Wednesday, December 16, 2020

From Ian:

David Collier: Channel 4 – meet the extremists in the ‘Palestinian voices’ news clip
Channel 4 – The PREVENT inversion

One of the most ‘in-your-face’ errors in the piece came when the news item showed a screenshot of part of the PREVENT guidelines. We were shown just a fraction of an image and told these are possible indicators of extremism.

Except in the news item they completely inverted the meaning of the words that were written in the document. As William Baldet MBE, CVE PREVENT Coordinator thoroughly explained on Twitter- to provide the screenshot without any of the text that follows is to completely change the context of the document. Baldet states quite clearly that the slide content has been misrepresented to imply the *opposite* of its intent. The text literally goes on to say that *it is not extremist* to hold these views if they are not expressed in a way that harasses others or incites violence.

Channel 4 goes full racist
After talking with the Palestinians in the room, we meet Avi Shlaim, who is introduced as an ‘Israeli historian’. Shlaim lived for about 8 years in Israel and he has lived here for the last 54 years. Whether he also has Israeli citizenship is not relevant – he is British. Is this acceptable now, do we ‘other’ people who were not born here and negate the fact that Shlaim has spent almost all his life here? Shlaim got married in Islington in the 1970s. How British does he have to be before Channel 4 identify him as British? Can you imagine them doing this to someone who has lived in the UK for 50 years, but who also carry a second citizenship such as Indian, Pakistani or Nigerian? It is absolutely outrageous that they chose to play this kind of racist ‘othering’ trick, simply to strengthen their own propaganda.

Why no voices?

Why are there no voices on mainstream TV? I would argue that Palestinian voices are over-represented. ‘Palestine’ certainly gets a disproportionate amount of attention in the press. If only the Uighurs or Rohingya or Syrians – people who are actually persecuted – were given so much time. But if we are to address why these specific people and those like them are not given airtime, it is chiefly because the media outlets know what they are going to say *AND* know much of it is factually incorrect, offensive and often antisemitic.

You cannot blame the BBC, the Telegraph or any of the mainstream outlets for the fact these people were brought up on myths and are actively spreading propaganda and lies. That they take every opportunity that they can to politicise an event. Why on earth should anyone help them spread their lies?

But I suppose that is the question we now must ask Channel 4.

There is only one course of action that must be taken here. Watch the clip then please complain to OFCOM. Make *YOUR* voices heard.
CAA submits complaint to Ofcom over Channel 4’s segment claiming International Definition of Antisemitism “silences” criticism of Israel, with no input from any mainstream Jewish representative
Campaign Against Antisemitism is submitting a complaint to Ofcom regarding a segment on Channel 4 News that aired last night that was devoted to criticism of the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Speakers during the segment repeatedly stated that the Definition “silenced” debate about Israel, which is precisely the “Livingstone Formulation” that the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) confirmed was used to victimise Jews in the Labour Party to such an extent that it broke equalities law (Campaign Against Antisemitism was the complainant in the EHRC’s investigation of the Labour Party). In using this antisemitic formulation, the segment breached Ofcom’s guidance on harm and offence.

The failure to include a single representative from the mainstream Jewish community – in which there is a consensus in favour of widespread adoption of the Definition – represented a failure by Channel 4 News to show due impartiality in its programme, which is also a breach of Ofcom’s guidance.

The segment lasted almost ten minutes.
Covid-19 Was One of the Biomed Industry’s Finest Hours, Says Israeli Silicon Valley Veteran
“It’s been only 11 months since the coronavirus pandemic broke out and we already have vaccines being distributed around the world. There is no doubt, this has been one of the biomed sector’s finest hours,” said Aya Jakobovits, a serial entrepreneur and investor in the life science sector in an interview to CTech. “It really showcased the depth of new technology and its ability to integrate into solutions quickly and effectively. All of a sudden there is a new interest in infectious diseases that arises from the understanding that there will be more pandemics in the future.”

