Wednesday, August 26, 2020

From Ian:

Only 4% of American Jews consider Israel most important voting issue
Ahead of the US 2020 presidential election, most American Jews remain pro-Israel but do not define Israel as their most important voting issue, according to a new study by the Ruderman Foundation.

Only 4% of Jewish voters identify Israel as their first or second-most important election issue. Some 43% prioritize health care, 28% prioritize gun violence and 21% prioritize Social Security and Medicare.

The paper, entitled “The Jewish Vote 2020: More Empowered than Powerful,” states that analysis of Jewish American voting patterns “tells us more about why they vote than about what their vote achieves,” and examines voting patterns to draw conclusions on shifts in American Jewish identity and values.

The failure to vote primarily on the topic of Israel is not due to a shift away from pro-Israel sentiments but rather a reflection of Jewish liberal identities, according to the study.

One of the finding in the paper is that “in the voting booth, most American Jews are actually more pro-choice and anti-Trump than pro-Israel.”

The three part position paper examines defining issues of what it calls a “watershed seemingly dividing pro-Trump Israeli Jews from anti-Trump American Jews,” and was co-authored by the Ruderman Family Foundation and Prof. Gil Troy.
Should Jews be angry about Pompeo’s speech from Jerusalem?
Republicans did their best last week to highlight the presence of a pair of anti-Israel figures at the Democratic National Convention. But in a stroke of irony, this week the Democrats are, among other things, complaining about the way the Republicans are trying to highlight their pro-Israel credentials.

There’s no real symmetry between the dustups over the Democrats’ flip-flops over their relations with radical BDS activist and prominent anti-Semite Linda Sarsour, and the GOP’s decision to have U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speak to his party’s convention in an address taped in Jerusalem. Nor should either be compared with the fact that, to their credit, the Republicans bounced a scheduled speaker from their program who had been found to have tweeted out anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. The contrast between these kerfuffles is interesting because it raises the question of whether and how concerns about Israel and anti-Semitism should impact the decisions of voters.

Sarsour’s presence, as well as that of an Islamist imam, at a DNC daytime forum was outrageous. The real problem, however, was that Joe Biden’s campaign tried to have it both ways—first condemning and disassociating the candidate from her and then apologizing to her supporters for being “insensitive” to their feelings.

Nevertheless, Pompeo’s speech raises legitimate questions about a sitting cabinet member engaging in political activity and doing so while using an allied country as a backdrop.

The Hatch Act broadly prohibits government employees from playing politics while on duty. That law has often been observed in the breach by previous administrations with, for example, members of President Barack Obama’s cabinet appearing at the 2012 Democratic Convention.

The New York Times claimed that it had been at least 75 years since a secretary of state spoke at a national party convention, but since I haven’t found any record of Cordell Hull—President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s secretary of state appearing at either the 1940 or 1944 Democratic conventions—Pompeo’s speech might be a first.

Democrats are arguing that posts like secretary of state ought to be above politics, and to some extent, that’s true. It’s equally true that these posts are usually filled by politicians who often use their exalted platform for purposes that advance their political interests, such as the way Hillary Clinton helped the Clinton Family Foundation, a billion-dollar slush fund masquerading as a charity that existed mainly to promote her interests and future presidential candidacy while doing little in the way of philanthropy.


Too many American Jews are turning a blind eye to Antisemitism
Chutzpah layered on top of chutzpah. Morton Klein the President of the National ZOA had the audacity to answer those very questions, pointing out in tweets what should have been obvious to all: “BlackLivesMatter is an anti-Semitic, Israel hating, Soros funded, racist, Israelophobic hate group.” He followed up with: “I urge the SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center) to immediately put BlackLivesMatter on their list of hate groups. BLM is a Jew hating, White hating, Israel hating, conservative Black hating, violence promoting, dangerous Soros funded extremist group of haters.”

For expressing what only the willfully blind could deny, Klein was subjected to his sworn enemies giving voice to an anguished outcry of hate Vociferously, he was denounced as a “racist,” “bigot,” and xenophobe.

If you think the recriminations were coming from BLM, you’re sadly mistaken. Sixteen of the fifty one member organizations of the Conference of Presidents issued a separate letter on June 12th condemning Klein’s comments, and called for the removal of the ZOA from the Council of Presidents.

