Tuesday, October 05, 2021

10/05 Links Pt2: Phyllis Chesler: People just love dead Jews; Kamala Harris and the Truth about Israel; The myth of Cable Street; Middle East 'kidney diplomacy' saves 3 women's lives

From Ian:

Prof. Phyllis Chesler: People just love dead Jews
I am, quite simply, blown away by Dara Horn’s impeccable and original research, relentless courage, and sheer eloquence as contained in her latest book, People Love Dead Jews: Reports From A Haunted Present.

I think that Horn is rather like Ruth Wisse, only younger. And, it is no accident that they are both steeped in Yiddish literature and Jewish sacred texts. In addition, both are supremely literary Ladies—Grand Dames, really.

Please understand who exactly is being overwhelmed here. And overjoyed, because Horn is almost half my age. In her hands, the work of truth-telling against all odds, continues.

By 2000-2001, I was already writing The New Anti-Semitism and have proudly been seen as a traitor in certain circles ever since I published it in 2003. In lectures, I’d ventured the idea that Jewish deaths have long been worshipped as “redemptive” by Christians—but, like Horn, I was also made uneasy by the unsettling reverence that Jewish people manifested when they visited Holocaust exhibits.

In 2006, I published “How a Holocaust Happens,” a piece in which I wrote:

“As dangerous as Holocaust denial is, Holocaust Memorialization may also function as a form of denial…it may allow us the luxury—and the consolation—of assuming that the ‘worst’ has already happened. Alas, this may not be true. Certain intellectuals, Jews among them, attempt to hide their rabid Jew-hatred by focusing on the European Holocaust—on all the dead Jews—as a way of diverting attention from the impending (slow motion) Holocaust against living Jews. Because they oppose what was done to the Jews in World War Two, they feel justified, credentialed, to say that today’s attacks on Israel are ‘justified,’ that the Palestinians are now the true victims, (the ‘new Jews’ in a sense), and the Israeli Jews are their ‘Nazi’ persecutors.”

I am so glad to say that Horn has taken my insights to a whole other level.

Her essay on Anne Frank is masterful. She reminds us of the vast tourist industry that has grown up with visitors to Anne’s hidden room—just as if “people love dead Jews.” But there’s more, much more, especially the bizarre incidents in which Museum employees were prohibited from wearing yarmulkes—lest the Anne Frank House be seen as losing its “neutrality.”
Emily Schrader: The cost of Kamala validating 'Israeli genocide' speech
Several years ago, we saw this occur with the Women’s March, which is absolutely a necessary and just cause. Yet instead of being able to grow the movement and gain allies across the aisle in fighting against sexual assault and sexual harassment, the co-founders of the Women’s March damaged the credibility of the movement by making multiple inflammatory and antisemitic comments, which frankly have nothing to do with the fight for women’s equality.

We saw a similar phenomenon with Black Lives Matter inserting anti-Israel positions based on outright lies into its agenda.

Unfortunately, these are just a few of many examples of how anti-Israel interests have made a concerted effort to dump Palestine onto any and every cause they possibly can, inserting the issue in debates that have absolutely no association whatsoever with Israel and the Palestinians or even the Middle East. These efforts polarize important discussions that should be taking place in society, be they racial inequalities, feminism, or voting rights.

For the vice president of the United States to fall into the trap of labeling outright lies as “your truth” sets a terrible example for the rest of society from a leader who absolutely knows better.

While her office has clarified her position, noting that, “the vice president strongly disagrees with the student’s characterization of Israel,” it’s too little, too late. Her response already gave legitimacy to anti-Israel lies when she had the perfect opportunity to set an example and take a stand for the truth the way any leader should.
Kamala Harris and the Truth about Israel
The fact of the matter is that truth is not subjective. The second-highest elected official in the United States is not doing our undergraduates any favors by encouraging them to believe they can imagine the truth to be anything they want. And in this case, the truth is that the state of Israel is America's great and good ally which has flourished for more than seven decades as the only democracy in the Middle East, and is a critical security partner. Our alliance has enjoyed robust, bipartisan support in the United States Congress for decades, which both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris claim is their administration's policy.

