Thursday, March 04, 2021

From Ian:

J Street and the Problem of Palestinian Anti-Semitism
J Street's May 2018 condemnation of Abbas was a rare and impressive criticism of a figure whom J Street had almost never previously criticized. Publicly challenging a leader whose policies you generally support is never easy. At the time, some skeptics, myself included, wondered if the condemnation was sincere, or was just a quick gesture intended to make J Street look reasonable but with no intention of actually confronting Palestinian anti-Semitism.

If J Street wants the Jewish community to believe that its opposition to Palestinian anti-Semitism is sincere, it must insist that Abbas officially recant his speech, withdraw his anti-Semitic book from circulation, and eliminate anti-Semitic statements from the PA-controlled media and schools.

When I say "recant," I don't mean a mealy mouthed statement like the one Abbas issued in 2018, following the international uproar over his anti-Semitic remarks. "If people were offended by my statement in front of the PNC, especially people of the Jewish faith, I apologize to them," Abbas said. That wasn't a genuine apology. Not even close. The problem with Abbas's speech was not that some people took offense (as if they were being thin-skinned and overreacting); the problem was that what Abbas said about Jews was wrong, vile, and bigoted. That's what Abbas has to admit, and recant.

Admitting he was wrong is vitally important, in order to send a message to the Palestinian public that the anti-Semitic lies they have been hearing all these years – in their leader's speeches and books, and in their media and schools – were wrong.

Only when the Palestinians, starting with their leaders, genuinely give up their anti-Semitism, can we take seriously claims by Dylan Williams and J Street that "moderate Palestinian leaders" exist with whom the United States should interact.


Steven Emerson: Marc Lamont Hill’s Vile Antisemitism and Duplicitous New Book
Hill has only leaned in further to antisemitic conspiracy theories, such as repeatedly invoking the inflammatory and false accusation that a police exchange program between Israel and the United States leads to police killings of Black people in America. In 2018, he said: “But again, there’s a relationship between the two. The New York City Police — they’re killing us. But they’re being trained by Israeli security forces. [Host: “Really?”] Yes! They’re being trained — New York City Police and in other cities as well. So there’s a connection between the two.”

In October, the IPT exposed this narrative about police exchanges as a big lie, in the IPT series called “House of Lies.”

It’s also a claim that even an ideological ally of Hill — Jewish Voice for Peace — now says is antisemitic, and even admits to being inaccurate: “Suggesting that Israel is the start or source of American police violence or racism shifts the blame from the United States to Israel. … It also furthers an antisemitic ideology … Taking police exchanges out of context provides fodder for those racist and antisemitic tropes.”

All of this context makes it abundantly clear that Hill’s call for “a free Palestine, from the river to the sea” is a call to erase the Jewish state of Israel.

Hill now finds his infamous UN comments a joking matter — publicly, at least, so as to distract from the true meaning of his comments and to diminish the cause of his firing from CNN. At an April 2019 talk he gave at the University of Houston, he said: “I said, ‘we must do what justice requires.’ And justice requires ‘a free Palestine.’ Then there was like six other words. I can’t remember what they were…(laughs) ‘From the window to the wall…’ I don’t know. (laughs). And this idea of ‘from the river to the sea’ became the whole story.”

For good reason.

Hill’s record unambiguously shows that he has not stopped advocating for the destruction of Israel. He just tries to camouflage his antisemitism through a campaign of lying and denial, disguising his scandalous hatred of Jews in the form of a policy book that even “reputable reviewer” Kirkus Reviews falls for when praising his book as a “clear and evenhanded analysis.”

No.

As former US ambassador to Israel (under the Obama administration) Daniel Shapiro tweeted when he first heard Hill’s “from the river to the sea” comments in 2018: “This is disgusting. Calling for the elimination of Israel is anti-Semitic…”

Hill’s book is duplicity at its finest.


