Wednesday, November 25, 2020

From Ian:

Ruthie Blum: Can anti-Semites combat anti-Semitism?
If George Orwell is spinning in his grave these days, he's likely rolling so hard with laughter that it's bringing him and the rest of us to tears. An upcoming webinar on Jew-hatred is but one of many recent examples of phenomena that even the prescient social critic, whose essays and novels predicted with chilling accuracy the world that has unfolded since World War II, couldn't have anticipated.

The Dec. 15 event – called "Dismantling Antisemitism, Winning Justice" – is being hosted by the left-wing, anti-Israel NGO Jewish Voice for Peace, and moderated by JVP and JVP Action deputy director Rabbi Alissa Wise.

Its equally radical co-sponsors are JVP Action, If Not Now, United Against Hate, Jewish Currents, Foundation for Middle East Peace, Arab American Institute, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, the Jewish Vote, and the People's Collective for Justice and Liberation.

According to JVP, anti-Semitism "is used to manufacture division and fear, [and] while anyone can fuel it, [it] always benefits the politicians who rely on division and fear for their power."

The group didn't have to specify which "politicians" it has in mind, but it's obvious that they are in the camp of US President Donald Trump. The stated aim of the online happening is to "explore how to fight back against anti-Semitism and against those that seek to wield charges of antisemitism to undermine progressive movements for justice."

Again, the reference is clear: Trump's team and voters are simultaneously guilty of anti-Semitism and of hurling false allegations of anti-Semitism at innocent progressives, whose only wrongdoing is to seek peace and justice.

To engage in this "discussion," whose purpose is to reach a foregone conclusion – namely, that anti-Semitism is spread by the Republican right – the sponsors of the conference enlisted four apt anti-Israel panelists: Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), columnist Peter Beinart, Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill and the University of Illinois at Chicago academic Barbara Ransby.
When Anti-Zionism becomes Anti-Semitism
Context provides one clue. Political attitudes and statements do not take place in a vacuum. And over the past few years there is no doubt that there has been a palpable rise in overtly threatening anti-Semitic sentiment, a rise that by no means has been limited to college campuses. This sentiment has also, alarmingly, metamorphosed into action.

This is the context, a fraught atmosphere, in which anti-Semitism is becoming increasingly acceptable and, for some, easily translated into virulent anti-Israel attitudes. Israel becomes the easily available vessel into which long-repressed, traditional, anti-Jewish attitudes can be poured.

This applies to the question of double standards. Some consistently portray Israel in demonic, evil terms ignoring its democratic parliamentary system and the increasing integration of its Arab citizens into the life of the country. It is a lie to accuse Israel of engaging in apartheid, racism and ethnic cleansing. It is this special venom, this single-minded animus, this double-standard that masks an anti-Zionism that is no less than an anti-Semitism repackaged.

The best way to address anti-Semitism is to understand it. In order to understand it one needs to be able to define it. Adoption of the complete International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition and examples of anti-Semitism is a critical first step to stopping Jew hatred in its tracks. If the United Nations, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates can do it, so too should any American institution be able to.

All this is taking place in a self-righteous, moralistically indignant “cancel culture’” intent on demonizing and delegitimizing the other. Thankfully, the First Amendment permits free speech, which also permits hateful speech, whether racist or anti-Semitic. The answer to hate speech is more speech, not silencing other viewpoints or excluding individuals because of their race, ethnicity or religion.

Universities properly condemn all forms of injustice and they need to begin to condemn anti-Semitism, especially when it denies the right of self-determination, a right of all peoples. No student should feel that there is a conflict between standing up for social and racial justice and compromising their identity; no Jewish student should feel that they should conceal their identity because they feel a connection to the State of Israel (or out of fear abandon that connection).

Both faith and their historical experience have rendered Jews particularly sensitive to discrimination of all kinds. Either when it is explicit or when it is in the form of dog whistles, these exclusionary measures are unacceptable. As Lauren Nesher, a senior at UIUC said: “The answer to anti-Semitic speech is never to do nothing. Just like the answer to racist speech is never to do nothing.”

