Tuesday, January 05, 2021

From Ian:

Jewish unity is the answer to the EU's kosher slaughter ban - opinion
Let’s not be fooled into thinking that banning kosher slaughter is the end of the story. In fact, many have noted that this decision represents a ‘slippery slope,’ bringing about the question of, ‘What next?’

Building a united strategy which combines effective use of the law, messaging, bottom-up and top-down activism, and local and global support will ensure that we do not have to find out what could have been next.

Israel’s Diaspora Affairs Ministry sees itself as a convener in this work. Jewish communal leaders, institutions, government officials and legal professionals – both in Europe and around the world – must work together under a shared plan of action, which includes:
• Calling out the hypocrisy of banning kosher slaughter – which shows mercy for the animal – while allowing hunting to continue
• Working effectively with governments
• Bringing together individual European countries and government leaders and offices from around the world, along with the Israeli government, to use diplomatic channels to engage with the European Union and other bodies
• Creating an effective media strategy
• Generating a shared voice to engage the public and leadership
Now is the time to join as a united Jewish coalition to ensure the strength and viability of European Jewry.
How Germany tricked Jewish organizations worldwide
When the German parliament labeled the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement as anti-Semitic, it garnered the praise of Jewish organizations worldwide.

But despite the importance of the move, which influenced more European countries to adopt similar decisions, what remained hidden was the fact that the resolution had no legal and practical validity. It was merely a recommendation.

Besides the fact that many left-wing parties in the Bundestag voted against the decision, the initiative's very purpose was to block a more radical right-wing proposal that demanded a complete ban on BDS activities in Germany.

The vote drew immediate public criticism from BDS supporters, including Israelis, Jews, journalists, and the former Israeli ambassador himself. They claimed the decision was a violation of the principle of freedom of expression. It was also alleged that Israel forced the German government to silence the critics of government policy in Jerusalem, an argument that is anti-Semitic at its very core.

A week later, the Bundestag's Research and Documentation Services issued an opinion that the parliament's decision is legally invalid.

And that is how German authorities pulled off an ingenious move: on the one hand, they presented themselves as pioneers in the fight against anti-Semitism and the de-legitimization of Israel; on the other hand, their decision is void of any practical capability to fight the anti-Semitic boycott movement.

This is how good-old Germany has always operated: its official policy states that the existence and security of Israel is part of the nation's national interest; at the same time, it supports anti-Israel organizations with known ties to terrorists and consistently votes against Israel at the United Nations.
The BBC’s ‘Black Christmas’ is the least of our problems
As the late Rabbi Lord Sacks warned in speeches in the House of Lords in 2018 and 2019 on British anti-Semitism and global anti-Semitism: when anti-Semitism moves from the political fringes to a mainstream party – and when anti-Semites don’t think they are anti-Semites – we are all in serious trouble.

Anti-Semitism starts with Jews, but it never ends with Jews. And I’m afraid to say the churches on the whole are returning to their anti-Semitic traditions, particularly those represented by the World Council of Churches. See this piece by Melanie Phillips on the anti-Semitism of the WCC, and the pusillanimity of the senior clergy of the Church of England – my own faith community – towards BLM. As I wrote in a piece for The Algemeiner, the Anglican Communion, in cahoots with the Jihadists, is now leading what it calls Palestinian ‘Liberation Theology’, a Marxist movement that Pope John Paul II had the good sense to proscribe when it first appeared in the Sandinista movement and Roman Catholics of Nicaragua. Communism/Socialism is not the Way.

In 2004, the BBC commissioned a formal report – the Balen Report – following persistent accusations of anti-Israel bias. To date the BBC has spent about £330,000 of public money in legal costs to hide the report from the public. This cover-up is itself scandalous. The reasons for the BBC’s anti-Israelism, like that of French state TV (France 2), are multifarious, but one reason is that Western institutions are easily duped by Islamist propagandists fluent in the old colonial languages, and expert in feeding the liberal egocentrism of the West. Hence the BBC and France 2 report what their Arab hosts tell them, but fail to report the commonplace preaching and incitement of genocidal antisemitism in Arabic and Persian by clerics, politicians and media. Similarly, Qatar state TV, Al Jazeera, broadcasts democracy in English, but gives a weekly perch to the intellectual head of the Muslim Brotherhood Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi to broadcast genocidal anti-Semitism in the form of fatwas against Israel, including advocating the use of Muslim children as suicide bombs.

