Thursday, August 06, 2020

08/06 Links Pt2: Muslim antisemitism – It’s time to face reality; Rogen and Maron: A Tale of Two Idiots; Coronavirus vaccine race: Israel to begin human testing by October

From Ian:

Muslim antisemitism – It’s time to face reality
The think-tank the Henry Jackson Society has just published a report titled ‘Muslim Anti-Semitism In Contemporary Great Britain’. The author, Dr Rakib Ehsan a Muslim himself, describes this report and more importantly, the polling that makes up the body of the report as: “one of the most systematic and comprehensive surveys into the socio-political attitudes – both domestic and international – of British Muslims”. The findings of this report will add to the body of literature that thus far, appear to be scant and will therefore assist in understanding the manifestation of antisemitism in religious minority communities in Great Britain.

The executive summary of the report asserts a number of claims. First, when it comes to perception of other faith groups, British Muslims view Jews the least favourably. Only atheists, as a social group, are viewed less favourably. In addition to this, over a third (34%) of British Muslims polled for ComRes, thought that Jews had too much control over the global banking system. As far as antisemitic tropes go, this one appears to still maintain strength.

Looking at domestic politics, a third (33%) of British Muslims polled thought Jews again had too much control of political leadership, in comparison to 15% of the general population. This marks a significant increase that more than doubles that of the general population.

Furthermore, and in regards to dual loyalty, British Muslims came up at a staggering 44%, believing Jews were more loyal to Israel than they were to Britain. In comparison to the general population which polled at 24%, British Muslims are nearly twice the number. In addition to this, if you are a British Muslim and university educated, then you are more likely to believe in this and the broader belief in Jews having too much global control.

There also appears to be a link between attending mosque at least 3-4 times a week, which could impact on British Muslim attitudes on Jews. For example, the ComRes poll found that 55% of British Muslims that attended mosque frequently, compared to 34% that didn’t, were more likely to maintain this view.
Rogen and Maron: A Tale of Two Idiots
In their rambling mission to define the ubiquitous modern American-Jewish identity, comedians Seth Rogen and Marc Maron decided on a recent episode of the latter’s podcast, WTF, that Jews should not care about supporting Israel or its survival.

Israel sadly has become an inconvenient part of Rogen and Maron’s Jewish identities. The pair of comedians unleashed an error-ridden segment on Judaism, trashing American-Jewish education, making ignorant and intolerant comments about worshippers of other faiths, and joining in the all-too-fashionable Israel-bashing that one has come to expect from antisemitic, but not Jewishly educated, public figures.

Rogen claims that he was fed “a huge amount of lies about Israel my entire life” and declares that “every young Jewish person” is never informed that there “were people living there.” Rogen clearly ignores that the Hebrews, the Israelites, and the Jews lived in their ancient lands until they were expelled. The destruction of the Temples occurred ages ago. But comedians, more taken with themselves than with their heritage, find it easy to make fun of everyone, and even easier to say things that are designed to attract attention for their own purposes.

Rogen is starring in a Jewish film. Perhaps this was his bid for controversy to drum up interest in his art form. Shame on him.

No one denies that when the United Nations adopted the Partition Resolution in 1947 — setting the stage for the establishment of a Jewish state and an Arab state, with special status for Jerusalem — people of various religions, beliefs, and history lived in what were Ottoman Empire lands that then came under the British Mandate.

So, who are Rogen and Maron kidding, except themselves?
Medical experts give Ronni Gamzu’s coronavirus plan an A+
Despite public opposition to Prof. Ronni Gamzu’s strategic plan for stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the head of the National Security Council, the country’s new coronavirus commissioner managed to get his plan passed by the coronavirus cabinet late Wednesday night.

This victory bought Israelis at least two weeks without a country-wide lockdown. It also formalized his role as the professional who will take Israel on a strategic path toward conquering corona.

But what do medical professionals think of the plan?

The Jerusalem Post asked three top health experts how they would grade Gamzu’s plan – and all of them gave it top scores.

Cyrille Cohen, head of the immunotherapy laboratory at Bar-Ilan University, told the Post that Gamzu avoided what would have been an unwarranted and ineffective lockdown.

Israel has tried lockdown and it did not work long term, he said.

“I hear a lot of people saying put lockdown in effect now and end” the spread of the virus, said Cohen. But he noted that if nothing else changes, then within two weeks of lifting the lockdown, Israel would be back where it started with regards to the infection rate – and even worse off from an economic standpoint.

Furthermore, he said that if one looks closely at the data, it is correct that “we are seeing a kind of flattening of the curve.” He said Gamzu is looking not only at the total number of new patients but the number of critical patients.