Jakobovits spoke to CTech from Los Angeles, but is a Silicon Valley veteran, having arrived on the West Coast of the US in 1982 for her postdoctoral studies, after completing her first degrees in Israel at the Hebrew University and a PhD at the Weizmann Institute of Science. Since then, she founded and held senior management positions at a series of life science companies, including Adicet Bio, Kite Pharma, Agensys, Abgenix, and Cell Genesys and currently sits on the boards of Adicet Bio, UCLA Technology Development Corporation, and Yeda Research and Development Co. Her accumulated work in bringing novel technologies and therapeutic products to market brought over $14 billion to shareholders.

Jakobovits is one of the main speakers at the J-Ventures annual investor’s conference, which is taking place this week, an organization she joined a year ago and has found to be a fertile hub for the sector.
92% of Israel’s COVID-19 fatalities had existing chronic diseases — report
Over 90 percent of those who have died of coronavirus infection in Israel were suffering from chronic ailments such as heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes, Haaretz reported Tuesday, citing figures it had obtained from the Health Ministry.

The data also showed that the virus had taken its largest toll on those over 70 years old, who make up 80% of the fatalities.

At the time the figures were produced for the newspaper, there had been 3,004 deaths in Israel from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The total stood at 3,030 on Wednesday evening.

Health officials are warning that the country is plunging into a third wave of infections that by next week will require the government to again clamp down on some aspects of public life, in an effort to stave off what would be a third national lockdown since the virus outbreak began earlier this year.

Of the 3,004 who had died by Tuesday, 2,778 had chronic diseases, or 92% of the total, Haaretz reported.

A breakdown showed 1,019 had high blood pressure (34%), 750 had diabetes (25%), 633 had heart issues (21%), 246 had chronic lung disorders (8%), 99 had suppressed immune systems (3%) and 31 had chronic liver problems (1%).

Age also played a key role, with data showing that the average age of virus victims has been 79, and the median age 81.
With COVID hitting hard, Brazil's Jews look toward Israel
With Brazil being one of the worst-hit nations in the coronavirus pandemic, the Jewish community has had to find ways to cope with the new reality.

Leaders have said that even as they have followed closely close what has been unfolding in Israel, they have also had to reinvent themselves.

"This was also our way of coping with the new fundraising reality," President of the Jewish Confederation of Brazil and WJC Vice President Fernando Lottenberg told Israel Hayom, recalling that more than many Jews have died from the disease in the country.

Lottenberg, who has a PhD in international public law, has described the impact of the virus on the community as "super dramatic." According to Lottenberg, "During normal times it's hard to maintain contact, but now people keep approaching me and asking whether they can lend a helping hand to the community. Perhaps next year, we will be able to congregate in our synagogues once again and hold the normal meetings, but I hope that we won't forget the positive impact that has been imposed on us due to the pandemic."

He also noted that the Jewish-built hospital in São Paulo has played an important role in highlighting the community's contribution to public health. Rabbi Ezra Dayan, who oversees kashrut supervision in Brazil, says he has been doing his work through Zoom for the past five months. "The biggest challenge is to make sure the kashrut system does not collapse and thank G-d it hasn't. "We supervise hundreds of establishments, and now online supervision is just a fact of life. It's amazing how we can do all this from São Paulo, considering that Brazil is the size of a continent.

Why Does the World Ignore Israel’s Need to Prevent Terror Attacks?
An article by Peter Beaumont in The Guardian last month, titled “Dehumanising: Israeli groups’ verdict on military invasions of Palestinian homes,” includes several anecdotes depicting IDF raids on Palestinian homes as being conducted only to intimidate, as well as sections dedicated to the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-inducing effects of these operations.

The piece is based on a “damning report” by controversial far-left organization Breaking the Silence, demonstrates extreme bias, and serves as an unreasonable representation of the Israeli military. The inaccuracies are manifold: there is not a single hard piece of evidence, but rather only unverified claims from Palestinians and political activists with a well-documented anti-Israel agenda; the situation is presented without relevant historical or political context; and the Israeli side of the story is almost completely excluded.