It is also a truth, however inconvenient, that Jews are the disproportionate targets of violent crimes both in the United States and around the globe. Failure to respond to false assertions that demonize Jews implicitly condones this violence. Harris' shameful episode happened to have occurred on the eve of the 80th anniversary of the Babi Yar massacre, which took place at the end of September, 1941.

Nazi forces had entered Kiev a month before, and booby traps left by retreating Soviet forces destroyed some of the buildings they occupied, causing significant casualties. Whether they knew who the real perpetrators were or not, the Nazis took advantage of the situation to scapegoat the remaining Ukrainian Jewish population. They swiftly massacred 33,771 Jews at the Babi Yar ravine, creating one of the largest mass graves in history. As the events of World War II become more distant in time, they run the risk of becoming abstract. Our contemporaries forget all too easily how the long, ugly history of anti-Semitism, and its tacit acceptance, erupted into the Holocaust.

Rather than gloss over pernicious bigotry, Harris would have done better to treat the George Mason student to a history lesson on what such attacks have led to in the past. "Never forget" doesn't mean we assume the Holocaust can never happen again. It means we all do everything we can, in ways great and small, to vigilantly oppose this evil. After the flare up of violence in Gaza this spring, there was a disturbing trend in both Europe and America of attacks on any and all Jews as surrogates for Israel, regardless of their citizenship. The way to reverse this trend is not to legitimize it as some sort of subjective personal truth, then have your communications team issue a "clarifying" statement. It is to personally and unequivocally reject false allegations, and forcefully defend the U.S. alliance with the Jewish state.

The Scene of the Crime
A survivor of the Pittsburgh massacre returns to the synagogue where the shooting took place

On Tuesday, the day that President Trump visited Tree of Life, Daniel Leger was in the hospital for the fourth day in a row. He was lying in bed, a breathing tube down his throat. He was with his wife, Ellen; his two grown sons, Noah, who was forty-five, and Jake, forty-two, as well as Noah’s wife, Chris. His ex-wife, Jo, had been in and out and may have been there this day—he couldn’t remember for sure. His congregation, Dor Hadash, was praying for him. He had been through multiple surgeries and was in stable condition. It was time, his doctors thought, to remove the tube. After the slow process of extubation was completed, Leger immediately tried to speak. “His voice is all craggly and scraggly,” said Ellen, “and I hear him say argh argh argh. And I can’t understand. And then I understand—he’s saying the Sh’ma”—the central prayer of Judaism, attesting to the singularity of God. Leger gasped for more air and then, looking at his family around him, said, “I love you all so much.” And then he said something that showed that he knew exactly what had happened to him. He said, “May God forgive him.” “Then I knew,” Ellen said, “that he was completely intact, because that is completely his thinking. That is who he is.”

Leger was released from the hospital on November 26, 2018, almost a month to the day after he had been shot in the abdomen and pelvis and nearly bled to death, sprawled on a staircase at Tree of Life. Leger felt ready to get back to his reading, his cello, his dogs and cats, and, in good time, his job as a nurse and hospital chaplain. His doctors agreed that he was ready to resume life at home.

The weeks ahead were not easy. Before the shooting, Leger had been a seventy-year-old who didn’t feel seventy, but now, for the first time in his life, he really felt his age, and his fund of energy, always limitless, was now frustratingly finite. He was napping all the time. It would be a while, he realized, before he could return to work. In his first couple of months at home, it was all he could do to walk the dogs or get to the supermarket.
EU releases first-ever strategy to fight antisemitism, promote Jewish life
The European Commission released on Tuesday its first official strategy on fighting antisemitism and promoting Jewish life, which includes millions in funding to secure Jewish sites.

The 26-page program has three central goals — preventing antisemitism in all its forms, protecting and fostering Jewish life, and promoting Holocaust research, education, and remembrance.

“We want to see Jewish life thriving again in the heart of our communities,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. “This is how it should be. The strategy we are presenting today is a step change in how we respond to antisemitism. Europe can only prosper when its Jewish communities feel safe and prosper.”