“Right now, the hospitals say they are able to maintain this – it’s not the best, but they can maintain it,” Cohen said.
Coronavirus vaccine race: Israel to begin human testing by October
Israel is about to take a giant leap in the development of a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, the Defense Ministry said Thursday, announcing that the Israel Institute for Biological Research will begin testing its vaccine for the novel coronavirus on humans by October, the Defense Ministry said.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz visited the IIBR on Thursday for an update on advances in its vaccine and antigen against the novel coronavirus.

“Experiments on humans should begin after the High Holidays,” Gantz said. “First of all, I would like to thank you – the people in the Defense Ministry and the people at the institute, who are doing a fantastic job.”

He said that the human trials would be conducted in collaboration with the Health Ministry and “according to all the processes required in terms of medical safety.”

Prof. Shmuel Shapira said that IIBR “set off six months ago” to develop the vaccine, adding that now it has developed “an excellent vaccine.”

“We will start safety and efficacy trials after the holidays,” Shapira continued, “but we have a product in hand.”
Determined to build COVID tests of future, Israel collects 20,000 swabs in India
In a nine-day swabbing marathon, an Israeli delegation in India has collected samples from 20,000 coronavirus patients, and says the data could facilitate new express testing methods to help societies return to their routines in the shadow of the pandemic.

Working with the Indian authorities, the Israeli team asked people who had tested positive to take another swab test, and also provide three other samples: breath, a recording of their voice, and saliva.

Attempts are underway in Israel to develop quick-turnaround coronavirus testing tech that eliminates the lengthy process of taking swabs from the nose or throat to labs for analysis, and scientists need large numbers of samples to accurately develop their tests.

As India has more than 585,000 active coronavirus cases, compared to Israel’s 25,800, it is a plentiful source of samples. The India mission is expected to push forward development of the new testing methods.
Members of Israel’s coronavirus mission to India, in Delhi. (Israel Ministry of Defense Spokesperson’s Office)

“The goal is to bring the world the technological capability to perform rapid coronavirus tests within tens of seconds, which will enable the opening of airports, office buildings, schools, train stations and more,” said Israel’s defense attaché to India, Col. Asaf Maller.

US Congress Presented With ‘Elie Wiesel Genocide Act’ Report on Mass Atrocity Response
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday underlined America’s commitment to preventing mass atrocities abroad as he presented Congress with its annual report under the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act of 2018.

Named in honor of Elie Wiesel — the Holocaust survivor, acclaimed writer, Nobel Prize winner and human rights activist who passed away in July 2016 — the purpose of the legislation is to “help prevent acts of genocide and other atrocity crimes, which threaten national and international security, by enhancing United States Government capacities to prevent, mitigate, and respond to such crises.”

Pompeo said that the US government had made “significant progress in preventing, mitigating, and responding to atrocities globally.”

“We have enhanced early warning, strengthened civil society and multilateral engagement, and increased the capacity of US government personnel to coordinate, integrate, and institutionalize atrocity prevention across our foreign policy,” he asserted.

Noted the secretary of state: “The Elie Wiesel Act and the US government’s atrocity prevention efforts serve as a model to the world.”

Quoting from the 2017 US National Security Strategy, Pompeo observed that “no nation can unilaterally alleviate all human suffering, but just because we cannot help everyone does not mean that we should stop trying to help anyone.”

He continued: “We will not ignore the suffering of those who experience atrocities. We will continue to promote accountability for perpetrators of genocide and other atrocities.”
French Intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy Slams ‘Disgraceful’ Turkish Government Media for Stoking Violent Assault in Libya
The French public intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy has lambasted Turkey’s pro-government press for its alleged role in a violent attempt last month to derail his investigation of a gruesome massacre in the Libyan town of Tarhuna.

In an interview with The Algemeiner on Monday, the philosopher and human rights advocate recalled how his itinerary in the North African country devastated by civil war was leaked on social media.

“I had hardly set foot on Libyan soil before the schedule was posted to Turkish and Qatari Facebook pages,” Lévy said. Turkish state media actively reported his visit as well, with the government news agency Anadolu provocatively describing Lévy as a “controversial French Jewish intellectual” and then referring to him repeatedly as a “Jewish writer.”

On July 25, Lévy’s convoy was fired upon as it returned to the city of Misrata, located about two hours to the east of Tarhuna.

“After I had completed my investigation, photographing sites and filming witnesses, I was headed back when an armed group fired at my convoy and tried to stop it,” he recalled. During the melee that followed, Lévy was called a “Jewish dog.”

The composition of the armed group “appears to have included municipal police, representatives of the al-Kaniyat militia, and probably Islamists and others nostalgic for (the late dictator Muammar) Kadhafi,” Lévy noted. “It’s hard to say. What I can say with certainty is that it was quite violent. But for the cool head of my driver, and without the detachment of the national police that was following me, things could have turned very ugly.”