FACT CHECK: Rashida Tlaib and Marc Lamont Hill Are Not ‘Fighters Against Anti-Semitism’
Tlaib, who described herself and her fellow panel guests as "some of the biggest fighters against antisemitism," is one of the more prominent anti-Semites to serve in the U.S. Congress. For example, she recently attacked Joe Biden's campaign for seeking to distance itself from Linda Sarsour, a prominent anti-Semitic activist who was ousted from the Women's March for being anti-Semitic.

It won't be the first time Tlaib has appeared on a controversial panel. In 2019, she was the keynote speaker at a conference hosted by American Muslims for Palestine, an organization denounced by the Anti-Defamation League for providing "a platform for anti-Semitism." She has accused U.S. politicians of dual loyalty for supporting Israel and once wrote an op-ed for a publication founded by Louis Farrakhan, who led chants of "Death to Israel" during a 2018 speech in Tehran.

Additionally, the congresswoman defended her fellow panelist, Marc Lamont Hill, after he was fired by CNN in 2018. Hill lost his job as a CNN contributor after he appeared to endorse violence against Jews during a speech at the United Nations. He has refused to denounce Farrakhan, referring to the anti-Semitic leader as "my brother," and has accused Israel of poisoning the drinking water in Palestine. Last week, Hill declared that "standing up against antisemitism is critical and necessary."

FACT CHECK: Tlaib's claim that she and Hill are "some of the biggest fighters against antisemitism" is both misleading and lacking in context. It is, by almost every reasonable measure, entirely false. We rate this claim Four Clintons.

Biden Eyes Israel Critic as White House Press Sec
Incoming president Joe Biden is reportedly close to selecting a vocal Israel critic to serve as his White House press secretary.

Karine Jean-Pierre, a longtime campaign adviser and incoming vice president Kamala Harris's chief of staff, is currently the "top candidate" for the job, according to NBC News. Jean-Pierre was senior adviser and national spokeswoman for, a far-left anti-Israel group that defends boycotts of the Jewish state, from April 2016 until August 2020, when she was hired as chief of staff for Harris.

Jean-Pierre has been a vocal critic of Israel, accusing the Jewish state of committing "war crimes" and, during the Democratic primary, celebrating Democrats who boycotted the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual conference in Washington, D.C. She praised those lawmakers for "boldly choosing to prioritize diplomacy and human rights over the power of a lobbying organization."

Team Biden's focus on Jean-Pierre is likely to rankle the pro-Israel community, which enjoyed strong support from the White House during President Donald Trump's tenure in office. As Biden makes early staff decisions, the selection of a prominent Israel critic could signal his administration is willing to make overtures to Israel's detractors.

MoveOn, the progressive group for which Jean-Pierre served in senior roles, launched a campaign during the Democratic primary calling on Democrats to boycott the AIPAC conference and the organization itself. "[Democratic] candidates should be prepared for push back regarding their involvement with AIPAC," a MoveOn spokeswoman told Politico at the time. The group's first candidate endorsements in the 2020 cycle were of the two leading anti-Israel members of Congress, Reps. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.).
169 Jewish Clergies Defend Senate Candidate Warnock Who Accused Israel of Apartheid, Said Jesus Was Palestinian
The Jewish Democratic Council of America this week circulated a letter asking “Rabbis, Cantors, and other Jewish faith leaders” to “reject attempts to divide the Black and Jewish communities” by “spreading falsehoods about candidate for US Senate, Rev. Raphael Warnock.”

A group of 169 men and women responded, a move the JDCA hailed as “Rabbis Reject Attempts at Dividing Communities Around the Georgia Runoff Election.” I scrutinized the list to discover even one Orthodox rabbi, cantor, or other faith leader (I have no idea what that last thing means), but found none. Hence the headline about “Jewish clergies” rather than Rabbis.

Let’s unpack.

First, the fate of the entire Biden administration depends on the results of two Senate elections, both of them taking place on January 5, 2021, both of them in Georgia. The current balance of power in the senate is 48 Democrats versus 52 Republicans. It means that for the next two years, and possibly four, the Biden administration will not be able to generate any major legislation without bipartisan support – very much the way things stood during President Barack Obama’s last term in office.

However, should the Democrats be able to flip those two Georgia Senate seats, there will be 50 Democrats versus 50 Republicans, in which case Vice President Kamala Harris will add her vote, as President pro tempore of the United States Senate, to the Democrats in every singe legislation, appointment, and Jay-walking ticket.

