Sunday, February 21, 2021

From Ian:

Julie Burchill: The hatred of the stupid for the smart
Why do so many students hate Jews? Especially now. You’d think with so much spare time on their hands — all those sob stories about being denied the full Uni Experience of staying drunk on cheap students’-union booze 24/7 and becoming more intimately acquainted with each other and the cast of Neighbours than with their own blood relatives during communal hangover days — they’d be buckling down and using these months to do some work now that they’re prevented by law from getting together and bonding over bullying the Chosen. But no, it seems that for many of them, all that time is being used to put in the extra hours on Jew-baiting duties.

Following a report from a small group of academics at UCL, its Academic Board has passed an advisory resolution calling on the university to ‘retract and replace’ the international definition of anti-Semitism which it adopted in 2019. Rebecca Lyons, vice-president of UCL’s Jewish Society, said: ‘The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism directly codifies what it means to be anti-Semitic, thereby shielding Jewish students from acts of intolerance and hatred. The removal of the definition leaves us exposed and unsafe on campus.’

Who can call this hyperbole when a supporter of the move chose the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day to state ‘I am confident that long will pass Israel’s time, as South Africa passed before it, and we’ll laugh at these days when people actually took this state seriously’? As ever, Jews are being told what is and what is not anti-Semitism, by both their teachers and their fellow students — an unimaginable situation if it were applied to other ethnic minorities.

It’s tempting to think that this is all about Palestine, but that lets those who turn the Socialism of Fools into a campus caper off the hook. A Gentile friend told me of her experience at Dundee University (twinned with Nablus!) in 2015:

‘My best friend was in with the Free Palestine gang and thought I was weird for finding them so appalling. She was eventually enlightened when Trump was running for election — and they basically wanted him in because he was portrayed as a Nazi, so they said “At least he might finally deal with the Jews”. She finally saw what I was talking about, the basic anti-Semitism of these people hiding behind anti-Zionism. Nevertheless, I ended up having to go to the police when a good part of the campus turned on me.’

It’s all about the brains, in my opinion; see the crazy percentage of Nobel Prizes won by this extraordinary people. Anyway, academic anti-Semitism existed long before Israel was reclaimed. The thick children of the bourgeoisie have always known that they can’t keep up with these under-privileged over-achievers, so they get spiteful. Thus no sooner had the musty right-wing prejudices against Jews been overcome, with the end of quotas on the number of Jewish students accepted into the top universities, than what I’ve previously coined ‘Fresh’n’Funky anti-Semitism’ was there to take the weasel wheel under the guise of being pro-Palestinian.
Temple University Must Take Action Against Marc Lamont Hill
Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill, who was fired from CNN in November 2018 for his clarion call to destroy Israel, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” is reiterating that call. This time, he has written a book, Except for Palestine: The Limits of Progressive Politics, and has been promulgating his violent ideas in a series of interviews.

As Hill speaks about his book, in which he calls for “justice” for the Palestinian people, he disregards the history of the Jewish people, including their exile from the land of Israel, their millennia of persecution in the Diaspora, their endless longing to return to their ancestral homeland in Zion, and the presence of Jews in the land of Israel since biblical times. In doing so, he chooses to dismiss the existence of Jewish peoplehood, and instead, arrogantly and naively defines Jews as “a religion and a faith,” as he did during an interview with Carmen Perez Jordan on Feb. 18.

Hill’s refusal to acknowledge historical facts is coupled with his dismissal of contemporary realities, as he laments the plight of the Palestinian people but does not acknowledge the UN Partition Plan of 1947, Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, or the terror with which Israeli citizens have lived for decades at the hands of Palestinians. His simplistic bifurcation of the resulting complex and multi-dimensional social and political situation into a “good guys and bad guys” scenario says more about Hill’s desire to lambast the Jewish people of Israel than it does about the conflict.

