Friday, December 24, 2021

From Ian:

Are Palestinians an indigenous people?
According to a definition cited in the RTD Journal, “Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first people, aboriginal people, native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic groups who are native to a place which has been colonized and settled by another ethnic group.”

For several decades, Palestinian leaders, followers and archeologists have touted the notion that Arabs are the true “indigenous people” of what was called Palestine, and are descended from Canaanites and other tribes who lived there before it was conquered by the Jewish people. Although they offer no evidence for this claim, it has become part of Palestinian identity; and, as a belief, it is unquestioned.

Nomadic tribes, such as the Bedouin, cannot be included in this category, because there is no way of knowing from where they originated. Arab tribes who migrated to the land of Israel/Palestine in the modern period left no texts, documents or evidence of their origin or culture. Their tribal/family names, however, often indicate their foreign origins.

Arab Palestinians call themselves “indigenous people” to depict themselves as victims of colonialism and to support their claim that Jews have “stolen the Palestinian homeland” and “occupied” it. Written in the PLO Covenant and Hamas Charter—and advocated by Islamists and organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood—it is used to justify terrorism, demonize Israel and pursue the goal of eliminating Israel.

Arabs who call themselves Palestinians—derived from the word “Philistines,” an invading force from the Aegean Sea—use the word “indigenous” to legitimatize their efforts to carry out their struggle against Israel’s existence. Their self-description as a “people” is refuted by the fact that they have little in common, and are merely a collection of tribes and clans that are often at war with each other.

Indeed, the idea that the Arab Palestinians are an “indigenous people” is a lie, as proven by Biblical and historical texts and archeology, which confirm Jewish civilizations throughout the land of Israel; there are no documents, sources or other evidence that refer to a “Palestinian people.”
Melanie Phillips: A Christmas crusade: scapegoating the Jews
It’s more than just troubling. Not only does it slyly reinforce the blood libel perpetrated against the Israel’s Defense Forces — which goes to lengths unmatched by any other military to protect civilian life — that they willfully slaughter Palestinian children.

It also continues to tap into the calumny of replacement theology, which in recent years has been revived within the church.

This ancient doctrine, which was responsible for the Christian pogroms against the Jews of medieval Europe, held that the Christians had replaced the Jews in the eyes of God and had inherited all divine promises made to them while the Jews themselves had become the party of the devil.

Today, this doctrine has been appropriated by Palestinian Arab Christians — and endorsed below the radar by many liberal Western churches — to claim that the Palestinians have now inherited the divine promise of the land of Israel.

This has created such absurdities and obscenities as representing Jesus, the Jew from Judea, as a Palestinian; writing the Jews out of their own national story in Israel; and rehashing the ancient libel that the Jews killed Jesus to underpin the modern libel that the Israelis are slaughtering the Palestinians.

The churches’ accusation against Israel is even more egregious since Christianity really is under existential threat throughout other parts of the Middle East and the developing world.

In its ancient cradle of Iraq, Christianity has been virtually wiped out by Islamist attacks. At the beginning of this year, Open Doors listed the ten countries where Christians were most persecuted as North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Eritrea, Yemen, Iran, Nigeria and India. Of more than 50 countries on its full list, all were in the developing world. None of them was Israel.

Yet Welby and the other clerics ignored all this (although Welby subsequently sought to deflect the growing outrage over his article by writing a postscript on the Spectator website in which he devoted three paragraphs to Christian persecution around the world). Instead, the churches’ campaign chose to scapegoat the Jews for crimes against Christianity perpetrated by others — the fundamental myth fueling Christian antisemitism from the time of the early church fathers.

Many decent Christians are horrified by the venom of the liberal churches towards Israel and the resurgence of theological Christian Jew-hatred, which to them goes totally against the uplifting lessons they learn from their faith.

But judging from this disturbing campaign, it seems that little of substance has changed for the church in its foundational malice towards the Jewish people.