One of the two Democratic candidates, the one who led the field on Nov. 3 but didn’t reach 50% – the minimum required by Georgia law – is Raphael Gamaliel Warnock, who has been serving as the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta since 2005.

A video from 2018 shows Warnock delivering a hate-filled rant against Israel and the Trump administration on the occasion of moving the American embassy to Jerusalem. He repeated the lie about Israel taking away water from the PA Arabs, and accused the Jewish State of shooting “unarmed Palestinian sisters and brothers like birds of prey. And I don’t care who does it, it is wrong. It is wrong to shoot down God’s children like they don’t matter at all. And it’s no more anti-Semitic for me to say that than it is anti-white for me to say that black lives matter. Palestinian lives matter.”

CAMERA UK addresses Knesset committee on issue of antisemitism
Yesterday, CAMERA UK co-editor Adam Levick was one of 30 top pro-Israel advocates who participated in a special Knesset panel, chaired by MK Michal Cotler-Wunsh, to address strategies on combating antisemitism.

Here’s are his brief remarks.

Here’s some background on the IHRA Working Definition:

In 2004, the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) conducted a study of antisemitism in Europe and produced a “working definition of antisemitism” intended as a guideline for identifying the growing number of antisemitic incidents there, and for legislation against antisemitism.” The EUMC defined antisemitism as follows:

“A certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews… Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.”

The examples given included both classic antisemitism and antisemitism that targeted the state of Israel “conceived as a Jewish collectivity.”

Conspiracy-Mongering Professor at Michigan University Placed on Leave After Antisemitic Tweets
A professor of physical science at a Michigan university has been placed on administrative leave after he unleashed a series of tweets that invoked antisemitic, racist and homophobic tropes as he asserted that the coronavirus pandemic was a “stunt” to create a “new world order.”

The tweets by Thomas Brennan, a professor at Ferris State University (FSU), included references to a “Jewish mafia,” a claim that “Covid19 is another jewish revolution,” and a defense of his use of the “n-word” as a means to “neutralize its power.”

FSU President David Eisler announced on Monday that Brennan had been placed on administrative leave following his remarks, and said the university condemned the professor’s offensive statements, local news outlet MLive reported.

“Our University was founded on the concept that education is for all of the people all of the time, that all people are welcome here,” Eisler said.

“We strongly reject these statements, condemn them and will not tolerate them,” he added. “We have worked diligently to become a more diverse university, and these statements demonstrate vividly how one person can set back the work of many.”

In a separate statement in which he robustly defended himself, Brennan denied being an antisemite.
Federal investigation officially opened following complaint of antisemitism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced on 17th November that it has officially launched a formal investigation into a complaint of antisemitic harassment, spanning over five years, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).

The federal investigation will examine the complaint, submitted on behalf of UIUC’s Jewish student body, into allegations of numerous antisemitic and anti-Zionist incidents at the University. Several instances include offensive graffiti, particularly swastikas, discovered across campus, the vandalism of religious items and frequent harassment and abuse by members of the student activist group, Supports for Justice in Palestine.

The recent complaint also outlined how administrators and UIUC leaders have continually allowed a hostile environment to develop, with University employees, on occasion, being complicit in the facilitation of a hateful atmosphere on campus in what was alleged to be a direct violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. The complaint maintains that all Jewish college students deserve the right to learn and live peacefully and freely in a safe, welcoming academic setting.

Various other higher education institutions agreed to implement steps to combat rising antisemitism and discrimination threatening the wellbeing and experiences of Jewish students.

PreOccupiedTerritory: If I Follow Progressive Leaders’ Guidance In Staying Away From Family For Thanksgiving, I Can’t Berate Relatives For Supporting Israel By Rabbi Alissa Wise, Deputy Director, Jewish Voice for Peace (satire)
Tikkun Olam isn’t meant to be easy. Difficult choices await us at every turn. The latest: follow the dictates of vaunted progressive figures such as Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York and refrain from holding or attending large Thanksgiving dinners with loved ones, or risk COVID exposure by participating in just such an event for purposes of accusing Zionist family members of complicity in genocide? The decision weighs heavily on the progressive mind.