I recently wrote a joint essay with the historian and Jerusalemite Dr Richard Landes partly on the dangers of this ‘lethal journalism’. Islamists are winning the cognitive war, and this results in an existential threat to us all, especially if the anticipated Farrakhan-loving Biden administration is lenient with Islamism and the nuclear ambitions of the Ayatollah. As it is, through its political proxy Hezbollah, Iran already has about 150,000 rockets hidden within the civilian populations in south Lebanon, all pointing at Israel to bring on the Shiite Apocalypse.

Richard Landes and I are frustrated that thesereally serious problems – the ticking time bombs – are being ignored by Western intellectuals and legacy media alike. Even many who claim to be battling anti-Semitism – including some Jewish leadership – get bogged down in pedantry and political correctness.

In sum, anachronisms and the colour of Jesus’s skin are not worth worrying about, rather we have some profoundly serious battles against anti-Israelism that we must take to BBC and the wider world. We must win, and we will.


Ministers approve 2-week full lockdown to counter mushrooming virus cases
Government ministers voted Tuesday night in favor of tightening the current nationwide lockdown by shuttering schools and nonessential businesses for two full weeks, with the aim of cutting rising daily infections that have passed 8,000 a day.

The increased measures will come into force on midnight between Thursday and Friday and last for 14-days, according to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Health Ministry.

A statement said ministers will vote overnight on the specific measures, which leaks to Hebrew media outlets indicated will include closing all workplaces, except for essential workers; limiting gatherings to five indoors, 10 outdoors; and maintaining the limit on traveling beyond 1 kilometer from home.

In perhaps the largest difference to the current limitations, all schools are set to be shuttered, except for special education institutions.

Additionally, Israelis who have not already bought a plane ticket to travel abroad during the two-week period will not be allowed to fly, the PMO said. Kan News reported that the government will also reintroduce the obligation for all arrivals to Israel to enter state-run hotels for quarantine of up to two weeks.

Concluding the debate, Netanyahu blamed the British variant of the virus for the booming surge in virus cases in Israel.

“We are in the midst of a global epidemic that is spreading at record speed with the British mutation. It has reached Israel and claimed many lives. We must immediately impose a full closure. I have no doubt that the government will approve it and the Knesset must pass it immediately,” he said.
Coronavirus: 50% of people vaccinated developed antibodies - Sheba
A top doctor from Sheba has said that she would recommend pushing off administering the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine by a month in order to inoculate more Israelis.

“I think it is more important to get more people vaccinated,” said Dr. Gili Regev-Yochay, director of Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit from Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, “We are only talking about a month. I don’t think it will cause any damage and the damage from the disease is greater.”

Speaking during a briefing on Tuesday, she said that preliminary data shows that after two weeks, 50% of the first 100 people who were vaccinated two weeks ago have developed strong antibodies against the virus. This is up from only between 1% and 2% after one week. Sheba is evaluating the level of antibodies in hundreds of medical workers who were inoculated at the hospital, but Regev-Yochay said that not everyone has had the vaccine long enough to prove its effectiveness. The hospital will continue to follow these people and more. Regev-Yochay said the hospital was specifically evaluating for immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies, which determine if a person has developed immunity.

She said that she believes the ideal is to use the Pfizer vaccine exactly as done during the clinical trials, which involves a booster shot administered on day 21. She said that she believes the booster is essential, but pushing it off a month is not pushing it off in perpetuity and could be for the greater good.
Palestinians say they are now trying to get vaccines from Israel
The Palestinian Authority is examining the possibility of obtaining COVID-19 vaccines from Israel, a senior PA official told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday.

PA officials have in the past few days approached the Israeli government to inquire if it would be willing to provide them with some of the vaccines it received, the official said.