The Palestinian Authority has Jesus envy
Once the PA turned Jesus into a Palestinian it was a simple step to misappropriate some of Christianity’s religious, as well as holiday, symbols. The PA and Fatah on numerous occasions have depicted Palestinians on a crucifix in political cartoons. The PA likewise has turned Santa Claus into a Palestinian. Palestinian Media Watch has documented at least seven cartoons in which Santa Claus is fighting, abused by and even murdered by Israeli soldiers.

Some mistakenly think that the PA’s claiming Jewish history and Jesus is so absurd it therefore can be ignored as meaningless Palestinian identity creation. Unfortunately, the PA’s falsification of history must not be ignored, because it has a much more sinister goal: it serves as justification for the PA and Fatah seeking to destroy Israel.

Fatah’s Waed magazine for children aged 6 to 15 repeatedly teaches that it is this fictitious history that justifies and guarantees Israel’s destruction: “Palestine underwent dozens of invasions, and many peoples entered it such as a Babylonians, the Persians, the Samaritans, the Assyrians, the Hyksos, the Hittites, the Pharaohs and the Hebrews. Afterward the Greeks and Romans arrived… In the end, Palestine fell under the Zionist occupation… The occupation will cease to exist just as what was before it ceased to exist.” (Waed, Issue 32, pp. 5-6) And this: “Over thousands of years, it has proven that… there is no invader who invaded this land and did not leave it defeated in the end, and that is what will happen to the Zionist invaders.” (Waed, Issue 27, p. 23)

As long as the PA continues to deny the thousands of years of the Jewish people’s history in the land – including the fact that Jesus was a Judean – and uses this as a basis to deny Israel the right to exist, a peace process has yet to begin.


Jonathan Tobin: Mainstream Jewish Groups Need to Understand That Interfaith Dialogue Legitimized CAIR
That is why it may be a little late for advocates of Jewish-Muslim dialogue to take the position that CAIR’s endorsement of antisemitism should not deter Jews from continuing to work towards that goal. In all too many communities, it is simply impossible to separate CAIR from the cause of interfaith outreach involving Jews and Muslims. Having already bestowed legitimacy on those involved in this group and its various allies, many Jews are all too eager to treat Billoo’s comments or the failure of CAIR to condemn her as an insufficient reason to rethink their choices.

Part of the problem has been the willingness of those that Billoo called “polite Zionists” to treat those whom she labeled as “fascists” or “Islamophobes” as an embarrassment to the Jewish community. In her speech, she divided Jews into three groups.

On the one hand, she advocated continued work with “good Jews” who shared CAIR’s anti-Zionist goals such as the members of IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace, which have actively sought to support the antisemitic BDS movement and, in the case of JVP, actually engaged in promoting a blood libel against Jews. But she cautioned that the “polite Zionists” were just as bad as those that were actively engaged in exposing their activities and stands, work that is often put down as bigotry by supposed arbiters of extremism like the leftist Southern Poverty Law Center rather than providing the country with the information it needs to make informed decisions on dealing with CAIR.

All too often mainstream groups have acquiesced to the labeling of the Middle East Forum and the IPT as being anti-Muslim — just as Billoo does — instead of acknowledging that they have been doing the hard work of exposing the truth about CAIR and associated groups. The fact that CAIR is pushing a story this week intended to distract attention from Billoo’s ongoing antisemitic rhetoric — in which she is claiming that she is the victim of a “prolonged Zionist onslaught” — about the IPT having paid an informant inside the group to give them information about CAIR’s activities illustrates how determined they are to marginalize their most potent critics.

Unfortunately, mainstream Jewish liberals have often foolishly bought into the misleading rhetoric about Islamophobia. That is a charge that is intended primarily to change the conversation from one about the hate emanating from Islamists to one about mythical anti-Muslim backlash. This is the same trick that an antisemite like Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) has used to fend off legitimate criticism of her extremism and promotion of hate.