On one hand, nothing animates the progressive mind more than justice for Palestinians. On the other hand, progressives only care about Palestinians when their suffering can be cast as Israeli malice, or more accurately Jewish malice that everyone agrees to euphemize as “Israel.” The latter point demonstrates it isn’t really about Palestinians per se, but whatever agenda we can coopt to further the goals of the progressive movement: ideally, equality and empowerment, but in practice, power over every little details of everyone else’s life. Restricting family get-togethers is just too juicy a progressive morsel to let go, even for the sake of Palestine, at least for some.

But oh, the opportunity to drive a wedge between Jews over Israel! How scarce those opportunities have become during COVID. As so many of us disregarded distancing and other restrictions to throng in protest for Black Lives Matter or in triumph at Trump’s electoral defeat, can we not similarly bend those sensibilities for the noble purpose of putting the vast majority of our Jewish relatives on the defensive over the alleged actions of other, totally different Jews thousands of miles away? The latter in fact dovetails with progressive trends of the twenty-first century, assigning people value and responsibility by virtue of their membership in a progressive-imposed identity group.
BBC WS radio portrayal of US Secretary of State visit to Israel
That four and a half-minute long interview clearly contributed little to audience understanding of the ostensible subject matter but certainly did promote Palestinian messaging concerning Pompeo’s visit to Psagot Winery.

In the days prior to that visit Tamam Quran and additional residents of Al Bireh appeared in various media outlets to promote claims concerning land ownership.

Both AP and Al Jazeera featured two women apparently from Quran’s extended family:

“Kainat and Karema Quraan, two sisters from Al-Bireh, say they have documents showing they own a plot of land on which some of the vineyards and a winery building were established.

“Imagine that your own land, your property, that you lived off of and your ancestors lived off of, is taken like this by strangers, by force, and you can’t touch it,” Kainat said.”

The New York Daily Post ran an article (which had to be amended due to false claims about supposed Israeli actions) by a lawyer with offices in the US and Ramallah with family roots in Al Bireh which included claims of ownership of the land on which Psagot is located while concurrently stating that the same land had been sold.

“The land was purchased in 1964 by the Jerusalem municipality with plans to develop it into a tourist attraction, but they were thwarted when the Israeli army occupied the West Bank in the 1967 war.”

As for Tamam Quran herself, she gave an interview to the Radio France Internationale correspondent in Al Bireh and was the featured face in a video made by an organisation called ‘The Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy’ (which is reportedly “affiliated with the PLO”) promoting a petition “to ban Psagot wine and all settlement products from the U.S.”

Clearly ‘Newshour’ producers did not randomly stumble across the “young Palestinian woman” who was given a four-and-a-half-minute platform from which to promote political messaging that supports the BBC’s chosen narrative on this story and which was recycled in part in the evening edition of the same programme (from 00:10 here).

The lack of transparency and failure to adhere to editorial guidelines concerning “contributors’ affiliations” however means that BBC audiences around the world remain unaware that what they heard was not in fact a news item but part of an organised political campaign with which the BBC chose to cooperate.
BBC Radio 4 coverage of US Secretary of State visit – part one
Knell’s answer was based on what unidentified “people say”:

Knell: “He’s not expected to move the US embassy back from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv but what people say is that he will return in general to a more traditional US approach. He will put Jerusalem back on the negotiating table. He will look to re-establish ties with the Palestinians that have been cut off under the Trump administration. That could mean reopening a consulate for Palestinians in the east of Jerusalem, reopening a Palestinian representative office in Washington; things like that.”

Knell then unquestioningly amplified debatable claims made by the political NGO ‘Peace Now’ concerning construction plans in Givat HaMatos which had appeared days earlier in a written BBC report on the topic.

Knell: “He’s expected to return to a more traditional position on settlements, which is why…eh…anti-settlement Israeli campaign groups are accusing the Netanyahu government at the moment of trying to rush through controversial settlement plans while they have a more favourable US administration in place. I should say as well that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not something that people here acknowledge will be a top priority for a President Biden because he’s just gonna have such a full domestic in-tray when he reaches the White House and internationally what he’s gonna be looking at much more is other problems in Iran, in Russia and China.”