Indeed, watching and listening to Hill propagate antisemitic tropes as he promotes his book has been both illuminating and deeply disturbing. On one occasion, he mocked what he regarded as Israel’s demand for exceptional treatment — reminiscent of the antisemitic view that Jews regard themselves as the “Chosen People.” (Ironically, he was discussing Israel’s right to exist, a subject that originated when Israel’s legitimacy was called into question as an attack by Israel detractors like Hill, not as a unique demand by Israel.) On another occasion, he spoke about Israel as having stolen land from the Palestinians, using the words “transfer of people out of their homeland” and “dispossession,” eliciting the stereotypical image of the thieving, greedy Jew.
Michael Che Makes An Anti-Semitic Joke on “Saturday Night Live” That’s Already Getting Social Media Criticism
SUNDAY 10:30AM UPDATE Just as I expected, there’s been an avalanche of criticism on social media overnight. But there have also been plenty of Tweets supporting Che by people who are either anti-Semitic or clueless. Che didn’t say, “the Israeli half.” He said “the Jewish half.” There’s a difference, even if he’s unaware of it. His joke was directed at a religion, not a state or government. That he didn’t understand that distinction is where the problem lies. And will perpetuate more anti-Semitism. I’m usually a fan of Che. But he’s made a big error that must be rectified.

SUNDAY 12:38AM Comedian Michael Che is already getting blasted midway through “Saturday Night Live” for an anti-Semitic joke.

During “Weekend Update,” Che joked that half the people in Israel had already been vaccinated and “I’m going to guess it’s the Jewish half.”

Lorne Michaels, who is Jewish, cannot be happy. (He might not be happy about some other references to his personal wealth during the segment.)

Che is getting a ton of criticism and anger on Twitter right now. But even worse– the anti-Semites are coming out, applauding the line. What a stupid thing he did. I think this will not be the end of it.

One Tweeter said: Michael Che perpetrated an anti- Semitic anti- Israel trope with his vaccine joke. Just as a fact check – Israel vaccinated 1/2 of its population of Israeli citizens – Arab, Jewish and Christian. Shame on you.

Another: WTF, SNL. Your no-reason quip about Israel only vaccinating Jews is not only a lie, but it perpetuates anti-semitism. Cheap shot that does more damage than the momentary, paltry laugh you got for that sorry excuse of a joke.
SNL's Michael Che makes joke about Israel not vaccinating Palestinians 2/20/2021

Israel Policy in the Biden Administration
The Obama administration negotiated a nuclear deal (JCPOA) with the Iranian mullahs that was bad for the U.S. (which found it had only legitimized the regime that the U.S. Department of State called the "world's worst state sponsor of terrorism") and bad for Israel (the deal would allow Iran, after a few years, to become a full-blown nuclear power).

The Biden administration has already promised to return the U.S. to the JCPOA, provided that Iran will once again agree to honor its terms. The Iranians, based on a well-established track record, most likely will not honor those terms. That will certainly create friction not only with Israel... but also with many of Iran's Sunni neighbors, who are also alarmed by the prospect of a nuclear-armed, Shi'ite, aspiring hegemon in the region.

The last few years... have shown that Arab counties seem tired of a Palestinian intransigence that has only held everyone back.

Even if one dislikes Trump, the recent advances in a warm peace brought by the Abraham Accords represent a truly new hope for the region and, significantly, a new willingness by Arab nations finally to leave behind an ancient and outdated hostility. Will the Biden administration be so short-sighted as to drop the ball on this initiative simply because it is associated with an earlier administration that now happens to be disliked? Or will it instead bid for a legacy based on even more successes -- and perhaps even a Nobel Peace Prize -- by fostering even greater interdependence among regional neighbors in the Middle East?
Report: In Letter to Biden, PA and Hamas Commit to Two-State Solution on 1967 Lines
The Palestinian Authority (PA) sent an official letter to the White House claiming that all factions, including the ruling Islamist group Hamas in the Gaza Strip, were committed to establishing a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital, Palestinian news site Amad reported on Saturday.

The Arabic-language outlet also published details of the message and indicated that Hady Amr, the US State Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs, received the letter.