The “EU Strategy on Combating Antisemitism and Fostering Jewish Life (2021-2030)” proposed a number of concrete measures.

To fight antisemitism, the Commission will lead the creation of a network of organizations across Europe to flag antisemitism content online, and will develop counternarratives. It will also work with tech companies and retailers to prevent the online sale of Nazi-themed merchandise.
The welfare of European Jewry is American responsibility
One of our greatest priorities in Europe is to preserve and increase awareness of the Holocaust by means of educational programming. A recent survey by The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (the Claims Conference), the organization handling reparations for Jews despoiled by the Nazi state during the Holocaust, finds a woeful lack of Holocaust awareness even in the United States. Fully 30% of Americans – and more than 40% of millennials – averred that the number of six million murdered Jews was doubtful or exaggerated. Frequent polls conducted in Europe by the Anti-Defamation League find significant percentages of European populations claiming that Jews have too much power and care too much about the Holocaust. Our work is clearly cut out for us. We will not be remiss in our duties.

The American Jewish community has several tools to advance education, awareness and/or prevention around antisemitism and the Holocaust. We work with our partners in government, including the US Department of State’s Special Envoy on Holocaust Issues. We advocate for mandatory Holocaust education in various American states and in European countries. And we championed the International Holocaust Remembrance Association’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, which among other insightful examples, draws a link between extreme forms of anti-Israel activity and antisemitism. Our member organizations operate offices in Paris, Berlin, London, Brussels, Warsaw and in other European cities – and we are on a constant lookout for new partners in these places and to deepen our collaborations with existing ones.

Last year, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Babyn Yar was “a black page inscribed in the common past of the Ukrainian and Jewish people. We bow our heads before all the victims of Babyn Yar. And we have no right to forget these terrible crimes,” he said. And his government is hosting a commemoration of the 80th anniversary of that barbarism.

I am honored that I will be present to join him in Kyiv this very week for this solemn occasion, and I hope to return home with an even deeper understanding of the atrocities that befell our people during the horrific period it will recall. But sadly, as the ongoing threat of antisemitism still plagues us to this day, we must continue to fight with all we have and with all the true allies we can muster.
Telegraph fawns over AOC and her Corbyn-adjacent 'Squad'
A Telegraph article by US correspondent Josie Ensor (“US politics entering ‘new era of Left wing power’ led by fiery New York progressives”, Oct. 2) celebrated AOC and her fellow far-left members of Congress, but failed to inform readers about the dark side of the group known as the “Squad”.

Though the piece focuses primarily on AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Ortez), Ensor advances the narrative that the Squad’s six-member gang is re-shaping Democratic politics, and moving the party in a more progressive direction.

Such is the growing influence of the 31-year-old former bartender from the Bronx and her six-member gang of progressives known as the “Squad”, that they have successfully managed to hold up the centrepiece policy as they demand America spends – and taxes – more.

First, though AOC was born in the Bronx, her family left the city when she was five, moving to the wealthy suburb of Yorktown Heights, where she lived until leaving to attend college at the prestigious Boston University. Also, the reason the Squad was able to hold up Biden’s “centrepiece policy” isn’t due to their organic influence, but because the Democrats hold an extremely slim majority in the House of Representatives, which can allow them to leverage their meager numbers to hold up legislation. As even Ensor acknowledges, AOC has “no formal party leadership role”.

But, by far the most egregious misrepresentation of the “Squad” – consisting of AOC, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, Jamaal Bowman and Cori Bush – is Ensor’s omission of their obsessive hostility towards Israel, which has included the rejection of Israel’s right to exist, and other expressions which constitute antisemitism according to the IHRA Working Definition. We’ve documented the anti-Jewish rhetoric of Omar and Tlaib – the most outspoken Israel haters among the Squad – on these pages.

The “Squad” may be, as Ensor notes, “disproportionately non-white”, but they’re also disproportionately hostile to Jews.
AOC Defends ‘Present’ Vote on Iron Dome Funding Bill, Blames ‘Both Parties’ for Creating ‘Panic’
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D), who helped lead an attempt by left-wing lawmakers to block US funding for Israel’s Iron Dome, defended on MSNBC her decision to vote “present” on a bill to support the air defense system.