Unsurprisingly, not one word about the antisemitic riots just days earlier was mentioned by any of Klein’s sixteen disparaging groups. It’s not surprising because with the exception of the ZOA no other Jewish organization in the United States has the intestinal fortitude to publicly confront and maintain pressure on egregious acts of antisemitism.

This past December, a black man named Grafton Thomas crashed a Hannukah party at the house of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg in Monsey, New York. Brandishing a butcher knife, he immediately began stabbing five people, one of whom, Rabbi Josef Newmann, succumbed to his injuries. Investigators found handwritten journals expressing antisemitic views, including material about Adolf Hitler, "Nazi culture", and drawings of a Star of David and of a swastika among Thomas's possessions.

With so much evidence of it being a hate crime and over a hundred guests at the party recognizing him as the assailant, you would think it was a slam dunk case. Guess again. This past April 20th, a federal judge ruled Grafton was incompetent to stand trial and ordered him to be hospitalized in a mental facility. He certainly was competent enough to research Nazi culture, cross state lines, seek out the Rabbi’s address, and commit murder, but not enough to stand trial. This dastardly event came on the heels of a 30 year old Hassidic kollel student was stabbed multiple times on his way to Synagogue in Ramapo, New York, two months earlier.

There isn’t a person on the planet that hasn’t heard of George Floyd, so why aren’t the names of Rabbi Newmann and that kollel student equally familiar? I think all unbiased, serious minded people know the answer to this question.



Whither the BDS Movement?
The Durban Strategy called for an end to aid and military cooperation with Israel. The United States is providing record amounts of military aid to Israel as part of a 10-year $38 billion Memorandum of Understanding (signed during the Obama years), as well as additional funds for missile defense. Israel has engaged in military training with many countries, including the United States, Greece, France, and member countries of NATO. This past week, the Israeli Air Force conducted its first exercises in Germany. In addition, Israeli companies have signed numerous contracts to provide military equipment to countries around the world — and, rejecting BDS pressure, the UK sold arms to Israel.

The backlash against BDS has reverberated around the world as countries such as France, Spain, Chile, Norway, and Germany condemned BDS and/or adopted anti-BDS laws. Countries have begun to refuse providing aid to Palestinian organizations associated with BDS. In the US, 32 states have adopted laws, executive orders, or resolutions that are designed to discourage boycotts against Israel. The Senate passed a bill with an anti-boycott provision in 2019 and, later that year, the House passed a resolution condemning the boycott. The Trump administration has opposed the boycott, and the Democratic platform said the party does also, consistent with the position of its nominee for president, Joe Biden.

The academic boycott has also been a total flop. Today, hundreds of joint projects are in progress between Israeli and American scholars and researchers. The field of Israel Studies, non-existent prior to 1998, is now flourishing with perhaps the best program at ground zero of the anti-Israel campus movement, UC Berkeley. Students continue to study in Israel and visit on Birthright and other programs (pre-pandemic). Cornell and the Technion opened a high-tech campus in New York. Not a single university has divested from Israel, and BDS proponents have largely given up that campaign as college presidents have universally rejected and denounced their efforts.

Yes, it’s extremely disturbing that several thousand professors support BDS, and that there are almost entire departments (mostly in anthropology, sociology, and Middle East Studies) at some of the major universities now inhabited by antisemites, or faculty supporting the antisemitic BDS movement. These professors would be anti-Israel whether or not the BDS movement existed, with older faculty hostile long before BDS existed. Also consider that while I’ve identified nearly 2,500 faculty BDS supporters, that represents fewer than 1% of the more than 500,000 assistant, associate, and full professors at American universities.

This is just a sample of the ways the Durban Strategy has failed. More can be found by searching #BDSFail.

As other Arab nations finally bow to reality and normalize relations with Israel, it will be increasingly difficult for the BDS movement to justify its existence. Failure and rationality have never been deterrents to Israel haters, however, so the antisemitic BDS campaign will endure until it is replaced by a new, but equally futile effort to delegitimize Israel. By that time, the Palestinians will be isolated and may be forced to accept that no one will save them from themselves.
A Dean of America's intellectual Pro-Israel fighters has died
Edward Alexander, the Jewish scholar and author who passed away last week at age 84, was called “Seattle’s Jeremiah" by his hometown newspaper. An Israeli publication once hailed him as “Jewry’s premier polemicist.” For more than half a century, Alexander fought for Israel and the Jewish people in the trenches of the battlefield of ideas.

