Tuesday, October 12, 2021

From Ian:

Ambassador Erik Ullenhag: A Common Battle Against the Poison of Antisemitism
We live in a formative time with fewer and fewer survivors who can tell us what happened, which calls for intensified efforts to commemorate the Holocaust. Deniers should never be allowed to falsify the history of the worst crime against humanity.

On Oct. 13, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven will be hosting the Malmö International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism, Remember ReAct, with President Isaac Herzog as one of the main speakers. The Forum aims to jointly take concrete steps on Holocaust remembrance and the fight against antisemitism.

During the pandemic we saw it again – when there is a crisis in the world, some will always blame the Jews. And during the flair-up of the Gaza conflict, Europe witnessed an appalling rise in antisemitism and hate crimes against Jews, so to in Sweden. In Malmö, a 12-year old Jewish girl found a derogatory comment about Israel written by her cloakroom hook in school. In Gothenburg, a man wearing a Kippa to show solidarity with his Jewish friends was assaulted. I am repulsed by these heinous acts and the hatred aired publicly and online. antisemitism is a poison that must be fought.

Going back to the personal engagement of former Prime Minister Göran Persson, who in 1998 initiated the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), successive Swedish governments have sought ways to combat antisemitism, with an emphasis on education. In these efforts, Israel and Yad Vashem have been indispensable allies.

This has yielded results, but much work remains. A recent report by a Swedish expert agency indicates a decrease in anti-Semitic prejudices among Swedes. But it also concludes that antisemitism is more prevalent among older people, persons born outside of Europe, and persons of the Muslim faith.

Quick notes on anti-zionism
Anti-zionist activism reached fever pitch during the Israel-Scotland World Cup qualifier recently. Twitter lit up. Boorish Scottish fans threw food missiles at Israeli players on the pitch and jeered and heckled when the Hatikvah was played. The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) had a lovely day out screaming ‘apartheid’. A touch incongruous that, because one of Israel’s two goals was scored by an Arab-muslim Israeli, Mu’nas Dabbur. Israel was edged out by a 3-2 win by Scotland. Israel won’t be in Qatar for the World Cup. Yes the same Qatar that has its grand football stadiums built by slave labour in boiling heat and has seen over 6500 migrant worker deaths since it was awarded the World Cup hosting rights. One hopes that Scottish fans take their activist fervour to Qatar. Human rights are so important.

Palestinian Authority cancels meeting with FIFA president
The Palestinian Authority has canceled a meeting with FIFA President Gianni Infantino, Army Radio reported on Monday. The cancellation is due to Infantino's scheduled appearance at Monday's Friedman Center's inaugural gala at the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem.

While Infantino's camp reportedly attempted to pass it off as a "schedule constraint," his appearance and scheduled speech are viewed by the PA as a "violation of the Islamic religion," Army Radio said.

The Friedman Center for Peace through Strength is a non-profit institution established with the goal of advancing peace and prosperity throughout the Middle East. Infantino will also speak at The Jerusalem Post's 10th Annual Conference on Tuesday.

In addition, the FIFA president met with Israeli Football Association (IFA) Chairman Ori Sasson on Monday. Infantino was also scheduled to meet the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) Chairman Jibril Rajoub.

"I'm happy to be in Israel," Infantino said, according to N12. "Oren Sasson and his team presented me with the vision and strategy to advance Israeli football to the next level," the FIFA president said.

"The hard work has already started. It is an encouraging time for Israeli football."

Melanie Phillips: Sally Rooney’s very ugly world
The best-selling novelist, Sally Rooney, has refused to have her new novel, Beautiful World, Where Are You? published in Hebrew. She told Modan, the Hebrew-language publisher of her first two books, that she wouldn’t allow the latest one to follow suit because she supports a cultural boycott of Israel.