“We understand that the political echelon in Israel has to decide about this matter,” the official told the Post. “Meanwhile, the World Health Organization is helping us secure vaccines from a number of companies.”

Last week, PA Ministry of Health officials said the Palestinians have not asked Israel to supply them with, nor to purchase on their behalf, vaccines against the novel coronavirus. The PA was in contact with a number of sources to obtain the vaccines, the officials said.

The first doses of vaccines are expected to arrive in the West Bank at the beginning of February, the PA Ministry of Health said. It did not say which companies would provide them.
200 rabbis call on Israel to make COVID vaccine available to Palestinians
A group of some 200 rabbis have signed a petition by the Rabbis for Human Rights organization calling on the Israeli government to hasten the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines amongst the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza.

The rabbis, including Reform, Conservative and some Orthodox figures, said that providing vaccines to the Palestinians was a moral imperative especially in Gaza over which, the rabbis asserted, Israel exercises extensive control.

Palestinian Authority officials have declined to ask the Israeli authorities for assistance in obtaining vaccines, with one PA Ministry of Health official saying in December the ministry “is not a a department in the Israeli Defense Ministry” and that the PA ministry was itself seeking to acquire vaccines.

“We, rabbis from across the denominational spectrum, call upon the Government of Israel to expedite the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine throughout Israel, and in parallel – with as much importance and urgency – in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip,” wrote the rabbis who signed the Rabbis for Human Rights petition which was created on December 24.

“Without Israel’s intervention, the rate and scale of COVID-19 infection in Gaza will skyrocket. The State of Israel, which exercises extensive control over Gaza’s land, sea and air access, should acknowledge responsibility for the health and welfare of the two million Palestinians who live there.”


NBC Continues to Push False Narrative That Israel Is Responsible For Palestinians’ Vaccine
Following MSNBC’s end of the year broadcast which falsely cast Israel as legally responsible for vaccinating Palestinian living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, NBC continues to push the fallacious narrative.

The otherwise informative Jan. 3 article by Paul Goldman and Saphora Smith, entitled “Paralyzed by Covid-19, Israel bids to be first country to vaccinate its way to safety,” inaccurately reports:


Palestinians living under Israeli control in the occupied West Bank and Gaza are not included in the vaccination drive, prompting criticism that Israel is not meeting its legal obligations.

In fact, Gaza residents, along with the vast majority of West Bank residents, do not live “under Israeli control.” Gaza residents live under the control of their Hamas government. Following Israel’s complete withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, then Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice stated in a May 1, 2006 briefing, “in fact, the Israelis do not any longer occupy Gaza.” Hamas’ Mahmoud Zahar agreed that Israel no longer controls the territory, saying in 2012: “Against whom could we demonstrate in the Gaza Strip? When Gaza was occupied, that model was applicable.” Additional details on international law experts who concur that the Gaza Strip is under the control of Hamas, and is neither occupied by Israel, nor under Israeli control, are available here.


Globe Columnist Picard Repeats Canard that Israel Hasn’t Vaccinated Palestinians
On January 4, respected Globe and Mail columnist Andrรฉ Picard‘s positive and informative commentary about Israel leading the world in COVID-19 vaccinations, was marred by his repeating the canard that Israel hasn’t vaccinated Palestinians, which he refers to as a “human rights issue”.

Picard writes that:


In truth, the Palestinians never asked for Israel’s help in procuring and administering the vaccine. To do so, would be to deny Palestinians agency and self-determination. The Palestinians themselves have sourced 4 million vaccines from Russia and are working with the World Health Organization (WHO).

Israel has no obligation to vaccinate non-citizens, but is vaccinating all its citizenry, equally, irrespective of religion, race or creed; whether, Jewish, Arab, Druze, or Christian. In fact, the 1 millionth vaccine administered was on an Israeli Arab and Israel actively is encouraging its Arab minority to get vaccinated. The Oslo Accords recognize that the Palestinians administer their own health care.