The title of the article is sensationalist, factually incorrect, and accusatory. It depicts search and arrest missions as “dehumanizing” to conjure graphic and traumatic imagery. Similarly, the phrase “military invasions” is grossly misapplied: military invasions typically refer to the aggressive conquering of territory. A more accurate description of the activity described in the article would be “arrests.” Units in the West Bank are sent to enter homes in order to arrest either known or suspected perpetrators of terror and violence.

As a combat soldier currently serving in the Israeli military told HonestReporting, “It’s how conflict works everywhere in the world. The West Bank, for all the political nuances there are, it’s no different. We have to go in and do our job, and it’s going to cause some discomfort for whoever is in the house, whoever isn’t the suspect.”

When Israeli soldiers enter Palestinian homes to carry out an arrest, there is no systemic intent to make the citizens of those communities feel patronized or “dehumanized.” Rather, the IDF is fulfilling its obligation to keep Israeli citizens safe.

As stated, the entire article is based on a report by Breaking the Silence — an organization with a history of spreading lies and anti-Israel smears. Making things worse, the Israeli side is only placed at the very end of the article, creating an unjust asymmetry in the reporting.
Jewish left cries antisemitism to silence critics but ignores its prevalence in the Left
Though assimilation from within was always exacerbated by the rejection of personal observance, the impulse to force it on others became a hallmark of the European progressive movements, particularly socialism and communism. The left declared ideological war on religious faith and national character and in particular despised a people – the Jews – whose identity incorporated elements of both.Consequently, progressive leadership attempted to enforce assimilation, often with enthusiastic assistance from theJewish left.

The most militant assimilationist group in the former Soviet Union was the “Yevsektsiya,” or Jewish Section of the Communist Party, whose goal was the destruction of Jewish tradition, Hebrew culture,and Zionist thought in the USSR. The Yevsektsiya led the charge in closing synagogues, seizing communal property, criminalizing the practice of Judaism, and outlawing Jewish education. Despite its willingness to serve its Soviet masters, however, the Yevsektsiya was dissolved in 1929, and many of its members, including chairman Semyon Dimanstein, were executed during Stalin’s“Great Purge”of the 1930s. Persecuting their own people in the name of Communism clearly did not save Section members from being murdered as Jews.

Today’s radical left seems guided by the same rejectionist impulse as the Yevsektsiya in Soviet Russia.Its proponents miss no opportunity to disparage Jewish tradition and history, delegitimize Israel, or promote the Palestinian national myth. Perhaps more insidiously, their dogmatic self-rejectionism has filtered down to the liberal mainstream, which as a consequenceoften blames Jewish behavior for provoking antisemitism among progressives and minorities or accuses Israel of disproportionality whenever it defends itselfa gainst unprovoked attacks and terrorism – views that are common among non-Orthodox clergy.

Certainly, not all Jewish liberals are self-loathing rejectionists, but far too many have become inured to Jew-hatred on the left. Moreover, most will not acknowledge progressive antisemitism because doing so would require them to admit that liberals are just as capable of intolerance as the political opponents they routinely slander–despite their protestations of moral superiority. Considering how they falsely conflate Jewishness with liberal politics, such an admission would likely produce existential angst. For some, however, the resulting identity crisis mayprovide the moment of clarity needed to encourage self-reflection and to reconnect with authentic tradition.

For others, it might just lead the way to cultural oblivion.
Gil Troy: A moral Zionist agenda for Joe Biden's administration - opinion
Let us therefore perform a classic Zionist Jew-Jitsu, turning the 20th anniversaries of these twin days of anguish into moments of solidarity. Starting in February, Zionist organizations should encourage the Biden administration and Congress to support a strong statement affirming Zionism, denouncing anti-Zionism, and repudiating the 2001 Durban conference.

We should reach out to African-American allies, explaining that the absurd focus on demonizing Israel and Jews distracted from the conference’s real mandate to fight racism. We should reach out left and right, forging a common front against bigotry and against terrorism, against those who rationalize hate and against those who deploy political violence. And we should use a shared disdain for anti-Zionism to get Christian Evangelicals speaking again to traditional liberals, highlighting some fundamental issues on which most Americans and Israelis agree.

