Friday, November 12, 2021

From Ian:

Mark Regev: The Palestinians must acknowledge their role in the Holocaust
CONSIDERING HUSSEINI’S shameful war record in the absence of a German occupation of Mandatory Palestine, there can be little doubt what it would have included had Hitler’s armies reached the Holy Land. The Führer would have been keen to exploit Husseini’s leadership of the Palestinians, dispatching him to Jerusalem to head a collaborationist administration dedicated to working with the Nazis on “solving the Jewish problem.” Together, they would have been highly effective in doing so, with the Palmah’s plans to wage a Tito-style guerrilla war against the Germans from the Carmel mountains having only symbolic importance, with no realistic possibility of preventing genocide.

Sadly, today in the Palestinian Authority, Amin al-Husseini remains a respected figure, an honored founding father of the national struggle. Far from critically confronting evidence of wartime collaboration, Palestinians choose to pervert history. President Mahmoud Abbas speaking before the Palestinian National Council in 2018 asserted that the Holocaust was caused by the Jews’ “social behavior, [charging] interest and financial matters.” Abbas dedicated his 1982 doctoral thesis and a 1984 book to the mendacious proposition that Zionists collaborated with the Nazis. (Former London mayor Ken Livingstone was suspended from Britain’s Labour Party in 2016 for regurgitating this argument.)

Palestinian historical revisionism also includes the contention that the Palestinians are themselves Holocaust victims, claiming that they were forced to pay for Europe’s crimes, losing their homeland so that the West could atone for its sins against the Jews.

In 2019, Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, herself of Palestinian heritage, seemed to endorse this tortuous argument when she stated that “it was my ancestors – Palestinians – who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence... in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews,” conveniently omitting the Palestinian leadership’s behavior during those fateful years. Germany’s post-war integration into Europe was predicated upon taking full responsibility for its wartime actions. Across Europe, East and West, nations condemn those of their citizens who collaborated with Nazi antisemitic policies. It is high time the Palestinians did the same. Maybe the European Union’s representatives to the Palestinian Authority should encourage them to do so. For without such an unequivocal official repudiation of Amin al-Husseini’s legacy, doubts will endure as to the current Palestinian leadership’s character, doubts that affect present-day Israeli deliberations.


David Collier: pro-Assad Hadi Nasrallah and Twitter combine forces to take me off Twitter
I am currently locked out of my Twitter account. What did I do? Absolutely nothing. Hadi Nasrallah, a pro-Hezbollah, pro-Assad extremist, falsely reported my account – and Twitter bent over backwards to facilitate him. Currently I am locked out – and unless I delete the tweets that they want me to – which are clearly both in the public interest and do not break any of Twitter’s rules – then I won’t gain access to my account again.

I have no intention of deleting them. Nor should I be required to.

Who is Hadi Nasrallah
Hadi Nasrallah is a pro-Hezbollah, pro-Assad extremist. He is from Lebanon and graduated from the University of Westminster in 2017. His BA dissertation was on Hezbollah:

When radical Islamic terror groups commit blatant war crimes by firing rockets at Israeli civilian cities – Hadi Nasrallah explicitly supports them:

This is what he says about the terror group Hezbollah and their attacks on both Israeli and US targets:
H*zb*llah as a group of indigenous Lebanese fighters has a legitimate right to fight the Israeli occupation of their land including its support system which in that case was the American military bases in the country.

Notice how he edits the name of the radical Islamist terror group to avoid Facebook censorship. Just think. during his time at a London campus – Hadi Nasrallah was free to spread his extremism and hate. It cannot be stated often enough – we have a problem on our campuses and this is evidence that it is far more troubling than many believe. Would you want your children on the same campus as extremists like Hadi Nasrallah?

Hadi Nasrallah is a hard-core Assad fanboy. His time line is full of endless Assad glorification. I could fill a book with examples from his public posts. In 2017 he proudly posted an image of himself on a Syrian Tank:
Antisemitism researcher locked out of Twitter
Mr Collier said the move from Twitter was: “potentially very damaging for anyone involved in the fight against extremism and antisemitism.