In the time of the Black Plague, Jews were also accused of the antisemitic trope of failing to stop the disease’s spread or of withholding the vaccine. There’s no foundation to this modern reincarnation of this medieval libel concocted by Israel’s detractors.


Quincy Institute Yanks Analysis From Child Predator Amid Uproar
The Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft removed an article late last week written by a former United Nations official who was convicted of engaging in lurid acts with a child.

The isolationist think tank bankrolled by billionaires George Soros and Charles Koch sparked on uproar on Dec. 28 when it published an article by Scott Ritter, a former high-ranking U.N. weapons inspector who was arrested in the mid-2000s as part of an internet underage-sex sting. Ritter was arrested at least three times for this behavior.

The Quincy Institute removed the piece, which downplayed the threat posed by Russia's hack attacks on the U.S. government, after online observers chided the group for publishing works from a convicted child molester. An archived copy of Ritter's article, as well as his online biography, remain available on Quincy's website, and the organization's official Twitter account retweeted a post from Ritter promoting his article, which he posted on the Alternative World website.

Ritter is a contributor to Russia Today, a Kremlin-funded propaganda outlet. Ritter was a frequent critic of the George W. Bush administration and a member of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity group, which was formed in 2003 to challenge the Bush administration's assertion that then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Ritter worked for that group alongside former U.S. diplomat and Quincy Institute expert Chas Freeman, who has a history of pushing conspiracy theories that accuse Jewish Americans of controlling the U.S. foreign-policy establishment.

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity has embraced kooky conspiracy theories, claiming in 2016 that there was no evidence Russia attempted to sway the presidential election that ushered Donald Trump into office. A 2013 memorandum from the group claimed the Syrian government was not responsible for a brutal chemical attack near Damascus, despite evidence indicating otherwise. The media labeled those claims as outlandish.

The organization is well-known for its anti-Israel bent, having blasted then-president Barack Obama in 2010 for putting what it called "misplaced trust" in Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his warning about Iran's nuclear program.

"Washington leaves it up to the Israelis to decide whether and when to attack Iran, and how much ‘room' to give to the diplomatic effort," the group claimed.
D.C. Acquires Yet Another Disinformation Think Tank
On September 29, friends and colleagues of deceased Saudi dissident, Jamal Khashoggi, launched his "brainchild" – a new, shiny D.C. thinktank named DAWN, or Democracy for the Arab World Now. Led by Sarah Leah Whitson, DAWN "seeks to highlight and celebrate democratic reforms in the Arab world, while also shining a light on human rights violations and arbitrary and abusive practices."

"Abusive" is putting it lightly. Few can forget that the horror of Khashoggi's murder. Killed and dismembered in 2018 inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey, his death sparked outrage around the world. But such outrage, and the gruesomeness of his murder, must not be used to sanitize Khashoggi's ideology.

In reality, Khashoggi was an open supporter of violent, theocratic movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood. His public commentary included open support for designated terrorist organizations and unabashed anti-Semitism. Khashoggi appears to have reinvented himself as an exiled 'human rights' dissident only once he lost influence in Saudi Arabia after the rise of reformist Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and presumably trusting that his editors at the Washington Post would not bother to read the fascistic posts on his Twitter feed too closely. As even the Post itself reports, Khashoggi's columns were "shaped" by a top official of the Qatari regime's Qatar Foundation.

Khashoggi was a spin doctor for theocrats, not a crusading voice for a better world.

Khashoggi was not a crusading voice for a better world; he was a spin doctor for theocrats in Doha and Ankara, who met a terrible end.
Incubating Hatred: How Radical Professors Help Promote Jew-Hatred
While the pandemic greatly disrupted campus activities in 2020, the student governments of at least three universities managed to focus their efforts to pass BDS resolutions, bills that asked their respective universities to divest from holdings of companies doing business with Israel.

At the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, that school’s resolution “called on the university to divest from Northrop Grumman, Raytheon Company, Lockheed Martin, Caterpillar Inc. and Elbit Systems Ltd. for what the resolution alleges is partaking in human-rights violations in the Palestinian territories. . . .” Additionally, in a twist that forced Jewish students to choose between supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and condemning Israel, the resolution included concessions for the minority community and a nod to BLM, and “also called for the university to divest from its own police department . . . and for the university to divest from companies involved in the prison system, U.S. immigration enforcement and fossil fuels.”

