Thursday, April 01, 2021

From Ian:

Cornell West, Campus Politics, and BDS
One of the most notable BDS related developments in March was the claim by Harvard Divinity School professor Cornell West that he was “denied tenure” as a result of his support for “Palestinian rights” and an organized effort by pro-Israel forces. West, 67, had been teaching at Harvard for five years as a non-tenure track professor of practice, and had been offered a 10-year contract and substantial raise. He rejected this and announced his return to Union Theological Seminary.

West blamed the “powers that be at Harvard” for his failure to be moved to a tenure track position, and stated, “In my case, my controversial and outspoken views about and critiques of empire, capitalism, white supremacy, male supremacy, and homophobia are tolerated, but any serious engagement around the issues of the Israeli occupation are rendered highly suspect and reduced to anti-Jewish hatred or prejudice.”

While claims that anti-Israel faculty are being denied tenure are not uncommon, this incident has the appearance of using the accusation as a means of blackmailing a university during a contract renegotiation. West received considerable support from student and faculty groups, which accepted his claims without question.

Responding to criticism, West stated his willingness to debate the issue, but then failed to accept an invitation to do so.

Celebrity academics using BDS and “Palestine” as tools for their own careers and left-wing bona fides is increasingly common. The emerging accusation “progressive except for Palestine” is a gloss on the title of Marc Lamont Hill’s new book, and is now regularly repeated in various settings.

In Britain, the parallel case of Bristol University’s David Miller, long accused of abusing students and of promoting elaborate antisemitic conspiracies, has finally produced a university investigation. Not surprisingly, hundreds of academics have expressed support for Miller, even as a separate police investigation has been opened against him regarding “a hate crime or hate incident taking place during lectures at the University of Bristol.”
Lies in the cognitive war against Israel Part 2
The Lie of Israelis Being the New Nazis
When SJP activists and their invited speakers demonstrate against Israel, their speech and literature is peppered with allegations about Israel’s alleged “crimes against humanity, “massacres,” genocide,” and, echoing comments by Turkey’s prime minister Tayyip Erdoğan, in their treatment of the Palestinians, Israel has demonstrated that “. . . their barbarism has surpassed even Hitler’s.”

The Nazification of Israelis—and by extension Jews—is both breathtaking in its moral inversion and cruel in the way it makes the actual victims of the Third Reich’s horrors a modern-day reincarnation of that same barbarity, at once ahistorical, disingenuous, and grotesque in its moral and factual inaccuracy.

What is the purpose of this grotesque campaign to transmogrify the Jewish state into the Third Reich? The insidious answer is that once Israel has been tarred with the libels of racism and Nazism, the Jewish state has been made an international outlaw, a pariah, losing its moral right to even exist—exactly, of course, what its foes have consistently sought.

What is more troubling is that the characterization of the Israeli as Nazi is a trope now promulgated by Western elites and so-called intellectuals, including a broad contingent of academics who are complicit in, and in fact intellectual enablers of, the campaign to defame Israel by Nazifying its people and accusing Jews again as being the world’s moral and existential enemies as demonstrated by their oppression and brutality toward the 'long-suffering Palestinians'.

Thus, campus anti-Israel hate-fests sponsored by radical student groups have such repellant names as “Holocaust in the Holy Land,” “Israel: The Politics of Genocide,” or “Israel: The Fourth Reich,” creating a clear, though mendacious, linkage between Nazism and Zionism—clear examples of both Holocaust minimization and inversion and both contemporary versions of anti-Semitic thought and expression.

That same trope is repeated and reinforced by other academics, such as Richard Falk, professor emeritus of International Law and Policy at Princeton University and the UN’s former, preposterously-titled “Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967,” who wondered aloud if it was “an irresponsible overstatement to associate the treatment of Palestinians with this criminalized Nazi record of collective atrocity?” on the part of Israel, and then quickly answered his own question by saying, “I think not.”
Israel to pay for 10 Plagues?
Bible study meets modern litigiousness in a story that may one day yield a riveting courtroom drama.