Ha’aretz reports:
Rooney, 30, has been open about her opposition to Israel. In July, soon after the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, Rooney was one of thousands of artists to sign a letter accusing Israel of apartheid and calling for its international isolation. The letter called for “an end to the support provided by global powers to Israel and its military; especially the United States,” and for governments to “cut trade, economic and cultural relations”.

Rooney’s characters generally have leftist politics, and her books invoke Israel in that context. In “Normal People,” the main characters attend a protest against Israel during the 2014 Gaza War. And in Rooney’s debut novel, “Conversations with Friends,” a character named Bobbi talks about how relationships are about power, but people instead focus on “niceness”. She then says, “I mean this is an issue in public discourse. We end up asking like, is Israel ‘nicer’ than Palestine.”

Rooney thus joins a list of cultural figures whose ignorance and malevolence on the subject of Israel dwarf any talent they may possess. But there’s a further point to make about this particular individual. For she is Irish; and the Irish Republic has a particularly long and troubling record of antagonism towards not just Israel but the Jewish people.

This summer, it passed a motion condemning “de facto annexation” of Palestinian land. In 2018, Dublin’s city council passed resolutions endorsing a boycott of Israel and calling for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to Ireland.

Ireland is one of the most anti-Israel countries in Europe. But this bigotry goes further and deeper.

The researcher David Collier, whose indefatigable attempts to defend the Jewish people mean he has to wade through the foul cultural sewage of today’s surging Jew-hatred, has just published a 202-page report on antisemitism in Ireland. You can read his report, the product of several years’ research, here.

What he found shocked even him.
Israel Boycott: Sally Rooney won’t let novel be published in Hebrew
Bestselling author Sally Rooney won’t allow her recently published novel, “Beautiful World, Where Are You?” to be published in Hebrew because she supports a cultural boycott of Israel.

Like the acclaimed Irish author’s first two books, “Beautiful World” explores the life and romance of intellectual, urbane millennials. It debuted at the top of the New York Times bestseller list when it was published in September, following a publicity campaign that came on the heels of Rooney’s popular second novel, “Normal People,” which was also adapted into a TV series.

That publicity campaign, however, will not be reaching Israel. The Hebrew-language publisher of Rooney’s first two books, Modan Publishing House, told Haaretz last month that Rooney won’t allow her new book to be published in Hebrew because she supports an Israel boycott. Rooney’s agent confirmed the news to Haaretz.

Rooney, 30, has been open about her opposition to Israel. In July, soon after the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, Rooney was one of thousands of artists to sign a letter accusing Israel of apartheid and calling for its international isolation. The letter called for “an end to the support provided by global powers to Israel and its military; especially the United States,” and for governments to “cut trade, economic and cultural relations.”

Rooney’s characters generally have leftist politics, and her books invoke Israel in that context. In “Normal People,” the main characters attend a protest against Israel during the 2014 Gaza War. And in Rooney’s debut novel, “Conversations with Friends,” a character named Bobbi talks about how relationships are about power, but people instead focus on “niceness.” She then says, “I mean this is an issue in public discourse. We end up asking like, is Israel ‘nicer’ than Palestine.”

Rooney is not the first prominent author to refuse to publish a book in Hebrew. In 2012, Alice Walker, who also supports the movement to boycott Israel, would not allow “The Color Purple” to be translated into Hebrew.”

Billie Eilish becomes victim of 'manufactured outrage': Singer's Instagram was targeted by anti-Semitic bots and trolls after she promoted her new album on MTV Israel, report reveals
A new social media analysis shows Billie Eilish's Instagram account was targeted by anti-Semitic bots and trolls after she promoted her new album on MTV Israel

The 19-year-old pop singer released a video to her Israeli audience on July 31, announcing the release of her second studio album, Happier Than Ever

Her account was then 'flooded with thousands of bot-driven comments consisting of Palestinian flags and other Palestine solidarity-themed comments'

A report by pro-Israel organization titled 'Manufactured Outrage' obtained by DailyMail.com six posts Eilish made between July 31 and August 5