A successful BDS resolution vote at Columbia University similarly demanded that the school “divest its stocks, funds, and endowment from companies that profit from or engage in the State of Israel’s acts toward Palestinians that, according to Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD), fall under the United Nations International Convention of the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid.”

And, most recently, in November at San Francisco State University (SFSU), a perennial hotbed of anti-Israel agitation, a resolution promoted by the radical group General Union of Palestine Students was passed and called on the University to divest from a list of some 100 companies “that benefit from Israeli Occupation, racism, and colonialism” in Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria. “[T]hese investments harm San Francisco State’s Palestinian, Arab, Muslim students,” the resolution read, “many of whom have families who currently live under Israeli occupation, or are descendants of Palestinians who have been killed or forcibly relocated as a result of Israel’s occupation of Palestine.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Palestinians Hoping Biden Will Remind Jews Not To Be So Goddamn Sovereign (satire)
The upcoming inauguration of the next American president has officials and activists in this and other Palestinian locales anticipating a shift in tone from that of the stridently pro-Israel Trump administration, perhaps even to the extent that the incoming chief executive will embark on a Middle East policy that seeks to restore previously established sensibilities under which Jews should stop being so uppity and insisting on asserting their rights as a people to rule themselves in their own ancient land.

Palestinian leaders have made no secret over the last four years of their dissatisfaction with Donald Trump, who sided with Israel in uncompromising terms on almost every issue of contention between the Jewish State and the Palestinians: the status of Jerusalem; the legal status of Jewish communities beyond the 1949 armistice lines; the fate of Arabs whose ancestors fled or were displaced in 1948 or 1967; declaring the BDS movement antisemitic; and shielding Israel from one-sided treatment in international forums. In numerous statements to journalists and in private conversations, Palestinian officials have voiced the hope that any change in attitude from the incoming administration cannot avoid moving in a direction they find more acceptable, namely toward the familiar orientation of reminding Jews just who really is boss, and don’t you dare pretend they’re equal to Muslims.

“We hope to move back to the sensibilities that preceded Trump,” states Fatah official Jibril Rajoub. “Under Obama, for example, it was unthinkable to accept that Jews should be able to claim their eternal capital as their capital. Then along comes Trump and moves the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, despite our sincerest threats of violence. We’ll be on much more comfortable, familiar ground with Biden, I believe, returning to the underlying assumption that if the Jews of Israel want to live a normal existence, they have to forfeit the security that everyone needs in order to live a normal existence.”
BBC’s Bateman fails to unravel Coronavirus vaccinations canard
Previously we looked at Lyse Doucet’s amplification of the false claim that Israel is responsible for the supply of Coronavirus vaccinations to Palestinians on BBC World Service radio on January 2nd.

On January 3rd an edition of the programme ‘Weekend’ aired on the same radio station included a long item concerning Israel’s vaccination campaign:
“Also on the programme, How did Israel get to lead the global coronavirus drive?”

The item began with a conversation between presenter Paul Henley and BBC Jerusalem bureau correspondent Tom Bateman, with the latter providing an explanation of the logistics involved in the vaccination campaign. It continued with an audio version of a report by Bateman from the Mea Sha’arim neighbourhood in Jerusalem which is very similar to parts of a filmed report published on the BBC News website.

At 14:30 Henley brought in questions from his studio guests, with the first posed by “Eunice Goes, Portuguese born professor of politics at Richmond University in the UK” as she is described in the synopsis.

Goes: “I was wondering if Israel had any plans to vaccinate the Palestinian populations in the occupied territories. I know that so far…ah…the roll-out programme has not included them.”

Bateman: “It hasn’t and…ahm…Israel has been asked this question. In fact there was a letter written to the Ministry of Health by a group of around 15 [sic] human rights and aid organisations saying that, as the occupying power, Israel had the – they said – moral and ethical responsibility to ensure that.”
Shylock cut from Shakespeare anthology for kids
A popular British children’s author omitted “The Merchant of Venice” from his adaptation of William Shakespeare plays for young audiences.

