Wednesday, August 19, 2020

From Ian:

Democratic convention brings back former Women's March leaders accused of anti-Semitism
The Democratic National Convention utilized two of the former leaders of the Women's March, both of who faced allegations of anti-Semitism during their time on the board.

Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour participated in separate convention events on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. Mallory spoke on Monday at a virtual meeting of the Democratic Black Caucus while Sarsour addressed the convention’s Muslims and Allies Assembly.

Joe Biden's presidential campaign, in response to an attack from President Trump's reelection campaign, reaffirmed the former vice president's stance on Israel and the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement, which calls for a boycott of Israeli goods in order to pressure the country's government to improve the quality of life for Palestinians.

“Joe Biden has been a strong supporter of Israel and a vehement opponent of anti-Semitism his entire life, and he obviously condemns [Sarsour's] views and opposes BDS, as does the Democratic platform,” Biden spokesman Andrew Bates said, according to CNN’s Jake Tapper. “She has no role in the Biden campaign whatsoever.”

Bates also pointed to the official Democratic platform, which includes the declaration: “We oppose any effort to unfairly single out and delegitimize Israel, including at the United Nations or through the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement.”

Biden Campaign Repudiates Linda Sarsour, Condemns BDS Movement
Prominent anti-Israel activist Linda Sarsour appeared on Tuesday on the live stream of the Democratic National Convention’s Muslim Delegates Assembly.

Sarsour — who acted as a surrogate for Bernie Sanders during the primaries — remarked, “The Democratic Party is not perfect, but it is absolutely our party in this moment.”

Following Tuesday’s event, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden repudiated Sarsour, with a spokesman for his campaign stating, “Joe Biden has been a strong supporter of Israel and a vehement opponent of antisemitism his entire life, and he obviously condemns her views and opposes BDS, as does the Democratic platform.”

“She has no role in the Biden campaign whatsoever,” the spokesman added.

Dozens of State Legislators Slam Democratic Socialists of America for ‘Blatantly Antisemitic Litmus Test’ of New York City Council Candidates
Dozens of members of the New York State Assembly have condemned the New York City chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) for issuing what they called a “blatantly antisemitic litmus test” to prospective City Council candidates.

The DSA’s questionnaire to candidates included the line, “Do you pledge not to travel to Israel if elected to City Council in solidarity with Palestinians living under occupation?”

“Even though foreign policy falls outside the purview of municipal government, gestures like travel to a country by elected officials from a city the size and prominence of New York still send a powerful message, as would the refusal to participate in them,” the questionnaire added.

The next question was an aggressive near-endorsement of the antisemitic BDS campaign, reading, “Do you support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement? If not, why?”

Jonathan S. Tobin: The ADL is targeted for not being woke enough for extremists
For the last five years, the Anti-Defamation League has undergone a not-so-subtle transformation. Under its longtime executive director Abe Foxman, who led the group from 1987 to 2015, it was a liberal-leaning but nonpartisan watchdog against anti-Semitism. But under his successor, Jonathan Greenblatt, a veteran of the Clinton and Obama administrations, the ADL has become a reliable auxiliary of the Democratic Party taking sides against Israel’s government and involving the group in partisan squabbles and bashing President Donald Trump.

In a supreme irony, leftist anti-Semites have chosen to target the ADL, and not more centrist or conservative Jewish entities, as part of an effort aimed at canceling the group. A coalition of organizations has joined together behind a campaign called “#DropTheADL” which has put together an indictment of sins all intended to prove that it is guilty of not being a true “ally” of “progressives.”

The signatories to this document are a ragtag collection of far-left extremist groups. Many of them are themselves guilty of anti-Semitism and efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel, as well as to mark out Jews for shunning and hate.

You would think a well-funded mainstream liberal Jewish organization like the ADL would not only dismiss the smears included in this list of accusations with contempt, but also to embrace the distinction of being singled out in this manner as proof that it is doing their job.

Instead, though the ADL’s response is an accurate refutation of the wild claims of its accusers, it also seems defensive in nature. The ADL seems to be as worried about being labeled as not being “progressive” enough to be considered a worthy ally for left-wing groups as it is eager to fire back at the haters who have singled it out for opprobrium.