Beginning of a new era in Israeli-Arab relations?
On October 2, 1947, weeks before the partition vote that would signal the beginning of an Arab war against the Jews of Palestine, Ben Gurion wrote, “This is our native land; it is not as birds of passage that we return to it. But it is situated in an area engulfed by Arabic-speaking peoples, mainly followers of Islam. Now, if ever, we must do more than make peace with them; we must achieve collaboration and alliance on equal terms …. Talk of Arab Jewish amity sounds fantastic, for the Arabs do not wish it… they want to treat us as they do the Jews of Baghdad, Cairo and Damascus. (Nevertheless) history has … set conditions … which will compel Arab and Jew to work together…

For most of the past seven decades, Ben Gurion’s words have seemed hopelessly optimistic as one war followed another and Arab acceptance of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state seemed forever out of reach. But in spite of ongoing conflict, there are signs that the situation may be starting to change.

Reasons for cynicism have been many. While Israel’s cold peace with Egypt and Jordan has held, all attempts to come to terms with the Palestinian Arabs have foundered in bloodshed and mutual recrimination. For those of us who believed that a new era was at hand in 1993 as Yasser Arafat and Yitzchak Rabin shook hands on the white house lawn, the disillusionment has been particularly bitter. The murder of Yitzchak Rabin and the upsurge of terrorism emerging from the Palestinian Territories after 2000 were coupled with the Durban declaration and a renewed attempt to convince the world that Zionism was colonialist and racist and to turn Israel into an international pariah.

Now, in just a few months, we have seen dramatic and encouraging developments in Israeli Arab relations. The normalization agreement with the United Arab Emirates has led with lightning speed to booming economic and political contacts. The dissatisfaction of Israeli Arabs with the Joint List as articulated by the Mayor of Nazareth has been fuelled in part by their stand against the UAE peace agreement, which is popular with many of their Israeli Arab supporters. As the new ambassador from the United Arab Emirates takes up his post and Israelis prepare once again to go to the polls, perhaps at long last we are seeing the beginning of that era of Arab Israeli collaboration foreseen by David Ben Gurion.


Netanyahu on COVID in Israel: It’s behind us
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed Thursday that Israel was largely done with the coronavirus, saying that it was the first country in the world to put the pandemic behind it, thanks to its quick and efficient vaccination campaign.

Israel is “the first country in the world to emerge from corona. With this green passport you can go to restaurants, you can go to theaters, you can go to sports events. This is it. We’re coming out,” Netanyahu said during an interview with the US network Fox News, describing the “Green Pass” system, which allows the fully vaccinated or recovered to attend various public sites and events.

Netanyahu said, “Look, I don’t think we’re coming out completely. We’re going to have to wear a mask for some time. But we’re behind it.”

Netanyahu has said that he hopes to vaccinate the entire Israeli adult population by late March and fully reopen the country by April.

“Israel used to be known, and is known, as the startup nation. From today it’ll also be known as the vaccination nation,” he said. “We’re setting the model for the world, we’re very proud of it.”

The Health Ministry said Thursday that 4,859,948 Israelis had received a first vaccine dose, of whom 3,576,379 have also received a second. Health Ministry data shows that some 88 percent of Israelis aged 50 and up have either been vaccinated against COVID-19 or recovered from the disease, as serious illness numbers have dropped.

The prime minister’s confidence, however, is not necessarily shared by the country’s top health officials, who have warned that new variants of the coronavirus could yet throw a wrench into Israel’s plans to quickly return to normal life.

New coronavirus deaths and infections in Israel have continued to decline from highs in January, and the number of seriously ill COVID-19 patients has dropped to its lowest point since last year.
Serious virus cases drop below 700 for first time this year
Health Ministry data released on Thursday showed that serious coronavirus cases in Israel had dropped below 700 for the first time since the end of December, as separate figures showed that some 87 percent of Israel’s non-Haredi and non-Arab adult population have either received the COVID-19 vaccine or recovered from the disease.

According to ministry figures, there were 4,143 new cases diagnosed on Wednesday, bringing the tally since the start of the pandemic to 791,319, including 42,276 active cases.

Of them, 699 were in serious condition, including 261 classified as critical and 224 patients on ventilators.

The death toll rose to 5,815.

Additionally, 4,859,948 Israelis have received the first vaccine dose, of whom 3,576,379 have also received the second. Several million Israelis are ineligible for the vaccine, most of them under the age of 16.