Among the top comments, 30 per cent were anti-Israel and posted by users with no posts on their personal profile (a strong indicator of bot activity)

Director Ari Ingel told DailyMail.com it's 'difficult to say for certain' who's behind the attacks, but the CCFP suspects 'state actors' including Iran

'These are fraudulent accounts, carrying out coordinated Anti-Israel campaigns by actors who have one goal, and that's to demonize and delegitimize Israel,' he said
Faculty at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Denounce Departmental Statements Condemning Israel
University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign (UIUC) administrators have said that academic departments will not be told to abstain from political advocacy, after over 40 faculty members lodged a complaint over several departmental statements that were harshly critical of Israel.

Amid the Gaza conflict between Israel and Hamas in May, four departments at the school — Gender and Women’s Studies, Urban and Regional Planning, Asian American Studies, and History — issued statements that pledged “solidarity” with Palestinians and variously accused Israel of apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and settler colonialism.

In a September 6 letter seen by The Algemeiner, the group of 44 faculty called on Chancellor Robert J. Jones and Provost Andreas C. Cangellaris to “reaffirm the norm that departments — as opposed to individuals and groups of faculty — not advocate for political agendas unrelated to the University’s educational and research missions.”

As opposed to individual or group statements, the signatories argued that, those issued on behalf of a department risk chilling debate among students and scholars who disagree, and make it harder to bring together diverse views.

“Our concern is made more pressing as we watch academic departments commit themselves to one side of a complicated issue while dismissing, even scorning, alternative perspectives,” they wrote.

They also warned of alienating some Jewish members of the department who identify with Israel, and of the prospect of the practice spreading to other political issues.

Who can play a Jew? Celebs claim double standard over onscreen representation
While promoting her starring role in Amazon Prime’s extraordinarily Jewish show “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” actress Rachel Brosnahan was asked a version of the same question over and over again: Are you Jewish?

The answer is a decided no, but Brosnahan gamely brushed off the query repeatedly, noting that she was surrounded by Jewish culture growing up in a heavily Jewish suburb of Chicago.

When the show premiered in 2017, there was only a little bit of noise about Brosnahan’s lack of Jewish credentials as the star of one of arguably the most Jewish shows ever to hit the small screen. Miriam “Midge” Maisel is not incidentally Jewish; she jokes about Yom Kippur and summers in the Catskills, and gossips in the synagogue pews.

But over the past few weeks and months, a growing chorus of voices has once again been speaking out about Jewish representation in Hollywood — at a time when Jewish stories and characters are more prominent than ever onscreen.

Many are pointing out that while casting directors are becoming more and more careful not to miscast minority roles — relating not just to race but disability, sexual orientation and more — Jewish characters are still regularly, if not predominantly, played by non-Jews. And that it has virtually always been this way.

“If you’re interested in this topic and this topic is really meaningful — and I think it is meaningful to the Jewish community — then the conversation has never lapsed,” Malina Saval, a Los Angeles-based features editor for Variety, told The Times of Israel. “People that care about this haven’t stopped talking about it, and I don’t think we will.”

The most recent backlash was kicked off by news that Kathryn Hahn will play the legendary comedian Joan Rivers in an upcoming Showtime miniseries. But the practice is commonplace and well-trodden: Helen Mirren was cast as Golda Meir in an upcoming film, Felicity Jones portrayed Ruth Bader-Ginsburg in “On the Basis of Sex,” Wendi McLendon-Covey played Beverly Goldberg in “The Goldbergs” and significant chunks of the cast of Jewish-centric shows such as “Hunters,” “The Plot Against America” and “Transparent” are not of Jewish descent. One of the few characters not played by Seth Rogen in the Jewish-steeped and brined film “An American Pickle” is played by the non-Jewish Sarah Snook.
Craigslist founder: Rising antisemitism keeps me up at night
The rise and the mainstreaming of antisemitism at high levels in politics and media is what keeps 68-year old Craig Newmark up at night.