Ahmad al-Gamal, an Egyptian columnist for Egyptian daily Al-Yawm Al-Sabi, advocated in the newspaper on March 11 that Egypt sue the State of Israel for damages caused by the 10 Biblical plagues,

“We want compensation for the plagues that were inflicted upon [us] as a result of the curses that the Jews’ ancient forefathers [cast] upon our ancient forefathers, who did not deserve to pay for the mistake that Egypt’s ruler at the time, Pharaoh, committed,” the cranky journalist wrote, according to a translation provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

According to the Biblical Book of Exodus, the Egyptian king prevented Moses from liberating the Jews and leading them out of Egypt.

The plagues that summarily struck Egypt in consequence included the Nile turning into blood, an outbreak of lice, diseased livestock, boils, and so on, culminating in darkness and the deaths of all Egyptian firstborn males. The telling of the tale features prominently in the Jewish observance of the spring holiday of Passover.

“For what is written in the Torah proves that it was Pharaoh who oppressed the children of Israel, rather than the Egyptian people,” Gamal continued, “[But] they inflicted upon us the plague of locusts that didn’t leave anything behind them; the plague that transformed the Nile’s waters into blood, so nobody could drink of them for a long time; the plague of darkness that kept the world dark day and night; the plague of frogs; and the plague of the killing of the firstborn, namely every first offspring born to woman or beast, and so on.”

Gamal also pressed suing Israel for the “precious materials” used by the ancient Israelites in order to construct their desert tabernacle.

“We want compensation for the gold, silver, copper, precious stones, fabrics, hides and lumber, and for [all] animal meat, hair, hides and wool, and for other materials that I will mention [below], when quoting the language of the Torah. All these are materials that the Jews used in their rituals. These are resources that cannot be found among desert wanderers unless they took them before their departure.”


Holocaust survivors who died in Israel's wars to be honored in ceremony
A special ceremony commemorating Holocaust survivors will be held at the Ghetto Fighters House Museum near Acre in northern Israel. The ceremony, held this year under the title of "Last Survivors," will honor Holocaust survivors who made aliyah after losing their families in WWII, and later died during one of Israel's military campaigns over the years.

The annual ceremony has been held since 1949, when Kibbutz Lohamei Hagetaot, where the museum stands, was established. This year's ceremony, however, will be held in a special format: Six Holocaust survivors will be honored by lighting torches and the ceremony will be broadcasted live on Channel 11.

"The ceremony will reflect the values we believe in: The human spirit, the struggle of survival and survivors' path to revival by establishing the State of Israel," said Yigal Cohen, CEO of the Ghetto Fighters House Museum.

"That's why this year, we've decided to honor those survivors who died while fighting in Israel's wars without any remaining relatives." President Reuven Rivlin is set to be in attendance and give a speech.
Father of Rina Shnerb, killed by terror, to light Independence Day torch
Rabbi Eitan Shnerb, father of Rina Shnerb, the 17-year-old girl who was killed in a terrorist attack in the West Bank in 2019, was selected on Tuesday to light a torch during the state’s 73rd Independence Day ceremony.

Each year ahead of Independence Day, a designated committee chooses a number of prominent individuals from a wide range of fields and occupations to light a torch during Israel’s biggest national ceremony.

Shnerb was hiking with his daughter Rina and his son Dvir near a West Bank spring in August when a planted bomb was detonated by terrorists. Shnerb and his son were seriously injured and Rina was killed.

“What do you mean me? What do you mean?” exclaimed Shnerb when Transportation Minister Miri Regev and Culture and Sport Minister Chili Tropper called to tell him the news. “I am really not worthy.

“Thank you very much, I am very excited and really this is a big thing for us because we named our [daughter] Tiferet (glory) on Independence Day,” said Shnerb, explaining why the award means so much to him and his family.

“Tiferet was born eight months after the murder [of Rina] and we called her Tiferet for the glory of the State of Israel.”
Anthony Fauci to address COVID-19 and Holocaust
“It is often said that bioethics emerged out of the ashes of the Holocaust, as a reactive response to the abrogation of ethics and the abuse of power on the part of the medical profession,” so begins the program description of “Medicine and Morality” – a Holocaust Remembrance Day symposium.

On April 7, the International March of the Living, together with the Maimonides Institute for Medicine, Ethics and the Holocaust and other partners will examine lessons from the Holocaust and COVID-19.

Top speakers, including National Institutes of Health’s Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, will compare one of the darkest periods in the history of medicine with the unprecedented challenges faced by doctors and scientists during the pandemic. They will also grapple with how the lessons of the Holocaust have informed the current situation and efforts to treat sick patients in the most ethical manner possible. Fauci will also receive the “Moral Courage in Medicine” award.

