Tuesday, January 26, 2021

From Ian:

Jeff Jacoby: The politics of an Auschwitz survivor’s son
Equally menacing is an obsession with race and racial distinctions. Hitler’s Germany deemed “Aryans” the highest race and Jews the lowest. In their fanaticism on the subject, the Nazis demonized Jews, denied them legal rights, deprived them of their livelihoods, drove them from their homes, and finally destroyed them by the millions. As the son of a Holocaust survivor, I consider all racial categories fundamentally illegitimate. I abhor the labeling and sorting of Americans by race. “Classifications and distinctions based on race or color,” argued the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in a 1947 brief, “have no moral or legal validity in our society.” That has always been my position. It makes me heartsick that 50 years after the civil rights movement, America’s leading institutions have become more race-obsessed than ever.

I’m sure that some of the stands I take in public-policy debates have been influenced by my experience growing up with a father who survived the death camps and being raised in a community that was home to other survivors. I fervently opposed the Bush administration’s reliance on torture to extract information from Al Qaeda detainees, for example. I have always condemned the scapegoating of immigrants, whether it came from the left or from the right. I have no patience with foreign-policy “realists” who downplay human rights in dealing with other governments.

Above and beyond politics, however, my lifelong awareness of the Holocaust has made it impossible for me not to know that human goodness is fragile. It doesn’t come naturally but must be honed and practiced, etched into our nature one good deed at a time. Civility and civilization are only veneers, stretched like a bandage over an ugly wound. More easily than we like to think, that bandage can be pulled off, exposing the putrescence beneath. It was pulled off in Europe in the middle of the 20th century, and the consequences were diabolical — for the world, for the Jews, for my father and his family. Those consequences are never far from my mind. They shape my thinking to this day.
After converting to Judaism, I was surrounded by neo-Nazis - Opinion
When we talked about it over scoops of ice cream later that night, he told me it was surprising to have experienced neo-Nazis in Iceland, a country famous for its equality and peaceful society, but he didn’t reveal having felt anything beyond the surprise.

I took this experience home with me though, and it helped me understand the gravity of my conversion. It was the first time that fear made me reconsider my conversion and the choices I was making in my public Jewish life. It was the first time I truly looked inward and asked myself the hard question required of converts: Was I ready to accept the realities of anti-Semitism?

I also asked myself the question so many of my friends had asked already: As a gay man, why would I want to add an additional target on my back?

I used to find the imagery of a target on someone’s back too grotesque and melodramatic for the context of a religious conversion, but since my encounter with presumed neo-Nazis in the hot tub that day, the question has become even more reasonable. On top of all-too-common news of anti-Semitic threats and vandalism, there have been synagogue shootings and Jewish-oriented hate crimes around the world.

At the time of this writing, we are dealing with the aftermath of domestic terrorists storming and overtaking the U.S. Capitol building. Some rioters waved Confederate flags, others held signs referencing the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory QAnon. Others wore sweatshirts that read things like “Camp Auschwitz,” an obvious glorification of the Holocaust. During the pro-Trump “Save America” rally leading up to the storming of the Capitol building, a Republican congresswoman, Mary Miller, even quoted Hitler.

While I wait for my city’s mikvah to reopen after being closed due to COVID-19 in order to finalize my conversion, I find myself revisiting the same question I asked myself back in Reykjavík: Is my conversion a smart choice?

In the two years that have passed since soaking in a hot tub with neo-Nazis, I have to admit that my certainty in my desire to convert has taken a few blows. But what keeps me pushing toward the mikvah, however, is that when I’m asked if I’m Jewish, I always say yes.
The uncomfortable truth about BLM, Malcolm X and anti-Semitism
Fifty-five years ago, Martin Luther King delivered a speech to 50,000 Americans in which he demanded justice for persecuted Jews behind the Iron Curtain.

‘The absence of opportunity to associate as Jews in the enjoyment of Jewish culture and religious experience becomes a severe limitation upon the individual,’ he said. ‘Negros can well understand and sympathise with this problem.’