One reason: anti-Semitism.

“Yes, there was some worry that this might be the first time an 8-year-old reads about a Jew,” Michael Morpurgo told The Guardian on Monday about the decision not to include the play in the “Tales from Shakespeare” anthology for children older than 6.

“A story that the Nazis used to portray Jewish people in a bad light – that is not something you put in front of an 8-year-old as their first example of an extraordinary group that has contributed so much to the world and suffered so much.”

Morpurgo, the author of “War Horse” and “Kensuke’s Kingdom,” was quoted by The Times of London as saying that “The play can be antisemitic … I did feel this was Shakespeare’s play and I could not tell it honestly. It would be offensive.”

He told The Guardian that The Times had played up the weight of anti-Semitism in his decision.

It is “not a play I enjoy myself. I didn’t ‘refuse’ to include the play, no one told me to do it – I sat down quietly and decided the 10 I would do,” he said. Calling his decision censorial is “completely wrong and a knee-jerk reaction,” he added.
Celtic's Israeli midfielder Bitton called 'dirty Jew' amid torrent of abuse after derby defeat
Celtic Football Club’s Israeli midfield player Nir Bitton has been subjected to vicious antisemitic abuse after fans rounded on him following the club’s defeat to rivals Rangers.

The 29-year-old was branded a “dirty Jew bastard” and a “Zionist rat” in social media posts after Sunday’s Old Firm derby clash.

Mr Bitton’s wife Bar also confirmed she had received many “awful” messages and shared a screen grab of one which called for her and her husband to be “hanged” while adding further abuse directed at the couple's two children.

The message read: “Here you ya cow, you and yer husband deserve tae be hung on the streets. F**k you and yer wains.”

Mr Bitton, who was born in Ashdod, has previously spoken of his frustration at the abuse he receives from Celtic fans because he is an Israeli.

In 2016 he wrote on his Instagram that the trolls were "nothing but idiots" and said they accused him of supporting the killing of children.

“I’m all up for the banter but not when you guys texting my wife’s Instagram," he said.

He continued: “As a father if you guys think I support the death of children or any human being then you are nothing but idiots!!!
Charity for Blind Ends Decades-Long Quest for Paintings Stolen by Nazis
A British charity for the blind has acquired three paintings seized from a Jewish family under the Nuremberg Laws, after a decades-long effort, reported The Times.

Irma Lowenstein, who later remarried as Irma Austin, fled from Austria to the United Kingdom in 1938 and began a lifetime effort to reclaim possessions confiscated by the Nazi regime — including three valuable works by the 18th-century painter Ferdinand Georg Waldmรผller.

When she died in 1976, she left her estate to the Greater London Fund for the Blind, since renamed the Vision Foundation. After being made aware of the family’s claim to the paintings in 2018, the charity has now acquired them for an estimated total sum of over $700,000.

Austin’s efforts were originally stymied by British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, according to The Times, who claimed that the Soviet Union had vetoed transferring the artworks under its shared jurisdiction of postwar Vienna.

Under the so-called Washington Principles, signed in 1998, 44 countries have pledged to make efforts to return paintings looted during the war. The Nazis stole as many as 600,000 paintings, with 100,000 still missing, according to a 2018 New York Times interview with the expert Stuart E. Eizenstat. At the time, he noted that Hungary, Poland, Spain, Russia and Italy had been particularly slow or unwilling to help.
Israeli startup Aleph Farms, Mitsubishi team up to bring cultured steak to Japan
Aleph Farms, Ltd. and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation’s Food Industry Group have signed an accord to bring cultivated meat to the Japanese table.

As part of the memorandum of understanding signed between the parties, Aleph Farms will bring to the partnership its manufacturing BioFarm technology to cultivate whole-muscle steaks from cattle cells without the use of animals, while Mitsubishi will bring its biotechnology expertise, its food manufacturing processes and its local distribution channels in Japan, Aleph said in a statement.