“It is almost a kind of redemption story,” Stacy Gallin, founder and director of the Maimonides Institute, told The Jerusalem Post. “If you look at the Holocaust, it represents one of the darkest periods in the history of medicine. And if you look at the past year with the global pandemic, I will say it represents medicine at its best. How do you get from one place to the other?”

The novel coronavirus was, as its name describes, new. It therefore challenged doctors to find new treatments or to test traditional treatments on a new indication.

Coronavirus commissioner Prof. Nachman Ash said that there was a lot of desire to develop these drugs and treatments, but even in times of crisis “developing medicine is based on ethical considerations. The Holocaust showed us the need to work within an organized system and not to run ahead and use treatments without proper protocol.”
COVID-19 wards shutting down across Israel due to rapid vaccinations
Many corona wards throughout the country have closed down, as few new patients are being admitted following the nation’s speedy vaccination process that has reduced their population dramatically in a matter of weeks.

Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital, considered one of the busiest in the country, at one point was taking in over 140 corona patients a day, but only three new patients were admitted on Tuesday.

Prof. Masad Barhum, director of the Galilee Medical Center, said that recovery from the virus has been slower in the north. “There has been a gradual decline in the number of hospitalized patients, but this decline is only moderate compared with other hospitals,” he said.

The vaccination rate in Galilee has been lower in the Arab sector, which is why the decline in infections has been relatively slow. Today, Barhum said, “we are only dealing with 21 corona patients, who were not all vaccinated. But at the peak of the virus we were dealing with 115 hospitalized patients at a time.”

Israel’s Health Ministry reported on Thursday that 489 people tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday, out of nearly 38,000 tested, a 1.3% positivity rate.

The ministry reported 7,334 current patients, of whom 402 are considered serious.

The death toll stood at 6,201, after 11 people died on Tuesday.
COVID-19 vaccines acceptable for Ramadan - Muslim clerics, governments
Religious leaders and health officials around the Middle East and North Africa have declared that receiving a COVID-19 vaccine anytime during Ramadan, when it is customary for Muslim adults to fast from dawn to dusk, will not violate the religious obligation.

In Bahrain, the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs under the leadership of Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al Khalifa ruled earlier this week that the inoculation presents no problem during the month-long holiday, set to begin on the evening of April 13, as it entails no dietary intake.

In Jordan, where the virus is particularly widespread, Roya News reported that the General Iftaa Department for the Hashemite Kingdom, which rules on Islamic matters, verified on Wednesday that the vaccination is acceptable during Ramadan because it is administered through the recipient’s muscle.

Othman Battikh, the grand mufti of Tunisia, approved vaccines during Ramadan for the same reasons as in Jordan and Bahrain, the ANSA Italian news agency reported. Tunisia, coincidentally, was the sole country in the MENA region of the 23 nations that announced on Tuesday support for a global treaty that would facilitate better international cooperation during health emergencies post-COVID.
Israeli invention tracking impact of Ramadan fasting
Israeli health technology startup Lumen has launched its eponymous health tracking device in the Middle East with a project to track the impact of Ramadan fasting on people's bodies, the company announced Wednesday.

The Lumen device measures the body's carbon dioxide concentration when a user breathes into it. The levels measured indicate the type of fuel the user's body is using to produce energy – how much fat, and how much carbs. The device then provides nutritional recommendations.

As intermittent fasting becomes more common, the Lumen research team is going back to a long-established tradition of fasting. Throughout the Islamic month of Ramadan, which this year begins the evening of April 13 and lasts until May 12, the Lumen research team will analyze metabolism measurements of 2,000 people across the Middle East, Asia, North America and the UK who observe the fast, before and after the Iftar and Suhur meals, which break and start the fast, respectively.

"We are very exciting to draw insights from one of the largest fasting traditions – the holy month of Ramadan. The unique setting enables to see how these fasting windows impact our metabolism but also other interesting factors such as not consuming water throughout the day, the timing of the meals and of course the impressive month-long duration of the fasting practice," said Lumen's head of data, Barak Alon.

Currently, over 45% of Lumen users across the Middle East who fast 16 hours are able to shift their fuel source to fat burn. Lumen will publish their results when Ramadan ends to sum up the impact of fasting for all daylight hours for an entire month.