According to Prof. Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute, some 87% of all Israelis aged 16 and up who aren’t ultra-Orthodox or Arab have either recovered from COVID-19 or received at least one vaccine dose.

The equivalent figure for the ultra-Orthodox community was 72%, while the lowest immunization rate, 64%, has been observed among Arab Israelis.
Labour activists challenge party decision to hire Israeli
Labour left-wingers, including former shadow chancellor John McDonnell, are backing a legal challenge to the party over a decision to employ an Israeli citizen as one of its social media managers.

Law firm Bindmans has threatened to take action against the party on behalf of Labour member Adnan Hmidan who has complained about the party’s decision to recruit the new employee because of his admission on his own social media page that he had previously served with the Israeli army signals intelligence and surveillance branch known as Unit 8200.

It is understood the new recruit began his job, which is based in Westminster, in January.

But since starting they have faced intimidating accusations of an alleged past as an “Israeli spy” from left wing elements loyal to former leader Jeremy Corbyn.

“I am very concerned that the Labour Party has recruited a former Israeli spy to a position that involves monitoring the social media accounts of its members including those that are British Palestinian, supportive of Palestine or opposed to the occupation of Palestine,” Mr Hmidan said of the decision to employ this individual.

The JC has decided not to name Labour’s social media manager as the party have always taken a strong stance on insisting that staff members are not identified in media reports.


LABOUR Welcomes Back Councillor Suspended Over Antisemitic Post – Who Now Supports Shamima Begum’s Bid To Return To UK
DESPITE Keir Starmer claiming to be taking a tough stance to tackle the Labour Party’s widespread antisemitism problem, a Tower Hamlets Councillor who denied the existence of the Jewish race, and who argued that Jews have no historical claim to a homeland, has had his suspension overturned and remains a fully-fledged party member.

Tower Hamlets councillor and Momentum’s former national treasurer, Puru Miah, was suspended from the Labour party at the end of last year after a social media post was unearthed in which he said there was “no factual basis whatsoever for a Jewish race”, and claiming that anything said to the contrary was ‘Zionist propaganda’.

He told the LDR service it was made before he was a Labour party member and when he was involved in buying and selling academic books.

In the post he linked to a book by Israeli historian Shlomo Sand and wrote: “The invention of the Jewish people. This is an absolutely ‘must read’ for everyone who wants truth and justice for Palestine/Israel.

“The essential historical evidence will amaze you – there is no factual basis whatsoever for a Jewish race, nation or homeland, it is all recently invented propaganda called ‘Zionism’.”

Mr Miah said in a statement: “I unreservedly apologise for the hurt caused. Looking back at the post, I am embarrassed, given the current context of anxieties in the Jewish community and the backdrop of rising prejudices against minority communities.

“The situation fills me with regret and as soon as it was raised with me, I removed the private Facebook post.
‘Why Not China?’ Protests Greet New Zealand Sovereign Wealth Fund’s Decision to Divest From Israeli Banks
New Zealand’s sovereign wealth fund divested from five Israeli banks on Wednesday, citing their alleged funding of Israeli settlements in the West Bank as the reason, and drawing sharp criticism for focusing on the Jewish state while ignoring the world’s major abusers of human rights.

In a statement, The Guardians Board of New Zealand Super Fund (NZSF) — which manages assets in excess of $36 billion (US) — said they had “excluded five Israeli banks on responsible investment grounds.”

“There is credible evidence that the excluded companies provide project finance for the construction of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, which is an integral aspect of settlement construction,” the statement asserted. “We believe that without the banks’ involvement the settlement activity would not be proceeding at the scale seen in recent times.”

Investments worth a combined $4 million will now be withdrawn by the NZSF from the five Israeli banks in question — First International Bank of Israel, Bank Hapoalim, Israel Discount Bank, Bank Leumi and Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot.

The board’s statement underlined that the decision to divest from the Israeli banks was in the spirit of the New Zealand government’s policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Joel Pollak: Karl Marx's Antisemitic Writing Is OK, But Not Dr. Seuss
Somehow, the foundational works of radical Marxism never seem to be on the list of books to be canceled.