Alexander grew up in the heavily-Jewish Brownsville section of Brooklyn. The “most vivid and satisfying memory” of his childhood occurred in May 1948, when he was eleven years old. It involved Brooklyn Dodgers star Jackie Robinson, whom he and his boyhood pals regarded as “the greatest man in the world,” and David Ben-Gurion who was “a close second to Robinson in our esteem.”

“These two heroic figures came together for me almost magically when I heard Robinson address a block party to celebrate Israel’s independence,” Alexander recalled.

“I consider myself lucky,” he wrote, “never to have been disillusioned about what my parents taught me: that both men symbolized the belated righting of ancient historical wrongs, that Robinson was indeed a uniquely courageous figure and that the birth of Israel just a few years after the destruction of European Jewry was one of the greatest affirmations of life ever made by a martyred people…"

After earning his bachelor’s degree in English literature at Columbia, Alexander completed his master’s and Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota. That was where he met his future wife, Leah. She, too, was a scholar of English literature and her senior thesis, on Henry James, was published as a book. Leah passed away in 2017.

The young couple settled in Seattle in 1960, where Alexander became professor of English at the University of Washington and, later, the first chairman of the school’s Jewish Studies program.

Alexander’s academic career began in conventional fashion, teaching a full load of courses and authoring books that were well-regarded in his field although they did not attract the attention of the wider public.

He wrote volumes about such noted 18th-century literary figures as Matthew Arnold and John Stuart Mill as well as more recent giants, including Lionel Trilling and Irving Howe.

But the UN’s 1975 Zionism-is-racism resolution and the rise of the Soviet Jewry protest movement in the 1970s inspired the Alexanders to dive head first into the world of Jewish controversy. In 1976, Edward and Leah traveled to the Soviet Union to assist refuseniks. They were detained by the KGB for 24 hours, and then summarily expelled.
Palestinians not expecting much from American election
Palestinian officials and the Palestinian public in general do not think that either presidential candidate, Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Joe Biden, would fundamentally change the American policy that has favored Israel over the years. They do believe, however, that getting rid of Trump might pave the way for improved relations after years of stalemate.

Nearly all Palestinians think that if Trump wins November’s election, he will continue to support Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the Zionist movement and its plans to expand settlements in order to annex them later, but they predict that if Biden enters the White House, he will work in a diplomatic manner between the Palestinians and the Israelis, which will buy more time for the Palestinian cause.

Nabil Shaath, an adviser on international relations to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, told The Media Line that American strategy for the Middle East, especially in terms of strategic relations with Israel as an ally, will not change regardless of who is in power after the election, Republicans or Democrats.

“They support it [Israel] in so many ways, and also they use it to maintain their control in the region, where the two [US] parties have the same approach in terms of that,” he said.

However, Shaath stressed that Trump was the worse of the two candidates for the Palestinian cause, as his projects and priorities were more dangerous.

“The issue is relative; if Biden wins, the danger posed by Trump’s policy will be mitigated,” he said, “especially given the shared strategy and full alliance between Trump and Netanyahu, two of the worst possible [figures for the Palestinians].”
Republican convention speaker pulled after pushing anti-Semitic tirade
A speaker who had been scheduled to address the second night of the Republican National Convention has been pulled from the lineup on Tuesday after directing her Twitter followers to a series of anti-Semitic, conspiratorial messages.

“We have removed the scheduled video from the convention lineup and it will no longer run this week,” said Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh.

Hours before her scheduled appearance at the convention, Mary Ann Mendoza shared a months-long thread posted by a feed called WarNuse that includes multiple anti-Semitic slanders, including arguing that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious forgery that claims Jews control the world, is not a fabrication.

“Do yourself a favor and read this thread,” she posted.

Virtually every tweet in the thread, posted by an adherent of the QAnon conspiracy theory, reflects anti-Semitic tropes. After The Daily Beast published a story about Mendoza’s tweet, she deleted it and said she had not paid attention to everything in the thread.

Mendoza wrote that she “retweeted a very long thread earlier without reading every post within the thread” and said it “does not reflect my feelings or personal thoughts whatsoever.”

A Republican familiar with the plans who spoke on condition of anonymity cited controversy as the reason for pulling Mendoza. The Republican wasn’t authorized to speak about the matter publicly.

