Tuesday, April 06, 2021

From Ian:

Emily Schrader: New 'Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism' definition unneeded - opinion
In recent weeks, a new definition of antisemitism has popped up, titled the “Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism,” aimed at undermining the widely accepted International Holocaust Remembrance Association definition. But at a time of rising antisemitic incidents around the world, in particular those in the name of “anti-Zionism not antisemitism,” we don’t need another definition of antisemitism, and certainly not by some of the same groups who are making antisemitism a political issue like the fringe groups IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace.

The new definition, signed onto by 200 academics, criticizes the IHRA definition by claiming it is overly broad not in the definition itself, but “in its use.” The IHRA definition is used as a tool for the US government, the EU and 30 other nations to help them define and recognize antisemitic incidents. It is also widely accepted by numerous academic institutions, sports teams and even private companies. It is unique in that it outlines specific examples of what antisemitism looks like today – from classical antisemitic tropes, to comparing the Jewish state to Nazis, to demanding Jews abroad answer for the policies of Israel, to using “Zionism” as a replacement word for Jews. Naturally, this concerns not only classical antisemites, but also modern ones who have made it a priority to demonize and defame Zionists.

The controversy over the IHRA definition has arisen as a result of several fringe Jewish groups launching a campaign against IHRA, falsely claiming it “censors” free speech and that it “silences” Palestinian advocacy. This is not only untrue, but tremendously offensive to pro-Palestinian activists in claiming they cannot advocate for Palestinians without being antisemitic. Additionally, IHRA does not advocate any form of censorship. If it is used as such, that’s not a problem of the definition but the person or institution misapplying it.

Scholars of antisemitism and advocates for the JDA – Joshua Shanes and Dov Waxman – wrote in Slate, “the IHRA definition – specifically some of its examples pertaining to Israel – has been misused to target pro-Palestinian advocacy,” meaning that even advocates and signatories to the JDA admit that the IHRA definition itself does not, in fact, advocate censorship or unfair targeting. Yet at a time when one in four American Jews have experienced antisemitism, these scholars choose to throw their weight behind dividing the community over a new definition of antisemitism that lends credence to extremist groups?

It should also be noted that among the signatories of the JDA are Peter Beinart, who routinely uses his platform to demonize both Israel and Zionists; Naomi Chazan, the former president of the left-wing New Israel Fund and Richard Falk, who served as the UN special rapporteur on “the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories.” Falk, a conspiracy theorist who believes 9/11 was an inside job, has been widely criticized for his comments on both Israel and Jews, including but not limited to: claiming that Israel was planning a Holocaust of the Palestinians, claiming the US government and Jews were conspiring to take Palestinian land and publishing antisemitic cartoons on his blog, where he defended outrageous antisemitic authors, including those supporting the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
More Than 350 Academics Sign Letter Supporting IHRA
More than 350 academics, professionals and intellectuals worldwide signed a letter supporting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism.

The letter, which was signed by UCLA Computer Science Professor Judea Pearl, University of Ottawa Holocaust History Professor Jan Grabowski and McGill University Professor Gil Troy, stated that while all of the various scholars hold differing political viewpoints, they all believe that the IHRA definition is an “invaluable tool” in combating the rise of anti-Semitism globally.

“This new antisemitism has its roots in a noxious mixture of classical, modern racial, Islamic and Soviet anti-Zionist antisemitism,” the letter stated. “It marks out the Jewish state as uniquely demonic, deserving of boycott and opprobrium. In a world full of states and national movements, it calls for the dismantling and ultimately violent destruction of the State of Israel. This antisemitism justifies the harassment, exclusion and ostracism of Israelis and Jews worldwide. It continues centuries old traditions of boycotting, rejecting and shunning Jews.”
The Vaccine Blood Libel: The Wicked Lie of ‘Medical Apartheid’
An egregious lie has been making the rounds lately. It is a timeworn smear against the Jewish people in a modern guise.

The ancient blood libel—“Jews are poisoners,” used to stoke antisemitic violence through the ages, from the Black Death to tainted wells—has reappeared. This time, it is the claim that Israel is denying COVID-19 vaccinations to its non-Jewish citizens and to the residents of the not-yet-sovereign Palestinian Authority. This lie is the same as its predecessors.

Yet the vaccine slander is being widely disseminated by Israel’s enemies, especially on college campuses. On March 2, for example, the Palestine Solidarity Committee held a teach-in at the University of Texas at Austin alleging “medical apartheid” not only as part of Israel’s COVID-19 response but in the ability of pregnant Palestinian women to access hospitals, allegedly leading to roadside deaths related to childbirth.