He then stated, in typically uncompromising style, that Jewish history and culture were ‘part of everyone’s heritage, whether he be Jewish, Christian or Moslem.’ He concluded:

‘We cannot sit complacently by the wayside while our Jewish brothers in the Soviet Union face the possible extinction of their cultural and spiritual life. Those that sit at rest, while others take pains, are tender turtles, and buy their quiet with disgrace.’

This speech – released last week by the National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry (NCEJ) to mark Martin Luther King Day, and coming just days before we remember the Holocaust – feels particularly poignant in the newly radicalised atmosphere of 2021. Today's activists in the Black Lives Matter movement would be wise to remember King's words.

During the Los Angeles riots over the killing of George Floyd, Jewish shops were destroyed, synagogues were sprayed with ‘free Palestine’ graffiti, and a statue of a Swedish diplomat who had saved Hungarian Jews from the Nazis was defaced with anti-Semitic slogans.

In France, a Black Lives Matter rally descended into cries of ‘dirty Jews’, echoing the anti-Semitic chants that filled the same streets during the Dreyfus affair a century ago. Shortly afterwards, the #Jewishprivilege Twitter hashtag sought to lump Jews together with the forces of oppression – until it was subverted by Jews posting accounts of the persecution suffered by their families. Jewish privilege indeed.

Countering the erosion of Holocaust memory 76 years later - opinion
WHAT GAINS can the next 76 years possibly bring? As the population ages and few survivors remain to share their story in person, I believe there is a limited window of time to reaffirm the Holocaust as a uniquely tragic event, and to transmit a desire to study it to subsequent generations. Thankfully, there are many reliable primary and secondary sources, survivor testimonies and high-quality museums to ground one’s understanding. Among the 44,000 camps and sites for incarceration (including ghettos) that were established in Nazi Germany and allied countries, several have been preserved and are open to visitors thanks to the conscientiousness of philanthropists such as World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder. These include Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek, which I found to be incomparable in effect to any other form of Holocaust education.

Yet unless individuals are personally motivated and feel that the inquiry is worth the pursuit, they will likely not teach themselves history, or buy a flight ticket to a foreign country. The same applies to persons with a family or religious connection who may occasionally profess to ‘Holocaust fatigue’ (something I can’t purport to understand).

Advocacy, active teaching, and awareness raising are needed to put years of scholarly work, preservation and professional storytelling into practice. Recent legislation that was signed into law last year in the US can serve as a model for other nations. The “Never Again Education Act” recognizes that Holocaust education is not easily translatable to students from a textbook. It provides federal funding for individual educators to work with United States Holocaust Museum on curriculum in middle and high schools. 3G (third generation)-focused organizations are another avenue for creating experiential learning around the Holocaust by helping the children and grandchildren of survivors effectively document and pass down memories in their local communities.

From a global perspective, the World Jewish Congress (WJC) is ideally positioned to rally Jewish communities around the world for awareness-raising projects. Of equal importance, the WJC is securing partnerships with non-Jewish advocates and organizations outside of Jewish communities that share a common interest in maintaining the integrity and relevance of Holocaust history. These individuals and organizations are crucial custodians of Holocaust history.

This coming International Holocaust Remembrance Day will be unique in that it will be marked by a series of virtual events, such as the WJC’s #WeRemember online campaign which you can join by posting a photo of yourself on social media holding a sign that says “We Remember” using the hashtag #WeRemember.

It is a simple yet meaningful way to honor the memory of the victims and encourage people to learn more about the Holocaust. Lighting a memorial candle, reading a survivor’s story, or listening to the reading of names, are other ways to pay tribute. There are boundless ways to meaningfully commemorate if the will and interest are there.

How will you mark January 27?
Int’l Holocaust Remembrance Day to focus on 1.5 million children killed by Nazis
As countries around the world observe International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Wednesday, online events will replace large gatherings at the Jewish genocide’s major sites of remembrance.