Mendoza had been scheduled to deliver remarks Tuesday night to highlight the president’s fight against illegal immigration. Mendoza’s son was killed in 2014 in a head-on collision by a man who was under the influence and living in the US illegally.
Questions Stir Over BDS, Certain Democratic Primary Candidates in Massachusetts
Ahead of the Sept. 1 Democratic primary for the Massachusetts 4th District, questions are growing over one candidate’s past stances regarding the BDS movement.

Progressive Jesse Mermell, a former Brookline select board member, who has emerged in recent weeks as a frontrunner in the crowded field, has come under fire for her conflicting stances on the anti-Israel BDS movement. The Massachusetts’ 4th district is home to the largest Jewish population in New England, with several Jewish candidates vying for the open Congressional seat. As such, policies affecting the Jewish community, including Israel, have played an important role in the race.

In a questionnaire produced by the Massachusetts Peace Action, a pro-BDS group, Mermell, who is Jewish, answered “yes” to the question on opposing “anti-BDS” legislation, which has been supported by 32 states and is being considered on the federal level. Mermell also said that she would back legislation by Rep. Betty McCollum, who supports the BDS movement, which accuses Israel of human-rights violations of Palestinian children.

In a statement to JNS, a spokesperson from the Mermell campaign said that her answer to the BDS question “was an error due to misunderstanding a very opaquely worded question. It has since been corrected.”

The spokesperson added that Mermell opposes the BDS movement because “it does not support a two-state solution” and strongly opposes “any antisemitic rhetoric” coming from the movement. If elected, she also says she will support House Resolution 246 that opposes the BDS movement.

However, the spokesperson said that Mermell “also firmly believes in individual civil liberties and the First Amendment, which guarantees the right to free speech.”
A non-Jewish Brexit supporter, is the UK’s loudest critic of antisemitism
On his way out of a London BBC studio in 2016, former London mayor Ken Livingstone was confronted by a short, robust man who waved his finger and yelled at him in a thick Yorkshire accent: “You Nazi apologist … [you’re] rewriting history!”

Livingstone had publicly claimed, falsely, that Hitler had supported Zionism in the 1930s. Eventually he was forced out of the Labour Party last year over the controversy.

The scene, which was filmed by two crews and grabbed mainstream media attention, captured the rancor felt by many British Jews toward Livingstone. But the heckler, whose neck veins were bulging with intensity, wasn’t Jewish.

His name is John Mann, then a Labour member of the British House of Lords — the upper house of the British Parliament — and going on shouting tantrums at political rivals was not ordinary behavior for him.

Mann, 60, grew up in Leeds, in the so-called English Rust Belt, where he served as a trade union officer and rose through Labour’s ranks in the 1990s. He’s a remainder of the old, more moderate Labour guard, and speaks plainly and deliberately. He supports Brexit. Many observers call Mann a family man above all else.

He also happens to be arguably the leading British voice against anti-Semitism.
Corbyn and anti-Semitism revisited
Gabriel Pogrund and Patrick Maguire interviewed about a hundred Labour figures when researching their book, Left Out: The Inside Story of Labour Under Corbyn. It is being serialised in the Times and Sunday Times and has set Twitter alight with its stories of: infighting between key players in the Corbyn kitchen cabinet — even Corbyn and McDonnell; Labour anti-Semitism; and revelations of a party riven by factionalism and incapacitated by crisis and indecision.

One quote that stood out was from Andrew Murray, a Unite trade unionist and Corbyn adviser, who resigned in February. Murray told the two journalists that, “He is very empathetic Jeremy, but he’s empathetic with the poor, the disadvantaged, the migrant, the marginalised, the people at the bottom of the heap. Happily, that is not the Jewish community in Britain today. He would have had massive empathy with the Jewish community in Britain in the 1930s… But, of course, the Jewish community today is relatively prosperous.”

Here we go again. For centuries, anti-Semites have been obsessed with Jews and money, banking and usury. And here’s a leading Corbyn adviser saying Corbyn couldn’t empathise with British Jews because they are “relatively prosperous”. Imagine if he said this about the Chinese or Indian communities in Britain.

This is at the heart of Corbyn’s anti-Semitism problem. If you take anything he says about Jews and apply them to any other community in Britain it would sound appalling. And this is exactly what so many people in the British media have failed to do. They have rarely asked themselves how they would react if Corbynistas spoke this way about BAME people.