Also in March, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) Chicago held a three-day campaign called “End Medical Apartheid,” alleging that Israel denies Palestinians proper health treatment, drawing parallels to healthcare inequities for non-white Chicagoans. Likewise, SJP at the University of Maryland held an open Zoom call to share the claim of “medical apartheid.”

One misleading claim pushed by the medical apartheid libel is that Israel is responsible for, but has failed, to vaccinate all Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Similar assertions have been advanced in The New York Times and on MSNBC, as well as by Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The Vermont senator called it “outrageous” for Israel to send vaccines to its allies before the Palestinian population is fully vaccinated. One writer in The Forward alleged that Israel is “classifying people by ethnic identity—and allocating a life-saving resource accordingly”—a slander that The Forward later retracted.
Jonathan S. Tobin: Why can’t we talk about ideology’s role when killers aren’t white?
Though Green’s problems didn’t begin with a belief that Farrakhan was “Jesus, the Messiah,” the Nation of Islam’s paranoiac, anti-white and anti-Semitic ideology may have tipped him into taking violent action.

A lack of corroborating evidence didn’t stop the elite blue-check class from attributing the Atlanta killings to white supremacy. Yet those same talking heads appear to be completely uninterested in whether Farrakhan’s bigotry may have been a factor in Green’s motivations. see also

True, the presence of Farrakhan’s hateful ideology in his life shouldn’t lead us to brush aside Green’s illness. But we also shouldn’t quickly consign to the memory-hole the killer’s interest in the Nation of Islam.

Our media betters wouldn’t hesitate to focus exclusively on white racist groups if Green had been one of their adherents. But the Nation of Islam receives different treatment.

The New York Times, for example, almost instantly cast doubt on any links between Farrakhan’s hate and violence. The paper quoted an “expert” who dismissed the connection, noting that the Nation of Islam has a lower “body count” than white racists.

The problem here isn’t just that society still doesn’t prioritize helping the mentally ill. Our mainstream media and pop culture continue to give a pass to Farrakhan, a man with a following of hundreds of thousands. With statistics showing that most hate crimes against Jews and Asians are committed by African Americans, it’s time to start treating his widespread influence as a serious problem.

Yet the Grammy telecast recently featured the Farrakhan supporter and Black Lives Matter advocate Tamika Mallory, and mainstream political figures like former President Bill Clinton have no problem sharing a stage with the Farrakhan.

As the probe proceeds, it may well turn out that Farrakhan’s hate triggered Green’s final descent into violent madness. The old bigot doesn’t deserve the free pass he still receives from a media establishment that believes racism is worth discussing only when it comes from one direction.


Israeli data shows world's Jewish population now as high as in 1925
World's Jewish population now as high as it was back in 2025, according to a report published Tuesday by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics.

According to the report, as of December 2019, the number of Jews alive around the world stands at 14.8 million.

The data, which was released ahead of Thursday's Holocaust Remembrance Day, show that on the eve of World War II in 1939, world's Jewish population stood at 16.6 million, including 449,000 (about 3%) who were living in Mandatory Palestine.

In the years following the war, the population dropped significantly due to the genocide committed by the Nazi regime on the Jewish population in Europe.

In 1948, the year of Israel's official establishment, the global Jewish population stood at 11.5 million, including 650,000 (6%) who lived in the newly-founded Jewish state at the time.

According to the CBS, by the end of 2020 at least 180,000 Jews who survived the Holocaust were still living in Israel.

Based on the CBS data, 12.3 million Jews (about 83%) reside either in Israel or the United States. At least 6.8 million (46% of world's Jewry) live in Israel and 5.7 million in the U.S.
The Fighting Women of the Warsaw Ghetto
Fifty-two thousand Jews were deported in the first Aktion in the Warsaw ghetto.

The next day, Freedom members met with community leaders to discuss a response. They proposed attacking the Jewish police—who weren’t armed—with clubs. They also wanted to incite mass demonstrations. Again, the leaders warned them not to react hastily or upset the Germans, cautioning that the murders of thousands of Jews would be on the young comrades’ heads.

Now, in the face of such mass killing, the youth movements felt that the adults were being outrageous in their overcautiousness. Who cared if they rocked the boat? They were shipwrecked and sinking fast.

On July 28, Zivia and her fellow youth group leaders all met at Dzielna.