Started by the United Nations in 2005, the commemoration marks the day that Auschwitz-Birkenau — the largest of Nazi Germany’s death camps — was liberated by the Soviet army on January 27, 1945. One million Jews from all over Europe were murdered in gas chambers there, in addition to 100,000 victims from Poland, Russia and elsewhere.

With many countries reeling from COVID-19 deaths, some organizations are focusing on the plight of the Holocaust’s youngest victims: the 1,500,000 Jewish children murdered by Nazi Germany. Another theme shared this year is combatting “denial” of the genocide, which — along with anti-Semitism — is on the rise globally.

At the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland, commemorations will focus on the nearly quarter-million children murdered on-site by German Nazis. At least 216,000 of those victims were Jewish children, many of them deported to the death camp without family. Ruins of a gas chamber-crematorium facility at Auschwitz-Birkenau, known as Krematorium II, Poland, November 2015. (Matt Lebovic/The Times of Israel)

“The adult world — after all, so often unjust and cruel — has never demonstrated so much of its heartlessness, its evil,” said Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński, director of the state museum.

“This [murder of children] cannot be justified by any ideology, reckoning or politics. This year we want to dedicate the anniversary of liberation to the youngest victims of the camp,” said Cywiński.
Holocaust Remembrance DayIn Amsterdam, ‘personal cards’ of Holocaust victims return to Jewish hands
Sonja Levy was a positive person who made an excellent first impression and whose important position exempted her from deportation, according to the personal card that the Jewish Council of Amsterdam made for her during the Nazi occupation.

But the accolades on the card weren’t enough to save Levy, a kindergarten teacher who was in her early 20s when the Germans invaded.

Like more than 100,000 Dutch Jews, she was eventually put on a train to the death camps in occupied Poland and murdered there in a gas chamber.

On Monday, ownership of her personal card – it turned out to be her first epitaph — was handed over to the main museum of the community to which she belonged.

Ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, the Netherlands branch of the Red Cross has transferred to the Jewish Cultural Quarter of Amsterdam — an umbrella of several Jewish institutions, including the National Holocaust Museum of the Netherlands — ownership of more than 140,000 personal cards of Dutch Jews that are slated to be displayed to the public for the first time.

The entire index of the Jewish Council of Amsterdam — a body that the Nazis set up to have Jews oversee preparations for the extermination of their own minority throughout the Netherlands — is among the most comprehensive and best-kept registries of its kind anywhere in Europe.
Ceremony honors Japanese diplomat who saved thousands from Holocaust
Chiune Sugihara, known affectionately as the "Japanese Schindler," was honored at a digital ceremony on Monday ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The reception, sponsored by the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) and B'nai B'rith International, focused on the efforts of Sugihara, who defied his own government’s orders by issuing travel visas to more than 6,000 Lithuanian Jews to escape the horrors of the Holocaust.

“At great risk to himself and his family, Sugihara dared to do what was right to save lives. He stood up when the world was largely silent," said CEO of B'nai B'rith International Dan Mariaschin. Like all rescuers, he never saw his actions as remarkable. As Sugihara’s actions teach, one person’s actions can make a difference.”

Sugihara was stationed as a diplomat in Lithuania until all foreign diplomats were requested to leave in the summer of 1940. In the haste to return to Japan, and the impending Holocaust, Sugihara issued visas to the Jewish refugees; it is thought that tens of thousands of Jews are alive today because of his quick action.

“It is estimated that 40,000 people are living today because of Sugihara. I am also a survivor. Another kind of survivor. I am alive today because my grandparents were saved during the Holocaust and I am alive today because of people who stood up to the darkness," said executive director of CAM Sacha Roytman Dratwa.

"What we learned today is that it is possible to stand up. The heroes of the past must teach us how to be better people.”