“If we are restricted from using publicly available images that are clearly covered as being in the public interest - then we go into the battle with our hands tied behind our backs.”

It is “truly worrying” how easy it is to abuse on the platform, the campaigner added.

“This is a deliberate attempt to silence a voice of a Jewish campaigner against antisemitism and it needed nothing more than a mouse click to succeed,” he said.

In a statement, Twitter told the JC: “The account referenced has been temporarily locked for violating our private information policy.

“The account owner is required to delete the violative Tweet before regaining access to their account.”


Melanie Phillips: The most urgent threat to diaspora Jews
Unfortunately, diaspora Jews are all too prone to this kind of self-delusion. Desperate to believe that antisemitism is a problem marginal to their own lives, they persistently fail to grasp that the best they can hope for is to be tolerated under a thin veneer of civility.

In fact, antisemitism in the diaspora inescapably goes with the territory (or lack of it). It is always to be expected.

What really should be worrying Jews sick is the part being played in the demonisation of Israel by Jews themselves. Jews on the left — some of whom reportedly took part in the LSE demonstration — routinely deploy the same lies and distortions about Israel as do its other existential foes by accusing it of apartheid, racism or human-rights violations.

Jewish Voice for Peace, for example, damns Israeli policies and actions, along with supporters of Israel, as being motivated by deeply rooted Jewish racial chauvinism and religious supremacism.

Na’amod, which describes itself as “British Jews Against Occupation,” has campaigned against any Jewish organisation inviting Hotovely to speak.

Its petition to ban her says: “Our uncritical platforms have helped Hotovely deflect criticism of her far-right racist views.” In October, its members disrupted a talk by Hotovely at a synagogue on the outskirts of London with posters condemning her for “nakba denial” (her rejection of the Palestinians’ claim that the foundation of the State of Israel was a “catastrophe”).

Its website declares: “Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza is a system of violence and discrimination that infringes Palestinians’ freedom, dignity and human rights”.

These are the kind of Jews who said Kaddish in the summer for those Arabs killed when they tried to storm the Gaza border under direction from Hamas.
Exposed: Sinister connections of LSE rabble-rousers to pro-Iranian groups
In the immediate aftermath of the anti-Israel protest outside the London School of Economics (LSE) on Tuesday, all eyes were on the viral clip of Tzipi Hotovely being rushed to her car by police and her security detail.

But to truly understand the gravity of what took place, turn to the footage of the protesters. Standing in the centre of the mob was Massoud Shadjareh, the head of the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC). In an interview last night with Iranian state propaganda channel Press TV, he called Mrs Hotovely a “hate preacher”.

In the past, Mr Shadjareh has said he was “inspired” by Iranian General Qasam Soleimani, the former head of the regime’s brutal Quds Force. And one of the directors of the IHRC, Saied Reza Ameli, even held an official position with the Iranian government.

It was reported in May 2019 that Mr Ameli “became secretary of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution in Iran an official position in the Iranian government”. He was seen speaking at an IHRC conference in February 2018.

Shortly after Qasam Soleimani was assassinated by the US, Mr Shadjareh made a speech in honour of the former head of the elite Iranian Quds Force in which he said: “You are very fortunate to live at a time [when it is possible] to see and to touch and to feel a man like Soleimani. And we hope and we pray and we work hard to make sure that there will be many, many more Qasem Soleimanis.

“We aspire to become like him, we are inspired and we are jealous of his shahadah [martyrdom] and we want the same thing for ourselves and for our loved ones because that’s the best thing that could happen to us.”
50 student leaders condemn protest against Israeli ambassador
As current and former students at the London School of Economics (LSE) and the University of London, we were shocked to see reports in national media, describing a volatile and aggressive demonstration organised by fellow students in protest of a talk on Tuesday evening given by Tzipi Hotovely, Israel’s Ambassador to the UK.

The ambassador was taking part in an event on the future of the Middle East, hosted by the LSE Student Union Debating Society.

Debating societies should be a space for all perspectives and views to be heard, and next week the society is scheduled to host Husam Zomlot, Palestine’s Ambassador to the UK.