Amad has also published a copy of the letter in English, which certifies that all Palestinian factions are committed to a peaceful transfer of power through elections.

Among the points that all Palestinian factions agreed upon include: a commitment to abiding by international law; a commitment to establishing a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital; and recognizing the Palestinian Liberation Organization umbrella as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

The letter also vows to continue to exercise “peaceful, popular resistance” until a Palestinian state is realized.

The letter was issued while legislative and presidential elections within the PA are scheduled for May 22 and July 31, the first since 2005.
U.S. and European Government Leaders Slam ICC Investigation into Israel
The International Criminal Court's decision to initiate an investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes threatens to undermine the body's judicial integrity and is driven by groups that seek to delegitimize the world's only Jewish state, according to a group of former senior government and military officials from the United States and Europe.

The ICC's recent decision to pursue charges against Israel represents an "unprecedented campaign of delegitimization against Israel waged by the enemies of the Jewish State and supported by numerous international institutions," according to a letter sent by these government officials on Friday to newly installed ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan. The Friends of Israel Initiative, an international coalition of former military and government officials that advocates on Israel's behalf, organized the letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The Biden administration and Israel have already condemned the investigation, claiming the court has no jurisdiction to investigate the alleged crimes. Friday's letter by the Friends of Israel Initiative is the most coordinated public rejection of the investigation to date and is signed by several of the most prominent global leaders, including former U.S.-Iran envoy Elliott Abrams, former British Army commander Col. Richard Kemp, former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper, former Spanish prime minister Josรฉ Maria Aznar, former Australian prime minister John Howard, and former president of Uruguay Luis Alberto Lacalle, as well as former foreign ministers of Canada, Italy, and the Netherlands, among others.

The former officials call on Khan to abandon the investigation, which was launched by ex-ICC chief Fatou Bensouda at the urging of many well-known anti-Israel groups, including some that are tied to terrorism. The former officials maintain that the court has no jurisdiction to prosecute Israel's alleged crimes and that Israel is under no obligation to comply with the investigation since it is not party to the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC.

COVID-19 tzar: If Purim causes new wave, Israel may need another lockdown
If the upcoming festival of Purim causes another wave of the virus, new restrictions, and even another lockdown, might need to be imposed on Israel, Coronavirus Commissioner Prof. Nachman Ash said during a press briefing on Sunday, as he revealed that some 90% of the new cases identified in the country present the British variant of the virus, about 1% the South African variant, while seven cases of the California mutations and one case of a new Ugandan mutation have also been found.

“If the R rate raises again above 1, we will consider new restrictions,” Ash added.

The expert also addressed the question of the reopening of the skies, shortly after Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee decided to extend the mandatory isolation in coronavirus hotels for those returning to Israel from abroad only by 24 hours, instead of until March 1 as the government requested last week.

The measure was set to expire at midnight on Sunday. The MKs supported the proposal of committee chairman MK Yaakov Asher to give just a short extension to give the Health Ministry time to formulate alternative solutions for supervising those who require isolation.

“We are not talking about huge numbers, and perhaps the police will be able to tell us how home isolation can be enforced,” Asher said at the beginning of the meeting. He stressed that while he did not like the idea of some form of electronic surveillance to ensure that people quarantine at home, it would probably be better than forcing them to remain in a hotel.
50% of mild, moderate COVID patients still have symptoms after 6 months - study
Nearly half of people who contract mild or moderate cases of COVID-19 still experience symptoms six months later, according to a new study published by Israeli researchers.

The research, which is slated to be published this month in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infection, evaluated 103 people over the age of 18 who had coronavirus between April and October 2020. The people had mild to moderate symptoms, meaning that while they were not asymptomatic, they were not hospitalized with a more severe case of the disease.

Participants were interviewed up to four times over the course of the study.

“It is very scary that after six months, young people who were healthy and feeling fine before coronavirus still have symptoms,” said Dr. Sarah Israel of Hadassah-University Medical Center, who helped author the report.