“The MoU with Mitsubishi Corporation’s Food Industry Group marks an important milestone for us” as the firm seeks to build up its marketing activities with partners to integrate cultivated meat in the food ecosystem, said Didier Toubia, the co-founder and CEO of Aleph Farms, in the statement.

The Israeli firm has set up similar partnerships with other multinationals: Migros, the Swiss industrial group, and US-based food corporation Cargill have also invested in the startup.

Aleph Farms’ non-genetically engineered technology, co-developed with Prof. Shulamit Levenberg of the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, uses the ability of animals to grow tissue muscle constantly. The company discovered a way to isolate the cells responsible for that process and grow them outside of the animal to form the same muscle tissue typical of steaks. This enables the startup to produce real meat cuts from cow cells, with the same look and feel and almost the same taste, but without killing animals and without using antibiotics.
Israel, Greece ink massive $1.68B defense deal
The governments of Israel and Greece are on the way to a massive defense deal after the Israeli Defense Ministry won a tender to build a training base for the Greek Air Force, to be executed by Israel's Elbit Systems Ltd., the Greek government confirmed Tuesday.

Elbit will also operate the base, to be known as the Flight Training Center, for a period of 20 years and deliver training aircraft fleets equipped with its avionics and embedded training solutions. Elbit will also supply the base with its flight simulators and training aids, as well as ongoing logistical support.

The Greek Air force will also acquire 10 Italian M-346 training aircraft, which the Israeli Air Force also uses to train cadet pilots.

The deal is worth a reported $1.68 billion, and is contingent upon the successful completion of negotiations with the Hellenic Ministry of National Defense.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Tuesday that the agreement was "an expression of the excellent and developing relations we have with Greece. This is a long-term partnership that will serve the interests of both Greece and Israel."

"This is a partnership that will promote stability in the Mediterranean region, and create hundreds of jobs in both countries," Gantz added.


IAI successfully tests the MRSAM air and missile defense system in India
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has successfully tested its Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) air- and missile-defense system in India, it said Tuesday.

The test was conducted in cooperation with India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

The MRSAM system is being jointly developed by DRDO in close collaboration with IAI’s Elta, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and additional companies in both countries. It is used by the Israeli Navy and India’s naval, air and ground forces.

The system can shoot down enemy aircraft at a range of 50-70 km. and is intended to replace India’s aging air-defense systems. It includes advanced phased-array radar, command and control, mobile launchers and interceptors with an advanced RF Seeker.

“The current test, conducted at the Indian test range, validated all components of the weapon system to the customer’s satisfaction,” IAI said in a press release. “Israeli specialists and Indian scientists and officers participated in and witnessed the test.”


Join a curator on a virtual tour of the Met’s Ashkenazi Jewish treasures
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is open by reservation only and capacity is limited. For art-starved New Yorkers, the next best thing may be an online course with a curator, like the one being offered during the 2021 YIVO-Bard Winter Program on Ashkenazi Civilization, being held from January 5-22.

Among the presenters will be Barbara Drake Boehm, the Paul and Jill Ruddock Senior Curator for The Met Cloisters, whose six-part seminar course will consider the artistic and cultural heritage of Ashkenazi Jews in Central and Eastern Europe. She’ll also discuss the ways art and artifacts of Ashkenaz have made it into the Met’s collection — and what’s missing.

“When I first started thinking about this, and why our collections of Jewish heritage appear so limited, I sort of naturally assumed it hadn’t been properly recognized or owed to prejudice,” Boehm told The Jewish Week. “But I realized that Jewish museums were, like the Met, a late 19th-century phenomenon. They were meant to preserve, protect and celebrate a heritage some felt might be slipping away.”

Simply put, with some major exceptions (like the Judaica collection gifted to the Met by the late investor Harry G. Friedman), Jewish museums had dibs on the good stuff.

That being said, Boehm was happy to talk about treasures in the Met’s collection that tell stories about Europe’s Jewish heritage and the taste of their creators and owners, the blind spots of their collectors, and the efforts to preserve a culture that so many tried to erase.