The episode is an interesting commentary on why cancel culture, which has become a dominant force in American public life in the wake of the moral panic about racism directed at African-Americans after the death of George Floyd, is such an effective tool for leftists eager to silence anyone or any group that might oppose their radical agenda. Conservatives and moderates don’t care about the imprecations of extremists. They view their attempts to trash Western culture and free speech as an assault on basic American values. The most vulnerable targets for canceling are liberals who crave the good opinion of their tormentors.
Eisenhower and the Jews: A Legacy of Moral Responsibility
Ninety-one-year-old architect Frank Gehry, whose Jewish mother was born in Poland, recently witnessed the completion of his memorial in Washington, DC for President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The bond is special for Gehry, who in the 1950s served in the Third Army — of which Eisenhower was once Chief of Staff.

As Supreme Allied Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces during World War II, Eisenhower made it a point to personally tour a Nazi concentration camp in order to witness the Holocaust firsthand.

The labor camp of Ohdruf in Thuringia was liberated by American armored forces on April 4, 1945. Days before this, the Germans made many of the 13,000 inmates participate in death marches to Buchenwald. Others prisoners were evacuated on railroad cars; those too weak to walk to the rail yard were lured with the promise of food, where the SS shot them and left their bodies in the open. Back in Ohdruf, mass graves were reopened so that the SS could burn the corpses. Over half the inmates were worked to death, starved, or shot.
On April 19, Eisenhower again cabled Marshall with a request to bring members of Congress and journalists to the newly liberated camps so that they could bring the horrible truth about German Nazi atrocities to the American public.

As president, Eisenhower allowed Secretary of State John Foster Dulles to minimize US relations with Israel. He ordered the Israelis, British, and French to withdraw during their 1956 conflict with Nasser’s Egypt. Even so, the US continued its commitment to the survival of the Jewish state.

Gehry’s monument memorializes Eisenhower as the resolute Kansas farm boy destined to carry the moral weight of civilization’s survival on his shoulders. Today, American soil seems no longer to nurture such great men.
China's Persecution of Uyghur Muslims: The Silence of the Islamic World
The globe's most influential Muslim international forum, the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in a resolution drafted in March last year, in fact commended China's efforts in its care of the country's Muslims.

The silence of the oil-rich kingdom of Saudi Arabia is, in part, explained by the at least $75 billion of investment deals reached in the last few years. Moreover, China is Saudi Arabia's largest trading partner. However, Saudi Arabia's failure publicly to support Uyghur Muslims shreds the Kingdom's claim to be the "Defender of the Faith."

Perhaps a more realistic but cynical explanation for the seemingly incongruous alliance between China and the globe's Islamic governments is the collegial compatibility of authoritarian regimes. None of these tyrannical entities wants international observers to arrive inside their sovereign realms to investigate human rights abuses of minorities....

More strategically threatening to the existing liberal international order may be a decision by the world's Islamic states and other Third World countries not to condemn Beijing in the event that China might emerge as victor in the new Cold War.
How Team Trump is combatting Iran’s militant anti-Semitism
Even as the pandemic has taken a major toll on Iran, Tehran refuses to let up on its virulent hatred of Jews and targeting of Israel. Which is why the Trump administration’s pushback remains as vital as ever.

When the Islamic Revolution swept Iran 41 years ago, an ideology driven by rabid anti-Semitism erased a culture of tolerance, even affection, toward Jews. The shah’s kingdom had rescued Jews during the Holocaust and helped Jewish families escape persecution in Iraq.

Today, the Islamic Republic is the world’s chief state sponsor of anti-Semitism; Jew-hatred is core to its ideology. It was only a few months after Ayatollah Khomeini came to power in 1979 that the Islamist authorities executed the president of Iran’s Jewish community on charges of being a “Zionist” and “economic imperialist,” the first of several Iranian Jews killed.

The regime also formed within its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps an elite special-operations unit called the Jerusalem Force, or Quds Force, commanded (until recently) by General Qassem Soleimani and dedicated to the “liberation” of Jerusalem from the Jews.

In the 1980s, the Quds Force midwifed the birth of Hezbollah, one of the deadliest and most anti-Semitic terrorist groups on Earth.

In the 1990s, Iran and its terrorist proxies carried out multiple suicide bombings of Jewish targets in Argentina and Bulgaria, murdering 120 people and injuring hundreds more.