A second Jew-Jitsu could turn our shared contempt for the haters into an affirmation of core Zionist values. Zionism is Jewish nationalism. Like American nationalism, it celebrates a particular people’s stories, values, heritage and ties to a particular homeland, as a launching pad into broader, moral, democratic, universally-constructive visions. It also activates nationalism as a counter-cultural force today, unifying people of different faiths and with different agendas by giving them a sense of community and common cause, while offering badly needed frameworks for otherwise-alienated individuals seeking meaning and shared values.

In fact, if we could detoxify all the Zionophobia around us, if we could push the conversation about Israel away from settlements and Palestinians and Bibi and BDS – as I have been doing with my Zionist Salons – we could use Zionism as a model for the kind of romantic nationalism that truly made America, and Israel, great: not by building walls but by opening hearts, not by putting up barriers but by reaching out, not by trashing others but by loving ourselves – and our democratic ideals.

Undoubtedly, the Biden years will yield political tensions, personality clashes, tactical differences, between Israelis and Americans and within the two communities. Shaping a conversation that targets common enemies – and fosters common values – can free us from the constant bile and make us more skeptical about the hysterical headlines. Stated in Zionist terms: We affirm our Political Zionism to fight Zionophobia and Jew-hatred, to protect the Jewish body and build up the Jewish state; we affirm our Identity Zionism to stretch the Jewish soul, while uniting with other proud meaning-seeking liberal nationalists, starting with our American friends.

Consultancy Linked to Biden Nominees Scrubs Middle East Ops From Site
A consulting firm linked to incoming Biden officials removed references to its foreign dealings in the closing weeks of the election.

Both Jake Sullivan, President-elect Joe Biden's incoming national security adviser, and Denis McDonough, Biden's pick to run the Department of Veterans Affairs, have served as partners at Macro Advisory Partners, a consulting firm that says it helps clients manage geopolitical risk.

Until early November, the firm advertised its work helping a financial services company expand into the Middle East, according to archived versions of the website. The firm said it helped its clients manage the "geopolitical and economic volatility" in Middle Eastern markets by drawing on the extensive policy expertise of Macro Advisory Partners employees.

"The intersection of geopolitics, policy and politics is defining the long-term prospects for financial services in the Middle East," the website said in now-deleted comments. "MAP's partner-led team includes professionals with decades of experience analysing Middle Eastern markets, politics and security."

Tom Anderson, a director at the National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog group, said the move raises questions about the work the Biden duo conducted and whether they stand to profit from the new administration's policy in the region.

"When politicians or officials are caught trying to hide something—there is a reason for their actions. Usually, they see a bigger reward than the risks associated with scrubbing," Anderson said. "Hiding motivations for seeking positions should raise red flags for oversight professionals, and the media to expose potential conflicts of interest."

‘I don’t hate you’: Rashida Tlaib defends her relationship with Jews on a panel on anti-Semitism
At a panel on anti-Semitism, four speakers known for their outspoken criticism of Israel — including Rep. Rashida Tlaib — said that they themselves do not hate Jews.

“Tell everybody, I don’t hate you. I absolutely love you,” said Tlaib, a Palestinian American and Democrat from Michigan who supports the movement to boycott Israel. “If anybody comes through my doors or through any forum to try to push anti-Semitism forward, you will hear me being loud with my bullhorn to tell them to get the hell out.”

The panel had sparked substantial criticism from Jewish commentators and pro-Israel activists when it was announced, both for giving anti-Zionists a platform to discuss anti-Semitism and for being majority non-Jewish. Bari Weiss, the former New York Times opinion writer and editor, tweeted, “So ‘dismantling antisemitism’ is actually about dismantling *accusations* of antisemitism.”

An all-Jewish panel with a similar title, called “Dismantling Anti-Semitism: Jews Talk Justice,” is being hosted the night after by the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement, a coalition of nearly 300 groups, most of them Jewish.

Tuesday’s panel, hosted by the political and advocacy arm of the anti-Zionist group Jewish Voice for Peace, included, along with Tlaib, Marc Lamont Hill, a Temple University professor; Barbara Ransby, a University of Illinois at Chicago professor; and Peter Beinart, a Jewish essayist known for his writing on Israel.