Even Pogrund, one of the smartest young journalists around, defended Murray on Twitter, saying, “He’s merely contrasting the material condition of Jews today vs 100yrs ago.” No, he’s not. For centuries anti-Semites have associated Jews with money, banking and usury. Think of Shylock, Barabas, the Jew of Malta (his “usury” is said to “fill the gaols with bankrupts in a year”), Dickens’s Fagin and Trollope’s mysterious banker, Augustus Melmotte. Murray is just playing that age-old nasty game. Jews would be OK if it wasn’t for all that money. Think of that mural that Corbyn couldn’t see was problematic. All those rich, big-nosed Jews.
AP Parrots Palestinian Propaganda
Journalism serves an important function in democracy, allowing citizens to understand the world and developments in politics and diplomacy. An Associated Press article published today by Joseph Krauss is underpinned by an important premise: following the United Arab Emirates’ decision to establish diplomatic relations with Israel without linking that peace to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Palestinians feel abandoned and have limited options.

Unfortunately, rather than accurately recording the history and reality of the Palestinian Authority’s dealings with Israel, Krauss neglects to tell the whole story, failing to include some critical facts about the past and present which are necessary to understand the situation in which Israel and the Palestinians find themselves today and where their relationship is heading.

For decades, the Palestinian leadership has pursued a policy of rejectionism and terrorism. With incitement to terror rampant in the Palestinian school system and media, the atmosphere cultivated both internally and externally by the PA has been one which makes their position very clear: nothing but a total Israeli capitulation to all Palestinian demands will suffice.

But that’s not how Krauss reports Abbas’ strategy:
President Mahmoud Abbas remains committed to the same strategy he has pursued for decades — seeking international support to pressure Israel to agree to a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, lands Israel seized in the 1967 Mideast war.

Readers are uniformed of Israel’s numerous offers for peace, not told of Abbas’ repeated rejection of all those offers, and left in the dark regarding Abbas’ total lack of vision as evidenced by his failure to produce a single offer of his own.


Academic Study Warned of ‘Alarming’ Antisemitism Among Muslim Refugees in Austrian City Where Jewish Leader Was Attacked
An academic study of Muslim refugees in the southern Austrian city of Graz conducted three years ago warned that the strongly antisemitic views held by half of them were “alarming.”

The study — by Ednan Aslan, professor of Islamic Religious Education of the University of Vienna — was revisited this week following the attack last Saturday on Elie Rosen, the president of the Jewish community in Graz, by a Syrian Islamist who had been living in Austria since 2013.

Chief Inspector Fritz Grundnig, the police officer heading the investigation into the assailant, described the unnamed man as “filled with hatred of Israel, Jews, gays, lesbians and prostitutes.”

The man was also charged with damaging a Catholic church, an LGBT+ club and a bar in Graz’s red-light district.

Aslan’s survey, conducted in 2017, involved interviews with nearly 300 Muslim refugees who had settled in Graz.

“It was noticeable that more than half had internalized antisemitism as part of their religiosity,” Aslan told the Austrian newspaper Der Standard on Monday. “It was even more suspicious that they were very reluctant to talk about it, and then very cautiously. So one had to take the high [level of] anti-Jewish prejudice all the more seriously.”

The report itself was all the more blunt, stating that the “alarming results of the study regarding antisemitic attitudes are certainly a special challenge for the city of Graz.”

Asked whether Jews had too much influence in the world, 46 percent agreed, with 44 percent also sharing the view that the Jewish religion was “harmful to the world.”

Nearly 55 percent of the refugees interviewed agreed with the statement that Jews “do not care about anyone except themselves.”
Gateshead Jewish housing association’s proposal to build homes on land it owns with private funds meets objections utilising antisemitic tropes
A residential housing proposal by a Jewish housing association in Gateshead has been greeted with objections that have utilised antisemitic tropes.

The Jewish Community Council of Gateshead has applied for planning permission to construct a 26-dwelling estate on the brownfield site of the former Go-Ahead Bus Depot.

The project will be undertaken by Adler Housing and funded by private money with some sponsorship from Homes England.

The houses are specially designed with the size of religious Jewish families in mind, as well as their practices and security needs.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has been made aware of objections to the proposals raised on social media that utilise antisemitic tropes, suggesting that the British Jews for whom the houses are being designed are somehow not really British and that the homes are, as it were, being designated for alien migrants whose rights to housing should be deprioritised in favour of native Britons. There has also been a suggestion that Israel would not tolerate foreigners turning up demanding housing estates be built for them, the implication being that Britain should not tolerate it either.