Newmark, the founder of the legendary classified ad website Craigslist, spoke with The Jerusalem Post’s 10th annual Diplomatic Conference on Tuesday about his personal history creating the site, and his latest project, Craig Newmark Philanthropies.

“Israel meant a great deal to me as a youth, as a youngster growing up in New Jersey in the ‘50s and ‘60s,” Newmark said. “I recall feeling a lot of pride during and then the aftermath of the Six Day War. When I was in Sunday school, I was a chnoon (Hebrew for “nerd”), but my teachers helped me define what my values were.”

Regarding his philanthropic activities, said he is focused on “getting good information and protecting the country against misinformation and helping people counter harassment.”

“Those are fundamental issues, but they’re all about repairing the world, or ‘tikkun olam’ (repairing the world). These are the values instilled in me very early in school by Mr. and Mrs. Levin. They helped me understand that I should treat people like I want to be treated. They helped me understand the ninth commandment about not bearing false witness, of providing bad information. And that formed my spiritual direction.”

Newmark founded Craigslist when he moved to San Francisco in the early 1990s.

“A lot of people online, even in ‘94 and ‘95, helped me settle into this city. And I realized that I felt a need for greater social connection. I started a simple mailing list about events that sometimes merged arts and technology. I just kept plugging away, sending more and more things to that mailing list. And that worked. It connected people, and it felt pretty good. It asserted values of neighborliness, and that worked for me.”
Trending: Israel Considering Laws To Hold Social Media Giants Liable For Incitement Posted By Users
A team of experts working for the Israeli Ministry of Communications is considering new laws that would hold social media companies liable for incitement posted by users on their platforms. Though newspapers and television networks have long been liable for such content, this is a potentially dramatic development for social media giants.

The discussion comes on the backdrop of a Human Rights Watch Report that claimed Israel and Facebook have been colluding to “silence” Palestinian voices on human rights issues. It also immediately follows a paradigm-shattering 60 Minutes special that featured Facebook “whistleblower” Frances Haugen, who charged that Facebook’s leadership “chooses profits over safety.”

Indeed, this is not just about the Jewish state because whatever course the Israeli commission charts will have a significant impact on the entire Western world as the decision stands to alter the global social media landscape. Silencing Palestinian Voices?

The Human Rights Watch report criticized Facebook’s removal of “hundreds” of posts by Palestinians but failed to provide an accurate overview of the content that was taken down.

For example, one post not only encouraged Palestinians to stab Jews to death but also offered specific instructions on how to go about doing so, including anatomical charts identifying the most vulnerable body parts.

Another post encouraged people to brutally butcher Jews, by graphically portraying a gory scene as an act of religious heroism.

Huge numbers of similar posts were the driving force behind a wave of anti-Jewish violence in 2015-2016, which came to be known at the “Knife Intifada.” Palestinians, typically armed with only a knife, along with knowhow and motivation derived from social media, murdered 38 Israelis (among them 31 civilians) and injured 558.

Just last May, massive online incitement induced Palestinians to mount violent riots in Israel. This was used by Hamas as a pretext to initiate a full-blown conflict in which US-designated terror groups launched nearly 4,500 rockets towards Israel, with hundreds of them misfiring and, as a result, killing Gazans as well.

None of these critical details made it into the Human Rights Watch report.
Vice News Downplays Hamas Terror Tunnels, Contends Gaza Child Soldiers Receive ‘Fitness Training’
In a report on May’s Hamas-initiated war against Israel, Vice News parrots terrorist propaganda claiming that the IDF’s defensive actions somehow breached international law. In the video, correspondent Isobel Yeung repeatedly charges Israel with targeting Gazans during a May 14 operation to destroy Hamas’ network of attack tunnels.