Hill and Ransby have also endorsed the movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel, known as BDS. Beinart recently made waves for an essay calling for a single, binational Israeli-Palestinian state in place of Israel, a stark departure from his decade of advocacy for a two-state solution. Tlaib supports a binational state as well.

Jeremy Corbyn's peace project is backed by supporter of controversial hate preacher Abu Hamza
Jeremy Corbyn's Peace and Justice Project is being backed by a supporter of convicted hate preacher Abu Hamza.

Massoud Shadjareh, founder and chairman of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, appears in a publicity video for the ex-Labour leader's initiative, which launched this week.

As IHRC head, Mr Shadjareh condemned the 2006 conviction of hook-handed Hamza for inciting racial hatred, as well as his extradition to the US on terror charges, where he was jailed for life in 2015.

Mr Shadjareh is also an outspoken supporter of the Iranian regime.

Lord Austin, of campaign group Mainstream UK, who quit Labour last year over anti-Semitism, said: 'Labour was poisoned by extremism under Jeremy Corbyn's toxic leadership, but people will still be shocked that they have chosen this man to help launch his new project.'

In a promotional video posted on the Peace and Justice Project Twitter feed this week, Mr Shadjareh said: 'We welcome this initiative and we hope that it will address the desperate needs of those who are facing injustice around the world.'

He was filmed earlier this year heaping praise on Iran's Quds commander, General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in an US drone strike in January.

Hamza was brought to justice in 2006 when he was jailed for seven years for the firebrand sermons he delivered as iman at Finsbury Park mosque in North London.

Piers Corbyn Targets Jewish Areas with Antisemitic Anti-Vaxxer Propaganda
Never one to be outdone, one of the leaders of Britain’s anti-vaxxer movement Piers Corbyn this weekend started targeting London’s Jewish community in Barnet with leaflets comparing the government’s Covid vaccination programme with the atrocities at Auschwitz. While the government fights fake news on social media, there’s little they can do about Corbyn’s appalling analogue crusade…

The leaflet told local residents that the recent Evening Standard headline “Vaccines are safe path to freedom” was “in the tradition of the Nazi slogan “Arbeit Macht Frei” (work sets you free). Whereas in reality the truth is the opposite”. Fake warnings are also included that the vaccine “may kill you” and hasn’t been scientifically tested. That’s why Piers Corbyn is such a staunch supporter of all other vaccines that have been tested for decades…
Ruthie Blum: The Bundestag, BDS and ex-pat Israelis in Berlin
At a news conference in Berlin on Thursday, the directors of 32 academic and cultural institutions – some in attendance and others via Zoom – presented an open letter to protest the May 2019 Bundestag resolution categorizing BDS as anti-Semitic.

The resolution was based on the "working definition of anti-Semitism," formulated by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and adopted in 2017 ago by the German government. The IHRA definition includes a clause stating that manifestations of the phenomenon "might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity."

Germany is only one of many countries that has signed on to the IHRA definition. Albania, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, The Netherlands, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States and Uruguay have also embraced it. Even the Global Imams Council, an international NGO made up of Muslim religious leaders from all Islamic denominations and schools of thought, recently did so.

It's no wonder, then, that the signatories to the "Weltoffenheit" (world openness) Initiative" statement – released last week by the illustrious body of self-anointed defenders of freedom in Germany – made sure to insist that they are only motivated by the loftiest of ideals. They went as far as to assure that they "reject the BDS boycott of Israel," but "consider the logic of counter-boycott, triggered by the parliamentary anti-BDS resolution, to be dangerous."

How so?
Chabad member injured in anti-Semitic incident
A member of a Chabad-Lubavitch movement in Kentucky was injured following an anti-Semitic incident on Saturday night, according to multiple reports.

Ahead of a menorah-lighting for the third night of Hanukkah a driver pulled up to the congregation and verbally abused the congregants.