Iran’s drumbeat of anti-Semitic hatred continues to the present. Official government media sources publish anti-Semitic diatribes, including “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” Holocaust denial is a staple of the regime’s pronouncements, including by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei himself, who has spoken of the “myth of the massacre of Jews known as the Holocaust.”
Time for Lebanon to stand up to Hezbollah
Iran, via its proxy Hezbollah, has had control over decision-making within the Lebanese government for some time. We have often read and heard from some of our brothers in Lebanon that the Lebanese people have been impacted by the decisions made by Arab Gulf states, not Hezbollah.

The Lebanese people should surely be aware by now that the Arab Gulf states have an immeasurable fondness for Lebanon. But these countries cannot ignore the Lebanese government constantly stabbing them in the back, day and night, no matter how much they love the Lebanese people. After years of this, the Arab Gulf states have withdrawn, with the Lebanese people now left to protect their homeland and their vital interests.

The Lebanese leadership should end its constant deflections and attempts to blame the Arab Gulf states for the recent tragedy or the country’s long-standing problems while it allows Hezbollah to dictate the future of the country, removing it from its Arab sphere and affiliation.

The Lebanese people who care deeply for their country must reconsider the direction it has taken, particularly in the aftermath of recent events.

There is no need to document the help that Arab states in general and the Arab Gulf states in particular have provided to Lebanon, regardless of its diverse religious and political factions. This is in addition to Arab Gulf states welcoming Lebanese expatriates, whose remittances have stimulated the Lebanese economy, greatly helping to improve the living conditions of the Lebanese people.

In contrast to the aforementioned, Iran’s regime and Hezbollah have embroiled this peaceful country in reckless misadventures with the aim of boosting Tehran’s regional interests and agendas. These misadventures have not only devastated neighboring countries but have ravaged and destroyed Lebanon itself, turning it into a pawn for the Iranian regime’s “revolutionary” projects, under which it raises false promises and slogans. The regime’s dream is to pursue a dark nationalist agenda in the region to extend its spheres of influence.

HonestReporting: Hezbollah Must Be Held Accountable
A special tribunal convicted a Hezbollah operative of murdering Rafic Hariri in 2005 but did not implicate Hezbollah in the assassination. The media must see through this and continue to hold Hezbollah accountable for the murder and for all the damage it is doing in Lebanon.

Sen. Ted Cruz: We Need to Invoke the UN Snapback on Iran—Before It's Too Late
Of the many dangerous myths used to sell the catastrophic 2015 Obama-Biden Iran nuclear deal to the American people, the most pernicious was the idea that the deal was "just" about nuclear weapons. The deal was, in fact, far more significant in scope. Because of a ticking provision in the deal, Iran will soon be empowered to purchase billions of dollars of conventional weapons from countries like China and Russia. In fact, those arms sales are already in motion.

No American administration should ever have contemplated, let alone agreed, to a scenario in which our most powerful rivals are able to sell billions of weapons to one of our most dangerous enemies. The Iranian regime is brutal, oppressive and tyrannical. It finances and exports terror, and openly threatens all-out war while seeking weapons that could incinerate American cities with a single flash of light. When the ayatollah says "death to America" and "death to Israel," he means it.

Yet according to UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2231, the resolution that endorsed the Iran deal, a decade-old UN arms embargo against Iran is set to be lifted in October. Thankfully, the Trump administration is moving to prevent that expiration.

Under the deal, the ayatollah accepted limited and temporary restrictions on Iran's nuclear weapons program. However, in return, UNSCR 2231 forever abolished all six previous UN Security Council resolutions against Iran that had been passed in response to the full range of Iran's malign activities, including terrorism, ballistic missile development and its nuclear weapons program. Those concessions included the arms embargo, which was put on a five-year expiration clock.

Usually, the only way to reverse one UN Security Council resolution is by passing another one through normal procedures, which require that no permanent member—the U.S., Britain, France, Russia or China—veto the resolution. On Friday, the Trump administration tried exactly that, and presented a new resolution to extend the old arms embargo. China and Russia opposed. Our European allies refused to take sides.
U.S. Livid With European Allies After Failed Vote on Iran Arms Embargo
The Trump administration expressed outrage with its European allies after they failed to support a U.S. resolution at the United Nations that would have indefinitely extended an arms embargo on Iran, current and former senior U.S. officials told the Washington Free Beacon.