Lumen was co-founded by Israeli twins Michal and Merav Mor, both of whom hold doctorates in physiology. They now serve as head of science for product and head of research and science.
Kentucky Governor Leads Condemnation of Libertarian Party’s Comparison of ‘Vaccine Passports’ With Nazi Persecution of Jews
Kentucky’s governor has slammed the state’s third-largest political party for comparing proposed COVID-19 “vaccine passports” to the yellow star badges that the Nazi regime compelled Jews in occupied Europe to wear on their outer clothing.

“Comparing vaccines to the Holocaust is shameful,” Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (D) declared on Twitter, in response to the Holocaust analogy drawn by the Libertarian Party on its own Twitter feed on Monday.

“This group should stop politicizing the pandemic and apologize — there is no place for antisemitism in Kentucky,” Beshear stated.

The offending post was published on Monday afternoon. “Are the vaccine passports going to be yellow, shaped like a star, and sewn on our clothes?” the party tweeted.

Disturbing comparisons between the Nazi persecution of the Jews and the social distancing protocols introduced to counter the pandemic over the last year have become more and more frequent in extremist circles, particularly in Europe. At a protest in the French city of Avignon earlier this month, demonstrators carried makeshift yellow stars marked with the words “Not Vaccinated” instead of “Jew.” At the same protest, speakers compared a proposed EU passport reserved for those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 to Nazi racial antisemitism.

In Germany, meanwhile, the trope had become common enough that the city of Munich last May went as far as to ban the display of mock yellow stars at anti-social distancing rallies.
Twitter suspends Jewish account key to UK Labour defeat
An anonymous Twitter account instrumental in exposing antisemitism in the UK Labour Party was suspended by Twitter on Tuesday. The anonymous account suspended by Twitter, GnasherJew, was a leading source of allegations of antisemitism against the UK Labour Party and its then leader Jeremy Corbyn during the 2019 general election.

"We are unaware of why they were suspended or for how long," said David Collier, a fellow UK counter-antisemitism activist.

"To British Jews the anti-racist activists behind GnasherJew are heroes," said Joseph Cohen, head of the UK Pro-Israel group Israel Advocacy Movement. "Without their forensic research, the true extent of antisemitism within Corbyn's Labour Party would have remained hidden. They identified and publicized Labour members, councilors and politicians guilty of anti-Jewish racism. These stories made national headlines and unquestionably contributed to Corbyn's crushing electoral defeat."

The account documented incidents of antisemitism within the Labour Party, and was allegedly run by an unknown amount of disillusioned Labour activists. "They remained anonymous out of fear for their safety," Collier noted. Opponents have claimed that the account is operated by Conservative Israel supporters running a political smear campaign.

Many attribute Labour's unprecedented defeat in the 2019 UK elections to the allegations of widespread and unaddressed antisemitism within the party. In late 2020, The Equality and Human Rights Commission of the UK released a report finding that Labour had failed to tackle antisemitism among its ranks and had violated equality laws. Jeremy Corbyn was ousted from his position as leader in part because of this scandal.


Conservative councillor loses whip after 'deeply offensive' Hebrew comment
A Conservative councillor had his whip removed pending an investigation after he reportedly told a candidate for a senior officer role that speaking to resid​ents might be challenging "unless you are able to speak Hebrew".

According to a report in the Bury Times, citing a Labour source, Bury councillor Robert Caserta made the remark during an interview last year.

He also apparently discussed the individual’s two young children within the context of the job application, according to the outlet.

Local Tory MP Christian Wakeford and Cllr Nicholas Jones - the council's Conservative group leader - said in a joint statement they had "always enjoyed an excellent relationship with the Jewish community."

"We consider antisemitism in all its forms abhorrent and will continue to call it out wherever it is found, including within our own party. Cllr Caserta’s comments were at best inappropriate and deeply offensive and at worst could be construed as antisemitic, so it is right that prompt action is taken. We have acted as a matter of urgency and immediately removed the whip from Cllr Caserta pending a full investigation into this matter," they said.

The local authority did not confirm the nature of the remarks when approached by the JC.