The framing of this story and the political narrative promoted by Yolande Knell in this report are blatantly obvious. Radio 4 listeners may however be asking themselves why they need to pay the obligatory licence fee in order to hear little more than rehashed versions of messaging from the political NGO ‘Peace Now‘ which they could just as well access online for free.

That three-minute item however was not the end of the ‘Today’ programme’s coverage of the US Secretary of State’s visit. Later on listeners heard nearly six more minutes on the topic from the BBC’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen which will be discussed in part two of this post.
BBC Radio 4 coverage of US Secretary of State visit – part two
Bowen did not provide listeners with any information concerning recent trade and business agreements and investments involving Israeli and Gulf firms. He did however go on to give an entirely context-free account of a recent incident which once again has no connection to the US administration.

Bowen: “So that is certainly going on and Mr Pompeo has said during his trip already there that it shows that Iran is being weakened, that it’s less relevant and that the American policy of so-called maximum pressure – big sanctions against Iran – is working and it’s bearing fruit. The Israelis as well have mounted airstrikes in recent days against Iranian forces inside Syria and most unusually admitted that it was they who did it.”

Citing a New York Times report and attributing unsourced ‘messages’ to several sources, he closed the item:

Bowen: “So that pressure is continuing and while there’ve been some reports that Trump has even flirted with the idea of trying to attack Iran in some way – I think it’s most unlikely that that will occur before January – the…very much the message coming from Trump White House, from the US State Department, from Pompeo, from the Israelis and from their new allies in the Gulf is that Iran needs to be kept under pressure and may well buckle as a result. The Iranians of course would say that is not going to happen.”

Those nearly six minutes of maundering ‘analysis’ of a visit not yet completed from the person tasked with making Middle East issues comprehensible to BBC audiences promoted speculation, context-free irrelevant linkage and clear political messaging as well as inaccuracies. Obviously its aim was not to inform listeners about Mr Pompeo’s visit to Israel but to promote the Middle East editor’s chosen narrative on that and additional topics.
German Girl Who Compared Socially-Distanced Birthday Party With Plight of Anne Frank Sparks Fear That ‘Antisemites Are Targeting Children’
An 11-year-old German girl who compared holding her birthday party under coronavirus restrictions with the plight of the Dutch Jewish girl Anne Frank during the Holocaust has fueled concern among German officials that children are being deliberately targeted by antisemites as an effective means for breaking social taboos.

The young girl made the comparison with Frank during a speech she gave in the southwestern city of Karlsruhe to a crowd of more than 1,000 people protesting coronavirus social-distancing polices.

Flanked by her mother and sisters, she explained that her recent birthday party had been conducted with less fanfare than previous years, to avoid alerting neighbors who might have then called the authorities.

“We had to be quiet the whole time because otherwise we might have been tipped off by our neighbors,” the girl told the Nov. 10 demonstration. “I felt like I was with Anne Frank in the Secret Annex, where they had to be as quiet as a mouse to avoid getting caught.”

Far-right symbols and signs that deploy Holocaust imagery as an analogy for present-day restrictions have been a common feature of the increasingly vocal protest movement in Germany opposed to social distancing and the wearing of protective masks.

There was similar outrage over a coronavirus protest in the northern city of Hannover this past Saturday, where hundreds of demonstrators heard a young woman compare herself with Sophie Scholl — a founding member of the “White Rose” anti-Nazi resistance group who in 1943 was executed by guillotine for distributing leaflets opposing Nazi aggression in Europe.

“I feel like Sophie Scholl, because I have been active in the resistance for months, giving speeches, going to demos, distributing flyers,” said the woman, who introduced herself as “Jana from Kassell.”

The frequent and cavalier use of Holocaust imagery and themes by the coronavirus protest movement has sparked worry that Germany’s much-vaunted public education about the Holocaust was now falling short.
German Neo-Nazis Foiled in Attempt to Hold ‘Free Palestine’ Demonstration Outside Former Synagogue
Authorities in the northern Germany city of Braunschweig moved on Monday night to prevent a neo-Nazi group from holding a demonstration outside a former synagogue under the banner “Stop Zionism!”