Ocasio-Cortez claimed to interviewer Mehdi Hassan on Monday that the effort to defund Iron Dome was motivated by concerns over procedure, and not ideology, even though several of her allies, including Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, explicitly declared otherwise.

“When you want funding for use for preschool here in the United States, if you want funding for any sort of domestic priority, it must go through … different committee hearings, markups, etc.,” she claimed, “and here, just casually, a billion dollars was fast-tracked, no committee markup.”

“Leadership attempted to kind of slip in an extra billion dollars [for Iron Dome] into routine legislation,” she asserted.

She followed this with the false claim: “This funding was in addition to the already fully-funded Iron Dome, but Democratic leadership decided to run with the narrative that this was, in fact — to vote against it was to defund the Iron Dome, which sends many, many, many of our constituents into a panic.”

In fact, the funding proposed by the standalone bill was specifically designated to replenish the interceptor projectiles used to destroy incoming rockets during Israel’s conflict in May with Hamas.

Ridley Road is a drama about Jewish people, so where are the Jewish actors?
It is 1962 and neo-Nazism is on the rise in Ridley Road. A lavish production leading BBC One’s autumn schedule, the four-part drama tells the story of Vivien Epstein (Agnes O’Casey), a Jewish hairdresser from Manchester, who arrives in a London still struggling to recover from the Second World War.

It is uncomfortably resonant. Characters talk of the descent of “our once great empire”, of “awakening”, of using “alien labour to undercut wages”. In the first episode, a yeshiva – a place of Jewish study – is attacked; today, the UK’s Jews still need security, and if that doesn’t disturb you, it should: there are no guards to the entrance of the village church fête. Google and you will find the world of anti-vaccine conspiracies is awash with anti-Semitism.

Sarah Solemani’s script, adapted from Jo Bloom’s 2014 book, is tense, shot through with bitter humour, and has been brought to the screen with tremendous attention to detail. Eddie Marsan is wonderful as Vivien’s dodgy East End uncle. He may not be Jewish, but his performance feels authentic.
The myth of Cable Street
An article from BBC News Magazine comments on the 70th anniversary (today) of the so-called Battle of Cable Street, in which 100,000 protestors reputedly repelled a march by the followers of Sir Oswald Mosley, and asks: “Seventy years ago, the Battle of Cable Street saw Jews and left-wingers stop fascist Blackshirts marching through east London. But is it still important?”

The answer is that it never was important. The historian Robert Skidelsky wrote a disturbingly sympathetic biography of Mosley (which thirty years later should be supplemented with the badly written but well researched and reliable Blackshirt: Sir Oswald Mosley and British Fascism by Stephen Dorrill), but he does make the right point in this article: “It is partly true the opposition stopped Mosley from marching, but the reality is that he was asked to call it off, he gained support as a result of it, and he wanted to call it off anyway as he had an engagement in Berlin [to secretly marry Diana Guinness at Goebbels’s house] the next day. It was all a bit less heroic than it seemed.”

Mosley’s support in the area increased after the Battle of Cable Street, as did anti-Jewish violence. The so-called Pogrom of Mile End, in which Jews and their properties were attacked, took place a week afterwards. The anti-fascist protests were, on the evidence of one participant (my great-aunt, Margaret Kamm, who spoke to me about it many years later), politically hobbled and hijacked by the Communist Party. There is a longstanding mythology on the far Left of direct action whereby fascism was stopped. In fact Cable Street had little to do with Mosley’s increasing isolation and defeat. The British party system, in which all the main parties (Labour and the Liberals included, contrary to modern selective interpretations) made horrendous misjudgements about the gravity of the threat from Nazism, proved resilient against both political extremism and the forces of economic depression. Mosley was a sinister and repugnant figure, all right, but his bombastic absurdity – attempting to transplant the symbols of fascism to an altogether different political culture – along with the vicious sectarianism of extremist politics were the main influences in undermining his superficial appeal. By the time of his internment in 1940, he was an utterly discredited figure.