The importance of freedom of speech, however, is sadly not a view shared by all students at LSE. As can be seen in video footage, protestors behaved aggressively, employing chants allegedly calling for the destruction of the State of Israel.

During the event, police officers were deployed to guard the entrance to the building where the event was taking place, and students have reported being blocked from attending classes due to this. The Ambassador herself was forced to flee the event, protected by at least six security guards, while uniformed police held back a large and potentially violent crowd.

We are particularly repulsed and disturbed by Instagram posts from LSE’s “Class War” society, inciting students to act violently and smash the windows of the Ambassador’s car. It is shocking and odious that the broken glass motif was used in threats to a Jewish speaker on the anniversary of 1938’s Night of Broken Glass (Kristallnacht) nonetheless.
Spectator TV: Kate Andrews speaks to Tzipi Hotovely, Israel's ambassador to the UK (01:00)

Algerian anti-Zionist discovers his Jewish identity
He was born in Tlemcen, Algeria, the son of a Jewish mother and a non-Jewish Communist father. A film-maker, Jean-Pierre Lledo was a rabid anti-Zionist until he made a visit to Israel, in 2008. The result was a journey to discover his Jewish identity. Now living in Israel, Jean-Pierre Lledo has just released a film, Israel: The forbidden journey, an 11-hour documentary in four parts, each named after a Jewish festival, which recently had its premiere in Tel Aviv. Adi Schwartz interviewed him for Israel Hayom:

In retrospect, Jean-Pierre Lledo’s complex identity has played a role in his life since time immemorial. “When we were kids,” he says, “the Arab kids kept talking about ‘Arab Algeria’ and ‘Muslim Algeria,’ and I always said to them, ‘Non-Muslim Algeria, she’s Algerian.’ I wanted to belong. “To that country. If Algeria is only Arab, then I do not belong to it.” The position of his communist father and friends was that there was no difference between Muslims and Jews, white or black, European or African – all Algerians. “I grew up in this atmosphere. I felt more Algerian than the Algerians themselves.”

During his exile in Paris, Lledo slowly began to deal with issues he could not deal with as long as he lived in Algeria. The first of these was the forced departure of Algerian Jews and European settlers immediately after independence. The official position in Algeria was that this was a natural move, and that the Europeans were foreign settlers, who had simply returned to their countries of origin.

Lledo knew it was not exactly like that, since one of the leavers was his Uncle Nissim (who moved to Israel -ed) , and Jews in Algeria would not have been foreign settlers but residents for two thousand years, long before the Muslim occupation. “I did not think then like everyone else,” he says, “but I could not go against it as long as I was in Algeria. It could not be done there. It was not possible to go against that narrative. It was taboo.”

But Israel still remains an unknown land, even hated. “For me, this was not only a political problem of Israel vis-à-vis the Palestinians,” he describes, “but also a problem of identity. I knew that my mother was Jewish and that my father was not Jewish, but I never examined in depth what it means to be Jewish. Aware that if I was interested in Israel while perceiving myself as an Algerian, it would cause a rift with Algeria, with my friends, with everyone. As long as someone is in Algeria, it is impossible otherwise, just to be against Israel. “It is not at all possible to raise the question of the treatment of Israel. It is impossible at all to imagine a discussion about it, because it is clear to you that this will have serious consequences.”
British Council and Heritage Lottery Fund Supporting Known CAGE Campaigner
Jaw-dropping finding from Policy Exchange this afternoon as they’ve reveal the British Council and Heritage Lottery Fund are backing an event discussing the work of Asim Qureshi – CAGE’s research director. The logos of both organisations currently appear on promotional material for an event discussing Qureshi’s book “I refuse to condemn”, set to take place on 25th November. Qureshi is perhaps best known for describing Jihadi John as a “beautiful young man”…

The revelation come just two months after Policy Exchange revealed a taxpayer-funded theatre in Camden was set to host a 9/11 event with “apologists for terror”; and forms part of their research for their “Understanding Islamism Project”.