There’s just one problem: There’s not a shred of evidence that Israel purposely struck civilian infrastructure, even as Hamas builds military sites in populated areas. PCHR and Al Mezan — Gaza-based NGOs with a long history of demonizing Israel — separately concluded that the Israeli Air Force did not target the structure in question.

This corroborates the IDF’s account that it intended to hit a “terror tunnel, placed in close proximity to the mentioned building.” But Vice still insists that Israel is to blame for the deaths of four Gazans.

The slanted video is reminiscent of The New York Times’ June 24 “investigation” that tried — but failed — to connect an Israeli strike on an underground terror tunnel to the collapse of a nearby building.

While Israel takes immense precautions to avoid civilian casualties, Hamas commits double war crimes by firing rockets at Israeli population centers and using Gazans as pawns to fend off retaliation. Unfortunately, Hamas’ Palestinian victims receive little sympathy from Vice. Yeung goes so far as to highlight Hamas’ training of child soldiers — while failing to mention the practice violates international law.

Contact Vice’s editor now to demand the outlet stops spreading Hamas disinformation about Israel.

Quashing Verdict in Favor of Far-Right Activist, Top French Court Urges Vigilance Against ‘Disguised, Allusive’ Antisemitism
France’s highest court has quashed the appeal clearing a notorious far-right activist and Holocaust denier of promoting antisemitic hatred with a rap video that featured the images of several prominent French Jews being burned.

In its decision published on Oct. 5, the Court of Cassation, the supreme appeal court in France, ruled that a lower court had erred in determining that the video pushed by the veteran extremist Alain Soral did not target the Jewish community as a whole.

The video — by a rap group calling themselves “Rude Goy Bit” — was entitled “Gilet Jaunes” (“Yellow Vests”) in honor of the radical French protest movement of the same name.

Posted by Soral to his website and social media feeds in 2019, the four-and-a-half minute video featured images of a sign carrying the name “Rothschild” thrown into a bonfire. The Jewish banking dynasty has been a favored target of antisemitic propagandists for more than a century.

Other passages in the video showed photos of the philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, the writer Jacques Attali and the businessman Patrick Drahi — all prominent Jews — being burned by flames.

Accompanying lyrics declared that “only by burning the Rothschilds can we save France,” We’ll have to burn BHL and Attali too” and “The French people can no longer take these parasites.”

Soral was sentenced to two years in prison in September 2019, following a complaint against him filed by several civil society groups combating antisemitism and racism, including the French Union of Jewish Students (UEJF). However, that verdict was overturned by an appeal court which deemed that the video had not been aimed at the Jewish community as a whole, as it had also vilified certain non-Jewish individuals.
European countries with most antisemitic attitudes have fewest attacks – poll
In an opinion poll on antisemitism in 16 European Union countries, respondents from Poland, Hungary and Greece displayed the highest prevalence of hostile attitudes toward Jews.

But despite a high level of antisemitic attitudes, those countries rarely see violent attacks on Jews while countries that experience more frequent attacks on Jews are often those showing the lowest rates of antisemitic sentiments.

The survey, published Tuesday by Ipsos, a polling company, together with the Europe Action and Protection League, a watchdog group based in Hungary, found little correlation between antisemitic attitudes and violent attacks on Jews in the 16 European countries surveyed.

The assertion that it “would be best if Jews left this country” received affirmation from 24%, 23% and 21% of participants in Poland, Greece and Hungary, respectively. It was rejected by 15%, 26% and 33% in those countries, where only a few dozen antisemitic incidents are recorded annually. A high prevalence of antisemitic sentiments was also observed in other countries with low levels of antisemitic incidents, including Latvia, Croatia and Romania.

In countries where more antisemitic incidents were recorded, the assertion about Jews being unwanted was overwhelmingly rejected and received little support.
Belgian Jews Feeling Effects of Ban on Kosher Slaughter: ‘If You Want to Say Jewish People Are Not Welcome Here, Just Say It’
Belgium’s Jews are feeling the detrimental effects of an effective ban on Jewish and Muslim ritual slaughtering that was recently upheld by the country’s highest court.