The main attraction of the myth of Cable Street is for parties that stress the politics of the street and revile parliamentary democracy. Their celebration is doubly inapt, first because it wasn’t street protest that defeated Mosley, and secondly because the forces of bigotry are not ones that those parties oppose. The fact that the area is now represented in Parliament by a blustering demagogue, George Galloway, who is supported by an unequivocally antisemitic organisation, the Socialist Workers’ Party (for which the Respect ‘Coalition’ is an electoral front), is an irony too obvious to comment on.
If there was a new Battle of Cable Street, who’d want Corbyn on our side?
In the dark days of the Corbyn years, when the idea of this crackpot becoming Prime Minister was such a real and terrifying threat that many of us worried about our futures in our country, we were often told that as a ‘life-long anti-racist’ he couldn’t possibly hate Jews. After all, his defenders consistently intoned, his mother was at Cable Street.

It seems churlish as a people which has been around for so long to decry cultural appropriation; other worldwide religions have taken our patriarchs and our commandments, for goodness’ sake, and then frequently murdered us for not appreciating their new interpretations of them. Fish and chips are a British national dish, bagels a Sunday brunch staple, while the only chutzpah in non-Jews using Yiddish is when they frequently pronounce it incorrectly.

But this weekend’s 85th commemoration of the Battle of Cable Street seemed like cultural appropriation of the worst kind. Not only was the Jewish Labour Movement – the cultural inheritor of the Jewish socialists who claimed victory in 1936 – not invited, but on the stage was Jeremy Corbyn and many of his followers; the very people whose political ascent so frightened the Jews of today.

He had the unbelievable chutzpah to claim to stand as a protector of minorities at an event commemorating the defence of a minority he seems to care so little for.

In reality, practically the only Jews he has ever stood shoulder-to-shoulder with are those who denounce the one and only Jewish state. He lost the Labour whip because, even now, this vain posturing man refuses to accept the degree of antisemitism that he allowed to fester in the party.

BDS Comes to Campus Amid Afghanistan Withdrawal and 9/11 Anniversary
The fall academic semester began with the American evacuation of Afghanistan and the takeover by the Taliban. No condemnations of the Taliban, including for murder and the abuse of women and children, were made by the BDS movement, or various student and faculty groups and politicians that vociferously attacked Israel during the May campaign against Hamas. This predictable silence went largely uncommented upon. In contrast, campus 9/11 commemorations were frequently countered by claims of “Islamophobia” from BDS-related Palestinian and Muslim groups both on and off campus.

BDS supporters also undertook direct action against 9/11 commemorations. At Washington University in St. Louis, a BDS-supporting member of the student government, Fadel Alkilani, removed 2,977 American flags that had been placed on campus as part of a 9/11 commemoration.

The university chancellor condemned Alkilani’s action, saying, “I want to make it very clear that, as an institution, we find the actions of this student to be reprehensible,” but Alkilani’s actions were defended by commentators who accused the university of not responding to the unspecified “Islamophobia” directed at the student.

A number of other 9/11 displays were vandalized, including at Michigan State University, where a campus landmark reading “Never Forget” was crossed out and “Never Israel” was written in its place. This distortion of 9/11 was also seen in instructions from the Virginia Department of Education to downplay Muslim extremism and “plan our 9/11 lessons in a way that does not seek to reproduce anti-Muslim racism.”

September also saw a number of fawning profiles of pro-Palestinian groups in campus newspapers, such as Students for Justice in Palestine. One result of making “Palestine” the central campus cause is growing fear on the part of Jewish students who are targeted by BDS-related antisemitism. A recent poll of “openly Jewish” students indicated that more than 65% felt unsafe on campus, 50% felt the need to hide their Jewish identity, and 10% feared physical attack. Almost 70% were aware of or had personally experienced a verbal or physical attack. These results must be seen in the context of recent FBI data showing Jews were the subject of 58% of religiously oriented hate crimes in 2020.
Florida State University Police ID Teens Who Posted ‘KKK Meeting’ Flyer at Hillel Building
The Florida State University (FSU) Police Department has identified several teenagers behind a spate of handwritten, racist and sexually derogatory flyers that were found near the Collegetown area, jarring the school’s Jewish community and others on campus.