Instead of stubbornly pretending that the problem can be restricted to Billoo and pushing on with business as usual in interfaith efforts, what the mainstream Jewish world needs to do is to pause and examine their own complicity in CAIR’s ability to foist itself on American Muslims and be recognized by the media and government institutions as a respected civil rights group. Dialogue with Muslims should not be avoided but it must be conditioned on mutual respect. That requires Jewish groups to call out CAIR and its allies and all those associated with them as members of hate groups, not candidates for dialogue. If that is too much to ask, then there’s no point in listening to them vent their outrage about what Billoo said.
Leftist US Jewish magazine apologizes for running Israel fellowship ad
Jewish Currents Editor-in-Chief Arielle Angel issued her own apology on Twitter, promising to formalize the publication’s ad guidelines. Angel declined to comment further to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Dorot, whose website explicitly welcomes participants who are non-Zionist and anti-Zionist, runs the fellowship in partnership with the New Israel Fund, which supports a range of liberal and left-wing causes in Israel, including human rights work in support of the Palestinians and raising awareness about the consequences of the Israeli occupation.

Relaunched in 2018, Jewish Currents has emerged as a leading voice of the American Jewish left. Its editorial voice, led by contributors including Peter Beinart, has been strongly critical of Israel, advocating positions including the Palestinian right of return and supporting boycotts of West Bank businesses.

The ad and subsequent apology lit up a firestorm on Twitter. Some on the left said that the ad was proof the magazine was secretly Zionist.

Meanwhile, prominent pro-Israel figures including Democratic Majority for Israel, a pro-Israel lobbying group targeting Democratic lawmakers, and the executive director of StandWithUs, used the apology to mock the publication.


Florida Public Universities Expected to Reject BDS, Governor DeSantis Says
The office of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said on Wednesday that it expects Florida State University to prevent the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), with which it is an institutional partner, from operating a boycott of Israel on its campus.

Earlier this month, MESA members voted during their annual meeting to hold a referendum next year on a resolution endorsing the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

Responding Wednesday to questions about the proposed MESA boycott posed by Legal Insurrection, DeSantis’ office shared a statement rejecting “discrimination against the State of Israel or the Israeli people, including boycotts and divestments targeting Israel (the BDS movement).”

“It is our expectation that Florida State University will not permit MESA to operate a boycott of Israel through a public institution, will not accept the academic boycott of Israel, and will not allow university funds to be paid indirectly or directly to any organization that endorses BDS,” the statement continued. “The same goes for any other institution that receives state funding.”

Several other MESA institutional partners, including California State University, University of Arizona, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and University of Michigan, are also in states that have adopted measures against using public funds to support BDS.


Emerson College Addressing Report That Professor Did Hitler Salute in Class
Emerson College confirmed on Tuesday that it is addressing a report that a professor engaged in antisemitic behavior in the classroom.

Officials in the private Boston school are “aware” of a social media post that was shared anonymously on Dec. 16 by Jewish on Campus, an Instagram account that collects reports of antisemitism on college campuses. The post’s author alleged that during class, an unidentified Emerson professor asked them to “say something in German” and, when they refused, the professor spoke in German himself “and then did the Hitler salute” at the author and other Jews in class.

According to the author, this wasn’t “the first time [the professor] had done or said something ignorant in class.”

In a statement, Emerson College President William P. Gilligan said “the report is currently being addressed by the relevant college offices charged with responding to such incidents.”

“Antisemitism and other forms of hate and intolerance violate Emerson’s stated values of inclusiveness and equal treatment,” he said. “The college is committed to addressing any reports of antisemitism, as well as other forms of racism and oppression. Rest assured we acknowledge that any behavior that is insensitive to, or belittles, the trauma experienced by Jewish individuals and others during the Holocaust is unacceptable.”

Gilligan’s statement was his second condemnation of antisemitism this school year. In October, he denounced the graffitiing of language that “mockingly invoked the Holocaust” on a Hillel flyer advertising a yoga event.
Hit Piece Masquerading as Book Review: The Guardian’s Latest Apartheid Libel
Unreported: Violent Palestinian Rejection of Jewish State
While The Guardian notes Cypel’s cryptic description of modern Israel as having come into existence amid “a constellation of Goliaths,” non-stop Palestinian aggression against the idea of a Jewish state and decades of terrorism endured by Israelis (see here, here, here, and here) are simply ignored. Nor is there mention of the Palestinian leadership’s repeated rejection of generous peace deals from various Israeli governments.

