Wednesday, September 23, 2020

09/23 Links Pt2: Ex-Nazi Hunter Seeks US Entry Ban on Saeb Erekat Teaching at Harvard Over Alleged Terror Incitement; Ilhan Omar: It’s important to understand how antisemitism is experienced

From Ian:

Ex-Nazi Hunter Seeks US Entry Ban on Top Palestinian Official Teaching at Harvard Over Alleged Terror Incitement
A well-known Palestinian official is facing a potential legal challenge to his current role as an academic at Harvard University.

Saeb Erekat — the veteran chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the secretary-general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) — was appointed as Fisher Family Fellow at the Future of Diplomacy Project housed at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs for the 2020-21 academic year.

But one former American government official is seeking to hinder Erekat’s activities, arguing that he is an apologist for terrorism and therefore legally ineligible to enter the US.

In a letter to US Attorney General William Barr, Neal Sher — a former director of the Office of Special Investigations in the Department of Justice, which pursues Nazi war criminals — asserted that there was “an overwhelming amount of publicly available evidence” demonstrating that Erekat had both incited terrorism and used his public position to endorse it.

“Specifically, Erekat is the architect and most visible advocate and apologist for the so called ‘Martyrs Fund,’ a diabolical policy of the PLO which handsomely pays terrorists and surviving ‘martyrs’ families, including those of suicide bombers who were killed during their acts of terror,” Sher charged.

Erekat used “his position of prominence to endorse terrorist activity in a way that undermines United States efforts to reduce or eliminate terrorist activities,” Sher continued. “Accordingly, he is ineligible to enter the U.S. under Section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.”

The Belfer Center’s website includes Erekat’s appearances on virtual Zoom seminars held for Harvard faculty and students.
Jonathan Spyer: I’m banned from the US for ‘association with a terrorist organization’
My work as a journalist and Middle East analyst has in recent years brought me into the company of members and operatives of various organizations designated as terror groups by a number of countries. These contacts have taken place, however, in the regular course of work as a reporter. In no case were my contacts with these organizations indicative of any sympathy of any kind on my part with their aims and goals. Among the organizations in question are Lebanese Hezbollah, Islamic State, Hamas, Kta’ib Hezbollah, the Badr Organization and a few others.

There is a single exception in my case to this normal and unremarkable pattern in which a journalist or researcher maintains contacts with individuals from organizations of public note for the purpose of information gathering.

The single, partial exception is the Kurdish PKK, or Kurdish Workers Party. Those who are familiar with my writing will be aware that I am a supporter of the Kurdish cause, and regard the struggle of the PKK organization against the Turkish regime to belong to the class of justified insurgencies. This does not mean that I think this organization should be above criticism. Indeed, many of its tactics, especially in the earlier phase of its campaign, deserve I think to be strongly criticized. But I believe the Kurdish national cause to be one of the most unambiguously justified political endeavors currently in existence anywhere in the world. I regard the PKK to be one of a number of organizations in different parts of Kurdistan seeking to advance this cause.

In this regard, it is my view that this organization deserves to be removed from the list of terror organizations maintained by both the US and the European Union, on which it is currently included. My convictions in this regard are strengthened by the nature of the current Turkish regime, which is anti-Semitic and anti-western in its political outlook, and brutal and repressive in its behavior. They are also strengthened by my personal witnessing of the actions of the Kurdish YPG organization in north-east Syria in 2014. On that occasion, the swift response and determined efforts of the YPG against Islamic State forces was instrumental in preventing the genocide of a defenseless population.

None of this, of course, means that I was either engaged in activities on behalf of, or in a serious way ‘associated’ with this organization. It only means that my general sympathies with the Kurdish cause are the only possible explanation I can find for the decision to ban me, apparently permanently and without right of appeal, from the USA. My suspicions are that the decision is the result of the activities at some level of agencies of the Turkish government. The current Turkish regime’s harassment of its critics and of the journalistic profession in general are well documented. Its historic alliance with the US, now largely a matter of form rather than content, presumably affords it an attentive ear among those organs of the American state where such decisions are made.
Ilhan Omar: It’s important to understand how antisemitism is experienced
Many people have gaps in their understanding of what antisemitism is and how it works, according to Rep. Ilhan Omar, who has been accused of fomenting antisemitism.