The United States suffered a stinging defeat at the U.N. Security Council on Friday when not a single European nation lent support to a measure that would have renewed a long-standing arms ban on Iran, which is scheduled to expire in mid-October. While Russia and China vowed to veto the measure, the United States hoped to secure the support of traditional allies such as France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Only the Dominican Republic supported the U.S. resolution at the Security Council, highlighting lingering anger over the Trump administration’s decision to abandon the landmark nuclear deal with Iran.

Senior U.S. officials said they are livid with European leaders following the failed vote, particularly with U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson, whom administration officials see as abandoning President Donald Trump ahead of the contested 2020 presidential election. The administration is now considering next steps, which are likely to include a final push to reimpose, or snapback, all international economic sanctions on Iran that were lifted as part of the nuclear deal. The United States says it has legal authority to invoke the snapback mechanism, but is likely to face an uphill battle given Europe’s refusal to stand with America in extending the arms ban. The snapback fight will likely play out in the leadup to the November elections.

After months of diplomatic wrangling and cautious public statements, the Trump administration is now venting its anger at European nations.

"The administration is profoundly disappointed in the E3—but especially Boris Johnson," a senior administration official told the Free Beacon, speaking only on background about the ongoing diplomatic skirmish. "All of these countries have expressed privately that Iran does not need these weapons, but they abstained in order to preserve remnants of a bad deal that even Iran isn’t honoring."

MEMRI: Articles In Saudi Press Call To Amend Thousands Of Scribal Errors In The Quran, Reexamine Islamic Texts In Light Of Modern Perceptions
Two unusual articles published this year on Saudi websites called to amend scribal errors in the Quran, and also to reexamine religious texts in light of modern perceptions, so as to make them more readable and adapt them to the present age.

An article published January 10, 2020 by Saudi journalist Ahmad Hashem on the "Saudi Opinions" website pointed out that the Quran as it is known today was written down after the Prophet's lifetime, in the period of the third caliph 'Uthman bin 'Affan (ruled 644-656) using the 'Uthmanic script, which is named after him. Since this writing system is a human invention, argues Hashem, there is no reason to sanctify it, as many Muslims do. In fact, he says, it is time to correct some 2,500 errors of spelling and grammar that were made by the scribes in that period and remain part of the Quranic text to this day. He presents numerous examples of such spelling mistakes, and calls to rewrite the words in their present-day standard form, so as to "make the text more readable for [present-day] Muslims and more linguistically correct."

A second article was published on July 20, 2020 on the liberal Saudi website Elaph by Jarjis Gulizada, a writer and political analyst of Kurdish-Iraqi origin and the editor of the Iraqi magazine Baghdad. He notes that, during the coronavirus pandemic, for the first time in Islamic history, changes were made to the form of Islamic worship, when Muslims were permitted to maintain physical distance from one another during prayer, instead of praying in tight rows, as the Quran instructs. This, he says, shows that there is room for flexibility in Islam, and that the same flexibility can be applied to the Islamic texts, which should be reexamined and adapted to modern perceptions, so as to benefit the Muslims and mankind at large.

Mentioning Ahmad Hashem's article, he too argues that it is irrational to treat the 'Uthmani script of the Quran as sacred, and presents further examples of errors that appear in the Quran, in addition to those presented by Hashem. He calls to publish an amended version of the Quran using modern spelling, because, in its present form, "it is not suitable for the Islamic nation in the modern world, and especially for non-Arab Muslims," and states that this task should be undertaken by Saudi Arabia, specifically by its king and crown prince.

It should be noted that Gulizada's article was removed from the Elaph website following furious reactions on social media, from users who accused the Saudis, and in particular Elaph chief editor 'Othman Al-'Omeir, of insolence and of insulting the Quran.[1] For example, Kuwaiti academic Dr. Ahmad Al-Dhaidi tweeted: "The Elaph website, directed by Saudi journalist 'Othman Al-'Omeir, calls to rewrite the Quran in order to fix the great mistakes of the 'Uthmani script! Has their contempt reached the point of harming Allah's book?..."[2] The "Towards Freedom" Twitter account, known for criticizing the Saudi regime, stated: "The Elaph [online] paper, managed by ['Othman Al-'Omeir], a close friend of King Salman and an advisor to [Crown Prince Muhammad] bin Salman, demands to rewrite the Quran and reexamine the principles of the Islamic shari'a! The only thing left is to return the idols to the Kaaba."[3]
Panorama antisemitism whistleblowers write letter thanking the community for its support
The seven BBC Panorama whistle-blowers who lifted the lid on antisemitism within the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn have written a thank-you letter to the Jewish community for the support shown to them since the programme was broadcast.