At six months, 46% of the patients had at least one unresolved symptom, most commonly fatigue (22%), smell and taste changes (15%) or breathing difficulties (8%).
PMW: No-win: Israeli free training, loans, and grants to Palestinians are an "attack” on young Palestinians, leading to “Israelization”
This is a textbook example of Israel's no-win predicament:
The PA’s standard libel is that Israel is deliberately trying to harm Palestinians and at other times Israel is criticized by the PA for allegedly not taking care of Palestinians.

But now when Israel has created a special program to create economic opportunities for Palestinians it is being criticized for its “attack” that is causing “Israelization” among Palestinian youth. For Israel it’s a tragic no-win.

When a Palestinian training supervisor of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) in Jerusalem was interviewed about her organization’s initiatives to help young Palestinian school drop-outs and unemployed by offering them training courses, she lashed out at Israel for offering “free training, loans, and grants” to young Palestinians “like crazy.” She criticized the “competition from the Israeli institutions,” describing it as “an attack” that leads to “Israelization” of the young Palestinians:
Official PA TV host: “The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) in Jerusalem provides training courses for [Palestinian] residents of Jerusalem to help them financially… The free training courses are for those who have dropped out of school, all those who have lost their jobs, and the unemployed… There is a political aspect to the matter, since you see what is happening in the capital: [Israeli] attacks and fighting against the Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem” …

YWCA training supervisor Mai Amira:“ Let me tell you about competition from the Israeli institutions, which are giving free training, loans, and grants like crazy to the young Palestinians. This is an indirect attack. It leads to connecting the young Palestinians to Israelization - professionally, intellectually, and financially.”

[Official PA TV, Good Morning Jerusalem, Feb. 5, 2021]
PA Minister of Culture: Israel is “foreign element” stealing Palestinian history
PA Minister of Culture Atef Abu Saif: "This enemy [Israel] wants to remove this [Palestinian] people from existence… Since the appearance of the religions… [the land] has been called Palestine and we are called Palestinians. There is nothing else. We did not come to this country as a foreign element. This enemy [Israel] that stole the land wants to steal your existence in this land. He wants to steal your narrative. The blow to the Palestinian culture is a systematic blow… [Israel] arrests writers – as all the Nazi and fascist movements and all the dictatorial movements in history do… Our existence on this land negates their existence… The homes of the [Arab] residents of Jerusalem are the real ones, and not those of West Jerusalem, the Jewish Israeli buildings… It’s impossible that this thieving state, which is stealing the history of humanity- it’s absurd: In this small land, the first alphabet in history was invented. The first Palestinians, my ancestors and your ancestors, are the ones who invented letters, writing, and they are the ones who invented the colors… through the Phoenicians, our first seafaring ancestors. It’s absurd that this state [Israel] wants to steal all this history and erase it, and the world stands by silently." [Official PA TV, July 24, 2020]

Arranged by Abbas rival, 20,000 vaccine doses donated by UAE arrive in Gaza
A shipment of 20,000 Russian coronavirus vaccine doses donated by the United Arab Emirates arrived in the Gaza Strip via Egypt on Sunday afternoon.

“Emirati health aid has made an enormous difference in the medical situation in Gaza, and we hope that this shipment of vaccines will be just the first part of a series of vaccine deliveries to Gaza,” Hamas Minister for Social Development Ghazi Hamad said in a statement.

The delivery was reportedly arranged by Mohammad Dahlan, an exiled Fatah official who lives in the Emirates. Dahlan, a key rival of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, is rumored to be a close adviser to Abu Dhabi’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Zayed.

Hamad specifically thanked Dahlan in his remarks at a press conference by Rafah crossing.

“We thank the United Arab Emirates for this generous step, and comrade Mohammad Dahlan for his continued efforts to aid the Gaza Strip,” Hamad said.

Hamas health spokesperson Ashraf al-Qidra said the doses will be given first to at-risk groups such as those suffering from kidney failure and cancer.
PFLP terror group to participate in Palestinian vote
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the second largest group forming the PLO after Fatah, has decided to participate in the Palestinian parliamentary election, slated for May 22.