“All of these anecdotes explain Cypel’s relentless pessimism about Israel,” Kaiser explains “which [Cypel] calls “a society blindly turning inward as it drifts toward disaster.” Kaiser does not bother to raise the obvious question: how can a man as “relentlessly pessimistic” as Cypel be trusted to be a voice of reason on the nature of Israeli society?

Invisible ‘Voices of Virtuous Israelis’
Finally, The Guardian notes that “Cypel’s book is also replete with the voices of virtuous Israelis who remain determined to put their country on a different course.” But this is where the discussion ends. Rather than expanding on these dissenting voices, The Guardian veers off course altogether: “Cypel points out that Israel’s lurch to the right has produced a growing gap with the liberal traditions of American Jews in the Reform movement.”.

The Apartheid Libel
Apartheid refers to the system of legal and institutional racial segregation that was imposed by South Africa’s minority white population over the country’s non-white citizens. A present-day example of a similar policy is, for example, seen in the oppression of Chinese Uyghur Muslims by their own national government. However, it cannot be sensibly applied to Israel which grants all citizens equal rights and protections, including Israeli Arabs who comprise 20 percent of Israel’s population.

Crucially, the violence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is also not a form of apartheid. Israelis and the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are part of a frustratingly complex dispute being fought by disparate governmental entities, national movements and US-designated terrorist organizations. Israel’s defense posture vis a vis the West Bank and Gaza Strip is meant to safeguard the security of the country’s citizens within the context of an unpredictable and unresolved geopolitical crisis that has claimed thousands of lives.

A book review that doesn’t critique or at least question the veracity of an author’s claims about a complicated issue like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is effectively perpetuating libelous statements that serve to demean all of the Jewish state’s 9.2 million citizens: Jews, Muslims and Christians alike.
CAMERA Arabic prompts correction to BBC timeline of relations between Morocco and Algeria
CAMERA Arabic recently looked into the way Arabic-language Western media outlets present the story of Algeria’s deportation of tens of thousands of Moroccan nationals in the winter of 1975-6, forcing them to surrender their property and exit the country, typically within days. Moroccan estimates put the number of people expelled at up to 350 thousand individuals while foreign observers agree that at least tens of thousands of Moroccan families were forced to leave following the Algerian government’s decision.

The mass expulsion, which started at Eid al-Adha of that year, was broadly seen as Algerian retribution for Morocco’s Green March on Western Sahara a month before and is commemorated in Morocco every December.

That event was not included in a BBC Arabic backgrounder supposedly explaining the relations between Morocco and Algeria throughout modern history.

First published on August 27th 2021 and last updated on November 4th, the original version of that backgrounder featured the following timeline of mid-1970s events:
“1975: Spain withdraws from Western Sahara and a turf war erupts between the Polisario Front and Moroccan forces, lasting 16 years. Moroccan monarch King Hasan II rejects the Hague’s ICJ decision concerning the Sahrawi people’s right to self-determination and orchestrates what became known as ‘the Green March’, where he called 350,000 Moroccans to get out and overtake Western Sahara.

“1975-1976: Morocco annexes two thirds of Western Sahara after Spanish withdrawal. The Polisario Front announces the establishment of the Saharan Arab Republic, with a government in Algeria exile. Thousands of Sahrawi refugees flee for west Algeria to build camps near the town of Tindouf.

“March 1976: Relations between Morocco and Algeria are cut, against the backdrop of the latter’s support of the Polisario Front.”


In a complaint submitted to the BBC we pointed out that:
The timeline completely overlooked the mass expulsion, which was a crucial event in the history of Moroccan-Algerian relations, not only as backdrop to the two countries severing ties in March 1976, but also in shaping the dynamics between them to this day.

The ICJ did not issue a “decision” on Western Sahara but an advisory opinion.