What the War Over the IHRA Definition Obscures
On January 13, one of Montreal’s largest synagogues was vandalized and defaced with anti-Semitic symbols, including a swastika. The perpetrator was a supporter of anti-Israel boycotts and had been influenced by their propaganda campaigns. And a few days earlier, three Israel-linked restaurants in Portland, Oregon, were vandalized with “free Palestine” graffiti. These attacks add to the lengthening list of anti-Semitic incidents around the world, including murderous attacks on synagogues, museums and Israeli institutions, triggered by Jew-haters from the left and the right.

In parallel, an acrimonious and seemingly independent debate is taking place around the working definition of anti-Semitism developed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). This framework was formed by a number of governments in 1998 in response to the increasing levels of Holocaust denialism and anti-Semitism. As part of this process, the organization developed a working definition of anti-Semitism, including a number of examples, some of which relate to Israel and the anti-Zionist form of anti-Semitism. These include “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination,” applying double standards not “demanded of any other democratic nation,” using symbols “associated with classic antisemitism…to characterize Israel or Israelis” or comparing “contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”

Since 2016, this document has been formally adopted by 30 governments, mainly in Europe, North America and Australia, as well as by international institutions. In addition, a number of parliaments have endorsed the text, and, in many cases, universities and other important institutions use the definition in the form of guidelines for assessing anti-Semitic behavior.

But for some vocal organizations and individuals, the Israel-related examples of anti-Semitism are unacceptable and are portrayed, or distorted, as attempts to “silence criticism” of Israeli policies in the conflict with the Palestinians or even as “threats to democracy.” NGOs at the forefront of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, are among the most vocal in attacking the IHRA definition. Using the “silence criticism” excuse, a group described as German cultural leaders launched an effort to rescind the Bundestag resolution that adopted the working definition and referred to BDS as a form of anti-Semitism. And the World Council of Churches has repeated the slogans rejecting the definition while still questioning the very concept of Jewish sovereign equality.
Arab Gulf Initiative to Promote Holocaust Awareness, Combat Anti-Semitism
In December 2020, interfaith group Sharaka brought to Israel the first ever delegation of young leaders from the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Sharaka, which translates to partnership in Arabic, was founded last year by social activists from Israel and the Gulf, in the wake of the historic Abraham Accords. The initiative aims to strengthen the bonds between young people in the region, build greater trust and promote a real, warm and enduring peace.

As part of our historic trip to Israel, we–the Arab members of the delegation–were deeply moved to action following our visit to Yad Vashem - The World Holocaust Remembrance Center, the first such official visit by a delegation from our respective countries.

Having seen first hand the unimaginable horrors of the Holocaust, including the deep-seated hatred and demonization of Jews, which led to a dark stain in modern history and still permeates in many parts of the world today, we commit to the following five-point Action Plan for Promoting Holocaust Awareness and Combatting Anti-Semitism.

1. Promoting Holocaust awareness and education:
Sharaka will work to promote Holocaust awareness and education in Abraham Accords countries and beyond by organizing trips to Nazi concentration camps in Europe, holding educational events, creating platforms for survivor testimonials and sharing historically-accurate Holocaust-related materials and information with civil society organizations, academic institutions, youth groups and online.

2. Interfaith dialogue:
Sharaka will promote and facilitate respectful interfaith and intercultural dialogue to deepen mutual understanding and highlight common values and traditions of all the children of Abraham. This dialogue will also serve to counter stereotypes and misinformation regarding Judaism, Islam, Christianity and other Middle Eastern faiths.

3. International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism:
Sharaka will work to share information regarding the importance and use of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, and will encourage and cooperate with relevant institutions, bodies and organizations in the Middle East and North Africa to adopt it.

4. Combating online anti-Semitism:
Sharaka will counter online anti-Semitism through the use of social media to encourage the reporting of such content. In addition, Sharaka will encourage social media companies to adopt and enforce guidelines against all forms of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and racism.