Omar, D-Minnesota, offered her perspective on the antisemitism experience in an interview published Sunday in The New York Times Magazine.

“In the process of writing a few of the op-eds I’ve written on the rise of antisemitism in comparison to the rise of Islamophobia, it has been interesting to see the ways in which so many people create a lens through which they see it,” she said. “It is important, when you are not of that community, to understand the different ways that bigotry shows up.”

Omar apologized last year for a tweet in which she said “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” referring to the Israel lobby’s influence on lawmakers. Critics from both parties condemned the tweets as echoing antisemitic stereotypes about Jews, money and power.

In July, the first-term congresswoman came under fire for a campaign mailer that named three donors, all Jewish, to her Democratic primary opponent.

She told The Times Magazine that “there are a lot of preconceived notions about what thoughts and ideologies I have that have no basis in reality” based on her religion, skin color or gender.
After Zoom and Facebook Refuse to Host Event, SFSU Seminar Featuring Notorious Palestinian Terrorist Briefly Airs on YouTube Before Being Taken Down Midstream
An online San Francisco State University seminar featuring an infamous Palestinian terrorist was briefly broadcast live on YouTube on Wednesday afternoon, after both Zoom and Facebook refused to host it.

However, about 20 minutes into the event, YouTube cut the feed and removed the video for violating its Terms of Service.

The 76-year-old Leila Khaled — who as a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) took part in the hijacking of a Tel Aviv-bound commercial flight in 1969 — was guest of honor at the event, titled, “Whose Narratives? Gender, Justice and Resistance: A Conversation with Leila Khaled.”

Khaled — who remains affiliated with the PFLP, which is still classified as a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union — had not yet spoken when the broadcast was dropped.

She was invited by the seminar’s organizer, the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas (AMED) program’s Professor Rabab Abdulhadi, who is openly and proudly anti-Zionist.

Abdulhadi has assigned students to make placards and t-shirts glorifying terrorism, murder and violence; and posted messages to AMED’s Facebook page slandering Israel and its supporters.

Zoom’s deputy general counsel, Lynn Haaland, said in a statement, “Zoom is committed to supporting the open exchange of ideas and conversations, subject to certain limitations contained in our Terms of Service, including those related to user compliance with applicable US export control, sanctions, and anti-terrorism laws.”

“In light of the speaker’s reported affiliation or membership in a US-designated foreign terrorist organization, and SFSU’s inability to confirm otherwise, we determined the meeting is in violation of Zoom’s Terms of Service and told SFSU they may not use Zoom for this particular event,” she added.
New Jersey Native Murdered by Hamas Commemorated in Congressional Resolution Slamming Palestinian ‘Martyr Payments’ to Terrorists
A bipartisan US House of Representatives resolution attacking Palestinian Authority “martyr payments” to terrorists and their families was introduced this week in memory of a New Jersey native who was killed in a bloody attack by Hamas terrorists in Jerusalem in 1996.

On Tuesday, Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) announced a bipartisan “Resolution to Stop Rewarding Terrorists.”

The bill condemned the murder of Sara Duker — a resident of Teaneck, New Jersey — in a Hamas suicide bombing attack on a passenger bus on Jerusalem’s Jaffa Road, an atrocity that claimed 26 lives with dozens more wounded on Feb. 25, 1996.

An attack on the same bus route by Hamas the following week left 16 people dead and 10 wounded.

Co-sponsored by Reps. Tom Reed (R-NY) and Max Rose (D-NY), the House resolution reaffirmed support for the 2018 Taylor Force Act, which suspended US payments to the Palestinian Authority until the policy of “martyr payments” was verifiably and publicly ended.

“Nearly twenty-five years since the terrorist attack which killed innocent American citizens, including Sara Duker, from my District, the Palestinian Authority continues to reward terrorist perpetrators with generous ‘martyr payments,'” Gottheimer said in a statement. “This brutal practice is indefensible, and should be condemned by all who care about justice and human rights.”

“There are few clearer examples of bias and double standards than supporting the hostile and antisemitic BDS movement while turning a blind eye to rewarding terrorism,” he added.
Israel Poised to Tighten Lockdown as Daily COVID-19 Tally Soars to 6,923
Israel set another negative record on Wednesday, as the Health Ministry pegged the number of new coronavirus cases diagnosed in the span of 24 hours at 6,782.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Israel had recorded 200,041 confirmed cases, including 1,316 deaths, with 144,041 patients having recovered from the disease.