BBC Arabic editors reviewed the entry and corrected the two issues we raised.
Guardian improves article, but still misleads over 'murdered' Palestinians claim
However, as our colleague Tamar Sternthal demonsrated in a recent article, the claim that four Palestinians have been “murdered” by settlers, putatively based on a report by United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OHCA), is not accurate. OCHA included the following critical information concerning its data on Palestinians killed by settlers:
Incidents involving Israeli settlers: includes attacks and alleged attacks by Israeli settlers, as well as incidents involving access prevention, and clashes following the entry of Israeli settlers into Palestinian communities. It also includes Palestinians killed or injured during attacks or alleged attacks they perpetrated against Israeli settlers.

OCHA doesn’t make its data publicly available, and therefore their claim about the four Palestinians allegedly killed in settler violence cannot be verified. Nevertheless, the article’s failure to note that the reported figure, by OCHA’s own telling, includes Palestinian assailants falsely casts attackers as victims by claiming all four Palestinians were “murdered” by Israeli settlers.

Indeed, B’Tselem, an anti-Zionist organisation, lists two (not four) Palestinians killed in 2021 by settlers. One of the Palestinian fatalities was trying to break into a settler’s home, the other had attempted to stab the settlement security coordinator, who then shot him dead. So, both Palestinians killed in 2021, according to B’Tslem, were assailants.

We complained to Guardian editors, asking that they either substantiate the claim – with details about the incidents – that four Palestinians were “murdered” by settlers, or retract the claim. Though they agreed to replace the word “murdered” with “killed”, and added an editor’s note at the bottom noting the revision, it still grossly misleads by suggesting that the Palestinians assailants in question were victims of Israeli settler attacks.
BBC ECU rejects complaint about inaccurate portrayal of Miller dismissal
In early October we documented the BBC’s use of an inaccurate headline in its reporting of the dismissal of David Miller from Bristol University:
BBC WEST’S INACCURATE HEADLINES FAIL AUDIENCES ON DAVID MILLER STORY

Earlier this month, we noted that a screenshot of that same inaccurate headline was used in a BBC documentary about antisemitism in the UK:
NEW BBC DOCUMENTARY ON UK ANTISEMITISM DOESN’T CUT THE MUSTARD

Mr Stephen Franklin submitted a complaint to the BBC concerning that article’s inaccurate headline and opening sentence, noting that Miller’s employment had been terminated due to antisemitic comments about Jewish students rather than “comments he made about Israel”.

The complaint was rejected on the grounds that “we think it was an accurate summary of the decision published by the university and did not misrepresent the reason it gave for his dismissal.” The BBC’s response noted that “The university’s statement did not in fact describe Professor Miller’s comments as anti-Semitic, whatever others may think of them.”

Pointing out that Bristol University’s statement also did not mention Israel, Mr Franklin submitted a Stage 1b complaint which was likewise rejected with the claim that “we remain satisfied that the headline provides an accurate summary of the situation.”
UK police probe antisemitic Hanukkah attack; suspect wanted ‘to kill my first Jew’
Police in London said Friday they were searching for a man accused of injuring a Jewish man in an antisemitic attack during the Hanukkah holiday earlier this month.

The man was accused of approaching the victim in West Hampstead and making antisemitic comments at him, including that he wanted “to kill my first Jew,” according to Antisemitism.org. He also shouted aggressively at a young woman who fled the scene, and tore down a public menorah.

The suspect also shouted several things in Arabic.

The suspect chased the victim into a store. He “reached the victim, allegedly squaring up to him aggressively with barely a meter between them. Within seconds, the man allegedly pushed the victim as hard as he could with both hands on the victim’s chest, forcing the victim to take a step backwards, all the while repeating: ‘You are Jewish. I am going to kill you,'” according to the website.

He continued to accost the victim and threw punches at him while promising to kill him. At one point he appeared to pull out a knife and made a throat-slitting gesture at the victim, before leaving the shop.