The former party officials - Kat Buckingham, Mike Creighton, Dan Hogan, Sam Matthews, Martha Robinson, Ben Westerman and Louise Withers Green – praised “the practical and emotional support we received, notably from the Jewish Leadership Council and the Community Security Trust among others” after ‘Is Labour Anti-Semitic?’ was aired in July 2019.

They also recognised the role of the Jewish Labour Movement in providing themselves and 65 other whistle-blowers the confidence to come forward and contribute” to the soon to be Equality and Human Rights Commission investigation into Labour’s handling of antisemitism.

Without the support of JLM, the seven wrote, “it is doubtful that any of this would have been possible.”

The ex-Labour staffers also recognised the role of the JC and other Jewish media in continuing to publish reports of antisemitism in Mr Corbyn’s party.

They said that “if it was not for this newspaper and other Jewish media not giving up when others might, much of this story may never have been exposed to public scrutiny.”

The letter also poured scorn on claims made by pro-Corbyn supporters – including Unite union chief Len McCluskey – in recent weeks that Labour’s High Court apology and libel settlement to them went against official legal advice given to the party by lawyers.
Pushback after Labour Party’s General Secretary warns local CLPs not to discuss EHRC investigation, settlement with Panorama whistleblowers or International Definition of Antisemitism
Several officeholders in Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) around the country have expressed their opposition to a call by the Party’s General-Secretary to local branches not to discuss sensitive issues, including several related to antisemitism.

David Evans sent an email to the chairs and secretaries of CLPs with guidelines for how their online meetings should be conducted in order to avoid bringing the Party “locally and nationally or its officers open to potential legal liabilities.”

The email began by covering matters relating to nominations to Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee, but the other three issues addressed related to antisemitism.

First, Mr Evans noted that Labour had agreed a settlement with the Panorama whistleblowers, which included a full apology, and advised that “the withdrawal [of the allegations] and apology are binding on the party and any motions which seek to undermine or contradict them will create a risk of further legal proceedings for both the national party and local parties. As such, motions relating to these settlements and the circumstances behind them are not competent business for discussion by local parties.”

Second, Mr Evans noted that the Party announced that it had received the draft report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), and said: “When we are able to provide more information about the EHRC’s report we will do so. Until that time speculation as to the contents of the report is not helpful. It is therefore not competent business for CLPs to discuss.”
Police conduct lawyer quits Labour blaming 'increased anti-Indian, antisemitic sentiment'
A lawyer and ex-Labour councillor who was overlooked as the parliamentary candidate for Leicester East in favour of left-winger Claudia Webbe has resigned from the party blaming “increased anti-Indian, antisemitic, and anti-worker sentiment of recent years.”

In his resignation letter Sundip Meghani - a lead investigator at the Independent Office For Police Conduct - expresses deep regret over his decision to quit the party he first joined 20 years ago and which had been like "a surrogate family" to him.

But he accused “self-proclaimed Socialist Labour MPs” of “playing racist power games and identity politics, whilst professing to care about the public good.”

Speaking to the JC Mr Meghani also alleged that in “recent years Indian-heritage Labour members have been bullied by fellow Labour activists, with derogatory comments alongside labels such as ‘Hindutva’ - a term used in the same way Zionist is sometimes deployed in a disparaging way when referencing Jewish people.”

Evangelicals Only Want To Use Jews, Warn Activists Who Only Want To Use Jews (satire)
Members of an anti-Israel group who cite certain members of the Hebrew persuasion to lend their agenda legitimacy cautioned other Americans of that persuasion that Christian movements seek to co-opt them to lend legitimacy to an eschatological agenda.

Activists in If Not Now, Jewish Voice for Peace, and other progressive Jewish organizations opposed to a strong secure Jewish state in the ancestral Jewish homeland, and whose organizations exist for the purpose of exploiting Jewish heritage to give the organizations the imprimatur of authentic Jewishness, warned coreligionists again today that Christian evangelicals support the Jewish state only as a stepping-stone in their vision for bringing about the End of Days in keeping with their interpretation of Christian scripture. The INN and JVP members characterized the evangelical approach as exploitative, and called Christian activities to highlight support for Israel as a shared value between the two faith groups an unacceptable form of “tokenism.”