Founded in 1967, the secular Marxist-Leninist terror group, which opposes the Oslo Accords signed between Israel and the PLO, participated in the 2006 election for the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) under a list named the “Marty Abu Ali Mustafa List.”

It won only three of the 132 seats of the PLC.

The PFLP also participated in the 2005 Palestinian municipal elections.

Abu Ali Mustafa is the nom de guerre of Mustafa Ali Zibri, the former Secretary-General of the PFLP who was assassinated by Israeli forces in a targeted killing on August 27, 2001.

HR CEO On ILTV: Media Blame Israel For Hamas’ Crackdown On Women’s Rights
After our article, “AP, WaPo, LA Times Blame Israel For Hamas Decision to Restrict Women’s Rights” ?, was widely shared on social media, ILTV invited HonestReporting CEO Daniel Pomerantz to its studios to discuss the matter. In the segment, Pomerantz explains how Western journalists hold the Jewish state responsible for the plight of women in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, by connecting the terror group’s imposing of Sharia law on the coastal enclave to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade.

Bronx educator claims she was fired after sharing Holocaust story, refusing ‘Wakanda’ salute
A veteran Bronx superintendent once praised by Chancellor Richard Carranza for her successes in the classroom claims her career was derailed by his “equity” agenda — forcing her to take a demotion in a desperate bid to preserve her pension, according to a $150 million lawsuit.

Karen Ames, a 30-year Department of Education employee, says she was targeted by Carranza’s “Disrupt and Dismantle” campaign to oust or marginalize longtime employees because she is over 40, and Jewish.

“The agenda of Chancellor Carranza and his senior leadership team was euphemistically touted as an ‘equity platform’ but in reality, it was a platform used to create gender, age, racial and ethnic divisions in the NYC School system,” she contends in her Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit filed Friday.

Ames was grilled about her “ethnic background,” chastised by a colleague at a training session when she shared her grandparents’ experience during the Holocaust in Poland, and “admonished” when she declined requests at superintendents meetings to take part in the comic book movie-inspired “Wakanda Forever” salute to “black power,” she charges in the legal filing.

Early in his tenure, Carranza visited Ames at PS 69 in District 8, where she had served as superintendent since 2014.

Carranza heralded Ames’ success in raising math scores at struggling schools, vowing to replicate her methods elsewhere, she says in court papers.

But instead of celebrating Ames’ work, Cheryl Watson-Harris, Carranza’s top deputy — who left last year to become schools chief in DeKalb County, Ga. — interrogated Ames during a chauffeured car ride about her DOE history, her family, residency and “improperly inquired” about her ethnicity, she claims.

Daily Mail Describes Hamas as ‘Resistance Movement’
How would you describe an organization with a 30-year track record of war crimes, horrific massacres, and domestic human rights abuses?

“Resistance movement” is not the term any self-respecting news outlet should use in reference to Hamas, but an article by Britain’s Daily Mail has described the genocidal Islamist organization precisely thus.

Published on February 19, the article, a bizarre story about a Palestinian on hunger strike in Britain after immigration officials refused to accept his claimed date of birth, included the following passage:
They have heard how he was born in Gaza, in the Occupied Palestinian territories, and that when he was young he had been ‘severely mistreated’ by resistance movement Hamas for refusing to act as a suicide bomber.”

Whether one agrees with the practice or not, it’s a fact that the vast majority of news outlets nowadays avoid the term “terrorism,” and instead employ the more neutral and descriptive word, “militant” to describe organizations such as Hamas and Al Qaeda. Had that term been used, this critique would never have been written.

Instead, the wholly unacceptable “resistance movement” totally whitewashes Hamas’ true nature: It’s a brutal, antisemitic terror organization that glorifies not just killing Israeli soldiers or Israeli civilians, but the killing of Jews.