The al-Kaniyat militia was responsible, Lévy elaborated, for a “succession of massacres” of civilians in Libya that stretched back to Kadhafi’s overthrow almost a decade ago.

Dovid Efune: How the New York Times profits from self-censorship
The recent high-profile departures at the New York Times of editorial page editor James Bennet and opinion writer Bari Weiss have left some on the business side of the news industry scratching their heads. Both exited amid ideological turmoil that Weiss detailed in a letter of resignation to the Times’s publisher A.G. Sulzberger, describing the ‘hostile work environment’ she endured at the hands of fellow editors and staffers. They were wholly intolerant, she said, of her role as a ‘centrist’ at the paper. Bennet, said Weiss, had led the effort after President Trump’s election in 2016 to bring in ‘voices that would not otherwise appear’ in the Times.

But what of Sulzberger, whose prime duty is to New York Times shareholders and therefore to the paper’s bottom line? How does the top executive justify alienating swathes of Times customers and potential subscribers who may be sympathetic to, or even merely curious about, ideas beyond what Weiss described as ‘our 4,000th op-ed arguing that Donald Trump is a unique danger to the country and the world’?

The overlooked truth is that there is considerable financial incentive for the Times to limit the scope of discussion. This business angle may foretell what to expect from the Times going forward.

It’s a product of how the business of news has evolved in recent years. Advertising revenue has been hurtling downhill for some time and the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated that decline. In the first quarter of this year, the Times’s ad revenue fell 15.2 percent year-over year. In May, the Times announced that it expects advertising revenue in the second quarter to fall even more dramatically, by between 50 and 55 percent.

And yet the company’s stock price continues to climb. It is now priced in the $46 per share range. Its all time high of $52 per share, set in 2002, is within reach. This steady climb marks a remarkable recovery from a low of about $4 per share in 2009.

These strong numbers are a product of the Times’s successful digital subscription business, which has grown rapidly in recent years. Last year, the publisher announced the goal of reaching 10 million subscribers by the end of 2025. In February the paper announced it had hit the halfway mark a year early. In the first quarter of this year the Times added an impressive 587,000 new digital subscribers, bringing its total subscriber base to more than six million, some 85 percent of which are online-only.

I'm Glad We're Finally Talking about Anti-Semitism
I'm a 25-year-old British-Israeli Jewish woman, and I have experienced anti-Semitism my whole life. Anti-Semitism existed long before World War II (in the form of expulsions, pogroms and blood libels) and it continues to exist now, although now it's often skillfully disguised behind criticism of Israel.

I was the only Jew in my year at school, and I experienced anti-Semitic comments regularly. Kids would sing Borat's parody "Throw the Jew Down the Well" song when I entered a room. I remember a group of boys staring and giggling at me during a Holocaust Memorial assembly, while another boy leaned behind me and whispered "synagogue monkey" into my ear with such venom I felt faint.

When tensions flared up in Israel, my classmates would raise this with me at any opportunity, as if I - a 13-year-old girl - was somehow responsible. During these times, I'd feign sickness to avoid going in. My mum gave me strict instructions not to wear my Star of David necklace above my clothes. She felt it wasn't safe. My parents received late-night phone calls saying, "die Jew, die."

One of my sisters was called a "baby killer" on her personal Facebook page, and when she called in to a radio station to tell a prominent politician about her experiences, he told her that anti-Semitism doesn't exist in this country anymore and if she is experiencing it, she should leave (which she did - she now lives in Tel Aviv).

Minnesota’s Largest Newspaper Endorses Ilhan Omar Primary Challenger, Cites Omar’s ‘Ethical Distractions’
Omar’s 2018 victory launched her into the national spotlight as the first Muslim woman and first refugee elected to Congress. But her time has been marred by missteps, including remarks on Israel widely regarded as anti-Semitic, an outsized number of missed votes, and campaign-finance issues. Interestingly, the DFL Party has chosen to make an issue of Melton-Meaux’s finances, filing a late complaint that his campaign used “shadow” companies for his bid, a step the campaign told supporters was necessary because the Democratic Party blacklists companies that work for the challenger to an incumbent.

That gave Lee Hayes, a spokesman for Melton-Meaux’s campaign, a chance to note that Omar has sent more than $1.6 million to her husband’s D.C. political consulting firm, E Street Group, and is herself the target of a Federal Election Commission complaint regarding travel expenses.

It is just these kinds of ethical distractions that the Fifth District could do without. In the Editorial Board interview, Omar took little responsibility for her rocky start, instead largely blaming her critics and saying her failing was perhaps in not realizing what a “special unicorn” she would be in Congress.