The platform is being given to Qureshi as part of Islamophobia Awareness Month, in collaboration with “Our Shared Cultural Heritage”, Decolonise University of Manchester, and Manchester University Press Radical Readers. “Our Shared Cultural Heritage” is a British Council project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund…

Once again a cross-party opposition of Khalid Mahmood and Nus Ghani have come out to condemn the event, with the former pointing out:
“The British Council exists to promote cultural understanding between peoples and a positive view of Muslims to showcase the best of Britain. Asim Qureshi and CAGE have consistently shown themselves to be some of the worst. What is an organisation with a royal charter doing in such company?”

After their last exposé, Oliver Dowden launched an immediate investigation, Guido expects the new Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries will do the same again…
Labour councillor in Redbridge reportedly has whip withdrawn after “offensive, misogynistic, antisemitic” conduct
It has been reported that a Labour councillor in Redbridge has had the whip removed after he was accused of being “offensive, misogynistic [and] antisemitic.”

Cllr Khaled Noor’s conduct “has fallen below the high standard we expect of our members,” according to a spokesperson for Redbridge Labour.

The primary incident in question was a meeting of the Labour Group in January 2021, which was chaired by Cllr Judith Garfield, who is jewish. Cllr Garfield complained that, in a lengthy intervention that delayed proceedings at the meeting, Cllr Noor spoke to her in an intimidatory tone and falsely accused her of “only supporting action against antisemitism and not other forms of bigotry.”

Cllr Noor claims that he is a victim of “Islamophobia and instances threatening behaviour, intimidation and bullying,” adding: “The allegation that I used an antisemitic trope is denied.”

A spokesperson for Redbridge Labour spokesperson reportedly said: “The whip has been withdrawn from Cllr Noor following a number of separate incidents where his behaviour has fallen below the high standard we expect of our members. The group only considers removal of the whip in exceptional circumstances where conduct breaches set standards; the fact that poor conduct has been repeated is a matter of regret but made action unavoidable.”


Ben & Jerry's may lose US kashrut renewal over settler boycott
The Kof-K kosher certification agency may not renew Ben & Jerry’s certificate if the global ice cream company makes good on its plan to boycott West Bank settlements.

“We have told Ben & Jerry’s that we do not know if we will be able to renew our contract,” Rabbi Daniel Senter, chief operating officer of the American-based Kof-K that provides Kosher international certification, told The Jerusalem Post.

At issue is whether Ben & Jerry’s in the US will continue to receive a kosher certification once the Kof-K’s contract with the Vermont-based ice cream company ends in 2022.

The Kof-K can only break this contract if there is a violation of the Jewish dietary laws, and no such violation has occurred, Senter explained.

“The company is living up to its side of the contract,” he stated.

The Kof-K, however, is weighing whether to refuse to renew the contract due to the decision made in July by Ben & Jerry’s independent board not to renew its business dealings with the Israeli ice cream franchise once the contract ends in December 2022. The Ben & Jerry’s board said it had taken this step due to sales by the Israeli franchise to Jewish stores in east Jerusalem and West Bank settlements.

The Ben & Jerry’s factory itself is located in southern Israel, and does not have a factory in the West Bank or east Jerusalem.
Why academic departments should steer clear of anti-Israel activism
It certainly is not an issue that is so morally and ideologically clear that an academic department should commit itself completely to one side of the argument, as these departments have done. In their letter to the provost and chancellor, in fact, the 44 faculty members warned against this very behavior, suggesting that “an academic unit that engages in political advocacy chills robust debate and potentially intimidates scholars who think differently. Can a student expect open inquiry in an environment of mutual respect if his or her department publicly commits to one side in the complicated Israeli-Palestinian dispute? Can a department that calls for the boycott and sanction of Israel (in violation of University policy) study Israeli perspectives as well as Palestinian ones? If a unit denounces Israel in inflammatory prose and promises ‘solidarity with Palestine,’ only a brave untenured faculty member would dare voice a contrary position.”

The larger and more fundamental question, of course, is, what are departments doing in the first place taking a stand on a geopolitical issue, especially when the department is of an academic discipline with no relation to the Middle East?

“How does it advance the educational mission of a unit to adopt a foreign policy?,” the letter asked. “The University, and the departmental websites it maintains, are not bullhorns for the amplification of faculty members’ personal politics.”