When a community member walked up to the driver's side door, the driver grabbed the man, dragged him for a block, and ran his car over the man's leg. The vehicle then sped off.

The injured man was taken to the hospital, but not before the lighting as to "not allow darkness to quench our light." He was released on Sunday morning, reported local CBS affiliate WKYT.

Lexington Police said they are investigating the incident and trying to find the vehicle and driver.

"The anti-Semitic attack reported Saturday night outside of the Jewish Student Center is an outrage," Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear tweeted. "This hate has absolutely no place in the commonwealth as we build a better Kentucky that is fair and equitable for all of our people."
Prof David Feldman’s colleagues join CAA in slamming him for opposing International Definition of Antisemitism, which his own institution, Birkbeck, discloses to CAA it has now adopted
Two colleagues of Prof. David Feldman’s at the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism at Birkbeck have joined Campaign Against Antisemitism in slamming him for opposing the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Recently, our Chief Executive, Gideon Falter, documented how Prof. Feldman, who is the Director of the Pears Institute, “has been on the wrong side of the fight against antisemitism throughout the past several years,” including by dismissing concerns over rising antisemitism, participating in and defending the Chakrabarti Inquiry, allying with certain pro-Corbyn factions in the Labour Party and opposing the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Now, two of his colleagues at the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism at Birkbeck have joined these criticisms. Writing for the JC, Prof. Philip Spencer and Dave Rich, respectively an Associate and an Associate Research Fellow at the Pears Institute, commented that Prof. Feldman’s article opposing the Definition “in our judgment not only does not take antisemitism seriously [and] may actually provide encouragement to those who have systematically denigrated Jews in this country”. They also accused their colleague of using a “line of argument [that] comes dangerously close to a classic antisemitic trope in which Jews are seen to be seeking to promote their own interests at the expense of others.”

Birkbeck University has recently confirmed to Campaign Against Antisemitism that it adopted the Definition on 27th November 2020. Evidently, even Prof. Feldman’s own institution is not convinced by his stale arguments.

Reuters Slams Israel Over Plight of Gaza Christians, Ignores Hamas Persecution
A December 10 Reuters piece written by Nidal al-Mughrabi rightly draws attention to the plight of Christians in the Gaza Strip. Yet the writer comes down with a case of selective amnesia, neglecting to note the history of persecution of this tiny minority by Gaza’s rulers. Israel’s blockade of the Strip – imposed to repel incessant attempts by the Hamas terrorist group to attack the Jewish state – is assigned a disproportionate amount of the blame for the precarious state of the Palestinian enclave’s Christians.

Specifically, Israel is singled out as a key reason for the Christian flight from Gaza:
Its Christian population has declined by two-thirds over the past 15 years, a wave of emigration fueled by economic struggles and a desire to escape fighting between militant groups and Israel.

The mass exodus is indeed the result of people wanting to get out of harm’s way. However, Reuters omits the primary cause of their misfortune: It is Hamas violence against the Christian residents of Gaza, not Israel’s ongoing battle against the terrorist organization.

Unreported: Hamas’ Abuse of Christians
The piece, Gaza jeweller struggles to sell Christmas gold, notes that Christian Palestinians:
…are feeling the economic sting of the health crisis and lockdowns. The pandemic has deepened economic hardship in Gaza, which is run by Islamist group Hamas and is under blockade by Israel. Egypt also imposes border restrictions, citing, as does Israel, security concerns.

What goes unmentioned is the systematic persecution by Hamas of its Christian residents.

Christian Population Plummets Following Israel’s Pullout From Gaza
There were approximately 5,000 Christians living in the Gaza Strip in 2005, the year Israel unilaterally dismantled 21 Israeli settlements, evacuated some 9,000 Jewish residents and pulled its army from inside the enclave.

In 2007 Hamas violently took over the Gaza Strip, which it has ruled as the de facto Islamist authority ever since. For Hamas, Islam is not only a religion that guides its organizational aims, but also a source of law (sharia) to be imposed on all Gazans. Long before COVID-19 and the blockades, Hamas-affiliated groups like Swords of Righteousness and the Army of Islam were targeting Gazan Christians with forced conversions, discrimination in schools, attacks on businesses, and martyrdom.