5. Countering anti-Semitic delegitimization of Israel and BDS:
Sharaka will counter anti-Semitic delegitimization of Israel and calls to boycott the Jewish state by bringing diverse delegations of Arab leaders and influencers to Israel, and diverse delegations of Israelis to the Middle East. These delegations will promote friendship and advance mutual understanding of each other's culture, history and present-day realities. They will share an accurate picture of the values of tolerance and coexistence adopted by the UAE, Bahrain and Israel, and counter false images promoted in the media, social media and other arenas.
Most members of US Jewish umbrella group adopt IHRA definition of anti-Semitism
Nearly all of the members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations are adopting a common, but hotly debated, definition of anti-Semitism.

The conference, an umbrella group of Jewish organizations, announced Tuesday that 51 of its 53 members have adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of anti-Semitism, a 500-word document with a brief explanation of anti-Semitism followed by 11 examples of how it can manifest — most of which involve speech about Israel.

The definition has been adopted by dozens of countries and a growing list of organizations and universities to help monitor, teach about and combat anti-Semitism. But its Israel provisions have also become a flashpoint for debate. And adoption of the definition can signify different things to different groups.

Defenders of the definition say its Israel examples — which include comparing Israel to the Nazis, calling Israel racist and applying a double standard to Israel that isn’t applied to other countries — are helpful in identifying where anti-Israel activity turns into anti-Semitism. Its detractors, however, say that the examples can have the effect of branding all criticism of Israeli policy anti-Semitic. Activists outside a meeting of the Labour National Executive Committee in London with signs protesting the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, September 4, 2018. (Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images/ via JTA /SUE)

In a statement, the Conference of Presidents said the definition’s widespread adoption “reflects the broad support that exists for the most authoritative and internationally accepted definition of antisemitism as an educational tool, as well as the widespread view that it is critically important to define antisemitism in order to combat it successfully.”

NGO Monitor: NGO Monitor Correspondence with B'Tselem's Donors Regarding its "Apartheid" Campaign
On January 12, 2021, B’Tselem launched a discriminatory and hateful campaign, under the banner of “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid.” In it B’Tselem attacked Israel’s role as a haven for the Jewish people (the Law of Return) and used the phrase “from the river to the sea” – echoing long-standing Palestinian terminology for the destruction of Israel. (Read NGO Monitor’s analysis: “From the “River to the Sea”: B’Tselem’s Demonization Crosses the Line.”)

In order to obtain responses from B’Tselem’s primary donors, NGO Monitor sent letters to European governments including the European Union, Sweden, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Norway.
Hen Mazzig: Florida State’s anti-Semitic student senator
Last Wednesday in Montreal, a Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) supporter was arrested for painting swastikas on a synagogue of the largest city in Canada’s Québec province. He also had a tank of gasoline to set the temple on fire. This wasn’t the first time someone vandalized a temple in the name of anti-Zionism. Anti-Zionists often engage in the same hate crimes and rhetoric as Neo-Nazis.

Next week, the student government at Florida State University (FSU) plans to vote on a BDS resolution to pressure the university into divesting from all businesses that are owned by Israeli Jews or do business with Israeli Jews. We all know the song and dance that anti-Israel activists will perform trying to persuade us that BDS isn’t antisemitic. It’s far from convincing, especially considering the student championing this resolution at FSU is an open antisemite with a long history of publicly expressing his hatred for Jews.

Introducing this hateful resolution is just the latest attempt for student senator Ahmad Daraldik to use his position to further his racist cause. Earlier this year, he faced calls to step down from his position after hateful social media posts that were brought to light. Daraldik shared a fake photo of an Israeli soldier and commented “Stupid Jew thinks he is cool.” He defended notorious terrorist and two-time airplane hijacker Leila Khaled, calling her a “powerful leader.” He has posted swastikas on Facebook and even created a website where he offensively compared Israel to Nazi Germany. “The Holocaust never ended,” the website read. “It just moved to Palestine.”

These are not the words and actions of a person who is concerned with human rights issues or genuinely wants peace between Israelis and Palestinians – as he and many BDS “activists” would have you believe. These are the words and actions of an individual who not only hates Jews but supports violence against them.