Local civil-rights icon Josie Johnson, in endorsing Melton-Meaux recently, said that at such a critical time in history, “We need to be deliberate about who we ask to represent us.” Johnson said she could not support “anyone who creates more division among us.”

The struggle of her ancestors, she said, “has had a powerful and profound influence on me, and Antone seems to understand their perseverance for fairness, justice and equality for all in the way that he approaches his work in our community.?… Antone clearly has the compassion, temperament and skills required to unite our district, as well as a nation divided by racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia.”

Another Anti-Israel Lie Pushed by Palestinian Activist
When people say or write things, they should try to avoid contradicting themselves on a factual or logical basis. This is the essence of the “Liar’s Paradox.”

This lesson was lost on the folks at Foreign Policy (FP), who published a piece by Palestinian activist Zena Agha titled “Israel Can’t Hide Evidence of Its Occupation Anymore.” The piece, which appeared on FP’s website on August 3, 2020, contradicts itself in a pretty obvious way.

The gist of the article is that a US law passed by Congress in 1996 has made it impossible for human rights activists to get high-definition satellite images of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, making them unable to document Israeli actions in those areas.

The article then reports breathlessly that this law was recently amended, giving human rights activists the information they need to document the evil acts against the Palestinians.

But when read closely, the article (a) reveals that the law only applied to US companies, and that (b) high-definition images of Israel and the Gaza Strip and West Bank have been available on the global market for most of the past decade, rendering the law in question meaningless.

The result is that the entire premise of the article — which accuses the United States of denying human rights activists access to satellite images they can use to document alleged Israeli misdeeds against the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza — is destroyed.

They’ve had access to the images since 2012.

Cori Bush, candidate who expressed support for BDS, defeats longtime congressman in Missouri Democratic primary
Cori Bush, a civil rights activist who has expressed support for the boycott Israel movement, defeated a longtime pro-Israel incumbent in a Democratic congressional primary in St. Louis.

Bush defeated Lacy Clay by 3 percentage points, 48.6% to 45.5% in the primary Tuesday.

In a now-deleted page on her campaign website, first uncovered by Jewish Insider, Bush expressed support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, or BDS.

“In these times, it is important to be specific with our language and direct in the actions we take. In our current geopolitical economy, money talks far louder than speech alone,” the website said. “This is why nonviolent actions like the BDS movement are so important—and why the effort to mischaracterize and demonize the BDS movement by its opponents is so urgent.”

If Bush still holds these views, she is set to become the third BDS supporter in Congress; Missouri’s 1st District is solidly Democratic. The two incumbent BDS supporters, like Bush, are Democrats. Rep. Rashida Tlaib is leading in her primary in Detroit, which also took place Tuesday, although counting is not final. Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minneapolis faces an opponent who supports Israel in a primary next Tuesday.

Foreign policy did not feature in the campaign except toward the end. In its final days, Clay attempted to use Bush’s BDS backing against her, mailing a flyer that highlighted his pro-Israel record. It was headlined “Cori Bush stands with BDS … and BDS stands with her.”

Bush was backed by the party’s left, including the Justice Democrats group and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. She became an activist for Black rights after the 2014 police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson. She failed in her first attempt to oust Clay in 2018.
NAACP national leadership backs Rodney Muhammad despite his anti-Semitic post
It's official: NAACP national leadership will not cut ties with Philadelphia chapter President Rodney Muhammad over the anti-Semitic meme he posted on Facebook a few weeks ago.

Ending weeks of media silence, NAACP leadership condemned Muhammad’s social media post but stopped short of calling for him to resign on Wednesday, according to an emailed statement from NAACP spokeswoman Austyn Ross.

Backing Muhammad pits the national office against some in state and local NAACP offices — where tensions are simmering over Muhammad’s post — and several high-ranking Pennsylvania officials, who have called for Muhammad to resign.

Ross said national leadership was “saddened and deeply disappointed by the harm caused by Mr. Muhammad’s actions” and that Muhammad “now recognizes the offensive nature of the imagery and post.”

“Hate speech has no place at the NAACP, and such language and imagery are reprehensible,” Ross said in the statement.

Ross’ statement was nearly identical to a so-called “unsigned letter” attributed to the national office that was circulating in media reports last week.

Ross did not respond to requests for additional comment.

Cabinet Office confirms to CAA that request to withdraw Wiley’s MBE is now being reviewed, as CAA also launches Parliamentary petition for racists to be stripped of their honours automatically
The Cabinet Office has confirmed to Campaign Against Antisemitism that it is now reviewing Wiley’s MBE, in response a letter that we wrote to the Honours Forfeiture Committee calling for the antisemitic grime rapper to be stripped of the honour.