But a private disciplinary hearing held earlier this month ruled that an apology must be made and equality training completed by late June.
Why You Should Be Highly Alarmed by — and Yet Totally Ignore — the Jerusalem Declaration of Antisemitism
So many academic antisemites’ charters have been published in recent years, that it’s tempting simply to ignore the wrongly named Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism — it is in fact a declaration not on but of antisemitism — altogether. In this piece, I am going to engage in some massive cakeism by first explaining what the only two purposes of this initiative are, and why the publication of the declaration might well signal a qualitative leap — only then to tell you in no uncertain terms how important it is that you entirely ignore the declaration itself.

The Jerusalem Declaration of Antisemitism has precisely two purposes (and two purposes only):

1. To declare the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state, in secure borders she is realistically capable of defending, as a legitimate goal that has nothing to do with antisemitism.
2. To obfuscate.

Do not let anybody tell you that there is anything more to the declaration, or that it is worth entering into any kind of detailed exegesis of this wretched document because there are supposedly more profound issues at stake.

Definitions and Definitions
There are definitions and definitions. The IHRA definition on antisemitism is called a working definition not (as some would have you believe) because it is really just a first rough draft that has a long way to go before it can claim any sort of legitimacy, but because it is a definition created for a very specific practical purpose. It is a definition one can work with in specific situations to judge whether specific forms of conduct are antisemitic or not. It does not even have anything to say as to what should follow if a specific form of conduct is antisemitic according to its criteria. It is quite intentionally not a historical, philosophical, political, sociological, metaphysical, explanatory, curative definition; it is — a working definition.

Does it answer all questions one could possibly have about the causes, significance, meanings, and implications of antisemitism, and what can best be done to combat it? It does not, nor is it meant to, and no one has ever claimed that it does. In short: the critics are absolutely right in stating that the IHRA definition does “only” what it is meant to do, and is incapable of satisfying any number of other demands. Which is akin to saying people shouldn’t take aspirin against a headache because it won’t make them any cleverer or increase their appreciation of Schubert.
Canadian Jewish Students Call on Universities to Adopt Antisemitism Definition
More than 140 Jewish students have signed an open letter calling on Canadian post-secondary institutions to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.

It would “help administrators better identify and meaningfully combat” antisemitism on campus, read the letter, listing incidents at the University of Toronto, McGill University and Queen’s University.

“As students involved in the Jewish community on campus, we can corroborate that antisemitism has found an all-too comfortable home at Canadian universities. Using the IHRA definition would help administrators establish when more insidious forms of antisemitism are taking place,” according to the letter.

The global definition was adopted as part of the Canadian government’s anti-racism strategy in 2019. It has since been endorsed by Ontario’s provincial government, the University of Manitoba and University of Western student unions, the Global Imams Council and other bodies.

Student signatories to the letter hail from across the country, with 25-plus academic institutions represented, including the University of New Brunswick, Concordia University, the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia and Wilfrid Laurier University.
Butler Students Claim Angela Davis Speech ‘Cancelled’ After ‘Zionist’ Pressure, While University Describes Postponement Over Procedure Error
Student groups at Butler University in Indiana alleged Tuesday that a planned event with the activist Angela Davis was cancelled after “pressure from Zionist students” over her support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, while a representative from the school said that the program was simply postponed over procedural issues.

In a statement, a number of campus organizations including Students for Justice in Palestine and the International Club accused the Indianapolis-based Butler of a “racist and authoritative cancellation” of the April 1 conversation with Davis, which was billed as “Joint Struggle and Collective Liberation.”

“Days before Butler University’s shameless censorship of Dr. Angela Davis, the Student Government Association was bombarded by pressure from Zionist students who claimed to oppose Davis’ event because of her support for [the BDS] movement — a grassroots demand for nonviolent economic pressure against Israel’s illegal military occupation of Palestine,” the statement said, which was also signed by local groups including Jewish Voice for Peace and Black Lives Matter chapters.

Butler University spokesperson Mark Apple denied that Davis’ views were at issue, telling a local newspaper that the event with Davis was in fact postponed — and not cancelled — after the Student Government Association “learned the established processes weren’t followed for this substantial expenditure of student activity fees.”

“Allegations that the event was cancelled due to pressure from students who had concerns about the speaker and the content of the program are completely false,” Apple told The Indianapolis Star Wednesday. “Butler University is committed to working with SGA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Board to fulfill its goal of hosting speakers who educate the campus on important social issues.”