There was no more discussion.

Without the adults or the Polish resistance, they established their own force: the Jewish Fighting Organization. In Yiddish: Yiddishe Kamf Organizatsye. In Hebrew: EYAL. In Polish: Zydowska Organizacja Bojowa, or, the ZOB. The ZOB was no powerhouse. It had no money, no weapons besides those two pistols, and, for the Freedom contingent, not even a local hiding place. (The group hid 140 members at a farm.) Regardless, they had a vision: to stage a Jewish protest. They were Jews fighting as and for Jews. Theirs would be a countrywide operation carried out by the connections that Zivia had already meticulously put in place. Now she would send her young female couriers on life-risking missions, not to distribute educational material or news, but to organize preparations for defense. (Though Zivia had a false ID as “Celina,” she had to stop traveling because of her conspicuously Jewish looks.) Establishing the fighting force assuaged some guilt and anxiety—Zivia felt they could finally move forward on the right path. But with no arsenal or military training, much internal squabbling ensued over how to proceed; the tension mounting as more Jews were taken away to be slaughtered.
Yisrael Medad: Following the money is not enough
When all of this is compared to the report of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released on March 29, it becomes obvious that the money of the American taxpayer is being spent with disregard to recent political developments but to American law.

In fiscal years 2015-19, as the report details, USAID expended $487.3 million out of the budgeted $540.4 million of both the 2015 and 2016 ESF assistance for the program. The Trump administration had reprogrammed $230.1 million allocated for 2017 to other programs and did not allocate funds for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. Back in In December 2018, the Palestinian Authority stated it would refuse to accept assistance after Jan. 31, 2019, because of its concerns about the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act of 2018. That Taylor Force bill included provisions that could make recipients of ESF assistance subject to U.S. lawsuits. Interestingly, it appears that the State Department is seeking to walk a very thin line as the provisions of that limiting amendment do not apply to “(1) the East Jerusalem Hospital Network, (2) wastewater projects, and (3) children’s vaccination projects.”

All in all, since 1993, the U.S. government has provided more than $6.3 billion in bilateral assistance.

While individuals and organizations were checked for links to terrorism, USAID did not ensure that awards these entities made to others, known as sub-awards, were compliant with anti-terrorism requirements. The GAO strongly recommended that if there is a resumption of USAID funding, there need be a verification that “prime awardees have procedures to ensure compliance with requirements before making sub-awards and conduct post-award compliance reviews in time to make corrections before the awards end.”

As a result of the Taylor Force Act, USAID ended 27 ongoing projects and halted the refilling of authorized positions at its West Bank and Gaza mission. Congress was notified of a planned reduction in force and about 50 staff were placed on temporary assignment to other efforts. That is a lot of staff.

In other words, the Palestinian National Authority was, and still is, engaged in policies that support, encourage and initiate terror. And the Biden Administration is ignoring that. Indications are that the many NGOs that disburse these funds are lax in assuring that they are fully compliant with the law. Moreover, the entire “humanitarian” scheme is fraught with political overtones, including Catholic Relief Services.

Combined with this is the parallel concern about the new, or resuscitated, Iran policy of the administration.

As this administration moves forward to deal with Mahmoud Abbas’s regime—one that was a terror organization and is now a terror authority—Israel’s friends, and more importantly, its critics (specifically that strident camp of liberal-cum-woke Jews) must be confronted with the facts and the rationale that without a most critical overview and supervision, they may be permitting the United States to assist very real dangerous policies that will harm Israel and its citizens.
Watchdog: Israel Prize winner supports boycotting Ariel University
Oded Goldreich, a professor at Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science who is set to receive the Israel Prize in mathematics and computer science on Israel's Independence Day, allegedly signed a petition on March 23 calling for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions in Judea and Samaria, the right-wing watchdog group Im Tirtzu claimed on Tuesday.

Earlier in March, Education Minister Yoav Gallant demanded that the Israel Prize selection committee rescind its decision to award Goldreich with the prestigious prize due to his support for boycott divestment and sanctions movement, which Goldreich denied.

But eight days later, his name was linked to a petition advocating the boycott of Israeli academic institutions in Judea and Samaria, notably Ariel University.

The petition, signed by 522 academics in Israel and abroad, called on the European Union to "ensure that its taxpayer-funded research program is not used to legitimize or otherwise sustain the establishment and the activities of Israeli academic institutions in illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory."