No reasonable person, and certainly no one claiming intellectual credentials, would argue that Karl Marx’s works should be banned. But some of them certainly satisfy the new criteria.

Marx’s essay “On the Jewish Question,” for example, is a staple of college courses on political philosophy, because it summarizes his view of the limits of political freedom, and is easier to digest than his mammoth Capital. Yet the essay is also crudely antisemitic, which is barely mitigated by the fact that Marx himself was Jewish.

Here is some of what Marx had to say about Jews (original emphasis):
Let us not look for the secret of the Jew in his religion, but let us look for the secret of his religion in the real Jew.

What is the secular basis of Judaism? Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money.

Very well then! Emancipation from huckstering and money, consequently from practical, real Judaism, would be the self-emancipation of our time.

The god of the Jews has become secularized and has become the god of the world. The bill of exchange is the real god of the Jew. His god is only an illusory bill of exchange.

Once society has succeeded in abolishing the empirical essence of Judaism – huckstering and its preconditions – the Jew will have become impossible, because his consciousness no longer has an object, because the subjective basis of Judaism, practical need, has been humanized, and because the conflict between man’s individual-sensuous existence and his species-existence has been abolished.

The social emancipation of the Jew is the emancipation of society from Judaism
.

National Socialism would go on to attempt to “emancipate” society from the Jews, murdering 6 million.
‘Vial Of Death’: Louis Farrakhan Pushes Vaccine Conspiracy Theories In Videos Posted On Facebook, Twitter
Louis Farrakhan, the influential leader of the Nation of Islam, continued his crusade against the coronavirus vaccines over the weekend, calling the vaccine a “vial of death” during remarks at the extremist group’s convention, where other speakers falsely claimed that the vaccines have caused more than 900 deaths.

Videos of the convention, which was held for the Nation of Islam’s annual Saviours’ Day, are posted on the group’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, despite the social media companies’ policies against vaccine-related misinformation.

“By rushing so fast to get something out, bypassing normal steps in a true vaccine, now God is going to turn your vaccine into death in a hurry,” Farrakhan said at the end of a plenary session held on Saturday.

“It is death itself, created by what you call ‘Warp Speed,'” Farrakhan also said, referring to the U.S. government’s project, Operation Warp Speed, to develop a vaccine for the virus.

Farrakhan also took aim at Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top epidemiologist, saying that he has sought to make money on the vaccine, which he referred to as a “vial of death.”

Farrakhan, 87, falsely accused Fauci last year of plotting with Bill Gates to use a coronavirus vaccine to “depopulate the Earth.”

“They’re making money now, plotting to give seven billion, five-hundred million people a vaccination. Dr. Fauci, Bill Gates and Melinda — you want to depopulate the Earth,” Farrakhan said at a July 4 event for Nation of Islam. (RELATED: Farrakhan Accuses Fauci And Bill Gates Of Trying To ‘Depopulate The Earth’ With Coronavirus Vaccine)

Farrakhan’s latest anti-vaccine remarks came at the end of a Saviours’ Day program titled “Covid-19: The Virus and the Vaccine.”
An overview of BBC promotion of the anti-Israel vaccines campaign
Throughout January and February 2021, the BBC engaged in multi-platform promotion of an opportunistic campaign to delegitimise Israel using the subject of vaccinations against Covid-19.

The timeline of events – together with examples of relevant BBC content – is as follows:

On December 20th 2020 Israel began its vaccination drive which was initially aimed at health workers, over 60s and vulnerable people. On the same day the Palestinian Authority clarified that it had not asked Israel for help with its own vaccination programme.

“A senior official with the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health said that the Palestinians do not expect Israel to sell them, or purchase on their behalf, the vaccine from any country.

The official told The Jerusalem Post that the Palestinians will soon receive nearly four million Russian-made vaccines against COVID-19. […]

Another PA Ministry of Health official said that he expected vaccinations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to begin next month. He, too, clarified that the PA has not asked Israel to supply the Palestinians with the vaccine. “We are working on our own to obtain the vaccine from a number of sources,” the official added. “We are not a department in the Israeli Defense Ministry. We have our own government and Ministry of Health, and they are making huge efforts to get the vaccine.””