Recent reports by both The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law and the AMCHA Initiative have revealed that anti-Israel activism on campuses has regularly morphed into anti-Semitic speech and behavior, thus creating a hostile climate for pro-Israel and Jewish students, something to which the faculty letter alluded.

“Those who are pro-Israel or those who believe that Israelis no less than Palestinians have valid claims and deserve sympathy and understanding may reasonably conclude that they are not welcome in certain departments and that their academic careers may be harmed. Incendiary rhetoric that demonizes Israel makes the campus climate harsher for Jewish and pro-Israel students.”

If an individual academic wishes to take a political stand about Israel, or any other topic, that is of course his or her right. But academic units should avoid speaking on behalf of all of their faculty and students for precisely the reasons outlined above, and particularly when it involves the very contentious and divisive debate over the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
University of Glasgow Journal Revises Apology for Promoting ‘Unfounded Antisemitic Theory’ After Petition
A University of Glasgow journal has rescinded an apology it issued for publishing a peer-reviewed article that was accused of promoting antisemitic conspiracies, following denouncements by hundreds of scholars and Israel critics.

Published in the student-run postgraduate journal eSharp in 2017, the article — “Advocating Occupation: Outsourcing Zionist Propaganda in the UK,” by then-University of Exeter student Jane Jackman — became a point of controversy in 2020, when the pro-Israel activist David Collier flagged its contents for being “laden with conspiracy, antisemitism and errors.”

At the time, reporting on Collier’s essay prompted the Scottish university to point to its recent adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, and its commitment to “a zero-tolerance approach to antisemitism and hate speech of any kind.”

In May, the editors of eSharp then decided to append a disclaimer to the article, apologizing for its subpar research and antisemitic content.

“This article employs some discursive strategies, including a biased selection of sources as well as the misrepresentation of data, which promote an unfounded antisemitic theory regarding the State of Israel and its activity in the United Kingdom,” eSharp stated. “We would like to apologize that our editorial procedures did not identify those failures in scholarship.”


CAMERA Warns New Zealand Film Festival About Deceptive Zinshtein Documentary
The New Zealand Film Festival is currently showing the dishonest film, “‘Til Kingdom Come” produced by filmmakers Maya Zinshtein and Abraham (Abie) Troen. CAMERA has sent a letter to NZFF asking that it warn its viewers about the problems with this film, which was marred by two doctored quotes and numerous other problems when it was first shown to viewers in late 2020.

The first showing took place on Nov. 8, 2021 and two more showings are scheduled to take place on Nov. 14 and Nov. 17.

Upon learning of the showings, CAMERA sent a letter to NZFF’s chair, Catherine Fitzgerald. The letter is excerpted below.

Dear Catherine Fitzgerald:
I write from the offices of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA), a media monitoring organization that promotes fair and accurate coverage of the Middle East with an emphasis on the Arab-Israeli conflict. We have offices in North America and Israel.

Our work can be seen at camera.org.

I write to you about “‘Til Kingdom Come,” a film that is scheduled to be shown in the next few weeks at various locations in New Zealand under the auspices of NZFF. This film was filmed by Abraham (Abie) Troen and Maya Zinshtein, who also directed the film.

I write to inform you about a number of ethical and journalistic lapses in this film and about the controversy surrounding its distribution in the United States. In sum, the film fundamentally mischaracterizes the subject it purports to cover.

Its viewers in New Zealand need to know that.
Social Media Platforms Failing to Remove Flagged Antisemitic Content, Say ‘Shocked’ Group of European Parliament Members
Members of the European parliament took coordinated action against online antisemitism this week, identifying and reporting anti-Jewish content on three social media platforms, and expressing grave concern at the continued availability of antisemitic material even after it is flagged.

Initiated to mark the anniversary on Nov. 9 of “Pogromnacht” — the Nazi-led violent riot against the German Jewish community in 1938 — the MEPs pushed back against posts on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube promoting the denial of the Holocaust, the medieval “blood libel” slander, and various antisemitic conspiracy theories, among them the claim that the COVID-19 pandemic is a deliberate plot orchestrated by powerful Jews.