"The BDS movement and other anti-Israel movements are bolstered by Goldreich's actions and by the actions of other Israeli academics who similarly sign slanderous petitions and support boycotts," Im Tirtzu said.
Butler University postpones talk with ‘antisemitic’ BDS advocate
A spokesman for Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana, told The Jerusalem Post on Friday that a talk with academic Dr. Angela Davis, a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting the Jewish state, has been postponed.

When asked about a reported cancellation, Mark Apple, the interim director of Strategic Communications, said “I need to correct some misinformation. The program was postponed, not canceled.

The postponement had nothing to do with Dr. Davis’s political views or the content of her program. We expect to announce in the next 24 hours that we have a rescheduled date for the program.”

On March 30, various student organizations, including Students for Justice in Palestine and Muslim Student Association, announced in a statement that “Butler University administration canceled the April 1, 2021 event, Joint Struggle and Collective Liberation, which featured a conversation with the revolutionary author, abolitionist, and anti-racist activist Angela Davis.”

The statement said, “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’s event because of her support for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.”
MEF Report: eBay Founder Funds Anti-American, Anti-Israel Scholarship
Philadelphia – March 30, 2021 – A new report by the Middle East Forum's Campus Watch, "Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute: The Omidyar Empire's Misadventures in Academe," is the first deep dive into Roshan's funding of politicized, anti-American and anti-Israel scholars at universities across the globe.

Roshan is a private U.S. foundation funded by the Omidyar Group, the philanthropy of eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam. It is run by Iranian-born Elahe Omidyar Mir-Djalali, Pierre's mother.

Under the guise of supporting the understanding of Iranian culture and history, Roshan funnels money – and a veneer of legitimacy – to politicized professors who skew history against the West and, at times, toward the Tehran regime.

The report demonstrates that hidden among many legitimate grants on Iranian culture are those supporting tendentious, highly politicized, even Islamist projects and individuals, including:
- Fatemeh Keshavarz – Roshan Institute chair in Persian Studies and director of Roshan Institute for Persian Studies at the U. of Maryland, whose book "Jasmine and Stars: Reading More than Lolita in Tehran" was presented as a "pro-Islamic Republic" response to Azar Nafisi's critical "Reading Lolita in Tehran."
- Hamid Dabashi – Professor of Iranian Studies at Columbia University who has called American Jews the "diehard Fifth Column Zionists working against the best interests of Americans."
- Noam Chomsky – Vehemently anti-Israel and anti-U.S. former MIT professor who whitewashes the Iranian regime and blames Israel and the U.S. for unrest in the Middle East.
- Maseeh Ganjali – U. of Hawaii apologist for the Tehran regime who complained of the "two-dimensional" representation of Iran by U.S. media: "It's still a young government. It's sort of a new country with a lot of young people. ... they're figuring a lot of things out ..."
- The Roshan Institute Fellowship for Excellence in Persian and Iranian Studies – A recipient at the U. of Arizona produced "Aiding Israel: How the Iranian Media Bolsters Israeli Pinkwashing," falsely asserting that Israel persecutes Palestinians by diverting attention to the freedoms enjoyed by the LGBT community in Israel.


Toronto Student Communist Group Tweets “Death to Zionism” Graffiti
Canadian Jewish groups have condemned a Marxist student group over multiple instances of graffiti, including graffiti stating “Death to Zionism!”

The Toronto chapter of the Revolutionary Student Movement (RSM), whose constitution says they’re “guided by communist principles,” tweeted out photos of “street art” on April 3. The “street art” consisted of the words “Zionism a paper tiger!,” “Freedom for Palestinian students!” and “Freedom for Ahmad Sa’adat! Death to Zionism!” Sa’adat is the general-secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group and is currently serving a 30-year prison sentence in Israel for directing civilian killings.

The student group had also posted photos on March 31 of graffiti calling to “smash imperialism and Zionism” and claiming that Canada and Israel were “guilty of genocide.”

B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn said in a statement, “Sadly, Canada’s Jewish community continues to face threats from both the far-right and the far-left. We are working with our partners in law enforcement, and are confident that this terrorist-admiring cell will eventually be brought to justice.

“Harassing a Jewish community’s neighbourhood with hostile messages is clearly antisemitic. Those who have attempted to justify attacks on Canadian Jewry, from whatever source, should hang their heads in shame. Neither the left nor the right has a monopoly on antisemitism, and no excuses should ever be made for it.” (h/t jzaik)
UPenn Refuses to Reschedule Commencement Ceremony on Shavuot
The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia said it will not move the date of its commencement ceremony, which is set to take place during the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, despite a petition to reschedule the event to accommodate those who celebrate the Jewish holiday.