Apple also said that the school and Davis were working to reschedule the event.
A Call to Action Against Oberlin’s ‘Professor of Peace’
Oberlin College professor Mohammad Jafar Mahallati, who has been given the title, “professor of peace,” is anything but.

He has been accused of war crimes for allegedly covering up the murder of 5,000 Iranian political prisoners when he was Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations. In a speech to the United Nations in 1988, he also argued against Israel’s right to exist—referring to Israel as “the Zionist entity”—and stating, “The adoption, by the General Assembly in 1947, of resolution 181 (II) on the partition of the land of Palestine and the establishment of the Zionist entity was itself in violation of provisions of the United Nations Charter, as well as of the rules of international law.”

And in a UN speech in 1989, during the First Intifada, Mahalatti referred to and justified Palestinian terrorism against Israeli civilians as a “heroic uprising.”

The “professor of peace” continues to spread his message of hatred at Oberlin. In his Islam 270 course, his students write online blogs (all recently deleted) in response to his propaganda-filled lectures and anti-Israel readings. Having listened to his rhetoric, they respond by expressing support for the BDS movement, rationalizing Hamas terrorism as liberation efforts, portraying Israel as an apartheid regime and equating Zionism with racism.

Recently, former Iranian political prisoners, family members of some of the murdered 5,000 political prisoners and some Jewish advocacy groups wrote to the Oberlin administration about Mahallati. They likely believe Oberlin administrators were unaware of his past and will now do the right thing.

They will not.
Police reportedly investigating David Miller for hate crime while Bristol University’s claim that he’s on ‘sick leave’ undermined by his ongoing public activism
Police are reportedly investigating Prof. David Miller for a hate crime over recent inflammatory comments that he made about Jewish students.

Prof. Miller, a conspiracist whom Campaign Against Antisemitism has been monitoring for years, recently added to his record of inflammatory comments about the Jewish community with the assertion that “Zionism is racism” and a declaration that his objective is “to end Zionism as a functioning ideology of the world”. Most egregiously, he also suggested that Jewish students, by virtue of being Zionist, “encourage Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism”.

Prof. Miller’s comments and the University’s reaction have been the subject of a great deal of attention from the Jewish community as well as Parliament, including a written question by Lord Austin, an honorary patron of Campaign Against Antisemitism.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has been providing ongoing support to students at Bristol.
TVA Falsely Claims 8,000 Jews Crossed Border in 48 Hours
On March 26, TVA Nouvelles falsely reported that 8,000 Jews crossed the Lacolle border crossing between Quebec and New York in less than 48 hours.

The false narrative asserted that Jews were coming in droves for Passover, and don’t plan to quarantine and were flouting pandemic restrictions. In so doing, antisemitism was stirred up due to the dissemination of this incendiary and false news report.

TVA Nouvelles broadcast an interview with veteran TV personality Mario Dumont and Jean-Pierre Fortin, the president of the union representing custom workers at the border who said that around 8,000 people, many of them Jews, crossed the border in the past 48 hours for Passover. TVA headlined the report: “8,000 JUIFS EN 48 HEURES À LA FRONTIÈRE / 8,000 Jews in 48 hours at the border.”

Of course, this claim was patently false. TVA failed to confirm the veracity of this information before broadcasting it, resulting in the Jewish community being stigmatized, singled out and scapegoated for allegedly violating pandemic rules with the potential to increase the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Naturally, this report became a lightning rod online for bigots to blame Jews for the pandemic and for allegedly putting public health at risk.

TVA’s actions exposed Jews, an identifiable religious group, with torrents of online hatred.
Transgender ex-neo-Nazi won't face prison time, 'already suffered enough'
A 21-year-old transgender man and former neo-Nazi charged with threatening journalists will not face any prison time after a federal judge concluded he had "already suffered enough," The Associated Press reported.

Taylor Parker-Dipeppe, who identifies by the name Tyler, was charged in 2020 with threatening journalists along with three other members of the white supremacist organization the Atomwaffen Division. According to police, the group had left or attempted to leave threatening messages covered in Swastikas and statements such as "You have been visited by your local Nazis" at the homes of journalists.

However, his childhood was far from easy.

Growing up in Egg Harbor, New Jersey, Parker-Dipeppe had known he was transgender since the age of five. But when his mother bought him "boy clothes," his father threw them away and proceeded to abuse him, AP reported, citing the sentencing memo written by Parker-Dipeppe's attorney, Peter Mazzone.