Coronavirus Project Coordinator Ronni Gamzu said that while the record number of tests performed between Tuesday and Wednesday — 34,400 — partially accounted for the high number of positive results, it was clear that the outbreak was showing no signs of slowing down.

Gamzu explained that the current infection rate nationwide demands that the lockdown imposed last Friday be intensified.

“It’s important to note that we have not been seeing full compliance from the general public — and I’m referring to all sectors, secular and haredi [ultra-Orthodox] alike.”

He further warned that, given the rise in morbidity, which has sparked concerns that the healthcare system may soon be unable to offer patients adequate care, decision-makers must seriously consider tightening the lockdown, despite its impact on the economy.

The so-called “coronavirus cabinet” resumed deliberations on the subject on Wednesday afternoon.
Majority of Israelis do not plan to go to synagogue on Yom Kippur - survey
The majority of Israelis do not plan to go to synagogue on Yom Kippur amid the coronavirus outbreak and national lockdown, marking a rise of 22% compared to last year, according to a survey by the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI).

The percentage of Israelis planning to go only to hear the shofar at the end of the day, only parts of the prayers or who weren't sure dropped this year compared to last year.

While the percentage of Israelis planning to go to synagogue has dropped in all sectors of religious observance, the majority of religiously observant Israelis still plan to attend services, at the very least to hear the shofar.

The survey also found that only about 29% of Israelis believe that demonstrations should be allowed during the national lockdown.

While the majority of Israelis who voted for the Labor-Gesher-Meretz list in the last elections feel that demonstrations should be allowed during the national lockdown, the majority of Israelis who voted for other parties do not agree.

Some 45% of Blue and White voters and 42% of Joint List voters feel that the demonstrations should continue, while only 14% of Likud voters and only 2% of Yamina voters feel the same.
Jews invited to send notes to be placed in Western Wall for Yom Kippur
The Jewish Agency has launched a unique global project that will allow Jews from across the world to send in notes that will be inserted in the Western Wall's ancient stones ahead of Yom Kippur.

The "Ten Days of Repentance," the days that come between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, are considered a time of repentance in Jewish tradition. They provide an opportunity for examining one's decisions and mistakes, and are generally meant to encourage people to improve their ways.

A popular tradition among Jews from Israel and abroad during this time of year is to visit the Western Wall (Kotel) in Jerusalem's Old City and insert notes with personal prayers directed to God between cracks of the wall's large ancient stones.

This year, however, with flights still unavailable to and from many countries, and a current nationwide lockdown in Israel that has restricted the entrance into Jerusalem, Jews are facing a challenging situation that may prevent them from properly performing their religious traditions. Luckily, The Jewish Agency identified the problem and came up with a solution.

Chairman of The Jewish Agency Isaac Herzog, along with Jewish Agency shlichim (emissaries) stationed in communities around the globe, are inviting Jews to send their notes to The Jewish Agency, who will then take them to be inserted in the Western Wall.
OECD: Israel is healthy, happy but highly unequal – and COVID is making it worse
Israel is at the top of OECD countries when it comes to health and subjective well-being, but near the bottom in terms of air quality, education and skills and the quality of housing.

These findings emerged from a 144-page Economic Survey of Israel released on Wednesday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an intergovernmental organization of 36 of the world’s industrialized, high-income, and mostly democratic countries.

The latest survey, updating the last such study released in 2018, found that while Israel’s economy was strong before the coronavirus, it is expected to shrink by 6 percent in 2020 and recovery is likely to be slow.

“The downturn hit at a time when the economy was performing well, with GDP growth close to potential, record-low unemployment, and relatively low public debt. However, the crisis threatens to aggravate Israel’s underlying challenges of high poverty, large income gaps and wide productivity disparity between its vibrant high-tech sector and lagging sheltered sectors.”

In comparison with other OECD countries, Israel scores high when it comes to the health of its citizens (4 out of 36) and their subjective well-being (11 out of 36). Israel scores near the bottom of the OECD when it comes to education and skills (29 out of 36), environmental quality (35 out of 36) and at the very bottom in terms of housing quality and cost.
Turkey: Erdogan's Soft Spot for Hamas
So far, Erdogan's fanaticism has come without any cost to him internationally, or any damage to his domestic political survivability. He has every ideological and pragmatic reason to keep up his love affair with Hamas.