In a letter from the Cabinet Office, the Honours and Appointments Secretariat has advised that the Honours Forfeiture Committee “is able to consider cases for a variety of reasons,” including “being found guilty of a criminal offence” and “behaviour that is deemed to bring the honours system into disrepute”.

The letter went on to confirm that the Committee is acting on Campaign Against Antisemitism’s representations and has opened a case.

Additionally, in a departure for the Committee, which normally does not publish its decisions, the letter confirmed that Campaign Against Antisemitism will be kept informed of progress.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has also launched a Parliamentary petition for racists to be stripped of their honours automatically. The petition can be signed here:

Campaign Against Antisemitism has also written to the Ivors Academy calling for Wiley’s 2019 Ivors Inspiration Award to be rescinded.
After 15-Year Hostile BDS Campaign, Israel Has Only Become Stronger
On July 9, 2005, Omar Barghouti, then a graduate student in philosophy at Tel Aviv University, launched a campaign to boycott, divest and sanction (BDS) the State of Israel. In a May 2020 podcast in Arabic, Barghouti confirmed that BDS seeks to eliminate the "Zionist state." Yet, after 15 years, Israel has only become stronger economically and diplomatically.

BDS has notched modest successes among American academics, church groups and campus organizations, but it failed to make inroads beyond the low-hanging fruit. Many U.S. lawmakers have condemned BDS. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on Americans to "be vigilant against bigoted or dangerous ideologies masquerading as policy, and that includes BDS."

In 2017, governors of all 50 states signed a letter opposing BDS. And over half of U.S. states have laws that prevent state investment, bar state contracts or prohibit the use of state funds for companies boycotting Israel.
USC Student VP Resigns, Says She Was Bullied for Being a Zionist
USC’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG) Student Vice President Rose Ritch announced that she is resigning from her position on Aug. 5, saying that she was bullied for a being a supporter of Israel.

Ritch’s resignation letter, which she posted to Facebook, stated that various USC students have been pressuring and harassing her over the past few weeks because of her Zionist identity, not because of her queer identity.

“I have been told that my support for Israel has made me complicit in racism, and that, by association, I am racist,” she wrote. “Students launched an aggressive social media campaign to ‘impeach [my] Zionist a–.’ This is anti-Semitism, and cannot be tolerated at a University that proclaims to ‘nurture an environment of mutual respect and tolerance.’”

She added that her identity as a Jew and a Zionist are intertwined.

“Nearly 95% of American Jews support Israel as the Jewish state, inherently connected to our religious history and communal peoplehood,” Ritch wrote. “An attack on my Zionist identity is an attack on my Jewish identity. The suggestion that my support for a Jewish homeland would make me unfit for office or would justify my impeachment plays into the oldest stereotypes of Jews, including accusations of dual loyalty and holding all Jews responsible for the actions of the Israeli government.”

Ritch thanked the university for intervening against impeachment proceedings against her, but argued that the university needs to do more to protect Jewish students on campus. She proceeded to decry cancel culture on college campuses.

“Our campuses have shifted from authentic, in-person conversations to comments and retweets, and we ‘cancel’ anyone with whom we disagree on any issue,” she wrote. “There is a disturbing lack of nuance or willingness to grapple with the messy complexities of an issue, and there is no longer any room for change or growth. Students made presumptions about my Zionist identity and leapt to unfair conclusions. No one asked me to explain my passion for Israel. No one asked to learn together, to try to understand and build connections. Instead, the people with whom I have shared a campus with for years, the people whom I desperately want to serve, have tried to make me feel ashamed, invalidated, and dehumanized because of who I am.” (h/t MtTV)
BDS Boycotts Yosemite Sam (satire)
After years of pretending that his name was pronounced “Yo-sem-i-tee”, Yosemite Sam was finally exposed to the public by real-life cartoon villain President Trump for actually being a “yo-semite”. In swift retaliation against Mr Sam’s “sneaky” practices, the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement called for a boycott against Yosemite Sam, and all other Looney Tunes affiliates, because not only are the real Semitic people the Palestinians – not a cartoon man with a moustache – but anybody affiliated with Semitism is clearly an imperialist who must be stopped.

“We were already wary of the US National Parks system. Come on, who names a park ‘Zion’ without an agenda?” asked saviour of the Palestinians, Christian Robertson ‘21. “But then to find out that Looney Tunes is also part of this conspiracy? Who knew the company who invented a talking rabbit could believe in something so ridiculous as a Jewish state?”

In fact, anger was not relegated solely to BDS, as Jewish groups were also irate at the depiction. Stating: “people already see Jews as cartoonishly small men with large moustaches and pronounced facial features, we don’t need to be tied to this guy. Anyway, I’ve never seen him at my temple’s High Holidays, so he can go around calling himself whatever he wants, he’s not Jewish in my eyes.”