“It’s dangerous for Jews to cozy up to evangelicals even for short-term convergence of interests,” admonished Yonah Lieberman of If Not Now. “We who worry for the future of the Jewish community must speak up about this danger, which is what we had in mind when we founded our organization with the indispensable assistance of evangelical activist and ideological ally Seth Woody, who of course, being a good Christian, would never dream of exploiting Jews to advance his political vision.”

Irish Examiner editorial on UAE-Israel peace includes 'farcical' claim
An Aug. 15 Irish Examiner editorial (Irish Examiner View: Palestinians’ absence means Israel and UAE deal is a farce) suggests that the UAE-Israeli peace deal was nothing more than a show orchestrated by Washington and Jerusalem to shore up Trump and Netanyahu’s political fortunes.

The editorial then added the following, to justify their cynicism:
If that analysis is dismissed as skepticism veering downward towards cynicism then a reminder that the opening of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial in May ended after just an hour when his defence team requested a lengthy delay. That was granted but no resumption date was set.

Regardless of whether editors are being cynical in their analysis of the motivations behind the UAE-Israel deal, the fact is that their claim concerning the prime minister’s corruption trial is completely untrue.

The May 24th hearing that they referred to lasted roughly one hour, as expected. The judge denied the defence attorney’s request to postpone the trial.

The next hearing took place on July 19th. During that hearing, Netanyahu’s lawyers again asked to postpone the start date of the evidentiary stage of the trial, scheduled for January 2021, but the judge again denied the request.
CAA to complain to The Guardian over characterisation of antisemitic conspiracy theory that Israel was to blame for racist killing of George Floyd as merely “anti-Israel”
Campaign Against Antisemitism is to issue a complaint to The Guardian newspaper over the characterisation of an antisemitic conspiracy theory as merely “anti-Israel”.

In an interview with the esteemed Jewish actress and writer, Maureen Lipman, the interviewer, Zoe Williams, referenced recent comments by activist actress Maxine Peake that Israel may have been to blame for the racist killing of George Floyd, writing: “Peake, sure, would be an impossible acquaintance, after her recent comments – which she retracted – were deemed anti-Israel enough to get Rebecca Long-Bailey kicked off the Labour front bench for retweeting her”.

The conspiracy theory in question was not only baseless but, as Campaign Against Antisemitism explained at the time, antisemitic, and the Leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, also recognised it as such and sacked Ms Long-Bailey from the Shadow Cabinet for promoting the article.

As Campaign Against Antisemitism wrote at the time, the conspiracy theory is antisemitic because it observes an evil — police brutality or systemic racism in the United States — and looks to link it with Israel, in order to associate the Jews through the Jewish state with that evil. Moreover, for antisemites, associating a phenomenon with Jews not only makes Jews look bad but can also make the phenomenon itself seem worse.

Moreover, we wrote, the linkage of Mr Floyd’s death to Israel is not criticism of Israeli policy. It is criticism of American police brutality or systemic racism in the United States that unnecessarily and baselessly blames the Jewish state for that evil. It has nothing to do with Israel or Israeli policy and serves only (and deliberately) to tarnish Israel by attaching it to a foreign evil entirely unrelated to it.
NY man threatens to shoot up yeshiva summer camp over social distancing
Nicola Pelle, 58, of Long Island, New York, threatened to shoot up a Jewish summer camp while making a social distancing complaint to the county health department on Monday, according to ABC News.

The complaint was directed at the Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island's children's day camp, which Pelle lives next to.

"If I gotta go out there with a friggin' machine gun and shoot all these people, I will," Pelle allegedly said on the call, according to ABC News, quoting Nassau County Police Department Commissioner Patrick Ryder.

In response, the Naussau County Police Department charged Pelle with making a terroristic threat, accompanied by four counts of criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm, after Pelle identified himself as the complainant. After obtaining a search warrant, police seized 14 weapons including assault rifles, shotguns and handguns - all were obtained legally.