Two days later, on December 22nd, a group comprising ten political NGOs put out a statement demanding that “the Israeli authorities to live up to their legal obligations and ensure that quality vaccines be provided to Palestinians living under Israeli occupation and control in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as well”.

The first mention of Israel’s vaccination drive by the BBC came in a short report published on its website on December 24th. On the same day another NGO – ‘Rabbis for Human Rights’ – launched a petition claiming that Israel had a “moral imperative” to supply vaccines to Palestinians who are not Israeli citizens.

On January 2nd 2021 the BBC News website published a report headlined “Coronavirus: Israel leads vaccine race with 12% given jab”. Later the same day listeners to BBC World Service radio heard the first of many reports promoting the notion that “Israel is also obligated to provide vaccines for many Palestinians”:
Why does Western media ignore Jews being compared to rats?
The Jewish people are not rats. They are human beings. Yet from the Holocaust onwards, Jewish people have been compared to rats by anti-Semites across the world. In Belgium, a couple of years ago, an annual parade featured puppets of Jews with rats on top of money bags. Several years ago, a Brooklyn synagogue was vandalized with hate-filled graffiti that proclaimed, "Die Jew rats." Around that same period, the South African Jewish Board of Deputies received hate-filled messages, calling them rats. Furthermore, Palestinian Media Watch reported that Muslim cleric Sheikh Raed Da'na compared Jews to rats, as did official PA TV.

Thus, even though the Holocaust occurred many years ago, this anti-Semitic trope just refuses to die. In fact, recently, American journalist Patrick Lancaster documented an Armenian man who worked for a nationalist organization in his country proclaiming in Republic Square in Yerevan, "The swastika is the symbol of the Indo-European Aryan people. Gypsies were killed as a parasite nation. And Hitler killed Jews because they engaged in incitement. They have bloody money. No difference, Jews are very harmful. If rats live in your house, will it be good? Do you know that in 1915 the Armenian genocide was organized by Jews?"

Following that incident, Lancaster proclaimed: "I don't stand for racism or hurting the innocent. It is really terrible to see that there are still people in the world that have such horrible opinions of people because of their skin color or where they come from. It cannot be stood for." However, despite Lancaster's bravery, not too many media outlets in the West have reported on this incident, even though Lancaster's video was translated into English and spread widely on social media. The question remains, why?

According to a 2014 Anti-Defamation League Global Anti-Semitism Index Survey, 68% of Armenians believe that Jews are more loyal to Israel than their countries of origin; 72% believe that Jews have too much power in the business world; 68% believe that Jews have too much control in international financial markets; 45% believe Jews talk too much about what happened in the Holocaust; 60% believe that Jews don't care about anyone but their own kind; 51% believe that Jews got too much control over global affairs; 53% believe that they are better than other people and 38% blame Jews for most of the world wars.


In France, if you smoke cannabis you can kill a Jew - Sarah Halimi case goes to high court
In France, if you smoke cannabis, you can kill a Jew.

That's basically what France's lower court decided in December 2019, after excusing the alleged antisemitic murderer of a Jewish woman from a criminal trial because of his heavy intake of cannabis that supposedly compromised his “discernment,” or consciousness.

France’s Court of Cassation (appellate) began its deliberations Wednesday on whether or not to overrule the lower court’s decision not to try Kobili Traoré for killing Sarah Halimi in 2017 while shouting about Allah, a decision that was appealed last year.

At the time of the ruling, the judge cited psychiatric evaluations saying Traoré’s consumption of marijuana before the incident led to a “delirious episode” that made him not legally responsible for his actions. However, the judge also said that Traoré, who is in his 30s, killed Halimi because he is an antisemite.

On April 2017, Traoré, a 27-year-old Muslim man, beat Halimi, his 65-year-old Jewish neighbor, while screaming "Allah Akbar" (God is great) and antisemitic slogans before throwing her out of the window of her third-floor apartment to her death. The court said that he was not responsible for his actions, however, since he smoked an extensive dose of cannabis that "affected" his senses, a decision that sparked outrage among the French and International Jewish community.