The report said that before the attack escalated the victim had called police to report the man’s threats, but they told him the matter did not seem urgent.
Brave woman stands up to vile football fan who 'chanted sick anti-Semitic abuse at her'
THIS is the moment a brave woman stood up to a yob football fan she claims hurled anti-Semitic abuse at her.

Shocking video shows the man making obscene gestures to the train passenger as they travelled to the West Ham clash against Tottenham last night.

She had accused the supporter of shouting anti-Semitic abuse at her, which was not caught on camera.

The smirking man then swears at the woman as she yells: "Say it to my face".

He then flips around on a train bar while other fans sing a chant about player Arthur Masuaku.

The woman posted the clip on Twitter where it has gone viral.

She said: "Hi @metpoliceuk would like to report an incident on the 18:45 train from liverpool street to white hart lane.

"This man continuously shouting anti Semitic comments and behaviour and clearly not sorry when called up on…"
Maryland Cops Investigating Antisemitic COVID-19 Fliers Distributed by Neo-Nazi ‘GDL’ Organization
Police in Maryland are investigating the distribution of fliers pushing antisemitic conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 pandemic in the Washington, DC, suburb of Silver Spring.

Without elaborating on the contents of the fliers, officers in Montgomery County said that multiple copies had been distributed in the Forest Estate neighborhood.

A representative of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) told local news outlet Bethesda Beat that the fliers in Silver Spring were the same as those distributed around the country last weekend by supporters of a virulently antisemitic neo-Nazi group.

The group — which calls itself the “Goyim Defense League” (GDL) — targeted private homes in at least eight different states with antisemitic propaganda claiming, “Every single aspect of COVID is Jewish.”

Carla Hill — associate director of the ADL’s Center on Extremism — told The Algemeiner on Monday that the weekend’s “surge of incidents” had been sparked by a promise from the founder of the “GDL,” Jon Minadeo Jr., to send $100 worth of merchandise to any supporters who engaged in propaganda distribution. Minadeo is also the founder of an online merchandise store called “Goyim Gear,” which deals in t-shirts glorifying Adolf Hitler, the Waffen SS and other individuals and groups lionized by white supremacists.

The appearance of the “GDL” fliers in Maryland triggered disgust among local officials and politicians.


Drunk man leads German police to Nazi altar, weapons
A call from a drunken man led German police officers to a secret Nazi altar, filled with memorabilia, weapons and even pictures of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, German police reported.

The drunken man, 53, had called from his apartment Tuesday night and asked for help. Responding, police arrived at his apartment and found a large arsenal of weapons, including knives and firearms, as well as an altar-like structure filled with Nazi iconography.

The resident was taken to the hospital. The following day, police searched the apartment in his presence.

Police confiscated, among other things, a belt of ammunition, two knives, a butterfly knife three brass knuckles - two of which had blades. It is currently unclear where the weapons came from and the man has no criminal record.

A police investigation into the matter is ongoing.
Accuracy of new Brazilian TV show on Holocaust-era hero called into question
A historical drama series that premiered Sunday in Brazil was supposed to give belated recognition to a woman nicknamed “the angel of Hamburg” for her actions during the Holocaust.

Titled “Passports to Freedom,” the show produced by the South American media giant Globo and Sony Pictures has significantly amplified the little-known story of Aracy de Carvalho, who is credited with saving several Jews while working at Brazil’s consulate in Hamburg until 1942.

But two respected Brazilian historians are calling the story an exaggeration, arguing that de Carvalho followed orders during her time at the consulate, incurring little to no personal risk in issuing standard visas to German Jews who escaped.

As a consulate worker, de Carvalho helped at least five Jewish families flee in 1938-1939, facilitating their departure to Brazil, according to her file at Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust museum. In 1982, the museum recognized her as a Righteous Among the Nations — a title for non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews. She died in 2011.

Historians Fábio Koifman and Rui Afonso questioned her claim to the title in a book published this year titled “Jews in Brazil: History and Historiography.”