For this reason, Hamas has been designated as a terror organization by the United States, the EU, and the UK. The only outlets referring to it as a “resistance movement” are extremist and partisan propaganda sites.
Meet Some of the BBC Employees Who Have Been Particularly Unjust to Israel
Now that the BBC has admitted that one of its presenters was wrong in claiming that Israel had a “duty” to vaccinate the Palestinians, the kind of admission it so seldom makes when it comes to righting the wrongs of its malevolent coverage of the Jewish state, it might be worth looking at some of the grand panjandrums of the BBC who form part of its anti-Israel cabal.

Until recently, John Simpson was the World Affairs Editor of the BBC for more than 30 years; he has spent a total of 53 years at the BBC. In this position, he was one of the most powerful mind-molders in the British broadcast media. He had a say on everything: assignment of correspondents abroad (who’s in, who’s out, and where they are to be sent), stories (what to cover, and what not, and whether to treat an event lightly or at length), and of course on how to preserve, or plausibly appear to do so, the BBC’s stated aim of “impartiality.” Simpson gets along very well with Jeremy Bowen, the Middle East correspondent for the BBC between 1995 and 2000, and since 2005, the BBC’s Middle East Editor. Bowen, who is well-known for his pro-Palestinian sympathies – the BBC Trust has censured him several times for statements he has made in his coverage of the Arab-Israeli dispute – shares the same view as Simpson on Israel and the Arabs: distaste for Israel, and sympathy for the “plight of the Palestinians,” living in wretched refugee camps in Arab countries or in “occupied Palestinian territories” where Israeli soldiers and “settlers” (always described as “armed” and often as “fanatical”) continue to oppress them. And neither Simpson nor Bowen seems particularly worried about the ideology of Islam or the observable behavior of Muslims who take Islamic texts and teachings to heart.

I had occasion some time ago to write about Bowen’s reckless disregard of important facts. As one example of this, I noted that he has been cavalier about the numbers of terrorist attacks that Israelis have had to endure. In an interview Bowen gave to Paul Blanchard, he claimed that “plenty of Palestinians feel very threatened by settlers, armed settlers, by soldiers, by raids in the middle of the night, by helicopters, you name it. And many Israelis have been hurt by and continue to be worried about attacks by Palestinians, though there haven’t been all that many in recent years.”

What Bowen means by “recent years” is not entirely clear, but in 2015 there were 2,398 terror attacks in Israel (of which the BBC reported 3.2%). In 2016, there were 1,415 attacks (of which the BBC covered 2.8%), in 2017 there were 1,516 attacks – less then one percent of which were reported by the BBC – and in 2018, the BBC covered at most 30.2% of the 3,006 attacks launched. During the first nine months of 2019, the BBC reported 23.6% of the 1,709 attacks which took place.

Fintech startup Earnix raises $75m, attains ‘unicorn’ status at valuation of $1b
Fintech startup Earnix, a developer of artificial intelligence software that allows banks and insurers to personalize offerings to customers, said it has raised $75 million from investors, at a pre-money valuation of $1 billion. The fundraising makes the Givatayim, Israel-based startup a new Israeli “unicorn” — a company valued at $1 billion and over.

The investment round was led by Insight Partners, with existing investors JVP, Vintage Partners and Israel Growth Partners joining the round.

The new funding will fuel Earnix’s global expansion into new market segments and regions, increase investment in product innovation, increase the number of employees, and support merger and acquisition activities, to better meet “the needs of a rapidly changing market,” the company said in a statement on Sunday.

Earnix cloud-based platform combines AI with advanced analytics that does modeling and simulations, and enables banking and insurance clients to give highly personalized price and product offerings to their customers in real time. Both insurers and banks need to respond to consumers who require rates and products that are tailored to their needs in a smarter and faster way. To do this, banks and insurance firms need to automatically process huge amounts of data.

In 2020, Earnix was recognized by New York-based data firm CB Insights as the “Market Leader for Predictive Analytics for Property & Casualty Insurers” and has been named one of “11 Insurtechs to Watch in 2021” by P&C 360.
Israeli startup's 'invisible headphones' beam sound straight to the ear
Until now, the only way for a person to listen to music, facetime, or play video games without disturbing people nearby was to use headphones, wired or wireless. Now Israeli startup Noveto has made the need for earphones a thing of the past with its SoundBeamer 1.0, a desktop device that beams pockets of sound and music to the listener's ears alone.