In response to the growing outrage Warner Brothers released a statement saying: “Yosemite Sam was raised in an episcopal household and his only foe is Bugs Bunny, who is in no way affiliated with Palestinian liberation. We apologise for President Trump’s mispronunciation and would highly encourage all young adults to stop watching cartoons while high.”
Business Insider Uses Single Source To Paint IDF as Immoral
Can an interview with a former Israeli soldier about his first-hand experiences result in the spreading of falsehoods about Israel?

One might be left asking this question after reading an article by Business Insider titled, A young man left London to join Israel’s army but now believes the nation’s treatment of Palestinians is morally wrong. The individual is Joel Carmel, who served in the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli defense body tasked with administering large parts of the West Bank. Julian Kossoff’s piece focuses on what Carmel describes as his growing angst over having to compromise his values – the same principles that induced him to move to Israel in the first place – in order to fulfill his duties.

Carmel’s testimony is powerful – he tells his truth. However, there is no explanation in the article of the inherent difficulties associated with the day-to-day management of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which includes the IDF’s continued presence in the West Bank.

Interview – Background = Innuendo
Julian Kossof’s interview with Joseph Carmel presents only one vantage point, even though journalistic standards demand that both sides of any equation be explored. By painting the IDF as immoral without providing background and historical context, Business Insider has failed to fulfill its duty to present the full picture of a complex issue.
BBC News again reports Golan Heights incident after Israel responds
In fact the IDF clarified that the incident took place on the Israeli side of the ceasefire line known as the A-line (which marks the western side of the demilitarised zone between Israel and Syria) rather than “near” it.
“The men were first seen approaching the area at around 8 p.m., and they crossed the official Israel-Syria border — but not the security fence separating the two countries, which lies a few meters west — some three hours later.

“They crossed the ‘alpha line’ so they were totally within Israeli territory,” Zilberman said, referring to the technical term for the line marking the Israel-Syria border.”

BBC audiences were not informed that in order to reach that location the armed infiltrators would have had to cross through the demilitarised zone supposedly monitored by UNDOF.

The BBC’s report also referred to an incident unrelated to its subject matter which took place in eastern Syria in the early hours of August 3rd.
“Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that dawn air raids on the city of Boukamal, near the Iraqi border in the northeast, had killed 15 people.”

The BBC’s report closed:
“Tensions have been rising between rivals Israel and Syria, particularly along Israel’s northern frontier, since an apparent Israeli air strike killed a Hezbollah fighter in Syria two weeks ago.

Israel had anticipated that the Iranian-backed Lebanese group would retaliate.”

Readers were once again not provided with any context such as an explanation of what a member of the Lebanese terrorist organisation was doing in Syria or what was the target of that “apparent Israeli air strike” near Damascus airport.

Not for the first time we see that an attack across Israel’s border with Syria was not considered newsworthy until Israel responded.
New Delaware Law Requiring Holocaust Education Comes Into Effect for Upcoming School Year
A new law requiring the teaching of the Holocaust in Delaware schools will come into effect for the 2021-22 academic year.

The Delaware State News reported that, according to the law, school districts and charters must implement a curriculum on the Holocaust and the issue of genocide in general for the sixth through 12th grades.

The driving force behind the bill was State Representative Debra Heffernan, whose parents escaped Nazi Germany.

“It really did change how I understood the scariness of how the Holocaust could happen to others in present time if we’re not careful,” she was quoted as saying.

Other people, however, “didn’t find out about [the Holocaust] until they maybe learned about it in high school,” she added. “They didn’t know and grow up understanding the horrors and how careful we had to be and how it’s everyone’s job to stand up for others.”

Heffernan asserted, “The only way to make sure that something like this never happens again — and to understand all of the times this has happened ever since the Holocaust in areas around the world — is for kids to be aware and to understand.”

The law, which was the culmination of years of campaigning by various communities, Jewish and non-Jewish, in the state, was passed by a unanimous vote in both houses of the legislature, and was signed into law last month.
Jews in Russia fear low levels of antisemitism are temporary
While Jews in Russia are experiencing historically low levels of antisemitism, they consider that this state of affairs is only temporary and look to the future with trepidation, a new study shows.

“Many, if not all, believe that weak or no antisemitism as a Russian state policy in Russia is an exceptional or even ad hoc and temporary phenomenon that has not come to stay,” Alexey Levinson, head of sociocultural research at the independent Levada Center in Russia, wrote in his study comparing Jewish life in Russia today with that of 30 years ago.

“Jews are not euphoric at all,” he wrote in “Jews in Contemporary Russia: Assimilation and Dissimilation,” which was issued in July and translated recently. The community’s fear is based on Russian history, with Jews in Russia having been subjected to the whim of whoever leads the country.