In reality, the prospective residents are British Jews who have an equal right to housing as their fellow citizens, and the comparisons to Israel are gratuitous. It has also been pointed out by defenders of the proposals that the design of the homes to meet the needs of religious Jews – funded by a mix of private money and a government grant to which others are equally entitled to apply – is no different from housing specially equipped for other protected groups, such as the elderly or the disabled.

It is understood that Gateshead Council is minded to grant the proposal subject to a section 106 agreement, which is common in connection with such proposals.
Uber driver asked to stop the car after passenger found out he was Jewish
A 60-year-old Uber driver was victim of an antisemitic incident in Melbourne on Tuesday after a passenger asked him to stop his car to let him out after he found out the driver was Jewish.

"About 45 seconds into the trip, the man asked me if my name was Naftoli and if I was Jewish. When I answered that I was, he then said that he didn't want a Jew driving him and asked to get out," related the driver, who was wearing a kippa on his Uber app photo.

"I pulled over to the curb, and as he was getting out, he started calling me names such as Jewish scumbag," he continued. "I was quite shaken by this and was concerned that he would assault me."

The Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC), Australia's leading civil rights organization, condemned this shocking antisemitic incident.

ADC chairman Dr. Dvir Abramovich said in a statement that "This horrifying escalation in antisemitism must stop. Harassment, verbal assaults and stomach-churning intimidation against Jews are becoming a feature of our daily life, and I am deeply concerned that such violent words may result in serious injury or death."

He continued, saying that "An explosive outburst such as this one not only traumatizes the victim but deeply scars the entire community and leave them scared and vulnerable. It may be an uncomfortable truth for many, but the surge in horrific attacks against Jews is on a scale that is frightening in its intensity.
Renters Union in UK Apologizes After Telling Rejected Jewish Applicant, ‘No Time for Zionists Sorry’
A renters’ union in the United Kingdom has apologized after it rejected a Jewish man’s membership query through its Instagram account with a message saying, “No time for Zionists sorry,” the Jewish News reported on Tuesday.

The ACORN Union said it was conducting an internal investigation into messages that were sent to the applicant who was trying to join its Manchester branch. He was also told, “We are a pro Palestine organisation.”

The union apologized for the “upset and offense” it caused its Jewish members and the Jewish community, adding about the messages: “In no way do they represent the views of our organization.”

ACORN said it would review its social media operation and all ACORN UK members who had access to the Instagram account had been suspended while the probe was underway.

“It is clear that there has been a lapse in our social media access practices,” The Jewish Chronicle quoted the union as saying.

ACORN is a “community-based union of working-class people” that is “supporting and empowering low-income communities across the country to fight for a better life.” It is supported by the Jewish Volunteering Network.

Stephane Savary, a national vice chair of the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM), drew attention to ACORN’s messages to the Jewish applicant and also noted that the union blocked the man on Instagram. JLM called for an immediate firing of the person responsible for the Instagram messages.
Frankfurt’s new Jewish museum reclaims Anne Frank’s forgotten roots in the city
Although she was born in this city, Anne Frank is mainly associated with Amsterdam, where she hid during the Holocaust and wrote her famous diaries.

Now a new $58 million Jewish museum in the heart of Frankfurt is preparing to showcase the Frank family’s deep attachment to a city they left for the Dutch capital in 1933, when Anne was 4 years old.

The Frank Family Center will be a key element within the core exhibition at the Jewish Museum of Frankfurt, which is scheduled to open to the public on October 21. The center features artifacts belonging to the Frank family that have never been publicly exhibited, including silverware, porcelain and artworks that surviving family members in Basel, Switzerland, kept throughout World War II.

“In a way, they kept the family heritage alive,” Mirjam Wenzel, the museum director, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency at a media event on Tuesday. “They tried to keep alive certain traditions from when they lived here, and owned a huge house and a private bank.”

Wenzel said she was particularly moved by how well cared for the silverware was.

“It’s still very clean,” she said.

The Franks were among thousands of German Jews who fled their native country as the Nazis rose to power. Like the Franks, many were ultimately killed as the Nazis swept through much of Western Europe.

Highlighting the Franks’ connection to Frankfurt certainly makes sense from a marketing perspective. Anne, who was murdered as a teenager along with her mother and sister after the family hiding place was discovered in 1944, is probably the world’s best-known Holocaust victim. Her diary, published in 1947, was edited by her father, Otto, the only member of the immediate family to survive the war. It became a best-seller, translated into dozens of languages and adapted numerous times for films, operas and musicals.