Erdogan seemingly loves to make such gatherings [with Hamas terrorist leaders] public to challenge the parts of the world that designate Hamas as a terrorist entity: the EU, Israel and the United States. There is also a message to his Turkish audience: I challenge the world powers, including America, and I remain untouchable.

"In overlooking these designations and thousands of its victims, who were injured and murdered by Hamas terrorists, Turkey is actively supporting it both financially and logistically." — Spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, Fox News, August 28, 2020.

In reality, it is equally possible that these developments might actually spur a two-state solution, by notifying the Palestinians that, as the Arab saying goes, "The dogs bark but the caravan moves on."
Turkey’s relationship with ISIS proves it's deserting its European allies
With Turkey’s increasingly divisive and destabilizing influence in the Middle East, the region’s biggest concern for the West yet could be President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s burgeoning Islamist tendencies. In order to understand the Turkish role in the threat of ISIS, borne from the Muslim Brotherhood, it is necessary to rewind six years.

2014 marked the year when ISIS became a very real threat to the Middle East; within one year it had managed to take over a third of Iraq and half of Syria, employing 200,000 fighters in its control. ISIS quickly became successful in producing oil and selling it as an important source of income, not to mention that it was able to ensure a constant supply of weapons, ammunition, vehicles and advanced communication devices.

The question is, how was it possible for ISIS to become a functioning state so quickly? With its increasing connections to Turkey over the years, whether through its oil industry or housing wanted members of the Muslim Brotherhood, this “neighborly” relationship is one that is repeatedly examined for consequences and decisions that Turkey is instrumental in today.

Since 2002, Turkey has been ruled by Erdogan, a vocal supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood. As a movement that seeks to establish a worldwide Islamic caliphate that applies Islamic Sharia law, instead of man-made laws, the Muslim Brotherhood has been linked to many fundamental Islamist organizations, coinciding with the fact that Erdogan has neglected to launch counterterror operations to disrupt ISIS’s networks or recruitment activities, since its inception. Its presence has been most felt in the following areas:

In UN Debut, Saudi King Calls for Comprehensive Solution on Iran
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz on Wednesday called for a comprehensive solution on Iran and disarming its affiliate Hezbollah in Lebanon, and expressed support for US efforts to start talks between Israel and the Palestinians during his first address to the United Nations General Assembly.

He said Iran has exploited a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers “to intensify its expansionist activities, create its terrorist networks, and use terrorism,” adding that this had produced nothing but “chaos, extremism, and sectarianism.”

“A comprehensive solution and a firm international position are required,” he told the 193-member General Assembly in a video statement, prerecorded due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The United States quit the Iran nuclear pact in 2018 with President Donald Trump dubbing it the “worst deal ever.” Washington has since imposed unilateral sanctions and asserts that all countries also have to reinstate UN sanctions in an attempt to push the Islamic Republic to negotiate a new deal.

But all the remaining parties to the nuclear deal, including longtime US allies, and 13 of the 15 UN Security Council members say the US claim on UN sanctions is void and diplomats say few countries are likely to reimpose the measures.

“Our experience with the Iranian regime has taught us that partial solutions and appeasement did not stop its threats to international peace and security,” King Salman said.

Labour Shadow Minister Lyn Brown reportedly endorses JVL member who said antisemitism is a “smear” promoted by “Israeli diplomatic service” for Party’s ruling NEC
A Shadow Minister has reportedly endorsed a candidate for the Labour Party’s ruling National Executive Committee who said that antisemitism is a “smear” promoted by the “Israeli diplomatic service”.

Lyn Brown, the MP for West Ham and Shadow Minister for Prisons and Probation, backed Roger Silverman in an email to local members.

Mr Silverman, who is a member of Jewish Voice for Labour, the antisemitism-denial group and sham Jewish representative organisation, has reportedly written: “The charge that the Labour Party and specifically Jeremy Corbyn are soft on antisemitism is outrageous. It is the latest and most bizarre of a series of monstrous smears by the right-wing establishment…I wouldn’t blame the Israeli diplomatic service for promoting such accusations; it is their job to use every means at their disposal to avoid the election of a British government sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. In this case the smear campaign has been taken up by the British establishment.”

He also wrote in 2016: “Zionism today is one of the most virulent manifestations of racism.”