First-Ever Memorial Held in Silwan for Jew Slain in 1939 Arab Riots
The first-ever memorial day for Shlomo Madmoni was held on Monday in the village of Shiloah (Silwan) in eastern Jerusalem, also known as the Yemenite village. The event, initiated by the Shiloah public council, was attended by Israel’s Regional Cooperation Minister Ofir Akunis.

Madmoni was murdered in 1939 on his way to save a Torah scroll and other synagogue property that had been badly damaged during Arab riots led by Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini.

During the memorial service, a marble memorial plaque was placed in in the old Yemenite synagogue, and for the first time in 82 years since the murder, Kaddish (the Jewish mourners’ prayer) was recited there for him—by Rahamim Madmoni, 86, Shlomo Madmoni’s son.

“It is very moving to be here in the place where my father, peace be upon him, went to save a Torah scroll,” said Rahamim. “I close the circle with my father, and I am sure that he is very proud at this moment. We continue the heritage of our ancestors, here and all over Israel.”

In addition to attending the memorial service, Akunis also toured the Ohel Shlomo Synagogue in Shiloah to learn the story of the village’s history and renewed Jewish settlement there.

“This is a historic day in a historic place. We are closing a circle that began with the Jewish settlement here in the village of Shiloah in the 19th century, with the arrival of the first immigrants from Yemen. As I used to say in holy places like this—we are back to settle this place forever and have no intention to leave it again,” said Akunis.
The City Without Jews
The social scientist and cinephile Siegfried Kracauer spent most of World War II translating and interpreting Nazi propaganda films for the Museum of Modern Art Film Library. Calling up more congenial memories of German cinema, he also rewound in his mind the films he had seen during the glory days of Weimar cinema from 1920 to 1933.

Yet Kracauer, a Frankfurt School alum and German Jewish refugee, began to detect something “macabre, sinister, morbid” in the hallucinatory dreamscapes that had spilled forth from the Babelsberg Film Studio, the legendary art-factory that gave Hollywood a run for its money. Lurking in the Expressionist set design, elongated shadows, and unchained camera shots was a haunting vision soon to be made real by the Third Reich. In his famous study From Caligari to Hitler: A Psychological Study of German Film, published in 1947, Kracauer drew a straight line from the dark projections on the Weimar screen to the unholy desires locked up in what he called “the German soul”—a death wish just waiting to be fulfilled.

A classic instance of 20/20 hindsight, Kracauer’s filter is ahistorical, presentist, and downright mystical. It also impossible to shunt aside when certain images from Weimar cinema unspool like a grim prophecy, almost a blueprint, for what lay ahead. Think of the scene in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927), when two columns of workers march robotically into the yawning maw of a fiery furnace. “Moloch!” screams the intertitle, invoking the pagan god who demands human sacrifice.

So, to look at The City Without Jews (Die Stadt ohne Juden, 1924) nearly a century on is to be caught short by the very title and be chilled by the inevitable flash forward. The sight of an exiled Jewish population—bedraggled hordes, weighted down by all their worldly possessions, shoved on to trains for relocation to the east—might be from newsreel footage that has not yet been shot. The film is silent but you can almost hear the guards barking: “Raus!”

Newly released on Blu-ray by Flicker Alley, the outfit dedicated to the preservation of motion picture treasures (and that is itself a national treasure), The City Without Jews was a minor blip in its time that today radiates an intense incandescence. It was made in Austria—technically outside the borders of Weimar Germany, and not part of the Greater Reich until 1938—but Hitler’s birthplace was seldom out of sync with what was happening in Germany or, for that matter, with the sentiments of its native son. Directed by Hans Karl Breslauer, a Viennese actor turned filmmaker; scripted by Breslauer and Ida Jenbach from the novel by Hugo Bettauer; and featuring the future star Hans Moser, the film sends out eerie portents in every frame and screen credit. Breslauer later turned to writing and, despite his most famous screen credit, joined the Nazi Party in 1940; Moser angled his popularity as one of Hitler’s favorite actors to save his Jewish wife; and Jenbach died in a concentration camp.





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