Several posts that appeared on both Facebook and Youtube featured a fictitious rabbi named “Abraham Finkelstein” who presents antisemitic myths about Jewish religious practices as undisputed facts. In one Facebook post, a quote from “Finkelstein” alleged that up to 300,000 non-Jewish children are kidnapped in the US every year and used in the preparation of unleavened bread for the Passover holiday — reviving a deadly anti-Jewish slander that first appeared in the 12th Century.

Other posts denied the Holocaust, claiming that inmates of concentration camps died of typhus and starvation because of Allied bombing raids on Germany, and not in gas chambers operated by the Nazis.

Posts about COVID-19 involved lists of the names of prominent Jewish and non-Jewish individuals tasked with beating back the pandemic with the accompanying warning, “Every single aspect of COVID is Jewish.”
BBC Presenter Tweeted ‘Death to Zionist Scum,’ Accused Israel of Perpetrating Nazi-like Genocide
It’s happened again. Earlier this year, HonestReporting helped expose Tala Halawa — a BBC journalist who had made antisemitic and genocidal statements on social media.

After the @GnasherJew Twitter account unveiled a number of offensive tweets, including ones that called Israel “more #Nazi than #Hitler,” and using the hashtag “#HitlerWasRight,” we shared the screenshots on social media and called on the public to contact the BBC.

Many media outlets, including The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, and Fox News, used our work. In response, the BBC opened an investigation that ultimately led to Halawa being fired.

But it seems that the BBC has not learned its lesson.

Once again, HonestReporting has revealed a wealth of antisemitic and offensive posts on numerous social media platforms by Nasima Begum, an arts council-supported charity advocate and trustee who has also worked as a presenter for BBC Radio Manchester.

Many of Begum’s antisemitic tweets date back to 2011 and 2012, but her problematic social media activity continues to spill over.


Was Shakespeare antisemitic? New book examines Shylock
In Vindicating Shakespeare, Stephen Byk, a retired actor, director and educator who has resided in Israel since 1965, draws on the tools of theater professionals to “exonerate” Shakespeare from accusations of antisemitism.

Vindicating Shakespeare is at its best when Byk offers directorial interventions designed to clarify meanings implicit in the text. When he enters the court, Byk suggests, Shylock, who expects to exact his revenge, “should be clothed and groomed to ceremonial perfection,” perhaps to excess, to cover “the thin veneer superimposed on his inner rage.”

Because Bassanio and Gratiano notice that Shylock is sharpening his knife on the sole of his shoe, Byk recommends (to avoid distracting the audience and demonstrate that he is distraught) that Shylock withdraw behind the table on which he has put his scales while they are speaking, search for a tool he thought he brought with him, and then take off one shoe, spit on it, and strop his blade.

THAT SAID, despite his book’s provocative title, Byk’s interpretation of The Merchant of Venice actually echoes the assessments of many contemporary literary critics, who affirm that Shakespeare presents Shylock at least as much a victim as a victimizer. But Byk also struggles to explain why the Shylock of Act III’s “Hath not a Jew eyes” gives way in Act IV to a Shylock who conforms to Elizabethan stereotypes.
88% of 2020 Religious Hate Crimes in LA Were Antisemitic, Report Says
Eighty-eight percent of religious hate crimes that occurred in Los Angeles County in 2020 were antisemitic, according to a new report from the county.

The report, released on November 10, found that hate crimes increased by 20% overall in the county from 2019 to 2020. This included a 76% increase in hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) community, 56% increase against Latinos and 35% increase against Blacks. Religious hate crimes declined by 18% from 2019 to 2020, the majority of which were perpetuated by white supremacists. Additionally, violent hate crimes increased from 65% to 68%; the majority of the victims were transgender women.

The report also found that the parts of the county with the highest per capita hate crimes were “West Hollywood to Boyle Heights, followed by a western region that includes parts of West L.A., Santa Monica and Beverly Hills,” LAist reported.

According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), examples of antisemitic incidents in the county in 2020 included graffiti stating “Jews control the world” on a Chatsworth synagogue and a female spitting at a Jewish woman and her son in the Beverly Grove area and saying, “You Hassidic Jews always break the law.”