According to Algemeiner, if Traoré's criminal irresponsibility is confirmed by the highest court, he will be held in mental health institutions until doctors deem him fit to be released back into society, and the only penalty he would receive would be to be banned from visiting the site of the killing and having contact with Halimi’s family for 20 years.
‘I’ve Lost Count,’ Says Owner of Amsterdam Kosher Restaurant After Latest Antisemitic Vandalism
The owner of a kosher restaurant in Amsterdam said this week that he had lost count of the times his establishment had been vandalized in recent years after antisemitic graffiti was discovered on its windows.

An antisemitic slogan was scrawled onto the window of the HaCarmel eatery in the Dutch capital. The restaurant’s owner, Daniel Bar-On, told local news outlets that he could no longer keep track of the number of attacks on his property by antisemites.

“I’ve lost count,” Bar-On said. “There are many restaurants owned by different nationalities along this street, but we are the only one subjected to these kinds of incidents.”

Last year, the restaurant was the target of a second attack by the same Syrian migrant after he was found by a judge to have diminished responsibility for his first attack.

The suspect was arrested at the scene and was quickly discovered to be the same man who smashed a window in 2017, stole an Israeli flag, and vandalized the restaurant with eggs and mayonnaise.

Previous violent acts have included a fake bomb and graffiti.

Meanwhile, the local council in the port city of Rotterdam has pledged to step up its fight against antisemitism.

More camera surveillance and more police patrols will be placed at the city’s Jewish institutions following the vandalism of a Jewish cemetery last month.
Primary school and education resource provider apologise after handing seven year olds homework teaching that the Jews killed Jesus
An educational resource site and the headteacher of a primary school have apologised after seven-year-olds were handed homework teaching them that the Jews killed Jesus.

Joanne Bell, the mother of a child who was handed the sheet, posted a picture of the antisemitic homework to Twitter. It showed a drawing with a depiction of Jesus standing in front of Roman leader Pontius, whilst a hook-nosed Jew is bending down to whisper to Pontius in a conspiratorial manner.

Alongside, the text reads: “The Jewish leaders wanted Jesus to be guilty…eventually they asked him if he was the son of God. Jesus replied ‘I am’. This was enough. They said this was an insult to God. Jesus was taken before Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor. The Jewish people, who wanted Jesus to die, persuaded the people to set free a murderer called Barabbas. Pilate asked what he should do with Jesus, known as ‘king of the Jews’. ‘Crucify him!’ shouted the people.”

Ms Bell wrote: “Got to love Britain, doing my child’s RE [Religious Education] home-schooling today. Why not teach the Blood Libel, hey. What harm has it ever done to portray Jews as bloodthirsty and solely responsible for the death of the believed son of G-d, Jesus. I am in shock. This for seven-year olds.”

Topmarks – the education website responsible for creating and distributing the homework – blocked Joanne when she raised the issue, but it unblocked her a day later, with the head of the company tweeting an apology.

He wrote: “Hello Joanne. Sorry for the delay, I’ve been unwell post-vaccine. We are sorry for any offense to or misrepresentation of the Jewish community, it was not our intention, and we have removed the Bible story. Thank you for bringing it to our attention. I have unblocked you.”
Leaflets comparing COVID-19 vaccine to Holocaust left on car windscreens in Bournemouth
Leaflets comparing the COVID-19 vaccine to the Holocaust have reportedly been left on car windscreens in Bournemouth.

In an apparent criticism of the vaccine and lockdown rules, the leaflets read: “Millions believed in the Nazis. Do you believe in your Government?” The caption is accompanied by pictures of Bill Gates, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and the controversial Jewish financier and political activist, George Soros, who is a frequent protagonist in antisemitic conspiracy theories.

The local resident who discovered the leaflets reportedly said: “To hijack the Holocaust and use the Nazis’ terrible crimes against humanity as an excuse to level criticism is repulsive to Jews and the general public at large.”

It is understood that police are investigating.

Comparisons of the lockdown rules to the Holocaust have become disturbingly commonplace in recent months.