The demonstration was promoted on social media by the far-right party Die Rechte, which told supporters to gather on the corner of Steinstrasse and Alte Kniehauerstrasse, near a plaque that commemorates the synagogue built there in 1875. The time to assemble was given as 7:33-7:45 p.m. on Tuesday, with each of the 12 minutes representing one of the years that the Third Reich existed.

Several politicians called for an outright ban on the demonstration, which urged “Free Palestine” alongside other anti-Zionist and traditionally antisemitic slogans.

“Disgusting and repulsive!” tweeted Christos Pantazis, a state representative of the center-left SPD party. “With this targeted provocation, this micro-party reveals its unconstitutional sentiments and should be forbidden.”

At a meeting on Monday night, city administrators in Braunschweig decided to ban the neo-Nazis from demonstrating “at that time and place.”
Jewish communal leaders and local politicians condemn antisemitic white supremacist leaflets distributed in Lexington, KY
For the second time in recent months, neo-Nazi white supremacist leaflets have been seen in Lexington, KY.

A photo of the offensive antisemitic and anti-Black fliers was shared by local rabbi, Rabbi Shlomo Litvin. The leaflets said that Jews were “the masterminds” in the media, “behind every anti-white post” and “defend your children, Hitler was right.”

In a statement, Rabbi Litvin said that hateful words against the Jewish community must be “countered” or could “lead to hateful deeds.”

A spokesperson for Lexington police reportedly said that the department was investigating after a report about the leaflets was filed on 19th November. The fliers appear to have been distributed by a neo-Nazi group calling itself 14First The Foundation.

In August similar offensive, racist leaflets, were sent to homes in Kentucky. At the time, a man claiming to be Vice-President of the group behind the leaflets claimed that they already had up to 60 members in the state and had “received interest” from prospective members. He explained that the group puts its pamphlets in plastic bags “with a rock” and throws “them onto properties” because placing offensive material “in a mailbox” is illegal.
Oral insulin, by Israeli mom-son team, starts final trials to become world’s 1st
An Israeli company has started final-stage tests of its oral insulin, bidding to become the first to make the product available on the international market.

The product started phase three trials under the US Food and Drug Administration in California on Monday, after 14 years of development. If all goes well, Oramed Pharmaceuticals says it expects type 2 diabetics to start taking its pills in just over three years, followed by type 1 diabetics after further testing.

“This has the potential to improve lives of hundreds of millions of diabetics worldwide,” Oramed CEO Nadav Kidron told The Times of Israel. “And by improving treatment it can reduce complications and, in turn, reduce the cost of treating diabetics.”

He said that the dosing tech that is being used for insulin has “very significant” potential for the creation of oral versions of other medical injections.

An Indian company, Biocon, is also working on oral insulin, but unlike Oramed it has not started advanced trials with the FDA, which is seen as the main path to the international market.
Israeli researchers discover how to lengthen life of solar panels
In a move toward upgrading solar power technologies, a team of Israeli researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has developed an eco-friendly way to lengthen the lifespan of perovskite-based solar cells.

The researchers designed a new structure to hold the cells, which allows for the easy removal and replacement of perovskite, a light-sensitive material that degrades over time. The process allows for the full restoration of a panel’s photovoltaic capacities and essentially enables it to be recycled.

Perovskite is a mineral structure that has the capacity to absorb light and is used as a semiconductor. The growing field of perovskite-based solar cell (PSC) technologies has gained traction in recent years, as its manufacturing costs are significantly lower than those for standard silicon-based equivalents.

Perovskite has also dramatically increased the efficiency of solar cells.

“Before this research, it was impossible [to remove perovskite],” Prof. Lioz Etgar, head of the Excitonic Solar Cells Research Group and a chemistry professor at the university, told The Media Line.

“You needed to throw out the whole solar cell and make a new one, so this is one of the advantages of this technology,” Etgar, who led the research, explained. “We took one step forward and actually designed a new architecture for solar cells.”
6 Israeli Innovations Feature On TIME’s 100 Best Inventions Of 2020
TIME magazine has listed six Israeli-made innovations among its annual list of 100 Best Inventions of 2020 that are “changing how we live.” In 2019, the magazine featured nine Israeli innovations.

This year’s list was published late last week and features gadgets, devices, products, and services in multiple categories such as artificial intelligence, accessibility, electronics, augmented reality, design, finance, and entertainment. There is also a “special mention” category where one Israeli innovation was listed.