Nevertheless, Ms Brown said in her email that Mr Silverman’s candidacy “encapsulate[s] the truth” and that she was “hopeful” that he would be nominated.

According to the JC, Mr Silverman was suspended by Labour in 2016 over his alleged involvement with Militant and online comments about the direction of the Party, but was reinstated by Jeremy Corbyn. He apparently become involved in Jewish Voice for Labour and also backed the disgraced then-MP Chris Williamson.

A spokesperson for Ms Brown, told the JC: “Lyn was not aware of any complaints about Roger Silverman and wrote the email in an inclusive way to support members of her local party. She would never support anyone who holds antisemitic views.”
Ahead of BDS Vote on Campus, Columbia Student Paper Apologizes for Running ‘Deeply Inappropriate’ Pro-Israel Ad
The editors of the Columbia Daily Spectator — the student newspaper at the New York Ivy League school — apologized on Sunday for running what they called a “deeply inappropriate” pro-Israel advertisement.

The ad — created by the Columbia chapter of the Students Supporting Israel (SSI) group — urged students to “vote no” in an upcoming BDS referendum at the university’s undergraduate college.

In a message addressed to Spectator readers, the paper’s Editor-in-Chief Karen Xia, Managing Editor Shubham Saharan and Publisher Isabel Jauregui said, “The message, which referenced the Columbia University Apartheid Divest referendum, was clearly inappropriate and did not meet our standards for distribution. We deeply apologize for giving this advertisement space on our platform and are immediately reviewing our internal processes to ensure that publication of such material will never happen again. Neither The Columbia Spectator nor Spectator Publishing Company endorses Students Supporting Israel and Columbia or its products, services or views.”

The SSI ad was published ahead of a vote this week on a BDS referendum which seeks to “divest [Columbia’s] stocks, funds and endowment from companies that profit from or engage in the State of Israel’s acts towards Palestinians.”

The initiative is the fourth attempt by anti-Israel students at Columbia to impose an institutional boycott on the Jewish state. Three prior bids failed.

The latest effort is being led the Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD) movement.

NBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin Clarifies Tweet on Interfaith Civil Marriages in Israel
n response to CAMERA’s communication with NBC officials, Ayman Mohyeldin, anchor of “MSNBC Live with Ayman Mohyeldin,” has clarified his misleading Sept. 19 tweet, which had stated: “Ruth Bader Ginsburg didn’t just talk about justice and equality. She personified these principles. In 1999 Justice Ginsburg married Hassan Jabareen & Rina Rosenberg in her Supreme Court chamber. The couple couldnt marry in Israel because interfaith civil marriage is not allowed.”

But, contrary to Mohyeldin’s erroneous suggestion, it’s not specifically interfaith civil marriage that is prohibited in Israel. In fact, no civil marriage, even for couples of the same faith, is permitted in Israel. As the US Embassy in Israel advises American citizens: “Israeli law does not permit civil marriages. According to Israeli law, only religious leaders may perform marriage ceremonies . . . “

Likewise, the New Family NGO explains: “In the absence of separation of religion and state, civil marriages are not conducted in Israel.” Mohyeldin’s tweet prompted many on Twitter to point out the fact the prohibition of civil marriage in Israel extends across the board, and does not uniquely apply to interfaith unions, contrary to the journalist’s suggestion.

‘Why This Hatred of The Jew?’ Father of Murdered Kosher Market Victim’s Agonized Question at French Terror Trial
The father of one of the four victims murdered by an Islamist gunman at a kosher supermarket in Paris in January 2015 broke down during court testimony on Tuesday as he recalled the virulent antisemitism behind the atrocity.

“Why this gratuitous wickedness, why this hatred of the Jew?” shouted a grief-stricken Eric Cohen — father of Yohan Cohen, a worker killed at the Hyper Cacher market in eastern Paris on Jan. 9, 2015 — before the Paris courtroom where 14 suspects in the three days of terrorist attacks that gripped the French capital are currently on trial.

Cohen’s pained outburst was one of several displays of raw emotion during Tuesday’s proceedings, as witnesses and relatives of the four Hyper Cacher victims — Michel Saada, Yoav Hattab, Philippe Braham and Yohan Cohen — spoke before the court.

At one point, Cohen recalled that at 4 p.m. on the day of the attack, while frantically worried for Yohan, he was given the incorrect news that there had been no fatalities during the siege at the market.