It appears for now that Daraldik will settle for economic discrimination against Jewish businesses and he is doing everything within his power as President of the Student Senate to push this measure through. It’s not enough for him to be a virulent antisemite in his personal life. He won’t stop until it is official university policy to discriminate against Jews.
Carleton University Resolution Targets Definition of Antisemitism, Warns Canadian Jewish Organization
B’nai Brith Canada called on Ottawa’s Carleton University to “act responsibly” and reject a resolution against the leading definition of antisemitism in a hearing scheduled for Thursday — one day after the world will mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The Carleton University Academic Staff Association (CUASA) will consider a resolution condemning the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, which has been accepted by 28 countries and a growing number of educational institutions.

Canada adopted the definition in 2019, and the province of Ontario officially did the same in an October, 2020 decision.

B’nai Brith said in a statement Monday that the resolution falsely claims that the IHRA Definition places Israel above criticism.

“Just as with legitimate criticism of Israel, the definition does not limit free speech; it allows us to identify speech that is antisemitic,” said Brian Herman, B’nai Brith Canada’s Director of Government Relations. “As the original drafters have said, the definition is ‘first and foremost an educational tool for those who need to know what antisemitism is’.”
Hawaii GOP Official Resigns After Posting Pro-QAnon Tweets
A high-ranking official with the Hawaii Republican Party confirmed Monday that he resigned after posting a series of tweets about the QAnon conspiracy theory on the official party account, saying its adherents shouldn't be mocked.

“We should make it abundantly clear — the people who subscribed to the Q fiction, were largely motivated by a sincere and deep love for America. Patriotism and love of County (sic) should never be ridiculed,” said one of several tweets that Hawaii GOP vice chairman Edwin Boyette posted Saturday. The tweets have since been deleted from the party’s account.

QAnon followers advocate a conspiracy theory rooted in the baseless belief that former President Donald Trump was fighting deep state enemies and a cabal of Satan-worshipping cannibals operating a child sex trafficking ring. Some QAnon believers were among the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Nicolas Ochs of Hawaii, a member of another right-wing extremist group, the Proud Boys, was among those arrested.

“People who followed Q don’t deserve mockery,” said another tweet posted by Boyette.

Hawaii Democratic Gov. David Ige rejected Boyette's defense of QAnon followers.

“I think it’s absurd to think that some of those conspiracy theories — and virtually every single one has been debunked as factually inaccurate and totally nonsense. So I don’t see how anyone can think that those who believe it that are really doing it because they’re patriotic,” Ige said.

Headlines State As Fact Disputed Syrian Claim That Israeli Airstrike Killed Family
Although the unverified claim in Syria’s state-controlled news service that an Israeli airstrike last week in central Syria killed a family of four is disputed, multiple Western media outlets published headlines stating as fact that “Israeli warplanes strike Syria, kill 4, including children.”

Media outlets that carry this problematic headline include The Seattle Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Boston 25 News, and numerous others. All of the sites ran the identical Associated Press article.

Yet as the article itself states, a Syrian opposition group maintains that the family was killed by debris from the Syrian air defense system, and not by Israeli planes:
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitoring group that tracks Syria’s civil war, said the strikes targeted five posts for Iran-backed fighters based within Syrian army positions.

It said the posts were destroyed, adding that parts of one of the air defense missiles fell on a residential area, causing the casualties among civilians.

Thus, while Syrian state media claims that Israeli warplanes are responsible for the family’s death, that information is disputed. For that reason, the AP article appropriately begins by attributing the allegation to the state-controlled Syrian media:
NBC, AFP, NPR Join AP in Promoting B’Tselem’s Baseless “Aparthied” Canard
CAMERA has already written about the Associated Press’s coverage of a report by the EU-funded NGO B’Tselem, titled, “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid.” As we wrote before, the invocation by B’Tselem of the term “supremacy” seems designed to latch on to trends in American politics. In fact, however, the language of “Jewish supremacy” recalls the title of David Duke’s 2002 book “Jewish Supremacism: My Awakening on the Jewish Question.” Although the phrase “Jewish supremacy” should have raised red flags everywhere, many mainstream news organizations published articles amplifying the group’s claims.