“While Jews make up only 2% of the U.S. population, they are consistently the most-targeted group of religious-based hate crimes,” ADL Los Angeles Regional Director Jeffrey Abrams said in a statement. “Unfortunately, we saw a severe spike in antisemitic hate incidents and hate crimes during the height of the deadly conflict between Israel and Hamas, a U.S.- designated foreign terrorist organization, along the Gaza Strip in May 2021. In Los Angeles, ADL worked closely with law enforcement to ensure that antisemitic assaults were appropriately enhanced as hate crimes.”


18-year-old suspect arrested in Austin synagogue arson case
A suspect has been arrested related to a fire set at an Austin synagogue, Congregation Beth Israel, on Oct. 31.

Franklin Barrett Sechriest, 18, was arrested Wednesday by arson investigators with the Austin Fire Department. Investigators identified Sechriest using surveillance footage that showed the license plate on the car he allegedly used to get to the synagogue.

The fire, set on Halloween night, caused an estimated $25,000 of damage to the building, according to the Austin Fire Department. According to a donation page on the synagogue’s website, the fire destroyed the synagogue’s carved wooden doors, damaged the building’s stained glass windows and caused smoke damage throughout the sanctuary.

The Austin Fire Department had appealed to the public to help identify the suspect, who they described as a white male. Video showed the man carrying a 5-gallon jerry can container, likely with the liquid accelerant used to set the fire at the entrance of the synagogue.


Israeli road visibility chipmaker TriEye nabs investments from Porsche, Intel
Israeli startup TriEye, a developer of short-wave-infrared (SWIR) sensing chips that enable drivers to see in adverse weather and at night, has raised a $74 million funding round with investors such as Intel, Porsche, and Samsung, according to a company announcement this week.

The investment was led by London-based firm M&G Investments and United States company Varana Capital, with the participation of Samsung Ventures, Samsung’s investment arm, Israel’s Discount Capital, and follow-on investors Intel Capital, Porsche Ventures, billionaire entrepreneur Marius Nacht (co-founder of cybersecurity giant Check Point), and Israel’s Grove Ventures.

The funding round brings TriEye’s total capital raised to $96 million. The firm raised seed investment of $3 million led by Grove Ventures in November 2017. In 2019, TriEye raised a Series A funding round of $19 million led by Intel Capital, with Nacht, Grove Ventures, and Porsche.

TriEye was founded in 2017 by Avi Bakal, the CEO, Omer Kapach, a VP of R&D, and Prof. Uriel Levy, the chief technology officer, after nearly a decade of advanced nanophotonics research by Levy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

The company developed a high-definition SWIR camera that is smaller in size, has a higher resolution, and costs a fraction of the price of current technologies, TriEye says.
Israeli Startup Develops World’s First Saliva-Based Rapid Pregnancy Test Kit
Israeli medical startup Salignostics, which specializes in the field of saliva research and tech development, announced on Thursday that it will start commercializing Salistick, the world’s first and only saliva-based rapid pregnancy test kit. This cost-effective, quick, and non-invasive method of detecting pregnancy leverages saliva-based hormone detection technology pioneered by Salignostics and delivers accurate results in just 10 minutes. The commercialization of SaliStick is set to begin early next year.

According to Salignostics, saliva contains over 5,000 identified proteins that mirror and overlap the physiological state of one’s blood. Drawing from the same principles used to develop SaliCov, its rapid antigen saliva test kit to detect Covid-19, Salistick can detect the pregnancy hormone β-hCG in saliva and delivers proven and accurate detection rates for early pregnancy.

Salignostics is in very advanced stages of receiving the European Union’s CE Mark for Salistick and has completed a 510(K) initial Q-submission of the test kit to the FDA in the US. The company has successfully completed clinical trials in Israel on more than 300 women, both pregnant and non-pregnant, and has completed thousands of analytical trials.
An inside look at the Library of Congress’s Hebrew treasures
Prior to March 2020, anyone could walk into the Library of Congress and take a tour of its magnificent Jefferson Building, the institution’s ornate main building located across from the U.S. Capitol and next to the Supreme Court. It houses just a fraction of the Library’s collection of millions of volumes, but the books stored in the Jefferson Building are some of the oldest and most precious.

