, many fleeing war in Syria and Iraq, were given refuge in Germany.

Judge Ursula Mertens cut him off, warning that he could be thrown out of the hearing.

“I have the possibility to exclude you from the proceedings. I will not tolerate you committing crimes and insulting people in this courtroom.”

Undeterred, Balliet sought to put forward his racist ideas, claiming he had “no problems with religions but with Semitism.”
'Why on Yom Kippur?' judge asks suspect in German synagogue shooting
The judge asked Stephan B. why he had chosen Yom Kippur as the day to perpetrate the attack.

"Because it's a day when the Jews pray to God three times to cancel all the obligations they took on themselves," he responded. "The Jews are the main ones responsible for the genocide being committed against the white man," he said.

Stephan B. also said that the Jews had brought Muslims to Germany and wanted to "build a new world."

Prosecutors say Stephan B. has confessed to the crimes of which he is accused. He is facing 13 different criminal counts for last year's attack, which he live-streamed.

Josef Schuster, President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said the killer must face the full force of the law and that the Halle attack showed how right-wing populists and extremists have become more brazen.

"The state must not slacken in its battle against right-wing extremism, anti-Semitism, and racism. A clear verdict on the deeds of Stephan B. would send a clear signal against violence and right-wing extremism in Germany," said Schuster.

Anti-Semitic crimes are particularly sensitive in Germany due to the legacy of the Holocaust. Local police have drawn criticism for leaving the house of worship unprotected and not realizing it was Yom Kippur.

The number of anti-Semitic crimes committed in Germany rose by 13% last year, Germany's interior minister said in May, laying the blame on right-wing radicals.
Unexploded Nazi mortar uncovered in ‘Warsaw Ghetto’ Jewish cemetery
An unexploded German mortar was uncovered in the major Jewish cemetery in Warsaw during renovation works on Monday.

Established in 1806, the Okopowa Street Jewish Cemetery has borne witness to Jewish life and death in the Polish capital ever since and it is the final resting place for over 200,000 people. Major figures including rabbis, intellectuals and entrepreneurs are buried there, often under elaborate tombstones and commemorative monuments. The area was also included in the boundaries of the ghetto established by the Nazis after the occupation of Poland and many of their victims were also buried in it.

“A few years ago, we received funding from the government to carry out a major cleaning of the cemetery which had not been done since before the Second World War,” Rabbi Yehoshua Ellis told The Jerusalem Post.

Ellis has been living in Poland for several years as an emissary for Shavei Israel, an organization that describes its mission as “to help descendants of Jews reconnect with the people and State of Israel.” The rabbi also heads the Rabbinical Commission for Jewish Cemeteries in Poland that ensures that activities in the facilities are carried out respecting Jewish laws and traditions.
ADL Offers $10,000 Reward for Info on Assailants in Another Antisemitic Attack in Brooklyn
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information that will assist in the identification of the perpetrators of an alleged antisemitic assault in Brooklyn last Thursday.

According to police and other reports, a Jewish man wearing a yarmulke was walking down a street while talking on the phone when he was suddenly attacked and hit in his face with a bat or stick by an unknown individual. The violent attack resulted in several injuries to the victim’s face.

This was the second alleged antisemitic assault in Brooklyn in a one-week timespan; on the afternoon of July 13, during Shabbat, another Jewish man was attacked by a group of men who yelled antisemitic slurs from their car before getting out and pushing the victim to the ground and punching him repeatedly.

The ADL confirmed that it was also offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individuals responsible for that attack as well.

“We are alarmed and extremely concerned that two violent antisemitic assaults were reported in Brooklyn in one week,” said ADL NY/NJ Deputy Regional Director Alexander Rosemberg. “These attacks remind us of the violence we saw in 2019, when ADL recorded 430 antisemitic incidents in New York including 35 assaults, most of which took place in Brooklyn.”

Identifying inscriptions are discovered in shoes of children sent to Auschwitz
Employees of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum have discovered handwritten inscriptions in shoes belonging to children who were sent to the Nazi death camp in German-occupied Poland.

The discoveries were made in the course of efforts to preserve the shoes on display at the museum.

One inscription identified a shoe as belonging to Amos Steinberg, who was born in Prague in 1938 and imprisoned with his parents in the Theresienstadt ghetto in 1942. He was later sent to Auschwitz.