Today, there are only 1,000 Christians in Gaza.
New documentary series on Eichmann includes ‘never-before-seen interview’
A new documentary TV series for Israeli public broadcaster Kan will expose new information about Adolf Eichmann, one of the architects of Nazi Germany’s Final Solution.

“Eichmann — The Devil Speaks” is the first project to emerge from a partnership recently inked between MGM and Israeli production company Tadmor Entertainment.

Eichmann went into hiding after the war, and was eventually abducted in Argentina by Israeli intelligence and put on trial in Jerusalem. Israel executed the top Nazi official by hanging in 1962 for his role in the mass murder of six million Jews.

While in hiding, Eichmann was recorded on tape by Nazi journalist Willem Sassen, bragging about his central role in creating the Final Solution. The original Sassen tapes weren’t recovered until recently, and will be divulged in the MGM-Tadmor series.

The series, created by director Yariv Mozer (“Ben Gurion, Epilogue”), is currently in production and will premiere in December 2021. Tadmor Entertainment’s Gideon Tadmor, Emilio Schenker and Michael Schmidt are serving as executive producers.
Dutch court refuses to return $22m Kandinsky painting to Jewish heirs
A Dutch court on Wednesday rejected a restitution case brought by heirs of a Jewish family that originally owned a painting by Wassily Kandinsky that was bought by the city of Amsterdam at an auction in 1940.

Amsterdam District Court upheld a 2018 ruling by the Netherlands’ Restitutions Committee that the artwork titled “Painting With Houses,” which is in the collection of Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum, does not have to be returned to the family.

James Palmer, who represents the heirs, called the decision unacceptable. Lawyers for the heirs said they will appeal.

“If this court decision is left unchallenged then Dutch restitution policy will effectively be nonexistent, and important looted art in The Netherlands will likely never be restituted,” he said.

“After many years of struggles, the Lewenstein family is very disappointed that the Amsterdam District Court did not recognize the Lewenstein family’s rights to the restitution of its property, which was misappropriated during the Holocaust,” defense lawyers said in a statement.
OrCam’s AI-based reading device wins prestigious CES 2021 innovation award
Israel’s OrCam Technologies, a developer of artificial intelligence-based devices to assist the blind and visually impaired, has won the CES 2021 Innovation Awards Best of Innovation in the “accessibility” category for its OrCam Read digital reader.

The announcement was made ahead of the first all-digital CES 2021, one of the world’s most influential technology event, which will take place January 11-14, 2021.

The CES Innovation Awards program, owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association, is an annual competition honoring outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products across 28 categories.

A panel of industry expert judges, including members of the media, designers and engineers, reviewed submissions based on innovation, engineering and functionality, aesthetic and design.

OrCam Read is an assistive reading technology that aims to support people with reading challenges, such as dyslexia, mild to moderate vision loss and reading fatigue, as well as for those who read large volumes of text.
Mobileye releases video of self-driving car on Munich roads
A Mobileye self-driving car on the streets of Munich, Germany (YouTube screenshot)

Israel’s Mobileye, a maker of self-driving technologies, has released a video showing an autonomous vehicle maneuvering its way through the German city of Munich using only a camera-based system developed by the firm.

The company said that it was able to deploy the autonomous vehicle on the streets of Munich due to crowdsourced data it has collected from cars on the road, which send the information directly to the cloud. That information is then automatically processed into high-definition maps, essential for the functioning of autonomous or semi-autonomous cars, the Jerusalem-based firm owned by Intel Corp. said in a statement.

The video shows a driver in a Ford cruising the streets of the German city, hands off the wheel and on his knees, as a screen shows him the route and traffic ahead. The wheel turns autonomously and the car stops at lights, turns left in traffic waiting for approaching cars to pass. It drives at a variety of speeds, up to 130 kilometers an hour (80 mph) on a local highway.

The car maneuvers to avoid an open door, executes an unprotected left turn, maneuvers to avoid a bus pulled to the side of the road, changes lanes on a highway at high speeds, navigates a congested street, and goes around a vehicle that is parallel parking and stopped emergency vehicles.