Mazzone further elaborated on his client's troubled childhood, according to AP. Bullying in high school was so incessant that the school was required to settle a $50,000 lawsuit. Afterwards, Parker-Dipeppe moved in with his mother and her new husband - a violently abusive alcoholic. After that, he joined the Atomwaffen in a bid to find acceptance.

They organization is classified as a hate group, and several killings have been attributed to it in the past.
London Cop Who Acted as Recruiter for Illegal Nazi Organization Facing Jail Sentence
A 22-year-old policeman in London is facing a lengthy jail sentence after being convicted of acting as a recruiter for a violent neo-Nazi organizations banned by the British government.

Benjamin Hannam was found guilty by a jury at London’s Old Bailey of being a member of National Action, a proscribed terrorist organization, along with two counts of possessing documents useful for terrorism and for fraud.

After Hannam’s arrest in March last year, detectives found an image on his iPhone showing him in police uniform, with a Hitler-style mustache superimposed on his face and a Nazi badge on his lapel.

Hannam had already been involved with National Action for two years when he joined the police force in 2018. He lied on his application form when asked if he had been involved with extremist groups or any organization whose aims “may contradict the duty to promote race equality.”

Commander Richard Smith, head of Scotland Yard’s Counter-Terrorism Command, said: “Obviously there will be some concern that somebody who was a member of a group like National Action was able to become a member of Metropolitan Police Service, but once we had identified that fact we acted very swiftly.”

Smith added that “having a mindset of that type is completely incompatible with being a police officer.”
Police search for vandals who sprayed antisemitic graffiti on a home in Oxford
Police are searching for vandals who sprayed antisemitic graffiti on a home in Oxford.

The pair of suspects daubed a swastika on the front door of a house on Stubbs Avenue at 22:07 on 31st January, and Thames Valley Police have now released images and confirmed that they are pursuing the matter.

The vandals returned at 22:23 on the same evening and reportedly used a pole to break a CCTV camera on the property.

In a statement, the police said: “Criminal damage of this kind will never be tolerated and we are asking anyone who recognises these men to come forward and speak to us. Anyone with information should call police on 101 with reference 43210042799.”

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.
Aston Villa FC Condemns Flood of ‘Intolerant’ Reactions to Facebook Passover Greeting
Aston Villa FC spoke out against a torrent of antisemitic and anti-Israel comments posted on social media following a Passover greeting posted by the soccer team on its Facebook page. The club’s statement came as more than 27,000 “angry” emojis have been logged by social media users in response to the holiday message, versus about 6,000 positive reactions.

“The club deplores religious intolerance of any form and is an inclusive organization who welcomes people of all faiths,” Aston Villa wrote in a Facebook comment on Monday.

On March 27, at the start of the Jewish holiday, the Birmingham-based soccer club — which is co-owned by Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris — had posted a graphic on Facebook featuring the Aston Villa logo, along with a large Star of David and the greeting “Happy Passover.” The post also included the caption “Chag Pesach Sameach,” the same greeting in Hebrew.

Jonny Gould, director of the Aston Villa Supporters Trust and a podcast host, said on Twitter that he wrote to the club’s corporate officers after seeing the “racist torrent” and was promised a response.

“They replied immediately, insisting they won’t be deterred. I have been assured that Aston Villa will not be silenced by the digital hate mob and will continue to mark events such as Passover on club channels,” Gould wrote.
UK sentences antisemite to jail for Holocaust denial for first time
In a landmark decision, a UK court has sentenced an antisemite to 18 weeks in prison for disseminating grossly offensive material and messages on social media denying the Holocaust.

The sentencing makes Alison Chabloz the first person in the UK to be jailed specifically for Holocaust denial, under the terms of the 2003 Communications Act.

The Campaign Against Antisemitism organization, which has been heavily involved in bringing Chabloz to trial, welcomed the sentencing, saying it would provide protection to the UK Jewish community from her and others who would spread such material.

The UK does not have any specific statute criminalizing Holocaust denial, but the Communications Act prohibits the transmission of messages or material via electronic communications networks that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing nature.

Chabloz was convicted by Westminster Magistrates’ Court, and sentenced on Wednesday by District Judge Michael Snow to 18 weeks in prison, of which she will serve nine.