"Our officers did an outstanding job by questioning the subject, getting him to admit that he did make that complaint and did make the threat to shoot the school up, and then going in and recovering the weapons," Ryder said, according to ABC News.
Court: Florida principal should not have been fired for Holocaust uncertainty
William Latson, a high school principal in South Florida, was fired after telling a parent he could not say that the Holocaust was a “factual, historical event” because “not everyone believes the Holocaust happened.”

A state administrative judge ruled last week that his dismissal was in error.

In October, the Palm Beach County School Board fired Latson from his post at Spanish River Community High following a four-month suspension.

The judge, Robert Cohen of the Division of Administrative Hearings in Tallahassee, ruled Thursday that Latson should have been reprimanded or reassigned to another position within the school system rather than fired. He recommended that Latson be rehired but reassigned to another position and receive back wages for his suspension without pay.

Latson “made some unfortunate choices in expressing his thoughts,” the judge said, and failed to communicate with supervisors while on vacations — the main reason given by the school board for his firing — but none of his actions rose to the level of “gross insubordination” required to be fired, the Palm Beach Post reported.

He was with the school district for 26 years and had been principal at Spanish River since 2011.
California Appeals Court Sides with Spanish Museum Against Heirs of Holocaust Victim on Pissarro Painting
On Monday, the Ninth Circuit Appeals Court in Pasadena, California, upheld a district court’s ruling in favor of Madrid’s Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, which will continue to own the 1897 painting “Rue Saint-Honorรฉ in the Afternoon, Effect of Rain,” by Camille Pissarro.

The court acknowledge that the Nazis took the painting from its Jewish owner, Lilly Cassirer, in 1939, and in return gave her family safe passage out of Germany. Later, in the 1950s, the family, unaware that the painting had survived the war, accepted financial restitution from a tribunal of the allied forces. But the painting survived the war and found its way to the Hahn Gallery in New York, which in 1976 sold it to Baron Hans-Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, whose collection was acquired by Spain in 1993 and housed in a state museum as the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection.

In 2000, Lilly Cassirer’s grandson, Claude, saw the painting at the Spanish museum and sued in US federal court to return the work to its rightful owners. The case has been in the courts in the US and in Spain for two decades since then, Claude has passed away, and his heirs kept the fight going.

And so, on Monday, the appeals court ruled that “after a full trial on the merits, the [Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection] is the owner of the painting. The painting will remain on public display at the foundation, as it has since 1992.”
Four Female Israeli Founders Chosen for European Woman in Tech Award Ahead of London Tech Week
On September 2, the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) Europe network will host its first DIT European Tech Women Event — and has selected four Israelis to subsequently take part in panel discussions.

The ceremony was created to recognize the achievements of 24 women from the European Region that work in the tech field. In total, 14 Israeli women were nominated to speak at London Tech Week and four were ultimately selected. They include:

Maya Gura, Co-Founder and CEO of Missbeez — who will speak about a cure to fight imposter syndrome. Missbeez is a mobile marketplace for beauty services that aims to match self-employed beauty professionals with busy women. Gura was previously a founding member of PicScout and Co-founder of The Gifts Project, a fintech platform acquired by eBay. In 2016, Gura was named Female CEO of the Year 2016 by Geektime.

Inna Braverman, Co-Founder and CEO of Eco Wave Power — who will speak about women, sustainability, and a win-win strategy to find success in both. Eco Wave power was founded by Braverman in 2011 and helps create clean electricity through the power of ocean waves. Born two weeks before the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, she suffered from respiratory arrest due to the pollution, spurring her motivation for sustainability and a cleaner world.

Hillary Harel, Co-Founder and CEO of Serenus.AI — who will speak about hard vs. soft skills and preparing for jobs in the future. Serenus.AI uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve healthcare services while saving on valuable resources. Prior to starting Serenus.AI, Harel graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has founded many successful startups.

Orit Hashay, Founder and CEO of Brayola — who will speak at the final panel on the next generation of women and how tech communities today can inspire them for the future. Brayola is the world’s smartest personal bra shopper. Founded in 2012, it partners leading brands with indie designers to provide personalized lingerie recommendations for women. Prior to Brayola, Hashay founded (and coded) Israel’s most successful wedding site and was awarded Female CEO of the Year 2017 by Geektime.
Actor Ben Cross, who played Jewish sprinter in ‘Chariots of Fire,’ dies aged 72
British actor Ben Cross, best known for his starring role in the 1981 Oscar-winning sports drama “Chariots of Fire,” died Tuesday aged 72.