Several of those outlets made the same errors in judgment as the AP did. For example, no prominent mainstream coverage mentions the many times that Palestinian leaders have rejected the opportunity to have a state of their own – information that is crucial to understanding the mendacity of the “apartheid” charge. In 2000, 2001, and 2008, Palestinian leaders rejected offers that would have led to independence with a division of Jerusalem. In 2014 they ignored a favorable Obama administration proposal, and in 2020 they rejected a Trump administration proposal. For news outlets to repeat the “apartheid” slander without mentioning any of these missed opportunities for Palestinians to have national self-determination is misleading in the extreme.

At least some news organizations seem to have had copies of B’Tselem’s report prior to its actual release. Yet, even with this advance lead time, somehow none of them appear to have been able to do any research of their own into B’Tselem’s claims. But the report twists reality beyond recognition. (CAMERA’s in-depth analysis of the report itself is forthcoming.)

CAMERA has already explained at length why AP’s description of B’Tselem as a “leading” human rights group was misleading. Yet that’s exactly what NBC called it as well. (“B’Tselem labels Israel an ‘apartheid regime’ for first time,” Saphora Smith, January 12, 2021).
Reviewing BBC complaints procedure functioning in 2020
Those posts however tell only part of the story. In addition, five complaints were rejected, one was not even acknowledged, two received a reply stating that the time limit for response from the BBC had run out (with no further action taken), five received a reply stating that the time limit for response had run out and referring us to OFCOM and a further fourteen complaints were acknowledged and given a case number following their submission but received no reply at all.

As readers who submitted complaints of their own to the BBC in 2020 will no doubt be aware, throughout the year the corporation cited two factors as explanations for delays in responding within the designated time frame.

Early on in the year BBC Complaints claimed that the failure to handle complaints in a timely manner was due to a (presumably predictable) high volume of complaints relating to the December 2019 UK election. From March onwards BBC Complaints cited staff shortages due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

CAMERA UK raised that issue in our submission to the BBC’s public consultation concerning its complaints procedure in the first quarter of 2020. Nevertheless, steps do not appear to have been taken to counter those issues and ensure that the BBC meet its obligations regarding the time frame for responding to complaints.

It is hence perhaps not surprising that a recent survey by the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) showed that (p36) over half of those polled said that that they are unsatisfied with how the BBC handles complaints relating to antisemitism and 90% of British Jews believe that media bias against Israel fuels persecution of Jews in Britain.

As noted by Stephen Crabb MP, the results of that survey make “sobering reading”. One of the steps which could be taken by BBC management would be to conduct an immediate and thorough review of the complaints procedure which has for more than a year failed to give the public the service it funds and is entitled to receive.

Details Emerge of Shocking Antisemitic Assault on Argentine Jewish Family During Mountain Vacation
Details are emerging of a shocking antisemitic assault that took place last week against an Argentine Jewish family while they were on vacation in the Sierras de Cordoba mountain range.

According to a statement from DAIA — the representative organization of Argentina’s 250,000-strong Jewish community — the targeted family included an 18-month-old baby and a 92-year-old adult.

The family of Orthodox Jews from Buenos Aires were driving through the mountain range from La Falda to La Cumbre last Wednesday when another car pulled up in front of them. The occupants, a non-Jewish family who were also on vacation, began screaming antisemitic abuse at the Jewish family.

When the driver of the Jewish family’s car got out of his vehicle in an apparent attempt to resolve the situation, he was greeted by a volley of insults that included, “You shitty Jews, get out of here!”

The Jewish man was then set upon by the occupants of the other car and subjected to what DAIA described as a “brutal beating.” The children of the assailants reportedly joined in with the assault.

After arriving in La Cumbre, the family first visited the municipal hospital for medical treatment and then the local police station to file a complaint.