According to the university’s student-run publication, The Daily Pennsylvanian, nearly 40 seniors who identify as Orthodox Jewish received an email about the decision on March 24. Vice president and university secretary Medha Narvekar, and vice president of social equity and community, and university chaplain Chaz Howard said the school cannot move the date of commencement due to logistical challenges.

“The details and logistics of executing an event of this scale have been set for well over a year, and it is not feasible to move the ceremony even without other in-person school ceremonies in place,” said the email.

The FAQ section on the university’s commencement website said the school will provide “alternate arrangements” to Orthodox students who choose to attend the ceremony in person—for example, by allowing observant Jews to complete a PennOpen Pass attestation verbally at the entrance, and complete required COVID-19 testing and registration ahead of time. A full recording of the event will also be posted online for families to watch at a later date.
At New York Times, Bethlehem’s Easter Bunnies, Gatherings Erased
The New York Times‘ April 3 article, “‘Like a Miracle,’ Israel’s Vaccine Success Allows Easter Crowds in Jerusalem,” paints a picture of a lively, crowd-filled Easter in Jerusalem, buoyed by Israel’s vaccine success, alongside the presumably empty churches and streets in nearby Bethlehem, in the Palestinian Authority. About Jesus’s birthplace, where the vaccine is less available, readers would reasonably conclude — wrongly — that, unlike Jerusalem, there were no crowds in churches, no celebrations on the street.

Regarding Jerusalem, “it was as if the pandemic never happened,” begins Patrick Kingsley, the Times’ Jerusalem bureau chief, as he describes a city humming with the Good Friday procession that is part of Easter festivities: the winding passages “were packed with over 1000 worshippers;” “crowds once again [came] to the city’s streets;” “the city’s streets were once again thrumming with activity;” “At the gathering point for the procession on Friday, there was scarcely space to stand;” “Then the crowd moved slowly off . . . “

In the digital edition, the photographs graphically reinforce the crowded, vibrant and soulful Jerusalem scenes, with no less than six photographs depicting crowds of worshipers during the Good Friday procession, in which believers carry the cross and follow the path they believe to be Jesus’ last steps down the Via Dolorosa and into the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (at left) on the way to his crucifixion. A seventh image, of police officers, also emphasizing the crowds, carries the caption: “Israeli police officers provided security and crowd control.”

The Easter holiday scene in the nearby holy city of Bethlehem, readers would understand, is categorically different. About Bethlehem, Kingsley writes:
The mood among Christians a few miles away, in the Palestinian cities of Bethlehem and Ramallah, was even less jubilant. Christians in the occupied territories can visit Jerusalem only with a special permit, which has become even harder to procure during the pandemic. While most Israelis are now vaccinated, the vast majority of Palestinians haven’t received a dose.

The dichotomy is clear. “[T]hanks to Israel’s world-leading vaccine rollout, religious life in Jerusalem is edging back to normal,” thus the crowds of faithful in Israel’s capital. “It’s like a miracle,” as Rev. Amjad Sabbara, a Roman Catholic priest, put it. In Palestinian Bethlehem, on the other hand, where the vaccine availability is still limited, there are no crowds, readers would inevitably conclude, and Kingsley fails to inform them otherwise. Kingsley does not mention any crowds or gathering in Bethlehem, much less refer to them multiple times, as he does in his Jerusalem procession coverage. Nor does the article include any photographs of Bethlehem gatherings. The Times’ neglect, though, doesn’t mean that the events didn’t happen.
New book reveals previously unknown East German Holocaust crimes
The Boston suburb of Sharon, Mass., has become the first municipality in the state to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, after a push by local activists.

In a unanimous decision, the Select Board of Sharon adopted the measure at its March 23 meeting, after community activists Susan Price and Robert Soffer presented the motion to the select board in February.

“My son has dealt with antisemitism on his college campus, where the IHRA definition has not yet been embraced,” said Price, referring to her son Max, who recently faced antisemitic harassment at Tufts University.

“The Town of Sharon has taken a proactive step that shows it cares about the safety of Jewish residents,” she continued. “The town can use this as a tool to educate its boards, departments and the broader community. It can be used to facilitate meaningful conversations and to identify antisemitic conduct, harassment, assault and vandalism.”