The law, originally imposed in 2017, bans the slaughtering of animals without pre-stunning. Neither Jewish nor Muslim religious law allow for stunning the animal before slaughter, effectively making their practices illegal in Belgium.

Politico Europe reported that merchants in the Jewish community are facing supply problems and other obstacles to providing kosher meat to their customers. In particular, as a result of the ban, all kosher meat must now be imported into Belgium, which raises prices and degrades quality.

The chef at Hoffy’s kosher restaurant in Antwerp’s Jewish quarter, Moishy Hoffman, told the outlet he was “ashamed” by the lack of choices available in his establishment as a result of the ban.
Connecticut GOP State Rep. Slammed for Comparing Nazi Medical Experiments on Jewish Prisoners With COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates
A Republican legislator in Connecticut faced a storm of criticism on Monday for comparing the problems faced by individuals who freely refuse to vaccinate against the COVID-19 pandemic with the plight of Jewish communities in Europe during the Holocaust.

In a Facebook post, State Rep. Anne Dauphinais compared Connecticut’s Governor, Ned Lamont, to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. Dauphinais also accused Lamont of copying the horrifying medical abuses carried out by Nazi concentration camp doctors. Referring to the vaccine as “an experimental medicine, with unknown and untold side effects,” she claimed that Lamont was using his “dictatorial powers” to “force it … onto the public at large.”

Democrats, Jewish groups and the Connecticut Anti-Defamation League condemned the comparison between Lamont and Hitler and called for Dauphinais to apologize.

But in a follow-up post, Dauphinais doubled down on her comments, insisting that the comparison between Nazi genocidal antisemitism and the emergency public health measures undertaken in the US and other countries to combat a global pandemic that has taken the lives of over 700,000 Americans was “not antisemitic nor factually inaccurate.”

To justify her invocation of Nazi medical experiments that were grounded upon the physical torture and psychological humiliation of Jews, Roma, disabled people and other concentration camp prisoners, Dauphinais lifted a single sentence from an entry on the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) website, which noted that in the “German concentration camps of Sachsenhausen, Dachau, Natzweiler, Buchenwald, and Neuengamme, scientists used camp inmates to test immunization compounds and antibodies for the prevention and treatment of contagious diseases, including malaria, typhus, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, yellow fever, and infectious hepatitis.”

Dauphinais refrained from citing elements of the same article that might contradict her position, such as the USHMM’s explanation that the medical experiments designed by the Nazis were part of a broader program of “racial health policies” that “began with the mass sterilization of many people in hospitals and other institutions and ended with the near annihilation of European Jewry.”
Australian Watchdog Group Denounces Local Auction of Nazi Memorabilia: ‘Hitler Would Be Applauding Them’
The Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC), a leading Australian civil rights organization, criticized a “perverse” auction of more than 100 Nazi items that is set to take place this weekend, calling on Western Australia’s Premier Mark McGowan to ban the public display of Third Reich symbols.

Nazi memorabilia that will be sold on Oct. 16-17 by the Perth-based auction house JB Military Antiques include World War II Germany iron crosses, badges and medals that all feature swastikas. The items are expected to sell for tens of thousands of dollars and the event will also be one of the largest auctions of Nazi items to ever take place in Australia, according to the ADC.

“If Hitler were alive today, he would be applauding them for glorifying his barbaric crimes and keeping his monstrous legacy alive,” ADC Chairman Dvir Abramovich, who is leading a national campaign to ban the sale of Nazi memorabilia, said in a statement on Monday.

He added, “You would think that by now, auction houses would understand that it is perverse to put a price tag on genocide. White supremacists are nourished by these cursed, blood-stained items, and use them to recruit new members to their dangerous cause. I can’t imagine the pain Holocaust survivors and their families would be feeling right now. Australians expect better than to see this flat-out disgusting event take place and would reject this ghoulish profiteering that is poisoning our society, and which violates our nation’s core values.”