Chabloz, 57, was convicted for comments she made in an interview with a far-right online radio station in 2019.
Poussin painting stolen by Nazis found in Italy, returned to French Jewish owner
A painting by French master Nicolas Poussin, stolen by Nazi soldiers from its French Jewish owners in 1944, has been found in Italy and returned to its rightful owners, Italian police said on Thursday.

The oil painting from the Baroque 17th century painter, entitled “Lot with his two daughters serving him drinks,” was seized from the home of an antiques dealer near Padua.

Measuring 120 by 150 centimeters (47 by 59 inches), the work was stolen during WWII when German soldiers occupied the house of its Jewish owners in Poitiers in western France, Italian police specializing in cultural heritage said in a press release.

The owners began searching for their stolen property after the war in 1946.

The work was listed in 1947 in the “Directory of property looted in France during the 1939-1945 war” published by France’s restitutions bureau.

An investigation was relaunched last year when the heirs, a 98-year-old Swiss woman and a 65-year-old American man, filed a complaint through their Italian lawyer.

The whereabouts of the painting were unknown till 2017 when the painting was brought to Italy from France by an Italian antiques dealer, who sent it to Belgium for an exhibition, police said.
Israeli Startups Raised Record $2.8 Billion in March
In a stunning month for startup capital raising, Israeli tech startups doubled the record set in January.

Israeli startups raised a record $2.8 billion in March 2021, according to press releases from the companies and their investors. The figure may be more as some companies prefer to remain in stealth and sometimes do not publicize the investments they have received. The stunning figure for startup capital raising in March nearly doubled the previous monthly record of $1.44 billion, set in January.

Israeli tech companies have already raised $5.3 billion in the first three months of 2021, half the record $10 billion raised in all of 2020, according to IVC-ZAG.

In many instances, financing rounds by tech companies that facilitate remote working and healthcare and cybersecurity, have been boosted rather than hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
German Federal Police Purchases Israeli Night Vision Goggles
Elbit Systems Deutschland, a German subsidiary of Israel's Elbit Systems, announced Wednesday that it was selected by the Procurement Office of the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, after a competitive tender procedure, to supply XACT nv33 Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) for the German Federal Police. The NVGs will help officers fight crime across Germany by facilitating more effective operations at night, which is seen as essential. Details on the amount of NVGs, the value of the deal and the timing of the delivery were not released.

According to Elbit, this decision by the German Federal Police follows the purchase of the XACT nv33 NVGs by another satisfied German customer – the German Armed Forces – that are already using them for various missions. Products from the XACT family have also been selected by other NATO countries, such as the Netherlands, as well as the Israeli and the Australian Armed Forces.

The XACT nv33 is a lightweight binocular image intensifier that can be mounted on a wide variety of helmets, and can also be hand-held. Its compact dimensions, light weight and the capability to use the system while driving a vehicle in absolute darkness will further increase the operational capabilities of federal officers and improve their readiness for future security-related requirements, Elbit said.
Remembering the Martyred Soviet Jews
Every Jew from the Soviet Union knows the words "Babi Yar." The Jews of Kiev, people indistinguishable from me in appearance, in native tongue, in cuisine, were murdered in that ravine during World War II. By chance, my family had the fortune to be evacuated a few weeks before the city fell, a turn of fate through which I was born.

I traveled to Babi Yar in hope of grasping how the events that happened there could occur. How it could be that within days of the withdrawal of the Red Army, a peaceful, well-integrated civilian community could simply be plucked from their ordinary lives and led to that ravine, looted, stripped naked and murdered in their tens of thousands.

How could their Ukrainian neighbors line the streets to watch the spectacle of howling Jewish children being taken to die, of old women carrying their bundles to nowhere? How could they have cheered and taunted, helped themselves to the possessions of people among whom they had lived for generations, and deposited more tip-offs to the Germans about hiding Jews than the Nazis could process? And how could these scenes be repeated, day after day, in towns and villages across Soviet territory?

How was it that a force of 3,000 killers of the Einsatzgruppen could be allowed to carry out the murders of 1.5 million people? How could it pass that the well-educated, cultured men that filled the ranks of the killing squads could perform their work of hunting and terminating every single Jew, not only with a deathly efficiency but with an unmistakable sadism?







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