“Antisemitism goes hand in hand with the history of Jews for ages and ages, and they think these days are just a short interruption of this tradition,” Levinson told The Media Line.

“The current decline in antisemitic state acts is because of the personal position of the current president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin,” he said. “They think that if he changes his mind or another, less tolerant person takes his place, the whole state apparatus and the public will return to the usual antisemitism.”

The climate has become so liberal that Jews have reached the upper echelons of Russian society and even taken on some aristocratic attributes, he said.
Horror as couple whose parents survived the Holocaust stumble on a fence covered in Nazi SWASTIKAS on a hike in Queensland
A couple whose parents survived the Holocaust were left feeling nauseous after stumbling across a fence emblazoned with swastikas.

The couple were driving towards Mount Cook near Cooktown, in Queensland, when they discovered the home with the Nazi symbols on the front gate.

A photo taken by the shocked couple showed white pipes taped to the fence in the shape of a swastika, with two lightning bolts on either side.

Pillars on either side of the gate have red ornaments of the swastika with a monkey perched on top.

The 71-year-old woman, who did not give her name, said: 'Both my mother, father and stepmother survived the horrors of the Holocaust and subsequently lost their parents, siblings, large extended families, friends, and their entire communities.

'This sight turned my stomach and made me furious that in this day and age, we still have people advocating for genocide.

'I love Australia, but I feel robbed because so many people must have seen this outrage and no one voiced their objections.

'I believe that those who displayed this disgusting signage should be charged with incitement to murder.'

Dr Dvir Abramovich, Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission, has been spearheading the efforts to ban public displays of swasitkas.
Vandals damage window of Holocaust museum in Albuquerque
The front window of the Holocaust and Intolerance Museum of New Mexico in Albuquerque was damaged by vandals on July 30.

The window, which will cost about $1,000 to replace, was "made with safety film, preventing shards of glass from spraying into the museum," reported the Associated Press.

Behind the window is a large picture of a civil-rights march during the early 1960s, led by John Lewis, whose funeral was on the day of the vandalism. Leon Natker, the museum's executive director, noted the timing of the incident to The Albuquerque Journal.

"It can't be a coincidence that it happened just as the funeral of [former Congressman] John Lewis was being broadcast on television. It was a hit-and-run, and it was done by a coward," he said.
The museum, which is situated along the iconic Route 66, will have a security gate at its front by the end of the week, Natker told the Journal.

In the aftermath of the incident, the museum is seeking to raise $2,000 to improve security.

No arrests have been made.
Teva joins forces with Icelandic firm to gain edge on biosimilars
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and Reykjavik, Iceland-based biopharmaceutical company Alvotech said they are setting up an exclusive partnership to commercialize five biosimilar product candidates in the US.

Biosimilars are generic versions of already approved biopharmaceutical drugs. Biopharmaceutical drugs are made up of biological sources like sugars, proteins and nucleic acids.

The strategic partnership will combine Teva’s longstanding commercial presence and extensive infrastructure in the US market with Alvotech’s scientific experience and “state-of-the-art biologics manufacturing,” the companies said in a statement on Wednesday.

The initial pipeline contains biosimilar candidates that address multiple therapeutic areas, the statement said. The original biopharmaceutical products of these five biosimilar candidates currently generate around $35 billion in US sales, the statement said.
Teva CEO Kare Schultz at a press conference in Tel Aviv, February 19, 2019 (Shoshanna Solomon/Times of Israel)

Teva, the world’s largest generic drugmaker, is seeking to become a leader also in biopharmaceuticals and biosimilars. The company said also on Wednesday that revenues for the second quarter dropped 7 percent to $3.9 billion, and reported a profit of $605 million compared to $653 million in the same quarter a year earlier.
Israel’s first medical cannabis center to open in November
Israeli medical cannabis company CANTEK has announced it will open the country’s first medical cannabis center in Tel Aviv this coming November, which will house their medical cannabis consultation project, the "Tree of Knowledge," as well as a cannabis-pharmacy and clubhouse.

Since acquiring the control of both Shlomi Sandak’s “CannabiSandak” and Ilan Gil’s “Green Medical Services,” CANTEK's "Tree of Knowledge" has become Israel’s largest medical cannabis consultation center.

Sandak and Gil, two of Israel’s most prominent medical cannabis activists now run the center, guiding patients through the entirety of the lengthy bureaucratic process of getting a medical cannabis license, for the price of NIS 1,200.