JB Military Antiques has been selling Nazi memorabilia since at least 2016. It held an auction in April that included Adolf Hitler’s personal belongings and those of his mistress, Eva Braun. At the time, the auction house’s owner Jamey Blewitt, a former history teacher, said his company is “not political in any way.” He told The West Australian, “We’re aware that many people find these pieces absolute abhorrent. There are good and bad things in history.”
'Hateful' mummy blogger slammed for vile comparison of 'segregated' anti-vaxxers to Jewish Holocaust victims - after she pinned Star of David on her kids and dressed in striped prison gear
An anti-vax mummy blogger has been slammed for pinning the Star of David onto her children's clothing in an offensive comparison between 'segregated' Australians who refuse the Covid jab and Holocaust victims.

Sarah Mills, from the NSW mid north coast, is among a minority refusing the Covid vaccine - and therefore was unable to celebrate Freedom Day on Monday after 106 days in lockdown.

She compared the treatment of anti-vaxxers to Holocaust victims, stating 'history is repeating itself', beginning with the 'segregation and exclusion' of people who choose not to get the jab.

In a separate post, Ms Mills wore a striped button down shirt with a sticker numbered '385968' on the breast of her shirt.

'Does anyone know where we get our full uniform? I've found the shirt but wasn't sure if there's anywhere you can get them as a set? or are we just provided them upon arrival? Sending love to my future inmates,' she captioned the photo.
7-Eleven to open hundreds of stores in Israel, but they’ll be closed on Shabbat
US convenience store mega-chain 7-Eleven is coming to Israel after signing a deal with Electra Consumer Products to open hundreds of stores over the next three years.

However, unlike other locations, the Israeli sites will be closed on Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest, from Friday evening until Saturday night.

Under the terms of the deal, Electra will invest NIS 60 million ($18.59 million) in setting up stores by the end of 2024, with the first outlet opening in Tel Aviv in 2022, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

The deal is for 20 years with the option to extend it to 50. After a one-off unspecified payment, Electra will then pay a monthly percentage of the stores’ income to 7-Eleven.

Electra said the stores will at first be opened in city centers, office areas and other places where there is a large movement of people.

Electra CEO Zvika Schwimmer said the 7-Eleven stores will have an advantage over existing Israeli convenience stores and mini-markets by offering fast food, hot drinks and other unique items.

“I am sure that the shopping experience at 7-Eleven will be different and special for the Israeli consumer,” he said.
IAI to equip Estonian Defense Forces with 'Blue Spear' land-to-sea missile system
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced last week that it has reached an agreement with Estonia to arm the nation's defense forces with the Blue Spear (5G SSM) land-to-sea missile system.

The Estonian Center for Defense Investment (ECDI) announced that Proteus Advanced Systems, a joint venture of Israel Aerospace Industries and ST Engineering Land Systems, won the tender to provide the Estonian Defense Forces with advanced anti-ship missile systems.

The Blue Spear system allows for launching from land-based platforms with flight at high subsonic speed. This project is the most complex in Estonia's defense history, and can operate through all weather conditions, all hours of day and night, and provides the ability to strike targets out of sight at sea.

Estonia's Defense Minister, Kalle Laanet, said “This weapon system substantially improves our coastal defense and sends a clear message that we are contributing to the regional and collective defense effort. This is one of the most complex and high-tech weapon systems of all time and a huge leap forward for the Estonian Defense Forces. I am very glad that Estonia has a defense industry capable of participating in such high-tech projects.”

IAI is a world leader in aerospace innovation, delivering state-of-the-art technology in air, navy, land and space, for commercial and defense purposes. ST Engineering is a global engineering group that utilizes technology and innovation in the fields of aerospace and naval defense, in Europe, the Middle East, US and Asia.
First Jewish wedding held in Bahrain in 52 years
For the first time in more than half a century, a Jewish couple was married in Bahrain on Sunday.