“I told myself that I would see my son again, that was huge,” he said. Tragically, he continued, “half an hour later, we were told there had been four deaths…it was a punishment twice over.”

Cohen, who now lives in Israel, said that the passage of more than five years since the attacks had not eased the pain of losing a 20-year-old son. As the details of the siege were laid out before the courtroom, Cohen and other relatives heard of how Yohan — who was shot immediately by the terrorist Amedy Coulibaly — took more than three hours to die from his wounds. Coulibaly at one point asked the other hostages whether they wanted him to “finish off” Cohen, in order to silence his moans.

The trial also learned of the heroism of Yoav Hattab — a shopper at the market who tried to snatch one of the automatic rifles being carried by Coulibaly and was shot dead by the terrorist as he did so.

“The hostages were released, but not my son Yoav — he tried to kill Amedy Coulibaly,” Benyamin Hattab told the court. “I am proud of my son, there is a commandment to save human beings.”
Finland's highest court upholds ban on neo-Nazi group NMR
Finland's Supreme Court on Tuesday approved the dissolution of a neo-Nazi organization whose activities it said constitute an "abuse" of the country's of rights of freedom of expression and assembly.

The ruling relates to a 2017 petition from Finnish Police to disband the Nordic Resistance Movement (known in Finland as NMR), which is active in most Scandinavian countries.

The police petition argued that the organization's activities violated "the law and good practice," by, among other things, spreading "hateful rhetoric about immigrants, sexual minorities and Jews."

NMR, which designates itself as a "revolutionary national socialist" organization, disputed the police petition and argued that its activity was protected under freedom of speech and assembly rights, Finnish broadcaster YLE reported.

The Supreme Court, however, sided with police and said the organization should be banned since its activities by definition were a "misuse of these rights."
Three anti-Semitic attacks reported in Canada’s Ontario during Rosh Hashanah
Three incidents described by a Jewish defense agency as anti-Semitic took place in the Canadian province of Ontario over Rosh Hashanah.

On Friday evening, a man verbally attacked a Jewish father and his son outside a synagogue in Thornhill, a community north of Toronto with Canada’s largest concentration of Jewish residents.

The man yelled, “You’re a piece of shit, you’re Jewish, you run the f***in’ world,” before approaching the victim’s car and attempting to stick his hand inside, B’nai Brith Canada reported.

On Sunday, two garage doors on private homes in Thornhill were spray-painted with graffiti reading “Jews Run the World” and “Jews Hate Blacks.” A nearby vehicle also was vandalized.

In Ottawa, a man spat at worshipers at an outdoor service and called them “dirty f***ing Jews” as he drove by on Saturday.

“These appalling incidents have struck a chord with the Jewish community at what is already a challenging time for many,” Michael Mostyn, chief executive officer of B’nai Brith Canada, said in a statement.
Two teenagers suspected of graffitiing swastikas in Borehamwood arrested
Two teenagers who are suspected of arson and graffitiing swastikas in Borehamwood have been arrested.

The graffiti was found on Monday evening, the day after Rosh Hashanah, in several locations, including The Campions, Retford Close and Sawtry Way, and was reported by a local councillor, Jeremy Newmark.

Hertfordshire Constabulary reportedly said: “Police were called at around 8pm on Monday 21 September to report that two men were acting suspiciously near a van in Stapleton Road, Borehamwood. Officers attended and discovered the van had been broken into and a small fire had been started nearby. Graffiti was also discovered on a number of garages and vehicles in the area. A 18-year-old man from Borehamwood was arrested on suspicion of arson, criminal damage to a vehicle, racially aggravated criminal damage, going equipped, interference with a motor vehicle and burglary (non-dwelling). A 16-year-old boy from Borehamwood was arrested on suspicion of arson, interference with a motor vehicle, criminal damage, burglary (non-dwelling) and racially aggravated criminal damage.”

The graffiti has been cleaned.
Suspended nurse who led anti-mask protests defends her use of “Auschwitz” and “Nazi” comparisons
A suspended nurse who has led protests against mask-wearing and lockdown restrictions has defended her use of comparisons to Auschwitz and Nazis.

Kate Shemirani has reportedly described the NHS as the “new Auschwitz” and claims that the Government’s policies to control the pandemic are reminiscent of “Nazis”.