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis of Home Office statistics shows that an average of over three hate crimes are directed at Jews every single day in England and Wales, with Jews almost four times more likely to be targets of hate crimes than any other faith group.
Antisemitic Social Media Troll Arrested, Charged in Florida
The FBI conducted a raid Tuesday morning in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and arrested a far-right knave who was known for collecting weapons, threatening violence, dressing like comic book character The Joker and making antisemitic comments on social media.

According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and a SWAT team busted Paul Miller, 32, for a 2018 charge for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. The FBI did not provide any other information.

However, Miller’s social media accounts are peppered with threats of violence, videos of him holding guns and expressing hatred for Jewish people.

In one video, he claimed to be “trying to build” an army and expressed a desire to “gas” Jews.

Several other of his videos show him waving Nazi flags and discussing how he got beat up outside the New York Republican Party’s headquarters on the Upper East Side in October 2018.

Miller was also known for trolling users on the video chatting platform Omegle and dressing up as the Joker, spewing horrific antisemitic conspiracy theories.
Telehealth startup TytoCare raises $50 million as COVID pushes doctors online
TytoCare, a telehealth startup that has developed an artificial intelligence-based device that enables clinicians to perform remote medical examinations, said Thursday it has raised $50 million in an extension to its Series D fundraising round, doubling the company’s valuation.

This funding comes on the heels of TytoCare raising $50 million in April 2020, bringing the money raised over the last 10 months to $100 million, the startup said in a statement.

Existing investor Insight Partners led the extension round with participation from new investors Tiger Global Management and Qumra Capital and existing investors Qualcomm Ventures LLC, Olive Tree Ventures, and Shenzhen Capital Group Company. With the added funding TytoCare has raised a total of $155 million from investors to date.

Amid the social distancing requirements of the coronavirus pandemic, TytoCare has seen rapid growth in demand for its telehealth kits with healthcare organizations, hospitals, and insurers around the world encouraging the use of TytoCare’s product for virtual care and remote monitoring. In 2020 alone, TytoCare experienced a 2.5-fold jump in revenue, the statement said.

The handheld device developed by the firm for remote medical exams has attachments that can examine heart, lungs, skin, ears, throat and abdomen, as well as measure body temperature, allowing users to perform comprehensive medical exams and send the captured exam data to one of TytoCare’s healthcare provider partners for diagnosis of acute care situations. Users can connect with a provider 24/7/365, no matter their location, according to the company.
Israel's Gas Royalties Up 30 Percent in 2020
With the Leviathan field beginning operations, royalties were actually 40% below expectations.

Fees and royalties to the state from Israel's natural gas, oil, and minerals totaled NIS 1.105 billion in 2020, up 30% from 2019, the Ministry of Energy reports.

Most of the revenues came from royalties on natural gas, which totaled NIS 1.09 billion in 2020, up 29.6% from 2019 but NIS 400 million below expectations because of the reduction in energy use during the Covid-19 crisis.

There was a 48.4% increase in natural gas production in 2020, the Ministry of Energy reports, with the Leviathan field coming on stream on December 31 2019. Gas exports to Egypt and Jordan increased significantly.

Gas production from the Tamar field in 2020 totaled 8.27 BCM, generating royalties of NIS 592 million, while gas production from Leviathan, in its first year of operations, totaled 7.32 BCM, generating royalties of NIS 273 million.

Revenue in 2020 was also hit by a fall in the price of natural gas with the average price per thermal unit falling from $5.512 in 2019 to $4.8 in 2020.
Israeli Workforce Management Company Papaya Global Raises $100 Million Making It Israel’s First Female-Led Unicorn
While becoming a unicorn seems to be par for the course for Israeli tech startups these days, workforce management company Papaya Global still manages to stand out. The company is the only Israeli unicorn to be led by a female entrepreneur, its co-founder and CEO Eynat Guez. The company announced on Thursday that it has raised $100 million in series C funding, taking the company’s valuation over the $1 billion threshold.

The new funding round was led by GreenOaks Capital Partners and joined by IVP Ventures and Alkeon Capital, with participation from existing investors Insight Venture Partners, Scale Ventures, Bessemer Ventures, Dynamic Loop, New Era and Workday Ventures, Access Ventures, and Group 11.