The vehicle shown in the video uses camera-only system, developed by the firm, along with a sensing technology that uses radar and lidar, the statement said.
Steelers ‘Mensch’ Zach Banner to Donate Part of Gameday Check to Tree of Life
Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Zach Banner announced Monday that he was donating a portion of a game-day check to Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue, the site of the mass shooting in October 2018.

“I’m crashing Hanukkah this year guys … by donating part of my game day check to the Tree of Life synagogue here in Pittsburgh. Happy Holidays!” tweeted Banner.

He signed off as “Hulk,” a reference to Marvel superhero Bruce Banner.

“I have been so moved by the support and love I’ve received from the Jewish community this year, especially here in Pittsburgh,” Banner told JNS. “The Tree of Life synagogue is such a major fixture in our city, and I see so much overlap between their mission and the mission of my foundation [B3 Foundation] champion. To build and strengthen community, to heal division and bring people together. This is my way of saying thank you for the ongoing support I’ve received and to stand as an ally for my Jewish brothers and sisters.”

Earlier this year, the offensive tackle took to social media in support of the Jewish community after fellow NFL player DeSean Jackson posted antisemitic comments made by Hitler.
Paris Mayor’s Request Keeps Eiffel Tower Menorah Tradition Alive
In most years, the Eiffel Tower menorah-lighting in Paris is an awe-inspiring event that draws crowds in the thousands and is seen by millions on international broadcasts. But with the city in the midst of a lockdown and gatherings curtailed, permits were not forthcoming. It was clear that in this year of the coronavirus, the Eiffel Tower would not have its menorah.

Until the mayor’s office called.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo was interested in attending a menorah-lighting, said an official. And not just any menorah-lighting. The menorah-lighting. Precautions would have to be taken and the event would be shorter than usual, but it would indeed take place.

And just like that, the Parisian Hanukkah tradition that seemed to be in danger of being extinguished blazed back into being.

Rabbi Mendel Azimov, regional director of Chabad-Lubavitch in France, who was busy coordinating hundreds of COVID-safe Hanukkah events throughout the capital city and across France, leapt into action.

To ensure that crowds wouldn’t gather, the event would have to be kept quiet, and the proud Jewish community of Paris wouldn’t be able to attend in force. But their representatives could. In addition to Azimov and Hidalgo, notable attendees included Francis Kalifat, president of the Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France; Chief Rabbi of France Rabbi Haïm Korsia; Ariel Goldmann, president of the Fonds Social Juif Unifié (FSJU); and Daniel Saada, First Counselor of the Israeli Embassy to Paris.
Gal Gadot Tries Taco Bell and More American Food for the First Time

Jay Leno shares his support and love for Israel
World-renown comedian Jay Leno shared his support and love for Israel while speaking with comedian Elon Gold at the StandWithUs annual 'Festival of Lights' virtual gala.

'Florida Stands With Israel' specialty license plate revealed
The legislation aimed at creating a "Florida Stands with Israel" specialty license plate inched closer to reality this week after the winning design was announced.

Local artist Daniel Ackerman's design was chosen at the "Florida Stands with Israel" contest, sponsored by the Israeli American Council. Over 100 designs were submitted, ranging from school children's concepts in crayon to highly technical designs of professional artists.

"The concept focuses on Florida's state flower – the orange blossom," Ackerman explained. "The beauty of this flower contrasted against the Star of David in the form of a tropical leaf represents the Florida-Israel relationship and the fruit this partnership bears, ultimately benefiting both states."

Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 1135 into law just before Rosh Hashanah in order to put this project into motion.

The initiative won unanimous HB 1135 enjoyed bipartisan support through both legislative chambers before being submitted to De Santis' desk.

"The Florida-Israel relationship is a special one that ranges from trade to culture and contributes to the quality of life for all Floridians," Israeli American Council Co-Founder and CEO Shoham Nicolet and IAC Board Member and IAC for Action Board Chairman Shawn Evenhaim said in a statement.

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 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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