The SoundBeamer, unveiled Friday, dynamically moves the source of the sound around the listener in 3D without disturbing people nearby – no speakers or headphones needed.

The device can be connected to any computer, tablet, or smartphone and can be used for video conferencing, listening to podcasts, playing video games, and workouts.

SoundBeamer was developed with the backing of Noveto's engineering partner, consumer electronics giant Foxconn.

Noveto also unveiled new hardware and software features, including a new AI-based built-in voice, facial and gesture recognition, and ambient sound monitoring that enables what the company calls "natural and intuitive interaction."

"It's incredibly exciting to be releasing a new way to experience sound and deliver something truly groundbreaking to market," Noveto CEO Christophe Ramstein said.
New Israeli Movie Ironically Explores the ‘Happy Times’
When the kids are away, the adults will play. But they don’t play nicely in Happy Times. The film, written by Guy Ayal and Michael Mayer, seems like a tribute to Quentin Tarantino. In fact, the famous director is even mentioned by a character in the film, which is broken up into chapters and has quite a bit of violence and cursing.

Fans of the Netflix hit Shtisel, where Michael Aloni plays a Haredi character who is deeply religious, will see him here play Michael, a secular small-time actor who comes to his cousin Sigal’s Saturday night dinner in Brentwood, California. He brings a beautiful African-American actress named Aliyah as his date (Stefi Celma), and warns her it might not be a great time. Michael mockingly makes the Havdalah blessing, and says that the siddur, or Hebrew prayer book, is “condescending and misogynistic.”

Though the dialogue doesn’t quite reach Tarantino’s level, it’s pretty funny, especially when someone uses a shofar as a weapon. Sigal (Liraz Chamami) wants everyone to have a good time and wants to be clear that she and her family are not racist; she wants her husband’s date to feel at home. Things take a turn when Michael clogs the bathroom. He throws the first punch, and soon enough, everyone is mad at everyone and chaos ensues. The film, which is in Hebrew and English, doesn’t seek to have any great meaning.

Aloni is on point in his comedic timing from the first moment we see him in an eye-patch. His character is rightly enraged when someone takes a compromising picture of him while he is passed out, and sends it to his contacts. Sigal’s husband Avner (Alon Pdut) wants to show off his wealth and prove to everybody he is a big shot. But when he sees his wife do something he can’t believe, he goes nuts.

The only real moment of suspense occurs when a police officer shows up, and then when a rabbi shows up and finds himself at the right place at the wrong time. He surely regrets lending an ear to this family on this occasion.
Pope pops in on author and Holocaust survivor Edith Bruck
Pope Francis paid a surprise visit on Saturday to the home of Edith Bruck, a Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor and author, and paid homage to all those killed by Nazi "insanity."

Bruck, 89, who lives in Rome, was born into a poor Jewish family and spent time in a series of concentration camps, losing her father, mother and brother in them.

A Vatican spokesman, who announced the visit after it ended, said the two spoke of her time in the camps and the importance that future generations be made aware of what happened.

"I came here to thank you for your witness and to pay homage to the people martyred by the insanity of Nazi populism," the Vatican quoted the pope as telling Bruck.

Bruck, who has lived in Italy for decades and writes in Italian, was about 13 when she was taken to Auschwitz in German-occupied Poland with her family.

Her mother died there and her father died in Dachau, in Germany, where they were taken after that. While in Dachau, she dug trenches and laid railway sleepers (ties), she recently told the Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano.

She later spent time in Christianstadt, a sub-camp of the larger Gross-Rosen camp. She finally wound up in Bergen-Belsen, where she was liberated by the Allies in 1945.

The Nazis and their allies murdered around 6 million Jews, as well as others, in German-occupied Europe.


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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 14 years and 30,000 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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