The new investment follows Papaya’s $40 million series B round that was announced less than six months ago, bringing its total funding to $190 million. In addition to the $100 million in new funding, past backers invested an additional $20 million-$30 million in the purchase of shares from veteran investors and employees.

Guez, who doesn’t come from a technological background, founded Papaya Global in 2016 together with Ruben Drong (CPO), and Ofer Herman (CTO). It started out operating on a bootstrap model, relying largely on Guez’s experience from running RelocationSource, a leading company in the executive relocation sector.

Papaya’s SaaS software unifies all workforce management tasks under one platform — from onboarding through payroll and payments — in over 140 countries. Papaya’s team currently spans Tel Aviv, New York, Austin, London, Kiev, and Melbourne, with plans to triple in growth year-over-year in terms of clients, revenue, and employees globally.
My word! Bahrain offers Hebrew classes for Arabic speakers
A school in Bahrain is set to launch the country’s first Hebrew language classes for Arabic speakers who want to learn another Semitic language.

Organisers say the course, which initially will be offered online only, will cater for a surge in demand for improved business and tourism ties after relations with Israel were normalised last year.

Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates announced they recognised Israel on September 15, followed shortly afterwards by Sudan and Morocco.

Hebrew language lessons from the Shemot Academy — which takes its name from the Hebrew word for “name” — will be available through dedicated smartphone apps from the middle of April.

Its organiser Asma Alatwi, a Bahraini citizen who studied Hebrew literature and language at Ain Shams University in Cairo, said it was the first class of its kind in any of the Arab Gulf States.

She told the Jewish News: “In my view, language is the most direct connection to other cultures.

“Being able to communicate in another language lets people explore the religion, community, traditions, arts and history of the people associated with that language.

“It will also strengthen the economy, businesses [and] tourism opportunities between both countries.”
New Haggadah Links Marvel Superheroes to Passover Story
An English-Hebrew haggadah published on Monday features original artwork, commentary, and conversation starters that draw on the Marvel universe of superheroes to tell the story of Passover.

“The Superhero Haggadah: A Story of Signs and Marvels,” by Rabbi Moshe Rosenberg, is based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and the Infinity Saga films — 23 interconnected movies that began with “Iron Man” and ended with “Spider-Man: Far From Home.”

Rosenberg used the Marvel stories to discuss topics also addressed in Jewish texts, exploring themes like, “How is the Passover seder plate like a time machine? What makes a true superhero? And is guilt actually a Jewish super power?”

The haggadah “reveals uncanny connections to the classic Passover story. From time travel to teaching, internal demons to external enemies, exile to homecoming, and Talmudic sages to cinematic superheroes, you’ll discover commonalities you never considered — and may just unearth your own super powers along the way.”

Rosenberg, a teacher at SAR Academy in the Bronx and the leader of Congregation Etz Chaim in Kew Gardens Hills, New York, also published the 2017 best-selling “Unofficial Hogwarts Haggadah,” inspired by J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rosenberg was undergoing radiation treatment for prostate cancer, which left him “weak, fatigued and emotional,” he wrote in the book’s introduction. To lift his spirits, his seven children “composed a watchlist of Marvel movies and proceeded to watch them with me.”

“I began to see the very human issues that these augmented humans had to face: exclusion, identity, responsibility, trust, maturity, guilt, and so many more. I started writing down these ideas,” he explained.
Israeli Actress Shira Haas to Star in New American TV Series About Golda Meir
Israeli actress Shira Haas, best known as the star of the Netflix four-part series “Unorthodox” and for her role in the popular Israeli TV drama “Shtisel,” has been tapped to play Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir in a new American TV series, announced Deadline on Monday.

The 25-year-old actress has won two Ophir awards—the Israeli equivalent of the Academy Awards—for which she was nominated five times. She was also nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Emmy award.

The executive producer is none other than singer, actress and filmmaker Barbra Streisand, and represents the first time that she has worked on a scripted TV series. The script will be written by Eric Tuchman, writer and producer of the hit TV series “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Tuchman will also be an executive producer of the project, which will be directed by Emmy winner Mimi Leder of the popular TV series “The Morning Show.”

The series is based on the nonfiction work Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel by Francine Klagsbrun.







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