Cross, who portrayed Jewish sprinter Harold Abrahams’s battle to overcome anti-Semitism and triumph at the 1924 Olympics, was also known to younger fans as Spock’s father in the 2009 reboot of “Star Trek.”

“Ben passed away suddenly today following a short illness,” Cross’s agent in Los Angeles told AFP. He was reportedly living in Vienna at the time of his death.

Cross, a veteran stage actor born in London, made his big-screen debut alongside Sean Connery and Michael Caine in Richard Attenborough’s 1977 World War II epic “A Bridge Too Far.”

After a successful turn in the London West End debut of the musical “Chicago,” he was cast in “Chariots” along with Ian Holm and John Gielgud.

“Chariots” would go on to win four Academy Awards including best picture — and best original score for its iconic theme — although Cross himself was not nominated.

He continued working across theater, film and TV to the end of his life, playing Sarek in JJ Abrams’ “Star Trek.” (h/t jzaik)
Minister proposes bringing 4,500 Falash Mura to Israel by year's end
Aliyah and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata outlined her plans on Wednesday to bring 4,500 members of the Falash Mura community in Ethiopia to Israel by the end of the year, and the remainder of those eligible to immigrate by 2023.

Tamano-Shata laid out details of her plan to the Knesset Aliyah, Absorption and Diaspora Committee, saying the long-running saga, in which many of those seeking to come to Israel have been waiting for over a decade, must come to an end.

Committee chairman MK David Bitan largely appeared to approve of the proposals, although arguing that the process should be shortened and that all those eligible for immigration should be brought by the end of 2021.

He also insisted that a crucial part of the plan is to close the compounds where those waiting live, once they have immigrated to Israel, a stipulation that Tamano-Shata’s plan includes.

The Population and Immigration Authority of the Interior Ministry estimates that there are approximately 8,000 people waiting in the compounds in Addis Ababa and Gondar who may be eligible for immigration to Israel under the criteria established by previous government decisions.
The ashes of Jerusalem's biblical fall still show at dig near Old City
What would happen if archaeologists could excavate tears? Looking at burned stones and beams clearly visible in the ruins of a building recently exposed at the excavation known as the “Givati Parking Lot” while touring the site, I could not help asking myself the question.

Those blackened remains have been there for more than 2,600 years. The researchers have been able to pin down the moment of their destruction to 586 BCE, when the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem and devastated its temple, which stood just a few minutes away from the prominent two-story building.

How many tears were shed, how many cries could be heard during that blaze which likely added torridness to the already proverbially hot Jerusalem summer days?

The structure offering such a vivid testimony of one of the greatest catastrophes ever befallen on the Jewish people, which also marked the beginning of their first exile, is located just outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem on the western slope of the Tyropoeon Valley.

Excavated for more than a decade, the Givati dig is considered part of the National Park of the City of David, located just across the street, and it offers traces of many of the most iconic periods of Jerusalem’s millinary history.
Second Temple Period stone table unearthed near Beit El
A richly decorated stone table dating back to the Second Temple period has been unearthed in the archaeological site of Khirbet Kefar Mur near Beit El in the West Bank.

The rare artifact was found in an excavation conducted by the Archaeology Unit of the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT). It probably belonged to a wealthy family living in the Jewish settlement that stood on the site in the last centuries of the 1st millennia BCE.

The Archaeology Unit has been working in Khirbet Kefar Mur for over a decade. As explained by the director of the excavation Yevgeni Aharonovich in a paper in a 2016 issue of the journal In the Highland’s Depth, published by the University of Ariel, the site was settled from at least the 8th century BCE up to Byzantine times, with the early Roman period marking its heyday.

The COGAT archaeology unit is in charge of the management, preservation and access to the archaeological sites in the West Bank, and specifically in Israeli-controlled Area C.

In in Khirbet Kefar Mur, the archaeologists have uncovered the remains of residential buildings, ritual baths, an oil mill and many daily objects such as pottery and coins. A massive wall dating back to the Jewish Great Revolt in the 1st century CE was also found, which seemed to have been erected very fast to prepare for the war. Moreover, the remains of a church with a mosaic floor and a bathhouse from the Byzantine period also emerged.

According to the researchers, the stone table represents a rare discovery since only very few similar items have been uncovered in the region so far.

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