One of the flyers, which read “KKK MEETING NEXT FRIDAY CALL…,” was taped to a lamppost on the lawn of the FSU Hillel Foundation building on Augustine Street, according to a local CBS affiliate. Others reportedly included sexist and racist material.

“This kind of instilled a lot of fear, a lot of anxiety [in] people,” FSU Police Department officer John Baker told reporters. “Think about your actions before you do that. You know every action has a consequence so please think about what you’re doing.”

Police said that two high school students and one recent high school graduate were responsible for posting flyers, which did not constitute a criminal offense.

On Friday, FSU Hillel said “there is no credible threat to the safety of FSU Hillel or our Seminole Jewish Community.”

“FSU Hillel is saddened and disturbed by yesterday’s incident that seems to have targeted not only us, but others across our community,” the group said. “We are working closely with campus police and other authorities, and are gratified that this is being taken so seriously and is being thoroughly investigated.”

“We are so grateful for the support of our allies, and we extend the same support to all who have been hurt by this event.”
BBC West’s inaccurate headlines fail audiences on David Miller story
As many pointed out on social media, the BBC’s chosen framing misleads readers with regard to “comments” made on several occasions by David Miller that caused a long-running controversy which eventually resulted in termination of his employment.

It was not “comments he made about Israel” which promoted condemnation from hundreds of academics but rather statements concerning British Jewish students:
“We, the undersigned, wholly condemn recent statements by Prof. David Miller of the University of Bristol, purportedly about ‘Zionism’ and the so-called ‘Zionist movement’. Rather than geopolitical theories, some of these are statements directed at Jewish students, UK university Jewish Societies (JSocs) and the Union of Jewish Students. We believe that these statements are morally reprehensible and risk the personal security and wellbeing of Jewish students and, more widely, Jews in the UK. Prof. Miller’s views represent a conspiracy theory, and bring great shame upon UK academia as well as upon UK political discourse. We are of the opinion that these statements risk undermining community relations in the UK, while giving aid and comfort to antisemites everywhere.”

It was not “comments he made about Israel” that prompted the CAA to take legal action on behalf of students at Bristol University:
“Our legal case against the University concerned alleged unlawful harassment on the basis of Jewish ethnicity and Judaism, amounting to breaches of the Equality Act 2010, as well as breaches of contract.”

It was not “comments he made about Israel” that prompted a prominent law firm to provide pro bono legal advice to student organisations:
“…it is both hugely depressing still to be having to fight antisemitism on campuses in the UK today, and hugely satisfying to see the University of Bristol finally recognise that Professor Miller did not meet the standards of behaviour expected from university staff.”
Islamic charity under investigation by Charity Commission after Jihadist and antisemitic material found on its website
An Islamic charity is under investigation by the Charity Commission after Jihadist and antisemitic material was found on its website.

The Miftahul Jannah Academy, based in Waltham Forest, was reported by the National Secular Society to the Commission over lectures delivered by Islamic scholar Muhammad Patel that allegedly praised the Taliban, encouraged Muslims to fund Jihad and contained antisemitic references, including to the “dirty qualities” of the Jews.

One lecture is titled “A quality of the Yahood — to kill those who want to guide them towards the commands of Allah”. Yahood is the Arabic word for Jew. Mr Patel reportedly says in the lecture that the killing of Islamic scholars is among the “wretched” and “dirty” qualities of the Jews.

The Miftahul Jannah Academy says that its aims and objectives include “to further the true image of Islam”.

The Masjid-e-Umer Trust, which runs Walthamstow Central Mosque where Mr Patel has apparently given sermons and run youth activities, has also been referred to the Commission.

Polish Foreign Ministry Furious After UK Denies Entry to Far-Right Writer Who Called Holocaust a ‘Myth’
The Polish Foreign Ministry angrily summoned the British Ambassador to Warsaw on Monday, demanding that she explain why a writer and propagandist with a track record of antisemitic and racist views had been denied entry to the UK over the weekend.

Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek said that the envoy, Anna Clunes, would be asked to clarify whether “freedom of speech is included in the catalogue of British values” after the UK’s Border Force on Saturday denied entry to Rafal Ziemkiewicz, a columnist for the far right weekly, Do Rzeczy.

Ziemkiewicz flew into London’s Heathrow Airport on Saturday with his wife and daughter, who is about to begin her studies at Oxford University. He told the Polish news agency PAP that he was handed an official refusal stating that his views “are at odds with British values and likely to cause offense.”

Ziemkiewicz is known for making inflammatory statements against those he considers are opposed to Polish interests. In June, he warned that “a major confrontation with international Jewry is coming” after the US strongly criticized recently-passed Polish legislation that closes off the possibility of restitution for survivors of the Holocaust in Poland.

A recent examination of Ziemkiewicz’s writings by the “Never Again” Association — a Polish NGO that combats antisemitism and racism — highlighted his constant use of crude antisemitic tropes.

In his latest book, Ziemkiewicz claimed that “Zionism under the influence of the Holocaust, or rather the myth of the Holocaust that they created, acquired a peculiar cruelty.” Demeaning young Israelis who serve in the IDF as “killing machines,” Ziemkiewicz also attacked what he called “Jewish aggressiveness,” saying that the “ideology of the Holocaust” could be summarized as “Jews, Jews über alles” — a reference to the Nazi anthem.
Retail giant Gap acquires Israeli AI analytics company CB4
US apparel giant Gap has acquired Israeli AI company CB4, a developer of predictive analytics tools that offer data-driven insights and recommendations for retail businesses like grocery and retail chains.

The agreement was announced late Monday. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed but Israeli business daily Calcalist estimated the deal at approximately $150 million.

Headquartered in New York with offices in Tel Aviv, CB4 launched its operations in 2014 with a $6 million Series A round, followed by a $16 million Series B in 2019. Its investors include Sequoia Capital and Pereg Ventures, a New York-based venture capital firm focused on early-stage US and Israeli startups in the B2B data space.

The company developed an AI-powered platform that helps retailers “generate new sales by making meaningful corrections to shelf visibility and inventory,” CB4 says. Its technology has been implemented by retailers including Levi’s, Urban Outfitters, and US supermarket chain PriceRite.

In 2020, CB4 said that its technology was active in some 1,500 stores worldwide.

CB4 CEO Yoni Benshaul said in a statement Monday that the company was “excited to see how our team can drive even broader and deeper impact…[on a] global scale.”
US Marine Corps Signs New Contract With Israeli Defense Company Smart Shooter
The Israeli defense company Smart Shooter, which develops fire-control systems designed to significantly increase the accuracy and lethality of small arms, announced on Monday that it signed a contract with the US Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory for the purchase of several Smash 2000 systems for test and evaluation.

The agreement was signed with the Laboratory’s Rapid Capabilities Office, according to the statement.

Smash 2000 is designed to ensure that each round finds its target, in both day and night conditions, according to the company’s website. Its systems are external add-on solutions that can be integrated into any type of military rifle.

“Once the user identifies the target (independently or using the detection system guidance) and locks on it, Smash tracks its movements and synchronizes the shot release to assure a fast and precise hit on the target,” said the company.

The Israel Defense Forces employed this technology in recent years to allow soldiers to shoot down drones and incendiary devices sent over the border by terrorist operatives in Gaza.
Visa-free travel between Israel and UAE to start next week
Israelis and Emiratis will be able to travel to each other’s countries without a visa as of Sunday, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked said on Tuesday.

Shaked announced the visa-free travel, which will begin on October 10, while on a trip to the United Arab Emirates.

Israeli tourists and those traveling to the UAE for business will not need visas to enter the country. Those who plan to study, work or volunteer in the UAE, or are traveling for religious reasons, will still need a visa.

If COVID-19 infection rates continue to drop, Israel plans to allow vaccinated tourists to enter Israel at the end of October.

Israel and the UAE signed a visa-free agreement in January, but the Emiratis put it on hold soon after due to the coronavirus pandemic. At the time, Israelis visiting the UAE would have had to quarantine for two weeks due to high infection rates in the Gulf state.