The move was endorsed by the board of directors of the New England Friends of March of the Living (NEFMOTL), a non-profit that annually brings Jewish high-schoolers to Poland and Israel on a two-week trip. The NEFMOTL chair is longtime Sharon resident Irv Kempner, the son of Holocaust survivors. Other board members are also residents of Sharon.

Sharon was also the hometown of Ezra Schwartz, who was killed in a terrorist attack in Israel in 2015.
Boston Suburb Becomes First in Massachusetts Town to Adopt IHRA Definition
East Germany's intelligence agency deliberately withheld information that incriminated Nazi criminals, including infamous Auschwitz physician Josef Mengele, a new book by German historian Henry Leide revealed.

In Auschwitz und Staatssicherheit, Leide explained that the agency, called the Stasi, buried in its archives the testimony of Dr. Horst Fischer, a German doctor who also worked at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, which could have otherwise aided the capture of Mengele, who fled to South America after World War II.

Fischer was arrested by East German investigators in 1965 for heading the selection process at Auschwitz and the Monowitz concentration camps. Stasi officials were looking to get information from the doctor on Nazi criminals who had not yet been brought to justice, and Fischer, who was facing a death sentence, provided them with detailed testimony in hopes to ease his punishment.

Fischer thought his cooperation would help spare his life, but eight weeks later, he was executed in Leipzig on July 8, 1966.

The testimony he gave to Stasi incriminated Mengele, known as the Angel of Death, who performed horrific experiments on Auschwitz prisoners, particularly twins.

Instead of using Fischer's testimony to track down Mengele, Stasi stacked it away in its archives on the Nazi era, which was set up in Berlin, next to its headquarters.

The document was not used at all, despite efforts by West Germany, Israel, and Nazi hunters to track down Mengele. East Germany pretended to lead the struggle against fascism, but in reality, it only hindered efforts to bring Mengele to justice.
Danish Neo-Nazis Violate Jewish Cemetery With Passover Outrage Pushing Antisemitic ‘Blood Libel’
A chilling spectacle of children’s dolls splashed with fake blood alongside dozens of flyers promoting the infamous antisemitic “blood libel” was discovered at a Jewish cemetery in the Danish city of Aalborg on Sunday night.

Police are investigating the vandalism as a hate crime and are attempting to apprehend the culprits, local media outlets reported on Monday.

The flyers were marked with a large Star of David and the word “Pesach” — the Hebrew name for the Passover holiday that was celebrated last week — on top of a text that labeled the holiday “another Jewish celebration of bloodshed.” They were signed with the online address of Nordfront, the Danish wing of the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) that is active across the Scandinavian countries.

Several children’s dolls covered in red paint to symbolize blood were left at the entrance to the cemetery as well as thrown over the outer wall into the graveyard. The cemetery walls were also splashed with red paint.

Henrik Beck, the police officer in charge of the investigation, told the news outlet Ekstra Bladet that as the perpetrators were still to be found, he was not in a position to confirm that the NRM was responsible for the outrage.

“There is some indication that this act has something to do with the Nordfront — unless there is someone pretending to be them, and then it is someone else who has done this,” Beck said on Monday. “We have to find out, and I will not judge them unless we are completely clear that they were responsible.”


IMF raises Israel, global growth forecast as vaccinations pave way out of crisis
The International Monetary Fund has raised its economic forecast for Israel to 5% in 2021, compared to a contraction of 2.5% last year, as vaccinations against the coronavirus pandemic are being rolled out globally.

The nation’s economy will grow by 4.3% in 2022, the IMF forecast in its latest World Economic Outlook report. The organization had previously predicted a 4.1% growth for the Israeli economy this year.

The IMF said it expects the global economy to grow by 6% this year, up from its 5.5% forecast in January. Global gross domestic product (GDP) for 2022 is seen increasing by 4.4%, compared to a previous forecast of 4.2%.

There are, however, still “daunting challenges” ahead, the IMF warned, given that vaccinations were not being administered at the same pace around the globe.

“Even with high uncertainty about the path of the pandemic, a way out of this health and economic crisis is increasingly visible,” Gita Gopinath, the IMF’s chief economist, said in a blog post accompanying the latest World Economic Outlook report.