According to the DAIA statement, the officers at the police station refused to give the Jewish man a copy of his complaint, telling him that it would be “archived” instead.
An air conditioner that can kill viruses and other germs
Israeli air-conditioner manufacturer Tadiran just introduced Air Care 02, a unique internationally patented technology that wipes out 99.999% of viruses, germs and bacteria from indoor environments.

Tadiran’s first-of-its-kind technology, based on hydrogen peroxide, is being installed in its Sense Inverter series of mini central air conditioners available in Israel. Several global air-conditioning companies are in negotiations with Tadiran about incorporating Air Care 02.

The 60-year-old company began research and development for Air Care 02 three years ago, long before the Covid-19 pandemic. But the timing of its release couldn’t be better.

“The technological need for purifying and disinfecting air has increased significantly in these current times, due to the changes that have taken place over the past year regarding the need to stay in enclosed spaces and the increased use of air conditioners as a result,” said Tadiran CEO Moshe Mamrud.

“Research by the World Health Organization has found that our home living environment is five times more polluted than the outdoor environment – something that causes infections among millions around the world. Several years ago, we decided to become the leader in the field of treating the air and producing a home filled with healthy air.”
Online ad firm Taboola to go public on Wall Street at $2.6 billion valuation
Israel’s Taboola, a content recommendation platform used by online advertisers, said it has made a deal to go public on the New York Stock Exchange.

Taboola expects to go public in the second quarter of 2021 at an implied valuation of $2.6 billion, according to a statement posted to the company’s website on Monday.

The firm is going public by merging with ION Acquisition Corp. 1, a public special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC.

SPACs are shell companies that aim to raise capital by going public, then merge with and into an existing company, in a process that is generally easier and quicker than a traditional initial public offering. SPACs have been around for decades but have been a major market trend in the past year.

ION Acquisition Corp. 1, part of ION Asset Management, is an Israeli firm that raised close to $260 million in its IPO last year with the goal of merging with an Israeli tech company. It has $259 million in trust and trades under the ticker IACA.

The boards of both Taboola and ION unanimously approved the agreement, which now needs approval from the shareholders of each firm and to pass regulatory requirements.
Israeli cannabis oil 'espresso machine' start-up smashes funding goal
Green Point, a new start-up based in Beersheba, has recently partnered with Univo Pharmaceuticals to develop an espresso-style machine which allows cannabis users to easily create vials of high-quality cannabis oil from any strain.

The machine uses capsules filled with ethanol, which absorbs cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis, to create oil from up to five grams worth of cannabis within a matter of minutes.

The process of extracting oil from cannabis usually involves machinery that is both expensive and dangerous, due to the use of flammable and explosive oils. Even with the most experienced Marijuana Extraction Technicians (METs) on your side, it will likely take several hours before finishing the extraction process.

Green Point's working prototype has already been proven to not only be safe and easy to use, but also to produce above-average quality cannabis oil, due to its unique method of extraction and evaporation.

The company shattered its pre-seed round of NIS 800,000 goal very quickly and these days is launching a seed round for market penetration. The company says it is only months from launching its product in Israel and plans to enter the US market next year. Since the machine can work to extract oils from any plant matter, and does not contain any actual drugs, legal hurdles can be overcome fairly easily, even in countries where it is criminalized.
Eden Alene to perform ‘Set me Free’ at Eurovision 2021
It's official: Eden Alene, Israel's representative to Eurovision, will sing the song, "Set Me Free," in the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest, which will be held in Rotterdam in May.

Alene performed three songs in a performance that was broadcast on KAN 11 on Monday night and viewers voted for the bouncy, soulful anthem, "Set Me Free," which was written by Noam Zaltin, Ido Netzer, Amit Mordechai and Ron Carmi.

An open call for songs was put out a few weeks ago and nine were selected. Those nine were whittled down to the final three in Monday's contest.

Alene, the first Israeli of Ethiopian descent to represent Israel at Eurovision, was set to compete last May, but the entire competition was postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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