In interviews in the days leading up to the TV series’ release, the pair triggered a debate in Brazilian media about her legacy. De Carvalho had not spoken much about the actions attributed to her during her lifetime, but has received growing recognition in recent years.


Portugal plans to make it easier for Sephardi Jews to acquire citizenship
Sephardic Jews of Portuguese origin will soon be able to apply for Portuguese citizenship online.

Portugal has taken an active role in fostering Jewish life since 2015. Seeking to atone for its acquisitions during the Inquisition, it passed a law granting Portuguese nationality to Jews of families from traditional Sephardic communities whose ancestors were expelled in the 15th century.

Chelsea FC soccer team owner Roman Abramovich recently became a Portuguese citizen thanks to the country's law of return for Jews of Sephardi descent. Although he was slammed in the press in the darkest terms, a Portuguese Jewish community representative said Abramovich's Sephardic certification process, whose full documentation has long been in the possession of the Lisbon Central Registry, was certified by the highest international Jewish institutions, in compliance with legal criteria.

He added that in its contacts with the Portuguese government and parliament, "the Jewish Community of Porto has always been in favor of the requirement that Sephardic applicants have a connection in the present to Portugal that is in the spirit of the law" in order to combat antisemitic arguments against the law.

Itay Mor, a lawyer who resides in Portugal, where he is president of the Rainbow Portugal Association, said, "The government has been developing this digital platform since November 2019, when it met with a large number of lawyers and announced the end of the paper-based procedure. The cumbersome and slow procedure, including the initial application, gathering of evidence or criminal records, and translations caused delays and inconveniences for the registry, lawyers, and applicants. From 2022, the citizenship application procedure involving the Registry Office and the lawyers will move toward the digital platform and the paper-based procedure will be phased out."
Jared Kushner Investment Firm Affinity Raises $3 Billion, Will Invest in Israeli Companies
Jared Kushner’s global investment firm, Affinity Partners, has raised more than $3 billion in committed funding from international investors, a person familiar with the fund-raising effort told Reuters on Thursday.

Kushner, a former top aide to former president Donald Trump who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, formed the Miami-based Affinity Partners last summer after deciding to step away from politics and began raising money in the fall.

Kushner plans to invest in American and Israeli companies that are looking for international expansion opportunities in India, Africa, the Middle East and other parts of Asia.

Kushner’s firm has received commitments of more than $3 billion, the source said, adding that he expects to continue fund-raising efforts for the next few months to close them and add potential additional commitments.

Information on specific investors was not disclosed, but Affinity was targeting American institutions and foreign investment institutions, including sovereign wealth funds and high net worth individuals.

Affinity is hoping to close its first deal in the first quarter of 2022, the source said.

The firm has hired about 20 people, including private equity veterans Bret Perlman and Asad Naqvi, and plans to focus on US-based investments as well as those in the Middle East.
Israel’s National Library Adds 1,600 Ancient Christian Manuscripts to Its Online Archive
Documents, photos and ancient manuscripts from a monastery in the Sinai Peninsula are now available for free on the National Library of Israel website.

The collection from Saint Catherine’s Monastery includes items from the 12th century. The monastery’s library is considerably older as it was founded in the sixth century by Byzantine Emperor Justinian and is believed to be the oldest working library.

It contains works in various languages including Greek, Arabic, Syriac, Georgian, Armenian and more, which library officials say is a “treasure trove” of text related to early Christianity.

Additionally, the archive has photos of the monastery and surrounding lands in the aftermath of the Six-Day War in 1967, along with rare color footage filmed by Jacques Soussana, a cinematographer, photographer and former National Library employee whose wife recently donated the film to the library. The film was digitized with the help of the Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive and the Jerusalem Cinematheque.

“The digital images of these manuscripts are truly priceless, particularly for scholars of Orthodox Greek Christianity,” said Dr. Stefan Litt, curator of the National Library of Israel’s Humanities Collection, who oversaw the project. “They show us how the collection’s manuscripts looked more than 50 years ago and are now safely preserved and long-term.”


Israeli, Moroccan Researchers Work to Rescue Synagogue












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