The US economy is forecast to expand by 6.4% this year, after contracting 3.5% in 2020; while GDP for the Euro area is expected to grow by 4.4% in 2021, compared to a 6.6% drop last year. China’s economy is forecast to grow 8.4% in 2021, and India’s by 12.5%.
Israeli Startup MyHomeDoc Receives FDA Approval for Smartphone-Based Telemedicine
Israeli startup MyHomeDoc has recently received FDA approval for its smartphone-based telemedicine solution, coming on the back of approvals by European and Israeli regulation authorities. The device was developed after MyHomeDoc received funding from a startup incubator led by Israeli-giant Teva Pharmaceuticals and the Philips co-investment platform, Sanara Ventures. The FDA approval will allow MyHomeDoc to expand into additional global markets.

The MyHomeDoc device relies on four embedded sensors that interface with the user’s smartphone to provide readings of the common tests required for primary medical care. The smartphone-powered device can offer patient diagnosis and monitoring anywhere and at any time, reducing the burden on medical clinics and hospitals. Patients using the application can receive near immediate diagnosis, referral, or prescription from a certified physician based on the clinical data they send in real-time.

The nine tests — which can be operated via a user’s smartphone — include a stethoscope check to analyze lung, heart, and bowel sounds, otoscopy of the ear, an oximeter for measuring pulse rate and saturation, a thermometer that examines body temperature, and a throat and skin test that uses the smartphone’s camera. In addition, the user-friendly interface ensures uninterrupted monitoring of at-risk patients, and automatically updates medical staff on any change or development.

“An FDA approval is an important milestone for every healthcare startup. It will help us harness a technology that advances telemedicine with a solution that helps both the patients and the medical staff,” Alon Natanson, CEO of MyHomeDoc said.
Jewish communities in Gulf commemorate Holocaust with Muslims
The Jews in the Gulf will commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day this week together through a program hosted by the Association of Gulf Jewish Communities (AGJC), the group announced on Tuesday, marking the first time such collaboration with local Muslims takes place.

"The event will include young Muslims from Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates who will share their experience visiting Yad Vashem for the first time and learning about the atrocities of the Holocaust," it said. "On Thursday, April 8, at 7:00 p.m. in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia / 8:00 p.m. in Oman and the United Arab Emirates, the AGJC will host a webinar moderated by Emily Judd from the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity featuring young Muslims from Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates who will discuss their experiences visiting Yad Vashem. Later on, they will be joined by members of the Jewish community in the Gulf and together, they will discuss how Muslims and Jews can work together to create a new Middle East."

Israel, the UAE and Bahrain have recently signed peace deals, paving the way for normalization between Israel and those countries, as well as improving Arab-Jewish relations in the region.

The House of the Ten Commandments (the Jewish community of Bahrain) and the Jewish Council of the Emirates (JCE) will each hold their own separate commemoration events in addition to the AGJC one which they will both be participating in.

"For the first time ever, the Jewish communities of Bahrain and Dubai will be participating in the Yellow Candle Project, the global communal effort to remember victims of the Holocaust, whereby members from each community will light a yellow candle in memory of the name of Jews who perished during the Holocaust," the AGJC added. The project includes an educational website which allows participants to explore age-appropriate themes within Holocaust education."

"It is truly remarkable that we can celebrate Yom HaShoah so openly this year in the Gulf – both as the broader Jewish community of the Gulf and in our individual communities," Rabbi Dr. Elie Abadie, the rabbi of the AGJC and the senior rabbi of the JCE, said.
Helen Mirren to Play Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir in Biopic Set During Yom Kippur War
Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren will star as Israel’s only female prime minister Golda Meir in the new biopic “Golda,” it was announced on Tuesday.

The feature film will focus on the decisions made by Meir, while surrounded by the infighting from her all-male cabinet, during the 1973 Yom Kippur War — when Egypt, Syria, and Jordan launched a surprise attack on the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights.

Known as the “Iron Lady of Israel,” Meir was the world’s fourth and Israel’s first and only woman to hold the position of prime minister, as well as the first of any country in the Middle East. She died in 1978 of lymphoma, four years after leaving office.

“Golda” will be directed by Israeli Oscar winner Guy Nattiv (Skin) and produced by BAFTA winner Michael Kuhn (Florence Foster Jenkins). The screenplay was written by Nicholas Martin (Florence Foster Jenkins), who will also produce. Embankment will represent international sales, with CAA Media Finance and ICM handling the domestic rights.

The production team aims to start filming in October.