Now, Israelis who have received three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine only need to quarantine until receiving PCR test results after returning from abroad from most countries, including the UAE.
Middle East 'kidney diplomacy' saves 3 women's lives
Doctors and donors from Israel and the United Arab Emirates have completed a historic series of kidney transplants that has saved the lives of three women suffering from kidney disease.

The procedures, the first ever between Israel and the UAE, are the result of a collaboration between the Alliance for Paired Kidney Donation (APKD) the UAE Organ Donation and Transplant Committee, and the Israel National Transplant Center.

The complicated exchange involved three kidney patients, two from Israel and one from the UAE, in a "pay-it-forward" series of transplants. Each patient had a willing, living donor whose kidney was not a match for them, but did match another patient. So they helped each other: An Abu Dhabi-based donor gave a kidney to a patient from Israel whose husband did not match. The husband donated one of his kidneys to a patient at another hospital in Israel, and in turn that patient's incompatible donor, her daughter, donated her kidney, where it was transplanted into the original Emirati donor's mother.

The transplants involved six surgeries and three hospitals. Kidneys were shipped between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv via private jet.

Kidney disease is a leading cause of death around the world. While dialysis helps, kidney transplantation is the only cure once the kidney has failed. Kidney failure patients often have living donors willing to help, only to learn the patient and donor are incompatible, ruling out the possibility of a transplant.

This "kidney diplomacy" is being hailed for saving three lives were saved, helping form valuable relationships, and contribute to new organ transplant regulations. Nations around the world often prohibit transplants among unrelated people in an outdated effort to prevent the black market sale of organs, rules that can block life-saving paired exchanges. Even the US and Canada cannot exchange kidneys across their common border.

"This exchange demonstrates how we can harness our differences for mutual benefit," said Dr. Michael Rees, PhD, chief executive officer of APKD and one of the world's foremost authorities on paired kidney exchange.

"APKD was created to lead innovation in the living donor kidney space, and we hope to connect the world to save more lives through kidney transplantation," Rees said.
The ‘Spanish Schindler’ Saved 5,200 Jews During the Holocaust. Now Spain Wants to Find Their Descendants.
In an unprecedented effort to find their relatives and raise awareness about their stories, Spanish authorities are releasing a list of the Hungarian Jews protected from the Nazis by a diplomat nicknamed the “Spanish Schindler.”

Ángel Sanz Briz was recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust memorial and museum, in 1966 for using an ingenious legal maneuver to save more than 5,200 Jews from being deported to Auschwitz in 1944.

But even though his efforts saved five times as many Jews as those of Oskar Schindler, his story is far less well known — in part because the staunchly anti-Israel Franco regime, which ruled Spain from 1939 to 1975, barred him from accepting Yad Vashem’s honor.

Now, the Centro Sefarad-Israel — a Sephardic cultural institution that is part of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs — is working to change that. With the support of the Spanish government’s archives, the group is publishing the names of the people he protected, along with details about them, with the goal of tracing their descendants and making their stories known.

Between June and December 1944, Sanz Briz, then a 32-year-old Spanish diplomat stationed in Hungary, took the law into his own hands by creating fake Spanish passports for thousands of Jews. Despite the fact that Hungary’s Jewish community was predominately Ashkenazi, Sanz Briz and his assistants granted Spanish citizenship to Hungarian Jews based on a long-expired 1924 Spanish law that extended citizenship to the descendants of Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain in 1492.

Sanz Briz went to extreme lengths to ensure hundreds of Hungarian families were put under Spain’s protection. As the Nazis closed in on the city’s Jews, the Spanish diplomat rented 11 apartment buildings to house approximately 5,000 people. He placed the Spanish flag on the buildings, passing them off as official properties of the Spanish Legation, ensuring that the authorities would not seize them. He also hid some families in the Spanish embassy in Buda.

“For him, the principle of humanity prevailed over the principle of legality,” Miguel de Lucas, director of Centro Sefarad-Israel, told the Spanish daily El País in a recent interview.