But according to Wenzel, the artifacts in the Frank center tell an important and often overlooked part of the story — not just of Anne Frank, but of German Jewry. To her, the items illustrate all that the Franks lost because of the Holocaust.
World's First Electrified Road for Charging Vehicles


Waiting for Froome, Israel cycling team will use Tour de France to fly flag
For Tour de France newcomers Israel Start-Up Nation, this year’s race is a chance to send a message before Chris Froome arrives next season as part of a plan to turn them into contenders.

Owner Sylvan Adams wants his team to fly the Israeli flag. Their duds are in the national colors of blue and white with “Israel” and a Star of David across the chest.

When the cycling race starts in Nice on Sunday, their patchwork team will include the first Israeli to ride the Tour, Guy Niv.

“I am honored and privileged to represent my country and team in the biggest race in cycling,” the 26-year-old Niv said in a team press release. “And to be the first Israeli to do so? It might sound cliche, but my dream of a lifetime has now been realized.”

In a VeloNews podcast, Adams told former Tour cyclist Bobby Julich that he has two goals for his team.

“The first goal is to develop cycling in Israel,” he said. “The second goal is to introduce the world to the Israel that I know and love.”

Last season, Israel Start-Up Nation was on the second-tier Continental tour, known as Pro-Conti.

They only secured a place on the World Tour when they bought the license of the failing Katusha team for $1 the day before the October 1, 2019, deadline.

Even though they inherited a handful of Katusha riders and signed 38-year-old German sprinter Andre Greipel and 34-year-old Anglo-Irish veteran Dan Martin, Adams is pragmatic.
Team Israel Start-Up Nation Partners With Sonovia to Develop Innovative Sonomasks for Tour De France
Team Israel Start-Up Nation will be using innovative protective masks by Israeli company Sonovia during their participation in this year’s Tour de France bicycle race. The measures are to ensure the safety of each participant during the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

While the famous bicycle race is going ahead, the riders and the public must adhere to measures to ensure the health of all teams and onlookers. The Israel Start-Up Nation team will wear a unique Covid-19 mask known as the SonoMask by Sonovia.

Sonovia develops ultrasonic based, high-performance, and sustainable facemasks to help prevent the transmission of disease. The SonoMask is made from anti-pathogen fabric, a material that has shown it is capable of neutralizing Covid-19. It is reusable, washable, and will bear the team Israel Start-Up Nation logo on it during the event.

“Our team will be wearing special Covid-19-resistant Sonovia SonoMasks, developed by Israeli technology,” explained Sylvan Adams, Israel Start-Up Nation team owner. “This sponsorship is part of the collaboration ISN has with Start-Up Nation Central, which helps bring cutting edge Israeli products to the marketplace. Our lives are enhanced by world-leading Israeli innovation and exhibiting new ‘made in Israel’ technologies is part of ISN’s mission.”

“It only seems appropriate that we use these masks from a start-up company that is associated with our title sponsor. And of course, it is the best available – we expect nothing less,” said Guy Niv, the first Israeli participant in the race’s history.

The team was introduced to Sonovia for the collaboration by Start-Up Nation Central, a non-profit organization that encourages and supports Israel startups. It connects businesses, governments, and NGOs to help boost and promote Israeli innovation.
Tel Aviv synagogues get go-ahead to hold High Holiday services in public spaces
Tel Aviv is trying to make sure that worshipers can attend High Holiday services during the pandemic.

The Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality said it would allow synagogues to extend into public spaces as part of its effort to facilitate public prayer services hampered by restrictions on public gatherings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Its announcement Sunday said the city also would offer logistical assistance, including access to electricity, providing shade, and distributing chairs for worshipers, as well as pre-holiday shofar-blowing courses.

There are 450 synagogues located within the borders of the municipality, with 150 in municipal buildings.

“The right to prayer and religious gatherings is fundamental, and everything will be done in order to permit tens of thousands of worshipers to carry out the holiday commandments – even under the health restrictions,” Mayor Ron Huldai said in a statement.

The government has yet to unveil its framework on health regulations over the holidays, with the coronavirus czar hinting at the possibility of sweeping restrictions to prevent mass gatherings in synagogues over Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Israel has seen over 105,000 virus cases, 83,000 of whom have recovered, since the start of the pandemic, and 847 deaths.



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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون



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

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