Nattiv, the second Israeli ever to win an Academy Award with his short film Skin, said: “As someone who was born during the Yom Kippur War, I am honored to tell this fascinating story about the first and only woman to ever lead Israel. Nicholas Martin’s brilliant script dives into Golda’s final chapter as the country faces a deadly surprise attack during the holiest day of the year, a core of delusional generals undermining Golda’s judgment, all the while undergoing secret treatments for her illness. I could not be more excited to work with the legendary Miss Mirren to bring this epic, emotional and complex story to life.”
March of the Living Awards Dr. Anthony Fauci ‘Moral Courage in Medicine Award’
To mark Holocaust Remembrance Day, which this year begins on the evening of April 7, International March of the Living, together with the Maimonides Institute for Ethics and the Holocaust, the Miller Center at Rutgers University, the USC Shoah Foundation and Teva Pharmaceuticals will be holding an online symposium on “Medicine and Morality: Lessons from the Holocaust and COVID-19.”

The program, scheduled to air at 7 pm EST, will include testimony from survivors who were both persecuted by Nazi doctors and saved by medical professionals during the Holocaust. It will also feature world renowned medical professionals and researchers who will discuss medical resistance during the Holocaust, the legacy of Nazi medicine and what the Holocaust can teach us about the ethics of care.

During the symposium, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to the president, will receive the “Moral Courage in Medicine” award for his work in combating COVID-19, his long history of leading the battle against infectious diseases and his dedication to the health and wellbeing of humankind.

The event will also include a moving performance of “Schindler’s List” by Grammy Award winner and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador of Music Miri Ben-Ari, herself the descendant of Holocaust survivors.

Participating organizations include the World Medical Association, the Department of Education of the UNESCO Chair of Bioethics, the Israeli Medical Association, the Canadian Medical Association, the Indian Medical Association, the South African Medical Association and many others.
The French pastor who made his village a haven for Jews in the Holocaust
Pastor Andre Trocme was born on April 7, 1901. Together with his wife, Magda, he orchestrated a collective rescue operation during the Nazi occupation, converting his village, Chambon-Sur-Lignon, in a safe haven for the Jews.

Trocme was the spiritual leader of the Protestant congregation in the town, and co-founder, together with Reverend Edouard Theis, of the College Lycee International Cevenol in le Chambon-Sur-Lignon, a tiny town located at the Haute-Loire department in southeastern France.

Upon the occupation of France in June 1940 and the establishment of the Vichy regime, Trocme urged his followers to grant shelter to the “People of the Bible.” He was diligently assisted by his Italian wife, Magda, and by Reverend Theis.

Under their leadership, the villagers of le Chambon-Sur-Lignon risked their own lives to protect Jews in private residences and farms as well as in public buildings, helping many refugees to flee to Switzerland with forged documents. Whenever the Nazi patrols came to the town to search for Jews, the local people organized an intricate network that facilitated the transfer of the persecuted ones to the adjacent mountains.

A cousin of Pastor Andre, Daniel Trocme, was in charge of the children’s home in Le Chambon, and in that capacity he saved a great number of Jewish children. Regrettably, his activities were discovered by the Nazis and in 1943, and he was deported to Majdanek, where he was murdered. Andre himself was arrested, but managed to get away.

All in all, it is believed that some 5,000 Jews have passed through Chambon-Sur-Lignon and its neighboring hamlets, thus saving their lives.
German Athletics Officials Urge Joint Berlin-Tel Aviv Bid for 2036 Olympic Games, One Century After Nazi Regime Hosted Them
Two of Germany’s top athletics officials are advocating a joint Berlin-Tel Aviv bid to host the summer Olympics in 2036, so as to send “a strong signal of peace and reconciliation” a full century after the infamous Nazi-hosted Olympic Games in the German capital.

In a jointly-authored opinion piece for the Berliner Morgenpost on Saturday, Richard Meng, president of the German Olympic Association in Berlin, and Frank Kowalski, CEO of the 2018 European Athletics Championships in Berlin, argued that 2036 presented the next opportunity for the Olympics to take place on German soil.

“This is indeed a difficult date for Germany and Berlin, given the Nazi Games of 1936,” they wrote.

However, they continued, “is the date alone therefore a reason for abandonment? You can also look at it the other way around. 2036 could show what has changed and still has to change.”

A joint Israeli-German bid would set the stage “for a completely new, strong signal of peace and reconciliation in 2036,” Meng and Kowalski asserted. “A signal that does not suppress the historical burden, but takes up the responsibility that arises from it.”

Depicting Berlin and Tel Aviv as “two liberal and vibrant cities,” they outlined a vision of “sailing and surfing competitions on the eastern Mediterranean, but also with other sports such as beach volleyball in Israel’s lively metropolis.”







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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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