“We can guess that it was most likely his mother who made sure that her child’s shoe was signed,” Hanna Kubik of the museum’s collections department said in a statement Tuesday announcing the findings. “The father was deported in another transport. We know that on October 10, 1944, he was transferred from Auschwitz to the Dachau camp. He was liberated in the Kaufering sub-camp.”

In another shoe, employees found documents in Hungarian with several names: Ackermann, Brávermann and Beinhorn.

“These people were probably deported to Auschwitz in the spring or summer of 1944 during the extermination of Hungarian Jews,” Kubik said. “I hope that more detailed research will reveal details about each individual.”

Check Point profit tops estimates on rising demand for remote network access
Check Point Software Technologies CHKP.O reported higher quarterly net profit that beat expectations, boosted by increased demand for network security as more people work remotely during the coronavirus outbreak.

Israel-based Check Point said on Wednesday it earned $1.58 per diluted share excluding one-time items in the second quarter, up from $1.38 a year earlier. Revenue grew 4% to $506 million.

It was forecast to earn $1.44 a share on revenue of $488 million, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv.

"Sales increased across multiple categories and segments, including our advanced technologies such as cloud, endpoint, and high performance network security," Chief Executive Gil Shwed said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated organizations' migration to the cloud, the company said, adding that attacks have increased against networks managing critical infrastructure for energy, manufacturing, transportation and utilities.
The Future of India-Israel Arms Trade
In the present-day India, under the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government headed by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi, there is a greater push for indigenisation in the defense sector, that is, to develop and produce defence items within the country. In order to make the country a self-reliant nation in defense production, a few important steps have been announced by the government recently, including gradual “banning of imports of select weapon systems; corporatisation of ordnance factories; enhancement of Foreign Direct Investment in defense sector on automatic route [raised from 49 per cent to 74 per cent]; and quick defense acquisitions based on ‘realistic’ “General Staff Qualitative Requirements” of the three services. The focus, therefore, is clearly on augmenting domestic production under the ‘Make in India’ initiative (which was launched in September 2014), with an aim to promote Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (Self-Reliant India Mission), a clarion a call given by the PM during his address to the nation on 12 May this year.

For the last good five years, India has remained the second largest importer of arms in the world, next to another close partner from the Middle East – Saudi Arabia. But this is the status which the current political dispensation is attempting to change in the coming years. It is by placing importance on homegrown defense manufacturing programs, New Delhi has made transfer of technology (ToT) as one of the components of strategic partnerships with some of its international weapons suppliers, including Israel, the United States (US), Russia, France and the United Kingdom (UK). Alongside their traditional arms trade, there are ongoing discussions regarding ToT with these global arms exporters.

One of the factors that has triggered the need for establishing a self-reliant defense industry is the rapidly rising security challenges facing by India, which demand a round-the-clock availability of military equipment for all the three services and related law enforcement agencies. This is mainly in the light of the escalating threats from cross-border terrorism as well as aggressive and expansionist behaviour of a few neighbouring countries, which also have increased threat perceptions in the Indian subcontinent. Further, as explained by a strategist, “indigenisation of a defense industry is a necessary and worthwhile national security objective, particularly for a large country like India with an expanding economy, a wide variety of security challenges, and growing international obligations.” As in the Israeli case, there is also economic incentives of having a robust defense industry, since exports of domestically developed weapon systems will earn foreign currency and drastically cut import bills, which could then lead to the subsidisation of the country’s annual defense budget.
Chevron’s Noble buy reflects Israel’s ‘warming’ ties with Gulf states — expert
US multinational Chevron Corp.’s acquisition of Noble Energy, Inc., which would make it the new owner of Israel’s mammoth offshore natural gas fields, is an “incredible” reflection of the warming of ties between Israel and the Gulf states, according to Prof. Brenda Shaffer, an international energy expert.

“It indicates that the country is no longer a taboo for the international energy industry,” Shaffer said in a phone interview with The Times of Israel. “These firms used to shy away from doing business in Israel because of concern of an Arab boycott, as many of them have assets in the Arab world.”

“Chevron has many holdings in the Gulf countries,” she noted. “The fact that it could now be the owner of assets in Israel reflects the change that is taking place in the ties between Israel and the Gulf countries, and shows that there is no more boycott.”