The center houses physicians who specialize in psychiatry, orthopedics, gastroenterology and cardiothoracic surgery, to help patients who suffer from a variety of conditions which can be aided by medical cannabis, including PTSD, autism, Crohn’s disease, chronic pain and cancer.
Hortica takes cannabis to industrial age, food production to future
Inside the Hortica farm in Tirat Yehuda, the thick smell of cannabis engulfs the senses. A state-of-the-art lab with innovative sensors, it’s a glimpse into how most crops will be grown on Earth in the near future.

Dr. Yaron Penn, 47, co-CEO and chief-scientist, lifts a sativa plant to show the long roots. Plants are kept in tightly controlled environments divided to two sections, roots at the bottom and branches at the top. Roots are sprayed with a fine mist for nourishment and branches receive 60 air replacements per hour, via four filters, and an even electric light to ensure they all grow perfectly.

In a field, some plants get more water, or less sun, or are consumed by bugs. The tightly controlled box means no foreign elements are introduced.

“This makes us beyond organic,” Penn tells The Jerusalem Post, “a California lab we work with finds contamination in 70% of the cannabis they check. We grow plants without pesticide.”

The boxes also mean dozens of different breeds can grow in one location. Rather than grow a crop now, and sell it on the market later, the company can produce crops on-demand for specific needs.

Botanical unit manager Chen Gershberg, wearing a white lab coat, places off-shoots in neatly-cut rockwool as she explains that her role is to “get us to a point where we deliver a universal product in top shape, which we are able to do by using the same genetics [for each plant] and controlling conditions.”
Ok, Google: Tell Me About Israel’s Voice Recognition Technology
Voice recognition technology is taking the world by storm, with companies around the world flocking to integrate it into their products and services. Leading tech companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google (known collectively as “The Four”) are all producing virtual assistants to help us with our everyday lives.

Siri or Alexa might help us with our productivity tasks, but the technology goes back far earlier than 2011, when Siri was born, and the possibilities reach much further. CTech spoke with Galit Galperin, a product executive at Playtech, a lecturer at IDC Herzliya, and the author of the popular industry blog Voicey, about where the technology came from, how Israel’s startup community creates unique solutions, and how it “became the love of my life.”

“This is not a new technology,” she explains when talking about virtual assistants. “20 years ago we had IVR (interactive voice response) systems that were using voice recognition in a small sense. You’d say your name, or whatever number you needed to say, and it would recognize you.”

Today, it has become far more advanced and more likely to mirror the type of technology we were used to seeing in sci-fi films and shows as children. “We have a few different layers: it’s voice recognition, it’s natural language understanding, it’s the design of the conversation itself, it’s the whole thing. Nowadays you can have a sort of communication which goes both ways with the machine.” The industry collectively refers to it as Conversational AI.
Babi Yar: The Story of a Lost Universe
On September 28, 1941, nine days after the Germans conquered Kiev, the Nazis ordered every Jew in the city to convene with their belongings and documents near the cemetery at the edge of Babi Yar. Any Jew who refused would be killed, the announcement read. The following day 33,771 Jews arrived and were shot en masse over two days. Throughout that year an additional 15,000 were killed in a similar fashion. It is a known fact that Ukrainians took part in the massacre.

Now a massive Holocaust center is set to be built in Babi Yar to commemorate events that happened 80 years ago. Natan Sharansky, chairman of the advisory committee for the center establishment fund, says: "Babi Yar for me was a symbol not only for the Holocaust but also for the great efforts the Soviet regime went to in order to erase its memory. To erase the Jewish identity of the place."

The museum's artistic director, Ilya Khrzhanovsky, told Israel Hayom, "Before the Second World War, every fourth family in Kiev was Jewish. Imagine how much knowledge, tradition, smells, lessons, books, cultures - disappeared from the mental and emotional picture of the era. The story of Babi Yar is not just about the murder of Jews by Nazis and their Ukrainian collaborators, this is a story about a whole universe that was destroyed." The online museum will be up by 2021. The physical museum will open in 2026.
The Young Australians Who Joined the Israel Defense Forces
Mai has lived in Australia all her life, but volunteered to join the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) when she turned 18.

In her experience, she says, the IDF is "morally admirable. I can say whole-heartedly that I have never seen a more ethically-grounded military when dealing with one of the most complicated conflicts in the world."

She says she saw IDF soldiers go to the aid of injured Palestinians, and help get them food and medication.

"From personal experience, as soldiers, we're taught first about the importance of humanity, that we are all human beings."

"We were told about the severe consequences of misconduct towards civilians of all cultures and backgrounds."

"We don't enlist into the IDF for the chance to kill a terrorist or make ourselves out to be heroes. We know that we are serving in order to defend the Jewish nation - to defend our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters. We are part of the Israel Defense Forces - not the Israel Attack Forces."

She concludes, "I would do it all over again in a heartbeat."

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