In a recent protest in London, however, she defended the comparisons, saying: “When I likened this to Auschwitz and the cattle trucks – you tell me the difference? Because the only time in history I could find where the doctors and nurses were able to end people’s lives was the nurses of the Third Reich. The nurses of the Third Reich are here today. I don’t care if they find it offensive. I find it offensive that our elderly have been murdered in care homes. Stop being a special snowflake and saying you’re offended. They are killing our elderly, our most vulnerable.”

According to the JC, Ms Shemirani has also made frequent reference to the Jewish financier, philanthropist and political activist, George Soros.

She has been suspended as a registered nurse for eighteen months pending an investigation into her past alleged comments on COVID-19 and 5G conspiracy theories.
Friend of Anne Frank lays first stone at new Dutch Holocaust memorial
A friend of World War II Jewish diarist Anne Frank laid the first stone Wednesday at a new memorial under construction in Amsterdam to honor all Dutch victims of the Holocaust.

The ceremonial laying of the first stone, on which the name of a Dutch Holocaust victim was engraved, is the latest step in construction of the Dutch memorial, which will feature the names of more than 102,000 Jews, Roma and Sinti who were murdered in Nazi concentration camps during World War II or who died on their way to the camps.

“I almost can’t believe it, but it is now really happening,” Jacques Grishaver, chairman of the Netherlands Auschwitz Committee, said in a statement. “The first of the more than 102,000 stones has been laid.”

The last of the stones, each of which is engraved with a name, is expected to be placed in the memorial in March.

A Dutch court cleared the way last year for the memorial to be constructed. Amsterdam Municipality had granted permission for construction to start in 2017, but residents argued that it was too big for the location and could cause traffic problems.

Jacqueline van Maarsen, who knew Anne Frank before the diarist and her family were captured and sent to Nazi concentration camps, laid a stone engraved by laser with the name, date of birth and age of Dina Frankenhuis, who was murdered, aged 20, on June 4, 1943, at the Sobibor camp.
Israeli Company’s Speech-Enabled Technology Will Make Touchscreens Touch-Proof
Israel-based has started deploying a voice solution that can transform any digital kiosk into a touch-free device. The solution was specifically designed to help prevent touching public or commercial devices that could spread the coronavirus (Covid-19).

The technology takes into consideration public spaces and has been optimized for noisy conditions, helping businesses implement it into their existing interactive systems. shows numbers on a screen that correlate to options, allowing people to make selections without touching public interfaces and risking their physical health.

“Our system will help bring customers back to restaurants, points of sale, airports, medical centers, theme parks, and other public spaces,” said Roy Baharav, co-creator and CEO of in a statement. “We solved the problems of voice experience in commercial environments with an AI-driven interface that really works.” has started trials in the US and some European countries and supports English, Japanese, and Hebrew. According to the company, the solution can be modified to work in any language and supports all web-based apps, and is software compatible with iOS and Android. It operates without identifying the user’s face or voice and does not store personal data.
Amazon to Go on a Recruiting Spree in Israel, Exposes Scope of Local Workforce
Amazon, for the first time on Wednesday, revealed the scope of its workforce in Israel. According to a statement issued by the tech giant, it plans to recruit 150 new employees in the near future, which will bring its total number of Israeli employees to 1,300. The new recruits, the company said, are not linked to or meant to serve the company’s retail activities in Israel.

The new positions are meant to fill roles in Amazon’s research centers and offices in Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Herzliya, including jobs such as client managers, business development managers, chip development engineers, software engineers, hardware engineers, embedding services engineers and consultants, research scientists, solution architects, validation architects and more.

“We are excited to be creating 150 new jobs, in addition to our robust workforce, which will enable us to tap into the amazing technology talent pool here in Israel,” Harel Ifhar, General Manager of Amazon Web Services Israel said. “Our teams have a central role in our ability to keep on innovating for our clients. Our expanding workforce is a testimony to our deep and ongoing commitment to the economic development of Israel, to the exceptional talent that is here and our ongoing focus on supporting our clients both during and after the pandemic.”

Amazon first opened its offices in Israel in 2014 and since then has been significantly expanding its activities both in the number and size of local teams and in the range of positions it seeks to fill. The Israeli team currently supports several of Amazon’s activities including Sizmek, Cloud Endure, Lab 126, Prime Air, Alexa Shopping, Annapurna Labs, AWS, and E8.

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