Visitors enter into the soaring foyer and get to look at some of the Library’s temporary and permanent exhibits, including Thomas Jefferson’s personal library — the gift that officially launched the Library of Congress after British troops burned down the small congressional library in 1812. But many of the treasures at the Library live behind closed doors, under lock and key and the watchful eyes of librarians with advanced degrees and decades of experience.

As the national library of the United States, members of the public are able to request to see these books. No advance notice is necessary. When a man and his teenage son were on a tour some years before the pandemic, the son asked what the oldest book at the Library was. The docent told him about cuneiform tablets that are several thousand years old, and sent him to the African and Middle Eastern reading room, where he could ask to see the tablets.

“I brought two boxes down and showed it to them and gave them the abbreviated spiel about cuneiform tablets. The son was very interested in it,” recalled Sharon Horowitz, a senior reference librarian at the Library. “The father said to me, ‘What a great country, I can just come in here. I’m basically a nobody. And I’m here for a trip with my son, and I can ask to see this stuff.’”

The tablets are just a small piece of the Library of Congress’s sprawling collection of books from around the world. At a time when millennia-old pieces of cultural history are being destroyed by everything from war to weather, the artifacts in the Library of Congress serve as a reminder of the crucial role the institution plays as a protector of books and civilizations.
Why I Served in Both the IDF and US Army
Thursday, on Veterans Day, I felt inclined to reflect upon my privilege to have served in the armies of the world’s most important guardians of freedom — America and Israel

As a Jew, I see the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as my people’s most important defensive institution: Israel’s military ensures that Jews will “never again” be defenseless.

Israel has a global role in terms of protecting Jewry, but its military is primarily concerned with its immediate region.

Meanwhile, the United States has a global role as the leader of a broad coalition in defense of global freedom. It has an expeditionary military to match this mission. Although both militaries face common challenges, they are designed and postured for different missions.

In 2005, I immigrated to Israel with the dream of fighting for Jewish liberation. My father risked his life to teach Hebrew and keep Judaism alive in the Soviet Union. His father fought the Nazis in the Soviet army.

I was also strongly influenced by stories of partisans and Jews who fought the Nazis and fought to secure Jewish self-determination in Eretz Israel. I see modern Israel as a direct continuation of Jewish history; a new chapter from the Biblical era. I could not pass up the opportunity to serve in what I consider to be the direct legacy of the army of King David. My three younger siblings each made aliyah and served in the IDF as well.

In 2006, Israel sent me to a military ulpan, where I spent three months in immersive study of Hebrew and Israel’s culture, history, geography, etc. In 2007, I joined the Golani infantry brigade and served all over the country. I saw combat in Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip.
100-year-old Michigan WWII veteran one of the last living witnesses to Nazi Nuremberg trials
Veteran Jack Sheehan remembers sitting in a German courtroom. He remembers hearing prosecutors interrogate defendants. And he remembers watching 24 Nazi Germany leaders face justice for their war crimes.

At 100 years old, Sheehan is one of the last living witnesses to the Nuremberg Trials, an international effort to prosecute Nazi leaders following World War II.

From November 1945 to August 1946, the world watched the high-ranking Nazi defendants sit in a wood-paneled courtroom for the first Nuremberg trial. They were indicted and tried as war criminals on charges such as crimes against humanity by the International Military Tribunal — a team of prosecutors from the Soviet Union, Great Britain, France and the United States.

Sheehan, a B-26 bomber pilot who also transported Nuremberg prosecutors in his bomb bay, sat in on two days of what the Associated Press called “the biggest murder trial in history” for the mass murder of Jewish people.

“I was conscious of the history that I was watching,” he said speaking from his Muskegon retirement home.

Sheehan, who grew up in the Detroit area, joined the U.S. Army to fulfill his dream of becoming a pilot. Eager to fly, his military service was delayed when defective yellow fever shots hospitalized him with jaundice for 20 days when he ate “steak every day at noon.”











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