The magazine said the list was compiled through solicited nominations from TIME editors and correspondents around the world, and through an online application process. Each contender was then evaluated on key factors such as “originality, creativity, effectiveness, ambition, and impact.”

“The result: 100 groundbreaking inventions—including a smarter beehive, a greener tube of toothpaste, and technology that could catalyze a COVID-19 vaccine—that are changing the way we live, work, play and think about what’s possible,” the magazine wrote.

Among the best inventions were a power wheelchair accessory, a smart baby crib, an AR training platform for frontline workers, a made-to-order manicure service, a phone that doubles as a notebook by Microsoft, a robotic tutor, a vegan pork offering, and an indoor gardening solution.

Here are the six Israeli innovations that appear on the list:
When will Jewish refugees from Arab nations get justice?
When the mainstream media and United Nations refer to refugees in the context of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, they’re usually referring only to the Arab so-called Palestinian refugees. While much can be said about the Palestinian Arab refugees and their controversially unique and privileged status globally, the media and international organizations rarely address hundreds of thousands of Jews who were forcibly exiled from their homes and communities in the Middle East and North Africa during the mid-20th century.

While many, if not most, Palestinian Arab refugees had only arrived in their new homes in the Holy Land during the previous century, Jews had been living in places like Iraq for over 2,500 years. In fact, the Jewish presence in the wider Middle East predates the rise of Islam—as well as the Arab conquest, occupation and colonization of the region—by over 1,000 years.

In the early part of the 20th century, some 850,000 Jews lived in what is today known as the “Arab world.” However, today there are no more than a few thousand Jews left in that region—meaning this was one of the most successful ethnic-cleansing events in modern history.

In 2014, the Israeli Knesset passed a law mandating that Nov. 30 would be the Day to Commemorate the Expulsion of Jews from the Arab Countries and Iran. The Jewish refugees from Arab countries issue remains an unresolved one, even though international law and United Nations resolutions mandate a redress.

On two separate occasions the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) ruled that Jews fleeing from Arab countries were indeed “bona fide” refugees who fell under its mandate. Many of the most pertinent and relevant resolutions on the conflict that reference refugees—including U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194 and U.N. Security Council Resolution 242—do so without defining the type of refugee. This means that such resolutions—whether referencing compensation or assistance—can and should also apply to Jewish refugees.

The attacks and ethnic cleansing of Jews in Arab countries was one of the most egregious examples of the violent rejectionism of Jewish human rights by Arab leaders.

Meanwhile, there have been 172 resolutions specifically on Palestinian Arab refugees, 13 U.N. agencies and organizations mandated or newly created to provide protection and relief to Palestinian refugees and tens of billions of dollars disbursed by the international community to provide services and assistance to Palestinian refugees.
Mass Prayers to be Held for Jews Buried in Arab Countries
Diaspora and Israeli organizations and communities representing millions of Jews around the world will participate on Saturday in a mass Kaddish (mourners’ prayer) and say a specially designed azkara (memorial prayer) for Jews buried in inaccessible Arab countries across the Middle East and North Africa.

More than 100 organizations and communities have signed up thus far for the “Kaddish Initiative,” slated for Nov. 28, the date of the Shabbat closest to Nov. 30, which the State of Israel legislated in 2014 as the official “Day to Commemorate the Departure and Expulsion of Jews from Arab Countries and Iran.” Since then, it has been marked by Jewish communities around the world.

The Kaddish Initiative was launched in 2018 by Iraqi-Jewish Canadian Sass Peress. According to British philanthropist David Dangoor, during the project’s first year, 12 communities participated, and in 2019, participation had grown to 50. This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the prayers will be recited mainly online.

Groups already registered for the event include the Israeli umbrella organization for Jews from Arab countries, representing millions of people in the Jewish state; Maccabi World Union, the Jewish organization with the largest active global membership; the European Jewish Congress, the organization representing all Jewish communities in Europe; the American Zionist Movement, representing dozens of Zionist organizations across North America; and the umbrella organizations for US, British, Canadian and Australian Jewry.

More than 11,000 rabbis and community leaders from every continent and all strains of Judaism and ethnic origin have downloaded the azkara prayer from the Kaddish Initiative website.

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