Gulf states, including the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have no formal diplomatic ties with Israel, but have increasingly begun to cooperate openly after years of rumored back-channel discussions between them over the mutual enmity of Iran.
Online Movie Series to Feature Rescuers and Rescued During Years of Holocaust
The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous (JFR) is launching a Monday-night movie series, from July 27 to Aug. 21, each week airing one of its award-winning documentaries that highlight Righteous Gentiles who saved Jews during World War II and the Holocaust.

The series is specifically designed for the group’s Facebook page in an effort to educate followers on the dangers of antisemitism or hateful speech towards ethnic or religious groups.

“Social media platforms, such as Facebook, have become a hotbed for antisemitic rants, so we believe what better place to bring education and powerful stories of men and women from all walks of life who rose above hate—at great peril to themselves and their families—to save Jews,” said JFR Executive Vice President Stanlee Stahl.

The films focus on the heroism of rescuers Melpomeni Gianopoulou (Greece), airing on July 27; Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds (Knoxville, Tenn.), airing on Aug. 3; Krystyna Jakubowska (Poland), airing on Aug. 10; and Helena Weglowska (Poland), airing on Aug. 17. The page will also screen a documentary celebrating the life of Roman Kent, the Holocaust survivor and president of the JFR on Aug. 24.

The JFR production team traveled throughout Europe, Israel and North America to interview the rescued, the rescuers and their families. Their goal was two-fold: to share stories of heroism and raise awareness of history during the years of the Holocaust, when 6 million Jews, among others, perished at the hands of Nazi Germany.
Abe Foxman’s next act: Raising $28 million to feed thousands of struggling Holocaust survivors
Since retiring from his post as national director of the Anti-Defamation League in 2015, Abraham Foxman has had plenty of opportunities to take on other projects in the Jewish world. Until now, he’s almost always said no.

But now the 80-year-old is coming out of retirement with an ambitious goal: to raise $28 million to feed Holocaust survivors during the pandemic.

Foxman will lead the national initiative for the Met Council, a social service agency and the largest distributor of kosher food to New Yorkers living in poverty. Since early April, the organization has been delivering groceries to more than 1,200 Holocaust survivors every week through a partnership with Uber.

But with the number of Holocaust survivors in the United States estimated to be around 75,000, that’s not enough. So now the organization is trying to raise enough money to feed 10,000 survivors for a year in New York and across the country.

“They suffered hunger in their youth while under Nazism,” said Foxman, who was born to Polish parents in 1940 and survived the war hidden as a non-Jew. “There are a lot of things we cannot heal or repair, but the one thing we can prevent is for them to be hungry again.”

Huge Kingdom of Judah government complex found near US Embassy in Jerusalem
One of the largest collections of royal Kingdom of Judah seal impressions has been uncovered at a massive First Temple-period public tax collection and storage complex being excavated near the new United States Embassy in Jerusalem. The main Iron Age structure is exceptional in terms of both its size and architectural style, said Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Neri Sapir, who co-directed the excavation.

Uncovered only three kilometers (1.8 mile) outside the Old City, the compound is believed by Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists to have served as an administrative center during the reigns of Judean kings Hezekiah and Menashe (8th century to the middle of the 7th century BCE).

Over 120 jar handles stamped 2,700 years ago with ancient Hebrew script seal impressions were discovered at the site, clearly indicating the location’s use as a storage and tax center, according to an IAA press release Wednesday. Prevalent among the stamped inscriptions is “LMLK,” “LamMeLeKh,” or “Belonging to the King,” a way of marking that the foodstuffs stored in the jars had been tithed to the Judean ruler.

This trove of LMLK seal impressions adds to the over 2,000 similar seals previously discovered at excavations and allows archaeologists to rethink the administrative and tax collection systems of the Kingdom of Judah.

“This is one of the most significant discoveries from the period of the Kings in Jerusalem made in recent years. At the site we excavated, there are signs that governmental activity managed and distributed food supplies not only for shortage but administered agricultural surplus amassing commodities and wealth,” said IAA excavation co-directors Sapir and Nathan Ben-Ari in a press release Wednesday.

According to the archaeologists, the large number of seal impressions here and at nearby Kibbutz Ramat Rachel shows that much of the Kingdom of Judah’s governmental administration took place outside the City of David during at least the final centuries of the monarchy.

The ongoing salvage excavations in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood are conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority, funded by the Israel Land Authority and administrated by the Moriah Jerusalem Development Corporation ahead of the construction of a new building project.
Significant Archaeology Find Uncovered in Jerusalem

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