The wedding, which was held at the Ritz Carlton in Manama and certified kosher with help from the Orthodox Union, was a milestone for the Jewish community in the Gulf nation, which opened diplomatic relations with Israel in 2020 and has recently made an effort to build a relationship with the American Jewish community.

Houda Nonoo, Bahrain’s former ambassador to the United States and the first Jewish Bahraini to hold the position of ambassador, shared the news of her son’s wedding on Twitter.

“While I know that every mother thinks their child’s wedding is monumental, this one truly was!” she wrote in a tweet.

Bahrain has been home to a Jewish community for more than 140 years, but many of its younger members have chosen to leave the country to study, often remaining abroad permanently. Leaders of the community hailed the wedding as a sign of the community’s resurgence and expressed hope that more young people would raise families there.

“This wedding was an important moment for our family, the community here in Bahrain, and more broadly, for the Jewish community in the region,” Ebrahim Dawood Nonoo, a cousin of Nonoo and president of the Association of Gulf Jewish Communities, said in a statement. “The atmosphere was euphoric as we sat around the Chuppah (Jewish wedding canopy) which symbolizes the new home being built by the couple, it was also symbolic of the opportunity to further grow Jewish life in the region.”
Libya’s Jewish graveyards were destroyed. They are being rebuilt online.
During a visit to his native Libya in 2002, David Gerbi saw something that he says still haunts him almost 20 years later.

“I was horrified to see children playing atop the ruins of the Tripoli Jewish cemetery, scampering about debris littered with human remains,” Gerbi, who left Libya many years ago for Italy, told the Behdrei Haredim news site in Israel last week.

The experience turned Gerbi into an advocate for what are known as heritage sites in his old community. But over the years, his efforts to preserve or restore communal Jewish sites in war-torn Libya, where no Jews remain, came to naught.

So Gerbi began to consider alternatives. And now, the psychologist who lives in Rome has announced a new effort to set up a virtual cemetery to replace each of the physical Jewish ones that have been devastated in his country of birth.

“Especially in Tripoli and Benghazi, the Jewish cemeteries were obliterated,” he told the news site. “So I decided to make a virtual cemetery for our loved ones buried in Libya.”

The virtual cemeteries will have sections for prominent rabbis and commemorative pages for victims of the Holocaust — hundreds of Libyan Jews died in concentration camps operated by Nazi-allied Italy — as well as other pages recalling the victims of three waves of pogroms, in 1945, 1948 and 1967, he said.

Users of the website will be able to virtually light memorial candles and dedicate Kaddish mourning prayers through the website interface, he said. “It will be a way to remember the dead of a community gone extinct,” Gerbi said.
Holocaust survivor and author Eddie Jaku dies in Sydney, aged 101
Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku, who last year published his best-selling memoir, “The Happiest Man on Earth,” has died in Sydney, a Jewish community leader said. He was 101.

“Eddie Jaku was a beacon of light and hope for not only our community, but the world,” New South Wales state Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive officer Darren Bark said in a statement.

“He will always be remembered for the joy that followed him, and his constant resilience in the face of adversity,” Bark added.

Jaku died on Tuesday.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison paid tribute to Jaku’s decision to “make his life a testimony of how hope and love can triumph over despair and hate.”

“He will be sadly missed, especially by our Jewish community. He was an inspiration and a joy,” Morrison said.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, whose Jewish-Hungarian mother also survived the Holocaust and arrived in Australia in 1950 as a stateless child, said “Australia has lost a giant.”

“He dedicated his life to educating others about the dangers of intolerance and the importance of hope,” Frydenberg said in a statement. Advertisement

“Scarred by the past, he only looked forward. May his story be told for generations to come,” Frydenberg added.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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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